Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Whoooo you are (Sneak peek of a new set)

A former student of mine went on a spiritual retreat last weekend, and his mom asked if I would be willing to write a letter for him to read at the end of the weekend.  I was thrilled that she would think to ask me to do this for him, and in addition to writing, I made a special card just for him.  It also gave me the chance to play with a brand new stamp set!  This owl stamp and matching phrase are two acrylic stamps from CTMH's Pair-A-Phrase stamp set.  This will be an awesome double stamp set on special August 15th and September 30th.  It is two D-sized stamp sets that come together in one envelope.  This will be an amazing deal you won't want to pass up!  The stamps are adorable and can be used for so many holidays and occasions.  I thought this one was just perfect for a high schooler who is still kind of trying to figure out how to be true to himself and avoid peer pressure.
The card stock is all from CTMH's Autumn color collection.  I used Olive ink for the sentiment and for the swiped grassy look on the green panel.  Orange Stickles glitter glue add a little sparkle to the corners.  I stamped the owl in Staz-on ink and then colored in the owl and branch with CTMH Autumn color collection markers.  I also used one of the markers to doodle around the image panel.  I just love how colors coordinate so nicely when you use one brand!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Very rich, very texturized, Splitcoast sketch layout

This week's Sketch Challenge on Splitcoaststampers involved layering three different panels.  I took this opportunity to use some very rich autumn colors on a summery thank you card.  I also incorporated lots of texture into my design.  The small green panel has been embossed using Cuttlebug, and I added Garden Green ink to the embossed swirls.  If you look really closely, there is a small green Stickles glitter glue dot at the curve of one of the swirl tips.  I used a Close to My Heart My Acrylix stamp set called Delight for all of the images.  I just love all of the coordinating butterflies and flowers!  I used blue Stickles to add a little bling to the small circle image on the sentiment panel. Sponging Outdoor Denim along the outer edge of each panel gives the card a distressed and also more uniform look among all of the panels.  Finally, I corner punched all of the panels, tied some funky green and pink yarn around the green panel, and assembled my card.

This is a thank you card to my friend Jacquie who was a HUGE help to me in the music rotation for Vacation Bible School at my church this week.  Her help was so appreciated, that I had to make a really nice card for her.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sketch challenge fun!

Way back when, I used to participate in the Sketch Challenge on the Splitcoaststampers website on a regular basis.  Now that I am back in to crafting on a regular basis, I am trying to participate in some of them again!  The Sketch Challenge is a weekly challenge where you try to make your card based on a particular layout.  It is exciting to see all the different cards that are submitted and how different they all look even though they all used the same layout!

I dug out some of my really old clear stamps for this challenge.  They are from a company called My Favorite Things, and I bought them when the company was still quite young.  Now, that company has grown and has a lot more to offer.  These stamps were from one of their Christmas sets.  It was probably their only Christmas set at the time!  I used Close to My Heart papers and Olive ink, and I used Staz-On ink for the tree.  I used Staz-On ink because it is permanent, and I used watercolor pencils to color the tree and a small, wet paintbrush to blend the color.  An unintended effect was creating a sort of feathered texture on the paper where I had gotten it wet repeatedly.  This gave a look similar to actual pine or spruce needles, which was perfect for a Christmas tree!  I used a Close to My Heart wooden designer button and tied it with a small piece of funky green yarn.  I also distressed the edges of all panels with Olive ink, and I roughed up the edge of the small green trim piece with a blade for texture.

Why did I make a Christmas card in July?  Well, if you start making holiday cards here and there throughout the latter half of the year, the task is not quite so overwhelming when November and December come along.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer card by Annabelle

Annabelle wanted to make a birthday card for her Grandma who has a summer birthday.  She picked out some fun printed scrapbook papers in bright summery colors from my old scrapbook paper scrap pile.  Laying out her stamps and picking out her ink colors was fun for her.  She loved how she could layer the flower and the small butterfly from the Delight set from Close to My Heart.  She also decided to distress the edges of her paper by swiping the paper directly on the ink pad, but she had trouble swiping it without getting it all over.
  So, we just decided that it was ok for it to get all over the place!  The ink that she swiped is sort of a turquoise color and is a fun summery color with the oranges, pinks, and yellows in the papers.  She was really happy with how it turned out.
Proud of her card for Grandma!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Retirement

My uncle's retirement party was yesterday, and I made a card for the occasion.  Then, I so thoughtfully left the card and gift on my kitchen table and went to his house for the party.  Oops!  Well, I guess it is the thought the counts and he'll get his special card and gift the next time I see him.  In the meantime, I thought I would share his card here.
I used the following supplies:
Close to My Heart Outdoor Denim cardstock and ink
Close to My Heart Olive cardstock and ink
Close to My Heart B&T Duos paper (both sides of the paper are printed with a coordinated pattern)
Close to My Heart Enjoy Life stamp set and an acrylic block
Tombo Mono Adhesive roller

As you can see in the photo above, I layered a couple of different patterned papers as well as stamped images.  The bicyclist is stamped in Outdoor Denim ink, and the swirls behind him are also stamped in the same ink, but I stamped my stamp on a sheet of paper one time before stamping it on my patterned paper.  This gives a much lighter ink effect for the swirls and allows the bicyclist to come to the foreground.  I also swiped all of my papers against ink pads to distress the edges a little.

I used a very dark color of cardstock for the base of my card.  When you do this, you have a couple of options.  One, you can stamp your sentiment in white (or other light colored) craft ink and write a message and sign the card using a light or white colored gel pen.  Alternatively, you can do what I did, and cut a piece of lighter, coordinating paper, and stamp your sentiment in the darker ink.  If you look at the two photos, you'll notice that my interior paper matches the small blue layer on the front of the card, although the coloring in my photos doesn't make it look quite that way.  I promise, they are cut from the exact same piece!   I then stamped my sentiment in Outdoor Denim ink.  When I was all done with that, I signed my family names on the card in a matching Outdoor Denim marker.  I used the same marker to write my uncle's name on the envelope.  It was all very coordinated!  

Congrats on your retirement Uncle Dale.  You deserve to enjoy your time now.  

Friday, July 8, 2011

Great deal!

Wow... just have to share this excellent deal from Close to My Heart.  You'll find that I won't do a lot of these posts here.  I really want to use this space to show you great ideas and techniques for crafts and gardening.  But from time to time, I'll want to highlight a good deal - and this is one of them!  For the month of July, when you purchase $50 in Close to My Heart products, you can choose from one of five paper or card kits for just $1!  This is an awesome deal.  These kits range in value from $8.95 to $14.95, so you really are getting a good value.  The highest in value is the "Around the Holidays" card kit, which I think is an excellent investment at this time of year.  I know it is summer, but it won't be long at all before you'll be thinking about making holiday cards and gifts for people.  One of my favorite gifts to give is a set of five handmade cards with envelopes and a small book of stamps.  People really appreciate a gift from the heart and a gift they can really use!  Take advantage of this deal for the month of July 2011 only.  Ashley's Close to My Heart Web Site