Monday, November 30, 2009

CTMH December Stamp of the Month "Notice the Details" Blog Hop featuring an altered file folder 4 Pocket Organizer with Bella

Welcome to the December 2009 Blog Hop featuring Close to my Heart's December Stamp of the Month "Notice the Details" (set of 41 stamps). This is a circular hop so if you keep clicking on the links at the bottom of the posts you'll make your way through all 60+ consultant blogs with art projects featuring this stamp set! If a link is broken you can click HERE and go to the full list of participating consultants.

This month's project is a two-for-one for me as it features our Dec. Stamp of the Month AND is a Christmas gift for my Mother-in-law! This is an altered file folder project with 4 interior pockets created by folding your cut-down file folder. On the front I stamped my MIL's first inital in our Baroque Alphabet, colored in the J, outlined with a gold pen and put the whole thing under a square window charm. Some stitched Hollyhock ribbon holds the whole thing together when its laced through two eyelets.
Here is the interior shot - each of the 4 pocket tags uses "Notice the Details" stamps as a frame for the label.

Close up of first two pockets - one for a daily to-do list and one for weekend plans (my in-laws have family near them in South Carolina and do a lot of weekend activities).

Last two pockets are for a grocery list (very important!) and a running chores list. I hope she'll find this a useful tool for organizing her to-do's now that she is retired! I'll be printing up some customized lists to fill this for her Christmas gift and try to do a few extras as gifts for other ladies on my list. 24 days 'till Christmas and counting!

This is the back shot of the folio showing the finishing work on the back and the ribbon attachment.
Hope you enjoyed viewing this project - it seemed the perfect fit for this acrylix stamp set! To get a great discount on this set (or even get it for free) visit my website at and order between December 1-31, 2009. Get some Christmas shopping done and put something under the tree for yourself this year (you know - like things you actually want)! ***NEW*** VISIT MY WEBSITE BETWEEN DEC 2-17TH FOR A HUGE CLEARANCE SALE AND REDUCED SHIPPING EVENT - TALK ABOUT SAVING MONEY ON HOLIDAY SHOPPING! If you place an order on my site from now until January 1, 2010 I will also e-mail you directions to make this file folder organizer project - a gift from me to you!

Now, put back on your frog feet and hop on over to Shannon's blog to check out even more artwork done with this fun and functional set! Happy crafting!

Materials Used:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Is it just me or did November fly by?

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner this year. Lots of turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, acorn squash and LOTS of sparkling apple cider. Its a holiday tradition for us to have Martinelli's sparkling cider as a treat - delicious! After Thanksgiving my darling daughter and I spent Friday and part of Saturday making our Christmas cards. She's getting to be quite the little stamper! She is really developing a good eye for design and color - ahhh, a future consultant in the making....

Wow, I can hardly believe that Christmas is just 25 days away! I have SOOO many projects still on my list to make for this year so I know I'm going to be a busy little bee for the next couple of weeks. I'll take photos as I make things and post at a later date. I'm focusing this year on making as many of the gifts as possible - my big joke to my kids is that they can have anything they want this year as long as I have the materials to make it in my craft room!

Some of the projects I'll be making to give as gifts I've posted on my Holiday Gift Extravaganza posts - check those posts out if you are looking for inexpensive gift items to create. Another item I'll be working on is making treasure boxes for my kids. Close to my Heart has these awesome 9.5x9.5" square magnetic closure boxes (about 2-3" deep) that I'll be using as a base for a personalized treasure box for each kid. I'll get to work on those next week when the kids are back in school. Today we are pulling out the holiday decorations so it will be a fun but busy day! For those of you in the states, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Don't forget to visit my blog for the December Stamp of the Month blog hop starting December 1 - I made a fab gift for my Mother-in-law that I can't wait to share!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Basket Table Decoration Tutorial for Thanksgiving with CTMH Playful Petals

Isn't this the cutest little basket??? I saw a scallop thanksgiving table placecard basket on the consultant bulletin board recently but didn't have the retired turkey stamp she used on her basket so I decided to use punches instead. Here is a quick tutorial/materials list for how I made these:

Materials for each basket:

(2) 3" Autumn Terracotta cardstock scallop circles (cut off bottom for the basket to sit flat)
1.5" circle in brown for body (cut off bottom to sit flat - I used Bella paper)
1" circle in Autumn Terracotta for head
.25" strip of Barn Red for wattle
tiny piece of yellow for beak (Bella again)
6x6" square Autumn Terracotta square for basket (score at 2" on each side for deep box)
.75" x 9" strip for handle
2 bitty brads for eyes
Ink: Cocoa Ink, White Daisy marker
Stamps: Playful Petals

1. I sponged a bit of Cocoa ink on all edges to define then stamped Playful Petals in Cocoa ink on the scallop to make turkey feathers. I added a bit of highlight with the White Daisy Marker, put the brown body on and then sent the whole thing through the Cuttlebug with the Swiss dots folder.

2. I cut a tiny triangle of yellow for the beak and added bitty brads for the eyes. The wattle is a free hand cut on a tiny .25" strip of barn red cardstock. I pop dotted the head to the body.

3. To assemble the basket simply score the 6x6" square at 2" on each side. Cut one slit on each corner and fold up to a box shape and adhere. Add the handle and then put the turkey on the front of the basket and the cuttlebugged backside on the back.

4. For a finishing touch I put a couple of leaves and a sentiment on a 1" block and random stamped on tissue paper for the basket filler. I'll add some chocolates inside and these will go at each place setting for Thanksgiving.

Enjoy! Hope you get a chance to make one before Thanksgiving. Also a sincere thank you to everyone who reads this blog, became a follower or leaves comments. You REALLY give me lots of MOTIVATION to keep creating! Thank you for being part of my circle of blessings - may you all have a delicious feast on Thanksgiving with family and friends at your side

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Card with CTMH Many Thanks and November Word Puzzle

Here is a very fast and simple Thanksgiving card I made to send out to my family for the holiday. The style is super-simple mostly because I didn't want to cover up the pumpkin paper! The paper is a retired set from CTMH called Abundance that reminds me of the wallpaper in our kitchen at my parents house. We grew pumpkins for wholesale and retail sales for years when I was a kid and in our kitchen we had a tan tonal paper with autumn terracotta pumpkins on it that this paper brings to mind. Missing my family at this time of year...

Materials Used:
Paper: Abundance Level 2 (retired)
Stamps: Many Thanks, November Word Puzzle
Inks: Versamark
Other: Gold Embossing Powder, Autumn Terracotta My Accents (retired)

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Episode of Art and Soul on CTMH TV - The Sparkle of the Season

Would you like to take a FREE creative class every month? Do you want to learn new techniques and tricks AND get a great discount on products? Have you taken time to check out CTMH TV's Art and Soul productions? Once a month Close to my Heart publishes a fun new 10-15 minute video called Art & Soul which showcases a project with cutting dimensions, techniques and tricks as well as some additional projects/comments by Close to my Heart staff including Jeanette Lynton.
These are really great little mini video classes you can get for FREE by simply clicking on my website HERE! In addition to the awesome tutorial there is also a limited time discount on the items used for the project which you can get by ordering directly from my website at! If you haven't checked out these classes yet - click on over and enjoy! I *love* watching these each month!

Don't forget - time is running out on Stampaganza! Our Buy 2, Get 1 FREE promotion only runs through November 30th 2009 so don't miss out on great savings. Buy yourself some presents for under the tree and get what you REALLY want this year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gift #6 Holiday Gift Extravaganza - Gingerbreat House Treat Box

Gift #6 Holiday Gift Extravaganza 2009!

This is probably one of my favorite creations - I just love this little treat box! Sized just right for a small baggie of chocolates, cookies, jewelry or anything else that will fit in a 2.5" square x 5.5" height. You can decide how much you want to emboss - all 4 sides or just the front - either way the boxes will be darn cute!

Materials Used:
Paper: Brown Bag Cardstock, Colonial White Cardstock
Stamp: November Stamp of the Month - Around the Block
Ink: Versamark
Other: White Daisy Embossing Powder, Cranberry Grosgrain Ribbon

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gift #5 Holiday Gift Extravaganza 2009 - Holiday Planner with CTMH Holiday Creative Basics

Gift #5 for our Holiday Gift Extravaganza 2009!

This planner is sure to keep you on track for all your holiday activites. There are pockets for gift list for family, friends, shopping receipts as well as a to-do list. Just right for keeping all your lists organized AND sized to fit in your purse when spending the day shopping. Give it as an early gift to your Mom, sister or your teacher and they'll think you are the cat's meow!

Materials Used:
Paper: Holiday Creative Basics, Colonial White Cardstock
Inks: Ponderosa Pine, Cranberry, Desert Sand
Stamps: Holiday Trinkets, Holiday Jingle, December Stamp of the Month, Everyday Celebrations (special), Friendship Alphabet - large and small (special)
Other: Cranberry Grosgrain Ribbon, large eyelets, scallop square punch

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Photo Wallet with CTMH Jingle, Holiday Trinkets, Just for the Holidays and New Fallen Snow

Gift #4 for the Holiday Gift Extravaganza 2009! These gift photo wallets were a huge hit at Father's Day so I've changed up the theme for our holidays and improved the design a bit. The best part of this project is that YOU can choose which side of the papers to use for either a his or hers project! These are perfectly sized for all those small wallet sized photos with plenty of space for jotting a few comments down for grandma, uncles or Dad.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Magnetic Post-it Notes Holder for lockers with CTMH You Rock

Here is project #3 for our Holiday Gifts Extravaganza 2009! These are fun magnetic post-it note holders perfect for your kid's school lockers! The magnet keeps it on the locker and the mini-clippy keeps those note on the backer. You can choose either silver or pink embossing!

Materials Used:
Paper: Black Cardstock
Stamps: You Rock
Ink: Versamark
Other: Baby Pink and Silver embossing powder, mini-clippy, post-it notes

From Our House to Yours Wine Bottle Gift Tag with CTMH Neighborhood, Holiday Trinkets and Framed Moments

Here is Project #2 for my Christmas Gift Extravaganza 2009 - From Our House to Yours Wine Bottle Gift Tag!

We will spruce up that bottle of wine with this fun and fancy gift tag! There is plenty of space for you to write a quick note to the hostess and she'll love your thoughtful homemade touch!

Materials Used:
Paper: Aspen Level 2
Stamps: Neighborhood, Holiday Trinkets (tree), Framed Moments (no longer available)
Ink: Olive, Twighlight, Cocoa Marker
Other: Ribbon of unknown origin

If you find inspiration from this blog, please support and encourage my efforts by purchasing items from my website! Thanks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CTMH Christmas Gift Extravaganza 2009 - CTMH Around the Holidays Card Kit Joyful Banner

Today's post is the first of 6 projects available during my Christmas Gift Extravaganza Workshop I'll be holding on Saturday, 5th December. People will be able to pick which projects and how many of each they'll be doing during this day-long craft fest! If you are one of my local ladies - give me a call to register today!

If you aren't local but find inspiration from this blog, please help support and encourage my efforts by purchasing products from my website! I always include a materials shopping list linked to my site to make things easy! Don't forget Close to my Heart's special Stampaganza promotion this month too - Buy 2, Get 1 FREE on acrylix stamp sets - which will automatically be entered into your cart!

Materials Used:
Stamping: Letters are embossed with Posterboard Alphabet and over stamped with Holiday Trinkets
Ribbon: Satin Edged Organza from the Colonial White Collection, Chocolate Polka Dot is included with card kit but also found in the Chocolate Collection

Friday, November 13, 2009

RAK for participating in cards for Noah

Thank you Kimberly and Mary Jane for sending a Christmas card to Noah (see post here). I know there were many, many generous and talented Close to my Heart consultants who also sent cards and asked friends to send cards. I hope we all brightened up his day a bit with a flood of good wishes. As the pool was small I've decided we all deserve a RAK!

Mary Jane - if you'll send your address to with "Cards for Noah" in the title, I'll be happy to put a RAK in the mail for you. Thank you so much for participating!

Kimberly - my dear friend, I have a RAK for you that I know you'll love. I'll see you at school!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CTMH Sympathy Card Made with CTMH Comforting Thoughts

A very good friend of my mother-in-law just recently lost her husband. This family was an important part of my husband's life when he was growing up so he asked me to make a card to send to her.

I grabbed a stamp set I purchased about a year ago for the perfect sentiment and added it to a card made with our Black cardstock and some silver metallic cardstock I received from a friend. The silver cardstock has gone through the cuttlebug with two different embossing folders. The flowers are simply punched from White Daisy and overlayed with a vellum copy. Vellum curls very nicely with just a little pressure from your fingers. I'm not sure how much dimension they'll retain after going through the mail but I would guess they'll still have a little bounce at the ends.

Paper: Black CS, White Daisy CS, Silver metallic CS (unknown brand), Vellum
Stamps: Comforting Thoughts (retired)
Other: Silver Brads, White Organdy Ribbon, Flower Punch, Cuttlebug Embossing Folder

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CTMH Customized Pillow Box for a friend using CTMH Tickled Pink Stamp Set, Argyle Backgrounds, Buttoned Together, Framed Moments, Heartfelt Whimsy

One of the things I love the very best about being a papercrafter is the ability to whip up cute customized packaging for small gifts. This little pillow box holds some dark chocolates inside - not a huge gift but a little treat for a wonderful person who needs a bit of pampering. What makes this gift special is that I've customized the packaging with the colors of her business - purple, red and yellow.

