FSE – Fast, Simple, Easy!

With spending 30 years around the Air Force – acronyms are second nature to me! But – I learned a new one the other day – FSE – Fast, Simple, Easy! (PS – I wouldn’t recommend searching this, because the Urban Dictionary DOES NOT translate it the same!)

FSE is usually my goal for cards & layouts  because like all of you – I’m busy! I need to get things done and move on to the next thing on my list. So – here are a couple of FSE birthday wishes…

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This card simply uses a piece of 3″ x 4 1/4″ Prickly Pear (X7221B) patterned paper, topped with a strip of Blue Burlap ribbon (Z3325) .  The stamping is done with Sapphire ink using the Wise Guy Birthday (C1662)  – which is also available in French or Spanish versions! Add some matching embellishments & you’re all done! (This card design is one off the Prickly Pear Scrapbook Workshops Your Way (G1128) extra projects).

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Not only is this card FSE – but it’s also a great way to use up scraps! This card was inspired by a Clean & Simple Stamping sketch challenge.  It is so simple to just punch out a bunch of circles (I used 1″) and then lay them out in off set rows.  I added some Prickly Pear sequins to balance out the left side a bit. The stamping was a little more involved because I wanted the white to show through on the Sapphire cardstock, so I used heat embossing on the Hooked On You Stamp Set (B1535).  It’s crazy how many times I’ve come back to this stamp set to use this Happy Birthday stamp – it’s a great option.

What do you do to keep your card crafting Fast – Simple – Easy. (This takes me back to… We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, Stronger, Faster – ooops! Not exactly crafting related!)

Enjoy!

~Gerri

No Worries with Thin Cuts

Have you tried any of our stamp/thin cuts bundles? These little gems are a great way to add dimension to your paper crafting projects.

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This set is the No Worries Cardmaking Stamp Set + Thin Cuts bundle (Z3337) … There’s also a Scrapbooking bundle (Z3336)! Using just a manual die cutting machine (I use a Cuttlebug) – you can cut these images from patterned paper or cardstock.

You might choose to stamp the image on plain cardstock and then place the die over the stamped image. Or stamp on the cut image. Add some extra flair by strategically placing the die cut on patterned paper to show a specific design or image within the cut.  These little pieces of metal are so versatile!

Here are a couple of cards I made for this month’s class –

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This card was provided as a Make & Take project at the Seasonal Expressions II Launch event back in March.  I love the support that the CTMH Home Office provides to consultants in the form of projects and inspiration!

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This card I lifted from the Seasonal Expressions II idea book (page 15) – so easy!

What a fun way to add to your cards or layouts. Don’t want the look of dimensional layering? You can get the stamp sets without Thin Cuts and stamp away!

Enjoy!

~Gerri

The products used for these cards can be found at gerri.closetomyheart.com

Watercolor Fun

 

I’ve been doing classes at a local Senior Center for a few months – I try to keep the projects simple and inexpensive ($1-2/ card). This month I decided to play with some quick and easy watercolored cards.

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Using CTMH Picture My Life™ Watercolor cards is one way to do this. These cards come in a pack of 24 (12 each of 3×4 and 4×6 cards). I started by putting a wash of clean water across the entire card. Since I prefer to work from the top down, I added color to my brush and diluted it so the color would be lighter starting off. As I worked my way down the card, I simply picked up a bit more color to darken it as I went. I’m guessing you could start with undiluted color and let the color get lighter as you use it up, but I liked the control of how light I started with and then adding more color as I wanted.

As the card dried, I tried to keep adjusting it so it would be curled up. After it was all dried, I simply attached it to a cardstock mat,  added the sentiment, and I’m done. I try to use a good amount of adhesive when I’m working with watercolors because they do tend to get a bit stiff and sometimes want to pull up at the edges.

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I used this technique on a birthday card for my Dad last year (A Rustic Birthday) and I really like the look. CTMH has several realistic line image stamp sets – Nature’s Wish (D1703), Homegrown (C1666), and the one used here Hooked on You (B1535). As I’ve mentioned before – I don’t have a lot of patience for coloring – so my solution for this is to add some mottled watercolors in the background, and stamp the image on top of that.

This technique also starts with a clear water wash across the paper. Then I add spots of very diluted color – I’m going for a muted look on the colors, so I try to keep my hand very light.  I like to use colors that hint at the environment – so for this one, I mainly used blue, with a touch of yellow towards the top (for the sunlight) and some green.

I tried to mold this piece as it dried to get it as straight/flat as possible. You can see on the bottom right edge where I didn’t get enough adhesive to keep it down (I’ll go back over this with a Bonding Memories Glue Pen because I can get the tip between the two pieces of paper to apply the glue).

Since I allowed the paper to dry completely before stamping, I was able to use regular ink without it bleeding. This is great if you want to use a dark brown ink to give the image a more aged look.

Since today is Father’s Day – this card will be for my boys to give my husband – he loves to fish.

There you go – Easy Watercolor cards (I won’t say they’re quick because you do need to let the watercolors dry – but the actual part of making the cards is pretty quick).

Enjoy!

~Gerri

Other products used (these can be found on my CTMH site – gerri.closetomyheart.com)

No Worries Anniversary Workshop You Way

Since my interests lie more in scrapbooking than cardmaking, I don’t always look to the Cardmaking Workshops Your Way. However, after playing with a few of them, I’ve come to enjoy working with them.

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The No Worries Cardmaking WYW includes one sheet of patterned paper from the Paper Packet, one sheet each of Sea Glass and Smoothie cardstock, No Worries sequins, Aqua Shimmer Trim, card bases with envelopes, and an exclusive B-sized stamp set.

 

CTMH provides a downloadable guide to make six each of two card patterns. You can also reverse the patterned papers for additional options.

These two designs were my starting point for these two cards. I wanted to use some of the papers included in the full paper packet, so I swapped out some of the layers. (Please excuse my crooked stamping on the anniversary card – I may or may not have been enjoying some wine at that point!)

I love how easy it is to adapt these card kits to your personal needs.  For example, you can change out the stamps on either design to get the combination of anniversary and thank you cards that work best for you. The guides are always a great starting point to get your creativity moving!

This is also the ‘thanks’ stamp that I used in the last post No Worries – Thanks.

Enjoy!

~Gerri

Here’s a link to check out these fun products more closely – gerri.closetomyheart.com

 

No Worries – Thanks!

e4cb4d65-54ae-4c5b-a5e9-5100c4a1e366I had the privilege of taking part in a CTMH consultant card swap for the new Seasonal Expressions II idea book.  I received lots of great cards from my sister consultants using the four featured paper packets.  I really enjoyed the beachy theme of the No Worries paper packet so I chose that as my paper, but I didn’t want to focus on the retirement sentiments includued in the coordinating stamp set.  Instead, I decided to pull in the stamp set featured in the No Worries CArdmaking Workshop You Way Kit. This stamp set has both a Thanks & Happy Anniversary sentiments.

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This card may look familiar if you saw last month’s cards.  I really liked the simplicity of this pattern and the fact that it can be very simple and basic or you can dress it up.

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This card uses a background colored cardstock – I used Bamboo – (depending on your patterned papers, you don’t even need this), then 2 strips of paper 4 x 1 3/4″, plus a single strip that is 4 x 1 1/2″. Top these strips with a 1/2 x 5 1/2″ (I used the wood grain pattern), then a 2 1/2″ Bamboo square, a 2 1/4″  Sapphire square (I distressed both squares).  I also used the Flower Market Cricut cartridge for the wreath  – cut from Champagne cardstock and the ‘thanks’ banner – cut from White Daisy.

The ‘thanks’ is stamped  in Desert Sand and I distressed the edges of the banner with Desert Sand as well.

Other products used can be found at my website (gerri.closetomyheart.com) –

Something’s Gotta Give – a little…

I once heard a speaker talking about balancing your life – family, work, self, volunteer time – it all takes time and energy.  I wish I could remember her name – because rather than talking about trying to balance everything like a scale – she talked about a symphony. When a symphony plays, a multitude of instruments come together to make beautiful music.  However, there are times when certain instruments shine – the brass might have a solo, so the other instruments linger in the background.  Next it’s time for the woodwinds – then percussion – on and on.  She spoke about how this was a good way to balance your life – sometimes family needs will take a lot of time and your other things will fall back slightly – they don’t go away, they just give way.  Next you might need to devote more time to your business – then a volunteer activity.

This is exactly what happened to me. I was helping to organize a fundraiser at my church and it took more of my time and energy than I was expecting.  It was a fun and successful event, but something else had to give – I decided to let my blog slide a bit until I could get caught up in more pressing areas and bring my symphony of life back together.  So – here are a couple of cards featuring the Little Dreamer Creative Collection.

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As usual, I try to keep my cards quick and easy.  This first card uses three strips (2 of the lagoon stripe and a floral) with a 3/4″ strip of thistle cardstock running across the bottom.  I added some Whisper thick twine for added visual dimension.  Then I topped this with squares of the blossom floral, thistle rainbows and the white daisy piece for stamping. The stamped images are done in Thistle and Glacier.  I felt the difference between the White Daisy card and the paper pieces was a bit too stark, so I backed everything with a 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 piece of the cloud paper.

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This next card simply uses a piece of the unicorn paper with a 5 1/2 piece of the zip strip along with some Whisper thick twine.  The stamping on this is done with Lagoon and Pixie and the stamped piece is backed with the heart paper.

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I hope your life’s symphony is well balanced and that you are able to pursue all the worthwhile causes you enjoy in life.

Enjoy!

Gerri

Products used can be found at gerri.closetomyheart.com

Get Well Card

 

The last card from the Some Kinda Wonderful card class is a little get well wish using the Get Better set (B1543). This simple set has been one of my favorites from the Annual Inspirations Idea Book this year.

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This card is another one that I scrap lifted.  I’ve been using this design for a lot of things lately.  It comes from the Here For You Cardmaking Workshops Your Way kit (G1124) which also uses the Some Kinda Wonderful paper (just not the ones I’ve used here).

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Using the cutting guide from the WYW Kit, I applied those dimensions to some different papers and used the Get Better stamp instead of the stamps that come in the WYW kit.

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After getting the pieces in place, I thought it needed a little more division between the blue striped paper on the bottom and the white of the card. The blue and white baker’s twine from the Enchantment Ribbon Pack (Z3288) was just the perfect touch.

Next month we’ll be moving on to the new Seasonal Expressions 2 idea book! Watch for more fun to come….

Enjoy!

~Gerri

 

Other products used: