Topsy Turvy World

Hey everyone.  What a couple of weeks (months, really) the world has had, no?  It’s hard not to become world weary and beleaguered by the continual barrage of bad–but that is a luxury no one can afford at this point.  We must remain vigilant and optimistic and do what good we can in our small corners of the world, which includes creative acts and sharing that beauty, though it does feel futile and insignificant at times.

While things are mixed up all over, right now I am counting myself lucky to have the luxury to make art, and I am sharing it this week over at the Mix It Up Challenge where Neat and Tangled is joining forces with Essentials By Ellen!

While I had the world on my mind for this piece, I also thought it would be perfect for teenagers who often feel like it’s the end of the world on a moment to moment basis (remember those days?).  Time to up the happy!

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To make my upside-down world, I cut out Neat & Tangled’s Hexstar die to make a stencil and used Heidi Swap’s Color Shine spray to pattern the world die (also by Neat & Tangled).  As you may have seen in another card of mine over at THD, I embossed the world die cut with WRMK’s Next Level embossing folder, which offers great texture and ability to manipulate.

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I used Paper Smooches Border die to create my fissure, which is propped up on either side with foam squares.  The base paper is a lovely ombre world image from Amy Tangerine on which I stamped the sentiment from Julie Ebersole’s Up the Happy Set. It’s a bit difficult to see in my photos, but the shadows of the continents on the paper float below the die and are perceptible in real-life.

If you are familiar with my work, you know I love layers and dimension, so I often alter die cuts and create architectural, 3-D pieces.  Below is a close up of the fractured world.

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Here’s the inside with some ombre washi running lengthwise.

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And the back.

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Click on images below to view full size close-ups.

 

I made this card below as well, uniting Neat and Tangled and Ellen Hutson goods!  It is a case of one of my own cards, which you can see here or here. All white base paper is also from Ellen– my favorite 100# linen stock.  You can see the full N&T Hexstar die cut below and world die again (this time right side up!). I stamped Julie Ebersole’s Brushstroke Christmas “peace”  on vellum, heat embossed and fussy cut; the “to the world” sentiment is from the same set, heat embossed on MFT washi tape die cut.

Well, I sure don’t know if everything is gonna be okay, but if I don’t get to bed soon, I can guarantee it will not be in my corner of the world.

Wishing you peace and beauty.  Thanks for spending some time with me today!

 

Catching Up…

I have struggled with sleep for years– falling asleep, staying asleep, needing mid-day naps to compensate for the lack of sleep.  Having experienced chronic, debilitating bouts of insomnia over the last decade, I am nearly giddy when I actually zonk out for more than 5 hours at a time.  No longer accepting early morning teaching gigs has helped somewhat with my sleep issues and has resulted in a more natural sleep cycle whereby I go to bed later and wake up later. Because I teach most nights until at least 8, sometimes 9pm, it takes a few hours to wind down after 5 or 6 hours of back-to-back students and parents.  And not until the last few months did I notice what a difference my elimination of morning teaching (at 6:45 or 7:30 am 2x-3x/week for the last few years) really has made to my health.  I have come to the realization that I am a shift-sleeper, and if I can get two 3-4 hour cycles in each night, I feel good and rested the following day.  According to sleep doctors, this kind of sleep is actually quite normal, and I am thankful to have a job where I can manipulate my schedule somewhat to accommodate my natural physical cycle.

However, when the mind is heavy or hormones are creating havoc, I typically find myself up around 2-3am, and unable to return to sleep for possibly hours.  I often chide myself to get up and do something since just lying there never helps (chiding yourself doesn’t do much good either!) and since I can’t seem to squeeze enough time out of my days to accomplish what I want, nor lately what I need, it seems even more futile to lay wide-eyed in the dark with an unrelenting mind.

