Happy Birthday Amy!!

PNW friends are hopping once again, this time for Amy Tsuruta!

Lovely Laura Norris is our hostess and I’m the last stop, but you can check below for the hop order!

Our challenge was to create a card with green, Seattle, or coffee.

I chose green as my focus, and because I was traveling and had three blog posts to write during that time, I brought my cards along, and for Amy I did the photoshoot in a San Francisco coffeeshop!

Last year I took her to NYC as a virtual trip; well this year, Amy, here are some coffeeshops I recommend along with your so-not San Francisco card (could any California city be less tropical??!!)

Amy likes pineapples so I created a very clean card with the Pink Paislee pinapple embossing folder and Kaisercraft pineapple die cut from green and gold Bazill paper.

Pineapples are sweet and so is Amy! Hoping she has an amazing day filled with friends, family, some crafting and of couse, coffee!

Equator on Market in SF is a great choice for healthy eats and their single origins, as well as some great art.

Just down the street you’ll find Mazarine who features Ritual coffee and Linea roasters. Love their decor and single origin options.

We also visited Ritual in the Haight, a super modern, friendly and delicious choice!

But I saved the best for last: Sightglass in SOMA. Amy you’ll love the affagato bar! 

Single origin Colombia espresso over Salt & Straw vanilla ice cream! 

Want to know where these are located and 20 more must-visit coffee shops in SF? See this Eater article! Happy travels, happy drinking, and….

Happiest birthday, Amy!

Amy—Birthday Girl

Laura

Kimberly

Toni

Tonya

Kate—— You’re here!


Coffee and Birthdays…

What can be better?

Both are crazy awesome (as long as you aren’t counting cups or candles), and even better when shared with others.

Today is Tonya’s birthday, and she’ll be celebrating with the rest of our crafty crew. Not sure if candles will be involved, but coffee most certainly will, and a whole lot of laughs.  Sadly, Katie and I will be celebrating from afar, but nonetheless wishing we were there to ring in what I hope will be another successful, creative year for Tonya! 

2015 saw the launch of her boutique-style craft store, The Heart Desires, which is bringing in new product daily, some of which I am featuring today on Tonya’s birthday card.

So nearly every item on this card can be found in The Heart Desires shop–and probably my favorite addition to my supplies is the Richard Garay sweater embossing folder. His product is new to me–that is what is great about the style of Tonya’s store, she features items I haven’t come across before, or that may not be the most promoted brand (though you can find those too, like Concord &9th’s newest releases and Neat and Tangled that work so well together).

The coffee cup has been stamped 3x and heat embossed from Neat and Tangled’s Perfect Blend set, then fussy cut and adhered to the base to create the lid and wrap.  The lid was covered with Versamark clear embossing ink and clear embossing powder to give a glossy plastic appearance to the lid.

I love Concord and 9th’s large stamps, like this one from the Crazy Awesome set, stamped on vellum and heat embossed, but with a few rearrangements, the dried embossing chipped off in a few places!  I used WOW orange embossing powder, and think the lines may have been too thin, or the pigment ink I used didn’t adhere to the vellum well thus causing the embossed sections to chip off.  It *was* perfect!!  Grrr…Anyone ever have this issue? I never have… Delicata gold heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine gold powder was used for sentiment.

Maggie Holmes Bloom paper has been added with twine to the edge for interest; I have also featured Concord and 9th’s new leaf die cut from gold foam.  Sentiment is from Perfect Blend set as well and stamped with Hero Arts Unicorn White. Some fun lemon-cream and gold dot washi finishes the inside.

Not only is it Tonya’s special day, but also the first couple days of our Fall Coffee Lovers Hop! Can’t believe I made it to both parties on time!!  It’s back to school for me, and I went from 0 to 60 first thing Monday morning– so every day has been a 9-9 (or later) work day!  Coffee, anyone?

And with that, I am heading to bed, or I will be one bleary-eyed teacher in the too-soon morning!

Hop along with us won’t you? And make sure to send some birthday wishes Tonya’s way, and maybe some orders!!

Happy birthday friend– coffee on me, soon!

Hop Participants:

Toni

Lenae

Katie

Lisa

Kimberly

Laura 

Amy

Introducing The Heart Desires Store & Design Team!

