Saturday, July 31, 2010

Something Splendid (August SOTM Blog Hop)

Welcome to our Stamp of the Month Blog Hop which features the Something Splendid stamp set from Close To My Heart.  The stamp set includes a wonderfully detailed, large flower with 2-step stamping.  There are also nice leaf and twig stamps along with a small flower and some sentiments.  

When creating this card, I was not at home and did not have any Hydrangea or Sunny Yellow cardstock with me.  So, I simply used the ink pad to 'smear' the colored ink onto white cardstock to create the colored cardstock that I needed.  Even though the gingham squares on the ribbon do not 'match' the flower, I really like the way the gingham coordinates with the bright colors and the 'feel' of the flower.  It is difficult to see in the scan, there are three Sparkles on the lower portion of the ribbon. 

The Hydrangea ink used on this card is retiring this year.  Just announced at the annual Convention, CTMH will be introducing eight fabulous new colors in the Summer palette on September 1.  To make room for these additions, eight current Summer colors will be retiring.  These retiring colors - Clover Meadow, Hydrangea, Orange, Star Spangled Blue, Bubblegum, Citrus Leaf, Ocean, Watermelon - are currently available, but only while supplies last.  So, now is the time to stock up on ink pads, re-inkers, markers, and cardstock in these retiring colors.

If you have come here from Antoinette's 'God Bless Your ART!' blog, you are on the right path! With over 60 Close To My Heart Consultants sharing their creations using this month's SOTM and other great CTMH products on their blogs, you should be able to find lots of great creative ideas to use for your own projects.  Blog Hopping is simple to do - just click on the link at the end of the post on each blog to move to the next one! 

Now "Hop" on over to Jamia's 'Paper Madness Inc' blog to see her work!  Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their Blogs to get some great crafting ideas and other fun ideas!  Remember, the Something Splendid stamp set is only available until the end of August.  Let me know if you would like to find out how you can get this stamp set at a discount or even free.

If you get lost on the Blog Hop or find links that aren't working, there is a complete list of all participating blogs on Helen's 'Hooked on Stamping' blog.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Christmas in July card

Even though it is still July, this is a great time to get started on creating your Christmas cards this year.  Using new papers from the Cherry-O packet along with stocking stamps from Holiday Joy, this card also features a 'sneak peek' at a new product that will be available on September 1st.  The smaller Sparkles on the lower left of the card are actually a light blue color, even though it is difficult to see the color in the scanned image of the card. 

Inside of the card completes the sentiment from the Peace On Earth stamp set.

Just a reminder for the "Christmas in July" card workshop on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.  The cost is only $10 to complete 12 cards - and the fee is waived with a $50+ order from the Close To My Heart  Spring or Summer Idea Book    

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Washington DC - Segway Tour and More

Last weekend was the annual Close To My Heart Convention and it was held at the Gaylord National hotel in Maryland.  Since it was only a 15 minute drive from the National Mall in Washington DC, we decided to go three days early so that we would have time to visit some of the monuments and museums. 

The highlight of the trip was a Segway tour one evening.  It was a blast!  Learning to ride was much easier than we had anticipated.  In only about 10 or 15 minutes, our great tour guide, Phil, with City Segway had gotten each of the 8 people in our group on a Segway.  In that short time, we each learned to get on, ride forward, turn 180 degrees, and stop.  So, off we went to view some sites.  Our guide warned us that we would become 'minor celebrities' while on the Segways.  And we did - other tourists were intrigued when they saw us and quite a few took a picture of us riding along. 

This is our little group of CTMH friends from around the country - gathered together in front of the Capitol building.  It was fun to plan our adventure beforehand, and then meet up for a great day of sightseeing.  Two of us had teenage daughters with us.  None of us cared how 'goofy' we looked riding the Segway because it was so much FUN!  We covered about 8 miles during the tour, and saw sites from one end of the National Mall to the other and even went by the White House. 

Earlier that day, we had tickets to go to the top of the Washington Monument.  We got some fantastic views from the top.

View from the top - Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin:  

View from the top - the White House:

View from the top - World War II Memorial, Reflecting Pool, Lincoln Memorial:

The next day, we had a tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and of the US Capitol.  No pictures were allowed during the actual tour in the Bureau of Engraving, but there was an enlargement of the new $100 with improved security features that will be released early next year.  We watched them print millions of dollars worth of the new $100 notes in just a short time.   It was fascinating to watch all the machines printing and cutting the bills.  They certainly have some sharp guillotine cutters that cut a 5" or 6" stack of bills with one smooth motion.  

Adorning the top of the US Capitol building dome is the Statue of Freedom.  

Of course, it is difficult to really see the statue on the top of the dome.  So, it was really nice to find a model of the Statue of Freedom inside the Capitol Visitors Center. 

Another highlight was visiting the National Museum of American History.  There was a special exhibit with The Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write his famous poem which has become our national anthem.  The actual, original, Star-Spangled Banner was on display at the American History museum.  It has been damaged over the years, and is now protected by low light.  Absolutely no photography allowed in the exhibit.  It was very special to be able to see the flag, and to find out that the completed flag was larger than the house of the woman creating the flag.  This very large flag was a special sign for the exhibit with multiple pieces of metal to create the stripes of the flag.

There is so much to see and do in Washington DC.  We saw a lot of sites and museums, but there is so much that we did not see.  Guess we need to plan another trip sometime.

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July in Washington DC

Caught the sun behind the Washington Monument on a beautiful, sunny evening.   

We sat down so close to the Monument that we could not get the entire height in one photo. 

Lots of people everywhere.  But we were pleasantly surprised that it did not feel over-crowded at all.  There was plenty of room to walk around, find a seat, and just enjoy the evening.   We could see the side of the stage with some live musical performances, and the sound through the speaker system was really nice.  Lots of patriotic songs, both before and during the fireworks show. 

There was a beautiful sunset over the city. 

And then some gorgeous stripes of pink clouds. 

Our festive glow sticks - red, white, and blue, of course.

At 9:10, let the fireworks begin!

In the lower portion of some of the fireworks photos, you can see some small white squares of light.  This is actually a 'sea' of cell phones as people held them up to take photos of the fireworks.  It was a funny sight to see. 

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