Autumn Leaves

“The falling leaves
Drift by the window
The autumn leaves
Of red and gold…
Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I’ll hear
Old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall”

–Johnny Mercer, 1949

This is one of my favorite jazz standards, resonant and haunting, especially when vocals accompany the melody.  I particularly love Chet Baker’s swinging, more upbeat version…have a listen while you read on.

 

The curtain is falling fast on this current challenge, Lovely Leaves, over at Curtain Call.

Here is their inspiration photo:

I had one heck of a time with the first card I created.  What resulted will seem fairly simple enough; however, it took quite the process to get there.  I ultimately found myself working in a sketch over at Cardabilities, so this first creation fused both challenges.

106

2014-09-07 15.02.31

I began with my focal point– that was the easy part!  It was the background design that kept morphing.  I definitely was not experiencing flow with this card.  It’s not quite what I envisioned, nor does it pack the color punch I was aiming for, but I am somewhat satisfied with the result.

Coloring the Leaves

For both of my cards, I used Distress Inks in Picked Raspberry, Mustard Seed, Peacock, and Marmalade to color a sheet of watercolor paper, after which I ran through numerous Impression Obsession leaf dies.  I also feature the sweet Hero Arts bird.

2014-09-07 14.59.32

I turned to Prima for the lovely resin frame, wood leaf, and turquoise flower.

In all my paper confusion, I found a scrap that had some dictionary entries on it, and I noticed the word ‘autumn’.  It was likely the happiest moment in putting this card together, as an empty frame on the card was leaving me a bit empty!

I stamped my sentiment on some woodgrain paper and layered it numerous times onto scrap paper to give it more of a wooden sign effect.

Before I layered my banners, cut from MFT dies, I decided the top needed some visual interest, but nothing to overwhelm the focal point.  Given the time this card took, and my being prone to error throughout the process, I didn’t really have it in me to sew along the top, and I wanted a really clean feel anyway.

So I die cut the holes using a PTI die, then threaded through some hemp twine.

2014-09-07 14.57.24

The inside and back are finished off with a strip of Crate Paper’s DIY Shop adhesive paper.  The green paper and the woodgrain are also from DIY Shop.

Card #2: Lots of layers

Pieces of this card were strewn about for days, only finally coalescing today.  I didn’t even think I would pull a second card together, but I needed a break from work, and figured playing with some paper would be a good escape.

I wanted more of a bright, neon pop with this card.  I maintained the grey of the inspiration photo in the background using both Grout Grey from MFT and Rock Candy from Bazzill, which has that wonderful nubby texture.

2014-09-09 13.13.26

The Grout Grey layer was stamped with Grout Grey ink using an Amuse Studio background stamp, the dictionary definition of ‘extraordinary’.

I used another background stamp from Hero Arts for my first panel.  I wanted some texture in this card, so I used watercolor paper with my Fresh Ink in Mustard.

The wooden clock from Prima was an after-thought that seemed to pull the focal elements together.

2014-09-09 13.13.59

I love how the color and sentiment of the Basic Grey plastic embellishment from Grand Bazaar fit within the overall scheme of the card.

2014-09-09 13.15.46

The resin flower is also from Grand Bazaar.  I added my die-cut Penny Black sprigs for some interest, but went with clear vellum as to not overwhelm the bold focal point.

2014-09-09 12.58.16

The inside and back are finished off with some floral and fauna washi.

Prior to making these cards, I found the first leaf drop of the season last week.  He lay there lonely on the sidewalk, so I scooped him up and brought him home.  A bit crunchy now, but still beautiful!

2014-09-07 15.06.08

That’s it for me this evening!  Thanks for stopping by.  And make sure to check out the gorgeous leaf creations at Curtain Call.  They really are show-stopping!

Three Cool Cats

Are you ready for retro?  How about a few cool cats?

CAS(E) this Sketch has some great inspiration this week, including Ms. Kimberly Anne Wiener of Wienerhoneymooners as their guest.

I took my cue from not only the sketch, but also Chrissy Larson’s card because both rock and, as anyone knows, I love cats!

CTS_90

 Card #1

2014-08-30 13.27.22

This is the first card I made which features some sweet Maggie Holmes paper from a bonus pack Michael’s was selling in the spring.

The background stripe is from Heidi Swapp’s collection, which was a major find at Marshalls of all places.  If you look carefully, you can often find some paper crafting treasures there.

2014-08-30 13.26.21

What is really notable about both of the cards, though, is the cat.  I have had these stickers since 1984.  That’s right.  30 years.  I dug them up from the recesses of a childhood treasure chest when visiting my family this past May.

They are from the Current Catalog.  Anyone remember that?  Evidently, the company has remained current, as they have a website, along with a catalog!  Their designs, however, seem a bit dated, (not in a good way) and not nearly as cool as these cat stickers!

2014-08-30 13.28.13

My assortment of cat toys include a deconstructed vellum Scribbled Circle die from PTI, Studio Calico wood heart, delicious enamel dot, and gold die cut word from a Spellbinders Donna Salazar camera set that says “Fave.”  I scored this set for about five dollars at a blow-out sale at Joann’s thanks to my mom!

Totally rad, right?

The notebook paper die cut is also PTI.

2014-08-30 13.30.40

I added some mustard yellow wax twine and echoed the color with some corresponding washi inside and on the back of the card.

I love wax twine for the ability to manipulate its shape.

2014-08-30 13.26.44

Card #2

2014-08-30 13.13.43

Keeping with the 80’s theme, this one features a puffy gold heart and black denim-like feather, as well as turquoise,hot pink, and that black grid paper!

2014-08-30 13.24.20

Cats do love their feathers and string!  This feather is from Studio Calico and designed to be used with their misting sprays.  I used the bronze from Heidi Swapp, which is really black with some bronze glitz in it.  Apologies for the blurry photo.  I wanted to make the bronze of the feather a bit more noticeable.

Make you think of your tight black jeans, or maybe a jean jacket (filled with pins of course!)?

2014-08-30 13.21.26

I finished off the inside with some gold stripe washi to echo the heart of gold.

2014-08-30 13.23.26

On both cards I used a Spellbinders banner and MFT sentiment.  The font and size of the “you” were perfect!  Card #1 features Soft Stone from PTI for the base and flag; Card #2 features Neenah Solar White and White Linen papers.

2014-08-30 13.37.02

An assortment of goods used, and proof of the vintage quality of these stickers!

2014-08-30 13.44.20

I thought these cards would be great to sell to raise money for feline rescue.  What do you think?

I had this song bopping around my head as I was writing this post.  I warn you, though, if you listen it may be infectious!

Keep cool everyone!

Feeling Festive!

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

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

2014-08-24 19.33.38

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

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

2014-08-24 19.36.38

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

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

2014-08-24 19.32.32

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

2014-08-24 19.34.51

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

JOY TO THE WORLD

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

kraft_black_01

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

2014-08-24 19.38.21

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

2014-08-24 19.24.20

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

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

2014-08-24 19.30.34

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

2014-08-24 19.31.12

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

2014-08-24 19.23.31

2014-08-24 19.41.40

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

Grab Our Badge!cuttingedge

Inspiring Sketches: Updated Photos and Design Tips!

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

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

Here’s Gayatri’s sketch:

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

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

Here’s what I came up with:

2014-08-14 14.15.07

2014-08-14 14.24.01

2014-08-14 14.22.38

 

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

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

2014-08-14 14.23.30

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

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

DESIGN QUESTION POSED TO AUDIENCE!

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

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

2014-08-14 14.18.41 2014-08-14 14.19.35 2014-08-14 14.19.02

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

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

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

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

2014-08-10 19.45.50

2014-08-10 19.40.03

thanks bazaar

2014-08-10 19.44.22

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

 

2014-08-09 19.09.54

2014-08-09 19.05.49

2014-08-09 19.09.23

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

Thanks for viewing!

 

 

Love Nest

Good evening!

Two posts in 24 hours?  Another card completed today?  And a fabulous sunny Sunday spent checking out a new coffee/wine shop for brunch (Vif), flea-marketing in Fremont (and scoring, at long last, a gorgeous refurbished dresser along with a vintage Indian tunic– pictures forthcoming), cooling off with some favorite Bluebird ice cream, followed by a Fremont Brewery stop and finally one more coffee for the road at Milstead?!

Yes, indeed, it’s been a good weekend!

And to celebrate that as well as CASE Study’s 4th anniversary here is my card–with love to Chupa and the gang!

2014-08-09 19.12.14

I have been working with so many patterns, layers, and embellishments, that this card felt so good to make.  I love the crisp, clean nature of it, as well as the modern palette.

2014-08-09 19.12.43

My card features PTI dies and vellum, MFT Fuse Green cardstock for the base (and matching enamel dots!), as well as that gorgeous paper from Studio Calico, “Encircled”.

2014-08-09 19.15.24

I had to include the additional picture above because I just love the Basic Grey Grand Bazaar paper in the background, and was thinking of perhaps including it on the inside of the card in lieu of my usual washi tape border.

2014-08-09 19.14.43

Is this washi to die for or what??

I was inspired by two of the amazing cardmakers in the CASE anniversary blog-hop, the MFT queen Ms. Keisha Campbell–who rocks their papers (especially Fuse Green) and dies like nobody’s business–and the lovely Anna of Creativity Mango who nails trendy, crisp, and colorful in her layouts and cards every time!

Here’s Anna’s inspiration card–

IMG_0266

And Keisha’s–

fe249642d1fdd67b6857252c15a1e08f

I was thinking my card would be good for either a wedding or anniversary card–I’ve not yet stamped an inside sentiment.  The pink Scribbled Circles die reminds me a bit of a heart and the vellum wreath around it, an airy bridal veil.  What do you think?

The anniversary celebration is going on all month, so head over to CASE Study for some great work and fun prizes!

 

CASE Study 4th Anniversary

xo

Kate