Monday, November 20, 2017

H2H Challenge with the Color of the Year: Bashful

This week at Heart2Heart we are highlighting projects using Close to my Heart's color of the year: Bashful. I'm deeply in love with this color. Truly, madly, and deeply. I couldn't stop at just one project so I did two, both utilizing the direct to paper technique. As always, products available for purchase are in italics with built in links for your shopping convenience.

For the first card, I began by creating a frame using two MFT stitched dies. Next, I ran Bashful paper through the Rose embossing folder and applied Bashful ink by carefully running the pad over top of the raised portions to highlight the pattern. I kept my ink pad flat and used a gentle hand. Once the ink dried, I cut the "B" out of the center using the Block Alphabet-Thin Cuts set. I backed it with very, very old gold paper with a butterfly pattern, positioning the paper behind the "B" so some of the pattern showed through. I glued the Bashful paper straight to my card base then mounted the frame over top of it with 3-D Foam Tape. The final touch was cutting out the baby's name from the birth announcement, cutting a V into each end, and attaching it to the card with glue on the ends and foam tape in the center.

On this card, I started by swiping Bashful ink over patterned paper from the Basic Fundamentals paper packet (on sale this month!) I kept swiping until I achieved full coverage. It's a little difficult to judge since the ink won't apply evenly. You have to let it soak in and dry some to make an accurate assessment. The paper will curl on you a bit, but it's not a problem. Just place it under a catalog or magazine when it's almost dry and let it sit overnight.

For the background, I started with another die cut from MFT.  I love the extra frill the scalloped border gives this card. Next I added another piece of Bashful paper, this one run through the Buffalo Plaid embossing folder. You might recognize the stitched rectangle behind the elephant. It's the center piece from the first card. The MFT die set I used is stitched on both the inside and outside of the cut which makes it doubly useful.

I stamped the elephant from the Sweet Baby set onto my altered Basic Fundamental paper in Black ink, then stamped just the tail again on the base of the white stitched background. I cut the elephant using the matching die cut, but I didn't like the border. A plain border would have been fine, but the pattern outside the lines of the elephant was too distracting for my taste. Micro-tip Scissors to the rescue. I trimmed close to the line, cutting off the tail completely, then ran a black marker along the edges so no white showed. After gluing the elephant down, I added some shading with markers and then some sparkle with a Shimmer Brush. I stamped the circle "Sweet" in Charcoal ink, added "Baby" from the Baby Animals stamp set in Black ink over the top, cut it out with a circle die, and added it to the card. Finally, I accented with retired Dreamin' Big sequins and Bitty Sparkles.

Because all Fundamental products are on sale this month, I stocked up. You might see more of this Bashful altered patterned paper in the future. (Translation: I loved what adding Bashful did to this paper so much, I covered an entire 12x12 sheet of it.)

Please come join us at Heart2Heart this week. We love seeing everyone's creativity!

Until next time,

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Simple Christmas Card

One of the great things about army life is you make lots of new friends everywhere you go. The flip side of this, however, is that your Christmas card list keeps growing and growing and growing and...

You get the idea.

Because we are moving right in the middle of Christmas card season--and I LOVE getting Christmas cards and letters--my cards need to be out the door soon along with our change of address so people will be able to find us. I finished off my cards yesterday with this card which I'm entering in the Less Is More challenge:

The hardest part of this card was coloring Little St. Nick (NOTE: links to purchase available supplies provided for your shopping convenience). I stamped him in Momento Black Ink and colored him with a combination of markers and colored pencils while watching football. Cutting him out was a breeze using my new Brother ScanNcut CM350. I'm crazy in love with this machine. It cut a full page of Santa faces in about two minutes. TWO MINUTES!!

product imageThe background was super simple using my MISTI. I put one of the large splotches from Splash of Color on the left side, and just the "ho, HO, ho" (from the mini stamp called Ho Ho Ho) on the right side. The stamp comes in three lines which I cut apart. (The trick to cutting stamps is to create puzzle pieces with notches so, when it comes time to fit the stamp back together, you aren't trying to match up straight lines. Create curves or hills and valleys as you cut. Works like a charm.)

With both stamps mounted on my MISTI, I assembly-line stamped the background and sentiment using Pebble ink (splotch) and Charcoal ink (sentiment). I could ink both, press them down, then shift my card so the one with the splotch next got the sentiment, and away I went. When the bases were stamped, I used Foam Tape to add Little St. Nick and DONE! Little St. Nick and Ho Ho Ho are both mini stamps, meaning they are only $2.95. That's a sweet deal!!

