Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In Search of Dolphins

We arrived in Florida in 2004, oh yes, that dreaded year of multiple hurricanes! It was a very memorable one, and like most newcomers, we were thinking that we would be seeing dolphins and gators fairly regularly. The reality is that you are more likely to spot a University of Florida gator before ever seeing a real one, and as for dolphins, the tail goes like this...

We were renting a home beachside near the Eau Gallie causeway so for the first month, the girls and I would randomly drive up by the causeway, park and stand by the Indian River in hopes of spotting some dolpins. We went on the pier behind the library and waited...and waited. We scoured the water from above each time we drove over the causeway (the bridge connecting mainland to beachside), with no real luck. So we finally brought daddy along and discovered Mather's Bridge (a crossing for cars and people connecting Indian Harbor Beach with the southern tip of Merritt Island.) It was here that we had our first, exciting dolphin siting...two dolphins feeding and playing by the bridge. The girls were around 9 & 11 at the time and super excited to see dolphins this close. Finally, it felt like we lived in Florida!

Two years later, we got to experience one even closer doing the Swim with the Dolphins experience at Discovery Cove, something Ashley will never forget about turning 13. Charlotte was our dolphin, a very dominant female who wasn't exactly the cuddly type, however we got to kiss her, touch her, and hang onto her fin and go for a very fast swim through the water. Dolphins are so muscular and full of power. My sister and I posed for a funny photo trying to lift the dolphin, or at least pretend to. Good things our lives didn't depend on it because even in water, they are extremely heavy!

Today’s card reminded me of these fun dolphin experiences. I used an swirly embossing template on my cardstock, inked a sponge and rubbed it over the surface to bring out the texture more in random spots. In wanting to create a colorful layer, I chose to emboss the retired SU dolphin stamp in silver and use blender pens and markers to create the faux watercolor effect.

Try out some of these techniques when creating your next card:
• Rub ink over embossing to really make the texture stand out
• Use gold or silver heat embossing to contain the colors when using actual watercolors
• Create a faux watercolor effect using markers and blender pens*

*To accomplish soft, subtle colors, rub a brush end of a marker onto a slick surface such as plastic packaging or a piece of acetate. Use a blender pen (marker with brush tip) to pick up some of the color and brush it onto your stamped image. You can use a piece of scrap paper to test color first or to color on and lighten your color before applying to stamped image.

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