Wednesday, August 23, 2017

BRRRR - It's Only 91 Degrees! Hero Arts Wintertime Fun Hop & Giveaway

I've been on a holiday crafting roll this month - sweating away my August dog days with chilly images and dreams of cooler weather. I was just telling someone the other day that I tend to avoid "hot" Christmas images like hot cocoa - I gravitate towards the frostier icons of winter, because for 364 days a year here, hot chocolate just makes you break into a mental sweat when it's 103.

So today I'm super duper excited to show you some things I REALLY had fun making as part of the Hero Arts Wintertime Fun Catalog Blog Hop! I am always tickled pink to see what their Creative Team has done with their new things, and it's an honor to hop with them! There are such great artists assembled in this hop today - so you will have fun.

I am obsessed with their paper layering dies for two reasons - they are large enough to watercolor a lot of detail on, AND I love that I can shape them with an embossing stylus to pop off my card in three dimensions. They are so completely unique in the die landscape - I think they're genius.

I watercolor mine and let them totally dry before shaping them, which I do by putting them face down on my MISTI foam, and gently rubbing my stylus in a circular motion on all the areas that need to pop out. They become completely sculptural. And, of course, it's impossible to see all the hills and valleys in a photo - but trust me - this bear looks so cool and 3D in real life.
Paper Layering Bear by Understand Blue + Giveaway

I watercolored him with my Schmincke limited edition palette by Marilyn Garber. You can get the colors individually of course - so they are listed above. To get his nose color - I actually mixed the red and the green listed - I'm having fun mixing blacks after studying some combinations - they are so much more complex and harmonious if you mix them yourself - especially if you're using the colors you are painting with.  I added gloss to his nose with a Pico Embellisher. He's on a background that I watercolored with my radiant watercolors (colors listed above). He makes me want a Coke! :)

My next favorite from this catalog is this awesome Forest & Deer Bold Prints background stamp and the Bird Words bundle. I love that their Bold Prints are big enough to cover a card front and then some, so I just use Hermafix to secure a card front in my MISTI and then stamp the background a few times until it's fully inked. Then I cut an inch out of that panel to leave space for a sentiment. I used one from the Color Layering Koi stamp set because I thought it was perfect with my Bird Word! :) There are actually THREE ink colors on this card - listed below. Can you tell what I did with the third, bird? :)
Hero Arts Bird Words by Understand Blue + Giveaway


And OH MY GOSH THE FOX. This paper-layering fox is soooooo AMAZING!!!!!! LOOK AT HIM!!! I used the same shaping process after watercoloring his majestic little self.

For the background, I used my Clarity Stencil Brushes to brush on Soft Granite ink through the Crossing Waves stencil, which is one of my faves. I didn't want another color to compete with his glorious fur.

When I adhere these die cuts - I just add glue to the little frame part around the outside, so that the main part of the images stay puffy. I wish you could hold this in your hands and see the dimension. What a gorgeous image.

The sentiment is from the Color Layering Dimensional Bird set in Intense Black. The watercolor is Daniel Smith - listed below.
Hero Arts Paper Layering Fox by Understand Blue + Giveaway




Finally - I made a set of notecards after a play session with the beautiful Glorious Petal Stencil and Infusions. I love those Infusions and all the color separation you get. That's just three colors of infusions, but they all separate and also have that beautiful warm walnut stain in them. I just did two of the wholel 5x7 sheet of watercolor paper - on the bolder two, I put the stencil down, shook infusions into the openings and spritzed with water. Then I let that dry a bit, lifted the stencil, and just set the wet stencil with color on it down onto a second sheet of watercolor paper for a lighter image. Then I cut each sheet in half to get two cards.

