Mix-It Up!

Hi Everyone!

Just popping in with a few cards for the Ellen Hutson Mix It Up Challenge that unites Avery Elle and Essentials by Ellen products.

It’s a new year, so time to break into some new goods and put together a card that represents the freshness of the new year.

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I wanted a lot of white, airy space with pops of fresh color– the spots of aqua glitter paper reflect the icy blue of January, but the Gather papers from Crate Paper move us closer to Spring– and who doesn’t want to move in that direction?  I don’t know about you, but once I get past the holidays, I am pretty much done with snow and winter fun– easier for me since I live in the PNW, where spring typically comes as early as mid-February!

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The Avery Elle Petal Plate Die was cut from white linen 100 pound card stock and elevated to create some dimension. I used two types of vellum silver and white to create my leafy border which uses the berries from wild garden. The sentiment is by Julie Ebersole cut from cherry wood veneer.

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The inside is finished with a strip of featherly aqua blue washi along the bottom.

The next card features Wild Garden layered flowers atop a halved Avert Elle Petal Plate.

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The Gather paper collection was also used for all die cuts here.

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Finally, a simple blue layered piece with vellum floral spray of Wild Garden and topped with Avery Elle die cut sentiment from the Just a Note set.

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The inside features patterned paper a la Kelly Griglione of Notable Nest!

Again, I used a combo of silver and white vellum.

Hope you found some inspiration today if you need some post-holiday thank you’s or a bright greeting for someone still knee-deep in winter!

Birthday Buddies Back Again!

Hey Lisa!  Happy Birthday girl!  I hope today finds you feeling fabulous, and I sure hope to celebrate with you in person this Saturday!  The birthday buddies have gathered again here and will do so in person this weekend!  So much to celebrate in December!

And if you’ve got a birthday in December, well, it’s only fitting you get a birthday card that suits the season– and a sentiment that reminds you not to get too upset by the little things, like age and birthdays, and upside down trees!

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Oh, Miss Utinni, what have you done?  This was supposed to be Lisa’s birthday tree!!

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Oh, I see how you work– you think you can just try and hide the tree… very clever.  Such deeds cannot be so easily undone, Miss Utinni.  Looks like the ornaments are all intact.

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That’s better.  At least now, Lisa can see just how lovely her ombre pink birthday tree is right-side up, even without all the ornaments.

Now, Lisa is a consumate copic colorer, so I did my best to honor her skills with my copic-colored Miss Utinni, her hat and ornaments!

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Oh look at that sweet face– How can you even get mad at that?  Don’t you love how the sentiment’s stars work with the striped b/w paper?

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Look at those delicious ornaments, stamped with masking, copic colored and then heat embossed using Versafine Champagne ink and some sparkly embossing powder.  A technique I used here in two of my favorite holiday cards (from Christmas 2013, yikes!!).

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Close-up of the baubles and the ombre tree that was stamped in three different pinks, then covered with Versafine Champagne and clear embossing powder, then heat set for a shiny effect.  Miss Utinni’s hat has a bit of ice-blue Stickles and was fussy cut, then adhered.

The retro papers are from Snow Fun collection by Carta Bella.  The flag, cat, ornaments and sentiment are all from Avery Elle.  All available at The Heart Desires.

And psssst… I may be hinting at our upcoming challenge starting 12/7!

Here’s a list of the participating birthday buddies!  You’re off to Lenae, next!

Amy

Toni

Vicki

Kimberly

Tonya

Katie

Laura

Kate — You are Here!

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BIRTHDAY GIRL: Lisa

Thanks for celebrating with us today, and make sure to wish Lisa a happy birthday!

P.S. This card was indeed inspired by my naughty little grrl, Ms. Utinni, aka “We are siamese if we please…” who has pulled over my new fake tree, and has since removed every ornament from it.  This Avery Elle stamp set was made for her, I am convinced of it!

THD July Challenge: Tropical

Hey everyone! Welcome to our second month-long challenge at The Heart Desires! All of our June participants knocked the first challenge out of the park, or in keeping with the nautical theme, beyond the sea!!

This month we bring you an equally beautiful inspiration graphic and a sketch!  Taking it tropical this time around!

 

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Here’s my interpretation of the graphic and, very loosely, the sketch!  I took my cue from an earlier card I made for a student, which you can see here. I have worked in every color!!

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Using Hero Arts Ombre Pink ink, I repeat stamped sentiments from Concord & 9th’s Wonderful Women set on Ranger watercolor paper, all of which are available at The Heart Desires!

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It’s a bit difficult to see, but this close-up shows the nature of the ombre ink and how well it works with the watercolor paper.  Atop the vellum frame cut from MFT’s diagonal stitch die, I added PTI’s slide, cut multiple times from #110 paper for thickness, topping with those fabulous flamingos from The Lilypad, digitally printed paper.

Neat and Tangled’s sentiment, one of my favorites, is cut from gold foam (love that stuff!!). The white and gold paper echoes the gold of the die and is also from The Lilypad, digitally printed.

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In this photo, you can see the lovely layers, and that base paper–which was the most difficult layer to finally figure out–is from Basic Grey’s Urban Luxe, which you can no longer find! I should have bought out the collection when I had the chance!  Love how the gold splotches and blues work with the other papers, and particularly the flowers.

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What better than the versatile floral die set from Ellen Hutson, Wild Garden?  The flowers work for so many different occasions! They are cut from The Lilypad digital paper, lime and white linen cardstock.

And those gorgeous regatta blue buttons embellish!

