Thursday 27 December 2012

Soft as the new-fallen snow...

An entry to this week's Color My Heart Color Dare Challenge:

Gypsy and Sky

They seemed just the right colours for some snowflakes, given that we've had about 8" more snow fall since 2:00 am this morning. 
This is the view out my third floor craft room/study.  Grey and snowy day in the nation's capitol! Could use some of those soothing colours...

Back to the card: I used the sentiment from CTMH C1428 "Ice Crystals" which is a build-a-snowflake set, embossed with clear detail powder, then sponged on Sky and Gypsy inks to reveal the message. Also broke out some beautiful new snowflake dies from Lil'Inker, as well as using their square stitched mat dies to emboss the edge of the card.

I'll be cranking out a few dozen of these to send as Christmas thank-yous.
Happy winter,

Friday 21 December 2012

Whooo's Your Valentine? National Papercrafting Month: January 2013

Check out this video show-casing the January Special at Close to My Heart, "Whooo's Your Valentine?" From now until January 31st, you can order this kit (retail value of $40) for only $10 when you make a $35 purchase of paper-crafting products. Great value, and a really easy craft activity the whole family could join in on.
Once the Christmas gift-wrap is cleared away, you can get a head-start on the next big holiday! Check back here for lots of cute Valentine ideas..

Thursday 20 December 2012

Peace on Earth

In just under the wire with an entry to this week's Dynamic Duos Two-Color Challenge, which is to use gold and black:
Now Caroline, I hear you saying, I see black in that card, but no gold!  You would be right.
This beauty of a stamp arrived in the mail yesterday. 

It was a prize from the recent OnLine Card Classes Holiday Card Workshop. It is a Hero Arts cling stamp. I had not used such a thing before. Gave up on rubber stamps a long time ago because of difficulties lining things up which is much easier with clear acrylic stamps. However, this stamp gives a beautiful impression, and as it is basically all right-angles, no difficulty with getting it straight.

The above card was my first take, based on Kristine Werner's example from the Online class.I stamped in black Memento ink, then sponged on three shades of ink (CTMH Pansy, Crystal Blue and Sweet Leaf) to give the sky a northern lights look. The stitched mat is a die from Lil'Inker, as is the sentiment.

My blogger acquaintance Amy T reminded me this week with her entry that background stamps look great with heat-embossing, so take #2 took shape:
I stamped with Versamark and heat-set gold embossing powder. Again added some shading at the top of the image for a more dark-of-winter look. Great for tomorrow's Winter Solstice, right? Less is definitely more with a wonderful image like this...
I'll also be linking this up to Annette Allen's Linky party.

So final countdown with making, baking, wrapping, caroling all the way...
Happy holidays, friends!

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Oh, Christmas Trees...

This past weekend, my husband came across the Christmas letter he wrote last year, but never sent. So he decided that THIS year, he was going to send cards, sans letter. He mowed through my entire collection of hand-made cards in one evening (granted, only about 2 dozen) and was only on the G's.
So I got to work today and made him another 2 dozen. Will likely have to do more! I'm kind of gleeful, as he always thinks the card-thing is not truly crafty ("No-one will have one of your cards 50 years from now, but they would keep a hand-made quilt..."). Now he's into it!

So, with this week's Color My Heart dare in mind:  Sweet Leaf and Twilight,
I created the first card, at the top of the post, with my remaining scrap of Sweetleaf cardstock. I don't know if my fellow CTMH consultants feel the same way, but I am missing the multi-colour paper packs which used to be available. I am not keen to buy 24 sheets of some colours. May have to contact some friends and see if they want to share and split packages...
Anyway, I used a Sizzix die for the pine trees and ran them through an embossing folder, for more definition. They sit on top of a scrap of patterned paper from the "Cruisin'" pack (retired), on a Twilight card base. The "Peace" banner was cut using the Cricut Artiste cartridge, and mounted with foam tape to allow the letters to show better. I replaced part of the "P" with a little twilight "Sparkle."
Then I made multiples of this card:
It uses card-stock from Michael's and Bo-Bunny, a scrap of Avonlea paper, and the sentiment was heat-embossed with gold. That comes from the Lil 'Inker Instant Camera: Christmas Stamp set. I also used a new product from the Twinery, Platinum Shimmer twine, to wrap the tree. Star on top is a Dazzle from Paper Wishes. I added a little gold Stickles to the snow after taking the photo--it looks finished now.

Less that a week to go!
Happy crafting,

Sunday 16 December 2012

Happy BOOthday...

