Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Jeepers Creepers!

I am really getting into the Halloween spirit now that it's mid-October. Halloween is my favorite holiday! Therefore, I really wanted to post something "Halloweeny", so I decided to make this a combination "My Favorite Things - Part 3" post and a Halloween-themed post. I am also going to combine two of my new favorite things - the "Jeepers Creepers" paper pack, and the "This & That" stamp set.
The "Jeepers Creepers" paper pack is my favorite for two reasons - it is Halloween-themed, and at the same time, so versatile! I will show you what I mean. I started by creating a Halloween card:
Being that I don't own any of the new Halloween stamp sets, I used one of the Picture My Life "cards" that comes in the "Jeepers Creepers" paper pack as my image. I absolutely love the little monsters patterned paper - and the fun colors! And just to show you how versatile this paper pack can be, I created another card using different patterns from this pack and the "This & That" stamp set:
See how simple and not Halloween-themed this is? Check out the "This & That" stamp set:
This is more geared toward scrapbooking, but works just as well for cards!

Perhaps next time I will explore some Halloween keys on the Cricut....Bwaahaahaa! Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

My Favorite Things - Part 2

Hello! I am having fun will all of my new product from Close To My Heart's new Annual Inspirations and Holiday Expressions catalogs! Last week I showed you one of my favorite new stamp sets - "Emojis". This week, I have just a couple of cards to show you that I made using the "Woodland Critters" stamp set from the Holiday Expressions 2016 catalog. Here is the stamp set:
I am in LOVE with foxes, so I HAD to have this stamp set! :-) See those thin, red lines around the speech bubbles? That means that those shapes can be cut with one of our exclusive Cricut cartridges! These in particular can be cut with the "Artistry" Cartridge. So without further ado, here is the first card I made using this set:
In addition to "Woodland Critters", I had fun using the "Little Leaves" M-sized stamp set for the background, then coloring in random single leaves with my Vivid Green ShinHan marker. I also used the dots embossing folder on the Saffron cardstock to add even more texture. The speech bubble allowed me to add a pop of Peacock blue to my earthy color palate.
I love how this card came out. I focused on a neutral background with a pop of Lagoon blue to perfectly compliment and offset the deep Goldrush orange of the fox. The wood-grain paper comes from the "Rustic Home Fundamentals" paper pack, and the other two grey patterns are from the "Jeepers Creepers" paper pack. The fun leafy pattern that I stamped on the strip in the background is from one of the eight background stamps that comes with the "Flower Market" Cricut Collection.

I hope you enjoyed this small sampling of "Woodland Critters". I'm not exactly sure what my next "favorite thing" will be - I have a lot to choose from! See you next time!

Monday, September 19, 2016

My Favorite Things - Part 1

With the release of Close To My Heart's new Annual Inspirations 2016-2017 and Holiday Expressions 2016, there are so many gorgeous new things to see! I thought it would be fun to focus a series of posts on some of my favorite things from the newest catalogs. They'll just be quick samples of products and what I created with them.

Today's focus is on the new stamp set, "Emojis":
How cute is this?!? There are 49 images total - perfect for sending that quick, little note that's sure to make someone's day. Speaking of cute and little, that's exactly what I created with this stamp set - little 3" x 3" cards using all seven of the newest colors also found in the new Annual Inspirations catalog (plus Pacifica). I am in LOVE with these new colors in the Adventure color palate (Raspberry, Blossom, Tangerine, Lemon, Willow, Emerald, and Pansy). Here is the entire set:
Don't they just make you want to smile?! I love the bright colors! Here they are up close:
These adorable cards are perfect for slipping into someone's lunch bag, onto their computer, tucked into the bathroom mirror...anywhere you'd like to brighten someone's day.

Next time - "Woodland Critters" takes the stage - a fun stamp set from Holiday Expressions! Stay tuned for "My Favorite Things - Part 2"!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

National Stamping Month: Create Kindness!

Celebrate National Stamping Month this month with hand-stamped cards designed to help create a little more kindness in the world. The "Create Kindness" Card Kit contains all of the supplies needed to create 24 beautiful 3" x 3" handmade cards (including the mini stamp organizer!) that you can use to brighten someone’s day. This entire kit can be yours for only $46.95—a 15% savings off the retail value!

Thanks to the pre-printed card bases, these cards come together in no time, leaving you more time to do something thoughtful for someone. Watch Close To My Heart’s blog, Instagram account, and Facebook page throughout the month of September to see what they’ve created with this card kit as well as the acts of kindness it has inspired! This exclusive kit will only be available in the month of September while supplies last, so make sure to get your order in early.

