New Product Blog Hop

Sunday, July 31, 2011

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It’s time to show off all the fabulous new products in the Close to My Heart Autumn Winter idea book/catalog! I’m hosting a blog hop for my fellow CTMH sisters (and brothers), so check out their amazing work by clicking on the thumbnails below.

If you’re a consultant or a customer and would like to join in, click here for more information. It’s simple, easy to join, and open to everyone with new artwork to show off. The hop will be open for new entries until Friday, Aug. 5th.
Before you go hopping away, let’s take a look at some of my artwork, shall we? I’d like to share a scrapbook page of my son and husband, enjoying a little “Hang time.” Click on the photo for a larger view.

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I created this scrapbook page using the new paper pack, Typeset. The oversized numbers and letters are great for back-to-school pages, and I love the color combo of Juniper and Vineyard Berry – so versatile!

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I could sing the praises of these Cork Color Ready Alphas all day. Self stick makes them so easy. And they accept ink and embossing like a dream.

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Another must-have: Glitz Glitter Gel. Affordable at just $2.75 a bottle and there are three new colors. Red, Bronze (shown here) and silver. My favorite way to use them is dots. Like a bottle full of rhinestones, I tell ya.

One last peek. I love piling on those embellies.

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Want to see more new artwork? Click on the thumbnails below!
If you’d like to join the hop, please click here for information. Please no "double-dipping". Click the link for the rules regarding participation.

Note to free Wordpress bloggers: contact Tresa for the code, the one below won't work for you. 

Convention Album Contest Winner

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yippee! I won! I’m so honored to receive first place in the album contest at the Close to My Heart convention.

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The grand prize, in the basket above, is $1,250 in CTMH products. That should keep me busy for a while, you think?

Will I share the Pics? YOU BET! I didn’t have time to properly photograph my entry before I shipped it off to Close to My Heart for the contest. The deadline was June 5th, and I worked on my album right up to the last minute.

I’ll have the photos and a video a bit later in August. The album is best seen “in action” with the interactive elements and some of them were damaged in transit and in display. So after I’ve had time to give my artwork some beauty repair treatments, I’ll have a photo shoot so I can make it all look pretty.

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Check out the bouquet I received on stage. While I couldn’t bring home all the products and I’m patiently waiting for them to be shipped to my home, I did manage to get this amazing bouquet home on the airplane. I just couldn’t leave it behind in the airport, and it was too big to carry it on (plus it was amazingly fragrant and airplanes can be full of crabby people who might not enjoy the scent of my flowers).

So… I packed it in my suitcase! There were several plastic bags in my room for transporting my art, so I used them to wrap up the bouquet gently, then I nestled it into my big suitcase and packed all my other items around the flowers. And guess what? It worked! A few petals were slightly bruised, but the whole thing miraculously survived the TSA screens and the brutal baggage handling none for the worse. I enjoyed my flowers in a big vase in my kitchen for several more days. Thank you Close to My Heart!

Extravaganza Artwork: Sonoma

Saturday, July 23, 2011

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If you are looking for heritage, wedding or classic scrapbooking papers, you’ll love Sonoma. This new paper pack will be available to order on August 1st on my website. Sonoma will be joining seven other brand new My Reflections paper packs, as well as tons of new stamp sets and accessories!

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I love the neutral color scheme and so my first item I wanted to create was a heritage page with old photos of my parents. The new cork alphabet is one of my favorite accessories, I’m finding myself reaching for it often.

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Check out that huge honkin’ rhinestone brad. You get 12 for $5.95. Six each of two sizes. Serious bling. The hardest part is deciding if the recipient of this project is worthy of this gift of glamour, because I’m feeling the need to hoard these.

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The beauty of a neutral color scheme is the ease of adding additional color. Sonoma looks stunning with oranges and blues, as well as the purple color family that is already included. Don’t be afraid to ramp it up, you can go pretty bold with your additional color.

Notice my additional colors, on the following pieces of artwork.

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Above: Pins from new Bling assortment, Flower from new Heirloom assortment.

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Large rhinestone buttons from Bling Assortment. Stars from Milepost shapes. Silver dots created using new Silver Glitter Gel. Seriously, you need this if you like bling. Three new colors coming: red, bronze, silver. At $2.75 per bottle, it’s a steal.

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Handmade roses and ribbon flower. The new heavier weight patterned paper is printed on both sides, so the rose looks lovely from all angles.

Still time to get more Bang for your Buck!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

bang for your buck

We interrupt the sneak peeks of the new products coming on August 1st to deliver this important message….

There’s still time to get stuff for a buck! It’s so easy: spend $50 or more (before shipping and handling and tax) on my website, and choose a bonus item for $1. There are five product collections to choose from, each valued at $8.95 retail.

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Want to save even more money? Stock up on your favorite solid color cardstock packs and combo packs by July 31 to take advantage of the current prices. You’ll save $5 per pack by ordering now, prices will be increasing August 1st.

There will also be several My Reflections paper packs retiring so this will be your last chance to get them. Click on the names to view and shop.

Magnifique

Mistletoe

Miracle

Olivia

Sweetheart

Hooligans

Bliss

Wings

Extravaganza Artwork: Mischief

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

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I love a good Halloween paper pack, and the Mischief paper is right up my alley. Not only does it have the gothic glam look I adore, but it’s also suited for heritage papers and more. Just take out the theme-specific labels paper and you’ve got some great damask and stripe patterns in neutral browns, blacks and fall colors.

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Midnight felt shapes are self-stick and easy to use. I added glittery leaves to dress up the tree shape.

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You get two sheets of the patterned paper with these crazy labels. I spoke with the art director of CTMH while I was at convention and he told me that one of their designers came up with all of the wording on the labels. They are a hoot!

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Piling on the embellishments in clusters is my style. With all the new and affordable embellishments coming in the new catalog, there’s plenty to choose from.

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Extravaganza Artwork: Typeset

Monday, July 18, 2011

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Back from convention and ready to share! It’s been a whirlwind of prep in the past few months, and I am so glad that I can finally reveal the artwork that has kept me so busy lately.

For the next few days, I’ll be sharing the items that I created for my Extravaganza class, “Adding Brazzle Dazzle to your Artwork”. If you are not a Close to My Heart consultant, or have never attended national convention, you may wonder what Extravaganza is. It’s the most amazing blast of consultant creativity, all packed into a few short hours, and sure to make your head spin with all the fabulous classes.

In my class, I demonstrated how to take your artwork to the next level by adding accessories and products that sparkle, shimmer and shine!

Good news, I’ll be re-creating the actual classes on video, either on youtube or ustream. I’ll need some time to put those together, so in the meantime, you can enjoy the photos of the artwork. I’ll keep the chatter down to a minimum, and just let you get your fill of some glittery eye candy.

Today’s artwork is all created with the My Reflections paper kit, Typeset, which will be available for purchase on my website on August 1.

If you have questions about any of the pieces of artwork (techniques, how-to, products used), please feel free to leave a comment. I’ll answer directly in the comments section, as well as email you directly if you leave your email or have a google profile with email listed.

Check back for more Extravaganza artwork this week, plus more exciting info from my convention experience!

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Patriotic Pinwheels

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A little late for 4th of July, but still good for any occasion, pinwheels (or yo-yos) can dress up your cupcakes or your scrapbook pages equally!

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a tutorial, so let’s take a step-by-step look at how I create this simple pinwheel, shall we?

I’m going to make a disclaimer right now, my hands and my workspace are nothing to be proud of, I’ve been hard at work on artwork that I’ll finally be able to share with you in a few weeks, but until then it’s not a pretty sight.

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Begin by cutting a long strip of cardstock (or patterned paper). The width of your cardstock will be about half of your finished diameter of your pinwheel. For a cupcake pinwheel, I have cut my cardstock 1” wide by 12” long. This will make a 2-1/4” pinwheel.

The bigger the pinwheel, the more length you’ll need. Since 12” is generally the maximum length you can get from a piece of cardstock, it’s perfect for this size of pinwheel. If you have a larger one, you’ll need to piece together more strips.

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Since my cardstock is plain, I want to add some color with stamps. Border stamps look great on a pinwheel, so I’m using the Eclectic Edges stamp set. Love this set, it has 6 borders that I find myself using over and over. It’s a great price too, at $18.95 that’s just $3 plus change per border!

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This border is pretty wide, so I let half of the image hang off the edge of the cardstock when stamping. This cuts the width in half, so I have a narrower image. Don’t forget to stamp on a disposable desk pad or scrap paper, or you’ll be scrubbing ink off your table!

Stamp both sides of your cardstock, if your pinwheel will be viewed from both sides. Like on a cupcake. For a scrapbook page or a card, you can get away with just one side.

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Stamp the second border in blue. I kind of missed lining up the middle, but once you accordion fold it won’t show. Probably. Hopefully.

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Score at 1/4” increments. You can do it old-school with a ruler and an embossing tool. Or use your paper trimmer with the scoring blade. Or use an scoring board. Whatever. Just don’t skip the scoring part, it’s very difficult to fold successfully without scoring first.

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Fold on all the score lines. Looking good!

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To add glitter to the edges, here’s what I do…

After folding your cardstock, flatten it out again. Why? It’s much easier to get the folds all pre-creased before you add the glitter.

Use a liquid glue (I’m using mod podge) and brush along the edges. You want something that’s going to dry clear, and it should be liquid-ey enough to trap the glitter so it won’t be falling off in you food if you’re using this for cupcakes. Liquid glass is another adhesive that works well.

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You can dump the glitter onto your brushed-on glue, but if you like a nice, even line of glitter, try this:

Pour a small pile of the glitter onto scrap paper. Place the glue-ey edge of the cardstock alongside the pile, then scoot forward like a bulldozer and push the pile of glitter with the edge of the cardstock, just enough that it makes an even line. Work in short sections to keep the glue and glitter even.

I’m not going to lie. This will look like you’re a very glittery drug-dealer in the movies.

After the glue dries thoroughly, use a paintbrush to whisk away all excess glitter. You don’t want it in your food.

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For the pick, you’ll need a long toothpick (the kind they use for sandwiches) or cut a bamboo skewer in half.

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Use a glue gun (or tacky glue) to attach the pick so that the free end extends off the TOP of your design. This gets me every time, I forget and do the the opposite. Just remember that the pick will be extending from the bottom of your pinwheel, so you need it to come out of the top of the design, because once it’s a circle the top will be at the bottom. Get it? No? Just keep reading.

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Bring the other end of the pleated cardstock around to meet the skewer and sandwich the skewer between. I use a med-temp glue gun, so I don’t burn my fingers. If you use a hot glue gun, this can be tricky. If you use tacky glue you’ll need to clamp the piece until dry, or pinch it and hold for a few minutes.

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Manipulate the accordion folded cardstock to lay flat. This takes a minute, but it will come together, I promise. It’s a lot easier to do if you’re not holding a camera.

Once the piece lays flat, you are going to skooch the center together, until it’s a very small hole.

Now you get to choose how to keep the hole closed, because if you let it go, it will pop apart like a demented jack-in-the-box and you have to go through the whole flattening process again. In fact, you should decide BEFORE you start the flattening. There are several thing you can do….

1. Punch a circle (stamp or decorate it if desired) and add adhesive, then place over the hole.

2. Use a sticker over the hole. It needs to really stick, so you might want to add extra adhesive.

or do what I’ve done,

3. Fill the hole with glue from the glue gun, hold until dry. You can sprinkle with glitter while the glue is still tacky, or insert a brad, or cover with an embellishment like a button.

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