Guest Designer: Ellen Hutson March Pinsights Challenge!

Hello friends and welcome to the March Pinsights Challenge hosted by Ellen Hutson over at The Classroom!

So excited to be one of the featured designers for the always inspiring challenge, particularly this month!  Are you feeling lucky?  Perhaps, the inspiration graphic will help!

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All things green and gilded!  The images and hues are just so lovely, there must be a pot of gold awaiting somewhere, right?  Only if you play along!

The Details:

You could be the lucky winner of a $50 gift certificate from Ellen Hutson! A random challenge participant will chosen to receive her pot of gold. But to be eligible, you MUST use Essentials by Ellen products and the photo badge as inspiration. You can find the Inlinkz in the challenge post over at The Classroom!

Need more coaxing?

Here’s my take on the challenge!

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If you follow my work on Instagram, you may know about my love affair with this diagonal window die!  I had no idea prior to ordering it how much fun it would be.  For my card, I have united quite a few stamp sets and products to create a unique focal point on the front of the diagonal window.

First off, the clovers– they were created from hearts in the Love You So set, stems from Altenew’s Striped Florals set, dots from Bokeh Dots set, and a little gilded spray from Concord and 9th’s Brushed Blossoms set!

The leaves/stem were stamped in Ranger Pigment Black Tie ink, heat embossed with Ranger Superfine clear powder, and then stamped over with the bokeh dots in Hero Arts Green Hills dye ink.  They were embellished with some gold Ranger Stickles.

Below you can see the sheen of the embossed stems/leaves, and the gilded leaves and spray.

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The 100# Linen Cardstock from Ellen is probably my favorite paper to use as a card base, and it is lovely as a textured stamping surface.  It’s heft creates a substantial and luxe card.

Using a variety of sequins from Pretty Pink Posh and Ellen Hutson and black wax twine, I created my signature sequin strands.  I love that the gold leaf was included in the PPP Woodlands mix— a complete coincidence that it matched the stems’ leaves perfectly!

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I find that the window die works better with some metal grommets if you want the recipient to be able to open and close it repeatedly.  I adhered these and cut the diagnoals open after stamping and embossing the images;

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Inside, I created a shaker card using an acetate window, more sequins, and some gold glass glitter!

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Shake it away to reveal the message, a sentiment from Up the Happy that underwent some stamp surgery to fit my purpose!

It was stamped on the folded card base in Ranger Black Tie Pigment Ink; I added the sequin/glitter mix, and then adhered the acetate.  Finally, I adhered the diagonal window layer!

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Once the outside was complete, I ran a strip of the new Little B Paper Tape in Jade along the bottom edge of the inner card!  It is the perfect green!

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You have until March 28th to play along!

Here’s hoping the luck of the Irish will rub off on you this week!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day and happy creating!

Other Items Used Available at Ellen Hutson:
Essentials by Ellen Sequins, Iridescent Dill
Pretty Pink Posh Sequins, 4mm cupped, Iridescent Peacock Feathers
Pretty Pink Posh Sequins, 6 mm Flat Mix, Woodlands
Ranger Stickles Gold
Ranger Pigment Black Tie Ink
Ranger Clear Embossing powder
Delicata Gold Pigment Ink
Hero Arts Dye Ink Green Hills 

 

 

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!

Happy Accidents

I was just rereading a post from last year because it was recently viewed by a visitor, and in it I discussed the creative process, taking chances (or not!) with art, and happy accidents.  While I cringed a bit at the card featured in the post, I enjoyed reconnecting with my ideas and considering where I am almost one year later.  And it was a timely read since I will be sharing with you today two cards that were happy accidents!

Happy Accident #1

In the midst of making Christmas cards I had negatives of die cuts and scraps of paper gathered about, and in one of my clean sweeps, I collected some of my specialty papers–gold foil and gilded vellums– and just filed them in a plastic sleeve.  I wasn’t paying attention at the time, but about a week later I happened to glance over at the plastic sleeve and noticed the negative die cut of my deer head in the gold foil sitting behind a gold star vellum.  I don’t waste a bit of my gold foil cardstock, so I had just kept what remained for smaller die cuts without even thinking about using the negative!  It was a happy surprise indeed, and this is the card that manifested!

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As you can see in the photo below, the die leaves a squared outline when it cuts into thick paper, which does not make for a great negative, unless you were to frame around the deer head and hide the outline.  In this case, the cover of vellum did just the trick.  I love the shadow of his head beneath the stars!

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One of my favorite and most used dies of the season was my “Sparkle and Shine” set from WPlus9.  I love the font and the size.  I cut it from mint Paper Source CS and used a bit of ice Stickles to embellish.

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And here is the inside where I changed it up a bit from the front, featuring a gold sentiment and mint & gold washi.

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UPDATE: ENVELOPES!

I almost forgot that this little card has a matching envelope I made with my Martha Stewart Scoreboard!  I made a few custom-size envelopes for holiday cards, as I found some great deals on 12×12 paper at Michaels and Joann.  Since I made oddly sized cards, I need custom envelopes, and they add to the whole card!  I will do a post soon on making envelopes and labels!

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Happy Accident #2

Another inspiration came as well from the leftover of a die cut.  I had cut one of my large Avery Elle flags and a Mama Elephant tag from some grey cardstock, and the paper that remained was a triangular piece with a bit of a long rectangular edge.  When I looked at it, I saw a roof and a chimney!  Considering the amazing We R Memory Keepers “Love Notes” collection (I have now purchased two 12×12 pads, two 6×6 pads, and extra 12×12 sheets of the prints I love. Yes, I am hording–the texture and designs were just too awesome to resist!) and the specific print, French Doors, I knew I had a little holiday house card in the making!

Here is what resulted!

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Now you can see the “roof” and “chimney” that sparked my creation!  In order to create the house, I used the flip side of the French Doors paper, measured and cut it in a similar way so it would fit on the grey background.

The grey chimney looked a bit too flat, though, so I embossed with my Tim Holtz brick folder another piece of grey paper, cut to fit, and adhered to the chimney.

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Once I decided what door to use, I fussy cut that and then set to embellishing the rest of the house with a wreath, gingerbread icing scallops from the Avery Elle set, my Poppystamps snowman, and that adorable Mama Elephant bow.  The left corner looked a bit empty upon finishing, so I decided to add the snowflake.

I considered cutting the card base so it was a triangle, but since that was my only sheet of MFT’s Pink Lemonade, which was the perfect color for the base, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  It felt like too big of a risk– which echoes my sentiments in that post from a year ago.  If I only have one piece of a cardstock or patterned paper, or embellishment, I am far less likely to take a chance.  Silly, perhaps, but these papers and goods are expensive, so the fear of waste and ruin keeps me on the conservative side!  Do you experience the same feeling in your creative process?

Since this is going to a friend who just moved into a new house, I figured it would be the perfect card and sentiment!

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I hope you found some inspiration in these happy accident cards!  Give pause when you toss aside a scrap; it may just hold the key to a beautiful creation!

May your week be full of happy!

Selected Supplies–Click image to purchase:

We R Memory Keepers - Love Notes Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - French Doors

Feeling Festive!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOY TO THE WORLD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grab Our Badge!cuttingedge

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!

DESIGN QUESTION POSED TO AUDIENCE!

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.”

NEXT UP: THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL FROM GRAND BAZAAR!

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!