Hello everyone!  It is spring and there is so much to celebrate!

Welcome to a doubly special event!

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Today we celebrate not only the Spring Coffee Lovers Hop, but also the opening of my friend Tonya’s store, The Heart Desires and our design team reveal!

I am so excited for Tonya as she embarks on this journey and I hope you will share in the excitement as well by hopping along with the design team and then hopping over to her store to find some sweet products for your planners and paper-crafting!  Tonya will be curating high-quality products that she recommends in a boutique-style shop.  For our hop, we are featuring some of her current products and/or Hero Arts company products.

For all you coffee lovers, she has some fabulous finds for your next coffee inspired project–stamps, stencils, inks, and great embellishments!  Here are few of my favorites.  Click any image My links aren’t working, so click here to be taken to Tonya’s shop to purchase:

Coffee Ring Stencil
One of my favorite stencils in my collection! The Crafters Workshop

 

Dress It Up Embellishments Button Fun Coffee Talk
These are new to me and I love them!  A good coffee embellishment can be hard to find!

 

Ombre Soft Brown to Cup O' Joe
Cup O’Joe Brown Ombre? Yes, please!!

 

 

Carpe Diem Word Label Stickers
I love Simple Stories for my scrapbooking; their word/phrase stickers are seriously the best, and you get so many for the price!

 

Coffee & Donuts
Can’t go wrong with Kelly Purkey for on-trend and witty fun supplies.
Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Cardstock
This is my favorite watercolor and layering paper.  The texture and bright white are just perfect.  I have featured it below in my second card.

 

 

 

Ombre Neon Red to Purple
Hero Arts Neon Inks are my favorite for delightful, rich, retro neon.  A child of the 80’s, how could I not love them?

Today, I am featuring couple cards to celebrate Tonya’s store opening and the Spring Coffee Lovers Hop!

First up, my tropical twist on the coffee plant!

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So here is a lovely picture of a coffee plant. In my modern twist, neon colors and bold black take center stage.  The flower and berry stem is from Julie Ebersole’s Wild Garden set.

The leafy stem has been cut from one of the most beautiful coffee bags I have ever seen (the coffee was pretty fine, too!).  I love single origin coffees and exploring small roasters.  We are pretty lucky here in the PNW to have some amazing roasters–Heart, Coava, Courier, Case Study, Seattle Coffee Works, Elm Roasters, and Slate to name a few.  In Seattle, we are also finally catching up with other progressive cities and our coffee shops are offering some wonderful roasters from all over the US.  Here is a photo of the actual bag: img_20160222_085111.jpg

Isn’t that lovely?  I have cut out the entire bag and have a few other up-cycled projects in the works!

 

 

 

 

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TECHNIQUE:
For the flower, I embossed a Hero Arts background stamp onto cardstock with clear Versafine embossing ink and covered it with clear embossing powder.

Then I sponged Hero Arts Neon pink ink over the embossing.  You can see some of the sheen of the clear embossing on top of the flower.

20160321_130731The sentiment is from an older Kelly Purkey collection.  She has partnered with Hero Arts and has some fantastic product for planners, scrapbooking, and card making which Tonya is featuring in her store.  Below are a few of the featured Hero Arts products (the whimsical leaf is actually from Penny Black, but I’ve had it so long, I thought it was a Hero Arts die!  Hence, its appearance alongside the other products!)

You can view more of my coffee-inspired projects here!


Next Up: Terrarium Love

Hero Arts offers up the best of the papercrafting trends like succulents and pineapples as of late!  My next card features HA succulent garden stamps, their terrarium die cut from Jen Hadfield gold paper and birch wood paper, Distress Ink watercoloring on Ranger watercolor paper, Studio Calico sentiment, and all digital papers from The Lilypad and The Digital Press.

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The inside washi is from Stampin’ Up, which Tonya also sells! I love the play of coral against the blues and ripe green.

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Okay, now it’s time for you to hop along to the rest of the design team’s pages for some more inspiration!

THE HEART DESIRES Design Team

Amy Tsuruta 

Kathryn Lorenzini  (You are here!)

Katie Brooks

Kimberly Wiener

Lenae Daly

Toni M Maddox

Tonya Jastad  Owner

GIVEAWAY!

the heart desires

But before you go, don’t forget to leave a comment because we will be randomly selecting a winner of a $10 gift certificate to The Heart Desires store.

