Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Today is the last day!!

So, the end of August is upon us, and that means that our fantastic August specials are only available until 11:59pm tonight.  Just to refresh your memory, here's what's going on:

August Stamp of the Month:  Wicked

Make a $50 purchase in the month of August, and receive this adorable stamp set for just $5!!  And, during August, not only do you get the Wicked stamp set for $5, but you will also receive the Typeface alphabet set for FREE!! 

National Stamping Month Special!
To celebrate National Stamping Month in September, we are offering an incredible deal!  Simply make a purchse that equals $75 or more (the new Cricut Bundle would make a GREAT purchase!), and receive TWO full-size stamp sets for FREE!!  That's right, the exclusive Pair-A-Phrase stamp set is free with a $75 purchase!  This set is so cute, and extremely versatile...the sentiment and little owl from Monday's post came from this set.  And for the first time ever, there are two stamp sets in one envelope, so double the fun!   Here is a picture of all of the images:

This special is being offered until September 30th, but RIGHT NOW, it overlaps the August specials!!  At least, until 11:59pm tonight!!  So, a quick recap:

-Spend $50, and receive the following exclusive stamp sets with your order: Wicked (pay $5), Typeface Alphabet

-Spend $75, and receive the following exclusive stamp sets with your order:  Wicked (pay $5), Typeface Alphabet, Pair-A-Phrase (double set). 

That's like getting 4 stamp sets for $5!!  Who can beat that??

Give me a call if you are interested in taking advantage of this special, or go directly to my website at

Don't wait...there are only HOURS left!!  :-)

Monday, August 29, 2011

H2H Challenge...pear, sorbet and cocoa

This week at H2H the challenge is to use the colors Pear, Sorbet and Cocoa.  I chose to make a card, which I think I will give to my daughter, since today is her first day back to school.  She is starting middle school this year, and is a little anxious about the transition from elementary to middle school, and all the changes that entails.  Here is the card:

I used a clear round acrylic card, and decorated it with some Pear patterned paper from the retired Olivia paper pack.  Some sorbet patterned paper from the new paper pack Elemental, and some Cocoa cardstock, and poof! The card is ready for the sentiment (both the image and sentiment are from the new Pair-A-Phrase set...ask me how to get this versatile set for FREE!). 

Here is a close up of one of my favorite details...I used a stick pin from the new Bling Assortment.  I really like these a lot, and I need to figure out a way to use them in some more projects! 

I don't know if you can see it clearly in the picture (click it to make it bigger), but the "stitches" on the Cocoa cardstock were made with the new Ruler.  This thing rocks!!  It has evenly spaced guide holes, which made it easy to use my paper piercer to punch holes.  I then just used a regular pen to "connect" the holes, creating a faux stitch.  Looks cool, no?  :-)

Thanks for looking!!  Please be sure to check out what the other design team members have in store for you this week.  They continually blow me away with their creativity!  Why don't you play along with us this week, and create something yourself? 

Happy crafting!

Materials list (all products CTMH, except where noted):
-base:  4 1/2" Assortment clear cards
-paper:  Olivia L2, Elemental L2, Cocoa cs, Sorbet cs, Colonial White cs
-stamp set:  Pair-A-Phrase
-ink: black, Cocoa
-markers: Sorbet, Chocolate, Desert Sand, Bamboo, Sweet Leaf
-embellishments:  Pearl Opaques, Bling Assortment, Cocoa ribbon, edge distresser

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy birthday, Dad!

I just want to take a few minutes today to wish my dad a very Happy Birthday!!  He doesn't read this blog (at least I don't think he does!), but I still want to acknowledge "his" day.  Here he is (with my mom and my kids!) last summer on a family vacation:

Since he retired in March, he now has plenty of time to do the things he loves to do the most:  golfing, and riding his Harley.  In fact, he is spending his birthday on his Bike, touring New England visiting family.  He worked so hard for so many years, and I'm beyond thrilled that he now has time to enjoy the things he's passionate about. 

Enjoy your trip, Dad, and have a very Happy Birthday!  I love you!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year.....

Around this time of year, I always think of that Staples commercial (or was it Office Depot?) know, the one that shows the dad flying around on the cart in the store, throwing school supplies in the cart, while the song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" plays in the background??  Yep.  That's how I feel most years.  While I enjoy summer, and some relaxing, my family just functions much better with a scheduled routine.  I look forward to getting back in the groove every year.  This year is a little different, though... my oldest is entering high school, and my youngest is entering middle school.  It's such a bittersweet time, and the inescapable fact that my children are growing up is really hitting me hard.  In fact, I teared up at dinner tonight when my husband and I were talking about it.  That wouldn't have been so bad, except that we were in the middle of a restaurant!  :-)

The challenge this week on the H2H blog is to create something school related.  I chose to make a little back-to-school package that would be just perfect for a student to give a teacher on the first day back. 

I decorated an adorable mini-chalkboard I found at Ben Franklin's, made the little paper backpack, and added the 3 x 3 card to top it off .  Stick some little treats in the backpack, and you've got yourself a cute little gift package!  Here are some close-up pictures:

For the chalkboard, I simply positioned the patterned paper on the "naked" chalkboard, and used my craft knife to cut out the middle. 

I then used some old acrylic paint I had on hand on the new Milepost Shapes for embellishment.  Love these pieces!!

The backpack was made using a tutorial I found here.  I think it turned out really cute! 

A sweet little 3 x 3 notecard to finish it off....

There you go!  I know many of you have children that have already started back to school.  Our school system doesn't go back for another week, so I have seven more days to strengthen my resolve not to cry like a baby when Josh and Allie leave for the bus next week.  :-)  

Thanks for looking, and I hope you play along with us at Heart2Heart Challenges this week!  :-)

Supply list (all materials Close To My Heart, except where noted):
paper:  Typeset level 2 paper pack, Colonial white cs, Vineyard Berry cs
inks:  Bamboo, Vineyard Berry, Black
stamp sets:  Blue Ribbon, School Rocks
embellishments:  Milepost Shapes, white grosgrain ribbon, colonial white buttons, chocolate waxy flax, bitty brads (metal assortment), black eyelets (Making Memories),

Monday, August 15, 2011

From Our Heart To Yours.....

I have to start off this blog post by apologizing for the lack of posts recently.....I have been creating like a madwoman, though, and there will be tons of new paper art projects coming your way very, very soon.  I promise!  So please hang in there with me, and hopefully you will enjoy the projects I'll be sharing in the near future....

This week at H2H, each design team member created a card that was done in their own typical "style".  Challenge participants are then asked to CASE (copy and share everything) the design of their choice, and share the result with us.  I am excited to see what everyone comes up with! 

Here is my offering for the week.  My husband and I recently celebrated our 18th anniversary (has it really been that long????), and I made this card for him.  My typical style is very clean and linear.  I am drawn by muted colors, and the new Sonoma line was just calling my name for this card.  You can almost always find some dimension (in the form of ribbons, bling, metals, etc.) on my cards, and stamping is a must!  I also think my cards look naked if they are not inked up and distressed, so I usually distress the heck out of everything, usually with a sponge or a dauber, and almost always with Chocolate ink.

This card base and the Olive mat were both cut out with the new Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge.  I should probably say that almost everything I make from now on will also have something cut with this cartridge.  I just LURVE it!  It's really that amazing. 

I hope this card has given you a little inspiration.  Feel free to copy it if you'd like!  Thanks for looking, and happy crafting!

Supplies (all materials by Close To My Heart):
-paper:  Sonoma level 2 pack, Olive Cardstock, Colonial White cs
-stamps:  Key Moments B1392
-inks: Bamboo, Cocoa
-embellishments:  Foundry Metal Accessories, Olive Mini-Medleys
-other:  Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's hot, hot, hot........

Our challenge for you at H2H this week is to use the word "hot" as your inspiration..... it can be an image, colors, whatever makes you think of the word hot.  I'm eager to see what everyone comes up with!

