Monday, April 1, 2019

April SOM Blog Hop - Love So Sweet

Welcome to the April Stamp of the Month Blog Hop. You should have come from Gina's blog. As always, the hop is a circle so keep going until you get back to your first stop to take advantage of all the great inspiration.

This was my favorite SOM in the catalog. I loved everything - absolutely EVERYTHING - about it. So I made two cards for the hop, one featuring the butterflies and one featuring the flowers.

I layered the largest butterfly (in Sapphire ink) with the medium butterfly (in Lemon ink). So quick and easy! And that small diagonally striped line...LOVE it! You can't tell from the picture, but the background piece of Lemon was stamped with the branch and leaves in the center of the pictured set. It shows up better in real life.

Who says leaves have to be green? I forget when I first saw someone use an alternative color for leaves, but it's been a technique I've used over and over again. The only other technique I employed here was sponging Nectarine ink in the centers of the Lemon inked flowers. I really liked how that addition of color made the centers pop. I adore the fresh, vibrant colors of the So Much Happy paper.

Here's the supply list with shopping links for your convenience:
Next up is Haley's blog. Remember that this fabulous stamp set is only available this month, and that all the papers and most of the stamps from the current catalog are retiring at the end of April. There's a new, gorgeous catalog headed your way, but I wouldn't want you to regret not getting the items that are available now.

Until next time (which could be a while because I'm at a writer's conference for the next week then on the road to do house-hunting for our next military move--the third in two years),

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Anniversary Card with CTMH, Altenew, and MFT

If you've been around my blog at all, it's no secret that my three favorite stamp companies are Close to My Heart (CTMH), Altenew, and My Favorite Things (MFT). I used a combination of products to make a card for friends who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

All paper is from CTMH. I used a combination of old and new colors with Altenew's Rose Flurries 3D Die Set. Once the flowers were assembled, I added sparkle with both a clear and Bashful shimmer pens from CTMH. The "happy" comes from MFT, and "anniversary" is retired CTMH in Heather ink. The stitched frame is CTMH.

I absolutely LOVE how this came out. I made a whole bunch of these 3D flowers at a craft night last week, so you might be seeing more of them in the near future.

Until next time,

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Love Blossoms Blog Hop

Welcome to the Love Blossoms Blog Hop. You should have come from Miss Carrie's blog.

The instant CTMH came out with this promotion, those stamps were in my cart. I love the flowers; I love the sayings. Getting both together...oh yeah! When they arrived I couldn't stop playing, and a good thing too. My writing partner and I were runners up in the prestigious Spur Awards for Book 2 of our Montana Brides Inspirational Romance series. As I did last year when we won, I'm sending cards to both my writing partner and our editor to celebrate.

I decided to do white on white embossing over watercolor paper and then paint using ink squeezed into the lid of stamp pads. (You have to squeeze pretty hard or, alternately, you can use re-inker.)

Here's the first card I made:

And here's card #2:

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




Not listed is the X-acto Knife I used to cut out some of the internal spaces.

Now you're off to Darlys' blog. Be sure to hop all the way through for loads of inspiration using this fabulous set.

Until next time,

Monday, March 4, 2019

Win Books!!

I wanted to be sure those of you who follow my writing in addition to my paper crafting were aware of a giveaway sponsored by a blog I contribute to. The Write Nook ( is "The Place for Writers." We have Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts in addition to the blog (which is hosted by Kimberley Woodhouse because she and her daughter Kayla are the ones who started TWN).

We are looking to grow our presence on Instagram right now, so we're offering three levels of prizes. The grand prize is a book authored or co-authored by all four of the contributing authors, a t-shirt, and an edit. The great thing about the edit is that it's transferable. If you aren't a writer, you probably know someone who is. All four of us look over the pages and bring our expertise to bear. It's like getting four edits in one.

Click HERE to enter.

Until next time,

Friday, March 1, 2019

This Happened - March SOM Blog Hop

Welcome to the March Stamp of the Month Blog Hop using the stamp set This Happened.
You should have come from Brandi's blog. For my project, I combined the stamps with the So Much Happy paper suite to create this layout.

Here's a better look at the images that come in the stamp set.

I began my project by trimming out all the images from the cut apart sheet in the So Much  Happy paper pack. I'll admit it took a bit of time, but the Micro-tip Scissors we carry at CTMH were up to the task. I then stamped three images from This Happened in Sapphire ink onto various pieces of paper. It's difficult to see, so look closely at the cluster of embellishments on the bottom right of the layout. I trimmed out the small image from the cut apart sheet that includes a little heart and a blank place to write. Then I took out the stamp that says "today" and a place to fill in the date below it. I taped over "today," inked it with Sapphire, removed the tape, and carefully stamped the date portion into the blank space of the paper. On the left side of the layout, I used the "What Matters" stamp on a piece of yellow patterned paper included in So Much Happy. After stamping it in Sapphire, I cut the image into two pieces. By tucking the edges under the layer above it, it looks like one continuous piece.

Here's the supply list with links for your shopping convenience:
CTMH is running several great promotions this month as part of their year-long celebration of 35 years in the industry. The Stamp of the Month, This Happened, is only $5 with a $50 purchase and there's a BOGO sale on all the paper suites. Click here for details. Both of these specials are only available until the end of this month.

Now you are off to Krista's blog. Be sure to go all the way through the hop for lots of great ideas using this fun stamp set.

Until next time,

Monday, February 18, 2019

You Are Fabulous - Love Blossoms Card

My dear friend just came in at the top of the FamilyFiction poll for Inspirational Romance Authors. And to think...I stood by her in choir at American Christian Fiction Writers way back when she was just getting started. I wanted to send a pretty card to celebrate her success. I used the new Love Blossoms special set from CTMH.

Both the flower and the sentiment comes from this set. I stamped it in Pebble ink and used Copic markers to add color and shading.

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

I adore Karen Witemeyer and her stories. If you haven't heard of her and you enjoy historical romance with a dash of humor and enough suspense to keep you on your toes, I encourage you to discover why she's number one!

Until next time,

Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Little Writer News

The last two stories in the Montana Brides Inspirational Romance series are up for presale...and we got covers. One needs a tiny bit of work and the other is perfection. Here's the one that needs a little work...

Anywhere with You

Jakob Gunderson, the rejected brother from The Kitchen Marriage, finally gets to be the hero of his own story. The problem here is that Jakob is blond. Very definitely blond. We've contacted the publisher to have the cover changed but haven't seen an update yet.

This story is available for pre-order in ebook format only. It goes live on March 23.

The Telegraph Proposal
And here's the best cover yet. This is SO Yancey Palmer! The story is available for pre-order but, sorry, it doesn't release until almost November. We're still in edits.

For Gina and me, this series began in 2014. To have it coming to a close is bittersweet. We can't wait to share the final story with you but then we close the book (literally) on this group of characters we've come to love so well.


Okay, back to my regularly scheduled card making blog. Just had to share.

Until next time,

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Happy Gal-entines Day from Blog Hops with Heart

Welcome to the first Blog Hops with Heart of 2019. You should have come from Amie's blog, but the hop is a circle so just keep clicking through until you make it back to your first blog. I'm going to admit up front that I had no idea what "Gal-entines Day" was until we chose it for our theme. I don't watch "Parks & Rec" but apparently they either coined the term or used it in an episode. If anyone else doesn't know, it's so women can send cards to their gal-friends. I'm sending this one to a dear friend who made a four-hour trek here last weekend for my hubby's promotion ceremony where I immediately put her to work. She then came to my house and washed dishes while I sat at my kitchen table. I thought this darling polar bear and sentiment from the Hostess only set was perfect.

I went a little wild but I think it worked. For the bottom border, I cut it first with the fringe border then cut it again with the stitched scallop border. I cut my background tag from white cardstock, stamped it in Candy Apple then sponged Ballerina ink over the entire thing with a stronger concentration around the edges.

Here's the list of supplies with links for your shopping convenience:
The polar bear stamp set doesn't show up in the regular shopping list because it's a hostess rewards only set. The only non-CTMH thing was the sewing which I did on my trusty machine.

Now you're off to visit Katy's blog. We wish you all a happy Gal-entines and a happy Valentine's Day!

