Monday, November 30, 2015

Heart 2 Heart - 'Tis the Season Challenge

This week at Heart 2 Heart, the challenge is "'Tis the Season". Obviously it's Christmas time but the actual challenge is to use a product or products featured in the Close To My Heart Holiday Expressions Catalog. I love almost everything in that catalog so this was a tough decision for me. One of my favourite stamp sets is the stamp from the White Pines Cardmaking Workshop on the Go kit. The wreath is my favourite stamp in that set, so I decided to focus on that. 

I also love monochromatic or minimal colour cards - so that was my second focus. Christmas cards in non-traditional colours is a third love of mine - so why not combine all three elements? 

Using White Daisy and Peacock with a touch of Silver, the design for this card was taken from Make It From Your Heart, Volume 1. The wreath was heat embossed and the background was random stamped with some of the smaller images from the same stamp set. It didn't take long to do and I love the end result. 


Join us at Heart 2 Heart and show us your favourite products from the Holiday Expressions Catalog. You have until the end of December to enter any of the December challenges. 

Products used are all Close to My Heart

Paper: White Daisy Cardstock, Peacock Cardstock, Silver Glitter Paper, Enchantment Paper Fundamentals (Peacock)
Stamps: White Pines Cardmaking Stamp Set
Inks: Peacock Pigment Ink, Versamark
Accessories: Clear Detail Embossing Powder, Silver Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Peacock Fundamentals Assortment

Enjoy, 
Alyson

Monday, November 23, 2015

Atlantic Hearts Challenge 135

The sketch at Atlantic Hearts this week is one that I decided to rotate as I much prefer cards that sit vertically rather than horizontally. 

Since Urban is one of the featured paper packs in the month of November, I thought I would use that and I also have some male birthdays coming up, so that was a perfect fit. The Artistry Cricut Cartridge provided the "tag" and I also decided to add some Glacier cardstock to the Urban colour palette.  

Since this birthday card is for an older gentleman, the Birthday Funnies stamp set was perfect for this card! I love the sayings in that stamp set as they are sarcastic but not over the top. 

I chose to use two pigment inks - Slate and Peacock - to stamp the sentiment and then emboss it using Clear Detail embossing power. 



Join us at Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge this week and show us your interpretation of the sketch shown above. 

Products used are all Close To My Heart

Paper: Urban Paper Pack, Peacock Cardstock, Glacier Cardstock, Whisper Cardstock
Stamps: Birthday Funnies
Inks: Slate Pigment Ink, Peacock Pigment Ink
Accessories: Artistry Cricut cartridge, Peacock Fundamentals Assortment, Grey Enamel Gems, Glacier Thick Twine, Silver Foil Tape, Foam Tape, Clear Detail Embossing Powder, Heat Tool

Enjoy, 
Alyson


Friday, November 20, 2015

Cut & Shave Layout

I don't create layouts very often any more... This one was done for a family that means a lot to me. They own a hair salon and I have known them for several years. Ever since I moved to this area over 15 years ago, I have been going to the same wonderful lady to get my hair done. They recently renovated the salon and included a special men's section. It is truly a family business with their nephew working there as well.. I stopped in a few days ago and took a few pictures with the idea of doing a layout for that section of the salon. This is what I decided to do... 

I wanted something very neutral and not too complex, so I stayed with black and white but added a touch of gold for sophistication. As you can see, the men are dressed in black and white. The CTMH Cricut cartridges were perfect to add just the right icons - the sign, moustache, scissors and profile. 

I love the way this turned out and I hope that they will as well. 


Products used are all Close To My Heart

Paper: La Vie En Rose Paper Pack, White Daisy Cardstock, Black Cardstock, Basic Fundamentals Paper Pack (Black), Gold Glitter Paper
Stamps: None
Inks: Slate
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, Artistry Cartridge, Black Sparkle Flourishes (ret.), Black Small Sparkle Flourishes (ret.), Bling Gems Gold Assortment, White Enamel Stars, Black ShinHan Marker, Foam Tape, Thin Foam Tape, Black Designed Decor Shadow Box

