Monday, August 31, 2009

A Warm Welcome for the New Close To My Heart Catalogue

After all the hype, mystery and excitement, the time has finally come! The new Close To My Heart Catalogue becomes officially available for customers tomorrow....September 1st! Tomorrow is also the Stamp of the Month Blog Hop, so I thought I would give a quick peak at a new stamp set and paper pack today. Here it is....A Warm Welcome!

The card is completed on a 6 x 6 inch base. The edges are sponged and the "mat" measures 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches. I scored the card stock on the 1/2 inch mark and sanded lightly. I also sponged the "Welcome" mat.

CTMH - Sweet Home, Garnet, Indian Corn Blue and Colonial White
CTMH – Welcome Home
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Indian Corn Blue and Garnet
CTMH – Colonial White Brads and Ribbon
Sponging, Sanding, Cricut and Sizzix Die

Welcome Home and Sweet Home are just two of the new products that can be found in the new catalogue. There are so many more new goodies and I can't wait to share them with you. Please keep checking back as I will be adding more samples!

Don't forget to check out the Stamp of the Month Blog Hop that starts in the wee hours of the morning September 1st. There are 68 participants this month all waiting to share their artwork.

If you would like a copy of the new catty, please email me so that I can mail you a copy. I am very excited about all the new goodies and can't wait to share them! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, August 28, 2009

September Stamp of the Month Blog Hop Coming

Just to let everyone now, we are having another Close To My Heart Blog Hop! We will all be highlighting the September Stamp of the Month! It starts at midnight September 1st so don't forget to check out all of the great artwork!

Boy, have I been busy. Between Bombay and work, I haven't had a chance to touch a stamp in days. I hope to get back on track this weekend....I miss my stamps! :o)

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Welcome Bombay!

A few months ago, we lost are dear cat named Carlita. She had been a member of the family for 16 years....oh the house was so empty. Yesterday, I had everything set out to work on a new card set and I received a phone call. Because of the call, I had to run an errand for supplies needed to satisfy the call. Anyway, the strip mall I went to has an old fashioned Pet Store. Hummm...through the window I spied 4 little kittens. I went to the intended store. As I was passing the window returning to my car this little gal stood on her hind legs and looked out at me. Oh boy....I ran home, collected up DH and flew back to the store. A few minutes later and Bombay became a member of the family.

Needless to say, the card set never got done. :o) For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Simple Variations Can Change a Card

A few days ago, I posted this very simple Black and White Christmas Card.

I was pleased with how it came out and everyone I showed it to liked it. It uses Generation Stamping and bling to make a simple card elegant. Well, I studied the final product and wondered how I could "improve" it. Realizing that "bling" doesn't come cheap, I came up with this idea.

To complete this version, I still used the 2nd and 3rd generation stamping. Instead of the rhinestone bling to make the tree, I heat embossed it in green glitter powder. I eliminated the red ribbon and used my glitter pen for the snow. What do you think?

These two example show how some very simple variations can change the whole look of the card. Wow Power! :o)

I also have to share this store bought Birthday card I received from a good friend. I gotta tell ya, I laughed out loud when I opened it. In studying this card, I guess there is a lesson to be learned in everything! :o)

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Using Scraps of Felt and Re-Inkers to Apply Ink to Your Stamps

The other day, I promised to share the technique we learned during my Open House on Saturday. I have finally gotten it together to share. We reviewed how to apply ink to our stamps using scraps of felt and re-inkers. Warning....this technique can be a little hard on the manicure so wear latex gloves if you wish.

First - collect your supplies. You will need re-inkers in at least 2 colors, a solid stamp, scraps of felt, a tweezers and cardstock.

Pinch the felt with the tweezers and add drops of the first color re-inker to the felt. Spread the drops around the felt. Always start with the lighter color first. The apply a few drops of the darker color to the felt.

Begin to tap the felt to the solid stamp.

Continue to tap the solid stamp with the felt until you have it covered with ink.

Stamp the image on the cardstock in a normal fashion.

Ink the outline stamp normally and stamp on the solid image. You are ready to assemble and embellish the card how ever you choose. Look closely at the solid image. You can see the variegation in the image adding depth and realism to the flower.

To make this card, I used a sketch from the Wishes Card Confidence Book. I cut the stamped image out and sponged the layers. I stamped the the sentiment on the bottom and the card was done. Items used (all CTMH) include Unforgettable Pattern Paper, Juniper, Sorbet and Colonial White cardstock. Ink colors include Juniper and Desert Sand stamp pads and Tulip and Sorbet re-inkers. By the way, the stamp set I used was Aspiration. I can't begin to count the times that I have used this is so versatile.

