Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Vacation

Here's a peek at what I've been up to instead of crafting -- for Christmas, we visited Disney for the first time! Now I'm gearing up for some fun projects in the weeks to come. Stay tuned!

My family on Christmas Eve

My daughter and me with Ariel

At Hollywood Studios on December 26 -- It was COLD once the sun went down!

My daughter and me with our Minnie ears :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Ornaments - Part 2

More ornament fun! This idea has been making the rounds among the CTMH consultants. Again, I can't claim it as an original idea, although the design is mine. These could not be easier to make! Grab your reinkers, Prisma Glitter, and some clear ornaments, and off you go!

Take the hanger off the ornament, and put a couple of good squirts of reinker in the clear ornament. I used Cranberry in one ornament and Olive in another. Carefully swirl it around until the entire inside is coated with color This may take a little while to get comlete coverage. I set the inked ornament on an empty container to let extra reinker drop out of it.

Add a generous amount of Prisma Glitter to the inside of the ornament. Cover the opening and SHAKE until the inside is covered with glitter. It's amazing to see what looks like a dark color (like the Olive reinker) turn lighter and glittery!

After the ornament was "glittered  up," I decorated each one using the Winter Cheer Glitter Rub-ons. The rub-on itself is a type of sticky substance. It can be a little challenging to see the image you're cutting out, so hold the sheet at an angle to be able to see the pinkish outline. After the rub-on is in place, cut a small piece from the included glitter paper and rub it over the adhesive. Like magic, the sparkly image appears!

Sorry that the quality of these pictures is rough. The ornaments are challenging to photograph since they are so reflective.

Cranberry and Gold:

Olive and Silver:

The Cranberry ornament on the tree. The lights shine through it and make it beautiful!

Products used:
  • Z134 - Prisma Glitter - $4.25
  • Z2216 - Exclusive Inks Reinker (Cranberry) - $4.25
  • Z122 - Winter Cheer Glitter Rub-ons - $13.95
  • Clear ornaments (Michael's)
  • Silver ribbon (retired)
  • Total - $22.45 (enough to qualify for a FREE D-size stamp set of CTMH's choosing!)
Optional add-ons:
  • Z2237 - Exclusive Inks Reinker (Olive) - $4.25 (or any color you'd like to use!)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Art & Soul: Stencil, Sparkle & Shine!

I just enjoyed watching a recent episode of Art & Soul that focuses on fun ideas for blinging up your cards and scrapbook pages. The video is available on my website, and so are previous episodes. Each one takes about 15 minutes to view and is full of great ideas! Click on the Art & Soul icon to go to my website and be inspired. The next episode airs December 21.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Ornaments - Part 1

I promised you a project that is around $20 so you can take advantage of the Plenty for Twenty offer on my website! I saw this idea on another consultant's blog (Creating with Christine) - many thanks to Christine Adams for sharing her amazing ideas! Disclaimer - I made my ornaments almost exactly like Christine's because I loved what she did! These only took me a couple of hours to make, and they would make a wonderful gift. Remember to save all the little pieces you punch out - these make the stars and flowers in the center of some ornaments.

A complete product list will follow the photos, but I only used the Dimensional Elements Ornaments, ink, embossing powder, and Prisma Glitter. Super easy! (And more than a little messy -- you will sparkle for days after using the Prisma Glitter!)

Products used (including prices):
  • Z1337 - Dimensional Elements Ornaments - $4.95
  • Z1336 - Pearl Opaques - $2.95
  • Z134 - Prisma Glitter - $4.25
  • Z2192 - Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad - Pacifica - $5.25
  • Z2194 - Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad - Sky - $5.25
  • Silver ribbon (retired)
  • Total - $22.65 (which qualifies you for a FREE D-size stamp set that CTMH will select!)
Optional add-ons
  • Z669 - Silver Embossing Powder - $3.95
  • 1764 - Craft Tray - $7.95
  • 1512 - Bonding Memories Glue - $6.95
  • Z891 - VersaMark Pad - $9.95
  • Z555 - Craft Heater - $29.95
  • D1243 - Peace on Earth - $22.95
  • D1440 - Everlasting Life - $22.95
You don't have to stop with just inks -- the Dimensional Elements handle embossing and distressing and look great with paper, too! Because the ornaments are layered, you can place a photo in some of the ornaments. Let your creativity flow!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Close To My Heart just released a selection of products at a huge discount on my website. Some items are up to 90% off! Remember that with a $20 order until December 31, you'll receive a FREE $22.95 stamp set! Don't wait -- these items will sell out quickly!

Click here to check out the selection! Be sure to check back as items are updated!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

H2H: Gifts!

'Tis the season of gift-giving, and the H2H Challenge Team has a challenge this week to showcase gifts. I have been making these little books to give to the nieces when we all are at Disney this Christmas. I thought they could use them for autographs from the Disney characters, or they can just have a little memory book of the trip. I used a board book and a Level 1 kit to make this sweet little book! (Product list after the pictures) I tried to keep it simple because I have a feeling the book will be handled a LOT! The 6x6" size is perfect for smaller hands. 

This page is a pocket page for autograph cards, ticket stubs, or other keepsakes.

Products used:
If you're looking for more gift ideas, here are links to two previous posts with gift ideas:

Christmas card with detachable ornaments

Pop-top Surprises

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Do you like surprises?

Then you'll LOVE Plenty for Twenty! Close To My Heart is offering Plenty for Twenty in December!

From December 1st - 31st, when you place a $20 order on a MyCTMH website, you'll be rewarded with a popular, retired D-size stamp set for FREE! That's a $22.95 value, plus there is FREE shipping/handling and no tax on your free stamp set. The surprise comes when you open the box, because CTMH will select the free stamp set for you.

Grab Plenty for Twenty in December by visiting my website and making a qualifying purchase today! Or -- you can do what I do -- give your wish list to your significant other and send them to my website to do some Christmas shopping!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Focus: To Die For!

Do you remember the card special CTMH had a couple of years ago? The card bases featured a bracket-shaped edge, and I loved, loved, loved them! But hand-cutting them is a pain, so I never made very many after I used up the pre-cut bases. While browsing in my LSS recently, I came across this sweet little number.

It's a die made by a company called The Cat's Pajamas. It's very slim and lightweight, plus instructions are printed on the backing for Cuttlebug, Wizard, or the Big Shot/Big Kick.

It was really easy to use with my Cuttlebug. There was some double-stick tape left on the back of the metal die, so I used it to keep it in place on the plate. I lined up the edge of my card next to the edge of the die, and it cut it beautifully! I'm so thrilled to be able to make these lovely bracket shapes on my cards and for scrapbooking embellishments.

The result (and I will get it decorated soon, I promise!):

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Storing those ink daubers...

I'm always looking for creative storage that doesn't break the bank for my scrapping and stamping supplies. While grocery shopping in Kroger recently, I spotted these ice cube trays and immediately thought how PERFECT they would be for storing sponge daubers! I brought home a few, and I was right -- they work beautifully. The neat thing is that the bottom of the "cube" is actually a slightly rounded silicone area, so it holds the dauber really well. The trays were hanging on a hook next to the bottled water since the cubes are sized to fit into a water bottle. Next step -- labeling each dauber with a different color of ink.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

All Things Girly ~ Heart 2 Heart Challenge

This week's Heart 2 Heart challenge is anything "girly" -- right up my alley! I thought right away of scrapbook pages I recently completed for a swap. The swap is to use up retired or retiring CTMH papers. I chose "More to Adore," some of my all-time favorite papers. The left page uses a Level 1 page base. The sweet baby in the pictures is none other than my now 21-year-old daughter, Kristin.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Little More Thanks

Free stamps to say thank you in November . . . During November, we’re expressing our gratitude to you by helping you earn two fabulous My Acrylix® stamp sets for FREE! When you place a minimum order of $100 {any items in the Autumn/Winter Idea Book}, you will not only receive the November Stamp of the Month set, A Little Thanks, for FREE, you will also receive one stamp set of your choosing {A, B, C, or D-size stamp sets} from the 2010 Autumn/Winter Idea Book for FREE! This means you can increase the value of your purchase by up to $45.90—that’s almost 50 percent more in value! It’s just our way of imparting A Little MORE Thanks to you for being a great customer. Contact me today to place your order or go to my website ( to order online. THANK YOU for your business!

I {heart} Opaques!

I am absolutely crazy about the CTMH Opaques! These little self-adhesive pearls come in sevearl different color combos (Pearl, Licorice, and Mocha). Each set has several different sizes for just the perfect touch on a card or scrapbook page.

Some ways I've used the Opaques are as part of a scalloped border, as the center of a sunflower {click here to see an example}, and as a photo corner accent. They add just a sweet little shimmer to whatever you're making!

Monday, November 8, 2010

More Scrapping with Studio J

Sorry for the long gap in posting -- life has been crazy but is starting to settle down a little. I haven't had much time for creativity, so I have been maximizing the time I have by using Studio J to get some scrapping done! I never, ever thought I would enjoy studio scrapbooking as much as I do. Don't panic -- I'm not giving up my paper and scissors any time soon (actually, never) -- but I'm enjoying a hybrid between traditional scrapbooking and studio scrapbooking. I created the layouts below in just an hour or so.

Here is a layout I did from pictures my husband and son took at a NASCAR race at the Chicagoland Speedway:

My college graduation in May (the thumbs-up picture of Mark and me is one of my favorites!):

Some layouts of my husband's parents when they were dating and newly married. A great idea for heritage photos is to purchase additional layouts to share -- design once and order several for other family members!

Give Studio J a try -- it's free to design a layout. You only pay if you order the printed layout, or you can also purchase a JPG to print the layout.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

October Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

September has been a crazy month at our house, and I wasn't able to get any artwork created for the October Stamp of the Month. If you arrived here from Kim's blog, you're on the right path. You will want to now go to Terrie's blog to keep the hop moving forward! Enjoy all the lovely artwork! Thanks for your patience. I'll post very soon!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cherry On Top Blog Award!

I was very surprised (and delighted!) to check my blog and discover this sweet award from Debbie Carriere.

Here are the rules for accepting the award:

1. Thank the person who gave it to you. ~ Thanks, Debbie! That was so sweet of you! Debbie is a fellow CTMH consultant, so be sure to check out her Scrappin' My Heart Out blog for awesome inspiration!

2. Post the award on your blog. ~ Done

3. Tell everyone three things you love.

  • My family

  • Scrapbooking/stamping/papercrafting (I know -- I cheated on this one!)

  • My BFF's - You know who you are.
4. Share a picture you love. ~ I love this picture because of the story behind it. My husband and I were vacationing in Washington, DC this year for the Fourth of July. On our visit to the Smithsonian, we had to see the Julia Child exhibit since I am an avid fan. And I loved the movie. A gentleman was standing next to this exhibit, and his wife was taking his picture. Since we were waiting to take our picture by "Julia," I offered to take a picture of the two of them together. They thanked me profusely, and as I was handing the camera back to them, the man said, "Thanks. That meant a lot to me, because I was in the movie!" Whaaaat??? Sure enough -- he played one of the chefs at Le Cordon Bleu. His wife took our picture, and we enjoyed a nice conversation (I now have the inside scoop on Meryl Streep!). They were in DC because his wife was performing in "Mary Poppins" at the Kennedy Center. Wow! Only afterward did I realize that I should have asked to have my picture taken with him by the Julia Child exhibit. Oh, well! It's still a fun story!

5. Pass the award on to 5 blogs you love. ~ There are many amazing blogs out there, and I'm going to share five of them with you. These five always provide me with inspiration and ideas!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Page Planning

I've enjoyed a few days off work, so I've been able to start scrapping the pictures from our trip to Washington, DC in July. I wanted to use the newest idea book Magic, which required a little planning ahead since many of the layouts use larger photos or non-traditional sizes of photos. I spent some time with the Magic book and my computer to plan out which photos I needed to get printed. I use  for photo printing because they offer such a wide variety of photo sizes. The 1.99 shipping in August didn't hurt, either.

I started by selecting a Magic layout, then choosing photos which fit on the layout. In a little notebook, I wrote the name of the layout, the photo sizes, and brief notes about which photos I was using on that layout. Even though this was time-consuming, it is paying off now that I have time to scrapbook! Once all the layouts were planned, I went to and placed my order. I especially like being able to order 2x2 or 3x3 photos instead of cropping the pictures manually. The scale is correct, and it saves a bunch of time!

When the picture order arrived, I spent some time sorting the photos by layout. If I were really organized, I would have selected the papers, too, and had that all ready. But I wasn't that organized this time. I'm finding that, because of my planning, I can get the papers cut and the basic page completed in about 15 minutes. The embellishments -- not so much! Anyone who knows me knows that the embellishing is the most time-consuming for me, but I love doing it!

Here are a couple of the results of my planning:

Here is a page in process (about visiting the Julia Child exhibit at the Smithsonian!). The Magic book is open to the layout being used. I shamelessly copied the page, down to the paper choice. Hey -- it worked for these photos! Why reinvent the wheel?

I hope this has inspired you to give Magic a try. Spending a little time in planning can reap big results when there is time to scrapbook!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September SOTM Blog Hop - Thriller

Welcome to the September Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! We are highlighting the stamp set "Thriller," a set of 9 stamps perfect for your Halloween stamping! The stamp set is only available during September. If you'd like to have your own set, visit my website to see how you can earn the set at a discount or even free! If you have arrived from Kathleen's blog, you are on the right track. Use the link at the bottom of this post to hop to the next blog, and be sure to hop all the way through to get lots of great ideas for using this stamp set!

I made a quick and easy treat bag using a brand-new paper packet, Hooligans. We'll be making this treat at my open house on September 3! Simply cut a piece of cardstock 3 1/4 x 8 inches. Score at 3 1/2 inches and at 4 1/2 inches. Decorate the front, attach a filled bag o' goodies to the inside, then seal the top with a 3 1/4 x 1 1/2" piece of B&T (fold in half first). I blinged it up a little with brand-new colored sparkles and Glitz Glue.

Now hop on over to Kristie Herdener's blog to see what thrilling surprises await you! (Sorry -- couldn't resist!)

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Product Blog Hop - Autumn/Winter 2010

I'm so excited about all the amazing new products in the Autumn/Winter Idea Book, available September 1. So many other consultants are, too, that we're sharing fun ideas in this blog hop. If you've come from Carrie Haines' blog, you're on the right path! Check at the bottom of this post for the next link in the hop.

For this page, I used the brand-new Olivia Level 1 Kit. Level 1 kits are so easy to use, and I'm trying to incorporate them more into my scrapbooking. Quick and easy!

I used one of my favorite new products to make an interactive layout -- Flip Flaps! This amazing product, already available in 4" x 6", is now available in 12" lengths. The assortment includes 4", 6", and 8"! I used two 6-inch Flip Flaps to make the layout more fun (and to include more photos!). To make the pages for the flaps, I just cut two of the Level 1 pre-printed pages in half.

Both flaps open
Thanks for checking out our new products. Now hop on over to Amy Callaway's blog to see her beautiful creations!

PS. If you get lost on the blog hop, or if a link doesn't work, click here to view a complete list of blog hop participants.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Heart 2 Heart - Let's Get Sketchy (Sketch 4)

I love a sketch challenge! It's always so fun to see what everyone does with a sketch. Some stick very close to the sketch; others take a lot of creative license. And both are okay! That's the wonderful thing about paper crafting -- creative expression.

This week's sketch for the Heart 2 Heart Let's Get Sketchy challenge inspired me to use brand-new products (available September 1). I had to use the new Dimensional Elements ornaments on this card. (Really -- I did!) The ornaments have a solid back and a cut-out overlay, so it's easy to make them as decorative as you'd like. I hope to hold a workshop this fall on making an entire set of ornaments. The paper used is Mistletoe, available in the Autumn/Winter Idea Book.

A close-up of the ornaments
I wanted the ornaments to be useable, so I attached each one with a Velcro dot. I attached the "soft" side to the ornament so it won't snap on anything it might be hanging on. Here is a peek at the ribbon I used for hanging. I love the new pewter snowflake brads. It seemed like the perfect touch to attach the ends of the cranberry velvet ribbon!

The sketch

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mojo Monday Sketch 150

This sketch was so fun to use! I love the scallop along the bottom, and the scallop pattern in the paper worked perfectly along with the design.