Sunday, September 30, 2012

Operation Smile Crop!

Yesterday marked the long awaited, planned for and anticipated Operation Smile Crop!  What a wonderful time we had.  Just wanted to share a few pictures of the day.  The final totals aren't in, but I can tell you that our efforts yesterday raised enough money to assist in changing lives forever.  :o)

What a great day we had.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Handmade Holiday Cards and 3D Projects with CTMH's Artiste

Well, as you may have read, I'm working myself simple getting ready for my big Operation Smile Charity Crop that is this coming Saturday.  As a reminder, it is being held in Bala Cynwyd PA, which is just outside of Philadelphia.  Anyway, I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of samples featuring the terrific CTMH Artiste Cricut Cartridge.  Every Monday Heart 2 Heart Challenge Blog posts a new challenge so I figured I might as well knock off 2 birds with one stone.  :o)

The card is made using Pear and Partridge.  I LOVE CTMH's Christmas Paper this year!  The mittens were cut using the Artiste Cartridge and stamped with the upcoming October Stamp of the Month.  The sentiment is also from the STOM.  :o)

We can't forget that there is also another major Holiday in December...Hanukkah!
The gift bag, tag and slider card were all cut using Artiste!  The stamped images are from a new stamp set called Festival of Lights (A1133.)  It is so hard to find a nice Hanukkah stamp and I am thrilled that CTMH has released a great one.  The images were stamped using the pigment inks.  The Outdoor Denim, used here, provided great coverage and a lovely effect. 

The time has come to head off to my floral design work.  Don't forget...the Operation Smile Charity crop  is only a few days away.  If you would like to join in on the fun, please contact me ASAP as I must give the numbers to the caterer very soon.  I would love to have you join us for the fun event!  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Try a New Technique and CTMH's STOM

I took a few minutes out of my prep work for the Operation Smile Crop coming up this Saturday to complete a post for my Design Team over at Crafting By Designs.  It was my turn to host "Try A New Technique."  Well, you know what a technique junkie I am so I set out to find something really different and fun.  How 'bout we try embossing with a folder, painting, sponging, sanding and water all on the same piece of card stock?  :o)
This is really simple and a lot of fun...take your aggressions out (gently) on your card stock!  :o)
1.  Using an embossing folder, emboss a piece of card stock.  I am sure that you could also score it using your scoreboard.
2.  Paint the entire surface using acrylic paint.  Here I used a Ranger sponge dauber in Espresso, but you could also paint with a brush.
3.  When dry, sand the card stock.  The paint will be removed from the raised portions of the card stock.  Brush away the paper dust.
4.  Sponge the entire surface with a dye based ink.  Here I used Autumn Terracotta and Cocoa.
5.  Very quickly, wipe with a lightly water moistened paper towel.  This will remove the ink from the areas where the paint remains and the sanded areas will retain the ink color.
5.  Complete your card as desired.

What I like about this technique is that is actually can be completed quickly and that no two surfaces will be the same. Here it is upclose...

A few more details about this card.  It features the September CTMH Stamp of the Month called "Fall Favorites."  You can still get this stamp set on my website for $5 with a qualifying purchase of $50.  The pumpkins were colored using my CTMH alcohol markers.  Love them!!!  :o)

I love different kinds of techniques.  Don't be afraid to give this one a try and let me know how you made out.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Handmade Gift Tags with CTMH's Pear and Partridge

A few posts back, I shared a picture of a box that we would be making at my September Workshop.  When I posted it, I promised that I would show you the matching gift tags when I got them done.  Would you believe that I just today finished them?  I guess I really am busy working on the Operation Smile Crop...but more about that later.
Each of the tags has been cut with the Artiste Cartridge.  I used a combination of stamps including To You and Yours (B1403), December 25th (C1469), the Petite Perks and Merry and Bright (C1510).  They fit perfectly into the holder!  You may be wondering why the tag on the lower left looks a little different.  I used B/T from Dakota because that is actually the theme paper for this month's workshop.
This is another of the cards that we will be making tomorrow.  I love how the cardinal works so well with the wood grain of Dakota.  What do you think?

I mentioned earlier in the post about the Operation Smile Crop.  Just one more week and all of my planning will come to fruition.  I went to the venue today and mapped out table placement and established the time that I get begin to set up.  The signs got done today, too.  Only 4 spots left so if you are in the Philadelphia area, email me quick before it fills up.  The day promises to be a great deal of fun.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Review and "How To" about the New CTMH Alcohol Markers

I've FINALLY managed to get my hands of several sets of those much talked about, brand new Close To My Heart Alcohol Markers!  Yesterday, after work, I sat down to play with them and have to say that I was really pleased.
This card is made with pattern papers from the new paper packet called "Moonlight."  I wasn't sure if I liked it but now that I have it in person, trust me, it is really nice.  That adorable scarecrow is from this month's Stamp of the Month called "Fall Favorites."  Is he not tooooo cute?  :o)

There has been a great deal of debate on just how to color with the new alcohol markers.  Are they like Copics?  Why do they bleed through?  Can you blend with them?  Do they "match" the papers?  These are just a few of the questions that I have read but couldn't fully answer them until I got my hands on more than one or two sets.  Let me answer a few of these for you....

1.  The new CTMH Alcohol Markers are like Copics in that the "ink" is alcohol based.  That means, that when you color a larger area your paper will not "pill up."  The alcohol base causes the ink to be absorbed differently by the paper.  A water based marker is just that, water based, and you know what happens when you mix paper and get mush. 

2.  You can't refil the markers, but at $5.95 for 2 versus the $7.95 for one that is not a concern.

3.  There is a brush and a point nib.  The brush nib is stiffer than a Copic Nib

4.  They bleed through to the back of the paper just like a Copic.  This is the nature of an alcohol   marker.  If you don't have "bleed through" you haven't applied enough ink to successfully blend the colors.  Journaling with this markers will not be a problem.

5.  Can you blend with them...what do you think after looking at my scarecrow?  The markers come in sets of 2 markers.  Each in the color name to coordinate with the CTMH papers.  Most of the sets have a marker that closely resembles the paper and a lighter marker.  A few of the sets have the matchy matchy marker with a slightly darker version.
          a.  You can successful blend with the two markers received in the kit.
          b.  Before I placed my "big" order for markers, I studied the CTMH color pallet.  I chose to colors that were in the same "family."  That is...Basic, Enchantment, Adventure, Whimsey.  Color is often defined by tint, shade and value. 
                  Tint is the amount of "white" added to a color
                  Shade is the amount of "black" added to a color
                  Value is the amount of "gray" added to a color
My thinking was if your blended different colors from the same color family you could achieve a richer finished product. 
          c.  Take a look at his jeans...this was the exact process I used and I think it worked!
                   1.  Color the jeans all over in "light" Crystal Blue.
                   2.  Then, along the seam lines, pockets and waist add a touch of Twilight.  (Twilight is one of those sets that has a darker marker as the complement.) 
                   3.  Go over those areas spreading just a little in to the larger jean area with the Crystal Blue. 
                   4.  Go back over the full jean with the "light" Crystal Blue and you will begin to achieve realistic blending.  For just a few small areas, I also did a touch of the "Dark" Twilight and colored over one more time using the "light" Crystal Blue. 
                   5.  Let the stamp do the work for you!  Notice how on his jeans, there are built in "creases?"  Line over those creases with the Twilight to give a natural look!
                   6.  IMPORTANT....always start with your lightest color.  You can always "add" color but you can't easily take it away.

6.  Do they match the papers...yes the first time you color with the marker (not the complementary marker.)  Like a Copic, each time you go over an area with color, it get darker.  The beauty of an alcohol marker is the nuance of shading you can achieve.  This is why you will be able to get a match when journaling because you don't "write" over what you have written.

