Monday, September 26, 2011

Just one stamp???

Out challenge for you this week at Heart2Heart is to make something using only one sentiment stamp...not one stamp SET, one stamp.  Huh.  I was originally stumped, because I normally use at least 3-4 stamps on any given project.  But then I realized that I needed to make a congratulations card, and hey! congratulations is one word!    :-)  This is what I ended up with:

I created the focal image by using just the one stamp, but stamping it several times.  I stamped it once in Smoky Plum in the middle, and used 2nd generation stamping with Smoky Plum for the other words.  Makes the intensity of the first generation stamping stand out a bit.  The flower was cut with the Cricut (duh!  Is there any other way to do it, anymore?!), and a pearl opaque was placed in the center, as well as around the focal piece (which, by the way, was also cut using the Cricut!).  Sonoma papers, and cocoa ribbon finish it off.  Here is my favorite part of the card, though:
Do you see that little hanging thingy at the bottom of the circle??  They are from the new Heirloom Assortment, which includes 6 self-stick resin flowers, and 6 dangle-jewels with brad (in 2 different colors).  Soooooo cute.  Totally adds that "wow" factor!

The recipient of this card has not received it yet, so I will let it be a surprise (although I think she reads this blog, so I probably just let the cat out of the bag.  Oh well).  Put on your thinking caps, make something using just ONE sentiment stamp (preferably a Close To My Heart stamp!), and link it up at H2H!  Happy Crafting!!

Materials: (all products are from CTMH, unless otherwise noted):
paper:  Sonoma level 2 pack, Olive cs, Smoky Plum cs, Colonial White cs
stamps: Limited Edition (this is the September stamp of the month...only 5 more days to purchase this stamp set for just $5!  Click the button on the right to see how.....)
ink: Smoky Plum
embellishments: Pearl Opaques, Heirloom Assortment, Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge, Cocoa ribbon collection

Friday, September 23, 2011

Base and shade stamping.....

Watch this video to see just how easy it is to use a simple technique that will make your images POP!  Book a party in October, and we can make this card as a make-n-take!!  Contact me for more info....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cardstock, cardstock, only cardstock....

This week at H2H, the challenge is to create a project sans patterned paper, using at least 3 colors of cardstock....what????!!!  I love my patterned paper so much, and it's almost painful to make something without it.  Now don't get me wrong, I love cardstock too, and with 60 different colors to choose from, there are a lot of choices.  But I like a little, ummm, I don't know... pizzazz.  That's it.  Some paper with pizzazz.  And plain ole cardstock just looks so, ummm...boring.  Luckily, Close To My Heart has some phenomenal stamps that steal the show, and that's what I used to add some pizzazz to the boring cardstock.  :-)

Once again, I just couldn't wait to use my Art Philosopy Cricut cartridge.  Are we seeing a theme, here??  LOL.  :-)  I chose the french fry box for this project.  After the base was cut, I used a new stamp set, called Love Life, to create the backgrond pattern.  I didn't realize until I pulled out the stamp set that the cut out at the bottom of the circle stamp perfectly fits the circles themselves, so it creates a layered look.  I was thrilled when I discovered this!  :-)  

The flowers were also cut from the Cricut, and then stamped with coordinating images from another new stamp set, Hooray Bouquet.  This set is quite possibly one of my very favorites.  Love it!  I used Lagoon and Creme Brulee cardstock, and stamped the images with White Daisy pigment ink.  I also added little Glitz to the top flower.  I attached them to the box with 3-D foam tape to give them some more "pop".

Since this is a "Michelle" original, of course it had to have some bling and sparkle.  This was done in the way of adding Glitz to the border piece, and also putting some Glitz in the middle of the circles.  I also add some prisma glitter to the butterfly tag (also cut out using the Cricut...I think my machine is going to blow up from overuse some day!).

My daughter's gymnastics team has a Big Sis/Lil Sis program, and I made this as a little "thinking-of-you" gift for Allie's little sis.  We filled it with her favorite candy.  Hope she likes it!!

