Friday, August 2, 2013

New Product Blog Hop - Autumn Winter Idea Book

I'm so excited to be participating in the New Product Blog Hop! A number of CTMH consultants are sharing their creations using products from the brand new Autumn Winter Idea Book, available now! 

My sweet niece is expecting twins this fall, and when I saw the Babycakes paper, I knew I needed to make something for her! These fun blocks will allow her to preserve some pictures during a hectic first year with Baby Boy and Baby Girl. 

Here are some additional views of one of the blocks. I added a couple of spots for photos using the new Artbooking Cricut cartridge (LOVE IT!!) as well as some of the canvas Babycakes Complements. Couldn't be easier! 

I'm going to include some dovetail tags with some baby-related sentiments that she can add after she adds the pictures. 

Be sure to visit the other blogs to see more fun items! More posts may continue to be added, so check back frequently. This blog hop is open for members of the CTMH Blog Boosters. Please do not enter if you are not a member of the group.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rediscover CTMH - You Make Me Happy Canvas (Surprised it's not a card??)

After I made several cards using the free download from CTMH, I decided to go a different direction. Using a 6x6 canvas and a new paper packet (Laughing Lola), I made this fun little canvas display. I love the black glitter paper behind the paper to give it a little shine and sparkle! The ginormous bow was just because I could - haha! Isn't it fun?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rediscover CTMH - You Make Me Happy Card #4

Ever since my daughter's wedding, I have been inspired by the colors she chose (grey and yellow). I have purchased bedding in that combo and was drawn to the gray tag in the free downloads. It just seems cheerful, which suits the sentiment! A little bling helps it sparkle. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Rediscover CTMH - You Make Me Happy Card #3

The free downloads from CTMH feature eight tags in different colors that fit just about any color combination you can imagine! I borrowed the layout and color combination for this card from the new Make It from Your Heart - Vol. 2 to be released August 1. Remember the video a few days ago about using background stamps? I was inspired and used a background stamp on the Ruby cardstock! 

I'm continuing in my commitment to use up older products, so I used the 6x6 kraft cards. They have a fun flap on them, and I held the top closed using one of the hook & loop dots

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rediscover CTMH - You Make Me Happy - Card 2

Here's another fun card using the free downloads from CTMH available until July 31. I'm trying to use some of my stash before I dig into the new products. The Dotty for You papers always made me happy, so I thought they were a great fit for the sentiment on the tag! I also used the now retired clear cards, which I love. 

The trick to using clear cards is figuring out how to hide the adhesive. I try to always use layers and place one on the inside, then the smaller piece on the outside to avoid seeing the adhesive. Once you get the hang of it, it's a piece of cake!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Rediscover CTMH: You Make Me Happy - Card 1

I downloaded these cute tags from CTMH: Rediscover CTMH. The tags are available through July 31 and are free, so be sure to hop over to download them today! For the next few days, I'm going to share what I've done with the tags, starting with this monochromatic card:

The card is standard sized (4.25 x 5.5") and was so easy to make using White Daisy and Hollyhock cardstock, Hollyhock ink, and one stamp set - Honeycomb. I even stamped the small hexagon shapes across the bottom of the inside of the card. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sneak Peek - Designed Decor

At Christmas, I'm not usually a "peeker" - I don't try to guess what my gifts are because I want the surprise on Christmas morning. I'm usually the same way about sharing new items from a yet-to-be-released Idea Book, but I couldn't wait to share this new Designed Decor item from Close To My Heart (available August 1). Mainly because it's going to be hanging in my office on Monday morning - and it's so cute!

This is one of two new Designed Decor frames. The other one is a black frame with wire "clothesline" to hang pictures, cards, or other fun things. I'll be featuring the black one in a future post. The frames are available on their own (frame only), and the Colonial White one pictured here is available as a kit which is what I used.

The kit comes with all the fun pre-cut shapes shown here as well as the frame, the mini clothespins, twine hemp, and a B-size stamp set. All you have to add is ink. I also used the new Ruby chevron ribbon, Classmate Alphabet, and one clothespin from the Wooden Mini Medleys. It came together really quickly, and I have pre-cut shapes left over! So fun!

I used pigment ink (Chocolate and Ruby) for a richer color, but dye inks would work well on the kraft cardstock, too. Head over to my website on August 1 to order your kit!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Using Background Stamp Sets

This video is so informative about using background stamp sets in different ways! I'm motivated to get mine out to use.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Artbooking - Be Still My Heart!

Every year, CTMH manages to top last year's Cricut cartridge even though it seems like it just can't get any better. This year's cartridge is no exception. Artbooking definitely makes scrapbooking simpler, faster, and easier! This amazing cartridge has hundreds of images including complete two-page layouts and numerous mini scrapbooks. How fun! Mine arrives tomorrow (stalking the FedEx guy . . .), so the fun will commence! I have to confess that my heart beats just a little faster when I think about using this amazing product. Be watching for a fun weekly blog hop during August featuring projects made using the Artbooking cartridge. You will be inspired!

Check out all the images on the PDF file below. I have gone through it several times and see something new every time! I'm accepting pre-orders now and will place your order on August 1. Like all CTMH Cricut cartridges, it comes with three sheets of Dimensional Elements and three stamp sets. It's a great deal at $99! Pre-order from now until July 31, and I will include free shipping on the cartridge! Click the button below to place your pre-order. 

Art Attack: Bend It, Curve It, Stamp It

Discover the ease of creating new designs from stamp sets you already own. Personalize by using this new stamping technique. The versatility of clear My Acrylix® stamps makes it simple to bend, curve, and mix and match stamps to produce a completely unique design!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

I celebrated America's freedom by creating a canvas to display around the patriotic holidays. I used the stamp set Home of the Brave that is offered through July 31. $5 from the sale of every one of this stamp set will be donated to the USO in support of our troops.

I had so much fun making this! I stamped the fireworks directly on the 6x6 canvas and discovered that the stamp scrubber with the lid on fits perfectly into the canvas so I could stamp in the middle with a decent image. I used pigment ink for the most vibrant colors. The flag and the Statue of Liberty were stamped on cardstock then cut out and adhered to the canvas using 3-D foam tape. If you're stamping directly on the canvas, be sure to check where the sawtooth hanger is on the back. Don't make the mistake I did and have it on the side rather than the top. Oops! ~ Oh, well! 

Items used:
Stamp set: Home of the Brave
Inks: Pigment inks - Honey, Ruby, Outdoor Denim, Slate

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Art Attack: Easy Party Planning with Cricut

Learn how to plan the perfect party using one key from the Cricut®Artiste cartridge—it’s that easy! Invitations, envelopes, banners, cupcake liners, and party favor boxes will make this party a hit!

Monday, July 1, 2013

CTMH Retiring List

With all the exciting new products coming on August 1, CTMH has to clear out some old favorites to make room for the new! The list below are items that will not be available after August 1. These items are available while supplies last, and they are selling out quickly. 

Join my online party if you'd like to order items from this list (or any other items!). Go to and Join the Gathering for "Lori's Online Party - July." Your items will be shipped directly to your home! Couldn't be easier!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Constant Campaign - Work the Workshop!

Get the discounted Workshops on the Go® canvas art kit (G1062) in July—no qualifying purchase required! From July 1 to July 31 you can get this trendy kit to create your own canvas art to hang in your home, regularly priced at $39.95, now discounted to $19.95—more than 50% off! Take papercrafting to the next level with this adorable home d├ęcor piece that you can display for all to see. Join my online party to order this kit and any other items, including those retiring at the end of the month. Order early - these kits will sell out quickly!

*Offer valid July 1–31, 2013, while supplies last. No qualifying purchase needed. No limit per order. No refunds or adjustments on product already sold.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Art Attack: Swipe and Stamp

Learn how to add texture, distressing, movement, and motion to your projects by stamp swiping—a technique that will change the way you stamp.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Art Attack: Stamping across Multiple Surfaces

Stamping a continuous image over multiple surfaces is easy. Check out these tips and tricks for spanning your image across several surfaces for more creative freedom and fun!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Art Attack: Base and Shade Stamping

Discover how to create a terrific two-tone look with the base and shade stamping technique. Give your images more life and layers and watch them pop off the page!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Art Attack: Studio J Tricks to Add Flair to Your Layouts

Even though Studio J® is fast and easy to use, it is helpful to know some great tricks that can make customizing your layouts even more exciting. Here are some Studio J tricks straight from our professional Close To My Heart artists:

1. Customize your background and texture paper. You can change the color and intensity of the background and texture paper included in whichever kit you choose. Simply select the piece of background and texture paper, change the color in the color selection tool, and increase or decrease the intensity of the color in that same popup box.

2. Crop My Stickease® quotes, titles, and tags. The cropping feature on the My Stickease images allows you to select a section of a quote, title, or tag to use as a border or other embellishment.

3. Create a customized My Stickease image. If you have a specific image in mind to use as an embellishment on your page, you can create a customized My Stickease to fit your theme perfectly. Simply add a text box, photo hanger, ribbon, ribbon slides, and Stickease to create the little suitcase! So easy! Be sure to crop or send elements behind other elements when necessary, and add several elements together for a unique look!

4. Select more than one element at a time. If you want to move several elements of your layout at once, simply click and drag your mouse around the elements you would like to select. Let’s take buttons, for example. After the buttons have been selected, you can click the icons in the popup box to choose to align the buttons vertically or horizontally if you desire.

5. Make faux washi tape with vellum text boxes. To create the look of a piece of clear washi tape, make a small rectangular text box, filled with vellum background (this is the default color for text boxes). You can make the tape strips as large or small as you want, or even layer them for more emphasis.

6. Stretch one photo across multiple photo wells. If you have fewer photos than photo wells, instead of deleting the excess wells, try scaling the picture to a larger size and then copying the picture to other photo wells and matching the photos up until they align with an almost seamless image. This trick works best with photo wells that are adjacent to each other.

7. Create ruffled ribbon. Select “Ribbons” in the drop-down menu under the Embellishments toolset. Choose ribbon tab and rotate the tab so that it is vertical on the page. Then layer several tabs on top of one another, sending every other one to the back to create a ruffled look.

8. Create a jagged border with text boxes. You can create a jagged border simply by rotating multiple text boxes about 45 degrees and making them the same color as the background. Put these boxes on top of a long, rectangular box of another color, and you’ve got a jagged border!

9. Change the background of your layout. Sometimes you may like the photo and journal arrangement in a layout, and yet want to change the background colors. Because photos sit on top of everything else, this is easy to do. Simply pull a journaling box over the space you want for a different background and fill it with a color from the color selection tool or a patterned paper from the Papers toolset. Then, send it backwards until the photo wells are on top of your new background.

Bonus Trick! Use keyboard keys to make embellishments. Did you know that some of the best tools for creating custom embellishments are the basic keys on your keyboard? It’s as simple as typing into a journaling box with no background color. Use periods to make a polka dot pattern, angle brackets to create a trendy Chevron look, overlapping pound signs to make burlap, question marks to make rope, and so much more!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Let's Get Patriotic!

I can hardly wait to purchase my set of patriotic stamp sets! These sets will be ones I use for years to come. 

Show your support of troops and country with new patriotic stamp sets—available only from June 1 to July 31, 2013! As a show of our support, Close To My Heart will donate $3 from each B-size My Acrylix® Courage stamp set and $5 from each D-size My Acrylix® Home of the Brave stamp set to the USO, the leading, most recognized military-support and services organization in the country. Show your support today—stamp style!

* Offer valid June 1–July 31, 2013. No qualifying purchase required. No limit per order.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Art Attack: Dauber Dynamite

Discover the beauty of sponge daubing. When you ink your stamps with sponge daubers, you can create a soft, shaded look that is perfect for a page or card!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Help the Oklahoma Tornado Victims - A True Thank You

My heart broke over the devastation in Oklahoma after the tornadoes. Like so many others, I wanted to do something to help. 

