Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Close To My Heart - July Stamp of the Month

Well hello! Welcome new friends to my blog - Scrap Happens! Some of my frequent readers may have noticed that I recently joined the ranks of Independent Consultants for Close To My Heart. I am happy to say that this has been a great thing for me! Not only does it allow me access to some of the greatest products available but it also expands my horizons for learning and creating. As a brand new baby consultant I get to learn tons of great things from CTMH and I also get to participate in fun blog hops like this. . . this one is for the CTMH Stamp of the Month! I love blog hops! I am a blog hopaholic! So anyhow. . . 
If you have come here from Janelle's Blog, you are on the right track!!!

If this is your first stop, you may want to go back to Helen's Blog and start at the beginning.

Today, I will be featuring the CTMH July Stamp of the Month which is called "Happy Forever." I had to snag it right away to show you guys just one of the darling examples of My Acrylix stamps that are available. Here is the set. . . ISN'T IT GREAT???
Did you know? I have been following and lurking SOTM blogs the last couple of months because it was a fantastic way to check out the creations and techniques of other CTMH Consultants. Boy, the inspiration is endless! When you see what these other ladies do with the stamps, you will see exactly what I mean. After my very first hop (the April hop - with the cute potted flowers. . .) I knew that this was something that I needed to be a part of.  All right then . . . what does a newbie like me have to offer? Well first of all, thank you for hanging in 'til the end of the hop to visit my site. Here I am, all back of the bus and stuff. :)  I hope that you enjoy your stop! ON WITH THE STAMPS!

One of the best things that I got in my new consultant kit was the little package of clear cards. They are so much fun to work with! I decided that I had to use them for a special occasion - my first CTMH blog hop. For the first card, I ran the front of the card through my Cuttlebug using the dotted embossing folder. I used some paper from the Cherry-O collection and some Tulip and Colonial White colored embelishments and cardstocks. The image was stamped using Chocolate ink and I colored him with brown chalk (Chocolate ink for the second card) and I also used a tiny bit of Sunlower, Pansy Purple and Tulip inks. I used the sponge dauber to distress the edges of the stamped image in Chocolate ink. I love how the clear cards give you the opportunity to see both sides of the beautiful patterned paper that CTMH has to offer. The second card was made using Chocolate to stamp again, and some of the cute papers from the Splendor paper pack. I used a sentiment from the Over the Rainbow stamp set for this one because "Nothing but blue skies" seemed to be the perfect little sentiment for this little guy flying his kite.

Everything that you see here (except for the paper flowers - they are by Flora-Doodle) is available for purchase through My Close To My Heart website! If I can recommend one product from this post it would be the clear cards. I love them and they are a great value. I can't wait to make Christmas cards with them! I can't live without the little "Happy Forever" hedgehog either. . . but remember that he is a Stamp of the Month and that means that he is only available until the end of July! The good news is, if you purchase other products, you can get him for a discount or even for free. Stop over to my store to check it out.

Hop along then and check out what the other Close To My Heart Consultants have to offer! Your next stop is to Nicole . . . and thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chalk and stuff!

Hey guys! The family is up camping in Island Park this week. I got to stop up yesterday and stay for a night. We rode some really fun trails up near Yellowstone. I got to see my mountains. . . oh how that refreshes my soul! :)  While I was gone, Stars & Stamps put up a link to this video that I made for them - it's about using chalks and I hope that everyone can find something useful from this little tutorial. Here is the video if you need the link.

Thanks for stopping by! I had to come back to town to work a few shifts this week but I am really excited about the Stars & Stamps blog tour this weekend - hope to see you guys along the way! I will have something fun for you to stop by and grab too!

Big hugs-

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summery Strawberry Leaves!

Yesterday was the first day of summer. . .yaay! It finally looks like it might be warming up here in the frozen tundra of Idaho . . . although last week there was a morning frost that surely would have killed off my garden if I had planted one this year. I was really hoping for some fresh corn and beans and squash this year but we have had a long cold spring and the planting never got done. Luckily, the strawberry patch comes back every year weather we plant it or not. It is nestled up at the corner of the house where it stayed warmer than other spots and so it is going strong - if we can keep the birds out of the berries we should be in luck for some home made jam and strawberry shortcake! Oh, I hope so!

A while back the gals at OWH were kind enough to share this video on making flowers that look just like pansies. I liked it so much that I spent a morning making piles of paper pansies and that was fun. Since that time I have been looking for inspiration in other foilage. I haven't yet figured out how to make paper columbines or lillies. :) Maybe soon. I did however spend some time looking at the strawberry patch and made this little strawberry card.

