January 29, 2016

Shield Page Layout using a Template

Today I give you a little preview of some really interesting page layouts to come.

Remember, last year I showed a few layouts from our trip to Germany. Lot's of flowers and a beautiful trip to the island of Mainau on Lake Constanze. Well, I am a bit behind, but here is the first of many castle layouts to come :-)

It is not finished yet, but I thought I give you a sneak peek anyway.

This is also the first time for me to use a template from Lea France. My friend Vicki introduced me to these templates during our monthly get together were we work on our page layouts. She had this fabulous template creating a shield with your photos and a castle one too....Yeahhh how cool is this! I had to try it!

Well what do you think so far? I can't wait to show the other layouts here once I have the fine tuning done, so keep checking back!

If you like to know more about these templates or how they work, please let me know. Leave a comment below ... 

January 27, 2016

Watercolor Orchid

Welcome to a brand new edition of my card class projects for 2016.

A new year and some new cards, designs and techniques are coming your way. We had a lot of fun to create these wonderful watercolor images of an orchid.

What I really love about this technique is that each card turned out completely different, all depending on how much ink you use and how much water you add to the project.

Lets start by how to archive this wonderful watercolor look without picking any brush or watercolors up! Yes, you heard right, no brushes, no watercolors....

 The card is a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" green cardstock base folded on top. You can use a side fold as well if you like. Further you need a piece of 4" x 5 1/4" Strathmore Watercolor paper. The paper has a smoother finish on one side and a rougher finish on the other side...pick which ever one you like. I went with the rough side.

I used the "Penny Black Brushstroke Orchid" stamp for this card. Since the stamp is pretty big, you want to make sure to adhere it to a big enough blog. 
The image will not fit completely onto your paper, but that's alright. Next I used four different inks which are waterbased. You need waterbased inks otherwise you will not get the watercolor effect. I used our Close to My Heart inks, Fern(Z2650), Olive (retired), Sorbet(Z2164) and Honey(Z2162). The two greens Fern and Olive are used for the leafs and stems. Honey is a yellow and Sorbet a more orange/ pink ink and those were used for the flowers.

I went directly with the Fern ink pad to the stamp and colored the leafs. I applied more Olive ink with a sponge dauber to the leave and all along the stems. For the flowers I chose to cover them first completely in Honey (yellow) ink using a sponge dauber. I then went back and applied the Sorbet color on the outside of each flower pedal. Don't worry about the ink drying on you!

Depending which color combo you choose or how much of each color you apply, the outcome of the flowers will be different. 
Now comes the fun part... I used a spray pen (Z1380) filled with water and spritzed the stamp so the inks started to flow (not to much water, but enough to see the ink shimmer). Now quickly flip the stamp onto the watercolor paper and press it down for 10-15 sec. Quickly lift the stamp up and let the image dry. If you have to much water puddling on the paper, you can use a paper towel to absorb some of the excess.

Once the image is completely dry, stamp your sentiment and add the little sprinkles. I used the Close to My Heart Black Ink for my sprinkles. Apply some of the ink to a block or other smooth surface that can easily be cleaned. Grab a brush, add water to the black ink and load your brush. Carefully tap on the brush to create the sprinkles. Add a few gold sequins and adhere the watercolor piece with lots of foam tape to the card base. 

A piece of Colonial White cardstock is adhered to the inside of the card and this project is finished.

Please leave me a comment if you like this technique and the card or let me know if you have questions. Stay tuned for more to come ....

January 25, 2016

Studio J Program retiring on April 30th

Sadly... Close to My Heart announced last week that they will be ending their digital scrapbooking program "StudioJ" by April 30th.

Although this program had been a wonderful edition to the regular crafting products Close to My Heart has to offer, it never grew strong enough to further support it.

What does this mean for you as a StudioJ user?

It means you have to finish and order your pages and you have to download all your jpeg files to your computer before April 30th, 2016. The sooner the better. 

