Trying something new – Basics to WOW!

Trying something new – Basics to WOW!

Learning and being adaptable is part of my everyday life. As a researcher I was trained to conduct my tasks by specific standard operating procedures to ensure there was no human error or bias that occurred in our trials. The goal of every good researcher is to create repeatability. We measure the likelihood of repeatability by statistics and the holy grail of a “P < 0.05”. But the real world of animal nutrition is not so rigid, but fluid and ever changing.

Making cards is an outlet for me to channel the right-side of my brain and creativity, but following simple steps also ensures that the look or effect you are after is repeatable. Thus, I have changed my Sunday classes to incorporate basic techniques to help the beginner card-maker into a class on design to turn the basics into WOW! I forget how the little things and slight changes we can make can turn a simple design technique into a WOW card. But just a warning…I have said it before that practice makes perfect or at least close enough to perfect. Preparing a class on the basics reminds me that even the best of us need to revisit the basic techniques and practice.

Arthur has been doing this as well, practicing his writing of letters and numbers, even though he hates it, he is becoming better and better every day. On a side note he is also a LEGO builder and can spend hours building different machines and every week his builds improve and his ultimate wish is to become the next LEGO Master! He spends hours watching people build different items, while I spend hours researching my next card or class. So, I hope you enjoy these two classes I have created with starting from the basics

Card Bases

I focused on the standard A2 card base as that is my go-to size, like many of us. I explained cutting on the landscape and portrait sides of the cardstock to make two bases and then taking a top-fold base and stepping it up to a Z-fold card. Within the design I made a simple addition of a piece of DSP (4”x5.25”) cut at 2” and flipped for a two-paper look with a simple sentiment in the middle. Then I stepped the design up by using a strip of 1.25” (depends on sentiment) x 5.5” cardstock that I stamped the same sentiment on, but also used a border punch to add to the strip of cardstock for a nice look. My Z-fold card stepped it up further with the same papers but used a die-cut and stamped strip for the sentiment. I even made a present out of paper and ribbon.

All About Mats

For the Mat class I went through how to make mat size templates for design with different colors of cardstock. Then I demonstrated how a beautiful piece of DSP from the Ornate Suite can be enough for a WOW card with a simple mat and a colored card base. Then I stepped it up and talked about nesting dies and demonstrated the triple mat card using the stitched rectangle dies to give your DSP or stamping an extra level of WOW.

What type of research do I conduct?

For my job as an animal nutritionist we must run laboratory, feed mill, and animal trials to bring a new feed ingredient to market. We test the safety, the benefits of the product on digestibility or gut health, and ultimately the impact to the animal’s performance and efficiency. Most of the trials I run are with the live animal to demonstrate the efficacy and value of a feed additive to the producers. I love working in new product development because if there is a new way to bring value to the animal and producer, while making agriculture more sustainable it is extremely rewarding.

Next time…let us talk about sustainability and what that means to an animal nutritionist. Have a blessed day.

Practice Makes Perfect: Repetitive Stamping

I know it’s a cliché, but practice does make perfect or at least you end up with inky fingers like me. This cliché is a quite relevant in my life now, from card-making to developing my new business streams. I remember designing my first website over 20 years ago my freshman year in college, but today it is a totally different ballgame. I have also been perfecting my PowerPoint slides and preparing for the opportunity to visit customers once again in person. Needless to say I am finding joy and release in my card-making versus being an animal nutritionist at the moment. It is a difficult situation for all parties involved, but hopefully there will be a rainbow after the storm passes.

For the Month of May I am focusing on Water Scenes and the Sailing Home Bundle. I pushed the envelope on my stamping patience versus expertise. As you may have guessed I prefer coloring over stamping at times. But I wanted to demonstrate repetitive stamping and how the stamparatus is a great tool for that need.

In my practice run I made the card with a T-ruler and patience (and several pieces going into the trash can). But in my FaceBook Live Class I demonstrated how the Stamparatus makes things so much easier. The removal binder plates make it easy to incrementally move your stamps up to continue a repetitive stamp process without having to reposition the stamp. You can change colors and stamps to keep a repetitive process going to give it a totally different look each time.


Beginners Tip

What if you do not have a Stampartus?

Use a T-Ruler and a piece of acetate. Tape down your card front or mat to your work surface (with removable tape). A grid surface makes the next part easier but line up your T-Ruler and place a piece of acetate over your mat and line up block on T-Ruler and stamp on acetate. If you like the placement then remove acetate and stamp again in the same spot, if not adjust your stamp, block or T-Ruler.

Want to learn more beginner tips, check out my FaceBook Live Classes starting Sunday, May 10th at 3pm CST (The Scientist’s Art Page).


Watching the replay from the Sunday, May 2nd class?

Here are the supplies you need for the project:

  1. Sailing Home Bundle (151066, 10% off until June)
  2. Swirly Frames Stamp Set (146519)
  3. Peaceful Moments Cling Stamp Set (151595)
  4. Subtle Embossing Folder (151775)
  5. Stitched Rectangle Dies (148551)
  6. A2 Card Base (Whisper White, Night of Navy or Real Red)
  7. Night of Navy, Real Red, Balmy Blue, Mango Melody, Versamark Ink
  8. Night of Navy, Real Red, Whisper White Cardstock
  9. Come Sail Away Designer Series Paper (149481, hurry retiring)
  10. White Embossing Powder (109132)
  11. Vellum (101856)
  12. Baker’s Twine (149483, hurry retiring)
  13. Stampartus (146276)
  14. Sail Away Trinkets (149482, hurry retiring)
  15. Foam Adhesive Strips (141825) or Dimensionals (104430), liquid glue or tape runner

Want the May Card Kit ($15 + S&H) Please email (cbradleybecker@gmail.com) me for more information.

Hope you enjoyed my video and for my next blog can you guess what pigs and water have in common? I will share the importance of water for pigs (and all living creatures) and how they love baths. Remember practice makes perfect or close enough!

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.