Holiday Thank You

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Hey everyone!  It’s my first post of 2017 over at the Heart Desires Blog, and I am featuring a combo of lovely products available in the store.  You know you need some holiday thank yous!  Stop on by for some inspiration!  See you there!

 

Putting on the Glitz

Well, happy new year and happy February everyone!  I hope the first month of 2016 has been inspired and fulfilling so far!  For me, it has been a merry-go-round of catch up after a demanding December.  I had planned to use my holiday break from teaching to finish some home-related projects and creative pursuits, but ended up derailed.  The last few weeks, though, I have enjoyed a burst of creative energy, using my spare moments to put together copious thank you’s, birthday cards, a gift set, and some holiday cards for next Christmas!

A few of those cards were inspired by Fusion’s 2nd anniversary photo and sketch, but I missed the deadline! Boo!  Those will be featured soon in my portfolio pages.  So today I have a few cards developed for the current Fusion theme and inspired by a selection of digital papers from The Lilypad.

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My first card used the sketch and neutrals, emphasizing the black and white in the wreath, and adding some glitzy crimson, that is definitely not neutral!

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The black and white papers are from The Lilypad’s new collection, “Cheeky,” by Valerie Wibbens.  I cannot get enough of the brushstroke paper which has been layered beneath Jen Hadfield’s gold bark cardstock.  Oh my gosh, this paper!  I love all the papers she puts out– her gold cardstocks are the best!  This paper just took my breath away.  I cut the piece from Lawn Fawn’s journaling card and then used the My Favorite Things circle die to cut out the side.

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I love texture, and the pictured wreath is quite textured, so I worked in some PTI embossed paper for the banner die, swiss dot paper for the Savvy Stamps  woodland branch, and cherry veneer paper for the Savvy Stamps pinecone.  The “thanks” sentiment is from the popular PTI wet paint series cut from Jen Hadfield’s texturized gold paper, which is somewhat noticeable in the photo.  Penny black provides the poinsettia die.

You can get a sense of the sparkle in the gold bark paper in the photo above.  It is so lovely.

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The inside is finished off with some kraft and gold striped washi.  I plan to write out a greeting in gold pen.

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Lots of woodgrain to play off the background in the inspiration photo.  Again, the grey wood paper is from The Lilypad collection.  I have also used Essentials by Ellen 110# woodgrain paper for the base.

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All dies are from Savvy Stamps: DIY Wreath, Woodland Branch and Pinecone.  The sentiment is from The Ton stamps.

Keeping with the theme, I created some other glitzy, rich, holiday thank you cards, and a valentine, all of which I will post separately in my portfolio!  But here are some images.

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Head to my portfolio pages, link found in the menu or on the home page, to see the rest of the collection.  You can also see additional photos and new work on my Instagram and Flickr accounts, linked at the bottom of this page.

On my way out, I want to dedicate these cards to all the awesome crafters who participated in Taheerah’s Advent Calendar hop.  The turn out was phenomenal, and so many amazing people, many of whom are new to me, stopped by this site, left lovely comments, and even decided to follow.  I appreciate everyone and wish I could have contacted each of you personally– the response was truly overwhelming!  So thank you!

Drop by the Fusion page to follow the inspiration. It’s one of my favorite challenges out there!

And tune into to see if the groundhog sees his shadow… will there be 6 more weeks of winter?  I love sharing my birthday with the furry critter, and either way, I’m harboring a sense of spring inside.  Stop by again soon for some cards that reflect the coming season!

XO

Color Pop!

Because I’m Happy!

Anyone catch the Grammy’s last night?  I haven’t watched the show since the 90’s and am not convinced of its relevancy anymore. From a quick online review of the evening, it seems to have been fraught some odd antics and questionable costumes; anything to get the media machine moving, I suppose.  At any rate, Pharrell received an award well-deserved for his song Happy and tonight I’ve got a trio of happy cards for you!

They found their inspiration in a few different places, including this premature spring-like weather.  The hot-pink Camellia flowers are popping from their dark green leaves; crocuses sprouted in January; and despite the pineapple express bringing a week of rain to the PNW, it’s been balmy and mostly sunny these last three weeks.  I’ve spotted numerous newly-built nests high in the leafless trees, the cats are acting a bit more frenzied, and crowds have been flocking to the beach, so it’s safe to say Seattle is experiencing some spring fever.  I’m more than ready!   I spent most of the weekend tearing the house apart, cleaning, organizing and recycling.  Clearing physical space does wonders for the clarity of one’s mental space; I’m already feeling more motivated and productive!

The other inspiration for my cards came from Taheerah’s challenge photo from a few week’s ago.  I couldn’t find the time to complete them and play along, but here is the inspiration image.

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Lastly, my card ideas had me thinking about the 1960’s fashion designer, Mary Quant. My parents traveled to London in 1988 and brought back some Mary Quant make-up–a fluorescent pink and white eyeshadow duo, cotton-candy lipstick, and matching nail polish, all packaged in the signature black and white containers, as well as her book Color by Quant.  The Top Dog Dies flowers reminded me of her logo and the enamel flowered jewelry of the 60’s.

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So my brain, teeming with all this bold color and black and white, came up with these!

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I should mention that the card in the foreground was inspired by the sketch over at Fusion— a pretty literal interpretation!  I wanted to use my new My Favorite Things circle die cut; with the Top Dog Dies flowers and the PTI Happy banner, it was a perfect match!  Talk about a fusion of ideas in this trio!

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I love all the texture from the different papers to the stitching and floral details.  It certainly is a happy card!

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Next up is the other birthday card, with a patterned paper inside a la Kelly at Notable Nest!

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Again, I am featuring the MFT stitched circle dies as the focal point.  Check out the Pebbles enamel dots! They are huge and delicious!

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Finally, the card features a sentiment from PTI and an Avery Elle rectangle die.

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Last up, the loudest card of them all!

There are quite a few flower dies on the market, but I really adore these Pretty Petals.  They had been on my wish list for awhile.  I love the dimension you can achieve with their layering.

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I had so much fun cutting out the 6 different sizes from various shades of cardstock and just playing around with layering.  You may be seeing quite a few of these flowers in upcoming cards!

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The PTI Wet Paint sentiment was cut from white foam for some dimension and texture.

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As part of this gift set (all three cards are going to  one family, along with the little gift bag), I die cut Lawn Fawn’s goodie bag while crafting with my friends last weekend.  I think I really may need to get this die.  It is a perfect size, and I love the detailing.

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Well, that’s it for me this evening.  I hope I brightened up your day, or night!  Head over to Fusion and Cure for the Monday Blues, two of my favorite places for inspiration!

Have a colorful week!

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!

Boho Bright

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze….
 
 
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”
 

 


As I sat down to write this post, the Wordsworth poem above floated through my mind.  I suppose it might be because Pinned & Penned has been a bit lonely this past month, and I have felt too much the sting that solitary work can bring, or it may be the subject of today’s post, which is a bit of brightness, like a crowd of daffodils, in the midst of a darkening season.

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In any case, the poem seems to fit with the whimsy of Curtain Call’s current challenge (notice the daffodils in the painting?).  The previous week found me wanting so badly to play with the color inspiration–I absolutely love the combination, particularly that yellow.  I’d just received some Lemonlush papers from Studio Calico which were a perfect match.  So I set about to pull something together–a very simple piece that I finally completed today.
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Super simple.  I let the paper really do the work for me.  The PTI Happy die is inlaid, that gorgeous deep blue playing off the turquoise below and surrounding purple.
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I cut a flag and stamped the sentiment in Island Fresh Ink.  Cut a few scraps from the Lemonlush papers adhered and stitched.  All was assembled upon a spring green Bazzill base.
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I love the watercolor and mottled effect of the front and underlying panels.
The inside is finished with some navy washi to echo that on the front.
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This may be the most simple card I’ve constructed in awhile.  I should note I was also inspired a bit by a CAS(E) this Sketch design, but missed the deadline.
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Aside from today, the weather has been unseasonably summery this fall in the PNW.  We’ve had a few blustery intimations of winter, but it may be the warmest and sunniest autumn I can recall.  I will leave you with a photo of last night’s sunset.  It was far more fuchsia than the photo represents, and the water was downright pink, but it’s pretty spectacular nonetheless. It echoes the card, too– though it is far more magnificent.
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I am heading into another extremely busy work-week, and if the past few weeks have been any indication who knows what surprises await.  That being said, it may remain a bit quiet here over the next few days.  If you follow me at all on Facebook, you may recall I promised a particular post a few week’s back.  It’s in queue along with some autumnal delights from the Persimmon collection I’ve been hinting at.  So I hope you will stop back soon.

