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!