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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Once Upon a Time...

The theme for last week's Heart 2 Heart Challenge is "Once Upon a Time"... and I need a birthday card for a little girl... and Close to My Heart has this wonderful unicorn stamp... and I have been wanting to try the Northern Lights technique ever since I saw Kay Kalthoff's video tutorial on it...  Yes, it was all coming together!  In a nutshell, for the northern lights technique, you sponge assorted colors in stripes (I used Lagoon, Pacifica, Cotton Candy, and Buttercup), layer a single darker color over them (Outdoor Denim), and then stamp your design on the background you have created.  The only problem was that unicorns are white, and even pigment ink is not opaque enough to keep the background from showing through.  The solution was a variation of resist embossing.  I stamped the unicorn with Versamark on Colonial White cardstock, heat embossed it with clear detail powder, and proceeded with the northern lights technique.  I did have to wipe residual ink off the embossing as I worked.  For my first try I used sponge daubers which created a soft, watercolor effect:

The Outdoor Denim altered the colors somewhat but was not particularly dramatic and had little texture.  I used the Love Life stamp set from Close to My Heart to stamp the background.  While is not in the catalog this season, it can still be ordered because Close to My Heart does not retire stamps that are compatible with Cricut cartridges.  On my (or any other consultant's) website, click on "My Acrylix Stamp Sets" on the menu to the left and scroll down the page to the "Cricut Compatible Sets."  There you will find all the Cricut compatible sets that you wish you had ordered when they were in the catalog.  I may have gotten a little carried away with the swirls.  Then again, when you are making a card for a seven year old girl can you really have too many swirls (or sparkles)?   Because Kay used a sponge wedge in her video, I gave that a try:

All the colors blended nicely with much more texture.  I had just washed the sponge that I used for the Outdoor Denim so it was still sightly damp.  When I wiped the thin layer of ink off the embossing I ended up picking up some of the ink around the image which makes it look like he is glowing.  For my last card I tried using sponge daubers for the bottom layer and a sponge quarter to apply the over layer:

The softer color stripes below seem to shine through the textured Outdoor Denim layer.  I was also more careful as I wiped the unicorn.  For each card I sponged some Outdoor Denim around the edges before I put the card together.  Now the question is, which one do I like best?  Thank you for stopping by!  Now go see how others have interpreted "Once Upon a Time" at Heart 2 Heart Challenges.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Colonial White and Twilight cardstock
Ink:  Lagoon, Pacifica, Cotton Candy, Buttercup and Outdoor Denim
Stamps:  Unicorn Dreams (available only as a hostess reward), Love Life
Embellishments:  Bitty Sparkles, Pink and Purple Sparkles (retired), star shaped sparkles from Michael's 
Other:  Clear Detail powder  

A Heart 2 Heart Sketch Challenge

This month the ladies over at Heart 2 Heart are challenging us to use this sketch:

This one proved a bit challenging for me, but isn't that the point?  I had trouble deciding what to do with that oval.  Then it came to me.  I had just gotten Close to My Heart's new Timberline paper pack which has an outdoorsy, camping theme to it which got me to thinking about my days as a Girl Scout camping at Seashore State Park (now First landing State Park) which was near the Cape Henry Lighthouse.  It was time to break out the Perfect Day stamp set!  I used the resist embossing technique where you stamp the image with Versamark, heat emboss it with clear detail powder, and then sponge over it with water based ink to make the image appear.  Sometimes you have to wipe over the embossed area with a tissue to remove the thin film of ink that can coat to your image.  In this case, I sponged Juniper, Twilight, and Pondersoa Pine over the image stamped on Bamboo cardstock.  I sponged the edges of the "corner squares" with a little Colonial White pigment ink.  I do not have any Ponderosa Pine cardstock, but I found that Avonlea Green from the retired paper pack made a good substitute.  For embellishments I started with the new Durables Triangle Studs which have really grown on me.  To complement them, I cut the prongs off some brads and attached them with Liquid Glass.

I am not sure if this will be a masculine birthday card, thinking of you card, or note of encouragement, so I have not done anything on the inside yet.  Thank you for stopping by!  Now head on over to Heart 2 Heart Challenges to see some more takes on this sketch.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Timberline, Bamboo, Avonlea Green (retired) and Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Juniper, Twilight, Ponderosa Pine
Stamp:  Perfect Day (retired)
Embellishments:  Duarables Triangle Studs, Metal Brads (retired)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Atlantic Coast Hearts!

Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge is celebrating its first anniversary with this sketch:

I found myself thinking about using a butterfly for the shape and Close to My Heart's Skylark paper with its garden feel and what do you know?  One of the April Heart 2 Heart Challenges is to use Lagoon and Sweet Leaf and guess what two of the main colors in Skylark happen to be.  I love it when challenges co-ordinate!  

To stamp this version of the butterfly from the Find Your Style set, I started by using sponge daubers to apply Lagoon and Saddle ink to the stamp.  After stamping it and cutting it out, I sponged the wings' edges with some more Saddle to give them definition.  Lastly I sponged more Lagoon in the upper middle and Sweet Leaf in the area between the Lagoon and Saddle.  This softened the image to complement the background. Now cutting out the butterfly means an antennae-ectomy, so how did I get the antennae on the card?  I stamped them by covering the butterfly's body with Post It Notes, inking the antennae with Saddle, removing the Post It Notes (critical step), and then stamping on the background. Finally, I positioned the cut out butterfly to line up with the antennae and used Liquid Glass to attach the body only.   The corner was stamped with Saddle and the dragonfly with second generation Chocolate.

With stamping done, it was time to embellish.  I used a sponge dauber to color the flourish from the Wooden Mini-Medley Saddle, attached it with Liquid Glass, and then accented it with some Green Sparkles (retired).  I used Brown Opaques for the butterfly's body and ribbon from a long retired Sweet Leaf Mini-Medley to create the crossing layer.

Here is the inside:

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Skylark, Sweet Leaf, and White Daisy
Ink:  Lagoon, Sweet Leaf, Saddle, Chocolate
Stamps:  Find Your Style (retired), Petite Perks, Joyful Birthday, Believe in Yourself
Embellishments:  Wooden Mini-Medley, Sweet Leaf Mini-Medley (retired), Brown Opaques (retired), Green Sparkles (retired)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Color My Heart in Honey, Outdoor Denim, Pacifica, and Indian Corn Blue

It is time for another Color My Heart Color Dare.  This week the dare is to create something using Honey, Outdoor Denim, Pacifica, and Indian Corn Blue along with any neutrals you choose.  It just so happens that these are the colors in a retired Close to My Heart paper pack, Pemberly.  Lately I have been playing with what some folks call, "use your scraps cards" but I call "sampler cards" which often have a clean, graphic design suitable to send to a guy.   I was inspired by this card on Pinterest.

Thank you for stopping by!  Now why don't you head over to Color My Heart to get some more inspiration and then take the dare youself?  If you don't have these exact colors, use the closest ones you've got.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Pemberly (retired), Outdoor Denim, Pacifica, Indian Corn Blue, and Colonial White
Ink:  Desert Sand
Stamp:  Thank You (retired)
Embellishments:  Durables Triangle Studs

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Egg Shaped Easter Cards for Heart 2 Heart

The ladies over at Heart 2 Heart Challenges are challenging us to use our Cricuts.  Like I really need to be encouraged to use mine!  As I have been on an Easter card kick, I cut some egg shaped cards using the Art Philosophy cartridge from Close to My Heart.  I then used the same cartridge to cut the flowers and bunny parts.  Here is a link to Tracie Cassidy's blog, Cre8ting From the Heart, where she shows how she created a bunny that I adapted to make chocolate bunnies.  To make their tails, I dyed some retired Rosette Ribbon by putting it in a zip-loc bag along with a teaspoon of alcohol and a few drops of Cocoa re-inker and squishing it around.  Once the ribbon was dry, I cut off individual rosettes, stitched around the back of each with a needle and thread and pulled it tight to make puff balls which I glued on with Liquid Glass.

After I cut the flowers (Art Philosophy p. 50) in graduated sizes from Cotton Candy, I scored each one from the center outwards with a scoring stylus to give them texture.  For the flower above, I sponged a little Gypsy along the very edge of the petals and then sponged over it more heavily with Hollyhock.  The flower on the card below was sponged with Holly Hock alone.  For each bunny card, I cut two strips of grass (Artiste p.73) from Sweet Leaf, flipped one over, sponged the tips of both with Topiary and layered them with one slightly lower than the other.  I then embellished each bunny card with Shimmer Trim, Aqua and/or Famingo Dots, and Base and Bling Floral Accents (retired).  I replaced the Clear Sparkle in the center of each Floral Accent with a Purple Sparkle or Aqua Dot to complement the respective Shimmer Trim.

I do not know what color paper I used for this last card.  It was in my stash and may be a retired CTMH color or something from Michael's.  

I sponged around the edge with Juniper followed by Silver Metallic pigment ink from ColorBox which gives it a vintage feel.  The Flower was made the same way as the flowers on the bunny cards with White Daisy cardstock and Gypsy ink.  One of the things I like about CTMH's acrylic stamps is that you can bend them onto a curve as you adhere them to the acrylic block.  That is what I did with the leaf stamp from the "Love This" set which I then stamped with the Silver Metallic ink.  I embellished the card with Clear Bitty Sparkles, Purple Sparkles (retired), Small Clear Sparkle Flourishes, and a Base and Bling Floral Accent.

Although I could never forget how much I love my Cricut, I do sometimes need reminding of how much fun making a shaped card can be.  Thank you for stopping by!  Now why don't you head on over to Heart 2 Heart for some inspiration and then maybe enter the challenge?  The folks over at Heart 2 Heart and I would love to see what you come up with.  Until next time, Hansi
Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Buttercup, Cotton Candy, Sweet Leaf, White Daisy, Cocoa and mystery color cardstock
Ink:  Cocoa, Topiary, Gypsy, Holly Hock, Honey, and Juniper along with Silver ink from ColorBox
Stamps:  Love This, Some Bunny (sentiment inside)
Embellishments:  Teal and Purple Shimmer Trim, Aqua Dots, Flamingo Dots, Base and Bling Floral Accents (retired), Purple Sparkles (retired), Clear Bitty Sparkles, Small Clear Sparkle Flourishes

Friday, April 4, 2014

Color My Heart for Easter

This week's Color My Heart Color Dare is to use Sunset, Smoothie, Lagoon, Sweet Leaf and Buttercup along with any neutrals to create a project.  I know what you are thinking.  Aren't those a lot of colors to try to combine?  Think spring!  I have used them for Easter eggs, but you could easily make colorful flowers or butterflies.  

I started by cutting a mess of eggs using Close to My Heart's Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge.  Then I got out my Cuddlebug, a brayer, and ink and began to play.  Looking from left to right, to make the second, fourth, and fifth eggs I embossed each egg, flipped it over, and inked the back using a brayer.  By inking the back side, the design stayed white while the background was colored.  I know people who ink their folders directly, but this way I had more control over the final shade and only had to wash my brayer when changing colors and not my folders as well.  After inking the fifth egg, I used an alcohol marker to color in the white impressions.  For the third egg, I positioned it on the diagonal on the new CTMH striped folder to emboss it, used my brayer to ink the resulting stripes with Smoothie, embossed it a second time positioned so that the stripes were at an angle to the first set, and used my brayer to ink those with Buttercup.  The first egg was the most complicated.  First I embossed it with the new Quatrefoil folder and inked it with Lagoon.  Then I  embossed it again positioned at a different angle and inked again with Lagoon.  Finally flipped it over and embossed it a third time and inked it with Sweet Leaf.  The second and fourth eggs were popped up with foam tape.  Can you believe I used no embellishments?  If it it didn't  have so many colors, you could call this CAS  (clean and simple)!

I had so much fun, that I am gong to have to make some more cards with eggs, just so I can play some more.  Thank you for stopping by!  Now please go visit Color My Heart to see some more projects using these colors, or better yet, take the dare and create something using Sunset, Smoothie, Lagoon, Sweet Leaf, and Buttercup along with any neutrals you like and enter the challenge.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  White Daisy and Lagoon cardstock
Ink:  Sunset, Smoothie, Lagoon, Sweet Leaf, Buttercup and Black along with a Buttercup alcohol marker
Stamp:  Some Bunny (available only as a hostess reward)
Embossing Folders:  Quatrefoil, Dot, and Stripe by CTMH, Scalloped Edge and Baby's Breath by Cuddlebug