PNW Birthday Buddies: Part Deux

PNW Birthday Buddies 1-1

Bold! Beautiful! Bright!

These words come to mind when I think of Ms. Kimberly Weiner! She is a bundle of fun energy and we have some great talks and laughs, especially when we carpool and craft! She is super supportive and someone you can reach out to when in need!  I am glad to call her a friend!

Of course, today is her birthday and we’re hopping here in the PNW!  Lisa is our hostess, and you can head over to her site for the full hop listing!

A couple weeks ago, Kimberly taught her class at Impress Cards and Crafts and a few of us joined in the fun. Of course, who can leave that store empty-handed?

I scored some great new offerings, among which is the Flora and Fauna Llama birthday die! Their dies and stamps are really cool; a fun addition to the quirky Savvy line.
So we were supposed to CASE one of Kimberly’s cards as part of our hop, and I couldn’t believe she had just posted one to IG featuring the Llama stamp set by Flora & Fauna. Great, creative minds, synchronicity, and all that! Go check it out at her IG, as it’s not on her blog.

This was one of her cards I had in mind, though, in addition to the Llama!

And here’s my card for her!


Kimberly had just been talking about this flag die the other week, so I knew I wanted to use it as the backdrop.  It’s Spellbinders Floral Ribbon Threader, which reminds me of the Mexican folk art papel picado banners.  I have used them to frame my sugar skulls dies for Dia de los Muertos.

Anyway, I cut two of the banners and adhered their wrong sides, so I can write on the back, like a postcard.


The llama was cut from both Fun Foam/Stick-It Adhesive and #100 Ellen Huston linen paper.  I don’t use my Flower Soft much (and as a result, I don’t use the special glue for the Flower Soft, so the glue was all dried up!).  I improvised with Diamond Glaze, but it didn’t give the tacky dimension that the other glue does.  So I layered up the fine white and pink Flower Soft.


The yellow cording has wire inside, so it creates a really fun 3-D balloon string, and can be shaped a million and one ways!  I cut the balloon from hand-colored watercolored paper and the Stick-it/Fun Foam.  I embellished with some blue Stickles and then pieces of the ribbon tie had come off when cutting the ribbon, and I thought they looked awesome, so I let them fall and dry on the balloon.


The sentiment, which I didn’t anticipate ahead of time, ended up fitting perfectly on the banner!  I knew I wanted to use one of the Kaisercraft bold subway sentiments, and this was absolutely fitting!


Finally, Neat and Tangled has a new Envelope/doily die that is only available from their site (not sold in other stores/online stores).  I love it’s design and versatility, and it works well with the Mexican vibe of this card.  It was cut from vellum and then wrapped with some fringe ribbon (from Target!).


Alright, Kimberly!  You better have a smashing birthday (this llama could serve as a pinata as well!).  And the rest of you better hip-hop to the next stop, which is Kimberly’s blog, and make sure to wish her a fabulous year ahead and check out her amazing work! Want to hop back to the beginning? Start here.

Llama and Balloon Die
Flora and Fauna Clear Die

Coffee and Birthdays…

What can be better?

Both are crazy awesome (as long as you aren’t counting cups or candles), and even better when shared with others.

Today is Tonya’s birthday, and she’ll be celebrating with the rest of our crafty crew. Not sure if candles will be involved, but coffee most certainly will, and a whole lot of laughs.  Sadly, Katie and I will be celebrating from afar, but nonetheless wishing we were there to ring in what I hope will be another successful, creative year for Tonya! 

2015 saw the launch of her boutique-style craft store, The Heart Desires, which is bringing in new product daily, some of which I am featuring today on Tonya’s birthday card.

So nearly every item on this card can be found in The Heart Desires shop–and probably my favorite addition to my supplies is the Richard Garay sweater embossing folder. His product is new to me–that is what is great about the style of Tonya’s store, she features items I haven’t come across before, or that may not be the most promoted brand (though you can find those too, like Concord &9th’s newest releases and Neat and Tangled that work so well together).

The coffee cup has been stamped 3x and heat embossed from Neat and Tangled’s Perfect Blend set, then fussy cut and adhered to the base to create the lid and wrap.  The lid was covered with Versamark clear embossing ink and clear embossing powder to give a glossy plastic appearance to the lid.

I love Concord and 9th’s large stamps, like this one from the Crazy Awesome set, stamped on vellum and heat embossed, but with a few rearrangements, the dried embossing chipped off in a few places!  I used WOW orange embossing powder, and think the lines may have been too thin, or the pigment ink I used didn’t adhere to the vellum well thus causing the embossed sections to chip off.  It *was* perfect!!  Grrr…Anyone ever have this issue? I never have… Delicata gold heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine gold powder was used for sentiment.

Maggie Holmes Bloom paper has been added with twine to the edge for interest; I have also featured Concord and 9th’s new leaf die cut from gold foam.  Sentiment is from Perfect Blend set as well and stamped with Hero Arts Unicorn White. Some fun lemon-cream and gold dot washi finishes the inside.

Not only is it Tonya’s special day, but also the first couple days of our Fall Coffee Lovers Hop! Can’t believe I made it to both parties on time!!  It’s back to school for me, and I went from 0 to 60 first thing Monday morning– so every day has been a 9-9 (or later) work day!  Coffee, anyone?

And with that, I am heading to bed, or I will be one bleary-eyed teacher in the too-soon morning!

Hop along with us won’t you? And make sure to send some birthday wishes Tonya’s way, and maybe some orders!!

Happy birthday friend– coffee on me, soon!

Hop Participants:








It’s beginning to look a lot like…

On a morning like this when the light-filled studio is just below baking and the air, thin and cool, teases relief through a cracked window, thoughts turn reluctantly to December, though I know it looms. Thus, by this point in the summer, the ease and possibility of June and July give way to urgency. I register the changing light of August and begin to count.  How many weeks until the new school year? How many remaining days at the pool?  How many sunset hours left to kayak?

And of course, how many holiday cards left to make?

This last question is laughable because I rarely make cards or seasonal gifts for any holiday or birthday during the off-months– and the ones I do complete in advance struggle to find their way into the mail or hands of their recipient (apologies to family, birthday buddies, boyfriend…)!  Case in point: all tardy 2015/2016 holiday, birthday, mother’s day, father’s day, get-well gifts were meant to be part of a Christmas in July celebration I’d cooked up, but it’s now August.

And so it goes.

I am often too busy sucking the marrow of each moment (or worrying that I’m not making the most of that moment) to think about and plan for some elusive future.  It’s a way of being that certainly has its benefits, but also some costly downsides.

And being a dopamine-driven creative short on time and long on distraction, I know I’m not alone in this!

One card likely won’t turn the beat around, but for a few blissful moments as this piece came together, and visions of more danced about, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my brain…

The designs by Savvy Stamps, Julie Ebersole and Neat and Tangled all complement one another so well, and the ones featured here are some of my favorites– if you follow my work, you know they are in heavy rotation!!  Nearly all products used on this card, which is being submitted to their Pinsights Challenge, can be found at Ellen Hutson.

So first the tree ring.  I’d been plotting its possibilities since the stamp was released by Concord and 9th last year– and it takes center stage here with bold, black embossed vellum, fussy cut, and then layered with an array of Savvy Stamps and Essentials by Ellen dies.  My second favorite element?  That Brushstroke Joy sentiment cut from Essentials by Ellen 110# wood embossed paper and layered with pink mylar!  Look at that iridescence!


The Savvy Woodland Branch is cut from cherry woodgrain paper; the Wild Garden berry sprigs from Essentials by Ellen #110 wood embossed paper, and then embellished with icicle Stickles.  This thick turquoise glitter paper from American Crafts is probably my favorite glitter stock ever (it comes in gold and garnet red, too), and it works perfectly for floral die cuts like these, also from Wild Garden; the large flower petals are partially adhered and popped up for interest.



Savvy Stamps Flower Blossom #2 is one of my favorites of the set, and I love the flow that this leafy sprig creates. It has been cut from Jen Hadfield gold stock.


Finally, Neat and Tangled’s Hexstar cover die cut from Jen Hadfield DIY gold woodgrain paper is slightly manipulated and then layered over EBY 110# woodgrain paper and dotted paper from Maggie Holmes Confetti line.


One last look at the dimension created by the layers.


Even if the holidays, or traditional holiday colors, or merely the thought of winter make you want run and bury your head in a scorching mound of sand,  I hope my non-traditional take on the holiday card coaxes you into creating some of your own before the stress of the season bears down!

And with that, I’m off to the pool!







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!


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.


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.


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


And the back.


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!


THD July Challenge: Tropical

Hey everyone! Welcome to our second month-long challenge at The Heart Desires! All of our June participants knocked the first challenge out of the park, or in keeping with the nautical theme, beyond the sea!!

This month we bring you an equally beautiful inspiration graphic and a sketch!  Taking it tropical this time around!



Here’s my interpretation of the graphic and, very loosely, the sketch!  I took my cue from an earlier card I made for a student, which you can see here. I have worked in every color!!


Using Hero Arts Ombre Pink ink, I repeat stamped sentiments from Concord & 9th’s Wonderful Women set on Ranger watercolor paper, all of which are available at The Heart Desires!


It’s a bit difficult to see, but this close-up shows the nature of the ombre ink and how well it works with the watercolor paper.  Atop the vellum frame cut from MFT’s diagonal stitch die, I added PTI’s slide, cut multiple times from #110 paper for thickness, topping with those fabulous flamingos from The Lilypad, digitally printed paper.

Neat and Tangled’s sentiment, one of my favorites, is cut from gold foam (love that stuff!!). The white and gold paper echoes the gold of the die and is also from The Lilypad, digitally printed.


In this photo, you can see the lovely layers, and that base paper–which was the most difficult layer to finally figure out–is from Basic Grey’s Urban Luxe, which you can no longer find! I should have bought out the collection when I had the chance!  Love how the gold splotches and blues work with the other papers, and particularly the flowers.


What better than the versatile floral die set from Ellen Hutson, Wild Garden?  The flowers work for so many different occasions! They are cut from The Lilypad digital paper, lime and white linen cardstock.

And those gorgeous regatta blue buttons embellish!

I have so many graduation cards to finish– this one is headed to my college-bound student.

Alright, now it’s your turn to play along with us!  You have until Wednesday, July 27!

Please read the rules below before you enter.

Challenge Rules:

  1. Challenges will run from the first Wednesday to the last Wednesday of each month.
  2. Use one, two or three of the identified elements.
  3. If you choose to use colors, you need only use 2 or 3 of them.  Use your choice of neutrals (white, kraft, black, gray).
  4. Identify the elements you chose to use if not readily evident.
  5. Enter up to 3 times and combine with no more than 5 challenges, including ours.
  6. Include the inspiration pic as well as a link to the challenge in your post.
  7. The challenge winner will be invited to be a future guest designer.
  8. Most importantly, have fun!!!!

Come back tomorrow for another bold, summery creation that is sure to inspire your summer scrapbooking!