The giveaway will run through Sunday night, 3/27, 11:59 pm pacific time for anyone who comments on this blog post. Winners will be announced on Monday night by 7pm Pacific time!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Winter Coffee Lovers Hop

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Oh Christmas bean, oh Christmas bean, how green you are before roasting; Oh Christmas bean, oh Christmas bean, once brewed, you are worth toasting!

Hey, everyone, welcome to the….

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It’s that time again to pay homage to the liquid gold that fuels us all year through, and especially at this time of the year!

Each hop more and more coffee loving papercrafters come aboard, and it’s always so much fun to meet new participants, and reunite with others at this quarterly event.  This time around there are 49 sponsors and prizes to be won!  Those super commenters have their work cut out for them, as there are already over 500 entries and two days left!  Amy and Chaitali have created a tsunami of an event, and the number of coffee stamps, dies, and embellishments that have followed in their wake is staggering!

I have required copious cups of coffee this past month, not because it is the holiday season, but because we are raising a new kitten and dealing with everything that goes along with that (kitten-proofing the house, dealing with “Utinni oops” on linens, poopy paws and runny noses, vet visits, cleaning, cleaning, laudromat, cleaning, repeat and repeat and repeat, and managing existing cat dynamics).  Luckily, I teach out of my home studio, so disasters have been apprehended early, and I can easily monitor events.  She is starting to jump higher and higher, and scaled my shower curtain just tonight…the fun is only beginning!  Here’s our little dirty snowball with icicle eyes– a perfect Christmas kitten–Utinni!

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But really, I am as sweet as an angel!

 

leo utinni
Leo is such a good big brother!  He has defied my expectations!

If you are wondering about her name, she is named for a word in the language of the Jawas in Star Wars (anyone heading to theaters tomorrow or this weekend?) but it is merely a coincidence that the movie is coming out just after her adoption.  We actually named her last spring on a trip to Portland before we even knew her.  Full name is Utinni Alberta Noi (the last two being favorite places in PDX) and it’s just so fun to say!

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I love Courier Coffee in Portland!

 

So back on track (kittens have a tendency to derail you every waking moment), and on with my card, that could also function as a tag!

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I have left it open to be either adhered to a card base or just clipped onto some gifted beans.

And talking about beans!!  I Distress-inked some watercolor paper with Pine Needle ink (love that color!!) and set out to cut many, many beans from the Impression Obsession coffee set.  These dies have made an appearance in a variety of my prior coffee hop entries, which you can see here.  If you didn’t know already, coffee beans are actually green before roasting!

I adhered beans to a base, fussy cut, and then used some icicle Stickles to add sparkle, and finally adorned the tree with Memory Box’s Festive Lights die.

 

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Using my favorite embossing plate from PTI, I added texture to the background card cut from a Lawn Fawn notecard die.

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I instantly fell in love with Basic Grey’s Juniper Berry line this year, rivaled only by Pinkfresh’s holiday papers, so Juniper Berry will be featured in many of my holiday cards.  Here I have used the geometric woodgrain and the hot-pink design.

chsb3

To add to the scrappy aesthetic, I rummaged around for some fun embellishments such as this acetate Maggie Holmes leaf, Freckled Fawn metal wreath, and sentiment, created with my new, awesome, Stampin’ Up Rotary stamp– the largest rotary stamp ever.  You can order one here from my girl Tonya!!  And check out her beautiful cards while you are at her site!!

whitebean

I clipped everything to a woodgrain paper base from Ellen Hutson, added a strip of silver/teal washi, and placed a star on the highest bough!

This is also headed over to Virginia’s FINAL challenge–All About Glitter.  Virginia’s View challenges have garnered as much interest from our crafting community as the coffee hops.  Her challenge is one of the best and her own cards are amazing and always inspiring!  We will miss your challenges, but keep following your creative acts!

V_ V_ Challenge _21 Logo

I wish I had my tag completed in time for our crafty gathering and gift exchange.  The talented and lovely Katie Brooks took home my gift below!

