Monday, November 30, 2009

December Stamp of the MonthBlog Hop

It's time again for another SOTM blog hop! We once again have 60+ consultants participating, so I know there will be tons of great ideas shared. If you've come from Caren's blog, you're on the right track! When you're done here, you'll want to head over to Lori Miller's blog and check out her great dry erase board this month.

This month's stamp set is Notice the Details, a versatile set of 41 stamps with an "office-y" feel. I say versatile, because this great stamp set can work with ANY paper! You'll see what I mean below...

I opted to create a 2-page layout for my main item this month. Thanks to my son's preschool, I have some great pictures from when the fire department visited them at school:
These stamps added a great touch to the pages. I even used the torn spiral edge stamp to make it look like the two smaller photo mats were torn from a notebook. I thought it worked well for the "school" theme.

Tips & Techniques:
I didn't have the exact colors I wanted in my papers, so I modified what I had some, plus I used patterned paper & My Stickease letter stickers from 3 different kits! The key to combining papers (whether from our kits, adding different brands, or whatever) is to use common color elements. The letter stickers I used are from Free Spirit, which just retired (& has already sold out!), in Colonial White. The star paper is from Game On, and the main colors on this paper are Black and Bamboo (with a bit of Grey Wool).

The striped paper is where the technique part comes in. The original pattern is from Silhouette, and contains the colors Black, Bamboo, and Colonial White. I needed to add in some Cranberry for a shot of color, and the stripes are the quickest & easiest to modify. So here's what I did: I measured the width of the stripe I wanted to make cranberry and cut strips of paper that width. I ran my paper strips through my Xyron for speed, but it would work just as well to use your Tombow or Bonding Memories Glue. Then I simply stuck them over the area I wanted to cover on my paper.
Now you just use your modified paper as you would any pattern paper:

Additional stamps used on this layout are from Headline Alphabet.

Now, if you want to see what this stamp set looks like with a much more feminine paper pack, check out this previous post. (It opens in a new tab/window, so just close that to come back here & move on.)

Now, don't forget to hop on over to Lori Miller's blog next!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sneak Peek of December Stamp of the Month

Once again, a sketch challenge to make me really use my noggin! Rubber Stamp Chat has a monthly sketch challenge sponsored by one of their vendors. This month's sketch is from Beeswax, and since I don't own any of their stamps I thought I would try to find some of my stamps I haven't used much yet.

I wound up pulling out Close To My Heart's stamp set for December, Notice the Details. As my title says, this is a sneak peek; it's not actually available until December 1st. I also added one of the cute silhouette stamps from Childhood Portrait, and used the Grace papers, some twill, and a Barn Red Edge Anchor.

My "binder clip" is actually a stamp from the set. I stamped the clip part directly on the other images, then stamped it again on a scrap. I cut out just the top, "clampy" part (I have no idea what it's called!), put a thin strip of dimensional adhesive along the top edge, and pressed it down so it lays at an angle like a real binder clip. I used Staz-On Timber Brown to stamp the word "Happy" on the edge anchor. It doesn't look really crisp like the other stamping, due to the smoothness of the painted metal, but it still works with the distressed look of everything.

To see more artwork with this versatile stamp set, stop back here beginning December 1st for our Stamp of the Month blog hop. Last month, we had over 60 consultants participating, and boy were there some great ideas!

Note: I do receive compensation from CTMH for sales of product. I do not receive any other form of compensation for using/posting/promoting their products.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November Christmas Card Challenge Entries

It's been a while since I've posted; this has been a very busy month! But, I have finally finished my entries for this month's challenge at Christmas Cards All Year 'Round. It was a definite challenge for me this month, as the rules were to only use one layer. I'm a very "layered look" kind of girl, so this took some thought (which is probably why it took me so long to finish these!). I used a couple of tried & true as well as some new (to me) techniques, and here's what I came up with (click on the photos to see them larger).

Individual cards, and details, follow.

First up, I created a faux layered card on glossy CS. I cut an oval from scrap using my Cricut & George cartridge. I used the oval first, to mask my image area in the center of the card. Next, I used the emboss resist technique with a snowflake stamp, sponging on Moonstruck ink (CTMH) for my background.

I then removed the positive image, and put down the negative "frame", so I could stamp my trees in the oval, using New England Ivy (CTMH). I colored in details using a Cranberry marker and stamped the sentiment with Cranberry (CTMH). I added gold & silver brads to my treetops, and was done! Stamps are Holiday Trinkets from Close To My Heart.

My second card uses teh same stamp set, plus an old evergreen stamp from Club Scrap. I used the good old Post-it masking technique, as I couldn't find my Masking Magic, and stamped three ornament bases and decorated them. Colors used are Tulip, Hollyhock, Honey, and New England Ivy (CTMH), as well as silver metallic, which I embossed.

I really liked how this card turned out, & may even use it for our bulk cards this year! Nice & simple, and quick - even the hubby can help me with this one!

I think this was my favorite card, but a little time consuming for bulk production! It looks much nicer in person, since the details were a little hard to pick up with the light today.

I first created a "window" with my Cricut Design Studio and George cartridge. After cutting, I used this as a mask to stamp my tree, sponge my interior, and sponge my base. I also used it with a Bamboo marker (CTMH) to outline for more definition. My only embellishment was a little Fun Flock in the left/bottom of the window panes for a frosty snow look.

