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GCD + Circle Week: Exploring Patterns

             Hey friends, it's Circle Week at GCD and I'm excited to share two fun approaches to incorporating pattern in new ways; drawing attention to this sometimes overlooked, but very versatile shape. 
     Pattern, simply defined is the repetition of a design element. It's easy to be tempted to punch a lot of circles or scallops and then layer them onto a card to create a simple pattern. However, I like to challenge myself, so I needed to think of an approach that hadn't been done yet. To accomplish this, I like taking an idea and then twisting it to fit my style, as well as to inspire others, which is what I did for today's first card.
     To jumpstart my creative juices I wandered over to Pinterest to find some inspiration. I totally flipped when I found this image. I loved the layering of the circles, as well as the posititve and negative space the circles create where they overlap. Although, the design is pretty asymmetrical, the repetition of circles and colors create a dynamic, retro feel and an interesting pattern.

Happy Birthday Card
Pattern does not need to be just simple repetition of something over and over. I used shape and the color (blue) to create an asymmetrically balanced pattern of circles.

This card was a cinch! All you need is a circle punch and a template to make the "x-shape." I wanted to focus on the circles overlapping and how they created new shapes that were still rounded and circular.

Circles are a great shape. They can stand alone boldly, but also create a fun intersection of lines when you overlap the shape. I love the chic and retro feel of this card and  GCD's Flower Child was the perfect collection for this design! Bold blues, bright pinks, cheery chartreuse and yellow--such perfection!

Hi Card
Using a template to create a design of repeating patterned paper is another fun take on circles.

For this card all you need to do is trace the template onto paper from  GCD's Oh Happy Day line! I chose Andrea because it was a great neutral background. After trimming the spaces, I added pieces of Emily Rose paper which a collage of all the fun patterns in the Oh Happy Day collection, but smaller scale. I like the idea of a color spectrum and the smaller scale patterns look super festive in the trimmed spaces of the template.

Well, that's it for me today.
Make sure to check the blog tomorrow for more fun ways to use circles.

"Happy Birthday" Card: Patterned Paper: Wondering Geo(1638), Flower Child(1640), Flowery(1641), Hippie Plaid(1643), Layered Geo(1644), Organic Geo(1645), Peacock(1646), Swirling(1648) Flower Child collection.Cardstock: (White) PTI. Accents: (Yellow, and turquoise pearls) Queen & Co. Clear Stamps: (Sentiment) PTI.
Dye Ink: (Tuxedo Black) Tsukineko. Tools: (Corner Rounder) Fiskars.

"Hi" Card: Patterned Paper: (Emily Rose(1763) and Andrea(1773) Oh Happy Day collection.
Cardstock: (White) PTI. Fibers: (Orange ribbon). Accents: (Letter stickers) Basic Grey.
Tools: (Misting mask) Pink Paislee. (Corner rounder) Fiskars.

SEI + Fun and Fresh Wall Hanging

      Hey there! I'm here today to show you a Fun and Fresh Hanging Frame Wall trio that's easy to decorate because it's already pre-made! I found the frame trio base at Michael's for less than $5. The frame is nice and sturdy, made from wood and the frames are connected with little hooks, so it's pretty durable!. What's great about this project is that you can give it as a gift to a friend or hang in a nursery or child's room. You can also remove the inserts in  the frame and re-decorate them over time to reflect changing styles and trends.

The original frame came with a wire hanger which didn't look right with the trendy and graphic look of the patterned paper from SEI's Desert Springs collection. I removed the wire and created looped ribbon ties that work better with the clean lines and simple patterns and shapes of the Desert Spring collection. Just trim two strips of ribbon, bend and adhere the edges to the back of the ribbon loop and secure with a strong adhesive. What's great about the looped ribbon ties is that the front of the ribbon ties can hide nails or thumbtacks holding up the frame trio.
To make the frames: To cover the three wooden frame bases, turn the frame over onto the backside of the Nankoweap patterned paper, tracing the inside and outside edges. Then trim with a craft knife or paper cutter. Trim a square base from Silver Grotto for the inside of each frame and apply some modeling paste to the center with your finger.

 For the first frame, I trimmed Shinumo Falls and paper from Field Notes 12 x 12 paper pad into strips and notched the edges into banners and pennants. Punch a hole in the tops of the pennants and banners and push a stick pin through the top. Tie a bow from twine and punch a star from SEI's yellow velour paper and adhere it all to the Silver Grotto paper base.

Desert Springs also includes fabulous border strips with fancy decorative edges, I trimmed several strips into smaller pieces that would fit inside the frame. I added a piece of lace to add some texture, softening the lines of the border strips. I then trimmed a sentiment from the Inscription perforated sheet, notched the edge and thread a bow made from twine through it. 

I trimmed pennants from Nankoweap and Vaseys Paradise and adhered them to the Silver Grotto base. Then I punched circles from Nankoweap and Redwall Cavernn and affixed them to  coordinating vintage settings from Epiphany Crafts  and adhere them to the base. Finally, I punched a star and affixed it with some pearls to the center of a setting.