I used the Prayers die on all four - you can always use extra cards to send when someone hits a low spot. This was incredibly fast and easy, but such an impact with that beautiful pattern and all the color. Each one is different. And on that first photo - the little black die cut piece from the loop on the P - somehow I didn't notice it was stuck on the card when I was photographing it. So I left it in just to keep myself humble. Perfection is for serial killers, right? :)
Hero Arts Glorious Petal Stencil by Understand Blue + Giveaway



So next on the hop is the incomparable Jessica Frost-Ballas - she is always a wow. I can't wait to see her cards. The whole list is here for you - if you leave a comment on each post, you will be entered to win one of three $25 shopping sprees. Leave your comments by August 30th at 11:50 PM Pacific time to be eligible.




Monday, August 21, 2017

Save Your Eyes! #eclipse2017

While I think some of the stories I've heard about grown adults not knowing what an eclipse is, and people asking if they have to bring their cows and goats into their living rooms today is more disturbing than a burned retina, I still don't want any of you guys to get a burned retina, so please don't stare at the sun. Thank you!

I spent a little more time stamp etching after last week's card, because I just love it so much.

I had stamped out all the images from Cheery Chirps because I was intending to make a clean and simple black and white card set with it, but once I picked up my pen, I couldn't stop. I also had the beautiful mulberry paper still on my desk from this month's Hero Arts kit, and the circles inspired me, so I die cut out my little bird with the Layering Circle and I love how perfectly he's framed.

When I first saw this image - I love what I describe as a sort of Scandinavian style to the set - I thought that was a tear on the sweet little bird until I looked closer. I think it gives it so much character and I chose the sentiment accordingly.
Cheery Chirps Stamp Etching Technique By Understand Blue
Now just to show you what this image looks like with no etching...
Cheery Chirps by Understand Blue
Pretty cool, eh? Just a black pen and everything changes.

I like to buy the multi-packs of the pens I use, but on this image I used the 01. It's also a very relaxing technique, like zentangling.

Over the weekend, I had my first Christmas Stamp-a-Stack. I love starting those in August, because it helps slow down the season a bit and let me enjoy it.

That class, featuring the Musical Season bundle is available as an online class right now! I think you'll love the projects, whether you just want to make them yourself, or teach a class with them. They range from warm, masculine to colorful and modern. And remember, if you purchase this bundle or the stamp set in my store after September 1, you automatically get the class for free. I know you will enjoy this one. The bundle is gorgeous and it uses lots of fun accessories from the catalog. After September 1, I'll offer the kit options as well.

Now I'm off to start my eclipse day, homemade, recyclable viewers in hand. I used the chipboard that comes in our DSP to build our viewers and it's a nice hot, sunny day here so it should be great even though it's only partial here.

So save your eyes peeps! Get out that paper trimmer and kick it old school.

Loveyameanitsaveyoureyesbye.

Friday, August 18, 2017

I Believe in Mischief

I remember vividly the very first time my parents punked me with a dribble glass.

Our dribble glasses actually had the same pattern as some of our fancier party type glasses, and so there was no reason for me to be suspicious. Well played, parents. Fool me once!

How much fun it must have been for them to perpetrate this hijinx on their offspring.

I, in turn, passed the fun on to unsuspecting friends, endlessly.

Of course, in today's overly dramatic, sensitive, snowflake culture, I'd probably be sued for humiliating someone with three drops of water on their shirt, but I'm still up for it.

Because I love mischief. :)

I resurrected my girl from Wednesday that I murdered yesterday for this card, and added my beloved stamp etching technique for a clean, black and white card with another sentiment I bought in Santa Fe. She's even prettier with the etching I think. I do love a CAS black and white card.
So even if you get someone with a dribble glass at the holidays - please do be kind. Instagram a picture of their face and then offer them a napkin while you hashtag it.

Loveyameanitbye.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Something Feline This Way Comes...

The other day, because I love true crime and I am always listening to an audiobook while I craft, I was making yesterday's beautiful Christmas card while listening to - wait for it - a book about Charles Manson.

I cracked up when I realized how strange that would sound if I told you that, so of course I had to tell you. Because I'm strange and whatnot.

So speaking of strange, like you, I screamed and laughed and cried when I first laid my eyes on the new cat punch in the holiday catalog. I mean - it's like they made it just for me!! Several people told me that I was the first person they thought of when they saw it too, which made me happy.