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On my way out, I want to thank all the new followers and visitors to my site and Facebook page!  I appreciate your interest in my work
It’s likely too late for you to play along at Curtain Call, but head over and check out some of the gorgeous creations, especially Shirley Bee’s funky card– I just love her background!
May your week be as delightful as a crowd of daffodils and just as bright.

A Crafty Day and A Clipboard Card

And another weekend draws to a close!  Did you find yourself inspired and productive?  I know I did– and now, not only do I have a product pile-up, but I also have a post pile-up!

But before I get to my card and muses, I must share a bit about my crafty Saturday gathering!  I am not only lucky to live in one of the most gorgeous places in the United States, the Pacific Northwest, but also lucky to live in proximity to some of the nicest and most talented card artists out there, all of whom are likely household names to many of you! One of the most wonderful aspects of this creative journey beyond the act of creating is the people I have met online across states and continents through challenges and blogs.  Being able to meet some of these online friends in person makes it even more wonderful.

So yesterday I had the pleasure of laughing, eating and creating with Katie Brooks of KB Stamps, the Kimberly Wiener of Wienerhoneymooners, Amy Tsuruta of Tsuruta Designs, and Amy’s friend, Laurel.  I didn’t get much card making accomplished, but had a great time sharing supplies and ideas, while accomplishing a lot of die cutting (what else is new lately?!) for a mini album!

Amy was a wonderful hostess, and I wanted to show my thanks not only for opening her home to us, but also for being so supportive in her commenting over the past months since I have become more active in the community.  It is amazing how she makes the time to visit so many blogs and comment on people’s work (in addition to creating, being on numerous design teams, raising kids and working!)  Since Amy loves coffee, I knew I had to bring her a little hostess gift of beans, and of course a coffee-themed card!

I have been working on what I will call “clipboard cards” from recycled cardboard and corrugate.  I am really excited about these! There are so many possibilities for different occasions and aesthetic approaches with these cards.  I plan to complete a tutorial for you once I have some others finished.

Additionally, I’ve been experimenting with different card-making styles to challenge myself, but the one I keep gravitating to is the shabby chic/vintage collage style with a modern and/or mixed media twist as seen in the work of Magda Luczak of Mama Judo, Stephanie Schutze of Scrapmanufaktur, Frau Muller, and the older work of Scrapperia, whose recent work is more modern, on-trend, freestyle collage.

These works in particular influenced my thinking, since I have been thinking about these a lot!

Stephanie Schutze, Scrapmanufaktur
Stephanie Schutze, Scrapmanufaktur
Frau Muller
Frau Muller
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Mama Judo

 

I actually had set out to CASE Magda’s tag card, but went in a completely different direction after playing around with my elements. She has another fabulous tag card over at her blog which I am thinking of CASE-ing.  Her work is just magnificent!

So here is my card!

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THE PROCESS:

I measured and cut my clipboard back out of recycled cardboard; I use a lot of legal pads in teaching, and always have the cardboard left over after the pad is used.  Great crafting supply!  I did the same with the corrugated paper, rounded the edges of each, and then Mod Podged them together.

I then distressed my top panel and stamped my coffeestains in Versafine Onyx Black, using stamping off to get variations in hues.

