Sunday, September 30, 2012

H2H Christmas Card Challenge

I was inspired by Carole's September 23rd, 2012 post, Triangle Card.  When I looked at it, my brain said, "Wait, wait, what?"  I love things like that!  It was simmering on the back burner for a couple of days when I happened on the H2H Challenge blog again. When I saw there was a Christmas challenge, I knew that I had to make this star-thing work.  So here it is:

I designed it so that it will fit into a 5" X 7" envelope.  It's too puffy in this incarnation - although it does fit.  I have since reworked it in my mind, but not remade it yet.

The puffiness is pretty awesome, if it doesn't have to go through the post!!

Here's the big unveil...

There was no room to sign it, and I didn't want that to be on the back, so this is my fix:

In progress:

For this project I used the stamp set, Ruby sparkles, Cashmere ribbon, and paper from the Workshops on the Go Partridge & Pear Cardmaking Kit.  I shaded the Cashmere ribbon with Cocoa ink (using a sponge), being careful not to use too much because then it would just look dirty.

No envelope yet.  I will get there after I make this puppy lie flat!!

Merry Christmas!!  It's never too early to start on those handmade gifts and cards.  (I keep telling myself.  I don't always listen, but I keep telling myself!!)


Dotty for Kim's Bike Box 2.0

I'm have been having so much fun because all I have to do is assemble the paper and stamps that go together style-wise, and color-wise, and then LET LOOSE!!  No running back and forth to three craft stores to find that bit of card stock in just the right shade of green.  I do not miss those days one bit!!

So this is what I've come up with for my sister-in-law Kim, who coached a women's triathlon team this summer.  Yeah, triathlon?  Makes me exhausted just thinking about it!!  She's got the energy!!  It's terrific.  All I can do is sit back and say, "Way to Go, Girl!"  Sit back being the key words in that sentence.  But seriously, she's awesome and I wanted her to know that we support her.

Triathlon is swimming, cycling and running.  The only stamp I have is the bike.  I can picture a really nice swimming stamp, but it must be retired.  I'm sure that there is a runner too, but I'm making this bike work!!

Card front and inside views.
This was the first card I made.  Once I got the card right, I made four of the same - she knows a lot of people!

I used the Dotty For You paper because it matches beautifully with the special promotional stamps that had a bike as well as great optimistic phrases.  Take a look:

Now, look back up at the card (now look at me, jk ; )  Look at the "enjoy the ride" image on the card above.  I learned how to make that swiping motion by watching this video.  It's very informative, but in this video, unlike the others in the series, it doesn't show very good close-ups of the details.  To get a closer look, enlarge my first picture and look at the word "ride".  It was easy and fun.

Here, does this help?  Can you see the swipe effect in the ink on the ticket?  That's what we're talking about.

This is the second card. I remade the card from the Stamp Lingo Post, but left a better margin around the outside.  This meant I had to compress the images a bit and make some decisions, but it remained basically the same card.  I really liked the envelope.  It's just silly and happy!!

This is card number three.  Because the paper's pattern doesn't really repeat, it made for 4 very different cards.  Here they are all together:

You can see that one of them didn't even have a spot to place the ticket, but I had the tag stamp as well, so I used that, and I think it worked out pretty well.

Here is one card with the envelope.  I had fun making those too.

Now to the box to contain the 12 cards and envelopes.  I love this butterfly paper that is part of the Dotty For You packet.  The butterflies look as though someone has sewn X's in the middle, so I actually punched little holes with my piercing tool (I use this a lot) and then I sewed each little X for texture.  It worked well!

Now to show how easy it was to turn the white box Sky.  It takes a bit of time to cover every margin, but the effect is well worth it!!

Here you can see the finished butterflies on the front of the box.

On this side, I didn't use the Dotty For You paper.  This was all hand stamped just for fun.

This is from one of the Dotty For You papers, with some stamping obviously.

The finished box has a raised pocket frame for a photo. The pocket is open on the side so the photo won't slide out when the lid lifts.  It will really be perfect with one of Kim's photos in it!!

The yo yo on top was hand made since I don't have the latest CTMH Cricut Artiste cartridge.  Yeah, you thought I owned it all, but I'm still slowly assembling my collection, but one day I will own all of the inks!! (and markers!!)  I will do a post on how to make the basic yo yo sometime soon.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Leslie's Birthday - My First H2H (Sketch 16) Challenge

A few weeks ago I decided that I'd better get my birth date list in order.  I am afraid that I am going to skip someone now that I've started sending out cards again and with this blog, I'm bound to get in to trouble (you know, it's going to happen...)  So, I started a list on the back of the nearest envelope (an old bill, or something).  I began with everyone I could think of and then filled in birthdays, then hunted up birthdays, then research birthdays, then asked for birthdays through emails (Ha, some of you got those!!)

