THD Challenge 16–Feeling Fall

Hi Everyone and welcome to The Heart Desires Challenge for September!

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Fall is just around the corner, though I’m not quite ready to make the transition.  How about you?

Most Seattlites struggle with 80 degree days and yearn for the cool and rain– not me!  I love the seasons, but struggle with transitions, and frankly summer is always snatched away too soon. The older I get, the grumpier I get when summer comes to an end! We’re also experiencing some pretty gnarly weather in Seattle due to numerous wildfires around Washington and in Oregon. Last night’s full corn moon was red again and our sun has been a neon pink orb the last few days as the ash and smoke hang in the air and cover homes, inside and out–more fall cleaning!  It’s pretty surreal– an odd natural beauty born of disaster, lightning, a changing climate, and human carelessness. Certainly many places around the globe are experiencing difficult, and disastrous, seasonal transitions as well. Change is challenging no matter how or when it happens!

So why not head over to The Heart Desires where change is  good and our challenges are more fun?

The colors, patterns, and my thoughts of Central California Coast, where I traveled this summer and where life is all about the beach and surfing, particularly in and around Santa Cruz and Big Sur all influenced my design.  How I’d love to own or rent an Airstream or Vanagon and just live for a month or two traveling up and down the coast!

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I created a fall duo with the Flora & Fauna Camper set and Carta Bella’s Autumn & Jen Hadfield’s Warm & Cozy papers, available at The Heart Desires store.

The Warm & Cozy papers are perfect for making these little epoxy buttons.

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I used the Concord & 9th Layering Leaves Die to create my “surfboard” cut from cherry wood veneer.

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The wheels were cut twice to create the silver rims, and then I used Matte Sprinkles for the tires.

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The envelope die isn’t available at the Heart Desires– it’s an exclusive Neat and Tangled product, but it makes the best wrapper for pretty much every card.

Finally, the inside is finished with some ombre aqua washi, reminiscent of the ocean & echoing the tires on the bus!  You might also note that the blue of the table in the challenge picture also inspired the use of this color– aqua and orange are such an amazing combo!

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Since I’m posting this feature a day late, I’m also over on the Heart Desires blog today, Thursday, with another card featuring the Flora and Fauna Camper!  Head over there and learn more about it!

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That’s it for me!  Here’s to smooth transitions, happy trails and good vibes!

Hang loose!

When you post your entries, feel free to tag us on social media!
#thdchallenge, #theheartdesiresstore #thdstore

PNW Birthday Buddies

 

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Laura, I am sorry that the sun is not shining for you in the PNW (what else is new), I am sorry that Mercury is in retrograde (thus all my uploading woes), and thus I do apologize for being so unfashionably late. All that being said, I sure hope you have had a wonderful birthday weekend, and caught some sunny spring splendor Friday or late yesterday!  What a wonderful time of the year for a birthday when everything is bursting to life!

This card was inspired by the season and earth day!  I can’t wait to get digging in the dirt and my containers, as the front of the house is looking like a wasteland after the winter!

I’ve had this printed acetate from Studio Calico for awhile now and kept wanting to use it, but not really feeling inspired to.  Sometimes just spending time with your stash, organizing, reminding yourself of forgotten dies, and sifting through the bits and bobs leads to inspiration.  This is a a combo of new and old, and features a few different techniques.

For example, the hummingbird set from Hero Arts is brand new; I love these dies so much–you’ll be seeing more of this and the other bird soon.  I adhered some washi from a great Michael’s collection to some cardstock and then die cut.  I like this technique and it is a great way to create unique papers and use up washi, especially that which is getting older and losing its stick.

The sentiment from Papertrey Ink is adhered below the acetate.  Because anything will show under the acetate, adhering it itself is tricky, so glue dots were used under the die cuts.

The little Wellie is from an older My Creative Time die set.  The top layer of the boot is cut from hand-colored Ranger glossy paper using a combo of orange, pink and yellow alcohol inks.

I watercolored with brushos, available at The Heart Desires, and cut that paper with the new Waffle Flower leafy dies.   The new Waffle Flower collection looks so good with Savvy dies, and so I united the Savvy floral set here.

The inside is finished with the Michael’s washi set.

I’m the last stop on the hop, so make sure to head over to Laura’s blog and check out her recent work and wish her a happy birthday!

If you want to start at the beginning, head over to Tonya’s blog, our hostess for the event!

Many blessings to you Laura and your new year!

The Heart Desires: Challenge 9

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Hey Everyone!  It’s that time of the month again over at The Heart Desires and I am so excited to bring you some cards to brighten your February!

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Using Altenew’s Wild Hibiscus and Concord & 9th’s Crazy Awesome sets, I created my first card.  The flowers and bird were stamped on vellum in Unicorn white, heat embossed and fussy cut.

I have layered the focal point on Maggie Holmes’ Bloom and Gather papers.

For my red card, I am featuring Studio Calico’s scissors die— which isn’t easy to find, but Tonya has it for sale in the store!  Cut from foam and layered with pattern paper.

