Saturday, July 31, 2010

Close To My Heart August Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

It's hard to believe that it is time for a new Close To My Heart Stamp of the Month. And, as is tradition, that means it is time for another Blog Hop! This entry marks my one year participation in the event! :o)

This month, CTMH has selected a very useful My Acrylix stamp set called Something Splendid. The set contains 13 images including flower heads, leaves, stems and sentiments. Just perfect for later summer and early fall projects. Remember, you can purchase the STOM for $22.95 or earn it at reduced rates or even free by making a qualified purchase of other CTMH items. Visit my website for more details.

If you have arrived here from Haley's Blog you are on the right track. There are over 60 participants in this month's Hop.

When I was thinking about what to do for this month's Hop, my thoughts turned to all of you who are beginning to prepare for a return to school. Close To My Heart offers a great alterable Journal (Z1268). What makes this Journal so good is that it has a plastic sleeve to protect your artwork!

The Journal measures 5 x 7 so to start out, I cut a piece of Colonial White to that measure. I edged distressed it with Cocoa. Next, I cut a piece of Grace B/T Duoes to measure 6 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches, sponged the edges with Honey and attached it to the Colonial White. The focal point measures 2 1/4 x 4 inches. I randomly stamped the stems included in the set along the two edges in Cocoa and then randomly stamped a leaf image in Olive along the stems. Next, the flower was randomly stamped over these images in Honey, Twilight and Barn Red. The entire piece was distressed in Bamboo using a stipple brush. The edges were also ink to paper distressed. "Seize the Moment" is stamped in Olive and Glitter Gel was added to the centers of several of the flowers. While the gel was drying, I attached the sponged Twilight and Barn Red mates (each measures 3 x 3) and the buttons. That's Waxy Flax tied in the button that stuff. The focal image is matted with Cocoa and was popped up with 3D Foam tape when attached (after the gel was dry). Lastly, the ribbons were added to the wires.

For my second project, I completed a 6 x 6 card that also features the Grace Paper Packet. The base is Twilight. The image was heat embossed in Cocoa on 140 pound watercolor paper that had been "stained" with a watercolor wash of Honey, Buttercup and Goldrush re-inkers.

It's now time to hop on over to Laurie's Blog. For the second month in a row, I've not been able to post the list of all participants, so please forgive me. Should you get lost along the way, head back to the beginning with Kathleen's Blog. Thanks for hopping by. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Close To My Heart - CTMH - Cards and Watercolor Technique

I guess I have to get better at uploading these things....hehehe....

My First YouTube Tutorial!

I've finally finished it! My very first YouTube tutorial on a watercolor pencil technique for cardmaking. I won't even begin to tell you all of the issues I had trying to get it done but it is completed so that is what is important. All in all, it was fun and I will definitely do more! Here it is....

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Card with Water Color Pencils

I am so happy that I took those classes on water color and color pencil techniques. I have been able to really enhance my coloring! Here is another example of what I learned in the class....

The stamp is from "House Mouse." I just fell in love these meases to pieces.... :o) The card stock is Close To My Heart Crystal Blue and run through my Cuttlebug for texture.l I matted the mice with Cocoa. The image is water colored using a totally different technique than my last post on color wash. I hand painted the mice....yes me....hand painted!

These techniques are far to good to keep to myself, so most of yesterday was spent on tutorials to share with you on the techniques. Watch for them as I my plan is to have them posted by the end of the month! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Watercolor Wash Card with Heat Embossing

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to take 2 great classes with Dave Brethauer owner of The Memory Box Stamp Company. In the first class, he taught us different techniques for using wax based coloring pencils. The second class taught several techniques involving watercolor.

Once home, I was so excited to try all of the fun techniques, I didn't know where to begin. As I thought about it, I came up with an idea using his techniques with a little of my own style thrown in. Splitcoast Stampers also had an interesting challenge posted today. The challenge was to make a card that included only the cool colors of blue, green and purple. (Blue and Green is my favorite color combo.)

Using CTMH re-inkers in Olive and Moonstruck, a water brush and 140# watercolor paper, I completed the background for my heat embossed image. You know, re-inkers aren't only for re-inking your stamp pads....they can be used for dying ribbon, making spray mists, tinting pearl paint...the possibilities are endless. Anyway, once the background was dry, I heat embossed the image from Childhood Portrait (D1373). The edges of my Spring Iris card base along with the Moonstruck layers were sponged and the card was assembled. I added Bitty Sparkles (Z1263) to the corners and tied the White Daisy organdy ribbon. The card was done.

By the way, the sketch for the card is from the "Wishes" Card Confidence book. Jeanette Lynton, Owner and CEO of Close To My Heart has written several how to books that include card and scrapbook layouts and techniques. They are wonderful! Check out my website for more information on how you can get your own copy of "Wishes" and the re-inkers in every beautiful color CTMH makes.

When you discover a new technique, don't be afraid to try it. Play around with what you have learned and make it your own. Visit often as I plan to post tutorials on this technique and many others I have recently learned. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Farmville and Fishville Fun!

Ok, admit you spend time on Facebook playing Farmville, Fishville, Yoville, Mafia Wars.....So many of us do... :o)
Yesterday, when trying to think of a card that I should make, I paused to "harvest my crops" and came up with this idea!

For those of you not familiar with the Facebook games, let me explain. The goal of all of the games (they are all basically the same, just a different theme) is to befriend as many people as you can to be your "neighbor" and play along with you. The more neighbors the more points and options you have to grow your farm or fish tank. :o) This card was made as a "hello" for all of my "neighbors."

The card is done on a 6 x 6 inch base of textured Colonial White. The edges are ink distressed. The next layer is Brown Bag that that has been scored, sanded and ink distressed. The barn image was heat embossed in cocoa and watercolored. "Howdy Neighbor" was stamped in Brown Bag on Twill ribbon. (Both the barn and sentiment are from the CTMH My Acrylix set called "Howdy.) The Garden Green pattern paper is from the Passages B/T Paper packet. The pearls at the top are called Opaques and are a little tiny sneak peak at embellishments to come in the Fall Idea Book.

So, I say "Howdy" to everyone....Farmville....Fishville or anyone out there as I call everyone my Neighbor! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chipboard Is Not Just For Embellishment

One of the things I learned at the recent CTMH Convention was that Chipboard is really hot right now. Chipboard can be used to add depth and interest to our layouts and cards. CTMH makes great chipboard elements called IRRESISTIBLES. These dimensional elements for your projects come in multiple shapes and have a raised area that resists ink. The effect is wonderful. When you sponge on ink a design magically appears!

This was a fun card to make and it highlights the chipboard butterfly used as not only an embellishment but it also holds the card closed!
To make this card, I cut Indian Corn Blue cardstock to measure 11 x 4 1/2 inches and scored at the 2 3/4 and 5 1/2 mark. Buttercup cardstock was cut to measure 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches. I heat embossed the flourishes (from Playful Flourishes...D1212) in Silver Pearl (Z678) embossing powder mixed with Prisma Glitter (Z134.) Next, I cut pattern paper from Sweet Home (X7116B) to measure 2 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches and attached it to the front flap. The sentiment, from So Sweet (C1389) was stamped on White Daisy in Barn Red and matted with Barn Red cardstock. Each layer was lightly sponged with tone on tone ink. I added Sparkles (Z1104) for some extra bling. The flower on the sentiment was punched from a multi-layer punch I have in my stash. Now for the "Irresistible" butterfly...I sponged the center in buttercup and the outer edges with Indian Corn Blue. See how the body and designs on the wings just pop? What a great effect, don't you think? :o) I attached only one half of the piece so that the front of the card would tuck securely under his wing.

And, now for another look at the completed card...

I really enjoy making fun folded cards and using Chipboard really adds interest. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jeanette's Color Challenge, Mojo Monday and Techniques from the CTMH Convention

My head is still spinning from all the wonderful information I learned at the Close To My Heart Convention. I surfed the web this morning to find some inspiration to play with the promised first resist with rub ons. First I stopped by Jeanette Lynton's blog for her weekly color challenge. Hummmm...Crystal Blue, Heavenly Blue, Desert Sand and Bamboo. Next, I stopped by Mojo Monday and found this great sketch...

And there you have it...a winning combination.

The card is done on an A2 card base of Desert Sand. The next layer is Bamboo and the third layer is Desert Sand. On the third layer, I adhered stem Rub-Ons from "Love Story" (Z1135). I brayered the layer with Desert Sand ink. Next I had to remove the rub-ons. Here is the trick...scotch tape. The tape will pick up the rub-on without problems. I used my "Rub and Remove Eraser" (Z1207) to clean up the last little tigs of rub-ons. This eraser is one of the handiest tools I have. It removes excess adhesive, rub-ons and even cleans dirt from your stamps! After the rub-on material is removed, you are left with untouched cardstock. This is called Ink Resist with Rub-Ons.

You can see clearly see the uninked stems. To follow the Mojo Monday sketch, I tried another resist technique. First I cut a 2 1/4 inch square in Crystal Blue and a 2 inch square in Bamboo. I randomly stamped flowers and leaves in VersaMark from "Smiles" (C1397) on the Bamboo. I heat embossed with clear powder. Now comes the fun part...I mixed Pearl Paint (Z1039) with Prisma Glitter (Z134), a few drops of Heavenly Blue re-inker and a few drops of water. When the heat embossing was cool, I painted it with the mixture. When that was almost dry, I wiped it with a paper towel removing the paint from the embossed area. What you are left with is the embossed images in bamboo and a shinny background!

To finish the card, I cut the 2 inch Bamboo square into 1 inch pieces and attached it to the Crystal Blue Square. I added the clear button in the center using Liquid Glass (Z679) and cut a length of Crystal Blue Waxy Flax (Z1247) long enough to be able to both tie the bow in the button and to wrap it around the brayer cardstock. I cut out the scallop circles and stamped "Happy Birthday" in Heavenly Blue. Happy Birthday is from Holiday Hoopla (D1382). I added Bitty Sparkles (Z1263) for a little extra bling. Bling is oh so important right now! :o) Lastly, I assembled the card, popping up the brayered and painted layers. And, now for one more look at the completed card...

What a fun card to make! I learned so many great techniques at Convention and can't wait to share more of them with you! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Close To My Heart Convention Review all I can say! I am home from the CTMH Convention that was held in Washington DC. What a wonderful time. The new friendships, the new products, the new ideas easily boggle the mind. I was so impressed with the time and effort that was put into the production of the Convention. Even the littlest detail was not forgotten. Our General Sessions included updates on the company, an introduction to new fall products (more about them in later posts), the wonderful philanthropic work that CTMH does with Operation Smile and even a question and answer session with Jeanette Lynton (the Founder and CEO). We had business classes and many hours of technique instruction. There are also many changes/improvements being made in Studio J. If you remember, Studio J is CTMH's Online scrapbooking program. The modifications are great and coming soon, you will be able to a jpeg of your work!

I am still absorbing all of the wonderful information I learned. There are so many new techniques to share and I have already decided on the first one that I will involves rub on and a brayer!

I leave you with just a few pictures of the great festivites. Don't forget to check back for more techniques and information! For Now, Happy Crafting!