Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Funky Folded Card for the February Blog Hop!

I can't believe that it is February. Time flys when you're making cards! I have had my projects done for the Hop for a week. Today, I got the idea for this card and away I went creating. Indulge me as I have 3 projects prepared. :o) If you got here from Latisha's Blog you are on the right track. I enjoy reading here blog. And, now for my projects....

Today's card is a unique experiment in folding a card. Start with a 6 x 12 inch piece of card stock. Score it at the 3 and 9 inch marks to make a Gate Fold Card.

Next take a piece of card stock that measures 6 x 9 inches. It should be scored at the 3 inch mark on the left side.
Next attach the short piece of card stock to the larger piece making sure that the fold lines match closely so that the card will close. You will have a seam in the back but that will be covered as you decorate the card. It makes more sense in the picture.

You are now free to decorate the card. I took the liberty to distress the edges before I assembled the the pieces. And now for the card...

Here are more views of the inside...

The base of the card is Sorbet. The pattern papers are Caboodle. I also used Vanilla Cream and Sorbet card stock. Remember to leave a spot to sign the card! There is a touch of textured Crystal Blue in honor of the Hearts for Haiti Campaign that I mentioned in this post. The "Let's Party" sentiment is from the exclusive Workshop on the Go Caboodle stamp set.

My next project is a party favor with a matching Birthday Card.

I cut the "nut cup" using "Bags, Tags and Boxes" cartridge and my Cricut. The cupcake image is on all four sides. The cupcake cake was heat embossed in Cocoa and colored using a blender pen. The raised icing was done using Liquid Applique. I finished it off with a glitter pen.

It's time to head over to Judy's Blog and check out her creation. The full list of participants can be found here. Thanks for hopping by and don't forget about Hearts for Haiti...Load up you stash while you help out with earthquake relief. For Now, Happy Crafting!

February Blog Hop Participants!

It's Blog Hop time again! Here is the list of participants for the February Hop. Join in at 9:oopm Eastern Standard Time. BTW - This card is made with a retired CTMH stamp set called Golden Years and Gracious Greetings. The papers are That's Amore, Colonial White and Olive. I heat embossed the rose in Olive embossing powder and colored it with my Copics. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Jena DeVries
Helen Onulak
Haley Dyer
Lori Miller
Jill Lucas
Laura Dame
Carla Ironside
Amy Edwards
Deb Young
Barbra Otten
Jamia Bankhead
Chris Shouse
Debra Van Patten
Jessica Booth
Jen Patrick
Melissa Laverty
Jody Gustafson
Katy Donaldson
Caren Goldsein
Kathleen Androlewicz
Shirley Ross
Laurie Levnik
Laurie Newton
Mary Eisen
Sarita Schraeder
Cibele Glazer
Adeline E. Brill
Jenifer Benner
Wanda Riley
Sylvia Jacquot
Amy McVey
Dawn Ross
Nancy Brown
Susan Brooks
Latisha Haag
Cindy Leek
Judy Burger
Nona Davenport
Kim O'Rear
Kristie Herdener
Karen Norman
Carol Loftus
Lori Leng
Misty Jackson
Michelle Nist
Lori Brown
Kimberly Smith
Tanya David
Krista Ritskes
Traci Godbee
Kami Welter
Beth Naumann
Brenda Harmless
Sheila Bennett
Melissa Burch
Antoinette Herrin
Jen Rubio
Tammy Lea Pinchard
Terrie Dodd
Dawn Heuft
Brae Montgomery
Pamela O'Connor
Angela Tutton
Shannon Pelletier
Alison Mullen
Laura Petruso
Carol Horton
Georgia Hauglid
Michelle Loncar
Shannon Buck
Danielle Chapman
Annette Green

Hearts For Haiti

In addition to the Stamp of the Month, Close To My Heart routinely has monthly specials. The "special" for February gives me goose bumps. Through the already existing philanthropic support of "Operation Smile" CTMH will be donating money toward Haitian Relief from the devastating earthquake. Just because the quake occurred a few weeks ago, we can not forget that the need for support will continue for years.

