Saturday, September 22, 2018

Decorative Border and Falala Thin Cut Christmas Card

A week ago, I made this card and told you to watch for the same layout. it is, this time as a Christmas card.

My favorite thing about the new Candy Apple color is how perfectly it matches the Red Glitter paper.

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

I don't know about you, but as soon as September rolls around, I feel the pressure to get my cards made. I love how fast, easy, and pretty this card is. I just might get my cards done before December 25th this year! Now if I can just get book three of The Montana Brides series done by deadline, I might be able to breathe.

Until next time,

Monday, September 17, 2018

Decorative Border, Fancy Tags, and Just Treats

For my third card featuring the September Stamp of the Month (SOM), I combined the Decorative Border Thin Cuts, which I've used on the last two cards, with the Fancy Tags Thin Cuts. I'm really, really happy that I purchased both of these. I'll be using them alone and in combination, as I've done with this card.

This is the large tag that has a scallop bottom. I trimmed that off in order to turn the tag sideways and still fit on my card. I then cut another tag with Linen paper and cut it again with the stitched scallop border thin cut. Now, to be honest, you could probably finagle a similar result by using the scallop border of the tag itself, but it was so much easier to do it with the border cut and that stitched edge is just such a great addition.

To color, I used the "squeeze the ink pad together until you get ink in the lid, then pick up the ink with a damp paintbrush and color" method. I used it on the card from a few days ago. It's one of my favorite coloring methods. The sentiment is stamped in Heather and colored with Mink and Pomegranate. I added some Mink Twine then secured the ends with Liquid Glass. While that was out, I added a dots of it to the berries to give them dimension and shine.

My background paper comes from the Seasonal Mix-In pack. I LOVE this pack. It's perfect for adding to the current set of paper suites or great on its own.

Well...then I started to put my supplies away and moved some paper to the side of my desk. Underneath was the "Ugly Sweater" stamp set. Sweater. Warm. Winter. Hm...

Do you see that slightly fuzzy texture. That was a mistake. My stamp pad needed to be reinked but I overdid it. But hey...if you're going to make a fuzzy image, it might as well be on a sweater. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. The heart comes from the SOM set and is also stamped in Pomegranate.

I honestly can't decide which card I like best. What do you think?

Time to head up to the writing cave. I need to pound out 3K words today if I'm going to stay on schedule. There are parts of being an author that I love, but deadlines are not one of them.

Until next time,

Sunday, September 16, 2018

More with Decorative Border Thin Cuts and Just Treats

As promised yesterday, here's another card using the Decorative Border Thin Cuts and the September Stamp of the Month (SOM) Just Treats.

I went with a traditional red and white color scheme for this card using the new Candy Apple color and 'Tis the Season Paper Pack. Remember yesterday when I talked about the fun things to do with the striped border included in the Just Treats SOM set? Well, those striped hearts were made by stamping that border twice (because once wasn't quite wide enough for the smallest heart thin cut). The other fun thing I did was to cut the scallop border from White Daisy cardstock, flip the border over and line it up so I ended up with a border of stitched circles...and wonder of wonders, the inside of the peppermint candy fit inside perfectly. It's almost like I planned it, which I didn't (but maybe the genius designers at CTMH did).

The tag was cut using an image from Artiste, which is retired but still wonderful. I dressed it up by adding some of the 'Tis the Season paper along the bottom and trimming off the excess with scissors. I also made my own ring to go around the opening of the tag. I simply used the "Hide Contour" button in Design Space to get rid of the outside edge of the tag (leaving me with only the center hole) then used the "Shapes" button to add a circle, size it to a bit larger than the center hole, used the "Slice" feature to cut the smaller circle out of the larger one, and then cut using the patterned paper. The only non-CTMH thing on this card is the wider red ribbon which is tied with White Twine at the top of the tag. I also used White Twine along the bottom of the tag between the white space and the red bottom border.

For the sake of design principles, I used the same patterned paper for two places on the tag plus on the larger heart, positioning it so it created a triangle. The stripe on the smaller hearts is similar in design to the swirled images along the bottom border, and they also create a triangle. My third triangle is the placement of the three hearts. The very bottom border of Candy Apple grounds the entire card and highlights the scalloped edge, drawing your eye so you see the fancy stitching. I used a gray marker to highlight "Friends" because it's the trend to add that swoosh and because gray is a neutral that adds interest without fighting with the rest of the color scheme.

