Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Heartfelt Creations - Summer Song

I'm using several elements from the July release by Heartfelt Creations - Cut-Mat-Create. I really appreciate that these new dies coordinate beautifully with some older dies that I have. You need to understand that most of what I use is old, and I'm kind of excited to be mixing the old with the new, and getting new life from some of my older supplies.

For today's I'm using card, I'm using a lovely, soft paper collection from Heartfelt Creations called Daphne Collection papers. I really like the softness in this set. It is just so very pretty. I love the way it coordinates with the Cut-Mat Create Collection. The images in  the Cut-Mat Create Collection are timless and so very elegant.

To follow the lead of the paper, I coloured these  the Cut-Mat Create images from Summer Song using chalk. Then I took the sentiment from the set and overstamped it using black. I really like how it ended up looking but a note-to-self moment occured because I overstamped the sentiment before I coloured the image, and the chalk make the image go a little dull rather than being nice and crisp. Oh well - it still works with the over all look of the card and doesn't look like and accident.

There are a bunch of gorgeous projects on the Heartfelt Creations blog that I invite you to check out!! Have a great summer song week!!

stamps; Summer song (heartfelt creations)
ink; gathered twigs, black soot distress ink (ranger)
paper; Daphne Paper Collection (heartfelt creations), coconut swirl (bazzill)
accessories; Cut-Mat-Create 2B (heartfelt creations), white satin ribbon (offray), Shimmers, Pastels chalks (Pebbles), lg classic squares, lg classic scallop squares (spellbinders)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Heartfelt Creations Vines & Blooms

I'm thrilled to bring you another project using the Cut-Mat-Create Collection from Heartfelt Creations. I'm not a big fan of birds and my husband was surprised to learn that I love this image!! It is so simple and elegant - almost asian in its inspiration!!

I was excited when I made the decision to make it black and white - a vintage image. It's been a long time since I did a little black and white work!! I cut out some of the stunning new fauna from the Cut-Mat-Create Collection and then adhered them so they added some dimension to this card.

There are many more inspirational projects on the Heartfelt Creations blog this week. Stop by for a peek and thanks for taking some time to stop here today!

stamps; Vines & Blooms (heaartfelt creations)
ink; tuxedo black memento ink (tsukineko)
paper; eggshell, sterling (bazzill)
accessories; HCD 749 Cut-Mat-Create 1A, HCPC 750 Cut-Mat-Create 1B, HCPC 751 Cut-Mat-Create 2A, white satin ribbon (offray), 0, W00, W0, W1, W3, W5, W7 copic markers

Monday, July 14, 2014

For You

I finished this card about a week ago, but needed to write about "The epistemological differences between Qualitative and Quantitative research with focus on the purposes and types of statements in each of the research approaches". Now that my commentary is done, I can post this. Phew!

I'm pulling a lot of random things together from the piles on my desk. It's good because my desk is getting cleaned up, which makes me happy, I'm using up older supplies, which makes me happy, and I'm giving myself an opportunity to process all the information I'm pouring into my brain, which makes me happy. It's all good, I think!

I haven't done many cute images lately, so this darling image was a nice change of pace. I've learned that grown up people like grown up cards, but my kids love the cute cards to give to their friends. It's good to have a balance - my mantra for almost everything!

Panda, our foster tripod gets groomed tomorrow for the first time ever, so I'm really looking forward to it!! I have no doubt he'll love it because he's itchy, his wound is itchy as it heals, he's got gross stuff in his fur and he's oily. His coat will be gorgeous once the mats and gunk are gone, and he's going to love the straight up full body scratch he'll get. And it'll be so much nicer to massage him after he's cleaned up.

