Saturday, October 31, 2009

I feel like giving away some free blog candy!

Here's my treat for you on this Halloween. Everyone who leaves a comment telling me their favorite Close to my Heart stamp set under this post gets a chance to win one of every one of the seven Christmas cards I made at my Christmas card workshop AND a mini stamp set with the matching block! You must post your favorite stamp set by midnight tonight when Halloween ends!! I do moderate all comments so it may take a few minutes for yours to show up. Winner will be announced tomorrow!

Friday, October 30, 2009

H1N1 shots

Wow, what a line! This is what we stood in for 3 hours and 15 minutes in the rain and freezing cold. This will definitely be a scrapbook moment. The one nice thing was how great all the people in line were to each other. Someone even gave my son a rain poncho. It is moments like this that make for a close family experience, literally! We huddled together and shuffled each step of the line making sure that everyone was blocked from the wind. Our family will never forget this day.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Much Happiness card

I hope this card comes across as pretty in pictures as it is in person. I can't stop looking at it here at home!! I used the Life Delights paper, a favorite of my upline, Michelle. I haven't pulled out this paper in a long time and I'm not sure why because it's one of my favorites too. Who can resist that color combination, lilac, pink, light green and off white, beautiful! Cut your pieces as follows:

8 1/2 by 5 1/2 card base, colonial white cardstock
1 1/4 by 5 1/2 sweet leaf cardstock
3 by 3/4 pattern paper
3 by 4 3/4 lilac mist cardstock
4 1/4 by 1/2 colonial white cardstock
2 by 2 colonial white cardstock
2 1/4 by 2 1/4 blush cardstock
(3) 3/4 by 3/4 squares of blush cardstock

As usual, you can distress if you like with lilac mist and a foam tool.

Glue the lilac mist large piece on the right hand side flush with bottom and right side. Glue the sweet leaf strip on the left side flush with the fold.

Attach pattern piece up at the top of the card above the lilac mist piece.

Using Kanji Phrases stamp set, stamp the "much happiness" stamp on the 2 by 2 square in sweet leaf. Yes, I do like this stamp set, it just looks romantic and beautiful.

Use the "much happiness" stamp in blush under the symbol.

Attach to the blush 2 1/4 by 2 1/4 mat then to the top of the lilac mist piece about a 1/4 inch down from top. Glue down the three small squares to the left bottom of the sweet leaf strip about 1/8 inch apart.

Stamp on the skinny colonial white stamp, "much happiness," you can do it twice, I made mine run off the edge, I would have done it twice if I had it to do again. Use sweet leaf ink.

Glue that strip along the bottom but not flush with the bottom, just up a little bit.

Now add some lilac mist brads as shown, I saw this look in one of our older catalogs and loved it. The card is simple but beautiful. The distressing really makes this in person, such a soft sweet look. I hope you'll try out this card.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Season Shines with Sparkle & Delight

Here's another Christmas card using unusual colors (who says we have to always go with red and green)? For this one I used Aspen paper which is a wintry paper but still not Christmas-y. Cut your pieces as follows:

8 1/2 by 5 1/2 colonial white card base, fold in half
1 1/2 by 1 1/2 colonial white square
1 3/4 by 1 3/4 square out of pattern paper
2 x 2 colonial white square
4 x 1 1/2 strip of pattern paper
1 x 4 1/4 strip of twilight cardstock
1 1/2 by 4 1/4 strip of colonial white cardstock
1/2 by 4 1/4 strip of colonial white cardstock
4 1/4 by 5 1/2 outdoor denim cardstock

Distress all with outdoor denim ink if desired.

Take the outdoor denim card front and dry emboss if you like. I used my new Cuddlebug to do it but you can use a trimmer, dry embossing tool and a sanding block too.

Glue the pattern paper strip down about an inch from the top and put the twilight strip on top of it centered (not shown).

Take the smallest white square and stamp the present from the Holiday Warmth set (October's stamp of the month) in outdoor denim, diagonally.

Glue that piece to the two mats that it fits.

Attach that whole piece to the card, line up the corners so they are centered in the middle of the twilight strip.

Now stamp the sentiment "The Season Shines with Sparkle and Delight" on the last piece of white cardstock and attach to the bottom right of the card about a half inch up from the bottom and flush with the right hand side. It's an easy card that you can change simply by using a different pack of paper and stamp set for any occasion. Have fun and check back tomorrow to see a pretty spring colored greeting card.

Friday, October 23, 2009

How to use a blending pen

I'm hoping to share a few more techniques with you this month. Today this card demonstrates the use of a blending pen. Blending pens look like markers with no ink. You can use them with water like I did yesterday with the watercolors or another way is to use them with your ink pads like I'm going to show you today. For this cute snowmen card you will need to use some Magic Moments paper. Cut it using these measurements:

8 1/2 by 5 1/2 card base - colonial white
5 1/2 by 4 1/4 card front - Indian corn blue dotted pattern paper
1 x 3 1/2 strips, you'll need 4 of these - sweet leaf pattern paper
1 x 5 1/2 strip - colonial white
1/2 x 3 strip - colonial white

Distress using cocoa ink.

Attach the four identical strips as shown below. They don't have to be exactly the same amount of space apart. Don't get perfectionistic!!

Stamp the cute little snowmen from Snow Friends across the larger colonial white strip using Indian corn blue ink.

Using cocoa ink stamp the sentiment of your choice from the Card Chatter - Christmas set (first part of the sentence) on the smaller colonial white strip.

****Now you know, if you were to buy both of these stamp sets on November 3rd that you'd be able to choose a third set for free???? And because both of these sets are $22.95 that means your third set could be that much too? I'm just saying........

Stamp the second part of the sentiment inside the card, how sweet!

Now squeeze your sweet leaf stamp pad together BEFORE you open it up. Once you open it you'll see that you now have a nice coating of the sweet leaf ink on the top of the lid. You now have a little palette to work with. Take your blending pen and dip it into the ink and begin to color in the hats and buttons of your snowmen. Be careful not to go over the same area too many times or it can get your paper wet and it will start to shred. To clean a blending pen, just wipe it on scrap paper in between colors.

You can add a little Indian corn blue color under the snowmen if you like. I'm not so sure I liked it once I was finished.

Attach about a 1/4 inch up from the bottom of the card making sure it's flush with left and right edges.

Take some twill or other ribbon and glue it about 1/4 inch down from the top of the card, fold it around the back and glue too.

Attach small sentiment to the right of the twill.

Cut a piece of new twill and tie it in a knot and attach with glue to the left hand side of the card (this is much easier than trying to tie a knot from the twill lying on the card). Glue the whole thing to the card base and you're finished!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stampaganza! It's Coming!! November 3-30!

The best Close to my Heart special is back! Starting November 3-30 you can buy two stamp sets and get one free! Awesome!! You're going to want to take advantage of this special promotion. The promotion works if you go through my website or if you contact me directly. Make sure if you do go through the website that you read carefully all the messages that pop up so you can add your free stamp set properly. Also, if you think you are going to be ordering a lot (over $150 worth of products) it's always best to go through me directly so I can get you hostess rewards on your order! You will not get those going through my website. If you live in the West Michigan or Northern Indiana area you will want to book a party with me because this special brings in big sales and you can reap the rewards in the form of hostess freebies. Call me at (989) 906-6420 or email me at to book today!

Here are more details:

Dates: November 3-30

Purchase any two stamp sets (sizes A, B, C, D, and/or E only) at full retail price and receive a third stamp set of your choice for FREE (of equal or lesser value)—a savings of up to $22.95 US / $28.50 CAN! That means the least expensive of the three stamp sets is the free one!

Stamp sets that count toward the qualifying purchase include full-priced A, B, C, D, and E-size sets only. Stamps that do not qualify toward a qualifying purchase include Stamp of the Month, Art & Soul, Workshops on the Go™, and customized (K) stamps.

No tax is charged on FREE stamp sets. Shipping costs still apply.

There is no limit, every two stamps sets you buy, you get the equal or lesser value stamp for free.

Isn't this the best? Call me now and let's get you some free stamp sets!

How to use watercolor pencils

I have a confession. I have a party on Sunday and the hostess' friend wanted to learn how to use watercolor pencils, the ones we sell. Well, even though I've owned them for over a year, I had never actually tried out the pencils. What a mistake. Today I took them out and I LOVE THEM!! I made a cute little Halloween card to show you how easy they are to use. I chose some unusual paper for this particular card. This set is Caprice, Level Two paper. The card is a 3 x 3 size and here on the measurements:

6 x 3 colonial white cardstock, fold in half
3 x 3 cocoa cardstock
1 x 3 pattern paper
1/2 x 3 pattern paper
2 x 2 colonial white cardstock
2 1/4 by 2 1/4 crystal blue cardstock

Distress everything with cocoa ink.

I recently bought a Cuttlebug so that I could do some easy embossing with my card fronts. Here I embossed the 3 x 3 cocoa piece.

Doesn't this look cool? Love this machine.

Glue the 1 x 3 strip down 1/4 inch from the right of the cocoa cardstock square.

