Sweet Thank You

I think it’s fun to create thank you cards that reflect the gift you were given, so I have been doing just that for a few of my recipients this week.  I have so many to fill out and get into the mail, as well as some lingering holiday gifts to send (yes, that’s right–my 12 days of Christmas may just turn into 12 weeks at this point), and of course so many card photos still from December to post here!  Thus I’m on my third entry of the day, so I can make another challenge deadline!

One of my crafty goals is to find some new challenges to play this year, and so far I’ve come across two thanks to some fellow crafters.  So for this recent card, I joined Freshly Made Sketches.  I love the sketch and it reminds me of a card I saw earlier in the week over at Studio Calico for their upcoming release.  I think the theme of my card fits perfectly with the sketch, it’s like a window into a jar of candy!

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It’s a fun little shaker with a simple window covered with some acetate.  The candy paper is an older release from Webster’s Pages.  The Avery Elle “Thank You” die is proving quite the worthy purchase!  The stitched rectangle is also Avery Elle, another indispensable die!

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The inside is lined with some Valentine’s washi from My Mind’s Eye.

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Thank you for stopping by!  Hope you enjoy a sweet start to your week!

Feeling Festive!

I’m not one to rush the seasons, so thinking about Christmas cards when there are only a few summery days left to savor isn’t really my inclination.  However, after seeing Festive Friday’s last few challenges and the inspiring work by the design team, I felt inclined to play along.  I loved the non-traditional palette of the inspiration photo.  There are so many fabulous elements to chose from–the wood stump, pinecones, grey bird, frosted cookies.  I’ve made two cards, but the image has me thinking of many other designs that perhaps I will have a chance to execute before the deadline.

A few of us gathered for a festive day of crafting on the beach this weekend, so I was able to complete the second of my two holiday cards.  I will start with that one!  Given the state of affairs in the nation and world at the moment, this seems an appropriate sentiment.  But then again, when in history hasn’t it?

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This card features the black and white elements, the stripes, branch, and kraft.

After finally inking up my Hero Arts letters, which I have been dying to use for months, and stamping on Ellen Hutson White Linen paper, I put together my earth and wreath.

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The earth from MFT’s Centerpiece die “You Mean the World to Me” was cut twice from black and gold glitter paper, and the black continents inlaid.  All were adhered to a die-cut circle.

I felt that my card needed a pop of color, so I added a sprig of pine from a deconstructed Savvy die branch, and some red berries, glazed with glossy accents.  They look like cinnamon candies!

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I added some icicle Stickles to the PTI rustic wreath.  I cut some Lifestyle Crafts Shape and Tape into strips and adhered after placing my centerpiece.

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To echo the sprig and berries, I finished off the inside and back with some striped washi from My Mind’s Eye.

JOY TO THE WORLD

My first card was not only inspired by the inspiration photo, but also the gorgeous creation by Rebecca Luminarias.

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I always love Rebecca’s style.  I pulled some of the gold elements from her card into both of mine.

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I absolutely love the combination of turquoise and gold, so when my card was finished, I realized it needed a pop of color.  The turquoise washi felt perfect for the bottom stripe on the outside and inside of the card.

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I love the gold lace paper from My Mind’s Eye Market Street pack.

TIP:
Because I only have two pieces of this paper, I didn’t want to waste a bit of it.  So I cut out the middle of it before layering– a good way to preserve paper when creating lots of layers!

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The white layer was die cut using Mama Elephant’s Temme Frames stitched rectangle die.

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I strung 7 stars along some gold thread for each of the continents and added some striped washi from Stampin’ Up! for some visual interest.

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Since Paulina over at Pretty Pink Posh is hosting a die-cut blog hop challenge, I am going to link these up over there as well.  So many wonderful creations at both sites– so make sure to stop by and play along!

Grab Our Badge!cuttingedge

A Maze of a Brain and Amazing Art

 

“Hello, yeah, it’s been a while.
Not much, how ’bout you?
I’m not sure why I called,
I guess I really just wanted to talk to you.
And I was thinking maybe later on,
We could get together for a while.
It’s been such a long time,
And I really do miss your smile.”

–England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1976

“Oh – stop

With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself

Where is my mind?