This is my nephew's card, which we will deliver with his birthday gift today (TWO MONTHS LATE!) when we go over to make gingerbread houses with all the cousins (ages 5 to 21 years--it's amazing how well they all get on!).
His birthday was in October, so a spooky themed card seemed appropriate. Plus he and his male cousins are always ridding the world of zombies and other undesirables...
I saw a similar card on the web earlier this season, but the torn wrappings fit this week's Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge sketch so well:
I used CTMH champagne and black cardstock, saddle pigment ink to smudge the edges and googly eyes purchased at Michael's.
The Paper Smooches stamp sets used were:
Alphadot and
Here's the whole card:
And the inside message:  surprise, because I'm sure he thought we'd forgotten...

Happy holiday prep, everyone!

Wednesday 12 December 2012


This week's challenge at Color My Heart:
Use Buttercup, with some black and white allowed.

Buttercup is a lovely soft yellow. I thought Sarah Stone's idea (above) of keeping the design simple set off the colour well. But I wanted to add a little interest, so tried an ink/embossing technique.
I applied the Buttercup inkpad directly to my Cuttlebug embossing folder, then ran it through the machine as usual. The ink ends up in the recessed areas of the impression. Kind of subtle, but effective.
Stamps are from Paper Smooches' "We Connect." I stamped the big ampersand in second-generation black, for more contrast. Hope that still fits the challenge. Makes for a nice wedding congratulation card.
Check out the other entries at Color my Heart. Always inspiring!

Off to work,

Tuesday 11 December 2012

I HEART you--Dynamic Duos #32

Its a monochromatic theme this week at The Dynamic Duos--A Two-Colour Challenge--#32, featuring  two shades of pink:
Even the names pinks are pretty, don't you think? I used the CTMH versions: Blush and Hollyhock, and a retired stamp set (XXX) to create a card which is cleaner and simpler than is usual for me...
I also used Lil' Inker Designs' stitched mats dies for my focal image and a second smaller one folded in half for the sentiment tag. The sentiment itself is from this month's release at Paper Smooches, "We Connect". I liked the combination of the large X's and O's and the small words. Some Twinery fibre in Blossom and a felt rolled flower made with a Sizzix die. And a little Martha Stewart glitter on the hearts stamped inside the O's... A little glitter, judiciously applied, can be a wonderful thing!

Now, back to Christmas crafting...what are you working on today?
P.S.  The Dynamic Duo deadline is Thursday at noon (Dec. 13th).


Monday 10 December 2012

Christmas Crackers with Heart2Heart Challenges

This is my last post with the design team at Heart2Heart Challenges. *heavy sigh*  

I have had so much fun with this group the last six months--the different challenges have definitely stretched me creatively; staying on schedule for posting assignments has been its own challenge at times, with holiday travel, other commitments, and computer issues! But I think the best part has been getting to know and work with my fellow design-team members, through the wonders of the Internet. I truly feel they are now friends, if only in the virtual sense!
I wish Mary Vogel all the best for a New Year of adventures in crafting, as she moves on to fresh creative pursuits. Big high-fives to Haley and Shirley as they take over the reins at Heart2Heart. To the DT gals, I'll continue to follow your inky antics!
I highly encourage you to think about applying for the next DT call with this group. Follow Heart2Heart and watch for the deadline.

NOW! On to this week's challenge:
Christmas Project #4

Christmas Cracker made using the Cricut Artiste cartridge
Christmas crackers are a staple of the Christmas dinner celebrations in Canada. A throw-back to our British colonial days. We always had them when I was a kid. You pull them apart with a big bang and a little gunpowder smell, and they contained a tissue-paper hat, a riddle or joke, and a little toy or other small gift. One year, when my kids were younger, we hand-made them, using old toilet-paper rolls and Christmas wrapping paper, buying the cracker snaps at Michael's. The kids made up the jokes, which were made everyone laugh because 7 and 9-year old's ideas of humour are too funny...

Anyway, when I saw the 3-D party-favour available on the Cricut Artiste cartridge, it reminded me of a cracker, and I decided to try one out.
The Artiste booklet recommends cutting these out at 11". I used a solid colour card-stock, but a patterned paper would work well, too. The next step is to score all the fold-lines, using a scor-board, or in this case, the CMTH clear ruler and a scoring stylus, on a foam surface.
Once all the lines are scored, the centre "box" is formed by adding strong adhesive to the flaps and tucking them in. I used 1/4-inch Terrifically Tacky tape for this purpose. Then you push the bow-tie-shaped ends towards the box, forming the "ruffles." 
I would recommend threading the cracker snaps through the cracker, and adding the contents before doing this step, as the crackers are effectively closed at that point. Once the ruffles are formed, the ends of the cracker snaps should be adhered to the "ruffles," so that they will be pulled apart when the cracker is pulled (here is a link for instructions on making and filling crackers).

I tied the ends of my crackers with tulle ribbon in green, ensuring that the ruffles stay closed. Any ribbon would work well for this.

I added a stamped tag (also cut with the Artiste cartridge), tied with some hemp and jingle bells purchased at Michael's.
I added patterned paper to each side of the cracker, cut at 2" by 3.75".  As these will also function as place-cards at our dinner table, I added the name in contrasting card-stock, cut with the Artiste's new font, at 1" size. I sanded the edges of the letters a bit, for better definition against the patterned paper.

So, now to get my sons (now aged 17-21) to come up with some jokes and riddles, suitable for mixed company! I found a source for the paper hats, and will add some Christmas candy to the crackers.

How about sharing your Christmas-themed creations with us at Heart2Heart Challenges?  Here are the guidelines for playing along:
  1. Use mostly Close To My Heart products, though it doesn't have to be 100%.
  2. Create your artwork, with a Christmas theme--card, scrapbook layout or other crafts are welcome.
  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 December to link up. There won't be a December top-ten, but we love to see your creations, and will be leaving comments.
Just a reminder - link to the specific page your artwork is on - if we go to your blog and it's not at the top, we have a hard time looking for your entry. 

Happy crafting, as we enter the Christmas countdown...

CTMH Supplies Used:
Card-stock in Cranberry, White Daisy and Desert Sand
Pear & Partridge paper pack
Inks in New England Ivy and Smoothie
Cricut "Artiste" cartridge
Natural hemp

Other Supplies:
Terrifically Tacky Tape 
Jingle bells

Sunday 9 December 2012

Toad you so...

I am sending this card to a brave little boy named Sebastian, who will undergo surgery later this month. You can read his story HERE, told by his grade-school teacher, Ginger. 

You have to love this aspect of the online paper-crafting community--the networking possibilities for sending support to those all over the world. Thank-you, Amy T. for bringing this little boy to our collective attention. See HER blog for prize incentives--she is challenging us to create a "get well soon" card for Sebastian. You have until December 12th to create a card, link it up, and send YOUR love to:

c/o Ms. Brown's Class
Greynolds Park Elementary School
1536 NE 179 Street
North Miami Beach, FL33162

Hop to it!
Happy Crafting,

P.S. : sketch design was Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge #173
Stitched Mat die from Lil' Inker
Froggie stamps and die from The Stamps of Life
Echo Park "this and that" paper pack

Thursday 6 December 2012

Twisted Gift Cards...with Colour My Heart Dare #20

Here's my entry to this week's Color My Heart Color Dare Challenge #20, which involves these colours:
Extra points if you use the Pear & Partridge paper pack (CTMH's Christmas pack for 2012).

My fellow Heart2Heart DT member, Kelly, posted some photos of these cute cards awhile back, and I have been experimenting with them.
Will post more photos and instructions later. For now, I want to make sure I don't miss the LINKING deadline!
Okay, got 'er linked up, now for some how-to photos.
How to make the first score line

  • Start with a piece of cardstock cut at 4.25"x11".
  • Score from the upper right-hand corner to the lower left-hand corner, on the diagonal. See illustration.
  • Fold along this score-line, using a bone folder to burnish it. You want a nice crisp fold.
  • Fold this odd, M-shaped piece in half at the centre mark.

Find the centre of the card, and fold in half.
  • Burnish this fold well, too. You will end up with a card with a pocket on both the front and the inside.
  • Trace a template for the shape of the front and cut out a piece of designer paper to completely cover the front, hiding the first pocket. You may wish to make it slightly  smaller than the card front, allowing a thin border of the original card stock colour to show.
  • Cut two more pieces of different-patterned DP at 4"x 4.5" and 2"x 5.25" Cut both of these in half on the diagonal--you will have enough pieces to for two cards.
  • Decorate the front of the card as desired.
  • The inside pocket can hold a gift card, a cheque or cash, a photo--lots of possibilities!
A few more details of my card for the Color My Heart Dare:
My card base was OLIVE. I used one of the new Festive Velvet Rub-Ons (Z1743) for the CRANBERRY element. I stamped the "holiday treat" image ("Very Merry Christmas" stamp set S1210) in SMOOTHIE ink onto a piece of cashmere cardstock. I used a Dimensional Element Monogram (Z1077) "W" (one of my son's initials) and stamped the design from the ornament in the "Very Merry" set with VersaMark ink (Z891); sprinkled it with White Daisy embossing powder (Z673) and heat set. This created an "irresistible" to which I then applied NEW ENGLAND IVY pigment ink (Z2502).
I used more Pear & Partridge paper on the inside of the card (sorry for the fuzzy image).
Here's a look a another card, using the Christmas paper pack from a couple of years ago, Mistletoe.

I'll be making one more for son #3--they are quick and fun to make and still fit in an A2-size envelope.

Happy Christmas crafting!