As a special bonus, the exclusive stamp sets and pre-printed card bases with envelopes are also available for separate purchase, but only in the month of September while supplies last!

I loved these stamps and cards so much, that I decided to make more of my own. The new Cricut "Flower Market" Collection just happens to come with eight fun background stamps that would be perfect for the patterns on the cards:
AND, it comes with the Adventure cardstock pack, which includes all seven NEW colors (which I used for my cards). Now I'll show you my versions of the "Create Kindness" cards. First, I gathered my materials:
Of the eight stamp sets that come in the kit, four of them are meant for the 2" white circles on the front of the cards, and four of them are sentiments for the insides of the cards. What I did differently from the kit is that I cut 2 1/4" circles from coordinating cardstock colors to back the 2" white circles with. I liked this much better, because the white circles were further offset from the backgrounds by doing this (you'll see). Next, I stamped all of the backgrounds onto the front of the cards (you can do the backs, too, if you like) using all of the seven new colors (Raspberry, Blossom, Tangerine, Lemon, Willow, Emerald, and Pansy) plus Pacifica, and stamped the four smaller images in black onto the 2" white circles (two times each for a total of eight):
Stamping the images in archival ink is better because it won't bleed or smudge when you color them with your alcohol-based ShinHan markers. However, if you color with colored pencils or are very careful with your ShinHan markers, you can stamp with your regular black dye-based ink. So, after coloring your images any way you'd like, simply adhere the white circles to the colored circles and then adhere to the front of the coordinating card. I kept like colors together, but don't be afraid to mix & match!
Adorable! And SO easy! The last step is to stamp the insides with your sentiments:
These cards are perfect for stashing in a child's lunch box/bag, in a co-worker's desk, on your spouse's computer...the list goes on and on. What a perfectly simple way to brighten someone's day! Create a little kindness and make the world a better place.

Visit my website today! http://funforyou.ctmh.com

Saturday, August 27, 2016

3-D Flowers with the "Flower Market" Cricut® Collection

Have you been enjoying the NEW Annual Inspirations Idea Book from Close To My Heart®? I have lots of cool, new products to show you, but the one I have been playing around with the most has been the newest Cricut Collection - "Flower Market". I have yet to scratch the surface of this incredible cartridge with over 700 images, but what I have been exploring are the 3-D flowers. There are lots to choose from! I sampled six different flowers so that I could give you a good taste of what you can create - and how you can use them! Of course, you can see a few of the gorgeous variations on the cover of Annual Inspirations:
Awesome! I am going to take you step-by-step through the creation of six flowers - there are going to be a lot of pictures in this post, so be forewarned! First, let's start with the Daisy. The first step, of course, is to cut the pieces. When you select the 3-D flower key of your choice, all of the flower pieces are cut together at once. The same key with the "SHIFT" will give you any accent pieces you will need (stamens, centers, leaves, etc.). Here's what the Daisy key will cut:
For the sake of being able to see the separate pieces more clearly, I inked every other one:
From here, it's just a matter of stacking, rotating and adhering the pieces on top of one another and placing the center (only adhere the pieces in the centers):
After you have done this, turn all of the petals up, so that it more closely resembles a real flower:
So pretty! By the way, set your Cricut for the size that you want your completed flower to be. I used 3" for most of mine. On to the next - the Daffodil. Here are the pieces:
The piece that looks like a crown is the center of the flower where the stamens come out (that starburst-looking piece). Glue the "crown" piece in a circle end-to-end (I felt that the tube this formed was too tall, so I cut a length of it off the bottom). Fold each of the petals in half lengthwise, and stack fanned-out on top of one another. I ended up using a brad to secure the petals together because they are not perfectly even, so I wanted the ability to move them into place without permanently adhering them (because I am anal that way). Lastly, fold the stamens up:
Now, assemble! I found a glue gun to work best for this. Daffodil complete!
Next, I did the Pansy. Here are the pieces:
Each of the petals has a slit cut in the base. The object is to kind-of "pinch" the petal and cross the two flaps (formed by the slit) over one another and adhere - like this:
Do this for every petal, then adhere the two center pieces together, offset from one another:
That last little circle you have left is the base that you will adhere your petals to. Start with the five larger petals and adhere the folded bottoms to the base like so:
Do the same for the remaining petals, then adhere the center...well, to the center!
I am loving this! (I did two sizes.) OK - next! Moving up in complexity - the Rose. Pieces:
Weirdly shaped, right? Well, there's a reason. See how each set of petals has a little notch that extends out on the top-left? Well, you are going to use that notch as the place where you will adhere the petal directly to the right of it. In other words, you will curve the set of petals around so that you can glue the petal on the right to the notch on the left. You will also fold the single petals and the leaf in half lengthwise:
Make sense? Now you will fold or pinch each of the petals outward so that they appear to curve down. In addition, glue the leaf to the bottom-most layer:
The only thing left to do is stack and adhere! Again, I found a glue gun very handy for this - especially those last two single petals:
Oooo - we're on a roll! This next one is a Succulent - had never heard of it before, but it is my absolute favorite! Here are the pieces:
Wow, there are a lot of pieces...but guess what?! All you need to do is adhere them on top of one another in descending order, in the centers, then fold up all of the petals, like we did with the Daisy - and you're done!
Beautiful!! I added a gold sequin to the center to make it even more beautiful. Inking the edges would have really made it pop!! Ok, I tried one more of the 3-D items, mainly because I was curious how it would go together and turn out. It's a Cactus, and here are the pieces:
On the outset, it appears that there is no glue involved. Each piece has slits cut into it, allowing you to slide one piece onto another, building it out, according to the little picture in the book. However, when I actually put it together, I found that the base kept folding up, and the whole piece was "side-heavy", and needed something to stabilize it. So, I cut a 1 1/4" circle, and used a glue gun to adhere the base to it. That solved my base-folding problem, but it was still tipping over. SO, I found some little pebbles and glued them into the spaces around the base. This ended up working very nicely. Here is the finished product:
It's adorable, but a little more work than originally anticipated. :-)

