Paper and Fiber Arts

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Halloween Countdown Magnetic Board - Dyspeptic Acres

Tin pail with magnetic spiders
Magnetic Board Decorated for Halloween Count-up

Spiders on Magnetic Board
On Wall
While I was working on the Countdown to Halloween Activity jar posted here and here, I started thinking about a simpler countdown project.  This is the brainchild I created.

This is one of my favorite home decor items that I have made.  It was easy, and a tiny bit time consuming, but loads of fun. My husband said it really should be called a Halloween Countup rather than a countdown because the spiders are added instead of taken away. Each day a new spider is placed onto the board in numerical order. Here is a video explaining it a little bit further:

However you use it, I hope you have a good time with this project.

"Dyspeptic Acres" Magnet Board for Halloween Countdown

Artiste Cricut Cartridge
Materials and Cricut Cuts:
Red Magnetic Chalkboard
Artbooking Cricut Cartridge

Artistry Cricut Collection

Black Cardstock
Slate Cardstock
Whisper Cardstock
White Daisy Pigment Ink
Embossing Powder
Artiste page 76  Web is Accent 4 - Slate fit to page = 10 3/4
Artiste page 76 Cat is Card Shift - Black 2"
Artiste page 77 Spiders are Accent 4 Shift - Black 1 1/2" (Autofill cuts 42 pieces)
Artiste letters are Caps cut at 2 1/4" 

Artistry page 43 Bats are Shift key - Black 1" cut qty 3
Artistry page 43 Bat border is Background Shift - Black fit to page = 1"

Artbooking page 54 Owl is Border Shift - Slate fit to page = 35 1/2"
Artbooking page 54 Spiders are Overlay Shift keys - Black 6" and 7" 
Artbooking page 55 "Halloween"  is Title Shift - Black fit to page = 12 1/2"
Artbooking page 55 Rat is Overlay Shift - Black 
Artbooking page 71 Big Bat on wall is Icon Shift - Black fit to page = 38 1/2"
Artbooking page 71 Haunted House is Border Shift - Whisper fit to page = 15 1/4"

Little Monsters Stamp Set  C1630 and Etched Alphabet Set A1182 (available after September 1, 2015) stamped with archival black ink. Monsters colored/shaded with watercolor pencils. Alphabet was used to make sign for haunted house on scrap paper.

Thank you for stopping by today!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Countdown to Halloween with CTMH's Cricut Artistry - Part 2

*** This is the second of a two-part post.  The list of 50 Halloween activites is in the previous post  here. ***

It is really rewarding to make something that your kids enjoy.  My 10 year old thinks it will be fun to select one of the die-cut activity - suggestions I made with the Artistry Cricut cartridge as a countdown to Halloween. She is still at an age that it is ok to think that something is cute and fun, even if her mom had something to do with it.  

If your family isn't into doing the types of activities that were posted on the post immediately preceding this one, maybe they would enjoy having you make the die cuts into little note cards to tuck into their lunch box or place on their pillow.  You could write funny or scary Halloween jokes or quotes.  Or maybe lines from a poem; after a few days, there might be enough lines combined to recite the entire poem.  Or that same idea could be used for a Halloween song, Thriller maybe? Or you could write affirmations. Or inspiring or loving thoughts.  Or make a Halloween Tree and use them as ornaments and skip the word-part altogether.  However you use the Artistry cartridge, I know you will enjoy your creations!

Here is a video that shows a little more detail about the cuts.

The cardstock colors and cuts are as follows:
Artistry Page 43 -  Hlloween key for activity/ornament shapes
  • White Daisy ghosts -  @ 3 1/2", 9 will fit on a 12 x 12 page using the autofill function
  • Black bats - Shift @ 1" nets a bat with a wingspan just over 3 1/4"
  • White Daisy ghost costumes for monsters - Icon 1 Shift @ 3 1/2", 6 will fit on 12 x 12 page, @ 3 1/4" 9 cuts fit on page with autofill
  • Hydrangea and Citrus Leaf monsters (under ghost costumes) - Icon 1 @ 3 1/2" and @ 3 1/4" to layer under ghost costume cuts
  • Canary or Buttercup pumpkin (bottom layer) of jack-o-lantern - Icon 2 @ 3 1/4", 9 will fit on a 12 x 12 page
  • Orange jack-o-lantern face - Icon 2 Shift @ 3 1/4"
  • Whisper and White Daisy circles - Shape @ 3 1/2", autofill = 9 cuts on 12 x 12 paper
  • Eggplant EEK! - Shape Shift @ 3 1/2"
  • Eggplant Bats in circle - Layer @ 3 1/2"
  • White Daisy circle that looks sort of like the Underground symbol - Layer Shift @ 3 1/2"
  • Eggplant banner bottom layer - Banner @ 3 1/2"
  • White Daisy banner top layer - Banner Shift @ 3 1/2"
CTMH Cricut Artistry Jack O Lantern
Artistry Page 43 - Hlloween key for decorative accents
  • Black bat border used to go around large vase holding "Halloween Tree" - Background Shift @ 1" which is the same as if using Fit to Page function
Artistry Page 44 - Fall  key for activity/ornament shapes
  • Creme brulee pumpkin with stem - Icon 2 @ 3 1/2", 6 cuts using autofill
  • Sunset top layer of pumpkin - Icon 2 Shift @ 3 1/2"
Artbooking Page 54 - U key for activity/ornament shapes
  • Black spiders - Overlay Shift @ 2" and 3"
Artbooking Page 55 - I key for decorative accents
  • Black rat by vase and pumpkin on left - Overlay Shift @ Fit To Page
  • Orange Trick or Treat hanging on wall - Title @ 17 1/4" which is what appears on screen when using Fit To Page
Artbooking Page 70  - C key for decorative accents
  • Black bird perched on Halloween Tree - Icon @ 50 1/2" which is what appears on screen when using Fit To Page
  • Black spider hanging over Trick or Treat sign - Border Shift @ 39" which is what appears on screen when using Fit To Page
Artiste Page 77 - Hallween key for decorative accents
  • Black spiders on top of pumpkin jar lid - Accent 4 Shift @ 1 1/2"

I hope that you enjoy this project and make lots of fun memories doing some of the activities.
Thank you so much for visiting!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Countdown to Halloween With CTMH's-Cricut Artistry and 50 Fun Family Activities!

*** This is the first of a two-part post.  The video and Artistry measurements will be in the next post. ***
CTMH Artistry Halloween "Ornaments"

It may seem a little strange to post this in August but there is a method to my madness. Really. It isn't just madness! First up, any holiday that by its very existence encourages chocolate consumption in copious amounts is going to rank as one of the top Best Days of the Year. As a Type A Personality, I am required to plan ahead and I don't want to give short shrift to anything that may have something to do with eating yummy things... so it is either a genetic flaw or an unfounded fear of missing out on Hershey's Harvest Miniatures that must have prompted this early Halloween project.  Regardless, I can not help myself. Plus, I want to give you the entire month of September to get your Halloween mojo on. :-)

Halloween marketing has extended the Autumnal Eating Season by several extra weeks because every store has themed candy by mid-September.  Actually, Costco usually has Halloween candy in August but I am trying to avoid the center section of the store until at least the first week of September so I don't know if it is in, yet.  

And since, apparently, this post has become all about me and not so much about Halloween, there is yet another reason for this seemingly early-in-the-season post.  That bit has to do with my forgetfulness, which is getting worse as I age. It occurred to me that if I link recipes to my list of activities posted below, it will be easier for me to find them later! If I remember to look here.

Pumpkin Scones with Crystalized Ginger and Candied Pineapple

Yesterday, I made three practice batches of pumpkin scones with different add-ins. This was a taste-test kind of activity so that I can be prepared to make the 'real ones' in October, based upon which were the best received by my taste-testing-panel.  As I make things or find good references to the items below, I will link them. Check back for updated links.

Rat cut from CTMH's Artbooking Cricut Collection

Here is my list of 50 Activities to help pass the time as we "Countdown To Halloween"
Trick Or Treat Activity Center Vignette

  1. Make a popcorn “hand” in a glove with candycorn fingers
  2. Bob for apples
  3. Carve a pumpkin
  4. Make a paperbag monster
  5. Make a Halloween card
  6. Make a paper plate mask
  7. Make and eat apple, marshmallow, peanut butter mouths
  8. Make ghosts from tissues
  9. Make breadstick or cookie “fingers” with almonds for nails
  10. Make a tag for a small gift – such as a caramel apple
  11. Make caramel apples
  12. Make leaf prints
  13. Bind prints into a stick and rubberband book
  14. Make frozen banana “ghosts”
  15. Make peeled clementines into miniature pumpkins
  16. Make pipecleaner spiders
  17. Make pumpkin scones - King Arthur recipe here
  18. Make Babybel cheese monsters - lots of images here
  19. Do temporary tattoos (Martha Stewart has some here) or face painting
  20. Do the “Monster Mash” - YouTube to the rescue! 
  21. Read a spooky story
  22. Tell ghost stories
  23. Decorate sugar cookies - favorite chocolate sugar cookie recipe here
  24. Design a Halloween Coat of Arms
  25. Watch a Halloween movie or show
  26. Visit a graveyard – the older, the better
  27. Collect pinecones
  28. Rake leaves and jump in the pile
  29. Have black spaghetti for supper
  30. Read The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
  31. Make Pumpkin donut holes or mini donuts - recipe here
  32. Make Halloween party favor candy bags
  33. Make a Halloween Garland or Banner
  34. Make cat and rat (or mouse) black cardstock silhouettes for placing at baseboards
  35. Make a spooky gingerbread house
  36. Make tootsie pop ghosts or pumpkins
  37. Make dough monsters
  38. Die cut or cut out bats from different papers for a “specimen” board
  39. Make bats for window decorations
  40. Make puff paint spiders for windows or walls
  41. Make milk jug luminarias
  42. Make a spiderweb watercolor resist
  43. Make a spiderweb with a marble in a pie tin and white paint on black paper
  44. Make mummy cupcakes
  45. Make mini donut spiders
  46. Make rice krispie treat monsters
  47. Make paper ghost favor bags
  48. Make shrunken heads from apples
  49. Take a neighborhood stroll to see decorations
  50. Practice evil cackles and find household items for spooky sound effects
Activity Jar For Halloween

After brainstorming ideas and doing some Google searches I typed up the list of activities. Then I printed the ideas onto regular paper, cut out each item and glued each one to a fun diecut shape from the Artistry Collection. The cute shapes were easy to assemble and fit perfectly in the cute pumpkin jar I bought last year.
Halloween Tree

The plan is that my daughter will choose either an activity (Trick?) or a candy Treat each of the first 30 days of October. If she chooses an activity, then we will take the diecut (which sort of looks like an ornament) and hang it on our old Thanksgiving Tree. Which, I guess, is now a Halloween Tree. Kind of a two-for-one decorating scheme. If you'd like more information about it, the Thanksgiving Tree post from several years ago is here.

In the next post (Part 2) I will give all of the cuts and sizes along with a quick video showing the assembled cuts.

Glass pumpkin candy dish can be found on Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Watercolor Pencils and Stamping Techniques

Hello!  I found a technique video that I recorded a year ago and never uploaded, so here it finally is! It shows seven different ways to use watercolor pencils with stamping.

  1. Coloring directly onto the Archival Ink stamped image
  2. Colored then blended with CTMH blender pen 3174
  3. Colored then activated with waterbrush
  4. Color lifted from the watercolor pencil tip and applied to cardstock with brush or blender
  5. Stamped image heat embossed with Versamark ink and embossing powder, then colored
  6. Stamped image using Stazon ink
  7. Watercolor palette made by coloring swatches and then picking up the color with brush or blender

Here are some photos with examples of the various techniques.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, August 17, 2015

FAQs About CTMH Papers

CTMH Paper Fundamentals
Paper is the key component to Paper Crafting!  Consequently, there are frequent discussions about the various types of paper and the properties of each kind. Some papers work very well for scrapbooking, some are better for card making, some are great for art journaling, some are good for coloring with markers, others with watercolors... you get the idea.  Lots of papers. Lots of uses!

The question of paper weight is probably the one most frequently asked about CTMH's cardstock and patterned B & T Papers. I will answer that below and then please read to the bottom of the post for the second most widely asked question that I receive about CTMH's papers.

First, though, what is B&T paper and B&T Duos™ paper? The term “B&T” stands for “Background and Texture,” and the full product name is “Background and Texture Duos paper,” or B&T Duos™ paper. The B&T paper offered by Close To My Heart is cardstock-weight paper that has a different pattern or design printed on each side. B&T paper is typically used for page accents and embellishing but can also be used as the base page for layouts. There is B&T paper included in every My Reflections™ paper packet offered by Close To My Heart.  It is weighed as text weight paper at 100 lb.

Posted above are a couple of examples of CTMH's new Zoe B & T paper used with cardstock bases.  They used solid colored cardstock to achieve a clean and simple look for the layouts. The Zoe paper adds wonderful color and movement because of the fun patterns but doesn't detract from the photos. Another way to keep the focus on the photos but still have some interest is to use a tone on tone pattern.  The papers in CTMH's Fundamentals line achieve that in two different ways.  Pictured at the very top of the post is a swatch collection of all of their new Fundamental colors that will be available on September 1st. It shows the resist side of the papers. Immediately below this paragraph is one of the current assortments.  It is one of my favorites because it is so easy to use in scrapbooking and cardmaking with really interesting results. The photo shows both sides of each color.

Pictured above is CTMH's - Paper Fundamentals Basics Assortment 20 double-sided 12" × 12" sheets (2 each of 10 designs); same design on both sides, one side with glossy resist pattern; Basics color palette. *This particular assortment Retires September 1, 2015.

 12 x 12 CTMH Kraft Cardstock
12 x 12 CTMH Kraft Cardstock
The Colored, Basics, and Fundamentals Cardstock are all 65 lb. (cover weight). The Colonial White and White Daisy Cardstock are 80 lb. (cover weight). CTMH's Kraft Cardstock is 74 lb. (cover weight).

Enchantment Cardstock Combo Pack

You may have seen the new colors that are part of the Enchantment Combo Pack. It is included with the new Artistry Cricut Cartridge Collection and the Digital Collection, too.  There are 10 colors in the pack, 7 of which are new to CTMH. The combo pack has
20 – 12" × 12" sheets (2 of each color) with the following colors:
Eggplant *
Sapphire *
Peacock *
New England Ivy
Fern *
Saffron *
Poppy *
Pomegranate *
* new color

The second most widely asked question that I receive about CTMH products is:

'Are Close To My Heart products considered “photo safe?” ' Here is the answer directly from CTMH:

"Close To My Heart offers a number of products designed to directly touch and/or interact with your photos. These products are designated as photo safe, which is defined as acid-free, lignin-free, buffered, and without PVC, when applicable. All of these products (inks, papers, protectors, and adhesives) have been tested and conform to the definitions of photo safe above. Note that while Close To My Heart sources top quality materials for its products, there are no industry standards or expectations for these products in memory keeping. We offer a wide variety of items, and customers may or may not choose to incorporate these items into their papercrafting."

If you have a specific question, please ask me or look in the current idea book to see which items are designated acid-free, etc.

White and Green

Two last little notes about CTMH's papers.  One of the things that CTMH's cardstock is known for is having a white inner core for their colored cardstock. The Kraft is solid kraft throughout.  I have many posts on my blog about ways to use the inner core to your advantage in fun and unique treatments.  In the next few weeks, I hope to have a few more.

Lastly, the question of environmental responsibility is another that should be answered by paper companies.  CTMH has this information posted on their website:
"All Close To My Heart printed papers, including cardstock, B&T Duos™, and complements, are sustainable forestry initiative (SFI) certified. We work with vendors who maintain the strictest standards in quality and environmentally responsible printing. ...
We also use some soy-based dyes in our paper printing. Because of some limitations with soy, we can’t use it exclusively, but it is an important component of our ink-creation processes."

CTMH Zoe B & T Paper Packet

Thank you for reading this long post!  I hope it answers questions you may have had. If not, please leave me a message or send me an email.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Get Organized! August CTMH Constant Campaign

During the month of August, get your hands on the latest and greatest in organization products from Close To My Heart—with a few perks thrown in! Simply place an order for the new marker roll-up at full retail price and receive the new D-size stamp set My Acrylix® Balloon Wishes FREE! 


Or place an order for the new accessory roll-up at full retail price and receive two new Base & Bling style sheets, Affirmations and Lovely Blooms, FREE! All of the items offered as part of this campaign are featured in the Annual Inspirations 2015–2016 idea book, but are available for early purchase during August only as part of this campaign. 

The marker roll-up will be your new best friend, providing storage space for up to 25 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers. The My Acrylix® Balloon Wishes stamp set is perfect for coloring, making them a practical pairing. The accessory roll-up is ideal for sorting and storing accessories, Base & Bling items, and embellishments, while the new Base & Bling style sheets are full of gorgeous floral designs and hip icons and sentiments perfectly suited for creating stunning jewelry pieces. Place your order for one—or both—deals and get an exciting sneak peek at just a few of the many new products found within Annual Inspirations’ pages!

Have fun getting organized and enjoy some free, fun goodies to go with your new organizational tools.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

CTMH Cricut Artistry Collection - Gift With Purchase!

Happy August 1st!  Yes, this is my third and final post for today!  The first one has the links to the select new CTMH products that are available one month earlier than the launch date of the new catalog. You can find that post here.  

The second one showcases the new Zoe paper packet that I used for a cute Owl Mini-Album. 

You can find that post here

Which brings me to the really important part of this post....  How to receive free stuff when you order the new CTMH/Cricut Artistry Cartridge Collection! (Click here to see all the images.)

CTMH Artistry Cartridge Collection

The newest cartridge includes shapes spanning a wide variety of themes, holidays, and seasons to add some visual spice to any project you create. Get back to basics with the unique font, banners, layered shapes, borders, backgrounds, and other fun icons you'll find on this cartridge. All of the designs are a must for any crafter!

Collection includes:

1 – Cartridge (700 images: Shapes, Layers, Banners, Borders, Backgrounds, and Font)

3 – My Acrylix® D-size Stamp Sets

1 – Enchantment Cardstock Combo Pack

When you place your order through my website you will also receive FREE Stuff from me! You do not need to put these items in your shopping cart because they will be sent directly to you from me in Arizona. The Artistry Cricut Collection will be shipped from CTMH in Utah.  If you wish to purchase the August SOTM or any other items from my website, please do so!  They will be shipped from CTMH with your Cricut cartridge.

CTMH August SOTM $5 with qualifying purchase

With every CTMH/Cricut Cartridge Collection purchase I will automatically send the following items to you:

1 - Owl #1 Chipboard Book kit (8 1/2" x 5 3/4") - this post has the photos of the unfinished book, which is how it will arrive.  It has 17 pieces of kraft chipboard die-cuts for pages, covers and an owl to decorate and bind as you desire. ($4.95 value plus the postage = $10.70 value)

And for those of you who would prefer to buy the Artistry Digital Collection, I am offering the same great gift!
Cricut Artistry Digital Collection
Contains the same shapes, stamp sets, and cardstock as the cartridge collection. The only difference is the 700 images are accessed using an online code rather than a physical cartridge.*

*Available only for use with Cricut® Explore™ and Cricut® Explore Air™.

With every CTMH/Cricut Cartridge Collection purchase from my CTMH website, I will automatically send the following items to you:

1 - Owl #1 Chipboard Book kit - this post has the photos of the unfinished book, which is how it will arrive.  It consists of a 17 piece kraft chipboard die-cut kit - pages, covers and an owl to decorate. ($4.95 value plus the postage = $10.70 value)

Any of the CTMH/Cricut Collections purchased from my website will receive this special, limited time offer.

At the beginning of the check-out process, a "Join One of Beverly's Gatherings" prompt appears.  Please Join the "Artistry Celebration" Gathering.

Thank you very much for your business. I appreciate it.