7.  The markers worked really with with our CTMH papers!  I tried an image using the paper (Bazzill Coconut Swirl) that I normally use with my Copics and the image did not come out right.  Feel free to use that terrific Colonial White for great success.

I have one disclaimer.  CTMH recommends that you use their new pigment inks to stamp the outline.  I only have one set and none of those colors would coordinate with the way that I wanted to color my scarecrow.  I used my Memento Tuxedo Black.  Normal dye based inks won't work with alcohol will bleed into the image and ruin your nib.

I am very pleased with the new CTMH alcohol based markers! I highly recommend them for anyone who wants to color their images.  With a little practice, you too, will feel just like an artist.  Here is my scarecrow one more time...
For Now, Happy Coloring...errr....Crafting!  :o)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Handmade CTMH Halloween Tag for Operation Smile Crop

This is a  quick post before I head off to work at the floral department at Michaels.  I had a little time this morning to work on my Make and Takes for my September 29th Operation Smile Charity Crop and I thought that I would give you a sneak peak at one of them.
This is a Halloween tag that we will be making to demonstrate how easy CTMH clear acrylic stamps are to use.  The tag is cut using the Artiste Cricut Cartridge and the mats are hand cut to fit.  If you look closely, you will see that I actually used 3 different colors on this small tag...Black, Slate and Creme Brulee.  First the spider web was stamped in Slate.  Next the solid diamond patters were stamped in Creme Brulee.  I think they coordinate nicely with the diamond pattern in the Cruisin' paper I used.  What do you think?  Anyway, next I took Black ink and over stamped the swirls  onto the solid diamonds, stamped the spider on his web and stamped "Beware" over the web, too.  The entire process took about a minute.  Can you image trying to do this with those clunky wood block stamps?  All of the stamp images on this tag are from a new CTMH My Acrylix set called "All Hallows Eve" (C1462). 

I love the CTMH clear stamps.  They are so easy and allow me the freedom to create many terrific projects that would be virtually impossible with a wood mount stamp.  And, look how crisp and clear the images are.  Many people assert that you can't get a clean image with a clear stamp.  Guess they have never tried a CTMH stamp.  :o)

I mentioned earlier that this is one of the make and takes I designed for my upcoming Operation Smile Crop.  If you live in the Philadelphia PA area and would like to attend, please email me.  This is just a sample of some of the fun things I have planned.  Hope to see you there.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Heart 2 Heart Challenge Handmade Pun Fun Card

I took a few moments away from my prep work for the September 29th Operation Smile Crop to make a card for this week's Heart 2 Heart Challenge.  The challenge was to make a card that is "big."  So, I made a 6 x 6 card featuring Dakota and one of the cute new stamp sets called Pun Fun (C1505.)
Despite its size, this is a simple card.  It is done on a Black base with Whisper as the side strip.  One of the fun things about this card is that the basic sketch is actually taken from the new Make It From Your Heart Volume 1 how to book.  I have always enjoyed working with "sketches."  A sketch is actually a skeleton drawing from which you build your card.  Make It From Your Heart is filled with both scrapbook and card sketches.  All new and all very interesting.  It is a soft cover magazine style book and for $7.95 it can't be beat.  Hop over to my website and get one for yourself.

Just a couple more fun things about this card...the lemons were colored using my water color pencils and blended with the Blending Pen...quick and easy.  The sparkly silver strip is "Silver Shimmer Trim" (Z1799.)  I actually got the roll while at Convention and this was the first time I used it.  It is great...with adhesive on the back.  Really easy to use.  The buttons are also from one of the CTMH embellishment kits and instead of threading the holes, I added sparkles to hide the holes.  Just something a little different.

Don't forget to check out the Heart 2 Heart Challenge this week for more creations featuring Close To My Heart products.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11

I just had to take a moment to post this photo I took in June 2001 from the deck of a cruise ship as we sailed through the New York Harbor.
I was always mesmerized by the "rainbow" on the tower but today it holds even more significance.  No matter now busy you are, always take time to remember.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Handmade Thanksgiving and Christmas Projects...Already!

