Snow Fun: THD Challenge

Are you ready for retro, for winter, for all things sparkly and kitsch?  Then you are ready for The Heart Desires Challenge 7!

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I have a few other cards up my sleeve for this challenge, as it’s just so darn inspiring– but aren’t they all?  This card is a bit less of that kitschy mid-century vibe, but it does incorporate the Snow Fun papers by Carta Bella that will take you back to a snowy fun day in th 50’s!

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I used a wood veneer tree from Richard Garay’s Lumberjack collection– a nice contrast to the cherry wood of the die cut moose, which is by Echo Park.  Tonya has a fabulous die set, Buck and Doe from Gina Marie of which the Buck would have fit perfectly here.

The pink plaid is from Bloom paper collection.

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The sentiment is part of the Snow Fun collection by Carta Bella.  In the photo above, you can see how I have propped up and curved it on the vellum die cut.

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It has been stamped with silver Delicata ink and heat embossed.

Thanks for dropping by and walking through a snowy woodland with me.  Make sure to play along this month!  You have until the last day of 2016!  Can you believe it!

Can’t wait to see what festive creations you submit!

Happy holidays!

 

Putting on the Glitz

Well, happy new year and happy February everyone!  I hope the first month of 2016 has been inspired and fulfilling so far!  For me, it has been a merry-go-round of catch up after a demanding December.  I had planned to use my holiday break from teaching to finish some home-related projects and creative pursuits, but ended up derailed.  The last few weeks, though, I have enjoyed a burst of creative energy, using my spare moments to put together copious thank you’s, birthday cards, a gift set, and some holiday cards for next Christmas!

A few of those cards were inspired by Fusion’s 2nd anniversary photo and sketch, but I missed the deadline! Boo!  Those will be featured soon in my portfolio pages.  So today I have a few cards developed for the current Fusion theme and inspired by a selection of digital papers from The Lilypad.

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My first card used the sketch and neutrals, emphasizing the black and white in the wreath, and adding some glitzy crimson, that is definitely not neutral!

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The black and white papers are from The Lilypad’s new collection, “Cheeky,” by Valerie Wibbens.  I cannot get enough of the brushstroke paper which has been layered beneath Jen Hadfield’s gold bark cardstock.  Oh my gosh, this paper!  I love all the papers she puts out– her gold cardstocks are the best!  This paper just took my breath away.  I cut the piece from Lawn Fawn’s journaling card and then used the My Favorite Things circle die to cut out the side.

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I love texture, and the pictured wreath is quite textured, so I worked in some PTI embossed paper for the banner die, swiss dot paper for the Savvy Stamps  woodland branch, and cherry veneer paper for the Savvy Stamps pinecone.  The “thanks” sentiment is from the popular PTI wet paint series cut from Jen Hadfield’s texturized gold paper, which is somewhat noticeable in the photo.  Penny black provides the poinsettia die.

You can get a sense of the sparkle in the gold bark paper in the photo above.  It is so lovely.

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The inside is finished off with some kraft and gold striped washi.  I plan to write out a greeting in gold pen.

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Lots of woodgrain to play off the background in the inspiration photo.  Again, the grey wood paper is from The Lilypad collection.  I have also used Essentials by Ellen 110# woodgrain paper for the base.

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All dies are from Savvy Stamps: DIY Wreath, Woodland Branch and Pinecone.  The sentiment is from The Ton stamps.

Keeping with the theme, I created some other glitzy, rich, holiday thank you cards, and a valentine, all of which I will post separately in my portfolio!  But here are some images.

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Head to my portfolio pages, link found in the menu or on the home page, to see the rest of the collection.  You can also see additional photos and new work on my Instagram and Flickr accounts, linked at the bottom of this page.

On my way out, I want to dedicate these cards to all the awesome crafters who participated in Taheerah’s Advent Calendar hop.  The turn out was phenomenal, and so many amazing people, many of whom are new to me, stopped by this site, left lovely comments, and even decided to follow.  I appreciate everyone and wish I could have contacted each of you personally– the response was truly overwhelming!  So thank you!

Drop by the Fusion page to follow the inspiration. It’s one of my favorite challenges out there!

And tune into to see if the groundhog sees his shadow… will there be 6 more weeks of winter?  I love sharing my birthday with the furry critter, and either way, I’m harboring a sense of spring inside.  Stop by again soon for some cards that reflect the coming season!

XO

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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!

Imagine. Dream. Fly.

