Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stamp of the Month Blog Hop: Potential (March 2012)

Welcome to the March 2012 Close To My Heart stamp of the month blog hop! "Potential" is a beautiful set of 8 stamps that are, well, full of potential! If you're already hopping along the blog hop, you should have arrived from Teresa Scrivens' blog. After viewing my creations, head next to Pamela O'Connor's blog by clicking on her name.
My cards may look somewhat familiar to you because they use the same papers from my recent card class! Aren't the cards pretty paired with Potential? The first card uses the lovely Pemberley paper pack.
Notice how I stamped the large flourish in Bamboo on the Colonial White strip near the top left. Can see the small flourish stamped on the wooden butterfly?

Next up is the large medallion paired with the Roxie paper pack. (The colors on this one really do match in real life!) Stamp rolling is one of my favorite techniques (in fact, I used it on all three cards!): ink up the image in Tulip and then roll the edges in black ink before stamping. I embellished the image with Licorice Opaques (self-adhesive pearls), a Just Blooms flower (peeking out from the raised image), and (retired) black ribbon.
My final card uses the Cruisin' paper pack and a White Daisy die-cut card base. The small medallion was inked up in Juniper and rolled in Black before stamping. Isn't the new Baker's Twine cool?
Before you head to Pamela's blog, you're invited to my scrap class on Sunday, 3/11, where will be using the March stamp of the month, Potential, to recreate the layout featured on the front of the current Idea Book and its companion page. (Contact me for more details!) Now, go see Pamela's lovely creation!

Monday, February 27, 2012

H2H Challenges: Photo Inspiration

This week's Heart 2 Heart challenge is to use the gorgeous photo at left to inspire you to create (using Close To My Heart products, of course!).
Before I share my projects, we first have a word from our sponsor (and H2H owner/queen), Mary: To celebrate the end of February - the month of love - we at Heart 2 Heart Challenges want to show our love to you! A surprise package of goodies will be heading to one lucky player, randomly chosen from ALL players in the month of February. The more you played along with our challenges, the more chances you have to win! And there's still time! Be sure to get your entries added to the challenges by Saturday, Mar. 3rd at 10:00 pm EST to be eligible! This is also the final date to be eligible for February's Top Ten so get that artwork posted!
When I saw the inspiration photo, I first noticed the colors (Bamboo, White Daisy, and Lagoon with a touch of Olive). I also thought that even though there are a lot of things going on, the lines are very clean. Finally, my gaze zeroed in on that lovely white mod flower medallion on the right. I remembered seeing some huge flowers made from brown paper bags, so off to Pinterest I went. I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, but the paper bag flower that I created (link to directions at the end) was close enough.
The flower medallion ended up being way larger than I thought it would be (and my bags were smaller than lunch size bags), so I quickly found a large kraft gift bag in my stash. A band of Lagoon cardstock mounted on strips of B&T from Olivia was just the ticket. I went back and added the Cocoa scalloped circles because the bag looked a little too plain to me without them.
The coordinating card was easy: same type of band across the middle of a 4"x6" Bamboo card base. The sentiment is from the Card Chatter- Sympathy stamp set. I found a large white Just Blooms paper flower in my stash, added a knot of hemp leftover from creating the flower, and plopped a Mocha Opaque in its center. The card and bag may be a bit too CAS (clean and simple) for some, but I like the way they turned out.
Now, it's your turn to take the H2H Photo Inspiration challenge! What inspires YOU in this photo? Link up your projects on the H2H blog until Saturday. I'd love to see what you make!

{Directions for the hanging paper bag flowers (Martha Stewart) can be found HERE.}

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Facebook Page

I've started a Facebook page for my CTMH business, and I'd love for you to join me there. I will be posting class info, special offers, etc.

Friday, February 24, 2012

More Studio J Fun

Have I told you how much I love Studio J online scrapbooking?!? Because it is so easy to use, I am getting so many more of my family's photos and memories scrapbooked!
These layouts are all about making gingerbread houses at church each December. (God bless you, Ms. Alice!) I was able to create three different layouts easily using my digital photos of the houses since 2008. (I'm not sure if that's the first year, but that's the first year that I have digital photos of the houses.) I made a separate layout of each daughter and her houses through the years, plus the third one is for me, because I love that they love this tradition. (Honestly, I also love that someone else makes them with them!)
Another thing I love and was able to capture in the layouts so well is the evolution of complexity, design, and overall sugary goodness as the years advance! Without Studio J, I am not sure that I would have ever been able to get these photos preserved.
Remember, CTMH is offering "Five Free" in February: purchase a Studio-J five pack, and get another five pack free (along with free shipping and free memory protectors). That's ten layouts printed and shipped to your door for only $5.50 each! Give Studio J a try this weekend! Getting started is absolutely FREE.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Scrap Our Stash Challenge: LEAP

The February Scrap Our Stash challenge is to LEAP! Any interpretation of LEAP (of course in honor of Leap Year) would fit the bill, and any and all produts and skill levels are encouraged to play along. Visit the SOS Challenge Blog to submit your Leap creation!

My layout memorializes my daughter's LEAP of faith as she was recently confirmed. I used the retired Close To My Heart Bliss paper pack. The Moonstruck blue really accented the photos and paper pack well. The title is stamped with the Old World Alphabet stamp set. I ended up typing and printing my journaling. The wooden shapes are from the NEW Garden wooden shapes. I made the cross my simply crossing two pieces of Chocolate card stock. It took a few tries to get pleasing dimensions, but it wasn't hard at all. (All supplies are from Close To My Heart.)
Now, it's your turn! There's still time to submit your interpretation of February's Leap challenge at the SOS blog!
P.S. Happy birthday today to my Dad!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Another Butterfly Card

One of the ladies at my card class (who is also one of my talented downline) made her butterfly card with a "twist." I had to copy her great idea with some of the leftovers. The Lagoon strip is the reverse of the strip in the previous post (from the Stella paper pack), and the "Smile" sentiment is from the Take a Picture stamp set. The card base is a 4"x12" piece of Desert Sand cardstock. Who wouldn't like getting this in the mail?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

12 for 2012: Time to Scrap January!

We scrappers know that scrapping January does NOT mean to get rid of it, but rather to preserve it! It's time to scrap your January photos and stories if you haven't already. Feel free to grab this little blog badge when you do. I'd love to check out your creations, so be sure to let me know here or at our Facebook 12 for 2012 group. Happy scrapping!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cards from Sunday's Class

This past Sunday, I had several sweet ladies over to create five different cards with the February stamp of the month, Thoughtful Tidings. I was trying for a masculine card with this White Daisy die-cut shaped card and the Cruisin' paper pack. It was super easy to make, but I think it still looks like you put some time into it.

The next card took a little more time and effort, but I think it was well worth it. This beautiful card (if I do say so myself) was completely inspired by a gorgeous one I saw on Karen Pedersen's blog. We used the Universal Backgrounds stamp set to stamp the wood grain and the Color-Ready Garden Wooden Shapes for the accent piece. This card uses the soft and pretty Pemberley paper pack.

This "Many Thanks" card was totally inspired by the talented Melissa Laverty. I did show how you can sand your background and then stamp over it to make your stamped image pop a bit. By the way, don't you just love Stella with a touch of black? The butterfly is from the Just Blooms Flutter collection. (Some of us also stamped on the plain butterflies with the Universal Backgrounds stamp set.)
Finally, this little card was actually the first one we made in class, and my main objective was to practice stamping since we had a few newbies. We built on the monochromatic scheme of Smoothie and Tulip (with red sparkles) from the Stella paper pack. The chipboard element is from one of the packages that come with the Cricut Art Philosophy bundle (cartridge, 3 stamp sets, and 3 chipboard sheets of shapes). You can buy the chipboard separately so once you use it all you can get more!

If you're still with me, thanks so much for hanging on through the entire post! The fifth card we made was very similar to the card I showed on Monday for the H2H 1, 2, 3 challenge (which is not too late to try if you're interested). If you have questions about anything that I used or did with these cards, please ask. Have a beautiful day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Five for Free" Studio J Reminder

If you haven't taken advantage of the Studio J "Five for Free" promotion, I really encourage you to do so! You can check it out HERE. This offer is truly a steal and a fabulous way to get started! (You also might consider stocking up on some five-pack cards for gifts this year.) Also, the Crafting Chicks have a 5-pack and an album to giveaway, but you have to enter by 2/19! Click HERE to go there.

Here are a few layouts that I recently made of the past two Christmases. One of the things that I love the most about Studio J (besides its ease of use) is that I can order multiple copies of my layouts for gifts for the grandmas (or I can personalize them with just a little extra effort).

