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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Blossoming Spring

Happy Vernal Equinox and welcome to a new week over at CASE Study!

Let’s spring to it and see what inspiration was gathered from our muse Joni Andaya this week!

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A little background on her process is needed as it’s not readily apparent from the card.  Lovely as it is, once you see how she manipulated the stamped image, you will find her ingenuity even more divine!

  So she stamped doubly this lovely image from PTI’s Basket of Blessings, then as you can see, die cut the baskets right out, leaving a lovely border of flowers.

I have commented before how I just love it when I see people re-visioning their products, and this is no exception!

So I, likewise, was inspired to see my products in a new light, specifically the Lil’ Inker’s cover-plate Stitches and Stripes die.

While Joni cut her basket out, I wanted to not only innovate, but pull the basket back into my card.  This is the result!

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My Technique:

First, I cut the die out of White Linen paper, twice; then, I ran one of the die-cuts through the Lifestyle Crafts Woven embossing folder to add more texture.

Next, I cut this embossed die-cut apart, and wove the individual pieces through the other die-cut.  I adhered ends with a little dot of glue, and then cut off the superfluous strips that hung over the edges.

I cut the circle from the center, covered it on both sides (front and back) with larger circle die frames, and then covered that with one of my most best purchases, the PTI wreath die.

In the close-up below, you can see the lovely texture of the Ellen’s Essentials White Linen paper.

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The Spring Blossoms sentiment is from that wonderful Graphic 45 Sweet Sentiments set I featured in my News of Spring post.

Likely you recognize the ever-popular flowers from WPlus9’s Fresh Cut Florals set, stamped with Hero Inks and Memento dye inks.  Placement, deciding on color both took me the longest.  I can’t tell you how many dies I cut of the different flowers and leaves!  Now I have plenty for additional cards!

STAMPING TIP:
If you didn’t already know this, here’s a great technique for stamping die cuts.  Start by die cutting your small shapes first, then with your inked stamp laying flat on your table, place the die cut upside down onto the stamp.  It makes centering and inking so much easier.  No more stamping first and then die cutting for me!

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Here’s a view of the back.

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Another Version

I have a few more of my woven Easter basket cards in the works using different colors for the background and different scenes (Lawn Fawn Easter Bunny and some jelly beans, perhaps?!); I will be featuring them soon!

This was a trial card to practice the weaving and stamping ideas around the sentiment.  I think I prefer the one above, but this one is sweet in it’s own way!

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Well, that’s it for me!  I sure hope things are blossoming in beautiful ways wherever in the world you are.

I encourage you to play along with us this and every week over at CASE Study.  Head over there now to check out what the ladies have created this week, or blog hop through their individual sites below.  You will leave with an overflowing basket of ideas for sure!

Chupa
Amy Wanford
Clare Buswell
Debby Hughes

Jeanne Jachna

Maureen Merritt

Silke Ledlow

Tasnim Ahmed

March Guest Designers: 

Sarah Gough

Bewitching Brew Tags

Something Spooky is Brewing!

My partner is a beer brewer, cider slinger & soon to be cicerone at a local bottle shop and bar here in Seattle.  So I have quite a few beer & wine inspired ideas that are a-brewing and spilling over in my mind!  Now I just need to hop to it and execute them all!
Here are the first in what will be a series!

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It’s tag mania here at Pinned & Penned!  These actually have been completed for a couple months now, but I am just getting around to photographing and uploading.  They were pretty labor intensive to make, as they are multiple layers, with a mid-layer of corrugated paper to make them nice and durable!  But I love how they turned out with a combination of fun paper layering, framing, stamping and embellishing!

The wine bottle die is from My Favorite Things and our little snake oil man here is popping out of a Lifestyle Crafts cauldron die.  Don’t you just love both?

All papers are from last year’s October Afternoon release.
My sayings were composed using a variety of fonts and printed on cardstock.

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For this tag, I initially used my Crafter’s Workshop birch tree stencil with Distress ink.  Then I stamped one of my favorite skeleton images (from Victorine Originals).
Poor guy!  He’s been holding on, empty-handed, so long for just a drop of liquid hops!

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These are smaller versions that can accompany a six-pack!  He is still thirsty, yet that glass is so close!

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Thanks for viewing!  I would love to hear your feedback and connect with you!

Happy drinking, tricking, treating and haunting!

P.S. Let me know if you would like any advice on pairing beer with your seasonal dishes!