Saturday, June 30, 2012

July Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Close To My Heart's stamp of the month for July is called "Live out Loud," a fun stamp set with upbeat words and phrases. You can check out all the images in this set in the right-hand column of my blog.

There are over 55 consultants participating in the Blog Hop this month so be sure to take some time to hop around and get some great inspiration. If you're already hopping, then you came here from Debra Van Patten's blog. Keep scrolling through this post to see where to go to next. If you get lost along the way, simply go to Helen's blog for a complete list of all the blog hop participants.

You can get qualify for the July Stamp of the Month for only $5 by shopping with me online, spending at least $50. And July is a great month for freebies too! If you spend at least $75 on my CTMH website, you not only get the Stamp of the Month for $5, you also qualify for the July Campaign:

The Perfect Pair

Spend at least $75 before shipping and tax on my CTMH website and you'll qualify for a popular paper packet and coordinating accessory for FREE! (A retail value of up to $17.90) Pairs are available on different dates throughout the month, so you'll want to place more than one qualifying order to snatch several Perfect Pairs. 

Here are the dates and freebies for each:

July 1 - 5  Mischief Paper Packet & Midnight Felt Shapes

July 6 - 10  Dreamin' Paper Packet and Harvest Charms

July 11 - 15  Fanfare Paper Packet and Fanfare Level 2 Assortment

July 16 - 20  Lucky Paper Packet and Lucky My Stickease

July 21 - 25  Mayberry Paper Packet and Mayberry My Stickease

July 26 - 29  Sophia Paper Packet and Sophia My Stickease

July 30 - 31  Believe Paper Packet and Holiday Pockets 
Wonderland Paper Packet and Wonderland My Stickease

Okay, back to the Blog Hop. Here's the fun card I created with this month's stamp set.

With some help from the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge, some markers and a Persnickety Journaling Spot, this card came together in a jiffy. I mixed paper from Super Hero and Elemental which went together nicely, don't you think?

I love the grungy look to this "JUST BE" image in the set. I stamped with Black Archival ink, then colored in with Moonstruck, Cranberry and Sunny Yellow markers.

The journaling spots are so much fun to colorize with the unique resist design on each. Here I rubbed Cranberry ink over the surface, then the outer edges with Cocoa. The yellow circle in the center is punched from Sunny Yellow card stock. And the "&" symbol comes from the Art Philosophy cartridge.

Same marker colors as above. This image was stamped on Colonial White cut from the Art Philosophy cartridge. (Rectangle7 at 2 3/4 inches)

I added a dot of Cranberry marker to the centers of the flower images in the Elemental paper. A subtle detail to help tie in all the colors.

That's it for me, so if you'd be so kind as to leave a comment before moving on, then I thank you. You can continue on the hop by going to Michelle Loncar's blog next.

Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy the hop!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Launch Woes and my Secret Love of Bees

Darn it, I've been sitting here at home since 6:00 a.m. waiting and watching the Delta IV rocket launch here at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. My husband Paul is a key player on the launch team and as I track the progress on SpaceFlightNow, things are not going smoothly. Delays are common, but I feel for those guys. They had to report to work last night at 10 p.m. for a 6 a.m. launch and it's now past 8:00 and no signs yet of a "go." So I wait...

If you are a space junkie, and didn't already know about it, you can watch and listen in on SpaceFlightNow for all launch info. Just go to the main page and click on the Mission Status Center link and you can get a play-by-play of the action, complete with video. And you'll get a listen to Paul's voice (when they say FMA) as they call on the team for "okays" along the way.

Now back to the post for today.

There's just something about bees. I've always had a thing for their images, especially the vintage botanical style. Same goes for dragonflies, butterflies and birds. But something about the good old bumblebee just makes me happy. Here's a card I made inspired by bees...

Black and yellow, of course, were the perfect colors for this card. I started this card design with the new honeycomb Texture Fade (Sizzix) and worked out from there. I ran Close To My Heart's black card stock through the embossing folder and sanded the raised edges to expose the white core, then brushed Honey ink over the surface.

When I saw this Seed Packet Frame die from PaperTreyInk and the coordinating stamps: "Year of Flowers Titles" and "Garden Variety II", I knew I had to have them! The flower images are from an older retired Close To My Heart set called "Enjoy Every Moment."

I love this treatment I've seen on many card designs where the bow of twine is actually tied to on the back side of a button rather than the front. Lovely!

And there's that wonderful bee. This one comes from Tim Holtz's collection of Stamper's Anonymous stamps. This is a single wood-block stamp I purchased online at SimonSaysStamp, one of my favorite places to shop for all things Tim.

And speaking of Stamper's Anonymous, I'm headed to Stamp Fest Orlando tomorrow and simply cannot wait because it's that one time of year when I get to see Ted and the gang at the Stamper's Anonymous booth, and shop-shop-shop for my favorite Tim Holtz goodies! I've been hoarding the cash, making my wish list, and counting the days. I'll be sharing on my blog, don't you worry.

 Finally, at 9:15 today...

Pretty cool that we can wait for the final 5-second countdown, walk outside, and watch it go over our house!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

July Tag - Compendium of Curiosities Challenge

It's been far too long since I participated in one of Linda Ledbetter's challenges over at Studio L3 or the Inspiration Journal monthly challenge. Life has gotten crazy somehow. But I keep visiting these blogs, hoping to jump back in as soon as I can. And, yippee, now is the time!

You may remember Linda from those great Grungy Monday challenges where she presented us with design challenges based on Tim Holtz's techniques over the years. Now Linda has taken on Tim's latest book A Compendium of Curiosities Volume II where each week she hosts a challenge using a technique from this new wonderful book. Check out this week's challenge at Studio L3. And the fun part is the sponsor give-away by the Funkie Junkie Boutique. Be sure to check them out too.

Basically, Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #10 is creating a project with tissue wrap flowers. (If you have the book, it's on page 37.)

The Inspiration Journal monthly challenge is Red, White and Blue. Be sure to check out all the creations in that challenge here.

I decided on a July tag for my creation...

Now I usually wait for Tim on these tags, but I host an All Things Tim group and we are creating May, June and July tags next Friday. Not knowing exactly when Tim would present his July tag, I decided to forge ahead on my own, but I can't wait to see what he comes up with.

After creating my tissue flower, I sprayed it with Cranberry Color Wash, then Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls mist. After that dried, I inked the edges of the flowers with Fired Brick and Faded Jeans Distress inks, then gave the whole thing another shot of gold mist, including the pearl bauble which I glued to the center with Beacon's 3-in-1 Glue.

To create a unique border strip for my tag, I cut a ruler image from the Crowded Attic paper stash, then lined it up with the Vintage Lace border die. You'll see this detail in the next photo.

(See the borders?) Also here I used one of Tim's Chain Tassels behind one of his Bingo numbers. I used my jewelry pliers to squash the tassel top flat so it would lay nicely. And one of my favorite things to do when using Tim's Alpha Parts (here I used the Ransom Letters U, S and A) is to paint them then go over the dried paint with Glossy Accents. Such a cool effect! 

Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you give these challenges a try too. 
And to get your Compendium of Curiosities Volume II, shop here today!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June Tag - 12 Tags of 2012

I know it seems I've been a lazy blogger, but in my own defense I have been sick, and now have a sick teenager to care for. You think teenagers are demanding of your time and attention? Wait 'til they get sick. Every time I sit to create, to check e-mail, to blog,... I'm called to her aid. I'm not complaining, mind you, because now that she'll be starting high school this fall, the realization is hitting me that it won't be long before she's gone away to college. And I'll wish for her to need me the way she does now. Oh gosh, don't even get me started thinking about that.

While she napped yesterday, I snuck in some creative time and made my June tag of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2012. Check out Tim's tag and his step-by-step photo tutorial (and a bonus video) on his blog here.

Here is my tag...

My tag is very similar to Tim's this time (usually I like to change it up quite a bit) because Tim provided us with this great vintage photo on his blog to print out and colorize. Since she was the main focus and she's so cute, I just had to use her. I made some minor changes though, like moving the film strip to the bottom of the tag as well as the pen nib. I also eliminated the tissue tape across the top right corner, but that was simply because I didn't want to cover up the vintage camera stamped in my right corner. Such a great detailed stamp.

I didn't have Tattered Rose Distress Stain like Tim did, so I used Victorian Velvet therefore my pinks are a bit deeper in color, which is quite pretty too. The background color of my main tag is more pink because I used only Picket Fence and Victorian Velvet stains when mixing on my craft sheet. 

I love how Tim has us trying something new all the time. I realized that I've never hand-tinted a photo before. Only in PhotoShop. This was surprisingly easy! Simply use a craft nib as a paintbrush, swipe it across a Distress ink pad and brush the color right onto a glossy photograph. Here I used Victorian Velvet on the girl's hair bow and her plaid dress, then Vintage Photo on her teddy bear. Be sure to check out Tim's video on his blog post on how to colorize a black & white photo using this technique.

Thanks for stopping in today. Time to get back to my sick kid...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Distress Colors = Fun

Although I'm a huge fan of the dark earthly color pallet when using Tim Holtz stamps & products, I am also a bright color person. Love those bold brights! So when Ranger came out with the Summer Seasonal Distress colors, I knew in an instant I had to have them.

Be sure to check out Tim's blog post to check out the video and see the new colors in action.

Yesterday I made this card with the new colors: Mowed Lawn, Salty Ocean, and Picked Raspberry (love those names) then added a touch of Mustard Seed. 
Who says Tim Holtz products are masculine? Not me!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Tattered Flower Garland die is one of my all-time favorites. Here I created the flowers by first adhering tissue tape over bright-colored card stocks in pink, green and yellow, then ran each through my Vagabond and layered up the leaves and flowers, giving them a bit of a curl for dimension. I added pearl gems to the flower centers. Rather than a fancy punched border, I thought it would be interesting to use Tim's Filmstrip Frames die for a different look.

This great bicycle is from the Stamper's Anonymous set called "Pen and Pencil" (CMS072). A good sharp Xacto blade helps make nice clean cuts in those tight spaces. The ticket and phrase are from "Odds and Ends" (CMS 100).

For the background I first stamped the floral flourish onto card stock. That comes from "Artful Flight" (CMS 069). Then ran the piece through my Vagabond using the honeycomb folder from the Texture Fade called "Bubble and Honeycomb Set." I purposely used the raised area of the hexagon side, rather than the outlines for this effect. I finished it off with a light rubbing of Mustard Seed over the raised areas.

If you haven't gotten your Summer Distress Inks yet, what are you waiting for?! 
You can get them right here.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a good one!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Footloose Workshop on the Go, Enhanced

First, I just had to share what we did this weekend with our daughter and her friends. MetroCon 2012 in Tampa. Check out this crazy crew. If you are feeling confident, or have a kid in the house that can tell me who these four characters are from left to right correctly, I will happily send you a surprise goody that you will be sure to enjoy! Just post your answer in the comments and watch tomorrow for the winner.

Now back to business. Close To My Heart's "Footloose" Workshop on the Go scrapbook kit features a very nice two-page layout...

My customers often tell me they would like to see more photo areas in our monthly layouts, and since these are summer pages, I'm sure we will all have lots of photos to scrapbook. So I adapted the kit design a bit to allow for this.

(Be sure to click on the photo for a larger, more detailed view)
Not only does this layout offer more photo space, the two 4 x 6 photo mats on the right can be layered up with some of our Flip Flap page protectors. In case you missed it, I posted a video last week on how to use Flip Flaps on your scrapbook pages. You can view it here.

Now let's take a look at some of the details on my pages...

I absolutely love the exclusive stamp set that comes in the Footloose Workshop on the Go. Starfish, clams, seahorse, fish, turtle, it's adorable!

I added the Keepsake Felt Alphabet to my pages to give a pop of that great Smoothie color. These are so easy. Just peel and stick! 

The Wooden Badge Buttons come in the kit (and are also sold separately). Here I painted them with sponge brush and a mixture of 3 drops of Lagoon re-inker to about a tablespoon of Create-a-Shade Pearl Paint. I made the shine spot on each bubble using white acrylic paint thinned with water on a fine paintbrush.

Using my Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge, I made these scalloped borders. (Shift + Font + Rectangle8, pg. 65, set at 6 inches.) I cut the scallop four times per page, for a total of 8 cuts at this setting, then overlapped, cutting and piecing as necessary.

You can also stamp right onto the wooden badge buttons, as shown above to the right of the turtle, but I found that the ink eventually bled a little bit as it absorbed into the wood. So I wouldn't recommend it unless you primed the wood first with paint.

That's it for today. Don't forget to send in your guess with your comment! And then check back tomorrow. Thanks, and have a great day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pop-up Slider Card with "Footloose"

I been getting requests lately to show how to make a pop-up card. Off to YouTube I went because although I'd have no trouble designing it, I really had no idea how to construct it. Voila! I found this video from Mary Anne Walters. She also has a printable PDF on her blog: Down in the right-hand column, you'll see a bunch of great how-to's in PDF. For this project, her directions are perfect if you want to know how to make a pop-up slider for any size card. She also has taken the time to show photos for each step. So make sure you take a peek at her directions for some visual help.

Follow along here and I'll share my measures and directions for the card I'm showing you today.


1.  Cut a card base at 5 x 10 (Lagoon)

2.  Score & crease at the middle (5 inches)

3. Score again 1/4 inch from that middle score then crease.

4. Trim off 1/4 inch from other end of card (all this does is allow a 1/4 "spine" to your card for the bulk that goes inside) Your card base should look like a thin book when closed.

5. Cut a coordinating piece of card stock (Creme Brûlée) for the inside of the card at 4 3/4 x 4 1/2. Then cut a piece of B&T paper from Footloose at 4 1/2 x 4 1/4 and adhere it to the Creme Brûlée. But don't stick this unit to the card base yet! You'll be working on this piece for a while. Let's call it the inner base unit.

6. Create a tag  2 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches snipping off two corners. 

7. To make the tag more decorative, cut a piece of B&T paper 2 x 4 and adhere it to the tag. (snip corners first)

8. (this is where you may need to look at Mary Anne's photos in her Step 3) Center your tag at the front edge of the inner base unit and lightly trace the left and right edge of your tag onto it, extending the pencil line to 1/4 inch from the back edge of the inner base unit.

9. Mark a pencil line 1 1/4 inch from the front edge of your inner base unit (you're now working between the two pencil lines that you made earlier. This will allow for the circle punch/thumb pull area and eventually the space for the tag to slide in and out.)

10. From the pencil line you made in Step 9, measure and make another pencil line 1 1/2 inches. This should be the halfway mark between your first pencil line and that line at the back on the inner base unit. If it isn't, measure again. (all of this will make sense in the end)

11. Score on those pencil lines from Step 9 and 10.

12. With a craft blade and mat underneath, using a ruler to keep things nice and straight, cut the sides and back along the pencil lines you've made. Crease your two scored lines, the center is a mountain fold and the leading edge is a valley fold.

13. Cut a piece of plain white printer paper (or something thin, not card stock) at 3 x 2 1/4 inches, score and crease it at 1 1/2 inches, basically folding it in half.

(Now I'll share my photos of how the rest of this came together.) 

14. Attach the printer paper piece to the tag base on the scored fold. 

15. Attach the other half of the printer paper inside your slider mountain. Right now you're looking at the tag as it's upside down. The white you see is the half of the printer paper stuck to the back of my tag. (It's going to make sense, I promise.)

This is how it would look if you flipped it over right now.

And this is how it looks when you tuck the tag into the cut space. See the tag poking out very slightly on the left? 

15. Now you need to punch a half circle for the thumb gripping area. (I don't have close up photo for this, but you can see it in the third photo at the top of my post.) First you need to make sure the tag is out of the way so you don't accidentally punch through it. Take a circle punch (I used 1 1/2 inch) and make a half circle cut (centered on your inner base unit). I added a Smoothie button on my tag for something to grab & pull easily.

16. Flip the whole thing over and put some sticky tape on the back as shown. Peel and stick this unit to your original card base.

17. Create a base for your pop-up embellishments. I cut a piece of clear plastic packaging material at 
1 1/4 x 4 inches and rounded the corners then built things onto it. Here you see it all from the back side. Small pieces of wire were glued to some of the fish. 

This whole unit gets attached to the front of your mountain fold.

Now decorate the rest of the card as you like and add your embellishments.

Here's another look at the whole thing popped up...

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you give this a try!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cards & More projects featuring Footloose

Footloose is the name of the fun summer paper pack from Close To My Heart and although the color Smoothie is not included in the pack, I think it's a great complement. Check out the projects my Cards & More Club will be making this month and I think you'll agree. I added the Smoothie Mini Medley Accents to our projects plus some stamping and cuts from Smoothie inks and card stock.

The first card, which does not use Footloose paper, but instead the B&T paper from the Pemberley paper pack was my Stamp of the Month Blog Hop card. You can view all the details on this card here.

The second project is a cute little treat/gift bag made from Kraft card stock cut from the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge. (Pg. 23, Shift + Font Layer + Square1, at 6 inches). I added the fringe top using my Martha Stewart fringe scissors. The stamp set is called Kick Back and is perfect for tropical-themed projects. These would make great favor bags at a summer birthday party. 

I scored the side panels so I could cinch the bag closed more easily.

I'm thinking something delicious like Mounds miniatures would be perfect in here!

The third project is this pop-up card. It measures 5 x 5 inches and holds a nice little surprise inside.

This is the view when you first open the card.

Pull out the tag with the button and voila! A pop-up! 

I used the stamp set in the Footloose Workshop on the Go, which has become one of my favorites this summer. Want to know how to make this card? Stay tuned this Thursday and I'll provide a complete tutorial.

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear your comments!