Sunday, January 24, 2016

Musings from the Cemetery

Today's musing will not be from the cemetery as I have been blessed to be traveling the last few weeks. Artwork, tips, and techniques will be returning as my schedule begins to calm down.

My musings were actually thoughts during my trip home from a recent trip to South Carolina. Traveling at night is not my favorite, as I age, however the most beautiful sight during my trip home was coming into Atlanta late at night and seeing the lights of downtown.

They were magical, all the gold and white against the dark backdrop of the black of the night. It reminded me of the beauty of the holidays or a big party. This vision gave me a smile that lasted all the way home.

This reminded me to look for the beauty in everything.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Musings from the Cemetery

How quickly the bones ache and creak and the feeling of age come over you when the weather is colder. The mind is still running on the thoughts of a youngster, however the chassis is running on the power source of someone quite a bit older.

'You are only as old feel' is a wonderful sentiment and, in my mind, the feeling of a youngster prevails. Get ready to jump out of the chair and the body of a much older me shares the reality. As Todd and I find our walk through this beautiful, calming place, we walk at a much slower pace. Is this a sad thing? No, it is living your life through the seasons. This is the season slowing down, reflecting, being a little less fearless, finding new paths and beginnings.

There are great benefits of this thing called 'aging', at least for me, as I slow down and smell the roses much more. I look for the beauty in my surroundings even in this gray aging cemetery. Look at the large ragged roots and far reaching branches of live oaks and you see the endless beauty of what aging can bring.

So I don't move as swiftly or gracefully as I once did, I still move and I, now, stop for a moment and reflect on the beauty that surrounds.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Little Disney Love and a TON of Family FUN

I just got back from a FUN visit with my Emily and the littles, my name for my grandsons. There are four years between my Em and the three littles, Eli, Zeke, and Toby! They need to create a band -- they already have a great name.

We met this past week at Disney World for a little grandma time and before I left I started my layouts for this adventure.

 I created the little Mickey's using Cricut Design Space with three circles welded together.

This layout will be the home of my favorite photos from the first day.

There were many favorite photos during the trip. Each grandchild has their version of how to pose, from sad or mad I don't want my photo taken (middle little) or scary hands covering our face (littlest little).


 I have so many stories to share about this trip, so a journaling block was a must.

I used the Make It From Your Heart how to book Volume 1, layout recipe number 6 -- love using the Close To My Heart how to books.

The Cricut cartridge Artbooking and the font from the newest Close To My Heart Cricut cartridge Artistry were used for some embellishments.

Stamping and photos will be added soon.

And the January featured paper pack, La Vie En Rose is used with Cranberry, Honey, Black, and White Daisy cardstock. All of the products are available on my website - shop NOW!

I am glad you took time to check out my post, please let me know what you think, I love comments!



Sunday, January 10, 2016

Musings from the Cemetery

Cold, cold, and colder were the only thoughts Todd and I had this past week. Each day we changed our walking time a few hours later
to see if the sun would help to warm the day. Alas not, it is finally coat, hat and gloves time. Winter is here and we will have to bundle up to go on our walks.

It is funny how much more I talk to Todd when it is cold and even ask him to remind me to wear my gloves. What a surprise it would be if he did. 

My musing today will be to introduce you to Todd, my little fur baby. Todd is a Jack Russell mix weighing in at 22 pounds. He is taller than a Russell, closer to the height of a Parsons but he has the feisty attitude of a Jack. His tail goes straight up, his chest puffs out, the hair on his back stands straight up and his bark becomes deep and menacing. He is in FULL Jack mode.

But he is my pound puppy. white with reddish brown spots and freckles all over. If he was a person, I see him as Huck Finn, long legged, barefoot, roaming the fields in search of trouble. And trouble he can be -- just let him get his freedom and he will be gone for as long as he can, sharing with the neighborhood, who is boss.

He loves his walks in the morning.

He also is not a loner. He can never be far from someone when in the house. If you move to another room, there better be a blanket or bed near, because he is going to join. Being alone is not for him.

Thank you for taking time to stop by.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Black and White with a Splash of Color Card Class Cards


La Vie En Rose paper collection was the beginning of the inspiration for this month's cards. Embossing, dry and wet will be the technique, 

And, of course, we will be working on our lovely Valentines! 

January's Stamp of the Month, Beloved Bouquet (S1601) has the prettiest font.

Using one of the La Vie En Rose patterns makes a great background for the heart cut-out.

Fine White Embossing powder helps pop the sentiment and the simplicity of the card, makes it great for that guy on your Valentine list.


Using clear detail embossing powder makes for a great background for watercolors. The rose and leaves are first created stamping with Versamark and coated in clear detail embossing powder. After you heat the embossing powder, add watercolor. 

Once dried, cutout and add to left side of the oval opening.

Using the Close To My Heart lattice embossing folder gives some texture and add to that the polka dot pattern paper to create the backdrop for the beautiful pink rose.

The inside leftover piece from the first card works great for the next card. Stamping inside the offset heart, white shimmer trim and pink glitter paper adds just the right bling to say 'Thinking of You'.

The last card uses a circle to showcase the small floral image using second and third generation stamping.

Another pink glitter paper heart and a little pixie thick twine, finish this card.

Please leave a comment, so I know what you like.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday in Black and White

Do you have those special moments with the special people in your life?  Today's throwback Thursday is a way to remember one of those moments. A scrapbooking retreat at Ruth Mountain in Arab, AL (truly love Beverly and Chris) was full of Black and White as we made our vinyl DREAM frames.

Here are a few



It was fun to see each of them as they were finishing. 

There was organization going on too!! Black tags make the perfect mat for my Close To My Heart embossing folders. The fit on a ring so I can see what I have at a glance. Just received the two newest Close To My Heart cascading folders. Hop over to my website. Better get there tag ready.


I thank you for coming, would love to hear from you, comments are encouraged!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

For the Love of Family

There was a lovely family tree inspired layout on the Close To My Heart blog and I fell in love. What a beautiful gift idea for family. In preparing my version, I chose to go with bolder colors and add the touch of Poppy.

A cocoa cardstock base page with a Crystal Blue matted White Daisy cardstock piece and a Cricut circle cut in Poppy matted a top a lacy Cricut cut Cocoa cardstock piece.

A torn strip of Cocoa run through my Cuttlebug using the Close To My Heart woodgrain embossing folder, love the little slit at the top of the embossing folder so you can create longer projects like this. Here I will add a little strip with the name of the person receiving this (it is a gift --shhhhh don't tell). I finished it off with Poppy Thick Twine.

Rectangles of Cocoa hold the White Daisy matted labels for daughter, father and mother and finished with the grandparents. All stamped using For Family (C1631)

The branches and leaves are from the stamp set Tree Friend (D1677), it is cool that you can bend the clear stamps to get the different direction needed for the look of a tree.

The title was stamped using For Family.

If you love a Close To My Heart product you have seen here, hop on over and see what else we have available - AND anyone placing an order this month, who adds a FREE Seasonal Expression 1 to their cart as they check out will receive from me a FREE State stamp set of their choice -- the State stamp set will be sent by me so don't add it to your cart -- AND there is a January Mystery Hostess party open, JOIN and you may be the lucky HOSTESS!! SHOP NOW

Here is the link to the Close To My Heart blog post where I go my inspiration -- ENJOY!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Watercolor Writing Technique

This month the Basic card class will showcase Watercolor writing.

The cards for the class are very clean and simple. After practicing for a little while, the key, for me, was not trying to be too artistic and just feel comfortable writing.

Tips, go back often for color, as you can see the purple 'Thank' got lighter as I went along. With the orange 'Happy', I was getting the hang of it.

It was so much fun and I am looking forward to teaching this at my January classes.

Here is a Close To My Heart video -- need water colors? Hop on over to my website and pick them up and don't forget to grab the paint brushes -- just type paint in the SEARCH box and you will see everything you need!!


Monday, January 4, 2016

Beloved Bouquet Valentine in Pink

Creating cards for holidays a month early is a great way to stay ahead, so this month there will be a Valentine or two shared.
This month's Stamp of the Month, Beloved Bouquet (S1601), is a perfect choice, as it has beautiful flowers and love and Valentine sentiments both for the inside and outside of your card.

My newest Beloved Bouquet project uses this month's theme, Black and White with a Splash of Color through the pattern paper from January's featured paper, La Vie En Rose. The top of the card uses the chevron pattern and the bottom uses the strips from other side of the chevron pattern piece. 

There is a black cardstock mat surrounding the pattern paper and a small strip of black cardstock between the two patterns gives a visual break making the patterns work well together.

A Pink glitter paper heart and a triple bow ribbon finishes the card. The ribbon is not Close To My Heart, it is a little stash I picked up from a friend at the latest stash yardsale.  

This will be one of the three cards for classes at my Montgomery crop, where they will learn to create the center using a stamp.

Would love to hear from you, your comments are greatly appreciated.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Musings from the Cemetery

Did the title catch you off-guard?

I live in a small Alabama town, Selma, have you ever heard of her? And my early mornings are spent walking through a lovely, very old, and very beautiful cemetery. The following are the thoughts that come to mind whilst we, Todd my fur baby and I, walk and I wish to share them with you in a series of 'Musings from the Cemetery'. This series will be shared on Sunday mornings. On to my first musings --

While Selma is not my 'birth' home, my heart has drawn nearer to her beauty and she is now my 'home'town.

We moved here in the late 1960s, at the behest of the Air Force, and due to my Mom's health concerns, it became our NEW hometown. After coming from the big city bustle of Denver, CO, learning the lingo and ways of the South were a little painful, but that could be for anyone moving to a new place. Did you know in the south the most asked question when meeting someone for the first time is 'Who are your people?', love it!

As most young people from a small town, my life's adventure included many years away for starting a career and a family. In 2000, my journey away came full circle and I found myself again in my 'home'town.  She may be a little worse for the wear however, in my eyes and heart, she is still that quaint beautiful place we moved to all those many years ago.

While family and friends may wish I move closer to them, it seems every time I sit in the craft room Mom and I created or walk in the cemetery, I am reminded that this is 'home' this is where my 'heart' is.

And as I walk the cemetery with my little fur baby, Todd, the musings I wish to share come flooding in. And that is the inspiration for this new Sunday series.



Saturday, January 2, 2016

January's Close To My Heart Paper Collection is La Vie En Rose


January's theme is Black and White with a Splash of Color and my featured paper collection works perfect -- La Vie En Rose!

This paper collection showcases black and white in all the different patterns and there is a splash of color with the floral pattern.

My first project is a pop up box card trimmed in one of the black and white patterns from La Vie En Rose and filled with hearts from the La Vie En Rose Complements.





Here is a great layout showcasing the beauty of this paper collection. More artwork to come throughout the month.

SHOP NOW

Your comments are very welcome!!


Friday, January 1, 2016

Beloved Bouquet (S1601) January Stamp of the Month


HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Our first Close To My Heart Stamp of the Month for 2016 is absolutely beautiful!

A base and shade stamp, solid stamp is base and outline stamp is shade, gives you so many color opportunities! Throughout the month, you will see many of options and color schemes and more using this stamp set.

Here are the first two --

La Vie En Rose is the paper collection for January and my theme this month is Black and White with a Splash of Color.

Using one of the patterns from La Vie En Rose as the background base, a piece of black cardstock embossed with the Confetti Stars embossing folder are the perfect complement to the stamped rose from Beloved Bouquet.

Stamping the base of the flower in Poppy and the leaves in Fern, the outline of both where stamped in black for a dramatic effect.

The zip strip (the little 1/2 top piece of each pattern sheet in a Close To My Heart paper collection) created the perfect sentiment.

And on the inside a little white matted on black add a little something to showcase the inside sentiment.

Add a little rose and tips of leaves on the envelope. Someone receiving this card would know it is something made just for them.

Last year, I created these oval cutouts and thought they would work for my next card.

This showcases the emboss resist technique - emboss the outline in fine clear embossing powder and color it using the watercolors, what was embossed will resist the color giving a glossy white outline. The leaf was created the same way.

Add the stamped sentiment in the middle of the cutout oval and a little black shimmer trim and black butterflies.

A cute Valentine for someone special in your life.

And again, the inside and the envelope.

If you love this stamp set, Beloved Bouquet (S1601), it is only $5 with a $50 purchase.

And January 2016 is a GREAT month to shop -- the NEW SEASONAL EXPRESSION 1 just went live and you can add a FREE Seasonal Expression 1 to your order at checkout AND I have a January Mystery Hostess party open, who knows you may be the Hostess!! Be sure and JOIN the party.

SHOP NOW

I love to hear from you, so don't leave without leaving a comment.

Happy Stampin'
Shirley