Off to print out my Christmas letter, print out my labels, and be ready to stuff, lick, and stick my cards while watching football this afternoon.

Until next time,

Monday, November 13, 2017

Masculine Get Well Card

My writing partner for The Promise Bride (Montana Brides Series) is sitting in the hospital today awaiting her husband's heart surgery. I need to send a get well card, but I wanted it to be masculine. Oddly enough, one of my favorite floral sets came to the rescue: Bamboo Roses by Altenew. I decided to use their November Challenge colors while I was at it.

I began by clear embossing the sentiment and a vine from Bamboo Roses onto water color paper. I then added water and painted, flicked, and dotted with Tim Holtz distress ink in Wild Honey, Vintage Photo, and Barn Red (which blended down into that burnt orange color). After it was dry, I wiped of any dots of color over the embossed sentiment, ran it through a rectangular stitched die from My Favorite Things, and mounted it to a Kraft card base.

I love how this turned out. Praying the surgery turns out just as nicely!

Until next time,

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Easy All-Occassion Greeting Cards

It's approaching time to move again. Hubby's class is coming to an end so we're off to a new "permanent" duty station. I love how the army thinks 2-3 years is considered permanent...or maybe I just laugh at it.

Anyway, moving always prompts me to look at what I'm taking and what needs to go. I have a few scrap pieces of paper that I didn't want to throw out, so I made a couple general cards using a combination of old and current CTMH supplies. Current supplies are in italics and link to my consultant website for your shopping convenience.

I started with a strip of Dreamin' Big patterned paper along the bottom edge of my card. This paper has red, orange, and Juniper in it, too, but this piece happened to be just the gray, blue, and pink with one red flower which I covered up with the stamped frame (from the Artbooking Cricut Collection). Before adding the frame, I added a thin strip of Basic Fundamentals patterned paper and some Bashful cardstock which I scratched hashmarks into using the Sanding Kit. In order to keep the back side of my card clean, I glued my ribbon along the bottom edge of the Bashful cardstock before adding it to the card. I custom colored the ribbon by swiping Bashful ink directly onto White and Gold Ribbon which I had created for another project. (TRANSLATION: if you custom color ribbon like this, you must let it dry for a long time or you'll make a mess on both your fingers and your paper.)

Once the base layers were down, I added the frame, die cut "hello" sentiment (which I hope CTMH brings back because I LOVE it!! See next card.), and the thin banner "sunshine" sentiment from the Falling for You-Scrapbooking set stamped in Charcoal ink (my new favorite!). I accessorized with Bashful Pearls and retired Dreamin' Big Sequins. I knew I would be using that sequins a lot, so I stocked up before it retired this summer.

I like using both the positive and negative space of die cuts. It's easy to get two-for-one if you just do a smidge of preplanning. All I did for this was to leave myself plenty of room along the edges of the Charcoal paper when I ran "hello" through my die-cutting machine. I then cut it into a banner and highlighted both the banner edges and the sentiment with a white gel pen. I used the same "sunshine" sentiment and Dreamin' Big sequins as the first card, but my background paper is from the current Cats and Bats patterned paper pack. This paper retires soon, so grab it while you still can.

Off to the writing office. I've taken a nice, long break to do some traveling while my parents were here and to refresh my spirit after three deadlines on top of a move from Alaska to South Carolina. However, another deadline is approaching so it's time to buckle down. Hubby is studying for a major exam on Tuesday, so it's not like we get to do much this Veteran's Day Weekend anyway.

Until next time,

Monday, November 6, 2017

Sympathy Card with Enchantment Colors

Our challenge over at Heart2Heart this week is "Enchantment Abounds." I chose to use colors from the Enchantment color palate plus one neutral brown for a sympathy card. As always, links to the products used are embedded into the description for your shopping convenience.

I began with Colonial White cardstock which is retired (but I have a TON of). White would work just as well. Using the Artbooking Cricut cartridge, I cut the circle background overlay and tag. I later trimmed off part of the tag which is why you won't find the exact shape on the cartridge. The card base is 4.25, the circle overlay is 4" H, the center square is 3x3, and the tag is 1.4" W.

Using Beautiful You, I stamped the base and middle layer only of the two smaller flowers in Saffron / Goldrush (larger flower) and Poppy / Ruby (small flower) then added the smallest leaf in Fern / Nutmeg. I stamped another of the middle size flower using all three layers, adding Ruby as the third stamped layer, plus the mid-size leaf and vines on a separate piece of cardstock then used the coordinating die cuts to trim them out. (NOTE: links provided include both the Beautiful You stamp set and coordinating die cuts. Click here if you only want the stamp set.)

I stamped a sentiment from Heartfelt Thoughts in Ruby on the tag, selectively stamping parts of the image in order to get two lines of text. After I had my sentiment stamped, I cut down the tag using a paper trimmer.

Before gluing down the 3x3 square and tag, I used Sponge Daubers to brush Saffron ink on the edges. I glued everything down except the top flower which was added with Foam Tape for some dimension. Because the card is square, I was able to extend one of the leaves over the edge for more interest and it will still fit in a standard A2 envelope. The final touch was three Gold Glitter Gems.

All month Close to My Heart is running an amazing special on Enchantment and the rest of the Fundamentals products.'s incredible! Click here for a full description, and here for a full description of all the specials running this month, including the Stamp of the Month which you won't want to miss.

I am (unfortunately) off to make several more of this same sympathy card. They say death comes in threes, and it's true in my case. I'll probably make a few extra to have on hand.

Before I go, here are a few picture of Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina. I was able to tour this gorgeous mansion and part of the 8,000 acres on last Friday. The house was decorated for Christmas while the leaves were putting on a full display of Fall glory.

Until next time,

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Black & White Facebook Photo Challenge

I woke up this morning to a tag from my friend, and co-author of The Promise Bride, to post black and white photos with no explanation on Facebook for the next seven days. So I won't explain...

I'm off to North Carolina today to spend the night so I can get an early start touring Biltmore House. If you follow me on FB, you might see a B&W from there...but I'm not explaining.

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Have Fun in November

Close to My Heart's November specials are not to be missed. 

First is the Fundamentals bundles. Each bundle features a paper pack of twenty-four patterned papers, the coordinating stickers, and a four-pack of coordinating ribbon. Purchased as a bundle, you get 40% off the normal purchase price, but you also can purchase individual items for 30% off.

Fundamentals are exactly what they sound like...the foundation for building cards and scrapbook pages. Pair them with each other, other packs, and even stretch your holiday or seasonally themed papers.

If you host a party that reaches $350, you'll receive one Fundamental Bundle for FREE in addition to your regular hostess gifts. That's over $80 in FREE product plus your half-price item which includes the Workspace Wonder.

This bundle of organization only comes as a hostess gift and normally retails for $128.50. If you add the $64.25 savings on this organization system to your $80+ in FREE hostess gifts, you're getting around $150 in products for only $64.25 (plus S&H and applicable tax).

On top of that is this month's Stamp of the Month. It retails for $17.95, but is only $5 with a $50 order. This stamp set features every month of the year plus some fun icons. For a full picture of the set, check out the top photo on my sidebar.

In December, CTMH will be running a calendar special which includes this stamp set; however, you won't get the $5 option. You will be able to purchase the calendar kit with or without the stamp set, but the option that includes the stamps will be priced much higher than the option without. In other words, get it this month or wish you had next month.

Last, but certainly not least, CTMH continues to donate to relief efforts through their Stronger Together stamp set. This is one of my all-time favorite sets. You'll find it under the "Charity" category in the Stamps section (along with the Punny Pals set that supports Operation Smile.)

So much goodness. Click here to start shopping (and remember you have less than 7 weeks before Christmas)!

Until next time,

Monday, October 30, 2017

Big Giveaway

Head over to my recently redesigned author website for your chance to win BIG!

I'll be back soon with more artwork. My parents came for a few days so I was out of town entertaining them. Today I spent all day getting my "morning" chores done to catch up from the past few weeks of craziness. Now to get my "afternoon" chores started...

Until next time,

Monday, October 23, 2017

Vines and Twine - Heart2Heart

This week the challenge at Heart2Heart is Vines and Twine. I went literal with a vine wreath and Thick Twine bow.

The wreath is from a retired set called White Pines. I white embossed it over water color paper and then started painting.

Here's a close-up to show you a bit more of the water coloring. I wanted there to be enough color behind the wreath for it to show up but also be soft enough to blend into the rest of the background. In order to make that work, I started by painting green mixed with brown all around the wreath. I then dotted higher concentrations of the green and brown in various spots. I dabbed excess color off with a clean paper towel and then let it dry. Once water colors are set, you can layer over the top of them without washing them out.

