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Monday, July 24, 2017

Wedding Card for Color My Heart

One of my dearest friends is going to be a mother-in-law in a couple of weeks, so I asked her what the color scheme was. Gray and Lt. Blue...which worked perfectly with this week's Color My Heart challenge.

I used one of my favorite techniques for watercoloring when its comes to meeting color challenges. I squeezed my dye ink pads to get some ink in the lids then used a wet paint brush to fill in the images. I started by inking Blooming Heart in Black Momento ink, stamping it on scratch paper once before stamping it on watercolor paper. I used Glacier alone on a few of the larger flowers and a combination of Glacier and Slate on the others. I then accented with Tangerine, Poppy, and Willow. I added the touch of gold with the bow.

I cut my heart and background mat using My Favorite Things stitched square die cuts, backed them with Slate cardstock, then assembled everything on my card base.

Now off to the writing cave. Deadline in a week!!! Oh...don't forget to enter the GoodReads give-away of The Promise Bride. It ends on July 25th.

Until next time,

Friday, July 21, 2017

Blog Hops with Heart goes Red, White, and Anything but Blue

Well...the big move from Alaska to South Carolina is now complete. Whew! I wasn't sure if my craft area and photo light box would be done in time for this blog hop, so I completed this card before the movers in Alaska boxed up my craft area. I have to say it's one of my favorite cards of the year.

I used various shades of red, white, and then some green instead of blue to fulfill the theme. Yes, that's technically pink, but pink is just red with white added in, so...yeah, it works!

I used CTMH inks in Pixie, Poppy, Ruby, Fern, and Topiary as well as Baby Pink Gingham paper (retired). The stamp set used for the flowers is called "Lifetime of Happiness" (also retired) and the sentiment comes from "Happy to be Friends" which I think retires soon. The Ruby dots in center of the center flower of this close-up shot was done by touching the end of quilling tool into Ruby ink and then "stamping" multiple times.

The Fern vines in background are from Lifetime of Happiness and the long retired, wood-mounted Balloon String stamp. The sequins accents are from a mix of Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and anywhere else offering a 40% discount. :)

You might be wondering what's with all the retired CTMH product. Remember last month's Blog Hops with Heart theme? It was "Use It or Lose It." I created both my cards at the same time, which happened to be just before the movers showed up. I was trying to be ruthless about purging things, but in reality, I just find reasons why I bought the stamps and supplies I have so I can feel okay about moving them from place to place.

If you are a Blog Hops with Heart veteran, you know that we always have a circle. You probably came from Jayma's blog and now will hop on over to Amie's blog. Amie has a complete list of everyone participating in the hop, in case you need it. These ladies really know how to put on a show, so don't miss a single entry.

You probably won't see me for a few more weeks as I finish up two more writing deadlines. Then I'm going to spend some quality time in my craft area before we pack everything up and move again in a few more months. Ah, army life!

If you'd like to win a copy of The Promise Bride (releasing in about a month), here's a link to Goodreads. The giveaway ends July 25, 2017, so you might want to head there now and then finish the blog hop.

Until next time,

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Another Goodreads Giveaway

The release of The Promise Bride is just around the corner, and our publisher is going all out to help spread the word. From now until July 25, 2017, you can enter to win a copy through a Goodreads giveaway before the August 29, 2017 release.

Romantic Times gave it four stars, and Kirkus Review said this:

Co-authors Welborn and Whitham launch a new series, Montana Brides, with a dauntless, winning heroine, a complex hero, an engaging supporting cast, and a light message of faith...Sweet and appealing, this historical inspirational romance hits a nice tone as it touches on a variety of themes.

Gina and I are feverishly working to complete the second book of this series, so off to the writing cave I go...

Until next time,

Monday, July 17, 2017

H2H In Stitches

Oh, how I have missed crafting...not to mention I'm behind on sending a few cards for birthdays, anniversaries, and the like. But then I found out that a writing colleague was diagnosed with breast cancer. Before I could get a "Praying for You" card done, she had a biopsy and was told her lump was benign. Halleluiah, amen!!

