Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Quilling Flowers & New DT Member!

As promised last week, I worked on a new technique over the weekend and wa-la welcome to the world of quilling.

When I first read up on this art form the main piece of advice that stuck with me was to have patience (which I do not have..ever!) and I immediately thought who needs patience when simply rolling paper? I mean seriously who hasn't rolled a piece of paper before. Then I quickly realized that the patience (at least for me) came in at the end when I was trying to piece it all together. Now don't get me wrong this is a very tedious art form working with small, skinny strips of paper and glue and I am sure it will test patience for people on different levels so just stay calm, be willing to put the project down for a moment, and no matter what keep practicing.  

Here's a closer view of those lovely flowers. I absolutely love quilling and think that it gives the project such an amazing touch. And since it is spring time quilling is an excellent way to add dimension and excitement to those flowers. Plus quilling is truly is an amazing art form. Don't believe me yet just Google it and take a peak at some of those projects!

Standard Equipment:

So how exactly do you quill and what makes it an art form? Well first off you need a toothpick or quilling tool accompanied with strips of paper. As I understand it you can purchase a whole kit with pre-cut paper or you can simply cut your scraps into strips (which is what I did.) You of course will also need glue to hold the paper together.

The typical widths of Quilled paper is broken down into the following four widths:
  • Narrow is 1/16th inch
  • Standard is 1/8th inch
  • Wide is 1/4 inch
  • Extra Wide is 3/8th inch
As far as length is concerned quilling strips can range from 17-25 inches depending on what you are making.

So now that you have your paper, glue, and scrolling utensil it's onto the crafting part. There are many different shapes but the ones listed below are the starting point for any other shape. If you would like some more information an excellent website (the one where this beautiful picture came from) is Handmade Craft Ideas and can be found here http://www.handmade-craft-ideas.com/paper-quilling-instructions.html.

Making Basic Scrolls:

Closed: Wrap a strip of paper in its entirety around your tool. Before gluing, allow the coil to expand to the size you want. I place mine right on the table and let it rest for a moment.
Tight: Same as closed except do not let the paper rest and loosen before gluing the end.                             
Teardrop: Create a loose coil then simply pinch one side of the coil.
Eye or Marquise: Make a loose coil (see any pattern here?) and then pinch on opposite sides of the coil.

There are plenty of resources online if you are interested and wish to learn more shapes. Again those listed are the basic shapes and are a great starting point for any new quiller.

 Some great tips to keep in mind are:

  • Use whatever tools and paper work for you. As you know all paper crafts have multiple tools that work the same and quilling is no exception. There are many different types of tools and paper so practice and use what works best for you.
  • Neatness matters so keep your glue clean. If you make a mess with your adhesive or even your fold/cut it will show through on the final project so it's best to keep things as neat as possible.
  • I hold all of my shapes firmly for a minute or two while the glue sets. There is nothing more frustrating than forming a perfect coil only to have the glue not sit.

Now it's time for the big news!

I was accepted onto the design team over at Pause, Dream, Enjoy!! Yay! Go me my first DT experience!! This is a wonderful challenge blog where anything goes which is fabulous and hard to find. The challenges are bi-weekly where projects are due on Mondays at 12:00 noon. The projects are unlimited and can include cards, tags, 3-D projects, scrapbooks, ect.. the possibilities are endless so make sure to head on over and join us.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Simple Flower from Ivy Lane

My week has been full of excitement. First I announced that I will be joining the Pause, Dream, Enjoy Design Team and then shortly after I received an e-mail saying that my card was picked as a Top 3 over at Exploring Cricut!! I know completely fabulous right!
So enough about me and onto a little inspiration for this week. This was a card that I came up with while playing around with the Ivy Lane set that I speak up ever so highly about. I love how clean and simple this card is and how lovely the designs on this stamp are. The inside of this card has a simple sympathy statement however this flower is so versatile that it can be used for any occasion.

I know I promised you a scrap book page this week and have not followed through yet. Please rest assure that I have a beautiful and oldie coming up for you on Friday. When my son (now 3) was little I started a scrapbook for him.. now mind you this was before the paper cutters so it is a little old school but needless to say it's a beautiful page and please stayed tuned for a peak later this week .

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Birds of a Feather in Skylark

I was not too sure what to think of the new skylark paper line at first because I love using bright colors and lots of sparkle... I mean what girl doesn't. Then a customer asked me to make some sympathy cards and if you read the posts earlier this week you know that this took me a little out of my comfort zone. After a moment of awkwardness and confusion in comes skylark with the subtle colors and a beautiful design and low and behold I have a great line for sympathy, weddings, antiques, or anything else that requires muted colors and designs. After working a bit on it I am so glad that I was offered this chance to work outside my comfort zone and I will be making more sympathy cards because I feel like I am just breaking the ice here.

As far as this card goes the bird, banner and background are all the skylark paper and I only used the two corner gems and a layered title to add some depth. I also think this card would look great on a brown or teal background and used the orange because I was trying to match up and pull from those beautiful flowers. Looking back however I feel like the orange/gold is too bold, but you live and you learn.

Seriously just look at that beautiful paper. I can't get over it. The phrase is from our Big Hug stamp set which again is a great stamp set for phrases and has become my favorite for this week of sympathy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sympathetic Memories

This was my first public shot at a sympathy card and boy it's a whole different playing field. With sympathy cards you want the tone to be subtle and muted and therefore the colors and embellishments need to follow suit.
With this card I embossed the background and layered everything to give the card an extra definition. The colors I used include a green, gold, and grey. The follower was cut out using the Dive Weddings Cricut cartridge which is a fabulous cartridge with a lot of different options. Don't forget that you can also get a free cartridge by checking out the details here.

The stamp is from the CTMH "Big Hug" stamp set and is a wonderful one if you are looking for sentimental sayings. Make sure to check it out here. The stamp set offers 10 different sayings at a very affordable price.

"Measure a thousand times and cut once."
Turkish Proverb

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This card was entered into the Exploring Cricut Challenge

Monday, April 21, 2014

Beautiful Blue

Sometimes starting out it can be difficult to come up with the right color combinations and therefore I posted this wonderful post full of tips and techniques which also outlines the some color schemes to try to stick with. But what if you have read that post and a million others and still can't quite get it. No worries and trust me you are not the only one who has a tough time. My advice if you have hit this stage is to try out a monochromatic color scheme and to expand out from that.

As shown below I stuck mainly with the blue on this card, adding a little bit of pattern to the bottom and then adding those beautiful skylark accessories - also in blue. The yellow was pulled as a complimentary color to add a pop.

With this card I added a sentiment on the inside and decided to leave the front simple. I really enjoyed how it turned out - even though that is not something that I typically do. Also remember to stick to the 3-5 colors per project because as you can tell that this card with 4 colors it is beginning to get a little busy.

If you are interested in checking out the skylark line further you can head on over by clicking this link.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Another Lollydoodle Card

This is another quick example of the Lollydoodle Card Making Kit that we offer at Close to my Heart. I can't get enough of that silly little stamp that only comes in the kit and is so silly and beautiful all at once.
Again these kits are so easy to put together and come with a step by step instructions where you can either follow and get 3 different designs with 5 cards each or you can step out of your comfort zone and switch the design up a lot or even just slightly like I have shown.
A quick new technique that I found when using this set is the double colored ink on the stamp. The "You are the" and the "Love of my life" was done in red while the rest was done in black. This can be easily accomplished by simply covering up part of the stamp and then switching it out to cover up the other part of the stamp. Very easy and simple to do yet it adds great effect to the card.
Short and sweet for today but I am hoping to get some new techniques put together this weekend so I will be back next week to share those with you. Happy Easter to everyone and enjoy your weekend!
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Clean BridesMaid Card

Happy Monday once again and I hope your day is off to a fabulous start. We have been having absolutely beautiful weather here in upstate NY so my whole weekend was spent outside soaking up some of the much needed sun!

No worries though because in between the sun & my preschooler I had a chance to get a card out for a little beginning of the week inspiration. I hope everyone remembers this beautiful wedding card that I made for a friend of mine. Well she loved that card so much that she has asked me to make the whole wedding party's thank you cards!! I know exciting (and challenging) right!?!!

The challenge stems from the bride's theme being very clean and simple. She is not big into a lot of glitter or even a lot of elements, however since it's a wedding I feel like there needs to be some sort of formal element. I know challenging right - pretty but not glitzy.

So here is the final product:

As you can see, and to make up for the simple and clean feel, I not only added those beautiful pink pearls but I also added a textured paper. I was stuck on whether I should emboss the background door not so I am also planning on making the same card with an embossed background just to see the difference.

