Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Very Last Day!

Are you excited for tomorrow's big reveal of the new Idea Book?!  I am!

The only downside is that some goodies have to go away in order for new ones to come on board.  After today, you will no longer be able to order from the Fall/Winter Idea Book (except that most stamps carry over until NEXT Fall/Winter book).  Here is a list of the items that you need to order TODAY if you don't want to miss them!

PAPERS & ACCESSORIES
Typeset, Roxie, Elemental, & Sonoma WOTG
Dreamin' Level 2 paper, Stickease & WOTG
Mischief Level 2 paper, Complements Rub ons, WOTG
Believe Level 2 paper, Stickease & WOTG
Wonderland Level 2 paper, Stickease & WOTG
Lucky Level 2, Stickease,
Fanfare Level 2, Stickease,
Sophia Level 2, Stickease, Level 2 Journaling
Mayberry Level 2, Stickease,
Colonial White Collection
Grosgrain Ribbon - Cranberry, Cocoa, Colonial White, White Daisy (Sweet Leaf still available)
Wings Level 2 Assortment Ribbon
Embroidery Floss (all gone except neutral)
Waxy Flax (all gone except black, chocolate, bamboo, colonial white)
Designer Brads - Colonial White & Pewter
Mini-Medley - Antique Copper & Colonial White
Bookplates
Soft Set Eyelets
Midnight Felt Shapes
Harvest Charms
Holiday Pockets
Top Coats Icing Overlays
Lucky Level 2 assortment
Lucky Level 2 Journaling spots
Bliss Level 2 Assortment
Sweetheart Level 2 Assortment
Fanfare Level 2 Assortment
Just Blooms - Spring Blossom and White Daisy Variety Pack
Color Ready Alphabets
Dimensional Elements - On Target, Flurry, Hearts (replaced w/Art Philosophy version)
My Creations Board Book
My Creations 9"x9" Memory Showcase
My Creations Journal
Rubber Brayer
Soft Set Eyelet Tool

STAMP SETS
A1098 Adoption
A1101 Always in My Heart
A1102 A Posy
A1103 A Love
A1105 A Paisley
A1112 A Hop
B1309 Fun Times
B1322 Believe in Your Dream
B1323 Just the Ticket
B1324 Bunny Love
B1343 Beloved
B1350 Family Ties - Pets
B1351 You're Sweet
B1352 Ms. Scrapbook
B1353 A Little Buzz
B1354 Boom!
B1364 Take Luck
B1368 Baby Love
B1372 Circle Together
B1373 Beautiful Butterflies
B1375 Summer Days
C1305 Family
C1337 Just for Girls
C1338 Just for Boys
C1339 Kanji Phrases
C1345 Family Ties - Children
C1346 Family Ties - Adults
C1349 Ambiance
C1351 You Did It
C1355 Let's Go Camping
C1356 Extreme Happiness
C1359 Sweet Baby
C1360 It''s a Zoo
C1363 Beary Best
C1364 TLC
C1365 Makin' Waves
C1368 Treetops
C1385 Charmed
C1390 So Lucky
C1395 Enjoy Every Moment
C1396 Love Birds
C1397 Smiles
C1399 On the Edge
C1403 In the Month of February
C1404 In the Month of March
C1405 In the Month of April
C1407 Hot Diggity
C1409 Beary Busy
C1411 Birthday Boy
C1414 Little Princess
C1415 In the Month of May
C1416 In the Month of June
C1417 In the Month of July
C1422 Unity
C1436 Birthday Blast
C1437 Happy Moments
C1438 Tea Time
C1443 From My Heart
C1444 Precious Love
C1445 Bless This Nest
C1446 Retro Tech
C1447 Carefree
C1448 Magic Tabs
C1449 Blooming Layers
C1451 Down by the Sea
C1453 Summer Breeze
C1454 Horizon
C1460 His and Hers
C1461 Salutation Seals
D1187 For Every Occasion
D1191 Friendship Blessings
D1254 Soul Mates Word Puzzle
D1297 Daydream
D1298 Beautiful Things
D1300 Circle Around
D1320 Shining Star
D1322 Adorning Corners
D1330 Connections
D1336 Cupcake Sprinkles
D1337 Love Always
D1346 You Rock
D1348 Priceless Love
D1353 Campin' Fever
D1357 Post Card
D1361 Thank You
D1364 Recipe Box
D1365 True Happiness
D1367 Bon Appetit
D1377 Around the Block
D1378 Notice the Details
D1399/W329 Dream Big
D1402 Togetherness
D1403 Star Power
D1404 Ms. Chillin'
D1407 Piece of Cake
D1408 A Little Everything
D1409 Flower Pot
D1410 One of a Kind
D1413 Cherished Flourishes
D1414 Paisley Praise
D1415 Springtime
D1425 Thrill Ride
D1426 Over the Rainbow
D1427 Tasty Treats
D1431 Happy Holidays
D1432 X-treme
D1434 You're Great
D1435 Howdy
D1438 Circle of Love
D1441 Royal Birth
D1451 Trellis
D1460 Love Ya!
D1461 Ciao
D1463 Backgrounds & Borders
D1465 Fill in the Blanks
D1466 Catching Waves
D1468 On This Day
D1470 Dreams Come True
D1471 Crusin'
D1473 Two-Step Backgrounds
D1474 Hero







