No matter how you stack it…

Fall is awesome (once you get past the fact that summer has exited stage left).

Know what else is pretty cool?

The Heart Desires Challenge #5.

Check out this witty graphic!

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Reminds me of Brach’s candy peanuts.  Remember those?

Love the non-traditional take on Halloween, but I typically love most things that buck the trend.

Here’s my fairly literal take, up close and personal.

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I cut my pumpkins, keeping the pieces together with washi and then carefully stamped the sentiments, all from Kaisercraft, most deconstructed via stamp surgery so I could make my own sentiment.  The bottom one is from a Christmas set, available at The Heart Desires.

The real deal, full size, in all its glory.

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Pumpkin dies are from Carta Bella and Essentials by Ellen, cut from Crate Paper Bloom, available at The Heart Desires. Background paper is from Indigo Hills set.  Rose Gold Bazzill metallic paper provides the stem and edging.

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The black mini-leaves panel is stenciled and heat embossed. Love the Richard Garay Knit embossing folder.  See the challenge post for links to products at The Heart Desires.

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Inside finished with some coppery-rose washi that echoes the outside elements nicely.

And while you are there checking out the rest of our team’s inspiration, won’t  you play along this month?

We have a few new designers and lots of eye candy.  You have until 10/26 to show us what you got! So creep on over!

And creep it real, folks.

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!

Inspired by All the Little Things

banner 3Happy Saturday everyone and welcome to Lesley Croghan’s new design and challenge feature, Inspired by All the Little Things.

One of my favorite card makers, the prolific  Jeanne Jachna, asked me to be the featured designer this week and how could I resist?  I’ve been following Jeanne for nearly two years now and adore the work she does for numerous product design teams, especially Pretty Little Studio.  Thrilled was I to receive one of her gorgeous creations out of the blue this fall–a RAK at the perfect time, which I wrote about here.  Her cards are so well constructed, and incorporate a variety of elements that are always perfectly executed. She is a master at mixing and matching  patterns without her work ever looking too busy or cluttered– quite a feat!  Jeanne’s cards always inspired me– and if I ever get around to posting the images, you will see some holiday pieces that were created with her in mind!

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Now onto today’s feature, which actually isn’t a card, but rather a layered, collage-style piece that I plan to put in a shadow-box frame as a gift.

I was given this inspiration image to work with.

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Now there’s a funny little story behind this image because Jeanne happened to send the photo to me many, many times as a result of a technological glitch.  And I looked at it just as many times, if not more.  Despite that, for some reason I had impressed purple and yellow as the dominant color theme in my mind when designing my work– and that is a tough combo for me, as I rarely use purple in any of my work.  After completing my piece, I looked back at the photo and saw the flowers anew.  Clearly they are a cornflower blue!  What is even funnier, after explaining this to Jeanne, she said she made her card with blue flowers, but when she reviewed the photo, thought they were purple!

Anyway, lots to take away from the photo, and while I didn’t want to create something that would be such a literal interpretation of the image, that is what transpired to a large extent at least with this finished piece!

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Hooray, it’s almost spring!

The image has a very shabby-chic vibe, so that influenced some of my paper choices.  If you have been following my work the past few months, you may know how much I love The Lilypad digital designs.  All of the patterned paper here is from two collections below:

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Gorgeous, no?  Now these are some purples I can work with!  20160309_121547

The hooray die cut is from Studio Calico; love this imperfect oval and delicate, thin font.  I was trying to figure out where to place a sentiment, and had this die cut prepped for some other variations, so gave it a try.  I really like the layer and the lines it creates against the leaves and flowers; it’s kind of like a bowl under the popped out flower.

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And speaking of leaves and flowers, the purple Hawaiian type flower, the 3-D daisy, and green-yellow large leaves are all from Wild Garden by Julie Ebersole.  This is really a must-have set if you love florals.  I totally love the die cuts Julie has been designing in conjunction with Ellen Hutson.  The striped vine is from my other favorite floral set by Maggie Holmes, and the long vellum Cottage Leaf die is from Memory Box.

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To echo the peeling paint background of the inspiration photo, I die cut a strip of peeling paint paper to layer under and ground my centerpiece.

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Love the colorful, collage-style paper which I used as my base layer; if you can see it, there is a little burlap texture at the top of the design which contributes to the shabby feeling.  Finally, the bird die cut, which echoes the cut-out bird on the inspiration photo is from Kaisercraft, and the wreath is from a great Spellbinders set I stumbled upon recently.

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The left corner seemed a bit empty, so I added my clip to echo the clothespins on the line.  The entire piece is about 5×5 and will be framed in an 8×8 shadow box.

I had so much fun with the image, papers and dies, I created a few other working drafts:

Well, now it’s your turn to play along with us!  I hope you have been inspired by the photo and our interpretations!  Thanks to Leslie, Jeanne, and the rest of the team for having me!

I look forward to seeing what you create and learning how you are inspired by all the little things in life!

We hope you will play along with us!

The linky will close on Thursday, March 17th at 11:55pm. (PST)
 

 

Grateful for This Day & Synesthesia!

grateful4bIt’s Friday the 13th and the wind is howlin’, the unrelenting rain is coming down sideways, and the sky is that November grey, but it is bright and colorful here in this latest installment for Runway Inspired Challenge #95.

Lot’s of new going on in this card and a variety of techniques, including some serious texture, which makes it a contender for the latest challenge at Virginia’s View!

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There are so many lovely aspects to the model’s ensemble from the dual toned blue-black lace and the pops of fuchsia to those capped sleeves and the intricate shoes!

Rather than incorporating the lace and blues in a bold way, I opted for a more subtle pop of color and texture against the white and a bold statement.

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The leaves are from the new Julie Ebersole set, Gourd-jus, at Ellen Hutson.  I stamped some watercolor paper with Hero Arts cornflower dye ink and this fabulous lacy, paisley background stamp from Prima, then die cut the leaves.

The flower stamp is from Unity, a stamp of the week that I hadn’t put to use yet.  I Distress-inked watercolor paper with Picked Raspberry and then stamped over the pattern I liked best with Ranger Archival Ink in that rich, fabulous black.  It works really well with highly textured paper.  The flower was then fussy cut and manipulated a bit for dimension.

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The background panel was embossed with my favorite Linen plate from PTI.  This impression is just so amazing; I experience synesthesia just looking at it (which, for me, means I want to eat it!).  Weird, perhaps, but I experience this phenomenon with colors and textures; my inclination is to taste them or have an extreme need to touch them.  Some people see color when listening to music or composing; others can experience taste through a different sense, or feel physically in a part of their body something they hear, which also happens to me.  Synesthesia is really pretty cool; except when it’s not, like when my teeth feel like they might fall out of my head if I touch or think about certain textures, or when I experience sensory overload visually and auditorily. You can read more about it here if you are interested.

Anyway, I love this linen plate! And the way the sentiment from Kaisercraft looks on it.

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And what about that border?  Oh my gosh.  I have owned this die forever and never put it to use!  It is actually being discontinued by Memory Box, (I stand corrected, thanks to my dear friend Jeanne, it is POPPYSTAMPS Longier Stem die!  You can see her use of it here.).  actually the Memory Box die indeed, Whimsy Leaves, and all this back and forth has been incredibly funny to me! You can read more about the confusion in the comments below! I am glad I not only bought it, but finally used it because it is cool! (And so is the Longier die by Poppystamps, for that matter!  And you should still check out Jeanne’s use of it and Starlit Studio!)

The intention behind it was to echo the model’s shoes and the ladder-like pattern around her ankles and feet.  Neat shoes, but boy do her feet look uncomfortable!!

Everything is layered on Studio Calico’s new digital paper from the Canyonland’s collection, which I have been putting to use in some cards and layouts.  The final touch was a bit more texture with some shimmery electric blue thread and dew-drop sequins.  Love the play of the dotted lines angling against the border and working with the grid pattern of the flower!

Smooth, textured, delicate, bold–I am really happy with how the elements came together for this piece!

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Behind the scenes, I am working on a spread for #30daysofgratitude, which I am excited about, and several occasion cards.  Looking forward to the Thanksgiving break when I can catch up on some creative and professional work, as well as mingle with some good friends.

So much to be grateful for–including you!  Thanks so much for stopping by.  And thanks to Jeanne for letting me know about another challenge–Poppy Challenge #14 “Home for the Holidays” into which this card will fit (or NOT, after all!).  Check them out–all the DT inspiration and entries are fabulous!  And if they don’t ban me from the challenge, I have plenty of Poppystamps to use when I try, try again! 🙂

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Hope your holiday season is off to a smashing start!

 

 

 

 

UPDATE: My card was chosen to be in the top 10 of 239 entries!  Thanks Virginia!!

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Destination: Graduation

“Life is a highway, I want to ride it all night long/ If you’re goin’ my way, I want to drive it all night long…”

Good Evening!

How was your week and weekend?  Did you make it to any special destinations?

For those of us in Seattle living along the Sound, this past week was full of wooly mornings marked by the bellow of fog horns, distant ghost ships, and crystalline webs hanging heavy with dew, strung from every tree or window–and just when you felt like fall was wrapping around, the fog would open to a searing blue sky, and roll away to reveal 70 degree days and some balmy nights!

It was a slow moving week with some unexpected turns, but I am happy to say that I completed one long overdue card and played around with some ideas for upcoming card designs.

So let me pick up the speed here, as it’s nearly bedtime in my corner of the world!

This card has been in the works since July!  The necessary items were purchased, idea sketched out, and some layout completed, but it finally came together this weekend.  As I said in my “Getting to Know Me” post, my cards are often designed with the recipient in mind and that is true of this card.  Overall, I am pretty happy with the finished product, particularly how my inlaid street sign and road paper panel turned out.

The card features nearly all Crate Paper Road Trip papers and embellishments.

I will apologize ahead of time for the quality of some of the photos; I made some changes to the card and had to retake in different light, so they are a bit washed out!

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My original idea, when I saw that blue highway paper in the pack, was to inlay the Neat and Tangled “On the Corner” sign post.  I wanted the post to be 3-D and act as a closure for the card; as you can see it tucks into the Prima Car Parts steering wheel.

I cut the sign out of some grungy gray paper, and then used Copics to enhance the outlined areas.

Instead of using the corresponding Neat and Tangled stamps, I opted for my graduation themed stamps from MFT.

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I did have to focus on measurements for this card as there were numerous panels and layers to fit together!
It measures 5.5″ x 5.5″.

I do like how it looks when it sits open to reveal of view of the inside.

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I used MFT Wide Banners for the flags inside; the sentiment is from Kaisercraft.  It’s not the highest quality photopolymer stamp, and even after seasoning the stamp and stamping it multiple times, the ink still balls up a bit, so you get a mottled look, which I actually really like for the feel of this car.

Kind of like oil drops on the ground, tire treads, or highway gravel!

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I love these tiny Tim Holtz screws I used to adhere the main panel, along with some glue dots.

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The Mustang stamp is from Deep Red Stamps; it was stamped on some grungy red paper from the Shine collection from We R Memory Keepers and heat embossed. I then fussy cut it.

I used a grunge stamp from Impression Obsession for the mustard yellow wall splatter.  What I really wished I had for this panel were graffiti font stamps and a checkered flag.  I feel like something is missing on this panel– yet nothing embellishment or stamp-wise really worked.

And I didn’t want it too cluttered or competing with the sign post. So it is what it is!

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And speaking of something missing– here is the before picture of the card– before I added my Savvy banner.

I just kept looking at the card and the right panel didn’t feel right.  I wanted to keep it masculine, and Savvy is definitely not terribly masculine, but the little flags seem to work okay.  They, too, are cut from Road Trip paper.

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And here we are at the end of the road– a little Prima license plate and fun washi.

The base paper is MFT Fuse Green, which worked really well with the colors of the card.

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So this is headed out to a student who has started an automotive program this fall.

Now it’s time for me to park it here and head down the highway of sleep!  Remember to live your dream and keep moving toward your destination!  (That kind of felt like I was channeling a bit of Casey Kasem!)