Friday, January 22, 2021

Perfect Match Blog Hop

 Close To My Heart has a lovely collection, Perfect Match, just in time for Valentine's Day!  I'm sure you'll see quite a few twists (including mine) on this blog hop.  (If you're already hopping, then you've probably arrived from the amazing Alyson's blog.  From here, you'll visit Krista's blog next.)


This layout will be the title page for our younger daughter's college album.  I will be adding these pictures to finish when I get them printed soon.



Here are close ups of the details:

The heart accent is made from the leftovers from my card (below) and worked really well on the layout.  Also, can you see how I splattered the background with black and red shimmer brushes?
Embellishments include the Perfect Match stickers and black burst sequins.

My other project (which I made first) is a more traditional use of this collection, a Valentine heart shaker card.

I used the Happiness Lives Here Cardmaking stamp set to stamp inside the shaker and then used the heart shaker card Thin Cuts for the frame and the tiny heart cutouts.  I also used some silver sequins in the shaker.
I stamped the sentiments (inside and out) with Flamingo and Black ink.

Thank you for letting me share my Perfect Match projects with you!  Please leave a comment before hopping on to Krista's blog!



Monday, January 18, 2021

January/February Catalog New Product Blog Hop

Close To My Heart just keeps getting better and better with each of its bimonthly Idea Books, and the January/February 2021 installment is no exception!  Join this group of talented CTMH Makers to share some of our favorites along this new product blog hop.  (If you're already hopping, then you've probably arrived from Michelle's blog.  From here, you'll click on her name to visit Stefani's blog.)

When I saw the Happiness Lives Here collection, I knew it would be a good match with my photos from our one and only vacation in 2020, a fall trip to Hilton Head Island with our dear friends.  For my first layout, I knew I wanted to incorporate the Sunshine stickers, and I let my photos drive my layout design.
One thing that is hard to see is that I splattered the White Daisy base pages with Blue Belle and Lemonade shimmer brushes.  In addition to the Happiness Lives Here paper, stickers, and wooden shapes, I added in Blue Belle glitter paper and Gold shimmer trim.
I cut the accent tags with my retired Thin Cuts tags.

The second layout in this series will be the feature of my upcoming class, so I'm sharing the third and final layout from our trip here.
This layout uses the Make It From Your Heart, Vol. 3 sketch #22.  I didn't include all of my photos to share publicly since, well, we were at the beach, and I don't want you to be jealous of my hot husband (LOL)!  I've already added my actual photos and added these layouts to my 2020 box.  (They're in a box because I have so many layouts left to make for 2020, and they are not ready to be organized yet.)
For this layout, I also splattered the White Daisy base pages with Blue Belle shimmer brush.  On my journaling box, I used leftover sticker strips (from the background) and the arrow stamp from the Happiness Lives Here Cardnmaking stamps and Thin Cuts.

Although we can't travel right now, at least we can dream, scrapbook, and hop along this blog hop for great ideas!  Please leave a comment before visiting Stefani's blog next!

{Click HERE for all the hop participants and their blogs.}



Heart2Heart Challenges: Slimline Cards

 Slimeline cards are all the rage again, so this week's Heart2Heart Challenge is to make one and share with us.  The typical slimline card measures 8"x3.5", but as long as yours is long and skinny then you can join (plus use some CTMH products)!


I had fun using the Happiness Lives Here paper collection, Blue Belle glitter paper, and my Fancy Borders Thin Cuts to make the wavy edge.  

To make sure that both layers matched, I layered my thinner glitter paper piece on top of the patterned paper and then die cut them together.  My die wasn't long enough to cut the entire length, so I lined the die up for the second cut as best that I could, knowing that I would cover the seam or gap with my sentiment.
I stamped the sentiment panel in Blue Belle with the Sentiments by Melissa Esplin stamp set.  A few Blue Belle glitter gems finished off this simple card nicely.

Now it's your turn!  Be sure to create a slimline card using something from CTMH and join us before the end of January.  You can find inspiration and link up HERE.


Friday, January 15, 2021

Striped Borders Technique Blog Hop

It's a new year and time for the first installment of the technique blog hop!  This month, we are focusing on striped borders.  (If you're already hopping, then you've probably arrived from Michelle's blog.  From here, you'll click on her name to visit Melissa's blog next.)  I decided to use the Happiness Lives Here- Cardmaking stamp set and Thin Cuts for all three of my cards.

For my first card, I wanted the stamped striped borders to mimic (but not exactly match) the Happiness Lives Here Blue Belle patterned paper.  My first attempt did not match the diagonal very well, so I ended up putting the patterned paper under my all purpose map (which is somewhat see-through) and my White Daisy panel on top so that I could more easily line up the first stamp with the diagonal stripes.  Then, I just lined up the rest of my stamped border images with the first one.  I also cut a thin (less than 1/4") strip of Blue Belle glitter paper to adhere as one of the striped borders.  I stamped Hello and then added a Blue Belle glitter gem and several flower sequins.  (You may have to look closely to see them.  In my opinion, they're a lovely subtle addition.)

My second card is a copy of the card on p. 8 but with a color twist.  (The original card is featured in the blog badge, below.)  I knew I wanted to use Lagoon (just because I love it, it makes me happy, AND I have turquoise gloss spray), so I grabbed my For the Love of Color guide and used Lagoon, Raspberry, Sage, and Charcoal.  After stamping the borders on the left, I covered them with a post-it note then sprayed the gloss spray on the right side of my White Daisy panel.  I added a few Lagoon small stars to the background, then popped the Hello sentiment (stamped in Raspberry and cut with the coordinating Thin Cut) with 3D squares.  I stamped a Lagoon star on the Thin Cut then two small stars directly on the main panel.  I used Liquid Glass and a toothpick to adhere some silver star confetti to the front.


When I first saw this set, I definitely got a patriotic vibe, so I decided to give that idea a try.  My card was inspired by the second card on page 8, which is also featured in the blog badge, below.  I love how much our Idea Books inspire me!  Mine might not have turned out identical to the CTMH Corp "stamples," but they always give me great inspiration.  For my card, I used Candy Apple, Sapphire, and Blue Belle inks.  Everything is stamped directly on the White Daisy panel except for the Sapphire striped star, which I popped with a 3D foam square.  I had thought I would add some silver mini star sequins but decided to keep this one simple.  I did scissor distress both the Sapphire and Candy Apple panels to give the card a bit of a rustic feel.

Thank you for visiting!  I'd love to know which card you prefer in the comments before you hop on over to Melissa's blog to continue the Striped Borders technique hop!  I hope you're inspired to add some striped borders to your next project!



Monday, January 4, 2021

H2H Challenges: Out with the Old, In with the New

 It's exciting to bring some changes to the Heart2Heart Challenge blog.  We will be posting two challenges each month, on the first and the third Mondays.  Our first challenge of 2021 is "Out with the Old, In with the New!"  I had a lot of fun trying some new products and techniques on my two cards!


They both use the same materials: Floral Background and Stitched Scalloped Brackets Thin Cuts; White Daisy and Peach cardstock; Tattered Rose, Abandoned Coral, and Peeled Paint distress oxide inks with mini blending tools (NEWLY available through CTMH); Smoothie ink; and the January stamp of the month, Every Thank You.


After I cut the first Floral Background panel, I decided that I wanted to keep one cut out white and then use another with the sponged distressed oxide inks.  If you are working with distress oxide inks, be sure to use an all-purpose craft mat for your work surface!  I began by inking the cut Floral Background with the Tattered Rose (lightest color) and then tried to ink the background panel for the white Floral Background card in similar places.  Then I sponged on the Abandoned Coral ink where I thought it might look best.  Finally, I sponged on the Peeled Paint on both pieces everywhere else.  The last step was the spritz water onto both pieces to activate that cool milky splatter feature of the distress oxide inks.  (Do you see the blueish spots on the green patches?  That's from the water reacting with the Peeled Paint distress oxide ink!)

For the cut/sponged panel, I decided to splatter Peach shimmer brush across the front to give it even more color.  I think it actually finished this busy card off nicely.  (I decided not to use it on the other card.)


The final step was to decide on sentiments and add them to the Stitched Scalloped Brackets, which I cut in Peach cardstock.  (I thought that I was going to use Smoothie, but it was just too bold.  Instead, that became my sentiment ink.)


Since I somehow got a smudge of blue ink on my White Daisy panel, I made sure to have my sentiment cover the mistake!  Don't you love how our cardstock is two-toned?  One side is the actual true shade, and the other is a lighter shade.  I also added some white enamel dots to that sentiment panel.

FINAL NOTE: You probably do NOT want to use distress inks directly on your card fronts, because some of the color bled through my cardstock panels.

