Advent Calendar Extravaganza with Taheerah Atchia

 


Advent Calendar Extravaganza is the festive event of the season! This ‘hop with a twist’ was dreamed up byTaheerah Atchia and features surprise destinations each day! Joining in the fun with Taheerah are ONE HUNDRED special guests – each serving up some fantastic Christmas inspiration! Just like an Advent Calendar, you’ll never know where you’re going to be visiting next until you ‘open the door’!

And that’s not all! With 25 *amazing* sponsors taking part as guests as well, your crafty wish list is bound to get a boost with a chance to win a prize EVERY SINGLE DAY!!


Join in the fun every day at taheerah-atchia.com to see what special surprises await behind the door!

Hey all! I’m excited to be behind door #20 and participating again this year in the Advent Calendar–I love advent calendars and it’s such a great idea to have a virtual one!

So excited, I have not one, two, three or four offerings today, but five that feature awesome Pinkfresh collections, and a mini journal that mixes it up with Crate Paper’s Snow & Cocoa.

I love Pinkfresh designs, and their papers are such a joy to work with–they almost create a card by themselves! You can see an earlier collection of Pinkfresh creations I designed here.

First up some fun, simple cards using Oh Joy, Christmas Wishes, Indigo Hills collections from Pinkfresh and ephemera from Snow & Cocoa.

A few puffy stickers and acetate sentiment make a simple, but fun card.

Crate Paper’s acetate deer works perfectly with the clear pieces from Oh Joy! So do the stripes and colors from Indigo Hills base paper.

An easy shaker card can be made from the acetate pieces in the Oh Joy ephemera pack. I stamped the presents from Christmas Wishes and made a little sequin strand to top the card.The bottom features a rubber sticker from Pinkfresh.

I created a repeat background with house stamps from the Christmas Wishes collection, copic colored and added mica flakes. The bear is from the same stamp set, colored and fussy cut. Layered papers and the sentiment are from Oh Joy.

Next up, my mini journal.

I have made quite a few of these layered journals, two of which you can see here and here. I plan to use this one for our trip to Indianapolis with some changes, but here is a way you can make one merging the Snow & Cocoa, Oh Joy, Indigo Hills and Happy Things collections!

When making the 2-layered covers, I always leave openings for tags as a way to close the journal.

Inner flaps have pockets to store tickets, photos, receipts, or journal cards.

Love howthat Crate Paper girl works with the Oh Joy tree paper!

The Indigo Hills blue splattered paper is like a winter snow blast, much like the weather we’ve been having in Indy and across the US.

The inner book here features more Indigo Hills paper with a pocket for ephemera and a wood clip from the same collection to hold a ticket or photo.

Here’s the back  inner cover and below, a small journal I’ve embellished with wood sticker from Happy Things.

The back of the journal with washi from Oh Joy and tag from Snow & Cocoa.

What is different about this journal is that I have created more of a spine so the journal can accommodate more pages, photos and ephemera. Overall spine is 1/2″. The journal is 3.5″ wide by 7″ long.

Hope you found some holiday inspiration here today and before you go, make sure to keep reading. You could win some of the products featured here today!!

It’s not a party without a prize – and with prizes every day there are several chances to win!

Today’s prize is generously supplied by Pinkfresh so you’ll definitely want to win!

Simply leave a comment on this post – then head back to taheerah-atchia.com and leave a comment there too!


You must leave a comment on Taheerah’s blog as well as mine in order to be eligible to win! Don’t forget to grab the other surprise destinations from Taheerah’s blog and head over to them to leave comments there as well to improve your odds even more! You have until 23:59 EST on 31st December 2016 to enter.

Don’t forget Advent Calendar Extravaganza runs from 1st-25th December inclusive so make sure you visit taheerah-atchia.com every day for fabulous inspiration and amazing prizes every single time! Merry Christmas!

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.

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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!!

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
Scrapperia
Scrapperia
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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

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!

 

Ampersand Art, Urban Adventure, and A Sunny Valentine

It’s been a little quiet around Pinned & Penned the last week; however, quite a bit has been happening behind the scenes!  I’ve been encountering some new art and music, which I am excited to showcase here soon, and whipping up some colorful cards.  As a result, I am facing a bit of an inspiration pile-up! I’d hoped to write this post before Valentine’s Day, but anytime is a good time to spread the love, right?

If you couldn’t tell, CASology really inspired me the previous week with their AND challenge.  Since then, everywhere I look, I seem to be encountering ampersands!  Today, we ventured to the Bellevue Arts Museum and I saw this sculpture, “Linkage, 2005” by Gyongy Laky:

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Linkage, 2005; Manzanita, red ink

She incorporates materials from the natural world into much of her symbolic work, and according to her website, “As an environmentalist, her work often employs materials harvested from nature and agricultural sources with some recycled elements incorporated.  She is attracted to humble materials and simple, direct methods of hand construction that she associates with basic, grass roots, human ingenuity about making things.  Laky has been a strong advocate for the establishment of an environmental sustainability curriculum in design and art at UCD.  Other themes of her sculptures and site-specific works touch upon various issues including gender-equity and her opposition to the war in Iraq.”

Here is another ampersand of hers:

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In downtown Seattle, one of the most famous ampersands can be seen at Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, which sits along the shore of Puget Sound, overlooking the Olympic Mountains.  It is a delightful place for an urban walk or run, and when I was teaching at a nearby high school, I often brought my creative writing class here for some visual inspiration and exercise, especially in those waning days of the school year when classroom confinement became a struggle!

Aside from Alexander Calder’s “The Eagle”, Roy McMakin’s “Love & Loss” is one of the more visible icons of the park from afar.  The neon red ampersand lights up the sky and can be seen rotating from West Seattle across Elliott Bay.

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Roy McMakin, Love & Loss; Photo by Waymarking

Upon closer inspection, one notices that there is more to the installation than the ampersand.  Steps, seating and a table spell out LOVE and LOSS, as seen below.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nyctom/3952559876/
Looking over the Puget Sound toward West Seattle and the Olympics. Photo by NYC Tom.

If you live in the greater Seattle area and haven’t made it to this park, or are traveling from afar, I recommend the following urban adventure on your way there.  This happened to be how we spent our Valentine’s Day!

1. Grab a coffee at Seattle Coffee Works, just outside the main entrance to Pike Place Market, and next door to the Green Tortoise Hostel.  Here you will find amazing, seasonal single origin coffees.  If you have time, enjoy your coffee prepared at the slow bar through a variety of extraction methods: Siphon, Chemex, Aeropress, Hario, or French press.

2. Sip your coffee as you make your way through the Pike Place Market and down Western Ave., toward the Olympic Sculpture Park.  On your way through the market, make sure to check out Lamplight Books and Left Bank Books, if you are in need of a good read;  Moon Valley Organics for some nourishing body products in gorgeous packaging; Fini, if you’d like some new jewelry or trendy accessories; and White Horse Trading Co. if you’re craving a quiet corner to read and sip a beer.  These are just some of my frequented spots in the Market!

2. Hungry?  There are so many choices, but I want to highlight one of my favorites. Before or after your walk around the market and park, stop at Le Pichet, a fabulous French restaurant just up the hill from the Market, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Consistent and authentic, a dining experience here transports you to a bistro in Paris tout suite. I dream of their rillettes de porc. Make sure to get a box of their homemade caramels before you head out the door!

3.  Don’t forget the flowers!  We picked some delicious tulips on Valentine’s Day after our equally delicious brunch at Le Pichet:

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Early tulips from Pike Place Market to bring some spring into the house! The gorgeous vase was a birthday present.

Well, I certainly hope your Valentine’s Day was as replete with delicious delights, colorful experiences, and love as ours was!

To honor my sweetheart, I created a somewhat non-traditional color-burst Valentine, inspired by the current CASE Study challenge.

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Aside from the delightful Danielle Flanders’ card above, the design team and guest designers have whipped up some jaw-dropping work that screams spring happy!  Like these beauties from Chupa and May Park that I can’t stop looking at:

So here is my contribution:

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I absolutely love the Hero Arts floral die for its beauty and versatility.  I inlaid the various colored pieces into my “rising sun”.

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The sentiments are from Papertrey Ink’s Movers and Shakers series.

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I cannot get enough of this aquamarine blue lately; it is absolutely divine with the orange and yellow.  Paper Source provided the envelope; the orange and yellow cardstock is from Amuse Studio, white linen paper is from Ellen Hutson, and patterned paper is from October Afternoon.

In closing, I will leave you with two of my favorite ampersand cards from the CASology challenge.  These ladies have some awesome talent and provide me with eye candy on a regular basis, as well as some sweet comments and camaraderie in this crafting world of ours.

I hope you found some aesthetic and gustatory inspiration in today’s post!  Let me know; I love hearing from you!  And if you, or someone you know, happen to be visiting Seattle any time soon, drop me a line and I would be happy to help you with your urban adventures.

I will return tomorrow with my other entry to CASE Study’s challenge and some paper art that may make you faint!

Bonne nuit et bisous!