THE OUTSIDE:

packaging

THE INSIDE:

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THE GIFTS!  So lucky to have a great group of sweet, talented crafters to hang with regularly!
beautiful gifts

What’s on your wish list this holiday?  Any crafting must-haves?  I saw Santa ordering a MISTI for me!   Leave me a comment on your way out and let me know about your Christmas wish, your favorite coffee, or a crazy cat story!  There may be some swag if you do so!

Enjoy the hop and have a very merry____________________ and a happy new year!

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S.

And this happened while writing this post:

mrhueys

 

I heard some noise in my studio upstairs, and then movement on the stairs, followed by a thump and a meow.  Atticus brings me the most interesting gifts–I think the messages here are “Pay attention to me, not that stupid kitten” and “You should be crafting”!

Oh Atticus!

attie!!

Fancy Coffee & Happy Birthday

This is a doubly special post as it serves as a celebration of both the Fall Coffee Lovers Bloghop and Lenae’s birthday!  Lenae, if you don’t know her already through her website, Sugar Gem Crafts, is one of the fabulous PNW crafters with whom I gather on a semi-regular basis.  I was finally able to meet her last Saturday in person when we had a large gathering at Amy’s which was full of laughter and great conversation.  I hope to get to know Lenae more, and you should as well by visiting her blog, and wishing her a happy birthday while you are at it!  I am wishing her a birthday as colorful as this card and as sweet as…. a pumpkin spice latte?! (I threw that in there for all you lovers of everything pumpkin, especially lattes!)

Happy Birthday Lenae!  We PNW crafters are having a birthday hop, so make sure to check out the rest of the creations over at Amy, Katie, Kimberly, Tonya, Vicki, Toni and Lisa‘s websites!

unnamedAnd speaking of lattes, pumpkin or not, it’s also time for another Coffee Lovers Bloghop!  I really like participating in these hops as it is fun to look back at where I was creatively a year ago, but more importantly to look forward at all the new creations, participants, and products that have flooded the papercrafting market as a result of this coffee movement!  It’s really quite amazing the traction and influence this Coffee Lovers Bloghop has had on the industry.

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There are 42 super sponsors offering give-aways for lucky participants!  We’ll see how lucky I am as far as that goes.  I am never a big winner when it comes to contests, but having the opportunity to create and participate is really all that matters to me.  I have enough materials to last me a lifetime!

ALERT!!  Blog Candy Ahead:

And speaking of materials, if you leave me a comment, I, too, will offer up some blog candy for a few randomly chosen commenters.

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I absolutely love this paper from Shimelle; appropriately enough, it is called “Latte” and is part of the True Stories collection.  This particular two-sided paper has journaling cards on one side and that wonderful floral on the other. I layered them on some Tim Holtz watercolor paper.

IMG_20151001_134823

I was struggling to find a stamp or die cut that would work with the “fancy” sentiment and font, until mostly by accident I looked at one of the other journaling cards and realized the “happy” would make a perfect complement.  And I LOVE how the red angle on the flag works with the angle of the cup!

I cut two flags from different dies, and folded the yellow one over the side, giving some nice dimension and grounding for the other flag.

Is that ampersand brad fabulous or what?  It is adhered to a metal embellishment from Basic Grey’s Market Spice line.

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Lovely layers and textures!

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I will leave you with a few of my favorite coffee images captured during our recent trips; vacations always include discovering new coffee and roasters, or revisiting old favorites.  Hover over any image to learn more about the location and coffee!

Want to see more of my coffee cards from hops past?  Check out my portfolio page here.

Thanks for stopping by and happy hopping!!

Silver Beans: Coffee Lovers Holiday Blog Hop!

Silver beans, silver beans,
It’s Christmastime in Seattle…

Hear the beans grind,
See the brew drip,
This is Coffee’s big scene
And alongside this bustle you’ll see…

Coffee lovers, paper crafters,
it’s a holiday hop in the blogosphere,
Cut and paste, stamp and post,
Now sit back with your cup and savor!

Well, hello there coffee loving paper crafters!

I found very little time to craft in November, and with the renovation of my website, I had even less time to post anything new! So I am excited to be joining the festivities for the Coffee Lovers Holiday Blog Hop! If you missed the previous one back in September, you can check out my post here and the link to Chaitali’s blog!

Amy of Tsuruta Designs has taken the reins on this one and I am sure the participation will be just as outstanding.  I started this post last night, and from the looks of Amy’s site now, there are already over 150 participants so far!

Back in September, I received the new Prima Coffee Break papers, stamps and ephemera.  I was able to put some of the collection to use for World Card Making Day in this post.  Since then, I have received even more goodies that have been sitting pretty in their packages.  It was high time to tear into them and get to work on a holiday-inspired card for the coffee lover!

And here it is!

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It was a pretty simple construction; I really only labored over the additions of my silver beans and wax twine.

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The card features a 4.25 x 5.75 panel of the Prima paper, stamped with a holiday greeting from Tim Holtz’s Handwritten Holidays set  in Unicorn White.  The wooden coffee pot is also from the Prima collection.

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I just love my Impression Obsession coffee beans and mug!  The mug was given some dimension with a layer cut from foam.

I was worried the beans might be a visual distraction from the paper’s design and flow of the other elements, but I couldn’t resist.

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I cut the outer and inner snowy mounds from some thick glitter cardstock with Paper Smooches border dies and Stitches die.

Kelly Purkey provides the inside sentiment on my Peppermint candy stripe paper!  All has been adhered to Ellen Hutson’s divine Linen 110# Cardstock.

The hop is full of great sponsors with many generous stocking stuffers to be won!  You have until Friday, 12/12, to participate.

Details from Amy’s site:

  • Linky to remain open until Friday, December 12th @ 11:55 pm pacific.  Blog Hop participants (those that link up with a newly created holiday/winter coffee/other favorite holiday hot beverage project) are eligible for Sponsored prizes.
  • Hop ends on Sunday, December 14th @ 11:59 pm pacific.  Comments made before the end of the hop are eligible for the individual blog sponsored prizes.

I’m not planning to be a ghost of Christmas past as I’ve two other posts queued up for this week, so please stop by again soon!

May you feast your eyes on many a wondrous creation and may all your mugs be full this holiday season!

 

World Card Making Day

I am feeling a bit dispirited to say the least as I begin this post, anew.  After hours of writing, uploading, copying and pasting, and linking, I lost my nearly ready-to-publish draft.  I had decided to use the “improved posting experience” via WordPress and I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say the layout of the new page, and lack of automatic saving do not make it an improved experience whatsoever.  I feel like the bottom of my stomach just dropped out of me!

I sure hope you had a better end to your celebration of World Card Making Day!

So let’s try this again…

I had hoped to make some coffee cards with the Prima Coffee Break collection for the Coffee Lovers Blog Hop last week, but with our trip to the Olympic Peninsula, I didn’t have the time.  So after a busy return to work, I was excited to finally dig into the collection, use some new dies, and work out a few ideas this weekend.  I am happy to say I completed at least one card for WCMD, along with photographs and editing.  As I write this, I am trying to forget that I also would have had a post completed before the day was done… curses, WordPress, curses!

Anyway, here’s my foxy little number.

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After looking through the ephemera pack, I will definitely be purchasing a few more as it is loaded with some really good pieces.  Sometimes I wish you could tailor the bits that come in the packs, or buy them in bulk.  Like the stack of mint books or Scrabble pieces featured on my card!  The Scrabble pieces also included an “x” so that you could spell ‘relax’; however, I had other wily ideas!

Prima - Coffee Break Collection - Ephemera Pack

Is anyone else frustrated when you purchase an ephemera pack and there’s a bit included that you want 20 more of?

Prima - Coffee Break Collection - Wood Icons in a Box

I created the “foxy” sentiment on my computer, hand-cut, and distressed with Antique Linen and Walnut Stain, then adhered to the book’s spine.  The glasses were turned over so they created more of a contrast; they are a rich walnut color on the other side.

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The mug is cut from Heidi Swapp Sugar Chic paper using that fabulous Impression Obsession Coffee Set I featured in my Coffee Lovers Blog Hop post.  The “coffee” inside the mug was cut from paper distressed with Walnut Stain ink which makes such a rich coffee color.

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And what about that fox?  I saw him a few weeks ago and knew I had to add him to my repertoire.   I love the design of his tail.  For this card, I cut him from Chickaniddy Goldie Lox foil (or “Goldie fox” in my case!) and created a shadow layer with some black-brown textured paper from Bazzill.

