Friday, February 14, 2014

Nobody's Perfect

If I had to sum up what I have learned from 27 years of marriage it would be "neither of us is perfect, but we are perfect for each other."  Of course, I couldn't find a stamp set that said that so I based my card around including that as a hand written sentiment inside the card.  There is also one stamp that has reminded me of my husband from the first time I saw it in an Idea Book so when I saw this week's sketch at Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge as well as the "hearts galore" theme at the Heart 2 Heart challenge blog, I knew this would be the "perfect" time to ink it up.

details:  All products are from CTMH.  I broke out my discontinued "For Always" paper kit and the stamp set that came with the scrapbooking Workshop On The Go.  In case you aren't familiar with those papers, they are all variations of black and white but they take on color very well so I used my (discontinued) Tulip ink pad to add color to the flowered paper.  I also used the Tulip ink to stamp the heart image and Tulip paper to back the checklist stamp.  I used Black Shimmer Trim for the horizontal stripe and one of the Clear Sparkle Flourishes.  I sponged black ink around both the cardstock base for the checklist as well as the stamped heart and I also used pop up adhesive behind the heart to add a little dimension.
For the inside of the card I used the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge to cut the heart and black ink to edge the heart and stamp the sentiment from the In The Moment set which reads, "The best love is the one that makes you a better person without changing you into someone other than yourself".  After I had adhered the heart I thought it was lacking a little something so I carefully peeled it up and used the Flight of the Arrows set for a little background flair.  Of course, since I added this touch at the last minute and *after* I had all the layers on the front of the card, the image didn't stamp  perfectly but I minimized that a little by offsetting the heart and even with the imperfect stamping I like it better this way than with the heart centered on a plain background.  Finally, even though I hate my handwriting I included the handwritten note about not being perfect.  I have to say, this is *the* perfect Valentine for my handsome, charming, and very patient husband!

Happy Valentine's Day to all!  Annette

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wild About Love

We all have those weeks where daily life gets in the way of our crafting, and this was one of those weeks.  Nothing big, just lots of little things to keep me a little extra busy so it was taking me longer than usual to figure out what I wanted to try with this week's color combination at Color My Heart (which was Ruby, Cotton Candy, and Sunset) and the sketch at CAS(E) This Sketch.  So even though I didn't make the deadline for either challenge I found that I still wanted to make it, even if it was just a chance to get my fingers inky again.  :-)
details:  All products are from CTMH.  The border is from the Sarita paper kit, the banner was stamped with Ruby ink on Cotton Candy cardstock using the discontinued (but still my go-to) Tiny Typewriter alpha.  All  the other stamped images are from the February Stamp of the Month, "Wild About Love."  I even used the small heart from that set to stamp on the opposite side of the patterned paper I used for the border and then I just cut the heart out so the side I wanted to use was the right shape but free from ink.  I also sponged the edges of the banner with Ruby and stamped the "wild thing" image on a shape I cut with the Art Philosophy cartridge.  This makes me think of grade school Valentines and makes me nostalgic for the days when I had little ones that age.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

a valentine for my sweetheart

Even though I had a card in mind based on this week's sketch at the Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge, I hadn't planned on crafting but my sweet husband is quite under the weather today and has barely left the couch (which is right beside my craft area) so I have been keeping him company while making a Valentine's card for him.  I will also be entering this card in this week's challenge at the Heart 2 Heart challenge blog (where the theme is 'let love inspire you') and the Pile It On challenge where the theme is dots and/or stripes.
details:  All products are from Close To My Heart.  I used the retired Sweetheart paper kit (one I've been hoarding forever, lol) which features Cotton Candy as well as the discontinued colors Baby Pink and Tulip.  I used the Art Philosophy cartridge for the lacy hearts border and the shape I stamped the sentiment on, and I used my Gypsy to "hide" the cutout pieces in order to make my own "shadow" on black cardstock to place behind  the pale pink to make it stand out.  I used black ink to stamp the sentiment from last year's January stamp of the month, Happy Valentine's.  I also  used all 3 sizes of black sparkles that come in the package to anchor the empty space on the tag.  FYI, the horizontal border at the top of the card was pieced together from various strips of the Sweetheart scraps, as I felt like it needed something to balance that space and that element needed to have some color but not be as busy as the main paper.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Valentine's Day to you and  your loved ones!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

hearts aflutter for combined challenges

I have chosen one of Close To My Heart's new paper kits for this card which was inspired by the sketch at Freshly Made Sketches and this week's color combo at CAS - Colours and Sketches.  I used a dragonfly image for my main motif and I was going for a very light, ethereal look which came out well in person but was very hard to photograph.

details:  All products are from CTMH.  All 3 designer papers are from the new Skylark paper kit.  I used Chocolate cardstock for the base and used Chocolate, Sweet Leaf and Lagoon inks to sponge/stamp the discontinued Quick Cards - Dragonfly card which is discontinued, BUT there is a dragonfly stamp included in the Skylark scrapbooking Workshop On The Go (mine hasn't arrived yet and I was just too impatient to wait for it, lol).

 On a side note, I originally posted this card without the Lagoon and white diagonal stripe border but decided it needed a little pop of color since I had gone so light with the dragonfly, so the original version is shown below.

Thanks for stopping by & happy crafting!  Annette

{original version}

Friendship card for combined challenges

I first met my best friend in August 1981 and there have been a few brief times when we've fallen out of contact but they never last long and they never affect the quality of our friendship, and we have been through some really tough times together.  I can't imagine my life without her friendship but I don't often tell her how much I appreciate her, and I think this card will be perfect to do just that.  I found the inspiration for this card in this week's Color My Heart challenge as well as the current sketch at CAS(E) This Sketch.
details:  There were two color combos to choose from this week at Color My Heart and I chose the Creme Brulee, Goldrush, Olive, and Twilight combo and used the discontinued Florentine paper (both sides of one piece of designer paper).  I cut the hearts on the banner out of a scrap of the same paper and cut a strip of bronze shimmer tape down the middle and attached it to accent the banner.  I used cocoa ink to stamp the sentiment from the discontinued stamp set "Buttoned Together."

Happy crafting!  Annette

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

a little card with lots of encouragement

When I saw this week's sketch at Retro Sketches I knew what stamps I wanted to ink up and I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to use for embellishments but then this one took on a life of its own!  I had to keep the card size at 3 1/2 x 3 1/2" to make good use of the stamps I wanted to use for the front and I had to vary from the sketch a bit and use 4 strips instead of the 3 shown in the sketch, but I tried a couple of new things on this card and was pleased with how they turned out.  Despite the card's small size, I still managed to pack a lot of encouragement into it and I plan to send it to my daughter for a little pick me up  as she has a really busy week coming up at college and she's at that midway point from when this term started and spring break begins.

details:  All products are from CTMH.  I started with the Laughing Lola.  The strips are made from the flip side of the magenta patterned paper and the zip strip from that paper.  I started off with the frame stamp in the Family Photo set (a Hostess Rewards set from the autumn/winter '13 Idea Book) and the sentiment is from the Paisley Perfect set stamped in black ink on Lagoon cardstock.  I have been experimenting with CTMH's  shimmer tape and found it can be cut with decorative edged scissors so I covered the frame image with black shimmer trim and trimmed with scalloped edged scissors.  For added embellishments, I used purple glitter gems and made my own bakers twine by twisting black and purple embroidery floss together with a strand of metallic silver I pulled from some metallic twine from another kit.  For the inside of the card, I used the A Typeface set in black ink.  I used gold embossing powder with the frame from the Laughing Lola cardmaking WOTG and the other sentiment from the Paisley Perfect set on black cardstock.  I used the Artbooking Cricut cartridge to cut the "be yourself" banner and the sentiment "always and forever" and then just fussy cut as I just wanted to use the "always."  I also used the Artbooking cartridge to cut the "1 of a kind" out of the gold cardstock that came in the Lola pack and "sweet" banner out of Gypsy cardstock.  Below are some pictures of how I lined up the shimmer trim on the frame stamp, just in case anyone needs a visual (which I usually do the first time I try something, lol.)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

oodles of fun

Sometimes you have to make a project just because you can, for the pleasure of it and for no other reason than the joy of inking up some new stamps.  The premier of new Idea Books is always an exciting time for CTMH enthusiasts but this is an especially exciting time for me.  I've had a lifelong dream of having some kind of hobby/craft business and for the last few years I've had the goal of slowly building up my business and reputation as a consultant for CTMH so that when I became an empty nester I would be ready to make that dream come true.  I am so happy to say that the last couple of weeks everything has really started coming together just the way I have imagined it:  I get to share a hobby I am passionate about, meet new people, and share new techniques and the delightful products CTMH designs.  So, this pretty much sums up how I'm feeling tonight and I have a hunch when everyone gets to see the Spring/Summer 2014 Idea Book starting today, a lot of folks are going to feel the same way!

details:  Naturally, all products are from CTMH.  The tag layers were cut using the Art Philosophy cartridge using the Dotty For You paper.  Then I arranged letters from the Framework alphabet in the center of the tag and on a separate piece of cardstock.  I then used Cranberry, Cotton Candy, Sunset, Topiary, Lagoon, and Gypsy with the new Oodles of Doodles stamp set to add colors to the stamped image on the spare cardstock, fussy cut each letter, and glued them in place.  I used the Doodle Signs (a hostess rewards exclusive stamp set) for the heart.  Since that image didn't have an outline I simply ran the edges of the piece over my black ink pad so that it would have the same kind of definition as the letters, and I finished the tag off with a strip of (discontinued) white grosgrain ribbon.

Happy crafting!  Annette