Friday, September 30, 2011

Stamp of the Month Blog Hop: Holiday Magic (October 2011)

It's time for the October edition of the Close To My Heart consultants' Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! We're spreading a little Holiday Magic (and cheer) with the October stamp of the month. If you've already started the hop, then you should have arrived from Melinda Everitt's blog and you will heading to Jen Rubio's blog next.

You may be wondering where the Holiday Magic is with my first card, but those beautiful tree stamps turned upside down look like pennants to me! I had scraps from the Typset paper pack out on my table, so I got to work on this card (which I think fits the Play Date Cafe Challenge 101, Wine, Smudge, Leather, and Parchment, pretty well). The letters are from The Works stamp set.

My second card definitely fits the Holiday Magic theme. You can see the two trees as they were intended, along with the sleigh, snowflakes, and sentiment. Again, I used the Typset paper pack and color scheme, so the trees and snowflakes are Juniper and the sleigh is Vineyard Berry and Black.

Can you see how I tore a piece of Colonial White cardstock to make the "ground." I accent the "snow" with Stardust Glitz Glitter Gel to make everything sparkle.

Thanks for hopping by! Go check out Jen's pretty cards!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Present 5"x7" Home Decor

This project was originally meant for the current Heart 2 Heart Challenge (Sentiments Only), but then I found out that I couldn't use it for the challenge. Why, you ask? My project is based on a beautiful sketch I found on the Got Sketch? blog (#129). I'm glad I went to the blog itself instead of just reading it my Google Reader (you do use Google Reader, don't you?), because you are NOT allowed to use their sketches in any design team work. Oops! So I whipped out a quick card for my DT project instead and saved this one to show you today.

This frame starts with a 5"x7" base (all of the paper is from the Typeset paper pack). I then embellished to my heart's content, maybe going a little overboard with those yummy Licorice Opaques.

I'm not sure where this little project will sit, but I'm sure it will find a good place in my home. I certainly need a reminder to slow down and enjoy TODAY. It's the only guarantee that we have!

Monday, September 26, 2011

H2H Challenges: Sentiment {Only}

At Heart 2 Heart Challenges, we're getting sentiment-al this week! You have to use a sentiment as your focal image, but no other stamps. For you stampers out there, this week will certainly be a challenge. You definitely need to go see what our talented Design Team and Guest Designers have come up with this week to inspire you!

My card uses the sentiment from The Present stamp set and the Sonoma paper pack. I made nested rectangles to frame my sentiment easily. Since those rectangles seemed a little lost on the Smokey Plum card, I added the strip of B&T to the left side to anchor it and then added one of my leftover "zip strips" (the top of the B&T paper). The floral element is my current fave thing to add to my projects: crumple up several scalloped circles, pierce a hole in the middle, attach them together with a brad, and then smoosh and fluff until you like it. To finish off my card, I added some purple sparkles. The large one completely hides the pewter brad! The metals came from the Pewter Mini Medley accents.

Be sure to visit the H2H blog for some inspiration, then get sentiment-al yourself! You have until the end of the month (Friday!) to link up any of this month's challenges, so there's still time- of you hurry.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Autumn/Winter CTMH Swap: Slideshow

Happy Fall! Here is a slideshow of artwork created by some amazingly talented Close To My Heart consultants! Here are my two cards from the swap:

The first uses the A Holiday stamp set (only $6.95!), the Believe paper pack, and some red Glitz Glitter Gel.

You probably remember this card, but just in case you missed it, here it is again. It features the Key Moments stamp set, Dreamin' paper pack, Just Blooms butterflies, and bronze Glitz Glitter Gel.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pink Owl Cards

Who says owls can't be pink? At last month's card class, we used this card design, but everyone chose the stamp of their choice from the National Stamping Month special Pair-A-Phrase stamp set. I thought that a pink owl might be cute, and I think that I was right!

My friend Joy embellished her focal image with the tiny flourish stamp and the sentiment with the flourish and stars stamp. Wish I'd thought of that!

(This stamp set is only available through the end of this month. If you haven't gotten yours yet, contact me ASAP! There are so many cute things that you can do with it.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

H2H Challenges: Cardstock

This week's Heart 2 Heart Challenge is to use Close To My Heart's fabulous cardstock- only- on your creation. You can stamp it, emboss it, distress it, tear it, wrinkle it, or anything else that you can think of, but you can't use any patterned paper! (I am recycling a card that I made in the recent past, so if it looks familiar, you're not hallucinating.)

I began with a 4"x6" White Daisy card base. (You can get three cards out of a 12"x12" sheet of cardstock. Cha-ching!) Using a Smoothie cardstock layer, I stamped/heat embossed the images from the Treasure Life stamp set with white embossing powder. I then stamped a sentimet from the same stamp set on White Daisy with Smoothie ink and inked the edges in black to match the black stripe of cardstock across the right side of the card. An adorable Just Blooms butterfly finishes off this cardstock-only card nicely!

Don't forget to stamp the inside of your card too. That little touch is easy to do and adds so much to your cards.

Now, won't you challenge yourself to use cardstock ONLY on your next creation? Link it up to the H2H Challenges blog, and you could be one of this month's featured artists or prize winner! Hope you'll join us! Be sure to visit the blog to check out what the Design Team, guest designer, and sponsors have to share with you.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

World Card Making Day FREE Card Crop

SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, October 1, 2011, is World Card Making Day, and what better way to celebrate than a FREE card crop? I will be hosting this free card crop at a convenient Blairsville location (TBA) on Saturday, 10/1, in the afternoon. Bring your supplies and your paper crafting projects for a little fun and fellowship! Get started on your holiday cards, make a few seasonal cards, or work on whatever projects that you’d like. You’ll be provided plenty of table space to spread out and create to your heart’s content. Also, I will be teaching a few card ideas throughout the crop to help inspire you, so be sure to bring some extra materials to participate.

This free crop will benefit our servicemen and women through donations to Operation Write Home, should you choose to participate. (Crop participants are not required to help OWH.) I will be collecting card donations for our servicemen and women. (If you’d like to help, you can make your cards at the crop or bring some that you’ve already made to donate.) The purpose of OWH is to provide handmade cards for our troops to use to send to their loved ones. There are a few simple card rules to follow for OWH:•A2 size (4.25”x5.5”)
•Handmade, not store bought
•Dark cards need to have a liner on the inside
•Envelopes are preferred but not required
•Please write or stamp “Operation Write Home” on the back (a limited number labels will be provided at the crop)

In addition to a card drive, “Any Hero mail” is welcome. These are cards or letters of gratitude and encouragement for our servicemen and women. Often, these cards and letters begin with “Dear Hero.” For more information, visit

If you plan to attend the card crop, please RSVP by 9/30. I hope you’ll just me for an afternoon of fun, fellowship, and craftiness! Happy World Card Making Day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Product Spotlight Blog Hop: Cricut Creations

Earlier this week I shared a Cricut card for this week's Heart 2 Heart Challenge, and now I'm back with two new Cricut cards to share! (You have heard that Close To My Heart released an exclusive Cricut cartridge called Art Philosophy, right?) I've joined a lovely group of a dozen CTMH consultants for this month's Cricut Creations Product Spotlight Blog Hop. If you've arrived from Jena's blog, welcome! If you're starting here, you won't miss a thing because the blog hop makes a loop all the way around, one blog to the next. From here, you'll want to head on over to the blog of my wonderful upline and friend, Chris, to see her project.

My first card was my first attempt at one of the fun card bases. I set the Cricut to cut at 4", and that ended up being the width of the finished card (much smaller than I anticipated)! I think that it turned out pretty cute. The flourish is actually scraps from this Cricut card! I used the Mishchief paper pack in a non-Halloween way. The key and watch/clock hand stamp are from the Key Moments stamp set.

My next card also uses the Key Moments stamp set. I was trying to make a more masculine card with the Dreamin' paper pack. I'm not entirely sure that I was successful, but it sure was fun playing with the different shapes you can cut with the CTMH/Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge! (This sentiment is from the Deepest Sympathy stamp set.)

Thanks for hopping by! Now go see what amazing project Chris has in store (and ask her about the Cricut dust covers she makes)!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sonoma Scrapbooking Class

This Sunday at 2 PM, you can create your own personalized version of this layout using the Sonoma paper pack, Workshop on the Go stamp set, September stamp of the month, and Bohemian Alphabet. Too girly for you? I've got some options for making it more manly too! You'll learn the art of clustering along with basic stamping, plus how to create a fun interactive element on your layout. I'll teach you how to make the flowers shown on this layout, plus the ones made from old book pages (like you can see HERE or HERE).

Please contact me if you'd like to attend or are interested in purchasing a class kit. Space is limited, but I'd love to have you!

This layout uses a sketch from the Magic how-to guide. Come to class to learn more!

{Layout 2011 #64}

Monday, September 12, 2011

H2H Challenges: Cricut or Die-Cut Creations

In honor of the new partnership between Close To My Heart and Cricut and the unveiling of the exclusive CTMH Cricut cartridge, Art Philosophy, this week's Heart 2 Heart challenge is to use a die cut, Cricut, etc., in this week's creation. (You do have all month to play!)

I don't own a Cricut yet (in large part because I have a Pazzles), but my friend Debora let me come over and play with hers. Using the CTMH Art Philosphy cartridge, I cut this card base from Colonial White cardstock and the black & gray B&T nested piece from the Mishchief paper pack. The Cricut even cut out the fabulous scrollwork design on that piece! Rather than pair this piece with other papers from the Mischief collection, I chose to accent my card with Smoothie cardstock and ink.

The "with gratitude" sentiment fit perfectly on the oval shapes I had cut, so I inked it up with Smoothie and black. Then I added a little black ink to the edge to make it pop. As I lined up the pieces, I decided that scrollwork didn't "pop," so some Smoothie scraps came to the rescue! They are sandwiched between the Mischief B&T and the Colonial White base to give this card some serious pizzaz.

The flower embellishment is three 2" scalloped circles punched out of an old children's book. I inked the edges with Smoothie, pierced that gorgeous rhinestone brad through the center, then crumpled and fluffed the flower until I was satisfied with the results.

It's probably hard to believe that I thought the card needed a little more bling. Silver glitz gel (around the sentiment), a rhinestone button, and a new stick pin to the rescue! Va-va-va-voom!

Now it's your turn to grab a cutting or die cut machine and create to your heart's content. Be sure to use some CTMH products in your creation and then link up your project to the H2H Challenge blog. You'll also want to check out all of the Design Team's fabulous projects. I can't wait to see what your creations!

Supplies from Close To My Heart: Colonial White and Smoothie cardstock; Mischief paper pack; Many Thanks stamp set; Smoothie and Black ink; Bling assorment; Silver Glitz Gel; Rhinestone Designer Brads
Other: Cricut machine, old children's book

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Always Remember & Operation Write Home

Today is a day that no American should forget, even those who weren't alive or who were babies (like my girls) on that horrific day 10 years ago.

On that patriotic note, are you familiar with Operation Write Home? This fantastic organization collects cards and Any Hero cards/letters to share with our servicemen and women. I have participated in one OWH event and plan to start my own in the near future. Visit their website HERE or find them on Facebook to learn more. What a great service project for your crafters, club, or organization! (If you're in the local area and would like to get started, learn more, or help, please let me know!) I'm also going to start a "collection box" at my home for my crafty friends, so feel free to bring extra cards when you come to class, etc.

OWH requests A2 size cards (4.25"x5.5") for ease in shipping. NO GLITTER is allowed. Cards MUST include "Operation Write Home" on the back (OWH abbreviation is not OK). Again, visit their website for complete info. We can show how crafters care and support our troops at the same time.

God bless the USA!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Close To My Heart New Paper Pack & Products: Dreamin'

Isn't the Dreamin' paper pack gorgeous? And perfect for Fall?

These "stamples" were made by the Close To My Heart Art Department.

Here's a little 3"x3" card that I made, and next is my creation for the new catalog swap.

This card by Stephanie Pederslie uses the adorable Gnome Garden stamp set. Isn't it funny? Syliva Jacquot used the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge and coordinating Tags stampset on her pretty little pillow box.

I couldn't resist sharing a closeup of the gnome and squirrel. Gnomeo, anyone?
Next up is set of beautiful cards. The long card by Alona Peters uses the Dreamin' Workshop on the Go paper pack and stamp set. The small square card by Sylvia Jaquot began with a Cricut Art Philosophy base and is beautiful stamped with the Unscripted stamp set. Finally, the gorgeous fall card by Carrie Hammond uses the Backdrop- Charmed stamp set. Aren't they all lovely?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Close To My Heart New Paper Pack & Products: Elemental

With every new Close To My Heart Idea Book (published twice a year), a slew of great new papers, products, and stamps are released. I've been fortunate to participate in a fabulous "new catalog" swap featuring all new CTMH items. Today I'm showcasing the Elemental paper pack. (At right is CTMH Corporate Art Studio artwork.)

Here is a little 3"x3" card that I made with scraps.

Clockwise from the top: CTMH Art Philosphy Cricut party favor box by Alona Peters, waterfall card by Carrie Hammond, and 3"x6" card by Louisa Morgan

Close up of ,the card, stamped with the Blue Ribbon stamp set

Inside of favor box, stamped with the Elemental Workshop on the Go stamp set (with decorated Starbursts candies inside!)

Waterfall card (Zoology stamp set):

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Blog Feature!

Starting right now, each month I am offering a free project idea, complete with instructions, here on my blog, up in the tabs at the top. (It is creatively named "This Month's Project.") If you'd like to join along, give the project a shot! There's also a place to link up your creation if you'd like to share it with me (and believe me, I'd love to see it!). I expect to have a new project uploaded within the first few days of the month for your crafting pleasure. I hope you'll give it a try! Thanks!

You may have seen this card already, but I am featuring it as this month's project with instructions for the pattern or sketch, called the "Top Band" from the Wishes how-to guide. Give it a try! You can go wild with embellishments or leave it clean and simple. It's totally up to you!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Black, White, and Red

When I saw both of these challenges, I couldn't resist combining them into one card! First, the Play Date Cafe challenge #97 is to use black and white with a splash of red. I may have gone overboard with my Tulip patterened paper, card stock, and ink, but I like it. (Isn't the inspiration photo gorgeous?)

When I read challenge #18 over at CAS-ual Fridays, I knew that I was hooked! I love to read, so the hardest part was deciding which book to use for inspiration! While it may not be my favorite book of all time, I recently read The Help (and saw the movie). I really liked them both, and I encourage you to read the book and/or see the movie! (The movie isn't one you have to see on the big screen, so if it's already passed in your area, definitely rent the DVD when it comes out. Even my Dad enjoyed the movie!)

If you've read the book or seen the movie, then you probably understand my inspiration. The main character Skeeter decides to write a book (anonymously) from the perspective of the black maids in her town, circa 1960 in the throes of the Civil Rights Movement. I chose to print the "Thank You" sentiment from my computer using a font that (to me at least) resembles a typewriter. Skeeter certainly owes her thanks and gratitude to the maids (and vice versa). I couldn't resist making a flower out of an old, worn out children's book. Inking the edges in Tulip made the flower much prettiers. Finally, I added some flourishes from the CTMH Bohemian Alphabet stamp set.

Thank YOU for stopping by and checking out my inspired card! Here's a close-up peek at the flower (made from a children's book that had fallen apart).

Monday, September 5, 2011

H2H Challenges (From Your Heart to Ours): Favorite Color Combo

What's your favorite color combo? We'd love for you to share it with us at Heart 2 Heart Challenges! To get you started, the Design Team is sharing their favorite color combos with you. Be sure to visit the H2H blog to see the variety (and this month's prize packages)!

This challenge actually turned out to be a hard one for me, because I love color, especially on the cooler side of the color wheel. I finally selected one of my favorite color combos: Lagoon and Chocolate. (Scroll down for another project featuring similar colors.)

To create the flower on the left, I punched a 2" scalloped circle of both Lagoon cardstock and (retired) Magnifique B&T paper. I edged the cardstock with Lagoon ink and then scrunched up the B&T circle. I was able to push it in on itself a bit as a smooshed it, so that it is why it looks smaller than the base circle.

I totally stole the button wheel idea from the talented Amy Moore, an active H2H participant, and then repeated the element in the flower. Hopefully the polka dots and circles aren't too much for you!

Now, click, walk, run, or wheel on over to the H2H Challenge blog to check out our Design Team's favorite color combos, meet this month's Guest Designer Jane Haas, and find out this month's fabulous prizes from Heather Hunt and Kelly Jo Ratcliff. Thanks to everyone who participates in H2H in any way. We couldn't do it without you!

Happy Labor Day!

Supplies from CTMH: Pair-A-Phrase stamp set; Wonderland and Magnifique (retired) paper packs; Lagoon and Chocolate ink; blending pen; 2" scalloped circle punch; blue sparkles; wooden buttons; Chocolate ribbon

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Scrap Our Stash Guest Designer (& More)

Scrap Our Stash is a fun challenge blog that encourages you to use your stash and offers several challenges each month. I was recently selected as a Guest Designer for my Red, White, & Blue project submission. This month's challenge is "grids," which you can interpret many different ways. The first thing that I thought of was my A Game stamp set with its cute tic-tac-toe board and images, which led to thoughts of my favorite tic-tac-toe player. Here she is in her spring school portrait. (The corresponding page includes all her classmates and their names, so I am not going to post it online. I used the same grid running down the left side with the big 8"x10" class portrait across the middle.)

This light blue, turquoise, and neutral color scheme from CR84FN (#37) was the perfect palette for this photo! I used Close To My Heart's Heavenly Blue, Lagoon, Chocolate, and White Daisy as my colors, along with paper from the new Wonderland paper pack and the retired Hooligans paper pack.

In the back of my mind, this fantastic layout sketch from Sassy Lil' Sketches inspired me! the different blocks definitely reminded me of the grid challenge theme.
Be sure to go visit the Scrap Our Stash challenge blog and get in on the fun!
All supplies from Close To My Heart: Wonderland and Hooligans (retired) paper packs; White Daisy card stock; Friendship Alphabet Large, Bohemian Alphabet, and A Game stamp sets; Lagoon, Heavenly Blue, and Chocolate inks; Lagoon marker; White Daisy Just Blooms; Blue & Green Sparkles

{Layout 2011 #63}


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