THD Challenge & Celebration

Hello Everyone and welcome to a special THD Challenge for July!

We just celebrated Toni’s birthday and the 4th of July, and now we’re celebrating the first anniversary of The Heart Desires Store with a sale and a new THD Challenge this month with a hop where you could be a winner! 

Here’s our current inspiration!

This month’s Hop Rules

There are up to 3 opportunities to win a $20 gift certificate to the store.

  • Leave a comment on the challenge post on the blog, on IG, and/or FB. You must be a follower of each platform you comment on for your vote to count.
  • Enter the July challenge for an additional chance to win a $10 gift certificate. Don’t forget to link back to the challenge in your personal post.
  • Winners will be randomly selected from the eligible entries and announced August 2 so you have plenty of time to comment and enter.

Challenge Rules

  • NEW:  A randomly selected participant each month will receive a $10 gift certificate to the store. Who doesn’t like an excuse to shop?!
  • NEW:  If you would like to be a guest designer on the blog, please add GD next to your name when you enter.
  • Don’t worry. We’ll still be choosing our favorites and offering the opportunity for the winner to guest design for the challenge.
  • Challenges will run from the first Wednesday to the last day of each month.
  • Enter up to 3 times and combine with no more than 5 challenges, including ours.
  • Include the challenge inspiration pic or link in your post.
  • The challenge winner will be invited to be a future guest designer.
  • Most importantly, have fun!!!!

When you post your entries, feel free to tag us on social media!

#thdchallenge, #theheartdesiresstore

Oh, and did we mention a sale?

And now for how I was inspired by our challenge graphic!

 

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I pulled together some things old, some things new for this one!  I had a few leftover Waffle Flower floral die cuts that had been colored with Brushos from my card in the April challenge. While I was playing around with them, I realized they could double as both fireworks and anemones!  Here they are playing the role of the latter!

I love how they look with the Memory Box underwater collage dies.  The inner panel was cut from hand-colored alcohol inked glossy paper; the outer from the Gina Marie cross-stitch die. The top one is adhered with a cute clip from Michael’s mermaid line!

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The inner panel was colored with Distress inks and then sprayed with Heidi Swap Color Shine.  I then stamped a sentiment from Waffle Flower’s Flora Cat Play.

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I put a clear dot from Tear Drops and Clear dots in the flower’s center.

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Finally, I added one of my sequin strands that uses a variety of sequins, including Hero Arts Ombre sequins and some anchor washi from Target on the inside!  The base paper is from an old collection from Glitz Design.

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Thanks for celebrating with us! I look forward to seeing what you create this month! Click on any of the links below to purchase items used in my card for 20% off!

Supplies from THD Store:

Memory Box Seaweed Collage and Underwater Collage Dies; Waffleflower Flora Cat Play sentiment; Gina Marie Stitched Rectangle die; Distress Ink Tumbled Glass Mermaid Lagoon; Ranger Mini Ink Blending tool; Ranger Watercolor paper; Brushos Ultramarine; Hero Arts Ombre Sequins

 

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!

Inspired by Graphic for Guest

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)
 

 

Winter Coffee Lovers Hop

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Oh Christmas bean, oh Christmas bean, how green you are before roasting; Oh Christmas bean, oh Christmas bean, once brewed, you are worth toasting!

Hey, everyone, welcome to the….

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It’s that time again to pay homage to the liquid gold that fuels us all year through, and especially at this time of the year!

Each hop more and more coffee loving papercrafters come aboard, and it’s always so much fun to meet new participants, and reunite with others at this quarterly event.  This time around there are 49 sponsors and prizes to be won!  Those super commenters have their work cut out for them, as there are already over 500 entries and two days left!  Amy and Chaitali have created a tsunami of an event, and the number of coffee stamps, dies, and embellishments that have followed in their wake is staggering!

I have required copious cups of coffee this past month, not because it is the holiday season, but because we are raising a new kitten and dealing with everything that goes along with that (kitten-proofing the house, dealing with “Utinni oops” on linens, poopy paws and runny noses, vet visits, cleaning, cleaning, laudromat, cleaning, repeat and repeat and repeat, and managing existing cat dynamics).  Luckily, I teach out of my home studio, so disasters have been apprehended early, and I can easily monitor events.  She is starting to jump higher and higher, and scaled my shower curtain just tonight…the fun is only beginning!  Here’s our little dirty snowball with icicle eyes– a perfect Christmas kitten–Utinni!

