PNW Birthday Buddies: Part Deux

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Bold! Beautiful! Bright!

These words come to mind when I think of Ms. Kimberly Weiner! She is a bundle of fun energy and we have some great talks and laughs, especially when we carpool and craft! She is super supportive and someone you can reach out to when in need!  I am glad to call her a friend!

Of course, today is her birthday and we’re hopping here in the PNW!  Lisa is our hostess, and you can head over to her site for the full hop listing!

A couple weeks ago, Kimberly taught her class at Impress Cards and Crafts and a few of us joined in the fun. Of course, who can leave that store empty-handed?

I scored some great new offerings, among which is the Flora and Fauna Llama birthday die! Their dies and stamps are really cool; a fun addition to the quirky Savvy line.
So we were supposed to CASE one of Kimberly’s cards as part of our hop, and I couldn’t believe she had just posted one to IG featuring the Llama stamp set by Flora & Fauna. Great, creative minds, synchronicity, and all that! Go check it out at her IG, as it’s not on her blog.

This was one of her cards I had in mind, though, in addition to the Llama!

And here’s my card for her!

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Kimberly had just been talking about this flag die the other week, so I knew I wanted to use it as the backdrop.  It’s Spellbinders Floral Ribbon Threader, which reminds me of the Mexican folk art papel picado banners.  I have used them to frame my sugar skulls dies for Dia de los Muertos.

Anyway, I cut two of the banners and adhered their wrong sides, so I can write on the back, like a postcard.

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The llama was cut from both Fun Foam/Stick-It Adhesive and #100 Ellen Huston linen paper.  I don’t use my Flower Soft much (and as a result, I don’t use the special glue for the Flower Soft, so the glue was all dried up!).  I improvised with Diamond Glaze, but it didn’t give the tacky dimension that the other glue does.  So I layered up the fine white and pink Flower Soft.

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The yellow cording has wire inside, so it creates a really fun 3-D balloon string, and can be shaped a million and one ways!  I cut the balloon from hand-colored watercolored paper and the Stick-it/Fun Foam.  I embellished with some blue Stickles and then pieces of the ribbon tie had come off when cutting the ribbon, and I thought they looked awesome, so I let them fall and dry on the balloon.

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The sentiment, which I didn’t anticipate ahead of time, ended up fitting perfectly on the banner!  I knew I wanted to use one of the Kaisercraft bold subway sentiments, and this was absolutely fitting!

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Finally, Neat and Tangled has a new Envelope/doily die that is only available from their site (not sold in other stores/online stores).  I love it’s design and versatility, and it works well with the Mexican vibe of this card.  It was cut from vellum and then wrapped with some fringe ribbon (from Target!).

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Alright, Kimberly!  You better have a smashing birthday (this llama could serve as a pinata as well!).  And the rest of you better hip-hop to the next stop, which is Kimberly’s blog, and make sure to wish her a fabulous year ahead and check out her amazing work! Want to hop back to the beginning? Start here.

Llama and Balloon Die
Flora and Fauna Clear Die

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!

Keep Palm. Carry On.

After a very un-calm week, I was keeping so calm at the end of each day that I never got around to this post.  I was definately on island time in the creation, photographing, editing and posting of these cards.  All in all, about 2 1/2 weeks now.  Our mini heat wave here in Seattle is partly to blame– a 90 degree studio and exhaustion from both the heat and teaching didn’t really create the prime conditions.

I took to a kayak last night because I was too tired to trek to the outdoor pool and swim laps, but needed the relief of water.  It was a glorious night and there’s nothing better than being on, in or around the water at sunset.  Fires in the Olympic National Park are creating paradoxically stunning sunsets–neon pink and purple striations.  But I am not ready for their earlier and earlier arrival. And today, it’s windy, grey, and COLD– something I am also not relishing.

So let’s pretend that we are in the tropics, shall we?

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 I started with the ombre palm background using the set Say Aloha by Kaisercraft available at The Heart Desires store, stamping in three different green pigment inks.
 

I stamped the flamingo from the same set, wet embossed with some sparkle powder, and fussy cut, then set to layering.  The hibiscus is from CottageCutz and is cut from hand-colored alcohol-inked glossy paper.  Note the ombre effect on the flower/leaves.  Love that Little B pineapple!

I cut my sentiment banner and stamped with Delicata Gold and heat embossed.  The gold palm is a new die from Savvy Stamps.

Love the sheen of the glossy paper and embossed inks.

Everything was layered on 110# Wood embossed paper and the inside finished with one of my most favorite washis. The banner needed more of a focal point so the triangle enamel piece pulled it together and echoes the washi.  It also is the same color as my glossy paper.

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The next card is a variation on the theme.

