Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chocolate, Cricut, and 10 minute cards...

This year for some reason has been doubly stressful and more jam-packed than last year.  What I did not mention in previous posts is that I lost my job in late August which led to a new job and a new team. As I always enjoy doing, I make little chocolate packages accompanied with Christmas cards.

This is cut using the latest CTMH Cricut cartridge, Artiste. The neat thing about this cartridge is that due to all the 3-D options available on that cartridge, it comes with a how-to-assemble manual for all the 3-D options. The two snowflakes too are from the same cartridge. Learning my lessons from last year I broke out my trusty glue gun and everything stayed put.

A trick for those of you with unsightly glue-gun "strings" after your project is done - give it a few once-overs with your embossing heat tool and they will disappear.

After I was done this I was so exhausted but you just have to pair these with a little Christmas Card.

You'll have to pardon the yellow lighting, as these photos were taken late at night. I was cruising through a card store one day and noticed some cards had a second piece on them and one image. Taking that for inspiration I simply cut these little bases: 3x3, and then picked one color and finished all 7 cards in 1/2 hour. That's a new record!

The best part is that they were the perfect companion to my much fancier chocolate boxes stuffed with Ferrero Rocher.

My Stash:
* Solid color cardstock
* Ribbon
* Foam tape

* Wonderland Level 2 Paper Packet (retired)
* Pear and Partridge Level 2 Paper Packet
* Barn Red Ink
* Ponderosa Pine Ink
* Itty Bitty Sparkles
* Blue and Green Adhesive Gems

Thank you all once again for being such avid readers. Merry Christmas!!

P.S... I couldn't help but add the project (my triangles) to H2H's first challenge in 2013 :) 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 2012 and Valentine's Day Promo!

I'm always a bit behind in telling you about the stamp of the month, but my December has been absolutely insane. I just wrapped up a second workshop yesterday and got the compliment that the workshops are really easy for someone who's never done this before.

So first things first - the December Stamp of the Month, Year Round Cheer.

There's so many little stamps that can be used year round, and this could be yours with a minimum purchase of $50 up to December 31st. I can't believe Christmas is next week!

I wanted to take this moment to say thank you to all of my loyal customers - for those of you that spend anywhere up to $50 between now and Dec 31st, I will throw in a free stamp pad as a thank-you gift! This is only available for emailed and phone-in orders.

Secondly, if you're organized enough to think about Valentine's Day, there's a promo for making treat boxes for people. This is fabulous if you have kids or have a great team to work with that enjoy your little crafts.

With a minimum purchase of $35, you can have this additional valentine's day gift for an additional $10. This promo is available until January 31, 2013. 

I know there haven't been a lot of posts but don't worry there's a gem coming your way. Just need to finish working on the photos for it! 

Hope you are all ready for Christmas,

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas is here...

Lately when I walk into the Hyatt on the way to work, they have been playing Christmas carols for weeks. I'm also connected into the Palliser Fairmont Hotel, and I decided to go for a walk down that way as I'm spending one night there to sleep off the liquor and go to work the next morning.

I walked into the Fairmont to be greeted by this:

This is carved from white chocolate, dark chocolate and sugar with a gingerbread chimney by one of the Palliser's newest pastry chefs. It took 40 hours to do. How amazing is that?

Today's inspiration is Case Study #118, in particular Maureen Merritt from Mama Mo Stamps' variation.

I've had the set Holiday Commentary for some time without not knowing what to do with it but it was the perfect pair to three cheery little raccoons. It's again a bit more simple than what I usually do, but the colors pop on this card so well and the Baker's Twine with green rhinestones just finishes it off.

As you can see, I carried the same theme throughout the rest of the card. I decided to do a bit of distressing throughout - on the front it's the paintbrush from the distressing tools from CTMH and inside the sponge for the edges.