Way out in the water
See it swimmin’ ”

–The Pixies, 1988

Ever feel like you’ve been existing in a time-warp, floating between dimensions, touching down lightly into reality and then off again?  That’s what the last ten days have been like for me!

Over the last two decades, as a migraineur, I have had to adapt to an uncooperative brain, which is not easy for someone who could be working, creating, reading, and writing 24/7!  Last week, I was hit with a three day migraine, the effects of which lasted for the remainder of the week–what migraineurs not-so-affectionately call “a migraine hangover.” So all creative and professional work was curtailed, and I’ve been playing catch-up, and taking life a little more slowly the last five days.

With a reduced teaching load due to spring break, I’ve had a bit more time to get back into my craft room and resume work on a few projects.  It has been so good to just play with colors and patterns and experiment with some new styles.  I will showcase some of those very soon!

Today, though I want to share a project I had completed right before I was derailed.  I took my inspiration from an art piece I found on Pinterest. It is called “The unending amends we’ve made (imperishable wreath) 2010,” (acrylic on cut paper, papier-mâché, wire, wood) by Brooklyn-based artist Lauren Clay.  Her work is delicious in terms of color, and at times unsettling in terms of contrasting hard geometric elements with the soft colors.

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The unending amends we’ve made (imperishable wreath), 2010, Lauren Clay

Here is my card:

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been compelled to create paper nests.  I have also been gravitating to varying hues of turquoise, coral, and pink, as you may have noted in my last few cards.  So when I saw Lauren’s work, I knew I wanted to try and replicate its form and color with my Memory Box branches.

TECHNIQUE:

I first colored separate panels of watercolor paper with a water-color brush and Distress Inks and Stains. I saturated some areas for deep color and lightened others with water.  I also flicked water onto parts of the panel for spotting.  I wanted to create an ombre effect, which you can see more clearly in the close-ups.

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After creating my pink, blue, purple, and yellow panels, I strategically cut many branches!  I’ve been quite the die cutting machine lately with my recent cards!  Flowers, circle, branches, oh my!

I then altered branches to get the desired shapes and sizes.  Finally, I worked on placement, which took some time!

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TIP: Take pictures of your stages, especially when working with a lot of large and small paper elements.  This will aid your memory greatly and allow you to compare different arrangements.

I was then ready to add that gorgeous sentiment from Winnie and Walter’s set The Big, Bold, and You.  I absolutely cannot get enough of these fonts and the quality of the stamps is awesome.  I just ordered their other set, The Big, Bold and Happy.  I used Versafine Onyx Black, which is just as bold as the sentiment!

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TIP: When working on placement of your font, use the Stamp-a-ma-jig and corresponding plastic sheet or stamp your sentiment on a scrap paper and position.

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I absolutely love how the flow of the “you” follows that of the branches.

 

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The inside and back are finished off with a simple strip of turquoise washi.

As some of you may know, CASE Study, run by the ever-inspirational artist, Chupa, is looking to expand its design team.  I had the honor of guest designing in March and would love to continue creating alongside all of the talented ladies on the team.

Chupa asked applicants to create a project based on the work of a personal muse in the crafting industry and a style that would challenge us artistically. I have many muses in the crafting world to whom I turn time and again for inspiration– and they vary greatly in their styles. I will be featuring some of these individuals and the cards I created based on their inspiration in upcoming posts.

However, as a writer and paper crafter, I have always looked to the art world and popular culture for inspiration.  So in this instance, while I am not CASE-ing any particular card artist, I was drawn to a compelling visual artist that inspired me to create a bold, modern, CAS-style card.  I hope this will count!

If you would like to apply for a position on the CASE Study team, submit your entry by 4/30!

Have an amazing day!

Candy Crush

Happy Weekend, All!

It is a gorgeous, cloudless day here on the beach, much like the afternoon when the idea for this card sprung to life!

A few week’s ago, my partner and I were walking along the water and spotted a collection of candy necklaces just hanging from a post.  How odd, and wasteful, (I still love candy necklaces!) that someone would have left five uneaten strands there!  Then my partner said, “You should make a card like that.” I started thinking about how I would execute it, but I only had time to think until today.

Candy necklace.
Candy Necklaces were invented in 1958; click the image for an article on vintage candy favorites that are still around today!

