Tuesday, July 31, 2012

PSC43 - Girlfriends

This is my first week as a The Perfect Sentiments design team member. I'm already noticing what great friends they are together. God has blessed me with many wonderful friends throughout life, so the theme this week is one dear to my heart - Girlfriends: Create a card with a sentiment for friendship. The twist is to use girly embellishments like pearls, lace, bling, flowers, etc. Our sponsor this week is Meljen's Designs. They will be giving a prize of 4 free digis to our lucky winner!

Here's my card celebrating the wonderful friends that I have.

Please visit the other team members at The Perfect Sentiment and join our challenge this week as we celebrate friendship!

Sentiment Technique:
I couldn't find just the right sentiment to go with my image so I combined two different sentiment stamps from Close To My Heart by masking out the unwanted words using scotch tape when I inked the stamp, pulling it off, then stamping. The unwanted words are clean and uninked!

For more dimension, I cut the petals of the sunflower apart and bent them different ways. I also stamped, colored, cut, and pop dotted a second brown center  for the flower.

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:
One Stop Craft Challenge #193 - Just Good Friends 
Shopping Our Stash Weekly Challenge #62 - What Was I Thinking (when I bought hundreds of sheets of discounted gingham dp in every color back in 2006???)
Simon Says Stamp and Show - What Do You Say? (creative sentiments)
Try It On Tuesday - Anything Goes for July

6.5" x 5" Friendship Card Recipe:
Papers - Prima "Botanical;" CTMH Black, White Daisy Cardstock and very old Shell Pink Gingham
Images - Clearly Vintage Ladies and Sunflowers, CTMH Friendship Bouquet sunflower
Sentiment Stamps - Close To My Heart "Endless Friendship," "Friendship Bouquet"(quote
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Markers - Copic
Accents - CTMH Licorice Opaques, retired pink organdy and crocheted lace

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Masculine Encouragement Card with the Deconstructed Sketch

My mind is still thinking about the wonderful times we had taking the grandchildren to the ocean for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Something about watching the waves continually roll in and seeing the water going as far as the eye can see gives me an appreciation of the immense power of God. There's also something soothing to the soul to hear the unstoppable rhythm of the waves, puncutated by the occasional calls of birds.

I wanted to work with an image of the sea, so I decided to use this lovely lighthouse and matching papers from Clear Dollar Stamps, "Sheltering Lights." I chose a sketch from the Deconstructed Sketch #62.

I printed the papers that accompany this digital image on 4x6 Colonial White cardstock, instead of the 8.5 x 11 that was the default size. The way you do this in Photoshop is simply to change the image size. That made the stripes and waves a great size for a small card. I wanted the card to be 4.25 x 5.5" so I can eventually send it to Stars and Stamps Operation Write Home. I also tried to keep the embellishments rather flat so it's easier for the service men to mail.

The blue ricrac is under the image instead of over it, but I liked the way it resembles the theme of ocean waves. I chose yellow for the photo corner on top to resemble the light given by a lighthouse. I added streaks of glitter glue as an extra source of light and embellishement.

For additional encouragement, the inside uses one of the verses that comes with this set of images:

"I am the light of the world; he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12 

May God's Word be a source of encouragement for you as you make decisions and may He comfort as well as guide you during difficult times.

Challenges for this card:
The Deconstructed Sketch #62
Stars and Stamps Operation Write Home - encouragement
Crafting for All Seasons #32 - Splash Me
Crafty Ribbons Challenge #24 - The Sea
Alphabet Challenge Blog -  M - for Men
Hand Stamped Sentiments Inspiration Challenge #128 - Beach/Pacific Coast Highway
Going Grey with Scrap-Creations Challenge - Water

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Freshly Made Christmas in July with Cricut Artiste

I stayed up late making this card so that I could pray and hope we would really get rain tonight. It's been many weeks of extreme heat and no rain here. I was finally rewarded with the happy sounds of thunder. I'm hoping that the light shower will continue through the night. In my heart I'm singing "There shall be showers of blessings. . ."

Here's another Christmas card using a shape from the new Close To My Heart Cricut Artiste cartridge that will be available for purchase August 1st. This one uses the Freshly Made Sketch #45 and the challenge at Holly Jolly Christmas to use non-traditional colors. I was also inspired by the Christmas challenge #101 at 2 Sisters Challenge Blog to use an animal on the card. The sketch and Clean and Simple emphasis of the Freshly Made challenges made this card a quick and easy card!

The Cricut shape behind the bird is from Artiste, page 67 "M", Accent 3 shift, cut at 2.5" Real Dial size. If you don't use Real Dial size you get a tiny shape meant to be the embellishment on a 2.5" card. I love this new cartridge, so I intend to keep introducing some of its 700 shapes. If you're interested in getting your own cartridge, you'll be able to find it on August 1st using the Shop with Me button on the side.

Close To My Heart is introducing some new colors of cardstock in their paper packs that will be unique only to that paper pack. The ones I used come from the Flirty pack and are called Flirty Raspberry and Flirty Yellow, definitely not typical Christmas colors. I combined them with silver trim and lightly retraced the tops and left sides of the dove and the letters with a glitter gel pen.

Challenges for this card:
2 Sisters Challenge #101 - Christmas in July, optional twist - use an animal image
Freshly Made Sketch #45
Holly Jolly Christmas - Use non-traditional colors

4.25" x 5.5" Christmas Card Recipe:
Papers - Close To My Heart "Flirty" paper pack (coming Aug. 1st)
Stamps - CTMH "Blessings of Peace" (coming Aug. 1st)
Inks - black, Garden Green marker
Accents - CTMH Silver trim; glitter gel pen

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July with Cricut Artiste

I'm not sure how I could think about Christmas today when it's well over 100 degrees outside - again. Maybe it's wishful thinking for cooler weather combined with all the wonderful challenges to make cards for Christmas in July.  I'm in favor of celebrating the gift of Christ every day of the year!

It seemed like Christmas when the Fed Ex man delivered boxes of new Close To My Heart products a few days ago. I had to go out of town to babysit grandchildren for a few days, so I was excited to open packages and plan projects when I got home.  My favorite is the Cricut Artiste that will go on sale on my business website beginning August 1st.  Until then, I'll be making some projects to show different things you can do with the 700 images on the cartridge.  Here's a Christmas card that uses the decorative hexagon cut in black as the base for the large circle in Mojo Monday's sketch for this week.

The decorative hexagon is Accent 3 on page 80, the "Merry Christmas" key.

I used CTMH Pear and Partridge paper pack and a wreath, branch, and sentiment from a new CTMH stamp set called "Merry & Bright," which will also be released August 1st. I stamped the wreath on Colonial White cardstock with Olive ink, then colored it with the Copic green marker and cranberry CTMH dye ink marker. Thanks to the encouragement from Creative Belli blog to use old, forgotten supplies, I used a scrap of thin satin ribbon and one of red organdy that I'd hoarded for quite a few years. The organdy was just big enough to make a bow.

Challenges for this card:
Creative Belli Challenge #148 - Christmas in July
Lexi's Creations #70 - Christmas in July
Quirky Crafts Challenge #15 - Christmas in July

Friday, July 20, 2012

Clearly Inspired Challenge #56 - Get Wet

Last week we spent a couple of days in the Gulf enjoying sea breezes and playing on the beach. After several weeks of mostly triple digit heat where we live, it was refreshing. My grandchildren had never seen the sea before. I wanted them to see the beauty of the waves coming in, to find its treasures left on the sand, to relax with the peaceful splashing of wave after wave endlessly praising their Maker. We saw firsthand the reality of the verses from Psalms that refer to the sea and the waves singing praise or making a joyful noise to the Lord.

Christian enjoyed standing in the waves and watching little fish come up to his legs.

So naturally my mind was on the sea with this challenge to "Get Wet:"  Use wet images, wet look techniques/products acetate, dimensional glaze, etc. Here's what I came up with:

I used this July 1st sketch from Stars and Stamps - Operation Write Home. On the 2" x 4.5" piece banner, shape I covered it with the flowing words "the world is your ocean" from the Splash digital image set from Clear Dollar Stamps. I made it by copying and pasting it over and over using Photoshop. Then I flattened the layers. I used Crystal Effects to "draw" just below each row of flowing words to add more of a wet look. The fish were printed on blue swirl patterned paper, colored with Copic markers, given clear buttons as air bubbles and a light coat of Crystal Effects for additional "wet look. "

I used a third technique to imitate wetness on the background. Using a brayer, I rolled Versamark clear ink over the raised pattern on the Divine Swirls embossing folder. I set my paper to be embossed on the opposite side and carefully closed the wet side over the paper. I ran it through my Wizard, opened and removed it carefully, then sprinkled clear embossing powder over the wet, debossed design (the swirls are pushed in rather than standing up). I used a heat gun to set the embossing powder and sponged Juniper ink over the edges of the paper.