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My patterned papers, including Teresa Collins Tinsel and Company stars, have been adhered to Ellen Hutson heavy-weight wood-grain and finished off with some signature washi on the back, echoing the greens on the front and inside the card.

And speaking of the inside:

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I layered some of the Heidi Swapp paper as a base, and embellished the edge with a cardstock sticker that was a freebie from Emma’s Paperie.  I love shopping with them because they always send you some additional materials, and once I received a little card making pack complete with an envelope!  Love supporting them!

The mint green dotted paper has been repurposed from the packaging of the 3-D stickers in the Coffee Break collection.  I cut to my desired size, die cut the stitching and notebook edge with Paper Smooches Stitched and Borders 2 dies.  Both of these are dies I reach for over and over.  The little notecard is from the ephemera pack and has been adhered with a tiny Tim Holtz paper clip.

Unity Stamps has this great Stamp of the Week and I want to use the sentiment for the inside!  I just joined their stamp of the week subscription as I love their offerings and cheeky sentiments.  In order to purchase the old stamps in their collection, you have to be a current subscriber.

WIB-651-WELL-CHECK-YOU-OUT

Do you ever repurpose packaging into your cards or paper art?  You can see another repurposed piece here.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am not so good with space or time.  Unless I am creating a stamped piece, I rarely know how big a card is going to be before I start making it; rather, I begin with my concept and focal point, and then however big the card needs to be, it is!  In this case, my card turned out to be 4 3/4 x 6 1/4.  I was trying to work my embellishments within the flow of the stars, so I found I needed a wider space.  Didn’t exactly follow the plan step of my 3 P’s on this one!

TIP:  I spent a lot of time moving the pieces around– but with the use of my favorite 3M Restickable squares, I can easily reposition pieces multiple times without tearing the paper.  This adhesive is really indispensable if you are doing a lot of layering.

Since I didn’t know the finished size of my card until I was, well, nearly finished, it came as a delightful surprise when I pulled out a Whisker Graphics gold striped bag and the card fit perfectly inside!  So I decided to embellish the outside of the bag a bit.

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The sentiment is a deconstructed 3-D sticker from the Coffee Break collection; I really like how you can stretch these stickers.  They can all be taken apart and used as single-layer pieces.  The flower is also from Prima.

Prima - Coffee Break Collection - 3 Dimensional Stickers

I think this little package would be the perfect gift along with a bookstore gift certificate and coffee card for any coffee-drinking book lover, don’t you?  Maybe your favorite foxy librarian?

I have been wanting to participate in the Cutting Edge Challenge for a few months now, so I am going to submit this to their current challenge.  The design team is fabulous and the current inspiration piece is great!

Speaking of foxy librarians, check out this tune by My Morning Jacket.  It’s a perfect accompaniment for my card, and an absolutely gorgeous song with compelling lyrics.

“Walk across the courtyard,
Towards the library.
I can hear the insects buzz on the leaves, ‘neath my feet.

Ramble up the stairwell,
To the hall of books.
Since we got the interweb these hardly get used.

Duck into the men’s room,
Combing through my hair.
When God gave us mirrors he had no idea.

Looking for a lesson
In the periodicals,
There I spy you listening to the AM radio.

Karen of the Carpenters,
Singing in the rain.
Another lovely victim of the mirror’s evil way.

It’s not like you’re not trying,
With a pencil in your hair,
To defy the beauty the good Lord put in there

Simple little bookworm,
Buried underneath
Is the sexiest librarian.
Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me.”

May you find yourself today with a song in your heart, a book in your hand, and a cup of coffee to warm your soul!  Thanks for stopping by!

 

Coffee Lovers Blog Hop!

When I started this post, I was saying hello from the historic Lake Quinault Lodge on the shores of Lake Quinault nestled in the rainforested Olympic Peninsula where we were wrapping up our trip to the National Park and the coast, sitting in the great room of the lodge and waiting out the rain, warming ourselves with fire and coffee.  Now hours later, we are on a ferry headed back to Seattle–it’s been a fabulous weekend, and a long trip back.  This girl could use some coffee to power through the rest of this post!  You may need some too!

And speaking of coffee, that’s what this highly anticipated post is all about!  For the last few weeks many of us in the online paper crafting world have been talking coffee and using it as inspiration for creations that will be showcased today over on Chaitali’s website Cuts, Crops and Creativity.

