Boomboxes and Badlands

This is my second post today: see the first here!

I am loving my new Deep Red Stamps!  I have been working on some sketches for these vintage images and am really excited to create with them.  I stumbled upon the company a few months back and my collection has been steadily growing.  I am featuring one of my two music themed cards here for the current CASology challenge!

First, though, I must share a picture of my very own boombox circa 1989…

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This is NOT how you should do your homework!

I {Heart} Drum & Bass

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In my early years of college and club days, I had danced to Moby’s debut hits “Next is the E” and “I Feel It”.  Then in 1999, after the release of his Play album, which will forever be associated with my trek cross-country on the Green Tortoise bus, I saw him live.  My friend, also a musician, went backstage to meet Moby, and subsequently presented me with this signed poster!

To this day, Play remains one of my favorite albums, and conjures welcome memories of rolling into the Badlands of South Dakota at sunrise as “Find My Baby” streamed through the bus.   Moby’s music is not categorized as drum and bass, but I liked the image as a background!

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Love my new set of valentine’s My Mind’s Eye washi!

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And how is this landscape for inspiring?  10 years after my initial visit, we stopped at the Badlands on another cross-country trek.  This awe-inspiring place should really be on everyone’s travel bucket list!

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A photo of me, that little orange speck, in the Badlands, SD, 2009. One of my favorite places on earth.

Ampersand Inspiration Night & Day

Happy Sunday, everyone!  We were caught in a winter wonderland last night–first snow of the season for urban Seattle.  It continued well into the evening and we woke to about 2 1/2 inches.  Already as I write this, though, the mounds atop evergreen bushes and the eucalyptus are liquefying and sliding away in long streaks.

Since it is rare to see snow here, I always have fun heading out and crunching around.  People must have been busy last night and early today, as there was a parade of snowmen large and small up and down the beach!  It was delightful to see. I caught this guy taking in the Puget Sound with wide arms just before my phone battery gave out.

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We continued on to a favorite coffeeshop that opened this summer on the beach, and it’s name is Ampersand!  They make a delicious assortment of baked goods, sandwiches, soups, and coffee, a special Hawaiian blend from Seven Roasters here in Seattle. Their egg, cheese, and bacon (or house-cured ham) on a homemade biscuit is one of the best breakfast sandwiches I’ve had anywhere.  They have those flakey, buttery biscuits down!  If you live in the Seattle area, or are visiting from afar, be sure to come down to the beach and check them out!

Well, speaking of checking things out, shall we move on to my latest creations inspired by the current challenge at CASology?

Associations!

I have been busy this week being inspired by the challenge!  My partner and I have had fun coming up with all kinds of “and” sayings and ideas for cards.

Here are few that made it into my sketch book with corresponding graphic ideas but didn’t make it into card form just yet!

The long and short of it…
Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress): accompanied by books on a shelf from this awesome set!

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or this set that I own:

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Time and again: accompanied by my Deep Red Stamps Roman clock face
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Over and Out: with a walkie talkie!
Sweet and Sour: perfect for Valentines with some gummy worms, or Sour Patch Kids!
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!
Sick and Tired
–with some get well stamps from Lawn Fawn or Paper Smooches sets
Reverse Confetti’s Set: Go Together

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And since it is Seattle, Cats & Dogs!

Ah, if there were only world enough AND time to make each one of these ideas manifest!

I guess you could say I have been thinking night and day on the subject!

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I have been working really hard to come up with very clean and simple designs.  So the challenge has been a good one for me to experiment with white space, negative space, bold colors, and graphic-forward designs.  I have found the Lawn Fawn Milo’s Alphabet and Mama Elephant alphabet dies to be perfect for the look I am intending.

Check out my following post for more music and arts inspired AND creations….

And now I will leave you with a lovely little accompaniment for Valentine’s Day, Cole Porter’s “Night and Day”…

Through Thick & Thin

Good afternoon, everyone!

Today, I am keeping the post as clean and simple as the card!

Enjoy!

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Materials: Mama Elephant alphabet dies; Papertrey Ink Grand Ampersand die (embossed) and stamp set; vellum; white cardstock; washi!

This is headed over to CASology’s current challenge:

How’s that for short and sweet?  Ahh, I think I have another idea for a card…

Happy Groundhog Day AND a Challenge

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No more winter! No more winter! “Give Me Five” by Miroslav Halama

The sight of the sun on February 2nd is a mixed blessing, according to Punxsutawney Phil and the tradition of Groundhog’s Day. This time of the year is associated with purification, fertility, and light, celebrated in ancient times by Greeks, Romans, and Celts, as well as Christians in later times, with large feasts honoring spirits, saints, and the Virgin Mary. The word February etymologically stems from Februa, meaning purification or expiatory rites.  It is of unknown origin, but perhaps stems from the Sabine, an ancient Italic people (Source).

In the second week of February, the ancient Romans held Lupercalia, a spring purification festival aimed at warding off evil spirits and preparing for spring. Imbolc, a Gaelic celebration, was held on February 1st, the midway point between winter solstice and the vernal equinox, heralding the onset of spring, and including divination of the weather to come. Candlemas on February 2nd, has a layered history and goes by a variety of names in the Christian church, but like the other festivals was a celebration of light (blessing of candles) and purification, specifically in honoring Jesus and Mary.

Additionally, for many cultures throughout history, the day is believed to be an indication of the weather and planting season to come.  The tradition was brought to America by Germans who initially looked to the hedgehog, and subsequently in America the groundhog, to foretell the weather.

