I had a milestone birthday and it made me reflective. About two years ago I came up with the #50for50 weight loss challenge because I didn't like my body conditioning. I was unhappy. And I knew I could do something about it. Sadly, I didn't accomplish my goal of losing 50 pounds by my 50th birthday due to health reasons. But, I didn't let go of that goal, I reframed it. I said, well I can lose 50 pounds during my 50th year, which is doable, and decided to focus on #FitLife goals.
The end of August I received some devastating news which negatively impacted my health and impacted the great gains I was making on my #50for50 #FitLife goals. As my 50th birthday was approaching in September depression was starting to set in. At that point I decided to add a nuance to the #50for50 challenge and do something positive that would get me out of my funk, away from focusing on my problems, and stimulate my muse.
So, I created the #50for50 Inspirational Cards challenge. I enjoy paper crafting and am a novice card maker, so I am challenging myself to use the new crafting techniques I learned and my existing crafting supplies (maybe adding a few new things to my stash) to create some beautiful cards for myself. Not just 50 cards I wish I received for my 50th, but 50 beautiful inspirational encouraging cards. By doing this I will be improving existing crafting skills and learn new skills and have made some beautiful cards.
Here are the first 10 cards I have created towards my goal of creating 50 inspirational cards:
Maple Leaf Landscape
This Maple Leaf Landscape card incorporates three of my passions: water colors, embossing, and window cards.
I have always enjoyed water coloring, but didn't have much success at in the past. In the last couple of years I discovered water color pencils and water brushes. These two items were a game changer for me. The water brushes are brushes attached to a tube of water and they allow me to control the flow of water better. Also the watercolor color pencils are not only affordable, but gave me greater flexibility in coloring and painting.
So, one day I decided to play with a new stamp set I purchased and build a scenery. In the end I wasn't happy with some of the stamping, but I loved the scenery I free hand painted. I decided to crop out part of the landscape I painted and incorporate it into a card. Inside I plan to write Just Breathe, to remind myself that whatever may happen in life to breathe, to be in that moment, and be. . .be still. It reminds me of one of the scriptures that comforted me greatly as a young adult: Psalms 46:10a "...Be still, and know that I am God... ."
I titled this card Bloom, to remember to bloom where I am planted. That regardless of what life hands me, to blossom into the best version of me that I can be.
I decided to try a new technique my favorite vlogger demonstrated on inlaid die cuts. I had this flower die that just didn't cut as pretty as I wanted it to, and after the vlogger demonstrated the inlaid technique I thought I would try it out. It included inking the die and making an impression on your cardstock, then die cutting the die and laying it in the inked impression. My attempt didn't come out as pretty as the vlogger's. It might have had something to do with the particular die I chose. So I decided to add more flowers, water colored them and the result is what you see.
I also tried my hand at heat embossing stenciled letters and that came out ok. I finished off the card with some glitter and gems. It's not a perfect card. I see where I could make improvements and will carry those lessons forward. See, I'm blooming.
Dance Front Dance Inside Dance Hidden
When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, I always loved thunder storms. I love the way the light would filter on the street at times. The light would be this pale warm yellow, almost like honey. One particular day when it was raining quite hard a man with dreadlocks was dancing in the rain. This really tickled me and my friends. We thought he was a bit looney. However, now I know he knew the secret to life. When it rains, just play in the puddles.
I made these cards to remind myself to be silly, zany and dance like no one is watching. To let loose and be free. Ok, it sucks, it's bad, it feels hopeless, aww well, like they said on Grey's Anatomy, "dance it out." Just Dance. And I can hear Lee Ann Womack belting out the song, "I Hope You Dance."
Hot Air Balloon
I am just enamored with hot air balloons and one day I want to really go up in one, not just sit in the basket of a tethered balloon. Last year I searched high and low for hot air balloon dies, stamps and embossing folders. I made my cousin a really nice card for his 49th birthday. I'll share that card in another post.
This particular card I started last year when I made my cousin's card. I decided not to complete it then because I wasn't going to send it to him. I completed that card I started last year and made another one with the same stamp set. I will share the second card in another blog post.
With my family living about 1,900 miles away it can sometimes get lonely as I miss my nieces and nephew growing up and now my nieces are moms and I'm not there to bond with their sons and daughters. This card reminds me that love knows no boundaries.
I was browsing on eBay one day and came across these whimsical bees. So, I saved the stamp/die set in my wish list and went about my business. However, those bees kept compelling me to purchase them, so I did. Bees have a special place in my heart, especially with them being in jeopardy around the world.
This first card (6) I created specifically for my birthday. I created this card using manual die cuts, stamps with die cuts, fussy cutting one of the stamps, and I created a stencil with my Cricut (electronic die cutting machine) to stencil the background using a variety of inks (Distress Inks and Bentoto House inks). I really loved how this card came out, especially with the background stenciling and the fun bees, that I decided to create more bee themed cards.
Just Because Just Because Inside
This next Bee card (7) titled Just Because, the bees reminded me of a fat mostly black with a lil yellow bee I saw in my backyard hanging around a bush with yellow trumpet flowers. I giggled because he flew from flower to flower smelling the nectar, but couldn't quite figure out how to get inside the flowers to get the nectar.
I had fun creating this card. I used the Bee card base from Cricut, but I changed the front to an image I preferred and modified it a bit. Then on the inside I decided to stencil the background again and added some embossed scripture on top. This card came out great, though it is difficult for the round card to stand up, so I may not make this shape again.
Beautiful Beautiful Inside Beautiful Back
My next Bee card titled Beautiful (8), is quite whimsical. This witty bee chilling on a flower wishing all a beautiful day, simply captured me. With this card, I wanted to recreate some of the details I did on the interior of the last card, but I stenciled where I planned to do my writing, so I decided to use my dot embossing folder to deboss the back of the card, so that it is embossed when you look at it from the back.
Just for You You are Loved Loved Inside
Continuing with the bee theme, I stenciled the backgrounds of cards 9 & 10 to look like beehives, but used butterflies instead. I will admit, when I tried to open my glitter pen last night I ended up getting most of the glitter on myself. I like the stacking of the daisy die cuts in the You are Loved card and the red butter fly and flower on the Just for you card. Each bee themed card is unique, yet ties in central elements.
Oh, so whimsical.
Stay tuned as I will be show casing additional batches of cards and discussing what inspired me to make them. I have some hot air ballooned and wine theme cards to name a few. Don't forget to follow my hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. You will not only see lovely handmade cards made by me, but by other talented artisans as well. #HandmadeKindness #HandmadeCards
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Expand your horizons...go beyond your borders...renew yourself...flow into the Whimsy.