Here is a little tut so that you could make your own strawberry leaves - it's really pretty simple.

I cut my strawberries out using my Cricut - Indie Art. Maybe you have that one - or you could hand cut some strawberres pretty easily. I actually made use of my Spring 2010 cartridge and cut out these leaves - they are the scalloped easter eggs. Another way that this could be done would be to just cut egg shapes or ovals and use scalloped scissors to cut the edges.

Next I took the "leaves" and put them in my trimmer and scored down the center. Using the top score mark as a focal point, I scored outward from the same place to about every other scallop. When finished, you simply fold these little score marks gently to give your leaf some shape. You could distress the edges and score marks a little to give them some definition. I adhered the leaves with some flat dots at the far edges and some dimensional dots in the middle so that they pop up nicely from the card. If you are needing my measurements, the strawberries on this card were cut at 2" and 1.5" and the leaves were also cut at 2.5" and 1.5"

Some additional card measurements are 4" x 5.25" for the green mat and 3.75 x 5" for the striped mat. Other materials are a small piece of random green floral wire and a flora-doodle flower. I distressed the edges of the strawberries and the leaves with chalk. See that white scalloped mat that the berries are on? That's not a nestie or a cricut cut circle - no, nothing as snazzy as that. I picked up a stack of paper coasters for a dollar - the kind that they use in cafes and restaurants to set your drink on. There must be a hundred of them in the stack and they make a very nice embossed background for a card. Quick and easy!

I think that I will go weed the berry patch a little while it is nice outside - and then maybe back to making some more summery cards!

Are you playing along with the card recipe project? Here is another recipe for your collection. . . enjoy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sketch 21 - Father's Day Cards

Ahh, time for another sketch challenge. You know what I love about these best? It's a great opportunity to use up some scraps that you have lying around. Sometimes, you end up liking the sketch so much that you can make lots of the same card - perfect for making cards for OWH! If you want to check out more of these sketches, be sure to check out Operation Write Home's creative blog for card makers - Stars & Stamps.

Today. . I am proud to be able to participate in multiple S&S challenges - one for the sketch, one for "masculine cards" and even one for using bling! Here is the sketch and the cards - and a few ideas for some Father's Day cards too. It's coming up fast! Yikes! Father's Day cards are challenging for me - in general, Dads aren't into a whole lot of embelishments or sparkly things. So I tried to keep them simple - that is hard!

For the above cards - I used paper from a My Mind's Eye stack and some stamps by Studio G. I made many of those cards with the tie on them - some of the ties are striped PP and some are these polka dots - if you want a good tutorial on how to fold these paper neckties stop by here.

Here's a blingy "DAD" card - I used silver metallic paper in my cuttlebug with the star embossing template to make that shiny background. "DAD" was cut on my cricut using the "Beyond Birthdays" cartridge.

I thought this would be a fun one for a Grandpa - the image is by Dustin Pike and I stamped the inside with letter stamps to say, "best fishes!" 

That's all for now - there is a storm rolling in and it is cool and dark right now. Perfect "napping" weather for those of us who have to report for the midnight shift. I have a fantastic gathering coming up this weekend for a friend's church group - the girls and I at Cathy's church are going to make cards for the troops - my goal is to complete the box of 500 blanks that were donated to me by Artco. (How cool is that?) I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Flag Day!

It's flag day! I am carding in the wee hours trying to get my flag card done for an OWH challenge. . . what luck. . . Dustin Pike has offered this so-very-cute marching patriotic dragon digi for the 4th of July - hurry and snag it! I love him. :)

But let me side-track for a moment - I had my charge nurse snap this photo while I was working over Memorial Day weekend - this is one of the most special fellas you will ever meet.  This is Jim - a hero of a great many things. Aside from three tours in Vietnam and also to Iraq - Jim is now the captain of the color guard for the state of Idaho. I think that's pretty awesome. When he is not doing his color guard duty - he works housekeeping in the hospital where I work. Night shifts - I am proud to call Jim a friend of many years - he has been there for as long as I can remember and he is just fantastic. He is quiet and unassuming most of the time, but will tell you about his purple hearts if you ask. Here he is bringing us candy and selling poppies for the DVA.

Where was I. Flag card! Here he is - marching along - and what makes the best sentiment for this card? I couldn't think of anything better than using the stamp that usually goes on the BACK of the card for this one. Hooray! Happy Flag Day - and stay tuned for some of Jim's Flag Trivia - he brought this to use for Memorial Day. How awesome is that?