Here's the supply list (with links for your shopping convenience):
I love tags on cards. Pretty soon I'll start showing you ideas with the new Fancy Tags, but many of you have already purchased Artiste or other CTMH Cricut Cartridges, all of which have some kind of tag. Let's make sure you're getting your money's worth out of them before we encourage you to spend more...although the stitched and pierced edges of the Fancy Tags is what pushed me over the edge to purchase them. Both the Fancy Tags and Decorative Borders are spendy, but remember you can always get them half-price if you host a party that goes over $250. With all the fun new things just released, I doubt you'll have trouble getting to that level if you know two or three people who enjoy crafting. Who knows, you might even be able to host your own party!

Until next time,

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Decorative Border Thin Cuts - 2 with Just Treats Stamp of the Month

Hubby and I went to see "Unbroken" last night. Now I know the movie is meant to be inspirational, a story of triumph over extreme adversity, but I can't handle it. As an Army Wife and Mom, my biggest fear for my soldiers is capture and torture at the hands of the enemy. I told hubs that asking me to go used up almost all of his "husband points" from the cruise.


I couldn't go to sleep right after we got home, so I stayed up to make this...

I love the versatility of these borders. In addition to using them in the traditional way, I can create my own tags (although I purchased the new Fancy Tag Thin Cuts and will be showing you ideas with them soon). I used three of the border dies, one for the notebook paper type of edge on the top of the tag, the double stitched line around all the edges of the background paper and just under the Mink Twine, and the slanted edge across the top of the bottom border of patterned paper on the tag. The patterned paper comes from the Boutique Paper Pack. It's so fresh and trendy. I combined it with some Candy Apple accents and red coloring to change up the color palate just a smidge.

All of the stamped images come from the September Stamp of the Month (SOM), Just Treats. This set is only $5 with a qualified purchase and will take you through the holidays, Winter, and beyond. That darling little cup can be combined with the top left sentiment at any time of the year for coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. With some Saffron ink coloring, you could even make the cup hold chicken soup. It would be fussy, but you could get a Warm Comfort for You sentiment out of what's in this set...or you could just use a get well sentiment. I'm betting you already have one.

Before we quit discussing the versatility of this SOM,  don't forget about the fantastic striped border. So many fun things to do with that!

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

As for techniques, I used an old favorite when it comes to coloring. It's called "squeeze your stamp pad so the lid picks up ink, then use a paintbrush to pick up ink and color." I did that to fill in "Tidings," to highlight "and," and to add a slight border around the stitched heart. The cup and little red swooshes (or splash marks) were all colored with markers.

Another card tomorrow with this same SOM and more of the border die cuts. Unless I can't sleep again tonight, in which case you might be seeing it late tonight.

Until next time,

Friday, September 14, 2018

Hugs for You WYW with Decorative Border Thin Cuts

One of the new products I just had to get in my hands as soon as possible was the new Decorative Border Thin Cuts. These beauties are going to make it super easy to create fun, different, interesting cards and scrapbook page borders. Here's my first card...

I used the Hugs for You Workshop Your Way (WYW) which is a cardmaking kit. It comes with a stamp set, paper, card bases, and twine as well as instructions for making twelve cards of two different designs. If you've been around my blog at all, you know that I don't purchase a WYW unless I can use the stamp set long after the included supplies are gone. Like I did here.

I was surprised to find that this scallop border wasn't even. At first I was disappointed, but then I realized that the lack of symmetry gave me far more flexibility. I can make a cloud or hill border to set a scene, I can tilt it as I did on this card for a unique look, and I can create an even look on the short end of a 4.25 x 5.5 card with some planning. But, to tell you the truth, I really like this tilted border. You might see that show up again. And again. And possibly even a few more times.

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

I've already sent two cards using this WYW. The sentiments are exactly what I've wanted to say on multiple occasions.

