A crop party is a modern quilting bee. A group of friends gather to have girl friend time, sharing joys and sorrows while preserving memories and creating a special keepsake.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Saying Good-bye to My Daddy


When I was a toddler, my mom gave me a laminated picture of my daddy to help me remember him when he was out at sea.  I carried it all over the place.  On December 15, 2013 Daddy left for his final cruise.  I combined my picture with some other mementos to make the shadowbox above to honor him.
The picture of him holding me has always been my favorite of the two of us.  Judging from its condition, Mom was wise to laminate my keepsake picture.  Although I distressed some of this project's other elements with Cashmere ink, this photo needed no distressing.  I made no attempt to flatten it, attaching it with just a bit of removable adhesive in some key spots.
I have always had trouble with journaling because my handwriting is not the best (which is one of the reasons why I love Studio J so much).  I prefer to use the computer when I have to write more than a few words on a pieced page.  When using Word with the magnification set at 90%, the text on my moniter appears the same size that it will print.  This allows me to make sure that what I am typing will fit the way I want it to.  I am particularly pleased with the journaling on the circular piece.  To make it fit the curve, I first drew a template on lightweight copier paper.  Next I typed out the text.  Then I attached the copier paper to my moniter using a Post-it note and, looking through the template, used the space bar to position the beginning of the text on the left edge and the enter key to break the text where needed on the right edge, continuing line by line until the text fit within the template.  After printing the text on cardstock, I cut out the copier paper template, laid it over the text, traced the shape, and cut it out. 

I have to thank my brother-in-law for picking up some of the shell casings from the gun salute after the funeral.  Yes, Daddy was given full military honors.  I should also mention that my layout was inspired by this one from Stuck on Us Sketches:

The only 12 inch square shadowboxes I could find had black or white frames.  When I have time I will paint the frame of this one a warmer white and maybe distress it a bit.  I plan to enter this in the first December Heart 2 Heart Challenge, the theme of which is "All Framed Up."  It has been a while since I played a challenge or even played in my craft room for that matter.  Isn't it funny how when you most need paper therapy, you don't have the time for it?  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all from Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Tommy (soon to be retired), Outdoor Denim, Colonial White and Cashmere cardstock
Ink:  Cashmere
Embellishments:  metallic stars by Jolee's Boutique bought at Michael's


Monday, November 25, 2013

Sponging With Heart

It's technique time at Heart 2 Heart, and the featured technique is one of my favorites, sponging.  There are many ways you can use sponging on your project, and I am planning a future post on the subject, but for now I want to highlight my favorite application which is resist embossing.  First you stamp your image using Versamark, sprinkle on some Clear Detail powder and heat it just until the powder melts.  Be very careful not to over heat it because it needs to stay shiny.  Wait a minute!  Where is the image if everything is clear? To make the image appear you sponge over it with water based, preferably dye, ink.  I like to work from the center our so that the color fades into the background.  As you build the color the image appears.  In this case I used the fir tree from a Close to My Heart Thanksgiving stamp set, Always Grateful, on Colonial White cardstock and sponged it with Crystal Blue ink.  I then layered on a little bit of Whisper to mute the blue and give a little bit of color to the edge of the paper.  I dry embossed snowflakes on part of the backing panel to complement  the "snow covered tree" feeling of my completed image.  The Thanksgiving stamp is now a Christmas stamp!

Thank you for stopping by!  Now please check out some other ways to use sponging at Heart 2 Heart Challenges, or better yet, try a sponging technique and enter the challenge!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Frosted, Frosted Gray, Champagne and Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Crystal Blue, Whisper
Stamp:  Always Grateful
Embellishments:  Gray Sparkles, Snowflakes embossing folder from Cuddlebug

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Playing Scrabble wWith Heart 2 Heart

After Thanksgiving or any other family dinner you can pretty much count on my husband or brother in law pulling out a Scrabble board.  Their games are epic with combined scores of over 650 being the norm.  With my brother in law's birthday in a few weeks and the Heart 2 Heart Challenge theme being "Game On," there was no question that I would pull out Close to My Heart's retired paper pack, Cruisin', to make him a card. 

After cutting out my Scrabble letters, I used black ink to hide the white core of the paper so that it would not show against the dark background.  The flourish was cut using the new Artbooking Cricut cartridge (page 65, border at 3.5 inches fit to length).  Using this cartridge to make something other than the project featured on the page can be a little tricky because everything is sized proportionately.  Usually, I make sure to use the "Real Dial Size" key.  In this case, I knew how long I wanted my cut out to be, so I used the "Fit to Length" key.  That way I did not have to guess what the real dial size which is based on height would be.  After I cut it out, I coated it with Liquid Glass to give it shine and dimension. 

Thank you for stopping by!  Now please go over the Heart 2 Heart Challenge Blog to see other projects inspired by games, or better yet, make one yourself and enter the challenge.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all from Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Cruizin (retired), White Daisy, Black, Cranberry, and Juniper cardstock (all included in the Cruisin' pack)
Ink:  Black
Embellishments:  Liquid Glass

A Snowflake for Atlantic Hearts

Life has been a bit crazy lately, keeping me out of my craft room (breakfast room, actually) just at the time when I most needed some paper therapy.  Here is a quick card for this Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge.
For the snowflake, I went back to Close to My Heart's first Cricut cartridge, Art Philosophy, and paired it with snowflake brads from the retired Mistletoe assortment which was on the "While Supplies Last" list earlier this year.  I sponged the tips of the snowflake with Whisper ink to help it stand out and popped it up with some foam tape.  Thank you for Stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Supplies used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Frosted
Ink:  Whisper
Embellishments:  Mistletoe Assortment (retired)
Other:  Snowflakes embossing folder from Cuddlebug

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Seeing Double With Heart 2 Heart


In my second week as guest designer at Heart 2 Heart Challenges we are "Seeing Double."  This card with two ornaments, two colors, and  two folds is two, two, two cards in one.

I used last month's Stamp of the Month, Scandinavian Wishes, to stamp the ornaments on shapes cut with the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge and backed them with the same shape cut 1/4 of an inch bigger.  I cut the top loops off of the backing shapes because they didn't line up with the loops on the top shapes.  I blinged them up with Blue and Tan Sparkles (retired),"hung" them with strips of Silver Shimmer Trim that had been cut in half lengthwise, and attached them to a 4 x 5 inch piece of cardstock that I scored at a half inch on the long side.  I then attached the cardstock to the back of my card on the opening side to create a wrap around flap:

Let's return to the front and lift the flap:

I used Silver Glitter Glitz in the center of each flower on the border to compliment the Shimmer Trim.  For the sentiment I arranged the words on one block as though they were one stamp.  This way I did not have to worry about trying to line up four seperate stamps.  Now, because the Crystal Blue flap is attached to a regular card, you can open the card like any other and see the "second" card:

Thank you for stopping by!  Now why don't you head on over to Heart 2 Heart Challenges to see how others are seeing double or, better yet, create something to show us how you "see double."  Until next time, Hansi
Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Crystal Blue, Cashmere, and Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Crystal Blue, Cashmere, and Slate
Stamp:  Scandinavian Wishes (retired)
Embellishments:  Silver Glitter Glitz, Silver Shimmer Trim, Blue and Tan Sparkles (retired)

Monday, November 4, 2013


I just love this penguin from the Wintery Wishes stamp set which is available only as a hostess reward.  My nephew has loved penguins ever since he was a baby, so I knew I had to use it to make a card to put in his care package of Christmas goodies to get him through finals at Tech.  Since I was in penguin mode, I went ahead and made cards for the other students I send packages to.  This gave me a chance to experiment with different color schemes and variations on this Freshly Made Sketch:

First I used a Topiary alcohol marker to color the ear muffs, scarf and center of the snowflakes.  Then I put a drop of Liquid Glass over the snowflake centers to approximate an epoxy bubble.  Why Topiary?  This week the Color My Heart Color Dare is to used black and white with any shade of green.  For the banner I used a sentiment from a long retired stamp of the month:


Next, because I love black and white with a pop of pink, I made the same card in Cotton Candy except that instead of a sentiment, I added a double banner:

 Next I made the card with Silver Shimmer Trim and Silver Glitter Glitz as accents and colored the scarf with a Silver Metallics marker:

Finally, I added one of the sentiments from the Wintery Wishes stamp set which necessitated a larger deviation from the sketch.  I used Crystal Stickles on the snowflakes and snowball.  The shimmer looked bluish in the bottle, but green on the card:

I am not sure which one I like best.  Thank You for stopping by!  Now Please go to Freshly Made Sketches to see what others have done with this layout.  Then go check out some more green with black and white projects at Color My Heart Color Dare.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all from Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Black, White Daisy, and Cotton Candy cardstock
Ink:  Black ink, Topiary and Cotton Candy alcohol markers, Silver Metallics marker
Stamps:  Wintery Wishes, Frosted Cardmaking Kit, A Very Merry Christmas (retired), Heartfelt Christmas (retired), Snow Flurries (retired)
Other:  Snowflakes embossing folder from Cuddlebug 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Grateful Heart

This is my first week as guest designer at Heart 2 Heart Challenges!  I am grateful for my friend, Ginney, who introduced me to Close to My Heart products and introduced me to my consultant, friend,  and now upline, Cheryl.  I am grateful for the advice, encouragement and opportunitiy to learn from the talented ladies at the Heart 2 Heart Challenges and other challenge blogs.  When I saw that the theme is "Gratitude," I knew immediately that I would use this sentiment from the "Always Grateful" stamp set.  I love the whole idea that instead of focusing on what we don't have, we should appreciate and be satisfied with what we do have.  (Except, maybe, for paper.  Yes, I am a paper hoarder...) 

I began by stamping the leaves in Barn Red and Sunset on Crème Brulee paper and then colored over them with Sunset, Honey, Autumn Terracotta and Red Barn alcohol markers.  The acorn is stamped in Chocolate on Cashmere paper and sponged with Cocoa, Desert Sand and Colonial White inks.  When I attached the leaves, I only put adhesive on the stem end, so that they curl up a bit, and I also popped up the acorn with some foam tape to give the focal point some dimension.  With it's lovely fall colors, Huntington paper was the only choice for me.

Thank you for stopping by!  Now please go check out the other expressions of gratitude at Heart 2 Heart Challenges.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all from Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Huntington, Cashmere, Red Bard, Cocoa and Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Red Barn, Sunset,  Cocoa, Desert Sand, Chocolate and Olive with Red Barn, Autumn Terracotta, Sunset and Honey alcohol markers
Stamps:  Always Grateful, Fall Harvest
Embellishments:  Bronze Shimmer Trim, Brown Opaques

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lace With Heart

So the ladies over at Heart 2 Heart Challenges want to see some lace.  Have y'all noticed that the pattern on one of the Frosted papers is lace?  It's the perfect compliment for a lace butterfly sponged with Crystal Blue, Sky and Cotton Candy that was left over from a previous project.  I sponged the edges of the front and inside panels with Champagne followed by Colonial White to soften it.  Of course with lace you need ribbon and pearls, right?  Positioning the large flourishes is always a bit of a challenge for me which was enhanced by my cats eagerness to "help."  This card is for someone special, so I left plenty of room for a heartfelt note.

With this card I have completed all of the October challenges at Heart 2 Heart.  Stay tuned because  they have some fun challenges planned for November.  How do I know this?  I was named Top Chic in September which means I am guest designer at Heart 2 Heart for the month of November!  I'm not telling you what the challenges are, so y'all will just have to check back Monday to see what the first one is.  In the meantime, please head on over to see what the other ladies have done with lace at Heart 2 Heart.  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to my Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Frosted, Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Gypsy, Crystal Blue, Sky, Cotton Candy, Champagne, and Colonial White
Stamps:  Card Chatter - Birthday, Simple Memories (retired)
Embellishments:  Pearl Flourish, Pearl Opaque, Colonial White ribbon (retired)
Other:  Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Layering It on in the Rose Garden

Don't you just love it when two of your favorite challenges mesh perfectly?  I wanted to play the Rose Blossom Garden challenge to create a Halloween themed project with bonus points for using the "C" key on the Artbooking cartridge when what do you think the Heart 2 Heart challenge this Monday turned out to be?  No, not Halloween.  Layers!  They want to see "Lots of Layers" which is exactly what you get with this cartridge.  I could kill two birds with one stone!  Well the joke was on me because I ended up making two cards.

This is the first version which is 6.5 x 5 inches.  I wanted a big card to give me plenty of room to layer.  Now, because I wasn't making a scrapbook page, I made sure to set my Cricut to "real dial size" before I started.  I cut the frame (photo mat 2 at 4.5 inches) and decided it was to small, so I cut another one at 5 inches and, satisfied that it was the right size, gave it some texture by stamping it in second generation Red Barn with the woodgrain stamp from the "Universal Backgrounds" set.  You can see it better close up:

Next I cut two cats (shift icon at 2.75 inches).  As many times as I have used the cat stamp, I have never tried to stamp it on a cutout, so I wanted a back up in case I "missed."  Next I cut the bird (icon at 1 inch), decided I needed something bigger and cut another at 1.25 inches.  The paper is "Mischief" which is retired but was available a while ago in the "While Supplies Last" section.  I stamped the panel behind the window with the tree and sentiment from the "Eek and Shriek" stamp set.  To finish the front, I popped up the cat and bird, added a few sparkles, and gave the cat a Halloween collar courtesy of my Sunset alcohol marker.  I dressed up the inside with a zip strip, some scraps, the extra bird and my favorite Halloween sentiment from the retired "Wicked" stamp set:

It turns out the cat stamp was easy to line up on the cutout, so I ended up with an extra cat and frame.  Plus I had a leftover "Trick or Treat" from my pumpkin card, so I figured I might as well make a second, smaller card with a more kid friendly sentiment:

With six layers, it also qualifies for the Heart 2 Heart Lots of Layers challenge.  Thank you for stopping by!  Now please check out some more wonderful projects at the Rose Blossom Garden and Heart 2 Heart challenge blogs.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials use, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Mischief (retired), Bamboo, Red Barn and Colonial White cardstock, Sunset alcohol marker
Ink:  Black, Desert Sand, Cocoa, Red Barn
Stamps:  Eek and Shriek, Wicked (retired)
Embellishments:  Black, Clear and Brown Sparkles
Other:  Artbooking Cricut cartridge

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Going Neutral for Heart 2 Heart

I had been waiting for Close to My Heart to come up with a cat stamp that is not too cutsie, and now that they have, I am getting plenty of use from it.  This time the kitty is all neutral for the Heart 2 Heart challenge to go "Au Naturale."  I stamped the tree in Vesamark and the cat in Black pigment ink and then embossed them with Clear detail powder.  Then it was time to sponge over the tree with Whisper, Slate and Black inks to make the tree magically appear.  The moon was stamped in Colonial White pigment ink and the sentiment with Versamrk and White embossing powder to make it pop.  Here is the inside:

Have I mentioned that I love the gnarly tree, too?  Thank you for stopping by!  Now please head on over the Heart 2 Heart to see some more projects using either neutrals or objects from nature.  Until next time, Hansi
Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Bamboo, Colonial White, and Black cardstock
Ink:  Black and Colonial White pigment ink, Bamboo, Whisper, Slate and Black dye ink, Versamark
Stamps:  Eek and Shriek, Wicked (retired)
Embellishments:  Clear Detail embossing powder

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sugar Maples With Heart

I just got Close to My Heart's "Fall Harvest" stamp set and this sketch from Atlantic Hearts is the perfect one to showcase it:
I stamped leaves with Sunset, Autumn Terracotta, Goldrush, Red Barn Smoothie, and Bamboo pigments inks, heat embossed them with Clear Detail powder and then colored them with Honey, Goldrush, Sunset, Autumn Terracotta, Smoothie, and Red Barn alcohol markers, mixing and layering to the point that I cannot tell you which leaf was done with which colors.  What I do know for sure is that I colored the veins with Olive and that after I cut them out, I sponged around the edges with Sunset regular ink to camouflage any white that I missed while cutting. 

I kept the circle on the right subtle by combining similar patterns of B&T paper from the Huntington Packet and stamped the background flourishes in Red Barn with a stamp from the retired "Instant Memories" set.  Bronze Shimmer trim and Brown Glitter Paper around the popped up sentiment add sparkle which does not show up well in the photographs.  I threw in a few Tan Opaques to lighten things up a bit.  Here is the inside:

The first October challenge over at Heart 2 heart is to go Au Naturale.  In other words, create something using all neutrals or that includes something from nature.  I knew that I wanted to use the Fall Harvest set and have been waiting patiently for it to arrive so I could enter.  Thank you for stopping by!  Now please take a minute to check out the other creations at Heart 2 Heart and Atlantic Hearts challenges.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all from Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Huntington, Brown Glitter paper, Red Barn and Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Goldrush, Sunset, Autumn Terracotta, Smoothie, Red Barn and Bamboo pigment inks, Honey, Goldrush, Sunset, Autumn Terracotta, Smoothie, Red Barn, and Olive alcohol markers, Sunset and Red Barn dye ink
Stamps:  Fall Harvest, Holiday Tags, Instant Memories (retired)
Embellishments:  Bronze Shimmer Trim, Tan Opaques


Monday, October 21, 2013

Another Freshly Made Snowflake

I am back to playing with snowflakes with this Freshly Made Sketch as my inspiration:

As much as I love Close to My Heart's new Artbooking cartridge, when I comes to snowflakes, I find myself gravitating back to these on their Art Philosophy cartridge.  Rather than cutting the under layer for the bottom flake and using more of the Frosted Gray cardstock than I really needed to, I cut bits of scrap to place behind the openings.  Yes, it was tedious, but this conserved cardstock that is unique to the Frosted paper pack.  I am really loving the new Base and Bling Floral Accents!  To complement them, I cut up a strip of silver pearls that I bought at Michael's.

Thank you for stopping by!  Now please take a few minutes to check out some more beautiful cards at Freshly Made Sketches.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials, all Close to my Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Frosted, Frosted Blue, Frosted Gray and Colonial White cardstock
Embellishments:  Base and Bling Floral Accent, silver pearls from Michael's
Other:  Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge

Trick or Treat in the Rose Garden


This week the ladies over at Heart 2 Heart are challenging us to "Shape up."  In other words, we are to make a card that is not square or rectangular.  Meanwhile, over in the Rose Blossom Garden, they are celebrating Halloween with bonus points for using the "I|" key on Close to My Heart's new Artbooking Cricut cartridge.  Did I mention that I just got the Artbooking cartridge and need (okay, want) to break it in?  It just so happens that the "I" key includes a pumpkin, so a pumpkin shaped card it is.  I love carving pumpkins so much that I usually do two or three, with one always being a cat.

This card is for my nephew who is away at Virginia Tech and will not be home for our family's annual pumpkin carving party.  I started by cutting three pumpkins, one each in Desert Sand, Sunset and Colonial White cardstock.  Next I cut the Sunset pumpkin apart:

After I sponged the edges to give it dimension, I glued the pieces except for the stem onto the Desert Sand pumpkin.  Then I scored the Desert Sand stem and sponged on some ink.  Next I scored and folded along the top half inch of the Colonial White pumpkin and attached just the top part to the back of the Desert Sand pumpkin, so that you can lift the "Cat-o-lantern" to see the message inside:

I also used the "I" key to cut the mice, candy and sentiment.  Lastly, I drew and cut the cat face by hand and then sponged everything.  Did you notice that this card has no stamping or embellishments?  It is all Cricut!  Of course this card will be accompanied by a box of appropriate treats...
Thank you for stopping by.  Now please take a few minutes to check out the creations at Heart 2 Heart and the Rose Blossom Garden.  Until next time, Hansi 
Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Mischief (retired), Huntington, Red Barn, Honey, Sunset, Desert Sand and Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Sunset, Slate, Whisper, Red Barn, Honey
Stamps:  None!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blinging It Up for Atlantic Coast Hearts

I have been playing with snowflakes a lot lately and this Atlantic Hearts Sketch screams for them, particularly since I wanted to participate in the Color My Heart dare to use Twilight and Crystal Blue.

And I would have used snowflakes if I didn't just get a package of Base and Bling Floral Accents that I couldn't wait to play with.  To complement the Pearl Flourish, I popped out the sparkle centers and replaced them with Pearl Opaques.  I made up for removing the sparkles by adding Silver Shimmer Trim and Silver Glitter Paper.  Here is the inside:

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all from Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Twilight, Crystal Blue and White Daisy cardstock, Silver Glitter Paper
Ink:  Twilight, Crystal Blue
Stamps:  Fabulous You, Card Chatter - Birthday
Embellishments:  Base and Bling Floral Accents, Pearl Flourish, Silver Shimmer Trim

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Freshly Made Butterfly for Jack Blue to Chase

This is for a friend who is heartbroken because her dog has gone to the Rainbow Bridge.  I like to think that Jack Blue is young and healthy and chasing butterflies again.  I used this sketch from Freshly Made Sketches:

I really like Close to My Heart's new Sincere Expressions stamp set!  Here is the inside:

Thank you for stopping by!  Now please go see what the others have done with this sketch.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Colonial White, Smokey Plum, and Heavenly Blue (retired) cardstock, Wonderland (retired)
Ink:  Black, Gypsy, Heavenly Blue (retired), and Outdoor Denim
Stamps:  Find Your Style (retired), Sincere Expressions
Embellishments:  Black Sparkles
Other:  Paper Lace II embossing folder from Cuddlebug, Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A little Black Dress With Heart

When I first saw this dress shape on Close to My Heart's Artiste Cricut cartridge, I had a vision of it, a mirror and the dress form from my favorite stamp set, "Find Your Style," but I never got around to acting on my vision until the Heart 2 Heart "Little Black Dress" challenge provided the kick in the butt  motivation and Atlantic Hearts provided the inspiration with this sketch which I rotated to accommodate a vertical design:

After cutting out the dress (page 41, shift + accent 2, 3.5 inches real dial size), I dry embossed the skirt, only to find that the white core showed though in parts of the raised design.  Now the white core of CTMH's cardstock can provide additional design opportunities in many cases, but in this case, those bits of white detracted from the "black" dress concept, so I went over it with a sponge dauber and black ink.  Of course the great thing about a little black dress is that you get to accessorize!  I created a belt by cutting a piece of silver shimmer trim in half lengthwise and adding a base and bling floral accent.  I knew that I wanted to put pearl opaques on the neckline, so I removed the sparkle in the middle of the flower and replaced it with a pearl opaque.

Once the dress was done, it was time to make a mirror.  First I used the CTMH Art Philosophy cartridge to cut a frame (page 47, decorative layer, 4.5 inches) from La Belle Vie paper and put scrapes of pink behind the corner cutouts.  I cut out an oval of Colonial white slightly larger than the opening, stamped the dress form in second generation black ink and the swirls in second generation Blush and Vineyard Berry (retired) and slipped it behind the opening.  After sponging the frame with black ink to help it stand out, I matted it with a piece cut from La Belle Vie Mauve (page 47, shape 8, 4.75 inches).  Black sparkles completed the frame.  Before attaching the dress I added a few more swirls to the background.  I like the swirls so much that I used them on the inside as well:

I like the retro feel of pink, white, gray and black together and think it complements the style of the dress.  Thank you for stopping by!  Now please head on over Heart 2 Heart to see some more little black dresses and Atlantic Hearts to see what others have done with this layout.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  La Belle Vie, Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Black, Blush, Vineyard Berry (retired)
Stamps:  Find Your Style (retired), Fabulous You, Instant memories (retired), Card Chatter - Birthday
Embellishments:  Silver Shimmer Trim, Base and Bling Floral Accents, Pearl Opaques, Black Sparkles
Other:  Paper Lace II embossing folder from Cuddlebug