Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Magical Inspiration for CTMH Featured Products Blog Hop

Hello and welcome back to another round of the Close To My Heart Featured Products Blog Hop, where this week we will be inspiring you with projects made from the Magical paper kit.  This is such a fresh, energetic kit that I dare you to work with it and not feel happy, lol.  Blog hops are circular things so you should have found your way here from Jen's blog blog but you are welcome to jump in anywhere along the way and just follow the links until you've made the rounds, but don't forget to hop on over to Corinna's blog when you're done here.

For my project this week, I chose to make a card for my husband's birthday on July 5th.  He was an only child, adopted when his parents when were turning 50 years old so they had waited a long time to welcome a child into their lives... so you can just imagine how spoiled he was!  LOL  With his birthday falling so close to the 4th of July holiday, he has always had a big celebration for his birthday and in the last few years this has evolved into a self-proclaimed "birthday season," which starts on Father's Day and lasts through his actual birthday or whatever our last big family event of the summer happens to be.  So it should be no surprise that I have already made him one birthday card, which was a fun 4th-themed one, but I decided our daughter can give that one to him and I made him this one.  My husband and I started out in the same school district, we met - and he absolutely terrified me at our kindergarten roundup - but my parents divorced and we moved to the next town/school district.  We never officially met again until shortly after we had graduated our respective high schools but we have laughed over how many times our paths must have crossed in between, with him living less than 1/2 a mile from my best friend, which in the country is pretty much next door, and I worked at a popular restaurant he can remember going to many times, so I thought it would be fun to make a card celebrating not only my husband being forever young at heart but the fun story of the first time we met.  Now I can't wait to give this to him and laugh over it together, all over again.

Happy crafting and have a fun and safe 4th of July!  ~~  Annette

Here is the complete list of blog hop participants this week:

1.  Jenifer Benner

2.  Annette Clark (here)

3.  Corinna Murphy

details:  As stated, I used the Magical paper kit.  This one features multiple bright colors so I made a point to use each one of them in this card.  I started with a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2" card base in Sapphire and this multi-colored heart patterned paper cut at 4 x 5 1/4."  The center piece of white CS measures 2 1/4 x 3 1/4" and it is backed by a 2 1/2 x 3 1/2" piece of Crystal Blue CS.  I didn't cut the banner to any certain size but just stamped on a scrap of white CS and cut it down to size so it measures approximately 9/16 x 3" and the yellow dotted background paper is 13/16 x 3 1/4."  The "happy birthday" sentiment is stamped in Sapphire using the Banner Wishes set, and I used a long-retired stamp set called "Childhood Portrait" for the grass, tree, and boy/girl images.  I used two different small heart images from the Forever In My Heart set in Cranberry ink.  The final touch was a bow made from Whisper Thick Twine.

Shaker Birthday Card for AHSC #166

I can't wait to share this fabulous sketch Michelle Stewart has given us to work with this week at Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge  #166.  Isn't it great?!?!  There are so many possibilities for this one but I needed a really special card for my sweet husband's birthday, which is July 5th.  Some people who have a birthday on or close to a holiday feel slighted but that's not the case for my guy.  He was adopted by a 50-year old couple who had never had children and lived on a farm, and other than numerous family dinners he didn't get to just "run around town" or hang out with kids his own age outside of school.  The exception, however, was the 4th of July:  both of the small towns nearest where he grew up had really big annual events either on the 4th or the weekend after, and my in-laws couldn't always keep up with their spirited and rambunctious son so these were the only times they just turned him loose, and this his how his "birthday season" began at an early age, lol.  In past years I have made him cards to celebrate his "season" but never one that really had a 4th of July theme, so that's what I went with this time.  Also, I really wanted to make a shaker card at long last, lol.

The details are a little long for this one so I will add those at the end.  I really do love this week's sketch and I want to encourage you to play along with us at AHSC (don't forget, you have until 9:55 pm Central time on Sunday evenings) or at least check out the other projects based on this fabulous sketch.  Also, we are recruiting for a few more design team members and you can check out the details concerning that or share your project by going to this post.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy 4th of July!!!