 

Now before I get to the actual card, I must relay a bit of synchronicity. I played along with Fusion last week, and Kimberly told me that I would really love this week’s challenge.  Sure enough, she was right, as it aligned perfectly with my candy necklace idea!!

So today I was able to finally fuse together that moment on the beach and the inspiration below!  I was also thinking about the colors in Taheerah’s Cure for the Monday Blues challenge photo–for which I have another card slated, but potentially won’t finish in time…additionally, her photo conveys the soft, sweet dreaminess of childhood so it connects perfectly to one of my favorite candies from youth!

So here is this week’s Fusion image:

And Taheerah’s image:

And here is my sweet card:

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Before I saw the photo, I knew I wanted to stay pretty faithful to the powdery soft colors of the original candy necklace, so they just happened to align perfectly with the softness of the pastel rose garland.  I decided not to fill the whole necklace with “candy” and left a bow at the top for interest; it also echoes the bow within the garland.

I pulled the blue tablecloths in the photo into my side panel, a scrap paper from a discount pack.  Initially, I thought I would use the white linen for both the card body and front panel; but decided to go with the turquoise.  It was only when I turned the Bazzill paper over to cut it did I notice that the color of the paper is… Candy Necklace!!  Another fusion!!  I had to read it twice to believe my eyes.  This paper is so delicious in terms of weight and color, I don’t even think you can get the full impact from my photos.  It’s from Bazzill’s “Green with Envy” set of papers.

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PROCESS:

Okay, so how did I execute my little “candies” and their placement?  I immediately thought of Avery Elle’s Simply Tags set when I saw the real necklaces.  The little circle die was a perfect, if not tedious, choice!  I cut 12-15 of each color.  And I only have one of those little circles…

At any rate, once I had finally finished die cutting, I got to thinking about how I would be able to adhere the necklace while giving it dimension and interest, but making sure it stayed on the card and the adhesive would not be seen!!

I used a combination of Mod-Podge and Scotch ultra-thin glue dots.  The glue dots anchored certain parts, while I was able to manipulate other areas easily using the Mod-Podge.

I wanted some of the pieces to move, so I anchored those on either end of the loose ones.  In the photo below you can see the texture of the papers I used, and the standing pieces are moveable.

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The back and inside are finished off with yellow washi– I love how the striped back of the front panel peeks through just a little!

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Last but not least, I needed a sentiment.  I had planned to stamp a bold black “sweet” on the front originally, then my eye wandered over to the American Crafts Valentine Phrase Stickers I had bought waaaaay back in February at Target for some valentines that never materialized.  Another moment in this process where stars aligned.  And a card was born!

To be honest, I am crushing pretty hard on this card!  What about you?

You have until the 22nd to play along with the challenge at Fusion, and only hours until Taheerah’s challenge runs out.  But don’t worry– she’ll be back with more on Monday!

Since Simon’s Challenge this week is all about sweets, I am going to send this card right over there as well!  A triple-header!

Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog

Wishing you crafty time full of flow and sweet serendipity this weekend!

I am off to catch what is left of the sun!

 

 

Spring Chick

Happy Friday, everyone!  We are one week into spring and look what just hatched!

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Isn’t he just adorable?  This little chick from Deep Red Stamps has been dying to break through (along with about a million other stamps and ideas!) for months now!  I absolutely love the rich, vintage images of Deep Red Stamps, and featured a few of them in recent posts here.  The rest are awaiting their big break!

So, a couple weeks ago, I stamped this little guy onto a variety of papers and played with coloring techniques from Copics, to Distress inking, and watercoloring with pencils and Gelatos.

Of all the techniques, I really liked the combination of pencils and gelatos for a more realistic look.

In the image above, I used Staedtler Watercolor pencils in two yellows for his body, and two orange Gelatos for his feet and beak. The pencils are perfect for this particular image, as I can get some texture from the dry application and more intensity and smooth blending when using with water.  For his feet and beak, though, I preferred the orange intensity, coverage, and creaminess of the Gelatos, which are fairly new to me

Since I was using watercoloring, he was stamped in Versafine black oil-based ink.

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He could use a little more blending, but I was not using watercolor paper or heavy stock, and this was a trial run on the Neenah Solar White 80lb scrap I was using, so I did could not overly saturate or color as the paper would bleed and pill.

My new PTI set Monthly Moments: March just arrived this week, and I immediately knew I wanted to use that Spring bubble with the chick.

