Topsy Turvy World

Hey everyone.  What a couple of weeks (months, really) the world has had, no?  It’s hard not to become world weary and beleaguered by the continual barrage of bad–but that is a luxury no one can afford at this point.  We must remain vigilant and optimistic and do what good we can in our small corners of the world, which includes creative acts and sharing that beauty, though it does feel futile and insignificant at times.

While things are mixed up all over, right now I am counting myself lucky to have the luxury to make art, and I am sharing it this week over at the Mix It Up Challenge where Neat and Tangled is joining forces with Essentials By Ellen!

While I had the world on my mind for this piece, I also thought it would be perfect for teenagers who often feel like it’s the end of the world on a moment to moment basis (remember those days?).  Time to up the happy!

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To make my upside-down world, I cut out Neat & Tangled’s Hexstar die to make a stencil and used Heidi Swap’s Color Shine spray to pattern the world die (also by Neat & Tangled).  As you may have seen in another card of mine over at THD, I embossed the world die cut with WRMK’s Next Level embossing folder, which offers great texture and ability to manipulate.

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I used Paper Smooches Border die to create my fissure, which is propped up on either side with foam squares.  The base paper is a lovely ombre world image from Amy Tangerine on which I stamped the sentiment from Julie Ebersole’s Up the Happy Set. It’s a bit difficult to see in my photos, but the shadows of the continents on the paper float below the die and are perceptible in real-life.

If you are familiar with my work, you know I love layers and dimension, so I often alter die cuts and create architectural, 3-D pieces.  Below is a close up of the fractured world.

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Here’s the inside with some ombre washi running lengthwise.

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And the back.

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Click on images below to view full size close-ups.

 

I made this card below as well, uniting Neat and Tangled and Ellen Hutson goods!  It is a case of one of my own cards, which you can see here or here. All white base paper is also from Ellen– my favorite 100# linen stock.  You can see the full N&T Hexstar die cut below and world die again (this time right side up!). I stamped Julie Ebersole’s Brushstroke Christmas “peace”  on vellum, heat embossed and fussy cut; the “to the world” sentiment is from the same set, heat embossed on MFT washi tape die cut.

Well, I sure don’t know if everything is gonna be okay, but if I don’t get to bed soon, I can guarantee it will not be in my corner of the world.

Wishing you peace and beauty.  Thanks for spending some time with me today!

 

Good Witch

The first title that came to mind for this post was “Good Witch”; obvious enough with my mind on Halloween, and this card, as well as the inspiration photo, all bringing to mind Glinda.

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I’d prepared the following and another card for RIC this week, but the more complicated and favored of the two remains unfinished. I loved the inspiration photo for it’s contradictory elements–the airy white lace and soft pink peek-a-boo shoes of the bride, the rough green leaves and tan trunk of the palm, the contrast and bristle of the black and white animal rug, the smooth white walls, clean black lines, and a bit of a wood pallet (or is it a rug?) along with that wicker chair edging the scene. So many interesting options here. It’s one of those images that will linger.

Runway Inspired Challenge

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A closer inspection of the photo reveals a gold zipper running down the center of her dress, so I worked this into the mix using a Spellbinders banner die and Waffle Flower sentiment.

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The floral embossed paper provides the backdrop on which I layered the other elements–the animal print banner echoing the rug, the Impression Obsession lacy heart cut twice from white stock and then vellum to create an airy feel, the slightly textured pink paper plays on some of the texture in the image.  I purposely used the Avery Elle banner die with the pin hole border, as her dress has that fabuous open circle motif on her sleeves and in the skirt.  I carried that through in the washi tape, which also reflects the green palm.  Everything is mounted on pink cardstock and the inside is finished with the Alena lacy border by Top Dog Dies, rather than my usual washi tape.

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This could serve as a wedding card, but I have been meaning to pull together a thank you for someone who gave me a little tiger print clutch, and I wanted to use the Heidi Swapp animal print paper in my thank you, so this card will fit the bill perfectly.