From February 1st through the 28th, Textured Card Stock packs will be buy one get one free! And, for every offer purchased, Close To My Heart will donate $2 toward the Relief effort. WOW! Starting tomorrow, visit my website or contact me to stock up on some great card stock and to help the relief fund.

I have posted a link on my side bar so that you can follow the progress. I am so impressed with CTMH for developing such a worthwhile program! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another New Stamp Set and a New Toy

What a rainy day we had here in Philadelphia. Whew, driving was a nightmare but I had to head out to the store and get my Martha Stewart Score Board. I called this morning to see if any were in stock. Lo and behold, they were so off through the torrents I went. I am glad that I did because lookie what I was able to do with the Score Board.

The card style is called Side Step Card. I'll post how to do it in the near future as I plan to do more of these fun funky cards!

The images are from a fun new My Acrylix set called "Love Birds." How cute are these little birds. The set includes several bird cages along with several sentiments. By the way, the papers are from the Veranda Creative Basics set and I used a Blender Pen to color the little birdies.

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Coloring with Copics and Dove Blender Pen

Another busy week for me but I have had the chance to get a couple of cards done...

This card is done for a co-worker who unfortunately had to have unexpected surgery. The image was colored with my CTMH water color pencils and blended with a Dove Blender Pen. I posted about the pen way back in the spring. Check out that post here.

The card is done on a 5 x 7 inch base and the sketch was found on Splitcoast Stampers. The papers I used were from both Veranda and Grace Level 2 paper packs. The card stock colors are Creme Brulee, Juniper and Colonial White. The stamps are from So Sweet and the Veranda Workshop on the Go special stamp set. Close To My Heart combines level 2 paper packs with a special embellishment and adds a stamp set that can only be purchased with the kit. What a great deal for $29.95!

This card is for my Craft Fair inventory. I have a few Fairs planned for the spring. A Wedding theme fits perfectly.

The Wedding Cake is from a retired CTMH set called "Now and Forever." I heat embossed the image in cocoa powder and then colored it with my Copics. I added a little bling with my Spica Glitter pen. The papers are from the Grace Level 2 packs.

Time to head back to work. Let me know if you can think of other themes for my Craft Fair inventory. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Handmade Receipt Book

Remember a few posts back, I mentioned that I don't make New Year Resolutions but rather make goals. Well, slowly but surely, I am whacking goals off my list as completed! One of my goals was to be more organized. That goal was the perfect opportunity to try out my new 7 Gypsies Binderie.

I have wanted something that helped me make my own "books" for a while now. When I saw the Binderie on sale, I knew I had to purchase it.

The Binderie is a battery operated punch that is strong enough to punch through chipboard and acrylic. So as soon as I found the 6 AA batteries needed, I set out to make my project. In keeping with the Goal theme, I decided to make a "Receipt" book.

I had 2 chipboard covers that measured 6 inches square. I wanted the inside sheets to be slightly smaller so I cut 12 pieces (one for each month of the year) of White Daisy card stock to measure 5 3/4 inches by 8 3/4 inches. I scored each piece at the 3 inch mark and folded upward to form a pocket.

Next I had to figure out how to securely fasten the pockets. I came up with the idea of sewing the seams after I added the adhesive. I decided to pierce holes and hand sew with embroidery floss rather than digging out my sewing machine, I thought it would go quickly....wrong...took me forever. Anyway, a quick tip...I you want to make sure that your holes for stitching or brads are evenly spaced, use a piece of plastic canvas as a guide. Make sure the paper is lined up and it will give you even holes every time!

After each piece was sewn, I sponged the edges for dimension.

Each page was then decorated.

The next step was to decorate the chipboard and punch the holes. The Binderie will punch several sheets of card stock at once. For my first time, I only punched one sheet at a time. The machine measures 6 inches with a guide so it is easy to determine the proper placement of your holes. There is even an arm with a little post that pulls out that allows you to evenly punch items larger than 6 inches.

And, now for the finished project...

The papers are called "You Rock" and are brand new in the Spring 2010 Close To My Heart Idea Book. The set is a fun and bold colored design good for children, teens, birthdays and the like. The coordinating colors include, Olive, Outdoor Denim, Twilight Blue and Goldrush. The "month" stamps are from a 2009 Stamp of the Month, the letters are from "Atomic Caps" and the stars are from "You're a Star."

