Find Your Happy Place

I am so excited to show you the March Stamp of the Month set, Happy Place.  I’ve got some great ideas for creating cards and layouts with these images.

Images from the Happy Place Stamp of the Month set

Images from the Happy Place Stamp of the Month set

I’m making a card with the sentiment “Like Mother, Like Daughter” and I’m thinking that would be the perfect title for a layout all about the things Mom and I have in common.   In fact, my mom and I are a lot alike.  I inherited my love of reading from her, we are both night owls and she taught me everything I know about gardening.  I can’t wait to get out my inks and get to it.  Check out these project ideas from Close To My Heart too.

Create with Happy Place

Create a variety of cards, layouts and projects with the Happy Place stamp set.

As always, the Stamp of the Month set is a great deal.  Add Happy Place to your qualifying order for just $5!

Punch it up!

Are you ready to take your cards and layouts to the next level?  Here are my top ten tricks for adding an impressive pop of dimension to your projects.

10. Add layered die cut images by cutting your Cricut shapes in either multiple sizes or colors.
9. Use foam tape or pop dots to lift an embellishment with ease.
8. Sew on your layout.  This is super easy with our Stitch Guide and Foam Mat.
7. Use shimmer trim (now available in silver, black, bronze, red, teal and purple) or washi tape.
6. Ink the edges of your papers and embellishments.
5. Add 3D flowers to your layout with your Cricut.
4. Add layered stamped images.
3. Add yo yos (also known as medallions or rosettes)

accordion folded circle embellishment

Accordion folded circles are often called yo-yos, medallions or rosettes

2. Add ribbons, bows or baker’s twine.  Check out the beautiful bows in the Ariana collection!
1. Add overlays with your Cricut Artbooking cartridge.

What are your favorite tips for adding dimension to your cards and layouts?  Please post them in the comments!

Artbooking Overlays

This scrapbook page gets a pop of color from an Artbooking overlay

This scrapbook page gets a pop of color from an Artbooking overlay

It’s no secret that I am obsessed with the overlays on the Cricut Artbooking cartridge.  I love using them on both my cards and layouts so I was especially excited to see the latest episode of Artbooking Made Easy includes tips for working with these elements.  Give your cards and scrapbook pages color, pattern and dimension with a quick cut from your Cricut!

 

Dimension Does It!

Have you ever made a card or scrapbook page and felt that it was missing something?  Maybe your layout was a little flat? One of my favorite techniques for taking a project to the next level is adding dimension.  Is there an element on your card or layout that you want to pop?

Here is one of my favorite techniques for creating that WOW factor pop. Some stamped images lend themselves to being cut into multiple layers.  Try putting adhesive foam tape between the layers and put that image in the spotlight!  The Classy Doily Stamp makes a beautiful background for cards and embellishments, but it really shines with this technique.

Classy Doily Stamp

Classy Doily Stamp

Classy Doily in 3 layers

Classy Doily in 3 layers

To create this embellishment, cut one matching shape from the Cricut Artiste cartridge for the bottom layer.  Stamp the image on this layer to form the base.  Stamp the image a second time and cut the image along the pointed star shaped outline.  Adhere this layer to the base with 3D Foam Tape.  Stamp the image a third and final time and cut out the top.  Adhere this layer with foam tape.

Give this technique a try and let me know which stamp set you used to create your layered piece by posting in the comments.  Add dimension to your projects with layered stamped images and enjoy the WOW factor!

Working with Scraps

Today’s quick tip is all about making the most of your scrap paper.  When I am working with a paper pack, I tend to keep all of my papers together until my project is finished and the paper is pretty much exhausted.  At that point, I’m left with scraps.  Here are some tips for working with bits of paper.

1. Store your scraps in a bowl on your workspace.  Very often we have a tendency to work with what is at hand.

2. Trim odd shapes into squares or rectangles and store them in clear envelopes grouped by color.  You might also decide to use punches to create shapes from your scraps before storing them.  The next time you need a specific color of paper to mat a photo or create an embellishment, try the scrap packet before cutting a full sheet of cardstock.

3. Use your scraps to make a card or embellishment right away.  Today’s project is the perfect example.  I had a few bits of the Ariana papers left over from other projects and I cut them into squares to create this colorful card.

Card made with Ariana papers

Card made with Ariana papers

Please add a comment and share your tips for getting the most out of your paper scraps.

Getting Started with Embossing Folders

Are you ready to kick your cards and scrapbook layouts up a notch? Texture is a great way to add that extra WOW factor to your projects. You’ll love the dimensional effects you can achieve with embossing. If you are new to working with embossing folders, Close To My Heart has put together a quick video with all the information you need to get started.

This is the perfect time to try our new embossing folders.  Our February promotion, Embossing is Boss, makes this technique easier to try than ever.  Simply purchase any combination of two color cardstock packs, including single color or combo packs, and you can choose one folder FREE!  (Kraft, White Daisy, Colonial White, and Paper Fundamentals cardstocks are excluded from this offer, but all other single color and combo packs are eligible.) Read more about it here.

Great Backyard Bird Count

Are you participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend?  This terrific annual event encourages novice bird watchers like me to get out and enjoy the birds all around us.  Check out their web site for complete details on how to get involved plus helpful resources for identifying birds.  My local Wildbirds Unlimited shop is promoting the event and I am seriously thinking about getting a new feeder or two and a box to encourage blue birds to nest in my yard.

Fabulous You stamp set

Fabulous You stamp set

Speaking of birds, I was creating bird tags over the weekend with one of my favorite stamp sets, Fabulous You.  I’ve seen some beautiful cards with this set and couldn’t wait to play with the combination of this set and colored pencils.

Tags made with Fabulous You stamp set

Tags made with Fabulous You stamp set

Purchase your Fabulous You stamp set today!

Quick Tips for Clear Stamped Images

One of the concerns I hear most often when I introduce paper crafters to stamping is about getting a great stamped impression.  Today I’ve got a few simple steps to help you get a perfect image each time you stamp!

  1. Before using your new My Acrylix stamps on a project, you will need to season the stamp.  This process will help ink stick to the stamp and reduce the possibility of staining.  Ink your new stamp with a light color and stamp the image several times.  If ink beads on the stamp or fails to give the desired coverage, repeat the process.  You may also want to rub any remaining ink into the stamp with your finger.
  2. Select a block size that is not much larger that your stamp.  Do not rock the stamp on your ink pad or your paper.
  3. Remember a light but firm application is all you need with My Acrylix stamps; pressing too hard can cause smudging.
  4. For crisp images, cushion your paper with the foam insert provided.
  5. Don’t forget to clean your stamps with each use!  I clean my stamps with My Acrylix™ Spritz Cleaner and our My Acrylix™ Stamp Scrubber.
My Acrylix stamp and blocks

My Acrylix stamp and blocks

Adding Texture with Embossing Folders

Remember the TV show “What Not To Wear”?  The hosts, Stacey and Clinton, gave fashion makeovers and participants on the show were given new wardrobes.  The hosts gave advice on selecting the new clothing and guests were told to pay special attention to pattern, texture and shine.  Turns out this advice works for more than fashion!

If you have a layout or card that feels like it is missing something or if you’re looking to kick your designs up a notch, why not try adding texture with embossing?  Close To My Heart just added embossing folders to our product line.  There are 5 patterns of folders available: dot, chevron, quatrefoil, damask, and stripe. (All patterns are repeatable for larger papers.)

Embossing is Boss promotion

Get your free embossing folder in February with this special offer

Our February promotion, Embossing is Boss, makes this technique easier to try than ever.  Simply purchase any combination of 2 color cardstock packs, including single color or combo packs, and you can choose 1 folder FREE when prompted. (Kraft, White Daisy, Colonial White, and Paper Fundamentals cardstocks are excluded from this offer, but all other single color and combo packs are eligible.)  Post your favorite pattern in the comments.

Super Bowl Scrapbooking Challenge

It’s Super Bowl Sunday!  Whether you are cheering on the Seahawks or the Broncos, it’s time to celebrate all things football.   As kickoff time approaches, the excitement is building.  People are talking about Peyton Manning, the half time show and even the commercials.

Today is a celebration of all things NFL.  There are so many events that occur around the Super Bowl.  I remember when Jacksonville was the host we had concerts and street parties plus the NFL experience.  The celebration went on for days!  If you have layouts of Super Bowl events and Super Bowl parties, post a link in the comments.

While tonight’s game is highly anticipated, there is nothing like seeing YOUR team play in the Super Bowl.  I’ve been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan since I was four years old.  I am a die hard fan with the Terrible Towel to prove it!  I honor of the big game, today’s challenge is to create a card or layout using your favorite NFL team’s colors.  I’ll be working with black and gold.  All you Jaguars fans get to play with teal and black.  Play along and post a link to your project in the comments!

 

My Favorite New Products

It’s here!  The new Spring/Summer Idea Book is live on my web site and at long last I can share all of the new products with you.  Get ready for an incredible collection of new papers, embellishments and stamps.  Here are my top ten favorites.

10. Ariana Assortment - 8 adhesive-backed fabric bows
9. Workshops on the Go Jubilee Scrapbooking kit
8. A Mother’s Love, Hostess Rewards stamp set
7. Ivy Lane Assortment – 9 piece set with adhesive-backed fabric and acrylic flowers
6. Happy Place, March Stamp of the Month
5. Give A Lift stamp set
4. Quick Cards – Japanese Blossom stamp
3.Workshops on the Go Ivy Lane Cardmaking Kit
2. Picture My Life Chantilly Scrapbooking Program
1. Workshops on the Go Balloon Ride Scrapbooking kit

View the all complete Spring/Summer Idea Book and download the recipes!  Leave me a comment and let me know which of the new products are your favorites.

Ariana Sneak Peek

The wait is almost over.  The Spring/Summer Idea Book will be live on my shopping web site tomorrow!  I am so excited for you to see the gorgeous new papers, embellishments and stamp sets.  I’ve given you a couple of glimpses of new items like Wild About Love (the February Stamp of the Month), Lollydoodle papers, and the Picture My Life Chantilly scrapbooking program over the past few days but I’ve got one more sneak peek to share.

Ariana card with new Quick Card stamp

Make projects like this in minutes with our Quick Cards stamps!

This 6×6 card features the new Ariana paper collection and a new addition to our stamp collection in the Quick Card style, Joyful Wishes.  Ariana features a beautiful combination of coral and green with both crystal blue and outdoor denim.  Don’t miss the Complements (dimensional elements) and fabric bows in this elegant feminine collection!  Here’s another look at Ariana.

Scrapbook page featuring Ariana

This scrapbook layout was created using Ariana papers.

Already thinking of ways to use this colorful, floral collection in your scrapbook pages and on your cards?  Please post your ideas in the comments!

Lucky In Love Layout

valentine scrapbook page

Lucky In Love layout

Are you signed up for the Pajama Party?  Close To My Heart is proudly sponsoring an online scrapbooking webcast hosted by Big Picture Classes!  It’s quick and easy to register for this free event.  We’ll have step-by-step instructions for creating our Lucky In Love layout to inspire you to tell your stories and play with fun products like washi tape and zipper lace.  You can view the full supply list here on my blog post from January 7th.

One of the things I like best about Close To My Heart is our motto, which is “Let me show you how”.  You know that I love our products.  What I love even more is that Close To My Heart is committed to showing everyone how to use them and how to get the most out of them.  In addition to my classes and workshops, you can see techniques demonstrated online with Close To My Heart TV or follow along with our weekly video series Artbooking Made Easy here on the blog and on my Facebook page.  From our How To book series to our Workshop On The Go layout and cutting guides, the Close To My Heart commitment to teaching is evident!  If you have a question about a product or technique, please leave me a comment.  See you at the Pajama Party!

Recently my young cousin Charlee introduced me to a music video for a song titled “What Does the Fox Say?”.  If you’ve heard this catchy song, be prepared for it to be stuck in your head when you see February’s adorable Stamp of the Month.  I’m posting lots of sneak peeks to the blog this week, but I still want you to have lots of surprises this weekend with the new Idea Book so I am not posting an image of the stamp set.  Instead, I am sharing a card I made with the set this weekend!

Card with Feb fox stamp

A fun card made with February’s Stamp of the Month set

Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Cut a strip of Crystal Blue cardstock 5 1/2 inches long and scallop one edge.  Adhere to bottom of card.
  2. Cut two strips of Kraft cardstock 5 1/2 inches long.  Adhere one strip over top of scalloped cardstock.  Apply second strip to top of card front.
  3. Cut one piece of neutral cardstock 3 x 5 1/2.  Adhere over edges of kraft strips.
  4. Cut one two inch decorative circle from Kraft cardstock using Cricut Artiste (select accent 4 <5>.  Stamp I Love You with Cocoa ink and adhere to card front as shown
  5. Apply two Durables – triangle studs pointing toward sentiment.
  6. Stamp fox in Goldrush ink on White Daisy cardstock.  Cut out.  I used a brown pen to make the eyes and nose slightly darker.  Adhere to lower right border of card front as shown.

I think this card makes a great Valentine for a foxy guy!  If you’d like to create foxy cards like this one, be sure to take advantage of our Stamp Of The Month offer and get your stamp set for just $5 with a qualifying purchase.  Interested in other special offers?  Contact me today for information on hostess rewards!

 

Eine kleine Nachtmusik

I’ve got lots of inspiration for layouts in the Book of Me today.  First, January 27th is the anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  I’ve written before about my mother’s musical talent and being surrounded by music as a child.  My mother is a first soprano and as small children, my younger brother and I often accompanied her to voice lessons or choir practice.  I think at one point she imagined I would be the perfect pianist to work with her because I was sent to piano lessons at a very young age.

My teacher was a lovely woman who struggled to inspire me to practice daily.  With her guidance, I moved through Hanon exercises and lesson books until at long last I was able to attempt familiar pieces from Beethoven and Mozart.   I still remember learning Sonata in G.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Young Mozart

In 1985, I saw Out of Africa for the first time.  I remember very vividly a scene in which the two main characters, Denys and Karen are on safari. Karen tells the story of their trip later in the film with this great line.  “He even took the gramophone on safari. Three rifles, supplies for a month, and Mozart.”   They place a gramophone in a vast open field.  As the gramophone is approached by wild baboons, Denys pulls a string to start the music.  As the animals react to Mozart’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A, Denys says “Think of it: never a man-made sound…and then Mozart!”

While I often use music as motivation, I think today Mozart has inspired me to create a layout about many years of piano lessons, clunky versions of classics and the many tactics I employed to avoid my daily practice session.

Lewis Carroll also celebrated his birthday on January 27th.   As you may have guessed, being a huge Disney fan means I have lots of photos of Carroll’s most famous character, Alice in Wonderland.  I’m thinking Close To My Heart’s colorful new Lollydoodle paper collection would be just perfect for pictures of Alice or one of my favorite Magic Kingdom attractions, the Tea Cups!  Here is a sneak peek of a layout created with Lollydoodle.

Lollydoodle scrapbook layout

This layout was created with our brand new Lollydoodle collection

I hope you’ll be inspired to add pages to your own Book of Me today and to create with the whimsical Lollydoodle collection.  The new Spring/Summer Idea Book debut is less than a week away.  Contact me today to get your copy!

 

Scrappy Hour

As I have already confessed, one of my favorite things about being a Close To My Heart consultant is the consultant preview period.  I spent the afternoon with stacks of new papers, a dozen new stamp sets and a good friend.  I am especially happy with the new offerings in our Quick Cards stamp series.  I can’t wait to show you how to use these budget friendly stamps to create cards with speed and ease.  I’ve got a sneak peek coming up this week to show you just what I mean.

It’s less than one week until the new Spring/Summer Idea Book will be revealed.  Now is the perfect time to schedule a gathering!  I would be delighted to introduce you and your friends to our exciting new products at home or online.  Close To My Heart rewards Hostesses with the opportunity to earn exclusive stamps sets plus free and discounted products.  Contact me today to schedule your event.

Picture My Life

The debut of the Spring/Summer Idea Book is only one week away and I just can’t wait to show you the many additions to our product line. There’s so much to love in this new edition from embellishments to paper collections and as always a selection of beautiful new stamps.  I don’t want to spoil all of the surprises so today’s post is limited to a sneak peek of my favorite, must have item from the new products.  Feast your eyes on the awesome Picture My Life Chantilly Scrapbooking Program!

Chantilly Picture My Life Collection

Picture My Life in Chantilly

Perfect for both pocket style and traditional scrapbook pages, these adorable accent pieces make beautiful embellishments and journal spots!  Close To My Heart is bringing back some of our most popular paper collections in the Picture My Life format as well as adding new themes.  Each collection includes a 12×12 cover page, 44 4×6 cards (2 each of 22 designs), 78 3×4 cards (3 each of 26 designs) and 10 specially designed page protectors (additional page protectors are available).  Best of all, each collection is only $24.95!

This beautiful collection can be yours when our new Spring/Summer Idea Book goes live on February1st.  Contact me today to learn how you could receive your Picture My Life kit as one of our many hostess rewards.  Hostesses can earn free and discounted products and have access to exclusive hostess kits and stamps.  Let me show you how!

Love Stories

“If we were invincible

if we could never die

and all the world could rise against us

and we’d dare to fight

dare to fight

nothing left to fear

we could never fall

so in love, head full of fire

we’d be invincible”

I am obsessed with this song, Invincible, from All Good Things.  It’s being used in advertisements for tonight’s episode of “Reign” which I have to admit has completely captured my imagination.  “Reign” is a highly fictionalized telling of the story of Mary, Queen of Scots during her time in the court of France.  As something of a history buff, I find the costumes ridiculous and the changes to the ages of the characters something of a joke.  That’s only the tip of the iceberg but even as my scholarly side points out the many inaccuracies, I keep tuning in because at its heart, “Reign” is a love story.

Reign TV promo photo

A fictionalized tale of Mary, Queen of Scots

There’s nothing quite so compelling as a good love story.  It can be a tale of romantic love, best friends, mother love or even the love we feel for our pets.  Your love stories deserve to be told!  As Valentine’s Day approaches, consider sharing your story with a handmade card or mini album.   Check out this video from Close To My Heart for inspiration.

Contact me for more information on my Valentine’s workshop and I’ll show you how to create a treasured gift or special card.  Tell your love story today!

 

It’s A Pajama Party!

Join me for a live webcast Papercrafting Pajama Party!

Close To My Heart is teaming up with Big Picture
Classes to bring you a live webcast with step-by-step
instructions for making this Valentine’s inspired
scrapbook page with an adorable love-themed stamp
set, Glitter Gems and Zipper Lace. It’s the perfect way
to showcase your precious photos of that
special someone.
valentine scrapbook page

Lucky In Love layout

Tune in for the FREE webcast on Thursday, January
30 at 7:00pm (MST) at BigPictureClasses.com.
During the presentation, you’ll learn to make several
projects from a variety of sponsors, including the
“Lucky in Love” scrapbook page from Close To My Heart.
If you’d like to interact on the message board,
participate in live chat, post to the gallery, download
handouts or enter any contests you will need to log in
to the Pajama Party “classroom” by creating a
FREE account on the Big Picture Classes website.
To make our “Lucky in Love” scrapbook page,
you will want to have the following items
—or similar products—on hand:

Creative Calendars

Have you ever thought of creating a personalized calendar?  This is the perfect time to make a unique keepsake that you can display all year!  Our blank monthly calendar makes this project a snap.

calendar

Monthly Calendar

Decorate your calendar with photos, stickers, dimensional elements and Cricut shapes.  This fun example uses colorful papers and Cricut shapes to draw attention to the photo.

 

Personalized calendar

Decorated pages make this calendar a keepsake!