Feeling Festive!

I’m not one to rush the seasons, so thinking about Christmas cards when there are only a few summery days left to savor isn’t really my inclination.  However, after seeing Festive Friday’s last few challenges and the inspiring work by the design team, I felt inclined to play along.  I loved the non-traditional palette of the inspiration photo.  There are so many fabulous elements to chose from–the wood stump, pinecones, grey bird, frosted cookies.  I’ve made two cards, but the image has me thinking of many other designs that perhaps I will have a chance to execute before the deadline.

A few of us gathered for a festive day of crafting on the beach this weekend, so I was able to complete the second of my two holiday cards.  I will start with that one!  Given the state of affairs in the nation and world at the moment, this seems an appropriate sentiment.  But then again, when in history hasn’t it?

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This card features the black and white elements, the stripes, branch, and kraft.

After finally inking up my Hero Arts letters, which I have been dying to use for months, and stamping on Ellen Hutson White Linen paper, I put together my earth and wreath.

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The earth from MFT’s Centerpiece die “You Mean the World to Me” was cut twice from black and gold glitter paper, and the black continents inlaid.  All were adhered to a die-cut circle.

I felt that my card needed a pop of color, so I added a sprig of pine from a deconstructed Savvy die branch, and some red berries, glazed with glossy accents.  They look like cinnamon candies!

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I added some icicle Stickles to the PTI rustic wreath.  I cut some Lifestyle Crafts Shape and Tape into strips and adhered after placing my centerpiece.

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To echo the sprig and berries, I finished off the inside and back with some striped washi from My Mind’s Eye.

JOY TO THE WORLD

My first card was not only inspired by the inspiration photo, but also the gorgeous creation by Rebecca Luminarias.

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I always love Rebecca’s style.  I pulled some of the gold elements from her card into both of mine.

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I absolutely love the combination of turquoise and gold, so when my card was finished, I realized it needed a pop of color.  The turquoise washi felt perfect for the bottom stripe on the outside and inside of the card.

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I love the gold lace paper from My Mind’s Eye Market Street pack.

TIP:
Because I only have two pieces of this paper, I didn’t want to waste a bit of it.  So I cut out the middle of it before layering– a good way to preserve paper when creating lots of layers!

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The white layer was die cut using Mama Elephant’s Temme Frames stitched rectangle die.

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I strung 7 stars along some gold thread for each of the continents and added some striped washi from Stampin’ Up! for some visual interest.

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Since Paulina over at Pretty Pink Posh is hosting a die-cut blog hop challenge, I am going to link these up over there as well.  So many wonderful creations at both sites– so make sure to stop by and play along!

Grab Our Badge!cuttingedge

Inspiring Sketches: Updated Photos and Design Tips!

I am sure you’ve come across sketches that have you looking at your papers and stamps in myriad ways, sketches that stretch your imagination and keep you coming back for more.

The current composition over at CAS(E) this Sketch has proved to be that way for me.  I am only too sad I stumbled across it so late in the challenge as I didn’t have the time to play with my stamping ideas. And I’ve only just realized that the challenge will close at 6AM PST, not 6PM!

Here’s Gayatri’s sketch:

The aim was to create a card that includes tags or make a tag itself based on the sketch.

I had a few more literal interpretations of the sketch on the drawing board, but for the tag I did finish, I manipulated the design a bit, tipping the sentiment on it’s side and emphasized prominent circular patterns rather than stripes, although I have worked those into the top of the tag.

Here’s what I came up with:

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I wanted a crisp, modern feel in terms of color and pattern similar to what I created on my recent Love Nest card. My tag features Kraft, Amuse Studio Wasabi for “Congrats” and Habanero for the hearts.  I just cannot get enough of this color combo!

I have also used Bazzill Swiss dot, and PTI Vellum, as well as Studio Calico patterned papers on the front, and Maggie Holmes heart paper on the back.

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TIP: When using the MFT wine tag die and layer papers, cut the top piece away from the bottom for easier folding.  As you can see here, I used the whole panel when adhering to the base, and the paper puckered a bit.  I have made a ton of these tags before, so I should have known better!  Consequences of hurrying!