I finished off the edge with Crate Paper DIY Shoppe adhesive paper and the back with some washi.

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And ta-da, a very simple one-layer card.  He’s headed over to and CAS-ual Friday’s Good Egg since he’s so clean and simple and such a good egg!! 🙂

THE NEXT VERSION

Now this one was designed with a few purposes in mind, one of which being Maria of Riesling Mama, who just had a birthday!  I was very much thinking of her aesthetic and personality when approaching both of these cards.

She used a technique for one of her cards where she took Distress Ink, rubbed it on an acrylic block, spritzed and applied to cardstock.  No stamp involved!  You can check her post out here.

Here’s her super cool card featuring the technique.

 

And here is my card which will be headed over Shirley-Bee’s birthday gathering for Maria, as well as to Catered Crop’s Spring Fever.

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As you can see, my chick is a bit more grunge here!

TECHNIQUE: To achieve the large splatter, I inked my acrylic with Mustard Seed Distress, spritzed with water, and then stamped off 3 times to move the ink around.  I didn’t want it to be solid, as in Maria’s application.  Afterward, I picked up some of the ink and flicked with my brush.

CLUSTERING & LAYERING

I love digging through my embellishments box and scrap baggies, which after this creation I got to re-organizing.  It is utterly amazing how many left-overs this art form generates!!  I have a pretty good system of storage and categorizing if I keep up on it, but with every card, I seem to have oodles more material than I did beforehand (which is not mathematically possible!!).

So I made use of a little lost leaf, an alcohol-inked glossy arrow, and the back of a deconstructed card which I die cut with Lawn Fawn’s Stitched Notes.  Upcycled and recycled!

New elements include the die cut Savvy sprig, Prima clothespin, orange enamel dots, Hey Boy paper, DIY Shop adhesive paper (lining inside and back of card), and Ellen’s Essentials White Linen cardstock.

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I love the distressed look of the green paper and all the textures involved from the woven linen of the stock and clothespin to the gloss of the arrow and dots.  And then there are the colors! The yellows, oranges, and grass green against the white just make me so happy to look at!  So fresh and so clean!

I sure hope Maria likes it and more importantly that she is feeling as springy as a new chick as she enters a new, fabulous decade!

If you haven’t checked out her work, it’s a must-see.  While you are hopping around, make sure to check out CAS-ual Fridays challenge, and the ever gorgeous offerings at Catered Crop.

Catered Crop

Here’s a little supplies list for you before I check out for the evening; click on any image!

Image of Of the Heart DiesLeaves Die Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello from Seattle!

Good afternoon, all! As promised I am back with my second post featuring the other cards I created based on our current challenge over at CASE Study.  If you haven’t dropped by CASE or read my post from yesterday, make sure to check them out, get inspired, and play along this week with us!

Thanks!

Before I get to my pictures and products, I want to send a warm hello and thanks to all my new followers here and through Pinterest!  I also want to thank Chupa of Random Acts of Creativity, and owner of CASE Study, for the  chance to join the fabulous team over at there this last month, alongside the incredibly talented Sarah Gough of Thinking Stamps!  I have had the opportunity to reach a greater audience and meet more talented creatives as a result!  I am excited about growing my network!  So the cards that follow are for you all!  Hello from Seattle!

Stamp Nation

Additionally, last week I joined Stamp Nation, run by the energetic and passionate Catherine Pooler!  After hearing about it from Maureen of MamaMo Stamps and Chupa, I just had to check it out.  I have experienced a wonderful welcoming over there and encourage you to explore all the community has to offer in the way of videos, discussion, and inspiration!

News from the Industry

Lastly, a bit of news I thought I would pass on!  I just read that Tasnim, a design team member at CASE Study, and the brains behind the stunningly clean and not-so-simple cards over at Cards & Bookmarks has started her own stamp company, Altenew, with Jen Rzasa of Our Change of Art!  So they will be bringing some awesome combined talent to what will be fresh, artful, modern designs!  See either site for the details! Congrats, ladies!

Jen Rzasa’s card from their new set of stamps!
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Tasnim’s Card featuring their new stamps!

Okay, now on with the show!

Here’s Joni’s inspiration card just to remind you!

