Tuesday, July 31, 2012

August SOTM Blog Hop!

Welcome to our CTMH Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!  We will be featuring August's SOTM, which is called Baroque Borders, an elegant set of five stamps.  If you have come here from SHIRLEY'S BLOG, you are on the right path! 

This month we have 50+ Close To My Heart Consultants sharing their creations using this month's SOTM (and other great CTMH products) on their blogs. 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! Here we go!

This month I used a sketch from the ever awesome Retro Sketches to create my project, which I turned into a pop-up easel card! I only used Twilight Cardstock, and a quick tutorial on making an simple easel card is below my bloghop post, so keep on scrolling if you want the details.... Love how you can prop it up for display once it's opened! 

I sanded the Cardstock for each layer, then stamped the music note background from Universal Backgrounds in second generation Slate (a fab new grey color) all over. Then I embossed the biggest corner from the SOTM using my new Buttercup Pigment Ink pad. I am loving these new pigment inks! 

Can you see the embossing is multicolored? After stamping the image in buttercup Pigment ink I sprinkled Goldrush Embossing Powder along the edges of the image, then a bit of Buttercup Embossing Powder lightly over the entire image, but not filling it in entirely. After tapping those colors off I coated the whole thing with Clear Detail powder and finally heated the whole paper so the embossing would have that variegated, textured look. For the Thank You I only used the colored powders so that the sentiment would POP more. 

Wondering where I got my pale yellow Bitty Pearls? I colored the standard white Bitty Pearls with my new Goldrush Alcohol Marker to tint them yellow like my stamping! 40 colors of Bitty Sparkles will soon be mine!! And yours...I'll share...

Now "Hop" on over to DAWN'S BLOG to see her amazing work! Be sure to visit all the Consultants Blogs to soak in the great crafting and SOTM ideas! Remember, this SOTM will disappear at the end of August!  Contact your CTMH Consultant (or click here) to see how you can get this stamp set for just $5!

Here are some more projects I have made using this Stamp of the Month...

And here's the lowdown on whipping up an easel card - it was so easy!

Cut yourself a pieces of CS that's 4 1/4" x 8 1/2"  and score it at 4 1/4" and 6 3/8"...or you can do what I did and fold it in half to make a square card. Then with the card in front of you the with fold at the top, fold up the bottom of the card front to meet the top fold of the card and crease it super well. 

Make and Decorate a 4 1/4" square card front. With your now folded card in front of you with the fold at the top, apply adhesive generously to the flap  you made at the top of your card and adhere your card front to the flap. See how the card front and the flap are flush at the top of the card? 
Add a decorative strip to the inside of your card to help the easel stand up right without slipping. So now without measuring I can turn any card into an easel card simply by folding up the front of the card and attaching a card front. How easy is that?! 

Thanks for stopping by! Your comments will easel-y make my day!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Freshly Made Mojo!

Howdy, Stampin' Friends! I've been such a busy bee this weekend,cropping away with fun friends and busting out the stampy to-do list...before I take a much needed honey break, I wanted to share with you some of the sweetness I've been cooking up in the Stamp Pad this weekend.

 This card I did for the Mojo Monday Sketch using the Color My Heart Color Dare colors of Creme Brulee and Petal. I love this kind of sketch - with the panels in the background...I stamped each panel with the corner image from the upcoming August Stamp of the Month then distressed the corners with lots of Creme Brulee ink. The little bee is a sneak peek at my FAVORITE new stamp set coming out in August called Pun Fun! I colored his body with markers and also added Glitter Glitz and bitty sparkles to his wings, just beecause! 
I finally hit another flower key in my Art Philosophy Cartridge and molded a new paper flower. For this one I cut three sizes of the flower, sponged them with Petal ink, creased each petal down the center and molded the cup shape, then topped the whole she-bang, she-bang off with a rolled 3-D flower from the same AP cartridge. I swiped the edges of the completed flower with Creme Brulee Ink and  tucked some glitter glitz into the middle of each petal area. Woo!
By then I was feeling the Mojo, so I tackled the Freshly Made Sketch for this week. Those amazing ladies chose THIS card for the Queen of Clean last week, and I felt so honored - they really must not have seen my Stamp Pad before...{blushing}

Both sites always have super cute sketches, and the Freshly Made sketch for this week also fit the Geometric Challenge from Heart 2 Heart - score! H2H wanted a project made with 2 lines, a square and a circle - check, check, check, and check! Finally, I pulled my color combo from CAS-ual Friday. I know it's usually supposed to be white space, but I figured after the Back in Black challenge they might forgive me a little Pear space instead...
Again I used my fav new set, Pun Fun (sorry, I know you can't get it until August 1st, but it's just so stinkin' cute!), and my new stack of Pigment inks. I embossed the turtle using my adorable little pigment pad and clear EP, then colored him in quickly and topped him off with some glitz and a bitty sparkle on his tiny little party hat. Then I cut some (don't throw brads at me...throw the new bling gems!) 1/4" hearts from the AP cartridge and made stacks of three hearts that were creased down their tiny centers so they would fluff up and be more 3-D. Aren't they cute? Everything is better in tiny little baby sizes!