Flag Trivia:

  • How many folds are in a folded flag?

  • What does the "V" shape of a folded flag stand for?

  • What are the meanings of the red, white and blue?

Answers:  There are 13 and 1/4 folds
The "V" shape stands for Victory
Red is for sacrifice, White is for purity, and Blue is for the Battlefield.

Edit - June 23 - without making a new post, I am adding this little gal to the post for another S&S challenge, because. . . she fits right in, don't you think?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Free Digi and a card!

Today - I drew up my first digi-stamp and I want to offer it for free. I'm not sure how well this will work out. I need volunteers to click and download the digi here and let me know how it works out! Is it too small? Do I need to zip the big file and offer it in a compressed format?   *unsure* . . . . I may have to get some web space again, if that is the case.

At any rate, my doodling ability is a little rusty. But I managed to draw up with these little guys for a special occasion. I needed just the right image for this card, so I drew it myself. . . . Here is the card and the digi - if you try it, won't you let me know how it works out?  It's free! Hey thanks! :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sketch #20

A quick one before my day moves on - kiddo and I are going to go see a movie today. Our spring is still way too cold to do any summery things and so we will hunker down inside and have some popcorn instead. :D Yay!

Here is my card for Sketch #20 at Stars and Stamps.  I used up some scraps from my Express the Moment kit - I still have lots left to make even more cards! And I used a stamp set from CTMH called "Loves Me, Loves Me Not." And I used some scraps of old lace - and some green and brown chalks to distress with.

Off to see "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" . . .

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hooray for Coloring! And messing up too.

Since I have been participating in the Operation Write Home sites so much, I have become more of a fan of digital stamps - I must admit I was kind of skeptical at first because I do love my "real" stamps and I worried about things like printer ink, how they would look and etc. after a lot of experimenting, I have decided that they are a lot of fun and are really pretty versatile. . . it's rare that I don't have a clipboard of some kind lying around with a bunch of stamps on it to color. It's easy to print them out and jab at them with a marker when I have time. I find myself coloring when watching TV, while I am on the phone, or before bed - it's relaxing and when I have time to throw a card together, all I have to do is grab one of my colored digis and go!

So... I am currently in the process of deciding what kinds of things I like to color my digi stamps with best. While I was in Seattle I picked up my first Copic markers and I gotta admit I love them - they are expensive but worth it and I think that I will add to my collection of them over time. Meanwhile, here are some other methods that I have been working with, with supplies that I already have on hand. These digi's came from OWH by the way - I have found that the blog-hops and such are an AWESOME way to get free digi-stamps, especially these patriotic ones!!! Thanks OWH!

Image #1  was colored with chalk and a dry paintbrush. Some people use a q-tip or sponge applicator for this. I like to use a very soft, fine tipped paint brush - I like how chalk looks very soft and it is fairly easy to blend to give the image depth.

 #2 Was colored with some Bic Mark-It markers which also seem to be pretty popular. I like them because they are very bold. I have found them to be a little difficult to blend but if you go over the same area a couple of times, you can get darker and lighter areas as you want.

 #3 Was colored with colored pencils - just plain old rose art or crayola colored pencils that I have in a school box - I like these because I can share them with my son - he and I have had a few coloring days together lately and he likes to use them too.  They are also farily easy to blend and make lighter and darker areas for shading and they are very inexpensive.

 #4 is my favorite technique lately - these are water-color pencils that I blended with a blending pen. If you don't have a blending pen, it is a MUST HAVE for working with watercolor pencils. I used to use a wet brush to blend my water color pencils - but since I have started trying the blending pen instead, I enjoy them so much more! The result is very soft and appealing - zoom in on this pic to see the difference between 3 and 4 and you will get what I mean.  (If you don't have a blending pen, you can get one from my CTMH -  just $3.95 - I bought one to get started with and now have three - I haven't experienced them getting "dirty" yet or running between colors, but I wanted extras to keep on hand - one for blending dark colors and the others for blending lighter tones.)

Now then, if you think that this "learning experience" has been all wine and roses for me, you are SADLY MISTAKEN. . . just like everything else I do, I have to learn the hard way and I have to screw up a lot. Then I pass my screw-ups on to others, so that they don't have to make the same mistakes that I do.

Here's a nice one.  I always print on heavy cardstock for coloring my digi-stamps. Sometimes I even used a lightly textured cardstock, for a fun look. I let the ink dry for a long time before I begin coloring. What I did wrong here was, trying to use a tool called a "water brush" - with pigment ink. The water brush is like using a wet paint brush. It has some awesome uses, but obviously this is not one of them. As you can see, I got my paper way too wet and caused the printer ink to run. Dang.

