Coffee Lovers Blog Hop!

When I started this post, I was saying hello from the historic Lake Quinault Lodge on the shores of Lake Quinault nestled in the rainforested Olympic Peninsula where we were wrapping up our trip to the National Park and the coast, sitting in the great room of the lodge and waiting out the rain, warming ourselves with fire and coffee.  Now hours later, we are on a ferry headed back to Seattle–it’s been a fabulous weekend, and a long trip back.  This girl could use some coffee to power through the rest of this post!  You may need some too!

And speaking of coffee, that’s what this highly anticipated post is all about!  For the last few weeks many of us in the online paper crafting world have been talking coffee and using it as inspiration for creations that will be showcased today over on Chaitali’s website Cuts, Crops and Creativity.


A quick gander over to the post puts participants at 170 already (as of 12pm PST!).  While I won’t have much time today to travel around to everyone’s sites, as we will be hiking and then en route to Seattle, I look forward to doing so throughout the week!

So what did I come up with for this event?  Sit back with some coffee and get ready for a photo-heavy  post!

First Up: A frightening prospect!

Ever have a morning when you head into the kitchen, blurry eyed and fumbling for the beans, only to find that none are left?  Luckily we have a pretty decent coffeeshop right down the beach from our house; however, I really enjoy grinding a single origin coffee from Seattle Coffee Works, Slate or many of the fabulous small roasters, and brewing in my French press first thing in the morning.  So when our canister is empty, the morning gets off to a scary start indeed.

With that in mind, and a glance over at one of my favorite stamps earlier last week, I was inspired to come up with this hybrid card/tag:

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I’ve used Distress Inks for all my stamping and edge distressing, except the skeleton, who was stamped in Versafine Black.  The clock is from Deep Red Stamps.  I made my own Dymo labels with a font on my computer, printed out, cut and distressed it.

My cards and tags feature quite a few dies: PTI Spiral notebook page die, MFT large banners, Impression Obsession coffeebeans, and Memory Box mini mugs.

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A terrifying thought, right?  But a pretty cool card!  I am really happy with how this little number turned out.

I initially came up with the phrase and knew I wanted to use my Victorine Originals Skeleton; however, the rest of the card evolved slowly, with the pull-down banner as an ah-ha moment!

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If you happened to see my coffee-inspired clipboard card that I made back in April, you will note some similarities in the design of the two cards.  For all of my pieces here, I am featuring mostly the Prima Sunrise Sunset papers.

The Guatemala coffee sticker was repurposed from a bag of beans by the roaster Bows and Arrows out of Victoria, BC.  We toyed with the idea of taking the Black Ball ferry over there for the day this weekend since we were right across the water in Port Angeles, but there’s just never enough time for everything.  A day spent strolling around Victoria is always a lovely idea though!  Check out Bows and Arrows in person if you happen to venture there or online!

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Since the second half of the sentiment would not fit on the front of the card, I needed to figure out where to place it. After some playing around, my PTI Movers and Shakers die came to mind and I came up with sliding sentiment banner!

For the back, I die cut the ‘to’ and ‘from’ with Mama Elephant dies, and stamped the paper with some coffee rings from an Inkadinkadoo set.

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You can see here the detail of the paper layer inside the clipboard.

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Love those beans from Impression Obsession–they really were the reason why I had to buy that set at the very last moment before I made my cards!

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Next Up: Getting through the day

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For this card, many of the same themes continue.  I actually started with the sentiment from Kelly Purkey’s set “I Like You” and built the card around it.  I distressed some of the Prima paper and used a Tim Holtz burlap stencil for the background.  Precious Remembrance provided the chevron stamp.

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The Memory Box mini mug makes another appearance, along with some hemp twine.  The inside is layered with some more Prima paper and the back finished with washi.

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Finally, for the love of beans and the coffee lover herself, a small gift tag!

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Again, I got a little cheeky with the sentiment!  The stamped sentiment is also from Precious Remembrance.  The hand-crank coffee grinder is from the Impression Obsession set, cut on woven paper from DCDW (I strategically cut along the top of the paper where there exists a little dotted cutting line).  I layered the crank of the grinder and then created a shadow with an additional layer of black.

Can you even stand those beans??  I cut many of them from paper I distressed with Walnut Stain, and layered with Gina K Cocoa cardstock and some patterned paper, also featured on the tag.

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And here’s the trio in all their glory!

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Well, this ferry is almost ready to dock (literally and figuratively!), and I need to link this up over at Chaitali’s site.  I sure hope you will hop around and see what other coffee inspired cards have been created by so many talented paper artists!

I also hope you will stop back here tomorrow, as I will be participating in another blog hop– this time the Creative Bloghop: Getting to Know Me.  You will learn more about my creative process and meet some fine paper artists whom I adore.  I had planned on posting that today as well, but honestly, no amount of coffee could keep me composed or composing at this point!  So I will see you after a goodnight’s sleep and a full mug in the morning!


Hello from Seattle!

Good afternoon, all! As promised I am back with my second post featuring the other cards I created based on our current challenge over at CASE Study.  If you haven’t dropped by CASE or read my post from yesterday, make sure to check them out, get inspired, and play along this week with us!


Before I get to my pictures and products, I want to send a warm hello and thanks to all my new followers here and through Pinterest!  I also want to thank Chupa of Random Acts of Creativity, and owner of CASE Study, for the  chance to join the fabulous team over at there this last month, alongside the incredibly talented Sarah Gough of Thinking Stamps!  I have had the opportunity to reach a greater audience and meet more talented creatives as a result!  I am excited about growing my network!  So the cards that follow are for you all!  Hello from Seattle!

