Monday, January 31, 2011

February Close To My Heart Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

It's that time again! This month's Stamp of the Month is very interesting. It is called "Friendship" and contains not only sentiments but a vast array of Damask like images. The possibilities are endless!

If you have come here from Chris' Blog, you are on the right track. And now, without further ado, here are my projects for the month.

I painted an old trinket box I had laying around with a taupe colored paint. The edges were ever so slightly sponged with Cocoa ink. I covered the sides with New England Ivy and pattern paper from the new Wings Creative Basics kit. Love this paper. To complete the top, I heat embossed the largest image in the stamp set in gold on a piece of New England Ivy. I made a ribbon rose in Colonial White organza ribbon and stamped one of the smaller images in Juniper Ink on Juniper card stock to make the flourish leaves. The small flowers were made from the Juniper ribbon that is included in the Creative Basics kit. 2 rows of paper pleating were completed and the elements were attached. I added the pearls for a little bling and the box was done.

My other project with this month is what else, a card.

The card is made on a base of Sunset card stock and the large mat is scored and sanded Buttercup. The smaller mat in Colonial White card stock that has been repeat stamped using a puddle pad. If you haven't tried this yet, you should...what fun. I took a baby wipe and striped it with Sunset and Buttercup re-inker. I then used the baby wipe as "my stamp pad." The focal image is stamped in Sunset. The paper flower was made by punching 4 1 1/4 inch circles from Olivia pattern paper, folded into quarters and attached to a base of Colonial White. The center brad as well as the ribbon and clip are from the Sunset Mini-Medley Accents Collection. When I use a color card base, I always make sure that I attach a piece of either White Daisy or in this case Colonial White to make sure that there is a spot for personalization.

It's time to head on over to Terrie's Blog to see what she has created. Thanks for hopping along. For Now, Happy Crafting!

February 2011 Close To My Heart Blog Hop Participants

In just a few short hours the February Close To My Heart Blog Hop is set to kick off. There are well over 60 talented participants this month. Here is the complete list and check back at 9:00pm Eastern Time for all the fun. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Kathleen Androlewicz
Helen Onulak
Carla Ironside
Angela Tutton
Adeline Brill
Carol Harris
Laurie Newton
Jen Patrick
Sheila Bennett
Doreen Guilfoyle
Tammy Lea Pinchard
Jen Rubio
Melinda Everitt
Brae Montgomery
Susan Brooks
Annette Green
Mary Eisen
Toni Hinchcliffe
Dawn Heuft
Beth Naumann
Angel Sawyer
Shannon Buck
Kami Welter
Judy Burger
Chris Shouse
Cindy Leek
Terrie Dodd
Haley Dyer
Wanda Riley
Michelle Loncar
Sarita Schraeder
Pamela O'Connor
Lori Leng
Shirley Ross
Kristie Herdener
Jill Lucas
Traci Godbee
Lori Brown
Teri Baxter
Nancy Brown
Debra Van Patten
Krista Ritskes
Georgia Hauglid
Dawn Ross
Wendy Fording
Melissa Robinson
Caren Goldstein
Melissa Laverty
Teresa Scrivens
Paige Dolecki
Lisa Sargent
Jean McNulty
LeAnne Dudley
Tamytha Jenkins
Nicole Griggs
Angela Garcia
Tamra Pope
Traci Pasqualone
Deanne Jacobs
Wendy Coffman
Tonya Whitehurst
Shannon Pelletier
Katherine Schmitt
Shannon Beck
Cecilia Marsh
Latish Haag
Vickie Tagatz

Friday, January 28, 2011

So, Let's Sew...

The last few weeks I have been playing along with the City Crafter Challenge Blog. This week was a fun challenge. We were to sew on our creations. Way back when, I used to sew almost everything I wore...gave that up when the bathing suit stitching cut lose...but that is a different story...I also used to do a great deal of cross stitching. This challenge was right up my alley.

I wanted to do a little something other than sewing around my mats so I actually included sewing in 3 spots on the card...Straight stitching as the upper corner embellishment, cross stitches on the sentiment mat and if you look closely, embroidery on the focal point image. First I stamped the stem of the little flower and then back stitched it and used a satin stitch for the leaf.

