Sunday, July 26, 2015

Create Custom Pop-Up Cards for Ooohs and Aaahhhs

For those looking for a custom card, or a greeting card that never fails to draw the "oohs and aaahhs" from a recipient, I've specialized in pop-up cards. And while they look difficult to make, they're really quite easy and addictive. Scroll below and I'll enclose here a template that I use to make my cards.

I was hired by a woman named Pam to make this gorgeous card for her niece, Corin. Pam's direction to me was only that the bride's colors were soft beige and grey, and that I could use any accent colors I chose.  

I used Close To My Heart's Whisper (grey) cardstock as the base, and cut doilies from Close To My Heart's Champagne (soft beige) to cover the base of the box.  The rose/blue designer papers are also from Close To My Heart -- a line called "Heartstrings" (now retired).  I used both paper and sticker "Complements". I added to the center strut the silhouette of the dancing couple, cut using a Silhouette Online Store file, using my Silhouette Cameo.  The image is reflected in the Bazill silver metallic cardstock adhered to the back panel of the card. 

To finish off the elegant box card, I added a customized name plate encircled with a beautiful circle rhinestone from The Buckle Boutique. The edge of the box at the fold also has a line of resin rhinestones cut from a sheet of The Buckle Boutique's Dazzling Diamonds clear resin rhinestone sheets. The man wears a boutonniere of a mini-rosebud trimmed down from a flower I had in my stash from Wild Orchid Crafts.

Let's take a look at another, similar card:

This card used the same basic template, but used a more classic black/white motif to celebrate the wedding of Megan and Robert. The paper used was another retired paper from Close To My Heart, called "Forever Yours."  The same silhouette was cut, this time using black and white to represent the groom and bride. The decorations here are simpler: a trellis of free form roses (also by Wild Orchid Crafts) was affixed to the center strut. I used a slightly larger rhinestone ring from The Buckle Boutique to highlight the wedding couple's names. 

Don't hesitate to try your hand at a Pop-Up Box Card. I promise you that they're so easy, you'll be wondering what took you so long to make your first one!  Here is my template:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

"Christmas in July" Workshop Coming Soon - Sign Up Today!

In two weeks, I will kick off the Holiday Season with the first of several cardmaking classes. Here are the cards and "Box in a Bag" we'll be making on Saturday, July 25 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts:

The featured paper that we will be using is called "Yuletide Carol" from Close To My Heart. Participants will first make this "Box in a Bag" to hold all of the cards we'll be making. It has a Colonial White base/box, a neutral beige from Yuletide Carol for the wrap, and Ruby for the handles and top portion. All necessary cuts and instructions will be provided; all you'll have to do is glue/tape!

Then participants will choose five of the nine designed, pre-cut cards that they'd like to make in subsequent class time. Some are a bit more complex, and some are easy-peasy. All come with instructions and necessary cuts. I'll be providing the stamp sets and inks where stamping is required.  

Let's look at each of the cards:

 I've pre-cut the word "Believe" from CTMH's gold glitter stock using the Cricut/CTMH cartridge called "Artbooking.".  It is glued to a Colonial White panel,  under which you'll adhere five strips of Yuletide Carol paper. Top with a bow of red satin ribbon and a red pearl, all provided in your kit. The panel is then adhered to a vertical folded A-2 card to finish.

This card looks more complex than it is. Actually, it's cut from a corner of the Yuletide Carol paper. The sentiment is stamped with Versamark and gold embossed -- techniques you'll learn in class. Add some provided red seed pearls, mat on green, and on a card and voila, you're done!

For this cute card, the background is cut from some Yuletide Carol paper, and then the borders are inked with Cocoa ink and a sponge dauber. The center is three layered papers, topped with a wreath that you'll stamp and "fussy cut."  Color the beads on the wreath with marker, and affix the birdie.  The sentiment is stamped and fussy cut as a banner, under which you'll layer a piece of CTMH gold shimmer trim. 

This is one of the more complicated designs, but because the paper is all cut for you, I've taken the guess work out of the project. You'll need to stamp your sentiment in Versamark, heat set your gold embossing powder, and adhere.  The gold panels are metallic papers that you'll be running through an embossing machine that I'll provide. 

For this card, I'll provide the ornaments to be stamped; they have been cut from a Cricut/CTMH cartridge. Then, top the ornament with a bit of Topiary Chevron ribbon. Ink the edges of the provided paper and add the ornament. Easy!

This "Merry Christmas" card has a large stamped sentiment tied on a tag that has been layered on Yuletide Carol paper. The paper has been inked on all sides with Topiary ink. A bit of twine and glitter trim offer a seasonal juxtaposition that makes the card merry and fun!

This card will take a bit of patience to glue in place, but once you're done, you'll see just how elegant the holly die cut makes this card. I'll provide the pre-cut holly topper that you'll glue in place atop a musical note paper. The sentiment is stamped in Whisper Ink and topped with a bow cut using the Cricut/CTMH Artiste cartridge.

This pretty card is stamped with the angel using Desert Sand ink, and topped with the sentiment stamped in black. Add a few (provided) sequins and you're done! 

And last but not least is this easiest of cards. The design with the stockings is cut from a corner of the Yuletide Carol paper, and topped with a cut-out from the versatile Zip-strip at the top of all CTMH paper. Inked edges give this project some definition.

Sign-ups for this class are being handled by the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts. There is a $30 fee, which includes a donation to the nonprofit Scatter Joy Center and all materials.  To enroll, please click on this link, but hurry, because space is limited to 10 crafters:

Monday, June 29, 2015

"Box in a Bag" Tutorial

Good morning, CardMonkey friends and followers!

...and thank you for your sweet comments over the weekend about my "Box in a Bag" I made for the Original Disney Pixar Blog Hop. 

Please don't be "intimidated" (as one commenter said she'd be) to try this project on your own. You'll be surprised how downright easy it is to make. 

I realize many are more visual learners, so I created this handout for when I teach this project. Perhaps this will help you to try it yourself?

Re-reading this above, I realize that I didn't mention how to affix the "bag" around the "box" in the tutorial. All you have to do is cover the 1" high Box raised lip, all the way around, with a firm adhesive such as Scor-Tape. Then, starting at one short end, wrap the piece marked "Bag" around the base, butting the bottom edge to the very bottom fold line of the Box.  The last bit of the Bag should overlap where you have your adhesive to seal. Then VOILA! Add your decorative strip to the top of the bag, then your handles, and you're done!

Have fun!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Disney-Pixar Blog Hop: Card Set in a "Box in a Bag"

It is my great pleasure to again participate in the original Disney-Pixar Blog Hop, as I have every time since its inception four years ago! 

Here, Disney scrap/craft fanatics from around the country create a wonderful blend of Disney- or Pixar-themed projects.

Trending this year in papercrafting is a hot new way to gift a set of cards. Called a "Box in a Bag," it creates a firm base around which a designer paper is adhered, and then the decorating is purely up to you! 

Here's my Disney bag stuffed full of Disney notecards:

To make this bag, I first created a base from Close To My Heart Black Cardstock. The base was cut 5.5" x 3.5". I then scored 1" on each side and corner-cut each corner (diagonally) so the 1" sides could fold up to form a box bottom.  I secured the corner tabs with Scor-Tape, and set aside.

Next, I cut a piece of Disney cardstock (the red) 5" high x 12" wide.  I secured Scor-Tape all around the base of the box and then wrapped the paper to the base, securing the paper around the base as well as vertically to close the wrap.  

I found a scrap of the black alligator-skin patterned paper in my stash -- I think I got it at Michael's, years ago. It would be perfect for my trim. I cut a piece 2" high x 12" long, and scored it lengthwise to create a crisp fold that I could put over the top of the bag.  I also secured this with Scor-Tape.  I finished off the edge of the trim with two lines of Resin Rhinestones ("Dazzling Diamonds") from The Buckle Boutique.  

Next, the handles.  I decided I wanted to give it a little more of a finished look, so I created two handles from the black alligator-skin patterned paper, folding it on top of itself and securing with Scor-Tape. I put jewelry jump rings at the bottom edge and fed some jewelry chain through eyelets I punched into the bag with my Crop-A-Dile. 

Here's a peek at the inside of the bag, with the cards stashed inside.

Next up, I made six notecards to fit inside the bag -- each has a finished size of 3x3" when folded. Complementing Disney paper was used for the rear three cards, just layered atop of matching cardstock scraps.  I created the Mickey head for two of the cards by welding circles together using the software with my Silhouette Cameo.  The one on the left was cut using metallic silver paper -- hard to see in this picture, sorry. The one on the right was cut using the same rhinestone resin sheet from The Buckle Boutique. Those two Mickey cards were stamped using sentiments from Close To My Heart's August Stamp of the Month.  The stamp in the front "Dreams Do Come True" is from a set in my stash.

Finally, I needed to create an envelope to fit my wee cards. This square envelope with the heart on the flap is a file from the Silhouette Online Store, easily cut two-up on a 12"x12" mat, from Daisy White CTMH cardstock.

Thank you for taking the time to learn how to make your own "Box in a Bag", and for joining me on the Disney Pixar Blog Hop. It's time now for me to move you down the road to the next wonderful project.  Just WAIT until you see the fabulosity that Marisa has in store!!!!  

CLICK HERE to jump to Marisa's post.

Do visit the entire group of fantastic Disney projects. Here's the entire Line Up:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Quick Thank You Card Using "A Ton" Stamps

Happy Monday!

I've been spending an inordinate amount of time trying to clean my craft room, and I keep getting distracted by all of the fun stuff I have to use!  (Can you say: "Attention Deficit??")

One of the great new stamps I've gotten in the mail recently is a set by a "couture" stamp manufacturer called "The Ton".  They have some pretty layered floral stamps that I'd been eyeing up, and this "Wild Peonies" spoke to me. It stamped beautifully in CTMH Honey Exclusive Ink, with the leaves in CTMH Topiary.

Now I have never seen yellow peonies before so I kind of think I made them up, but I like the yellow and green for today. The "Thank You" stamp is from Heidi Swapp -- and frankly, no matter what ink I used or paper I used, the stamp was just plain ol' blurry.  I can't recommend it, though I think I got the mini-set for about $1.00 at Michael's so who am I to complain?  I went over the sentiment in a marker, of course, after I finished my stamping of the flowers, and naturally, it smudged. Oh well. We hand-crafters can't always be perfect, right? 

I matted it up with some CTMH Topiary and Black papers, and sandwiched between is a scrap that I discovered in my clean up/out.  Just a quickie card, and back to clean up. Phew, I just cannot believe how much STUFF ... I mean, crafty goodness ... I have up here in my Paper Jungle!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Celebrating Evan's First Birthday

It's hard to believe that this time next week, my adorable grandson Evan will be ONE year old!  Whew, that year just flew by. 
I have had the privilege of being Evan's primary daycare provider for the past year, tending to Evan on the three, occasionally four, days a week that his Dad Josh was at work, and while his Mom Emily had to sleep following her overnight shift as an ER nurse. Just recently, Evan started to go to a real "school" (where his sister Charlotte attends) half-time -- a day or two a week -- and he's still with me for another day or two each week. 
Family and friends are gathering next weekend to celebrate the "superheroes" ...Evan who's turning one, and his Dad who just turned 30 (POW!) in May. Since the theme is "Superheroes", I used a darling font file I found in the Silhouette Online Store, and primary colors of red, yellow and blue, to make the celebratory banner (above).  I hope the birthday boy loves it!
I also made the mini-banner above Evan's smash cake (at right), used in the professional photos below:
Here are just a few pictures of Evan, taken by professional photographer Elizabeth Moore. "Pot" (hubby John) and I bought the session and the copyright to the photos, as our gift to Evan and his family, for Evan's birthday.

P.S. :  I also made the ties Evan wears in the photos above.

Happy Birthday, Little Man.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"Ice Cream Dream" is the Featured Stamp of the Month

Summer, officially at least, is right around the corner though here in the Philadelphia area, we've already had our first heat wave of the season, with temperatures skyrocketing into the 90's for four consecutive days. School is out soon, and a favorite activity in our neighborhoods is the arrival of the ice cream truck. Does your ice cream truck play that incessant, irritating song too? 

To celebrate the happiness of ice cream and summer, Close To My Heart's June Stamp of the Month features a vintage ice cream truck and ice cream cones. Isn't it just fun?  You can get your SOTM for only $5 with a qualifying $50 purchase on my CTMH website,  Here are two of the cards I recently made using this cute stamp set:

This card (above) features the funfetti of CTMH's "Confetti Wishes" paper pack and embellishments. The panel that I stamped and then colored with ShinHan Touch Twin markers was die cut using Dual Stitched Rectangle Dies from Lil' Inker Designs.

My ice cream cone banner on this card combines CTMH's "You're Da Bomb" Operation Smile stamp set with its "Totally Irresistible" sentiment with five delish ice cream cones,twine and brads.

Monday, June 15, 2015

CTMH Announces Stamp Sets to Retire August 31. Shop NOW Before They Are Gone!

As I promised yesterday, (OMG, three blog posts in a row!!) I am dedicating this post to letting you know which stamp sets are retiring FOR GOOD from Close To My Heart, effective August 31, 2015, to make way for the brilliant new stamp sets due in the 2015-2016 Annual Inspirations catalog, due out September 1.  

What I have done is this:  I've copied photographs of the stamp sets so you'll be able to actually see the stamp sets. The first "sheet" will be the Retiring Fonts; the following seven pictures ("sheets") below can be cross-referenced with the lists below, to determine the stock number and title of the stamp sets on each picture.  I've shown them as listed, left to right, top to bottom, and hopefully I've matched them all up correctly.

For your information, the pricing on all of the stamp sets are as follows:
A Stamps are $6.95 USD
B Stamps are $9.95 USD
C Stamps are $13.95 USD
D Stamps are $17.95 USD
E Stamps are $29.95 USD

Any of these stamp sets can be ordered through August 31, 2015, and will be in stock. Please order your stamps directly from my Close To My Heart website, by going to

There, look for and JOIN the party marked RETIRING STAMPS. 

In June, July and August, if there are enough orders to qualify for HOSTESS BENEFITS, I will raffle off the Hostess Stamp set of the winners' choice(s). These stamp sets are exclusive to party Hostesses -- and YOU have a chance to win with each retiring stamp set you purchase!  

That's right -- for every stamp set you purchase from now through August 31 whether or not they are retiring, you will have one chance to win a FREE Retiring Hostess Stamp Set of your choice!!!   And you MAY win more than one!!  

Good luck and happy shopping!

Retiring Fonts:

Sheet 1:

Sheet 2:

Sheet 3:

Sheet 4:

Sheet 5:

Sheet 6:

Sheet 7:

A Typeface
Keyboard Uppercase
Polka Dot Alphabet
Urban Alphabet
Glamour Lowercase
Glamour Uppercase
Vogue Alphabet
Framework Alphabet
Hopscotch Alphabet
Marquee Uppercase
Handwritten Print

Pictured on Sheet 1:
Sincere Expressions
Hanukkah Celebration
Charming Chevrons
Joyful Wishes
Quick Cards—Japanese Blossom
Quick Cards—Island Greetings
Beyond Measure
Bright Spirits
Capture the Day
Quoth the Raven
Keep Your Chin Up

Pictured on Sheet 2:
O Holy Night
To You and Yours
Joyful Birthday
Look to the Light
Love This
Banner Wishes
Belated Birthday
Funky Blossoms
Frightfully Fun
Born to Roam
Tweet Me
Celebrate Love

Pictured on Sheet 3:
Happy Mail
Lovely Birthday
Thankful Heart
Puppy Party
Glitter Glam
You Mean the World to Me
Merriest Christmas
Fall Harvest
Flakey Friends
Creepy Creatures
Fabulous You
Paisley Perfect

Pictured on Sheet 4:
Polar Bear Holiday
Always Grateful
One-Way Borders
Mary and Babe
Lifting Spirits
Pick a Posey
Camper Crazy
Great Job
Lifetime of Happiness
Delightful Ditty
Merry, Merry

Pictured on Sheet 5:
World Traveler
Treasure Friendship
Hello Summer
Rainy Day
Happy Birds
Nursery Charms
Magical Moment
In the Background
Fast and Furious
Distressed Backgrounds

Pictured on Sheet 6:
Happy Autumn
Magical Days
Yuletide Greetings
Christmas Village
Geometric Backgrounds
Flight of the Arrows
Big Hug
Here We Go
A Budding Friendship
Shreddin' the Slopes
Season of Thanks
Seaside Greetings

Pictured on Sheet 7:
Teacher Appreciation
Best Christmas
Reason for the Season
Have a Happy Day
Your Own Kind of Wonderful

ALL HOSTESS SETS ARE RETIRING (Not Pictured), including:

Practical Planning
Well Wishes
Thanksgiving Wreath
Be Jolly
Cuddly Salutations
Exotic Flower
Sing Glory
Hats Off
Happy Hexagons
Paper Bird
Tagged With Love
Better With A Friend
Sweet As Sugar

ALL WOTG STAMPS ARE RETIRING (not pictured), including:
These stamp sets are included only with the Workshops on the Go; all of the WOTGs are retiring August 31, so be sure to look these over in the catalog, or online. 
Chalk It Up Scrapbooking Workshop
Seaside Scrapbooking Workshop
Confetti Wishes Scrapbooking Workshop
Pathfinding Scrapbooking Workshop
Wanderful Scrapbooking Workshop
Brushed Scrapbooking Workshop
Pathfinding Cardmaking Workshop
Snowhaven Cardmaking Workshop
Yuletide Carol Scrapbooking Workshop
Blossom Cardmaking Workshop
Jackson Scrapbooking Workshop

Any questions?  Feel free to leave a comment here, or drop me an e-mail at  

Thank you, and I sincerely appreciate your support of my Close To My Heart business.