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, 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