; Inked Inspirations by SLMP: 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

50 Thank You Cards Part 2

These cards were made for a local donation for volunteers doing a flu vaccine clinic.  If you'd like to see more detailed photos of each card, check out this album.  

Saturday, October 7, 2017

50 Thank You Cards

Techniques Used:

Ink Blending - Check out this Video from Kristina Werner for how to
Die Cutting
Die Cut Stencil - Check out this Video for how to

Retired Products Used:

Simon Says Stamp Large Heart Doily

Links to Products Used:

Kindness Cards Part 3

Techniques Used:

Embossing Resist - Check out this Video from Jenifer McGuire for how to
Ink Blending - Check out this Video from Kristina Werner for how to

Links to Products Used:

Friday, October 6, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

My Top 10 Favorite Reasons to Send Cards

This past week I've shared a lot of other people's lists of unique ideas and reasons to send notes and cards to the people in your life.  Today I thought I'd share my faves from all those lists.

  1. Check your Facebook Calendar and send your friend or family member a card for their birthday.  So much more personal and meaningful than the "wall" post everyone else does.  (From the 30 Ideas for Letters to Write post at Green Fingerprint).
  2. Drop a note in the mail that includes a blank card with a stamped, self-addressed envelope or postcard for the recipient to send back.  Better yet, leave off the address and encourage them to pay it forward to someone in their address book.   (From the 30 Ideas for Letters to Write post at Green Fingerprint).
  3. Love Letters, there's nothing better than a handwritten love letter.  (From For the Love of Letters post at Psychologies).
  4. New homes and new jobs are both great ideas and something I never think about.  (From 29 Common Reasons to Send a Greeting Card post at The Spruce).
  5. To send a gorgeous card you found.  What better way to tell someone you were thinking of them and share something beautiful to brighten their day.  (From 100 Unconventional Reasons to Send a Card at How Life Unfolds).
  6. To share a recipe.  If you're a cook and have a friend or family member that is into recipes, share a recipe you think they'll love.  (From 100 Unconventional Reasons to Send a Card at How Life Unfolds).
  7. If you have great neighbors, let them know with a card.  (From 100 Unconventional Reasons to Send a Card at How Life Unfolds).
  8. Have little ones in your life?  How about congratulating them on losing their first tooth.  This is such a cute idea for Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents.  (From 100 Unconventional Reasons to Send a Card at How Life Unfolds).
  9. Why not show off your handwriting.  Cursive is being taken out of schools and handwriting is becoming over ruled by technology.  Take a minute to send a card and show off your skills.  (From 100 Unconventional Reasons to Send a Card at How Life Unfolds).
  10. Celebrate the seasons.  We all know about sending Christmas cards, but what about all the other holidays, or to welcome Fall or say hello to Spring?  (From 100 Unconventional Reasons to Send a Card at How Life Unfolds).
Of course, there are all the usual suspects that shouldn't be forgotten, but it's the unique and unusual cards that will stand out in people's memories.  Don't forget the birthdays, anniversaries, congratulations, weddings, babies, thank yous, get wells and sympathy cards, but I encourage you to think outside the box and send some Happy Mail.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Tools to Make Letter Writing & Card Correspondence Enjoyable

Letter writing and snail mail are becoming a lost art, but I still love sending cards and handwritten notes.  Do you send handwritten notes, cards, and letters?  If you don't, you should.  They mean so much more to people than the mundane email or text message.  

I'll admit I've gotten out of the habit myself as of late, but I'm working my way back into sending "Happy Mail".  Handwritten notes can brighten the toughest of days.  Writing a note and dropping it in the mail, whether it be a card, letter or even post card can also bring you, the writer, joy.  Here are a few tools to make letter writing and card correspondence more enjoyable.

The Lettermate Envelope Addressing Guide will help you get that address straight every time.  I love mine, when I remember to use it.  This is essential if you're into the art of hand-lettering.  If you're looking to learn hand-lettering I would suggest you visit The Postman's Knock, she does some amazing lettering and has great tutorials available.

The Pilot Gel Pen is my favorite pen, but pens are so personal.  I love the weight of the Pilot MR Retro Pop Gel Roller pen.  It writes smooth and feels lovely in the hand.  Find a pen you love and go with it.

Return Address Labels are key for me.  I don't enjoy writing my own address, so I print a sheet of return labels for all my cards and packages and just keep them in my mail writing bin.  They're easy to grab and add to envelopes and packages and I can print more at my own convenience.

Since I mentioned it, let's talk about my mail writing bin.  I have an acrylic bin that I keep everything handy in.  This includes extra envelopes, some cute stickers to decorate my envelopes, handmade envelope seals, my Lettermate, return address labels, some larger Priority Mail labels, and a small roll of packing tape.

