Friday, April 29, 2016

Outgoing April Pocket Letters

*click on any image to enlarge*

Happy Friday everyone!!! 

I'm so happy the weekend is here so I can work in my yard and help my hubby with our ongoing deck project. He is doing 99.9% of the work with me assisting every now and then. Once everything is finished I'll be doing the power washing (if he lets me) and staining all of the wood. After all of the hard work is over we can decorate it and enjoy. We're both looking forward to the last part! :-)

Today I'm sharing my April pocket letters for my pals at Pocket Letter Pals. Most of them were personal swaps as I've had to cut way back on group swaps. This is a busy time of the year and it's about to get crazier so I'll be taking the month of June off entirely. I'm busy making my May pl's to send out mid-month right now. ;) The above pl was created for my pal, Donna, in Indiana. We decided on a black and white theme with a pop of color. She loves deep vibrant purple hence the purple paper flowers added in random areas. Let me show you a few close ups of her pl which I love because I have a soft spot for this combo. :)

The dress die cut was from my pal, Deb, and I thought it made a nice addition to this pl. The open pearl hearts were also from her. The bows on the 3rd pocket are by Heidi Swapp and the clock ephemera and paper in the middle pocket are by Kaisercraft. Another pal, Tasha, from England sent me a pl wrapped with pretty paper and this "beautiful" title she printed out so I used it and attached it with black gems that Deb had gifted me in her pl. The "hello" is a piece of chipboard by American Crafts. 

I used more of the Kaisercraft paper on the outer pockets and layered a piece of ephemera on the middle pocket to a black base paper. The chess chipboard piece is actually from a Twilight chipboard collection my daughter bought years ago on clearance. We're not fans of the movie series but there's some awesome chipboard in there. When I went rummaging for black and white stuff I came across it and thought it would work next to the playing card. I added a square resin frame to the outside of the middle pocket and framed one end of this beautiful lady. Donna can pop it off and use it for future pl's or crafty projects is she wants to. The paper butterflies are by Recollections and the "friendship" word is by Tim Holtz and was altered with silver acrylic paint. I added a dimensional hashtag in front of the word friendship on the left pocket as well.

Donna likes to fish so I cut out paper from the Timeless collection by Kaisercraft with a fish image and added one of Tim's alpha cards. I decided to spell her name with alpha brads that were in my stash and then glued the card to the paper. For the outer pockets I created themes and added embellishments (the resin camera is by Wendy Vecchi). I'm really happy that she loves her pl! We have another swap set up for July when things are calmer for both of us. 

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Next up is a series of spring themed pl's and the first one went to my pal, Jennifer, in Minnesota. I used one of my fave paper collections by Pink Paislee - Spring Jubilee - and I love the way it turned out. So happy she did too!

I used paper from the collection for the base of each pocket (including the upper left where I tucked in a tag pocket). I added 3 resin birdhouses in keeping with my spring theme and fussy cut flowers, butterflies, and birds also from the collection.

Let's look at some close ups.
I found these tag pockets at Tuesday Morning recently and thought it would be neat to use one to spell out her name and include her letter in it. On the outside of the pocket I added a Pink Paislee flair button which she can remove if she wants to. Chipboard butterflies from the Spring Jubilee collection were used on several of the pockets on this letter as well as the pretty Petaloo orange flowers and leaves. On the far right pocket I cut a Webster's Pages vellum designer paper and added it over the base paper. 

I fussy cut a large butterfly on this label from the paper collection, added some fussy cut cherry blossoms, rub-ons, more flowers, another birdhouse and chipboard butterfly. I added a birdhouse charm to the ribbon bow on the spine.

Another birdhouse, more Petaloo blooms, chipboard butterflies and I spelled out "Spring has Sprung" with Recollections glitter alphas in teal. The pretty pink buttons (on the spine) are by The Girls Paperie and I've been hoarding those for years. It was time to pass them on to someone else to enjoy lol. 

