Saturday, June 20, 2015

Playing Dress Up Now to Wow

Somebody call for a heat wave? 
Summer is here and while I'm certainly not one to complain about gorgeous weather and an abundance of outdoor activities, all this sunshine can be really distracting! Here I am, selling more cards than ever, and for once I don't have a ready supply of 40+ cards waiting to go to the store, be handed out and or mailed to friends. No, instead of spending my spare moments crafting up a storm of patterned paper and bling, I've been doing the unthinkable: gardening.
You messin' with my broccoli?!?
For most, gardening is an activity that is anticipated with joy- not me. In my life's experience, gardening was best performed under the tutelage of those middle aged people wearing their grubbies, who could then justify both not changing their clothes to go to the store while boasting of tomato sizing as "knowledge." Trust me, my choice when growing up was always going to be, Lay in the yard reading a book, over, Dig weeds and go on a slug hunt. So imagine my surprise when I found myself at the end of the day Tuesday realizing that BY CHOICE I had spent the entire day working amongst my 33 plants varieties. shudder

 Well, I got my dues. That night our neighbors came by and bit down all my most awesome seedlings. There went the last of last year's broccoli, all of the strawberries I've been cultivating, the 20+ flowers from my bean plants just attempting their climb up the fence. My friends, have you ever known the delicacy that is venison? Cause I'm about to go all Daryl Dixon on these leaf eaters!
Okay, maybe more like Katniss Everdean. But I'll keep it EverGREEN lol. Seriously, I've never had a reason to complain about deer and often times laugh at the retelling of their garden prowling audacity. But seriously, I do love venison and I'm really ticked about losing all that hard tilled plant growth. Oh well, lesson learned... get my butt back to the craft table and create flowers with paper in my hands instead of dirt under my nails. After all, the garden surely needs "recovery" time, huh? (And I need time to set up my tree stand!)
Have you ever noticed, even if it's an activity you adore, if you haven't been working at it diligently, the first couple tries at starting up again can make you feel a little rusty. Whenever I'm stumped for inspiration, I turn to some back issues of PaperCrafts or a Creating Keepsakes Magazine, find some images I enjoy, and then shop my stash for items that will help me recreate the look. Sometimes its more about the design; often times I'll notice that I've fallen into a rut as far as placement, so interpreting a design that is abnormal to you is a great way to break into the creative juices we all know you have stored up inside you :-)
If nothing from your inspiration source calls out to you, (or perhaps too many items do) you can always "phone a friend." For this first card, I asked my breakfast tablemates to select one of the four cards shown as my reference, and then searched for like items for the card chosen. Basically the elements were, patterened paper background, distressed tag with large rustic brad, and a sticker and sentiment placed on the tag. Pretty, simple, and yea! a reason to use a tag!
Well, I found a tag and layered on a flower sticker, sentiment sticker, and then a punched sherbet heart. Added hand drawn stitching around the tag, punched that matte bronze brad through and tada! For more attention, I  matted my subtle patterned paper with a dark brown thin cardstock, and then backed it with a superhero blue speckled card base. Hiding the brad backs adds to the overall finished look... I still needed something though, so I went back to the sticker sheets and added part of a border sticker from Basic Grey's Little Black Dress collection. STILL not satisfied, I turned to my favorite embellishment and added tiny rhinestones here and there, taking the card from Now, to WOW!
Here's my second example for garden free gardening. This time I was happy about everything enough to take a picture and text it to a friend after the initial creation phase. One thing that's great about photographing your art is that it allows a different perspective somehow, and what jumped out to me wasn't the sentiment, but that large black space in the top left corner.

The green cardstock is actually a paint sample, so what did I do? I just cut into the next color on the sample card, rounded that corner, added some similar inking, and voila! Now, I loved the addition of that piece instantly. Except...
It still wan't right to me! So, I just played with the background paper and adjusted it until I could say, WOW! The perfect amount of flowers and greenery and no dirty clothes, hands, shoes or face to go with it lol.
I hope you can use some of these dress up tricks on your next project- if something just doesn't seem perfect about what you make, try taking a picture of it. Does an area jump out at you, or do you notice a place that could use some additional fixing? Hey, what's the worse that can happen?
Oh, and just in case you are considering sending me a half birthday present next weekend...




1 comment:

  1. What a great idea for getting out of the heat! I happen to have a nice cool basement for my crafting space, so I think I'll use your layout examples and get crafty!