Thanks for buzzing by!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

CAS-ual Friday Back In Black Card

My team did this card last night at our team meeting. Such a fun technique! It's a simple one panel card with lots of impact. I'm linking up to the CAS-ual Friday Back in Black challenge. For this technique you'll need a Background stamp, Clear Embossing Powder, a heat tool, and a brayer!
On the 4x5 1/5 White Daisy Cs panel I repeatedly stamped the Music Note image from Universal Backgrounds. Then I used Versamark to stamp the large flourish from the August SOTM and a sentiment that I pieced together using the A Typeface stamp set. I coated these with Clear Embossing powder and heated it up with my craft heater. Then I went at it with black ink and my brayer, applying multiple layers until the background was deeply black. I polished the clear embossing with a tissue, bringing out the resist image. Then I overstamped the black background with the smaller fan image in Black ink for more texture. Finally, sparkly accents were added with Glitter glitz gel and sparkles. 

Tomorrow I'll be sharing some of the artwork we made at Convention! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Freshly Made August SOTM Moxie Fab-ness!

Can you stand one more shaped flower card? I guess I just wasn't done playing with these! When I saw the sketch from Freshly Made Sketches, I immediately thought large and small flowers. I attached them over the big flourish from the August SOTM stamping in one of the new colors (Slate) stamped over the grid pattern from the Typeset papers. I added the cutest little hello (from a Consultant only stamp set called a Big Thanks) and finished it off with some glitter buttons and sparkles. I'm also linking this sweet little stamped card to the Moxie Fab Hello Card Stamp It challenge!
I just love how dimensional these flowers are without even adding any foam tape! I use the back of my piercing tool to rub the petals in a circular motion,which causes the petal to curl up and form kind of a buttercup shape. I sponged these with Lagoon and Slate inks. 

This is my swap card for my team meeting Monday night. 
Can't wait to see what craftiness my peeps have gotten up to!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mojo Monday 250 + Color Dare

Oh! It felt so good to be back at work in my Stamp Pad! I was supposed to be working on a project for my team meeting on Monday, but I couldn't resist getting one of the new stamp sets we got at convention a little inky. I also had the new Slate Polka Dot ribbon and Silver glitter ribbons calling out to me... This stamp set won't be available until August 1st, but it's got some cool features I'm very excited about! 
See the graduated shading on the leaves and flowers? This is a two step stamp, meaning that you stamp the outline, then you stamp a solid stamp (usually the same ink but in second generation) to quickly color it in. However, on this stamp, the shading is built into the second step - I stamped all of this first generation, and the shading is beautiful! I don't know how they did that, but it was so fast and simple. I used my exacto knife to lift up some of the petals on the large flower, and the smallest flower was just cut out of the middle of an extra large flower image I stamped and colored. The background was stamped with the 2nd step flower shading image in Sky ink. My stitches are faux - just emboss, sand, and  pierce (click here for my post on this fun technique!) I filled the flowers with Sparkles as a finishing touch.

I used the sketch from Mojo Monday for this card. How cute are those banners hanging across the bottom? I am so happy about the new glitter ribbon. It's very easy to trim into shapes, and so sparkly! I also used the color combo of Pear, Sky, and Smoothie from Color My Heart Color Dare. I've never used these colors together, but it's such a happy and light combo!

Speaking of colors, one of the big announcements at convention was that 24 of our trusty shades are retiring!  Starting August 1st we'll be carrying a line of 42 shades of coordinating dye and pigment inks, alcohol markers, reinkers, and cardstocks + B&T patterns. I'm excited for the change, though I'll miss a lot of the retiring colors. It's not too late to stock up or finish your collection, though supplies are running low on some of these colors. Here's a linked list of the retiring colors, just in case you need it...

Goodbye, old friends! I'm all stocked up on my faves like Dutch Blue, Moonstruck, and Tulip, but I'll miss you a lot...at least until I start stamping with my 40 new pigment inks and lovely new pairs of alcohol markers... 

