‘Advent Calendar Extravaganza with Taheerah Atchia

Well, hello and welcome to…

Advent Calenda Extravaganza

Are you excited, and enjoying this hop so far? I know I am, and I am very happy to be waiting for you behind door #22!

Advent Calendar Extravaganza

 

Advent Calendar Extravaganza is -the- festive event of the season! This ‘hop with a twist’ was dreamed up by Taheerah Atchia and features surprise destinations each day! Joining in the fun with Taheerah are over 60 special guests – each serving up some fantastic Christmas inspiration! Just like an Advent Calendar, you’ll never know where you’re going to be visiting next until you ‘open the door’!

And that’s not all! With 25 *amazing* sponsors taking part as well, your crafty wish list is bound to get a boost with a chance to win a prize EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

Join in the fun every day at taheerah-atchia.com to see what special surprises wait behind the door!

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Since today’s sponsor is Unity Stamps, and I am a member of their Stamp of the Week club, I figured it was high time to put some of their adorable, festive stamps to use.  One aspect of Unity that I really like are their sentiments–they are witty, funny, and have some great fonts!

Today I have two cards for you; one was designed with the solstice in mind, as I created it yesterday on the shortest day of the year.  The other I envisioned for a possible New Years card (for the coffee or tea lover, of course!), as the sentiment is fitting, and I had the recent Coffee Lovers hop on my mind!

First up, Rudolph!

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Disclaimer: It being the darkest day of the year, and my having only been able to pull this brewing idea together in about 3 hours, the photos are a bit grey, and there are a few things I would change about this card, but overall I think it’s a pretty fun first attempt!

For this card, I used the Magical Holiday set from Unity.

WIB-891-MAGICAL-HOLIDAY I stamped Rudolph with Versafine Champagne ink, then embossed with sticky embossing powder and covered with Stampendous glitter.  After allowing it to set, I fussy cut him out.

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If I recreate this, I will likely make the twinkling part of the nose silver, red, or possibly cut off the twinkling part altogether.

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The idea for my background came from a digital paper that was part of a Lilypad pack I purchased, Autumn Nights.  I loved the ombre light grey to midnight blue flecked with white, and immediately thought of using it with my Lil’ Inker Designs Faceted die, and using a previous 3-D design of mine, one example found here.  I cut the paper twice from the paper so I had light and dark triangles; however, those pesky triangles got away from me– hence, the background isn’t as ombre as I’d planned, and there is a darker triangle lower in the mix than there should be!!

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After locating and adhering the frame and triangles to some #110 Ellen Hutson Woodgrain paper, I placed Rudolph and created a string of stars on my favorite wax twine, and added a Prima wood banner.

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I didn’t like how the bottom of the card looked, so some quick thinking brought me to a candy cane mound cut with Paper Smooches border die and embellished with curved stitched line, which is also popped up to provide an interesting 3-D curve.

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And finally, the inside.  I love the sentiment that accompanies this card.  I stamped in Ranger Archival ink, my favorite black, and finished the bottom with some paper from Basic Grey’s Juniper Berry line, embellished with a stitched line.  I decided on the green so it would echo the green of the wood banner on the front.

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Next up, Sparkly Cups!

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This card is a bit of an homage to Jocelyn Olson, as I really like her little corner punch and string embellishment.  And I was just talking with my crafting group at our December gathering about using the threaded sequins.  I just haven’t been able to make it work on my cards, though Keren Baker makes it look so easy!

I considered wax twine, but grabbed the sequin instead, and I like how it worked!

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The white panel was embossed with the PTI linen plate, stamped with the sentiment and cut, so I could create the mid-section.  The patterned papers are from Basic Grey’s B-side.

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For the cups, I used a technique I tried previously here.  The cups are from Unity’s Always Today set.  I stamped them and then Copic colored each cup.  Then covered with Versamark Champagne ink, sticky embossing powder, and Stampendous glitter.

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I fussy cut and popped them up, along with the top panel for some visual interest.

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But wait, there’s more!

It’s not a party without a prize – and with prizes every day there are several chances to win! Today’s prize is generously supplied by Unity Stamps, so you’ll definitely want to get your hands on it! Simply leave a comment on this post to enter – then head back to taheerah-atchia.com and leave a comment there too to double your chances! Don’t forget to grab the other surprise destinations from Taheerah’s blog and head over to them to leave comments there as well to improve your odds even more! You have until 7am EST on Thursday 31st December to leave all your comments!

Don’t forget the Advent Calendar Extravaganza runs from 1st-25th December inclusive so make sure you visit taheerah-atchia.com every day for fabulous inspiration and amazing prizes every single time! Merry Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your holiday season is calm and bright!

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

“Everything we choose in life for its lightness soon reveals its unbearable weight. We face the fear of unbearable weight….The residue of history: the printed page, the flicker of the image, always fragmentary, always saying something less than the weight of experience” (Richard Serra, quoted in A. and D. Lefferts, Richard Serra 2013, New York, 2014, p. 14).  Source: Christies

My latest piece certainly weighed on me, despite its ethereal lightness.  I couldn’t stop looking at the inspiration image from Runway Inspired Challenge–that fabric, that dress!–and feeling that nothing could quite do it justice in the form of paper, in the time I had.  Really the image had me re-measuring my dress form and stuffing its bra full of poly-fill so I could finally tackle bust alterations (but that’s another post for another time!).

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Despite the gorgeous floral pattern, I didn’t want to do flowers, but all my other ideas lay half-formed on my work table throughout the week–one which left my brain a bit gummy and my lids too heavy.  So flowers, or rather a flower, it was.

I’ve been altering and manipulating die cuts, though, for a few weeks and working with some 3-D and geometric patterns, so that worked its way into this piece, echoing the geometry in her dress.

I’ll let the piece speak for itself because try as I might the words are just not flowing tonight!

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The Lil’ Inker’s background die, Faceted, and card base are a lovely “Arctic Ice” blue watercolor paper that is decades old.  The sentiment and rose are both from Paper Smooches.

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The banner is a dark grey, and I loved how the frosted grey Co’ordinations paper looked atop it.  Subtle, and beautiful indeed!  It pulls in the grey of the lines and her belt.

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I watercolored some paper with varying shades of yellow and then cut numerous roses to attain a shading I liked along the outline.

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Here are a few views from the side and top.  I am really excited about this die; I have deconstructed it further and plan to manipulate it and Mod-Podge it for some other pieces.  I love its architectural nature–reminds me of Rem Koolhaas and Gehry’s work, both of whom have prominent buildings in Seattle–the Public Library and EMP respectvely.

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I chose the background paper from DCDW to echo the diagonals on her dress.  Here are a few more images to leave you with.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure to head over to Runway Inspired Challenge where there’s always something to get your juices flowing!

UPDATE: Lil’ Inker Designs is having a monthly meet-up challenge over at their blog as a way to share projects designed with Lil’ Inkers’ products.  I just happened upon it today, and there are 9 days left to submit.  Lil’ Inker’s background dies are some of my absolute favorite, and Laura provides excellent customer service.  Head over and check them out!  There are prizes to be won!

And please check out my PORTFOLIO pages, which are a bit more thematic and image focused.  I have some new entries of holiday thank you cards, and more backlogged work to be added this coming week!

Have a beautiful Valentine’s weekend!

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