For me, the word hot is very relevent, as it's been HOT here in Northern Virginia!  To me, the best place to be when it's hot is sitting on the beach, toes in the sand, cold beverage and a good book in hand.  Unfortunately for me, I'm landlocked, with no beach nearby, so I thought I'd recreate a beach scene, so I can go there in my mind.  :-).  I wanted to try my hand at the brayer technique, since it's probably the one stamping technique I've not ever tried. has a wonderful tutorial on this technique.  It looks so easy!  You can see it here.  Well, let's just say I have some more practicing to do!  :-)  Of all the samples I attempted to make, this was the only one that even came close to resembling the image in my head. 

I created the sky by first cuting out a 1" circle, and temporarily adhering it to the top left corner of a piece of white cardstock (already trimmed to 6 1/4 x 4 1/4).  I used a piece of scrap paper, and covered up the bottom 1/3 of the cardstock, then inked up my brayer and ran it across the top 2/3 of the cardstock.  The circle acts like a mask, so when I was done rolling on the blue ink, and I took of the circle, I was left with a white circle.  I used the negative image of the circle (from the scrap that I punched it out of), and placed that over the circle, and sponged Sunflower ink and Autumn Terracotta in the open space.

I used Bamboo for the beach, and brayered that on the bottom of the card.  I used the Daydream stamp set to stamp the images on a scrap piece of paper, colored them with markers, and cut out the pails and the umbrella to adhere to the card (the "sand dune" was stamped directly on the card).  The sentiment comes from the special stamp set called "Pair-a-Phrase", which is only available from August 15-Sept. 30 (get it FREE with a qualifying order...more on that later!). 

OK, so I know we are our own worst critic, ad though I tend to be a perfectionist, I'm still pretty happy with how this card turned out.  Now I just need to figure out a way to get to the beach!  :-)

Hope you play along with us at H2H this week.  Our guest DT member, Debi, is playing along too, and wants some company!  :-)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to You....

This week at H2H Challenges, we were asked to create projects related to children's birthdays.    Our guest Design Team member, Debi Davis is playing along with us this week, so make sure you check out her blog, and leave her some love!

I thought this week would be a perfect opportunity to put my new Cricut cartridge, Art Philosophy, through its paces.  It performed beautifully!!  I made a banner, cupcake toppers, and a card, all with some cardstock, and the Art Philosophy collection.  Here is a picture (click on the image to enlarge it):

The cupcake toppers were made using the scallop circles, cut at 2", a regular circle cut at 1 1/10" (did you know you can change the increments from quarter inch to tenths of an inch?  At least you can on the Cricut Expressions machine!), and the star cut at 1".  The white part of the star is a stamp that comes in the Art Philosophy collection, and coordinates with the star cut-out.  Isn't that cool??  Once I layered the circles and stars, I placed 2 back to back, and secured them with dimensional foam tape.  I just stuck the toothpick in the foam, and put them in the cupcakes.

The banner was also made with the Cricut.  I am really loving my Cricut these days!  :-)  I have to admit that I forgot to write down what size I cut the banners at, but really you can make them any size you want.  I think it was about 3", though.  I used some B&T paper from Fanfare, and made the pleated circles, then added letters stamped using my Pennant Alphabet stamp set.  The banner images already have a hole cut out at the top, so I just threaded white ribbon through.  I also covered some dimensional elements stars with the yellow paper, to add splash of color.  Here is a close-up of a banner piece:

Last, but not least, the card was also cut from the Cricut.  This image already has the cupcake cut cool is that????  I just backed the cupcake with some patterned paper, decorated it with some bling, added the border (also cut using the Art Philosophy cartridge), threw some buttons on, and done.  Easy peasy!  Oh, and the Happy Birthday sentiment is from one of the sets in the Art Philosophy collection.

Contact me if you are interested in learning more about this amazing Art Philosophy collection.  I'll even tell you the secret of how to get it at a 50% discount.  :-)  As anyone who has talked to me in the last 2 weeks knows, I am absolutely, positively IN LOVE with this bundle, and it is a must-have for all Cricut owners!  :-)

Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek.  I hope you join us at H2H Challenges this week!