Well I hope this card challenges everyone to step a little outside your comfort zone and make a card that is not typical for you. Use a color, embellishment, or technique that you have never tried or one that you have tried but have not succeeded completely at. Then come back and

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Heart Throbe

I have been in the midst of dozens of project (yes it's in my nature to mutli-task ALL the time) and this card was so simple yet I adore it just the same.
Since April is a new month we also have a new Stamp of the Month (which is one of my favorite things about CTMH!!) and this one is another cute one. This month we are featuring Balloon Ride and you can find it by clicking on this link. Easy as Pie!  
Look at all of those phrases! I just love how many themes this stamp set can be used for. There are 24 phrases for a very affordable price of $5.00, that's right 24 stamps for only $5!! Oh yea and the phrases outlined in red are compatible with our Cricut Artie Collection. 
I even took the time to share the photo below which shows some great projects that were made using this month stamp.

Oh yea just in case I forgot to mention it this stamp set can only be purchased this month so grab one before they are gone.

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched- they must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Double Dose

Happy Monday Morning! I have a double dose of cards this morning because you guys are all so wonderful and deserve two pieces of joy, inspiration, and love!



These are 3X3 note cards and are blank on the inside - as most of my cards are. I absolutely love the addition of those beautiful flowers and the simple stamped statements.


These little 3x3 cards are very easy to make and I highly recommend them if you are looking to try out new techniques or just make a bunch of note cards for any occasion.

CTMH Materials used:
     Big Hug Stamp Set

Friday, April 4, 2014

Beary Happy Birthday

Just a quick card to spread wishes for a beary happy weekend!
I love the blues and greens and of course my new cricut cartridge - Create a Critter 2 - which produced that adorable balloon and the bear himself!! This is a fabulous cartridge and I recommend it for anyone looking to build there stash.
Don't forget that we have a free crop event going on this weekend at 3:00 on Saturday. Feel free to bring some supplies and your projects and I will supply some snacks and drinks! Hope to see everyone there.
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Upcoming Events

I just wanted to remind everyone that since we are still a growing local group I have pushed both events for this month back a couple days. I am sorry to the change and hope that more people can come to both now that we have more involvement.

So for April events we have the following:

I am hosting a Crop and Create Freebies Event on April 5th. During this relaxed event we will be working on some of our own scrapbooking pages or any other project that you have. Since this is a free event all attendees must bring their own supplies and tools.

The second event we have is a Creative Club on Sunday, April 27th at 2:00pm. This event does cost $30.00 to attend but I will supply all of the materials and instructions. During this months Creative Club we will be making the Lollydoodle Pennants shown below.

In this kit you will get the following materials:
12" x 12" patterned papers
Adhesive Sheets Compliments
Lollydoodle Acrylic Adhesive Assortment
• Pre-cut white daisy scallop border
6" x 6" white daisy cardstock
Chocolate Woodgrain Washi Tape
Smoothie Striped Washi Tape

You will have enough materials to make more than one of these so feel free to pick up an additional pennant frame.

If you are interested in attending these events feel free to email me at jenilighdc@gmail.com. If you are local you can always feel free to join our Meet Up group as well and if you are a long distance fan I will take care of you guys too by mailing your kit and directions out for free. :)

"Don't ever let anyone dull your sparkle!"

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Little One with Dry Embossing Tips

Embossing by definition is to "create a raised image or words, by using one of several methods, including pressure or heating and resins." In everyday scrapping terms embossing is a quick and easy way to add a beautiful dimension to your project.

As mentioned there are several different types of embossing which include deboss, dry embossing, heat embossing, and dimensional or wet relief embossing - I am sure there are more but those are the main ones that we will talk about.

So onto the project. Last night when I sat down to do my baby shower card I wanted to practice with dry embossing. Dry embossing simply means using a stencil securely positioned onto paper (or thin metal) which I then gently press with a bone folder or similar device to produce raised images.

And this is what my final project looks like.

 On a side note I am currently taking a "take better photos now!!" class to help me, but I think I am going to break down and head over to pinterest and make a light box.
For this card I used three different layers of paper, two of which I embossed with hearts on the light pink and dots on the yellow. I did not emboss the purple and left that layer the smallest to continue to follow that 60, 30, 10% color combo we outlined in our color post. I also embellished the sentiment and the giraffe (with a bow-tie which I couldn't resist)

Some great tips for dry embossing include:

  • To give the raised image a nicer effect use a heavier paper.
  • Use a light table to see your stencil through your paper.
  • Securely position the stencil to the paper by using a light adhesive or even double sided tape
  • The only stencil that has a back and front are numbers and letters.
  • Press firmly around the edge of the stencil.  
I would love to see what everyone else has for their dry embossed projects so please feel free to head over to our Facebook page and share those lovely pictures.

"Laughter is timeless, Imagination has no age, and dreams are forever. - Walt Disney"

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