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.

Water Escape or Groundhog’s Day

Water Escape or Groundhog’s Day

Is it just me or is the current state of today feel like you are living in a Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day”? I have had a few people say the exact same thing to me lately. Weekdays blend into weekends and its simply hard to keep the week straight. The only pillar of time I have currently is my Sunday Design Classes on FaceBook Live. I have evolved these classes into starting a beginner’s class and then combining the two as I am struggling to keep pace with my 3-4 jobs I have at the moment.

If you are interested in the classes, they will be on my FaceBook Page (The Scientist’s Art) on Sundays at 3pm CST. The class is now called “Basics to Wow” as I forget how simplicity is also beautiful as well and you do not need to spend an hour making one card. The videos will stay up on my page and will eventually be integrated into my YouTube channel.

Over Open Waters

Can you believe this was my first attempt at a bridge card? I have been meaning to make one of these cards for a while now but needed to find the right design. For this design it is part of my May Kit and I showcased this card and technique on one of my Facebook Live videos. In the video I water colored with Stampin’ Up Inks, but in this picture, I used watercolor paints, either option gives you a beautiful look.

The Story of the Pig in Boots

For my doctorate studies, I researched sow lameness and longevity. I had the pleasure (lets keep it at that) of measuring hundreds of sow feet and evaluating them for different lesions that could impact their gait or ability to walk freely. Their feet are cloven hooves (split in two toes), which is the most common, but there is a breed called the “Mulefoot” that has a single hoof similar to a horse or mule. But the hoof is made up of similar components to our fingernails and their phalanges (our fingers) are bones in their hoof and the metacarpals (our wrist bones) are further up into their ankles. Thus, I have always loved the picture of a pig in boots or this figurine I have, as its my passion to create nutritional and management strategies to reduce lameness in my beloved sows.

Supplies Needed:

  1. Cardstocks and Inks: Balmy Blue, DSP, and Silver Foil Cardstock.
  2. Stampin’ Up: Sailing Home Bundle and High Tide Stamp Set.
  3. Alternative Sentiment Stamps.
  4. Adhesives: liquid glue, tape runner, and dimensionals.
  5. Assorted red, blue, yellow and grey markers and inks (and/or watercolor paints).
  6. Aqua Brush


  1. Card base (Balmy Blue): 4.25” x 8”. Long side: Score at 1 ¼”, 2.5”, 5.5”, and 6 ¾”.
  2. Bridge: 5.5” x 1 ¼”. (Balmy Blue) – See Below for further directions.
  3. DSP: 1” x 4” (x2) for side panels. Bridge would be 5.25”x1” (I used silver embossed in hammered metal).
  4. Layering Bridge: 4” x 1”; score at ½” on each end for tabs. Adhere to Balmy Blue Panels to maintain card shape.
  5. Water Scene: watercolor paper or white paper to stamp scene on. 2 7/8” x 4 1/8”.
  6. Stamp 2 small and 1 large sailboat, 1 light house in black momento ink on white cardstock. Color as desired. Cut out. Use a ½” wide strip of Balmy Blue to stamp desired sentiment and dimensionals to adhere to bridge.
  7. Water Scene: use paint brushes, water, ink (or watercolor pencils or paints, etc). Stamp with waves or use markers to add distress (watch May 10th class video for inspiration and tips). Adhere panel to center of card.
  8. Adhere DSP pieces to coordinating panels.
  9. Adhere Bridge across front and connect on 2 outside panels only. Notice the card will fold back up to go into an envelope.
  10. Use Dimensionals and adhesive to add boats to your water layer and layering bridge.

Hope you enjoy making this card as much as I did and can’t wait to get up to Michigan again soon and visit Lake Michigan again to visit the place that inspired this card for me.