Neon Birthday

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

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

So let’s turn toward the bright!

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lemon Lush paper proved perfect for this purpose.

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

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

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

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Lovely layers.

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

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Are you feeling a bit brighter?

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

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

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

Blossoming Spring

Happy Vernal Equinox and welcome to a new week over at CASE Study!

Let’s spring to it and see what inspiration was gathered from our muse Joni Andaya this week!

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A little background on her process is needed as it’s not readily apparent from the card.  Lovely as it is, once you see how she manipulated the stamped image, you will find her ingenuity even more divine!

  So she stamped doubly this lovely image from PTI’s Basket of Blessings, then as you can see, die cut the baskets right out, leaving a lovely border of flowers.

I have commented before how I just love it when I see people re-visioning their products, and this is no exception!

So I, likewise, was inspired to see my products in a new light, specifically the Lil’ Inker’s cover-plate Stitches and Stripes die.

While Joni cut her basket out, I wanted to not only innovate, but pull the basket back into my card.  This is the result!

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My Technique:

First, I cut the die out of White Linen paper, twice; then, I ran one of the die-cuts through the Lifestyle Crafts Woven embossing folder to add more texture.

Next, I cut this embossed die-cut apart, and wove the individual pieces through the other die-cut.  I adhered ends with a little dot of glue, and then cut off the superfluous strips that hung over the edges.

I cut the circle from the center, covered it on both sides (front and back) with larger circle die frames, and then covered that with one of my most best purchases, the PTI wreath die.

In the close-up below, you can see the lovely texture of the Ellen’s Essentials White Linen paper.

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The Spring Blossoms sentiment is from that wonderful Graphic 45 Sweet Sentiments set I featured in my News of Spring post.

Likely you recognize the ever-popular flowers from WPlus9’s Fresh Cut Florals set, stamped with Hero Inks and Memento dye inks.  Placement, deciding on color both took me the longest.  I can’t tell you how many dies I cut of the different flowers and leaves!  Now I have plenty for additional cards!

STAMPING TIP:
If you didn’t already know this, here’s a great technique for stamping die cuts.  Start by die cutting your small shapes first, then with your inked stamp laying flat on your table, place the die cut upside down onto the stamp.  It makes centering and inking so much easier.  No more stamping first and then die cutting for me!

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Here’s a view of the back.

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Another Version

I have a few more of my woven Easter basket cards in the works using different colors for the background and different scenes (Lawn Fawn Easter Bunny and some jelly beans, perhaps?!); I will be featuring them soon!

This was a trial card to practice the weaving and stamping ideas around the sentiment.  I think I prefer the one above, but this one is sweet in it’s own way!

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Well, that’s it for me!  I sure hope things are blossoming in beautiful ways wherever in the world you are.

I encourage you to play along with us this and every week over at CASE Study.  Head over there now to check out what the ladies have created this week, or blog hop through their individual sites below.  You will leave with an overflowing basket of ideas for sure!

Chupa
Amy Wanford
Clare Buswell
Debby Hughes

Jeanne Jachna

Maureen Merritt

Silke Ledlow

Tasnim Ahmed

March Guest Designers: 

Sarah Gough

Card Inspired by Swedish Folk Art & CASE Study

Good evening!  I have been looking forward to posting this card, but due to an emergency vet visit yesterday that lasted well into the late hours of the evening, all other plans were curtailed!  I am happy to report Leo is doing better, but we are still monitoring his health and have a regimen of pills to administer–the first week of 2014 has been full of unexpected occurrences!

Luckily, there are a few more hours to get my entry in for this week’s exquisite CASE Study challenge:

It is unbelievable to me that these cookies are even real!  The amount of time and patience it must have taken to create these beauties astounds me, more so because they are meant to be consumed, and I am absolutely terrible at frosting cookies!!  I made a batch of Christmas cookies and we ate them plain as I just could not bring myself to frost.  I can spend 8 hours working on a couple cards, thinking about design, color, placement, but 30 minutes frosting cookies does not hold the same sway!

These cookies reminded me of Swedish folk art– I don’t know much about this art, but have the colors and images in my mind (some from IKEA textiles!).  I looked up some images and found this one (click image to be taken to the source):

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And this:
Swedish Laholm ceramic dish or  fingerbowl with beautiful folk art design.

My paternal grandmother’s family came to America from Sweden in the early 1900’s, and my aunt has kept track of the family’s historical roots, even traveling to Sweden to visit the town where my great-grandmother lived.  So I made this CASE Study and Swedish inspired card for her!

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The background paper is this gorgeous, gauzy scallop pattern that I located at our Northwest Art & Frame– I found so many amazing wrapping sheets there that will be making appearances in my cards.  I was so excited to use this one, and given the challenge, it fit perfectly as a “doily-like” background.  I have dyed some of it using Distress Inks and will be making some cards with that soon.

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It took absolutely forever for my Simon Says Stamp shipment to arrive, but luckily it came in time, as I knew this Simon Says Stamp “Kate” snowflake would be perfect for the feel of this card.  I also used WPlus 9 Fresh Cut Florals stamps, and Memory Box dies for the flowers and leaves; the wreath is from Papertrey Ink.

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Tusen takk (A thousand thanks) for viewing this post!  I love hearing from and connecting with my visitors– just saw that I had one from Sweden the other day!  Drop me a line before you go on your merry way!

And head over to CASE Study and see what the talented crew has come up with!

I will be back with my other CASE inspired entry after I watch a little Downton Abbey premiere!