Friday, December 31, 2010

Close to my Heart January 2011 Stamp of the Month Blog Hop featuring....

Welcome to our Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!  We will be featuring January 2011's SOTM, Find Your Style.  If you have come here from Vickie's Blog, you are on the right path!  The blog hop is a great big circle, so you can start here and work your way all around.  If you get lost along the way, you’ll find the complete list of participating consultants here.

This month we have over 50 Close To My Heart Consultants sharing their creations using the SOTM and other great CTMH products on their blogs.  To view all the great artwork just click on the link at the end of the post on each blog to move to the next one!

The soft vintage feel of this set and the beautiful sayings really spoke to me.  My mother suffers from early onset alzheimer's disease so the phrase "a friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and will sing it back to you when you forget the words" really choked me up.  What a beautiful sentiment and so perfect for giving to a special friend in your life.  The idea of giving this sent me on a quest to play with a home decor / gift item for my project this month.

Here I've used a 5x7 picture frame that I've literally had for years and done some altering to create a one-of-a-kind gift.  The butterfly was stamped directly on the glass using black Staz-on ink.

The title "beautiful friend" was embossed directly on the background paper and the definition was embossed in black and then matted.  You can see from this shot the dimensionality to this piece - all of the paper and some of the embellishments are below the glass while the flowers and sparkles all are mounted directly on the glass.

I really enjoyed creating this piece and am planning on making more of these darling frames in the future!  Here is the full picture of "Find Your Style" the Jan. 2011 Stamp of the Month:

Materials Used:
Paper:  Jingle Level 2 , Black Cardstock, Olive Cardstock
Stamp:  Find Your Style
Ink:  Black Staz-on, Versamark,  Colonial White Marker (to color the white crocheted flowers to Colonial White)

Now "Hop" on over to Nicole's Blog to see her work! Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their Blogs to get some great crafting ideas and other fun ideas! Remember, the January SOTM is only available until 31st.  Click HERE to see how you can get this wonderful set for a discount or for FREE!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Finished my Christmas scrapping with CTMH's Studio J

Okay, I know I've said it before but I LOVE STUDIO J!  I had a couple of free hours yesterday so I sat down to work on my Christmas scrapping.  My goal was to get 4 layouts done (you know, for the free shipping each month) and wound up doing 6 layouts and finishing my Christmas scrapping for 2010.

This one is my favorite - my oldest and youngest making a gingerbread house together.  We found kits at Trader Joe's this year for a simple A frame house that had all the decorating supplies and the royal icing powder included.  I helped Eliza make the icing and showed her how to put it into a pastry bag then she and Devin had a blast putting it all together and decorating it.  On a side note we tried eating a piece after Christmas but the house parts did NOT taste good.  We decided next year to bake gingerbread cookies and just use the kits for decorating fun!

Here are just two of five Christmas morning layouts I did with the Mistletoe kit in Studio J.  The pictures really capture the excitement and joy of Christmas morning - all those wonderful goodies just waiting to be opened! 

Check out the right side of this page - do you see the picture of me on the lower left?  That's me opening up my NEW BIG SHOT PRO!  I was super excited to get one of these machines (at a rockin discount in the Black Friday sales) and several dies for it.  I can't wait to share some fun projects I have planned out for the new year using my new gadget!

Love this shot of my three kids all together!

Studio J is such a great tool for getting caught up - or in my case, staying current with your scrapbooks.  I've done a great job getting all of 2010 scrapped now I just need to start importing more of my older pictures to work on the backlog!  To check out Studio J click here so you can see how inexpensive (just $6.50 for a two page layout for members) and easy (EVERYTHING is included in the price - no nickle and dime costs for paper packs or embellishments) Studio J is!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A little present to share....

The other day I received a nice present from Northridge Media so I thought I'd share!  They are giving away a free electronic look at the January issues of both Cards (one of my all time favorite crafting magazines) as well as Scrapbook Trends and Bead Trends.  Go take a peek and enjoy the inspiration!

There are definitely a couple of cards I'll be casing from the Jan. issue of Cards!  I've been kicking around the idea of getting the electronic versions of the Northridge media magazines but I think I've already spent my "crafting budget" for the next several months - LOL!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to All......

Wishing all my blog-ity friends a very Merry Christmas! 

I hope your day was filled with surprises, laughter, family and love and that your New Year is filled with prosperity, peace and joy!



Friday, December 10, 2010

Keepsake Holiday Ornament Picture Tutorial - Great to make with the kids PLUS how to get a FREE Stamp Set!

I have an easy and inexpensive project that is perfect for you to do with your kids to give to Grandparents, family or to keep for your own tree.  I've put together a quick tutorial for making a set of keepsake holiday ornaments and best of all - with a $20 supply purchase you'll get a D size $22.95 stamp set for FREE!  I'll tell you more about that at the end!

These ornaments are super easy to make!  I've made a picture tutorial for those of us who are more visual learners.

1. Press the top "hanger" part of the ornament on the edge of your Versamark embossing pad, sprinkle on Silver embossing powder and heat set. 

2.  If you want to add embossing to the center simply place the top onto the ornament to figure out spacing and I found you can stamp right through the opening onto the base chipboard piece.

3. Sponge ink onto ornaments (here I used Sky and Pacifica).  You can see, the embossing pops right through the ink!  Ink the pieces to the desired color.

4. Put a dollop of Liquid Glass on a piece of plastic wrap and use a paint brush to apply a light coat of Liquid Glass and then sprinkle with Prisma Glitter.

5. Using the paintbrush, apply a thin coat of Liquid Glass to the back of the top overlay and glue the two pieces together.

5. Embellish as desired - here I've used our Opaques Pearls

6. Run some ribbon through the top to hang!

Don't forget to have your kiddo sign and date the back!  How easy peasy is that?!?

The larger ornaments also make terrific picture ornaments - simply lay the ornament base on top of the picture you want to use, draw around and cut out. Apply the picture to the base and finish assembly as above. What Grandparent wouldn't love that?

Here is the best part - how you can get the supplies PLUS a free gift for yourself! Right now any order of $20 or more on my website will receive a bonus D size recently retired stamp set worth $22.95 all through the month of December!  Close to my Heart will pick one out and send it with your order at no extra charge!  A project for your kids and a gift for you all in one!

Make sure when you visit that you also check out under the SHOP ONLINE button a section called Discounted Products for some rocking deals on retiring products!

To make sure your order will get there in time, place your order by Monday, 13th December!Materials Used:
 Z1337 - Dimensional Elements Ornaments - $4.95

Z134 - Prisma Glitter - $4.25 (one jar will make a ton of these)

Z679 - Liquid Glass - $6.95 (one bottle lasts most people about a year)

Z697 - Sponge - $1.25 (cut into pieces and use binder clips to make them easier to use for kids)

Z1336 - Opaques Pearls - $2.95 (one package has 108 pearls and will make two or three sets of ornaments)
Subtotal: $20.35 PLUS you'll get a FREE D size $22.95 bonus stamp!
Optional Items:

Z2194 - Sky Inkpad - $5.25

Z2192 - Pacifica Inkpad - $5.25

Z669 - Silver Embossing Powder - $3.95 (one jar will last a very long time)

Z891 - Versamark Inkpad (a sticky glue like pad for the embossing powder to stick) - $9.95

Z555 - Craft Heater - $29.95

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Studio J Layout - 4th of July with Tutorial for making multicolored lines of objects

Phew, I managed to get my Studio J layouts done for November!  Nothing like waiting until the last day of the month, hunh?  I wound up with 6 new layouts (yay me!) and I made an extra copy of my daughter's 14th b'day layouts to put in a book I'm sending to her grandparents for Christmas.  Its so easy to do multiple books when all you have to do is click on a box instead of trying to create a whole extra layout!


This month I had an absolute blast playing with "copy" and "paste" in Studio J to create both lines of stitching (see the boxes above) as well as multicolored lines of brads.  To make sure everything gets evenly spaced, once you have selected your items (use the shift key to select multiple items), a box with several options for lining things up pops up - these will allow you to center your items perfectly both across an area and in relation to eachother.  Very handy little tool!

To get multiple colors of the same type of item, there is a check box that comes up when you select your color - you can choose for each of the same item on a page (like brads in the above layout) to all be the same color OR there is a box to check for "only this item" to be colored as selected.  I chose this box and then created a multi colored line.  After I had my first section of colors, I simply used my shift key to select the line and copy and pasted away to get huge lines of multicolored brads - fun and easy!

I know the pictures in these layouts are very gray and smokey.  It was a drizzly, gray day this past 4th of July and we were setting off smoke bombs so everything came out with a haze.  I was able to brighten up a few pictures by using the Studio J photo editing software.  I really love it for popping the glare off of glasses as well as fixing red-eye! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Working on my November Studio J layouts...

Between Thanksgiving, a double whammy of sickness at the house AND the kids being off school for snow days and then the holidays the end of November has totally snuck up on me! 