Thanks for coming by today.

stamps;digital  image (a day for daisies), sentiment - vintage labels (SU!)
ink; slate adirondack (ranger)
paper; hazel (my mind's eye), canvas white, ash (bazzill), x-press it (copic)
accessories; lg long classic rectangle (spellbinders), silver painty pen (zig), tag punch, silver cord (SU!), silver bells dew drops (the robin's nest), white ribbon (offray), Y00, 21, 23, 26, BG10, 13, 18, BV0000, 000, 00, 02, 04, G21, 40, 46, 82, B0000, 000, 00, 01, colorless blender

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Splitcoast Challenge Randomness

Occasionally, I have a deep need to sit down and create. Last Wednesday night was just such a time. Never mind I was online for one my courses at the same time. Never mind that it was a tough session due to technical difficulties (my prof had to evacuate her building because the fire alarm went off, among other things). Never mind that I sometimes feel like I'm 40-something going on 10 and I would do well having a fidget toy to keep my hands busy. I knit on the scarce occasions I watch tv - grown up fidget toy. If I could knit and read at the same time, I feel like I could conquer the world. Or cut out sewing projects while I read. I have a lot of reading I have to do and I think I forget that reading is my priority right now and I need to shelve the fantasies of combining my activities. I can't ask anyone in my house to read to me because I lose my train of thought when they stumble over the jargon that is my life.

And so last Wednesday while I was supposed to be focused on my computer screen, while the fire drill was in full swing, I hopped over to Splitcoast to see what the sketch challenge for the week was. I love it! I rarely check these things because I am needing less inspiration than more these days.

While I had to stay beside my computer, ready to go as soon as my prof was able to get back online, I put my time to good use!! I knew I didn't have an abundance of time, so it just wouldn't do to start a colouring project because that would take too long. Maybe if I used a sentiment as the focal point?... I scanned through several small paper pads sitting on my desk to choose some patterned paper. Then, I was struck by a fabulous idea.

I used the long classic rectangle to fussy cut (quilting term) this paper!!! Brilliant, yes? Instant image! And cute to boot.

Since I used plain white paper for the background, I ran it through my Big Shot with my Roman Romance embossing folder. I cut it into 3 to replicate the SCS sketch diagram (SC496), and voila!! Cute card in no time flat! Next time, I would use string and tie a fancy knot to make the card more unisex, but I was on a time crunch and allowed habit to guide me. Bad rut!! Must keep creating outside the box!!

Have a great weekend!

paper; ash, white canvas (bazzill), meadow (my mind's eye)
accessories; roman romance m-bossabilities folder (spellbinders), gunmetal brads (unknown), white ribbon (offray)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Heartfelt Creations Cut-Mat-Create Release

The revolutionary Cut, Mat, Create Collection from Heartfelt Creations is a unique system designed with stress-free crafting in mind. The dies create a grid that fits perfectly on a 12" page, allowing for limitless layout possibilities.  Use with stamps and papers to create precisely matted cards or mini albums.  The 4 die sets contain 27 individual dies. The 6 coordinating stamp sets also complement previous collections. The luxurious papers work hand in glove with both dies and stamps. Whether you are a paper crafting novice or a design diva, you will love the freedom, simplicity and versatility of this innovative, must have collection.

Today is the release of an amazing new line by Heartfelt Creations - Cut-Mat-Create!! I invite you to go to the Heartfelt Creations website to view the entire release, which is the most significant sized release I've ever been part of. The concept behind the dies harkens back to the early days of Spellbinders Nestabilities. The Heartfelt Creations dies are perfectly sized for photographs and scrapbooking in addition to card making. And this release had more than square and rectangle dies - there are glorious flourishes and lovely foliage as well and many stunning images and gorgeous papers. I'm absolutely thrilled to be part of this release today.

The project I have completed for today fits a 9" square shadow box from Ikea. Last week's project fits the same shadow box frame and is perfect for these dimensional pieces. I didn't have the right colour ribbon to coordinate with this gorgeous paper so I pulled out a clean yogurt container and placed my cut lengths of ribbon in it and misted it with water. Once the ribbon was very damp, I added several drops of Stormy Sky distress ink and allowed to to sit until the ribbon was the colour I wanted it to be. I am really pleased with the results.

This image is from Classic Rose and I think it is quite divine!! I stamped the image on heavy cold press water colour paper and coloured it using Inktense pencils from Derwent. I love them!! This is my first time using them, and I am thrilled with the colour saturation and ease of use.

I have used dies from all 4 of the new sets, and on this panel I have used the beautiful new flourish from Cut-Mat-Create 2A. I really love the itty bitty flowers on the wee tabs I made by trimming down the oblong die from Cut-Mat-Create 1A - I fussy cut them to have the stripes running the center of the tabs, framed by the wee flowers. A favourite detail of mine that is so subtle it might otherwise be missed.

I have detailed instructions to create this project on the Heartfelt Creations blog. The rest of the Heartfelt Creations design team has some amazing projects with instructions that are drool worthy!! I'm really looking forward to sharing more projects this coming month using the Cut-Mat-Create Collection. Enjoy!!

stamps; HCPC 3619 Classic Rose (heartfelt creations)
ink; stormy sky, pumice stone, black soot distress ink (ranger), black tuxedo memento ink (tsukineko)
paper; Cut-Mat-Create Collection Paper (heartfelt creations), Ash, Coconut Swirl, Moody Blue, French Vanilla (bazzill), 140lb cold press water colour paper
accessories; HCD 749 Cut-Mat-Create 1A, HCD 750 Cut-Mat-Create 1B, HCD 751 Cut-Mat-Create 2A, HCD 752 Cut-Mat-Create 2Bpauly poo adhesive rhinestones (bazzill), white ¼” satin (offray), inktense pencils (derwent)

Monday, July 7, 2014

AARCS Update

It's been a really long time since I've done an AARCS (Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society - update. To say my family, and specifically I am into dogs is a significant understatement. While I pulled back on paper crafting, and virtually stopped altogether for 2 years to get back into teaching and to do post-secondary studies in Education, we never stopped fostering rescue dogs. It's been 5 1/2 years now with this amazing organization and well over 200 dogs have come through my house. Yes, we get very attached. Yes, giving them up is very hard. There are dogs we don't discuss or we start crying. They are hard to let go, but we believe very strongly in what we do as fosters and if we keep them all, we can't rescue more. Besides, there are so many freakingly fantastic dogs to get to know that we haven't met yet!!!

I always have puppies. Willingly. Joyfully. Always. We have a mom and her 6 pups in the dog run in the garage as I write this. The puppies are 7 weeks old and weaned, so they will be moving on very shortly to their pre-adoptive foster home and to have their sterilization surgeries. Historically, we have fostered pregnant dogs, mom dogs with their litters or orphaned pups.

Hannah, my daughter in the pictures below said it's weird to think that every dog that comes through our house is the final one of their genetic lineage. I'm okay with that, and so is she. We are thrilled that we have helped to prevent 10's of thousands of dogs from being born and therefore neglected and otherwise abused and culled in our province. The dogs we foster are rural and feral dogs and we've never had a city dog because there are other organizations to help that specific dog population.

Sorry the pictures are so fuzzy. I used my phone and these pictures were done in real time in a very active situation.

And we dog-sit for friends. This black beastie in the forefront of the photo is a hound lab cross and is a hoot!! Sophie reminds me of the children's tune - "I'm a little teapot, short and stout..."

This magnificent border collie cross (Panda) is our first medical foster. He really is magnificent. With everything he's been through, he could have become mean and nasty, but instead, he has an amazing disposition.

He was seized from a rural owner by the Alberta SPCA, who contacted AARCS to see if they would be willing to take the dog through medical care and recovery because his leg had an extreme fracture and would need to be amputated. I saw the all call for someone to volunteer to foster him, and after talking to my husband and then our kids, we decided to expand our foster repertoire. And there are no regrets! This was a very good decision for us since we have dealt with much worse.

Panda came into our house meek as a lamb and was just so happy all the time. Then he rubbed his stitches on the wall and several popped and a lot of infected fluid came dripping out of the hole. He had developed an infection and needed extra antibiotics and more pain meds to control the pain. All the while, he was happy and generally a lovely dog. With a big, charming personality. And gorgeous eyes and eyelashes to boot!

Last night I decided to bump up his suture removal because it looked to me like he was developing another infection. The vet who took out the stitches and staples confirmed my suspicion, lengthened his course of antibiotics, and gave us more pain meds for Panda. We gave him some pain killers as soon as we got back home and about an hour later, he was good to go.

This was pre-bed snack time in my house last night. All 5 upstairs dogs waiting for their snack. Panda is new to training, but is very smart so he's picking up the basics very quickly. Initially he was ready to fight for his snack, so we were standing around ready to intervene and help Hannah if needed. It only took one situation reset to help Panda understand that he would get his treat and to let the other dogs have their turn too. He also learned that sitting earned him more treats much faster than being snarky. Besides, everyone else was sitting and letting him have a turn, so he learned to be chill about it all too. It helps that his pain level was under control...

Hannah is 17 and has shown to be the most proficient of my kids at dog training. Don't get me wrong. My whole family is good at the dog stuff, but Hannah and I work together on the tough stuff because we share an 'understanding' of dog things and each other. We've wrangled aggressive dogs, feral dogs, dog fights, puppy fights (those are the worst), completely shut down dogs, completely off the wall dogs... Together we are better than separate with this dog fostering stuff. And we love it. If there are tough dog introductions to make, we do it together, and we are usually successful. No, we've never been bitten. Yes, we've been charged but not attacked outright. No, fostering isn't easy but I don't want to give it up. My family has learned so much about ourselves individually and as a family. Adding 'medical foster' to our list has been uber fantastic. It was amazing to see everyone jump into action while Panda was dripping yuck all over the hardwood and get him crated and to the vet. We don't regret a second of this fostering thing. And AARCS is the best! I wouldn't foster with anyone else.

And Pippin. He's my sheltie. And he's the only one who sat and stayed last night during snack time when Hannah walked away with snacks in her hand. He sat there for almost 5 minutes while Hannah was looking for her deaf dog, Opie. And then Hannah and all the other dogs came back and Pippin got an extra treat for being so obedient. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Arianna Blooms Bird Haven

Happy Wednesday. My Heartfelt Creations project today is over the moon. Seriously, it brought me a great deal of joy in the making and I would encourage you to be brave and give a project that stretches you from where you are at now! This one really stretched me.

This is a gorgeous little frame from Ikea that costs a mere $10. Got to love that!! It's a nice, deep shadow box frame, which I personally have a hard time finding for a reasonable price. These frames come in black and white - nice and generic and perfect for altering.

I almost gave up on this project several times. There were so many parts that I cut out and that almost did me in. I have a wee touch of tendinitis, and cranking the handle on my Big Shot was brutal. Don't cry for me though - it's from having bad typing and texting technique. My bad!! I should have taken a picture of all the flower parts when they were laying out on my desk. That almost did me in too, because it was almost overwhelming - all the little bits and pieces and hoping the dogs didn't wag their tails too hard and blow everything off the desk.. Oy!! And then moulding the flower and leaf parts. It took a few sessions to get it done which almost made me quit.

And tipping everything with the copper painty pen! What was I thinking!! And then the dumb thing quit when I wasn't quite half way through, so I got my attitude in check and then went and got another one and, by the weight of the new pen compared to the old, I had emptied the old pen. D'Oh!!!

On the bright side, I just splurged on a new Spellbinders die, Feathers on the Wind, and just had to use it on this project - it was too perfect to pass up! And really, as I began assembling my vision for this project, I became buoyed and started to find the joy in being stretched.

As the flowers started coming together, I felt better about this project because the completed flowers were more manageable that all the little bits. In fact, as I started playing with the foliage placement, it became a lot of fun to play around with these paper blooms.

I have to tell you that I am really enjoying stamping and colouring on the Heartfelt Creations paper. It holds up really well to copic ink. I find I need a light hand with the ink because the Heartfelt Creations paper absorbs ink faster than blending cardstock. For me, it means that I don't have to work quite as hard at blending the ink. And I really love the printed texture that shows through the copic ink, giving the image more character that I didn't have to work for. DIVINE!!!

For many of my coloured images, I stamp them on lighter, more neutral coloured Heartfelt Creations paper. I don't find that the surface of the paper pills, just that I need to be very aware of the ink bleeding beyond the lines of the image. I'll be experimenting with ink bleeding in the future, so stay tuned...

And now, a little depth perception. This 9" square image has been built up to approximately 2" deep in several places. It's one of those projects that when I finished it, all I could think is, "Did I really do this?!!" It is officially one of my top ten favourites, and I want to recreate something similar for myself that goes with my home decor more than this project. I was so flattered when one of my kids said I should hang this one on the wall because we have so little art on our walls and they loved this one.

I have instructions on the Heartfelt Creations blog to make this project along with much stunning inspiration by the rest of the design team.

stamps;HCPC 3608 Arianna Blooms, HCPC 3611 Arianna Bird Haven (heartfelt creations)
ink; black memento ink (tsukineko)
paper; Timeless Amour Collection Paper (heartfelt creations), Java, Amsterdam (bazzill)
accessories; HCD 747 Arianna Lace Die, HCD 748 Arianna Blooms Die, HCD 736 Classic Leaf Die (heartfelt creations), Paper Shaping Tools (McGill), Captivating Squares, Marvelous Squares, Sm Classic Squares, Feathers on the Wind, Lotus, Create a Flake I (spellbinders), beetle black brads (bazzill), brown satin ribbon (offray), green picot edge trim, copper brads (making memories), copper painty pen (zig), Copic markers used; E04/07/29/53/55/57/59/70/71/84/87, YG91/95/99

Arianna Blooms Bouquet

Well, I created this card with no particular purpose in mind. Get well. Happy Birthday. Good luck. Happy retirement. Teacher appreciation. I think it would work well for all of these card friendly events. This card turned out looking particularly joyful. I combined the dominant colours from the Arianna Blooms Paper Collection by Heartfelt Creations and I love the resulting visual happiness!!

When I 'finished' my card, I asked one of my daughters what it was missing, and she said, "Sparkle, Mom." Give the girl a banana for nailing it! She is one smart cookie! I haven't used glitter in 2 1/2 years, and I couldn't initially remember how to apply it enmasse. I'm trying to use up all my different forms of adhesive, because I'm not sure how much longer they will last, but it feels like my studio has been in stasis for the last long while, just waiting to be woken up. Long story short, I dug out my 1/4" Scor-Tape and stuck it over the pierced border and dumped glitter liberally. I really like that the piercing shows through the glitter.

And now I feel like I'm showing you my underwear drawer or taking you on a backstage tour of a theatrical production. The image on this card is 3/4" thick. The dimension is totally worth the box this would need to be delivered in!!! Some of the dimensional leaves and bud clusters have small pop dots on the outer edge, but the base of the leaf or stem is adhered directly to the paper. The top most blossom was distressed to create height and adhered directly to the blooms below it with no pop dot.

I was thrilled to discover that my quickie glue pen still worked!! I applied the glue to the edges of each blossom and again, dumped glitter liberally over anything that was slightly sticky.

Now, a secret to all my frugal friends, which might be an old secret to some; For each nestability die you own, you actually have 3 sizes of dies. Trace around the outside or inside edge of the die and cut by hand! Ta-Dah! For this image I traced around the inside edge of the largest classic oval die, skipping over the image where it was larger than the die. Then, I cut the image by hand and I used an exacto knife to cut the fiddly bits where the leaves and oval overlap. To get a nice, smooth edge, I would use a wide dollar store nail file to even up the edges and remove the slight angles created by using scissors to cut the oval. Another Ta-Dah!

There's plenty of inspiration and specific instructions for this project and many others on the Heartfelt Creations blog. Enjoy and have a great week!!

stamps; arianna blooms bouquet (heartfelt creations)
ink; black soot distress ink (ranger)
paper; arianna blooms collection (heartfelt creations), coconut swirl (bazzill)
accessories; ornare piercing template (marianne designs), lg classic ovals, beaded ovals (spellbinders), pebble chalks - earth tones (kandee), crystal glitter (art institute glitter), quickie glue pen (sakura), 1/4" scor-tape (scorpal), copics: R56, 81, 83, 85, 89, G0000, 29, 40, 43, 46, colorless blender