I also decided I wanted to tuck my wreath in-between the layers, but decided that after I had already adhered to the back!  Lesson learned for next time!

DESIGN QUESTION POSED TO AUDIENCE!

So I toyed with the idea of putting three hearts on the label, instead of the two.  I was trying to work with design principles of odd numbers and triangular design.  I think, however, that the two hearts work better… what are your thoughts?  Too cluttered?  Want more of the white space?  Or does it add movement, draw eye?

TIP: have used the ever helpful Scotch Restickable mini tabs— they are so great for playing around with placement of embellishments.  They don’t tear paper and really work for long term mounting as well!

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Dies used include PTI Wreath, Mama Elephant Dainty Bow, MFT tag and wine glasses “Let’s Toast” dies (no longer available from MFT), and Paper Smooches “Congrats.”

NEXT UP: THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL FROM GRAND BAZAAR!

If eyes aren’t too full yet, below are some other sketch-inspired cards completed last weekend, so please read on!

Another sketch I found myself coming back to was Chupa’s Sketchbook Saturday design.  I missed the deadline, but came up with some cards featuring Basic Grey’s Grand Bazaar papers and embellishments, along with a host of other manufacturer’s goodies.

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thanks bazaar

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I’ve not stamped the inside of the other card below, so it may end up being a birthday or anniversary card.

 

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Be sure to head over to CAS(E) for over 100 inspiring interpretations of the sketch!

Thanks for viewing!

 

 

An Octopus’s Garden and a Summer Soundtrack

Adios, I’m a ghost!*

Bienvenue, I’m back! And with a backlog of work to boot!

But tonight, rather than bore you with the details of the last two months of my life, I am going to keep it simple and share one of my recently completed cards, which had been in the works for two months, as well some recently discovered music perfect for these sweet summer days, which for me have mostly been packed with work (and a few stolen moments of sun and fun), hence my longer than planned hiatus!

So one morning in what seems like a galaxy far, far away, we were driving along with the morning spring air flowing sweetly through the car and Ringo’s voice ringing out “I’d like to be, under the sea, in an octopus’s garden, with you.” And I immediately thought of my goofy little octopus stamp and all my sea creature dies and the shaker card craze, and before the song was nearly sung, a card was almost done… in my imagination, at least.

Until this weekend, when I was finally able to dive into a day of paper and stamp play!

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That little octopus from Kelly Purkey’s set just kills me!  I stamped him in a navy, embossed with clear powder and then stamped the coral from a fabulous Carta Bella set around him, wiping off the excess ink from his arms when the coral images had dried.

I flicked some Heidi Swapp Color Shine in Seafoam around him and then set to stamping the sentiment with Milo’s Alphabet and a Stampendous set.

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What to do with all that packaging you accrue from crafting supplies?

Repurpose!

The plastic shaker window is from the packaging for a set of die cuts!  It was easy to find rectangle dies large enough to cover its edges. I used Spellbinders and Mama Elephant to cut my wave paper and create a frame.

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Sequins, Melissa Frances Sea Glass, sparkly Memory Box and Savvy sea creature die cuts fill the floor of my scene.

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Since I’ve been away for so long, I never did share the fact that I was one of two winners in the Basic Grey Grand Bazaar give-away!  My goodies arrived at the end of May, and I just cut into the first sheet of paper from the set for the blue background paper on this card!  I NEVER win anything, so seeing my name randomly chosen for this collection that I love was astounding!

Here are some photos I snapped of the stash!

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So before I go, allow me share some sweet music with you!  Summer is the perfect time to just lounge long in the morning sun or sit through the evening dusk listening to some down-tempo, chilled out music!  This ended up being quite a musical weekend for me– a local street fair brought me back to a fabulous local group The Moondoggies (*from whose 2013 album I have stolen the first line of this post).

And after hearing the song “Baby” by Donnie and Joe Emerson on NPR’s Dinner Party Download while I was making the card above, I found myself traveling down a rabbit hole into some fascinating musical terrain–one story, one song lead to another and another!  The tale of Donnie and Joe is interesting–their rediscovery nearly 35 years later even more so– and their 1979 album is super fine for a lazy summer Sunday.  The track “Baby” has garnered the most attention.

