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 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!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A "Purr-fect Halloween"!

I realize that it's a little early to be talking about Halloween - I'm still trying to enjoy the last bit of summer! BUT, Close To My Heart's new Stamp of the Month for August is just too cute to not showcase. The set is "Purr-fect Halloween", and looking at the images, you can definitely see why!
What's great about this stamp set, though, is that it can be used outside of Halloween as well (notice a pair of clown eyes and a clown hat, and sentiments like "silly" and "Fun" and "You're one Crazy Cat"). In fact, just to show you the different ways in which this stamp set can be used, I made two different cards - one that is Halloween, and one that is not. Here is the Halloween-themed card:
Oh my goodness - how stinkin' cute! (I am a cat lover besides, so.....) I used the little bat image from the set to create my own really cool patterned background paper, then used one of the pattern stamps from our BRAND NEW "Flower Garden" Cricut Collection (the polka dots) on the cat to give her some pizazz! The cat, hat, and mask were all cut out and pieced together, and I used our ShinHan Markers to do the coloring and shading. Fun! Ok, now for something not-so-Halloweeny...
Adorable, right?! The patterned paper is from our BRAND NEW "Rustic Home Fundamentals" paper pack, and I again used a patterned stamp on the cat from the "Flower Garden" Cricut Collection.

I plan to have a lot more fun with this stamp set! I would love to see what cute kitties you come up with using this set. In order to get your own "Purr-fect Halloween" Stamp of the Month, simply add it to your cart on my website at for $17.95 on it's own, or for ONLY $5 with a $50 purchase! And did I mention that the BRAND NEW 2016-2017 Annual Inspirations Idea Book is LIVE!! And it's gorgeous! Browse through the entire catalog on my website as well.

Have fun, you crazy cats!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

FLASH SALE - All Month Long!!!

Throughout the month of June, be sure to check out my website each Friday at 5:00pm EST for a huge set of SALE items!!!  The list changes every week, so set a calendar reminder! Just go to "Shop", then "Flash Sale" to view all the terrific products that will be offered that weekend - for a very limited time!! I have no idea what will be included in the bundles each week (it's a surprise!)...but here is what I do know:

"During the month of June, we’re offering great deals on bundles of discounted Close To My Heart products every weekend! Check back each Friday during June to find a new set of bundles. There will be lots to choose from at various discount levels and price points, but you’ll need to snatch them up quick, because they’re only available through the following Monday while supplies last!"

Here are the dates and times:

Friday, June 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm (EST) – Monday, June 6, 2016 at 5:00 pm (EST)
Friday, June 10, 2016 at 5:00 pm (EST) – Monday, June 13, 2016 at 5:00 pm (EST)
Friday, June 17, 2016 at 5:00 pm (EST) – Monday, June 20, 2016 at 5:00 pm (EST)
Friday, June 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm (EST) – Monday, June 27, 2016 at 5:00 pm (EST)

ALSO!  I hear that Close to My Heart will be bundling products that work well together in these Flash Sales...and there will be little sneak peeks into what they will be over on the CTMH Instagram and Make It From Your Heart Blog!!

Speaking of which, if you pop over there right now, you can see some adorable projects made with two of the home decor items on sale this weekend...if they haven't already sold out! Oooo - I can't wait to see what they'll offer next week!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Fun Folds!

I love getting cards in the mail, especially when they are unexpected and for no other reason than to say hello. I received one of these cards the other day from a fellow Close To My Heart Consultant, Judee Ramsey. Not only was the card unexpected, but so was the design! It had a very unique fold that I would love to show you how to do. Start with a piece of cardstock 12" x 5.5". I have written on the diagram pictured below where to score and where to cut:
Once you have scored and cut, you are going to make the folds. From left to right, and NOT including the middle piece created by the cuts, alternate mountain fold, valley fold, mountain fold, valley fold. For the two score lines through the center piece, the one on the left is a mountain fold, and the one on the right is a valley fold (see below):
Once you have all of that, you can start embellishing your card with fun patterned papers! I used the "Happy Times" paper packet that I got FREE with my $60 order. There are SO MANY fun patterns to work with in this set - 14 to be exact. If you would like your own, you'd better ACT FAST!!! It's only available through MAY! Here is how I decorated mine:
So fun, right?! Oh, but the fun didn't stop there. I also just got myself a set of one of CTMH's newest products, "Thin Cuts". I bought the "A Bunch of Love" Thin Cuts and the coordinating "A Bunch of Love" stamp set. I love this set not only because I don't have to hand-cut the stamped image, and the images are just gorgeous, but I also get to color them any color I want to match my project. Let me show you how easy it is! First, stamp your image on a piece of cardstock:
Next, put your stamped image on the bottom piece of your die-cutter's "sandwich" and position the coordinating Thin Cuts die directly on top of your image (red arrow indicates the Thin Cuts die):
Carefully place the top piece of the "sandwich" on top of the die and roll through your die-cutter:
Carefully remove the cut piece from the die:
Now you can color! I have used CTMH's ShinHan™ markers in colors to match my papers:
OK, that was fun - and easy! When I was done, I had used both of the floral bunches and the "The Best Thing..." sentiment from the "A Bunch of Love" stamp set, and a frame from the Cricut "Artistry" Collection stamp sets. Here is the front of my card when it is folded - folded size is 4.25" x 5.5" (Note: I embossed my images with black embossing powder before coloring, hence the shininess.):
And here it is open:
Gorgeous! I might embellish a little more with some bling, but I am pretty happy with the result as it stands.

I hope you have as much fun with this design as I did. And who knows....maybe YOU will be the next person to receive one in the mail!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

"Celebrate with Cake" - Part 2

I just wanted to share another card I made using this month's Stamp of the Month, "Celebrate with Cake", and "Picture My Life™" Black Overlays - so fun! I love being able to "build" my own cake image and then color it to match my color scheme using our ShinHan markers. I can't wait to make more!