Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall card for SSD, Create, and H2H

Due to technical difficulties at work today (strange electical outage), I find myself home with time to blog and craft (yay!).

I was originally going to submit this card for the H2H challenge and Skipping Stones Design Sketch, but it turns out I should pay more attention to deadlines, and I had to have posted the card to the H2H site by Saturday night.

Oops. (This has happened to me a couple of times recently, also a product of waiting to the last minute, I guess).

Anyway, I really enjoy the Skipping Stones Design sketches. For any who have not tried them out, take a might even win something (I did!). They are very basic, which means you get to be very creative. I often feel a little tied down by sketches, but never over at SSD.

I am also submitting this for the Create Blog challenge this week which is 'no sentiments'.

So let's get down to the creative process. I am a huge fan of this blog: If you've never visited, you must. Godelieve does great work, and must just stamp all the time. I'm no mathematician, but if you are posting 500ish times a year, you are posting more than once a day. While I'd love to be that prolific, I'd also love to have some of her stamping chops.

Godelieve has a weekly post called Sunday Scraps where she uses the scrap materials from her projects for the week to create a new creation. I love that idea, and since I have LOTS of scraps, wanted to try that on this card.

This is what I started with (some of the scraps from my card for last week's CAS-ual Friday and Play Date Cafe card, which incidentally got posted too late to make the PDC cutoff....told you it had been happening a lot lately):

I cut the top and bottom of the frame down to make them even, then I used a tissue (since I need to get some more sponges) to add some Autumn Terracotta ink to the Honey cardstock to give it a richer color. I wanted the edges to stand out a bit more, so I started swipe/sponging Chocolate ink on them, but it gave it a kind of greenish tone, so I went back and did the same with Cranberry ink to balance the colors.

For the center portion, I cut the rectangular piece down 1/2" on both the width and height, rounded the corners, and used it as a mask. First I sponged chocolate, and then added some Autumn Terracotta. Lest you think I am a neater stamper than I actually am, I cut that masked piece out and adhered it to my white background piece hiding the edges beneath the frame.

The leaf is cut out of Kraft paper using the Cricut AP cartridge and stamped with the coordinating stamp set in Autumn Terracotta. I swiped a tiny bit of Chocolate ink on the edges for contrast.

I wanted the frame to stand out a lot, so it's adhered with a double layer of 3-D Foam tape, the leaf has a single layer, and I added a bit of Cocoa grosgrain ribbon to complete the look.

Thanks for visiting and have a great Halloween!

CTMH Supplies Used:
Stamps: Cricut AP cartridge coordinating stamp set
Ink: Autumn Terracotta, Chocolate, Cranberry
Paper: Autumn Terracotta, White Daisy, Honey, Kraft
Other: Cricut AP cartridge, Cocoa Grosgrain Ribbon, 3D Foam Tape

Sunday, October 30, 2011

August Layout #1: First attempt at a banner

Banners have been all the rage in the papercrafting world for some time now, and I've been wanting to try my hand at them. With so many different stamp options, dimensional elements, etc., they can easily be adapted to whatever type of project/theme/medium you are using.

This layout uses the stamp set from the Elemental Workshop on the Go (WOTG). This is a great workshop kit, and is worth considering even if you don't want to complete the suggested layouts (see pg. 31 of the Idea Book). Each WOTG kit includes a D-size stamp set, Level 2 paper packet, instructions for the featured project, and some embellishments. In this case you are getting the Antiqued Copper Designer Brads and Just Blooms Flutter Paper Shapes. I think that the stamp sets that come with the WOTG kits are some of the best we have!

The Elemental stamp set includes four half round shapes that can be used to create banners/borders. To save myself some time, I stamped each half round back to back, so I could use a circle punch to cut both out, and then all I needed to do was cut them in half.

I used the Piercing Tool to create a hole in the corners. Since I used hemp to string the banner together, after making the initial hole, I slid it most of the way down the piercing tool to create a wider hole. I also put a little bit of liquid glass on the end of the hemp to make it easier to thread through the holes.

When working with hemp, you need to be careful. It's a little bulkier, and you need to take care in stringing and moving around the banner pieces. Twine, floss, or waxy flax might have worked better, but I don't have any of that on hand at the moment.

Also, hemp is a little more dimensional that the other choices I mentioned, so I decided to use the 3D-foam tape to mount the banner. It took a little bit of working through the drape/angles, but I like how this came out.

I wanted to tie the banner theme through the rest of the layout, so I added some banner elements on the left side and below the original banner, but I just adhered those with tombow since I wanted them to be more background elements.

