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A New Home

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When I bought the different letter dies I thought I would only use them for Arthur’s scrapbook and not for card making. But since I have bought them I have actually use letter dies now for several different types of cards (see my post on “The Breathtaking Bouquet”

The stamp set I used was a retired set from Stampin Up – “In the City” and the cardstock is also retired (Naturals Ivory). The blue cardstock is some that I picked up from JoAnne’s as I like to use textured cardstock for my bases.

I stamped the 3 house and tree in Momento Tuxedo Black ink. Then I also stamped the cobblestone and clouds in the same ink. Then this stamp set is a two-step stamp and I picked different colors and stamped the colored parts of the card. I am either not the best at lining things up or do not like the white highlights the color stamps leave. Thus, I came back and used my Stampin Blends to finish off the card. The sun was stamped in Crushed Curry Ink.

I used the Classic Label Punch for my sentiment and layered two together. On the inside I had some envelope embellishments leftover from a Spellbinders Card Kit and had an older stamp set picked up at either JoAnne’s or Hobby Lobby that I have had in my stash for an unknown amount of time. The Congratulations was from the Peaceful Moments Set in the 2020 Mini Catalog. These were stamped in Balmy Blue.

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After I was done with all the stamping and coloring. I lined up the dies on my grid and used repositionable tape to attach the letters and cut out on the card front. I glued down the card mat on the blue base. Then I used dimensionsals to pop-up the letters in the voided space. I also used dimensionals on the sentiment strip.

The Animal Scientist

Are you curious what we talked about at Iowa Pork Congress? Or what I do?

As I mentioned I have worked on enzymes mostly over the last 6 years of my career. Enzymes are produced naturally by our different organs, such as the pancreas, and by several bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms. We have discovered the uses of different enzymes over the years that have come from baking, wine, and cheese making. We harnessed nature’s natural gifts and learned how to produce them in large fermentation tanks, similar to how you would make beer. Certain enzymes help bread rise while others breakdown sugars and make alcohol. We utilize different types of enzymes to help animals digest their food better and be more efficient or sustainable with what we give them. Our goal as animal scientists is to produce food in a safe and sustainable manner. The use of enzymes such as phytase, has also allowed us to reduce the amount of P or N runoff from livestock and crop productions. This helps keeps our waterways flourishing and our land thriving for generations to come. It is quite incredible how far we have come in science in the last 75 years. And now I get to work on the next generation of enzymes that not only help animals digest food, but ones that can keep them healthy and happy. I have a lot of blue-sky ideas for my beloved pigs and hope to be able to see them implemented yet in my lifetime.

If you want to know more about what I do, please reach out….as I never thought I would be a scientist changing the world and still have time for my art…. hoping to touch the world in several different ways making the future a little brighter.

 

 

 

 

 

This Little Piggy

My Christmas Thank You Cards (stamp set from Bluebird Stamps).

Is it just me or is January a hard month to get through? In my last blog I mentioned how I would briefly talk about enzymes, but I think I need to set a pretense that my animal of expertise is pigs (even though I have been a nutritionist for a wide array of animals from cows to frogs in my career). If you took a tour of my house or office you would find brightly colored paintings and other décor with pigs, cows, and other farm animals. Thus, it’s hard for me to say no to a stamp set with pigs or cows. 

I am showcasing this stamp set today because I had to make up 10 Christmas Thank You Cards, as I try to express my gratitude to everyone that spoils my son Arthur. Also, Arthur has been waiting for enough snow to go sledding again, but we live in Arkansas and have no planned trips this winter to the grandparents up north.

Several people have different ways when they design and mass produce cards. This time I took the approach to stamp several pigs and barns in Momento Black Ink. Then I colored the pigs with Copic Skin Tone Markers and then the scarves and barn were colored using my Stampin Blends (Cherry Cobbler and Night of Navy). To me Cherry Cobbler is my favorite color for barns and farm type cards. But because I wanted some brightness to the card with the white snow hills I used Real Red Cardstock for my layers. I have an edge die in my stash from Heartfelt Creations that does not cut but added the dashes and then I very carefully cut the hills out. The top hill was using an edgelit die that is retired from Stampin Up. I used Shaded Spruce and Mossy Meadow inks to blend over the pine trees. 

To assemble the card, I used foam tape and dimensionals to place the pieces together. But wait what about the night sky? I normally blend my skies but because I needed to mass produce 10 cards in a hurry I found some galaxy paper at Hobby Lobby and it saved me a lot of time to use the paper vs. blending all the skies. That is another reason I chose to mat in Real Red Cardstock because the paper is quite thin for being the base layer. The last part is that I felt I needed a path or snow drift of showing how the pig got down to the bottom of the hills, so I used my snow drift stamp out of Snow Front in smoky slate ink to outline a path from the barn. 

The dies that come with the pig stamp set actually cut the arms lose to hold different items. I plan to try and use my remaining leftover pigs to make Valentine Cards and a “Just a Note” type of card with the pig with the blue scarf caring letters. I will try to post pictures of these cards when I get a chance to make them.

I love the ability to have the pigs hold or carry something. I am planning on using a heart for Valentines Day Cards and mail for an everyday card.

What do you know about pigs?

  1. Pigs are really not pink (and I tend not color my pigs pink but to their natural colors). The pig above is Ruby. She is a commercial crossbred pig. Pigs are white, black, red, blueish grey, spotted, striped or belted, and all sorts of other fun patterns. Durocs or red pigs are my favorite. Thus, Ruby is one of my special pigs….and she is the boss hog of the pen! 
  2. Pigs cannot sweat. This is why they seem to be notorious to play in the mud, but it’s actually a cooling mechanism. They are actually very clean animals and prefer a swimming pool or sprinklers over a mud hole. They are one of the only livestock species that have what is called a natural dunging pattern (A.K.A. bathroom area). They do not like to go to the bathroom where they sleep or eat. If you see pigs laying in the feces, then us humans have really messed up on ventilation or other facility issues. 
  3. Pigs were the first supply of insulin for humans. That’s why the American Diabetes Association honors the pig with their Kiss A Pig Fundraisers. That was one of my favorite things to participate in. Everyone in fancy gowns and tuxedos wanting to hold and pet a pig. But what you may not know is that pigs are great models for human medicine. I have supplied pigs for heart valve research for humans and I have been involved in a lot of nutritional work for neonatal nutrition (babies). 

If you want to know more about pigs…. comment below or email me at cbradleybecker@gmail.com. I hope you don’t mind my little bit of science into crafting, but it’ not fair if I do not share all my passions with you. Next up what does bread, beer, and animal feed have in common…. yeast and enzymes….and then maybe what you can get if you use different yeasts and enzymes when feeding deer…. with Hero Arts Staggering Beauty (December 2019 release).

Unity Around The World

Even though I am an Independent Stampin’ Up demonstrator there is so many awesome stamps out there and companies. One company that speaks to my artistic and ethical soul is Hero Arts. Their business runs in a sustainable manner. As an animal scientist my ultimate goal is to care for my animals and our environment with care, love and ultimately in a sustainable manner. Every discovery I make or trial I design is to provide safe, nutritious food by using less. I want my animals to grow as fast and efficient as possible, because that means they are happy animals. One of the areas that I focus on in nutrition to do this is called enzymes, which help animals utilize their food more effectively.

Through my research and career, primarily with enzymes, I have been able to travel the world and meet some incredible people. Thus, when Hero Arts came out with their December 2019 My Monthly Hero Kit and coordinating release it spoke to me. I have connections all around the world with friends and colleagues that have the same passion about nature, animals and doing our part to protect our world. I plan to use their release to make special cards for my friends around the world. The first idea showcased in this post is for my friend Lisa as we have connected and supported each other as working mothers that want to advance their careers. I love the ability to work with other amazing women that have the same goals in life as me. If I learned anything over the last year is not to be afraid to connect to your colleagues and learn from each other. And yes, no matter where we live, we all face the same obstacles and need supportive friends and colleagues to be successful.