Attach the 1/2 by 3 strip to the left of that piece.

Use StazOn ink when using watercolors, it won't smear. I used the Merry Monsters set for this Halloween card, love these little guys.

Here are the watercolor pencils in honey, cocoa, and crystal blue. They look like regular colored pencils.

Scribble the pencil inside of the stamped area. You do not need to fill up the areas, make it easy on yourself, the water and blending pen will do the work.

Use a blending pen, dip it into some water and wipe off excess on the side. (Looks like I need a new uncracked bowl)!!

Paint with water (remember those old color books where you did this?) blending the watercolor pencil color around, go back for more water as needed.

Here's the colored in piece, honey on the eye, crystal blue on the body.

Attach to the crystal blue mat.

Glue onto the card front, down to the lower left, about 1/4 inch or so from side and bottom. Use a wiry brush if you like to add mini dots all over the white space.

Use a scrap piece of paper to stamp the "eek" word on, then cut it out and distress.

Attach it with a pop dot to the card front and you are done. Very cute and very simple. I think I have learned a good lesson, the watercolor pencils are now going to be a staple in my stamping.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Really quick Christmas card

Are you worried that you won't have time to make homemade Christmas cards? Well, here's a very fast card. You need a card base that measures 8 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches, a pattern paper strip measuring 3 by 5 1/2 inches, a strip of pattern paper 1 by 5 1/2 inches and one piece of cardstock 2 by 2 inches. All papers should be from the same set. I used Evensong. Distress everything with New England Ivy ink.

Attach the larger paper to the top of the card, along the fold. Attach the skinny strip below it but let about an eighth of an inch of the card base show. Stamp a sentiment on the blank edge of the card base. I used "laughing all the way" from the December Word Puzzle set with New England Ivy ink.

You can cut off the corners of the 2 x 2 square with a pretty corner punch then re-distress it. Stamp the ornament from the word puzzle set in Cranberry ink after turning the square diagonally.

Now glue that piece down to the right hand side of the card. I used the squares on the paper to make sure I put it on straight. It should go about a 1/2 inch from both the top and right hand side of the card. Now stamp a big Happy Holidays inside the card and you are done!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Deck the Halls Christmas card

Here's another one of the cards from my workshop. I used Jingle paper on this card. When I first saw this paper in the catalog I wasn't sure I'd like it but it really looks amazing on cards and layouts so now it's a favorite. For this 5 1/2 by 4 1/4 inch card you need the following cut papers:

8 1/2 by 5 1/2 card base - white
3 x 3 square - white
3 1/4 x 3 1/4 - juniper
11 - 1 1/4 inch squares cut out of one of the pretty pattern papers from the set. I made two different looks so you can see how you can squeeze every last scrap out of this paper pack.
1 - 1 1/2 inch circle - white

Distress everything in juniper ink.

Take the squares and line them up along the bottom of the card, spacing them fairly evenly. I found that doing them in a line using the edge of the card helped me get the rest of them on straight.

Work up from the bottom, no need to put a square in the left center since it'll be covered up. Tombow adhesive works great on these.

Using the Holiday Trinkets stamp set stamp the ornament base stamp in tulip ink but stamp it off on a piece of scrap paper.

Now roll just the edges of the ornament stamp back in the tulip ink. You can see through the block to make sure you have a nice even coating of ink on the whole outside edge of the stamp.

Stamp directly on the 3 x 3 square this time. Use one of the decorating stamps on the set (there are four) to ink in tulip and stamp in the center of the ornament. Use the "string" stamp to give your ornament something to hold onto!

Use one of the decorative snowflake stamps to fill in the area around your ornament.

When I have super white paper like this I like to fill it up using this little wiry brush that comes with our texture tools set. I cannot tell you how many sets of these I have sold once I demonstrated this cool brush. Ink it up on your juniper pad and stamp it on the ornament embellishment, reinking as necessary.

It will look like this when finished, little tiny dots.

Attach to the 3 1/4 by 3 1/4 juniper cardstock.

Put this whole decoration on the left hand side of your card about 1/2 inch down from the top and side.

Now for the glitter, use a glue pen to put dots of adhesive in the center of the snowflakes then wherever you like on the ornament.

Pour prisma glitter over the glue and let set for a few minutes, especially if you used a lot like I did!

Shake it off into your craft tray.

Use the Deck the Halls sentiment on the circle in juniper ink.

Once the glitter is dry, attach the Deck the Halls piece. If you want to avoid extra postage you shouldn't use a pop dot but if it will be hand-delivered, it makes a cool look.

Here's the card using different mats and background square. Imagine what you could do!