Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mask-erade Day Five

Today I did three smart things.  It's rare for me to do one, so three deserves special recognition.  Don't worry, I'll point them out to you as we go along.  Wouldn't want you to miss my moments!

The technique for Mask-erade today is using clear embossing powder as a mask.  I generally call this "emboss resist" but six of one, half dozen of the other.

I followed Lauren's video this time and created a background on a tag.  The background squiggle stamp is actually a candle from a retired CTMH set called "Candlelight."  I used a manila tag and stamped with Honey, Sunset, Smoothie, and Cranberry.  Once I had the background done, I did smart thing number one: I stamped the balloon strings before the balloons.  Those stamps are from CTMH Artiste's Cricut collection.  The balloon actually has polka dots on it.  Since I wanted a smooth image, I turned the stamp over and used the back side.  (And I'm not even counting that as smart thing number two!)

Once my balloons were embossed, I started sponging over top with several layers of ink.  I started with Tim Holtz's Wild Honey Distress ink.  It's the only distress ink I own.  If I lay it down first, I can still get some of the water reaction even with regular dye inks layered over top.  I used all of the background ink colors, starting with the lightest. I could have gone straight to the Smoothie and Cranberry, but I didn't know how much coverage I'd need before my balloons stood out well.  After spritzing and letting it dry, I added Barn Red ink around the edges.

While the tag dried, I did smart thing number two: I washed my hands before cutting the card base.  You have no idea how many times I've not done this and smeared my cardstock.  Smart thing number three happened when I brought my crisp, white card base over to where I'd done my sponging on the tag.  I turned my scratch paper over so none of the ink would transfer to the back of the card.  Again, this doesn't happen often.  Most of the time I end up cutting down my card front into a panel and mounting it over a new card base.

The sentiment comes from another CTMH set called "It's Your Day."  I laid my tag on the card, stamped "BIRTHDAY!" over both layers lining up the space between the "R" and the "T"  so I wouldn't have a gap. The tag was then popped up on a single layer of foam mounting tape.  "happy" was black embossed on scratch paper, cut, and attached with a double layer of foam mounting tape after the waxy flax was strung and knotted.

BTW, did you know that wax-coated thread is sold in the jewelry-making isle at Hobby Lobby?  I didn't.  I found it while wandering the isles to say good-bye to HL.  (There isn't one in Alaska. **Sigh**)

Well, folks, it's just about time to pack up the craft room.  I spent today taking pictures and doing inventory.  I've not done it for any other move.  There's just something about an "overseas" move that makes me more nervous than normal.  

I'm not sure when I'll be back to post something here.  I hope you'll join me over at my author page, though, as I'll be posting pictures from our big road trip.

Until next time,

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mask-erade Day Three

Today's schedule has gone something like this...
  1. Work out at gym
  2. Come home and make breakfast
  3. Watch "Mask-erade Day Three" video's while eating and cooling down
  4. Squiggle rubber-cement glue randomly over a square of watercolor paper
  5. Shower and get dressed
  6. Paint watercolor square
  7. Read hubby's tribute for memorial service tomorrow
  8. Do first half of final edits on "Cowboy Competition"
  9. Rub glue from watercolor square and create card
  10. Make custard
  11. Photograph card
  12. Throw enough make-up on to not scare small children and go on post for quartet rehearsal and grocery shopping
  13. Put grocery's away while eating custard
  14. Do last half of final edits on "Cowboy Competition" and submit along with a new bio to publisher
  15. Edit photo of card
  16. Write blog post
And if you've made it this far, I hope the card is worth it!

The video's in today's lessons talked about managing the stray strings of rubber cement when you use it as a liquid mask.  I thought I'd embrace the strings. 

Sentiment is from CTMH stamped in Momento Tuxedo Black.  The finished card is 4.25x4.25.

Can't wait to see tomorrow's videos!

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Maskerade - Day 2

If you're looking for my weekly "Writer's World Wednesday" post, please head over to my author page at  For those here for Mask-erade Day 2, I pretty much copied Shari Carroll's card with this one.

The music background stamp is from Stampin' Up! The pattern on the small balloon and "birthday" are CTMH as is the "happy" die cut (Artbooking Cricut cartridge, p. 86).  I created the mask and matching balloon using CTMH's Artiste Cricut cartridge (p.70).  I cut the mask from typing paper, and you can see along the left side and bottom of the red balloon that I didn't quite get it to the edge.  To rescue it, I sponged with Cranberry ink over top.  My intent was to do use the red on the smaller balloon, but I actually think this works better.  However, to give the small balloon a little extra "oomph", I embossed clear ink over top.

To give my card base vs. top panel a little more definition, I sponge brayered Whisper ink over top of the notes.

This card is for a 90th birthday. The recipient taught Jr. Church--which is what we called the program for wiggly kids held during regular service so parents got a break.  He and his wife, who passed away several years ago, were also my legal guardians while I was a minor.  I wanted a special card for him and knew today's lesson fit the bill.

Gotta run.  Packer is coming to estimate how many boxes they'll need to move us in a couple weeks, and I'm still in my workout clothes. Eeep!

Until next time,

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mask-erade Day One

To celebrate finishing my novella before deadline, I signed up for the "Mask-erade" Online Card Class which started today.  I decided to create a reverse "Bokeh" effect background for this birthday card.

The stamps are from Verve "Small Packages" colored with Prismacolor pencils (cupcakes) and CTMH "Happy to be Friends" (sentiment); the inks are CTMH in Canary (current) and Cherub Pink (retired).  I created a mask by cutting various sizes of circles using my Cricut in thick vellum--thick so it wouldn't tear, vellum so I could see to overlap.  The ribbon was white; I used Copic E57 to color it.  I used the same marker around the edges of the cupcakes to give a solid edge.

With our move to Alaska in a couple weeks, I'm attempting to stock enough birthday and anniversary cards to get me through September. It comes on the TO DO list under "things only a card making addict will understand."  I colored and cut lots of these cupcakes in anticipation as you can see from yesterday's post.

So...with everything else going on, taking this class is actually helping me pack.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Until next time,

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sweet First Birthday

Today is a strange day.  It's Memorial Day, and my husband is planning a service for one of his soldiers.  It's a holiday, and I'm attending a first birthday party for the precious daughter of my "Grace Based Parenting" class administrator.

Such is the life of a chaplain/pastor's family. We weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.

I wanted to  make a special card for the birthday celebration.  Using this week's Mojo Monday Sketch, I came up with this:

The paper is retired CTMH "Cherub Pink," and the stamps are from Verve "Small Packages" colored with Prismacolor pencils.  I stamped the images in Momento Rich Cocoa.

My original idea was to let the doily hang over the edge because I'll get to hand-deliver this card.  In the end, I liked the folded over version better because it relegates the doily to the background instead of taking too much attention from the cupcakes.  I kept the accents to stitching and a dab of glitter glue on the candle for the same reason.

Sweet birthday wishes for a sweet little one.

Until next time,

Saturday, May 23, 2015

OWH - Memorial Day "Finishing Strong" Blog Hop

Operation Write Home is saying good-bye.  I'm sad, but it's a good thing.  You can read why by clicking the banner above. 

For this card, I white embossed the image from "Give a Lift" by CTMH over watercolor paper.  I used actual watercolor paints in blue, red, brown, and green. The edges of both the oval and blue background were sponged in Momento Rich Cocoa. To finish, I added lots of little pearls in various sizes around the flowers.

And so I add another fond farewell to my ever-growing list.  Thanks, OWH, for all you've done to support the military.  You've spread smiles around the globe, touching hearts and strengthening bonds through long separations.  The world is forever a better place because you cared.

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Writer's World Wednesday - Moving Day

It's moving day. Not to Alaska quite yet, but of Writer's World Wednesday to it's new home over at

Yes...I now have a web page. Because I'm an author. Which still surprises me!

I'll remind you to head over there for the next few weeks.  It's still a work in progress, and I'm not sure how to add followers so you get notifications when a new post goes up.

I'll figure it out.

This blog will stay active with cards and other papercrafting projects.  It's my therapy after wrestling with character motivations and thematic elements. And because I have almost 250 followers between Blogger and Google+. Which completely surprises me!!

Until next time,

Saturday, May 16, 2015

More Goodbye Cards

I have more goodbyes to say, so that means another set of cards.  This time I used Freshly Made Sketches #186.

I embossed the flower from CTMH "Wavy Blooms" white on white then watercolored . Pretty straightforward, but I think it turned out so classy looking...which is great because the woman they are for is the definition of classy!

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Writer's World Wednesday - Cowboy Competition

Well, folks, it's done!  "Cowboy Competition" is written and off to my critiquing partners for polishing before submission to my publisher.  But, in the meantime, here's a picture of the cover for this upcoming collection.

I love the juxtaposition of manly-man cowboys with pink, flowers, and lace. 

The other thing I love is that last name listed...Jamie Wright.  This is her first publication.  It's been fun to watch her squeal with joy over each level of the publication process the way I did with The Homestead Brides Collection.

I'm still squealing plenty, but there's just something extra special about the first time you see your name in print. 

This story has been a real struggle.  Like pulling teeth the entire time.  Once I wrote the last line, it very much felt like I'd lost 100lbs.  I've been smiling since Monday night.  I'm giving myself the rest of this week to concentrate on moving details and several "good-bye" functions.  I should have edits back by Friday (hopefully, they don't tell me it needs a total rewrite like they did with "Waiting on a Promise"), and then it's back to the grindstone.

In the meantime, I put together another proposal for a similar collection.  I should hear by the end of June if my story idea was accepted.

And such is the life of an author. Finish one; hope to sell the another.

Until next time,

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"Hello" for a Goodbye

My husband's commander and his wife are what's called "dual military." Basically, it means both of them are in the army.  He got here in June of last year; she didn't come until October.  She just got a new position which requires her to deploy soon; he will stay here to finish out his command.

Yep...that's how "dual military" folks roll.

I wanted to say good-bye to her with a set of cards she can use to say hello to folks back home.  I (mostly) used the this week's CAS(E) this Sketch for this:

All supplies are CTMH except where noted
  • Stamps: Shower Flowers, Happy Mail, Artfully Sent
  • Ink: Buttercup, Sorbet, Pixie, Garden Green, Topiary, Gypsy
  • Accessories: Glitter Glue (Studio G), Copic B000
  • Tools: Foam Tape, Micro-tip Scissors, Paint Brush, Spray Mister
  • Paper: I'm gonna let you CTMH folks guess on that one (but I'll tell you in a minute)
I stamped the two large flowers in Buttercup and Pixie, rolled the edges in Sorbet, and spritzed them with water to mix the two before stamping them.  I didn't bother doing the spritzing with the leaves.

Are you ready for that paper?  It's the packaging that comes in the stamp sets!  Because, if you follow me at all, you know I'm a paper hog.

My plan was to put the banner up with the flowers to more closely follow the sketch, but it just didn't go.  So...that's how I roll.

Until next time,

Friday, May 8, 2015

Making Tracks

It's that time of year again...PCS season.  I love that the army calls moving from here to there every three years a Permanent Change of Station.  There's nothing permanent about it, but I digress.

My husband has been fortunate to have an outstanding assistant here.  A bright young man, he was offered a chance to attend West Point but turned it down because he wants to become a game warden.  By combining sketch #396 from Mojo Monday and the color challenge from Color My Heart, I came up with this card to send him on his way.

Everything is CTMH, although most of the stamps are retired. The only current stamps are the woodgrain and arrows on the longer banner which come from the "Pathfinding Workshop on the Go." Incorporating the Hollyhock color was quite a challenge on a manly-man card.  I toned it down by sponging over the top with the Chocolate.  I was a little worried that hubby might veto it, but he gave the thumbs up sign.  Whew!

To make the sentiment stand out better, I went over it with Liquid Glass. I feels like the card still need something, but my usual accessories of ribbons, sequins, sewing, or pearls don't seem to be what's required.  If anyone has a bright idea, please share!  (Update:  After Papercraftingprincess's brilliant comment, here's version two:)

I like it better, but feel free to vote on your favorite.

In other news, I'm only 2500 words away from finishing my novella.  I was hoping to have it done today, but we have a luncheon and a dinner engagement to start saying our good-byes.  Like I said, it's that time of year!

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Writer's World Wednesday - Word Count

17,549 words written; about 2500 left to go.  Need to get it done before Friday so I can start concentrating on purging until we can fit in 1000 sq. feet less space.

Going dark!

Until next time,

Friday, May 1, 2015


A couple weeks ago I decided that, once we get to Alaska, I'm going on a craft-buying fast.  Which, of course, meant I went on a bit of a splurge in the past few days.  One of the things I bought (on sale, so it hardly counts, right?) was the "Poppy" embossing folder from Anna Griffin.  It was the perfect thing to use for the CAS on Sunday "White" challenge.

I inked the folder with Crème Brulee from CTMH before running the paper through my Cuttlebug.  When it came out, the color was more intense than I wanted, so I painted over the top with pearl paint.  Pretty happy with how it turned out, though the picture doesn't do it justice. 

Isn't the pattern lovely?  On sale, people. On sale!

Until next time,