Monday, October 31, 2011

Stamp of the Month Blog Hop: Cherish the Day (November 2011)

Welcome to the November 2011 edition of the Close To My Heart stamp of the month blog hop! If you've already started the hop, you should have arrived here from Kami Welter's blog. From here, you will hop to Michelle Loncar's blog next.

My project is the first (and second) in a series of 6"x6" layouts for my upcoming "This Year"/"Through the Years" workshop (details coming soon). For the workshop, we will create a one-page 6"x6" layout for each month of the year using the November stamp of the month, Cherish the Day, plus other seasonal stamps. You'll notice that I chose this Thanksgiving's date to add to my November tag. I paired the November stamp of the month with the Treasure Life stamp set and the Dreamin' paper pack. (Come back for complete details about this fabulous workshop!)

Next is the October version, complete with pictures from this year's Hometown Halloween trick-or-treating on our local square from Saturday night. I used the fabulous Mischief paper pack paired with Cherish the Day.

Here is what the stamp set images look like to help you see how we'll use this stamp set at the workshop:
Thanks for stopping by! Visit Michelle Loncar's blog now.

{Layouts 2011 #71 & 72}

H2H Challenges: Color Challenge

Happy Halloween from the Heart 2 Heart Challenges Design Team! Today's color challenge actually kicks off our November challenges, so let's get going! Try your hand at the lovely fall color combo of Autumn Terracotta, Juniper, and Bamboo.

These colors stumped me at first until I pulled out my trusty Treasure Life stamp set. I decided to create another Double Z-fold card for this challenge. (If you'd like to see another card with this fold, click HERE.)

Before you check out the H2H Design Team's work (and our Guest Designer Allisa's), here are detail shots of my card (open, from left to right). Give this H2H Color Challenge and try, and link up your work at H2H Challenges!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Holiday Magic

Time is running out to get your October stamp of the month, Holiday Magic! These cards all feature the same basic card design which mimics the Split Negative embossing technique that you see on the stocking (at right). If you're not familiar with this technique, just google it or let me know and I can help.

The second card used the lovely tree and a little Stardust glitz glitter gel to add a little sparkle. (In my experience, sometimes the rhinestones don't travel too well in the mail, so consider a liner to protect your card. Scrap paper inserted into the envelope will do.)

It's not too early to be thinking about handmade Christmas cards! You can save money while doing something you love! Let me show you how!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pilot Mountain State Park (Layout Share)

Here's another Studio J layout that I recently ordered. The photos are from our trip to Winson-Salem back in the spring. (I ordered the other layouts from our trip earlier this year.) Isn't the Dreamin' paper collection beautiful? Like classic (paper, scissors, and glue) scrapbooking, I can work (and order) in Studio J in any order that I like. I can purchase layouts as I go, and as a member, I save by ordering up to 20 layouts on one order a month (free shipping and free page protectors).

Studio J tip: Clustering

You can layer and cluster the My Stickease artwork to create something unique. See how the right page has that gorgeous wildflower "bouquet?" Just keep adding the My Stickease flowers, adjusting their placement and size until you like the cluster. Many of the stems poked down onto the photo below the cluster, so once I was finished, I clicked on the photo and then "bring to front." Those pesky stems were conveniently hidden behind the photo.

Also, you may notice how I added brads as flower centers and a ribbon to the heart. It is so easy to select these from the Studio J menu and drag them where you want them. (You may want to zoom in to the area where you're working for more precision.)

If you haven't given Studio J a try, what are you waiting for? Upload some photos and play around with it. It doesn't cost a thing unless you order your JPEGs and/or layouts. (As a Studio J member, you get a 50% discount on your orders. Ask me how!)

{Layout 2011 #69}

Monday, October 24, 2011

H2H Challenges: Fall or Halloween

Happy fall, y'all, from the Heart 2 Heart Challenges Design Team! This week we're challenging you to share your fall or Halloween creations with us. Easy peasy, right? Just remember to use some wonderful Close To My Heart products in your creations and then link them up to the Heart 2 Heart Challenges blog.

You may recall the "Wicked" shoes that I posted a month or so ago (click HERE to check them- and the shoe templates- out). I used a different template to make this witchy version (which now sit in my living room). You could easily tuck a small bag of candy or a few candy bars into them for a delicious treat.

I printed the shoe template onto black cardstock, cut out, scored, folded and glued. The shoe liner template was printed onto the lovely Pear polka dot paper from the Sophia paper pack following the same procedure. I had to embellish them with these wicked scalloped circles and gorgeous rhinestone brads. Finally, a bow on the back of each finished them off beautifully.

If you'd like some more Halloween inspiration, check out my paper pumpkin, my Boo banner, and my spooky bottles and coffin boxes.

Now, step on over to the H2H blog to see our fabulous fall design team creations. Get your craft on and link up your fall or Halloween project too! Bwah ha ha ha ha!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hunting Island 2011 (Layout Share)

Who would have thought that a winter kit (Wonderland) would work for beach pictures? I love the blues and browns, so I just went for it! I have used this paper pack in real life, so I already knew how well Lagoon accents this paper pack, which helps to add to the beach theme instead of the winter wonderland. You'll notice that I did not use very many My Stickease artwork because, well, most of them scream winter. With all the photos on this layout (11 total), artwork was rather unnecessary anyway.

Studio J tip: Want to add other colors to the color palette? Just click on the color tool and select away! (Sometimes, especially for the embellishments, you will have to select it in one of the assigned colors, but once you place it on your layout and click the tiny color palette, all 60 CTMH colors will be available and you can change your color then.)

{Layout 2011 #68}

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Card Class This Saturday!

It's time to get creative for fall! Join me to make four or five fall-themed cards for many occasions (with a peek at the upcoming holidays too) this Saturday from 2-4:30. We will learn how to make a Double Z-Fold card, shown here, plus some fun new stamping techniques (different ways to use the supplies you already have), like the Neutral Shadows technique on the second card (below).

We'll also play with one of my favorite new embellishments: Glitz Glitter Gel (in red, bronze, silver, and stardust)! You'll love the paper packs we'll be playing with too: Dreamin', Sonoma, Mischief, and Believe. (Believe me, you'll be dreamin' of many uses for these!)

Class will begin at 2:00 in my home. (Please let me know if you need directions.) The $5 class materials fee will be waived with a minimum $25 order. Please bring any or all of the following tools: your paper trimmer, scoring blade or bone folder, adhesive, and scissors.

Also, please RSVP no later than Friday, 10/21. As always, your cards can be customized to specific events, like thanks, birthday, thinking of you, etc.

Studio J Giveaway!

You know how much I love Studio J, and the Crafting Chicks are giving away a 5 Studio J layouts and an album! Go check it out and enter for a chance to win yourself. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

4th Grade Field Trip (Layout Share)

Can you tell how much I love Studio J online scrapbooking? It has truly given me creative freedom and allows me to scrapbook in minutes, not hours (unless I want to take hours).

When I uploaded my photos from chaperoning our younger daughter's field trip to Atlanta this past spring (Daddy went with #1 daughter when she was in 4th grade), the red, blue, and brown shades popped out to me. This Independence kit seemed like a perfect match to go along with the theme of visiting the Georgia State Capitol.

Here are a few fun Studio J techniques I used on this layout:

  • My Stickease "doily" artwork behind photos: I loved the old fashioned doily, and ended up using them as photo mattes. Place them where you want them, then click "send behind" or "send to back" to place them behind the picture.

  • Stitching: Studio J has added a "stitching" feature and there are several shapes to choose from. I stitched several stars on my layout to enhance the vintage, patriotic feel of the layout.

{Layout 2011 #67}

Monday, October 17, 2011

H2H Challenges: Numbers

This week's Heart 2 Heart challenge is to use NUMBERS (at least one) on your project. This layout was so much fun for me to make! Although this paper pack wasn't one of my all-time faves, it works so well with an American travel theme. I gathered pictures spanning three years of camping/travel photos to include on one layout. It truly shows "the way we roll!"

My use of NUMBERS helps to tell my story by labeling my photos.

Studio J tip: Use the number My Stickease to number your photos, then include a legend. You can resize the number Stickease to fit your journaling block. It may take a little patience, but the results are totally worth it.

Even though I didn't include it in my journaling, do you see the Barbies along for the ride? That is a family tradition that I will be sad to see go by the wayside.

On the left page, you can see how much our little traveler has grown from picture #1 (bottom right) to picture #3 (top left). Time flies when you're having fun!

Now, we'd like to see how you use NUMBERS in your project. Be sure to upload your creation to the H2H blog before the month's over. We have lots of treats (but no tricks) up our sleeve!

{Layout 2011 #70}

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Reinker Techniques

Somehow I missed the sign up for this month's Close To My Heart Product Spotlight blog hop! The gals who actually are hopping are focusing on reinker techniques. Here's the card I made for my part of the hop. (If you'd like to check out the hop, go straight to Wendy's blog HERE.)

The piece across the bottom of this fall card uses the "cottoned color" reinker technique. Basically, you dab up some reinker with a cotton ball and then pounce it on your project. I used Desert Sand reinker and (non-CTMH) gold. It is very shimmery and pretty IRL.

This card starts with an A2 Desert Sand base with a matte of Sunset B&T. I used three different stamp sets (Love Birds and the retired Grown with Love and Flourished Blessings) and four different colors of ink (Desert Sand, Cranberry, Sunset, and Goldrush).

We are off to our local fall festival today! It has been really great having my cousin in town for a few days, and we hate to see her go. Hope you have a wonderful day no matter what you're doing!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cute Cupcake Idea

One of the teachers' moms made these cupcakes for her daughter's class. (Do moms EVER get to outgrow doing things for their kids? LOL) Isn't it the cutest?!? A cupcake, chow mein noodles, melted icing poured over the top, pretzel sticks, red hots, mini marshmallows, and a little more frosting... Yummy-ness and adorable-ness all wrapped up in one!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The First Day of School (Layout Share)

We are home this week from school (Fall Break) so I am cleaning, cleaning, CLEANING. There's a reward for my hard work, though, because my cousin (who now lives in Wisconsin) is coming for a visit. I am really excited about it!

This layout is from the first day of school, over eight weeks ago. I actually worked on it the weekend following and then dabbled a bit here and there until I liked the results. (Of course, I saved up ordering until I had several layouts ready. As a Studio J member, I get free shipping once a month on up to 20 layouts.)

STUDIO J TIP: See the banner at the top of the page? They're made of the "tails" of the winner's ribbon My Stickease (that you can see on the lower left side of the right page). It was easy to copy and paste them where I wanted them. Whatever hangs off the page doesn't get printed (just like how you can stamp off the edge of your project). I also "stapled" the top of each one. I didn't not use the precision tool to line them up perfectly exactly, because life just doesn't work that way for me!

{Layout 2011 #66}

Monday, October 10, 2011

H2H Challenge: Storytime! (AKA Journaling on Your Layout)

This week's Heart 2 Heart Challenge is to tell a story on a scrapbook layout (AKA to use journaling on your layout). (And I have to say that if you're NOT journaling on your layout, why are you scrapbooking? If you have to narrate your layouts as someone looks through your albums, what will happen when you're gone?) Okay, maybe I digress, but I guess you could say that I'm pretty passionate about journaling! That doesn't mean, however, that I feel like I am good at it.

For this particular layout, I actually wrote my journaling before I even took the pictures! Our older daughter was leaving for a school trip to Washington DC (10 hours from home) so I posted my thoughts on my family blog. From there, it was easy to incorporate the text with the photos I took of her departure. (She will be home this morning and has had a great time!) Feel free to click on any of the layout photos to enlarge them in your browser.

JOURNALING TIP: Begin each paragraph with the same phrase (in this case, "It's hard for me to believe that..."). Now, of course, your scrapbook would get boring if you always wrote in this style, but it's a fun tip/trick to use sometimes.

If you're interested in the deets of this particular layout (artistically speaking), I made it in Studio J. (She left Thursday evening, I worked on the layout online Thursday night, ordered several Studio J layouts Friday evening, and had my JPEGs delivered to my inbox Saturday! The actual printed layouts will be printed early next week and mailed directly to my door, complete with page protectors.) I used the Discovery kit but changed it up to match my photos better with the addition of the Grey Flannel background and the Vineyard Berry cardstock (both of which I toned down a bit with some virtual sanding). This layout sketch is the members-only "Through the Lens" pattern. Instead of using six photos, I deleted two of them to then create a larger journaling box.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, just leave me a comment. Now, head to the Heart 2 Heart Challenges blog to see what all of our design team members have created and to enter your layout. We have two terrific prizes this month! You can find all the design team members and this month's sponsors on my sidebar. Thanks for stopping by!

{Layout 2011 #65}

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Scrap Our Stash Challenge Blog

You've probably already heard me mention how much I enjoy the Scrap Our Stash Challenge Blog, because they literally encourage you to use up whatever you've got with some fun challenges each month. This month's challenge is to use a quote on your project.

I was super thrilled when I was invited to join the Design Team! You can see my October challenge project over there today, but be sure to visit often to see all the great projects. You can email your project or project link (details at SOS) and your work will be featured too. Won't you join us?

Today, Little Bit and I are headed to our local Sorghum Festival parade. If you live in the South, then you probably already know what sorghum is, but for the rest of you, sorghum is a cane similar to sugar, and it is used to make syrup (which I do NOT like) that many sop up with a biscuit. The Sorghum Festival is going on this weekend and next if you'd like to join us (but the parade is only for today)! Many of my students (past and present) and friends will be in the parade, so we'll enjoy some hometown goodness on this beautiful fall day.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes! (August Stamp of the Month)

Though August has come and is (long) gone, I had to wait to share this project with you because I entered it into a Close To My Heart consultant contest (but didn't win), so I'm sharing it here and linking it up to the Make It Monday blog too. Once again, I wanted to use the August stamp of the month set, Wicked, beyond its obvious Halloween intentions.

I searched online for shoe templates, and found several, like THIS ONE from Creating Keepsakes (click to download a copy for yourself). I used this slightly different version from Stacey Cohen, for my paper shoes. If you're in a shoe mood, what about these witch shoes from Skip To My Lou? They would be perfect for this time of year! Finally, why not create a pair of baby shoes?

As they say, if the shoe fits, buy a pair in every color! My pink-loving daughter has claimed these for herself, and my blue-loving daughter is hinting at the need for her own pair...

Monday, October 3, 2011

H2H Challenges: Sketch for You to Try

It's time for a sketch challenge this week at Heart 2 Heart Challenges! Mary has created this one for us to try, so why don't you give it a go? It's easy to play along each week: just interpret the challenge we've thrown down, using some Close To My Heart products, post your project online, and then link it up to the H2H Challenge blog. You have all month to play any of this month's challenges, and we've got another set of fabulous prizes this month, thanks to our two new sponsors!

I was feeling a bit festive for this sketch challenge, so I pulled out the new October stamp of the month, Holiday Magic, and the Believe paper pack. I ended up rotating the sketch to accommodate that adorable stocking stamp. The horizontal stripes are from the "zip strip" (located at the top of each sheet of B&T paper).

I used a Holiday Red button to "hang" my stocking and then had to glitz it up a bit with the addition of Red Glitter Glitz Gel on rows of the polka dots on the top of the stocking. I also added a dot to serve as a "bullet" to highlight the word, celebrate at the bottom right.

If you're up to the sketch challenge, give it a try, and link up your creation to the H2H Challenge blog. The Design Team loves checking out your creations each week. YOU inspire US, so keep the crafty goodness coming our way!


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