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Since the card I featured this week at CASE was giving me such a hard time, I decided to try a few different options.  This one here I really like in its graphic CAS style.  I followed that center line that Joni established in her card with the positive and negative die cuts.  I used my turquoise vellum here as well.

I had really wanted to experiment with Ranger’s Crackle Accents as I had it in mind to create a rain-like appearance on my buildings, but I wanted more texture than what Glossy Accents could provide.

Here are some close-ups:

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I like how it turned out, but I was pretty controlled in my application on both cards.  So I think freeing myself up a bit, experimenting with more coverage, might make a better impact and more visual interest.

Here is the other card using the Crackle Accents, and this time a much softer, ethereal palate inspired by Joni’s pink vellum leaves.

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This time I created the front panel with Crate Paper’s DIY Shoppe water-color paper, and adhered it to Bazzill’s Robin’s Egg cardstock– this color is out of this world!!  I decided to use the silver vellum umbrella for a little shine and added clear sequins for some rain-droplet sparkle.

TECHNIQUE: STAMPING OFF

I love my Color Box Charcoal pigment ink, but decided to stamp off on a scrap then stamp onto the panel as it created this lovely soft grey that worked so well with the “watercolor” paper it almost looks like it is part of the background.  I didn’t have any grey in my collection close to this, so it was a perfect technique.

So stamp off to create a color you might want but not have in your collection– works well with your darker pigment inks!

TIP: HEAT SET YOUR INK!

And remember, heat set your pigment and oil-based inks, like Versafine.  If you don’t, smudge is bound to happen.  If you smudge the Versamark and catch it early enough, a good art eraser might be able to take up the still wet ink (I had success a couple times with small smudges).  But once it sets, that’s it.  So get that heat gun out and fired up!  It takes an extra minute, but it’s worth it!

SCRAP POSTCARD

Finally, I had a little scrap piece from some water-coloing and misting a few week’s ago.  I liked what was left over and when I stamped on it, I liked it even more.  So I made a postcard!  I used Lawn Fawn’s You’ve Got Mail.  Super simple.  I may put in a vellum envelope and send out, as it would look good behind vellum!

The scrap was adhered to 100# cardstock with Mod Podge, so it is stiff and durable.  All stamping was done with Versamark just in case I do send as a postcard, then the ink won’t run.

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And all four creations together!

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SOME PRODUCTS:

Memory Box Petite Umbrella (my favorite out there of umbrella dies!)

Seattle City Die

Hello From Seattle Stamp

Bazzill Paper Pack

 

CAWFEE TAWK

Well, since the theme is Seattle, I must share with you a fabulous coffeeshop that is relatively new to our area and following in the footsteps of some other great third wave coffeeshops that are here and taking hold in other major cities around the US.

Over the last few years, my partner and I often found ourselves bemoaning the lack of decent coffeeshops in the very city that is supposed to be known for coffee!  After our travels to Vancouver, BC, Chicago, New York (yes, even New York City (not typically known for quality coffee offerings), and even more incredibly our hometown of Rochester), Salt Lake, and of course the darling to our south, Portland, we just could not get over how far behind Seattle had fallen in the world of coffee.

Within the last two years, though, our Emerald city seems to be catching up, and the latest addition to the scene is Slate Roasters in Ballard.

We dropped by on Sunday for a flight of single origin coffees, all of which were delightful, and happily the service was equally so.  We geeked out on coffee talk about bouquet, flavor profiles, chemistry, complexity, and mouth feel with the baristas.  Yes, folks, just like with good wine and beer, the dimensions of coffee are incredibly complex and exciting, affected not only by varietal, processing, roasting, grind, and preparation, but by temperature, food, and the chemistry of your own mouth.  A world of wonder in that little cup of America’s favorite legal drug!

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My favorite of the three coffees we tried; layered, complex, juicy fruit upfront, wafer cookie and light chocolate at the end. Phenomenal!

So if you are in the Seattle area, I recommend a stop at Slate.  Be prepared to kick back and enjoy.  This ain’t no Starbucks!

Heading to Chicago, New York, LA, Salt Lake, Vancouver, BC, or Portland, OR?  Check out my other recommendations for coffee pleasure in my links on the right sidebar!

The latest issue of Imbibe will walk you through the libations of the Pacific Northwest and Seattle’s fall from and slow rise back to coffee greatness, including a feature on Slate Coffee Roasters!

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Want more recommendations for places to see in Seattle?  Check out my post here.

Thanks for stopping by today, and let me know if you’ve found any coffeeshops in your area or travels you would recommend!

May your cup be overflowing with creativity today!

 

Expectations and Aspirations

For the past month, I have been delving into Dickens’ Great Expectations with one of my students.  As a teacher and student of literature, I have read my share of ol’ Charles, but never this tome.  It would be easy to get lost here in the mists and marshes of my own ideas about the novel, but I will spare you all but one thought since I’ve got some cards waiting patiently in the wings!

As I prepared my lesson on aspects of irony in the novel (not the least of which being the title!), I got to thinking about the difference between expectation and aspiration.  Expectation connotes a sense of certainty, deservedness, and righteousness. It is a passive act; expecting is waiting, or literally a “looking out for” (“spectare,” from Latin, meaning to look). In the novel, the characters’ expectations and consequent attachments to particular beliefs lead them to not only make poor decisions, but also cause them deep unhappiness. The greater the expectation, the greater the devastation!  Poor Pip!

On the other hand, aspiration, which literally means to breathe in, carries with it a more positive, and active connotation.  The Latin root “spirare” (to breathe) is related to “spiritus” or spirit.  When one aspires, one strives or breathes toward a higher purpose.  The goal or desire will not simply be had just by waiting or thinking it will be so. There is work, life force, flow and action involved!

So how does this all relate to this week’s final CASE Study design?  I approached my card with an image in my mind and an expectation that it would manifest as perfectly as I’d perceived it. I had my own great expectations for this piece.

And as a result, I experienced a deeply unsatisfying and frustrating session when I attempted to make my vision a reality.  There was no breath, and no flow.  And then there was very little time to revise.

So there my card lay as I contemplated expectation and aspiration and hyperventilation, and prepared for my student’s lesson that afternoon.

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men…(Okay, okay get back on the shelf Steinbeck!)

It took until yesterday for me to be able to see the card with new eyes, rip it apart, start again, and then find something still missing after I had taken and edited all my photos for submission!  What a comedy of errors!  I was dreadfully afraid of how the image would represent over at CASE since I captured it at night under the garish glow of an overhead light!  Happily, it doesn’t look as horrible as I’d expected.  (There’s those darn expectations again!)

Joni’s Card

While I loved all of our muse Joni’s cards, this one particularly struck me in its ethereal beauty.  That breathy pink!  The layered vellum!  I remember seeing it on her site when she first posted it and I was immediately drawn to it.  Let’s take a look!

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And here is the final incarnation of my card!

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I knew I wanted to follow lines of Jodi’s card, and originally envisioned the city as the centering point, with vellum and cardstock umbrellas dancing beneath just as her leaves are doing below the sentiment on her card.

However, hard as I tried, those umbrellas just wouldn’t work.  They seemed to overpower or compete with the city.  There was just no flow!  I won’t even get into how I ruined the top of that nearly completed card by smudging black ink on it.  Then I cut it too short and it was really all over then baby blue.

TIP: Make sure to ALWAYS heat set your pigment and Versafine oil-based inks!! Even if you think they have dried after 30 minutes!!!!

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I recently purchased some PTI vellum cardstock and gorgeous turquoise and silver vellum at Impress Stamps. I wanted to capture the airy feel that the vellum conveys, and so in my final incarnation, I laid a panel of the turquoise down and tried a couple of my “cloud” scraps (left over from the Avery Elle Love Notes pockets I made last week, seen here).  That seemed to work.

But when I returned to my card and saw it in pictures, it just felt off.  I kept wanting a black and white stripe along the bottom of the city, but none of my washi looked right.

So it was, at long last (11pm to be exact), the addition of baker’s twine that tied it all together (pun intended!).

CASE Close Up

Another aspect of the card that was inspired by Joni’s is the subtle, airy sparkle of my stenciled raindrops (really they represent the tears I shed and the HELL-o this card gave me! 🙂 )

I used Kelly Purkey’s stencil, Heidi Swapp’s Color Shine in White., and some masking to achieve the background.

All papers are from Bazzill– that gorgeous texture of the grey, like stone, and the crosshatched orange–delightful!

The back and inside are finished off with some coordinating orange washi.

