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.

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

Color My Heart in Sunset, Olive and Blue Denim

Here is a scrap your stash card featuring this week's Color My Heart Color Dare colors of Sunset, Olive, and Blue Denim.  I started with this sketch from Mojo Monday:

This sketch screams for a use scraps kind of card, so I chose Close to My Heart's Lucky, an oldie that goes back to the days when B&T papers were not printed on cardstock and just happens to feature the challenge colors.  I sponged the edges with Desert Sand and was very careful when attaching the strips because thin paper does not lend itself to repositioning.  I used sponge daubers to color and outline two Milepost Shapes (retired) and backed the star with another star cut from cardstock before attaching it with foam tape.  To complement it I added stars from the Scaredy Cat Assortment.  The sentiment is from one of the sets that comes with the Artbooking Cricut cartridge.  I used Post-it  Notes to mask off sections of the stamp before inking and stamped it twice, first with Cocoa and then Olive.  The clear acrylic of CTMH's stamps makes it easy to stamp twice and keep the parts of the image aligned.

Thank you for stopping by!  Now why don't you check out the other creations at Color My Heart and Mojo Monday and perhaps even enter one or both of these challenges yourself?  I would love to see your work!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Lucky (retired), Victory, Bamboo, Sunset, and Colonial White cardstock
Inks:  Desert Sand, Olive, Blue Denim, Cocoa
Stamps:  Artbooking Cricut Bundle 
Embellishments:  Scaredy Cat Assortment, Milepost Shapes (retired)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Heartfelt Sympathy

It is no secret that I love lighthouses, so I was pretty excited to see that Close to My Heart has a new lighthouse stamp.  For this card, I used the emboss resist technique in which you stamp your image with Versamark and emboss it with clear detail powder and then sponge over it with dye ink to make the image appear.  It is one of my favorite techniques.  Usually I leave the embossing and wipe off any excess ink.  The problem this time was that I wanted to use this sketch from Atlantic Hearts:

This meant I would be stamping at least partially over the embossed image and the ink would, well, resist.  The solution was to remove the embossing by ironing it off.  To do this you place a sheet of paper (I used copy paper.) over the image and iron over it using a low heat.  The embossing transfers to the paper.  I found I had to do this several times, using a fresh part of the paper each time, to get it all,  The surface felt smooth, but there was still a bit of a shine.  I stamped the sentiment using pigment ink and embossed it with clear detail powder to make sure it "stuck."

I used Whisper ink to sponge the image and around the edge.  I had a lot of trouble selecting the framing layers.  I finally went with one of the patterned sheets, sponged with Desert Sand, and Glacier cardstock.  Given the reason I need this card, I decided not to use any embellishments.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Seaside with Glacier cardstock
Ink:  Whisper and Desert Sand along with Black pigment ink
Stamps:  Seaside Greetings, Look to the Light

An Anniversary Card Made With Christmas Paper?

As promised in my previous post, here is a second non Christmas card made with Close to My Heart's Christmas paper, Yuletide Carol, this one based on this week's Mojo Monday sketch.  I deviated a little from the sketch because I thought the tag looked better at an angle rather than straight across.

I embossed the Champagne piece using Cuttlebug's Tiffany frame folder and then very carefully trimmed it with a rotary trimmer.  I have two trimmers, a Frisker's which I use most of the time and can be used cut out corners and a Cutterpede rotary trimmer which is handy for very precise cuts or when you need to trim just a smidge off of an edge.  I used a border punch from ek Success to make the bit of lace and then sponged all the pieces with Cashmere ink to give an aged, romantic feel.    

I embellished the card with the rose and a filigree piece from the Yuletide Carol Assortment and some ribbon that I bought ages ago from I do not remember where.  Because the rose overlaps the filigree piece and knot of the ribbon, I put a bit of foam tape under it on that side only.  This provided the needed lift while allowing the outer edge of the rose to appear to lay flat on the card.  Here is a close up:

 Here is the inside:  

Tomorrow, October 13th, is our anniversary, and yes, we got married on a Friday.  I never thought that I would be making an anniversary card using Christmas paper!  Do you think Tim will figure it out?  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Yuletide Carols, Black glitter paper, Black and Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Cashmere, Ruby
Stamps:  The Happy Couple, In My Heart (retired)
Embellishments:  Yuletide Carol assortment, black ribbon of unknown origin
Other:  Artiste Cricut cartridge, border pinch by ek Success

Love Birds Freshly Made Sketch 157

I love Close to My Heart's Christmas paper, Yuletide Carol!  It is so elegant and lends itself to more than just Christmas projects.  This card, based on this Freshly Made Sketch, is the first of two romantic cards illustrating non Christmas uses.

I lightly sponged the edges of each piece with Cocoa ink to help them stand out against the planned Colonial White background.  (Actually, I started by sponging the circle with Saddle, decided it was too red, and sponged back over with it Cocoa.)  This made for a delicate card which was pretty, but I decided that the images popped more against the Kraft paper background which also gave the card a somewhat more masculine feel.  The sentiment comes from the Big Hug stamp set.  What?  You say you don't see a "Love" stamp?  That is because I committed sacrilege by trimming the "Love is All You Need" sentiment with a pair of tiny manicure scissors.  I can always put both pieces on a block and stamp the original image but, in the meantime, saved myself the hassle of trying to precisely mask off the rest of the sentiment.  I used another sentiment from the set on the inside:

I am going to put this in my stash of cards for my bird loving husband because you can never have too many "I love you" cards to give for no special occasion.

Thank you for stopping by!  Now why don't you check out the rest of the cards inspired by this Freshly Made Sketch?  You may even be inspired to enter a card yourself.  You have until tomorrow, Monday, at 3:00 p.m. eastern to enter.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Yuletide Carol, Colonial White cardstock, Kraft paper, Brown glitter paper
Ink:  Saddle and Ruby
Stamps:  Big Hug

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Color My Heart in Shades of Blue, Yellow, and Orange

The Color My Heart Dare this week is to use Crystal Blue, Pacifica, Honey, and Goldrush which just happen to be the colors in Close to My Heart's retired Dreamin' paper pack.  This was not a particularly original idea on my part as three out of seven design team members have used this pack.  I scraplifted this from the talented Cassandra Bennett whose card you can see here.  Have you ever had a paper pack that you love so much that you have a hard time deciding which of the papers you want to use because you love them all?  Then this is the card for you!  It is also a great way to use up scraps.

The easy part was cutting .5 inch by 3.75 inch strips and sponging the edges with Saddle ink.  The fun part was weaving them together while keeping the strips parallel and evenly spaced.  It helped to work on my Versamat, but a piece of graph paper would work just as well.  Once I had everything how I wanted it, I carefully lifted the ends of the strips that were on top and  and used a dab of Bonding Memories glue to stick them to the strips below.  This helped stabilize  the piece while I applied adhesive to the back and transferred  it to the card base.  After the fact I realized that I could have used little bits of Washi tape on the front to hold everything in place, applied adhesive to the back, attached the piece to the card base and then removed the Washi tape.  

Although I used this design for a get well card, it would work well for birthday cards, etc. and be suitable for a guy.  I don't know about y'all, but I am always looking for ideas for masculine cards.

Thank you for stopping by!  Now please check out more of Cassandra's work at her blog, Cassandra's Scrappin' Bliss, and then head on over to Color My Heart and see some other creations using Crystal Blue, Pacifica, Honey, and Goldrush.  Better yet, take the dare yourself.  We would love to see your work!  As always, if you do not have a specific color, feel free to use the closest one you have and include any neutrals you like.  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Dreamin' (retired), Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Saddle, Pacifica
Stamp:  Big Hug
Embellishments:  Brown Opaques (retired), Antiqued Copper Mini-Medley (retired)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Beautiful Day with Heart

There are so many possibilities with this Atlantic Hearts Sketch, but since I am way behind on birthday cards, I went with Close to My Heart's new Brushed paper and "Capture the Day" stamp set.

I love the ShinHan markers with their vibrant colors.  I know some folks use special inks when stamping images that they plan on coloring, but I used regular black ink and let it set for about fifteen minutes before coloring.  Then as I colored I colored along the lines, not across them and had no problem with smearing.  By the way, these markers are not only fun to color with, they can also be used to color sparkles.  And y'all know how much I love sparkles!  Now I can have them in 24 colors.  Once I completed the center panel, I attached it with foam tape to give some added dimension.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Brushed, Pixie, Black and White Daisy cardstock
Ink:  Black dye ink with Golden Yellow, Leaf Green, Tender Pink, and Cherry Pink markers
Stamps:  Capture the Day
Embellishments:  Clear and Bitty Sparkles
Other:  Stripes embossing folder