Sunday, July 31, 2011

CTMH Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge... In with the New and Out with the Old

Tomorrow is the day!  The release of the new Close To My Heart Idea Book.  There are so many new and fun things to share that I am going to deviate from my "Color Use" postings in order to share some of the new goodies.  I'll return to that topic shortly. 

One of the best things in the new Idea Book is the Cricut Cartridge.  It is called Art Philosophy and it is probably one of the best cartridges I have ever used.  Really!  :o)  It has 3D items, cards, a font with a shadow, shapes...the list goes on and on.
When you purchase the Cricut Bundle, you will receive the cartridge, 3 "D" size matching stamp sets and 3 sets of matching chipboard shapes.  Wow...  Everything on this card comes from the Cricut Bundle.  I cut the card base in cocoa using one of the shape features.  The oval, flourish and 3D flowers are also cut using the "bug."  Last but not least, "Happy Birthday" is from one of the included stamp sets.

There have been a lot of questions concerning what size Cricut Machine you need to use the cartridge.  Everything for this card has been cut on a "Baby Bug."  The Baby Bug is the nickname for the original Cricut Machine that was released almost 6 years ago.  You can cut images ranging between 1 inch and 5 1/2 inches (the sizing increases by 1/2 inch except for the the ability to cut 1 1/4 inch images.)  There have been additions to the Cricut Family over the years.  There is a Cricut Create ( not very familiar with that one), the Expression Machine and now the Imagine.  The Expressions will cut images ranging from 1/4 inch to 23 1/2 inches and the Imagine cuts the same size but also includes a printer. 

The stamp sets included with the Cricut Bundle include images that are used to stamp the images once they are cut.  The measurements needed to match the stamp to the cut image are included on the plastic stamp carrier.  Some of the images are sizes that aren't available on the "Baby Bug," but, I was able to create this lovely 5 inch card on the baby bug.  Another thing to keep in mind is the 3D items.  There are such as a Pillow Box and French Fry Box on the cartridge.  You may not be able to cut the items as large as you would like with the smaller Cricut.  While I believe you will have more options with the Expressions Machine, don't feel that you absolutely need the larger machine to take advantage of the shapes in Art Philosophy.  The Baby Bug will still cut all the shapes!

Today is the last day to be able to purchase several of our favorite paper packets like Mistletoe, Olivia and Magnifique.  Also, bulk packs of single color card stock is changing and more importantly the cost is increasing.  If you are looking for bulk packs for Holiday Cards or invites, may I suggest that you order it today before the changes.

As with everything, change is enevitable.  Tomorrow, is the big day for many new products at Close To My Heart...especially that terrific Cricut Cartridge.  Big Bug, Little Bug, you are going to love Art Philosophy.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Enjoy The Ride!

Well, the Close To My Heart Convention is now fading into memory (wish I had be able to attend this year.)  I do have some fun things to share though.  The new Idea Book will be officially released on August 1st.  I have already seen it and I can't wait to share all the goodies.  My shipment of new product is due on Friday, so I will have some great things prepared for Monday!  :o)  One thing I will peak your interest with is the new Cricut Cartridge!  I can't wait to see it in person.  It has 3D items, a font, 3D flowers and all kinds of shapes for our projects. 

Another thing I will share is that 4 paper packs from the current Idea Book will be returning:  Sophia, Mayberry, Fanfare and Lucky.

This card is made using Lucky.  Lucky is a terrific paper packet and just perfect for masculine projects.  The stamp set is used also remains current and is called "Enjoy the Ride."  Some more fun facts about this card...I used Rock and Roll stamping in Outdoor Denim and Olive on the corner stamp.  The bicycle is heat embossed in Outdoor Denim and Gold Embossing Powders.  Olive and Outdoor Denim are 2 colors that work beautifully together because they are what are called analogous colors.  These are colors that rest next to each other on the color wheel.  I will talk more about the color wheel in a later post.

Right now, the most important thing to remember is that the Idea Book will be here shortly....Sit Back and Enjoy the Ride!  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm The Guest Designer....

