Holiday Thank You

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Hey everyone!  It’s my first post of 2017 over at the Heart Desires Blog, and I am featuring a combo of lovely products available in the store.  You know you need some holiday thank yous!  Stop on by for some inspiration!  See you there!

 

Keep Palm. Carry On.

After a very un-calm week, I was keeping so calm at the end of each day that I never got around to this post.  I was definately on island time in the creation, photographing, editing and posting of these cards.  All in all, about 2 1/2 weeks now.  Our mini heat wave here in Seattle is partly to blame– a 90 degree studio and exhaustion from both the heat and teaching didn’t really create the prime conditions.

I took to a kayak last night because I was too tired to trek to the outdoor pool and swim laps, but needed the relief of water.  It was a glorious night and there’s nothing better than being on, in or around the water at sunset.  Fires in the Olympic National Park are creating paradoxically stunning sunsets–neon pink and purple striations.  But I am not ready for their earlier and earlier arrival. And today, it’s windy, grey, and COLD– something I am also not relishing.

So let’s pretend that we are in the tropics, shall we?

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 I started with the ombre palm background using the set Say Aloha by Kaisercraft available at The Heart Desires store, stamping in three different green pigment inks.
 

I stamped the flamingo from the same set, wet embossed with some sparkle powder, and fussy cut, then set to layering.  The hibiscus is from CottageCutz and is cut from hand-colored alcohol-inked glossy paper.  Note the ombre effect on the flower/leaves.  Love that Little B pineapple!

I cut my sentiment banner and stamped with Delicata Gold and heat embossed.  The gold palm is a new die from Savvy Stamps.

Love the sheen of the glossy paper and embossed inks.

Everything was layered on 110# Wood embossed paper and the inside finished with one of my most favorite washis. The banner needed more of a focal point so the triangle enamel piece pulled it together and echoes the washi.  It also is the same color as my glossy paper.

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The next card is a variation on the theme.

This time I used more of the ferns and fronds from Say Aloha and ones from Hero Arts Stamp Your Own Plant both available at The Heart Desires.  Again, I chose a selection of green pigment inks.  Tonya has some of the lovely Hero Arts Hybrid inks in a variety of greens–Moss, Green Apple, Pine–that would work well. 

The hibiscus and palm dies make an appearance again– this time in coral card stock and wood paper respectively.

A few Savvy and Julie Ebersole flowers were cut from stock and glossy alcohol papers and layered in.  Everything was placed upon the Concord and 9th’s Tree Ring, stamped in Hero Arts Unicorn White and heat embossed on vellum. The wood paper panel is from the Bloom set. Ink, stamps, and paper are all waiting for you at The Heart Desires as well!

The inside is finished with ombre-metallic washi.  You can see how I layered my gold sentiment die with some glitter foam.

Now if these colors and designs are reminding you of something, it should be our current challenge!

You have 5 more days to play along, so I hope you have found some inspiration here today!

Keep palm and have a creative weekend everyone!

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

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

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

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

And so it goes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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One last look at the dimension created by the layers.

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

And with that, I’m off to the pool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fusion Challenge: Aqua and Pink

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!

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

Framed!

Hello folks!  I am pushing myself to get some writing and posting done, but it’s been week of slogging through thick mental mud and dizzying work commitments to get here.  I am glad I finally finished this trio of cards just in time for Taheerah’s Cure for the Monday (and, in my case, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…) blues!

Here is her inspiration photo:

The soft sea-blue punctuated by pink and red, and a bit of ivory and grey is just lovely.  I deviated a bit in my color scheming, but played with some new materials and tools, and an old, but much loved technique.

For my first card, I was in a bit of a quandary, as I loved my initial layout, but when I pulled out a piece of dreamy salmon paper from the Basic Grey Persimmon pack, I had to alter my vision.  This salmon paper is washed out a bit in some places and reminds me of an old painted wall that is thinning in spots from age or the sun.  I just love it.  It’s called “Apple Butter” and it does have that cinnamon-apple mash quality to it.

Apple Butter6x6 Paper Pad

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When I put the grey frame against it, I was in love.  I often refer to my penchant for color and texture in terms of wanting to eat it (synesthesia!)– I want to eat this.

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In these two close-ups, you can get a sense of the paper’s uneven texture a bit.  You can also see the detailing in design and texture on the other papers used for the frame’s backdrop and the vine.

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The cardstock used is from a Hero Arts Hero Hues paper pack.  It is a lovely “greige” that worked well with the frame and salmon paper.  The back is finished off with Prima fabric washi.

Now for design number two, which was actually the first incarnation!

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The grey snowflake/floral patterned paper was initially to be my “wallpaper” on which the frame would hang.  I still very much like this version.  But I think the salmon painted wall wins out.  What do you think?  Or there is this third option below!  The photo is a bit blurry; sorry for that!  Such a photo session it was!

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I’d love your take!  Which card wins in your book: 1, 2, or 3?

Moving on from this palate, I subdued my colors a bit more for the next card.  Some of the photos were taken in waning light, so apologies for the graininess, and poor lighting.  I had to keep some for the post, as I noticed in the ones taken today my bird’s arrow had drooped down a bit, which escaped me upon review.  Told you I was struggling through mud!   Photos have been edited!!  Now you can get a sense of the colors more truthfully represented and the different textures of the papers.  Love playing with texture!!

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I cut the inside of my Spellbinders Fancy oval frame with one of the smaller dies in all of my cards and love how the frame looks.  These dies had been on my wishlist for awhile!

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The inside and back are finished off with some washi tape.  The bottom of my striped wallpaper is edged with a border punch from Martha Stewart, which I haven’t used in awhile.  Seemed appropriate here, as the straight bottom edge just needed something more delicate. The key is also from a Martha Stewart punch.

Are you still with me?

Here is the last in my framed cards; this one really deviated from the inspiration photo!  But I really wanted to make a more bold spring, or even Christmas version.  I would add some mica flakes to my bird’s nest if it were a Christmas card.

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Now there are actually two versions of this one as well!  Oh, boy.  Here I have my distressed woodgrain paper straight on, and sitting higher up on the card so my dry and heat embossed background can be seen.

I love this technique and you can see it on some of my earlier holiday cards here, here and here.

Since I distressed and then inked the woodgrain, giving it an old-time feel, I thought it might look cool to recreate the look of those tin ceilings or walls from late 19th century buildings.  That, anyhow, is how this particular technique merged with this embossing folder feels to me!

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As you can see in this side shot, this is the version where I tilted the white distressed paper.

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The inside and back are finished with some scripted washi.

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And last look, here is the tilted version.

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So, your thoughts?  To tilt or not to tilt?

Thanks for sticking with me!  I can’t believe I made it through the post myself!  I have included a bit of a supplies list below.  I will be back this weekend with a card that will make you jump, and as previously promised, some paper art that will make your jaw drop!

Have a lovely start to your weekend, if it is your weekend!

Supplies (Click on any to link):
Floral OvalsSpellbinders Shapeabilities Die D-Lites-Fantastic Flourish 2Savvy Stamps Dies, SparrowEssentials by Ellen: Woodgrain Embossed  #110 Cardstock, White, 10 Pk

Tim Holtz Tonic Paper DistresserImage of Of the Heart Dies

A Card for the Seamstress

CAS(E) This Sketch Inspired Card

Good Evening!  As I write that, I am thinking (hoping) that it will indeed be one for me, as I powered through 8 hours of teaching today on about one hour of solid sleep last night.  Ahh, insomnia!  During our long weekend on the Olympic Peninsula, I slept well and was inspired by our walks in nature and exploration of new and familiar places.  How quickly all that rejuvenation can be undone by one sleepless-in-Seattle night!  I hope you will forgive my poor sentence fluency as I muddle through this entry–less will definitely be more tonight!

Here  the current sketch for CAS(E) This Sketch.

 Chrissy’s design reminded me of ric-rac, and since my mom’s birthday is coming up, I wanted to make a sewing-themed card because she is an amazing seamstress and has inspired me since I was small (and draped with patterns, poked with pins, encircled with measuring tape!)

So, pinking shears in hand, I played with paper, patterns and placement, and this is the result!

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Despite my haze (and haste), I am pretty pleased with how this card turned out!  Most of the sewing patterned paper is from Basic Grey; the rest are scraps from an Authentique collection.  The sentiment from Savvy is stamped in Color Box brown ink, embellished with a delicious enamel dot that matched the aqua paper perfectly.

It isn’t easy to see here since my photos are a bit washed-out, but the paper embellishment here is a ruler-calendar that says “November” on the bottom.  Instead of writing my mom’s birth date at the top of the card, I think I will circle the 19 on the ruler!

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I finally put my Technique Tuesday stamps to use for a simple embellishment on the back– LOVE these pins!!

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Head over to CAS(E) This Sketch to see some superbly styled cards.  This really was an inspiring sketch!  And, hey, if you can’t sleep tonight, you still have 8 hours to play along before the challenge closes!

A stitch in time saves nine…..

Have a wonderful night, fellow crafters!