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So in the end, it wasn’t quite the card or the process I’d planned, but I am fairly happy with the result, and I hope I’ve done justice not only to Joni’s work, but to my post as the guest designer over at CASE Study this month.  It really has been wonderful working alongside and getting to know some of the very talented ladies on the design team.

I hope I have provided you with some inspiration along the way!  I encourage you to get your CASE on and play along with us!  Check out the design team’s individual websites while you are at it.

 

Chupa
Amy Wanford
Clare Buswell
Debby Hughes

Jeanne Jachna

Maureen Merritt

Silke Ledlow

Tasnim Ahmed

March Guest Designers: 

Sarah Gough

Here’s a sneak peak at all the cards I created based on Joni’s design.  I will be back tomorrow to talk process and products, and since it’s all about Seattle, I’ll also share some details on an awesome new coffeeshop we discovered this weekend!  And a lil’ something about Stamp Nation!

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May you aspire in your creative endeavors this and every week!

 

 

Every Dog Has His Day

Well, hello there partners!  It’s been a bit quiet around these here virtual parts.  The noise has all been happening my “real” world of work, personal, and exciting creative commitments the past 2 weeks, so the site has lain silent a bit longer than planned.  I wish it were still March 4th, so I could say, “Now it is time to March forth…”  and have the pun be relevant!  Pretty good, don’t you think?  I love a double entendre, and if you haven’t noticed, anything witty and wordsmithy!

So tomorrow I will be happy to reveal some thrilling news and corresponding work that I hope will be inspiring to you!

In the meantime, I will share some recent watercolor work that was prompted by play and, unfortunately, necessity.

This is heading over to Virginia’s new challenge, first up, watercolors!

watercoloring

Recently several clients have lost human and animal family members, so I have been working on some sympathy cards for them this week.  Completed is a card for a family who lost their beloved dog of 18 years last Saturday– 18 years!  While losing an animal companion is certainly different than losing a human one, it is nonetheless a traumatic event that significantly alters one’s life.  And anyone who has nurtured an animal from infancy, or a young age, to adulthood knows the incredible bond forged between two species that transcends verbal communication.  It is a relationship that teaches selflessness, incredible patience, and commitment if one really takes the time to listen and understand the ways of a creature, who in many aspects may not be entirely different from you.  I often feel like a little zoologist in my humble habitat as I observe daily the intricacies of my cats’ behaviors and moods, and their shifts and development over time.  For example, just as we grieve our humans and animals, our animals also grieve, and witnessing this in my cat, Atticus, was a complete paradigm shift for me as I watched his attitude and behavior drastically change upon the loss of his best friend, Claude.  It took about 8 months for us to have our Attie back to “normal”, though since Claude’s untimely death, Atticus has retained a level of clinginess we’d not experienced before.

So I find it appropriate to honor the life and passing of our animals just as we honor the life and passing of our fellow humans.  I hope my little card here does just that for it’s recipient.

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Watercolor has been taking the paper crafting world by storm; therefore, I decided to dabble a bit.  It seemed an appropriate choice for the content of the card.  I initially began playing with Distress inks and my Paper Smooches Paws for a Cause dog stamp (partial proceeds from this stamp set will go to Home for Good, so buy this set for you or the animal loving stamper in your life); then I moved on to the paws!  I have a series of these “dripping” paws which I will showcase later.

The watercoloring/stamping technique pulled me in so much once I started, I couldn’t stop!

Below is a series of my dogs that I created.  Click on any image to enlarge or watch a slideshow.

So the technique… I initially inked my craft mat with Distress in Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans, Crushed Sapphire, Peacock, and Tumbled Glass.  For some of the stampings, I directly inked the stamp, stamped on watercolor paper, and then stamped again with another color, adding water either to the stamp or to the paper with my brush.

For other applications, I added multiple ink colors to the stamp, sprayed with water, stamped, and then re-stamped partially with a particular blue or blues.  I then went in with my paintbrush and added color here and there to the image, moved color around, altered perspective in the dog’s head with the addition of color (in images some it looks like his head is turned, in others it looks like we are seeing the back of him).

Overall, I really just played around with the ink and water both on the stamp and on the paper, sometimes intentionally manipulating the color or flow, other times working more spontaneously.

