Thursday, July 21, 2016

Seeing Stars

My sister's birthday is July 4th. When I first started making cards, I always made her a red, white, and blue card that doubled as an Independence Day one.  A few years ago, I decided to go against that idea and make her birthday cards with no patriotic connection.  This year, because Blog Hops with Heart chose "Seeing Stars" as their theme, I decided to edge my way back toward a bit of patriotism without being overt.

Since I've got four writing deadlines in four months between July and October, I'm stealing inspiration wherever I can find it.  This card came from the second card shown in this blog post. I used three different CTMH Cricut cartridges to create the tag, star, "happy" and a stencil for the background:
  • "happy" - Artbooking
  • tag and silver star - Art Philosophy
  • star background - Artistry
If you own all three of these cartridges, you can use my DS file which I've linked for you here.

Because I want to use the stencil over and over, I cut it from thin plastic.  Someone posted the suggestion to purchase cheap, plastic dividers for notebooks when school supplies went on sale. I don't remember who that person is, but she's a genius!!  And I think school supplies are either already on sale or about to be, so stock up. When you cut, set your pressure for "cardstock" and do a trial run. If it doesn't cut all the way through, dial up your pressure a bit and try again. I have an Explore machine and set my dial between "cardstock" and "fabric."

Here are the other CTMH supplies I used:
  • Paper: "Zoe" paper pack, Sorbet cardstock (comes in "Zoe"), Black and Gray Glitter paper pack
  • Ink: Black and Glacier
  • Stamps: "Finding the Words" (Birthday)
  • Accessories: Glacier Thick Twine, Grey Enamel Gems (includes black, white, and grey gems in three sizes), Round Sponge
All these products are currently available, but most of them retire on August 1.

The only non-CTMH thing is the ribbon.  I can't remember where it came from because, frankly, I buy ribbon and hoard it for years.

My sister loved the card. Either that or she loved that I asked her to be my "back up" in case my husband can't accompany me on the trip I won to New York City. I told her she only got the spot if she promised not to pray for any calamity to overtake hubby. Of course, she immediately started texting me with small, easily recovered from calamities: vertigo, minor ear infection, sprained ankle...

Yeah...not so sure she was a good choice!

You, however, can make a good choice by continuing along this hop. Your next stop is Stephanie's blog. If you get lost along the way, you can always go to Kelly's blog (the one directly before me and our host this month) for a complete list of all the participants.

Yes, friends, make good choices!

Until next time,

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Note for Monday Mojo

It's time to get ready for church, but I can't resist popping in to show you a card I made using this week's Monday Mojo sketch.

A package of crafty goodness in the form of stitched die cuts from My Favorite Things arrived in my mailbox yesterday, so I spent the day playing. I started by pulling out one of my favorite stamp sets, "Take Note" from Verve.

I began by embossing the two envelopes in clear powder. I did a wash of color over my entire area then spent a long time deepening the color around the envelopes with more and more blue then a bit of black in the corners. Once that was done, I flicked some color over the entire panel and set is aside to dry (my least favorite part of making any card).

After cutting the fishtail banner (MFT Diecut) in Heavenly Blue cardstock (retired CTMH), I stamped the sentiment (Verve "Take Note") in Pacifica ink (CTMH).  Once the watercolor panel was dry, I used two more MFT Diecuts - "Inside&Out" Circles and "Blueprints 21" (4x5.25 rectangle).  I glued the watercolor panel to a 4.25x5.5 panel of Heavenly Blue cardstock, wrapped the sentiment banner around the entire cardfront, then glued everything to my cardbase.

I accented with some white sequins and a red glittery heart that I toned down with a dark blue-violet Copic marker.

Time for church!

Until next time,

Friday, July 15, 2016

Love Always

Sometimes writing slumps need a jumpstart with a creative endeavor that doesn't require crafting sentences or keeping character motivations consistent.  At least that's what I'm telling myself. It's also a great way to get an anniversary card made for my sister and brother-in-law.

I used Altenew's "Beautiful Day" and "Peony Bouquet" for the flowers and CTMH's "Mr. & Mrs." for the sentiment. To create the gold frame, I used MFT's Inside & Out Rectangle Stitched Frames STAX on some extra shiny gold paper I've had for so many years, I'm not sure where I got it.  The stick pins are retired from CTMH, and the sequins were ordered through MFT but I believe are "Pretty Pink Posh."  I used Copic markers to add shading to the poppy images, the yellow berries, and to color leaves.

I'm entering this in Altenew's July "Wedding" challenge, although I added a few touches of blue to the color scheme. I'm enjoying this monthly challenge now that I have some of these gorgeous stamp sets in my crafty stash.  Sure wish I could play with them a little more these days, but...

I really do need to barricade myself in my office and get some editing done.

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Alaska Wild

Heart 2 Heart has a fun challenge this week: Throwback. Since we are welcoming a new commander to Alaska this month, I thought I'd pull out "Unis the Moose" from way back.

I started by stamping another oldie-but-goodie "Pine Trees" in Topiary, Flaxen, and Ponderosa Pine. Then I sponged the same colors on the ground and stamped "Grass Cluster" (another old stamp image) in Flaxen and second generation Topiary. The sky was sponged with Glacier ink.  Appropriate for Alaska, don't you think? 

When the scenic background was done, I used MFT Inside & Out Stitched Rectangle STAX to die cut it down to a 3.25x4.5" panel.

The sentiment comes from "Wild Wonders," a baby-themed set that retired about a year ago. I stamped it in Momento Rich Cocoa using my MISTI so I could re-ink and stamp again several times to get a nice, crisp image.  I stamped it four times, but the difference between three and four wasn't really worth it.

I tied some twine around the bottom third of my die cut scene and foam mounted it to a 4x5.25 panel of white cardstock that was glued to a dark brown card base. I actually think the brown cardstock is old DOTS paper, but it's been so long now I forget exactly where it came from.

Unis was stamped in Momento Rich Cocoa ink and colored with Copic markers. I fussy cut her out and added lots of foam tape to the back being careful to leave empty patches for the twine to fit underneath Unis' legs. After she was mounted, I slipped an extra couple small bits of foam tape under her nose and antler where it extends past the scenic panel.

I'll be giving this to the new commander's wife along with a copy of my novella "Letters from Santa" that is set in nearby North Pole to welcome them to Fort Wainwright. With any luck, the moose that wanders through post every once in a while will make an appearance to offer her welcome, too.

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Love & Marriage

My brother and sister-in-law are celebrating their 25th Anniversary soon.  Their friends are throwing them a big party and sent out invitations using a wedding photo.  I decided to make it the focal point of my card.  Coincidentally, the colors of their wedding match this week's Color Throwdown.

To begin, I colored the flowers and leaves of the bouquet with Copic markers. Next, I die cut the photo using an MFT stitched frame. Using my MISTI, I stamped the ampersand with CTMH Tulip ink (retired) then stamped again with Versamark ink so I could emboss with Pearl powder.  I used an X-acto knife and scissors to cut the ampersand and then ran a red Copic marker around the edge.

After mounting both the photo and ampersand with foam tape, I once again used my MISTI to stamp the words in Momento Tuxedo Black.  The bow is CTMH Fern Thick Twine adhered with Liquid Glass...including how I shaped the tails so they stay artfully curved.

The card began as 5"x 7", but I cut it down until it's closer to 5"x 6".

I've been unusually busy with writing lately. One deadline met, three more to go before October. If you don't see me for long stretches of time, don't panic. (I'll be doing plenty of that all by myself!)

Until next time,