Well, I may not have gotten a post up in the last few days, but that doesn't mean I haven't been running around like a chicken!  Friday I hostessed the Copic Challenge over at Crafting By Designs.  BTW, if you haven't checked out Crafting By Designs, hop on over.  It is a warm and friendly site to display and enhance your paper crafting.   After that was completed, I worked on my class projects for Michaels Instructor Open House that was held yesterday. 

This card features a cornucopia and sentiment from a retired CTMH stamp set.  I always loved that set.  The pattern paper is from Clementine.  Once again, just because a paper is designed with one theme in mind doesn't mean that you can't use it for a totally unexpected theme.  The image was colored with my Copics.

As I said, after I finished posting the Copic Challenge, I had to finish up my samples for Michaels Instructor Open House.  In case you don't realize, in addition to all of my Close To My Heart work, I am also the floral designer and Scrapbook/Paper Ed teacher at my local Michaels.  Guess you can see how much work I put into this table in the last few days.  :o)
This is one of the classes that I will be teaching at Mike's later in October.  I finished these up on Friday, too.  I took a glass block, filled it with glittered Christmas picks along with LED battery lights.  The flourish on the front was cut using the Quilted Christmas Cricut Cartridge.  The decorations and card are also made using Quilted Christmas.  I can't wait to try this with CTMH Artiste!  :o)
Last but not least, I shouldn't complain about all of the work I did.  After all, you can see that I had a helper!  That's kitty.  If looks could kill, I think I would be in a heap on the floor right now.  :o)

One of the things I love about paper crafting is the opportunity to experiment with new projects.  I also love meeting new people.  This weekend has been filled with both.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Another Hand Made CTMH Christmas Card Featuring Dakota

I am just putting the finishing touches on my September Workshop and wanted to share another card that we will be making.  I always try and come up with something different and this month is no exception.  We are making Christmas Cards using the Dakota paper packet!
I think the Barn Red of Dakota (x7157B) works so well with the Cardinal featured in "To You and Yours (B1403.)  What do you think? 

A few fun things about the design of this card.  You always want to make sure that you "anchor" your images.  You don't want them just floating in the air.  Remembering helps the viewers eye travel around the project.  Cleverly placing your "anchor" will add interest and motion to both your scrapbook and card projects.  For this card, I wanted to do something a little different.  My "anchor" is not a strip of paper, but rather, a row of randomly stamped holly leaves also included in the stamp set.  Do you see how your eye moves across the page and "finds" the sentiment?  Can you image how boring the card would be without the holly leaves?  :o) 

Both the Holly Leaves and the Cardinal have been colored with my CTMH water color pencils.  Unlike the last card I posted, this time, I used my blending pen instead of water.  I love the realism that you can achieve using water color pencils...the veins in the leaves and the birds feathers and beak.

Don't forget to look closely at your papers.  Just because they were designed with one theme in mind doesn't mean that you can't be creative and use them very successfully for a totally different theme.  Also, anchor your images for a more complete and professional look.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hand Made Christmas Card Featuring CTMH Dakota

The minute I saw the new Close To My Heart Dakota (X7157B) paper packet and that beautiful cardinal in the To You and Yours (B1403) My Acrylix stamp set, I knew that I had to try them together as a Christmas Card. 

I just LOVE the cardinal!  He is painted (along with the holly leaves) with my watercolor pencils.  Watercolor pencils can be a little scary to use, but if you watch my YouTube video on them it should help,  Anyway, the wood grain paper along with the herringbone is from Dakota!  Dakota is actually a western boys theme.  One of the things that I always teach is to look closely at the patterns of designer pattern paper.  Just because the theme is one style, doesn't mean you can't use it for something totally unexpected. 

This is one of the cards that we will be making at my upcoming September Workshop.  I teach a wide variety of different techniques at my many workshops.  If you are interesting in learning some fun techniques, please contact me or leave a comment.  For Now, Happy Crafting!