Monday, May 31, 2010

June Close To My Heart Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

It's that time again....the monthly STOM Blog Hop! In June, CTMH will be featuring a My Acrylix Stamp Set called "Wonderful Friend." While the 9 stamps are perfect for Father's Day cards, they are also useful any time of the year. Check out my website for complete details on how you can purchase or even earn "Wonderful Friend" for free.

If your got here from Antoinette's blog, you are on the right track. For my first project, I wanted to show off that the set doesn't have to be used for Father's Day cards....I made a Treasure Box! I had a cigar shaped box that I covered with paper from the newly release paper packet called "Passages." I accented the project with Tulip ink and cardstock. I also used images from the set called Travel Postcard Series and Childhood Portrait.

I also made a traditional Father's Day card with the set. Forgive the picture, this is a picture from a Craft Fair a few weeks ago. The card is tucked away safely in someone else's home awaiting June 20th. :o)

This is a 6 x 6 inch card that I also featured papers from Passages. The tie was stamped in Brown Bag ink, cut out and popped up with 3D Foam Tape. The frame and Dad are two separate stamps. I love clear stamps! :o)

It's time to hop on over to Kimberly's blog and check out what she did with the June STOM. For now, Happy Crafting!

An OWH Thank You on Memorial Day 2010

I want to give an advance Thank You to everyone who has and will be posting such wonderful comments on my Operation Write Home Blog Hop post. I sincerely hope that my post, along with the other over 140 participant posts has inspired us all to make cards for our deployed heroes. My next bundle of cards will be mailed later this week. And, don't forget, I'll be announcing the blog candy winner tomorrow. Feel free to check out my blog hop post here.

This is a card that I actually started to include with my OWH blog hop post but didn't finish in time. The card is made using a Paper Craft Planet sketch I found. The pattern paper is from CTMH's Cherry-O paper packet and the cardstock colors are Colonial White, Tulip and Crystal Blue. The cute little bear is from "Beary Busy." It was heat embossed, watercolored and pearls were added to the flower centers. "Thank You" is from the My Acrylix stamp set called "Thank You."

Memorial Day is the perfect time to reflect on those who have given of themselves so that we may have the freedoms that we so enjoy. More information about Operation Write Home and the fine work this organization does can be found here. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Operation Write Home Blog Hop

I am so thrilled to once again be participating in an Operation Write Home Blog Hop. What a wonderful and worthy cause. So many making handmade cards for our deployed heroes. The details about their fine work can be found here. If you arrived here from Stacy's blog you are on the right track. Isn't here Freedom Eagle marvelous? So, I welcome you to my little stop on the hop.

My childhood memories of Memorial Day are getting up early in the morning and watching my Mom go to the garden and cut peonies and poppies that were in bloom. She would cover an empty coffee can in "tin" foil, fill it with water and carefully arrange the fresh cut flowers. The flowers HAD to be peonies and poppies. We would get in the car and drive to the cemetery and leave the flowers on the graves of departed family members. We would return home and spend the afternoon listening to the the Indy 500 on the radio. Paper poppies would also appear on the dining room table. My Father would bring them home....he was a WWII Vet. I never quite understood as a child why, but the paper poppies would remain in a small vase on the hutch until they were replaced with new ones the next year. It's funny how these early memories stick with you well until adulthood.

As I was thinking about what I was going to do for this very special blog hop, this memory came to mind. I began to do a little research and discovered that the poppy has been a symbol of Memorial Day for many many years. In 1915, during a lull in the battle, John McCrae a medic for the Allies in WWI penned a poem about the poppies he saw in Flanders Field. The poem was published. Around 1918, Moina Michael, an American Woman read the poem and began to wear a red poppy as a remembrance of those who sacrificed and as a symbol of keeping the faith. Shortly there after, a French Woman, Madam Guerin. while visiting the US, learned of the new custom and took it back to France. She began to sell paper poppies to raise money for those rendered homeless after WWI. Selling paper poppies spread to Canada and then to America. Today, the custom of buying a paper poppy on Memorial Day remains and donations have raised countless dollars towards Veteran's Programs.

This is my "Paper Poppy." The card is made with Close To My Heart products. The "poppy" was stamped twice, watercolored, cut out and glued together for the 3D effect. The center is a button that I painted with a mixture Pearl Paint and Outdoor Denim re-inker.

I am offering some great CTMH blog candy for anyone who leaves a comment. Share a childhood memory of Memorial Day and you'll receive 2 entries. A winner will be randomly selected on Tuesday June 1st.

As a child I never fully understood the significant of Memorial Day. Now I have a greater appreciation...For all who have sacrificed and those who are currently giving of themselves so that we may be free, we shall be ever indebted.

It's time to get busy and make those cards. All the details on how you can donate to Operation Write Home can be found on the link I provided at the start of this post. Thanks for visiting and enjoy the Blog's time to head on to Karen's blog. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Experimenting with Backgrounds

I found a new Challenge Blog to play along is called Heart 2 Heart Challenges and be found here. It is dedicated to all things Close To My Heart! A recent fun challenge was to design and stamp your own background. Well, I may have taken some literary license with the challenge, I think this card shows off the versatility of CTMH stamps.

I used a number of My Acrylix Stamp Sets and techniques to complete this card. First off, I masked the top portion of the rectangle of White Daisy with sticky notes and brayered the bottom with Bamboo and Desert Sand. I reversed the masking and brayered the top with Ocean. To make the seaweed, I randomly stamped the flower stems from the My Acrylix Stamp Set called "Smiles" in VersaMark and heat embossed them with Olive powder. The shells are from "Daydream" and were stamped in Cocoa and using a blender pen were colored with Dessert Sand. Next, the cute little fish was inked with Buttercup ink and his fins were rock and roll inked in Moonstruck. I cut him out and attached him with 3D Foam tape. I added a little bling and the background was done!

The template for the card is a simple matchbook design that can be found in the "Wishes" Card Confidence book. It measures 4 1/2 X 4/ 1/2 inches. The colors used include: White Daisy, Moonstruck and textured Sunkissed Yellow and Key Lime. The lighter green is the reverse side of the Key Lime paper. I heat embossed the additional seaweed shapes and "Happy Day" on the card backing. The card is held closed with a pewter photo clip.

My Acrylix Stamps, because they are clear, make random stamping so easy to complete. This was such a fun little card to complete and thanks to Heart 2 Heart for the challenge! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's a Zoo....

I know, I know I'm always saying how busy I am....well, this card has been made since Monday and I didn't have a chance to get it posted! I wanted to do try out this weeks Mojo Monday sketch challenge.

This is a great sketch and it gave the the opportunity to use an Irresistible. What is an Irresistible you ask??? Irresistible are these great chipboard accents that when sponged with ink, reveal a design that adds dimension to your work! Love 'um! :o)

See the cute little lion sitting on the Irresistible? I just love this paper and this stamp set. The Stamp Set is called "It's a Zoo" (C1360). For just $18.95, you receive 6 cute zoo animals and 2 sentiments! The creatures perfectly match one of the pattern papers from "Animal Cookies" (X7112B). This is another great paper packet from Close To My Heart. I used 3 of the patterns in this card! As a reminder, CTMH paper packets come in three levels. The first level (A) includes pattern cardstock, pattern paper, cardstock, 12 x 12 sheet protectors and Stickease, to help finish your work very quickly. Levels 2 and 3 are the same paper packet including 12 sheets of 6 different pattern papers and 10 sheets of matching cardstock....all for $12.95! There are also matching Stichease if you want! Each CTMH paper packet also has 2 perfectly matched stamp sets, too! At first glance, Animal Cookies appears to be a paper packet for Children; however, it is so useful for so many cards and layouts!

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, May 24, 2010

6 x 6 Accordion Album

Whew, I finally have a day off! I can't believe that it has been so long since I posted. My new job has really had me running. I did manage to get a small album done....some how, some way! I wanted to make a Baby Scrapbook. Me, baby??? No, No, but I thought I needed something "baby" in my portfolio.

There are many 6 x 6 albums available on the market. Close To My Heart makes an accordion album in this size that is just perfect for display on a shelf or to tote around as a "brag book." These accordion albums contain a total of 8 pages including the chipboard front and back covers. The pages are all connected, open outward to display your photos and fold neatly into a flat square.

To make my baby album, I used the Caboodle Paper Packet. That was a great packet for a "neutral" theme. The cardstock colors include: Sorbet, Sweet Leaf, Buttercup, Vanilla Cream and Colonial White.

The album was really fun to make. As I have mentioned before, I believe that your embellishments should enhance, not overwhelm the photos. To complete the album, I used some fun techniques to make the embellishments.

I had these little metal tags from a CTMH Colonial White embellishment kit. Stickease work perfectly on the little tags, but I didn't have any that matched the album. Hummmm, I didn't want to heat emboss directly on the metal. Caution, I learned the head way...heat embossing on metal can be hard on the fingers. The metal gets so hot, your fingers get burned. To get around this hazard, I heat embossed the little heart in cranberry powder, cut it out and glued it down.

This element is completed by repeat stamping the little tiny man, lady and baby carriage. I heavily edge distressed the bottom edge of the paper and sponged Sweet Leaf ink so that the images were "grounded." A note here, don't be afraid to use stamps from sets that aren't necessarily tagged or titled in the subject that you are making. Sometimes stamp sets include images that will unexpectedly work with a totally different that designed theme. For example, the images used here are from a set called "Neighborhood" and the set has absolutely nothing to do with babies!

There are 3 fun techniques right here on this little picture. The "shhh..." was done using a stamp set called "Tiny Typewriter." What a great My Acrylix set! It contains 173 images and letters! Any time I don't own the right sentiment I pull out this set. I was able to perfectly do the slight bend in the letters using a fun tool called "Block Buddy." The Block Buddy system is a set of clear "clings" that have shapes and lines on them. Because CTMH stamps are clear, you can very easily align your stamps to the lines on the block buddy and stamp any shape you want! Lastly, my little lamb is from a set called "Howdy." (Another example of using an unrelated stamp set.) I stamped the cute little lamb in Cocoa and watercolored his face and legs. I used a product called Liquid Applique to add the texture. Liquid Applique is a thick almost paste like liquid that you spread on your project. When heated with a craft heater, it puffs up! What fun....

Well, time to head off and begin to work on my next project. BTW, I will be participating again in a wonderful Blog Hop this Memorial Day weekend....Operation Write Home is a great organization that collects handmade cards and forwards them to our troops overseas in order for them to have cards to mail home to their loved ones. What a great cause and what a great organization. Check out what they do here and I will give more details later! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Circle of Life

The mystery is over....THE ALBUM IS DONE!!! I finished and mailed my album for the Close To My Heart Album contest. Whew....that is why I haven't had the opportunity to complete much other work. The contest, in short, included 6 layouts each with specific requirements. The judging also includes quality of photographs and the story told by the photographs.

With the help of the lyrics of The Circle of Life from The Lion King, I chose to tell the story of the lyrics using my pictures. What a job. Six layouts took me 3 months....know that that includes reviewing all of my photo, ordering the products, assembling the pages and "writing" the story.

The first page is done on Olive cardstock and is highlighted with both Back Country and Caboodle B/T Duo's papers. I also used random stamping, heat embossing, distressing and sponging.

Layout 2 was to use no more than 3 large photos and show off the strength of the photos. The layout includes scoring, sanding and chalk popping.

The instructions for Layout 3 were to use Black and White or Sepia photos and highlight will full color B/T Duo's. I used Sweet Home and Grace papers along with an odd mixture of solid colors. I had cut the title from covered chipboard....boy was my hand tired after that....I think it works, what do you think?

Layout 4 I had to highlight a single photo on a page. I tell the story of my trip with my Mom to Salt Lake City to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The music staff is hand stitched in Waxy Flax (perfect for hand stitching), the floral bouquets are hand pieced and look at the graduation cap....that is a tassel made from embroidery floss. :o)

The 5th Layout instructions were to complete a page using photos of things not people. I made the title by hand cutting the large circle and then punching all the smaller circles with CTMH's new 1 1/4 inch punch. "Nature's Wonders" was heat embossed in gold powder. Each of those little butterflies was hand cut and have sparkles for antennae. The daisy plant was heat embossed in Cocoa and watercolored. The 2 mats that have both the daisy and the journaling are hand stitched together and the threads are tied with a bow.
Layout 6 was to be completed in Studio J....Close To My Heart's new Studio online scrapbooking program....Love It! :o)

Well, win or lose, the album is done. It was so much fun to complete this project. Just reviewing a life time of photos brought me pleasure. I chose the lyrics from "Circle of Life" because there is such meaning in the words...

"Circle of Life"

Lyrics by Tim Rice

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There's more to be seen than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done

Some say eat or be eaten
Some say live and let live
But all are agreed as they join the stampede
You should never take more than you give

Some of us fall by the wayside
And some of us soar to the stars
And some of us sail through our troubles
And some have to live with the scars

There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps the great and small on the endless round

In the Circle of Life
It's the wheel of fortune
It's the leap of faith
It's the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle, the Circle of Life

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Being Busy Using Close To My Heart Products

Wow, I can't believe that it has been so long since I have posted anything! It's not like I have been "vacationing" either. My life has been filled will Close To My Heart! I did manage to squeeze in a Phillies Game, too!

Before I start talking about the goodies I've made, let me share a couple pictures of the Fightin' Phils! Baseball tickets are almost impossible to get in Philadelphia. We have a friend with Season Tickets and he was unable to go to the game. Unfortunately, it was one of their rare loses, but that's OK. It was Dollar Dog Night! :o)

On May 2nd, we had a wonderful Idea Book kick off party at my house. We chatting and had so much fun looking at new CTMH products. We took some to time to make a folded flower card and made our own cards and scrapbook layouts, too. Unfortunately, I deleted the pictures from my camera. I don't know how I did it, but they are gone. You'll just have to trust me.

On Saturday, I had yet another table at a local Craft Fair. As always, I had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people that I hope to maintain contact with.

These are a few cute little picture frames I made up for the table that use past stamps of the month.

Another project I worked on was another 9 x 9 album. I wanted it for the Craft Fair to show off the wonderful Close To My Heart products. I love the 9 x 9 accordion albums. They work up really quickly but the best thing about the 9 x 9 size versus an 8 x 8 is that you can get 2 full sized pictures on each page! It is a Wedding Themed album using Silhouette papers, Bamboo, Colonial White, Black and Tulip card stock. I also used the Silhouette Simply Snapshot papers. Simply Snapshot papers are so handy. They are 9 x 9 and have spots for 2 pictures. All you need to do is add a little journaling and embellishment and the page is done. Unfortunately, the Silhouette paper is discontinued, but Simply Snapshots are available in several other patterns that perfectly match B/T Duo's paper packs. They are even at a new reduced price! I like to add stamping to my layouts. In this album I used Childhood Portrait, Joy Forever and a retired Wedding Set called "Now and Forever." I can't seem to get the album posted in the text so I will add it in a post immediately above this one.

What else am I working on??? I have to prepare for another Craft Fair next Sunday (boo, the weatherman just said that it may rain) and I am finishing up the album that I am doing for the CTMH Convention contest. I'll post that after the submission date! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Easy Paper Box with So Many Uses

The other day, I was trying to come up with quick and simple decorations for my Summer Idea Book kick off party. I had seen a folded "what not" holder at a Craft Fair, but did not have the template. So, I set out with my Score Board to replicate it. As I was "playing," I realized that I could fold it a couple different ways and have a totally different look!

I call it, a "Corner Box" because the changes are made when folding the corners. Here is how to make a "Corner Box."

1. Start out with a square piece of card stock. For this tutorial, I used 12 x 12 inches.

2. Score it the same measurements on both the right and left side of the paper. For my example, I scored at the 2 1/2 and 9 1/2 inch marks. The closer you score to the edge of the paper, the shorter the sides, but larger the box. If you want a square box, made from 12 x 12 inch paper score at the 4 and 8 inch marks.

3. Rotate the Card Stock and score at the same measurements on the other edge of the card stock. Your score lines will intersect.

4. Next, score on the diagonal from the point the lines intersect to the corners. Do this on all for corners. I have always had a hard time trying to score on the diagonal, so here is how I fixed my problem. I took a stiff piece of cardboard and lined it up with the intersection point and the corner. I traced next to it with my bone folder....whew, I got a perfect score mark.

5. Fold the straight score lines to begin to form the box.

6. Gently fold your diagonal score lines.

7. Here is the fun can fold your points either inside or outside. This gives you the two totally different shapes.

8. For this box, I decided to fold the points outward. I added a glue dot on each of the corners at the score lines. This will add stability and helps you complete the next step.

9. I next punched holes into each of the outward points and tied a ribbon to hold it secure.

10. You now are free to embellish and decorate as you like. The box reminds me of one of those fabric baskets you can find at speciality stores.

I chose the measurements I did for this box because I figured out that the My Acrylix Stamp Sets would display perfectly for my Open House. By the way, both the stamped image and the patterned paper are from the new CTMH Idea Book.

Here is another "Corner Box" I made only this time, I folded the corners inward. This works best with the score mark measurements made to make a square box. The points will meet in the center.

I punched holes in the four corners like the outward point box. When I brought the points to the center, I added a few glue dots to hold the box together, threaded ribbon through the holes and tied the bow. With the Cherry paper and stamps (also from the new Idea Book), the box was perfect to hold the napkins at the Open House.

There are so many possible uses for these "Corner Boxes." What can you think to do with them? For Now, Happy Crafting!