A Happy (Card-Making) Accident

And Then it Happened: My Card Making Accident.  A Not so Happy Moment.

Has this ever happened to you?  You are working away on a card or layout or project, and everything is going along just swell. You ink up a chosen stamp, double check the placement, and then stamp away…with Archival Ink, of course, because it is permanent.  Oops.  The placement is off.  And the ink…permanent.  Yeah.  That’s what happened to me today.  A card-making accident.  Not a good moment.  Been there?


After a few moments of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth…sudden inspiration hit me.  (Cue, angelic singing and harps playing in the background.) Gesso!  The card stock I was working with was watercolor paper weight…it would take Gesso just fine.  I pulled out my trusty bottle of Claudine Hellmuth Multi Matte Medium (say that three times really fast) and a paintbrush and began to paint over the jet black image.  Whoa!  Cool texture.  I wonder what would happen if I just layered this on the entire card?   It’s just paper, after all.  And, I’ve already had the accident.  What’s the worst that could happen? If I wreck it, Lord knows I have more.  I don’t know if it was the tea I had for breakfast, or if it was a divine intervention or just a glorious moment in time…but I felt free to PLAY!  With abandon.  And  I had FUN…serious FUN! 

009 (2) Here’s the finished product.  A very different look for me, but I’m loving it!  See that little birdie?  That’s where the goof took place.  (Oh, blessed, blessed birdie….you came to set me free!)  Here’s a close-up:

003 (2)Oooooh…texture. 

A Slippery Slope

You know what happens when you begin to play with gesso?  You have to get out your acrylic paint set.  The one you’ve never used.  The one you’ve opened and gazed longingly at, but were afraid to play with.  Well, no more.  I mixed colors (first time in my life) I spattered.  I brushed.  I highlighted.  I didn’t even  know what I was doing…but I liked how it was looking:

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011 (2) I brushed paint onto metal bits and then rubbed it off. I dabbed, pounced and spritzed.  Oh, yeah….having a good time here. 

Joy in the journey

This may not be the most perfect card ever.  It may not look that great to you.  But this card represented something to me….it opened a door I’ve been knocking on for a really long time.  Suddenly, creative ideas were flowing…some of which I will share with you at a future date.  And, some didn’t work out exactly the way they looked in my head. They were just accidents.  And accidents happen.  But there was an energy in my studio this afternoon that’s been lacking for a while.  And it all started with an OOPS…a happy accident. 

There’s this great quote by Jerry Seinfeld: “It is good to play, and you must keep in practice.”  A good reminder to me that this journey is supposed to be enjoyable.  I’d love to hear from you about some of your favorite happy card-making accidents.  Oh, and here are a few more photos of this card, just because I like it so much.016 (2) 001 (2)

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013 (2) 005 (2)Remember, you can click on the photos for a better view.

Thanks for taking the time to read my little blog.  Your comments make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.  Until next time,




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11 thoughts on “A Happy (Card-Making) Accident

  1. Anita Houston

    Hour happy accident was brilliant because let me tell you the gesso has mad this image look embossed, almost sewn on, certainly not just stamped. What a glorious card! So much to see and I want to touch it! Glorious for sure, and love the color!

  2. Broni

    I LOVE that you didn’t just toss the paper and start over! And I love that you opened yourself up to the fun of playing! What a wonderful experience and I love your card too!!

  3. Melody

    A happy accident, indeed! Beautiful results! I love it when the mojo gets going again…except it usually means idea after idea comes to me at night and I can’t fall asleep 😛 Glad yours happened in the right place at just the right time <3

  4. Nancy

    Oh, how right you are – I do SO love creatures, and most especially birds. This card is fabulous, and I think it should belong to me so I can send it to just the right person (I have someone in mind already)! If you’re willing to sell it to me, that is! 🙂

  5. Dianne P

    Yup, I love the card AND the story that goes with it. Of course, my favorite thing of all is to read what you write! You are just gushing with talent and creativity!

    BTW….do you remember my order for the cards you made with Mom’s pic? Yes, two or three sets please! I shall gladly pay your going rate. Oh, and I give permission to share the cuteness on your blog!!!

  6. Vicki Chrisman

    You knocked that one out of the park with your beautiful unexpected creativity. Dont you just love it when “Happy Accidents” like that happen? They are few and far between but when it happens.. it’s amazing!! Gorgeous work girl!

    1. Laura

      What a gorgeous card!! As they say, “When you are handed lemons, make lemonade”. And, this is spectacular “lemonade”. I know it was divine intervention working through you (of course, the tea, too!). Great job, Kathy!

  7. Tanya

    You have stumbled onto the secret of making your best cards yet! This is stunning! Crazy creative! I can see you in there with the smiles and ink flying and the studio nearly exploding with fire and energy! This is the best way to create! Like a mad scientist! 🙂

  8. Sue

    This is beautiful – I love it! You need to let your creative juices run free more often. Fabulous card!

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