Tonight I've been feverishly working on some Studio J layouts (you know - to get my free shipping this month).  I've got the pictures in and the basics done for two 4th of July layouts and am now working on adding some pizzaz.  I've been playing with making boxes of stitching (see the tutorial I posted here: which makes things SOOO much easier!  I've also been using the auto-line up feature for lines of brads along a ribbon strip too.

I'm hoping to get at least 5-6 done before I order and Monday is CRAZY around here.  I could whip them out if I wasn't having so much fun customizing everything!  So, cross your fingers for me and wish me some digital good luck and I'll be back to show you what I made in a couple of days!

Friday, November 26, 2010

CTMH Magnifique 5x5" Board Book

Here is another board book made with the same pattern as the Olivia book I posted last week.  Here I've used the stamp set that comes with the Magnifique Workshop kit to decorate this little 5x5" board book. 

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  I was lucky that I did most of the cooking the day before as I wound up catching the stomach bug my youngest had on Monday (that old 3 day incubation period got me).  I had a sneaking suspicion I might catch it as I did all the clean up and wound up sleeping with him two nights in a row.  At least I was feeling up to going to see Harry Potter today - what a great movie!  We went as a family - its always more fun when Dad comes along too - and really enjoyed this latest installment.  It was darker but very exciting and enough funny moments that my youngest (9) wasn't bothered by the darker bits.  I can't wait to see the last movie next year but I'm going to miss the series.  My daughter and I are looking forward to the new Narnia movie coming up in a couple of weeks and my boys both want to see Tron.  Am I dating myself to say that I remember watching the original years and years ago???  Ah well, all things old are new again to a new generation and it is a lot of fun introducing your kids to books and movies that you loved as a kid!

Tomorrow I'm off for a bit of Christmas shopping as I missed Black Friday AM!

Materials Used:
Paper:  Magnifique
Stamps:  Magnifique Workshop Kit Stamp
Ink:  Pacifica
Other:  5x5 Board Book

Friday, November 19, 2010

5x5" Board Book with CTMH Olivia Papers and Shimmer Brads

I've been sick with a nasty cold for the past week so to make up for my lack of posting over the past several days I figured I'd post a bigger project today.  This is a 5x5" board book I created for a class this fall with my Playgroup ladies.  It features the lovely fall Olivia paper pack, our new Shimmer Brads and the stamp set from the Workshop on the Go kit - love those kits! 

Materials Used:
Ink:  Barn Red

Friday, November 12, 2010

CTMH Studio J Layouts using CTMH Zippidee paper

These layouts are from my daughter's 8th grade play.  They put on a production of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi that was really adorable.  I was enlisted by the drama teacher to do the monkey face painting which was a lot of fun and allowed me to be backstage to get some great "getting ready for the production" kinds of shots.  I really wish the large picture of my daughter bowing on the second layout was a bit crisper but it was the best of the bunch.

I played around with the paper colors for this set of layouts A LOT.  One of the fun things I discovered is that you can adjust how strong the pattern comes through when you custom color the background and texture paper.  The black paper on the 2nd layout is actually one of the star papers, I changed the colors and adjusted it darker (there is a sliding percentage bar I used) so the stars are just a bit visible on the real life layout.  I wanted a very subtle background that wouldn't take away from the pictures but would support the whole "star of the show" kind of theme.

This is the end of the 6 new layouts I did for October so I'll start working on my November order now.  I've also got lots of items from my last two Christmas themed Stamp Camps to share as well.  I'll do a photography shoot soon for those.  I came down with some kind of virus last night - hit me like a ton of bricks all of the sudden.  My hubby is working from home today so he could get the kids off to school for me (that says how sick I was last night/this morning because I NEVER ask him to do that).  Worst part is I'm supposed to be testing at Martial Arts tonight!  We have 5 people going for their black belts or their 2nd degree black belts tonight so its going to be a killer and LONG test.  I have until 5:30PM to start feeling human again and decide if I can push myself through a 3 or 4 hour test.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

CTMH Studio J Easter Layout - Tutorial on adding lines of stitching to your layouts

This adorable Easter themed paper pack is one of the paper packs that was developed exclusively for Studio J (there is one new Studio J only pack for each Idea Book release).  I love the sweet vintage feel Easter themed stickease that came with this kit - see those cute little bunnies?  On this layout I did a lot of resizing of stickease as well as layering stickease to create clusters of embellishment.  The egg cluster on the right side page was created by resizing and layering (use push to the back and bring to the front buttons) and the flower scroll on the left side is a scroll with an extra stickease added on top.  I also added two clusters of buttons as well as some stitching which is so easy to do! 

