PagesPat's Ponderings

Monday, June 29, 2015

Anything Goes at the Outlawz Greetings

My favorite Monday challenge is up and running on the Outlawz Greetings challenge this week. It's Anything Goes, always the last Monday of each month. I love the freedom of no restrictions nor special requirements.
So I created a card using a digi image from Lacy Sunshine, one of the guest sponsors for June. Lacy Sunshine is offering three images for one lucky winner, so get your cards or projects created and linked up to the challenge.
What Does It Take To Win A Prize?
  1. The sentiment must appear on the front of your card or project to be eligible to win.
  2. YOU DO NOT have to use an image on your card. Also, non-card entries are acceptable as long as they have sentiments that are visible on the outside. 
  3. Please only one entry per week per challenge.
  4. No back linking. Any projects posted on your blog/online gallery before the start date of a challenge should not be entered and will not be eligible for prizes. 
  5. Please post your own creations only to the challenges.
How Do I Enter My Project?
Click Reply to this post. On the tool bar, next to the link square, you will see a light blue square. Click the light blue square and add your photo. Please set the width to 400. If you are using a link or would like to have comments on your blog, enter the photo here within the challenge and the link. Click Add Reply. After you place your card in the challenge, you can add it to the gallery and tag it GCC062915. The winners for the prizes within the group challenges are chosen by the photos that are uploaded to the challenge.

Other Challenges I am Entering:
Simply Papercraft - Anything Goes
Lacy Sunshine - Anything Goes

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It's Elemental, My Dear...

The ELEMENTS challenge is in its second week over at Ike's World Challenges. I made a digital canvas for my first DT posting, using Zombie Pig digi image and Fire word art image. Think FIRE, WATER, EARTH and AIR when you create this week!
My background is from the Cabinet of Curiosity scenic papers from Marta Vaneck. I framed my canvas with a digi from Decosse's Dynamite Doodles. I used the Fire word art image twice, once coloring it so that the word all but disappeared in flames, and a second time so that the letters "fed" the campfire. I drew the spit by hand, and that sassy sentiment came to me while coloring my, I mean the pig.
Have you done much grilling this summer? We have a natural gas grill, so we grill year round until the snow covers the grill, like it did last winter.
No use trying to brush off the snow, eh?! We had a tad more snow than usual last winter. Now we are having a tad more rain than usual this summer. Seems like the weather is acting crazy all over the world this year!
If weather is keeping you indoors this week, craft a project for this fortnight's Elements challenge over at Ike's World Challenge blog for your chance to win free digis. And as always, crafters, have fun!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Your Wish Is My Command on Father's Day

Another Monday means another challenge at the Outlawz Greetings challenges. This week's theme is Father's Day. Make something for your dad, the father of your children, or dads in general. I made this card for my hubby, who helped raise two children, each with their unique challenges, and survived (although he went totally grey in the process).
At the Outlawz Greetings, this week's sponsor is Rick St Dennis. Rick's images run the gamut from funny to vintage to freaky. There's always something for everyone!
I got to play with a digi image called Tim BukTu. I colored her with Copics, shimmered it up with Sakura Gel pen, and popped it onto a tag I created earlier in the year and never used. I used a rainbow of colors to create my card, but I like the combination (and that white feather doesn't hurt, either).
In line with the Father's Day theme, I added the sentiment "It's Your Day!" to my card. One requirement of all challenges is to have a sentiment or greeting on the front of your project. Inside my card is a standard Happy Father's Day sentiment, with a little love note from me.
Now it's your turn. Check out the inspiration at the Outlawz Greetings and then create and link up your project for a chance to win free digis from Rick St Dennis.
Other Challenges I am Entering:
Get Creative challenges - For the Boys or Father's Day
Not Just Cards - Always Anything Goes
Ooh La La challenges - Happy Birthday
Card Mania - Use a Metal Embellishment (my heart on a chain)
Love to Create challenges - Anything Mixed media

Look, Up in the Sky-It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Super Dad!