I distressed some scrap paper, and then die cut my little coffee mugs.  I strung them along the hemp twine and finally was able to put my Tiny Attacher to use!  Love those little staples!!

I knew immediately that I had to use Kelly Purkey’s stamp from the I Like You set– which I thought was cute in reference to a cup of coffee!  I stamped that in Memento’s Rich Cocoa onto my tag cut from Avery Elle’s Tag set.  I did not attach the tag to the twine as I wanted it to slip out so the message on the back could be read.  I also like the coffee cups sliding freely along the twine.

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I set out to layer a bit with various papers and the burlap, distressing my 7 Gypsies Conservatory paper with the Tonic Distressing tool.

I die cut the tab from My Creative Time’s Stitched File Tab, and specifically chose a section of the washi to tear and affix to the it.

Then I clipped it all together with the tiny binder clip.

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But wait, there’s a surprise inside!!

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Some fun confetti mugs and Paper Smooches “Thanks” die cut from various papers and wood veneer.  It’s not a confetti pack without some trendy sequins!  Love those Studio Calico woodgrain ones!  I snuck the vellum envelope between the layers.  You can see it peeking out in photos above.

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The bottom initially looked a little bare one assembled, so I die cut some branches from the Penny Black Nature’s Song die.  I wrote out a message on the back of the tag and then wrapped it all up with some rough twine!

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After our fabulous day together, I headed to Snoqualmie Falls, not far from Amy’s for a nature walk.  Here are some of my pictures!  I so love our PNW forests with the knobby tree-covered trees and mossed branches bending and hanging and breathing life into the forest!

And the neon azaleas are popping out all over now making my eyes pop right out of their sockets.  I could look at them in their varying hues of fuschia, red, and pink for hours!

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Well, in three minutes, the weekend will be officially over, and it is way past my bedtime.  Instead of popping out, my eyes are about to roll back into their sleepy sockets.  So I won’t be leaving a fancy linked up supplies list this time, but I have listed what went into the card.

This is headed over to CASE Study for the design team call.  There will be a new guest designer as well as a new Muse this coming week! Check it out!

And now it’s lights out for me!

xo

SUPPLIES:

Kelly Purkey “I Like You” Stamps
Prima Paper: Sunrise/Sunset
Crate Paper DIY Shop
7 Gypsies Conservatory Paper
DCWV Burlap Paper
DCWV Woven Paper
Recycled Cardboard
Corrugated Paper
Hemp Twine
Memory Box Mini Cups
Penny Black Nature Song Die
My Creative Time Stitched Tab Die
Avery Elle Tag Die
Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher
Tim Holtz small binder clip
Tonic Paper Distresser
Distress Inks: Walnut Stain, Antique Paper, Tattered Rose, Tea Stain
Versafine Onyx Black ink
Coffeestain Stamp is from Inkadinkado (I think!)
Studio Calico Woodgrain Sequins

Prêt-à-Porter

Bonjour mes amis!  I am back with another card for the Fusion challenge.  This one gave me occasion to bring out my little PTI dress form and some fashionable ladies from the awesome British stamp company Crafty Individuals! 

I received a dress form for Christmas, and she has been more of a model than a hard-working girl as I’ve not put together a dress since 2010, the one in the photo below, actually!

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Back of Brown Dress

I started photographing my pieces awhile back to catalogue them, and hope to get some better shots up in the Sewing Gallery soon.  I’ve a dress in the wings that needs to be done by May (yikes!) so both of these ladies will be in working fashion and whirring along with the song of my sewing machine soon!

Now, here is Fusion’s inspiration and my take:

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There are some hidden details in this card, which I love!  I used the Ranger ATC folder for the background piece; after distressing it, I decided to file some goodies inside!  That’s a folder’s purpose after all!  I liked the idea of a lady clipping sewing ideas from magazines and storing them in this folder for her reference.  The tab is stamped with partial sentiment from PTI’s Button Boutique.

