‘Advent Calendar Extravaganza with Taheerah Atchia

Well, hello and welcome to…

Advent Calenda Extravaganza

Are you excited, and enjoying this hop so far? I know I am, and I am very happy to be waiting for you behind door #22!

Advent Calendar Extravaganza

 

Advent Calendar Extravaganza is -the- festive event of the season! This ‘hop with a twist’ was dreamed up by Taheerah Atchia and features surprise destinations each day! Joining in the fun with Taheerah are over 60 special guests – each serving up some fantastic Christmas inspiration! Just like an Advent Calendar, you’ll never know where you’re going to be visiting next until you ‘open the door’!

And that’s not all! With 25 *amazing* sponsors taking part as well, your crafty wish list is bound to get a boost with a chance to win a prize EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

Join in the fun every day at taheerah-atchia.com to see what special surprises wait behind the door!

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Since today’s sponsor is Unity Stamps, and I am a member of their Stamp of the Week club, I figured it was high time to put some of their adorable, festive stamps to use.  One aspect of Unity that I really like are their sentiments–they are witty, funny, and have some great fonts!

Today I have two cards for you; one was designed with the solstice in mind, as I created it yesterday on the shortest day of the year.  The other I envisioned for a possible New Years card (for the coffee or tea lover, of course!), as the sentiment is fitting, and I had the recent Coffee Lovers hop on my mind!

First up, Rudolph!

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Disclaimer: It being the darkest day of the year, and my having only been able to pull this brewing idea together in about 3 hours, the photos are a bit grey, and there are a few things I would change about this card, but overall I think it’s a pretty fun first attempt!

For this card, I used the Magical Holiday set from Unity.

WIB-891-MAGICAL-HOLIDAY I stamped Rudolph with Versafine Champagne ink, then embossed with sticky embossing powder and covered with Stampendous glitter.  After allowing it to set, I fussy cut him out.

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If I recreate this, I will likely make the twinkling part of the nose silver, red, or possibly cut off the twinkling part altogether.

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The idea for my background came from a digital paper that was part of a Lilypad pack I purchased, Autumn Nights.  I loved the ombre light grey to midnight blue flecked with white, and immediately thought of using it with my Lil’ Inker Designs Faceted die, and using a previous 3-D design of mine, one example found here.  I cut the paper twice from the paper so I had light and dark triangles; however, those pesky triangles got away from me– hence, the background isn’t as ombre as I’d planned, and there is a darker triangle lower in the mix than there should be!!

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After locating and adhering the frame and triangles to some #110 Ellen Hutson Woodgrain paper, I placed Rudolph and created a string of stars on my favorite wax twine, and added a Prima wood banner.

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I didn’t like how the bottom of the card looked, so some quick thinking brought me to a candy cane mound cut with Paper Smooches border die and embellished with curved stitched line, which is also popped up to provide an interesting 3-D curve.

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And finally, the inside.  I love the sentiment that accompanies this card.  I stamped in Ranger Archival ink, my favorite black, and finished the bottom with some paper from Basic Grey’s Juniper Berry line, embellished with a stitched line.  I decided on the green so it would echo the green of the wood banner on the front.

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Next up, Sparkly Cups!

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This card is a bit of an homage to Jocelyn Olson, as I really like her little corner punch and string embellishment.  And I was just talking with my crafting group at our December gathering about using the threaded sequins.  I just haven’t been able to make it work on my cards, though Keren Baker makes it look so easy!

I considered wax twine, but grabbed the sequin instead, and I like how it worked!

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The white panel was embossed with the PTI linen plate, stamped with the sentiment and cut, so I could create the mid-section.  The patterned papers are from Basic Grey’s B-side.

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For the cups, I used a technique I tried previously here.  The cups are from Unity’s Always Today set.  I stamped them and then Copic colored each cup.  Then covered with Versamark Champagne ink, sticky embossing powder, and Stampendous glitter.

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I fussy cut and popped them up, along with the top panel for some visual interest.

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But wait, there’s more!

It’s not a party without a prize – and with prizes every day there are several chances to win! Today’s prize is generously supplied by Unity Stamps, so you’ll definitely want to get your hands on it! Simply leave a comment on this post to enter – then head back to taheerah-atchia.com and leave a comment there too to double your chances! Don’t forget to grab the other surprise destinations from Taheerah’s blog and head over to them to leave comments there as well to improve your odds even more! You have until 7am EST on Thursday 31st December to leave all your comments!

Don’t forget the Advent Calendar Extravaganza runs from 1st-25th December inclusive so make sure you visit taheerah-atchia.com every day for fabulous inspiration and amazing prizes every single time! Merry Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your holiday season is calm and bright!

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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Imagine. Dream. Fly.

Right now the evening sky is the pink-blue-gold of my card, featured below, and I am happy to say that the sun is setting on an incredibly productive day spent creating.  With the exception of a few fine hours spent with the PNW Crafting crew a couple weeks ago, such a day I have not seen in my own studio since June.  This summer has been replete with work and visitors, both of which I have been happy for, but I have yearned for a whole day free to play with paper and ink!

For the current card, an overdue congrats greeting for a student, I was inspired by my new, wonderful collection of Carta Bella Wildflower papers and Taheerah’s challenge image:

 

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I love these colors–the gold and mint combination is divine!  I pulled in a similar design as the wallpaper for my background, and featured the pink of the lampshade a bit more prominently, as I wanted to work with a bird theme and the Wildflower feather paper was perfect.

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I love all the textures in this card–from the feather and glitter papers to the paper flowers and netting.  The Wildflower papers are so luxuriously thick and textured, to say nothing of the graphics!  I have featured the feather and the gold arrow papers from the collection, as well as PTI’s heavy vellum and MFT’s Primitive Ivory for the card body.  You may recognize Mama Elephant’s Femme Frame dies; Ellen Hutson has a great set that includes these, as well as the Dainty bow, Embellished Tag, and Bold banner.

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The inside and back are finished with some of my favorite washi tape.

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My little cluster of goodies atop the Impression Obsession birdcage features a variety of products. The blue flower and gold dots are from Prima, along with the resin bird, but I die cut and rolled the little tissue paper flowers from Impression Obsession’s mini spiral flower dies.  The Unity Stamp Co. sentiment has been stamped in Brilliance Rocket gold ink onto a lightly swiss-dotted paper die cut from MFT’s washi dies.  I used Penny Black dies for the feather, cut from PTI heavy vellum, and deconstructed Dancing Leaves in MFT’s Fuse green, which is a new favorite color of mine!

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Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope I sparked your imagination.

Make sure to check out Taheerah’s Cure for the Monday Blues challenge; a new one posts every Monday!

Check back tomorrow for a CASE Study card to celebrate their 4-year anniversary party!