Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Christmas in September - Creations by AR Blog Hop

Yes, it's only September. Yes, we just got our kids sent back to school (hooray!). And I think now is a great time to look ahead and start planning for Christmas!

A quick peek at all three new files. Read on for details on each!

Adela is back with three fabulous cutting files for Christmas and Winter, and as usual, you could win the file of your choice just by hopping along with us.  Three random commenters will be chosen from the designers' blogs and the AR Facebook Page to win one of the three new files. Be sure to leave a comment on all of the blogs (listed at the bottom of this post) and the Facebook page for your best chance to win!  Comments will be accepted until Friday, Sept 12, 12:00 noon Eastern. Winners will be announced September 13 on the AR Facebook page and the AR website.

Now, who's ready to check out the new designs? I should mention that these are each for sale individually, as well as a money-saving Winter Bundle.  Let's start with the super cute Gingerbread Gift Bag:

This sweet gift bag is super easy to put together. You'll need two sheets of cardstock for the bag base, and mostly scraps for everything else.  For my bag, I used the heart design cardstock from CTMH's Paper Fundamentals Basic Assortment. I used the side with the ink resist pattern as my outside, and sponged it with darker ink to play up the pattern more. (You can see in the photo, the other side has the same design in white.)  I used white glitter cardstock from American Crafts for my snowy accents, a scrap of Graphic 45 for the wreath, and plain cardstock for everything else.  I glazed the round part of all of my lollipops with Liquid Glass to make them nice and shiny like the real thing. I added details on my "people" with a Uniball Signo white gel pen.

Now let's check out the super sweet set of Starry Trees:

These are even easier to put together than the gift bag! And you have two options: a plain design that looks great with busier patterned paper, and a cutout design that is perfect for cardstock or a simple pattern.  You'll need a piece of cardstock for each inner base (I used brown for my plain trees, and yellow for the cutout one), but you can get two of the covers on one sheet. I used Graphic 45 papers for my trees, so I didn't even bother with embellishments other than the banners that come in the file.

I think these would make great place favors for a dinner or party, and you could write each person's name on the banners. Or, if you have a more informal buffet-type gathering like my family, just use the included words or stamp them all with "Merry Christmas"!

Finally, let's take a closer look at this fun Stack a Snowman:

This fun little guy takes a little more effort, but still easy enough to whip up quickly.  I used textured cardstock for his body and patterned papers from CTMH's Snowhaven paper pack for his other parts.  I wanted to used a light blue patterned piece for the center box, but I only have the consultant sampler on hand which wasn't large enough so I let him white. (Guess what's going on my next order?!)

He's easy to embellish with a little ribbon and some adhesive gems and a pearl. I used brads for his coal buttons and mini brads for him eyes and mouth. I drew on his carrot nose with a Copic marker.

As a reminder, all of Adela's files come with a PDF version as well, for those of you cutting by hand. All three of these should cut by hand easily.

Now, don't forget to visit all the participating blogs and leave a comment for your chance to win:


Monday, September 1, 2014

Eek! - It's Another Scrapbook Generation Blog Hop

Welcome to the Scrapbook Generation Blog Hop for September. If this is your first stop, be sure to visit ALL of the blogs and leave comments for your chance to win.

 I used a 7 photo sketch from one of the books, altering it only slightly to best work with my photos. I kept this layout super simple, putting the focus squarely on my photos. I used only stickers, to keep things fast, and a couple of cute White Enamel Stars to anchor the ends of my striped strips of paper. The paper and stickers are from the Scaredy Cat line from Close To My Heart. (This is also my featured Kit of the Month for September, so be sure to check out the Kit of the Month page AND be sure to come back and see me again this month for more ideas with this line.)

You can find the SG sketches in their books and as downloads in the SG store, and there is a free one every month in case you wanted to try it out. Next on the hop is another Lori! Leave a comment on each blog and one lucky commenter will receive a free sketch bundle of their choice from the store.

The winner will be drawn on Monday, September 8th which leaves you one week to leave a comment.

In case you get lost at any point, here is the list all the blogs
Scrapbook Generation blog - http://scrapbookgeneration.blogspot.com/
Steffanie - http://steffanies.blogspot.com/
Ruth - http://scrapmachine.com/
Cassie - http://allsmilesandsunshine.blogspot.com/
Devra -  http://mycreativeview.blogspot.com/
TinaGale - http://tiggersscrapplace.blogspot.com
Lori - http://savingmine.blogspot.com
Lori S - http://loriannie670.blogspot.com
Katy Taylor - http://www.scrappinkaty.blogspot.com/
Cicily - http://www.pinkdalmatianscrapper.com
Corrina - http://anotherthingoffthelist.blogspot.ca/

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Family is Forever - September Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to September's stamp of the month blog hop!  This month's stamp set is Family is Forever - a beautiful set of 7 stamps perfect for proclaiming your love of family and more.  If you've arrived here from the fabulous Katy Taylor's blog, or if you are just starting out, you are in the right place. Just hop around the circle until you end up right where you started.