This time I used more of the ferns and fronds from Say Aloha and ones from Hero Arts Stamp Your Own Plant both available at The Heart Desires.  Again, I chose a selection of green pigment inks.  Tonya has some of the lovely Hero Arts Hybrid inks in a variety of greens–Moss, Green Apple, Pine–that would work well. 

The hibiscus and palm dies make an appearance again– this time in coral card stock and wood paper respectively.

A few Savvy and Julie Ebersole flowers were cut from stock and glossy alcohol papers and layered in.  Everything was placed upon the Concord and 9th’s Tree Ring, stamped in Hero Arts Unicorn White and heat embossed on vellum. The wood paper panel is from the Bloom set. Ink, stamps, and paper are all waiting for you at The Heart Desires as well!

The inside is finished with ombre-metallic washi.  You can see how I layered my gold sentiment die with some glitter foam.

Now if these colors and designs are reminding you of something, it should be our current challenge!

You have 5 more days to play along, so I hope you have found some inspiration here today!

Keep palm and have a creative weekend everyone!

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!

A Window to the World of Purple

In my last post, I briefly explored the restorative powers of scent.  This week, the ladies over at CAS-ology have prompted me to think about the significance of color, in particular, purple.  It is the theme of their current challenge, and a color that doesn’t seem to be a terribly popular choice among card makers, based on some reactions I have read.  I, myself, own very little in the way of purple clothing or accessories, and up to this point only considered it once in my card making when I was creating an assortment of gumdrops (which can be seen here).  I needed to use a Crayola marker as I hadn’t thought to invest in Copics of purple shades!

Initially, I dismissed the challenge.  What could I say or would I want to say through purple?  Despite it being the color of my birth gem, amethyst, and birth flower, violet, I’ve never been drawn to or inspired by it, regardless of shade.  But over the last few days, my thoughts kept turning toward this regal hue.

Having just replayed seasons one and two and three of Downton Abbey while I was ill, images of ethereal lilac and lavender dresses flowed through my mind.  Unbeknownst to me before the series, Victorian and Edwardian ladies turned to soft purples for half-mourning clothes.  Purple was also one of the main colors employed by the Suffragettes in the Women’s Social and Political Union in England, standing for dignity; white and green were also featured in their flags, banners and other materials, symbolizing purity and hope, respectively.

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Note the “Votes for Women” sash and pins in purple, green and white. Sybil is also wearing some purple.
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Welcoming the unsavory Duke to Downton; ladies are in transitional lavender mourning clothes for family lost on Titanic.
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Again the lavender dresses are noted as ladies are in half-mourning for Sybil.
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Lady Mary emerged from her black period, and mood, to a lighter purple, and more personable, one.

All of that reminded me of the annual Lilac Festival held in my hometown of Rochester, NY where more than 1,200 bushes of 500 varieties have bloomed and drawn visitors from all over since 1908.  I was prompted to pull out my WPlus9 Fresh Cut Florals set and start stamping lilacs for a card that is still in the works!

A 1910 photograph from The Stone Collection of the Rochester Museum & Science Center shows Highland Park, site of the annual Lilac Festival.

Maybe I was too quick to cast aside the color of 2014!

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So what came of all this contemplating?  Well, add a little bit of Make-it-Monday inspiration from Melissa Phillips, a dash of CASE Study # 176 and some Edwardian elegance and you get the following!

First up, Lavender Lovely.

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Melissa Phillips’s window card had me really inspired; I created a few versions, some which are still works in progress, but will be featured soon.  CASE Study’s muse, Donna Mikasa, had me reaching for my Hero Arts Fancy floral lace die and re-visioning my approach to the window card.  The two challenges combined with purple for a match made in heaven!

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I was pretty faithful to Melissa’s tutorial, using tone-on-tone stamping with the Ruby Reprise stamps from PTI on my second layer.  However, I wanted my card to be much more clean and layered, so I did not add stamping or much embellishment on the top layer.  I really love how the cream base and top layer play against the lavender, lilac and purple hues.

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I popped my window out, but wish I’d had thicker foam squares, or more of them (I ran out of the large squares which are better for doubling up), to pop it out a bit more, as the die will cast a wonderful shadow against the background the further it sits off the paper.

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Next Up, Easter Wishes

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Purple is long associated with spirituality and piety, and one thing I love about this die is that it looks like a stained glass window in a church.  So playing off my original card, I inverted the colors, and simplified the card even more.  The sentiment is from PTI’s Mega Mixed Messages, which I stamped in lavender Color Box ink and heat embossed.

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The card base is from a paper assortment my mom sent me, which I wondered if I would ever use!  Seems like it found just the right fit at last!

I would love to hear what you think about purple, Downton, or my cards!  Drop me line if you have the time.

And be sure to head over to CAS-ology, CASE Study and Make-it-Monday for colors and designs certain to please any palate!

Warning

Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.