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Dandelion Wishes Card #2

Our whirlwind promotion ceremony and family Christmas has come and gone. Our kids made it safely back to their respective homes, and the house feels empty. The tree will come down, the Christmas decorations be put away, and a few Valentine decorations will go up before Thursday. And I need to send out birthday cards because, even though we might still be half-stuck in December, it's February for the rest of the world. Good thing I made a number of cards using the Dandelion Wishes set.

I love the simplicity of this stamp set. On this card, I combined the images with paper from the Feels Like Home collection and three different cuts from the Fancy Tags Thin Cuts. I accented with dots of Liquid Glass which dry clear and add interest without "visual weight."

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

Today is a crafting and reading day. It's cold and raining, my tea kettle is full, and I cleaned my craft area in preparation for family arriving. Sounds like a good enough reason to stay inside to me!

Until next time,

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Dandelion Wishes Card #1

I don't know what it is about dandelions that makes me love them so much, but whatever it is, the new Dandelion Wishes set from CTMH is one of my favorites of this release. I used it on several Clean and Simple (CAS) cards as part of the class I taught last month. Here's my absolute favorite...

I embossed the dandelion in white on Fern cardstock cut with the Fancy Tags Thin Cuts. The sentiment is stamped in New England Ivy. I also sponged some New England Ivy in the center of the dandelion to give it a little more dimension. You can't see it in the picture, but there are a few streaks of Clear Shimmer Brush in the center. 

Here's the supply list with shopping links:
The design principle here is centering your image. I'll be featuring more cards with this set in the coming days, including the design principles used.

Until next time,

Friday, February 1, 2019

February SOM - Heartfelt Sentiments Blog Hop

Have I told you how excited I am to be part of the amazing Stamp of the Month Blog Hop? I've followed this hop for years, garnering inspiration from all the wonderful participants. How lovely to be included in their midst now. You should have come from Vickie O'Dell's blog, but the blog is a circle so you can start here (or anywhere) and keep going until you get back to your first stop.

I took just the banner and combined it with the sign from the Heart & Home set to make this card...

The Sugerplum color is very difficult to capture in a photograph. At least it is for me. And it was impossible to match the color with markers so I ended up doing my old standby technique to color the sign...I squeezed the closed stamp pad together several times to press ink into the lid, opened it up, and used a waterbrush to pick up color to paint my image.

The banner is stamped in New England Ivy with Charcoal for the sentiment. The sign was stamped in Espresso. To create my skinny border between the Feels Like Home paper and the cardbase, I colored a thin (like really, really thin) strip of the notebook paper (top left) from the pack with a grey marker and carefully (like really, really carefully) glued it to the bottom edge of the background paper. The chisel tip of our glue pen came in very handy for this. I trimmed out the banner, popped it up on foam tape, then added a triangle of White Dots to finish the card.

Here's a list of supplies (with links for your shopping convenience):
Please order with your consultant if you have one. If not, I'd be honored to be yours. Be sure to join my February Online party when you get to the check out page. Everything will ship directly to you in a few days but you'll also have a chance to win some goodies from me. Be sure to check the Going Soon section as some items have been marked down significantly there.

Now you're off to Kathy Burrow's blog. As always, Melinda Everitt has a complete list of all the participants of this months' hop.

Until next time,

One Scoop at a Time WYW

I always love playing around with the Workshop Your Way (WYW) kits to see how I can stretch them. Here are three cards using the One Scoop at a Time WYW.

This card features the Something Fierce paper suite, Stitched Rectangle Thin Cuts, and Fancy Tag Thin Cuts. I used paper that's not included in the workshop because I wanted to show that, even after the paper is gone from the kit, there are still a bunch of ways to use the stamp set. I rolled the bottom edges of the ice cream scoops in coordinating colors. Ballerina/Raspberry, Mint/Lagoon, and Lemon/Raspberry. The sprinkles are Raspberry and Lagoon.

I'll admit two things on this card. One, I don't actually own the Stitched Rectangle Frame Thin Cuts from CTMH. Yet. They are on the way. I borrowed a set at a get-together when I made the top card. So this card uses stitched cuts from My Favorite Things for the outside border. Two, I went a little overboard on the Clear Shimmer. But I like it. The sentiment was colored using the Mint Shimmer Brush.

This card features the I Heart Us paper. I used the bottom border of the cut-apart sheet of paper. I absolutely love that the cut apart sheet feature images on one side and a pattern on the other. I like to get use out of every bit of my paper, and since I mostly make cards, the change from double sets of PML cards to these cut-apart images on one side and pattern on the other makes the pack far more useful for me. Oh...and this used a lighter hand on the Clear Shimmer Brush.

I only used the ice-cream cones on these cards. I'll use the pineapple images later.

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

While you're shopping, be sure to check out the "Going Soon" section. Lots of lovelies went on sale today. Hurry before they are gone!

Until next time (which will be later this evening for the February SOM Blog Hop),

Monday, January 28, 2019

Understanding Design Principles on CAS Cards

I was recently asked to teach a class on Clean & Simple (CAS) cards. I concentrated on design principles. For the following two cards, I drew color inspiration from the I Heart Us paper, combining it with Colorful Texture and stamps included in the Flower Market Cricut Bundle.

These cards show how to use the concept of thirds. Notice the placement of the row of dots on the first card. The top of it runs along an imaginary line drawn across the bottom third. For the second card, the sentiment is centered and along an imaginary line drawn across the top third. Sequins was added in triangles to finish.

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

Understanding basic design principles rocked my crafting world. Either I had the most boring art teachers in school or I was so convinced I wasn't artistic (because I couldn't draw a decent stick figure...still can't) that I shut off my brain during class. When I learned them as they applied to a craft I already loved, they suddenly made sense.

I hope you see the idea of thirds here. If not, please leave a comment and I'll answer as soon as possible. For now, I'm off to my writing cave.

Until next time,

Saturday, January 26, 2019

You're My (Cat) Person

Do you have "cat person" friends? What about "dog person" friends? The new Paper Pal Pets stamp set and coordinating Thin Cuts is the perfect way to give them some furry love without hair getting all over the carpet.

Those blue lines around the images show the shape of the coordinating thin cuts, which I highly recommend purchasing with this set. You will never, ever be able to cut out that ball of yarn or tail on the gerbil cleanly without them.

I came up with a simple Valentines Day card by using it and two other stamp sets for my "cat person" friend. I'm entering it in the Color My Heart Black, White, and Splash of Color challenge.

The background heart is from Custom Tags. I shaped the circle into a heart and stamped it in Candy Apple. The sentiment is from the A Piece of My Heart stamp set which is only available until the end of February.

Here are links to the products used:

The Red and White Baker's Twine was purchased so long ago, I'm not sure where it comes from. Probably Hobby Lobby or Michaels. I used Copic markers to add some shading to my cat.

I love the simplicity of this card and how the swirly heart almost looks like it's a piece of yarn from the ball at the cat's feet. Perfect for that "cat person" in your life.

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Butterfly Friendship #2

Here's another card featuring Butterfly Friendship with coordinating Thin Cuts.

I sponsor a craft night once a month, and this month I brought these butterflies and my colored pencils. I sat and colored while I visited with the ladies. Once I got back home, I figured out how to use them.

For this card, I used the new Stitched Rectangular Frames Thin Cuts. Each cut makes two panels. One is a frame (as shown above) and the other is solid with a stitched border. I used paper from the I Heart Us collection and topped it with vellum to tone down the color. I used foam tape to mount the frame over the top. I stamped the sentiment from using the January Stamp of the Month (although the Butterfly Friendship stamp set comes with a "hello" sentiment). I had to let the ink dry for a long time. Like a loooooong time. I then attached the butterflies to the frame.

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

I still have a few more butterflies colored but haven't figured out what I'm going to do with them yet. Stay tuned!

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Butterfly Friendship

The moment I saw the new Butterfly Friendship stamp set with coordinating Thin Cuts, I knew they were going in my shopping cart. My coloring skills have improved after taking multiple classes, and I was eager to try them out on these gorgeous images.

Here's the supply list (with shopping links included for your convenience):
I colored with Prismacolor pencils (which we no longer sell), taking my time and enjoying the process of bringing each image to life. I then cut them out using the coordinating thin cuts. To make sure I got them in a straight, centered row I used a ruler and pencil to lightly draw a line down the middle of the card base. I could have stamped them directly on the card base, but it was easier to line them up as individual images. I popped up a thin sentiment strip to give it a little more interest...and to hide a smudge on the top right corner of the bottom butterfly.

You'll be seeing plenty more of this stamp set and matching thin cuts as well as other new products. I'm finally through my post-Christmas craziness and have some time to craft. My heart is happy!

Until next time,

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Heart Happy Blog Hop

I'm thrilled to be joining the wonderful ladies who work so hard to bring us the monthly Stamp of the Month Blog Hops as well as intermittent hops featuring Close To My Heart the new Heart Happy paper and stamp set.

You should have come from Wendy Kessler's blog, but if you're lost you can always get a full list of the participants at Melinda Everett's blog.

I decided to use some of the smaller accent stamps on my Valentine's card to show you how to stretch this set beyond the main heart image.

I started by laying out my Tic-Tac-Toe grid with So Much Happy Washi Tape on a tag. I created the X's by stamping the small straight line twice in Mint ink. The hearts are Candy Apple outline with Ballerina centers. To add interest and to give my accent cluster more stability, I added a second tag behind the first. I then die cut two hearts, glued them down, and stamped the sentiment over top in Sapphire ink. Once the tag portion was done, I foam mounted it over the card base which was decorated with 4 x 5.25 background paper and a 4" piece of Zip Strip. For even more interest, I could have sewn the Zip Strip to the background paper, but I had black thread in my sewing machine and I just wasn't up for rethreading it with white. And I already had everything adhered before I figured out I could have faked stitching with a border die cut. Doh!!

Here's a close up on the accent cluster.

I stamped the tiny hearts in Ballerina and Sapphire then topped them with Liquid Glass to add shine. It's one of my favorite tricks for adding dimension without adding any weight. The Sapphire heart looks black, so if I were doing this over again, I might stamp that heart in a lighter blue like Bluebird or Carolina to see if one of them gave me a better blue on the red background. (I should have done a test on a scrap of red paper first, so learn from my mistake there.) The tiny staples added just  touch of stability as well as just being a fun addition. For even more interest, I added three Red Pearls at both the bottom and top of the card. All those small embellishments add up, particularly when you cluster them together.

I will be giving this to my husband so I wasn't worried about the length of the Candy Apple Striped ribbon at the top. I threaded it through both tags then tied a knot around the base with White and Gold Twine. If you squint, you can see the Mint circle around the hole. It comes from the Custom Tags stamp set. This is one of those sets that will get lots of use in small ways because I love my Fancy Tag Thin Cuts.

You next stop is Debi McBain's blog. Remember that this adorable paper and stamp set are only available for a limited time. Be sure to shop with your consultant, but if you don't have one (or your my customer), here's a supply list with shopping links for your convenience:

For a full view of all the products and discounts offered in the Heart Happy Collection, click here.
I hope you'll visit all the blogs in this hop to receive tons of inspiration.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year, New Catalog

Welcome to 2019! This year Close To My Heart (CTMH) is celebrating 35 years as an industry leader which is why the new catalog cover features Jeanette Lynton, the founder of the company.

Her story is quite remarkable...a single mom just looking to make enough money to support her little family. She started by hand drawing all the images, making rubber stamps in her garage, and selling them herself. Thirty-five years later, she has grown the company but has never lost sight of her founding goal of inspiring creativity. Here are a few examples of what you'll find in this wonderful new idea book...

Seasonal Expressions

Story by Stacy

Aren't those just awesome?! And to celebrate that the company started with a focus of making cards, the January Stamp of the Month is a collection of sentiments for all occassions (see sidebar for image with link)

As with every catalog, there are some products I love and others I can do without. This time around, the hostess only gifts were on my "can't do without" list.

Since these were only available as of midnight MST last night, I waited up until 2am EST to get my order in. I will be anxiously watching for the FedEx truck until my box of goodies arrives so I can bring you more inspiration using these great new papers and images.

Until next time,