So here I am, up since 1:30 (it’s now 4am in the windy PNW), having roused myself (after significant chiding) to catch up with some creative work.  I’ve taken a couple days off for the mid-winter break to relax (maybe) and organize my physical and mental spaces!  When you work for yourself, there really never is “downtime” and frankly, after a conversation tonight with my partner, I have come to the realization that I really don’t think I know how to relax, truly–or maybe I don’t believe in it, or rather what is typically considered “relaxation”?  Don’t get me wrong, I do attempt this state through massage, acupuncture, and the occasional pedicure, but even then I can find it hard to tune out and turn off. How can one relax when there is just so much to be done in this life– so much to create, and read, and experience, and think about?  Sometimes I think that is what some diseases, like migraine, are meant to teach us–to let go, relinquish control, truly rest (other times I doubt there is any greater meaning within them–they are simply chemical or biological alterations in our bodies beyond our control)–but either way it’s a paradox; my migraines FORCE me to slow down, shut off completely for awhile and reboot– but then on the other side I am often left further behind, with more catch-up!  Without rest (and frankly, better time management), though, we cannot manifest fully in any capacity– and so whatever we choose to call it– relaxation, rest, meditation, downtime– I guess it’s something I need to consider and uncover what will work for me, without guilt, in 2016 to bring many aspects of my life back into balance.

At any rate, catching up is what this post is all about and after being asked to participate in 7 days of sharing your favorite creations from 2015 on Facebook, I figured it was time to empty the folder on my desktop labeled “To Blog” (just like it’s time to empty the real folder on my physical desktop that contains all the belated cards and letters and gifts  I’ve slated to send for months)!

This was one card that actually made it into the mail and into the hands of a student who graduated in June 2015, and it is one of my absolute favorites from last year, partly because of my technique, but also because I think it shows some growth in my design knowledge and style.

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For this card, I cut the MFT Stamps world die from acetate to make a stencil and then adhered that to some Ranger watercolor paper.  From there, I proceeded to use a variety of Distress inks to watercolor my world.  This was actually my first attempt, and I was pretty excited with how it turned out!

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I also used  a MFT Stamps sentiment from their graduation set, a must-have for teachers!  I love the bold fonts of MFT’s collections.

I adhered some washi, and echoed the black and white outlined letters with the b/w striped paper.  The colorful paper layered below is some OLD stock (possibly My Mind’s Eye) that also echoed the colors of the world and the water-coloring perfectly.

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Please check out my portfolio pages for the rest of my new/old creations; I have some fun cards and mini-albums there (I entered the world of layouts and scrapping in 2015!).

May this be the start of an inspired, fruitful week with plenty of rest!

 

 

Good Spirits

I am an idealist with a healthy dose of realism.  We can be taken down by the disappointments of our daily lives and the dark forces within them, or the greater world, or we can confront these realities and counterbalance them with creativity and compassion.  My idealist nature has opened me up to not just a few tricksters throughout my life, and in recent years, I’ve experienced a not-so-healthy dose of disappointment.  It is easy, and human, to become discouraged, to want to disengage as a result.  And this reaction very well may be necessary for our own healing and growth.  Like a yoga instructor once said to me, “It’s important to open, but you have to close, too.” This was a really important revelation for me.

But then you need to find a way to open back up again–to trust, to forgiveness, to acceptance.  That is the hard task of living.  Cynicism, negativity, rigidity are much easier, but if prolonged, much deadlier states of being.  I know I have held on to people or incidents using them to stoke my anger, as proof of what a dismal business any relationship can be.  The reality is no matter how generous or kind you are to some people, no matter how authentically you try to conduct your life, you can’t necessarily expect reciprocation, and to expect as much, while only natural, can be a recipe for disappointment.  It also leads to a transactional view of the world or relationships (rather than a transformational one) which isn’t healthy or realistic in the long run.  What I’ve come to find, rather, is that often you will receive what you need when you need it, and it may be from an unexpected source, at an unexpected time.  Sometimes this source is within us, other times it is outside of us.  Reminding myself of this on a daily basis is one thing that helps me persevere in my personal and professional realms.  It also helps me recognize my own shortcomings and forgive myself when I haven’t directly acknowledged or repaid someone’s kind act.