Here is a much better example - this is water-color pencils and blending pen again. Won't this make a pretty hero card? This awesome digi-stamp, and many others, were great gifts that we collected along the way of the last blog hop. Hop on over to Stars and Stamps to snag up these and other great digi's from the blog hop - or try any number of other great digi-stamp sites. There are lots out there, and lots of them with digi's you  can purchase through websites or places like ETSY. One of my favorite fellow bloggers has GREAT digi stamps that I have featured before - Dustin Pike. So hop over there too.

Good luck with your digi-stamping and let me know if there are any other mistakes . . . er, questions that I can clear up - and if you have a link to some great stamps let me know, I will add it to this post!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

June Expressions - from ETM

I look forward to the first of each month - I really do - because it means that I will be getting a new kit from Express the Moment for making cards! Now I never know what is going to be IN the kit - but I always love it because Kim always picks such great things for us to work with. :)  I have never recieved a kit that didn't have something new in it for me to experiment with. The June kit came to me with a piece of toulle in it. I had to look up toulle because me - being fabric impaired - didn't know what to call this fabulous little lightweight piece of netting. . . what fun! There was a running theme to the papers and embellies that the kit includes this month - beautiful patterned papers and stickers by Basic Grey, buttons, crochet flowers, and pretty spring colors are only a few of the supplies that I found inside to create these wedding cards!

A full sheet of letter and number stickers by Basic Grey was included in the kit - just watch this video to see all of the ways that they can be used. . . I really tried to stretch my imagination and think of lots of different things to do with them. I think that I came up with a few fun things to do - and this could be done with tons of different kinds of letters - letter stickers, letter die cuts, letter chip board pieces, Thickers . . . etc. . . etc. . .

As promised, here are some more card recipes as well - I hope that you are finding them useful! Here is the original card recipe post if you want to start at the beginning and play along and collect them all. Remember to left click on the little recipe shown here, then right click on the big version, save, or print.

I love this card because it is very versatile and could be used for a birthday, anniversiary, wedding, or whatever comes up soon! I left the center of that sentiment mat blank because I know that when the occasion comes up, I can add the perfect stamp or words to it to make this card just right for the recipient.

I also had a ton of fun with this card - you could use it for a wedding, birthday, anniversiary or any special date really. Best of all, the recipient could use this card front as a pretty embelishment for a scrapbook page about their special day!

Do you need some help with the easel cards? I thought that these would be a lot of fun for a wedding. They could be used as cards, or also for place settings for the bride and groom, or maybe even as little signs to show where to stack all the presents! Yay!

Easel cards are fun and simple to build - just make your card "front" on a base that is 4.25 x 5.5"
Next cut a cardstock base that is 5.5" x 8.5"
Score the cardstock base in the center - 4.24"
Score the cardstock base again at 2"
Fold both score marks as shown in this photo - now adhere the card front
to just the bottom edge of the cardstock base - the part that folds down. Don't glue the entire card front to the base, or the easel part won't work as shown.

You will need to glue or tie a large button to the inside of the card as shown. Add some other cute embelishments around it too. When the card is open and set up as shown, the button holds the bottom "lip" of the card so that the card sits up like an easel. Cute huh? Check out these photos for detail.

I should mention that I have a ton of stuff left over from my kit to make more cards and I will be making my monthly 8x8 page too - so those will be coming soon. Oh, and I did use some rhinestones from my own supply this month because I JUST HAD TO ADD A LITTLE BLING. So if you don't have rhinestones on hand, you might have to beg borrow or steal some to make your cards *exactly* like mine - but hopefully this will give you a few fun ideas to get started. . .

Best wishes! And have fun!

Bloghop Winner!

Congrats to Christine - winner of the Express the Moment card kit for participating in the Operation Write Home blog hop for Memorial Day - I hope that you all had as much fun as I did participating in the blog hop and I am already looking forward to the next one!

I have updated my links for my bloghop post so that the hopping may go on forever. . . lol. . .

Another special thanks goes to Kim at Express the Moment for sponsoring the kit as blog candy for my blog hop post - that was a totally fantastic thing for her to do and I hope that you all had the opportunity to also hop on over to Express the Moment to check out her great card kits too. I get my card kit every month and always have plenty of supplies to make cards for the troops and many other great things - it's like Christmas every month! And for more about that. . . stay tuned!!! June kits are coming your way!