Next I flicked brown, green, and blue over the whole panel, dabbed where it was too dark, and again let it dry. The next layer was a light wash of blue. Before it dried, I flicked more green, brown, and blue wherever I wanted more. And then some more dabbing with the paper towel until I was happy. Before adding the white enamel dots and Fern Twine, I stamped the sentiment from Falling for You-Cardmaking in Fern Ink then ran it through a rectangular stitched die from My Favorite Things. I used Liquid Glass to attach the twine bow and shape the tails.

The last step was to add foam tape over the back of the water color panel and mount it over a Kraft card base.

I've been on a bit of a water coloring kick this past week. It's such a beautiful medium and doesn't require a great deal of skill. I hope you'll join us at Heart2Heart this week and show us your best interpretation of the vines and twine theme.

Until next time,

Friday, October 20, 2017

Workin' Hard AND Hardly Workin' - Blog Hops with Heart

I'm so glad to be back with Blog Hops with Heart after missing last month with writing deadlines. I've been workin' hard for months now, so it was great to take a few hours in my craft room to come up with two cards for our "Workin' Hard or Hardly Workin'" theme. I decided to do one of each. Both utilize water colors. (NOTE: italics denote a link for your shopping convenience.)

The Hardly Workin' card on the right started with a wash of colors. I began by painting clear water in a square. I added some yellow, ochre, and green letting them fade together as they dried--which was the hardest part of this entire card. I'm not patient about allowing things to dry on their own, but there's a softness to the blend of colors that's only achieved by leaving them to dry naturally. I gold embossed the flower from the Kind Thoughts Workshop Your Way and added a sentiment from a long-retired set. I then ran my entire watercolor panel through a rectangular stitched die from My Favorite things and mounted it over a card base covered by striped paper from the Enchantment Fundamentals paper pack.

The Workin' Hard card started with white embossed images from the same Kind Thoughts WYW over watercolor paper. I painted the various flowers, let them dry, then fussy-cut them out and mounted them to a card panel I'd run through another MFT die and hand-trimmed for the stitched and curvy bottom edge. After the flowers were mounted, I flicked watercolor paint in both peach and green over top of everything. I added some sequins with Liquid Glass and glued the panel to a card base with a bottom border of the same paper from the Enchantment Fundamentals paper pack. I'm entering this card into "The Card Concept: Autumn Love" challenge.

Here are individual shots of both cards:

The other thing I've been workin' hard at this month is updating my author web page: I've begun a subscriber newsletter and will be giving away these two cards as part of a promotion. Please head over there and sign up (I promise not to flood your inbox or sell your info) before moving to the next hop which is Jayma's blog. You should have come from Stephanie's blog.

My parents are arriving later tonight. We'll be seeing the sights and (hopefully) enjoying pleasant sunny days and crisp October nights. Fall is my favorite season and it's been late coming to my corner of the map. The weather turned this last week, so I plan to celebrate with the annual baking of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins. YUM!

Until next time,

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Face Today with Courage

My Stronger Together stamp set arrived yesterday. It was just in time...unfortunately. I paired it with a long-retired stamp set to create a card for a friend with a family member facing ovarian cancer.

Teal is the color for ovarian cancer, so I used Peacock ink. To get the two-tone look, I added the color onto the ribbon with Sponge Daubers. These tools are a must in my opinion. I went heavier in the center and the part that goes behind the top loop of the ribbon. So easy to do and so effective. Once the ribbon was stamped, I used the sentiment from Stronger Together over top in Black ink.

The background paper is from Enchantment Fundamentals. I cut it to 3.75 x 5" and glued it to a card base. The top panel measures 2.5 x 3.75". Once all the layers were down, I hand drew the squiggly white lines with a gel pen.

To date, the Stronger Together campaign has raised over $40,000 for the Red Cross. This year has been devastating. I hope you'll join me in helping spread a little love to our neighbors all around by purchasing this wonderful stamp set. I've embedded links for all the currently available supplies used on this card, but here's the Stronger Together link again.

Until next time,

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Like an Artist

Fall is in the air...or at least it's supposed to be. Here in South Carolina, it's 90 degrees and humid. I guess that's why I couldn't quite go with fall colors on my sister-in-law's birthday card .