And this weekend in particular gave me pause to reflect on all of this, not only because of the conversations and interactions I had, but also because I received an unexpected gift in the mail from a fellow paper crafter.  There are myriad reasons why anyone creates art–for me, one reason is to counteract the ugliness in the world, and sometimes in my mind.  It is the same reason why I, and many of us, retreat into nature.  Both remind me that the world is a beautiful place and we can have a hand in that beauty.  Becoming part of an international group of paper crafters and artists has contributed to that sense as well.

So I just wanted to publicly thank Jeanne of A Kept Life for her kind gesture.  Not only did she send me one of her gorgeous cards with a wonderful note, she included some Pretty Little Studio materials–and I love their work.  In case you don’t know Jeanne, she is on numerous design teams and has an amazing flair for color and pattern.  Her cards just pop out of the screen, and are even more delightful in real life.  Please pay her a visit!  These are just a few of my favorites of hers, seasonally appropriate! Click on image for more information.

I have been working, as usual, behind the scenes quite a bit on different pieces, but haven’t had much time to write and post the work.  I finalized this card last week, inspired by Fusion’s latest challenge.  There are some AMAZING entries (as usual) from the design team and players this week!  Go check them out!

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I integrated most of the imagery in the photo, including the branches and the mini candelabra, and manipulated the sketch a bit.

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The inside sentiment is from Waltzingmouse’s Halloween set released last  year. inside trick or treatAll of the ephemera is from an old American Crafts set; I die cut the clock (Crafter’s Companion), branch (Memory Box), and leaf sprig (Maggie Holmes).  The papers are old October Afternoon, and the base is one of my favorite cardstocks, “Fuse” by MFT.  I am not a big twine or ribbon user in my cards, but I do love the look of that moldable wax twine as a finishing touch sometimes.

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Click to enlarge.

I am also playing along with AAA Cards and a new-to-me challenge, Time Out (I made it over, Anita!!)

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Time Out Challenge

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In the next few days, as the moon becomes full and the veil thins, I hope your world will be full of good spirits, and if you encounter any ghouls, may you find the power to cast them off.  I plan to be back with some more Halloween fare before the week is out, but if not, enjoy this enchanted season and revel in the treats of Halloween night!

Love, Love, Love

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Love wins.  We’ve been hearing that sentiment quite a bit lately.  So I figured it was about time to share this wedding card I created for a celebration in May!  Pink wins as well, yet again, along with some sweet Maggie Holmes swag!

I was pretty motivated by my sketch for the Magic card and the birthday card I created for Kimberly’s blog hop, so the design of those cards clearly affected my layout here!

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I stamped the background with the PTI Wet Paint sentiment, leaving some white space at the bottom.  I really love the MFT small circles die, which I cut down to a 3.5 x 5″ size as the backdrop for some Maggie Holmes “Kiss Kiss” ephemera, and a die cut layering card from the Love Notes collection papers.  All clipped together with a Paper Source clip.

20150502_164912I had my eye on that “Love” die from Frantic Stamper for ages.  They have some really cool sentiment dies over there.  So I covered some paper in that pink and gold washi tape, then cut it out!  Love making washi “paper” for die cutting purposes!

Layered a bit of netting to reflect a bridal veil, some Maggie Holmes’ Open Book flowers, and a touch of sequins to finish the front.

20150502_164827Kept it simple on the inside with a PTI wedding sentiment, and a touch of something blue in the turquoise sparkle.

Finally, I wrapped it all up in a Whisker Graphics goodie bag, and added a bit of swag to the vellum tag–more Maggie Holmes paper goods.

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I was really pleased with the entire flow and feeling of this card.  One of my favorites by far, and the bride liked it too!

Wishing you a lovely week!  And don’t forget to leave some love on my last post if you’d like to win some crafty goods!

Birthday Blog Hop!

Whew, my head is spinning with all these April birthdays–family, students, friends, acquaintances!

If you are participating in the hop, you’ve likely made it here from Tonya’s site.  If you are not hopping yet, follow the links below!  Even though it may not be your birthday, you might receive a gift if you hop along!

I’ve been able to squeak out a few cards to honor some fabulous folks, and today we are celebrating a PNW crafty friend, Ms. Kimberly Wiener of Wienerhoneymooners, who is well-known for her prolific, bold, and colorful styles featured not only on her blog, but numerous design teams.  She regularly inspires our crafty little group when we gather with her make & takes, and always shares her wares generously!

I hope her year is just as bold and exciting as her creations, and as sweet as she is!

So this card’s for you, Kimberly!

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As in my previous post, I was playing with the brushstroke sentiment background, featuring PTI’s Wet Paint collection here.  The cake is my first acquisition from Stamplorations, thanks to Maria of Riesling Mama–I could not resist after seeing her gorgeous work with this cake and their other stamps!

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What’s a birthday without something sweet?

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Love this cake-focused collection of sentiments, Delicious Birthday, from MFT!

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I added a bit of fun stitching, and these delectable sequins in salmon, aqua and gold from Fancy Pants.  I can’t get enough of these colors!  I like stitching, taking out the stitches so the holes are left, then adding a new line.  Adds a bit of interest!

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Alright, now it’s time for you to hop around to the rest of my crafty crew’s sites in celebration of this special day!  Amy of Tsuruta Designs, ever the amazing organizer, has pulled this hop together, and she will have blog candy for those of you who leave a comment on each of our posts, including on Kimberly’s site, so make sure to leave some love here before you go!  And don’t forget to wish Kimberly the best in her new year!

PNW Participants!

ME–You are here!

Believe It or Not, Look Who’s Back (and feeling magical)!

We lead such fragmentary lives, occupying a multiplicity of physical and virtual spaces at any one time.  We touch down here, flit there, ever attempting simultaneity.  Yesterday, I sat down to my sewing machine and really focused on the motions of threading my machine, paying attention to the tiny eye of the needle, the bobbin spinning, the thread through my finger tips; it was so refreshing to be present, performing such a simple, physical task without any thought to the work I would do later, the emails I needed to return, the photographs I needed to take and edit for this post!  I was in what Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi theorized as “flow”–an optimal state of concentrated energy whereby you are intrinsically motivated by the process of the activity with no competing thoughts about outside events or the end product.  Artistic endeavors can provide this experience, but if we are so focused on the end result or the audience or the applause, then we are apt to lose our footing– flow gives way to something frantic, fractured and frustrating.

It’s really hard to be present, to achieve flow, even in the activities or with the people we most enjoy.  And so, given the pressures of my career and the necessities of my physical being, as well as the desire to focus more on my sewing skills, I needed to step away from blogging, and all that goes into the development of a post, for the last two months, so I could make time and space for other experiences.  The reality is you can’t do it all and you can’t have it all, no matter what the ad-men try to tell you. And that’s okay. Slowing down, focusing, being present, working on one aspect of your life or yourself or a project, to the exclusion of other parts is more than okay; it’s vital.  Especially in creative endeavors.  It’s good to just be an observer of words or images, letting it all sink in for a bit as you stay silent and still.

And it’s good to step back now into this little corner of my world where I’ve made such great connections and see that as I’ve been percolating behind the scenes, my little virtual home hasn’t been completely devoid of visitors! I sure appreciate your stopping by.  I have four posts lined up for this week to celebrate birthdays, national poetry month, and some fun challenges, like this one:

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I am sure many of you are familiar with the fabulous Ellen Hutson, LLC, one of the best online spots for papercrafting supplies. When I need something quickly and can’t make it to a store, Ellen’s my woman because she’s practically in my backyard and the shipping is lightning fast!  Plus she has a great new line of products designed by Julie Ebersole, another Washingtonian.  Lots of good papercrafting energy in the PNW!

So she’s developed two new challenges, which you can read about here and here.

I absolutely loved the holiday release of sentiment stamps and dies from Julie, and the winter release was fabulous as well.  The Pin-Sights challenge asks you to use the products and the mood board to create a paper project.  The current inspiration board had me swooning so I knew I just had to play along!

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Magical, right? I’ve been known to believe in magic every so often, especially when it comes to inspiration and art!

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I tried to weave in a  variety of the elements from the mood board, most obviously the colors and the brushstroke font.  I’d been wanting to create one of these sentiment backgrounds for awhile so this challenge gave me the push to finally do so using Julie’s Brushstroke Christmas set . Since the color scheme mentions charcoal, I used Versacolor Ultimate Pigment ink in Charcoal rather than black and stamped on Ellen’s 110lb Linen cardstock, my favorite paper!  I echoed the dots from the photograph with the MFT Polka Dot Coverup die background, which I cut down to create a more interesting layer.

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The challenge is open to any kind of paper project, not just cards, and in creating this, I was not sure if it would be a card–I actually think it would make a great framed piece or album cover for a mini-album, so I intentionally did not adhere it to a card base.

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The Magic die from Studio Calico was doubly cut from Paper Source’s Bronze paper and adhered so it would pop up a bit for more curved dimension.  The hot pink brick wall journaling card is a digital file from Studio Calico’s Lisse Street collection.  I love my new HP printer which is allowing me to actually print quality photographs and digital images for the first time in years, so I can add a new element to my paper crafting beyond stamping.

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Open Book from Crate Paper provided the flower and vellum embellishments.  That Art Deco green and gold panel was just what I needed to bring those layers together. I spent awhile riffling through my hundreds of paper embellishments.  I really like working in this way with my products as it is like creating with found art– I am confined by just the paper pieces I have and must assemble them without being able to create by hand the perfect image or embellishment to complete the piece.  It’s challenging in that way–sadly I cannot find any of these vellum packs from the Open Book line anywhere– so it is really a one of a kind piece.

In addition to Ellen’s challenge, I am also going to submit this to Virginia’s View current challenge which is all about dimensions and layers.   You can find my work among the hundreds of entrants!  Virginia gets the prize for challenge participation, although the Coffee Loving Paper Crafters are gaining steadily!!

Check out all three for some great inspiration and maybe a bit of magic!

And make sure to stop by here tomorrow for a special birthday card and blog hop with prizes!!

Color Pop!

Because I’m Happy!

Anyone catch the Grammy’s last night?  I haven’t watched the show since the 90’s and am not convinced of its relevancy anymore. From a quick online review of the evening, it seems to have been fraught some odd antics and questionable costumes; anything to get the media machine moving, I suppose.  At any rate, Pharrell received an award well-deserved for his song Happy and tonight I’ve got a trio of happy cards for you!

They found their inspiration in a few different places, including this premature spring-like weather.  The hot-pink Camellia flowers are popping from their dark green leaves; crocuses sprouted in January; and despite the pineapple express bringing a week of rain to the PNW, it’s been balmy and mostly sunny these last three weeks.  I’ve spotted numerous newly-built nests high in the leafless trees, the cats are acting a bit more frenzied, and crowds have been flocking to the beach, so it’s safe to say Seattle is experiencing some spring fever.  I’m more than ready!   I spent most of the weekend tearing the house apart, cleaning, organizing and recycling.  Clearing physical space does wonders for the clarity of one’s mental space; I’m already feeling more motivated and productive!

The other inspiration for my cards came from Taheerah’s challenge photo from a few week’s ago.  I couldn’t find the time to complete them and play along, but here is the inspiration image.

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Lastly, my card ideas had me thinking about the 1960’s fashion designer, Mary Quant. My parents traveled to London in 1988 and brought back some Mary Quant make-up–a fluorescent pink and white eyeshadow duo, cotton-candy lipstick, and matching nail polish, all packaged in the signature black and white containers, as well as her book Color by Quant.  The Top Dog Dies flowers reminded me of her logo and the enamel flowered jewelry of the 60’s.

