National Stamping Month 2013

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You Are My HappyNational Stamping Month is Here!

That’s right!  It is time to break out your stamps and get inky!  Close To My Heart is making it easy for us with this darling stamp set trio, You are My Happy.  It is only $10 with a qualifying purchase.  Check out this video for a look at the stamp set and some projects you can make when you get your hands on this great set.  Mine will be here on Wednesday…I can’t wait!


Artbooking in August #4

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Artbooking Blog HopThe End of My First Blog Hop

Well, I have to admit that I’m a little sad that our blog hop is coming to an end with this 1/2 completed project!  I was busy at a Star Trek Convention in Seattle this weekend and ran out of time.  I’m posting this anyway, because I think it shows you that Artbooking makes even a partially completed project look good.  It helps that I’m using some of my left over Dream Pop papers as they are super cute! 

If this is your first visit to my blog and the Artbooking in August Blog Hop, know that nearly 40 consultants were challenged to create four projects with the Artbooking Cricut Collection this month. We posted either a layout, card, home decor, or mini-album on each Monday in August.  I’m far more proud of what I posted earlier in the month, so be sure to check out the other projects on my blog. 

If you are coming from Jody’s blog, you are in the right place.  Now, let’s finish out the Artbooking in August Blog Hop with a little look at how easy it is to create the pages of a mini-album.  I used keys 3 & 4 on pages 40 & 41 to created the base pages of an 8×6 Snapshots Mini-Album.  

 When you set your page size to 8″, all the other elements will cut at the proper size.  The overlay and title are great examples.  I encourage you to save all the “bits” from your overlays, because they just might come in handy later in your project.

BlogHopMiniAlbum02For instance, prior to adhering the circle overlay to the cover, I used it as a guide for placing the leftover circles on the inside cover.

BlogHopMiniAlbum03Here is where the “decorations” end…LOL!  Yet, look at how awesome the right page looks as a result of the cute Dream Pop paper.  I loved lined paper because it makes journaling by hand so easy.

snapshotsMiniAlbum04The Artbooking Snapshots Mini-Album also includes pocket pages.  Close To My Heart’s fantastic, double-sided patterned paper makes it easy to create darling pockets every time.

snapshotsMiniAlbum05I backed the “My Favorite Photos” flags in black and then added a little Liquid Glass to give them the look of epoxy stickers.  This is such a fun and easy technique.

BlogHopMiniAlbum06Here is a 2nd pocket page style.

BlogHopMiniAlbum07There are even little envelopes you can create to store fun little treasures in your mini-album.  I used a Hook & Loop Dot to keep the flap closed.  I can see creating a bunch of these for My Crush Album, as well.

Even though our Blog Hop is coming to an end, I will finish this album and post it later.  Until then, continue on with the Artbooking in August Blog Hop by visiting Rebecca’s Stamp & Scrap Studio!

Remember, if you ever get lost along the way, visit this page for a list of all the blogs on the hop.

 


Artbooking in August #3

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Cricut Craft Room and ArtbookingArtbooking Blog Hop

Can you believe it is already the 3rd installment of the Artbooking in August Blog Hop?!  Where is the summer going?  As a teacher, I’m seeing these days fly by and realizing that I have so much more to do before school starts.  I need to budget my time wisely these last couple of weeks, so that’s where the Cricut Craft Room comes in handy!  I knew that I wanted to complete a display tray for my home decor project as part of the Artbooking in August Blog Hop challenge.  I pinned a bunch of ideas to my Printer’s Tray board on Pinterest, yet none of the ideas were exactly what I wanted.  I knew I wanted to use the Surf’s Up paper line and Artbooking (of course!), so, I opened up the Cricut Craft Room and created a tab for each color in the kit.  I then placed 3×4 blocks on the page to represent my display tray.  Once I started pulling in the Artbooking images, the design fell into place in no time!  

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TrayFor those of you joining me from Katy’s blog, welcome!  You are in for a big treat today, because not only am I going to write about this project, I’m going to share a video tutorial and free CCR file!  I can’t wait to see your projects and hope you will post them on the Studio Scrapping Facebook page

The video below walks you through the steps I used to create this project in the Cricut Craft Room, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here.  What I will say is that it is so easy to work with images from different cartridges if they are linked in Cricut Craft Room.  Once it comes time to cut, you don’t even need the cartridge in the machine when they are linked.  This is such a great time saver!

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TrayAs you can see from this screen shot of my Cricut Craft Room file, it looks very similar, I only changed a few of the color blocks when I was putting the final project together.  I’m so happy with the way it turned out!  In fact, when I showed it to my husband, he said, “Oh, that’s nice!”  That was seriously high praise from him!

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TraySo, now for some detail shots.  I cut the banner, tree, and tree top out of a used cereal box using my deep cut blade.  I then cut the same images from cardstock.  This allowed me to add more dimension to my project and made the tree sturdy enough to flow off the edge of the display tray.

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TrayI cut the tree out of chocolate cardstock but felt it needed something, so I pulled out the stamp set from the Huntington WOTG.  I stamped the woodgrain on the trunk in 2nd generation chocolate.  It is super subtle, but it gives enough texture to make it look like a tree.

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TrayThe only other stamping I did on this project was on the sun.  I cut it from the Surf’s Up Gold and then used a stamp from Patterned Pennants (it’s the same one I used on my card last week…I’m a fan!).  I used honey ink so it isn’t as orange as the patterned paper that comes in the kit.  I finished the sun off with a yo-yo from the Surf’s Up Assortment.

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TrayI used foam tape on the grass and flags to make them pop.  One of the things that I want to do on my next display tray is to add more depth to the various rectangles.  I think it would add some really cool visual interest.  Everything else was adhered with Liquid Glass.

Cricut Craft Room and Artbooking Display TrayI finished off the project by adding clear sparkles.  Just that little bit of bling makes me so happy!

If you don’t want to watch the video below, you can hop on over to Rebecca’s blog for more crafty goodness.  Remember, if you ever get lost along the way, visit this page for a list of all the blogs on the hop.

Cricut Craft Room Tutorial & Freebie!

I’m so excited to share my video tutorial and CCR freebie with you.

 


Artbooking in August #2

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Artbooking Blog HopWelcome to Week 2 of the Artbooking in August Blog Hop!

If you are joining me from the super talented Scrappin’ Katy, you are in the right spot.  This week, 36 Close To My Heart Consultants are taking on the challenge to create a scrapbook layout, card, mini-album, or gift item using the new Artbooking Cricut Collection.  I gave myself the added challenge to “shop my stash.”  I put away all my new products and dug deep to come up with papers I haven’t used for years.  They are so old, I can’t remember the name of the kit!  That really is one of the things I love best about Artbooking, it is breathing life into papers I was getting ready to donate to my school.

Sunburst Overlays 1Artbooking Overlays

Of the 700 images on the Artbooking Cricut Collection, nearly 90 are full or half page overlays!  The overlays range from themed for holidays/seasons to geometric shapes used for everyday projects.  The Cricut book suggests that you cut the overlays at 11″ for a full page layout, but don’t forget that you can use the Real Dial Size to cut your overlays to fit your projects.  That’s exactly what I did for this Hello card.  I designed my card in Cricut Craft Room, but you don’t need it to modify the size of your overlays.  Simply hit the Real Dial Size button and set your dial to 3″.  This will give you a 3″x6″ sunburst overlay to fit the front of your card.

Sunburst Overlays 2My final card measures 3.5″x6.5″.  I placed the sunburst overlay onto a rectangle of blue patterned paper and mounted them both onto 3.25″x6.25″ White Daisy cardstock.  I used foam tape to adhere it all to my card base.

Sunburst Overlays 3Since I used our older, lighter weight paper, I cut the sentiment several times to make the title stand out more.  This experience reminds me that I really love the weight of our patterned paper!

Giving Overlays Character with Stamping & Stitching

Sunburst Overlays 4Whenever I cut overlays out of cardstock, I feel like they are a little flat.  I want to add some dimension to the overlays through stamping or inking.  In the case of the sunburst overlay (page 81), I added stamping using the Patterned Pennants (D1534) stamp set.  I masked the center of the sun and the border of the overlay so that only the rays of the sun were stamped.  I love the contrast that this provides even though I stamped tone-on-tone with Buttercup ink

sunshineCard05This stamp set also had the perfect sentiment to use with the overlay!  On my next card, I’m going to move the “You’re a ray of” to the left a bit so it doesn’t overlap the “sunshine.”  But, frankly, I spent way too much time on this card to change it now!

Sunburst Overlays 5So, you may be asking, what took so much time?  Hand stitching!  Our new Stitch Guide (Z1852) made it really quick work of punching holes, and the new 15″ Foam Mat (Z1859) is amazing!  Even so, stitching by hand takes time.  It was totally worth it though, because I love the look of this card!

Sunburst Overlays 6Thank you so much for visiting my blog; please feel free to leave a comment and say “Hello”!  Then click on over to the start of our blog hop at Rebecca’s Stamp & Scrap Studio!  If you get lost along the way, be sure to visit this link to see the entire list.

4 Stitching Techniques Tutorial

Watch the following tutorial to learn 3 more techniques to add stitching to your projects in addition to hand stitching!


Artbooking in August #1

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Artbooking in August Blog Badge

Welcome to Artbooking in August!

Are you ready to get creative with Artbooking in August? If you’ve just come from Katy Taylor’s blog, you are in the right place.  If this is your first stop on the Artbooking in August blog hop, please note that each Monday in August, close to 40 talented CTMH consultants will post artwork to our blogs using the Cricut Artbooking Collection and any CTMH paper pack (even those oldies-but-goodies just waiting for new life as an Artbooking project!).  Our challenge is to create 4 different Artbooking projects, including a 2 page layout, card, mini-book, and home decor or gift item.  You are going to get so many ideas for using the Cricut Artbooking Collection this month that you are going to want to follow all of our blogs and set reminders in your calendar so you don’t miss a single page along the Artbooking in August blog hop!  As you hop along, be sure to leave comments to let the artists know you were inspired by her work.

Pajama Party Inspiration

Join the BPC Pajama Party The day before the Cricut Artbooking Collection was released, Big Picture Classes held a Pajama Party where Stacy Julian previewed the collection.  She provided instructions for creating the layout on the left.  During the PJ party, I cut the pieces with every intention of recreating the sample layout.  Yet, my photos were screaming for some nautical flair, so I pulled out my Tommy kit and went to work.    I ended up with a bright layout that really showcases my focal photos.
Artbooking in August--Ulen01

Artbooking in August Blog Hop

If you keep reading below, I’ll share some tips for creating this layout.  Yet, if you are ready to move along the Artbooking in August blog hop, you’ll want to jump back to the beginning and check out Rebecca Altamirano‘s awesome project.

Layout Tips

Artbooking in August--Ulen02To create this double-page spread, I used the Friendship Layout on page 78.  Since I was down to my last sheet of the map paper in the Tommy kit, I cut out an 11″ square from the center of the paper so that it would fit perfectly behind the large overlay.  I used the remaining piece to frame the left side of the layout.  That’s one way to stretch your paper when you get down to the last full sheet in a kit!  You’ll also notice that I created the look of rope on my banner by putting knots in some Natural Hemp.  Love the way that little touch continues the nautical theme.
Artbooking in August--Ulen03To create the look of chipboard on my title, I cut the “You+Me” icon (page 58) from Outdoor Denim cardstock five times and layered each cut.
Artbooking in August--Ulen04I then placed the same cut in White Daisy.
Artbooking in August--Ulen05Finally, I offset the Cranberry piece on top of the stack to create a bit of shadow for the title.
Artbooking in August--Ulen06My last tip is to add dimension to your Artbooking cuts by inking the edges.  I used a sponge dauber and Desert Sand Ink to give my White Daisy overlay a little more character. If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading my first Artbooking in August post!  I hope you’ll leave a comment before heading on over to Rebecca Altamirano’s blog.  If you would like to order the Artbooking collection and you don’t have a consultant, please visit my online store.

Countdown to Artbooking in August

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Artbooking is here!

artbookingMiniAlbumToday is the launch of the Autumn/Winter 2013 Idea Book and of the Artbooking Cricut Collection.  There has been a ton of buzz online about this collection.  I’ve been playing with it for the past few weeks, and it is worthy of the hype!  Like the other CTMH cartridges, it has 700 images which is amazing in and of itself, but that’s not what makes this cartridge groundbreaking.  What is so revolutionary about it is that each themed layout is linked, so you only have to enter your size or set your dial once, and everything will cut to a perfect size for that layout or mini-album.  It is seriously fool proof!  So, it is perfect for the beginner, but advanced Cricut users will also love that you can unlink the images and cut them at any size you desire using the Real Dial key.

Artbooking in August

blog badge 2To show you how versatile this collection is, 40 CTMH consultants are banding together to bring you the Artbooking in August blog hop!  We will show you how to create layouts and mini-albums since that is the main purpose of Artbooking, but we are also going to share cards, home decor and gift items to show you that this collection is just for scrapbookers.  If you love papercrafting, then Artbooking is for you.

So, how do you participate?  Visit my website each Monday in August to view my project and tutorial.  Then you will simply click on the next link to start hopping from blog to blog.  Remember that we all work hard to bring you great artwork, so feel free to Pin and to leave comments along the way!

CDA2009_Tommy07Are you ready for a sneak peek at my first project?!  I can’t wait to share the rest of this layout with you on Monday!

While you wait, I encourage you to read my newsletter, browse the new Idea Book online, and contact me if you would like to attend my launch party on Saturday, August 3.  This is a must attend event as I’m having lots of giveaways and huge sales on retired product!


Creative Memories Australia Lives!

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Creative Memories Australia LivesI’m so excited for all the Creative Memories Australia Consultants, because Close To My Heart recently announced that they are expanding in the Australia and New Zealand markets.  This is fantastic news for all those Creative Memories Australia consultants who thought their businesses were gone after CM closed the doors in Australia and New Zealand.  I can’t even imagine how frustrating that must have been for them…especially for the real business builders who made it their livelihood!

Close To My Heart is working with “long-time in-country expert Brian O’Callaghan, former General Manager of Creative Memories Australasia, as well as Susan Wilmot and Diane Lampert, both successful former Senior Directors of Creative Memories Australia. Together, the US-based Close To My Heart team and Australia-based team have begun collaboration on product mix, pricing, compensation plans and anticipate offering a unique opportunity for former Creative Memories Consultants and their entire teams as well as others interested in a ground-floor business opportunity in scrapbooking and stamping.”

What that says to me is that the Creative Memories Australia consultants are going to be able to keep their teams intact.  That’s fantastic news for them!  Close To My Heart is holding events just for the Creative Memories Australia consultants in July.  Existing consultants are allowed to bring two of their very best customers to these events where they will get to work with the products and learn more about the business opportunity.  I have a feeling that Close To My Hear Australia will grow like crazy in July!  If you live in Australia or New Zealand, visit the Events page for more information.

The New Zealand market will open up a month or two after Australia.  For more information as it becomes available, or to review frequently asked questions, visit www.closetomyheart.com.au.

I can’t wait to see what all our crafty cousins Down Under create with their new Close To My Heart products!


Canvas Art Leftovers

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Canvas Art WOTG LayoutAfter finishing the Canvas Art Workshop on the Go, I realized I had a ton of product left over, so I set to work on creating this layout.  I had extra photos from our trip to Greece, but I didn’t feel the need to make another layout about the trip.  Since I created this layout on our 23rd wedding anniversary, I decided to focus on that event using the photos I had on hand.  It’s a good thing I didn’t try to use pictures from our date that night…we went to Taco Time!  LOL!  Now, it isn’t as unromantic as it sounds…we did go to Taco Time on our first date.  It was one of the main hangouts for kids in Moscow, so we spent a lot of time there.  Since I try to avoid food like that now, Neal usually goes during the week with a buddy from work, but this was a special occasion.

Layout_CanvasWOTG2013_4Because I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on this–it was our anniversary after all–I stuck as close to the original design as possible.  I did have to break out some Kraft cardstock for the base and Sparkles Flourishes (Z1708) since the original Canvas Art kit only came with one.  Other than that, I had plenty of Canvas Art leftovers to work with.  In fact, I still have 11 pieces of chipboard to use on cards or other projects!  I also elected to use the Trinity Alphabet (E1021) for Neal’s name since I already used the “Love” from the Canvas Art Workshop on the Go stamp set.  I broke out my other favorite set from the Spring/Summer 2013 Idea Book, Sightseer (C1534), to use the arrow stamps.  I think they add the perfect finishing touch to my embellishment clusters.  I used the retired set, Noteworthy (D1329), for the journaling lines.  Whenever I want to save time on a layout, I always use my own handwriting for the journaling.

Layout_CanvasWOTG2013_2Canvas Art Leftovers Bloopers

If you want to recreate my layout, I hope you will learn from my mistakes:

  • I used a Smash brand date stamp and it was terrible!  I love my Smash books and bought this stamp ages ago since it had cute phrases such as “I love this” and “Oh, snap!” There are two problems with it, so I doubt I’ll use it again.  (1) It isn’t self inking, so my ink got all over the stamp.  (2)  It was difficult to get a clear image from the excess ink on the stamp and the varying heights of the letters.  Talk about frustrating!  I stamped it on 4 sides of cardstock and finally gave up.  Pretty sure that I’m getting rid of that stamp at my next garage sale.
  • Layout_CanvasWOTG2013_3The Cocoa pigment ink is not nearly as dark as my Canvas Art project.  I should have had extra Cocoa pigment ink squares for my club members as there wasn’t enough ink in that little square for all of us.  Just a reminder when using pigment ink…you don’t need to press it hard.  Lightly pounce the ink over your image until you have even coverage.  A little goes a long way since the ink is so vibrant.
  • Be sure to cut your flourish so that part of it hangs out below the small yellow frame.  I didn’t do that with the Canvas Art project, and I really wish I would have.

Canvas Art Workshop on the Go

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Croppin' Cuties May 2013 ~ Canvas Art WOTGI had such a great time creating the Close To My Heart Canvas Art Workshop on the Go with the Croppin’ Cuties this morning!  I really hope that Close To My Heart continues to come out with home décor projects like this.  I also hope that they start offering this 12×12 canvas as a stand-alone item in the new Idea Book!  I would love a whole series of these on my wall.

Amy's Canvas Art WOTGOne of the great things about this kit is that it comes with two sheets of Dimensional Elements that coordinate with each other.  That gave us all a lot of flexibility in choosing the shapes we would use on our projects.  I’m hanging this is my family room which is yellow and green, so the blue/green/brown color combo worked best for me.  I now have all the left over red and yellow Dimensional Elements shapes to add to a scapbook layout or cards.

Maya's Canvas Art WOTGIn addition to being really easy to put together, we found that the kit worked for a variety of photos.  We had themes as varied as travel, children (including fur babies), and spouses (including Then & Now photos).

Melanie's Canvas Art WOTGThe other thing that I love, love, LOVE about this kit is the stamp set!  It is absolutely perfect for scrapbooking!  I made a box of Project Life style journaling cards as soon as I got this stamp set.  Now I use it on almost all of my layouts because I love the way the arrows draw attention to my journaling.  I can’t believe I haven’t posted my Project Life cards on the blog…I know I have posted photos on my Instagram.  The Croppin’ Cuties are doing Project Life cards next month, so I’ll get them posted before then.

Kristy's Canvas Art WOTGProject Tips:

  1. Use Finishing Files to remove the little “nubbies” from the Dimensional Elements before stamping.
  2. Stamp immediately as pigment ink takes a little time to dry.
  3. Place some Bonding Memories Glue on the inside edge of the back of the DE frames and then lay the frames down on the photo for perfect placement.  Although I didn’t need it, I added a couple pieces of regular tape on the back of my photos just to be safe.
  4. The kit comes with a little Cashmere Baker’s Twine, but it also looks really good with the Chocolate Baker’s Twine from the Neutral collection.
  5. When placing the sparkle flourish, release the bottom from the carrier sheet first and work your way up.  It also looks good to cut the flourish in 1/2 so that the bottom can stick out below the small frame.

Order Your Canvas Art Kit Today!

This kit is really easy to put together on your own.  You just want to make sure that you have a Cocoa pigment ink and some Liquid Glass.  When you place your order, be sure to join my monthly Mystery Hostess gathering.  If the sales for that month total $150 or more, you will be entered into a drawing for free Hostess Rewards!

Join a Club!

Crafting is so much more fun with friends, so let me know if you would like to start your own or join one of my clubs.  Every time we meet, one of our Cuties is the hostess.  She brings snacks and earns the Hostess Rewards!  The clubs also get the benefit of my instruction during the workshops.  I look forward to hearing from you!


Relief for Oklahoma Campaign

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oklahoma-tornado-may2013As I sat glued to my television earlier this week fearing for the lives of those caught in the path of the tornado, the Close To My Heart team jumped into action and planned the Relief for Oklahoma Campaign.  This is a company that truly cares, and I’m so proud to be part of the Close To My Heart family.  I hope you will help support the Relief for Oklahoma Campaign by purchasing the A True Thank You ($2.95 retail) stamp set—100% of the profits will be donated to the American Red Cross!

Relief for OklahomaIn addition to Close To My Heart’s financial generosity in supporting the relief efforts in Oklahoma, they are giving us all a little gift by releasing A True Thank You early!  This stamp comes from the Autumn/Winter 2013 Idea Book which won’t be released until August 1.   The sneak peek leads me to believe that we are going to get many more M-size stamp sets!  Like the monogram stamps released last year, A True Thank You calls for a 2”x2” block, so it is the perfect size for cards.  I also envision using the “you” portion of the stamp as journaling or a small title on a scrapbook layout.

What also excites me about this stamp is the style of line art on the word “you.”  I hope this is a new series of sentiment stamps!  I have a feeling that I’m also going to get a lot of use out of my alcohol markers and watercolor pencils/waterbrush with this stamp.  If you are into fussy cutting, it might be fun to cut the letters out on the inside line and then layer them over the fully stamped image.  I’m sure I’ll do that at least once to see how it looks.  So many ideas are floating around my head…I can’t wait to get this stamp set!  Yet, as much as I’m looking forward to the creativity this stamp inspires, I know that it will become a fast favorite because it will always remind me of the small part I did to help CTMH support the Relief for Oklahoma Campaign.  I really hope you will join me by placing your order today!

So, here is how you can help support the American Red Cross efforts in Oklahoma.

  1. Visit http://tinyurl.com/OKRelief-5-13.
  2. Click on “Special Promotions,” choose the quantity of stamps you would like to buy, and hit the “Add to Cart” button.
  3. If you are purchasing these stamps as a gift for the crafty friends in your life, you may also want to pick up the 2” x 2” (Y1003) block.  If they are new to stamping, you may also want to get them the Spritz Cleaner (1778) and Stamp Scrubber (Z1782).
  4. Since the minimum amount of shipping you will pay is $4.95, I would also use this as an opportunity to stock up on some other products.  The “While Supplies Last” section has some great deals.  I’m super fond of the My Legacy Writers® Black Pen set.
  5. Don’t forget the great deal that is already going on this month—if your purchase totals $35, you can get the Dream Pop kit for only $10.  Bump your total up to $50, and you can add the Stamp of the Month on for only $5 more.  When you purchase the Dream Pop kit, I’ll supply cutting instructions for two double-page spreads, three cards, and some treat tubes!

Because I really want this campaign to be a success, I’m going to give away any hostess rewards this party earns.  If you use the link above and our party totals $150 or more, I’ll select at least one winner from everyone who makes a purchase to earn the FREE hostess rewards. 

Thank you in advance for helping support Relief for Oklahoma!


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