Thursday, February 25, 2016

winnie & walter new release :: true faceted heart cutaways

I'm really excited to share a couple of projects with you today that I made as a Special Guest during the Winnie & Walter Belated 2nd Birthday Bash.  I met co-owner Shay at CHA last month and I can't even tell you how many times she made me blush (in a highly complimentary way)!  She is incredibly thoughtful and sweet and I was thrilled when she invited me to guest during their big festivities.  I have already written a couple of blog posts for them earlier this month and played along with some of the challenges they had as part of the celebration.  There's a good chance that I'll be sharing the posts here in March, but if you don't want to wait until then, you can check them out here and here.

And today, because W&W has been revealing their new releases this week, I've got a couple projects that I made with the awesome True Faceted Heart Cutaways (dies).  I have to tell you first that every product I used from W&W is top quality.  The stamps are so nice to use (high quality photopolymer) and the resulting images are crisp.  The same can be said for the dies--they call them Cutaways over there ;)--the cuts are precise and clean.  If you've never checked Winnie & Walter out, please do; you won't be disappointed!

I made 2 projects with the cutaways and for both, I cut my hearts out of paper-thin wood.  I wish I had had the forethought to take a photo of it, but I bought it last year at Joann in a 12x12 sheet.  The manufacturer is ARC Crafts and this color is White Birch.  I wanted to use something a little different and while I dug deep through all of my specialty papers and even considered some fabric, I found this wood sheet that I had been saving and knew right away this was it.  (Here's a snap of my second project where you can see the paper up close.)

I cut my first heart from the wood and then punched out all of the tiny triangles and other shapes (they come out easily and cleanly).  I spread a thin layer of decoupage glue over the heart, which I then covered in this deep pink/fuchsia glitter.  After letting it dry, I sprayed it with a light coat of hairspray, which works as a sealer.  While it doesn't prevent every flake of glitter from coming off, it definitely helps.

I tucked a small gift for a friend into a 4x6 muslin bag and used a couple of other W&W cutaways to assemble the rest of my packaging.  The long and short tags are cut from gold foil printed vellum and glitter paper (both Crate Paper) and cut with the Essentials: Katharine Cutaways.  I trimmed 'love' from the same wood veneer as the heart, but left it untouched otherwise and just looped the drawstring through the L.  I fell a little in love with lavender while putting these projects together so a swatch of torn fabric in that hue is the last bit to finish off the gift.

My second project is a card and this time, I used the faceted heart as well as the piece of wood I cut it from.  I left the facets intact on the die cut heart, just because I liked the way it looked.  Tucked behind the heart on the card is the negative heart shape.  As I was playing around, I layered the two together and decided I'd build my embellishment cluster from that, also sneaking in another vellum Katharine die cut tag.

I used The Big the Bold and the Happy Cutaways again, cutting 'hello' out of the veneer, just under the heart, and using it's negative as well.  A scrap of teal glitter paper draws the eye right to it.  

A couple of my signature clothespins hold the pieces in place and I even made a little flower--in that same lavender fabric as seen in the first project.

Well, Winnie & Walter, thanks for having me along with you this month!  I had a blast and challenged myself to step outside of my comfort zone, which is always a good thing if you're trying to grow.  It will be my pleasure to continue to keep these gorgeous products on repeat for the foreseeable future!  And to my regular followers here at Thurston Post, this is my SIXTH post for February!!  That's a little amazing ;)

Monday, February 15, 2016

gossamer blue :: february inspiration blog hop :: this is bliss

Good morning, all!  It's the 15th which means a new Gossamer Blue Inspiration Blog Hop.  I haven't been able to participate with a post in a few months, so I'm really excited to be back in!  I know the other gals will have some awesome projects to share today--they always do ;)  If you're here from Patricia's lovely blog, welcome!

I ended up making a lot of tags this month.  The Life Pages cards, which I often use my tag base, were so good and I got a bit carried away and made a whole bunch.  There might even be a couple of unfinished ones sitting on my desk, hoping for a free block of time so I might finish them!

