Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What to do with all those little scraps...

OK, so I was looking at my open paper pack with all those little strips of paper...mostly 1x12" or 1.5 x 12". I'm thinking, hmmmm, what can I do with those?

I'm too tired to think up my own color combinations (plus, why work hard when someone else has done the work for you?), so I just go with the colors and papers in this kit, which is called Stardust (X7109B, $12.95). The colors are Bamboo, Honey, Moonstruck and Topiary. Anyway, I decided to make a 4x4 card using 1x1 scraps (inchies!) and a pop-up technique that my daughter taught me from the 4th grade.

- Cut two 1/2" x4" strips.
- Position the strips perpendicular to each other (forming an "L" shape).
- Glue them together at the ends where they overlap.
- Fold one strip over the other, like an accordion or spring.
- Continue folding, making a springy strip.

I just put the "spring" under one of the squares. I loved using the Dream Big (D1399, $22.95) stamp set for this card. ANY of the little stamps in that set would work. I used Topiary ink (Z2155, $5.25).

I like how easy this card was, but it's still kind of interesting. PLUS, it's using up scraps of paper.

I didn't edge distress the little squares, but I think that would look nice, too.

BONUS: This card will mail flat! No need for extra postage for sending a bumpy card...(unless you mail it in a square envelope).

SUPPLIES USED: Stardust Paper Pack (X7109B, $12.95), Dream Big stamp set (D1399, $22.95), Topiary stamp pad (Z2155, $5.25)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Convention Swap Card

I LOVE the Close To My Heart convention. It's a chance to find out the latest news from corporate, see the new Fall Idea Book early (yay!), make fun artwork/take classes designed by someone else, and swap cards with thousands of other consultants.

Close To My Heart consultants are SO creative, I'd feel sad if I missed out on the opportunity to swap cards with them. This is one of the cards I am swapping. It had to be fast, easy and something not boring.

For the flower I used a punch.

SUPPLIES USED: Bella Paper Pack (X7114B, $12,95), Dream Big (D1399, $22.95), Celebrate Life (retired - sorry - I didn't realize it), Pansy Purple stamp pad (Z2141, $5.25), Bamboo stamp pad (Z2103, $5.25), Basic Craft Buttons (Z1206, $7.95 for 100 buttons - 4 colors), Amethyst Waxy Flax (now retired).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stamping on Vellum

I love flowers and butterflies. The Spring and Summer Idea Books are great for this, because they always have lots of them. (But of course, it's a weakness...I have too many flower stamps...) This month in card class we made a butterfly stamped both on card stock AND vellum. We stamped on the vellum and then cut it out and attached it to the butterfly on the card stock. (We used Petal brads in class, but here I just attached the vellum with Liquid Glass, under the butterfly body.)

Of course, stamping on vellum can mean your ink will take forever to dry. I tried using a heat gun to speed up the drying process, but still it takes a while to dry. Unless you leave it for hours, you will probably smear your ink when cutting. This was a problem in card class last week.

The solution came to me after everyone left for the evening. Close To My Heart's Clear Detail Embossing Powder (Z821, $3.95). I love this stuff. In Embossing Powder-speak, "detail" means a finer grind, so the powder will look good even on those fine lines on your stamped's less gritty; you know, like powdered sugar is compared to regular sugar. (But not that extreme of a difference.)

TIP: So to keep your stamped image on vellum from smearing, just stamp on the vellum and sprinkle Clear Detail Embossing Powder on it, tap off the excess, heat it with a heat gun, and then cut it out. It makes the image shiny, but if you don't want the shiny side up, use the back side of the image. It still looks nice. (um, unless you're stamping letters...)

EMBOSSING POWDER TIPS: You can stamp with dye-based inks (like Close To My Heart's) on card stock, but because the ink dries pretty fast, you can't usually use embossing powder with it. (Using pigment inks, like Color Box brand ink pads, or ones that specifically say they are good for embossing usually work better with embossing powder on card stock because they are super slow drying, even on card stock.) BUT, because the vellum makes the dye-based ink very slow drying, you have time to sprinkle and heat/melt your embossing powder. There is another advantage to using clear embossing powder - you now have 60 Close To My Heart colors to choose from for your project, since the embossing powder I am recommending is clear, your ink color will show through! LOVE IT!
(Note: There are lots of different types of embossing powders - most of them are opaque. Which is nice when you are embossing on dark paper.)

Supplies Used: Bella paper pack (X7114B, $12.95), Embrace Life stamp set (C1391, $18.95), 8 1/2" x 11" Vellum (1395, $6.95), Olive card stock (included in Bella paper pack), New England Ivy card stock (1282, $9.50 for 24 sheets), Colonial White card stock (1388, $9.50 for 24 sheets), Clear Detail Embossing Powder (Z821, $3.95), Liquid Glass (Z679, $6.95), Craft Heater (Z555, $29.95), Micro-Tip Scissors (LOVE 'EM!) (Z534, $9.95)
Colors Used:
Pansy Purple stamp pad (Z2141, $5.25), Olive card stock (included in Bella Paper Pack, 1245, $9.50 for 24 sheets), Colonial White card stock (1388, $9.50 for 24 sheets), New England Ivy stamp pad (Z2135, $5.25). You could use the Vanilla Cream card stock which is included in the Bella paper pack

If you would like to learn to emboss, let me know, and we can schedule a get-together with you and your friends. Learning and creating is always fun!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Clear Cards

I love Close To My Heart's new Clear Cards (yes, that is what they are called. Very imaginative name, isn't it? Well, it's descriptive anyway.) They're $8.95 for a pack of 4 square cards and 4 scalloped cards (Z1309). It also includes self-sealing, clear envelopes, which is pretty cool.

This is a card we're making in class this month. I hope this inspires you to try to make one yourself!

When designing a clear card, just think about the different layers you usually use. So instead of putting the big patterned paper in the background on the front of the card, you're putting it on the inside of the card. It looks the same, but it's way more interesting. :)

Supplies Used: Cherry-O Creative Basics (X5810, $7.95), Cherry-O Paper Pack (X7123B, $12.95), White Daisy Just Blooms Paper Flowers (Z1300 - on sale! just $5.95), Summer Posies Just Blooms Paper Flowers (for the leaves) (Z822 - on sale! just $5.95), Basic Brad Assortment (Z1218, $4.95), Colonial White Designer Ribbon Rounds (Z1126, $7.95), Glue Dots (1772, $7.50), Tombow Mono Adhesive (1514, $8.95).

TIP: The Clear Cards have an opaque plastic cover on BOTH sides of the cards. You'll need to pull them off. To start the removal process, scratch a little bit off with your fingernail. It should pull right off. If the card is opaque, you still have plastic on it. If it's totally clear, the plastic has been removed.

Another Tip: You need to use some sort of flexible adhesive for the plastic cards. Tombow works great for this. Plus it's clear.

I rounded the corners of the square paper. (Shhh, my favorite corner rounder is made by Creative Memories.)

I made the words on the inside line up under the words on the outside of the card. Then it's like a little surprise!

Friday, June 18, 2010

My New Obsession...

So, after making a couple of little scrapbooks...I have a new obsession. MINI-SCRAPBOOKS. I like them, because they have a definite ending place -- they are not big, so you can only make a few pages. (And it forces you to use the good pics - not everyone that crosses your path.)

They're not amazing and elaborate, but they are definitely heartfelt. My cousin turned 50 this year, and we celebrated yesterday. I thought it would be fun to make a 50 Years of Hair scrapbook. Actually, I ended up calling it HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW. (He had really nice hair as a kid...he's bald now.)

SUPPLIES USED: I used Close To My Heart's new My Creations Board Book (Z1310), Sweet Home paper pack (X7116B), A-Door-Ables (Z1321), Love Letters Rub Ons (Z1098 -- on SALE! $6.95 instead of $9.95), Simple Numbers Dimensional Elements (Z1115), Glitter Rub Ones (the holiday one, Winter Cheer, Z1222), Indian Corn Blue and Barn Red stamp pads, Round Sponge (Z169) and Tiny Typewriter stamp set.