This actually turned out to be a far more complex card that I intended. The focal point image was sponged with Sky ink. The grass was stamped along the bottom. The bunny was rock and roll stamped and cut out as was a second layer of grass. I did the second layer of grass so that it appeared as if he was sitting in the grass. If you look closely, I even added Liquid Applique to make a "cotton tail." The flower he is smelling was stamped and cut out twice. The edges were sponged and curled upward for a 3D effect. I did a little masking for the sentiment. The image actually says "hope." But I wanted my bunny to hop! :o)

I love playing along with the City Crafter Challenges...they really inspire me. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Close To My Heart New Products

The time is rapidly approaching for the release of the new CTMH Idea Book! Close To My Heart is switching to a bi-annual catalogue; consequently, this Idea Book is filled with loads of new stamp sets, papers and embellishments. As always, I am participating in the New Product Blog Hop which is set to kick off today. The gals are trying something new this time...a "linky party." Should be, whether you arrived here from a link or just checking out the new product, don't forget to take a look at all of the wonderful artwork that fellow CTMH Consultants have completed.

For something a tad different this time (or at least different for me), I completed a scrapbook layout. I just love the new My Acrylix Stamp Set called "Summer Breeze." As I was studying it, photographs I have taken over the years of light houses came to mind. I chose to use the new paper packet called Miracle. Some of you may remember Miracle from a special deal last year. The packet is expanded and is wonderful. Please click on the layout to enlarge it for all of the details.

A couple things to note in the Layout. In the upper left corner, I cut pennants out and used the center for a portion of the title. I added chocolate eyelets, strung them on white hemp and matted on a piece of cocoa card stock that has been heavily distressed, sanded and marked with a colonial white and cocoa marker. I wanted to replicate the look of the pennants strung on the mast of a sailing ship. I repeated that element on each picture as a caption to tell where I took the photograph. I added the cranberry brads to highlight the red on several of the light houses.
I love including stamping in my layouts. I used both the light house and sailboat featured in Summer Breeze. If you look closely, I colored both boats with cranberry (to repeat the accent). I also added just a touch of Liquid Glass and Prisma Glitter in the upper window. And, I suppose I have dated myself using the title..."The Guiding Light." I remember my Grandmother faithfully watching the soap opera. :o)

Product List for this layout

Card Stock: Desert Sand, Crystal Blue, Colonial White, Sweat Leaf, Cocoa

Paper Packet: Miracle

Stamp Sets: Sea Breeze, Adorning Corners and Poster Alphabet

Inks: Cocoa, Bamboo, Desert Sand, Crystal Blue, Sweet Leaf, Cranberry, Gray Wool

Markers: Colonial White, Cocoa

Embellishments: Shimmer Designer Brads, Cranberry Brads, White Hemp, Chocolate Eyelets, Liquid Glass, Prisma Glitter

You know I had to also make a card...this card features the new paper packet called Sweetheart.

The card is done on an A2 base and features the stamp set called "Smiles." Also included are sparkles and Prisma Glitter. I will be doing this card at my upcoming February Card Workshop! :o)

The new Idea Book becomes available on February 1st and I can't wait to share! :o) For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Faux Azulejos Tile Card

Yesterday I found a challenge on Splitcoast Stampers that immediately caught my eye. The challenge was based on a tutorial that taught how to make faux titles. Upon seeing the technique, I was reminded of the beautiful tile work of Portugal.

A while back, DH and I were lucky enough to have spent some time in Portugal. What a beautiful and fascinating country. We were based in the capital city Lisbon. The city clings to hill sides that overlook the ocean...much as San Fransisco does. The architecture is a mixture of old and new. In 1755, much of the city was destroyed by an earthquake and subsequent tidal wave. Sections of the city that were high enough on the hills were spared, while the areas near the sea were destroyed.

Throughout the city there are signs of Lisbon's rich history. This picture, The Tower of Belem, was built in 1503. It was the last thing great explorers like Vasco De Gama saw and then their first sight upon returning after a perilous journey of discovery.

Throughout the city, embellishing the the facades of the buildings and even paving the streets are beautiful tiles. The tiles are called Azulejos.

It is from these tiles that I drew my inspiration for yesterday's card.

The technique is simple but a tad time consuming. I sponged a piece of White Daisy card stock with a mixture of Twilight, Moonstruck, Desert Sand and Gray Wool inks. I then stamped my sailboat image (from a soon to be released set called "Summer Breeze) in Moonstruck and colored it with my blending pen. The image was then cut into equal squares with more edge distressing completed on each piece using Moonstruck again. Each "tile" was then coated with Liquid Glass. After it had dried, I re-pieced the image together on a slightly larger piece of Gray Wool card stock. This formed my grout. I mounted the image on mats of Desert Sand and Twilight and proceeded to assemble the card. By the way, the pattern paper is another sneak peak at the Miracle paper packet. I think this card would make a wonderful masculine birthday card, what do you think?

