Christmas in the Country

Two consecutive holiday posts?  Well, I could use a little Christmas, right this very minute!

They happen to be bookends to a less than festive week spent in a migraine’s grip.  I nearly made it through this very busy summer without one, and then with one work week to go before some much needed time off, I was knocked off my feet, literally.

I’ve written a bit about my experience as a migraineur.  Being in the thick of it is always surreal; I struggle with a constricted, pulsating brain, have difficulty processing and using language, and my sense of time (which is never good anyway) completely distorts.

When I recover, the entry into the “real” world often seems just as surreal.  Today, I felt the most normal, and yet paradoxically the most alien.  After a migraine, everything around me always seems so new and hyper-real.  We headed to a favorite haunt (and in my opinion one of the top three bakeries in Seattle), Columbia City Bakery, strolled around the neighborhood feeling the hint of cool fall air, and made it to Impress Cards and Crafts for their Paperpalooza where I scored some sweet 12×12 for 25 cents a sheet!  Itching to make some fancy envelopes!

It was good to get out.  It was also good to productively create a bit yesterday and today.  Though I feel like the summer simply melted away, there is a stirring of excitement within for the coming fall.  The sweet Halloween and holiday cards at Impress urged me on.

Now, I’ve four cards queued up and ready to post, so without further ado, let the festivities begin!

This card was inspired by the current sketch and image over at Fusion, as well as Festive Friday’s image.  It’s old country (Christmas) charm indeed.

I worked from the crimson and cream background colors, the rustic paint on the door, and background designs, as well as the sketch at Fusion.  I pulled the wreath and black and cream of the sign from Festive Friday.

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When I had completed this card, it made me think of the interior of a fabulous boutique in the neighborhood of Ballard, Horseshoe.  It’s rustic, full of clothes I can’t afford, gorgeous jewelry, and lots of cowboy boots.  I always love passing through, even if I have to leave empty handed!

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So I’ve combined product from many different companies for this production!

A couple notable elements are the garland, a deconstructed laurel from the Spellbinders Laurel and Bee set; also, you will note that I have embossed my Lifestyle Crafts reindeer to add some interest and texture.  I used Versafine Champagne embossing pad, Superfine clear powder, and a background stamp from Hero Arts.

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Close up of the embossing.  I’ve layered my die cuts to give them some heft.

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The flowers are classic Prima, as is the wood frame; the banner was cut from some grungy, antiqued paper, and stamped with a sentiment from Amuse Studio.

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As always, I’ve finished off the inside and back with My Mind’s Eye Market Street washi.

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Here’s a selection of the products used.

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Other products used:

Amuse Studio Wasabi paper
Mama Elephant Femme Frames
Gold glitter glue
POW Gold paper
Gina K Ivory Base Weight paper

Last Look

I always love how a design and/or color can completely change the whole experience of another color/design.  I placed the card atop some off-white paper and it feels so different!

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That’s it for me this evening!  Check back tomorrow for more creations.  And make sure to stop over to Fusion and Festive Friday.

If you are in the States, enjoy the last day of our holiday weekend.  Wherever in the world you are, I hope Monday finds you feeling fine and inspired!

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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!