Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bracket Frame

This bracket frame design is one that I cannot take credit for as one of my sidelines created a beautiful version of this and I just had to lift her idea. I didn't want mine to end up looking like a Christmas frame but it did, somehow... The flowers are actually created using Hollyhock cardstock but they look red, even in real life! I purposely went with Ponderosa Pine cardstock for the greenery, but I think that made it look even more like Christmas! So, I guess I have a Christmas frame after all... 
I love the photo, though. I have so few really good pictures of Dave and me and this is one of them. It's hard to get him to take anything seriously sometimes as he has such a good sense of humour but it can make for taking photos pretty difficult. 
Enjoy, 
Alyson

Products used are all Close To My Heart

Paper: Pear and Partridge Paper Pack, Hollyhock Cardstock, Ponderosa Pine Cardstock
Stamps: None
Inks: Ruby Pigment Ink
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, My Creations Bracket Frame, Silver Shimmer Trim, Sparkles - Brown and Tan Assortment, Finishing Files, Scoring Stylus

Monday, October 29, 2012

Neutral Colours Card - H2H Challenge

The challenge this week at Heart 2 Heart is to create a card using only neutral colours. I adore bold, bright colours so much that I really had to think about this one. Ultimately I decided that if I couldn't use any "real" colours, then I would go simple - just black and white. I think the embossing helped to give the card some "oomph", although I went through a few sheets of sandpaper to get right down to the white core of our cardstock. And the bling gems add a bit as well. They are coloured black in the centers, though, just to stay with the black and white theme.
Enjoy, 
Alyson

Products used are Close To My Heart unless otherwise indicated. 

Paper: White Daisy Cardstock, Black Cardstock
Stamps: A Friend Like You
Inks: Black
Accessories: Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (not CTMH), Sanding Kit, Corner Rounder, Black Sparkle Flourishes, Rhinestone Brads, Black Sharpie Marker (not CTMH)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Leibster Award

Just when you think no-one is reading your blog, this happens! I was actually nominated about a month back but I wasn't able to deal with it at the time due to the death of our puppy and everything else that I was dealing with at the same time but I am ready to deal with this one! Maureen O'Sulllivan nominated me and her work is excellent! She thinks out of the box and creates gorgeous scrapbook pages and cards with a very unique twist. Check out her blog at http://somethingtoscrapabout-maureen.blogspot.ca

ABOUT THE AWARD
Leibster is a German word meaning "Beloved", "Favourite", or "Dearest". This award is a peer to peer award in which fellow bloggers present the award to their favourite bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. The origins of the award are not clear, but it is believed to have originated by a German blogger. This award was designed to be a blog ward in the pay it forward fashion to share your dearest and most beloved blogs that have fewer than 200 followers.
RULES FOR ACCEPTANCE
Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog. Post the award onto your blog. Give the award to the five bloggers who you appreciate that have fewer than 200 followers. Leave a comment on their blog (or email them) to let them know that you have given them this award! 
PAY IT FORWARD
So now comes the fun part! I get to give out 5 nominations, which is very difficult since I'm an avid blog reader!!  Here are 5 fabulous blogs with less than 200 followers that I would like to pass the Liebster Award on to.  Be sure to check them out. 

Enjoy,
Alyson

Madeline Morcelo  inkingfromtheheart.blogspot.ca
Madeline's artwork is gorgeous! She comes up with the most stunning projects AND has videos to show you how to complete them as well! 

Karen Day  kdaycreations.blogspot.ca
I have always admired Karen's work - so professional and completed with such care. Absolutely timeless!

Jennifer Kelly  jennkellypapertraditions.blogspot.ca
Jennifer has a great mix of scrapbook layouts, cards and information on her blog (plus a great photo of the two of us at Convention in Dallas). Check it out! 

Romaine Rancier  bumblesnbees.blogspot.ca
Romaine's artwork is clean and simple - so unlike a lot of artwork these days. It's nice to see that refreshing change!

Kelly Brandt  kbrandtscrapperchic.blogspot.ca
Kelly also has a real variety of projects and information on her blog and her artwork is terrific. 


Friday, October 26, 2012

Christmas Cheer Card - Freshly Made Sketches

Today's card is another one of those that I love! It's a non-traditional Christmas card, made from non-traditional colours. I decided to go with a snowflake theme today since the sketch called for a circle and I just didn't feel like circles this morning... I love blue and silver together and the touch of glitter just added the perfect touch. However, now there is glitter on everything as anyone who works with glitter knows... It is impossible to work with "a bit of glitter" and not end up with it on your nose, your clothes and on everything else! The pigment inks were perfect for colouring the snowflakes because then they could be embossed with clear detail embossing powder to give them that extra intense colour. I just love those ink pads!

Enjoy, 
Alyson

Supplies are all Close To My Heart

Paper: Magnifique Paper Pack (ret.), Pacifica Cardstock, White Daisy Cardstock
Stamps: Very Merry Christmas
Inks: Pacifica Pigment Ink Pad, Sky Pigment Ink Pad, White Daisy Pigment Ink Pad
Accessories: Snowflakes Dimensional Elements, Silver Embossing Powder, Clear Detail Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Prisma Glitter, Boutique Assortment, Foam Tape, Silver Shimmer Trim

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Merry Monday Challenge Christmas Card

I LOVE making Christmas cards, especially ones that are individual and I know will be sent to those special people on our Christmas list because they take extra time to make. This is one of those cards. I also love Christmas cards with non-traditional colour schemes. 
I started out making this card a standard size (41/4 x 51/2) and realized when I wanted to use the tree die that it just wasn't going to work with the sketch for the Merry Monday Challenge. The circle just had to be larger to fit the tree. So I ended up with a 5x7 card, which is just fine. It gave me more room to work and the tree fit inside the circle a whole lot easier! The hardest part was finding adhesive to attach the tree since the cutout is so thin! 
I love the purple ribbon that I found on a trip to Toronto recently and decided to use that for the banner shown in the sketch. I also rotated the sketch 90 degrees. It is shown below the card. 
Enjoy, 
Alyson

Supplies are Close To My Heart unless otherwise noted: 

Paper: Gypsy Cardstock, Smokey Plum Cardstock, White Daisy Cardstock, Topiary Cardstock
Stamps: Ornamental Cheer
Inks: Gypsy Pigment Ink, White Daisy Pigment Ink
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (not CTMH), Christmas Tree Die (not CTMH), Purple Pleated Ribbon (not CTMH), Clear Detail Embossing Powder, Prisma Glitter, Bitty Sparkles

Monday, October 22, 2012

Spooky Card - H2H and Mojo Monday Challenges

Today's card is for two challenges - the challenge at Heart 2 Heart is to make a Halloween or Pumpkin card and Mojo Monday is always a sketch challenge. Would you believe that I do not own a single stamp set related to Halloween or one with a pumpkin on it? And neither of our Cricut cartridges have pumpkin images... I am totally not into Halloween - I guess partly because I don't have children and I was a teacher for many years, so that might have something to do with it. So, I had to go the route of Halloween using other options. At 6am this morning, my brain was not thinking about how I could manipulate stamps to form pumpkins so I turned to my Cricut cartridges for help. I think this is the first Halloween card I have ever made! 

Enjoy, 
Alyson

All products used are Close To My Heart

Paper: Moonlight Paper Pack, Slate Cardstock, Smokey Plum Cardstock, Sweet Leaf Cardstock
Stamps: None
Inks: None
Accessories: Artiste Cartridge, Neutral Embroidery Floss


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gift Certificate Holder for Petite Perks

I have been working with a broken paper trimmer the past few days... my Fiskars trimmer wire shredded and I am waiting to hear from them regarding a replacement trimmer. Fiskars is an excellent company and I know they will stand by their products but in the meantime, I have had to go back to an older trimmer that is not in very good shape... 

The gift card holder below is one that a sideline of mine showed me a few weeks ago. I thought it was brilliant and have decided to use it with her permission, of course. Cut at 4 1/4 inches with the Artiste Cartridge, it just fits one of our Petite Perks stamp sets. I used Scor-Tape to adhere the sides together to ensure the stamp set would stay in place and not slide in and out. Yes, it does peek out at the top, but that's OK. What a terrific way to present this little gift! 

Enjoy, 
Alyson

Products used are all Close To My Heart unless otherwise noted: 

Paper: Pear and Partridge Paper Pack
Stamps: None
Inks: None
Accessories: Artiste Cartridge, Pear and Partridge Complements Glittery Rub-Ons, Dimensional Elements In Colour - Holiday, Baker's Twine - Harvest Assortment, Boutique Assortment, Scor-Tape (not CTMH)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Congratulations and a Video

I'm back but with about a million things to accomplish today... 

First of all, I want to offer congratulations to my friend and fellow consultant, Casandra Bennett. She had her artwork posted on Jeanette Lynton's website this week! She used the Moonlight paper pack in a non-Halloween way, which I love, since I am totally not into Halloween. Way to go, Casandra! 

Here is another video from the ladies at Corporate, showing you how to use our alcohol markers - many techniques that I haven't tried yet and can't wait to try when I have a few minutes! 
Enjoy, 
Alyson


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Clearly the Best - Dauber Dynamite Video

I am away for a few days so hopefully this will hold you over until I am back in my studio this weekend when I can create once again. 