I wanted to send her a card to let her know I was thinking of her anyway, so I decided to use the cheerful dots from the Little Dreamer paper pack with a fun sentiment from the Flower Market coordinating stamps to make this card for the H2H In Stitches Challenge this week:

I'm complying with the "stitches" theme in several stitches, laughter that has you in stitches, and the cross-stitch pattern on the banner from the Whimsy Fundamentals paper pack To get the sentiment to stand out, I used pigment ink (Emerald). I really wanted to use my sewing machine to stitch a border all the way around my polka dot piece before mounting it to the card base with foam tape, but my sewing machine is still in a box. 

The assembly guy comes on Monday to put my craft cabinet together, and then I can get it loaded up and be back in business. Yes, it's a lot of work for only five months, but it's necessary to my mental health.

I hope you will come join us at H2H this week and give us your best "in stitches" project.

Until next time,

Monday, July 3, 2017

No Worries

I've been sitting on this news for quite a while now, and I can finally tell you that I'm joining the talented group of ladies on the design team at the Heart2Heart Challenge Blog featuring Close to My Heart products. This week the challenge is to use the No Worries paper. Please excuse the weird photography. I was trying to be artsy and, well...yeah. To get the color and brightness right on the card, it totally whacked out the jar with the green marbles in it. I figured the card was more important.

I cut a white card base and then an extra piece of white cardstock measuring 4 x 5.25. I then trimmed out a one inch border using my Fiskars Paper Trimmer. I stamped the sentiment (from the Flower Market Cricut Cartridge companion stamps) leaving off the "happy" part. I die cut the "HAPPY" using a retired Thin Cut four times--three in white paper and one from the No Worries paper. I glued the four die cuts together to give it strength and depth. I then glued a piece of No Worries paper to the card base, mounted the trimmed out and stamped frame piece over top using foam tape, and glued the "HAPPY" in place.

I'm so excited to be part of this design team! Heart2Heart always has fun challenges.

On a personal note, this card was made while the hubs and I are on the road traveling from Alaska to South Carolina. You can read some previous posts and see pictures of our travels. We're almost done. A few more days on the road, and then we'll be in our new home...for six months before we move again. life! And some time between now and September 1, I need to finish two stories. Ah...the life of an author. So crazy!! But I wouldn't change a thing.

Until next time,

Saturday, July 1, 2017

More Pictures from our Move

We've made it to Colorado. Here are a few more pictures to show you where we've been.
Mt. Hood at Sunset

Mt. Shasta

Lake Shasta

Morgan, UT

Western Wyoming

South Western Nebraska 

Me snapping pictures out the window

NE Colorado

 And don't forget to enter the GoodReads giveaway of The Promise Bride. Here's the link to enter:

Until next time,

Thursday, June 29, 2017

GoodReads Giveaway: The Promise Bride

The publisher of The Promise Bride is giving away 25 copies on GoodReads between June 29 and July 6.  I'm still on the road, so I'm not sure how many times I'll be able to pop in here and remind you, so be sure to enter right away!

Here's the link to enter:

Gina and I are thrilled to finally get the first book of this three-book series in the hands of readers. We started brainstorming these stories four years ago in a Starbucks on Cache Road in Lawton, Oklahoma. Every book has it's own special "behind-the-scenes" challenges. This one involves a house fire.

We were about a month away from our deadline when Gina's house caught on fire. The damage was so extensive, her family had to move into a rental home which they still occupy. If you've read the Acknowledgments section of my story in The Secret Admirer's Collection, you know I wrote that novella in six days. The reason was because we had to push back the deadline for The Promise Bride by a month. Clearly, Gina had more important things to attend to--like her children and her husband who suffered third-degree burns on his leg. Real people trump made-up ones every time.

We are so grateful that Gina's husband suffered no permanent damage and nothing was lost that couldn't be replaced.

Come Fly with Me is the introductory novella to this series. You'll meet a few of the characters who will be important in The Promise Bride and future stories. This story is available now but only in e-reader format.

Gina and I hope you fall in love with Luanne and Roy (Come Fly with Me) as well as with Emilia and Mac (The Promise Bride). You'll be able to check back in on them as the series continues over the next couple of years. I know, it's a long time to wait, but each story stands on its own with just a few teasers to make you eager for the next installment.

The Promise Bride officially releases August 29, 2017, but pre-orders are being taken now.

And now on with our previously scheduled move from Alaska to South Carolina. We are currently in California enjoying time with friends...and trying to meet the next book deadline for the second book in this series.

