Monday, October 31, 2011

November Stamp of the Month

Welcome to the CTMH November Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!
November's Stamp of the Month is called.....
****Cherish the Day****

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 Beth Naumann's blog, "Beth's Creative Block"then you are on the right track.

This month's SOTM set is one of those "must-have" sets.  Who doesn't have a reason for date stamps?  Whether you tend to make special event cards, like an anniversary card, an announcement, a holiday, or an invitation, or you make scrapbook pages, there's always a need for a date.

I decided to incorporate the SOTM into one of my Scrap Club's layout this month.  It worked perfectly within the collage area of the tag on the left page.  It was so simple.  I cut a 1" Rectangle 4 (pg. 25 ) from the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge and stamped the image using Pacifica ink and the date in Cranberry.  I even used the "cherish the day" sentiment on the tag.

 Supplies used (all CTMH unless otherwise noted):

Here's a look at the entire stamp set.
Remember, if you love what you've seen so far along your SOTM Blog Hop journey, and you want your own "Cherish the Day" stamp set or want to get it for the amazingly low price of $5, 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", signing up to receive blog updates, 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  Krista Ritskes' blog, "Simply Creating" and check out her creation.

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!

Friday, October 14, 2011

October's Sharing from the Heart Blog Hop

Welcome to the Sharing From The Heart Blog Hop!

This 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 Tammy Smith's blog, "Closer 2 My Heart", then you are on the right track.

Well....I'm getting this posted really, really late, but I guess it's better late than never.  Not really...but what can I do?  Work has been sooooo insane, family's been sick (including myself), and just other things that I had to put first on the "to do" list. (By the way, thanks to those of you that sent well wishes.) Work has been so insane, that I'm actually looking to get out of teaching.  Any suggestions?

Anyway, without further ado, below is my fall-themed creation.  I used the October Week 1 Verve Sketch for inspiration.  I like how it turned out, but I'm not 100% sure about the rainbow brayering.  Maybe I should have done just one color, but I wanted to try something different.  The swirls were stamped with VersaMark and embossed with clear embossing powder.
The scalloped oval and leaves were cut using the Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge
Supplies used (all CTMH unless otherwise noted):
Other: VersaMark, Clear Embossing Powder, Rubber Brayer, Art Philosophy Cricut CartridgeSpongeMicro-tip scissors, Corner Rounder, Paper Trimmer, Edge Distresser, Craft Heater (Marvy), 3D Foam TapeATG Adhesive (Scotch), Cricut Expression (Provo Craft)

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 leave a comment (we all love comments...the nice ones anyway), then be sure to continue along on the hop by heading over to  Wendy Kessler's blog, "My Scrapbooking Blog" and check out her creation.

Happy hoppin'!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Gotta take a break...

...from writing my Professional Growth Plan. UGH!  For those of you unfamiliar with this, it's basically a written paper that every teacher in the state of Florida has to write.  Each county has it's own requirements, but it's all tied to the "Race to the Top" funding and the dirtiest word of all time...POLITICS!  Okay...don't get me started.  At any rate, it's due tomorrow and I've been working on it off and on for days now.  Though truth be told, more off than on.  If I hate doing something, I put if off until the last possible minute, so the pressure of an approaching deadline gets me going.  Not the best method...but I am what I am. :)

I've been so preoccupied with this and other work related priorities, I've already fallen behind on my Blogtoberfest goals.  How long did I last?  A week?  That's just about how long new diets last, too. LOL 
I don't have anything I've created ready to post, so I thought I'd take a few moments to tell you to check out Jeanette Lynton's Blog.  This month she is highlighting a Cricut Shape-a-Day and let me tell you...her artwork is stunning.   For example, her layout from yesterday...
Gorgeous, right? I just love the 3D flowers and I LOVE the splattered ink!

Check out this adorable 3D item!

If you would like your own Cricut Art Philosophy to make your own creations, or just lift Jeanette's (wink), you can get yours here or enter to win a free one (details here).

In the meantime, if you would like to see Jeanette's other creations, like scrapbook pages, cards, 3D items, tags and more, click here

Hopefully I'll be back on Tuesday with another tutorial.  Until next time...

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday as I told you the day before yesterday, I've taken on Tresa Black's Blogtoberfest challenge to improve my blog presence.  My goal was to post at least two times per week, but I must be on a roll or something, because I have posted something for the last six days.  I'm pretty impressed with myself, but I'm pretty sure that won't last long...LOL.  At any rate, I figured one way to improve my blog is to try and include regular weekly features.  "Regular" being the tricky word.  I honestly hesitate in promising that I'm going to do anything, as I'm always afraid time will get away with me or more important obligations will get in the it often does...and then I will fail to follow through...and then comes the guilt.  Oh the guilt!  How I hate the guilt.  So the way I get around avoiding the guilt?  I just avoid making promises.  So I'm not "promising" that I'll post a tutorial every Tuesday, but I promise that I will try.  It is my goal, at least.

So here's my first tutorial.  It's just a picture tutorial, but I'm hoping that I can get back into making a video tutorial every now and then.  It's been over a year since I made one, so it's safe to say that I'm way overdue for one.  But for will have to do.

This is a technique that I used on my card for this month's Stamp of the Month Blog Hop (and one that I leaned almost a year ago, but no recollection of where or my apologies.), and thought I'd start this "weekly" feature with it.  Have you ever wanted a splatter of ink on your project, but you just didn't want to break out a spray pen/bottle and reinkers and rubbing alcohol, especially if the area was small?  Did you just say to yourself, "Forget it.  I'll just make my project without it."?  Well, this technique is perfect for those times, as it's quick prep and clean up.  All you need is an ink pad and a waterbrush (a paint brush and water should work as well). 

Start with your project.  In my case, Snowflake #2 from the new Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge cut from White Daisy cardstock.
Squeeze the center of the Grey Flannel ink pad.  I normally use both hands, but I needed one to take the photo. LOL This will transfer ink from the pad to the lid.
Using your waterbrush, pick up some Grey Flannel ink.  The more water you use, the softer the color will be.
Create shading by placing color on the edge of each "leaf" (they look like leaves to me and I don't know what else to call them). :)
Here's the snowflake with the shading completed.
Squeeze the Twilight ink pad...just like I did above with the Grey Flannel.
Squeeze some of the water out of the waterbrush into the lid.  Again, the more water, the softer the color would be.  However, you need to insure that the brush is very wet, so that the ink will splatter.  One word of advice.  In trying to take pictures with one hand and demonstrate with the other, I got more water in the lid than I normally would.  Not a big deal, but I found (accidentally) that if you release your "squeeze" on the waterbrush, it will suck the ink up into the barrel.  Again, not a big deal, as you can easily clean it by squeezing out some of the water to wash it out...or...simply take the barrel apart and rinse.
Forcefully tap the waterbrush barrel against your stationary hand.  The sudden stop will help to sling the ink onto your project.  Make sure to protect your work surface though, as more than your project will get splattered. ;)
Splatter some more...
...and splatter some more until you're satisfied with the results.
Can you just pretend that the big splat of blue isn't there?  I accidentally touched the snowflake with my brush on the last splatter. :(  Though strangely enough, I don't hate it.
Here was the snowflake on my original project with a little touch of bling added.  You may also notice that the ink color is a little more intense on the original snowflake than my sample snowflake.  That's because I added more water the second time around (unintentionally) than I did the first time (original).

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and here's to hoping that I'll have another one ready next week. ;)  That's my goal, right?  Until next time....Happy craftin'!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Buttoned Up Card Set: Project Inspiration

The projects in this video can be found on page 93 of the CTMH Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea Book. I don't know about you, but I love being able to see the "how" behind the cute projects in the Idea Book.

Don't have your own copy of the CTMH Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea Book? Want one? Simply click on the "Buy Now" button below and I'll get the Idea Book out to you within 24 hours (excluding Sunday and holidays). The idea book is $5, including Priority shipping and I'll include a coupon good for $5 off your first order.

In the meantime, enjoy the video. :)

Sunday, October 02, 2011


Since 2009, Tresa Black, a.k.a. The Stamp Goddess has sponsored Blogtoberfest on her blog Fabulously Artsy.  Blogtoberfest is essentially a challenge for bloggers to "step up their game", as Tresa put it.  She's going to be sharing tips and tutorials on how to create a better blog...and I for one am game.

This time last year, I had only been blogging for about five months, and with being new to CTMH and working full-time, I just didn't take the time to participate.  This time around though, I guess you could say it's perfect timing.  I've really been thinking a  lot lately about trying to improve my blog presence.  Reaching out for more challenges and hops, to help drive my creative juices and then share them on my blog.  So taking on this challenge should really help me do just that.

So I'm going to set a goal.  I'm always impressed with those bloggers who can post every day, and I'd love to say that I will do the same, but I need to be realistic.  After all, I am still teaching full-time, a mom to two, and a wife (and I'd like to stay married).  I still have to grade papers and plan in the evening, prepare workshop projects, occasionally do some work around the house (if I can't pass it off on my kids or hubby...LOL), and attend to my spiritual needs.  So, hmmm, what would be a reasonable goal?   As it is now, I have posted on average 5 times a month...which works out to just a little more than once a week.  Ick!  That really sounds pathetic.  So I'm going to set my goal posting at least two times per week.  It's very achievable, but in the end I will be posting 10 times a month...double my average.  And who knows, maybe I'll find myself on a roll and post more.

So will all of you help me?  Encouraging nudges if I fall behind would be appreciated, but I would also love to hear suggestions from you.  Is there something about my blog that you don't like?  Something that doesn't work well for you?  Information that you want to see, but can't find?  Are there certain features that you would like for me to change, add, take away?  Of course, I'm always open to hearing about those things you do like. ;) Whatever it may be, I'd love to hear what you have to say.

If you have a blog and would like to improve it, why don't you join Tresa and the rest of us for Blogtoberfest?!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Want the Cricut® Art Philosophy Collection for free?

Well, here's your chance!  Starting today, October 1, 2011 through November 30th you can get a chance to win a brand new Cricut® Art Philosophy Collection worth $99.00, for free!  This collection is only available from Close To My Heart and this special is only available from me as an independent CTMH consultant.

The Collection includes:

1 – Cartridge (700 images: font, shapes, and 3-D items)
3 – My Acrylix® D-size stamp sets
3 – 9" × 12" Dimensional Elements (3 sheets of different shapes)

You can check out the collection at this link.  CLICK HERE.  This is an amazing collection and I promise you, you will want to win this!  (There are pictures of all 700 images at the end of this post.)

Here's how to enter...
  1. Every person that orders Close To My Heart products through my Close To My Heart Web Site or at one of my workshops between October 1st and November 30th will receive 1 entry for each $25 of products purchased.  So if you order $50, you will receive two chances to win; $75, three chances, etc.
  2. If you have a blog, post something on your blog about my Cricut Art Philosophy Collection giveaway and link to my blog and you will receive an entry.  Just be sure to leave a comment in this post to let me know that you posted.
  3. Every person who hosts a home or online gathering between October 1 and November 30th will receive 5 chances to win.  Email me (click "Contact Me" tab at top of page) if you would like to schedule a home gathering or set up an online gathering.  (Home gatherings must be within an hour or so, drive from my home in Brevard County, Florida).
*Any purchase qualifies, including Studio J, Stamp of the Month, Consultant Kit, and While Supplies Lasts.  Hostess credit and other free items do not qualify.  Discounted items are credited based on actual cost, not on original value.

I will draw a name and announce the winner on December 1st.  The winner must respond to my notification within 14 days, or another name will be drawn.  The Collection will be shipped via USPS Priority Mail at no cost to the winner.
This is my first blog giveaway, so it's possible I've left out something that you would need (or want) to know.  So if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. :)
Best wishes!
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