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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Monogram Stamps - A Personal Touch

Add a personal touch to your artwork with our new Monogram stamps - only $2.95 each.  Each Monogram stamp is approximately 1 1/4" in diameter and are packaged in a "mini" 3"x3" stamp envelope, just like our regular size stamp sets.  


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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Whooo's Your Valentine (Blog Hop)

Welcome to our Whooo's Your Valentine Blog Hop.  Yes, it is almost two weeks before Christmas and we are showing you Valentine ideas.  But for crafting, you have to plan in advance!  

In celebration of National Papercrafting Month, Close To My Heart is offering a fun kit you can use to create treats for Valentine's Day or any time you would like to give a little treat to someone special.  The kit includes: 
  • 12 -- Die-Cut Boxes (3 each of 4 colors; Blush, Hollyhock, Ruby, White Daisy)
  •   3 -- 12"x12" Cardstock Sheets (Blush, Hollyhock, White Daisy)
  •   1 -- Sheet Silver Glitter Paper (new product for Spring/Summer 2013)
  • 12 -- Treat Tubes with Lids (new product for Spring/Summer 2013)
  •   1 -- Whooo's Your Valentine Stamp Set (shown below)
All of this is only $10 when you place a minimum order of $35 from the current Autumn/Winter 2012 Idea Book & Catalog.  The boxes are super simple to create - they are all pre-cut and pre-scored, you simply fold on the lines and use a little adhesive to hold it together. 

If you have come here from Joy's 'Wow...did you make that?' blog, you are on the right path!  The kit comes with a picture of six different projects with a Valentine theme, so on our Whooo's Your Valentine Blog Hop we will be showing you different uses for the treat tubes and for the stamp set itself.  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!

For this project, the chevron stripe stamp in the Whooo's Your Valentine set was used for the sides and top of the box.  Remember to stamp on the box before assembling it!  The adorable owl from the stamp set is stamped using Lagoon ink and the edges are rolled in Saddle ink for some added color.  Almond Glitter Gel is added to her beak and some Brown Sparkles bring her eyes to life.  Also, the smaller owl from the stamp set is on the top of the lid.  Some Silver Shimmer Trim was used around the top of the box, as a ribbon with the sentiment, and also around the tube.  

For this treat, the heart patterned stamp was used with Ruby ink to stamp on all four sides of the Ruby box.  A piece of Dark Chocolate Striped Grosgrain was tied in a large bow around the tube and the 'B' Monogram stamp was used to create a more elegant look.  

For a true Valentine treat, I created these two tubes by following the samples provided by CTMH, with a few changes of my own.  Creating these tube treats is really fun.  Of course, it is almost impossible NOT to use one of the incredible CTMH Cricut cartridges.  The paper bow and the pink rosette ribbon were both cut using the Artiste cartridge.    



Every paper crafter needs this adorable stamp set that is included in the Whooo's Your Valentine kit.  I will definitely be playing with it more and sharing some cards with you soon.  

Now "Hop" on over to Jody's 'Cre8n' Memories' blog to see her work!  Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their blogs to get some great crafting inspiration and other fun ideas!  

The Whooo's Your Valentine kit (with a retail value of $40) is available for only $10 from December 13 until January 31, with a minimum $35 order of products from the CTMH Autumn/Winter 2012 Idea Book & Catalog.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Stationery in a Box


A fun stationery project completed with the Perfect Fit-Frames stamp set and a Monogram.  There are five cards, lined envelopes, seals for the envelopes and a holder to store all of them.  This would make a great gift.  Each Monogram stamp is approximately 1 1/4" in diameter and are packaged in an adorable little 3"x3" stamp envelope, just like our regular size stamp sets.  Each letter is only $2.95.

For this project, Close To My Heart papers from the Dakota kit were used along with prepared cards and envelopes from the 50 card value pack.  The shapes for the Perfect-Fit Frames stamp set were cut using images from the Art Philosophy cartridge and the magazine-style holder is available with the Artiste cartridge.  The 1 1/4" circle punch is the perfect size for the monogram letters.   




Thanks to CTMH fellow consultant Lisa Stenz for sharing this great stationery idea. 


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Friday, November 30, 2012

Year-Round Cheer (December SOTM Blog Hop)



Welcome to our Stamp of the Month Blog Hop which features the Year-Round Cheer stamp set from Close To My Heart.   This stamp set has a cute image and sentiment for every month of the year!   

If you have come here from the 'Fancy Melissa' blog, you are on the right path!  With some very creative Close To My Heart Consultants sharing their projects, you will see many different uses for this stamp set.  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!


If you have not guessed by now, the new Artiste cartridge for the Cricut machine is one of my very favorite products.  It contains such a large variety of images, and all of them are cut with precision to create wonderful items very quickly.  For this card, the two pieces are cut from La Belle Vie paper using the 'Card' feature of the 'k' button.  The "Tis The Season" image from the Year-Round Cheer stamp set is stamped using Sweet Leaf and Bamboo.  A small Sparkle was added to the center of the ornament, some larger Sparkles on the ends of the card insert along with a strip of Silver Shimmer Tape and more Sparkles completes the card.


The center piece slides out of the card wrapper, with enough room for you to sign the card on the front or on the backside.  



Now "Hop" on over to Michelle's 'Scrappy Hour' blog to see her work!  Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their blogs to get some great crafting inspiration and other fun ideas!  Remember, the Year-Round Cheer stamp set is only available during the month of December 2012.  The regular price is $17.95, or you can purchase it for only $5 with a minimum order of $50 in other CTMH products.  


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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Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Beautiful Display Frame

A couple of months ago, I shared an insert for my cell phone using papers from La Belle Vie and titled the post "The Beautiful Phone" because "La Belle Vie" is french for "The Beautiful Life."  Using the same paper, I've decided to call this post "The Beautiful Display Frame."  The Display Frame is a great product that can be used to create unique decor for your home or for a gift.


For this piece, papers are used from the La Belle Vie packet along with the coordinating My Stickease, a few pieces of Colonial White Rosette Ribbon, Sparkles Black Flourishes and a Display Tray.  There is no stamping involved, just the My Stickease and the Artiste cartridge for the Cricut to cut some frames and hearts.  Each opening is 3"x4" and is perfect for creating small individual pieces as shown here, or you can add photos in some of the openings also.  This piece was inspired from a similar piece created by Janice Hodgkin.  


Since the total size is 12"x12", you can cut-up a full scrapbook page and place into the individual spaces for a unique way to display one of your favorite scrapbook pages.  The Display Tray is wooden, painted black, and includes hangers ready to mount on your wall.  


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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Capture the Date (November SOTM Blog Shop)


Welcome to our Stamp of the Month Blog Hop which features the Capture the Date stamp set from Close To My Heart.   This stamp set is perfect for journaling your scrapbook pages.  It includes all of the months of the year, both full names and abbreviations, as well as four different styles of numbers and a journaling box.

Also this month, CTMH is having a "Capture the Savings" special where you can get 50% off your favorite stamp set in the Idea Book.  When you purchase the exclusive Capture the Date SOTM, you get an additional bonus of 50% off any other stamp set in the Idea Book!  This deal excludes those sets sold as part of Workshops on the Go kits or our Cricut collections, but that still leaves you over one hundred options to choose from.   

If you have come here from 'Scrapi Traci' blog, you are on the right path!  With over 60 Close To My Heart Consultants sharing their creations, you will see many different uses for this stamp set.  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!


For my daughter's 20th birthday, this stamp set was perfect for creating a personalized card for her.  Using paper from the Clementine kit along with a few embellishments, the card was quick and easy to create.  From the Capture the Date stamp set, the journaling box was stamped and then the month name and date were added.  The 'Birthday Wishes' stamp is included in the Artiste collection.  And that Cricut cartridge was used to cut the images for both the journaling box and the banner.  The numbers 20 are from the Cork Alphabet and Sorbet ink was sponged on the cork to add a bit of color. 

Now "Hop" on over to the 'Fancy Melissa' blog to see her work!  Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their blogs to get some great crafting inspiration and other fun ideas!  Remember, the Capture the Date stamp set is only available during the month of November 2012.  The regular price is $17.95, or you can purchase it for only $5 with a minimum order of $50 in other CTMH products.  Remember, with the purchase of this month's SOTM, you are able to purchase another stamp set for 50% off.



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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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Felted Market Bag

Finally finished my most intensive knitting project to date.  It is a very brightly colored bag and I love using it!



Our local knitting shop had a class for a Felted Farmer's Market Bag designed by Kristin Nicholas.  I just loved it, so had to take the class.  My mother, who is an expert seamstress, was kind enough to sew linings for the bags with a fun dotted material I found that coordinates with the wool beautifully.  She included interior pockets all the way around, so the bag is very handy to use.


Even though it has been several months, I have finally completed not just ONE bag, but TWO bags!  For my project, I selected very bright colors complemented with black.  When I realized that I would use less than half of each skein for the project, I decided to just knit two bags.  The second bag is a gift for a dear friend who is also a knitter, so I know she will appreciate the work. 



To start the project, seven colors of wool are knit into triangle shapes and then connected to complete a circle for the base of the bag.


Then stitches are picked up around the outside of the circle and 80 rows are knitted, alternating colors of wool.  When the knitting is complete, the project is very large.  These are the two bags after the knitting was finished.  For a size comparison, those are yardsticks in the photo.


Just to be silly, this is one of the bags covering my head, shoulders, and upper arms.  The knitted project was very large before felting!


To felt, each bag was put into a pillow case and then washed in hot water to shrink the wool and create the felted fabric.  Wool dries very slowly.  So, I placed a dinner plate into the bottom to shape the wool and then placed each plate on top of a bottle of wine.  These had to sit on the counter for a couple of days to dry completely.  My family was very puzzled when they saw the strange objects in the kitchen.

Leather straps, purchased from Homestead Heirlooms were used to complete the bags.  



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Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Diorama

The Heart 2 Heart Challenge this week is to create something with a Halloween or Pumpkin theme.  This past weekend, I had the pleasure of joining fellow Close To My Heart consultants in a Stamp Camp to share ideas.  One of the funnest projects we made was a Halloween diorama shared by Janice Hodgkin.  Even though it looks a bit complicated, it actually took very little time to create as all of the pieces are pre-printed dimensional elements from the Moonlight kit.  



For a very unique use of the My Creations Card Box, it was first sprayed with a mixture of water and a few drops of reinker for the CTMH Black ink pad.  By diluting the Black ink with water, the result was a fun shade of purple for the Card Box.  



The box is then positioned with the intended top flap on the bottom so that the box can be opened up into a free-standing position to display the adorable Halloween scene inside.  



The bottom of the box (which is the 'top' when placed upside down) is also decorated so that it can be displayed closed too.  

Even though the project looks a bit complicated, it is very easy.  There is absolutely no stamping involved.  All of the pieces are from the Moonlight Complements Dimensional Elements package, and the papers used are from the Moonlight kit.  Even though it is difficult to see in the photos, there is also Liquid Glass used to highlight the eyes and other elements of the different pieces.  Green Glitter Gel was used to give some sparkle to the little Frankenstein, who actually 'jiggles' around a bit as he is attached to the back of the box using an Adhesive Spring.  The bats swing around a bit as they are dangling from the top using some Black Embroidery Floss.



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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Operation Smile donation

Close To My Heart is proud to partner with Operation Smile, an organization that provides free, life-changing surgery that repairs smiles and reshapes lives, one child at a time.  

At each CTMH event, a silent auction is held to raise money to provide facial surgeries for children.  For the Regional Celebration held last weekend in St Louis, I was honored to be asked to donate some artwork for the Operation Smile Silent Auction. 


Using papers from the Stella kit, I created a dry erase board, a clock, and a nightlight.  The sentiment and flowers on the clock are from the stamp set which is included in the Scroll Album WOTG kit.  Remember, the stamp sets included in the WOTG kits can be used for many different projects.  

When I decided to create a clock, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Artiste cartridge includes two different clock faces.  Using the Cricut machine to cut the clock face with the roman numerals was great, as I did not have to worry about getting the numbers lined up correctly and I love the way the face looks layered on a patterned piece of paper from the Stella kit.  The sign post and sign were also cut using the Artiste cartridge, and the flourishes on the dry erase board were cut using the Art Philosophy cartridge.  

In total, over $800 was raised in St Louis - that is more than enough to pay for three complete surgeries with Operation Smile. 


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Monday, October 1, 2012

Pear & Partridge ~ Christmas Card Workshop


It's that time of year - time to start thinking about and creating your Holiday cards.  Next weekend will be the first Christmas Card Workshop of the season.  Join us to create nine fabulous cards - three each of three designs. 

UPDATED: two extra workshops added, so you have four opportunities to create your own Christmas cards!  Choose to attend Friday evening (7 pm) or Saturday afternoon (1 pm) either of the next two weekends - October 5 & 6 or October 12 & 13.  

All three cards use classic Holiday colors and are featured in the new Pear & Partridge Cardmaking Kit available in the Autumn/Winter Idea Book from Close To My Heart.  After the workshop, you can purchase you own WOTG Pear & Partridge Cardmaking Kit to complete 15 more cards.  The WOTG kit comes complete with all the card bases, envelopes, paper, embellishments, stamp set, and an instructional brochure.    

My favorite card of the trio.  The detailed sentiment stamp is fun with different fonts and scrolls.

    The second card for the workshop uses stamps from the Pear & Partridge WOTG kit to create a nice branch with different ornaments hanging from it.  .       

For this card, the "Merry Christmas" stamp is used repeatedly to create an do-it-yourself background.  The elegant sentiment along with some gift images complete the card.     

The Christmas Card workshop will be offered two weekends - October 5 & 6 and October 12 & 13.  On Friday at 7 pm, and on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm.  You will create three of each of the three cards for a workshop fee of $10.  Allow approximately two hours to complete your project.  Please be sure to bring your favorite adhesive.  All other supplies are provided with the workshop fee.  All stamps and papers used are from Close To My Heart (CTMH).

Everyone who attends will also receive a FREE copy of the Close To My Heart Autumn/Winter Idea Book & Catalog which features some fabulous new stamp sets, papers, and other great items.  As an added bonus, if you place a $30+ order, your workshop fee is waived. 

Please let me know if you would like to attend.  Contact me by sending an email to sheilabennett@comcast.net, or calling 913-485-4355.


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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Very Merry Christmas (October SOTM Blog Hop)



Welcome to our Stamp of the Month Blog Hop which features the Very Merry Christmas stamp set from Close To My Heart.   This stamp set includes some great images for creating Christmas gift tags or cards, and all of the stamp images have corresponding shapes which can be cut using the Artiste cartridge for the Cricut.  


If you have come here from Jill's 'Scrap Wench' blog, you are on the right path!  With over 60 Close To My Heart Consultants sharing their creations, you will see many different uses for this stamp set.  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!


Even though this stamp set is perfect for creating Christmas crafts, I decided to try something a little less traditional.  This fabulous little cupcake box is cut using gorgeous paper from the Avonlea kit and the Artiste cartridge.  The box, lid, cupcake wrapper, and tag for the stamped image from Very Merry Christmas were all cut using the Cricut.  My intention was to bake some cupcakes so there would be one to put in the box for the photo, but failed to get any baking done.  There is a piece of clear acetate adhered to the inside top of the lid so that the 'window' is covered, and you can still see the cupcake through it. 


As you can see in this photo, there is also a short 'shelf' inside the box to hold the cupcake securely in the center.  Using the front and back of the same patterned background & texture paper along with a coordinating color of cardstock creates a nice finished look for the entire cupcake box.

Now "Hop" on over to Laurie's 'Scraps from the Beach' blog to see her work!  Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their blogs to get some great crafting inspiration and other fun ideas!  Remember, the Very Merry Christmas stamp set is only available during the month of October 2012.  The regular price is $17.95, or you can purchase it for only $5 with a minimum order of $50 in other CTMH products.


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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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Express Collections from Studio J

Studio J from Close To My Heart is online design software that allows users to create custom-printed two-page layouts for 12"x12" albums.  There is no software to purchase and install; instead, simply log in to Studio J and start designing your layouts.  The cost for each two-page layout is only $6.95.  That includes the printing of the two 12"x12" pages and JPEG files for each of the separate pages, as well as a single JPEG showing both pages that can be shared online or via email.  The examples below are the single "web" image for easy online sharing.  The Studio J logo and text along the bottom is NOT printed on the actual pages.      

You can learn more about Studio J by visiting my website.  

In addition to creating your own custom layouts from scratch, CTMH has added Express Collections.  This includes six Express Collections you can use to quickly and easily create beautiful layouts.  Each themed Express Collection includes 10 two-page coordinating, fully embellished layouts, plus a front and back page for your album, that are professionally deigned and nearly complete - you simply drag in your photos and add your title and journaling!  You can choose to create all 10 layouts plus the covers, or create just a few of the layouts in the collection.  Express Collections makes getting your photos off your camera card or computer and into gorgeous layouts faster than ever!

It took about 10 minutes each to create these two-page layouts using the Express Collections.  It is so simple to upload your photos, drag them to a "photo well" where they are automatically resized to fit, add a title and some journaling, and your layout is complete.  


The Boys:  this layout shows my son, Aaron, with his son and his father as well as my grandfather - Avery's great-great grandfather.  Papa says that he is "double great."


Hands that Hold:  five generations of hands to support Avery.  


Beautiful:  Samantha dancing in her pointe shoes


Graduate:  Samantha's senior photos



Watch this short 3-minute video prepared by Close To My Heart which shows how easy it is to use the Express Collections from Studio J.  

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Fun Fall Workshop


There are so many fun shapes to cut using the new Artiste cartridge for the Cricut that sometimes it is difficult to decide where to start!  Join us for this Fun Fall Workshop featuring a variety of fun shapes.    


This fun, feminine card is so easy to create.  Simply cut the dress form and the dress using the Artiste cartridge and add it to the front of the card where some elegant paper from La Belle Vie kit is used along with the gorgeous new Slate Satin Polka-Dot Ribbon.   Add a few small Opaques Gems for a belt along with a Happy Birthday sentiment from the Casual Expressions stamp set.

    

The second card for the workshop is the one that I featured for this month's SOTM Blog Hop.  A 'puzzled' scarecrow from the Fall Favorites stamp set is featured on this 6"x6" card.  The fun puzzle pieces were cut using the Artiste cartridge for the Cricut machine and then mounted slightly apart from each other for a 'disjointed' look.   Just select portions of the image was colored using some of the new alcohol-based markers to coordinate with papers from the Clementine kit.  A small piece of Burlap Ribbon adds a rustic touch.       


Finish off the fun by creating these two adorable treat bags.  The bags and faces are both cut using the Artiste cartridge and paper from the Moonlight paper pack.  No stamping required!.     

The Fun Fall workshop will be offered next weekend - September 21 & 22.  On Friday at 7 pm, and on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm.  You will create two of each card plus the two treat bags for a workshop fee of $10.  Allow approximately two hours to complete your project.  Please be sure to bring your favorite adhesive.  All other supplies are provided with the workshop fee.  All stamps and papers used are from Close To My Heart (CTMH).

Everyone who attends will also receive a FREE copy of the Close To My Heart Autumn/Winter Idea Book & Catalog which features some fabulous new stamp sets, papers, and other great items.  As an added bonus, if you place a $30+ order, your workshop fee is waived. 

Please let me know if you would like to attend.  Contact me by sending an email to sheilabennett@comcast.net, or calling 913-485-4355.


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