Leslie made it on this list.  I met her at the very first CTMH Card Club that I attended at Carolyn's house.  She's now a real-life consultant, so I don't get to see her as often, but that's OK because she is doing really well!!

Leslie is a real sweetheart and I wanted to make her a nice card so she would know that I was thinking about her on her birthday and wishing her well.  I have a feeling this year is going to be a really great one!!

As I was starting to design Leslie's card, I knew that I wasn't ready to stop playing with my La Belle Vie (I'm going to refer to it as: LBV, since you can't here my French accent anyway) paper yet.  These are my colors!!  I was looking for some inspiration and I happened on the Heart 2 Heart Challenge Blog.  I was really thinking about trying this in August, but the days got away from me (The Days Are Changing!!)  The first September Challenge is a sketch challenge, and the sketch looks like this.

Cool, I can get inspired by that.  This is my first ever card challenge, so I stuck to the sketch completely!!

For the sash, I tried the stripes going straight across, but it looked really funky (and by that, I mean BAD), so I changed it to what you see on the card.  It was really easy since I already had a pattern!! (the funky one)

I made another of that same picture frame from my last two projects. (They may not be posted yet, so ignore that!!)  This is from the Jardin (French for garden) D1528 stamp set.  Stamped it on the LBV Pink, cut it out as nicely as I could.  This time I noticed that there were two little triangles that I could cut out with my Xacto knife.  ; ) Adhered it to the LBV Mauve, and then cut it out as best as I could!!  I just can't get it out of my system.  I love this double frame!!  This is the third time I have used this frame on a project.  Added Opaque Pearls and Bitty Pearls. It's slowly evolving.  Next I will be building up the leaves around the frame (and then gilding them, no doubt!!)

For the sentiment I was going for a Queen Elizabeth II, "Keep Calm and Carry On" look (I know, she's English and La Belle Vie is French, but Royalty is Royalty!!  Truly, they are all related!!)

Now for my favorite part, the flower!!  I will be doing this again and again, even though it was time consuming and detailed - I loved it!!  I stamped the medium sized flower from Card Word Puzzle C1494 on both the LBV Pink and LBV Mauve papers.  I cut the Pink one out completely, but I only cut little slivers from the flower pattern out of the LBV Mauve.  I glued these on to the base flower as I cut them.  When this was finished, each petal was shadowed on the edges.  To highlight the centers, I brushed on pearl paint.   It was already so pretty that I was afraid to take the next step, but what was re-cutting everything when the potential was there, so I plowed ahead, and covered the entire thing with good ol' Liquid Glass.  I was channeling Victoria Fage. She's a consultant in our unit who has taught at Extravaganza at the National Convention, I know not how many times.  She is amazing!!

At our last unit meeting, Victoria and Sara Batkin, showed us their Extravaganza displays and did demonstrations for those of us that missed it.  I learned a lot of things to do with liquid glass from Victoria and have been experimenting.  She said just put it right on - over the wet pearl paint, so I held my breath, and did it - and it worked!!

Ignore the rose, this is just where I dry liquid glass thingies.

Click to enlarge.  Can you see the pearl paint?

A bit of the glue seeped through from the back.  I wrote over it to obscure it   ; )

"may this be your grandest year yet!" sentiment is from Hooray Bouquet D1491 - This is a great stamp set for Cricut owner,s as all of the flowers match the Art Philosophy Collection by CTMH.  Great sentiments too.

I stamped the small flowers from the Card Word Puzzle C1494 stamp set on the back and also on a piece of LBV Pink, then cut out little bits for applique!!

Obviously, I used more of the Jardin stamps on the envelope, so that Leslie would know there was something better than a bill inside!!

Happy Birthday Leslie!!  Hope it's a great one - with many, many more to come!! 
Love, Karen

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Treasured Memories

I am the worst at writing and sending sympathy cards.  I buy them, but I never know what to say, so they usually remain unsent.  This is a terrible thing to do because it really probably doesn't make much difference what I say.  People want to know that I care, and I do care.  It's just so hard for me.  I feel that pain so terribly.

