Monday, June 1, 2009

Daily June Specials from Close To My Heart

Hi Everyone,

Beginning today at 9:00 am through the end of June, CTMH will be having a "Deal-a-Day" promotion! Each day a new deal will be posted at 9:00 and will be available until 8:00 the next day. No need to rush right in at 9:00 though because CTMH has assured us that there is plenty of stock!

There are two types of deals:

1. By a stamp set and get a free gift. Shipping on these deals is $3.00

2. Mystery box - these boxes will be loaded with goodies and will sell for at least 50% off retail! Shipping on these boxes will be at a discount rate, but it will depend on the deal exactly how much it will be. (Here's an idea - order a mystery box with a friend and when it arrives, take turns selecting your items from the box!)

Each day one or the other of these types of deals will be available on my website: my website. Once you are there, just select "Shop Online" in the left-hand navigation bar and then choose "June Deal-a-Day."

In order for CTMH to offer the special shipping rates, you may only order one special at a time and may not add other items from the site to the order. However, you can come back and order additional specials.

I hope you enjoy the specials - I know I intend to!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

May 24th Workshop: Wall-hanging

Since the wall-hanging idea was such a big hit, I decided to do one for a workshop. The wall-hanging will be 10 x 10 in size. The picture is 4 x 6, but you could do two smaller pictures and stagger the height.

Date: Saturday, May 24
Time: 2 - 4 PM
Where: My home in Westford, MA
Fee: $5.00

If you don't like the colors I'm using, you can look through my stash of fabric and pick something that works with your picture. Got the perfect fabric to work with your picture? Bring an 18 X 24 piece to the workshop.

To register, email me at by Wednesday, May 21st.

Just call me "The Queen of the Crop"

Every month during the school year I attend a local crop sponsored by RSC (Rubber Stamp Crop) in Westminster, MA. They give everyone a packet that contains a sheet or two of paper, a ribbon, and sometimes an embellishment. Everyone is invited to use at least one thing from the packet to create whatever they want and enter it in the "Queen of the Crop" contest. I have never won - until this month.

I had brought a project that was just started to the crop with me. It turns out that the patterned paper and ribbon went perfectly with my project, so I used those papers to finish the project. It is a wall-hanging with four panels. For the top panel, I used the Cricut to cut out the word "Girly."

Below are some close-ups of the individual pieces.

I'd like to thank the crop attendees for voting for my project. Since so many people liked it, I decided to make a workshop using this concept, and that is the topic of my next post.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Color Inspiration #50

Hi all,
Yesterday my daughter invited a friend over for a sleep-over. Turns out that it was her mother's birthday today, so they got to spend an adult night to celebrate. While the girls were playing, they decided to have a fashion show with dress-up costumes and make-up. So we decided to do a photo shoot of the girls and then they could pick a picture to give to the mom for her birthday. We had a lot of fun with the camera and got some great shots. We put the picture in the frame and then I stamped up this wrapping paper for the gift. Now the color challenge was for yellow, red, white, brown, and turquoise. The brown I used is so dark that it shows up as almost black in the picture. The mom loved the picture and the wrapping paper. I hope you like it too.

All stamps and inks by Close To My Heart. The ribbon came from my stash of Michael's bargains.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

National Scrapbooking Month with CTMH

Hey all you scrapbooking fans, have I got good news for! Close To My Heart is running a great contest for National Scrapbooking Month. Click the banner below to see how you may win up to $150 in FREE Close To My Heart. If you enter the contest, leave me a comment on this post with a link to your entry.

Best of luck and enjoy the scrapooking this month!


Monday, April 20, 2009

Sweet Sunday Sketch 14

So what do you know? I actually got to participate in Sweek Sunday Sketch 14 before it closed! This square card uses Life's Delights paper pack from Close To My Heart.

The butterfly and sentiment came from the March stamp of the month, and I used chalk popping to give it the variety of color. The fibers are a combination of Close To My Heart and some that came as a gift. I planned on putting the sentiment, "Love is like a butterfly. It goes where it pleases and pleases where it goes" in the bottom right of the card, but it was too crowded. So I decided to angle it across the top right of the centerpiece by sliding it into a ribbon. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the card!


Sweet Sunday Sketch 13

This was another Sweet Sunday Sketch by Karen. The sketch worked up pretty quickly, and I love this Let's Get Together paper pack from Close To My Heart. Just a few layers of pretty papers, an additon of a piece of ribbon, and a simple sentiment really pull it all together.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Good Knight Challenge - Caardvarks

The Easter Bunny was good to me this morning and brought me a tote bag full of coordinating products. I believe all the products were by a company called Portafolia although not all packages were labeled. As soon as I saw the colors, I knew that I wanted to use my new stuff for my first CaardVark challenge entry - Good Knight. The only rules to this challenge is that the theme is fantasy.

My first thought was to go with a fairy, but I don't't have a fairy stamp. So as we all know, necessity is the mother of invention. I decided to do some paper piecing. I stamped the butterfly using the purple Portafolia pigment ink and embossed using iridescent embossing powder. Then I stamped the lady using the emerald green Portafolia ink and embossed using iridescent embossing powder again. Then I cut out the dress. Finally, I stamped the lady using Close To My Heart Parchment ink. I cut out the torso and the legs. For the hair, I inked the edges of the head with VersaMark ink and used chalk to color it red. Once I had all my pieces, I layered them. I used pop-dots between the wings and the lady. Instant (ok, not so instant) fairy!

Next I layered the pattern paper on the card front and the inside. I cut a 2 inch square out of the front of the card. I placed my fairy on the inside so she can be seen through the window. On the front I placed a small striped paper below the window and added a bow on the left. The journaling tag w
as cut down to fit the words. Inside, the brad says, "You are what you believe." The journaling tag at the bottom was actually two tags cut to work together as a platform for the fairy to stand on - kind of like a stone. I added a little doodling from the fairy to the brad to make it more noticeable.

Card Front

Inside of card
I am quite happy with the results, and I truly enjoyed the challenge. There were several other renditions that were not quite as nice, but the process was great!

Close To My Heart products:
Paper - Key To My Heart (a special from last fall).
Stamps - Be Yourself (May 2009 Stamp of the Month), Butterfly Wings

Saturday, April 11, 2009

KWerner Color Inspiration 49

Color Inspiration49

Paper, ink, stamps, and embroidery floss by Close To My Heart. Brads from Oriental Trading.

I loved the colors for this challenge, so once again I was off and creating. My blue is a bit lighter than the one here, but it worked well. This time I used a resist technique with the CTMH "Treasure Life" stamp set. Here's how:

  • Ink the flower portion of the stamp in the usual way using Bubblegum and Breeze (retired color) inks. Then use a sponge dauber to add Sweet Leaf to the stem. Stamp images in random design.
  • Next I inked the saying in one color and added additional colors using sponge daubers. After I had all the colors on the stamp, I "huffed" on it to moisten the ink and then stamped it. When using this technique multiple times, make sure to clean off your stamp in between inkings!
  • Stamp larger flower using VersaMark or other embossing ink and emboss with clear embossing powder.
  • Use sponge daubers to add Bubblegum and Breeze ink directly to your card front. The more color you apply around the embossed image, the more it pops!
  • Wipe embossed image with paper towel or napkin to remove any ink that is lying on top.
  • Add brads as flower centers.
  • Layer on black cardstock.
  • Wrap panel with Bubblegum embroidery floss.
  • Tie small knots randomly to embroidery floss.
  • On card front, layer Sweet Leaf, Bubblegum, and Breeze cardstock.
  • Layer panel on top.

If you haven't tried this technique before (or for a long time), it is a lot of fun. One tip I have is to use bold images, especially for the one you are embossing. Sketches or line art do not work as well. If you decide to make a project using this technique, I would love to see it!

Happy stamping, scrapping, or crafting of any kind. We deserve it.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Color Inspiration 48 - kwernerdesign blog

While this color challenge was closed (ie, I couldn't enter my card), I did like the combination. So, I played with the colors and a new CTMH stamp of the month set from the Summer Idea book. First I thought I might stamp several images in different colors, cut out pieces, and layer them. But I decided the detail was too fine for me to cut. Then I thought I might stamp several images in the kiwi and breeze and mount them on a white piece with kiwi or breeze mat.

What I finally ended up with was chalk-popping! That worked out really well, and my daughter and I played with various stamps and color combinations. This is the end product.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge 12

OK. So last night I posted about all these cool challenges available on the web. Tonight my 7 year old daughter and I decided to try our hand on the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge 12. She has been wanting to join swaps, but I don't know of any groups of kids doing them. So I thought this would be kind a close experience for her.

The brown and blue entry is mine. The pink and purple entry is hers. What do you think? If you like my daughter's entry, please post here and let her know, and I'll be sure to let her read them. Thanks for looking!


Getting Scrappy

When I go to a crop I usually bring pre-made pages I have made or received in swaps and make some pages from scratch. Well, in February, when I was just starting to be able to use my hand again, I decided to only bring pre-made pages. About 2 hours before the end of the crop I ran out of stuff to work on. Since I only had pre-made pages, I didn't have any scraps left over, but my friend Kris did. She let me have her scraps, and I proceeded to make cards out of them. Luckily I did bring ribbon and embellishments, so I was able to add some pizzaz to the cards.