For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until the May.
”  (Source)

So in honor of these ancient traditions, groundhogs everywhere, my birthday (!), and the CASology challenge “AND”, I decided to put together this little greeting:

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Darling, don’t you think?  I absolutely love this combination of stamps, of which the “groundhog,” logs, and swirl are wood-mounted rubber from Memory Box.  My groundhog is lightly shadowed with Copic E40, and the logs are colored with E13, E15, E19, and E47.

The sentiment’s font should look familiar to many, it being the popular Milo’s Alphabet from Lawn Fawn.  And what do you think of that amazing ampersand from the PTI set, Grand Ampersand?  Perfect little shadow, and complement to the font, isn’t it?

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Since this card was made for a client as a thanks for a birthday gift, the inside has a greeting of gratitude.  But other versions I am working on say “Wishing you a Happy Groundhog’s Day” inside.

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Here is an initial version of the card below:

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At this time of the year, I use Don Freeman’s fabulous book, Gregory’s Shadow with many of my early readers.  It is a delightful story filled with gorgeous illustrations.

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Interested in learning more about Groundhog’s Day?  You can check out these sites:

http://www.groundhog.org/

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/13/us/groundhog-day-fast-facts/index.html

AND last but not least, have you seen the classic, Groundhog Day, with Bill Murray?  Here’s a little clip, if you’ve not, or if it’s been awhile.

Although I love February 2nd, I certainly wouldn’t want to be doomed to repeat it over and over like Bill.  Once a year is quite enough for me, what with that whole getting older aspect… then again, if I were stuck in time, would it mean I wouldn’t age?  Hmmm…..

Here’s hoping your day is delightfully different from the last and that spring makes its way to you soon, if you are in a wintery clime!  My body is already registering the days of longer light, and 6 more weeks of winter or no, I will take all the sun I can get!

Head over to CASology to see what additional fun is happening there over and over and over again!

A Window to the World of Purple

In my last post, I briefly explored the restorative powers of scent.  This week, the ladies over at CAS-ology have prompted me to think about the significance of color, in particular, purple.  It is the theme of their current challenge, and a color that doesn’t seem to be a terribly popular choice among card makers, based on some reactions I have read.  I, myself, own very little in the way of purple clothing or accessories, and up to this point only considered it once in my card making when I was creating an assortment of gumdrops (which can be seen here).  I needed to use a Crayola marker as I hadn’t thought to invest in Copics of purple shades!

Initially, I dismissed the challenge.  What could I say or would I want to say through purple?  Despite it being the color of my birth gem, amethyst, and birth flower, violet, I’ve never been drawn to or inspired by it, regardless of shade.  But over the last few days, my thoughts kept turning toward this regal hue.

Having just replayed seasons one and two and three of Downton Abbey while I was ill, images of ethereal lilac and lavender dresses flowed through my mind.  Unbeknownst to me before the series, Victorian and Edwardian ladies turned to soft purples for half-mourning clothes.  Purple was also one of the main colors employed by the Suffragettes in the Women’s Social and Political Union in England, standing for dignity; white and green were also featured in their flags, banners and other materials, symbolizing purity and hope, respectively.

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Note the “Votes for Women” sash and pins in purple, green and white. Sybil is also wearing some purple.
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Welcoming the unsavory Duke to Downton; ladies are in transitional lavender mourning clothes for family lost on Titanic.
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Again the lavender dresses are noted as ladies are in half-mourning for Sybil.
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Lady Mary emerged from her black period, and mood, to a lighter purple, and more personable, one.

All of that reminded me of the annual Lilac Festival held in my hometown of Rochester, NY where more than 1,200 bushes of 500 varieties have bloomed and drawn visitors from all over since 1908.  I was prompted to pull out my WPlus9 Fresh Cut Florals set and start stamping lilacs for a card that is still in the works!

A 1910 photograph from The Stone Collection of the Rochester Museum & Science Center shows Highland Park, site of the annual Lilac Festival.

Maybe I was too quick to cast aside the color of 2014!

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So what came of all this contemplating?  Well, add a little bit of Make-it-Monday inspiration from Melissa Phillips, a dash of CASE Study # 176 and some Edwardian elegance and you get the following!

First up, Lavender Lovely.

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Melissa Phillips’s window card had me really inspired; I created a few versions, some which are still works in progress, but will be featured soon.  CASE Study’s muse, Donna Mikasa, had me reaching for my Hero Arts Fancy floral lace die and re-visioning my approach to the window card.  The two challenges combined with purple for a match made in heaven!

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I was pretty faithful to Melissa’s tutorial, using tone-on-tone stamping with the Ruby Reprise stamps from PTI on my second layer.  However, I wanted my card to be much more clean and layered, so I did not add stamping or much embellishment on the top layer.  I really love how the cream base and top layer play against the lavender, lilac and purple hues.

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I popped my window out, but wish I’d had thicker foam squares, or more of them (I ran out of the large squares which are better for doubling up), to pop it out a bit more, as the die will cast a wonderful shadow against the background the further it sits off the paper.

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Next Up, Easter Wishes

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Purple is long associated with spirituality and piety, and one thing I love about this die is that it looks like a stained glass window in a church.  So playing off my original card, I inverted the colors, and simplified the card even more.  The sentiment is from PTI’s Mega Mixed Messages, which I stamped in lavender Color Box ink and heat embossed.

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The card base is from a paper assortment my mom sent me, which I wondered if I would ever use!  Seems like it found just the right fit at last!

I would love to hear what you think about purple, Downton, or my cards!  Drop me line if you have the time.

And be sure to head over to CAS-ology, CASE Study and Make-it-Monday for colors and designs certain to please any palate!

Warning

Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.