Monday 28 October 2013

If its Monday morning, it must be...

Time for a FABULOUS new sketch at 
The is a great all-purpose sketch--lots of possibilities. However, right now, I am all about the Christmas card, so here's my take:

Rotated the sketch, used a tag for the central layer and tucked the ribbon under rather than over the tag.I had fun embossing that delicious Ho-ho-ho message, then colouring it with markers to match the papers. 

The Sparkle and Shine paper (grey) has little shiny silver polka dots--subtle but pretty.
The best accidental find was border punching the red shimmer tape. I was left with all these sparkly little circles. Some ended up on and inside this card, and others you will see in future posts. They also ended up on the carpet, in the bedroom, you name it!

Back to the sketch:  You have all week to concoct your own interpretation of this sketch. Link it up to the Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge by Sunday night. We love to see your creations!
I have my own challenge for you this week:  post a project and invite a friend to the Atlantic Hearts sketch challenge. For every friend who posts, I will enter your name that number of times into a random drawing for the stamp set I used here. Mention this challenge in your post, then come back here to THIS post and tell me you linked up, and include your friend's name so I can check THEIR post. Whew! Sounds like a lot of back-and-forth but it will be fun!

Happy crafting,

Supplies Used:
Cardstock and patterned paper, Close to My Heart: Juniper, White Daisy, Grey Flannel, Sparkle and Shine
Red Shimmer trim, Close to My Heart
Ranger Distress Markers in Festive Berry and Iced Spruce
Silver embossing powder
Red ribbon, Michaels

Sunday 27 October 2013

Blog Candy Winner!


Thanks to all the folks who left kind comments on my blog make-over post HERE.
I promised a prize, drawn from amongst all those who left a little love for Jen Nelson, designer of my all-new blog header. Several commented on the Autumnal feel of the design but truly, the colours were pulled from a summer photo and the maple leaf symbolizes Canada (my home and some-what native land). Although there are great numbers of brilliant red maple leaves covering the ground in Ottawa right now!

The True Random Number generator has picked #3:   Rebecca

Rebecca, not sure where in the beautiful world you live, but send me your contact info and I'll mail out your Christmas stamp set to you!

Here's a card using an image from that set.
CASE'd from Nancy HERE
LOVE that Sizzix reindeer die (he makes an appearance every year). This year he is cut from suede paper (Paper Wishes sells it HERE).
The card is part of my card-making bonanza to benefit Caring Hearts Drive 2013. (see my original post on this effort HERE). My energetic elves will be putting together 10 more of these this week, along with 60 other cards I've got cut out and ready to go. Intrigued? Visit the link and consider joining the Caring Hearts Drive this year!

Happy crafting,

Friday 25 October 2013

Feeling Hallow-weeny! Color My Heart Dare #66

The challenge at Color My Heart this week involves two complementary colours:
I'm sure your first thought was NOT Halloween! But that holiday is a big deal around this household, with one son born on Oct. 31st. Two sons are going to college in other cities this year, so their Halloween cards had to be made sooner than later.  
Credit where credit is due: this card is a CASE of one made in a card-workshop a couple of years ago by my American CTMH buddy, Kristin.
I started by stamping random bats all over a piece of GYPSY cardstock. The focal image was heat-embossed with black, and then BUTTERCUP and GYPSY inks were sponged over top. I love the  effect where the two colours merge! I added some Liquid Glass to the eye sockets for more dimension and shine.
I've been paying more attention to the insides of my cards recently (since the Online Card Classes' "Insider").

So how do this week's colours inspire you?
Check out some great examples at Color My Heart, and link up your creation to share. This challenge runs until Thursday, Oct 31st (how appropriate!) at noon.
You do not have to use Close to My Heart products to participate--use close colours of ink or paper from your stash, but please do join us for some creative fun.
On another note, just a couple more days to enter to win some blog candy! See my POST HERE.

Happy crafting,

Supplies used:
100% Close to My Heart this week:
Card stock in Gypsy, Black and White Daisy
Inks: Versamark, Buttercup, Gypsy, Black
Stamp sets: B1429 Eek & Shriek
(retired) D1442 Thriller 
(retired) C1462 All Hallows Eve 
Ribbon Rounds Black Collection
foam tape

Thursday 24 October 2013

Jolly in Pink & Green

The Midweek Throwndown/Color Challenge at Operation Write Home this week is  
They are always ahead of the game at OWH. They are already looking for cards for the NEXT seasonal holiday to send overseas to folks in the armed forces, so THEY can send them back home to their loved ones. So the idea with this colorway is really to start working on Valentine's cards.

Well, my goal this season is to use up a large portion of my stash making cards for two causes, one of which is the 2013 Caring Hearts Card Drive. I've been coming up with card designs, making card kits in multiples of 10, and inviting my friends (aka "the elves") over to help put them all together. We made 30 cards yesterday in two hours. Jolly indeed!
So here's the latest card, in pink and green:
Makes for a cheery Christmas card, eh?

Check out Ling's link to participate in this very worthwhile cause.
Happy crafting,

CTMH stamp set: Remarkable Wreath C1473
Paper Smooches stamp set: Christmas Sampler
Lil'Inker stitched rectangles die
Simon Says Stamp tilted banner die
CTMH Card stock: in Smoothie, Olive, Desert Sand, Colonial White
The Twinery's kraft baker's twine
Jingle bell and ribbon: Michael's 
Ranger: gold Stickles and Petal Pink Liquid Pearls

Sunday 20 October 2013

Love the Name Frame!

 The name-frame has got to be one of the most satisfying gifts to make...
You can see my first attempt at it HERE (all the links to the original creators, with cutting, sizes, etc are included there). It was made for my nephew Calvin, in January. His sister's birthday was this month, so she HAD to get one, too...
I used those fabulous Thickers double-sided alphabet stickers, sprinkled with Martha Stewart glitter, an older paper pack from CTMH, lots of bits and bobs from my stash, and some cute Paper Smooches images and dies. Here are some detail shots:
Paper Smooches' "Flap Happy"

Here it is in its final frame:
Lots of babies on the horizon, amongst our friends and co-workers, so you may see another version before too long.
Happy crafting,

Saturday 19 October 2013

Thanks for the Make-Over!

Dear crafty friends...

What do you think of the new look of my blog?
I've been thinking about having a personalized blog-header for quite some time, and contacted a couple of people who advertise that kind of work on their blog, with no reponse.

Then I "found" the multi-talented Jen Nelson, through the "Seize the Sketch" blog.
She is one of those very productive people who make Clean-and-Simple an art-form.
She dabbles in blog design, we emailed back and forth a bit to discuss colours and design elements,
Inspired by the colours of my favorite place to be...
and in a mere couple of weeks,
she had created and refined this new blog-header and accoutrements.

Here is my attempt at a Jen Nelson-style card, to thank her.
Seize the Sketch #6
Please pop by Jen's blog, The Tiny Blue Butterfly, and leave her some love.

 To further celebrate, I thought I'd offer a little blog candy, to help with your Christmas crafting:

Leave a comment on this post, and stop by Jen's blog to comment, within the next week. I'll do a random drawing for  this stamp set on Saturday, October 26th, for those who commented at both places.

Happy Crafting!

Card Recipe:
Cardstock in White Daisy, Grey Flannel and Black, CTMH
Chiyogami paper from Japan, courtesy of my husband's trip in June
"Thanks" word-die from Paper Smooches, cut 4 times and layered
Joy!Crafts floral flourishes die #6002/0157
Black sequins and grey bling, CTMH 
Home-made pink spritz 

Thursday 17 October 2013

EEK! Under the wire, at the Dynamic Duos #74

This was the yummy color palette at this week's Dynamic Duos.  I subbed in Creme Brule, Sorbet and lots of black and white for neutrals.

We have lots of October birthdays in our family, and these colours lent themselves nicely to a Halloween-themed card.
I cut the card-base a little shorter than the usual 4.25" to allow for the moon hanging off the top of the card. The Stitched Circles embossing plate from Lil'Inker looks a little like spider webs, in the background.
The kitty is part of a great fall stamp set (the tree, moon and sentiment are included, too) from CTMH. The detail on the stamp really makes him seem furry, esp when heat-embossed in black:
The moon was heat-embossed with clear powder, then sponged with the two challenge colours:
I had fun with the inside, too:
I'll be back later with details on the supplies used. Off to link up to Dynamic Duos before the noon deadline!
Happy (and spooky) crafting,

Tuesday 15 October 2013

I {heart} Gears-Atlantic Hearts Sketch #25

A very intriguing sketch for you this week, from Atlantic Hearts!
This one was designed by talented team member Anna-Carin.
Don't those gears get your mental processes going?  They remind me of the Blogger icon...
Here's what I came up with:
 I started cutting out some gears with the Cricut Artiste cartridge, but then remembered this awesome Provocraft embossing folder. It has all kinds of cogs, dials and general machinery. I've used it many times for graduation cards. The centerpiece is that wonderful clock, which fit with the circular sentiment space on the sketch. 
So I revised my "blueprint," went back to my Cricut and cut out some clock hands. The banner die comes from Simon Says Stamp, and the greeting is from the Puns of Praise stamp set by CTMH. Embellishments are from the Rosewood Mini-medley Accent Collection.
A little monochromatic, perhaps, but overall I'm happy with it.

How will you put your stamp on this sketch? Steam-punk? Organic? Vintage auto?
Lots of room for interpretation with this one!
Check out the DT's work at Atlantic Hearts--it'll be up tomorrow (Wednesday). Then you have until midnight Sunday to post your creation.
Happy crafting,

CTMH card-stock in Cocoa, Bamboo and Colonial White
CTMH ink: Cashmere, Cocoa
Provocraft embossing folder
Cricut Artiste cartridge
CTMH Mini-medley accent collection/Rosewood
Stamp set: Puns of Praise (retired)
Simon Says Stamp: tilted banner dies

Friday 11 October 2013

Colour My Heart Red and GOLD

Hello crafty friends!
The challenge this week at Color My Heart is to use
of your choice.

Here's the result of my first thought:
It is Canadian Thanksgiving here this weekend, and I'll be making a couple of pies. 
This card features an older Sizzix pie die--I spritzed, inked and crinkled a piece of Kraft paper for the crust, before die-cutting it. I couldn't find any PP with apples or pumpkins on it, so I used this cheery dotted paper from CTMH's (retired) Cherry-O. 
Then I received a parcel in the mail from Paper Wishes, which contained some metallic gold paper and new gold embossing powder and saw this red-and-gold beauty by Brenda H. Inspiration!
I've been seeing many lovely cards using CTMH's Stamp-of-the-Month, Scandinavian Wishes. 
It looks beautiful in simple red-and-white, like traditional Redwork embroidery. See HERE and HERE for some examples.

Adding GOLD gave it a big WOW-factor.
I heat embossed the image in gold on white, with matting in red & gold. A few red Jewel Dazzle stickers added a little more shine.
Inside:  the beautiful border stamp!
Then I rotated the sketch and changed the order of the matted layers:
Inside of this one needed just a strip of that gold paper:
So, which version do you prefer?
I'm wishing I'd ordered more than one sheet of gold paper...

Head on over to the Color My Heart blog to see the winner's from last week's Dare, and the DT projects with CRANBERRY + ?
Then put on your Emerald City glasses, pick a colour and show us your stuff! We love to see what you create.
Happy crafting,

CTMH cardstock: White Daisy and Cranberry (and Cocoa & Kraft for the pie card)
Cricut: Art Philosophy cartridge for the ornament 
Inks: VersaMark and Cranberry (and Cocoa and Cashmere)
Embossing powders: White detail and Gold
Embossing folders: Provocraft/Cuttlebug
Fibres: White collection (CTMH-retired) and Cranberry baker's twine
Doily: Paper Wishes

Thursday 10 October 2013

Little Red Wagon full of Thanksgiving Greetings

Good Morning, crafty friends.

In honour of the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration, this next weekend, in Canada, the Little Red Wagon challenge is to create a Thanksgiving card.

This is one I designed for a Thanksgiving card workshop I run at the Rehabilitation Centre.
It features the fun poster-style stamp which was the stamp-of-the-month for CTMH in September. I was inspired by a couple of different versions by blogging friends of mine: Tracey, who used the blackboard technique, and Shirley, who used multiple colours on the same image.

There were a few left over from the workshop, which went into the mail yesterday to family and friends. Here's a closer look :
I heat-embossed the image with white, then rubbed pigment ink over selected words. The two die cut leaves are courtesy of Paper Smooches and Paper Wishes. The dyed button (in "Pumpkin!")is from The Stamps of Life
A further die cut adorns the inside:
How will you spend your weekend? Still lots of time for a walk in the woods, a visit to the Farmer's market or pumpkin patch... oh, and a turkey dinner, if you're in Canada.

Off to link up to Little Red Wagon #206.
You have until next Monday to play along!

Happy crafting,

CTMH cardstock in Goldrush, Autumn Terracotta, Buttercup, Olive and Black
Pigment inks in Goldrush, Autumn Terracotta and Topiary
VersaMark ink and white detail embossing powder
Other: twine from Michael's; parchment from Michael's

Monday 7 October 2013

Doubly Irresistible how-to...

I'm back from the awesome World Card-Making Day OWH blog hop with a quick lesson on how I created the focal image for my card, posted HERE.

All credit goes to the ever-inventive Jennifer McGuire. See her post, with video tutorial, HERE.

Briefly, you want to use a stamped image with an outline, such as the True ThankYou stamp I used:
  • Start with a piece of white card-stock, and using VersaMark ink, heat-emboss the message with white, fine-detail powder. 
  • Colour the letters or image as desired (I used alcohol markers), filling in the outline. 
  • Apply more VersaMark over your colouring, this time heat-embossing with CLEAR powder.
  • Your image is now sealed & secure and you can begin sponging colour over the whole thing, to make the white really stand out. I used the Tim Holtz ink-blending tool, and my dye-based ink pad, starting in the middle of the image and working my way out.

Jennifer McGuire used a "Wink of Stella" pen to wet her image before adding the final layer of clear embossing powder. Not having that nice little item, I just used a Versamark pen.

I did add clear embossing to my little hearts, though, for some extra shine.

Have fun experimenting with this technique!
Happy crafting,

Saturday 5 October 2013

World Blog Hop 2013

It doesn't get much bigger or better than that, my blogging friends...

What an incredible day--card-making going on all over the world! 
And why do we love making cards?
Because our recipients know the hand-made greetings convey our thoughts, love and warmest wishes. 
(and just maybe because we like our hands sticky and inky!)

I am VERY pleased to be participating in this hop, organized by 
This is a most worthy cause--Operation Write Home collects and sends hand-crafted cards to armed forces members, stationed all over the world, so they can send wishes to their loved ones back home.  I feel an even greater connection now as my son joined the Canadian Armed Forces this year. There is no equivalent organization in Canada per se, but if you contact me I can put you in touch with the grassroots group doing the same thing.

Anyway, on to the blog hop!
The assignment:
Choose an OWH sketch.

Create a "thank-you" card using the chosen sketch.

Encourage hoppers to leave some love (comments) and continue hopping.

Off you go--there will be HUNDREDS of cards for you to admire, CASE, and comment on. You might also want to consider supporting OWH. They are always in need of more cards and $$ for postage.
What a great day, eh?

Especially happy crafting,

Supplies Used:
Cardstock in Sweet Leaf, Pacifica, Buttercup and White Daisy
Inks: Buttercup, Sweet Leaf,  & Versamark
Alcohol markers in blue and green
White and Clear embossing powders
Stamp sets:  CTMH's A True Thank You, One-way Borders; Paper Smooches' Many Thanks
Sizzix die
Kraft alphabet stickers

Check back Monday, Oct. 7th for details on how I created this awesome focal: