Monday, January 20, 2020

Coloring Class with Altenew Beautiful Day

Because today was a holiday, I decided to mark the occasion by taking an Online Card Class about coloring. I burned through the whole class and then sat down to make this for my niece who recently got engaged.

I used a combination of products, some long retired, from a variety of stamp companies. My main image is from Altenew called Beautiful Day. I love this stamp set!! And it was really fun to color using the techniques I learned today combining alcohol markers and colored pencils.

The background is from Stampin' Up! which I white embossed over Linen cardstock from Close To My Heart (CTMH). I sponged the edges in CTMH ink Toffee and Mink. The sentiment is also CTMH embossed on Cocoa cardstock. I cut it with a word bubble die from MFT but then snipped off the part that made it a word bubble. I followed the instructions from the first day of class taking three colors which weren't necessarily from the same color family and combining them. I used Copics in the brown, red, and red violet families with shading in the blue violet family. I then added depth and shade with colored pencils. I decided to make one flower a deeper shade than the other and placed it on the bottom.

I was quite happy with the way the flowers looked after coloring with the markers, so I almost stopped. But the point of the class was to take things up a notch much coloring in the nooks and crannies. Um...yeah! It really did make a difference by the time I was done. Not gonna lie, it was a lot of work, but I hope you agree that the result was worth the effort.

One of the things the teacher talked about was to consider "the trash factor" before spending hours coloring. Because my niece is very artistic, I think she will appreciate the effort that went into this.

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

New Product Blog Hop - January/February 2020 Catalog

Welcome to the New Products Blog Hop! You should have come from Gina's blog. The hop is a circle, so no matter where you start, keep going until you get all the way through. If you get lost along the way, hop over to Melinda's blog for a full list of participants.

In addition to featuring some of the new stamp sets, I wanted to show you a fun technique with the Shimmer Brushes. be honest...I figured I could gerryrig my own shimmer with paint and a waterbrush. And you can. But it's not the same. I mean, it's REALLY not the same. I'm now sold on these little gems and am adding to my collection with each order. The Jan-Feb catalog introduced two more colors, which I'm featuring on the last card.

For now, here's an example of what can be done with just the Clear Shimmer Brush:

I sponged the background in Lagoon ink, adding more color in the center and fading out as I got to the edges. I then squeezed the Clear Shimmer pen until I got a small drop of product on my All-purpose Mat (which is AWESOME for this technique because the coating doesn't absorb the shimmer before you can pick it up again). Using the shimmer brush, I dipped it back in the little puddle of shimmer then tapped the brush with my finger to splat product all over. The small circles under and to the top right of the bird were done by touching the pen to the background for larger circles.

I also stamped some snowflakes and little white dots (which are in the Spruced Up - Cardmaking stamp set shown) in White Daisy ink.  When the background was dry, I ran it through my Stitched Rectangle Thin Cuts and mounted it to a card base. I stamped, colored, and die cut my focal images. I added a bit more of the snowflakes and white dot images in White Daisy, then (after letting the pigment ink dry for a long time) glued and foam mounted them over my base. The sentiment is from Say It In Style, which is featured in the Core Catalog that lasts all year.

This background was done the same way except I used Lemonade ink for the sponging and splattered Mint and Ballerina Shimmer. I made my own Ballerina shimmer by swiping Ballerina ink on my All-purpose Mat (that thing is PRICELESS!), squeezing my Clear Shimmer Brush until a dollop of shimmer dropped into the ink, and using a separated small paint brush to pick up the colored shimmer before flicking it onto the card base. The stamp set is Your'e Not Old, which is my absolute favorite set of the entire Jan-Feb Catalog! Isn't she just fabulous!

I colored her with Copic markers (which are the same as the Tri-Blend markers, I just purchased Copics before CTMH came out with the Tri-Blend ones). I also added some white accents with a White Gel pen I got from Hobby Lobby.

This last one uses Mint, Raspberry, and Sapphire Shimmer pens over the entire card after it was assembled. I used the middle-size Stitched Bracket Thin Cuts to create my little band behind the sentiment (also from You're Not Old). I cut two pieces from the Celebrate Today paper, folded one over the left side of the card and tucked the other under the circle cut with the Shaker Thin Cuts. I could have filled the inside with confetti and/or sequins, which is how that thin cut is designed to work, but I wanted to let my shimmer brushes be the star of this card instead of sequins. Before adhering the two bracket cuts of paper, I punched two small holes and weaved a long piece of Sapphire Crochet Thread through the holes. Getting the thread through before gluing down was critical. Tying the bow after the paper was glued down was essential.

