I got the best night’s sleep on Tuesday. Just about the time I was turning off the lights, a steady rain began to fall. It wasn’t the fierce storm we’d had earlier in the evening, with strobe-like lightning and booming crashes of thunder. Then the rain pounded angrily against the window, driven in sheets by strong winds. No, the second round was much calmer…a liquid lullaby to send me off to a sound and restful sleep.
There’s nothing better than snuggling under the covers while listening to the gentle patter of rain, and I’m not sure why. Maybe that steady rhythm on the roof camouflages the rest of the household noises, making it easier to drift off to dreamland. Or maybe the time we spent in the womb made an imprint on our psyche we’re not conscious of, and we associate a sense of safety and security with the sound. Whatever the reason, rainy nights make the world seem softer and slower and sleep seem all the more enjoyable.
So I’ve chosen that deliciously relaxing sensation as my blessing this week. It’s hard to photograph rain, especially at night, so my photo and layout are simply focused on rain in general as I’m also grateful for the summer showers we’ve been experiencing lately. The lawn and flowers are much happier when Mother Nature provides their drink than when I do. And then there’s the fresh smell in the air afterward and the almost-double rainbow visible out the back the other morning. Yes, there’s a lot of joy to be found in rain.
Here’s the layout I created:
Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper
Patterned paper: Heidi Grace Designs, KI Memories, PSX Papers
Punch: Marvy Uchida
Ink: ColorBox, Clearsnap
Pens: EK Success, Staedtler
Dimensional adhesive: Ranger Industries
Font: Architecture, Internet
The photo shows the rain still clinging to the screened enclosure. Watercolor-like paper and some Glossy Accents “raindrops” reinforce the theme.
I made the droplets by applying small ovals of Glossy Accents to my non-stick craft mat. This dimensional adhesive is thick enough to hold it's shape but dries clear so it really looks like raindrops. You could add them directly to the layout but I wanted the freedom to move the dots around or even discard them if they didn’t turn out quite the way I envisioned. Once they’re dry, they pop right off the mat and another little dab of the adhesive will secure them to the page.
If you’re like me, you have a supply of old markers that aren’t seeing much scrapbooking action anymore. I used mine here to create the watercolored letters for the title.
Choose three or four colors to coordinate with the design and apply the markers to a non-porous surface. I used my glass cutting mat because it’s handy but anything that allows the ink to sit on the surface rather than being absorbed will work. I like to lay the color down roughly the same way I want it to go on the paper. There's a lighter blue in the middle that didn't photograph very well.
Apply the ink to watercolor paper with a foam brush. The brush should be damp but not too wet or your colors will be weak and all bleed together. I gave my ink a spritz or two with the mini mister so I could keep my brush drier and have more control. You can use a big brush and get all the colors at once but I like the smaller one as I seem be able to blend one color into the next more easily. You could do this on plain cardstock but it will warp. Besides, watercolor paper has a cool texture...buy with a 40% off coupon.
When dry, use an outline alphabet and stamp the letters for the title. You want the color gradient to be uniform so keep the bottom of the letters on roughly the same line. The absorbent nature of the watercolor paper means the ink is going to bleed a little but since we’re cutting them out, you can trim away some of the edge if it gets too wide. Using your pens as watercolors lets you use old supplies in a new way.
When the dark clouds boiled up this evening, I was hoping for another late-night shower to fall asleep by but the rains came earlier and are gone. It’s summer though, and that means plenty of opportunities for rainy nights. I love it!
***Each Friday's post is part of my 52 Blessing project...an effort in 2009 to be more aware of and grateful for the blessings in my life.