It’s Birthday Time, Again!

It’s 3am.  Somewhere, east of Seattle, tucked within a mountain pass, a light goes on.  Coffee sputters to life.  A computer casts a blue glow as eyes adjust to the colorful flow of paper and ink creations dancing across the screen.  Perhaps inspiration strikes an idea for her latest design team piece.  Or perhaps another cup of coffee calls before the craft room beckons.  Time moves swiftly in the morning, but before any of us can even think about smacking the snooze bar, she’s already clocked half a workday in her creative corner of the world.

There is only one person who fits this description, the one and only Amy Tsuruta, whose birthday I will be celebrating, for at least the first few hours of the day here in the PNW, in my sleep!

Amy is an organizer extraordinaire whether in real life or virtually, whose card making style is a fabulous combo of cute and spunky, always on-trend and always fun–just like her!

So today we are celebrating Amy, wishing her a year that is as sweet and inspiring as she is, and hoping she has a day where she receives as much crafty love as she spreads in the wee hours of the morning!!

So hop along with us and make sure to drop by her site to pass along a birthday greeting!

When we recently gathered at Impress for Kelly Purkey’s class, I picked up the Pink Paislee paper collection Citrus Bliss.  All of these papers remind me of Amy, so I knew I had to make her a card using them. I wish I had found all the ephemera and rest of the collection, as Amy loves pineapples and wait til you see the goodies in this collection (at the bottom of this post!). I associate Amy with green, so that was my leading color!  Since I have been on vacation this week, and then catapulted right back into teaching, time was not on my side the last 2 days, nor was the disappearing light this evening, so regretfully the photos don’t represent terribly well.

Photos UPDATED!!

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I love the Memory Box vines as they remind me of Orla Kiely designs, so that was definitely a inspiring factor.

I used the PTI Wet Paint Celebrate die and SSS “You” stamp for the inside.  Easter Grass by Bazzill comprises the card base.

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Getting crafty and connecting after much too long with Kimberly and Amy!

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Alright, now it’s time for you to connect with my other PNW friends.  Please leave some love along the way!  And check back here this weekend to see my first mini-album inspired by Kelly’s class!

Happy Birthday Amy!!

Tonya (Big thanks for hosting the hop!!!)
Laura
Kate (You are here!)
Katie
Kimberly
Lisa
Toni
Vicki  
Amy ← Birthday Girl! 

Citrus Bliss Collection!  Maybe something here for the birthday girl?

Most available at Scrapbook.com!
Pink Paislee - Citrus Bliss Collection - Embossing Folder - 4 x 6 - Pineapple

Pink Paislee - Citrus Bliss Collection - 12 x 12 Vellum with Foil Accents - Welcome

Pink Paislee - Citrus Bliss Collection - Wood Veneer Shapes

Pink Paislee - Citrus Bliss Collection - Puffy Stickers

Pink Paislee - Citrus Bliss Collection - 12 x 12 Paper Pad

Neon Birthday

Today I am going back, but it’s not to school (not yet anyway!).  Maybe it’s my reluctance to let go of this succulent summer that sped by, but I am craving bright color and design that pops off the page.  What better than neon, bold black and crisp white to fulfill that desire?

I set out to create a simple birthday card and it morphed into an hours-long affair playing with patterns, layering, and embellishing.  Since I will be back to a six-day work week and very busy school year in a little over a week, I’ve been giving myself permission to intersperse some paper play with the mountain of administrative work I am attempting to summit!  Unfortunately, I think I used up my quota of creative time today, because the mountain is looming and its shadow is making me not just a little anxious!

So let’s turn toward the bright!

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I started by strategically positioning WPlus9’s Ink Splats in Hero Arts Lemon Yellow ink so they would work with the flow of the sentiment.  Then I overlaid Winnie and Walter’s sentiment in Hero Arts Neon Pink and Versafine Black Onyx.  I added the final large splat above the sentiment to create a visual line.

And I thought that might be it, as I had just planned to layer the stamped piece over a white card base for a super CAS design.  But it just didn’t feel quite right.

Enter some Maggie Holmes paper and Lemon Lush from Studio Calico.  As I was layering, I realized I was replicating the sketch over at Winnie and Walter’s Share the Love week that I’d stumbled upon a few days ago.

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And since I was using the sentiments I so love from that company, I figured I’d see the design through and share some love with them by joining the challenge!   It is open until September 7th, and there are some fabulous inspiration pieces from their design team, like this little number from Kelly Griglione.

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I was equally inspired by her card specifically because one of her trademarks is using patterned paper inside her cards. I just love this.

A hallmark of my cards is the use of washi as a bottom and back layer, but this time I wanted to line my card’s interior like Kelly’s.

The Lemon Lush paper proved perfect for this purpose.

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You can lift the white layer of white paper to read the bottom layer of “Wordsmith” pattern paper.

Lemon Lush Wordsmith Paper 12x12

I thought I would stitch a bit onto the scrap pieces I added for some visual interest, but after I did, the stitching just didn’t feel right.  Out it came and I really liked the pierced holes it left behind!

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I added some sequins, but rather than leaving them flat, I propped each of them up.  I really like dimension in my cards, though it doesn’t make them easy to mail!

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Lovely layers.

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Once all was positioned and adhered, I decided to add a PTI wreath cut from 100# SSS Black Cardstock (I really can’t emphasize enough how much I love this multi-purpose wreath!).

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Are you feeling a bit brighter?

Now that I’ve come to the end of this post, the skies have darkened to a purple-grey over the Sound and the window behind my head is being pelted by some serious rain brought in on the whipping wind.  Intimations of fall indeed.

So stop by tomorrow if you’re in need of a more summery scene.  I will have another bright card inspired by one of my favorite card makers to share with you!

Until then, I bid you a good evening, and wonderful week back to school, if your family is headed that way!

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!

Time to Give Thanks & Press Pause!

Can we press the pause on November, please?  As a teacher, the pressure of time is ever a companion, but the rapidity of this month has left me breathless!

So what better way to slow down than sinking into a creative pursuit?  And that is just what I did last night!  Since our trip to the Olympic Peninsula last weekend was made possible by a generous gift to Domaine Madeline, a secluded bed and breakfast along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, I had some serious thanks to give after our retreat!

For this card, I wanted to depart from the fall colors and create something whimsical and light that reminded me of the recipient. Using a variety of my new Colorbox Cat Eye inks and nearly all of my Paper Smooches “Many Thanks” stamps, here is what I came up with!

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I didn’t anticipate making a square card, actually.  I initially laid out all of the stamps in the configuration I wanted, then took a picture so I would be able to recall their placement.  I made a rough sketch of the card, but after stamping all the sentiments, and working with some framing die placement, I realized the scalloped square was a perfect fit.

I cut the left side a bit close, since I wasn’t planning to go square, and I also ended up adding “much appreciated” vertically on the right side to fill in that extra space.  So the stamping isn’t perfect, but should I replicate the card, I will die cut the paper first, then stamp.

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I had no plan for paper, which was part of the fun!  The pastel chevron paper from had been sitting in my stash since the spring, only ever used as a backdrop for photo sessions!  It was time to take center stage!  The black and white polka dot, green & white dot, and salmon graph paper are all from a new pack called “Here and There” by Studio Calico, and I love every paper in the pad!

I love the unexpected working of the chevrons and polka dots–at least I think it works!  I never would have considered them until I played around with a variety of combos!

I added a bit of embellishment for texture, sparkle and dimension with the enamel dots, POW Glitter paper, and layering.  I think I might emboss the sentiments if I make the card again, though that will be tedious, as I will have to stamp, sprinkle, tap, heat, repeat over and over!

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Always room for improvement, but I am pretty happy with the result. Every card making experience yields so many other possibilities and lessons learned for the next time, which is part of the fun (though sometimes frustrating for those of us who want it to be perfect from the first!)

A double delight is that as I was making this card, a post came through my Bloglovin’ account highlighting the Paper Smooches Cool Colors challenge this week.  Look at those colors!!

And since I used all Paper Smooches stamps, I was pretty thrilled!  Thanks, Pamela, over at MIAO for highlighting this on your blog, as I may have missed it!

Looks like my card will be headed over there as an entry!

And then:

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over at Simon Says Stamp.  The theme?  Thanks and Thanksgiving!

So slow down that clock and get your color and craft on!

I know I will with a special delivery that arrived just today from Simon Says Stamp! I am so excited to dive into the new Kelly Purkey stamps, Copics, Hero Shadow Inks, and more!  It’s like Christmas already!

I will leave you with some colorful pictures from our stay at Domaine Madeline and a poem from one of my favorite books of poetry, Red Sings from Treetops, A Year in ColorsI cannot say enough about the words and images in this fabulous book by Joyce Sidman and Pamela Zagarenski.  You must check it out!!

Kate Domain Madelein

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“Red splashes fall trees,
Seeps into
Every vein
of every five-fingered leaf.
Red swells
on branches bent low.
Red: crisp, juicy
crunch!”

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Happy Birthday to the Car Lover

Zooming in to say “Happy Birthday!”

One of my students love cars, absolutely loves them and can memorize anything having to do with mechanics.  Since his birthday is tomorrow, and I wanted to play around with some paper placement ideas, I put this fun little card together.

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Also…..

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Over at

Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog

where they are keeping it clean and simple, so this card is headed their way!

Here’s a close-up!

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No excuse needed to pull out Memory Box’s Auto Parts dies!  I went a bit crazy putting them through the big shot– but what great confetti!  They would make an awesome table decoration scattered under cupcakes for  car-themed birthday party!

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You may recognize the stamp–I hadn’t broken out my Fresh Squeezed Stamps “Trendy” set (cannot wait to experiment with the sequin stamp that is part of the set!), and this happy birthday bubble felt completely right for the card.  I wanted very clean and was challenging myself to leave a lot of white space.  Initially, I had a fussy cut banner hanging across the top, but it did not feel right at all.  So off it came and on went the stamp, and voila, CAS!  My papers here are a combination of cut scraps from the bin at Impress Stamps, so I am not sure of the collection.

To shake it up a little, I played with paper placement, totally inspired by the work of Maile Belles over at Simply Stamped.  Oh, how I love what she has created with her combination of papers and angles!

Like here:

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and here:
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Is her work gorgeous or what?

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Can’t get enough of that washi tape!!

You can see my other car cards here and here!

So get in the fast lane and start creating!

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