Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Handmade Florentine Box

While I was waiting for  Mr. Fed Ex, I decided to finish up the 3D project that I started designing for my upcoming Papers Pads and Pictures Team. 

The top and bottom of the box are cut using the Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge.

The sides were cut and scored to fix the 4 1/2 inch box.

The flowers were also cut using the Art Philosophy Cartridge along with the leaves.  Each piece was cut using Colonial White and then sponged in Twilight and Cocoa.  The flourishes are from my new "go to" stamp, "The Best Things" and the sentiment is from "A Tweet."

As an upline, my goal is to make do my very best to help my downline grow.  I work hard to foster open business communication, sharing ideas and expanding our creativity.  I know that I've said it a few times, but this really is a great time to think about becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant.  If the Papers Pads and Pictures team sounds like a great place for you to get your CTMH career started contact me.  By the way, Mr. Fed Ex visited my doorstep!  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Eagerly Awaiting the CTMH New Idea Book Release!

I was just sitting here stalking the Fed-Ex Driver because my first order of goodies from the new CTMH Fall/Winter Idea Book is scheduled to arrive today.  The "official" release date to customers is tomorrow, August 1st.  One of the advantages of being a Consultant is that we can order personal use products in July to help us prepare for the release.  Anyway, that is why I am waiting with baited breath.  I had a few scraps left from Convention goodies but not the full products.  Ah...hurry up Mr. Fed Ex man.

Anyway, while I was sitting here, I checked out the Heart 2 Heart Challenge this week.  The challenge was to use "scraps" to create a project.  Perfect challenge to help us remember and enjoy many of our favorites and make room for the new goodies.

I looked in my "scrap" bin and found a few hunks of "Sunset."  I started thinking about what pattern paper included Sunset and thought of the retired pack called "Olivia."  Sure enough, I had a scrap of Olivia in my stash.  The technique I used is my take on one I saw on Splitcoast Stampers.  Using graduated sizes of paper stacked on top of one another, you stamp an image that covers all three.  When separated, the image appears in segments on the 3 layers.  The flourishes I used along with the sentiment are from a set called "The Best Things"  (C1503.)  It remains a current stamp set and is rapidly becoming one of my "go to" sets.  By the way, that is the CTMH color ready seam binding slightly tinted with Sunset ink.

 I need to go check the door again....Oh, Mr. Fed Ex man where are you???  :o)  Like I mentioned, one of the great things about being a Consultant is the ability to preview products before they are available to the public.  As a reminder, starting tomorrow, you can sign up to be a CTMH Consultant for a mere $49!  Contact me if you would like to join the great "Papers Pads and Pictures" team.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Don't Forget About CTMH Studio J!

For almost 2 years, Close To My My Heart has had a digital scrapbooking option.  Well, we don't call it digital, we call it "studio" scrapbooking because it isn't the typical digital scrapbooking program most people are familiar with.  Or, should I say NOT familiar with because they don't want to clutter their hard drives with excess programs, can't figure out Photo Shop or don't want to keep downloading all of those "paper" packets. 

This is a Layout that I recently completed using Studio J.

Traditional scrapbooking or "Classic" scrapbooking is terrific...we all know that.  But sometimes, we just don't have the time to drag out all of the tools and papers.  Studio J is completed totally online!  Here are some of the advantages to Studio J.
1.  Your pictures are already on the computer, just download to the program and design a beautiful Layout.
2.  There are many editing features including saturation, brightness, sharpness, soften blemishes, red eye remover, teeth whitening and my favorite....wrinkle remover.  :o)
3.  Many of our favorite CTMH paper packets are included as options....including retired papers.  So, if you started an album, ran out of paper you can finish the album with the same paper packet using Stuidio J!
4.  You can order as few as 4 Layouts at a time.
5.  You can purchase a JPeg of your layout (2 page) for $2.95.
6.  There are no more membership fees....Layouts (2 page) only cost $6.95 (plus shipping).  Remember you didn't have to pay for a program...cheap!

This is another Layout I recently completed.

I am really pleased with the Studio J changes.  When I did these LO's, I found Studio J really user friendly with many many creative options.  I still love my "classic" scrapbooking, but think of all of the possibilities with "studio" scrapping.  Attend a wedding and have a scrapbook completed before the couple returns home from their honeymoon...Scrap those pictures that would live a long and anonymous life on your hard drive....the possibilities are endless!  Check out all the terrific new possibilities of Studio J by visiting my website and click on "Products" and then click on Studio J.

Just for fun, I thought I would also share a picture of a centerpiece I did at Michaels over the weekend.  It was for an 80th birthday party.

So, when you find yourself getting busy with everyday life (like happens to me) don't forget you can still scrapbook.  Remember to check out Studio J.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Sneak Peak at CTMH Avonlea

I am having so much fun playing with all of the new products in the soon to be released Fall/Winter CTMH Idea Book.  This is just a sneak peak at another new paper packet called Avonlea. 

This card is done on an A2 base along with a Juniper mat.  I stamped the corner flourishes using stamps from the "Instant Memories" (C1466) stamp set in Juniper.  I then scored the mat on the 1/4 inch mark and sanded the entire surface.  One of the terrific things about CTMH card stock is that it has a white core.  What that means is the color has been applied only to the surface and when sanded you get a great distressed look.  The gray you see is the new color "Slate."  It is a rich gray that will be so useful.  The patterned mat is the Avonlea.  Avonlea contains a few of those new kit only colors and you can see the Avonlea Teal in the pattern.  The cameo, sentiment and stamped corner images are from a set called "Sweet Moments" (C1467.)  Both stamp sets where in the last Idea Book and will remain current.  Don't they coordinate perfectly with Avonlea? 

I actually designed this card as a project for my upcoming Papers Pads and Pictures Team Meeting.  If you have ever considered becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant, now is the time!  Beginning August 1st, you can sign up for $49 and while supplies last, you will also receive the great Convention 2012 shoulder bag.  I got mine and it is terrific.  The Papers Pads and Pictures Team is made up of a group of great gals all of whom love paper crafting.  We keep in touch with each other, support one another, do swaps and just have fun.  If you would like to join the party, contact me for more details on how to sign up.

I can't wait to get back to work and play with more goodies from the new Idea Book.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

CTMH - Water Fun

Just a quick post tonight.  As soon as I got back from Convention, I went to work finishing up my preparations for my monthly workshop.  I always try to come up with fun techniques for my group.  Our projects this month featured the stamp set "Under the Sea."  This is a cute set containing several sea creatures.  This week's Heart 2 Heart challenge is called Water Fun.  Each of the cards would meet the challenge, but I decided to share this one...

I used my Art Philosophy Cartridge to cut the card base.  I love that cartridge and I can't wait to share the new Artiste cartridge.  Anyway, I used the branch from "A Garden" to create the sea weed.  Each branch was rock and roll inked with Lagoon and Pacifica.  The little fish was stamped with Pacifica and colored with my water color pencils.  I sponged the entire scene with Sky ink.  Now for a close-up of the water...
I  took a small 2 x 3 inch ziplock bag and added just a touch of clear hair gel.  I made sure that it was securely closed and attached it over the stamped sea scene.  The scene was then centered in the hole in the card base and attached on the inside of the card making it appear like a fish bowl. 

Everyone loved the card.  Don't forget to check the Heart 2 Heart Challenge blog for more "Water Fun."  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 20, 2012

CTMH Convention 2012...Swaps, Roomie Gifts and More Thoughts

The Close To My Heart 2012 Convention is now a wonderful memory.  One of the many things you take away from Convention are the new friendships you have made.  A long standing tradition is the giving of roommate gifts and swaps.  A swap is an item that is created to share with fellow consultants and in return you receive one of the projects they have completed.  Right before I left, I posted pictures of my wrapped roomie gifts and swaps with the promise to share them upon my return.  I made Memory Showcase Albums for the 3 gals that were in my room.  I love these accordion albums (A1195.)  They make terrific gifts and are perfect to show off the a special occasion.

For the gals that were in the adjacent room along with my upline and sideline, I made banners for them to hang in the craft space.

Last but not least, I made 75 bookmarks to use as my swaps.  I purchased plastic covers on ebay because I thought the bookmarks would be something that could be used as an inspiration and while marking pages in the great new Fall/Winter Idea Book!
Each of my projects features Pemberley Paper Packet (X7148B.)  Love this paper and the good news is that is continuing in the new Idea Book along with Victory, Stella and Florentine. 

As a reminder, several paper packets will be retiring effect July 31st (or while supply lasts.)  They are as follows...
If you are working on a project using these papers or have one of the sets on your wish list, please don't delay because in just a short time, they won't be available.  Don't forget to visit my website if you want any of these paper packets.

One of the other things I had the opportunity to do while I was in Dallas was to visit the site where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  Every generation has a defining moment.  November 22, 1963 was the date for my cohorts.  I was a little tiny thing having just gotten home from kindergarten.  While my memories are like snapshots in time, I will  never forget Walter Cronkite breaking in on "As The World Turns."  I'll never forget the image of my Mom in the Dining Room stopping in her tracks with her hand on the door knob as she was heading out to work.  I will never forget my family in shock and dismay during that fateful weekend.

Seeing Dealey Plaza was a humbling experience.  Many of us have seen the movies and documentaries but to actually stand behind the picket fence, to walk along Elm and Houston Streets and to look out the windows of the School Book Depository was, to me, becoming a part of history.  One of the things that struck me immediately was how small size of  Dealey Plaza.  Perhaps it is akin to the shower scene in the movie Psycho...everyone remembers seeing the blood even though the movie is shot in black and white.  Dealey Plaza looms so large in our memories and hearts that you just assume that it a "big" space.  How could an event that changed the course of history occur on a strip of road that is approximately half a block long? 

Convention is a wonderful experience.  Not only does it give you the opportunity to meet new people, but you also have the chance to visit places that you would perhaps not have had the chance to see in person.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Close To My Heart Convention 2012...Join the Fun!

I am still recuperating from Convention 2012.  Whew, there was so much to learn, do and see!  The opportunity to spend time with fellow Consultants is invaluable.  In between preparing for my workshop this coming Saturday and doing my Floral work, I found time to make a card for the Heart 2 Heart Challenge.  This week, the challenge is a sketch challenge and I had the perfect stamp!

Let me introduce you to Sticky Boy.  Sticky Boy is CTMH's prototype clear stamp.  As I understand the story, when CTMH was making the decision to switch to clear stamps, Sticky Boy was produced as a test sample.  Check out this cute YouTube video.  Anyway, over the years, it has become a tradition for the CTMH Corporate staff to hide "sticky boys" around the venue.  Consultants scramble and search high and low to find this prized treasure.  I found one this year!

As I mentioned earlier, Convention is about learning about new products, growing your business and sharing fun with fellow Consultants.

This is Thursday morning just before the opening General Session began.

Here I am getting "arrested" during our tour of Cowboys Stadium,  Only I would wear a Philadelphia Eagles shirt in Dallas!  :o)

This is my "Mom" and "Sister" or should I say upline and side line...Karen and Lora.  This was taken Wednesday evening at the Scattered Hearts Team Meeting.

One of CTMH's mantras is "Celebrating Relationships."  You can see just how much fun we had.  I will post more pictures as the days go on.  CTMH as given me the opportunity to become good friends with so many people from both the US and Canada that I would have never met. 

Beginning August 1st only while supplies last, sign up to be a CTMH Consultant and receive this great bag as a thank you.  It is a terrific bag...we got one for attending Convention.  There are also great new prices for signing up to be a Consultant, too.  Contact me for more information and join in the fun with the Papers Pads and Pictures team.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Close To My Heart 2012 Convention

I don't know where to begin....the 2012 CTMH Convention has come to a close and I have so much to share.  I arrived home from Dallas well after midnight Sunday night and spent yesterday reflecting, recounting and recovering!  There are new paper packets, new colors, new embellishments, news about Studio J and great incentives for new consultants.  I will share all in due time.

One of the things I accomplished yesterday was to create 2 cards using some of the left over papers from the Convention Create and Takes.
The pattern paper on this card is from a wonderful new paper packed called Clementine.  I also used Cocoa as the base, Sorbet as the first mat and Lagoon as the focal mat.  Notice the Cocoa frames???  They were cut with the NEW Cricut Cartridge called Artiste! 
The stamped flower image was rock and roll inked using Sorbet and Lagoon and "Smile" was stamped in Lagoon.  Both those stamps are from a terrific new Workshop on the Go (WTOG).  We received the WTOG as one of our gifts for attending.  This WTOG is the one of the best ones ever made.  It accompanies a new paper packet called Avonlea and fits with the new concept of increasing Home Decor projects!  More about that a little later....  Anyway, see that great 3D flower in the corner?  The new Idea Book is filled with great tips and techniques and the instructions on how to make that flower are right in the Idea Book!
This card features pattern paper from two other new paper packets...Dakota and La Belle Vie.  The image is from an adorable new stamp set called "Pun Fun" and....wait for it....I colored it with the new CTMH alcohol markers!!!
If you look closely at the mat behind the rocking chair you see a new color!  It is called La Belle Vie Mauve and is only available in the La Belle Vie paper packet and WTOG.

Speaking of colors....in order to keep things fresh, periodically, CTMH updates their colors.  This year, there are 6 new colors...Slate, Whisper (grays), Saddle, Cashmere, Champagne (neutral browns/beiges) and Ruby (red.)  One of the biggest things announced at Convention, was a new concept concerning colors.  While we loved having our 60 colors, we learned that it was difficult to manage updating the inventory.  It was explained that by following the current pattern of color changes it would take 20 years to recycle all 60 colors.  Whew, would we get bored.  So, CTMH has decided to retire several of our favorites to make way for the newer colors mentioned above along with the special colors included in certain paper packets.  Here is the list....

Gray Wool
Gray Flannel
Vanilla Cream
Brown Bag
Baby Pink
Sunkiss Yellow
Key Lime
Heavenly Blue
Lilac Mist
Holiday Red
Sunny Yellow
Dutch Blue
Vineyard Berry
Garden Green
Spring Iris
Pansy Purple

If you see any of your favorites or see a color that is still on your wish list, don't worry.  You have until July 31st (or while supply lasts) to order these colors.  Don't wait though...2 years ago when they retired Ocean, I waited too long and missed out on the re-inker.  Visit my website to order any one you may need to complete your color list.  A hint to help you manage this change...yesterday, I went through all of my ink pads and with a sharpie marker wrote an "R" next to the name so that it shows in my ink tower.  If I  had the matching re-inker, I also wrote an "I" on the pad.  This way, I now know which re-inkers I need to hurry and purchase.  It really worked well.  The new papers and Cricut Cartridge I highlighted about will be available on August 1st!

There is so much more than just learning about the new products at the Close To My Heart annual convention.  It is about building friendships!  These are the gals were in my block of rooms.  I had never met any of them and what beautiful friends I know have!  More about other new products and Convention fun soon.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's Over!

What an eventful week I've had! The CTMH Convention has become memory and I will share so much when I get home. But, here are a couple pictures to enjoy. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Good Morning from Dallas

What an exciting day yesterday! I have the new Idea book in my grubby little mitts! I don't know where to begin...a new cartridge, new markers, new ways to organize your stash and wait for it...the Christmas papers. I will post pictures when I get home because they are on the better camera. This is a view of the gardens. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day One is Ending

A wonderful day is drawing to a close. Th Convention hasn't officially started yet, but I have already had a terrific time. I was able to make it to Dealey Plaza to see where President Kennedy was wrongfully gunned down so many years ago. That was a must see for me and I will share more about that when I get home. We also visited Cowboys Stadium. Now you know that I bleed Eagles green...so you can only imagine the fun we had with that trip! And, I just came from the Scattered Hearts Team meeting. Tomorrow the Convention officially begins! I'll have plenty to write about then! For Now, Happy Crafting!

I'm Here

What an adventure getting to the CTMH Convention. The flight from Phila to Memphis was fine. Then, problem after problem. As I rounded the corner to the gate for the plane from Memphis to Dallas, this is the plane I saw...then we heard there was a screw missing. Yes, a screw missing and we had to not only change gates but change planes,too! Even smaller! After a delay due to wind sheer, I finally made it to Dallas only 2 hours late. This is the view from my hotel window...the Dallas sky line. Today is touring and getting ready for the start tomorrow. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Almost Ready for the CTMH Convention

This will probably be my last post before I head off to Dallas on Tuesday morning!  Whooo Whoooo...can hardly wait!!!

Before I head off, I thought I would post my roomie gifts and swaps.
Cheated didn't I...  :o)  The roomie gifts are already wrapped.  I will post pictures of those when I return.  In the plastic sleeve are my swaps.  I have 75 bookmarks completed.  Whew, what a job that was...
I got the heavy plastic sleeves from ebay.  The papers used include Outdoor Denim, Desert Sand, Pemberley and Vanilla Cream.  I used  3 different stamp sets to complete the sentiment portion and added just a few sparkles for a little bling.  I hope that everyone likes them and more importantly, finds them useful!  More news when I arrive in Dallas in less than 2 days!  For Now, Happy Crafting!

A Test

This is a test to see if I can post from my iPhone. Must get ready for CTMH Convention!
This is a picture taken yesterday at the booth I was working to promote our Michaels. In 101 degree heat I might add. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Matchbook Card for Our Blog Hop!

It is time for a fun blog hop!  Crafting By Designs is a fun website of dedicated crafters who love to share their artwork, participate in challenges and enjoy learning from each other.  If you came here from Chrissie's Blog, you are on the right track.  Doesn't she do beautiful work?

This blog hop features "colors of our flags."  There are members from around the globe so the hop could be quite colorful!  I'm from the Pennsylvania so, of course, my card is red, white and blue!
You know me, I had to do something a little different.  This is a matchbook card.  Closed, it measures 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches.  The  poinsettia holds the card closed.  The stamped images are from CTMH's Christmas Love and The Best Things sets.  The colors I used are Pacifica, Cranberry and White Daisy.  There is a tiny touch of glitter on the little birdies swirls.  Here is the inside...
Opened up, you can see how the fold lines form a side ways matchbook shape.

It's time to hop on over to Margaret's Blog and see the beautiful card she has made for our hop!  If you get lost along the way, hop to our fearless leader Doris for a list of participants.  This is a small hop, so please take the time to check out all the blogs.  All the ladies at Crafting By Designs are so talented.  Visit the site and join us in the fun.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, July 2, 2012

July Workshop

I am taking a little break from my prep work for the CTMH 2012 Convention scheduled for next week!  I have swaps and roomie gifts to make along with the packing and supply organizing.  Whew, busy.  Within a few days of my return, I hold my monthly workshop, so I figured that I better get as much of that done before I head to Dallas.

I'm calling my Workshop this month "This and That."  The CTMH Convention signals the pending release of the new Idea Book.  The reason my workshop is "This and That" is because I want to review techniques we learned over the last Idea Book.  "Under the Sea" is a great set to use to practice coloring techniques and this is one the the cards we will be making...
The fish has been colored using watercolor pencils.  The colors include Lagoon, Sweet Leaf and Colonial White.  The pattern paper is from May's CTMH Campaign called "Dotty For You."  Whew, was that a terrific paper packet.  I have some left to share with my gals and will take the opportunity to share ideas for it's use with those that were lucky enough to purchase it. 

Speaking of paper packets, there are several CTMH packets that will not be available after July 31st...Sonoma, Roxie, Typeset and Elemental from the Fall/Winter 2011 Idea Book and Lucy, Footloose, Superhero and Cruisin' from the current IB will also be discontinued.  So, if you are working on a project or just have to have these papers, don't forget to get some ordered. 

Getting ready for Convention and anticipating the new Idea Book are always so much fun.  I will continue to share my preparations as time goes on.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Remembering some CTMH Favorites - Perfect Pairs

The count down has begun for both the Close To My Heart Convention and the new Fall/Winter Idea Book.  The Convention is set to begin on July 12th and the new Idea Book will be released on August 1st.  Beginning today, CTMH is running an exciting deal.  Place a $75 order on my website and you will receive a "Perfect Pair."  A Perfect Pair is a combination of a favorite retired paper packet along with coordinating embellishments or Stickease.  The sponsored paper packet changes every 5 days to increase the fun. 

One of the featured paper packets, is "Sophia."  It retired last year and featured great colors like Pear, Hollyhock, Cream Brulee and Blush.  One of the stamp sets that coordinated beautifully with the set is "Heartfelt Treasures."  The good news is that "Heartfelt Treasures" (C1456) is still current!  In celebration of the campaign, I dug out some of the Sophia I had left and created this card.
This card is done on a tent fold A2 size base of Hollyhock.  All of the pattern paper is from Sophia and look how wonderfully the flourishes, flowers and sentiments (all from "Heartfelt Treasures") coordinates.  A quick tip....whenever you use a darker color card base, always add a coordinating piece of neutral cardstock to the inside so that there is a place to write a message to the  recipient
of the card.  I always like to decorate the inside with matching stamps to add a special inside treat, too.

The Sophia paper packet is featured as one of the paper packets later in the month.  Today, through July 5th, Mischief is highlighted.  Other paper packets include favorites like "Dreamin', Fanfare, and Lucky."  Many of these paper packets still have current coordinating stamp sets also.  Check my website often to learn what the featured paper packet is for that day.  For Now, Happy Crafting!