Friday, May 31, 2013

June Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Close To My Heart's June stamp of the month is called "A Flowering Bunch" and contains 10 different flowery images and phrases that also include matching cuts on the Artiste Cricut Cartridge, which makes creating super easy. You can view all the images in this fun set in the righthand column of my blog page.

A new Stamp of the Month means a Blog Hop and with over 55 CTMH consultants participating this month, you're sure to get some great inspiration using this stamp set. If you're already hopping, you came here from Traci Pasqualone's blog. If you get stuck along the way, you can simply go here to view the entire list of consultants' blogs. To see where to go to next, scroll through my post to the end. But don't forget to leave a comment. They're always so appreciated!

As is my usual, I made a 5 x 7 inch card...

My card features the fun and versatile Claire paper pack, Outdoor Denim chevron ribbon, Liquid Glass pigment inks, embossing powder and alcohol markers. The card base is Cashmere card stock.

The Hollyhock paper flower is from the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge, pg. 68, 3 inches.
The stamping was done with Pacifica pigment ink and clear embossing powder onto Colonial White card stock, then I colored in the open areas with various alcohol markers.

The leaves are stamped with New England Ivy ink onto Olive card stock. Little drops of Liquid Glass create a dew effect. The label behind the flower is also from the Art Philosophy cartridge, pg. 55  2 1/4" from Cashmere cardstock and another at 2 inches from the polka dot B&T paper is layered over it.

"Thanks" is stamped with Hollyhock and "A Bunch" is in Outdoor Denim and paper pieced over the top.

Okay, now it's time to hop along through the Blog Hop. Next up is Dawn Ross.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Teacher Appreciation time!

It's that time of year when we are saying goodbye and sending a big thanks to our kids' teachers. My 15-year-old's first year of high school was fairly smooth with only a few bumps along the way. She was fortunate to have had some very outstanding teachers this year and had lots to be thankful for. If you ask me, ANYONE who takes on the task of teaching and dealing with high school kids is a SAINT. I couldn't do it. They'd eat me alive!

Today I thought I'd share an easel card I made for a few of my daughter's favorite teachers. If you follow my blog with any regularity, you may have seen this video during my Graphic 45 Design Team submission. It shows you how to make the card.

When making the original video, I made sure to tape the chalkboard stamping technique so I could easily create a second video focusing on just that. In my original video, I promised to share that technique in my second video which I sat down to edit earlier this week... only to discover that my above-mentioned-teenager accidentally wiped out the original video from the camera. Blast! So, once I get a few deadlines met this weekend, I promise to have that up ASAP next week.

Thanks for your patience. And thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wedding Card Step by Step

Hello and happy Wednesday. Today I thought I'd share the wedding card I made for my niece and her new hubby Dan. And just for fun, I made a little slideshow of the card as it came together.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Wedding Preparations

My niece's wedding was this past Saturday. What a lovely day it was! A perfect Florida sun-shiny day. Warm in the sun, comfortable in the shade.

For the past six months I've been fortunate enough to be included in her wedding preparations. I had to call on my graphic design skills from days of yore to help create many of her printed materials. Purple and white, clean and crisp were my instructions. So I set to work, and thought I'd share it with you.

Pardon the poor photography, but this was the invitation. 5 x 7 inch flat piece...

...with a vellum overlay.

Typeset with Edwardian Script in dark gray and deep purple.

Reply cards in the standard A2 size.

Ink, ink, ink the edges of everything. (Thank you, Dusty Concord.)

Head table name cards.

Seating Chart. So many details on this one that are hard to see here. Basically, a foam core board I painted with silver, then applied embossed "tiles" of white card stock for the background. Flowers are a mix of sprayed watercolor paper run through a flower die, plus layered paper flowers. White decorative ribbon finishes the outer border. The typeset page is 12 x 12 inches itself, which I had printed at Office Depot from my computer file. This gives you can idea of the size of the overall piece.

Table numbers with easel backs, and Thank You cards for after the wedding.

Again, not the best photo. (My head is creating a lovely shadow on the right page.) These pages are the Guest Book. Each is 12 x 12 so they can be put into their wedding album (which I also created, as a wedding gift). These pages are a combination of typeset pages with stamped flourishes, paper flowers and light purple gems.