I worked the same way with the paws, though in this card, the paws were just stamped once, the dripping was stamped once then manipulated with a brush.

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The dripping is from Fresh Squeezed Stamps’ set “On Trend.”  Sadly, if you didn’t already know, the paper crafting community is mourning the loss of that stamp company.  Their “On Trend” set is one of my favorites of all stamps from any company.  I will be sad to see them go.  They produced quality stamps that were quirky, fun and definitely on trend!  Right now they are offering 30% off all merchandise until March 31st, so check them out before they close for good.

And speaking of closing (but not for good!), I will bring this little entry to it’s end, as I need to prepare tomorrow’s post, and check out what some of my crafty friends have been up to!  I am feeling pretty out of the loops, so it’s time to do a few around the blogosphere, dropping some love and picking up some inspiration along the way.

And if you have the time, drop me a line!  It would be great to hear from you!

Like Bob Barker used to say at the end of the Price is Right, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered!” and, I will add, consider adoption first, as well donating to your local rescue group!  Every little bit helps a furry friend in need.

xo Kate, Atticus & Leo

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Make You Jump!

I am loving all the word inspiration that Cas-ology is throwing our way lately.  So much fun!  This week’s word was Jump.  So I hopped to it inspiration-wise, but after sketching and prepping my designs, the cards had to wait until today to be executed.

And of course, when it came down to it, they took me longer than planned, and found me dithering quite a bit–I am moderately happy, though, with this first cheeky card that resulted.

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I wanted very badly for Catman’s cape to look a bit more authentic with an insignia and more fluidity, but I was struggling with paper choices and getting it just right; none of my die letters or stamps looked right–but as I write this, I just realized I didn’t try my sparkly Thickers.  Hmmm….I will have to try that out and update if it’s a success.

Well, anyway, I finally settled on the stripe, which ended up altering the entire color scheme from a primary, bright palate to a muted one–hence, Catman’s Robin turned into a bluebird!

So, now he kind of looks like he’s wearing a cut-up pillow case or sheet.  And, who knows, since he’s Catman, maybe he is.  He’s the superhero of the house, keeping the kittens in line, listening to his wise bird friends outside.  You know, being a super-cat on the inside!

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So here is the cool thing about the cape, though.  I used the Curious Cat die from Memory Box to cut both my cat, his white paws/chest, and his cape.  Double-timing tools!   I fussy-cut the body into a flowing cape that would fit him perfectly.

Then, using PTI’s Stitching dies, I die cut the holes so they would be nice and neat and laced through the twine.

Now let’s talk about these kittens!!

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Could they be any cuter?  Memory Box again.  They are brand-new.  And so adorable.  The minute I saw them, I knew I HAD to have them.  I have tried to give them and Catman additional movement by lifting their heads and tails a bit.

Now, folks, there is one little snafu on this card.  Can you find it?  If not, good.  If so, well, concentrate on those darn kittens instead!!  I didn’t have time to execute the background a THIRD time.  At least nothing is misspelled.

There were quite a few supplies used to make this little scene.  I have already named a few.  The rest are as follows:  PTI’s Birthday Style Balloon die; Memory Box swirl stamp; Lawn Fawn Milo’s alphabet, and little bird from A Birdie Told Me set; papers from Basic Grey Persimmon pack, Bazzill & Neenah Solar White; Fruit Punch Stickles; Brilliance black ink.

Okay, one last look!

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Next UP!

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I played on my Thick and Thin card a bit for this one.  Mama Elephant provided the In-Line die letters.  I was very much trying to keep this CAS with pops of color.

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Do you remember the song by House of Pain?  1992?  My freshman year of college–and it was THE song playing at all the dance places and bars.  What a memory: backwards-cap wearing jocks jumping around like fools with plastic cups of beer in hand, sloshing (them and the beer) all around the dance floor.  Funny what the mind hangs onto, isn’t it?!  Now that I have dated myself, let’s turn to the inside of the card!

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And the back is finished off with some fun wide washi!

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And that’s all for me!  With a hop, skip and a jump, I am outta here!  A little something called work is calling on this dreary Seattle evening, and Monday morning already feels more blue than last week… I know it will be just as busy if not more.  But all work, and no play makes Jill a very dull girl, right?

Hope you had a great weekend and head over to CAS-ology to see what kind of leaping those lizards are up to!