Wednesday 27 June 2012

Woo hoo! I'm a happy stamper!

Just a quick post to share my big news:
I've been accepted as a Design Team member at "Heart2Heart Challenges." This blog was created and sponsored by a group of Close-to-My-Heart consultants. There is a new challenge every week, with a wide variety of projects and themes.  The only requirement to participate in these challenges is that you use some CTMH products (altho not exclusively).  It is easy to find a consultant near you, with this locator, and you can order online and have items shipped to your door! (see my "Shop with me" CTMH website link at the very bottom of this post) .

I'm SUPER-excited to be joining this group for the next six months. For one, I've been looking for new crafty friends since moving back to Canada last summer (big thanks to my blog followers for all their support!), and I think the stimulation and creativity of working with Heart 2 Heart is going to work both ways.  Secondly, CTMH does its "big reveal" of new products every July at the annual convention. So its a great time to be playing with and showcasing some wonderful new goodies.

As I couldn't take a photo of myself jumping up and down with joy, I'm including a couple of photos of gift boxes I made last fall, using the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge for the pillow boxes, tags and embellishments. It feels like Christmas, with presents for me!

Thanks for sharing my happiness...

Sunday 24 June 2012

Color Dare #5--Create-Your-Own-Rainbow

The challenge at this week's Color My Heart Color Dare was to use all three primary 
and three secondary colours, on a single project. 
So, not quite the full rainbow of seven, but plenty to work with!

I was inspired by this card by Suzanne Dahlberg which I saw posted to the CAS-ual Fridays "Pretty in Pink" challenge: SEE LINK HERE.  I loved that idea of the nested squares, and the patchwork effect of them placed all together.

For my version, I used three pastel secondary colours,  Amethyst, Key lime, and Taffy, and mixed them with more saturated primaries, Pacifica, Tulip and Honey. The largest squares are cut at 1" then 3/4" then 1/2," a bit bigger than on the original card, which creates a different effect. I had fun deciding which colours to stack on which.  See if you can figure out the pattern!

I had planned to machine-stitch around the white border, to make it look like patchwork, but I have an actual quilting project on the go, so changing the thread and pressure foot on my sewing machine was too much work. I used the Close to My Heart ruler with guide holes to perfectly place the perforations to simulate stitching. The kraft paper card base is a 5" square.

The sentiment with the funky font is from the Paper Smooches set "Good Gab."  I used Versamark ink and white superfine embossing powder from Paper Wishes

You could have a lot of fun trying out different colour combinations for this design.  Maybe after that quilting project is finally finished!

Saturday 23 June 2012

CFC58: Pretty in Pink

A simple mono-grammed note card, submitted to this week's CAS-ual Fridays Challenge, 
Pretty in Pink.

I used a retired CTMH paper pack, Sophia (I'm trying to use up my stash!), the Fancy Label die (Stephanie Barnard Stamps) in two sizes with a little stippling around the edge of the white label. The monogram was cut at 1 1/2" on the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge. Finally, I manage to create something SIMPLE!

Featured colours are Hollyhock, Blush and Goldrush.

Friday 22 June 2012

Bloom! CTD #197

Lace die #5504 by Marianne Design
I've been having fun experimenting with this amazing die my sister sent for my birthday earlier this year.  It is from Marianne Design in the Netherlands, and it cuts a very intricate design, which you then fold and tuck to create the lacy, dimensional look. Some of the dies also have sections which result in embossed details.

I tried cutting it from vellum, which looked pretty good. 

But then I used some double-sided water-colour effect paper (CTMH--retired Olivia paper pack), and liked that even more.

I'm not sure if it looks like a sun or a sunflower, but the shape and colour looked just right for this week's  Color Throwdown #197 Challenge.

I did not have exactly the colours specified (see below) but used CTMH shades of Bamboo, Sunset, Barn Red and Pear for my card.  I used the Martha Stewart Embossing board and a sanding block to create the lattice design on the dark red cardstock. The leaf stamps are from the CTMH Workshop-on-the-Go "Olivia" set, and the sentiment stamp is "Mums2stamp" from the Stamps of Life.

Don't the colours and big blossom shape make you think of late summer? This challenge is open through this coming Monday night (June 25th), so there's still time to play!

Happy, hot weekend!

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Fur You...

This is a "just because" posting--no particular challenge, submission or anything, just this image from
2 Cute Ink/Lil'Inker Designs.  "Cutie Cat" is indeed a cutie!

I wanted to try colouring an image stamped on patterned paper. That "Dotty for You" paper pack is seeing a lot of action! Also, the original image had a bouquet of flowers in the kitten's tail. I wanted to get rid of the flowers and substitute a flag, so I stamped the RIGHT ear onto the back side of an acrylic stamp, then stamped THAT onto the same dotted paper (to get the mirror image) then coloured it and swapped it in for the original LEFT ear.
The sentiment is included with the "Cutie Cat" stamp set. I coloured the head of the stick pin with a Spectrum Noir marker, to match the colours on this little card.

That's it for today. Although now that I'm looking at the photo, I may try something else with that particular colour combination...

Sunday 17 June 2012

The Only Hero I Need...

CTMH "Superhero" paper pack
This is the card my 17-year-old son made for his dad.  He designed the whole thing himself, with just a few suggestions from me (use of foam tape, adding DP to the inside).  Because the colours: cranberry, sunkiss yellow, and moonstruck meet this week's Color My Heart--Color Dare #4, Triadic colours, I'm going to post it there, in my son's name.

The message inside is the best part:

My son, describing making the card to the family group at dinner this evening, including my brother- and father-in-law, said, "Those stamps, its like magic! You put this clear sticky thing on the block, add some ink and you get this great design!" Maybe it won't be the last card he makes ;)

Tear-eyed dad, receiving the card.

Happy Father's Day to all the heroes out there...

Saturday 16 June 2012

More {BOOK} Marks

I posted one of these bookmarks earlier today, but ended up playing/making more later on, and thought I'd include the group.  The crab is coloured with my new Spectrum Noir pens from Crafter's Companion (thank-you, Stacy!). I am still getting the hang of the alcohol markers. The bear was coloured with regular markers, and I managed to get him pretty "hairy-looking," so I am going to enter him in the Twin Touch Markers Challenge TTC19, "Getting Hairy," HERE.

All images are from the Chubby Chums stamp set from Paper Smooches. The crab is sitting on some torn pearlescent card-stock from Wasau Papers. The green tulle ribbon is from American Crafts, available at Paper Wishes. Denim twine from The Twinery.The Twinery.

The bear was coloured with CTMH markers, with the new "hair" technique I learned from an on-line tutorial. He is accessorized with some woodgrain washi tape from WeRMemory Keepers (also available from Paper Wishes). Ribbon, the Chocolate & Cocoa collection, from CTMH.

The chick was featured in the post before this one, but a close-up (of his polka-dots) never hurts.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and take a peek!

I Wuz Here...

I was messing around with my Paper Smooches stamps the other day, and made this book-mark for my son.  Aren't those Kim Hughes-critters the greatest? They put a smile on my face every time. This little chicky is from the set: Chubby Chum Pals.  He was paper-pieced with Dotty for You paper and card-stock from CTMH, a little added shading done with markers. He is sitting on a nest/mess of Flower Soft. I keep trying with that stuff, and am never quite satisfied with the result...

Here's an image of the whole thing. I stamped the message with the retired "Boing" alphabet from CTMH. I love the funky letters of this set. I purchased it second hand from a CTMH friend; you might be able to find it for sale on a consultant's web-site.

My husband was telling us the other day of an old leather bookmark he had as a kid, which said "Here's where I fell asleep..." He always thought it was a weird message (how do they know what city I'm in?) when he was young, and only figured it out when he came across it in a box of treasures a couple of years ago... The wonderful logic of children!

Anyway, any of those Chubby Chums would make a great reading companion--I'll have to do some more experimenting!

Happy weekend!

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Blogging of You...

Second posting of the day, but I work the rest of the week, so wanted to make sure my item made the challenge deadline.
This card is being submitted to Retrosketches #15- which runs until midnight this Thursday, June 14th.

Here's how the above sketch turned into this "thinking of you" card. The curvy label shape, turned on its side, reminded me of the head of a bed; I saw the new free digi-stamp from "Whimsie Doodles" this week (check it out HERE) with a little cutie working on her lap-top. Finally, I viewed a tutorial by Wendy Ramlakhan, on how to colour hair, and decided to give it a try. So the resulting image is sort of "me on a Saturday morning" when my DH gets up with the dog (instead of me) and brings me a coffee in bed, so I can surf the Web and get caught up on my favorite blogs (isn't he sweet!).

The DP and ribbon are from Paper Wishes, the Sweet Nostalgia pack.  The blogger image was printed on white card-stock and coloured with markers and a blending pen. I folded a piece of patterned paper to resemble a blanket over her knees.  I kept the ribbon from the sketch and used the three gems on the upper left as pearl thought-bubbles to link the sentiment (Stamps of Life) which is printed onto a Sizzix cloud die.
Can't wait for Saturday!

Heard it on the Grape Vine...

Number 3 in the countdown of top 10 Classic Rock-inspired cards... Don't think I'll actually get to TEN but I've been having fun!  You can see card #1 HERE and card #2 HERE.

I was inspired this week by the challenges at:

I made two versions of this card: on both, the grape vine leaves were cut from CTMH "Dotty for You" polka-dot paper, with a leaf die from Sizzix.  The grape vine itself is made with "honeydew" twine from The Twinery.  I used circles punched from textured cardstock arranged in a cluster of "grapes," but wasn't too happy with them--they looked a little flat.

So I made a second attempt using a Paper Smooches free digi-stamp ("I love you BERRY much"), which I printed out and coloured with markers. Better.

The head-phones for the groovin' grape were made using a shape punched from silver metallic paper and a length of black "Memory Thread."  The face was created with one of the stamps from There She Goes Clear Stamps' "Perk Up" set .

The sentiment was stamped in Garden Green and Smokey Plum inks (pretty fruity!) from CTMH, using a discontinued font called "Doodle Alphabet." I've been paring the edges off my polymer alphabet stamps (what? cut your stamps?--thanks to Emily Leiphart for that great idea) to allow closer spacing on the block.

Off to listen to XM Radio's classic rock station, for more inspiration...

Friday 8 June 2012

Classic Rock Cards... Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge

My husband LOVED his anniversary card...(you can see it HERE).

In fact, he thought I should create a whole set of cards, themed on other classic rock songs. So here's a first go at that idea.  I'm entering it into Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge for June 4-10, Prints are Charming.

Creedence Clearwater Revival were on the radio this morning, hence Down on the Bayou.
"A Typeset" font from CTMH

 I used the croc from Paper Smooches' Zoo Crew, stamped on polka-dot paper. The dot, stripe and swirl papers are all from the Close to My Heart's "Dotty for You" paper pack. I stamped a few jungle leaves over the striped paper to give it a more Cajun feel.  Used up a piece of dotty ribbon, and a stick pin from Maya Road, and voila. 

The inside says "What's going down with you?"

I guess I could have gone with "Crocodile Rock," too. Oh well, next time...

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Been There, Done That, Scrap-booked the Memories! Album Tutorial Part VII

It has been some time since I shared any scrap-booking layouts. I visited Prince Edward Island briefly last month, when we drove down to "open up" the cottage.  It's just as beautiful in May as in mid-summer...but I don't get vacation time until August. So! a good excuse to break out the photo album from last summer and relive the memories...
One of the things I like to do is save ephemera from the vacation and incorporate it into the layout. On these two pages, I used tourist pamphlets as the background to photos of us actually AT those places. They preserve the details of where we went and what we did, in case we want to do it again! as well as serving as a visual journal. I just pasted the pamphlets to the base page and then used "Flip-flap" photo sleeves (from CTMH) for the photos with journalling on the reverse side.  Makes for a busy image, but preserves LOTS of memories!

A picture of the girls enjoying a meal in the tea room of The PEI Preserve Company, mounted on top of the tourist brochure for the shop and restaurant.

Scalloped doily die from Cottage Cutz
Journalling on the back of the photo-flap, showing the brochure underneath.

The title for these pages was a reminder that sometimes the idea for the holiday gets lost amidst all the DOING--after a very busy vacation in 2011, we vowed to RELAX in 2012.  So "Tourist DIStractions" it was!

Dimensional elements banner shapes from CTMH
The title was fun to create with chipboard dimensional banner shapes from Close to My Heart. I used the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge to cut matching shapes out of the Elemental paper pack and glued them on, with a little inking on the edges. The letters were also cut with the AP Cricut cartridge and mounted with foam tape. The whole thing was strung on a length of Cappucino twine from The Twinery, and hung from another chipboard dimensional border strip, which coordinates with the Elemental paper pack (available through the end of July, only--shop HERE!).

Another couple of photos showing the Flip-flaps in action--they lift out of the way so you can read the information beneath them, but provide space for more photos, journalling, ticket stubs, etc.
Hope you enjoyed another installment of your tour of PEI!

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Retro Sketches #14--Soar

I have been working on a quilted wall-hanging I started NINE years ago for my husband...somehow since beginning paper-crafting, quilting has kind of fallen by the handicraft wayside...lots more time, space, $$ for materials involved. However, we just celebrated our wedding anniversary, and I promised to finish it this year. It is a labour of love.

So less room on the craft table for paper.

But I thought working up this sketch to submit to Retro Sketches challenge would not take up TOO much time this week, and I did do some paper patchwork for it...

I created the vertical border with 1/2" x 12" strips of paper (CTMH "Wings"). I glued them to a card-stock base, then cut the resulting 1+1/2" x 12" piece into 1/2" strips. I staggered these at a 45-degree angle, glueing them onto another card-stock strip, creating a lattice-look. (reference THIS posting for a useful picture).

I stamped the butterfly image (it and the "Soar" sentiment are from a retired CTMH stamp set) in black directly onto the card, to capture the antenna. I stamped it a second time onto cream-coloured card-stock, using the '"rock-and-roll technique, cut it out and layered it on top of the original image. I added some jewels to the butterfly body, and some honeydew and Caribbean twine from the Twinery.

Now back to the sweat-shop (sewing machine).