Friday, May 31, 2019

Bye-Bye Besties

I'm so sad to see May end because this month's Stamp of the Month has been one of my top five of all time. I went very clean and simple this time, creating interest with textures. I'm squeezing it in just under the deadline of the Heart2Heart challenge: Besties.

The background splotches are from Timeless Textures. I featured this stamp set in this post. The envelope is lined with paper from the True Love Paper Pack. The featured color is Sugarplum which is really difficult to capture in a picture. It's taken me a while to warm up to this color, but I'm loving it now. Oh...and speaking of difficult to capture in a picture, I added shine to my flowers but squeezed my Clear Shimmer Brush too much. Quick fix was to flick splotches of it onto my background before adding my envelope.

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

Here's another card featuring this same stamp set, but it has a very different feel to it.

The "Bestie" stamp set...and the Anniversary Flash Sale items...are going away as of midnight MST tonight.

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Customizing Fancy Tags with Border Thin Cuts

The other night I couldn't sleep because I suddenly had an idea. Anyone else ever do that? I had to get out of bed to play a bit before I could relax enough to get some sleep. I wanted to use the fringe border (3rd from bottom) as an embossed pattern.
I used it on two tags, one which has too light of an impression and the other too much. But they still worked, so here they are...

I used two Hostess Only sets for this card. The background is from She's a Wildflower, and the hippo is from Hippo-partymus. I tried to capture the light impression of the fringe border cut in this close-up, but it was really hard. It does show up quite nicely in person. I sandwiched it into my Cuttlebug as follows: A, rubber mat, die, and C plate.

Because the impression was so light, I decided to add a second border cut/impression. This also gave me a longer bordered edge which I liked.

The background was stamped in Mink to coordinate with the Mink Twine at the top of the tag. The hippo was stamped in Linen which provided a good outline for my no-line coloring using Prismacolor pencils. I stamped the sentiment on the tag and onto the background at the same time, then used foam tape to add some dimension. The ink didn't cover real well over the waxy colored pencils, so I did go back over it with a black ballpoint pen. I also added the pupils to the eyes with this pen.

To give balance to the overall card, I needed some more black so I added two Enamel Dots. I think it might look better with the medium and small dots rather than the medium and large ones, but it wasn't bad enough to take them off and fuss with it more.

I've been playing with these two stamp sets quite a bit lately. See the following posts: Happy Birthday Card (without the Hippo), Thank You Card with Hostess Only "She's a Wildflower" Set, and Seasonal Expressions 2 New Product Blog Hop.

The second card in the last link provided above uses the same stamp set as the second card in this blog post...

This border has a rustic feel to it. I moved it up higher on the tag. I sandwiched it into my Cuttlebug as follows: A, B, rubber mat, die, and B plate. I'm pretty sure that's the correct sandwich. I used super-heavy cardstock (#110), so I'm going to try it again using lighter weight cardstock and see if that helps.

UPDATE:  I tried several ways with several different weights of cardstock and here's what worked the best for me: A plate, rubber mat, paper, die cut face down, two of the foam squares that come in CTMH stamp sets, C plate. I got a nice impression without any paper tearing.

The tulip and sentiment come from the Where Happiness Blooms stamp set with coordinating Thin Cuts. I stamped the flower outline in in Espresso, the leaves in second-generation Sweet Leaf, and the tulip in second-generation Peach. On both the leaves and the tulip, I rolled the edges in their respective ink colors before stamping. I also used Peach on the border, lightly swiping over the top with a sponge dauber. The sentiment was stamped in Mink.

The border behind the tag was created by cutting the Lace Border Die twice and adhering them together slightly offset. I didn't end up liking it that well...too busy. However, by covering up most of it with the tag, it works. The background also uses Blush Ribbon (which really should be re-named Peach Ribbon) and Sweet Girl patterned paper. Mink Twine finished off the tag, and foam tape behind the background panel and tag added dimension.

Movers come in less than a week. Serious pack up of my craft room begins on Saturday. I'm spending every moment I can playing before all my lovelies go away for a month. I will pack a "to-go" bag, so hopefully I'll get to post a few things from the road.

Don't forget that CTMH is hosting a 35% off Flash Sale on selected items starting at 3pm Mountain Standard Time starting TODAY!! Items go quickly, so be sure to shop early. Do the math to figure out what 3pm MST means for you. I'm on the east coast, so my alarm is set for 5 pm today.

Until next time,

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Happy Birthday Card (without the Hippo)

As promised in yesterday's post, here's another card using a hostess only set. This is the Hippo-partymus  set. I used the primary image as the final card in this post. And here's an image from CTMH to show you the artwork they used in the catalog to illustrate the various images in the set.

Today's card has an entirely different feel.

I stole this idea but can't find the original to link to it. If you were my inspiration, please comment so I can properly credit you.

The colors are Kraft (paper), Toffee, Mint, and Black. I'm IN LOVE with Mint. I was tempted to add Mint Shimmer to the sentiment, but I wanted to leave it alone until I decide if this is going to a man or woman. I hand-drew the bows on the banner string. I can't draw for anything, but I managed a couple bows.

Before you go, remember the FLASH sale coming on Wednesday May 29. It runs until 11:59pm MST on Friday the 31st. Selected items will be 35% off to celebrate CTMH's 35th Anniversary.

Until next time,

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Thank You Card with Hostess Only "She's a Wildflower" Set

As promised in yesterday's post, here's another card using the She's a Wildflower Hostess Only rewards stamp set. I'm tellin' ya, the current CTMH catalog has some fabulous hostess only stamp sets (including the hippo from this post).

This is pretty straight-forward. The only thing you need to know is that the background image doesn't cover a full 4.25 x 5.5 size. So...I turned it sideways and stamped it twice. The image is so busy that it's really easy to line up edges. I colored with Prismacolor pencils then topped it with a panel of white cardstock cut with Rectangle Stitched Thin Cuts. I tilted the panel and trimmed off the edges.

The sentiment was stamped in Black Pigment ink then topped with Clear Embossing Powder...except I apparently have some white embossing powder mixed in with it. I was pretty unhappy with that but not so much that I decided to toss the whole card. New clear embossing powder is going on my shopping list! And this time, I'm going to make sure I use a dedicated container so I never get mixed powders again. Grrrr!!

Hey...while we're on the subject shopping, this is Close To My Heart's 35th anniversary (which means they started up the same year my husband and I got married!!). To celebrate, they are having 35% off sale. It begins at 3pm MST on Wednesday May 29 and will run until 11:59pm MST on Friday the 31st. There are sure to be items which sell out fast, so get there fast.

Like it says, it's a FLASH sale and things go in a flash!

And if you - or you and friends - order over $150, you'll qualify for the hostess only stamp sets.

And if you come back tomorrow, I'll have another card for you using the hippo hostess rewards set.

Until next time,

Friday, May 24, 2019

Playing with Charming Borders

I'm in the "spend huge amounts of time in my craft room because it's getting boxed up for a month starting next week" phase of moving. Last night I started playing with the Charming Borders set. I made some patterned paper inspired by the True Love color palate of the current CTMH set of paper suites.

I thought it might be helpful for you to see a picture of the stamp set. It's five different borders. I used the top one.

Here's the first card which is the best at showing you the pattern I made.
 The colors here are Sapphire, Sugarplum, Ballerina, Sage, and Emerald. With the leftovers, I made this card.

I actually made this card first because I used the cut shapes from the top card for the placement on this one. The "You" in both of these is from a retired set. I like the placement on the top card better, but this is glued down. It's not bad...but oy! I wish I'd fussed just a bit more before gluing. The background panel is Linen cardstock. When you cut with the Stitched Rectangle Borders, you get two images. I didn't want to use a whole frame, so I cut one side to make the border on this card...

The colors here are exactly the ones from the True Love color palate: Eggplant, Sugarplum, Sapphire, Mint, Sage, New England Ivy, and Ballerina. The "Thank you!" comes from the "She's a Wildflower" Hostess Only set. I'll be posting a card using this set tomorrow, so I hope you'll come back to see it.

When I created my pattern, I used a 4.25 x 5.5 piece of paper. I trimmed off the top three squares for this card. I made a second card identical to this one and with the leftovers, I made this one...

I don't want to tell you how long I fussed with this card. The large amount of pattern was really pretty and I didn't want to cover it but it was just too strong. I carefully measured the distance between the edges of the patterned paper so just that little bit would show through. I also cut a smaller piece so a full row of the pattern showed on both sides just to see the difference. In the end, I decided I liked this tiny bit best. By the time I figured out what I wanted to do with this, it was past midnight. My husband was sleeping soundly so, to do my embossing (present from the One Year Older stamp set), I took my heat gun out into the garage.

Yes. I'm a wonderful wife. LOL!

The banner is also from the One Year Older set. I stamped it in Sapphire and used my Micro-tip Scissors to trim it out. I think this might be my favorite of the four cards. Or maybe it's just that I'm so happy I finally figured out what to do with that last piece of patterned cardstock.

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

Before I go, I have to say how proud of my hubby I am. Today he got rid of about twenty t-shirts, some of them ones he's had since before we were married (and we're coming up on 35 years!!). He also tossed a bunch of files we've been carting around for who knows how long. He's been eyeing my craft cabinet, though, so it's time for me to go through my closet again and do some more tossing so he doesn't get any funny ideas.

Until next time,

Thursday, May 23, 2019

60th Birthday Card

To prepare for our move in a few weeks, I'm getting a jump on all the cards I'm going to need in June and July. One of them is for my brother-in-law who is turning 60, which meant he needed a number-specific card. I don't normally show them ahead of time, but I'm fairly certain he won't be visiting my blog and it features the May Stamp of the Month (SOM) which retires in about a week.

I wish I could take credit for the card design, but I flat-out stole it from this card. I created my own version using the Flower Market Cricut Cartridge (banner - which normally reads "Happy Place" but I altered to suit my needs). I also used some free shapes and a font from Design Space. Here's the file if you want to recreate it. The extra circle in the file is for two reasons: 1) to cut vellum if you want to recreate this exact card, and 2) so you can copy and paste it to create your own numbers.

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

I love that our cardstock is two-toned. It allowed me to cut the two nested stars at the same time. And, as I told you in this post, I'm crazy about the Timeless Textures stamp set so I add random splatters in a controlled way. Yes, I might have a bit of an OCD thing going on over here.

The moving company shows up tomorrow to do a walk-through to determine how much it will take to get us out of here. I always love the reactions I get to my craft cabinet. They are never neutral. Either the guy is impressed by the amount of work it took to create a customized cabinet or (most of the time) appalled that they have to take it down piece by piece then reassemble it on the other end. I do try to have it clean so it's a little less intimidating. Right now it looks like I've been on a crafting binge...which I have. Better clean-up!

Until next time,

Monday, May 20, 2019

Seasonal Expressions 2 New Product Blog Hop

Welcome to my part of the Seasonal Expressions 2 New Product Blog Hop. The stop right before me is Barbara Kell's blog. After I've shown you my projects, I'll give you the next stop. The entire hop is a circle, so just keep going from wherever you started until you get back there. If you get lost along the way, head over to Melinda Everitt's blog for a complete list.

I wanted to feature one stamp set, Timeless Textures.

Here's a picture of the set. It doesn't seem all that appealing, but the possibilities are endless. I've created several different cards highlighting some of the ways I immediately saw how to put this set to work.

The first two cards are fairly straightforward backgrounds.

A good rule of thumb when creating a background like this is to stamp the largest or most heavily concentrated images in the lightest colors. I used Canary, Mint, Glacier, and Sapphire inks on this card, then used the matching Mint Shimmer Pen to highlight the sentiment, which comes from the Stamp of the Month: To My Bestie, on the top panel.

What I really like about this card is that it has a masculine feel to it. I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for ways to make cards for men. This works!

Here I used Linen ink to create a vintage frame effect plus the same dotted stripe image I stamped in Sapphire on the first card. On this card, I stamped it in Peach to highlight the sentiment.  My ink colors here are Linen, Heather, Espresso, Peach, and Sweet Leaf. I added shading using Watercolor Pencils. To make the watering can have the slightly textured look to it, I inked the stamp then swiped the ink in a diagonal direction. I then inked again, swiped in the opposite direction and stamped a second time to create a sort of cross-hatch look. Once the ink settled into the paper, it gave me that spotted look.

I finished off the card with White and Gold Ribbon and then, because I needed to add more gold to complement the ribbon, I added Loose Gold Sequins using Liquid Glass. TIP: I squirt a puddle of Liquid Glass onto my Craft Mat, pick up the sequins with my Tweezers, dip the back of the sequins into the puddle, and then press it into the card. I then immediately add a small dot of Liquid Glass over the top of the sequins. By having Liquid Glass both under and on top of the sequins, they will stay on the card better during mailing.

I used the same background stamp to create this rainbow. I turned the image 180 degrees each time to create the illusion of variation. To keep the background soft, I inked the stamp, stamped off on a scratch piece of paper, then stamped the second-generation onto my panel. The colors here are Candy Apple, Nectarine, Lemon, Willow, Carolina, and Thistle. The flower was cut using the Flower Market Cricut Cartridge, although I trimmed off the bottom of the stem to make it fit.

All three of the above cards make use of the Stitched Rectangle Frame Thin Cuts. I almost didn't purchase them because I had some similar dies, but I really love the double cuts you get with these. For example, the top card and the rainbow background card use the same die cut. One creates the full panel, the other creates a frame. The outline panel on the watering can card was leftover from this card. I have a pile of leftover cuts on my desk and pull them out as needed.

Here I used the large, loose dot image to color this adorable hippo which is a Hostess Rewards set. I. LOVE. THIS. HIPPO!

I started by creating an inverse mask. Sorry for the blurry picture, but it gives you the idea well enough. Notice that I kept the teeth covered with the mask. I stamped with Linen ink at the top, added Mink starting about one-third of the way down, then added Heather on the bottom half. I then went crazy with more Linen over the entire image until I was happy with the coverage.

I added color to the ears, cheeks (or are those nostrils?), and toes with a colored pen, then cut it out with Micro-tip Scissors. I made a small slit just under the chin to add the bowtie, which was stamped in Raspberry for the center.

The balloon is the Circle Shaker Thin Cut with a triangle cut from the same Background and Texture paper (from Craft On).  I filled it with Crafty Loose Sequins plus stars cut from the same paper as the frame and topped it with a Raspberry Twine bow (see the "Going Soon" page) adhered with Liquid Glass. I glued all of the images to a 5.5 x 3.75 panel backed with 3-D Foam Tape. I added Hello Pumkin Washi Tape to the card base before adding my panel. Because the Hippo also has 3-D Foam Tape behind him, I added one small extra piece under where he hangs off the edge of the top panel.

I hope I've inspired you with some of the various uses for Timeless Textures. I'll be featuring it more, so please come back and visit me in the future. Now you're off to see the fabulous-ness on Melissa Robinson's blog.

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Sometimes we craft too much with "what is" instead of with "what could be." Let me show you what I mean.

I fell in love with this card  a few days ago. I decided I wanted to make my own version using supplies I have. Here's mine...

The grid background and boots all come from the Flower Market Cricut Cartridge, but the grid came from this...

I ungrouped the vase, got rid of the green background image, unlocked the size to stretch it taller and wider, copied and pasted it, turned one 90 degrees, welded the two together, and then sliced out a rectangle measuring 3x 4.25 so it would fit behind the stitched die cut frame. I added some vellum paper behind it to soften the effect of the grid lines.

Now for the boots. The original image is the pink one. I don't happen to like the outlined images like this, so I did some slicing and contouring to create solid sections.

I'm not going to lie. This took a long time.




But I really like how it turned out, so that makes it worth it. Plus, now that the work is done, I can come back to this and use it for other projects. However, if you have the Flower Market cartridge and Design Space, here's the cutting file for both the grid and the boots.

The flowers come from a stamp set called Where Happiness Blooms. It features a watering can with those tulips coming out of the top. I only stamped the top half of the watering can image to get the outline, stamped the fill shapes once in the lighter color then sponging the edges in darker for the shading. The leaves are Mint and Emerald; the tulips are Ballerina and Raspberry.

And now the sentiment banner. I stamped "BLOOM" (wiping ink off of the comma at the end of the word) on a piece of White Daisy cardstock and then went hunting in my Fancy Tags for one that would fit. None of them did. So I did some altering of that, too. I used the tag one way over the top of the word, cut it, flipped the tag over and centered it so the slanted ends were evenly spaced around the word, and cut again.

Once the black background was cut, I assembled the card in layers. I added some Crafty Loose Sequins at the end to carry some of that Caroline Blue cardstock from the boots into other areas of the card.

I get it. This is a lot of work for one card.





But my purpose was to show you how to stretch your supplies. Just because a thing is created one way doesn't mean you have to use it that way. Start seeing your supplies as tools and make them work for you.

Until next time,

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The World is Yours Blog Hop

Welcome to our The World is Ours Blog Hop. You should have come from Barbara's blog. The hop is a circle, so it doesn't matter where you begin. Keep linking through until you get back to where you started.

I decided to purchase only the paper and use images from the You Are Here Cricut Cartridge to create this layout.

The paper suite comes with a sticker sheet. I decided to cut some of the smaller images apart and add them to various spots. You can easily see the two heart stickers on the Eiffel Tower, but the third one isn't as easy to see. Here's a close-up shot of both it and the arrow stickers I added to the title.

Here's a close up of the sticker sheet. Both the arrows (under the camera) and the hearts (top, right corner) come in a line of three. I simply cut them apart to suit my needs. The only other customizing I did was to use a thin brown marking pen to hand-write "Paris" on the ticket stub and outline the cut images. I also used it along both sides of the border sticker running between the R and L of "GIRLS."

To make the map on the right side of the page, I used the slice feature on Design Space. If you have the You Are Here cartridge and are on Design Space, here's the cutting file. You'll notice that the rectangle of patterned paper on the left side of the layout isn't included in the cutting file. That's because I simply cut off what was left of the patterned paper after cutting out the map side (which I moved to the far right of my mat before cutting), trimmed the bottom so it was 11.5 inches long, and glued it to a 12x12 piece of Heather cardstock (dark side). For the background behind the photo mats, I trimmed a piece of Linen cardstock to 11.5x11.5, then cut it at about the 7" mark. The sticker stripe covered where the map patterned paper and the Linen cardstock didn't quite meet.

The photo mats are 4x6 in Peach paper (dark side). I have a bunch of photos which are yet to be developed from a trip my daughter and I took to Paris and Versailles several years ago. I'm SO BAD about actually getting the pictures developed once I've edited them and posted them on social media. Hopefully this layout will provide the inspirations to make several more and get photos in them.

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

Now you're off to Melissa's blog. Again, the hop is a circle and there's lots of wonderful inspiration to be seen, so make sure you click through the entire thing.

Until next time,

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Hey Baby with CTMH Zoe Paper

One of the promotions CTMH is running this month is "Bring Back My Pack" featuring the popular Zoe papers and stamps. I have a baby shower coming up and we don't know the gender yet, so the soft pastels in this pack were perfect.

I used both the Artiste and Artistry Cricut cartridges. Artiste is retired, but if you have it and Artistry, here's the Design Space file. I altered "baby" by slicing off part of the "y" then welding a small circle at the end to make it match the font style. I cut three "baby" images, two from plain cardstock so I didn't waste the patterned paper, and glued them together for depth. I altered the duck by getting rid of the wing shape cut and highlighting the bill and eye with a white gel pen. 
To make sure I didn't have a gap in the stamped sentiment which comes from the Sweet Girl-Cardmaking set, I had to do a little planning. I placed all the cut elements on the card base without gluing them down, used my stamp positioner to place the "HEY" where I wanted it, removed the cut images and stamped once in Heather ink. I then glued the duck in place and stamped again. I glued "baby" so the swirl on the left went off the edge, trimmed it off, then glued it to the inside of the card.

I finished off with Mink Twine and sequins from the Crafty Sequins Pack. The colors don't match Zoe perfectly, but close enough. The dark green sequins was the worst offender, which is why I deliberately chose the smallest one and placed it farthest away from any of the other green in the card.

Here's the supply list with links for your shopping convenience:
I absolutely LOVE the Zoe papers and coordinating stamp set. How fun that CTMH decided to bring them back as part of their 35th Anniversary Year-Long celebration. Be sure to check out all the other great promotions offered this month.

Until next time,

Friday, May 3, 2019

Mother's Day Card with CTMH May Stamp of the Month

I wasn't able to join the May Stamp of the Month (SOM) Blog Hop because of my travel, but I wanted to post something with this lovely, versatile set. Mother's Day is coming soon, and even though the SOM has a best friend theme, I was easily able to alter it for this card.

The paper is from the new Mix-Ins paper suite which is a gorgeous mixture of Ballerina, Charcoal, Black, and White. I cut the envelope from the Flower Market Cricut cartridge, folding it so the pink side was out and the gray side was in. I also cut two M's with the Block Alphabet Thin Cuts. My final cut was the stitched rectangular panel which adds a lovely border without taking away from the clean and simple feel of the card.

Here's a look at the SOM. I love how both the balloons and the small bouquet of flowers has a space for the girl's hand to hold them. For the sentiment, I cut "friend" off  from the center sentiment using Micro-tip scissors. I also used them to trim out the flower images which I stamped in Charcoal ink and colored with markers.

Because the card utilizes flowers, I'm adding it to this week's Heart2Heart Challenge: Florals.

After gluing the flowers into the envelope, I stamped the sentiment in Charcoal ink. I then adhered the envelope to the background panel using a ruler to make sure it was straight. I added the M's to both sides, again using the ruler. The final touch was a Mink Twine bow adhered with Liquid Glass. Once everything was adhered to the stitched panel, I added it to the card with 3-D Foam Tape.

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

The new CTMH catalog went live two days ago (see link in sidebar). In addition to all the fabulous new products and the May SOM (which is only $5 with a $50 purchase), there are three other great promotions running. The first is Bring Back My Pack with the fun Zoe pack from four years ago. The second is Made With Love, a mini-album package that is perfect for Mother's Day. And the third is The World is Yours. I'm part of a Blog Hop promoting this special which goes live Sunday night, so be sure to come back for that.

Until next time,