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you play along with us at Heart2Heart Challenges this week!  Whip up your favorite project using 3 different colors of cardstock (remember...NO patterned paper allowed this week!).  Please use mostly Close To My Heart supplies, and link it on up at H2H's blog for your chance to win some fabulous prizes!!  Have a great week!

Supplies (all products from Close To My Heart, unless noted otherwise):
paper:  Lagoon, Smoothie, Creme Brulee cardstock
stamps:  Hooray Bouquet, Love Life, Unity alphabet
embellishments:  Glitz Glitter Gel (stardust), Lagoon Mini-Medley (retired), colored hemp from my stash, Prisma glitter, Art Philospy Cricut cartridge

Monday, September 12, 2011

H2H Challenge with shapes!

For the challenge this week over at Heart2Heart Challenges, we were asked to make a projcet using die-cut shapes.  Well, since my new Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge has been in almost constant use since the end of July, this was an easy week!  :-)

One of the things I absolutely adore about the Art Philosophy cartridge is the ability to create shaped card bases.  This week's card was made using one of them.  My daughter's favorite gymnastics coach and his wife welcomed a new baby boy in to their lives a few weeks ago.  I have yet to make a congratulations card and/or purchase a  gift, so I used this challenge to get my rear-end in gear.  In addition to the congratulations card below, I am also making a mini-album, and I will share pictures of that later this week (as soon as I get it finished!). 

With the exception of the elephant and giraffe, every single item on this card was cut with the Cricut.  The card base and patterned paper?  Yep!  The scalloped circles?  Yep.  The focal sentiment piece?  Yep (and the cut-out piece was then stamped with a coordinating stamp that fits the shape exactly.  Heaven!!)  The teeny-tiny little tag?  Yep again (and the little heart on the tag, too!  See the picture below for a close up of the tag!). 

Dimensional tape was used to attach the sentiment to the inside of the card, so that it pops out through the window on the front.  I have to confess, and say that I did use my Gypsy with my Cricut to manipulate images and create the cut-out in the middle.....but only because I wanted to create the layered look with my patterned paper. With this particular card base, the front panel is solid, so I used the Gypsy to cut out the squared image in the middle.  It would be possible to do this with a Cricut Expressions or Create or Imagine as well, using the Center Point feature.  You can also check out the new Cricut Craft Room online....and it's FREE!!  Google it.  :)  There are plenty of other cards on the cartridge that would have worked if I just wanted the center panel cut out, however.  I just like to make things complicated.  :-)  Here is a picture of what the popped-up sentiment looks like:

Now I just have to find the time to finish the coordinating mini-album, and give it to Baby Carter and his family before he starts Kindergarten (yes, I know that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I work slowly!).  :-)   Thanks for stopping by, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you and our Guest Design Team Member, Jane Haas come up with.  Make sure you use mostly all Close To My Heart products, and be sure to link it up at for your chance to win some great prizes!!

Materials used (all products are Close To My Heart,except where noted):
-paper: Elemental level 2 paper pack, Desert Sand cs, Pacifica cs, Colonial White cs
-stamp sets: Zoology, Cricut bundle set, Love Life
-ink: Pacifica, Creme Brulee, Grey Flannel, Chocolate
-embellishments: Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge, Pin Clips, Pewter Mini-Medley, mini diaper pins (from my stash...maybe Making Memories?), colonial white ribbon

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My customers ROCK!!

I have to admit, I have some pretty fantastic customers.  Wonderful ladies, extremely talented and creative.  I'm very lucky to have them in my life, and I truly like and appreciate every single one of them.  But I especially love when they share with me what they have created with their Close To My Heart products.  And it REALLY makes me happy when one of said creations gets PUBLISHED!!  One of my favorite customers, Ruby Claggett, submits artwork regularly, and has been published several times.  I think she told me today she's had 13 cards in 7 issues of Take Ten magazine.  I'm so very proud of her!  In the current issue alone, she has 3 cards!   Wow!  Be sure and take a look.  Here is a picture of the front of the magazine, and also a picture of the card that uses Close To My Heart stamps....go take a peek at the issue in the store, and see if you can find her other two cards.  :-)

Way to go, Ruby!!  It really emphasizes to me that I should totally be submitting artwork, too.  Why not?  What's the worst that can happen?  :-)  I would like to encourage my customers to submit for publication as well.  Hmmmm....maybe I should start offering incentive gifts for any customer who has artwork published using CTMH products.  Who's in?  :-)

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Crafting!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Some new classes coming up.....

Over the next few days, I'll be posting some pictures of classes I'm offering in Sepetember.  The first few have registration deadlines that are very, very close, so if you're interested, let me know ASAP!  Here they are:

Scrapbook 101 using Elemental papers
Join me for this fun and quick class using the fabulous Elemental level 2 paper pack, and the coordinating chipboard Dimensional Elements Complements.  Participants in this class will leave with two 2-page layouts, completed and ready to be showcased in your album! All you need to bring is adhesive and a smile!
Date:  Weds., Sept. 21  7-9pm
Cost:  $18
Registration Deadline:  Weds., Sept. 7

Elemental Workshop On The Go


This class has that "Wow" factor, using beautiful stamps and gorgeous colors, as well as some really cool techniques like masking.  Students will leave with 5 versatile cards, as well as a 1-page layout that can accomodate several pictures of different sizes. 

Date:  Mon., Sept. 19, 6-9pm
Cost: $35 (includes the following):
 - a 6 double-sided patterned papers
 -6 pieces of coordinated cardstock
-exclusive C-size stamp set
-Just Blooms Flutter Paper Shapes
-Antiqued Copper Designer Brads
Registration Deadline:  Thurs., Sept. 8
Mini-Album using card bases:
This fun little mini-album uses the new Kraft Die-Cut Cards as the base....want to know how?  Join me as we have some fun with the new Cork Alphabet letters and Decor Journaling Spots.  Perfect for that quick family get-away pictures!
Date:  Friday, Sept. 23, 6-9:30pm
Cost: $20
Registration Deadline:  Friday, Sept. 9
See something you like, but can't make it?  Or not local to me?  You can order a kit, and I will send it directly to you (shipping charges will apply in addition to class cost).
It's rainy and dreary here today, so I think I'm going to head on up to my craft room for a little creative therapy!  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Color Challenge, continued....

Last week's challenge at Heart2Heart Challenges involved the colors Cocoa, Pear and Sorbet.  This week, we're asked to create projects in the color combo that we love the most.  Now, I love many different color combinations, depending on what type of project I'm making.  But I'm definitely a "Pink" girl (ask anyone who knows me!), and I especially like pink when paired with a bright green, Like Pear.  Here is what I decided to make:

I absolutely love the colors in the Sophia paper pack, particularly Hollyhock and Pear, and since I have plenty of paper from this line, I decided to use some of them up.  I went with the theme of "consume, not collect", and deccorated these paper mache letters that I've had sitting around FOREVER!  I painted them, then traced them onto the Sophia paper, cut out the letters, and used Mod Podge to adhere them to the paper mache letters.  I then used my sanding block and finishing files to even out the edges.  Some stamping and some embellies finish it off.  These letters now grace the top of my much beloved Ikea Expedit book shelf in my craft room, inspiring me to CREATE every day!!

Blogger is being very persnickity about letting me upload any more photos.  I promise I will come back soon and post some close ups of my letters. Hope you enjoy this project, and I invite you to play along with us this week at H2H.  We've got a guest Design Team member joining us for September...Jane Haas.  Please give her a warm welcome, and visit her at  We have 2 new prize sponsors as well:  Heather Hunt ( and Kelly Jo Ratcliff (  They've got some really great prizes to give out, and you can win this month simply by playing along with our challenges!

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Crafting!! 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Join me on Facebook!

I've created a business page on Facebook, and I would love all of you Facebookers (and non-Facebookers, too!) to join me!  The page name is Close To My Heart with Michelle Auten (the Paper Princess).  Long, I know, but it's all about the branding, right??  :-)  So anyway, come on over and join me!  I'd love to have you!