Saturday, July 29, 2017

Specials Ending on July 31

July 2017 is quickly coming to a close and that means that some Close To My Heart promotions are ending and some products are retiring at 11:59pm MDT (that's 1:59am EDT).

Stampaganza 2017

When you buy any two My Acrylix® stamp sets at full retail price you can get a third stamp set of equal or lesser value FREE! Choose from almost any stamp set in the current idea books, AI '16-'17 and SE2 '17 (except SOTM, Operation Smile™ and stamp sets included in Cricut® collections).

For Stampaganza Close To My Heart brought back this collection of stamps that were previously only available when you were a Hostess and they were only available with Hostess Rewards.

They also brought back this collection of Word Puzzles Stamps–one for each month. The Word Puzzles are stamp sets that were available before I became a Consultant in 2012.

The Word Puzzles stamps are available under the buy 2 get one free promotion, or you can get the entire bundle for $143.60 (if you would like to purchase the bundle, please contact me before purchasing as for only $6.40 more in purchases you can qualify for $25 in Hostess Rewards).

Please see my July 2017 CTMH News post for more information, including the Recommended Block Sizes and, if a stamp coordinates with a Cricut® collection, which cartridge the stamp set works with.

Canada 150 Bundle

In honor of Canada’s 150th anniversary Close To My Heart created this exclusive Canadian Celebration bundle. I posted about this special earlier in this month; see Canadian Celebration Bundle.

The bundle includes our brand new Cricut® Hello Canada Digital Collection* (Z3391) as well as a Canada 150 stamp set (A1214) and 12 sheets of cardstock (4 Mink, 1 Willow, 2 Cranberry, 1 Black, 3 White Daisy, and 1 Linen). The bundle (CC1311) is 20% off the full retail price. The Cricut® Hello Canada Digital Collection (Z3391) is not available to purchase individually yet (it will be available on August 1). *Please note this digital collection is only available for use with Cricut Explore™, Cricut Explore Air™, and Cricut Explore Air™ 2.

The Canada 150 stamp set (A1214) is available for $6.95. This stamp set will remain available during this historic year for Canada, but unfortunately it does not qualify for the Stampaganza promotion.

Annual Inspirations 2016-2017

July 31st is the last day to purchase the retiring items from this Idea Book. I posted the retiring stamps on May 13, the other retiring products on May 17 and the retiring colors on July 2. I pinned the retiring products to my Pinterest Board CTMH Retiring Products so you can quickly see each of all retiring products. Alternatively, retiring products are also posted in the Going Soon area of my Consultant Website.

All retiring items, except stamp sets which are made at Corporate headquarters, are available while supplies last.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Exotic Flower Thank You

Stampaganza 2017 only lasts a few more days–until July 31–and the Exotic Flower stamp was brought back just for for Stampaganza. I was inspired to make a Thank You card using Exotic Flower when someone asked me about this card I created for the Seasonal Expressions 2 Blog Hop in April 2015 and shared again last week.

I stamped the image using six different Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pads. Then I fussy cut around some of the images and layered them using Thin 3-D Foam Tape. I believe they call this a form of decoupage in Europe.

I used the same technique for this latest card, but with colors from Prickly Pear. The inks from the bottom layer to top are: Emerald, Blossom, Sea Glass, Sorbet, Lemon and Poppy.

Here is a close-up of the card layers. Five of the layers were added with Thin 3-D Foam Tape. this card takes a little extra care and time to put in the envelope, but it still fits in a standard envelope. When I mailed it I put the layers facing the back of the envelope so the postal machinery has a flat surface to read on the envelope front, cancel the stamp and add the bar code at the bottom of the envelope.

Supplies I used to create this card are:
The card should have arrived at its destination in yesterday's mail. I really hope the recipient likes it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Prickly Pear Thank You

Last weekend I shared a card using the background stamping technique. That card was created with the Storybook Alphabet. Today's card has the background stamping technique, but this time it was created with a word stamp.

I stamped the word thanks using the 30° angle. To help line up my stamping. I used a CutterPillar Glow Premium light pad. The self-healing cutting mat has measurement and degree lines on it and is translucent enough to let the light come through the mat, a piece of copy paper (to keep the mat from becoming an inky mess) and the White Daisy cardstock. I do not receive any compensation for saying nice things about this product; I saw a Facebook video demonstrating this product at the Craft and Hobby Show that took place in Phoenix, AZ last January and knew this was a tool that I would purchase as soon as I found it available (I should have waited because I saw it for a lower price at a different store).

BTW, I did not use the light pad on the background stamped card I posted on the weekend. I neglected to say it, but I used the We R Memory Keepers Precision Press on that card. Again, I do not get any compensation for saying this: I like that tool, but it does not have the degree lines and because I was lining up my cardstock based on the grid on the base (hoping I kept the angle the same) I got ink everywhere since I could not put scrap paper down.

All supplies I used to create this card are from Close To My Heart:
This card should be in someone's mailbox today. I hope it was a bright spot in their day.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Balloon Wishes Thank You Cards

I was reviewing the files on my SD card and found some cards that I mailed earlier this month, but had not shared yet. They were created with the Balloon Wishes stamp set which is retiring on July 31. The stamps I used qualify for Stampaganza.

The sentiment tamp actually says "A Heartfelt Thank You", but all of it would not fit on the banner. I was able to ink only the Thank You part of the stamp so I did not have to mask or cut the stamp apart. I held the banner behind my block while applying the stamp so I could curve the sentiment the way the banner curves.

The supplies I used to create the cards are from Close To My Heart except where noted:
I was pleased with how the coloring and cards turned out. If you have not tried the Watercolor Pencils or the Watercolor Paints, I encourage you to try. It does take a little practice, but the results are worth it. Thanks for visiting today.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tea-rrific with Dreamin' Big Paper

As I promised when I shared the Hello Foxy with No Worries Paper, I am posting the additional artwork that CTMH Corporate Artists created using the March 2017 SOTM Tea-rrific and Dreamin' Big Papers. You may have seen this photo on my Consultant website during the month of March. I know there are several of you who purchased both items; I hope you have some paper scraps you could use if the designs tickle your fancy; unfortunately I ran out of Dreamin' Big papers so I substituted Little Dreamer.

Here are the supplies used to create the items pictured above.

Please click on the image if it is too small to read. Since I know it may be difficult to print the image for use offline, I created a PDF of the information; please forgive me the white space in the file; I removed the information that was not relevant to re-creating the artwork.

If reading the Cricut© Shapes information in Recipes is new to you, here is an example from the 3" Mother's Day Tag to help explain it:

The recipe says 3" Shift+Photo Mat 1 <TeamWork> (p. 83).

You will find the image on page 83 of the Artbooking Handbook (PDF opens in new tab). If you are using a Cricut© machine with a key pad or an on-screen keyboard, you would set the height to 3". To select the image you need press the Shift key, the Photo Mat 1 key (both keys should remain lit) and then press the TeamWork key in the bottom row (indicated by a red dot in the above image). You would make sure Real Dial Size is On (see the image below for more information about Real Dial Size).

Real dial size means that the machine will cut the image the height (from the lowest possible point to the highest) you have it set on the size dial. Many of the older (well maybe not-so-old) Cricut® cartridge handbooks have a page that gives an visual example of Real Dial Size that might be helpful. The image above is from the Artbooking Handbook.

In Cricut© Design Space you will need to search for the correct image, select it and add it to your mat, then set the height to 3". Many CTMH Consultants will list the image code, for the 4" x 4" Photo Tag in the example above it is #M466C7, when they use their Cricut® Explore to create a project or they will share a link to the Design Space file that they created (see below for mine).

Since Mother's Day has past, I decided to create a tag that could be for an anytime gift or even a Thank You.

The supplies I used to create the tag are from Close To My Heart except where noted:
I am quite happy with this tag and I hope you like my variation too.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Storybook Alphabet Thanks

I was inspired by the "B is for Background" technique found at the Stamping ABC’s post on the Close To My Heart Make It from Your Heart blog.

I cut the flower on the cactus from White Daisy, trimmed the bottom, stamped with Tangerine and then used the Waterbrush to color it in and to add a little Emerald at the bottom so there was not a stark contrast between the cactus and the flower. When the paper dried, I re-stamped the flower so it has more definition.

All supplies I used to create this card are from Close To My Heart:
If you have not read the Stamping ABC's blog post yet, it is worth a visit if you are looking for more ideas for using alphabet stamps. Thank you for visiting today.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Swirly Seashells Sympathy Card - softer colors

Today I am sharing another sympathy card that I recently created. The stamp set is the same as another recent sympathy card, but I used a standard card shape. I colored the images with the Blending Pen and Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pads for a softer look.

The seashells were cut out with the Thin Cuts, stamped with Desert Sank ink and then colored with the inks listed below. After the seashells were colored, they were attached to the card front using a variety of adhesives.

All supplies are from Close To My Heart except where noted:
If you do not have a CTMH Independent Consultant, I would be happy to answer any questions you have about CTMH products or promotions and I would be thrilled if you made a purchase from my Consultant Website.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about any product or promotion questions or to schedule a Home or Online Gathering.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Storybook Alphabet with Prickly Pear Paper

The Corporate Artists created this new artwork featuring the July SOTM and July's featured paper pack Prickly Pear. You might notice this photo on rotation when you visit my Consultant Website this month.

This artwork is in addition the artwork published in Seasonal Expressions 2. The Corporate Artists created this layout, two cards and a home decor frame.

If you would like to create something similar, the recipes are:

Click on the image if it is too small to read. If you would rather a PDF of the recipes, you can download it here.

I was inspired by the card samples so I used the idea to create a retirement card that I shared on the So Hard to Say Goodbye Blog Hop. And I created this Hello card to add to my stash to send someday.

All supplies I used to create this card are from Close To My Heart:
I will share recipes from March to May over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy these additional projects.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Stampaganza Inspriation - My Artwork

A few days ago I shared CTMH Corporate Artwork that was created using some of the stamps that were brought back for Stampaganza. Today I am re-sharing some of the projects I created when the stamp sets were available as Hostess Rewards. FYI, clicking on the photo will take you to the original blog post where there are more details about each item; clicking on the link below the photo will take to you the stamp set on my Consultant Website.

Be Jolly (B1455)

Be Jolly (B1455)

Exotic Flower (B1477)

Sing Glory (C1587)

Happy Hexagons (C1596)

Paper Bird (C1613)

Paper Bird (C1613)

Tagged with Love (C1614)

Tagged with Love (C1614)

Tagged with Love (C1614)

Washi Wonder (D1558)

Washi Wonder (D1558)

I have a CTMH - Stampaganza July 2017 Pinterest Board where I pinned the projects that were shared on the Stampaganza Blast from the Past Blog Hop and will pin other projects that I find online.

Click the Shop with me link above to place an order or contact me if you have questions about any CTMH product or promotion or to schedule a Home or Online Gathering.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

So Hard to Say Goodbye Blog Hop

No, the other bloggers and I are not "retiring" from blogging or from Close To My Heart. [insert big grin] This post is to highlight our favorite products that are soon to retire.

Welcome to the CTMH [It's] So Hard to Say Goodbye [To Some of Our Favorite Retiring Items] Blog Hop. Today we are featuring any favorite product that is retiring from Annual Inspirations 2016-2017 on July 31. On this hop here are almost 20 bloggers sharing projects created with a retiring product. If you are new to blog hopping, look for the link to the next blog (typically near the bottom of the post) to visit the next stop and keep visiting the next blog until you make your way back to the blog where you started.

You should have arrived here from ***Haley Dyer's The Inky Scrapper***. If you get lost along the way, Melinda Everitt keeps a list of participants on her blog at If You Bling It.

Today I am highlighting a product that Close To My Heart has carried since before I became a Consultant: the Blending Pen. I use the Blending Pen with Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pads. With the stamp pad closed, I pinch the case so some ink transfers to the lid. Then I pick up color from the lid with the Blending Pen to color images. I really like the soft colors I can achieve this way. I know I should be able to get a similar look with the Watercolor Paints, but I have not mastered that yet. Like playing an instrument (which I unfortunately did not become adept at), I will have to practice, practice, practice with my Watercolor Paints.

Since "congrats" ended up being about 6 inches long, I decided to create a wide and short card to accommodate the phrase. 

My card is 7" wide and 3½" high so I turned to Cricut® Design Space to find an envelope that I could re-size to fit my card. I found one on the CTMH/Cricut® Artiste cartridge. I was able to cut the envelope from a sheet of copy paper; while previewing the mat I moved the image down about 1" and to the right about ½" and when applying the paper to the mat I did the same. I set my dial to paper.

I carried the colors and balloons to the card inside. I "popped" the "Congratulations" sentiment by stamping in on the yellow zip strip, dovetailing each end and layering it on the paper rectangle above the other stamping. Tip ― to be certain "Congratulations" would fit on the zip strip, I stamped on the back; the paper is heavy enough that the ink does not show through.

Before you head to ***Create with Alyson by Alyson Mayo***, the supplies I used to create my project are listed below.

All supplies are from Close To My Heart except where noted:

If you are not already working with a CTMH Independent Consultant, you may purchase all of the supplies I used at my Consultant website.

Before you head to the next blog, I would be delighted if you left me a comment letting me know what you think of my latest creation. Thanks for hopping with us!

So you do not have to scroll back up, the next stop on the hop is ***Create with Alyson by Alyson Mayo***.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Prickly Pear Blog Hop

Welcome to our Close to My Heart Prickly Pear Blog Hop! Over 10 CTMH Independent Consultants are showcasing items they created using the Prickly Pear collection available in Seasonal Expressions 2. You will find the collection on pages 24 through 33 of the Seasonal Expression 2 Idea Book.

If you are visiting from Crafting with Carol by Carol Loftus then you are on the right track. Carol is also our hostess and her blog is the beginning of our hop.

For our Prickly Pear Blog Hop I created this card.

I was inspired by the Happy Birthday card in this Prickly Pear photo featured when you visit your Consultant website.

I really like the simplicity of the card created by the Corporate Artists, but I added a die cut cactus and stamped a flower on the cactus on the patterned paper. I colored it in using the ink pad and blending pen. Using the Thin Cuts I cut a cactus from and stamped the greeting on the ombré paper in the paper pack. I stamped the cactus in Emerald and colored it using Emerald and the Blending Pen. The cactus flower is stamped and colored with Tangerine.

All supplies are from Close To My Heart except where noted:
If you are not already working with a CTMH Independent Consultant, you may purchase all of the supplies I used at my Consultant Website.

Before you click to visit Kathleen Androlewicz's Bowl of Stamps, please take a moment to let me know what you think of my card. I love to read your comments. I hope you are finding many ideas for using the Prickly Pear collection.

Here is a copy of the blog hop list; clicking the link will take you directly to each person's Prickly Pear post.

Carol Loftus
Brenda Lapp - you are here
Kathleen Androlewicz
Gerri Baker
Haley Dyer
Erica Haskin
Julie Scott
Ramona Temple
Brittany Allred
Laura Moss
Diana Saunders
Elly Habets

Thank you for hopping with us today!

Swirly Seashells Sympathy Card

Sympathy Cards. We hate to send them, but I believe they bring comfort to the family of those who have departed Earth. Unfortunately I know this from first hand experience. I never knew how much the simple gesture of sending a card meant to someone until my father died. Every card, call and email I received during that difficult time still means a lot to me. I still have all of the cards I received when my father died in February. I know this is true for other people too because I recently heard Shivan Sarna, a host on HSN, mention this on the last craft day. She said she still has the cards she received when her mother passed.

Unfortunately I needed to send a few sympathy cards in the month of July and the month is not half over. This is one of the first cards I created.

You may notice the style of card is similar to the birthday card I created for our neighbor Florence and posted earlier this month. Instead of a finished size of 5½" tall x 5"wide, I altered the cutting measurements so the completed card is 5½" tall x 4¼" wide and will fit in a standard A2 (4⅜" x 5¾") envelope.

This design reminds me of a Z-fold card on its side with the strip moved to the center, but I am not sure if that is where the inspiration came from. I found this card design in the Facebook Group CTMH Artwork; Melissa Sandidge created a card, shared measurement and credited Gail Vought for the design.

All supplies are from Close To My Heart except where noted:
I will share the measurements for this modified card in a future blog post. I hope the recipient of this card has a little comfort knowing that I and many other people are thinking of them.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Stampaganza Inspriation - Corporate Artwork

While I would L-O-V-E to have the time to create an unlimited amount of samples (or at least more samples) to share with you, unfortunately life does not work that way. Due to time constraints, I was lucky enough to find some Corporate Artwork that was created using some the stamp sets that were brought back for Stampaganza.

Enjoy the Little Things (B1451)
Be Jolly (B1455)
Exotic Flower (B1477)
Sing Glory (C1587)
Happy Hexagons (C1596)
Paper Bird (C1613)
Washi Wonder (D1558)
Better With A Friend (D1608)
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I looked through my samples and found some things I created with the stamp sets that were brought back for Stampaganza. I will get them organized and share them with you in a few days. In the meantime, please check out my CTMH - Stampaganza July 2017 Pinterest Board where I pinned the projects that were shared on the Stampaganza Blast from the Past Blog Hop that I participated in on July 10.

If you do not have a CTMH Independent Consultant, I would be happy to assist you and would be delighted if you make a purchase from me.

Click the Shop with me link above to place an order or contact me if you have questions about any CTMH product or promotion or to schedule a Home or Online Gathering.