My Stash:
* Green solid cardstock
* White cardstock

* Texture Tools
* Christmas Love
* Holiday Commentary (retired)
* Bundled Buddies (retired)
* Ponderosa Pine Ink
* Barn Red Ink
* Liquid Applique
* Blue and Green Assortment Sparkle
* Cranberry Baker's Twine

Stay warm and watch the ice on those slippery roads!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cricut Snowflakes

When I was cutting out snowflakes for my workshop, I noticed that there were several other snowflake shapes that are available in the Art Philosophy cartridge. I couldn't resist using them for this latest Christmas card.

Today's inspiration:

I added two little star brads for the middle of two of the snowflakes, and finished it off with a little blue rhinestone in the middle of the third snowflake.

I thought I'd use the sentiment from October's stamp of the month which is a perfect partner to the snowflakes from the Snowflakes set. I also distressed the edges of the cardstock on both front and back with Indian Corn Blue Ink.

My Stash:
* Dark Green cardstock - Spice Market
* Background white paper (CM)
* Star brads

* Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge
* Very Merry Christmas - Oct 2012 SOTM
* Artiste Birthday set
* Blue Adhesive Rhinestones
* Snowflakes
* Indian Corn Blue Ink
* Sky Ink

I'm less than a week away from the second workshop and cannot wait!

Monday, November 12, 2012


I've had this set for a while and wanted to do something with it. It's a friend's birthday coming up this Friday at my favorite pasta place on 17th Ave, and I needed a card to go with a box of chocolate and a donation to the Calgary Distress Center, where he moonlights by day.

I saw this as an original inspiration and couldn't have deviated further from it, but it was a good starting point: Guess a girl's gotta start somewhere.

On the other hand, there is another card coming, from the same inspiration that is a lot closer and is so simple that it's elegant. At least, to me anyway. The patterned paper is something I picked up at a dollar store sometime ago, and it's gold on yellow.

The sentiment is from one of the stamp sets that came with the three D-size sets that are in the Artiste package - and the perfect one for my friend. I brought the leaves into the corners to tie the whole card together. I look forward to seeing him as we have been best friends for 10 years, and there's just something about how big his heart is - that he's always helping other people.

My Stash:
* Yellow patterned paper on front
* Solid cardstock
* Orange ribbon

* So Grateful
* Cocoa Ink
* Topiary Ink
* Honey Ink

Can't wait for the next chinook around the corner,

Friday, November 9, 2012

It's been a while...

I wanted to update you all on why I suddenly went from blogging every week to every other week and finally had a bit of a hiatus.

I started a new job, which left me drained most evenings and weekends and uninspired to make cards, which I miss doing. On top of that, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, but thankfully it is all removed and she is making a speedy recovery with no need for chemo. However, there is nothing like coming home from vacation to hear those ominous words... "Mom has cancer".

It certainly turns your life completely upside down - and all of a sudden I was managing my own emotions, taking care of Dad, my new job, and my brother's emotions as he was out in California. And then this week my brother-in-law is visiting for several weeks from Denmark and I have a cold.

There is some truth to "when it rains it pours..."

However, I am very much looking forward to running my second workshop with the girls on Nov 24th and once I get rid of this pesky cold I can get going again. In the meantime, I wanted to tell you about some amazing things going on in November.

This is November's beautiful stamp of the month, "Capture the Date". For those of you who love scrapping with numbers this is the perfect set for you. As an early Xmas gift, if you qualify with a 50$ minimum order and order the SOTM you can also get another set for 50% off! That's all A-E and M size sets in the catalog.

In keeping with the company name "Close to my Heart", for each SOTM sold CTMH will donate 1$ towards the fund set up to help Hurricane Sandy victims in the US. How fabulous is that?!?

Happy scrapping, and I will be back to my cards in no time once I beat this cold,

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's going around...

... must be flu season. My only participant for last Saturday phoned and said she had the flu, so that got cancelled. I'll see what happens about her choosing another date to cardmake or if she'll join the other ladies at the end of Nov.

However, I was semi-productive and was able to make gifts for all my workshop participants last weekend. I took the new Artiste cartridge for a whirl and it's got so many fun things in it! It did unfortunately cut one of my shapes off center, so I decided to update the firmware for my E2.

I made little bags which contain a little something for each of them coming by!

I'm hoping that everyone is hale and healthy for my November workshop and for all of you - stay safe this Halloween!

Trick or Treat,

Friday, October 12, 2012

Las Vegas, Very Merry Christmas and Studio J!!

My apologies for the late post for the beginning of October. I started it in sunny Las Vegas, and came back to Calgary's first snow day. What a weather shock but that's what you get for travelling over Canadian Thanksgiving.

Marshmallow Hot Chocolate, Max Brenner Chocolate Resturaunt

This isn't the prettiest photo I've posted to date, but it's from my ancient iPhone 3GS with poor lighting. I went to Max Brenner's resturaunt located in Caesar's Palace - Forum Shops. This mug was so darn cute that I had to actually take one home. Well, the hubby left me to my own devices in Vegas...

This month's constant campaign is all about Studio J! Studio J is our digital scrapbooking tool and you can create layouts in minutes using a mouse, a computer and your imagination.
I have used this software even though I am at heart a traditionalist scrapbooker, and was surprised at how fast and easy this was! All the embellishments and papers were at my fingertips. This month buy 9 Studio J layouts and get the 10th one for free!

Last but never least the gorgeous October SOTM is all about Christmas. I've had Christmas on the brain since someone walked by me with eggnog at the local grocery store. As usual, spend 50$ or more this month and snag this set in time to make Xmas cards for only $5.00 more.

Check out these beautiful projects that the talented design team at CTMH have come up with!! 

As always, don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like to snag a set for yourself! Don't forget also that the starter kit is available for $35 - click here for details:

Stay warm, 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Christmas Workshop Designs are here!

My workroom is a mess with blocks, stamps, cricut mats and inks everywhere, but I had a ton of fun making up these designs! And I cannot wait to get to the workshops - I'm looking forward to crafting with friends and having tons of fun with paper and glue.

Again many thanks to Case Study for all the inspiration - there's a ton of talent over there and some drop dead gorgeous cards to boot. It once again is spearheaded by Chupa of Random Acts of Creativity who also sits on the design committee. Half the fun of doing card workshops is the excuse to go and dig through Case Study.

Card #1 is from Case Study Challenge #89, inspired by Iwona Palamountain:

Card #2 is from Case Study Challenge #85, inspired by Debby Hughes:

Card #3 is from Case Study Challenge #99, inspired by Teneale Williams:

Card #4 is from Case Study Challenge #83, inspired by Laura Bassen;

Card #5 is from Case Study Challenge #90, inspired by Beverly from Uniko (the winner!)

Card #6 is from Case Study Challenge #96, inspired by Debby Hughes:

Card #7 is from Case Study Challenge #106, inspired by Shirley-bee from Shirley-bee's Stamping Stuff (another winner!! )

Card #8 is from Case Study Challenge #104, inspired by Maureen Plut:

I apologize for the sad quality of these photos, but I'm almost out the door to catch yet another flight (can you tell one of my other hobbies is travelling?) but I wanted to get these designs out to those lovely ladies who are joining me for my workshops Oct 27 and November 24th. 

All the cardstock bases are courtesy of Michaels, but all embellishments, inks, patterned cardstock, and stamp sets can all be found in the latest CTMH catalogue. 

I'll never learn to pack the night before,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Macs and I...

Due to the fact that the big desktop has now actually made it into the shop, I was trying to figure out how best to edit photos on a Mac. And then how to export it. I know it's sheepish, but I finally figured it out. Can you tell I'm a Windows PC person?

Anyway, I took the bold step of printing out baby photos that I had been sent and converted it directly into a card. I don't do photo cards often, but I thought it was the most fitting for the event.

Isn't baby adorable?? Baby's eyes are closed, but hopefully baby's parents' don't mind me giving them 15 minutes of fame on my blog.  This was actually inspired by a card shown in the Spring/Summer 2012 catalog and I was dying to at least try it out.