Before I get into the details - a quick reminder! Stampaganza is going on from now until November 30th. This is a fabulous Buy 2, Get 1 FREE deal that comes around once in a blue moon so if you enjoy stamping this is a great time to stock up. Get yourself the holiday gift you'd really like to have in your stocking this year!

I started off by stamping the smallest polka dot background stamp from Argyle Backgrounds (one of my favorite sets that is retiring at the end of the year) in a light Buttercup yellow - it shows up better in real life and helps bridge the areas between the flowers. Then I used the Tickled Pink stamp set (special a couple of months ago) to layer Hydrangea (big flower) with Cranberry (red center) and Honey Yellow (very center of the flower). I added a couple of cranberry tiny flowers in between to help tie in the ribbon and a good length of Cranberry Grosgrain wraps the whole thing up. The tag is made with a former hostess special - Framed Moments (everyone should have a nice tag set) and I then added one of the buttons from Buttoned Together at the tip and punched through the whole thing to make a hanger for the tag. The sentiment is from the same set. A sweet little felt flower from Heartfelt Whimsy adhered down with a bit of liquid glass and some sparkles are the finishing touch to a fun customized project.

Materials Used:
Paper: White Daisy Cardstock for the tag, White Pillow Box - from a bulk package at Target in the wedding section
Stamps: Argyle Backgrounds, Buttoned Together, Framed Moments, Tickled Pink
Inks: Hydrangea, Cranberry, Honey, Buttercup
Other: Heartfelt Whimsy Felt Diecuts, Sparkles, Cranberry Grosgrain Ribbon

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Whoo-hoo! I won a blog prize from Jeanette Lynton!

I am SOOO excited! I found out this weekend that I won a blog prize from Jeanette Lynton's awesome blog - click here to check it out!

There was a contest asking for Halloween traditions/treats you do with your family and I posted about our bat cave in the front room (here is the post on this blog showing my bat cave with the link to Martha Stewart's pattern). There were 5 people randomly selected to receive a free double layout created by our art department and I WAS ONE! Love this layout! I can't wait to fill my prize with pictures and share with my friends and customers the awesome work by our super-talented art department at CTMH! Thanks so much Jeanette! Still jumping up and down with excitement!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas Card Request for Noah Biorkman

I was on the Close to my Heart consultant bulletin board tonight and saw a request for holiday cards to be sent this week to a little 5 year old boy named Noah in Michigan who is in the last stage of fighting a neuroblastoma brain tumor. I've verified this story via google and found this news story on this little guy - click here to see.

To say the least, this really hit home with me - there but for the grace of God go I. I've already dug out a darling polar bear card and am sending it out to him tomorrow with wishes for a Merry Christmas filled with love, peace and family fun. If you'd like to join me you can send cards to the following address:

Noah Biorkman
1141 Fountain View Circle
South Lyon, MI 48178

If you do send a card off, please comment on this post. I'd like to randomly select one of you for an RAK (random act of kindness) to continue the chain. I'm off to hug my kids...

CTMH Christmas Card with CTMH Holiday Trinkets, Holiday Commentary and Jingle Creative Basics

Very fun and simple card I made for an upcoming party with my friend Angela. I love the candy cane striped paper that comes with our Jingle Creative Basics!

Materials Used:
Stamps: Holiday Trinkets, Holiday Commentary
Paper: Jingle Creative Basics
Inks: Juniper, Blush, Tulip
Other: Juniper ribbon from the Jingle Creative Basics package

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

CTMH Halloween Layout with CTMH Beware, October Word Puzzle, Whoo Loves You

This is the layout we will be making in our Creative Class this Friday, 6th November. A couple of my friends requested layouts to put their Halloween pictures on and I found the most darling layout on Jeanette Lynton's blog (founder and CEO of Close to my Heart) that I totally lifted. Sometimes you find something so darn cute you just have to make one for yourself! I did make a few alterations but the basic layout is the same.

We will be making the LEFT page for our class (with the bats) and the RIGHT side will be an optional page.

This is our CREATIVE CLASS LAYOUT - cost is $5 or FREE with $25 order!

The RIGHT SIDE is an optional page for people who scrap in 2 page layouts. You can purchase the materials and make this layout as well for an additional $3. When you RSVP please let me know if you would like to purchase the additional layout to make that night as well.

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