Also, on another note, I'd like to wish my sister and brother-in-law a very happy 11th anniversary today!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Love Paris Layout/Inspired By #10

Laurel Seabrook has started a challenge blog called "Inspired By" where she posts a photo trigger. When I saw this one of the Eiffel Tower, I knew that I had to play along! I wasn't a French major and didn't teach French for six years to shy away from such a pretty inspiration!

I dug through my France photos and found two that my Dad took of our very first trip to Europe (1989). The Eiffel Tower was bedecked with the tricolore (bleu, blanc, et rouge) for the bicentennial of the French Revolution.

All my papers and ink are from Close To My Heart (Outdoor Denim, White Daisy, and Cranberry with touches of Grey Wool and Grey Flannel). I had to include the lyrics of one of my favorite songs, "I Love Paris" as sung by Ella Fitzgerald.

The photo will open up to reveal journaling and the second photo.

The large Eiffel Tower stamp is from Penny Black, and the others are from a collection that I bought at the Louvre Atlanta exhibt at the High Museum of Art many years ago.

Thanks for checking out my layout! Be sure to check out the Inspired By blog. Bonne nuit!

CTMH Product Spotlight Blog Hop: Alphabet Stamps

This month's Close To My Heart Product Spotlight blog hop is featuring our fabulous alphabet stamps! We've got a half dozen talented CTMH consultants sharing a different alphabet stamp set and idea with you, so you can start hopping here by clicking to Elizabeth's blog next (with one of my all time favorite alphabet sets!). (If you're already following the hop, then you should have arrived here from Nikka's blog.)

My layout highlights our photos from our trip to the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta for our daughter's confirmation. I used the Old World alphabet stamp set. I love how elegant it is! Don't worry, though, you can dress this stamp set down too. This one is a little tricky to me to get lined up, but once you get used to it it becomes pretty easy. (For me, stamping one letter at a time is faster than trying to get them lined up on the block to stamp all at once.)

Did you notice how I used the capital A to start my journaling block? The stamp set would have been way too big for the entire journaling, but the large initial letter definitely gives this layout an Old World feel! (Hope you enjoy the pun!)

In case you were wondering, the base of my layout is the retired Bliss paper pack (still available in Studio J) with a punch of Moonstruck. I love how the blue matches the photos and coordinates with the paper pack. Both pages are based on sketches from the "Reflections" how-to book.

Finally, I'm showing you a peek at another layout of her confirmation (for her album), also using the Old World alphabet stamp set. (You can see the entire layout on 2/22 if you'd like to come back.)

I must confess that an alphabet set was one of my first CTMH purchases over a dozen years ago (back when we were called DOTS: Dozens of Terrific Stamps). I loved that I never ran out of a letter like I did with stickers! Plus, we have 60 colors to choose from, so you're bound to find a perfect match.
Thanks for hopping here. Now go check out Elizabeth's alphabet creation!

Monday, February 13, 2012

H2H Challenges: Easy as 1, 2, 3!

This week's Heart 2 Heart challenge is as easy as 1, 2, 3! You need to use 1 stamp, 2 patterned papers, and 3 embellishments! (Your 3 embellies can be 3 of a kind or 3 different ones.)

Here's my card creation:

1 stamp: You're Loved from the February stamp of the month set, Thoughtful Tidings. (I stamped the heart first in Smoothie and then inked up the tip in Tulip.)

2 patterned papers: These are from the Roxie collection, and actually this particular paper has the plaid on one side and the textured Smoothie with random roses.

3 embellishments: I used Grey Wool baker's twine, a Tulip Just Blooms paper flower, and a chipboard heart (that I sponged Smoothie on and then inked/sponged the edges with Tulip).

Now it's your turn to take the H2H 1, 2, 3 challenge. You can do it! Be sure to visit the H2H blog to check out all of the design team's creations and to link up your amazing project. Ready? 1, 2, 3!

Also, don't forget that tomorrow is Valentine's Day, so make sure that the people you love know that you love them!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Traci!

Today is my dear friend Traci's birthday!

Here is the fun card I made to help her celebrate her special day (made from a Wishes sketch). I have been hoarding that beautiful Olive & Lagoon damask paper, so you know she's a true friend. ;) Isn't the Lagoon patterned paper pretty too? They are from the Stella paper pack.