Monica and Kristine from Corporate have some wonderful techniques to share with you in this video about using our awesome sponge daubers. 
Enjoy, 
Alyson



Monday, October 15, 2012

H2H Christmas Card

I love Christmas and I love making Christmas cards. The challenge this week at Heart 2 Heart is to make something "Christmassy", so I decided to get caught up on my extra-special Christmas cards. I like to vary colours and get away from the standard red and green cards so with Gypsy being one of my favourite colours, I paired that with White Daisy and Olive, added a bit of Smokey Plum and this is what I came up with for my Christmas card. I read that our Shimmer Tape could be coloured by using a sponge so I tried it using our regular dye ink but didn't have much success as the colour just didn't want to "take" so I used our pigment ink instead. It has been about 3 hours and even with heat setting it, the strips are still wet... I have cleaned up little purple spots on my card so many times, it's not even funny - but I like the effect! 
The tree die cut is one that I found at Scrapfest this weekend - I couldn't wait to use it so I'm glad this challenge gave me that opportunity! 
Enjoy, 
Alyson

Products are Close To My Heart unless otherwise indicated: 

Paper: White Daisy Cardstock, Gypsy Cardstock, Smokey Plum Cardstock, Olive Cardstock
Stamps: Merry and Bright
Inks: White Daisy Pigment Ink, Gypsy Pigment Ink,
Accessories: Artiste Cartridge, Art Philosophy Cartridge, Quilling Tool, Sparkle Flourishes, Clear Sparkles, Olive Alcohol Markers, Pearl Opaque Adhesive Gems, Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (not CTMH), Memory Box Craft Die (not CTMH), Silver Shimmer Trim, Prisma Glitter, Clear Detail Embossing Powder, Heat Tool

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wow - What an Honour!

I awoke to the most wonderful email this morning! Mary Vogel, co-ordinator of the Heart 2 Heart Challenge site sent me an email indicating that I had been chosen as the Top Chick for the month of October! I was shocked! That also means that I will be the Guest Designer for the month of November for the Heart 2 Heart Challenge site! This is a first for me and I am overwhelmed but really excited about the possibilities! The entries on that site are always so amazing and I always check them out every week. I am honoured to be part of the Design Team, even for such a short period.

I am just on my way out the door to head to Scrapfest in Oshawa but I wanted to share the good news :) If you happen to be at the show this weekend, be sure to drop by the Close To My heart booth and say hello - Lucy and I would love to see you! 

Have a wonderful day! I know I will :) 

Alyson
 



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Clearly the Best Video

I am away this weekend, helping a fellow consultant, Lucy, at Scrapfest in Oshawa. If you are in the area, I hope to see you there. We will have lots to show you, artwork on display, as well as a make' n take to do as well! Besides, Lucy's artwork is simply amazing, so you have to stop to see that alone. I see that she is working on her blog, so be sure to check that out as well. I have included a link to her blog under her name above.

Meanwhile, check out the latest video from the Close To My heart gals - all about the Cricut and co-ordinating images! I will be back again after the weekend (exhausted, but back...)


Enjoy, 
Alyson

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Card - H2H and Mojo Monday

Today's card is for two different challenges this week - Heart 2 Heart and Mojo Monday. Yes, I know I am a little late this week getting to both of these challenges... I have been working on preparing for workshops and that has taken up a lot of my time lately. 
Anyways, November is also a month with a lot of birthdays for me so I have to get down to making a number of birthday cards. Speaking of numbers, the Heart 2 Heart challenge this week is to use numbers on your card. I don't like putting a person's age on their card so I opted instead to put random numbers across the top of my card instead. I just LOVE that Pixie Glitter Alphabet! I am hoping that Close To My Heart breaks down and adds this beautiful Avonlea Teal to its colour collection next year - I love this colour so much!
The Mojo Monday sketch is shown below the card

Enjoy, 
Alyson

Supplies used are all Close To My Heart unless otherwise noted:

Paper: Avonlea Paper Pack (includes cardstock available only with this paper pack), Slate Cardstock
Stamps: Card Chatter - Birthday
Inks: Slate Pigment Ink
Accessories: Artiste Cartridge, Pixie Glitter Alphabet, Slate Mini Medley, Prisma Glitter, Clear Detail Embossing Powder, Heat Tool,  Silver Shimmer Trim, Boutique Assortment, Foam Tape, Black Sharpie Marker (not CTMH)

Monday, October 8, 2012

My New Paper Storage!

I have been struggling for years to find a paper storage system that works for me. I have a very small studio space and don't have room for horizontal paper storage so my paper has to be stored vertically. The Cropper Hopper Carts are too big to fit under my table which is where the paper has to fit. Years ago, Staples used to carry these collapsible carts that opened up into storage file systems. My dear husband has repaired and reinforced them so many times as the legs have come apart from the bases, the sides have fallen in and they have just continued to fall apart from the sheer weight of the paper (I have 3 of them). I think he was finally sick and tired of my constant asking for him to fix them that he finally built me the perfect system! It holds ALL my paper in one system, so 3+ holders worth, and he took the time to paint it white so it matches the rest of my studio. It has super strong wheels so it rolls easily, it is lightweight and it fits with extra room under my table. I can't wait to add my paper today! He is such a sweetie! 
Here are the before and after photos so you have an idea of what I was dealing with... 

