Coffee and Birthdays…

What can be better?

Both are crazy awesome (as long as you aren’t counting cups or candles), and even better when shared with others.

Today is Tonya’s birthday, and she’ll be celebrating with the rest of our crafty crew. Not sure if candles will be involved, but coffee most certainly will, and a whole lot of laughs.  Sadly, Katie and I will be celebrating from afar, but nonetheless wishing we were there to ring in what I hope will be another successful, creative year for Tonya! 

2015 saw the launch of her boutique-style craft store, The Heart Desires, which is bringing in new product daily, some of which I am featuring today on Tonya’s birthday card.

So nearly every item on this card can be found in The Heart Desires shop–and probably my favorite addition to my supplies is the Richard Garay sweater embossing folder. His product is new to me–that is what is great about the style of Tonya’s store, she features items I haven’t come across before, or that may not be the most promoted brand (though you can find those too, like Concord &9th’s newest releases and Neat and Tangled that work so well together).

The coffee cup has been stamped 3x and heat embossed from Neat and Tangled’s Perfect Blend set, then fussy cut and adhered to the base to create the lid and wrap.  The lid was covered with Versamark clear embossing ink and clear embossing powder to give a glossy plastic appearance to the lid.

I love Concord and 9th’s large stamps, like this one from the Crazy Awesome set, stamped on vellum and heat embossed, but with a few rearrangements, the dried embossing chipped off in a few places!  I used WOW orange embossing powder, and think the lines may have been too thin, or the pigment ink I used didn’t adhere to the vellum well thus causing the embossed sections to chip off.  It *was* perfect!!  Grrr…Anyone ever have this issue? I never have… Delicata gold heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine gold powder was used for sentiment.

Maggie Holmes Bloom paper has been added with twine to the edge for interest; I have also featured Concord and 9th’s new leaf die cut from gold foam.  Sentiment is from Perfect Blend set as well and stamped with Hero Arts Unicorn White. Some fun lemon-cream and gold dot washi finishes the inside.

Not only is it Tonya’s special day, but also the first couple days of our Fall Coffee Lovers Hop! Can’t believe I made it to both parties on time!!  It’s back to school for me, and I went from 0 to 60 first thing Monday morning– so every day has been a 9-9 (or later) work day!  Coffee, anyone?

And with that, I am heading to bed, or I will be one bleary-eyed teacher in the too-soon morning!

Hop along with us won’t you? And make sure to send some birthday wishes Tonya’s way, and maybe some orders!!

Happy birthday friend– coffee on me, soon!

Hop Participants:

Toni

Lenae

Katie

Lisa

Kimberly

Laura 

Amy

Fancy Coffee & Happy Birthday

IMG_20151001_134823

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.

11638805_10207927413971348_1249712840_o

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.

IMG_20151001_134252

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.

IMG_20151001_134823

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.

2015-10-01_07-42-40

Lovely layers and textures!

2015-10-01_07-46-08

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

2014-04-25 18.22.32

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
SONY DSC
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!

2014-04-25 18.22.32

2014-04-25 18.23.46

2014-04-25 18.24.09

 

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.

2014-04-25 18.26.36

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.

2014-04-25 18.24.51

But wait, there’s a surprise inside!!

2014-04-25 18.27.55

2014-04-25 18.30.59

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.

2014-04-26 08.04.39

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!

2014-04-26 08.04.11

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!

2014-04-26 14.50.422014-04-26 15.22.112014-04-26 15.34.01

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

Craft Worthy Redux and Creative Challenges

This evening as we walked into the deserted streets of a quaint Seattle neighborhood, the sky lit up with fireworks and exploded with cheers from every bright highrise, home, and bar.  I imagined for a moment that they were all celebrating my entry into a new decade, and it made for a rousing end to a lovely day.  Of course, in reality, the swell of voices and flashes of fire followed the final moments of a Superbowl that seemed to rally an entire city, even the least likely of fans.

While it was frustrating to find store after store closed or closing early, and a favorite restaurant where we’d planned to have my birthday dinner shuttered for the game, it was hard not to get just a little caught up in the momentary excitement.  Perhaps it was the  energy of the 12th man (and woman and child) that emboldened the Seahawks.  It certainly seemed the Broncos never had a chance.  So the sun smiled on Seattle today, a good omen for the game, and more importantly, a good omen for my new year, I hope!

2014-02-02 11.21.50 (1)
On Alki Beach
2014-02-02 13.39.42
Low tide facing west; the kind of blue you want to dive into!

So in my previous post about the creative journey, I discussed the concept of letting a piece “get cold”. I really need to do this more with my work.  There is an urgency in the virtual world, or more so an urgency prompted in one’s self by the virtual world, that can get in the way of the creative process.

After I created this card, I kept looking at it and thinking something was missing…

2014-01-31 11.34.19

I decided the embroidery hoop was just too empty; it didn’t look or feel right.  So I took a deep breath and filled the circle!

2014-02-02 12.46.56

Better?  I think so.  And while I am being a bit hyperbolic about taking a deep breath (it’s not like I couldn’t distress ink another panel and re-stamp!), this is one aspect of working with visual media that has always scared me–the lack of control one has over a piece.  Painting, creating mixed media, there is always that possibility of going one step too far, setting down the ink or paint, or adding some element to a nearly finished product that could “ruin” the whole thing.  When I think back to art classes in my youth, I felt the same way–unsure about the next step, over-thinking or under-trusting my decisions.  And certainly there are those opposite moments where the happy accident occurs.

But it’s not the same with writing.  There is so much more control.  Put down a word, delete, leave it, write on, come back–no matter.  The written work is malleable.  And it is certainly much more comfortable if not necessarily easier for me to execute.  I will likely be back to tinker with this entry at some point…

So the discomfort and moments of wonderment (Oh, I could have done it that way?!) will continue to accompany me on this journey as a paper crafter.  And in all honesty, I am enjoying the challenge.

Speaking of challenges, I finalized one more card for the Purple challenge over at CASology.  I used the window screen technique a la Make-it-Monday for this card as well.  It is my homage to the month of May, lilacs, and Mother’s Day!

2014-02-02 12.40.16

The cover plate is from Lil’ Inkers.  I love this die.  The vine flourish is Spellbinders.  Lilacs and sentiment are from WPlus9 Fresh Florals, stamped with pigment inks.  The banner is from a great Spellbinders set of 4 ribbon banners.

2014-02-02 12.43.35

2014-02-02 12.40.58

The back was finished off with some washi– it looks more yellowed in the photograph, but it is closer in color to the green paper on the card’s front.

2014-02-02 12.41.33

And speaking of florals, I dropped into the exquisite Drygoods Design in Ballard today.  I adore this store; they have a wonderful selection of fabrics, cards, notions and the owner is just as nice as can be.  Look at these Liberty of London fabrics–I am still drooling over the red in the floral pattern on the right.

2014-02-02 14.27.33

The store is attached to Anchored Ship Coffee, a darling bright spot to sip in the western sun and think about fabric…

untitled
Photo by Leona Lane
l
Storefront. Photo by Yelp.
Facing upstairs to Drygood Designs.
Facing upstairs to Drygood Designs. Photo by Leona Lane

I couldn’t leave empty handed, of course!  So I bought this delightful fabric:

AF-7340-G_MED Large_0313090

It’s called “Cat’s Dream” by Andover Fabrics–notice the balloons?  Purrfect birthday fabric for a crazy cat lady, no?

Oh, and Andover Fabrics is the company responsible for the new line of Downton Abbey fabrics inspired by Lady Mary, Edith, Sybil, and the Dowager Countess!  Read all about it here!

Speaking of Downton, I am off to see if the latest episode is ready to watch online.

Keep calm and craft on you crazy cats…