February 28, 2019

CTMH Organizer Updates

Close to My Heart has updated the large and small craft organizers with a new lid closure system to make these items even easier to use. The new style features two clips built into the body of the organizer that snap securely over the lid, holding it in place. While the old style is great to, it was a bit difficult sometime to close. These ones are great!




The new style of organizers will use the same item numbers. Starting with all orders placed for these items today and going forward, the new organizers will be sent out to you ;-) If you haven’t tried them by now, do so. You will love how much things fit in them, including your 12x12 papers!

Small Organizer (Z4205) 

Large Organizer (Z4206)

February 27, 2019

Card Class Project February - 2/4


This is card No.2 from this months card making class. While we didn't use the "Feels Like Home" paper for this card, we did use the "Feels Like Home" Stamp set (D1821) for it. I am a real big fan of the phrases that come with the dark background. They are so super easy to stamp. You cut them out and your words just pop out.
We stamped the wreath from the set in "New England Ivy" ink and the phrases in black.

For the front we used a piece of yellow design paper from the "whimsy" fundamental series and a piece of grey embossed cardstock. Both of these papers are no longer available, but you might find something similar in your stack that will work. The center piece is created from a piece of grey & white cardstock (we stamped on the white).

Leftover yellow paper was used to cut the little flowers. I have this really old flower punch that still makes great embellishments. A few pearls and this card is almost done...


… the phrases are attached with foam dots to make them even more stand out. The inside of the card has a cute saying and a few doodles....

February 25, 2019

Workspace Wonder Week Sale





Close To My Heart’s year of celebration is still just getting started, and they are adding even more fun to February with a week of savings on the dynamic and innovative Workspace Wonder™ products! Starting at 5:00 pm (EST) on Friday, February 22 you'll enjoy 35% off all Workspace Wonder components, including a wide variety of Workspace Wonder bundles that put together multiple components in easy-to-use collections. This special pricing will only last until 2:59 am (EST) on Thursday, February 28, so take advantage of this week of savings to bring some more order into your crafting workspace with Workspace Wonder! 

Check HERE to see the offers available. Have fun browsing and shopping

February 22, 2019

Scrapbook Friday - What papers & colors should I get?



Welcome to another Friday of Scrapbooking 101. Today we will focus a little about papers, colors and some practical books. I know, you all been waiting for some hands on scrapbooking, but we have to cover the basics first before we can start. Otherwise in the middle of creating you might find out to picked the wrong album or papers.....well and I don't want to be the one to tell you so ;-)

Cardstock vs. Design Papers

Let's start with cardstock:

Cardstock comes in a variety of colors, qualities and paper weights. Usually cardstock is a little bit heavier than your regular design/ patterned papers. Close to My Heart offers a variety of colored cardstock and they are 65lb (cover weight)/ 175gsm. Our Daisy White cardstock is 80lb (cover weight)/ 215gsm. I know those numbers might not mean much to you, but they can come in handy if you try to find the right kind.
If you cardstock is to heavy, you will have difficulties scoring, bending or even cutting the paper. You cutting blade might get dull very quickly.
If your cardstock is to thin, well boxes you make might get out of shape or cards and pages are just to flimsy. Cutting these papers often comes with a challenge too because they have the tendency to fray and get fuzzy along the edge.

Our CTMH cardstock has the perfect weight to create boxes or other sturdy projects. It also works perfectly fine as the base for your scrapbook page. But what I like the most about our cardstock is that you get two tones of color for one price. While one side is showing a darker hue of the color, the back side has a light hue of the same color. I can't tell you how often this has come in handy.
I also like that the cardstock has a white core. Which means if you tear the paper you will have a white edge or if you run it through an embossing folder you get little pieces of white to show through. Not all papers have a white core, the majority is dyed through with the same color.


There are so many companies and colors out there, but the problem is to match the colors with your pictures and design papers. Not every red is red!!! What I like about the CTMH concept is that our cardstock always works with the design paper packs and you can always count on the quality and to get more if your need. Even when a color is retired, you still will find one that works. While colored cardstocks are a great investment, you should never go with out some natural colors. Colors like beige, browns, greys and everything in between and don't forget to get some black and white.

Design Papers/ Patterned Papers:

One company calls them design papers others call them patterned papers but they are the same. What it means is papers that have a design or pattern on them. Some show the design only on one side, while our CTMH design papers are called double-sided. Yes, you get two different designs on one sheet of paper. One package of design paper contains 12 sheets, 2 of each design. The all work with the same colors and cardstock which makes life really easy for us. You even get two sheets with a variety of tags, strips and other embellishments on it for you to cut out and use on your pages.



Again the beauty about choosing one company for both, cardstock and design paper is that everything matches and is easy to combine. And you always get extras if needed.
This been said, jup there are so many other companies out there that offer cute design papers. And I admit I have a few of them in my stock too. Sometimes it is just to hard to find a matching color beside a neutral one, but if the design is cute, we make it work ;-) right?

Design papers are usually a little bit thinner than cardstock, our CTMH papers are about 100lb (text weight)/ 150gsm. A bit thinner than cardstock but still sturdy enough to use it as a background paper for your pages. I sometimes use these papers as background, but if you want to stretch you money and create a set of multiple themed pages from one paper package, try to use cardstock as background paper and cut the design paper as accent pieces... this way your paper pack goes a long way.

I will have one more Friday for you to show you where to find inspirations on scrapbook page layouts before we dig into the creative part. By then I will show you how you can use either of these papers for your scrapbook pages. So stay tuned...and thanks for stopping by.

February 20, 2019

Card Class Project February - 1/4





This month we used the "Feels Like Home" (X7243B) paper pack from Close to My Heart for three of the four cards we made. This is a wonderful paper pack. Pastel colored flower designs combined with grey patters. I just love this paper.
In this card we also used the beautiful "Butterfly Friendship" Stamp & Thin Cut Set (Z4263). This set was so super popular that we run out of inventory by the end of January. Yes, and the Idea Book runs until April. There were a lot of sad faces because so many wanted the set including the dies. The stamp set is available with not problem, but the combo set with the dies not. Close to My Heart moved mountains to stock up inventory and right now they are back. So if you always wanted both, the stamps and the dies, make sure to order it right now, otherwise you might only be able to get the stamp set.

But enough talk about the products here is the cute Birthday Card we made with a surprise on the inside:




Lets start with the inside first. I cut a strip of "Balerina" cardstock at 5 1/4" x 4" and scored it at 1", 2" and 3". You then fold the piece in half along the 2" score line. Now fold each side up at the 1" and 3" line. Your piece should fold like in the picture on the right. Place it centered on your card base over the card base fold. Adhere only the left and right flaps and leave the middle open. 
Two small strips cover the edges of the cardstock fold.

We stamped the butterflies in "Charcoal" ink. We used the inside stamp in different pinks and blues. If you have the dies for the set on hand, go ahead and cut them out. If not, just use your scissors and cut them out but don't worry about the antennas ;-)

Now adhere the butterflies with a little glue on the bottom to the pink center piece. We also stamped a nice "Happy Birthday" on the inside. When you open the card to read the sentiment, the butterflies will look right at you.

For the front of the card we simply adhered two strips of the beautiful "Feels like Home" design paper and covered the seam with a strip of silver glitter paper. A little tag let's you know what card it is. Hope you enjoyed the little surprise inside the card and give it a try. It is super easy to make.

February 18, 2019

Presidents Sale from Close to My Heart




Super Craft Sale coming your way...
A 24-hour President's Day Flash Sale is coming to you. Heck out my Consultant website as part of the 35-year celebration from Close to My Heart! This sale will include a variety of current and retired items at 20%, 30%, or even 50% off! The sale starts at 5:00 pm on February 18 and will end at 4:59 pm (EST) on Tuesday, February 19. All of the flash sale deals will only be available while supplies last, so you'll want to visit the sale early! 
I don’t know what products will be on sale, but it can’t hurt to check it out right? πŸ™‚ Have fun shopping

Click Here  to get to the website.

February 15, 2019

Scrapbook Friday - What size album is a good start?

Another week went by and here we are on Scrapbook Friday again. It is amazing.... hard to keep up with the writing ;-) but I do my very best to stay on schedule.


We talked about "Why we should scrapbook" and "What we should do with our pictures" so what is next? Let's talk a little about albums and what size would work for you:

Albums
Having the right sized album for the right project is key. There are many different sizes on the market all depending on how big your project is. For beginners, how about a small 4"x4" or 6"x6" album which makes for a quick project and gives you an instant result.

Close to My Heart offers a great 9 3/8"x8 1/4" albums which uses 6"x8" memory protectors. A perfect medium sized album.
And then there are the "big" albums for the 12"x12" pages.
If you are a beginner you may say "WHAT"????? is she talking about. Sorry about that, occupational hazard ....so let's take these numbers apart.


Albums can come with pre-installed pages that are fixed and can be decorated, but most common are albums that have a ring-binder or post-bound system.
Ring-binder system:
The album has 3 rings which snap open to place memory protectors inside. They are great, because they make changing pages in or out a snap. Add pages to them? No problem.



Post-bound system:
As the name indicates, here you have posts instead of rings. These posts are crewed in and every time you want to expand the book you need to take the book apart to add post extenders. Changing pages is not that easy either. You can either take the pages out of the sleeves and re-range them or you need to take the book apart.
I personally love the ring binder system. Just make sure you get a nice sturdy one. The good ones are not cheep, but you want them to last. I bought a couple cheaper ones years ago and both broke. The hole ring system came out of the book...so look out for a good quality book.  

Memory Protectors
Memory protectors are clear plastic pouches that protect your artwork/ pages. They have a strip on the left side with holes to fit your ring/post album. The pouches have an opening on the top (top loaded) or on the side (side loaded) where you can slide you finished pages in. You can place two pages in one pouch (front and back :-) ).


There are also protectors available that are divided into smaller sections for more and easy photo storage. But for now lets work with the regular protectors.

  • A "big" album is perfect if you decide to create 12"x12" page layouts. 
  • The medium sized album mentioned above would hold pages measuring 6"x8". 
  • And the little albums can hold 8"x8", 6"x6" or 4"x4" pages. 
You see, a size for every project. If you are new to scrapbooking, start with a small size album. These albums are great to preserve and tell your story, but you can use them for so much more. How about a recipe album? Yes, the medium size is perfect to right down your great family recipes and pass them one. All you need is the recipe in writing and a picture of your dish. Maybe you have a cute story that goes along with it? Remember grandma's secret Christmas Cookie recipe and how we made them together with her? Lot's of possibilities..... I think Close to My Heart still has a kit available with a Christmas theme to make your own personal recipe book.



The set has pre-cut recipe cards and dΓ©cor papers in it, plus you can use the divided page protectors for the medium book to make this job really easy. The picture shows the complete kit with album, page protectors, paper inserts/ cards and a stamp set. You can get only the paper inserts and cards as well, if you already have an album and protectors on hand. Try it, it is a great first project.

I know, a lot if info and maybe even more questions on your part. Feel free to shoot me an email with all the questions you have. Start with a small project and built on it. You will see how much fun it is to finally get all these pictures in a book to look at. Leave a comment and tell me what size album you use or what else you use them for.

Next week we talk about cardstock and design paper choices....so stay tuned and start planning :-)

February 13, 2019

Card Class Project January - 4/4

Last but not least, there is one more card from our card making class in January.

Happy Birthday … Celebrate



We always need birthday cards, right? I got this new stamp set called "Years of Sweetness" (D1827) and I thought the size of the lettering was just perfect for this card design. Nice big bold letters :-)
But before we go one, here is a little trick to get a perfect cut fin in double layered papers. First stamp the Happy Birthday on the white cardstock, then cut your fin out. Now adhere the white piece to the pink cardstock leaving a nice even boarder on the top, bottom and left side. Now you cut the fin into the pink paper. This will make sure you have a nice border around the double layered flag.

Again, we used strips of design paper and a piece pf peacock colored cardstock for the front. The Birthday sentiment on the front is raised with foam dots.

I used Glacier ink to stamp the outside and inside words, but when I was done, I didn't like it. It was to blanc...not enough contrast in my opinion. Well I could tried a different stamping technique but...hmm...well and then I got my hands on a really fine black pen (0.005). I randomly went around the bottom of each letter and voila this looks a lot better right?


I hope you liked these four projects from the month of January. February is on the way, so stay tuned for more Card Designs on Wednesday....Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

February 11, 2019

Sign Me Up! Special - February


Did you ever had a dream to be your own boss and make money with something you love to do, crafting? Well then, your timing is just perfect this month. All new Consultants who join Close To My Heart in February will receive all five Hostess Rewards stamp sets from the Seasonal Expressions 1 book for FREE! Yes, FREE!

That’s an additional $87.75 USD in retail value added to the incredible value of the New Consultant Kit. In addition to free stamp sets and the product included in your New Consultant Kit, new Consultants will enjoy these additional perks:
• $50 USD in CTMH Cash to spend on select products of your choice
• A 22% discount on Close To My Heart products
• The chance to earn additional free products for hitting business milestones
• The opportunity to earn override commissions based on their own personal sales

You don't want to miss out on this super offer or? Let's get going and start the new year with something you love to do. Come join my team and I will help you get started. Or come join me and my team to simply have the best supplies always on hand for your own crafting projects....Contact me to get more information on what is possible or click here to sign up with me.

Former Close To My Heart Consultants can also sign up in February and take advantage of this deal plus a few extra options. Contact me to see what else is in for you to rejoin the team.

Dates: February 1, 2019 - February 28,2019

February 8, 2019

Scrapbook Friday - Pictures


Last week we talked a little about why we scrapbook and why it is important to tell the story that goes along with your pictures. Today we want to focus a little on the pictures and how we can store and print them.



Let’s begin with storing the pictures you take:

We all have our own system or none πŸ˜‰, but I found keeping pictures organized by year is the simplest way for me. I mostly take pictures with my camera and therefore download them on my computer every couple of months (plus the pictures on my phone). If we went on a vacation trip, I would download them right after we get back while my memories are still fresh. I start in January with a new folder e.g. for this year 2019. Then I add subfolders with titles of occasions, trips etc. to it. I usually start with 1….,2… so they stay in the order they occurred in the year. By the end of the year I transfer the whole year onto my external hard drive and create a DVD as back up.

I tried to use one of the many filing systems on the market, but they take up too much of my time to keep them updated. I like my simpler system for that matter. 

Now that we have all our pictures in one place, we need to get them printed. There are pros and cons to printing them at home. I rarely print photos at home since the ink is just too expensive for the number of pictures I have. If I only need one or two, I might print them myself otherwise I will order them.

There are many companies out there where you can order your prints from. Here are a few examples of companies I use:



1.)    Persnickety Prints …. https://www.persnicketyprints.com

2.)    Snapfish …. https://www.snapfish.com

3.)    Shutterfly …. https://www.shutterfly.com



Shutterfly and Snapfish are the most common ones and they both offer a great price for their prints. Use their email sign up to get special offer including free prints. Both companies also offer a prepaid option where you get an even bigger discount on your prints.

Persnickety Prints is another great choice especially if you are looking for special print sizes including 12”x12” prints. The picture quality of all these companies is excellent.

I am not affiliated with either of these companies and therefore these are a personal choice of mine. 

Regarding the pictures on your phone, a friend of mine showed me a really need app the other day. You can download them on your phone or tablet and they create collages from your pictures. The nice thing about this is, you can pick a templet, then choose picture from your device and place them into the templet. You created your own little collage that is ready to be ordered like a normal picture. Love this idea!

Now that we established the how to store and where to order pictures, the question that remains is: Which pictures should you print?

I know, this is a hard question. I usually check my folders when I download them onto my computer. I look for pictures that are not sharp, fuzzy or where the object is off. Yes, I pick them out. Mark them and…… yup hit the DELETE button! You did read it here……delete!!!!!

I know, this is a tough one, but let’s be real. I too had these great ideas I would load these more than perfect pictures into my Adobe program and fix them. Guess what? Yup, never happened!

It’s just not worth the trouble and to make things easier on you, I guaranty you will find a similar picture in your pile that is just right! So be bold and get rid of those pictures that are not right. This will help you later when you start composing your pages.

Now all that is left is to choose a company, load your pictures into their system and order them. You can further narrow down the pictures you want to use for your pages, or you do what I do, simply order the rest. But why order all if you don’t need them all you might ask? Well, I often found that I forgot 1 or 2 or I needed a different one etc. Since the pictures only cost pennies, I order all of them after I prescreened them. I use leftover pictures for card projects or create little albums and photo frames as gifts.

OK, it’s your turn now: Get organized with your pictures. Sort the bad ones out and delete them. Order prints of the ones you like or all of them and you are almost ready to start your first project. Next week we will talk about how to get started without getting overwhelmed! So, start sorting your pictures one pile at a time....

February 6, 2019

Card Class Project January - 3/4

We are now exploring card No#3 from Januaries class:


 Again, another simple but effective card. We all have these strips of papers left that we keep … just in case they will be needed again. But do they? Not really right? Well here is a nice project where you can put them to good use. I cut mine about 5 1/4" in length and created a 4" wide background. This leaves you with a nice white border around the strips. The phrase on the outside and inside were stamped with Peacock ink. The front sentiment is adhered to a strip of Charcoal cardstock and raised with a few foam dots.

In case you ever struggled with layout ideas, have you ever tried our How-To-Books? Volume 1 + 2 are a great combo for card and page makers and both come in a nice small book form. The new volumes 3 +4 are meant to be placed in one of the small ring bound albums. Volume 3 is for Scrappage makers and Volume 4 is for card makers. They have wonderful ideas with complete measurements and instructions in them. All our card designs in January came from the Volume 3 book. Well, I tweaked mine a little, but that's the beauty of the books. They give you an idea and you change them so they fit your size, papers, occasion etc.

February 4, 2019

Love Blossoms Special - February & March

This is a brand new special only available during the month of February & March and while supplies last!



Create a set of 12 charming cards with the exclusive My Acrylix® Love Blossoms stamp set and workshop. This workshop features dry embossing techniques using the new Swiss Dot embossing folder with the pastel tones of Carolina, Lilac, Peach, and Pixie cardstock. 

Dates: February 1, 2019 - March 31, 2019

This new "Love Blossoms Workshop" comes in several options for you to purchase. Both the Love Blossoms workshop kit (CC21912) and the workshop kit + embossing folder (CC21911) include the stamp set, cardstock, four Exclusive Inks™ mini stamp pads, silver embellishing thread, and cards and envelopes needed to create twelve cards. These kits are offered at 20% off the retail price. The only difference is that one includes the embossing folder (CC21911) and one does not (CC21912). 

The Love Blossoms base kit (CC21913) includes only the cardstock, silver embellishing thread, and cards and envelopes, which makes it a perfect addition to the main workshop so you will be able to create even more cards with your set.

One special treat for you: if you live in the Fenton area and would like to join a card making class where we create these wonderful cards together please contact me for more detailed information. I will teach you the different techniques used in the workshop and we will create 4 beautiful cards for you to take home. Interested? Don't forget to email me for more information.

February 1, 2019

Welcome to Fridays new blog edition, Scrapbooking!


While some of you already indulge in the world of scrapbooking, some others might ask why should we? And this is a very good question. I would love to hear from you too: Why do you like to scrapbook or why don’t you? So please comment on the bottom.

 

What is scrapbooking? Well, one of the Webster definitions of scrapbook is “a blank book in which various items (such as newspaper clippings or pictures) are collected and preserved.”

Which pretty much sums it up right? We all scrapbook for different reasons but I think the main reason is to preserve memories. Memories we have of people we love, places we went, things we have done etc. We create these books not only for ourselves but also for generations to come. No matter why we create these books, we want to tell a story, and this is the important part.



These days we are all guilty of taking 1000+ digital pictures and keep them on computers or phones. The majority of these never to see the daylight again, to get lost in clouds or worse fall victim to a crash. So why do we take all these pictures and never see them again?

While this is certainly an issue with the digital area we are living in, it is still an issue from the past. Do you or anyone in your family have a big box sitting around with tones of photographs in it with no idea what they are? Yup, memories of the past, or are they? With no description to go along with them, these pictures are pretty much worthless, right?

 The sad thing is often the people who could tell us what is in those pictures are no longer with us, which makes those old memories worthless. Let’s not have a graveyard of pictures in boxes or clouds. Let’s tell the stories and pass them on. 
See this picture on the left? Without the story (which by the way was to funny) this picture is worthless to you, right?




Yes, maybe you just like to remember the moments in time in your life and yes, maybe others might not be interested in them in the future, but maybe they will treasure them….. at least you are passing on stories with your pictures for them to decide.

We recently found picture of my grandma’s siblings and family members but including my mom, no one knows who they are or what happened to them and the people that could are long gone. We keep them because we know they are part of the family history, but their chapter is ending here.



For me, it is important to document our life, all the trips we go on, the family parties we attend and tell the stories around all of this so if someone later in life looks at them will understand who we were, what we have done etc.



It doesn’t have to be a big elaborate book with tones of designs, papers and embellishments. No, simply put your pictures in a book and write about the 4 W:

Who?

Where?

When?

Why?

Naturally, it is so much more fun when you use some design paper and little embellishments to brighten up the book πŸ˜‰ Oh and don’t worry about catching up, following a chronological line….no, just start with on event that is dear to your heart and go from there. For this purpose, I love the ring-bound albums because you can always easily sort things and add to it as much as you like. If you like to go on trips, take the little stubs from rides, entrances etc and add them to the page. Keep going and tell your stories one page at a time.



There is a lot more to talk about, but this would make this post even longer than it already is. Next week we will talk about how you get your pictures of your devices and which ones to choose….yes you have to pick some 😊

Don’t forget to leave a comment about your scrapbooking experiences down below. 
Incase you started here from the "Featured Post" section, just click on the "Scrapbooking" in Labels and you will get all posts for the Friday Editions.