But God forbid I just punch a kitty out of some black cardstock and call it done. OH NO, I SAID.

I have to do something strange and different or I would let you down! So after a conversation with my friend Tandra on FB (who does lovely work, by the way), I decided that I had to present her with the most twisted cat EVER.

A LEMON-LIME TWIST ZOMBIE MURDERER CAT.

So that's what I did. The legs of his victim are from Christmas in the Making - MUAHAHAHAHAHAH, and the bloody prints from Woof are in Gina K's Red Hot ink (her ink is amazing, btw), and the pool of blood and bloody print under his feet are a darn good Copic match to the Red Hot Ink if I do say so myself.

I drew his stitches with a Micron pen, and the little bags under his eyes. To do his face, I set the face stamp from Spooky Kitty up on the MISTI, and covered his nose and mouth with a post-it note. Then I inked the eyes in Versamark, stamped them and embossed them with red embossing powder for zombie eyes. I used a white gel pen to highlight his eyes. I shaded him a bit with Copics, and used a hilarious Impression Obsession stamp I bought at my favorite stamp store when I was in New Mexico.

I was giggling the entire time. I was actually mad I had to leave for a hair appointment halfway through this card.
Zombie Cat Punch Stampin' Up! by Understand Blue



So this is fun - speaking of MURDER - I'm the guest on the So Suzy Podcast today! I love talking to her, and if you aren't subscribed to her crafty podcast, you should be - she covers every topic imaginable in the craft industry and has a lot of great tips. SO you can listen to us talk about our shared love for serial killers and true crime as WELL as my tips for doing retreats and in person classes by hitting the play button below the graphic!






You can subscribe to the podcast on Itunes, Stitcher (she says their feed lags a little behind her publishing) or IHeartRadio

Now you can get all these sneak peek zombie cat murderer goodies in your heavily discounted starter bundle if you want them before September 1! 

Also, remember, you can enter my August giveaway of an Arkon Pro Live Streaming Stand - the one I film all my tutorials with PLUS a ring light for the perfect lighting awesome selfies and live streams one of two ways:
  • Place an order in my store any time during the month of August for an automatic entry. BONUS - use host code 4BY7YKR7 on your order to be entered in a drawing for free Stampin' Up! products as well! 
  • Comment on the post link right here (read the instructions there) and you'll be automatically entered. If you place an order in my store AND comment on that post, you'll receive two entries!
And remember - you can always use my code - UNDERSTANDBLUE - at Arkon for 20% off. They sell all sorts of mounts - hands-free phone mounts for the car, GoPro mounts, tripods, you name it. and they are GREAT people and provide great service.

Loveyameanitkeepaneyeonthosezombiecats.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Can I Offer You a Canape?

Oh - I didn't see you there! I was just walking around the house, perfectly coiffed, in my blue heels, carefully holding a single, perfect ornament! Can I offer you a canape? Something jellied, perhaps?

Honestly one of my favorite cards I've ever made is this one I made for the Moxie Fab challenge, which I miss dreadfully. I loved Cath's inspiration every time.

I still have that stamp set and will never get rid of it. It reminds me of the women on my mom's sewing patterns. Those images were so aspirational. I never learned how to sew, but I'm sure there are many people who were inspired to seamstress greatness by those artful images of women in beautiful, perfectly made clothes. I loved flipping through them, and still love looking at them when I go to a fabric store.

This stamp set reminds me of that stamp set in its clean style, and mix of 50's proper with just the right amount of sass.

And it's also aspirational. Because while we all find this so charming and attractive, we are actually much more likely to be wearing flip flops and capri pants while decorating the tree with the air conditioner on around here.

But this lady - I love her. I painted her with my neglected Mission Gold watercolors - the Peacock Blue and Clear Violet are beautiful together.
Christmas in the Making by UnderstandBlue


I also love that PAPER!!! I love all things black and white and this Merry Music DSP is the BOMB - EVERY SINGLE PATTERN. I can't wait until you can see it real life.

I am sure in this woman's house, the Christmas carols on the record player are at the perfect volume while she goes around her perfectly decorated home making everything just so, so I thought the paper would be a nice background.

So to celebrate iconic decades past - how about a giveaway?

You comment on this post with your favorite decade from the past and why, and I'll choose TWO people to send a set of MISTI Creative Corners to! Deadline to enter is Friday, August 18th at noon Central time.

And speaking of giveaways, remember, you can enter my August giveaway of an Arkon Pro Live Streaming Stand - the one I film all my tutorials with PLUS a ring light for the perfect lighting awesome selfies and live streams one of two ways:
  • Place an order in my store any time during the month of August for an automatic entry. BONUS - use host code 4BY7YKR7 on your order to be entered in a drawing for free Stampin' Up! products as well! 
  • Comment on the post link right here (read the instructions there) and you'll be automatically entered. If you place an order in my store AND comment on that post, you'll receive two entries!
And remember - you can always use my code - UNDERSTANDBLUE - at Arkon for 20% off. They sell all sorts of mounts - hands-free phone mounts for the car, GoPro mounts, tripods, you name it. and they are GREAT people and provide great service.

Loveyameanitofftofindmyheelsbye.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sparkly Chirps

There's a disturbing trend out there I need you to know about.

I hate to bring these things up - because I know they're traumatic, but this new trend is even worse than all the following things put together.
  • Misspelled or grammatically impossible "inspirational" quotes. #noragrets
  • Links that say "I thought it was just a grandma eating a sandwich and YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT."
  • Colored status updates on Facebook that say something fascinating like "I'm hungry."
  • Ads that include "this one cool trick" and get rid of belly fat, cancer or politicians.
  • Vaguebooking.
  • Fake news.
Yes - worse than all of these things is the newest trend...

fake "videos" of still images


HOW HAS THIS BECOME A THING TO PUT A PLAY BUTTON ON A STILL IMAGE? WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? FIND THEM AND BRING THEM TO ME.

I seriously do not understand it. I've seen it numerous times on Facebook over the last few weeks and it's 100% mystifying to me and makes me never want to click a play button again for fear of nothing happening whatsoever.

So there is no video in today's post :).

One of my favorite sets from the new holiday catalog is Cheery Chirps. I love the graphic, sort of Scandinavian meets Zentangle feel it has. I have made several cards with it you'll see in the coming weeks. This weekend, I had a little play time, so I applied my FAVORITE masking fluid (linked below) to the bird image, and then did ink smooshing with my Distress Oxides. I love the opacity of them, so I can layer greens and pinks without getting mud.

Then I just peeled off the masking fluid and had this dramatic background for my bird. I love that he's a scissortail! That's always been my favorite kind of bird. They were everywhere in the town I grew up in.
Cheery Chirps and Add a Little Glitz by Understand Blue



See? That's a still picture of a still picture. As it should be.

Sadly, you can't see how sparkly it is, because the human race has decided to spend its time putting play buttons and timers on still images instead of inventing a glitter camera. The state of our world, I swear.

I just put glue on every other stripe of his wings and tail, and added some to the leaves as well before adding all the glitter you cannot see. Hey - that would make a great book title! :)

The Holiday catalog doesn't go live until September 1, but you can get it AND put items from it in your bundle now when you join my team. Heck - I might even send you this card! :)

Please use this time to inform your friends about the danger of still photo videos please. I'd appreciate it.

Loveyameanitmaketheinternetstopitbye.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

ISO: Kevlar Beekeeper's Pajamas

At 3 AM, I awoke to what sounded like a police helicopter or military drone buzzing right above my face. I shot out of bed, terrified, cats flying off me, and we tried to find it.

WE NEVER DID.

Of course I could not go back to sleep.

I'm too tired to be terrified right now, but I will be again as soon as the sun goes down and I'm locked in a dark room with "it" again.

