Thursday, February 28, 2013

March Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

It's March and that means a new Stamp of the Month from Close To My Heart. This month's set is called "Floral Happiness" and contains 16 images of flowers and phrases. You can view all the images in this set in the right-hand column of my blog all month long. And since it's a Blog Hop with over 55 consultants participating, you're sure to get lots of inspiration using this beautiful stamp set.

If you've already been hopping, you came here from the talented Nancy Brown's blog. To see where to go to next, simply follow through my post to the end where I'll link you over.

Remember, you can get the Stamp of the Month for only $5 when you spend at least $50 before shipping and tax on your CTMH order. Or, you can always purchase it at full retail for $17.95. If you don't already have a consultant, I invite you to shop with me at this link.

Now here's what I created with the stamp of the month...

This card measures 5 x 7 inches and features the lovely Chantilly papers, baker's twine, a pink button, and a label cut from the Cricut Artiste cartridge.

Here's a closer look at the flowers. After stamping and cutting them out, I added a bit of Stardust Glitz Glitter Gel with my finger, then popped them up with different levels of foam tape.

What makes the flowers in this stamp set unique is the base-and-shade combinations. Here I stamped the detail portion of the flower (we'll call this the shade) with Hollyhock ink first.

 I found through experimentation that it was MUCH easier to line up the base portion second. Something about doing it the other way made it more difficult for me to line them up properly. For my shade, I used Blush ink. Here's another tip: When first mounting your two stamps to blocks, be sure to mount them the same way/angle on each block. That way, when you pick it up you know it's already squared up and ready to go. Make sense?

Compare this flower with the one above. Can you see the difference? More depth and dimension, right?

After cleaning the ink off the base stamp, I inked up a sponge dauber with Cotton Candy ink and tapped it only on the outer edges of the stamp like this. Then hovered over my already stamped flower, lined it up and stamped right over the top. This added some nice shading around the edges. Cool, eh?

I cut a label from White Daisy cardstock on the Cricut (Artiste, pg. 36, 1 inch). Then stamped the phrase with Hollyhock and inked the edges with Blush. Don't you love baker's twine? It's such a fun embellishment to add to a card.

The bottom edge of my card has paper folded into a knife pleat fashion. To see how to create a knife pleat and a few more paper-folding techniques, check out my YouTube video I did a few years ago.

To create the knife pleat for my card, I started with two pieces of B&T paper: one at 1 1/4 x 12 inches and another at 1 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches. By the time it gets pleated at 1/2-inch intervals, it comes down to about 6 3/4 inches. I inked the edges with Sweet Leaf before adhering it to the card.

That's it for me, now let's go see what Maria Myers created with the stamp of the month. Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you learned something new!

Eclectic Paperie Post - French Country Kitchen Display

Hello! It's my turn over at Eclectic Paperie's blog to post today, so be sure to check out my altered wooden cabinet with Graphic 45's new French Country papers. Here's a little peak...

Monday, February 25, 2013

February Journal Page - 12 Tags of 2013

If you visited my blog last month, you already know that I've opted to create journal pages rather than tags inspired by Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2013. My pages measure 6 x 8 inches and will eventually have an opposing page and be bound with a cover at the end of the year.

Be sure to visit Tim's blog to see his February Tag and all the steps he took to create it. I took a few different twists and turns on mine, as you'll see.

Right off the top you probably noticed that I didn't stamp the Queen of Hearts, but rather used a Texture Trade since I don't have the stamp Tim used. I wasn't sure how this would go, but forged ahead anyway. You'll see how I did this in my steps below. But first, the base page...

My page is Bristol, vellum surface, 100 lb. by Strathmore. Rather than Distress Stain, I thought I'd give my new Distress Paints a try. I started with Fired Brick and scribbled it on about 2/3 of the way down the page. I like how the Distress Paint is more fluid and slightly transparent than regular acrylic paint.

Then some Victorian Velvet Distress Paint almost touching. Both colors are pretty wet still.

I grabbed a water bottle and misted the page generously, lifting it so the colors ran together. I tapped the page into the run-off paint on my non-stick craft sheet to fill in and add more variation of color.

Under better lighting you can see how the page dried and the colors came out. I inked the outer edges with Black Soot Distress Ink.

Although Tim didn't stamp the background like this, I felt it was necessary since my page is so much larger than a tag. So I grabbed Picket Fence Distress Paint and dabbed it on the stamp and stamped away.

With Archival Black ink, I stamped a few random images. 

I like how you can feel the depth of the stamped and painted images on the background. 

Next is the piece of Seasonal Impressions Kraft-Core. Love this stuff! A long piece of baker's twine gets wrapped around it a couple times, then I adhered it to the page.

Now comes that Queen of Hearts. I embossed her onto watercolor paper, then as Tim did, I used Distress Markers and the water brush to color areas. Now, this looks rather "blah" right now and I didn't really know where I was headed, but kept on plugging along.

It just needed some definition, so I grabbed my blending tool and Black Soot ink and rubbed it over the top and darker on the outer edges. Everything popped right out. But still seemed to need something...

When in doubt, give it a little sparkle. I spritzed over her with Perfect Pearls mist. That seemed to do it.

I popped up the Queen with some foam tape and slide some tissue tape and a wing under the right edge. The cash key with the little Chit-Chat stickers is glued down so it won't swing around. My Love tag was stamped with Archival Black, then I swiped some Vintage Photo around the edges and Victorian Velvet in the center, then Black Soot on the outer edges.

I hope you're giving Tim's technique's a try this year with the 12 Tags of 2013. You'll be surprised how much you learn and how much fun you have!

Thanks for stopping in today. Have a great day!

Friday, February 22, 2013

ETeam Picks Challenge - Paper Folding

Good Friday morning! It's another great challenge over at Eclectic Paperie. It's the eTeam Picks Challenge.  The eTeam Picks Challenge is held on the third Thursday of each month (yes, I am a day late) and each challenge is an opportunity for you to be inspired by one of our eTeam’s creations, to share your work and to be entered into our challenge prize drawing. This week is Donna-Marie Cecere and her design challenge is Paper Folding. So be sure to check out her amazing mini filing box made from a Kuerig box of all things! Keep scrolling through my post to see how YOU can join in this fun challenge too.

I am a day late on my submission, well, just because the darn thing took so long. Sometimes an idea pops in my head and even if it gets difficult, almost impossible, along the way I MUST proceed. Can't give up! Paper folding... made me think of origami which made me think of Graphic 45's Birdsong papers...

The structure of this display is three Scallop Tags with Trim (Art Parts from Wendy Vecchi). They are thick, durable paper board tags you can knock on like wood, thus very sturdy for altering and light weight at the same time. Over in the eP store, you can find LOTS of Art Parts. I like these so much, as I was creating this piece I stopped and put in another order for more.

I glued the three together with a piece of floral foam down in the center. I can even see where my glue wasn't dry yet when I took this photo. Sorry.

The base is four circles of thin black chipboard cut on the Cricut to make 5-inch circles then glued together. The scalloped circle is 4 3/4 inches also cut on the Cricut.

As for the paper folding, let's start with this crazy umbrella. (39 steps) This was quite the challenge, even if I had used thin origami paper. So you can imagine how my fingers ached after a few hours with nice thick Graphic 45 paper. But I persevered! It isn't perfect, but I'm still happy.

This is the underside. Yes, you have to make the umbrella TWICE so that you have a liner in a different paper. I pretty much hacked this part up. Thankfully it's on the underside.

Lily. (23 steps) Much easier than the umbrella. I used Graphic 45 Signature Series card stock for the flower and leaves.

Cherry Blossom. (17 steps) Easier than the Lily.

This flower I just made up. Easiest one yet. I cut five petal shapes and pinched one end and glued it. Then glued them together onto a circle base underneath. I added a small flower over the center to cover where they joined.

This little scallop piece is in the Art Parts package. You can add it to the tag or, like I did here, you can make it part of a decorative base.

In case you're wondering, I used an origami book called "Folding Japan with Origami in English" which came straight from Japan from one of my husband's relatives for our daughter as a Christmas present last year. It's by far the best and easiest origami book we've owned. We've had quite a few over the years. (My daughter is proud to be one quarter Japanese and embraces her heritage, learning and exploring the culture through art, food, and education.)

Okay, on to the challenge. Get out your papers and start creating something foldy! I have some basic paper folding techniques in one of my older YouTube videos here if you need some inspiration to get going (or if you just want to see me with short hair.)

The eTeam Picks Challenge is all about inspiration and having fun.  During each challenge one of the eTeam members will share a topic, word, technique, sketch, or product that will become the foundation for your creation. This challenge is all about mixing it up and just enjoying the creative process of feel free to share a journal page, card, scrapbook project, mini album….Anything goes!  We want to see your work and hear about your inspiration. All of those who play along with our challenge will be entered into a prize drawing for a $15.00 gift certificate to the eclectic Paperie store.
So grab your supplies and play along.  Here are a few things to keep in mind for this challenge…
• You do not have to use products sold in the eP store…but we do love it when you do!
• Share a direct link to your creation, not just your blog, using the Linky Tools feature at the end of this post.  If, for any reason, the Linky Tools doesn’t cooperate, please add a link in the Comments section of the blog.
• When uploading to any online galleries, please use any of the following keywords; eP, eclectic Paperie or eTeam Pick Challenge.  Link your creations to the eP blog.
• If you’d like to be considered as one of our featured projects and be entered into our prize drawing, please be sure to add your link no later than 6pm EST on February 28th.

Monday, February 18, 2013

New to Cricut Craft Room? Check this out.

Today Close To My Heart featured this informative video on the basics of using Cricut Craft Room. If you're new to this amazing software, please check it out. At a recent team meeting, one of my consultants Debbie Tuggle was kind enough to give us an in-depth look at Cricut Craft Room and I was impressed with how easy and flexible it was to use. It allows you so much more freedom when using your Cricut machine. Check this video out and let me know if you are already using it and what you think of it.

And did you know that there are SO many inspirational and informative videos on my CTMH site? I learned the best way to stamp on our new Muslin treat bags, for example. Just go to my CTMH site and click on the Project Inspiration tab, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hugs & Kisses Easel Card

I have so many goodies from Eclectic Paperie that today I thought I'd make a fun easel card. Everything I used came from the eP store. Be sure to check it out as they are getting new stuff from CHA almost daily.

The card measures 4 x 5 when folded flat, to give you an idea of the size when popped up as an easel card. My main focus was the use of the Vintage Cabinet Card dies from Tim Holtz. I love layering them to create a 3D frame. Back in October I made a Halloween display using three of them hinged together, and each frame was filled with creepy goodness. You can check it out here. The post right after it explains how I put it together.

Okay, so here's how I made today's easel card...

First, I cut some black chipboard and this paper from Authentique at 5 x 6 inches and adhered them together with glue stick. I really like Scotch Mega Glue Stick.

After the glue was good and dry, I ran the piece through the Vagabond using the Vintage Cabinet Card die. This will be my main background.

More Authentique paper and black chipboard glued together. Same size.

Then I nested the Mini Vintage Cabinet Card die (Mover & Shaper) into the larger die. It's magnetic, so it holds itself in place nicely. And then I cut the piece out.

Next I cut a strip of black chipboard at 3/8 inches wide and 12 inches long. Plus another small piece at 3/8 x 2 to finish the perimeter. Hard to see here, but I softly scored this strip and glued it to the frame cut-out from the step before this using Alene's Super Thick Tacky Glue. I set that aside to dry.

From Tim's "Stacked Words Valentine's" die, I cut this hugs & kisses from white cardstock and adhered it to the main piece.

This just shows crazy I am. I used foam tape to pop up the die cut. You can't even imagine how small some of those little pieces of foam tape are. But it's a step worth taking the time for, in my opinion. I like things solid and secure.

Next I cut another piece of black chipboard a 4 x 7 1/2" and scored it at 2 1/2" from the left edge. Then added some more Authentique paper as you see here. This piece is the bottom base of the easel card.

I cut another Vintage Cabinet Card piece from black chipboard and scored it at 2 1/2 inches from the bottom edge bending the top part back. (yes, my chipboard is thin, therefore easy to score and fold.)

Then I adhered this piece to my base piece like this. The scored area is now overlapping the base piece and flush at the bottom. Both are 2 1/2 inches, remember?

I cut a few images from some scraps of the pattern paper and adhered them to my base.

I stamped a sentiment on white cardstock, then layered it onto black chipboard. After three layers of foam tape on the back I stuck it down on my base. This serves as a stopper for the easel card to prop itself on when opened. (just in case you're not familiar with easel cards.)

I adhered the top portion of the main piece to the top portion of the base piece just above the score I made earlier.

Here's another look.

Next I adhered the frame piece from earlier using the same tacky glue as before and weighted it down with my heavy stapler for a few minutes. It doesn't take long. This glue dries quickly and clear too.

Now you can see what I meant about the label serving as a stopper for the propped up easel card.

I added this cute little vase and flowers to the top of the frame, after adhering some of the pattern paper to the back of the vase. This cutie is from Wendy Vecchi's Blossom Bucket line. Just love how sweet it looks here!

The coolest thing about easel cards is they lay flat for mailing. This one, of course, will have to go in a small box instead of an envelope. 

I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you'll give easel cards a try. They are so much fun and make very unique cards to give some special. Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great day!