Monday, September 1, 2014

#30yearsofhappy - September 1

Happy September!

September
is National Stamping Month, and Close To My Heart is ready to celebrate all month long by offering this FREE C-sized stamp set*  (shown at right) featuring 30 mini images and sentiments that are perfectly suited for 30 days of happy stamping.
 
And to show you ideas on how to use these cute stamps, I have teamed with fellow CTMH Independent Consultants Rebecca Brown (in Missouri) and Julia Clendenen Hammond (in California) to create ideas using each of the stamps.  That's right -- ideas from coast-to-coast!
 
Throughout the month, my blog will have daily posts -- each one that includes another idea that either I, Rebecca or Julia has made. On some days, that's all that my Paper Jungle will feature; on others, the idea may be shown with other projects I've got going on in September.
 
Here's today's idea, brought to you by REBECCA:
 
 
 
 
Rebecca writes that she separated the butterfly from the word "Hey" so she could use it easier without masking. (And CTMH My Acrylix stamps are flexible like that -- easy to trim and still store your trimmed pieces on your carrier sheet!) 
 
She random-stamped the butterfly (so cute!) in CTMH Exclusive Inks using Cranberry, Hollyhock and Pixie inks. She used CTMH's new "Brushed" paper pack, silver Shimmer Trim, Ruby Chevron Washi Tape and Ruby mini-medly accents.
 
Isn't it such a pretty card??!  Thanks for sharing, Rebecca!  To see Rebecca's blog and write-up (and follow along!!), please jump by clicking HERE.
 
So how do you get your own "#30yearsofhappy" stamp set?
 
*To qualify for the free #30yearsofhappy stamp set shown here, just spend $30 on any current retail-priced stamps during the month of September and the set will be sent with your order automatically!
 
You can see all of Close To My Heart's beautiful and practical stamp sets in the Annual Inspirations Book that was released this summer.  To get your copy, simply click on this link and order it directly from Close To My Heart. In a hurry and don't need a hard copy in your hands?  The entire Inspirations Book is available online. Just click HERE.

If
 I can answer any questions about CTMH products or if you're interested in hosting a class or gathering, please don't hesitate to contact me at cardmonkey@comcast.net.
Just want to hurry and shop?  My CTMH website is http://cardmonkey.ctmh.comTHANK YOU!
 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

How I WISH I traveled this light!

 Sing along with me:
"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go. Taxi's here, he's blowing his horn..."
 
Well, actually, my bags are NOT packed but I AM about to head out on a long-awaited vacation to the Outer Banks. Hubby John booked a large and lovely Oceanside home near the beach in North Carolina, and now I have a week to get my act together.  What crafting item(s) will I bring to entertain myself for 2 weeks!!?  Aaargh, panic!!
 
I am SUCH an over-packer anyway. And this time, we're going with our two dogs Sadie and Morgan (yes, the rental allows dogs, YAY!), and we're also bringing my daughter Emily and her two lovely babies Charlotte (3.5 years old ... "I'm not a baby. I'm a big girl.") and Evan (9 weeks).  Her hubby Josh is staying home to save vacation time for our next planned trip -- a cruise in March with the family. I my family!!!
 
While I am away, I have a series of blog posts scheduled for the entire month (even though I'm not gone that long). Two other Close To My Heart Consultants and I have teamed up to show you ideas on using the 30 mini stamps that are being offered FREE in September with your qualified order of 3 retail-priced stamp-sets (not SOTM or Hostess Sets). 
 
Now, about that project I show above: 
 
The SUITCASE is a wonderful Sizzix XL Scoreboard die, designed by my friend Eileen Hull.  Eileen is venturing off on another #PaperTrail later this week. She'll be gone for two months, on an adventure that will take her to the Midwest and west. And *I* am one of her sponsors!  :)
 
Eileen came and taught a class for me on her #PaperTrail2 in June; the suitcase die was one she showed but I didn't get until later. Use chipboard (or art mat) cut to size. I ran the die through my new CROSSOVER die-cutting/embossing machine by Cheery Lynn Designs. I promise to do a video showing this fantastic machine pronto ... as soon as I get back from vacation. Oooh-la-la. 
 
Oh wait... before I ran it through the cutter, as Eileen taught, I used Aleene's Tacky Spray Glue to affix CTMH's "Wanderful" paper to the front of the scoreboard. Then both the paper and the board are identically cut, and there's no fussing or paper-piecing. Fantastic time saver!
 