Thanks for letting me share my most recent attempt with distress oxide inks with you!  Which card do you prefer? Be sure to join in on the H2H Challenge, Out with the Old, In with the New!

Friday, January 1, 2021

January 2021 Stamp of the Month: Every Thank You

Hello, 2021!  You are going to be a great year (maybe later not sooner, but still we can hope)!  I managed in the hustle and bustle of the holidays NOT to sign up for the monthly stamp of the month blog hop, but click HERE to get started if you'd like to see all the amazing artwork.

Here are three cards that I made using the Close To My Heart January stamp of the month, Every Thank You, a beautiful set of 25 stamps that I will be featuring in my January virtual card class (details coming soon).  I paired this great stamp set with the new Happiness Lives Here collection.

For my first card, I used one of my Fancy Borders Thin Cuts dies to cut the paper to feature three of the patterns in the Happiness Lives Here collection.  (If you look closely, you can see the stitching cuts from the die.)  I stamped the sentiment in Paprika and added a wooden flower from the coordinating embellishments.


My second card was probably the most complicated.  I used my Olive Branches Background Thin Cut first in Peach (that didn't cut well) and then in Sage.  (I was planning to layer them so the Peach piece was salvageable.)  I was going to place the cuts over a piece of the Happiness Lives Here, but it was just too busy, so I used a White Daisy cardstock base.  I stamped the sentiment in Desert Rose and then added Desert Rose shimmer brush accents, including the wooden flower (that I wish I had used Peach shimmer brush instead).  

My third card shows off the pretty patterned paper well, and I paired them with Blue Belle shimmer trim and glitter paper.  I stamped the "thank" banner in Blue Belle and "YOU" in first Peach (the solid stamp) and the Paprika for the stripes to mimic the patterned paper.

As always, the stamp of the month is only available during its month.  You can purchase it outright for $18.95, OR earn a discount.  With a minimum $50 purchase, the stamp of the month is then available for only $5, but wait!  There's more!  If you are a VIP Customer, with a $50 minimum purchase, your stamp of the month is FREE.  Click HERE to learn more about the stamp of the month and HERE for the VIP Customer program.

Thanks for visiting!  I'd love to know which card you like best and suggestions for my upcoming card class.  Thank you!


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Blissful Brackets Technique Blog Hop

It's time for a technique challenge with some brackets, and no, we're not talking March Madness!  (If you're already hopping, then you've probably arrived from Wendy's blog, and from here you'll click on her name to continue on to Alyson's blog.)  For my cards, I used the Stitched Scalloped Thin Cuts with the Serenity collection.

My first card is a slimline 8"x3.5" card with a Sapphire cardstock base and that gorgeous Serenity floral as my background.  I stamped the sentiment (from the Sentiments by Melissa Esplin set) in Sapphire on the White Daisy bracket.  I used Blue Belle glitter paper, gold shimmer trim, and gold glitter gems.

Here's a close up of that sentiment cluster.  I love offsetting the bracket and cutting off one side!

My second card uses the larger Thin Cut with the same technique, but this time with the December stamp of the month, Happiness Never Grows Old, in Sapphire and Blue Belle.

My final card uses the entire small bracket with Blue Belle.

Thanks for letting me share these cards with you.  I'd love for you to leave a comment before hopping on to the amazingly talented Alyson's blog to continue the Blissful Brackets technique hop!




Saturday, December 5, 2020

Operation Smile Every Bit of Wonderful Blog Hop

 Close To My Heart is proud to support Operation Smile, a charitable organization that provides cleft palate surgeries for children in need.  (You can learn more HERE.)  Did you know that you could round up your order and give your change to Operation Smile?  It only takes $240 to change a child's life!  This year, the Operation Smile stamp set is Every Bit of Wonderful, and $7 from its sales go to Operation Smile.  Join me on this blog hop to show off this pretty set.  (If you're already hopping, then you've probably arrived from Michelle's blog.  From here, you'll visit Becca's blog next.

My first card features the Lovely papers and palette (Blue Belle, Ballerina, Canary, and Sage).  I used my Hexagon Thin Cuts to cut each piece and played around with the colors and patterns until I liked the arrangement.  Notice that I used a piece of Blue Belle glitter paper, plus I stamped (tone-on-tone) on the Sage and Blue Belle cardstock.
This close up shows the fussy cutting and layering I did after stamping the floral image on the card directly with Sage, on Sage cardstock, and on Ballerina cardstock.  I grabbed my watercolor pencils (sans eau) to quickly shade in the bud.  It didn't photograph well, but I dotted the little sprig of "berries" with clear shimmer brush.  I used 3D foam tape to pop the flower and then added a Blue Belle glitter gem.

For my second card, I played with a monochromatic color scheme of Blue Belle and Sapphire.

On a 3.75"x5" White Daisy cardstock panel, I random stamped floral images in Sapphire to cover the cardstock.  I cut the sentiment brackets with my new Simple Brackets Thin Cuts and both the Blue Belle glitter paper and Sapphire cardstock layers with the Fancy Borders die cuts.  The sentiment is stamped in Sapphire.

Thanks for letting me share these two card ideas with you.  Every CTMH fan needs this stamp set in their collection!  Please leave a comment before you hop to the next blog.  You won't want to miss the beautiful project that BECCA has on her blog for you!

{Click HERE for all the hop participants and their blogs.}


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

December Stamp of the Month Blog Hop: Happiness Never Grows Old

Welcome to the December stamp of the month featuring Happiness Never Grows Old!  You will love the beautiful floral designs and sentiments in this set, so hop along to get lots of great ideas.  (If you're already hopping then you've probably arrived from Michelle's blog.  From here, you'll visit Becca's blog next.


If you're a regular visitor, then you'll know that I don't love to color, so I wanted to show off this beautiful set without coloring it (although I will be challenging myself with some coloring techniques later this month).  Toile was my inspiration.  All three of my cards feature our color of the year, Blue Belle.

My first card is a monochromatic take on this set using only Blue Belle.  I let the pretty flowers and sentiment be the focal point and only embellished with Blue Belle shimmer trim.  If I recreate this card, I will probably use the light side of the Blue Belle cardstock for bracket (which was cut with the Stitched Scalloped Bracket, Z3688) so that the stamped sentiment "pops" a bit more.
My second card is a bit more modern and uses Sapphire ink for the flowers on Blue Belle cardstock, and Blue Belle ink on the sentiment.  I also added Blue Belle glitter gems.
My third card is my favorite of the three. I had originally stamped the flowers with Blue Belle on White Daisy, but they just didn't "pop" enough, so I used Sapphire instead.  That panel was mounted onto a Blue Belle cardstock base (light side up) with a strip of Sapphire cardstock and Blue Belle shimmer trim.  I used the same Thin Cut collection and Blue Belle cardstock, but stamped the sentiment with Sapphire.  I couldn't resist a few more of those pretty Blue Belle gems.

Here's a look at the entire stamp set:

Thank you for letting me share these cards with you.  I know you're going to see some fabulously creative ideas with this set, and hopefully I've shown you that simple can also be pretty (if I do say so myself).  I'd love a comment before you visit the incredibly talented Becca next!

{Click HERE for all the hop participants and their blogs.}

Friday, November 27, 2020

November Stamp of the Month Side Stair Step Card

This card was a lot of fun to make!  You definitely want to have a paper trimmer to make it.  (I taught this side stair step card to my VIP Facebook group.)

I used the November stamp of the month, You Warm My Heart, paired with the Serenity paper collection.  I used the color of the year, Blue Belle, with Sapphire and Toffee inks and cardstock, plus gold shimmer trim, Blue Belle glitter paper, and a gold glitter gem.

Here's a side view so you can see the different angles and layers.

I'm adding this card to the Color My Heart Color Dare Challenge #422 Tic-Tac-Toe Serenity color palette, column 1.


Monday, November 23, 2020

Heart2Heart Challenges: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!

This final November Heart2Heart Challenge, Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, can be interpreted in so many different ways!  I decided to showcase a few little treat holders for some fun little gift-giving inspiration.


My first project was totally CASEd from my talented DT member Katy Taylor's hot chocolate card/treat holder.  I used the Serenity paper pack with the November stamp of the month, You Warm My Heart, plus a little Cricut Blue Belle glitter snowflake.

I stamped the cup in Sapphire and the "hot cocoa" in Espresso.  I added a little gold shimmer trim (cut in half to make it skinny) and a gold glitter gem in the center of the snowflake to match the Serenity paper.

My second treat holder starts with a  6"x6" square that is folded into this fun little "cup."  (You can find more details/instructions HERE.)  I used the retired (but available while supplies last on my website) Comfort & Joy paper for the cups plus the candy cane stamp from the November stamp of the month.


Please check out all of the DT inspiration and consider joining us for any of our November challenges before the month ends at H2H Challenges!

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