Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Resolution 2015: Get More Organized with That Perfect Gift!!!

Christmas is near. I hear the jingling of Santa's bells.  

If you still haven't found the crafter in your life the perfect Christmas present, here is a bundle of Close To My Heart brand new products exclusive to CardMonkey that is irresistible and will light up her organizing spirit:

That's right -- the Close To My Heart rolling tote is now available, and look how handsome and practical it is:

Take a peek inside, and you'll see that the zippers completely open to reveal enough space for lots of storage bins, room for her trimmer, catalogs, 12 x 12" paper, markers, and more!

Shown here are the CTMH large organizer, a medium organizer and three small organizers, each sold separately.  

Still yearning for more organization?  Why not add on a beautiful complementing shoulder bag?
It's got a roomy interior with a sweet zipper pocket inside, and it's a full 18" wide, perfect for holding scrapbooking papers and more.

How about one more? The new My Legacy Chevron Album -- while not designed exactly like the totes -- is what I use to hold some of my small embellishments like sparkle gems, pearls, and more. I simply slide them into the pockets of divided page protectors ("Memory Protectors") that CTMH sells too! Then slip that into the shoulder bag, and I'm a coordinated cropper ready for some serious "work" (hahaha) at a crop.

... and I am offering a special that should entice your inner Santa. And my offer is good through January 31, 2015, so if you've gotten some cash instead of coal from the Big Red Guy, now's your chance to get a sweet after-holiday deal:

Buy all three together -- that's the rolling tote, the shoulder bag, and the My Legacy Chevron album -- in one order from my CTMH website (www.cardmonkey.ctmh.com) and I will rebate approximately 10% of your order. All three together would normally cost $211.85, and instead will cost you just $189 (plus tax and shipping) for a limited time offer!  

Please note that this offer is being made by me personally, and ONLY me ... It is not a Close To My Heart special but instead is my way of rewarding your 2015 Resolution to GeT mOrE oRgAnIzEd!!!  Contact me by e-mail at cardmonkey@comcast.net to let me know if you are taking advantage of this offer, or if you have questions.  

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Last day of four -- Hanukkah cards galore!

Hanukkah continues, and so I will show you the last of my 12 cards I made for friends and neighbors celebrating this special holiday. If you missed Cards 1-9, please scroll down.

On the 10th Day of CardMonkey's Hanukkah celebration, my true love sent to me:

10. Sarita makes its return visit

If you are following along, you'll recognize the CTMH Sarita paper used here, from the Spinner Card I showed you yesterday.  

This time, I made a gatefold card -- it opens in the center -- that is held shut with a Star of David at the top, and a sentiment at the bottom.

I cut the Star of David using my Silhouette Cameo, a Design Studio file, and matte silver stock by Bazzill, available at Scrapbook.com.  I backed the cut silver star with CTMH's Lagoon cardstock, and a center piece cut from Gypsy cardstock.  

The sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp, stamped in Lagoon Exclusive Ink from CTMH, on a Colonial White piece of CTMH cardstock that has been lined with Lagoon cardstock. I LOVE that CTMH sells papers and inks to match exactly!  I put two sparkly bits on either side of the sentiment, and it's done!

On the 11th Day of CardMonkey's Hanukkah celebration, my true love sent to me:

11. A peaceful dove and a golden Star of David

I found this beautiful dove in the Cricut Design Space files and so cut (using my Cricut Explore) "him" out using Crystal Blue cardstock from CTMH. While that was cutting, I found the swirled word "Peace" in a Silhouette Design Studio file, and cut that out using my Cameo, using White Daisy CTMH cardstock.  

You can never have enough metallic gold in my world, so this lovely paper from Bazzill is a staple in my craft room. I cut the Stars of David out using my Silhouette Cameo and one of Silhouette's files. 

Once everything was cut, I grouped all of the cut pieces on a backing of Outdoor Denim blue cardstock. I toyed around with some border scribbles, using a Sakura white gel pen. I like the casual feel to the scribbles, though I think I'd lighten up a bit on the pen when making this again.

I added three Sparkle Gems from CTMH in the lower right hand corner to call this complete!

...and last but not least ... 

On the FINAL day of CardMonkey's Hanukkah celebration, my true love sent to me:

12. A pretty Festival of Lights card 

Pretty "Frosted" paper from CTMH (now retired) was used for the backdrop of a tableau for a fussy-cut menorah that had been stamped in Pacifica ink onto Lagoon paper by CTMH. The flames, stamped separately in a stamp set by CTMH, were gold embossed. 

The Star of David is from a Papertrey Ink stamp set, stamped in Outdoor Denim ink (CTMH) onto Goldrush cardstock (CTMH) and fussy cut, and raised with pop-dots.  

