Saturday, July 31, 2010

All-Day Crop in Fresno

Just want to let you all know that I'm planning an AWESOME all-day scrapbook & cardmaking crop & open house w/ Jen Patrick. If you are in or near Fresno, mark Aug 28 on your won't wanna miss out!

2 make-n-takes + 2 technique demos + tons of raffle prizes + lots of artwork using NEW Close to my Heart products on display = 12 hrs of crafty goodness! We will video for our crafty out-of-town friends to watch!

Location & more deets TBA!

Friday, July 30, 2010

CTMH Product Highlight: Clear Acrylic Stamps

Close to my Heart's MyAcrylix stamp sets are one of many reasons I LOVE this company. The best part is that they're clear, so you can see exactly where you're stamping and never have to guess your placement. The acrylic stamps come on a clear acetate sheet, and when peeled off, stick right onto the clear acrylic block without any adhesive. Plus they fit neatly in their plastic envelope, taking up very little space and making storing your stamps a cinch.

The stamps are made of very high-quality polymer that will last and last, and hold even the finest details, which the cheaper stamps I've tried definitely do NOT. I love the freedom that stamps give you—you can get so many different looks, plus you can use them time and time again—they're the supply that keeps on giving! No more need to buy pricey stickers or 3D embellishments—simply make your own!

Here are some projects I've made featuring the stamp sets that I consider to be must-haves. (Click any picture to see it larger.)

Happy Birthday Stamp Set

Dainty Thoughts Stamp Set

Posterboard or Rustic Alphabet Stamp Sets
Both of these stamp sets are great for scrapbook titles because they're big, but these are especially my favorites because they are easy to cut out. Especially the Posterboard's all straight lines!

Rustic Alphabet:

Posterboard Alphabet:
This stamp set is so much fun to play with since it's an outline. Try stamping it on patterned paper, or stamp a background stamp onto cardstock, then the posterboard stamp on top of it, like I did in the "Such a Ham" layout below. Have fun!

If you'd like to purchase anything you've seen on my blog, you may do so on my CTMH website.

Have fun, and happy creating! Let me know if you have any questions!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why Scrapbook?

My mom led such an interesting life before having kids. She was the drummer in a rock band in college and traveled around the country; she was a magician's assistant for many years and had a regular show at Knott's Berry Farm; plus she had an interesting upbringing: she wasn't told until age 18, when her parents divorced, that she was actually adopted, and she had constant drama once her parents were divorced, so much so that her mom refused to attend her and my dad's wedding! She doesn't have a lot of pictures from these experiences, but she can still tell the story. One picture or one piece of memorabilia with some journaling is all it takes to create a lasting legacy for your kids, grandkids, and future generations!

I don't remember how old I was when I started asking my mom about her wedding, and when she and dad were first married, but I remember I did. She told me it was a small wedding and the pictures were put away. She got out a couple at one point, but I still would LOVE to see all of her wedding matter how small. I suppose it was a sad time as well as a happy time, and she may not want to dwell on that, but it would probably be good for her, and I'd love to know the whole story. And I'd love to see pictures of her and my dad before kids.

I think it would be so cool to see what your mom and dad's lives were like before you came see that they weren't always just your MOM and DAD. I would have loved to see a scrapbook of my grandparents' lives...and their parents' lives. My grandma (my mom's mom) started a scrapbook before she passed away, but it never got finished. I started to work on it, but I had to keep asking my mom who people were and what some pictures were from. I still have it sitting in a box, unfinished, hoping my mom can help me with it someday.

Journaling in your Scrapbook

I love that scrapbooking tells a story...that's why journaling is so important! I want to see my mom's whole story...I wanna see the pictures to go along with the stories I've heard over the years...and I want the stories to be retold so I never forget them!!! Oh wow, I'm starting to get emotional :)

I didn't always journal. I thought it ruined my page to have something handwritten on it. But when I started forgetting the story behind some of my older scrapbook pages, I realized how important it is. Plus, with computers so readily available nowadays, you can type your journal spots. (I've since gotten over the fact that my handwriting ruins a I design my journal spot into the layout, and I can hide it if I want to!) But not only is journaling important for YOU, but someday you will not be around and your kids will know the stories behind their baby pictures, and your grandkids and great-grandkids will know what happened in all of your pictures! And they will be able to read funny little stories to go along with them. Regular photo albums are just pictures, but scrapbooking adds your personality into it.

Put YOU Into Your Artwork

Don't forget to take pictures of yourself

I don't have kids yet, but when I do, I want them to see that I'm not just their MOM, I was once just like them! As a scrapbooker, it's easy for me to make sure I take plenty of pictures to document a vacation or event, but it's also easy for me to forget to make sure I'm IN some pictures! You want to be sure you are telling YOUR story as well as your family's story.

Scrapbooking subjects

Scrapbooking your family vacation to Hawaii or your son's first steps will never go out of style. But you can also tell a lot about yourself in unconventional ways. Mix some layouts in your scrapbook that focus on one subject. Maybe you have a thing for purses or, like me, SHOES. Take pictures of your favorite purses and shoes and turn them into a scrapbook layout. Explain how each represents you or how you wore them to death. Or take a picture of each room in your house. Explain what each room's purpose is, which you spend the most time in, and why you decorated it the way you did. I wish I had done that just in the few places I've lived in over the years. I'm sentimental :)

I PROMISE if your kids (well, daughters) are anything like I was growing up (and still am), they will eat this stuff up. Especially if you begin scrapbooking before you have day they will see that you were just like them.

Purposeful scrapbooking

Another way to make sure YOU are in your artwork is purposeful scrapbooking. Make a layout of something difficult you went through, maybe a loss, or struggling with an illness. Or make a layout of something very the adoption of a child. Focus on one single experience rather than trying to tackle your whole life. Purposeful scrapbooking isn't necessarily just pictures. Add a picture or two, but add lots of journaling. What were you thinking, feeling, experiencing? How did this experience make you grow, how did it make those around you feel, what was your weakest or highest point? It's all about honesty. Think reality TV—wonder why it's so popular? It's behind-the-scenes of real life. Put that into your scrapbook.

Become a part of the layout so your voice is heard. It doesn't have to be about sad things that can be about happy things...but our lives are not always honky-dorey. We all go through rough patches...let's document those as well. It will help your kids and grandkids to understand the circumstances that shaped who you are today.

Here's to YOUR scrapbook!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CTMH Highlight: Discounted Products

Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to highlight some of my favorite products, and today I want to begin by highlighting some of my favorite products from the SALE items! If you're looking for a bargain (and everyone is these days), Close to my Heart has some recently discounted items. Here are some of the great deals that have stood out to me...

Mini Medley Accents Collections
These collections are some of my favorites...there is a nice mix of fun accents. You'll always have matching embellishments to make your projects unique!

Autumn Garden
Autumn Garden Collection Contents:
30 - Brads (10 per color)
6 - Corduroy Brads (2 per color)
15 - Safety Pins (5 per color)
9 - Arrow Photo Clips (3 per color)

Now just
$5.95 (was $7.95) That's 25 % off! Buy now >>

Winter Cozy Collection Contents
12 - Spiral Clips (6 lg, 6 small, 2 ea. per color)
9 - Oval Ribbon Slides (3 per color)
30 - Square Brads (10 per color)
6 - Corduroy Brads (2 per color)
Now just $5.95 (was $7.95) That's 25 % off! Buy now >>

Spring Blossom

Spring Blossom Collection Contents:
6 - Photo Corners (1 ea. of 2 designs per color)
15 - Bigger Brads (5 per color)
6 - Looped Photo Hangers w/Brad (2 per color)
15 - Pearl Paper Clips (5 per color)
Now just
$5.95 (was $7.95) That's 25 % off! Buy now >>

Holiday Collection Contents
45 - Bitty Brads (15 per color)
3 - Square Bookplates w/Brads (1 per color)
12 - Oval Spiral Clips (4 per color)
6 - Patterned Photo Clips w/Colonial White Brads (3 New England Ivy, 3 Cranberry)

Now just $5.95 (was $7.95) That's 25 % off! Buy now >>

Ricrac Designer Ribbon Rounds
Add texture to your scrapbook layouts, cards, 3-D items, and more! (4 feet of each ribbon in White Daisy, Chocolate, Sweet Leaf, Buttercup, Hollyhock, and Indian Corn Blue)
Now just $7.95 (was $9.95) That's 20 % off! Buy now >>

Heavenly Blue Ribbon Rounds
Perfect for all of your scrapbooking and card-making projects. Matches the new Splendor favorite and the oh-so-popular Topstitch! (4 spools, 6 feet of each ribbon; coordinating colors: Heavenly Blue, White Daisy)
Now just $5.95 (was $7.95) That's 25 % off! Buy now >>

One of my favorite colors! Matches the Twitterpated (another of my favorites), Caboodle, and Unforgettable paper kits.
Now just $5.95 (was $7.95) That's 25 % off! Buy now >>

Cranberry Grosgrain Ribbon
Ribbon is the perfect accent for all your paper projects, from gift wrapping to handmade cards. With this bulk spool, you’re sure to always have ribbon on hand! (20 yards)
Now just $4.95 (was $6.95) That's 29 % off! Buy now >>

Add bloomin’ fun to your projects with these adorable paper blossoms. Since they're white, you can stamp on them, sponge them, or use re-inker on them to create your own flower to match your scrapbook layout or card! Contains 75 flowers in 3 styles, approximately 1" to 1 1/2" in diameter.
Now just $4.95 (was $6.95) That's 29 % off! Buy now >>

All-Out Adventure
Nature's Ambience
A quick and versatile embellishment for all your scrapbook layouts and cards, but especially useful where ink may rub off: buttons, metal accents, and clear plastic. Three neutral colors give you maximum creativity! (3 - 6" × 12" sheets, 1 each of White Daisy, Chocolate, Black)
Now just $6.95 each (was $9.95) That's 30 % off! Buy Now >>

I use this clipboard to display the calendar pages I make on 12" x 12" pages. Stamp, paint, or paper this sturdy white MDF clipboard and use it to cleverly display your latest 12" × 12" scrapbook page. The clip is removable with a screwdriver for easy board embellishment to match your decor. (14 1/2" × 12 1/2" × 1/4" with silvertone clip.)
Now just $5.95 (was $10.95) That's 46 % off! Buy now >>

Hello Birdie Card Kit
12 – 3" × 4 3/4" Preprinted Card (3 each of 4 designs)
3 – 6" × 12" My Stickease® Adhesive Sheets
12 – 3" × 4 3/4" Envelope Flats (not shown)
Colors: Bubblegum, Citrus Leaf, Ocean, Cocoa
Now just $8.95 (was $12.95) That's 31 % off! Buy now >>

It's Your Day Card Kit
12 – 4 1/4" × 5 1/2" Preprinted Card Bases (3 each of 4 designs)
3 – 6" × 12" My Stickease® Adhesive Sheets
12 – 4 3/8" × 5 3/4" Envelope Flats (not shown)
Colors: Crystal Blue, Hollyhock, Sweet Leaf, White Daisy
Now just $8.95 (was $12.95) That's 31 % off! Buy now >>

Bits & Pieces Card Kit
12 – 4 1/4" × 5 1/2" Preprinted Card Bases (3 each of 4 designs)
3 – 6" × 12" My Stickease® Adhesive Sheets
50 – 1/4" 3-D Foam Squares (not shown)
12 – Colonial White Envelopes (not shown)
Featured Colors: Bamboo, Brown Bag, Cocoa, Outdoor Denim
Now just $8.95 (was $12.95) That's 31 % off! Buy now >>

View All Card Kits >>

There are 15 fonts on our Expressives™ Font CD Volume II, perfect for your scrapbook headlines or journaling. Includes jewel case for storage; insert shows all 15 fonts for easy reference.
Now just $9.95 (was $15.95) That's 38 % off! Buy now >>

Store your scrapbook and card-making papers securely in sturdy, see-through envelopes that protect them from rips, wrinkles, and tears. 3 per package. (12" x 12")
Now just $7.95 (was $10.95) That's 27 % off! Buy now >>

Voice Recorder

Preserve not only memories, but your voice as well! I used this voice recorder in a scrapbook I made for my aunt of her wedding. I covered the recorder with paper and poked holes where the speaker is, then decorated to match the page...she cried when she heard my message! Slim, lightweight, and records up to 30 seconds, over and over, with high-quality sound. No need to remove the recorder from your layout to replace the battery—it slides in on the side with your voice preserved on an internal drive. (3 3/8" × 2 3/4" × 1/4")
Now just $11.95 (was $14.95) That's 20 % off! Buy now >>

Ok, that's all the enabling I have for you today. If you want to view ALL Close to my Heart products, visit my website. Stay tuned for more product highlights in the coming days, including artwork examples and techniques!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teaching my 2-Year-Old Niece How to Stamp

A couple of weeks ago I visited my family in San Diego. I'm itching to be able to craft with my niece, Madison, but she's still just a little too young. But she always shows an interest in my crafting supplies, so I thought she would have fun learning how to stamp. She loves animals, so I got out the Life's a Jungle stamp set, a few colors of ink, and a plain white sheet of cardstock. I demonstrated for her a couple of times, then she went to town! She totally got the concept of tapping the stamp onto the ink a few times, but then every time she stamped the image onto the paper she did the same thing--tapped it a few times. So she always had at least 3 (usually partial) images on the paper. It was adorable!

She loved picking out the animals from clear sheet of acetate that the stamps come on. Then I'd put the clear stamp on the block, and she'd have at it. Once I cleaned a stamp to use a new one, I let her put it back on the sheet. It was like a puzzle for her...a good learning activity :)

At one point I stamped the lion on her hand. Then she wanted it on her other hand. Then she proceeded to take her sandals off and wanted her feet stamped. I used the fishy from the new Hot Diggity set on her feet.
She is at an age where she loves copying. So she added more stamps to her hands and arms. And instead of stamping her feet, she simply added the acrylic stamps right onto them! She's so funny. This girl was covered in ink and had a giant smile on her face when we were finished. Mom may not have been too happy, but Auntie and Maddie sure had fun!!

CLEANING TIP: Madison leaned into the ink pad a few times and got ink on her cute little shirt. We used a combination of Zout and Shout stain removers, let it soak, then scrubbed w/ a toothbrush and the ink came out of the fabric after it was washed.

Here's a pic later that day of Maddie loving on her baby brother, Connor. She still doesn't quite get the concept of "gentle," so her loving usually gets interrupted quickly by Mommy :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Color Challenge: Blush, Creme Brulee, Vineyard Berry

This is an exciting, yet somewhat sad week. This marks my last challenge as a part of the Heart 2 Heart Design Team. However, the new team is incredibly go check them out at the Heart 2 Heart Challenges blog. But I will definitely still play along, and I'm really excited about this week's challenge. It's a color challenge, which I love, because they always push me outside my comfort zone. Blush, Creme Brulee, and Vineyard Berry.

I really had no idea what I was going to do with this color combo when I began. So I went through all my paper packs and pulled out every paper I had in these colors. Then I went through all my photos and pulled out everything that would go with these colors. I knew I wanted to do a scrapbook page because Mandy and I had a pact that we couldn't buy any new CTMH products until we finish a certain number of scrapbook pages. She's already done!! But I will definitely have my goal finished before Aug 1, the big date when Consultants are allowed to purchase from the Fall/Winter CTMH Idea book! :) Anyways, I found these photos from my cousin's wedding 2 years ago. I have already scrapbooked some of the photos, but I made her ENTIRE wedding scrapbook so I set the photos for my scrapbook aside and am finally coming back to them. haha! But I think they work perfectly with these papers and colors and I'm really happy with how the page turned out.

I ended up using Blush, Creme Brulee, and Vineyard Berry cardstock with Creme Brulee B&T from Veranda and Vineyard Berry B&T from the Emporium Creative Basics. Elegant papers for an elegant occasion. I also used the butterflies and flowers from the newest Just these! The Bride & Groom stamp is from the Love Always stamp set...another must-have if you make wedding cards!

If you want to play along, head over to Heart 2 Heart and link your blog post! And check out the other Design Team's creations...they're all awesome!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Isabella's Name Decor: Heart 2 Heart Challenge

The challenge at Heart 2 Heart this week is: ABC—Anything But a Card. I created this little name decor out of coasters for a little girl's first birthday. I used bright-colored papers (not CTMH) with a big mix of Close to my Heart Stamps. I used my crop-a-dile to make the holes and tied with very thin ribbon to hold the coasters together.

Sorry it's a little hard to see...I didn't have good luck getting a full shot, but I have some better close-ups. However, they're on my other computer and I'm out of town! I'll post them over the weekend. You can see a MUCH better picture of a coaster name I made here.

The alphabet is Rustic Alphabet. It's one of my favorites for things like this because the letters are easy to cut out. Another good one for cutting out is Headline Alphabet.

Other CTMH Stamp Sets used: You're Sweet, Life's a Jungle, Bird Basics, Star Struck, Around the Block (past SOTM), Sans Alphabet

Head on over to Heart 2 Heart Challenges to see all the other design team's artwork and to participate. You could win a nice prize package!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Card Sketch Turned Scrapbook Page

The challenge at Heart 2 Heart Challenges this week is a sketch...I love sketches! But this isn't just a's a pattern from Jeanette Lynton's latest how-to book, Wishes (a must-have), and is approved by Close to my Heart to share with others. You'll see H2H's version of the sketch to the left.

I made a pact with myself to not make any more cards until I am at least a little caught up with my scrapbooking. I am way behind (I'm sure you all know the feeling), and have been so overwhelmed that I've been making cards and altered items that I can finish in a reasonable amount of time. But not anymore! (Unless I need to for a particular challenge or I actually need to give a card I don't already have on-hand.) So here is my take on the sketch: a scrapbook page.
These are just a couple of many pictures I have from Memorial Day weekend 2009. Stay tuned for future posts of our big trip back east last July...that's my big project at the moment. I'm almost finished with a layout for Washington, DC—a place I wish I were at right now! CTMH's annual convention kicks off today in DC and I wasn't able to make it this year. I cannot WAIT to hear about all the new products and goodies CTMH can be sure I'll be watching the Twitter feed these next few days (#CTMHConv).

Supplies used:
Wishes Card Confidence Program book, CTMH Splendor Level 2 paper pack (I love the versatility!), CTMH Rustic Alphabet stamp set, Save the Date - English Stamp set (also available in Spanish and French), Felicity stamp set (no longer available), Prima flowers from stash