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.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Penguins With Heart

I was on facebook the other day and saw a link to an article about Christmas volunteering "beyond the soup kitchen".  Because I volunteer year round in a food pantry which also gets a flood of volunteers this time of year and I rank food pantries along with soup kitchens, I was curious about the alternative suggestions.  The last thing I wanted or needed was another volunteer activity.  Along with my regular activities and my usual Christmas activities, my church was hosting homeless folks as part of a rotating program.  But there it was.  Several group homes for individuals with intellectual disabilities were requesting handmade cards to distribute to residents to brighten their holidays.  I don't think I have mentioned this before, but my daughter will be moving into such a home in a few years.  Soooo, I used an old Close to My Heart hostess stamp, Winter Wishes, and this Atlantic Hearts sketch to make ten cards.

Here are my favorites:

I used an assortment of materials and am crunched for time (aren't we all), so I am not going to describe everything I did and used, but if you have questions about anything you see, please leave a comment and I will answer.  Now which one to enter?

This is my last post before Christmas, so let me wish y'all Merry Christmas or Happy whichever holiday you celebrate.  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Tinsel Town Challenge

The last Heart 2 Heart challenge of the year is to use Silver, Black and Lagoon in a project.  At the risk of showing my age, I got to thinking about the artificial trees of my childhood which were aluminum. (Just in case you have ever wondered why Linus knocks on a tree and hears a hollow metal sound when he and Charlie Brown go Christmas tree shopping in "A Charlie Brown Christmas")  I knew that I wanted to use this tree from the Holiday Wishes stamp set and that this sketch from Atlantic Hearts was the perfect one to show it off.

First I cut Shape8 using Close to My Heart's Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge and embossed the tree using Ranger's Super Fine Silver embossing powder.  To embellish the tree I used a ShinHan Peacock Green marker to color some Clear sparkles and, because I did not have enough Black Bitty sparkles, I used a Black marker to color some Clear ones.  How did I get that black border so narrow?  Did I use the Cricut Design Space?  Sadly, no because I do not have a Cricut Explore (yet).  I hope to get one for Christmas as it is at the top of my wishlist and DH is a pretty smart man...  In the meantime, on my Expression the default is to cut in .25 inch increments, but if you go into settings, you have the options of .10 inches, centimeter, and millimeter increments.  I changed my setting to .10 inches and cut a shape in black which was .10 inch bigger.  I had intended on cutting an additional layer using Silver Glitter paper, but I found I liked it with just the black border against the Lagoon background.  Because I did not need to allow room for extra layers, I made a second card with the shape8 cut larger enough to include a sentiment from the same stamp set stamped with black pigment ink and embossed with clear detail powder.

I am not sure which card I like best.  What do y'all think?  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A snowflake for Mojo Monday

I have been having so much fun with my new Snowflake die cut from Tim Holtz.  (Click here for directions on how to use a Sizzix die cut with a Cuddlebug.)  Here I have used it with this sketch from Mojo Monday:

I love how Close to My Heart's Yuletide Carol paper combines with black and metallic gold to make non traditional Christmas cards.  After cutting and embossing the snowflake  I used a brayer to ink it with gold metallic ink from Color Box and then sponged more gold around the edges of it as well as the Colonial White and Black layers.  I then sponged just the very edge of the patterned layer with black to ground it. The sentiment from one of my favorite Christmas stamp sets, Snow Flurries (retired), is heart embossed with CTMH's new gold embossing powder.  Of course I had to put a sparkle in the center.  Have I ever mentioned that I love sparkles?

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Yuletide Carole, Black and Colonial White cardstock, Antique Gold Metallic paper by The Paper Studio
Ink:  Gold by Color Box, Black
Stamps:  Snow Flurries (retired)
Embellishments:  Black Sparkle from the Black and Grey assortment, Gold Embossing powder
Other:  Snowflake die cut and embossing folder by Tim Holtz (Sizzix)

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Freshly Made Snowflake

This card was a lesson in perseverance and letting go of my original ideas.  To start with, I wanted to used this Freshly Made Sketch:

I also wanted to use this snowflake die cut by Tim Holtz which caught my eye at Hobby Lobby.  The cut shape is not particularly exciting, but once embossed with the accompanying folder and inked up it is beautiful.  (To see how to use this Sizzix product in a Cuddlebug check this post.)  I used a brayer to spread Gold metallic ink on the embossed design and then sponged Gold and Bronze along the edges.  For the background I had planned on lightly stamping small snowflakes, but once I put the embossed snowflake over them I found that it was too busy and made the snowflake hard to see.  I then thought about sponging the background with gold and letting it fade out around the edges.  I decided I would practice on my already stamped piece before cutting a new layer.  That is when the inspiration hit.  I could make the inner part solid to make the snowflake show and then fade into the smaller flakes as though they were emerging from the glow of the big snowflake.  