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My pal, Aparna, lives in India and we swap on a regular basis. This time we wanted to exchange spring pl's and she just messaged me this morning that it arrived. Yay!

I used Bo Bunny's Country Garden to create her pl, it's another collection I love and that I've hoarded for a while lol. In addition I also had the rub-ons, ephemera and cardstock stickers so those made an appearance as well. Clear stickers (birdhouse, watering case with flowers and vase with tulips) were in my stash and I added those to. You can see it better in the close ups below.

The middle and far right pockets both have rub-ons and I stamped on the middle pocket. On the outside I added this "bloom where your are planted" cardstock sticker.

The text flowers are part of the design on this dp from the collection and I love them. I simply added some ephemera and to the middle pocket I added two of the clear floral stickers in my stash. I spelled out "spring" in alphas also from the cardstock sticker sheet belonging to the Country Garden collection. 

This row I added another rub-on to the middle pocket, with ephemera from the collection, more ephemera on the left pocket and a clear sticker with a chipboard butterfly on the far right pocket. When I am shipping internationally I tend to keep the front less dimensional so I can fold my pocket letter in thirds and mail out. It seems to help with them arriving in better condition than when mailing flat although I confess I like adding dimension to the front. Oh well, so happy that Aparna likes her pl!

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 The last spring pl went to my pal, Yamil, in Puerto Rico. We're members of a private group over at PLP's and it was the first swap of the group. The theme was Creator's Choice which I have to admit left me a bit perplexed. When I went looking in her profile I realized how much she loves bright colors and fun graphics. I don't know that I nailed her style but I'm happy to report that she loves her pl which makes me a happy girl.  

You might want to put your sunshades on, just sayin'! ;)
Told you it was bright lol! Wish I could remember what paper collection I used. I cut up ATC sections months ago and placed them in a kit I created for quick pl's and forgot to record the paper line. :( Sorry about that!

On the first row I added several chipboard pieces (btw postage to PR is not expensive bc it's a US territory) and some ephemera (39 cents ea) from a Pink Paislee collection. The metal charm on the middle pocket can be removed and she can add it to a bracelet, necklace or use it for crafting. 

Because this paper is so bright I toned the outer pockets down with a sheet of lime green vellum over the dp. If you click on the photo you can see on the left pocket that there's a piece of ephemera where she can add a photo if she wants. I added a strip of washi tape to the bottom and stamped a fun saying in Archival's aquamarine blue ink on white cardstock. The camera is a piece of ephemera by Amy Tangerine for American Crafts and the rest is chipboard except the die cut sunglasses by Taylored Expressions. 

On this row I spelled out her name on cute bunting chipboard from American Crafts. All of the pieces are chipboard with the exception of the skunk magnetic bookmark (which she can remove and use) and bright foam alpha's that spell out the word "fun". Oh I did add border punched grass (MS) to the bottom of each pocket. Even though she likes bright colors I confess I was nervous about sending this pl. So glad she lkes it. :)

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The last one is a vintage style pl and it was for a personal swap with my pal, Mimi, from Rhode Island. I used another collection - Pink Paislee Vogue - that's been in my stash for a while because I've been hoarding it. At least I am now using these papers and sharing them so I feel better. ;)

It was fun to create this pl with ephemera and chipboard pieces from the collection. I did some stamping on the top row and bottom row - I love Vintage and Girl's Night Out - with a My Favorite Things sentiment set. To the spine I added three simple bows and pink striped washi tape. 

Here's a close up of the cute pieces in this collection. So happy Mimi likes her pl and I'm looking forward to our next swap!

Thanks for looking today! I'll be back on Monday with my Incoming Pocket Letters from my pals so be sure to drop by and check out their creativity. 

Have a great weekend, wherever you are!
Lisa xx

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I is for Ink

Hello and Welcome!

We have a new challenge at ABC Christmas Challenge

~ I is for Ink ~ 

This is an easy challenge theme and we hope you'll join us and play along. Our rules are simple - needs to be a new project (no back linking) and of course it should be Christmas themed. 

As for my card I used a wreath image from Just Rite Stampers - Christmas Trimmings set - and inked it with Archival's Fern Green ink. I accented the holly berries with small Kaisercraft red gemstones and stamped the word - wonder - in the center using Archival's Vermillion ink. This is such an easy card to put together that I plan to mass produce a set of these for my daughter to give out to her friends and co-workers this holiday season. I have a stamp set from Hot Off the Press with holiday images and an assortment of small words like the one in the center which I'll use because they fit perfectly. Red satin ribbon tied in a pretty bow adds a finishing touch and my card measures 4" x 4". 

Challenge winners are chosen randomly and will win the prize below. 


one lucky winner will receive a £10 gift voucher
Wild Orchid Crafts specialise in selling Mulberry Paper Flowers and many other embellishments for card making, scrapbooking and craft projects. We started selling our mulberry paper roses back in 2005. Since then we've added a large selection of different flowers and colour choices. All of our mulberry paper flowers are made using natural, renewable resources. The flowers are all handmade by experienced crafts people using high quality materials and great care is taken to ensure that they are made to the highest standard and beauty. You can see all of our flowers and embellishments on our website

To see more inspiration by my design teamies click the challenge link above.

Thanks for the visit today!
Lisa xx

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Fun with Clear Cardstock at The Cutting Cafe

I have a confession!

In the six years that I've been paper crafting this is my first time to use clear cardstock however it won't be the last. I love my clear box which was cut using a file - Square Box with Front Window - from The Cutting Cafe and my Silhouette Cameo. Initially I was concerned about my machine cutting too deep for this cardstock but it's sturdy and held up exceptionally well. I love this stuff!!! While the cutting file came from The Cutting Cafe the clear cardstock (and other wonderful craft supplies) can be found at The Cutting Cafe Shop

The Cutting Cafe

For this project I used two 12 x 12 sheets of clear cardstock to cut the top and bottom of my box. I cut on the solid lines and fold on the dash lines. It came together in a snap and I used double stick tape to attach the corners. It's filled with used wine corks that I collect from restaurants for my crafty friend who makes her own birdhouses. She decorates the exterior with wine corks and sells them to a local shop. Instead of dropping these off in a bag, as I usually do, I thought she might enjoy receiving them in this sweet little box. She'll know immediately what's in it and I think she'll love it. Regina also offers 8.5 x 11 sheets of clear cardstock and you'll find those here

grab button for The Cutting Cafe Shop Blog

Be sure to check out all of the new products - acrylic stamps, paper pads, embellishments, kits - at The Cutting Cafe Shop. For more inspiration visit The Cutting Cafe's blog April 21st {tomorrow} to see the amazing projects my design teamies created using clear cardstock. It's sure to get your creative juices flowing!

Have fun crafting,
Lisa xx

Friday, April 15, 2016

Incoming Pocket Letters

Happy Friday!

Grab a cuppa and join me for a photo heavy post chock full of inspiration by my pals at Pocket Letter Pals!

I'm back as promised with the incoming pocket letters I received in March. I do need to step back and catch up with 3 incoming pl's that I haven't shared here yet. My letters to them are already on my blog (I'll include the link) but I haven't had the chance to get their letters posted here so let's start with those first.

My group swap partner for the Smaller Pocket Letters - Black and White with one additional color at Pocket Letter Pals was Deb from Maine. I love that she used a piano keyboard as her inspiration and it creates a fantastic backdrop for the ephemera she used. I'm happy that she liked her pocket letter from me which you can see here and that we already have another swap in the works for next month. 

You can see the back of her pl below.
On the back she included some bling and charms in our color theme. I can't wait to use these Deb and I love my pl. Thanks so much!

The chalkboard tag attached was fab too!

