Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Video!

I have come to find out that making my video tutorials is a bit harder in the summer time. There is so much other stuff to be done outside and sometimes the house is kind of noisy with everybody home. . . I did have a little while this morning to get a short video done for this month though. . . I think that you guys will enjoy it . . . here is a fun idea of how to stamp and color Jeans! I used a digi-stamp for this tutorial. Actually it was a coloring page that I got from this site. I resized it and printed it out and I do love the little jeans that this gal is wearing. I saw a "boy" version too if you wanted to make a boy card. . . I think that I will make lots of both!

If you need some inks in the colors shown in the video - they are available at My Close To My Heart site. Be sure to snag up that Star Spangled Blue. My mentor Cindy just told me yesterday that "Star Spangled Blue" is going to be discontinued! Dooom!!! I do love that blue. 

Anyway - here is your video and some closeup stills of the final project. Have fun making JEANS!!

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Sketch 27

I think that I am having a Dustin Pike day for sure . . . I had to use this litte bubble dragon to go along with my card for Sketch #27 at Stars & Stamps.  I also thought that this would be a fun way to make use of some of those Scrapbook Crystals that I picked up at Porter's a few weeks ago. I used them for 3-D bubbles to add to what that cute little dragon is blowing. At this rate, I have enough crystals to make 204,789 more cards, just like this. :D  Well, maybe not that many. But they sure are cute!

Here is a copy of the sketch. Go! Make cards!

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S'More Fun!

Here is a little card for a challenge over at Doodle Dragon Studio! I am so glad to have found this blog. I love Dustin Pike's digi stamps and participating with the Doodle Dragon blog is a ton of fun and a good way to practice using those cute images that he makes.

Here is my card and a quick tutorial on how to make this embelishment for your own card or scrapbook page. What a fun thing for pages or cards about camping, right?

To make this card I printed the sentiment on the inside of an 8.5 x 11" cardstock. I used fonts called "Porky's" and "CK Journaling."   It's always S'MORE fun with friends like you!"

The dark green cardstock base is 4.25 x 5.5" and I chalked the edges with an evergreen chalk.
The next layer is a pine tree paper that I got from an ATD stack. I chalked the edges of this with the same evergreen color. The pieces to make the s'more are these: a grahm cracker colored cardstock cut to 3x3". A white cardstock cut to 3.25 x 3.25" with the edges rounded, and a scrap of chocolate colored cardstock - I had a piece of 2x3" left. Perfect! The "cracker" paper was run through my cuttlebug with the dotted template - the paper was placed so that the showing side is indented rather than popping up, if that makes sense. Next I scored a line down the center - you know, where those crackers are supposed to break apart, but they never really do? :D  Chalk the edges of your cracker and chocolate a little to give them some depth. The marshmellow was toasted lightly with a creamy brown and charcoal colored chalk. I like my marshmellows roasted extra dark. Do you?

I colored the digi stamp with copics and bic markers and matted them with a piece of the same dark green as the base. This mat was mounted on the card using dimensional foam squares. I embellished the corners with some of those cute scrapbook crystals.

Credit: I found a card with a similar "s'more" on it over here at Stamp-n-Design this weekend. My friend Stephanie introduced me to her blog this weekend and I am absolutely hooked. :) There are so many cute projects and ideas there! Check it out! Lynn Pratt is one talented lady!

That's all for now, but I have some more weekend creations coming up soon. Thanks for stopping by!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thanks Anthony!

So Anthony is this 17 year old young fella who is the step son of Lena over here at Scrapbutterfly. Among other things he likes to draw these manga characters and so he made us some digi stamps this week over at S&S . . . so cute. . . I love manga / anime style characters. .  . they remind me of watching Pokemon with AJ when he was just a little fella. One of his first words was "PIKACHUUUUU!!"