Just a quick note to tell you that I am the current Guest Designer on the Michelle Perkett Studio.  Michelle hand draws terrific images and turns them into digi stamps.  For those of you that aren't sure, a Digital Stamp is an image that you print from your computer and then color.  This week's theme on the blog is to use a song for your inspiration and used the song "Blowin' In The Wind."  The name of my image is the "Peace Fairy."

Don't forget to check out Michelle's wonderful designs.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Making Primary Colors Work For Your Projects

Back when we were in school, we were taught about the "Primary Colors."  Red, Blue and Yellow.  These are the colors that are the base for all other colors.  When we think about the primary colors, we automaticly think bright child like colors.  These colors are easy to work with because we know the mood and message that we are sending...Disney Scrapbook Layouts, School Day Layouts, Children's Birthday Cards.  But this doesn't have to be the case.  There are tints and shades to every color.  When we "tint" a color, the color is lighted by having white added.  When we shade a color, we have darkened it by adding black.  The primary colors are easiest to work with because they are the foundation of the color wheel.  (We'll talk more about that later).  But the primary colors don't have to be childlike and bright.
If you look closely at this card, you'll see that I have used Primary Colors.  The red is tinted with white, the blue has been darken and the yellow is slightly lightened with white.  I don't think this card looks childlike one bit.  What do you think?  By using the basic primary colors in a project, you can easily make a project that will coordinate every time.  I will talk more later about the color wheel and how to always select colors that will complement your creations.

By the way, Close To My Heart Convention is over and the dust is beginning to settle.  There are so many exciting things to tell you a brand new Cricut Cartridge!  I will share more in a later post.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Let's Party....The Close To My Heart Convention Has Begun!

The Close To My Heart Convention begins today!  What the next few days, there will be all kinds of fun and exciting news about new products and tools.  But, the announcement of new products means that some of our favorites will no longer be available.  This year, the outgoing products will be retired on July 31st rather than the customary December 31st.  The new information will be released over the next few days, but I can tell you that there will be eight brand new paper packets!  Of the current paper packets, Lucky, Sophia, Fanfare and Mayberry will remain.  All of our other favorites like Miracle, Mistletoe and Hooligans will no longer be available effective July 31st.
I always got a kick out of this stamp set...Party Animal.  It was a companion to Hooligans and I don't know if it will be available after Hooligans has been discontinued.  The set is so perfect not only for Halloween, but also, birthdays and party invitations. 

My suggestion is to start thinking about anything that you absolutely want before it may be unavailable in August.  As I learn of some of the new products or tools that will be available beginning August 1st, I'll be sure to let you know!  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Using Color To Make Your Projects Pop!

The colors we use in our projects has a definite effect on the message they convey. In the last post, I shared how warm and cool colors effect the mood and appearance of our work.  It all has to do with how the mind perceives the colors.  Cool shades (blues, greens and purples) have a calming effect on our mood while the warm colors (reds, oranges and yellows) evoke a feeling of excitement and movement.  So what happens when we mix cool and warm colors in the same project?
In this card, the main color is the cool color green.  I've used red as an accent on the trim of the hat, mittens, buttons and the heart.  Notice how the red and the yellow stands out?  When you mix cool and warm colors together, the warm colors will visually dominate the project and the cool colors will receed.  This is valuable to remember when you want to highlight a specific element of a project as I did with this one....the heart and the star.

This cute little snowman is "Twinkle" and he is a digi stamp by Michelle Perkett.  You can find more information about her wonderful digi stamps here.  The card is made for her current challenge "Cute as a Button." and information about the challenge can be found at the same link.  The papers are from CTMH's Mistletoe packet and the card stock is New England Ivy.  Twinkle has been colored with my Copics.

Adding a warm color as an accent on a cool color card is a very simple way to highlight an element and make your projects pop!  More on using colors in my future posts.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Color and Mood...PPPC #7

As paper crafters, one of the easiest "tools" we have when completing our projects is color.  Color is all around us and what choices we make help to convey the message we are sending in our projects.  Believe it or not, there is "science" behind color theory.  There has been a great deal of research into how color effects our mood and emotions.  Cool colors like greens, blues and purples (think water and pastures) give us the feeling of calm.  Warm colors, such as reds, yellows and oranges (think fire) portray the feeling of excitement and stimulate our senses.  When designing your next project, think about what you are trying to express in your creation.

