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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Face Today with Courage

My Stronger Together stamp set arrived yesterday. It was just in time...unfortunately. I paired it with a long-retired stamp set to create a card for a friend with a family member facing ovarian cancer.

Teal is the color for ovarian cancer, so I used Peacock ink. To get the two-tone look, I added the color onto the ribbon with Sponge Daubers. These tools are a must in my opinion. I went heavier in the center and the part that goes behind the top loop of the ribbon. So easy to do and so effective. Once the ribbon was stamped, I used the sentiment from Stronger Together over top in Black ink.

The background paper is from Enchantment Fundamentals. I cut it to 3.75 x 5" and glued it to a card base. The top panel measures 2.5 x 3.75". Once all the layers were down, I hand drew the squiggly white lines with a gel pen.

To date, the Stronger Together campaign has raised over $40,000 for the Red Cross. This year has been devastating. I hope you'll join me in helping spread a little love to our neighbors all around by purchasing this wonderful stamp set. I've embedded links for all the currently available supplies used on this card, but here's the Stronger Together link again.

Until next time,

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Like an Artist

Fall is in the air...or at least it's supposed to be. Here in South Carolina, it's 90 degrees and humid. I guess that's why I couldn't quite go with fall colors on my sister-in-law's birthday card .

I started by stamping the front of a top folding card with Glacier, Canary, and Bashful using the Splash of Color stamp set. (NOTE: Shopping links embedded in text for your convenience.) I followed the rule of triangles and used colors that would overlap well so my splotches didn't end up looking like mud. Next I cut the left side of the card base from bottom to fold at about the 1.25" mark. Here's a look at the inside so you get a better idea of what I'm describing:
However, gluing the strip of paper back to the left side of the card was the last thing I did, so just hold on while I finish describing the process.
product imageOnce the front was done and trimmed, I added the large sentiments on the outside and inside. Both of them come from the Inspire stamp set and were stamped in Pewter ink. I was very careful to stamp the inside sentiment so it wouldn't show when the top flap of the card was down. I also stamped "never stop creating" in Pewter. This sentiment comes from the Created to Create stamp shown on the left. Before I ever used the full stamp, I did something that might horrify many of you...I cut the stamp into all its little parts. That's part of breaking rules like an artist. Just because something comes a certain way doesn't mean you have to use it like that. To get that nice, even row of this sentiment, I used my MISTI. (For things like this the MISTI, which stands for Most Incredible Stamping Tool Invented, lives up to its name.)
After I had "never stop creating" line done, I glued the piece of card front I'd trimmed off back on the left side of the card base and trimmed off the excess to bring it back to a 4.25 x 5.5 card. The final touch was to tie a White Twine bow around the right side flap and secure it with some Liquid Glass.
My sister-in-law is an artist who hasn't had much time to create while holding down a full-time job. She retired in January and then spent the next six months fighting cancer. She appears to have beaten it (halleluiah, amen!) so I wanted to challenge her to get back to painting. Everyone should do more of what makes them happy!
Until next time,

Monday, October 9, 2017


This week at Heart2Heart our theme is Be-YOU-tiful. I chose to use the Beautiful You stamp set for this watercolored card.

The stamp set comes with multi-layered images. I clear embossed the middle layer of all three floral images over watercolor cardstock. Then I painted with red, yellow, purple, and blue allowing each color to dry before adding the next. I embossed the sentiment with white embossing powder over vellum paper. There are a few ways to select only the letters you want from a sentiment. I chose to ink carefully just the parts I wanted and then brush away excess powder from whatever I didn't want.

I hand trimmed my vellum into a banner, folding the excess over the top of the 4 x 5.25 watercolored base. To secure the vellum, I sewed with a zig-zag stitch and pulled the top thread through to the backside of the paper before using a copious amount of foam tape to secure to the card base.

This is a relatively simple card, although it's somewhat time-consuming in execution just because you need to let the water coloring dry. I'm no expert at water colors, but I do know that the trick to controlling where the color goes is to "paint" with clear water first, add the color, and then leave it alone to dry.

It was my birthday on Saturday. My husband took me to a plantation near Charleston, SC with the oldest formal gardens in the US. It was a wonderful few days of unplugging and letting go of my deadlines and his class projects. Here's my favorite picture of our trip. It's the Mill at Middleton Place as seen through the branches of an oak tree dripping with Spanish Moss.

I hope you all are enjoying Columbus Day, and all of us at Heart2Heart look forward to seeing your creations this week.

Until next time,

Saturday, October 7, 2017

World Cardmaking Day

This year, World Cardmaking Day falls on my birthday. Wasn't it nice of them to plan such a great celebration just for me. LOL! I'm away for the weekend with my hubs, but I didn't want to miss this day so I'm posting the card I sent to my writing partner to celebrate the release of the first book in our Montana Brides series.

The stamps and stitched circle die cut are from My Favorite Things. The paper is retired CTMH Sugar Rush. The adorable little boa was made using "Sassy Strands" an embellishment that was retired by CTMH years and years ago. This perfect addition dressing up this pig is why I end up holding onto supplies I've not used.

This has been a big year for me both personally and professionally. I'm looking forward to what this next year brings. Happy birthday and World Cardmaking Day to ME!!

Until next time,

Monday, October 2, 2017

Time for Some Christmas Reading

My latest novella, Cinderella's Masquerade, is available now. This story is the sequel to The Gift of the Matchmaker which released last year. It follows a maid from The Driskill Hotel in Austin, TX as she falls in love with her Prince Charming.
Cinderella's Masquerade is also included in a boxed set called A Christmas Masquerade with six other stories for only a dollar more. (The Gift of the Matchmaker is included in a boxed set called Merry Matchmakers.)
All stories and boxed sets are available for free if you belong to Kindle Unlimited.
Happy Christmas reading!
Until next time,

Monday, September 25, 2017

Marker Madness

When Heart2Heart decided on this Mad about Markers Challenge, I'll admit I was stumped for a bit. Then I decided that the easiest, most straightforward idea was probably the best. I altered pre-patterned paper using three markers. This is the Falling For You paper as it comes

And here's how I altered it using a green, yellow, and red marker.

Now you might be looking at that ribbon and thinking, "I didn't know CTMH sold red ribbon with that gold center stripe." We don't. I altered that using the same red marker just by coloring on both sides. (Please note: use gloves or don't plan on going outside until it no longer looks like your fingers are dipped in blood.)

The tag is the second smallest in the die-cut set stamped with a sentiment from Short & Sweet in black.

Although coloring pre-printed paper and ribbon to achieve a different look is a simple technique, I don't use it very often. It's good to be reminded that, just because something comes a certain way, it can be altered to fit what you want.

In writing new, I just got back from the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. Five years ago, I was there as a Genesis Finalist in the Historical Romance category. It's amazing to me how far I've come since 2012. What a delight to renew friendships, make new ones, and be refreshed both spiritually and creatively.

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Leaving on a Jet Plane

The annual American Christian Fiction Writers Conference begins tomorrow. I'm leaving for the airport in a couple minutes. So excited!! As with stamping and paper crafting, it's good when people who share your passion congregate. I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. I hope to post pictures, but if you don't see me for a while, I'll be back soon.

Until next time,

Monday, September 11, 2017

Heart2Heart Goes Negative

Negative implies something bad, but this week at Heart2Heart we're showing you how to use negative space in positive ways.

I used a circle die cut from My Favorite Things for the stitched edge, but you can use any circle die or a die cutting machine like a Cricut to create the same effect.

Here's a close-up on the flowers. (Remember, this set is only available until the end of the month. Shopping link below.) I stamped them with all three layers then used the stamped images as guides for adding color with pencils and a white gel pen. I used a white colored pencil quite a bit, too, as you can see on the tops of the leaves. It didn't show up as much on the flowers which is why I went back over them with the gel pen.

CAS on Sunday's weekly challenge is "Color Me Pretty with Pencils or Markers" so I'm linking this card to them.

I cut the flowers and leaves out and layered them both over and under the circle cut. The center front flower was added using foam tape for even more dimension.

After the centers were colored, I added dots with a black pen.

The inside of the card is lined with a 4 x 5.25 piece of patterned paper from the Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Pack. This is the Pomegranate color.

Once the card was basically done, I closed it up to eye where I wanted the sentiment to go and stamped with Eggplant ink.

As you are reading this, I'm probably hunkered down while Irma does whatever damage she's going to do here in South Carolina. I wrote this post on Friday before she hit Florida. The latest models show her heading away from where I live, but it's been difficult to concentrate on much of anything while waiting for this monster. I've never been in the path of a hurricane, and it looks like there's never been one like this. Go big or go home, I guess.

Until next time,

Shopping List:

Saturday, September 9, 2017

N'tl Stamping Month - From the Heart

September is National Stamping Month. Yep...a whole month just for stamping! And every year Close to My Heart does something to celebrate.  This year, they've released a double stamp set which might be my favorite stamp set ever.  I paired it with the Flower Market Cricut Cartridge to cut the basket for this Card Concept inspired card.

I used a whole host of ink pads (shopping links below), most of which are self-explanatory. I did, however, want to mention that, for the yellow flowers, I stamped the final layer in White Daisy to give the petals that subtle texture. Because this is a pigment ink, give it plenty of time to dry before handling the flowers for cutting. I waited about ten or fifteen minutes.

The laundry basket is a Flower Market Cricut cartridge cut. In the original, the blanket inside the basket doesn't quite fill the bottom. To make it do so, I ungrouped the image, stretched the blanket a bit, then cut. Both layers were cut using the lighter side of Toffee paper. I stamped using the stripe background that comes with Flower Market vertically and horizontally in Toffee ink then added some more sponging to the edges for a little more dimension. I left my cut on the mat while I stamped and sponged to give this delicate cut a little more stability while sponging the edges.

In order to get my background flowers placed as I wanted, I laid down my basket and flowers without gluing and then snapped a picture using my phone so I could have it for future reference. Without moving the basket or flowers, I stamped just the petals of the background trio of red flowers. Then I removed the basket and flowers and filled in with the rest of the background images.

The background panes were cut using a retired MFT Blueprint die set (#20). Once all the layers were assembled, I embellished with pearls and a twine bow. No sentiment on the front as I need some generic cards.

As I write this, Hurricane Irma is approaching Florida. Her path shifted taking us out of the direct line, but we are still expecting heavy wind, rain, and possible flooding from her outer rim. CTMH has created a special stamp set to aid the many victims of this summer's multiple, devastating disasters. All proceeds will go to The Red Cross as they assist fire victims in the west and Hurricane victims all along the Gulf Coast.  I love the sayings in this set as they apply to all kinds of tough situations. (Shopping link below)

And don't forget the September Stamp of the Month, another wonderful set which is only $5 with a $50 order or $17.95 regular price. There's a link on the sidebar to order this stamp set, and I've included it in the shopping links below.

In writing news, I am almost done with my final deadline for the year. I really need to finish in the next day or two in case Irma knocks out our power for days. I've never been in the path of a hurricane before, and I gotta say...not liking this much. At ALL.

Until next time,

Shopping Links:

Friday, September 8, 2017

Stronger Together

Close to My Heart has designed a stamp set specifically to help with the numerous and ongoing disaster relief efforts.

This set is available for order HERE.

We ARE Stronger Together!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


So excited to get this book in the hands of readers starting today. Squeal!

No author copies have arrived on my doorstep, though. Sigh.

Until next time,

Monday, August 28, 2017

Anything Goes CTMH Style

The new Seasonal Expressions catalog goes live September 1, and it is full of inspiration and beauty. A couple of my favorite things are the die cuts and "Happy Day Workshop Your Way Cardmaking Kit. I never purchase a kit unless I can use the stamp set multiple ways once the paper is used. Here's one possibility I made for this week's H2H Challenge: Anything Goes CTMH Style. Everything except the die cut is from the WYW.

The "Thankful for You" die cut comes as three separate pieces, so you have tremendous flexibility. Here I cut it from a panel of White Daisy cardstock and backed it with Charcoal cardstock.  I used this same set of dies on the cards in this post. You'll be seeing a lot of these dies over the next few months.

I colored the flower, leaves, and edge of the banner with Copic markers and then fussy cut them with my Micro-tip scissors. I used foam tape to mount the die cut panel to the card base, glued the banner and leaves over top, then used a little more foam tape to add the flower. So simple and easy!