The parents opened the card and I got the compliment of "this is going to be framed!" even the grandparents loved it. I'm just glad it was such a big hit :)

* Avonlea Level 2 Paper Pack
* New Arrival
* Itty Bitty Sparkles
* Blue and Green Sparkles
* Topiary Ink
* Outdoor Denim Ink

The leaves are slowly changing color... and the designs for the Xmas workshop is almost done!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sometimes inspiration is hard to pass up.

I was browsing some type of social media at the time (either Pinterest, or Facebook) and I ran into this unbelievably gorgeous card. And I just absolutely had to borrow it.

Today's lucky find is from Erin Taylor, for Papertrey Ink's Make it Monday #83.

Of course I'm on a Christmas kick now, and my favorite color combination is red and silver. So much that these were actually my wedding colors four years ago! I stamped the tree, snowflakes, and sentiment in embossing ink, and then used silver embossing powder plus a couple of gemstones to jazz up the tree. If you look closely there are snowflakes from two separate stamp sets in the cluster.

For something new, this time I reversed the colors and instead stamped with Cranberry Ink on white. Again, if you look closely - snowflakes from two different sets. It's about this time of year that I dig out all the Christmas sets I've bought since I started collecting CTMH, and I like to give some oldies a whirl amid the new sets that are available in the current catalog.

I am offering Christmas card workshops this year! Cards are $1.50 each to make and come with their own envelopes. The dates available are October 27th, November 3rd, and November 24th. If you want a card creating party of your own let me know and we can set something else up! Designs are currently in the works and will be posted once complete.

Michaels, etc:
* Solid cardstock - Jewel Collection
* Solid cardstock - Primary Collection
* Rhinestones
* Silver embossing powder
* Embossing Ink

* Snowflakes
* Card Chatter - Christmas
* Holiday Warmth (retired)
* Cranberry Ink

I'm still enjoying what's left of summer!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Winter's comin...

This feels like the last weekend of Indian summer, but I won't complain. With that fades into fall and then winter, and with winter comes Christmas!!

I did it - I have since made my first Christmas card of the year as I am thinking Christmas card workshops for October and November while we're still in September. I'm super pumped to do them - nothing beats a little wine, some munchies, and good company.

Today's inspiration is courtesy of Case Study: Case Study Challenge #95 based off Teneale's version.

Those dots look familiar, don't they - they're off the double sided stamp set featured in this month's promotion for National Stamping Month! And, I used the newest craze of "swiping" to give it a bit of texture. It doesn't show very well, but I used liquid glass to pop up the middle of the snowflakes and broke out my CTMH waterbrush to color in the little raccoon. He's colored with Grey Wool (retired), Barn Red, Blush and Pondorosa Pine.

I brought the blue inside the card and again used liquid glass for the middle of all those snowflakes. My favorite thing about liquid glass is that it takes on whatever color it's sitting on top of and it doubles as an adhesive if you have lost the adhesive backing on some of the smaller adhesive gems/pearls.

It would be fitting to enter my first Christmas card of the year into H2H's Christmas challenge!

Michaels, etc:
* Solid cardstock
* Ribbon
* Embroidery floss

* Snowflakes
* Bundled Buddies (retired)
* Pink/Red Adhesive Gems
* Opaque Adhesive Pearls
* Bling Assortment
* Liquid Glass
* Cricut Art Philosopy Cartridge
* Water brush

Designs for the workshop are well in progress!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Starter Kits!!

I remember when I first started and didn't have a clue as to what I really needed (vs my huge wish list that threatened to dwarf my 4'11 frame). Therefore, I'm offering a starter kit to get you started!

The set pictured above is showing the La Belle Vie Level 2 paper pack with two of 3 double sided patterns and 6 sheets of corresponding solid card stock, 3x3 acrylix block, Ponderosa Pine Ink, Quick Cards - Butterfly (A-sized stamp set), and a Tombow adhesive runner.  Retail value: $39.60 CAD.