I made a card for my dad today, to celebrate all that he was when he was still with us. He's been gone for over 20 years, but I still like to give him his due on this June holiday. My dad is my hero, teaching me by example to love words and reading, to keep going especially when things were difficult, and to enjoy the little things in life.
Craft Your Passion has a new Anything Goes challenge starting today, and Bugaboo is the sponsor. I love the images from Jodie at Bugaboo-there's something for everyone, and her new shop looks fabulous!
I colored Super Dad and used up more of my re-discovered papers. I keep them in a box on my desk so that I don't go crazy and pull out the big guns--the 12x12 papers--when I'm creating cards. Besides, they are the papers that time (well, me) forgot, and I have a duty (since I bought them) to use them up before I have my way in any paper aisle at Hobby Lobby or Michael's. (Amen)
So, I used some glossy cardstock for the card base, some checked blue & white paper, and some glitter cardstock to pull the colors together with those I used on my image. I hand-printed my sentiment and tore the Copic-colored background to fit my card, adding a heart brad and a paper clip to embellish.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Today I want to wish fathers everywhere a wonderful, relaxing day, especially my hubby and my son. My hubby and I are with my granddaughter in Missouri, to be together for a memorial service for his oldest brother, Joe Allen, who passed away last week. He gave up his "day" to be home with his mom and sisters and younger brother to honor the brother he lost. While we're here, we'll go visit Dad's grave site, clean it up and put new flowers there.
My son is working his butt off to prepare for his newest child, scheduled to arrive sometime in August. Besides his full time job, he is an Army Reservist, up for re-enlistment in a few short months.
Meanwhile, I am burning the midnight oil to get this digital card up on my blog so they can each see it, as I type in our hotel room, next to my poor Bella who ended up losing her lunch and dinner and is now sleeping it off. Hope it was just a bad mix of food and she's not getting sick!!
Meanwhile, my card uses a couple fabulous images from Sandy of Scribbles Designs, Carl's Pad and Firefly (Firefly was a freebie on her blog!). I used papers, the frame and the gorgeous bubbly baubles from Decosse's Dynamite Doodles. Sandy has a fun challenge with a theme of "Fins, Feathers & Frog Legs" (yum). Go check out her blog, where there are freebies to be snagged, inspiration to be shared and a challenge to enter!
Other Challenges I am Entering:
Digi Galore challenges - Father's Day
Moving Along with the Times - Inspired by a Song (Unforgettable by Nat King Cole)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Quoting the POEt

When I was in college, I spent one semester on studying the master of Horror fiction and poetry, Edgar Allen Poe. My whole grade centered around my 30 page paper on his life, his loves, his writing and his insane take on an insane world.
There is a challenge blog out there called Quoth the Raven, devoted to the macabre master of frights. This month their theme is photo-inspired:
I chose to pull the colors and use the man himself as inspiration for my canvas. My image comes from the master of macabre herself, Sue from Ike's Art. It's called Poe Bust. I colored it and then popped it onto one of my new background papers from Mischief Circus from the Dead or Alive Collection by Rucola Designs. To give it some shimmer, I used a glitter overlay from Krysty, also available from Mischief Circus.
I added some splatters of red to give it dark undertones, and allowed the raven to utter his infamous line. The quote is one of my favorites from Mr. Poe. I hope you like my canvas today!
Other challenges I am entering:
As You Like It challenges - Favorite Book (the Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe, 
a treasury of terror on which I grew up)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Your Scrapbook Place Midway Challenge Reminder

Today marks the halfway point in Your Scrapbook Place June challenge. Our sponsor this month is DeeDee's Digis, and I got to play with a sheet of images called Coffee Cup Greetings.
Today I mixed digital and paper crafting together to create this card. In Photoshop, I used three pre-colored coffee cup images, adding parts of my sentiment onto each cup. My patterned paper is a digi delight from Decosse's Dynamite Doodles. Once I had the background paper and the cups sized right, I printed and cut them out.
In order to stack my cups, I used an Exacto knife to cut slits in the tops of my two bottom cups, slipping each into the slits. The rest was just a matter of finding the right embellishments. I am meeting my girlfriend for lunch on Friday. I haven't seen her in months. Since our kids have grown up, we seem to be busier than we ever were before! Both her son and my daughter are in college now, and we have full-time jobs, so there are no more free days when we'd get together for a play date, or spend the morning at the local thrift store together.
So I wanted a card to give her this week that would let her know that, while we may not see each other often, her presence is very much known to me, and I appreciate her being there.
Now it's time for you to join in the fun at Your Scrapbook Place challenge blog. If you need some inspiration, head on over to DeeDee's Digis blog. And as always, crafters, have fun!
Other Challenges I am Entering:
Crafting from the Heart - Anything Goes
Fairy Tale Stampers - Anything Goes
Simply Papercrafts - Anything Goes
Stempelsonnen challenges - Alles geht (Anything Goes)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Christmas is Coming - Are You Ready?

Well, it only took two days and a lot of sweat but my first 100% digital Christmas card is ready to print up. The 12 Months of Christmas Link-Up has a new challenge this month, and I created a card for the midway reminder. The theme is always Christmas, with an optional twist of VINTAGE.
The sponsor is Luna Girl and they have the most beautiful collages and images! The one I played with is called Blue Christmas Collage sheet and comes with 8 Christmas scenes.

I used Adobe Photoshop to work with my card, and when i say work, I mean it! I am still learning the software and make the simplest mistakes! I used digital papers from Decosse's Dynamite Doodles, as well as those sharp-looking icicles and flourishes. My sentiment is from within Photoshop. Don't you just love that little angel lighting the tree for the holiday?
The way the Link-Up works is this:
As long as you link up two handmade Christmas cards, you will receive a holiday-inspired digital paper each month. If you follow the monthly theme (which is Vintage this month), you will be in the running for prizes. Make sure you type in the letters FT after your name so it will be easy to place your name in the draw! And remember, the theme is optional!
Sponsor and Prize Info for this challenge:
  • Guest Sponsor:  Lunagirl
  • Prize being offered:  A $15.00 gift certificate for one random winner chosen from those who participate in the optional theme
  • Additional Sponsor: Décosse's Dynamite Doodles
  • Prize being offered: One free digital paper to everyone who links up a minimum of two cards to the challenge.  Cards can be anything goes for this prize, they only have to follow the theme if they want a chance at the sponsor's prize.  The mini set of six digital papers called A Grungy Christmas, will also be offered up as a prize to one random winner.
Other Challenges I am Entering:
Christmas Card challenges - ANything Goes
A Gem of a Challenge - Something Blue
CASE-ing Christmas - Inspiration card
ABC Christmas challenges - L s for Lyrics (Angels We Have Heard on High)

Happiness is Making Cards

Happiness is a new challenge, and today I am brimming with happiness because the new Outlawz Greetings challenge starts! The theme is to create something that completes the phrase, "Happiness is..." I find happiness wherever I go, but mostly I find it at home. My family, my cozy bed, my craft room--I am surrounded by people and things that generate happiness.
So I made a card to reflect the good feels I get from being home. Of course, my recent family vacation to the beaches of Florida inspired my design, but who says you can't call a sand castle your home? LOL This cute digi image is from MelonHeadz Illustrations and is called Sand Castle.
I popped my image onto some dreamy background paper from the Summertime Collection by Rucola Designs, found over at Mischief Circus. I used Photoshop to type in the sentiment, then popped it into a frame from Sweetly Scrapped, adding a bow and flowers from Decosse's Dynamite Doodles.
Then I put in my crafty thumb and pulled out a plum of a background paper for my card face, from that pesky box of papers I re-discovered last month. A bit of ribbon and some pearls for a border, and a charm to give it some charm, and my card is complete.
Other Challenges I am Entering:
4 Crafty Chicks - Polka Dots
Cute Card Thursday - Beside the Seaside
Crafting Musketeers - Shades of Summer
Joining the Outlawz Groups is free, fun and inspirational. Each day of the week offers a different type of challenge, and there's even a Progressive Freebie monthly challenge. Besides the challenges, there are tutorials, free digital images and inspiration. Did I forget to mention the prizes?! Each challenge group has their own sponsors, and there is no limit to the number of challenge groups you can join. Each of your entries has a chance to win a weekly prize and a monthly prize.
Did you know that there's a group on the Outlawz with tons of FREEBIES for you to play with?! This week MelonHeadz AND the Outlawz Freebies group is sponsoring our challenge. Melonheadz prize will be as usual for the weekly winner and a Gina K Designs stamp set will be an instant prize (as in you don't have to wait for the monthly list) if you use an Outlawz freebie and follow the Happiness theme. This does NOT affect the weekly winner prize.  
So, my second project today uses a freebie from Mayzy Arts. Like I said, I can find happiness in so many things, and music is one of them. That's why I made this card. Can you believe this cute cute image is a FREEBIE?!
As pastel and clean as my first card is, my second card is bold bright colors and I threw on pretty much everything that was lying on my desk today, including a die-cut frame, some banners and wings, and a handful of jeweled flowers!
Challenges I am entering this card into:
Creative Knockouts - Use Your Stash
Crafter's Cafe - Anything Goes
Inspiration Destination - Always Anything Goes
Fan-tastic Tuesday challenges - Anything Goes w/a twist: Bling
CMD challenges - Inspired by Movie or TV Show 
(Ich war von dem Film inspiriert Katie Perry: Part of Me)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Progressive Freebie Challenge at DeeDee's Digis

DeeDee's Digis Challenge Blog offers a free stamp set to all crafters who create with this month's Featured set, "Diver Daniel."

If you don't have this set, it is on sale for $1.25 this month only. All you have to do is create something with Diver Daniel and post it on your blog, linking your post to their challenge blog. You'll receive next month's Digi Set for free!! Now, who doesn't like FREE?!
I went away over the weekend, to a place that time forgot (well, at least there was no wifi anywhere to be seen). So, I played with Diver Daniel in Photoshop, and created this digital card. In addition to DeeDee's Digis images, I used the following:
Decosse's Dynamite Doodles - Patterned paper #11, Frame #1
Rucola Designs - Seashells
The rest was accomplished in Adobe Photoshop Elements 12: grass and speech bubble stamps, sentiments and coloring/shading. I am learning more and more with each project I attempt, but have a lot more to learn! 
So, what about you? Do you have any crafting machine that you haven't used yet? I also have a Bind-It-All that is still in its bag, and I was REALLY excited to purchase it when I did, about six months ago?! I really need to retire so that I have more time to craft!!
Other Challenges I am Entering:
Cute Card Thursday - Beside the Seaside
Creative Moments challenges - A/G; Man inn Your Life; Father's Day
Crafty Gals Corner - the Great Outdoors

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

For the Mom to Be

Today I wanted to show you my very first project as a DT member for Ike's World Challenges. It is a gift box that I re-purposed and recycled from a cream cheese container! Here's where I started:

I generously covered my container with homemade ModPodge and some thickly textured paper, both inside and out. I had to be careful to ensure that my lid would still open and close when dried. Trying to wait until each coat was completely dry before applying another, it took almost a week before it was ready to embellish!

First, I had to find its feet. I used water bottle caps, painting them white and adding gold glitter to each (more time spent drying). I added them and made sure the box stood stable before decorating.

Then the fun began!
I decided to use New Baby from Ike's Art. We have planned a baby shower for my daughter-in-law, scheduled for the end of June. Although their family includes five children, this one will be their first together. I wanted to make something special for the soon-to-be new mama, and my box fits the bill perfectly.
I placed my Copic-colored image onto the top of my box, framing it with a gold-rubbed paper doily. Since the challenge theme is to be inspired by song lyrics, I thought the song All I Have to Do Is Dream by the Everly Brothers.
Once the top was completed, I cut up old lace pieces I had snagged at rummage sales, strings of pearls, and creamy white roses to make the front of my box pleasing to the eye. The sides were the last to be finished.
I do so like to fling those feathers onto my projects!  Now I have just one thing more to make my beautiful box ready for the baby shower---
What am I going to put into it?!
Any ideas? Anyone? Anyone?
LOL While you're thinking about it, you can surf Ike's Store for inspiration and eye candy!! And don't forget to join in the challenge at Ike's World Challenge blog.
Other Challenges I am Entering:
Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent - Anything Goes/must recycle: from cream cheese container to gorgeous gift box
Rhedd's Creative Spirit - Anything Goes/mixed media only
Stampin Royalty challenges - Anything But a Card

"All I Have To Do Is Dream"
Dream, dream, dream, dream
Dream, dream, dream, dream

When I want you in my arms
When I want you and all your charms
Whenever I want you
All I have to do is dream
Dream, dream, dream

