Wednesday, January 9, 2019

January 2019 - Joyful Stars Blog Hop!

Happy new year and welcome back to the Joyful Stars Blog Hop!  If you came here from the artistic Betty's blog, I'm sure you were in awe of her work! This month I’ve created a layout for a class that I’m doing at a crop this weekend.  Although I used the Make It From Your Heart Vol. 2 as a basis for the design, I took advantage of Cricut Design Space to further create and design my elements.  I will be sharing some of those tips with my class.  
With the event of the new Seasonal Expressions 1 Idea Book, I chose the Something Fierce paper packet for my layout.  Now that the holidays are over, the bright colors are just the ticket for me to start out the New Year. 
The bases of the layout were created using Pattern 14 of Make It From Your Heart Vol. 2.  Papers used were the Something Fierce paper packet, Lemon cardstock, and Bluebird cardstock.  

Using Cricut Design Space, I recreated the base layout as a Design Space project.  I then chose the "pinwheel" from the retired Artiste Cricut cartridge and placed them on both layouts.  I also found the "Go.See.Do" and "This Way To Fun" sentiments and the "flag" from the You Are Here Cricut cartridge to include on each page.  Then choosing the "line" and "square" from the Shapes feature, I attached a journaling block to be cut and drawn.

While my Cricut machine cut (and drew) my elements out of Raspberry, Carolina, and Bluebird cardstock, I cut some mats from Ballerina cardstock and placed them on the bases.  I also cut some triangles from the new Stitched Quilt Shapes Thin Cuts from Bluebird cardstock and centered them next to the large mats on each of the bases.  I then adhered the title, sentiment, and flag to the layout.  Finally, the pinwheels were finished by using some retired White Daisy Brads and Bigger Brads in the centers.  I then cut and knotted some pieces of the Raspberry Baker's Twine and adhered to the back of each of the pinwheels using Glue Dots and adhering to the bases. 

I hope these tips were helpful and that everyone is having a Happy New Year!  Now please head over to Krista's blog to see the fruits of her work!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

December 2018 - Joyful Stars Blog Hop!

Welcome back to the Joyful Stars Blog Hop!  If you came here from the talented Betty's blog, thank you for continuing on here!

This month I'm focusing on a card using some of the cute Christmas items in our Holiday Expressions Idea Book.  As we tend to make lots of Christmas cards this time of year yet time is stretched due to all the additional events going on, I thought I would make this card, but also point out where corners can be cut to facilitate mass production.

For the top portion of the card, I cut a plaid piece from the 'Tis the Season paper packet and adhered to a White Daisy card base.  Next I cut 9 postage stamp squares from White Daisy cardstock using the Cricut® Artbooking Digital Collection.  I then stamped the 2 tree images from the Christmas Countdown stamp set in New England Ivy ink.  I adhered the squares using Thin 3-D Foam Tape, but to save time, they can simply be adhered straight onto the plaid paper.  Finally, I added some simple Clear Sparkles to the tops of each of the stamped trees.

For the bottom portion of the card, I cut a piece of the holly paper from the 'Tis the Season paper packet and adhered underneath the plaid piece onto the White Daisy card base.  I attached a piece of Candy Apple Striped Ribbon, centering it on the holly paper, and trimmed to the edges of the card.  I used the "FA" and "LA" images from the Christmas Countdown stamp set to create the sentiment.  These were stamped in VersaMark ink on White Daisy cardstock and embossed using the Ranger™ Red Tinsel Embossing Powder; however, to save time, the images can simply be stamped in a coordinating color, e.g., Candy Apple Red ink.  The sentiment was layered onto a scrap piece of New England Ivy cardstock, and attached with Thin 3-D Foam Tape to the top of the ribbon, but again, it can simply be adhered directly to the card to save time.

I hope these tips were helpful and that everyone is having a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  Now please head over to Krista's blog to see her beautiful works of art!

Friday, November 9, 2018

November 2018 - Joyful Stars Blog Hop!

Welcome back to the Joyful Stars Blog Hop!  If you came here from the artful Betty's blog, thank you for continuing on here!

As I've been dying to have some fun with the November 2018 Stamp of the Month, Seasonal Trees, I decided to use that stamp set as the focus of my card this month.  As implied by the name, this versatile stamp set has trees from different seasons or climates.  Since we're quickly approaching the holiday season, I decided to make a Christmas card and proceeded with the approach of tradition over whimsy.

Upon first sight of the stamp set, I knew immediately I wanted to include Kraft Paper as a background for the tree.  I stamped the "bare tree" stamp in Espresso ink, then stamped the coordinating "leaves" stamp in New England Ivy ink.  To add "snow" to the tree, I offset the "leaves" stamp very slightly and re-stamped in White Daisy Pigment ink.  Then I grabbed the "snow" stamp and randomly stamped around the tree, again using the White Daisy Pigment ink.

Next, I free-hand cut some White Daisy Cardstock to make the "snow hills".  To add a bit of definition, I sponged a hint of Linen ink to the tops of the "hills".  Using Espresso ink, I then stamped the "'Tis the Season" sentiment from the Oh What Fun-Cardmaking stamp set at the bottom of one of the "hills", and layered the pieces on the Kraft Paper background.

To wrap up the card, I adhered the Kraft Paper background to a slightly larger piece of New England Ivy Cardstock and attached the whole thing to a White Daisy Card Base.  Using Pomegranate ink to add a pop of color, I stamped the "bird" image, fussy cut it, and used a tiny bit of Foam Tape to add it to the tree.  Finally, I finished off the card by cutting a small Cricut star from Gold Foil Paper using the Cricut Basic Shapes feature, and by attaching a few Gold Sequins with Liquid Glass.

Now head over to Krista's blog to see her beautiful work next!

Each month you can purchase a new D-size stamp set, available for one month only, for just $5 - that's over 70% off retail!  When you place an order of $50 or more in Close To My Heart products, you qualify for this special Stamp of the Month pricing.  Otherwise, you can purchase this set outright for $18.95.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Grateful Heart Watercolor!

Working in the IT field, I have a natural affinity to black and white - things work or don't work.  The creative side of my brain does not come natural as I really have to work at it. So when it comes to watercolor, I find it more than daunting. However, I LOVE a lot of the beautiful art I see with watercolors, so I have been bound and determined to try my hand at it.

Here is a card I made with some very simple watercolor. I discovered two things:  first, I found that I do not need to spend a bundle on watercolor paints to be satisfied with the results, and second, I found the process very liberating! For this card in particular, I especially like the disparity between the clean lines and texture of the embossing and gold mat with the free-handed nature of the watercolor and texture of the watercolor paper. So if I can do this, maybe it will inspire those of you who struggle like I do.

To make this card, I stamped the foliage frame from the Grateful Heart - Scrapbooking stamp set with VersaMark ink on watercolor paper and embossed it with Ranger Princess Gold Embossing Powder. I taped it down to my craft sheet and wet a large portion of the paper around the edges with a large, flat brush and some clear water.  After choosing a warm yellow, orange, and red from my watercolor paints, I began dropping color with my brush around the perimeter of my paper, alternating between the three colors and doing a slight bit of blending.  I then left it to air dry.

While it was drying, I used the "So Grateful" sentiment from the stamp set by stamping it on VersaMark ink on a scrap of Black Cardstock, masking off the "So" from the stamp.  I then embossed again with Ranger Princess Gold Embossing Powder. I repeated this process using a leaf from the stamp set and then trimming it to the edge of the image.

At this point the watercolored piece was dry so I took my brush and using the same three colors, I spattered some paint onto the piece.  While letting this dry again, I took the time to prepare a piece of Gold Foil Paper for matting as well as cut a card base from Black Cardstock.

To assemble, I trimmed the edges of the watercolored piece and simply adhered it to the Gold Foil Paper and then to the black card base.  I added the sentiment strip to the card using Foam Tape and adhered the embossed leaf to the left of the sentiment.

Questions?  Leave me a comment and let me know your experiences with watercolor!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

October 2018 - Joyful Stars Blog Hop!

Welcome back to the Joyful Stars Blog Hop!  If you came here from the talented Betty's blog, I'm sure you're smiling, and thank you for continuing on here!

As an empty nester, I have no young kids at home, so Halloween is pretty much a thing of the past for me.  However, I do love Halloween themed crafting supplies.  So I decided to make a card using Close To My Heart's new Halloween themed products, but made a 3-D card that will hopefully not be perceived as necessarily a Halloween card, KWIM?


First I prepared my card by cutting a standard size card base out of Black cardstock, then adhering a slightly smaller piece of the black diamond patterned paper from the Hello Pumpkin Paper Packet to it.  Next I used the Shaker Window & Confetti Thin Cuts to cut a circle from the star patterned paper from the Hello Pumpkin Paper Packet as well as the stitched line circle from a piece of Black cardstock.

For the stamping, I used the ghost and star images from the Hello Pumpkin - Scrapbooking stamp set to stamp and emboss them in black on White Daisy cardstock, then fussy cut them.  The sentiment was also stamped in Versamark ink on a scrap of Black cardstock, then embossed with Ranger White Superfine embossing powder.

To assemble the card, I adhered a foam circle from the Shaker Window Foam & Acetate to the card base.  I then used Foam Tape to adhere the embossed ghost to the window of the foam circle, overlapping it on the circle to anchor it.  I used more Foam Tape to then layer the star patterned paper and adhere the stitched black circle on top of the whole base.  The sentiment was then adhered just underneath the circle window.  The finishing touches included embellishing the inside of the window by popping up a few of the embossed stars with some Foam Dots, as well as some Clear Sparkles.

Halloween or not Halloween?  You be the judge!  Now head over to Krista's blog as I know she's all set to wow you!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

World Card Making Day and October Stamp of the Month - Thanks & Giving!

Today is World Cardmaking Day, so I thought I would take the opportunity to make a card with the cute October Stamp of the Month, Thanks & Giving!  The images are so cute, I had so much fun making this card!

First I stamped the garland image on a piece of White Daisy cardstock and colored with Shinhan markers.  Next I stamped the house image on a piece of polka-dot background paper from the Oh What Fun Paper Packet and cut it out.  I stamped just the chimney of the house on a scrap of Pixie cardstock and adhered it to the stamped house.  Using a punch to cut a heart from a scrap of Raspberry cardstock and Cricut to cut a small circle from Black cardstock, I adhered both pieces to the stamped house, placing a Bitty Sparkle on the tiny heart.  The Silver Embellishing Thread was just the right touch to turn the house into a "birdhouse" by "hanging" it from the garland "branch".

To wrap up the card, I attached another piece of the background paper to the left of the images.  Then I adhered the stamped cardstock to a piece of Black cardstock, and again to a cardbase made from Raspberry cardstock.  Finally, I stamped just the "Thanks" sentiment from the "Thanks & Giving" image with Versamark ink on a piece of Black cardstock and embossed it with Ranger White Super Fine embossing powder.  This was adhered with Thin Foam Tape to the card.

Don't you just love the polka-dot paper from the Oh What Fun Paper Packet?  Here is a closeup of the card.

Each month you can purchase a new D-size stamp set, available for one month only, for just $5 - that's over 70% off retail!  When you place an order of $50 or more in Close To My Heart products, you qualify for this special Stamp of the Month pricing.  Otherwise, you can purchase this set outright for $18.95.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Operation Smile Crop Autumn 2018!

Operation Smile is a cause that is near and dear to my heart.  To see and hear about children, and yes, even adults, who have their lives changed for the better brings so much joy to my heart!  Close To My Heart is 100% committed to helping in the effort to make a difference.   My fellow consultants and I have joined in the cause by holding a semiannual crop solely to raise money for smiles.  This has been a fun day crop that we've been holding for the last year.

Our next crop is scheduled for Saturday, October 13, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm at the Hampton Inn in Dumfries, Virginia.  Here are the details:

  • Location:  Hampton Inn Dumfries Quantico, 16959 Old Stage Road, Dumfries, VA  22025.
  • Cost is $40 which includes lunch and snacks, 4' of crop space, and one raffle ticket.  Additional raffle tickets can be purchased for prizes awarded throughout the day.
  • Space is limited, so please register at to guarantee your seat. 
  • We will have a tool table available with a Cricut Expression and Cuttlebug for your use.
  • Due to fire regulations and limited space, please be mindful when packing.  Please, no side tables or wagons.
  • If you cannot attend but would still like to donate to Operation Smile, you can still help!
Please consider helping us for this great cause!