Saturday, August 27, 2016

Freshly Made Christmas Card

Last night I was listening to our local weather track tornadoes near our home.  As it grew closer, it also grew in strength. You can believe I was praying for the safety of everyone in the area. I also gathered a few items to take to the basement with me if I needed to take cover. My husband was a mile away working on the roof of a daughter's new house he's helping to build. He and the roofers waited until the storm was on top of them before they quit. I was making frequent phone calls giving him the latest update on location and timing. In the end the only touchdown of the tornado was 9 miles from where he was working. What a relief when it was over! Thankfully no one was injured! For me, tornado weather is like drinking a pot of coffee. I had so much adrenaline in my system I needed to start cleaning and organizing my craft room to burn off the excess energy. I began finding old papers tucked away and naturally got side-tracked into crafting ideas.

Here's a card I designed using some of the long retired papers I found that screamed, "USE IT UP"-a theme I try to regularly incorporate in my crafting! The fun sketch from Freshly Made Sketch #251 was the perfect design. I was in the mood for something clean and simple!

The pink papers are from CTMH 2004 B&T Bubblegum (dots) and Orchid (stripes) packs of papers. The tree is cut from the recently retired CTMH Penelope paper pack, using the Christmas Cheer Cricut cartridge. Because it's rather whimsical, I gold-embossed the Merry Christmas script using the retired CTMH stamp "Merry, Merry Holiday."

Thank you for stopping by! May God bless you as you create projects that will bless others! (And may He keep you safe in times of storms!)

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:

ABC Christmas Challenge - Q for Quick layout
Crafting By Designs - get ready for Christmas
Crafty Gals Corner #86 - emboss it (mine has dry embossed background and gold heat embossed sentiment)
Crimbo Crackers #114 - anything goes
Holly Jolly Christmas #79 - Non-traditional colors
Pile It On #115 - Die Cut embellishments (tree)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Mojo Monday #462 - His Presence

I was playing with some Christmas paper that had Santa and some presents. My favorite sentiment to use with that kind of paper is from Verve: "The Magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in HIS presence." I'm glad to have a sentiment that emphasizes the presence of Christ, my reason for Christmas.  Material gifts can never compare to Christ's presence, strength, and help in my life.
I stamped the sentiment on a gift shaped die cut using Cricut Art Philosophy. The Mojo Monday sketch was perfect for the paper scrap I had.

Thank you for visiting! May you also focus on Christ's presence as you create cards and gifts of encouragement for those you love. Have a lovely weekend!

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:
4 Crafty Chicks #313 - get sentimental
12 Months of Christmas #20 - anything Christmas
Addicted to Stamps and More #208 - Holiday
Crafting by Designs - get ready for Christmas
Mojo Monday #462 - sketch
The Crafty Addicts #22 - use die cuts
Word Art Wednesday #244-245 - anything family friendly

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back to School

Because I was a teacher for thirty years, I still get excited about the start of school. I still have to shop for school supplies when they go on sale. For fifteen of those years I was a reading specialist and mostly taught younger children how to read. I thought it was the most important subject to teach because I knew it could improve their lives forever and  I had seen the effects of not knowing how to read well. When a friend asked me to make some back to school cards to give teachers, I instantly thought of a set of images I have from Laurie Wilson's Doodle Pantry, Books and Apple, which is now free with any purchase,  and some sentiments from "Clearly Sentimental about Teaching" from My Favorite Things.

I especially liked this inside sentiment of encouragement for teachers everywhere:  The influence of a good teacher can never be erased. 

I'm sharing this project with the following challenges:
Doodle Pantry Ants in my Pants Challenge #20 - anything digital
Open-Minded Crafting Monthly Challenge #8 - Back to School - Reading
Going Grey with Scrap-Creations - Back to School
Sweet Stampin' - Back to School

Monday, August 15, 2016

Path of Positivity Challenge #39 - Confidence to Shine

Path of Positivity is focusing on Confidence this month. What a great theme for an Olympics year! The designers have concisely discussed the aspects of developing and using confidence in life. Ideas worth visiting at any age, equally beneficial for parents, grandparents, and teachers who encourage young people.

The first thing that always comes into my mind when I think of confidence is the verse in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Knowing I'm not alone in any challenging situation is a big confidence booster! I began developing dreams and goals by age 12 and wanted to do my best in everything. Playing the flute in band was one of the areas that required confidence. When we started at the end of 4th grade, we had a band instructor who was very negative with the youngest students. He was impatient making us try a section AGAIN to try to get it right. His anger may have been a reason I was so reluctant to practice. By 6th grade several of us were supposed to play up on stage for a parent meeting. I was so nervous, especially when my friend next to me fainted during practice.
By 7th grade I had an amazing band and vocal music instructor, one of the best teachers I ever had. He encouraged us, never got angry over mistakes, showed us the value of repetition and practice. Everyone wanted to please Mr. Bortz and get it right. By that age I prayed a lot for God to help me do my best. I could see that He had given me many talents and didn't want to be big-headed like a few kids I knew, acting like know-it-alls. I also wanted to use those God-given abilities to their fullest extent and that took a confidence in God's help during difficulty as well as in the abilities He had blessed me with.
Mr. Bortz gave me a piccolo to play in concerts and marching band. How surprised I was when he had me stand during a concert when it came time for the piccolo part. I had been perfectly happy to play my flute and be drowned out by trumpets, trombones, and drums. Suddenly it was my time to be heard and to shine. My shy self still felt pretty nervous at the attention, but such experiences were important in developing the confidence I would need as an adult, to know someday that I could do anything because of desire, talent, preparation, and help from God. Confidence is believing in the abilities He's given us to develop and relying on Him to overcome difficulties that unexpectedly or inevitably arise along the way.

With the Olympics entertaining the world this month, I keep remembering the Winter Olympics of 1984. The first events I was really passionate about were all of the ice skating events. As a guest designer this month I have the privilege of using this skater image from Ike's Art.  I also designed my card by using the colors from Pals Paper Arts and rotating this Sketch from Sweet Sketch Wednesday:

Thank you for visiting! May you let your talents shine and leave a little sparkle on all those around you as you encourage them to shine, too!

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:

A Gem of a Challenge #175: Buttons and Bows
Craft Rocket Challenge #21 - Glitzy Glitter
My Time to Craft #327 - Embossing
Pals Paper Arts #313 - Pink, Taupe, Peach
Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2-95 - Sketch
The Paper Shelter #259 - punches and dies
Word Art Wednesday #242-243 - family friendly - anything goes

6.5" x 5" Card Recipe:
Papers - CTMH White Daisy, Slate, and White and Pink Glitter Cardstocks, pink watercolor background paper from Calypso;  Recollections peach glitter cardstock,
Markers - Copics: RV00, R81, R83; YR02, YR61 (dress and its flowers), E0000, E000, E00 (skin); W-1, W5, N2 (skates and hair);
Embellishments - CTMH white glitter buttons, white organdy ribbon; Tim Holtz Small Talk stickers
Tools - Cuttlebug snow embossing folder; Martha Stewart snowflake punch, Our Daily Bread Designs "Lavish Layers" rectangle die (slate mat); Sakura Gelly Roll gliter pen (dress details); CTMH Thin 3-D Foam Tape

Monday, August 8, 2016

Making the Years Count Anniversary Card

My hubby and I celebrate our anniversary this month and so do several of my friends. Our anniversary is on the same day as my grandparents' anniversary.  They set a beautiful example for us of two who loved each other until death.  Their love spilled over to the many other people in their lives.
I made several anniversay cards today for friends, focusing on the inside verse. I combined a sentiment from a past CTMH Stamp of the Month this year and one from Our Daily Bread Designs:

Love is not a matter of 
counting the years, it's a matter of 
making the years count!
May your love increase always!
Happy Anniversary!

I used bright colors and the sketch from the PDE Linky Party #132:

In my determination to USE IT UP (paper and embellishments), I enjoy combining some old with newer products. If you're a "collector" of older CTMH stamps, you may recognize the 2005 Elegant Floral on front. I hadn't used it for 11 years and wanted to experiment with an updated look. I traced over the center pistols and stamens with black and gold markers. Cricut Explore helped me make circles and hearts for the front and inside. The Bubblegum organdy ribbon is still around, too, after 11 years. No wonder CTMH quit selling 25 yards at a time! The Ocean textured cardstock is also some that they used to sell. My papers were leftovers and scraps, older and newer.  I'd rather use it all up making something beautiful to give to friends than to just discard it. If we could do garage sales in our rural area I might think differently. What do you do?

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you with love that grows year after year! May you pass His love on to those around you!

