Sweet Bee-ginnings!

Good Morning!

Despite the whipping wind, pelting rain, and fast-moving clouds, this morning is indeed a sweet beginning for me as I have the honor of guest designing this month with the talented ladies over at CASE Study!  I am sharing the position with the incredibly talented Sarah Gough of Thinking Stamps, which delights me to no end as I have been inspired by her work since I re-entered the paper crafting world.

If you didn’t know, CASE Study hosts weekly challenges beginning on Thursdays with inspiration from some of the most talented designers in the industry.  I highly encourage you to play along, but even if you decide not to, you must drop by and enjoy the visual feast, like this offering from this week’s muse Joni Andaya of Papell with Love!

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What struck me most about Joni’s card was the striped paper.  I could not stop looking at it.  What a focal point!  It was this aspect of her design that pulled me in the most, but how she orchestrated the rest of elements around the striping is really just perfect harmony.  I wanted to include a strong stripe and challenge myself to create a similarly formal and elegant card, a style I don’t usually engage.

So here is what I came up with!

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I had recently been shopping around for bee images and happened to find this amazing bee and laurel die set from Spellbinders.  I knew immediately that was the theme I wanted to use in this design, as Joni’s card brought to mind a bit of French country.  So throw in some awesome burlap paper, swiss dot black stock from Bazzill, Studio Calico’s gold punchinella vellum, a French letter stamp from Impression Obsession, and some scripty washi, et voila une carte est nee!

C’est magnifique, non?

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I made an awesome discovery during this process!  Avery Elle’s Love Notes pocket die absolutely rocks–it is so versatile AND it cuts through the burlap paper!  So to achieve my tag, I cut a rectangle and then modified each end with two of the dies from the set.  I love this burlap paper, but was not thrilled to find that most of my dies could not manage it.

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Like Joni, I stamped the French script with cream ink for a subtle background and heat embossed.

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After many revisions, I settled on the vertical alignment, and off-center placement of my tag.

The flag was die cut and distressed with Antique Linen.  The sentiment on the flag is from Prima Marketing’s set Zephyr; the stamps used inside the card are from Graphic 45’s set Sweet Sentiments, a perfect collection of vintage stamps for spring!

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The back is finished off with some signature washi!

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I am excited to continue working with the burlap and have started some designs where I am stamping right on the fabric, so it looks like a coffee bean bag or French country pillow.

Joni was so inspiring, that I created two cards for the challenge; and Chupa was so sweet to feature them both.  I will showcase my other card in the post to follow, along with a little history of the bee and laurel!

Now, though, you should fly over to CASE Study and check out what the rest of the design team has proffered.  You will bee happy you did because the selections are so incredibly sweet!  If you want to play along, you have until midnight on Tuesday 3/11 to submit your entries!

Silver Linings

Good evening!  I was planning to pair today’s card with the amazing paper art I have been learning about and viewing recently, but I will have to keep you in suspense a little longer given the exhaustion that is clouding my mind and making it difficult to center my thoughts!  And here it’s only Monday!  Maybe I should head over to Taheerah’s Cure for the Monday Blues and play along!  She always has something fancy and fabulous to see!

My entry for CASE Study’s current challenge was designed for someone who is, unfortunately, experiencing a blue time.  As you can see, I remained faithful to the design by muse, Danielle Flanders.

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I am always excited when I see other crafters using their tools in novel ways, and am equally excited when I, myself, make such a discovery!  For this card, I didn’t want to complicate the large sentiment by adding embellishments; but I did want to create a cloud-scape.  I have a variety of border dies and speech bubbles that could have worked for the clouds; but then I looked more closely at my new Floral Threader Spellbinders dies, which I haven’t put to use yet, and there it was!

A2 Floral Ribbon Threader

I just ran the paper through with the long end of the frame die along the edge and, voila, instant cloud border.

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Since every cloud should have a silver lining, I added some silver thread along the striped washi border.

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The stamps I used are my new Deep Red Stamps 3×4″ wave background, which I inked with Memento Dew Drop dye inks in yellow and red, and Hero Arts shadow ink cube in Soft Cantalope, and PTI’s sentiment from Movers and Shakers.

Deep Red Stamps Japanese Wave

I definitely felt like something was missing from the card, and I wanted to play on the clouds and rain theme.  So I added a touch of turquoise in the enamel dots and washi strip.  As said in my last post, I am craving turquoise right now!  The addition really seemed to do the trick and draw the eye to the sentiment.

I am going to leave you with some beautiful art work I happened upon last week; Kate Collins is an Australian painter, and I love what I have seen of her work.  I especially love her River River Jewels.  These are surely a cure for the Monday blues.

May you find silver linings in all your clouds!

Peace, Love, Joy and Happy Accidents

Good morning!  I made it about a quarter of the way into last night’s premier of Downton and then it was bed for me!  I have established a very bad habit of late night activities and late morning rising.  It seems my body is enjoying the schedule, and my insomnia is better, but it does not bode well necessarily for work, especially when I have to teach at 7 or 8am some days!

So I am back with another entry for the CASE Study Challenge.

This one was great fun to put together, and some parts were a happy accident!

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So initially, I had dyed the paper with Distress Inks in the colors of the Challenge image.  My plan was not to use the paper as background, but rather cut out the birds and the wreath with from the dyed paper.  However, when I looked at the paper, I just loved what had manifested and I changed course!  I dyed more paper for the birds and another wreath (which will be featured in the next post), and decided to move in a more woody than white direction for this card.

I cut the Papertrey Ink wreath from woodgrain paper, and then dyed it with Walnut Distress Ink.  My mama and baby bird are Memory Box dies, and I cut a bunch from the dyed paper to get 2 birds that really had a wonderful feathering.

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The flags are actually washi-tape covered cardstock (you may recognize this washi tape, as I love the woodgrain and have used it quite a bit!) that were die cut with Spellbinders dies.  The white curly-cues are actually the scrap from an EK punch I have.  Sentiment is from Avery Elle.

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So this card is a bit more rustic and fluid than the clean design of the cookies, but I maintained the colors, embellishment shapes found in the doily & cookies, and circular nature with the wreath.  I just love how this turned out, as it is a one-of-a-kind creation.  That’s the fun of the Distress Inks.  My fingers are almost fully ink-free days after!

Please see my next post for other cards that followed in the wake of this one thematically!

Wishing you peace, love and joy!