Saturday, July 23, 2016

On Your Golden Jubilee

Since moving to Charleston, my husband and I have met a lovely couple who surprisingly have criss-crossed our path for many years until now.   Both are on staff with our church in Pastoral Care. We hit it off immediately and haven't looked back.

We have been on the Pastoral Care Team from the beginning with them.   Recently we have been asked to take the out reach ministry at our local Assisted Living Center where we have been providing a full church service for those who cannot attend a regular service outside. Most are wheelchair bound, or use a walker (very slowly). And believe it or not, many are in their 90's! They are dear hearts to be sure. And it is an honor and privilege to serve the Lord in this way. 

Last Sunday as we had coffee together after church, I was asked if I would create a Golden Jubilee card for our friend's sister, a Catholic Nun, celebrating 50 years this coming week. 

Please keep my husband and I in your prayers if and when we come to mind. When asked by a sweet resident what purpose God has for her now (she is 93), I replied, tell your faith story.

"The shortest distance between a human being and Truth is a story." Jesus, himself, told stories about the most common things in the world: a lost sheep, a seed that falls on rocky ground, a man whose son runs away from home.

All personal theology should begin with the words: Let me tell you a story. ~ Sue Monk Kidd from the book, Firstlight.

The sentiment is computer generated.  The cross is a stamp from the Verve Stamps set: Jeremiah 29:11 and is embossed with Rangers Liquid Gold Embossing Powder.   The floral and Bible image is hand sketched with pencil and watercolored with Grumbachers Opaque Watercolors.

Sincerely, Susie ~

Monday, July 11, 2016

Scatter Kindness

Welcome sweet summertime - hot days, long nights: it seems every summer has a story to it.  It also feels like summer is almost over once we see and hear the last of the fireworks doesn't it?   

I've tried to steal away a few moments of time here and there at my art desk lately.   And I've watched some amazing video tutorials from some of my favorite designers.  I'm always in awe at the beautiful work I see from so many.  

Have you ever sat down to work at your art desk without a plan?  Guilty!  In fact, I did it this past Saturday.  I've been trying very hard to ink up stamp sets that I haven't used yet.   I really wanted to use my Sketched Blooms set from MFTs.  I colored some of the blossoms on Friday, cut them out and got my card base ready along with a never-been-used die cut frame, Stitched Cover-Up Companion - Vertical Frame, also from MFTs.  Oh I thought myself so clever to be so prepared for Saturday (she smiles).    I wasn't as prepared as I thought!

I really wanted to do something like my card, You Got This.    Something vibrant, something out of the ordinary - I have a tendency to go soft most of the time.   I started arranging elements around the frame - hmm.  I didn't like it.   Scrap plan A and move on to plan B. 

Plan B: Choose one flower and two stems from the stamp set.  Color with Copics and Prismacolor pencils.  Add some gold leaf along the outside and inside of the frame and sponge the inside panel with some distress ink.   Arrange the flowers and stem in a pleasing manner following some visual design principles, add some sequins and done! 

I started without a plan and in the end was happy with the results.   Next time, Plan C: Sketch the design first! (she laughs).    Like the sweet colorful dandelion's on the card, lets scatter some kindness around to those who just might be struggling with decisions of their own.   Everyone needs a do over once in a while (she smiles).

Hope you'll come back and visit again.
Susie ~

Friday, July 8, 2016

So Very Grateful

Hello Friends!

It is day 3 of The 30 Day Coloring Challenge.   Wonderful techniques, tips, and of course, beautiful cards!   

I was so inspired with the lovely artwork on day 2 from Kristina Werner, Kathy Racoosin, and Dawn Woleslagle.  There is a saying that dates back to the early 19th century that states, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."  When I'm trying to learn a new technique I find it very helpful to CASE the work first.  I often color an illustration using the same colors the artist used on my first try. Once I feel familiar with the technique I will proceed from there.   That is the case today.   Dawn Woleslagle from Wplus9 provided instruction start to finish on a Cath Kidston Design Background piece using Copic markers and free hand sketching in a painterly style look.   I love the vintage cheerfulness don't you?

I practice, and I practiced.   I colored, I painted, I glued.  I trimmed, I tore it all up, and started all over again.  Okay, you get the picture.   This afternoon I finally got close enough that I thought a card might be in order. 

The little cabbage rose bouquet is a free hand sketch using Copics.  The painterly style looks like the 'building stamp sets' that are so trendy.  I kept with the same Copic colors that Dawn used.  R22, R24, and E07 for the rose and buds.   G24 and G28 for the leaves.   My card base was created with Papertrey Ink's Make It Market Kit, Don't Forget to Write.  The kit includes some beautiful dies.  

