Saturday, December 31, 2011

January SOTM Blog Hop!

Welcome to our CTMH Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! We will be featuring January's SOTM, which is called Little Reminder, a set of 25 stamps! 

If you have come here from TAMYTHA'S BLOG, you are on the right path! The blog hop is a great big circle, so you can start here and work your way all around.

This month we have almost 50 Close To My Heart Consultants sharing their creations using this month's SOTM and other great CTMH products on their blogs. This is simple to do - just click on the link at the end of the post on each blog to move to the next one! Here we go!

This month I made this adorable Mayberry Menu Planner for my kitchen! I saw something like this on Pinterest, and I thought, "That's genius!" So I changed it up a bit and made it with a few more features because I found this amazingly cheap Magnetic Board at IKEA ($12!) so I had more space to work with - it's taller than my three year old!

I put more pics and explanations below if you want to 4read more, or you can  "Hop" on over to KATY'S BLOG to see her crafty work! Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their Blogs to get some great crafting ideas and other fun ideas! Remember, this SOTM is only available until the end of January (not to mention that super Rock the Blog Special stamp set and Mayberry papers I used are also going away at the end of this month too). Contact your CTMH Consultant (or click here) to see how you can get this stamp set for just $5!

Here's a close up of the title area. All the papers are 12" across, so full sized sheets of B&T paper. I cut the frames on my Cricut using my Art Philosophy Cartridge (isn't it the BEST!). I stamped the backgrounds and big title letters with the texture stamps from Rock The Block using Honey and Tulip inks. The smaller title is using Polka Dot Alphabet (my total fave). The flowers are also cut on the cricut, then I ran them through a cuttlebug Swiss Dot embossing folder before sanding, curling, and rolling them. 

 I stamped the says of the week from the January SOTM and matted them with some of my stash of CTMH textured CS - sure wish they'd bring that back! Then I popped them up onto my menu panel with 3-D foam tape. I also stamped the corresponding numbers on Colonial white CS and fussy cut them, them popped them up down the right side. The actual menu pieces are computer generated, then stamped with the numbers background from January SOTM and mounted onto textured CS. Then I attached velcro dots to the back of each menu item. I know the board is magnetic, but my 2 year old loves to run his hands down things, so I thought velcro might be better for my kitchen right now.Less chance of Wednesday's dinner traveling to destinations unknown.

For the bottom third of the board I built a little french memo board using Red collection Ribbon and Green Assortment buttons so I can tuck in recipe cards and coupons for that week's menu. I made a little french fry box (cut with my Art Philosophy cartridge as well) to hold the rest of my menu suggestions, everything from eggs to spaghetti to eating out. I finished the bottom of the board with pleated twill ribbon combined with the stitched ribbon from that Red Collection of ribbons.

Now it's hanging in my kitchen - art that's functional and adorable!

Here are some other projects I have made using the January Stamp of the Month...

And I'm linking this to the Paper Issues We've Got Your number party!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Monday Motivations Team Card

This week (on Monday) my team made this card, using the January SOTM that will be available soon. We embossed White Daisy CS using a Cuttlebug folder, then painted it with CTMH's pearl paint. A few 1" strips of Wonderland Paper, and some Cricut scalloped circles and frames for layering, and we had an adorable card in minutes!

I love how the hemp is so skinny and delicate. Did you know you could separate the CTMH hemp just like embroidery floss? Just twist the end of your string between your fingertips until it begins to unravel, then slowly separate the layers. Works on waxy flax too!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mojo Monday 221

Here's another January SOTM card, inspired by the Mojo Monday sketch #212.   I almost never make a round card, so it was fun to experiment out of my normal box!

I cut a scalloped card on my Cricut using my Art Philosophy Cartridge at 4 1/4" as Mojo recommended. Then I cut a scalloped circle at 3 3/4" with the Decorative Layer so it would have the holes punched in the scallops. I stamped that scallop with the number image using Blush ink, then a sponged it with Blush Ink and swiped the edges with Cocoa ink.

Onto the Big scallop I layered a simple scalloped circle cut at 2 1/2", stamped with the big Calendar image from January SOTM in Cocoa Ink. I added the numbers to the center of the calendar with Blush ink.

Then I cut a Cricut rectangle frame at 1 1/2 inches, which I stamped repeatedly with the Let's Celebrate sentiment in Blush ink. I added a Tulip 3-D flower, a bling button, and a Red Collection button to finish my card (upside down from the sketch - hope that's kosher!). Instead of ribbon across the bottom I used a Cricut ribbon tag folded in half.  Then, after I assembled the card, I filled in the big scallop layer holes with Glitter Glitz Gel. That was fun!

Linked up to Paper Issues We've Got Your Number Party - check it out!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Why do I never finish my Christmas cards on time?

