Blog Hop Begins on Friday!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

blog hop logo_chalk it

Join me on Friday, Aug. 1 for a new product blog hop with dozens of Close to My Heart consultants! We’ll be sharing our creations using products from the newest CTMH Annual Inspirations catalog.

The hop can be viewed from any participating consultant, and you can start right here on my blog. You’ll see all the participants entries and you can click the thumbnail image of the blogs you want to visit to check out their awesome artwork!

The hop will be growing over seven days with consultants adding new projects from Aug. 1 to Aug. 7, so you can check back daily to see what’s new on the hop!

Here’s sneak peak of the adorable mini album I’ll be sharing.

my crush sneak peak

If you are Close to My Heart consultant and would like to join our hop, please request to join our CTMH Blog Boosters facebook group.

New Catalog Now Available!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

 02 – Sarita L3

New, new, new! I’m so excited to start shipping the newest version of Close to My Heart’s catalog. This new book is titled Annual Inspirations, and it’s good for an entire year!

Annual inspirations is 192 pages of gorgeous artwork samples, tips and ideas to make the most of Close to My Heart’s products. Shop for stamps, papers, scrapbooking and cardmaking kits, exclusive CTMH Cricut cartridges and more!

In December and April, you can look forward to a shorter supplement called Seasonal Expressions. This 40 page beauty will feature all new seasonally inspired products.

You can view the entire catalog online beginning August 1st. If you’re like me and like to have a book to browse, add post-it notes and make notes in, you can get your own Annual Inspirations.

Order your new Annual Inspirations catalog NOW for just $3.50 (shipping extra).

Live locally to me? Spokane residents may request a catalog without shipping costs. Contact me for details.

Altered Christmas Album for Operation Smile

Thursday, July 17, 2014

December daily
Each year at our national convention, Close to My Heart raises thousands of dollars for Operation Smile. As an extravaganza teacher, I was honored to be able to donate something for the silent auction, which is held on the last day of our festivities.

december daily side
I’m happy to report that my December Daily altered mini album received a winning bid of $400!
I had so much fun making this album using new products from the upcoming Close to My Heart annual inspirations catalog, which you can purchase on my blog soon, or spend $50 in July and receive one free!
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I used the My Crush book, Holiday Happenings to create the altered mini. I started by removing the spiral binding inside the book, and covering the front and inside covers.

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I punched holes in the cover and added three large book rings to hold the variety of pages I created for the inside.
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The existing pages that came in the book were already hole-punched for the wire binding (above, right), so I used these as a template to mark the location to punch the holes for my book rings. This way I didn’t have to punch new holes on the pre-punched pages, they just slipped right onto the new rings!
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I made loads of additional pages using everything from flip-flaps (above, left), to envelopes (above, right). If I could punch it, it went into the book!
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I adore interactive pages, so I had to add some fold-outs and pockets.
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I even managed to add a few of the CTMH treat bags as pocket pages! (red polka dot above, red chevron below)  
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I hope to make a few more of these altered albums using more of my Close to My Heart stash soon. They are so fun and eclectic, I just love them!

Stretching Paper and Hiding Seams

Thursday, July 10, 2014

hideous or adorable LO

My job as an extravaganza teacher at convention is to explore new ways to use a product, especially when a product is often seen in just one way.

The My Crush books are fun and fast scrapbooking at its best. Stick it, write it, bling it, crush it, done. These chunky 7” x 10” albums are awesome.

But what about 12 x 12 scrappers with traditional albums? Why not remove the paper and use it just like any patterned paper?

I can hear you now. “But it’s not 12” long, I need big sheets.” My answer to you is to remember that you will cut up most of your sheets of paper on a scrapbook page, and you really only need the base page to be 12” x 12”. You get 30 double sided heavy cardstock pages in a My Crush book, that’s 60 printed choices for you to work with.

And if you need the paper to be just a bit larger, here’s a little design tip:

You can “stretch” the paper by cutting it apart and hiding the split behind one of your page elements. You can also merge two pieces of matching paper together and hide the seam behind an embellishment.

You’d never guess that the strips on right side of the layout above are not 11” long, or that the large blue square behind the photos is not one but two sheets of patterned paper. A little magic of concealment is all it takes to fool the viewer into seeing what you want them to see!

Take a look at the page without the concealing elements.

hideous or adorable SB LO

Pretty clever, eh? Use this technique when you have small pieces of leftover cardstock or when you’re working with My Crush book pages on a standard 12” x 12” layout. They’ll never know!

Whatever Wednesday

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Using Every Bit

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Geek is chic card

I love getting lots of mileage from my crafty supplies!

While working with the My Crush books for my Close to My Heart extravaganza class at convention, I tried to utilize all of the elements that make the My Crush book unique. The pages in the books are 7” x 10” in a spiral bound book. You can remove the pages easily by bending the wire apart, or you can rip the pages out.

Geek is chic card sideI’m loving how these layered hole punched edges look a bit like ruffles.

I chose four different patterns in a similar color family, but in varying shades, then layered them from light to dark. This keeps these “ruffles” from distracting from the main focal point, and adds plenty of texture. 

This paper is found in the Wildwood My Crush book, available on my shopping website beginning August 1, 2014.

Happy Flash Mob at Convention

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Crossing off my bucket list: participate in a flash mob.

dance lesson

I love seeing videos of flash mobs, and I thought that it would be a great idea to have one at Close to My Heart’s annual convention. After a few years of talking with corporate staff, I finally took the plunge and decided someone better step forward and arrange one. That would be me.

On May 1st of this year I created a facebook group and a website and began spreading the word to ask consultants to join in the surprise. I choreographed a simple dance with just a few moves, designed to be performed by any skill level, even seated dancers could participate.

It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun in the weeks leading up to convention. We had to spread the word yet still keep it a secret. I was working with one of the staff at corporate, so that we could surprise the CTMH executive team and support staff at convention.

happy button collage

Before convention, we created badges to identify ourselves, but did not give away what the badges were for. Seeing so many badges on consultants as we attended classes and events at convention was thrilling, knowing that we would all be surprising everyone else with our big dance.

Finally, the big day. After a long day of teaching extravaganza, I was tired to the bone, but excited about our big performance. All of the attendees gathered in the ballroom for our final general session. CTMH founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton came onstage for an emotional Q&A session and touching tribute to her 30 years in the papercrafting industry.

I had been given the information that our music would start sometime after the Q&A onstage, but we did not know exactly when it would begin. There was more news for CTMH to share with us onstage, and I have to admit that I don’t remember much of anything that was said, since I was perched on the edge of my seat waiting for our cue!

Finally, our music began, interrupting the three Close to My Heart Vice Presidents onstage. Time to get happy….