Tuesday, September 30, 2014

playing catch-up

Hello!!  I'm playing "card catch-up" this week.  I've made so many cards lately but haven't had a chance to post them.  I actually made these two back in February, I think!  A bit late, yes?

This duo is made from the Styleboard collection, a Maggie Holmes line for Crate Paper.  As I write this, I'm hopeful that her latest, Open Book, is on the truck to be delivered today.  It's kind of ridiculous to hope for that since I received a wonderful box of Gossamer Blue goodies yesterday and they're still sitting in the box because I haven't had a chance to put them away yet.  And the Silhouette Cameo that I got on September 19th?  Yeah, still unopened, sitting by the front door.  And then, for some reason (I think it was peer pressure), I was compelled to acquire some of that Heidi Swapp Project Life product that everyone's using and raving about.  Haven't opened that, either.  It's a disease!   

Now that I'm looking at these cards again, it makes me want to revisit Styleboard.  There's still time, I guess, because it doesn't appear that Open Book will be arriving today.  The cream/black dot paper was my favorite in the collection and those pretty, pretty colors...I definitely need to do more with this "old" line.  If only the days had a million hours in them instead of just 24, right?

And if I took out my Cameo, set it up, and learned to use it, I could be making my own vellum cutouts.  It's good to have dreams.  I'll tell you, though, I'm working on something really, really fun today that is a bit different from the things I normally make.  It is the absolute perfect fall project and I'll be sharing it in October on the Gossamer Blue blog.

Back to those GB collections...thought you might want a peek.  I took this photo as soon as they arrived at my door yesterday.  I had already been working with the warm, autumn-themed Gramercy Road (look up ^), but I am so in love with On My Desk, you don't even know!  Those bright colors, the gold, all of those tiny wood veneer pieces?  Heaven!  And I think Get Happy is definitely going to be my favorite Christmas collection this year.  I have a feeling this stuff will go quick so if you like what you see here, you'd better hurry over to the GB shop and scoop it up!

Then when you're done doing that, I'm hoping to have this pretty stuff listed in my Etsy shop in a day or two...gold, silver, and white shimmery tinsel twine.  It is delicious!

Have a lovely evening!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

happy autumn!

Autumn has arrived!  Do you love the fall or see it as the precursor to the long, dreary winter months ahead?  I think I kind of love it!  It's very strange, actually, autumn in Southern California, because the first few weeks are usually hotter than all of summer.  I miss autumn in (upstate) New York--the smell of the grape harvest, taking long scenic drives along country roads to see the spectacular fall foliage, apple cider and donuts from the local apple orchard--that is, as the picture states, "quintessential autumn."

Beginning this month, Gossamer Blue is manufacturing their very own collections of scrapbooking paper and embellishments.  It's pretty exciting news over there and a few of the DT members were lucky enough to have the first crack at the new stuff.  I got to try out the Gramercy Road line by One Little Bird (for GB).  It's fall-themed, but versatile enough to be used year round.  The patterns of paper are mostly neutral and "petite"--by which I mean that there are few sweeping, giant strokes or designs.  They are not bold, they are not showy.  But they are modern and graceful and play very, very well with others.  The colors are serene and soft--charcoal gray, baby pink, pale aqua, taupe, navy--accented with a couple of louder surprises--marigold and chartreuse.  The collection features assorted patterned paper, die cut ephemera, die cut leaves, chipboard stickers, labels galore, enamel dots, tags, and a really nice stamp set that I can't wait to use!   There's probably even a few items I forgot to mention so be sure to check out the collection in it's entirety.  Rumor has it that it will be for sale very soon!

  *I must add that the black and white diamond paper seen as my backdrop here is not part of the Gramercy Road collection--although it would fit in seamlessly.  It's actually "Memo" from Crate Paper's Notes & Things.  It's become my go-to background, in case you hadn't noticed.

I guess I should say a little about the project...I wanted to make something cozy and fall-ish.  Since I always get reminiscent this time of year, I thought I would make something as an ode to all of the crafty ladies in my family--my mother, my aunt Connie, and my grandmothers.  The hoop signifies the dozens upon dozens of embroidery pieces they've each made.  And the doily--made by my great-grandmother-- helps my home decor project achieve the warm, homespun quality I was hoping for.  I paired it with the picture of the adirondack chairs on my parents' deck because, as I said, autumn in New York, for me, really is the epitome of the season. 

I took the photo last November when we were visiting right after my mother died.  There was just a bit of snow covering the leaves on the deck but the sun was shining on the chairs and it looked so pretty.  I know she sat out there every summer afternoon and read and I wanted to capture the memory of her favorite spot.  I think she'd be pleased.

Happy Fall!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

lovely letters - trifold notes

Here's a bit more Crate Paper for you on this lovely Saturday evening!  They have a new series over on their blog called "CP Letterhead" and from time to time, you'll see some projects featuring one of my most favorite things in the world: Stationary!  I covet notecards like you wouldn't believe--most likely because they are beautiful designs on a small-scale.  So when they introduced CP Letterhead, I jumped at the chance to make my own.

I made a bundle of trifold notes--remember those?--for a post on the CP blog on Thursday.  These were so much fun to make, and incredibly easy, too.  

You can read the post in it's entirety right here.  I've recently decided I need to send more snail mail and hope to have a post (or a few) on my efforts in correspondence.  I definitely think this world needs more good news and happy hello's knocking at the door, don't you?  

And speaking of happy mail, I got some yesterday...I finally, FINALLY am the proud owner of a Silhouette Cameo!  I am so excited!  Am I the last person in the paper crafting realm to get one?!  I've seen so many amazing and inspirational projects by other designers using theirs and am amazed by all of the things this machine allows you to create.  Thanks to Amazon's good deal (and Prime free 2-day shipping), I can begin to master cut files.  But first, where the heck am I going to put this new prized possession?!

Tonight, I also want to take just a moment to thank all of you for your kind comments.  You have no idea how much I truly appreciate that you've taken the time to leave one.  It means everything to know I'm not posting to crickets and that there are actual, live, beautiful people out there who enjoy what I'm making.  So...THANK YOU!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

free your heart tags

Hi there!  Well, I made my Gossamer Blue blog debut yesterday (Tuesday) and today I'm pretty excited to share the project with you here.  My favorite part of this is the muslin bag packaging.  Those gold foam hearts by Pink Paislee are the perfect little detail for everything.

I can't seem to get away from Crate Paper's Notes & Things, can I?  It doesn't bother me if it doesn't bother you!  (But I promise I've made some things using other manufacturer's products and just as soon as I get the chance, I'll be sharing those.)

Oh how I ADORE that darling black and white bitty dots design!  I tried to stretch out my sole sheet of it as much as I could, and I still have a few scraps left.  It's called "Sweet Caroline" by One Little Bird.  It is absolutely lovely.

I must also mention that since joining the GB team, I have become immersed in the talent over there.  Everyone is insanely gifted, I swear--from the in-house graphic designers (like One Little Bird's Peppermint Granberg) to the amazing ladies on the Scrapbook, Life Pages, Cards, and Projects teams.  It has really opened my eyes to new (to me) trends--art journaling, letter writing, even seeing Project Life in a whole new way.  It sucks.  My time was already pretty much dominated by family, Design Teams, and Etsy.  Now I have to make room for all of these other interests!  Plus Instagram.  I'm a bit hooked on that at the moment, as well.

I was totally chatting about other things while I was supposed to be discussing this set of tags, wasn't I? No worries!  You can read all about them on the GB blog :)  Enjoy!

Monday, September 15, 2014

gossamer blue september projects - part two

Is it Monday again already?  Goodness, the weeks do fly by, don't they?  Well, this post is about a week late, but I hope you'll forgive me.  It's going to be a Gossamer Blue & Crate Paper kind of week here on the blog.  I've got all kinds of stuff that I hope you're going to love!

