Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ready to Get Your Scrap Life Organized?

Throughout the month of August, Close To My Heart is introducing two new products in their Organization line: a Marker Roll-Up (shown at left, bottom) and an Accessory Roll-Up. 

The Marker Roll-Up (which I just L-O-V-E) has 25 elastic loops -- perfect for holding your collection of 24 ShinHan Touch Twin markers and Blender Pen, available through CTMH separately.  These are bold alcohol markers that are terrific for coloring stamped images.  The Accessory Roll-Up is perfect for holding Base & Bling components (as shown), sticker gems, Pigment Inks (!!!) and even your make-up. 

With a purchase this month of the Marker Roll-Up (Z3120, $17.95), you'll receive the stamp set "Balloon Wishes" (D1667, $17.95) absolutely FREE!  When you purchase an Accessory Roll-Up (Z3121, $18.95), you'll receive two FREE Base & Bling Style Sheets -- perfect for making your own stylish necklaces or keychains.

Both of the Roll-Ups match Close To My Heart's terrific Rolling Tote, which is now back in stock and available to order. Please contact me at with questions, or shop at 

But WAIT, before you go -- I have a super-duper special that's exclusive to those who buy their rolling tote from my CTMH business address.

You see, I'm a packer ... an overloader ... a crazy gotta-have-it-all-with-me sort of cropper.  And that Rolling Tote is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, but if you load it as much as our Corporate office shows you can (in this picture, at left), you're going to need some assistance to lift that pretty bag. I've found the perfect solution, and it's called a Strap-A-Handle. I've bought them by the dozen, and I will send you one TOTALLY FREE if you buy your CTMH Rolling Tote through my website. Yup, I'll see that you've ordered it, and the next thing you know, you'll be getting a free strap in the mail to make your using the tote even easier.  How does that sound?  Great, ehhh?  

Check it out -- this handle (strapped either top to bottom or around the tote's middle) truly does help reduce strain on your back because YOU KNOW you pack as much as I do, and helps to lift this bag into the trunk of your car. And YES, it fits beautifully in the trunk of a sedan. I drive a Honda Accord (and when I go to a crop, I WISH I drove an SUV!), and this bag makes my life SOOOO much easier!  You need one. You know you do!

Here's the link to buy your Rolling Tote -- and you'll be getting the free Strap-A-Handle directly from me, in a separate mailing, a CardMonkey special!  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Make It A Party: Christening Decorations Done on Commission

Recently, I was contacted by the grandmother of Ari Michael to make these very special decorations for the celebration of her grandson's christening.  She had found similar decorations on Etsy, and had contacted the seller to do a rush order, but the seller was unable to do the project in time. I stepped in and was able to complete this project in just a few days.

I put a little bit of my own spin on the Etsy seller's designs to make this precious banner, flower inserts and door sign. 

Directions:  To make the banner, I cut chipboard pennants using a album scoreboard die by Sizzix and my Big Shot machine.  The background paper is by American Crafts from A.C. Moore; the light blue and white solid cardstock is A.C. Moore's open stock (on sale last week for just $1.00 for 8 sheets!)  I cut the flower inserts (they're like cupcake toppers, on lollipop sticks) and the sign's scalloped square background using my Cricut Explore.

I cut the letters in the inside of a white doily by "attaching" the letters to a Cricut Design Space doily file.  The crosses in the banner and on the top flower insert are cut using Sizzix dies. The other two are printed on my computer. 

If you have a special project that you need help executing -- with or without your own involvement in my craft room -- please don't hesitate to contact me.  I'm happy to help!  Let me help YOU make your next event a little extra special, by doing, brainstorming or helping you make your projects.  I can be reached by e-mailing me at

The Christening Party was a lovely event, and Ari's grandmom said that "everyone loved your decorations."  She shared this picture:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Introducing ZOE Blog Hop: Close To My Heart's Newest Designer Paper Suite

It is my pleasure to participate in this blog hop with several of my fellow Close To My Heart (CTMH) independent consultants. If you've come from Emily Evertz's super cute BLOG, you're in the right place.  Or, if you're just landing here and finding the Hop, I encourage you to go to the start at our Hostess Andrea Sherman's BLOG and see all the SWEEEEET projects we've come up with to Celebrate ZOE, and hop along!

We are excited that the day has finally come to release CTMH's newest paper suite, called "Zoe."

Zoe is fun, vibrant and colorful, with a sweet combination of cardstock colors such as Glacier, Whisper, Sorbet and Sweet Leaf. The paper is versatile for both scrapbookers and cardmakers alike.

I'm typically a cardmaker (otherwise I'd be known as "ScrapbookMonkey", I guess), but I have an upcoming papercrafting class in September* at the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts in Horsham, PA, and the students' wish is to have a scrapbooking class.  Here's what I'll be teaching:

One of my favorite classic "Flip Flap" layouts is the Birthday cake layout that several have done before -- but this may be the first one to use "Zoe."  A flip-flap is a mini-page protector; they are available in multi-packs in a variety of sizes from CTMH. The edge of the flip-flap is adhesive, and should be applied to the outside of your larger Memory Protector (page protector), to multiply the number of photographs your layout can hold. 

The cake (at far right) is a series of five 4"x6" stacked Flip Flaps. When each is opened, it reveals the finished page with "Make A Wish" underneath, like this:

I used several of the Close To My Heart/Cricut cartridges to cut the embellishments I used in this layout. I used "Artbooking" for the titles "celebrate" and "happy."  I used "Artfully Sent" for "Make a Wish". And I used "Artiste" to cut the banner at the top left. 

Speaking of Cricut (which has really been chirping a LOT here lately!), did you know that CTMH has issued a brand-new Cricut cartridge called "Artistry"??  With another 700 elements designed as icons, backgrounds and sentiments, Artistry is bound to be a crucial piece of my craft room arsenal. How about for you?  It would be my pleasure if you would purchase your Cricut "Artistry" from my site. The link, active starting in August, is HERE

"Zoe" has beautiful Complements and Accessories designed to match this bright new paper pack. All of the Zoe suite is available to purchase by our Customers in August -- one month ahead of our September release of the new "Annual Inspirations" and "Holiday Expressions" idea books.

You can shop for your Zoe by clicking HERE.

Hop on through this great blog hop to see the other fun projects consultants have made for you to show off Zoe's versatility.  Your next stop is with Julia Clendenen Hammond's blog (<< to "hop", CLICK JULIA's NAME) and her great blog "Create Teach Repeat". 

(* Stay tuned for more details on my scrapbooking class at SJCA.  For now, let me tease, that I'll be hosting monthly classes there on the third Tuesday of every month beginning in September, from 7 to 9 p.m.)

Thank you again for joining us today!
Now, go out and buy your own ZOE and party along.

If you've lost your way on the blog hop, or want to visit the posts after the day of the Hop (8/2/2015), here are links to the participants' posts:

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!