Friday, June 27, 2014

Making Life Easy with My Crush Cards

To continue with the theme of using the My Crush assortments to make incredibly fast and easy projects, here's a card I created using the My Crush Memories Assortment (leftovers from my mini-album!):


The design is from the retro sketches challenge. The bird image and "hello" sentiment are from the My Crush Assortment. Throw in some scraps of cardstock, do a little corner rounding and dovetailing, and use an embossing folder to create some texture, and that's it! I wanted to add as much bling as possible, so I stuck with silver/gray embellishments and went to town.

How ridiculously easy is that? 

Supplies Used (All CTMH):
Cardstock - Sky, Honey and Sunset
Embellishments - My Crush Memories Assortment, Silver Shimmer Trim, Black & Gray Sparkles, Metallic Neutral Baker's Twine, and Base & Bling Floral Assortment
Tools - Chevron Embossing Folder

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Crush Mini-Album and Cricut Explore

Our My Crush books (similar to Smash books) come with these cute assortments that have adorable little cards and stickers that are perfect for cards and layouts. I've been wanting to do something more with them, and when I came across this mini-album by Lisa Stenz, I knew I had found my inspiration. It was time to create my own My Crush mini-album!


I only used three products:
I also used the Art Philosophy cartridge to create some of the shapes, but if you don't have a Cricut, simply cut circles and rectangles instead for the base shapes (you can use a border punch to spice things up) and use random embellishments instead of the small images. 

Want to create one of your own? Easy! Simply click on the link below and all the dimensions you need will be available. Even if you don't have a Cricut Explore, you can still access this file. Just click on the "Edit" button on the upper right corner, and whenever you click on an image, it will let you know the size:

https://us.cricut.com/design/#/canvas/project/18298775

Anything labelled "My Crush" is just a placeholder for one of the My Crush assortment pieces.


Do you have an Explore and just want the Art Philosophy images ready to cut? Well here you go! Click on the file below and you can access just the AP images:


If you create your own mini-album, I would love to see how it turned out!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Delightful Ribbon Cards

I thought it would be fun to create some cards using Washi tape and ribbon as my background - it was incredibly easy and required no paper cutting (just snipping and tearing!). Plus, Heart 2 Heart Challenges is taking on ribbon, and these cards are up to the challenge:


To tie the cards together, I cut Kraft paper images using the Artiste cartridge and stamped sentiments from the Holiday Tags stamp set in Ruby ink and Desert Sand ink (which goes perfectly with Kraft paper!) And the washi tape and ribbon? All from the Delightful Ribbon collection:


You can get get this entire collection for $30 (valued at $54!) when you purchase $50 worth of product. All of these items are retiring and will only be available to purchase as a collection till the end of June (just one more week!)

Do you want to make your own ribbon and washi projects? 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Close To My Heart Retiring Items

With our new catalog coming out in August, there will be so much new stuff that Close To My Heart has to retire some items in order to make room! All of our paper packs will be retiring, along with the Workshops-On-The-Go and coordinating embellishments. We also have 5 ink colors that will be going, as well as some stamp sets, embellishments, tools and projects. 


This is the perfect month to stock up, thanks to our Celebrate 30 special. When you place an order totaling $50 during the month of June, you can add your choice of 1 of 6 great gift collections to your order for just $30!

Get yours on my website all month long. You'll be prompted to choose your collection(s) as you check out.

Delightful Ribbon and Trim Collection

Black Hemp, Dark Chocolate Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, Color-Ready Seam Binding Ribbon, Party Washi Tape 3-Pack, Sparkle & Shine Washi Tape 3-Pack, Colonial White Rosette Ribbon


Extraordinary Embellishments Collection

Mini Medley Accents Antiqued Gold Collection, Just Blooms Floret Paper Shapes, Pixie Glitter Alphabet, Glamour Glitter Alphabet, Color Ready-Canvas Alphabet, Chalkboard Shapes, Durables Round Studs, Durables Square Studs, Colonial White Rosette Ribbon


Holiday Happiness Collection

Season’s Tweetings Gift Bags (2 sets), Frosted Paper Packet, Frosted Complements, Frosted Assortment, Sparkle & Shine Textiles, Sparkle Holiday Shapes, Sparkle & Shine Complements Sparkle & Shine Assortment


Accessory Coordinates Collection

Black Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, Dark Chocolate Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, Huntington Complements, Chantilly Complements, Huntington Assortment, For Always Assortment, Tommy Assortment, Surfs Up Assortment, Chantilly Assortment


Paper Crafting Possibilities

Color-Ready Seam Binding Ribbon, Bronze Glitz Glitter Gel, Almond Glitz Glitter Gel, Colonial White Die-Cut Cards, My Creations Cubby, My Creations Collage Cubes, My Creations Star


Gifts and Kits Collection

Black Hemp, Glamour Glitter Alphabet, My Originals Matchbook Card Kit, Chantilly Textiles, Seasons Tweetings Gift Bags (2 sets), My Creations Collage Cubes

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kaboom! Celebrate with June's Stamp of the Month

Celebrate everything with June's awesome Stamp of the Month - Kaboom! It works perfectly for anything 4th of July, like this layout from last year's party at the Bolingbrook Golf Club:


The firework images can be randomly stamped to create a cool background (and what a great place to add some bling with sparkles, dots or bubbles!) And this stamp set works with birthdays, celebrations and any other momentous occasions that require some serious partying.


Get the party started with June's Stamp of the Month - as always, only $5 with a $50 purchase. 


Supplies Used (All CTMH)

Inks - Ruby, Lagoon and Whisper
Cardstock - Goldrush and Ruby

Skylark Paper Pack
Black & Gray Epoxy Bubbles
Ruby Chevron Washi Tape
Silver Shimmer Trim
Neutral Metallic Baker's Twine
Artbooking Cartridge

Monday, June 16, 2014

Crop and Shop with Close To My Heart

During July, I'm hosting two FREE crop events at my house in South Elgin, Illinois (Saturday, July 12th and Sunday July 20th from 10am to 5pm). Whether you want to start a new project or finish an old one, you'll have plenty of time and space to do so. On top of that:

  • My Cricut and cartridges, inks, how-to books and stamps will be available for you to use;
  • There will be drawings throughout the day for free prizes; 
  • I'll have artwork to help inspire you;
  • There will be crop-only specials; AND
  • You'll get a copy of the new Close To My Heart catalog! 

Not only is this a time to crop, but it's also a time to shop! My Close To My Heart store will be open on both days - you can touch and feel the product before buying! I'll have paper, stamps, inks, embellishments, tools, adhesives and even single sheets of cardstock and patterned paper! Plus, I'll have a stash of used items that I'll be clearing out of my collection (I will not be having these items at my open house, so make sure to stock up in July!)
 
If you're coming to crop, please RSVP for one of the two available dates. If you're just coming to shop, there's no need to RSVP!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Artbooking Overlays for Layouts and Cards

Close To My Heart's Artbooking cartridge has a lot of different overlays that make putting together scrapbooking layouts really easy. I chose the overlay on page 77 and set it at 11 inches. The overlay is just the white outline - all I had to do was back it with some paper and photos, and I was done!



I used additional images on pages 76 and 77, though I set those to Real Dial Size because I wanted them smaller. The bracket and "Wonderland" title are at 3 inches and the snowflakes are 1.25, 1.5 and 1.75 inches. 

The overlays aren't just for layouts, though. If you size them down, they make awesome backgrounds for cards. I set the same overlay at 5.5 inches, and then backed it with paper the same way I did with the layout:


What's great about this particular paper pack is that it works both for winter holidays and elegant occasions. The Frosted paper pack is no longer available for individual purchase, but during June, you can get it as part of our Celebrate 30 special - along with those adorable felt flowers and sparkles (not to mention the coordinating Complements stickers!) 


You can get get this entire collection for $30 (valued at $64.55!) when you purchase $50 worth of product. All of these items are retired and will only be available to purchase as a collection till the end of June.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Trouble with Cricut Design Space and Cartridges

I love the idea of a Cricut machine that is image-based rather than cartridge based - it's where all the other machines are at, and it makes it possible to create images out of pretty much anything. Plus, the precision cutting of the new Cricut Explore is supposed to be phenomenal. I just received the Explore as an early birthday present and cannot really say one way or the other about these new changes - I'm looking forward to finding out more. My main concern as I got started with my new machine was being able to create projects using the Close To My Heart cartridges - I am a consultant, and using these amazing cartridges is one of my favorite parts of the job. So, the very first thing I did once my Explore was set up was to head straight to Design Space and to try to cut out some pieces for an upcoming workshop. And that is where the trouble began.

I needed a specific bow from the Artiste cartridge - I knew exactly what page of the cartridge booklet it was on. However, when I clicked on the Artiste Image Set (or cartridge), this is what came up:


If you have the booklet, you can see that the images are shown in a random order (and this is true for all Image Sets). There is no correlation between the order in the cartridge booklet and the order they appear in Design Space. There is also no way to search an individual cartridge for an image - you must search ALL cartridges you have in your collection as well as all images you have access to within Design Space. So, when doing a search for Artiste Bows, this is what now appears:


267 images, some of which are from Artiste, most of which are not. And scrolling through them all, I still couldn't find that specific bow. When I went back to the Artiste Image Set, I noticed something else - only 519 images appeared to be available (every CTMH cartridge has 750 images). So, I thought perhaps I was doing something wrong and gave Cricut a call.

It turns out that not all the images from all the cartridges have been coded into Design Space. That means that though you have paid for use of all the images, you currently cannot access all the images from your cartridges if you are using Design Space. And Cricut does not know when this will be fixed. 

What does this mean for all of us who have a collection of cartridges we still want to use? First, it has become very difficult to find specific images. Every single machine prior to Explore made it easy to find an image with the use of the booklet and mat set-up. Now, not only is that order lost, but trying to search for an image is difficult because you must search through all image files you have available to you (so, every cartridge you own, plus images you have purchased, and any images that Cricut allows you access to from their library). On top of that, many of the cartridge images aren't even available, and no one knows when they will be.

I am blogging about this for one reason - I want to make sure that anyone who is considering buying an Explore is aware that they will not be able to find images as easily as they can with the older machines, and that not all images are available. If you just want a large library of images you can choose from, then this is not a big deal, and is even a plus - you'll have a lot of choose from. If, however, you are like me and need to access certain images for projects, you're going to struggle. Ultimately, Cricut switched from cartridges to images without providing a bridge for their cartridge-collecting customers.

I'm going to keep using my new machine and will keep an eye out to see if Cricut resolves these issues. In the meantime, think long and hard before spending your money. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Father's Day Fundamentals Layout

A hostess for a recent workshop party asked for a simple (but rugged) Father's Day layout that used the nifty emboss-resist patterns of the Paper Fundamentals assortment. And since I have a hard time saying no to my hostesses, I came up with this fun one-page layout that uses the Paper Fundamentals as the base and the ruggedly handsome Timberline papers for accents:



Everyone got to choose their layout base color and pattern (there's 10 to choose from - I'm showing two here, and they both look pretty awesome), as well as their stamped images and colors and title. Everyone loved being able to customize their layout, and I know there's going to be a lot of happy dads this Father's Day. :)

If you want to make a project of your choice at a workshop party, click here for more details!

Supplies Used (All CTMH):

Ink Choices - Hollyhock, Lagoon, Ponderosa Pine, Chocolate, Honey, Pear, Twilight and Gypsy 

Paper Fundamentals Assortment
Timberline Paper Pack

Kraft Keyboard Alphabet
Durables Triangle Studs


All The Details Stamp Set
Art Philosophy Cricut Collection


Friday, June 6, 2014

Artbooking Tutorial - Baby Cards

Close To My Heart's Artbooking cartridge makes creating layouts and mini-albums really simple because all the images are linked, which means you don't have to figure out sizing. What's even better is that you can apply this to cards as well. And considering all the baby showers I have coming up, I need this. :)


All the Cricut-cut images on this card are from page 50 of the Artbooking manual, and the size was set to 5.5 inches so it would fit on an A2 sized card (5.5" x 4.25"). 

With the images being linked, everything was automatically cut proportionally. The only size I changed was the large Chocolate tag - I wanted this as a mat, so I cut it at 6 inches.

There is no stamping on this card - I used a journaling pen to outline the banner and border, and the tan (Cashmere) and white background image on the tag is from the Paper Fundamentals assortment. The only item I hand cut was the Cashmere banner (3" x 0.75").


On this card, all Cricut-cut images are from page 51 of the Artbooking manual, and the size was set to 5.5 inches. The blue/green (Juniper) tag was set to 6 inches so it could be a mat. Again, no stamping, just a journaling pen and Paper Fundamentals. I only hand cut the 2.75" white circle.

This can easily be done directly on whatever Cricut machine you have, but if you use the Cricut Craft Room like I did, you can use the Layers function to lay out your card before you cut:


Each color represents a different layer and allows me to get an idea of what the card will look like when all the images are cut and assembled. 

Another nice Craft Room feature you can use is the "Hide Contour" button to remove any parts of an image you don't want. For instance, the tags and borders on both cards had small holes, which I didn't want because it was just too much with the background overlay. Here's a quick tutorial showing how you can do this:


I hope this inspires you to do a little Cricut card making of your own!

Supplies Used (All CTMH):

Cardstock - Pear, Juniper, Chocolate, Whisper, White, Smoothie, Sorbet, Buttercup and Cashmere
Retired - Chantilly paper pack, Sorbet ribbon, Mocha Pearls and Bitty Buds Assortment

Artbooking Cartridge

Flamingo Dots

Baker's Twine Hemp

Journaling Pen

Paper Fundamentals

Skylark Paper Pack

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Card Class

I love teaching papercrafting workshops, and I'm so excited to announce that starting this summer, I'm going to be expanding my classroom! I'm working with the South Elgin and St. Charles Park Districts to teach card and mini-album classes this summer and in the fall. It'll be fun to meet new people in the community and hopefully to get some of them interested in crafting. My classes will be simple, but with some fun techniques for all experience levels. My first class will be all about cards:


I'm using the Ivy Lane collection to show that any paper pack can be used in a variety of ways. Plus we'll be doing stamping, exploring the wonders of washi tape, and rolling a few 3-D flowers along the way. 

If you live in the area, this might be a fun workshop for you to check out. Since it's through the park district, signing up must be done through them via fax, mail or in person. Click here to check out the brochure. My class is listed on page 56 and the sign up form is on page 61. 

I can't wait to get started! I'll have more projects coming up, including a fun, multi-purpose mini-album and Christmas cards.

Monday, June 2, 2014

So Much To Celebrate!

June has arrived and it's time to celebrate with two amazing Close To My Heart specials! 

Celebrate 30!


In honor of our founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton’s 30-year anniversary in the stamping and scrapbooking industry, when you place an order totaling $50 during the month of June, you can add your choice of 1 of 6 great gift collections to your order for just $30! Each collection has an original retail value of at least $50—some even as high as $65. Plus, each collection is perfectly tailored to fit a variety of interests and styles. They feature everything from gift bags to ribbons to washi tape to alphabet stickers—and much more! Take advantage of these savings and snag your own collection for just $30. It may be Jeanette’s anniversary—but you get the gift!

Get yours on my website all month long. You'll be prompted to choose your collection(s) as you check out.

Delightful Ribbon and Trim Collection

Black Hemp, Dark Chocolate Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, Color-Ready Seam Binding Ribbon, Party Washi Tape 3-Pack, Sparkle & Shine Washi Tape 3-Pack, Colonial White Rosette Ribbon


Extraordinary Embellishments Collection

Mini Medley Accents Antiqued Gold Collection, Just Blooms Floret Paper Shapes, Pixie Glitter Alphabet, Glamour Glitter Alphabet, Color Ready-Canvas Alphabet, Chalkboard Shapes, Durables Round Studs, Durables Square Studs, Colonial White Rosette Ribbon


Holiday Happiness Collection

Season’s Tweetings Gift Bags (2 sets), Frosted Paper Packet, Frosted Complements, Frosted Assortment, Sparkle & Shine Textiles, Sparkle Holiday Shapes, Sparkle & Shine Complements Sparkle & Shine Assortment


Accessory Coordinates Collection

Black Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, Dark Chocolate Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, Huntington Complements, Chantilly Complements, Huntington Assortment, For Always Assortment, Tommy Assortment, Surfs Up Assortment, Chantilly Assortment


Paper Crafting Possibilities

Color-Ready Seam Binding Ribbon, Bronze Glitz Glitter Gel, Almond Glitz Glitter Gel, Colonial White Die-Cut Cards, My Creations Cubby, My Creations Collage Cubes, My Creations Star


Gifts and Kits Collection

Black Hemp, Glamour Glitter Alphabet, My Originals Matchbook Card Kit, Chantilly Textiles, Seasons Tweetings Gift Bags (2 sets), My Creations Collage Cubes


June Stamp of the Month - Kaboom!



Not only can you get one of the awesome Celebrate 30 collections when you spend $50, but you can also get the "dynamite" June Stamp of the Month for just $5! It's perfect for patriotic cards and scrapbook pages, birthdays, celebrations, awards and so much more. 

Get the Stamp of the Month on my website all month long. You'll be prompted to add yours as you check out.


Keep an eye out for upcoming artwork using this awesome stamp set - I can't wait to show you how much you can do with it!