Today I have 2 more projects for you from the GB September kits.  {You can see my first round of projects here.}  Happily, the kits included a bunch more of Crate Paper's Notes & Things so I got to cushion my stash of it and I am not sad about that!  Also included this month were Jen Hadfield, Shimelle, and Pink Paislee Solstice collections.  My very favorite part of this card is the paper plane "Dreamer" wood accent.  It's a GB exclusive and came in the Life Pages Main Kit.  I like the entire message on this card, too:  you can go your own way, beautiful dreamer...I hope it inspires someone somewhere to do something they've always wanted to do.

{Other supplies from Main KitBits & Pieces KitThemed Add-On}  

I'm on the GB Projects Team, which basically means my monthly commitments are anything BUT cards or layouts.  But once I had met those obligations for September, I couldn't help but get back to my original roots with a couple of cards.  The first one was very pretty, feminine, and layered.  The second one is the complete opposite of that.  It's minimal and much more laid back and I like both styles equally.  The only bummer is that the pink heart is neon and because I can never get neon pink to come out in photographs, it doesn't look as cool here as it does in real life.

{Supplies used:  Main KitThemed Add-On}

I still have 2 more projects to share from the September kits, but I'll hold off on those for just a bit.  The rest of the week will see my very first Gossamer Blue blog post and a Crate post--both projects of which I'm pretty excited about!  Behind the scenes, my October GB kits have arrived and it's time to get to working with those--they are so amazing!

Have a happy Monday!

Friday, September 12, 2014

festive friday 40 {pink + shimmer}

Yay, it's Friday!  And, if you can believe this, I'm actually posting my Festive Friday card on Festive Friday!!  Hooray!  Look at this gorgeous, shimmery photo...I told you it was a good one, didn't I?  I've been waiting all year for this challenge!

I obviously took my cue from the colors, but the two silver cone trees stood out, too, and I used some glittery triangles from Studio Calico to make my own.  I mixed my metallics, using both silver and gold because they were used in the photo, and because they each compliment the blush pink so well.  This is still one of my favorite color combinations right now--maybe my most favorite since I can't seem to stop making things with these colors.  Both the wood and rhinestone stars are from SC, as well.  I pulled the pink journaling card from Maggie Holmes' Styleboard collection.

It's a busy Friday and will be a busy weekend so I'll leave you with just this...but if you've fallen in love with the inspiration photo as I did, you can play along with the challenge--we'd love to have you!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Indie Craft Sampler September Box {& an interview!}

Saturday was an awesome day in the mail--I received my October kits from Gossamer Blue (just wait until you see them--they are AWESOME!) and I got my September box from Indie Craft Sampler.  I couldn't wait to see what was inside and I was not disappointed.  This box was FILLED with neat goodies, all handcrafted by indie artisans.

The first thing I saw was the coffee cup cozy by This Ninja Crochets.  Don't you want one, too?!  I put it to work on Monday's trip to Starbucks--it was most effective at keeping my hot americano from burning my hand.  Aren't those triangle earrings from Whole Grain Flair awesome?  They're leather!  And because I'm a sucker for packaging, I fell in love with the way these tiny things come wrapped up.  The little felt pencil hair clip is made by Blue Umbrella Designs.  I think it's the perfect little present for my niece, Hazel, who gave herself a haircut a few weeks ago and just started kindergarten.  

Next up are the beautiful scents that I noticed right away when I opened the box.  I can't decide whether to be greedy and keep all 3 soaps from Allie-Jewel to myself, or if I should be kind and give one or two away to friends...They just smell so good!  Beige/Dusk/&/Greys (love that name) makes "hand formulated cosmetics" and they smell wonderful!  Included in the mini sampler are polishing grains, hair oil, and night serum.  And then there is the lovely Hydrangea soy candle from Addylu Candles.  I've been enjoying the summer-scent in the evenings, and when it's all gone, I'm left with a small mason jar--bonus!  