I have so many graduation cards to finish– this one is headed to my college-bound student.

Alright, now it’s your turn to play along with us!  You have until Wednesday, July 27!

Please read the rules below before you enter.

Challenge Rules:

  1. Challenges will run from the first Wednesday to the last Wednesday of each month.
  2. Use one, two or three of the identified elements.
  3. If you choose to use colors, you need only use 2 or 3 of them.  Use your choice of neutrals (white, kraft, black, gray).
  4. Identify the elements you chose to use if not readily evident.
  5. Enter up to 3 times and combine with no more than 5 challenges, including ours.
  6. Include the inspiration pic as well as a link to the challenge in your post.
  7. The challenge winner will be invited to be a future guest designer.
  8. Most importantly, have fun!!!!

Come back tomorrow for another bold, summery creation that is sure to inspire your summer scrapbooking!

 

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

Good Witch

The first title that came to mind for this post was “Good Witch”; obvious enough with my mind on Halloween, and this card, as well as the inspiration photo, all bringing to mind Glinda.

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I’d prepared the following and another card for RIC this week, but the more complicated and favored of the two remains unfinished. I loved the inspiration photo for it’s contradictory elements–the airy white lace and soft pink peek-a-boo shoes of the bride, the rough green leaves and tan trunk of the palm, the contrast and bristle of the black and white animal rug, the smooth white walls, clean black lines, and a bit of a wood pallet (or is it a rug?) along with that wicker chair edging the scene. So many interesting options here. It’s one of those images that will linger.

Runway Inspired Challenge

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A closer inspection of the photo reveals a gold zipper running down the center of her dress, so I worked this into the mix using a Spellbinders banner die and Waffle Flower sentiment.

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The floral embossed paper provides the backdrop on which I layered the other elements–the animal print banner echoing the rug, the Impression Obsession lacy heart cut twice from white stock and then vellum to create an airy feel, the slightly textured pink paper plays on some of the texture in the image.  I purposely used the Avery Elle banner die with the pin hole border, as her dress has that fabuous open circle motif on her sleeves and in the skirt.  I carried that through in the washi tape, which also reflects the green palm.  Everything is mounted on pink cardstock and the inside is finished with the Alena lacy border by Top Dog Dies, rather than my usual washi tape.

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This could serve as a wedding card, but I have been meaning to pull together a thank you for someone who gave me a little tiger print clutch, and I wanted to use the Heidi Swapp animal print paper in my thank you, so this card will fit the bill perfectly.

Well, I still have pumpkins to carve, and/or decoupage depending on how much time I have tomorrow to pull it all together before trickery arrives at my door and the darkness descends, not to mention festive cards to finish, and my annual screening of Halloween. While last year I was a vision in all white Greek Goddess garb, this year I’m feeling the need to get in touch with my dark side.  I’ll be donning a witch hat and all black, and my little grey familiar will accompany me on my nightly haunts. He’s not called Leo the traveling cat for nothing!

So whether you’re a good witch, or bad witch, or a spirit of another kind, may your Halloween night be one terrifyingly good time!

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!

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

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!

Soft as Falling Snow

One of my favorite paper collections released in 2014 is Webster’s Pages “All that Glitters.”  Every single sheet is hoard-worthy, and despite the plethora of Christmas and New Years patterns, I didn’t cut into one piece for any holiday cards.  While I am not a scrapbooker, the paper featured in my card, A New Year, is truly best suited for a layout, and I’ve some visions of piece that would cluster the visual interest in the right center portion of the paper so as to allow the background to shine through; really I could look at this paper all day. It reminds me of a snowshoeing trip we took a few years ago when Blewett Pass was covered with crisp, powdery, diamond snow and we headed into the back country under a brilliant blue sky, gaining some elevation until we crested a small summit and marveled at the view.  I just sat there in that snow and sun taking it all in; it was one of the best PNW moments I’ve experienced.  And this paper really recalls the feeling of that moment. us2281d_anewyear_websters_pages_glitters

It was with that in mind, and the delicate hues of Card Concept’s challenge photo that I put together a card soft as falling snow, as cozy as the scarf in Curtain Call’s photo.  Since Mojo Monday’s layout is also echoed in my card, I’m sending this their way as well.

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The Card Concept features cards with different styles, so mine is pretty typical of the layered, freestyle collage work I create.  I began with my little deer and Crate Paper’s Notes and Things tag, both horde-worthy, since you cannot find either anywhere!  I bought three packages of white, brown, green and orange deer, but the white are my favorite, and I am being very selective with how I use them! I also scattered some Melissa Frances vintage snow across the top of the card, which didn’t show up in the photo’s below. 2015-01-16 14.04.10 From there, I played around with layering, using vellum to keep the soft feel of the scene. 2015-01-16 14.03.19 2015-01-16 11.58.05 I wanted to use the entire paper for the card as opposed to affixing it to a base; so the back is the top of the paper, a gorgeous blue-grey with bokeh snow. 2015-01-16 12.04.54 You will notice the back is about a half-inch longer than the front, as I wanted the pink floral to peek through.  Since the inside strip includes the barcode and company information, I covered with a piece of fabric washi, that isn’t quite opaque enough to hide that information!  So it will likely be replaced with another teal washi. My background staging paper is also from the Webster’s Pages collection. 2015-01-16 12.08.24

If this scene doesn’t make you want to say hello to a New Year, I don’t know what would!   I hope the first two weeks of 2015 have found you well and able to carve out some creative time, or opportunities to wonder and wander in a snow-covered field. Happy Winter!