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:
Alphabet Challenge - L for Love 
Broken Fairy Challenge #8 - Use your stash
Just Add Ink #323- Just add "F" - flower

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Mojo Monday #459 Happy Wishes Card

I turned over my August page on my birthday/anniversary calendar and was surprised to see how many of my friends have one of those occasions this month. I just finished a week of three birthday parties that weren't on the calendar and need to be added.  I need 11 cards, not counting the encouragement ones I'll need for those in our church. I recently found the blog of Pamela KuhnShelter: Postmarked. She is such an inspiration with her daily challenge to send cards of encouragement to someone every day. Her daybook is also a beautiful collection of uplifting thoughts.
This card is the result of playing with papers, flower, and stamps on my desktop that I hadn't put away yet. They were just the right size for the Mojo Monday sketch this past week:

I stamped several flower silhouettes (retired CTMH "Treasure Life") on the Theresa Collins script paper. I added the gold polka dots from the same paper pad and added them to the Paper Studio's Simple Elegance black flourish card background. All of the cardstock was CTMH. The sentiment is part of a large set of acrylic stamps that came with my new CTMH Cricut Flower Market cartridge.
There were still enough scraps to make a second card:

Thanks for visiting! May God bless you as you create your own artwork to encourage others!

I'm sharing this with the following challenges:

Mojo Monday #459 sketch
Word Art Wednesday #242-243- anything family friendly

Saturday, August 6, 2016

CTMH Annual Inspirations New Product Blog Hop

Welcome to our blog hop featuring the new products in our Annual Inspirations book for 2016-17. If you just came from from Darlys Recker's blog you're on the right path. You can find the entire list of bloggers participating at Melissa Everitt's blog here.

My project today features Christmas cards I made highlighting the new Rustic Home Fundamentals paper pack and its ribbon, the color of the year -Sea Glass, Red Glitter paper, the Shimmer Brush, and the new Cricut cartridge, Flower Market, with two of its stamp sets.  If you'd like to use any of my Cricut cuts on your own Cricut Explore or Air, you can get them here on my cut file.

1.  The first 6.5" x 5" card has the warmer color side of the woodgrain paper and a strip of the vellum and gold foil striped paper. I stamped the wreath with the leafy background stamp from the Playful Patterns stamp in the Cricut Bundle. The wreath and sentiment were "painted" with the Shimmer brush for a glittery look.

2.  The next 5" x 6.5" card highlights the chevron patterned woodgrain. (Both of the woodgrain papers have one side with gray tones and the other with warmer colors.) I used the sketch from Try Stamping on Tuesday and made the card larger to highlight the chevron pattern. The Colonial White circle has a white embossed design from the Playful Patterns stamp set and the snowflake has dotted pattern from the Line It Up Cricut Bundle stamp set. "Noel" was cut using the new Sea Glass Glitter Paper.

3.  The following 5.5" x 4.25" card has the glossy embossed wood pattern with a horizontal strip of the fabric-textured paper that also has grayish or brownish sides. I used the sketch from Pals Paper Arts #312. I clear-embossed the Cranberry circle with the vertical lines of the Line It Up stamp set. I used one of the frames on the Flower Market cartridge but added a few more pine branches and welded the image. The Noel word was white-embossed with the dotted snow-like pattern and then sponged with Cashmere ink.

4.  The last 5.5" x 4.25" card is a remake of the design I used on yesterday's post. This card has the kraft, aqua, white colors of this week's Color Throwdown. I thought the Kraft with white dots was a perfect background for a snowflake card. The snowflake was white embossed with the dotted pattern again and I punched two holes on the tag to match the top two holes of the snowflake so I could tie the two together with white twine. (The tag is made from the vellum piece found in the new Uptown Fundamentals paper.) The snowflake border came from the Artistry cartridge.

The title and border were "pained" with the Shimmer brush.

Thanks for visiting! Now you"re ready to go to Jennifer Dykstra's blog  to check out her great project!

I'm sharing individual projects with the following challenges whose inspiration I used:

Color Throwdown #404 - kraft, aqua, and white


Friday, August 5, 2016

Quick and Easy Christmas Cards

I need a lot of Christmas cards by November, so I just finished eight easy ones that were so quick to make using Cricut Explore and some pre-designed card bases from the Paper Studio (Simple Elegance and Market Place boxes) and some vellum. I cut snowflakes out of CTMH Sea Glass cardstock using the new Flower Market Cricut cartridge. The Peace word is from Gypsy Wanderings. After creating these I decided to make more using the new Flower Market cartridge for my post tomorrow with more techniques.

Thanks for visiting. Come back tomorrow for more Christmas ideas! I'll be part of a blog hop using new products!

I'm sharing these cards with the following challenges:
Crimbo Crackers #112 - Anything Goes
Double D Challenge - polka dots
Sparkles Monthly Challenge #82 - Christmas in July
The Glory of Christmas #90 - use Kraft paper
Time Out Challenge #63 - Holiday with optional "No Stamping"

Monday, August 1, 2016

August Stamp of the Month Blog Hop - Purr-fect Halloween

Welcome to our blog hop illustrating the August Stamp of the Month: Purr-fect Halloween!