It is so much fun to take inspiration from the things that we have done and seen in our lives. Check back in a few days for more pictures of Lisbon. I used one in a Scrapbook Layout that I will be featuring in my product release post. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ribbon Rose Valentine

I have spent the day getting ready for my Card Workshop tomorrow and making a card for this week's City Crafter Challenge Blog challenge. This week, the challenge was to have handmade flowers in our project. Just up my alley as I am working really hard to perfect this wonderful technique.

The rose was made by twisting cranberry ribbon that had been attached with a brad around and around on a 1 1/4 inch punched out circle. As you twist, make sure to secure the ends with glue dots. I made the rosebud by taking a 2 1/2 inch length of the same color ribbon and using embroidery floss, stitching close to the long edge. I gathered the ribbon tightly and secured with a glue dot. I shaped it until it looked like a bud. I just love these ribbon flowers!

A few more details about the is completed on an A2 base. The layers include Black and Bamboo card stock and the pattern paper is from a soon to be released CTMH paper packed called "Bliss." The "ruffle" on the corner of the scallop mat is actually 1/4 of a paper doily that has been sponged using Bamboo and Chocolate. The leaves were punched with a MS punch that I just bought yesterday. The strands of pearls are from my stash and the "mocha" colored pearls Close To My Heart.

I am so happy I found the City Crafter Challenge...I am having so much fun using their challenges to enhance my skills. Thanks once again ladies. :o) For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wings Card Workshop

Yes, yet another icy, snowy cold day in Philly. AHHHH... Getting really tired of the white stuff. What really has me bugged is I have a Card Workshop scheduled for tomorrow. Sure do hope that we are able to proceed as planned. This post shows the main project for the day, but I wanted to share one of the warm up projects before we start the main event (so to speak.)

Everyone will have the opportunity to make one of the two bookmarks pictured. Both use the new stamp set called Dreams Come True. Both projects include Rock and Roll stamping. The bookmark in the foreground features the large rose cut out while the one is the background has the flower image stamped directly on the paper (for those that don't like to cut out their images.) It is an easy starter project that gives has an impressive result. What do you think?

By the way, a special shout out to the ladies at the City Crafter Challenge Blog for "spotlighting" this card. Thanks so much for mentioning my work. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Close To My Heart Color Challenge

My never ending search for card challenges has turned up another challenge I haven't participated in yet. It is called the Heart 2 Heart and features Close to My Heart goodies. This month's challenge is a color challenge and the goal was to complete a card using Pear, Sky and Colonial White, plus you were allowed the throw in a touch of Sorbet.

I love how blue and green complement each other. It is an icy cold day here in Philly so anything that reminds me of the summer garden is perfect!

I tried one of the techniques featured on a CTMH TV episode. It uses Liquid Glass blotted on the background. After it is dry, you sponge ink over and you have created a resist pattern. I also added a touch of Prisma Glitter to the drying Liquid Glass for a little bling. I tried the technique on the A2 Colonial White base. The blue pattern paper is a reverse side of B/T Duo's from Magnifique and it is matted with a 1/8th inch mat of Sky. The green pattern paper is a reverse side of a sheet from Olivia. I purposely wanted to use the B/T papers so that the card had extra "texture." The window image is from a stamp set called Flower Pot. I stamped the image and then cut it out. The image was also stamped on the same green Oliva paper for the shutters and Sorbet for the window box. I cut out the smaller images and paper pieced them onto the full image of the window. Before I adhered the flower pot, it was sanded and sponged. If you look closely, notice that I scored and sanded the mat that the window is popped up on. I did that to mimic wood siding of a house. A cute touch, what do you think? The flowers are from the newly released set called "A Game." I stamped 5 in sky on Sky paper and one on Colonial White with Sky ink. By the way, the sentiment is actually a long stamp with the words in a row. I used masking and actually stamped 3 times to fit the words into the window. The brads and bitty sparkles were added and the card was done!

I thank the ladies at the Heart 2 Heart Challenge Blog for an interesting color challenge...I shall return. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Clean and Simple Daisy

Well I've been busy today and I can't even post most of my work yet as it has all been done for the upcoming new CTMH Idea Book release on February 1st. I have several of the new products and you will just have to take my word for almost everything! Have to make yet another order! :o)

I wanted to take a break and have something to share with everyone so I checked out the Splitcoast Stampers Clean and Simple Challenge. Today's challenge was an inspiration challenge. The card we were to use had a sentiment in the lower corner and a ribbon across the top. I know that I've said it before, but a CAS card is not as easy as it seems. I wanted to use something that is "new" without revealing all the goodies in the pending Idea Book. These buttons are new and will be available in just a few weeks.

