; Inked Inspirations by SLMP

Thursday, September 14, 2017

No More Forcing

I've been reading and listening to a lot of things about finding my authentic voice.  Today that voice is telling me that I am no longer a blogger.   I've tried and tried to write, but it just doesn't work for me.  I'd rather post on Facebook or on Instagram.  I just don't love blogging anymore and I don't feel like it suits my creative needs the way it used to. 

This field is filled with amazing bloggers who create fantastic how to's and step by step content.  It's just not for me.  I'd rather focus on building my Facebook and Instagram following by creating more interaction with my fans.  I hope those of you who read this blog will understand this decision. 

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.



Some affiliate links have been used in this post at no additional cost to you. To learn more, please see my disclosure at the bottom of my blog. Happy shopping and send someone Happy Mail today!

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:

Some affiliate links have been used in this post at no additional cost to you.  To learn more, please see my disclosure at the bottom of my blog.  Happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017