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But really, I am as sweet as an angel!

 

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Leo is such a good big brother!  He has defied my expectations!

If you are wondering about her name, she is named for a word in the language of the Jawas in Star Wars (anyone heading to theaters tomorrow or this weekend?) but it is merely a coincidence that the movie is coming out just after her adoption.  We actually named her last spring on a trip to Portland before we even knew her.  Full name is Utinni Alberta Noi (the last two being favorite places in PDX) and it’s just so fun to say!

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I love Courier Coffee in Portland!

 

So back on track (kittens have a tendency to derail you every waking moment), and on with my card, that could also function as a tag!

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I have left it open to be either adhered to a card base or just clipped onto some gifted beans.

And talking about beans!!  I Distress-inked some watercolor paper with Pine Needle ink (love that color!!) and set out to cut many, many beans from the Impression Obsession coffee set.  These dies have made an appearance in a variety of my prior coffee hop entries, which you can see here.  If you didn’t know already, coffee beans are actually green before roasting!

I adhered beans to a base, fussy cut, and then used some icicle Stickles to add sparkle, and finally adorned the tree with Memory Box’s Festive Lights die.

 

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Using my favorite embossing plate from PTI, I added texture to the background card cut from a Lawn Fawn notecard die.

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I instantly fell in love with Basic Grey’s Juniper Berry line this year, rivaled only by Pinkfresh’s holiday papers, so Juniper Berry will be featured in many of my holiday cards.  Here I have used the geometric woodgrain and the hot-pink design.

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To add to the scrappy aesthetic, I rummaged around for some fun embellishments such as this acetate Maggie Holmes leaf, Freckled Fawn metal wreath, and sentiment, created with my new, awesome, Stampin’ Up Rotary stamp– the largest rotary stamp ever.  You can order one here from my girl Tonya!!  And check out her beautiful cards while you are at her site!!

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I clipped everything to a woodgrain paper base from Ellen Hutson, added a strip of silver/teal washi, and placed a star on the highest bough!

This is also headed over to Virginia’s FINAL challenge–All About Glitter.  Virginia’s View challenges have garnered as much interest from our crafting community as the coffee hops.  Her challenge is one of the best and her own cards are amazing and always inspiring!  We will miss your challenges, but keep following your creative acts!

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I wish I had my tag completed in time for our crafty gathering and gift exchange.  The talented and lovely Katie Brooks took home my gift below!

THE OUTSIDE:

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THE INSIDE:

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THE GIFTS!  So lucky to have a great group of sweet, talented crafters to hang with regularly!
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What’s on your wish list this holiday?  Any crafting must-haves?  I saw Santa ordering a MISTI for me!   Leave me a comment on your way out and let me know about your Christmas wish, your favorite coffee, or a crazy cat story!  There may be some swag if you do so!

Enjoy the hop and have a very merry____________________ and a happy new year!

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S.

And this happened while writing this post:

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I heard some noise in my studio upstairs, and then movement on the stairs, followed by a thump and a meow.  Atticus brings me the most interesting gifts–I think the messages here are “Pay attention to me, not that stupid kitten” and “You should be crafting”!

Oh Atticus!

attie!!

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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It’s Birthday Time, Again!

It’s 3am.  Somewhere, east of Seattle, tucked within a mountain pass, a light goes on.  Coffee sputters to life.  A computer casts a blue glow as eyes adjust to the colorful flow of paper and ink creations dancing across the screen.  Perhaps inspiration strikes an idea for her latest design team piece.  Or perhaps another cup of coffee calls before the craft room beckons.  Time moves swiftly in the morning, but before any of us can even think about smacking the snooze bar, she’s already clocked half a workday in her creative corner of the world.

There is only one person who fits this description, the one and only Amy Tsuruta, whose birthday I will be celebrating, for at least the first few hours of the day here in the PNW, in my sleep!

Amy is an organizer extraordinaire whether in real life or virtually, whose card making style is a fabulous combo of cute and spunky, always on-trend and always fun–just like her!

So today we are celebrating Amy, wishing her a year that is as sweet and inspiring as she is, and hoping she has a day where she receives as much crafty love as she spreads in the wee hours of the morning!!

So hop along with us and make sure to drop by her site to pass along a birthday greeting!