Well, I'm off to create more goodies....For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Party Starts Now!

The excitement begins today! In celebration of National Scrapbooking Month, Close To My Heart has a tremendous offer. Beginning today, a wonderful card kit is available. It includes everything you need to make this card and 15 more. Stamps, inks, card bases, embellishments, all for $39.95. It can even be yours for FREE with the required purchases. Visit my website for all the details. The kit is only available through September 30th.

And, when you're done making 16 cards, the kit keeps giving. You still have the inks and the stamps to make more wonderful projects like this cute little Christmas Gift Tag.

By the way, Close To My Heart keeps the Party going. The new Idea Book is slated to be officially released September 1st. I've seen the catalogue and there are so many wonderful new papers, inks, supplies...the list of goodies goes on and on. Keep checking back. I am working diligently to complete projects for you to see on September 1st. :o)

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fun Projects with Wow Power!

As I mentioned yesterday, Saturday I had a great Workshop. My customers are so much fun. It is a wonderful thing to see their faces light up as they realize that "faster, simpler, easier" really is the way to create. Here are a few of the gals diligently working and having fun at the same time.

I spent the rest of the day yesterday playing with a new stamp that I was given to me by a good friend as an a part of a my Birthday present. I know, it's not a Close To My Heart stamp, but it just called to me to be used! The papers, inks and drink glasses are CTMH... :o)
This is an altered sign that I will hang in my rec room. The paper is from a retired set called Laid Back and the drink glasses are from a retired set called Paradise.

This morning, I made this card for the Splitcoast Stampers Clean and Simple Challenge. The challenge was to make a "masculine card." "You're a Star" was done on a 6 x 6 base in black, gray wool and bamboo colors. The star pattern paper is from the collection called "Game On." Game On is a great set of papers that are perfect for sports teams and men. Check out the full collection on my website as it is another set that will be retiring come December 31, 2009. Both the sentiment and the large star are from a set called "Shinning Star." Just thing of that star done with a Christmas background!

These are two projects that have a nice effect with very little effort....Wow Power! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Cute Altered Door Hanger

Ohhhhh...I'm pooped....Yesterday I had a great Card Workshop at my house. That's why I haven't had much time to post in the last few days. Later today, I hope to have a chance to share more of the fun.

The other day I took a break from prepping for the workshop and made this cute altered door hanger.

To make this door hanger, I used a wooden hanger I purchased at a local craft store. Here are the steps to make it:

1. Sand the edges and sides smooth

2. Trace the hanger on cardstock and cut out. I learned (the hard way) to make the first cut out a tag larger than the hanger.

3. Attach the CS securing. I used my Glue Glider.

4. Using your craft knife and craft mat, very carefully, cut around the edges for a smooth covering.

5. Sand around the edges again. This will ensure that the CS is adhered securely and finish off the edging.

6. Cut a piece of pattern paper the width of the hanger and approximate 2 1/2 inches high.

7. Make a mental note of the position of the pattern paper. Brayer the grass. Load your brayer and just swoop across the CS that had been adhered to the hanger. I double checked to make sure the pattern paper would cover the lower edge of the "grass."

8. Close To My Heart Stamps are perfect for the next step. In this case the set "Sweet Baby" was used. I've posted about this set before. The clear My Acrylix stamps make is so easy to position stems and flowers. You also have the ability to slightly bend flower stems (or any stamp) to make them more natural. Think about it, how many flower stems have you seen that stand straight up? :o) I stamped the stems and flowers altering the position of each flower.

9. Attach the Pattern Paper flush with the bottom of the hanger.

10. Stamp the "ZZZZZ..."

11. Stamp the Sweet Baby wording and the top.

12. Cut 2 pieces of ribbon each 3 inches and tie around the hanger portion.

CTMH – Animal Cookies and White Daisy
CTMH – Sweet Baby and Classmate Alphabet
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Tulip, Clover Green, Dutch Blue and Sunflower
CTMH - Ribbon

What a fun project and once again, a simple item with "Wow Power!" For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thank You Card Set

Did you ever have one of those days? Well, that was my yesterday. Everything I touched goofed up....I dropped an open ink pad on a completed card....I was working on an acrylic mini-album and the alcohol inks smeared 3 times...I was heat embossing an image and burnt the paper....need I go on? :o)

I did manage to get one good thing done yesterday. I completed an entire thank you card set and a matching storage box. Image what I could have gotten done if I hadn't had a "bad" day!

What makes this set so special (besides it being so cute) is that it is made with a soon to be retired Close To My Heart paper pack. Yes, it is that time of year when CTMH releases the list of products that will no longer be available after December 31, 2009 or while the supply lasts. I put the full list of the papers is on my side bar. Don't forget you can check what the papers look like by doing a search on my website. The link can be found on my sidebar.

I used Enchanted for for my pattern paper. It is a "fallish" set using Garden Green, Autumn Terra Cotta, Sunflower and Smokey Plum as the coordinating colors. I used all the colors in these examples. The stamp set I used was "Whooo Loves You." I cut out and popped up the Owls, used sponging and paper tearing on these quick and cute cards. The sketches are from the Wishes Card Confidence book. By the way, I wanted to mention that I used a CTMH product called Waxy Flax for the first time in this project. Waxy Flax is a fiber that looks like embroidery floss that is coated some way. It is pliable enough to thread a button, but stiff enough to not need a needle. You can even "sew" with it without using a needle! What a frugal purchase....

Off to make more cards! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Using Generation Stamping to Add Perspective to your Stamped Images

I must be getting older because I am concerned about "generations" even in my stamping. :o) Generation stamping is an often forgotten technique that adds dimension and perspective. to your stamped images. Think of a pretty nature scene. The trees are different heights and different colors depending upon how the sunlight is falling on the branches.

Generation stamping is a very quick and simple way to add this dimension and perspective to your images. Here's how you do it...

Ink your image and stamp where you chose. Restamp without reinking. That is called Second Generation stamping. Stamp yet again without reinking and that is Third Generation stamping. In my example, I made sure not to plunk all the trees in a row. Had I done that, it would appear like they were a marching band in formation.

Notice the 2nd and 3rd Generation Stamping. Notice also how I overlapped the trees and changed the heights. This card was completed for today's Splitcoast Stampers Clean and Simple Challenge. A clean and simple card is one that only has limited layers and can be completed quickly....or like I like to say "Wow Power!" The special challenge today was to add some "bling" to the card. I used rhinestones to make a tree that was intermixed with my generation stamped forest. By the way, all supplies are Close To My Heart (of course) and the stamp set is CTMH's "The Beauty of Christmas."

Remember nature as life is not perfect. Give Generation Stamping a try. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Simply Snapshot 9 x 9 Album is Done!

Today, I finished the 9 x 9 scrapbook album of France that I have been working on for the last few months. To remind everyone, during April, DH (a High School teacher) was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to France with his Senior class.

The album is a 9 x 9 sized album. Close To My Heart has an album and all the goodies to go along with this unique size. I just love working on this size. The pages are large enough to accommodate 2 standard size photos without cropping and yet still be easily handled. CTMH has speciality papers that match the full sized paper packs called "Simply Snapshots." These pages are printed so that if you chose all you need do is add a few touches and the page is done. Because the Simply Snapshots match the other papers, you still have the freedom to coordinate layouts of your own design. For this album, I did just that. As I have been doing, I added the pages to my sidebar so that you can view the entire album. Please know that I covered several of the pictures because of the ages of the individuals in the pictures. Here is a highlight page from the most recently added pages....

For this page, I sponged a Tim Holtz mask. I thought that it would add to the artist feel of the LO showing the Louvre.

I wanted to give a list of all of the items I used to complete the album:

Paper - All Close To My Heart....Key To My Heart, Unforgettable, Perfect Day, Juniper, Tulip, Sorbet, Creme Brulee, Colonial White, Desert Sand and the 9 x 9 Simply Snapshot pages in Perfect Day.

Ink - All Close To My Heart....Sunflower, Tulip, Desert Sand, Sorbet, Juniper, Cocoa and Chocolate

Stamps... Close To My Heart...Key To My Heart, French Patio, Picture Perfect, Aspiration, Playful Flourishes, Post Card - Travel Series, Atomic Caps, You've Got Flair. Also, Onyx Xpressions and the Wine Bottle was from my long time stash.

Other Supplies...CTMH stickease, Jolies Stickers, Stickles, Ribbons, Photo Clips, Brads, Liquid Glass and Flower Soft

Techniques Used...Heat Embossing, Ghosting, Cuttlebug and Cricut Die Cutting, Sponging, Paper Distressing, Antiquing, Prisma Pencils with Gamsol

Wow!!! It is nice to see the finished product. Click on the box on my sidebar to see the completed album. I love papercrafting. Once done, any project, whether it be a card, scrapbook layout or altered item, is a work of art that can be shared and enjoyed by so many. Scrapbooking captures our memories for many years to come and forever captures a piece of the heart and soul of the artist. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Fun Party Card!

I have been doing so many altered projects lately (I actually have another to post later) that I thought it would be fun to do a card today. I made this card for the Limited Supply Challenge on Splitcoast Stampers. The challenge was to complete a card that showed an image of a food item and the papers had to be named after something eatable.

I used all Close To My Heart papers and the colors are as follows: Chocolate, Vanilla Cream, Sorbet and Juniper. Yes, Juniper. The Juniper Berry is a primary ingredient in Gin. Gin is one of the major food groups, right? :o) The ice cream cone was cut from a Sizzix die. I also used my Nestabilites for the matting and a Cuttlebug embossing folder. The edges are paper distressed, Liquid Glass and Prisma Glitter was used for texture and a added a few brads for detail. The word "Party" belongs to this month's Stamp of the Month called "It's Your Day." By the way, the sketch is from the Wishes Card Confidence Book.

What a fun card this was to make. Now back to more altered items. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Making Tile Coasters that have Wow Power!

It's never to early to start thinking about all of those small gifts you will need for the upcoming fall and winter Holidays. (Actually, they work for a gift any time.) These coasters are perfect for hostess gifts, the neighbor or someone in the office. They are easy, quick and most importantly, have Wow Power!

First, collect your supplies. You will need 4 ceramic tiles. I purchased these at the local home supply store for 34 cents each. I chose the "Venetian" style that are not heavily glazed. Stamps of your choice, StazOn Ink, Sharpie or Bic Markers, felt pads for the bottom and clear acrylic sealer.

Stamp your image using the StazOn Ink. For these coasters, I used CTMH "A Friend is..." and Picture Perfect sets. Two hints...the StazOn will stain any stamp but does not effect future use. StazOn on these tiles is very forgiving. If you don't like the image after it is stamped (and this can happen due to the texture of the tile) you can remove it with Nail Polish Remover. If you do want to remove it, do so before the StazOn completely dries.

Color the stamped image with the Sharpie Markers. Sharpie markers are permanent alcohol ink versus the water based inks found in many markers. Let the colored image set for a few minutes and spray with acrylic sealer. I chose "matte" instead of glossy because I felt it would match better with the rustic feel of the tile. I applied 2 coats waiting around 30 minutes between coats. This should be done in a well ventilated area. I sprayed mine on the patio.

Attach felt pads to the 4 corners.

Finish 3 more so that you have a set of 4 coasters. Remember, each coaster is an individual work of art. Each tile has a different texture from the glazing process. The tiles do not need to match perfectly. Variances add to charm of the set and reinforce that they are each individually made from the heart by you.

Tie a ribbon around the 4 tiles and what a pretty presentation you have!

These coasters and fun and easy and what great gifts they will make. There are several other ways to decorate the coasters. Next set, I plan to sponge color on the stamped image instead of coloring. I'll let you know how that works. For Now, Happy Crafting!

August Newsletter

The August Newsletter is done! If you signed up to receive it and didn't, please let me know....I have been having some computer difficulties. If you would like a copy, please sign up on my side bar. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

5 Thank You Cards in Under An Hour....Wow Power!

First off, let me say Thank You to all who participated in yesterday's Close To My Heart Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! What fun it was and how amazing to see all of the wonderful projects made by so many talented people! Stay tuned because I am anticipating another one on September 1st!

I needed several small Thank You cards so I set out to see how quickly I could complete them. The goal was that the cards also had to have "Wow Power!" Remember, "Wow Power" is a project that can be completed by any one in a short amount of time and looks complex. I completed all of 5 of these cards in just under an hour! Wow....

The cards are completed on a 3 x 3 inch base. The pattern paper stripe is 1 x 3 inches and ink to paper distressed on the edges. There is a small 1 inch mat behind the flower that is also ink to paper distressed. The flower stamp is from a set called Aspirations. I stamped the solid flower image in VersaMark and colored the image with shimmer chalks. I used a few colors for shading. The chalk "sticks" to the VersaMark. I then stamped the chalked image with the corresponding line stamp to give the detail. After cutting the flower out, I adhered it with 3d Foam.

I love the Aspiration Stamp Set. It is so versatile and easy to use. The set contains flower stamps, tree branches, the sentiment "dream" and a great quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. You can see the image in the current Idea Book on my sidebar. I have used this set in the past to highlight ways to use the fun stamp. You can find that post here. I have another technique tip planned for the near future, too.

Five cards in under an hour...and with "Wow Power!" It doesn't get any better than that. For Now, Happy Crafting!