Every year I teach Christmas card workshops. I design multiple cards and cut literally hundreds of Christmas cards...for everyone else. It's a classic case of the shoemaker's children going with out shoes.

Every year I vow to get my cards addressed and mailed out early. I'd settle for on time even. I think about them, plan them, cut them, stamp them, design a computer printed insert with pictures and everything...and every year they seem to be mailed out the week after Christmas. Sigh...

I should accept my fate and bow down to the wisdom of my friend Leigh Anne and her no stress New Year's greeting card/letter instead. Every year I look forward to getting her letter and enjoying the fab and funny letter inside. Does it bother me that it comes after the holidays? Nope - I love the thrill of getting actual mail (not bills or ads) ANYTIME, for any reason!

Yet something in me clings to the deluded hope that one of these years I'll get my cards addressed and mailed off on time. Yes, this is my card for 2011. The other side is a cute pic of the boys and our change of address for the new house. I cut an acrylic sentiment apart to build my Joy and Peace Sentiment (something I love about acrylic stamping - I control the image!). I sponged the edges of every two step stamped wreath (and each door panel), and glitters the wreaths with Glitter Glitz Gel. I set the door handles (Bigger Brads) and embellished the computer printed insert with a stamped swirly border and Believe Paper. And I thought I was keeping it simple!

Tonight I finish addressing the envelopes and finally mail off our cards. Does it mean less because it's a wee bit late? I hope not - because we have a lot of Love and Good Wishes for our Family and Friends. Especially since we live so far from most of our Family. Which is why last week it was way more urgent to spend time with family (visiting from out of state) then finishing my pile of 99% finished cards....It doesn't mean we don't love you, it just means that when there are actual lovely family babysitters in town, you take time to smell the roses (or mass produce homemade gluten free cheese crackers without a 2 year old monkey clinging to your hip).

Hope you had a Merry Christmas, Friends and Family! And a Happy New where did I put those stamps?

P. S. The design for my card was inspired by a photo from Heart 2 Heart challenges (twiggy wreath, red & green), lots of sparkle!

Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger & SOTM Sneak Peek!

I've been meaning to hop on this Tuesday trigger all week - but Christmas Holiday Hoopla took a bit of precedence over my need to be in the stamp room. No time like the present, right before it expires to get a new Trigger tomorrow! This week's trigger is called Simply Stripes, and I simply love stripes! For this card I used the upcoming January Stamp of the Month (which, I know, is not available until January, but it was so perfect for what I wanted to do....). I used it to make a glowing ball to drop for this New Year's card!

I pulled the brown and blue tones from the Trigger to create my card.I stamped the big circle calendar image onto a 2 1/2" scallops circle cut on Cricut with my Art Philosophy Cartridge. I cut it on the Layer feature so the center was cut out. Then I layered it over a fancy Doily looking snowflake image I fussy cut out of some Wonderland paper I had left over from this workshop.

I created the striped background paper using 1/2" strips of Kraft CS sponged on the edges with Colonial White Pigment ink. Then I stamped one of the line stitch images from the SOTM in the same Colonial White pigment ink on the edges of the 1/2" strips and in between the strips I masked the centers of the 1/2" strips with post-it notes, then I over-stamped with the number grid in Twilight ink, and sponged it with my big sponge and more twilight ink.

The year numbers are stamped in Twilight Ink and fussy cut as well. Lots of Stardust Glitter Glitz gel and sparkles finished my sparkly New Year's Eve Ball.

Here's the actual Tuesday Trigger for my inspiration, from Moxie Fab World. There will be a new one tomorrow.  Be sure to check it out and play along - it's fun!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rock the Block Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Rock the Block Blog Hop! If you came here from Angela's  Blog, you're on the right path! Dozens of consultants have made awesome Rock the Block creations for you this month. Hopping is simple to do - just click on the link at the end of the post on each blog to move to the next one! If you get lost, you can find a list of all the participants here. Here we go!

Rock the Block is an amazing special CTMH is offering now through the end of January. You get an adorable E-sized stamp set PLUS this cool alterable set of 9 blocks with a cute little storage tray - all for just $15 with minimum purchase! The Stamp set will only be available as part of this special package. The Blocks are a sneak peek into the new Spring Summer catalog, and will be $14.95 in the new catalog. . .so it's like getting a $29.95 E-sized stamp set free with this special. Yippee!

I created three Holiday Ornaments for my Rock the Block project. I even still have a few blocks left over, to post another project that's not quite ready yet! The blocks are nice and sturdy, and a clean white color, ready for whatever creativity you have in mind!

I did a simple one block ornament, a double block snowman, and a triple block photo ornament. I used 25 lb. fishing line to string my blocks together and make the hanging loops. I also used jingle bells for the spacers on my multiple block ornaments.  

You'll find more info and pics on each ornament  below, plus a slideshow with more close up pics. Rock the Block is available to order HERE starting December 19th - don't miss out on this amazing deal! 