PAPER & ACCESSORIES


Typeset, Roxie, Elemental, & Sonoma

Dreamin' Level 2 paper, Stickease & WOTG

Mischief Level 2 paper, Complements Rub ons

Believe Level 2 paper, Stickease

Wonderland Level 2 paper, Stickease
Lucky Level 2, Stickease,
Fanfare Level 2, Stickease,
Sophia Level 2, Stickease, Level 2 Journaling
Mayberry Level 2, Stickease,

Colonial White Collection

Grosgrain Ribbon - Cranberry, Cocoa, Colonial White, White Daisy (Sweet Leaf still available)

Wings Level 2 Assortment Ribbon

Embroidery Floss (all gone except neutral)

Waxy Flax (all gone except black, chocolate, bamboo, colonial white)

Designer Brads - Colonial White & Pewter

Mini-Medley - Antique Copper & Colonial White

Bookplates

Soft Set Eyelets

Midnight Felt Shapes

Harvest Charms

Holiday Pockets

Top Coats Icing Overlays

Lucky Level 2 assortment

Lucky Level 2 Journaling spots

Bliss Level 2 Assortment

Sweetheart Level 2 Assortment

Fanfare Level 2 Assortment

Just Blooms - Spring Blossom and White Daisy Variety Pack

Color Ready Alphabets

Dimensional Elements - On Target, Flurry, Hearts (replaced w/Art Philosophy version)

My Creations Board Book

My Creations 9"x9" Memory Showcase

My Creations Journal


Rubber Brayer

Soft Set Eyelet Tool


STAMP SETS


A1098 Adoption

A1101 Always in My Heart

A1102 A Posy

A1103 A Love

A1105 A Paisley

A1112 A Hop

B1309 Fun Times

B1322 Believe in Your Dream

B1323 Just the Ticket

B1324 Bunny Love

B1343 Beloved

B1350 Family Ties - Pets

B1351 You're Sweet

B1352 Ms. Scrapbook

B1353 A Little Buzz

B1354 Boom!

B1364 Take Luck

B1368 Baby Love

B1372 Circle Together

B1373 Beautiful Butterflies

B1375 Summer Days

C1305 Family

C1337 Just for Girls

C1338 Just for Boys

C1339 Kanji Phrases

C1345 Family Ties - Children

C1346 Family Ties - Adults

C1349 Ambiance

C1351 You Did It

C1355 Let's Go Camping

C1356 Extreme Happiness

C1359 Sweet Baby

C1360 It''s a Zoo

C1363 Beary Best

C1364 TLC

C1365 Makin' Waves

C1368 Treetops

C1385 Charmed

C1390 So Lucky

C1395 Enjoy Every Moment

C1396 Love Birds

C1397 Smiles

C1399 On the Edge

C1403 In the Month of February

C1404 In the Month of March

C1405 In the Month of April

C1407 Hot Diggity

C1409 Beary Busy

C1411 Birthday Boy

C1414 Little Princess

C1415 In the Month of May

C1416 In the Month of June

C1417 In the Month of July

C1422 Unity

C1436 Birthday Blast

C1437 Happy Moments

C1438 Tea Time

C1443 From My Heart

C1444 Precious Love

C1445 Bless This Nest

C1446 Retro Tech

C1447 Carefree

C1448 Magic Tabs

C1449 Blooming Layers

C1451 Down by the Sea

C1453 Summer Breeze

C1454 Horizon

C1460 His and Hers

C1461 Salutation Seals

D1187 For Every Occasion

D1191 Friendship Blessings

D1254 Soul Mates Word Puzzle

D1297 Daydream

D1298 Beautiful Things

D1300 Circle Around

D1320 Shining Star

D1322 Adorning Corners

D1330 Connections

D1336 Cupcake Sprinkles

D1337 Love Always

D1346 You Rock

D1348 Priceless Love

D1353 Campin' Fever

D1357 Post Card

D1361 Thank You

D1364 Recipe Box

D1365 True Happiness

D1367 Bon Appetit

D1377 Around the Block

D1378 Notice the Details

D1399/W329 Dream Big

D1402 Togetherness

D1403 Star Power

D1404 Ms. Chillin'

D1407 Piece of Cake

D1408 A Little Everything

D1409 Flower Pot

D1410 One of a Kind

D1413 Cherished Flourishes

D1414 Paisley Praise

D1415 Springtime

D1425 Thrill Ride

D1426 Over the Rainbow

D1427 Tasty Treats

D1431 Happy Holidays

D1432 X-treme

D1434 You're Great

D1435 Howdy

D1438 Circle of Love

D1441 Royal Birth

D1451 Trellis

D1460 Love Ya!

D1461 Ciao

D1463 Backgrounds & Borders

D1465 Fill in the Blanks

D1466 Catching Waves

D1468 On This Day

D1470 Dreams Come True

D1471 Crusin'

D1473 Two-Step Backgrounds

D1474 Hero

Monday, January 30, 2012

ONE Day to Go!

Only ONE day remains before the brand new Idea Book comes out!  I can't wait to share it with you.  Our Idea Books are always packed with the best new goodies - not just new papers, but some new everything!


This also means that tomorrow (Tuesday) is the last day to get the January Stamp of the Month for only $5 with a qualifying order!  I can think of a million uses for this set!  Cards, scrapbook layouts, invitations, calendars, wall hangings... the possibilities are endless.  Don't wait!  On Wednesday, this set goes back to its normal price of $17.95.

Have you started working on your handmade Valentines yet?  If not, time to get busy!  Watch this spot for ideas coming soon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Studio J ... And a GIVEAWAY!

I must confess, I have been terrible about not telling people about Studio J!  If you aren't familiar, Studio J is our online scrapbooking software.  Not only is it free to use, it's perfect for ANY skill level!  And I mean that - if you have never so much as put scissors to paper before, even you can use Studio J and make something beautiful.

In fact, it's especially strange (and maybe a little amusing) that I don't promote Studio J the way I should, because it's how I first discovered CTMH about two years ago!  A Consultant who was a friend-of-a-friend on Facebook mentioned it in a comment, and I clicked, and twenty minutes later I had created a 12x12 print with pictures of a friend's wedding.  I sent it to her, and to my surprise, she was THRILLED with it.  She immediately wanted to know how she could make more.  She framed it and hung it in her house right away.  It was then that I knew that Studio J - and CTMH - were worth my time and energy!  I haven't looked back since.

It probably goes without saying that a huge draw to Studio J is that there's no initial monetary investment.  When I first started scrapbooking and making cards, I spent a LOT of money getting myself set up with papers, stamps, inks, tools, and even a way to store it all.  If you do it online, you don't have any of that to worry about.  It's definitely a matter of personal preference; I happen to love working with the paper and finding ink stains on my fingers when I'm done.  But for those who like a faster, neater, and cheaper result, Studio J is the answer.  Oh, and if you're like me and don't like installing unnecessary software on your computer, don't worry.  You needn't install a thing - this is all done online.

Just a couple of ideas for projects you can do with Studio J (these are kits from the Fall/Winter Idea Book - there will be a whole new set next week when the new Spring/Summer book debuts!).




Where's the giveaway, you ask?!  Well, once this blog hits 50 followers, I'll be doing a giveaway for a Studio J 5-pack card... and a nifty little bonus!  This is a prize worth over $55 and will give you the chance to try out Studio J with no expense, and therefore no risk.  So share the link with your friends and watch for updates!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Little Girl's Birthday Card

A very special little girl in my life has a birthday coming up!  She lives several thousand miles away, and by some miracle, I remembered in plenty of time to whip a card up for her and get it in the mail so it would be there before her big day.

I tend to gravitate toward somewhat simple designs for my cards, and this one was no exception.  I didn't go for fancy or elegant or impressive.  My only goal was to make it something that I thought a two-year-old girl would think was pretty.  Hopefully I succeeded!


I made a 6x6 card out of Colonial White cardstock, then used one of the papers from the Sophia paper packet from last year's Spring/Summer Idea Book for the front.  I stamped Megan's name using the Bohemian Alphabet with Hollyhock ink, and cut those out by hand with my craft knife.  I then backed them with Pear cardstock (also from the Sophia packet) and used that same Pear color to make the "2" with my Cricut and the Alphalicious cartridge.

Just because I thought a little girl might get a kick out of it, I also stuck pearl embellishments on a few of the dots on the front of the card.  Last but not least, I used my Card Chatter: Birthday stamp set to add a special happy birthday message inside.

I hope she likes it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Operation Smile

Did you know that every time you order from my Close to My Heart website, you also donate to Operation Smile?!  Part of the proceeds from every order placed with CTMH go straight to Operation Smile, an organization dedicated to providing free corrective facial surgery to children around the world who were born with birth defects like cleft lip and cleft palate.  A child is born in our world with one of these conditions every three minutes, and the majority don't have the resources available to correct them.  The result is a facial deformity that makes them feel ugly, opens them up to bullying from other kids (and some adults!), and can cause lifelong physical and emotional issues.


I'm finicky about what charities I am willing to support.  I'm here to tell you that this one is outstanding!  For a better idea of what Operation Smile does, go HERE.

We at CTMH are looking to give our friends at Operation Smile a little boost in the next few weeks with some extra donations!  If you're interested in helping, simply place an order on my CTMH site, or contact me directly to make a cash donation if you prefer.  It takes as little as $240 to provide a free surgery to a child and change his or her life forever.  Let's help out!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Retiring Stamp Sets

The new Idea Book is going live soon, and I cannot wait to share it with you!  The only downside, of course, is that it means the retirement of some products from previous Idea Books.  There are some really cute ones that are going away to make room for new and exciting sets.  This includes my very favorite set - the ADOPTION set.  This was one of my very first CTMH stamp sets!





This particular set is great for announcements, congratulations cards, passalong cards for waiting families, scrapbook pages, and so much more.  I used mine for the invitations I sent out for my son's adoption finalization hearing.

Here's a slideshow of all of our retiring products (courtesy of fellow Consultantl, Tamytha Jenkins, thank you!). They are only available while supplies last. To see the whole album, click on the slideshow. Jot the item number down and place your order HERE or email it to me!  (To see a list of items that are already discontinued and now being offered at heavily discounted prices, click here.)




To place your order - don't wait! - click here.  Place a qualifying order in January and receive this set, the Stamp of the Month, for only $5.  I love the versatility of this one for calendars, cards, scrapbooks and more.

Oh - and one more thing!  Place a qualifying order and receive the Rock the Block set for only $15!  What a great gift idea.  Don't forget Valentine's Day is only about five weeks away - and Mother's Day will be here before we know it.  Think ahead this year and give handmade gifts.  Not only will you save buckets of money, the recipient will appreciate all the thought and effort you put into it.

Did I mention you shouldn't wait?!  GO!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christmas Goodies

Last year at Christmas time, my son was only a couple of months old.  I was too exhausted for coherent speech, let alone to make anything crafty for the holidays!  This year, thankfully, he is sleeping better.  So somewhere in the middle of November, I started making my Christmas cards for this year.  I had about an hour a day to work on them between when he went to bed and when I needed to get ready for bed myself.  So it took a lot of evenings, but I sure had a lot of fun.

I'm finding that I like cardmaking more than scrapbooking, for the most part.  Maybe it's a copout on my part, as making cards means that I don't have to choose pictures, have them printed, pay for the printing... you get the idea.  Plus, cards bring joy to others moreso than a scrapbook on my shelf does, so that's a draw, too.  Don't get me wrong - I am still scrapbooking!  (I'm currently working on the scrapbook I started for my dogs before my son was born.  The neurotic person in me has to do these chronologically... so I haven't started the kid's yet.  And yes, I am that person who scrapbooks their dogs.)

The hardest part for me about making cards is developing the design.  I sometimes let myself get overwhelmed with the possibilities and get bogged down.  So I started with a Workshops on the Go guide from one of last year's Christmas kits, and then I modified it to make it my own.  I also didn't want to make all my cards from the same design, so I branched out a little from there when I felt like it.  I like having the flexibility to do that and I also waste less paper.

Here are three of the designs I did this year.

For all three of these cards, I cut a 6" x 12" piece of solid cardstock for the card itself, then folded it in half.  For this first one, I stuck the large white/striped piece on first, followed by the red vertical strip.  I cut the brown square, stamped "Noel" with a dark blue ink, and added a dab of Liquid Glass by each "Noel" for a nifty look.  Next, I punched a 1/8" hole on the left side and added the pre-made flower (the center of it is a brad).  Lastly, I stamped the ornament on white cardstock using the rock 'n' roll technique (whoa, check out that video that's linked there... holy hair!!) to achieve a two-color look.  This is why it looks a little darker around the edges.  I used Holiday Red for the main part of the stamp and then rocked it in Barn Red.  I cut it out and attached it with regular scrapbooking glue.  I love the result.


The technique for this card was very similar.  I obviously used the same papers, but in different configurations, and got a totally different look.  I also used a different ornament and a snowflake brad that I thought was a nice complement.  I skipped the Liquid Glass on this one.  Note the way the ink I used on the ornament stamps matches the red color on the snowflake paper.  This is no mistake; CTMH is great about coordinating colors so that they match perfectly.  If you buy a paper packet in cranberry, and an ink pad in cranberry, they WILL be the same color.  It's one of my favorite things about our stuff.


And finally, I got ambitious with this last one (and had run out of the red snowflake paper, ha!); I stamped and cut out three small ornaments.


I did learn a great little trick about mass-producing cards like this, even if they aren't all the same design.  I learned to cut my papers all at once, which involves some pre-planning, then to split the cards up into stages.  For example, I'd cut everything I needed to make four of the same card.  I'd glue the decorative paper elements on to the plain cardstock, stopping just short of adding the dimensional elements like brads.  (The idea is to skip anything that could be smushed.)  Then I stuck the four cards, damp in spots with fresh glue, under a huge heavy dictionary until the next night.  I found that the dictionary eliminated any dimpling or distortion from the glue, so the next night, I could just add the final touches and be done.  The finished project is much better.

Next up?  Valentine's Day cards!  Last year I was still pretty new at this, so the cupcake-themed card I made for hubby kinda looks like an 8 year old made it.  It won't be hard to top!

Want to try your own?  I promise you'll be better at it than you give yourself credit for.  First step, go HERE and start shopping!  The sky's the limit.