TIP: Everyone loved the scrapbook (partly because some of them had never seen pictures of Carl WITH hair.) Most of them thought the A-Door-Ables were the best part - which I thought was funny. I colored the A-Door-Ables with the Round Sponge (or you could use the Sponge Daubers). I also tried coloring it with the Rubber Brayer, but the ink would not go into the little crease on the door -- and that annoyed me.

Here's a few pages from the book. I thought it was pretty easy to put together. Just make simple 6x6 pages and glue them in the book. I sponged around the edges of the pages, because there was a little white border. The sponging made it look more finished. (I also sponged the spine of the book.)

Using the Dimensional Elements on the cover was really easy, and I thought it added a lot.

I used the Love Letters Rub Ons for the "Always & Forever" love song from the 1970's. (Yes, that is me in the red shirt on the left.)

I used more Love Letters Rub Ons for the door.

Hope this inspires you to make your own little scrapbook!

Friday, June 11, 2010

We made this card in Card Class recently. I really wanted to use this Grown With Love tree set (D1372), but I really didn't want to cut the tree out (I'm too lazy). Plus, it's is really big, almost 4x6. I saw a card that had it stamped off to the side, like this, and thought it was a nice way to treat it. If you changed the white ribbon to a yellow ribbon, it would make a great Welcome Home card for a soldier or someone returning from a long absence. Colors used: Chocolate, Clover Meadow (green), Blush (pink). Accessories: Liquid Glass (Z679) as an adhesive, Prisma Glitter (Z134) and 3/8" White Daisy Organdy Ribbon (Z209).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Studio J - Online Scrapbooking, CTMH Style!

I'm so excited about Studio J, Close To My Heart's online/digital scrapbooking program. It makes making your scrapbook pages truly faster, simpler and easier! You can see and play with it on my website,

You don't even need to buy before you try! YEAH! Play with it, make a couple of pages, then decide if you want to buy. There's even new virtual paper (not available in the Idea Book.) See the fun pages I made recently!

Father's Day Card

We made this fun Father's Day card at card class last month. It's actually 2 cards in one. The small Barn Red square flips up to the right to reveal a sentiment. The brown square also flips up, but to the left. I used the new Passages paper pack on this card, as well as the Heritage Edge Anchors.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Got a bee in my bonnet

Well, I decided this week that I really should give my dad his birthday scrapbook. He turned 80 last June, and his 81st birthday is right around the corner. (No one said I was fast.) I am on a mission to finish (start!) this scrapbook and give it to him for his Big Day. I told my daughter that I had a "bee in my bonnet" to finish this scrapbook. I think she thought I was nuts.

I'd bought a 9x9 album for him last year - and my dad gave me a disk with all the pictures from my cousins (ages ago). I would have loved to do a Studio J (CTMH digital scrapbook), but they wanted the 9x9 size album.

I had lots of fun making the scrapbook. I decided to use the Moon Doggie paper, because my dad was wearing a kind of Hawaiian shirt at his party. I thought they would go nicely together. I wanted to show you a few things that I did to make the pages interesting and easy.

1. I used 9x9 Simply Snapshots for some of the pages. (Moon Doggie, includes 12 pre-printed pages, X8534, with a new lower price of $6.95). You just stick your 4x6 pictures in the spaces on the page. Very easy!

2. To make this page a little more interesting, I stamped some greenery in a Garden Green Ink and attached a flower made with punched out flowers. (LOVE this technique.) You punch 4 flowers using coordinating paper (it's nice that our paper is two-sided), scrunch them up in your hand, open them up carefully and use a Filigree Charm (Z1269, $3.95 for a pack of 8) brad as a center. (I used the Piercing Tool (Z1114, $5.95) to pre-pierce the flower centers.) I LOVE how easy and beautiful this technique is. We also used it on the Memory Keeper Box.

You then just use the flower like any other flower! I like that it's relatively flat and it's very interesting looking on the page. (I tried not to use too many flowers...they're not very manly, are they?)

More fun tomorrow!