Fusion Challenge: Aqua and Pink

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Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to the last Fusion Challenge of March!  This week we are featuring Orchid Occasions with this gorgeous aqua and pink combo!03.31.16

I absolutely love these colors and knew right away the papers I wanted to feature. Since it’s my last week with Fusion, the last day of March, and the end of a great company, Basic Grey, I made not one, but two cards to bid farewell to all three and go out with a bang!

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My first card is a tropical twist on Easter!  I spent quite a bit of time on the beach Saturday as it was in the 60’s and finally sunny.  Beach living is always an inspiration, so that along with the colors in the photo and Easter holiday, prompted this piece.

All papers are from various Lilypad digital collections printed on Kodak matte photo paper.

The base paper is a tie-dyed design, which made me think of coloring Easter eggs!  The pink and rose floral paper replicates the orchid’s colors perfectly with their dark pink centers.

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The Spellbinders feathers, Savvy grass die, and Prima resin eggs round out my beach scene.

Now for the eggs!  I originally had layered three ovals; however, I realized that these should be eggs, but I didn’t have egg dies big enough!  What to do?

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I am sure someone, somewhere has thought of this, but it was an a-ha moment for me! Your oval die cuts can easily be made into egg shapes of any size by using a circle die to cut the bottom.  Then you just need to round off the corners with a little fussy cutting and voila, egg!

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To give the eggs a little more depth, I adhered three layers and popped up the Happy Easter one with foam squares.


 

Card 2: Farewell Basic Grey

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As many of you know, Basic Grey has ceased their paper crafting portion of the business and is focusing on fabric and digital prints.  I was shocked to learn of this in January and am sad to see them move away from paper design because collections like Urban Luxe, one of the last released, Persimmon and Spice Market to name a few, really speak to me.  Trendy, funky, and just plain beautiful, most of their collections were a must-have and entirely horde-worthy in my book!  So for the next card, I incorporated some embellishments from the Urban Luxe collection.

Many of the papers in Urban Luxe would have worked with the inspiration photo, but I opted to stick with the Lilypad papers.  I incorporated the sketch loosely in my card as well.  If you look closely in the photo above, you can see how the flamingo bodies flow  almost seamlessly into the pink floral lines of the underlying paper!

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The gorgeous grey leaf, watercolor flower, and watercolor love sentiment are all from the embellishment pack.  I love how they look against the aqua flamingos!

img_20160329_214845.jpgIf you look closely, you can see the watercoloring on the black/white paper; it has blue washes throughout the print that are lovely.  The inside is finished off with some geometric washi that echoes the lines on the papers.

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That’s all for me! Hope this double dose of inspiration and the rest of the Fusion team spark your creativity!  Thanks so much to Fusion for having me this month!  It’s been an honor to be part of the team!

Thanks for spending some time with me today!

Prettier in Pink

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Moving blindly through a thick fog.  That was yesterday.

Today, clarity returned and I was much happier with the outcome!

Whether it’s exercise or sport,  writing or another art, there are times when the motivation and the muse have departed and all that’s left is discipline to drive the day. And a girl’s not going to improve if she only tackles projects when she feel like it, right? Still, I’m not totally convinced the extra effort that those times require is worth it when the project or routine takes three times as long to complete.  Numerous moments yesterday I thought to myself maybe I should just close up shop and stop fighting my brain. When all was said and done, I wasn’t even happy with the outcome.  Nothing more unsatisfying than creating a dud and spending all day doing it (and then looking around at everything else that didn’t come to fruition)!

But maybe it wasn’t for naught after all, as I suppose yesterday’s effort helped guide today’s project.  Something must have been stirring behind that fog!

And so I present you with the shabby-trendy-edgy-chic style (a card concept I have coined with the latest efforts)!

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When I saw this week’s challenge over at Fusion, I was totally captivated by the colors– blush/pink with navy, baby blue, and grey–I set about to gather all the papers and objects in the palate.

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Most of the items for this card (resin frame, digi paper in frame, tag, flower, dymo sentiment) were gathered and put aside as I toiled away on my first attempt; after yesterday, I wasn’t even sure I would have time to see my ideas through for this card. It was Cris G. (see her work over on Flickr) who reminded me I had the blue and ivory floral paper she used in her card (the flipside of which ended up being the unifying background piece for this one).

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The pink and silver dotted paper is from Seven (Studio Calico) and love the quality of the pink– it has these wonderful purple undertones that work so well with the dark and airy blues.  Love that deep blue-black leaf!!

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Initially I had played around with some papers from the We R Memory Keepers “Love Notes” collection for the front background panel, but none worked.  Given the sentiment and the colors, what did work was the paper I have adhered inside as a non-traditional greeting.  I love the encouraging sentiments, and figured I could write a message underneath on the card base, or stamp a sentiment on a small piece of vellum and overlay the paper.  To be determined!

I am happy to say this all came together pretty quickly, and left me feeling a little better about yesterday.  If you’d like to see that card…. well, I suppose I teased you long enough.  Here you go: IMG_20160228_185059

It’s the kind of card that will be headed for the deconstruction pile, where its parts will live on in another, more inspired creation!  I was wise enough to know I’d likely be revisioning it, so I used non-permanent glue dots! As a result, it promptly fell apart after a few hours, beginning the process for me (those little birds are heavy!!)!  Do you ever do the same with your work?

That’s all from me tonight.  I hope you savored your extra day this Leap Year! Have a fabulous week and be sure to check back on Thursday, as I have a surprise to unveil!

Destination: Graduation

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“Life is a highway, I want to ride it all night long/ If you’re goin’ my way, I want to drive it all night long…”

Good Evening!

How was your week and weekend?  Did you make it to any special destinations?

For those of us in Seattle living along the Sound, this past week was full of wooly mornings marked by the bellow of fog horns, distant ghost ships, and crystalline webs hanging heavy with dew, strung from every tree or window–and just when you felt like fall was wrapping around, the fog would open to a searing blue sky, and roll away to reveal 70 degree days and some balmy nights!

It was a slow moving week with some unexpected turns, but I am happy to say that I completed one long overdue card and played around with some ideas for upcoming card designs.

So let me pick up the speed here, as it’s nearly bedtime in my corner of the world!

This card has been in the works since July!  The necessary items were purchased, idea sketched out, and some layout completed, but it finally came together this weekend.  As I said in my “Getting to Know Me” post, my cards are often designed with the recipient in mind and that is true of this card.  Overall, I am pretty happy with the finished product, particularly how my inlaid street sign and road paper panel turned out.

The card features nearly all Crate Paper Road Trip papers and embellishments.

I will apologize ahead of time for the quality of some of the photos; I made some changes to the card and had to retake in different light, so they are a bit washed out!

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My original idea, when I saw that blue highway paper in the pack, was to inlay the Neat and Tangled “On the Corner” sign post.  I wanted the post to be 3-D and act as a closure for the card; as you can see it tucks into the Prima Car Parts steering wheel.

I cut the sign out of some grungy gray paper, and then used Copics to enhance the outlined areas.

Instead of using the corresponding Neat and Tangled stamps, I opted for my graduation themed stamps from MFT.

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I did have to focus on measurements for this card as there were numerous panels and layers to fit together!
It measures 5.5″ x 5.5″.

I do like how it looks when it sits open to reveal of view of the inside.

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I used MFT Wide Banners for the flags inside; the sentiment is from Kaisercraft.  It’s not the highest quality photopolymer stamp, and even after seasoning the stamp and stamping it multiple times, the ink still balls up a bit, so you get a mottled look, which I actually really like for the feel of this car.

Kind of like oil drops on the ground, tire treads, or highway gravel!

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I love these tiny Tim Holtz screws I used to adhere the main panel, along with some glue dots.

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The Mustang stamp is from Deep Red Stamps; it was stamped on some grungy red paper from the Shine collection from We R Memory Keepers and heat embossed. I then fussy cut it.

I used a grunge stamp from Impression Obsession for the mustard yellow wall splatter.  What I really wished I had for this panel were graffiti font stamps and a checkered flag.  I feel like something is missing on this panel– yet nothing embellishment or stamp-wise really worked.

And I didn’t want it too cluttered or competing with the sign post. So it is what it is!

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And speaking of something missing– here is the before picture of the card– before I added my Savvy banner.

I just kept looking at the card and the right panel didn’t feel right.  I wanted to keep it masculine, and Savvy is definitely not terribly masculine, but the little flags seem to work okay.  They, too, are cut from Road Trip paper.

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And here we are at the end of the road– a little Prima license plate and fun washi.

The base paper is MFT Fuse Green, which worked really well with the colors of the card.

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So this is headed out to a student who has started an automotive program this fall.

Now it’s time for me to park it here and head down the highway of sleep!  Remember to live your dream and keep moving toward your destination!  (That kind of felt like I was channeling a bit of Casey Kasem!)