details:  For the base of the card I cut a 4 1/2" card base from Pomegranate CS and a 4 1/4" square from Whisper and layered them.  I cut a 4 x 2" panel of Sapphire CS and ran it through the confetti stars embossing folder and sanded the raised image so the stars stood out.  I cut another 4 x 2" piece of this striped paper for the bottom half; sorry, I don't know the brand BUT you could easily duplicate this card by using strips of CS and a star punch or the row of stars image from the Artistry Cricut cartridge (p. 41 of the booklet) or the cut out star on p.50.  I also added a piece of white and gold ribbon where the two panels met.
For the shaker part in the center of the card, I used the Art Philosophy cartridge for the gold glitter paper star (/layer/shift at 2 1/2") and then I cut the same image several times with white CS and hand trimmed out the swirls so I had just the outline shape.  I cut apart a damaged page protector and glued it to the back of the gold star, trimmed it down, and then glued the remaining white stars on layer by layer.  I took an off brand 1/4" star punch to some scraps of dollar store foil craft papers, dropped them "inside" the star, and backed it with a cut of the same star's base image so that the shaker had a solid back.  
I finished off the card by stamping and fussy cutting two images from the retired "Kaboom" stamp set (the June 2014 SOTM) in Whisper, Pomegranate, and black inks.  I had initially planned to use an off-brand gold ink for the "you're the bomb" image but the words didn't stand out quite well enough.  Luckily there was some gray in the striped paper and I realized I had used Whisper for the card base to complement that, so I was able to go with Whisper ink for to tie that color/image in.  This was a little more elaborate card than I usually do for my husband but he's especially excited for his birthday this year since he gets a 6-day weekend and we have several day trips and family get events planned, so I think he'll get a kick out of it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Calypso Birthday for Between The Folds Challenge

Hello, crafty friends!  It's officially summer and here at my home in Iowa that means heat, humidity, and lots of family get-togethers for all the summer holidays and birthdays, particularly my sister's and husband's as their celebrations are just days apart and fall on either side of the 4th of July.  Luckily, the theme this week over at the Between The Folds challenge is birthdays and the theme over at Heart 2 Heart Challenges is Calypso paper!  My sister is a big fan of pink and I already had the paper, stamps, and embellishments in mind, I knew her card would come together quickly so I created hers first.  She is a sweet, gentle soul so I wanted to create a soft but whimsical card for her.  Hopefully this will bring a big smile to her face and earn me a hug!  

details:  I started with a piece of Lagoon CS and the speckled Calypso paper for the card base.  Then I cut the and corresponding layer from the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge (p. 52 of the booklet) at 3 1/2", the plain oval image in white and the layer image in Calypso's pink watercolor-looking paper.  For the accents, I used the turquoise blueleaf greenpeony purple, and tender pink alcohol makers to color the retired Opaques faux pearl gems.  Each of the stamped images was done with Black Memento Ink and fussy cut from the May Stamp of the Month, Celebrate With Cake, using a scrap piece of the striped 4x 6" printed piece for the candle and the yellow and white wide-striped Calypso paper for the banner with Lagoon ink for the sentiment.

And that's all there is to that one!  Thanks for stopping by to take a look and please take time to check out all the fabulous birthday-themed projects at this week's BTF Challenge, and we'd love to see your creations too!  Entries for BTF can be linked up until 10:55 p.m. Central on Monday, 7/4, and the Calypso challenge over at Heart 2 Heart runs through June 30th.  Happy crafting!  ~~  Annette

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

CTMH Featured Products Blog Hop featuring Father's Day Stamp Sets

Hello and welcome to our CTMH Featured Products Blog Hop. This week we are bringing you projects showcasing Father's Day Stamps.  If you have just joined us you can start here and continue on, as this is a circular hop or if you get lost along the way you can find the complete list at the end of this post.   If you came here from Jen's blog you are in the right place.  I have a couple of projects to show you today so let's get to the fun stuff!

This first card is one I created last night for a sketch-based challenge (details can be found here). 

This lovely card is shared with permission from Ronda Teachout LaDuke.  It features the retired Jackson papers and the new Happy Father's Day stamp.

Here's the project I created today.  I used the retired Timberline paper and color palette, The Best Dad Ever stamp set, and a little fussy cut piece of bronze shimmer trim to add a flashy band to the hat.  The individual pieces are set on a piece of Chocolate CS that has been embossed with the retired woodgrain folder.

Thanks again for stopping by and please take time to hop on over to Corinna's blog to see what she has made for you.  Please take time to check out all the projects are hoppers have created for you, and don't forget to stop back on Wednesday, 6/29, at 8 pm Central as we will be inspiring you with projects featuring the Magical Workshops Your Way kits.  Until then, happy crafting!  ~~  Annette

Complete list of blogs participating:

1.  Corinna's blog

2.  Jenifer's blog

3.  Annette's blog (here)

Recycled Urban Father's Day Card for AHSC #164

I can't begin to tell you how much fun I had with this card!  Not just making it, but choosing the recycled elements and getting it photographed, too!  Let me tell you the story behind this special card.  I started with this sketch by Michelle Stewart for Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge #164 (I will also be entering this in the Heart 2 Heart - Ties That Bind challenge featuring Father's Day themes).  This is a fantastic sketch but I admit it took me a bit to figure out what I wanted to do with it, but when inspiration struck I was off and running -- and driving!

