Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mojo Monday #217 + Stampin Sisters in Christ #117

You may have noticed I love combining challenges, especially Mojo Monday and Stampin Sisters in Christ.  It's so easy to come up with something fun, because Mojo supplies a sketch, and the Sisters provide a theme.  I'm also entering this in the Simon Says Stamp Challenge, where anything goes!

This week is no exception; the Stampin Sisters' theme is using bird stamps, and here's the Mojo sketch:

Last week's Mojo sketch combined with the November Hero Arts challenge led me to create a card with traditional images but not-so-traditional colors (pink, pool, light green, neutral).  This week I did the opposite; I stuck with traditional colors, but used not-so-traditional images.

Here's my take:

I really wanted to try the circle shaped card, so I cut it out using my Pazzles Inspiration.  To make a circle card, cut out 2 circles the same size; as you know I have tons of envelopes (including some nice square ones), so my circles have a 5.25 diameter to fit into a 5.5 envelope.  Whatever size envelope you want to have your card fit into, just make your card .25 inches smaller.  Then take the circle which will be the back part of your card, and score it about .5 inch down.  Then adhere the top circle to the smaller size of the score.
Once I had the circle card done, I layered a green circle on top of the red base, then ran a smaller white circle through my Sizzix Texture Boutique with my Cuttlebug peacock feather embossing folder.  I inked it up with Peeled Paint Distress Ink, and added a smaller white semi-circle to the bottom where I stamped "Peace".  I layered the criss-crossing green and glitter green ribbons, then filled in the peacock feather centers with Ruby Red Liquid Pearls.  I stamped the peacock image in Peeled Paint, cut it out, and adhered with foam tape.  I put Festive Berries in the feathers (with a Q-Tip!) and then dolloped some Candy Cane Stickles in their centers to finish.  I also took this a step further, and created an ornament, so it could become a keepsake! (Why should little kids have all the fun of homemade tree decorations!?)

A close-up of those fab Stickles:

And here's a bonus card because I just had too much fun with the circle sketch:

So, whatcha think?
Have you ever made a unique shape card?
Or have you ever used non traditional stamps in your Christmas cards??

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paper Smooches SPARKS Challenge Nov 17-30

Today I've got a card for the Paper Smooches SPARKS Challenge.  I just adore both Paper Smooches and their SPARKS Challenges.  Paper Smooches has the cutest stamps on the planet, and I'm praying that someone buys me some for Christmas.  I also love their challenges; they are based off of random inspiration photos that can be interpreted with your own imagination.

Here's the inspiration picture:

Here's my creation:

I LOVE this card.  I started mimicking the background as best as I could.  I've noticed I take the challenges somewhat literally, as I am very visually attracted to color and pattern.  You can see my last Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge entry here, you'll see what I mean when I take the challenge somewhat literally.  Anyway, I tried to match the colors as close as possible, starting with a gray card and an aqua background.  The large floral images were stamped in Shabby Shutters Distress Ink; others were secondarily stamped in Pumice Stone.  The cherry blossom style flowers were first prints in Pumice Stone.  I cut each one of them out and adhered them randomly to match the inspiration image. 

The bike is a digi-stamp, that was I won in one of my pal Gill M's blog hops.  (That took forever to cut out!)  I colored the bike blue, gray, and goldenrod; then put Glossy Accents on the bike's body.  I put some cherry blossom flowers inked in Shabby Shutters propped up with foam squares in the basket, and gave them some Stickles detail in Lime Green.  The bike seat has True Blue Stickles, and the seat rim/handlebars/spoke centers have Goldenrod Stickles.

As I have mentioned before, I sadly don't have any Paper Smooches stamps (YET!!).  But I am determined to continue to enter their super fun challenges, so I used one of their free digi stamps - For You.  (Don't they have the best fonts ever!?)  I printed it rather large so it would be a nice complement to the bike.  I inked the sides in Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint Distress Inks, then placed that on top of a green cardstock banner.  I popped it up with some foam squares, and finalized with Lime Green Stickles on the sides.

Here's a close-up of the bike detail.  The Glossy Accents and Stickles make this look outstanding in person!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  And a question for you - do you tend to take these types of challenges literally (which in my opinion does not mean unimaginative - it can be a huge challenge trying to get as close as possible to the inspiration image), or are you more out in left field?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mimic Monday - Joyeux Noel

Today's Mimic Monday is featuring  You can see's Flickr Stream, check out her work, I'm sure you'll all agree it's fab!

Here's the card I picked for today's Mimic Monday:

Here's how she did it:

1. On glossy cardstock, ink Alcohol Inks by Ranger in Cranberry and Ginger.
2. Using Versamark Ink, stamp the ornament image on top of the alcohol inks. This ornament image is a Hero Arts stamp "Decorative Ornament", CG226.
3. Emboss half the page in white and the rest in silver. Jacqueline has used Aladine embossing powder (a French make).
4. Punch out 9 squares, 3 white and 6 silver.
5. Adhere squares to gray cardstock.
6. Stamp and emboss sentiment in silver (another French make), and adhere on top of squares.
7. Add pink gems.
8. Adhere gray cardstock to white card base.
Here's my version:

1. I don't have glossy cardstock per se, I typically use photo paper. I don't have Ginger Alcohol Ink, so I used Cranberry, Watermelon, and Butterscotch (which of course resulted in an overall darker card).
2. I don't have the ornament stamp, so I chose a stamp of similar size - a large snowflake from an Inkadinkado set.
3. I don't have her brand of embossing powder, but I do have Zing! Embossing Powder. I also don't have silver (not sure why not), so I used Pewter Metallic Finish (kind of like a gunmetal gray).
4. I used my Marvy Uchida square punch, the squares are almost 1.5 inches. (Note: You can fit 8 squares tightly on a 4x6 photo. The square above the sentiment on mine is actually half a square, hidden by the sentiment. This way I didn't need to waste photo paper which is expen$ive).
5. I used AC Neutrals gray textured cardstock.
6. I don't have this sentiment - although I'd love to have one, very chic, no? So I used "Season's Greetings" from Hero Arts set CL459.
7. I have a ton of gems I got from Hobby Lobby (using a 50% off coupon woot!) I usually adhere my gems with Glossy Accents - I have found thus far this adhesive to work best, as the gems will not fall off.
8. I used AC Neutrals white textured cardstock.

Here's some close-ups; the left showcases the embossing, and on the right features the Alcohol Ink.


So what do you think? I simply adore Jacqueline's card - and though it's a simple concept, there are several tricky elements. Using a grid-style layout can often prove maddening as the grid must be near perfect or it won't look right. Also, many are not familiar with Alcohol Inks - but don't worry! Check out my tutorial on Alcohol Inks; they are fun to play with! Lastly, embossing on glossy/photo paper is a more delicate art than embossing on regular paper. The glossy/photo paper can easily bubble and crack if heated too long, so just be a bit more attentive when trying this technique. Another note: if you plan on embossing on glossy cardstock with Alcohol Inks, do NOT use a mixative (such as silver, gold, pearl, or copper). This will affect your embossing ability and not give the powder something to grab on to.
Hope you enjoyed, let me know if you try some Alcohol Inks!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hero Arts Challenge November 2011B

Howdy all, I don't ever post on the weekend (I feel it's family time),
but I had to squeeze this one in because it's due tonight!

Today's post my entry for the Hero Arts Challenge, November 2011B.  I really love Hero Arts and their stamps, but unfortunately don't have very many.  I think they might be my favorite company (as far as design and quality), but Michael's/JoAnn's/Hobby Lobby don't carry a large variety and I hate paying for shipping from online companies.  I got such a deal on the Hero Arts Christmas trees from 2 Peas in a Bucket that I couldn't help myself - they're pretty much my new obsession!

This layout may look familiar to you; I used the same Mojo Monday Sketch from yesterday.
The Hero Arts November challenge is actually three challenges:
1. Holiday Tags and Gift Wrap (which is why I included a tag with this card, to qualify for this one)
2. Bling It Up! (which for me is pretty much all of my cards - what can I say, I love shiny things!)
3. Color Challenge (using pink, pool, green, neutral, and white)

I am excited to have one project that qualifies for all three; here's my creation:

I started with a white card base layered with scrapbook paper from Prima Marketing. The platinum glitter ribbon is from Michaels - Black Friday sale at 70% off! :-) I cut three white panels and ran them through my Sizzix Texture Boutique using a Cuttlebug folder called D'vine Swirl. I inked all three panels using Bundled Sage, Spun Sugar, and Pumice Stone Distress Inks. After adhereing matching circles, I stamped my Hero Arts trees (set CL459) using Adirondack dye ink in Cloudy Blue. I adhered the trees with foam squares, then adhered blue snowflakes using a McGill punch. Bling in all three centers, surrounded by Liquid Pearls in Mint Green, Petal Pink, and Platinum Pearl. Eucalyptus and Cotton Candy Stickles and Tiara Glitz Stickles were added on the swirl background to finish.

Here's the matching tag:

Here's some close-ups:

I hope you enjoy this card, this is my first Hero Arts challenge!

As always, if this is your first time here, look around and stay awhile!
If you like what you see, please consider becoming a follower so I can share more with you -
cause it's YOU that makes this so much fun!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mojo Monday #216 + Stampin Sisters in Christ #116

This post was supposed to go up days ago, but I've spent forever with my camera's USB cord - the bad baby Ella gnawed it to smitherines. 

That's her on the left.  Bad.  Baby.

Hubby ordered a cord for me, but with enough finagling he got the old one to work long enough to load the pictures.

Today is a combo challenge from Mojo Monday, sketch #216:

The other is from Stampin Sisters in Christ #116, the challenge is to use the word "Praise" or music within the design.

Two birds with one stone:

I started with a white card base, with metallic silver embossed scrapbook paper on top.  I cut out some Christmas sheet music, and inked with the new limited edition Tim Holtz Winter Distress Inks in Evergreen Bough, Festive Berries, and Iced Spruce.  I placed three white panels with 3 colored circles on top of the sheet music.  I then inked the Christmas tree stamps in the same colors using Hero Arts CL459 - I'm obsessed with them!  I cut them out and popped them up with some foam squares.  Then I stamped some stars, and added some stickles in Green, Silver, and Xmas Red.

Here's a close-up of the inked sheet music detail:

Thanks for looking - and if you're new here and like what you see, I'd love if you became a follower so I can share more inky fun with you!! xoxo

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Four Square Christmas Cards

Happy Friday y'all!

Photo Dump Friday is now in session.  My parents are coming in to town today (first time since we've moved), so today will be short and sweet!  Here's 4 square Christmas cards, enjoy!

Hope you had a great week, Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

2012 Blogging/Crafting Goals

Are you on Twitter?  If not, you should be!  So many wonderful amazing people out there.  It's such a fun way to connect with those who share the same passions as you, or get the latest info from companies, and even stalking your favorite celebrities.

Just kidding about the last part.  My idea of a celebrity is @TimHoltz, lol!!

Ok, so I guess I do stalk my favorite celebs  -___-

Anyway....!  I wanted to share with you a chat that I participate in, called #crafterminds.  To make it easier to participate (chats fly by fast!), I enter the chatroom:  That way, #crafterminds is automatically entered after every tweet.  Putting a # in front of a word or phrase allows other Twitter users to search it, or in the case of a chat, it keeps the conversation together.  Here's some more help in understanding the hashtag aka the 'number sign' #:  Twitter: What are Hashtags (#)? 

So #crafterminds is a chat that is hosted on Mondays, at 4PM EST (A new chat was added at 8PM EST).  It is 'hosted' by @Crafterminds.  (when you see @ in front of a name, it is the name of the user.  For example, I am @PearlGateway - are you following me yet!?)  Each chat session has a topic which always revolve around the crafting and blogging combo.  This past Monday's topic was "Your 2012 Goals".  And I wanted to share some of mine with you (if they are written - I might be more accountable!)