Until next time,

Friday, June 23, 2017

Blog Hops with Heart is Using It or Losing It.

Every time the army moves us, I try to be ruthless weeding out the stamps I'm not using. Hubby and I are in the midst of a move from Alaska to South Carolina. We are currently in Washington State visiting family and friends. Before the movers packed us up, I went through my stamp stash again. I was within an inch of getting rid of a sentiment set, but I decided to use it instead. I went clean and simple and paired it with an old Stampin' Up set.

The sentiment was stamped in Lemon Ink first and then offset and stamped again with Saffron using the State of Mind stamp set. The sandals were stamped in Pacifica ink, colored with Copics, and accented with red enamel gems. I popped them up with some foam tape to add just a touch more dimension.

I sent this to a friend who loves the sunshine and beach. I happened to be visiting her when she opened it, and it made her smile.


As always, the blog hop this month is a circle, and as always, you won't want to miss a single project. (I got a sneak peek!) You probably came from Kelly's blog, and you're heading to Stephanie's blog next. If you get lost, you can always go to Amie's blog. She'll have a list of all this month's participants.

Until next time,

Monday, June 12, 2017

On the Move

We've spent the last week traveling, most of it on a ferry from Whittier, AK to Bellingham, WA.  Here are a few pictures I've taken along the way.

A tunnel to Whittier built for the railroad. It's so narrow, traffic can only go one way at a time.

Our ferry, the Kennicott.

 It's impossible to capture the magnificence in pictures. Truly an unforgettable experience (although I could have done without the seasickness the first day).

Popping back out again so we can spend time with family and friends. More pictures and an exciting announcement to come.

Until next time,

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Big News in the Writing Part of my Life

There are certain milestones that you start ticking off when you get published. The first - and biggest one, of course - is actually getting published. There's something incredible about seeing your name on the cover of a book and then seeing that book for sale online and in bookstores. After that, you start ticking off a few others. Today is one of those days. The series that my friend, Gina Welborn, and I are writing together is with a publisher who sends what's called Advanced Reader Copies, or ARC's for short.

These books have some grammatical errors or missing words since they were printed before the final round of edits are done, but you can still get the story. They are to be sent to people who agree to review the story.

Pretty exciting to get this in the hands of actual readers!!

In addition to that, today is release day for the promotional novella that kicks off this series. Come Fly with Me is only available in e-book (purchasing link along the sidebar).  Gina and I have been working on this set of stories for about three years from brainstorming to now. It's quite a thrill to see that much hard work pay off.

Gotta run. I have four guys here packing up my house as we prepare for our move to South Carolina.

Until next time,

Friday, May 26, 2017

Blog Hops with Heart is Going Green

I'm in the final push for deadline number one of the three I need to meet this summer while promoting two books I wrote last year with May release dates (see sidebar for links to The Secret Admirer Collection and Come Fly with Me). I'm also exactly one week away from signing out of our house in Alaska for a move to South Carolina so my husband can attend a six-month long school.

Yes, I still have my hair, but my nails are a total wreck.

Anyway, one of the things I do to help me de-stress when I'm under deadlines is escape to my stamping room. This month, Blog Hops with Heart decided to "Go Green." My original thought was to do something with recycling, but remember those deadlines I told you about. Yeah...just didn't have it in me to be that creative. So I went green. Like totally green.

Here's my first card. It uses current CTMH products:

To create the inset sentiment, I cut the "thanks" at an angle along the bottom of a 5.5 x 4.25 piece of white cardstock. I then cut it again from patterned paper out of the Some Kind of Wonderful paper (still available for purchase) and glued the two sentiments together. I then used my paper cutter to trim the bottom edge of the white cardstock and set everything aside.

Next, I smeared Topiary ink over top of the Confetti embossing folder and ran it through my Cuttlebug with Willow paper. The effect is known as two-tone embossing or something, but the basic idea is that you can get a multi-dimensional effect. As you can see, I ended up with sort of this splotchy look which, while it was okay, wasn't as much contrast as I was hoping for. So...sanding kit (which is set to!) to the rescue. I often forget to take advantage of the white core in CTMH cardstock but love how it gives me a fun option like this.