If you're ready to move on, hop on over to Karen's blog and see what craftiness she's cooked up for us!   Don't forget you can subscribe to get updates to my blog via email from the link at the left!

For my single block simple ornament, I painted the block with Pearl Paint on all sides and let it dry. Then I cut some Cricut Squares with little decorative notches in the corners at 2 3/4" using my Art Philosophy Cartridge. I also cut some tiny snowflakes. The bigger photos I trimmed to fit the Cricut Squares and mounted with 3-D Foam tape. The smaller ones I punched with my circle punch and matted onto a circle punched from the new Icings Top Coats Acrylic Overlays. I used the 4x6 Snowflake image. It's hard to see in the picture, but it's a shiny silver embossed image - so pretty! I filled the Cricut snowflakes with Silver Glitter Glitz and added lots of sparkles. At the top and the bottom I anchored the fishing line with a Bling collection rhinestone button. The top and the bottom are decorated with a Cricut Snowflake topped by an Icings snowflake image. Simple, quick, and easy to reproduce - how much would the grandparent's love this?

For my second ornament I made this adorable snowman. I painted these blocks with two coats of Pearl Paint, and used the same 2 3/4 Cricut square image with 3-D Foam tape as well. 

He's double sided, with a more traditional snowman image on the front, created with Black Mini Medley button brads and Black bitty brads. The carrot nose is hand cut and shaded with Desert Sand ink. I used the pink chalk from the winter chalks palette to give color to Frosty's cheeks and added bitty sparkles to his eyes.

For the back side I added a hand stitched vest and tie made from the Wonderland papers with Mocha Pearl Opaque buttons. The face has a mustache (hand cut from black CS), button brad eyes, and a Bigger Brad nose. The sides are decorated with pieces of Top Coats Icings overlays attached to the cricut squares and embellished with Sparkles and glitter glitz gel. Once the snowman was fully decorated on both blocks, I pierced a hole through the approximate center of each block and fished my line through using a big needle. I tied mini Jungle bells on the bottom and between the blocks to anchor the spacing and secure the blocks. Then I pierced and fished the line through the little top hat I made for my snowman. I tied off the top with a loop and a few bells to hide my knots add some holiday cheer!

Speaking of his hat, I created one hat for both snowman, cutting two circles on my cricut at 2 1/2" and 2", plus a 2" wide strip of CS. I stamped all the hat pieces with the dot background image from Rock the Block and then sponged them in Black ink.  I trimmed notches around the outside of the smaller circle and  folded them down for flaps. Using Liquid Glass, I adhered the CS strip around the tabbed smaller circle, creating the top of the hat. Then I adhered the hat top to the brim with more Liquid Glass, adding lots and brushing it on all over to create the glossy top hat look. After that dried I added a 1/2" strip of wonderland B&T to the hat and put a jaunty red Cricut Rose on one side and a pretty glittered snowflake on the other. I did add some Liquid Glass to the bottom of the hat when I strung it onto the snowman ornament so it wouldn't rotate as the snowman blocks turned.

I used the FUN sentiment on one side, cutting out each letter and popping everything up with 3-D Foam tape. The next side had the family sentiment plus two of the photos. I printed them wallet sized at Costco to get small enough prints. The third side was three photos, and the last side had two photos plus the LOVE sentiment. Full pics of each side are in the slideshow below. 

I added a LOT of glitter glitz gel and sparkles to each side of the block so that the ornament will really sparkle in the lights of my tree. Can you see where I used the grid background stamp on the block background where it will show, and matted some of my photos with Believe B&T? Almost every layer and edge is glittered in some way. I used lots of Jingle bells on this one as my spacers, with a large cluster on top with my Red ribbon bow. 

Thanks for reading all the way to the end! You'll find more pics and close ups in the slide show below. I love this stamp set so much - it's so versatile and fab! 

Linked to Paper Issues Holiday Madness!

Other projects I've made with Rock the Block this month include:
Rock the Block Wall Hanging using the display tray
Rock the Block Holiday Card
Rock the Block Mojo Sketch Challenge Card
Rock the Block Team Meeting Card
Rock the Block Team Gifty Calendar

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rock the Block Wall Hanging

Whew! I meant to post these layouts throughout the week, but getting the boys through the holiday festivities and extra activities has been a bit more time consuming than I thought. For this project I used just the tray and stamps from my Rock the Block special (awesome E sized exclusive stamp set plus alterable 9 block set with display tray for just $15 with purchase starting Monday - such an amazing deal!!).  

I love how these came out! I made a mini 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 layout for one fun photo of the boys from each season last year. I combined four different paper packs (with emphasis on blue in the papers) to create a four block display to hang in my bedroom sitting area. I plan to cover each tray with coordinating B&T like I did for the Spring Layout. Hence the need for three more trays, which I can order starting Monday! I pulled Bamboo CS into each packet for the base of each Layout, plus I added hand stitched details, scallop borders, 3-D Foam squares on all the photo layers, and lots of sparkles to bring common embellishment elements through the four layouts.

Spring layout:
For this layout I used the Lucky Paper packet on the backside/monochrome side of the papers. I covered the base tray with the neutral based B&T, mitering the corners so that the tray was completely covered. Then I hand cut some clouds from two of the B&Ts. I cut a big scallop border using my Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge, and stamped it with the grid image from Rock the Block set, then sponged it in Sky and Indian Corn Blue inks. The rain drops are hand stitched with a single strand of waxy flax and topped with clear sparkles. I used to avoid stitching, but now it's so easy to make neat even stitches with my CTMH clear piercing ruler! I added the title letters using the new Trinity Alphabet, a neat E sized set with three different fonts on the sheet.  

Summer Layout:
This time I pulled my papers from the Fanfare packet. I stamped my scalloped border with the dot image, then sponged it with Pacifica Ink. I stamped the flower image using the Kissing technique. I inked the dot image in Pacifica ink, then set it facing up on my table. The I inked the flower in Cranberry ink and "kissed" it to the pacifica Dot image before stamping it onto White Daisy CS. Now I have a polka dot flower! I made the little file tab at the top of my folder, stamping one of the Rock the Block sentiment squares and trimming off the frame, which I attached to a second image stamped in 2nd generation Cranberry ink to create the file table. I free hand cut the pennants and stamped them with the Rock the Block texture images. Finally I added Red glitter glitz gel to the banner and flowers, plus the little cricut heart at the top.

Autumn layout:

For Autumn I used the Miracle paper packet. Gosh, I love that paper! I covered my scallop image with Striped B&T. I stamped the grid image repeatedly all over the background in second generation Desert Sand Ink for a light texture. Then added the big swirly corner stamp to the bottom left of the Layout by dragging my Desert Sand ink pad across the image so that the stamped image would be distressed. I inked just the LOVE word of one of the Rock the Block sentiments and stamped it repeatedly onto Twill Ribbon. I added extra twill ribbon and rick rack scraps to the knot as I tied it. I popped up one of the Rock the Block sentiments onto a Cricut Art Philosophy frame.

Winter Layout:

For this layout I used the pretty new Wonderland papers. I broke from the scallop embellishments and cut a bunch of Cricut Art Philosophy snowflakes. I stamped the snowflakes with the textures and swirls from Rock the Block in Twilight ink, and embellished them with lots of glitter glitz gel in Stardust and Silver. Some of the snowflakes are two layers, with 3-D foam tape for the centers for added dimension.

I have a really fun project ready to post for the Rock the Block blog hop starting on Monday, using up the blocks from the special. Ok - it's really three projects in one, but I'm really excited about how they came out (plus there will be dozens of other adorable posts) on the hop, so be sure to check back Monday for more Rock the Block fabulousness!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rock the Block Holiday Card

I know I didn't post much last week, but I have been stamping my block off - my Rock the Block set that is! Today I have a quick Christmas card made with my Rock The Block set. I used the polka dot background stamp on my background, stamping tone on tone with Crystal Blue Ink. Then I sanded the stamped CS with the roughest side of my sanding block.

I cut some Ornaments with my Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge and stamped them with the grid background and flower corner images. Then I filled in the white spaces on the ornaments with Stardust glitter glitz gel. It made the grid ornament so 3-D like those frosted ornaments from the store. I also popped some silver glitz onto random dots in the background for more sparkle.

I used a sketch from Heart 2 Heart Challenges. My color inspiration came from the Moxie Fab World: Inspired by Fashion challenge. I loved the blue and white jacket with the bit of sparkle with the vintage brooches! So I added those awesome Rhinestone Brads to my ornaments and my snowflake center. Then I stitched my ornament strings on by hand.

Rock the Block starts on the 15th, and you get an E sized totally adorable stamp set ($29.95) plus a set of 9 alterable blocks with display tray ($14.95) for just $15! More projects are coming throughout this week, culminating in a consultant Rock The Block Blog Hop on the 20th. I can't wait to see what everyone else is doing with their blocks...and order another set for myself!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snowman Gift Tags

Here's a pic of the adorable little snowman tags I made for last weekend's holiday bazaar. I made these using my Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge. I cut out the tags at 2 inches, and a basic circle at 1 3/4 inches.

I ran the circles through my snowflake cuttlebug embossing folder. I added black sequins for the eyes, and handcut noses from an old eight petal flower punch from my stash. The mouths went on with a simple marker.

I stamped a To/From sentiment on the back of the tag, which was the whole purpose of double layering the tag - to keep the back smooth for writing on the tags. So cute...Can't wait to get wrapping!


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