When we recently gathered at Impress for Kelly Purkey’s class, I picked up the Pink Paislee paper collection Citrus Bliss.  All of these papers remind me of Amy, so I knew I had to make her a card using them. I wish I had found all the ephemera and rest of the collection, as Amy loves pineapples and wait til you see the goodies in this collection (at the bottom of this post!). I associate Amy with green, so that was my leading color!  Since I have been on vacation this week, and then catapulted right back into teaching, time was not on my side the last 2 days, nor was the disappearing light this evening, so regretfully the photos don’t represent terribly well.

Photos UPDATED!!

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I love the Memory Box vines as they remind me of Orla Kiely designs, so that was definitely a inspiring factor.

I used the PTI Wet Paint Celebrate die and SSS “You” stamp for the inside.  Easter Grass by Bazzill comprises the card base.

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Getting crafty and connecting after much too long with Kimberly and Amy!

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Alright, now it’s time for you to connect with my other PNW friends.  Please leave some love along the way!  And check back here this weekend to see my first mini-album inspired by Kelly’s class!

Happy Birthday Amy!!

Tonya (Big thanks for hosting the hop!!!)
Laura
Kate (You are here!)
Katie
Kimberly
Lisa
Toni
Vicki  
Amy ← Birthday Girl! 

Citrus Bliss Collection!  Maybe something here for the birthday girl?

Most available at Scrapbook.com!
Pink Paislee - Citrus Bliss Collection - Embossing Folder - 4 x 6 - Pineapple

Pink Paislee - Citrus Bliss Collection - 12 x 12 Vellum with Foil Accents - Welcome

Pink Paislee - Citrus Bliss Collection - Wood Veneer Shapes

Pink Paislee - Citrus Bliss Collection - Puffy Stickers

Pink Paislee - Citrus Bliss Collection - 12 x 12 Paper Pad

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!

 

 

A Crafty Day and A Clipboard Card

And another weekend draws to a close!  Did you find yourself inspired and productive?  I know I did– and now, not only do I have a product pile-up, but I also have a post pile-up!

But before I get to my card and muses, I must share a bit about my crafty Saturday gathering!  I am not only lucky to live in one of the most gorgeous places in the United States, the Pacific Northwest, but also lucky to live in proximity to some of the nicest and most talented card artists out there, all of whom are likely household names to many of you! One of the most wonderful aspects of this creative journey beyond the act of creating is the people I have met online across states and continents through challenges and blogs.  Being able to meet some of these online friends in person makes it even more wonderful.

So yesterday I had the pleasure of laughing, eating and creating with Katie Brooks of KB Stamps, the Kimberly Wiener of Wienerhoneymooners, Amy Tsuruta of Tsuruta Designs, and Amy’s friend, Laurel.  I didn’t get much card making accomplished, but had a great time sharing supplies and ideas, while accomplishing a lot of die cutting (what else is new lately?!) for a mini album!

Amy was a wonderful hostess, and I wanted to show my thanks not only for opening her home to us, but also for being so supportive in her commenting over the past months since I have become more active in the community.  It is amazing how she makes the time to visit so many blogs and comment on people’s work (in addition to creating, being on numerous design teams, raising kids and working!)  Since Amy loves coffee, I knew I had to bring her a little hostess gift of beans, and of course a coffee-themed card!

I have been working on what I will call “clipboard cards” from recycled cardboard and corrugate.  I am really excited about these! There are so many possibilities for different occasions and aesthetic approaches with these cards.  I plan to complete a tutorial for you once I have some others finished.

Additionally, I’ve been experimenting with different card-making styles to challenge myself, but the one I keep gravitating to is the shabby chic/vintage collage style with a modern and/or mixed media twist as seen in the work of Magda Luczak of Mama Judo, Stephanie Schutze of Scrapmanufaktur, Frau Muller, and the older work of Scrapperia, whose recent work is more modern, on-trend, freestyle collage.

These works in particular influenced my thinking, since I have been thinking about these a lot!

Stephanie Schutze, Scrapmanufaktur
Stephanie Schutze, Scrapmanufaktur
Frau Muller
Frau Muller
Scrapperia
Scrapperia
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Mama Judo

 

I actually had set out to CASE Magda’s tag card, but went in a completely different direction after playing around with my elements. She has another fabulous tag card over at her blog which I am thinking of CASE-ing.  Her work is just magnificent!

So here is my card!

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THE PROCESS:

I measured and cut my clipboard back out of recycled cardboard; I use a lot of legal pads in teaching, and always have the cardboard left over after the pad is used.  Great crafting supply!  I did the same with the corrugated paper, rounded the edges of each, and then Mod Podged them together.

I then distressed my top panel and stamped my coffeestains in Versafine Onyx Black, using stamping off to get variations in hues.

I distressed some scrap paper, and then die cut my little coffee mugs.  I strung them along the hemp twine and finally was able to put my Tiny Attacher to use!  Love those little staples!!

I knew immediately that I had to use Kelly Purkey’s stamp from the I Like You set– which I thought was cute in reference to a cup of coffee!  I stamped that in Memento’s Rich Cocoa onto my tag cut from Avery Elle’s Tag set.  I did not attach the tag to the twine as I wanted it to slip out so the message on the back could be read.  I also like the coffee cups sliding freely along the twine.

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I set out to layer a bit with various papers and the burlap, distressing my 7 Gypsies Conservatory paper with the Tonic Distressing tool.

I die cut the tab from My Creative Time’s Stitched File Tab, and specifically chose a section of the washi to tear and affix to the it.

Then I clipped it all together with the tiny binder clip.

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But wait, there’s a surprise inside!!

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Some fun confetti mugs and Paper Smooches “Thanks” die cut from various papers and wood veneer.  It’s not a confetti pack without some trendy sequins!  Love those Studio Calico woodgrain ones!  I snuck the vellum envelope between the layers.  You can see it peeking out in photos above.

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The bottom initially looked a little bare one assembled, so I die cut some branches from the Penny Black Nature’s Song die.  I wrote out a message on the back of the tag and then wrapped it all up with some rough twine!

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After our fabulous day together, I headed to Snoqualmie Falls, not far from Amy’s for a nature walk.  Here are some of my pictures!  I so love our PNW forests with the knobby tree-covered trees and mossed branches bending and hanging and breathing life into the forest!

And the neon azaleas are popping out all over now making my eyes pop right out of their sockets.  I could look at them in their varying hues of fuschia, red, and pink for hours!

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Well, in three minutes, the weekend will be officially over, and it is way past my bedtime.  Instead of popping out, my eyes are about to roll back into their sleepy sockets.  So I won’t be leaving a fancy linked up supplies list this time, but I have listed what went into the card.

This is headed over to CASE Study for the design team call.  There will be a new guest designer as well as a new Muse this coming week! Check it out!

And now it’s lights out for me!

xo

SUPPLIES:

Kelly Purkey “I Like You” Stamps
Prima Paper: Sunrise/Sunset
Crate Paper DIY Shop
7 Gypsies Conservatory Paper
DCWV Burlap Paper
DCWV Woven Paper
Recycled Cardboard
Corrugated Paper
Hemp Twine
Memory Box Mini Cups
Penny Black Nature Song Die
My Creative Time Stitched Tab Die
Avery Elle Tag Die
Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher
Tim Holtz small binder clip
Tonic Paper Distresser
Distress Inks: Walnut Stain, Antique Paper, Tattered Rose, Tea Stain
Versafine Onyx Black ink
Coffeestain Stamp is from Inkadinkado (I think!)
Studio Calico Woodgrain Sequins

A Maze of a Brain and Amazing Art

 

“Hello, yeah, it’s been a while.
Not much, how ’bout you?
I’m not sure why I called,
I guess I really just wanted to talk to you.
And I was thinking maybe later on,
We could get together for a while.
It’s been such a long time,
And I really do miss your smile.”

–England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1976

“Oh – stop

With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself

Where is my mind?

Way out in the water
See it swimmin’ ”

–The Pixies, 1988

Ever feel like you’ve been existing in a time-warp, floating between dimensions, touching down lightly into reality and then off again?  That’s what the last ten days have been like for me!

Over the last two decades, as a migraineur, I have had to adapt to an uncooperative brain, which is not easy for someone who could be working, creating, reading, and writing 24/7!  Last week, I was hit with a three day migraine, the effects of which lasted for the remainder of the week–what migraineurs not-so-affectionately call “a migraine hangover.” So all creative and professional work was curtailed, and I’ve been playing catch-up, and taking life a little more slowly the last five days.