Ok, now that we have all of these 3-D flowers, what do we do with them?! Easy! Take your glue gun and go hog-wild on every surface in your home. :-) Here are just a few examples of how I used them:

I could definitely see a picture frame completely covered with these beautiful blooms! I see gorgeous gift ideas for the holiday season (and yes, there are holly and poinsettias)! The "Flower Market" Collection comes with a package Adventure Cardstock, featuring seven NEW colors, three gorgeous stamp sets, and, of course, the Cricut Cartridge:
Order yours straight from my website and save on shipping! I hope you have as much fun with "Flower Market" as I am!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Technical Difficulties...

Well, when you are not "up with the times" or computer/smart-phone savvy, bad things are bound to happen...like deleting every photo ever uploaded to your blog without realizing you were doing it. Yep, unfortunately, SIX YEARS worth of blog posts are now devoid of images. I began tedious task of going back and adding the images back in again, but decided, after trying to find one particular image for 20 straight minutes, that it just wasn't going to happen.

SO, consider my blog to be brand-new, because, in essence, it is. I will do my best to keep it updated regularly. I am in the process of creating the 3D flowers that can be found on the new "Flower Market" Cricut cartridge, so I will be posting those as soon as I can complete them.

Once again, I apologize for all of the blog posts that are missing the pictures...they are not nearly as interesting without them!

Lesson learned!!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Brand-New Annual Inspirations 2016-2017!

There's nothing better than a brand-new catalog full of your favorite things! That's just what Close To My Heart's NEW Annual Inspirations is - chock-full of brand-new products to tease, tempt, and tantalize us!
There are so many fun things to get your create juices flowing. I am going to highlight just a few of my favorite new additions to the CTMH lineup:

Did you happen to notice the spectacular paper flower bouquet on the cover of the new book? Well, guess what - it was made with our brand-new Cricut Collection - "Flower Market"!
This cartridge comes with a packet of cardstock (featuring SEVEN NEW COLORS) and three really fun stamp sets. Two of them are background/pattern stamps (note that I used these on my cat cards from the "Purr-fect Halloween" post), and one is a set full of cute sentiments. There are SO many images, I couldn't possibly mention them all, but here is just a tiny sample:
There are a ton of 2D flower images, but as you can tell from the cover of Annual Inspirations, there are quite a few 3D flowers that you can create with this collection. I made this card for my God-daughter for her graduation using layered sunflower images and leaves:
Gorgeous, right? This card also uses patterned paper from the new Rustic Home Fundamentals Paper Pack. Love it!

Another thing I HAVE to mention are the new sizes of Memory Protectors and Flip Flaps. Check out this page from Annual Inspirations:
Now there are SO MANY fun options for adding even more photos to your pages and layouts. This is so exciting!!

The majority of the new products in the Annual Inspirations Idea Book are available NOW, so check it out in its entirety here: Annual Inspirations 2016-2017

And remember, you can place an order online on my website anytime! Have fun shopping!