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Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Sunshine (April SOTM Blog Hop)


Welcome to our Stamp of the Month Blog Hop which features the My Sunshine stamp set from Close To My Heart.   This stamp set is perfect for fun Summertime cards, scrapbook pages, or other projects.  There is a large sun, an adorable bird with separate wing, and even a hot air balloon.  Even better - each of the images can be cut using the Artiste cartridge for the Cricut machine.  Remember, anytime a CTMH stamp set is pictured and an image is outlined in red, that image is available to cut with one of our exclusive Cricut cartridges.  To make it even easier, the stamp set will have information printed on it regarding the correct page number to find the image and the correct size to cut it to coordinate with the stamp image.   

Sheila's Stamping Stuff now has a Facebook page, visit and "like" if you would like to see more artwork using Close To My Heart products and stay up-to-date with CTMH specials and announcements.

If you have come here from Tamytha's 'Paper HeARTIST' blog, you are on the right path!  With 60 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!


For this card, I used the bold striped paper from the Tommy kit along with the sun, bird, and a sentiment from this month's My Sunshine stamp set.  The card was simple to create.  After cutting the images using the Artiste cartridge and stamping them, it was easy to layer on the card along with a strip of Outdoor Denim Chevron Ribbon.  A matching envelope always creates a nice, finished look for a handmade card.

Now "Hop" on over to the 'Create with Traci' 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 My Sunshine stamp set is only available during the month of April 2013.  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.

All papers and stamps are from Close To My Heart (CTMH).
Sheila Bennett
Close To My Heart Independent Consultant
(913) 485-4355
My Email My Facebook My CTMH OBA My Pinterest My Blog My Shopping Cart My Twitter

Sunday, March 24, 2013

CTMH Album Retreat


Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend an Album Retreat organized by Close To My Heart.  This was an amazingly fun weekend where we created ten 2-page scrapbook layouts along with a cover page.  A few weeks before the Album Retreat, we were sent "homework" assignments to gather specific photos and write journaling.  Each set of two pages had a specific theme of something that was "close to my heart".  The themes ranged from the roles we fill, to the music we love, to our favorite colors.

Fortunately, I completed most of my homework before the Album Retreat and was able to completely finish the pages at the event, including adding the photos.  Well, I still had to write and print journaling for each page, but that was much easier to do after seeing the pages with photos than before.  There were a few pages which the photos I had taken with me did not work quite right, so I had to search for appropriate photos yesterday.  Happily, I got them printed at our local drugstore and adhered in the Album last night.


For the cover page, we were asked to bring a 5"x7" photo of ourself.  Papers from the Chantilly kit were used along with Trinity alphabet, Hello Blooms, Wheel of Life, and In The Background stamp sets.  What looks like grey striped washi tape on the edges of the page are actually just a portion of one of the stamps from the In The Background stamp set.  This is a great way to use your stamps in an unexpected way for a faux washi-tape look. 

All of the page designs were ready for us to duplicate.  CTMH provided the appropriate stamp sets, pre-cut paper, and embellishments to complete the entire album.  It is obvious that a lot of thought went into the preparation for this event.  Even though different ink colors are used on different pages, the entire album is cohesive as embellishments and other details are repeated throughout the pages.

This 2-page layout is named "My Happy Life" and it focuses on the different roles that we play in our life.  Papers from the Later Sk8r kit are used in combination with some different cardstock colors.  The pink chevron design is stamped using the In The Background stamp set, several stamps from the Sightseer set are used to accent the page, and the Trinity alphabet is used for the title.

The title of these two pages is "They Mean So Much" and they tell a little about our immediate family.  Papers from both the For Always and the Surf's Up kits are used along with the Trinity alphabet, Hello Blooms, Wheel of Life, and Frame Flair stamp sets.  

For the next pages, titled "I Love It Here," we included photos of places in our lives that have been "close to my heart" either as a childhood home or current home.  Again, papers from the Later Sk8r kit are used with the grid texture paper from the Scholastic kit.  Stamp sets used were Honeycomb, Happy Thoughts, Patterned Pennants, and the Trinity alphabet.  The faux washi-tape technique was used on the edges of these pages using a stamp from the Patterned Pennants set.

Next layout is titled "No Place Like This Space" and it features specific spaces that are "close to my heart."  For these pages, I chose my kitchen, computer, ocean wake, stamping room, where my cats sleep, and an airplane on the way to a new adventure.  No patterned paper is used here, just solid cardstock.  The texture that you see on four squares of the page was simply a small stamp from the Honeycomb set stamped using three different colors of ink.  It took just a little while to stamp the pattern, and it is certainly not evenly spaced.  So, you can stamp your own background paper and not worry about it looking 'perfect' as it will still accent your page and is just a nice personal touch.  Again, the Trinity alphabet was used for the title and the arrows are a stamp from the Sightseer set. 

Some of the homework assignments were a bit challenging as they made you really give some thought to what you would like on the page.  For the "Favorite Things" pages, I have included some items from my grandparents, along with 'Little House' books (by Laura Ingalls Wilder) which introduced me to a lifelong love of reading, and some knitted items that I have made.  Patterned papers from both the Chantilly and the For Always kits were used, along with Juniper cardstock.  As with the other pages, the Trinity alphabet was used.  Additional stamped accents are from the Hello Blooms, Wheel of Life, Frame Flair, and Happy Thoughts stamp sets. 

Deciding what colors make you happy and explaining why was the challenge of the "Live Your Life in Color" set of pages.  A small amount of paper from the For Always kit was used with several solid colors of cardstock.  A chevron stamp from the In The Background set was used to stamp the colored edges.  The color wheel is a stamp from the Wheel of Life and the title was stamped using the Trinity alphabet. 

This "Beauty All Around" layout is designed to be all about yourself, and what makes you special.  A honeycomb patterned paper from the Buzz and Bumble kit is used.  As well as stamps from Sightseer, Wheel of Life, Happy Thoughts, and the Trinity alphabet. 

The "Real Friends" layout uses papers from both Later Sk8r and Surf's Up kits.  Stamping is done using Patterned Pennants, Happy Thoughts, and In The Background stamp sets.  

Some of our favorite scenes from nature were included on the "Collect Moments" layout.  Some patterned paper from both Surf's Up and the Chantilly kits were used for these pages.  A stamp from the Patterned Pennants set was used to create a partial circle using different colors of ink.  To accent the page, some stamps from Hello Blooms and the Sightseer stamp set are used. 

The final set of pages is titled "Music To My Ears" and it shows what music is and has been important in our lives.  The cute cassette tape embellishment is simply some different pieces cut using the Cricut machine and arranged to resemble a cassette tape, using letters from the Trinity alphabet.  Wonder how old you have to be to remember using cassette tapes?  Patterned paper from the Later Sk8R kit is used for some of the accent pieces, while the Cranberry cardstock was stamped using a sheet music flower stamp from the Hello Blooms kit, and the Whisper cardstock is detailed by using a sponge to apply Whisper ink to create an argyle pattern using a stencil that is actually the 'negative space' from cutting a shape using the Cricut. 

And this is the COMPLETE Album which I started last weekend under the direction of the CTMH Team.   Those seven ladies had the entire weekend organized extremely well, and I am definitely planning to attend the Fall Album Retreat later this year.  
Photo courtesy of Pamela O'Connor
This is not a fancy photo, but it does show ALL of the completed pages inserted into page protectors and in a nice Black Leather Album which was also given to us at the Album Retreat. 

I am so proud to have completed this project.  Each set of pages has special hints & tips for ways to use CTMH stamps, inks, and papers.  It was a fantastic weekend, with other wonderful creative women.  One of the best parts is that all of our meals were provided for us.  We simply had to walk to the room next door, eat, and then could return to our creative time.  

Since each set of two pages had a specific theme, it made it much easier to find appropriate photos and actually complete the pages.  Each page includes some very nice details, and we learned different ways to use our CTMH products. 

Believe it or not, this is all of the product which each person who attended the Album Retreat received.  What is not shown is all of the individually cut cardstock and background & texture paper which was used for each page.  That was distributed as we began working on a new page.  They did not want to overwhelm us with too much to keep track of right from the beginning!
Photo courtesy of Pamela O'Connor
CTMH announced that they will be holding another Album Retreat in the Fall in Salt Lake City.  The dates and other specifics will be announced at the annual Convention in June.  However, that retreat will focus on a ground-breaking new product line and the all-new exciting products to be unveiled at Convention.  It will be a pinnacle of innovative artwork and on-trend techniques.  It really will be a complete fusion of business, product, and wowza creativity!

All papers and stamps are from Close To My Heart (CTMH).
Sheila Bennett
Close To My Heart Independent Consultant
(913) 485-4355
My Email My Facebook My CTMH OBA My Pinterest My Blog My Shopping Cart My Twitter

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Butterfly ...

A fun butterfly card created for Creative University to show different ways to use embossing with your projects.  


When I saw the Bugs & Hugs stamp set in the new CTMH Spring/Summer Idea Book, I just knew that I had to have it.  The caterpillar is just too adorable!  Here, he is embossed using Mirror Platinum embossing powder.  Unfortunately, this powder is now retired from CTMH, but it is still my favorite as it has a nice metallic sheen.  After embossing the caterpillar, Green Glitz Glitter Gel was used to fill-in the circles on the humps

This card uses four stamps from the Bugs & Hugs set.  The grass border stamp was inked using Pear and Slate inks, while the butterfly was stamp-rolled using Honey and Sunset inks and the sentiment was simply stamped using Slate ink.  Even though the paper does not remind me of Springtime when I saw it in the Idea Book, that green paper with the honeycomb pattern is actually from the "boy themed" Later Sk8r paper packet.  

If you have not received your copy of the Spring/Summer Idea Book & Catalog, please contact me via phone at 913-485-4355 or email at sheilabennett@comcast.net.

All papers and stamps are from Close To My Heart (CTMH).
Sheila Bennett
Close To My Heart Independent Consultant
(913) 485-4355
My Email My Facebook My CTMH OBA My Pinterest My Blog My Shopping Cart My Twitter

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Focus on a Friend


Both of these cards are created using the Card Chatter-Focus on a Friend stamp set which is  only $6.95.    

For a somewhat rustic look, this first card uses papers from the Buzz and Bumble packet along with some Burlap Ribbon and wooden buttons.  Since the larger sentiment is an odd shape, I wanted to stamp it on something that was a bit wider at the bottom and narrower at the top.  This shape from the Artiste cartridge is perfect, and it is actually a tombstone included with the Halloween items.   Be sure not to limit yourself when selecting shapes to cut with the Cricut.  


Honey cardstock is a nice pop of color along with neutral papers from the For Always kit.  For this card, the large sentiment was stamped using Colonial White pigment ink and Clear Detail Embossing Powder.  Then the flower stamp from In the Background was stamped using Whisper ink to add detail.  Since the sentiment was embossed, the image of the flower stamp does not show on the stamped sentiment.  In order to highlight the letters, some Honey ink was sponged on the embossed ink.  

To complete the card, a sweet bow was cut using the Artiste cartridge.  The center of the bow is highlighted with a Honey bling gem.  The gem was clear bling, and I simply tapped some of the Honey pigment ink onto the bling and embossed with Clear Detail Embossing Powder to change the color.  This is similar to the tip shared in the 40 Colors of Flowers blog post.  

If you have not received your copy of the Spring/Summer Idea Book & Catalog, please contact me via phone at 913-485-4355 or email at sheilabennett@comcast.net.

All papers and stamps are from Close To My Heart (CTMH).
Sheila Bennett
Close To My Heart Independent Consultant
(913) 485-4355
My Email My Facebook My CTMH OBA My Pinterest My Blog My Shopping Cart My Twitter