I am offering this kit for $35.00 which includes: (from the current catalogue)

* 1 - Any A-sized stamp set of your choice
* 1 - Any Exclusive Inks ink pad of your choice
* 1 - Level 2 Paper Pack
* 1 - 3x3 acrylix stamp block
* 1 - Tombow Adhesive roller

all you'd need to do to get started is pick up a pair of scissors and a paper trimmer from your local craft store and you're set to go.

Contact me if you're interested -

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I can never turn down a contest...

When I made this card, I didn't have a recipient in mind this time, but most of my female family members' birthdays have come and gone. I'm considering making cards for sale, however.

I had a fantastic time in Vancouver and Seattle! We visited Summerhill and Quail's Gate winery, our friends in Vancouver, Granville Island, our friends in Seattle, Pike Place Market and even took a hammer to our dinner.

This is the view from our table at Quail's Gate Old Vines Restauraunt in Kelowna, overlooking the mountains, the lake, and their vineyard is to the right.

I can't resist a Mojo Monday contest, and last Monday's contest was no exception! I came home to my order waiting for me which included two stamp sets from the latest catalogue - Jardin and Magic Potions. I have grand plans for Magic Potions later!

Today's inspiration is Mojo Monday : MOJO257

I broke out my embossing gun which I haven't for some time now! The silver powder is from somewhere in Vancouver Island that my grandmother bought me years ago before she passed away. However, she's probably grinning from Heaven - like me, she absolutely adored crafting of all kinds. I decided to blend a few paper packs again; Florentine, Stella, and Avonlea. They match so beautifully.

As I didn't have an event to make this for, I decided to add some elements from the front and leave it blank. In case you're wondering where the butterfly is from - I stamped it out of Jardin and cut out the butterfly. I've got a serious weakness for beautiful butterflies.

Last but never least, it's a new month which means there's a new SOTM available! It's really cute to use for Fall, Thanksgiving, or even possibly Halloween cards and decor. It's called Fall Favorites and I know I will definitely have to get one for myself.  This set is only 5$ with a 50$ minimum purchase.

And of course don't forget... it's National Stamping Month! See this post - for details. Spend $35 and get a double-sided set for only 5$ more. It's quite versatile!

Michaels, etc:
* Ribbon
* Solid cardstock
* Silver embossing powder
* Rhinestones

* Avonlea Level 2 Paper Pack
* Stella Level 2 Paper Pack (retired)
* Florentine Level 2 Paper Pack
* Jardin
* Smokey Plum
* Topiary

I'm out to enjoy the last weekend of summer! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Road trip to Seattle!

We're packing and about to head out to Kelowna tonight. I can't wait to get my fill of wine, good food, and good company. One of our friends in Seattle has a new house = card moment!

Today's inspiration is from Mojo Monday: Mojo Monday 256.

This looks like a crazy hodgepodge of patterns, but I had originally wanted to use the other side of the paper from Avonlea until I ended up putting glue on that side! I guess sometimes fate just wins out. I also distressed all edges of the other pieces with Olive Ink.

Interestingly enough I came across a blog that had talked about mixing and matching different paper packs from CTMH - and this card is no exception! If you look closely I mixed in Stella (retired) for a punch of pink.

This time I opted to not stamp a sentiment inside the card but I did decide to add a little growing tree - to symbolize a new house. I colored it using CTMH inks and a paintbrush. Bordering the writing area is the side of the Avonlea paper I originally had planned on using.

All papers from CTMH mix and match beautifully no matter what the color or the season you bought it in - keep that in mind if you have a few paper packets and are stumped as to what to do with them.

Michaels, etc:
* Solid cardstock
* Ribbon

* Avonlea Level 2 Paper Pack
* Stella Level 2 Paper Pack
* Live Out Loud - July 2012 SOTM
* Beary Busy
* Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge
* Olive
* Barn Red
* Moonlight
* Cocoa

Happy Labor Day Weekend!