Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stamp of the Month Blog Hop: Wicked (August 2011)

Welcome to the "Wicked" Close To My Heart August Stamp of the Month blog hop! If you're already hoppping, then you should have arrived from Tammy Lea's blog. Why don't you kick back, stay awhile (I have lots to share!), and then hop on to Tamytha's blog?

As much as I love Halloween and this amazing stamp set, I wanted to see how I could use it beyond its obvious intention. (You'll have to come back later this month to see me pull out the stops for Halloween and more! I promise something Wicked-ly good is coming!)

I love the two sentiments with this set, "Put your best foot forward" and "Hats off to you," so I decided to create the following cards with the feminine Sophia paper pack. I searched online until I found a shoe image that I liked, then I traced it on the back of Hollyhock card stock. A piece of B&T paper works as the toe strap, pinned down with a few pink sparkles. White seemed like the best backdrop for the gorgeous shoe. Do you think the sentiment medallion looks kind of like a buckle for the shoe? I cut it freehand after stamping the sentiment.

Guests at my card class on Sunday, 8/7, will be making this next shoe card for themselves. (Contact me if you'd like to attend or would like to order a kit.)

Next, I moved on to creating a hat card. It was so much fun that I made two different versions! (Guests at my Open House/Idea Book Unveiling on 8/5 will be making one of these cards.) In case you're interested in trying one yourself, the hat brim measures 3/4"x5-1/2", the top of the hat measures 1-3/4"x3-1/2", and the band measures 3/4"x3-1/2". I think the possibilities for trimming the hat are endless, don't you? I'd love to know which card you like best.

If you've already heard about the great NEW stamp of the month program, then hop on over to Tamytha's blog. First, the prices on ALL stamp sets have DROPPED! Isn't that fabulous, especially in this day and age? You can purchase any D-size stamp set, including the stamp of the month, for only $17.95. With the new stamp of the month program, when you spend $50 (before S&H/tax), you are eligibile to purchase the Stamp of the Month for only $5! Isn't that great?!?

Did you also know that Close To My Heart is offering an EXTRA! EXTRA! Special this month when you purchase the August stamp of the month? Check out this image!
Click HERE for the PDF file with the complete info. Contact me or your CTMH consultant to take advantage of this great offer!

If you'd like to come to my Open House on 8/5 or my card class on 8/7, just let me know. If you'd like to get your own Wicked stamp set (and possibly the A Type stamp set FREE), contact me ASAP!

Thanks for visiting! Now hop on over to see Tamytha's "Wicked" creation!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Beautiful Ballerina Layout

Again, while I had my friend's Aspire dance set, I went to town creating dance layouts! Because I couldn't find a minty color that matched my older daughter's costume, I focused on the pink instead. I think that really makes her pictures pop!

This layout, celebrating her 5th year of dance, is based on the "Grand Finale" sketch from the Imagine how-to guide. The curve on the right page looks much more difficult to make than it really is! (I found a baking stone in my kitchen that gave me the perfect curve to trace and then cut out!)

You may notice the paper with the swirls and green stars from the retired Daydream collection. Even though the greens don't match, I think it is a sweet touch to these layouts!

Again, I made a 6"x6" layout for my little album of professional photos. I've enjoyed walking down memory lane this week!

{Layout 2011 #55 & 56}

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dance Layouts

My friend and customer Nancy loaned me her Aspire dance set, and I was on a roll making dance layouts! (I would say that I'm many years behind, but like Stacy Julian, I don't believe in being behind. I scrap what I want, when I want, and even "age" my photos too.) If it weren't for Stacy and her Photo Freedom book and class at Big Picture Classes, I would never have thought to combine three different years of dance photos onto one layout.

The idea struck me as I was rearranging this summer and noticed that our younger daughter had several years of pink dance costume photos. Ta da! Inspiration struck! Why not combine them all to show some of her progression? The Sweetheart paper pack (which will be retiring 7/31) was the perfect unifying factor. I used the "Out of the Hat" sketch from the Magic how-to guide but rotated both pages to fit my pictures. (The price of Magic will drop on 8/1! Yay, CTMH!)

I have to share an "awww" moment with you. For the journaling (tucked in behind the white square but in front of the black page base), I wrote about Macey following in her big sister's dance shoes. When she saw it, she said, "Mom, I wasn't following her, I was following you!" (Say "aww" with me now!) I made her journal that sentiment on the back of what I had written.

In addition, while my supplies were out, I made a 6"x6" layout for my little album of family professional photos.

The next set of dance layouts also went really well with the Sweetheart paper pack, but I focused more on the Tulip shade to coordinate with our older daughter's red and black costume. (I also included some retired Tulip heart paper from the Animal Cookies collection.) This layout sketch is called "Card Trick" from the Magic how-to guide.

In In case you were wondering, yes, that is me in my first dance recital after about a 20-year hiatus!

I think this layout qualifies for this week's Lasting Memories challenge, "all about the title." I stamped the first part of the phrase, "all she wants to do is..." in Tulip on the left page with the Chocolate Alphabet (Small). Then I stamped "dance!" with the Chocolate Alphabet (Large) on the right page. To create the shadow effect, I first stamped a letter in Tulip, then inked the stamp up in Black and stamped again, slightly offset.

As always, if you have any questions about anything shown here, leave me a comment and I will get back to you! (My laptop is still on the fritz, though, so please be patient with me. Thanks!)

{Layout 2011 #52-54}

Monday, July 25, 2011

H2H Sketch Challenge

This week's Heart 2 Heart challenge is to try this sketch! I love using sketches since the design work is already done for you, and I couldn't resist playing with the soon-to-be-retired (as of 7/31) Magnifique papers.

I started with a Sky 4"x6" top-fold card base and then layered on that gorgeous striped Magnifique paper. To me, this sketch cried out for using ribbon for the strips, and though my first thought was Colonial White, the Chocolate ribbon looked better. I pulled some Sky buttons out of my stash to enhance the ribbon and then glammed them up with Mocha Opaques and Blue Sparkles.

After stamping the sentiment from the Sensational Seals stamp set in Sky (with the edges rolled in Pacifica), I cut out the image, then layered it (with 3-D foam tape) onto a Sky scallop-punched circle. Finally, I alternated the tiny Blue Sparkles and Mocha Opaques to finish off this card.

If you want to give H2H challenges a try, this sketch is a great place to start. You have until the end of the month to upload your project based on this sketch (and to eligible for some great prizes!). Please remember to use some wonderful Close To My Heart products on your project. Be sure to visit the H2H blog to see what the other Design Team members and our guest designer have to share with you. I think some of them used some NEW products, available beginning 8/1!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yankee Doodlebugs (Layout Share)

{Please pardon the poor quality of these photos; I am unable to work with my usual equipment right now!}

One of the things that I love about teaching scrapbooking is that it encourages me to get layouts made! This layout is based on the "Transfigure" sketch from the CTMH Magic how-to guide, and I taught it at my recent scrapbook club/class. We used the Fanfare paper pack and the July stamp of the month, American Celebration. In addition to basic stamping, we also learned how to paper piece an image (American flag), how to cut out stamped images as accents, how to use a punch, and how to make a pocket to hide journaling or extra photos.

I really have to thank Stacy Julian and her Library of Memories/Photo Freedom philosophy and classes for this layout idea! She encourages her followers and students NOT to worry about scrapbooking chronologically but rather based on more important connections. If it weren't for her, I probably never would have thought to combine patriotic baby photos from my girls (in 1998 and 2001) with an adorable photo of my nephews (from 2008). Doesn't they work well together though? The visible journaling on the far right of the right page reads "Doesn't Uncle Sam have the cutest nieces and nephews?"

For my hidden journaling, I wrote about how fast the kids are growing and that I hope they will grow up to be patriotic Americans. The title came last and is a play on my older nephew's nickname, Doodlebug. That led to the skinnier journaling tag where I share each of the kids' baby/childhood nicknames (Pooh, Piglet, Doodlebug, and Scooter). I am so glad that I am able to scrapbook non-chronologically and even share an extra little tidbit about these sweet babies (who are now 13, 10, 4, and 3!).

God bless the USA and scrapbooking! (If you have any questions about anything here, leave it in the comments, and I'll get back to you.)

Thank you to Scrap Our Stash for featuring my layout in their "red, white, & blue" challenge!

{Layout 2011 #51}

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Computer Woes

My pretty pink (13-month old) Dell Inspiron laptop has been acting pretty persnickety lately, and yesterday it finally decided to quit on me. I guess I have been working it too hard and it needs a bit of summer vacation too. It would put in the token effort of turning on, but it wouldn't actually do anything productive, like open programs!

I was on the phone with Dell tech support for over two hours last night, and we weren't even able to restore the factory settings. I have to give a big shout out to my DH who helped me, especially with unscrewing the back cover and taking out the memory chips. He was very kind and patient, as was my new Indian friend whose name I can't entirely pronounce.

I am praying that the Carbonite backup will be there and restore all my precious photos from this year once the laptop is fixed! (If it doesn't, you will hear the crying!) Also, naturally, the machine is no longer under warranty. (Did I know this? Did they bother to contact me and ask if I'd like to renew it before it expires?!? Great service- not!)

So, this means the photos I've taken of the four recent layouts I've made are "temporarily unavailable." I am not sure if I am going to try to retake them or just wait and see how long it will take the laptop to get fixed. Fortunately, I have my good ole' MacBook from work that I am able to use right now (but it's not hooked up to my home printer, I don't know how to put my photos on it, etc.) Oops, sorry about that little whine. This is, indeed, a learning opportunity.

I know in the scheme of things this is not the end of the world- my family is healthy, our house is neater than it's been in ages, and I have a few short weeks left of summer break! I will get back to my Pollyanna self, but you may not see me here very much. I just wanted to let you know why. I will be around to visit you and your blogs, etc., in the meanwhile, and now that DD's bed is moved into her new room (and they have to work on the old room), I plan to spend a little time in my craft room- after I spend a little time in my classroom getting it ready for school!

Thanks for reading my ramblings! See you again one day soon!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

CTMH/Cricut Bundle

Here's what the CTMH/Cricut Art Philosphy Bundle will include:

You can puchase it outright, or use some of your hostess credit and purchase it at half price! (I am taking preorders now; available beginning 8/1...)

Art Philosophy Cricut® Collection

Have you heard the news?!? Close To My Heart has teamed up with Cricut to create an exclusive CTMH Art Philosophy cartridge and three-stamp set! It will be available beginning 8/1 (and I am taking preorders now!).

Here's a cool video from CTMH showing you all about it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

H2H Challenge: Doilies and Lace

This week's Heart 2 Heart challenge is to use doilies and/or lace on a project. Get in touch with your feminine side and play along with us! You can use real or stamped doilies or lace on your project, as long as you use Close To My Heart products too. We've got great prizes each month, so create a project, post it online, and link up at H2H for a chance to win. Plus, you'll be getting crafty and using your stuff instead of collecting it!

While searching through my stash, I found these pretty square doilies. I decided to make a wall hanging for my kitchen to remind me to slow down a bit and savor life. I used a Ponderosa Pine cardstock base slightly larger than the doily to match my kitchen, which also happens to be decorated with teapots and tea cups. To keep it soft, I paired it with Juniper (and Grey Wool and silver accents). Since hubby likes coffee, I prefer tea, and the girls adore hot cocoa, I didn't add any words to this steaming cup of goodness other than the sentiment "Celebrate the everyday." I hope that you'll do just that!

Again, be sure to find some doilies or lace from your collection and create to your heart's content at Heart 2 Heart challenges.

Friday, July 15, 2011

CTMH Product Spotlight Blog Hop: Kraft Color-Ready Borders

Welcome to the July edition of the Close To My Heart product spotlight blog hop! This month, we have a select group of consultants playing around with our fabulous Kraft color-ready borders. You get 50 of these precut, self-adhesive borders for only $5.95! (If you arrived here from Jena's blog then you're on the right path.)

I'm entering this simple card in the City Crafter Challenge #65: Let the Sun Shine In!

For my sunny card, I used the back side of the Kraft borders. Instead of peeling off the backing, I sponged Sunny Yellow ink on it! They took the color well, and so I glued the front side of the borders to the card without peeling off the (sponged) backing. The partial circle of Sunny Yellow cardstock is adhered with 3-D foam tape to give the card more dimension.

I also used an edge of a piece of the border as a mask to sponge the inside bottom of the card. Finally, I sponged the leftover piece of border with Outdoor Denim ink and added a button with a sparkle to match the card. The Indian Corn Blue ricrac was an afterthough, but I thought it was a cute touch.

Now, go visit NIKKA to see her Krafty creation!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CAS (Clean & Simple) #148

Though they really seem to be a challenge to me, I love clean and simple cards! I also really like the Clean and Simple Stamping blog sketches, and this week is no exception. In the midst of rearranging, purging, and cleaning up around the house, I sat down and created a card based on the current sketch, #148.

Can you guess which CTMH paper pack and stamp set I used? Leave me a comment with your guesses!

Reed Diffusers on Sale

Click HERE to take advantage of these diffuser bottles, reeds, and yummy Buttercream Vanilla oil. Wouldn't these make great gifts?

Monday, July 11, 2011

H2H Challenge: More Inspiration

The Heart 2 Heart Challenges Design Team has some real challenges for you this week! Won't you play along? This week, we each picked an inspiration piece and then created something from it. Your job is to now use our inspiration piece as a springboard to your work! Remember, you need to use some Close To My Heart products to be eligible for this month's fab prizes. (See my side bar at right for all the DT members and our prize sponsors this month.)

