Thursday, July 31, 2014

August Stamp of the Month Blog Hop - What a Hoot!

Welcome to our Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! August's featured stamp set is called What a Hoot and has 17 adorable stamp images.

If you've come here from Catherine Nowak's Blog, you're on the right path! The blog hop is a great big circle, so you can start here and work your way all around. If you get lost along the way, you’ll find the complete list of participating consultants here

 This month we have Close To My Heart Consultants sharing their creations using August's SOTM and other great CTMH products on their blogs. Hopping around is simple to do - just click on the link at the end of the post on each blog to move to the next one! Here we go!!

I love paper piecing, and this stamp set is perfect for doing this! I used scraps from three different paper packs - the black star B&T paper is from Chalk It Up, the Sorbet B&T paper on the owl's belly and eye mask is from Seaside and the owl's body is from Yuletide Carol - and none of these are Halloween papers!

I also had fun with my bling - I used the Topiary Mini Chevron Ribbon, Gold Shimmer Trim and White Enamel Stars. Plus you can see a hint of our new purple color, Thistle!

And what's Halloween without a little treat? This adorable owl treat bag is from the Artiste Cartridge. The paper comes from the Chalk It Up collection, and I added in some Honey and Sunset cardstock. The sparkle comes from the Black and Grey Sparkle Assortment. Also, the sentiments on both the card and the bag got a little color from our new ShinHan Touch markers - Golden Yellow and Light Orange.

 Now "Hop" on over to Heather Jane's Blog to see her work! Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their blogs to get some great crafting ideas! 

Remember, the SOTM is only available until August 31st! You can get this fun stamp set for only $5 with a $5o purchase. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Little Sneak Peak!

I have been creating like mad so I can showcase the amazing product from our new Annual Inspirations catalog/idea book and give you plenty of artwork to be inspired by! I'll be showing off all my new creations at my open house this Saturday, August 2nd from 1-5pm (and some of you will be able to win a piece!) I won't be able to post all my new artwork (another reason to stop by!), but I'll make sure to share some of it in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, here's a little sneak peak:

The Kraft Container and Funky Blossoms stamp set are older products that we're still carrying, but the paper (a little hint of a new summery collection called Seaside) and the adorable Gold Sequins are brand new!

Stop by to see new artwork, products, workshops and specials in person this Saturday! If you can't make it, make sure you're on my newsletter list so you can find out all about my new workshop clubs and upcoming specials.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Close To My Heart Products Retiring July 31st!

July 31 is just around the corner and hundreds of our current products are retiring to make room for new products! You have until July 31st (or while supplies last) to order these products. You can check out all the retiring items on My Website

As an added bonus, if you spend $50 (which makes you eligible for the Stamp of the Month!), you'll also get to choose a FREE ink pad from one of our 5 new colors coming out in August! Happy Shopping!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Crop and Shop Fun

These past two weekends I had a Crop and Shop at my house where my customer friends could come and work on whatever projects they liked, scope out artwork I had on display, and shop from my home store. I had such a blast, and from the pictures below, you can see everyone else did too! I loved spending the day with these amazing women - they're all so creative, as well as funny, wacky, nice and just incredible. All of you are the reason why I love being a Close To My Heart consultant so much - thank you for all the wonderful memories!

Part of my store and artwork display

Above and below - some of my July 12th group. What lively and fun conversation you all provided!

Above and below - my July 20th group. What a bunch of characters!

Doing a little shopping at my home store...

Me and Jean - an awesomely creative duo

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July Stamp of the Month - Circus Alphabet Art

I couldn't wait to start playing with July's Stamp of the Month - Circus Alphabet! It's got such an eclectic mix of letters, and I just knew there'd be so much you can do with the stamp set. I was inspired by the artwork in the catalog, and I created my card and layout based on the colors and techniques shown with the stamp set:

It was the color combination of Lagoon, Pear, Hollyhock, Cocoa and Bamboo that got me creating. I used all these colors to some degree in both my card and layout. I also loved how they created their own patterned paper using the small letters, so I recreated that effect on my layout. You can put a bunch of letters on a block and just stamp that across the paper, but I actually stamped the letters one at a time, putting them together like a puzzle. It was actually sort of relaxing. :)

The other technique I used was coloring with the Alcohol Blending Marker and the Lagoon ink pad. If you squish the top and bottom of the ink pad together, then open the pad, you'll notice the plastic cover has ink droplets on it. I used those droplets with the blending marker to color my layout title and card sentiment. It makes it easy to create an ombre effect and to give it a soft watercolor look.

If you'd like to create some of your own eclectic designs, you can get July's Stamp of the Month for $5 with a $50 purchase. Click here to shop!

Supplies Used (All CTMH):
Paper Packs - Skylark and Ivy Lane
Other Paper - Paper Fundamentals Assortment
Stamps - July Stamp of the Month - Circus Alphabet
Ink - Lagoon, Cocoa and Cocoa pigment ink
Embellishments - Pink Glitter Gems, Slate Polka Dot Washi Tape, Lagoon Houndstooth Washi Tape, Kraft Keyboard Alphabet, Trinkets Wooden Shapes, and Corkboard Alphabet (retired)
Tools - Alcohol Blending Marker

Monday, July 14, 2014

Close To My Heart's Annual Inspirations Idea Book

Close To My Heart's new Annual Inspirations Idea Book is here, and I'm offering two ways for you to get one - either come to my open house party, or order your own copy to be shipped to your home! 

If you're in the Chicagoland area, then you're invited to my new catalog open house party to celebrate! And what do you get for coming to the celebration?
  • A FREE Annual Inspirations Idea Book/Catalog!
  • A thank you gift for stopping by!
  • Drawings throughout the afternoon for free prizes (just make sure to RSVP!)
  • A look at beautiful artwork made with the new products (plus a chance to win one of the display art pieces!)
  • The inside scoop on my new workshops and clubs!
  • A chance to see the new products in person!
Want more freebies? Bring a friend and you'll receive a FREE ink pad of your choice! 

Make sure to RSVP by either leaving a comment here or on Facebook so you're entered into the drawings!

Can't make the open house but want a copy of the new Annual Inspirations Idea Book/Catalog? Then this is the place to get one! There are so many incredible ideas and beautiful pieces of artwork - you'll find yourself reaching for it again and again for inspiration!

Books will be mailed out on July 21st, and you will receive an $8 coupon to use on your first order from this spectacular book!


Friday, July 11, 2014

More on Cricut Explore

I've been spending a lot of time playing with my Cricut Explore, and I'm excited to share some of the awesome things I've learned. Although the original problems I posted about are still a concern, I've found some ways around those issues.

First, the Explore lives up to all the hype when it comes to cutting. Circles are perfect and intricate shapes (no matter how small) are not a problem. This is how the Cricut should have been cutting all along. The machine works like a dream.

Second, Design Space is an incredible piece of software. True, it doesn't bridge the gap between cartridges and images as well as it should, but once you get beyond the search issues, the software itself is amazing. It makes creating projects easy - you can make an entire project, layers and all, on one page. Craft Room requires you to keep adding in layers separately, and it can be cumbersome when trying to make a project. There's also a lot more flexibility with sizing, welding, and image placement. Plus, the machine has a score tool, so you can add score lines wherever you want. 

*Side note to those of you with Close To My Heart's Art Philosophy, Artiste and Artbooking cartridges - on the older machines, scoring wasn't possible, so a notch was cut on any areas that needed to be scored and folded. The Explore automatically converts those notch lines into score lines, so when you use these cartridges to create boxes, cards or any other folded projects, you get score lines without having to do anything. It makes the projects crisper and neater*

Now, in regards to finding specific images. All images in Design Space have an image number, which doesn't correspond to the cartridge manual. Bummer. But, the Non-Crafty Crafter took the time to create a PDF file with the image numbers matched to their corresponding image. She only has a few, but for CTMH fans, she has all three cartridges complete. So, if you want an easy way to find images on Design Space, click here (and thank Narelle while you're at it.)

So, if a new CTMH cartridge makes an appearance, I feel ready to get my Cricut creating mojo going. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Red, White and Jubilee Card

All my new Close To My Heart goodies will be arriving within the week (I love getting new product early!), but for now I'm trying to use as much of the current product as possible. The Red & White Daisy Heart 2 Heart Challenge seemed like a great way to use my remaining bits of Jubilee and get a birthday card in the process (I can't believe how many of those I go through! I love giving them to friends, family, customers, random strangers on the street... :)

The red comes from the Cranberry Jubilee B&T, and the White Daisy is from those wonderful die cut cards. I threw in a little Indian Corn Blue because I could. :) As for sparkle, I have both clear sparkles and shimmer trim (red and bronze!) And there's a cute cross-stitch on the upper right corner to tie into the bits of brown I used. Fun and simple, just the way I like it.

Supplies Used (All CTMH):
Ink - Cocoa (stamping and distressing)
Cardstock - Indian Corn Blue and White Daisy
B&T - Jubilee
Card Base - White Daisy Die Cut Cards
Embellishments - Jubilee Complements, Bronze and Red Shimmer Trim, Clear Sparkles, Embroidery Floss (retired)
Stamps - Kaboom (June Stamp of the Month)
Tools - Art Philosophy cartridge (tickets, flowers and heart) and Scallop Border Punch

Monday, July 7, 2014

Win A Free Paper Pack!

Close To My Heart is giving away a FREE Paper Fundamentals Basic Pack ($19.95 value)! If you want to be entered to win, simply go here, watch the short (1:24) video and leave a comment between now and July 31st. How easy is that?

Paper Fundamentals are a great staple to have in your crafting supply collection. One side has an emboss-resist pattern in a neutral color and the other side has the same pattern, but in white on the same neutral color. Simply put - awesome.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Ariana Pennant Frames

Back in March we made a lovely bracket frame using the Ariana papers and silver shimmer trim. All the ladies who joined me for the workshop did an amazing job, and I know they loved having a beautiful memory showcase for their homes. I decided to make two additional frames that would accent this piece using the smaller pennant frames. 

I kept it simple. I chose patterns that I had already used in the bracket frame, and continued using the same elements and embellishments - a piece of patterned paper edged with silver shimmer trim, a scalloped border frame, gray epoxy bubbles and Ariana bows. To make these stand out a little from the bracket frame, I used the Ariana Complements and a color background mat for my photos. I can't wait to get these three pieces of art hanging on the wall together!

Ariana will be retired after July 31st, so if you'd like to make your own Ariana frames, click here to start shopping!

Supplies Used (All CTMH):

Ariana Assortment
Ariana Paper Pack

Ariana Complements

Black and Gray Epoxy Bubbles

Pennant Frame

Silver Shimmer Trim

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Join the Close To My Heart Adventure!

Close To My Heart had its annual Convention at Disneyland, and they revealed some amazing new products that will be available starting August 1st (yes, I will be sharing a few new tidbits and sneak peaks!) 

Don't want to wait? Then check out the two brand new Consultant kits you can choose from when you join this incredible adventure! Whether you are a scrapbooker or card maker, we have the perfect kit for you! 

and click on the "Let's get started" link.  Complete the short online form - it's that easy!