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…

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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!

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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One last look at the dimension created by the layers.

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putting on the Glitz

Well, happy new year and happy February everyone!  I hope the first month of 2016 has been inspired and fulfilling so far!  For me, it has been a merry-go-round of catch up after a demanding December.  I had planned to use my holiday break from teaching to finish some home-related projects and creative pursuits, but ended up derailed.  The last few weeks, though, I have enjoyed a burst of creative energy, using my spare moments to put together copious thank you’s, birthday cards, a gift set, and some holiday cards for next Christmas!

A few of those cards were inspired by Fusion’s 2nd anniversary photo and sketch, but I missed the deadline! Boo!  Those will be featured soon in my portfolio pages.  So today I have a few cards developed for the current Fusion theme and inspired by a selection of digital papers from The Lilypad.

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My first card used the sketch and neutrals, emphasizing the black and white in the wreath, and adding some glitzy crimson, that is definitely not neutral!

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The black and white papers are from The Lilypad’s new collection, “Cheeky,” by Valerie Wibbens.  I cannot get enough of the brushstroke paper which has been layered beneath Jen Hadfield’s gold bark cardstock.  Oh my gosh, this paper!  I love all the papers she puts out– her gold cardstocks are the best!  This paper just took my breath away.  I cut the piece from Lawn Fawn’s journaling card and then used the My Favorite Things circle die to cut out the side.

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I love texture, and the pictured wreath is quite textured, so I worked in some PTI embossed paper for the banner die, swiss dot paper for the Savvy Stamps  woodland branch, and cherry veneer paper for the Savvy Stamps pinecone.  The “thanks” sentiment is from the popular PTI wet paint series cut from Jen Hadfield’s texturized gold paper, which is somewhat noticeable in the photo.  Penny black provides the poinsettia die.

You can get a sense of the sparkle in the gold bark paper in the photo above.  It is so lovely.

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The inside is finished off with some kraft and gold striped washi.  I plan to write out a greeting in gold pen.

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Lots of woodgrain to play off the background in the inspiration photo.  Again, the grey wood paper is from The Lilypad collection.  I have also used Essentials by Ellen 110# woodgrain paper for the base.

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All dies are from Savvy Stamps: DIY Wreath, Woodland Branch and Pinecone.  The sentiment is from The Ton stamps.

Keeping with the theme, I created some other glitzy, rich, holiday thank you cards, and a valentine, all of which I will post separately in my portfolio!  But here are some images.

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Head to my portfolio pages, link found in the menu or on the home page, to see the rest of the collection.  You can also see additional photos and new work on my Instagram and Flickr accounts, linked at the bottom of this page.

On my way out, I want to dedicate these cards to all the awesome crafters who participated in Taheerah’s Advent Calendar hop.  The turn out was phenomenal, and so many amazing people, many of whom are new to me, stopped by this site, left lovely comments, and even decided to follow.  I appreciate everyone and wish I could have contacted each of you personally– the response was truly overwhelming!  So thank you!

Drop by the Fusion page to follow the inspiration. It’s one of my favorite challenges out there!

And tune into to see if the groundhog sees his shadow… will there be 6 more weeks of winter?  I love sharing my birthday with the furry critter, and either way, I’m harboring a sense of spring inside.  Stop by again soon for some cards that reflect the coming season!

XO