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The next two are both steampunk themed pl's. This one was for a group swap at PLP's called Steampunk - Victorian Cool and it's from my pal, Virginie, in France. I love the handmade papers she created and all of the metallic touches which are quite spectacular in person. Unfortunately my camera and the lighting last night did not pick up those colors as well as I'd like but I do have some close ups for you. You can see the pl I send to her here

Maybe you can see it better than I thought but just in case here are a few close ups.
{don't know what happened to the top row, couldn't find it but I'll go back and add it}

I wanted you to see her handmade backgrounds and the texture she added with embossing folders. 

Also love the dimension she achieved with found objects like the pop tab.
Thanks Virginie, I love my pl, crafty goodies and this fabulous tag she made me!

This is so awesome and love the trim she placed under the dress. It's popped up on dimensional foam dots and it's amazing in person. Love it, thank you. :) 

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Around the time that the Steampunk - Victorian Cool swap was going on my pal, Sherri, from Michigan asked me if I'd like to swap pl's. I said yes and since I was working on a steampunk pl I suggested that theme and she agreed. (I believe I suggested it, maybe not, who knows lol). Anyway this is the pl she sent me and she not only decorated the front but the back as well. Front side is steampunk and the back side is Victorian, all I can say is that I love it Sherri and thank you for the wonderful goodies you sent me. We have already set up another swap for next month and I can't wait! You can see the pl I made for her here.

Front side

Back side

See what I mean, it's stunning! She tucked goodies into the pockets on both sides and they became part of the design. I was looking at it closer yesterday and she also included a beautiful pendant (bottom left corner) for me to wear as she also creates her own jewelry. I missed that the first time and now it's on a chain. :)

Let's have a few close ups

 This is the front side and with all of the photos I'm sharing (which were all edited) I'm stopping here but you can click on the photo of the back side to see it better. Mainly I wanted you to see how she integrated the craft supplies she shared with me into the design which is so cool. 

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Okay here is where it picks up from my blog post yesterday. This is a pocket letter from my pal, Katrin, in Germany. We swap on a personal basis and one of the themes we explored was fabric. I love fabric but sewing not so much, frankly I stink at it. I've tried but it's just not my thing however it is Katrin's as you can see. The artistry on this pocket letter is amazing and I'm in total awe of her sewing skills. :) If you saw my post yesterday you know I defaulted and made her a mixed media pl (which fortunately she loves, whew). 

   I wish my lighting would have been better when I photographed this. It is so vibrant and colorful in person and there's so much detail. Maybe these close ups will help with viewing. 

I love the owl and noticed him first then I looked down and there was a little white rabbit. My nickname at Pocket Letter Pal's is White Rabbit so how neat is that. 

Looks like she did some fabric piecing which blows my mind. When I sit down to a sewing machine bad things happen lol. I could never do this and so admire those who can sew.

I don't know if she was aware that I love hot air balloons but this pocket just makes me happy. I love the animal prints on this pl and they are all just precious. I'll cherish this forever Katrin, thank you!

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The next pl I received was from Aretha and we were group swap partners for the I Love Horses swap at Pocket Letter Pals. As I mentioned yesterday she is an actual horse trainer so I was thrilled to receive a pl from her. 

I love the silhouettes and the quotes she used.
Thanks Aretha!

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Before I share this incoming pl I have to say that I am a huge coffee lover. I drink it every morning and it is a daily ritual for me. I get down right irritable if my coffee time is interrupted and schedule my day around it. Now some say it's good for you and some say it's not, frankly I don't care. Coffee is how I choose to start my day and my dad drank coffee all day every day up until the last 2 years of his 85+ years so there you go. ;) It amazes me that since joining PLP's last September that I had never swapped a coffee pocket letter until my FB and PLP, Aparna, asked to swap one. We swap on a personal basis and I immediately said yes. I also found it refreshing when she shared that she doesn't like tea (sending a packet of tea is one of the happy's originally suggested by founder Janette Lane at PLP) and that she prefers coffee. Hallelujah! We are kindred spirits united by coffee and pocket letters lol.