For example, I grew up on Chestnut Street which was a magical place to grow up. We had the elementary school across the street and the Forest Preserve in our back yard. We knew our neighbors; all of the kids played together.  We had the school playground across the street (swings, monkey bars, slide and "The Rocket" climbing structure), the "Black Top" with basketball hoops, and the baseball diamond.  Pick-up football was always in the yard right in front of the school.  Hide and Seek usually took place in and around "The Court," but whatever was going on, when the streetlights came on, it was time to go in.

Over the past ten years or more, the parents of Chestnut Street have been passing on, but I don't send cards.  It's too hard to put in to words what needs to be said.  I kick myself - beat myself up, but I don't send the card.  No one knows I'm thinking about their mom or dad if I don't write, but I still don't write.

Now, finally, I am learning how to handle this.  I don't have to say much.  I don't have to say exactly the right thing.  If I make the card - that's enough!  If I make the card they know I care.  I can make the card!!  It's what I do.  If I make a special card they will know how I feel!!

Finally, I can let people know that I am thinking of them, because I have always been thinking of them.

Lastly, a note about stamps.  The sentiment I used on this card is a from a retired stamp, but we have a current one that is perfect (I just don't have it yet).  It's called Words of Comfort  C1524.  You can make your own cards and let those people that you care about know how you feel, too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's Just Stuff

I started thinking about this page for my Affirmations Calendar two weeks ago.  I had sent my sister-in-law a box filled with Close to My Heart goodies.  She had put in an order and was excitedly waiting for it to arrive.   So, I sent her a bunch of things to help get her started.  We're family, so I sent her some of my stamps, knowing that when she's finished with them that she will send them home.  Well, the box didn't arrive when I expected it to.  Another day passed, then another day.  I was getting panicky, but I was also upset with myself for being so upset.  THEY ARE JUST STAMPS!!  But some are retired and I may not be able to replace them.  BUT THEY ARE JUST STAMPS!!  I went back and forth like this, with minor variations for longer than I care to admit, till I finally reminded myself that:

Made with Close to My Heart's La Belle Vie paper, Jardin stamp set D1528, Opaque Pearls and Bitty Pearls for a page in my 6" X 6" Display Album.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Pick O' the Patch

Recently there have been a few people at my medical appointments deserving of special thanks.  I had two women at my blood test (the traumatic one from the Anderson Garden 4 post), the phlebotomist Nancy (who was awesome - and the blood work didn't hurt at all!) and the nurse, Joyce, who first rushed in and slapped me and gave me p.b. crackers.  ; )  Okay, that's not all she did, and the slaps were medically administered!  They were wonderful and I'm just sorry that I didn't make my cards sooner.

I used the Elemental paper for this card.  It was just in the "While Supplies Last" section of the Idea Book at a great price.  I was going to put a link in and it's already sold out.  I ordered a bunch to share with new customers.  The Elemental paper has six patterns in popular colors, so you can mix it in, or use it alone with solid card stock.  I think it looks particularly nice with the scarecrow.

This is the inside:

For those smart alecks among you who think they can't all be "The Pick of the Patch," let me remind you that there are some very fine pumpkin patches around here!!

This is on the back.

I made a third of this card, this one for Randy who was manning the MRI machine last week. When my vein blew as the contrast was being administered I started to panic and couldn't quite make myself give my other arm up for another try.  I was doing my best to keep my cool, but frankly my cool was long gone and as my head was strapped in, I was in no position to go chasing it down.  I asked the nice young man to please go get my husband.  While he was gone, Randy came and asked me what the problem was, and almost before I finished my explanation, he had the injection in me and I was all calmed down.  Drew basically showed up to hold my hand, say, "hi," and then wait for me to finish!!

The good news is that my MRI results were fine.  The bad news is that I have to have blood work again in three months.  I promise to be well hydrated the next time!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Fer Talk Like A Pirate Day, we be havin Cap'n Washbucket supplyin advice:

Dakota paper bandanna and shirt!!
When ye have added a new stamp to yer booty, it must be torn from its carrier sheet, but ye don't want to tear the stamp.  So ye will pull it from the edges toward the center. It be possible to rip an acrylic stamp asunder, though I hadn't seen such meself.

Like any new crew member on yer ship, new stamps need to be seasoned, but don't believe Cook when he suggests basil and wolfs-bane.  The ship commanders over at CTMH suggest starting with a light colored ink.  Ye'll ink the stamp up well, mind ye, with a tap, tap, twist, twist, tap, tap, before ye then stamp with it over and over.  Keep this up until ye be getting a nice crisp impression, like a newly minted doubloon.  Yer stamp now be seasoned and you are ready to set sail.