Ariel Pink, also new to me, released a cover of the song that captures its essence perfectly.  Gorgeous soul groove… YouTube has a mix based on Ariel Pink’s track that is wonderfully lush listening.

Like this tune from Darondo…

And this cover by Chet Faker (loving his work so far)…

Need to take it up a notch?  Here’s some pure weirdness, In the Summertime, by Mungo Jerry

And if you are still with me, well, how can I leave without sharing this…

Happy summer, happy listening, happy crafting!

 

 

Into the Deep

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Hello everyone!  It’s well into Thursday for some of you, and that means it’s time for another week of inspiration over at CASE Study!

I have been itching to sit down and write this post, but I have been knee-deep in work, so I didn’t get to it in time for the strike-of-midnight reveal over at CASE.

We are back with another very cool card by Joni Andaya.  This week is a move in the more modern, trendy direction.

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The minute I saw this card, back in Februrary, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, inspired not only by Joni’s technique, but also the gorgeous mercurial blue hues of the Puget Sound that lap pretty much at my back door.

I have always been drawn to bodies of water, so I am incredibly lucky to live steps from the beach.  I love watching how the Sound changes not only daily, but hourly in its depth and color.  I wanted to capture one of my favorite blues in this card.

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What I love about Joni’s card is how she created that wonderful focal point where the colors lighten in the center.  First thought–its like what you see when you are swimming deep, and begin to come up toward the light.

So working from the margins toward the center of the watercolor paper, first with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink, and blending back, adding Tumbled Glass and Salty Ocean Distress Stains on the outer edges, I tried to create that effect.  Because I used a combination of the Distress Ink and Stains, which are liquid, I decided to use watercolor paper.  Most techniques blend with the ink pads only; I wanted to experiment a bit using both the ink and the liquid stains on my application sponges.

After blending my blues, I tapped water with a brush along the card.  Then I spritzed Heidi Swapp’s Color Shine in white and Mr Huey’s Shine mist to give it a pearlescent effect, which you can really see in the photo below.

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In keeping with the sea theme, I wanted to create a lot of slippery and rough textures.

For the heart and arrow, both die cut from the Lil’ Inkers set, Of the Heart, I blended alcohol inks in Watermelon and Sunset Orange onto Ranger Gloss Finish Paper.  I have been playing around with my alcohol inks quite a bit and will reveal some of them soon!

Using some of the Melissa Frances Glass Glitter in Deep Pink, which is wonderfully chunky, I adhered this with Glossy Accents onto my arrow, creating some gorgeous deep sea coral!

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Now for those letters!  You likely recognize them from Mama Elephant; they have appeared on a few of my cards lately.  I initially cut the negatives in my paper; then I die cut multiple letters in black cardstock, adhering 4 layers of letters.

I covered with Glossy Accents, and when dry adhered below my panel so they are just about surfacing atop the blue.  I used some gorgeous turquoise Bazzill paper for my layer underneath the panel, leaving some of it peeking out from the bottom, to play on the variant blues and add some interest and additional depth.

My little nest of silver thread was a final touch on the front, which echoes for me fishing line and the silvery streams of fish that shimmer by when you are swimming or snorkeling.  A bit of Crate Paper’s DIY Shop adhesive paper finishes off the back and inside.  The grey stripe really seemed to add an important element to this card; can’t explain it–it just worked!!

I have a few other cards with this distressing technique waiting in the wings.  So be sure to check back soon for those!

May your day go swimmingly and may you find yourself deep in delight.  If you head over to CASE Study right now to see what the rest of the design team conjured, you no doubt will!

Here are direct links to each fabulous designer if you want to blog hop!

Chupa
Amy Wanford
(Amy’s not playing this week 😦 , but get over to her blog anyway for amazing creations!)
Clare Buswell
Debby Hughes

Jeanne Jachna

Maureen Merritt

Silke Ledlow

Tasnim Ahmed

March Guest Designers: 

Sarah Gough

Make You Jump!

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!