Well, that's it for me today! Hope you're inspired!


Avocado Arts + Pretty Fresh Floral

      Hey there friends! I'm here to share with you yet another way to incorporate Avocado Art's totally adorable chicken wire frame stamp into your paper-crafted projects! This chicken wire frame stamp is my favorite image from the Thoughts and Smiles set, from Avocado Art's May release. It's super versatile, fits my style perfectly and the chicken wire is a beginning trend that I am seeing start to pop up.

Ooh, I just had to use fresh, fun colors for this card.
I simply adore The Girl's Paperie, 
but sadly they no longer exist. But, the Kitsch line with it's lively pattern and country charm was so fun and lively, I thought it would suit the chicken wire frame stamp nicely.

I sponged some cardstock with blue ink, stamped the chicken wire frame stamp over the blue, and trimmed it from cardstock. I then stamped a vine from the Wishes and Kind Thoughts set over the chicken wire frame image. I then fussy-cut the flowers from patterned paper and adhered them

Well, that's it for me today. Make sure to visit my fabulous fellow Pit Crew to see more sneaky peeks of next month's set!


GCD + The "B" Week

      Hey there friends, I'm excited to share with you my first project with GCD Studios. This week at the blog were exploring the letter "B" so today I am going to show you how to incorporate blankets into your paper-crafting. By looking at the smooth edges, fun patterns that you find on quilts and the soft texture of blankets, you can easily find fun ways to incorporate blankets into your paper-crafting.
     For my first card I was inspired by these two photos. Triangles are a fun trend right now, and I liked how they changed direction row by row in the first blanket. I was inspired by the second blanket's use of different patterned fabrics, but arranged them according to colors.
             Source                      Source

    So, I took the triangles from the first blanket, and the grouping of patterns according to color from the second blanket and combined them into this adorable card. The Splendid collection worked perfectly in terms of color and pattern size, considering the teeny little triangle size

I rounded the corners of the Labels and Tags paper and then used pinking sheers to trim the bottom edge, mimicking the look of fabric swatches, with the soft corners of a blanket. I even added a pleated ribbon to add a bedskirt-type look.

I popped up a few of the triangles with foam tape. A little stitching at the top reminds me of the stitching on a blanket or quilt.

For my next card I was inspired by the pinwheel shape found in this quilt

Making the pinwheel shape found in the quilted blanket is so easy!
1. Punch or trim triangles.
2. Adhere to card as shown in picture, affixing some triangles with foam tape

The embossed dots border reminds me of the dotted texture that you find on baby blankets.

I loved the blues, greens and browns found in the Bonjour collection. The colors are soft and muted, also mimicking the feel of blankets.

Well, that's it for The B Week! I hope you enjoyed all the ideas we showed you!

"Thanks for All You Do" Card:

"Pinwheel" Card:

Paper Crafts Magazine Card Creations Volume 10 Blog Hop WINNER

The lucky winner of the Paper Crafts Magazine Card Creations is 
who said
"I love all the different ways you have incorporated ribbon into your projects! Gorgeous cards!"
                                                                   May 12, 2012 2:59 AM

Please email me: with 
your mailing address so the team at
can send you your free issue!

Thanks everyone for the lovely and sweet comments! Totally brightened my day!

Avocado Arts + A Little Catching Up

     Hey there friends! Today's the sneak post, which are my favorite because I get to mix stamp sets! You're going to really enjoy next month's release which us perfect for the man in your life, but here's an early sneak peak that will show you a way to soften the set with this month's current set, Wishes and Thoughts from Avocado Arts. 
I stamped the framed chicken wire image and tag from  Wishes and Thoughts on woodgrain paper and trimmed it. Then, I stamped the envelopes from next month's set on cardstock, trimmed and adhered over floral die cuts with clothespins. I thought the cute flowers with the envelopes against a pink patterned paper was soft and feminine.

I love the dimension! The sentiment is also from next month's set!

Today the whole Pit Crew will be sharing more sneaky peeks of next month's set!


SEI + Garden Birdhouse decor

     Hey there! I'm here to share with you an adorable project you can make very easily and can be used to decorate a potted plant in your garden, a flower bed or even an indoor potted plant! Vanilla Sunshine is full of wonderful colors of yellow, turquoise and pinks, with cute patterns making it the perfect SEI collection for this little birdhouse.

     I was inspired to make this charming birdhouse when I saw it at Target in the dollar area! I was ecstatic and knew that Vanilla Sunshine would match the yummy turquoise color of the birdhouse. Note that this isn't an actual birdhouse, (the hole is super tiny) merely decorative. Because it was pre-assembled and painted all I needed to do was add the decorative trim. 

     The entire birdhouse is embellished with Vanilla Sunshine's Dimensional Elements borders. The borders are pre-cut and have fancy, decorative edges, making this birdhouse a cinch to embellish. For the trims on the front and sides of the birdhouse, I measured the borders to see if they fit and adhere them to the house. I added the cute yellow and white time from Vanilla Sunshine's Sundries--Super duper quick and easy!