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I cut some of the images from Prima Marketing fashion paper set and vintage lined paper; then die cut a spiral paper edge with Paper Smooches Borders die.  The Button card is from an American Crafts chipboard set.  And what about that hanger from Ranger???  Irresistible et incroyable, non?

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Here is a close-up where you can see the embossed French script on the bodice.  I stamped with clear Versamark and heat embossed for some glossy sheen.  I stamped my ladies with Memento Cocoa and I love how they fit perfectly in the patterned panel, which is cut from a 12 x 12 sheet of Crate Paper’s DIY Shop.

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The bottom panel is also from DIY Shop; love that it featured April on the ruler!  I covered it with Simon Says Stamp’s Mod window cut from birch wood veneer paper, also from SSS.

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The inside and back are finished off with some fabric tape. The sentiment is from PTI’s Stitched with Love.

I love the hexagon patterned paper peeking over the edge.  I picked up some great new 12 x 12 papers a Impress a few week’s back.  Now I am wishing I bought two of each!  This particular double-sided paper is Cosmo Cricket “Sweet Disposition.”

Making this card was so much fun and definitely put me in a sweet disposition!

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The clock is ticking down on this challenge, so I better link up!  Head over to Fusion to see what others have fashioned!

Have a stylish day!!

 

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!

In a Word: Create & Give More Thanks!

I hope you were able to check out my other most recent posts here and here and here, as the cards featured in this post came out of a marathon of inspiration over the last few days!  I was working thematically and really enjoying the process!  Now to get these filled out and in the mail!

First up is the card that is connected to the one featured in my last post.  I am going to submit it to CAS-ual Fridays for their current challenge–

Though it is a bit hard to see, and not necessarily the focal point, I purposely chose the wonderful Graphic 45 button because it says “Create,” which is a goal of mine in 2014 and something I plan to do every day of this year.

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As you can see, similar design  to my last card, but definitely more clean and simple.  I had been dying to use the Tim Holtz brick embossing folder and it seemed the perfect background for this version.  Here the wreath was cut from woodgrain paper and then dyed with the Distress Inks.  The button die cut is from Papertrey Ink and also dyed.

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Here you can see more of the wreath’s colors.

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And for the inside of the card:

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Next up, a more wintery wreath with some of my clustering.

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I mixed a little bit of mica with white Flower Soft for the bird’s nest.  My mom sent me the K & Company woody snowflake stickers, which were a perfect addition for the cluster.  The metallic stars were cut from POW glitter paper with Lawn Fawn star dies.  The sentiment should look familiar– Paper Smooches– it never gets old!

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I realize I did not take a photo of the inside of the card!  The scalloped edge is a Martha Stewart punch, and I punched the green paper overlay the same way and adhered to the inside of the card, so it is the same as the outside of the card!  Papers are a combination of Amuse Studio, Ellen Hudson, Gina K, and Bazzill.

And one more!

Last up for this post, a card I made specifically for a student who gave me a really cool mug that looks like lined paper, since I am a writer and his writing teacher! You can click on it to link to a local store here in Seattle!

I love it!  So here is his thank you:

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I absolutely love how this turned out!  I was able to use my brand new Memory Box Tiny Mug dies, which I had hoped to use for a Seattle Christmas tree, but that idea didn’t come to fruition just yet!

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The logs were stamped in cocoa ink and embossed; I have once again mixed Melissa Frances mica flakes and some Flower Soft.  The background is embossed with Tim Holtz’s woodgrain folder.  Paper Smooches features prominently for the outside and inside sentiments– but there’s a twist!

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The original stamp says “from the bottom of my heart”, but I just inked part of the stamp and die cut a mug from notebook paper cardstock (how awesome!!) and voila!  Looks almost like the mug I received!

That’s it for me today!  I have to get down to business and prep for teaching.

Thanks is also a watch-word for 2014, as I am so thankful to be able to work for myself with wonderful kids and families, have a partner who supports my creative pursuits, and have viewers and fellow creators like you out there with whom I can share my work!

Keep creating & keep in touch!  Head over to CAS-ual Fridays for some great words & work to get you thinking about your mantra for 2014!