It’s beginning to look a lot like…

On a morning like this when the light-filled studio is just below baking and the air, thin and cool, teases relief through a cracked window, thoughts turn reluctantly to December, though I know it looms. Thus, by this point in the summer, the ease and possibility of June and July give way to urgency. I register the changing light of August and begin to count.  How many weeks until the new school year? How many remaining days at the pool?  How many sunset hours left to kayak?

And of course, how many holiday cards left to make?

This last question is laughable because I rarely make cards or seasonal gifts for any holiday or birthday during the off-months– and the ones I do complete in advance struggle to find their way into the mail or hands of their recipient (apologies to family, birthday buddies, boyfriend…)!  Case in point: all tardy 2015/2016 holiday, birthday, mother’s day, father’s day, get-well gifts were meant to be part of a Christmas in July celebration I’d cooked up, but it’s now August.

And so it goes.

I am often too busy sucking the marrow of each moment (or worrying that I’m not making the most of that moment) to think about and plan for some elusive future.  It’s a way of being that certainly has its benefits, but also some costly downsides.

And being a dopamine-driven creative short on time and long on distraction, I know I’m not alone in this!

One card likely won’t turn the beat around, but for a few blissful moments as this piece came together, and visions of more danced about, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my brain…

The designs by Savvy Stamps, Julie Ebersole and Neat and Tangled all complement one another so well, and the ones featured here are some of my favorites– if you follow my work, you know they are in heavy rotation!!  Nearly all products used on this card, which is being submitted to their Pinsights Challenge, can be found at Ellen Hutson.

So first the tree ring.  I’d been plotting its possibilities since the stamp was released by Concord and 9th last year– and it takes center stage here with bold, black embossed vellum, fussy cut, and then layered with an array of Savvy Stamps and Essentials by Ellen dies.  My second favorite element?  That Brushstroke Joy sentiment cut from Essentials by Ellen 110# wood embossed paper and layered with pink mylar!  Look at that iridescence!


The Savvy Woodland Branch is cut from cherry woodgrain paper; the Wild Garden berry sprigs from Essentials by Ellen #110 wood embossed paper, and then embellished with icicle Stickles.  This thick turquoise glitter paper from American Crafts is probably my favorite glitter stock ever (it comes in gold and garnet red, too), and it works perfectly for floral die cuts like these, also from Wild Garden; the large flower petals are partially adhered and popped up for interest.



Savvy Stamps Flower Blossom #2 is one of my favorites of the set, and I love the flow that this leafy sprig creates. It has been cut from Jen Hadfield gold stock.


Finally, Neat and Tangled’s Hexstar cover die cut from Jen Hadfield DIY gold woodgrain paper is slightly manipulated and then layered over EBY 110# woodgrain paper and dotted paper from Maggie Holmes Confetti line.


One last look at the dimension created by the layers.


Even if the holidays, or traditional holiday colors, or merely the thought of winter make you want run and bury your head in a scorching mound of sand,  I hope my non-traditional take on the holiday card coaxes you into creating some of your own before the stress of the season bears down!

And with that, I’m off to the pool!







Let’s Celebrate!

Happy New Year! 

Let’s celebrate my return to this site, for one thing!!

Now, how has the first week of 2015 found you?

I’m behind the times, so that isn’t anything new!  I’m not one to make resolutions, but I do like the feeling of possibility that a new year presents, so I am looking forward to working toward some business and creative goals as I venture into 2015.  Given the rate at which I’ve been moving since holidays, I will happily take the rest of the month as my clean slate on which to begin plotting out my next bold moves.  As U2 says, “Nothing changes on New Year’s Day,” right?

And while Pinned & Penned may have been in hibernation mode for a bit, I have been squirreling away quite a few cards created over the last month.  All of my edited photos have been uploaded, so be on the lookout for some portfolio features, as I am not sure I will get to blogging about each piece.

Over the previous weeks, I have been drawn to a palette of mint, pastel pink, and gold, with my eye turned toward an aesthetic of the mid-50’s and early 60’s which incorporates these colors.  You can see some of the inspiring images on my Pinterest board.

I am completely in love with Paper Source’s Mint, Antique Gold, and Blush colored cardstock, as well as MFT’s Insulation Pink.

My card below was partially inspired by the recent challenge over at Fusion, which is celebrating a first birthday!  So let’s celebrate 2015 and a year’s worth of inspiration thanks to Fusion!

Here is their photo and sketch:

First Birthday

And my card!

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I love the corrugated silver paper; it reminds me of a stage curtain in an auditorium or a gymnasium where a holiday dance might have been held! It’s a bit difficult to tell from the photos, but the large sequin is a very light mint color, echoing the mint washi at the bottom.

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My card features stamps by Neat and Tangled and PTI.  I love this starburst and have a few other cards drafted and completed making use of it.  I masked the center of the starburst before stamping my clock face and embossing with gold.  The numbers were cut from silver vellum for subtlety.

The antique gold tissue paper tucked at the side reminded me of a crinoline.  I echo the color on the inside with a strip of washi.

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Here’s my trio of cards I made together; the other two I will feature on a portfolio page with a bit about technique.

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I just discovered a new challenge over at AAA Cards, and since their current call is for cards with gold (what card didn’t I make this season without gold?), I am sending this card their way as well!  New year, new places to play, new people to meet–I think it’s going to be magic!


Before I close, I want to thank everyone who visited my site, commented, and became a crafty friend in 2014.  While I started my paper crafting journey a couple years ago, my work and online presence really didn’t take hold until last winter, so this is kind of an anniversary for me as well!  I’ve met some wonderful, inspiring people from around the world and stateside; lucky for me, I have some very talented ladies here in Seattle with whom I gather frequently.  All in all, 2014 was an excellent start to my new creative journey into the paper arts.  Thanks to everyone who joined in and encouraged and inspired me along the way!

I am looking forward to meeting, or reconnecting with you in 2015!

As one of my students wrote on my white board, “Happy New Year– Make it Count!”