Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

It's July and it's time for the July Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!  Over 50 Close To My Heart consultants all use the same stamp set - in this case, the July Stamp of the Month - Sweet Life (S1307).  You can only get it in July.  You can simply buy it for $17.95 OR you can get it for just $5.00 when you purchase $50 in products (before the Stamp of the Month).  It's a very cool program, and I'm so glad Close To My Heart does it!

If you've arrived here from {Michelle's blog}, you're in the right place!  At the end of my post, you can click to the next consultant's blog to see what fun she has for you.

This month's stamp set is Sweet Life, and it looks like this:

I'm a little intimidated by stamps that you need to color, where the image is "anatomically correct."  I'm not an experienced watercolor-er or shader.  I envy those who are!

I stamped the image in Chocolate ink.  (I also tried Cocoa and Whisper.)  Chocolate was best.

I debated between coloring with watercolor pencils, our Exclusive Inks Marker Set and chalk (retired) I had to try them all!

First Watercolor Pencils:

My friend told me to color the entire image in first (with the lighter color.)  I used Sweet Leaf.  Then go around the edge with a darker color (Olive).

Same thing for the peaches. (Sunflower and Orange)

Branches, (Desert Sand and Chocolate)

Since I couldn't find my Blending Pen (which I would have preferred to use), I used a Qtip with a small drop of water on the end, to blend the colors.  Orange on one end of the tip.  Green and then Brown on the other end.

I really like how it turned out (especially since I didn't know what I was doing.)

I tried the same technique with chalks.  

Bright green & Olive and Yellow and Sunflower

You can click on the image to enlarge see the differences.

Top:  Chalk technique
Left:  Image was stamped on Watercolor Paper.  Used Watercolor Pencils to color in the images.  Blended with a slightly wet Qtip.  (I like the fabric-y look of the paper)
Right: Used regular Colonial White CTMH paper and Watercolor Pencils. (the technique I liked best.)

I also tried the markers, but I didn't like the way it looked...with my lack of blending/coloring skills and the subtlety of the coloration of peaches.

I couldn't decide which paper to use on my card.  Decided on the honeycomb paper from Buzz & Bumble (X7164B, $9.95).  I also liked it with the orange branches/leaves paper from the Flirty Paper Pack (retired).

I really like it, but it seems plain.  

How about with Dark Chocolate Grosgrain Ribbon?  Hmmmmmm....  it's OK....but I think we can do better.

I like it with this piece of Sorbet paper instead.

Needs some embellishment!  Ruler to the Rescue!  You use the ruler (Z1471, $9.95) and a piercing tool (Z1114, $5.95) to pierce the paper exactly where you want the brads.  Perfect!

I also put a little Almond Glitz Glitter Gel (Z1769, $2.95) on the center of the flower.  

Now that I have confidence in my coloring skills, I also made this one with the cherries...and the CTMH alcohol markers.  I also think that coloring the cherries is easier than coloring the peaches.

I used Cranberry (dark), Sorbet (dark), Sweet Leaf and Olive Markers.

A little Cricut Art Philosophy, Antique Copper Brads, puffy tape and Baker's Twine.... and like magic!  a card!

If you want to get this stamp set for yourself, click here to start shopping!  If you're in the Seattle area, come to a card class this month.  This month's classes are July 18, 19 and 20.  Please RSVP to I have enough supplies for you. (425.941.3135)  I'd love to see you!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Now it's time to hop on over to {Sarita's Blog}.  Happy Hopping!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Super Simple Cards from Scraps...

I had promised to make some handmade cards as a door prize drawing for my son's high school graduating class.  I wanted to make them super quick and easy.    

For the masculine cards I used the leftover paper from my Tommy mini-scrapbook project.  So nice to use up the scraps and stickers!  I also used the big "THANKS" image from my favorite Thank You stamp set (retired) and Casual Expressions (D1525, $17.95 for 12 stamps).

I also used some Burlap Ribbon (Z1760).  LOVE it!  Flat and bumpy at the same time.

The feminine cards were even easier!  A friend had given me this paper.  I LOVE the colors!  On the first two cards I just stamped the sentiments on a strip of paper and glued it down.  On the second two cards I stamped directly onto the paper.  I LOVE easy!  Of course, I embellished with Bitty Sparkles (Z1263) and Liquid Glass (Z679).  No card should go unembellished, right?

Hope this inspires you to use up some of your stashed-paper today!  (Plus, it made me happy to get something accomplished.)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Another cruise scrapbook!

Every day on our Alaska cruise, we did a project.  One day we used the Tommy Paper Pack (X7169B, $9.95), Tommy Complements Canvas Shapes (X7169C, $5.95) and the My Creations (chipboard) Bookmark Album (Z1740, $8.95).

It was fun!  AND when you finished your project, you had a little scrapbook for your Alaska cruising memories!  I gave mine to my parents (who also went on the trip) as a memento.  I think they liked it.

What I especially liked was the canvas Tommy Complements (coordinating stickers).  At the end of the post are some tips for completing the project.

The cover flap (on the right) has a magnetic closure/clasp.

This is our ship, the Norwegian Jewel

The family in Ketchikan

Me at the Hubbard Glacier.  Wow, that was an amazing sight.

That little dark spot in the water is a ship.  The mountains were amazing and huge!

You can't tell, but this was a roast pig stuffed with roast pork and sausage.
I love meat, but this was a little too much for me.

My cute parents.

My cute in-laws.


Just sitting around in the bar passing the day...

The glaciers were breathtaking!

I had gotten some tips from my CTMH sisters, which were extremely helpful when working with this chipboard album:

1.  Buy some larger rings for the album.  I took out the ones that came with the mini-album and replaced them with 1" rings that I bought at Staples.

2.  Use Finishing Files (Z1091, $5.95) on the swirly shaped "pages" to trim the cardstock to the shape of the chipboard.  You can also use sandpaper or ink (and a sponge dauber) to edge distress each of the pages.  I was too lazy to do this.  : \  It seemed to work well when people traced the shape on the card stock, cut out the basic shape, glued the shape to the chipboard "page" and then used the finishing files to make the edges look weathered.

3.  It was mentioned that the magnetic front flap doesn't allow much room for expansion in the album.  (So if you cover your pages and put pictures in the book, you will have difficulty closing it.)  I cut the half-circle flap off of the back piece and made a new "hinged flap" (the red anchor paper) out of B&T (patterned paper).  That way the hinge would be larger and I could accommodate a really thick book.

4.  The inside of the magnetic front flap thingy and the front cover both have magnets in them.  But the magnet isn't super strong.  In order to minimize the layers of paper between the two sides of the magnet, I only put paper on the front cover.  The inside of the flap cover is white, like the entire mini-scrapbook, but I wanted to color it.  I used a sponge dauber and Outdoor Denim ink to color the inside of the flap.

5.  If you want the word "AWAITS" to fit on your cover and be readable when the book is closed, start with the letter "S", put it near (but not below) the flap with the magnet, and work backwards.

6.  To re-punch the holes on each page, I used a 1/4" single hole punch (like the kind you get in school).  I would put the paper on one side of the page, re-punch the holes, then cover the other side of the page.  Sometimes you had to jiggle the punch to get exactly into the hole.

Other stuff:  
     You could decorate the rings with a bunch of different types of ribbon (that match).
     I used the Outdoor Denim Chevron Ribbon (Z1808, $6.95) and Colonial White Waxy Flax to decorate the tag.
     You could combine TWO mini-albums and put them together.  You would definitely need larger rings for that.

I hope you get a chance to make some mini-albums of your own!  (Check out the SHOP link on my website - plus there's always great "While Supplies Last" items to see...  Have a sunny day!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Why I make cards...

"If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person." ~Fred Rogers

I love Fresh Ideas from a Fresh Perspective, put out by Lyn Conway, a direct sales coach I met at a Close To My Heart convention a few years ago.  She publishes uplifting and encouraging quotes every day.  This one seems particularly relevant to my business of connecting people...friends, loved ones and generations (in the case of a scrapbook).

On our recent Alaska Scrapbooking Cruise, we made 6 cards with one piece of Claire card stock, and 6 card bases.  Easy, and a great way to use up your patterned paper...and to help you connect with other people.

I tried and tried to rotate these other card pictures, but with no luck!  :(

They're still cute, though, even though they're sideways.  :)
I used Outdoor Denim and Sunset inks.
Stamp Sets:  4 My Friend (D1510, $17.95) and Joyful Birthday (B1419, $9.95)
Other:  Foam Mounting Tape, Glitz Glitter Gel