The stem, leaf and sentiment are from "A Posey." This is a cute little set that I will be using in an upcoming card workshop. I arranged the buttons so that they resembled a flower. Oh, by the way, don't forget to tie ribbon, thread or floss in your naked buttons! This simple task will help your work look more complete. I attached the ribbon and asked DH to hold it while I tied the bow...ahhhh...a mistake. He had dirt on his finger and it marked the top of the card. "To the Moon" he went as I reached for my Rub and Remove eraser. Whew, it came off....boy are those erasers great! :o) I let him return from orbit and he is currently cooking dinner. I have to say he did feel badly.

Anyway, here are the details of the is done on an A2 base of Cotton Candy. The top layer is White Daisy. I "flipped" the fold for fun and rounded the corners to mimic the roundness of the buttons.

Back to work on samples for my Idea Book Kick Off Party in early February. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Day Figuring Out How To Do Paper Pleating

One of the techniques that I have noticed is popping up all over the place is what I shall call "paper pleating." I am really loving all of the 3D work that is popular right now. I mentioned in my last post that I had found a fun challenge blog...City Crafter Challenge Blog. This week, a sketch challenge was posted so I thought I'd combine my try at paper pleating and the sketch in one is the sketch...

It is a very versatile sketch and can be useful for many sized cards, but for some reason, it just screamed square card to me. I don't often do cards in alternate sizes because of the difficult postage but sometimes it is fun to break out of your routine.

The card is done on a 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch base. This first mat, a piece of pattern paper was cut to 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches and the solid card stock is 4 inches square and dry embossed using my Cuttlebug. By the way, I smeared the same color ink on the inside of the folder before running through the Cuttlebug. Gives a nice effect, what do you think? Anyway, now for the paper pleating...I cut a 1 x 12 inch piece of the same pattern paper and scored it at the 1/2 inch mark for the full 12 inch length. I folded it against itself forming the pleats. Each pleat is held in place with a glue dot. It fit without trouble onto the card! :o)

The little guy holding the package is a House Mouse image that was stamped with StazOn and then colored with my Copics. The sentiment is from a Close To My Heart set called Framed Phrases.

For the finishing touches I punched the scalloped square and the mat for the sentiment from the matching pattern paper. I attached the ribbon and added a button with Waxy Flax tied in the center. I used my Spica pen for just a touch of bling on the mat, sentiment image and package bow. The paper edges were sponged for a bit of depth. The colors used include pattern paper from Close To My Heart's Magnifique paper packet and CTMH card stock in Colonial White, Lagoon and Sky.

Once again, I thank the ladies over at City Crafter Challenge Blog for helping me with my creative inspiration. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Brilliant White!

In keeping with yesterday's thoughts, I've made another "not dull" card. I found a new challenge website (at least new to me) called City Crafter Challenge Blog. This week's challenge is perfect to help keep things bright and brilliant. The challenge was to make a card using white and only one other color as an accent. Hummmm...harder than it sounds because you always want to add that little extra "bling" here, you need to have some texture there. A true challenge... :o)

I have been wanting to try one of these ribbon flowers for a while now and since this card's focus was "white" this was the perfect opportunity. Here is how to make a ribbon flower...

1. Start with a punched out circle. I used my CTMH 1 1/4 inch punch.

2. Poke a hole in the center using your paper piercer (or push pin if you don't have one.)

3. Select your ribbon, I used a 15 inch length of 1 inch wide White Daisy grosgrain.

4. Very close to one of the end edges (but not so close that it pulls out) poke a brad through the ribbon and attach to the circle.

5. Begin to twist and roll the ribbon around the circle. Use mini glue dots to hold your work in place as you twist toward the outer edge of the circle.

6. Adjust your ribbon as you go making sure you don't have any edges sticking up. The twisting doesn't have to be perfect...after all, what in nature is perfect? :o)

7. When you are done, tuck your edge under the twisted ribbon to hide the ends and secure with a glue dot. You have a ribbon flower!

I mentioned early in the post, this challenge was to make a card using primarily white with only one accent color. If you look closely, you can see that the leaves and background sparkle a little. I mixed white pearl paint with 91% rubbing alcohol and misted before I attached the flower. That's my "bling." For the texture, I ran the layers through my Cuttlebug using the flourish dry embossing folder. I also misted those layers before I embossed them.

