We've all been there.
I wondered how I could explain this Earth Day card without seeming to be whining, and I realized--We've all been there.
Life happens and projects that were meant to be spaced out over time all end up in a rush to be done. You're trying to accomplish oh-so-many things and suddenly you go to work on a project and the creative inspiration just isn't there. You are tapped out.
This occurred with my project for my second Design Call for Viva Las Vegastamps! (VLVS) so I looked for a way to make it a positive thing. I decided to make this as much a tutorial for winding up the wellspring of creativity, as for making a card.
You often hear about creativity being an attitude or perception of the mind. I've often found creativity is in my hands. Literally. If I turn off my brain, and just start working, good things happen. I make decisions on the spot, based on what is happening at the moment. I also decide not to critique my work because when you are tapped out, nothing looks good. I'm often surprised when I go back and look at work done when I'm in this mood. It is so much better than I thought it was when I did it.
Usually I incorporate Zentangle-Inspired art into my projects but I was already working on a stamping project using patterns (which you'll see in my giveaway post, also posted today), so I decided to go a different direction for this project. I wanted to stretch myself in different directions--open myself up to combat the desire to shut down.
Animal Tree stamp from Viva Las Vegatamps!
Piece of white cardstock big enough for stamp
Lyra Rembrandt Colored Pencils
8x8 in textured cardstock map from DCWV's The Travel Stack
8 1/2 x 11 black cardstock
1 1/2 x 4 inch white cardstock for 'Earth Day'
Terri Sproul's Mixers - Orange Pearl
Terri Sproul's Mixers - Green PearlMiracle tape (demonstration video for lots of ways to use Miracle tape)
Stewart Superior Memories Inkpad-black
Black Sharpie Marker
Normally, I don't look for prompts or challenges, but this time I needed a direction. The Viva Las Vegastamps! challenge theme for April is 'Earth Day'. (The prize is a $25 gift certificate for the VLVS store. I'm not eligible, but you probably are--check it out!) This gave me a 'theme' and I immediately knew which stamp I wanted to use. I had my start.
I wrote out 'Earth Day' on piece of white cardstock and painted the words with Orange Pearl mixers. I had intended to cut the characters out individually, but then the phone rang, and I had to leave, and there was another day gone. To save time, I decided to paint around the words with Green Pearl mixer.
This stamp was part of the lb of stamps I received for my first design team supply delivery. I'd been mulling ideas for using it, and it seemed perfect for Earth Day. I wanted to send a message about dwindling animal habitat, so I decided not to use the chimp carrying a ladder because it adds humor, and dwindling animal habitat isn't humorous. (I'd love to know the story behind this stamp, though). When I inked up the stamp, I took care not to ink that portion.
I stamped the image on white cardstock. It made me think of drawings in old vintage children's books, so I grabbed my colored pencils for soft, tinted colors. The outlines of the stamp are complex and I wanted to use it as a cut-out, so I colored blue sky behind it, and then cut out the image, roughly following the outlines. But when I held it up to the map paper, it didn't stand out enough. So I used Miracle tape to stick it onto black cardstock and again cut it out to create a silhouette behind the image.
Flipping through my scrapbook papers, I found a 8x8 sheet with a map on it. Bingo! I folded an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of black cardstock in half, folded the map paper in half and taped it down over the cardstock.
After I added the stamp the black didn't 'vibe' enough for me, so I embossed part of it, to give it a shine. I did this by applying Miracle tape to the area I wanted to emboss, sprinkling on the powder, tapping off the excess and then heating the powder that sticks to the tape (follow the video link listed in the supplies for a demonstration showing how that is done).
I brushed the black cardstock with the Green Pearl mixer, on both the embossed and unembossed areas, and when it dried, I stuck the Earth Day logo on the card. I used a Sharpie marker to draw a some texture on the logo portion. And my card was done!
Ahhh! Just the act of creating refreshes me. I feel more in control, and ready to move on to the next project. I hope I've given you some ideas that might help the next time you tap out.
There are lots of prompts and challenges and project tutorials online to help get you going, and I find Viva Las Vegastamps! is one of best sites for me. Each month a new challenge is issued (with gift certificates to the store for prizes!) and new projects are posted three times a week. And if you add the VLVS blinkie to your blog or website, with a link back to www.vlvstamps.com then you'll get a free grab bag of rubber stamps! See the VLVS blog sidebar for the requirements and code.