I started by stamping the front of a top folding card with Glacier, Canary, and Bashful using the Splash of Color stamp set. (NOTE: Shopping links embedded in text for your convenience.) I followed the rule of triangles and used colors that would overlap well so my splotches didn't end up looking like mud. Next I cut the left side of the card base from bottom to fold at about the 1.25" mark. Here's a look at the inside so you get a better idea of what I'm describing:
However, gluing the strip of paper back to the left side of the card was the last thing I did, so just hold on while I finish describing the process.
product imageOnce the front was done and trimmed, I added the large sentiments on the outside and inside. Both of them come from the Inspire stamp set and were stamped in Pewter ink. I was very careful to stamp the inside sentiment so it wouldn't show when the top flap of the card was down. I also stamped "never stop creating" in Pewter. This sentiment comes from the Created to Create stamp shown on the left. Before I ever used the full stamp, I did something that might horrify many of you...I cut the stamp into all its little parts. That's part of breaking rules like an artist. Just because something comes a certain way doesn't mean you have to use it like that. To get that nice, even row of this sentiment, I used my MISTI. (For things like this the MISTI, which stands for Most Incredible Stamping Tool Invented, lives up to its name.)
After I had "never stop creating" line done, I glued the piece of card front I'd trimmed off back on the left side of the card base and trimmed off the excess to bring it back to a 4.25 x 5.5 card. The final touch was to tie a White Twine bow around the right side flap and secure it with some Liquid Glass.
My sister-in-law is an artist who hasn't had much time to create while holding down a full-time job. She retired in January and then spent the next six months fighting cancer. She appears to have beaten it (halleluiah, amen!) so I wanted to challenge her to get back to painting. Everyone should do more of what makes them happy!
Until next time,

Monday, October 9, 2017


This week at Heart2Heart our theme is Be-YOU-tiful. I chose to use the Beautiful You stamp set for this watercolored card.

The stamp set comes with multi-layered images. I clear embossed the middle layer of all three floral images over watercolor cardstock. Then I painted with red, yellow, purple, and blue allowing each color to dry before adding the next. I embossed the sentiment with white embossing powder over vellum paper. There are a few ways to select only the letters you want from a sentiment. I chose to ink carefully just the parts I wanted and then brush away excess powder from whatever I didn't want.

I hand trimmed my vellum into a banner, folding the excess over the top of the 4 x 5.25 watercolored base. To secure the vellum, I sewed with a zig-zag stitch and pulled the top thread through to the backside of the paper before using a copious amount of foam tape to secure to the card base.

This is a relatively simple card, although it's somewhat time-consuming in execution just because you need to let the water coloring dry. I'm no expert at water colors, but I do know that the trick to controlling where the color goes is to "paint" with clear water first, add the color, and then leave it alone to dry.

It was my birthday on Saturday. My husband took me to a plantation near Charleston, SC with the oldest formal gardens in the US. It was a wonderful few days of unplugging and letting go of my deadlines and his class projects. Here's my favorite picture of our trip. It's the Mill at Middleton Place as seen through the branches of an oak tree dripping with Spanish Moss.

I hope you all are enjoying Columbus Day, and all of us at Heart2Heart look forward to seeing your creations this week.

Until next time,

Saturday, October 7, 2017

World Cardmaking Day

This year, World Cardmaking Day falls on my birthday. Wasn't it nice of them to plan such a great celebration just for me. LOL! I'm away for the weekend with my hubs, but I didn't want to miss this day so I'm posting the card I sent to my writing partner to celebrate the release of the first book in our Montana Brides series.

The stamps and stitched circle die cut are from My Favorite Things. The paper is retired CTMH Sugar Rush. The adorable little boa was made using "Sassy Strands" an embellishment that was retired by CTMH years and years ago. This perfect addition dressing up this pig is why I end up holding onto supplies I've not used.

This has been a big year for me both personally and professionally. I'm looking forward to what this next year brings. Happy birthday and World Cardmaking Day to ME!!

Until next time,

Monday, October 2, 2017

Time for Some Christmas Reading

My latest novella, Cinderella's Masquerade, is available now. This story is the sequel to The Gift of the Matchmaker which released last year. It follows a maid from The Driskill Hotel in Austin, TX as she falls in love with her Prince Charming.
Cinderella's Masquerade is also included in a boxed set called A Christmas Masquerade with six other stories for only a dollar more. (The Gift of the Matchmaker is included in a boxed set called Merry Matchmakers.)
All stories and boxed sets are available for free if you belong to Kindle Unlimited.
Happy Christmas reading!
Until next time,

Monday, September 25, 2017

Marker Madness

When Heart2Heart decided on this Mad about Markers Challenge, I'll admit I was stumped for a bit. Then I decided that the easiest, most straightforward idea was probably the best. I altered pre-patterned paper using three markers. This is the Falling For You paper as it comes

And here's how I altered it using a green, yellow, and red marker.