My project for today is a scrapbook page. It turned out so well, I plan to order the Designed Decor Shadow Box in Colonial White so it can be displayed all the time.

I will note that this is not the exact photo I'll be using (I need to print an extra copy of that one), but it's from the same day and has all the same colors so I know it will look great!

I used papers from the Pathfinding paper pack, which as you can see here does not have to be just for Fall.  I don't have any Glacier cardstock yet, so I used Crystal Blue, which I think also looks pretty good. The layout is based on a sketch from Make It From Your Heart Volume 1.

This gorgeous tree is obviously the focal stamp of this set.  It looks great in a single color as well, but it didn't take me long to stamp this in the three different colors and fussy cut the parts.  The key is to cut those leaves in groups - no need to cut every tiny piece individually! You can also see in this photo that I sponged coordinating inks on the edges of all of my papers - I absolutely love the look it gives my projects.

I love a stamp set with a built-in layout title - not much thinking required on my part!  I offset it from the center of the panel slightly to leave room for some awesome sequins. I cut the two hearts with the Artiste Cricut cartridge and stamped them in Barn Red. I colored in the leaves with a Copic marker. (If you haven't invested in those pricey things yet, the Shinhan markers we carry now are the same type of art marker at a lower price point.)  I popped the hearts up on 3-D Foam Tape (as well as the hearts in the tree above) for a little added dimension.

If you want details on any of the products I used, or if you're ready to shop, you can use my picture list below. The links open in a new window so you can continue the hop right here when you're done.  If you're ready to check out more awesome projects, let's head over to Brae Montgomery's blog and see what she made for us this month.

Supplies used in my project:

Family is Forever SOTM
Pathfinding Paper Pack
Sequins Gold Assortment
3-D Foam Tape
Crystal Blue Cardstock

Chocolate Stamp Pad
Autumn Terracotta Stamp Pad
Barn Red Stamp Pad
Olive Stamp Pad
Crystal Blue Stamp Pad
Champagne Stamp Pad
Sponge Daubers
Non-Stick Micro-tip Scissors
Artiste Cartridge Collection
Make It From Your Heart Vol. 1

Friday, August 29, 2014

One Sheet Wonder With Chalk It Up

Today is my last post for this month's featured Kit of the Month, Chalk It Up. If you aren't familiar with the term "one sheet wonder", this is when you are able to make a number of cards from only one sheet of patterned paper. In today's case, it is a whopping 16 (yes, sixteen) cards!

Using a "workshop" from the Wishes how-to book, I used a full sheet of patterned paper left in my Chalk It Up kit, along with 2 sheets of cardstock and 16 card bases to make a wide array of cards for several occasions. Since the workshop makes 2 each of eight different designs, I decided to make one version of each card using leftover chipboard Complements and one version using stamps. I also added embellishments using the Chalk It Up Assortment and White Enamel Stars.

Check out all of these great cards! For each pattern, I show my chipboard version first followed by the stamped version. Remember, all CTMH patterned paper is double sided, so YES this is all from one sheet of patterned paper!

Great for graduation or encouragement

Stamps used are Joyful Birthday* and the current Petite Perks**
Great all-occasion design!

Stamps used are from the Hostess Exclusive Cuddly Salutations***

Love this for a new job, college acceptance, all kinds of things!

Stamps are from Joyful Birthday* and Hostess Exclusive Cuddly Salutations***

Many uses for this one - Graduation, Job Well Done, Birthday...

Stamp from Joyful Birthday*

Another all-occasion option

I thought this would be great for a new baby! Stamps are from the Hostess Exclusive Cuddly Salutations***

I couldn't resist stamping on this one but you could totally copy this with a chalk marker!

I tapped on a little pigment ink with my finger to make my whale blue - looks like colored chalk! Stamps from the Hostess Exclusive Cuddly Salutations***

Many great options for this design, including birthday or even retirement!

Stamp from Joyful Birthday

I love this one! Another great all-occasion design.

Great use of a sticker from the Chalk It Up Assortment, and more pigment ink applied by finger. Stamps from the Hostess Exclusive Cuddly Salutations***

Let me just say that I  L-O-V-E simple cards like this. They are actually mailable (although a few will require extra postage due to the hard embellishments) and usable for every day. And, the best part, I was able to make them all in a few hours! Even adding the extra touches like the chalkboard technique and the finger-dabbed pigment ink took very little time.

Here is the scoop on the three stamp sets I used:

*Joyful Birthday - simple sentiment in 4 awesome font styles

**Petite Perks - our current little "perk" set. I give one to all of my in-home (or other physical location) hostesses, and to online hostesses who go above and beyond.

***Cuddly Salutations - fun Hostess Exclusive stamp set. You can "purchase" this stamp set with just $6.00 of your Hostess Rewards!

Be sure to check out my Kit of the Month page before the end of August if you're interested in the special offers I have available when purchasing Chalk It Up and related products.  I also have pictures of more artwork from CTMH corporate, a link to all of my Chalk It Up posts this month, and links to purchase any of the products eligible for the Kit of the Month specials.

I hope you'll come back September 1 for not one, but TWO different blog hop posts! One with Close To My Heart, and one with Scrapbook Generation. Tons more fun coming all September long!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nothing Matches - What Do I Do With This?!

I think we've all been there: one piece of paper left from a kit; oh, that paper is cute!; bought a "sale box" - I don't have anything that "matches"! What do I do with this?? 

Well, today I have two examples of what to "do with this"!

I bought this super cute fabric paper when an area scrapbook store went out of business... about five years ago.  (Anybody remember love, elsie?!) It is the only item from this brand I have ever bought, so what does it match?

Rule #1 - things don't have to match exactly. Pulling in different shades of the same or similar colors is good enough! Here's what I did:

I thought about what other paper I had with brown and/or pink in it... and remembered this older CTMH paper that also has animal prints in it which I thought fit the bill perfectly!  Since I don't like to take a lot of time on my pet layouts, I pulled some letter stickers out that I got in a Webster's Pages sale box. I don't normally buy letter stickers, but since I had some they were an easy solution. (Just to clarify, that title does refer to the cat and not the husband, lol.)

The Scrapbook Generation sketch I chose called for plenty of patterns, making it easier for this one pattern to look like it really belongs with the others.

I opted to use flowers for the embellishments because 1)my boy cats don't mind, 2)it is easy to layer them and mix & match colors, and 3)I have a ton of them! My stash is pretty large, so I have no hope of telling you what brands they are, but only the pink one above did not start out as flat paper flowers. I layered everything together and added pearl brads (the larger ones for sure are from American Crafts) and some rhinestone flourishes for fun.

Rule #2 - when in doubt, try to use papers from the same brand. They are more likely to carry similar colors across different lines, making it easier to find something else to work with.  Along with this follows...

Rule #3 - solids and single colors can make almost anything work!

At first glance, these two sheets don't look like they have much in common. But they are both from the same manufacturer - Webster's Pages. The sticker sheet on the left was from a sale box, with I think only one paper from the same line.  However, the bracket frame I wanted to use (same color/pattern as the blue leaves here) had nearly the same blue as some papers from another line of theirs I had purchased so I added this striped pattern. The other patterns I had left from that line were too "themed" for this layout, so I decided to go with single/solid colors for the rest of my papers.

The Scrapbook Generation sketch I used for this layout called for a large die-cut paper. Since I wanted to use that frame, I just added to a similar shade of cardstock and trimmed around the frame, leaving a border.  For the red-orange and brown, I used single color patterns from the same line as the stripe. They are a simple mottled pattern. Then I chose a CTMH red for the bases that matched the red in the stripe.  

More letter stickers from the Webster's Pages box sale, which were a similar green to the one in the stripe, made up the title. I pulled out the final color from the stripe, the lighter blue, with some of my flower embellishments.  All of the flowers on this layout were made with flat paper flowers that I layered together and used random brads from my stash for the centers.

That's all I have for you today!  I hope I gave you some ideas for using up those items in your stash that just don't "match" anything else you have.  I'd love to see your results if you decide to try my ideas - just link them up in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Simple Sketch With Chalk It Up

I'm back today with one final layout using Chalk It Up for this month. (I did make one more, but since it's for publication I just can't share it yet.) Be sure to come back later this week for an awesome card "workshop" that calls for only one sheet of patterned paper to make 16 cards!

Please ignore the tweenage angst - I think we all remember those Jr High years, lol.  I wanted to keep this layout fairly simple as my oldest is absolutely anti-girly everything. The black chalkboard background ties in pretty well with her clothes, while the Lagoon mats really help the photos pop. I saw a layout somewhere online (sorry I can't find it again, boo) that I used to create a sketch for my layout - love it!

I used the same easy chalkboard technique as in my earlier Chalk It Up posts. If you missed it, you can visit the Kit of the Month page for a link to my previous posts, plus awesome artwork direct from CTMH's design department.

The title is stamped with pigment ink. I pressed a little harder than usual so that some of the ink would pull back up instead of giving that full coverage we normally go for. This is a great way to add to that chalkboard look. The alphas I used are Keyboard Uppercase and Handwritten Print.

Simple pennant shapes make a great accent. Totally not girly, but absolutely cool and trendy! I added puffy stickers from the Chalk It Up Assortment and White Enamel Stars.

I used a chipboard piece from the Chalk It Up Complements for my simple journaling.

Just a couple more places where I used those fun pennant embellishments. They're one of my favorite "handmade" things to add because they are simple to make! Small ones like these are pretty easy with just scissors, but do you know a trick for making nice even tails on even larger ones? A square punch! Just use a corner of it to punch the end of any rectangle to turn it into a pennant.

Thanks for stopping by today! If you're interested in seeing more artwork, or you want to shop for any of these products, just visit my Kit of the Month page for links to all of the featured products for the month of August.

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