Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Today is the Day!!!

Today is the biggest and the bestest Goodie Box....What a deal! For just $125 US/$156.25 CAN you get approximately $300/$374.95 worth of popular product! And what's more, you get discounted shipping/handling of just $10 continental US, $15 APO, $32 PR, AK, HI, others / $22 Canada. (Shipping/handling discount applies to orders of one goodie box only.) The temptation, the temptation! For Now, Happy Crafting!

A Exciting Month at Close To My Heart! Deal-a-Day

Close To My Heart is having a very special and exciting month! Each and every day a special product is being offered at reduced price. On 6 very special days, a "Goodie Box" is being offered. I have heard what was in the first box...WOW...stamp sets, embellishments, ribbons, papers....what more can a papercrafter want? All at 50% or less the original price! Every day the product is different and they aren't telling what is offered in advance. Check my CTMH site every day to see what the "prize" is. And, if you're lucky, you might check it on a day that one of those fantastic "Goodie Box" is offered. You can order directly from my CTMH site. Good Luck on grabbing a "Goodie Box" and For Now, Happy Crafting!

More 9x9 Album Pages....Accent Layouts with Heat Embossing

I am so enjoying working on the 9x9 Album remembering DH's trip to France. The Simply Snapshot CTMH pages I discussed on June 21st make it so easy to quickly complete beautiful pages. The CS pages contain a basic layout that can be embellished to your heart's content.

I've completed 2 more pages and used ink resist heat embossing to accent the layouts. This technique is very simple with dramatic results.

First, collect your supplies. To complete this page, I used a stamp from CTMH's set called "Key to my Heart." CTMH has several sets that would work beautifully for this technique including Adorning Corners, Playful Flourishes and Blooming Flourishes. Anyway, complete your heat embossing using clear embossing powder and VersaMark ink. I embossed the image in the corner because I want the completed image to act as a corner frame for my photo.

After I allowed the embossing to cool, I sponged over it with ink. The clear embossing powder resists the color allowing the image to show through.

Once the sponging is completed, add your photos and other embellishments. Very simple and easy with elegant results.

This is 2 page layout I completed for the album using this technique. When ever I complete a 2 page layout, I try to include the same elements on each page. The pages don't have to be laid out the same, but the design should encourage the "eye" to move around the page. The embellishments should accent the photos. I don't add embellishments just to add embellishments, I try to image how they will help to create movement. I want my photos to be the focal point, not the embellishments.

I tried another new trick on one of these pages. Notice the "arrows" on the bottom of the right page. These are painted photo hangers. In one of my "Goodie Boxes" I received an entire tube of photo accents. Yippee! One trick is to paint the accents to match the colors of the layout. Using "Create a Shade" paint and re-inker, color can be added. Well, this is a great idea and I am pleased with the results; however, I learned something that I need to share. If you try this do not use your heat gun to speed the drying! The drying does take a long time. I painted these little guys and waited. It was a humid day and they just weren't drying. After an hour, they still weren't dry. So, I thought....hum....the heat gun would speed the drying, forgetting that the little tags were metal. When I touched them to see if it was working, the still tacky paint caused the HOT metal tag to stick to my finger. OK, the hot tag is stuck to my finger, but I can't mess up my paint job because I've waited an hour for these little guys to dry. I started to wave my finger to get it off...didn't work....I finally pried the tag off with a toothpick. Didn't ruin the paint! :o) I immediately plunked my finger into the glass of ice water I was drinking and all was well. Lesson to be learned, this is a great technique, but if you want to use it, do your painting the night before you want to work on the layout! :o)

I've added the pages to the slide show album on my sidebar. Accenting your layouts with heat embossing is a simple, quick and elegant way to enhance your layouts. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Beary" Good Morning!

Isn't this little guy too cute for words! :o) He was in a stamp set that I received in one of my "Goodie Boxes." There is one more "Goodie Box" left in the June Deal a Day at CTMH and the contents of this one are rumored to be worth upwards of $300! There are only 3 days left in June, so check my CTMH site each day so you don't miss out!

