Thursday, January 31, 2013

Home Sweet Home - February Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Welcome to the February stamp of the month blog hop!  If you have come here from Krista Ritskes' blog, or if you are just starting out, you are in the right place!  When you're done here, you'll hop along to Michelle Loncar's blog and see what fabulous idea she has for us this month.
This month's stamp set is Home Sweet Home, a lovely set of 4 stamps useful for cards, decor, gifts, and more.  I like them all & had trouble deciding which to use first!  I ended up making two projects because they were both so quick & easy.  I'll start with my favorite!

I have a thing for word-plays (which sometimes drives my hubby nuts, lol), so I couldn't resist making this "sweet" little wall hanging:

Home Sweet Home wall hanging
I thought the Buzz and Bumble papers were the perfect backdrop for this sentiment!  I stamped the sentiment in Cocoa ink on the honeycomb print paper, which I trimmed to 2.5" x 2.5" going "out of the box" around the swirls.  I then sponged the edges with Sunset ink and colored in the open areas on the letters with the Autumn Terracotta light marker.  I cut the bee paper at 3.5" x 3.5", distressing the edges, and the cocoa pattern paper at 3.75" x 3.75", sponging the edges with Cocoa ink.  I layered them and sewed them with brown upholstery thread, then adhered the honeycomb paper to them.  Using Liquid Glass, I adhered the entire stack to a 4" x 4" burlap canvas I had on hand.*

To decorate my wall hanging, I added Sparkles from the Brown & Tan assortment, and made a hanging bow with the Dark Chocolate Striped Grosgrain ribbon.  Finally, I fussy cut a flying bee and adhered it with 3-D foam tape.  I then used some Liquid Glass on the bee's wings to make them shiny.

My second project is quick & super easy:

Using one of our new Muslin Drawstring Bags, I sprayed it allover with diluted Blush reinker. (Spraying it unevenly makes a more aged look.)  After allowing it to dry, I stamped the sentiment using a Ruby ink pad.  That's all there is to it; a sweet little gift bag for your sweety (or even the special little people in your house).

I hope you enjoyed my projects today!  I'd love to hear your comments on them. If you'd like to see the items I used in these projects, just follow the links below to a new window to keep your hop uninterrupted.  Then be sure to hop along to see what Michelle Loncar has for us today!

Items used for the wall hanging:
Items used for the gift bag:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Gorjuss Valentine!

It's been quite a while since I posted anything - we've had rotating illness around here, making it harder to find time for taking photos and typing posts!  But since it's my turn on the Cutters Creek DT blog, I managed to force myself to get some quick pictures and sit down to type!

Today I have a bit of a non-traditional Valentine to share with you.  I'm using non-Valentine paper and a non-Valentine image, but by focusing on the red and adding some sparkle and some little added bits, it would make a fun Valentine for a special someone (who might be just a little bit grumpy, lol).

I started with the Miss Caroline Dilly Dally 6"x6" pad from My Mind's Eye, a Gorjuss Girl stamp from my stash (sorry, she's discontinued), and my Copic Markers and Spicas.  This is how it turned out:

 I can honestly say that I am in love with this little grouch!  I stamped my image in Memento Cocoa Brown on Xpress Blending Card, then chose the papers I wanted to use with her.  I wanted the red & white polka dots for a mat to put the focus on the red. Then I decided that the ticket pattern would make a great background and I could treat it like a kissing booth.  I cut a ticket shape from a Cricut Cartridge (I think I used Art Philosophy, but there are tickets on a number of cartridges), and stamped the sentiment with an alphabet set in my stash.  I didn't worry about making it straight, letting it be fun & child-like.  

I colored my image with Copic Markers to match the papers I chose (see list below).  Then I used Copic Spicas in Red and Lipstick to trace the letters on the tickets and go over all of the hearts on the girl's dress and her barrettes.  Finally, I trimmed all of my papers to size and added borders using a Chocolate Copic Spica.  I sponged the edges of the papers and the card base with coordinating inks and adhered everything, adding ribbon from my stash to the ticket paper. After assembly, I added my ticket using foam adhesive squares, and added some Kaisercraft adhesive pearls in Lemon.

 Here's an angle that shows how glittery the Spica Pens make everything!:

Products available from Cutters Creek:
Here's a closeup of the colored image, followed by a list of the colors I used:

Skin: E00, E02, E11, E13, YR000, R20
Hair: YR21, YR23, YR24
Shoes: E15, E37, E59
Clothes: BG11, BG15, BG18, R24, R27, R29
Shadow: W1, W3, W5

Now it's your turn!  Grab some papers  an image that may not say "Valentine's Day", but includes one color you can focus on to bring your theme through.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Copic Coloring Practice and Contest

It's my turn again today at the Cutters Creek blog.  Here's my contribution:

I am always looking for new images to practice with my Copic Markers, especially my blending and my skin tones.  It also helps me decide when I need more colors to work with in a certain range.  Right now, Copic Marker has a coloring contest going on, and the images they provided for the contest are great practice sheets.  One of the images is pretty detailed with lots of small areas unless you print it out really large, but the other one is perfect for one of my practice sessions. And I thought I would use it to point out a few helpful hints for using a practice session to improve your coloring.

Normally, I like coloring more detailed images, like the Sarah Kay stamps in the store. But because the areas are smaller, it is harder to see the blending and to figure out why something may not be looking exactly right.  These larger bits make it much easier.  For example, I think the green sweater and the "2013" look great!  I used a series of 3 colors in a range for these areas and they blended really well. (Example: the greens I used are YG06, YG07, and YG09.)

However, look at the orange streamer and orange hair bow - they look a little more flat.  That's because somehow, I managed to buy YR04 and YR07, but not a third color which would have helped add more depth to those areas. Also, look at my blue streamers. I used B21 and B24, but then jumped to B29, which seems too dark for the other shades and doesn't blend as well. So, I should get another blue in between B24 and B29 for a smoother transition.

I can also tell that I need more work on my skin tones on faces where the features are not as well defined. I have always had trouble drawing faces, especially noses, so I have trouble getting the shadows right. Another thing to study up on and get more practice!

Note: I always use the Copic recommended Xpress Blending Card when coloring with my markers.  It really does make a big difference in my coloring!

If you want to print out the images (and check out the contest that ends 1/20), you can see it at Copic Marker here.

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope I've given you some suggestions to use when practicing your coloring. Let us know if there's anything else you'd like to know about choosing and using Copic Markers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Decorative Storage Options

Today I posted on my "Our Clean House" blog again (finally!) - this time about storing extra supplies in the bathroom.  As usual, I didn't want plain boring storage, so I decorated mine to match the future beach-y theme of our bathroom.  You can see all of the organizing info over on that blog, but I will share the crafty goodness here.

I am using dollar store shoe boxes for some storage, and this is what a few of them look like:

 I wanted them pretty and The Husband wanted them labeled, so this is what I came up with.  I love a vintage look, so the tags I made (with the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge) remind me of something my grandmother would have done.  I went shopping in my craft room, and I love the burlap ribbon but I wanted to add other kinds too.  First, it takes about a yard of ribbon to go around a shoe box. Second, I wanted to add some color to the mix. And third, I wanted to use up some of the ribbon I have laying around. (In fact, my goal this year is to use ribbon on as many projects as possible because I honestly have TOO much!)

The buckles I would guess are from Making Memories based on appearance, but I have had them so long I can't say for sure.  I tend to stock up on things on clearance so I'm sure I got them very cheap because I still have several left.  The silky ribbons are from the fabric store, I used some pleated American Crafts ribbon, and that lovely burlap is from Close To My Heart. The tags, as I said, were cut on the Cricut, and I distressed them with direct-to-paper Cashmere ink (CTMH). I reinforced the holes with large eyelets (another thing I need to use up!) and tied the to the ribbons with baker's twine, also from Close To My Heart. I wrote the labels with a pencil (my least favorite writing instrument!) to make them easy to change if the need arises.

I attached everything to the shoe boxes using Scor Tape.  It sticks well, but if I ever want to take it off, it will peel off fairly easily.

Thanks for stopping by today! I'd love to hear what you think of my latest project.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Try Something New!

It's time for another challenge from Scrappy Frog's Challenge Blog!  This month, the theme is to try something new.  I think January is a great time to try something new - whether you got a new product for Christmas, or just want to spread your wings a little for the new year.

My personal challenge was some treat tubes.  I have wanted to do something with tubes for a while, but I have to admit that I have been a little intimidated & unsure what to do with them so I never bought any. But then Close To My Heart came out with this promotion for National Papercrafting Month, so the timing was right to try some. Here's how mine turned out:

What I liked about these is that they didn't come with instructions, but there were several sample pictures for inspiration.  I didn't even feel the need to copy any of them, so that was great! I even found some yummy "cherry lovers" heart shaped jelly beans to fill them.  Here are some more pictures:

The little boxes came pre-cut & scored, I just stamped on them before I put them together.

I used Liquid Glass for most of the assembly, plus Glue Dots for adhering things to the tubes, and foam tape.

The glitter paper was easy to cut with the Cricut and scissors, and I also used Glitz glitter gel for more bling.

So, I hope my project inspired you to try something new too!  Be sure to go link up your project at Scrappy Frog's so we can see what you tried. For more info on the promo kit I used to make my project, just read on...

Whooo's Your Valentine (shameless self promotion!)
In celebration of National Papercrafting Month, we’re offering a new product, available through January — our Whooo’s Your Valentine kit! This darling kit, which retails for $40, can be yours for only $10 when you spend $35 or more in Close To My Heart product. The kit includes 12 die-cut boxes, 3 cardstock sheets, 1 sheet of silver,gray, or black glitter paper, 12 treat tubes, and an exclusive D-size stamp set created specifically for the kit! Perfect for gifts and classroom projects, the Whooo’s Your Valentine kit will make Valentine’s Day a cinch!

You can see everything here on my website.  And FYI, I had a lot of paper left over from making my tubes. Can't wait to make more glittery projects with my leftovers!

If you've never shopped with CTMH before and need some ideas of what to buy for $35, there are lots of options to use with the kit and beyond. 

I used ink pads in Ruby, Hollyhock, and Blush, plus Slate for my neutral (Black would be cool also).  Other good additions are the adhesives I mentioned: Liquid Glass, Glue Dots, and 3-D Foam Tape.  

That's it for today; thanks for taking the time to stop by!
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