My 2012 Blogging/Crafting Goals

  1. Stick to a blogging schedule.  I have just recently been thinking of themed days, of which you have seen my "Mimic Monday".  My goal is to blog with purpose, to make sure I'm providing great content for you! 
  2. Host a linky party.  More on this to come, but I hope to host a weekly cardmaking challenge (Thursdays?)
  3. Make and edit videos.  I would love to make videos, but I don't know how to edit them.
  4. Be on a design team.  I hope to be on a design team that matches my style with a product I love.  I submitted an application to a DT call, so hopefully they like what I create.  If not, I will keep looking for the right fit!
  5. Submit and be published in Paper Crafts Magazine.  I need to gather more information on when they have submission deadlines and what types of cards they are looking for.
  6. Use inlinkz linky tools at the end of my posts.  I have the inlinkz tool to add supplies at the ends of my posts, I just need to add in all the products I use (which is time consuming, but will be nice to have done).  I think this helps make a blog not only look professional, but also helps readers find all the supplies that were used in a particular project.
  7. Take a photography class.  I want to improve my photography skills, and hopefully eventually get a new camera.
  8. Learn Photoshop and HTML.  I have this fabulous program that is worth tons of $$$ but I don't know how to use it.  Sad, no?  Learning HTML will relieve my brother from miscellaneous web design issues!
  9. Have a regular booth at the Knoxville Farmer's Market.  I will apply for a space next year, but need to get a little more organized to sell.  I need a tent/gazebo, preferably a sign, and some sales processes in place.
  10. Host mosaic classes and cardmaking classes.  I think this one might be one of my favorite goals, because I love social events and the opportunity to teach someone what I'm passionate about!  I need to figure out what this would require, if I could host small classes in my home, or rent space from a craft store.

Thanks for reading about my goals, now I want to hear yours?  What do you want to accomplish in 2012?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Which Scissors Should I Buy?

There are lots of scissors on the market, but how do you know which ones are good?  How many pairs of scissors should one have?  Does it matter?  Hopefully this post will clear some things up for you.

You may have noticed there are different types of scissors.  Many think 'hey, the one pair I have cuts, that's good enough for me'.  But I would encourage you to think otherwise.  You need a couple pairs of scissors, as they have different purposes. {Please note that this post is covering scrapbooing/cardmaking/papercrafting and does not include recommended scissors for use in other crafts}

1. Basic Scissors [Purpose - all-around cutting]

Easy Action™ Scissors (No. 8)

These are my go-to scissors for the majority of my cutting.  The blade cuts like a knife through butter, and I love the soft comfort grip.  It has a spring action element, making it super easy for even those with arthritis to cut.   

2. Detail Scissors [Purpose - fine, detailed cutting]

These are a great pair of scissors for fine cutting.  The blade is micro-serrated, and comes with a plastic cover.  As you can see, the handles are much larger than most scissors.  This allows for a lot of comfort when cutting those tiny pieces of paper, vinyl, sheet rubber, and adhesive backed papers.

Another option:

These scissors are also popular for fine cutting.  As I don't own them, I can't speak to their effectiveness, but they are popular.  My thoughts based on looks alone tell me they don't seem as comfortable as the Tim Holtz Tonic Scissors.

Another option:

I don't have these scissors either, but given how much I love Fiskars products, I can only assume that these are fantastic as well.  A small blade for control, and large comfortable handles - meets my requirements for fine detail scissors!

3.  Ribbon Scissors [Purpose - cutting ribbon, twine, other pieces of fabric]

These are another pair of Fiskars, part of their sewing line as well as their 'easy action' line.  The same lock and spring action element apply.  These are one of those scissors to hide from the rest of the family, as these should be for fabric only.  No paper of any kind.  The blade is short and micro-serrated, allowing for lots of control. 

4.  Decorative Scissors [Purpose - creating a decorative edge to paper]

Fiskars (can you tell I love them!?) has a line of decorative paper edging scissors that can be bought individually, or in sets of 6.  The sets are: Classic, Contemporary, and Designer.  I will note that these scissors are not quite the same quality as their other scissors.  Their blades are not up to par with their other products, but I still think they produce great effects.  One cool thing about an individual pair is that you can create more than one look.  The example below shows the "Majestic" scissors.  From top to bottom:  Cut straight line, two cut straight lines together, two opposite cut lines, folded and two opposite cut lines.  That's 4 looks from one pair of scissors!

I hope you found this scissors primer helpful, with some guidelines on the types of scissors scrapbookers and cardmakers should have.  Do you have any of these scissors, or another pair I didn't mention?  Let me know!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mimic Monday - Soft Background

Let's see if I can stick to any sort of schedule .I'm not making any promises, but I'm going to try posting a card that I have found on another blog, in a magazine, or on Pinterest and mimicking it on Monday.
Mimic Monday!

Today I am mimicking the lovely Shari Carroll of Hero Arts and her Soft Shadowed Backgrounds card.