I needed a quick card for a friend who had minor surgery. To complete this card, I stamped the bear in Desert Sand ink on a piece of White Daisy CS. I then stamped him again in Moonstruck ink on the striped paper. I cut the flower out and attached it to the image stamped on the white CS. This technique is called "Paper Piecing" and I love the look. The mat is the same paper as the little flower. Paper Piecing is quick and gives a striking effect to your work. The little bear was colored with my Prisma Pencils and then blended with gamsol. I sponged another piece of CS for another mat, attached a couple embellishments, stamped the sentiment and the card was done! The blue CS is one of my new colors - Dutch Blue - and I think it is rapidly becoming one of my favorites! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, June 26, 2009

More Wishes...

Boy, have I been busy. You wouldn't know it by my postings, but have have really been working hard. I spent the last to days reorganizing my crafting area. The time had come. I realized that I had no clue what stock I had in my stash. And, with all the new "toys" I received in my CTMH Goodie Box, I had to do something. I don't know how everyone else keeps organized, but here is how I did it...

1. I started by making an inventory list of all of the CTMH colors. I included paper, ink pads, pens, embellishments and ribbons. I completed the form in Excel so that I had grid lines. I took my ink pads and a Q-Tip and inked the square by the appropriate color name. The rest of the grids are hand marked reflecting what products I have in that color group. This way I always have a quick reference. I have the sheets in plastic by my work area so it will be easy to update.

2. I did another inventory sheet in Excel of all of my CTMH stamp sets. I used excel in this case so I could sort by product number and always keep them in order when I add a new stamp set to my stash. That is also in plastic by my work area.

3. I did an inventory sheet of the My Reflections Paper Packs including the "matchy matchy" coordinating Card stock colors. This way I always have a reference at my fingertips.

4. Each of my B/T Duo's Paper Packs are in 12 X 12 bags. I found paperclips with cardboard flags attached. I wrote the pattern name on the flag for quick reference. I sprung for a wood paper organizer that allows me to file the papers together in a vertical fashion.

5. All of my distressing tools, scissors, pens, pencils, cutters, ribbons etc., etc., etc., are in their own labeled containers for quick assess.

What a job, but a "Frugal" use of my time. I know have a grip on my inventory.

I tried out my "new" craft area this morning as I made this card for SCS Limited Supply Challenge 226. This was a fun challenge. Participants were given a menu to select from. There were 3 categories each with 3 selections. You were to pick only one selection from each of the 3 categories. Here are the choices:
Menu #1 – Images (just pick one item from each menu!)
1. Planes, Trains, & Automobiles – basically anything with locomotion (this would include boats, too!)
2. Non-floral Nature
3. Neutral Images (stuff that isn’t girly, for sure) . . .
Menu #2 – Color Schemes
1. Reds/Blues
2. Greens/Browns
3. Neutrals
Menu #3 – Embellishments
1. Ribbon & Brads OR Eyelets (tie masculine KNOTS instead of girly BOWS)
2. Diecuts/Punches & Embossing Folders/Texture Plates
3. Natural Fibers & Hardware (hodpodge, charms, etc.)
PLUS, the card had to be masculine....
I picked Non-floral Nature, Greens/Browns and Ribbon and Brads. Here is my offering....

The sketch is from the new "Wishes" Card Confidence Program book. I'm loving this book. Everything is spelled out for the basic sketch and then the card maker embellishes as they wish. In this case, I sanded all of the layers except for the DP. The center image was done by hand drawing the sky and grass with watercolor pencils and then used my Aqua Painter. The trees were second generation stamped using 2 shades of brown ink. I popped the center image with 3d foam.
CTMH – Cocoa, Topiary, Colonial White and DP from Abundance (ret.)
CTMH – The Beauty of Christmas (ret.)
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Cocoa and Desert Sand
Ribbon and Brads
Sanding, Water Coloring and 2nd Generation Stamping

I'm off to put all my supplies back the way I found them this morning. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Card of the Week!

I got some very pleasant news last night! Susanna at Card of the Week recognized my 9 x 9 album pages. Yippie!!! My album pages are posted on my sidebar for all to see. I actually have another page done and will be updating the slide show when I get a few more done. I'll let you know. If you have not checked out Susanna's blog, hop on over and take a look. I don't know how she does it, but she trolls the blog world looking for interesting and informative posts and projects. I check her blog for ideas, tips and tutorials frequently. Thanks, Susanna for finding my work! For Now, Happy Crafting!

My Goodie Box is Here!!!

Mr. UPS just delivered one of my "Deal of the Day" Goodie Boxes. Christmas in June! What a deal...I can't stop doing the "Happy Dance." DH thinks I have gone totally crackers... :o)

Look at all this stuff...

5 Stamp Sets

5 Packs of Paper

A "My Stickease" set

3 Sets of Ribbon Rounds

A Package of Eyelets

A Set of My Accents

A Package of Paper Flower Embellishments

A 6x6 Post Bound Album

WOW!!! All of this for $100 and only $8 shipping fee. There are still 2 more Goodie Boxes Days left so if you haven't gotten one yet, you still have time! Don't forget to check my CTMH site everyday for the great June Deal of the Day offers...and for the last 2 Goodie Box Days! I'm off to play. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, June 22, 2009


I just got my edition of Close To My Heart's new Card Confidence Program book entitled "Wishes." What a great book!

"Card Confidence" gives the beginner loads of sketches and tips and offers even the expert card maker resources to take their craft to the next level.

The book provides sketches for a variety of different sized cards and then provides real samples of each. There are even instructions in this book for making groups of theme cards from just a few sheets of card stock. Visit my CTMH site for more information about this book and all of the other wonderful CTMH products.

I made this card for SCS Clean and Simple Challenge 20. The challenge was to complete a clean and simple card that included paper piecing. I stamped the flowers on the white card stock and then stamped them again on the B/T Duo's pattern paper. I cut the flower heads out and attached them to the stems. The stems, butterflies and highlighting on the flowers were colored using a blending pen. The large layer was embossed using my Cuttlebug. The small layers are done in B/T Duo (matching the flowers) and CS. I added a few touches with a glitter pen for bling and the card was done. If you look closely, I used the sketch from the book cover!

CTMH – White Daisy, Vineyard Berry, Hollyhock, Bella B/T Duo
CTMH – Wonderful Charms
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Garden Green, Vineyard Berry, Hollyhock
Cuttlebug, Cricket (for tag), glitter pen and the glitter ribbon is from my cross stitch stash :o)

I enjoyed making this card! No fuss and no muss using the "Wishes" Card Confidence Book. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

9 X 9 Scrapbook Pages

Close To My Heart has so many wonderful products. One of my favorite items that I don't think anyone else carries is their 9 x 9 "My Legacy" Albums. They are a perfect size! The pages are so easy to work. A 9 x 9 page size allows you to put 2 pictures on each page but still have an easy to share and transport book. Unlike an 8 x 8 or 7 x 7 album, no cropping is necessary so you don't lose any of part of your precious photos. CTMH, in keeping with their "Faster, Simpler, Easier" philosophy, also makes pre-made pages that called "Simple Snapshots." These pages fit perfectly into the albums and are ready for journaling and embellishments.

Pictured here are 2 samples of these pages in "That's Amore" and "Perfect Day" patterns. Another item these pages work great with is the "Memory Showcase." This is an accordion style album with space for 8 layouts that can be embellished to your liking. A friend completed this "Memory Showcase" yesterday in less than 4 hours! Thanks to LadyDoc for letting me share her wonderful work! Check out her blog at http://www.ladydoc-tiltingatwindmills.blogspot.com/

Her "Memory Showcase" was completed to commemorate a trip to France. Remember I have been chatting about the 9 x 9 album I was working on for DH's trip? Well, both are DH's were on that same trip, leaving the 2 of us home to scrap! :o) I have finally figured out how to post the pictures of my album. I have started a slide show on my sidebar. Check it out frequently as I made additions to it! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Making a Gift Box

Close To My Heart has these great goodie boxes this month, so I thought I would make a goodie box of my own.

This box is a great size. It is perfect for A2 Note Cards or 4 X 6 photos. To make this box you will need:

1. A sheet of card stock cut 9 inches X 7 3/4 inches

2. CS cut to 8 1/8 inches X 6 7/8 inches

3. A piece of pattern paper cut 9 1/8 inches X 7 7/8 inches

4. A scoring tool

5. Glue or sticky tape

6. Embellishments of your choice


1. Score the larger CS at the 1 1/2 mark on all 4 sides

2. Fold on each of the score lines and make cut the flaps on the each of the long sides.

3. Flip the box over and place tape/glue on the flaps and fold inward to form the box.

5. The base is complete.

6. For the top, center the DP on the remaining piece of CS and glue down. Score and cut as you did the base. The score lines are made at the 1 1/2 inch mark as the base was. Hint: If you chose not to cover the top, score at the 1 inch mark.