Victory Monthly Memories Club

Can't wait for Saturday! My ladies will be getting together to crop and finish up these six fun Victory scrapbook pages. I need to go pick up my photo collage and prints of the crazy camping we just did for page 5 and 6! How cute are those tiny tents?
I did some rolling on the title for page 1-2, inking the letters in Chocolate and Barn Red ink. Then I fussy cut the letters and attached them to the layout with 3-D foam tape. I accented the letters with Liquid Glass.
I stamped onto the Cork Shapes with Outdoor Denim ink, then sponged the edges with Chocolate Ink. The cork takes ink so nicely!
Here's a close up of my tiny tents. These are 1 1/2 inch squares of B&T trimmed into a tent shape!

Hope to see you cropping with us on Saturday! 

Friday, July 20, 2012

I'm back!

I soooooo meant to blog a lot while I was traveling (and California, then Dallas, then California again, then Washington) but I've just struggled getting WIFI and so I had to let it go. I have so much fun stuff to share! If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you saw my endless stream of quick pics and tidbits I was constantly posting via Instagram. This is my team of fabulous ladies in Dallas, wearing our Lagoon colored rhinestone Stamp Rules team shirts. Two of my first time attendees even found Sticky Boys - a CTMH tradition where small to large Sticky Boy stamp images are hidden around the convention venue for lucky consultants to find! This year they dressed him up in a cowboy hat and sheriff's badge. We just had a such a galloping good time together! 
There are a lot of changes coming down the pike - new colors, lots of retired colors (from 60 down to 42!), new inexpensive/disposable Alcohol Markers and pigment ink pads, gobs of new Workshops on the go Kits, No more Studio J memberships (!), many fabulous new papers and accessories...and a new CTMH Exclusive Cricut Cartridge called Artiste!  Over the next few weeks I'll be participating in a number of  blog hops to help you to see a wide range of new product goodness. And did I mention they gave us a SWEET new damask bag? But the swag wasn't my favorite part of Convention this year...
Don't get me wrong - I love swag, and new product makes me literally jump up and down...with cowbells! I am in creative overload right now with all the new choices we have, all the fabulous artwork we saw, all the BLING! But my favorite part of convention was getting to hang with my team, bonding, giggling, and even impromptu cropping in our PJs in the Hilton Atrium...those moments were priceless, worth more to me than all the 50% off bundles of new goodies! 
But back to the swag... This is the bag they gave us with our new catalog stowed safely inside at the first general session!  Then at the last crop they gave us an adorable little matching pouch. I used it as my carry on/laptop bag to get it home and have taken it from California to Seattle and back to my beloved PDX- it's as sturdy and functional as it is beautiful!! 

For the first time EVER Close To My Heart is offering the chance to score the Convention SWAG bag for free WHILE SUPPLIES LAST to lucky gals who join CTMH in August. The bag is a $50 retail value,and the new Consultant kits start at just $49 - such a steal! Next year we are going to DISNEYWORLD for convention at the Coronado Springs. I cannot wait to get another week of girl time with my team in what is sure to be an amazingly wonderful resort. I kept calling convention the happiest time of the year...why don't you join us next year and experience the magic for yourself!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dallas, Here I come...and another Listicle!

So our family vacation (otherwise known as the Trip of Insanity) is now well underway. The plan was to drive to CA, camping at KOAs on the way to break up the endless driving with 3 small boys in an overpacked mini-van until we get to Sacramento, where I am right now. Tonight I am enjoying a fabulous dinner with Auntie Melanie and a quiet night in my hotel room which will shuttle me to the airport at the crack of dawn just slightly earlier than my boys normally get up  while my dear scrubby John capped off two days of driving with 2 1/2+ more hours of driving to get to Grandma's house for a week long visit. When I get back from Dallas we'll pick up a12 year old nephew and bring him along back to Oregon with us... because the only thing missing from our van full of boys is yet another boy, right?

You can see why I'm smiling so big in my hotel room, eh? Plus in less than 7hours I'll be officially on my way to DALLAS for convention,which (sorry, boys) is ever so much better than the Trip of Insanity. Give me thousands of screaming CTMH consultants and hours of creative stamp time over 3 whining weary boy travelers and hours spent in a tent that is never the temperature you want it to be.

On the plus side, using the free WIFI at the KOA last night I hooked up Instagram/Twitter/Facebook so that I can post pics in a flash...so, faithful followers, my convention updates will be rolling out quickly to the outlet of your choice (in between jumping up and down and shaking my Hat on a Stick - more coming on that soon). I feel so tech-y!

But first, here's my Monday Listicle, topic provided by the lovely Stasha over at the Good Life!  This week we are pondering a double whammy of a list: 10 things you would and would not miss if the end came today. Aaaannnnnd....scene!

