Friday, October 31, 2014

Stamp of the Month Blog Hop: It's the little things

Welcome to our Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!  We will be featuring November's SOTM, which is It's the Little Things, a set of 15 floral and sentiment stamps.  If you have come here from Krista's Blog, you are on the right path! The blog hop is a great big circle, so you can start here and work your way all around.  If you get lost along the way, you’ll find the complete list of participating consultants on Melinda’s Blog:

 This is simple to do - just click on the link at the end of the post on each blog to move to the next one! Here we go!

I created a layout with the stamp set and the random stamping technique.  I started with a 12 x 12 piece of white cardstock and stamp the images using this technique

Then I used the paper as I would a patterned paper and created a layout. 

Finally, I stamped and cut out the same floral images and create a focal point on my layout and added the "title".

And guess what is next?  I loved how the focal point turned out so I turned it into a card!

Stamps can be used in so many different ways; make your own paper, create a focal point with title, AND make greeting cards. 

Now "Hop" on over to Morgan's Blog to see her work! Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their Blogs to get some great crafting ideas and other fun ideas! Remember, the SOTM is only available until !  Contact your CTMH Consultant (or click here) to see how you can get this stamp set at a discount!

Here are the products I used to create the items in this post.  

Happy hopping,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Studio J: Make your photos any size you like!

Studio J comes with the layouts that are pre-designed.  You choose your layout style and drag and drop your photos into place.  But you also have the option to change the size of the photo wells and text wells.  This allows you to customize the layout to your capture your personal photos at their best.

I just loved this photo of Alli.  It captures her huge personality and I couldn't resist enlarging it show her large character!  With Studio J, I was also able to add a "stickease" quote that captions the photo as well.

You can see on this designed layout, the original left hand page was rotated and the photo was a smaller, vertical size.  By rotating it 90 degrees and enlarging the photo, I was able to catch Alli, just like she is!

The photos on this page were kept at the original design size and rotation so as to not compete with my favorite photos. 

  You can start using Studio J for no cost here.

How do you get started?  I will be sharing a series of videos throughout the next few weeks starting today with the step by step basics.  I am also offering FREE personal Studio J instructional sessions through out the next few weeks.  Contact me to schedule your in person or online sessions.   AND if after your session, you create and purchase a set of Studio J layouts by November 30th, I will put your name in a drawing for a new Close to My Heart Album of your choice.  Drawing will be held Dec 2nd.

Now for the video.

Let's get started!

Monday, October 20, 2014

5 Lucky ways to be a winner

Close to My Heart is celebrating the 5 year anniversary of Studio J.  And you can be a lucky winner!

I have been using Studio J over the past 5 years to create layouts that fit right in my albums with my classic layouts, printing my own photos the exact size I want them, creating calendars for gifts, and creating holiday photo cards and graduation announcements.  Studio J is a versatile addition to your crafting experience.  

There are 5 ways to win during the month of November (but you can start creating now)!

1.  Everyone is a winner during November with $5 Studio J double page layouts.  That's a 25% savings from the regular retail price ($6.95). 

2.  Your second chance to win big must come by sheer luck: every fifth order placed in Studio J during November receives a FREE surprise Close To My Heart accessory in its shipping box! The accessory has a retail value of $5 or more.

3.  Willy Wonka at his best!  Five GOLDEN tickets will be given away in the Studio J orders.  This “golden ticket” is redeemable for one of Close To My Heart’s new D-ring albums* loaded with 10 Top Load Memory Protectors™.

4.  After you have created your Studio J layouts, post them on CTMH Facebook page with #ctmhlucky5.  After November 30, five lucky winners will be selected from the entries based on their artistry and creativity and each of these winners will receive their own D-ring album loaded with 10 Top Load Memory Protectors!

5.  And there is one last way to win: take your new Studio J artwork and post a picture of it on Instagram using the hashtag #ctmhlucky5. Just as it is with Facebook, after November 30, five lucky winners will be selected from the entries to receive their own D-ring album loaded with 10 Top Load Memory Protectors!

Happy crafting,

Craft Daze 'til Christmas: 65 with easy ways to wrap your gifts!

Close to My Hearts makes gift wrapping fast, simple and easy!  Designer Takeout Boxes are a perfect way to deliver your homemade candies and cookies.  The finished size is 4 inches tall and the 4 inch top tapers to a 3 inch bottom.

The simplicity of the kraft color with heart print offers versatility in your gifting.  After you fill your box with treats, add a ribbon of your choice and a special tag.  Your friends and family will be delighted as will you because of the extra time you will have to enjoy the celebration. 

And that adorable tag, well that is created using the October Stamp of the month Home for the Holidays.  The Home for the Holidays stamp set is $5 with a $50 purchase or $17.95.  It is only available until October 31st so make sure this is a treat in your Halloween basket!  And with one final treat this month, when you have a $50 purchase, you will get a surprise roll of ribbon.  Just click on the Ribbon Revelry button when you get to your shopping cart.

You can see more artwork using creating this set starting here on the blog hop.  And, you can purchase your set and other products on my website

What type of homemade treat would you be putting in this take out box for your friends and family?

Happy crafting,

Monday, October 13, 2014

Seasonal Sampler: Give Thanks

The November Seasonal Sampler is here.  I am working on kits for my upcoming workshops and kits to go.  If you would like to participate in the Seasonal Sampler club or just make one month's sampler, or get a kit to go, please contact me

This month the sampler is created using the Pathfinding paper packet, complements, assortment, bronze shimmer and brown and tan sparkles. 

 The original design was created by Lalia Harris.  I love working as a team to create these projects. 
Here you can see her artwork and what it looks like in the beautiful Design Decor Black Shadow Box. 
 This is a bit of a variation on Lalia's sampler.  I added a the Pathfinding assortment for a little more texture in the elements of the sampler.  The cost of the sampler kit alone is $16.60 and the frame is purchased separately.  If you would like to use up all the elements in your kit, for $2.50, you can purchase a supplemental kit to create the following two cards and medallion which can be used as a stake in a floral arrangement or tied to a wreath as I did.

If you are local, you are welcome to attend one of my three workshops.  Monday Nov 3rd 7 p.m.,  Friday Nov 7, 9:30 a.m. or Sunday Nov 9th 7 p.m.  If you would like to order a kit to go, please contact me for details.  All kits to go contain photo instructions, sent via email. 

Below you can see the products used for the sampler.  They are also perfect for scrapbook pages, Thanksgiving decor, and cards.  You can shop for these product here. 
Thankful for you!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Daze "til Christmas: 75 days and sweet ideas

I am not here to panic you but to give you simple solutions and ideas for your holiday so that you can create NOW and be ready to celebrate with your family and friends.  Today, I want to show you a simple way to create cards and package your sweet treats.

Christmas Card Kit

Holiday Card Kit

The cut above card kits are perfect for quick card making.  Everything is pre-cut and ready for assembly.  All you need to do is pick your stamp and ink, stamp the image, and assemble.  Want to try them out?  I am hosting a holiday card making workshop on Nov 7th at 7 p.m. and Nov 9th at 2 p.m.  You will have the opportunity to create these and other cards I have designed.  RSVP for your spot today. 

Or package your treats with these simple kits.  Buy some candy that has a small flat round area, like Hersey's Kisses, Peppermint Patties, or wrapped hard candies.  Decorate with the stickers, put them in the bag and stamp your sentiment.  So easy and so cute.  You can also see these filled with homemade candies on the CTMH Blog
Holiday Treat Bag

Halloween Treat Bag

Happy gifting,


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Daze 'til Christmas: 80

I am going to have a series of posts between now and mid-December giving you ideas for creating gifts, decor and cards for your holiday gatherings.  I hope you enjoy the ideas and let me know if there is something you would like to learn more about!

Today I am featuring the Close to My Heart Designed Decor Red Magnetic Chalkboard.  This board can me used at a message center in any home or office or craft room.  It takes chalk really well and easily wipes clean for a new message.  In the kitchen or for a party table, it can be a menu board as shown below.

You can also use it as a family advent calendar and Christmas countdown.  Here is a sample, created by the talented Pamela O'Connor

Will you decorate this beautiful magnetic chalkboard or gift it to someone to decorate themselves? 

Purchase here on my website and view the other designed decor products we have.

Onto getting the crazy daze of Christmas into full swing,

Monday, October 6, 2014

Blog Hop: Shin Han Alcohol Markers

Let me take you back to kindergarten.  Do remember those days of new, sharp pointed crayons?  Coloring, and trying to stay inside the lines?  As an adult, when I have had the opportunity to color with children, I have found it to be relaxing and even therapeutic.  Welcome to coloring with Shin Han markers!

Close to My Heart now sells 24 colors of markers that complement the colors of our exclusive color palette.  The rich, deep color you get with these markers will enhance your creative juices and artistic outcome.  Enjoy the beautiful artwork you see on this blog hop using these markers.

If you have come here from Heather's Blog, you are on the right track.  After viewing my projects, you will head on over to Catherine's Blog.

And here's what I made.  Fall leaves seem like an easy place to start.  The colors are blended well and you can't make any mistakes...right.  Leaves are so forgiving.  I started by filling in the image with the lightest color, then adding highlights of the additional colors, and then I went back with the lightest color and did small circles where each color met, blending them together and adding a richer tone.  Super easy and fun!

 These are the products I used to create this card.  I did add other colors to the leaves but the Marigold Yellow and Golden Yellow were the primary colors I used.

 Then I moved on to a technique I saw in my endeavor to learn more about coloring.  This technique is called Pointillism and is a "technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of pure color are applied in patterns to form an image. Georges Seurat and Paul Signac developed the technique in 1886, branching from Impressionism."  I love the look!  So here's my attempt.  If you click on the photo you can see it larger and see the dots.  I did start by coloring the image in with the lightest color as a base. 

Give it a try!  If you want more information about Shin Han markers, coloring techniques or stamping in general, contact your consultant click here to connect with me.