I embellished the suitcase with rolled flowers (cut using CTMH's Cricut cartridge called Art Philosophy) and banners I stamped and fussy-cut. I also used a piece of CTMH Base and Bling (Eiffel tower charm) and a glass bezel charm to accent.  Inside, there's a mini-album (accordion fold) that also uses the Wanderful paper.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Buckle Boutique's "Dazzling Diamonds" Makes Beautiful Shaped Embellishments

"Dazzling Diamonds," the adhesive rhinestone sheet available from The Buckle Boutique," is a perfect medium to cut not only strips or letters from the sparkling resin, but is also ideal to use in your electronic cutting machine or with deep-cut dies (e.g., from Cheery Lynn Designs or Sizzix) for beautiful shaped embellishments.
For this sympathy card, I cut ice blue Dazzling Diamonds using my Cricut Explore.  The best way to cut the sheets is to firmly press the resin side (not the adhesive side) down onto a clean, sticky Cricut mat.  Because this is an inverse application of the material, DO flip your image or letters to cut them. 
I cut the dove shown here using the "poster board" setting on the Explore, turn up so that it double-cuts the image.  My mat was nice and sticky so it did not require additional adhesion, but you may want to tape edges of the Dazzling Diamond to your mat, using painter's tape, for a firm hold.
The image weeded nicely from the sheet, with a very clean cut.  The paper I used here is "Skylark" from Close To My Heart, a newly-retired paper. I love that this paper has sentiments such as "Beautiful Memories" printed on it, making it such a sweet paper without being overly melancholy.  The "With Sympathy" sentiment is from the Cricut library on Design Space, cut from CTMH's Cashmere cardstock. The Skylark paper is mounted on CTMH Lagoon cardstock. 
This card is for a Facebook friend, Chris Vicente, who this week lost her dear husband Adriano to lung cancer.  Chris, please accept my love and prayers for you during this difficult time.

The Buckle Boutique’s Link Listing

The Buckle Boutique’s Website . . . click HERE
The Buckle Boutique Blog . . . . click HERE
Facebook Page . . . click HERE
Twitter Page . . . click HERE
Pinterest Page . . . click HERE

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What a Hoot: It's a Card for a Challenge!

August really crept up on me ... and it's one of my favorite months of the year. Why?  The month includes not only my birthday, but also that of my daughter Emily, my brother Ed, and two of my very best friends (and longest term) friends in the world -- Kat MacMurray (50 years anniversary of friendship next month!!) and Star Sitron (35 years of friendship this month!) 

...and also, Close To My Heart has unveiled its new Annual Inspirations Book, including the cutest Stamp of the Month, "What a Hoot". 

Let me first show you a card I've made for a challenge with other CTMH Sisters called the Atlantic Hearts team, based in Canada:



I designed a whimsical approach to the owl stamp, in a "See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil" look, following the sketch the Atlantic Hearts team (hi Darla and Michelle!) put together. 

I also have made four other cards using this stamp set:

 
 

To get this fabulous Stamp of the Month, it's just $5.00 with a qualifying $50 order from Close To My Heart (including the really cute Pathfinder paper pack ($9.95) I used for these cards).  Go visit my CTMH site to see what appeals ... maybe the new ShinHan Art Touch Twin markers ($5.95 each) I used to color these?  My site is at http://cardmonkey.ctmh.com

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Friday, August 1, 2014

Welcome August -- and CTMH's New Catalog!


Gooooood Friday morning, Friends and Followers!

August has landed. Phew, was July the fastest month in the history of calendars??  It sure seems so. I've been telling hubby for a while now that I thought the Earth is spinning faster than in our youth, when there were more lazy days waiting for school to start.


Well, August 1st means a lot of things to me, but today, let's talk about the unveiling of the new Close To My Heart Annual Inspirations Book.  

This 193-page catalog is chock-full of ideas, inspiration, more than 250 new products and the return of some old favorites. You'll find five new colors for 2014-2015 in solid cardstock and Exclusive Inks, along with nine (omg, NINE?!) new My Reflections designer double-sided paper packs. 


"Cut Above" card kit
CTMH is also introducing new cardmaking kits called "Cut Above" which each comes with almost everything you need to create 10 beautiful cards or treat bags. You'll also find new "Designer Creations" -- button bags, cupcake boxes, a takeout box and printed paper bags. There are dozens of adorable new stamp sets made from the industry's finest photopolymer called "My Acrylix", including new exclusive-to-Hostesses sets, Stamps of the Month and specialty stamp sets in CTMH's "Workshops on the Go."


And a new Cricut cartridge ("Artfully Sent") IS coming ... production delays by ProvoCraft have held it up until early September now (aaaaarrrrgh, I sooooo want to get my hands on this!!!). Stay tuned, but if you want to get your name on my list for my first order, please do let me know. 


Whether you're a scrapper or a cardmaker like me, or you just love papercrafting, there's something for everyone in the just-released Close To My Heart Annual Inspirations catalog.  If you'd like your very own copy, CTMH has now made it very easy for you to order. Just look in the right hand column of my blog and click on the pretty picture of the basket of bicycle flowers. That will take you to my CTMH site where individual copies are sold.  I wish I could continue to give them out free, but since they're now large and annual, the book itself is $6.00 (still a bargain, for all the ideas alone) and shipping is almost as much.  However, if you will place a $50 order that includes your catalog, please contact me at cardmonkey@comcast.net, and I will rebate (via PayPal) the cost of the catalog to you as my way of saying thank you for supporting my independent CTMH business.

Over the days and weeks to follow, I'll be featuring some of the newer CTMH products and samples I have made with them.  I'd love for you to consider not only buying Close To My Heart products, but perhaps you'd also like to host a gathering -- at your home, or online -- and reap Hostess Rewards.  If  you're local to me, "Let Me Show You How" by having me come to your home or shop, teach a cardmaking class -- for free!  

Welcome, August!  

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sunshine and Bling-shine: Make Your Summer Fun!

As the temperatures soar in the summer heat, it has been difficult for me to spend a lot of time in my upstairs Paper Jungle crafting. The central air up there doesn't quite cut it; I'm having a portable a/c unit installed one of these days (hopefully before I need supplemental heat, LOL).  In addition, who wants to be inside sweltering when one can just as easily swelter poolside?

While at poolside, I've noticed plenty of plain ol' flip-flops (usually on the men!) and ornate sandals (usually on the women -- but not always!!).  This got me to thinking -- why not bling up a pair of inexpensive flip flops from Old Navy or the dollar store with blingage from The Buckle Boutique??
Some ribbon on the straps, combined with puffy heart pin
and voila!  Beautiful sandals that are more than just for
poolside wear!  

I turned to Pinterest for examples, and here is what I found: 


You can cut strips of Dazzling Diamond rhinestone resin adhesive sheets and attach them to the straps of the flip flop, as shown in the picture at top. And, while the resin sheets will adhere well, you can secure the pieces very securely with 527 Adhesive from Beacon Adhesives.  This adhesive dries clear and quickly, is flexible for strap comfort, and is waterproof!

Or perhaps you'd like the more subtle look on your flip flops. Just attach a small rhinestone pin to the center of the straps (middle picture).

Or go all out, and do both, with a larger rhinestone embellishment combined with some rhinestone straps.



Here is the Beacon Adhesive (left) that I recommend for adding permanence to  your flip-flop bling-out projects.  It is available at most major craft stores (e.g., Michaels).

Whatever is your pleasure, The Buckle Boutique has reasonably priced bling for all your needs. Here are just two of the very pretty pins that I recently bought to adorn my sun hat's ribbon:

So before summer completely passes you by, why not add a little bling to your sarong?  Contact The Buckle Boutique here:  

The Buckle Boutique’s Link Listing
The Buckle Boutique’s Website . . . click HERE
The Buckle Boutique Blog . . . . click HERE
Facebook Page . . . click HERE
Twitter Page . . . click HERE
Pinterest Page . . . click HERE

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Buzzing With Anticipation: There's a New CTMH/Cricut Cartridge!

The crafting world is abuzz with the preview release of Close To My Heart's new "Annual Inspirations Book" for 2014-2015. That's right -- a full year's worth of goodness, covering projects, seasons and holidays from August 1 of this year allll the way through July 31 of next year.  

A year-long book replaces the twice-annual smaller publications. This one is packed -- PACKED, I tell you! -- with 193 pages, including 250+ brand new products. There are five new colors introduced this year, each with its own bulk paper pack and complementing Exclusive Ink Pad.  


New colors introduced for 2014-2016
Consultants get to preview the book during July, and we can also purchase the products in limited quantity this month, to try out and produce samples for our upcoming classes. Stay tuned and I'll give you more details on how to get your copy of this terrific mojo-building book now, or on the list for later. Free with a qualifying purchase from my CTMH website, or for a nominal fee.  

But first, I'm going to let you in on one of the industry's best kept secrets -- and that is that yes, there is a brand new Close To My Heart/Cricut cartridge coming in this catalog. It's not yet available (ProvoCraft has some production delays) so I'm waiting much as you are to get my hands on this sweet cartridge.... 

Let me tell you, it is the answer to this cardmaker's dreams!!!  


The new-for-2014 cartridge is called "Artfully Sent."  With more than 700 images on this completely designed cartridge, the value is immense. Here's what the Inspirations Book says about this cartridge:

"Cardmaking has never been easier or more fun! With our newest Cricut collection you can make handmade masterpieces in no time at all. Choose from cards with sentiments cut directly into them, or combine several cutouts to create your own pop-up scenes. Featuring more than 25 different card themes and 5 different card formats including dynamic interactive designs, this cartridge has a card for any and all occasions -- even if the occasion is "just because"!  Card styles include pop-ups, scenes, sentiments, sleeves and pocket cards.  

Now let's take a look at everything your $99 investment in this new cartridge will get you:
1 Cricut Cartridge (700 images; cards and font)
3 (that's right, THREE!) My Acrylix D-size stamp sets (value $17.95 each!)
1 pack of 12x12" CTMH White Cardstock (a $9.50 value!)

Let me give you a sneak peek at just one of the really fabulous cards you can make with this cartridge.  This is one that's shown in the Inspirations Book, as an example:



I found this screen shot of what the cartridge's book looks like to find this pop-up balloon image:



See it there, in the "Pop Ups" icon, top (red)?  YES, Cricut cuts out the center of the card, and you just adhere it to your cover -- voila, you're a pop-up card artist!!  Add the cute banner ... or use it on other cards, scrapbook pages, etc. ... and you've got a darling card.

And yes, you can even use it in Cricut Craft Room (for the Expression) or Cricut Design Room (with your Explore). Look here:



How easy-peasy is that?!   I'm telling you, I've never been more excited about a Cricut/CTMH cartridge as I am about the pending arrival of "Artfully Sent."

Here is Close To My Heart's video about this fantastic new cartridge:



Now, we're all prevented from "pre-selling" this Cricut cartridge because, frankly, there are many top-sellers who have been undercutting us little guys.  But I CAN take your name and e-mail address if you're interested in being the first on your block to order it from me as soon as it's available.  


And I'm offering a little incentive to get it from me:  
All of those who send me an e-mail (to cardmonkey@comcast.net) 
asking to be put on my waiting list to purchase (and later make the purchase when the cartridge is available), will:   
A.  Have their orders included in my first order/shipment, guaranteed.
B.  Receive a free Stamp-of-the-Month for the month in which the cartridge is available. (e.g., available in August? You'll receive the brand new, adorable August SOTM shown here!
C.  Receive a FREE Annual Inspirations Book with your order! 
D. Be entered into a drawing to win a Workshop on the Go (up to a $29.95 value) from me!

It would be an honor to be your Close To My Heart consultant.  You can shop from the current Idea Book through July 31 @ cardmonkey.ctmh.com.  The new Inspirations Book goes live on August 1.  I hope I've tempted you to get the new Cricut cartridge, "Artfully Sent," and that you'll purchase it through my website.  But before you do, DO drop me an e-mail so you'll be eligible for all of the goodies I've listed above.  Thank you!


DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Friday, June 27, 2014

Dazzling New Grandson -- along with special TBB sale to celebrate!

 
The world's a lot brighter now, with the birth of a new star:  My grandson, Evan Joshua Cohick, was born yesterday, June 26, 2014 at 12:08 p.m.  

He's all of 8 lbs., 13 oz, and 22" long.  Mother Emily and Baby are doing well, as are Evan's Dad, Josh, and Evan's big sister, Charlotte.





Gii and Pot are over the moon!




No doubt to celebrate (and this IS my day to post about this product), The Buckle Boutique is offering a very special sale on its baby blue twinkles ... Rhinestone resin sticker sheets in ice blue and blue bonnet, shown below.  Click HERE to learn more about them, and the sale price of these beautiful gems.

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