Friday, February 28, 2014

Shabby Chic Skylark

This week's challenge over at Color My Heart is to use the colors from the new CTMH paper packet "Skylark".  I put my card together and then saw the Heart2Heart: Shabby Chic challenge.  Love it when one card can do double duty.

Here's the supply list (everything in italics is CTMH):

Stamps: Holiday Tags (sentiment)
Paper: Skylark, Lagoon
Ink: Chocolate, Lagoon, Pear pigment
Accessories: Chocolate Woodgrain Washi, Lagoon Houndstooth Washi, white doily, Liquid Glass

Here's a close of the top right corner.  There was a touch of Pear color on the paper peeking out from under the doily at the bottom left of the card.  I decided it needed some companionship.  Actually, the artistic principle is to have each color represented more than once on your project.  I used a technique I learned from Online Card Classes and created circles using various things located on my desk.  The large, thin circle is the cap from a glue stick, the smaller, double circle is from a LePlume marker, and the tiny dots are from the handle of a thin paintbrush.  If you go back up to the full card picture and squint, you can see that I added a few dots with the paintbrush at the bottom left under the bit of Pear peeking out from under the doily.

I used Pear pigment ink to add the circles because I wanted them to "sit on top" of the paper much the same way a printed pattern does. 

The bird was actually cut from the patterned paper.  I then spruced him up a bit by sponging Chocolate along the edges and lightly over the top.  I then added light touches of Lagoon ink to add interest.  The secondary greenish/yellowish color is from the patterned paper.  Because the paper already had some color and I wanted the ink I added to "soak in" for a more blended look, I used the dye inks for this.

You can't see it in the picture, but I added a dot of Liquid Glass to the bird's eye.  I think I should have used a marker underneath to give the iris some deep color before I did that.  Too late now.  **Sigh**

See, you come here to see a card and get a lesson in the difference between pigment and dye inks.  This card is doing yeoman's duty today!

Until next time,

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Love Collage

Happy Thursday, everyone.  I'm here with my last Balloon Ride Workshop of the Go post for

I love, love, love the stamps in this WOTG set.  They lend themselves to the collage style which is very trendy.  I wanted to show you what can be done with just the stamps themselves.

Notice how both the side and bottom borders are at the 1/3 mark.  Then I piled on the collage where the two borders intersect.  The layers are pretty thick, so this is an extra postage or hand-deliver card.  I have a shower coming up next weekend, and I think this will bless the bride-to-be.

Until next time,

February special

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Retrosketch Thanks

Next weekend I have a bridal shower for the daughter of a dear friend.  The daughter's name just happens to be Becca, so you know I like her already.  Becca is marrying a military pilot so her wedding colors are yellow and navy...which just happens to be one of my favorite color combos.  So now I really like her!

I went looking for a good sketch to help me pull together some quick but beautiful cards she can use to write thank you notes.  Using retrosketches challenge #103, here's what I came up with:

The yellow cardstock was cut with CTMH Artiste (p. 56) with the center circle filled in.  The tag was cut from CTMH Art Philosophy (p. 60) then run through an embossing folder which has a break in the stripe pattern built into it (as opposed to running the top 2/3 of the tag through once then lining up the bottom third and running it through again).

I stamped the "thanks" in CTMH Outdoor Denim first, affixed the yellow circle and trimmed off the edges, glued down the navy polka dot ribbon, and added a crochet flower over top.   The sketch called for another circular shape at the top left of the tag, but I didn't want to add any more color.  White sequins to the rescue.  Really, I don't know what I did before sequins!!

I hope my friend's Becca likes what this Becca made for her.

Until next time,

P.S.  If anyone knows how to reinstate photos on my blog, I'd love to hear from you.  I deleted them off my phone, or so I thought.  It wasn't until all 800+ were gone that I realized I had deleted them from my blog, too.  I've restored a small portion of them, but I'm running out of Olympics to sit and watch while I do it.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Full of Wonder

Happy Thursday, everyone.  I'm here with my third CTMH Balloon Ride Workshop on the Go post for

I love the word "wonderful."  It literally means to be full of wonder.  What a fabulous way to live life!  It's one of the reasons why this particular WOTG is a favorite of mine.  The sentiment "You make life WONDERFUL!" is both beautiful and versatile.  Today I used it to create a gift bag.

Although it doesn't show well in the picture, I colored the word WONDERFUL with Creme Brulee and Blush to bring out the meaning of the word.  The scallop border was created by stamping the image in Juniper on a strip of white paper.  I handcut around the bottom edge to create the scallop, glued a zip-strip over top, then trimmed my white paper to leave about a 1/8 inch top border.

The sentiment is stamped in Cocoa over the die cut from Art Philosophy (p.55 at 2.25 inches).  I needed a strong contrast to the border behind.  I tried it in Creme Brulee, Juniper, and Saddle, but there wasn't enough of a contrast.  Plus the flower just looked odd, so Cocoa to the rescue.  LOVE that ink pad.  It's rescued me more times than I care to count.

The floral image at the bottom of the sentiment was colored with alcohol marker sets.

Tie a big bow, embellish with the Balloon Ride Assortment and Sparkles Clear Flourishes included in the WOTG, and you have a lovely gift made from a plain, brown sack.

Until next time,


February special

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Healer of Carthage

As I have mentioned before, I will sometimes offer to review books in exchange for a free copy.  I don't do it often because I tend to be highly critical and--let's face it--no one wants to get a lousy review.  I approach every book with a, "Go ahead, try to impress me," attitude.  Most of them don't.

I am delighted to say, however, that Lynne Gentry's debut novel, Healer of Carthage, impressed me.  It's the first book in her Carthage Chronicles series and is available for pre-order.

Not since Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series have I read anything that so transported me back to the early church and persecution under Roman rule.  This book is true to history and, therefore, not for the faint at heart.  While there is nothing graphic, it's certainly a PG-13.  The basic premise is a modern-day doctor falls through a time portal and ends up in the 3rd century just as a plague is breaking out.  I'm not usually a time-travel fan, but in this case it was very interesting to see the Roman world through current glasses.

I did not fall in love with the heroine right away. There were times when I wanted to reach through the pages and slap her upside the head for her selfishness, but she grows on you.  The hero, who is based off a historical figure, was a little flat but I liked him.  The side characters really shine.  The plot is fast-paced with layer upon layer of intrigue, crossed motivations that mess everything up, and a villain worth hating. 

This is a "clear your day" book.  Once you pick it up, you will not be able to put it down.

Until next time,

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sequins Birthday

This week at Color My Heart we are working with Sorbet, Blush, and Juniper.  I used some leftover flower cuts in two different sizes as well as a chipboard frame to bring you this:

Here's the supply list (anything in italics is CTMH):

  • Stamp sets: Holiday Tags, Distressed Backgrounds
  • Ink: Sorbet and Blush (dye ink); Juniper and White Daisy (pigment ink)
  • Accessories: Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge (p. 29), Sponge Daubers, sequins (adhered with Liquid Glass), Dimensional Elements-Framework (or you could use Irresistibles-Frames), white embroidery floss, and a white gel pen

The flowers are white.  I used Sponge Daubers to ink them to the desired color, went over the edges a smidgen more for definition, then stamped over top with one of the patterns from Distressed Backgrounds.  It's difficult to see in the picture, but the Blush flower has the very fine dotted pattern on it.  It makes it look like fabric.  I used pigment ink for the houndstooth pattern on the frame because I wanted thicker coverage. The stamp only went 2/3 of the way across the frame, but that was the effect I was after anyway.

I added the sequins and knot of embroidery floss to the flowers while I gave the Juniper pigment ink a chance to dry on the frame before handling it.  Once it was dry, I placed the frame on my kraft card base and used a pencil to lightly draw the inner circle.  I set the frame aside again and stamped the sentiment from Holiday Tags in White Daisy.  Using Liquid Glass, I adhered the frame and flowers onto the card and added three more sequins to the upper right corner of the frame.  Really, what did I do without sequins all these years???

The last touch was to draw a border using a white gel pen.  I'm partial to the "framed in" look on cards.  Most of the time I will cut my center panel to 4x5.25 and mount it onto a 4.25x5.5 card base.  This card, however, seemed to need a bit of white around the edges and I didn't want to triple mat...not because it would have looked bad but because it was just plain easier to draw the border.

If you don't have any Dimensional Elements, you can easily create this frame using the Art Philosophy cartridge and Cricut Craft Room.  Use the frame on p. 43 cut at 2.5 inches, then center a 1.5 inch circle (p. 21) inside the frame and cut.  If you want the thickness of chipboard, cut four of the same shape and glue them together.

I love the light feel of this card.  It's springy and airy and cheerful.  And, let's face it, all that sequins is enough to make a girl feel like a princess.

Until next time,

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Some Kind of Wonderful

Happy Thursday, everyone.  I'm here with my second CTMH Balloon Ride post for  Today I am working with just the paper and the stickers...which aren't stickers but chipboard punch outs.  Using the layout from page 76 of the CTMH Cricut Artbooking cartridge as a guide, I came up with this scrapbook page:

But it comes with a confession: I am a paper hog; I do not like to waste a single scrap.  So, when I saw the dimensions of the banner, I used a scrap piece of Twilight cardstock which looked awfully close.  (Although Twilight is not listed as a featured color with Balloon Ride, it coordinates perfectly.)  I laid it out very carefully on my cutting mat but was off by 1/4 inch.  Thus there are no points on my banner.  However, since they were symmetrical, I decided to go with it.  Gives it character, right?

Because the accessories are chipboard, there were tiny spots along the edges once they were punched out of the sheet.  They came off very easily with my sanding kit.

Artbooking isn't just for cutting.  The layouts can be used as guides for all kinds of projects if you are willing to think a little outside the box.

Until next time,

February special

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sweet Happy Valentine's Day

It has been a long time since I played along with any challenges.  This morning I needed a little creative time before I got started on my writing.  I combined two challenges, Mojo Monday #332 and H2H Hearts Galore, to bring you this:

Supplies in italics are CTMH.
  • Stamps: Holiday Tags, Sweet & Lovely (from Artbooking Cricut Bundle)
  • Paper: Lollydoodle (large heart), Ivy Lane (background panel)
  • Ink: Blush, Cotton Candy, White Daisy pigment, Slate, Tuxedo Black (Momento)
  • Accessories: Liquid Glass, Polysparkle embossing powder (retired), sequins, satin edge ribbon
I altered the sketch a bit by pulling my tag down and to the right.  I'm not sure why, but it looked better to me that way.

Here's a close up of the heart.  I originally stamped the floral heart in Cotton Candy then decided it needed some oomph.  I stamped it again with the White Daisy pigment ink and decided it needed a little more oomph so I quickly poured the Polysparkle embossing powder over the top.

The heart chain and background label were cut with Artbooking Cricut cartridge. I used direct to paper on the heart chain to get a deep shade of Cotton Candy, then stamped over top with black using the same floral heart.

The edges of the background panel and large heart were sponged with Blush to give them just a touch more definition. "Sweet" was also stamped in Blush, cut out, and glued down before stamping "Happy Valentine's Day" over the top of both.  I pressed pretty hard which is why there is a bit of a shadow line, but I prefer that to having a gap where the two pieces of paper overlap.

The sequins and ribbon tie were secured with Liquid Glass; the heart and label were popped up with foam mounting tape.  I used a double layer of foam tape on the left side of the heart to be sure it stayed the same height all the way across.

Well, enough procrastinating.  Time to get my rear in the writing chair.

Until next time,

Thursday, February 6, 2014

You Make Life Wonderful

Here's my first CTMH Balloon Ride Workshop on the Go post for  I wish you could see this paper in person; pictures don't do it justice.

I am planning a trip to Paris in May, and these papers will feature heavily when it comes time to scrapbook.  For now, I wanted to create a Valentine's Day card with a vintage feel.

The featured colors for Balloon Ride are Cashmere, Colonial White, Creme Brulee, Crystal Blue, Juniper, Saddle, Sky, and Sorbet. To finish this card, I added a touch of Sweet Leaf and Twilight.

The only stamps I used come from the WOTG.  I used a watercolor brush to add touches of color to the flower on the sentiment and to the heart on the postcard.  (Yes, I realize the postage stamp is in the wrong place.  Call it creative license.)  The bird was done by inking up in Twilight, stamping off, then doing a second-generation image on the patterned paper.

When I was laying this card out, something was off.  I fussed and fussed...and fussed some more.  It wasn't until I added the second mat of Crystal Blue behind the bottom layer of B&T paper that my eye became happy.  Sometimes more is just more, but sometimes more makes it all better.

Vintage isn't my normal style, but I'm really pleased with how this turned out.  I feel a little like Julie from the movie Julie and Julia when she says, "I know you aren't supposed to compliment your own cooking, but YUM."

Until next time,

February special