All I am asking for today in return for my card is a set of pajamas, Kevlar, in a beekeeper suit style so I can get some sleep. If it has little pockets for Maddie and Splotchy great. If not - too bad. They should have caught IT before IT was hovering over my face at 3 AM waiting to murder me.

Did I mention how tired I am? Because I'm really tired. No one should have to get up at 3 on Sunday. Well some people should have to, but I'm too tired to list them here.

I'm bringing you my final card for our Clearsnap Product focus today - and yes, I had to use that Jelly ink again with the blues. It's just too pretty. I did a wrinkle-free distress ink smooshing for the background, and then flicked water and white ink onto it. I added die cuts from our sneak peek Christmas Bundle available this month - Carols of Christmas, as well as the hugs from Lovely Words, that I just snipped to remove from the circle. The background was done on watercolor paper and I put it on the thick version of Whisper White for the card base. Easy and fun - you can run the dies all through at once so it's a quick card.
Carols of Christmas by UnderstandBlue

I feel like sticking that little deer on pretty much every card I make. I cannot get enough of the dies in that bundle.

A quick note on the Hero Arts kits for those of you that stopped by on Monday - the subscription option they have makes sure you never miss a kit - because they typically sell out in hours. So if you want to subscribe for September, you can do that here - but you need to do it by 8/28 at 8 PM PST to get the September Kit.

Remember, you can enter my August giveaway of an Arkon Pro Live Streaming Stand - the one I film all my tutorials with PLUS a ring light for the perfect lighting awesome selfies and live streams one of two ways:
  • Place an order in my store any time during the month of August for an automatic entry. BONUS - use host code 4BY7YKR7 on your order to be entered in a drawing for free Stampin' Up! products as well! 
  • Comment on the post link right here (read the instructions there) and you'll be automatically entered. If you place an order in my store AND comment on that post, you'll receive two entries!
And remember - you can always use my code - UNDERSTANDBLUE - at Arkon for 20% off. They sell all sorts of mounts - hands-free phone mounts for the car, GoPro mounts, tripods, you name it. and they are GREAT people and provide great service.

LoveyameanitIneedanapbye.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Heck Yes

One of my fondest wishes for the new catalog was granted many times over, and I'm so excited about it!

I LIKE BIG SENTIMENTS AND I CANNOT LIE.

(I'll wait while you pull that up on Itunes and get your groove on for a bit.)

I begged for YUGE sentiments, and they did it. And I love all of them.

Because I like to do dramatic backgrounds, I often times only want to add a sentiment, and it needs to be bold to compete with either my bright colors, or, in today's case, my love of a mostly white card.

When I first started stamping, before I found my own style, I did not make clean and simple cards. As far as I know, CAS had not even really emerged as a cardmaking style yet. We were all in the throes of a viral embellishment phase, where the more eyelets, brads, mini brads and ribbon you could throw at a card, the better you felt about yourself as a person.

Praise the Lord that fell by the wayside. Ribbon gives me the heebie jeebies now, but just like 80s hair seemed like the right thing to do at the time, my cards were drowning in poofy organdy hideousness for a long time. Makes me shudder just thinking about it.

But somewhere along the way, I fell in love with white cardstock. I love the crispness of color and black ink on white more than all the things. Maybe it's my aging eyes that are partially to blame there. But I remember vividly sitting in Edward Tufte's presentation and hearing that the highest resolution "display" is actually black text on white paper. Our digital world can't even come close. And that made me realize why I love CAS cardmaking and white space so much - it works better. It's high-res.

I have been on a whole house belongings purge for a few years - since I remodeled my studio - and I go crazy on something like bookcases from time to time and get rid of tons of books, or whatever the belonging of the day is that I want to have less of. My house is very similar to my cards - there's not a lot of extra stuff in it, and I'd still like to have way less. I can't stand clutter, and I feel like we all have too much of it. I was telling someone the other day how dumb wedding registries were when we got married. I thought how insane it was to give two people TWELVE PLACE SETTINGS OF BONE CHINA when their sole other possessions in the world consisted of a second hand futon and three Whataburger coupons. What kind of crazy is that? And for us to have that plus twelve place settings of everyday china is still nuts. There are two of us. We could keep a Greek party going for days with all our plates they could smash.

