Topsy Turvy World

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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!

 

‘Advent Calendar Extravaganza with Taheerah Atchia

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Well, hello and welcome to…

Advent Calenda Extravaganza

Are you excited, and enjoying this hop so far? I know I am, and I am very happy to be waiting for you behind door #22!

Advent Calendar Extravaganza

 

Advent Calendar Extravaganza is -the- festive event of the season! This ‘hop with a twist’ was dreamed up by Taheerah Atchia and features surprise destinations each day! Joining in the fun with Taheerah are over 60 special guests – each serving up some fantastic Christmas inspiration! Just like an Advent Calendar, you’ll never know where you’re going to be visiting next until you ‘open the door’!

And that’s not all! With 25 *amazing* sponsors taking part as well, your crafty wish list is bound to get a boost with a chance to win a prize EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

Join in the fun every day at taheerah-atchia.com to see what special surprises wait behind the door!

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Since today’s sponsor is Unity Stamps, and I am a member of their Stamp of the Week club, I figured it was high time to put some of their adorable, festive stamps to use.  One aspect of Unity that I really like are their sentiments–they are witty, funny, and have some great fonts!

Today I have two cards for you; one was designed with the solstice in mind, as I created it yesterday on the shortest day of the year.  The other I envisioned for a possible New Years card (for the coffee or tea lover, of course!), as the sentiment is fitting, and I had the recent Coffee Lovers hop on my mind!

First up, Rudolph!

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Disclaimer: It being the darkest day of the year, and my having only been able to pull this brewing idea together in about 3 hours, the photos are a bit grey, and there are a few things I would change about this card, but overall I think it’s a pretty fun first attempt!

For this card, I used the Magical Holiday set from Unity.

WIB-891-MAGICAL-HOLIDAY I stamped Rudolph with Versafine Champagne ink, then embossed with sticky embossing powder and covered with Stampendous glitter.  After allowing it to set, I fussy cut him out.

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If I recreate this, I will likely make the twinkling part of the nose silver, red, or possibly cut off the twinkling part altogether.

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The idea for my background came from a digital paper that was part of a Lilypad pack I purchased, Autumn Nights.  I loved the ombre light grey to midnight blue flecked with white, and immediately thought of using it with my Lil’ Inker Designs Faceted die, and using a previous 3-D design of mine, one example found here.  I cut the paper twice from the paper so I had light and dark triangles; however, those pesky triangles got away from me– hence, the background isn’t as ombre as I’d planned, and there is a darker triangle lower in the mix than there should be!!

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After locating and adhering the frame and triangles to some #110 Ellen Hutson Woodgrain paper, I placed Rudolph and created a string of stars on my favorite wax twine, and added a Prima wood banner.

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I didn’t like how the bottom of the card looked, so some quick thinking brought me to a candy cane mound cut with Paper Smooches border die and embellished with curved stitched line, which is also popped up to provide an interesting 3-D curve.

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And finally, the inside.  I love the sentiment that accompanies this card.  I stamped in Ranger Archival ink, my favorite black, and finished the bottom with some paper from Basic Grey’s Juniper Berry line, embellished with a stitched line.  I decided on the green so it would echo the green of the wood banner on the front.

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Next up, Sparkly Cups!

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This card is a bit of an homage to Jocelyn Olson, as I really like her little corner punch and string embellishment.  And I was just talking with my crafting group at our December gathering about using the threaded sequins.  I just haven’t been able to make it work on my cards, though Keren Baker makes it look so easy!

I considered wax twine, but grabbed the sequin instead, and I like how it worked!

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The white panel was embossed with the PTI linen plate, stamped with the sentiment and cut, so I could create the mid-section.  The patterned papers are from Basic Grey’s B-side.

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For the cups, I used a technique I tried previously here.  The cups are from Unity’s Always Today set.  I stamped them and then Copic colored each cup.  Then covered with Versamark Champagne ink, sticky embossing powder, and Stampendous glitter.

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I fussy cut and popped them up, along with the top panel for some visual interest.

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But wait, there’s more!

It’s not a party without a prize – and with prizes every day there are several chances to win! Today’s prize is generously supplied by Unity Stamps, so you’ll definitely want to get your hands on it! Simply leave a comment on this post to enter – then head back to taheerah-atchia.com and leave a comment there too to double your chances! Don’t forget to grab the other surprise destinations from Taheerah’s blog and head over to them to leave comments there as well to improve your odds even more! You have until 7am EST on Thursday 31st December to leave all your comments!

Don’t forget the Advent Calendar Extravaganza runs from 1st-25th December inclusive so make sure you visit taheerah-atchia.com every day for fabulous inspiration and amazing prizes every single time! Merry Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your holiday season is calm and bright!

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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“Everything we choose in life for its lightness soon reveals its unbearable weight. We face the fear of unbearable weight….The residue of history: the printed page, the flicker of the image, always fragmentary, always saying something less than the weight of experience” (Richard Serra, quoted in A. and D. Lefferts, Richard Serra 2013, New York, 2014, p. 14).  Source: Christies

My latest piece certainly weighed on me, despite its ethereal lightness.  I couldn’t stop looking at the inspiration image from Runway Inspired Challenge–that fabric, that dress!–and feeling that nothing could quite do it justice in the form of paper, in the time I had.  Really the image had me re-measuring my dress form and stuffing its bra full of poly-fill so I could finally tackle bust alterations (but that’s another post for another time!).