Altered Iris makes the gorgeous collage art prints--I think the "those who hope..." saying is beautiful and uplifting, don't you?  Stationary is one of my obsessions so I'm totally smitten with the Tori & Ollie notecard.  Victoria Gedvillas' illustrations are all so soft and pretty...oh, to be that talented!  And last, but not least, a few all-natural, organic dog biscuits from Big Daddy Biscuits.  Sadly, we said goodbye to our sweet and loyal Rudie-Girl a couple of months ago, but I definitely know of a couple other pups who deserve these yummy treats!

My entire experience with Indie Craft Sampler--both as a contributor and a customer--has been nothing but positive.  Tenika and her team WANT independent crafters to be successful and she's gone out of her way to help us all out by starting up this monthly subscription service.  She showcased everyone on the ICS blog, kept us all in the loop, asked for input and feedback, and even remembered to thank us all after the first batch of boxes shipped.  And what you get each month is sure to be a box packed full of unique, quality items handcrafted with love and care.  It's a win-win for everyone!

If you'd like to buy a box, visit the ICS website for all the details.  If you'd like to contribute, you can check out some FAQs and then fill out the application.

On a side note, I'm very excited to direct you to the little interview I did with ICS--the questions were awesome (some serious, some fun) and I was honored that Tenika asked me to be a part of the "10 Questions With..." series.  Please check it out!  And, of course, be sure to check out all of the contributors.  The holidays are coming up, after all, and shopping handmade is another win-win for all!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

festive friday 38 & 39

Since I'm a bit behind on my Festive Friday posts, I thought I'd give you a bit extra this week.  It is getting to that time of year when I, personally, start to have Christmas projects on the brain.  The holidays are a big time on Etsy and this year I've made a vow to actually be prepared.  Last year, my mother's passing in November left me a bit bewildered during the season.  The year before, my shop was just starting to find it's wings and fly when the holidays started and while I was incredibly thrilled with the success, I was also caught way off-guard.  This year (I hope) will be different.

Honestly, my execution here was not the best.  I'm always playing catch-up and turning in my projects at the last minute and so, in July, I knew August would find me very busy--joining the Gossamer Blue team and returning to FF and Crate Paper after a brief hiatus--so I made all of my cards for FF ahead of time.  It worked well for the first 2 challenges--there were 3 last month.  For the third one, I found I had made a card using the wrong prompt and so I had nothing for last week's post.  Therefore, I really wanted to contribute something for the mid-challenge.  And this was it...

I focused on the branches and wanted something...branchy.  I know that's an absurd explanation but I don't really know what else to say.  I had this very old "peace" die cut card from a long gone Making Memories kit and the holly leaves reminded me of the pine branches in the photo.  I was also looking to create something almost resembling a wreath, but not quite (you know, branchy).  That's how I chose the placement of the glittery sprig and snowflakes.  The doily and the 2 photo frames hold everything together.  And since it may be difficult to tell, this is a package topper!  {Not my best week, I'm well aware!}

You still have until Wednesday to submit an entry (or more) to this week's challenge.  We love stopping by your blogs to see what you've made so be sure to link up!

In the end, I wasn't too sure about the peace topper so I happened to lay a green sprig on a muslin bag.  To take the inspiration photo literally, I placed the wooden "happy holidays" over it and fell in love!  I love it's simplicity and perhaps should have submitted it as my FF contribution instead of the peace thingy, but I just wasn't sure if everyone else would find it's simplicity as endearing as I do.  What do you think?

Now, let's go all the way back to the challenge of August 15th (ffc38).  This was one of my most favorite compositions and I found it incredibly inspiring.  I actually kept all of my black and kraft embellishments out on my desk for the entire month of August, hoping I'd have time to make a second project with them, but alas, it was not meant to be.

I've been attracted to kraft and gold lately, but I also really like black and gold when mixed with a white or a cream so I took my inspiration from the colors here.  The bold black and white stripes caught my eye, as well.

I wanted a lot of textures on this card and got them from lace, glitter, sequins, and distressing the mini cards {from Elle's Studio}.  Like a lot of families, every year at Christmas we made cookies and I think of it every holiday season.  It's a bit tougher to do now with the little ones, but I think this year Mr. Bagubian will be at the age where he'll have fun helping out--and of course, sampling!!  I will definitely be keeping the "treasured tradition" of holiday cookie baking alive and well.

Coming up on the 12th is another FF challenge and it is a gorgeous photograph!  You won't want to miss it!  Thanks for stopping by and do enjoy the rest of your lovely weekend!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Gossamer Blue September Projects, Part One

Well, here we are in September already which means I get to FINALLY show you the projects I made using the Gossamer Blue kits.  I ended up making a bunch of things--many more than I intended to but you know how it happens: one thing leads to an idea for another thing and so on and so on and I got a little carried away.

I come from a picturesque little village on Keuka Lake in upstate New York.  Although we didn't own a house on the lake, the home I grew up in sat atop a hill overlooking it.  My mother grew up in a neat red house on the lake and she loved anything beach-related.  She was also one who decorated for every season.  Each summer she turned our home into a red-white-and-blue beach house (minus the beach). While I'm not one to go for the nautical decor theme, I was inspired by the Life Pages Themed Add-On to pay tribute to my mother and her love of the water.

The centerpiece was the wire basket of frames.  I came up with the idea for the garland first and then needed something to put it on.  The basket was somewhere near my desk, a designated catchall for anything that landed near it.  I gathered my frames and then realized that I have a bunch of memorabilia from my hometown--much of it sent to me by my mom--and the idea grew from a basket to put summer photos in to an entire shelf of beach wares.

Traci Reed designed some of the CUTEST pieces for this kit, including the journaling cards and cork pieces.  I adore the fonts she used for the "high tide..." card and had to feature it prominently on my shelf!

Most of the other pieces from the kit are from Pink Paislee's Solstice collection.  So while I typically don't go all out decorating for every season, I think my mom would be proud.  But does this mean I'm turning into her?!

I wish I had a better photograph of this white frame because I love the way it turned out!  This is all the Main Kit except for the gold dot tag which is from the LP themed kit.  Since I love Crate Paper's Notes & Things line so much, I was very excited to get a bit more of it in the GB kits this month.

I made this for Nemy but I will confess I haven't put it in her room yet because I'm not done admiring it.  I love it for it's sweetness and it reminds me of her so I'm keeping it in my studio for now. 

I have more projects to share, but this weekend will be a long-overdue Festive Friday post so I will have the GB stuff early next week.  In the meantime, they are all up in the GB Gallery, so you can see them there.  I've also recently been trying to post daily pretties on Instagram so feel free to drop by and check that out (@thurston_post).

I'd like to close by saying that I love our big, beefy Honda Pilot.  Two weeks ago Hoss was rear-ended on his way to work.  He was fine; there was a bit of damage to the back of the Pilot, but nothing major. He went out of town last week and so we haven't had a chance to take it in for repairs yet.  Maybe that was a good thing since, as we were driving home from our little family picnic at the park on Labor Day, we were hit from behind AGAIN!  And again, we were all fine and there was no significant damage to our car.  The two cars that hit us took pretty good hits to their fronts; I have always loved the Pilot and I love it even more now for keeping us safe.

On a side note, we had just transferred Nemy out of her infant seat and into Mr. Bagubian's old carseat.  We bought him a new one and it was his very FIRST time riding in it!  Now we have to get 2 new carseats.  What a waste!  But, I'm grateful we were all just fine.  I'd rather experience a few fender benders than one major accident--especially with the kids.  Be safe out there!