Well, I still have pumpkins to carve, and/or decoupage depending on how much time I have tomorrow to pull it all together before trickery arrives at my door and the darkness descends, not to mention festive cards to finish, and my annual screening of Halloween. While last year I was a vision in all white Greek Goddess garb, this year I’m feeling the need to get in touch with my dark side.  I’ll be donning a witch hat and all black, and my little grey familiar will accompany me on my nightly haunts. He’s not called Leo the traveling cat for nothing!

So whether you’re a good witch, or bad witch, or a spirit of another kind, may your Halloween night be one terrifyingly good time!

World Card Making Day

I am feeling a bit dispirited to say the least as I begin this post, anew.  After hours of writing, uploading, copying and pasting, and linking, I lost my nearly ready-to-publish draft.  I had decided to use the “improved posting experience” via WordPress and I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say the layout of the new page, and lack of automatic saving do not make it an improved experience whatsoever.  I feel like the bottom of my stomach just dropped out of me!

I sure hope you had a better end to your celebration of World Card Making Day!

So let’s try this again…

I had hoped to make some coffee cards with the Prima Coffee Break collection for the Coffee Lovers Blog Hop last week, but with our trip to the Olympic Peninsula, I didn’t have the time.  So after a busy return to work, I was excited to finally dig into the collection, use some new dies, and work out a few ideas this weekend.  I am happy to say I completed at least one card for WCMD, along with photographs and editing.  As I write this, I am trying to forget that I also would have had a post completed before the day was done… curses, WordPress, curses!

Anyway, here’s my foxy little number.

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After looking through the ephemera pack, I will definitely be purchasing a few more as it is loaded with some really good pieces.  Sometimes I wish you could tailor the bits that come in the packs, or buy them in bulk.  Like the stack of mint books or Scrabble pieces featured on my card!  The Scrabble pieces also included an “x” so that you could spell ‘relax’; however, I had other wily ideas!

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Is anyone else frustrated when you purchase an ephemera pack and there’s a bit included that you want 20 more of?

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I created the “foxy” sentiment on my computer, hand-cut, and distressed with Antique Linen and Walnut Stain, then adhered to the book’s spine.  The glasses were turned over so they created more of a contrast; they are a rich walnut color on the other side.

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The mug is cut from Heidi Swapp Sugar Chic paper using that fabulous Impression Obsession Coffee Set I featured in my Coffee Lovers Blog Hop post.  The “coffee” inside the mug was cut from paper distressed with Walnut Stain ink which makes such a rich coffee color.

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And what about that fox?  I saw him a few weeks ago and knew I had to add him to my repertoire.   I love the design of his tail.  For this card, I cut him from Chickaniddy Goldie Lox foil (or “Goldie fox” in my case!) and created a shadow layer with some black-brown textured paper from Bazzill.

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My patterned papers, including Teresa Collins Tinsel and Company stars, have been adhered to Ellen Hutson heavy-weight wood-grain and finished off with some signature washi on the back, echoing the greens on the front and inside the card.

And speaking of the inside:

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I layered some of the Heidi Swapp paper as a base, and embellished the edge with a cardstock sticker that was a freebie from Emma’s Paperie.  I love shopping with them because they always send you some additional materials, and once I received a little card making pack complete with an envelope!  Love supporting them!

The mint green dotted paper has been repurposed from the packaging of the 3-D stickers in the Coffee Break collection.  I cut to my desired size, die cut the stitching and notebook edge with Paper Smooches Stitched and Borders 2 dies.  Both of these are dies I reach for over and over.  The little notecard is from the ephemera pack and has been adhered with a tiny Tim Holtz paper clip.

Unity Stamps has this great Stamp of the Week and I want to use the sentiment for the inside!  I just joined their stamp of the week subscription as I love their offerings and cheeky sentiments.  In order to purchase the old stamps in their collection, you have to be a current subscriber.

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Do you ever repurpose packaging into your cards or paper art?  You can see another repurposed piece here.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am not so good with space or time.  Unless I am creating a stamped piece, I rarely know how big a card is going to be before I start making it; rather, I begin with my concept and focal point, and then however big the card needs to be, it is!  In this case, my card turned out to be 4 3/4 x 6 1/4.  I was trying to work my embellishments within the flow of the stars, so I found I needed a wider space.  Didn’t exactly follow the plan step of my 3 P’s on this one!

TIP:  I spent a lot of time moving the pieces around– but with the use of my favorite 3M Restickable squares, I can easily reposition pieces multiple times without tearing the paper.  This adhesive is really indispensable if you are doing a lot of layering.

Since I didn’t know the finished size of my card until I was, well, nearly finished, it came as a delightful surprise when I pulled out a Whisker Graphics gold striped bag and the card fit perfectly inside!  So I decided to embellish the outside of the bag a bit.

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The sentiment is a deconstructed 3-D sticker from the Coffee Break collection; I really like how you can stretch these stickers.  They can all be taken apart and used as single-layer pieces.  The flower is also from Prima.

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I think this little package would be the perfect gift along with a bookstore gift certificate and coffee card for any coffee-drinking book lover, don’t you?  Maybe your favorite foxy librarian?

I have been wanting to participate in the Cutting Edge Challenge for a few months now, so I am going to submit this to their current challenge.  The design team is fabulous and the current inspiration piece is great!

Speaking of foxy librarians, check out this tune by My Morning Jacket.  It’s a perfect accompaniment for my card, and an absolutely gorgeous song with compelling lyrics.

“Walk across the courtyard,
Towards the library.
I can hear the insects buzz on the leaves, ‘neath my feet.

Ramble up the stairwell,
To the hall of books.
Since we got the interweb these hardly get used.

Duck into the men’s room,
Combing through my hair.
When God gave us mirrors he had no idea.

Looking for a lesson
In the periodicals,
There I spy you listening to the AM radio.

Karen of the Carpenters,
Singing in the rain.
Another lovely victim of the mirror’s evil way.

It’s not like you’re not trying,
With a pencil in your hair,
To defy the beauty the good Lord put in there

Simple little bookworm,
Buried underneath
Is the sexiest librarian.
Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me.”

May you find yourself today with a song in your heart, a book in your hand, and a cup of coffee to warm your soul!  Thanks for stopping by!

 

Three Cool Cats

Are you ready for retro?  How about a few cool cats?

CAS(E) this Sketch has some great inspiration this week, including Ms. Kimberly Anne Wiener of Wienerhoneymooners as their guest.

I took my cue from not only the sketch, but also Chrissy Larson’s card because both rock and, as anyone knows, I love cats!

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 Card #1

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This is the first card I made which features some sweet Maggie Holmes paper from a bonus pack Michael’s was selling in the spring.

The background stripe is from Heidi Swapp’s collection, which was a major find at Marshalls of all places.  If you look carefully, you can often find some paper crafting treasures there.

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What is really notable about both of the cards, though, is the cat.  I have had these stickers since 1984.  That’s right.  30 years.  I dug them up from the recesses of a childhood treasure chest when visiting my family this past May.

They are from the Current Catalog.  Anyone remember that?  Evidently, the company has remained current, as they have a website, along with a catalog!  Their designs, however, seem a bit dated, (not in a good way) and not nearly as cool as these cat stickers!

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My assortment of cat toys include a deconstructed vellum Scribbled Circle die from PTI, Studio Calico wood heart, delicious enamel dot, and gold die cut word from a Spellbinders Donna Salazar camera set that says “Fave.”  I scored this set for about five dollars at a blow-out sale at Joann’s thanks to my mom!

Totally rad, right?

The notebook paper die cut is also PTI.

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I added some mustard yellow wax twine and echoed the color with some corresponding washi inside and on the back of the card.

I love wax twine for the ability to manipulate its shape.

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Card #2

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Keeping with the 80’s theme, this one features a puffy gold heart and black denim-like feather, as well as turquoise,hot pink, and that black grid paper!

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Cats do love their feathers and string!  This feather is from Studio Calico and designed to be used with their misting sprays.  I used the bronze from Heidi Swapp, which is really black with some bronze glitz in it.  Apologies for the blurry photo.  I wanted to make the bronze of the feather a bit more noticeable.

Make you think of your tight black jeans, or maybe a jean jacket (filled with pins of course!)?

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I finished off the inside with some gold stripe washi to echo the heart of gold.

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On both cards I used a Spellbinders banner and MFT sentiment.  The font and size of the “you” were perfect!  Card #1 features Soft Stone from PTI for the base and flag; Card #2 features Neenah Solar White and White Linen papers.

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An assortment of goods used, and proof of the vintage quality of these stickers!

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I thought these cards would be great to sell to raise money for feline rescue.  What do you think?

I had this song bopping around my head as I was writing this post.  I warn you, though, if you listen it may be infectious!

Keep cool everyone!

Christmas in the Country

Two consecutive holiday posts?  Well, I could use a little Christmas, right this very minute!

They happen to be bookends to a less than festive week spent in a migraine’s grip.  I nearly made it through this very busy summer without one, and then with one work week to go before some much needed time off, I was knocked off my feet, literally.

I’ve written a bit about my experience as a migraineur.  Being in the thick of it is always surreal; I struggle with a constricted, pulsating brain, have difficulty processing and using language, and my sense of time (which is never good anyway) completely distorts.

When I recover, the entry into the “real” world often seems just as surreal.  Today, I felt the most normal, and yet paradoxically the most alien.  After a migraine, everything around me always seems so new and hyper-real.  We headed to a favorite haunt (and in my opinion one of the top three bakeries in Seattle), Columbia City Bakery, strolled around the neighborhood feeling the hint of cool fall air, and made it to Impress Cards and Crafts for their Paperpalooza where I scored some sweet 12×12 for 25 cents a sheet!  Itching to make some fancy envelopes!

It was good to get out.  It was also good to productively create a bit yesterday and today.  Though I feel like the summer simply melted away, there is a stirring of excitement within for the coming fall.  The sweet Halloween and holiday cards at Impress urged me on.

Now, I’ve four cards queued up and ready to post, so without further ado, let the festivities begin!

This card was inspired by the current sketch and image over at Fusion, as well as Festive Friday’s image.  It’s old country (Christmas) charm indeed.

I worked from the crimson and cream background colors, the rustic paint on the door, and background designs, as well as the sketch at Fusion.  I pulled the wreath and black and cream of the sign from Festive Friday.

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When I had completed this card, it made me think of the interior of a fabulous boutique in the neighborhood of Ballard, Horseshoe.  It’s rustic, full of clothes I can’t afford, gorgeous jewelry, and lots of cowboy boots.  I always love passing through, even if I have to leave empty handed!

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So I’ve combined product from many different companies for this production!

A couple notable elements are the garland, a deconstructed laurel from the Spellbinders Laurel and Bee set; also, you will note that I have embossed my Lifestyle Crafts reindeer to add some interest and texture.  I used Versafine Champagne embossing pad, Superfine clear powder, and a background stamp from Hero Arts.

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Close up of the embossing.  I’ve layered my die cuts to give them some heft.

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The flowers are classic Prima, as is the wood frame; the banner was cut from some grungy, antiqued paper, and stamped with a sentiment from Amuse Studio.

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As always, I’ve finished off the inside and back with My Mind’s Eye Market Street washi.

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Here’s a selection of the products used.

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Other products used:

Amuse Studio Wasabi paper
Mama Elephant Femme Frames
Gold glitter glue
POW Gold paper
Gina K Ivory Base Weight paper

Last Look

I always love how a design and/or color can completely change the whole experience of another color/design.  I placed the card atop some off-white paper and it feels so different!

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That’s it for me this evening!  Check back tomorrow for more creations.  And make sure to stop over to Fusion and Festive Friday.

If you are in the States, enjoy the last day of our holiday weekend.  Wherever in the world you are, I hope Monday finds you feeling fine and inspired!

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