Sunday, March 31, 2013

SOTM April Blog Hop

Welcome to our Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! We will be featuring April's SOTM, which is "My Sunshine", a set of 8 stamps. If you have come here from Nikka's Blog, you are on the right path! The blog hop is a great big circle, so you can start here and work your way all around. If you get lost along the way, you’ll find the complete list of participating consultants at Helen's blog.

This month we have approximately 50 Close To My Heart Consultants sharing their creations using this month's SOTM and other great CTMH products on their blogs. This is simple to do - just click on the link at the end of the post on each blog to move to the next one! Here we go!
A picture of the stamp set is shown here: 


I chose to create a hinged display tray using this month's SOTM. I love the For Always paper and Lagoon is my favourite colour in our palette so I combined the two, using some Silver Glitter Paper as well. I absolutely love the way this turned out! I got my owl pictures off Pinterest.
I have included close-up photos so you can see some extra details. I used the Cricut cartridges to cut the branches out of the glitter paper for the birds to sit upon and I used foam tape to raise the two birds' wings as well. 

 
 
I hope you enjoyed my project. 
Supplies used are listed below. 

Supplies used are all Close To My Heart

Paper: For Always Paper Pack, Lagoon Cardstock, White Daisy Cardstock, Black and Grey Glitter Paper
Stamps: April SOTM - My Sunshine 
Inks: Lagoon, Lagoon Pigment Ink
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, Hinged Display Tray, Silver Shimmer Trim, For Always Assortment, Claire Assortment, Foam Tape, Licorice Opaque Adhesive Gems, Clear Detail Embossing Powder, Heat Tool

Now "Hop" on over to Georgia's Blog to see her work! Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their blogs to get some great crafting ideas and other fun ideas! Remember, the April SOTM is only available until the last day of April! Contact me or click here to see how you can get this stamp set at a discount! 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

More Cards for Silent Auction

As promised, here are more of the cards that I am donating for the Silent Auction at my church at the end of April. I love the way the original card turned out so I decided to create two sets of this card, knowing that they will be in high demand. I am also leaning to work with a new Cricut Expression and I found out that it does not like to cut detailed images through the glitter paper with a single cut so I have learned some new skills (multi cutting and placement) while creating this card. 

I embossed every image on all these cards (so 16 in total since there are two sets). Between that, dry embossing the background with the Cuttlebug and making errors and learning with the Cricut, these cards took me some additional time to create. They mark the halfway point, though, so I am now working on the second half of my goal of 10 sets! 


Enjoy, 
Alyson

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

Paper: For Always Paper Pack, Black Cardstock, White Daisy Cardstock, Lagoon Cardstock (Card 1), Sky Cardstock (Card 2), Black and Grey Glitter Paper
Stamps: Be Still
Inks: Black Pigment Ink
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, Clear Detail Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Clear Sparkles, Cuttlebug Embossing Folders (not CTMH)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cards for Silent Auction

Once again this spring, my church is holding a Silent Auction at the end of April. This is a huge event and raises a significant amount of money for my church, so I am donating 10 boxes of cards. Each box will have 8 cards in it - some will be all the same and some will be boxes with the same types of cards but with various types of greetings. 

Here is one set. There are actually two types of birthday cards and two types of thank you cards in this particular box but I only photographed one of each of them plus the box, just to give you an idea. I am just now at the halfway point and have five more boxes of cards left to make... (so 40 cards and 5 boxes!) I will post another set tomorrow. 




Enjoy, 
Alyson

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

Paper: Buzz and Bumble Paper Pack, Champagne Cardstock, Cocoa Cardstock, Creme Brulee Cardstock, Sunset Cardstock, Sweet Leaf Cardstock, Brown and Tan Glitter Paper
Stamps: Joyful Birthday, A Little Thanks
Inks: Cocoa, Sunset
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, Corner Rounder, Paradise Paper Flowers, Mocha Opaque Adhesive Gems, Sweet Leaf Alcohol Marker, Computer Font for Title (not CTMH), Brown Lace (to tie box - not CTMH)


Monday, March 25, 2013

Brae-er Team Blog Hop - Happy Spring Flower Pots

Welcome to our Blog Hop featuring products from the current Idea Book. We hope that you will take the time to leave comments on our posts, as we love to get feedback from our viewers, whether it was something that you really liked or some new technique that was used that you would like to learn to do, etc. By leaving us comments, we get to hear what you like and what you want to see. Thanks! Now on to our hop!

If you have just hopped onto my blog, you can start here as this is a circular hop, but if you get lost, you can find your way by going to Brae's blog at http://thebrae-er.blogspot.ca/ for a full list of participants. If you came from  
Lucy's blog at 
then you are in the right place!

I chose to do a simple project for our first hop. It is a project made primarily from the Cricut Artiste Cartridge - 2 Flower Pots (filled with mints) with accordion flowers that read "Happy Spring". They would be perfect to give away as little gifts, or just to place on your coffee table, although you may have to keep filling them up with mints to keep the flowers standing upright ... 

Incidentally, I check the Facebook Eye Candy board about every 3 weeks and there was a project almost identical to this one on there right around the time I did this - I guess great minds think alike! 

The products I used were all Close To My Heart and are listed below: 

Paper: Chantilly Paper Pack, White Daisy Cardstock, Cotton Candy Cardstock, Blush Cardstock, Silver Glitter Paper
Stamps: None
Inks: None
Accessories: Artiste Cartridge, Art Philosophy Cartridge, Pink Button Collection, Colonial White Waxy Flax, Pink Glitter Gems, Bamboo Skewers (not CTMH), Mints (not CTMH)

Your next stop on the hop is Roz's blog at 
Thanks for hopping along with us - we hope we were able to inspire you to create your own projects using some of the designs and paper seen along the way. Join us again next month when we will be featuring specific products and techniques from the current Idea Book. 

Enjoy, 
Alyson



Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Birthday with Chantilly

I have SO many birthdays coming up in April... and so many other events as well. Have to get down to making those birthday cards! 

Today's card is based on this week's Mojo Monday sketch. The Chantilly papers were perfect for this card - the pinks and greens worked perfectly together.


Enjoy, 
Alyson

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

Paper: Chantilly Paper Pack, Pear Cardstock, Cotton Candy Cardstock, White Daisy Cardstock, Silver Glitter Paper
Stamps: Joyful Birthday
Inks: Cotton Candy
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, Antiqued Gold Mini-Medley, Pink Button Collection, Colonial White Waxy Flax, Pink Flower (CTMH ret.), Pink and Green Embroidery Floss (not CTMH)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Special Birthday Card

Today is my birthday (and no, you are not allowed to guess how old I am...) and I wanted to share with you an extra special card that I received. This card is from a very dear friend of mine, Michelle, who lives in Texas. We have become very good friends and we keep in touch regularly via email. We seem to be able to almost read each other's minds sometimes... We laugh and cry together and share in each other's successes and failures. She sent me this card and it is extra special to me because I know that she went way out of her comfort zone to create this for me. The first thing I noticed when I opened it is that she used my favourite colours - turquoise and bright blues. She knows me SO WELL! And she also knows I love bling! I know she doesn't make cards using a lot of those colours or items! 

She also wrote me the loveliest note inside - so typical of her. She is always thinking of others before herself. 

Michelle - THANK YOU! You made my day extra special. I wish everyone could be the recipient of your giving and caring nature. I treasure our friendship so very much. 

HUGS to you, 
Alyson

(PS - Michelle's birthday is next week on the 28th - maybe we were meant to be sisters instead of just friends...) 


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Extravaganza Entry 5 - Lantern

My final entry for Extravaganza is this lantern. This project requires some explanation, so bear with me. I have been wanting to do something like this for ages but had never had the nerve to try it until now. I actually started this early in January by explaining this to my husband who gave me a brief idea as to how to get started. Since we cannot use products other than CTMH products and we have to build items ourselves, I knew I was in for a real challenge with this project and I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to crush this whole project to pieces and go with something else entirely. This led to more frustration than I think I have ever experienced with any other project. I came so close to abandoning this project and doing something else...

It is built using 22 gauge wire. I had to create 7 circles to begin with (or as rounded circular shapes as I could make) and solder them together. Then, with the circles laid out, I had to cut wire pieces approx. 3-4 inches above the height of the lantern and start soldering them onto the circular pieces for stability. This was REALLY hard. It took about 5 very steady hands to hold everything in place and I don't know about you, but I don't have 5 hands... And that soldering iron is incredibly hot. Once the first piece was in place, I added another piece across from the first piece. Of course, you realize, these weren't even close to being straight... And bending them caused the points where they were soldered to break. By the time 4 or 5 wires had been added, I was able to start forming somewhat of a shape but resoldering had to be done to replace the broken spots - this had to be done time and time again. All in all, about 60 wires had to be placed for stability. And MANY had to be resoldered and bending had to be done many times over to try and get the shape to sit relatively straight, breaking more of the already soldered bonds. This was so much more difficult than I ever anticipated. The top 2 circles weren't even added until the lower 5 circles had been done. Then the top 2 circle were added later. There were still gaps that were too large and I had to manually add thinner wire to fill in the gaps as I would need those spots in order to be able to glue my paper later and I couldn't have those gaps there. 

When I finally had a shape that sort of resembled a lantern, I started gluing the teardrop shapes on, starting at the bottom. I realized that if I covered the entire shape in paper, my light wouldn't shine through, so I knew I had to do something to allow some light to get through. So then I coloured some of our seam binding ribbon and attached that, then covering that with more of the paper, but allowing the paper to just sit on top of the ribbon, allowing some of the ribbon to show, therefore allowing some space for the light to shine through. I did that again at the top, allowing the ribbon to show. 

I wish now that I would have taken a photograph of the interior so you could have seen what the inside looked like and all the soldered wires along with the wrapped ribbon. It was SO much work to get that together. I had to take the lantern down to my crawl space in the basement to get the dark shot to show what it looks like when the light is placed under it and the light is shining.

So, here is the photo of the finished lantern and 2 photos in the dark to show what the lantern looks like when it is lit up.  
Enjoy, 
Alyson

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

Paper: Later Sk8R Paper Pack, Surf's Up Paper Pack, Lagoon Cardstock
Stamps: None
Inks:Lagoon Pigment Ink
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Paradise Paper Flowers, Mini-Medley Accent Collection - Antiqued Gold, Pearl Opaque Adhesive Gems, Baker's Twine Paradise Assortment, Colour Ready Seam Binding, 22 Gauge Wire (not CTMH), Mini Flashlight (not CTMH), Soldering Gun (not CTMH)



Monday, March 18, 2013

Extravaganza Entry 4 - Burlap Mini Album

Of all the entries that I submitted, this one took me the longest time to plan because I wanted it to be as interactive as possible. I had a vision to begin with but I couldn't seem to make it a reality for the longest time. I had sewn the burlap pieces together and it sat there, waiting to be worked on but I just couldn't figure out exactly what I wanted to do but once I got started, it was like a fire had been lit under me and I couldn't stop! 

There are many photos for this entry to show you all the interactive elements. I chose to use a camping theme as my husband and I are avid canoe trippers. We have been doing this for almost twenty years and we do both flat water and whitewater canoe trips. Our excursions involve both drive to and fly-in destinations. 

To begin with, I took three pieces of burlap and sewed them together. From there, I attached four of those pieces (each was almost a foot in length), using our Black Striped Grosgrain Ribbon. I purposely offset the burlap within the album as you will see by the photos below for the interactive elements. 

Front of the Album - a photo inserted into a pocket
 The photo pulled out of the pocket (my favourite campsite)
The second page (you can see how it is slightly offset from the first page)
The left side is an interactive display of some of our whitewater canoe surfing experiences. It opens up more in the following photo.  
The right side of the page is my husband cooking a meal (if I had to cook, 
everything would be burned or raw...)
Over to the next page...
 Inside this page, between the burlap pieces is a journaling card 
(I have it partly pulled out so let's take a look)
This is on the front of the journaling card. 
This is on the back of the journaling card.
Now let's return to the album. You saw the page where the journaling spot came from. It had a flip flap on it. Here is what is under that flip flap. It talks about the realities of portaging on canoe trips...
I apologize for the photo quality... Anyways, on the right side is another pocket but this one is attached using hook and loop dots. When opened it looks like this. 
More flip flaps! The first set contains a photo that if you actually turned it upside down, the only way you would be able to tell that is was upside down is the front of our canoe in the very bottom of the photo as the water was so clear at 5am that morning. We'll get to the far right side in a moment.
The other two photos are of a special island where we buried our dog's ashes a few years ago as she was our camping dog and this was one of her favourite spots to camp. The other is of a gorgeous rainbow (photos don't do it justice). The right side photo is of a moose we encountered while paddling last year. His legs go WAY beneath what you see in this picture and we were just about 12 feet away. We have seen hundreds of moose on our trips. 
Under the flip flap on the far right - yes, that is a moose walking in front of our tiny, little tent. 
The next page has an accordion flip card of my husband's camping faces - pull on the bottom of the card and flip through his faces. 
Kind of like this...
The right side just has another journaling card and some additional photos of one of our favourite spots. The loon is a symbol of Canada and they can be seen and heard regularly on northern lakes.
 This is the journaling card from that same page. It is double-sided. 
The final page is a photo of a sunset taken through some trees on a beautiful campsite.

I hope you enjoyed looking through my album! It took me a lot of thought to create and assemble it but it sure brought back a lot of memories (and it was fun to do)!

Enjoy, 
Alyson

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

Paper: Dakota Paper Pack, Black Cardstock, Pacifica Cardstock, Whisper Cardstock, Black Glitter Paper
Stamps: Camping Delights, A Journey
Inks: Black Staz-On
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, Burlap Ribbon, Black Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, Corner Rounder, Keyboard Kraft Alphabet, Posh Journaling Spots, Sparkles - Black and Grey Assortment, Green and Blue Epoxy Bubbles, Bitty Sparkles, Embossing Stylus, Flip Flaps - Small Assortment, Hook and Loop Dots, Computer Font - Black (CTMH - ret.), Sewing Machine and thread (not CTMH), Black Sharpie Marker (not CTMH)
 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Extravaganza Entry 3 - Growth Chart

I had a lot of fun with my three "other" entries this year for Extravaganza. I thought I was going to have a hard time deciding what to do since so many people have done so many different things with our wonderful products but these ideas were ones that I had thought of long ago and really wanted to try. When CTMH came out with fabric in the new catalogue, my mind was made up right away!

This Growth Chart is designed for two little girls. It is created using the Chantilly Paper Pack and the Chantilly Textiles. This project was a real stretch for me in many ways as I am NOT a sewer but I learned a lot and enjoyed putting it together. Each little package (the old Ribbon Round Containers...) contains 12 tags with places to record the child's name, age and height and colored safety pins. Those safety pins were a nightmare in themselves. I tried everything to colour those pins - pigment ink (wouldn't stay on, even after heat setting), our alcohol markers - they just rubbed off, mixing reinker with Pearl Paint but the paint would flake off as soon as the pin was opened or closed. I finally called the corporate office and was told I could use office products in this case since I had tried all possible CTMH routes and nothing was working... so Sharpie markers finally worked. There are two sets of tags and pins - one in pink and one in yellow. 

The growth chart itself runs from 2 feet to 6 feet in height. I used the Pixie Glitter Alphabet for the height markers, after sewing every half inch on the burlap. That was then sewn onto our Chantilly Textiles. The top has a bamboo skewer with the hemp from the Wooden Mini-Medleys sewn onto it for hanging purposes. I couldn't fit that all in one photo.

It all fits nicely in one of our recipe boxes, which has been decorated both on the inside and the outside. 

Enjoy, 
Alyson

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

Paper: Chantilly Paper Pack, Cotton Candy Cardstock, Buttercup Cardstock, White Daisy Cardstock
Stamps: None
Inks: Cotton Candy, Cotton Candy Pigment Ink, Pear Pigment Ink
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, Recipe Box, Chantilly Textiles, Pixie Glitter Alphabet, Hollyhock Zipper Lace, Colour Ready Seam Binding, Silver Shimmer Trim, Hook and Loop Dots, Burlap Ribbon, Mini-Medley Accent Collection - Wooden, Tiny Type Epoxy Alphabet, Outdoor Denim Alcohol Marker, Ribbon Round Containers (ret.), Computer Font - Pink (CTMH - ret.), Computer Font - Buttercup (CTMH - ret.), Sewing Machine with White and Bamboo Thread (not CTMH), Bamboo Skewer (not CTMH), Safety Pins (not CTMH), Sharpie Markers- Pink and Yellow (not CTMH), Hole Punch (not CTMH)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Extravaganza Entry 2 - Cascading Card

My second entry for Extravaganza is a Cascading Card. When I first saw these cards on Pinterest, I knew this was the type of card that I wanted to make. I think they make such an impact (and they fit inside a standard envelope when they are folded down as well, so that's a major bonus!!)

I really wanted the top of my card to have some sort of a border and I didn't want to use our corner rouner punch to do it, so I had to resort to the Cricut Craft Room with the help of a friend, since I had never used it before. The two pieces that fit together to create one of these cards leave one side cut slightly longer than 12 inches and that is the side that needed the design. We played and played with angles, finally getting it just right as I wanted a border with holes... Those are the times when you really wish that CTMH would allow us to use border punches - it would have been SO much easier! 

However, it finally worked and the two pieces fit together perfectly. I chose to decorate my card using the Chantilly papers and some other embellishments (see the product list below). The sentiment is on the back of the card. The fold on the front is simply a dahlia fold. I tried others but wasn't happy with the results. The hardest part is getting the leaves to stay upright as the card has been handled quite a bit. The photos beneath the full card show some of the detail on the card as well as the fold on the front.






Enjoy, 
Alyson

Products used are all Close To My Heart

Paper: Chantilly Paper Pack, Cotton Candy Cardstock, White Daisy Cardstock, Pear Cardstock, Twilight Cardstock
Stamps: Beautiful Friendship
Inks: Cotton Candy, Pear
Accessories: Cricut Craft Room, Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, Garden Wooden Shapes, Trinket Wooden Shapes, Pearl Paint, Cotton Candy Reinker, Topiary Reinker, Mini-Medley Accents Collection - Wooden, Buttons - Basic Assortment, Colonial White Waxy Flax, Licorice Opaques Adhesive Gems, Pink Glitter Gems, Bitty Sparkles

Friday, March 15, 2013

Extravaganza Entry 1 - Layout

As several of you know, I was fortunate enough to be selected to teach at Extravaganza last year in Dallas and I loved every minute of it! I decided to apply again this year and I have spent a LOT of time working on my entries. I know many consultants will not share their entries but I don't have a problem doing that. I just prefer to wait until after the deadline so that my ideas are not copied by other applicants. 

My first entry is my layout. I chose to do a tribute layout to my father. I lost my father in 2006 and it was a very difficult time for me. He was my rock and my mentor. We were extremely close so his death was a real blow to me. I am including several photos, including the journaling. The journaling took me several tries to write and resulted in many, many tears. I miss him as much today as I did almost 7 years ago when he passed away. The small photo of him as a boy is the only photo my family has of him as a child so I treasure that one. The other small one was taken on my wedding day with him giving me some final advice. 

 These pictures show a close up of each page, followed by a close up of some of the flowers and the detail in one section. I have also enlarged the journaling so you can read that as well, if you chose to do so. 



Enjoy, 
Alyson

Products used are all Close To My Heart

Paper: For Always Paper Pack, Black Cardstock, Topiary Cardstock, Pear Cardstock, White Daisy Cardstock, Glitter Paper - Black 
Stamps: Trinity Alphabet Stamp, Distressed Backgrounds, Card Puzzle, Harvest Happiness
Inks: White Daisy, Topiary, Pear, Black Distressing Ink
Accessories: Art Philosophy Cartridge, Artiste Cartridge, Topiary Alcohol Markers, Pear Alcohol Markers, Black Shimmer Trim, For Always Assortment, Green and Blue Epoxy Bubbles, Stardust Glitz Glitter Gel, Foam Tape, Flip Flaps - Small Assortment, Black Tulle Ribbon, Computer Font - Black (CTMH - ret.), Computer Font - Honey (CTMH - ret.)

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