23 October, 2020

O for old folk

Who thought two weeks would past so quickly? We have a new challenge over at the Alphabet challengeblog, and matching the passing time it's called "O for old folk". Share with us whatever comes to your mind when you think of old age and aging! 
For a little inspiration, I decided to come up with a fun male card, suitable for a birthday or any other celebration. I found this grumpy guy in my collection of bugaboo digis and decided to dress him in a combination of green and yellow. The reason behind it is rather simple: as I was working on a male card from the beginning, I had a couple of background papers on my mind, one of them having a green-ish/ellow-ish check pattern.
However, I found some more masculine patterns as I was digging through my paper stash, and so I finally ended up with this one. Needless to say, the blue background is traditionally suitable for a man, but I also wanted to add a bit of colour and fun, which comes along with the colourful dots. For a little extra, I added a ribbon in the upper corner, as well as colourful gemstones on some of the printed dots. 
The bling might not be traditionally male, but since the golden ribbon with a blue spiral on top looks like some kind of tinsel, the gems might as well resemble confetti. This again leads to a male birthday/celebration card, however, I haven't yet figured out how a cup of tea and a newspaper goes with the party theme. Maybe the old man just woke up from a wild night drinking and is now trying to get through the hangover?
To hide the ends of the golden ribbon on the inside of the card, I picked a sheet of golden paper from my stash. For a little extra, I decorated it with a light blue embossed cardboard.
On hindsight, I think I should have picked the papers first and then paint the guy's pants blue as this would fit better to the colour scheme. On the other hand though, do the clothes of old(er) guys ever match in colour? 

krafty chicks: all occasions
as you like it: favourite colour to pair with blue (I'll go with the contrasting yellow on this one, because I've learned that sometimes a touch of something different gives my card the little extra that makes it interesting, rather than using similar shades which might not give the same effect)
crafty catz: ATG
crafty sentiments: ATG
creative inspirations: spots & dots or inky splats
creative moments: ATG with optional twist "funny"
cute card thursday: stamping
love to craft: ATG 

15 October, 2020

Conditioning at its best

Inspired by the autumn season, I created a simple card using a beautiful Nina Štajner squirrel. 
The card might remind you of the little bird I made some time ago, and in fact I cut the image from the same cover of a paper collection because why not use covers as well if they feature such wonderful motifs? 
Since the image is rather large, I decided to display it prominently across my card, and for a touch of seasonal colours I decided to go with a kraft card base. For the background, I used a strip of a soft beige background paper, which was featured on the birdy card as well - I swear I didn't plan to use the same elements all over again, but it somehow aligned and it now looks as if I'm recycling my old ideas!
Anyways, there are differences, too: instead of a button, I added a couple of cream pearls on the lower part - enough for a little "extra" without diverting attention from the main motif.
The only thing that doesn't look like autumn in the card is actually the blooming branch, which would resemble spring and springtime squirrel mood. 

Because despite all the autumn colours and squirrel stuff, the real inspiration probably lies in the first warm days of the year when I took a walk through park Tivoli and one of those fluffy climbers hopped along. I managed to make him get closer, but he took off as soon as he realized I didn't have anything edible with me. I felt so bad that I actually went to the market to get some nuts, and returned to the park to see if I can find him again and apologize. I'm not sure whether I met the same one, but I had an actual squirrel eating from my hand that day. 
Of course they don't stay anywhere near you once the get their goodies, but I was beyond myself - I had no idea at that time that some people are occasionally feeding them, and I'm sure they're still more or less wild animals who come only once they have some basic trust in you, and even then only if they please.
And so I began to walk through Tivoli more often, figuring out the best times and best spots to observe them, as well as their food preferences. 
I enjoyed their poses and fights, and their acrobatics.
I learned how to call them effectively, and realized how different every single one of them is: the brown one, the orange one, the small one, the fluffy one, the one with a dark spot on the back, the mom with her prominent teats...
And no matter how I tried, I always felt bad when there was nothing left - but then again there's nothing like those tiny paws checking your palm, and those little noses sniffing around!
I'd go to the park early in the morning because it meant there'd be less people, especially less dog walkers. I love those quadrupeds, too, but the squirrels just won't come if there's a furry boy waiting by the tree trunk, no matter how good he is. 
And after a while, the little cuties seem like they're posing even though I believe it's just their general looks and curiosity on display. 
And the best thing? I believe that some of them must remember me from previous years as they didn't need much of training this year compared to last season, or the one before. 
And who'd have thought that just one week of regular visits can make such a difference in behavior? I guess good old Ivan Pavlov would be pretty impressed.
By conditioning squirrels, however, you also condition yourself in some way. 
In fact, when I was left on my own this spring with no physiotherapy in sight, it was those morning walks that made up my daily exercise (at least once I was fit enough to get all the way to that park and back). All weak and wobbly on my feet I'm not sure whether I'd be able to get up again in case of a fall, but I just assumed that sooner or later, somebody would have found me. On the positive note, early morning lockdown walks meant I'd walk through more or less empty streets, meaning I could take my time balancing every step, and wouldn't necessarily embarrass myself if I suddenly stumbled on a seemingly even sidewalk (because those things aren't even close to even when the slightest tilts and cracks make you go down).
And even though I could't get up from crouching for weeks, the furry creatures made me try more and more every day. It has been a long journey from literally crawling on all fours to slowly getting up if I tried really hard, to taking it further by improving my skills in the weeks and months that were to come. 

krafty chicks: CAS
kreativtanten: autumn colours
love to craft: ATG 
morgans artworld: ATG
moving along with the times: animals/birds
path of positivity: girl power (I'll go with my version of girl power for this one: while the physical power might not be worth mentioning, I think the slow & steady willpower has its advantages, too - because you'll ultimately reach the finish line no matter whether you're performing a super fast sprint or 
going step by step, but only the latter gives you the opportunity to enjoy all the beauty along the way. Also, determination seems like a special girl power to me, given how much more effort a girl/woman often has to put in her work in order to be recognized on the same level as her male contenders.)

09 October, 2020

N for navy blue

As I have re-opened my crafting corner after a long health-related absence, I decided to take it to the next level and apply for a DT spot over at the Alphabet challenge. I do believe that I'm fit enough for a regular commitment and hope to get along well with the creative crew, but I also have to admit that I selfishly believe that a pending obligation is what is going to keep me peeking into my stash every once in a while :)
Long story short, I'm in for the newest challenge over at the Alphabet challengeblog and we're at the letter "N", meaning it's time to show us your "navy blue" projects. 
I must admit I was a little bit confused by the theme at first. I do create with shades of blue, but navy is quite dark to me and I rarely use it in my creations. Also, I didn't know what exactly I'd like to work with. Of course, paper came to mind, but I didn't find lots of navy blue supplies in my paper stash, except for the remains of dark blue cardboard. I have a variety of dark blue beads so I thought about creating a piece of jewelry, or maybe napkin decoupage in combination with dark blue acrylic paint. In the end, I did what I usually do in this case – I went to bed. 
Upon waking up in the morning, I knew exactly what I wanted: a sympathy card with a stitched silver cross on white cardboard, a navy blue background, and a couple of paper flowers to complete the scene. 
However, I soon realized the remains of navy blue cardboard were too small for what I had in mind, and since I didn't have another one in stock I had to go paper shopping first. And even though I needed this one sheet only, I returned home with a bunch of goodies – ooops!
Among everything else, I got myself quite a few navy blue papers, and the one with the prominent floral pattern turned out to be such a lovely find that I simply HAD to use it, even though it meant I'd have to come up with an entirely new project.
Entirely new? Not exactly. I did stick with the sympathy theme because I believe those sad cards don't always have to be black and white. In fact, they don't even need to be (too) sad – I like to incorporate a little colour or a not-so-sad motif/pattern for a sense of comfort during a hard time of saying goodbye.
I've chosen a part of the paper that would fit nicely on a white card base and added a piece of navy blue cardboard to the background. This way, the tiny strip of card base that is still visible looks like it is part of the pattern itself.
Once that was done, it took me quite some time to figure out how to finish my card. I've been looking for a matching quote, but I soon realized that any long(er) text would probably interfere with the background.
I decided to print a simple "sympathy" message, but I just couldn't find the right font for it. Everything was too bold, too thin, too curvy, too blah... Until I just started picking random fonts to see whether I'd find anything suitable – and I did. I've already forgotten the name of this one, but I think it's a perfect match for the flower doodles. 
To make it stand out a little, I placed it onto another strip of navy blue cardboard, which elevates it from the rest of the card. 
I might have wanted to place a couple of pearls here and there as I always do, but I held myself back this time since I came to the conclusion that the card doesn't need any kind of bling. Just a calming combination of white and navy blue.