Now you might be looking at that ribbon and thinking, "I didn't know CTMH sold red ribbon with that gold center stripe." We don't. I altered that using the same red marker just by coloring on both sides. (Please note: use gloves or don't plan on going outside until it no longer looks like your fingers are dipped in blood.)

The tag is the second smallest in the die-cut set stamped with a sentiment from Short & Sweet in black.

Although coloring pre-printed paper and ribbon to achieve a different look is a simple technique, I don't use it very often. It's good to be reminded that, just because something comes a certain way, it can be altered to fit what you want.

In writing new, I just got back from the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. Five years ago, I was there as a Genesis Finalist in the Historical Romance category. It's amazing to me how far I've come since 2012. What a delight to renew friendships, make new ones, and be refreshed both spiritually and creatively.

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Leaving on a Jet Plane

The annual American Christian Fiction Writers Conference begins tomorrow. I'm leaving for the airport in a couple minutes. So excited!! As with stamping and paper crafting, it's good when people who share your passion congregate. I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. I hope to post pictures, but if you don't see me for a while, I'll be back soon.

Until next time,

Monday, September 11, 2017

Heart2Heart Goes Negative

Negative implies something bad, but this week at Heart2Heart we're showing you how to use negative space in positive ways.

I used a circle die cut from My Favorite Things for the stitched edge, but you can use any circle die or a die cutting machine like a Cricut to create the same effect.

Here's a close-up on the flowers. (Remember, this set is only available until the end of the month. Shopping link below.) I stamped them with all three layers then used the stamped images as guides for adding color with pencils and a white gel pen. I used a white colored pencil quite a bit, too, as you can see on the tops of the leaves. It didn't show up as much on the flowers which is why I went back over them with the gel pen.

CAS on Sunday's weekly challenge is "Color Me Pretty with Pencils or Markers" so I'm linking this card to them.

I cut the flowers and leaves out and layered them both over and under the circle cut. The center front flower was added using foam tape for even more dimension.

After the centers were colored, I added dots with a black pen.

The inside of the card is lined with a 4 x 5.25 piece of patterned paper from the Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Pack. This is the Pomegranate color.

Once the card was basically done, I closed it up to eye where I wanted the sentiment to go and stamped with Eggplant ink.

As you are reading this, I'm probably hunkered down while Irma does whatever damage she's going to do here in South Carolina. I wrote this post on Friday before she hit Florida. The latest models show her heading away from where I live, but it's been difficult to concentrate on much of anything while waiting for this monster. I've never been in the path of a hurricane, and it looks like there's never been one like this. Go big or go home, I guess.

Until next time,

Shopping List:

Saturday, September 9, 2017

N'tl Stamping Month - From the Heart

September is National Stamping Month. Yep...a whole month just for stamping! And every year Close to My Heart does something to celebrate.  This year, they've released a double stamp set which might be my favorite stamp set ever.  I paired it with the Flower Market Cricut Cartridge to cut the basket for this Card Concept inspired card.

I used a whole host of ink pads (shopping links below), most of which are self-explanatory. I did, however, want to mention that, for the yellow flowers, I stamped the final layer in White Daisy to give the petals that subtle texture. Because this is a pigment ink, give it plenty of time to dry before handling the flowers for cutting. I waited about ten or fifteen minutes.

The laundry basket is a Flower Market Cricut cartridge cut. In the original, the blanket inside the basket doesn't quite fill the bottom. To make it do so, I ungrouped the image, stretched the blanket a bit, then cut. Both layers were cut using the lighter side of Toffee paper. I stamped using the stripe background that comes with Flower Market vertically and horizontally in Toffee ink then added some more sponging to the edges for a little more dimension. I left my cut on the mat while I stamped and sponged to give this delicate cut a little more stability while sponging the edges.

In order to get my background flowers placed as I wanted, I laid down my basket and flowers without gluing and then snapped a picture using my phone so I could have it for future reference. Without moving the basket or flowers, I stamped just the petals of the background trio of red flowers. Then I removed the basket and flowers and filled in with the rest of the background images.

The background panes were cut using a retired MFT Blueprint die set (#20). Once all the layers were assembled, I embellished with pearls and a twine bow. No sentiment on the front as I need some generic cards.

As I write this, Hurricane Irma is approaching Florida. Her path shifted taking us out of the direct line, but we are still expecting heavy wind, rain, and possible flooding from her outer rim. CTMH has created a special stamp set to aid the many victims of this summer's multiple, devastating disasters. All proceeds will go to The Red Cross as they assist fire victims in the west and Hurricane victims all along the Gulf Coast.  I love the sayings in this set as they apply to all kinds of tough situations. (Shopping link below)

And don't forget the September Stamp of the Month, another wonderful set which is only $5 with a $50 order or $17.95 regular price. There's a link on the sidebar to order this stamp set, and I've included it in the shopping links below.

In writing news, I am almost done with my final deadline for the year. I really need to finish in the next day or two in case Irma knocks out our power for days. I've never been in the path of a hurricane before, and I gotta say...not liking this much. At ALL.

Until next time,

Shopping Links:

Friday, September 8, 2017

Stronger Together

Close to My Heart has designed a stamp set specifically to help with the numerous and ongoing disaster relief efforts.

This set is available for order HERE.

We ARE Stronger Together!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


So excited to get this book in the hands of readers starting today. Squeal!

No author copies have arrived on my doorstep, though. Sigh.

Until next time,

Monday, August 28, 2017

Anything Goes CTMH Style

The new Seasonal Expressions catalog goes live September 1, and it is full of inspiration and beauty. A couple of my favorite things are the die cuts and "Happy Day Workshop Your Way Cardmaking Kit. I never purchase a kit unless I can use the stamp set multiple ways once the paper is used. Here's one possibility I made for this week's H2H Challenge: Anything Goes CTMH Style. Everything except the die cut is from the WYW.

The "Thankful for You" die cut comes as three separate pieces, so you have tremendous flexibility. Here I cut it from a panel of White Daisy cardstock and backed it with Charcoal cardstock.  I used this same set of dies on the cards in this post. You'll be seeing a lot of these dies over the next few months.

I colored the flower, leaves, and edge of the banner with Copic markers and then fussy cut them with my Micro-tip scissors. I used foam tape to mount the die cut panel to the card base, glued the banner and leaves over top, then used a little more foam tape to add the flower. So simple and easy!

I'll update this post with shopping links once the new products are live for purchase on September 1. (NOTE: now updated!) You won't want to miss the September National Stamping Month special, either. Go to this post for a sneak peek. And, if that weren't enough, the September Stamp of the Month is fab!

Okay...I'll quit gushing now...but, folks, these upcoming products are why I became a consultant. I simply couldn't wait to get them in my inky fingers.

Until next time,

Shopping Links:

Friday, August 25, 2017

End of Summer Blog Hop

I got on a scrapbooking kick a couple weeks ago and started putting together layouts with pictures that are almost twenty years old. One of them was about Camas Meadows Bible Camp in Leavenworth, WA which is a place near to our family. It IS summer to us.

I used the soon to retire Jack paper and CTMH Artbooking Cricut Cartridge (everything but "CAMP") and Artistry (for "CAMP" only) with coordinating Black, Ruby, Juniper, and White Daisy Cardstock. If you have Cricut Design Space and the Artbooking Cartridge, here's the cutting file. (NOTE: If you don't also have the Artistry cartridge, just delete "CAMP" before you cut...or buy the cartridge using the link below. **Big, cheezy grin**) Color My Heart's challenge this week is Jack, so I'm joining the fun there.

On the three polaroid framed pictures along the bottom right, I saved the arrows from each frame and refit them inside one of the others. And, yes, that is underwear hanging from the rafters in the middle picture.

This is probably the busiest layout I've ever done as far as background paper, but I tried a bunch of other papers besides that buffalo print and they just didn't work. Here are a few detail shots:

I used a white gel pen to accent a few of the cuts. As you can see, I wasn't worried about being super neat with my sketchy drawing. This is a camping layout, after all!

Remember, Jack retires in a week, so be sure to check out the shopping links below. Now you're off to your next stop along the hop: Katy. You should have come from Jayma's blog, but if you get lost somewhere along the way, you can always go to Amie's blog for a full list.  I got a sneak peek at some of the projects, and you don't want to miss a single one.

Until next time,

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