Today is all about getting everything done that I've put off doing this week. We had such a lovely cruise (pictures to come) that it's difficult to adjust to real life again where I have to cook and clean up after myself. Plus there's the hurricane. We're in central Virginia and no longer expect to get much except some wind and rain, but I was doing a little prep just in case.

More than anything, I need to get back to 1888 and the final novel in the Montana Brides Series. Book two releases in eleven days, so there's quite a bit of publicity around that which also needs to be done...and honestly, I just want to play some more with these fancy border cuts.

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bunches of Love - 8

I'm back from my cruise and back in the swing of life. Laundry is in, the dishwasher is running, and I found a little time to craft. I'm so in love with this Bunches of Love set I just had to play with it again.

I stayed with the basic color scheme of black and red which is nearly impossible mess up.

Here is the supply list (with links for your shopping convenience):

I really need to get back to writing, but I'm still fighting the jet lag

Until next time,

Monday, September 10, 2018

Love Notes - 3

As I said yesterday, this card is the entire reason I purchased the Love Note stamp set. The ENTIRE reason. I'll be making a bunch of these cards because, honestly, who doesn't love a chocolaty frappuccino?

I created the cup using the You Are Here Cricut cartridge and basic shapes included in Design Space. Here's the cutting file (which includes some extra images I didn't use but didn't want to delete).

Here's the supply list (with links for your shopping convenience):
We should have arrived home from our European river cruise in the wee hours of this morning. I'm sure today will be filled with lots of caffeine in order to function...which is why I saved this card for today.

I have lots more ideas to share with you, but I hope you've enjoyed the last ten days of daily cards. I've already got more ideas for the Bunches of Love set featured the first week, but you'll have to wait until next month because I've used it with the October Stamp of the Month.

Speaking of which, I'll be back in a few days to feature this month's SOM. It's only $5 with a qualifying purchase...which shouldn't be hard given the number of fabulous new products that went live ten days ago!

Until next time,

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Love Notes - 2

Like yesterday's card, this one uses the Love Note stamp set with a rainbow of color.

I love the Frank Lloyd Wright architectural vibe of this card. I'm always searching for ways to have manly cards, and this one fits the bill.

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

  • Love Note stamp set
  • Candy Apple ink
  • Nectarine ink
  • Lemon ink
  • Willow ink
  • Emerald ink
  • Black ink
  • Black cardstock

We should be on the plane heading home from our cruise. I'll probably be worthless for the next few days, so I'm glad I scheduled all these posts ahead of time. I have one more card with this Love Note stamp set, and I'm telling you now, it's the entire reason I purchased this set. The ENTIRE reason. I hope you'll come back tomorrow to see it.

Until next time,

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Love Notes - 1

Two things you need to know about me: 1) I don't like it when CTMH changes their color palate and 2) the main reasons I became a consultant were for the discounts and early ordering of new products. Having said that, I'm LOVING the new colors introduced this year.

I only used two new colors, Nectarine and Candy Apple, on this card. They are replacing Tangerine, which was practically brand new,  and Cranberry, which has been around since CTMH opened for business. Were it not for the wonderful surprise bonus that consultants got to order all the new ink colors at an even bigger discount than normal, I would be grumbling about replacing a brand new and a staple color with what seem like only slight color changes. Well...they are slight, but that tiny adjustment makes the entire color palate bright and cheerful. They also work together much better. So...there you have it. Sign up as a consultant and you, too, will no longer need to grumble about color palate changes. Ha!

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

Like yesterday's card, you really want the fine point of the Micro-tip scissors for this. That tiny notch in the frame around the sentiment can get bent out of shape if you use larger, clunkier scissors. Another confession...the only reason I have the scissors is because they came in my new consultant kit. Yes, indeed, I'm really glad I signed up!

Now, I know that supply list is long for this small card, but that rainbow effect is really nice against the marble texture background. Just wait until you see what I did with it the day after tomorrow's card.

We're on the last day of our European vacation. Long, exhausting flight home, but then my own bed. Ah...

Until next time,

Friday, September 7, 2018

Bunches of Love - 7 (with Love Notes)

I love this card! It was a little fussy, although not difficult. As promised yesterday, it combines Bunches of Love with Love Note, which only shows up in "SENDING." Tomorrow I'll start featuring more of the Love Note set.

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

Again, this wasn't technical, but you do need to have patience to cut out the top portion. I stamped it as the set was designed, with some images left open. I also took advantage of the precise cutting to give myself a wider border around "love" than in yesterday's card. Against the charcoal background here, it needed some white space.

My cruise is winding down. We should be in Nuremburg, Germany by now. I'm probably looking forward to sleeping in my own bed but regretting that our time in Europe is coming to an end.

Until next time,

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Bunches of Love - 6

And now for something completely different...

How great is this? I simply took the longest sentiment, "thinking," mounted it on my acrylic block upside down, stamped it in five different colors (although I wish I'd done the lighter blue in a green), then stamped "hello" in black, cut it out, and glued it over the top. I think I'm going to make about eight of these. So fast, easy, and versatile.

Who knew this...

...could do that?

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

Tomorrow, I'm going to start pairing Bunches of Love with the Love Notes set. I hope you'll come back and see it.

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Bunches of Love - 5

Here's the third card combining Bunches of Love stamp set with Hello Pumpkin paper. (See previous two posts for more.)

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

Like yesterday's card, there's nothing too technical going on. I trimmed 3/4 of an inch off the left side of a top folding card base and glued my strip of Hello Pumpkin paper to the inside of the card.  After stamping the images, I connected the small flower and bud trio to the main image by wetting a small paintbrush, picking up some Willow ink from the lid, and drawing some mostly straight lines. That's about as techy as this gets. Oh...and wrapping some sewing thread around my fingers and securing it with the sentiments mounted on foam tape.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow for another card with Bunches of Love.

Until next time,

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Bunches of Love - 4

As promised yesterday, here's another card combining the new Bunches of Love stamp set with Hello Pumpkin paper. I've also added colored pencils to the mix.

There's nothing terribly technical about this card. I glued my Hello Pumpkin paper to the card base first, then stamped my row of sentiment on a separate piece of paper and glued it over the top. I stamped the main image from Bunches of Love in black, colored parts of it using dry Watercolor pencils, cut them out very close to the edge, then glued them down before mounting the center flower over the top with foam tape. Pretty straightforward but very eye-catching.

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

Back tomorrow with another card using almost identical supplies

Until next time,

Monday, September 3, 2018

Bunches of Love - 3

I'm not only in love with the new Bunches of Love stamp set but also the new Hello Pumpkin paper. I don't do much with Halloween, so the limited number of Halloween specific patterns combined with the large number of general patterns--including this awesome black and white print--makes the entire pack usable. You'll be seeing more of it combined with Bunches of Love in the next few days.

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

The only special techniques on this card were: 1) stamping the flowers and leaves in a light color (Peach and Mint) then adding the darker coordinating colors (Smoothie and Emerald) with a sponge dauber to create shading, and 2) adding water to ink squeezed into the lids of both Emerald and Smoothie, picking up the watered-down ink with a paintbrush, then flicking the colored ink over the image.

I'm still on my cruise, but I've scheduled another card for tomorrow. I hope to see you then.

Until next time,

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Bunches of Love - 2

For my second card with the new Bunches of Love set, I wanted to do something completely different than yesterday's card. I love the versatility of this set!!

Here, I used just the floral "filler" stamps and left off the outline. It was a very simple card to make, which is the best kind!

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

The only thing I didn't get from the new catalog is the white sequins.

I'm still cruising, but come back tomorrow for another card using this amazing new stamp set. And, if you'll let me be pushy for just a moment, let me say you should order this stamp set now. By the time it arrives, you'll have lots of ideas about how to use it.

Until next time,

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Bunches of Love - 1

Welcome to the new Holiday Expressions from Close to My Heart. As always, there are things I can do without and things I was losing sleep over until they were in my hot, little hands. The new "Bunches of Love" set is in the latter category. I couldn't stop playing with it.

The photography doesn't do this justice. The colors are Ballerina, Glacier, Linen and Black. The bottom border of paper is from the new Boutique collection. It's a gorgeous paper suite, and my favorite pattern is this soft watercolor stripe pattern. Soooo pretty. I accented it with Black Shimmer trim.

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

As this post goes live, I'm enjoying a European cruise down the Danube River. It's the first "grown up" vacation my husband and I have taken. We're going with his sister and brother-in-law. I can't wait to show you the pictures...probably in scrapbook pages. If I get the chance, I'll post a few shots here but, I'm tellin' ya now, I'm going to spend as much time as possible enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

I have posts scheduled to go up once a day while I'm gone, so I hope you'll come back tomorrow to see what else I've created with this amazing new set.

Until next time,

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Altered Basic Fundamentals

Last night, as I was working through the process of getting ready for the new CTMH products releasing September 1, I was putting away the Basic Fundamentals paper and suddenly had an idea...coloring the flowers on the pattern with the Nutmeg background. I'm really happy with the result.

I used Copic markers, but the ShinHans sold by CTMH would work just as well. I did both a yellow and pink version just because I was enjoying playing with the technique. On the yellow version, I used three colors, yellow, orange, and red. On the pink, I only used two shades of pink. I used the same green marker for the leaves and stems on both.

The sentiment was created using the Artbooking Cricut Cartridge. I typed in the word, ungrouped the letters, moved them until they were touching (except for the "B"), then welded the letters together.

I didn't want to cover up my pretty coloring, so I glued my sentiment to Vellum Paper cut to 4.25 x 3. I then glued the vellum to the background paper only behind the sentiment. Glue shows through, so you need to hide it. The chisel tip of the Dual Action Glue Pen works great for this.

Here are both cards individually:

The nice thing about doing the coloring on this paper is that you don't need to be precise. The dark background hides all the smudges.

Now the sad news is that, if you don't already have this paper, you're out of luck. Supplies have run out. The new catalog goes live in five days, so some products are sold out and others are running low on quantity. However, the good news is that there are some really great deals in the Clearance section, so be sure you check that out while you're shopping. And don't forget about the promotional items which are also retiring August 31: Here's to You  and the stamp of the month, which is only $5 with a qualifying purchase.

I have been playing in my craft room with some of the new goodies and have lots of cards to share with you. Can't wait for you to see the new yumminess!

Until next time,

Saturday, August 25, 2018

CTMH Documented with MFT Sunshine Die

Sooo...I made a really fun card for my friend then made this one with the leftovers. I just forgot to photograph the original card. Oops!

Anyway, I used Documented paper from CTMH (leftovers from this layout) and die cuts from My Favorite things.

I love when I can use up scraps. Remember, this paper pack retires at the end of the month so order now before they are gone.

Until next time,

Friday, August 17, 2018

Documented All-Occassion Card

We are only two weeks away from the end of the Close To My Heart catalog year. Lots of pretties are retiring, one of which is the Documented suite of products. My rule for purchasing stamps which are designed to go with a paper is that I have to have lots of ideas for using them without the coordinating paper. The Documented - Cardmaking stamp set is one of those.

For this simple card, I stamped the background image in Saffron twice, using a mask on the top left one before stamping the bottom right one. The hearts are in Ruby and the sentiment in Black. I stamped the flower in Black on a separate piece of paper, colored with markers, then cut it out right along the edge with Micro-tip Scissors. This could easily have been a one-layer card if I'd stamped the flower first, masked it off, then stamped the background. I just don't like having the coloring bleed through to the back side of my card.

Here's the supply list (with links) for your shopping convenience:
(NOTE: Items with an * are retiring in two weeks)

I love the clean and simple look of this "all-occasion" card. If you want a couple more ideas using this stamp set, click here and here. The second card, "Bad Influence," ranks as one of my top ten cards of the year...maybe of all the ones I've ever made.

Now I really need to buckle down and get some writing done. I had a couple of good days followed by a couple of not so good days. Gotta get my word count up!

Until next time,

Monday, August 13, 2018

Feminine Happy Birthday

I've been playing around with my It's Your Day Thin Cut cover plate, trying to utilize bits and pieces of it in different ways.

I'm thrilled with how this card came out. It features the Beautiful Friendship paper pack. The stamped sentiment is a combination of stamp sets: Central Park-Cardmaking (also featured on this post and this one) and the July Stamp of the Month (no longer available for purchase). I also used several stitched dies from My Favorite Things.

Here's the image of the It's Your Day Thin Cut. To create the centerpiece of this card, I cut just the bottom out of White Daisy cardstock. There are a few ways you can do this: one is to only run the die part of the way through the machine before reversing your crank to roll it back out; two is to shift your top plate so it only covers the part of your image that you want and run it through your machine. After I'd done that, I layered both the candles and the patterned paper from Beautiful Friendship together and ran both layers through with the Oval Stitched die cut from MFT. I was able to do that only because the cardstock and patterned paper are relatively lightweight. If you have thicker cardstock, you'll need to run each image through individually then glue them. (Another option would be to run just your background piece through the oval frame, glue the line of candles over the cut oval, then use scissors to trim off the excess. This option doesn't give you the stitched line across the bottom, but it works.)

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

Please note that anything with an * beside it retires at the end of the month when we get a WHOLE NEW CATALOG!!

Yes, I'm a wee bit excited about that. In fact, I'm so excited about it I've gotten very little work done on my day job. This story is NOT going to write itself, and my deadline is starting to feel impossible. So...I really need to get up to my office instead of standing by the door waiting for my box of new products to arrive. Really. But one of the many perks of being a consultant is that I get to see the new catalog and order products before they become available to the rest of the world. I love that!

Okay...okay. I'm going upstairs. Really.

Until next time,

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Get Well Teapot with Flower Market Cartridge

I'm in need of get well cards, so I sat down today and played with Flower Market, transforming the image that's in the cartridge until it looked more realistic to my eye.

If you own this cartridge, here's the Design Space file. Please note, as this was a home made job, things don't line up exactly. Also, after I cut the background, I decided the inner square needed to be smaller. I've adjusted that on the DS file, but I used the one I cut first on this card as it wasn't bad enough to start over.

I took advantage of the dual tone cardstock here, using the lighter side for the teapot and the darker side for the rim around the spout, the ball on top, and the frame.

One quick tip for the tag: tie the thread around the tag, turn the teapot base over, secure the thread behind with tape, and then glue down the base. Yeah...ask me why I know that's a good idea. LOL! Once the teapot was assembled and the frame was stamped and glued to the card base, I used foam tape to give the teapot some dimension.

I'm really going to miss the Short & Sweet stamp set. Those tiny sentiments are perfect for all sorts of occasions.

Here's the supply list (* indicates retiring at the end of the month):
*Documented Workshop Your Way (includes stickers and gems)
Linen Paper
Eggplant ink
Pebble ink
Flower Market Cricut Cartridge ("Laughter" sentiment and dotted background stamps are part of this collection)
*Short and Sweet stamp set
3D Foam tape

I liked this card so well, I made two more of them. For the ones below, I used a combination of CTMH products and MFT products.

This card also uses the Documented Paper Pack but the background frame is in Pebble paper. I hand cut the paper at the top of the tea pot and used a Copic marker to color the knob in a cool gray. The steam coming out of the teapot is from a retired CTMH stamp set called "Wonderland." I love it when those sets I've been hanging onto for years come in handy. It justifies my inability to part with them.

The sentiments on this card and the one below come from MFT. The set is called "Get Well Wishes." I also used MFT's "Inside and Outside" stitched frames to create the background frame.

For this card, it was back to Linen cardstock and retired Gimme Some Sugar paper. I created the shading with Copic markers and added my sentiment with a banner made using MFTs Stitched Fishtail dies.

I know...lots of the same design, but one can never have too many get well cards!

In writing news, I had a couple good days and a couple unproductive ones. I'm not sure why, but the final book in this series is killing me. Oh...I do know why. Because we have to say good-bye to these characters we've come to love. **Sigh**

Until next time,

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Another New Home Card with CTMH Central Park-Cardmaking

As promised yesterday, here's another card using Central Park-Cardmaking for a new home card. This one also uses the Artistry cartridge, which is my all-time favorite, and yet I sometimes forget about how many great images are on these cartridges because I'm having too much fun with stamped images.

My friend moved into a townhome, so I wanted to give the card a city feel. I sized the row of houses to 5.5" wide and then started messing with it. The image comes with two cut out hearts, but I only wanted one...and not on either of the houses pre-programed into the image. I selected the image, clicked on the Contour button, and filled in the hearts. I then copied and pasted the image twice, using the Flip button on one of them. After selecting the Shapes feature, I added a heart, sized it, and sliced it into the townhome shaped image on the right. After I cut the rows from three different papers (patterned ones from Central Park Paper), I backed the cut-out heart with Red Glitter Paper. Of course, once I was done fussing with all of that, I realized I could have just cut a heart from the glitter paper and glued it on top.

Yeah, sometimes I over-complicate things.

Anyway...I then die-cut the sunny yellow background (also from Central Park Paper) using MFT stitched frames. I backed the yellow with Pacifica cardstock cut 1/8 inch larger than the yellow then glued my three rows of houses down. The final step was stamping the half-circle sentiment from Central Park-Cardmaking in Pacifica ink. I then glued all of it to my card base.

To finish it off, I stamped "New HOME" on the inside using Pacifica ink.

Here's the supply list (with embedded shopping links):
Isn't that just so bright and cheerful?  I think my friend will get a smile out of it.

Off to do more writing. My morning was nuts with doctor appointments. Nothing serious, just that routine stuff we women have to put up with annually. Yeah...

Until next time,

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Home is Where the Heart Is Cards using CTMH Central Park

We are only a few weeks away from a new CTMH catalog, which means lots of great products are retiring soon. One of my favorites is the Central Park-Cardmaking stamp set because, as an Army wife, lots of my friends move lots of times. And plenty of other friends move, too. I've been making "new home" cards like crazy. I'll be featuring them over the next few days. Here's the first one:

This card features the Central Park Paper Pack. I cut the background to 4.25 x 4 and attached Black and Gold Ribbon to the bottom before gluing it to the card base. I always tie my knot loosely at first then pull it tight once I'm sure it's in the right place. I then used the largest Stitched Heart Thin Cut with the red paper from Central Park and glued it down a little left of center. I stamped the house in Black ink on a separate piece of white cardstock, colored it, and fussy cut it out using Micro-tip Scissors. This stamp set comes with coordinating Thin Cuts if you prefer. I foam mounted the house next to the heart. Next, I stamped the sentiment in Black and colored it with two shades of red, blending them for an ombre look.

Here's a list of supplies that link to my website for your shopping convenience:
Please note, I used Copic Markers rather than ShinHans because I invested in Copics before CTMH came out with the ShinHans. I've used my best guess for comparable colors, including the colorless blender which helps soften more intense colors.

In writing news, I've been making good progress on book three of the Montana Brides series. I sent off over forty pages to my critiquing group. We'll see how they like it.

Until next time,

Friday, August 3, 2018

Live Your Story

The instant CTMH came out with the Documented Paper Pack, I started planning this layout. To finish it, I have to wait for the cover of book three (which I should be writing instead of scrapbooking, but...this is so much more FUN!).

One of the amazing things about being a published author is that I truly am living my story. Of course, these stories are written with my friend, Gina Welborn, so I'll be developing this picture to add to the page.

We had these joint head shots taken about a year ago. If you visit my author website, you'll see that I also had some individual shots taken at the same time. We spent about three hours in four different locations, and all of our favorites came from this one. Of course that might be because it was the only place blocking the famous Oklahoma wind. Some of our "bad" pictures were hilarious. Hair all over the place!

As for the layout, I used nothing but the Documented Workshop Your Way except for the pink hearts. I die cut those using the Stitched Hearts Thin Cuts. These will still be around come September, but the price is going up so get 'em fast. to write The Telegraph Proposal. It doesn't come out until 2019, but you can order both The Promise Bride (2018 Spur Award Winner for "Best Western Romance Novel") and pre-order The Kitchen Marriage which releases October 1 of this year. There are also two ebook novellas included in the series: Come Fly With Me (prequel to The Promise Bride) and To Catch a Bride (prequel to The Kitchen Marriage). Links to all these stories--and more--plus the link to my author page are along the right sidebar.

Until next time,
(who still giggles when she goes to Amazon and sees "Author" after her name)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Anniversary Card with CTMH July SOM - Highlight Reel

Tomorrow is the last day for the adorable July SOM, Highlight Reel. For this card, I've combined the dot border with a number of other sets (set to retire on Sept. 1, 2018)

The heart and "best" are from Colorful Texture stamped in Bashful and Charcoal. "Love" is from What Matters Most stamped in Pomegranate. "STORY" is from Documented-Scrapbooking and is also stamped in Charcoal ink. On the inside, I stamped "ever" from the Colorful Texture set. This set is the only one not retiring soon, but the price is going up so get it before September 1.

I realize it's a lot of stamp sets for one card, but part of the fun of having multiple sets is mixing and matching them to create a custom card. It's also really fun to play with the various fonts from different sets.

Off to get at least a half hour of writing done now that I've finished the synopsis. I feel so accomplished!

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Shadow Box Wedding Gift with Fresh Air Paper

My nephew got married about a month ago. I created a customized gift using their "Save the Date" postcard, CTMH Fresh Air paper, and a shadow box purchased at Michaels.

This was incredibly simple to put together. I glued Fresh Air paper directly to the base frame. The bumps from the rivets holding the metal thingies that rotate into the hole thingies (to hold the back onto the frame) were visible until I put the whole thing back in place. Then the extra wide frame hid them. (I hope that makes sense.) I added White Burlap Ribbon along the seam between the wood grain and tree patterned paper and a short banner or more Fresh Air paper before putting the framed picture over the top. I then made a bow and adhered it, with lots of dimension in both the bow and tails, using Liquid Glass. Everything went into the frame, then I added the cork letters over the top (retired product) and colored them with a Copic marker to make it darker.

I love how the Fresh Air paper compliments the background of their photo which was taken on the Oregon Coast. That paper retires at the end of August. It's been a huge seller, so be sure to get yours before it's gone!

I'm flying to Denver today to participate in the Romance Writers of America annual conference. It's my first time going and I'm a little nervous. Check that...I'm overwhelmed. That seems to be my mode of operation these days. I'll try to post some pictures of the conference if I have time to breath between sessions.

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Anniversary Card Using "Highlight Reel" - July Stamp of the Month

I've been having fun with this month's exclusive stamp set, Highlight Reel, from CTMH. Although designed more for scrapbooking than cardmaking, I love to stretch my stamps for both. Here's an anniversary card I made using this set:

This card went to my daughter and son-in-law. My daughter loved the movie UP, and she sent a text to say how much she liked this card when it arrived.

A number of products will be retiring soon, which also means they won't be available if supplies run out before September 1 when the current Seasonal and Annual catalogs expire. I've noted these products with an asterisks (*) in the supply list below.

Let me plug one in particular: this year's color of the year, Bashful (used on the lines of hearts above). I've seen next year's catalog already and the new color of the years is another pink called Sugar Plum. It's very pretty. I'll certainly purchase it. But it's not Bashful which, in my opinion. is the prettiest pink CTMH has come out with in the twenty-five plus years I've been either a customer or consultant. I was very much hoping they would add it to the regular line but it didn't happen. **Sadness** I'm stocking up on paper, re-inker, and glitter paper so I never run out!! Here are the other colors which will be retiring in case you need to stock up on them:

While we're on the subject of the new catalog, here's some more important news: Prices are going up. Not much - only a dollar on most items - and not unexpectedly after the number of years prices have held firm.

While you are stocking up on those items, be sure to take advantage of Stampaganza! This promotion is a buy two, get one of equal or lesser value free on stamp sets. Any stamp set! But it also includes the alphabet and number "Solo" sets which retired a number of years ago and have been brought back for this month only.

Okay...that's enough news for the day. I need to get up to my office and return to writing book three of the Montana Brides series. I think I finally - FINALLY - figured out the beginning.

Until next time,

Shopping List:
July SOM: Highlight Reel
Happiness Lives Here - retired (no shopping link)
*Momento Black Ink
Charcoal Ink
*Adventure Fundamental Paper
MFT Wonky Stitch die cuts
Various Copic Markers (no shopping link)