If you can only get one shimmer brush at this time, I highly recommend the Clear one...and then get the All-purpose Mat so you can create your own colors as described in the second card. The mat is an investment, but I'm tellin' ya...SO worth it!

Now you're off to Krista's blog. Again, be sure to hop all the way around to see oodles of inspiration. As always, please shop with your personal consultant. If you don't have one, I'd be honored to be yours.

Until next time,

Sunday, December 1, 2019

December SOTM Blog Hop

Welcome to the December Stamp of the Month Blog Hop. You should have come from Krista's blog, but don't worry if you started here. The hop is a circle so just keep going. If you get lost, you can always go to Melinda's blog for a complete list of participants.

For my project, I used a little old, a little new, and a little non-CTMH in addition to the Reindeer Crossing stamp set. I made a very special kind of advent calendar for my daughter's gender reveal party. In fact, as this hop goes live, I'm probably still there. The man who made their cake and I were the only two people who know that it's...

A girl!

I'm so excited. Here's the advent calendar I made.

Inside the pockets, five of the tags are decorated with two bucks and three does. Guests will all put their names in a bowl. As their names are drawn, they will chose which day they think she'll deliver by taking down the pocket and pulling out the tag. Most of them will be blank. We'll keep guessing dates and pulling out tags until the three girl tags are revealed. With any luck, the two decoy boy tags will be revealed before the third girl one is, adding to the suspense.

My son-in-law built the frame. I made the Kraft pockets, tags, and the bucks and does using Cricut Design Space. Here's the file if you'd like to replicate this project, and here's the Pinterest picture I used for inspiration. I didn't want my calendar to be quite so intricate, so on the pockets without the doiley, I gold embossed the small pine cones and fir tree branches from Reindeer Crossing.

The currently available product I used includes various CTMH Cricut cartridges, Kraft paper, White Daisy paper, Candy Apple paper, Evergreen paper, Versamark ink, Gold Detail Embossing powder, and the SOTM, Retired product includes the Block Numbers Thin Cuts (still available in Online Only) and the doileys (I used pre-made ones, but a thin cut is available in Online Only). Non-CTMH product is the gold cord and mini clothes pins used to attach the pockets to the frame. CTMH used to sell smaller sized frames with chicken wire centers which is where I got the idea.

You're next stop on the hop is Cat's blog. Again, be sure to keep hopping until you've seen all the great projects.

Before you go, CTMH is having a sale on Monday, December 2 beginning at 3pm MST. Items are up to 50% off in limited quantities. It only lasts for 24 hours, so shop early. And, as always, if you spend $50, the Stamp of the Month is only $5.

Until next time,
(aka Grandma!)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

New Product Blog Hop

Welcome to the November-December New Product Blog Hop. You should have come from Gina's blog. There are LOTS of consultants participating, so be sure you make it all the way around. If you get lost, head over to Melinda's blog for a complete list of participants.

As much as I love Christmas, I have something even more exciting to look forward daughter and son-in-law's gender reveal party. This is our first grandchild, and we are over-the-moon excited about it. The fun thing is that, not only is our daughter pregnant, many of her friends are also getting pregnant, so I'm back to making baby cards a lot. I took the Buttoned Up Thin Cuts designed to make Santa's beard and belt and turned it into this...

I used Ballerina and Carolina cardstock, alternating between the light and darker sides of the paper for the dual tone. I love this two-tone feature!! I also used vellum paper with the sentiment from one of the Melissa Esplin sets in the Core Catalog embossed in white layered over top. I used vellum paper because didn't want my sentiment to take away from the pattern I'd created with the thin cuts. I did a similar design in the second card of this post.

There are so many ways to use this Buttoned Up Thin Cut set. I wanted to show you more, but I'm in the middle of promoting The Telegraph Proposal, the final book of The Montana Brides I'm in Montana! I actually made this card at 4am the morning I left. I barely had time to finish it and get it photographed before packing up the car and heading out.

Now it's time to head over to Lauren's blog to see what she's created. Again, be sure to get all the way through the hop as there's wonderful inspiration to be had.

Until next time,

Friday, November 1, 2019

November Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Welcome to the November Stamp of the Month: Family Blessings. The stop before mine is Krista's blog. The whole hop is a circle, so just start wherever and keep going until you get back to where you started. If you get lost along the way, hop over to Melinda's blog for a full list of participants.

I decided to combine the stamp with Cedar and Pine paper to make an assortment of all-occasion and Christmas cards.

I stamped the flower in Smoothie with Candy Apple and Saffron. The leaves are stamped in Evergreen. I layered a few pieces of Cedar and Pine paper on the left edge then stamped the row of X's in Evergreen at the top. With no sentiment on the front, I could turn this into any kind of card I needed, from thank you to birthday to Christmas.

For this card, I added dies from the Buttons and Bows Thin Cuts. This die set can be used to create Santa's beard and jacket, but on this card I used the "beard" as a scalloped top. I cut one in Evergreen paper and one in white. I used Peach, Smoothie, Candy Apple, Ruby, Saffron, and Evergreen inks. The sentiment is from the special Holiday Cheer promotion we featured on this blog hop. I cut the top panel with the Stitched Rectangular Thin Cuts and added Clear Shimmer Pen to the flowers.

The final card also uses the Buttons and Bows Thin Cuts. I used the same ink colors, but this could be done in any colors you chose. I really liked the leaves hanging over the right edge but, to make sure it still fit into a standard A2 envelope, I trimmed 1/4 inch off the left edge of the card.

Now you're off to Darlys' blog. Again, be sure you hop all the way around to see all the great inspiration offered.

If you follow my author career, today marks the official release of the final book in the Montana Brides series. After five years and six stories, it's a joy to have the entire set of stories available.

Until next time,

Friday, October 25, 2019

Holiday Cheer Blog Hop

Welcome to the Holiday Cheer blog hop. This special set is designed to make Christmas ornaments. However, true to form, you'll be getting something different here. The stop before mine is Michelle's blog. The entire hop is a circle, so keep going until you get back to where you started. If you get lost, head to Melinda's blog for a full list of participants.

I make around 80-90 Christmas cards every year, so I'm always looking for ways to stretch my paper purchase. The following cards all use the Mix-In paper from the Nov-Dec catalog (which went live two weeks earlier than planned due to customer demand).

This first card uses a strip of 3x1 paper, which means I could make 48 cards from one 12x12 piece of Mix-In paper.

The colors are Evergreen and Mint. I used both the Stitched Rectangle and Stitched Oval Thin Cuts as well as the Mint Shimmer Brush to accent.

My second card uses a 3x3 square of paper from the same pack, so I could get another 16 cards with this design.

Here I used the Stitched Square Thin Cuts. As with the above card, you have to line up the Thin Cut with the paper carefully to make sure you're getting the stitching all the way around. Because my purpose was to get as much use out of one piece of paper as possible, I was willing to do the fussy work of lining up my Thin Cut with the paper.

My final three cards all use a 4x4 piece of red plus a 1.25 x 4 piece of kraft paper from the Mix-In pack. With careful planning, I can get 3 cards from each piece of red cardstock, adding another 27 cards to my stash.

I started with the 4x4 piece of red cardstock and centered the stitched circle frame from the Circle Shaker Card Thin Cuts set on top. This thin cut set us used on the ornaments, but you must purchase them separately; it's not included in the kit. I figured, if you're getting it for the ornaments anyway, you might as well get some more use out of it. Once I cut the circle, I had three pieces of red cardstock.

Here's the first card I made using the 4x4 piece with the center cut out.

The wreath is stamped in Toffee and the sentiment is stamped in Candy Apple. The only extra thing I added here was a teensy, tiny piece of white cardstock to add a border between the red and kraft papers.

Here's the second card using the stitched circle frame.

I stamped the December 25 image in both Candy Apple and Toffee ink, cut them both with Micro-tip Scissors, and glued the Toffee partial image over top of the Candy Apple full image. I also used my Micro-tip Scissors to cut a small fishtail in the kraft paper to create a banner.

Here's my final card.

I cut 1/2 inch from the edge of my kraft cardstock and glued it to the right hand side of the card while glue the other piece on the left hand edge. Once my circle with the sentiment goes over the top, no one knows it's two pieces of paper instead of one. I stamped the sentiment then cut it out with Stitched Circle Thin Cuts.

And I still have two pieces of Mix-In paper left!

Okay...yes, I used a lot of the stitched thin cuts which are pricey to purchase all at once. So don't. Get one set at a time. I'm getting a total to 91 cards with just under four pieces of Mix-In paper. They aren't fancy cards, but they are more personal than anything you can get in a store (and I can do all of them while watching football). I'm ALL ABOUT justifying my purchases. I haven't purchased Christmas cards in ages, but the last time I checked, they were around $7 for a box of ten. What I've showed you here is the equivalent of nine boxes of cards. That would be $63 I'd spend with nothing to show for it at the end. Why not take that $63 and spend it on craft supplies? Get the stamps and paper first, of course, but then start adding in the thin cuts as your budget allows. Once you have them, they are good forever.

Now you're off to Darlys' blog. And don't forget to visit the Flash Sale going on until October 26, 2019 at 3pm Mountain Standard Time. That's another great way to stretch your crafty dollars.

Until next time,

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Fall Into Christmas with the Hawthorne Cardmaking Workshop

It's an exciting day for those of us who love Close To My Heart (CTMH). Today, the Seasonal Expressions catalog released two week early because consultants were clamoring for holiday stamps and papers...and the head office listened! So I'm going to show you how to take a cardmaking workshop which was released in the September-October catalog and make Christmas cards with it. Here's the sample images shown in the catalog:

Here's the exact same cards made for Christmas:

I added the following supplies to make them:

  • Say It in Style stamp set (which is an absolute "must have" set!)
  • Cedar & Pines paper
  • Candy Apple Cardstock
  • Black Cardstock
  • Evergreen ink
  • Toffee ink
  • Christmas Red Stickles

My variations include using a third pine cone to cover up the acorn, "watercoloring" the back left image by smushing the Evergreen ink pad together to pick up ink in the lid then painting. I left off the Mink Twine (which comes in the workshop kit) and used the Christmas Red Stickles instead.

And then - because I just love the whole smushing of ink pads together to watercolor technique - I created this:

I started by getting my watercolor paper wet then stamping the Hawthorn image in Fern ink. The edges of the image feathered out immediately. Using the smushing method, I added more Fern, Saffron, Eggplant, and Raspberry here and there, letting the colors blend into each other. I had to add more water as I went along. Once the background was dry, I stamped over top of it again but I only inked the edges of the Hawthorn image and used a sponge dauber to be sure it was soft. I die cut a panel using the Stitched Rectangle Thin Cuts.

Using a separate piece of watercolor paper, I stamped the pumpkins from the Autumn Blessings stamp set in Black Pigment ink then embossed with Clear powder. Then...I smushed and painted some more. I used all the colors except Fern in the pumpkins, adding Paprika because I wanted some orange. It didn't work well, so I mopped it up with a dry paper towel.  I did used a combination of Paprika and Fern in the stems and colored outside the lines because it was going to be impossible to trim them right to the edges. After the pumpkins were dry, I added Nectarine ink because I wanted them to stand out a bit more against the background. To make them stand out even more, I added Clear Shimmer Pen to them, too.

I cut them out, trimming very close to the edges, with Micro-tip Scissors. After stamping the sentiment in Black ink over the background panel, I glued and foam mounted the pumpkins over the top.

But what about the black splatters, you may wonder. Well...let me tell you about that. If I had known then what I know now, I would have added them before the pumpkins were glued down. In truth, I added them after the fact which was awkward, to say the least. I used the smallest stamp in the Strokes of and Artist set. I inked only parts of  the stamp - even though it's really small - so it didn't look like I stamped the same image over and over again. Because I stamped after the pumpkins were down, I had gaps where the stamp couldn't get to. I still had the small paintbrush I'd used to watercolor on my desk, so I used the wooden end like a stamp, pressing it into the ink and then stamping here and there to fill in as needed.

For the final touch, I cut a piece of 4 x 5.25 Eggplant cardstock and glued it to the watercolor paper. I then foam mounted the top panel to the card base.

I want to give credit to the card maker who inspired this idea. Here's a link to the blog post with the card I used as my example.

Granted, this card used a large number of products, but that's one of the great things about having a large number of products. Sometimes it's fun to put them all to work...although my workspace is a crafty mess right now. Still, it's been fun!

Until next time,