How inspiring. . . I should get the boys into doing something productive - like drawing me some digi's.  *cracks whip*

Here is my little card to follow along - I used a few scraps of my favorite purple and printed a comic book style sentiment and some words using "comic sans" font. Looks kind of comic-y, no?

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Open House! Inspiration, and a free digi!

Welcome welcome! It's my open house day for card making - I am hoping to have lots of friends stop by to make cards with me. :) I know that not everyone can make it - especially my very special far away friends - so here is something to participate with from afar! Today I am showcasing lots of Close To My Heart products and I am sharing some fun stamping techniques - I also have the PC set up to demonstrate and help people get started with digi-stamps. They are so much fun!

Here is my source of inspiration. I am so very excited about the air show that is coming to Idaho Falls this weekend! I love air shows. The Blue Angels will be there among other things. . . I love to watch them but one of my very favorite things about military aircraft is something kind of unusual. . . Nose art!

No, I am not talking about people with piercings in strange places. :)  Nose art is something that began in the military with the addition of air craft to warfare. It started as a practical way to identify the friendlies. . but continued on and prospered as a kind of "aircraft graffiti."  Painting pin-up girls and cartoon characters on to the front of the aircraft has been a way for the troops to express their individuality and maybe relate to home - girlfriends and other happy things. It started in the early 1900's and prospered during WWII but has continued on through the Vietnam, Korea and even in the war today! Check this link for tons of great nose art samples - aren't they great? My Grandpa Don in Albuquerque did not serve in the millitary in WWII but he worked painting aircrafts - I wonder if he got to see some great nose art? They say that some of it had to be censored because those pin-up girls got pretty racy! Woohoo!

And so, to celebrate nose art, aircraft painters, and pin-up girls everywhere - I present this new digi - with and without the sentiment in the banner, so you could add your own if you like. I used a free font called "Tattoo Lettering Black" and I also have to claim that this little gal is not entirely my own creation - I CASED her from somebody's tattoo on the internet. :D  I hope that the original tattoo or pinup artist doesn't mind if I share this outline version of her. . . she is free for you to click, download and print as a digi-stamp for making cards for Operation Write Home. Isn't she a cutie?

And now Open House Candy - There are two ways to participate. Anyone who makes a purchase from my Close To My Heart website this week will be entered in a drawing twice. That is two entries for your purchase. Another way to participate is to use the digi stamp and create a hero card or card for OWH. Mail me the finished photo of your work to nancykeller @ myctmh dot com . Your photo will enter you into the drawing once. Winner of the drawing will recieve a My Acrylix set of "Shining Star" stamps that are great for making OWH, patriotic, funky or Christmas Cards - I love these stars! So go. . . shop my CTMH or use the digi to make a card. . . I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Thank you for stopping by the open house - and I hope that you are having a great day!

Today's make-and-take is a fun card using those star stamps - perfect for making cards for the troops!

Ahh, and one for the  Stars & Stamps challenge too. :)

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Oh my gosh, not a card. :D

As  I dug into my "Moments" scrapbooking kit from ETM last week, I was searching for inspiration to make some more cards but *gasp*  did it really happen? I was all carded out! Actually I think that it was the adorable paper inside that got me going. Kim picked out the cutest combinations of patterned papers by Fancy Pants Designs and they reminded me SO much of a fun time that I spent with my family back east about this time last year.

I do have one scrapbook that I am making that does not have page covers. I did this on purpose, so that I could fill the entire book with fun, dimensional, interactive scrapbook pages. Half of the fun of paper vs. digi scrapbooking to me is getting to touch and feel all of the fun embelishments that go onto the page. So here is a fun flippy interactive scrapbook page - maybe you guys can take a few ideas from it and try something new!

