Friday, August 1, 2014

Today's a Big Day...

.....and to think it's already the first day of a new month -- Wow!!  I can hardly believe that today is the first of August, it seems that every month flies by lately,  especially the Summer months which I would love ot last forever, since it's by far my favorite time of year!

     Today, is a big day and I'm very excited to invite you ALL over to the a2z Scrapbooking Blog where were are hosting our first challenge with the fabulous new Design Team!   WooHoo!!    I'm also super happy to announce that I have extended my term and will continue to be part of this very talented new term through October!!    If you have not already met the team, be sure to check out the introduction post that was shared yesterday!   On top of that and with our expanded team we will now be posting daily to provide you with lots of inspiration in using those wonderful Hero Arts products we all now and live.  If you have never visited the a2z Scrapbooking Supply Store, you'll find us HERE!   And as a special treat for my blog followers, I'm happy to share my special Design Team Promo Code, which will save you 15% off of any order of $25 and up (excluding shipping).  All you need to do is enter my code LISAH15, during the checkout process the 15% discount will be automatically deducted.  You can even us it on SALE items and the brand new Digital line that A2Z is now selling exclusively for Hero Arts!   Woohoo!!

     I am especially excited that we will now be hosting a brand new challenge each month, and our theme for the month of August is  "Encouragement".   Everyone is invited to play and you'll find all our Challenge Rules and Requirements over on the a2z Scrapbooking Blog!!   One major rule to always remember is that all entries MUST include at least ONE - Hero Arts - Stamp, Digital Image,  Hero Arts Die Cut or a Hero Arts/Silhouette Cut file. 

    I have a little sneak peek of a card I created to help inspire you today!  For more on my card and to see some fabulous inspiration for the new team, please head on over to the blog.


     I will be looking forward to seeing your challenge submissions and really hope you'll enjoy this fun new challenge and say hello to the new Design Team!   Have a fabulous Friday!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday...

   Special thanks to everyone who left such caring comment about the tornado in our area on Monday.   As it turned out, it was worse than I thought, and ended up being a EF2 Tornado, which did most damage in Revere, which is just outside of Boston.  My heart goes out to all those who were hit but the storm, thankfully from what I have heard there were NOT any serious injuries or fatalities, which is a good thing.     I sure hope we never had a storm that bad come any closer...and that was a bit too close for me!

  I had a really awful day yesterday--in so many ways...!  Ugh!  One of those days when everything really seems to go wrong and yesterday, things went downhill, pretty much all day!   No matter what I seemed to do yesterday nothing turned out well and that's why I didn't have a post to share...good thing, because I probably would have been "venting" a lot and that's not what you want to hear!    My Mojo was totally gone and I couldn't seem to make even ONE card.....it was a really sucky day!

   On a very happy note, I ended the day by finding out that one of my "Puppy" cards was among the "Honorable Mention" cards from last week's challenge at CASology.   And on top of that my friend, Barb, also had one of her cards featured in the same challenge!!  Yippee! card there day!   Congratulations to Barb and thanks to Tracey at CASology for picking out my card.  Here is the card that I submitted for the "RUN" themed challenge.   You can read more about it on the original post HERE!



      Today, I'm happily back to creating and have three new cards to share.  All three were inspired by Hero Art's Digital and Printable files a brand new addition at the a2z Scrapbooking Store.   I have always enjoyed creating with digital images and also love to combine digital with traditional card-making to create cards typically referred to as Hybrid cards!   You'll find new files being added to the store each day and they have their own section HERE!

      I also do not own or use Paint Shop, so I have learned how to use these files in Microsoft Word and find it the easiest way for me.   I can simply open a blank Word Document and "Insert" the files, as pictures and then edit them to make the work as I want for my cards.   I also own a Silhouette Cameo and that's another great tool to use with all the "Cut" files.  You can easily import SVG Files into your own Library using the Silhouette software and you can also "trace" the images they come in  PNG file format and turn those into "Cut" files too!    or add them by tracking the PNG file!   Unfortunately, my Silhouette is needs to be replaced, and I hope to buy a new one sometime this Fall.  I'm waiting for a Super Sale, so time will tell!

     My first card today is also the very first "Christmas Card" I have created this year, which means I am also very behind.  Typically I create them all year, so that when it's time to send them out, I'm not under presses to make 40 cards!  But, if I were to create more Hybrid cards, there is not doubt I could make them a whole lot faster.   This first card was created using the "Swirly Trees" Digital Kit.  This particular kits contains six swirly images and also have 5 pngs, in both color and black.  It also has 11 "Brushes" for those of you who do use Photo Shop and other software that can open "Brush" files.

Hero Arts Swirl Christmas Digital Kit DK024\

  This is card that I created and I started with a digital background, which is also from Hero Arts and part of their digital paper collection, as shown in this digital paper set.  I then added my tree on top and edited it to be the size and color I wanted for my card.   The next step was to add on my star and then I also added little pearls (also digi files) called 'extras' to be the ornaments for my card.  I also used the Merry Christmas digi sentiment that is part of this kit!   Once I had my card designed I printed it out directly onto some nice white cardstock and then cut it down to fit the front of my A2 card, which I created from a piece of Hero's Layering Paper, my favorite cardstock for card bases, because it's white on the inside.   And this is how my card turned out!  


  I went for a mono-tone look and changed all the colors to match very well with my Charcoal card base.  In the end, I also wanted to add more dimension, so I also used a Viva Decor Pearl Pen to highlight each fo the little tree lights.  I could have used Hero's Pearls or Gems too and think the next time, I'll create a green tree and add a variety of colored 'lights/bulbs". 

  My next card features just one of the flowers from this "Printable" kit called "Pretty Blossoms", which is different that the Tree Kit, as it's one PDF file, which you can quickly print out on your favorite cardstock and color!   I also came up with a way to import the images into a Word Document, so that I could size them and print them on top of some more "digital backgrounds".  I'm sure this is something that can also be done in Photo Shop, but again, since I don't use that program, I find it much easier to use Word and it's a program that pretty much everyone has.

Instant Download Hero Arts Pretty Blossoms Printable Digital Kit PT002

  I combined one of the flowers "the top left" along with some Hero Arts Papers that I layered "all in Word" and then printed that out and added it to a "Sunshine" card base.  I then chose a large bold sentiment, this one from a brand new "Winnie & Walter" set and stamped it onto the digital background.   I added added a black enamel dot to the center of the flower and then colored it with a "Clear Wink of Stella" Marker.   This is the end result, which looks even better in person because you can see the sparkle from teh Wink of Stella.

  I have one more to share and this card also featured the same Petty Blossom Set and for this card, I simply sized the flower to a size I wanted and printed it out on Copic coloring cardstock.  Note:  My favorite for Copic Coloring is this Cryogen White Iridescent and I also use Neenah Solar White, both currently on sale now at "The Paper Temptress", my go to store for all my Copic and Speciality cardstock.

  Once I had my flower printed, I color it up with variety of Copic Yellow and Yellow Oranges, which makes it look very much like a "Black-Eyed Susan", which are growing very nicely in my garden right now.  I love these flowers, because they are easy to grow, they multiply quickly and they also last pretty much until our first frost, which I HOPE is still a LONG time away!   After I had the coloring done, I cut out the flower and then placed it along with some leaves, that I cut using this Hero Arts Die onto my fun little "frame" card, which I created with some of my older Hero Arts Artist Papers.  My sentiment is also from Hero and is from the Night and Days Flowers clear stamp set, which is a favorite of mine.  And as I did on the previous card, I added some extra sparkle with my Wink of Stella Marker, which you can see a bit better in the close up image.



   If you have never tried digital card-making I highly recommend it.  Another great benefit is that you can create a card design once, save it and then have it forever.  It's the same with your digital images, once you own them, their yours to save and print and color over and over again.   They are also "Instant Downloads", which means that once you buy them and checkout, you'll have access to the downloads within minutes and can be creating with that new file the very same day!   And if you are shopping at a2z and your order totals $25 or more, (excluding shipping), you'll be eligible to use my DT Promo Code LISAH15, which will take 15% off your entire order!!  So, what are you waiting for, you know you want to give this a try and you know that it'll be awesome to have your new digital files in minutes?  Come on over and do some shopping, I'm heading there now myself.

   I have some more exciting news to share, but you have to wait just TWO more days! 
Be sure to stop by on Friday  - August 1st!   

Monday, July 28, 2014

What a scary start to a Monday...

....after having rain over night and some thunderstorms, it was not a good start this morning, when I later found out the a Tornado warning has been issued for our County.  Yikes!!   Tornadoes, thankfully are NOT very common here, especially on the coast, but they do happen from time to time, more so in central and western Massachusetts.
 
     The worst part for me is that we only have a very tiny "one room" cellar area and it's not accessible from inside the house.  And that the idea of a tornado ever being our area, would be absolutely horrible, since we basically do not have that "safe" escape.  And we also do not have any interior rooms, or bathroom without a window or skylight.  Needless to say, I'm very thankful that we these warning are VERY limited and that we've never had a tornado, in our town in my lifetime, but have had some severe storms.  The worst for us are typically our winter snowstorms and blizzards and those I feel safer in for sure

    Of course, it also meant that to be on the safe side that I did not turn on the computer and so I focused on doing chores and eventually the warning passed, the skies cleared and it turned out to be a very nice afternoon.   The area of Revere just outside of Boston appears to be the hardest hit and I saw new footage of a lot of downed trees, one flipped card and lots of debris, but overall, we all are lucky.

   I have only one card to share today after the limited time online and the fact that I was also working on a design team project.   Monday is always one of my favorite challenge days, since it's the day that the new MUSE Challenge is posted and that's the one challenge I was able to complete a card for today.   I'm also happily sharing a copy of our Muse Card for this week and then will share mine and tell you what inspiration I used from the card to inspire me.
Muse Challenge # 78
Card by Bev Buenker

My Card

    I loved the "vibrant" colors of Bev's card and decide to go with a pretty deep coral shade for my card.  I also like the scallops on the side and decided to move mine to the bottom on my card to try out a very cool new border die that I just bought from Pretty Pink Posh.  I also like the idea of the fun little frame and created one for my card that and added a coral and white polka dotted background.  I also added two simple floral die cuts and some bling to the center of my flower.  And like Bev, I also chose to go with a "Hello" sentiment and used a cut Hello die I had in my stash from Technique Tuesday!!  I finished off my card with a few sequins, as I have found a new love for them lately and like the they were also used on the Muse card!!  NOTE:  Speaking of dies, JoAnn's is having a great sale on dies and accessories, and they are all 30% off, plus you can use these "promo codes" to save even more!!!  Happy Shopping!

   I'll be back tomorrow and hopefully it will be a full day of creativity with more new cards to share.  Hope you all had a nice Monday and have a wonderful week.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Not so sunny Sunday...

....I guess I missed a weather forecast, because I had no idea we would be having downpours and thundershowers most of the afternoon, especially after a pretty nice start this morning.  It also would have saved me time, because I didn't need to water my garden, after all.

    I'm also glad it was a day even, especially since my oldest dog "Scout" is not a happy guy during any kind of thunder or lightning activity and I can't say I blame him.  Luckily, the storms were not severe, but enough that I had to turn off my computer for a bit, while I rushed around closing windows and skylights at the last minute....!

     The upside is that it's been a nice day to spend time creating and after doing a bit of organizing, I'm happy to have a few new cards to share with you now.  I'll start with my first card which was inspired by today's Sketch over at Operation Write Home.  I haven't been playing in this challenge much lately, but I am building up a pretty nice stash of cards to get off in the mail to OWH soon!!  If you are interested in playing along, I'm also happily sharing today's sketch.

OWH Sketch #235

My Card

  For my card I started by using another of the fun "Gelli Print Backgrounds" I had in my stash, making this a very easy card to create.  I basically cut the strips and then matted them on matching cardstock and adhered them to the card.  I used Nestie dies for my circle shapes and chose a sweet sentiment from this Hero Arts Set -- Hello Sunshine.  .  I really am enjoying all the fun things you can do with the Gelli Plates and had hoped to share new ideas after my second class.  Unfortunately, that class has been post-poned twice now and will now be held in late August.  In the meantime, if you go to the Gelli Arts site or to You Tube and search for Gelli Printing, you'll be amazed at what you can do!   

   And after that I was back to creating with more of my Hero Art digital files and I'm realizing how much I love using them and how fast and easily you can quickly create a nice card!   Here are two that I put together in a matter of minutes, once I had the images printed.



    My last card for today, is also another digital file, but for this card I really wanted the white flowers to show up much more on the black background, they were a lot lighter in the original printed image.  So, I took a white souffle marker and traced the design and then added Hero's White Embossing Powder on top, while it was still wet,  and heat embossed the design to make it brighter.  It was kind of a test, as I need a fine point pen of some sort and needed something that would hold the embossing powder and it worked!! Don't you just love it when you try something and it comes out as you hope it will!!   After that, I simply cut the image to the size I wanted to my card base, created a digital sentiment to add one and put it all together and had this nice little Thank You card!!    
  

   I have been trying to get a card done for the current challenge at "The Cutting Edge", but this one is stumping me so far.  I love the inspiration card and all those shared by the Design Team, but I just can't seem to come up with a design I like.  I tried first to design a "Print and Cut" on my Cameo, but today is one of the days it's NOT being cooperative, so I was never able to get a decent cut!  Bummer!!

  Thankfully, there is always tomorrow and I hope I can come up with something creative then!  Have a great night and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Scrambles are fun....

....and today was no exception over at the Hero Art's Flickr Group, where Judy was hostess to another really fun and creative 90-Minute Scramble.    It also turned out to be especially awesome for me, because I ended up being the random drawing winner and won a $25.00 gift card to Simon Say Stamps!  WooHoo and thank you to Judy.   On top of that I loved her theme and it really helped me find my mojo which had been missing for a bit.  

     Judy's theme was based on something she had heard one of the HGTV designers (I also love to watch HGTV), say that all good designs should include a touch of black.   And that was her inspiration along with using Pastel colors and of course, at least one Hero Arts image!

      I quickly went to work and decided that I would use "Lilac" as my pastel color, along with white and that special touch of black.   I also wanted to create a watercolor background and did that quite easily with a fun technique I had learned in the Watercolor for Cardmakers class.  You simply ink up an acrylic block with ink colors of your choice and then mist it with water and stamp directly onto watercolor Paper.  I used two of Hero's Shadow Ink colors for mine - Passion Flower and Soft Lilac.  I then quickly dried it with my heat gun and pulled out one of my favorite Hero Arts sets "Night & Day Flowers" and used Hero's Grape Juice Shadow Ink to stamp the solid floral image directly on to of my background.  I then used my new Lil Inker Designs - "Stictched Rectangle dies" dies (love these).   My touch of black came into play by adding 3 black gems to the center of my flowers and also adding the "Your Kindness" sentiment which I stamped in black ink.   I really was so happy with how this turned out and may recreate it in different colors.  The best part is that this went together so quickly that I decided to create a second card.



     For my second card I found myself back to playing with some of the favorite Hero Arts Digital images and chose this image from the "Sketch Flowers" Digital Kit as the main image for this card.  I also created a card base using the same Lilac Card Base  and first added a fun twist by using my "Line Dots" background stamp inked up in Grape Juice to add some extra "purple", of course.  I then quickly printed out my image onto some quality white cardstock and cut it down to the size I wanted for my card.  I then matted that in Black, and picked out a nice sentiment from this set, and stamped that again in black on white cardstock, which I then cut to fit the front of my card.    


   This is another I can use again and simply change up my background and background colors.  I could pretty much use any cold that you see in the flowers and also could add any sentiment!!    

     After being on a roll with cards, I kept going and made one more today, which was originally inspired by a new video that Kristina Werner shared on her blog today.   I knew I had the same stamp she used, from SSS, but since I am NOT very organized at the moment, I could not find it, so I picked out another background stamp from Impression Obsession and used making tape to mask off some areas to give the look of stripes.  It did not come out the same as Kristina's, but you get the idea.  Because I did not love my background, I decided to cut it down and use it as a backdrop for my flowers, which I created using this fun Scribble Flowers  from Simon Says Stamp, along with the same Distress Ink colors - Tumbled Glass, Evergreen Bough and Shaded Lilac, that I had used in the background.   


  I have one more started, but it won't be finished until later, so I will share that in next day or so.  In the meantime, I also have a couple of cards that I worked on yesterday and am happy to share those with you know.   As you'll quickly see I had a lot of fun creating with the Hero Arts Digital images and I'm super excited the a2z Scrapbooking will be carrying them ALL exclusively in the store.  Please bear with us as each set/kit is loaded into the store as they are over 400 different sets!!  Amazing!!  Luckily, I have loved them for some time, so I own quite a few including a full CD called "Hero Arts Digital Flower Collection" which has a amazing variety of kits containing over 150 images, many of which I hope will be part of the collection that we'll have for you at a2z!  In the meantime, new digi files are being added every day, so stop by anytime to see them, or the wonderful assortment of other Hero products already in the store!!    If you do want to head to the store now and buy any, you may feel free to use my Design Team Promo Code which will save you 15% off of any order of $25 and up (Excluding Shipping).  All you need to do is enter - LISAH15 - during the checkout process and the 15% off will automatically be deducted on all qualifying orders!!  

   This is one of the card I created yesterday and this also was created using Hero's Digital images that I had purchased some time back.  For this card, I combined a flower and background paper and and again printed it out, used some Nestie Dies and cut the image into a circle and then cut a second scalloped circle as my frame and added it to this cute Gingham card-base, along with a sentiment which I stamped in a matching ink color!   In the end, I had this bright and happy card.


  And this is another one, that is one simple flower image, which I love, is also a digital image.  I edited it in Word and added the matching "Coral" border, then printed it directly to some Epson Matte cardstock.  I then cut it down to the size I wanted and added to my coral card design, which I had already started.  My sentiment (love this font),  is from this SSS set, and was stamped in black on more white card stock, then punched out with an oval SU punch and matted onto the same coral cardstock I used for my card base!   This was my favorite card from yesterday.  It's a very summer like card and in colors that I don't use often enough!



  That brings me to my last card and it's the one card that was designed specifically with a challenge in mind and that would be the newest challenge over at "Cas(E) This Sketch".  It's one of my favorites and one I play in every week, but one I've never won or even made it into the "Favorites" -- making me even more determine to keep on playing and creating and hopefully one of these days, I'll get there!   


My Card


    I used more of the same Coral, White and Black colors as I did on my card above and started with a simple white card base, which I framed in Coral using my Lil Inker Designs Dies.  I then pulled out a die-cut butterfly that I had cut on my Silhouette earlier this week, before it started acting up on me.  It's a cut file from Silhouette and if you like it, you can buy it HERE, in the Silhouette Store.  I added that to a coral "Octagon" that I cut with a set of Nestie dies....thinking it was a Hexagon!   I'm not up on my Geometric shapes these days!  I then added a small black strip down the left side of my card, much like the sketch and finished it off with a Hello sentiment, from this Hello Flowers Hero Arts Clear set.

   And that's it for today...it's now 5 o'clock and my dogs are wanting to eat.  I can always tells when it's getting close to dinnertime, as eating is one of the favorite parts of the day and they start getting a bit grumpy, if they don't eat, when it's their time!   Spoiled....pups -- you bet they are!!

A Little About Me

My Photo
Northeastern, Massachusetts, United States
Purple is my favorite color and ironically - Purple is the Awareness Ribbon color for Fibromyalgia, a chronic illness I now live with. I am a Mom to two grown sons, Alex who is now 22, and Brian amazingly is 27, now happily married to Meghan, my new "daughter" and living across the country in beautiful San Diego. I miss them so much and am looking forward to visiting them again soon. Hubby, me and our three "Pups" (Scout, a Senior Male Dachshund, along with Skye and Zeva, two adorable Chiweenies, who we rescued in 2013), all live very happily in a tiny coastal town in Massachusetts. I am very lucky to be blessed with wonderful friends and I adore and cherish each of my friends as much as my family! I am an avid card-maker and totally love every minute I can spend in my craft room. It's become my passion, a wonderful way to relax and my own little form of therapy. I also enjoy taking online card classes and technique classes at my LSS. Some day, I hope to get away from the cold New England winters and would love to live in a much warmer year round climate. Maybe even San Diego, but never too far from the ocean.