Step Right Up!

Posted on in Cricut, CTMH 2 Comments

The Greatest Showman Cricut Layout by StudioScrapping with Amy UlenUPDATE:  The Step Right Up special has ended, but there are still a few options for getting this design space file.

  1. Join my team and I’ll send you any Design Space files or workshops that I create.
  2. Place a $20 order on my website and I’ll send you the Design Space file for FREE!  Just email me your order # and email address, and I’ll send the file right out to you.
  3. Send $5 to my PayPal account at amy @ shakespearehigh . com (remove the spaces).  Be sure to use the “Send to Friend” option so no fees are charged.  Add your email address to the comment section and I’ll send it right out to you. Be sure to let me know you want The Greatest Showman layout.

In addition to the Design Space file, I’m including a handout with detailed photos and tips for cutting and assembling your layout.

For CTMH consultants, it also includes a consultant release so you can teach the layout at an in-home workshop!


Step Right Up Meets Cricut Design Space

I love designing layouts and cards in Cricut Design Space.  It gives me much more confidence when it comes to actually cutting into my paper.  LOL!  When Close To My Heart released the new Step Right Up special, I was inspired by the circus theme to create a layout celebrating my latest obsession, The Greatest Showman.  I used 6 Close To My Heart Cricut collections on this layout:  Artistry, Flower Market, Hello USA, Artbooking, Artiste, and You Are Here.  Whew!  There was a lot of slicing and welding going on for this one.

Layoyut created in Cricut Design Space

I finished the paper version of the layout today…just in time, because my friends and I are going to see the movie again on Tuesday!  I’ll be sure to take photos of our outing to use on this layout.

Paper version of the Cricut Design Space file

DIE-NAMITE! Thin Cut Special

Step Right Up is not the only special we are having this month.  You can also save 25-30% on Thin Cuts this month…including some that have been retired!  I’m excited to share some cards I created with these oldies but goodies…yet, that’s for another post.  🙂  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you have seen me make a lot of cards recently using the Block Alphabet Thin Cuts.  I also used them to help create the title for this layout.

This is the Greatest Show title

The Showtime stamp set has so many cute images.  I used the harlequin pattern in 2nd generation Chrystal Blue behind the clouds for added texture.

2nd Generation Stamping

I really wanted to give my lion some character, so I added a hat and mustache, painted pink cheeks with the Bashful Shimmer Brush, and added highlights using a white gel pen.

Details of Lion Cricut Cut

Step Right Up SpecialMake Your Own Step Right Up Layout!

If you purchase the Step Right Up bundle from me in March, I’ll send you the Cricut Design Space file so you can make your own “This is the Greatest Show” layout!

Please leave a comment below and let me know if you have seen The Greatest Showman yet.  If so, what’s your favorite song from the movie?!


I’m back with loads of CTMH goodness to share!

Posted on in Cards, Cricut, CTMH, SOTM Leave a comment

Amy Ulen in the CTMH Art StudioI’ve been missing in action since April and have so much to share!  Since then, I submitted my National Boards, finished my first year of teaching AP Computer Science Principles, attended the CTMH Convention, saw a total solar eclipse, walked over 150 miles with my husband, worked on several online Web Design courses, took a tap dancing class, and made a lot of swap cards.  I probably should have taken some time to document all these adventures along the way, but I didn’t really come up for air.  Now the new school year has started and I’m really feeling the time crunch.  Even so, I got off to a great start blogging this year, and I really do want to continue that, so here goes.

September 2017 Stamp of the Month

I’m a fan of the September SOTM, Feel So Blessed.  Here is the first card I created with it.  I used the new color of the year, Bashful, along with the new Rose embossing folder. I have to admit that it has been awhile since I’ve done heat embossing, and I managed to run my finger through the letters before they were dry.  I’m sure I’ll do better next time.  LOL!

I can’t wait to see what you create with this awesome stamp set.  It will be perfect for my November gratitude journal!

New Cricut Collections

Calling all Cricut fans…CTMH knocked it out of the park with 4 new Cricut collections.  That’s right, four!  The You Are Here Cricut Collection contains everything from travel to staycation images.  It is really fun…and the stamp sets are fantastic!  Here are a couple swap cards I created with them.

The other three digital-only country collections are Hello USA, Hello Canada, and Hello AU/NZ!