10 Things I would miss if I died today:
1. Um, CTMH Convention! It's been months of planning and excitement building, crafting, posting, worrying, and arrangement making. I can't will NOT miss this event!!   

2. Gabe's big bug eyed smile when he's super excited.

3. Ben's frequent proclamations of awesome things like, "You know why I did that? 'Cause I'm awesome!" Must be nice to have confidence like that at age 4.

4. Max's Silly Giggle - I'd really hate for the last thing I heard from Max to be the horrified wailing that he was doing as he realized that not only was the endless 2nd day of driving not over and we were NOT, in fact, letting him out of his car seat at that awesomely shiny hotel, but that we WERE leaving Mommy there without him. Breaking. My. Heart. And his giggle is just so utterly awesome. Just ask Ben!

5. Making John laugh over anything. My husband is an engineer. He's quiet and logical, and he doesn't give up the laughs easily. So when I get a giggle out of him, it's a major accomplishment. And we hardly ever get hours to talk anymore...even if we had to do it over endless showing of Hero of the Rails, two Leapsters bleeping, and Max whining on a loop, "I want to go hoooooooome."

6. Dark chocolate. With sea salt. And gluten free caramel. mmmm....

7. My phone. How would I check FB obsessively/make silly boy videos/google safe gluten free dining options/play Hanging with Friends without my constant sidekick, Droid? Smartphone, how did I live so long without ye?

8. A second summer visit with my nephew. He actually ASKED to come back after spending three weeks with us (practically complete strangers) even though we made him eat (whispers dramatically) POT ROAST!    He is so awesome! Must take after his mother!

9. Back to Convention - getting my paws on the new catalog. there may be a bit of drooling happening now as I contemplate the goodness that awaits me Thursday morning! And helping at Create N Take this week. Never have I labored so carefully over every step of a layout's instructions before. Such attention to detail should not be for aught!

10.   My family - crazy as they are....I'd miss them to the moon and back.

And 10 Things I wouldn't miss if I died today:
1. The return leg of the Trip of Insanity. Thank goodness for scrapbooking. Once I get the pics in hand and scrap it, this trip will be a pleasant memory...with no mention of mosquitoes, lack of blankets, Target temper tantrums, and the fact that John managed to miss bringing my bag of appropriate for CA camping clothes forcing me to wear the same clothes for two days of driving until we bought new summer clothes for me (hence the opportunity for Target Tantrums in the first place). Yep, it's gonna be a great page!

2. On a related note: Tent camping in general. I'm really more of a Kamping Kabin girl...or a B&B girl. Or this lovely Marriott I'm blogging from tonight doesn't suck either. 

3. Jersey Shore articles in my US Weekly. Enough already - get a real job, real haircuts, and real lives.

4. Underwires. 'Nuff said.

5. Googling gluten free anything. Just 'cause I can do it doesn't mean I wouldn't rather be sitting down to a nice big hunk of Tiramisu. With a big cuppa yummy coffee to go with it...

6. Missing coffee. Does the pain of not having your favorite food in the world ever go away? Alas!

7. Shoes that are not flip flops. toes just gotta be free.

8. The torture of waiting,waiting, waiting for Convention to begin...open, open, open...patience is not one of my virtues tonight!

9. People who pass you repeatedly then slow down once they get in front of you, forcing you to then pass them in a vicious cycle. Cruise Control people! 

10.Swimsuits. I promised Cathy that we'd go swimming in Dallas and I bought a swimsuit for the first time since 2005. It's cute, with red & white polka dots, and when I wear it I feel great from the waist up....but ain't no swimsuit even made that will camouflage what having a torrid love affair with dark chocolate 3 kiddos will do to your bottom. Oh well - Imma gonna swim anyhow, and I won't look at my bottom, so it'll be a blast!

Did I mention how much more fun it is to blog on free WIFI in a quiet, clean, and air conditioned hotel room?   But I gotta go - my flight leaves way too early in the AM. 

Let the wild, crafty rumpus begin!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

CTMH Eye Candy Badge

Happy 4th of July! Today, while John occupied the littles at the park and with many hours of bike riding and Wii, I patriotically worked all day on finishing some of the bazillion and one projects that must be done before Sunday morning when we round up our troops for our Camp-to-California adventure! 

This little pretty is a paper badge that I whipped up to identify myself as a part of the Facebook CTMH Eye Candy chat group. If you are a CTMH consultant and you aren't on Eye Candy, you are missing out on loads of fun artwork! It's a stack of 4 Cricut cut butterflies, each cut 1/4" smaller than the next. I stamped them with the Florentine WOTG stamp set in Cotton Candy ink, then did some coloring with my waterbrush plus Cotton Candy and Pear inks. Much glitter glitz gel and many sparkles were applied along with a Pear Cricut cut heart - now I'm ready to meet the fabulous Eye Candy ladies! 

