PNW Birthday Hop

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Photo Credit: Amy Tsuruta

Hello Everyone!

Today we are celebrating our friend Laura and I hope you will hop along with us.

Laura is kind, gentle person who is a good listener (a rare quality!) and creator of lovely cards.  I am glad she is part of our crafty crew!  Happy Birthday Laura! I hope it is a sweet start to a new year.

You should have arrived here from Lisa’s site.

If not, head over to Amy’s site and catch up with the rest of the group.

 

I used all papers and most embellishments from Maggie Holmes’ collection, Confetti, for my card.; sentiment is from Hero Arts stamped, embossed on vellum and fussy cut; the heart is from Amy Tangerine’s Stitched die set.

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April is full of birthdays so I have been busy pulling together some projects for students and family.  Here’s a sample of what I’ve been up to lately. Click on any image to enlarge.

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Alright, on to the next stop, which is the birthday girl’s site!  Make sure to stop over there and wish her a happy day and year ahead, and check out her work!

Thanks for spending some time with me and the rest of my crew today!  Happy weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fusion Challenge: Aqua and Pink

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to the last Fusion Challenge of March!  This week we are featuring Orchid Occasions with this gorgeous aqua and pink combo!03.31.16

I absolutely love these colors and knew right away the papers I wanted to feature. Since it’s my last week with Fusion, the last day of March, and the end of a great company, Basic Grey, I made not one, but two cards to bid farewell to all three and go out with a bang!

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My first card is a tropical twist on Easter!  I spent quite a bit of time on the beach Saturday as it was in the 60’s and finally sunny.  Beach living is always an inspiration, so that along with the colors in the photo and Easter holiday, prompted this piece.

All papers are from various Lilypad digital collections printed on Kodak matte photo paper.

The base paper is a tie-dyed design, which made me think of coloring Easter eggs!  The pink and rose floral paper replicates the orchid’s colors perfectly with their dark pink centers.

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The Spellbinders feathers, Savvy grass die, and Prima resin eggs round out my beach scene.

Now for the eggs!  I originally had layered three ovals; however, I realized that these should be eggs, but I didn’t have egg dies big enough!  What to do?

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I am sure someone, somewhere has thought of this, but it was an a-ha moment for me! Your oval die cuts can easily be made into egg shapes of any size by using a circle die to cut the bottom.  Then you just need to round off the corners with a little fussy cutting and voila, egg!

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To give the eggs a little more depth, I adhered three layers and popped up the Happy Easter one with foam squares.


 

Card 2: Farewell Basic Grey

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As many of you know, Basic Grey has ceased their paper crafting portion of the business and is focusing on fabric and digital prints.  I was shocked to learn of this in January and am sad to see them move away from paper design because collections like Urban Luxe, one of the last released, Persimmon and Spice Market to name a few, really speak to me.  Trendy, funky, and just plain beautiful, most of their collections were a must-have and entirely horde-worthy in my book!  So for the next card, I incorporated some embellishments from the Urban Luxe collection.

Many of the papers in Urban Luxe would have worked with the inspiration photo, but I opted to stick with the Lilypad papers.  I incorporated the sketch loosely in my card as well.  If you look closely in the photo above, you can see how the flamingo bodies flow  almost seamlessly into the pink floral lines of the underlying paper!

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The gorgeous grey leaf, watercolor flower, and watercolor love sentiment are all from the embellishment pack.  I love how they look against the aqua flamingos!

img_20160329_214845.jpgIf you look closely, you can see the watercoloring on the black/white paper; it has blue washes throughout the print that are lovely.  The inside is finished off with some geometric washi that echoes the lines on the papers.

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That’s all for me! Hope this double dose of inspiration and the rest of the Fusion team spark your creativity!  Thanks so much to Fusion for having me this month!  It’s been an honor to be part of the team!

Thanks for spending some time with me today!

‘Advent Calendar Extravaganza with Taheerah Atchia

Well, hello and welcome to…

Advent Calenda Extravaganza

Are you excited, and enjoying this hop so far? I know I am, and I am very happy to be waiting for you behind door #22!

Advent Calendar Extravaganza

 

Advent Calendar Extravaganza is -the- festive event of the season! This ‘hop with a twist’ was dreamed up by Taheerah Atchia and features surprise destinations each day! Joining in the fun with Taheerah are over 60 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 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 wait behind the door!

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Since today’s sponsor is Unity Stamps, and I am a member of their Stamp of the Week club, I figured it was high time to put some of their adorable, festive stamps to use.  One aspect of Unity that I really like are their sentiments–they are witty, funny, and have some great fonts!

Today I have two cards for you; one was designed with the solstice in mind, as I created it yesterday on the shortest day of the year.  The other I envisioned for a possible New Years card (for the coffee or tea lover, of course!), as the sentiment is fitting, and I had the recent Coffee Lovers hop on my mind!

First up, Rudolph!

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Disclaimer: It being the darkest day of the year, and my having only been able to pull this brewing idea together in about 3 hours, the photos are a bit grey, and there are a few things I would change about this card, but overall I think it’s a pretty fun first attempt!

For this card, I used the Magical Holiday set from Unity.

WIB-891-MAGICAL-HOLIDAY I stamped Rudolph with Versafine Champagne ink, then embossed with sticky embossing powder and covered with Stampendous glitter.  After allowing it to set, I fussy cut him out.

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If I recreate this, I will likely make the twinkling part of the nose silver, red, or possibly cut off the twinkling part altogether.

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The idea for my background came from a digital paper that was part of a Lilypad pack I purchased, Autumn Nights.  I loved the ombre light grey to midnight blue flecked with white, and immediately thought of using it with my Lil’ Inker Designs Faceted die, and using a previous 3-D design of mine, one example found here.  I cut the paper twice from the paper so I had light and dark triangles; however, those pesky triangles got away from me– hence, the background isn’t as ombre as I’d planned, and there is a darker triangle lower in the mix than there should be!!

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After locating and adhering the frame and triangles to some #110 Ellen Hutson Woodgrain paper, I placed Rudolph and created a string of stars on my favorite wax twine, and added a Prima wood banner.

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I didn’t like how the bottom of the card looked, so some quick thinking brought me to a candy cane mound cut with Paper Smooches border die and embellished with curved stitched line, which is also popped up to provide an interesting 3-D curve.

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And finally, the inside.  I love the sentiment that accompanies this card.  I stamped in Ranger Archival ink, my favorite black, and finished the bottom with some paper from Basic Grey’s Juniper Berry line, embellished with a stitched line.  I decided on the green so it would echo the green of the wood banner on the front.

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Next up, Sparkly Cups!

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This card is a bit of an homage to Jocelyn Olson, as I really like her little corner punch and string embellishment.  And I was just talking with my crafting group at our December gathering about using the threaded sequins.  I just haven’t been able to make it work on my cards, though Keren Baker makes it look so easy!

I considered wax twine, but grabbed the sequin instead, and I like how it worked!

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The white panel was embossed with the PTI linen plate, stamped with the sentiment and cut, so I could create the mid-section.  The patterned papers are from Basic Grey’s B-side.

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For the cups, I used a technique I tried previously here.  The cups are from Unity’s Always Today set.  I stamped them and then Copic colored each cup.  Then covered with Versamark Champagne ink, sticky embossing powder, and Stampendous glitter.

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I fussy cut and popped them up, along with the top panel for some visual interest.

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But wait, there’s more!

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 Unity Stamps, so you’ll definitely want to get your hands on it! Simply leave a comment on this post to enter – then head back to taheerah-atchia.com and leave a comment there too to double your chances! 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 7am EST on Thursday 31st December to leave all your comments!

Don’t forget the 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!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your holiday season is calm and bright!

Winter Coffee Lovers Hop

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Oh Christmas bean, oh Christmas bean, how green you are before roasting; Oh Christmas bean, oh Christmas bean, once brewed, you are worth toasting!

