The Bold and the Beautiful

Good Evening!

As I sit down to write this post, the sky is on fire!  It has to be one of the most glorious sunsets I have witnessed at the beach in months!  A lovely end to this summery, near 80 degree day.  And a perfect day to coincide with the cards I have to showcase tonight, all of which are a complete departure from the style of my last card!

Get ready for color and pattern, folks!

Whether I am sewing or working with paper, one of my favorite things to do is play with colors and patterns, looking for striking and unexpected combinations.  Lately, I have been gravitating toward pairing bold black and white stripes with a softer palette and floral or circular patterns.

In my quest for vintage and shabby chic materials,  I happened upon Emma’s Paperie, and what a find!  Not only is their stock replete with Prima, Kaisercraft, and Melissa Frances products for more vintage or shabby projects, but they have an enormous selection of Crate Paper, American Crafts, and Basic Grey for the bold, layered, “modern whimsy” (as Danielle Flanders describes it in her video here) collage style that exemplifies lots of layers, pastel or bold colored and patterned papers, use of chipboard or die cut elements, lots of embellishments, and little or no stamping.  Think also the Crate Paper Girls.

Emma’s Paperie blog and their designers are fantastic as well, and include Melissa Phillips whose work I have been exploring more in depth, along with work of other designers below.

Let’s take a look at some examples of this style:

 

I have been creating clipboards with layers of papers and die cuts as idea boards for possible cards. The cards below are a result of my play with this style.

AWESOME

This was the first one I made using Crate Paper, Basic Grey, Prima, and Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm die cut papers and embellishments, as well as the American Crafts Amy Tangerine roller stamp .

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I die cut the turquoise panel from Spellbinders Floral Ribbon Threader and file tab from My Creative Time.

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HELLO

This card features Crate Paper DIY Shop paper and washi and Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm die cuts (which I love so much I ordered 5 packs!), as well as Paper Smooches Hello Words Dies and Spellbinders Floral Ribbon Threader.  The orange button is from Jenni Bowlin.  The grey paper inside the frame was from a miscellaneous pack, so I can’t be sure of the company.

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CHARMED

This last card is so not me, and did not turn out as I had expected!  It’s like I was channeling some inner Tween!! Like OMG!!!

I woke up one morning with this idea of a using my Poppystamps Delicate Chain die as a charm bracelet.  I thought back to my mom’s charm bracelet from the 60’s that I absolutely loved.  My favorite charms were the little silver crate of oranges (the fruit were tiny orange balls inside the crate) and a birdcage.

So taking that as inspiration along with the elements of spring, I assembled, after much work, what you see below!

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As my partner said, “There’s a lot going on.”  Indeed (and a lot of products).  It’s a bit too much for me!  I liken this card to making your own food versus eating out.  You know how the nearly same meal almost always seems to taste better when someone else makes it?  That is how I feel about this card.  I like certain elements (like that My Creative Time Stitched Boot! So cute!), but I think because it does not really reflect my intention or style, it doesn’t quite satisfy!

But that is what creating is about– challenging yourself and sometimes making something that will reflect the recipient more than you.

I think it would be good for one of my middle school girls who has a spring birthday, don’t you?

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It would be easy to add “birthday” from the PTI April mini set to the inside sentiment.

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This card features Crate Paper, Amy Tangerine, and Studio Calico papers; Poppystamps, My Creative Time, Paper Smooches, and PTI dies; and Technique Tuesday and PTI stamps, as well as Mowed Lawn Distress Stain and Versamark Onyx Black inks.

As I wrap this post up, the sun has set, the commotion of cars and people racing around the beach has stilled, and I am ready to call it a night!

This will be my last entry to the design team call over at CASE Study.  There are just hours left to submit your work to the competition.  It has been thrilling to see the amazing entries stacking up.  Whoever is chosen for the team will be sure to inspire!

I hope you’ve found some new artists, styles or products here, and that I’ve provided some inspiration through my work or that of my muses!

I’d love to hear what you think!

Have a charming evening!

A Crafty Day and A Clipboard Card

And another weekend draws to a close!  Did you find yourself inspired and productive?  I know I did– and now, not only do I have a product pile-up, but I also have a post pile-up!

But before I get to my card and muses, I must share a bit about my crafty Saturday gathering!  I am not only lucky to live in one of the most gorgeous places in the United States, the Pacific Northwest, but also lucky to live in proximity to some of the nicest and most talented card artists out there, all of whom are likely household names to many of you! One of the most wonderful aspects of this creative journey beyond the act of creating is the people I have met online across states and continents through challenges and blogs.  Being able to meet some of these online friends in person makes it even more wonderful.

So yesterday I had the pleasure of laughing, eating and creating with Katie Brooks of KB Stamps, the Kimberly Wiener of Wienerhoneymooners, Amy Tsuruta of Tsuruta Designs, and Amy’s friend, Laurel.  I didn’t get much card making accomplished, but had a great time sharing supplies and ideas, while accomplishing a lot of die cutting (what else is new lately?!) for a mini album!

Amy was a wonderful hostess, and I wanted to show my thanks not only for opening her home to us, but also for being so supportive in her commenting over the past months since I have become more active in the community.  It is amazing how she makes the time to visit so many blogs and comment on people’s work (in addition to creating, being on numerous design teams, raising kids and working!)  Since Amy loves coffee, I knew I had to bring her a little hostess gift of beans, and of course a coffee-themed card!

I have been working on what I will call “clipboard cards” from recycled cardboard and corrugate.  I am really excited about these! There are so many possibilities for different occasions and aesthetic approaches with these cards.  I plan to complete a tutorial for you once I have some others finished.

Additionally, I’ve been experimenting with different card-making styles to challenge myself, but the one I keep gravitating to is the shabby chic/vintage collage style with a modern and/or mixed media twist as seen in the work of Magda Luczak of Mama Judo, Stephanie Schutze of Scrapmanufaktur, Frau Muller, and the older work of Scrapperia, whose recent work is more modern, on-trend, freestyle collage.

These works in particular influenced my thinking, since I have been thinking about these a lot!

Stephanie Schutze, Scrapmanufaktur
Stephanie Schutze, Scrapmanufaktur
Frau Muller
Frau Muller
Scrapperia
Scrapperia
SONY DSC
Mama Judo

 

I actually had set out to CASE Magda’s tag card, but went in a completely different direction after playing around with my elements. She has another fabulous tag card over at her blog which I am thinking of CASE-ing.  Her work is just magnificent!

So here is my card!

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THE PROCESS:

I measured and cut my clipboard back out of recycled cardboard; I use a lot of legal pads in teaching, and always have the cardboard left over after the pad is used.  Great crafting supply!  I did the same with the corrugated paper, rounded the edges of each, and then Mod Podged them together.

I then distressed my top panel and stamped my coffeestains in Versafine Onyx Black, using stamping off to get variations in hues.

I distressed some scrap paper, and then die cut my little coffee mugs.  I strung them along the hemp twine and finally was able to put my Tiny Attacher to use!  Love those little staples!!

I knew immediately that I had to use Kelly Purkey’s stamp from the I Like You set– which I thought was cute in reference to a cup of coffee!  I stamped that in Memento’s Rich Cocoa onto my tag cut from Avery Elle’s Tag set.  I did not attach the tag to the twine as I wanted it to slip out so the message on the back could be read.  I also like the coffee cups sliding freely along the twine.

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I set out to layer a bit with various papers and the burlap, distressing my 7 Gypsies Conservatory paper with the Tonic Distressing tool.

I die cut the tab from My Creative Time’s Stitched File Tab, and specifically chose a section of the washi to tear and affix to the it.

Then I clipped it all together with the tiny binder clip.

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But wait, there’s a surprise inside!!

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Some fun confetti mugs and Paper Smooches “Thanks” die cut from various papers and wood veneer.  It’s not a confetti pack without some trendy sequins!  Love those Studio Calico woodgrain ones!  I snuck the vellum envelope between the layers.  You can see it peeking out in photos above.

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The bottom initially looked a little bare one assembled, so I die cut some branches from the Penny Black Nature’s Song die.  I wrote out a message on the back of the tag and then wrapped it all up with some rough twine!

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After our fabulous day together, I headed to Snoqualmie Falls, not far from Amy’s for a nature walk.  Here are some of my pictures!  I so love our PNW forests with the knobby tree-covered trees and mossed branches bending and hanging and breathing life into the forest!

And the neon azaleas are popping out all over now making my eyes pop right out of their sockets.  I could look at them in their varying hues of fuschia, red, and pink for hours!

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Well, in three minutes, the weekend will be officially over, and it is way past my bedtime.  Instead of popping out, my eyes are about to roll back into their sleepy sockets.  So I won’t be leaving a fancy linked up supplies list this time, but I have listed what went into the card.

This is headed over to CASE Study for the design team call.  There will be a new guest designer as well as a new Muse this coming week! Check it out!

And now it’s lights out for me!

xo

SUPPLIES:

Kelly Purkey “I Like You” Stamps
Prima Paper: Sunrise/Sunset
Crate Paper DIY Shop
7 Gypsies Conservatory Paper
DCWV Burlap Paper
DCWV Woven Paper
Recycled Cardboard
Corrugated Paper
Hemp Twine
Memory Box Mini Cups
Penny Black Nature Song Die
My Creative Time Stitched Tab Die
Avery Elle Tag Die
Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher
Tim Holtz small binder clip
Tonic Paper Distresser
Distress Inks: Walnut Stain, Antique Paper, Tattered Rose, Tea Stain
Versafine Onyx Black ink
Coffeestain Stamp is from Inkadinkado (I think!)
Studio Calico Woodgrain Sequins

Prêt-à-Porter

Bonjour mes amis!  I am back with another card for the Fusion challenge.  This one gave me occasion to bring out my little PTI dress form and some fashionable ladies from the awesome British stamp company Crafty Individuals! 

I received a dress form for Christmas, and she has been more of a model than a hard-working girl as I’ve not put together a dress since 2010, the one in the photo below, actually!

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Back of Brown Dress

I started photographing my pieces awhile back to catalogue them, and hope to get some better shots up in the Sewing Gallery soon.  I’ve a dress in the wings that needs to be done by May (yikes!) so both of these ladies will be in working fashion and whirring along with the song of my sewing machine soon!

Now, here is Fusion’s inspiration and my take:

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There are some hidden details in this card, which I love!  I used the Ranger ATC folder for the background piece; after distressing it, I decided to file some goodies inside!  That’s a folder’s purpose after all!  I liked the idea of a lady clipping sewing ideas from magazines and storing them in this folder for her reference.  The tab is stamped with partial sentiment from PTI’s Button Boutique.

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I cut some of the images from Prima Marketing fashion paper set and vintage lined paper; then die cut a spiral paper edge with Paper Smooches Borders die.  The Button card is from an American Crafts chipboard set.  And what about that hanger from Ranger???  Irresistible et incroyable, non?

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Here is a close-up where you can see the embossed French script on the bodice.  I stamped with clear Versamark and heat embossed for some glossy sheen.  I stamped my ladies with Memento Cocoa and I love how they fit perfectly in the patterned panel, which is cut from a 12 x 12 sheet of Crate Paper’s DIY Shop.

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The bottom panel is also from DIY Shop; love that it featured April on the ruler!  I covered it with Simon Says Stamp’s Mod window cut from birch wood veneer paper, also from SSS.

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The inside and back are finished off with some fabric tape. The sentiment is from PTI’s Stitched with Love.

I love the hexagon patterned paper peeking over the edge.  I picked up some great new 12 x 12 papers a Impress a few week’s back.  Now I am wishing I bought two of each!  This particular double-sided paper is Cosmo Cricket “Sweet Disposition.”

Making this card was so much fun and definitely put me in a sweet disposition!

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The clock is ticking down on this challenge, so I better link up!  Head over to Fusion to see what others have fashioned!

Have a stylish day!!

 

Paris in the Springtime

It was 1995 when I experienced Paris in the springtime with my mom, and this time of year always brings back memories of our trip.

Ideas for this card have been kicking around in my brain for some weeks now, and the challenge over at Fusion gave me the impetus for putting them into action!  Here’s their inspiration photo:

 

And here is my take, a blend of the photo’s colors and sketch, with some latitude in terms of the sketch!

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I could not wait to get those new Paper Smooches flower dies cut and wound around the My Favorite Things Die-namics Eiffel Tower!  Did you notice I hung the yellow flower around the top of the tower, as in the photo?

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We stayed in Montparnasse at the Victoria Palace Hotel, and so I focused on that area of the map in my slide frame.  It was a delightful neighborhood, and one of my most delicious memories is winding through the narrow streets and discovering Poilene, a bakery a few blocks away.

Imagine my surprise when more than a decade later I am grocery shopping and see their signature white and green bags in my Seattle market!  They had begun flying in their bread every Tuesday from Paris!  I was immediately transported back and bought a demi-miche for myself and my mom!

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It never rained but on the day we arrived; other than that from Paris to the Loire Valley it was warm, sunny and glorious, so no umbrellas were needed. But I included the Memory Box one here a la Umbrellas of Cherbourg!

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Here is the inside:

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Another post, and entry to Fusion, will be following on the heels of this one, so do pay me a visit, and then head over to Fusion for some creative catalysts!

A bientot!

Every Dog Has His Day

Well, hello there partners!  It’s been a bit quiet around these here virtual parts.  The noise has all been happening my “real” world of work, personal, and exciting creative commitments the past 2 weeks, so the site has lain silent a bit longer than planned.  I wish it were still March 4th, so I could say, “Now it is time to March forth…”  and have the pun be relevant!  Pretty good, don’t you think?  I love a double entendre, and if you haven’t noticed, anything witty and wordsmithy!

So tomorrow I will be happy to reveal some thrilling news and corresponding work that I hope will be inspiring to you!

In the meantime, I will share some recent watercolor work that was prompted by play and, unfortunately, necessity.

This is heading over to Virginia’s new challenge, first up, watercolors!

watercoloring

Recently several clients have lost human and animal family members, so I have been working on some sympathy cards for them this week.  Completed is a card for a family who lost their beloved dog of 18 years last Saturday– 18 years!  While losing an animal companion is certainly different than losing a human one, it is nonetheless a traumatic event that significantly alters one’s life.  And anyone who has nurtured an animal from infancy, or a young age, to adulthood knows the incredible bond forged between two species that transcends verbal communication.  It is a relationship that teaches selflessness, incredible patience, and commitment if one really takes the time to listen and understand the ways of a creature, who in many aspects may not be entirely different from you.  I often feel like a little zoologist in my humble habitat as I observe daily the intricacies of my cats’ behaviors and moods, and their shifts and development over time.  For example, just as we grieve our humans and animals, our animals also grieve, and witnessing this in my cat, Atticus, was a complete paradigm shift for me as I watched his attitude and behavior drastically change upon the loss of his best friend, Claude.  It took about 8 months for us to have our Attie back to “normal”, though since Claude’s untimely death, Atticus has retained a level of clinginess we’d not experienced before.

So I find it appropriate to honor the life and passing of our animals just as we honor the life and passing of our fellow humans.  I hope my little card here does just that for it’s recipient.

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Watercolor has been taking the paper crafting world by storm; therefore, I decided to dabble a bit.  It seemed an appropriate choice for the content of the card.  I initially began playing with Distress inks and my Paper Smooches Paws for a Cause dog stamp (partial proceeds from this stamp set will go to Home for Good, so buy this set for you or the animal loving stamper in your life); then I moved on to the paws!  I have a series of these “dripping” paws which I will showcase later.

The watercoloring/stamping technique pulled me in so much once I started, I couldn’t stop!

Below is a series of my dogs that I created.  Click on any image to enlarge or watch a slideshow.

So the technique… I initially inked my craft mat with Distress in Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans, Crushed Sapphire, Peacock, and Tumbled Glass.  For some of the stampings, I directly inked the stamp, stamped on watercolor paper, and then stamped again with another color, adding water either to the stamp or to the paper with my brush.

For other applications, I added multiple ink colors to the stamp, sprayed with water, stamped, and then re-stamped partially with a particular blue or blues.  I then went in with my paintbrush and added color here and there to the image, moved color around, altered perspective in the dog’s head with the addition of color (in images some it looks like his head is turned, in others it looks like we are seeing the back of him).

Overall, I really just played around with the ink and water both on the stamp and on the paper, sometimes intentionally manipulating the color or flow, other times working more spontaneously.

I worked the same way with the paws, though in this card, the paws were just stamped once, the dripping was stamped once then manipulated with a brush.

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The dripping is from Fresh Squeezed Stamps’ set “On Trend.”  Sadly, if you didn’t already know, the paper crafting community is mourning the loss of that stamp company.  Their “On Trend” set is one of my favorites of all stamps from any company.  I will be sad to see them go.  They produced quality stamps that were quirky, fun and definitely on trend!  Right now they are offering 30% off all merchandise until March 31st, so check them out before they close for good.

And speaking of closing (but not for good!), I will bring this little entry to it’s end, as I need to prepare tomorrow’s post, and check out what some of my crafty friends have been up to!  I am feeling pretty out of the loops, so it’s time to do a few around the blogosphere, dropping some love and picking up some inspiration along the way.

And if you have the time, drop me a line!  It would be great to hear from you!

Like Bob Barker used to say at the end of the Price is Right, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered!” and, I will add, consider adoption first, as well donating to your local rescue group!  Every little bit helps a furry friend in need.

xo Kate, Atticus & Leo

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