One project down, only a bazillion more to go... 
We'll be doing fireworks in a bit, so I'll just say Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Family Matters...and 10 Questions!

As I was working on photos for my Family Matters Album...ok pre-planning the photos I need to take on our trip to CA to fill my album... I remembered that I hadn't made a list for Stasha over at The Good Life this week. I love her fun writing challenges - such interesting things to write about and ponder!

This week she asked us to answer a list of ten questions. Many of the questions had me thinking about my family, which, as you can see above, matters to me! Of course there's always chocolate to consider too...

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 23, and find line 4. What is it?
Jodi Picoult, House Rules: “…to use nihydrin first. It reacts to the amino acid and then is followed by the…” It's about a boy with autism wrongfully accused of murder. So a heartwarming feel good story.

2. How many times a day do you say Hi?
About 300,000 – I have a two year old. He says “Hi, Mommy, Hi!” many times in a day. I dutifully answer... sometimes with tickles!

3. Have you ever worn a uniform?
Many – I was a total Band Geek in school. Forward, March!

4. What do you think about the most?
My Children’s gluten free diet…followed closely by unfinished stamping projects on my table, projects I haven’t started yet, and cheese. And missing coffee.

5. How many keys are on your keyring?
Three. Stasha didn't ask, but there are four keyrings on my key chain, as in the decorations outnumber the useful keys on my keyring. 'Cause that's how I roll.

6. What was the last thing you bought?
4 ½ pounds of U-Pick Blueberries from a local no-spray farm called Berries to Bellies….which my two youngest offspring took as an invitation to belly up to the all you can eat blueberry buffet. They totally should’ve weighed Max before and after, as he brought his picking bucket to the register with one lone berry inside. Which he promptly ate before his bucket was ready to be weighed - can't let one get away!

7. Are you growing anything these days?
Three small, rambunctious, but usually polite young boys and a super-sized Mount Washmore. Is it time to buy a new blouse do another load already?

8. What is under your bed?
Nothing. We bought a new house last year and we still have yet to buy a new bed. So my decade old mattress and box spring sit directly on the floor of my painstakingly painted room…a situation so far down on my list of things-to-get-around-to-eventually that I may hit forty still sleeping as a college student. Although in college I at least had a bed frame and a pretty ruffled bed-skirt...hmmm.... 

9. What is most important in life?
Not laundry. Not filing the project paper scraps correctly. Not bed skirts. Maybe chocolate. More likely being as present as possible for the three young men and one grown man who have completely changed my life. Or chocolate, one of the two.

10. What is the strangest word you used this week?
"No." And I’m pretty sure I’m pronouncing it wrong, too, since it seems to have little effect on my three wee ones beyond inducing bewilderment and promoting whining. Perhaps I should try it in a new language?

Wouldn't this make a great page? With Convention in a week, there was no time to make another page though... maybe later. After I have a square of extra dark, shop for a new bed,  and get some new socks toss in a load of laundry. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July Creative Club: Family Matters Album

Can you believe it's almost July? In just over a week we'll be heading out for our camp-down-to-California-Adventure, where I'll promptly abandon my three angels to their father's tender care while I scoot off to Dallas for CTMH convention!   When I get back I'll be chock full of fabulous new CTMH goodness...and ready to teach this SMASHing Family Matters album. 

I've been wanting to do something smash-book style for a while. The idea is to keep the pages simpler, with more focus on the pictures and journaling. I am so excited to get pics from our family visits into this book!

Join me at the Family Matters Album Workshop! I have a fabulous PRIZE for workshop attendees only...from the NEW, unavailable until August Fall/Winter CTMH catalog!! 
Date: Saturday, July 28th (9 a.m., or 1 p.m.)
Location: Wendy's Stamp Pad (or precut To Go kits are available to be shipped right to you!)
Included: Pre-cut, ready-to-assemble album kit, optional light lunch, fabulous scrappy company, new catalog sneak peeks!

PLEASE RSVP by July 6th - That's the last day I can order before I vamoose!

Workshop and TO GO Kits

Want to teach my workshop? Consultant Instructions Kits are available HERE.

Are you following me on Facebook? There's a link over on the left side of my blog to make it super simple to find Stamping Rules on Facebook.  That's where I'll be posting my thoughts, photos, and excitement about the new hoopla at CTMH Convention. Don't follow if you want to be surprised in August...

My CTMH Family Matters to me - thanks for stopping by! 


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