Here is her card:
Here is mine:

Here's her how-to:
  1. Start by clear embossing the Silhouette Grass image onto white cardstock.   
  2. Use a make-up sponge or Ranger Ink applicator to apply Old Paper Distress Ink. Use a circular motion and apply the ink in random areas.
  3. Add in some Weathered Wood Distress ink, overlap onto the Old Paper ink.
  4. Try adding in another light tone such as Scattered Straw. Again, using circular motions to apply the ink.
  5. Once the desired effect is achieved, ink up the Friend Definition with Pumice Stone Distress Ink. Use a moist baby wipe to remove ink from the center of the image. Stamp onto the panel.
  6. Trim the panel and adhere it to a white notecard.
  7. Cut a slit in the spine of the card with a craft blade and thread with ribbon, tie in a bow.
  8. Add butterflies and pearls to finish.
  9. Wait for an occasion to arrive and stamp a greeting inside.
My how-to differs of course, but maintains much similarity. 
  1. I did not have the Silhouette Grass image (although after seeing her card, it's definitely on my wish list!), so I used a group of random floral images together.
  2. I have Old Paper Distress Ink, so this is the same.
  3. I also have Weathered Wood, so this is the same.
  4. Whoops, forgot the Scattered Straw, although I do have this color.  (I was wondering why hers was a bit more yellow toned...) D'oh!
  5. I don't have the Friend Definition stamp (on my list too!), but I did have a Hero Arts script stamp that I really like.  I think it makes a beautiful elegant background.  I too inked mine in Pumice Stone Distress Ink.
  6. I trimmed mine to a light beige card, although I could have done white.
  7. Because my card shape is different, I didn't have to cut the spine, so I just tied my ribbon beneath the top panel.  I didn't have the same color - so I improvised!
  8. I don't have a punch or die cut butterfly, so I used a butterfly stamp inked in Vintage Photo Distress Ink instead.  I also don't have any stick on pearls, so I created my own using Liquid Pearls in Opal White.
  9. This part is the same! ;-)

Hope you liked my 'Mimic Monday', Shari is a fantastic designer and I feel honored just to try and copy her unique designs.  I hope this inspires you to find something you like and try and make it your own!

{photo credit and Shari Carroll card instructions to}

Friday, November 11, 2011

Interview with Gill of Creations by Gill M

Happy Friday everyone!  Today we have a special guest interview - meet Gill of Creations by Gill M!
 Gill is a wonderful cardmaker who lives in Scotland with her husband, Jim, and her 2 cats and 2 fish.  She is also celebrating her 3 year "blogaversary" today!  Let's get this interview started!  Of course, questions by Pearl Gateway (PG), and answers by Gill (GM).
PG: How long have you been cardmaking, and what got you started?
GM: I have been cardmaking as far as i can remember in primary school, but seriously as part of my small businesses for about 10 years.
PG: Other than cardmaking, do you do any other papercrafting or other craft related hobbies?
GM: I also love to scrapbook, make jewellery and make candles.
PG: Like children, it's impossible to have a favorite...but if you did, which card is your favorite and why?
GM: I don't do children so I can't relate there - I'm a cat person - I don't actually have a favourite card at the moment as I make so many!  Here are some that I really like:

 {To check out more details about this card, go here}

{To check out more details about this card, go here}

PG: Do you have a 'signature' style, product you use, or embellishment that pops up on all your cards?
GM: I guess my signature style is perfection; I have to have everything straight, neat, and lined up.  I use border edge peel offs a LOT and buttons!
PG: If you could add any 3 products to your craft room, what would they be?
GM: 3 new products I would add are: a Grand Calibur by Spellbinders, Grand Nestabilities dies, more Cricut cartridges (I have a never ending list of ones that I NEED)!!
PG: Have you met any crafting 'celebrities'? If you could meet one famous crafter, who would it be and why?
GM: I have met heaps of UK crafting celebs as regularly rub shoulders with them either in some shape or form.  I am on the Create & Craft tv channel design teams for Sheena Douglass and Debbi Moore and I was friends with Sheena before I joined her DT and I have met Debbi once.  I have also met QVC UK's craft expert Amy Shaw as we are also good friends.  I have also met Pamela Harley from Crafty Catz cds - we used to work together in IBM in our other past lives!!  I have also met Paul Church, Anthony Minnus and Christine Bell from Pinflair; Sara Davies, Leann Chivers and Claire Hamer from Crafters Companion; Dawn Bibby (ex QVC UK and now Create & Craft tv); Kay Rutter from Hougie Board; Leonie Pujol from Create & Craft tv; The Glitter Girls; Noreen Mckee from Flowersoft; Jayne Nestorenko (cute companions range) - wow the list is endless.
I would however like to meet Rosemary Merry who is a favourite scrapbooker of mine who regularly appears on QVC UK.
I would also love to meet some of my blogging / FB crafting buddies - I know they are not celebrity crafters but they do inspire me and it would be great to meet up with some of them one day. Maybe over Skype, as at least that is achievable due to geographical country differences.
PG: How long have you been blogging, and do you have a favorite post?
GM: I have been blogging since 2008 - celebrating my "blogaversary" today!  I don't have a fave post I'm afraid as I post so much on my blog!  Here is a cute card from a challenge I entered though:

{To see more details about this card go here}

PG: How and why did you start hosting your own blog hops, and do you have a favorite hop? {attach link here if you can}
GM: I started hosting my own blog hops in March this year.  I wanted to do hops that were not the normal kind of things as I like to think of different subject matters for my creativity and thought people would like to do likewise. 

I have 2 favourite hops from June - Fairy Day - Day One  and Fairy Day - Day Two.  Also Cocktails and Dreams in August.
But basically I LOVE all the hops I create and host.   Here is a link to  all my 2011 Hops.

Here's a card I entered in a House Mouse Hop:
{To check out this blog hop go here}

PG: Do you sell your cards on Etsy or in a store front? How did you get started and what type of card is your most popular seller (happy birthday, thank you, blank, etc.)?
GM: I don't sell my cards on Etsy or eBay as people will not pay the postage costs.  I don't have a website either as never got around to doing one!   I sell at fayres, friends and family, and to shops in the city centre.  I don't have a specific kind of card that sells best as they are all good sellers.
PG: What time of day do you craft the most, and what is your must-have music and snack?
GM: I basically craft at all times of the day.  When I'm working, after dinner I go straight up to my craft room and that's me up there till bed time.  On the weekends I'm in there most of the 2 days apart from when I've to do shopping, cooking, housework, etc. - then again, what's housework!!!   If I have a day or a week off and got nothing planned then yep, you guessed it - you can find me in the craft room too!  I have a sofa bed in there, a tv, dvd player, laptop so all I'm missing is a microwave and mini fridge and it's a home from home!
I don't listen to music much these days, as I usually have Create & Craft tv channel on when I'm crafting.  But if I do have to put on some music, it is either country or Michael Buble or Bon Jovi.  My fav snack - well chocolate and ice cream but not necessarily at the same time!!
Thank you so much for the interview, Gill! 

If you've popped over here from Gill's blog, stick around - stay awhile!  Check out some of my other posts, if you like what you see I'd love to share more with you as a follower!
So now that you know more about Gill, go check out Creations by Gill M, and maybe get a button designed, blog hop, or even enter a challenge!  Don't forget to wish her a "Happy Blogaversary!"

{All photos courtesy of Creations by Gill M}

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Paper Smooches Sparks + Mojo Monday Sketch Challenges

Today I have two cards, the first is for the Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge.
The challenge is based off of this image to use as inspiration:
Here's my creation:

And a closeup of the pears:

I don't normally go with something so geometric, but I felt so inclined with this print.  I didn't have an apple punch, so I used a McGill large pear punch instead.  For the leaves I punched out McGill Birch leaves, then trimmed the serrated edges off of each leaf.  This card feels heavy and high quality in the hand, thanks to using AC Textured Cardstock.  This is not like any card I have made, but I really like how it turned out.

The second challenge is for Mojo Monday.  I love to see their sketches each week; it seems like I would have never come up with their layouts on my own.  Here is this week's sketch:

And here is my creation:

And a closeup of the flowers:

I wanted to use a unique color palette, and I think I achieved it!  I started with the deep coral color, added the light pool blue, and then the darker pool blue.  I am very attracted to Caribbean colors, but didn't want this card to go that route.  So I switched it up, giving it a black base.  I found some flowers in my Prima stash that matched perfectly, and then added Liquid Pearls to finish them in Baby Blue, Ocean Blue, Flamingo, and Bisque.

Hope y'all like these two cards - do you have a favorite??