I love the quote on the middle row pocket. 
So funny and so true. :)
She sent me some of the die cuts she used and I can't wait to make another coffee themed pl with them. I love my pl and goodies Aparna, thank you!

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Next up is the first of two Easter pl's I received from pals at PLP's. I enjoy swapping with these ladies and we'll start with my pal from Florida, Mary. I believe this is our 4th swap already and we immediately planned another for late May. It is bright and cheery and downright adorable!

This would brighten any one's day. I love looking at it and now I'm going to show you what she attached to the spine.

This sweet bunny with an Easter basket is a key chain. I clipped it to a bag / extra large purse by a mixed media artist that I found last year at Donna Downey's Studio. I had to have it and now I have another white rabbit joining the party in my craft room. Thank you Mary for this sweet pl and the fun goodies to play with and enjoy. :)
{Speaking of DD Studios, I'll be back there in early June for Tracy Verdugo's art class and I can't wait. I literally snatched up the last seat, how lucky am I!}  

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My pal, Nori, lives in Massachusetts and this is our second swap. I love getting happy mail from her and I'm so glad we were partnered for a Valentine swap earlier this year. I would have hated to miss out on meeting her at PLP's. There are a lot of folks who have joined since it began in March 2015 so it's impossible to meet everybody but quite often you find a wonderful pal in a group swap. Nori is one of these people!

I love the colors of Easter and they come alive on her pl. If you look closely you can see she also added a SPRING tag to the spine which I plan to use as a bookmark. The fun zig zag ribbon will go in my stash and I'll store this pl in my Spring binder. Which brings up a question I was asked recently about how I store my pl's. First though I want to thank Nori for my pl and the goodies she sent me to play with, thank you!

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As for storage I use large 3-ring binders to store my pl's in and place them vertically (so everything does not fall out) on a shelf. I remove all the fun stuff from the spine and place the note / letter they send in one of the top pockets showing the sender's name for quick reference. Since I joined last September my system is Halloween / Fall pl's in one binder then Christmas / Winter - Valentine's Day / Smaller Pocket Letters (3-pocket) - Easter / Spring - Summer / 4th of July then back to fall again. With the holiday themed pl's I tend to leave the goodies in the back pockets so I can use them next year on other pl's. There are some that go in my craft stash immediately since I am on a Christmas design team and regularly create with that holiday theme. As for the non holiday pl's I remove the goodies and place them in my crafty stash to use on other pl's plus projects I am creating for myself. I love getting stamps from other countries and several of my pals overseas regularly place them in my pl's. I have a set of 3 from Katrin with a white rabbit on one that I adore! 

Well, that is what works for me and I hope that answers the storage question. I can't tell you how much fun it is to flip through those binders and feel the love my pals put into making them for me. If you're still here thanks for hanging in there with this long post. 

Take care everyone and have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are.
I'll be my husband's sidekick as a helper in building our new deck so please say a prayer for me. 
I'm gonna need it, he's an engineer and I'm a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of gal. Sometimes I wonder how we ever got together and managed to stay married 30 years (next month) lol.

Lisa xx

Thursday, April 14, 2016

My Outgoing March Pocket Letters

Hello and Welcome!

I wanted to pop by and share the pocket letters I made in March for my pals at Pocket Letter Pals. Tomorrow I'll be sharing the pocket letters that each of my pals created for me so you'll want to drop by and check those out as well.  

The pl above was created for my pal in Germany, Katrin, and it's not your typical pocket letter. I created a mixed media art journal page for her which I placed in a clear protective sheet cover. Being that we swap on a personal basis I knew she'd be okay with the change from the typical 9 pocket format. I placed her crafty goodies in a separate bag since there were no pockets. I asked her for details like eye and hair color and used that info in creating my mixed media girl. Over at PLP's I'm known as White Rabbit so I took a page out of Alice in Wonderland and created a scene where Katrin and her White Rabbit pal have occasional tea parties in the forest. I wrote that out on the page and it had to be in a forest because that's where Katrin grew up. I'm thrilled she loves it, she's a wonderful Pocket Letter Pal and I always look forward to her pocket letters.   