Close To My Heart is making it easy to offer some assistance to those in need. From May 23 - June 30, the stamp set pictured here is available for early purchase from the Autumn/Winter Idea Book. One hundred percent of profits from the sales will be donated to the American Red Cross to aid victims from the Oklahoma tornado. The stamp set is $2.95 and is available on my website

Will you join me in helping those in Oklahoma?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dream Pop Birthday Card

My oldest son celebrated his 22nd birthday earlier this month, and of course he had to have a special, hand-made card from Mom! I knew our gorgeous Dream Pop papers would be perfect. I wanted to try inking the resist cardstock to see what it would look like, and I L-O-V-E the results! I inked Outdoor Denim over the green resist paper and created an entirely new look.

The Dream Pop papers are only available for another week - $10 with a $35 order. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Art Attack: Coordinate with Cricut Cut-outs

Learn how to use your stamps to bring Cricut® cut-outs to life! Many Cricut® shapes from the Artiste and Art Philosophy collections coordinate with stamp sets so you have more potential for creating, decorating, and accessorizing!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Art Attack: Cricut Craft Room

If you love your Cricut® machine, then you are going to adore all of the fabulous things you can do with Close To My Heart Cricut®cartridges in the Cricut® Craft Room. Create layers, cut negative space in the shape of your choice, make borders, and link elements together for a connected look. It’s easy! We’ll show you how.
Here is how to get started with Cricut® Craft Room:
  1. Create a FREE account in a few easy steps.
  2. Download and run the application for PC or MAC, depending on the type of computer you use.
  3. Connect your Cricut® machine to your computer using a Type B USB cable. (Note: For more info on this type of cable, see your Cricut® user’s guide or your local electronics store.) Once you have connected your computer to your Cricut® machine, the “Load Mat” button is the only button you will ever need to push on your machine in the entire process. Cricut® Craft Room will do everything else for you.
  4. Once inside the application, choose the type of Cricut® machine you own.
  5. Insert your Close To My Heart Art Philosophy or Artiste cartridge into your Cricut® machine.
  6. In the lower left portion of the application there is a tab that is labeled “Images/Cartridges.” Select “All Cartridges” from the dropdown menu. (Note: You must choose a cartridge that you own. You can also purchase individual images from the Cricut®store.)
  7. Scroll to find the Close To My Heart Art Philosophy or Close To My Heart Artiste cartridges you own.
  8. The virtual mat in Cricut® Craft Room is just like the mat you’ll load into your machine. And, it is oriented the same way that you will load your mat into the machine, with the arrow at the top.
  9. To drag an image to the mat, simply click on the image in the image selection tool box and move it to the mat.
  10. Once the image is on the virtual mat, you can adjust the placement by clicking on the image and moving it to any location on the mat.
  11. Now that you know the basics, you can start creating and exploring the possibilities!

Follow these steps to create the negative space on a card base, like you see on this Cheer Up card, featuring images from the Art Philosophy cartridge:
  1. Select the “Card” tab in the Art Philosophy images. Find the card base you prefer and drag it onto the mat. (We used Square 1 for the Cheer Up card.) The image will be cut in the exact direction and location that you place it on the virtual mat. At the top of the screen, or at the left under the “Shape Properties” tab, you’ll see size boxes. Enter the width and height for your shape. This is the size it will be cut on the machine, regardless of what size your machine indicates on the flip screen.

  1. Choose an image to cut out of your card front. We have chosen a butterfly by going to the Basics tab, clicking the “Show Shift/Lock Images” at the bottom, and then selecting the butterfly. Drag the image to the right side of the card base, position it, and alter the size, as desired. Once the image is in place, you will see a cut-out image in its place. This Weld feature is automatically on unless you disable it, and allows you to see how the card base will look with your images cut out.

  1. Select another image, drag it to the card base, and position it how you’d like it. Continue adding images to the card base, if desired.

  1. To cut your finished artwork, load the mat into your Cricut®machine and insert the corresponding cartridge. Next, press the green Cut button at the top of the computer screen and follow the prompts. The machine will cut the shapes as you have prepared them in Craft Room. If more than one cartridge shape has been added to the project, the machine and screen will prompt you with instructions.

Here are so more artwork examples that have been made using Cricut® Craft Room software. Follow the instructions below to learn some more fun tricks we used in creating this artwork.

Birthday Greetings card

Here’s how to create the bracket frame as shown in this Birthday Greetings card:
  1. Drag a card base from Art Philosophy cartridge and size it to be 9" wide and 4½" high.
  2. Add a 1½" bracket frame (from the Basic tab) to the center of the right side of the card. So far, all of the shapes have been placed in Layer 1. You can add additional layers using the Layer feature located toward the top of the screen, directly above the mat. Each Layer will be cut from a separate sheet of paper and is indicated by a different color on the screen. Using the Layer feature allows you to fully design your Cricut® shapes before cutting any pieces.
  3. Add a second Layer by clicking the plus sign. Click and hold the Layer 2 tab and drag the tab to the left so it is first in the row. This allows you to see the second Layer on top of the first so you can visualize your finished project. Drag a 3" bracket frame to the card base and position it over the 1½" frame. Then, still using Layer 2, add a 1½" bracket frame in the center of the 3" frame.
  4. Maneuver the Layer 2 frames so that they perfectly line up with the Layer 1 frame. Use your keyboard arrows for exactness.
  5. Cut the pieces following the prompts on the computer screen and Cricut® machine. Layer 2 will be cut first, so be sure to load that paper first. Then load a new sheet of paper for the Layer 1 pieces.
  6. Embellish the card as desired.

All Boy page

Want to create a border that spans the entire length of your 12" page? It’s easy!
  1. In Craft Room, change the mat size to 12" x 24" under Machine & Mat tab on the left of the screen.
  2. Drag your selected border to the mat and rotate it so it is vertical.
  3. Change the height of the border to 12". It will automatically change the width proportionally unless you click the aspect ratio button between the width and height measurements.
  4. Whether you have a 12" × 24" mat or a 12" × 12" mat, you can use this function with a 12" × 12" piece of paper. Simply place the border as close to the top of the Craft Room mat as possible, but not exactly flush with the top.

  1. Cut the piece following the prompts on the computer screen and Cricut® machine.
To create the title with the letters joined together to form one piece instead of individually cut letters…
  1. Drag your letters to the mat
  2. Overlap portions of each letter to connect them
  3. Use the Weld feature to join the letters together seamlessly.
  4. Cut the piece following the prompts on the computer screen and Cricut® machine.
There are so many possibilities to explore in the Cricut® Craft Room using the versatile Art Philosophy and Artiste cartridges from Close To My Heart! If you have any questions about using Cricut® Craft Room, visit where a Cricut® employee will be glad to help you. Be sure to get your Art Philosophy and Artiste Cricut®cartridges today in order to create with them in this new and exciting environment!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Twenty-four years ago, I was celebrating my first Mother's Day. The day was especially sweet because I had wanted to be a mother for several years and had been through some pregnancy losses before I enjoyed the huge blessing of becoming Kristin's momma. 

I love this picture of Kristin with my little grandma on Mother's Day that year (1989). Look at her sweet little feet! I have video of this, too, with my grandma kissing her and saying, "Sweet innocence!" I love those memories - it's why I scrapbook.

The day she was born (Dec. 17, 1988), three weeks late and 7 pounds, 14 ounces --

A little more than two years later, we were blessed to add Michael to our family, 2 weeks early and 8 pounds, 3 ounces --

then a little more than two years after that, we were blessed by our "bonus" baby, Jared, who entered the world 2.5 weeks early at 8 pounds, 6 ounces --

They have brought immeasurable blessings to my life and have made it more interesting, fulfilled, and a little exhausting at times! They're not perfect, but they have grown to be wonderful, interesting adults with distinctive personalities. I wouldn't trade one of 'em! 

I love you, Kristin, Michael, and Jared!