While I used handmade paper seals that I glue on, sealing your envelopes can be a lot more interesting with a wax seal stamp and sealing wax.  Hubby loves to use his on out going cards to family and friends.  While I currently don't have a seal in my box it's on my wish list.

If you're going to invest in a seal you'll need to invest in some wax.  There are dozens of color choices on the market.  If you need more info on how to use a wax seal you should check out this short video.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Inspired or Over Simulated?

We live in a world where we are constantly being over stimulated, but does that over stimulation in some twisted way lead to inspiration?

Are you with me or are you thinking I've lost my mind?  Hang tight and just go with me for a minute.  There is a fine line between inspired and over stimulated, but very often it's in that fine line that I get my best creative juices flowing.  Let's start with where I pull inspiration from.

My color inspiration almost always comes from nature and the everyday world.  I notice the colors of the season, the way the sky changes with the seasons and the weather.  There is no better color inspiration than that of Mother Nature.  She's an amazing artist.  Where else would you find color combinations like this?

Moving beyond color and nature I pull inspiration most often from the online world of Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogs, etc.  This is where the fine line between inspiration and overstimulation comes into play.

I follow a number of artists.  People who paint.  People who create cards.  People who knit.  People who travel the globe.  People who live in renovated old buses.  People who create mixed media.  people who design jewelry.  These are just a few of the types of people I draw inspiration from.

I've been asked why as a card maker and pen and ink illustrator I follow artists and creatives who have nothing to do with my field of creativity.  It's about a lot more than just seeing what they create.  I'm inspired by seeing their journey, getting a glimpse into their creative space, and following their story.

I've followed Meg from Made by Meg Sea Glass Jewelry, from her beginning.   I love seeing her create and knowing how far she's come in her jewelry journey.  This week she released a new line of sea glass jewelry and I couldn't be happier for her!

Prism Sea Glass Nurture Necklace from Meg's new line of jewelry

I 've been following Jennifer McGuire of Jennifer McGuire Ink for years because she's so technique driven in a world of card making that so often revolves around just buying the latest and greatest.  Her videos are fantastic and she's really passionate about kindness and handmade.

I've recently become obsessed with the podcast Cathy Heller produces called Don't Keep Your Day Job.  While I love my day job, her energy is contagious and sparks inspiration in me to keep moving forward with finding the right fit for my own handmade business journey.

These are just a few of the amazing creative people that play a part in my daily life.

The flip side of all this wonderful stuff is over stimulation.  It happens to all of us!!  I get over stimulated and that's when I unplug, but since I've adopted the attitude that my online space is all about me, I rarely get overstimulated.

The key for me is to unsubscribe, block, hide and ditch anything in my feeds that I don't enjoy seeing.  Yes, that does mean I don't "follow" all my friends on Facebook.  This is my online world and I control it.  If it doesn't make me happy I don't want it in my life.  Cheesy?  Yes, perhaps, but the online world isn't the real world and you have to control it.  If it makes you angry, frustrated, irritated or even feel bad about yourself, it's time to clean your virtual house.

I hope you find this post inspiring.  I'll be doing more with this topic and building Inspiration into a regular series.  I'd love to know your thoughts and what inspires you.  Leave me a comment and share your ideas.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

September Challenge - Stash Busting

Backstory... I started a Facebook Group a while ago, then I tried to close it.  It's a long story and we'll skip the details and drama of it all, but to make a really long story short I revived the group a few weeks ago.  Mostly because what I wanted out of a group I wasn't finding in other groups on Facebook.  So many groups have so many rules.  I didn't want a bunch of restrictions, I wanted to post anything creative and inspiring to share with a group of like minded people. 

Fast forward... September we're hosting an event to encourage creatives to bust their stash and spend no money doing it.  

I'll be posting inspiring ideas in the event and members will be sharing their creations and what they're doing to bust their stashes.  Doesn't this sound fun?  Wouldn't you love to join us?  You CAN!  Come by and join Connected Inspirations, once you're approved you can click the event and join in the fun.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hello Card - Warm Colors

Hello has become, or was a thing in card making.  I never know if I'm in the trend or just following up in the rear as the trend is coming to an end.  Either way, I love the "Hello" and I'll be creating these types of cards for some time to come.  They're fun and they are the perfect way to send a note without the need for a reason, season or occasion.  Enough of my rambling, let's get to the making of the card.  That's why your here right?

In an effort to move out of my blue/teal/green comfort zone I started by pulling all warm colors from my Distress Mini cubes - Mustard Seed, Carved Pumpkin and Candied Apple.  Moving on...

Once I had my ink challenge colors picked, I cut a 4x6 panel from Strathmore Mixed Media paper.  I love this paper for ink blending, especially since I love using a lot of water in my techniques.  This paper is thick and smooth, great for blending, but it also handles wet media without warping.  

I started blending from the center out, beginning with the lightest color of Mustard Seed.  Working outward I applied Carved Pumpkin and ended by adding Candied Apple to the outside edges.  

Mustard Seed

Carved Pumpkin 

Candied Apple

I continued to blend colors, lightest to darkest until I had a rich color panel.  Once the color was rich I went to town with my Distress Sprayer and created a fantastic splatter effect.  

Close-up of the water splatter
I had a stunning panel and I wanted to add some detail with some background stamping.  I pulled one of the Unity Stamps I purchase a while back, that I hadn't yet used.  Yes, I buy stuff, add it to my stash and forget to use it, but we'll talk about that later.  The Thoughts from the Past stamp is only 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.  I had to get creative and stamped it at an angle to cover the panel, using My Favorite Things Hybrid Ink in Black Licorice.

The last detail I added to the panel was the white "Hello" die cut.  I used the Avery Elle Simply Said Hello die and some white cardstock from my scrap stash.  

To complete the card I mounted the panel on a white 6 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch card base.  The end result is a bright card that really pops.  

Links to Products Used:

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My 9 Must Have Tools

We all have that list.  You know, this list of items you'd have to take to a desert island with you, that list of items you use in nearly everything you create.  I thought I'd confess the ones I can't live without.  These are my nine most used, can't live without tools.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Saying Goodbye to July

Where has the Summer sped off too?  This year Summer seems to have flashed before my eyes.  I'm not ready to say goodbye to just yet, but it won't be long.  School starts here in just a couple of weeks and my mom flies in in a week!!!  On that note let's look at the last week.

I created some bookmarks from an experimental page that I just didn't love, and then I gave them away on my Instagram page.  They really turned out cute and it was fun to set them free in a giveaway.

These bookmarks are just a reminder that not every piece is meant to stay in one piece.  I really love how these turned out.  Cutting something up can make all the difference.  I used a corner rounder and an edge punch on a few of them.  I added some word stickers and some seam binding tape.

I did a quick video this week, nothing fancy, just an ink blending background with this Hero Arts Stencil.  I love this stencil, it reminds me of a tapestry.  You can see the card I made from it during last week's Facebook Live here.

During an Instagram Live, this tree was born and I finished it on Saturday night.  This one is a 4x6 piece.  The background is gessoed and Distress Inks were used to create a watercolor background.  I used Liquitex Basic Gesso, it has a bit of texture and is a bit on the thicker side.  While it's not a heavy body gesso it is stiff enough to use with a stencil to add light texture to a piece.

Not all my art is created in the studio.  I did a bit of work on my fairy garden Saturday.  This planter has always been a challenge, most things don't like the dirt in it.  Over the past couple of years I have tried a few thing, but this year I gave up and decided to start building rock art and terracotta ponds in it.  I finally have a beautiful space.

The center pond has mermaid tears in it, aka glass rocks.  I'd like to get a few bags of these for the other five ponds, but won't be able to do that until we make out next trip to Fairbanks.

I'm one of the converts in the world of reading, as a general rule I'd rather read on my Kindle than a read a real book.  Did you hear that?  Every librarian in the world just gasped.  The exceptions in my world are how-to books - i.e. cookbooks, crafting book and books about drawing.  So let's talk about what's on my reading list...

Currently on my nightstand is Blog Inc.:  Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community.

This one is a real book, as my lovely librarian handed it to me the other day.  She knows me so well.  I'm only 19 pages in, but it's a slow starter and I'm hoping it gets better.   This book is written by Joy Deangdeelert Cho, the blogger behind Oh Joy!

Over the weekend I also added a few books to my Kindle.  There were a couple of books on sale that have been on my want to read list for a long time.

http://amzn.to/2f0kjOZThe Renaissance Soul:  How to Make Your Passions Your Life, I'll be honest I already owned this in hardback, but could never get myself to stick with it.  Mostly because it's a book that I feel compelled to take notes from.  By adding it to my Kindle list I'll be able to just highlight the things that strike a chord with me.

I'll donate the hard copy to the library.  It will either make it to the shelves or onto their sale table.  Either way, it will find a new home.

I added Art Inc:  The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist.  I know nothing about this book, but it peeked my interest and at $1.99 I didn't feel like I had anything to lose.  Here's hoping that tiny investment will pay off.

The last book I'm going to talk about is another that's been on my list for a long time - Art Before Breakfast:  a Zillion Ways to be More Creative no Matter How Busy You Are.

I've had this on my list for so long I don't remember where the suggestion came from.  I'm gonna guess I heard about it on a podcast.  As someone who only works part time, I'm not really short on time, but I'm trying to build some new habits and I think this one could help me change my direction and where I spend my time.  Less Facebook zoning and more creativity.

I hope you're enjoying these little snips into my creative life.  I'm trying to hard get back into a blogging schedule.  I'm working to create more content.  I'd love more feedback on what you'd like to see more of.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Currently in the Studio - July

Let's talk about the things that have been happening in the studio lately.  If you read my blog in a feed reader you may not know that's I've done a big makeover on the blog and my website.  I overhauled the layout, put up a new banner and rewrote a lot of the page content on the website.  Stop by and have a little look around - www.slmpetersen.com.

In other news, I'm kicking around the idea of moving away from a written blog and into a vlog format.  I'm really enjoying creating fast little videos and doing lives on both Facebook and Instagram.  I'd still post the link here, but there would be fewer words to read.

That said I have two new videos up on youtube.  New Product, where I give you a little peek into what I purchased recently.  I don't plan to do a lot of haul videos, but wanted a starting place to try creating videos.  Basket of Background, is a little dive into the backgrounds I have completed and in a basket on my desk, waiting for art to be added to them.  The thought behind this was to give you a look at some of my recent experiments.

New Product

Basket of Backgrounds

I'm currently reading Art Journal Freedom:  How to Journal Creatively by Dina Wakely. I wasn't really sure what to expect when I got this from interlibrary loan, but I've been pleasantly surprised.  These types of books swing one of two ways for me; either they are enlightening and I enjoy them or they are terrible and I take them right back to the library.  Much to my delight, this one has been enlightening and enjoyable.

Art Journal Freedom is a great starting place if you're looking to get into mixed media.  Dina Wakley share info on supplies and gives step by step instruction how-to for creating various page ideas.

I've also done a bit of drawing.  During the Facebook Live, I created another of my whimsical faces.  Her name is Lilly and she's traveling by mail to a friend of mine.  I really enjoy drawing the faces and love the fact that they are whimsical, not life-like.  They all have a personality all their own and are just plain fun to draw.

I also completed the fourth and final seasonal tree of a custom order I did for a friend of mine.  I created the final one this weekend while enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon sitting in our yard.  I really enjoy drawing outside in the natural light, listening to nature.

I'm still finding photography for my shop listings challenging, but I think I stumbled on to a better way to photograph my stuff this weekend, see photos above.  I've felt like the photos I've been doing for the listing are boring, lack luster and look staged in a sterile environment.  To put it bluntly, they're UGLY!  The photos I took on my desk reflect my style and I'm loving the new look.  Below I've put photos side by side of the styles.  You can see the difference for yourself.

The one on the left is a bit more of a reflection of my style, then one on the right is the standard Etsy style staged photo that looks like everyone else's.  What'd ya think?  Yay or Nay?

That wraps up the studio update.  Hope you've enjoyed reading.  Remember you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date on what I'm creating.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sea Glass Turtle

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you might remember this piece...

You might also remember that I wasn't too sure about it.  this was my first attempt at a canvas board.  The background was created with Distress Oxide inks over top of gesso.  Then I felt compelled to draw the black seaweed.  This sat on my shelf in my studio for quite some time, and I never did fall in love with it.  SOOOO....


I started with a fresh coat of gesso, then I added some old book pages using Dina Wakley's gel medium.  Next, I added texture paste using a Waverly Inspirations stencil and added Distress Inks to achieve the look of mermaid scales on opposite corners of the canvas.  That left a middle that was a bit whiter than I wanted, so I took some Distress Oxide in Cracked Pistachio, smeared it on some cling wrap, spritzed with water and laid it down the middle.  From here I left it to dry overnight.

The next day when I removed the cling wrap I had this beautiful effect that looked like water.  After this, I was stumped with where to take the piece, so back onto the studio shelf it went.  I waited for inspiration to strike and worked on other pieces.

Inspiration struck last week when I got my order from Scrapbook.com, which contained the 6x6 turtle stencil from The Crafter's Workshop.  When I took this stencil out of the package I knew it was going to be the perfect way to complete the canvas on my shelf.

I laid the stencil in the middle, giving the illusion that the turtle was swimming between two mermaids, and slathered it with texture paste.

After the texture paste was dry I went back into the Distress Inks and Distress Oxides to give him color and make him pop.  The finishing touch was a bit of Art-C Acrylic paint dabbed on the turtle's shell to give a touch of sheen.

Once complete I sealed the project with Ranger Distress Glaze.  I've been asked if I'll be selling this piece and I just haven't decided about that.  It's already sold if I do decide to let it go.

Links to Products Used: