Putting on the Glitz

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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

Color Pop!

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Because I’m Happy!

Anyone catch the Grammy’s last night?  I haven’t watched the show since the 90’s and am not convinced of its relevancy anymore. From a quick online review of the evening, it seems to have been fraught some odd antics and questionable costumes; anything to get the media machine moving, I suppose.  At any rate, Pharrell received an award well-deserved for his song Happy and tonight I’ve got a trio of happy cards for you!

They found their inspiration in a few different places, including this premature spring-like weather.  The hot-pink Camellia flowers are popping from their dark green leaves; crocuses sprouted in January; and despite the pineapple express bringing a week of rain to the PNW, it’s been balmy and mostly sunny these last three weeks.  I’ve spotted numerous newly-built nests high in the leafless trees, the cats are acting a bit more frenzied, and crowds have been flocking to the beach, so it’s safe to say Seattle is experiencing some spring fever.  I’m more than ready!   I spent most of the weekend tearing the house apart, cleaning, organizing and recycling.  Clearing physical space does wonders for the clarity of one’s mental space; I’m already feeling more motivated and productive!

The other inspiration for my cards came from Taheerah’s challenge photo from a few week’s ago.  I couldn’t find the time to complete them and play along, but here is the inspiration image.

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Lastly, my card ideas had me thinking about the 1960’s fashion designer, Mary Quant. My parents traveled to London in 1988 and brought back some Mary Quant make-up–a fluorescent pink and white eyeshadow duo, cotton-candy lipstick, and matching nail polish, all packaged in the signature black and white containers, as well as her book Color by Quant.  The Top Dog Dies flowers reminded me of her logo and the enamel flowered jewelry of the 60’s.

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So my brain, teeming with all this bold color and black and white, came up with these!

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I should mention that the card in the foreground was inspired by the sketch over at Fusion— a pretty literal interpretation!  I wanted to use my new My Favorite Things circle die cut; with the Top Dog Dies flowers and the PTI Happy banner, it was a perfect match!  Talk about a fusion of ideas in this trio!

Heartful

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I love all the texture from the different papers to the stitching and floral details.  It certainly is a happy card!

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Next up is the other birthday card, with a patterned paper inside a la Kelly at Notable Nest!

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Again, I am featuring the MFT stitched circle dies as the focal point.  Check out the Pebbles enamel dots! They are huge and delicious!

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Finally, the card features a sentiment from PTI and an Avery Elle rectangle die.

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Last up, the loudest card of them all!

There are quite a few flower dies on the market, but I really adore these Pretty Petals.  They had been on my wish list for awhile.  I love the dimension you can achieve with their layering.

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I had so much fun cutting out the 6 different sizes from various shades of cardstock and just playing around with layering.  You may be seeing quite a few of these flowers in upcoming cards!

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The PTI Wet Paint sentiment was cut from white foam for some dimension and texture.

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As part of this gift set (all three cards are going to  one family, along with the little gift bag), I die cut Lawn Fawn’s goodie bag while crafting with my friends last weekend.  I think I really may need to get this die.  It is a perfect size, and I love the detailing.

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Well, that’s it for me this evening.  I hope I brightened up your day, or night!  Head over to Fusion and Cure for the Monday Blues, two of my favorite places for inspiration!

Have a colorful week!

Lucky & Charmed

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I don’t know about you, but I ate a lot of Lucky Charms cereal as a kid.  Never a big fan of milk, I typically preferred dry cereal and have consumed my fair share as breakfast or snack through the years. Favorites were always Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Pebbles (the only one I truly loved with milk, since it was chocolate by the end of the bowl!).  I particularly loved those little single serving boxes you could by in an 8-pack.

As for the Leprechaun variety, I loved to eat those sugary little oat and marshmallow charms one by one out of the bowl or box.  Now, my teeth hurt even thinking about it.  But those cereals of the 80’s sure were fun.

So, as I was thinking about St. Patrick’s Day (which for me is one of those holidays that just slides by, barely registering in my peripheral vision), and what an unlucky day it turned out to be (maybe I should have worn green and thought better of ol’ St. Pat), I figured focusing on something positive and creative might turn the woeful Monday it was around!

And thus, I came up with this delicious little love note!

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In the version above, I adhered a grommet to the (3-leaf!) clover and slipped it onto the baker’s twine.

In another version, I attached the clover to the front of the pocket, as in pictures below.

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So how did it all come together?

Well, I’ve had the Avery Elle Love Notes Die set for months now, just sitting there lonely as a cloud, so it was time to put that to use.  The Penny Black sentiment from Kind Words was not only obviously ideal for St. Pat’s Day, but it fit perfectly within the width and length of the pocket/tag.  LUCKY indeed.

I purchased the Lifestyle Crafts St. Patrick’s Day die (2009) ages ago on clearance at Impress.  I loved the horseshoe and clovers large and small, of course, but the set also has a beer glass and little foam topper die, which are ideal for making my beer-related cards and tags.  So despite my lack of interest in the holiday, the die set was a must-have!

Since I was lucky a few months back and won a $25 gift certificate to PTI, I finally put that to use, and among other treasures, just received their glorious vellum cardstock and that adorable Framed Out Heart die.

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Now I did a little research into the Lucky Charms, as I wanted my charms to be as authentic and colorful as possible!  So a little history: Lucky Charms debuted in 1963, and Lucky the Leprechaun was born in 1964 (Happy 50th birthday cavity-causer!!!). Initially, the cereal only included green clovers, pink hearts, orange stars, and yellow moons (totally trippy!); in 1975, they added the blue diamonds, and in 1983 purple horseshoes.  As with anything, the cereal has seen a lot of changes over the last 30 years.  Many of the original charms have been gone through phases of combining, replacement, and reinstating.  The pink hearts are the only charm to have endured.  How sweet.

vintage lucky charms box

Want to learn more?  Click the picture above for a magical ride to General Mills!

How did I get my little moons, and heart, and diamonds, and stars??

Well, the diamonds are a pretty awesome discovery.  See this amazing Simon Says Stamp Mod-Window Die?

*Simon Says Stamp MOD WINDOW Craft DIE s212

Well, those little shapes are just perfect for many uses, like my blue diamonds!

The moon is cut from an ANCIENT punch that just about broke my hand; I have had that punch and all my celestial-themed stamps since the early 90’s when I loved everything sun and moon.

The little hearts and stars are die cut from Lawn Fawn’s die set “A Birdie Told Me” and Stitched Journaling Card.

*Lawn Fawn A BIRDIE TOLD ME Lawn Cuts Dies Lawn Cuts Dies, Stitched Journaling Card

The paper colors and textures are just good enough to eat, right?  Bazzill!  I can’t get enough of that green.  Since I was using Vellum for the front of my pocket, I decided to finish the edges with washi, as gluing with vellum is tricky, and the vellum is thick, so I wanted to make sure my pocket stayed together!!

There it is!  Let’s have one more look, just for luck!  Ahh, the sweet pink heart remains!

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Well, this little love note made it into the hands of my love and he was charmed indeed.
I hope you found some love and luck this St. Patty’s Day!  Make sure to stop by here tomorrow, Thursday, for the new CASE Study reveal!  Week 3 is going to be magically delicious!

Make You Jump!

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I am loving all the word inspiration that Cas-ology is throwing our way lately.  So much fun!  This week’s word was Jump.  So I hopped to it inspiration-wise, but after sketching and prepping my designs, the cards had to wait until today to be executed.

And of course, when it came down to it, they took me longer than planned, and found me dithering quite a bit–I am moderately happy, though, with this first cheeky card that resulted.

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I wanted very badly for Catman’s cape to look a bit more authentic with an insignia and more fluidity, but I was struggling with paper choices and getting it just right; none of my die letters or stamps looked right–but as I write this, I just realized I didn’t try my sparkly Thickers.  Hmmm….I will have to try that out and update if it’s a success.

Well, anyway, I finally settled on the stripe, which ended up altering the entire color scheme from a primary, bright palate to a muted one–hence, Catman’s Robin turned into a bluebird!

So, now he kind of looks like he’s wearing a cut-up pillow case or sheet.  And, who knows, since he’s Catman, maybe he is.  He’s the superhero of the house, keeping the kittens in line, listening to his wise bird friends outside.  You know, being a super-cat on the inside!

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So here is the cool thing about the cape, though.  I used the Curious Cat die from Memory Box to cut both my cat, his white paws/chest, and his cape.  Double-timing tools!   I fussy-cut the body into a flowing cape that would fit him perfectly.

Then, using PTI’s Stitching dies, I die cut the holes so they would be nice and neat and laced through the twine.

Now let’s talk about these kittens!!

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Could they be any cuter?  Memory Box again.  They are brand-new.  And so adorable.  The minute I saw them, I knew I HAD to have them.  I have tried to give them and Catman additional movement by lifting their heads and tails a bit.

Now, folks, there is one little snafu on this card.  Can you find it?  If not, good.  If so, well, concentrate on those darn kittens instead!!  I didn’t have time to execute the background a THIRD time.  At least nothing is misspelled.

There were quite a few supplies used to make this little scene.  I have already named a few.  The rest are as follows:  PTI’s Birthday Style Balloon die; Memory Box swirl stamp; Lawn Fawn Milo’s alphabet, and little bird from A Birdie Told Me set; papers from Basic Grey Persimmon pack, Bazzill & Neenah Solar White; Fruit Punch Stickles; Brilliance black ink.

Okay, one last look!

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Next UP!

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I played on my Thick and Thin card a bit for this one.  Mama Elephant provided the In-Line die letters.  I was very much trying to keep this CAS with pops of color.

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Do you remember the song by House of Pain?  1992?  My freshman year of college–and it was THE song playing at all the dance places and bars.  What a memory: backwards-cap wearing jocks jumping around like fools with plastic cups of beer in hand, sloshing (them and the beer) all around the dance floor.  Funny what the mind hangs onto, isn’t it?!  Now that I have dated myself, let’s turn to the inside of the card!

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And the back is finished off with some fun wide washi!

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And that’s all for me!  With a hop, skip and a jump, I am outta here!  A little something called work is calling on this dreary Seattle evening, and Monday morning already feels more blue than last week… I know it will be just as busy if not more.  But all work, and no play makes Jill a very dull girl, right?

Hope you had a great weekend and head over to CAS-ology to see what kind of leaping those lizards are up to!

 

 

Ampersand Inspiration Night & Day

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Happy Sunday, everyone!  We were caught in a winter wonderland last night–first snow of the season for urban Seattle.  It continued well into the evening and we woke to about 2 1/2 inches.  Already as I write this, though, the mounds atop evergreen bushes and the eucalyptus are liquefying and sliding away in long streaks.

Since it is rare to see snow here, I always have fun heading out and crunching around.  People must have been busy last night and early today, as there was a parade of snowmen large and small up and down the beach!  It was delightful to see. I caught this guy taking in the Puget Sound with wide arms just before my phone battery gave out.

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We continued on to a favorite coffeeshop that opened this summer on the beach, and it’s name is Ampersand!  They make a delicious assortment of baked goods, sandwiches, soups, and coffee, a special Hawaiian blend from Seven Roasters here in Seattle. Their egg, cheese, and bacon (or house-cured ham) on a homemade biscuit is one of the best breakfast sandwiches I’ve had anywhere.  They have those flakey, buttery biscuits down!  If you live in the Seattle area, or are visiting from afar, be sure to come down to the beach and check them out!

Well, speaking of checking things out, shall we move on to my latest creations inspired by the current challenge at CASology?

Associations!

I have been busy this week being inspired by the challenge!  My partner and I have had fun coming up with all kinds of “and” sayings and ideas for cards.

Here are few that made it into my sketch book with corresponding graphic ideas but didn’t make it into card form just yet!

The long and short of it…
Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress): accompanied by books on a shelf from this awesome set!

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or this set that I own:

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Time and again: accompanied by my Deep Red Stamps Roman clock face
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Over and Out: with a walkie talkie!
Sweet and Sour: perfect for Valentines with some gummy worms, or Sour Patch Kids!
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!
Sick and Tired
–with some get well stamps from Lawn Fawn or Paper Smooches sets
Reverse Confetti’s Set: Go Together

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And since it is Seattle, Cats & Dogs!

Ah, if there were only world enough AND time to make each one of these ideas manifest!

I guess you could say I have been thinking night and day on the subject!

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I have been working really hard to come up with very clean and simple designs.  So the challenge has been a good one for me to experiment with white space, negative space, bold colors, and graphic-forward designs.  I have found the Lawn Fawn Milo’s Alphabet and Mama Elephant alphabet dies to be perfect for the look I am intending.

Check out my following post for more music and arts inspired AND creations….

And now I will leave you with a lovely little accompaniment for Valentine’s Day, Cole Porter’s “Night and Day”…