Right now the evening sky is the pink-blue-gold of my card, featured below, and I am happy to say that the sun is setting on an incredibly productive day spent creating.  With the exception of a few fine hours spent with the PNW Crafting crew a couple weeks ago, such a day I have not seen in my own studio since June.  This summer has been replete with work and visitors, both of which I have been happy for, but I have yearned for a whole day free to play with paper and ink!

For the current card, an overdue congrats greeting for a student, I was inspired by my new, wonderful collection of Carta Bella Wildflower papers and Taheerah’s challenge image:

 

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I love these colors–the gold and mint combination is divine!  I pulled in a similar design as the wallpaper for my background, and featured the pink of the lampshade a bit more prominently, as I wanted to work with a bird theme and the Wildflower feather paper was perfect.

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I love all the textures in this card–from the feather and glitter papers to the paper flowers and netting.  The Wildflower papers are so luxuriously thick and textured, to say nothing of the graphics!  I have featured the feather and the gold arrow papers from the collection, as well as PTI’s heavy vellum and MFT’s Primitive Ivory for the card body.  You may recognize Mama Elephant’s Femme Frame dies; Ellen Hutson has a great set that includes these, as well as the Dainty bow, Embellished Tag, and Bold banner.

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The inside and back are finished with some of my favorite washi tape.

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My little cluster of goodies atop the Impression Obsession birdcage features a variety of products. The blue flower and gold dots are from Prima, along with the resin bird, but I die cut and rolled the little tissue paper flowers from Impression Obsession’s mini spiral flower dies.  The Unity Stamp Co. sentiment has been stamped in Brilliance Rocket gold ink onto a lightly swiss-dotted paper die cut from MFT’s washi dies.  I used Penny Black dies for the feather, cut from PTI heavy vellum, and deconstructed Dancing Leaves in MFT’s Fuse green, which is a new favorite color of mine!

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Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope I sparked your imagination.

Make sure to check out Taheerah’s Cure for the Monday Blues challenge; a new one posts every Monday!

Check back tomorrow for a CASE Study card to celebrate their 4-year anniversary party!

 

 

Pink Redux

Monday was so busy that despite having the cards and photos completed and in queue, I couldn’t get to the composition of these posts! So I have a double-hitter today!  See my other post here.

For my next card, which also features pink prominently, I worked from Wida Miller’s inspiration this week over at CASE Study.  So excited she is the muse this month!

Here is her card:

And here is my take:

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A bit more ethereal than Wida’s– but what I started from was her double frame and square orientation.  I just received my Penny Black Feather and Frames dies, and when I saw her card, I knew the double frame would be perfect.

I’ve not jumped on the feather bandwagon–though I have some feather embellishments and stamps floating around (pun intended!).  Her card inspired me to give the trend a try.

I also found myself echoing Amy’s design with her silver lining!  Love her card!

This card was so fun to put together– especially given the gorgeous papers that came in these amazing Crate Paper/Amy Tangerine discount packs at Michael’s (thanks for the tip, Amy Tsuruta!!).  My card and the backdrop papers are specifically from The Best of Maggie Holmes pack.  The tan base paper is from Crate Paper’s DIY Shop.

You can’t see it in my card, but the pink paper layer has bokah hearts all over it, a nod to Wida’s heart paper. I’ve placed the card on the paper so you get an idea of what lies beneath!

I like that the hearts are hidden like a secret beating within the body of the card.

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I strategically cut the cloud paper and covered it with a layer of vellum, adhering with a little Scotch vellum tape before I stitched the top.

I also cut a specific part of the bokah paper that looked like a sun and placed that behind the frame, so it looks like the sun and it’s halo are peeking from the cloud range.

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I cut the sentiment from a notecard in the beloved Lucky Charms pack and distressed it with Tattered Rose, as it was too white for the card.

I also Distress inked my feather with Worn Lipstick stain, and then spritzed with Heidi Swapp Coral mist to get the exact pink I wanted– along with a little sparkle!

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Here is the inside of the card, featuring a Verve Stamp that I just love!

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Now, I initially did not include the sequin on the bottom of the card.  After taking photos and stepping back from the finished product, I just felt like something was missing.  I think the addition of the sequin creates a nice line and adds subtle visual interest.  What about you?  To sequin or not to sequin?

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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The bottom is finished off with some Little B washi!

I thought this card would be perfect for someone working through a difficult time.  Even in our darkest moments and most challenging days, we need to hold onto hope and move toward the light while we sit with the uncertainty.  I think it’s important to remember the difficult days as it helps us to appreciate the better ones that will most certainly follow.

I hope you are having a wonderful week– but if not, may you find the feathers you need to lift you up and the silver linings to make your cloud seem a little less grey.

Thanks for stopping by!  Head over to CASE Study and Curtain Call for some uplifting creations!

 

P.S. Almost forgot my crafty cat Leo who loves the tulle and keeps me company!

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And Atticus who is CSO (Chief String Officer)

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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

Lucky & Charmed

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I don’t know about you, but I ate a lot of Lucky Charms cereal as a kid.  Never a big fan of milk, I typically preferred dry cereal and have consumed my fair share as breakfast or snack through the years. Favorites were always Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Pebbles (the only one I truly loved with milk, since it was chocolate by the end of the bowl!).  I particularly loved those little single serving boxes you could by in an 8-pack.

As for the Leprechaun variety, I loved to eat those sugary little oat and marshmallow charms one by one out of the bowl or box.  Now, my teeth hurt even thinking about it.  But those cereals of the 80’s sure were fun.

So, as I was thinking about St. Patrick’s Day (which for me is one of those holidays that just slides by, barely registering in my peripheral vision), and what an unlucky day it turned out to be (maybe I should have worn green and thought better of ol’ St. Pat), I figured focusing on something positive and creative might turn the woeful Monday it was around!

And thus, I came up with this delicious little love note!

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In the version above, I adhered a grommet to the (3-leaf!) clover and slipped it onto the baker’s twine.

In another version, I attached the clover to the front of the pocket, as in pictures below.

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So how did it all come together?

Well, I’ve had the Avery Elle Love Notes Die set for months now, just sitting there lonely as a cloud, so it was time to put that to use.  The Penny Black sentiment from Kind Words was not only obviously ideal for St. Pat’s Day, but it fit perfectly within the width and length of the pocket/tag.  LUCKY indeed.

I purchased the Lifestyle Crafts St. Patrick’s Day die (2009) ages ago on clearance at Impress.  I loved the horseshoe and clovers large and small, of course, but the set also has a beer glass and little foam topper die, which are ideal for making my beer-related cards and tags.  So despite my lack of interest in the holiday, the die set was a must-have!

Since I was lucky a few months back and won a $25 gift certificate to PTI, I finally put that to use, and among other treasures, just received their glorious vellum cardstock and that adorable Framed Out Heart die.

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Now I did a little research into the Lucky Charms, as I wanted my charms to be as authentic and colorful as possible!  So a little history: Lucky Charms debuted in 1963, and Lucky the Leprechaun was born in 1964 (Happy 50th birthday cavity-causer!!!). Initially, the cereal only included green clovers, pink hearts, orange stars, and yellow moons (totally trippy!); in 1975, they added the blue diamonds, and in 1983 purple horseshoes.  As with anything, the cereal has seen a lot of changes over the last 30 years.  Many of the original charms have been gone through phases of combining, replacement, and reinstating.  The pink hearts are the only charm to have endured.  How sweet.

vintage lucky charms box

Want to learn more?  Click the picture above for a magical ride to General Mills!

How did I get my little moons, and heart, and diamonds, and stars??

Well, the diamonds are a pretty awesome discovery.  See this amazing Simon Says Stamp Mod-Window Die?

*Simon Says Stamp MOD WINDOW Craft DIE s212

Well, those little shapes are just perfect for many uses, like my blue diamonds!

The moon is cut from an ANCIENT punch that just about broke my hand; I have had that punch and all my celestial-themed stamps since the early 90’s when I loved everything sun and moon.

The little hearts and stars are die cut from Lawn Fawn’s die set “A Birdie Told Me” and Stitched Journaling Card.

*Lawn Fawn A BIRDIE TOLD ME Lawn Cuts Dies Lawn Cuts Dies, Stitched Journaling Card

The paper colors and textures are just good enough to eat, right?  Bazzill!  I can’t get enough of that green.  Since I was using Vellum for the front of my pocket, I decided to finish the edges with washi, as gluing with vellum is tricky, and the vellum is thick, so I wanted to make sure my pocket stayed together!!

There it is!  Let’s have one more look, just for luck!  Ahh, the sweet pink heart remains!

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Well, this little love note made it into the hands of my love and he was charmed indeed.
I hope you found some love and luck this St. Patty’s Day!  Make sure to stop by here tomorrow, Thursday, for the new CASE Study reveal!  Week 3 is going to be magically delicious!