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Friday, August 18, 2017

New CTMH Beautiful You and Country Collection Cricut Cartridges


I. LOVE. This. Stamp. Set!!

There. Just had to get that out of the way up front.

I also love the new Thin Cut "Thankful for You" which will be coming out on September 1. The words are separated giving you tremendous flexibility. I've made a number of cards using just the "Thankful," one of which is shown below.

However, what I really want to show you is the versatility of the new Country Collection Cricut Cartridges. Although more geared for scrapbooking, they can be stretched for card making. They are available for USA, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand. All of them feature states/provinces with both the floral and stripe overlay shown below.

I created a stencil by cutting Colorado out of a plastic notebook page separator. Both Colorado and Wyoming are basically a rectangle anyway, so all you have to do is insert the state into Design Space, ungroup the image and get rid of everything that isn't the stripe, stretch it big enough to cover a card front, and cut. The plastic notebook dividers I bought were so thin, I used the Cardstock setting on my Cricut dial and it cut perfectly. The only trick is to make sure your mat is sticky as plastic doesn't adhere quite as well as paper.

Once I had my stencil cut, I laid it over my card base and sponged Lemon ink over top. I cleaned off the stencil, flipped it over, and sponged Bashful. I concentrated most of the ink in the corner and faded out as it got higher on the card. The flowers were stamped using all three layers of images in the stamp set. For the largest flower, I started with Lemon for the base, then added the next two layers in Bashful and Pixie. The smaller flower was stamped in Bashful first, then Pixie stamped once for the middle layer and Pixie stamped three times for the top layer. The leaves were done in Sweet Leaf and Fern. To create the berries, I stamped the stem only from one of the leaf layers then used the tip of a pen to stamp the berries.

I cut the sentiment dies three times for each word and layered them together to get extra thickness. The sentiment banner was stamped in Fern and hand cut.

Now here's another card I created by using the Slice and Weld feature on Design Space with the floral overlay shown on the USA image above:


If you have Cricut Design Space, click HERE for the cutting file.  I cut it at 4 x 5.25 and backed it with a piece of Bashful cardstock cut to the same size. I used the same "Thankful for You" Thin Cut set plus another stamp set coming September 1 for the banner. This time, I die cut once in Charcoal paper and once in White Daisy and layered them slightly offset. On this card, the Cricut cut does practically all the work!

Time for me to head upstairs and write. I'll be back with more cards using this digital only cartridge (list of compatible machines listed in the shopping link below). BTW, I'm going to be interviewed on Army Wives Network Monday, August 21, otherwise known as Eclipse Day. (We're in the direct path here in Columbia, SC, but the forecast is calling for cloud cover.) I'll be talking about The Promise Bride which releases in eleven more days. Yee!! The show starts at 8pm Eastern. Hope you can join us. We'll be giving away copies of the book.

Until next time,
Becca

Shopping Links:

Monday, August 14, 2017

H2H Sketch Challenge



My new consultant kit showed up, so despite my writing deadline (and that I've already taken several crafty breaks), I got inky. Ever since the sketch for this week's challenge was posted for the design team, this is the card I've seen in my head. I was tempted to change it when I saw a similar design from Alyson, but why not show two variations on the same sketch and same paper pack?


Once deadlines are over, I'm going to tackle learning how to make videos. In the meantime, I'm including some process pictures.

I started with a 4.25 x 5.5 piece of White Daisy Cardstock and used my paper trimmer to cut it at a diagonal. I wasn't worried about getting the corners exact because I knew I'd be cutting them off. 

Next, I cut a 2 x 6 piece of patterned paper from the new Adventure Fundamentals. Such gorgeous watercolor images in this pack!







Then I taped the white cardstock over the patterned paper in a spotlight rather than straight, laid a rectangular die cut from My Favorite Things over the top and ran it through my Cuttlebug.

What I should have done is put a piece of Washi tape over the top to keep everything together so I could turn it over for the next step.

Live and learn.
I had to refit the pieces inside the die to add these pieces of Washi so I could open up the top pieces for the next step.











After opening the white pieces like a door, I laid a 2x6 piece of Vellum Paper over the top, added tape runner over the inside of the white cardstock, and closed the door.

I might have been able to add the vellum into the original die cut, but I wasn't sure how many layers the die would take. Instead, I trimmed off the excess with Micro-tip Scissors.

Once I had the top panel done, I mounted it to a piece of Pacifica Cardstock using foam tape. I made sure to have plenty of tape along the seams where the patterned paper and white cardstock overlapped to keep everything secure. I left the Washi tape from the above picture in place, too.

I centered the panel on my card base and then added the sentiment which is from Short and Sweet stamped in Pacifica pigment ink and embossed with Clear Powder. I used another MFT die to cut the stitched circle.

To accent the sentiment and make it feel a little bigger, I added three White Enamel Dots.

I have about five more birthdays and an anniversary left in the month. I really need to get this story written. Wish me luck, I'm goin' in!

Until next time,
Becca

Shopping Links:
Short and Sweet Stamp Set
White Daisy Cardstock
Adventure Fundamental Paper
Pacifica Cardstock
Vellum Paper
Adventure Pigment Inks
Micro-tip Scissors
Black and White Enamel Dots
Clear Embossing Powder
MFT Stitched Circles
MFT Stitched Rectangles
Adhesive Runner
Craft Heater
Paper Trimmer









Saturday, August 12, 2017

Baseball Birthday Wishes with CTMH Artbooking and Graphically Speaking Cartridges

Second post for today because I got my son's birthday card done this morning and was so excited I had to share. He's a big baseball and Seattle Mariner's fan. There aren't any MLB images in the Cricut library, so I made my own.


Here's the cutting file for anyone who has Cricut Design Space. To use the cutting file, you'll need to own the CTMH Artbooking cartridge, but I don't know if you can buy the navigation image for $0.99 when you go to cut if you don't own Graphically Speaking. I used CTMH Enchantment Combo Paper Pack in Sapphire, Peacock (lighter side), and Ruby plus Heather from the Basics Combo Paper Pack paper. I've included both the combos and individual papers in the shopping links below.

The stitched edges around the top panel and banner were done with MFT dies. I love how it adds just a touch of interest without overwhelming. The stamped sentiment is from a retired CTMH set called Just a Number. I stamped it in coordinating Sapphire ink.

Now if this can just bring enough M's mojo to Safeco Field so the team strings together some wins, that will make my son's birthday complete.

Until next time,
Becca

Shopping Links:

CTMH Jack Gone Girly

I'm a big believer in finding ways to stretch your stamps to cover multiple occasions. I also love border stamps because of their versatility. For this card, I used the Buffalo Plaid border from "Jack-Scrapbooking" in Pixie ink plus the Flower Market Cartridge and a Zip-Strip from the Jack Paper Packet.


I'm not sure where I first saw leaves in colors other than green, but I'm a fan. Keeping the pink, grey, black and white color scheme gives this card a classy feel. To give the flower a little extra depth, I sponged Pixie ink in the centers and on the edges.

You might be wondering where I got that great big center button. Well, here's the thing...CTMH has packaged their stamp sets with a back snap for years. I saw where people were popping them off to create more room in their stamp storage. Um...BRILLIANT. As an added bonus, I can determine which stamp sets I'm using by popping off buttons as I pull them out. Anything with buttons left by August 2018 goes away. That's the plan anyway. Plus, they make great flower centers via the magic of Liquid Glass.

No sentiment on this because I need to build up my stash of any occasion cards. After a month-long move, I went through almost everything I had on hand.

For those of you who follow this blog, you're probably wondering how I can afford all this crafty time when I'm under another writing deadline. The answer is I can't. But I hate this story right now. It's okay. I hate every story at some point along the way. It usually means I don't have my character motivations right yet. So, while I talk to the current cast of characters residing inside my head, I craft. It's as much a part of my creative process as writing a synopsis or plotting.

Off to make one more card today. My son has a birthday in four days and I've yet to make his card. It needs to go out in today's mail if it has any hope of reaching him on the other side of the country before his big day.

Until next time,
Becca

Shopping List:

Friday, August 11, 2017

Hey! Hello, Jack!

My nephew is celebrating a birthday later this month. He's quite "on trend" with a full beard. I decided to use the Jack - Scrapbooking set along with coordinating Jack Paper to make this fun card to celebrate him.


I'm so glad Color My Heart is giving out their challenge colors in advance so I could make this a few days ago and link to them now. I used Copic markers to color his shirt: BG72-Ice Ocean (Juniper), BG75-Abyss Green (Peacock), and R39-Garnet (Pomegranate). Skin and hair are E50-Egg Shell, E11-Barely Beige, R01-Pinkish Vanilla, and E47-Dark Brown. (Links to the closest ShinHan markers available through CTMH included in the shopping list below. They are less expensive than Copics and do the same blending. I just bought Copics first.) After I had him colored, I added a little shading with some colored pencils. I'm no expert with alcohol ink markers, but I've taken a few classes and watch Sandy Allnock's videos a lot. That woman can make these markers stand on their heads and dance!

There are a few retired items on this card. The banner is a zip strip from Sugar Rush paper, "happy" comes from the Kaleidoscope Cardmaking Workshop from a few years ago, and "BIRTHDAY!" is from a set called It's Your Day which was a Stamp of the Month back in August 2009. I've decided that, even though I've signed up as a consultant, I'm not going to stop using non-CTMH or retired products. I love showing how CTMH plays well with others and giving new life to products that haven't seen use in a while. How perfect is that birthday font and the exclamation point with the zip-strip sentiments?

Jack retires at the end of this month. Get him while the gettin's good!!

Now to make my son's birthday card. Jack isn't going to work for my military son with short hair and no beard. Or maybe I'll make him jealous with what could be. Ha!

Until next time,
Becca

Shopping List:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Christmas in August

I need to get back to the writing cave and pound out about 2k more words before the end of the day, but I wanted to share another scrapbook layout I made this weekend. This one uses the Flower Market cartridge.


If you have Cricut Design Space, here's the cutting file.

As with yesterday's post, these pictures were taken on an old film camera.  Because the photos are dark, I chose a light background for contrast. Not all the papers are available now, so the shopping links are the closest comparable. I love how the single color Whimsy Fundamental background paper perfectly compliments the busy, colorful wreath and banner. To add a little depth, I sponged Nutmeg ink along the edges of the banner, flower, leaves, and pinecones plus the bottom of the sentiment. Love how the Cricut cuts did almost all the work for me.

Shopping Links:
I'm sure my poor son is hanging his head with embarrassment at this photo of his nose surgery recovery, but a memory is a memory. Isn't that why we scrapbook?

Lunch break is over. Back to work.

Until next time,
Becca

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Axing for Trouble with CTMH and Jack

Sometimes procrastination is serendipitous. For example, when a 2017 paper and stamp set from CTMH perfectly compliments photos which are about twenty years old.


Even though I'm missing one color for the challenge, I'm including my layout in this week's Color My Heart Challenge. I hope they don't mind, but I couldn't find a way to add Willow without having it jump off the page.

Again, these pictures are almost twenty years old. I'm not sure if digital cameras were around then, but I didn't have one. Yes, ladies and gentleman, these are pictures that were taken with actual film. I got to where I developed everything in 5x7 size figuring I could cut them down for scrapbooking.

I used four of the Picture My Life style papers because I needed to fill up space with interest despite only having two photos (and only because, as you see, my husband grabbed the boy child and forced him to face mom with her annoying camera) . The black axes on Slate background on the left is two pieces of PML paper with another PML paper cut into a circle over top to hide the seam. On the right, I stamped Jack over a PML piece, colored him with Copics, and then glued the "handsome" banner over top. I love that the bottom edge of that looks like beard hairs which have fallen off. Finally, the "Little Man" is a PML card cut down from the 6x4 size to 4x4. 

I should also note that the Sapphire B&T paper is two scraps glued to the top and bottom of the page with the focal picture glued over top. This was the last of my Sapphire B&T from the retired catalog, and I had to make it stretch. (I'm still waiting for my new paper to arrive, but I linked to the new because it also has a subtle pattern in Sapphire which would work to duplicate this.)

Shopping Links:
Jack - Scrapbooking stamp set (w/matching die cuts)
Jack - Scrapbooking stamp set
Jack Coordinating Cardstock (includes Ruby)
Enchantment Fundamental Paper
Sapphire Cardstock
Ruby Cardstock

Jack retires at the end of the month. I am sad to see him go, but I'll be pulling him out again when I find the photos of the log-rolling competition and others where my husband is sporting a full beard.

In writing news, I took the weekend off. Just needed a mental break. I did a bunch of scrapbooking...a bunch. I can't tell you how refreshing it was. Back to the grindstone come Monday, but at least I feel like I had a mini-vacation with my craft cabinet.

Until next time,
Becca