PNW Birthday Buddies: Part Deux

PNW Birthday Buddies 1-1

Bold! Beautiful! Bright!

These words come to mind when I think of Ms. Kimberly Weiner! She is a bundle of fun energy and we have some great talks and laughs, especially when we carpool and craft! She is super supportive and someone you can reach out to when in need!  I am glad to call her a friend!

Of course, today is her birthday and we’re hopping here in the PNW!  Lisa is our hostess, and you can head over to her site for the full hop listing!

A couple weeks ago, Kimberly taught her class at Impress Cards and Crafts and a few of us joined in the fun. Of course, who can leave that store empty-handed?

I scored some great new offerings, among which is the Flora and Fauna Llama birthday die! Their dies and stamps are really cool; a fun addition to the quirky Savvy line.
So we were supposed to CASE one of Kimberly’s cards as part of our hop, and I couldn’t believe she had just posted one to IG featuring the Llama stamp set by Flora & Fauna. Great, creative minds, synchronicity, and all that! Go check it out at her IG, as it’s not on her blog.

This was one of her cards I had in mind, though, in addition to the Llama!

And here’s my card for her!

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Kimberly had just been talking about this flag die the other week, so I knew I wanted to use it as the backdrop.  It’s Spellbinders Floral Ribbon Threader, which reminds me of the Mexican folk art papel picado banners.  I have used them to frame my sugar skulls dies for Dia de los Muertos.

Anyway, I cut two of the banners and adhered their wrong sides, so I can write on the back, like a postcard.

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The llama was cut from both Fun Foam/Stick-It Adhesive and #100 Ellen Huston linen paper.  I don’t use my Flower Soft much (and as a result, I don’t use the special glue for the Flower Soft, so the glue was all dried up!).  I improvised with Diamond Glaze, but it didn’t give the tacky dimension that the other glue does.  So I layered up the fine white and pink Flower Soft.

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The yellow cording has wire inside, so it creates a really fun 3-D balloon string, and can be shaped a million and one ways!  I cut the balloon from hand-colored watercolored paper and the Stick-it/Fun Foam.  I embellished with some blue Stickles and then pieces of the ribbon tie had come off when cutting the ribbon, and I thought they looked awesome, so I let them fall and dry on the balloon.

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The sentiment, which I didn’t anticipate ahead of time, ended up fitting perfectly on the banner!  I knew I wanted to use one of the Kaisercraft bold subway sentiments, and this was absolutely fitting!

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Finally, Neat and Tangled has a new Envelope/doily die that is only available from their site (not sold in other stores/online stores).  I love it’s design and versatility, and it works well with the Mexican vibe of this card.  It was cut from vellum and then wrapped with some fringe ribbon (from Target!).

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Alright, Kimberly!  You better have a smashing birthday (this llama could serve as a pinata as well!).  And the rest of you better hip-hop to the next stop, which is Kimberly’s blog, and make sure to wish her a fabulous year ahead and check out her amazing work! Want to hop back to the beginning? Start here.

Llama and Balloon Die
Flora and Fauna Clear Die

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!

Inspired by All the Little Things

banner 3Happy Saturday everyone and welcome to Lesley Croghan’s new design and challenge feature, Inspired by All the Little Things.

One of my favorite card makers, the prolific  Jeanne Jachna, asked me to be the featured designer this week and how could I resist?  I’ve been following Jeanne for nearly two years now and adore the work she does for numerous product design teams, especially Pretty Little Studio.  Thrilled was I to receive one of her gorgeous creations out of the blue this fall–a RAK at the perfect time, which I wrote about here.  Her cards are so well constructed, and incorporate a variety of elements that are always perfectly executed. She is a master at mixing and matching  patterns without her work ever looking too busy or cluttered– quite a feat!  Jeanne’s cards always inspired me– and if I ever get around to posting the images, you will see some holiday pieces that were created with her in mind!

Inspired by Graphic for Guest

Now onto today’s feature, which actually isn’t a card, but rather a layered, collage-style piece that I plan to put in a shadow-box frame as a gift.

I was given this inspiration image to work with.

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Now there’s a funny little story behind this image because Jeanne happened to send the photo to me many, many times as a result of a technological glitch.  And I looked at it just as many times, if not more.  Despite that, for some reason I had impressed purple and yellow as the dominant color theme in my mind when designing my work– and that is a tough combo for me, as I rarely use purple in any of my work.  After completing my piece, I looked back at the photo and saw the flowers anew.  Clearly they are a cornflower blue!  What is even funnier, after explaining this to Jeanne, she said she made her card with blue flowers, but when she reviewed the photo, thought they were purple!