This Card Box was the biggest challenge. But I was up for it! The bride wanted this style of box, but didn't care for the striped satin fabric on it or the big tassel on the front. (our local party store carried these) I told her I could fix that. So I started ripping it apart. At this point, I was getting really nervous because I wasn't exactly sure where I was going and stuff wasn't coming off very easily. But I persevered...

I purchased some damask print vinyl with a flannel backing from Hobby Lobby, then created templates from very thin cardboard to fit all the panels on the box and covered each cardboard panel with the vinyl using a strong adhesive spray. I was able to fold over the vinyl to create nice clean, crisp edges before adhering the finished panels to the box. So far, so good.

Large flourishes from Hobby Lobby the bride and I picked out. A metal keyhole embellishment from Tim Holtz with some pretty pearl baubles dangling from it. Tiny purple satin flowers placed here and there.

More flourishes, more flowers, a big bow and a name plate. Finally, some pretty white trim all over to finish it off. Whew!

My niece was thrilled with how it turned out, and that's all that matters. It really did look quite pretty on the gift table at the reception.

Table numbers on each pretty table.

Seating chart at the reception.

Oh, I forgot to mention we also made 100 chocolate lollipop favors using Wilton molds and foil. 

And here's the happy couple. My niece Heather and her new husband Dan LaVerne.

Can you tell she's related to me?

I was behind the camera all day. Took over 100 photos, but managed to hand it off for a photo of my little family. It truly as a beautiful, perfect day for a wedding and I wish Dan and Heather the very best of times together.

Thanks for stopping in today. Enjoy your Memorial Day break and remember those who have served and sacrificed for us and our freedom. It's another beautiful day!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May Journal Page - 12 Tags of 2013

I'm finally getting around to completing my May page for Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2013 challenge. It's not really a challenge, just a fun thing to do every month. Be sure to hop over to Tim's blog to see his awesome tag that inspired me to make my journal page this month. Every month you learn something new and it a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Tim's creating his signature #8 tags and I have challenged myself to create journal pages that will be bound at the end of the year.

If you'd like to review, here are my pages I've done so far this year. January, February, March and April.

And here's a little secret. I actually knew what Tim was going to do for his May tag before the blogosphere did because he taught us this technique at Ranger University and then told us it was going to be May's tag. He calls this technique Distress Stain Remnant Rub Resist.

Okay, here's my page this month...

Now, this one really looks like an art journal page. I'm starting to loosen up a bit, thanks to the inspiring Dyan Reaveley.

My pages are done on Bristol, vellum surface, 100 lb. by Strathmore. Like Tim, I began with the Remnant Rubs elements and started scraping them off randomly onto the page.

I opted for yellows, oranges and reds for my background, so I used the following Distress Stains: Mustard Seed, Rusty Hinge, Wild Honey and Barn Door. Just squeeze out some blobs onto your non-stick craft sheet and then swipe your paper into them until you have good coverage. I spritzed water on mine to help the colors spread. After it was dry, I did the good old spritz and flick technique with water and sopped up the spots with a paper towel. Click on the photo for a close-up.

I stamped these BIG numbers from Tim's Numeric CMS161 set and stamped them randomly with Black Archival ink. 

Tim explains in his post how you can reveal more of the rub-ons after you've stamped over them. Or you can opt for a layered look instead. Here I rubbed away some of the archival black ink while it was pretty wet to reveal more of this flourish rub-on. You have to be careful with this step and only wipe away in the stamped area, not beyond it. Otherwise, you're going to get some black streaks and that's just not pretty.

My photo sort of skips past a step here, but before I did this ticket strip I stamped images from the Papillon stamp set with archival black ink. I let all of this images alone as a top layer. No wiping.

Back to the ticket strip. I cut a piece of red Kraft Core cardstock from Tim's Mini Filmstrip and Tickets die (Sizzix Alterations) and sanded away the some of the surface to reveal the kraft core, then stamped the ticket image with Archival Black ink, and then inked the edges with Walnut Stain. 

I chose the tickets rather than the clear filmstrip tape that Tim used because my page is already filled with so much black the filmstrip got lost. Plus remember, the size of my page is larger than a tag, so proportion is a factor when designing. These tickets were a great alternative.

And speaking of proportion, I opted for a clear oval fragment over the new enamel tags (even though I love those guys) and simply added a backing to it so it wasn't transparent. I used Latte alcohol ink on my fragment, then used Glossy Accents to adhere it to the cream cardstock. After it dried well, I trimmed and sanded any imperfections from the cardstock.

And, of course, rub-ons worked splendidly on the plastic fragment. To finish this piece, I dabbed some Walnut Stain Distress Paint on the edges for an aged effect.

I like how you can see the shadow of the rub-ons. Gives some added dimension. I adhered this to the ticket strip with some Glossy Accents and a copper brad.

To help my Word Band stand out a little better, I rubbed some Picket Fence Distress Paint over the whole thing, waited just a few seconds, then with a clean cloth wiped away the paint from the raised area. Now the white paint is highlighting just the words.

I just love all the layers and dimension this technique creates. I hope you give it a try yourself and see how much fun and easy it is.

Thanks for stopping in today. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, May 20, 2013

EP Blog Post - Secret Garden Friendship Card

First off, thanks for the well wishes from my surgery last week. I am doing FANtastic! Recovery has been smooth-going and although it's hard for me to take it easy, I promise I'm taking all of your advice and not pushing it too quickly too soon. Thank you.

I'm over at the eclectic Paperie blog today with a big, beautiful card made with Graphic 45's Secret Garden papers in combination with some Alterations dies from Tim Holtz. Be sure to hop over there and check out all the details. And, of course, you can find all of the great products I used in the eP store. Thanks in advance for looking. Have a fabulous Monday!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

e-Team Picks Challenge - Gel Medium

Hey, I'm back after a short break. Had a little hiccup in my usual schedule due to some girly surgery junk I had done this past Monday. All is well and I'm recovering nicely here at home with a shiny clean uterus and one less ovary and set of fallopian tubes. (I know, TMI, right?)  I've been "trying" to take it easy, but after reading so many creative blogs and watching lots of YouTube videos, I got so antsy I had to get up and do SOMETHING creative.

So I decided to start with a challenge. eclectic Paperie’s eTeam Picks Challenge. The eTeam Picks Challenge is held on the third Thursday of each month and each challenge is an opportunity for you to be inspired by one of our eTeam’s creations. This week it’s Julie who is challenging us to use Gel Medium in a project. Be sure to hop over there and check out her gel medium photo transfer technique on her art journal page. She's even got a video to show you how it's done. 
You're invited to share your work too, and to be entered into our challenge prize drawing of $15 in the eP Store! Keep reading below for more details on that.

I also did an art journal page in my Dylusions journal. Here's a look...

I didn't want to push it, so I did a single page this time.

I remembered my first art journal page and how the multi-medium I used turned out a pretty nice resist effect, so I thought "why not use the medium on a stencil and see what happens?" So I grabbed my new Vintage Lace Mask by Christy Tomlinson and dabbed matte medium over it on several areas of my page.

Looks like a mess here, but I used another stencil and started layering paints mixed with the medium.

More layering with just the medium. Not sure where this was going. Just experimenting. That's what it's all about.

Then the fun part of spraying with Dylusions inks. I stuck with yellows, oranges and reds.

I wasn't happy with how muddy the painted areas looked in the upper right and lower left, but I really loved the rest of it. The medium created a nice resist, but not a complete one. Interesting...

I glued down some pieces of a large paper doily to hide those areas I didn't like. 

Then I toned down the bright white doilies by stamping some script using Sepia Archival ink.

Then to tone it down a little more, I rubbed pink Gelato over the doilies and spread it with my finger. Much better.

Then I went a little stamp crazy. The large butterfly has some sheen to it...

because I stamped one buttefuly with Perfect Medium and then dusted it with Copper Perfect Pearls. (another technique from Ranger University) Then after misting with water and letting it dry, I stamped another butterfly offset slightly with a burgundy archival ink.

I added some rub-ons in blacks and whites as an added accent here and there.

I like how you can hardly tell there is a doily here. A messy, but interesting effect.

Lots of layered goodness here. Wendy Vecchi's and Tim Holtz's stamps always work so nicely together.

I was happy I got up for a little while and had some fun. Now it's your turn. Wanna 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 the eP post.  If for any reason the Linky Tools doesn’t cooperate, please add a link in the Comments section of their 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 May 30th. They’ll announce the winner/featured project that evening. HAVE FUN!