World Card Making Day

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I am feeling a bit dispirited to say the least as I begin this post, anew.  After hours of writing, uploading, copying and pasting, and linking, I lost my nearly ready-to-publish draft.  I had decided to use the “improved posting experience” via WordPress and I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say the layout of the new page, and lack of automatic saving do not make it an improved experience whatsoever.  I feel like the bottom of my stomach just dropped out of me!

I sure hope you had a better end to your celebration of World Card Making Day!

So let’s try this again…

I had hoped to make some coffee cards with the Prima Coffee Break collection for the Coffee Lovers Blog Hop last week, but with our trip to the Olympic Peninsula, I didn’t have the time.  So after a busy return to work, I was excited to finally dig into the collection, use some new dies, and work out a few ideas this weekend.  I am happy to say I completed at least one card for WCMD, along with photographs and editing.  As I write this, I am trying to forget that I also would have had a post completed before the day was done… curses, WordPress, curses!

Anyway, here’s my foxy little number.

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After looking through the ephemera pack, I will definitely be purchasing a few more as it is loaded with some really good pieces.  Sometimes I wish you could tailor the bits that come in the packs, or buy them in bulk.  Like the stack of mint books or Scrabble pieces featured on my card!  The Scrabble pieces also included an “x” so that you could spell ‘relax’; however, I had other wily ideas!

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Is anyone else frustrated when you purchase an ephemera pack and there’s a bit included that you want 20 more of?

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I created the “foxy” sentiment on my computer, hand-cut, and distressed with Antique Linen and Walnut Stain, then adhered to the book’s spine.  The glasses were turned over so they created more of a contrast; they are a rich walnut color on the other side.

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The mug is cut from Heidi Swapp Sugar Chic paper using that fabulous Impression Obsession Coffee Set I featured in my Coffee Lovers Blog Hop post.  The “coffee” inside the mug was cut from paper distressed with Walnut Stain ink which makes such a rich coffee color.

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And what about that fox?  I saw him a few weeks ago and knew I had to add him to my repertoire.   I love the design of his tail.  For this card, I cut him from Chickaniddy Goldie Lox foil (or “Goldie fox” in my case!) and created a shadow layer with some black-brown textured paper from Bazzill.

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My patterned papers, including Teresa Collins Tinsel and Company stars, have been adhered to Ellen Hutson heavy-weight wood-grain and finished off with some signature washi on the back, echoing the greens on the front and inside the card.

And speaking of the inside:

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I layered some of the Heidi Swapp paper as a base, and embellished the edge with a cardstock sticker that was a freebie from Emma’s Paperie.  I love shopping with them because they always send you some additional materials, and once I received a little card making pack complete with an envelope!  Love supporting them!

The mint green dotted paper has been repurposed from the packaging of the 3-D stickers in the Coffee Break collection.  I cut to my desired size, die cut the stitching and notebook edge with Paper Smooches Stitched and Borders 2 dies.  Both of these are dies I reach for over and over.  The little notecard is from the ephemera pack and has been adhered with a tiny Tim Holtz paper clip.

Unity Stamps has this great Stamp of the Week and I want to use the sentiment for the inside!  I just joined their stamp of the week subscription as I love their offerings and cheeky sentiments.  In order to purchase the old stamps in their collection, you have to be a current subscriber.

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Do you ever repurpose packaging into your cards or paper art?  You can see another repurposed piece here.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am not so good with space or time.  Unless I am creating a stamped piece, I rarely know how big a card is going to be before I start making it; rather, I begin with my concept and focal point, and then however big the card needs to be, it is!  In this case, my card turned out to be 4 3/4 x 6 1/4.  I was trying to work my embellishments within the flow of the stars, so I found I needed a wider space.  Didn’t exactly follow the plan step of my 3 P’s on this one!

TIP:  I spent a lot of time moving the pieces around– but with the use of my favorite 3M Restickable squares, I can easily reposition pieces multiple times without tearing the paper.  This adhesive is really indispensable if you are doing a lot of layering.

Since I didn’t know the finished size of my card until I was, well, nearly finished, it came as a delightful surprise when I pulled out a Whisker Graphics gold striped bag and the card fit perfectly inside!  So I decided to embellish the outside of the bag a bit.

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The sentiment is a deconstructed 3-D sticker from the Coffee Break collection; I really like how you can stretch these stickers.  They can all be taken apart and used as single-layer pieces.  The flower is also from Prima.

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I think this little package would be the perfect gift along with a bookstore gift certificate and coffee card for any coffee-drinking book lover, don’t you?  Maybe your favorite foxy librarian?

I have been wanting to participate in the Cutting Edge Challenge for a few months now, so I am going to submit this to their current challenge.  The design team is fabulous and the current inspiration piece is great!

Speaking of foxy librarians, check out this tune by My Morning Jacket.  It’s a perfect accompaniment for my card, and an absolutely gorgeous song with compelling lyrics.

“Walk across the courtyard,
Towards the library.
I can hear the insects buzz on the leaves, ‘neath my feet.

Ramble up the stairwell,
To the hall of books.
Since we got the interweb these hardly get used.

Duck into the men’s room,
Combing through my hair.
When God gave us mirrors he had no idea.

Looking for a lesson
In the periodicals,
There I spy you listening to the AM radio.

Karen of the Carpenters,
Singing in the rain.
Another lovely victim of the mirror’s evil way.

It’s not like you’re not trying,
With a pencil in your hair,
To defy the beauty the good Lord put in there

Simple little bookworm,
Buried underneath
Is the sexiest librarian.
Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me.”

May you find yourself today with a song in your heart, a book in your hand, and a cup of coffee to warm your soul!  Thanks for stopping by!

 

Christmas in the Country

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Two consecutive holiday posts?  Well, I could use a little Christmas, right this very minute!

They happen to be bookends to a less than festive week spent in a migraine’s grip.  I nearly made it through this very busy summer without one, and then with one work week to go before some much needed time off, I was knocked off my feet, literally.

I’ve written a bit about my experience as a migraineur.  Being in the thick of it is always surreal; I struggle with a constricted, pulsating brain, have difficulty processing and using language, and my sense of time (which is never good anyway) completely distorts.

When I recover, the entry into the “real” world often seems just as surreal.  Today, I felt the most normal, and yet paradoxically the most alien.  After a migraine, everything around me always seems so new and hyper-real.  We headed to a favorite haunt (and in my opinion one of the top three bakeries in Seattle), Columbia City Bakery, strolled around the neighborhood feeling the hint of cool fall air, and made it to Impress Cards and Crafts for their Paperpalooza where I scored some sweet 12×12 for 25 cents a sheet!  Itching to make some fancy envelopes!

It was good to get out.  It was also good to productively create a bit yesterday and today.  Though I feel like the summer simply melted away, there is a stirring of excitement within for the coming fall.  The sweet Halloween and holiday cards at Impress urged me on.

Now, I’ve four cards queued up and ready to post, so without further ado, let the festivities begin!

This card was inspired by the current sketch and image over at Fusion, as well as Festive Friday’s image.  It’s old country (Christmas) charm indeed.

I worked from the crimson and cream background colors, the rustic paint on the door, and background designs, as well as the sketch at Fusion.  I pulled the wreath and black and cream of the sign from Festive Friday.

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When I had completed this card, it made me think of the interior of a fabulous boutique in the neighborhood of Ballard, Horseshoe.  It’s rustic, full of clothes I can’t afford, gorgeous jewelry, and lots of cowboy boots.  I always love passing through, even if I have to leave empty handed!

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So I’ve combined product from many different companies for this production!

A couple notable elements are the garland, a deconstructed laurel from the Spellbinders Laurel and Bee set; also, you will note that I have embossed my Lifestyle Crafts reindeer to add some interest and texture.  I used Versafine Champagne embossing pad, Superfine clear powder, and a background stamp from Hero Arts.

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Close up of the embossing.  I’ve layered my die cuts to give them some heft.

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The flowers are classic Prima, as is the wood frame; the banner was cut from some grungy, antiqued paper, and stamped with a sentiment from Amuse Studio.

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As always, I’ve finished off the inside and back with My Mind’s Eye Market Street washi.

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Here’s a selection of the products used.

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Other products used:

Amuse Studio Wasabi paper
Mama Elephant Femme Frames
Gold glitter glue
POW Gold paper
Gina K Ivory Base Weight paper

Last Look

I always love how a design and/or color can completely change the whole experience of another color/design.  I placed the card atop some off-white paper and it feels so different!

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That’s it for me this evening!  Check back tomorrow for more creations.  And make sure to stop over to Fusion and Festive Friday.

If you are in the States, enjoy the last day of our holiday weekend.  Wherever in the world you are, I hope Monday finds you feeling fine and inspired!

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