Anyway, lots to take away from the photo, and while I didn’t want to create something that would be such a literal interpretation of the image, that is what transpired to a large extent at least with this finished piece!

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Hooray, it’s almost spring!

The image has a very shabby-chic vibe, so that influenced some of my paper choices.  If you have been following my work the past few months, you may know how much I love The Lilypad digital designs.  All of the patterned paper here is from two collections below:

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Gorgeous, no?  Now these are some purples I can work with!  20160309_121547

The hooray die cut is from Studio Calico; love this imperfect oval and delicate, thin font.  I was trying to figure out where to place a sentiment, and had this die cut prepped for some other variations, so gave it a try.  I really like the layer and the lines it creates against the leaves and flowers; it’s kind of like a bowl under the popped out flower.

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And speaking of leaves and flowers, the purple Hawaiian type flower, the 3-D daisy, and green-yellow large leaves are all from Wild Garden by Julie Ebersole.  This is really a must-have set if you love florals.  I totally love the die cuts Julie has been designing in conjunction with Ellen Hutson.  The striped vine is from my other favorite floral set by Maggie Holmes, and the long vellum Cottage Leaf die is from Memory Box.

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To echo the peeling paint background of the inspiration photo, I die cut a strip of peeling paint paper to layer under and ground my centerpiece.

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Love the colorful, collage-style paper which I used as my base layer; if you can see it, there is a little burlap texture at the top of the design which contributes to the shabby feeling.  Finally, the bird die cut, which echoes the cut-out bird on the inspiration photo is from Kaisercraft, and the wreath is from a great Spellbinders set I stumbled upon recently.

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The left corner seemed a bit empty, so I added my clip to echo the clothespins on the line.  The entire piece is about 5×5 and will be framed in an 8×8 shadow box.

I had so much fun with the image, papers and dies, I created a few other working drafts:

Well, now it’s your turn to play along with us!  I hope you have been inspired by the photo and our interpretations!  Thanks to Leslie, Jeanne, and the rest of the team for having me!

I look forward to seeing what you create and learning how you are inspired by all the little things in life!

We hope you will play along with us!

The linky will close on Thursday, March 17th at 11:55pm. (PST)
 

 

World Card Making Day

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!

 

Three Cool Cats

Are you ready for retro?  How about a few cool cats?

CAS(E) this Sketch has some great inspiration this week, including Ms. Kimberly Anne Wiener of Wienerhoneymooners as their guest.

I took my cue from not only the sketch, but also Chrissy Larson’s card because both rock and, as anyone knows, I love cats!

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 Card #1

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This is the first card I made which features some sweet Maggie Holmes paper from a bonus pack Michael’s was selling in the spring.

The background stripe is from Heidi Swapp’s collection, which was a major find at Marshalls of all places.  If you look carefully, you can often find some paper crafting treasures there.

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What is really notable about both of the cards, though, is the cat.  I have had these stickers since 1984.  That’s right.  30 years.  I dug them up from the recesses of a childhood treasure chest when visiting my family this past May.

They are from the Current Catalog.  Anyone remember that?  Evidently, the company has remained current, as they have a website, along with a catalog!  Their designs, however, seem a bit dated, (not in a good way) and not nearly as cool as these cat stickers!

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My assortment of cat toys include a deconstructed vellum Scribbled Circle die from PTI, Studio Calico wood heart, delicious enamel dot, and gold die cut word from a Spellbinders Donna Salazar camera set that says “Fave.”  I scored this set for about five dollars at a blow-out sale at Joann’s thanks to my mom!

Totally rad, right?

The notebook paper die cut is also PTI.

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I added some mustard yellow wax twine and echoed the color with some corresponding washi inside and on the back of the card.

I love wax twine for the ability to manipulate its shape.

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Card #2

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Keeping with the 80’s theme, this one features a puffy gold heart and black denim-like feather, as well as turquoise,hot pink, and that black grid paper!

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Cats do love their feathers and string!  This feather is from Studio Calico and designed to be used with their misting sprays.  I used the bronze from Heidi Swapp, which is really black with some bronze glitz in it.  Apologies for the blurry photo.  I wanted to make the bronze of the feather a bit more noticeable.

Make you think of your tight black jeans, or maybe a jean jacket (filled with pins of course!)?

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I finished off the inside with some gold stripe washi to echo the heart of gold.

