Monday, January 31, 2011

Feb. Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

"Friendship" is what it's all about this month with this beautiful February stamp of the month set. Check out the image in the right hand column of my blog to see all the beautiful images and phrases in this versatile set aptly named "Friendship." So many possibilities!

Which brings us to the Stamp of the Month Blog Hop. Either you are already hopping and came here from Susan Brooks' blog or maybe you've just started here. Either way, have fun! There are over 60 consultants participating in this blog hop, so there's sure to be a wide variety of ideas and inspiration for you! Keep scrolling through my post to see my designs, then I'll show you where to hop next.

My first design is a 5 x 7 card. This has an elegant neutral tone with black accents. This photo doesn't do the ribbon justice. I hope you can see it better when clicking on it. It's Close To My Heart's newest ribbon addition. While I think it should be called "pleated ribbon" they have decided to call it "Wings Level 2 Assortment." It's a great twill ribbon that's box-pleated, then stitched down the center. It comes in a pack of three colors: Black, Juniper and Vineyard Berry making it a perfect match with the new "Wings" paper pack.

The top of the card is stamped onto Vanilla Cream cardstock. First the sentiment is stamped in black ink, then the large flourish emblem with Versamark and clear embossing powder. After heating this to set the embossing, I softly swirled black with a sponge dauber over the surface. I went back over that with Parchment ink and a sponge dauber, the wiped the excess off the embossed area. This served as a nice resist technique.

The bottom portion of the card utilizes two of the smaller flourish emblems to make a repeating background pattern. I stamped in black onto one of CTMH's new papers from the Bliss paper pack. I added some adhesive pearls from the Mocha Opaques collection. A few black pearls were also added to the top of the card. Those come from the Licorice Opaques.

A creamy button and some Bamboo and Black waxy flax embellish the ribbon. I had to use some E6000 glue to ensure that button never falls off.

My second design is so completely different from the first, but I wanted to show the versatility of this set. My inspiration came from my Vera Bradley backpack. This is an older pattern from VB, but still one of my favorites for Spring which is already making an appearance here in Florida. As a Close To My Heart consultant, I am constantly seeing the world in the CTMH color palette. So while sitting in my kitchen one morning, I saw my bag sitting there and thought...

"Interesting...Sunny Yellow, Honey, Cotton Candy, Vineyard Berry and Pansy Purple with a little Smoothie too..." 

Now that's quite a combination. Something I would never think to put together. Here is what I came up with...

This simple box came together in a snap, and was perfect for the background stamping that's ideal for this stamp set.

I started with Sunny Yellow cardstock cut to 8 1/2 x 11 inches, scoring as shown all the way across the paper.

I background stamped with Honey, then cut the two middle portions as shown to the score lines. These flaps will tuck inside the box when it folds up.

This is how it looks assembled. See the flaps in there? Really simple!

I punched this fun border out of Cotton Candy cardstock and adhered it around the box so the ends meet in the back.

The big flourish emblem on the front is paper pieced. I first stamped the main base image onto Colonial White with Pansy Purple. Then stamped three more of the same image using Cotton Candy, Smoothie, and Vineyard Berry, cutting pieces and parts from each as desired.

This certainly took some time, but I was happy with the results. I used my markers here and there to add some whimsy to the design, then finished off the top of the box with my favorite new ribbon from CTMH's new Pink Collection Designer Ribbon. This pom-pom fringe is Cotton Candy colored and easy to adhere with the same E6000 glue. Throw in some sweets and it's a perfect little gift bag for the perfect friend!

Thank you for stopping by. Now continue on the hop for more great ideas and inspiration. Visit Mary Eisen's blog next and see what she's come up with.

And don't forget, all the new products are now available (Feb. 1st) so ask your CTMH consultant or order online with me anytime.

Here's everyone in the hop this round for a quick look...

Cupcake Toppers - Valentine's Day

Quick post today just to share my simple cupcake toppers I made for my Cherish Club scrapbooking girls last Friday night. A bit early for Valentines, I know, but we don't meet again until late February so I didn't want to miss giving them something sweet.

I was inspired by fellow CTMH Consultant Deb Young who posted some beautiful cupcake toppers on her blog last week using new Spellbinders dies. Here are hers below. They are SO pretty! She spent a lot of time with hers, as you can see.

I tried a little simpler version with the materials I had on hand...

I used my Spellbinders lacy circles die plus the Cricut for the scalloped circle (Mother's Day Bouquet), and for the stamping I used "In the Month of February" and "Tag the Occasion" stamp sets from Close To My Heart. The red ribbon is from my ribbon stash, probably from the craft store.

I love how they look all in a group like this. The girls seemed to like them and certainly enjoyed eating them. I used a red velvet cake mix and two different frostings swirled together in a piping bag. (Strawberry and Cream Cheese)

At my Spring/Summer Idea Book Open House this Friday I'll be selling these cupcake toppers in sets of twelve, along with some other items I've pulled together.

Enjoy your Monday and thanks for stopping by. Tomorrow is the February Stamp of the Month Blog Hop, so be sure to come back and check it out!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Frugal Friday - Gift Frame

I can't promise you that EVERY Friday will be frugal, but I will certainly try. My goal for 2011 is to use up stuff instead of spending a ton buying new all the time.

Of course, this doesn't mean I'm not going to buy new stuff.

How can I promise that? 

It just means that in the event that it doesn't HAVE to be new stuff, then it won't be.

Make sense?

So here we go! I like to give out a small gift item of some kind to my club members. I have a scrapbooking club and a card club with a cumulative total of 18, so you can see that gift-giving could get rather expensive every month. Therefore, instead of buying gifts to give out, I like to create things myself. Or at least find something inexpensive and doll it up a little more so it becomes a nice gift.

In this case, it was these cute little black frames from Michael's that were $2 each...

These went to the six girls in my Cards & More Club. That's only $12 and they loved them! Each one was personalized with a monogram stamp.

Here's how the frame comes. I added some paper, pink ribbon, a pink flower and big black brad, all from my stash. The clear sheet of plastic is from a Sizzix package. (I always save those because there's so much you can do with them). In this case, I popped out the thin cheapie plastic in the frame and replaced it with a piece of this plastic which was much thicker, more clear, and more durable.

I used my Baroque Alphabet stamps to create the monograms, stamping with black ink onto Blush cardstock. Then with my Spellbinders lacy square die, I made a nice frame from black cardstock to go behind the monogram.

Super easy, inexpensive, and lovely!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fourth Sneak Peek for Fundraiser

The fourth and final class, Class D, for the AORN Fundraiser will be four clear cards. These clear cards are from Close To My Heart and come in packs of eight (four each of two styles) plus eight clear adhesive-strip envelopes. And yes, they can go in the mail no problem. Just add a mailing label and you're good to go.

This is a "Birthday Blitz" class. All the cards are for Birthday, intended for all different types of people. You can probably see that there is one for woman, man, boy and girl.

Let's take a closer look at each individual card, and what products were used for each...

Each card measures 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches. Standard invitation size. One of the clear card styles has four rounded corners like this one shown above. I used the new Sweetheart papers for this one with a little help from Spellbinders for that pretty lacy square. The stamp set is called "Happy Moments" which includes pretty flowers, paisleys, a border and this sweet little sentiment. Look for these products starting February 1st from your CTMH Consultant. Need a consultant to shop with? Click here.

I love clear cards! Look how pretty they look when standing up. So unique and special. Like nothing you'll find in a Hallmark store. Am I right?

I love how you can hide stuff behind other stuff. You really have to think differently when designing with clear cards. You have to think in layers. Although my cards are fairly simple, you can just imagine the possibilities for detail and more layering!

The second style of the clear card has this bracket edge on the front flap. Love that! For this "boy" card I used the new Wings paper (black with tiny dots) which is available now (X7135B), plus a strip of paper from the good old Animal Crackers paper pack. (green with numbers) The new product used here is the stamp set "Card Chatter - Birthday" (hip-hip hooray) available Feb. 1st. The pennants and bracket around the text are from "Party Pennant" (C1429) which is available now. I added a balloon to the inside of the card which is from "Good Times" (B1332).

There's that balloon I was talking about. And you can really see the layering on the front panel here.

The best part about clear cards is opening them. Where to sign your name, you ask? I would use a white pen and sign under the balloon so that it's hidden when the card is closed.

This "manly" one goes back to the rounded corner style card, this time opening at the right in a more horizontal position. Since I already used the new Lucky papers in Class B (Dad layout posted last week) I wanted to use something different for this card. The Passages paper pack is one of my favorites for masculine cards with all its warm colors of Cocoa, Barn Red and Brown Bag. The stamp set is a new one (available Feb. 1st with the Lucky Workshop on the Go) appropriately named "Lucky."

It includes this fleur-de-lis, a large bracket, these flourishy corners, and more. The word Celebrate also comes from "Card Chatter - Birthday" which is a set I know I will be using alot!

This view helps to show the layering.

I love that pattern paper for the background. See how it looks like crumpled old paper? It's nice and smooth but has the feel of aged, crumpled paper. The inside sentiment is again from "Card Chatter - Birthday".

Finally, this fourth card is for the younger girls and utilizes the bracket edge style. It's bright and colorful and sweet. The paper pack is called Sophia (available Feb. 1st) and the stamps used are "Party Pennants" (Make a Wish) and "Good Times" (cupcakes). With the help of some little QuicKutz dies and a Fiskars border punch, this card came together in a snap. The colors used for stamping are Pear and Hollyhock.

I love how those flowers look like they're floating on that top layer.

Happy Birthday comes from "Party Pennants" and those little stars are from "Good Times."

I hope you've enjoyed looking at the class projects for the AORN Fundraiser. I have enjoyed designing them! Here's a recap again of the event...

Saturday, Feb. 26th
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Cocoa Village Baptist Church
Cocoa, FL

Cost for all four classes is $60, or pick and choose a pay $20 for each individual class. Lunch is an additional $5 and will be served at 12:00. Each class takes approximately one hour.

A portion of all proceeds will go toward providing educational scholarships for registered nurses through AORN. You can read more about them here.

If you are interested in attending, e-mail me for a registration form at

If you are interested, but cannot attend, contact me for kits by e-mail:

Your payment for kits will be the same (plus shipping costs) and YES, a portion of your payment will also go toward this wonderful fundraiser.

Thanks for stopping by today. Enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Third Sneak Peek for Fundraiser

Class C at the AORN Fundraiser will be four large and lovely tags. Great for attaching to packages, gift bags, wine bottles or even to add a pocket to the back in which to slide a gift card.

I used the new stamp set "Salutation Seals" which will be released February 1st from Close To My Heart. This is quickly becoming one of my go-to favorites already! (See yesterday's post). The beautiful paper comes from the upcoming "Wings" Creative Basics Collection. This pack includes twelve 12 x 12 pattern papers (6 each of 2 different designs), plus four yards of this pretty Juniper satin loop ribbon. Be sure to click on the photo to see that up close. The ribbon on the tops of the tags is satin brown, green and cream that I got from the local craft store. With the help of some punches and dies, they all came together quite nicely.

You could used these tags yourself, or think what a great gift set this would make! Each tag measures a little over 3 inches by about 6 1/4 inches. A good, large size.

The AORN Fundraiser is a creative day of paper crafting where a portion of the class fees will go toward educational scholarships for registered nurses. To read more about AORN, go here.

The fundraising event will be held Saturday, February 26th from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Cocoa Village First Baptist Church. For details on cost and for a registration form, e-mail me at

As I've mentioned before, if you can't attend the fundraiser, but would like to select a class kit, just let me know. Additional shipping charges will apply. And yes, a portion of your class fees will go toward the fundraising efforts.

Thanks, and have a great Tuesday!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Circle Pop-up Card

Not long ago I went on a road trip to Violette's Scrapbook Store in Lakeland, FL with a car load of my gal pals. This place is not only beautiful and quaint, but jam-packed with room after room of scrapbooking and stamping goodies. All around the place were gorgeous samples of artwork.

What caught my eye in particular was a card that seemed like an ordinary one,  but had this circle popping up at the fold line. Being a consultant, I am always on the look-out for unique cardmaking techniques and ideas and this seemed easy and fun.

Although they sell a package of these pre-cut and scored card bases, I studied the sample and decided I would try one at home. And here's what I came up with...

