Eggcellent Easter

Happy Thursday and welcome to another challenge at Fusion!

This week we have a colorful, fun image and a great sketch that has many possibilities!

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I went for a fusion of the two.  When I saw the image, I immediately thought of the latest release of Studio Calico Homespun Easter journal cards with their bright, primary colors.

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And as I started playing with the sketch, I realized that the diagonal could be turned into a peek-a-boo pocket for this little guy!

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Hello! Don’t you just love that little rabbit?  I enlarged and fussy cut him from the journal card, popped him into my die cut basket (from the now defunct Top Dog Dies), added a chipboard tie, and adhered to another of the journal cards from the collection.

The journal card can be turned over and written on and kept in a 3×4 scrapbook page.

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I also enlarged the “Eggcelent” (which, aside from the witty invented spelling, is actually missing an additional ‘l’!  Whoops, Studio Calico!!).  I suppose since it’s a pun, it’s easy to look past the inaccuracy.  It’s been a week of finding editing issues in published work–the other two discoveries were within a popular curriculum that I, and many schools, use for teaching reading and writing– a little less excusable!

The “Easter” die is also from Studio Calico, and the background papers are from The Lilypad.  The inside is finished with some grass green washi.

 

I decided to CASE myself using some new Lilypad digital papers that reflect the weather we’ve been experiencing this wild March in Seattle!

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Maybe the sun will show its face today?

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Oh there he is!  But wait, it’s raining as well?!  Is that thunder I hear?  Look how swiftly the clouds move!

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Perhaps the sun is here to stay?  Or must we wait until April or May?

Alas, I suppose there is nothing we can do to stop the sun’s endless peek-a-boo!

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Are you inspired to join us this week?  Make sure to check out the design team’s creations and then be sure to link up by March 28th!

Thanks for joining me today! Here’s to Pi Day, the Ides of March, St. Patrick’s Day, and springing forward!  What a week!  Here’s a little Crowded House for you, “Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you!”

 

 

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!

Grateful for This Day & Synesthesia!

grateful4bIt’s Friday the 13th and the wind is howlin’, the unrelenting rain is coming down sideways, and the sky is that November grey, but it is bright and colorful here in this latest installment for Runway Inspired Challenge #95.

Lot’s of new going on in this card and a variety of techniques, including some serious texture, which makes it a contender for the latest challenge at Virginia’s View!

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There are so many lovely aspects to the model’s ensemble from the dual toned blue-black lace and the pops of fuchsia to those capped sleeves and the intricate shoes!

Rather than incorporating the lace and blues in a bold way, I opted for a more subtle pop of color and texture against the white and a bold statement.

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The leaves are from the new Julie Ebersole set, Gourd-jus, at Ellen Hutson.  I stamped some watercolor paper with Hero Arts cornflower dye ink and this fabulous lacy, paisley background stamp from Prima, then die cut the leaves.

The flower stamp is from Unity, a stamp of the week that I hadn’t put to use yet.  I Distress-inked watercolor paper with Picked Raspberry and then stamped over the pattern I liked best with Ranger Archival Ink in that rich, fabulous black.  It works really well with highly textured paper.  The flower was then fussy cut and manipulated a bit for dimension.

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The background panel was embossed with my favorite Linen plate from PTI.  This impression is just so amazing; I experience synesthesia just looking at it (which, for me, means I want to eat it!).  Weird, perhaps, but I experience this phenomenon with colors and textures; my inclination is to taste them or have an extreme need to touch them.  Some people see color when listening to music or composing; others can experience taste through a different sense, or feel physically in a part of their body something they hear, which also happens to me.  Synesthesia is really pretty cool; except when it’s not, like when my teeth feel like they might fall out of my head if I touch or think about certain textures, or when I experience sensory overload visually and auditorily. You can read more about it here if you are interested.

Anyway, I love this linen plate! And the way the sentiment from Kaisercraft looks on it.

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And what about that border?  Oh my gosh.  I have owned this die forever and never put it to use!  It is actually being discontinued by Memory Box, (I stand corrected, thanks to my dear friend Jeanne, it is POPPYSTAMPS Longier Stem die!  You can see her use of it here.).  actually the Memory Box die indeed, Whimsy Leaves, and all this back and forth has been incredibly funny to me! You can read more about the confusion in the comments below! I am glad I not only bought it, but finally used it because it is cool! (And so is the Longier die by Poppystamps, for that matter!  And you should still check out Jeanne’s use of it and Starlit Studio!)

The intention behind it was to echo the model’s shoes and the ladder-like pattern around her ankles and feet.  Neat shoes, but boy do her feet look uncomfortable!!

Everything is layered on Studio Calico’s new digital paper from the Canyonland’s collection, which I have been putting to use in some cards and layouts.  The final touch was a bit more texture with some shimmery electric blue thread and dew-drop sequins.  Love the play of the dotted lines angling against the border and working with the grid pattern of the flower!

Smooth, textured, delicate, bold–I am really happy with how the elements came together for this piece!

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Behind the scenes, I am working on a spread for #30daysofgratitude, which I am excited about, and several occasion cards.  Looking forward to the Thanksgiving break when I can catch up on some creative and professional work, as well as mingle with some good friends.

So much to be grateful for–including you!  Thanks so much for stopping by.  And thanks to Jeanne for letting me know about another challenge–Poppy Challenge #14 “Home for the Holidays” into which this card will fit (or NOT, after all!).  Check them out–all the DT inspiration and entries are fabulous!  And if they don’t ban me from the challenge, I have plenty of Poppystamps to use when I try, try again! 🙂

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Hope your holiday season is off to a smashing start!

 

 

 

 

UPDATE: My card was chosen to be in the top 10 of 239 entries!  Thanks Virginia!!

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Hooray!

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For returning to my site after a month, and seeing that I still have a few visitors popping in on a daily basis!

For the first day of fall!

And of course, for Tonya!!

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So, this is not the card I had planned for Tonya; I had two different ideas coming together last week, and while I was away in Portland for some much needed fun and R&R the past few days.  However, neither idea has had a chance to manifest just yet, so since I’ve such a backlog of work to blog, and this card seemed fitting, I will say “Hooray” for Tonya today, and surprise her on Saturday with her real birthday card (to be blogged sometime in the next year!).

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Tonya is a wonderful listener and creative spirit whom I always look forward to seeing at our crafty gatherings or other outings.  She is understanding and inspiring!  I only wish there were more time and fewer miles between us so we could see each other more often!  She and I share a deep love for cats, and an even deeper disdain for our migraines!  I can’t wait to see her this weekend so we can catch up and I can give her a big birthday hug in person!  Here’s to a most fabulous year, Tonya!  Hooray for you!

Check out what my other crafty friends have up their sleeves in celebration of Tonya!

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Thanks for stopping by!  Hope your week is one to celebrate!

*Materials: Studio Calico digital print “Hooray” journal card; Crate Paper floral paper and rose; Freckled Fawn metal wreath; love

Believe It or Not, Look Who’s Back (and feeling magical)!

We lead such fragmentary lives, occupying a multiplicity of physical and virtual spaces at any one time.  We touch down here, flit there, ever attempting simultaneity.  Yesterday, I sat down to my sewing machine and really focused on the motions of threading my machine, paying attention to the tiny eye of the needle, the bobbin spinning, the thread through my finger tips; it was so refreshing to be present, performing such a simple, physical task without any thought to the work I would do later, the emails I needed to return, the photographs I needed to take and edit for this post!  I was in what Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi theorized as “flow”–an optimal state of concentrated energy whereby you are intrinsically motivated by the process of the activity with no competing thoughts about outside events or the end product.  Artistic endeavors can provide this experience, but if we are so focused on the end result or the audience or the applause, then we are apt to lose our footing– flow gives way to something frantic, fractured and frustrating.

