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On being "Sponge-worthy" . . .

Bwah ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!  Only you die-hard Seinfeld fans like m’self will catch on to the point of that one . . . OK, enough sillies! (wink!) 

Gratitudefolder

"Thank You" Cancellation Mark from Circle of Friendship,  "Thank you" from Take Three,  Library Card from Stamp of Authenticity stamp sets by Stampin’ Up!; Date Stamper, "Paste Due" Stamper from office supply store; Patterned Paper all by Basic Grey; Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel, Certainly Celery Dye Inks all by Stampin’ Up!;  Mellow Moss Card Stock by Stampin’ Up!;  Hardware by Stampin’ Up!;  Brown Gingham by May Arts (I get my beloved May Arts Ribbon at StarLitStudio);  1 1/4, 1 3/8" Circle Punches by EK Success; Nested File Folder Template by Coluzzle; Dymo Label Buddy Manual Label Maker found at Wal Mart in office supply area.

Part of what I found so comical about my musings the other day is that we all get into a particular groove at one time or another, and fall into the trap of doing the same thing over and over, or just doing what everybody else is doing.  Some folks have caught onto that ornery streak of mine, for going the opposite direction of where the crowd is headed . . . (insert rolling eyeballs here)  I’m a terribly stubborn wretch, sometimes . . . sigh . . .

Unless you’ve known me for years, I’m sure the above design will catch you off guard.  My work has gone through all kinds of developmental phases during the last 13 years, and for, oh, probably about the last 2, I’ve predominantly focused my work on clean and simple.

Art is, in part, about experimentation and finding your way . . . so, I decided to let myself try something different from what I’ve been doing the past 2 years.  It’s important to stretch and grow!

So, getting back to the design above:

The layout is fairly straightforward, with the file folder dominating the center, and I actually pried some hardware out of the royal vault for use in this design!  The photo turn keeps the folder shut, and pivots, of course, to enable the viewer to see what’s tucked inside.  This would be a great way to present a gift card or certificate or tuck a teabag into, etc. (cheeky grin!)

Now, I’m not gonna write up a tutorial on how to use the Coluzzle, but I do know folks have struggled with this awesome tool, and if so, please check out these links, which very nicely explain how this tool works, and offer great tips on this fantastic shape cutting system.

Coluzzle Basics

Cutting Instructions

Helpful Hints

I know, I KNOW!!! –I just got a personal die cutting system!  And, I don’t know HOW I lived without it this long, BUT, the Coluzzle is also a fantabulous system, which I’ve used for years now, and find that between it and my Big Shot, ALL my shape cutting needs are now completely covered!  Yeah, baby!!!!!  ‘Dat’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!  FULL COVERAGE!!!

(bouncin’!)

Have a great day–I’m chaperoning my 17 yr. old’s class on a theatre excursion in Seattle, to see "The Great Gatsby"!

Have a Swanky Yule!

Pinkswanky
All images, Creative Candy Pink Star Twinkle Sticker, Note Card by A Muse Art Stamps; Palette Hybrid Ink in Bordeaux; Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink in Alabaster; Marvy Super Jumbo Oval Punch and Mega Scallop Oval Punches; Sakura Quickie Glue Pen; Prisma Glitter, Ultrafine Multi Clear Iridescent

I was literally rolling over a conversation with a friend of mine this a.m. about "trends" and style in paper crafting.  Her comment was, " . . .  Not *everyone* is looking for trendy these days!  And by the way, why does even CHRISTMAS have to be DISTRESSED???"

What cracked me is that I have noticed reports in industry trade publications  on several occasions, that indicate simplicity, and clean design being on the rise.  And, yet, I have one heck of a time getting submissions accepted where I emphasize this–I have a phenomenal rejection rate!  I wonder if I could get a gold star for that?  LOL!  Anyhoo, on my last batch of submissions, I decided to sponge, to distress, and to see what would happen.

My conclusion?  I remain perplexed.  Not one accepted.  ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I’ll send ‘em on over to another publication, and see if I get any nibbles there.  It would give me *great* encouragement, at this point!  Now, don’t misunderstand me:  in this biz, you really have to be able to separate your emotional attachment to your work, otherwise, the rejections will really kill ya’, and trust me, they’re gonna outweigh the acceptances by a loooooong shot.  (and, I am STILL rolling, btw!)

In the meantime, hope you enjoy this fun and easily mass-produced holiday card design–Swanky Tree is one of my all time favorite A Muse holiday images, and I decided pink would be fun for this design, and in keeping with the retro feel.

The border image was stamped first right side up, and then, just cuz I like to, I inverted the stamp so I could align the dots on the peaks there, and stamp it again to make a fun variation on that scallop border image.  I like it!

I sponged white chalk ink along the edge of the scalloped oval to give it a "frosted" effect, and then traced the edges quickly with the glue pen, and applied the glitter.  Last, but certainly not least, a tiny pink star crystal sticker tops off the tree, nice and sweet!

This is one of those fun 5 minute quickie designs (hey, now:  keep your mind outta’ the gutter! chortle!) that should enable even the most last-minute Lucy to get her season’s greetings finished and out the door in time for the holidays!

On other matters, I have pulled back a bit from posting here, due to some issues of time management and balance; I was neglecting my professional work, and my family pointed out I was so absorbed in blogging, that they were really missing me . . . After seeing several well-known industry professionals actually cease blogging altogether due to similar realizations, I told myself I needed to pull back a bit, find a reasonable balance.  I’ll be trying to update about 3x weekly in an effort to find that balance, and genuinely hope readers will still wanna visit!

On a happy note, I wish you all a beautimous Monday!

Brrrrrrrr!!!

Neighborsnow
Last Sunday:  Our neighbor’s house, shot from just outside my front door, in a rare, but beautiful moment on Whidbey Island . . .

Snow days are such a rarity around here, that I welcome them, gazing happily from inside my warm house, holding a steaming cuppa . . . (wink!)   It’s about 30 degrees here, and we’ve been having freezing temperatures since Sunday, with late school starts and Tuesday actually cancelled due to icy road conditions.  The kids sure had a GRAND time sledding! (grinning!)

Snow_shot_1

That’s Penn Cove, from our back deck.  World famous for mussels.  Yum!!!

Prancerjoy

Prancer, Clear Polka Alphabet, Note Card and Creative Candy Red Mini Dot Twinkle Sticker all by A Muse Art Stamps; Colorbox Fluid Chalk Inks in Dark Brown, Warm Red; Waterbased Markers; Tag and Snowflake Paper Shaper Punches by EK Success; Red Gingham by May Arts (available online at StarLitStudio); Green Staples by Making Memories; Sakura Quickie Glue Pen (available online at StarLitStudio)

OK, so the snow, which has begun to fall yet AGAIN (this time the flakes are teeny tiny, but I am hopeful!!!) just made me wanna share this design–I don’t think I have shared it here before . . . (?)   I designed him for a Holiday cards class I taught last August up at Precious Memories, in Langley, BC.

I just loved the idea of using him as the "o" in JOY.  I initially had stamped all of it directly onto the card itself, but it just didn’t "pop" like it should, so after putzin’ around, I realized that  tags would be the way to go.  Colored staples are fun, and coupling green ones with the red gingham conveyed a little Christmas.

Those snowflakes are soooooo delicate, and can be hard to glue on.  To the rescue:  My trusty Sakura Quickie Glue Pen.  That thing just ROCKS!  It is just *the* bestest EVER for gluing on teensy tiny things.

BTW, one of the trickiest things to secure with staples, are little snippets of gingham.  Seems so easy and should be a cake walk, and, maybe this doesn’t happen with you, but my fingers–which are actually very small–always get in the way!  So, I’ve found that pinching the snippet to the top of the tag with my TWEEZERS, holds it in place for me to get the stapler into position.

Sidebar:
  Believe it or not, I have a preferred pair of tweezers!  The tips are angled, and I just love the maneuverability that gives me!  I don’t know if Mrs. Grossman’s makes ‘em any more, ‘cuz after searching, I couldn’t find them on their website, but these are my absolutely all time favorite tweezers; just so you get an idea of what they look like.

The news has issued another "storm" warning . . . I hear that for some folks down Ellen’s way it took 15 hours to get home from work!!!  Yikes!!!

Time for a fresh cuppa, and another appreciative gaze out the window at the snow! (grin!)   I know: I’m a snow psycho! (sheepish grin) . . .  But only because we hardly ever get any.  Stay safe out there!

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