CoffeeLoversBloghopBadge

A quick gander over to the post puts participants at 170 already (as of 12pm PST!).  While I won’t have much time today to travel around to everyone’s sites, as we will be hiking and then en route to Seattle, I look forward to doing so throughout the week!

So what did I come up with for this event?  Sit back with some coffee and get ready for a photo-heavy  post!

First Up: A frightening prospect!

Ever have a morning when you head into the kitchen, blurry eyed and fumbling for the beans, only to find that none are left?  Luckily we have a pretty decent coffeeshop right down the beach from our house; however, I really enjoy grinding a single origin coffee from Seattle Coffee Works, Slate or many of the fabulous small roasters, and brewing in my French press first thing in the morning.  So when our canister is empty, the morning gets off to a scary start indeed.

With that in mind, and a glance over at one of my favorite stamps earlier last week, I was inspired to come up with this hybrid card/tag:

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I’ve used Distress Inks for all my stamping and edge distressing, except the skeleton, who was stamped in Versafine Black.  The clock is from Deep Red Stamps.  I made my own Dymo labels with a font on my computer, printed out, cut and distressed it.

My cards and tags feature quite a few dies: PTI Spiral notebook page die, MFT large banners, Impression Obsession coffeebeans, and Memory Box mini mugs.

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A terrifying thought, right?  But a pretty cool card!  I am really happy with how this little number turned out.

I initially came up with the phrase and knew I wanted to use my Victorine Originals Skeleton; however, the rest of the card evolved slowly, with the pull-down banner as an ah-ha moment!

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If you happened to see my coffee-inspired clipboard card that I made back in April, you will note some similarities in the design of the two cards.  For all of my pieces here, I am featuring mostly the Prima Sunrise Sunset papers.

The Guatemala coffee sticker was repurposed from a bag of beans by the roaster Bows and Arrows out of Victoria, BC.  We toyed with the idea of taking the Black Ball ferry over there for the day this weekend since we were right across the water in Port Angeles, but there’s just never enough time for everything.  A day spent strolling around Victoria is always a lovely idea though!  Check out Bows and Arrows in person if you happen to venture there or online!

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Since the second half of the sentiment would not fit on the front of the card, I needed to figure out where to place it. After some playing around, my PTI Movers and Shakers die came to mind and I came up with sliding sentiment banner!

For the back, I die cut the ‘to’ and ‘from’ with Mama Elephant dies, and stamped the paper with some coffee rings from an Inkadinkadoo set.

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You can see here the detail of the paper layer inside the clipboard.

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Love those beans from Impression Obsession–they really were the reason why I had to buy that set at the very last moment before I made my cards!

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Next Up: Getting through the day

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For this card, many of the same themes continue.  I actually started with the sentiment from Kelly Purkey’s set “I Like You” and built the card around it.  I distressed some of the Prima paper and used a Tim Holtz burlap stencil for the background.  Precious Remembrance provided the chevron stamp.

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The Memory Box mini mug makes another appearance, along with some hemp twine.  The inside is layered with some more Prima paper and the back finished with washi.

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Finally, for the love of beans and the coffee lover herself, a small gift tag!

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Again, I got a little cheeky with the sentiment!  The stamped sentiment is also from Precious Remembrance.  The hand-crank coffee grinder is from the Impression Obsession set, cut on woven paper from DCDW (I strategically cut along the top of the paper where there exists a little dotted cutting line).  I layered the crank of the grinder and then created a shadow with an additional layer of black.

Can you even stand those beans??  I cut many of them from paper I distressed with Walnut Stain, and layered with Gina K Cocoa cardstock and some patterned paper, also featured on the tag.

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And here’s the trio in all their glory!

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Well, this ferry is almost ready to dock (literally and figuratively!), and I need to link this up over at Chaitali’s site.  I sure hope you will hop around and see what other coffee inspired cards have been created by so many talented paper artists!

I also hope you will stop back here tomorrow, as I will be participating in another blog hop– this time the Creative Bloghop: Getting to Know Me.  You will learn more about my creative process and meet some fine paper artists whom I adore.  I had planned on posting that today as well, but honestly, no amount of coffee could keep me composed or composing at this point!  So I will see you after a goodnight’s sleep and a full mug in the morning!

Cheers!

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!