Operation Smile Donation Artwork

Friday, August 30, 2013

All Star Canvas

Close to My Heart has been a supporter of Operation Smile since 2008, and a portion of every stamp set sold goes toward helping this charity.

At our national convention in June, CTMH holds an artwork auction with items created by consultants and corporate artists. This auction raises thousands of dollars with all proceeds going to Operation Smile.

I contributed this 6x6 mini canvas using Sarita textiles and ProPlayer paper pack, plus the Artbooking Cricut cartridge. The mini clothespin allows the photo to quickly changed. When designing this item, I thought it would work for anything from baby boy photos to high school team pictures.

I hope that the new owner of this piece enjoys it!

Whatever Wednesday

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I’m a day off, because it’s actually Thursday, it’s been one of those busy weeks.

In light of the recent inappropriate behavior of a certain former Disney star, I thought I’d share some perfectly respectable Disney tunes performed boy-band style by singers that you don’t mind sharing with your pre-teens.

Gather the kids and enjoy the show!

Wise Words

Sunday, August 25, 2013

By all means paint

I think that Vincent Van Gogh had the “Just Do It” idea long before Nike.

If you could learn something new without any fear of failure, restrictions on expense or time, what would you choose?

More Fun with QR Codes

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I’m crackin’ the code to more interactive scrapbook pages!

The strip LO


At the beginning of this month I shared how I used a QR code to create a clever birthday party invitation.

Smart Pages
You can use QR codes on your scrapbook pages as well! I created this layout about my hard-working husband’s preparations to build an airstrip on our land in Idaho.

When the runway was ready, my husband shot a video of a take-off and landing. Seeing the video gives you a much better experience on what it’s really like to get into and out of our little airstrip. Check it out: you can scan the code below with your smartphone, or click on this link to see where the code will take you.
the strip QR

Two Ways to View 
I used a free QR code generator and printed it onto cardstock. Since not everyone has a smart phone, I also included a shortened link to the video below the code, which allows the reader to view the video on their computer or laptop without having to scan a code.

Print & Embellish
Once the QR code and link are printed out, treat it like any design element on your page. I inked the edges and added a stamped “GO” image plus a little square of patterned paper to create an accent cluster that works with my page design.

More Ideas 
You can link up a QR code to just about anything that is on the web. Some ideas to consider:
A video of a school concert
A voice recording of your baby’s laugh
A slideshow of your summer trip
Your wedding song
The website of a vacation resort you visited

the strip close

Try to choose a place to store your photos, videos and sound recordings that will be easy to access and has privacy settings. I like Microsoft skydrive or youtube, but there are lots of other places to store your files.

Creating engaging and interactive scrapbook pages with a little hi-tech know how can be fun and rewarding when you know the code!

I Changed the Baby

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

babycakes birthday
Before you skip it, think about changing it! It makes me sad when I hear someone dismiss a brand new Close to My Heart paper pack because of the intended theme. Babycakes paper is one of those papers that might get passed over because “I don’t need baby paper.”

babycakes birthday card

My babies are getting pretty big now, so I rarely need a baby themed paper pack or stamp set these days. But I can change that baby paper by focusing on the gorgeous patterns and colors in Babycakes paper pack, and with a little addition of Juniper cardstock, I created a fresh birthday card for a friend. The orange, grey and brown color scheme is so trendy right now, and adding silver sparkle turns up the sophistication level a notch or two.

I also changed up the cork shapes. These Color-Ready Accents can be used with all their natural corky goodness, or you can easily change them up.
babycakes birthday closeup
I dabbed the chevron shapes onto a pigment inkpad, then sprinkled with white embossing powder for a clean white look. I left a bit of the natural cork texture showing through, or you can repeat the pigment/embossing step and create a solid color covering. Try embossing in metallic silver or gold for a little glitz! I added a couple of Opaques adhesive gems in licorice for a final touch to my altered chevrons.

So get more mileage from your paper, more bang for your buck and more uses for your products. Change it, baby!

Close to My Heart products used (click on the link to shop):Babycakes paper pack
Heartfelt Birthday Wish stamp
Glitter Paper (black & grey collection)
Opaques Adhesive Gems (Licorice collection)
Color-Ready Midtown Cork Shapes

Smart Scrapbooking

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

smart phone

Telling your everyday story in your scrapbooks is just as important as your special events. I find that my favorite layouts are often about something that we do regularly but don’t often take the time to acknowledge that it’s such a big part of who we are.

smart phone layout

Having my smart phone camera handy has allowed me to capture so many of those little moments in life. From silly putty sculptures to do-it-yourself manicures, I’m always ready to capture the details of our day to day life.

in touch layout

In capturing our everyday moments, I’m reminded how much our lives can change as the years pass. With cell phones and skype, I can keep in touch with my oldest daughter who lives across the state from us. When I was her age, it was a much different story with only weekly phone calls to my parents.

in touch

If you find that you are scrapbooking mostly the big moments in your life, consider creating a few pages about the little things. Share your story, not just your pictures!
CTMH supplies used:
(Click to view and shop)
ProPlayer Paper Pack
Artbooking Cricut Collection
Dimensional Elements Monograms
Baker’s Twine

Just a few more days to get a free paper pack and stamp set when you order any Cricut collection on my Close to My Heart shopping website! Click here for details!

There no mistakes in art…

Thursday, August 8, 2013

only opportunities to embellish.
Happy autumn

It’s true! In papercrafting, mistakes just give us new ways to change up our art.

Happy Autumn 2

I designed this simple little card above, and after making my first one, I cut and stamped enough to make another half dozen.

But whoops…. I cut one of the colonial white pieces a tad too short. And darn, I already stamped it with Happy Autumn stamp set, using all those lovely layers of flowers and added the sentiment. That’s a lot of work to throw in the trash! What to do, what to do?

Happy Autumn 1

Simple! Just rotate the card design, flip a few of the elements around and yippee! Another card, all ready to go!

Give thanks for little mistakes.

What do you think? What’s your favorite tip to cover up a papercrafting mistake?

Close to My Heart products used in this project:
Huntington Paper Packet
Happy Autumn Stamp Set
Bronze Shimmer Trim
Burlap Ribbon
Baker’s Twine Neutral Assortment

Mini Album in a Flash with Artbooking

Monday, August 5, 2013

DSC_1218-001

I’m a slow scrapper. Yep, I said it. I spend hours making design decisions, trying to find the right pattern and photo placement. I enjoy the process and make no apologies. But sometimes you’ve got to take charge and get something done quickly. Enter Artbooking.

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With one or two keys, and a single dial-size setting, you can create scrapbook pages and mini albums that are perfectly sized and designed.

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I tested out this “one and done” concept by making a school mini album for my son. I decided to use the ProPlayer paper pack, plus the additional colors of Ruby, Kraft and Honey to give the decidedly tech-boy paper a more colorful school theme.

DSC_1222-002

I decided to see if I could make an album by pre-cutting everything advance, with no pre-planning of the pages. I started by cutting all of the shapes from the “Inspiration” mini album keys of 7 and 8. I love how this album has assorted shaped and sized pages.

CricutArtbookingHandbookCTMH036CricutArtbookingHandbookCTMH037

I used the recommended dial size of 8” and never had to change the size again, every border, overlay and pocket insert were cut in exactly the right size.

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I mixed up my colors and cut at least one of every item. I took no time thinking about the final design, I just randomly grabbed different papers from the paper pack and cut away. It was so much fun getting to work right away, no decision making to slow me down.

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After I cut everything, I had a big, colorful pile of base pages, overlays, borders, titles and accents. I have to admit I was a little fearful, wondering if it would all come together.

DSC_1229

Well, as you can see, there was nothing to be worried about. It was so easy to pick out a base page and some photos, then choose page components to finish it all off. I purposely kept the embellishments simple, using the Keyboard Kraft Alpha Stickers, Licorice Opaques Adhesive Gems, and Ruby Chevron Ribbon.

In less than 3 hours, I completed this 14 page mini album, and it was fun, easy and totally stress-free thanks to Artbooking!

08 – Cricut Artbooking Bundle

Close to My Heart’s Artbooking, the newest member of the CTMH Cricut collections is now available with a very special bonus offer when you shop with me!

Get your choice of a free paper pack and a free August Stamp of the Month when you purchase any one of the three Cricut Collections by Close to My Heart, including the brand new Artbooking. For details and to shop, click here. Offer good Aug. 1 to 15, 2013.

New Product Blog Hop

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Welcome to the Close to My Heart new product blog hop! I’m so excited to bring you some inspiration using new papers and products now available in the Autumn/Winter 2013 idea book & catalog.
top secret card

Since I have been keeping so many secrets with the new product I received last spring, I figure it’s fitting to show off my Top Secret birthday party invitation using ProPlayer paper pack, ProPlayer assortment and the new Cricut Artbooking Collection.

As an Extravaganza teacher, I got my hands on some of the papers, stamps and accessories early in order to create items to show at Close To My Heart’s annual convention. I also got to play with the newest CTMH Cricut Collection, Artbooking. If you’re a scrapbooker or love making mini albums, you are going to flip over this new cartridge! With just one or two keys and a single size setting, you’ll be able to make dozens of layouts and themed mini books, all perfectly sized and coordinated.

top secret card close

But what about cardmakers? Not to worry, we have you covered too. A wealth of titles, shapes and backgrounds can be found in Artbooking. You can cut your shapes as intended, using the dial size listed on the handbook, but you can also change the sizes and adapt them to cardmaking.

I wanted to make a fun birthday invitation using the Top Secret mini album shapes, using the number 5 key. If you follow the instructions in the handbook and set your dial size accordingly, you will have a 5x7 file folder style album. I wanted to create a 4-1/4x5-1/2 card so I changed my dial size to 5-1/2. Keeping the real dial size off meant that my “top secret” words would cut to just the right size, no worries and no mistakes!

top secret card inside

So what else is top secret about this card? Create a message they won’t forget by combining the old-fashioned goodness of a hand-made card with the hi-tech appeal of the internet and smart phones. It’s easy with an online QR code maker and a cloud hosting service like google drive or microsoft skydrive.
Use your smart phone to scan this code, or just click here to go to the secret message.

top secret invite

Over the next few days I’ll be sharing more of my extravaganza artwork with even more tips & ideas. If this is your first visit to my blog, I hope to see you back soon!

New Product blog hop logo

To continue on for loads more inspiration and ideas, visit my fellow CTMH consultants participating in this New Product Blog Hop! Just click any of the photos below to continue.

This blog hop is open for members of the CTMH Blog Boosters. Please do not enter if you are not a member of the group. If you’d like to join our Close to My Heart consultant group for the next blog hop, please visit us on facebook.