This little tip was taught to me at a Close to my Heart event by the guy who is in charge of Studio J. I was so excited that I told my friend I was sitting with that this tip alone was well worth the fee to attend the event! On the layout above I added just a couple of stitches but now that I know how easy it is to add a whole sections I'll be stitching away on my Studio J layouts from now on!

TUTORIAL for adding lines of stitching to your Studio J Layouts

To add stitching to your Studio J layout simply go to your embellishments tab in the left side options bar and select buttons.  Select whatever size thread and shape thread you would like (we have straight stiches as well as cross stitches).  Then drag that selection to place it on the layout. 

Do you  want to do a whole line of stitching?  Put down two or three of your selected stitches and align them as you'd like.  Use your Ctrl key to select the group by holding down and clicking on each element like you normally do with almost any program. 

Now, look at the top bar above your layout.  There is a menu bar that says "zoom, move, undo, redo, copy, paste, snapping-on".   Select copy and you'll get an identical group of stitches to place on your layout.  You can keep doing the copy feature to get a larger line to quickly go around an entire page or section.  If you have extra stitches hanging over simply remove the excess by clicking on the individual stitches you'd like to remove and putting that element into the trash. 

Isn't that cool?!?!  I'll definitely be doing this on my November order of Studio J layouts!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

CTMH Studio J Layouts using CTMH Back Country

Did you know that you can use any of the patterend papers for your journaling and title boxes in CTMH's Studio J?  Here I've used the same plaid paper that is on the bottom in both the title and journaling box but changed the color to a light blue so you could read the text. 

One of the new features that I think is absolutely fabulous is the ability to change the patterend paper to be any of out 60 colors.  I changed the plaid paper to Olive Green on the second layout to give a bit of diversity.  On this layout I also used the Auto Title tool to slap down the line of stickease to spell "family fun".  You can space the title letters as close or as far away from eachother as you want, you can change the size of each letter and with the Auto tool you can line everything up perfectly.  Having lots of fun with that one!  I also used the resizing feature to change the size of the stickease trees. 

I recently saw a layout where another consultant made a different tree (from the Hooligan paper pack) into a HUGE tree that took up half the page.  I am definitely going to play with the resizing feature a bit more and think more outside the box on how BIG I can make certain stickease!

Yesterday I had an absolute blast at the Seattle Close to my Heart Leadershare event hosted by an Executive Director (not my chain but they opened it up to other local consultants).  I had the honor of meeting my 4th upline, Karen Morris, who is just such a nice lady!  We also had three VP's from the company come and give talks about the upcoming Idea Book changes (going to two per year), Studio J and also upcoming corporate events.  I have some artwork from the event that I'll be sharing soon.  I didn't finish all the stamping yet so I'll share it as soon as I've completed it.  It was an exhausting but FUN day full of learning.  I carpooled with another local consultant (Hi Carrie) and really enjoyed getting to know her a bit more as well as meeting some other local girls. 

I have to say that the best part of having this business for the past couple of years is all the wonderful women I've met through doing this - not only the other consultants on the bulletin boards and locally but also all my wonderful friends and customers!  Its been such an enriching experience for me and I also want to thank all you cyber friends who stop by - your visits and comments have meant so much to me and really keep me charged up!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

CTMH Studio J Layout using CTMH You Rock papers and Members Only Layout

This is one of the layouts I started on October 30th because I needed to place an order by October 31st to get that lovely free shipping for the month on my Studio J membership.  Oh. My. Gosh.  I seriously love Studio J.  In just a couple of hours over two nights (I sent my order in at 10PM on October 31st after we went trick-or-treating) I had completed 6 new layouts and made copies of 7 more from last month for my mother-in-law.   While I adore the artistry of creating layouts from scratch, the fact that I don't have to print out my photos in advance (my personal weakness), can fit it into my schedule at whim and best of all - AM ACTUALLY GETTING IT DONE makes this product perfect for my busy life!  I've even gone back to 2008 and scrapped a couple of my older photos - YAY! 

Spencer is getting to be such a handsome young man!  I still find it amazing that he is taller than me and now has size 11 feet.  The one thing that hasn't changed is that million dollar smile - he's always made my heart melt with that gorgeous happy grin of his! 

I really loved working with the Stickease on this layout - I added the "awesome" tag to his shirt and love the arrows pointing in at him.  I also had lots of fun with adding brads and played around with the Auto Title feature much more this month (so glad I did because its a great tool!).