It be best if'n ye remember when inking yer stamp that ye don't have need to press yer stamp very hard into the ink pad, eh?  The ink only needs be on the top fer it to be finding itself afixed to the paper.

Now me and me crew always used to store arrrrr ink pads upside-down whatfor to keep the ink up at the surface, ye see.  One of the reasons we be so attracted to Close to My Heart was how their ink pads have swivel lids.  They be cleverly designed so as to store the ink upside-down for ye!!   Them ink pads also be having the color swatch and name on the front.  That be for when they be stacked like coins fer counting, so you fer can see what be what.  So smart!  I be hooked like shark on chum.

Unlike most pirate crews, Close to My Heart be thinking about cleanliness and be bartering things fer swabbing yer stamps clean.  These be both the lint free My Acrylic Stamp Scrubber, as well as the My Acrylic Spritz Cleaner.

I only just noticed that we be having a StazOn cleaner which be most powerfully exciting cuz StazOn stains your stamps, which not be the end of the world, yet t'would be nice fer to do somethin about.  I be letting ye know how it works OR maybe ye already know and can report back to me.  I be hoping t'will help what with the stains from Archival Black, and what be some of the colors what traditionally stain, being them reds and purples.  I'll be taking a look through my spyglass and be reportin back to ye! ; )

Another thing we be having now is a My Acrylic Spritz Cleaner Refill, a jug o'the stuff fer a fair coin.

Should ye be discovering yer stamps don't be as sticky as what they once be, no trouble, maties!  Make 'em walk the plank down to Davy Jones Stopper.  Rinse 'em in yer sink with a colander so they can't escape and when they be dry, ye'll find the sticky has returned like magic!

When ye've finished yer current voyage, double check yer carrier sheet and be making certain sure what that ALL of yer stamps have been returned to stowage because those stamps be like ghosts at midday! Seriously!  It be much easier to search for one right away before ye bury it. That booty be precious gold.

If'n ye be needin some translatin, that can be a takin care of, but not today cuz today be Talk Like a Pirate Day!

I be owin a special debt o' gratitude ta Cap'n Washbucket A.K.A. my shackled-mate, Andrew.   You  are my rock buoy!  -KC

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thinking of You Card 2.0

I needed a masculine card for a family member, so he would know we were thinking of him on his surgery date.  I found this dog; I call him Fergus.  He's from the stamp called  A Bow Wow A1126.  He's a Scottie so I wanted to make him plaid.  I picked Victory paper which has a plaid and is a very masculine mix, and I love the palette.

First I played around with Fergus, stamping him on the pattern to see what I liked.  My favorite combination had the eye and nose and tongue on light areas and I was able to color in the tongue and nose.

My first choice was the lower right.
I wanted to color in the tongue and the nose on my Fergus.  In order for it to match (because I can, and that's the beauty of Close to My Heart), I squeezed my ink lid into my ink - with the ink closed - until some of the ink was transferred onto the lid.  Then I used my water brush (you could do this with a paint brush and water, but I get a kick out of the water brush every time!!) to pick up some of the ink.  I swished it on my scrap paper (which is getting dirty and in need of changing) so it's not too dark, then painted in the tongue.  To wash the water brush, just swish it on the scrap paper till it's clean.

I used Cranberry for the tongue and Chocolate for the nose, and a light Olive wash for some of the collars.  A few of my Ferguses didn't need their noses colored in because the pattern on the paper took care of it.  They turned out nicely as well.

For the square of Barn Red paper, see card below, I added a pattern with second generation* Chocolate ink using the small star pattern and the fleur-de-lis stamp from the Victory Workshop on the Go.  This stamp set isn't available any more, but the Victory paper is still available and I'm sure you could come up with your own pattern!

The top strip of Argyle pattern is a zip strip that comes on one of the Victory papers. The Hello cloud was roughed up with scissors for a distressed look. (When I made subsequent cards I used the edge distresser and it was much easier for me.)    I wrapped Fergus' podium with natural hemp for some texture.  Both Fergus and the podium were popped-up with foam tape for depth.

 Here's the completed envelope from all sides:

My next project was to make a birthday card for a cousin , but I was still enamored with my darling Fergus and wanted to keep making more, when I realized he was also a birthday card!!!  YES!  Another Kallixta Card Challenge completed!!  HA!!!!!  (Hey Dave, We miss you guys!!  Happy Birthday!!)

Lastly, one of my dear Fergies, flipped over and he's Camo on the other side!!!  So, I got out my light box and finished him off.  Does he need a new name now?
Fergus and new friend Tracker!
*A second generation stamp is when you ink the stamp up, first lightly stamp it on scrap paper, then stamp it on your project.

Fergus is a happy scamp.  Hope you like him as much as I do!!

P.S.  The Edge Distresser is in the Idea Book under Accessories and then "Distressing Products".  I kid you not!!  I'm still giggling!!  : D

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Anderson Gardens 4

I need to meditate, center myself.
Focus on my family.
Picture our day at the Anderson Gardens in Rockford, Illinois.

I had a harrowing experience this morning at my blood test.  I passed out immediately  afterwards and scared everyone.  I came round to a lot of voices, "Color's better, her lips aren't so grey."  I spent a lot of time in the clinic this morning; saw my doctor; had an EEG.

Now I need to meditate, center myself.
Focus on my family.
Picture our day at the Anderson Gardens in Rockford, Illinois.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012

I didn't lose anyone personally that day, but I as a member of the world community, I think we all suffered.

As an American, watching Good Morning America as it was all unfolding, I know I lost some innocence.  I  am still traumatized in some way.
We Will Not Forget

Remembering everyone who lost their life.  You live on in the hearts and minds of your loved ones.

Thank You to everyone, human and canine, who gave their life in service. You will always be treasured.

Searching always for forgiveness and understanding and - a way towards peace.
There must be a light.

Sue's Belated Birthday Card

I started going through paper, thinking of Sue... can't use Avonlea because I just wrote her a Thank You Note on that a few weeks ago, hmmm, everything looked inviting.  Delaney wanted to go outside and there was the smallest of nips in the air and I started to think of the Fall weather.  That started me off.  I grabbed papers and stamps and more stamps and more stamps.  I didn't use them all - that's just how I get going - with a big flurry and whoosh.

This is where I started:

I was going to stop here, but I thought it might look suspicious as the right edge is too clean.

So, I added a few more little bits:
Now see what I did - I messed it all up!!
Never fear, we'll come back to that!

The next stamp features one of my very favorite things about Close to My Heart Stamps.  I call it "overstamping."  I'm not sure what it's technical term is.  I think I should know this, my great-grandfather wrote a book about printing - seriously - look:

Basically, you have at least two stamps that work together to make your finished image in more than one color.  The first image below is made up of the second Sunset image, plus the third Tulip one.
On the scrap paper you can see where I was working out my palette:
Twilight, Tulip and Sunset.
I edge nearly everything I do.  I usually use an eighth pie-wedge of a round sponge, but I only have two hands and I needed one to take the photo, so this is what I came up with.  ; )   Just dab the sponge on the ink pad and then swipe it on the edge of the paper.  Experiment!  I usually edge all of the papers in a project in the same color because that's the way Carolyn (my "art therapist") taught me!! and it looks good that way!

Now to cover up those ink marks that I accidentally got on the cover of my card...

Note how it was a good thing that I added those marks on the right margin of the card. It just didn't look like real paper with out them.  

OK, so we're skipping to the completed card - like the magic oven on the cooking show!! The vertical "bookmark" stripe (that's what I see it as  because Sue is a BIG reader) is a bit more right-justified than I had originally envisioned in order to cover up my ink boo-boo, but I like it - and it passed the Will inspection.  (Huh, I see Will's been doing a bit of sneaky editing here.  I guess I'll let him get away with it this time.)  The rest of the cards I make today will be made to this same pattern.  So take that Ink Gremlins - you won't get me down today!!

The Ink Gremlins got me again - this time we cover up with sparkles. not too spread out because I write a lot.
Who would have thought, huh?

The background paper is from Florentine.  It was going to be in my card at first, but then I started with the background stamp.  It did provide me with the Twilight and the Sunset and I just threw the Tulip in on a whim.

Lastly, something for the back.  Sue does volunteer work since she recently retired, and I love this quote and the way it flows, so I thought it was perfect.  I had to curve the stem a bit more to make it fit width-wise, but I think it works.  The dandelion puff is stamped in Crème Brûlée and then I carefully just rolled the edges of the puff in Sunset.  This is called "Rock and Roll" and it's a really fun technique.  Play around with it!  BUT always stamp in the lighter ink first so as not to contaminate your ink pads!!!!

Hope it was a really Happy Birthday, Sue!!
Love, Karen