Tuesday, December 31, 2013

January Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Happy 2014!  To start the year in style, my blog hop group and I proudly bring you the January 2014 stamp of the month, Cross-Stitch Wishes.  You're going to want to check out what all of my blog hopping friends have been up to with this set.  (If you're already hopping, you should have arrived here from my Heart 2 Heart Challenges partner-in-crafting, Shirley's blog.  You'll hop to Kathleen's blog when you leave here.)

I must tell you that stamping stitches are about the only stitching I do these days (and my hubby still likes to tease me from time to time about an unfinished cross-stitch sampler I started B.C.: before children).  This card uses three of the stamps from the set: the sentiment, the banner, and the heart pennants.  I had planned to stamp the heart stamp on the heart, but it was just too busy with the plaid Laughing Lola heart.  I had to use my Artistse CTMH/Cricut cartridge to cut out the dress form.  I added a sequin "necklace" from the black Mini Medley, which also includes the pretty pin and sequin.  Here's a little sequin hint: add a drop of liquid glass to the sequins before you cut them apart (one on each side of the anticipated cut) so that you don't send sequins flying!

Thanks for stopping by.  I'd love for you to leave a comment before you head on to Kathleen's blog.  May your 2014 be a crafty one!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

From our home to yours, my family and I would like to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas!

Here's a fun card our younger daughter made for a friend:

This post will probably be my last for 2013, since we will be moving back into our home later this week following an extensive remodel.  Here's our house in February when we began clearing trees...

 And a month or so ago...
(Notice the chimney in both pictures for reference.  The left corner didn't move either.)

Now the other side, from the lake in February:
And this fall...
(As I look at the remodel from this angle, I think that everything you see is new!  We pushed the lake wall out ten feet.)

We wish you all the best in 2014!  See you next year!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

St. Simon's Layouts

We were able to go down to St. Simon's Island over Labor Day weekend to visit my MIL at a timeshare there.  It was really nice to get away!

Right now, we would love a little of this warm weather, but one of the reasons we live where we do is to enjoy the different seasons.  (I'm not sure how much I will enjoy winter this year.  It is already too cold for my liking!)

It is nice to relive our little getaway through our scrapbook on this chilly day!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wedding Layout

My brother and sister-in-law are celebrating their two-month anniversary today!  I made this layout right after their first anniversary in Studio J and had it in hand within a few days.
It was such a lovely day, and I wish them the very best in their life together.  We love you!

I also have to wish my BIL a very happy birthday today!  We love him too. :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

More Sparkle & Shine

Here's another Sparkle & Shine card that I made recently to celebrate the season.  I can't get enough of this paper pack nor the Season's Tweetings stamp set.
 This card sketch is from the Make It From Your Heart, Vol. 2 how-to guide.  I love the ornament from the CTMH/Cricut Artbooking cartridge.
To make this card extra festive, I used red shimmer trim; red, silver, and stardust glitter glitz gel; and liquid applique.  Lots of bling without bulk!

Be sure to visit the Heart 2 Heart blog for lots of Sparkle & Shine inspiration!

Monday, December 16, 2013

H2H Challenges: Sparkle & Shine

The holiday season is definitely the time to get on your sparkle and shine!  Have you seen Close To My Heart's festive holiday paper pack, Sparkle & Shine?  It is super fun, with a silver sheen built in to the paper.
The final Heart 2 Heart challenge for 2013 is to use the Sparkle & Shine colors of Ruby, Juniper, and Slate, and of course, add some sparkle to your project.
To make this double gate-fold card, I started with a Ruby base 5"x12".  Each of the side panels are 2" wide, and the back/base of the card is 4" wide.

Here's a close up of the own ornament "belly band."  I had fun with the Sparkle & Shine washi tape, my Season's Tweetings stamp set, my glitter glitz glue, and liquid applique.
When you pull the belly band off the card, you get a little extra sparkle.
Finally, here's card completely opened up.
 And one final close up of the washi tape tree.  (I just cut a triangle of White Daisy card stock, and then added stripes of washi tape.)
Be sure to share your Sparkle & Shine with us over at the H2H blog!  We've got lots of great inspiration for you, and you have all month to play along with any of our December challenges.  Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Color My Heart Color Dare #73: Frosted Grey and Frosted Turquoise

It is my privilege and honor to be a guest designer this week at the Color My Heart challenge blog!

This week's color dare, #73, is to use the wintry Frosted Grey and Frosted Turquoise found in none other than the Frosted paper pack.  Inspiration struck when I started to fold up the brown bag from my Red Lobster leftovers (Yum!  Such a treat!).  I could "kill two birds with one stone" and re-purpose this bag with the Frosted paper pack and My Stickease as a Christmas gift bag.  Here's the before shot:

And after:

I began by tearing pieces of Colonial White card stock to make my snow (and to hide the "reuse" saying on both sides of the bag).  I then added the My Stickease trees and that beautiful deer.  I also cut the mail panel 6"x9" to cover the Red Lobster logo on both sides.

Then it was time to get creative!  I cut out the Merry Christmas saying, the rosette, and the snowflakes with the CTMH/Cricut Artiste cartridge.  I cut scraps of the Frosted paper pack (plus Cashmere and Slate card stock) to create my banners.  I also added Stardust glitter glitz gel and create-a-shade pearl paint in a spray pen to make this bag shimmer.

A few close ups so that you can see the gorgeous shimmery spritz (our pearl paint mixed with water in one of our spray pens) and our retiring Stardust glitz glitter gel:

Now, here's a quick tip for you to make a perfect banner/pennant.  Begin cutting from one edge toward the center to start your banner.  Then, fold the cut piece over to the opposite side, giving you an exact match to your first cut.

Thanks, Color Dare, for inviting me to join you this week!  You've got time to play along too.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Another Holiday Card Idea

Even though the October stamp of the month, Scandinavian Wishes, is no longer available, CTMH offers a few stamp sets with ornaments, and ornaments are super easy to cut with the Cricut!
 This card has a cool interactive feature, but it's hard to tell in the first photo.  The ornament is actually three dimensional, but it is still easy to mail.  How, you might ask?  First, I stamped the ornament on three Cricut cuts.  Then, I folded them each down the middle.  I adhered two of them to the card front with the fold in the middle.  The third one is glued to the folded ornaments so that it is the flat front.
 My instructions hopefully make sense when you look carefully at the two photos (above and below) that show the ornament at different angles.  As I said, this card is easy to mail because the ornament folds/lays flat in the envelope, yet it pops up when you pull it out of the envelope.  Isn't that fun?
I have to link this card up to the H2H Moving On challenge because of the way the focal image moves.

Monday, December 9, 2013

H2H Challenges: Moving On

You would think that the Heart 2 Heart Challenge, Moving On, would coincide with us moving back into our house following our extensive remodel, but NO!  We are working hard to be in by Christmas, but so much is dependent on others...

For my moving on interpretation, I decided not only to incorporate Santa and his sleigh on the move, but also to have that piece actually move.  You can't tell in the photo at all, but the Santa panel is actually adhered to a spiral of card stock that acts like a spring.  The image panel wiggles and jiggles and bounces (like Santa's belly!) if you wiggle the card.  Making this motion is simple: cut out a circle or oval that the front panel will completely hide.  Just "free cut" this one: no need for any fancy tools, just scissors.  Then, cut your piece into a spiral, like a snail shell.  Adhere the center of the spiral to the panel and the outer section of the spiral to your card front.  Easy peasy!

One cool think about this technique is that the card is still slim enough to mail without extra postage.  You might notice a lack of embellishments, but the red shimmer trim and silver glitter glitz gel add lots of bling without bulk.  We all like bling without bulk, right?  I am very sorry to report that all our glitter glitz gel is retiring, so you better grab a bottle or two before they're gone!  You can find them- and the rest of the retiring list- HERE.

You should definitely move on over to H2H to check out our DT's fabulous inspirational creations this week!  Then get a move on your own crafty cleverness and share your moving on interpretation.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

50th Birthday Surprise Party Layout

My BIL turned the big 5-0 not too long ago, so we celebrated with a surprise dinner in his honor.  Boy, was he ever surprised!
Because I wanted to make a layout for myself and for my MIL, I created my layout in Studio J.  The party had a UGA theme, so I used the For Always collection and converted the palette's Ruby to the more appropriate Cranberry.  (It's easy to do with just a click of your mouse!)  Once I was happy with my creation, I added two of them to my cart.  Faster, simpler, easier!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's a Boy Card

A friend recently welcomed her very first grandchild into the world, and I made this card for her.  (We have a tradition at my school of hosting "Nana Showers" for the first-time grandmas, and I can't wait to get to see my friend again soon.  I miss her since she has retired and moved closer to said grandson.)
Since the card is for a retired teacher, I had to use the alphabet pattern across the card front.  The cute giraffe panel and in fact all the paper you see here are from the Babycakes paper pack.  The sentiment is from the 4 My Friend stamp set.  Isn't Lagoon a great baby boy addition to the paper pack?  The wooden embellishment is from the Babycakes paper pack.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

December Stamp of the Month Blog Hop: Special Care

The CTMH December stamp of the month is just darling!  You are going to find so many uses for these "handle with care" Special Care stamps!  You're sure to be inspired along this blog hop, so visit Traci Godbee's blog when you're ready to leave here.  (If you're already cruising along, then you should have arrived here from Wanda's blog.)
To create my card, I started with a sketch from Make It From Your Heart, Vol. 2 and my Babycakes paper pack.  I cut out the tag and its mat with my CTMH/Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge.  To create the Slate background, I stamped "Handle with Care" on the background.  I also stamped a different sentiment from the set in Chocolate on the Chocolate strip to give it more interest.  The "Warning" tag was hand cut following the image's border.  Finally, I finished off the card with an embellishment from the Babycakes Assortment and cut a zip strip to make my "ribbon."

For more great ideas with the December stamp of the month, Special Care, go to Traci's blog now.  Thanks for leaving a comment before you hop off!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thank You!

What a surprise!  I was totally shocked when I went over to the Color My Heart Color Dare blog to find that I had won first place for my gratitude mini album.  Thank you so much!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gratitude Mini Album

Do you "do" Black Friday?  I am not sure the sales are worth the hassle!  I would love to hear the deals you've scored (past or present).
When I posed my gratitude layout, I mentioned the coordinating mini album we made.  Everything was cut with the CTMH/Cricut Artbooking cartridge (except I managed to cut the rectangles myself).  I set my dial size at 5" and everything, no matter what key I chose, cut to scale to fit nicely.

We kept the pages fairly simple so that photos and journaling would take center stage.  We can always go back and add a little more bling once we've completed the pages if they're lacking.

All the paper is from the Huntington paper pack plus Colonial White cardstock.  Barn Red is such a great color, and we also used Desert Sand and Slate.
I'm linking this album up to the Color Dare color challenge #70: Autumn Terracotta, Barn Red, and Olive.

We left the back cover plain card stock.  To me, it's easier not to have embellishments on the back so that it lays flat.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gratitude Layout

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!  At my recent scrapbooking class, we created this layout to remember our gratitude and appreciation.

The fancy cuts you see were all made with the CTMH/Cricut Artbooking cartridge and the Huntington paper pack.  We added bronze shimmer trim and bronze and almond glitter glitz gel to add a little bling and pizzaz to the layout.  Our new jute ribbon was very easy to add to the page: I ran a strip of tape with my Tombow tape runner, and then used a glue dot at each end and in the middle to be sure it stayed in place.

I am looking forward to getting photos of all of our family this week as we celebrate Thanksgiving!  My aunt and several cousins are coming with their families, plus we'll spend time with Hubby's family too.  We'll definitely enjoy some mandatory Forced Family Fun!
To decorate the tree, I first sponged the trunk with Desert Sand ink and then stamped the wood grain from the Huntington Workshop on the Go stamp set, also in Desert Sand.  Some of the leaves are covered in glitz gel and others are pieces of Huntington B&T.  (I'm linking this layout up to Heart 2 Heart Challenge's sponging technique challenge and the Craft Your Passion challenge #190: Thanksgiving/Give Thanks.)

Come back soon to see the coordinating mini album we made.

Monday, November 25, 2013

H2H Challenges: Sponging

It's time for a technique/tool challenge over at Heart 2 Heart.  Grab a sponge and get to work- crafting at least!  (That sounds a lot more fun than housework, doesn't it?)  To color this card, I used a wedge of a sponge and a sponge dauber, along with a few post-it notes.
 1.  Stamp your image onto a post-it note or onto printer paper.  Cut out the part where you want to apply color.  (This makes a "reverse mask" to color in the inside of the line drawn image.)
 2.  Carefully place your mask over your stamped image.  (I used an office-supply hole punch to punch out the eyes, and they were a great fit!)
 3.  Sponge the desired color.  Feel free to try to shade your image as you sponge.
 4.  Remove the mask.
5.  Decide the piece is too plain.  Create a mask to cover up the owl.  Use another post-it to create a horizon across the focal image.
 6.  Sponge Juniper on the exposed piece.
 7.  Remove mask.  Much better!
 8.  Use the same sponging/coloring technique to color in the Santa hat.  Cut it out and place it on the owl's head.
This card sketch comes from the Make It From Your Heart, Vol. 2 how-to guide.  It is one of 5 designs that we made at my 50 card workshop this weekend.  I love how this little fellow turned out!  (The ornament and circle were cut with the CTMH/Cricut Artbooking cartridge, and the banner was cut with Artiste.)

Now that you're suitably impressed (I hope), be sure to go check out what the rest of the H2H DT has created for you this week.


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