I am happy with my Binderie....I will be able to use it for a number of great projects. I won't hesitate to make another book, although, I may rethink the sewing. :o) For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Don't Be Baffled By A Brayer....A Close To My Heart Product Spotlight Blog Hop!

It's Blog Hop Time! The "CTMH Product Spotlight" Blog Hop promises to be exciting and inspirational. The 15th of each month this talented group of crafters will be highlighting a different Close To My Heart product. As a mentioned in my last post, sketches are a great way to complete your projects in a quick and easy manner. This Blog Hop is featuring the CTMH book called "Imagine." The book is packed with scrapbook layouts and tips to help you complete your design "faster, simpler, easier."

If you got here from Tracy's Blog, you are on the right track. Isn't her work wonderful... "Imagine" is a great book. The variety of sketches, the examples the tips are second to none. For this hop, I chose the layout called Sweet Symphony. It is a 2 page spread that includes 3 4 x 6 and 4 3 x 3 inch photos. I had so much fun completing this layout. I don't scrapbook enough and have sooooo many pictures. In the middle '90's, when my Mom was still healthy enough to travel, we would leave the "boys" at home and head off for an week long trip somewhere around the county. What fun we had. I wanted to do a few special things for such a special layout and here it is...

This is National Papercrafting Month so I just had to use CTMH's special kit completed just for the event. It is called Felicity and the colors of Sorbet, Barn Red and Twilight were just perfect for the desert pictures. The kit includes a great stamp set with both images and an alphabet, several B&T Duos papers and instructions on completing your own cards and layouts. I did a few special things in the layout. First off, notice the hemp on the bottom of the first page and at at the top of the second page. One of my goals for the layout was to enhance the feel of the rustic desert. I chain stitched the hemp for texture.

The other special technique that I used on this layout was brayering. A brayer, you know that hard rubber roller thingie that is in the back of the Idea Book? It adds wonderful look to your projects. Don't be baffled by its is a quick and simple lesson on using a brayer....

Collect your supplies. For the purpose of this tutorial, I used a 3 x 6 inch sheet. On the layout I actually used strips that measured 3 x 12 inches. The colors used are Bamboo, Sorbet, Barn Red and Twilight. I selected these colors because I wanted to mimic the colors of desert and and sky. Make sure that you have scrap paper to work on.

Load the ink on your brayer. Always start will the lightest color. IMPORTANT...only roll the roller in one direction. If you load the ink in a back and forth motion you will get streaks of ink that will transfer to your work.

Begin applying the ink to the paper. Start by rolling on the scrap paper and slowly move toward the project paper. You can see this if you look closely at the scrap paper in the picture. Now it is time to roll back and forth. Do so quickly and lightly. Make sure that you go off the paper on both the top and the bottom of your work. This will avoid choppy marks.

I applied bamboo ink on both sides of the paper. If you look closely you can see that the ink is heavier on the edges. That is because the ink moves from the brayer to the paper and as you roll inward the brayer runs out of ink. Also look closely and you will see lines. This is due to the grain of the paper and can't be avoided. These lines add to the dimension of your work.

Next, load your brayer with the next lightest this case Sorbet. Apply the ink in the same quick back and forth motion. Remember to start rolling off the project paper and roll your way to your project. Apply the ink on only one side and only 1/2 way up the paper. This begins to for the desert landscape.

Oh...That's kitten....she wants to learn how to brayer, too!

Now repeat the process with the next this case, Barn Red.

Now it is time to complete the sky. Load the brayer remembering to roll in one direction. Lay down the Twilight ink on the edge that only has the bamboo ink. See how the effect of a desert is created? Now look at a close up of the brayered pieces on the full layout.

It's time to hop on over to Mary's Blog and check out her wonderful work using a layout from the Imagine book. For Now, Happy Crafting!

CTMH - Product Spotlight Blog Hop

In just a few short hours, the 1st Product Spotlight Blog Hop will begin. In preparation for the event, I want to post all the participants..