To demonstrate this, I have created 2 cards....exactly the same but done in different totally different in warm colors and one in cool colors.
Look at both do you perceive the one done in Sunset and Black versus the one done in Lilac Mist and Chocolate Brown?  One of the great things about color is that there is no right or wrong answers.  Color is personal preference, but, remember the theory behind how warm and cool colors effect the mood of your projects.  Everyone has a favorite color.  Again, there is no right or wrong answer, but when asked 75% of us will say that a cool color is our favorite.  This is because people naturally seek calm and tranquility that a cool color evokes.  Can you guess what my favorite color is???  :o) 

So, the PPPC this time is to make a project that is either done in warm or cool colors.  If you prefer cool colors, you should make a card using warm colors.  If you gravitate to warm colors, make a card done in cool colors.  I can't wait to see what everyone creates and as time goes on, I will share more insight into color use.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

PPPC #6 Thanks Everyone!

Just a thank you to everyone who participated in our most recent challenge!  What fun, we have a few new participants this go around...I promised Sue that I would post her card because she wasn't able to get it posted (she emailed it to me.)

And, the random winner of PPPC #6.....Jenny!  Congrats to you and we're looking forward to seeing what everyone creates for PPPC #7.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Now That We're Adding Texture To Our Projects, Let's Take It To The Next Level...

I hope that everyone has enjoyed my suggestions on adding texture to your projects, I thought it would be good to take it to the next level.  How do we encorporate this texture in our layout?  Well, I have an example for you...
This card is done on a 5 x 7 inch base of Colonial White.  The striped paper is from a retired ( was wonderful) CTMH paper packet called Free Spirit.  Because of the subject of the focal image, I wanted to give the appearance of a living room wall.  The stripes reminded me of wall paper.  I added the bottom panel of Indian Corn Blue to mimic wainscoting and the Colonial White crochet ribbon as a chair rail.  To make the wainscoting, I scored the blue panel on the 1/2 mark, repeated it across the length of the panel and sponged it in the same shade ink to add shadow. The subject of your focal image should help you select the right colors for your project. The lamp and table image are "old fashion" looking which is why I chose the softer, heritage colors.  If you were doing a scrapbook layout of little girls playing, these colors would probably not work well.  You would choose hot pinks and bright greens.  Colors that just wouldn't work for this project.   Let your focal image (whether it be a stamped image or photographs) help you select the right colors, papers and texture for your projects.

Play with the textures and colors on your projects.  Think about what your are trying to "say" with your project and textures and colors for your project will become much easier.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I'm So Excited!

I don't often put up posts about Close To My Heart specials, but this one is too much fun to let pass.  A couple years ago, CTMH has an adorable paper packet called Animal Cookies.  It was retired last year.  This month, there is a very special deal and it includes the Animal Cookies Creative Basics Kit!  A CB kit includes 12 sheets of pattern paper and a spool of ribbon!  Animal Cookies is one of my all time favorites!  In celebration of the event, I dug out my last 2 pieces of the packet and made this card.
Look how terrific the July Stamp of the Month works with Animal Cookies!  Your technique tips for this card...Rock and Roll stamping and image placement.  I used the large star burst image and first inked it in Dutch Blue.  I then slightly touched it to my Tulip ink pad.  The result is a random mix of both colors.  I also stamped the image off the page.  Don't always think that you need to stamp the full image.  In this case, the full image is a circle.  By only stamping a portion of it, I have created the illusion of movement on the card.

To get your packet of Animal Cookies, all you need to do is place a $50 order with me  and the kit or a few other choices available, can be yours for only $1!  The Animal Cookies Creative Basic kit was such fun for birthdays, celebrations and all kinds of fun projects.  As always, the Stamp of the Month, is only available through the end of the month and you can earn it free with a qualifying order.  I feel quite certain that the return of Animal Cookies will be popular.  Availability is while supplies last or the end of July which ever comes first.

Well, I'm off to get my Animal Cookies kit.  For Now, Happy Crafting!