Sunday, September 30, 2012

Quote of the Week

"My home is where my books are."
Ellen Thompson
My daughter Emily would certainly agree with this one. Reading is her favorite past time.
Emily's five favorite book series:
1) Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
2) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
3) Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
4) Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
5) Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Buy 9, get 1 free in October!

I'm so excited to announce the October special because it makes the lovely Studio J layouts even more afordable.

But first, here is a quick layout I did after a weekend in Branson with my family. Studio J is a great way to get caught up and you are definitely not sacrificing quality!
Quick layout using the Dakota Paper pack

At the regular prices Close To My Heart’s Studio J® online design software is a great deal. At less than $3.50 per page, it saves you both time and money. In October, you can get an even better value from Studio J — when you buy 9 layouts, you’ll get a 10th layout free!

Take advantage of this promotion by ordering in multiples of 10: Buy 9 to get 1 free layout, buy 18 to get 2 free layouts, etc. You can get up to 5 free layouts! It’s a fast and inexpensive way to get your pictures off your computer and into your scrapbooks! Since you can ship as many as 50 layouts together in a single box, the savings truly stack up the more layouts you order in October.

Get started now to take advantage of this deal. Maximize the benefit by creating as many layouts as you can starting now, but wait to place your order in October.

Before I go, I want to show you one more layout.

Another quick Studio J layout


For this layout I used the method taught by Amy Ulen on this video to create a 3D title. So cool!

Click here to start creating your layouts now!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quote of the Week

"I will not let my schooling interfere with my education."
Mark Twain

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Florentine with Avonlea WOTG Stamp

This week, I have been focusing on using up my old paper packs. I am down to just a few crumbs of Florentine, but I am determined to finish them before allowing myself to open any new paper. I did allow myself to get out the new Avonlea Cardmaking Workshop On the Go stamp set. It is a perfect match to the Florentine patterns.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Spanning the Space

Another great video from My Craft Channel's series Clearly the Best. In this one, Monica & Kristine give tips for stamping on multiple surfaces with several fun project ideas.

Casual Clementine Card Kit

There is a new card kit in town! Order the Casual Clementine Card kit and receive materials needed to create ten tri-fold cards (two each of five designs).


These cards are full of country charm due to the use of burlap ribbon, paper flowers, hemp, badge buttons and Clementine paper. Stamping is done with the new Casual Expressions stamp set which coordinates with shapes on the Artiste Cricut cartridge.






Kit includes:
  • Half of a pack of Clementine Paper (X7156B)
  • Colonial White Die-Cut Cards & Envelopes (Z1738)
  • 4 Pewter Badge Buttons
  • 6 Just Blooms paper flowers
  • 6 Chocolate Flower buttons
  • 2 yards Natural Hemp
  • 2 feet Burlap Ribbon
  • 1 yard Sorbet Ribbon
  • Full-color Directions
  • My Acrylix Casual Expressions Stamp Set (D1525)

You can use the PayPal buttons on my Custom Kits page to pay securely online with a credit card or your PayPal account or you can send me a check.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Introducing Studio J Express Collections

Hello Readers, I'd like you to meet the Express Collections. And Express Collections, I'd like you to meet my Readers! I think you will become great friends.

OK, sorry for the silliness. But seriously dear Reader, if you have not "met" Studio J (including the new Express Collections), I urge you help you to get acquainted. This video will serve as an introduction. After the video scroll down to learn more.

Click HERE to set up your Studio J account and start creating.

At the beginning of the video, Brian mentioned the new pricing for Studio J. Here's a recap:
- No more memberships! This means that all kits and patterns are available to everyone. That includes you. No limits!
- Simplified pricing means that you can purchase a full layout (TWO 12" x 12" pages) for $6.95. That's less than $3.50 per page. You will be hard pressed to find someone make a print for that! Of course with Studio J, the price also includes the online software to create the beautiful layouts.

The video doesn't mention one other change that I am SUPER excited about. Studio J has been integrated with Close To My Heart Gatherings! What this means is that you and your guests can order layouts towards your party total. In addition, you can choose to receive layouts with the Select Product Credit you earn!

The options for your party are many:
Live, Online or Both
Traditional Scrapbooking and Card-making,
Studio J or Both
Let's do it! Email me to schedule your gathering today!

More Swing Cards with Perfect Fit Frames

On Friday, I posted five “swing” cards made with the Artiste Cricut Cartridge (p. 52). See that post for additional information on how to create these cards.  There are four more shapes available and each of them coordinate with the Perfect Fit – Frames Stamp Set (D1527).

Perfect Fit -- Frames D1527

Pemberly card, inner circle is from the Salutation Seals stamp set(C1461)

Victory card, inner circle and additional stamping from the Awards sets in the Artiste Collection

Pemberly card

The final shape on the Perfectly Fit – Frames set is a scalloped circle which is not available on a swing card. However, it works great with the plain old circle card. In th card below, the inner circle is from the Salutation Seals stamp set (C461).


Howdy Partner

Howdy! If you have not yet tried Studio J, what are you waiting for? Start by watching this month's Love Your Layout video to see how to create a beautiful layout in just minutes. You'll learn creative techniques, including how to create a journaling box with a photo background. Watch the video here and then log in to Studio J to try it yourself!

Monday, September 17, 2012

It’s Your Day Cards

Just a quick post to show you a couple cards I made with the It’s Your Day stamp set.


To create the movement effect on the bicycle, I simply stamped three times without re-inking the stamp.


I gave this second card to my sister with the Baby Memory Box I showed you on Sunday. Not your typical baby shower card, but it matches the gift so well, I thought it was appropriate.
Both cards use the Victory paper pack. Don’t forget the It’s Your Day stamp set is only available in September for National Stamping Month. You can purchase this double set for just $5 with a $35 purchase! Click here to start shopping.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Baby Memory Box

Hello! I'm really excited that in just a few days, I will have a new nephew! This afternoon is my sister's baby shower and here's some pictures of the gift I made her with the Victory papers. (I'm banking on the fact that she will be way to busy to check out my blog before the shower.)

This decorated recipe/photo box will help these busy new parents remember the precious times over the next few years. Text inside lid:

Baby books are great ideas
but sometimes you're too busy.
Living with little ones
can put you in a tizzy.
Milestones pass too fast at times
to find the proper page,
So jot note of each event
with date or baby's age.
Like, "took 3 steps on May the 1st"
or "Teething - 5 December"
Then drop it in this Memory Keeper
to help you remember.

I've had this poem in my idea folder for a couple years and there was not a source on the print out. If you know where it came from, I'd love to give credit where credit is due.

Inside the box are a bunch of notes cards for them to use to write down milestones or everyday moments.

The sentiments and images on the It's Your Day stamp set were perfect for this. The two special cards below will go on top. "Hello Life" to record the birth event and one for me to write a special welcoming note for the shower.

Through September 30, you can get a copy of this stamp set for yourself for just $5 with a qualifying purchase of $35. Click here to start shopping.
This is one of my favorite projects ever. I hope it has inspired you to find creative ways to remember the special times in your life.

Quote of the Week

"Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand."

Chinese Proverbs

Friday, September 14, 2012

Artiste Key Notes #4 - Swing Cards

With summer winding down and school kicking off, it has been awhile since I have added to my Artiste Key Notes series. Each of the posts in this series showcase several projects made with a single key on the Artiste Cricut cartridge.

The last few days, I've been "just a swinging". You are going to love how easy it is to make swing cards on the Cricut with the Artiste cartridge. Each of the nine cards has a cut out shape that "swings" from the front to the inside of the card when you open it.

View of the front of an undecorated "swing" card

Bird's eye view of a "swing" card

You can find these swingers on page 52 of the Artiste handbook on the "S" key. To make standard A2 (5.5" x 4.25") cards, set the dial on the Cricut to 5.5".

Here's a really cool feature: each of the swinging shapes is on either the Art Philosophy or Artiste Cricut cartridge! This makes it super easy to complete your cards.

Ready to make some?
I put together a handy reference table to tell you what size to cut each shape to fit perfectly on a 5.5" card.

Note that sometimes it is nice to cut the shape slightly smaller than the swinging shape to create a layeredeffect.

The stamping on these first three cards uses the stamp sets that come in the Artiste Collection. The first is a Birthday card using Pemberley paper.

Here's another birthday card. This one uses Victory papers.


Here's a simple Stella card using the Award stamp set that came with the Artiste collection.

I couldn't resist making a card using one of my all time favorite papers, Florentine.

This last Stella card uses the Love size A stamp. Isn't it cool how it fits on the swinging shape perfectly?

I've got a few more swing cards I'm finishing up that I'll post in a day or two. In the meantime, have fun swinging!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Swipe Hype and a Giveaway

The second episode of Clearly the Best, Stamping with Close To My Heart is now available for viewing. Watch this video to see how easily you can create movement to your stamped images by swiping!


Close to myHeart is sponsoring a giveaway on My Craft Channel. The prize is the fun "Trinity Alphabet" Stamp Set and there will be THREE lucky winners!! Here's all you have to do to enter to win...
  1. Watch this week's Swipe Hype episode and leave a comment on My Craft Channel's September 11 blog post (LINK) with what you could do with this awesome technique.
Read the post for how you can enter additional times using Facebook, Twitter and the CTMH website.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayonsin kindergarten."

Hugh MacLeod

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Clementine Card Kit coming

This week, I've been working on a new card kit using the Clementine paper. I'll be adding these to my kits page in a few days, but I can't wait to show you. Here's a preview of one of the cards.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Clearly the Best!

Close To My Heart is excited to be working with My Craft Channel , an online craft TV network, to create a new video series called Clearly the Best. If seeing is believing, then viewers will quickly see that when it comes to stamping, Close To My Heart’s My Acrylix® stamps and blocks are truly the best.

This first episode was released yesterday. "Bend It, curve It, stamp It” features a stamping technique to manipulate the stamp images for personalized designs.


You can sign up for free at to receive email notifications every time a new video in the Clearly the Best video series is released. That way, you'll be sure to catch every episode! Sign up today.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's Party Time!

This September newsletter article focuses on Halloween themed party decor using the new Artiste collection.

My newsletter is the best way to stay informed of events, specials and fun tutorials like the one below. Please email me to subscribe.

Artiste jump-starts your party preparations

Join my Team in August and receive an adorable Close To My Heart bag for free!
The brand-new Cricut® Artiste cartridge knows how to party! Fifty themed keys with over 700 shapes including cute cards and 3-D projects galore add up to a staggering number of party favors, invitations, and decorations, all at your fingertips when you have the Cricut® Artiste cartridge!

As one example, take a look at the coffin-shaped treat boxes above. If you’re planning a Halloween party—or if you just want to make Halloween treats with a spooky flair—these coffin boxes are a snap! Here’s how to do it:

First, gather these materials:
  • Z1790 Cricut® Artiste Collection
  • C1462 My Acrylix® All Hallows Eve Stamp Set
  • Z1375 Kraft Cardstock
  • 1243 Goldrush Cardstock
  • Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks® Stamp Pad
  • Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks® Stamp Pad
  • Z1701 Baker’s Twine Neutral Assortment
  • Z1754 Sparkles Black & Grey Assortment
  • Z1151 3-D Foam Tape
With your Artiste cartridge in place, load your Cricut® machine with kraft cardstock and cut the coffin by setting the size dial to 5 1/2" and pressing the “3D Object” feature key, then press the “Eek” key, which is the sixth key in on the bottom row. At this size, you can fit two coffins per 12" × 12" sheet of kraft cardstock.

Thanks to the brilliant coordination of elements on the Artiste cartridge, you’ll cut the lid to the box at the same size setting for a perfectly coordinating size and fabulous fit! Press the “Shift,” “3D Object” and “Eek” keys. Two coffin lids will fit on a 12" × 12" sheet of kraft cardstock at this size.

Next, before folding the coffin, stamp the diamond pattern image from the All Hallows Eve stamp set several times with Desert Sand ink on the coffin lid. Stamp the cobweb and spider images in Black ink. Follow the easy instructions on page 58 of the assembly booklet to put the box together.

Next, cut a 1/2" × 2 1/2" strip of Goldrush cardstock for each coffin and stamp the “Beware” sentiment on the strips. Trim a pennant edge on each strip and then attach it to the lid of your coffin using 3-D foam tape.

Finish your coffin by attaching a Black Sparkle over the spider’s body. Ooo! After filling the box with your treats, wrap the coffin lid to the base using a few inches of Black baker’s twine. Give to your favorite goblin or ghoul!

This is just one example of how the Cricut® Artiste cartridge can help make preparing for all of your parties and celebrations even easier! Check out the brand new Workshops on the Go® Spellbound Cricut® Kit (page 14 in the Autumn / Winter 2012 Idea Book) for another great Halloween-themed party idea using this fabulous cartridge.

Buy supplies for your party essentials »

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Quote of the Week

"The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson."

Tom Bodett

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fall Favorites - September Stamp of the Month

Get ready for fall with the new September Stamp of the Month, Fall Favorites. With a fun-loving scarecrow, plump pumpkins, and a Cricut®-compatible tag, you’ll find plenty of uses for this month’s Stamp of the Month set. This is a pick of the patch that you'll want to take home!

Here's a card I made using this stamp set and the new Clementine paper pack. I love how the burlap ribbon adds dimension and a weathered look to the card.

To make the paper-pieced pumpkins, I stamped them on three different B&T papers: teal, dark orange and light orange. Then I cut the stems out of the teal patterned paper and cut one pumpkin from each of the orange patterns. Then I stamped the complete image one more time on the card and adhered the pieces on top.

Here are some additional projects made with this stamp set. Follow this link to the supply lists and directions.

Here's a close up of all the images on this stamp set.

This stamp set is only available during the month of September 2012. Order yours today for $17.95 or just $5 with an order of $50.

Start shopping now.