Techniques included wet and dry embossing, coloring, and layering.

Design Information

I wanted to be able to follow-up from my last blog and create 6 different cards from the same stamp set. I started out coloring the image with an assortment of alcoholic markers and then did the hard part and fussy cut out all of the images. What I like about stamps that I can color is that I can stamp a whole bunch of images and take a To-Go bag of images and markers. When I travel and need to unwind from a day of airports and planes or meetings I sit and color in my hotel room to relax and be able to fall asleep. Then I can come home and use the images to create some amazing cards.

Most of the papers and card stock I used in the designs are pieces I had precut from scraps or my chopped stash. Yes, I did not buy or use any supplies just for this project. I am a firm believer in using what you love and what you have. I am also working on my 2020 goal of spending less on my craft stash….wish me luck….hopefully my favorite paper art companies have terrible releases in 2020…LOL!

Embossed Backgrounds

I used a background stamp from Spellbinders that I have had for awhile to emboss the Love background and embossed in gold, silver and black sparkle embossing powder. The blacked embossed background did not emboss 100% as I wanted it to because it was on a water color background that I made with Pigment Sprinkles (Stampin’ Up) and need to practice more on embossing on watercolor paper. I also used a heart embossing folder that I have had for quite sometime to make the contrasting pieces.

Embellishments

I used gems I had in my stash and also punched out small hearts and used crystal effects (from Stampin’ Up!) on the cards. I also used multiple layers of dimension with foam tape to create layering effects. Ultimately I wanted the globe to be the focal point and utilized a heart in the center to hopefully display my goal of unity around the world.

Thank You

I hope you were inspired by my creations. I also hope in 2020 you connect with fellow crafters and friends to find strength to fight the good fight. In my next post I will share a little bit more on how we use enzymes in animal feeds (and human food even) and showcase another set of cards inspired by one of the many beautiful, brilliant, and inspiring women in my life.

Breathtaking Bouquet – A Versatile Background Stamp

Normally I have to use the word adaptable in my career and be very adaptable at times depending on the project. Working as an animal scientist in Innovation (A.K.A. Research and Development) I could be working on a farm, in a lab, presenting to a few or 100s of people, writing, running statistics…etc. I love the ability to have such a versatile role within animal agriculture and the fact that I can keep learning. 

The same can be said about the stamp sets I buy for my second passion…card-making. I love being able to use the same stamp set for multiple techniques. Over the last year I have decided to teach techniques versus showcasing multiple stamp sets. And similar to my day job I spend free time in researching and perfecting my techniques to be able to offer the very best to my crafty friends in class. 

Thus, the Breathtaking Bouquet may have not made it to center stage and has a small section in the new 2020 Occasions Mini Catalog, but it became my favorite in a hurry. I met to design 6 cards with this stamp set utilizing 6 different techniques, but I have also used it with watercolor paints and have an idea to use it with my Alcohol Inks and Distress Oxide Inks (a Christmas gift from my amazing husband). As I design cards for classes and now my new blog I also try to design outside of my comfort zone and chose colors and flare that doesn’t always match my personal style. You will find that I gravitate to nature and animals. Plus I enjoy natural color tones and find it hard to use bright and pastel colors, but I think this set of cards incorporate a little something for all styles. 

Techniques Used: 

  1. Coloring with Alcohol Markers
  2. No-line Coloring 
  3. Embossing 
  4. Embossing Resist 
  5. Color Blending
  6. In-lay die-cuts 

Please stay tuned as I plan to create a You-tube channel and demonstrate the different techniques in a video format. If you would like class directions, kits, or this stamp set please email me at cbradleybecker@gmail.comor comment below.