Wow!  It is really late and I have so much to share.  Looks like I’ll have to make another post, so be sure to subscribe to my feed so you receive an email when I make the next post.















Cricut Design Space + CTMH Thin Cuts!

Posted on in Cards, Cricut, CTMH 2 Comments

Free Cricut Design Space Files +
25% Savings on CTMH Thin Cuts

I have to admit that I designed these cards in Cricut Design Space at the end of January.  I cut out all the pieces on my Cricut and did manage to put a couple of the cards together.  Check out this post and this post for details and the free Cricut Design Space files.  The final three designs have been sitting on my craft table just waiting to be assembled.  Luckily, my crafting buddies came over last night, so it finally gave me an opportunity to finish these cards!

The good news is that the Some Kinda Wonderful Cardmaking Thin Cuts bundle I’ve been using on these cards is on sale for 25% off while supplies last!  This set is adorable, so I would order right away.  I also used the ladybug from the Dreamin’ Big Cardmaking Thin Cuts bundle and the Silly Sayings set which coordinates with the Artistry Cricut collection.

You're Weird card with Cricut Design Space fileAll of the cards use the following:

Happy Birthday Card with Cricut Design Space FileHere are the links to all of the free Cricut Design Space files for these cards:

You’re Weird Card

Happy Birthday Card

That Didn’t Just Happen Card

Critter Card with Free Cricut Design Space FileOn a final note, just want to mention that I used the Lawn Fawn stitched border die to create the borders on my cards, but each of the linked Design Space files includes a border that you could cut with your Cricut. 

Save 25% on Thin Cuts Today!









Card Inspiration from Maya Angelou

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Dr. Maya Angelou Video Inspiration

When I got up this morning, I checked my email and in it was a link to this video.  I’m always inspired by Maya Angelou’s words, but this time I was inspired into action.  When she said that we should aspire to “be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud,” a card design immediately popped into my head!

The Card with a Free Cricut Design Space File

Card Inspired by Maya AngelouI actually used the same Mojo Monday 485 sketch from my last post.  I really like this sketch and have a feeling I will use it often.  Now, I’m not remotely happy with the way the coloring turned out.  When I make this card again, I will use my ShinHan Markers instead of the Watercolor Pencils and Blending Pen.  The purple paper comes from the Adventure Fundamentals, and it is so bright and vibrant that the watercolor gets lost against it.  The markers would make the images pop.  I’ll also stamp the flowers with Black Memento ink like I did with the rainbow and bunny.  I had originally thought about paper piecing the rainbow, so I’ll try that next time, as well.

Card Inspired by Maya AngelouWhat I love about this card is that I learned something new on my Cricut today!  I’ve used the Cricut Markers that came with my Explore, but none of them have a fine tip, so wouldn’t work with my card design.  Since the sentiment was directly inspired from the Maya Angelou video, I had to find a way to make it work.  I pulled out my purple Pilot Precise V5 Extra Fine pen and tried it in my Cricut…it fit! 

Cricut Design Space Tutorial

Click on the image above for the free Cricut Design Space file for this card!  If you haven’t used markers with your Explore, you should give it a try, because the possibilities are endless when you can create your own sentiments.  I selected “Has a Writing Style” from the first list, the font that I wanted to use from the second list, and “Writing” from the third.  Be sure to play with the letter spacing when you are using a sans serif font as the letters tend to blend together making them more difficult to read.


I hope you enjoyed the video and this card.  Go out and “be the rainbow in someone else’s cloud” today!






Free Cricut Design Space Files for Valentine’s Day

Posted on in Cards, Cricut, CTMH 1 Comment

Are You Ready for Valentine’s Day?

Heart Doily Valentine

Use the weld tool in Cricut Design Space to create your own doily design!

As Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I’m guessing that some of you may be frantically coming up with ideas for your sweetheart.  I want to help you out by sharing a couple ideas and offering FREE Cricut Design Space files to help you make some valentines.  

I made this “Life is Sweeter with You” card a few years ago after seeing Pinterest fill up with cards using a really cute heart doily die.  I didn’t have the die, but I did have a Cricut, so I figured I would make my own heart doily!   Getting the sizing right was a pain, and I don’t want you to have to go through that, so I’m including the FREE Cricut Design Space file below so that you can spend your time creating Valentines!

Heart Doily Cricut Design Space File

Is The Heart Doily a Little Too Girly for Your Valentine?

Grilled Cheese Valentines

Let your sweetie know that you love him/her more than grilled cheese!

My husband and I have more of an “I love you more than grilled cheese” relationship than heart doilies and cupcake.  Of course, he would not be disappointed if I made him cupcakes for Valentine’s Day.  LOL!  I will not be doing that, by the way…just had to clarify in case he reads this.

This is the second of five card designs I’ve made in Cricut Design Space using the Silly Sayings (C1672) stamp set.  I absolutely adore this set!  The thing is…I REALLY love grilled cheese, so I knew I had to get this stamp set as soon as I saw it.  My husband shows me how much he loves me by making me perfect grilled cheese sandwiches.  Yet, I would give up grilled cheese forever if it meant I could keep my hubby safe, healthy and happy!

Okay, enough of that sappy stuff.  Here’s the link to the file:

Love You More Than Grilled Cheese Design Space File

Click here to see card!Click here to see card!Click here to see card!

Join My Team in February and
Get 3 FREE Stamps of the Month!

Join My Team Today!I wasn’t super crazy about the January stamp of the month, but this month’s and the next two are fabulous…you are really going to want these!  As a bonus for signing up this month, you get all three sets for FREE!  Woo hoo! 

Click on the image to get more info on my CTMH website.  Also, take a look at my last blog post which describes why I love being a consultant.

If you have ever been a consultant in the past, you may sign up for a no kit option at a discount.  You still receive the free Stamps of the Month and $50 in Select Product Credit.  It’s a great deal and we look forward to welcoming you back to the CTMH family!









There’s Nobunny Like You

Posted on in Cards, Cricut, CTMH, SOTM Leave a comment

February 2017 Stamp of the Month

Feb. 2017 SOTMI’m having such a fun time creating cards using little critter stamp sets lately.  As soon as I saw the new Seasonal Expressions Idea Book at the launch event for consultants back in December, I knew that I had to get this stamp of the month.  I feel equally excited about the April SOTM, as well!  Okay, I admit to already purchasing the March SOTM, too…it isn’t critters, but it is adorable!

I designed this card in Cricut Design Space.  Yes, I seriously miss Studio J, but Design Space has quickly become my go to design tool for both cards and scrapbook pages.  I like the opportunity it provides for creativity and outside-the-box thinking.  For instance, I knew I wanted my little bunny to be standing in grass.  The stamp set comes with a cute stamp for grass, but I decided to use the grass from the Artbooking Cricut Collection.  Since it only comes in a small strip, I welded it to a square and then sliced the whole thing so that it would fit on the background cardstock.

Click here to shop for SOTM!The Whimsy Fundamentals paper collection is so perfect for this card.  Here is a list of all the products I used on this card.  As of the writing of this blog post, some of the inks are listed as out of stock, but they should be available mid-February.


February Tool Tip–Blending Pen

Click to view a larger image.Have you ever used the Blending Pen?  If not, I highly recommend it.  On this card, I stamped the bunny onto White Daisy cardstock in Memento Black and colored the image with the Watercolor Pencils.  The Blending Pen blends the colors together to allow for shading and smooth colors.  It makes the coloring process really easy, because I don’t have to worry about covering the entire surface with the pencils or try to hide pencil lines.  The Blending Pen will smooth it all out!

Painting with Ink

Shop for ToolsIt gets even better…you can use the blending pen with your inks, as well.  Regardless if you have the new or old pads, you can simply squeeze the lid to transfer ink onto the inside cover.  Then use a variety of tools to paint with the ink.  The Blending Pen and Shimmer Brush don’t need water, but the Waterbrush and Paintbrush Set may depending on the look you are going for.  You can also add drops of Re-inker into the lid!

Let me know when you have used this tool tip!  I would love to see whatever you create.      

Join My Team in February!

Become a Consultant Today!So, here I’ve been going on and on about the wonderful Stamps of the Month, so I figured I better let you in on how you can get your own sets for FREE!  Join my team in February and you will earn all three sets for FREE (that’s $53.85 in retail value)!  Did you know that you now can host a party (in person or online) and use your hostess rewards to pay for your new consultant kit?  Ask me for more information.  

Join My Team Today!Also, former consultants can sign up for only $50 this month with a no kit option.  You will still receive the $50 in SPC and the FREE Stamps of the Month!  Talk about a great deal.  I can’t wait to have you on my team!













2017 National Papercrafting Day

Posted on in Cards, Cricut, CTMH 1 Comment

2017 National Papercrafting Month KitIn celebration of National Papercrafting Month, I think it is high time that I update my blog!  Nothing like a two year hiatus to make one think I’m not papercrafting anymore.  Thankfully, that is not true.  I’ve simply ignored this blog because it doesn’t get a lot of traffic and I spend my social media time posting to Facebook and Instagram.  Yet, I do think about the blog a lot.  I want to simplify the design so that I can get back to posting on a regular basis.  I’m super busy with school right now–teaching AP Computer Science for the first time and working on my National Boards–so I know I won’t have time to work on it until after I take my final exam for National Boards.  Even so, I’m going to make more of an effort to document my crafty endeavors here as I find Facebook depressing right now, and people tend to scroll through the images and ignore the description on Instagram.  What I love most about being a Close To My Heart Consultant is the teaching aspect of what I do.  My blog will allow me to share more details than those other mediums.

So, let’s get started by talking about the awesome National Papercrafting Month project CTMH released this year!  I’m not really much of a home decor gal.  We moved into a modern house and I’m going for a clean look and don’t want a lot of dust gatherers…LOL!  Yet, I simply had to make the adorable Welcome Home Wreath.  The kit was so easy and fun to put together.  I figure it will make a great gift!  Click on the wreath image to the left to watch a video tutorial I posted on my YouTube channel.  Great news if you missed the special as it is only good through this Tuesday, all the flowers come from the Flower Market Cricut Collection, so you can recreate your own wreath in any colors you desire.

National Papercrafting Day

Yesterday was National Papercrafting Day, and I had a crop at my house with five incredible women.  It’s so fun to get together and craft with friends!  I created a make-n-take using the sweet Sugar Rush collection.  Since the card featured donuts, my fantastic hubby bought the gals some donuts.  Although they loved the idea of the donuts, they didn’t eat very many.  Hmm…now my husband has to eat the rest…funny how that worked out.  LOL!  

Because I loved the design on the reverse side of the paper, I also created a card with the Sugar Rush Scrapbooking stamp set.  I’m actually really excited about both of these stamp sets, because I have photos of my niece and nephew eating snow cones when they were kids and of my husband eating donuts from my trip to VooDoo Doughnut in Portland.  I’m looking forward to sharing those memories on scrapbook pages using this paper!

Here are a few close ups.  Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image:

Silly Sayings Cards

Click to view Design Space file.While my friends worked on their projects I made some cards using the Silly Sayings and Some Kinda Wonderful–Cardmaking stamps.  I had previously designed the cards using Cricut Design Space and will share those files as I complete each of the cards.  There are five designs in all and this is the first of them. 

After I took these photos, I realized that the cards need a little bling, so I’ll add bitty sparkles or sequins later.  I made the plain card first and decided that I didn’t really like it, so I stamped the background using stamps from the Flower Market Cricut Collection.  Since I’m doing 3 each of the 5 designs, I decided that I didn’t want to devote that much time to stamping backgrounds.  Instead, I decided to use embossing folders on most of the cards.  On one set, I’m going to sand the background to let a little of the white core pop out.

The frame is from Lawn Fawn but everything else is CTMH.  I’m using the retired Fundamentals paper that had an embossed design on the front.  I also used the ShinHan markers to color the fox and turtle.  They are popped up using fun foam which I simply ran through my Cuttlebug.

I hope you will use the FREE Cricut Design Space file and share what you create with it!









Tool Tip Tuesday: Cricut Craft Room

Posted on in Cricut, CTMH 2 Comments

Tool Tip Tuesday:  Artbooking & Cricut Craft Room

overlayLayoutI love scraplifting from the Close To My Heart Idea Book (this comes from page 48 of Spring Summer 2014).   My tool tip for today is for all you E2 Cricut owners.

The overlay is cut from the Artbooking Cricut cartridge.  I could have easily sent several different patterns through my Cricut and pieced together this project, but I wanted to save paper since this Timberline kit is so darling…I don’t want to waste a scrap!  As E2 owners will attest, cutting on scraps is not nearly as easy as it is with the regular Expression.  Far too many screens to navigate.  At least the view screen lets me know exactly where to place my scraps!

Cricut Craft Room To The Rescue

CricutScraps01Yep, gotta love the Cricut Craft Room!  I used the hide contour feature to hide everything except the pattern that I wanted to print.  I then placed scraps of paper on my mat following the guide in CCR.  I sent the mat through my E2 and got perfect pieces every time.

CricutScraps02I inked the edges of all my little pieces and then put them in the overlay.  I’m really happy with the way this page turned out!

Leave a Comment for a Video & CCR File

overlayFinalLet me know if you would like to see a video of the process with a free CCR file download.  I’ve had some severe back pain this week and haven’t been able to sit much, so I wasn’t too excited about creating a video.  If there is an audience for it, I’ll do it once my back starts feeling better.

overlayCloseThe good news about having back pain is that I’ve been standing for most of the week.  That has kept me off of the computer and spending more time scrapbooking at the high table in my craft room and at the kitchen counter.  I have been a ridiculously productive scrapbooker this week with 5 2-page spreads and this single page!  Go me!  With that said, I am looking forward to feeling better.

Re-inker + Artbooking = Love

Posted on in Cricut, CTMH 1 Comment
Artbooking Love You Mini-Album

Make your own background paper using this great re-inker technique.

One of the things I love most about going to Close To My Heart events is the ability to see artwork up close and personal.  I absolutely fell in love with this mini-album when I saw it at the Artbooking Album Retreat in October.  Close To My Heart had several tables filled with artwork from the Artbooking Made Easy video series.  I took photos of every page of this mini-album because I love the colors, style, re-inker technique, sentiment, stamps, Artbooking shapes…really…everything about it.  Well, minus the binding.  I’ve never been a fan of loosely bound albums.  When I recreate this, I’ll remove the holes from the pages in Cricut Craft Room before cutting and then use my Bind-It-All to bind it with coils.

Artbooking Overlay using the Re-inker Technique

Artbooking makes it easy to cut the pages, overlays, photo mats, and icons for a wide variety of layouts and mini-albums.

It’s nice to be able to take detailed photos of the pages to capture the details I may miss in the video.  For instance, the photo to the right includes the heart overlay (Artbooking pg. 48) that uses the re-inker technique described in the video below.  It also includes black stitching on the hearts that I may have missed without seeing the page in person.

You can get these sneak peek privileges by joining my Studio Scrapping team and attending the Close To My Heart convention or other regional events with me!  Ask me about the exciting event taking place in Sea-Tac at the end of February…you don’t want to miss it!

Now, on to the Artbooking Made Easy video.

Re-inker Technique

There are so many great re-inker techniques that range from simply dying ribbons/flowers to creating your own paper by pairing re-inker with shaving cream or marbles.  Paper crafters are a creative bunch!  I’ve used re-inkers as watercolor with a paint brush, but I hadn’t used a sponge dauber to paint or create giant paint splats before.  Check out these awesome re-inker techniques in the Artbooking Made Easy video below:

Re-inker Technique Creates a Paint Splat

Create giant paint splats by saturating a sponge dauber in a re-inker and water mix and “splat” on your page.

Do you find this re-inker technique as amazingly fun as I do?!  It makes me want to create splats in every color of re-inker I own.  I have 41 re-inkers, btw…I felt the need to count them all!

Re-inker and Spray Pen

Use re-inker with a CTMH Spray Pen to create your own mists to perfectly match your projects.

Another re-inker technique used in this mini-album but not mentioned in the video involves creating mist by mixing re-inker and water in the CTMH Spray Pen.  There are so many fun and trendy looks you can achieve with mist.  When I’m misting, I also like to use a small paint brush to dip in re-inker and water to create slightly larger splats of paint that aren’t quite as large as the sponge dauber technique.  Simply fill your brush with re-inker and water, tap the handle against your hand, and watch the splats of ink fall.

Artbooking overlay on top of re-inker technique

Paint a portion of the background page using the re-inker technique and cover with an Artbooking overlay.

The key with these techniques is to expect it to look messy.  Once you start adding photos, embellishments, and journaling, it will start to look the way you want it.

Please leave me a comment below to let me know how you plan to use these re-inker techniques!  Once you make something, feel free to post your project on the Studio Scrapping Facebook page.

Artbooking in August #4

Posted on in Cricut, CTMH 10 Comments

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.


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