My daughter doesn't get into paper crafts but she asked if I would make a card she could give her dad for  Father's Day, and together we picked out the stamps and papers to use.  All non-recycled materials are CTMH products:  both panels of paper as well as the zip strip beneath the triangle studs are from the Urban paper kit.  The sentiment/badge was stamped with the retired Perfect Fit - Dad set using Sapphire and Saddle inks.  I used the retired 2" scalloped punch and Saddle CS for the main part of the badge and I played around with scraps until I got shapes I was pleased with for the tails.  To distress those pieces, I just swiped them back and forth over the edge of the Saddle ink pad a few times.  Tip: I used the triangle border punch on the zip strip, fussy cut the edges to remove all the triangles pointing in one direction so I ended up with a "picket fence" looking border.  Then I placed the triangle studs on the remaining triangles that had been punched out, and this made it much easier to keep all those little triangles aligned.

The fun part is that the tag the sentiment is adhered to and the 3-D looking strip above the triangle studs are recycled materials from my husband's job where he has worked for 20 years machining steel shafts into "pulleys" or what is better described as the rolling tubes that conveyors are made of, like the ones in luggage carousels at airports or the small conveyors you put your groceries on at the cashier's counter.  Anyway, these are the shipping tags they use to on each palette of products they send out the door, and the 3-D material is corrugated cardboard; they get it in 3 1/2" tall rolls which they use to protect pieces that stick out at each end, and when I'm doing laundry I'm always finding unused tags and cardboard scraps in his shirt pockets.

Now here is the part I *really* had fun with... I do most of my crafting in the overnight hours while my husband is at work, which makes it hard to get good lighting to showcase the finished projects so I'm always trying something different.  I only had 1 hour to spare when I completed the card and inspiration struck again... since this is such a masculine card and it actually includes elements from my husband's work, AND we live only 1 1/2 miles from his work place, I got in my car at 3:15 a.m. and went to visit my hubby during his last break of the night.  Then with a little help from his coworkers to distract him for a minute, I was able to take a photo with the card sitting on a palette of finished pulleys that was sitting between the break room and the door - which is all the further visitors are allowed so I won't even get my husband in trouble, lol.  Here's the photo of the card sitting on a palette of finished pulleys, isn't this a fitting Father's Day card for our "man of steel?"

Here's a photo of the inside of the card.  I used the Day for Dad stamp set. I inked the stamp with Sapphire first, carefully wiped the ink off the images at the top and bottom and then touched the stamp along the edges of the Saddle ink pad to get just those parts in a different color.  I also stamped part of the image on a spare piece of Saddle CS using Sapphire ink again and then fussy cut the banner from the image and adhered it over the banner already stamped on the card, so I could carry the colors from the front of the card to the inside as well.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look, and a special thanks if you actually read this whole post, lol.  Happy crafting!  ~~  Annette

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Calypso Cheer for Between The Folds Challenge #23

Hello!  Here in the midwestern part of the USA we are experiencing an early dose of summer so it was especially delightful to sit in my air conditioning as I worked with the soothing colors of the Calypso paper kit for this week's project at Between The Folds Challenge #23.
I really wanted to send a pretty card full of care and support for a woman in our community who just diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  She is an inspiring teacher at our local high school and has a huge team of family, friends, current and former students, and her and her husband's coworkers behind her and we're all trying to help her and her family in any way we can.  I wanted a large card and envelope so I can include several gift cards, some hand crafted thank you notes, stamps, etc.

details:  All papers used for this card are from the Calypso paper kit.  I started by adhering a 5.75" square piece of the lightly speckled piece onto a 6" square piece of the lagoon patterned paper.  Then I used the Artistry Cricut cartridge (p.28 of the booklet or the background function/k key at 5 inches real dial size) and made one cut in the black patterned paper, then carefully measured and adjusted my starting point so I could get the same cut out of the 4x6-inch striped piece of the PML page of the kit.  I adhered the black piece and then pieced the striped heart pieces into place.  I used the discontinued Card Chatter - Sympathy card in Lagoon ink for the sentiment.

Thanks for stopping by and please take time to head on over to Between The Folds Challenge Blog to check out the rest of the projects created by our talented design team and participants.  We would love to see what you can create with the fun colors in the Calypso kit, and you have until 10:55 pm Central time on Monday, 6/19, to link your projects.

Happy crafting!  ~~  Annette

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Display Trays for CTMH Featured Products Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to this installment of the CTMH Featured Products Blog Hop where this time we are bringing projects made from the Hinged or Large Display Trays.  I love these frames, and the best thing about them is that they give you a fun and unique way to showcase a collection of photos and artwork that are too special to only stay in the pages of your scrapbooks!  This can be a super busy time of year between the end of school year activities and the start of the summer holidays and vacations, so this time out it's just Corinna and myself, but we have worked hard to bring you some inspiring projects!  Here is my first one, and I will be adding another one to this post a little later this evening.