When I feel blue in the night
And I need you to hold me tight
Whenever I want you
All I have to do is dream

I can make you mine 
Taste your lips of wine
Anytime night or day
Only trouble is 
Gee whiz
I'm dreamin' my life away

I need you so, that I could die
I love you so and that is why
Whenever I want you
All I have to do is dream
Dream, dream, dream, dream

I can make you mine
Taste your lips of wine
Anytime night or day
Only trouble is
Gee whiz
I'm dreamin' my life away

I need you so, that I could die
I love you so and that is why
Whenever I want you 
All I have to do is dream

Dream, dream, dream
Dream, dream, dream, dream
Dream, dream, dream, dream
(lyrics courtesy of

Monday, June 8, 2015

Spring Puts Music in My Heart

I love to listen to  music, especially when I craft. I have an old 2nd generation iPod with pver 1200 songs and jam while I ink, sing while I stamp, and croon while I color! That's why I love this gorgeous digi image from The East Wind for my DT card for Craft Your Passion challenge blog.
The East Wind is this week's guest sponsor, and my image is called Spring Melody.
Craft Your Passion offers weekly challenges that are Anything Goes, and I took the theme to heart. I used leftover patterned paper from my stash, then popped my Copic-colored image onto my card front after framing it with a die-cut paper doily. The circles of musical notes have been punched out from more leftover papers, while I printed and punched out my sentiment. A sprinkling of "negative" die-cuts from the doily embellish my card, along with a few golden yellow pearls.
Now it's time to get your Anything Goes mojo to work and come play at Craft Your Passion's challenge this week!!
Challenges I am Entering:
Sister Act challenges - Anything Goes
Cute Card Thursday - Summer Colors
CMD challenge blog - Movie/TV show inspired (Ich mag den Film Pitch Perfect und nicht kann warten um die Fortsetzung zu sehen)

Some Old-Fashioned Rock n Roll

 In this whirl-wind world of constant technological breakthroughs and never-ending improvements, there are few things that remain constant. One of them is my husband of almost 39 years, and I am so happy for that. He isn't above a little trip down memory lane, and playing a little air guitar along the way (I know, I've caught him at it).
 Today starts a new challenge at the Outlawz Greetings, and this week's sponsor is Dr Digi. I made a card for my rockin' hubby using the digi image Derek Clapton. The challenge this week is to use embossing on your project - dry, heat, whatever your pleasure. My chipboard musical notes are heat-embossed with black powder and glitter.
I also have a confession to make to you all---
a Paper-holic!!
I have two photo boxes on my desk that I discovered earlier this month, filled with 6x6 and 4x6 papers. Papers I had totally forgotten I had in my stash!  I am embarassed, I am mortified, but I am determined to use it up before touching all my (pre-cioussss) other papers.

So, I grabbed a handful of patterned paper strips and used them to create the background for my easel card. I was able to use some of the larger strips on the rest of my card. And now my box(es) are a little lighter and I have a lovely card to show for it.
Come play at the Outlawz Greetings challenge this week. Dr. Digi is offering 2 digi images to the winner!
 What Does It Take To Win A Prize?
  1. The sentiment must appear on the front of your card or project to be eligible to win.
  2. YOU DO NOT have to use an image on your card. Also, non-card entries are acceptable as long as they have sentiments that are visible on the outside. 
  3. Please only one entry per week per challenge.
  4. No back linking. Any projects posted on your blog/online gallery before the start date of a challenge should not be entered and will not be eligible for prizes. 
  5. Please post your own creations only to the challenges.

Other Challenges I am Entering:
Challenge Up Your Life - Use Digi Stamps
Digi Galore challenges - Father's Day
Bloggers' challenges - Boys of Summer
Simply Create Too - Masculine
Stempelsonnen challenges - Anything Goes
Always Something Creative - Anything Goes
Paper Creators Crafts - Anything Goes
Words 2 Scrap By - It's a Man's World

Saturday, June 6, 2015

New Challenge at SBP Challenge Blog Sponsored by DeeDee's Digis

I love an Anything Goes Challenge, and I love playing with DeeDee's Digis, which is this month's sponsor at Your Scrapbook Place challenge blog.
Since I am on a family vacation, I had scheduled this post to run while I was gone. I had created a 100% digital card to print up anytime and send to anyone. I sent it to one to my fave sisters-in-law, Treasa. She and Jill really know how to whip up some holiday deliciousness. Not to mention the fact that both if them are Vets of Dessert Storm.
While it is easy to think of the holidays as a time to entertain and eat goodness, this Memorial Day I spent with my Dad, Gram and Grampa, who are together in heaven, as well as being near each other at the cemetery. Some fresh flowers, a little conversation and some great memories were brought out, and my Memorial Day was complete. Hope yours was too!
Now, spend a little YOU time in your favorite craft area and create something for the Anything Goes challenge over at Your Scrapbook Place. And don't forget to have fun!
Challenges I am Entering:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Slight Detour in Paradise

After a day in the sun and surf, Murphy's Law kicked in and hit me with a double whammy. I got sick and had to go to Immediate Care, and the heavens opened up and dropped a ton of rain on the island. This poor tourist tried to drive through the flooded street just below our window and not only got stuck, but floated into the rock wall with such force it ripped off his fender!!
I am doing better, and the rain should go away in about an hour. The sun may still shine down on our little piece of paradise today. If not, there's always tomorrow!!
Happy crafting, y'all!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tripping Along the Path of Happiness

Today at the Path of Positivity we explore the many different meanings of Happiness. The Happiness theme can be expressed in your creative projects in any way you wish, whether cards, layouts, canvas, altered art, even your blog write-up.

One of this month's sponsors is Imagine That! digis by Kris, and I got to play with a set of images called Pretty Peacocks. This set includes: 2 peacocks, colored and outline, a flower trio, and 7 sentiments, all in both JPG and PNG format.

I played around with the 2 peacock images and 2 of the sentiments to gift my girlfriend with a reminder to be happy. She is a gorgeous and amazing woman but needs a reminder as to that fact.
I started with a wooden block and Mod Podged/painted the base on all six sides, then covered it with some handmade tissue paper.
Next I adhered patterned paper squares to my sides to frame my images and sentiments, which came next. Then the real fun began, which was to decide what embellishments went where. Instead of listing them all, I took a few photos of my paper weight from different angles.
What makes you happy? Show us what makes you happy and link up with the Path of Positivity challenge blog for your chance to win!
Sponsors and prizes are as follows:

There will also  be:
  • One digital image from Creative Bug Digital Stamps for each person chosen as a DT Delight.
  • One digital designer paper (made to order in a few different ways) from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky voter who leaves a comment.
  • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge.
Challenges I am Entering:
Corrosive challenges - Anything Goes
All Crafts challenges - Anything Goes/No Cards
Crafting From the Heart - Anything Goes
Marker POP challenges - Anything Goes
Not Just Cards challenges - Anything Goes
Stamps & Fun= Creativity - Decoration

Earth Laughs in Flowers

A new month brings warmer weather in my part of the world, and a new challenge at the Outlawz Progessive Freebie challenges. If you played in last month's challenge, you will receive this lovely image from Anne's Digital Art. It is called Poppies.
After coloring my flower with Copics, I sponged a little sky blue onto my background. I popped it onto some textured paper, doodling in the faux stitching on the edges, then stamping my sentiment.
I added this to my stitched card front and added a tiny butterfly charm and my card is complete. I love this time of year, when flowers are just starting to bloom and colors abound everywhere you look. And the scents are heavenly! I just wish I didn't have so many allergies. Do you suppose they have anything to do with the flowers?! LOL
Please check out all the lovely work from the DT today at the Outlawz Progressive Freebie challenge. If you missed last month's challenge, the image is available from Anne's Digital Art. You can purchase it and come play with us, and then next month's image will be free to you!!
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!!
Other Challenges I am Entering:
Simply Create Too - Keep It Simple
Stempelsonnen challenges - Stamp as he main focus
Time Out challenges - CASE-ing the card (I loved the flowers and the color combo of red, white & black, adjusting the ratio and adding a tiny bit of blue & green to mine)
Wonderful Wednesdays -  Anything Goes
{Pin}spirational challenges - Inspired by Pin (Again, the color combo of red, white & black struck a creative chord in me)