Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Live Beautifully 2-Page Layout

I have had so much fun creating with the National Scrapbooking Month's Live Beautifully collection! Here is a lovely layout I made with it of my grandmother's wedding day:

The lovely florals and colors from the Live Beautifully collection look stunning with the black and white photos. I added some Sea Glass cardstock to make the photos and embellishment clusters pop, and used Uptown Fundamentals and Gold Glitter paper to bring in texture. The Hearts Thin Cuts and Black & White Dots make up my embellishment clusters.

You can still purchase this collection, but it's only available until May 31st, so get yours on my website today!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

May Stamp of the Month - Live, Laugh Love Card

May's Stamp of the Month is a dream for coloring! 
I loved adding touches of color from the Live Beautifully collection, and adding a few other colors that go with the collection but aren't a part of it.

The paper is from Live Beautifully, including the paper I stamped all the flowers on - it adds subtle texture. I colored the "Love" with our Shinhan Touch markers and blinged it up with Gold Glitter Gems.

If you want the stamp set, make sure to get it now! It's only $5 with a $50 purchase (or $17.95 by itself). You can get it on my website until May 31st!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Rose Blossom Blog Hop - Live Beautifully Layout

Welcome to the Rose Blossom Blog Hop! Come follow Close To My Heart consultants from the Rose Blossom team as we share our creations made using this month's National Scrapbooking Month collection, Live Beautifully!

If you came here from Kim's amazing blog, you are on the right path. If you get lost along the way, come back here and go to the bottom of the page for the blog hop list.

Inspiration: I love the simple layout on pg. 47 of the new Seasonal Expressions 2 mini-catalog, so I adapted it for this sweet photo.

Substitution: The inspiration layout had the focal papers cut diagonally; however, I had used so much of this paper that I didn't have enough to do that! So I made mine horizontal instead and added gold stitching to give it something extra.

Coordination: Along with Live Beautifully, I used papers from Uptown Fundamentals - the blacks and golds of this collection coordinate perfectly with Live Beautifully. Also, our Heart Thin Cuts look gorgeous with the florals.

You can get the Live Beautifully collection on my website

Now it's time for you to keep moving on the hop!  Head on over to Brenda's beautiful blog and see her artwork!

Blog Hop List:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Live Beautifully Card

The lovely new Live Beautifully collection for National Scrapbooking Month has so many beautiful colors and designs that you'll find it so inspiring to create with!

Inspiration: CardMaps Vol. 4; this particular card has lots and lots of layers, which I thought would be fun with all the lovely patterns.

Technique: I rubbed some Sea Glass ink onto my All Purpose Mat, spritzed with water, and got a brush wet with the mixture. I then flicked the brush on a piece of white paper to create a fun splattered background.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New Seasonal Expressions 2 Mini-Catalog - What's Your Favorite?

Have you seen the new Seasonal Expressions 2 mini-catalog? It's full of gorgeous summer-themed collections! Check it out here!

My absolute favorite is the Prickly Pear collection (especially because of that cute llama stamp set!) What's your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

National Scrapbooking Month - Live Beautifully

For National Scrapbooking Month, Close To My Heart has created the lovely Live Beautifully paper packet and stamp set, designed to celebrate your beautiful life. This exclusive paper packet and stamp set are available for purchase as single items or as a bundle. See more details here.
In addition, these paper and stamp designs are also available in an exclusive set of Cut Above®layouts that are designed to make preserving memories faster, simpler, and easier than ever. See the kit on my website.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Share the Love Layout - Combining Paper Packs

In a previous post, I mentioned that my team is "sharing the love" by exchanging cards and layouts with each other throughout the year. 

My partner's 1 year anniversary with CTMH is in April, and this is the layout I made to commemorate that:

I actually combined 4 paper packs into this one 6 x 8 layout! The key is to focus on a color scheme - I used colors from our Whimsy palette, so all I had to do was pick and choose papers that had those colors. 

I used Dreamin' Big, Whimsy Fundamentals and leftovers from last year's Everyday Life pages. And to bring it all together, I added some gold from the Uptown Fundamentals.

I also mixed embellishments - I used the Springtime and My Girl Complements (again, Whimsy colors and neutrals). 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Seasonal Expressions 2 Mini-Catalog Open House

You're invited to my open house for our new Seasonal Expressions 2 Mini-Catalog!

When: Saturday, May 13th, anytime between 11am and 4pm
Where: My house, South Elgin, IL
Project: Create a free make-n-take card using new products!
Get More: You'll also receive a free mini-catalog and a chance to win prizes!

Register by May 1st:
Sign Up Now!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Share the Love Card - Using Leftovers

Our team is doing something rather wonderful - we're exchanging cards and layouts with someone else on our team that we don't really know so we can get to know each other and share our love of Close To My Heart and crafting. 

And this is the card I created for my partner this month:

At this point in the year, I often have more scraps than whole sheets of paper (well, that is until our next mini-catalog is released :) So I wanted to play around with what I do have. I used strips of  Whimsy Fundamentals, and to ground them, I added wood slat paper from the Rustic Home Fundamentals. And to tie it all together, some Springtime Complements.

My favorite part, though, are the herbs I watercolored from the Good Thymes! stamp set. They were really easy to color and look pretty cool cut out and bunched together.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Turning Mistakes into Creative Opportunities

There truly are no mistakes in crafting - just creative opportunities. 

I've found that when something doesn't go as planned, that's the best time to start looking at what I'm doing from another direction. 

Often I end up turning what I thought was a mistake into something even better than I had originally planned...

"Mistake" 1: I glued down the paper squares before really playing with them, and ended up having to remove them from the card base and rearrange them. Unfortunately, that caused some tearing of paper. Instead of giving up, I simply edge distressed everything. I think the rough edges look cooler than what was originally there.

"Mistake" 2: Originally I had wanted to incorporate this month's Stamp of the Month into the card. However, no matter what I did, nothing felt right. But I liked the squares and the colors, so I just took away that one element that was blocking me and focused on what I liked.

"Mistake" 3: I wanted to create fun clusters of embellishments, but I had used up most of the embellishment packs I had that went with the colors. The few embellishments I did have looked sort of strange floating around on the upper and lower corners, and I really didn't have anything that could ground them. So I went to my scrap stash and cut a few circles - that allowed the card to flow and the limited embellishments to stand out.

Don't be afraid of imperfections - often they end up turning your projects into something even better in the end!

Monday, April 3, 2017

April Close To My Heart Specials - 15 Minute Memories

Create beautiful layouts in 15 minutes at an awesome discount! 
Keep reading for details...

1. 15 Minute Memories

This month our innovative new Cut Above™ layout kits are available at 50% off the retail price!  Choose between two designs—Little One and Forever & Always—and then follow the simple assembly instructions to create your beautiful two-page layout in minutes. You’re going to love how quickly you can preserve your memories with Cut Above.

2. April Stamp of the Month
The Stamp of the Month is only available during its month and is only $5 ($12.95 savings!) with every $50 ordered (before shipping and tax). When ordering on my website, you'll be prompted to add your set(s) before you check out.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Celebrate Spring with this Sending Sunshine Card

Spring is finally here, and I want to celebrate with a fun spring-themed card!

Inspiration: Pattern 25 from Make It From Your Heart Vol. 2.

Technique: I cut 2 of each flower size (I used one large, one medium and one small) from the Flower Market cartridge, gluing them offset from each other to really make the flower stand out. 

Product Fun: The paper comes from the Whimsy and Enchantment Fundamentals, and the embellishments are Enamel & Glitter Purple Hearts and Rustic Home Ribbon.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Top 5 Ways to Use Thin Cuts

You can get all of Close To My Hearts thin cuts at 25% off during March! And I want to make sure you get the most out of them with these top 5 tips:

1. Use the thin cut shapes and sentiments to create cards and pages with no stamping!

2. If you have a stamp set with a coordinating die, you can either stamp first and then cut, or cut and then stamp. If you stamp first, make sure to keep your die in place with washi tape. If you cut first, make sure to put your cut image on a different colored background before you stamp so you can easily see the outline of your die cut when stamping.

3. Make your thin cut shapes pop by cutting out some of the images or sentiments with glitter paper.

4. Use thin cuts to create a background by using the negative space in your paper - you can put patterned paper in the background to make it pop, or even stamp a sentiment!

5. Add watercolors to a sheet of watercolor paper first, and then stamp your die/stamp image in Archival Black ink, followed by cutting it out with your die. Stamping after you watercolor will leave the image nice and crisp.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Thin Cuts - Thanks Card

This month's incredible Thin Cuts special means fun artwork using die cuts!

Thin Cuts: The "thanks" comes from the Hello & Thanks thin cut set

Technique: I used one of the acetate sheets from the All About the Gold Fundamentals to create a clear panel in this card - that way, I was able to add some depth behind it with more papers and stamped images. 

How-To: To do this, cut off 3" from the front of your card base, and then cut 2 pieces of patterned paper (1.25" and 1") and an acetate sheet (2.5"). Adhere the acetate sheet to the edge of the cut card base and cover with the 1.25" patterned paper. Adhere the other patterned paper to the edge of the bottom of the acetate sheet. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Rose Blossom Blog Hop - Thin Cuts Background Card

Welcome to the Rose Blossom Blog Hop! Come follow Close To My Heart consultants from the Rose Blossom team as we share our creations made using Thin Cuts! Why? Because they're all 25% off during March!

If you came here from Shelly's lovely blog, you are on the right path. If you get lost along the way, come back here and go to the bottom of the page for the blog hop list.

Create a Background: I love creating backgrounds with die cuts - they add instant texture, and they're so easy to make! I simply used the hello from the Hello & Thanks Thin Cuts with white paper on a white background. To make one pop as a sentiment, I used the colorful Some Kinda Wonderful paper

Adhesive Tip: Did you know that the E-Z Dots Adhesive is perfect for using with die cuts? You don't have to worry about your adhesive hanging off the edge - just run the adhesive over the die cut on some scrap paper, and any extra adhesive will just stay on the scrap paper. I love those little dots!

You can get all our Thin Cuts on my website

Now it's time for you to keep moving on the hop!  Head on over to Kelly's beautiful blog and see her artwork!

Blog Hop List:

Monday, March 13, 2017

April Layout Workshops - Dreamin' Big Layouts

Create three, 2-page layouts using the Dreamin' Big collection at 
April's layout workshop!

The layout kit comes pre-cut and ready to make with leftovers to create more!

When: Saturday, April 8th anytime between 10:30am to 5pm
Where: Quality Inn & Suites, St. Charles, IL
Cost: $35 for three, pre-cut, 2-page layouts

Sign Up Now!

Friday, March 10, 2017

April Card Workshop - Dreamin' Big Cards for Guys

Create 12 cards you can give to the boys and men in your life using the Dreamin' Big paper pack at April's Card Workshop! Plus, you can take advantage of the March Thin Cuts special as we'll be using thin cuts for all of the cards!

Choose your sentiments AND choose either hearts, stars or both!

The card kit comes pre-cut and ready to make with leftovers to create more!

When: Saturday, April 8th anytime between 10:30am to 5pm
Where: Quality Inn & Suites, St. Charles, IL
Cost: $25 for 12 cards 

Sign Up Now!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March Stamp of the Month - Tea-rrific Card

March's Stamp of the Month is the lovely Tea-rrific stamp set - and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to have some fun with the teacup outline:
I love outline images because they're perfect for stamping on patterned paper - you can create any background you want!

Teacups: I stamped the teacup on different patterned papers from the Hello Lovely paper pack. And yes, I did fussy cut each of them.

Background: This is one of my favorite techniques! I pressed the Sea Glass ink pad and Fern ink pad onto my All-Purpose mat and then sprayed with water. From there, I placed my white cardstock on top and pressed down, blotting and adding more color.

Fun Tips: Make your images shine with the Gold Shimmer Brush! I added just a little to each teacup. Also, make a fun background pop by using 3D Foam Tape to adhere it to your card base.

Get the March Stamp of the Month on my website>>

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March Close To My Heart Specials - Cut It Out!

All thin cuts are on sale this month! Keep reading for details...

1. Cut It Out!

Thin Cuts give you a fast and easy way to cut all kinds of shapes for your crafting, and during March only, they are all available at 25%-off! Choose from titles, sentiments, and a wide variety of shapes to stamp on, so you can get precise, dimensional shapes in no time! 

2. March Stamp of the Month

The Stamp of the Month is only available during its month and is only $5 ($12.95 savings!) with every $50 ordered (before shipping and tax). When ordering on my website, you'll be prompted to add your set(s) before you check out.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Crafting Trends 2017 - Succulents

This is the trend that took me most by surprise. I lived in New Mexico for over 5 years and have a special place in my heart for these juicy little plants. 

As a side note, cactus are also being included in this trend even though they technically are not succulents.  

Inspiration: Online Card Classes Clear & Sheer class.

Technique: There are a few things going on with this card
1. I used clear embossing paste with a stencil to create the textured background.
2. I colored those adorable plants with watercolor pencils, smoothing it out with the Blending Pen.
3. I heat embossed the sentiment on vellum. 

Card Elements: I used the Stuck on You stamp set, Watercolor Pencils and Blending Pen, Versamark Ink, White Embossing Powder and Uptown Fundamentals

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Crafting Trends 2017 - Earth Tones

Although the color of the year is Greenery, the overall colors for 2017 are earth tones. This shell card is a great example of that natural feel:

Inspiration:'s Create a Card for Every Occasion class.

Technique: I stamped the shells in Versamark ink and used white embossing powder to heat set the images. And then I had fun with watercolors! I got the paper wet and dabbed various colors in the shells and let them run outside the lines. I love how flowy and natural it looks.

Card Elements: I used the Swirly Seashells and Finding the Words stamp sets along with Sea Glass cardstock.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Crafting Trends 2017 - A Touch of Whimsy

Adding a whimsical element to any project gives your creation a playful feel. I love doing this with simple layouts like the one below. 

The design is very basic, but that pocket full of fun little surprises makes it a lot more interesting. 

Inspiration: Close To My Heart's Imagine How-To book.

Technique: Creating a pocket - I made sure not to add any glue to the top of the Sea Glass cardstock so I could tuck in embellishments.

Page Elements: I mixed the Memo Fundamentals, Rustic Home Fundamentals and Whimsy Fundamentals and brought them together with the All Together Complements. I also stitched along the edges with copper thread. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Rose Blossom Blog Hop - Hello Lovely Layered Card

Welcome to the Rose Blossom Blog Hop! Come follow Close To My Heart consultants from the Rose Blossom team as we share our creations made using the new Hello Lovely collection! 
If you came here from Kim's amazing blog, you are on the right path. If you get lost along the way, come back here and go to the bottom of the page for the blog hop list.

Ideas for adding layers to your cards:

Cut Apart Cards: All of our paper packs have 2 sheets of cut apart cards. They have beautiful designs and sentiments and come in 3x4 and 4x6 sizes - perfect for layering on cards! The gray and white circle background and the "Best Day" banner both come from the Hello Lovely cut apart card sheet.

Die Cuts: I love adding layers with fun die cut shapes. I used the Hearts Thin Cuts, which work especially well because they have both solid shapes and outlines, so you can layer even more! Plus the outlines allow you to highlight words, such as the "Best".

Vellum: Want to add more layers without adding too many patterns? Use vellum! The translucent paper gives dimension without taking away from the pretty paper. I used the striped and gold dot vellum from Uptown Fundamentals.

Embellishments: My favorite way to add layers - embellishments! I added a few stickers from the Hello Lovely Complements, and tied it all together by sewing around the card and the banner.

You can get these new products and more on my website

Now it's time for you to keep moving on the hop!  Head on over to Mary's lovely blog and see her beautiful artwork!

Blog Hop List: