Thursday 29 November 2012

One Layer Card

Last minute entry to this week's Dynamic Duo Challenge #30: Navy and Silver.
I also wanted to try Jackie Rockwell's challenge, to create a one-layer holiday card.
The colours I used are Close-to-My-Heart's "Outdoor Denim" and the "Brushed Silver" Distress Stain from Ranger. This is a new Tim Holtz product which was showcased in the "Holiday Card Workshop" online class I followed last month.  It is basically a paint-dauber which deposits fluid pigment; you can make it as translucent or as dark as you like, depending on how much you apply.
I spread a layer of pewter across the lower half of my card, then used CTMH's "The Season Defined"(C1334) to stamp the definition of "Noel" on top, using Staz-On black ink.
I used a pigment ink to stamp the larger "Noel" and the holly leaf on top of THAT, and heat-set using clear embossing powder.  The border punch is from Martha Stewart. I placed a strip of navy paper inside the card base, to help emphasize the  detail on the punch.

So, some observations:

  1. Wetting the paper with the stain resulted in a buckled card front. I weighed it down to dry, but not thoroughly enough. Add more weight next time.
  2. Stamping with Staz-On (which is supposed to stamp on ANYTHING) doesn't work so well unless your surface is perfectly dry! Allow longer for drying next time.
  3. Make sure your stamping blocks and fingers have not picked up extra ink, when working with a white card base. This version is Take #2 as the first one acquired some navy finger prints... This version is not completely clean either... Watch and wash meticulously next time!

So, off to link up this effort. Hope your holiday crafting is going more smoothly!

Monday 26 November 2012

All that Glitters... Fabulous!

The challenge at Heart2Heart  this week was to: 
Glitter it up! Add some sparkle to your card or other project using glitter, glitter glue, etc...

Its been awhile since I actually did any scrap-booking, so I decided to use photos taken this past summer, to create a lay-out telling the story of my husband's special birthday treat.
I mentioned earlier that there were a lot of RED-LETTER events in our family this year--my husband and I both turned a nice, round number, our oldest turned 21 and we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.
For his birthday, I decided to rent my DH a special car for a week. I priced out some luxury rentals and sadly, the bankbook just couldn't swing it. BUT, he had expressed an interest in test-driving a FIAT-500. So! Off to the airport we went, on the mystery errand. He had a lot of fun (and panic!) trying to figure out why exactly we were driving to the airport, and why he had to bring photo-ID...but was totally thrilled by that cute little convertible!

We had fun buzzing around with the roof down (a head-rest blew off at one point!) for a week and it was quite comfortable for four people.  Anyway, it was a hit, and generated quite a few fun photos.

For the assignment, I used glitter to hi-light my title: "50 or 500, you are FABULOUS!"
I used the retired workshop-on-the-go kit, "Cruisin" because it had great on-the-road retro images and lent itself to the black-&-white-&-red colour scheme.  The kit included the chipboard Dimensional Element Numbers (Z1681). I spread Liquid Glass (Z679)  onto the letters and sprinkled Martha Stewart glitter onto the wet glue. That looked okay, but the edges were still white, so I fixed that with an alcohol pen in Cranberry.

I did not have the corresponding Dimensional Element alphabet, so I cut letters from cranberry card-stock, using the Cricut "Art Philosophy" cartridge (Z1686), in the same size 
as the numbers (1.5"). I coated them with Liquid Glass and added more glitter.
 I have a new respect for that product; not only is it a really strong adhesive, that can add a nice glossy effect, it also adds wonderful dimension. Those flat letters became fabulously fat and glittery, and stayed that way, even after the glue dried!

Here's the complete lay-out:
I used a pattern from the new CTMH inspiration book, "Make It From Your Heart" Volume  1. (9035). A great value at $7.95! I tweaked  the pattern a bit to accommodate all the photos, including cutting one photo to span the mats, 
and hiding another in the journalling box, which can be opened by untying the Waxy-Flax (Z1089) bow. I thought that map paper was perfect for this lay-out!
A couple of other fun features of that paper pack were the Scrabble letter paper, which I cut apart and mounted with foam tape, for part of my title, and the bottle caps, which add a lot of height to the page, but a lot of style, too, methinks.
So, there you have some glittery goodness.!
Why not break out your stash of glitter glue, gel, Stickles, etc, and link up to Heart2Heart?
Here's all you need to know:
  1. Use mostly Close To My Heart products, though it doesn't have to be 100%.
  2. Create your GLITTERY project.
  3. Post your project to your blog or other online gallery.
  4. Come back here and directly link to your blog post, not your blog home page. 
  5. Mention Heart 2 Heart somewhere in your blog post indicating that you are playing along with us and link to our site. 
  6. Consider adding the H2H badge to your blog. We'd love to spread the word and see more crafters participating! 
  7. Finally, you have the whole month of November to join us on any of our November challenges and be eligible for our Top Ten!
Off to vacuum or leaf-blow all that glitter off my craft-table--it even got into my eyebrows!

Happy crafting,

Tuesday 20 November 2012

A Quick and Silly Post...

You all know I just cannot get enough of that cute little zebra/zebrette? from Paper Smooches' "Zoo Crew."
A friend had a great zebra-print scarf on at work this week, and she lent me a book for my trip "state-side" for American Thanksgiving. I thought a zebra book mark would be a perfect little thank-you.

Back-ground paper created with parchment-coloured card-stock and random stamping with the "dictionary4me" stamp from The Stamps of Life.  Zebra coloured with Copic markers; eyes accented with Liquid Glass. Fonts are from various Sizzix strip dies.
Punny sentiment high-lighted with some Stickles glitter glue.  Scrabble letters from CTMH's "Cruisin" paper pack (retired).

Enjoy your turkey, all my US buds!

Happy cooking and crafting,

Tuesday 13 November 2012

It's...the Dynamic Duo!

No, not Batman and Robin, this week's colour challenge!  I have not yet played along with this blog--Dynamic Duos--The Two-Color Challenge Blog. Every week, a different color combination is posted, and the challenge is to create something using ONLY the two specified colours. Neutral shades like black, white, vanilla, skin tones and kraft are allowed. Here's the colour-combo for this week:
These are Stampin' up shades, but I used Tulip, a retired CTMH colour and the new shade, Cashmere. I added kraft and white.
I am coming up with gift tag ideas for a workshop in a couple of weeks, and was getting kind of stumped, but this colour combination really revved up the old inspiration.
Here's the official submission to DD#28:
I used a Cuttlebug embossing folder on the kraft card stock, a Close-to-My-Heart snowflake stamp (Perfect Fit-Holidays B1412, which perfectly fits a 1.25" circle punch), a sentiment from Paper Smooches' set "Christmas Sampler" and maraschino twine from The Twinery.
THAT inspired more Paper Smooches fun, with this card:
The sketch is posted on the Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge blog this week (see the details  HERE).
I used the Christmas Sampler set as well as All Yule Need, which in addition to being a very clever title, does indeed have a plethora (LOVE that word) of seasonal images which can be mixed and matched to your heart's inky content.
And finally, a couple of tags for the workshop:

The shape of these was CASEd from Amy Tsuruta's post for Paper Made Bakery (thank-you, Amy). I've also been following the new release of stamps and dies from Lil' Inker this week. Which reminded about the FABULOUS dimensional "Bow-die" and the cute little "stitched" sentiment tag, which were sitting neglected in a basket on my shelves. So they got dusted off and put to work. The DP from Fancy Pants Designs is a couple of years old (feels GOOD to use up the stash). The zig-zag die is a Sizzix product; the jingle bell punch is by Emagination Crafts. And don't you LOVE the look of that holographic silver ripple paper? Its just card-stock weight, but it seems to have such depth and shine! I found it at Paper Wishes.

So!  Off to link these goodies to:

  • Dynamic Duos Challenge #28
  • Paper Smooches Sparks: Nov. 12th and
  • Lil' Inker's Flickr gallery.
Wishing you JOLLY and CHEERY crafting,

Monday 12 November 2012

Gratitude Journal

Just a warning up front: this is going to be a long post, with lots of pictures and a lengthy explanation for how it came about...

The assignment at Heart-2-Heart Challenges this week was to create something to convey GRATITUDE.  Now, one way in which Close to My Heart supports its consultants is the provision of  business tips in the "Weekly Wisdom" column. This week's edition was particularly timely: It suggested that how we see or react to things that happen in our life is a CHOICE.

"We can wake up every morning and be angry that we ran out of coffee, or that we were stopped by every red light on our way to our daily tasks. Or we can choose joy. We can choose joy at having another day to wake up to. Joy that we have a car with working brakes to stop at the stoplights. And joy that we are a part of something rewarding in the form of Close To My Heart (our hobby!--my italics)."
It continued:
"Sit down right now and write down ten things that give you joy. Your children, your pets, your spouse, whatever. Then write down ten things that frustrate you. Look at that list and then make one last list changing those ten frustrating things into ten things that could be joyful – and then throw away the list of the frustrations. Spend a minute every morning for a week reading out loud the list of things that give you joy. When we make joy a conscious effort rather than sitting around waiting for the joy to come, we see the joy more prevalent in our lives – and so will others."
With the H2H assignment in mind, I decided to create a "Gratitude Journal" where I will complete my list of 10 things that bring me joy and for which I'm grateful (they'll become little mini-layouts with photos if possible), as well as the ten irritating things that I can CHOOSE to see positively.

I really like covering journals and notebooks to personalize them; I've made several with different themes as gifts. I usually buy a basic black hard-cover notebook, but this time I used a spiral-bound notebook. CTMH has discontinued this particular product, but now has a canvas-covered journal which you can STAMP on!.  I removed the covers by gently opening the coils, to make it easier to work with.
Love the mess on my desk!?

I pulled off the original plastic sleeve on the front cover
I used the new pigment ink pads to colour the edges of the covers--just swiped them with the ink pad--so easy!
The "Irresistibles" Houndstooth Alphabet was also very easy to colour. When I started investing in Sizzix alphabet dies (and now the Cricut), and my CTMH alphabet stamps, I swore I would never to buy another alphabet sticker! So annoying to run out of Es, Ts, Ss... But! I'll be making an exception for those Houndstooth letters. They look great!
Just added ink with a sponge dauber--the resist pattern shows up like magic.
I used a discontinued (but still beautiful) paper pack called "Dreamin." It has great autumn colours--gold, rust, brown and blue.  The copper charm is from the matching embellishment packet, but the current "Timeless Charms" would work equally well.
I used the pigment ink pads again to stamp some floral images from the"Treasure Life" stamp set, D1306. The opaque ink showed up well over patterned paper. 
A mishmash of products as I make final design decisions...
 Final product, showing both covers.

And voila...

This whole process definitely gave me joy. And contemplating gratitude today (Nov. 11th) as the jets fly overhead to commemorate Remembrance Day here in Canada, is even more fitting.

Please pop by the H2H blog to see inspiring projects by the other design team members, and please play along!
Here are the rules for participating:

  1. Use mostly Close to My Hearts products, though it doesn't have to be 100%.
  2. Create your project, showing us what you're grateful for!
  3. Post your project to your blog or other online gallery.
  4. Come back here and link directly to your blog post, not your blog home page.
  5. Mention Heart 2 Heart somewhere in your blog post, indicating that you are playing along with us and link to our site.
  6. Consider adding the H2H badge to your blog. We'd love to spread the word and see more crafters participating.
  7. Please consider turning off word verification if you'd like to get comments (you can always enable comment moderation if you're concerned about spam).
  8. Finally, remember that you have the whole month of November to join us on any of our November challenges and be eligible for our Top Ten!

    May you find joy in your crafting!

Supplies Used:
Pacifica, Goldrush, Autumn Terracotta and Chocolate inks and card-stock
Dreamin' paper pack (discontinued)
Harvest Charms (discontinued)
"Houndstooth" Irresistibles Alphabet
Natural hemp

Friday 9 November 2012

The First Four...

My first post!
Amy Tsuruta had an intriguing idea this week: to celebrate the fifth anniversary of her blog, she DARED her followers to share the first four cards they ever posted.  She led the way (see her post HERE). Its interesting to see both style and photography know-how change along the way...

As its only just over a year since I started my blog, I don't think there's been that much evolution, although I did learn how to add a watermark, and now I know not to include FOUR cards per photo,  and to display them the right way up... Okay, definite learning curve.

Here are #2 and #3:
Interactive "never-ending" card see link HERE

A hand-cut swing card, before I knew there were dies to do it for you!
The last one is the first of my Xmas tags for 2011--which kind of brings me full circle, as that is what i am working on just now.

Just thinking over the past year, makes me realize what a rich one it has been. I have worked on one design team, been in the "Trendsetting Spotlight," participated in "The Mother of All Blog-Hops," won some serious swag in give-aways, found some inspiring peeps to "follow," and have made MANY kind and generous virtual friends in the process. Not a bad way to spend a year!

So thank you, Amy, for that trip down Memory Lane. I wish you many more happy years of blogging!

Cheers! (with your shears)

Thursday 8 November 2012

And more "Jolly" HCW Tags

Here are a couple more tags, inspired by Online Card Classes' Holiday Card Workshop.

One of the lessons focussed on using dies, so I broke out my favorite Sizzix Christmas die, Reindeer #2. He is just so joyful; he has to make an appearance every year! This time I mounted him on a scalloped circle punch (CTMH) and a rosette made with a Tim Holtz alterations die, and the Dakota houndstooth paper from CTMH. The word "Jolly" is from another Sizzix die. A little Stickes and some velvet and organdy ribbon complete the look.

I used the Memory Box "Modern Landscape Border" die earlier this week as a mask. This time I cut out just a portion of it and mounted it above an "Outdoor Denim" tag. I glued a small piece of yellow paper behind the door and window of the little house, and gilded the trees and roofline with Diamond Stickles. A few gems in the "sky" and a little sponging along the edges of the edges of this tag seemed to be all it needed.
The photo (taken at night) doesn't do this cutie justice.

So now I'm up to five designs for my gift-tag workshop--a couple more ideas percolating. Stay tuned!

Happy holiday crafting...

Wednesday 7 November 2012

More Holiday...Tags!

The Online Card Classes' Holiday Card Workshop has been great for inspiring ideas for gift tags, as well as holiday cards. I'll be doing a tag workshop for 10 people at the end of the month, and I promised them 12 different designs (a la Days of Ch.ristmas and Tim Holtz). Here's a sneak preview:

We'll start with these tags which just involve cutting, tearing and glueing. Some of my peeps have not done much crafting before, so I don't want to overwhelm them all at once. It was fun to use double sided paper on these as you just cut a series of gradually bigger squares in half, and then mix 'em up.
 Foam-taping just the bottom edge of each layer added some tiered dimension.
For this shimmery card, they will learn to use an embossing folder, then spray the resulting piece with glimmer mist (Smooch Spritz). The snowflake is a Sizzix "Embosslit" which cuts and embosses at the same time. It was glitzed up with some alcohol markers, Stickles and a beautiful CTMH gem.
Here's another view.

There will be a few other cards to hone some more paper-crafting techniques. But the piece-de-resistance/final item will be this snow-man globe card, where they will do some Copic marker colouring:
Its amazing how much dimension is added by just a little shading on either side of an outline stamp. This cutie is an older CTMH set.

Off to watch the next installment of Holiday Card Workshop...

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Ack! I made a one-layer card! CMH Dare #17

I cannot do clean-and-simple cards. They always end up getting fussy, cluttered or with too many layers. However, I surprised myself today. All credit for this card idea is due to Jennifer McGuire, one of the creators of Online Classes' Holiday Card Workshop," and to Debby Hughes, the queen of CAS.
They both have posted cards using a similar curved landscape die, from Memory Box, and a sponged background.

I was determined to submit a card to this week's Color My Heart Color Dare. The challenge colours this week are: Smokey Plum, Sunset and Sweet Leaf. I tried stamping these triadic tones on white and they just didn't mesh, somehow. Then I thought of mixing a couple on a night sky, and the northern lights magically appeared! I first stamped some snowflakes on the white card base with Versa-mark ink, but they are very faint. I created a mask using the border die, and sponged the green shade on and away from it; the purple was sponged down from the top of the card. I added a few sparkle gems as the original stars didn't show up. All that remained was to use the orange colour for my sentiment. Simple, striking, and ALL DONE! I'm still in shock.

I will link this card up to Color My Heart Color Challenge Dare HERE:  this week's challenge is open until Thursday Nov. 8th, so you still have time to play along.

Happy crafting,

Supplies Used:
Close to My Heart ink pads in Smokey Plum, Sunset and Sweet Leaf
Green/blue Sparkles (CTMH)
CTMH White Daisy card-stock
Memory Box "modern landscape border" die #98257
CTMH Stamp set "Say it with Style" D1283
And that's all, folks!

Friday 2 November 2012

More Holiday Cards

How's this for an eye-popping Christmas card?

The idea was to use a non-traditonal background stamp for a holiday-themed card. I can't resist that SWEET little zebra from Paper Smooches "Zoo Crew" set. I set her (?) off with a zebra-skin patterned background stamp from The Stamps of Life, in cranberry ink. The sentiment is from PS's "Christmas Sampler" set.
I cut out the zebra's head using a craft knife so I could fringe her mane and slip a die-cut wreath (Sizzix) around her neck. A little red Stickles, some Pea-pod twine from The Twinery, and you have a black-and-white-and-red-all-over card! Cheery indeed.

I tried another version, too, in non-traditional Xmas colours, but a little softer:
The star/snowflake background stamp is from Paper Smooches "All Yule Need" set. I may switch out that red bow yet, for something with less contrast. Having lots of fun playing!

Happy (holiday) crafting,

Thursday 1 November 2012

THANKS! for Holiday Card Workshop

I have been following Online Card Classes' "Holiday Card Workshop" this week.
Lots of great ideas to kick-start your holiday card-making, from batches of simple gift enclosures to embossing techniques, background stamping and more. My goal was to make one card for each day of "class," but I wasn't able to carve out any stamping time until today.

I tried Kristina Werner's embossed background grid on my "Say Thanks" card. I was also hoping to create this in enough time to play along with this week's Color My Heart's challenge  Color Dare #16, which was to use these colours:
A nice, harvest-inspired collection. However, I missed the cut-off--too pokey.

But! at Paper Smooches, Kim Hughes issued a challenge to make a thank-you card for a chance to win a stamp set from this month's release. So if I hustle and get this post ready before midnight, I might be in the running.
I used the "So Grateful" (B1395) stamp set from CTMH for the pumpkin on my card, swiping the stamp down the ink-pad for some interesting texture. Sentiments are from PS sets "Good Gab" and "Alphadots". Maraschino twine from The Twinery. I figured saying "thank-you" in three languages has us covered from Mexico through the Canada!
Check back this weekend for some more creations inspired by HCW.

Happy crafting!