Monday, November 20, 2017

H2H Challenge with the Color of the Year: Bashful

This week at Heart2Heart we are highlighting projects using Close to my Heart's color of the year: Bashful. I'm deeply in love with this color. Truly, madly, and deeply. I couldn't stop at just one project so I did two, both utilizing the direct to paper technique. As always, products available for purchase are in italics with built in links for your shopping convenience.

For the first card, I began by creating a frame using two MFT stitched dies. Next, I ran Bashful paper through the Rose embossing folder and applied Bashful ink by carefully running the pad over top of the raised portions to highlight the pattern. I kept my ink pad flat and used a gentle hand. Once the ink dried, I cut the "B" out of the center using the Block Alphabet-Thin Cuts set. I backed it with very, very old gold paper with a butterfly pattern, positioning the paper behind the "B" so some of the pattern showed through. I glued the Bashful paper straight to my card base then mounted the frame over top of it with 3-D Foam Tape. The final touch was cutting out the baby's name from the birth announcement, cutting a V into each end, and attaching it to the card with glue on the ends and foam tape in the center.

On this card, I started by swiping Bashful ink over patterned paper from the Basic Fundamentals paper packet (on sale this month!) I kept swiping until I achieved full coverage. It's a little difficult to judge since the ink won't apply evenly. You have to let it soak in and dry some to make an accurate assessment. The paper will curl on you a bit, but it's not a problem. Just place it under a catalog or magazine when it's almost dry and let it sit overnight.

For the background, I started with another die cut from MFT.  I love the extra frill the scalloped border gives this card. Next I added another piece of Bashful paper, this one run through the Buffalo Plaid embossing folder. You might recognize the stitched rectangle behind the elephant. It's the center piece from the first card. The MFT die set I used is stitched on both the inside and outside of the cut which makes it doubly useful.

I stamped the elephant from the Sweet Baby set onto my altered Basic Fundamental paper in Black ink, then stamped just the tail again on the base of the white stitched background. I cut the elephant using the matching die cut, but I didn't like the border. A plain border would have been fine, but the pattern outside the lines of the elephant was too distracting for my taste. Micro-tip Scissors to the rescue. I trimmed close to the line, cutting off the tail completely, then ran a black marker along the edges so no white showed. After gluing the elephant down, I added some shading with markers and then some sparkle with a Shimmer Brush. I stamped the circle "Sweet" in Charcoal ink, added "Baby" from the Baby Animals stamp set in Black ink over the top, cut it out with a circle die, and added it to the card. Finally, I accented with retired Dreamin' Big sequins and Bitty Sparkles.

Because all Fundamental products are on sale this month, I stocked up. You might see more of this Bashful altered patterned paper in the future. (Translation: I loved what adding Bashful did to this paper so much, I covered an entire 12x12 sheet of it.)

Please come join us at Heart2Heart this week. We love seeing everyone's creativity!

Until next time,

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Simple Christmas Card

One of the great things about army life is you make lots of new friends everywhere you go. The flip side of this, however, is that your Christmas card list keeps growing and growing and growing and...

You get the idea.

Because we are moving right in the middle of Christmas card season--and I LOVE getting Christmas cards and letters--my cards need to be out the door soon along with our change of address so people will be able to find us. I finished off my cards yesterday with this card which I'm entering in the Less Is More challenge:

The hardest part of this card was coloring Little St. Nick (NOTE: links to purchase available supplies provided for your shopping convenience). I stamped him in Momento Black Ink and colored him with a combination of markers and colored pencils while watching football. Cutting him out was a breeze using my new Brother ScanNcut CM350. I'm crazy in love with this machine. It cut a full page of Santa faces in about two minutes. TWO MINUTES!!

product imageThe background was super simple using my MISTI. I put one of the large splotches from Splash of Color on the left side, and just the "ho, HO, ho" (from the mini stamp called Ho Ho Ho) on the right side. The stamp comes in three lines which I cut apart. (The trick to cutting stamps is to create puzzle pieces with notches so, when it comes time to fit the stamp back together, you aren't trying to match up straight lines. Create curves or hills and valleys as you cut. Works like a charm.)

With both stamps mounted on my MISTI, I assembly-line stamped the background and sentiment using Pebble ink (splotch) and Charcoal ink (sentiment). I could ink both, press them down, then shift my card so the one with the splotch next got the sentiment, and away I went. When the bases were stamped, I used Foam Tape to add Little St. Nick and DONE! Little St. Nick and Ho Ho Ho are both mini stamps, meaning they are only $2.95. That's a sweet deal!!

Off to print out my Christmas letter, print out my labels, and be ready to stuff, lick, and stick my cards while watching football this afternoon.

Until next time,

Monday, November 13, 2017

Masculine Get Well Card

My writing partner for The Promise Bride (Montana Brides Series) is sitting in the hospital today awaiting her husband's heart surgery. I need to send a get well card, but I wanted it to be masculine. Oddly enough, one of my favorite floral sets came to the rescue: Bamboo Roses by Altenew. I decided to use their November Challenge colors while I was at it.

I began by clear embossing the sentiment and a vine from Bamboo Roses onto water color paper. I then added water and painted, flicked, and dotted with Tim Holtz distress ink in Wild Honey, Vintage Photo, and Barn Red (which blended down into that burnt orange color). After it was dry, I wiped of any dots of color over the embossed sentiment, ran it through a rectangular stitched die from My Favorite Things, and mounted it to a Kraft card base.

I love how this turned out. Praying the surgery turns out just as nicely!

Until next time,

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Easy All-Occassion Greeting Cards

It's approaching time to move again. Hubby's class is coming to an end so we're off to a new "permanent" duty station. I love how the army thinks 2-3 years is considered permanent...or maybe I just laugh at it.

Anyway, moving always prompts me to look at what I'm taking and what needs to go. I have a few scrap pieces of paper that I didn't want to throw out, so I made a couple general cards using a combination of old and current CTMH supplies. Current supplies are in italics and link to my consultant website for your shopping convenience.

I started with a strip of Dreamin' Big patterned paper along the bottom edge of my card. This paper has red, orange, and Juniper in it, too, but this piece happened to be just the gray, blue, and pink with one red flower which I covered up with the stamped frame (from the Artbooking Cricut Collection). Before adding the frame, I added a thin strip of Basic Fundamentals patterned paper and some Bashful cardstock which I scratched hashmarks into using the Sanding Kit. In order to keep the back side of my card clean, I glued my ribbon along the bottom edge of the Bashful cardstock before adding it to the card. I custom colored the ribbon by swiping Bashful ink directly onto White and Gold Ribbon which I had created for another project. (TRANSLATION: if you custom color ribbon like this, you must let it dry for a long time or you'll make a mess on both your fingers and your paper.)

Once the base layers were down, I added the frame, die cut "hello" sentiment (which I hope CTMH brings back because I LOVE it!! See next card.), and the thin banner "sunshine" sentiment from the Falling for You-Scrapbooking set stamped in Charcoal ink (my new favorite!). I accessorized with Bashful Pearls and retired Dreamin' Big Sequins. I knew I would be using that sequins a lot, so I stocked up before it retired this summer.

I like using both the positive and negative space of die cuts. It's easy to get two-for-one if you just do a smidge of preplanning. All I did for this was to leave myself plenty of room along the edges of the Charcoal paper when I ran "hello" through my die-cutting machine. I then cut it into a banner and highlighted both the banner edges and the sentiment with a white gel pen. I used the same "sunshine" sentiment and Dreamin' Big sequins as the first card, but my background paper is from the current Cats and Bats patterned paper pack. This paper retires soon, so grab it while you still can.

Off to the writing office. I've taken a nice, long break to do some traveling while my parents were here and to refresh my spirit after three deadlines on top of a move from Alaska to South Carolina. However, another deadline is approaching so it's time to buckle down. Hubby is studying for a major exam on Tuesday, so it's not like we get to do much this Veteran's Day Weekend anyway.

Until next time,

Monday, November 6, 2017

Sympathy Card with Enchantment Colors

Our challenge over at Heart2Heart this week is "Enchantment Abounds." I chose to use colors from the Enchantment color palate plus one neutral brown for a sympathy card. As always, links to the products used are embedded into the description for your shopping convenience.

I began with Colonial White cardstock which is retired (but I have a TON of). White would work just as well. Using the Artbooking Cricut cartridge, I cut the circle background overlay and tag. I later trimmed off part of the tag which is why you won't find the exact shape on the cartridge. The card base is 4.25, the circle overlay is 4" H, the center square is 3x3, and the tag is 1.4" W.

Using Beautiful You, I stamped the base and middle layer only of the two smaller flowers in Saffron / Goldrush (larger flower) and Poppy / Ruby (small flower) then added the smallest leaf in Fern / Nutmeg. I stamped another of the middle size flower using all three layers, adding Ruby as the third stamped layer, plus the mid-size leaf and vines on a separate piece of cardstock then used the coordinating die cuts to trim them out. (NOTE: links provided include both the Beautiful You stamp set and coordinating die cuts. Click here if you only want the stamp set.)

I stamped a sentiment from Heartfelt Thoughts in Ruby on the tag, selectively stamping parts of the image in order to get two lines of text. After I had my sentiment stamped, I cut down the tag using a paper trimmer.

Before gluing down the 3x3 square and tag, I used Sponge Daubers to brush Saffron ink on the edges. I glued everything down except the top flower which was added with Foam Tape for some dimension. Because the card is square, I was able to extend one of the leaves over the edge for more interest and it will still fit in a standard A2 envelope. The final touch was three Gold Glitter Gems.

All month Close to My Heart is running an amazing special on Enchantment and the rest of the Fundamentals products.'s incredible! Click here for a full description, and here for a full description of all the specials running this month, including the Stamp of the Month which you won't want to miss.

I am (unfortunately) off to make several more of this same sympathy card. They say death comes in threes, and it's true in my case. I'll probably make a few extra to have on hand.

Before I go, here are a few picture of Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina. I was able to tour this gorgeous mansion and part of the 8,000 acres on last Friday. The house was decorated for Christmas while the leaves were putting on a full display of Fall glory.

Until next time,

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Black & White Facebook Photo Challenge

I woke up this morning to a tag from my friend, and co-author of The Promise Bride, to post black and white photos with no explanation on Facebook for the next seven days. So I won't explain...

I'm off to North Carolina today to spend the night so I can get an early start touring Biltmore House. If you follow me on FB, you might see a B&W from there...but I'm not explaining.

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Have Fun in November

Close to My Heart's November specials are not to be missed. 

First is the Fundamentals bundles. Each bundle features a paper pack of twenty-four patterned papers, the coordinating stickers, and a four-pack of coordinating ribbon. Purchased as a bundle, you get 40% off the normal purchase price, but you also can purchase individual items for 30% off.

Fundamentals are exactly what they sound like...the foundation for building cards and scrapbook pages. Pair them with each other, other packs, and even stretch your holiday or seasonally themed papers.

If you host a party that reaches $350, you'll receive one Fundamental Bundle for FREE in addition to your regular hostess gifts. That's over $80 in FREE product plus your half-price item which includes the Workspace Wonder.

This bundle of organization only comes as a hostess gift and normally retails for $128.50. If you add the $64.25 savings on this organization system to your $80+ in FREE hostess gifts, you're getting around $150 in products for only $64.25 (plus S&H and applicable tax).

On top of that is this month's Stamp of the Month. It retails for $17.95, but is only $5 with a $50 order. This stamp set features every month of the year plus some fun icons. For a full picture of the set, check out the top photo on my sidebar.

In December, CTMH will be running a calendar special which includes this stamp set; however, you won't get the $5 option. You will be able to purchase the calendar kit with or without the stamp set, but the option that includes the stamps will be priced much higher than the option without. In other words, get it this month or wish you had next month.

Last, but certainly not least, CTMH continues to donate to relief efforts through their Stronger Together stamp set. This is one of my all-time favorite sets. You'll find it under the "Charity" category in the Stamps section (along with the Punny Pals set that supports Operation Smile.)

So much goodness. Click here to start shopping (and remember you have less than 7 weeks before Christmas)!

Until next time,