When teaching my classes, one of the most frequently asked questions is "how do you coordinate the elements of your work?" I used a very basic rule to accomplish this in my card. I selected the flourish embossing folder to mimic the twists and rolls of the flower. Next, I selected the flourish stamp to mimic both of those elements. Always remember to repeat items and shapes in your projects. This allows the eye to move around the project, avoiding confusion and misplaced elements.

Just a few more things about this card...The base is a standard A2 card (4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches) in CTMH White Daisy. My accent color is Pear. The flourish stamp is from "Cherished Flourishes" and the sentiment is included in the set called "Thank You." The sketch is from "Wishes." Wishes is a terrific sketch book penned by Jeanette Lynton, the founder of Close To My Heart. Here is the card again...

My thanks to City Crafter Challenge Blog for a great challenge...I shall be back. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bright Birthday Card

I hope that things are returning to normal for you now that the busy Holiday season is over. I suppose it shall return to normal for me when I get around to taking down my decorations. :o) If there is one thing I hate to do, it's take down my Christmas Decorations. I always hate how empty and dull the house looks.

Well, things are not dull with my card making. I needed a Birthday Card for a friend so I decided to make a card that would ward off the dullness...

The is a basic A2 sized card (4 1/4 X 5 1/2 inches) but boy did I pack a pile of techniques into it! The cake, from CTMH's previous STOM "Piece of Cake" was heat embossed using Cocoa Embossing Powder. BTW, a little sneak peak at the new Idea Book being released February 1st...Piece of Cake is in the Idea Book! Woooo, yeah....It is a terrific Birthday set! Anyway, I water colored the image using my markers. Yes, markers...I colored the inside wells of a plastic paint pallet. I then dipped a very thin brush in water, blended with the color on the well and painted onto the image. (Colors used: Pacifica, Sky, Gypsy, Cotton Candy).

Next using a tooth pick, I "painted" Startdust Glitz Glitter Glue into the centers of some of the flowers. I also did the same technique using Pink Stickles on the Cake Plate. (Found the technique on Splitcoast Stampers website.) I also added dots of Glitz Glue on the scallops of the Nestie mat.

I tried another technique for the first time...I took a white crocheted daisy and died it using Hollyhock re-inker (I should have used Cotton Candy re-inker but I don't own it...yet.) I dropped about 4 drops of re-inker into a juice glass 1/2 full of water. I dipped the flower, let it rest there for about a minute and lifted it from the glass. I gave it a squeeze with a paper towel to speed the drying time.

Regretfully, my bow is small because that is all the Lagoon ribbon I had left. Love that color! It was new in the Winter 2010 CTMH Idea Book. Must get some more... :o)

I used my Swiss Dot Cuttlebug embossing folder on the Lagoon mat because I wanted to repeat the pattern of the "dots" from the B/T Duo's paper I selected (from Magnifique.) I sponged the edges including the Colonial White card base, assembled and the card was done! BTW, the sketch is from Wednesday's sketch challenge on Splitcoast Stampers.

I am so excited for the new Idea Book to become public! There are some really nice paper packets along with some great My Acrylix Stamp Sets....While we are waiting, don't forget "Wings." This month's newly released paper packet. This time of year doesn't have to be all depends on how you "craft" your time! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 3, 2011

January is for Inspiration!

Want to get inspired? Take a look at the just released Close To My Heart paper packet called "Wings." It is such a pretty set! First, the colors are so unique...Juniper, Sweet Leaf, Vineyard Berry and Black. WOW...such fun. Then look at the patterned paper...butterflies, flourishes and geometrics. The possibilities are endless for cards, scrapbook layouts and altered items.

I knew that I wanted to use the new paper packet for my Monthly Card Workshop. Hummmm, what can I make that will do the papers justice? While I surfed the net, I found this note card holder. I can't take credit for the instructions, but I have made it my own.

It doesn't show well in the pictures, but I used the new CTMH spray pen and a mixture of Pearl Paint and Sweet Leaf re-inker and coated the Colonial White portion of each note card. Way cute! I also used a number of techniques when completing the cards including Prisma Glitter, Generation Stamping and Rock and Roll Stamping. By the way, the images are from "A Flitter," a terrific set that works perfectly with the papers.
The Holiday rush is over and now it is time for some "me time." Get inspired to complete the projects you have wanted to complete. For Now, Happy Crafting!