Hello September!

Monday, September 1, 2014

DSC_1631
I’m still not ready for summer to end, and we have two more days until my kids go back to school so I’m clinging to those last lazy days of summertime.

Of course, it hasn’t been much of a lazy summer for me, with all the work I’ve been doing on my Curious lessons lately. The good part about working on the Start Stamping videos is that I have lots of stamped examples when I want to put together a quickie card!

DSC_1628

I made this one using a piece that I stamped on my Making A Good Impression video. The card went out to one of my awesome customers as a thank you for her order.

Did you know you will receive a hand stamped card from me every time you place an order on my Close to My Heart shopping website? It’s just one of the ways I like to say thanks for choosing me as your CTMH consultant.

Sweet Deal! September is National Stamping Month, so it’s a good time to get your hands on some brand new stamps, plus you can earn this exclusive set for free with a qualifying order on my website!

30 years of happy!
When you spend $30 on any current retail-priced stamps during the month of September, you qualify to receive the exclusive C-sized stamp set #30yearsofhappy for FREE! This special offer is part of our celebration of National Stamping Month and in honor of our ongoing celebration of our founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton’s 30-year anniversary in the scrapbooking and stamping industry.

You can purchase the Honeycomb set that I used in my card above, and many more old favorites and new stamps on my website. Shop now!

Care & Keep: Start Stamping! Episode 2

Thursday, August 28, 2014

pinterest care keep

Cleaning and organizing? No thanks, I would rather make pretty things.

But what about keeping my stamps organized, and making sure that my inkpads stay fresh and juicy so I can be ready to stamp whenever the mood strikes? If it helps save me time and money, I’m all in.

clean1

My new lesson on Curious is all about caring for and keeping your stamps and supplies in tip-top shape. You can watch it free right now, but that price may change soon so get over to Curious and watch as soon as you can!

care keep1

Have you ever accidentally stamped into the wrong inkpad? Or spilled glitter on your pad? I’ll show you how to rescue your pads without any tears.

care keep4

Did you know that seasoning your stamps before using them is important for the best image? I’ll show you three ways to season your stamps, pick the one that’s right for you!

card keep2

Are you spending too much time hunting for the right stamp, or wondering how to store your inkpads? I’ll share several different ways to store your stamps, inkpads and cardstocks. Proper storage will not only keep your supplies in their best shape, but it will save you time when you want to get creative.

care keep3

Click here to watch Start Stamping! Episode 2: Care & Keep.

Curious has a new look!

curious homepage

I’m proud to be one of the Curious 100, which is the first 100 teachers that Curious enlisted (I’ve even got a plaque to prove it!) Since then, Curious has gotten bigger and better, and now there are over 10,000 courses and lessons on every subject you can imagine. Join Curious with a free membership and start learning today!

Start Stamping!

Monday, August 25, 2014

pinterest basic supplies
I’ve been stamping a long time. But I wasn’t always a stamper, and when I first started out I spent a lot of time learning about products and techniques. I also wasted a lot of money on purchases that I didn’t need to make, and ruined projects because I didn’t know better.

basic supplies video still7
Whether you’re a new stamper or have been at it for decades, I hope that  you will enjoy my latest project. I am creating a new series of video lessons called Start Stamping!

basic supplies video still2
The course will take you from understanding basic supplies and how to care for and store your products, through techniques and tips for getting the most out of your collections. I wish I would have had something like this when I first started stamping!

basic supplies video still3
Each lesson is free for a short period of time, so if you're quick you can watch them for no charge! After a short time the lessons will have a small fee to watch, and once I have completed all of the videos the course will be bundled so you can save by purchasing all the lessons together.

If you’d like to stay updated on my lessons as they are released, make sure to check back here on my blog so you can enroll in the lesson while it is free.

basic supplies video still4
These lessons are speedy and entertaining, but don’t let that fool you. Because of the magic of video editing, the lessons are between 10 to 15 minutes, but they would be a 1 hour class if I offered it live in person or on ustream. Because I can condense the information, you’ll get the maximum amount of information, presented in an easy to follow format. Pretty sweet!

Basic Supplies thumbnail
The lessons are broken into sections, so even if you don’t have the full 10 minutes, you can watch one section and come back to the next when it’s convenient for you. Once you have enrolled in the class, it is yours to watch as often as you like… forever!

basic supplies video still5
Watch episode 1 of Start Stamping! by clicking here or on the photo at the top of this post. You’ll need to register for a Curious account, but it’s free… and so is this lesson, so get started stamping now!

A Dash of Black

Monday, August 18, 2014

Twins LO

Before I tell you about the design of this scrapbook layout, let me just tell you how much I love that my kids are such goofballs. That top photo just cracks me up.

Now on to the important design tips….

I used an assortment of paper from the In the Pink My Crush book for this layout, with a Whisper cardstock background. The muted colors are a great backdrop for my photos, but they seemed a little blah on their own.

twins2

I could have added a brighter pop of color, something in the same color family already in the patterns, such as the bright blue of Close to My Heart’s Ocean cardstock. But instead I chose to pull my color choice from my photos and use black.

Both my son and daughter have black on their clothing, and they have dark hair, so the black really draws the eye through the layout, from the title to the photos to the embellishments.

Geek Chic

Thursday, August 7, 2014

nerds rule

Nerds and geeks have always been cool in my book, since I’m a bit of both. So it’s no surprise that one of my favorite new Close to My Heart stamp sets is Geek is Chic.

Just take at look at these adorkable sayings!

geek is chic
Geek is Chic set, $17.95. Shop here.

So adorkable

For more consultant artwork using new products from Close to My Heart’s Annual Inspirations catalog, check out the CTMH blog booster hop!

blog hop logo pathfinder

Blog Hop #2, I am Awesome

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

awesome LO

Wow, so much inspiration in one hop! The CTMH blog boosters new product hop is still rockin’ with new entries added until this Thursday, and you can visit any of the blogs anytime by clicking here or on the image below to see the hop.
blog hop logo_chalk it

awesome LO close

Today I’m sharing this scrapbook layout I created for my CTMH convention extravaganza class. If you’ve been following along on my blog you remember that my extravaganza product was the My Crush books and accessories, and I showed many ways to “think outside the book.”

Removing the paper from the books can be done by spreading the wire binding, or just ripping the pages out. I kept the hole-punched edge intact on this page by speading the wires, and I chose to use this “Hello, I am Awesome” page from the In the Pink My Crush book without altering a single thing.

awesome LO tilt

I used the page full-sized and just threaded the hole punched edge with ribbons. So simple, and a great way to take advantage of the My Crush pages with a large image.

awesome LO close2

The noteworthy journal spot and the weensy envelope shown above come in the the My Crush In the Pink assortment package. I love how handy this little package of papers and stickers is for scrapbooking!

The In the Pink assortment is a great value at just $4.95, and you receive 16 journal spots, 4 (4”x4”) sticker sheets, 2 (4”x4”) alpha sticker sheets and 4 (4”x4”) envelopes.

in the pink assortment
Check out all the My Crush books and accessories on my website!

Ready to see more ideas with the newest Close to My Heart products from the Annual Inspirations catalog? I’m entering this post into the CTMH blog booster new product hop, check it out HERE!

Make Mine a Mini and a Blog Hop!

Friday, August 1, 2014

swell mini cover
I still have so much to share about the My Crush books from Close to My Heart! In this post I’ll show you how to create an adorable ultra-mini album, using the papers and binding rings that come in the In the Pink My Crush Book.
swell mini
Today I’m joining other Close to My Heart consultants to celebrate the release of the brand new Annual Inspirations, Close to  My Heart’s newest catalog format. New products, papers and stamps galore, all available now on my shopping website! View the catalog or purchase your own copy here.

You’ll find lots of inspiration using the newest products on the CTMH Blog Boosters hop. After you have learned all my tips for using the My Crush book to make your mini, you can scroll to the bottom of this blog post and find many more ideas and artwork by my fellow CTMH consultants.

Let’s get on with the tutorial!
swell mini graphic
For this album, I chose the In the Pink book My Crush book. Each books contain 30 sheets of 7" x 10" double-sided heavy cardstock, printed with coordinating patterns. They are not matchy-matchy, which I totally love. I like how the eclectic mix of papers allows you to pick and choose when you want to only use a handful of the patterns for a smaller project.

The book comes in a Kraft hardbound cover with a wire binding. But you don’t need to keep it that way.

That’s right, I want you to “destroy” your book.

Are you gasping with fright? You can do it, I’ll hold your hand.
DSC_1626-001
Removing the Pages 
The spiral binding is easy to remove from the cover. Use your fingers (no fancy tools required!) and spread the wire apart. Just enough to get the pages out. Then roll the entire binding right out of the cover. It’s not attached, it will come out as easily as the pages did.

DSC_1623-001
See, that wasn’t too hard, was it?

You now have 30 beautiful pieces of 7” x 10” paper to do with as you please. Cards, scrapbook pages and projects await you.

To create your mini album, you can just cut the pages using your paper trimmer, making sure to include the hole-punched edges so you can re-place the wire binding. Use edge punches, corner rounders, and choose any size you like for your book.

If you’d like to get a little fancier, you can cut your pages on the Cricut. I used the Close to My Heart Cartridges, mixing and matching my shapes for a funky layered look.

Cutting your Pages on the Cricut
To make sure that you will include the hole-punched edge on your pages (and not accidentally cut it off – whoops!), I recommend cutting a sample or two.

DSC_1624
Using scrap cardstock, cut the shape you want at the size you want. I chose to create a 4” mini album, so I set most of my shapes to 4”, but I also wanted a layered look so I didn’t stick with that size every time. It was fun to just play around and see what I could come up with.

DSC_1625
Leaving your test shape on the cricut mat, position your My Crush page over the shape. You’ll see above that I made sure that the holes in the page would be included INSIDE the shape. If I would have positioned the page all the way to the left side, my holes would have been cut off or cut open. And we can’t have that.

DSC_1626
Peel back your page and remove the test shape.

DSC_1627
Reposition the page and cut your shape again. Perfect placement!

Now, repeat, repeat, repeat, until you have enough pages for your mini album!

Assembling Your Mini To assemble your mini after you have decorated your pages, just use wire snips to cut a portion of the wire binding, put the pages back onto the wire and squeeze closed with your fingers. It’s not rocket science, but you’ll feel like a genius.
swell mini-002
This mini only used a small fraction of the pages included in the In the Pink My Crush book, so you can make multiple books or use the leftovers for cards and scrapbook pages.
swell mini-005
swell mini-006
swell mini-007
I hope I’ve inspired you to think “outside the cover” and consider getting a My Crush Book for yourself to cut apart. I’d love to hear your comments on what new Close to My Heart products are your favorites!
blog hop logo_brushed
Now if you’d like to get more inspiration on using the newest CTMH products, click on any of the thumbnails below! Check back daily until Aug. 7 for new blog hop entries at the bottom of this post.