It’s really hard to be present, to achieve flow, even in the activities or with the people we most enjoy.  And so, given the pressures of my career and the necessities of my physical being, as well as the desire to focus more on my sewing skills, I needed to step away from blogging, and all that goes into the development of a post, for the last two months, so I could make time and space for other experiences.  The reality is you can’t do it all and you can’t have it all, no matter what the ad-men try to tell you. And that’s okay. Slowing down, focusing, being present, working on one aspect of your life or yourself or a project, to the exclusion of other parts is more than okay; it’s vital.  Especially in creative endeavors.  It’s good to just be an observer of words or images, letting it all sink in for a bit as you stay silent and still.

And it’s good to step back now into this little corner of my world where I’ve made such great connections and see that as I’ve been percolating behind the scenes, my little virtual home hasn’t been completely devoid of visitors! I sure appreciate your stopping by.  I have four posts lined up for this week to celebrate birthdays, national poetry month, and some fun challenges, like this one:

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I am sure many of you are familiar with the fabulous Ellen Hutson, LLC, one of the best online spots for papercrafting supplies. When I need something quickly and can’t make it to a store, Ellen’s my woman because she’s practically in my backyard and the shipping is lightning fast!  Plus she has a great new line of products designed by Julie Ebersole, another Washingtonian.  Lots of good papercrafting energy in the PNW!

So she’s developed two new challenges, which you can read about here and here.

I absolutely loved the holiday release of sentiment stamps and dies from Julie, and the winter release was fabulous as well.  The Pin-Sights challenge asks you to use the products and the mood board to create a paper project.  The current inspiration board had me swooning so I knew I just had to play along!

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Magical, right? I’ve been known to believe in magic every so often, especially when it comes to inspiration and art!

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I tried to weave in a  variety of the elements from the mood board, most obviously the colors and the brushstroke font.  I’d been wanting to create one of these sentiment backgrounds for awhile so this challenge gave me the push to finally do so using Julie’s Brushstroke Christmas set . Since the color scheme mentions charcoal, I used Versacolor Ultimate Pigment ink in Charcoal rather than black and stamped on Ellen’s 110lb Linen cardstock, my favorite paper!  I echoed the dots from the photograph with the MFT Polka Dot Coverup die background, which I cut down to create a more interesting layer.

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The challenge is open to any kind of paper project, not just cards, and in creating this, I was not sure if it would be a card–I actually think it would make a great framed piece or album cover for a mini-album, so I intentionally did not adhere it to a card base.

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The Magic die from Studio Calico was doubly cut from Paper Source’s Bronze paper and adhered so it would pop up a bit for more curved dimension.  The hot pink brick wall journaling card is a digital file from Studio Calico’s Lisse Street collection.  I love my new HP printer which is allowing me to actually print quality photographs and digital images for the first time in years, so I can add a new element to my paper crafting beyond stamping.

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Open Book from Crate Paper provided the flower and vellum embellishments.  That Art Deco green and gold panel was just what I needed to bring those layers together. I spent awhile riffling through my hundreds of paper embellishments.  I really like working in this way with my products as it is like creating with found art– I am confined by just the paper pieces I have and must assemble them without being able to create by hand the perfect image or embellishment to complete the piece.  It’s challenging in that way–sadly I cannot find any of these vellum packs from the Open Book line anywhere– so it is really a one of a kind piece.

In addition to Ellen’s challenge, I am also going to submit this to Virginia’s View current challenge which is all about dimensions and layers.   You can find my work among the hundreds of entrants!  Virginia gets the prize for challenge participation, although the Coffee Loving Paper Crafters are gaining steadily!!

Check out all three for some great inspiration and maybe a bit of magic!

And make sure to stop by here tomorrow for a special birthday card and blog hop with prizes!!