Like many people, I have spend the last few weeks coping with post-Christmas January blues by “KonMari’ing” my home. I’ve actually been a Marie Kondo fan for a few years, but since her TV show was released I have been intensely focused on tidying the home we have lived in for the last year and a half.
First step: clothes. Done. What the consignment store didn’t take is waiting to be shipped off to thredup. I had done a major clothes purge a few years ago, but I was able to reduce even more over the last few weeks.
Next: papers. Done already, mostly. Last year I was so overwhelmed with boxes of papers that I decided to absolutely discard everything except the bare essentials of birth certificates, deeds, etc. The mental shift to discard everything was the only way I could effectively deal with boxes and boxes of papers.
So then, on to my next step: tidy my CRAFT SUPPLIES!!! WHOO HOO! On to the fun stuff. I reduced my craft supplies to only what I truly love,. Once I then had fewer items, I was able to reorganize the remaining items in a closet where I have easy access to each product. No more making messes just to go through box after box looking for what I want.
It was easy for me to forget about my favorite craft supplies when they were buried in with so many other items, but now that things are tidy, I can focus on what things I love.
- Watercolor. Watercoloring is one of my absolute favorite techniques and I really want to spend more time doing it. I pulled out some shimmery white card stock and watercolored blue ink all over, then punched out the blue butterfly.
I also used watercolor to create the small blue square that is the background layer for the small bird stamp. It’s very subtle, but instead of using blue card stock (I don’t have any of this balmy blue card stock on hand) I water colored the blue ink on white card stock to DIY my own, then cut out the square.
- Vellum. On this card, I layered a sheet of vellum over the patterned card stock and heat embossed the hearts (from an older stamp set) with white embossing powder. I love vellum SO much!
- Alphabet stamps. I love this stamp set SO much! I use it for so many things. It’s one of those sets that I know I will keep for years and years.
- Tiny accent stamps. I often use little stamps like these hearts to add a bit of accent.
- Small stamps, to allow for lots of white space on a card. I love this little bird stamp from the new Valentine’s Day set. It’s so cute, and allows for a small stamp to be placed on a card with room for a sentiment but still lots of white space on the card.
- Blend markers. I didn’t use my markers very much on these cards – just a tiny hint of marker to color the heart that the bird is carrying. But these markers are one of absolute favorite products ever! When I started Stampin’ Up! about 4 years ago, I shook my head at the idea of coloring in stamps with markers; I thought it would be way too time consuming. But my mind soon changed and I learned how much fun it is to color. And these Blender pens are the best; I love how smoothly the color flows on to the paper.
- Washi tape. A hint of accent with some washi tape is a great added embellishment. The tiny strip of washi tape on this card is from a fabulous set of black and white washi tapes in this year’s catalog.
- Textured paper. This little square colored background behind the bird is watercolor paper that I watercolored with Poppy Parade ink, cut out into a square and added even more texture with the textured embossing folder. I adore the texturing embossing folder that is in this year’s catalog; it adds a bit of contrast to smooth card stock.
- Heat embossing. This is one of my favorite techniques. It’s so much fun to turn the heat embossing tool on and heat up the powder embossing and watch it melt into the final product. Here I combined vellum with the heat embossing and placed it over a blue butterfly background to give it a hint of color peeking through.
Ultimately, my approach to cards and crafting is the same as my approach to tidying: keep things simple. Surrounding yourself with only the things you love is the best way to chase the blues away all year ’round, not just in January!
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