This blouse has been begging me to try to recreate it! This card is actually my second project, with the first featured below. The print reminded me of the One of a Kind stamp set, and the best color matches were Cranberry, Sunset, Juniper, and Cocoa, with a touch of Colonial White thrown in too. To get the color on the dark background, I had to first start with a light background. Huh? You read right! I stamped my scene and then sprinkled clear embossing powder on it. Because I had stamped the Juniper leaves first, the powder didn't want to stick, so I went back over it with the stamp inked up in Versamark ink, added more clear EP, and then heat embossed. To give the focal image the rich Cranberry background, I brayered ink over the entire image, and then buffed it with a paper towel to remove the ink from the clearn embossed images. A little gem in the center of the flower and some ruffled paper finished off this card very nicely!

As I said, that was my second card. For my first card, I tried the emerging color technique and made a criss-cross card to mimic the bodice of my blouse. (I'm not sure that I like this one as well; hence it playing second fiddle.)

To create the emerging color background, I first stamped Colonial White cardstock with images from the One of a Kind stamp set (same color palette as above). Then, after it dried completely, I used my Versamark ink to stamp the flower and leaf images all over the top of what I'd already stamped. Then it was time to sprinkle on the clear embossing powder, dump off the excess, and then heat emboss. As I did on the first card, I brayered Cranberry ink over the entire piece and them buffed off the excess ink.

The card ended up a lot busier- and less "wow"- than I had pictured it, but it still turned out pretty cool. I think the addition of the Sunset strip (LOL!) and the Red sparkles along it really give the card some pizzaz.

Feel free to leave any questions that you have in the comments section. Go check out all the Design Team member's blogs and choose one to inspire you. We'd love to see your creations! You have all month to play, but what are you waiting for? Visit the H2H blog today!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Hubby and I are celebrating our 16th aniversary today! My, does time fly!!! We are so blessed to have each other and our sweet girls.

(Here we are at my cousin's wedding two weeks ago.)

Happy anniversary, Honey! We've come a long way, and the best is yet to come!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's Horizon of Hope Month @ Longaberger

Help the American Cancer Society fight the fight against cancer with the Longaberger Horizon of Hope campaign, this year in July ONLY. Check out that gorgeous scarf, sweet basket (also available in Warm Brown), and insulated travel mug.

Contact me directly at if you'd like to learn more!

Monday, July 4, 2011

H2H Challenge: Be Inspired

Welcome to the first Heart 2 Heart challenge for July! Today is an extra-special H2H day because we are welcoming a new Design Team! Please be sure to stop by the H2H blog to check out our new members and their fabulous inspiration for you. Welcome Brenda, Cheryl, Debi, Michelle, and Pamela! We also have a guest DT, Tracy, joining us. Jody, Mary, and I are so glad you're on board.

For all my American friends, happy Independence Day! I hope you're enjoying your holiday and find a little time to play along with us. You have the entire month to play along with this month's challenges, so let's get started!
We have this gorgeous photo trio to inspire you. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to create something inspired by this photo. It can be a card, a layout, a home decor item, or anything else under the sun, as long as it uses Close To My Heart products. Did I mention that there are prizes for playing along too? Our two prize sponsors are Sandra and Tonya. Be sure to visit them and leave them a little love for sponsoring H2H this month.

My card came together very quickly. I was inspired by the beautiful flowers, the colors, and all the beautiful "white space" is the inspiration photo. I grabbed my favorite floral stamp set, Treasure Life, and some bright, fun inks: Cotton Candy, Lagoon, Pear, Sky, and Sunny Yellow. I inked up the different flower stamps using the rock 'n roll technique to add multiple colors to one solid stamp. I also stamped some of the flowers and leaves in second and third generation (stamping again without reinking) to give the card a softer, muted look. I finished it off with quite a bit of bling from the various CTMH sparkles collections. Although my card ended up being bolder than I anticipated, I like how cheery it is. (I really did mean to leave more white space on it!)

Before saying au revoir, this inspiration piece also reminded me of this quotation:
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers."
~Veronica A. Shoffstall, "After a While," 1971

Create something beautiful today to decorate your soul (and don't forget to link it up to the H2H blog)!

All supplies from Close To My Heart: Treasure Life stamp set; Cotton Candy, Lagoon, Pear, Sky, and Sunny Yellow inks; Cotton Candy card stock; scraps from the Olivia and Hooligans paper packs; assorted sparkles

Happy 4th of July!

HAPPY 4th of JULY! Remember that freedom is never free. Enjoy your holiday celebrations!

{You can get your own free download of this beautiful image HERE.}

Saturday, July 2, 2011

More BANG for Your BUCK!

This month, Close To My Heart is offering a fun special! You can read all the details HERE, but basically, if you make a $50 purchase (before S/H & tax), you can purchase another item from a select list for only $1 more! Plus, you're also eligible for the July stamp of the month, American Celebration, at 1/2 off!

Contact me at or visit my website to place an order.


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