Creating a banner is definitely a litle more labor intensive than a lot of the embellishment choices out there, but it adds a fun, whimsical touch to the layout. I enjoyed the process and am looking forward to trying out some different shapes, materials, and methods with this decorative element!

CTMH Products Used
Stamps: Set from Elemental Workshop on the Go
Ink: Cocoa, Tulip
Paper: Tulip, White Daisy
Other: Hemp, 3-D Foam Tape, Piercing Tool

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cricut 3-D Items

There are so many great shapes, cards, tags, and frames on the the Cricut Art Philosphy cartridge, but one of my favorite items are the 3-D boxes. There are eight of them in total, and I put together a sampling of them for my Open House last week.

These little boxes/bags are the perfect packaging for your holiday treats/gifts, and are so easy to put together and decorate. What a great personal touch for those teachers/neighbors/friends on your list!

Pair them with some of the Cricut AP shapes and coordinating stamps (the blue, square Merry Christmas box, the You Are Special bag, and the Thanks pillow box) for easy embellishments. There are so many different ways you can decorate these items, and if you want to involve the kids, let them decorate a piece of cardstock, and then cut the box/bag from that sheet for a really personal touch.

CTMH Supplies Used:
Square Box: Believe paper, Holiday Red and White Daisy cardstock, Holiday Red ink, Cricut celebration stamp set, Say it in Style stamp set.
Take-out Box: Desert Sand cardstock, Chocolate ink, Glory to God stamp set
Bag: Typeset paper, Vineyard berry and Colonial White cardstock, Cricut collection stamp set
Noel Treat box: Colonial White and Cranberry cardstock, Cranberry Ink, Cranberry Grosgrain Ribbon, Holiday Magic (Oct SOTM) stamp set, Say it in Style stamp set
Pillow Box: Dreamin Paper, Bamboo and Pacifica cardstock, Autumn Terracotta Ink, Cricut collection stamp set

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cheap, Easy, Fast, and Fabulous

If you have young kids, then you have stacks of artwork laying around your house that you don't know what to do with. I mean, the refrigerator/message board only holds so much artwork, and geez, they come home with more everyday!

I'm constantly gathering up little piles of it, hiding it between stacks of newspaper, and sticking it in the recycling bin. And heaven forbid if Ellie happens to see something poking out...."Hey, who put this in here?!!!!"....ahhhh the righteous indignation of a four year old.....

Sound familiar? Well then have I got the perfect idea for you!

CTMH sells a Monthly Calendar ($7.95). It's generally meant to be decorated with photos/layouts which you can display during the appropriate month and transfer directly into your scrapbook (it's acid free/lignin free/buffered), and that is a great use for the calendar.

BUT, if you have the artwork issues that I have described above, you can easily turn this into a personalized art portfolio calendar for gift giving purposes. The instructions are very simple.

1) Pick out 12 pieces of artwork.
2) Adhere them to the calendar.
3) Label the months/dates.

That's it.

Oh, did I mention that this is the perfect gift for your kids to make? It's true. Let them pick out the pictures to include. Have them write or color in the letters for the months (the Posterboard Alpha is PERFECT for this), and they can write the numbers too. Seriously, get rid of artwork, let your kids craft with you, and end up with a great, personalized, holiday gift for only $8. Doesn't get much better.

Of course, you can also decorate the calendar the traditional way, and below are a couple examples of how you could use the calendar: do the whole shebang, pictures and all, or just create the layout for a crafty/scrappy friend to add photos to, but I have a feeling I'm more likely to go with Option 1 this year....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Card for CAS-ual Friday and Play Date Cafe

I had so much fun putting this card together (probably because it involved getting to use the Cricut and my AP cartridge)!

Most of my projects of late have involved fall/Christmas colors, so it was nice to break out of the box a bit and think in a different color palatte -- thanks Play Date Cafe!

The CAS-ual Friday challenge for this week involved adding color to a stamped image. I chose to use my trusty blending pen. I just LOVE the blending pen! It's such an inexpensive way to have the whole rainbow at your fingertips (or at least the part of the rainbow that you own in ink pads).

Hope you enjoy it!

CTMH Products Used:
Stamps: Celebration stamp set that came with the AP cartridge, Solos '9'
Ink: Smokey Plum, Honey, Olive
Paper: Smokey Plum, Honey, Olive, White Daisy
Other: AP Cartridge, Blending Pen

Monday, October 24, 2011

SSD #98 Card

I'm back from my self-imposed exile from challenges....had to put my head down and get a bunch of stuff done last week for the Open House on Saturday, but I'm happy to be back creating again!

I really enjoy how simple the sketches at Skipping Stones Design are. There is so much freedom for interpretation.

As soon as I saw this week's sketch I knew I wanted to incorporate the sun. I also took the opportunity to finally break out the sewing machine I made the hubby drag down from the attic for me (like a month ago).

This is my first card ever that involves sewing, so it was a little bit of an experiment, but I kind of like it and I definitely want to do some more sewing on my projects....and it was fun. So, if any of you are nervous about putting machine to paper, don't be. It's just another great tool to use.

My Creations Memory Game - some other ideas

There are so many different things that you can do with CTMH's My Creations Memory Game. In my earlier post ( I showed you one example for using this product, but there are so many more.

Here are some samples of alternatives for the whole set: numbers with a corresponding number of stamped images, and upper and lower case letters. You could also match stamped images with the letters they start with, match photos/stamps with the corresponding word in a foreign language, or if your family lives far away match photos with titles (Uncle Theo, Aunt Lydia, etc.).

You could also create an Advent activities box (see pg. 54 in the Idea Book), a visual phone directory for kids who can't read yet, a puzzle (by printing a 12x18 photo and cutting it into 3x3 pieces that are mounted to each of the coasters), the list goes on and on.

And you don't need to feel tied to the box. At 42 cents a piece, these chipboard coasters are a steal! Use them as above to make double frames, ornaments, or framed magnets. You could also connect a bunch of tiles to spell out words such as welcome, noel, family, or spell out your last name. Have fun, and involve the kids. These are easy, family friendly projects to complete.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wonderland / Glory to God Card Workshop

I really fell in love with the Wonderland papers when they came out in the new Idea Book. Blue and brown is one of my favorite color combinations, and I wanted to use these papers for our family's personal Christmas cards.

I also wanted our cards to focus on the true meaning of the holiday season, and what better images to use than those of the nativity? The Glory to God stamp set was the perfect choice.

Since this is my first year we are sending handmade Christmas cards, I wanted to make sure they were simple enough to mass produce. We came up with this set (and I say we because I gave Andrew plenty of veto authority since they are our family cards) that I just love.

After showing them to some customers, I've decided to offer them as a second Christmas Card workshop. As with the Believe workshop, this is 50 cards (10 each of 5 different designs). This one is around the $45 price point for the Basic kit.

You'll be able to see these first-hand at my Holiday Gift Giving Open House this Saturday (October 22nd 8-10). If you'd like to come by and take a look, please let me know and I'll get you directions. Snacks/dessert will be served.

If you'd like to be able to make these cards, but aren't local, please contact me to purchase the supplies/receive my cutting guide.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tag Calendar

This is one of the simple/easy, and inexpensive, Christmas projects I'll be sharing at my Holiday Gift Giving Open House on Saturday.

If you're one of those people (like me) who doesn't want to have to lug around a huge daytimer; prefers to be able to look at dates from a macro view; hates to use the phone as a daytimer; and your checkbook register is perpetually showing the wrong years, this is the perfect gift.

It's small and compact, and fits into pretty much any cute little purse. On the back of each of the tags I stamped a list for important dates/birthdays or things that you need to remember to do. It's easy to take a list/reminder with you! Is your gift recipent a big fan of lists? No problem, you can always stamp extra reminder tags to go with the gift and once a tag is filled up, they can just remove/replace it. This would be a great gift for someone who likes to scrapbook as you could easily add these tags to a layout or mini album.

In the first example, I did a lot of stamping, so it took a little longer, but here is a more simple version that you could easily mass produce. I cut both versions using the Cricut AP cartridge set at 4". The cartridge has a number of other tag shapes, so you can easily change up the size/shape to suite your needs/tastes.

If you'd like to see this and my other Holiday Gift ideas in person, you are welcome to attend to my Holiday Gift Giving Open House this Saturday (October 22nd, 8-10), call 703-536-8899 to RSVP.

CTMH Products Used:
Stamps: I used a lot of different stamps for this project, but the main ones (calendar/reminder/list) were Notice the Details, A Moment in Time, and the set form the Lucky Workshop on the Go.
Paper: White Daisy, Chocolate, Bamboo, Kraft, and various scraps
Ink: As with the stamps, I used many different colors (based on the paper scraps), but the main inks were Cocoa and White Daisy.
Other: Cricut AP cartridge

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Creations Memory Card Game

One of the new products in CTMH's Fall Idea Book that instantly caught my eye was the My Creations Memory Game. I'll be featuring this product at my Holiday Gift Open House on Saturday.

This little cube comes ready to decorate with 24 3x3 chipboard tiles inside.

As the name suggests, the idea behind this product is to create a matching/memory game, but there are so many other things you can do with it.

As soon as I saw the box I knew what I wanted to do with it. I've seen some different family discussion cards online, and wanted to do something similar with this box.

I used the Typeset paperpack. You only need about 1/2 pack for the box. The questions were printed out on cardstock in 2" squares. I used the Bonding Memories adhesive to adhere all the paper/cardstock, and the Finishing Files to get a clean finish on all the squares. I also sponged all the edges with Chocolate ink.

For the outside, I used the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge to cuto ut the different ovals and numbers/?s. The 'Dinnertime Discussion' title was printed on the computer, and I used the utensils from the Pair-A-Phrase stamp set. To create the faux plate I simply used the wrong side of a couple of circular stamps and second generation stamped with Black ink.

I'm so happy with how this project turned out. This is something that our family will definitely be using.

Stay tuned as I'll be posting some ideas in the next few days for different ways you can use the box/game.

CTMH Products Used:
Stamps: Pair-a-Phrase
Paper: Typeset Level 2 Paper Packet, Grey Flannel, Colonial White
Ink: Black, Chocolate
Other: Bonding Memories Adhesive, Finishing Files, Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Last of the Believe Christmas Cards

Here's the last card from my Believe Christmas Card Workshop. This is another one that utilizes the Cricut AP cartridge to cut out the stocking shapes.

If you want to see them all together, here they are.

As a reminder, I'll be holding this card workshop (5 designs, 50 cards total) in mid-November. If you live in the Northern Virginia/DC area and would like to participate, please contact me. I will post details as we get closer to the event, but the cost of the basic workshop kit (before shipping and handling) is only $40!

Not local? You can still complete the workshop using my directions/cutting guide (additional fee for shipping the extra cardstock, Cricut AP cuts, and instructions directly to you). Contact me for details.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Do you see what I see?

I stumbled on a fun, easy project to do with the little kids today. Actually, the idea had been percolating in my brain since I got out my Christmas Ornaments Dimensional Elements the other day (I've been working away at projects for my upcoming Holiday Gift Giving Open House).

I took a look at the piece that I popped out of the middle of the ornament and thought, that looks like a bat, but as I'm really not that into Halloween, I let the thought go and moved on with what I was doing.

THEN, yesterday, Ellie got a late birthday present which included a book called 101 this to do and make with Googly Eyes. I call that providence, and I just couldn't help myself. I 'borrowed' a pair of the littlest googly eyes (I mean, they're a choking hazard, right)?

This is what I came up with. Really easy to do. I just swiped my black ink pad over the shape until I got a covering that I was happy with. You could always cover with paper and use a file/sander on the edges, or, if you're working with really little kids and you don't want to deal with ink pads or glue, use markers or crayons.

I cut a skinny oval for the body of the bat out of white daisy cardstock and swiped that over the ink pad. I used some 3-D foam tape to pop it out from the wings, and then secured the eyes with Liquid Glass. This project might have taken 5 minutes, but I doubt it was even that long. Easy!

So, before you throw out those excess pieces from your Dimensional Elements sets, take a hard look and see what YOU can see.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Card for Embellish Circles Color Trends Challenge

One more post for today. I saw this challenge a week or so ago and have been formulating this card in my mind since then. It was a lot of fun to put together. I used my CM circle templates and circle punches to make the circles, and kind of free-formed the design as I went along.

I like the clean and simple uncluttered look of the card and hope you do too.

CTMH Supplies Used
Stamps: Say it in Style
Paper: White Daisy, Chocolate, Sorbet, Topiary
Ink: Topiary

Believe Christmas Card Workshop - Card 4

Here's card #4 from the Believe Christmas Card workshop. This one is a much different look than the others, and probably my favorite. I love the clean/simple look of it.

The little title element/border that the sentiment is stamped on was cut using the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge, and the 'Noel' stamp is from Say it in Style.

I'll be holding this card workshop (5 designs, 50 cards total) in mid-November. If you live in the Northern Virginia/DC area and would like to participate, please contact me. I will post details as we get closer to the event, but the cost of the basic workshop kit (before shipping and handling) is only $40!

Not local? You can still complete the workshop using my directions/cutting guide (additional fee for shipping the extra cardstock, Cricut AP cuts, and instructions directly to you). Contact me for details.

Monday, October 10, 2011

You put a song in my heart, card for SSD and CAS-ual Friday

This week I decided I would play along with the Skipping Stones Design challenge. The card also works for this week's CAS-ual Friday challenge which was a tribute to Operation Julie's Smile, an amazing blog hop to raise money for Julie Ranae.

I actually printed out the sentiment on the front of the card (the inside is stamped and says 'and a smile on my face'). This is the first time I've tried doing that, and it was easy and quick. I used Brenda Frerich's cloud technique on the paper with the sentiment (, and on the mat I just sponged a piece of white cardstock until I got the color I was looking for.

The tag was cut with the AP cartridge (2") in White Daisy and Kraft, using just the top and bottom of the tag as accent pieces for the tag. And I used my trusty Blending Pen to add a little depth to the birdie.

Hope you enjoy it. More Christmas cards tomorrow!

CTMH Supplies Used:
Stamps: Hot Diggity
Ink: Twilight, Black, Chocolate
Paper: White Daisy, Kraft
Other: Blending Pen, Cricut Art Philosophy, Hemp, 3-D Foam tape

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Believe Christmas Card Workshop - Card 3

This is Card #3 from the Believe Christmas Card Workshop. The stockings are from the October Stamp of the Month, Holiday Magic, and I used a sentiment from the Say it in Style stamp set.

I used the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge to cut out the stocking shapes. These are cut at 3 1/2". I experimented with 3 1/4", but you have to be quite precise when using that stamp size, and as this card is for a 50 card workshop, I think the participants could use a little grace in the stamping department.

Don't have a Cricut? You can always stamp the stocking body and top separately, cut around them and adhere them separately.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Believe Christmas Card Workshop - Card 2

Here is the second card from my Believe Christmas Card Workshop.

This card features the sled and a sentiment from October's Stamp of the Month, Holiday Magic, which is only available this month. If you place a $50 order, you get Holiday Magic for only $5 (regularly priced at $17.95).

I'll be holding this card workshop (5 designs, 50 cards total) in mid-November. If you live in the Northern Virginia/DC area and would like to participate, please contact me. I will post details as we get closer to the event, but the cost of the basic workshop kit (before shipping and handling) is only $40!

Not local? You can still complete the workshop using my directions/cutting guide (additional fee for shipping the extra cardstock, Cricut AP cuts, and instructions directly to you). Contact me for details.

Stay tuned for cards 3-5!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Version of the Onesie Card

I have long been in search of the perfect onesie card. There are many versions out there, but they haven't been just right. I wanted one that was a little more real to life, not so boxy/angular, but large enough to be an actual card.

Here is my version. I love this card, but there is one hitch. As I mentioned, I wanted it to be a large, full-sized card, so 5x7. 5x7 cards generally open along the long side, but I wanted the onesie card to open at the top, where the shoulders are. As a result, you can't cut this out of a 12x12 piece of cardstock the traditional way. Instead, you'll need to cut about a 6" swath of cardstock out of the center of the paper on the diagonal. I kind of shudder to do it because I hate wasting cardstock, but I've been able to find plenty of uses for the scrap.

I did experiment with cutting front/back pieces and adhering them together. This method is a lot more time consuming to cut, and you have to be very careful in fitting the pieces together, but the overall effect is still the same. Here is a picture of the version made from two pieces. Can you tell the difference between the two?

Aside from having to cut on the diagonal, I am really pleased with this card. I think it does a great job of capturing the look and feel of a onesie, and is just the right size. This is my new go-to baby shower/new baby card (although I just might have another baby related card in the works....)

Thanks for looking!

Gotta have one? The template for this card is available for purchase. Details are under the Templates/Tutorials for Sale tab.

CTMH Supplies Used:
Stamps: It's a Zoo, Enjoy Life, Friendship Alphabet Large
Ink: Chocolate, Cranberry
Paper: White Daisy
Other: Cocoa Marker

Monday, October 3, 2011

Believe Christmas Card Workshop - Card 1

I recently finished up a 50 card Christmas Card Workshop that will be held mid-November. The workshop features October's Stamp of the Month, Holiday Magic, and the Believe papers. This is Card #1, and I'll post pictures of the rest throughout the month.

I'll be the first to admit that I was a little put off by all the blue in the Believe papers, and the majority of the cards follow a more traditional red/green color scheme, but I wanted to stretch myself and use some of the blue in a card, and I'm glad that I did. I like how the blue brightens up the card.

If you are interested in participating in the 50 Card Christmas Card Workshop (say that five times fast), please let me know. The cost for the Basic kit will be approximately $42 dollars. Add a few more items to your order, and you can get the Stamp of the Month for $5. If you aren't located in the Northern Virginia area, you can still participate. Contact me for details on how to place your order/receive the cutting guide and instructions.

CTMH Products Used:
Stamps: Holiday Magic, Say it in Style
Ink: Topiary, Holiday Red
Paper: Believe Level II Paper Pack (diagonal pattern, Sky, Holiday Red), White Daisy.