Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Thriller" Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark

Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart

You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it

You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes

You're paralyzed

'Cause this is THRILLER . . .

It's September and that means a NEW Close To My Heart Stamp of the Month and I truly think this is one of my all-time favorites. It's called (as if you didn't get it yet) "Thriller."

There are over 60 consultants in this month's blog hop, so I hope you visit them and get inspired. I can't wait to see what everyone's come up with! If you are already hopping along, you came here from  Carla Ironside's blog. Keep on reading and see where to go next.

Meanwhile, stick around a few minutes and check out my creations with "Thriller." I'm somewhat of a Halloween freak. I love to dress up, love to decorate, and have such great memories of Halloween as a kid. I have always gotten into it. And this Thriller set is so cool and creepy but fun and flourishy too. It's great!

For this tag I pulled a Tim Holtz and rubbed my Autumn Terracotta stamp pad directly over the tag which was cut from Honey cardstock. Just messy and carefree. For the frame stamp, I cut the little cartoon dracula guy right out of the stamp because I liked the frame so very much on its own. Then with a masking technique, stamped the skull inside the frame and inked to fill in the rest.

For my card I used textured cardstock in Desert Sand and Bamboo and lots of distressing with inks and tearing to achieve the look I wanted. The center image is embossed with black. The "ha-ha" paper is from our new Hooligans paper pack. All those random stamped flourishes are from the Thriller stamp set too.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you leave a comment! Now hop on over to Kimberly Smith's blog for more creative ideas with "Thriller."

Monday, August 30, 2010

That Was Then, This is Now

Back from Scrapper's Dream Vacation and it was once again FAB-U-LOUS! Had a great time with the girls. Got lots of scrapbooking done, had some great food, and tons of laughs.

We had to take our now traditional pile-on-the-bed photo. (See previous post) This current photo was taken right after a shot of vodka and I'd say we're pretty well behaved.

Why we needed a shot of vodka at 10 a.m. when all we're doing all weekend is scrapbooking is beyond me. But hey, I never turn down liquor.

I fibbed and told the girls I wouldn't post this photo, but we were not ourselves and I can't account for anything I promised. What on earth are we doing at this moment, you ask?

Let's just say,  "What happens at SDV, stays at SDV."

At one point during the weekend, we could submit a layout for a prize. The top pick won $50 credit to shop all the vendors at SDV. So I thought "what the heck" and put this two-page layout on the entry table and won!

This layout contains all kinds of NEW goodies from the Autumn/Winter Idea Book coming out in just a few days. Magnifique papers, the new Mix & Mingle Mini Album, new Blue & Green Sparkles, new Miracle Irresistibles Chipboard, and the new Unity stamp set. If you come to my Open House this Friday or Saturday, you'll see this sample board plus a ton of new stuff coming out this fall.


And just so you don't think that all we did was drink vodka all weekend, here is a photo to prove that I actually did scrapbook. I am almost up to date currently with all my family scrapbooking, so here in the photo I am working on the September Kit of the Month "Olivia." It's a beautiful new paper pack that everyone is sure to love.

Stay tuned for the upcoming Stamp of the Month Blog Hop, officially starting Sept. 1st.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Scrapper's Dream Vacation

Off we go again, our little foursome, to Disney's Contemporary Hotel and Scrapper's Dream Vacation. This was us last summer (as you can tell by my longer curly locks on the far right) In order from the left are my buddies Charmin (as in "don't squeeze the") Tiffany and Sherry and myself.

I'll be sure to get a new shot this year. It's going to be a fun-filled scrapbooking weekend for sure! And for me it's really the only time I get to truly scrapbook my own family's memories. I just save it all up and do it once a year at this event. It's perfect! We can scrap 24/7 if we want to, but don't usually make it very late. Last year we came down in our jammies and did a little late night cropping. After a few lemon drops that is...

So off to bed I go to be ready at the crack of dawn to hit the road to Orlando. Only an hour away, which is about how long I plan to nurse my Starbucks Americano. Watch for updates soon!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More Coffee at the Cafe!

I see no reason why I shouldn't just make coffee cards for the rest of my life. Why not? Coffee is delightful and making cards with a coffee theme makes me smile. Sounds pretty simple.

Did you happen to notice that I won the coveted "Cup of the Week" last week at the Play Date Cafe?! It was like someone just crowned me Miss America. I was thrilled! I won a cute birdie stamp set and a paper pack that I cannot wait to get my hands on.

I find these color challenges so very fun, I can't skip a single one now. I hope you are playing along too and trying these different color combinations each week. Even if you don't post to the PDCC, show me what you've done. I'd love to see!

Here's this week's color challenge #43 and my card...

Thanks to this great Verve stamp set called "Delightful & Delicious" plus a recent Verve sketch, my card was off to a good start. Papers and cardstock are mostly from Close To My Heart. The border punch is from Martha Stewart Crafts and oval dies are from Spellbinders. That cute corduroy big brad and the ribbon slide in Sweet Leaf are from CTMH also. You may see the Liquid Glass details best on the close-up photo at the top. Liquid Glass is so versatile! It's a glue or a glossy accent (over the coffee cup) or a natural embellishment, as shown by the bead drops strategically placed on the patterned paper. It dries super clear and stays dimensional rather than flattening out as it dries. I love that!

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy a cup of coffee with a good friend this week. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekend Play Time with Tim Holtz

Okay, the title is a bit deceiving perhaps. Tim Holtz wasn't actually HERE with me this weekend. Well, not physically, but certainly in "spirit."

Weekend Play Time is hopefully going to be a regular feature here on my blog, and the whole point of it is to showcase other products outside of my wonderful world of Close To My Heart. Let's face it, we love CTMH, but there are some other products out there that are pretty awesome too. And all things Tim Holtz fit into that category in  my opinion.

While I love the grungy, distressed goodness of Tim's projects & products, I also love to use them in different ways than what we see most commonly on his blog or by his design team. (I know I need to let loose a little more. My designs seem a bit clean and neat at times in comparison.)

Of all the papers in Tim's wonderful Lost and Found collection I chose the florals, of which there are only two in the whole pack. Otherwise, it's all these amazing vintage tickets, newsprint, collages, bottle caps, etc. (You get the idea.) The florals just pop up in the middle of the pack and they are gorgeous!

With a simple sketch in mind, I used Tim's papers, muse token, foliage, and jump rings along with some help from Spellbinders' Nestabilities die set "Blossom Two" and it's companion stamp set from Heartfelt Creations called "Innoscents Flowers 2". The Cocoa ribbons and Cranberry cardstock are from Close To My Heart including the stamp set "Fruitful Delight" for the word DELIGHT.

Now it's off for some more play time. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Play Date/Mojo Coffee Combo

Wow. That was a mouthful.

I loved the Play Date Cafe Challenge so much last week, I thought I'd try it again this week. (and I received honorable mention last week, so that's pretty cool too!)

Here's the color challenge they provided for this week (#42) . . .

I said it last week and I'll say it again, I LOVE being given three colors to work with like this. I don't think I would have normally picked up green to go with brown and beige, but of course it makes perfect sense. Very earthly and natural. Why not?

I decided to go back to the Mojo Monday sketch challenge for the design of the card. This is #152. And here is my card . . .

Another coffee card (although my daughter said it feels more like a "tea" card with these papers and trims). I see her point. But only I know that cup is filled with piping hot Caramel Macchiato.

The papers used in this card are from Close To My Heart's Veranda paper pack. The Gratitude stamp is a preview of the upcoming November stamp of the month. The ribbons are from the Cocoa and the Colonial White collections, and the big sparkly brad is something new coming out in the Fall/Winter Idea Book September 1st. They're called Shimmer Designer Brads. With the help of dies and punches from  QuicKutz (cup), Spellbinders (labels) and Martha Stewart Crafts (border), the card pulled together nicely. I added a final touch over the steam and around the stamped Gratitude with some of CTMH's Stardust Glitter Glue.

Colors used are from the Close To My Heart palette: Cocoa, Bamboo and New England Ivy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's a Triple Play!

Yesterday officially kicked off yet another fantastic Close To My Heart Constant Campaign: Triple Play in honor of National Stamping Month which runs through the end of September. This wonderful kit allows you to create three adorable mini albums that unfold and expand to show off your favorite photos and memories. And you can get this easy-to-follow kit for only $5 which I'll explain in a minute.

Aren't they super cute? I have already assembled mine and love them! I used the pink one for my Convention photos. I'll use the blue one for images of my husband and I, and I think I'll use the green one for photos of my pup Suki and my daughter Jamie.

Here's what comes in the kit...
1 - My Acrylix® "Love This" Stamp Set
4 - Exclusive Inks Mini Stamp Pads (Desert Sand, Hollyhock, Indian Corn Blue and Sunset)
9 - 4 x 12 Panels (3 each of 3 color schemes) to build the albums
3 - 6 x 12 die cut sheets (just pop 'em out and stamp them. No cutting!)
1 - 72" Length Colonial White Grosgrain Ribbon
3 - Velcro Fasteners
1 - Fully instructional, easy to follow brochure

Here's how to get it...
1. You can buy it at full retail: $29.95
2. Purchase $25 in My Acrylix® stamp sets and get the Triple Play kit for just $15
3. Spend $40 on My Acrylix® stamp sets and get Triple Play for only $5
4. Host a home gathering with me with sales of at least $300 or more and get Triple Play for FREE!
5. Join my CTMH team as a consultant and get the kit FREE with your consultant kit.

Don't forget, my Fall/Winter Idea Book Open House is Sept. 3 and 4, so you can check out the Triple Play kit in person as well as all the new products for the season! (Watch for details soon.) Meanwhile, take advantage of this great promotion before it's gone!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Coffee-Themed Double Challenge Card

I'm sure you'd agree, the more you hop around your favorite blogs, the more you learn. That is certainly the case for me! How did I never know about the Play Date Cafe before? Such a cute name and inspiring blog. (not to mention cute little coffee graphics all over the place.) They offer weekly challenges that really get you going! My friend Deb Young created a beautiful card for this challenge and inspired me to check it out and try it for myself. Thanks, Deb!

So that's the first challenge: The Play Date Cafe Challenge #41

The second one is my newest find: Heart 2 Heart Challenges

The Play Date Cafe Challenge involved color combinations this week that are a little outside of my comfort zone. (Funny how we get stuck in a rut, isn't it?) That's why this blog will be one of regular faves. It pushes me outside my zone. I love that! And once I got going, I was really enjoying the challenge.

For my card I used Tulip cardstock and papers, Colonial White and Creme Brulee with a few accents of black. This color combination has a warm feel and what better to go with that than coffee! I was recently inspired by Tim Holtz and one of his newest Alterations dies called Rosette that he demonstrated in a short video. Since I don't have the die yet, I just fudged it and made it by hand. Wow, are those rosettes easy and fun to make! (I'll be creating a video on how I made this card soon, so stay tuned.)

The Heart 2 Heart Challenge sketch is shown here. I love this challenge blog since it's ALL Close To My Heart products and inspiration. This new stamp set is coming out in the Autumn/Winter Idea Book and it's called "A Sip" and if you know me, you know that I collect all things coffee: paper, stamps, whatever! This cute little set has a cup, a spoon, steam and a few little words and phrases.

For my card, I stamped the cup and spoon image onto Tulip cardstock with Versamark and embossed with Black then cut each out closely. The center of the Colonial White rosette has a Filigree Charm inked with Black Staz-on inserted in it. The border of the card has been stamped with regular black ink using the steam image from the same stamp set. The ribbon is from our Creme Brulee collection and because it's a little lighter in color than our Creme Brulee cardstock, I simply inked it with a sponge dauber and more Creme Brulee ink to darken it up.

Hope you enjoyed your cup o' joe this morning as much as I did. Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 9, 2010

First Day of Middle School

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not this softy Mom who worries about her kid all the time. I don't call her all the time; I don't cling. But I'll be the first to admit it: I'm sentimental. I guess I'm just wired that way.

Today I sent my pre-teen off to the bus-stop for middle school. First time riding a bus, first time having to switch to seven different classes, first time to have the freedom to sit where she pleases at lunch.

Even though I had little butterflies in my tummy this morning, SHE was as cool as a cucumber. She got up early, got ready, checked her e-mail, showed me a few funny YouTube videos, then casually said, "I guess I better head out now."

I told her that I was just going to walk out with Suki (our dog) and make sure she got on the bus okay. She told me THAT wasn't necessary. Cool. But I had to make sure anyway, so I agreed not to walk with her to the bus-stop, not to take any pictures in front of the other kids, and to most certainly NOT wave good-bye when she was on the bus.

Suki and I headed down the street in the other direction, cutting through the bushes at the end of the street so we could get a good view of the bus-stop from about a quarter mile away. I strolled up and down with my coffee and my pup, waiting for the bus to come past. (It has to pass by first, then come back for the kids) When the bus came roaring by, my heart leaped in my chest a little bit.

"This is it," I thought, "My baby is gettin' on that bus."

I thought I was doing okay until I saw the bus coming back around for the kids. Then I got a little choked up. With happy tears in my eyes, I watched as she got in line and filed into the bus with the others. The bus driver shut the doors and started pulling toward us.

Remembering the rule I agreed to, I quickly crouched down and started petting Suki as the bus rolled by. I snuck a peak as it passed, but I certainly did NOT wave.

Off we went in our separate directions.

I can't wait to hear about her first day when she comes home this afternoon. But I'll have to remember to keep my cool and not get too excited.

Well, that's not too sentimental after all, right? Never mind the part where I went on my early morning run this morning and jogged through her elementary school parking lot to say good-bye to that phase in her life...


Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Heart 2 Heart Challenge Card

This is my first entry in the Heart 2 Heart Challenge. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's a fantastic blog (with a very talented design team) which hosts a design challenge each week. This is for everyone to join in and enjoy. The key to this particular challenge is the use of mostly Close To My Heart products, which is great for those of you, like me, who are huge fans of the CTMH product line! Imagine the inspiration you'll get from this great blog. I'm so glad I found it and can share it with you. Be sure to check it out!

The theme of this week's challenge is TAGS. Fortunately for me, I was asked by my friend Christine if I could design a Thank You card for her company (Harris Corp. in Melbourne) to use for their HERO program, to be given to those who contributed an extraordinary amount of their time to make their annual drive so successful. Every year, members of the staff contribute and collect school supplies and backpacks for local needy children. Christine says this year they collected enough to provide "very well-stocked" backpacks to over 800 local kids in need. FANTASTIC!

I was honored to be asked by Christine, and happy to help! Although my design of the backpack is not entirely original (I was inspired by designs I saw on SplitCoastStampers), I did put my own spin on it by adding an insert pocket with a pull-out tag.

You'll have to excuse my pictures a bit since my family is in Orlando with the camera therefore forcing me to do scans instead. The pull-out tag is more of a creamy color and has light blue rules like notebook paper that just wouldn't show up on the scan no matter what I did. (and I'm usually pretty savvy with the scanner and PhotoShop. Oh well.)

The backpack card itself would make a very cute tag all on its own, I think.

Products used for this project:
• Sarsaparilla paper
• Chocolate textured cardstock
• Chocolate grosgrain ribbon
• Barn Red cardstock
• "Simple Stitches" stamp set (C1234)
• "Say It In Style" stamp set (D1283)
• "Star Power" stamp set (D1403) for the stars
• "Comments" stamp set (D1359)
• "In the Month of August" stamp set (C1418)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Who Do We Appreciate? Y-O-U !

How much fun is this?
An eight-day promotion just for you!
It's so easy too.

From August 4 - 11 (while supplies last) you can get select items
at a fantastic discount on my website.

"What items at how much of a discount," you ask?

How about...

My Stickease for only $2

Level 1 Kits for only $4

Level 2 Paper Packets for just $6

The key is: you must use my CTMH website for your orders.
That's all there is to it.
Look for the special promotion tab when ordering to view all the
select My Stickease, Level 1 kits and Level 2 paper packets.
And have fun saving tons on your old favorites!
I know I'll be stocking up on some of mine like Silhouette, Abundance,
Simple Pleasures and Vintage Travel, to name a few.