Hay There!

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you’ll recognize this pretty face right away. We’re so pleased to have MFT Design Team superstar alumnus Karen Giron joining us today.

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I am extremely thrilled to be back, as a guest, designing for MFT! I picked up this adorable Birdie Brown set – The Whole Herd – and re-introduced myself to my Copic Markers. I cut out the pig and cow with The Whole Herd Die-namics and then stamped the animals in Black Licorice Hybrid Ink.

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The Barn Die-namics really make a fun backdrop for my little animals; I pieced together the barn and then set it over the scalloped Stitched Speech Bubble Edges Die-namics, which looks like a big fluffy cloud to me. To make the hay stand out a bit, I added some strips of color using various Copics.

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Ingenious Inking: Compatible with Copics

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Chances are, you loved coloring as a child. Chances are even greater, that you still love coloring as an adult. You may not make time for it anymore but we hope this month’s challenge changes that. Coloring is a relaxing and beautifully effective way of enhancing your stamped images. Not all inks are a great match for coloring but the MFT Hybrid Inks are a perfect companion to this technique.

Handmade card from Julie Dinn featuring Sweet Birthday Wishes stamp set from Birdie Brown.

Julie pulled out her Copics to color Birdie Brown’s Sweet Birthday Wishes girl. The Birdie Brown line is FULL of adorable images that are an absolute joy to color.

Handmade card from Barbara Anders featuring Pure Innocence Feline Better stamp set and Die-namics.

Pure Innocence has long been an MFT staple and now that we offer companion Die-namics for newly introduced images, fussy cutting is a thing of the past – spend your time coloring, not hand cutting!

Keep clicking to see how the team mixed MFT Hybrid with Copic coloring for this month’s Ingenious Inking Challenge.

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MFTv – Life Is Better with Friends

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Have you had a chance to play with the gorgeous metallic texture pastes yet? They are available in three stunning colors and add so much to your cards – a little goes a long way as well so you’ll be able to really spread the wealth when it comes to crafting gorgeous looks. This week’s episode of MFTv is chock full of tips for applying and manipulating this versatile product.

Handmade card from Kimberly Craford featuring Flutter of Butterflies Die-namics.

Handmade card from Kimberly Craford featuring Flutter of Butterflies Die-namics.

Watch the video HERE to see how Kimberly created this masterpiece or just play the embedded video.

Make sure you subscribe to our Youtube channel so you’ll never miss an episode of MFTv!

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Summer School – It’s Your Turn to Learn: Quiet Space/White Space

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxPretty soon you’ll need to clear out your desks and take a little vacation from summer school, but before you go, we have one last lesson to share. And by the way… did you notice the Session One in our logo? We’ll be back later this summer with more fun classes!

Our last lesson for this session falls under the umbrella of balance and will teach you the design concept of using Quiet Space (aka White Space). “White space” stays in the background to make the focal point or the sentiment the unabashed star of the show. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be white!

Lesson #5 – Balance: Quiet Space/White Space

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Today’s instructor is My Favorite Things Design Team member Stephanie Klauck. Click HERE or simply watch the video below to get some fantastic tips from her about creating a card with Quiet Space/White Space. There’s even a bonus lesson on how she achieved the shading on her cute cow from The Whole Herd stamp set.

I just loved Stephanie’s tip for salvaging the card stock panel that was stained with the embossing paste. The double white panel adds interest and depth to the vast amount of white space in this design.

Stephanie’s good design is evident with the Focal Point falling on one of the intersections or the imaginary grid we learned about on Monday in our first lesson on the Rule of Thirds.

Cute Cow Card by Stephanie Klauck featuring the Birdie Brown The Whole Herd stamp set and Die-namics and the Cow Print stencil #mftstamps

By utilizing Quiet Space/White Space, Stephanie places all of her focus on the Focal Point of this adorable card!

To aid in your learning , we have created a My Favorite Things Summer School Study Guide. Download it HERE, and then print it. It will be a handy tool that you can refer to as you design!

This week you’re the student, and instead of grades, we’ve got two prizes per day and two ways to win. Using today’s lesson, we’d love for you to create a project that exemplifies what you learned and upload it to the link belowMaster the lesson and win a $50 voucher from My Favorite Things and be featured on the blog on June 30. Just by participating, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 voucher, so everyone has a chance!

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All entries must be submitted by noon EDT on June 26th. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Tuesday, June 30.

Here’s your homework for your chance to win:
  1. Create a project following the lesson you learned today.
  2. Be sure to link your project below for your chance to win!
Before you go, be sure to stop by the blogs of these members of our Creative Team for more lessons in how to master Quiet Space in your projects.

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We can’t wait to see all of your beautiful creations, and we’ll see you for Summer School Session Two later this summer.

Now make sure to do your homework! Class dismissed.

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blank dividerSusan R. Opel, Creative Ambassador for My Favorite Things

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Die-namics Design: Shape it Up

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We love STAX for their versatility and value. Basic shapes in a variety of sizes make them a fantastic way to beef up your toolbox with supplies that will stand the test of time and never go out of style. Beyond simple matting, these die cuts can be layered and combined in completely new and unique ways and this month, our team will give you just a taste of their capabilities. While STAX run the gamut to include stars, hearts, and flags, this month we’re focusing on the most elemental shapes of all: squares, rectangles, circles, and ovals. We’ve opened things up a little bit to include a variety of border options so you’ll see some stitched and pierced detailing, but you’ll be astounded by how creative you can be with a few simple lines and curves.

Handmade card from Torico featuring the Pure Innocence Tutu Cute stamp set and Die-namics.

Torico backed her beautiful ballerina with lots of stitched layers and delicate scribbles. Her soft color palette, patterning, and scallops reinforce the graceful feel of the card.

Handmade card from Teri Anderson featuring the Stars & Wishes Die-namics from Laina Lamb Design and Cross-Stitch Circle STAX Die-namics.

Bold and graphic is a hallmark of Teri’s style and this card, featuring lots of circles and stars, is no exception!

Are you itching to stock up on STAX? Save 10% on all in-stock Die-namics in our STAX category today only! Happy shopping :)

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Want to see more inspiration from our team? Keep on clicking to see how they interpreted this month’s Die-namics Design challenge.

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Summer School – It’s Your Turn to Learn: Line

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxSharpen your pencils and take your seats! It’s time for another lesson in design. We hope you’ve been soaking in all of the good stuff we’ve shared this week. And better yet, we’d love to see what you’ve been learning!

Achieving Balance is essential to good design. Balance is the way the elements of a card (lines, shapes, colors, textures, etc.) are arranged to create a feeling of stability; a pleasing or harmonious arrangement or proportion in a card design. We’ll round out the week with two lessons on keeping everything balanced! Today’s lesson is about the intentional use of Line in your designs. Horizontal lines can be calm and quiet or an anchor, while vertical lines can convey movement.

Lesson #4 – Balance: Line

Say hello to today’s instructor, My Favorite Things Design Team member Kay Miller. Kay has prepared an excellent lesson on achieving balance in your design by using Line.

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To begin with, Kay has some key points to remember about using line:

Lines are very important in graphic design and in card making. Lines can do many things to add visually interesting content to your design. Understanding how to use lines can help you communicate a certain feeling or idea in your work.

1. Lines draw the eye to the focal point.

2. Lines can divide  space and direct the viewers’ eyes.

3. Lines direct the flow of content.

4. Lines can help give emphasis to a specific area.

Lines can be created using so many different things. You can use strips of paper, stencils, line stamps, or dies. You can also watercolor lines or use text to create lines.

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Kay cut four lines and inlaid them into white card stock to make everything flat. Once that step was complete, she cut the entire panel with the stitched rectangle from Blueprints 20.

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These colorful horizontal lines become the perfect place to place a Focal Point as they ground the design.

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Pop up the Focal Point and accents with foam tape, and the design is complete. Notice, too, that the horizontal lines are placed on one of the imaginary line of thirds that Kimberly covered Monday in her lesson on the Rule of Thirds.

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And there you have it. A well balanced card with perfect composition! Thanks for a great lesson, Kay!

Better with Friends Card by Kay Miller Featuring the Laina Lamb Designs Tickled Pink stamp set and the Flower Medley and the Spring Garden Die-namics #mftstamps

To aid in your learning , we have created a My Favorite Things Summer School Study Guide. Download it HERE, and then print it. It will be a handy tool that you can refer to as you design!

This week you’re the student, and instead of grades, we’ve got two prizes per day and two ways to win. Using today’s lesson, we’d love for you to create a project that exemplifies what you learned and upload it to the link belowMaster the lesson and win a $50 voucher from My Favorite Things and be featured on the blog on June 30. Just by participating, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 voucher, so everyone has a chance!

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All entries must be submitted by noon EDT on June 26th. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Tuesday, June 30.

Here’s your homework for your chance to win:
  1. Create a project following the lesson you learned today.
  2. Be sure to link your project below for your chance to win!
Before you go, be sure to stop by the blogs of these members of our Creative Team for more lessons in how to achieve Line in your projects.

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Now make sure to do your homework! Class dismissed.

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Summer School – It’s Your Turn to Learn: Movement/Flow

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxWe’ve made it to the third day of summer school. Are you having fun learning? You’ve had 24 hours to stretch your legs, get some rest, and do your homework, but now it’s time to get back into the creative classroom for more design tips from My Favorite Things! Be sure to check out Lesson #1 and Lesson #2 if you happened to miss them.

 Our third and final composition lesson will help you understand the idea of incorporating Movement/Flow in your designs. Movement/Flow is the arrangement of the elements on a card to create
 a sense of motion by using lines, shapes, forms, and textures that cause the eye to move over the design. Creating a visual triangle with sentiment, paper, and focal point is a great way to show movement as well!

Lesson #3 – Composition: Movement/Flow

movement-detail-shot-julia Even though a card is a stationary thing (and also a stationery thing for that matter), you can create movement by following some simple guidelines. It just takes a little knowledge, and we’re here to help you with that!

Today’s instructor is My Favorite Things Design Team member Julia Stainton. Click HERE or simply watch the video below to glean some fantastic tips from Julia about creating movement in your designs.

That idea about using text to create movement was so great. I had never thought of that!

Pretty Hello Card by Julia Stainton featuring the Zig Zag Stitched Circle STAX, Feathers and Arrows, and Happy Hellos Die-namics #mftstamps

Julia has such a knack for creating visually pleasing cards, and her attention to the movement and flow of her elements is obvious in everything that she creates!

To aid in your learning , we have created a My Favorite Things Summer School Study Guide. Download it HERE, and then print it. It will be a handy tool that you can refer to as you design!

This week you’re the student, and instead of grades, we’ve got two prizes per day and two ways to win. Using today’s lesson, we’d love for you to create a project that exemplifies what you learned and upload it to the link belowMaster the lesson and win a $50 voucher from My Favorite Things and be featured on the blog on June 30. Just by participating, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 voucher, so everyone has a chance!

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All entries must be submitted by noon EDT on June 26th. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Tuesday, June 30.

Here’s your homework for your chance to win:
  1. Create a project following the lesson you learned today.
  2. Be sure to link your project below for your chance to win!
Before you go, be sure to stop by the blogs of these members of our Creative Team for more lessons in how to achieve Movement/Flow in your projects.

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Now make sure to do your homework! Class dismissed.

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Summer School – It’s Your Turn to Learn: Focal Point

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxHello again, dear students! We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s lesson on composition and how to use the Rule of Thirds to your advantage when designing. If you missed yesterday’s post, be sure to check it out HERE. Kimberly Crawford’s tutorial makes so much sense!

Today our composition lesson will help you understand the concept of creating a fantastic Focal Point. The Focal Point on any given project is the main area where an embellishment or image stamp is placed. Typically it works best if there is only one focal point.

Lesson #2 – Composition: Focal Point

I’d like to introduce you to today’s instructor, My Favorite Things Design Team member Keisha Campbell. Let’s settle in for a lesson in creating a fantastic Focal Point!

Start with a pretty background to be the stage for your focal point. Bold or subtle, the background grounds everything and showcases the focal point to perfection.

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Keisha used a bullseye design to draw the eye to the center of the card using circle Die-namics. By adding foam tape to the circles, she puts even more attention on the focal point.

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Using one of the inner circles created when die cutting the bullseye, Keisha stamps a pretty pattern. The lacy design pairs well with the bold background, but the delicacy of it makes you want to look closer.

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Next Keisha adds a bright yellow butterfly to the bullseye. The color alone draws the eye to it. Notice her placement to the right of the circle still allowing the lace design to show. Just lovely!

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Finally, add in the sentiment to tie it altogether. Notice how the banner extends across the whole Persimmon circle. The layered circles with the orange ring and bright butterfly with the sentiment across it all draw the eye to the center.

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And what a lovely card Keisha has created drawing the eye to her dramatic and very pretty Focal Point!

What Makes You Happy Card by Keisha Campbell featuring the Lace Background stamp, Flutter of Butterflies - Solid Dienamics, and Bold Paisley stencil #mftstamps

To aid in your learning , we have created a My Favorite Things Summer School Study Guide. Download it HERE, and then print it. It will be a handy tool that you can refer to as you design!

This week you’re the student, and instead of grades, we’ve got two prizes per day and two ways to win. Using today’s lesson, we’d love for you to create a project that exemplifies what you learned and upload it to the link belowMaster the lesson and win a $50 voucher from My Favorite Things and be featured on the blog on June 30. Just by participating, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 voucher, so everyone has a chance!

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All entries must be submitted by noon EDT on June 26th. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Tuesday, June 30.

Here’s your homework for your chance to win:
  1. Create a project following the lesson you learned today.
  2. Be sure to link your project below for your chance to win!
Before you go, be sure to stop by the blogs of these members of our Creative Team for more lessons in how to achieve the perfect Focal Point in your projects.

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Now make sure to do your homework! Class dismissed.

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Creative Challenge: Go Overboard

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Come sail away with the MFT crew this month as they demonstrate their nautical prowess. Cards and projects featuring a decidedly water-oriented look are the theme of this month’s Creative Challenge. Peer into the porthole of creativity as we explore all of the stamps, Die-namics, and stencils that will have you yearning for an exciting day at sea or a relaxing day spent lounging at the shore.

Handmade card from Kay Miller featuring the Penguins in Paradise stamp set and Die-namics from Birdie Brown.

Kay used the Stitched Scallop Edges Die-namics to create her layers of sea-worthy waves. Her creative use of the porthole from the Let’s Get Nautical Die-namics frames her sweet penguin focal point perfectly while the addition of the wheel element introduces the perfect pop of color.

Handmade card from Karolyn Loncon featuring the Sailboat Die-namics.

Karolyn created a gorgeous ombre sunset to back her silhouetted sailboat. I love how the Making Waves Die-namics includes waves in both directions and two size options – layering them really adds movement and dimension to the finished look!

Our talented team has even more inspiration for you so click on through to each of their blogs to see how they managed to keep their sea legs in these choppy challenge waters.

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Summer School – It’s Your Turn to Learn: Rule of Thirds

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxWelcome to a wonderful week of learning brought to you by some phenomenal instructors here at the My Favorite Things blog. We’re excited to share five lessons this week to take your creativity to the next level.

School may be out for the summer for most kids (cue Alice Cooper!), but we’re all about life-long learning around these parts! Grab a fresh notebook and a newly sharpened pencil and get ready to take notes as we share insights on some of the rules of design.

Perhaps you’ve been working on a project at your craft table and aimlessly moving around elements trying to find just the right position. Sometimes there’s that magical A-HA moment when it all falls into place. It’s likely that you struck upon one of the design rules without even knowing it!

We’re hoping that by the end of the week, our lessons will give you the confidence you need to create cards and projects that are pleasing to the eye just by following a few simple rules. Are you ready class? Let’s begin.

Lesson #1 – Composition: Rule of Thirds

Composition is the arrangement of elements on a card; the intentional ordering of elements for a visually pleasing and emotional reaction resulting in unity and consistency. We’ll have three lessons that fall under the composition umbrella this week.

Beyond Happy for You Card by Kimberly Crawford featuring the Totally Happy stamp set, Roses All Over background stamp, and the Upsy-Daisy and Happy Hellos Die-namics #mftstamps

The first composition lesson centers around the concept of using the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is the division of your card into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. This type of design leads to an overall visual that is pleasing to the eye.

Today’s instructor is My Favorite Things Design Team member Kimberly Crawford. Click HERE or simply watch the video below to learn more about using the Rule of Thirds in your designs.

I love Kimberly’s idea of creating a vellum grid to help in the design process. Super smart!

Beyond Happy for You Card by Kimberly Crawford featuring the Totally Happy stamp set, Roses All Over background stamp, and the Upsy-Daisy and Happy Hellos Die-namics #mftstamps

What a lovely finished product! And now that you know the thought process, you can see why it all makes sense!

To aid in your learning , we have created a My Favorite Things Summer School Study Guide. Download it HERE, and then print it. It will be a handy tool that you can refer to as you design!

This week you’re the student, and instead of grades, we’ve got two prizes per day and two ways to win. Using today’s lesson, we’d love for you to create a project that exemplifies what you learned and upload it to the link below. Master the lesson and win a $50 voucher from My Favorite Things and be featured on the blog on June 30. Just by participating, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 voucher, so everyone has a chance!

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All entries must be submitted by noon EDT on June 26th. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Tuesday, June 30.

Here’s your homework for your chance to win:
  1. Create a project following the lesson you learned today.
  2. Be sure to link your project below for your chance to win!
Before you go, be sure to stop by the blogs of these members of our Creative Team for more lessons in how to achieve the Rule of Thirds in your projects.

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Now make sure to do your homework! Class dismissed.

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blank dividerSusan R. Opel, Creative Ambassador for My Favorite Things

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