Saturday, November 28, 2015

Trending Colors # 3 - Hot Pink, Gold and Black

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  We had a wonderful time with my daughter Emily, her hubby Josh and their kids Charlotte and Evan. I overdid it on dinner -- whew, so many sides, so many pies! -- but we're now enjoying leftovers, yum!!

Today, I was supposed to go to a Christmas card workshop at my friend Anita's house, but really, I just need time in my own craft room to focus on cards I need to make.  Of course, I got few done because the mess is distracting. But maybe tomorrow .... if buying a new washer and dryer doesn't interfere. There's always something, isn't there??

Here is the next card I've made to focus on "trending colors" as shown in HGTV Magazine's December 2015 issue:

The trending colors are: Hot Pink, Gold and Black.  For this card, I used Close To My Heart's "Blessings of Peace" stamp set for the dove and sentiment. I stamped the dove on White Daisy CTMH cardstock in Versamark and sprinkled it with gold embossing powder. I then embossed it by warming the powder with my heat crafting gun. The hot pink paper is from my stash, and the black/white striped is from CTMH's new La-Vie En Rose paper line. The bling is also from CTMH, as is the gold adhesive stripe across the middle (that doesn't photograph well).

These trending colors are shown in the magazine like this:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Trending Colors # 2 - Green, Navy and Light Blue

Hello, CardMonkey Followers!

I'm back today with another trending color combination that caught my eye in the December 2015 issue of HGTV Magazine.  Here is the Christmas card I made today, using the "mint green, navy and light blue" combination the magazine suggests.

And here is a picture of the pages from the HGTV Magazine that inspired this pretty combination:

My card uses Close To My Heart's (CTMH) "Festive Trees" stamp set (#B1493), along with Exclusive Inks stamp pads in Pacifica (large tree), Pear (middle) and Lagoon (right).  I also used a small pieces of blue Glitter Trim and fern Thick Twine.  The images were stamped on White Daisy CTMH paper, stitched onto Sweet Leaf cardstock and mounted with Foam Tape onto Pacifica card-stock. I also embossed the silver star atop the large tree, and applied Wink of Stella Silver glitter to the tree on the right.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pretty Blue Holly -- with pink? Christmas Card

Often, many of those who make cards too where I get inspiration for my designs. Honestly, the answer is "everywhere I look!"  I'm active on Facebook where cardmakers post their work for "scraplifting", and there's Pinterest too. 

I also subscribe to HGTV Magazine, and I just love many of the shows on that network too.  I look to this magazine to see what is trending, as I'm an older dog who until recently never used the term "trending."  (And funny enough, my 85-year old Mom gave me my first HGTV subscription, proving once again there is no such thing as too old to be trending!)

This picture caught my eye in the December 2015 issue:

I'd never otherwise think of pairing these colors together (and grew up thinking pink and red clashed!). But using this as inspiration, I made this Christmas card:

Untraditionally, I used the holly leaf and berries stamps from The Ton Stamps to form flowers on a solid white cardstock.  I stamped using Memento ink ("London Fog" color) and colored using an assortment of Copic markers. This photo makes the berries and ribbon look red, but they're really hot pink. I dabbed the flowers using "Wink of Stella" in silver to pick up on the silver edging on the ribbon by Really Reasonable Ribbon. I matted the card on hot pink and black cardstock and mounted it onto a white A2 card. The sentiment is on the same stamp set as the holly berries and leaves, from The Ton.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Christmas Card Class Using White Pines PML cards

Updated:  What a fun class we had on Saturday, November 21!  We're taking a holiday break over December, but will be back at the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts in January, 2016. Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year to all!
Three of my card class students helped each other
during another wonderful session at the Scatter Joy
Center for the Arts in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Thank you (from left) Felicia, Pam and Anna!
Attendees of the CardMonkey's Holiday Card Class made the seven cards shown above, using Close To My Heart's White Pines Scrapbooking Program cards and White Pines paper.  All of the materials necessary to make these cards were provided to the class students. They also walked away with even more White Pines Scrapbooking Program cards, to design more cards or gift tags using the leftovers!

Don't live local to my classes?  Feel free to comment or leave a message if you're interested in buying a kit, which includes the necessary products as well as cut papers and embellishments, and instructions, to make these cards.  I can be reached at

If you are a Close To My Heart consultant yourself and would prefer to buy your own White Pines Scrapbooking Program cards, card blanks, paper packs and twine, I will also provide the instructions and photograph for each, for a nominal fee.  Wouldn't this make a great class in December for your groups?  Just let me know how I can help.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Give Thanks -- for Thanksgiving!

As we head into the week in which we celebrate our gratitude, allow me to share a very personal bit of my life with you.
Thirty-two years ago, on Thanksgiving, I suffered a miscarriage, losing my first baby suddenly. It was heartbreaking, and for years, it was very hard for me to show my gratitude for much of anything. I'd lost hopes and dreams.  The first loss even made it hard to invest a piece of my heart into my pregnancy a year later. I was so worried! 
I still remembered that loss and linked it to Thanksgiving every year for more than a decade. Then in 1994, just a few months after I left my husband of 17 years, my entire feeling about Thanksgiving changed forever...
My husband had my daughter for visitation that Thanksgiving, and I could have been in the dumps as a result. Instead, there was a guy I had just started talking to, on the phone, for hours. We met online (yes! In 1994!! Before cyber-dating, Google, eBay, or in September. And he wanted to know if I'd meet him for dinner on Thanksgiving Eve, our first date, our first meeting. That's John. We met, and it was kismet....we've been together ever since -- 21 years! 
I am forever filled with gratitude for so much! Thanksgiving is now "my" holiday. May yours next week be as stuffed.

"Cupcake Wars" at St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne PA.  My daughter Emily is pictured at left, along with the fellow members of the "Swirls and Pearls" ER Night staff.  The team took 3rd place out of 33 competitors!
I made the banner above using my Cricut Explore and a Cricut subscription for it. For the base, I used cereal box cardboard. I covered it in Close To My Heart cardstocks (Whisper and Blush), and cut the letters from Bazzill silver metallic cardstock. The banner is to decorate a table full of cupcakes at my daughter Emily's workplace -- there's "Cupcake Wars" later this week, and Emily is using my family's Carrot Cake recipe in cupcakes as one of her entries. Her team name is "Swirls and Pearls" so this banner is heavily embellished in rhinestone swirls and adhesive pearls. The banner in the middle is stamped (using CTMH's new "Jennifer's Hand" stamps) with the competition's slogan. It's all tied together with grey organza ribbon from Wild Orchid Crafts.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Birthday Card Mojo

Hi CardMonkey Fans!

Yes, I said spine surgery. I had a discectomy at C5-C6 with
a fusion (plate/screws). To access the spine, the orthopedic
surgeon made an incision in the front right of my neck with
just a few stitches necessary. "Minimally invasive" surgery
is so much safer (no spinal cord involvement) and it's easier
to recuperate. The redness around the Steri-Strips is from an
allergy to bandage adhesives.  I DO feel much better now!
I had a "wee bit" of spine surgery last week which has knocked me for a loop. It has taken a lot of determination to get up the steps to visit The Paper Jungle and try to find some creative mojo. I'm doing fine ... though I'm in the "sleepy and weepy" stage that makes me just want to sleep the day away.

Luckily, I have many resources and machines that make my cardmaking easy. I owed a few birthday cards to a Birthday Card Club I'm in.  I found this sweet cut on the Silhouette Online Studio; cut out of CTMH "Smoothie" cardstock, I coupled it with some light seafoam green in a cardstock pack from Kathy Davis Studios.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Autumn: A Watercolored Festival of Fallen Leaves

Brrrrrr!  A wet, cold front has moved into the East Coast, thanks to the whipping winds of Hurricane Joacquin that fortunately turned out to sea. But what had been temperatures in the 80s suddenly dropped into the 50's and maybe lower, with the wind making the air feel even colder.
Yup, Mr. Monkey had me move the kid toys out of from in front of the fireplace and he kicked it on for some quick warmth in the living room. I thought I could suffer through the chill at night, but I caved, and turned on the heat. And broke out jackets. And shoes!  I miss warm weather already!!
But Autumn is in fact here, and the trees have turned colors and are dropping their leaves. I saw piles of them blown onto the walk and became inspired:
And I'd like to issue a challenge to my readers:  Play Mother Nature and stamp and color up your own leaves, and let me see how you'll use them. Will they be on a card, a scrapbooking layout, a wreath, a home d├ęcor item?
I'm coming back here in a week or so to see if you will leave a comment with a link to your blog, where you will post your leaf-oriented project....
Here's what I used to make the leaves above:
I used Close To My Heart's brand new watercolor palette, shown at left.

The pigments in these paints are unusually superior with great coverage.  You can get them on my CTMH website ( by referencing #Z3132, or using this LINK.
Next, I put a drop of water (FREE!) in the middle of a CTMH All-purpose mat on the smooth, non-adhesive side. Here's what the mat looks like in the catalog. It is #Z2045 and is handy for so many uses, that you really do NEED this mat.
I used CTMH's paint brush set (Z3188), which is a terrific set for a great price. Color the water on your mat by dabbing your paint palette with color, picking up some color and dropping some onto the mat and into the puddled water.  Swirl it, play with it! 
I stamped an assortment of these lovely stamps from CTMH (B1492 "Fallen Leaves"), using Ranger Archival (Waterproof Ink) onto Watercolor Paper.  Here is where I will be honest: I used to watercolor in my teens and I have a LOT of water color paper, and I could not tell you what brand I used. CTMH does carry some watercolor paper, that I have not yet tried. I want a paper that will hold and blend the water/paint, so this was just some that I had handy. I cut the leaves out ("fussy cut") with scissors and dunked them onto my craft mat with paint.  If I wanted to add more intense colors, I did so, using my paint brush.
I totally love that Close To My Heart is on trend with watercolor paints and using them with stamps on cards and memory keeping products. And what better time than to play with the miracles of color than Autumn?  

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Sophisticated Thank You Card, in Sangria

The reasons for which I am eternally grateful, and thankful on a daily basis, are too many to count. While I try to always thank the person who holds the door open for me, who helps me with a retreat, or just makes my day better, I have not been as good about expressing thank in the way I do best: with a card.

I'm trying to better with that. So I've made a few of these cards to keep handy in my stash to send to those who just brighten my day in some way:

This card was mostly scrap-lifted from a design on Close To My Heart's Creative Insider, plans that help consultants come up with projects for their workshops. I made a few modifications to it -- really, not enough to call my own -- but let's talk about it.

First, using CTMH's "A Thousand Thanks" (C1625) stamp set and Eggplant Exclusive Ink Stamp pad (Z2647), I stamped the words "Thank You" at the top of my cut Daisy White card piece. 

Next, I lined up all of those itty-bitty lines of expressions for stamping. Here, I'll let you in on a secret discovery I recently made. You're going to hate me and love me at the same time for telling you about this tool:

I used a stamp positioning tool called a "MISTI", which stands for the Most Incredible Stamping Tool Invented. OK, not so humble, but maybe right. It's changed how I stamp and made my life so much easier!

This is what MISTI looks like: It is the size of your Galaxy Samsung Tablet, but it has a magnetic bottom, a layer of foam, positioning grids on the bottom and on the lid. To work a MISTI, you arrange your stamps (stamping side down, or exposed) along the lines of the grid so you can center the lines as well as keep them straight. 

What I do is put my A2 card onto the MISTI and decide where I want my stamps to be on the card, generally. I put the lid down on top of the stamps, and the lid will left up the acrylic to be generally where you want them. Then you can rearrange them to be straight/centered, etc.   You ink up the stamps right on the acrylic lid and fold (hinges) the lid down onto your paper. 

Miss a bit of inking? You can re-ink and re-strike, with nearly perfect alignment most of the time. Have several cards to make at a time of the same design?  Just insert a new A2 paper, reink and drop the lid. Easy-peasy. Here is a video that the makers of MISTI have on their website: 

MISTI is not inexpensive: $50 base price, and you'll need add-ons like magnets, grid paper, and cleaner. You can buy it from the inventor/manufacturer, My Sweet Petunia, at the link provided. Trust me on this one: This is my favorite tool of 2015 so far!

Back to the card:  I lined up the 3 sentiments on the MISTI and finished off the white card using Eggplant. Then I decided to stamp the word FRIEND using Versamark (glue) pad, and sprinkled the stamped word with Princess Gold embossing powder. I then heat set the embossed word, waving my warmed CTMH Craft Heater tool about 3/4" above the word until the embossing powder melted to a nice shine.

I used Bazzill Gold Foil paper ( to line the sentiment (white) paper, then layered that atop a banner-trimmed piece of Eggplant paper. I topped the Eggplant piece with a strip of CTMH Sangria paper that I love, and topped that with a piece of CTMH Gold Shimmer trim. The accents are Bling Assortment in Gold from CTMH as well.   

Voila! Done!  Such a sophisticated card, on trend and heartfelt.