If you haven't played around with Studio J yet you can check it out on my website at  You do need to create a free sign-in account in order to play BUT you don't get charged a penny until you sign up for membership or go to print out a layout.  I think its awesome that they let people check it out BEFORE they buy.  If you feel behind on your family scrapbooks, need to do a specific project or just enjoy the low-cost/low-mess of digital scrapping then this is something you'll enjoy playing around with.  As always, if you have any questions I'm happy to help - just leave a comment on this post or contact me at my e-mail paige(at)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cupcake Birthday Card for the Guys with CTMH Cupcake Sprinkles

Isn't this a great color combination for a guy card?  The lighter green is Juniper, New England Ivy is the darker and the brown is Cocoa. 

Materials Used:
Paper:  New England Ivy Cardstock, White Daisy Cardstock, Key to my Heart Paper Pack (retired special)
Stamps:  Cupcake Sprinkles
Inks:  Cocoa, Juniper
Other:  Glitz, Border Punch by EK Success

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Birdie Card with CTMH Love Birds

Our "Love Birds" stamp set is so much fun to play with - those little birds are just too darn cute!  Here I've used a palette of Bamboo, Chocolate, Vineyard Berry and White Daisy on this card to make it neutral enough for a male or female - in the final version for Stamp Camp I changed the ribbon from an organdy ribbon to a striped grosgrain which definitely had a more masculine feel to it.

Today I think I need to call a chiropractor.  I was sparring last night and got hit with a back kick to my lower back.  Tweaked out my left knee and all the muscles in my lower back are feeling sore and twitchy.  {Sigh} Sparring is my big weakness and the only time I seem to get hurt doing Martial Arts.  One of my buddies who is GREAT at sparring is going to work with me to teach me some tricks and techniques.  I don't need to be great - I just need to be able to get in the ring, hold my own for a little bit and leave without being hurt.

Enjoy your day!

Materials Used:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Enjoy Life card with CTMH Cherry-O and Something Splendid

Another card inspired by a fellow consultant posting several months ago.  I changed up the scallop border by using a stamp from the Serendipity kit that came out 3 years ago.  I really like this border stamp because it has holes in the scallop which let you do fun things like put dollops of Glitz into each hole.  I've also stamped a wee bit of Sweet Leaf ink inside the little daisy flowers.  Doesn't the Cotton Candy ink really pop with Sweet Leaf?  I'm having fun exploring our new ink colors and pairing them up with other colors! 

I have a busy Monday ahead of me (per usual) but I'm hoping to get some time in my room today for crafting too.  I have a swap for a Close to my Heart leadership conference I'm going to so I need to get cracking on making up some cards!  I have until November 5th to get them done but there are some specific design requirements so I need to give myself a bit of design time too.  Along with getting ready for the next Stamp Camp (we're going to do Christmas stocking stuffer and gifty type things along with a few cards), a full week of Martial Arts, all the kids activities, a crop this Fridayd, whew...!  You know that saying "a woman is as strong as her coffee" well, I guess there is a reason I drink a pot of French Press a day!  Hope you all have a terrific Monday and thanks for stopping by!

Materials Used:
Paper:  Cherry-O Creative Basics
Stamps:  Something Splendid, Serendipity
Inks:  Sweet Leaf, Cotton Candy
Other:  Glitz

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Queen for a Day Birthday Card with CTMH Royal Birth and Caboodle

This fun card was for a recent Stamp Camp.  I loved the effect of the Glitz on the crown - it color changed the Gyspy ink to create a funky, glittery purple and pink combo.  The sentiment "Queen for a Day" was highlighted with Liquid Glass to give it some umph and the gemstone head of the scepter was given the Glitz treatment too.  All in all a great b'day card for a female of any age! 

Materials Used:
Paper:  Caboodle Level 2 (this is the reverse of one of the papers),   White Daisy CS
Stamps:  Royal Birth
Inks:  Gypsy, Crystal Blue
Other:  Glitz Glitter Gelsponge daubersliquid glass

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Corner Bookmark with CTMH Olivia and The Present

Here it is in use on the corner of our Fall 2010 Idea Book!
I really like these corner bookmarks that I've been seeing all over the place!  They don't take much paper to make, they are a terrific small gift item and they are downright fun!   This is one that we made during our September Open House event and also at a Stamp Camp.

To learn how to make one of these at home, visit this tutorial link from Splitcoast Stampers:

Materials Used:
Paper:  Olivia Level 2
Stamps:  The Present, Olivia Workshop Kit Stamp Set
Inks:  Sunset, Barn Red, New England Ivy
Other:  Edge punch
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