Next it was time for the sentiment.  I had been planning on cutting "Peace on Earth" from some antiqued gold paper but the letters did not show well against the snowflake.  Then I thought about deviating from the sketch and stamping directly on the card to the lower left of the snowflake because the sentiment stamped on a piece of Colonial White placed over the snowflake seemed to cover too much of it.  Finally I remembered that I had a "Peace" stamp in a smaller font, and the shortened, smaller sentiment stamped on a bit of Colonial White cardstock fit right into the angled parts in the center of the flake.  I attached it with foam tape and was almost done!  I decided that a border of antiqued gold cardstock did not fit the softness of the rest of the card, so I lightly sponged some gold on the edge of the main layer, pressed the edge into to stamp pad to get a gilded look and attached it to a Colonial White card base.  The last step was to embellish with a clear sparkle because y'all know I love sparkles...

I am pretty pleased with how this card (finally!) came out.  It may be a little softer and more distressed than the criteria for Freshly Made Sketches, but I worked too hard on it not to enter it.  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used:
Paper:  Colonial White cardstock by Close to My Heart
Ink:  Gold and Copper by Color Box
Stamp:  Scandinavian Wishes (retired) from Close to My Heart, the small snowflakes were done with a very old wooden stamp with no label from I don't remember where
Embellishment:  Clear sparkle from Close to My Heart
Other:  Snowflake die cut and embossing folder set by Tim Holtz

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Snowflake For Atlantic Hearts

This really cool snowflake by Tim Holtz caught my eye in Hobby Lobby.  It is a die cut that is not particularly interesting until you use the accompaining folder to emboss the cut shape.  Then if you play with ink, a brayer and sponges you can really have some fun.  Now this is a Sizzix product which, according to the package, is compatible with four different machines which all happen to be made by (surprise!) Sissix, but we all know that if you experiment you can make anyone's product work in a Cuddlebug.  The sandwich for the cut is B plate, die cut with foam side up, paper, and another B plate.  To emboss, you can use the regular sandwich (A plate, B plate, folder with paper in it, and B plate) and get a respectable impression, but I found that I got a sharper impression when I added a piece of cardstock between the embossing folder and the upper B plate.  I used a brayer to spread some silver metallic ink from Color Box over the impressions and a sponge dauber to put just a hint of silver on the edge tips.  Now I was ready to make a card using this sketch from Atlantic Hearts:

I really liked how the snowflake looked against the Frosted paper, so I cut an accent shape from it using my Cricut and the Art Philosophy cartridge and then cut a second larger shape in Frosted Gray to create a layer.  When I laid everything out, I found that the shape overwhelmed the snowflake, so I decided to make the snowflake my accent shape.  I stamped the sentiment in Silver and then gilded the edges of the Colonial White pieces by pushing the edges into the stamp pad.  I was going to put a few sparkles to the upper right of the snowflake, but again it seemed to detract, so I settled for one light gray sparkle in the center of the snowflake.  This is a 5 x 6.5 inch card, but I am thinking this would work well as a horizontal card in the A2 size.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Frosted (retired), Colonial White and Frosted Gray (retired)
Ink:  Silver by Color Box
Stamp:  Snow Flurries (retired)
Embellishments:  Black and Gray Sparkles Assortment
Other:  Snowflake Die Cut and Embossing folder by Tim Holtz

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Celebrating NOvember with Heart 2 Heart

This month the ladies over at Heart 2 Heart Challenges are celebrating NOvember with each challenge involving some sort of no, that is something you are not allowed to use or do.  I have added my own theme of sNOwflakes.  Don't get me wrong.  I love snowflakes as a design element, but the real thing is another matter.  I like snow if we get enough to shut everything down for a day or two, say eight to 10 inches, and then melt quickly.  You Yankees and Canadians can stop laughing.  Unfortunately we are more likely to get two or three inches which is only enough to make the roads a mess and you are still expected to go to work, but schools will be closed, so you need to make alternate arrangements.  Really, y'all can stop laughing now.  The thing is, here in Richmond, Virginia you never know which it is going to be.  We have had "slight accumulation" forecasts turn out to be 16 inches which is why we always go to the grocery store to stock up anytime the slightest possibility of frozen stuff is called for.  To tell you the truth, we Richmonders like to enjoy our snows (as long as we have plenty of bread, milk, eggs and toilet paper) which is why we close down or find that we just can't make it into work.  Seriously, I don't think my little one way street has ever seen a snowplow.  Yes, I do love snowflakes as a design element, so here we go.

First up is the NO stamps challenge:

That was easy enough.  I have a Cricut and Cuddlebug.  As I have mentioned before, I love the elegance of Close to My Heart's Yuletide Carole paper, particularly when paired with metallic paper and/or ink.  It doesn't show in the photo, but the gold paper and distressing around the edges of the black paper is metallic.  To get a nicely gilded edge, I first heavily sponged around the edges and then, holding the paper straight up, pushed each edge into the soft stamp pad.  I lightly sponged the edges of the snowflake and patterned panel with black.  This card is based on the Atlantic Hearts Sketch:

The next Heart 2 Heart challenge was NO ink.

Hmmm.  This was a little more interesting because I like to use ink to define edges, create dimension, etc. and, of course no ink rules out stamping unless you don't consider Versamark to be an ink, which I do.  I was inspired by this card I saw on Pinterest.  The image is no longer on the blog page, but you can see it on my pin.  The use of texture and the clean look of white and a neutral attracted me.  Thanks to my Cricut and Cuddlebug, I could get by without ink.

For the next challenge the rule was NO embellishments.  

No embellishments?!  There is a reason why they call them challenges, because this one was definitely a challenge for me.  I assumed that embossing also counted as an embellishment.  And how can I do without sparkles?  I did use a little bit of glitter paper in the center of the snowflake before attaching it with foam tape for some dimension.  I used this Freshly Made Sketch but put the ribbon element, in this case a punched border, on the bottom because it fit my design better.

The last challenge had NO rules

Great!  I could just make a card! After punching the snowflake border and sponging gold metallic ink all around the panel, I sponged the very edge of a strip of gold and put it behind the openings.  The ornament is edged with a bit of black ink and popped up with foam tape.   I used this Freshly Made Sketch as my inspiration:

There you have it, just under the wire, four sNOflakes for Heart 2 Heart's NOvember challenges.  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:

No Stamps Challenge:
Paper:  Yuletide Carol, Black and Colonial White cardstock with gold metallic cardstock from Michael's
Stamps:  none
Ink:  Black (edges of snowflake and patterned paper), Gold Metallic ink by Color Box (edges of black paper)
Embellishments:  Yuletide Carol assortment, Tan and Pearl opaques (retired), Black ribbon from I don't remember here
Other:  Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge, Holiday die cuts by Spellbinders

No Ink Challenge:
Paper:  Colonial White cardstock with Gold Metallic cardstock from Michael's
Ink:  none
Stamps:  none
Embellishments:  Pearl opaques (retired), Colonial White satin edged organdy ribbon (retired)
Other:  Art Philosophy and Artbooking Cricut cartrigdes, Stripes and Quatrefoil embossing folders

No Embellishments Challenge:
Paper:  Yuletide Carol, Colonial White, Champagne and Black cardstock with Bronze Metallic cardstock from Michael's, black glitter paper
Ink:  Black (stamp and edges of patterned paper)
Stamp:  Very Merry Christmas (retired Stamp of the Month)
Embellishments:  none
Other:  Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge, Snowflake punch by Martha Stewart, Snowflake border punch by ek Success

No Rules Challenge:
Paper:  Yuletide Carol, Black cardstock, Gold Metallic cardstock from Michael's
Ink:  Black (edges of Gold cardstock and patterned paper), Gold Metallic ink by Color Box (edges of Black cardstock)
Embellishments:  Black sparkles, Tan opaque (retired), Black ribbon from I don't remember where

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gold Trees for Atlantic Hearts

Here are three Christmas cards using this Atlantic Hearts Sketch:

When the new Close to My Heart Annual Inspirations came out, I was thrilled to see that they now offer Gold, Silver, White and Clear Detail embossing powders.  Y'all know how much I love to emboss!  The tree comes from a Thanksgiving stamp set, Always Grateful, and the flourish from an old Halloween Stamp of the Month, Wicked.  Who says you have to limit your use of a stamp to the holiday for which it was intended?

This year's Christmas paper, Yuletide Carol, is so elegant!  Here paired it with gold metallic paper from Michael's:

Yes, I like glitter paper, but sometimes I want the soft sheen and quiet elegance of a metallic.  To complement the gold paper I gilded the edges of the black panel with gold metallic ink from Color Box.  I also lightly sponged the very edge of the printed panel with black.  I find that when you have an open dark pattern printed on a light background, sponging the edge gives it some definition against the layer below it.  It is subtle, but if you try with and without sponging you will notice a difference.

Next I used Pear and Partridge, a Christmas paper from a few years back, along with the gold paper:

I used a Sap Green ShinHan marker to color some bitty sparkles to embellish the zip strip.  Thanks to the new markers I can have sparkles in many colors!

Lastly I went back to Yuletide Carol, selecting a more traditional paper and colors:

Again, I gilded the edges of the green and patterned panels with gold metallic ink and, for good measure, backed to green panel with gold metallic paper to provide a very narrow border  before layering it onto the Colonial White.  I embellished it by wrapping some black glitter Seweasy fancy floss by We R Memory Keepers around the center panel and adding a bit of black ribbon I got somewhere.  I don't remember where.  I should also mention that I popped up the Christmas tree panels with foam tape.  

There you have three takes on Atlantic Hearts Sketch #82.  I like the first version best, but the last one follows the sketch more closely, so that is the one I plan to enter.  Why don't you go over and see what others have done with this sketch?  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Yuletide Carol, Pear and Partridge (retired), Black, Emerald Green and Colonial White cardstock, Gold metallic paper from Michael's
Ink:  Gold Metallic ink by Color Box, Sap Green ShinHan marker
Stamps:  Always Grateful, Wicked (retired)
Embellishments:  Clear Bitty Sparkles, Gold embossing powder, Seweasy fancy floss by We R Memory Keepers, Black ribbon of unknown origin

Friday, October 31, 2014

Color My Heart in the Orange of your Choice

The Color My Heart Color Dare this week is to pick your own orange, so I combined the Sunset in an old paperpack, Mischief, with this Atlantic Hearts Sketch to make a final Halloween card.

The cat is from the "Eek & Shriek" stamp set and the broom and sentiment from "Halloween Greetings."  This is just a reminder to watch out for the gain when you are using embossing folders particularly Stripes.  Here is what happens when you are in a hurry and don't:

If you don't know how to find the grain, here is a video that shows you how:

Thank you for stopping by!  Now why don't you hop on over to Color My Heart and Atlantic Hearts to see how others have met these challenges or, better yet, enter one yourself.  I would love to see your work!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Mischief (retired), Sunset and Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Black and Slate with Marigold ShinHan marker
Stamps:  Halloween Greetings, Eek & Shriek
Embellishments:  Sequins from Black Min-Medley Accents, Clear sparkle, ribbon for where I do not remember

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Feeling Witchy

As much as I like Close to My Heart's Eek & Shriek stamp set (In case you don/'t know, I LOVE cats), my favorite Halloween stamp is this sassy witch from the Wicked set which was a available as a Stamp of the Month a few years ago.  I stamped her in black and sponged the panel with Thistle, Sunset, and Black inks and while I was at it, sponged around the pieces cut from Scaredy Cat paper with Black.  The broom and sentiment come from the Halloween Greetings set available in the current CTMH catalog.  You may notice that the embellishment from the Scaredy Cat Assortment has been flipped.  I thought it looked better to have the cat facing towards the center, so I peeled off the glue dots and flipped it over.  I used liquid glass to attach it to Black glitter paper before attaching it to the card.  I love that the metal pieces in the Scaredy Cat Assortment are so thin and flat.  This would be the perfect card to enter in the Cards in Envy "Any Witch Way You Can" Challenge except that the only way to make the witch fit and still have room for the other elements in this Heart 2 Heart sketch was to make the card 7x5 inches.

The Cards in Envy Challenge requires that cards be no more that a quarter inch thick and fit in an A2 envelope so that they will be easy to mail.  The theme for the current challenges is "Any Witch Way You Can," and since this is such a great witch, I had to made a second card using the same technique but in the A2 size.

This is the last of my cards to enclose in Halloween care packages to the college students in my life.  Given that this is National Chocolate Day, my daughter and I had to do a quality control check as we put the packages together.  Thank you for stopping by!  Now please head on over the Heart 2 Heart and Cards in Envy to see how others have met these challenges.  There is still time to enter either challenge if you so are inclined.  I would love to see your work!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Scaredy Cat, Black, Colonial White, and Slate cardstock, Black Glitter paper
Ink:  Thistle, Sunset, Smokey Plum, and Black ink
Stamps:  Wicked (retired), Halloween Greetings
Embellishments:  Scaredy Cat Assortment 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Freshly Made Halloween Kitties

The Color My Heart Color Dare is to use Thistle and Sunset, the colors in Close to My heart's new Scaredy Cat paper.  The first card was based on this Freshly Made Sketch:

For both cards I started by using clear detail powder to heat emboss the tree from the Eek & Shriek stamp set and then sponged over it with Thistle and Black.  I had planned on keeping the upper right corner uninked, but it did not quite work when I started to put the card together, so I sponged on a bit of Sunset which warmed it up and fit better with the rest of the paper.  The cat was cut using the Artbooking Cricut cartridge (page 70) cut at 2.75 and then stamped.  The thing to remember about the Artbooking and new Artfully Sent cartridges is that the images on a given page are designed to cut in proportion to each other to make a particular project.  In this case the images are intended to make a scrapbook page with the size set to 11 inches.  If you set the size to 2.75 and do not push the real dial size button, you will get a .75 inch cat because the Cricut thinks you are making a 2.75 inch scrapbook page.  I know this because in my rush enthusiasm I forgot to set my Cricut on real dial size...   I used my ShinHan markers to color the collars and sparkles.  The metal medallions are from the Scaredy Cat assortment with Bamboo and Sunset papers behind them to help the cutouts show.  On the second card I sponged the edges of the striped layer with black to give it a cleaner line against the card base.

Thank you for stopping by!  Now why don't you head on over to Freshly Made Sketches and Color My Heart to see what others have been inspired to make?  If you are inspired to take the Color Dare you have until Thursday night.  You do not have use Scaredy cat paper and if you do not have the exact colors use the closest ones you have.  Feel free to throw in any neutrals.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper: Scaredy Cat, Bamboo, Sunset, Slate and Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Black, Thistle, and Sunset with Marigold and Peony Purple ShinHan markers
Embellishments:  Scaredy Cat assortment, Clear sparkles
Other:  Artbooking Cricut cartridge

Creative Blogger Award

A couple weeks ago I was honored to receive an e-mail from the New Jersey Stamping Queen, Marie Flayer, nominating little ol' me for the Creative Blogger Award.  Marie is a talented paper crafter and Close to My Heart consultant who made me feel welcomed when I first began blogging and has always encouraged me on my blogging journey.  If you don't know her work, hop on over to her creative corner of the kingdom, NJ Stamping Queen, take a look at her fabulous and adorable work, and leave her some love.  What is the Creative Blogger Award?  Basically it is an invitation to join a blog hop where you answer four questions about your creative process.  As you take the tour you might meet some new bloggers and be inspired.  Thank you, Marie, for inviting me to join this group of creative women.  Here are some links to the blogs of some of the other talented women who are a part of this tour.  I encourage you to check them out if you don't know them already.

Now for the Questions:

What am I currently working on?

Except for putting together the care packages for the college students in my life and trying to resist the temptation to perform quality control checks on the chocolate, I have finished Halloween (even if the posts are not up yet).  That means it is time to think Christmas!  In addition to the usual cards and tags, I make gift bags by stamping and embellishing non-coated white  bags.  I have never posted them, but maybe I will this year.  Stay tuned.  The most pressing thing, though, is making the ornaments for my church's Advent trees.  Our Advent trees are similar to the Angel Trees where you take a tag labeled with a need and fill it.  We collect toys and clothing for a number of children's programs and schools.  Here are a few leftover from previous years:

It is a little hard to tell in the photo, but all have sparkles or glitter glitz and most are inked with metallic ink.  Let's just say that my Cricut comes in handy.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I can't say my work is unique, but I can tell you a little about it.  I like to try different techniques, but my favorite is resist embossing.  I love to play with color and often layer different colors of ink when I am sponging edges or resist embossing and I don't hesitate to bring in colors that are not part of the paper pack.  I enjoy the challenge of coming up with ways to use stamps, papers, and embellishments that not how they are marketed to be used.  I have made boy cards out of girly paper, Valentines in non traditional colors, birthday cards with Christmas stamps, and birthday, thinking of you and romantic cards using Halloween and Christmas paper.  One of my favorites is this anniversary card that I made using Close to My Heart's Yuletide Carol paper and assortment pack:

Why do I create what I do?

For me, cardmaking is a combination of therapy and ministry.  My life is complicated.  While I am creating, my mind is occupied, and I don't think about those complications.  When I am finished I have something that I can send to someone to brighten their day.  In addition to the usual birthdays and special occasions, there are always people who need encouragement.

How does my creative process work?

All over the place, lol!  I find a lot of inspiration in challenge blogs.  As a matter of fact, I started this blog long before I was a Close to My Heart consultant because I had been following some challenge blogs and decided that I wanted to take the next step and enter my work.  I will often start with an idea but find that as I work I am switching out papers and trying different embellishments and sometimes end up with something completely different.  That is okay because I find that if I let go of my original plan and let the Holy Spirit take a hand in it I end up with something far more satisfying then what I had originally planned.  For this card I had planned on using a new stamp to make cut outs of embossed leaves.  It just wasn't working, so as you can see, I let go ended up with something else:

Sometimes, particularly when I am trying a new technique, I will make more than one version.  I also  try to lay my card out and walk away for a few hours.  It is not unusual for me to come back later and see something I want to change.  If I glue it down right away, I often regret it later.  Although I am usually a go with the flow INFP, I am a very detail oriented perfectionist when it comes to my art.  After all, a card is something you are going to give to someone.  

Now that I have shared my creative journey with you, I get to send y'all to the next stop on this tour.  It is my pleasure to nominate Becca Whitham, a crafter and a writer.  She is constantly experimenting with new techniques and stepping out of her comfort zone and inspires me to do the same.  She also totally rocks the clean and simple style!  Check out her blog, Expressions, and go back next Monday, November 3rd, to get some insight into her creative process.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Freshly Made Snowhaven

In my last post I showed y'all a birthday card featuring Close to My Heart's new Snowhaven paper.  Now here I have used it in a more conventional way to make a Christmas card following this Freshly Made Sketch:

For the focal point I wanted to pick up the motif in the border, so I used CTMH's Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge to cut the star on page 25 and then cut it through the center like a pie to get the diamonds.  A Black Epoxy Bubble forms the center.  I couldn't help myself and added some of the new Red Hearts for a bit of fun.  My choice of sentiment was influenced by the fact that this paper pack reminds me of a warm winter sweater.  Here is the inside:

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Snowhaven, Glacier, Black, Cranberry, and White Daisy cardstock
Ink:  Black
Stamps:  Very Merry Christmas (retired stamp of the month)
Embellishments:  Red Hearts, Black Epoxy Bubbles

A Snowhaven Birthday Card

Snowhaven may be a winter/snow themed paper, but you don't have to use it that way.  I cut one of the strips out of the striped paper, added a scalloped border and hearts following this sketch from Atlantic Hearts, and had a birthday card with nary a snowflake in sight.

I had a problem with the sentiment. You see, I love the retired Pewter Mini Medley but am down to one last frame which I hesitate to use.  Then it occurred to me that I could use the corner pieces, of which I have quite a few, to make a bracket for the sentiment.  The sentiment, by the way, is a two parter from the retired Card Chatter - Birthday set.  The rest of it is inside:

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Snowhaven, White Daisy, Cranberry and Black cardstock
Ink;  Black
Stamps:  Card Chatter - Birthday (retired)
Embellishments:  Red hearts, Black Sparkles (retired), Pewter Mini Medley (retired)
Other:  Border Punch from ek Success