I glued the Willow piece to the bottom of a 5.5 x 4.25 card base then glued the white panel with "thanks" cut out of it over top. Then I fit the die cut "thanks" into the white panel. To complete the card, I stamped "so very much" in black on a leftover piece of white cardstock and hand cut it into a banner. I then decided that I wanted the banner to hang off the edge of the card, so I trimmed the assembled card down to 4 x 5. 25 and used foam tape to mount the banner. I used my craft mat to make sure the banner only hung off by 1/4 inch so I could still fit inside a standard A2 envelope.

Here's a second card that uses the same basic design principle of an angle across the bottom but uses products that are close to thirty years old.

And here's a picture of the stamps and ribbon that, you heard me right, are close to in 3-0...years old.

In case you can't read it, this is Aspen Green. It was my favorite green before it retired. I still have a ton of coordinating paper, but I love the simplicity of just the inked bottom with torn vellum over top and a ribbon with a plain knot. Easy and elegant.

I got a sneak peek of a few projects included in this hop, so I can tell you with absolute certainty that you don't want to miss a single one. You should have come from Stephanie's blog, and now you're headed to Amie's blog. The hop is a circle, so keep going until you get back to where you started.

This will likely be my last post for a while. I have packed a crafty bag so I can create on the road, but it might be tricky to photograph and post from the road. It will take us over a month to get from Alaska to South Carolina because we plan to add a vacation into our travel. I'm particularly looking forward to the ferry ride from Whittier, AK to Bellingham, WA through the Inside Passage. The ferry might not have the same amenities as a cruise ship, but the views will be the same. I'll try to post pictures as I can. And so...

Until next time,

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Catch Up Card

I'm buried in deadlines for three new books, promoting the novella collection that released this month, and getting ready to move from Alaska to South Carolina.  All that means I haven't had much time for making cards. However, I found a card I made I don't know how long ago that I never shared. It uses a retired CTMH set called Blossom Workshop on the Go.

Because it's been so long ago, I can only guess at the colors. I think I used Poppy, Blush, Canary, Pear, and Pacifica with Saddle or Cashmere as the wooden sticks (all CTMH).  The stitched frame is a die cut from MFT, and the sequins came from Hobby Lobby.

The trick to making this card work was using my MISTI.  In fact, I think this might have been one of the first cards I made after purchasing the MISTI.'s been that long.

Off to do some more writing. If you don't see me for a while, don't panic. I'll be doing enough of that for all of us.

Until next time,

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Blog Hops with Heart - Photo Inspiration

When we first got the photo for this month's Blog Hops with Heart challenge, I stared at it for a long time trying to come up with something--anything--and just couldn't find inspiration. Maybe that's because I'm feeling pressure from writing deadlines, but it was killing me. Usually when my writing stalls I go to my craft room to give my brain something different to focus on.

Then, in desperation, I said to myself, "Fine, I'll go literal." (Yes, I do talk to myself on a regular basis.)  Here's what I came up with:

I used the color photo Amie turned black and white for out badge as my literal guide. I started with woodgrain paper that I dry-brush painted with some green acrylic paint. To get color variation, I smushed some Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean, and Mowed Lawn on my craft sheet and mixed some of the paint in with them as I painted. After letting the paper dry, I cut it into strips and layered them over top of a piece of New England Ivy cardstock I'd swiped with Tim Holtz Walnut Stain Distress Ink. (The technical term is "direct to paper" but swiping is  more descriptive of the actual process.) I trimmed this down to 1/8 inch smaller than the brown mat at 4 x 5.25 and glued the two together.

Next I stamped a wreath in Cocoa ink. I chose the wreath from the retired White Pines set, but any wreath will do. I then cut another wreath using the Flower Market Cricut cartridge in Chocolate and retired Twilight. The spray and leaves are also from Flower Market and cut in Fern and New England Ivy. I drew veins in the leaves by hand. Once all the layers were glued together and glued to the card, I got out embellishments and went to town. I don't know about you, but I tend to collect embellishments faster than I can use them up. I think all of these save the blue enamel dot are retired, but I'm at the point where I need to move again (Army wife) so using lots is a good thing.

Our hop is short this month, but I'm sure you'll find lots of great inspiration.  This is an incredibly talented group of ladies! You should have come from Stephanie's blog, and now you're off to Jayma's blog. Have fun hopping!

Until next time,