Don't forget to stop back in a few hours to see all of the work by this group of talented ladies. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Using Card Sketches

I have learned a great lesson. Card and Scrapbook sketches are wonderful tools to help you create your projects. Just like a budget, sketches are meant to be used as a guide. They need to be followed but if a slight variance is needed, that is OK, too. The sketch or budget helps you focus on the original plan.

Today is Wednesday, which means there is a new sketch challenge on SplitCoast Stampers. I have to work a later shift today so I had time to create a card this morning. Here is the original sketch from SCS...
I will be doing some spring Craft Fairs so I need to get started on items to sell. I wanted to play with my Copics and the CTMH stamp set called "Now and Forever" this morning so the sketch challenge was right on time. One problem though, the bouquet stamp was vertical not I flipped the sketch!

If yo look closely, the sketch remains the is just turned on it's side! To make this card, I started with a 5 x 7 inch base. The mats were cut to act as a frame for the stamped images. I heat embossed the bouquet in black and colored it with my Copics. Both the sentiment and bouquet were "popped up" to add dimension. The pattern paper is from the retired set called Silhouette Creative Basics; however, the corresponding paper collection called Silhouette is still available. It is a perfect set for Weddings, don't you thing? Other colors used include Colonial White, Bamboo and Hollyhock.

I love playing with my new Copics. I have found that they work best for me when I first heat emboss the image. It helps keep the inks from bleeding together. The colors I used include: E07, R02, R20, R27, RV 29, RV34, YR00, YG01 and YG09.

Don't be afraid to use sketches. They don't limit your creative abilities, but rather, they enhance them because you spend much less time designing your project. Sketches are a starting point and can be modified to meet your needs without altering the basic sketch.

On January 15th, I will be participating in a Blog Hop that highlights scrapbook layouts from the Close To My Heart book called "Imagine." CTMH has 5 great sketch books for both scrapbooking and card making. I use them all the time and have been able to dramatically reduce the time it takes me to make a project! Check the books out on my website.

I have also been playing around with the idea of starting my own weekly challenge using sketches and other creative techniques. I might even have some blog candy. :o) Let me know what you think! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Making a Matchbook Card

Yesterday, instead of taking down my Christmas Tree, I worked on cards and scrapbook layouts. On January 15th, I am taking part in a Close To My Heart featured product Blog Hop. Watch for more details about the Hop as it will feature scrapbook layouts from the Imagine Book. My layout is done and will post more information on the hop later.

Now on to the matchbook card. I came up with this card and want to share the details on how to make it. The completed measurements of the card are 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches.

Start with a sheet of card stock that measures 9 3/4 inches long and 4 1/2 inches wide.

Score the card at the 1 inch and 4 1/2 inch marks.

Punch the edge near the 1 inch score mark. This is optional.

Fold along the score lines. You can see the matchbook beginning to take shape.

Using card stock, cut out the "matches." For my card I used 2 sheets of paper that measure 4 x4 inches and 4 1/2 X 4 1/4 inches. The size of these "matches" can be adjusted for your preference, but they need to be each scored at the 3/4 inch mark.

Decorate the matches. Make sure you remember to decorate the back of the matchbook so that you have a spot to personalize the card. I covered the CS matches on both sides and decorated the fronts.

Begin to assemble the matchbook by aligning the matches on the cover near the punched and scored edge.

Attach the matches in layers starting with the largest match. Use a strong adhesive and keep checking that your matchbook cover will close without bowing. You can use your bone folder to tweak the fold lines so that the card will fold flat. The last step is to apply a line of adhesive on the cove. Make sure that you leave room for the cover to tuck underneath the punched edge.

This is what it should look like with the front cover tucked under.

Now using your paper piercer, poke holes through all the thicknesses in order to add brads that will mimic the staples in the bottom of a matchbook. Then you are free to decorate the front!

And here are the pictures of the completed card both closed and open.

All of the supplies used in this card are Close To My Heart. The stamps and papers are from the brand new, just released Spring Idea Book. The pattern papers are from Veranda and the card stock colors used are Juniper, Creme Brulee and Colonial White. The stamps are from the So Sweet and Thank You sets.

A Matchbook Card is fun and easy. For those of you who can't decide if you like cardmaking or scrapbooking, it is perfect! Let me know how your cards work out! For Now, Happy Crafting!