With a reduced teaching load due to spring break, I’ve had a bit more time to get back into my craft room and resume work on a few projects.  It has been so good to just play with colors and patterns and experiment with some new styles.  I will showcase some of those very soon!

Today, though I want to share a project I had completed right before I was derailed.  I took my inspiration from an art piece I found on Pinterest. It is called “The unending amends we’ve made (imperishable wreath) 2010,” (acrylic on cut paper, papier-mâché, wire, wood) by Brooklyn-based artist Lauren Clay.  Her work is delicious in terms of color, and at times unsettling in terms of contrasting hard geometric elements with the soft colors.

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The unending amends we’ve made (imperishable wreath), 2010, Lauren Clay

Here is my card:

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been compelled to create paper nests.  I have also been gravitating to varying hues of turquoise, coral, and pink, as you may have noted in my last few cards.  So when I saw Lauren’s work, I knew I wanted to try and replicate its form and color with my Memory Box branches.

TECHNIQUE:

I first colored separate panels of watercolor paper with a water-color brush and Distress Inks and Stains. I saturated some areas for deep color and lightened others with water.  I also flicked water onto parts of the panel for spotting.  I wanted to create an ombre effect, which you can see more clearly in the close-ups.

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After creating my pink, blue, purple, and yellow panels, I strategically cut many branches!  I’ve been quite the die cutting machine lately with my recent cards!  Flowers, circle, branches, oh my!

I then altered branches to get the desired shapes and sizes.  Finally, I worked on placement, which took some time!

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TIP: Take pictures of your stages, especially when working with a lot of large and small paper elements.  This will aid your memory greatly and allow you to compare different arrangements.

I was then ready to add that gorgeous sentiment from Winnie and Walter’s set The Big, Bold, and You.  I absolutely cannot get enough of these fonts and the quality of the stamps is awesome.  I just ordered their other set, The Big, Bold and Happy.  I used Versafine Onyx Black, which is just as bold as the sentiment!

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TIP: When working on placement of your font, use the Stamp-a-ma-jig and corresponding plastic sheet or stamp your sentiment on a scrap paper and position.

stamoamojig

I absolutely love how the flow of the “you” follows that of the branches.

 

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The inside and back are finished off with a simple strip of turquoise washi.

As some of you may know, CASE Study, run by the ever-inspirational artist, Chupa, is looking to expand its design team.  I had the honor of guest designing in March and would love to continue creating alongside all of the talented ladies on the team.

Chupa asked applicants to create a project based on the work of a personal muse in the crafting industry and a style that would challenge us artistically. I have many muses in the crafting world to whom I turn time and again for inspiration– and they vary greatly in their styles. I will be featuring some of these individuals and the cards I created based on their inspiration in upcoming posts.

However, as a writer and paper crafter, I have always looked to the art world and popular culture for inspiration.  So in this instance, while I am not CASE-ing any particular card artist, I was drawn to a compelling visual artist that inspired me to create a bold, modern, CAS-style card.  I hope this will count!

If you would like to apply for a position on the CASE Study team, submit your entry by 4/30!

Have an amazing day!

Signs and Songs and Poems of Spring (and one card)!

Happy weekend, once again!  I had hoped to be back bit sooner this week, but the design I was working on just wasn’t ready to be birthed!  Some pieces are like that, especially when you are trying on a new style for the first time.

I’ve got a card to see, a poem to read, and a song to hear, as well as some great resources to follow, so settle in and read on!

Birds and Bees

For the past two weeks, I have been working on building nests just like my sparrow, wren and crow neighbors!  We have an adorable house wren couple that covets an evergreen bush and Camellia tree in the front yard.  The cats and I have enjoyed watching the little love birds pecking about the ground and in the branches that brush right up against our window!

Camellia Tree
Camellia Tree

Likewise, the crows have been foraging for nesting materials in my yard, and the other day I watched one fashion a stick from our backyard tree to his liking.  I’ve spied one of the local crow family’s new nests perched high in a birch overlooking the beach and within viewing range from my studio window!  And just this morning, a baby bee was buzzing about my screen door giving the cats quite a time before I was able to shoo him to freedom.  The winged creatures have certainly sprung into action here on Alki!

And so, I attempted to follow their lead and get this shabby chic creation, inspired by the wrens and trees and colors in my yard, completed at last!

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This is not a style that I typically gravitate to, though I have been making more clean and layered cards with frames and clustering and am thoroughly enjoying the clustering style.

Because the layout of this card shifted quite a bit, I decided to photograph the different ideas for comparison, and frankly to aid my visual memory!

I consulted some gorgeous paper artists who work exclusively in this style to learn more about how they layer panels and embellish.  Check out the work of Andrea Ewen (more elegant-less-shabby at times, always chic master),  Dorota_mk (jaw-dropping work), Frau Muller (edgier approach to this style, which I love!), Scrapperia (vintage, shabby style with a hip twist in cards and scrapbook layouts).  You can find representative work from each on my Pinterest as well.

Techniques

This style is quite labor intensive!

I initially began stamping my Sparrow from Deep Red Stamps onto watercolor paper with Walnut Stain distress ink.  I then watercolored him with various Distress inks and a fine watercolor brush.

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Reinforce paper for distressing

To reinforce thin paper, I Mod-podged my newspaper from the 7 Gypsies Conservatory pack onto heavy cardstock, and did the same with my wood background panel to enable distressing as the thinness of the papers would not hold up to the edging tool.  The frame’s paper, cut with Spellbinders Fancy Ovals, is also from the Conservatory pack.

I Distress inked most papers with Antique Linen and/or Tattered Rose.

Sewing on Paper

Before sewing my two paper panels, I made sure to adhere them in the center so they would not slip.

One thing I should have done was reinforce with heavy cardstock, as it would have made the sewing easier.  These papers are very thin as well, and despite using a grippier quilting foot, they tended to slip around a bit making straight-lining tricky!  I sew fabric much better, folks.  We’re going for shabby here! 🙂

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I die-cut dozens of branches from a variety of papers for texture.  I then cut or ripped them to get the sizes or shapes I wanted.  I featured these delicious little pins in my Enticing Embellishments post and I was excited to find a use for them!  I also love Fancy Pants resin flowers.  They are the best ones out there in my opinion.  Gorgeous shapes and colors.

When playing around with placement of my completed panel on the card, it felt a bit empty, ironically!  So I dug into one of my favorite paper sets, DIY Shop, and the Joyful Morning Anthem sentiment fit perfectly length-wise.  After trying it atop the card horizontally, I decided on a vertical placement.

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I finished off the back and inside with my woodgrain washi– a favorite I reach for time and again!

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ADHESIVE TIP:

And speaking of nests– you have likely seen circles of twine or nests of gold and silver thread adorning people’s cards lately.  It’s definitely a trend. But how to do that easily so it looks like a controlled chaos rather than just a mess?

I love this adhesive for my cards as it is strong, but removable (won’t rip most of your papers), can be cut to desired size and gives a little dimension (if that is what you want) but not as much as a foam square.

scoch restickable

This is perfect to lay down on your surface and encircle or twist and turn your thread into the desired shape as I did here:

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I have one adhesive square down on the card, curled my thread in a design I wanted and then put another square atop to adhere the die cut.

My Sparrow card is headed over to Catered Crop for their current challenge: Put a Bird on It and to Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge that features more vintage work!  There are many challenges featuring our fine winged friends going on and I will be swooping back in with more bids and some butterflies soon, so check back!

Catered Crop

 

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog

April is National Poetry Month!

On my way out, I thought I would leave you with a poem to celebrate the month of poetry here in the States as well as a song!  I listened to this album while I was working on the card above and the first track is quite appropriate for spring!

 

Let Birds

by Linda Gregg

Eight deer on the slope
in the summer morning mist.
The night sky blue.
Me like a mare let out to pasture.
The Tao does not console me. 
I was given the Way 
in the milk of childhood. 
Breathing it waking and sleeping.
But now there is no amazing smell
of sperm on my thighs,
no spreading it on my stomach
to show pleasure. 
I will never give up longing. 
I will let my hair stay long. 
The rain proclaims these trees,
the trees tell of the sun.
Let birds, let birds.
Let leaf be passion.
Let jaw, let teeth, let tongue be
between us. Let joy.
Let entering. Let rage and calm join.
Let quail come.
Let winter impress you. Let spring. 
Allow the ocean to wake in you.
Let the mare in the field
in the summer morning mist
make you whinny. Make you come 
to the fence and whinny. Let birds.

– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20615#sthash.4Axrli7O.dpuf

More bird poems here!

Interested in bird study, issues confronting birds and the environment, what that warble really means?  Check out public radio’s BirdNote!

Supplies: