Friday, July 31, 2009

CTMH August Stamp of the Month Blog Hop...A Party Invite and a Party Favor!

As Ricky Ricardo said..."The time has come!" I am another stop on the Close To My Heart August Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! If you came here from Michelle's blog you are on the right path....if not....don't forget to go to Jena's blog at the beginning to check out all of the great artwork by so many talented people!

Every month, CTMH has a special stamp that is only offered during the month. You can get it at a discounted price or even free with qualifying purchases! This month's stamp is called "It's Your Day" and is all about parties and birthdays. Especially great for me since my birthday is in August. :o) Check out the Stamp of the Month and all of the other wonderful Close To My Heart goodies at my

Here's my Party Invitation...

The invitation is 4 1/2 X 4 1/2 inches and the sketch is called "Fancy Four" from the Wishes Card Confidence Book. I either sponged or ink to paper distressed the edges of each of the mats. I scored and sanded the Vineyard Berry mat. Now for the cake....I stamped and cut out each of the layers. I attached them to a small piece of CS trimmed to fit the layers. I used Liquid Applique for the "icing." The colors are Hollyhock, Vineyard Berry, Blush, Sunflower and Colonial White.

And, what party would be complete without a party favor...

It is so simple to make...

Supplies needed: 8x8 inch pattern paper (Animal Cookies used here, August STOM "It's Your Day," Stamp Pads to match paper, White Daisy Cardstock, Bonding Memories Glue, Eyelet, Ribbon and computer labels.

Fold the 8 x 8 pattern paper to form a triangle.

Fold each leg of the triangle to the top point to form a diamond.

Fold all but one layer at the top point downward.

Glue the inside layers and the downward folded point to form a pocket.

Place the eyelet in the single layer point near the top.

Random stamp the computer labels with stamps that coordinate with the paper. I have to give a shout out to Barbra at Can't Stop Dreaming for coming up with the idea of stamping on the computer labels. Wrap the labels around pieces of chocolate.

Stamp the medallion to hold the folder point in place, thread ribbon through the eyelet and fill with the wrapped candy. You're done!

These favors are really fun and easy. I can vision making them for Christmas Ornaments, Gift Card Holders or stuffing a little tag inside with a hidden message. Feel free to email me with any questions you have about the Stamp of the Month or any of the great Close To My Heart products.

It's now time for the next leg of your journey, so hop on over to check out Melissa's artwork. She always has something good going on! :o) Don't forget to check out all of the great blogs on the hop, too! For Now, Happy Crafting!


Get Ready for the Blog Hop!

I have had a such a wonderful summer thus far! I just got home from a few days at the Jersey Shore. A good friend rents a house every summer in Ocean Gate near Tom's River. This area of coastal center New Jersey is fascinating. Ocean Gate is a quiet town filled with clapboard older homes about a mile (as the sea gull flies) from the bay. Seaside is the barrier town. The "beach" is actually Tom's River. At this location, the river is a combination of cedar water (from the Pine Barrens) and salt water. It it calm and a perfect haven for boats and other shore creatures.

I have been so lucky this July....a weekend in Virginia, a weekend in the Pocono Mountains and days at the Shore....all with friends! I'm nicknaming July the "Great Mooch Patrol!"

Alas, it is time to get back to work! This morning I am heading off to a Scrapbooking Convention at the Valley Forge Convention Center and this afternoon I will prepare for the August Close To My Heart Blog Hop! My card is almost done! I'll try to report back this afternoon about the Convention and give a few more details about the Blog Hop.

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Admiring Nature and Thinking of You

Monday's come around to quickly. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend a few days with good friends who recently moved to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. While it only may be a 2 hour drive from the Philadelphia area, it seems like a world away! I spent a few hours on Saturday afternoon leading a great home gathering sharing Close To My Heart products and the rest of the time was spent eating, drinking and admiring the trees, flowers and wildlife. Here are a few wonders that happened by as we were sitting on the deck...

Successfully sharing my craft with others is very important to me. Saturday's gathering was no exception. There is something very special about watching someone's face light up when they realize that they really can create a card or scrapbook page. If you ever considered becoming a Consultant, feel free to email me so that I may share the smiles.

Today's Clean and Simple Challenge on SCS was a sketch challenge. As I have many cards to complete to mail to all the wonderful ladies I met on Saturday, the challenge was right on time.

CTMH – Textured Colonial White, Colonial White, Vineyard Berry and Emporium Creative Basics
CTMH – Fringed Phrases
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Vineyard Berry, Crystal Blue and Garden Green
Blender Pen, Glitter Pen….the card is completed on a 4 ½ X 4 ½ inch base, Vineyard Berry Ribbon,
3D Foam Squares

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Animal Cookies and Wow Power!

This is just a very quick post. I have been really busy preparing for a large Home Gathering scheduled for Saturday. Here is the project we will be completing...

The card is done on an A2 base and features the Close To My Heart paper pack called Animal Cookies and the matching stamp set called Sweet Baby. The ink colors include Dutch Blue, Tulip, Sunflower and Clover Meadow. If you look closely, I sponged the grass and sky. The gals attending the Gathering are new to CTMH and I thought sponging would introduce a simple technique and give them each "something to write home about." :o)

BTW - another Thank You is in order to Suzanna at Card of the Week. She was kind enough to give me a shout out on her website "Card of the Week." She mentioned my recent post about Notre Dame.

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

9 x 9 Scrapbook Pages - Repeating Elements of Your Photo's with Embellishments

Paris is filled with so many historical and beautiful sights. No trip to Paris would be complete without a trip to Notre Dame. The Cathedral was begun in 1163 and completed around 1345. The Gothic structure was one of the first buildings to employ the use of the Flying Buttress. Flying Buttresses are massive arched supports that were used to help the walls of Cathedrals be build so tall as to almost touch Heaven.

Another noteworthy element of the architecture of Notre Dame are the Rose Windows. Many Cathedrals have stained glass windows but Notre Dame has 3 that are round and they are called the "Rose Windows."

I used these magnificent feats of architecture to embellish a page in the 9 x 9 Album I am completing to remember DH's recent school trip to Paris.

This month's CTMH Stamp of the Month is called "You've Got Flair" and was perfect to duplicate the Rose Windows of Notre Dame. I stamped the image with VersaMark and heat embossed it in black. I colored the image with my Prisma Markers to match the color theme of the album. After cutting out the images, I attached them with 3D Foam squares.

When completing a scrapbook layout, look for elements in the photographs that are an accent to the story you want to tell in the page. This page needs no journaling as the photo and the embellishments tell the story of a group traveling together enjoying the sites of a beautiful city. I have also added a few more pages in the slideshow on my sidebar for you to see.

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wow Power!

Wow Power...I used this phrase the other day when I was describing the Accordion Album and I think I like it!

What is "Wow Power?" It is an project that looks really complex but can be completed by anyone and completed in a short time. As an "enabler" by nature, I want to be able to share paper crafting with everyone. I want new crafters to have immediate gratification and feel as if they have made something special the first time they pick up a stamp and paper cutter. Close To My Heart makes this really easy with the matching papers, inks and stamps.

I am starting a new tag called "Wow Power." My plan is to develop projects that can be completed quickly, look complex and cause you to say "Wow" out loud!

Here are my first to efforts (besides the My Garden Accordion Album.)

The Birthday Card is was completed for SCS Clean and Simple Challenge 24. The challenge was to use turquoise, orange and yellow. Odd combo of colors but perfect for a Birthday Card. This card fits the "Wow Power" tag because I used 1 stamp set and CTMH coordinating colors of Juniper, Sorbet and Sunflower. It is simple easily measured and cut mats and three brags. I made it in about 10 minutes. Wow!

The Thank you card was done by randomly stamping the medium mat with stamps that match the CTMH B/T Duo's paper that I used for the larger mat. The smallest mat was embossed with a Cuttlebug folder. While I had my Cuttlebug out, I cut a Nestabilities mat for the sentiment. The sentiment is stamped in Blush ink using the new Fringed Phrases Stamp Set. This is a great multipurpose set. Love it.... I cut out a stamped flower from the set that I used to do the random stamping (Tickled is retired) and popped it up with 3D Foam. I attached a photo hanger and ribbon and the card was done. It took under 30 minutes. Wow!

"Wow Power" is a Frugal endeavor. Time is money as the phrase states and we all have so little time in today's busy world. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Memories in Moments A 9 x 9 Memory Showcase

If you are like me, I am on the constant search for quick and easy projects that offer almost immediate gratification. I want techniques and projects that have "Wow Power!" Well, I have found it! Even if I wasn't a Close To My Heart rep, I would be doing cartwheels in the yard over this one....and at my age that's saying something! :o) On my Frugal, Frivolous or Foolish scale this is a number 1 Frugal purchase.

I got my hands on a "Life Delights Memory Showcase." The kit includes an 8 page 9 x 9 accordion album, multiple sheets of printed paper, several sheets of matching card stock, embellishments, stickers and instructions all for $12.95. In under 4 hours yesterday I completed an entire album! What makes this so great is that everything you need is included right down to the instructions on how long to cut the ribbon to make the bows to the brads and photo clips. The kit gives you enough extras that you can deviate from the instructions and make the album your own. The only thing I added from my stash were the 3 little paper flowers and the chip board title on the front page. It is great for a beginner and is perfect for a more experienced scrapbooker. The full description of the Memory Showcase can be found on page 98 of the current Close To My Heart Idea Book.

I took pictures of each of the individual pages before I adhered them to the album and they are posted on my sidebar. Here is what the completed project looks like....

These accordion albums are great for so many reasons such as you want to make a small brag book, document a single life event or have a portable display of your work. Even better, you don't have to buy the kit. The album and papers can be purchased separately allowing you to further individualize your work.

I am so tickled with this album. Being able to complete a great looking scrapbook in 4 hours is mindblowing. That is why I said "Memories in Moments" :o) By the way, did I mention that all of the photos used have been taken over the years in the garden at my house? For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Fun Birthday Card!

A have been silently saying to myself for weeks..."gotta make Louise's Birthday Card...gotta make Louise's Birthday Card." So today was the day to get the card made and mailed so that she receives it in time.

I normally don't gravitate to "juvenile" papers and stamp sets given that I don't have children. Sweet Baby is a great set with multiple uses. I chose it for this birthday card. I really like how the flowers and stems match the Animal Cookies paper set. It is just perfect for a whimsical fun card.

And, here is the card....
I wanted to make something fun and interactive. The base is done in White Daisy as is the pull out tag. The large background is Dutch Blue and it has been scored and sanded. The pocket is made from one of the patterns found in Animal Cookies Paper Pack and is machine sewn to the blue mat. Here is the "tag" outside of its pocket...

I used my brayer to make the "grass" and stamped the flowers and stems. The "Birthday" and "Celebrate" are sneak peeks of the August Stamp of the Month. I will be participating in a Blog Hop that features this stamp in a few weeks, so watch for the details on that fun! Other items I used to complete the card include chip board, brads and white daisy ribbon.

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Thank You Card using a Brayer

I spent a lovely weekend with good friends in Virginia. They live just outside Washington DC which is about a 3 hour drive from the Philadelphia area. After a great time sitting around eating and talking it was time to begin the trek home. The weather was so beautiful, DH and I decided to take a quick drive through Washington. We hit there late Sunday afternoon so we literally only spent about 45 minutes but it was well worth the time. I love to see different things and I admit that I can be a little obnoxious with a camera. Some times I tend to just get out of the car when I see a shot that I want to get....that is just what I did here....Here is the Washington Monument and DH "guarding" the car.

Getting to spend the weekend with friends means I have a reason to make a "Thank You" card! The Splitcoast Stampers Clean and Simple Challenge (CAS23 )for today was perfect. The challenge was to take inspiration for your card from this website . I wanted to try yet another new technique (at least for me) so here it is...

I heat embossed the flower bouquet with clear embossing powder. When it cooled, I loaded my brayer with Dutch Blue and Garden Green ink. I went over the entire card with the brayer. I purposely did not worry about even coverage because I wanted it to appear "rustic." The three small squares measure 1 3/4 inches and are cut from Garden Green paper. The smaller images are 1 1/2 inches. They were cut from White Daisy and very lightly brayered with the same blue and green combo. I chose to stamp the daisies off center and adhere the square off center to add to the light hearted feel of the card. I used 3D foam squares to attach the daisies. The bow is tied with Garden Green Organdy ribbon. Lastly, I chose to stamp the sentiment and daisies in Cocoa rather than black because I felt it would be softer and match the playful theme. All products used are Close To My Heart. The stamps are CTMH "A Friend is...." (unfortunately retired) and the sentiment is from "Gratitude."

I had a wonderful weekend and I hope that you did also. For Now, Happy Crafting

And the Winner is....

What fun I have had hosting the Blog Candy. I have been touched by so many wonderful and talented people. I'm doing my best to get around to visit with everyone!

And now for the winner....I made of list of every "entry" and numbered each one. I let Random select the winning entry....and...drum roll please....our winner is PENNY!!

Penny, please email me at with your address so that I can get your goodies mailed off.

Thanks again to everyone who participated and please check back often for more tips, reviews and more blog candy! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blog Candy!!!

To celebrate my new monthly newsletter, I am offering Blog Candy...Yipee....The candy includes papers to make cards or scrapbook Layouts, a pile of embellishments, ribbons and a never used Close To My Heart Stamp Set!

I will be running the "contest" starting Sunday July 5th through 11:59pm EDT Sunday July 12th. Here's what you need to do to be eligible:

1. Leave as many comments as you like...each comment will get you one entry.
2. Sign up to receive my monthly newsletter for another entry. (there is a sign up tool on my side bar)
3. Post a link on your blog about the blog candy for another extra entry. Let me know in your comment that you have done the link.

On Monday July 13th, I'll take all the entries and using Random will select a winner. I will post the winner here! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Fun Card from Wishes

I have been busy making "sketches" from the new "Wishes" book. This little card is modeled after the sketch called "Middle Ground." For a 3x3 card, this card has a pile of techniques....scoring, handstitching, distressing...

CTMH РBella (B & T) Cr̬me Brulee, Hollyhock, Olive, Colonial White
CTMH – Thoughtful Seasons
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Hollyhock, Sunflower, Smokey Plum, Olive

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ghosting the Eiffel Tower on a 9x9 Scrapbook Page

Paris is "The City of Lights" and the Eiffel Tower is recognized around the world. This photo was perfect to highlight with this next technique, "Ghosting."

I have to admit that this is not a CTMH stamp. It is from "OnyxXpressions." What intricate and beautiful stamps they make. I borrowed this one from my friend. I found the technique highlighted in the "Wishes" book published by Close To My Heart. "Wishes" is a new addition to the series of books in the Card Confidence Program. I just love it! There are so many sketches and techniques, I don't know which one to do next. :o) Anyway, Ghosting takes the heat resist technique I mentioned in a previous post to the next level!

To complete this technique, refer back to the this previous post. Using VersaMark, stamp your image on a neutral color card stock and then heat emboss using clear powder. When cool, sponge the image in a darker color ink. Here is the twist. Pull your iron out....sorry, I know that "iron" is a 4 letter word, but this technique is so worth it. Take a piece of scrap CS and lay it over the stamped and sponged image. As you iron, the heat will remelt the embossing powder and transfer it to the scrap card stock. What you have left is the sponged image giving it a soft ghosted effect.

I used this same technique on an image of the Arc De Triumph and it came out just as well as this one. That page along with a few more can be found on my side bar. Don't be afraid to experiment on your scrapbook layouts. Many of the same techniques used in card making work perfectly on scrapbook Layouts! By the way, so far so good with the Flower Soft standing up to a scrapbook page. Here is the post on using Flower Soft on a layout. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, July 6, 2009

9 X 9 Scrapbook Page with Flower Soft

April in Paris....These 3 words conjure up wonderful thoughts of the delightful city. Beautiful weather as you stroll along the Seine. Busy artists completing their watercolor renderings of Montmartre. Flower gardens and flower markets on every corner.

I had these images in mind when I completed the next page 9 x 9 page for DH's album remembering his trip to Paris in April. When I found the picture of the flower garden, I knew that I had to try my Flower Soft on the page.

In all of the research I have done on Flower Soft, I have never seen it used on a scrapbook page. I have a wonderful CTMH stamp set called French Patio (ret) that I knew it would be perfect for trying the application.

I stamped the image on small squares of textured Colonial White CS, colored the shutters and then applied the Flower Soft to the lower ledge to mimic window boxes. I used extra glue because I will be interested to learn if the Flower Soft will "rub" off when placed in the plastic protective covers. If the Flower Soft will stand up to friction created by the cover, think of the wonderful possibilities on scrapbooking pages!

The "stone" wall was made by distressing the edges of the Desert Sand CS. I then hand drew the squares to replicate the texture of the stone and then sanded the entire piece.

I am really enjoying working with the 9 x 9 Simple Scrapbook pages. Check back to see more progress on the album and to see if Flower Soft will hold up in an album. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You've Got Flair!

I just love the July CTMH stamp of the month called "You've Got Flair!" It's 7 very lacy geometric shapes with the sentiment "You've Got Flair." The set is perfect for cards and scrapbook pages. This set is so versatile and lends itself to coloring and embossing. Here are 2 cards made with the set.

This card was made for the SCS CAS21 challenge. The striped paper is from the new Animal Cookies Level 2 Paper Pack. The colors used are Vineyard Berry, Dutch Blue and White Daisy. The image was heat embossed and colored with glitter pens. A few Swavarsky Crystals were added for extra bling.

This card was done using another stamp from the set. I heat embossed the images in silver and used a blending pen and glitter pens to accent it. The colors in this card are White Daisy and Vineyard Berry. The pattern paper is from the Laid Back paper pack.

Even better, both of these card sketches come from the new Card Confidence Program book called "Wishes." I've mentioned this book in earlier posts. This book is wonderful! So many ideas, sketches and tips. From a Frugal, Frivolous or Foolish review perspective, probably one of the most Frugal purchases I have ever made! For Now, Happy Crafting!