Wednesday, August 31, 2016

You are FABULOUS! (Retiring Flamingo stamp and thin cuts)

Tonight I want to share a quick card we made at our team meeting at the convention in Florida. The theme for the party was Flamingos and that everything we did had to do with flamingos including dressing up like flamingos and dressing up flamingos! I was too busy having fun that I didn't take any pictures, but here's one from the next morning. It's me with my friend Faye and two of our crazy dressed up flamingos. 

To achieve the feathered look for the Flamingo, we cut little pieces of pixie twine and glued them to the stamped bird. How cute is that?

The card uses several products that retire TONIGHT (midnight MDT)!

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Tickled Pink stamp set (C1651)

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Jubilee Cut Above Card kit (Z3223)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Seasonal Expressions 2 Retires Wednesday!

Just a reminder that the papers and other products int he Seasonal  Expression 2 Idea Book will retire at midnight (MDT) Wednesday.

That means that the Magical, Calypso and Florence papers and coordinating products will no longer be available for purchase!

Magical Collection

Calypso Collection

Florence Collection

There are also many stamp sets retiring! Here's a couple of my favorites:
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D1691 Beach Life
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D1688 Amusement Park
Click on THIS LINK to see everything that is retiring>>

If you see something you want, don't wait as many of the retiring items are while supplies last only. While you are shopping, don't forget about the current specials.

As of course, always check the Clearance section of the online store for great bargains. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

So what exactly is on the Flower Market Cartridge?

Earlier this month, Close To My Heart released the newest Cricut Cartridge, Flower Market. As the name suggests, this cartridge has lots of flowers. That includes some gorgeous 3D flowers like those on the cover of the new Idea Book (below) as well as flat flowers that are perfect for cards and layouts.

But like our other cartridges, this one is fully loaded with 700 images which include tons of things that are NOT flowers. So today, I'm going to walk you through what you will find on this cartridge.

Let's start with the flowers! There are 17 three-dimensional flowers (or cacti) that involve folding then attaching a number of layers. To help you understand how to assemble these there is a little tutorial on the two basic types of layered flowers in the back of the handbook.

There are also a ton of "flat" flowers although many of these have several layers that you can assemble with foam tape to create dimension. Mixed in with the flowers are other trendy icons to use on your pages or cards.

Of course, if you have flowers, you need something to put them in. So there is a whole set of  containers like vases, jars, baskets and even boots!

Sometimes, you will want to mount your flowers ON something instead of IN something. So you will also find "background" images like leaves, wreaths and other designs that can be dressed up with a few flowers.

Of course, your projects will need words. So there are a wide variety of sentiments great for all holidays and occasions. 

Don't see the words you want to use? You can cut out individual letters with the two complete fonts included on the cartridge.

Want to see more?
Click here to view the complete handbook>>
Click here to see a shape index>>

Remember that your cartridge comes with a pack of cardstock in our bright Adventure color palette plus three stamp sets. The first stamp set has lots of great sentiments and the other two are nice backgrounds to add interest to your projects.

Remember in August only I'll add on a free stamp set ("Hi Friend"A1198) and send you directions for projects you can make using the cartridge with the included paper and stamp sets. To take advantage of this offer, email me and I'll get back to you to finalize the order. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

To the Happy (Uptown) Couple

Today, I have another card made with the Fundamental Basics papers to share. In contrast to the Rustic Home cards I posted yesterday, this sparkles boldly in black and white with gold accents.

This dressy little card was actually very simple to make. First, I decked out a plain white card base with a piece of the gold dotted vellum from the Uptown Fundamentals Paper pack. Then, I stamped the sentiment, heart and rings from the Wedding Wishes (B1547) stamp set on a piece of white cardstock and attached it to the front. Finally, the card was finished off with a little of the black and gold ribbon from the Uptown Fundamentals Ribbon pack.

Super simple, but very elegant!

Don't forget you can get the Uptown Fundamental paper pack free in August when you purchase the Whimsy, Adventure and Enchantment fundamentals. Trust me, when you see them you will want them all. So stock up this month by taking advantage of this special! Click here to learn more>>

Keep creating,

Here's some of the items I used to create this card that you can purchase on my CTMH website.

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Uptown Fundamentals Paper
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Uptown Fundamentals Ribbon

Wedding Wishes (B1547)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Basically the Best Masculine Card

As cardmakers, we often struggle with masculine cards. We LOVE to decorate and many of our the embellishment options do not lend themselves to creating something that is "manly" enough. That is why I am loving the new Rustic Home Fundamental collection. They are beautiful but natural enough to fit the bill for creating cards that celebrate the men in our lives.

It is hard to tell in the picture, but the Rustic Home wood-grain kraft paper used for the background of this card is embossed rather than simply printed. The deer, trees and sentiments  are from the Nature's Wish (D1703) stamp set and were stamped with Archival Black ink on Colonial White paper. To add soft color, I once again turned to my watercolors. 

As I practiced painting these images, I learned that less is more. By using less water and less paint, I was able to better to control the color. Plus, when the paper becomes too wet, it can curl and the surface get rough. So to minimize damage to the paper,  I swiped the bristles against the edge of the paint tray to remove any extra water before moving it to my paper. 

Remember the color is going to darkest where you first lay the brush but will lighten up as you paint. This creates a nice illusion of highlights, shadows and depth. I suggest starting with a small amount of paint and repeat if you want to deepen the color. 

The knot was made with the burlap ribbon from the Rustic Home Fundamental ribbon pack by separating the fibers.

Don't forget that the Fundamental Rustics papers are included in this month's special! Click here to learn how you can get them for free.

Have a better than basic day!

Here are some of the products I used for this project available for order on my CTMH website (

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Nature's Wish (D1703)
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Rustic Home Fundamental Paper

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Rustic Home Ribbon (Z3292)

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Watercolor Paints (Z3132)

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Paintbrush set (Z188)

Back to School and Back to the Basics

This week is Back to School for my family. In addition to my daughter starting her Junior year of High School (where did time go?), I’m starting a new adventure this year by teaching an algebra class at our local college.

Our week has been filled with new books, school supplies and trying to get back to a more regular sleep pattern. So today, I thought it was fitting to dedicate a post to the hard working professionals we call teachers.


If you are a teacher, you don't hear these words nearly enough. So I just want to say: “THANK YOU!”

This card was inspired by a similar one presented at convention by Karen Pedersen. She showed us this technique of adding a watercolor wash to kraft paper. Instead of the bright color we normally get from watercolor, we get soft, natural looking colors.

For this card, I stamped the apples from the School Kids (D1709) stamp set with black ink on the dotted kraft paper in the new Rustic Home Fundamental Basics paper pack and added color with watercolors. For the school house and ruler, I used the solid back side of the dotted paper. Similarly, the red strip was made with plain kraft paper and a wash with red watercolor.

Just a reminder of our August special where you can get the Rustic Fundamentals paper for free when you order the Whimsy, Adventure and Enchantment papers! Learn more about the special>>

Have a great school year!

I used the following products that can be found on my CTMH website (

School Kids (D1709)
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Watercolor Paints (Z3132)
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Paint Brushes (Z3188)
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Rustic Home Fundamental Papers (Z3262)
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White Twine (Z3216)