Friday, November 27, 2015

Snow Thankful

Sometimes you need cards in a hurry, and sometimes you need to take time for a little color therapy.  Today was a coloring kind of day.  There's snow outside, Christmas music playing, and Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge...and I needed a thank you card for the lovely couple who hosted us this year.

When you're far away from family during the holidays, it's such a joy to be invited to celebrate where the table is full and the fellowship sweet.  I wanted to create a card that adequately expressed our gratitude. 

The snowman is called "Peekin' Josh" and is one of those oldies-but-goodies. I stamped him three times: once on the background, once on the frame, and once on scratch paper. It's a lot of work, but it preserves the fun edge with its stitched feel in places where I layered.  I colored him with Copics then cut out the brim of his hat and the scarf and mittens together.

What you can't see is that the bottom layer of white cardstock was cut after I'd adhered the banner frame.  Basically I completely messed up my original idea and improvised.

When I added the hat brim, I put a bit of foam tape in the center, some glue on the edges, and then held everything in place until the side glue held and I had the curved brim. 

You might not be able to see it well, but I also curled up the bottom edge of the scarf.  I'm not sure if that will hold during the mailing process, but it's a fun dimension.

Speaking of dimension...I'm entering this in the following the challenges:

Addicted to CAS: Dimension
Simon Says Stamps: Anything Goes

I created my fun photo frame banner by welding two images from CTMH Artbooking Cricut cartridge.  Here's the link to create your own if you'd like.

Therapy over.  Time to write my thank you note and get this in the mail.

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Little Altering with White Pines

For my last week using the White Pines Workshop on the Go (CTMH) for design team duties with Mary Brooks, I wanted to go back to the Christmas theme...mostly because I still need cards for mailing to family and friends this year. 

Before we begin, I have to apologize to Mary for mis-labeling her blog address on these pictures.  I tried to go back and fix it, but my photo editor wouldn't let me.  The correct blog address is:

And now for the fun stuff!

I've shown you how to stretch the stamp images to cover more than just Christmas, but today I want to show you how to "stretch" your paper by altering the look of it.

On this card, I painted the background paper with watercolors.  I used actual water color paints, but you could achieve the same effect by squeezing your dye ink lid into the pad. When you open the lid, add a little water to create a water color. (See the third card of this post for an illustration.)

My ink colors here are Fern and Smoothie. The tree was done by inking the solid image in Fern, stamping once on scratch paper, then stamping the "second generation" onto my card base.  The outline was stamped in Fern over top.  I used a sponge dauber to add a little extra Fern on the horizontal strip of paper and then I did something clever. I inked the solid image tree trunk in Smoothie, stamped it off once to fade the color, then used the Fern ink still on my sponge dauber over top of the stamp before pressing onto the paper.  It gave me a nice brown color.

I also added the Chevron Border Punch to my list of supplies this week. I've used it multiple ways, as you'll see coming up.  Above, a small piece of scrap of Cranberry paper gets extra interest.  Below, the punch adds interest without adding any "bulk".

For this card, I added two more ink colors: Black and Glacier. Working from left to right, here's how I altered the paper.  I stamped Fern ink onto Fern cardstock in a random pattern before stamping the tree. The middle tree was stamped on background paper which I altered by stamping with small cluster of dots in Glacier ink. The third tree is plain Cranberry. No altering required. I stamped all three tree trunks in Fern ink, using second generation for the middle tree. I also sponged the edges of each tree in Fern once they were cut out.

Admittedly, stamping a color onto patterned paper doesn't alter it much, but I remember how surprised I was when I first saw it done.  I tend to take things as they come, so the thought of changing up a pre-printed pattern wouldn't occur to me.  I'm also amazed at how tone-on-tone stamping gives interest without being overwhelming.

I think this is my favorite use of the Chevron Border Punch. Plus, I used the leftover cut outs for...

...this card. 

The altering I did here was paper piecing.  The top is more Fern tone-on-tone used on the left tree above.  The center is Cranberry tone-on-tone with the small cluster of dots in Glacier (pigment) added like the center tree above. (Note: you can use dye ink for stamping on the middle tree of the second card, but to get a lighter color to show on a darker cardstock, use pigment ink). The bottom layer of the tree is straight patterned paper. 

The trick to paper piecing is to outline your cut pieces with the same color you stamped your overall image before you adhere them together. Since CTMH  colored cardstock has a white core, outlining gets rid of that peek of white.  Because my outline was stamped in black, I used the wide end a dual-tip black Sharpie.  Once the entire tree was put together, I outlined the entire outside edge. I also used the Sharpie -- fine-tip end --  to hand-draw the black line border around the Cranberry and White Daisy panels.  The Sharpie is my only non-CTMH supply.

Like the trees in the second card, I sponged the whole tree in Fern before gluing it to the white panel.

Here's the supply list (with embedded links for your shopping convenience):
Mary and I decided to post a day early this week so we could enjoy our Thanksgiving.  We wish you and yours a wonderful time with family and friends.

I'll be back next week with a new WOTG.  Since most of you will be moving on from Christmas cards soon, the focus will shift. I have to tell you, I'm more excited about what's coming up than the previous two months.  I'm having a blast!!

Until next time,

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sangria Blog Hop with Heart


I'm thrilled to be joining the lovely ladies from "Blog Hops with Heart". This month we're featuring Sangria paper and a "Gratitude" theme.  The hop is a circle, so it doesn't matter where you start.  If you've come from Kelly's blog, you're on the right path. 

I'm linking this to the "Give Thanks" challenge over at Heart2Heart

Lately, I've been into using up scraps, and for this card I went back to elementary school. 

This is basic basket weaving, except I used a variety of widths, and I didn't worry about a tight fit.  I glued the woven pieces onto a coordinating color of cardstock, Champagne, and then used my paper cutter to trim off the rough edges.  I was going sew zig-zag stitches to create a quilted look, but my machine is jamming on me.  I think it might need professional help, but don't we all!

I used some Copic markers to color two of the gold sequins red and to outline the sentiment panel. I only did the latter for photographing purposes.

My favorite part about this card is the sentiment.  If you want to know the truth, I bought the entire stamp set to get it. It beautifully sums up how I hope to live my life. 

Now, you'll want to go see what Shelly has for you.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful day of giving thanks on Thursday...and all life long!

Until next time,

Thursday, November 19, 2015

White Pines Does Eight Challenges

This week for design team duties over at Mary Brooks' blog, I decided to see how many challenges I could enter with my three cards.  I came up with eight.

This card meets the following challenges:

CAS on Sunday - tag
Mojo Monday - card layout
Color My Heart - color scheme

To color the tree, I inked the solid image tree stamp in Pixie.  Then I "watercolored" using ink from the lids of Poppy, Ruby, and Hollyhock.  They were just drops of colored water placed directly on the tree stamp, but when I pressed to the paper, all the colors mushed together.  After it dried, I stamped the outline of the tree over top, added the star on top, and colored the star and tree trunk by painting Eggplant ink (substituted for Pomegranate from the CMH color scheme).

The tag was done by laying a spool of ribbon over top of a piece of black cardstock and cutting using the edge of the spool as my guide.  I stamped the sentiment in White Daisy ink and drew the outline with a white gel pen.  The trick with White Daisy ink is to have the re-inker handy and add just a bit into the pad before stamping. The "ribbon" is White Shimmer trim folded in half lengthwise to make it thin, then folded in half to create the illusion that it's ribbon through a hole.  To keep the ribbon folded and adhered to the tag, I used Liquid Glass.  I also used it to adhere the pink Shimmer Trim banner on top of the black one.

Since I had my Liquid Glass out, I added it to the tree.  I filled the star and tree trunk and outlined the tree.  Have I mentioned how much I love this stuff?!?!

I made good use of ShinHan markers on this card.  The sequins are actually gold.  I colored them with three different colored markers to coordinate with my color scheme.  I colored them while still on the plastic packaging sheet, adhered them to the tag, then touched up with the marker again.  In real life, they look a little blotchy, but it's a great way to add color in the absence of ten-thousand different colors of sequins.  I also used a ShinHan marker to turn White Shimmer Trim into pink.  This takes a little time if you don't want to shred your marker, but I used the chisel tip end and pressed it over and over and over.  Again, not as easy as buying colored, but still works.

This card meets the following challenges:

Runway Inspired - color scheme and florals
CASual Friday - precious metals
Retro Sketches - card layout

Since I was playing with my White Daisy ink, I used it here as well.  Then I used more pigment ink and a dye ink to add color.  I practiced this card on a piece of scratch black paper before doing the real thing.  After stamping the wreath, I added the flowers in pigment ink.  They didn't stand out enough.  So I tried stamping the flowers in White Daisy and adding color over top.  Then I wondered if I could add dye ink, too.  It worked.  So...on the card, I stamped the wreath, sentiment, and all the flowers in White Daisy pigment ink. I cleaned my flower stamps (using StazOn Cleaner because that works best on pigment ink), then inked them again to overstamp.  I didn't worry about being exactly lined up for the second stamping.  The large flower is stamped in Eggplant dye ink, while the smaller flowers are Gypsy and Thistle pigment ink.

After running both sides of my background through the embossing folder, I lightly dabbed White Daisy ink over one side.

The colored shimmer in the background is more of the White Shimmer Trim with ShinHan marker coloring.  I cut two 1" long pieces, cut the ends to a 90 degree angle, and colored them with the markers. I find it's easier to maneuver small pieces, not to mention it saves supplies.

I popped the center panel up on foam tape and added Bitty Sparkles (comes in the White Pines WOTG) to finish.  The card is 4.25"x4.25", the center panel is 3"x3".

Any time you use pigment ink or color something other than paper with ShinHan markers, you must let it dry for an outrageous amount of time.  But...oh, it's worth it!

This card meets the following challenges:

Heart to Heart - watercolor
CASology - pretty

After the long explanations above, I'm giving you a break with this one.  Watercolor paints in lots of different colors over top of a piece of water color paper.  Let the paper dry and cut off about a 3/4" strip.  Before mounting the panels on the card base, paint the flower stamps with red watercolor paint.  It will need to be a little thicker than for the background, so play around with stamping on scratch paper to get it right before stamping the small flowers on your (dry) watercolor panel.  Stamp the larger flower on scratch paper and trim it out.

Mount your two watercolor pieces to the card base using foam tape. Cut the foam tape small enough to fit into the space between panels.  Use a double layer to mount the larger flower.

Here's the supply list (with embedded links for your shopping convenience):

  • Stamps: White Pines Cardmaking WOTG 
  • Paper: Watercolor Paper, White Daisy cardstock
  • Pigment Ink: White Daisy (plus White Daisy Re-inker), Gypsy, Thistle 
  • Dye Ink: Pixie, Hollyhock, Ruby, Poppy, Eggplant, Black
  • Accessories: Watercolor PaintsWatercolor Brushes, Gold Sequins (although you could use Silver Sequins just as easily), Black Shimmer Trim, White Shimmer Trim, Bitty Sparkles (come in White Pines WOTG), Dot Embossing Folder, Liquid Glass, Foam Tape, Bonding Memories Glue, ShinHan Carmine Marker, ShinHan Tender Pink Marker, Shin Han Cherry Pink Marker, Shin Han Lavender Marker, (please note: I actually used Copic markers because I own them.  I've substituted the best options in ShinHans. You could easily use Purple Shimmer Trim and Pink Shimmer Trim instead of coloring with markers), StazOn Cleaner, Micro-tip Scissors, Paper Trimmer

  • Since next Thursday is Thanksgiving, I'll be posting for Mary on Wednesday instead.  I'm not sure what's coming your way, but I hope you'll come back to find out.  I also hope to (update: it's live!)have a link in the sidebar to my new Christmas novella which will be releasing December 1 in Kindle format.  Here's a picture of the cover:

    For a chance to win a copy of my story as well as prizes by the other eight authors in this collection, come to our Facebook party on Nov. 20 between 12:30 and 6pm.

    Until next time,

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

    White Pines and Artfully Sent

    This week for design team duties for Mary Brooks, I'm combining the White Pines Workshop on the Go with the Artfully Sent Cricut cartridge to stretch a Christmas theme set a little.  As promised last week, I've used the wreath.

    This card has a very spring-like feel, which is quite lovely when it's -15 outside!

    This card is almost a repeat of the above one, but I wanted to show you both the Artfully Sent "Picture My Life" cut and the banner, because between these two, you can cover a lot of greeting card occasions.  I also wanted to show this second variation because, if you don't have Artfully Sent, you can use this same layout and substitute a straight banner you cut yourself with a stamped greeting on it like what's on the third card in this post.  The bow and banner are on p. 16 and are cut at 2" W and 4.85" W respectively.  I used ShinHan Markers to create a little depth on the bow and covered it with Liquid Glass for texture and shine.  The only "accessory" not listed below is the sewing around the edges of the top panel.  I use white stitching a lot to add interest without adding bulk to my cards.  If you don't have a sewing machine, the Stitch Guide would also work.

    This one goes back to Christmas, but any sentiment could be stamped inside the wreath to change the occasion.  I used Cranberry colors on this one, but I can see this in either of the color schemes above for spring and fall.

    Here's the supply list (with embedded links for your shopping convenience):
  • Stamps: White Pines Cardmaking WOTG 
  • Paper: Cranberry, Fern, Canary (from Whimsy Paper Fundamentals), Kraft
  • Ink: Fern, Cranberry, Cashmere, Crystal Blue, CanaryTopiary, Sunset, Poppy, Eggplant
  • Accessories: Artfully Sent Cricut CartridgeFern Thick Twine (comes in WOTG), Liquid Glass, Foam Tape, Bonding Memories Glue, ShinHan Mahogany Marker, ShinHan Clay Marker

  • I'm not sure what's coming next week. I think I'll see how many challenges I can play along with.

    Until next time,

    Wednesday, November 11, 2015

    Veteran's Day Thanks

    On Veteran's Day, it's traditional to thank someone you know who is serving or has served. Today I'd like to turn that around and thank all of you for allowing my husband to serve in the army. 

    His military career started at an age when most are getting out rather than getting in, but several years ago the army needed chaplains so badly, they raised the age limit.  Nathan joined at forty-six. I tease and call it his mid-life crisis, but the truth is, this is the job God had been preparing him to fill all his life. 

    And he loves it. 

    Where else can a fifty-two year old man repel down a wall as part of his job? In Japan, no less!

    We have lived in three different states so far, making dear friends and wonderful memories both inside and outside of the army. The two women most responsible for helping me get published were met along this journey--one in Colorado; the other in Oklahoma. 

    So, not only do I get to watch my husband literally glow with joy in his job, but I get to live--not just visit but live--in places all across the country so I can do setting research for stories and never have to go more than a few miles from home.

    For that and much more, I thank you. It is our privilege to serve the fine men and women of the United States Army.

    Until next time,

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

    Cards with White Pines Workshop on the Go

    I love Christmas. Love, love, LOVE Christmas!  Now that we live in Alaska and the snow shows up in October, it feels like Christmas already and those decorations in stores don't feel quite so "early" as they did last year. 


    For design team duties over at Mary Brooks' blog, I'm using the White Pines Cardmaking Workshop on the Go.  The workshop comes with three card ideas, but once the paper is gone, what else can you do with it?  I took the stamps and created a few new ideas using the same suggested supplies needed for the card making plus an additional supply or two.  If you aren't already familiar with the White Pines Cardmaking Workshop, I suggest you link here before going on.  The suggested supplies you need to complete the shown cards are Fern, Cranberry, Cashmere, and Black ink.

    Here, I added Gold Sequins.  The squiggle line was stamped in Cashmere ink in a straight line.  I used a ruler and a pencil to draw a guide before stamping.  The Fern pine bough was done by inking one side of the smaller pine spray image and stamping it along the line. I hand-drew the black lines linking the small ornaments to the line with a black pen.  The finishing touches were the Fern Thick Twine, Bitty Sparkles ( both come in the WOTG), and Gold Sequins.

    This card adds Crystal Blue ink and Liquid Glass.  I inked a 2"x2" Acrylic Block in Crystal Blue, lightly spritzed it with water, and stamped it on my white card panel.  I added Liquid Glass to the Cranberry berries for added texture and shine. 

    This last card uses the Artfully Sent Cartridge and coordinating Frames stamp sets included in the price.  I also added Versamark ink and Fine White Embossing Powder.  Now, yes, I used a bit of the White Pines paper but just a tiny bit.  And the same effect could be done by stamping paper to create your own pattern, so...yeah...

    I sewed down the Cranberry banner, but the same effect could be achieved by white embossing the swirly line that comes in the stamp set.

    While Cranberry and Fern cardstock comes in the WOTG, you won't have enough left over to make the first two cards, which is why I've included it in the supply list, below (with embedded links for your shopping convenience):
    There's a wreath stamp in this set that I didn't feature here.  That's because you'll be seeing a lot of it in the coming weeks.  A lot!!  I'm a sucker for wreaths, and this one is my favorite so far.  Next week I'll pair the wreath and a few other images from the White Pines Cardmaking WOTG with Artfully Sent to create cards for a variety of occasions.

    Until next time,