    What I loved most about this birdhouse was the cute roofline that was like a blank canvas waiting to be embellished. I trimmed and alternated strips of the Vanilla Sunshine borders to cover it, even adding a little green chevron washi tape!

    This is a fun and easy project to make for your own garden or give to a friend. If you choose to place it outside, I would coat it with Modge Podge to help it withstand the weather and watering!


Paper Crafts Magazine Presents Card Creations Volume 10 Blog Hop

     Hey there friends! Welcome to Paper Crafts blog hop! You should be arriving from the blog of Angeline Yong Jeet Leen.  I was so happy to be asked by Paper Crafts Magazine to participate in today's blog hop! Card Creations is one of Paper Crafts Magazine's most popular issues, filled with inspiration for all your favorite occasions--so you're sure to love it!
     We were asked to celebrate volume 10 in a creative paper-crafting way. So, I went to my craft room, sat at my table and thought about what I look forward in a special issue. I like seeing tons of new product, but my struggle is using all the product I buy from my favorite collections. Voila! The idea came to me! I'll create 10 cards for 10 popular occasions using only 1 paper collection! Not only did I actually get more mileage out of my product, I saved a ton of money, using only trims that I had on hand and one pack of 24 sheets of double-sided paper, stickers and die cuts. I really liked the versatility of Crate Paper's spring 2012 Storyteller collection. There were both feminine and masculine prints, motifs and colors and there was the perfect mix of delicate and manly die cuts too! The 10 occasions that I made cards for are:

Valentine's Day
Lady Birthday
Man Birthday
Mother's Day
Father's Day
New Baby
Children's Birthday
Thank You

So, without further ado, here are 10 cards for 10 occasions.

Valentine's Day reminds me of those cute little mailboxes you had in elementary school where your fellow classmates would place their cards for you in! So, I stamped a mailbox and used a little of the cute diagonal strip mimicking postal packages. A pretty little flower die cut and heart motif makes this a fun and romantic card.

I adore the super pretty red doily die cut and pretty yellow flower die cut. The die cuts are both a little distressed, but lovely and soft when layered over a simple ribbon trim on this feminine birthday card.

Cork board patterned paper is the new woodgrain patterned paper.
With some layering I made it look like the patterned paper and die cuts are "clipped" to the Cork board background for this male birthday card.

This pretty bouquet die cut is perfect for a Mother's Day card. Flowers are synonymous with this holiday and makes a great focal point layered on a simple cork board label.

I thought that the little Volkswagen Beetle die cut would be great for a Father's Day card. Use letter stickers to create a sentiment that's a play on words, and you've got a fun card for any dad.

I am definitely not a baby card person! I never make them. It's not that I don't like baby cards, it's just that I don't ever buy product suitable for a baby card. So, incorporating a baby card for my 10 occasions was a good stretch for my creativity! I thought the "special delivery" die cut and stacked luggage die cut would super cute layered together! Add a "brand new" die cut and you get a congratulations on your new baby!

No set would be complete without a card for a child's birthday.
I was inspired by the green polka dot and orange patterned paper which works well with the lettering patterned papercreating a playful color scheme! Add in some star and candle motifs and you're ready to party!

Layering elements is definitely one of my favorite things to do on a card. When making a wedding card, I was thinking rich and vibrant colors, layered upon one another creating a bold foundation. I loved the little frame die cut and how it repeated the floral motif found in the floral patterned paper.

The painted clothespins are so fun! Plus, there are some great border stickers in this collection. Try using the clothespins to draw interest to miniature die cut flowers that would be lost in a larger project on this thank you card.

Color is a strong element in any design. Using patterned paper that has tints and tones of red and green paper along with a coordinating button set the festive mood for this Christmas card when using non-hoilday paper.

I hope you enjoyed my take on the number 10! Make sure to leave a comment below telling me which card you found most creative for a chance to win your own copy of Card Creations Volume 10.
You can increase your chances of winning by leaving comments on the blogs of the other fabulous designers too!

Emily Branch <--That's me!

Your next stop is the my fellow Avocado Arts pit crew team member and the super talented, Emily Leiphart.


Avocado Arts + Watercolor Flowers

     Hey there friends! Today I am sharing with you how to create a faux watercolor technique that you can try that doesn't require watercolor paint or even a paintbrush.I'm going to show you how to make this super easy effect using Avocado Arts newest set, Thoughts and Smiles

 Creating a watercolor look in your stamping is super easy!
It involves using just the back of your flower and ink!

Here's the steps to making this border trim of flowers.
1. Turn your stamp upside down and
 stick it to a clear block (so the flat side is up).
2. Apply ink.
3. Stamp on cardstock. 
4. Clean stamp and reapply stamp to clear base so it's now right-side up!
5. Apply ink to stamp and stamp over previously stamped image!

The trick to making your stamped image appear to look painted is to double stamp some of your flowers. You can stamp it once on the card and then re-stamp what's left of the ink back onto the card!

Well, that's it for me today. Make sure to visit my fabulous fellow Pit Crew to see more sneaky peeks of next month's set!


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