Monday, January 31, 2011

February Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Welcome to the CTMH February Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!
February's Stamp of the Month is called.....

The blog hop makes a circle so if you are starting here just continue until you make your way back and you will have made it through them all.  If you have already started and are coming from LeAnne Dudley's blog, "Dudley Chick Designs", then you are on the right track. (Didn't you love her card?  I always love her stuff.)

I struggled a bit trying to come up with an idea using this stamp set.  As much as I love damask, I had a difficult time coming up with something that I thought was "creative".  I originally wanted to come up with something that wasn't just a stamped background.  I mean, after all, that seems pretty obvious for damask.  However, when I went through my stock of new papers that are available to customers tomorrow, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I love the new paper line called "Bliss".  It is very understated, but absolutely gorgeous! 

I cut Vanilla Cream cardstock 7 x 10 to create a 5 x 7 card.  I then stamped the damask stamp using Vanilla Cream Pigment Ink and then heat embossed it with clear powder.  I then cut two strips of the Bliss paper, wrinkled it, inked the edges with Grey Wool and then I distressed the edges.  I pleated the paper as I adhered it to the base card.  I then cut a 1 1/4" strip of Grey Wool cardstock and used the faux stitching technique, adhering it to the card base using foam tape.  I used a die to cut out the paper for the sentiment, inking the edges, applying the Licorice Opaques and adhering it to the base using foam tape.  At this point I originally stopped, but I still felt that it needed more, so I added two crochet flowers.  I'm really pleased how it came out and I hope you enjoy it.

Supplies used (all CTMH unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Bliss Level 2, Grey Wool CS, White Daisy CS, Vanilla Cream CS 
Stamps Used: Friendship 
Inks: Vanilla Cream, Grey Flannel, Grey Wool
Embellishments:  Opaques Licorice Adhesive GemsCrochet Flowers
Tools: Sanding Block, Edge Distresser, Micro-tip scissors, Sponge, Craft Tray, Heat Tool, Piercing Tool, Euro Personal Trimmer, Spellbinders Large Oval and Scalloped Oval
Adhesives: 3D Foam Tape

Remember, if you love what you've seen so far along your SOTM Blog Hop journey, and you want your own "Friendship" stamp set at a discount or for FREE, be sure to contact your Close To My Heart Independent Consultant.  If you don't already have a consultant, I'd love to be yours.  You can find details on the "Stamp of the Month" here on my blog, or by clicking on the "Stamp of the Month" tab at the top of the page or by clicking on the "Shop with Me" link near the top right.  Of course, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

If you have time, take a moment or two to check out the rest of my blog.  If you enjoy your visit, then please consider "Following Me" and/or leaving a comment (we all love comments...the nice ones anyway), then be sure to continue along on the hop by heading over to  Nicole Griggs' blog, "Nicole's Creative Zone" and check out her beautiful creation...and trust me, you don't want to miss it!

If for some reason you get lost along the way, you can always find a list of all this month's CTMH SOTM Blog Hop participants on Helen's Onulak's blog.

Happy hopping!  :)

The Sneak Peek Party was a success!

I hosted my second Semi-Annual Sneak Peek (Idea Book Reveal) Party this past Saturday.  It was a lot of work to prepare for, but thankfully my sweetie-pie daughter was a huge help.  I also had some new issues arise that I will have to take into consideration for the next Sneak Peek Party. For example,  I had a couple of customers only make one of the three cards, because they got tired of waiting for another station to open up and left.  So note to self...make the stations more accessible to more people.  Live and learn though, right?

There were several other stations in addition to the make 'n takes.  There was a sign-up area for the upcoming Crazy for Cards class, clubs, and newsletter, as well as Home Gatherings and the CTMH business opportunity.  CTMH How-to Books were on display, along with the upcoming Stamps of the Month and some new products.  I also had my computer set up for my customers to try CTMH's Studio J and to sign up for my electronic newsletter.  In addition, I had the new idea books out and ready for everyone to take.  Finally, one of everyone's favorite stations...the food station.  lol  I had a lot of food for the attendees (and my to enjoy.  In fact, I made some easy BBQ meatballs in my crock pot.  Have you ever heard of the meatballs made with grape jelly?!  It sounds like the most ridiculous thing, doesn't it?  In fact, as I was making them, my daughter first expressed her shock that I was cooking, then she asked me "What are you doing?!" as she saw me emptying the grape jelly into the crock pot.  LOL  I told her to trust me and that she would love them.  Well, I was usual.  ;)  (Will she ever learn?)  There were just a few left over and my family managed to finish polishing them off today.  At any rate, if you've never made them or tried must.  Just put a package of your favorite frozen meatballs, a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Jack Daniels Original) and a small jar of grape jelly in your crock pot.  Either set it on high for 2 hours (what I did) or on low for 7 hours.

Here's pictures of the three cards that my customers made.  All three are using the newest products to CTMH.  In fact, the first card (my favorite) and the paper used in the third card are sneak peeks at products available on February 1st...just a little over 24 hours away!  The second card and the stamp set in the third card are also new products, but they were released this month in the Inspirations brochure.

This card was inspired by the clever Beth Ivanic.

Supplies used (all CTMH unless otherwise noted):
Papers: Sweetheart and Miracle (available Feb. 1), Wings
Stamps Used: Delight (available Feb. 1), Rosy Regards, A Game, Classmate Alphabet, Bohemian Alphabet
Tools:  2" Scallop Punch (available Feb. 1), Edge distresser, Corner Rounder, Bone folder, Piercing Tool, Micro-tip scissors, Sponge

Customers were able to earn entries into the grand prize drawing through various ways, like RSVPing by a certain date, bringing a friend, making a purchase (of various levels), signing up for clubs and classes, scheduling a home gathering, etc.  The grand prize was a CTMH tote full of various products, some new, some retired, some in between.  The value of the grand prize was easily over $200!  To document the prize drawing, I made a video.  Did you enter the drawing?  If so, take a look at the video to see who won....

 I'll be hosting my next Sneak Peek Party at the end of July...right after convention.  So keep your calendar open. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My layout for Sketchy Thursday Guest Designer Challenge and February's Scrap Club

I've been missing in action for a couple of weeks, but I'm alive and well.  I've just been real busy with school starting up again and preparing for my workshops and some other events coming up, like my Open House and 25 for $25 Card class.  Just busy, busy, busy with my CTMH business, but just not the blogging end of it.

Since the last time I posted, I was stunned, amazed, and honored to discover that one of my "CTMH Idols" (I hate that word...but you get the idea), Tresa Black, selected my layout as one of her favorites of her Inspirations Linky Party!  I feel so bad, as I was supposed to link back to my blog, but at the time I couldn't post and I had intended to go back and get it done, but got side-tracked with all the busy-ness I mentioned above. If you've never been to Tresa's blog, YouTube Channel, or UStream need to right that wrong, because you have been missing out!  Even though the Linky Party is closed, I have included the list at the bottom of this post.  So be sure to check out the incredible paper art!

Now...on to one of my latest scrapbook layouts for next month's Scrap Club.  My next Scrap Club will be on Saturday, February 12th at 3 p.m. and we will be using the Sweetheart Workshop-on-the-Go. This layout is actually a sneak peak into what's coming February 1st!  That's when Close To My Heart's latest Idea Book goes live.  If you're able to, you are invited to attend my Sneak Peak Party on January 29th and receive your own copy for FREE!  Be sure to check out the Schedule tab at the top of the page to find out more about these and other upcoming events.

I needed a sketch to help inspire me for next month's Scrap Club layout, so I checked out Sketchy Thursday's Blog.  While I was there I was inspired not only by a sketch for the February's Guest Design Team Member Challenge, but I was inspired to actually apply for the spot.   I've never been a Design Team Member for anyone (other then actual stores I've worked at), but then again, I've never applied.  I suppose it's kind of like winning the lottery.  You can't win if you don't play. lol  At any rate, I thought it would be fun, so I'm going to give it a shot.  I'm not really expect to be selected, as (at this time) there's over 60 entries and they're just so many incredibly talented ladies out there!  But as the saying goes, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."  So here it is...
I know that most people wouldn't look at this paper and think "BOY", but I think it's fitting for the pictures. :)  My son found some of my stickers and found a new use for them.  This is one way to thin out the stash. :)
I actually stamped the sentiment twice, once with Tulip ink then with Black.
I sprayed the white cardstock with undiluted black reinker.  I used various techniques for the hearts, including first and second generation stamping, rock and roll, and sponging.
I started out with the title, "I (heart) U", but since he put hearts all over himself, that it would be cute to cross-off the "i" and add "u" for "U (heart) U"...because after all, he hearted himself....get it? LOL  You can also see the faux stitching here, as well, as creating a scalloped border using a circle punch.
This is a new stamp set available in February.  I inked in Key Lime and touched the edges to Pear.  I also used a white gel pen to add some highlights.  I used the bottom end of the stem to create the grass effect, cut the heart flower in half and used foam tape to adhere the two halves together to create a half flower, and (it's hard to see) added a gem to the center of the heart "tulip".
The black embellishments are part of a new mini-medleys accent assortment and is available in this month's Inspirations brochure.  I like the little extra touch the sparkles added, too.
This bracket is an epoxy sticker that will be available for sale February 1st, separately or with the Sweetheart Workshop-on-the-Go kit.  You can also see where I used the Stubble Tool with black re-inker to distress the edges of the black pattern paper.
Supplies used (all CTMH unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Sweetheart Workshop-on-the-Go (available Feb. 1)
Stamps Used: Affection (available Feb. 1), Chocolate Alphabet Large, Sweetheart (only available with WOTG)
Embellishments:  Opaques Pearl Adhesive Gems, Sparkles, Sweetheart Epoxy Stickers (available Feb. 1), Mini-medley Black Accents, Stardust Glitz Glitter Glue
Tools:  1 1/4" Circle Punch, Piercing Tool, Micro-tip scissors, Sponge, Stubble Tool, Spray Pen (available Feb. 1 or with Wings WOTG), Martha Stewart Score Board
Adhesives: 3D Foam Tape, Tombow Mono Adhesive, ATG Gun

The second layout is almost ready to post, but I've got to enlarge one of my pictures still and finish the title, so I'll post it in a few days when I get it finished.

Now find the links to all the participants in Tresa Black's Inspirations Linky Blog Hop for your viewing pleasure.  Thanks for stopping by!  Blog at ya' later! :)

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