Monday, December 19, 2016

Letting My Freak Flag Fly

Do you remember that old HGTV show about neighbors house-swapping to redecorate a single room on a very limited budget? The designers would paint brick fireplaces or drywall over painted brick, and if the homeowners seemed to prefer earthtones, the designer would use neon. The idea seemed to be "do the opposite of whatever is there."

The worst episode of all included a bedroom wall covered in cork board tiles upon which the designer pinned...wait for moss. I don't know what she was thinking, but apparently, it smelled really bad. The homeowners were not amused.

Sometimes, inspiration affects me the way those brick fireplaces affected the designers: Hmmm, let's do the opposite.

Here's my inspiration:

Printable Wedding Invitation Set // Succulents Leaves and Herbs // by Oak House Printable Designs:
I focused on the layout of the invitation at the very top of the inspiration photo. It's so pretty and soft and natural and blue and green. I own several stamp sets that would have achieved a very similar look to the inspiration piece, but I didn't reach for those.

Oh, no. I let my freak flag fly.

Whoa!!! The cherry cobbler splatters really don't look as much like blood in real life as they do on my screen.

But seriously, and be honest, is this my moss wall? Does it stink and I just don't know it? Because I love it. There's so much energy, so much artsy freedom going on here. And it was hugely fun to make, especially when I found that saying about age being a work of art. Perfect!

You're entitled to hate it. I feel like I should because it's so not me. But you know, sometimes the heart loves what it loves, and there's not much you can do about it. Even if it's a moss wall.

Just so you don't think I've completely lost my mind, I made a second card using the same layout that makes me just as happy but for VERY different reasons.

The monochrome scheme definitely feels like me. The crisp white raised panel, the bling, the uncluttered feel, the trio of snowflakes arranged in triangle...happy sigh! I love a snowflake card that says some variation of "warm wishes" because the very best thing about snow is being inside, drinking a hot beverage, all warm and cuddly and comfy, watching snow fall outside.

I've been skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho,  and my favorite part of the trip was sipping cocoa in the lodge, reading a book, and people watching. (And no, I never saw Arnold or Bruce or Demi, though they frequented Sun Valley at the time.) Anyway, sitting in the lodge was much more fun, warmer, and less painful than my ski, ski, fall, ski, ski, fall technique on the slopes. That was embarrassing, that was.

Wow. This post has been all over the place. I mailed 98 Christmas cards today and still have to make about 30 more. Feeling a little overwhelmed and giddy at the same time.

Grunge, moss walls, warmest wishes, and Merry Christmas.

Life is weird.

That's why we need mercy, grace, peace, love, and warmth...and those are my wish to you this cold evening.

Grunge card
stamps: My Favorite Things Jumbo Abstract Art, Papertrey Grunge Me
ink; Archival plum, StampinUp cherry cobbler, Memento canteloupe, Hero Arts pumpkin pie and soft blossom
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue

Warmest Card
stamps: My Favorite Things Jumbo Abstract Art, StampinUp and Hero Arts snowflakes
ink: Hero Arts soft pool; Archival forget-me-not and paradise teal
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue, rhinestones


  1. That designer had to have been Hildi. She had some *way out there* ideas about what was appropriate home decor. :-)

    1. Pretty sure it was Genevieve. But that show was a long time ago!

    2. I was assuming Hildi as well! She was frequently "out there" and disregarded the home owners' tastes/opinions. I thought the absolute worst was the one where she covered the entire guest room in cardboard, and even brought in cardboard furniture. What?!

  2. Oh wow, what a vibrant exciting card!! Love it!
    And it still has white space ;)
    A card like this makes my heart happy too!
    Your second card is so pretty! Beautiful colours.
    Best wishes for a Happy Blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones.
    PS Thanks for all the lovely inspiration through the year!

  3. I think the first card works wonderfully with the sentiment you chose! The second card is beautiful, as well.
    I remember that tv show. I thought the one where they stapled 8 million silk flowers all over the walls of the homeowner's bathroom was particularly horrible. Silk flowers get dusty! I also remember one where they stapled hay to the walls. My Dad and I are both terribly allergic to hay. If they had done that in either of our houses, we wouldn't have been able to walk through the front door to say, "What on earth were you thinking???" :)

    1. I don't remember silk flowers or straw, but you're absolutely right. eww.

    2. So funny! Susan's post made me think of the silk flower episode as well. There was also the wonderful episode of the designer putting corrugated cardboard on the walls of a room. In an after article I read that the homeowners had 3 cats, who of course loved it, but they didn't.

  4. It's "off the wall" and I love them all. They're different and inspirational. Super creative!

  5. This post had me smiling ... (and we also need smiles and laughter). I have funky friends ... and one in particular that would love that orange paint splatter one. I gravitate towards the blue one of course!

    1. Halfway through making it, I realized it will be perfect for an artist friend. That made me even happier about it!

  6. My fave is the blue green combination, as I was immediately drawn to those!

  7. I really like the grunge card, it's vibrant and fun! While I like it, it's not one I could create on my own so I'm pinning yours - for inspiration, of course :) Thank you, Susan.

  8. Both are fabulous! Get your freak on, girl!

  9. Oh yeah, Trading Spaces. I remember it well—I even still have the books that came from that show! Hildi was probably the one who did the most far-out designs. My favorite was Frank. He did, IMHO, the most balanced, warm, and friendly designs. Thanks for the reminders.

    And I love both of your designs. They are inspiring and remind me to let my freak out to play every now and then!

  10. Hi Susan, First let me say, I LOVE your humour. So many times I read your emails aloud to my hubby & he gets a chuckle as well. I also am "wowed" by the first card you made with the bright colours & splatter. It really appeals to me. So does the 2nd one, but as you said, for entirely different reasons. Serenity being one of them.
    Thanks for your inspiration & humour. May you be blessed this Christmas season.

  11. Oh I love it! That is one fab layout and it's great that you saw a pretty but meh card and made it like...WOW!!!!! You should listen to your dark side more often LOL!

  12. i love the "blood splatters" card fabbie

  13. Fly the freak flag girl!. Absolutely LOVE your first card. I very much enjoy your finished product when you let loose. Your second one is also pretty, but that first one just knocked my socks off!
    Lu C

  14. I totally love the first one! The second is lovely as well, but the first one is my personality to a "t"!!

  15. I totally love the first one! The second is lovely as well, but the first one is my personality to a "t"!!

  16. Totally LOVE your first card. I held off looking at it, trying to imagine the design my freaky friend would dream up. I was not even close, but I laughed out loud when I saw it. This artsy-fartsy friend loves it when you let your freak flag fly!

  17. Embrace your freak flag! It's different from your norm, but it is wonderful. I like both cards but your freaky one is the best.


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