Hey, everyone, welcome to the….

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It’s that time again to pay homage to the liquid gold that fuels us all year through, and especially at this time of the year!

Each hop more and more coffee loving papercrafters come aboard, and it’s always so much fun to meet new participants, and reunite with others at this quarterly event.  This time around there are 49 sponsors and prizes to be won!  Those super commenters have their work cut out for them, as there are already over 500 entries and two days left!  Amy and Chaitali have created a tsunami of an event, and the number of coffee stamps, dies, and embellishments that have followed in their wake is staggering!

I have required copious cups of coffee this past month, not because it is the holiday season, but because we are raising a new kitten and dealing with everything that goes along with that (kitten-proofing the house, dealing with “Utinni oops” on linens, poopy paws and runny noses, vet visits, cleaning, cleaning, laudromat, cleaning, repeat and repeat and repeat, and managing existing cat dynamics).  Luckily, I teach out of my home studio, so disasters have been apprehended early, and I can easily monitor events.  She is starting to jump higher and higher, and scaled my shower curtain just tonight…the fun is only beginning!  Here’s our little dirty snowball with icicle eyes– a perfect Christmas kitten–Utinni!

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But really, I am as sweet as an angel!

 

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Leo is such a good big brother!  He has defied my expectations!

If you are wondering about her name, she is named for a word in the language of the Jawas in Star Wars (anyone heading to theaters tomorrow or this weekend?) but it is merely a coincidence that the movie is coming out just after her adoption.  We actually named her last spring on a trip to Portland before we even knew her.  Full name is Utinni Alberta Noi (the last two being favorite places in PDX) and it’s just so fun to say!

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I love Courier Coffee in Portland!

 

So back on track (kittens have a tendency to derail you every waking moment), and on with my card, that could also function as a tag!

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I have left it open to be either adhered to a card base or just clipped onto some gifted beans.

And talking about beans!!  I Distress-inked some watercolor paper with Pine Needle ink (love that color!!) and set out to cut many, many beans from the Impression Obsession coffee set.  These dies have made an appearance in a variety of my prior coffee hop entries, which you can see here.  If you didn’t know already, coffee beans are actually green before roasting!

I adhered beans to a base, fussy cut, and then used some icicle Stickles to add sparkle, and finally adorned the tree with Memory Box’s Festive Lights die.

 

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Using my favorite embossing plate from PTI, I added texture to the background card cut from a Lawn Fawn notecard die.

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I instantly fell in love with Basic Grey’s Juniper Berry line this year, rivaled only by Pinkfresh’s holiday papers, so Juniper Berry will be featured in many of my holiday cards.  Here I have used the geometric woodgrain and the hot-pink design.

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To add to the scrappy aesthetic, I rummaged around for some fun embellishments such as this acetate Maggie Holmes leaf, Freckled Fawn metal wreath, and sentiment, created with my new, awesome, Stampin’ Up Rotary stamp– the largest rotary stamp ever.  You can order one here from my girl Tonya!!  And check out her beautiful cards while you are at her site!!

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I clipped everything to a woodgrain paper base from Ellen Hutson, added a strip of silver/teal washi, and placed a star on the highest bough!

This is also headed over to Virginia’s FINAL challenge–All About Glitter.  Virginia’s View challenges have garnered as much interest from our crafting community as the coffee hops.  Her challenge is one of the best and her own cards are amazing and always inspiring!  We will miss your challenges, but keep following your creative acts!

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I wish I had my tag completed in time for our crafty gathering and gift exchange.  The talented and lovely Katie Brooks took home my gift below!

THE OUTSIDE:

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THE INSIDE:

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THE GIFTS!  So lucky to have a great group of sweet, talented crafters to hang with regularly!
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What’s on your wish list this holiday?  Any crafting must-haves?  I saw Santa ordering a MISTI for me!   Leave me a comment on your way out and let me know about your Christmas wish, your favorite coffee, or a crazy cat story!  There may be some swag if you do so!

Enjoy the hop and have a very merry____________________ and a happy new year!

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S.

And this happened while writing this post:

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I heard some noise in my studio upstairs, and then movement on the stairs, followed by a thump and a meow.  Atticus brings me the most interesting gifts–I think the messages here are “Pay attention to me, not that stupid kitten” and “You should be crafting”!

Oh Atticus!

attie!!

Autumn Leaves

“The falling leaves
Drift by the window
The autumn leaves
Of red and gold…
Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I’ll hear
Old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall”

–Johnny Mercer, 1949

This is one of my favorite jazz standards, resonant and haunting, especially when vocals accompany the melody.  I particularly love Chet Baker’s swinging, more upbeat version…have a listen while you read on.

 

The curtain is falling fast on this current challenge, Lovely Leaves, over at Curtain Call.

Here is their inspiration photo:

I had one heck of a time with the first card I created.  What resulted will seem fairly simple enough; however, it took quite the process to get there.  I ultimately found myself working in a sketch over at Cardabilities, so this first creation fused both challenges.

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I began with my focal point– that was the easy part!  It was the background design that kept morphing.  I definitely was not experiencing flow with this card.  It’s not quite what I envisioned, nor does it pack the color punch I was aiming for, but I am somewhat satisfied with the result.

Coloring the Leaves

For both of my cards, I used Distress Inks in Picked Raspberry, Mustard Seed, Peacock, and Marmalade to color a sheet of watercolor paper, after which I ran through numerous Impression Obsession leaf dies.  I also feature the sweet Hero Arts bird.

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I turned to Prima for the lovely resin frame, wood leaf, and turquoise flower.

In all my paper confusion, I found a scrap that had some dictionary entries on it, and I noticed the word ‘autumn’.  It was likely the happiest moment in putting this card together, as an empty frame on the card was leaving me a bit empty!

I stamped my sentiment on some woodgrain paper and layered it numerous times onto scrap paper to give it more of a wooden sign effect.

Before I layered my banners, cut from MFT dies, I decided the top needed some visual interest, but nothing to overwhelm the focal point.  Given the time this card took, and my being prone to error throughout the process, I didn’t really have it in me to sew along the top, and I wanted a really clean feel anyway.

So I die cut the holes using a PTI die, then threaded through some hemp twine.

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The inside and back are finished off with a strip of Crate Paper’s DIY Shop adhesive paper.  The green paper and the woodgrain are also from DIY Shop.

Card #2: Lots of layers

Pieces of this card were strewn about for days, only finally coalescing today.  I didn’t even think I would pull a second card together, but I needed a break from work, and figured playing with some paper would be a good escape.

I wanted more of a bright, neon pop with this card.  I maintained the grey of the inspiration photo in the background using both Grout Grey from MFT and Rock Candy from Bazzill, which has that wonderful nubby texture.

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The Grout Grey layer was stamped with Grout Grey ink using an Amuse Studio background stamp, the dictionary definition of ‘extraordinary’.

I used another background stamp from Hero Arts for my first panel.  I wanted some texture in this card, so I used watercolor paper with my Fresh Ink in Mustard.

The wooden clock from Prima was an after-thought that seemed to pull the focal elements together.

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I love how the color and sentiment of the Basic Grey plastic embellishment from Grand Bazaar fit within the overall scheme of the card.

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The resin flower is also from Grand Bazaar.  I added my die-cut Penny Black sprigs for some interest, but went with clear vellum as to not overwhelm the bold focal point.

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The inside and back are finished off with some floral and fauna washi.

Prior to making these cards, I found the first leaf drop of the season last week.  He lay there lonely on the sidewalk, so I scooped him up and brought him home.  A bit crunchy now, but still beautiful!

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That’s it for me this evening!  Thanks for stopping by.  And make sure to check out the gorgeous leaf creations at Curtain Call.  They really are show-stopping!