I really wanted to make this tag bright and fun, with lots of happy words.  The orange stripes on the 'So this happened' card are just the kind of design I look for when choosing my tag elements.  There's a lot of white, with an interesting pattern, and a nonspecific phrase.  Being that they are likely intended to go in someone's pocket page album, certain phrases don't always work for cards and tags.  So I generally gravitate to the ones that are more generic; like this one. 

I adore this color combination--yellow, orange, mint, and silver.  The word 'BLISS' is from the Fancy Pants puffy sticker sheet and the shade of yellow is gorgeous!  I backed the silver glitter frame with swatches of white lace on top of metallic silver dotted fabric.  It's very similar to the technique I used on the mini card in yesterday's post, showcasing another of my February GB projects.  Doing that adds much-needed texture and keeps the eye moving.

I used a full sheet of silver foil Heidi Swapp stickers as part of my layers.  After seeing Kathleen Graumuller expertly do this back in August, I fell in love with the idea, but this is the first time I've done it.  (*Kathleen was inspired by Chantal Philippe -- Thanks for the fantastic idea, Chantal!)

I chose another tip-top LP card to begin my second tag.  This card had no sentiment, just great colors and lines.  I used more lace and the same polka dot fabric, but added a web of messy mint thread before I adhered the wood "HELLO" to the lace.

A couple of easy extra details like the bow and the tiny white puffy triangle stickers completed the tag.  To match the first tag, I used the lighter mint metal clip; it's a near-perfect match to the aqua-mint on the card.

Thanks for coming by on what I hope is a blissful Monday for you...Sandra Dietrich is your next stop and I know you won't be disappointed there!  You can still find a few kits left so check out the GB store soon, before they sell out!  Better yet, start a subscription if you haven't already.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

XOXO :: happy valentine's day!

Happy Valentine's Day, friends!  Against my own advice, it's been a really crazy month so far and I've had a full plate of work.  It's been really good--and I'm doing better about keeping the balance between family and business, which was a huge goal for me this year.  We're letting the kids dictate what we do today and then it's sushi for I am not working today and I will enjoy my family!  What have you got lined up?

I have a couple fun Valentines (or, rather, affectionate greetings) to share with you today; I made them from the Gossamer Blue February kits. I've found myself making a few more cards lately than I had been and it was a fun change from tags and gift wrap and gift wrap and tags (though there will still be much more of that in the future).  I don't think you can go wrong with pink, gold, and black--especially if Valentine's Day is involved.

The pink and white paper is actually a Life Pages card and I made the pink tassel from embroidery floss--I can't stop making/using them!  The pop of black from the glitter frame is a great contrast for all the surrounding elements.

I definitely used up those black and white fabric bows.  In the package of 12, I think there are only 3 left!  Lace, gold thread, and a gold doily are some of my favorite go-to's for adding texture because they're subtle and inexpensive.

In addition to the pretties from the February kits, I love the gold sequined heart from the December 2015 Bits & Pieces kit (still available!).  Strangely, I didn't use the pack of sequined shapes much while making my projects that month, but I used them all on projects this month!  (Not just my GB things, but a couple of others as well.)

My second card is a mini, sized to use the heart wood die cut as my background.  Laying it against the white card base made it look flat, though, so I layered a piece of lace in between them and it made all the difference!  Again, it adds subtle texture.

Another of my tassels and, yes, another bow--mint this time, though--adhered to it.  I distressed the heart/love mini LP card and added a gold sticker from my stash, plus another strand of gold thread.  The card came together pretty quick, which is always welcome!

I'll be back tomorrow for the Gossamer Blue Inspiration Blog Hop so enjoy your Happy Heart Day and then come back in the morning for a another dose of love with a bit of bliss mixed in!  Until then...XOXO

Saturday, February 13, 2016

papertrey ink :: new moments inked

Hello!  Papertrey Ink is celebrating their 9th anniversary this month with contests, new releases, and a few special announcements.  Be sure to stop by Nichole's blog to get all the details!

Last week, a box of new Moments Inked products arrived at my door from PTI and I know you'll want to see what was in it!  So let's get right to it...

There were a couple of new stamp sets, the first one being a set of tiny icons called Everyday Symbols.  They are so cute and, of course, perfectly sized to fit in the boxes and columns of the MI planners.  In keeping with my efforts to streamline my organization process, I actually haven't used them in my planners yet.  That's not to say these cuties won't ever make an appearance in them, but I had something else in mind when I saw them.

My 5-year-old started school in September and there is a ridiculous amount of things to remember!  Most, if not all, of those responsibilities fall on me--I'm sure many of you can relate ;)  In an effort to keep it all straight--and in the event of a Momergency and Dad has to take over for a day or two--these little stamps and a simple calendar are the solution.

I found the calendar in the Target dollar spot a month or two ago ($3 for 12 monthly pages and a sturdy wooden clipboard).  It's easy enough to make your own version with some printables; a browse through Pinterest can probably help with that.  With a little creative thinking, I found a symbol for each item we need to remember on a routine basis.  Some just worked out perfectly (the envelope, the book, the car) while others were adapted to fit.  I chose a different PTI ink color--nothing girly, of course--for each icon and the result is a hit with Gus.  It's colorful, he can recognize most of the symbols and learn the ones that aren't so obvious, and he is also learning to have some responsibility for his school things.  All of that in a little stamp set!

And in case anyone needs a reminder, I stamped each picture on a long white Post-it with an explanation and stuck it directly to the clipboard.

This was not time-consuming at all and I even went ahead and filled out March & April.  It's easy enough to add other appointments or reminders as they arise, too. 

Speaking of the Post-it notes, the other stamp set was Posted II, which is the longer version of the original, released last year to customize sticky notes.

The new stamp set contains an unlined numbered list, a lined list with a label title, and a few phrases that fit in the title box.  To be honest, my first thought was that this was going to entail an awful lot of work just to make a list on a Post-it that I'd end up throwing out soon after.  But as I thought about it, I decided that if the list I made could be something I would refer to for, say, an entire month, then it might be worth it.

So I made a monthly task list of items I want to address and I put it on the back page of the previous month.  Turns out, I actually really like this idea!  I tried a couple different ways, both numbered and lined, and I'll go back and forth.

**It is worth mentioning that you will need a long acrylic block to use this stamp, since it is approximately 3x6 inches.  If you're an avid stamper, you probably have one, but if you only moonlight, then you may not.**

The next item on the list is the Perpetual Daily Pages.  I bet there are some super-happy people out there!  These are really cool, too, and come in both the spiral and binder editions, just as the planners do.  The binder pages are loose leaf; the spiral pages are bound on a sturdy coil, like the planner.

I mentioned in my last Moments Inked post (before I knew these were going to be released), that while I did end up using the daily pages quite a bit in 2015, I had found other means of recording the same information for 2016--a dedicated Gratitude journal, using my MI spiral planner as a health and wellness tracker, etc.  So, hmmm, what to do with these new pages?

Well, I'm still using them as daily notes.  I take a stack at a time of the loose leaf sheets (maybe 30), bind them to a small clipboard (again, from Target), and keep it by my side as I work.  I LOVE this set up!  I fill out my top 3 family tasks and the day of the week in the box under the perpetual calendar, then use the "Focus" box as the same thing, only for business.

I love that the colors are gray and white because I can use pretty markers and even find myself coloring or doodling on them when I'm trying to think; it's kind of relaxing.  I also like that these are undated.  I've decided I will not keep the pages when I'm finished with them.  These are daily notes, used to quickly keep track of certain aspects of my schedule, and when I have the chance, I'll fill in the appropriate designated journal or planner (MI binder, gratitude, health, etc) and then recycle these pages.  Doing it this way the last few days has actually been a benefit, as I feel like there's less of a panic to fill in every book every night before I forget things.

The last item for the day is the Binder Listed die.  It's exactly like the Tabbed List die, but for the binder (obviously).  It has the same proportions so the Listed stamp set is compatible.

Instead of making a list for this post, though, I made a page marker, which I felt was sorely needed in my binder.  It wasn't an issue last year with the spiral edition, as I generally kept it open and folded back to the current day.  Since you can't fold the binder back, I keep it closed when it's not in use.  There are paper and binder clips that will mark pages, I know, but I think this is a fun idea, too.

I made my bookmark from a Pink Paislee specialty acetate so it won't rip or tear like regular paper.  It'll get banged around and moved weekly so I wanted to use something stronger than cardstock.  If you want to use paper or cardstock, I'd suggest laminating it.

I die cut a tab and stamped TODAY on it from the Listed set.  Even though the hues of the triangles are not PTI, they are similar shades and this marker will complement each month's PTI color scheme.  It also helps that it's transparent so that with a quick glance, I can still see what's happening on the page underneath.

So there you have it--these fun new products will be released on the 15th!  Today is a group post so be sure to check out how the rest of the MI team has put their products to use.  Stop by Nichole's blog to see photo teasers and links from the other girls.  And don't forget all the fun anniversary happenings over there, too.  Thanks for stopping by! 

Supplies used:
All supplies Papertrey Ink, unless otherwise noted.

Moments Inked:
2016 Binder & Planner Pages
Binder Perpetual Daily Pages
Everyday Symbols stamp set
Posted II stamp set
Binder Listed Dies
Listed stamp set
Posted stamp set (original)
Large Post-its

True Black, Raspberry Fizz, Aqua Mist, Limeade Ice, Orange Zest, Tropical Teal, New Leaf, Summer Sunrise, Hawaiian Shores, Ripe Avocado, Enchanted Evening, Canyon Clay

Cedar Lane Acetate (Pink Paislee)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

pinkfresh studio - hello, felicity!

Even though it's a bit late, I'm thrilled to bring you my first post as a member of the Pinkfresh Studio Design Team!  The announcement was made at the end of 2015 and this post debuted on the PS blog early in January, so you may have already seen it.  But just in case you missed it, I'm sharing it here now, as well.  I fell in love with Pinkfresh the minute they debuted and I happily accepted a guest post last September.  I was over the moon when Kinnari asked me to be on the 2016 DT and it is because of her that I made it to CHA this year.  So, a month in, it's already been an amazing experience on this team and I'm looking forward to a year filled with beautiful colors, graphic patterns, and being surrounded by a team of talented women and an owner who is unbelievably supportive of that team.  As I get ready to share my 2nd post on Monday, I'll sneak you a little peek of the good stuff here...

I made all of my projects with the new Felicity collection and I'm loving all the bright colors and the sweet, fresh feeling of the entire line.

For my first project, I made gift tags to accompany some simply wrapped kraft boxes.  I wanted to highlight the bold colors of some of the elements so I used lots of white in my tags, which is a trend you'll see throughout the whole collection.

Taking a hint from the white and yellow triangle die cut tag, I minimally embellished a couple of other white tags; one with a wood heart, the other with the 'Happy little moments' washi tape.

I used another strip of the washi to cover a mini clothespin which clips the tag to the package.  I adhered the tape to the clothespin and trimmed off the excess with an X-acto knife.  It's one of my favorite finishing touches!

There is something I love about a bright green and yellow combination; maybe it signifies something new and cheerful--grass and sunshine?  I'm not sure, but I felt the ampersand needed a sunny yellow tassel (and a little pink wood heart, too).  The heart paper is one of my favorites and I love that the pattern is replicated in washi tape (on the clothespin) and another die cut tag (peeking out from behind the ampersand).

Nothing but good vibes here!  Definitely trying to keep them going all year!

{The wrap is made from my own stash of fabric, crepe paper, and twine.  I made the tag tassels with embroidery floss and a jump ring.  **And for anyone who has inquired or is curious, I'm hoping to do a tutorial on how I make those very soon!}

I couldn't resist yellow again here; I personally love that Felicity boasts quite a bit of this color.  I paired it with peach again for a set of simple mini cards and envelopes.

Wherever possible, I love to add texture.  This small set has 7 kinds of it--washi, wood, thread, tulle, doily, glitter tape, and paper.  I adhered the yellow triangle washi tape to a 4 x 3 card base, then piled on my doily, tulle, and metallic gold thread.  The 'Enjoy the little things' sentiment from the die cut pack is the perfect little message, adorned with a wood heart.  And it nestles sweetly inside a matching handmade envelope.

Since leaves and birds are symbolic of springtime, those two washi strips seemed appropriate here.  And the matching envelope?  Made with the bird on the wire paper, of course!

Thanks for stopping by today!  You'll definitely want to get your hands on the Felicity collection when you see it; as the name suggests, it's going to make you nothing but happy!