The flowers below are from the Crazy Awesome set, created the same way as those on the other card.  Border papers are from Maggie Holmes’ Bloom collection.

I hope you will get crazy creative with us this month over at The Heart Desires!

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!

THD Challenge #8

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Happy New Year and welcome to The Heart Desire’s first challenge of 2017!

Could there be more perfect images and colors to represent January?

For my first card, I was inspired by the snowman and shades of blue, though you’ll note I snuck in some holiday red.

My entire card features Carta Bella’s Snow Fun papers, which Tonya has in stock.  This pack of papers has so many possibilities for creating layered scenes and fun cards with or without stamping.  And since the pack is not Christmas/holiday focused, it is a perfect choice for making some fun winter/non-holiday greeting cards or scrapbooking those winter moments of skiing, sledding, skating, snowman-making!   I’ve used four of the designs here.

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The sentiment is from Carta Bella’s Snow Fun collection as well, which comes with coordinating dies.  Tonya has the other set which would be perfect on this card as well!

Carta Bella Wintertime Stamp Set

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I’ve been creating these sequin strands lately as I ran out of my premade sequin ribbons. These are just so much more fun!  Here instead of wax twine, I have used hemp.

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Inside finished with some washi!  Snow in January is still so much fun, but as the months go on it’s harder to be happy with it!  Glad I live in a climate where I no longer need to deal with snow in April (unless I want to… in the mountains!).

Next card is more muted and captures some of the quiet blues and sparkle of the inspiration graphic.

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Going back in time here!  I say hello and you say goodbye!  It’s how the holidays go, no?

Again, I have selected portions of Snow Fun paper to create a layered scene.  This card features three different papers from the collection.  This one below is perfect for making these window cards.  So many possibilities!  I will have another card mid-challenge from this series, so check back in a couple weeks to see who I chose for the next card!

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I’ve created a shaker window for this card to represent crystal snow falling on the ice skaters.

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The banner sentiment is thick vellum and curved  upward for dimension.  The inside is finished with some fun splotchy snow red washi to echo the red of the birds  and scarf on front!

I hope you’re off to a creative new year and that you are inspired to play along with our challenge and check out this great set of papers, and entire winter collection from Carta Bella, available at the Heart Desires!

Other supplies: Pinkfresh Oh Joy rubber sticker, Amuse Studio Hello December Stamp, MFT circle windows dies

Snow Fun: THD Challenge

Are you ready for retro, for winter, for all things sparkly and kitsch?  Then you are ready for The Heart Desires Challenge 7!

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I have a few other cards up my sleeve for this challenge, as it’s just so darn inspiring– but aren’t they all?  This card is a bit less of that kitschy mid-century vibe, but it does incorporate the Snow Fun papers by Carta Bella that will take you back to a snowy fun day in th 50’s!

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I used a wood veneer tree from Richard Garay’s Lumberjack collection– a nice contrast to the cherry wood of the die cut moose, which is by Echo Park.  Tonya has a fabulous die set, Buck and Doe from Gina Marie of which the Buck would have fit perfectly here.

The pink plaid is from Bloom paper collection.

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The sentiment is part of the Snow Fun collection by Carta Bella.  In the photo above, you can see how I have propped up and curved it on the vellum die cut.

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It has been stamped with silver Delicata ink and heat embossed.

Thanks for dropping by and walking through a snowy woodland with me.  Make sure to play along this month!  You have until the last day of 2016!  Can you believe it!

Can’t wait to see what festive creations you submit!

Happy holidays!

 

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!

Good Spirits

I am an idealist with a healthy dose of realism.  We can be taken down by the disappointments of our daily lives and the dark forces within them, or the greater world, or we can confront these realities and counterbalance them with creativity and compassion.  My idealist nature has opened me up to not just a few tricksters throughout my life, and in recent years, I’ve experienced a not-so-healthy dose of disappointment.  It is easy, and human, to become discouraged, to want to disengage as a result.  And this reaction very well may be necessary for our own healing and growth.  Like a yoga instructor once said to me, “It’s important to open, but you have to close, too.” This was a really important revelation for me.

But then you need to find a way to open back up again–to trust, to forgiveness, to acceptance.  That is the hard task of living.  Cynicism, negativity, rigidity are much easier, but if prolonged, much deadlier states of being.  I know I have held on to people or incidents using them to stoke my anger, as proof of what a dismal business any relationship can be.  The reality is no matter how generous or kind you are to some people, no matter how authentically you try to conduct your life, you can’t necessarily expect reciprocation, and to expect as much, while only natural, can be a recipe for disappointment.  It also leads to a transactional view of the world or relationships (rather than a transformational one) which isn’t healthy or realistic in the long run.  What I’ve come to find, rather, is that often you will receive what you need when you need it, and it may be from an unexpected source, at an unexpected time.  Sometimes this source is within us, other times it is outside of us.  Reminding myself of this on a daily basis is one thing that helps me persevere in my personal and professional realms.  It also helps me recognize my own shortcomings and forgive myself when I haven’t directly acknowledged or repaid someone’s kind act.

And this weekend in particular gave me pause to reflect on all of this, not only because of the conversations and interactions I had, but also because I received an unexpected gift in the mail from a fellow paper crafter.  There are myriad reasons why anyone creates art–for me, one reason is to counteract the ugliness in the world, and sometimes in my mind.  It is the same reason why I, and many of us, retreat into nature.  Both remind me that the world is a beautiful place and we can have a hand in that beauty.  Becoming part of an international group of paper crafters and artists has contributed to that sense as well.

So I just wanted to publicly thank Jeanne of A Kept Life for her kind gesture.  Not only did she send me one of her gorgeous cards with a wonderful note, she included some Pretty Little Studio materials–and I love their work.  In case you don’t know Jeanne, she is on numerous design teams and has an amazing flair for color and pattern.  Her cards just pop out of the screen, and are even more delightful in real life.  Please pay her a visit!  These are just a few of my favorites of hers, seasonally appropriate! Click on image for more information.

I have been working, as usual, behind the scenes quite a bit on different pieces, but haven’t had much time to write and post the work.  I finalized this card last week, inspired by Fusion’s latest challenge.  There are some AMAZING entries (as usual) from the design team and players this week!  Go check them out!

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I integrated most of the imagery in the photo, including the branches and the mini candelabra, and manipulated the sketch a bit.

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The inside sentiment is from Waltzingmouse’s Halloween set released last  year. inside trick or treatAll of the ephemera is from an old American Crafts set; I die cut the clock (Crafter’s Companion), branch (Memory Box), and leaf sprig (Maggie Holmes).  The papers are old October Afternoon, and the base is one of my favorite cardstocks, “Fuse” by MFT.  I am not a big twine or ribbon user in my cards, but I do love the look of that moldable wax twine as a finishing touch sometimes.

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Click to enlarge.

I am also playing along with AAA Cards and a new-to-me challenge, Time Out (I made it over, Anita!!)

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Time Out Challenge

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In the next few days, as the moon becomes full and the veil thins, I hope your world will be full of good spirits, and if you encounter any ghouls, may you find the power to cast them off.  I plan to be back with some more Halloween fare before the week is out, but if not, enjoy this enchanted season and revel in the treats of Halloween night!

Feeling Festive!

I’m not one to rush the seasons, so thinking about Christmas cards when there are only a few summery days left to savor isn’t really my inclination.  However, after seeing Festive Friday’s last few challenges and the inspiring work by the design team, I felt inclined to play along.  I loved the non-traditional palette of the inspiration photo.  There are so many fabulous elements to chose from–the wood stump, pinecones, grey bird, frosted cookies.  I’ve made two cards, but the image has me thinking of many other designs that perhaps I will have a chance to execute before the deadline.

A few of us gathered for a festive day of crafting on the beach this weekend, so I was able to complete the second of my two holiday cards.  I will start with that one!  Given the state of affairs in the nation and world at the moment, this seems an appropriate sentiment.  But then again, when in history hasn’t it?

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This card features the black and white elements, the stripes, branch, and kraft.

After finally inking up my Hero Arts letters, which I have been dying to use for months, and stamping on Ellen Hutson White Linen paper, I put together my earth and wreath.

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The earth from MFT’s Centerpiece die “You Mean the World to Me” was cut twice from black and gold glitter paper, and the black continents inlaid.  All were adhered to a die-cut circle.

I felt that my card needed a pop of color, so I added a sprig of pine from a deconstructed Savvy die branch, and some red berries, glazed with glossy accents.  They look like cinnamon candies!

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I added some icicle Stickles to the PTI rustic wreath.  I cut some Lifestyle Crafts Shape and Tape into strips and adhered after placing my centerpiece.

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To echo the sprig and berries, I finished off the inside and back with some striped washi from My Mind’s Eye.

JOY TO THE WORLD

My first card was not only inspired by the inspiration photo, but also the gorgeous creation by Rebecca Luminarias.

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I always love Rebecca’s style.  I pulled some of the gold elements from her card into both of mine.

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I absolutely love the combination of turquoise and gold, so when my card was finished, I realized it needed a pop of color.  The turquoise washi felt perfect for the bottom stripe on the outside and inside of the card.

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I love the gold lace paper from My Mind’s Eye Market Street pack.

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Because I only have two pieces of this paper, I didn’t want to waste a bit of it.  So I cut out the middle of it before layering– a good way to preserve paper when creating lots of layers!

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The white layer was die cut using Mama Elephant’s Temme Frames stitched rectangle die.

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I strung 7 stars along some gold thread for each of the continents and added some striped washi from Stampin’ Up! for some visual interest.

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Since Paulina over at Pretty Pink Posh is hosting a die-cut blog hop challenge, I am going to link these up over there as well.  So many wonderful creations at both sites– so make sure to stop by and play along!

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