Thursday, June 30, 2011

July Stamp of the Month Blog Hop - American Celebration

With only a few days until our country's birthday, this month's Stamp of the Month "American Celebration" couldn't have timed out better. Check out all the images in this fantastic stamp set in the right hand column of my blog.

The Close To My Heart Stamp of the Month Blog Hop begins today with over 60 consultants participating. And I can't wait to see all the great ideas they have come up with. If you're already hopping, you've come here from Dawn Heuft's blog. Keep scrolling through my post to see where to go to next.

I decided on a decorative piece this month rather than a card so I have something fun to hang on the inside of our front door. (See my earlier post for my creation for the outside of the door.)

This is what I came up with...

If you'd like to see some of the steps I took to create this, read on. If you're in a hurry, simply scroll to the bottom of the post for the next link in the blog hop.

It all started with a circle of wood about 6 1/2 inches from my local craft store. 99 cents each. I chose wood so that I would have a solid sturdy base for the project.

After covering the front and back with Kraft card stock, I stamped these splatters from the "You Rock" stamp set. Stamping was done with Cocoa ink.

I cut a large star out of spare chipboard scraps and applied red and blue pattern paper, inking all edges with Cocoa ink before adhering.

Using CTMH's 2-inch scallop circle punch, I punched out 18 circles from Kraft card stock. Then 12 smaller 1-inch circles for the centers. I stamped 12 of the scalloped circles with Moonstruck ink and the other 6 with Cranberry using the image from the American Celebration Stamp of the Month set. I then cut the Cranberry ones in half and overlapped them over the blue ones. It's not perfect stamping, but inking the edges with Cocoa fixes all that. The small circle is stamped with Cocoa ink, using an image from the featured stamp set as well.

I added a silver brad to the center of each and popped up with small circle with foam tape, then adhered the units to the circular base alternating the red and blue sides, overlapping each slightly.

America and Celebrate have been stamped onto Bamboo card stock pieces. America was stamped in three tones by first inking the stamp in Desert Sand ink, then the first part of the word in Cranberry, then the ending in Moonstruck. I huffed over the inked stamp to make sure it was well-moistened, then stamped the image. Voila!

Here's another look at the overall piece. Thanks for stopping by today. Now keep on hopping over to Vickie Tagatz's blog to see what she's created. Then hop along until you come all the way back to me. Have fun!

July's Kit of the Month is here

Here's an early look at July's Kit of the Month, designed by me using Close To My Heart's Miracle Level 1 Kit. The CTMH Level 1 kit includes 4 base pages, 2 card stock, 2 pattern paper and 2 sheets of stickers. I pull it all together using my own design and then provide cutting and assembly directions for the same cost of the CTMH kit plus a little extra for my directions, photos and shipping.

Be sure to click on the photo to catch all the details. I will be using these pages for our Easter Sunday get-together this past Spring. Can't wait to get the photos onto these pretty pages!

Order your Miracle Kit of the Month all through the month of July.

Order Options

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grungy Monday 13 - Alcohol Inks

This week's Grungy Monday Challenge #13 from the fabulous Studio L3 takes us back to a Tim Holtz demo on how to use Adirondack Alcohol Inks. I used to be intimidated by these, but they are surprisingly easy to work with and so much fun to play around with. Check out his video below.

After Tweetin' around yesterday, I found this video from Wendy Vecchi (gotta love this lady!) demonstrating how to use her Clearly For Art "Art Parts." I have seen this product used before and have been utterly fascinated, but never tried it until now. You wanna talk about FUN? This stuff is ultra-fab to play with! Check out here video below.

After all that inspiration, I decided to combine Tim's technique with Alcohol Inks and Wendy's Clear Art Parts to make my creation this week.

At first glance, this appears to be a greeting card, but with all the dimension I thought it would be better suited as an easel-backed display piece. This will go in my studio right above my computer so I can enjoy it everyday. It measures 5 x 7 inches, and I'll list all the products used at the end of this post.

Here's how the flowers and leaves look on a brighter background before I started layering them and adhering them to the card. I love how the alcohol inks mottle rather than muddy. So pretty!

I added some Gold Dabber to give just a little more shimmer. I love how you can see through the flowers and leaves to the images behind them.

I didn't make too much of an effort to make the back look pretty. I certainly could have used a nice black mat board or something, but I was so excited about the front, I didn't concern myself with the back. Just used some scraps of cardboard in my stash.

Thanks for checking me out today. Be sure to visit Studio L3 to see all the beautiful creations there using this week's challenge. (Thank you Linda Ledbetter for hosting these challenges week after week!) And, as always, check out Tim Holtz's blog to see what he's up to. Very soon he'll be unveiling his new stuff coming out at Summer CHA (Craft & Hobby Association).

Products used today:
Book Covers stamp set (all stamps from Stamper's Anonymous)
Playful Journey stamp set ("Enjoy the Journey")
French Market stamp set ("Artist")
Art Parts Clear Modeling Film (Studio 490/Wendy Vecchi/Stamper's Anonymous)
Tim Holtz Idea-ology (all embellishments)
Sizzix Alterations Dies (Small Easel, Tattered Leaves, Tattered Florals)
Ranger Archival Ink Sepia (book cover stamping)
Adirondack Gold Dabber
Adirondack Alcohol Inks:
    Flowers: Watermelon, Currant and Ginger
    Leaves: Lettuce, Meadow, and Sandal

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Something Fun for the 4th

It's a bit early for 4th of July celebrations, but I wanted to make something festive for my Cherish Club this month as their thank-you gift. My club meets monthly on the fourth Friday evening and they create four scrapbook pages together using all Close To My Heart products while enjoying snacks, sometimes a little wine and friendship. I provide the design and direction, and teach helpful techniques and tips along the way. By meeting monthly, they are sure to have plenty of themed scrapbook layouts for their family's memories and therefore never be behind in their scrapbooking. It's a win-win situation!

So here's what I made for them this month...

Thanks to my Sizzix "Bag with Scallops" die and "Nantucket Stack" papers from DCWV these came together pretty quickly. After assembling each bag, I punched a hole in the folded flap using my Crop-o-dile and then inserted the cute little pinwheels which I found at my local Michael's in the seasonal section. Inside each bag are a handful of soft peppermint candies wrapped in red-white-and-blue wrappers.

I used my new Martha Stewart butterfly punch and popped the butterflies up with a bit of foam tape. The scallop flap is secured with a disc of sticky back Velcro.

And yes, the pinwheels really spin!

Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Grungy Monday 12 Challenge

Grungy Monday time again over at Studio L3, and this week's challenge is a blast from Tim's past (I'm talking about Tim Holtz, of course). See his challenge here from April 2008.

Tim teaches us how to use patterned paper behind clear embossing to create a uniquely layered and textured feel. While he used a more colorful pattern paper behind his stamping, I opted to use a more neutral one to see how the effect would come across.

I started off with the paper below from Tim's Crowded Attic line. (You won't believe the change this technique makes to this paper.) The blue card stock is Heavenly Blue from Close To My Heart.

Since Tim takes the time to show each and every step, I'll leave that to him so be sure to hop over to that link above and check it out.

Here's the card I made using his technique.

I pulled three of my Stamper's Anonymous stamp sets out for this one: Odds & Ends (ticket), Papillion (butterfly and background script), and French Market for the clear embossed stamping. (This will be difficult to see, but if you click on the photo, you can probably get the idea.)

So much of the Idea-ology line went into this card: Fragments, Kraft Glassine, Jump Rings, and Ribbon. The pretty dangle-bob thingy is from the jewelry department of Michael's. I was hoping to find some tassel chain, but no luck.

The hint of blue comes from ink distressing with Tumbled Glass on a foam tool.

I think that about covers it. Thanks for stopping by today, and don't forget to go to Studio L3 to check out all the other beautiful creations using this technique by Tim Holtz.

Monday, June 20, 2011

MetroCon 2011, Tampa

There's another whole world out there, I've discovered over the years, thanks to my Anime/Manga Fan daughter. This past weekend we headed over to Tampa for Florida's largest Anime convention, MetroCon. If you don't understand it, it could certainly appear to be one giant freak show. But as I've learned, this is a serious fan-based group of kids (and adults) who connect through their love of Anime comic characters.

Now that I think of it, it's really not much different than a bunch of consultants at a Close To My Heart convention wearing silly feathers in their hair, colorful matching outfits, screaming at the top of their lungs over a new paper line or going crazy over a hilarious skit performed by the CTMH staff.

We all have our thing.

While I won't pretend to know all there is to know about the characters you'll see in the photos, I'll share what I do know. Here's just a sampling of some of my favorites.

That's my kid on the right dressed as Len Kagamine, a Vocaloid character. Her friend is dressed as Gir from the Invader Zim cartoon series.


Here's the Len character. Yes, he's a boy. Apparently, girls think it's super cool to dress as the boy characters they like best in the Anime world.

The more colorful, the more I was drawn to the characters. I have no idea what these girls are, but they were pretty!

Hello Kitty getting ready for the day.

My favorites seemed to be the girls dressed in this lolita style. Frilly dresses, beautiful hair, and super cute heels. They were selling these outfits at the vendor fair and I loved looking through all of them.

They are always happy to strike a pose when asked for their photo.

Then there's a little darker side. Colored contacts are a big thing here. This girl had "blind" eyes and the effect was eerie indeed.

Not sure who she's supposed to be, but she's was glowing green! (her dad and mom dressed up too.)

Again, I don't know, but he was cool. I noticed that many of these kids made their own outfits by hand. Some where absolutely amazing!

Boy, she was freaky with all those arms. Thanks goodness she crossed her actual arms in front of her, because she was a little risque.

Vocaloids unite!

Day 2 included a whole new costume change. Well, at least a wig change. Here the girls are representing Northern Italy and England from the Hetalia series. (Again, girls dressed as boys = big hit.)

The series presents an allegorical interpretation of political and historic events, particularly of the World War II era, in which the various countries are represented by anthropomorphic characters. 

I like that my daughter enjoys the Hetalia comic series because it not only entertains her, but educates her at the same time. I am definitely going to have to read these myself.

As we walked around the vendor fair, this booth really caught my attention. 

Check out this cool dude running the SteamPunk booth.

A few more SteamPunkers. I think if I were to dress up for one of these conventions this would be MY style of choice.

We had a great weekend. Thanks for indulging me. Enjoy your Monday!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lucky Dad - another card

My dad is lucky enough to get a double dose of card-making love in June since his birthday is a week before Father's Day.

Today I had a fabulous time making this Tim Holtz-inspired Father's Day card.

There are so many products used to make this card, I'll just list them at the bottom. 

My dad, as I mentioned in my previous post, owns his own advertising agency (excuse me, "Marketing & Communications Firm") and more often than not, he is the main photographer for most of his client work. He is a fantastic photographer that seems to know his cameras intimately. You can often find him perched high atop a crane boom photographing a cruise ship, or organizing a group of folks on the beach for a publicity shot. It's only a portion of what he does, and does really well. You can view some of his award-winning photos here.

With that being said, you can see why I chose the images I did for my card.

Ever since I can remember, my dad has had a camera in his hands. And thank goodness for that, because we have so many wonderful photos of us kids growing up, going on family vacations, and enjoying holidays. Not just still images either. He's got boxes of film reels of silent movies too. I will always remember the family getting together to watch those films; the sound of this film reel spinning in the projector, the grainy texture of the images, the giggles in the darkened room over the hairstyles and clothes, and the reaction of my daughter and my husband seeing me when I was little. I could hardly stand the wait of rewinding the reel so we could load up another.

Now my dad is in the time-consuming process of converting those reels to DVD, in order to preserve them. You never know what will become of those reels over time, and although I will miss the movie-projector experience, I know this is probably for the best.

I always loved that Dad was there taking our pictures; and believe me, I was front and center with my best smile when he was snapping photos. "Hug your brother," "Show me your present Santa gave you," or "Keep your eyes open" were common commands that I was happy to oblige. And now looking back, I'm so thankful for that.

Products used today:
(All are Tim Holtz unless otherwise specified)

• Lost & Found paper stack
• Polka dot and striped paper (7 Gypsies, Barcelona papers)
• Type Charms
• Hanger Clips
• Filmstrip stamp
• Filmstrip ribbon
• Curious Possibilities stamp set
• Playful Journey stamp set
• Curiosities stamp set

Thanks for stopping by today. Enjoy your Wednesday!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dad's Birthday Card

Just a quick post today to show a masculine card I made for my Dad's birthday this weekend.

I'm always happy to make a more masculine style card because I rarely have an occasion for one. My dad enjoys fishing and boating, lives on the water and spends a lot of time at Port Canaveral (FL) where his biggest advertising account is: The Canaveral Port Authority. Good old Dad has owned and operated his own advertising agency since 1984 (Wolf Jessee Paquin Communications) and is still going strong. Really gotta admire him for that, especially through some tough economic times over the years.

The papers I used for this card are from Fancy Pants Designs' Beach Bum collection. Perfect for this themed card. The die-cut is from PaperTreyInk (Mat Stack 2) and the stamping inside is from their Mat Stack 2 Collection and the leafy circle is from their Everyday Treats collection. The innermost circle, the birthday sentiment and the big clock are from Close To My Heart (Connections, Card Chatter - Birthday and Make it Count). The sailboat and the word Dad are from PaperTrey's Men of Life set. The metal compass is actually a jewelry charm from which I snipped the top loop with my Tonic scissors. Finally, the chipboard button and twine came from Websters's Pages Yacht Club Buttons & Twine. A perfect match!

Be sure to visit those links above. You will LOVE Fancy Pants and Webster's Pages products, as well as PapreTreyInks dies and coordinating stamp sets. They are all gorgeous!

Thanks for stopping by today. Enjoy your Monday.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

USA Patriotic Door Hanging

Like many of you, I like to display some sort of seasonal wreath or decoration on my front door. I have one for almost every season with the exception of summer. I used to have a sunflower wreath but that thing died long ago. So I decided to utilize this week's Grungy Monday Challenge #10 over at the L3 Studio as my starting point to make a patriotic door hanging. Grungy Monday celebrates all sorts of Tim Holtz products and techniques.

The challenge this week was wide open: Use distress inks. Anyway we like, in any fashion we choose.

My project starts with some craft products...

A basic wood plaque from the local craft store, some thick chipboard letters, a vintage-style bell, and several Tim Holtz products. Although I show this stamp set in the photo (Curious Possibility), I actually ended up using School Desk instead. (You'll see in a minute.)

Here's what I came up with... 

Now I'll fly through the steps...

Gesso the board.

Add Tim Holtz Seasonal Paper.

Sand the edges HARD and the overhanging paper will pull off easily.

Paint the edges with a Barn Red acrylic paint, then ink distress with Walnut Stain over the whole piece. Follow up with a coat of Studio Multi-Medium matte.

Cover the letters with Tissue Tape on the outside edges (a bit tedious) and then cover the fronts of the letters with paper from Tim's Seasonal Paper Stash. Stamp desired images over the tops. Ink the tissue taped sides with alcohol inks and ink distress overall with Walnut Stain. Finish off the Studio Multi-Medium matte as well.

Add all the great Tim Holtz Idea-ology doodads with some good strong adhesive. I like to use E6000. That stuff is cement, in my opinion.

I tea-dyed a striped ribbon and added that old-looking bell, and now it's complete. I love how it looks on my front door. Now if I can just keep my Tim Holtz-loving-customers and neighbors from "lifting it" when I'm not looking!

Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by.