Stamp Nation

Additionally, last week I joined Stamp Nation, run by the energetic and passionate Catherine Pooler!  After hearing about it from Maureen of MamaMo Stamps and Chupa, I just had to check it out.  I have experienced a wonderful welcoming over there and encourage you to explore all the community has to offer in the way of videos, discussion, and inspiration!

News from the Industry

Lastly, a bit of news I thought I would pass on!  I just read that Tasnim, a design team member at CASE Study, and the brains behind the stunningly clean and not-so-simple cards over at Cards & Bookmarks has started her own stamp company, Altenew, with Jen Rzasa of Our Change of Art!  So they will be bringing some awesome combined talent to what will be fresh, artful, modern designs!  See either site for the details! Congrats, ladies!

Jen Rzasa’s card from their new set of stamps!
Tasnim’s Card featuring their new stamps!

Okay, now on with the show!

Here’s Joni’s inspiration card just to remind you!


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Since the card I featured this week at CASE was giving me such a hard time, I decided to try a few different options.  This one here I really like in its graphic CAS style.  I followed that center line that Joni established in her card with the positive and negative die cuts.  I used my turquoise vellum here as well.

I had really wanted to experiment with Ranger’s Crackle Accents as I had it in mind to create a rain-like appearance on my buildings, but I wanted more texture than what Glossy Accents could provide.

Here are some close-ups:

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I like how it turned out, but I was pretty controlled in my application on both cards.  So I think freeing myself up a bit, experimenting with more coverage, might make a better impact and more visual interest.

Here is the other card using the Crackle Accents, and this time a much softer, ethereal palate inspired by Joni’s pink vellum leaves.

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This time I created the front panel with Crate Paper’s DIY Shoppe water-color paper, and adhered it to Bazzill’s Robin’s Egg cardstock– this color is out of this world!!  I decided to use the silver vellum umbrella for a little shine and added clear sequins for some rain-droplet sparkle.


I love my Color Box Charcoal pigment ink, but decided to stamp off on a scrap then stamp onto the panel as it created this lovely soft grey that worked so well with the “watercolor” paper it almost looks like it is part of the background.  I didn’t have any grey in my collection close to this, so it was a perfect technique.

So stamp off to create a color you might want but not have in your collection– works well with your darker pigment inks!


And remember, heat set your pigment and oil-based inks, like Versafine.  If you don’t, smudge is bound to happen.  If you smudge the Versamark and catch it early enough, a good art eraser might be able to take up the still wet ink (I had success a couple times with small smudges).  But once it sets, that’s it.  So get that heat gun out and fired up!  It takes an extra minute, but it’s worth it!


Finally, I had a little scrap piece from some water-coloing and misting a few week’s ago.  I liked what was left over and when I stamped on it, I liked it even more.  So I made a postcard!  I used Lawn Fawn’s You’ve Got Mail.  Super simple.  I may put in a vellum envelope and send out, as it would look good behind vellum!

The scrap was adhered to 100# cardstock with Mod Podge, so it is stiff and durable.  All stamping was done with Versamark just in case I do send as a postcard, then the ink won’t run.

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And all four creations together!

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Memory Box Petite Umbrella (my favorite out there of umbrella dies!)

Seattle City Die

Hello From Seattle Stamp

Bazzill Paper Pack



Well, since the theme is Seattle, I must share with you a fabulous coffeeshop that is relatively new to our area and following in the footsteps of some other great third wave coffeeshops that are here and taking hold in other major cities around the US.

Over the last few years, my partner and I often found ourselves bemoaning the lack of decent coffeeshops in the very city that is supposed to be known for coffee!  After our travels to Vancouver, BC, Chicago, New York (yes, even New York City (not typically known for quality coffee offerings), and even more incredibly our hometown of Rochester), Salt Lake, and of course the darling to our south, Portland, we just could not get over how far behind Seattle had fallen in the world of coffee.

Within the last two years, though, our Emerald city seems to be catching up, and the latest addition to the scene is Slate Roasters in Ballard.

We dropped by on Sunday for a flight of single origin coffees, all of which were delightful, and happily the service was equally so.  We geeked out on coffee talk about bouquet, flavor profiles, chemistry, complexity, and mouth feel with the baristas.  Yes, folks, just like with good wine and beer, the dimensions of coffee are incredibly complex and exciting, affected not only by varietal, processing, roasting, grind, and preparation, but by temperature, food, and the chemistry of your own mouth.  A world of wonder in that little cup of America’s favorite legal drug!

My favorite of the three coffees we tried; layered, complex, juicy fruit upfront, wafer cookie and light chocolate at the end. Phenomenal!

So if you are in the Seattle area, I recommend a stop at Slate.  Be prepared to kick back and enjoy.  This ain’t no Starbucks!

Heading to Chicago, New York, LA, Salt Lake, Vancouver, BC, or Portland, OR?  Check out my other recommendations for coffee pleasure in my links on the right sidebar!

The latest issue of Imbibe will walk you through the libations of the Pacific Northwest and Seattle’s fall from and slow rise back to coffee greatness, including a feature on Slate Coffee Roasters!

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Want more recommendations for places to see in Seattle?  Check out my post here.

Thanks for stopping by today, and let me know if you’ve found any coffeeshops in your area or travels you would recommend!

May your cup be overflowing with creativity today!