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