When I started preparing for this hop, I was surprised to realize I had never posted this project.  It featured the Free To Be Me paper kit that CTMH put out to celebrate National Scrapbooking Month in May 2014.  I'd had a specific group of photos in mind for the large display tray but there were several different color values in my pics and I was really struggling to get them to come together.  So I was beyond happy when I saw that this paper kit just what I needed to complete this special project, but then I was absolutely thrilled when I found out mine was one of 19 featured in a contest on Jeanette Lynton's blog for this kit. (You can still see it and the other selections at

I went in a different direction for the hinged display tray.  Earlier this week I had completed a layout of my favorite photo of my mother (which can be seen here) using the long-retired Paper Garden paper kit.  I was very pleased with how that layout turned out and decided to frame it and hang it over my bedroom dresser.  So today I decided to use inspirational quotes and my favorite stamp sets along with more of the Paper Garden paper to display with the photo of my mom.  I lost all track of time this evening as I just gave myself over to "playing;" I let the creative process run its own course and tried some my hand at blending and used some new products with the old.  It was great, and now I have something to add to my dresser display I've been working on.  This may sound silly, but since I have been dealing with chronic pain for the last year and a half, I have found it helps to start my day with something beautiful that inspires me to focus on the positive and keep creating.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out Corinna's blog where she also has 2 products to  show you.  I hope you can stop back by later to see an additional project with the Hinged Display Tray, and I invite you to join us again on 6/15/16 when we will be featuring projects using CTMH's Father's Day stamps.  Until then, happy crafting!  ~~  Annette

details:  For the large Display Tray, all papers are from the Free To Be Me set.  Stamps used include Love (A1131), a discontinued set called Card Chatter-Focus On You, and Feathers stamp set using an off-brand gold ink.
For the hinged display tray, I used the discontinued Paper Garden stamps and stickers as well as several inks that are also retired.  I started with sponging Blush and Vineyard Berry on the "happiness is..." card from the new Picture My Life Watercolor cards in gold, and I added "being a" from the Glamour lowercase alpha set.  The "design a life you love" sentiment is from a consultants' exclusive stamp set in Petal ink.  The panel beneath that is made of Paper Garden stickers.  For the larger panel in the center, I sponged and blended Buttercup, Blush, and Petal inks on the star patterned card from the clear Picture My Life Watercolor cards.  The sentiment is from an old set called My One & Only in Chocolate, Vineyard Berry, Petal, Blush, and Buttercup inks.  I used the "so  many reasons to be happy" stamp in Petal from the stamp set that goes with the Artistry Cricut cartridge.  I got the "create" stickers from the Fundamentals Sticker Pack in gold.

Paper Garden for AHS #162

Hello and welcome back, scrappy friends.  I'm very excited to share today's project with you, so let's get right to it!  I started with the sketch the talented Michelle Stewart designed for this week's Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge blog. Next, this project allowed me to combine one of my most precious photographs with a long retired CTMH kit called Paper Garden, which is my all-time favorite -- the first I ever purchased, as a matter of fact.  However, until I sat down to create for this week's challenge, it had never occurred to me to put them together but now I am so glad I still had some saved back.

details:  All papers and stickers are from the Paper Garden kit.  I cut the cream colored piece at 11 x 11", the photo mat at 6 1/2" on each side to allow a 1/4" border.  The "beautiful" title is a one-piece, preprinted sticker and for the matting, I simply placed the sticker on a strip of the same patterned paper as the base page and cut it down so that it left a 1/8" border.  The horizontal strip behind the photo is another preprinted sticker, and for just a little more visual interest I added the butterfly and pink flower stickers to the left of the title from the same sticker set (the flowers on the right side of the title are a part of that design).  For the corners, I took a 2 1/4" square and cut it from corner to corner in an "X" to form 4 triangles.

In case you are curious, the photo is of my mother and little brother when she had just turned 32 years old (he was 3) as she was explaining to us kids about the diagnosis she had just received of a rare and particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, which ultimately claimed her life.  At a glance, you might not think of this particular photo as "beautiful," but my mother had an amazing strength and grace and she was one of the most courageous, determined, and compassionate souls I have ever met...  a truly beautiful woman, and one I aspire to be more like every day.

Thanks for stopping by and please remember to check out all the fabulous projects from the other design team members and participants over at AHSC #162.  And don't forget, you have until 10 pm Central on Sunday, 6/3/16, to link up your project too, we'd love to see what you can do with this awesome sketch!  ~~  Annette