Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Tonight was Charlie's last soccer game of the season.  Which means it was the perfect opportunity to use my new "Game On" stamp set.  His team colours are black, red and white, so that's what I used for the cards to thank his coaches.  This card is clean and simple, but it looks great.

This stamp set has some great sporty stamps for soccer, baseball, football, tennis and basketball, so I know I'll get a lot of use out of it.  And I love how the soccer ball in Cranberry pigment ink pops off the black background!

Thanks Coach Scott and Coach Lawrence for a great season!

Sunday, August 19, 2012
One of my favourite parts of our team PowWows is the card swap.  I send out a sketch, taken or inspired by Close To My Heart's how-to books, like Originals or Wishes, and the gals create.  They can use any paper pack, stamp set and embellishments they want, it just has to be from the current Idea Book.  So take a look at these gorgeous cards and see what they came up with:

Cards created by the Designing Divas
It's so amazing to me how each person can start with the same sketch and come up with something so different.  Keep looking ...

Clementine papers and a cute bottle cap, by Leigh Ann.

Sweet cupcake, Clementine and burlap ribbon, by Krista.

Pemberley birthday and Nov. SOTM, by Shannon.

Pear & Partridge and some great embellishments, by Joanne.

Dakota Valentine using Jan. SOTM, by Heather.

Dakota Thanks, with a pop of black, by our other Heather.

Sparkly Avonlea with sanding, by Tara.

Clementine and Florentine with cameos, pearls and butterflies, by Sheri.

Do you know what one of the best things is about being a Close to my Heart consultants?  It's the friendships I've made and the wonderful people I've met over the years.  I am very blessed by the connections I have made.

Yesterday, the Designing Divas, my CTMH team, met for our PowWow (it's not a meeting, it's more fun than that -- but costumes aren't required!).  We meet twice a year to talk about the new Idea Book, to learn from each other, to create a fun project and to get to know each other.  And it was awesome!  Tara and Joanne spoke about their Convention experience -- it was a first time for both of them.  Krista, Shannon (via Skype) and I shared tips about e-tools that are at our disposal.  And Heather, Heather, Leigh Ann, Kathy and Laurie all joined in, asking questions, sharing experiences and really coming together.  I was so happy to see it.

I am really quite proud of the team we are all building together.  They are wonderful ladies who are willing to help each other out.  They are willing to share and teach.  They are comfortable enough to ask and learn.  While we each have our own businesses to run, we're not so selfish not to help a sister out.

Have you ever thought about becoming a CTMH consultant, but were afraid you'd be left on your own to figure it all out?  Not with the Designing Divas to help you out.  And there is no better time to join that RIGHT NOW!  If you sign up in August, you'll not only receive a GREAT starter kit of crafting and business goodies valued at $130 for only $49, you'll also get this gorgeous tote, absolutely free!

Simply email me at justscrapit@sympatico.ca and let's talk about having you join the Designing Divas!

Friday, August 17, 2012
We all like to create something beautiful. And it doesn't hurt to have a little help.  That's what the "Make It from Your Heart" how-to book is all about.  It's about giving you a little help, a little inspiration, a little nudge to make something beautiful, from YOUR heart.

This useful, versatile and beautiful book, designed from the same inspiration of Jeanette Lynton's books Cherish, Imagine, Magic, Originals and Wishes, is a fabulous guide for creating stunning layouts and cards. 

Yes, I've used a lot of strong adjectives here -- and I mean every one.  I just know you're going to want one for yourself.

Why?  Because it has sketches for 18 layouts and 12 cards to inspire you.  It not only gives you the sketch, the measurements and the cutting guides to create the layout shown, it has gorgeous artwork to inspire you and give you ideas.

Why?  Because it's got great value!  At an affordable price of only $7.95, it's less expensive than most scrapbooking magazines out there.  And even though, throughout the year, each of these layouts will be showcased in the Workshops on the Go.  So you could get these layout sketches without buying this book.  But it would cost you almost $450.  That makes $7.95 sound like a great deal.

Why?  Because while we all like to think we have great creativity and can come up with designs on our own, we all need a little help now and then.  All you have to do is add the love that comes with making something from your heart.

Thursday, August 16, 2012
All Close to my Heart papers come with a little something extra that you can add you to your artwork:  a patterned zip strip on the top of the paper.  Trim it off and use it in so many different ways.

Here is one card where I used the zip strip as a border.  It adds a punch of colour and creates a great pattern for the card.

Thanks Haley Dyer, for the inspiration to use generational stamping with the bike!

And here's one that I used in a striped card and pleated it like a ribbon and anchored it with some bling.  I love how it turned out.

So the next time you're using your CTMH papers, don't forget to add a little ZIP to your creations.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Welcome to our “It’s Your Day” National Stamping Month Blog Hop, featuring the versatile and adorable “It’s Your Day” double stamp set.  

Whether you are starting here at my blog, or if you have come here from the talented Wendy Coffman’s blog, Welcome!  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, more than 40 Close To My Heart Consultants are sharing their creations using the “It’s Your Day” double stamp set and other great CTMH products on their blogs. Check them all out by simply clicking on the link at the end of the post on each blog to move to the next one! Here we go!

Olivia’s Special Box

I wanted to make something special for my niece Olivia’s upcoming baptism.  I wanted something girly, but not necessarily pink and frilly.  So can you believe that I made this box using Halloween paper?  You bet!  I used paper from the new “Moonlight” paper pack along with the “It’s Your Day” stamps.  And I love how it turned out.  

Top view, with butterflies and more!

Front view -- maybe Olivia will save a few giggles inside when she's older.

Stamped some love right on the ends.

The inside is special too!

The stamp originally said "This is our story" -- I modified it slightly to make it right for Olivia.

That’s one thing I really love about the new CTMH seasonal paper packs – they are beautifully designed to reflect the holiday, but they are versatile enough to be used for just about anything, at any time of year!
Supply List:
It’s Your Day Double Stamp Set
Trinity Alphabet stamp
“Moonlight” paper
Smokey Plum, Sky, Goldrush and Slate ink
Licorice Opaques Pearls
My Creations Card Box
Bonding Memories Glue
CTMH Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge

Now "Hop" on over to Kim Schnoor’s blog to see her beautiful work!

Want to get the “It’s Your Day” stamp set for yourself?  It’s easy.  Simply place an order of $35 or more and you’ll receive this double stamp set for just $5.  Email me with your order – my next order date is Sunday, August 19 at 5pm – or shop online anytime!  This stamp set is available until September 30.

Ever wanted to stamp on dark cardstock, like Black or Outdoor Denim and just couldn't get the punch in your colour that you wanted?  Now CTMH has these ADORABLE mini pigment pads in each of our 40 shades.  They are great for stamping on dark cardstock, or using with clear embossing powder to add dimension when you stamp.  I'm looking forward to using them in my Halloween and Christmas projects!

Plus, with our new stamp scrubber, they are so easy to clean.  Spritz, scrub, store it away.  So easy!

Monday, August 13, 2012
Next week, my 11-year-old son Sam is going to sleep-away camp for music theatre.  He'll be gone for a whole week ... but it's old hat for him now as this is his second year going to this camp. I hope that doesn't mean he won't miss his dear ol' mom, though.  I'm so proud of how he's growing up -- he's a good boy with a real passion for the theatre, so how can I not support him in that?

I'm pleased that I'm on the ball and have these cards ready to send to him.  Last year, I sent them too late and he only got 1 of the 3 cards I sent him.  So this year I'll be going to the post office a little earlier, in hopes that they get there in time.

Here's card #1:

I used paper from the Dakota pack and stamps from the new Creepy Critters stamp set.  Just goes to show you that Halloween stamps aren't just for Halloween. I thought this dancing skeleton was perfect for Sam at music camp.  And I just love the googly eyes!

And here's card #2:

This card uses paper from Scholastic and Clementine, plus the new Ruby cardstock that I'm in love with.  I personalized the "Pun Fun" stamp with his name to make it feel even more special.

Sunday, August 12, 2012
If you've ever purchased a CTMH stamp set, you'll be familiar with the colour-coded insert that comes with the stamp, helping you to organize your stamp collection.  Sentiments, Spring, Everyday Life, etc., each with its own colour.

With this Idea Book, CTMH has taken a more classic approach, simplifying both the design of the stamp insert as well as the categories, to make things easier!

Aren't they classy looking?  Now, there are only 6 categories of stamps:  Holidays, Seasons & Nature, Flair, Everyday Life, Occasions, and Alphabets.  And the category is right on the stamp label for easy identification:

Now, those of you who have dozens (maybe even hundreds!) of stamp sets, like me, are probably wondering what kind of system to adopt to integrate these new stamps in with the old colour-coded ones.  Well, there are a couple of options:

1)  Some of these categories, like Everyday Life, are the same, so you can store your new stamps right along with the old.

2)  OR, you could just start fresh and organize only by the new categories and try to fit the old ones in.

3)  OR, you could organize by code number or alphabetically.  I sometimes think of the stamp set's name before I think of its colour or category, so this might be easier.

4)  OR, you could add a little coloured dot or sticker beside the label to help identify and match it with your colour coded stamps (Thanks, Krista Ritskes, for this great idea!)  This is likely the approach I will take -- and I plan to label my storage boxes too, for even easier storage.

You've got a few options for organizing.  What I suggest is that you don't jump too fast and set something in stone, even before you try it out.  Organize your stamps one way and live with it for a while.  If it works, GREAT!  If not, then try something different.

Regardless of how you organize, you'll still love the amazing quality and design of CTMH's My Acrylix stamps.  The insert may have changed, but the stamps are still the ones you love!

Happy Stamping!

Saturday, August 11, 2012
As you've been looking through the NEW Close to my Heart Idea Book, have you noticed that some of our versatile paper packs have some different colours in them?  The name of the colour starts with the name of the paper pack, followed by a colour you might never have seen before in our palette.

These are CTMH's new specialty colours!  They are designed to add some "va-va-voom" to our classic colours and showcase some trendier colours ... but they are only available in that paper pack and only for a limited time!

Here's a look at what the Avonlea colours look like.  Of course, they coordinate beautifully with the B&T Papers:

In this Idea Book, there are 3 kits that feature specialty colours for you to enjoy:  Avonlea, Flirty and La Belle Vie.

So if you like these specialty colours, get them while you can.  Save your scraps, trade with friends and enjoy this extension to your creativity!

Friday, August 10, 2012
Here are some more great artistic pieces from Alyson and her La Belle Vie display.  Thanks, Alyson, for allowing me to share.  You are truly talented!!

Check out more of Alyson's work on her blog!

Thursday, August 9, 2012
Today, I met two very lovely and talented ladies.  My friend Karen Day (Hi Karen!!) hosted a great little shopping trip and lunch with Gail Frey and Alyson Mayo, and we four CTMH gals had a lot of fun getting to know one another and trading stories and ideas.

Alyson was one of the extremely talented artists featured at CTMH's recent Convention in Texas.  She was charged with making, well, whatever she could using "La Belle Vie" and other new CTMH products.  And WOW, what she came up with.

Today, I'm going to show you this BEAUTIFUL boutique that she made using her assigned paper and some wonderful creativity.


I am just so in awe of what Alyson created!  I hope you like it too!  Check out more of her work on her blog.  And stay tuned for more of her stunning "La Belle Vie" artwork tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
One of the very first things I check out when I get a new Idea Book is the Stamp of the Month section at the back.  I am always curious to see what great stamp designs will be available and when.  And I love the artwork that is showcased with each set.

September and October 2012 SOTMs!

If you don't know what a Stamp of the Month (SOTM) is, read on.  It's a special stamp set that is only exclusively available during a specific month of the year.  It can be purchased for full price -- still affordable at a great price of $17.95.  OR, you can get it for the super low price of just $5 when you spend $50 or more.  The SOTM program is one of the best deals that CTMH has to offer!

And not only does CTMH offer these stamp sets at such a great price, they also give you artwork and inspiration so that you can USE what you buy and springboard from there into your other projects with more ideas.

DID YOU KNOW?  There is more inspiration online!!  Just visit my web site and click on PROMOTIONS >> STAMP OF THE MONTH.  There you'll see recipes for each of the projects shown using the current SOTM in the Idea Book.  It's a great way to get inspired each and every month.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Hooray!  One of the best announcements to come with this NEW Idea Book is the return of bulk cardstock!  Once again, you can buy 24 sheets of your favourite cardstock colour -- any colour -- for the great, affordable price of $14.50.

Bulk Cardstock -- what's your favourite colour?
As a consultant, this is exciting because now I can stock up on colours I use for workshops, which in turn, allows me to offer workshops at a more affordable price.  YAY for you, my customers!!

And as a crafter, it means I don't have to settle only for the colours that are available.  I can choose the shade that's right for my project.  And I don't have to buy it in a combo pack and leave certain colours behind to go to waste.  Less waste, more money saved and the farther our scrapping budgets go.  YAY for you, yay for all of us!!

I totally understand why, a year ago, CTMH made the decision to cut back on the number of colours available in bulk.  It was about economics and inventory levels and all kinds of business rationale.  I get that, and support that CTMH was trying to do what's best for all of us to keep prices low.  But the reality is that my favourite colour is not your favourite colour.  And my favourite colour may not be a best-selling colour.  So THANK YOU, CTMH, for bring back Bulk Cardstock in every colour, and for giving us variety, versatility and choice in our paper purchases!!  THANK YOU!

Monday, August 6, 2012
My sweet friend Sue just welcomed a bouncing baby boy into her life.  She's going to make a great Mom and I wanted to welcome Little Gus with something special.  So I got crafty today and made him a special keepsake box.  The new Dakota papers were perfect -- not to "baby", not too girly ... just perfect for this little boy now and as he grows.  Here it is:

Keepsake Box using Dakota paper.  Sweet and simple.

Paisley paper on the end and crumpled Pacifica cardstock on the face.

A special message inside.

The box and matching card.

Sunday, August 5, 2012
I generally love it when layout sketches use standard sized photos -- 4x6, 5x7, 8x10.  But sometimes, you find a layout that you really love - like the layout in the Clementine Workshop on the Go on page 29 of the New Idea Book or the adorable "Do Not Peek" layout on page 88  -- and it uses smaller sized pics.  Do you have trouble visualizing how big a 2x2 or 3x3 photo really is?  I do.  I look at my photos and am often convinced it just won't work.

But then I dig in my bag of tricks and pull out my CTMH My Acrylix(tm) blocks.  Not only are they just the right size, they're clear, so I can move them around my photo and see that a certain photo really WILL work on the layout.

Here's how you crop a photo to 2x2:
Step One:
Choose a photo and move your 2x2 My Acrylix(tm) block around until you have the important part of the photo framed the way you want it.

Step Two:
Mark where the outer borders are.  Use a pencil or a wax pencil to draw a 2x2 square around the photo (or just mark the top and one side, and use the measurements on your trimmer to cut the other sides).  With practice, you may be able do this in your head and remember key landmarks to cut your photo -- i.e. The top of the photo is slightly above Sam's head, and the left side is right down the edge of Charlie's backpack.

Step Three:
Cut using your trimmer.

Step Four:
Use a tissue to erase any pencil marks left behind.

Step Five:
Attach to your layout!

CTMH's affordable My Acrylix(tm) blocks come in a variety of sizes for stamping that are designed for easy handling ... and they'll help with your cropping too!  Check them out on page 121 of the NEW CTMH Idea Book.

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If you are inspired and would like to scraplift any of my work for your PERSONAL use, go ahead. We can all learn from each other. However, if you post somewhere, please give credit where it is due. Please DO NOT use or copy my ideas for contests, publication or selling purposes. All images are protected under Canadian Copyright.

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