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,