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Despite the gorgeous floral pattern, I didn’t want to do flowers, but all my other ideas lay half-formed on my work table throughout the week–one which left my brain a bit gummy and my lids too heavy.  So flowers, or rather a flower, it was.

I’ve been altering and manipulating die cuts, though, for a few weeks and working with some 3-D and geometric patterns, so that worked its way into this piece, echoing the geometry in her dress.

I’ll let the piece speak for itself because try as I might the words are just not flowing tonight!

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The Lil’ Inker’s background die, Faceted, and card base are a lovely “Arctic Ice” blue watercolor paper that is decades old.  The sentiment and rose are both from Paper Smooches.

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The banner is a dark grey, and I loved how the frosted grey Co’ordinations paper looked atop it.  Subtle, and beautiful indeed!  It pulls in the grey of the lines and her belt.

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I watercolored some paper with varying shades of yellow and then cut numerous roses to attain a shading I liked along the outline.

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Here are a few views from the side and top.  I am really excited about this die; I have deconstructed it further and plan to manipulate it and Mod-Podge it for some other pieces.  I love its architectural nature–reminds me of Rem Koolhaas and Gehry’s work, both of whom have prominent buildings in Seattle–the Public Library and EMP respectvely.

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I chose the background paper from DCDW to echo the diagonals on her dress.  Here are a few more images to leave you with.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure to head over to Runway Inspired Challenge where there’s always something to get your juices flowing!

UPDATE: Lil’ Inker Designs is having a monthly meet-up challenge over at their blog as a way to share projects designed with Lil’ Inkers’ products.  I just happened upon it today, and there are 9 days left to submit.  Lil’ Inker’s background dies are some of my absolute favorite, and Laura provides excellent customer service.  Head over and check them out!  There are prizes to be won!

And please check out my PORTFOLIO pages, which are a bit more thematic and image focused.  I have some new entries of holiday thank you cards, and more backlogged work to be added this coming week!

Have a beautiful Valentine’s weekend!

Silver Beans: Coffee Lovers Holiday Blog Hop!

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Silver beans, silver beans,
It’s Christmastime in Seattle…

Hear the beans grind,
See the brew drip,
This is Coffee’s big scene
And alongside this bustle you’ll see…

Coffee lovers, paper crafters,
it’s a holiday hop in the blogosphere,
Cut and paste, stamp and post,
Now sit back with your cup and savor!

Well, hello there coffee loving paper crafters!

I found very little time to craft in November, and with the renovation of my website, I had even less time to post anything new! So I am excited to be joining the festivities for the Coffee Lovers Holiday Blog Hop! If you missed the previous one back in September, you can check out my post here and the link to Chaitali’s blog!

Amy of Tsuruta Designs has taken the reins on this one and I am sure the participation will be just as outstanding.  I started this post last night, and from the looks of Amy’s site now, there are already over 150 participants so far!

Back in September, I received the new Prima Coffee Break papers, stamps and ephemera.  I was able to put some of the collection to use for World Card Making Day in this post.  Since then, I have received even more goodies that have been sitting pretty in their packages.  It was high time to tear into them and get to work on a holiday-inspired card for the coffee lover!

And here it is!

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It was a pretty simple construction; I really only labored over the additions of my silver beans and wax twine.

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The card features a 4.25 x 5.75 panel of the Prima paper, stamped with a holiday greeting from Tim Holtz’s Handwritten Holidays set  in Unicorn White.  The wooden coffee pot is also from the Prima collection.

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I just love my Impression Obsession coffee beans and mug!  The mug was given some dimension with a layer cut from foam.

I was worried the beans might be a visual distraction from the paper’s design and flow of the other elements, but I couldn’t resist.

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I cut the outer and inner snowy mounds from some thick glitter cardstock with Paper Smooches border dies and Stitches die.

Kelly Purkey provides the inside sentiment on my Peppermint candy stripe paper!  All has been adhered to Ellen Hutson’s divine Linen 110# Cardstock.

The hop is full of great sponsors with many generous stocking stuffers to be won!  You have until Friday, 12/12, to participate.

Details from Amy’s site:

  • Linky to remain open until Friday, December 12th @ 11:55 pm pacific.  Blog Hop participants (those that link up with a newly created holiday/winter coffee/other favorite holiday hot beverage project) are eligible for Sponsored prizes.
  • Hop ends on Sunday, December 14th @ 11:59 pm pacific.  Comments made before the end of the hop are eligible for the individual blog sponsored prizes.

I’m not planning to be a ghost of Christmas past as I’ve two other posts queued up for this week, so please stop by again soon!

May you feast your eyes on many a wondrous creation and may all your mugs be full this holiday season!

 

Inspiring Sketches: Updated Photos and Design Tips!

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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thanks bazaar

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

 

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

Thanks for viewing!