Tuesday, January 31, 2012

February Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

It's a pretty exciting time if you are a Close To My Heart enthusiast (or consultant) because the new 2012 Spring/Summer Idea Book goes live starting February 1st. And Close To My Heart never ceases to amaze! The papers are super gorgeous, the color combinations are great, and the new embellishments will blow your mind. Okay, not to mention a few really cool alterable items like the new My Creations® Milk Carton and Bookmark Album and Mini Banner and Collage Cubes... Whew!

With a new month comes a new Stamp of the Month, of course, and February's is called "Thoughtful Tidings." You can view the images in this great stamp set in the right hand column of my blog page. This month there are exactly 60 consultants participating in the Blog Hop so you should get tons of inspiration for this stamp set.

If you are already hopping, you came here from Carla's blog. To see where to go to next, keep scrolling through my post to the end.

Here we go! Since "Thoughtful Tidings" is an all-word and phrase stamp set, I figured I needed to come up with something more than a card. I love the new My Creations® Milk Carton (you get two in a pack) and just had to make something fun for my daughter for Valentine's Day. (shhh...)

Here's what the plain white milk carton looks like...

And here's what I did with it...

You'll notice a pretty clip at the top of the carton. Two of those are included in the set as well.

Now, if you just don't have time to see how this came together (or simply don't care) then now is the time for you to scroll to the end of this post to see where to hop to next. 

If you're curious, though, I will show you...

To make the window, I punched out a 2 1/4 inch circle from scrap card stock. (or you can use your Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge to cut one) I traced the circle onto the milk carton in the position I liked.

There is a front and a back to this milk carton so it's important to trace this circle on the front if you only want one window, like mine. See the diagonal score line on the side of the carton toward the top? That's the area that will be the pour spout, so to speak. 

TIP: It's best to make some soft folds on all the score lines before you get started to get a sense of the way the carton will close.

There's really no way to cut this hole laying the milk carton flat, so I just used my Xacto knife and cut it while it was standing on its side like you see here. I wasn't concerned with it being neat because I knew I was going to cover the outside of the hole with paper.

See? First I measured the front of the carton, cut the B&T paper rectangle (this is from the new "Stella" paper pack), then traced that same circle, making sure it would line up with the window I cut in the carton, and cut it out. Again, not concerned with neatness yet. (And yes, I could have saved a step and glued the paper to the carton first, then cut the hole only once.)

I like to make templates from scraps of card stock because I am sure to make many of these milk cartons in the future and saving the templates in a baggy will be a huge time-saver later.

This template above is for the milk carton's top portion. I started with a rectangle measuring just under 3 inches (2 15/16") by 2 1/8 inches. I found the center of the long edge and made a diagonal cut down to the outer corners to make a triangle. This triangle is all I need to keep. 

I cut four of the same size rectangles from B&T paper, traced, scored and inked with Cocoa as shown above. Two of the rectangles only get one score since these will be for the sides of the upper part of the carton. 

Here you can see here where the scored pieces go. 

For the window border, I cut (Circle4) from the Art Philosophy cartridge at 2 1/2 inches. One from Cocoa card stock (Circle4 + Decorative Layer), and one from the same B&T paper I've been using (Circle4 + Layer).

Using Colonial White card stock, I cut a heart from the Art Philosophy cartridge at 2 inches. Then I stamped "We Love You" with Tulip, colored the shadow of LOVE with a Juniper marker, inked the outer edges with Cocoa and then used a watercolor marker to add a soft shading of red.

Then I came in with a blending pen and softened it up to blend out to the Cocoa edges.

To break up all the red, I cut a heart on the Cricut at 1/2 inch out of Juniper card stock and stuck it over top of the Tulip stamped one. I finished it off with a bow made from some of our new Baker's Twine from the Paradise Assortment.

On each side of the milk carton, I layered up four of our new Just Blooms Paper Shapes (Paradise) and added a mocha opaque pearl in the center to match the Cocoa ink distressing. I added a little Tulip ink over the second flower from the center with a sponge dauber so it matched my milk carton colors better. 

Here's another look at the finished milk carton. I put my daughter's favorite candy (Reese's Mini's) in a cello bag and tucked it inside so they show through the window. I was very proud of myself for only eating two of them while I put this project together. (Not as easy as it seems.)

I used the "Consider Yourself Hugged" image from the stamp of the month set on the side of the carton. Another heart at 1/2 inches out of Tulip card stock finished it off. 

Thanks for sticking with me to the end. If you're moving on through the hop, it's time to go check out what Dawn's created. 

Have a great day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

February Kit of the Month - "Stella"

In just a few days, the Close To My Heart 2012 Spring/Summer Idea Book will go live. I'm busy creating with one of the the new paper lines called "Stella" for my February Kit of the Month and Stamp of the Month Blog Hop creation. Stay tuned Feb. 1st for the Blog Hop. For now I wanted to share my Kit of the Month.

My Kit of the Month consists of select papers and card stock from a Level 2 "Stella" paper pack plus the Stella Complements Canvas Shapes, which are essentially colored canvas stickers. That's all I work with when creating my kits of the month so as to keep the cost down and keep the kit simple yet beautiful. The only thing I add to really pump things up on my layouts is some ink-distressing and foam tape under certain elements for added dimension. (Be sure to click on the images to get a closer look at the details.)

Kits of the Month are available to everyone since this is not a club. You can opt in or out at any time, or you can join my monthly list and get them automatically until you wish to cancel.

Each kit contains large color images of the layouts, tip and hints for assembly, and easy-to-follow cutting directions of only four pieces of paper. So simple!

For orders in my 30-mile radius (Melbourne, Florida) there is no shipping cost. For out-of-towners, there is a $6 shipping charge (U.S.) You can buy one right here on my blog at the PayPal order button below.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

DiAnn's Gift Box & Mini Album

My friend DiAnn just celebrated her birthday and since she's always making beautiful things for everyone – (she just made me an adorable bird and birdhouse. See this post if you missed it.) – I asked her if she had any ideas for her birthday that she would like me to make. She told me what colors she liked and that she also liked the card box I altered a few weeks back.

I hit the nearest scrapbook store and had a great time coordinating products for my planned project. 
Here is the finished box...

Oh my goodness, I am in the right business. I just love paper and flowers and buttons and rub-ons and ink and stamps, and....  well, like I said, I'm in the right business. This box comes from Close To My Heart. It's  plain white chipboard with a double magnetic closure. I used various papers from DCWV, Glitz, Prima and October Afternoon, and Close To My Heart for the large flower on top. Tim Holtz buttons and bee stamp, Pink Paislee rub-ons, Prima embellishments all tied everything together nicely.

I have to mention this pretty embellishment because DiAnn gave it to me in a package of six different cameos from Webster's Pages. (See? She's always giving me stuff!) They are just beautiful.

I had such fun making the box,  and I had so much supply left over I knew I had to make something else. Who gives someone an empty box for their birthday? Not me.

So I made this mini album that would fit inside the box. The idea behind this mini is to honor our friendship and to celebrate our creative connection to one another. 

This charm cluster is an idea I got from Diann herself who makes beautiful mini albums.

The base of this album is long, side-loading kraft envelopes (The Paper Studio, Hobby Lobby). Several of the pages you'll see are the envelopes like the one above on the righthand side. (Remember to click on the photos for a closer look.)

Did I mentioned Crafty Secrets stickers and cut-outs? I love their products! 

Here are the remaining pages of the album...

I had such fun making both projects. There's just something about creating a gift by hand for someone you love. It's even better than getting a gift, in my opinion. I'll be meeting DiAnn for coffee in the morning to give these to her. Can't wait!

Here's another look at both the box and the mini album. Thanks for stopping by today and taking a look.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Trip to Sonoma

Although I've never been to Sonoma, I'm sure I would love it. Just the fact that it's the birthplace of wine-making in America is reason enough. And if Sonoma is anywhere as beautiful as this paper line of the same name by Close To My Heart, then it's definitely a bucket list destination for me.

Today I thought I'd share with you all the different layouts and projects I've made with this gorgeous paper pack. First up is my Kit of the Month which is available through the end of January for $16. Just e-mail me if you'd like one. The kit of the month includes these beautiful stickers plus all the materials you need to assemble the four pages.

My monthly scrapbooking club (called Cherish Club) will be doing these four pages this month...

(You'll have to be sure to click on each photo to get a better look at all the details.)

This month's Cards & More Club made the following projects...

This card utilizes both "Key Moments" and "Sweet Moments" stamp sets.

This card features a brand new stamp available starting February called "Quick Cards - Butterfly."

 I like how CTMH is offering large single stamps like this for just $6.95! To color the butterfly, I used watercolor pencils with the blending pen plus a little dab of Stardust Glitz Glitter Gel

You may have noticed the stitching on this card. Here's a closer look. I love the new Close To My Heart ruler because it has holes for piercing which makes for perfectly spaced stitching!

Finally, our altered item this month started with this plain wooden box from the craft store...

I was thrilled to find these divided sections inside.

Again, using the Sonoma papers and coordinating stamp sets, with a little help from a Cuttlebug embossing folder, we created this lovely little display box. That pretty dangling charm below the cameo comes from CTMH's Heirloom Assortment.

For the purple colored box, we mixed several drops of Smokey Plum re-inker with Pearl Paint, then finished it off with a staining of a little more Smokey Plum re-inker and a sealer. (I like Glue & Seal). The stamps on the inside come from CTMH's promotion pack called "Rock the Block." 

The Rock the Block promo is available for only $15 when you spend at least $25 or more on CTMH products before January 31. The stamp set plus the new Collage Cubes would normally retail for $44.90 so this is a fantastic deal. Get yours before they're gone! Start shopping here.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a wonderful Monday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shrink Plastic Embellishments

In my recent birdhouse posts, I featured some shrink plastic flowers and leaves and promised to share how those were made. Seems as though this technique has been around for quite some time, but somehow has eluded me until now. (I've mentioned how I'm sort of a late bloomer, haven't I?) Anyway, Tim Holtz used a similar technique in his 12 Tags of Christmas this past season on his Tag 11. And after making my own tag, I fell in love with making these great little embellishments.

Then I saw Tammy Tutterow's blog and was even more inspired by her beautiful charms!

Here's a close-up of my Tag #11's shrinked holly leaves, just as a reminder...

And here's another close-up of my birdhouse embellishments...

Here's how I made mine...

I started with Clear Shrinky Dinks shrink film and cut out shapes from Tim's Alterations Dies. Tattered Leaves and Tattered Florals, (and then I added a butterfly that I stamped first and hand cut.) After cutting, I stamped a design with Black Staz-on.

Then I had some fun coloring the images with my Copic markers on the side that wasn't stamped with Staz-on.

With the colored side up, I placed the pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and baked them for 3 minutes in a 325 degree oven, following the Shrinky Dinks instructions. The colors get deeper and more intense after baking, so remember that when coloring.

Now, just a note here. Tim used the Melting Pot filled with Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE) to both shrink and coat the pieces at the same time, and so did Tammy. While I do like that technique for certain applications, I found it harder to control and I also didn't care for the amount of yellowing the UTEE took on when heating. Although my method took a bit longer, it helped me achieve the results I was after.

After my pieces cooled from the oven, I then dabbed them into my Versamark pad, then coated them with UTEE and heated them with my heat gun one by one. I did this twice for a nice thick, bulbous look. 

Another note here: When using word stamps, you'll want to be sure your "tops" of your pieces reflect the words in the correct direction. Otherwise they'll read backwards.

Once these were cooled, I adhered them to my birdhouse with clear glue (Liquid Glass by CTMH) or Glossy Accents by Ranger.

These were great fun to play with, and I warn you if you try it make sure you have a few hours because once you get started, you want to make a zillion of them! Have fun!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vintage Shabby Birdhouse, part 2

Yesterday, I posted a quick pic of my Vintage Shabby Birdhouse (my All Things Tim group's February project). For this group, my goal is to incorporate Tim Holtz's products and techniques into each project and to create a wide array of projects from month to month. If you're already a follower, you may have seen our projects over the past six months. It's been nothing short of great fun for me, and it appears that the group is pleased as well. And for the first time, I will have a few kits available on my Etsy site in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that announcement here on my blog.

Today I wanted to share with you how the birdhouse project came together. It all starts with a Crafty Secrets Sweet Chips Chipboard House. This little house kit comes with many pieces for making a sweet little house. Scalloped borders, windows with shutters, doors that swing open, birds, and lots more.

The main house piece looks like this. I used Tim Holtz's 12th tag technique (of his 2011 12 Tags of Christmas) for the house. I began by stamping a background with Archival black ink. This floral flourish comes from Tim's Artful Flight stamp set.

I knew I wanted the house to be pink in the end, so I did a color wash of Fired Brick Distress Stain over the stamped house. 

Tim used his new tissue paper on a roll which I do not have, so I used many rows of tissue tape instead. I did not crinkle it, just taped it straight across. (I tried the wrinkle effect and ended up taking if off. Just didn't work with tape the same way as the tissue paper.) 

Although I don't show a few steps here, I first spread a layer of Glue & Seal (matte finish) over the tissue tape to seal it. After that dried completely I put a wash of Picket Fence Distress Stain over the whole thing and let that dry. Finally, a smear of Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles with my finger over most of the surface. I put that aside to dry thoroughly.

For the rooftop, I pulled some Baby Pink card stock from my Close To My Heart paper stash and ran it through the Vagabond with this Texture Fade of Tim's. I don't save the packaging, so don't know what it's called exactly. I did it twice for each side of the roof.

I purposely chose Close To My Heart's card stock because it has a white core. I sanded the raised areas to expose the white. Perfect for my shabby pink and white birdhouse.

I glued each piece to the two roof sides and trimmed as necessary.

Hard to see here, but I spritzed the roof with Pearl Pearls mist to give it a bit of shimmer, and the illusion of a pink tin roof was just a bonus! Another bonus is finding that the rosette ribbon in Tim's trims fits perfectly  onto the length of the five scallops on this roof. I didn't have to trim and adhere the rosettes individually. Just a string of five glued down.

The house was cute but I knew that I wanted it on a pedestal of some kind, so I went to my local Hobby Lobby and found just what I was looking for on the wood cuts aisle. I painted them white with spray paint and with my finger, added a touch of Salmon Paint Dabber here and there for a soft pink distressed look. Once all that was dry, I glued the pieces together and sprayed the whole thing with Perfect Pearls mist.

For some accents, I added a few of Tim's metal corners to the pitch of the roof after a rubbing a little Snow Cap White Paint Dabber over the decorative surface. Under that you'll notice a paper rosette. I used some of the blue card stock from Tim's Vintage Shabby paper pack and cut the smallest rosette from his Mini Paper Rosette Alteration die. I used half of the length for each side of the roof.

Although some cute little chipboard birds came in the Crafty Secrets kit, I opted for Tim's Caged Bird Alterations die and cut two from Grungeboard. Since I didn't have yellow paint, I cut two more birds out of Buttercup card stock and glued them over the Grungeboard bird pieces. I stamped the flourish on their bellies (Urban Grunge) and then did a quick swipe of Snow Cap white over everything and rubbed some of it off with damp paper towel. I gave the edges a soft distressing with Black Soot, then added a dot of silver glitz for the eyes.

The fence around the perimeter was cut from Grungepaper. It worked out nicely that each strip of Tim's On the Fence Alterations On the Edge die fit the length of each side of the base with just a slight trimming. I cut four fences, painted them with Snow Cap White, and then crackled them with Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint. After it was completely dry, I rubbed a bit of Tattered Rose distress ink on a blending tool into the cracks, then heat set it. Once I adhered the four fence pieces, I didn't like the exposed seams where each piece met, so I added this wonderful soft pink crushed velvet ribbon around the perimeter. 

I was happy with the house at this point, but felt it needed just a bit more something. I had played around last month with shrink charms when making jewelry in our All Things Tim group, and after everyone left, I continued to experiment and play with the shrink plastic and thick embossing powder and made several flowers and leaves. (Tim had used a similar technique in his 11th Tag.)

So I think I will save the making of my shrink charms for another blog post. My fingers are tired and my coffee needs nuking. Have a wonderful Sunday and thank you for stopping in. 

Here's one last look at the birdhouse...