CTMH Australasian Gifts from the Heart Blog Hop

Hello and welcome aboard our first Australasian Close to My Heart Blog Hop. If you have arrived here from Jenny’s Blog, then you are in the right place. If you landed here by accident, no problem, please join in by following the link at the end of this post.

Today I would like to share with you this Christmas card which features some of the gorgeous products from the Holidays with Heart Gift Guide,  live now until December 31st.

As soon as I saw the Santa Clause C1567  Stamp set the idea for this card popped into my head. Christmas Eve is the most magical night of the year to me. It’s filled with hope, anticipation, and excitement as everyone waits for Santa to come to town. Children, both young and old, hope they will be lucky enough to peek out through the bedroom window to this view.

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Beginning with a piece of White Daisy cardstock cut at 51/2 inches square I masked a circle. I use a masking film but a punched circle of cardstock is just as good. Adhere it with removable double sided tape so you can peel it off when the sky is finished.

Using Sky Exclusive ink lightly dab and blend around the circle using light strokes. Close to My Heart Exclusive Inks are extremely juicy so go lightly and  build the colour up gradually.

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Then go around that with Crystal Blue Exclusive Ink.

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The last colour to be applied is Twilight Exclusive Inks. You don’t need to go all the way to the bottom as the city skyline will cover the bottom 2 inches. Now remove your masking circle.

Have you noticed the moon has switched sides? Yep – I messed up and did the moon on the wrong side originally so switched half way through. Notice it has a “bit of cloud” blowing across. That is the ink from the other side which has bled through a little but I liked the effect so did not begin again on a fresh piece. Plus I knew Santa was being stamped over it.

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Next stamp Santa and his sleigh from Santa Clause C1567 in Cranberry Exclusive Ink®.  Just place it on the ink like this so as not to ink up the reindeers.

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The reason My Acrylix®  are the best stamps I have ever used are they are SOO SOO clear. They will discolour slightly as you use them, that is normal. This really just makes the image easier to see and place through the My Acrylix® blocks, which are like glass. At 3/4 inch thick and with lovely ergonomic finger indents they are perfect for chunky fingers like mine to get a good grip for a precision result.

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Next I stamped the reindeers in black but in hindsight may have preferred cocoa?

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I then used a fine liner black  pen to go over the red part of the reins.

Next the city skyline. The Cityscape Stamp set C1563 would have been ideal for this project but I did not think of it in time so had to improvise with a Cricut cut. This one comes from the Cricut Sampler cartridge.  You could easily make  up a file in Cricut Craftroom using the various shapes on any of the Close to My Heart Cricut Collections.

I cut my cityscape from this houndstooth paper from the Sparkle and Shine Paper Pack. The product photos do not really do this paper any justice. I hope you can see here, but what looks like grey houndstooth is actually silver. It has a real matte shimmer to it, not all blingy and glittery, but subtle, yet effective.

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When I cut out my cityscape I cut a shadow in buttercup cardstock and inked the back around the window frames and edges in black. When I adhered it I slightly offset it to the right to create a shadow on the right of the buildings. Prior to assembling, I over stamped the houndstooth layer with Whisper Exclusive Ink using the top stamp from this Geometric Backgrounds Stamp set. This was the last stamp from this set that I auditioned on some scraps of  this paper and it gave the best effect!  I love how it toned down the white squares but melted into the silver so effortlessly without removing the shimmer.  I wanted a city that sparkled in the moonlight with the magic of Christmas in the air. Here in Perth it is very hot around Christmas time and the nights are warm and balmy

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 9.42.51 PMI can tell you this set is so versatile for doing a bit of tone-on-tone stamping and creating your own patterned paper. This and the other background stamps really are a great addition to any stamp collection.

I assembled my card using a window frame from the Artbooking cartridge cut from Slate Cardstock at 5 1/2 inches. The background patterned paper  is a geometric Juniper pattern which is on the reverse of the Houndstooth. It reminds me of some old wallpaer that was on the walls at my grandparents’ place when I was a child.  Both of these papers lend themselves very well to non-seasonal projects.

Next I wanted to add my sentiment. I cut an oval from Artbooking at 1 inch, making sure “Real Dial Size” is on. When using CTMH stamps in conjunction with the Cricut cartridges you need Real Dial Size switched on. This will cut your image at the exact HEIGHT you select.

One of the things I love MOST about CTMH My Acrylix Stamps is they are so crisp and precise that even in the negative, the small details show up so well.  I have again used Cranberry ink on a Daisy White cardstock base. This sentiment oval is only an inch tall and look how clear the words and flourishes are!  I added a touch of clear glitter around the outside of the oval and on the flourishes with an atyou spica fine glitter pen. You can’t really see it well in the photo unfortunately.

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To stamp the little stand on the window sill I used the flourish from the same set. just inking up one little swirl.

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I then used a reverse stamping technique to stamp the mirror image. To do this, stamp the required image onto a solid stamp. You can just flip one over.

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Don’t press too hard or the image goes a bit blurry. The ink will be sitting on top of the solid acrylic.  then turn it over and use as stamp. Again, pressing lightly.

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Notice I had done a pencil outline of where I wanted the sentiment to sit to enable me to place the legs more accurately.

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I assembled the card using a piece of acetate behind the window frame atop a 6 x 6 inch card base made from Juniper Cardstock.

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I hope you have enjoyed my little step-by-step tutorial and have learnt a few techniques, or revisited a few old ones.  All the products in the The Holidays with Heart Gift Guide are available now until December 31 from your CTMH consultant while stocks last. Some items are in short supply so order early to avoid disappointment and allow time for delivery to get your Christmas projects made in time. Orders totalling over $130 during the promotion can choose one starred item from The Holidays with Heart Gift Guide  for free so it is an ideal time to purchase one of our Cricut Collections or maybe stock up on your favourite colours of our “cuts like butter’ Cardstock.

I’d love you to leave a comment before heading off to the next stop,  Sharyn’s Blog, LaVie en Chic

Thanks for sharing my indulgence in paper and ink today,

Mandy