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On both cards I used a Spellbinders banner and MFT sentiment.  The font and size of the “you” were perfect!  Card #1 features Soft Stone from PTI for the base and flag; Card #2 features Neenah Solar White and White Linen papers.

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An assortment of goods used, and proof of the vintage quality of these stickers!

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I thought these cards would be great to sell to raise money for feline rescue.  What do you think?

I had this song bopping around my head as I was writing this post.  I warn you, though, if you listen it may be infectious!

Keep cool everyone!

Christmas in the Country

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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Signs and Songs and Poems of Spring (and one card)!

Happy weekend, once again!  I had hoped to be back bit sooner this week, but the design I was working on just wasn’t ready to be birthed!  Some pieces are like that, especially when you are trying on a new style for the first time.

I’ve got a card to see, a poem to read, and a song to hear, as well as some great resources to follow, so settle in and read on!

Birds and Bees

For the past two weeks, I have been working on building nests just like my sparrow, wren and crow neighbors!  We have an adorable house wren couple that covets an evergreen bush and Camellia tree in the front yard.  The cats and I have enjoyed watching the little love birds pecking about the ground and in the branches that brush right up against our window!

Camellia Tree
Camellia Tree

Likewise, the crows have been foraging for nesting materials in my yard, and the other day I watched one fashion a stick from our backyard tree to his liking.  I’ve spied one of the local crow family’s new nests perched high in a birch overlooking the beach and within viewing range from my studio window!  And just this morning, a baby bee was buzzing about my screen door giving the cats quite a time before I was able to shoo him to freedom.  The winged creatures have certainly sprung into action here on Alki!

And so, I attempted to follow their lead and get this shabby chic creation, inspired by the wrens and trees and colors in my yard, completed at last!

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This is not a style that I typically gravitate to, though I have been making more clean and layered cards with frames and clustering and am thoroughly enjoying the clustering style.

Because the layout of this card shifted quite a bit, I decided to photograph the different ideas for comparison, and frankly to aid my visual memory!

I consulted some gorgeous paper artists who work exclusively in this style to learn more about how they layer panels and embellish.  Check out the work of Andrea Ewen (more elegant-less-shabby at times, always chic master),  Dorota_mk (jaw-dropping work), Frau Muller (edgier approach to this style, which I love!), Scrapperia (vintage, shabby style with a hip twist in cards and scrapbook layouts).  You can find representative work from each on my Pinterest as well.

Techniques

This style is quite labor intensive!

I initially began stamping my Sparrow from Deep Red Stamps onto watercolor paper with Walnut Stain distress ink.  I then watercolored him with various Distress inks and a fine watercolor brush.

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Reinforce paper for distressing

To reinforce thin paper, I Mod-podged my newspaper from the 7 Gypsies Conservatory pack onto heavy cardstock, and did the same with my wood background panel to enable distressing as the thinness of the papers would not hold up to the edging tool.  The frame’s paper, cut with Spellbinders Fancy Ovals, is also from the Conservatory pack.

I Distress inked most papers with Antique Linen and/or Tattered Rose.

Sewing on Paper

Before sewing my two paper panels, I made sure to adhere them in the center so they would not slip.

One thing I should have done was reinforce with heavy cardstock, as it would have made the sewing easier.  These papers are very thin as well, and despite using a grippier quilting foot, they tended to slip around a bit making straight-lining tricky!  I sew fabric much better, folks.  We’re going for shabby here! 🙂

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I die-cut dozens of branches from a variety of papers for texture.  I then cut or ripped them to get the sizes or shapes I wanted.  I featured these delicious little pins in my Enticing Embellishments post and I was excited to find a use for them!  I also love Fancy Pants resin flowers.  They are the best ones out there in my opinion.  Gorgeous shapes and colors.

When playing around with placement of my completed panel on the card, it felt a bit empty, ironically!  So I dug into one of my favorite paper sets, DIY Shop, and the Joyful Morning Anthem sentiment fit perfectly length-wise.  After trying it atop the card horizontally, I decided on a vertical placement.

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I finished off the back and inside with my woodgrain washi– a favorite I reach for time and again!

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ADHESIVE TIP:

And speaking of nests– you have likely seen circles of twine or nests of gold and silver thread adorning people’s cards lately.  It’s definitely a trend. But how to do that easily so it looks like a controlled chaos rather than just a mess?

I love this adhesive for my cards as it is strong, but removable (won’t rip most of your papers), can be cut to desired size and gives a little dimension (if that is what you want) but not as much as a foam square.

scoch restickable

This is perfect to lay down on your surface and encircle or twist and turn your thread into the desired shape as I did here:

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I have one adhesive square down on the card, curled my thread in a design I wanted and then put another square atop to adhere the die cut.

My Sparrow card is headed over to Catered Crop for their current challenge: Put a Bird on It and to Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge that features more vintage work!  There are many challenges featuring our fine winged friends going on and I will be swooping back in with more bids and some butterflies soon, so check back!

Catered Crop

 

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog

April is National Poetry Month!

On my way out, I thought I would leave you with a poem to celebrate the month of poetry here in the States as well as a song!  I listened to this album while I was working on the card above and the first track is quite appropriate for spring!

 

Let Birds

by Linda Gregg

Eight deer on the slope
in the summer morning mist.
The night sky blue.
Me like a mare let out to pasture.
The Tao does not console me. 
I was given the Way 
in the milk of childhood. 
Breathing it waking and sleeping.
But now there is no amazing smell
of sperm on my thighs,
no spreading it on my stomach
to show pleasure. 
I will never give up longing. 
I will let my hair stay long. 
The rain proclaims these trees,
the trees tell of the sun.
Let birds, let birds.
Let leaf be passion.
Let jaw, let teeth, let tongue be
between us. Let joy.
Let entering. Let rage and calm join.
Let quail come.
Let winter impress you. Let spring. 
Allow the ocean to wake in you.
Let the mare in the field
in the summer morning mist
make you whinny. Make you come 
to the fence and whinny. Let birds.

– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20615#sthash.4Axrli7O.dpuf

More bird poems here!

Interested in bird study, issues confronting birds and the environment, what that warble really means?  Check out public radio’s BirdNote!

Supplies:

Sweet Bee-ginnings!

Good Morning!

Despite the whipping wind, pelting rain, and fast-moving clouds, this morning is indeed a sweet beginning for me as I have the honor of guest designing this month with the talented ladies over at CASE Study!  I am sharing the position with the incredibly talented Sarah Gough of Thinking Stamps, which delights me to no end as I have been inspired by her work since I re-entered the paper crafting world.

If you didn’t know, CASE Study hosts weekly challenges beginning on Thursdays with inspiration from some of the most talented designers in the industry.  I highly encourage you to play along, but even if you decide not to, you must drop by and enjoy the visual feast, like this offering from this week’s muse Joni Andaya of Papell with Love!

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What struck me most about Joni’s card was the striped paper.  I could not stop looking at it.  What a focal point!  It was this aspect of her design that pulled me in the most, but how she orchestrated the rest of elements around the striping is really just perfect harmony.  I wanted to include a strong stripe and challenge myself to create a similarly formal and elegant card, a style I don’t usually engage.

So here is what I came up with!

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I had recently been shopping around for bee images and happened to find this amazing bee and laurel die set from Spellbinders.  I knew immediately that was the theme I wanted to use in this design, as Joni’s card brought to mind a bit of French country.  So throw in some awesome burlap paper, swiss dot black stock from Bazzill, Studio Calico’s gold punchinella vellum, a French letter stamp from Impression Obsession, and some scripty washi, et voila une carte est nee!

C’est magnifique, non?

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I made an awesome discovery during this process!  Avery Elle’s Love Notes pocket die absolutely rocks–it is so versatile AND it cuts through the burlap paper!  So to achieve my tag, I cut a rectangle and then modified each end with two of the dies from the set.  I love this burlap paper, but was not thrilled to find that most of my dies could not manage it.

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Like Joni, I stamped the French script with cream ink for a subtle background and heat embossed.

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After many revisions, I settled on the vertical alignment, and off-center placement of my tag.

The flag was die cut and distressed with Antique Linen.  The sentiment on the flag is from Prima Marketing’s set Zephyr; the stamps used inside the card are from Graphic 45’s set Sweet Sentiments, a perfect collection of vintage stamps for spring!

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The back is finished off with some signature washi!

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I am excited to continue working with the burlap and have started some designs where I am stamping right on the fabric, so it looks like a coffee bean bag or French country pillow.

Joni was so inspiring, that I created two cards for the challenge; and Chupa was so sweet to feature them both.  I will showcase my other card in the post to follow, along with a little history of the bee and laurel!

Now, though, you should fly over to CASE Study and check out what the rest of the design team has proffered.  You will bee happy you did because the selections are so incredibly sweet!  If you want to play along, you have until midnight on Tuesday 3/11 to submit your entries!

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