I'll update this post with shopping links once the new products are live for purchase on September 1. (NOTE: now updated!) You won't want to miss the September National Stamping Month special, either. Go to this post for a sneak peek. And, if that weren't enough, the September Stamp of the Month is fab!

Okay...I'll quit gushing now...but, folks, these upcoming products are why I became a consultant. I simply couldn't wait to get them in my inky fingers.

Until next time,

Shopping Links:

Friday, August 25, 2017

End of Summer Blog Hop

I got on a scrapbooking kick a couple weeks ago and started putting together layouts with pictures that are almost twenty years old. One of them was about Camas Meadows Bible Camp in Leavenworth, WA which is a place near to our family. It IS summer to us.

I used the soon to retire Jack paper and CTMH Artbooking Cricut Cartridge (everything but "CAMP") and Artistry (for "CAMP" only) with coordinating Black, Ruby, Juniper, and White Daisy Cardstock. If you have Cricut Design Space and the Artbooking Cartridge, here's the cutting file. (NOTE: If you don't also have the Artistry cartridge, just delete "CAMP" before you cut...or buy the cartridge using the link below. **Big, cheezy grin**) Color My Heart's challenge this week is Jack, so I'm joining the fun there.

On the three polaroid framed pictures along the bottom right, I saved the arrows from each frame and refit them inside one of the others. And, yes, that is underwear hanging from the rafters in the middle picture.

This is probably the busiest layout I've ever done as far as background paper, but I tried a bunch of other papers besides that buffalo print and they just didn't work. Here are a few detail shots:

I used a white gel pen to accent a few of the cuts. As you can see, I wasn't worried about being super neat with my sketchy drawing. This is a camping layout, after all!

Remember, Jack retires in a week, so be sure to check out the shopping links below. Now you're off to your next stop along the hop: Katy. You should have come from Jayma's blog, but if you get lost somewhere along the way, you can always go to Amie's blog for a full list.  I got a sneak peek at some of the projects, and you don't want to miss a single one.

Until next time,

Shopping Links:

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sweet Baby Card with Prickly Pear Paper

It seems like babies come in groups. We've had two friends deliver recently and another just found out she was pregnant. I got on a card making roll with the new Sweet Baby and Baby Animals stamp sets. Here's one of the cards I made:

I just adore that elephant. I stamped him in Heather pigment ink on Watercolor Paper, embossed with Clear Embossing Powder, and then painted with Watercolors in black and pink. After he was dry, I cut him and the balloon with the coordinating die cuts. To save paper, I cut my background panel using MFT's Blueprints 15 (retired), laid it over top of a 4.25 x 5.5 piece of Prickly Pear blue stripe paper, and drew a faint line where the panel would cover once the card was assembled. I then cut inside the pencil line and used that scrap to cut the balloon. I then ran my wonky panel through the new Alphabet Embossing Folder.

The pierced banner was die cut with MFT's Blueprints 20 (retired). I embossed "Welcome" from the Baby Animals stamp set using Heather pigment ink and Clear Embossing Powder. I stamped "Little One" (also from Baby Animals) as the inside sentiment also in Heather ink.

Once I put the card together, I spent a long time fussing with the placement of the balloon. It finally dawned on me that it needed an outline. Now, don't laugh, but my desk was such a mess by this point that I didn't notice there's a stamp in the Sweet Baby set that's an outline of the balloon. I hand-drew this one with a silver gel pen. It's okay, but it would have been better stamped in the same Heather color.

I love the "Sleep is Overrated" sentiment from the Baby Animals stamp set, but it didn't really fit as an inside sentiment. It did, however, work great to decorate the envelope flap. I used Glacier ink to coordinate with the Prickly Pear paper. This paper pack retires in a week, so I've also included a link to the new Whimsy Fundamental Paper Pack in the shopping links below. Whimsy includes soft blue and pink colors which would work just as well for a baby card.

The combination of Sweet Baby and Baby Animals is going to be my "go to" when it comes to welcoming babies into the world. They are my favorite baby-themed stamp sets CTMH has ever produced...and that's saying something!

One more note before I go: I don't know why it takes me so long to order some of the products CTMH has. I guess it's because I think I can get them cheaper by using coupons at a local store. However, the Acrylix Spritz Cleaner and Stamp Scrubber came in my consultant kit. I have struggled for years trying to get pigment ink off my stamps. That stuff gets into nooks and crannies and simply won't come off. I've had to resort to using Staz-On stamp cleaner and even then I still have residue. Um...people...the combination of Acrylix Spritz Cleaner and Stamp Scrubber works. REALLY works! Should have bought them years ago!

Until next time,

Shopping Links:

Monday, August 21, 2017

Army Wife Project with CTMH USA Cricut Cartridge

My friend and very first customer has given me permission to share with you a project she made yesterday using the new USA Cricut Cartridge. As an Army Wife, I'm always looking for new and interesting ways to catalog our various experiences. I love what April has done here:

Speaking of Army Wife stuff, I'm being interviewed at 8:30pm EST on Army Wives Network Radio tonight. We're giving away two copies of The Promise Bride set to release in eight days. I hope you'll join us after watching the eclipse today. Wasn't it nice of the army to move us to Columbia, SC just in time to be in the path of a full eclipse?

Until next time,

Sunday, August 20, 2017

USA Cricut Cartridge Hibiscus

As I've mentioned before, I love stretching stamps or cartridges beyond their obvious uses. I used the new CTMH USA Cricut Cartridge to create this card which meets Curtain Call's Hibiscus challenge:

If you have Cricut Design Space and the USA Cartridge, you can use this cutting file for the banner and flowers. The background stencil is the floral overlay of USA cut out of plastic. For the cardstock, I used the new dual sided Enchantment paper from CTMH plus Bashful, which is the color of the year. (Shopping links embedded and provided below.) As you can see from the picture, you actually get twenty colors, 2 of each sheet, in the combo pack.

I jazzed up the flowers and leaves with colored pencils and by sponging coordinating ink around the edges. The sentiment is from a promotional set that will be available next month. The smaller hibiscus is from Hawaii which I purposefully offset; the larger hibiscus is from Puerto Rico. I simply ungrouped the images and got rid of everything but the flowers and one banner then fiddled around with sizing until I was happy.

Here's another blog post using this same USA cartridge which also has cutting files. And here's a second blog post using the promotional stamp set that will be available next month.

In writing news, I'm being interviewed by Army Wives Network tomorrow at 8pm EST. If you aren't too busy watching the eclipse, I'd love to have you join us. We'll be giving away two copies of The Promise Bride which releases in nine days!

Until next time,

Shopping Links:

Saturday, August 19, 2017

From the Heart Teaser

Next month, Close to My Heart is running a special promotions called "From the Heart." People...this is the stamp set I've been waiting for! I could not wait to get it in my hot, little hands. Here's a look at one part of it.

No shopping links today since you can't get this yet, but I just had to share.

Until next time,

Friday, August 18, 2017

New CTMH Beautiful You and Country Collection Cricut Cartridges

I. LOVE. This. Stamp. Set!!

There. Just had to get that out of the way up front.

I also love the new Thin Cut "Thankful for You" which will be coming out on September 1. The words are separated giving you tremendous flexibility. I've made a number of cards using just the "Thankful," one of which is shown below.

However, what I really want to show you is the versatility of the new Country Collection Cricut Cartridges. Although more geared for scrapbooking, they can be stretched for card making. They are available for USA, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand. All of them feature states/provinces with both the floral and stripe overlay shown below.

I created a stencil by cutting Colorado out of a plastic notebook page separator. Both Colorado and Wyoming are basically a rectangle anyway, so all you have to do is insert the state into Design Space, ungroup the image and get rid of everything that isn't the stripe, stretch it big enough to cover a card front, and cut. The plastic notebook dividers I bought were so thin, I used the Cardstock setting on my Cricut dial and it cut perfectly. The only trick is to make sure your mat is sticky as plastic doesn't adhere quite as well as paper.

Once I had my stencil cut, I laid it over my card base and sponged Lemon ink over top. I cleaned off the stencil, flipped it over, and sponged Bashful. I concentrated most of the ink in the corner and faded out as it got higher on the card. The flowers were stamped using all three layers of images in the stamp set. For the largest flower, I started with Lemon for the base, then added the next two layers in Bashful and Pixie. The smaller flower was stamped in Bashful first, then Pixie stamped once for the middle layer and Pixie stamped three times for the top layer. The leaves were done in Sweet Leaf and Fern. To create the berries, I stamped the stem only from one of the leaf layers then used the tip of a pen to stamp the berries.

I cut the sentiment dies three times for each word and layered them together to get extra thickness. The sentiment banner was stamped in Fern and hand cut. This week CAS-ual Fridays and Addicted to CAS both have a "Friendship" challenge, so I've linked this card to their blogs.

Now here's another card I created by using the Slice and Weld feature on Design Space with the floral overlay shown on the USA image above:

If you have Cricut Design Space, click HERE for the cutting file.  I cut it at 4 x 5.25 and backed it with a piece of Bashful cardstock cut to the same size. I used the same "Thankful for You" Thin Cut set plus another stamp set coming September 1 for the banner. This time, I die cut once in Charcoal paper and once in White Daisy and layered them slightly offset. On this card, the Cricut cut does practically all the work!

Time for me to head upstairs and write. I'll be back with more cards using this digital only cartridge (list of compatible machines listed in the shopping link below). BTW, I'm going to be interviewed on Army Wives Network Monday, August 21, otherwise known as Eclipse Day. (We're in the direct path here in Columbia, SC, but the forecast is calling for cloud cover.) I'll be talking about The Promise Bride which releases in eleven more days. Yee!! The show starts at 8pm Eastern. Hope you can join us. We'll be giving away copies of the book.

Until next time,

Shopping Links:

Monday, August 14, 2017

H2H Sketch Challenge

My new consultant kit showed up, so despite my writing deadline (and that I've already taken several crafty breaks), I got inky. Ever since the sketch for this week's challenge was posted for the design team, this is the card I've seen in my head. I was tempted to change it when I saw a similar design from Alyson, but why not show two variations on the same sketch and same paper pack?

Once deadlines are over, I'm going to tackle learning how to make videos. In the meantime, I'm including some process pictures.

I started with a 4.25 x 5.5 piece of White Daisy Cardstock and used my paper trimmer to cut it at a diagonal. I wasn't worried about getting the corners exact because I knew I'd be cutting them off. 

Next, I cut a 2 x 6 piece of patterned paper from the new Adventure Fundamentals. Such gorgeous watercolor images in this pack!

Then I taped the white cardstock over the patterned paper in a spotlight rather than straight, laid a rectangular die cut from My Favorite Things over the top and ran it through my Cuttlebug.

What I should have done is put a piece of Washi tape over the top to keep everything together so I could turn it over for the next step.

Live and learn.
I had to refit the pieces inside the die to add these pieces of Washi so I could open up the top pieces for the next step.

After opening the white pieces like a door, I laid a 2x6 piece of Vellum Paper over the top, added tape runner over the inside of the white cardstock, and closed the door.

I might have been able to add the vellum into the original die cut, but I wasn't sure how many layers the die would take. Instead, I trimmed off the excess with Micro-tip Scissors.

Once I had the top panel done, I mounted it to a piece of Pacifica Cardstock using foam tape. I made sure to have plenty of tape along the seams where the patterned paper and white cardstock overlapped to keep everything secure. I left the Washi tape from the above picture in place, too.

I centered the panel on my card base and then added the sentiment which is from Short and Sweet stamped in Pacifica pigment ink and embossed with Clear Powder. I used another MFT die to cut the stitched circle.

To accent the sentiment and make it feel a little bigger, I added three White Enamel Dots.

I have about five more birthdays and an anniversary left in the month. I really need to get this story written. Wish me luck, I'm goin' in!

Until next time,

Shopping Links:
Short and Sweet Stamp Set
White Daisy Cardstock
Adventure Fundamental Paper
Pacifica Cardstock
Vellum Paper
Adventure Pigment Inks
Micro-tip Scissors
Black and White Enamel Dots
Clear Embossing Powder
MFT Stitched Circles
MFT Stitched Rectangles
Adhesive Runner
Craft Heater
Paper Trimmer

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Baseball Birthday Wishes with CTMH Artbooking and Graphically Speaking Cartridges

Second post for today because I got my son's birthday card done this morning and was so excited I had to share. He's a big baseball and Seattle Mariner's fan. There aren't any MLB images in the Cricut library, so I made my own.

Here's the cutting file for anyone who has Cricut Design Space. To use the cutting file, you'll need to own the CTMH Artbooking cartridge, but I don't know if you can buy the navigation image for $0.99 when you go to cut if you don't own Graphically Speaking. I used CTMH Enchantment Combo Paper Pack in Sapphire, Peacock (lighter side), and Ruby plus Heather from the Basics Combo Paper Pack paper. I've included both the combos and individual papers in the shopping links below.

The stitched edges around the top panel and banner were done with MFT dies. I love how it adds just a touch of interest without overwhelming. The stamped sentiment is from a retired CTMH set called Just a Number. I stamped it in coordinating Sapphire ink.

Now if this can just bring enough M's mojo to Safeco Field so the team strings together some wins, that will make my son's birthday complete.

Until next time,

Shopping Links:

CTMH Jack Gone Girly

I'm a big believer in finding ways to stretch your stamps to cover multiple occasions. I also love border stamps because of their versatility. For this card, I used the Buffalo Plaid border from "Jack-Scrapbooking" in Pixie ink plus the Flower Market Cartridge and a Zip-Strip from the Jack Paper Packet.

I'm not sure where I first saw leaves in colors other than green, but I'm a fan. Keeping the pink, grey, black and white color scheme gives this card a classy feel. To give the flower a little extra depth, I sponged Pixie ink in the centers and on the edges.

You might be wondering where I got that great big center button. Well, here's the thing...CTMH has packaged their stamp sets with a back snap for years. I saw where people were popping them off to create more room in their stamp storage. Um...BRILLIANT. As an added bonus, I can determine which stamp sets I'm using by popping off buttons as I pull them out. Anything with buttons left by August 2018 goes away. That's the plan anyway. Plus, they make great flower centers via the magic of Liquid Glass.

No sentiment on this because I need to build up my stash of any occasion cards. After a month-long move, I went through almost everything I had on hand.

For those of you who follow this blog, you're probably wondering how I can afford all this crafty time when I'm under another writing deadline. The answer is I can't. But I hate this story right now. It's okay. I hate every story at some point along the way. It usually means I don't have my character motivations right yet. So, while I talk to the current cast of characters residing inside my head, I craft. It's as much a part of my creative process as writing a synopsis or plotting.

Off to make one more card today. My son has a birthday in four days and I've yet to make his card. It needs to go out in today's mail if it has any hope of reaching him on the other side of the country before his big day.

Until next time,

Shopping List:

Friday, August 11, 2017

Hey! Hello, Jack!

My nephew is celebrating a birthday later this month. He's quite "on trend" with a full beard. I decided to use the Jack - Scrapbooking set along with coordinating Jack Paper to make this fun card to celebrate him.

I'm so glad Color My Heart is giving out their challenge colors in advance so I could make this a few days ago and link to them now. I used Copic markers to color his shirt: BG72-Ice Ocean (Juniper), BG75-Abyss Green (Peacock), and R39-Garnet (Pomegranate). Skin and hair are E50-Egg Shell, E11-Barely Beige, R01-Pinkish Vanilla, and E47-Dark Brown. (Links to the closest ShinHan markers available through CTMH included in the shopping list below. They are less expensive than Copics and do the same blending. I just bought Copics first.) After I had him colored, I added a little shading with some colored pencils. I'm no expert with alcohol ink markers, but I've taken a few classes and watch Sandy Allnock's videos a lot. That woman can make these markers stand on their heads and dance!

There are a few retired items on this card. The banner is a zip strip from Sugar Rush paper, "happy" comes from the Kaleidoscope Cardmaking Workshop from a few years ago, and "BIRTHDAY!" is from a set called It's Your Day which was a Stamp of the Month back in August 2009. I've decided that, even though I've signed up as a consultant, I'm not going to stop using non-CTMH or retired products. I love showing how CTMH plays well with others and giving new life to products that haven't seen use in a while. How perfect is that birthday font and the exclamation point with the zip-strip sentiments?

Jack retires at the end of this month. Get him while the gettin's good!!

Now to make my son's birthday card. Jack isn't going to work for my military son with short hair and no beard. Or maybe I'll make him jealous with what could be. Ha!

Until next time,

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