7. Fold and glue the top as you did the base.

8. The Card Box is complete and ready for you to embellish as you wish.

I made several of these to use as little gifts for my Open House on Saturday. I learned something for my Frugal, Frivolous and Foolish review. Close To My Heart card stock is definitely a Frugal purchase. While it may cost more that CS from other suppliers...boy is is nicer. It is heavier and so easy to work with. The colors are great too! To complete this box I used CTMH Boom Di Ada B/T Duos, Hollyhock card stock. The flower stamp is from CTMH's Endless Friendship set stamped in Hollyhock ink with a button attached with Liquid Glass for the center. The stems are chipboard sponged with Garden Green and Olive inks. It is finished off with Hollyhock rickrack.

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Today is Goodie Box Day!

Just wanted to let you know that there is a Goodie Box being offered today on my Close To My Heart website. Yippie!! Today's box is $100 and is stuffed full of product with an original retail price of around $220! Know I know that $100 is a lot of money, but think about it $220 worth of product! And, shipping is only $8. What a great way to be introduced to the quality of CTMH products or to have a chance to get more CTMH items. I've already ordered mine! Visit my CTMH website to see the deal and all of the CTMH goodies! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Spritzed Stained Glass Tutorial

I play with different techniques. This technique isn't new but I have added a few of my own quirky twists. I call it "Spritzed Stained Glass." There are lots of stamps out there that this will work with included a great Close To My Heart Christmas stamp called "Gloria." For this sample I used another stamp because of the size and ease in demonstration.

1. For this technique, you will need VersaMark, inks, black embossing powder, a heat gun, a water spritzer glossy card stock, and an aquapainter.

2. Stamp your image with the VersaMark on the card stock. Cover the stamped image with the black embossing power and heat with the gun to set.

3. Allow the image to cool and set and then spritz with the water. Make sure to cover all areas and don't worry if the water pools a little.

4. Select your colors. Gently squeeze the stamp pad so that color sticks to the lid of the pad. Using the aquapainter, pick up some of the color and touch to the areas you want to paint. The color will defuse over the image. You can control the amount of water by drying your brush on a paper towel and picking up some of the water, or adding water by giving your aquapainter a little squeeze. As you are painting, try to think about how light reflects through a stained glass window.

5. When you've finished the painting, it's time for the hard part....You need to allow the painting to dry for at least 30 minutes. Touch the image lightly to test for dryness. When it's dry, assemble your card and enjoy!

CTMH – That’s Amore (DP), Spring Iris, Moonstruck, Glossy Card stock
Large Image unknown, Sentiment from CTMH - Gratitude
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Spring Iris, Moonstruck, Hollyhock, Blush, Amethyst, Crystal Blue
Daisy White Ribbon, Daisy White Brads
Heat Embossing, Spritzed Water Color Painting, Scoring

This is a really great technique that doesn't require "perfection." If you think about a Stained Glass Window, the colors defuse and blend which adds to the beauty. This technique is very easy and gives a wonderful completed project. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Taking a Great Technique to the Next Level

I have been so busy doing "nothing" that I realized in the middle of the night that I hadn't posted in a few days. I have spent some time trying to learn some new techniques to share with you.

Here is the first one....Frost Filter Flowers....
Back in April, I first tried the technique and loved it!
So, I put my thinking cap on and tried to modify it a tad. I gathered the to make it look like a carnation. I wired it together and dipped it in the "watered down" reinker. When it was dry, I cut the tail off just below the wire. I attached it to the card with white craft glue so the it would hold better to the card and so it wouldn't unravel and lose the flower shape.

I'm not so sure I like the card. It was made for the SCS Clean and Simple challenge. The challenge was to make a CAS card using "kraft" color, corals or pinks and an accent color. The colors work, just not sure I am happy with the placement. The papers are all Close to my Heart in Desert Sand, Tulip and Juniper. I used my Cricut to cut the flourish (stem) and highlighted the edges with my gold leaf Krylon pen.

As an aside, here is another picture of a flower from my garden. DH is a teacher and we used to always host an "End of the Year" party for the teachers at his school. You think the kids are excited on the last day of school....you ought to be around the teachers on the last day! The neighbors (in jest) nicknamed the party the "Drunken Teachers Party." The party has faded away over the years, but these flowers remain. They were given to me as a Hostess Gift one year from one of the teachers. Every year when they bloom, I am reminded that summer has truly arrived.

I am still working on that scrapbook for DH too. If I can figure out a way to share those pages without showing the faces, I will get the book posted. I am very happy with how the book is coming out. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Busy on a Rainy Day

It has been raining here for a few days and I'm beginning to get a tad water logged again...oh well, good for crafting and good for my flowers.

I made this card for the SCS sketch challenge this week. I like sketch challenges. I save on brain power doing them.

The stamps are from Outline Rubber Stamp Company. I was thrilled to use the long stamp as I got it in a grab bag and wasn't sure when I would use it. It fit perfectly into the challenge. I cut out the vase and popped it up so that the flower stems would appear as if they were in the vase. The flower stems are done with Flower Soft. I learned something....remember I said that it was raining? Don't try Flower Soft when it is humid. It stuck together and I realize looking at the picture that there should me more product on the wires. Don't worry, I still think Flower Soft is a "Frugal" purchase. I love it and the effect you can create with it. All of the papers and inks in this card are from Close To My Heart.

This card was made for the SCS Limited Supply Challenge. The challenge was to make a card with NO layers. Oh Geeezzz....I know that my cards aren't that complex, but not even a mat? I used the Creative Memories cutting system (that was my first big scrapbook purchase about 10 years ago) to cut the circle in the center of the card. I stamped the frame with Rubber Stamp Tapestry peg stamps. If you have never seen these nifty little stamps, you should check them out. http://www.rubberstamptapestry.com/ Love these stamps. They allow you to be creative, they are forgiving and just plumb fun to play with. I stamped the sentiment (CTMH - Daydream) so that it centered in the circle. All of the inks are from Close To My Heart. I also added a little bling with my glitter pens.

I am also working on a scrapbook for DH about his recent trip to Paris. I'm trying to figure out how to post a few of the pages without the pictures (the pix have many of the students he teaches and don't want to show them.) For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Spoonful of Sugar Challenge With Paper Quilling

Yesterday I was stumbling around different blog challenges and I fell over "A Spoonful of Sugar." http://aspoonfullofsugarchallenge.blogspot.com/
Debbie and Nikki do a really nice job and I this challenge intrigued me. This was the sketch challenge...

I thank them for their work and here is my offering.

CTMH – Bella, Smokey Plum, Olive, Colonial White
CTMH – Endless Friendship, Friendship Garden
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Smokey Plum and Olive
Nesties, glitter pen, punches
2nd Generation Stamping, Paper Quilling

For the fun of it, I added paper quilling for the embellishments. I really like quilling. To really do it properly, I need a few sizing tools so that the individual quills are the same size. I really enjoyed this challenge.

I also had to share these pictures from my garden. I love to "play" in my Flower Garden. I have spent countless hours over the years mapping out bloom time with the perennials, selecting flowers that will attract hummingbirds and figuring out how to leave a few spaces for annuals. I have several iris that are magnificant this year. Some are orange and others are lavender and yellow. Here is an example...

I try to spend at least some time watching my garden grow every day. Over the last few days, I have been watching this odd iris bud develop. Yesterday it openned in all its glory....

Isn't nature fascinating??? Take a close look. The shape of the flower isn't like other iris and look really closely at the variegated colors on the petals. Just goes to prove that things that are different can be just as beautiful as the norm. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Clean and Simple

My stint helping the Nursing Home is over so I find myself with time to work on my cards! YIPPIE! :o)

I did this card for the SCS CAS17 challenge. The challenge was to use beach towels and totes from Land's End as inspiration. Here is what I used http://www.landsend.com/pp/KaleidoscopePrintBeachTowel~191536_-1.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::OLZ&CM_MERCH=IDX_00006_0000000149_0000000644

The center image is from Rubber Outline Stamp Company. I heat embossed the image in black and sponged it with CTMH sorbet and juniper ink. The DP is from CTMH Unforgettable. I added a few brads and popped up the center image for interest. The "Thank You" is from CTMH's Friendship Garden Set. Clean, simple and easy. Doesn't get any better!

Off to make another Thank You card! For Now, Happy Crafting!