I enjoyed this so much that when I went to the next month's crop, I saved my scraps, and Kris gave me hers. For the last couple hours of the weekend crop I made cards again. It is so easy to do because there are usually coordinating scraps left over from each layout. Now I have a nice stash of cards accumulating for any last minute needs. I just need to stamp or write the appropriate sentiment, and they are ready to go. Oh yeah, and I always send a bunch of cards to my MIL for Mother's Day, so I'll be ready for that.

What do you do with your scraps?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Online Creative Challenges

While I was reading KJ's Stamp Pad I found that she had links to several different sites that offer challenges. Some were color combo challenges; some were sketch challenges. Here is a list of some that I found.

Kristina Werner - posts color challenges on Saturdays

The Sweetest Thing, My Little Space to Share - Posts sketch challenge on Sundays

Caardvarks - posts card challenge on the 5th and 20th of the month

Clean and Simple Stamping - sketch challenges

I always love a challenge in life, so I thought I would try out some of these creative online challenges. Check them out yourself. Know of more online challenges? Share them here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Color Chef Challenge

I came across a color challenge on the blog of another CTMH consultant ( that I thought was neat. The cards here were created with scraps my friend Kris S. had left over at a crop I attended in February, so I don't know the name info for the products, but they worked very nicely together. I believe all the embellishments are from Oriental Trading.

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's been a long time...

Hello fellow stampers and scrapbookers. I started this blog with every intention of keeping up with regular posts. As some of you know, I injured my hand and was out of commission for about six weeks. Well, not totally out of commission, but I had to do everything with my left hand even though I am right-handed. By the time I had finished working, I had no desire to try and update my blog because at the end of the day my poor left hand was tired!

Anyway, now that I am almost back to normal, I will start posting again. I am also in the process of creating workshops (see previous post for the April workshop) and page kits with directions. These kits were a big success at the crop I attended in late March. I'll post more about the crop, but a big kudos goes out to Kristin and Tiffany from RSC for the planning and execution of this crop.


April Workshop

Take a look at my upcoming workshop scheduled for April 18th. We'll create a card folio that holds four cards and envelopes. The directions for the folio came from I hope you can make it! Also, let me know what you think about the presentation. Do you like viewing the presentation to see what is included? Did you like the ability to register online?

Happy stamping and scrapping!

April Workshop

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Product Review - Spellbinders

For Christmas I received a set of Spellbinders from my kids. I had not heard of them before, but I was intrigued. They are a multi-purpose little thing. You can use them as die-cuts, to emboss, or as a stencil. While they are designed for a specific die-cutting machine, they can be used in most of the die-cutting or embossing machines on the market. I have the Cuttlebug, so I went to and found out how to use these with my machine. I had everything I needed for die-cutting, but there is a special mat that you need to use them for embossing. My LSS didn't have any in stock, but they are going to let me know when they come in.

Anyway, today I used the Spellbinders circular die called Pinking Circles ( It comes with six size templates to the package so you can layer them. I chose to use the smallest one which is about an inch across. Then I punched a whole in the middle and put a large brad through the center. It made a cute embellishment for my layout.

The Spellbinder die was really easy to use, and I love the fact that I could use it with my Cuttlebug that I already have. I can't wait to get the mat so that I can use it for embossing. If you have used this product, let me know what you think about it.


Friday, January 2, 2009

Crafting saves my sanity

I don't know about you, but crafting saves my sanity. If I have had a particularly bad day at work, sitting at my desk and creating a scrapbook layout or card or trying a new technique can help me get my sanity back. It is calming, and I find that whatever was bothering me has left my mind and brought the tension away with it.

When I craft, it is all about what I want and what I think will work best. I don't have to argue with anyone about the right thing to do like when I am at work. I don't have to compromise with anyone about any design decisions. I just play with my stuff and see what happens. Sometimes I have a game plan and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I like what I come up with and sometimes I don’t. Whether I like the results of my crafting session isn’t always as important as what it does for my mind and my well-being. As long as it takes care of those two things, all is good with the world.

On a related note, just going through and organizing my paper and embellishments and tools has the same effect as if I had organized my life. I feel better about my surroundings, even if the rest of my world is still in chaos.

So the next time you have a bad day or feel like you have no control over your life or your surroundings, try making a card, sorting your paper, or going through your embellishments to see what you have. You may find that by the time you are done your state of mind has moved to a better location. Try it and let me know the results.