; Inked Inspirations by SLMP

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Exploring Mixed Media

I'm in a bit of a card making drought.  No lie, haven't made a card in weeks.  Burned out, over inspired, over-stimulated, lack of inspiration, creative block.  Whatever your phase of preference is I have it. 

In an effort to break the block or brick wall I've started playing with mixed media again.  I've dabbled in this a few times.  I enjoy it, but it kind of intimidates me.  I'm flipping that view on its head and letting it challenge me rather than intimidate me. 

Since we had a long weekend, I took one day and did a little bit of experimenting and playing with mixed media.  I also got crazy and ordered some supplies. 

Here's the art journal page I created.  I've been building pages in this watercolor notebook for quite a while.  The paper wasn't very good for watercoloring, as it was pretty low quality.  I opted to turn it into an art journal, and I dig it out once in a while to play.  I usually gesso the pages to create a better base for creating.

This page was created with acrylic paint from Dina Wakely and Art C with a few splatters of white Higgins Ink.  I squeezed a bit of each color on the page then used the palette knife to spread it.  Once the paint was dry I added the ink splatters. 

I added some die cuts and a bit of book paper to create a winter scene.  The deer and the tree were both cut from white cardstock and then colored with Copic markers.  I tore an old dictionary page to create the ground and added a lite coat of gesso to it.  Once the gesso was dry I added some Tonic Aqua Shimmer Pen to create a kind of sparkly snow look. 

After all the pieces were attached, I came back in the with Higgins ink and did a few more splatters to unify the piece. 

In the end, I think it turned out pretty cool and it almost has a bit of an aurora look to the background. 

I need to remember that this notebook gives me a good place to work through some creative blocks and droughts when I get stuck.  I still love card making, but I need to have a break and play with some other mediums to get inspired again. 

I'm being pulled to try new things and expand my art in some new directions.  I really love the look of mixed media and I'm excited to start a new journey with an art journal and a place to be free to play and learn new techniques.

I created a second piece this weekend, but I'll share that later. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Addressing the Silence

Alright, so by now you might actually be noticing the lack of social media postings.  It's called a creative slump ya'll.  I'm working on trying to break the slump.  I thought I would take this time and talk about a few things.  The struggles are real and I want to be transparent with you, my followers (hate that term, if you have a better one let me know). 

I'll be honest, I'm struggling with a little bit of the wind being sucked from my sails.  I have a lot of great cheerleaders in my camp, but there are still a lot of negative people out there.  Lately, I think I've let those negative people creep into my thoughts a bit too much.  I've also been really struggling with watching people succeed in the industry on lots of levels and feeling like I'm over here in my corner shouting with no one listening. 

I desperately want to write in this space, but I'm not a how-to writer.  That leaves me in a bit of a tangle.  What should I write and share in this space?  I've been writing what I think are posts that will encourage you to send more Happy Mail.  I'm working on a few other ideas, but I will no longer be forcing myself to write posts about how each card was created. 

I go through one or two of these creative slumps a year.  Hubby refers to them as burn out, but I'm not sure that fits since the focus has been on card making. I went back to my card making hobby in 2015, after playing with several other mediums, including sewing and knitting.  I don't feel like burnout applies to the card making.  It's more of a dry spell that happens because I always go back to making.

Over the last year, I've taken several steps into the unknown.  I started selling my cards on consignment at Smiling Moose, one of our local gift shops.  I started a Patreon for monthly card subscriptions, but that really hasn't worked in spite of people being interested in a subscription option.  I've started talking about what I do.  Giggle if you want, but this is a big deal.  I write and share online with ease, but when it comes to telling people in person what I do it's a real struggle for me.  It always comes out like I'm ashamed of what I do and I'm not.  I love being a card maker.  I've also stepped out and started selling my art again. 

No wonder I'm in a bit of a dry spell.  I've put this little introverted personality out there a lot in the last eight months.  I ask that you stick with me while I seek new inspiration and recharge my creative batteries.  If you're looking for cards, be sure to check out The Inked Inspirations Shop or if you're local stop by Smiling Moose. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Send The Thank You

Do you send thank-you notes?  Or are they more of an “I’ll get to that later” kind of thing.  Stop sitting on the most important note you could be writing and just send the thank you.

Think about this.  You send a gift for a baby shower or a wedding or even graduation and you never receive a thank you note in return.  As the gift sender, how do you ever know that they got the gift?

You don’t want to have some awkward conversation about it in the middle of the grocery store one afternoon.  It’s a bit tacky to have to ask if they got the gift you sent.

As the gift receiver, you surely don’t want that awkward conversation, especially if it was a gift that wasn’t in your taste.  The sender doesn’t need to know you hated it or that you exchanged it, they just need to know that you got it.  By sending the thank you you can easily overt all of these less than pleasant encounters.

Those of us that go above and beyond to do special things for the loved ones in our lives feel pretty damn disappointed when we aren’t thanked for the kind gesture we put out there.

I’m not talking about an excessive amount of thank you cards flying out of your card box.  I’m talking about sending the thank you card for the kind gifts and the big things that people do for you.  Return the kindness by letting them know you got the gift and that you appreciate their kindness and them thinking about you.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Sending Happy Mail Could Reduce Stress

I get a lot of joy from sending happy mail to friends, family, loved ones and even strangers (you'll want to read the Card Shower post to learn about sending strangers happy mail).  I'm currently building it into my weekly intentions to add another healthy habit in my routine.

The following quote is from the article Letter Writing to Calm Your Mind and Share Your Heart on  nabilak.com  - "Experts say that pouring your thoughts out on a piece of paper is another way to embrace tranquility and maintain peace of mind."  This same article states that by picking up a pen and writing a note, no matter what length, to someone you care about can lift your spirit in ways you may have never considered.  Now, who doesn't want their spirit lifted?

I'm the first to admit the number one reason I send happy mail is because I'm selfish.  I like the way writing that letter and dropping it in the mail makes me feel.  I do it for personal satisfaction.  That personal satisfaction leads to a lighter mood and lessens the stress from the daily grind.  If you start by making the action about you and focus on the joy it brings you, you may feel less stressed and just might smile a little more.

I love this article that Occasionette wrote in 2018, Writing Holiday Cards as Self Care.  Sending cards really shouldn't be just one more to-do thing that we're checking off our to-do lists.  Writing personal notes should bring joy as you write.  It shouldn't be something that causes extra stress in our lives.  To avoid adding stress to what should be an enjoyable thing, don't put any expectations on what happens after you send the letter and never expect something in return.  If a card or letter is returned that's a bonus, not a requirement or a reason for a let down from sending yours.

The Five Reasons You Need to Start Writing Letters Today on forbes.com stated that "having a pen pal and writing more can help ease anxiety, loneliness and even relieve stress."  While writing a letter may not be a replacement for face to face contact it has shown elements of deeper connection. "Some studies have shown boosts to mood and reductions in stress from expressive writing."

There is value in writing and sending happy mail.  For more on the value of sending cards check out my post The Value of Cards & Sending Them.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Inspired by Heather Hoffman & Lil' Inker Designs

Thanks - Green Check by Inked Inspirations
Today I'm starting a new series - Inspired by...

Today's card was inspired by Heather Hoffman's card that was shared on Lil' Inker Designs Instagram a while back.

I'm loving how these Thanks cards turned out and I'll definitely be using this design in the future.

The black and white absolutely makes the pattern paper the star of the show by making it really pop.

I think this card design will be a great stash buster for some of the 12x12 scrapbook paper I've been cutting into card fronts.  So many of them have great patterns that will carry a card design like this well.

Let's look at the elements that inspired me and the ones that I changed up a bit.

Elements of Inspiration:
  • Pattern Paper
  • Black and White
  • Tag
  • Thanks Sentiment

  • Checked Paper in place of Plaid
  • Ribbon in place of Rick-Rack
  • Large brad in place of Staple

Below are links to some of the products used in the making of my spin on this great card.

Have you been inspired?  Share your inspiration and give the credit to the designer that got your juices flowing.

Go create something inspiring!

Not a card maker?  Then check out the Inked Inspirations by SLMP shop and get yourself a card or two.

Links to Products Used:

Affiliate links are used at no additional charge to you
Kokuyo Tape Glue Dot Liner Long tape, Refill cartridge 5 Pack,
Kokuyo Tape Glue Dot Liner Long tape, Refill cartridge 5 Pack,
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SSS | AZ
Kokuyo Tape Glue Dot Liner Long-Blue
Kokuyo Tape Glue Dot Liner Long-Blue
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SSS | AZ
Kuretake - ZIG - Memory System - 2 Way Glue Pen - Squeeze and Roll
Kuretake - ZIG - Memory System - 2 Way Glue Pen - Squeeze and Roll
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SSS | SB
Die-namics Stitched Traditional Tag
Die-namics Stitched Traditional Tag
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SSS | MFT
Simon Says Stamp BIG THANKS Wafer Dies
Simon Says Stamp BIG THANKS Wafer Dies
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SSS
Simon Says Stamp STITCHED RECTANGLES Wafer Dies
Simon Says Stamp STITCHED RECTANGLES Wafer Dies
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SSS
Tsukineko VersaFine Pigment Ink Pad - Onyx Black
Tsukineko VersaFine Pigment Ink Pad - Onyx Black
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SSS | AZ | BI
Simon Says Clear Stamps BIG THANKS WORDS
Simon Says Clear Stamps BIG THANKS WORDS
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SSS
Dahle Vantage 12x18-inch Self-Healing Cutting Mat
Dahle Vantage 12x18-inch Self-Healing Cutting Mat
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AZ
Darice Eyelet Setter
Darice Eyelet Setter
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AZ
Fiskars - Razor Edge Easy Action Shears
Fiskars - Razor Edge Easy Action Shears
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SSS | SB
Fiskars PREMIUM CUT LINE Paper Trimmer 12 Inches
Fiskars PREMIUM CUT LINE Paper Trimmer 12 Inches
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SSS | SB | AZ
Stainless Steel Tweezers
Stainless Steel Tweezers
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AZ
Tonic Studios - Tim Holtz - Stamp Platform
Tonic Studios - Tim Holtz - Stamp Platform
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SSS | SB | AZ | BI
We R Memory Keepers - Evolution Advanced Die Cutting Tool
We R Memory Keepers - Evolution Advanced Die Cutting Tool
Shop at:
SB | AZ

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Value of Cards & Sending Them

There are roughly millions of ways to communicate with each other.  Do you want to be just another email, text, DM, IM?  Or do you want to be the one that sends the card, the card that gets tucked in a drawer to be read again and again?  This week I want to talk about the value of buying and sending greeting cards. 

According to this article from The Art File, cards are "still considered by most as the truly effective way of telling someone you really care."  Think about that and let that sink in for a bit.

The same article also stated that handwriting helps us learn or improve our fine motor skills.  We also express our emotion in writing.  Writing, not typing or texting, just so we're clear here.

Time is precious in this busy fast-paced world we live in and taking the time to write someone conveys real value to the relationship.  When you take the time to handwrite a card, letter or note to someone it conveys to the receiver that they are valuable to you.   This is the most valuable part of sending cards to friends, family and loved ones.

Handwritten notes create a more personalized experience for both the sender and receiver.  Ponder that, you took the time to find the perfect card and handwrite the message and the receiver gets something more meaningful in the mail thank junk and bills.  The card is something tangible that can be held, reread and shown to friends and family.  The receiver will most likely hang on to it for years to come.

When you send a card you are sending an emotional piece of yourself.  Whether you're sending condolences for a loss or congrats for a life event, you're sending a little piece of yourself when you can't be there in person. 

Sending a card can also make you feel good.  Thinking about someone?  Dropping them a note in the mail can bring a smile to your face, just thinking about the smile that will be on the recipients face on the other end.  I love sending "just because" cards that include an inside joke between me and the friend I'm sending it to.  We all need a good laugh after all laughter is the best medicine.  What's better than a surprise card in the mailbox that will make you laugh out loud when you read the note?

The value of sending cards shows the receiver they are valuable and worth the time taken, gives a personalized experience for sender and receiver, sends an emotional piece of yourself and evokes feelings that aren't necessarily present with less personal methods of communication.  Go out, buy a card and send it.  Share the value with your friends, family and loved ones. 


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Card Showers

What is a Card Shower?  Exactly what it sounds like, it's a shower of cards that arrive at the doorstep of the celebrated person for any occasion.

Card Showers can be thrown for any reason.  Someone having a baby across the country?  Organize a card shower.  The bride-to-be has friends and family all over the country?  Organize a card shower.  Grandma turning 90?  Organize a card shower.  You get the idea.  

Receiving cards in the mail is always puts a bright spot in someone's day, but getting showered with them can be even better.  I hosted one a few years ago for my mom and it brought her a bundle of joy and smiles.  I've also sent cards to some of the showers that I've seen in the news or on social media.  I especially try to send a card when a veteran has requested cards for a birthday.

Tips for a Successful Card Shower:

  1. Once you've selected a recipient, you'll need to decide on a date for the cards to arrive by.  There is no exact science to this, a few cards will be early and some might be a little late, but the goal is to have a target date for cards to arrive by.
  2. Make a list of participants.  Who are you inviting to send a card?  Do you have contact info for all of the participants?  
  3. Decide how you will let the participants know all the shower details.  Will you send a postcard, an email, a text or post it on social media?
  4. If you plan to make this a community or public event, consider posting it on social media. 
  5. Communicate with the participants letting them know the expectations of the card shower.  Is the gift the card? Or does the participant need to include a gift card for something like a baby shower or a bridal shower?
  6. If the card shower is being done as a surprise to the recipient make that clear to those participating as well.
Card Showers really can be done for anything.  Do you know someone going through a rough patch?  Maybe you know a parent that is struggling?  Have they just purchased their first home? Has someone in your life been a volunteer in your community that needs a little extra recognition?  Is there an amazing person retiring out of a public position that will be dearly missed?  Or someone who's completed a big milestone? Gotten a degree after years of hard work?  Celebrating 50 years of marriage?  Celebrating being clean and sober?  The list really is endless.  

Of course, I'm going to encourage you to send a handmade card, but it really doesn't matter where the card comes from.  Send the happy mail and make someone's day by organizing a card shower for them.