I used the cute colorful dotted paper to make a page about the day that I took AJ and my adorable niece Abby and nephew Spencer to Chuck E. Cheese. We don't have a Chuck E. Cheese around here so it was a special treat. . . I'm sure that Abby and Spencer probably get to go a lot, but it was fun for me albeit different than the memories that I have of Chuckies from when I was a kid. :D  Back then, the animatronic animal shows and the people dressed up in the mouse suit were the main attraction. . they had a few new-fangled ATARI arcade games and some carnival style games too. I'm pretty sure that the pizza tasted a lot better back then, or maybe as a kid, you don't really care.  .  . anyway. . . page! . . . at first glance this is a 12x12 page with a title and two photos, but guess what. . . there is a suprise!

The photos are actually on mats that flip up to show even more photos and some hidden journaling. I do love journaling on my scrapbook pages. . . but sometimes it is fun to hide it somewhere. Look how much fun it is to flip up this photo and find even more stuff underneath. If you are trying this for yourself, just cut your mats of cardstock according to the size of the photos and journaling tags that you want to use. If you look closely, you will notice that I did reinforce the mats to the page with brads. This is because the photo flippy mats do get kind of heavy with all of the embelishments on them. There is little red-headed Spencer. Isn't he cute?

Attach longer photos and longer journaling tags or cards to longer mats. :) Don't be afraid to add more layers of patterned paper and embelishments like rub ons, punches, die cuts, or cute border strips. On this page, both of my mats flip up. . . but you could make mats that flip to the side, circle mats that swivel, or anything that you can dream up.

Finally, I like to add some kind of element to my page that makes the whole "working part" of the page seem a little more obvious. . . something that says, there is something to do here! I added a cute star punch to both of my mats, along with a strip of ribbon and a big brad. They really stand out and draw attention to the fact that the mats can be lifed for more things inside.

So that is all for what seems like my first actual SCRAPBOOKING post in ages. . . I do forsee calmer waters in the future and time for me to do things like this more often. . . which will be nice, because I sure had fun. :)  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 12, 2010

More Expressions!

I have had the opportunity today to make some more cards from my July Expressions card kit from Express the Moment. . . I must say that I do feel like I have pretty much exhausted the whole dang kit and I had to scrounge a few punches on the side from my own scraps to finish up! If you are using your Expressions kits to make cards for the troops with me. . don't forget . . no glitter. . (bling is ok) A2 size cards are preferred, and add white liners to the insides of dark colored cards! More info is available at Operation Write Home if you need it. Here are the rest of the cards and I HAVE been continuing to also make one 8x8 page each month from my kit too. . .

Oh, and use of sketch 25 from this week's Stars & Stamps blog challenge too!

(I did add my own bling to this card!)


Sunday, July 11, 2010

July Expressions from ETM!

Symbiosis: (from the Greek: σύν syn "with"; and βίωσις biosis "living") commonly describes close and often long-term interactions between different species.

Let me elaborate. Three of my favorite things have come together this month in perfect harmony! I couldn't be any more excited to share my cards with you guys this month that I made with the Expressions card kit by Express the Moment! Everybody knows that I am a sucker for things that go together. Maybe it's my overactive organization of products . . . (I refuse to admit to OCD just yet!)  I get all kinds of excited about sharing the news about perfect matches that I have found. Let's get on with it, shall we???

I have decided that I just have to share the great template that I found in the "Wishes" book by Jeanette Lynton because - sixteen cards from three pieces of paper - wow - I am still just so excited about this! I decided to use the template to make cards from my Expressions kit this month and guess what - I STILL have a ton of kit left. I have never challenged myself to see just how many cards I can make with one kit - but now I am amazed. What am I going to do with sixteen cards? This is where Operation Write Home comes in.

I am hoping that all of my friends from Express the Moment and Close To My Heart will join me this July in a challenge to make (at least) sixteen cards for the troops. Let me share a few things with you guys from OWH!!! All of our deployed service men and women are allowed to send home letter mail for free. The problem is, they have nothing to write home on except millitary issue paper (if they are lucky). Operation Write Home collects hand made cards and sends them off to the troops. Many of the troops overseas right now have wives, husbands and children at home. Imagine how great it feels as the family member to get such a pretty thing in the mail from their loved one? These cards are surely treasured and kept for years or even life times. I could go on forever - but please, check out Operation Write Home for yourself, you won't regret it. I send cards every month made from scraps of paper from other projects . . .  it's a great and fun thing to do with your leftovers and a great way to practice card making just for fun!

Now then. . . here are the sixteen cards that were made from the July Expressions kit. I have also decided to share the templates from the "Wishes" book by Jeanette Lynton because wow. . . what a fantastic tool this is! Go! Follow this template and make your cards! The paper in the kit is perfect for the template because being double sided - it allows for thousands of great combinations - simply cut your paper, flip it, rotate the recipes. . add embellies from the kit. . go wild! The "Wishes" book is available through my Close To My Heart site if you would like one. There are even MORE fantastic templates and card ideas inside. This is just one of them!

I was super excited that I used almost all of the little buttons, stars and embelishments in the kit on these cards. I just love the papers and embelishments this month from PinkPaislee. Kim also included several cute matching punches and stars this month.  I nearly ran completely out of stars making sixteen cards. . . but was able to make more from other paper in the kit! You can never have too many stars. :)  I did also use my own stamps and sentiments a few times - The set that I used is called "Wishing Star" and they go perfectly with the papers and embellies this month. See how well all of these great things go together???

Here are copies of the templates for you to print as well. I would love to know if you make your 16 cards, and if you accept my challenge to send them to the troops! Don't forget the NO GLITTER rule if you are making cards for the troops. To print these templates, just left click on them to see them in a larger window. Then right click on them and select "print picture" or select "print page" in your browser. A few tips for using the templates - measure carefully or draw the template on your paper in pencil first if you need to. When you cut out each piece, label them in pencil or separate them into eight piles. When you are finished cutting, you will have enough pieces to make two of each of the eight card designs shown. Since the paper is double sided, you can make each card unique! Fun!

Don't forget - Expressions card-making kits are available from Express the Moment!
The template comes from the "Wishes" book available from Close To My Heart!
Information on where to send those cards is at Operation Write Home!

And thank you for stopping by!

P.S. Here are those "Wishing Star" stamps too, if you want to see. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Amazing Paper Trick!

Today I would love to share the most AMAZING PAPER TRICK that I have seen in a very long time. I am hoping that my friends from Operation Write Home find this to be a very valuable idea - as economical use of paper can be a huge deal when donating your supplies and time for a good cause! If you can make your paper stretch farther, you can make more cards, right???

It should also be helpful to those who do card kits - like the ones from Express the Moment  . . . getting the most productivity for your money is awesome! Just wait 'til you see. . . this trick could be VERY valuable for making Expressions cards!!! I haven't ever really challenged myself to see how many cards I could make with one kit, but with this trick, I bet I could make more than ever before. Thirty cards? Fifty? Are you intrigued?

"Wishes" Card confidence program by Jeanette Lynton

My biggest selling product from Close To My Heart right now is this book by Jeanette Lynton. It's called the "Wishes" book! This card idea book is by far the most fantastic idea book that I have ever purchased - and I have lots of them! I have looked at card magazines, card books, and lots of idea websites. . . but what is inside the "Wishes" book is some of the most amazing, easy to follow instructions ever for getting the most out of your paper. Let me show you just one of the ideas you can find inside. On page 111 you can find a "greeting card workshop" - or some fantastic templates for making lots of similar themed cards on a budget. The example shown on page 111 shows how you can make Christmas cards - but you can use ANY combination of paper and stamps following the template. I chose to make my first set using these bright summery colors and an "I love you" sentiment to make cards for the troops.

A sample of the templates that you use to cut your paper - page 111

How many cards do you suppose I was able to make from just 3 sheets of 12x12 paper? Six? Maybe eight? The answer to this - is SIXTEEN.  I KNOW, RIGHT??? :D This is the most amazing paper trick ever!!!!

I was astounded by these templates on page 111 and had to try them for myself. The templates show clearly how to use your trimmer to cut three pieces of paper into different sized strips and sizes. The strips are labeled like "A1, B2, and C3."  For this example, I used two pieces of CTMH paper in Topiary and Goldrush, and a patterned paper from the Splendor pack. After your pieces are cut, you turn the page in the book and the instructions walk you through the building of your cards. You have cut enough pieces to build two of each of eight designs. By using coordinating stamps and embelishments (I used Topiary and Goldrush inks and stamps from the "A Flitter" and "Happy Holidays" sets) and white 8.5x11" cardstock for card bases - I quickly assembled sixteen unique cards! What a great stack for the troops! And for pennies a card - what a bargain. :) 

The strips after cutting the paper as shown

The "Wishes" book has examples of three such workshops - with templates for cutting your paper and directions for assembling the cards. What a fun workshop this would be for a party or for the next time you have three random coordnating pieces of paper that you want to use up? Imagine making your Christmas cards this year using just three pieces of paper? How many cards for the troops could you make using an entire stack of paper???? Wow. . .

If you are interested in the book, I have seen it in book stores and even at Michael's, but the cover price is $29.95. You can also get a copy from My CTMH for $21.95. The ideas in this 127 page book are by far some of the most beautiful I have seen, plus the book comes with a Template CD in the back that runs on mac and windows. I haven't even tried the CD yet as I am still enamored with the book!

I am off to make more cards - I can't wait to see how the combinations will change just by using different combinations of papers. If you are using double-sided patterned papers, you can make even more combos. . . too much fun. :)

That's all for today! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Creative use of &?@!

Aaaaatennnnn- SHUN!!!!

Hey there! If you have stopped by on your Independence Day Blog Tour for Operation Write Home - welcome to my Blog Tour Post! I have prepaed something really special for you guys today. We are going to talk about creative use of your leftover &?$#@!!!!!

Allow me to explain. I am a paper crafting hoarder. I keep everything. Right down to the tiniest scrap of paper. Even the tiniest scraps and leftovers eventually get used to make cards for the troops. . . and that is half the fun! Among my stash of "gently used" supplies I found several pieces of old letter sticker sheets and rub-ons the other day. Those a e i o and u's got used up, as did the r s t l n and sometimes y's. What I am left with is a whole bunch of left over x z's and tons of & ? * # @ and !'s. . . today we are going to talk about your leftover &#@? and what you can do with it!

I took a bunch of my leftover &?@! and added them to a camo background patterned paper and turned them into a great card. I couldn't find a good stamp or clip art for this card, so I made one up. I'd like to introduce Sarge. . . who will hopefully be making a few more appearances around here in the future. He is free to use for making cards for Operation Write Home. Free blog candy! Digi Sarge!!! &$#@ yeah!!!

Here is Sarge for you to download, and a photo of the finished product. Since we are featuring Birthday Cards in honor of the birthday of our country. . . I made Sarge using a birthday sentiment. I found that tearing the paper and adding some scribbly handwriting font made the card look extra angry!!! All in jest of course - but I do think that this would be a fun card to send. Anyone who has ever gone through boot camp knows all about &#?@!!!! This card will get a special white inside liner too - so that the sender can write lots to someone at home.

I'd like to thank you for stopping by - and in closure I would like to dedicate this card and post to one of my favorite celebrity icons - R. Lee "Gunny" Ermey. I love to watch him in movies and in shows like "Mail Call" and "Lock 'N Load" on the History Channel. This is a guy who really knows his &$#!! Since he is such a big fan of Mail. . . I wonder if he knows about Operation Write Home? If he did, I bet he would be proud. Now get out there and use up your &#@!!! Oooh-rah!!! Thanks for stopping by! Have a very safe and happy holiday weekend and remember, it is our heroes who make it all possible.

If you want to go back to the blog tour directory, just click here

Much love!
 - Nancy