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Barbara’s Crafty Christmas Tree!

Take a page from design team member Barbara Anders’s book and create your own wordy Christmas tree! Using two sizes of Styrofoam cones and the Art Expression Text stamp set, Barbara “grew” this project into something she can be proud to display in her home for the holidays! The trees look great on a mantle or as part of a festive centerpiece. There are plenty of possibilities when you’re willing to get crafty!

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To complete this project, you’ll also need the Accent It – Feathers and Arrows Die-namics (Barbara used the smaller feather from the set to create the tree’s leaves), Primitive Cream card stock, and MFT ink in Kraft and Black Licorice. And like always, having a great imagination helps, also!

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Welcome Home Amy!

We are thrilled to announce our new design team member, Amy Rysavy!

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Amy is no stranger to MFT; in fact she was one of our first design team members. During her hiatus she has continued to use MFT products and we are so glad to be working with her again in an official capacity. She joins us just in time for our September Teasers, which begin tomorrow. Take a moment to leave a warm welcome on Amy’s blog,  Prairie Paper & Ink. Also be sure to follow her on You Tube HERE.

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We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow for the start of Teaser Time.

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Virtual Sidewalk Sale – Save 50-75%

You’re invited to SAVE BIG at the MFT Virtual Sidewalk Sale! Save 50-75% on over 80 Die-namics, Combo Sets, and Stamp Sets.

Sale Priced Dies and Combo Sets

Sale Priced Stamp Sets

The Combos and Pure Innocence Stamp Sets shown will be retiring as stock is depleted, so grab then now if they are on your wish list.

Don’t forget your ways to save. We offer 3 ways to save with every purchase:

MFT_FreeGiftOur Free with $60 stamp set is available with each qualifying order over $60 (after any discounts, before shipping and tax).

PrintYou’ll receive FREE shipping on each retail USA order over $75.

Print

But wait! There’s EVEN more! Our Shop to Save discounts start at 10% for each order over $100 and go up, up, up to a savings of 20% on orders over $500.

My Favorite Things is your home for great products, great service, and great savings.

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LAST DAY for Special Savings on Our NEW Creative Ladder Online Course

We have some of the best characters in the business and it’s time to break them out and get crafty in both conventional and unexpected ways.

We’ve teamed up with Imagination International and a team of amazing instructors to bring you the BEST in online education.

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A group of talented MFT Designers (and the MFT Lady herself) have teamed up to bring you an amazing course, Cards with Character. You’ll learn everything you need to know to add a splash of color with one of your favorite coloring mediums. There are no prerequisites, so what are you waiting for? Take the next step in your creative journey and join us HERE.

What’s in it for you?

  • 5 Courses
  • 30 Lessons
  • 36 Videos
  • A Handout for EACH Lesson (30 Handouts)
  • Interaction with Course Instructors
  • Amazing New “Tools” for Your Crafting Toolbox

Today, August 14th, is the LAST day to register at the introductory price of $35.  Tomorrow, August 15th and forward, the class tuition will be $50. There isn’t a specific start or end date. You’ll go through the class at your OWN PACE. Don’t have time until the kids go back to school? No problem! Sign up now, save, and get crafty later.

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Want to know a little more about the course? Inge will wow you with her colored pencil expertise. You’ll make a splash with Joanne as you delve into watercoloring. Kim will show you how “A Little Dab Will Do Ya”. You’ll learn every aspect of paper piecing from Barbara. Michele will teach you how to color numerous skin tones and hair colors with Copic markers. After the course you’ll have some amazing new “tools” for your crafting toolbox and confidently create Cards with Character.

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Take creativity to new heights with Creative Ladder. Imagine a place where education and inspiration meet. Select your course(s) and get started immediately! Learn at your own pace, on your schedule. Join us for the next step in your creative journey.

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MFT Academy: Paper Piecing

Welcome back to the MFT Academy!  Barbara is returning as our Guest Professor today with a paper piecing tutorial.  Paper piecing is a great technique to use for “dressing” characters and adding pattern and style to your cards.  Paper piecing is a great alternative to coloring that allows you to add texture, interest, and pattern to your projects.  In addition, it is lots of fun, creatively!

We will starting with the basics and then move on to more complex designs, in case you are not familiar with the technique.

Supplies: 
  • Copic-friendly paper and Copic markers of choice
  • Memento Ink Tuxedo Black
  • Liquid glue
  • Sharp detail scissors
  • Optional, but helpful: angled tweezers, curved detailed scissors, craft knife
  • Patterned papers of choice
  • Stamps of choice: Pure Innocence Birthday Girl, Pure Innocence Goldfish Girl, Pure Innocence Bedtime Story

Paper Piecing Basics:

When choosing your papers, it’s important to consider the size of the area to be paper pieced and the scale of the pattern in the paper.  Think about what this would look like in real life; for example, you probably wouldn’t see this dress or balloon with large patterns.

Choose images with large open areas, as they provide the perfect space for a smooth expanse of pattern that is not too fussy in design.

If you will be coloring any portion of your stamped image, be sure to complete all coloring before adding paper piecing, otherwise, you might accidentally color onto your paper pieced elements.

Use sharp detail scissors; curved scissors are often helpful.  Cut along the center of the stamped line. This ensures your pieced element will be neither too small nor too large.

Let’s begin with a simple image with open areas, Pure Innocence Birthday Girl.

Step
1:
Select the stamp and papers you want to use and stamp the image on
your base paper and as often as necessary on your patterned paper. For
this image, the dress and the balloon will be pieced, so it has been stamped three times; first onto white paper for the base, and then onto each of the two patterned papers.

You only need to stamp the areas of the image to be covered on your patterned papers, and some parts will be very small.  Scraps come in handy for this technique.

Step 2: Cut out the patterned paper.  Hold your scissors still while closing and opening the blades, and slowly turn the paper into the blades to maintain the best control.

Step 3: Run a marker around the cut piece to hide the white edge. This will help provide a smooth transition between the cut paper and the main image. Work from the back to avoid slipping and marring the front. Water-based markers bleed less than alcohol markers and are recommended.  However, alcohol markers can be used with success if done carefully.

Step 4: Color all portions of the image that will not be paper pieced such as skin, hair, and shoes.

Step 5: Adhere patterned paper to image using liquid glue.  This allows you a few seconds to slide the paper around
for the most accurate placement. Cover most of the area with a larger applicator.

 

Then, go around the edges with a glue pen to keep the edges down tight.

Step 6: Adhere patterned paper. Angled tweezers are optional, but often helpful for proper alignment.

This image is now ready to be used on a card.

The second card is a little more involved and introduces layers.

General Instructions:

Now that you’re familiar with the basic technique, you can begin adding some shading to build dimension and depth. Use a neutral color for shading.  Copic markers in the W range work well.  Start with a lighter color than you think you’ll need.  You can always add additional layers of color to deepen the shading.

With a more complex image like this, you will stamp, color, and add a second layer for arms and/or hands that are placed on top of your pieced layer. This provides dimension and texture to a flat image. This extra step creates a 3D effect with a more “natural” appearance.  Be sure to color small elements such as arms and hands, before cutting them out.

Decide where your light source will be coming from to determine where to apply shading. Lay down a narrow line for items close to each other, blend out more for items further away; darker area closest to item being shadowed

When making paper choices, vary the patterns: one floral, one striped, one with dots, etc., although two different floral patterns can work if one is subtle.  Keep at least one a subtle pattern, or as is found in some collections, a “solid” pattern. Too many strong patterns can look “busy” and detract from the overall design.  Here are the papers I chose for this card:

Step 1: Stamp the images. For this card, I stamped the image, or parts of the image, 7 times.

  1. The main image
  2. Shirt
  3. Second arm to be colored
  4. Fish food can
  5. Second sleeve
  6. Pants
  7. Fish bowl stand

 

Step 2: Color the image, cut out the papers, and edge each piece with a marker. Note that I left a little extra on some of these pieces.   This helps avoid butting two pieces against each other, which is often difficult to do perfectly, and also makes for a much smoother transition from one paper to another. Some areas will have paper layered on top, so they don’t need to be trimmed off.

Step 3: When adhering the pieces, keeping in mind how the layers will fall. First the pants.

Step 4: Then add the top.

Step 5: Next the fish food can, followed by the second arm.

Step 6: And last, the tiny sleeve and fish bowl stand.

This view shows the dimension achieved with the layers.

Step 7: Add some shading under the added-on arm and sleeve, and under the edge where the top covers the pants, and it’s ready to put on a card.

For the last card, we will use paper piecing to build a scene using a more complex image.

Step 1: Stamp the image onto scraps of paper for each element in your scene. Examine the scene and, working from back to front, visualize the layers and which paper works best for each layer.  For Pure Innocence Bedtime Story, it has been stamped nine times.

  1. The entire image has been stamped onto orange chevron paper, this will become the room’s wallpaper, the very bottom layer of our image.
  2. This complete image was stamped to Copic-friendly paper and will be used for the headboard and the night stand and lamp base.
  3. This image will be used for the Pure Innocence head.
  4. This will be used to add Pure Innocence hands holding the book.
  5. This layer is for the pillow behind her head.
  6. This layer will be used for the turned down sheet.
  7. This layer will be used for the book cover.
  8. This layer will be the bed spread.
  9. This layer will become the lamp shade.

Step 2: Color the image portions and cut out all the pieces. For small pieces like the extra set of hands, be sure to color first and then cut.  Tight areas, like that shown by the arrow, are easier cut out with a craft knife.

Here are all the layers, colored, cut out, and ready to assemble. I could have paper pieced the little PI’s pajama top, but to keep from adding another pattern into the mix, I colored it.

Step 3: Start to build the scene. Begin by adhering the bed/night stamp image to the “wallpaper” layer.

Step 4: Next, adhere the pillow layer.

Step 5: Add the turned-down sheet.

Step 6: Add the bedspread

Step 7: Adhere the colored PI layer.

Step 8: Next, add the book cover

Step 9: Add the hands and the lamp shade.

Step 10: Trim off the bottom, add shading with markers, and it’s ready to put on a card.

Low-key patterns were used in the card design, and a few from the scene were repeated in order to keep the card from looking too “busy”.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that you’ll be inspired to give paper piecing a try!  Use the keyword MFTED8 in your gallery upload on Splitcoaststampers so we can admire your creations.
If you have any questions, email joanne@mftstamps.com, and we’ll be happy to help you.
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Operation Write Home Blog Hop – Winner Announcement

Thank you so much to everyone that stopped by as part of our recent Operation Write Home Blog Hop. If you missed the Spring Training Blog Hop, you can find the full list of participants on the OWH Blog.

The winner of the $25 gift voucher to the MFT Boutique is PMM who said:  ”So glad MFT is part of OWH support- such a great cause! And a great excuse to buy more MFT stamps and dies. ;D”

The prize will be sent via e-mail this afternoon.  We’re pleased and proud to work with Operation Write Home.  Click HERE to find out how you can help heroes keep in touch with their families.

 

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Operation Write Home Spring Training Blog Hop

My Favorite Things is pleased and proud to be participating in the Operation Write Home Spring Training Blog Hop. Operation Write Home supports our armed forces by sending blank handmade greeting cards for those serving our Country to send to their loved ones. Find out how you can help heroes keep in touch with their families here.

Today’s Operation Write Home Blog Hop focuses on creating masculine cards.  For my masculine card, I’m using Inspired by the Wild, Wild West. This highly detailed line of stamps is gorgeous even when left fully uncolored. I’ve added lots of rustic, masculine details along with some distressing and I’ve created my own speckle tone paper, too.

See how to create the speckle tone background and how to give this warm, weathered look to your card stock and patterned paper in THIS quick video, or you can click play below:

I’ve used the following products in my card today:

As part of our participation in today’s Operation Write Home Spring Training Blog Hop, we’re offering a $25 Gift Voucher to the MFT Boutique.  To enter your name into the drawing, simply leave a comment on this blog post.  The winner will be selected at random and announced here on the MFT Blog and on the MFT Facebook Page on April 10th.
Thanks for visiting us today.  You’ll find the full list of  Spring Training Blog Hop participants on the Operation Write Home Blog.  Be sure to head on over to the next stop on today’s hop – Tombow!

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Teaser Time Prizes – Winners Announced

 

At last it is time to announce the fourteen Teaser Time Prize Winners. Thank you to all of you who left a little love for our designers during this week’s Teaser Time. Prizes will be sent directly to the winners’ email accounts this evening. Enjoy! We look forward to seeing you at the New Release Party beginning at 8pm EST RIGHT HERE!

Day One

Winner from Jackie’s blog is Lisa Page who said “Pretty card! Lovin’ the new Blueprints 1 … a must have!”

Winner from Lisa J’s blog is Tricia Traxler who said “ This is my favorite ever of your stamp sets! I love the poppies, I love the greetings, I love the fonts. And your cards! The sweet simplicity of the “bloom in adversity” card pulls on my heartstrings and brings tears to my eyes, and the houndstooth center in the bottom card is such a great idea. I’m definitely saving this post, so I can CASE some cards when I get my set!!”

Day Two

Winner from Linda’s blog is Amy Ely who said “WHAT A GENIUS IDEA!!! I LOVE IT! PERFECT FOR THE iTUNES GIFT CARD. …….OK, NOW I NEED THIS ONE TOO:)”

Winner from Mona’s blog is Michelle Breston who said “Wonderful cards! I love this rockin’ set! Can’t wait to see more of the release!!!”

Day Three

Winner from Joanne’s blog is Sharon who said “wow love the chalkboard piece. the candles are so clever, great job. I really have to get the blueprint dies for sure.”

Winner from Karen G’s blog is Rhonda who said “Can’t wait to get some of the new goodies.”

Day Four

Winner from Julie’s blog is Celeste who said “ Cute cards…thanks for sharing and inspiring!”

Winner from Debbie’s blog is Cammy who said “This is a brilliant use of this set! Love it!”

Day Five

Winner from Jody’s blog is Becky who said “These are so sweet, I love them!”

Winner from Barbara’s blog is Karen Harris who said “I Love this new stamp! Your card is soooo beautiful. I’d like to see a tutorial for coloring hair with copics – hint, hint”

Day Six

Winner from Michele’s blog is Christine D who said “She looks so innocent and so guilty at the same time!
Love her shirt.”

Winner from Jenny’s blog is Shari who said “ Jenny, she is so adorable! I love the paperpieced shirt and love how you have coloured the rest of the image. Gorgeous papers and wonderful card!”

Day Seven

Winner from Karen M’s blog is Denise who said “Pretty cards! LOVE that wreath card… so fresh and springy!”

Winner from Jodi’s blog is Natalie who said “Wow! Jodi, these cards are W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!!!”

All of the Teaser Time prizes will be sent to the winners via email this evening. Winners, if your prize doesn’t arrive via email this evening please contact joanne@mftstamps.com for assistance.

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Clean and Simple Card Making 2 – Winner Announcement

I’m back to announce the winner of the giveaway we’d announced the other day.   The winner, selected at random is Sue FitzGerald.  Sue, please email joanne@mftstamps.com to claim your prize!

For all of you that had been interested, I hope you’ll consider signing up for Clean & Simple Card Making 2! Join Kristina Werner, Jennifer McGuire, Julie Ebersole and friends to discover the “secret” to minimalistic and fabulous cards.

Learn new techniques and be inspired by 26+ videos and 34+ clever and creative card designs. Gather inspiration from your fellow students and Online Card Classes teachers in the forums and galleries.

Then print out class PDFs to take Clean & Simple Card Making 2 with you wherever you go. Plus, with lifetime access, random giveaways and shopping discounts galore, you’ll be able to outfit your card making stash in clean and simple style. We are excited that they will be using My Favorite Things products in this class!

For more information on the class, check HERE. Class runs January 28 – February 8, but you can join any time and have lifetime access!

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Your Chance to WIN: Clean & Simple Cardmaking 2

 

Online Card Classes is back with an all-new take on one of their most popular classes: Clean & Simple Card Making 2! Join Kristina Werner, Jennifer McGuire, Julie Ebersole and friends to discover the “secret” to minimalistic and fabulous cards.

Learn new techniques and be inspired by 26+ videos and 34+ clever and creative card designs. Gather inspiration from your fellow students and Online Card Classes teachers in the forums and galleries.

Then print out class PDFs to take Clean & Simple Card Making 2 with you wherever you go. Plus, with lifetime access, random giveaways and shopping discounts galore, you’ll be able to outfit your card making stash in clean and simple style. We are excited that they will be using My Favorite Things products in this class!

For more information on the class, check HERE. Class runs January 28 – February 8, but you can join any time and have lifetime access!

My Favorite Things is happy announce that we’ll be giving away one FREE spot to take this class. Simply leave a comment on this blog post by Sunday, January 27th at NOON EST for your chance to win! Winner will be selected at random, and announced Sunday afternoon.

 

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