Inspiring Sketches: Updated Photos and Design Tips!

I am sure you’ve come across sketches that have you looking at your papers and stamps in myriad ways, sketches that stretch your imagination and keep you coming back for more.

The current composition over at CAS(E) this Sketch has proved to be that way for me.  I am only too sad I stumbled across it so late in the challenge as I didn’t have the time to play with my stamping ideas. And I’ve only just realized that the challenge will close at 6AM PST, not 6PM!

Here’s Gayatri’s sketch:

The aim was to create a card that includes tags or make a tag itself based on the sketch.

I had a few more literal interpretations of the sketch on the drawing board, but for the tag I did finish, I manipulated the design a bit, tipping the sentiment on it’s side and emphasized prominent circular patterns rather than stripes, although I have worked those into the top of the tag.

Here’s what I came up with:

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I wanted a crisp, modern feel in terms of color and pattern similar to what I created on my recent Love Nest card. My tag features Kraft, Amuse Studio Wasabi for “Congrats” and Habanero for the hearts.  I just cannot get enough of this color combo!

I have also used Bazzill Swiss dot, and PTI Vellum, as well as Studio Calico patterned papers on the front, and Maggie Holmes heart paper on the back.

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TIP: When using the MFT wine tag die and layer papers, cut the top piece away from the bottom for easier folding.  As you can see here, I used the whole panel when adhering to the base, and the paper puckered a bit.  I have made a ton of these tags before, so I should have known better!  Consequences of hurrying!

I also decided I wanted to tuck my wreath in-between the layers, but decided that after I had already adhered to the back!  Lesson learned for next time!


So I toyed with the idea of putting three hearts on the label, instead of the two.  I was trying to work with design principles of odd numbers and triangular design.  I think, however, that the two hearts work better… what are your thoughts?  Too cluttered?  Want more of the white space?  Or does it add movement, draw eye?

TIP: have used the ever helpful Scotch Restickable mini tabs— they are so great for playing around with placement of embellishments.  They don’t tear paper and really work for long term mounting as well!

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Dies used include PTI Wreath, Mama Elephant Dainty Bow, MFT tag and wine glasses “Let’s Toast” dies (no longer available from MFT), and Paper Smooches “Congrats.”


If eyes aren’t too full yet, below are some other sketch-inspired cards completed last weekend, so please read on!

Another sketch I found myself coming back to was Chupa’s Sketchbook Saturday design.  I missed the deadline, but came up with some cards featuring Basic Grey’s Grand Bazaar papers and embellishments, along with a host of other manufacturer’s goodies.

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thanks bazaar

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I’ve not stamped the inside of the other card below, so it may end up being a birthday or anniversary card.


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Be sure to head over to CAS(E) for over 100 inspiring interpretations of the sketch!

Thanks for viewing!



Lucky & Charmed

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I don’t know about you, but I ate a lot of Lucky Charms cereal as a kid.  Never a big fan of milk, I typically preferred dry cereal and have consumed my fair share as breakfast or snack through the years. Favorites were always Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Pebbles (the only one I truly loved with milk, since it was chocolate by the end of the bowl!).  I particularly loved those little single serving boxes you could by in an 8-pack.

As for the Leprechaun variety, I loved to eat those sugary little oat and marshmallow charms one by one out of the bowl or box.  Now, my teeth hurt even thinking about it.  But those cereals of the 80’s sure were fun.

So, as I was thinking about St. Patrick’s Day (which for me is one of those holidays that just slides by, barely registering in my peripheral vision), and what an unlucky day it turned out to be (maybe I should have worn green and thought better of ol’ St. Pat), I figured focusing on something positive and creative might turn the woeful Monday it was around!

And thus, I came up with this delicious little love note!

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In the version above, I adhered a grommet to the (3-leaf!) clover and slipped it onto the baker’s twine.

In another version, I attached the clover to the front of the pocket, as in pictures below.

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So how did it all come together?

Well, I’ve had the Avery Elle Love Notes Die set for months now, just sitting there lonely as a cloud, so it was time to put that to use.  The Penny Black sentiment from Kind Words was not only obviously ideal for St. Pat’s Day, but it fit perfectly within the width and length of the pocket/tag.  LUCKY indeed.

I purchased the Lifestyle Crafts St. Patrick’s Day die (2009) ages ago on clearance at Impress.  I loved the horseshoe and clovers large and small, of course, but the set also has a beer glass and little foam topper die, which are ideal for making my beer-related cards and tags.  So despite my lack of interest in the holiday, the die set was a must-have!

Since I was lucky a few months back and won a $25 gift certificate to PTI, I finally put that to use, and among other treasures, just received their glorious vellum cardstock and that adorable Framed Out Heart die.

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Now I did a little research into the Lucky Charms, as I wanted my charms to be as authentic and colorful as possible!  So a little history: Lucky Charms debuted in 1963, and Lucky the Leprechaun was born in 1964 (Happy 50th birthday cavity-causer!!!). Initially, the cereal only included green clovers, pink hearts, orange stars, and yellow moons (totally trippy!); in 1975, they added the blue diamonds, and in 1983 purple horseshoes.  As with anything, the cereal has seen a lot of changes over the last 30 years.  Many of the original charms have been gone through phases of combining, replacement, and reinstating.  The pink hearts are the only charm to have endured.  How sweet.

vintage lucky charms box

Want to learn more?  Click the picture above for a magical ride to General Mills!

How did I get my little moons, and heart, and diamonds, and stars??

Well, the diamonds are a pretty awesome discovery.  See this amazing Simon Says Stamp Mod-Window Die?

*Simon Says Stamp MOD WINDOW Craft DIE s212

Well, those little shapes are just perfect for many uses, like my blue diamonds!

The moon is cut from an ANCIENT punch that just about broke my hand; I have had that punch and all my celestial-themed stamps since the early 90’s when I loved everything sun and moon.

The little hearts and stars are die cut from Lawn Fawn’s die set “A Birdie Told Me” and Stitched Journaling Card.

*Lawn Fawn A BIRDIE TOLD ME Lawn Cuts Dies Lawn Cuts Dies, Stitched Journaling Card

The paper colors and textures are just good enough to eat, right?  Bazzill!  I can’t get enough of that green.  Since I was using Vellum for the front of my pocket, I decided to finish the edges with washi, as gluing with vellum is tricky, and the vellum is thick, so I wanted to make sure my pocket stayed together!!

There it is!  Let’s have one more look, just for luck!  Ahh, the sweet pink heart remains!

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Well, this little love note made it into the hands of my love and he was charmed indeed.
I hope you found some love and luck this St. Patty’s Day!  Make sure to stop by here tomorrow, Thursday, for the new CASE Study reveal!  Week 3 is going to be magically delicious!

Autumn Wreath

Autumnal Greetings


This little lunchbox note die from Papertrey Ink has so many possibilities!  The current incarnation was my entry for the Make-It Monday challenge, but I missed the deadline!  Boo!

Happy to share these anyway!  I love my leaf dies from Impression Obsession; they are a great size with wonderful detail.  You can see my previous sketch with them here.

I also used the Paper Trey Ink die “Boutique Borders” and coordinating “Thinking of You” stamp set for sentiment and embellishment.


The patterned paper is from a great little set of DIY Shop Crate Paper.  Cocoa paper is heavy weight from Gina K.


The sentiment here is from Paper Smootches.


This is another option for the card, an invitation!  Sentiment is from Paper Smootches.


I also envisioned this as a thank you for a hostess, attached to a gift or bottle of wine.  The sentiment is from My Favorite Things.


Finally, for the last option, I attached a little tag from Avery Elle and stamped it with a sentiment from Waltzingmouse “Halloween Party” set!


It is a gorgeous sunny day here in Seattle, but those leaves are whipping around and sadly are moving past their peak!
Time perhaps to kick around in some crispy, fragrant sidewalk swirls, or gather a handful for a real wreath?

Happy crafting and crunching!

Bewitching Brew Tags

Something Spooky is Brewing!

My partner is a beer brewer, cider slinger & soon to be cicerone at a local bottle shop and bar here in Seattle.  So I have quite a few beer & wine inspired ideas that are a-brewing and spilling over in my mind!  Now I just need to hop to it and execute them all!
Here are the first in what will be a series!


It’s tag mania here at Pinned & Penned!  These actually have been completed for a couple months now, but I am just getting around to photographing and uploading.  They were pretty labor intensive to make, as they are multiple layers, with a mid-layer of corrugated paper to make them nice and durable!  But I love how they turned out with a combination of fun paper layering, framing, stamping and embellishing!

The wine bottle die is from My Favorite Things and our little snake oil man here is popping out of a Lifestyle Crafts cauldron die.  Don’t you just love both?

All papers are from last year’s October Afternoon release.
My sayings were composed using a variety of fonts and printed on cardstock.






For this tag, I initially used my Crafter’s Workshop birch tree stencil with Distress ink.  Then I stamped one of my favorite skeleton images (from Victorine Originals).
Poor guy!  He’s been holding on, empty-handed, so long for just a drop of liquid hops!



These are smaller versions that can accompany a six-pack!  He is still thirsty, yet that glass is so close!





Thanks for viewing!  I would love to hear your feedback and connect with you!

Happy drinking, tricking, treating and haunting!

P.S. Let me know if you would like any advice on pairing beer with your seasonal dishes!

Papertrey Ink Tag Challenge: Updated Photos!

Papertrey Ink Holiday Tags


In just under the wire, after a week of feeling under the weather, instead of merry & bright, here are some tags that just aren’t quite representing as in real life; I typically photograph in natural light, which helps, but it’s late & dark now on this autumn night.  My Christmas wish?  A digital camera that will render my work better than this phone!

At any rate, I attempted to rise to the occasion, making 5 tags in just a couple of hours to try out my new shipment of Papertrey Products!  Since I live in Seattle, I used my Seattle city skyline die for the background in each.  All stamping is from Papertrey Ink sets, as are the framed tags.  The wine/beer bottle tag is from My Favorite Things.  I will be back to revise this entry for photo quality and details, but for now, I must link this up before the clock ticks down!  Thanks for viewing!

Click on any image for larger viewing!  Despite new images that were taken with better lighting and higher resolution than initial uploads, they still aren’t representing as well.










You can check out my current Papertrey Ink creations here, as well!