Enjoy, 
Alyson



Monday, November 16, 2015

Heart 2 Heart - Watercolour Challenge

The challenge this week at H2H is watercolours... EEK! This is NOT my strength and when I saw this challenge, it scared the pants off me! I put it off as long as I could until I knew I would have to face it and deal with it... 
Painting has always been a fear of mine as I have never been able to do it well. I almost failed grade 8 art because of it (yes... absolutely true) and never took art after that time. I have watched a lot of videos and tried various techniques and none have really worked for me but I thought I would try a watercolour wash... It didn't exactly turn out as I had planned... 
Mine ended up looking more "painted" than a wash... however, it was usable and that's what matters at this time, so at least I was able to create something that I could use! And it even sort of matched two palette colours - Thistle and Pear - BONUS! 
I added some Shimmer trim and a few embellishments plus my sentiment - not quite as scary as I thought - and I have a usable card in the end. Maybe I'll spend some more time with the paints and see what else I can do :) 


Join us at Heart 2 Heart and show us your watercolour skills - they HAVE to be better than mine! You have the rest of the month to enter any or all of the November challenges. 

Products used are all Close To My Heart

Paper: White Daisy Cardstock, Thistle Cardstock, Pear Cardstock
Stamps: Perfect Fit Birthday
Inks: Eggplant, Pear
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artistry Cartridge, Watercolour Paints, Watercolour Brushes, Purple Shimmer Trim, White Shimmer Trim, Thistle Thick Twine, Purple Hearts Enamel and Glitter Duos, Thin Foam Tape, Foam Tape

Enjoy, 
Alyson

Monday, November 9, 2015

Atlantic Hearts Challenge 133

The sketch at Atlantic Hearts this week is a layered sketch - I am not sure how you would do this without using layers upon layers... 
I counted all my layers and in total, there are 13 layers on my card! That can make for a very heavy card, but I did cut out some of the centres to help to make it a bit lighter! 

I wanted to use a colour scheme that I stumbled on a few weeks ago that I really liked - purple and yellow. Plus, I am really loving the Paper Fundamentals and with that being a huge focus this month at Close to My Heart with the Constant Campaign, I thought I would focus on that for this card. 

I followed the sketch very closely, just extending the sentiment and the border to the edges of the card. 



Join us at Atlantic Hearts and show us your interpretation of this this week's sketch. 

Products used are all Close To My Heart

Paper: White Daisy Card Base, White Daisy Cardstock, Eggplant Cardstock, Saffron Cardstock, Thistle Cardstock, Purple Glitter Paper, Enchantment Paper Fundamentals (Eggplant), Whimsy Paper Fundamentals (Thistle)
Stamps: Look to the Light
Inks: Eggplant
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, Thin Foam Tape, Purple Hearts Enamel and Glitter Duos

Enjoy, 
Alyson


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Urban Thanks Card

I need some masculine thank you cards - and I always find masculine cards difficult to create. For this one, I went to the trusty Make It From Your Heart books - they always have such wonderful patterns available. Although ribbon is used in the original pattern, I decided to pleat some paper instead to stay with a more masculine appearance on the card. I actually sewed the pleats under the gold tape just to hold them together. 
One tip for anyone who uses a sewing machine to stitch on layout or cards - make sure there is NO ADHESIVE where the needle is going to stitch - that can gum up your machine and damage it very, very quickly. Repairs can be extremely expensive. You can apply temporary adhesive around the areas that are to be sewn but make sure no adhesive will come anywhere near that needle! 


Products used are all Close To My Heart

Paper: Urban Paper Pack, Colonial White Cardstock, Saffron Cardstock
Stamps: A Thousand Thanks
Inks: Saddle, Peacock
Accessories: Gold Foil Tape, Peacock Fundamental Assortment, Blue Dot Enamel and Glitter Duos, Off-White Thread and Sewing Machine 

Enjoy, 
Alyson


Monday, November 2, 2015

Heart 2 Heart - Through the Window

The challenge this week at Heart 2 Heart is Through the Window. I love window cards and there are so many interpretations of them out there - they can be cards like the one I did below or they can be 3-D cards with sliding mechanisms of various types, pull out cards, cards that open in the centre to reveal a window - you name it. The possibilities are endless! 

I have to say that this card took me over 8 hours to create - not because it is a card that SHOULD have taken that long by any means - but I just had one of THOSE days. You know those days when everything that can go wrong does go wrong? If you want a good laugh at my expense, I would like to tell you my story. It wasn't so funny at the time but looking back on it now, it really is pretty amusing... I will post the card first in case you just want to see that and move on. The story is below.


I started out looking for a window template on Cricut Design Space on one of the CTMH cartridges - I wasn't able to find one, so I tried to create one using a window from Artbooking and some edges from Artiste and welding them together. Anything that I was able to create looked far too ornate for a window frame. Nothing looked right. I tried square tops, bracket tops, rounded tops - everything looked funny. After about 25 attempts, I finally realized that it would just be easier to search for window frames and purchase one already made. Done. After wasting about 90 minutes, that was finally accomplished. 

Next task was to find holly that would fit on the base of the window frame. That wasn't too hard - Artistry has a decent holly branch that worked and I copied it twice and sized it accordingly. I knew I wanted red berries for it but I wouldn't be able to cut those with the Cricut but I had an idea for later... 

After cutting both images way too large the first time, I cut them a second time and then set about creating the background with embossing folders. I forgot about the grain of the cardstock with some of the CTMH folders and how it can rip apart the cardstock if it doesn't go with the grain of the folder... Well, after running one piece of 5x7 White Daisy cardstock through my Cuttlebug with the stripe embossing folder, it had several tears in the paper... Let's try again. But I didn't check the grain - I just stuck another piece into the folder and did the same thing again - not a second time but 3 more times! I don't know where my brain was hiding... Seriously!!! Finally on the 5th try and a new sheet of cardstock, I finally got it right - only to turn around and do the SAME thing with the Pacifica cardstock - and not once but twice! Good thing I have lots of cardstock! 

Then I began the process of preparing the background that would sit behind the window. I knew I  would have to do some experimenting here so I took a scrap piece of White Daisy (and yes, I actually had some left after wasting much of it in the embossing process...) I started with the sun - Canary and Honey inks. I had the sun the way I wanted it - yeah! But this was the trial piece. Then I started to work on the blue background. I was using Crystal Blue and Glacier. It became darker and darker and then I decided to add a darker colour - Pacifica. That didn't go well as it was WAY too dark. Scratch that piece. Let's start again. New sun - ok. Crystal Blue and Glacier - no Pacifica this time - good. Add the trees - Topiary with spots of New England Ivy applied with a sponge dauber - ok... looking good. I think that's what I want. I just needed a circle punch to punch a piece of masking paper to cover the sun once I sponged that so I didn't get any blue ink on that. Now, where on earth did I put the masking paper? Search begins... I KNEW I had it somewhere. I thought I pulled it out before I started this project. I only needed one piece and I had one small piece that I removed from the package and I had already pulled the edge of the backing paper off so I wouldn't have to fight with it later - now where did it go? And the search continued... I still couldn't find it. Meanwhile, I had to make side trip to the bathroom to wash the ink off my hands before I started to work on a new sheet of paper and then I found Mika (my dog) wandering around - and she had a piece of paper attached to her nose! IT WAS MY MASKING PAPER! And then she ran! The little monster! I cornered her and grabbed my paper off her nose - she's too cute to punish for something like that! 

Back to the inked background - now the good copy. The sun goes ok and all the other parts are stamped and inked alright until I decided to add some orange to the sun. Out comes the Goldrush ink pad. I tried to do this using a sponge dauber and it went on dark - way too dark. Blend, blend, blend! More Honey! Blend! Try to make it look like a late afternoon sun... blend more... it's not working... I don't want to redo this whole thing again! It's just going to have to do the way it is - I am NOT redoing it! (Can you hear the panic in my voice because that is exactly how I was feeling!?!) I will try and place the frame as high on the background as I can to keep the sun as far out of it as possible. 

Next was to work on the holly pieces. I wanted to back the open leaves with New England Ivy cardstock. This was SMALL paper piecing for sure... I traced one and then traced that for the other 5 pieces. They were way too big. They take a LONG time to do. For the berries, I figured I could use a regular hole punch and just punch holes out of a piece of Cranberry cardstock and use the punched pieces. Well, hole punches KEEP the punched pieces inside! Have you ever tried to get those punched pieces out? They don't come out - EVER! I tried - without success. I finally had to resort to emptying my big hole punch - and it was filled with a rainbow of coloured pieces. I didn't want to do it on my desk as pieces might end up between the cracks where my desk joins so I did it on the floor - MISTAKE! Mika was right in there. And those little pieces end up everywhere with every movement! I needed 10 red pieces. By the time I had shooed Mika away several times (and she is such an affectionate dog so she always wants to be with me or near me), she had her nose in there and was covered with confetti and it was all over my office floor. I had plenty of red pieces but the mess was incredible! Confetti was stuck to everything that has any sort of static - my clothes, her body and all over her nose, my floor mats for my sliding chair, under the floor mats, EVERYTHING! I had to sweep several times and then get the Swiffer duster out to pick up all the leftover pieces and I am STILL finding pieces today (the next day) around the house that have attached themselves to things and have been dragged around to various places. 

Using detail glue, the pieces were attached to the berry locations on the greenery and then attached to the window ledge. The last thing to do was to attach the embossed pieces to the card base and then the white cross pieces to complete the wainscotting. I had cut one cross piece but I wanted a second piece to lower it slightly as it looked a bit too high. Rather than measuring the width, I decided to eyeball the width and cut a second piece. Four tries later, I finally cut the correct width again - it would have been easier to measure and cut once (the old handyman saying - "measure twice and cut once"... 

Finally, the window was attached to the card and the sentiment was stamped (without incident) and attached to the card and it was DONE! 

Who would have thought that a seemingly so simple card would have taken 8 long hours to complete? Not me! 

------------
Products used are Close To My Heart unless otherwise indicated

Paper: White Daisy Cardstock, Pacifica Cardstock, Slate Cardstock, Topiary Cardstock, New England Ivy Cardstock, Cranberry Cardstock
Stamps: Always Grateful, Festive Trees
Inks: Topiary, New England Ivy, Crystal Blue, Glacier, Canary, Honey, Goldrush, Pacifica
Accessories: Artistry, Cricut Design Space (not CTMH), Foam Tape, Stripe Embossing Folder, Scallop Embossing Folder, Sponge Daubers, Sponges

Enjoy, 
Alyson



Sunday, November 1, 2015

November SOTM Blog Hop - Cheers, 2016!


Welcome to November's Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! This month, we are featuring the stamp set "Cheers, 2016!" - a set of 17 stamps. This is a set of stamps designed to welcome the new year and all that goes with it. The bloggers along this blog hop will show you several ideas, so sit back and enjoy the tour. You should have arrived here from Lauren Moore's blog

If you get lost, a list of all blogs can be found here

The stamp set looks like this.



I am not a fan of making resolutions for the new year but a friend of mine is what I would call an addict when when it comes to that sort of thing. This year, I thought I would create a layout for her to accommodate her "addiction" and this stamp set was perfect to do that!


I close to use the Paper Fundamentals rather than a paper pack for this layout. It's hard to see in the photograph but the flowers and the large stars are cut from the Paper Fundamentals Cardstock and the side piece is also from that same line. The chevron background was done with a stencil cut from one of the CTMH Cricut cartridges - very easy to do.

I hope you enjoyed my project. 

The next blog on the hop is Priscilla Gotham's blog
I'm sure she has something wonderful to share with you.

You can get this stamp set for just $6 this month with a $50 purchase. 

Visit my shopping site here
Remember this stamp set is only available until November 30th! 

Products used are all Close To My Heart

Paper: White Daisy Cardstock, Sapphire Cardstock, Crystal Blue Cardstock, Hollyhock Cardstock, Enchantment Paper Fundamentals (Sapphire), Adventure Paper Fundamentals (Hollyhock), Whimsy Paper Fundamentals (Pixie)
Stamps: Cheers, 2016!
Inks: Sapphire, Hollyhock, Versamark, Pigment Inks: Sapphire, Crystal Blue, Hollyhock
Accessories: Artbooking Cartridge, Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, Foam Tape, Corner Rounder, White Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Clear Detail Embossing Powder, Sponge Dauber, Blue Dot Enamel and Glitter Duos, Flamingo Dots

Enjoy, 
Alyson

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