I thought this card would be a good one for one of our service men or women to send home to family, so I chose an affectionate sentiment, that is, if I can keep from sending it to my grandkids!

This card was enterred into the following challenges:
Divas by Design #44 - Anything Goes
Make It Monday #98 - Anything Goes
Sarah Hurley Challenge Blog #70 - Buttons (I used them for air bubbles.)
Use It Tuesday #35 - Emboss It ( I used embossing folder, Versamark and clear embossing powder for my background. My hoarded supplies are the clear buttons I purchased in bulk several years ago.)

4.25" x 5.5" Card Recipe:
Paper - Close To My Heart Crystal Blue, Pacifica, White Daisy cardstock and scrap of old crystal blue swirls patterned paper
Images - Clear Dollar Stamps "Splash"
Inks - Juniper, Versamark
Copic Markers - B02, BG10, BG13, BV04
Accents and Tools - CTMH Clear Button Collection, Versamark clear ink, Clear embossing powder, Cuttlebug "Divine Swirls" embossing folder, brayer, heat gun, Crystal Effects, pop dots

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July Blog Hop Winner!

I'm back from vacation just in time to announce our winner from the July Blog Hop comments at Clearly iStamp!!! Congratulations Trish from Time-to-Share, you were randomly chosen from Deonna's blog, For the Love of Cardmaking.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Clear Dollar Stamps July New Digi Release

Today the latest digi stamps are being released at Clear Dollar Stamps. I adore silhouettes, so I'm introducing Silhouette Thoughts and Scripture Children.

The beauty of digital images is that you can resize them or flip the orientation to fit your design like I did when I wanted the bird to fly toward the opening of the card. I designed a sunset garden patio scene for these two challenges: Pause, Dream, Enjoy   "Sunset" and Craft a Scene "Garden Scene." The foreground images were printed first, then the background scene was inked using masking with a brayer and sponges.

Here are the lovely images in the Scripture Children set.

Card Recipes:
7" x 5" Sihouette Thoughts Card:
Images: Clear Dollar Stamps digital images and sentiment"Silhouette Thoughts"
Paper - Karen Foster Designs (yellow dp), Close To My Heart Godrush cardstock
Inks - CTMH Goldrush, Autumn Terracotta, Barn Red, New England Ivy, Moonstruck, Cocoa
Accents & Tools - printer, 2.5" circle punch, torn paper for masking, brayer, sponges, CTMH retired ribbon

6.5" x 5" Scripture Children Card:
Images and sentiment: Clear Dollar Stamps digital "Scripture Children"
Paper - My Mind's Eye Stella and Rose "Mabel"
Accents and Tools - printer, Making memories black ribbon, Prima flowers, Close To My Heart Licorice Opaques adhesive gems

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Clear Dollar Stamps July Blog Hop - The Bright Colors of Summer

Welcome to the Clear Dollar Stamps July Blog Hop! You should have come here from Cassie's blog.
Stop and leave a comment to be entered into the drawing for this month's prize, $25 Clear Dollar Stamps Gift Certificate for digital images. You can find all the details at Clearly iStamp. Please leave a comment and hop on over to

Lisa's blog.

Looking out my kitchen window, I see purple coneflowers, yellow rudbeckia, and hot pink and white phlox. Those colors inspired my card for the The Bright Colors of Summer July Blog Hop.

The digital image and sentiment come from the set called Windowbox Wishes at Clear Dollar Stamps.

6.5" x 5" Birthday Card Recipe:
Image - CDS Windowbox Wishes
Paper - Close To My Heart "Whoops-A-Daisy" (purple), "Hooligans" (turquoise), Sunny Yellow and White Daisy cardstock; Basic Grey (chartreuse dp)
Inks - Copic Markers - N02 (gray), BG13, V04, V15, YG03, YG63, Y13
Accents and Tools - Close To My Heart sparkles; Sizzix/Tim Holtz "Bricked" embossing folder; Michaels pink ribbon, printer

Friday, July 6, 2012

Clearly Inspired Challenge #55 - Some Like It Hot!

The temperatures outside today will be 104 degrees, so this new challenge is very appropriate. The local news keeps mentioning people in our area have died from the heat, which prompts me to pray for my daughter's husband and so many others who work outside with no shade for relief. 

Personally, I can't take the heat. However, I'm babysitting four grandchildren a couple of days each week and need to take them outside or on little "field trips" so that the three boys can burn up some of that aggressive energy. I've been praying for God's grace to help me adjust and I've considered these 102 degree days "training" for the trip we're about to take to Texas, where I know the heat will be even worse. 

It's amazing that Psalm 54:11 talks about God being our sun and shield, giving us grace and glory. The analogy makes me think of Him as one who warms our spirit, gives light to our paths and yet shields us from the negative things in life -  or perhaps even the extreme heat!

I used a rainbow of hot colors and a sun from the Clear Dollar Stamps digital image "Light of His Love" to illustrate this challenge.

I used this week's sketch from Mojo Monday Challenge #248 for this card.  I punched a 1.5" circle from the same orange designer paper, placed it over the sun image because the pattern in the paper reminded me of close up photos of the sun.  Then I dotted around it with red stickles for emphasis and contrast.

Whether you like the heat or not, may God bless you as you experience the warmth of His love and see His light working in your life today.

Additional Challenges for this card:
Catered Crop - rainbows or colors of the rainbow
Oozak Challenge #4 - bright colors
Mojo Monday 248 - sketch
Shopping Our Stash #58 - at least three from list. I used: ribbon, flowers, punch, die cut, rhinestones

5" x 6.5" Encouragement Card Recipe:
Images - Clear Dollar Stamps digis "Light of His Love"
Paper - Basic Grey "Life of the Party;" Close To My Heart Sunny Yellow, Dutch Blue, Cranberry, White Daisy cardstock
Copic Markers - Y13 Lemon Yellow, YR68 Orange, B24 Sky
Accents and tools - Prima flowers, red stickles, Making Memories Navy Blue ribbon, Close To My Heart Bitty Sparkles, Spellbinders Wizard Scalloped Ovals Nestabilities, Martha Stewart border punch, 1.5" circle punch, printer

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mojo Monday 248 Birthday Card

I've been spending time at my daughter's house "watching" her four children, taking them on little trips. This week we visited Deana Rose Farmstead, panned for gold and "gems," visited an 1893 schoolhouse where they read books and wrote on slates with a teacher.  We had ice cream cones on the coolest day of the week - only 97 degrees. But when I looked at my birthday calendar when I got home I saw that so many days of playing grandma wasn't helping me catch up with my card-making.

Since every day has been so hot and sunny, it makes me want to create with bright, vivid colors. Here's a birthday card using the Mojo Monday sketch #248 and a simple greeting from Verve.

The papers were scraps laying on my table that I was starting to clear off. The flower outline paper has the green dots on the back of it. I colored the dimensional butterfly with inks, markers and a copic marker. I added pearls where the holes were on my punched border.  Once again the Mojo sketch maker gave me great inspiration.

May God bless you with "sunny" days even when it's cloudy and protect you from the extremes of weather.

I was inspired by the following challenges:
Crafty Creations challenge #176: Try AT LEAST 3 different embellishments: brads, pearls, ribbon, flowers, dew drops, punched elements,pins etc. (I added buttons, twine, and die cut, too)
Dream Valley challenge #35 - Things with Wings
Dutch Dare Card Challenge #171 - Flutterby Butterfly
Fashionista Challenge #4 - Winged Things
Mojo Monday Challenge #248 - sketch, contest week

4.25" x 5.5" Birthday Card Recipe:
Paper - Close To My Heart "Dotty for You," Buttercup and Tulip cardstock;  My Mind's Eye Stella and Rose "Gertie" (striped)
Stamp - Verve "Hope Blooms"
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black, CTMH Cranberry, Tulip
Accents and Tools - CTMH "Flutter Paper Shapes," Pearl Opaques, Baker's Twine "Paradise Assortment," retired buttons; Prima flower; ribbon unknown