With the old ones, you can see how he reinforced the sides and bottom with wood to make them stronger. The legs would constantly come apart from the sides of the cart from rolling them back and forth. 
 Here, he has glued the cart together multiple times to hold the spot together where the file tab needed to sit... It kept buckling under the weight of the papers.
 And finally, my new cart! I can't wait to add my paper today! It rolls with such ease and is remarkably lightweight!
Enjoy, 
Alyson


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blessings Card - Freshly Made Sketches

Today's card is one made with La Belle Vie papers - paper I don't use very often, although I really like it. The sketch for the Freshly Made Sketch Challenge is shown below the card. I added a bow made from two colours of Baker's Twine - Close To My Heart doesn't have pink twine, so I used some I had on hand to match the colours in the card. I had to stamp the sentiment in four pieces to fit it on the circle the way I wanted it. 
Enjoy, 
Alyson

Products are Close To My Heart unless otherwise indicated: 

Papers: La Belle Vie Paper Pack (includes cardstock available only with this paper pack), Colonial White Cardstock, Black Cardstock
Stamps: A Friend Like You
Inks: Black Pigment Ink
Accessories: Black Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, Foam Tape, Baker's Twine - Neutral Assortment, Pink Baker's Twine (not CTMH), La Belle Vie Stickease
 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

H2H Challenge - Gratitude Card

The challenge at Heart 2 Heart this week is to use the rock 'n roll technique on a stamped image. That's SO appropriate for fall cards, especially if you are using a leaf image! I actually used it twice on my card - I used it on the branches on the outside of the card and again on the leaf on the inside of the card. On the inside, I used three colours, although that can be difficult to see (Creme Brulee, Sorbet and Autumn Terracotta). 
I also found out something interesting... our clear sparkles and flourishes will take our alcohol markers with no problem but the opaque gems and opaque flourishes will not... I had to break out the Copic markers to colour those. Had I known that in advance, I would have used the clear sparkles and flourishes instead so I could keep my card 100% CTMH. Live and learn! 


Enjoy, 
Alyson

Products used are Close To My Heart unless otherwise noted: 

Paper: Clementine Paper Pack, Saddle Cardstock, Creme Brulee Cardstock, Cashmere Cardstock, Colonial White Cardstock, New England Ivy Cardstock, Sorbet Cardstock
Stamps: Flirty Scrapbooking Workshop, Quick Cards - Bountiful Season
Inks: Creme Brulee, Sorbet, Autumn Terracotta
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Scoring Tool, Pearl Adhesive Gems, Opaque Pearl Flourishes, Blue Brad Assortment, Sorbet Waxy Flax (ret.), Copic Marker (not CTMH)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Final Goodbye... Layout for My Dear Kelsie

This layout is the reason I haven't posted for the past few days. I have had the papers cut and sitting on my desk for the past 5 days but it has taken me until today to get the inner strength to finally sit down and complete this layout. This whole event of losing our precious little dog is still so raw for me and Dave. It was exactly 3 weeks ago today. I miss hearing his little feet climbing our staircase, or his running to the washing machine to see if his favourite toy (his goose) was coming out, although often he would have it in his mouth when he'd come running to check! It was like he expected the machine to produce a second one for him! 
These photos were taken about an hour before we took him to our vet to have him put to sleep. My husband said he didn't want to get attached to him when we brought him home but he couldn't help it - he was just too adorable.  
There is journaling under the small photo that I have included here under the layout (and yes, I know there is a typo in the journaling which has already been corrected...)
Since I deal with severe depression, I know that routine is extremely important for me as I struggle through this loss. I am still walking every day in the mornings for at least an hour. I am also making a point to attend the same events and activities that I usually do each week, such as singing in my church choir, meeting with friends twice a week, etc. I know these things will help me to stay on track and to heal from this loss. 


Enjoy, 
Alyson

Products are all Close To My Heart

Paper: Moonlight Paper Pack, Dakota Paper Pack, Victory Paper Pack, Whisper Cardstock, Sky Cardstock
Stamps: Bingo Alphabet, 4 My Friend
Inks: Pacifica, Crystal Blue, Topiary, Whisper
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, Urban Felt Alphabet, Dimensional Elements: Awards, Banners and Tags, Slate Mini-Medley Collection, Ribbon Slides, Green Button Assortment, Blue Button Assortment, Slate Satin Polka-Dot Ribbon, Baker's Twine - Harvest Assortment, Baker's Twine - Neutral Assortment, Flip Flaps - Small Assortment, Foam Tape

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