THD Challenge #3

You know what never gets old? Gold.

You know what else doesn’t get old? Playing along with The Heart Desires Challenge!

I mean how could it?  We’re only 3 months into it and waiting for you to participate!!

So we have a bit of gold, woodgrain, and juicy succulents to get you inspired.  Trendy succulents haven’t lost their appeal, either– especially in my house.  I have the offspring of a 15 year old plant, fondly referred to as “hair plant”, purchased a few months after my move to Seattle (who sadly succumbed to root rot and fungal disease despite massive measures a few years after our 2012 move to the beach). I was often mad at my cat Leo, who loved to sit in the plant, chew on it and basically be naughty with it from the time he was a kitten to it’s untimely demise.  But the good news is that because of his naughtiness, that hair plant lives!!  He broke off a large arm of it right before it got sick, which I rooted and re-potted, thus it never got the fungal disease!  A lucky break (no pun intended)!

Here’s a picture:

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And here’s our inspiration photo for this month’s challenge!

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I worked in all three elements–metallic, woodgrain and plants!

 

I used the We R Memory Keepers Next Level Bouquet floral embossing folder— these folders are so amazing.  The depth and texture and possibilities are phenomenal.  I am also featuring the Tear Drops and Clear Dots which are such a cool embellishment.  Both are available in the Heart Desires Store! The embossed layer has been splattered with Coral Color Shine by Heidi Swapp, which is also slightly metallic in the light.

Gold and woodgrain figure prominently!  Hey Tonya, recognize the wood tags?  They were gifted in my huge box of goodies!  Love these tags so much!

I customed colored glossy cardstock with alcohol inks to get my perfect pinks and ombre shading. It is my favorite way to use the inks.  The flowers and woodgrain leaf are from Wild Garden by Julie Ebersole.  If you follow my work, then you know I can’t get enough of this set!

The rest of the papers are digital prints from The Lilypad– a wonderful collection from Forever Joy.  The inside is finished with some ombre metallic washi!

 

That’s it for me– until tomorrow when I will have some more inspiration for you based on our challenge photo and mixing it up with Concord & 9th!

Until then, check out the rest of the team and play along with us this month.  You have until Wednesday 8.31!

Challenge Rules:

  1. Challenges will run from the first Wednesday to the last Wednesday of each month.
  2. Use one, two or three of the identified elements.
  3. If you choose to use colors, you need only use 2 or 3 of them.  Use your choice of neutrals (white, kraft, black, gray).
  4. Identify the elements you chose to use if not readily evident.
  5. Enter up to 3 times and combine with no more than 5 challenges, including ours.
  6. Include the inspiration pic as well as a link to the challenge in your post.
  7. The challenge winner will be invited to be a future guest designer.
  8. Most importantly, have fun!!!!

 

THD July Challenge: Tropical

Hey everyone! Welcome to our second month-long challenge at The Heart Desires! All of our June participants knocked the first challenge out of the park, or in keeping with the nautical theme, beyond the sea!!

This month we bring you an equally beautiful inspiration graphic and a sketch!  Taking it tropical this time around!

 

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Here’s my interpretation of the graphic and, very loosely, the sketch!  I took my cue from an earlier card I made for a student, which you can see here. I have worked in every color!!

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Using Hero Arts Ombre Pink ink, I repeat stamped sentiments from Concord & 9th’s Wonderful Women set on Ranger watercolor paper, all of which are available at The Heart Desires!

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It’s a bit difficult to see, but this close-up shows the nature of the ombre ink and how well it works with the watercolor paper.  Atop the vellum frame cut from MFT’s diagonal stitch die, I added PTI’s slide, cut multiple times from #110 paper for thickness, topping with those fabulous flamingos from The Lilypad, digitally printed paper.

Neat and Tangled’s sentiment, one of my favorites, is cut from gold foam (love that stuff!!). The white and gold paper echoes the gold of the die and is also from The Lilypad, digitally printed.

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In this photo, you can see the lovely layers, and that base paper–which was the most difficult layer to finally figure out–is from Basic Grey’s Urban Luxe, which you can no longer find! I should have bought out the collection when I had the chance!  Love how the gold splotches and blues work with the other papers, and particularly the flowers.

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What better than the versatile floral die set from Ellen Hutson, Wild Garden?  The flowers work for so many different occasions! They are cut from The Lilypad digital paper, lime and white linen cardstock.

And those gorgeous regatta blue buttons embellish!

I have so many graduation cards to finish– this one is headed to my college-bound student.

Alright, now it’s your turn to play along with us!  You have until Wednesday, July 27!

Please read the rules below before you enter.

Challenge Rules:

  1. Challenges will run from the first Wednesday to the last Wednesday of each month.
  2. Use one, two or three of the identified elements.
  3. If you choose to use colors, you need only use 2 or 3 of them.  Use your choice of neutrals (white, kraft, black, gray).
  4. Identify the elements you chose to use if not readily evident.
  5. Enter up to 3 times and combine with no more than 5 challenges, including ours.
  6. Include the inspiration pic as well as a link to the challenge in your post.
  7. The challenge winner will be invited to be a future guest designer.
  8. Most importantly, have fun!!!!

Come back tomorrow for another bold, summery creation that is sure to inspire your summer scrapbooking!

 

PNW Birthday Hop: II

Hello everyone, happy Friday and happy birthday Ms. Kimberly Weiner of Weinerhoneymooners!

Now I won’t be able to give her the kind of awesome gift she presented me this year, but I hope she knows how happy I am to know her, to craft and laugh, and vent and chat, alongside her, and that I will miss celebrating in person with her this weekend!!

I know this will be a big year for her and with her spirit and creativity, she is going to rock it, boldly and beautifully!

Be your own kind of beautiful, girl!!

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The background paper says, “Hello Beautiful” working perfectly with the Hero Arts “Dare to Dream” set, available at The Heart Desires.

All papers are digital from Forever Joy at The Lilypad printed on photo paper.
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Love how the large Wild Garden flowers by Julie Ebersole work so well with the smaller Savvy Stamps floral dies. Also this large green flowers had its stem snipped and works well as a succulent!

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My new favorite background frame dies, MFT’s Diagonal stitched rectangles, combined with Lil’ Inkers and Mama Elephant stitched rectangles. The stitched lines play off of those in the flowers.

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Love incorporating dimension in my work. The arrangement of florals and branches jump off the page.

Hop along with us today and make sure to wish our friend a happy day!

You should have come from Lisa’s site.

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Please stop back for updated pictures as I am going to be a bit late to this party, but here’s a sneak peek!!

Off to your next stop:
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I am sending this over to Ellen Hutson’s Pinsights challenge as well!

My card features:
Wild Garden flower dies by Julie Ebersole; Essentials by Ellen Linen 100# cardstock

Hope your April was swell! Thanks for dropping by!

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!

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!”

 

 

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!

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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)
 

 

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!