If you have come from Darlys Recker's blog, you're on the right path.  If you get lost along the way you can see the entire list on Melinda Everitt's blog here.

Because so many of the images on this stamp set are related to Halloween I decided to make a non-Halloween card to show you other ways this fun cat image can be used. I happened to marry into a family of cat lovers, even though I'm actually a dog person. I will have plenty of people to send a card using this great sentiment - You're one CRAZY CAT!

I white embossed the sentiment on a strip of black with stars from the Magical paper pack. The background was lightly painted an aqua blue after spritzing the watercolor panel with water. The cat was stamped and colored with ShinHan Alcohol Ink markers. I couldn't get subtle stripes on the cat that way so I used a Blender Pen and the ink in the lid of the Champagne stamp pad.

The other papers include two new colors from the Adventure color family: Tangerine and Raspberry, mixed with a little Lagoon from the newest Paper Fundamentals assortment.  I stamped the banner twice on top in black then stamped it again on Lagoon, Tangerine, and Raspberry. It was quick to cut out the simple shapes and glue onto the main panel's stamped banner. I thought the ruffled hat edging would make a fun border so I stamped it repeatedly near the edge of a 1/2" strip and cut it out, gluing it under the main panel. When I cut out something like that it only needs to be an approximation of the edge because that's the way a die cut would look, simply near the stamped edge.

I hope this gives you inspiration for another way you can use this stamp of the month. You can purchase this stamp of the month or any of the supplies I list below on my website links if you don't already have a Close To My Heart consultant.

Thank you for visiting! Now you're ready to move onto the lovely artwork from Michelle Stewart. Enjoy the journey!

5.5" x 4.25" Card Recipe (All materials used are CTMH):
Papers - Watercolor Paper (background panel), Magical Paper Pack (black), Adventure Cardstock Combo Pack, Adventure Fundamentals Creative Collection
Stamp - S1608 Purr-fect Halloween
Ink - ChampagneMemento Tuxedo Black, Versamark,
Tools - Medium Water brush, Watercolor PaintsBlender Pen, ShinHan Touch Twin markers - Barely Beige and Pastel Peach, Ranger White Superfine Embossing Powder, Craft Heater, 3-D Foam Tape,
Embellishments - Gold Sequins

Path of Positivity Challenge #40 - Confidence

This month I'm a guest designer for the Path of Positivity Challenge Blog. They have wonderful challenges that focus on a quality of positive character. The focus this month is Confidence.

School starts this month where we live. I was a teacher for 30 years, usually teaching reading to the youngest students, so this time of year my thoughts still center on school days.  On the first day of school some of the kindergartners would cry as their moms dropped them off. I remembered how shy I was when I first began school. I don't think my family knew that I was so shy I didn't even talk to anyone at recess. I always played by myself. My third grade teacher wisely directed me into a group of girls who played hopscotch or jumped rope on the playground and I learned to make friends.

When I made this card I was thinking about a young lady who used to scrapbook with us for several years. She's the shy type, too. She's moving from small-town Missouri to Manhattan in New York to go to college. I'm praying for her to have the confidence she needs to meet each new experience, each new challenge.

The first sponsor this month is Scribbles Designs. They will award $10 worth of digital stamps from Scribbles Designs for the post or project that seems most inspiring of the bunch.

I chose a fish image from Scribbles Designs.

It was hard to photograph the glittery effect I brushed on the orange areas with a shimmer brush, but maybe you get the idea.

Challenge Details:


  • $10 worth of digital stamps from Scribbles Designs, one of our guest sponsors this month, for the post or project that deems most inspiring of the bunch.
  • A $15 gift certificate from Ike's Art, one of our guest sponsors this month, for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
There will also be:

  • A small selection of digital designer papers from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky person who leaves a comment on posts published during the challenge time frame.
  • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge.

Thank you for visiting! I hope you will join us at Path of Positivity with your project about CONFIDENCE!  Come back August 15th to see our projects using Ike's Art!

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:

All Sorts #374 - A touch of sparkle (used glittery Shimmer Mist)
Broken Fairy Designs Challenge #7 - anything goes/twist-embossing
Cardz 4 Galz #27 - No patterned paper
Julia Spiri Challenge #22 - anything goes/twist-beach or sea
Pattie's Creations Designs Challenge #124 - Make a Splash - include water