CPS Sketch #104 and Pulling a Few Strings

Papertrey Ink has partnered with the fabulous folks at CPS once again to sponsor this week's sketch.  As usual, it is a fantastic sketch that holds many, many possibilities.  Have you received your box of new release goodies yet? Now's a good time to take everything out of it's package and play!  Let's just say, if you take the time to head over to the CPS blog and add your project link to Mr.Linky, there may *possibly* be a little something in it for you! *wink*

You Make Life Fun card

I decided to *play* a bit more with one of my favorite images from Beyond Basic Borders and utilize it as the focal point for my version of the sketch.  I ended up wanted a go a bit vintage, which I seem to be doing a lot lately, and found that this background pattern from Background Basics: Retro fit in with the statement I was trying to make.  The sentiment can be found in Handwritten Notes.

You Make Life Fun closeup

I wanted to incorporate several different colors into the curly branch and opted to use a few different sized circle punches to create some accents.  Aqua mist, summer sunrise and ocean tides cardstocks were used to achieve the look.  I am really loving those colors together and look forward to playing with them again sometime soon.


A few of our very own DT gals have shared their takes on this weeks CPS sketch as well!

Betsy Veldman made the most AMAZING flowers from some images in With Sympathy that you just HAVE to see!!!!

Becky Oehlers had fun playing a bit with the golden oldie, Wise Owl.

Dawn McVey made something pretty and *sparkly* that will really leave you inspired.

Geny Cassady used a fresh & fun color scheme you just have to try out yourself!  Ocean Tides & Raspberry Fizz!


Stamps: Beyond Basic Borders, Background Basics: Retro, Handwritten Notes
Ink: Ripe Avocado, Dark Chocolate, Versamark, Frayed Burlap Distress(Ranger)
Paper: Ocean Tides, Classic Kraft, Ripe Avocado, Summer Sunrise, Aqua Mist
Other: New Leaf Bitty Dot ribbon, Summer Sunrise satin ribbon, cream vintage buttons, twine, scalloped scissors & 1/4"" circle punch (Fiskars) 1/2" & 3/8" circle punches (EK Success), Sewing machine & thread
Finished Size: 4.25 x 6.5 inches

A little known fact about me is that not only do I have a passion for paper crafts; I also have an ongoing secret love affair with……

Music corner

…the violin.  In fact our family as a whole loves music and instruments of all kinds. Hannah is progressing quite nicely on the piano since she started in August of last year.  David has been playing the acoustic guitar for several years and recently began experimenting with both the banjo and electric guitar as well.


I had always secretly wanted to play the violin, but never told a soul.  The stars happened to align at the right time and the right place, and playing it became a reality this past September.  It was a bit humbling to start out with the basic "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", as if I was part of the Kindergarten orchestra.  But with persistence from my instructor and a bit of hard work on my end, I'm proud to say that I've now progressed into a Bach Minuet. 

I think I enjoy this relatively new hobby of mine so much because it is the only *instant gratification* activity I've ever been interested in.  My other pastimes are mostly of the crafty nature, which take a bit of planning along with an entourage of supplies.  With my violin, I am able to just pull it out when I have a few spare moments, like the 15 minutes it takes for dinner to finish cooking, and feed my soul with it's beautiful, sweet sound.


I'll leave you with this parting shot… beginner violinists often mark where particular fingering areas are with special tapes.  *My* tapes are VERY unique; pink with chocolate polka dots, courtesy of Heidi Swapp!  *wink*

Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 37 Comments

  • 1
    Bonnie Sharp says:

    Love the violin! Takes me way back to junior high school when I played violin in Grade 7,8 and 9. My brother used to go around the house with toilet paper hanging out of his ears during practice sessions! Boys…. I don’t play now but I still love to listen to orchestra music all the time….Congratulations on taking up a new hobby!

  • 2
    Carla says:

    I love how you finally got to take lessons in an instrument that you’ve always wanted to play! How cool! I’ve played viola most of my life but I had signed up for the cello…the school told me i was too small at the time. At the age of 40 I still have plans on some day buying one!
    And I liked how you hung up the instruments! Clever!

  • 3
    Renee (happystamper05) says:

    Congratulations! I think it’s awesome that you’ve explored your long time dream and passion!
    My twin nephews both play the violin. It’s always a treat to hear them play!
    Love your card and off to CPS to play!

  • 4
    Beth says:

    My son is in Grade 12 and just had his very last piano recital yesterday (sniff sniff), he has been playing since Grade 2 and also has an acoustic and electric guitar. Music is such a wonderful gift to give your children. I have always wanted to play and said that I would take his spot with his instructor (same one for 11 years!) when he graduated. You may have just motivated me to do that!

  • 5
    snarflemarfle says:

    Good for you for learning the violin! Whenever I hear people say, “I’ve always wanted to learn to play the…” I encourage them to find a teacher and learn! I’ve been playing the flute since middle school and my musicianship (is that a word?) has been a blessing to me and to my church family as I often play in church. Keep up the good work!

    And the card is beautiful!

  • 6
    Joan B says:

    How terrific that you are attaining a goal! Play on!

  • 7
    sarita says:

    congrats on learning to play the violin – music is such a soul soother…
    i bet there’s a musical stamp set in your future!!

  • 8
    Ruth says:

    How cool is that. I wish I could hear you play. Ooo somebody said musical stamp set in the future and that sounds awesome. By the way, are you going to be showing off your new studio soon??? I’d love to see it :o)

  • 9
    Debbie Fisher says:

    I love the stitching on your card! It just adds that extra personal touch.

    It is also fun to read personal notes and how fun that you were able to attain another of your wishes! The arrangement of the instruments on the wall is also very eye pleasing.

  • 10
    Crisanne Durrant says:

    Way to Go! I’ve been playing the violin for the past 20 years (gee, now I feel old!). I just have one student at the moment, and she is progressing wonderfully. I created Becky Oehlers wonderful Christmas carol book for her for this coming Christmas. Pretty soon, you’ll need one of your own!

  • 11
    Laura says:

    I took piano lessons when my daughters first started taking lessons, but then I took up a new career, and couldn’t take courses at night and work full-time and practice so I stopped. BUT, once I retire, I will start again and might take up guitar. It’s more portable than a piano when we go camping! I am still so jealous of the lucky lady who won the years worth of PTI stamps. What a fabulous prize!!!

  • 12
    Kathleen says:

    SO glad you are trying this! The violin is a hard instrument to play, so keep up the practice!! As a music teacher, I’m so glad to see that you went for your dream! I hope my own students will continue to ‘study’ something long into adulthood! Congrats on getting past the basics and into a Bach piece!! YIPPEE!!

  • 13
    Marcia Truslow says:

    Why am I not surprised at the clean, simple and elegant look of your music corner???? Simply elegant!

    I did open my new goodies (first-time customer) and played my little heart out. Hard to choose which of the 4 sets I like best, but the Handwritten Notes are divine, and the Sympathy set has tons of uses. I’m in love…… I can see already a 2nd edition to the Notes set – please include a “Happy Everything” when you do!

    Thanks for such top-notch ideas, sets, packaging and quick shipping! You people are just “the best”!

  • 14
    Sue Powers says:

    OH! How wonderful…….. So proud of you following your dreams. You go girl !!!!

  • 15
    Margie Geisler says:

    Good for you for following your dream!

  • 16
    Geny says:

    I love that card Nichole, it is beautiful! How wonderful that you are learning to play the violin!!!

  • 17
    Elizabeth S. says:

    It is great that you are learning to play the violin that has always been your dream. My father was a muscian and loved to hear him play (He even had his own band in his younger days, many, many years ago). I didn’t really pick up and instrument until my daughter took piano lessons and then I learned to read sheet music. Isn’t that strange with my dad playing several instuments himself? Keep up the good work and maybe it isn’t too late for me to try something. Now that I am a grandmother.

  • 18
    amymom24 says:

    Beautiful card, and congrats on taking violin lessons! It sounds like you are taking the Suzuki method! I started with Suzuki violin when I was 4 and took lessons until I was 18. It is a lovely skill to have as an adult:) Keep it up!!! Love the Heidi Swapp tapes. Mine were not nearly as cool. I believe it was strips of electrical or hockey tape for my poor violin! When you get the guts, post a video of you playing!

  • 19

    It just goes to show it doesn’t matter what age you are, you can always learn to play an instrument. I have always loved the violin and cello. I can pick out a few tunes on the piano. It’s on my to-do list to take lessons one of these fine days when I no longer have to work outside the home.

    Thanks for the inspiration, both your card and your music lessons!

  • 20
    Lea Lawson says:

    This is so pretty! I love how you used the ribbon on this one! Thanks for playing with us at CPS this week…and thanks for sponsoring us!! I really love working with your product!


  • 21
    Heather M says:

    It’s always fun to learn something new, and so rewarding when it’s something we’ve always yearned to achieve. Good on ya!
    Thanks so much for the chance to win yet again, but I must admit I love playing the game. The challenges are the most rewarding achievements I lean towards šŸ™‚

  • 22
    Tenia Nelson says:

    I just love this!! Music is my life and I would just love to have all of these instruments…as soon as I get a house..lol!! Super awesome!!

  • 23
    Sheri Watts says:

    Great card, love the ribbon detail!

    Love that you started the violin, I played the violin from 4th grade all through high school. Still play it once in awhile. I find it is so soothing to play.

  • 24
    Michelle says:

    Good for you Nicole. I have always admired the ability to play music.. Kudos for actually being brave and delving in.. impressive progress.. yet another thing your good at, definitly NOT a surprised. Your just oozing with talent.


  • 25
    Bev J. says:

    First-your card is wonderful and second just love your musical corner-congrats on moving up with the violin!

  • 26
    Karie B says:

    Way to go! I’m in awe of your determination. My husband bought me a cello three years ago and I have yet to tune it. I think I’m really going to find a teacher now!

  • 27
    Tracey C. says:

    I think it’s wonderful that you’ve learned something new šŸ™‚ Thanks for this little peek into the ‘inner-you’ šŸ™‚ I played the flute growing up, and now I play the fife, but would LOVE to learn to fiddle…celtic style…maybe someday, but at least for now I can play my fife šŸ™‚

  • 28
    Tonya says:

    Your card is gorgeous! PTI has the BEST colors….so yummy!

    I have always admired anyone that could play an instrument. My Dad has been playing the guitar since before I was born….he did not pass the skill on to me. lol So happy you had the chance to follow your dream!

    I was so excited to see PTI was the sponsor this week for CPS! >:0)


  • 29
    Amy/rohla says:

    I recognize those fingering tapes–my two oldest children (now 16 and almost 14) both took Suzuki violin lessons for a few years and those tapes were such sweet benchmarks to reach! Unfortunately, they both stopped with lessons but I still have their violins and have always wanted to display the above/around my piano, so thanks so much for the inspiration. I’d love to know where the wall hooks are from?

    Love the retro vintage funky card you shared as well–yum!


  • 30
    Amy/rohla says:

    I recognize those fingering tapes–my two oldest children (now 16 and almost 14) both took Suzuki violin lessons for a few years and those tapes were such sweet benchmarks to reach! Unfortunately, they both stopped with lessons but I still have their violins and have always wanted to display the above/around my piano, so thanks so much for the inspiration. I’d love to know where the wall hooks are from?

    Love the retro vintage funky card you shared as well–yum!


  • 31
    Corrina Holloway says:

    just popping in to drop you a thank you note (courtesy Dawn’s blog) to leet you say that i have been addicted to your blog for the last three or four months, everyday it is a must do for me. Your creativity is boundless, i have just put in my first order, and i am so hoping that i can follow along with what you create (though i know it would never be finished like yours are!). Keep up your amazing work Nichole, keep inspiring the little people like me out there, and keep encouraging us to ‘have a go’ and step out of our comfort zones, cause if we can follow you, we can create amazing wonderful things!

  • 32
    Rieca says:

    Music brings inspiration,joy and ballance to our lives, it is terrific that you are chasing your dream.
    You inspire me, you teach me, and you bring the out the best in me. I enjoy all your blog entries especially the ones; like this one, the more personal ones that helps us understand you better. You are a wonderful person who helps enrich and nurture many lives. What you do is incredible and we all appreciate all the little things it takes to make each and every launch go flawless. What I admire most, is your dedication to your family without ever compromising them or your values. And of course your true leadership in the industry; and your efforts to make it a better place.
    You surround yourself with the best, whether it be product or people. And when I say the best, I do not purely mean the best artists; I mean the BEST people. Each person on your design team brings forth a wonderful personality along with incredible talent. You have a keen eye and huge heart to give so much to each person, and even people like me who have never met you.
    Cheers to you Nichole!
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  • 33

    Such a beautiful card! I am so happy for you that you started with the violin. You really inspire us to chase our dreams. Thank you!

  • 34
    Helen says:

    Ohhh Nicole, does your talent ever end? I am in total awe of your creativity every month. You show us all such innovative and inspiring projects. It is evident you love what you do because you make everything seem so effortless … and now THE VIOLIN! Best wishes to you and all your endeavors in life!

  • 35
    Kelley says:

    I am not sure where to leave this comment (customer service, etc?) so I decided that I would just leave it here. I would love to see some acrylic paints in your colors. I love all things Papertrey. I use paint on projects quite a bit and would love to have some matching paint colors!?!? Just a thought!! Keep up the great work! I wish I would win the lottery and I would buy one of everything!! šŸ™‚

  • 36
    Titane333 says:

    Wonderful and congratulation. What you create is magic and now with music …. šŸ™‚
    I love sinds I’m 17 old “Concerto nĀ° 1 pour violon” by Tchaikowsky … In french we say : “Bravo”

  • 37
    Joyce says:

    Yea for you! I started drum lessons after my husband bought me a digital drum set for my 35th birthday! I mentioned I always wished I learned as a kid, so that was my surprise that year! I have been taking lessons 1 year today and I’ve been in 2 recitals, 1 exhibition, and I play with the church orchestra in the percussion pit. It’s a wonderful outlet for creativity and it challenges me all the time!

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