I adore small cards like this.  Wouldn't this be lovely as a set of 4 cards in different colors to give as a hostess gift?  A sweet offering from heart and hand.  

God's Blessings
Susie ~
Tuesday, July 5, 2016

You Got This!

Hi everyone!  I hope you and your family enjoyed a wonderful 4th of July.   We had a very busy weekend.  Parade, Concert, and Fireworks on Saturday with more to follow on Sunday!   We've even heard fireworks this evening!

This morning begins Kathy Racoosin's TheDailyMarker30Day Color Challenge.   This is a very unique challenge.  All Kathy asks is to spend a little time each day coloring (any medium).  You don't have to create a card.  Just color.  If you don't finish it's okay.   It's about making time to create.   You'll meet new friends, and see some wonderful coloring skills!   So with that said let me show you what I've created.

My card is created by using a page from one of the adult coloring books, Secret Garden.  No stamps, just coloring with fun summer colors!  The sentiment is stamped and embossed on vellum.  Love that look, how about you?   I hope you'll visit Kathy's blog, The Daily Marker, to see how she created her Color Book Card and the very unique bonus card.

So inspired by Debby Hughes yesterday when she posted a masculine birthday card using the new Clearly Besotted, Tickle My Fancy stamp set.  Debby spoke about the symbolism of a feather.   For me it symbolizes Freedom. Strength. Hope - for today and the future.   May we as a nation continue to serve, protect, and love our neighbor as ourself.  One nation under God.

Thanks for your visit today.   I'll see you next time.  Until then, stay cool, have fun, and enjoy the summer!

Susie ~

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Nurture Your Soul

Hello again,

I have another card today for the series I've been calling, Everything Old is New Again.   It's another Flourishes set, From the Garden, illustrated by Marcella Hawley, now owner of PowerPoppy.

Before I continue I want to briefly share several reasons for this idea.   Now that we are retired I remind myself that I must manage (and use) what I have.   I decided that creating with my older, cherished sets, would not only be good practice, but would hopefully encourage others to do the same.   Experiment, learn new techniques and designs - create that which makes your heart sing.   So there you have it (she smiles).   Now, let's create something new that has a vintage/retro look.

I love the new background designs using the smaller images of a stamp set and giving them a loose light watercolor look, or a more vivid look with more detailed watercolor, or Copics.   Whatever medium you choose is fine.  I happen to enjoy watercolor.

I'm still playing around and trying to find my happy "go to" watercolors.   I tend to reach for my Sakura Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box set and my Grumbacher  Deluxe Opaque Watercolors.   And every now and then I like to use my good ol' Prisma Watercolor Pencils.   I would recommend a good set of brushes - you'll never regret the purchase.  I have started using Sliver Black Velvet brushes and love them.    I'm also learning more about watercolor paper.  I have come to believe that one must use the right tools with the right paper.   I think many of my/our struggles at times has to do with the paper we choose - especially as it applies to watercolor.

Hey, thanks for stopping by today, I hope you've enjoyed the card.   Have a lovely rest of your week, and we'll talk soon!

Susie ~

Saturday, June 25, 2016

New Card Series

Don't throw the past away
You might need it some rainy day
Dreams can come true again
When everything old is new again
                                        Lyrics by Peter Allen

Hello again!
In another week the wonderful Daily Marker 30 Day Color Challenge will begin.   I'm excited to play along this summer, hope you are too.   Any ideas what you might color during that period?

I thought this might be a good time to create a series of cards following my latest theme, "When Everything Old in New Again." I'm going to pull out my older stamp sets and create some new cards from some of my favorite companies.  It's such a shame to use these sets only once or twice.  They deserve more love than that (she smiles).   This is the third card I've created using my theme and I am really enjoying it.   Last night I pulled out another Flourish set called, From the Desk Of. Boy do I love these beautifully designed classic sets!
This morning I created a matching envelope for this card.   It's all in the presentation isn't it?  Whether you're creating a lovely table scape for a special dinner, decorating your home, or creating a little special something on a matching envelope.  It really is about kindness, and making those special connections with those we care about.   Now go make something that makes your heart sing!

Blessings for a wonderful weekend!
Susie ~

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Everything Old is New Again


I wanted to share what I think is a great idea for those older, classic stamp sets you cherish.   There are so many techniques and trends in the paper crafting community every year that keep us scrambling to try those new, cute stamp sets (guilty as charged she smiles).   What if we give those older sets some new love with the trendy look of watercolor or a new technique we've learned?

This card uses a set called Butterflies and Blooms from Flourishes, and illustrated by Marcella Hawley.   Marcella now owns PowerPoppy Stamps.  We all love her timeless illustrations.  I guess that's why they have become such classics (she smiles).  The card below was created using a tip from Kristina Werner.  I loved the idea and thought I'd test drive it.   Sometimes a blank piece of white watercolor paper can be intimidating.   Try giving your paper a little watercolor wash before you stamp.   Let it dry, and then stamp your image in a light color.  I used Rangers Distress Ink (Antique Linen).   This allows you to achieve that no-line watercolor look, and gives your finished piece a more natural appearance. To watercolor the image I used my Sakura Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box.

The second card uses the same technique as the top card, but this time I used a very intense watercolor ink that comes in the form of a pencil.   Derwent Inktense Pencils.    I love the soft look of watercolor, it's dreamy appeal.   Try creating several cards using the same stamp set - different layout, technique, mediums.   Old can become new again!

Susie ~
Saturday, March 12, 2016

Easter Prayers

Hello Friends!

I'm still playing with the wonderful sewing dies from Simon Says Stamp, and looking through my die collection for inspiration.  I just love embellishing these sweet felties.   This adorable Memory Box Plush Easter Egg is a pocket die!  Can you imagine all the little surprises you can tuck inside for that special someone?!

MFTstamps has some wonderful springtime 6x6 designer plaid paper packs that makes pairing your newest springtime stamp sets a breeze.   I had a card base with a panel and scalloped frame already finished, and used the color palette for my little felted egg.

The fun of designing with these dies is embellishing them.  I used some of my rolled Die-namics flower and roses dies.  I love the Flower and Leaves category - so many great choices!   And don't forget the bling!  Sew some seed pearls, or if you like, use some half pearls, tiny rhinestones, sequins. It's all in the eye of the beholder (she smiles).   Because I wanted to give some encouragement to the recipient,  I used a word die, Prayers, from Hero Arts created exclusively for Simon Says Stamp.

 A close up of the upper right and lower left show the details of those sweet felted flowers and rose buds.
I hope you'll find time this spring to create a keepsake for someone.  Whether you choose to tuck in a gift card, a coffee/tea card, or a little encouragement, the added element of felt to your card is sure to bring a smile.   My prayers are with you this Easter and always.

Susie ~

Friday, March 11, 2016

Peter Cottontail and Flopsy

Spring is here!  Spring is here!
Winter is gone, and two flowers appear.
Three little robins begin to sing.
Four bicycle bells begin to ring.
Five children come out to jump the rope.
Spring is here now!  I hope, I hope!
                                   ~ Author Unknown

Hello and welcome to my new blog, Sincerely Susie, formerly Summerwalk Designs.   I'd like to introduce you to a very special couple.   Peter Cottontail and Flopsy- they are both good little bunnies
(she smiles).

I was so inspired by the Simon Says Stamp release, Spring Plush, showing die cuts to create little felted bunnies, sunshine, clouds, baskets, chicks, hearts and more!  Oh the sweet offerings from heart and hand that can be crafted using these wonderful dies.
My first bunny, Flopsy, was created by using the Liam Bunny die from Memory Box sold through Simon Says Stamp.  Instead of holding a carrot she has a May basket of flowers, little pearls, and baby heart buttons.  And what little bunny would be caught without a flower in her hair? - err, fur.   Creating with felt is another fun way of stretching your die collection.

Once I had created Flopsy I knew I needed a pair.   Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the trail!
To create Peter's coat I used the Liam Bunny die again, this time using blue felt from Taylored Expression, and cut twice.   I tailored the coat to fit, and finished with a blanket stitch and little gold flat pearls for buttons.  I added a little flower boutonniere, and a cute little carrot -- it's made from cutting the foot pads twice; once in orange and then in green.   The pockets on his jacket are from the newest MFTstamps blueprint 27 die.   It's amazing what you can find when you actually start looking (she smiles).
Close up of Peter Cottontail
I hope these little felties have inspired you to create something that makes your heart sing!

Susie ~

Monday, March 7, 2016


noun  informal
An opportunity to try or perform something a second time.

Hey friends!
Yep, I'm calling for a do-over (she smiles).   After starts and stops, inconsistent blogging, and many moves (some cross-country), I felt it was time for a fresh start with a new name. 

We've had another move since we last spoke.  We are now located in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina on Daniel Island.   The lowcountry or low country including the Sea Islands has a charm of it's own.   Saltwater marshes, island breezes, and the cries of seabirds surround us now.
Pond and Wetlands on Daniel Island
The White Bridge Magnolia Plantation
Folly Beach Pier
Laughing Gulls
Our Island Home
A beautiful place to sit and rock, sip iced tea, and wave to the neighbors.   Where the laughter of bare foot children lingers into gloaming.  And community and culture share a kinder and gentler way of life.

So this time around, I'd like to share my handcrafted cards, photography, and artwork - maybe a recipe or two.   A place to sit a spell, talk, and share what's on our hearts.

Hope to see you soon.

Susie ~

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