Next up is a pocket letter I created for my pal, Aretha, and it was for a group swap at PLP's. The theme was horses and this is what I came up with. I should note that Aretha actually trains horses for a living and works primarily with American Saddlebred and Tennessee Walking Horses. She visits the Nashville area every six months which is cool because our children live there and we visit quite often. It would be nice to meet one of my Pocket Letter Pals in real life. :) Also I want to note that if you'll look in the top left corner you'll see her with a horse she trained. Personally, I think she has a dream job! 

By the way, have I ever mentioned how much I love horses? Well I do, my dad bought my first horse when I was 3 years old and we were living in Ogden, Utah. She was a black Shetland pony named Princess (original, right?). In the meantime my sister was born and we moved to Fairbanks, Alaska where instead of horses we had bunnies (which is probably where my love of rabbits started). Later we moved to Louisiana and this time my dad bought acreage so we could have several horses and he raised cattle as well. It's there that my sister and I each a Shetland pony, mine named Duke and hers named Angel. Back in those days a popular show on TV was The High Chaparral, does anyone remember it? Well our dad built a large western style playhouse for us to play in and he fenced in the area and we called it - wait - The High Chaparral. Okay, definitely not original but we loved that show so it couldn't be named anything else. I can't tell you the countless hours we spent riding our horses and playing in that house. Nor can I tell you how much dirt I swept off our floor and loved every minute of it. Those were truly the good old days and we were lucky to have a wonderful dad like ours. They're both together now in heaven and I wonder if they ever talk about those days, nah they have better things to do. I know I'll never forget those days, thanks for letting me reminisce a little.  


Next up is a coffee themed pl I created for my pal, Aparna, in India. Originally she reached out to me on Facebook and later I learned she was a member of Pocket Letter Pals. Her name on PLP's is Avi so that's why you'll see that name on a few of the coffee cups I stamped by Verve Stamps. A disclaimer here- I used images from Pinterest, Etsy and Google on this pocket letter. It's for her personal use only and not for commercial use or sale. It's simply a pl that I shared with a friend about something we both love - coffee. We're regular swap partners and this is one of the things I most enjoy about being a PLP, meeting people from all over the world and learning about them and their life in the country they live in. I'm a Curious George by nature and I love how different, yet similar, we all are. :)

Sorry for the glare, here are a few close ups so you can see better.

I printed several of these out on vellum then layered onto brown cardstock or the chevron designer paper. Guess it made it hard to photograph but I love the layered look in person, she did too!

"Anytime is Coffee Time"

Think this is the one I found on Etsy, had to have it. 


The last two I have to share today are Easter pocket letter's. 

First up is my pal, Mary, from Florida who I swap with on a regular basis. I was in Michael's a few weeks before Easter and saw these adorable felt bunnies and flowers and they played a major role on my pl's. After rummaging in my stash I decided to finally cut some vintage images from my Crafty Secrets spring sheet. I've been hoarding it too long and it was time. The bright cheery colors of spring are always welcome and they're such a reprieve from drab winter weather and colors. I'm happy she likes it and we've already set up our next swap for the end of May. 


The final pocket letter of March went to my pal, Nori, in Massachusetts and this was our second swap. I kept with the felt bunnies and flowers and again with the vintage images from Crafty Secrets. She loves fabric and trim so I added some orange crochet trim to the middle row. I'm so happy she likes it!


Well that's it for the pocket letters I created for pals over at Pocket Letter Pals. Tomorrow I'll be sharing all of the wonderful pocket letters that they created for me and you won't want to miss that post. I have some talented and creative pals. :)

See you tomorrow,
Lisa xx

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