Wednesday 31 December 2014

Happy 8th Day of Christmas

Hope you are all enjoying a jolly old time, with friends, family and food. That is what the holidays are all about. Some excellent meals, killer game-nights and generally catching up going on at our house, with three sons, parents and sister from Amsterdam all converging. It's been busy... Talk about your polar vortex!

I am very late in giving a final followup on the Caring Hearts Card Drive, Canada-side. You can click onto Vera's blog to see her final post. The drive was a HUGE success this year.
The total number of cards I received for distribution was:
Woo hoo! These were sent in by 36 wonderful, generous and talented card-makers. Thank you all! It was a treat for me to see your outstanding handy-work.

The prize I promised to the person sending in the most cards went to Adrian Michaud. She conceived of a service project for her son's scout troupe. She made a couple dozen Christmas cards and had the scouts write personal notes to seniors inside. She contacted the Madonna Nursing Home, in Orleans, Ontario. When she found out that there were 160 seniors, many of whom would not be receiving Christmas gifts or greetings from family and friends, she decided to make a card for EACH ONE. That's right, she personally make 160 cards.  Way to go, Adrian!  You have a huge heart!♥

The remainder of the 1020 cards were sent on to 17 nursing homes. 

One of my "elves" who attended my card-making workshops had the idea to have her group, Ottawa Therapy Dogs, help distribute the cards as they made their regular nursing home canine visits. She called the project "Operation Reindog," and the dogs and their handlers really got into it!

We also received some lovely feed-back on the cards themselves:

"I should like to thank Ottawa Therapy Dogs for sending a Christmas card via Claudia & Simba to my wife Helen Young. Helen has lived at The Ravines retirement home for the past four years but is unable to reply herself because of dementia. She did however enjoy the card which is beautifully handmade and unlike any other we have seen" (from a resident's husband).

"Harris and I did watch "guests" opening these beautiful hand-crafted cards.   I have to admit that I had not looked at any beforehand. They are SPECTACULAR!!!!
Please extend my huge thanks to Caroline and all of the amazing women who  have made this happen" (from one of the Reindog's handlers).

So there you are, folks! You gave some people beautiful reasons to smile this Christmas. Just another  reminder that it is just as blessed to give as to receive.

Happy holidays, and all the best for 2015.
 Love you all to bits!

Saturday 29 November 2014

Freshly-Made Sketches and Freshly Falling Snow...

Good morning!
We are enjoying temperatures above zero today.
But the white stuff is on its way...
This is one of the final cards for the Caring Hearts Card Drive. Inspiration for the water-colour panel from Heather Telford's card class.
I used Freshly-Made Sketches' design #164
After heat-embossing the Stampin' Up snowflakes on white cardstock, I added Distress inks in Tumbled Glass, Evergreen Bough and Salty Ocean. Then flicked on some Perfect Pearls mist and plain ol' water. I subbed in some cascading sequins for the ribbon on the sketch.

 Hope you fit some crafting into your day,

Caring Hearts...♥

Happy Saturday, crafty friends!

Collection for the Caring Hearts Card Drive 2014 ended yesterday.
Want to know the total number of cards I received, here in Eastern Canada?
Wowsers, eh?
Many of the contributors commented on how much they enjoyed making cards for such a good cause, and that they look forward to doing it again next year (yes!). Several mentioned that they held card-making "bees" with their friends. Some asked how to make sure nursing homes in their area receive cards next year. This thing just keeps on growing!
As a "depot" I got to admire & enjoy the beautiful designs and top-notch craftsmanship of the cards that arrived. We had contributions from across Canada (British Columbia to Nova Scotia) as well as a few from overseas (France and Australia). Amazing!

I'm going to wait to announce the winner of the prize I mentioned in THIS blog post; Vera will take another week to finish collating all the results and drawing for prizes.

Next week I'll be able to tell you about a special project we have going in Ottawa to deliver the cards to nursing homes... It has an awesome name.

Finally got a little time to craft today, and was inspired by this advertisement:
I used the stripes from the shopping bag, and a new stamp set from Close to My Heart.
Took my trusty Paper Smooches bookmark die, and some platinum embossing powder and voilà.
I love those bright colours sandwiched between the traditional red & green.
This card is being entered in this week's Card Concept challenge: use a tag. Grab our Badge for your Blog!
Stay tuned for more Caring Hearts news...

Happy crafting, 

Sunday 23 November 2014

Final Call: for the Caring Hearts Card Drive

Hey there, crafty friends.
Last couple of cards to inspire you for the final week of the Caring Hearts Card Drive 2014.
There is still time to get inky and send in your cards. Check Vera's post HERE to see how the drive is going.  I've been receiving cards from some incredible paper-crafters, from all over Canada, and one from France! We'll get into distribution mode in early December, delivering the cards to nursing homes.
The "elves" that have been coming to my weekly card workshops ask where I get all my ideas...from other people, of course! Sometimes I love a design so much I shamelessly CASE it; other times it may lead to something completely different (to quote Monty Python)...
This card was inspired by Jen Mitchell's creation, HERE. Loved the use of multiple greetings in different colours.

And this one by the ever-inventive Sandy Allnock. Here's her original:
My star isn't as big, but I had fun with the embossed monotone background.

So, still time to send in some cards, to make some seniors smile, this holiday season!
Happy crafting,

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Another card for the Caring Hearts Card Drive (post #4)

To comment on my Caring Hearts Card Drive Blog Hop
post, go HERE.
 Bringing you another cute snowman card, which I've reproduced for the Caring Hearts Card Drive, but which features Paper Smooches products, so it's going into this week's challenge:
I've been a little slow to jump on the stencil band-wagon, but I had fun with TWO of them on this card.
First, used a beautiful birch-tree stencil from Club Scrap for the background, then went over that with the Falling Snow stencil from Simon Says with some embossing paste. After removing the stencil, I s sprinkled micro-glitter, which only stuck to the paste "flakes" for some serious shimmer.
The snowy slope was Paper Smooches border dies #1. The heat-embossed sentiment comes from PS Christmas Sampler, and the snow-dude and cardinal (coloured with Copics) are from Warm Hearts.
Go check out the entries at the Paper Smooches Sparks challenge, go follow the Caring Hearts Card Drive Blog Hop and for goodness sake, GO MAKE SOME CARDS for the drive!

Happy crafting,

Monday 3 November 2014

Caring Hearts Card Drive BLOG HOP!

 Good morning, creative peeps!
Are you ready to start your Christmas crafting?
We have a treat for you this morning: inspiration from the Caring Hearts Card Drive.
 Twenty different designers and members of the paper-crafting industry have seasonal holiday projects to share over the next two days.
We hope you will hop along, and leave comments. Not only will you get some great ideas for your own holiday crafting, you will be eligible for prizes!
We also hope you will be inspired to join this year's Caring Hearts Card Drive.

You should have come from the ever delightful Savannah O'Gwynn. Love that girl's crafty mojo! For a complete list of stops, and if you want to start at the beginning of the hop, go to Vera Yates' blog.

The purpose of the Caring Hearts Card Drive, organized by Vera Yates and Jennifer McGuire, is to spread some holiday cheer. Hand-made Christmas or holiday/seasonal cards are collected and delivered to seniors living in nursing homes--little random acts of kindness to brighten lives, at what can be a very lonely time of the year.

I wanted to illustrate both a holiday card and a true Christmas card.
I just loved this Paper Smooches die the first time I saw it. City of Bethlehem sky-line! I created a night-sky with purple and pink Distress inks, liberally sprayed with some Perfect Pearls mist. The gold star was heat-embossed, then highlited with Perfect Pearls gold pigment powder. I "aged" the buildings, with some sponged ink, and back-lit them with yellow paper.  The sentiment is also from Paper Smooches.
The second card is more playful.
Mason jars are a big home decor item right now, so I used the Crystal Clear stamps and dies from Paper Smooches to create a snow-globe shaker card, with white Flower Soft as the snow, instead of glitter or sequins. The snowman image (retired Close to My Heart) is coloured with Copic markers.

Your next stop on the hop is the gifted and generous creator of Verve Stamps, Julee Tilman.

Make sure to comment as you hop; you can leave comments until midnight, CST, Saturday November 8th, 2014. Winners will be chosen randomly--there are some wonderful prizes to be had. So go be inspired,  and then get crafty for a good cause! The Caring Hearts Card Drive ends November 28th, 2014. Lots of time to get creative!

Have a great week,

P.S. entering these in the Paper Smooches "Anything Goes" challenge.

Saturday 1 November 2014

Caring Hearts Card Drive post #3

Good morning, crafty friends.
Popping by with another reminder about the Caring Hearts Card Drive.
I am one of the Canadian "collectors" this year; i.e.: folks in Canada can send their cards to me, and I'll distribute them to nursing homes during December.
It is so much fun to get those packages of cards in the post! My mail-carrier and I are on a first name basis now... And some beautiful artwork! And some very generous, creative people. Janice in Alberta sent in 40 cards this week! And the furthest came from Narylène, in France.

Here in Ottawa my group of friends and I've been crafting away, too. 24 cards made on Thursday night. Thank you, Steph and L.A.  for your hard work and companionship. Here's a sample:
(card design from an idea by Dee Slater).
Awesome wreath die from Paper Wishes-cut out in two colours of PP and intertwined.

Come back Monday for a Caring Hearts Card Drive BLOG HOP with PRIZES!

Happy weekend (and remember to sleep in on Sunday!),

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Caring Hearts Card Drive--Post #2

Hey there, crafty peeps!
So the first cards arrived, for this year's Caring Hearts Card Drive, Canadian edition (thank you, Tamara!). Although I will be sending them on to a nursing home in our area, it was so much fun, opening the package, (addressed to me) and finding such gorgeous artwork inside! This card drive truly is a blessing, in more ways than one...
It also served as a reminder to me, to get cracking with the card-making!

Firstly, here is a LINK to the original post on the Caring Hearts Card Drive 2014.
All the details you need to know can be found there, and if you have further questions, you can leave me a message in the comments section. Please consider participating. It is a great cause.

Secondly, keep your eyes peeled for a fun Blog Hop to spread the word about the card drive. It'll be happening in early November. And there will be prizes!

Thirdly, I'll be offering a prize to the paper-crafter who sends me the MOST cards for the drive:
That's right, the awesome Simon Says Stamp November 2014 Card Kit can be yours... So be inspired and get INKY!

So here's one card my elves will be helping me mass-produce. That's right--it's okay to make more than one copy of a card. We will be making up boxes of assorted cards to deliver to the senior's residences and nursing homes, so if you want to create multiples of a great card design, please do so.

This card uses paper scraps (last year's SU chevron paper), glitter trim and washi tape (CTMH) and glittery products from Paper Wishes: the Merry Christmas sticker (originally gold, but coloured silver with a metallic Sharpie), ornament die and holographic paper. Simple to create, but with serious shine!
Happy crafting,

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Copic Coloring #3

Final post with Copic colouring homework.
I tell you, that Online Card Class: Copic Markers for Cardmakers was worth every penny. I’ve done the one-day Copic certification course (which was good) but the Online class has the advantage of all those videos that you can stop and start, review and digest at your own pace.
When I was a kid, I used to draw and colour all summer long (with my Crayola 24-pack of "pencil crayons"--so much more potential than the 12-pack…). I’d draw paper dolls, and then draw all their clothes and accessories, cut them out and dress them!  This class was a throw-back to those good old days, in a way.  There was a whole class on tips for colouring skin and hair.   The impact that some shading and implied texture make on a black-n-white image is almost magical.
 And those ballerinas… I have to admit I didn’t love the image we were given to play with at first (I’m not a huge chotsche-kind of gal), but once they started to emerge from the paper—wowsers! 
These were directly copied from the instructional videos (by Kathy Racoosin and Sandy Allnock); I can't take any credit for the colour choices or shading suggestions.
Make sure you check out Online Card Classes tomorrow--they promised to announce their next class...
Happy colouring,

Copic coloring #2

While the Copic Coloring for Card-Makers class is officially over, you can still sign up for all the instruction, videos, PDFs, etc. Online Card Classes archives the content, so you can view whenever you like, and as many times as you like.
One really fun lesson was on colouring critters!
Suggestions were given for creating effects for fur, fuzz, corduroy, etc. 
I had particular fun colouring a dog to look like MY dog. He’s mostly white, with a little apricot around the ears.
He turned out so well (I think!), I had to cut him out and use him on a card…
 Also feeling a little guilty, as he did not get to make the trip out to PEI (we flew instead of driving, given the short visit). I added a little Liquid Glass to his eyes and nose.
Next summer, buddy!
Off to catch up with life, after a lovely four-day weekend...

Monday 13 October 2014

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Hello crafty friends!
Here are a couple of cards, in celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving, which occurs this weekend.

Hubby and I are enjoyed four precious days in Prince Edward Island, closing up the cottage. We had hoped to get here earlier but life this fall has been BUSY. So we haven’t walked on the beach yet, but we both got sunburned faces, sitting on the deck today, bundled in blankets, reading and listening to the wind and waves. Tomorrow I’ll be cooking a gigantic ham, which we’ll enjoy with a big group of McDougall cousins on Sunday (25 people, so we’re having turkey AND ham).

As to the cards, one is a design I CASEd from A Freshly Made Sketches entry by Karen. I loved the little water-coloured panel. 
 I wet my piece of watercolour paper by spritzing it with water, then passed a Mini Distress inkpad over top (Tumbled Glass). The wet paper helped spread the colour, so no lines/edges. I waited for that to dry, then stamped some small leaf images, applying more than one colour of Distress Ink to the stamp. The “thanks” sentiment is a newer die from Lil’ Inker. I cut it three times from coloured card stock, layered and glued, and mounted the reinforced dies above the watercolour panel.

The second card was made with left-overs from a card workshop LAST Thanksgiving. I looked through my digital files, trying to find who inspired this one, to no avail. So sorry, designer! I would give credit if I could remember who you are…

Anyway, I had the card bases and Kraft squares already cut. I stamped the leaves (one of the colours is a new CTMH hue called “Thistle”) curled them a bit with my fingers, then mounted them “falling” across the card. I flicked some Perfect Pearls pigment (gold and copper, mixed with water) across the card in the opposite direction to the falling leaves, for some gentle distressing. Sequins, simple sentiment and voilà!

So, Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and family! Enjoy your long weekend with those you love. Hope you fit a little crafty time in there, too!


Saturday 4 October 2014

Caring Hearts Card Drive Kick-off

Good morning, crafty friends!
I am off to a slow start today...long and busy week, so I SLEPT IN for World-Card-Making Day (what a slacker!).

BUT I am very excited to share in the kick-off to this year's Caring Hearts Card Drive.

This is the fifth year for the event, organized by Vera Wirianta Yates and Jennifer McGuire.
The holidays are all about family, kindness, tradition and joy. It can be a very lonely time for the elderly residents of nursing homes. The idea of the card drive is to brighten the holiday season through sharing our love of card-making.  Participants make and sign holiday greeting cards, which are then delivered to nursing home residents.  The idea is to spread some holiday cheer: a great cause, and a great use of our crafting hobby. Cards are collected and distributed throughout the United States and Canada; some dedicated card-makers from overseas also participate! Imagine the smile on the face of the person who opens your card...
I participated in the drive last year, making 128 cards (with the help of my "elves") and delivering 150 cards to two nursing residences here in Ottawa. The homes told me they could have used 500 cards! This year, I am proud to be one of two Canadian distributors for the Caring Hearts cards.
Here are the details on how to participate:
  •   The card drive will be going from October 4th-November 28, 2014. We need to receive your cards by November 28, 2014. Send them to one of the addresses below, depending on where you live.
  • Please use a Christmas or Holiday Wishes theme. Anyone can send a card; you, your children, a church or religious group, scout troops, etc.
  • All cards must include a message inside (this can be stamped or hand written).
  • Please also sign your name and where you are from (this is part of the fun--cards from all over the country!). 
  • Please include an envelope for each card but please don't seal the envelope.
  • Please stick to just cards (standard size A2 or 4-1/4" x 5-1/2").
  • Don't use any pins, for safety reasons, but glitter, shimmer, bling, etc is completely fine.
  • This is totally optional, but if you'd like to include $1 or $2 to help with shipping, it will be much appreciated. We cover the shipping cost ourselves, so any donation toward shipping helps tremendously.
           You can mail the cards to:
          Vera Yates                                             Card Drive                                 
         109 N. Post Oak Lane Ste. 430            c/o Tina Schrof                        
         Houston, TX 77024                               P.O. Box 75                                      
                                                                        Springboro, Ohio 45066           
         Piney-fine                                              Caroline Bredeson
         Attn: Anita                                             7 Brown Street
         P.O. Box 30                                            Ottawa, ON
         Piney, MB                                               K1S 1L9
         R0A   1K0                                               Canada
  • In each package, PLEASE include THIS SUBMISSION FORM.  This helps us in keeping track for prizes! For each card you send, you will get a chance in the prize draw.  So the more cards you send, the better your chances.
I forgot to mention the prizes...  The whole paper-crafting industry is on board with this project, and there are BIG prizes. Watch Vera and Jennifer's blogs for the list.
Here's a sample card to get you in the mood. 

It's one my elves and I will be putting together, once we start the card-making workshops (watch my blog for more on that initiative; I'll be offering my own prize to the card-maker who sends me the most cards!).

So! Get out there and enjoy World Card-Making Day, and consider joining in this very worthwhile cause.
Very happy crafting,

All card-stock, patterned paper, stamps and ink, Close to My Heart.
Embossing folder: Sizzix.
Tree die: Papertrey Ink.
Ribbon: Michael's
Liquid Pearls: Ranger Industries