Saturday, June 30, 2012

Live Out Loud - July Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to our monthly blog hop!  If you are coming from Haley Dyer's blog, or if you are just starting out, you are in the right place.  When you're done here, you'll hop along to Teresa Scrivens' blog and see what she made for us this month.

This month's stamp set is Live Out Loud, a set of 8 graphic sentiments.  I particularly like this stamp set for scrapbooking, but of course I can see it used for all kinds of other cool projects as well!  Here's the layout I made with these stamps:

I thought these stamps added a fun addition to my layout.  I also cut some additional sentiments from one of the "zip strips" on one of the papers and adhered them to some chipboard hearts I covered using another paper.  I also distressed everything with my Cocoa ink pad, using a direct-to-paper method.

Here's a closeup of the stamp/heart on the left page:
And here's a closeup of the right:

Supplies used to make this layout:
OK, now don't forget to head over to Teresa's blog!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Blessings" Challenge Card

I've decided to try and participate in challenges a little more frequently, to keep my mojo going and to pull out & use things I haven't used in a while (or at all).  Today, I'm using a stamp set that I love and just "had to have", but never actually used it - how sad!  Considering how well this card turned out, I think it's safe to say I will be using it more from here on out.  I'm also playing along with the challenges at Tuesday Morning Sketches (#152) and Heart 2 Heart (Wedding).

I stamped the vines & some leaves directly on the background in Olive ink (2nd generation for the solid portion).  Then I stamped some more leaves on a scrap paper and cut them out.  I stamped various sizes of the flowers on a scrap and cut those out as well.  Using the outline of the smallest flower, I stamped some in Olive randomly along the vines.

After cutting out the flowers, I used an embossing stylus (on the two larger sizes only) from the back side to curl back the flower petals, then I rolled it from the front side in the center only to give it some lift.  I adhered the larger flowers using 3-D foam tape, and glued the fat end only of the leaves I cut under the flowers.  I then curled forward the ends of the leaves.  I glued the smallest flowers directly to the paper, adhering smaller leaves under some of them.

I adhered Opaques Pearls to the centers of all of the flowers.  My bow at the top is some baker's twine from the Paradise Assortment - I poked holes right through the kraft card base and threaded it through on a needle and tied a bow.

Here's a closeup of some flowers - you can also see a bit of the background, which I filled in using the stipple brush from the Texture Tools set and some more Olive ink:

Supplies used to make this card are all from Close To My Heart:
 That's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by!  I hope to see you again soon.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Great Outdoors!

It's my turn again to share over the Cutters Creek blog! It's no secret how much I love Echo Park Paper, as I use it in nearly all of my Cutters Creek projects.

I have another Echo Park mini-theme layout to share with you today; this one is all about the Great Outdoors!  I personally don't do much camping; my husband says that my idea of roughing it is a hotel without room service.  He is just joking (I think!), but he has a bit of a point... so if you're like me you may wonder what use you may have for a "camping" kit.  Well, nicely enough, there are only a couple of elements that are specific to camping, and the pattern paper that has tents on it has plenty of other things on it as well to make it perfectly suitable for general outdoor pictures like hiking, picnics, and more.  Here's the first thing I've done with it:

These pictures are from a field trip to a local nature center.  The papers in this kit fit perfectly!  I cut one of the blocks from the Journaling paper to use as a title, and added a sticker element as a subtitle.  I used some more sticker elements and added them to some journaling circles - you can use punches or a cutting machine for the journaling shapes.

I used one circle to note the event and year.
I used another to point out how excited my daughter was to be there.
And I used a third, completing a visual triangle, to add a fun little image.

One little tip to note: one of the ricrac strips I added was a little bulky (the one at the top), so I popped up my smaller photos over it with foam adhesive so they didn't look lumpy.  To balance things out, I also popped up the small photo at the bottom right.

You can make a similar layout with just a few items:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Template Winner

I have a winner from our Creations by AR blog hop - Skylight, you receive your choice of the new templates!  Please email Adela at with your choice ASAP.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stars & Stripes Blog Hop with Creations by AR

Hello and welcome to the Stars & Stripes new release blog hop with Creations by AR!  Today we are featuring two files: the Bordered Box set and a Gourmet Takeout Box.  All Creations by AR files come with 3 files - SVG, DXF, and PDF (for those of you who cut by hand).  I was having so much fun with these files I think I finished them in record time! You can win your choice of these great cutting files just by leaving a comment by Noon Central on Friday 6/22.

Here's a closer look at the Star Bordered Box (the set also comes with a heart bordered box and a diamond bordered box):

I chose to keep this one simple for a fun centerpiece.  (I'm thinking of making several more for my upcoming family reunion near the 4th!)  I used a basic pattern paper for the box and a solid cardstock for the stars.  I added a fun embellishment and it was ready to be filled.  I poured a bag of floral gems into the box and arranged my cake pops in them.  I wish I had some white tissue paper on hand to fill in with; I think it would look a lot better!

Now, for the awesome takeout box:
This file is so much fun - I cut it from plain white cardstock and used random stamping to decorate the box before I assembled it.  And let me just say that this box goes together perfectly!  Once the flaps are folded over the handles they stay put all on their own.  I stamped and cut out some embellishments to finish it off.  I can't wait to make some patriotic cookies to pack up in some of these!

Products used to make these boxes:
Be sure to check out all the other Design Team members' blogs for even more ideas using these box templates! (Don't forget to leave a comment before you go, for your chance to win your choice of these two files.)

Adela Rossol:
Amy Park: 
Lisa Somerville:
Magdalena Cortez:

Oh, and just in case you're interested, the cake pops were delicious!  I make mine the old-fashioned way, kind of.  Cake pops started as a way for bakers to use up the scraps of cake cut off from leveling or carving cakes, basically a way to make money off of crumbs!  I didn't have any crumbs around, so I made a new cake (from scratch).  I crumbled pieces into a bowl, mixed in some almond pastry filling, and kept mixing in more crumbled cake until I couldn't mix in any more.  (Most people mix theirs with frosting, but I didn't have any on hand and didn't want to make any!)  This resulted in a nice dense mixture that I could scoop with a small spring-loaded scoop.  I froze them for about 20 minutes while I melted some white candy melts.  I dipped skewers in the candy melts and stuck them in the pops, then I dipped the entire pop and decorated some.  Super easy and YUMMY!

Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope to see you again soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Little Birdie Told Me...

that I need to remind you about some great promotions going on this month!  I have a sweet card to share with you first, of course.

I made this fun card using the Stella paper pack and this month's Stamp of the Month, Life is Tweet.  Sometimes stamped cards can feel a little flat if you aren't adding embellishments, so I have a few tricks for you!

  1. Stamp your image on the background cardstock AND on a pattern paper.  Cut the main part of the image out of the pattern paper and layer it over the stamped image on the background.
  2. Add more dimension by only adhering the centers of things like flowers and use a fingernail to curl them away from the background.
  3. Before adhering, use an X-acto knife to cut a portion of an image, like the wing of a bird, and use a fingernail to curl them up slightly.
  4. Add some small chipboard elements for added dimension.  (The hearts I used on my card come right in the Stella Workshop on the Go if you go that route.)
Now, want to get the best bargain ever on that sweet stamp set, and a few others as well?  This month is Stampaganza with Close To My Heart, which means that you get a free stamp set for every two that you buy.  Then you can get the Stamp of the Month set for only $5 when you spend $50.  So, here's a great example of the bargain you can get:

Buy 2 "D" size stamp sets for $17.95 each and get another free, buy 2 "B" size stamp sets for $9.95 and get another free, then buy the Stamp of the Month for $5.  You spend a total of  $60.80 (before tax & shipping) and you get $101.65 worth of stamps - pretty awesome, right?  If you're ready to spend a little and save a lot, head on over to the My Acrylix Stamp Sets portion of my website and start shopping! Don't forget to add the Stamp of the Month set to your cart before you check out!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Hope to see you again soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Superhero Card with Close To My Heart

Today I have a fun Superhero card to share with you.  I wanted to play along with a couple of challenges, and I was debating what kind of card to make... well, my youngest is a 7yo boy so he is at the age where he's getting invited to a lot of birthday parties.  So I chose to make a "boy" card that can easily be used for a birthday card.

I used the sketch for Mojo Monday 246 and Color Dare #4 from Color My Heart to create my card.  I altered the sketch slightly by rounding all of my corners to match the rounded corners on my clear card base.

You can really see the wow factor of these clear card bases in this picture.  By layering on both sides of the front and back of the card, you can really add depth to your design (and hide all of your adhesive at the same time)!

I just love this retro superhero guy - he is so cool!

Here are the supplies I used to make my card:
 I hope you'll take some time to play along with one or both of these challenges this week.  Be sure to let me know if you do so I can pop over and check out your project.  Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to!  I hope to see you again soon.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pattern Pattern Everywhere - Product Spotlight Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to our product spotlight blog hop!  If you're just starting out, or have arrived here from Adeline's blog, you are in the right place.  When you're done here, be sure to continue the hop by heading over to Haley's blog.

This month, we're we're all using our stamps to make our own pattern paper!  This just happens to be one of my favorite things to do, because I love to make my scrapbook layouts all matchy-matchy with my pictures, so you can definitely find a lot more examples of this on my blog if you want to take a look around later.  Since I've had a bit of a time and space crunch this week, I thought I would dig out some space to work on a quick & simple card for today.

I used a single flower stamp in two colors of ink and stamped my entire 5"x7" card base.  Then I just cut a shape tag from the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge and stamped my sentiment on it.  Add a ribbon band and that's it!  Here are the supplies I used to make my card:

Thanks for stopping by!  I  hope you'll leave a comment and/or become a follower while you're here.  Now don't forget to hop on over to Haley's blog and see her project!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

July 4 Layout with Echo Park Paper

Have you tried any of the Echo Park Mini Theme collections yet?  These collections are great, because you can get one to match a specific event and not worry about having a bunch of product left over.  Now if you're like me and take a lot of pictures of everything, these are easy to stretch into several layouts as well!  Every kit has 6 double-sided papers (2 of each pattern combo) and a 6x12 sheet of element stickers.  Add some coordinating cardstock and you have everything you need.  Or, if you're like me, add a few extra touches and your layout will shine!

July 4th is more than just one day for me.  My hometown celebrates for an entire weekend, and we have a family reunion that Sunday.  So lots of pictures of course!  To make my papers stretch, and really help my photos stand out, I like to use a cardstock base in a coordinating color and use smaller pieces of the patterns.  Doing this also speeds me up as I don't feel the need to use photo mats like I normally would when I use larger amounts of pattern.

While the layout has a simple design, it doesn't have to look basic.  I glued down some chipboard brackets from my stash using Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive.  I coated both brackets in Silver Stickles, and also used them to outline the stickers I used for my title.  Then I pulled out some Distress Stickles in Fired Brick and Faded Jeans, and alternated the colors to outline the circles in my design.  After drying, it's all ready to be put in a scrapbook.

Supplies used to make this layout:
Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope to see you again soon!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ravishing Ribbon - May Arts DT Call Submission

Today I have an extra special (and extra long) post for you.  I'm submitting to a design team call for the May Arts Ribbon Blog, so I have three fabulous projects and a tutorial today!  I absolutely love ribbon, and the variety of things it can be used for, so it was rather hard to narrow it down to three fabulous uses for this post (but I finally managed).

First up, I have a gorgeous garden party hat.  I started with a "plain Jane" $7 floppy hat from the farm store - you can find a similar one in nearly any discount store I'm sure.  I made magic with a few types of ribbon and a couple of feathers, and this is what I ended up with:

I started by making a hatband from a 3" wide green mesh ribbon, and tied it in an oversize bow.  My big beautiful flower was made in three layers.  First, I made a rolled layer using a 5/8" dark turquoise ribbon and a small Gluber.  For the second layer, I gathered one edge of a 1 1/2" light turquoise ribbon using the longest stitch on my sewing machine and some upholstery thread.  (Upholstery thread is much heavier than sewing thread, and won't break when gathering long lengths of ribbon.)  For the final layer, I pulled out a bit of sheer glittery wire-edged ribbon.  I removed the wire from one side, and gathered the wire on the other side for the center.  I layered everything up, using an additional Gluber, and used a couple of Glue Dots to secure the large beaded button to the center.  I stuck in a couple of feathers (one colored with my Copic Markers) for fun, and I was done.

My hat had its grand debut at my local Woman's Club annual reciprocity meeting.  We met in a lovely mansion, and my hat fit right in!

Next in line is a scrapbook layout, declaring our favorite place for July 4th fun:

I love to use ribbon & fiber on layouts, and layer them up or use them in unexpected ways.

For this layout I chose to use ribbons that coordinate well with the slightly distressed feel of the papers.   I used a 3/8" natural twill, and layered on a 3/16" string/loop trim.  For a little extra pizazz, I added small silver star brads every 2 1/2" - and it has the added benefit of helping the string/loop lay flat!
I added some corrugated stars, which i swiped with white pigment ink, and used more of the string/loop to make them look like shooting stars.  The little snips were easy to cut with my i-magicut ribbon cutter from Imaginisce, and they are easy to adhere to paper using Liquid Glass from Close To My Heart (or Glossy Accents from Ranger).

Products used for this layout:
My final project is some seasonal home decor.  My regular readers may remember that I have a pretty grapevine tree in my kitchen, and I've been trying to spread out my costs for seasonal decorations by doing it a bit at a time.  With my latest creations, I am now set for Memorial Day through July.

I had purchased the tin star ornaments and Uncle Sam last year, so I recently made two additions.  First, a patriotic banner garland:

I stamped "U", "S", & "A" on 7 sets of three mini pennants ans added some additional stamped designs as well.  Then I made 8 star epoxy shapes using the Epiphany Crafts star Shape Studio tool, and adhered them to 8 of the mini pennants (see below).  I strung the pennants on 15 yards of skinny striped ribbon, starting with a star pennant, then a group of USA pennants, then a star pennant, and so on.   I left several inches between each USA group and the star pennants on either side.

NOTE: If you have only a small area to decorate, this would look really cute in a smaller form!  Just buy one pack of mini pennants, make a single USA group and 2 stars, string them up and hang them just about anywhere.  You'll still have 5 pennants left for another project - Halloween "BOO", anyone?

Products used for the banner garland:
To complete my decorations, I made some patriotic rosettes:
These are really easy to make, and take very few supplies.  All you need is ribbon, needle and upholstery thread or twine, paper punched or cut for the center, and adhesive (I used Beacon 3-in-1, but Glue Dots would also work).  You can experiment using longer lengths of ribbon for fuller rosettes, ribbon instead of twine for hangers, etc.  Different colors make great decorations for Halloween or Christmas, or exchange the hanger for a stem & leaves and you have a flower. Check out my short video below to see how easy they are!

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope to see you again soon! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Stampaganza Time!

This is my favorite time of year - time for Stampaganza from Close To My Heart!  I hope it will soon be your favorite time of year too...

Purchase any two stamp sets (sizes A, B, C, D, or E) at full retail price and receive a third stamp set of your choice FREE (of equal or lesser value)—a savings of up to $29.95!
Stamp sets that count toward the qualifying purchase include full-priced A, B, C, D, and E sets only. Stamps that do not count toward a qualifying purchase include customizable (K), Workshops on the Go™, Cricut® collection, and Stamp of the Month (both discounted and full-priced) sets.

Offer valid until June 30 (11:59 pm MDT).

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dad's Day Card For Hubby - Cutters Creek Bog Hop

Welcome to the Cutters Creek Design Team Fathers Day Blog Hop! If you just came from Kim's Blog, you are in the right place! If you just happened upon my blog today and you want to hop from the beginning, and play for the Grand Prize you can start from the Cutters Creek Design Team Blog and check out Chris' great project! The objective for our Blog Hop this weekend is to inspire you to create something beautiful for all of the “Fathers” in your life! We have a bit of everything, from cards to gift ideas to layouts about our fathers!

For my project, I decided to make a card for my hubby from me.  I just HAD to use one of my new Sarah Kay stamps, so this was a good excuse!  Here's my 6x6 card:

I used patterned paper and stickers from Echo Park Paper's Note To Self collection, and pulled out some CTMH cardstock to match.  I distressed the edges of all of my papers (and the outer edges of my stamped image) with Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Vintage Photo.  I trimmed a piece of X-press Blending Card to size and stamped my Sarah Kay "A Kiss For Chloe" image (note: this is currently sold out in the store, but Kim can order more) with Memento Rich Cocoa ink.  I colored the image with my Copic Sketch markers.  I also filled in a bit of a background with the Copics - I can't wait to save up enough for the airbrush system, because it will make my backgrounds look SO much better!  Finally, I cut the stems off a few Cutters Creek flowers and adhered them with Glue Dots.

Here are the Copic colors I used:

Now for the details about the Grand Prize I mentioned at the beginning of my post. To qualify you must leave a comment at every stop along the way. Comments should be made by Midnight, June 3rd. We will use to select a winner so be sure to check back with us on Monday to find out if you have won!

Don't forget to leave a comment here before you hop along to Deanna's Blog. Thanks for hopping by!
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