Magic Inspiring Mountains and Light

April Swingler
April Swingler

“The Mountains are calling and I must go.” those famous words of naturalist and environmental philosopher John Muir will always move me. I’ve lived in the flat-flat world of Houston, Texas for twenty years now, but I was born in Southern California where we navigated off the mountains and the Pacific. Vistas stir my soul.

As I began to think about our theme for this month Words of Wisdom it seemed natural to think of mountains and lofty heights after all, “The best view comes after the hardest climb.” ~ Anonymous.

Since childhood I have been fascinated by the interplay of shadow and light. From the day I dressed up in mother’s pierced sun hat and scampered across the garden. I noticed the sun shining through the brim created a lacy shadowed pattern on the grass. My photography has long been a quest to capture how light plays over and moves through things.

I’ve created artworks and scrapbook pages celebrating light in photos like the one below, but I wanted to try to capture it in a card.

One more John Muir quote to tie it all together, “How glorious a greeting the sun gives to the mountains!” ~ John Muir
Sunlight and mountains, I’m in!!

I took a mountain sunrise as my inspiration and chose the sentiment, “Magic happens at the end of your comfort zone.” I gathered a collection of supplies and began testing size and composition.

I stamped my sun and mountain images with archival ink and inked them using blender brushes. I used Catherine Pooler inks for the sun. The mountains I inked with Distress Oxide inks. Distress Oxides can ruin your other ink pads if there is any cross contamination so I have a separate set of colored handled blending brushes which I only use for Oxides. Oxide inks have creamy opaque color which functions very differently from dye inks. I chose to use the Oxides on the mountains to get the intensity of color I wanted. I used Close To My Heart dye ink pads for the pinks in the sky to try to capture a more transparent appearance of the morning light.

Here are the prepared components fully inked and ready for assembly. You can see I also inked the blue panel to make the radiant lines more noticeable and to create a vignette effect to direct the eye to the center of the card.

I decided my letters needed something to make them stand out so I cut them from glitter foam from the kids craft section at Hobby Lobby. Die cutting craft foam is a great way to add dimension to cards. Rather than cut apart the alphabet dies, I decided to leave them assembled, this makes is easier to keep from misplacing individual dies in the future. I cut small squares of fun foam and placed them on top of the letters I needed to die cut just those letters.

The white glitter letters still needed something. I considered coloring them pink but in the end I decided to go more subtle and just outlined the edges of the letters in an extremely pale pink Copic marker. I’ve included two M’s to show you the difference between coloring the outline on top of the M and inking the sides of the letters.

Products Used

  • Close To My Heart Ink Pads – Heavenly Blue, Crystal Blue, Cotton Candy, Bubble Gum
  • Catherine Pooler Ink Pads – Limoncello, Tiki Torch, Tiara
  • Tombow Dual Brush Markers and blending pen
  • Art Glitter Glue with Fine Metal Tip
  • Glitter Craft Foam (Hobby Lobby)
  •  Copic Marker – Pale Pink – RV10
  • Ranger Distress Oxide Ink Pads (used on mountain only) Shaded Lilac, Wilted Violet, Faded Jeans, Blueprint Sketch
  • Color My Life App – Craft Inventory Catalog – (this is how I find which stamp and die sets included the thing I need, like a sun.)
  • Foam Tape
  • Nonstick Microtip Scissors – Close To My Heart
  • Close To My Heart – Heavenly Blue Cardstock

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