I just love how it turned out and how it adds a little something special and different to an ordinary card. This would be a good one to show how to make on video, so that is my plan in the next week or so. Stayed tuned for that.

Meanwhile, I'll share a few still shots in case you just can't wait to try one of these yourself.

I started with a piece of cardstock cut at 4 1/4 x 9 3/8 inches. I found the center line (of the 9 3/8 inches) at 4 11/16" and drew a light pencil line. You don't want to score yet because you don't want a score line going through your circle.

Then I used my Coluzzle (boo-hoo that it's not produced anymore) and cut a half circle in the center of the line. You could also use something round and trace it, but you CAN'T use a circle punch. It just won't work in this situation. I put the card into my trimmer and scored along the pencil line on each side of the circle.

I created a template of a circle a little larger than the one I cut the card base from. This serves as a template to cut the patterned paper for the inside and the front of the card.

I stamped the Thank You circle and cut a circle mat behind it, making sure the circle size was smaller than the pop-up circle that I cut from the card base.

Here's a little closer look how it turned out. I popped up the circle with some foam squares.

Here's another look at the card. I hope you try one of your own. If you still didn't get it, just watch for my video soon.

Products used: (all Close To My Heart)
• Magnifique papers (X7127B)
• Chocolate grosgrain ribbon and brads
• Unity stamp set (C1422)
• Salutation Seals (C1461 available Feb. 1st from your CTMH consultant)
• Inks: Pacifica, Lagoon and Chocolate

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Second Sneak Peek for Fundraiser

In my previous post I went into all the details of my upcoming fundraiser for AORN. Be sure to peruse that info when you get a chance. The workshop includes four classes. Today I'm showcasing the two options that guests will choose from for Class B. (Remember to click on each photo to get a nice, close-up look.)

Class B will be a two-page 12 x 12 scrapbook layout. Guests can choose between a masculine theme as shown here. (They can stamp DAD if they wish or choose another title to stamp themselves.)

Or they can choose a more feminine theme like this one. (Again, the MOM title is optional or guests can stamp what they wish.)

You'll notice that both layouts are exactly the same. Or did you even notice? The layout comes from Close To My Heart's newest how-to scrapbooking book called Magic and this particular layout is called "Lovely Assistant."

Don't recognize those papers and embellishments? That's because they are brand new and will be featured in the upcoming Spring/Summer Idea Book which goes live Feb. 1st.

For the Dad layout, I used the new Lucky papers, new wooden buttons, and for the Mom layout I used the new Bliss papers and the coordinating Bliss Level 2 Assortment (that pretty gray organdy flower on the right hand page.)

Stay tuned in the days ahead for the final two classes for this fundraiser. Kits will be made available for those wishing to help raise funds who cannot actually attend the workshop. Start a list of the kits you'd like and watch for the sign-up date coming soon.

Again, the date of the workshop is Saturday, Feb. 26th from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. here in Cocoa, Florida and a portion of the workshop fees will go toward educational scholarships for registered nurses. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Product Preview for Fundraiser

I'm usually not into showing off new Close To My Heart products too early. Much of what you'll see here cannot be purchased until Feb. 1 when the new Spring/Summer Idea Book goes live to customers. BUT, I have a very important fundraising event coming up in February and need to start showing the projects now!

First, let me talk about this fundraiser. I'm helping raise funds to provide educational scholarships to registered nurses. The not-for-profit association I'm doing this for is AORN. The acronym is a bit deceiving because it stands for Association of Peri-Operative Registered Nurses. The group encompasses Pre, Intra, and Peri-Operative nurses. You can read more about AORN here.

The event will be:
Saturday, February 26th
10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. 
First Baptist Church (Cocoa Village)
Cocoa, Florida

There will be four rotating one-hour creative classes for the cost of $60 for the day OR
$20 per class if you prefer to pick and choose the classes rather than take them all.

An optional $5 lunch is offered or you can bring a sack lunch.

As I complete the projects, I will display them here and at my Feb. 4th Open House, so stay tuned for more!

Class A is a 6 x 6 accordion album with a family theme, which can easily be altered for ANY purpose by changing the lettering on the cover.

Each project will be fun and easy to complete in one hour. All supplies will be pre-cut. Guests will get to enjoy stamping, distressing and assembling the project.

This accordion album features the new Mayberry papers that will be coming out soon. Stamp sets used are Picture Perfect (D1363) and Treetops (C1368). The only ink used here is Cocoa for all the stamping and ink-distressing.

I will also be selling kits to anyone interested in any of the workshop projects I'm showcasing this week. Each kit will cost $20 unless you order all four kits for $60. (plus shipping) You can start reserving your kits as you see them posted if you are unable to attend the workshop. The beauty of it is that even those of you who order kits will also be helping AORN raise scholarship money since a portion of each kit's proceeds will go to them!

Make sure to keep checking back this week for more projects. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Useful Art

Since I'm on this kick of being frugal this week, I thought I would share what I like to do with my pretty paper leftovers, not to mention stickers and ribbon.

Over the years as a Close To My Heart consultant, I like to keep a well-organized notebook. (If you are also a CTMH consultant, you'll recognize how long I've been in the biz just by looking at these papers.) 

Here's a couple of years worth of notebooks...

I also like to keep a notebook on my daughter's current school year to keep school newsletters, forms, info and such at hand...

As you can see, they're not fancy. An inexpensive binder, a few quick cuts of paper, add a sticker or die cut and maybe some ribbon and done! It's a fun way to keep organized and to use up those scraps.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Love is in the air

I have been itching to create Valentine's cards and just couldn't wait for the new stamps and paper to come, so I pulled out all the 2010 stuff I had and got busy. This was an exercise of frugality for me, since I would not allow myself to purchase anything new and to only use what I had in stock.

Check 'em out and let me know what you think.

I've got more in the works coming soon, including KITS that will be pre-stamped, pre-cut and complete with photos and tips for assembly. (just gotta figure out why that PayPay button isn't working for me...)

Here's a list of items I used on the cards above.

(all products are from Close To My Heart unless otherwise mentioned)

• Blush, Tulip, Colonial White, Baby Pink and Black cardstock
• Pattern Papers from: Silhouette, Perfect Day, That's Amore
• Stamps: Vintage Valentine, Struck by Love, You're Adored
• Embellishments: Holiday buttons, black button brads, chipboard heart, Cranberry ribbon, Pretty Pins,  Crocheted Flowers, journaling ticket
• Other: border punch by Fiskars, butterfly punch by Martha Stewart Crafts, and key die & large heart die by QuicKutz, black lace ribbon from craft store, sparkle spritz by Tsukineko.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tim Holtz-inspired Valentine Tag (& a winner!)

Since I got my Vagabond machine, I have been burning that baby up! This tag is a good example. This is my design for my Cards@9 group this Friday. (A handful of us girls get together and make each other's cards, then we have lunch together.) I look forward to this group every month not only for the fun and friendship, but because it's my time to stretch my legs outside the Close To My Heart box and design something from other great products I enjoy. In this case, it's all about Tim Holtz.

After creating my 12 Tags of Christmas, I found that I really enjoyed tags because they are quick and different than the average handmade card. What person wouldn't love to have this pretty tag attached to a box of chocolates or a Valentine gift?

I used Tim's Seasonal Paper Stash for the background tag and the background pattern paper. I just love the vintage images in this paper pack! (I want to hoard it, but I will not.) I promised myself in 2011 that I would use the things I buy, and try hard to use the stuff I already have. A couple of times while making this tag, I wanted to run out to buy something to add to it, but I forced myself to look through my stash and, what do you know, I had plenty of cool stuff.

The Vagabond came in handy because I have to cut five of each of the supplies for our group. I used the following dies...

• Tag & Bookplates
• Paper Rosette
• Ticket Strip
• Brackets On The Edge

Stamps used...

• Odds & Ends
• Urban Grunge (Visual Artistry clear stamps)

Other items...

• Buttons  (Close To My Heart)
• Chipboard Heart (also CTMH)
• Journaling Spot (CTMH)
• Ribbons and metal charm  (craft store)

NOW, let's get to that winner from yesterday's drawing!

First, I have to let you in on my high-tech, super secretive method of random selection I use....


Congrats Jean! Please send me your mailing address to and I will send you this stamp set plus some other fun goodies as a bonus!

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great day!