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions regarding this announcement. I would love to help! 

Closing this program doesn't have to mean you can't scrapbook your favorite picture anymore! Let me help you to find a fast and efficient way to scrapbook your pictures. Let's have some fun together and get crafty again...

Contact me ....Love to help you!  

January 23, 2016

Emboss Resist ~ with Pigment Ink

Love these little owls... It is one of my favorite Close to My Heart stamp set, but sadly... it is retired! If you are interested in this one (owls, branch, leaf, phase) I still have one set for sale.

Back to the card... I placed a circle with some removable adhesive in the middle of my 5" x 3 3/4" piece of white cardstock. Next I used Memento Dandelion ink (make sure it is the pigment one) to stamp my stars in the sky. 

I removed the circle and place clear WOW embossing powder over the stamped images. After shaking of the excess and heating the powder to melt I place the circle back in the center and started the background. 

I used two different blue and a sponge to blend the night sky. Since the yellow color of the ink is sealed with the clear embossing powder it will not take on any blue ink.

 You will know if you missed some embossing if your stars turn green ;) Once the background is done you can remove the circle for good. I used the clear glitter pen from Wink Of Stella to fill in the circle with some glitter (it's not showing on the picture).
The owls were stamped, colored in and cut out with scissors. The branch was stamped on chocolate cardstock and also cut out. The leafs are stamped on green cardstock before cut. 

The foreground is made from black cardstock cut with two different Lawn Fawn border dies. I stamped the phrase with watermark ink and embossed it with Platinum embossing powder.


First I adhered the black cardstock with the trees onto my star piece. The other black cardstock was placed with foam dots on top of the other one. For the owls, I assembled the whole branch before I adhered it with foam dots to the card. 

Do you like this or any of the other cards seen here on my blog? How about joining one of my classes and see what you can create? It is so much fun and no fears, I am there to help .... Contact me for more information.

If you missed this months Blog Hop, CLICK HERE to see a list of all designers and hop along!

January 22, 2016

Emboss Resist ~ with Stamps

Well, here is another spin on the emboss resist technique. This time I used a stamp set instead of the stencil. I thought these cute dots make for a nice backdrop, what do you think?

The embossing technique is pretty much the same described in last Fridays post. Instead of the stencil I inked my stamp up with the Watermark ink. Nice and sticky...

I stamped the image on some water color pieces (5 1/4" x 4") and placed the clear WOW embossing powder over it. I would have loved to do this one with white embossing powder, but as I mentioned before, I was out of it...OPS

After heating the powder and melting it, I grabbed my colors and started the backgrounds. The blue backdrop is made from three different blues form the ZIG Clean Color Real Brush Marker. I randomly placed spots of color on the paper and sprayed the piece down with water. Every color starts to move and blend. I let it sit and dry. I stamped my phrase on a some vellum and embossed it as well. The base of my card is covered with a piece of black cardstock about 1/4" smaller than the base. Next the watercolor piece also 1/4" smaller than the black. I wrapped the vellum around the piece before I adhered it to the black cardstock. A few butterflies and some sequins and this card is finished. 

Oh and don't forget to decorate the inside too.

For the orange card I used the same Distress Inks like I did in the "Happy Birthday" one from this series. A sponge, some red, orange and yellow distress ink and lots of blending made this background.

My base is a quarter card with the fold to the left. I folded the front panel in half with the new fold to the right.

I cut my watercolor piece in half and reduced it by about 1/4". I stacked a piece of black cardstock, silver shimmer paper and the watercolor paper on top of each other. Each piece being about 1/8" than the previous one.

I placed the doted part on the left side of my card and stamped the cute shopping lady on the right side.

A few rhinestones and this card is almost done.I stamped my phrase on some white cardstock before I used my 2" circle punch to cut it out. One more punch from black cardstock and both pieces are placed together with foam dots, slightly off set. I adhered the circle halfway onto the front so it wouldn't cover up the girl.

Two more cards with some fun embossing.
If you like to know more about this technique or if you would like to test is for yourself, please let me know and stay tuned for more to come... 

January 16, 2016

Emboss Resist ~ with Stencils part II

This is the second card I made for the Emboss Resist Hop Blog. If you have read my post from yesterday you know by now how to create the stencil embossing on the watercolor paper (5 1/2" x 4 1/4").

I used the ZIG Clean Color Real Brush markers again, but this time I picked different greens for the project. 
I sprayed a little bit of clean water on the piece to prime it. Next I put some color from the markers on a craft sheet and picked it up with a brush. I simply color in here and there until I liked the overall picture. 
Once the paper was dry I used my brush with a bit of color and little water and added the grass to it and sprinkled some shimmer drops over the piece.
Lawn fawn has a set of rectangular dies which will cut on the in and out side. I used their stitch set with the 5"x 3 3/4" and 3" and 1 3/4" die to cut out the rectangular seen.

I used a piece of Close to My Heart design paper for the card base front. Next I added the bigger frame in the center of the base. The smallest of the rectangular was also place on the front in the center of the big one. To make the card more interesting, I adhered the middle frame with foam dots to the card but offset of the two others. A phrase, stamped in black and a bow and some pearls finish this card off.

Here is a nice detailed picture of the embossing part. The shiny area is the place were the embossing powder melted and sealed the white off from any color I added to it.

Leave a comment here on the blog and let me know how you like this card. Question regarding the technique or about class schedules?

Feel free to contact me...

January 15, 2016

Emboss Resist ~ with Stencils part I

This year I joined a group of 8 crafty ladies for a monthly Blog Hop. On every first Saturday each month you will be introduced to a new technique. Check out the cards that we make and see how these techniques work. I will post more detailed information about my cards shown and the technique on some of the Fridays during this month. In case you missed the first Hop...Click Here... to catch up!

OK, now back to the projects:
I made all my cards with WOW super fine clear embossing powder just because I ran out of the white one ...ops :-) But you could used any one of the two here. The white powder would give you a more vibrant impression, which can change the look of your image quite a bit. 
I used a stencil called "Verdant" from Penny Black and a piece of 5 1/4" x 4" watercolor paper. To make sure the stencil wouldn't move on me I secured it with some washi tape to the paper. 

I took my Versa-mark Watermark Ink pad straight to the stencil and carefully pressed it into the stencil. You have to work careful since the ink is super sticky. After I made sure I got everything inked well I removed the stencil (clean it right away with soap and water) and covered the image with embossing powder. The powder will stick to the ink and excess powder will shake off. 

Now start your heat gun to get it nice and warm before you hold it over the powder on your card. I always start in a corner and once I see the powder melting I slowly move on. Make sure all powder is melted before you turn the heat off.

All areas covered with the melted powder will now resist any color I put on there. In this case I used, red, orange and yellow ZIG Clean Color Real Brush Markers which blend beautifully with water. I simply went around the embossed image with the yellow, followed buy the orange and finished it with the red. Just stripes and dots, not to careful, since I sprayed the whole paper down with water. All spots with color will get activated and the colors start moving together. The areas with the embossing will stay white.

I used a Lawn Fawn border die to cut the watercolor in three parts. I also took a small strip of the middle one off to create a small gap between the panels. I used the tiny strips on the inside of the card.

The card is finished with a piece of black cardstock (5 1/2"x 4 1/4") adhered to the base. I spaced the panels evenly on the front and added the little "Happy Birthday" phrase from the Close to My Heart stamp set "Happy to be Friends" (C1605) to the card. A few sequins and this card is finished.

Do you like this card or would you like to try this technique yourself? Contact me for more information and class schedules. Leave a comment and let me know if you like this card, post, ...

January 13, 2016

Dog Birthday Wishes

My 2015 catching up is done with this card. 

Don't you love all the wrinkles on this little dog? Stamped and colored in with watercolor pencils. 

I stamped the rest of the phrase on the inside and added a few of those little grass bundles inside too. 

The lines were added with a black journaling pen...

The outside of the envelope was decorated just a bit. I have been doing the envelope decoration now for a couple of month and I have to say "I like it". 

No matter if it is just a little stamp like here or some leftover paper cuts, anything would work. If you like to know more about my classes or if you like to join them, please contact me.

Any cards, pages and boxes seen here on my blog can be purchase as well. Contact me for more information.

January 12, 2016

Dancing Hippo....Tu Tu Cute

Although our nieces birthday was in December, I thought I share this cute hippo with the tutu with you all.

The Close to My Heart Stamp Set is called "Safari Ballet" (A1180) and is just to cute, don't you think?

I thought to make the card even more interesting for a 5 year old, wouldn't it be nice if the Hippo Ballerina could dance too? Here is my solution for it:
I die-cut an oval into the front of my card base and created two cardstock pieces (Lagoon color) for the front and the inside of the card.
I stamped the Hippo twice on white cardstock, colored it in and hand cut it just around the edge. 
I adhered a silver thread on the front of the card centered in the middle of the oval. I placed the two lagoon cardstock pieces with a nice strong adhesive on the front and the inside of the card. I stamped a few stars and snowflakes in silver on the front and a little phrase in black ink.

Our white glitter paper, which is one of the three sheets of the "Gold Glitter Paper" (Z3076) package makes a beautiful trim edge. 
Now comes the fun part: Place strong adhesive on both Hippos you cut out. Place the first one centered in the oval and on the silver thread. Place the second one on the back of the first, sandwiching the thread between the two Hippos. Both cut outs should match each other. Turn the Hippo a couple of times around the thread and let go...a dancing ballerina.

Click on the picture on the right to see a little VIDEO on how the little Hippo Ballerina can dance. Isn't she lovely? Please leave me a comment at the end and let me know what you think and if you like to see more videos in my posts!
(Little technical problem: If you can't see the video by clicking on the picture please use the link above! First time for me to ad a video and somehow I haven't quiet figured it out :-) )

Like to join my card making classes or do you prefer a one on one teaching? Love to make pages or home decor items? Or do you love this or other cards on my blog and wish to purchase them????

No matter what it is, please fell free to contact me, I would love to hear from you...stay tuned

This is the stamp set used for this card:

"Safari Ballet" (A1180) for only $6.95

You can order the set from my website or just email me to same on shipping costs.

January 8, 2016

A Year of Card Techniques ~ January Blog Hop ~ Emboss Resist

Welcome to

 January Blog Hop

This is the first in a year long series of monthly blog hops focusing on techniques for card makers.

Each month we'll feature a different technique or fold or product.

We've assembled a team of card makers who range from new to advanced so you'll get a great variety of cards and ideas.

This month we will be focusing on emboss resist techniques and WOW have we got some cool cards for you today. We really love feedback so please leave a comment on each of the blogs in today's hop. Each comment on the 12 hops throughout the year will be entered into a prize drawing for a $25 Blitsy.com gift certificate at the end of the year.

Now on with the projects.

... What is emboss resist you might ask? 
One simple answer could be... a piece of paper is prepared with a sticky ink; embossing powder is added to it and a heat gun melts the powder into a sealed surface. All areas covered with the melted embossing powder will resist inks, ...distress inks, watercolors etc. I know, sounds complicated, but it really isn't. Let's see on some examples I prepared how this technique looks like:

... Stamp Projects

Both these cards started out the same way. I used a dotted stamp set and Watermark Ink(clear sticky ink) to stamp the dots onto pieces of watercolor paper. 

Next, I added some clear embossing powder over the stamped images and made sure all excess powder was taken off and put aside before I continued.

I let my heating gun warm up and slowly moved it over the powder. After a few seconds you can see how the powder is beginning to melt. I continued to heat the powder until everything was melted. From now on these dots wont take on any ink or color. You could also use white embossing powder for an even brighter contrast. 

For the blue card I used a variety of blue "ZIG Clean Color Real Brush Markers" and sprayed them with water to archive the background. 
For the orange card I used Distress inks in red, orange and yellow and a sponge to apply the color. 

... Stencil Projects

Here I used a stencil instead of a stamp set. The stencil works great, but it sometimes will not give you the crisp edges you are looking for. 

I placed the stencil onto watercolor paper and fasted it with some washi tape. The watermark ink pad is very sticky, so I move carefully over the stencil. I also made sure to clean my stencil right away with water and soap. The rest of the procedure is the same, place embossing powder onto the inked area and heat until melted. In both cases I used ZIG markers again, but the orange one is sprayed with water and color added to it, while the green color was applied with a brush and lot's of water.

... Pigment Ink Project

Last but not least, I used Memento Dandelion ink (yellow) to stamp the stars. First I placed a circle in the middle before I stamped the image. Then I removed the circle before I added clear embossing powder. The clear powder lets the ink color shine through, which makes for a pretty shiny background. Make sure the ink is wet and add the powder quickly after you stamped the image.

I went on to use a sponge and three different shades of blue distress inks to blend colors together to create this background.

More detailed information about each of the cards and how I made them will be on my blog following this post (Fridays).

Well, I hope you like my projects and how about trying this technique yourself? Let us know if you have questions and don't forget to leave a comment here and along the way for a chance to win. 

Up next is the talented Denise with her blog "Craft Confectionery"...click HERE to hop over and see here creations.

Here's today's line-up in case you get lost along the way

January 6, 2016

Hot Air Balloon "Happy Birthday"

I still have some catching up to do with cards we made in 2015. 

Here is a wonderful Hot Air Balloon Birthday card we made. The balloon base card was cut with the Cricut and used the Close to My Heart cartridge "Artfully Sent" (Z3168). The balloon part is usually open, but we placed red cardstock on the back. 

The middle piece with the clouds was also cut with the cartridge and we placed a piece of white cardstock behind it to show off the clouds.

Inside we stamped a "Happy Birthday" phrase and decorated the balloon with some rhinestones. 
The little bakers twine makes sure the card stays closed.

The cut out pieces from the clouds were used to decorate the front of the envelope.

January 4, 2016

January - Stamp of the month "Beloved Bouquet"

Let's start the new crafting year with a wonderful flower stamp set called "Beloved Bouquet" (S1601).

This is the stamp set of the month January, which means, if you place an order of $50 or more you can order this set for only $5.00!

The flowers and leafs are stamped in a two step process. First you stamp the full image in a lighter color. Next you line up the more detailed image, ink it up in a darker ink and place it on top of the full image. Since our stamps are all clear stamps, lining them up is really easy.
 Beside the flowers and leafs, you will also get a bundle of phrases along with this set.

If you like to know more about these Close to My Heart products or how to use them best, please feel free to contact me. I will try to answer all your questions.

 Here are a few examples on how to use this set ...

Stay tuned for more to come ....

January 2, 2016

January - Constant Campaign Special

Many of you took advantage of the December special where you were able to get the brand new Close to My Heart "Everyday Life Planner" in a special bundle. 

For all of you who missed the special, don't worry, you are still able to order the "Everyday Life Planner" HERE!

Plus, celebrate National Papercrafting Month with the exclusive Picture My Life "Live Your Day" scrapbooking program. This program is only available in January and for only $8.95 you can either integrate pocket scrapbooking into your "Everyday Life Planner" or you make a completely new scrapbook out of it. The "Everyday Life Album" can be used for more than just a planer!

So don't forget, this special designed "Picture My Life" set is only available during the month of January and while supplies last....hurry and order yours now...email me for more information.