I guess the culture has just changed, and I like it. Less is more.

But during my last book purge, I did sit down for a few minutes with Tufte's book - which is ESSENTIAL - if you do not have it, IMMEDIATELY buy it along with the companion books. Especially if you love both art and data. He's such a genius, and I really do believe that he has had a big influence on the way I style my art. Something about his approach bends toward rich minimalism - how much you can do with very little in the way of visuals. I love it.  So that's what I'm doing today.

This is another card I made for the Clearsnap Product Focus, again with the MISTI Ombre I described here, but with red and purple thrown in. That Jelly ink is absolutely my FAVORITE. And that's saying something, both from a blue fan and from a person who objects to most purples. This is a brilliant, royal color that makes my eyes happy.

Heck Yes by UnderstandBlue


I just love that sentiment. The whole set is great, but these remind me of doodled lettering I used to do when I was a kid. The highlights make them so dimensional. Funky and retro goodness, there.

So heck yes we need to celebrate Caturday! I am going to TRY to spend the whole weekend in creative pursuits. We'll see how that goes.

LoveyameanithaveagreatCaturdaybye.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Subtle Difference Between Right and Wrong

When people ask questions about "the right" supplies for a particular medium or technique, I always flinch a little. While there are definitely some "wrong" supplies for certain mediums and techniques, the "right" ones can be a bit more subjective, so I decided to explore that topic today.

One example of a "wrong" medium is trying to substitute photo paper for techniques that use glossy cardstock.

Photo paper has an emulsion for the coating. Glossy cardstock has a clay coating. As my good friend Walter White would say - it's all about the chemistry! Ink will behave very differently when it interacts with those two surfaces. That emulsion can become sticky when it interacts with ink. So when you are trying to recreate something you saw on glossy cardstock, don't try it with photo paper - that would be the wrong supply. However, if you are trying to make coloredy sticky paper, then photo paper would be the right supply :).

But none of that should ever get in the way of just experimenting on your own. So if I show you a project you want to recreate, and you ask me what the "right" xyz is - I'll tell you what I used - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try other things you might like better. I try to always encourage people just to play before they decide what's "right" for them. Right meaning the one that you have the most fun doing.

Today's projects are a great way to illustrate this. I wanted to show you what a big difference substrate can make with the exact same inks and process.

I'm THRILLED that glossy paper is back in the catalog now. I've really missed it. I love the way ink blends on that surface, and how the colors ratchet down and become less vivid, more dreamy. So I thought I'd show you the same inks on both glossy and a water-friendly uncoated cardstock like Bristol Vellum. (Vellum refers to the finish - this is a cardstock, not a transparent vellum.) The difference is pretty remarkable.

This first background was done in my Gel Press on glossy. Then I stamped the images from Season Like Christmas on top using the MISTI - remember the slippy, slidey stamping on glossy in the olden days? The MISTI removes all that and makes everything crisp and perfect. The tree is a three or four step tree - I only did three steps here. Really pretty. I was going for a pink and green background, since I don't like red and green. All supplies listed below the second card.
Gel Press Substrate Test with Dye Inks by UnderstandBlue
The second card used EXACTLY the same process, but the Bristol cardstock. Beautiful, vivid, fiery colors, using the same inks.
Gel Press Substrate Test with Dye Inks by UnderstandBlue

Now that's a pretty amazing difference.

But if you wanted a really bright, vivid result, and I told you that glossy cardstock was the "right" supply - you'd be mad at me. Same with if you wanted a soft result and I told you to use the Bristol vellum.

Only you know what the right thing is - so don't be fearful of a "wrong" supply - try them all and see what you like!

So this project is part of a video I did for the awesome peeps at Gel Press. My Gel Press - THAT is a right supply. I love experimenting with mediums on the 5x7 plate (linked above.)

Next month's video is pretty awesome too, I'm not gonna lie :).

So enjoy this - you'll get to see in depth the difference between wet and dry ink on glossy cardstock and also the difference between the two papers. Enjoy!



A quick note on the Hero Arts kits for those of you that stopped by on Monday - the subscription option they have makes sure you never miss a kit - because they typically sell out in hours. So if you want to subscribe for September, you can do that here - but you need to do it by 8/28 at 8 PM PST to get the September Kit. 

Remember, you can enter my August giveaway of an Arkon Pro Live Streaming Stand - the one I film all my tutorials with PLUS a ring light for the perfect lighting awesome selfies and live streams one of two ways:
  • Place an order in my store any time during the month of August for an automatic entry. BONUS - use host code 4BY7YKR7 on your order to be entered in a drawing for free Stampin' Up! products as well! 
  • Comment on the post link right here (read the instructions there) and you'll be automatically entered. If you place an order in my store AND comment on that post, you'll receive two entries!
And remember - you can always use my code - UNDERSTANDBLUE - at Arkon for 20% off. They sell all sorts of mounts - hands-free phone mounts for the car, GoPro mounts, tripods, you name it. and they are GREAT people and provide great service.

Loveyameanitbye.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Well At Least My Eyes Are Cold

My Christmas stamp-a-stacks start this weekend and I'm so excited! It never gets really cold here, and we always start seeing Christmas imagery during our most sweltering times of the year, and it's so nice. We will never get snow, but it's fun to look at when you're lying down on your floor tile trying to cool yourself off like some sort of reverse reptile in August!

So I'm enjoying working my way through my box of Holiday mini goodies, and I combined them with the fun inks we tested in our Product Focus this week at Splitcoast.

I also like just experimenting with things that might end up on my own Christmas cards. That's kind of a unique project - I mail hundreds of cards so I need them to not be overly complicated, but I also want a wow. So I need to get my hands dirty before November getting that mix just right. I can only figure out if I want to do something 200 times by doing it.

So on today's card, I wanted to do a glorious blue symphony. I did the sentiment in ombre - using the MISTI for that perfectly blended look. The way I do that is start with the first color - in this case, Indigo, and ink up part of the sentiment. Then I take a sponge dauber and pounce along the bottom edge to soften any hard lines - just lifting some of the ink. Stamp that with the MISTI, repeating several times. Then I ink up the bottom of the sentiment in Aqua, dabbing the top edge this time to soften it, and stamping it in the MISTI several times until I have that beautiful blend.
Carols of Christmas by UnderstandBlue



What's cool about these inks is their water reactivity. In my opinion, they're right up there with Distress ink this way. I just did wrinkle free distress on some watercolor paper, and then flicked water onto it and you can see the color separation on the Indigo into a pink, which is spectacular. I LOVE color separating blues and blacks and all the things. Unpredictability is my favorite, which is probably why I love cats :).

Then I die cut the trees and deer from that paper and glued them on. You can run all three of these dies through together, so it's a very quick and easy card. All it needed was a pure white background to really pop.

Are you working on holiday cards already? Do you need a break from the heat? I actually love it the most when it's blazing hot, cloud free and dry - but I don't mind cooling off my eyeballs every now and then with winter cards in summer.

Speaking of heat - I discovered on our trip to Santa Fe that the iPhone will shut down if the phone gets too hot. Despite us having the AC on stun in the car on our trip - I had the phone flat, face up on my console because we were listening to Serial, and the concentrated sun through the glass of the windshield heated my phone up to nuclear and shut it down. So I FINALLY bought a phone mount from Arkon. I never really needed one before because I just put my phone in my purse when I drive. I see way too much texting and driving here to be anything but terrified in the car. But listening to podcasts and audio books (I drive a 2004 car, so I can't get audiobooks through my stereo system) is really nice, and I wanted to be able to have my phone mounted vertically so it doesn't overheat. Arkon has manufacturer specific phone mounts here, so you can pick the one that works the best. Don't forget you get 20% off with my code - UNDERSTANDBLUE - on anything they sell. Speaking of that - I have a giveaway from them with the video filming stand I use with my phone below.


You can enter my August giveaway of an Arkon Pro Live Streaming Stand - the one I film all my tutorials with PLUS a ring light for the perfect lighting awesome selfies and live streams one of two ways:
  • Place an order in my store any time during the month of August for an automatic entry. BONUS - use host code 4BY7YKR7 on your order to be entered in a drawing for free Stampin' Up! products as well! 
  • Comment on the post link right here (read the instructions there) and you'll be automatically entered. If you place an order in my store AND comment on that post, you'll receive two entries!
They sell all sorts of mounts - hands-free phone mounts for the car, GoPro mounts, tripods, you name it. and they are GREAT people and provide great service.

Loveyameanithopeyoureyeballsarecoolbye.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Happy Birthday Neat & Tangled!

My sweet friend Danielle's stamp company has its fifth birthday this month. Danielle is a beautiful, funny girl that I really enjoy spending time with at retreats, and her stamp designs are as awesome as she is. You can see an interview we did with Danielle here at OCC's Crafty Chat. She's just one of my favorite people. Plus, she does a really great job of co-conspiring with me to get shoulder shots of crazy people when we are out and about. You know you can trust a person who can pull off a righteously stealthy shoulder shot.

Danielle has also had a tough year, which you can read about and possibly help with here, and so she needs a little party with some wild animals (yes, I'm including myself) today.

So she's celebrating her company's birthday with a week-long blog hop with some great friends, and I'm so honored that she included me!

We also have a Product Focus today at Splitcoast, featuring some fantastic Color Box inks, and so I'm putting my hands together today to make some super fun cards with pretty ink and adorable stamps and dies!

First up - a little non-traditional giraffe action with her Wild Ones stamp set and the Hooray bundle. ADORABLE!!! I colored the giraffe with Copics (YR16, YR07, Y06, YG23, FYG2), and the cardstock is Lemon Lime Twist with matching Lemon Lime Twist Designer Series Paper. Her sequins in this release are called Like Magic, and they are! They picked up the green so beautifully, but also have blues and other colors in them. They'd match whatever they are put on. To attach sequins, I always use the Mono Metal glue in the list below.
Wild Ones Neat & Tangled by UnderstandBlue


Then I thought I'd switch back to a more realistic giraffe, because I couldn't stop stamping him, and I used the Color Box stencil with two of their inks on my Clarity Stamp Stencil Brushes and the same sentiments.
Wild Ones Neat & Tangled by UnderstandBlue
 Finally, I did an ink smooshing technique with the GORGEOUS bright inks - some of them do a little color separation which I love. I watercolored the little monkey with the inks as well, and added a few white accents.
Wild Ones Neat & Tangled by UnderstandBlue
What a fun release - I love how happy everything feels.

Happy birthday Danielle! I can't wait to see what's next for you!

Here's today's hop list - be sure and comment on all the posts for your chance to win the very generous prizes - (1) $100 gift certificate to her store and (2) $50 gift certificates - that's a lot of shopping!


Wednesday August 9th

On the Neat and Tangled blog, you'll find a list of the previous two days hops, and then check back there for the next two days as well to increase your chances to win!

Remember, you can enter my August giveaway of an Arkon Pro Live Streaming Stand - the one I film all my tutorials with PLUS a ring light for the perfect lighting awesome selfies and live streams one of two ways:
  • Place an order in my store any time during the month of August for an automatic entry. BONUS - use host code 4BY7YKR7 on your order to be entered in a drawing for free Stampin' Up! products as well! 
  • Comment on the post link right here (read the instructions there) and you'll be automatically entered. If you place an order in my store AND comment on that post, you'll receive two entries!
And remember - you can always use my code - UNDERSTANDBLUE - at Arkon for 20% off. They sell all sorts of mounts - hands-free phone mounts for the car, GoPro mounts, tripods, you name it. and they are GREAT people and provide great service.

Loveyameanitbye.

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