I stamped the background with the music stamp from the Universal Backgrounds stamp set, and the Happy Birthday sentiment is from the Salutation Seals stamp set. A few pearls and ribbon finished it off.

Happy birthday, Traci!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Life Is a Journey

Cruisin' is one of the new CTMH paper packs, and I love it! It has a great vintage travel theme yet can be used for sooo much more! Here is a card I made with the new A Journey stamp set (only $6.95!). I sanded the Grey Wool cardstock to give it some texture before I stamped the boot tracks.

Check out these travel theme layouts from the CTMH Art Studio. I will definitely be offering some travel classes soon.

Life is definitely a journey, and I'd love to help you scrapbook it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Zebra Birthday

A dear friend just recently celebrated her 11th birthday with a roller skating party no less, and since she loves zebra print, we went a little crazy! We found the two zebra print bags and the mug with her initial at one store, and the zebra gowned jewelry holder was a last minute, perfect find.

The zebra pattern from the Roxie paper pack was a great match, but I paired it with Hollyhock to give me more of a pop of pink. This card sketch can be found in the "Wishes" how-to guide. All of the stamps are from the Royal Birth (retired) stamp set. This princess definitely deserves to be treated like royalty!

Happy birthday, Little H!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dedicated to the One(s) I Love!

This week's Heart 2 Heart challenge is to create something for someone you love, so I am backlinking to two of my projects: a recent layout of my hubby and me and a tag book of love for our girls. Thanks for taking a peek!
You can easily link up your CTMH love-ly creations at the H2H challenge blog. You have all of February to play!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Remembering Melinda

Today is such a sad day. My heart is so heavy as I type. My dear, sweet friend Melinda Conley Young will be laid to rest this afternoon after losing her valiant battle with ovarian cancer (diagnosed in 2007). My heart is broken for her husband and most especially for their two little girls. Melinda was such an inspiration to those who knew her and to anyone who hears her story: her faith, her hope, her strength (Fight like a girl!), her determination, her kindness, and her compassion knew no limits. The list could go on and on! No matter how bad things seemed, Melinda and her family remained positive and faithful. (You can read her story on her blog if you'd like to know more.)
Pulling out photos of us at her wedding helped me smile through my tears. It was time to scrapbook them (finally!) and to create cards for her husband and daughters and for her mother. Though it was bittersweet, I am thankful to relive these happy memories with such a beautiful person. One day I hope to create a layout as a tribute to her and her valiant fight, but for this layout, I tried to remember the happiness then and the hopeful miles that stretched before us then.
Melinda, my dear friend, I thank God that you are at peace. You may be gone from this earth, but you will never be forgotten.
Adieu, ma chere amie. Tu me manqueras. Je t'aime!
Fight like a girl!!!

Now, go hug your loved ones, pick up the phone and call a friend, and remember how precious life is. Live each day to the fullest, because there are no guarantees.

Friday, February 3, 2012

February CTMH News & Specials

February is such an exciting time with Close To My Heart!

1. The NEW SPRING/SUMMER 2012 IDEA BOOK/CATALOG is now available!!! You can view it online HERE. (The website is still showing the Autumn/Winter catalog in the bottom right corner, but when you click on it, you are taken to the new one.) I would love to give you a copy, so if you do not already have a CTMH consultant, please let me know. For my local customers, I have a copy reserved especially for YOU! I would be happy to drop it off to you or meet you somewhere (my place or yours).

2. My FEBRUARY CARD CLASS will be Saturday, 2/11, @ 2:00. We will be making five different cards with the FEBRUARY STAMP OF THE MONTH, THOUGHTFUL TIDINGS, and all kinds of fabulous new products. You do NOT want to miss this one!!!

3. CTMH is offering another terrific STUDIO J Special: a BOGO on a 5 pack! That's right, 10 layouts for only $55! That is even better than membership pricing, so you do NOT want to miss out. There could not be a better time to try Studio J! (You don't even have to try it in February; you just have to purchase your 5-pack in February.) To sweeten the deal, I'm offering all 12"x12" albums at HALF OFF!!!!

4. Card-making and scrapbooking clubs are starting back up. Join to earn free products and meet every other month to make beautiful creations!

5. February marks my 12TH ANNIVERSARY with CTMH, so I have lots of fun planned for my customers. I can't wait to share with you!


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