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, April 9, 2017

Freshly Made Henna Elements

This Freshly Made Sketch has so many possibilities that I am sure I will be using it long after the challenge closes tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. EDT.  Thank you, Cecile!  When I saw it Wednesday I knew I wanted to play with it using Altenew's Henna Elements stamp set, but finding the time was another matter with my garden competing for my attention.  It's that time of year...

The square with the flower is popped up with foam tape.  What you may not be able to see in the photo is that the stamping is just as intensely black as the border because I stamped it twice.  How did I manage to stamp something twice in exactly the same place?  I used a MISTI which was a Christmas gift from my husband.  It tells you something about how crazy my life has been that I am only just now trying it out.  If you are not familiar with a MISTI, here is a video that shows it in action.   I'm sorry about the ad in the beginning, but it is the most succinct and complete video that wasn't trying to sell it I could find.  Tonic and Tim Holtz have a version set to hit the market soon.  I will say there is a learning curve.  Sometimes the paper will shift when you lift the lid, so you should check the position of the paper each time you stamp, even if you are using magnets to hold it in place.  Secondly, to avoid smudging your paper, it is a good idea to wipe excess ink from the lid after inking our stamp if you are using clear polymer stamps.  Ask me how I know.

Here is the inside:

I used acrylic blocks for the inside stamping because my MISTI is not large enough to accommodate a ten by five inch piece of paper.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used:
Paper:  Black and White Daisy cardstock from Close to My Heart
Ink:  Black from Close to My Heart
Stamps:  Henna Elements by Altenew, Just to Say... and Say It All by Close to My Heart
Other:  MISTI by Sweet Petunia

Monday, April 3, 2017

My Favorite Butterfly in Blues

I saw this Addicted to Stamps photo challenge and knew it was time to pull out one of my all time favorite stamps, the butterfly from the retired "Find Your Style" stamp set from Close to My Heart.

I also knew immediately that I wanted to use this Freshly Made Sketch:

To ink the butterfly, I pressed the stamp into my Crystal Blue ink pad and then used sponge daubers to apply Pacifica and Blue Denim.  After I fussy cut her out, I sponged some Black around the edge of her wings and colored her body with a black journaling pen.  I am not very adept at splatters, so a stamp from the Ink Blot set came in handy to create the border.  A  single black sparkle and flourish completed the card for now.  I am not sure what I am going to use this card for, so I will stamp a small sentiment to the right of the butterfly when I know.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Friday, March 31, 2017

Heartfelt Musical Background Stamping

This month the ladies at Heart 2 Heart wanted to see some random or background stamping.  My original vision had been to layer on some more color and flourishes reminiscent of distressed B&T paper, but I decided less is more.  I started by swirling some Champagne ink with a sponge, working from just off the paper inward.  Then I stamped the flowers from the Hello Lovely cardmaking set in New England Ivy and swirled on some Sorbet and Fern.  While I was at it I rubbed some Sorbet in the upper left corner.  The trick to not making marks when you set the sponge down in the middle of the paper is to ink the rounded edge, pinch the wedge on the pointed side and start the swirling motion before the sponge makes contact with the paper while using a light touch.  It is better to layer to build color rather than starting dark.  Next I stamped the musical notes from the retired Universal Backgrounds set in Desert Sand.  Sometimes I would not completely ink the stamp; other times I would stamp lightly on scratch paper before stamping on the card.  I used the same process with the small butterflies from the Your Own Kind of Wonderful set.  The larger butterfly from the same set was stamped in Fern.

I embellished the card with some Fern thick twine and a retired Base and Bling charm.  Once I had the knot positioned the way I wanted it, I used a glue dot to hold it in position.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Sorbet, Desert Sand , and Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Champagne, New England Ivy, Fern, Sorbet, and Cocoa
Stamps:  Hello Lovely Cardmaking, Your Own Kind of Wonderful (retired), Universal Backgrounds (retired)
Embellishments:  Fern thick twine, Base and Bling charm (retired)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Favorite Crafting Tool

When I saw this Atlantic Hearts Sketch I found myself thinking it would make a good scrapbook page for a single photo and I just knew just the one I wanted to use.

With four babies born within six months to stay at home moms on my block, it was only natural for us to hang out. My daughter was very small (14 pounds at 15 months) and had several physical challenges which limited her mobility, but we always found a way for her to participate.  When Katherine had hip surgery and was in a cast from her armpits to her ankle on one side and her knee on the other, the other moms brought their walkers over to see if we could wiggle her into one so she could be upright.  This not only allowed her to participate in many normal activities, it kept her neck and trunk muscles strong which lessened the recovery time once the cast came off.  I will always be grateful to the those mom's.  This picture was taken at a "garden party" where we had a wading pool set up.  When dealing with toddlers in the days before swim diapers, it was easier to let them skinny dip.

Before I tell you about my scrapbook page, I want to say a word about the judicious cropping of photographs.  It didn't occur to me to write about this until after the photo was already cropped and mounted, so please forgive the cut lines.  This is the original photo pieced back together.  You can see that the edges are a busy and detract from the subject.

Now look what happens when you trim about a quarter of an inch off the top and a half from the side.  There is enough background to see that they are in a garden with a makeshift fort, but the focus is now on the interaction between the girls.

Now back to my project:

I combined this sketch with the Heart 2 Heart challenge to use tools to create a project.  Because I like to play with ink, my favorite tool is a sponge (or sponge dauber) which can be used in many ways.  You can use sponges to ink a stamp in multiple colorscreate a background, distress an edge in one or more colors, add dimension to a shapes, or outline a shape to ground it which is particularly helpful if you have a black and white object against a white background.  My favorite way to use a sponge, however, is to resist emboss which I did in this card which is still still getting hits three years after I posted it.

I knew I wanted to use the Hello Lovely cardmaking stamp in the background around the photo, but wanted to keep it subtle do avoid making the layout too busy.  I could have used second generation stamping to keep it light, but emboss resisting would be more fun.  Plus, I wanted to give my page a sweet, vintage feel.  Now the problem was how to position the stamping.  I could cut out completments leaving the backing paper intact so I could rearrange them, but once an image is stamped it can't be moved around.  Thin cuts to the rescue!  I love Close to My Heart's thin cuts because I have never been that skilled at lining up a stamp on a cut out image.  It is so much easier and less stressful for me to stamp, line up the thin cut, hold it in place with a bit of washi tape, and run it through my Cuddlebug.  I stamped and cut three and played with them until I was happy with the look.

I then removed everything except the die cuts and traced around them lightly with a pencil so I knew where to stamp and emboss.  Of course embossing required another tool, a craft heater, to melt the embossing powder.  Once I erased the outline, I used a sponge to rub Desert Sand ink over the image, layering and pulling the ink out lightly toward the center and in from around the edges of the page.  As I worked I periodically placed the photo and main elements back on the page to check the look.  Here is what the background looked like when I was finished:

I did the journaling and date on my laptop and printed it in dark brown on cardstock that had been cut to 8.5 x 11 to fit in my printer.  The flowers hide the edge of the not quite long enough  strip of paper.  For the date I cut out the center of the frame from the Hello Lovely compliments pack and put the printed date behind it.  Lastly, I rubbed a little bit of ink across both pieces so they would blend in and distressed the edges of all the elements including the complements.  Now it was time to put everything together.  How did I make sure all those strips of paper were straight?  I used my Versamat, another handy tool.  Now all I had to do was bling it up with some gold glitter gems and some hearts from the Hello Lovely complements.

Thank you for stopping by!  Now why not head over the Atlantic Hearts and Heart 2 Heart challenge sites for some inspiration?  You might even be inspired to enter Heart 2 Heart's tool challenge which is open through the end of March.  Until next time,  Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Hello Lovely (only available until April 30), Colonial White, New England Ivy, and Desert Sand cardstock
Ink:  Desert Sand
Stamp:  Hello Lovely (available until April 30)
Embellishments:  Hello Lovely compliments, Gold Glitter Gems, Clear embossing powder
Tools:  sponge, craft heater, Hello Lovely thin cuts, Versamat, paper trimmer

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day with Hearts and Swirls

This card started with my Grandmother who sent me a card featuring an ocean scene that had been embellished with quilling.  Knowing my hope to sell my cards at craft shows and the local farmer's market once my daughter moves into a group home, she wrote "...I'll bet you could do something like this very profitably!"  With visions of curly-cue hearts, I began my research and found The Art of Quilling website to be very helpful.  Following this Atlantic Hearts Sketch, I made a valentine for my darling husband.

Lets just say there was a bit of a learning curve...  The quilling strips you can buy in craft stores are a fairly lightweight, pliable paper, but I had cardstock so that's what I used to make my own.  My initial thought had been to quill the hearts and use a stamped sentiment.  Then inspiration kicked in and I decided to make some X's and O's.  Now Close to My Heart's paper has a white core which can itself be a design element, but that is for another card someday.  I wanted pink edges.  I probably don't have to tell you that inking the edge of a 1/8 inch wide strip of paper is not easy.  I solved this issue by inking the edge of the sheet of paper and then slicing off a 1/8 inch strip, repeating until I had all the strips I needed.  The only things to remember when doing this are to apply the glue to the white edged side of your shape and, if you care about what direction your curls go, keep that in mind when rolling your paper.  You may notice that my O's curl in opposite directions.

This being February, it goes without saying that one of the Heart 2 Heart challenges for the month is "Falling in Love," so I will be entering this card in that challenge as well.  I used a sentiment from the retired "Mad About You" stamp set inside but wrote a way too personal message for y'all to see before I photographed the card, so you will just have to take my word for it.  I also used a zip strip and some Hollyhock cardstock to embellish the inside.  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  For Always (retired), White Daisy, Black and Hollyhock (retired) cardstock
Ink:  Hollyhock, Black (inside)
Stamp: Mad About You (inside)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Birthday Kitty with Balloons

My daughter's birthday was last week.  Her favorite things in the whole world are baseball and cats which she comes by honestly having inherited her love of baseball from her daddy and her love of cats from her mama.  After several years of making baseball themed birthday cards for her I decided to use this sketch from Try Stamping on Tuesday to make a cat card.

I started by embossing this adorable stamp from Inkadinkado and covering the stamped balloons with ones that I cut using Close to My Heart's Artiste Cricut cartridge (page 70) and sponged with ink to give them dimension.  I popped up the Honey colored balloon with thin foam tape and the Lagoon one with regular foam tape.  The sentiment was cut using the same key and sponged.  Lastly I stitched around the edges of the panel with black upholstery thread.  The paper comes from the Cloud Nine paperpack from years ago.  Here is the inside:

Yes, my cats sign cards.  Don't yours?  Thank you for stopping by!   Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Cloud Nine (retired), Honey (retired), Lagoon, Sunset (retired), and White Daisy cardstock
Ink:  Honey (retired), Lagoon, Sunset (retired), LePen
Stamp:  from Inkadinkado
Embellishment:  Black upholstery thread bought from somewhere I can't remember
Other:  Artisite Cricut cartridge

Round and Round and Round We Go

The ladies over at Heart 2 Heart Challenges must have had a sneak peak at this Freshly Made Sketch when they selected "Round and Round" as a challenge theme:

This note card uses an old Stamp of the Month, "A Happy Hello" to showcase some of Close to My Heart's newer colors plus an oldie but goodie.  The Lemon ring was stamped directly onto the card.  The other circles were stamped onto White Daisy cardstock and cut out.  The flower is from my stash of Just Blooms paper shapes.  Here is the inside:

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  White Daisy, Lemon, Willow, Blossom, and Pansy cardstock
Ink:  Lemon, Pansy, Blossom, Willow, Lagoon
Stamp:  A Happy Hello (retired)
Embellishment:  Just Blooms paper shape

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Penguin with Cold Hands, Warm Heart

If you have been following my blog for a few years you may have noticed that every January I post a card featuring a penguin, not a Christmas card mind you, but a birthday card for my nephew who has loved penguins since he was a baby.  Some kids have Teddy bears; he had a penguin named Mr. Popper.  A Penguin fits the Heart 2 Heart Cold Hands, Warm Heart challenge, so using this Atlantic Hearts sketch I made the 2017 Penguin Birthday Not Christmas Card.

Now the first thing I noticed about this sketch was the striped background.  The striped paper in the Snowhaven (retired) pack has been my go to paper for penguin themed cards.  I cut the stripes apart so I can pick and choose the pattern according what I need.  Often I select only stripes that have red, black and white for penguins as in this card.  For today's card I wanted primarily blue, black, and white to keep the background cold with just a few pops of red to provide continuity without competing with the heart shaped balloon.  I wanted that balloon to pop.  To make the balloon I stamped the outline in the Happy for You set on Cranberry cardstock, cut it out, and sponged the edge with Cranberry ink to give it some dimension.  The highlight is a sliver of White Daisy cardstock painted with a shimmer brush and glued in place.

Now about the penguin:  Whenever I am heat embossing a stamped image, I emboss a few extra and keep them in the envelope the stamp is stored in to save time on future projects.  Rather than stamping the penguin directly on the card after masking off the snowball, I fussy cut one from my Wintry Wishes (retired) stash, lopping off the snowball in the process so he could hold a balloon instead. I attached the balloon with some foam tape and drew string.

Here is the inside:

For the sentiments I made liberal use of the masking technique where you put a sticky note or washi tape over the parts of the stamp that you do not want before inking it.  The trick is to remember to remove the inky mask before stamping on your project.  Ask me how I know...  The sentiment on the front from Scandinavian Wishes (retired) is actually "Warm Wishes this holiday season" and, of course, the stamp used inside usually says "Happy" along with "Birthday"  The "on your" comes from the Happy for You set.

Now to write a check and get this in the mail.  After all, his birthday was last week!  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used, all Close to My Heart unless otherwise noted:
Paper:  Snowhaven (retired), Glacier, Cranberry, and White Daisy Cardstock
Ink:  Black, Cranberry, Black pigment (penguin),Black LePen
Stamps:  Happy for You, Birthday Sparkles, Wintry Wishes (retired), Scandinavian Wishes (retired)
Embellishments:  Shimmer Pen, Clear Embossing powder