Stamps are Holiday Joy from Close To My Heart. I used stamp pads in New England Ivy and Cranberry for stamping, as well as Honey and Vanilla Cream for sponging. I used markers in Cranberry and Goldrush for ornaments. (all CTMH) Fun Flock was plain old White.

Here's a fun technique I hadn't used before, and one I'd like to do again! Of course, I think I'll need a LOT more practice with this one, or need to switch from markers to pens.

I used a Cuttlebug Floral Fantasy embossing folder on my card base, but I used it backwards so my image was debossed rather than embossed. I then used Topiary and Tulip markers (CTMH) to color in selected debossed areas in the design. Here is where I think some ultra fine tips are called for, as the coloring doesn't look very neat, IMO.

Using my stamp block as a template, I cut out a portion of the card front then stamped the sentiment on the inside of the card. (Sentiment is from Holiday Trinkets set.) To add a little "something", I used a few adhesive rhinestones and pearls to the centers of a few flowers.

For my final card, I used the old standby gold embossing. My "frame" stamp had journaling lines, so I masked those off using a Post-it while I inked up the stamp. I then added my sentiment to the center. A few adhesive pearls finished it off.

Frame stamp is a retired CTMH set, Key To My Heart. Sentiment is from the Peace on Earth sentiment set. I used an Archival Brilliance ink pad in Galaxy Gold, and CTMH gold embossing powder.

Notes: I am compensated for sales of CTMH products. I do not receive any other form of compensation for mentioning any of these products.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shopping Extravaganza next week!

Join me at the Manhattan PTO Shopping Expo!
If you're looking for Christmas gifts, teacher gifts, something for the office, gifts for the bus driver, your holiday hostess or even a gift for yourself, this is the place to be!
Get a head start on your Christmas shopping at the PTO's Annual Home Shopping Expo! This event will be held at Wilson Creek Elementary, on Monday, November 9th, from 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. There will be great raffles from all vendors!
Vendors include the following:
Avon, Celebrating Home, Chic Boutique, Close To My Heart, Cookie Lee, Creative Memories, Curves, Double Take Photography, Dress A Neck, Gold Canyon Candles, Gram of Gold, Great Products 2go, Hand Stamped Creations by Lisa, Juice Plus, Lia Sophia, Mary Kay, Miche Bags, Moms Helping Moms, Pampered Chef, Party Lite, Reel Art Productions, Silpada, Southern Living At Home, Stampin' Up!, Sunsilks, Tastefully Simple, The Angel Company, Thirty-One Gifts, Tupperware, Uppercase Living, Votre Vu, and What A Charming Idea.

Please note that one of our vendors is a gold buyer, and YES she will be buying gold during this event.
If you want more information about any of the vendors listed above, you can contact Lori Brown at (815)478-5119 or email to be put in touch with the vendor.

The Manhattan PTO thanks you for your support!

November Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Welcome to the monthly Close To My Heart blog hop! As always, we're featuring the stamp of the month set, and the set for November is Around the Block (D1377). I love all of the different things you can do with this set, since all of the parts are separate stamps!

If you're on the hop, and you've come here from Terrie's blog, you're on the right track! This month, we have 64 bloggers participating, and you're sure to find a wealth of ideas for using this great set of stamps.

This month, I chose to do a scrapbook layout. We moved into our then-new house over 5 years ago, and I had never scrapbooked the first time we all came to see our new home. This stamp set was just the perfect touch I needed, and here's how it turned out:

And, the close-ups of each page (click to see them larger):

With the number of elements used to "build" my houses, I opted not to use embellishments, and used only a single silver Bitty Brad for the door knob. I used the Sweet Home paper pack, along with some Heavenly Blue cardstock, to complete my layout. Stamp pad colors coordinate with the kit: Buttercup, Heavenly Blue, Indian Corn Blue, and Garnet. Layout design is from our Cherish book.

To make even more projects with the beautiful papers used here, you can check out our Workshop on the Go kit for Sweet Home. Follow the included step-by-step instructions to create the two workshop projects featured in the workshop guide: a two-page layout and six cards (2 each of 3 designs). Layout and card patterns are Jeanette Lynton originals created exclusively for this workshop.

If you're ready to move on with the hop, head on over to Cibele's blog to see what she has created this month!

For an even more exciting November, CTMH has made this month STAMPAGANZA!! Whether you're a long time fan of stamps or are just venturing into this fun hobby, now is the perfect time to grab some My Acrylix® decorative stamp sets! From November 3–30, 2009, when you purchase any two stamp sets (sizes A,B, C, D, and/or E only) at full retail price you will receive a third stamp set of your choice FREE (of equal or lesser value)— a savings of up to $22.95! Choose from any stamp set offered in any 2009 Idea Book or the current Product Review. Take advantage of this month’s great offer to add to your
assortment of these innovative stamps.

Remember to stop by my website beginning November 3rd to choose from all the great stamp choices available.
Shipping/handling apply. Stamp sets available for FREE include: A, B, C, and D-size sets only. E-size, customizable (K), Stamp of the Month, and Art & Soul® sets are not available as the free set. 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.
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