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So my brain, teeming with all this bold color and black and white, came up with these!

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I should mention that the card in the foreground was inspired by the sketch over at Fusion— a pretty literal interpretation!  I wanted to use my new My Favorite Things circle die cut; with the Top Dog Dies flowers and the PTI Happy banner, it was a perfect match!  Talk about a fusion of ideas in this trio!

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I love all the texture from the different papers to the stitching and floral details.  It certainly is a happy card!

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Next up is the other birthday card, with a patterned paper inside a la Kelly at Notable Nest!

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Again, I am featuring the MFT stitched circle dies as the focal point.  Check out the Pebbles enamel dots! They are huge and delicious!

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Finally, the card features a sentiment from PTI and an Avery Elle rectangle die.

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Last up, the loudest card of them all!

There are quite a few flower dies on the market, but I really adore these Pretty Petals.  They had been on my wish list for awhile.  I love the dimension you can achieve with their layering.

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I had so much fun cutting out the 6 different sizes from various shades of cardstock and just playing around with layering.  You may be seeing quite a few of these flowers in upcoming cards!

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The PTI Wet Paint sentiment was cut from white foam for some dimension and texture.

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As part of this gift set (all three cards are going to  one family, along with the little gift bag), I die cut Lawn Fawn’s goodie bag while crafting with my friends last weekend.  I think I really may need to get this die.  It is a perfect size, and I love the detailing.

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Well, that’s it for me this evening.  I hope I brightened up your day, or night!  Head over to Fusion and Cure for the Monday Blues, two of my favorite places for inspiration!

Have a colorful week!

Happy Accidents

I was just rereading a post from last year because it was recently viewed by a visitor, and in it I discussed the creative process, taking chances (or not!) with art, and happy accidents.  While I cringed a bit at the card featured in the post, I enjoyed reconnecting with my ideas and considering where I am almost one year later.  And it was a timely read since I will be sharing with you today two cards that were happy accidents!

Happy Accident #1

In the midst of making Christmas cards I had negatives of die cuts and scraps of paper gathered about, and in one of my clean sweeps, I collected some of my specialty papers–gold foil and gilded vellums– and just filed them in a plastic sleeve.  I wasn’t paying attention at the time, but about a week later I happened to glance over at the plastic sleeve and noticed the negative die cut of my deer head in the gold foil sitting behind a gold star vellum.  I don’t waste a bit of my gold foil cardstock, so I had just kept what remained for smaller die cuts without even thinking about using the negative!  It was a happy surprise indeed, and this is the card that manifested!

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As you can see in the photo below, the die leaves a squared outline when it cuts into thick paper, which does not make for a great negative, unless you were to frame around the deer head and hide the outline.  In this case, the cover of vellum did just the trick.  I love the shadow of his head beneath the stars!

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One of my favorite and most used dies of the season was my “Sparkle and Shine” set from WPlus9.  I love the font and the size.  I cut it from mint Paper Source CS and used a bit of ice Stickles to embellish.

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And here is the inside where I changed it up a bit from the front, featuring a gold sentiment and mint & gold washi.

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UPDATE: ENVELOPES!

I almost forgot that this little card has a matching envelope I made with my Martha Stewart Scoreboard!  I made a few custom-size envelopes for holiday cards, as I found some great deals on 12×12 paper at Michaels and Joann.  Since I made oddly sized cards, I need custom envelopes, and they add to the whole card!  I will do a post soon on making envelopes and labels!

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Happy Accident #2

Another inspiration came as well from the leftover of a die cut.  I had cut one of my large Avery Elle flags and a Mama Elephant tag from some grey cardstock, and the paper that remained was a triangular piece with a bit of a long rectangular edge.  When I looked at it, I saw a roof and a chimney!  Considering the amazing We R Memory Keepers “Love Notes” collection (I have now purchased two 12×12 pads, two 6×6 pads, and extra 12×12 sheets of the prints I love. Yes, I am hording–the texture and designs were just too awesome to resist!) and the specific print, French Doors, I knew I had a little holiday house card in the making!

Here is what resulted!

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Now you can see the “roof” and “chimney” that sparked my creation!  In order to create the house, I used the flip side of the French Doors paper, measured and cut it in a similar way so it would fit on the grey background.

The grey chimney looked a bit too flat, though, so I embossed with my Tim Holtz brick folder another piece of grey paper, cut to fit, and adhered to the chimney.

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Once I decided what door to use, I fussy cut that and then set to embellishing the rest of the house with a wreath, gingerbread icing scallops from the Avery Elle set, my Poppystamps snowman, and that adorable Mama Elephant bow.  The left corner looked a bit empty upon finishing, so I decided to add the snowflake.

I considered cutting the card base so it was a triangle, but since that was my only sheet of MFT’s Pink Lemonade, which was the perfect color for the base, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  It felt like too big of a risk– which echoes my sentiments in that post from a year ago.  If I only have one piece of a cardstock or patterned paper, or embellishment, I am far less likely to take a chance.  Silly, perhaps, but these papers and goods are expensive, so the fear of waste and ruin keeps me on the conservative side!  Do you experience the same feeling in your creative process?

Since this is going to a friend who just moved into a new house, I figured it would be the perfect card and sentiment!

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I hope you found some inspiration in these happy accident cards!  Give pause when you toss aside a scrap; it may just hold the key to a beautiful creation!

May your week be full of happy!

Selected Supplies–Click image to purchase:

We R Memory Keepers - Love Notes Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - French Doors

Boho Bright

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze….
 
 
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”
 

 


As I sat down to write this post, the Wordsworth poem above floated through my mind.  I suppose it might be because Pinned & Penned has been a bit lonely this past month, and I have felt too much the sting that solitary work can bring, or it may be the subject of today’s post, which is a bit of brightness, like a crowd of daffodils, in the midst of a darkening season.

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In any case, the poem seems to fit with the whimsy of Curtain Call’s current challenge (notice the daffodils in the painting?).  The previous week found me wanting so badly to play with the color inspiration–I absolutely love the combination, particularly that yellow.  I’d just received some Lemonlush papers from Studio Calico which were a perfect match.  So I set about to pull something together–a very simple piece that I finally completed today.
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Super simple.  I let the paper really do the work for me.  The PTI Happy die is inlaid, that gorgeous deep blue playing off the turquoise below and surrounding purple.
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I cut a flag and stamped the sentiment in Island Fresh Ink.  Cut a few scraps from the Lemonlush papers adhered and stitched.  All was assembled upon a spring green Bazzill base.
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I love the watercolor and mottled effect of the front and underlying panels.
The inside is finished with some navy washi to echo that on the front.
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This may be the most simple card I’ve constructed in awhile.  I should note I was also inspired a bit by a CAS(E) this Sketch design, but missed the deadline.
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Aside from today, the weather has been unseasonably summery this fall in the PNW.  We’ve had a few blustery intimations of winter, but it may be the warmest and sunniest autumn I can recall.  I will leave you with a photo of last night’s sunset.  It was far more fuchsia than the photo represents, and the water was downright pink, but it’s pretty spectacular nonetheless. It echoes the card, too– though it is far more magnificent.
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I am heading into another extremely busy work-week, and if the past few weeks have been any indication who knows what surprises await.  That being said, it may remain a bit quiet here over the next few days.  If you follow me at all on Facebook, you may recall I promised a particular post a few week’s back.  It’s in queue along with some autumnal delights from the Persimmon collection I’ve been hinting at.  So I hope you will stop back soon.

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On my way out, I want to thank all the new followers and visitors to my site and Facebook page!  I appreciate your interest in my work
It’s likely too late for you to play along at Curtain Call, but head over and check out some of the gorgeous creations, especially Shirley Bee’s funky card– I just love her background!
May your week be as delightful as a crowd of daffodils and just as bright.