Sunday, August 30, 2009

Birthday Bash, CTMH Style!

Last Sunday I taught a "Birthday Bash" card class. The first card uses the Everyday Celebration kit stamp set and the Emporium paper pack (Twilight, Cocoa, and Sweet Leaf). This card is a 4"x4" modeled on the Wishes sketch "Just Right." We embellished this card with a Twilight corduroy brad from the Winter Cozy Mini Medley accents.

The second card also uses the Everyday Celebration kit stamp set, but this time we paired it with the Magic Moments paper pack. Since I had already used up all of my scalloped cards that came with the kit, I showed everyone how easy it is to stamp the scallop (about 1/4"-1/2" from the card edge) and then trim the front of the card. I just love the versatility of this stamp set!

The next batch of cards uses the August stamp of the month, It's Your Day. The first card, using the Back Country paper pack, is based on the Wishes "Noteworthy" sketch. We used the colored staples to attach the knotted ribbon and the "happy" tag. (Well, happy isn't really attached- it's just stamped and then stapled to give the illusion of some layering.) We also stamped so paper lunch sacks for a quick gift bag.

Finally, we wrapped up the afternoon with this fun birthday card using the Tinkerin' paper pack. Some of the ladies stamped the "party" circle in Sunflower and rolled the edges in Holiday Red. That combo is so striking!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Everyday Celebration

Every day is a celebration with the Close To My Heart "Everyday Celebrations" card kit! This kit is in honor of National Stamping Month and is available until the end of Septeber.

You get everything you see in the first three photos in your Everyday Celebrations kit. All you need are your blocks, adhesive, scissors, and paper trimmer and then you're ready to get to work!

The contents of the kit include the My Acrylix Everday Celebration D-size stamp set (only available w/this kit!), 16 scalloped card bases and 16 envelopes, two sheets of cardstock, four B&T Duos, Chocolate distressing ink, Dutch Blue distressing ink, one Mini-Medley Shades of Chocolate collection, 5' of Chocolate ribbon, 50 3-D foam squares, a sponge, and a full-color step-by-step instructional brochure. Whew! That's a LOT of materials! The kit can be purchased outright for $39.95 (plus S&H/tax), or you can earn one free by purchasing a minimum of $60 in CTMH stamps (exclusing the stamp of the month, Art & Soul, and K-size personalized stamps). September hostesses with a minimum of $400 in sales will earn a free kit, as will anyone who signs up to become a CTMH consultant in September.

Here are my cut pieces. The guide was so easy to follow!

Here are the eight card designs completed. You actually make two of each design with the kit. All the other photos of this incredibly long post show off each card individually. Yes, I'm shameless to show these off, but they are so stinkin' cute! They really went together quickly too.

I just LOVE this cake! All the Chocolate part of the image is one stamp (top and bottom are one stamp) and the Dutch Blue middle is a second stamp. The clear My Acrylix make it so easy to align.

Let's get this party started!

The present stamp is like the cake stamp in that the bottom of the package and the bow are one stamp. The Dutch Blue box top is the second stamp.

See how the scallop or bracket stamp fits the pre-cut card edge perfectly? When you've used up all the card bases, it will be easy for you to stamp the scallop and then trim your card front to recreate this look. (See tomorrow's post for an example!)

I think these balloons would make a cute "welcome baby" card- in baby colors of course!


This checklist stamp is probably my favorite part of this set because it is just so versatile. You can check either Everday Life, Birthday, Anniversary, Our Love, Graduation, Our Friendship, or write in your own message on the blank. (I used a brad to "check" anniversary.) I plan to make up a bunch of these so that I can just check off the appropriate sentiment when I need a card quickly.

Here are all 16, not that you can really see what they look like, but I wanted you to see the volume of cards you'll make with this great kit. Celebrate everyday!

Friday, August 28, 2009

CTMH "Sneak Peek" Blog Hop

Welcome to the Close To My Heart New Product "Sneak Peek" Blog Hop! Twenty-nine (or is it 30?) hip (and hoppin') CTMH consultants have joined together to celebrate the release of the Autumn/Winter 2009 Idea Book by giving you a sneak peek of some of the fabulous new products. The new Idea Book will be available September 1, so enjoy your weekend getting some great new ideas. (If you don't already have a CTMH consultant, ask me how you can get your very own copy of the new idea book, free!)

If you've come from Sheila's blog then you're hopping right along. If you're starting here, just keep on hopping by clicking the link at the end of my post! (You can see my previous post for a complete list of participants in case you get lost.)

For my card, I used the new Jingle papers. Though this paper pack was designed for the holiday season, it is way too much fun and versatile for just winter! (I have some birthday pictures that are going to get scrapped with this paper!) My card inspiration came from the Wishes sketch "Curtain Call." I used the Jingle polka dot paper to create this fun ruffle or pleat (to be featured in an upcoming Tuesday Tutorial) along with Tulip, Black, and White Daisy cardstock. The sentiments were stamped with the Thank You stamp set, which also includes a merci and gracias stamp (among many other thank you sentiments). The crotched flower and Tulip brad were the finishing touch. (All supplies are from Close To My Heart.)

Thanks for looking! Now hop on over to my friend Lisa's blog to see what amazing creation she's made this time. Enjoy these sneak peeks! Remember, the products featured in these projects will be available 9/1. Also, you're going to want to stop back by on 9/1 to see the September stamp of the month (and take part in another blog hop).

CTMH "Sneak Peek" Blog Hop Participants

Here's the list of bloggers participating in the CTMH Sneak Peek blog hop. If you get lost somewhere on the hop, just pop back in here to get back on track.

Erin Herring
Terrie Dodd
Leisa Hubley
Karen Norman
Sherry Thompson
Adeline Brill
Brae Montgomery
Wendy Kessler
Dawn Heuft
Carla Ironside
Dawn Ross
Julie Banzon
Jody Gustafson
Helen Onulak
Sheila Bennett
Haley Dyer
Lisa Stenz
Jena DeVries
Jen Patrick
Amy Schultz
Lori Scott
Tresa Black
Jennifer Kraynak
Sharesa Larsen
Amy Edwards
Jean McNulty
Emma Hubert
Antoinette Herrin

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Sometimes in the day-to-day grind, it's hard to stay focused on the positive. I am trying harder to have an "attitude of gratitude." Because I have so much for which to be thankful, I thought I'd post my gratitude from time to time.

This Monday I was thrilled to receive this gorgeous handstamped card in the mail from none other than Close To My Heart founder and CEO, Jeanette Lynton, and the three CTMH vice presidents Monica, Kristine, and Brian! If you can't read the card, it is thanking me for my contribution to the silent auction to benefit Operation Smile. (You can read more about that right here if you'd like.)
I have to say, getting this card was like getting the autograph of one of my favorite stars! Yep, I'm a stamping junkie! (DH just shook his head...) I am thinking that this one will have to be framed to go in the stamping studio whenever I get it moved.
Who doesn't like getting a card in the mail? Send one to someone today! If you'd like to support a member of our troops serving abroad, we have a local gentleman who would appreciate your prayers, cards, etc. He just happens to be the puppies' "other" human "grandpa." You can find his address here.

My sweet daughters brought me these flowers Monday evening. They picked them while walking the dog and then arranged them in one of my many little vases. Aren't they sweet?

Finally, I have to thank my friend (wife of the aforementioned soldier) for a very sweet gift yesterday! It will have to get its own future post so you'll just have to wait to find out what it is. (Nah nah!) She did manage to sneak one of the puppies away from the mama to bring over to our house for a little visit. She of course knew which one was the girls' favorite! Shadow was sooo good with his little offspring.

In the hustle and bustle today, be sure to take time to give thanks. Feel free to share your thankful thoughts here or link to your blog. Inky hugs!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday Tutorial: Coloring Ribbon

Ever need ribbon for a project and don't have any that matches? Color your own! If you can't read the instructions, try clicking on each picture to make it bigger.

You can also run the ribbon through an ink pad, but I make too big a mess when I do it that way! I still get inky with this method, but it's not quite as messy for me.
Another way to color ribbon is to dampen it and then put it on a bowl with a few drops of reinker. You'll need something to stir the ribbon around to saturate it with color without totally inking your fingers.
If you color your own ribbon, please post a link in the comments field so we can all check it out. Thanks!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Quote of the Week

I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.
~Author Unknown

What a perfect way to start the week!!!!!!!!!! :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

$250 Grocery Store Card GIVEAWAY!

Hop on over to $5 Dinners to enter for a chance to win a $250 grocery store card!!! Who doesn't need groceries?!? There are several ways you can enter, and you have until 8/29. Of course, if you don't go over there, I have a better chance of winning! LOL

Even if you don't go enter, you ought to check out

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Things We Do & Love (Layout #36)

On a happier note...
Since teaching and taking the 2nd of the 3-course reading endorsement series are cramping my fun time, you may have noticed that my scrapbooking ticker is not moving! I finally got this layout done right before school started. I had the idea for a long time, and then I saw a sketch over at the Triple the Sketch blog that really inspired me.

I love the Free Spirit paper pack even though shades of yellow and orange are not really "me." I decided not to put any photos on this title page and rather stamped some images and sentiments of some of the things that we (obviously) do and love. (You can click on the picture to see it larger if you're interested.) I used too many stamp sets to count, but the main part of the title was created with the Chocolate Large Alphabet.

This layout is the opener for our "things" album of my Library of Memories album collection. (The Library of Memories system is the brain child of Stacy Julian over at and has totally changed how I view scrapbooking and my scrapbooks.) I can't wait to fill this album up- of the biggies in our lives and of the little things too.

Now to get ready for tomorrow's Birthday Bash card class!

Puppy Update #2

On Thursday I received some very sad news. Little "Eddie" wasn't doing well because the fatso brother and sisters weren't letting him nurse. His human mom, AKA grandma, went and got him puppy formula to feed him, but came home to find that he had not made it. Poor mama Maggie knew something was wrong, but those other six just wouldn't let her dwell on her sorrow.

I waited until last night to tell my girls, and there was much gnashing of teeth, rending of clothes, and general wailing. It was a sad, sad time at our house, and I can only imagine the reaction over at Eddie's home. That sweet pup will be missed. Hopefully my girls can find the strength to go on today and complete their chores. Eddie will not be forgotten.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quote of the Week

Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun.
~George Scialabra
DD wanted to take her American Girl doll, Nellie, on a bike ride. Putting her in the dance bag (the smallest back pack we have) didn't work out too well, so she came up with the idea of tying Nellie to the bike. With a little help from me, we got Nellie hooked up, and both girls had a great time.
Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekend!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Your Day!

Here's yet another card with the August stamp of the month, It's Your Day! Have I told you how much I love this set? If you'd like to get your own, please let me know. I'd also love it if you could join me this Sunday at 2:00 for a Birthday Bash, CTMH-style! We're going to have a blast making a variety of birthday cards, including a very special interactive card that you will love. We're also going to make a gift bag and top off the afternoon with birthday cake and ice cream!

This 3"x3" top-fold card follows the Wishes "Stage Right" sketch. I used the Emporium paper pack and Twilight and Cocoa ink, plus a Twilight brad. I wish the scissor distressing on the sentiment showed up better in the scan, but hopefully you get the idea.

In our personal lives, the girls and I are doing well at school. I am looking forward to the weekend, though, because I am sooo tired! Last night's massage at the Tech School (student practitioners) sure helped a bunch though. Thanks, Dad, for calling to let me know that appointments were available. DH and I both go next Tuesday. Ahhhhhh....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Delight in the Everyday

Celebrate National Stamping Month early with the Everyday Celebration card kit, available 8/18-9/30/09! This kit has everything you need (except blocks) to create 16 beautiful cards! Click on the photo to read the full details. If it's not big enough, LMK or check my CTMH website. Be sure to delight in something each and every day!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Puppy Update #1

I figure that I'd better number the puppy posts since there will probably be more than one of them!
We got to go see and hold the puppies today! Maggie didn't like us taking them, but we found that she really can't count to 7. If we snuck one and it was quiet, she didn't know. One has markings on its neck almost identical to Shadow's. It turns out there are 5 girls and 2 boys.
Don't you love how that one is totally laid out?
Here's my youngest holding one of them.

Someone had asked, and yes, they're purebred beagles.

Shadow's a Daddy!

Shadow, our beagle, is the proud papa of SEVEN puppies!!! Here's the beautiful (& tired) mama, Maggie, with her litter.

Our friend "Chunkygal" has two gorgeous female beagles and thought that our male was a suitable suitor.

I got the phone call yesterday afternoon that Maggie had delivered three puppies, and while I was on the phone with her "aunt," another puppy was born. Several phone calls later, we got the final tally of SEVEN bundles of joy. We can't wait to go see them today and get to watch them grow over the next few weeks! Does this make me a grandma?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Watch Her Go

She did it!
(I had to wait until I had pictures to post the good news.)

Macey was determined to learn to ride her bike without training wheels this summer. She practiced diligently but wasn't quite getting the hang of it. Daddy even had to put the training wheels back on, though they were bent so far up they really didn't work. I think that was all she needed for her confidence!
Last Thursday (the day before school started), Aunt Amy kept the girls and asked them to bring their bikes. She has the perfect flat place to ride, and all it took was a little practice. She did it! Now there's no stopping her!
Okay, don't flame me for no helmet- we all survived, didn't we? And besides, look how grassy it is.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Get by with a Little Help from my Friends!

As you know, we've already started back to school. I am so blessed to work with a great group of fifth grade teachers! They are all dedicated to their students and work so hard. They truly go the extra mile, and I can really count on them. (I'm grade chair this year so I need their help a lot!)
As a little welcome-back-to-school gift, I made each of them a key chain. (Gotta love the Target dollar spot!) We all have these lovely identical black computer bags for our laptops, so if they don't want to use them as a key chain, they will make a cute bag tag. (Or at least I think they're cute! ;) They seemed to appreciate them too.)

So, Peg, Kelly, Addlyn, Jeanne, Tammy, Traci, Judy, Calley, and Gwen, thank you from the bottom of my heart. (I tried to personalize each one for each teacher.) I love you, gals!
I stamped "Blessings" on the back of each key chain as a reminder to remember our blessings and because each of them are a blessing to me and their students.
All materials Close To My Heart (various paper packs, alphabet stamps, and ribbon) except for the purple and black ribbon- source unknown.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blog Candy!

Steph over at Where'd All My Money Go? has an incredibly generous "blog candy" post going on right now through 8/28. She is giving away a $150 gift card or gift certificate to the place of your choice!!! Go enter her contest! No, wait, don't go enter so that I have a better chance of winning! LOL Check out her artwork while you're there too. It's no wonder she doesn't have any $$ left.

So if you could have a $150 gift card to anywhere, where would it be? Leave me a comment and let us know your favorite shopping spot. I am still trying to decide...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another August Stamp of the Month Card

One of my downline ("Chunkygal") made this fun card using the August stamp of the month (It's Your Day) and the Whoops-a-Daisy paper pack. She used her Pazzle to cut out the cool card shape. Don't you just love it?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More August Stamp of the Month Art

Each month, a talented group of CTMH consultants and I participate in a "virtual" swap. It is similar to the blog hops you've been seeing, only we compile all the artwork together. This month we used the Tinkerin' paper pack/palette (Clover Meadow, Twilight, Sunflower, and Sunny Yellow- with a pop of Holiday Red) for our creations. Doesn't the August stamp of the month, It's Your Day, make you want to have a birthday party? Or you can be like the Mad Hatter and have a very merry un-birthday!

Here is Katy's cool creation. She cut apart the birthday image (after stamping it) to create the letter tiles and cut out the circle on the front to make a window to "party" on the back.

(Editor's note: I forgot to add that she made the present by stamping one of the cake slices several times in a row and on top of each other, then cutting out a square piece. The ribbon hides the seams where the cake slices meet.)

Latisha made a darling 3"x3" card. I LOVE those little cards to include w/gifts!

Misty is so creative! She used the present image as a cake.

I love Laura's "party" background!

Last but not least for this post is Debra's cheery card.
Thanks for looking!

Friday, August 7, 2009

First Day of School Recap

Photos from when we were leaving for the first day of school today...

I am happy to report that two of us had a great first day. Middle school was not "all that" (especially since she went to the wrong Connections class- band- instead of PE today). At her age, that was the end of the world! She'll learn, all the way around. It wasn't a bad day, just not as great as she was hoping.


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