The sentiment is from a CTMH stamp set, stamped in Outdoor Denim ink, onto Frosted paper that has been layered with a bit of Goldrush and Sarita papers by CTMH. For a pop of color, I added a lower layer of Lagoon paper peeking out behind the Frosted paper. 

I hope you have enjoyed these Hanukkah cards. Season's Greetings to you and yours!

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Friday, December 19, 2014

More Hanukkah Greetings!

So here we are on Day #3 of my sharing Hanukkah greetings with you. If you've missed Days 1 and 2, please do scroll down to see what's happening here. And tune back in tomorrow for the final episode of "Gee that CardMonkey made a LOT of different Hanukkah cards!"

On the 7th Day of Hanukkah, my true love sent to me:

7.  A bright blue and gold card

In my search to find Hanukkah papers, I found these pretty papers on www.scrapbook.com. The papers are designed by Karen Foster. The blue is called "Hanukkah Collage"  (Click HERE to order your own!) and the gold is called "Festival of Lights" (Click HERE for the gold paper). 

Simply, I cut a piece of "Hanukkah Collage" (the blue) for the top, centering the cut to find a bit of the message that would look good on the top part of the card. I cut a piece of the yellow for the bottom third of the card. 

For the blue strip, I cut a piece of Close To My Heart's Pacifica cardstock and topped it with a piece of CTMH's silver shimmer trim.  The menorah was cut using a Design Space file on my Cricut Explore, and layered onto Pacifica and Daisy White paper from CTMH. 

On the 8th Day of Hanukkah (traditionally, the LAST day of Hanukkah), my true love sent to me:

8. A spinning dreidel card that actually spins!

This card is actually far easier than it looks, thanks to the pre-cut purchased "Spinner Cards" from Close To My Heart.  Once you have the card, the embellishing is the easy part. 

Layer the left and right panels of the front of the card using a retired paper from CTMH called "Sarita."  I have some of this in my stash, and if you need some, don't hesitate to contact me; I will sell it by the sheet. On the reverse side of the blue dotted pattern is the pretty print. Part of the print reminded me of menorah candles, which is why I used it for the center part of the card.  

For the spinning dreidel, simply punch a 2" circle for the background to cover the pre-made card's white center spinner.  I used the matching dotted background for the front, and cut a dreidel using my Silhouette Cameo and a Design Studio file.  On the back of the spinner (not shown) is a Star of David.  

Peeking on the inside is a stamped sentiment ("Happy Hanukkah", surrounded by stars), stamped in Outdoor Denim Exclusive Inks from CTMH and colored using a Marigold color ShinHan Touch Twin marker, also available from CTMH.  

On the 9th (BONUS!) Day of Hanukkah, my true love sent to me:

9. A rainfall of Stars of David, some stamped in gold

To make this card, I first pre-cut a lot of Stars of David, using my Cricut Explore and Design Space files, in various sizes. I cut them all from Thistle colored cardstock from CTMH, on a single sheet of paper. Imagine how long those bitty stars took to cut on a 12x12" packed sheet of paper!

Next, I stamped the sentiment in the lower right hand corner, using Thistle Exclusive Ink from CTMH and a sentiment stamp from Papertrey Ink. 

Then, I stamped larger Stars of David twice on the card, using Versamark ink (from CTMH) and a stamp image I purchased from Simon Says Stamp.  After stamping the large stars, I sprinkled them with gold embossing powder (CTMH) and heat set them using my CTMH craft heater gun.

I affixed all of the individual little "falling stars" in a decorative array, using a Martha Stewart glue pen.

Stop back tomorrow for the last installment of "How the Hanukkah Cards Spin."

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hanukkah Greetings, Day 2

Continuing on from yesterday, here are more Hanukkah cards I've made for my Jewish friends:

On the 4th Day of Hanukkah, my true love sent to me:

4. A pretty center-step Festival of Lights card:

I just love how a Center-Step folded card stands on display, so I knew I wanted to make at least one of these pretty cards which is just a little more cutting and folding than a standard card. I follow templates readily available at www.SplitCoastStampers.com.

I cut the base from Colonial White cardstock (Close To My Heart, CTMH), and embellished it on the left and right panels with Snowhaven B&T Duo cardstock (CTMH), on the center panel with Slate cardstock (CTMH) and on the bottom piece with stacked Slate and Colonial White papers.  

I cut the framed element in Cranberry and Colonial White papers (CTMH), using a pattern from the Design Space subscription and my Cricut Explore.  I also cut the pretty Menorah shaped to fit the element (a little taller); it's a cut from DS/Explore too, and I used Crystal Blue cardstock from CTMH.  

I glued the Menorah to the white framed element, using a Martha Stewart glue pen, and topped each candle with a swoosh of Glitz from CTMH (no longer available, darn!).  I stacked the elements and popped them up, using foam pop-dots from my stash.

The sentiment and Stars of David are from a stamp set I purchased from Simon Says Stamp, using Slate and Cranberry Exclusive inks (CTMH).  I added a bit of bling (CTMH) to the center of each star, and voila, Card #4 is complete!

On the 5th Day of Hanukkah, my  true love sent to me:

5. A Chevron-embossed green and gold beauty ...

To make this card, I designed a card cut combining the lettering pattern I found in the Silhouette Online Store with a line underneath (cut), with the whole element cut to a 4"w x 5.25"h panel. Once that was cut, I embossed the bottom of the cut using a sweet Chevron folder from CTMH and my Cheery Lynn Designs Crossover embossing/cutting machine.  

I put a piece of CTMH gold shimmer trim behind the line cut, for emphasis, taping it in place. I then layered the entire piece atop a value-pack A2 card from CTMH, and Card #5 was done!

On the 6th Day of Hanukkah, my true love sent to me:

6.  A special fold/Star of David card - Shalom!

Here's another easy card, with the right equipment. The card cut is already designed and available on CTMH's new "Artfully Sent" cartridge. All of the elements are as you see them here -- the fold line (scored), with the Star of David already inserted, and the white insert piece already designed with the word "shalom" at the base.

I cut the card, using my Cricut Explore and Pacifica and White Daisy cardstocks (CTMH). Then, because it was just too easy, I decided to highlight the Star of David using gold Stickles (from Ranger), and I inked the edges in Pacifica Exclusive Ink and a sponge dauber, both from CTMH.  

And that's it for Card #6!

Stop back tomorrow to see Cards # 7, 8 and 9!

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Hanukkah

To my dear Jewish friends, my wish for you is a holiday season full of light and joy. 

One of my dearest friends, Star, is not Jewish herself but is married to the most wonderful mensch, Bernie. As a result, Star has many observant friends and family members for whom she makes cards. Over the years, she has asked where to get paper, stamps, and other embellishments for the cards she creates. 

As I've shopped with her in mind, I've also made some cards -- not just for her and Bernie, but also for friends and neighbors in my predominantly Jewish community. The cards are also very popular at the gift stores and shows where I sell my cards, because "nice Hanukkah cards are so hard to find."

This year, I've created quite an assortment of Hanukkah cards that I've added to my CardMonkey catalog. Without further ado, I present to you my "12 Days of Hanukkah". (Yes, I know there are really only 8 days of Hanukkah, but let's throw in 4 more for the fun of it...)

I'll be presenting three cards a day over the next four days, so do stop back and visit.... 

On the first day of Hanukkah, my true love sent to me:

1. A Glittered Iris-folded Star of David: 

To make this card, I cut the Star of David in the center of a white piece of cardstock, using my Cricut Explore and a pattern from their Design Space subscription. 

Next, using the sentiment stamp I purchased from Simon Says Stamp and Versamark Embossing Ink I purchased from Close To My Heart (CTMH), I stamped the "Happy Hanukkah" below the cut star. I used gold embossing powder (also from CTMH) and a craft heater gun (CTMH) to imprint the sentiment.

I then cut strips of glittered cardstock each 1/2" wide and 3" long. Using a traditional Iris-pattern within the open space on the back, I arranged alternating colors of the paper, taping each of the pieces in place to fill the opening. 

Once done, I backed the card with Thistle cardstock from CTMH, and adhered to a value-pack card (CTMH), and voila, Card #1 is done!

On the second day of Hanukkah, my true love sent to me:

2. A colorful Candle card:

To make this card, I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut colorful candles from a variety of 6x6" papers that I had collected over the years -- no rhyme or reason for the color choices, just as long as they were colorful.  I cut the flames from gold metallic paper from Bazzill (www.scrapbook.com), also using my Cameo. 

I cut 8 candles that were one length, and made the center candle (called the shamash, or helper/servant candle) a little longer.  I placed the shamash first in the center onto white cardstock (CTMH), and then arranged in fun and intentionally crooked ways the other eight candles. I used a fine-line black pen from CTMH to draw the wicks. 

I affixed the flames using a glue pen (I prefer the one from Martha Stewart) and stamped the sentiment, which is from Close To My Heart, using Outdoor Denim Exclusive Ink (CTMH). I backed the card onto Outdoor Denim Cardstock (CTMH) and then onto a handmade card using White Daisy cardstock (CTMH). Voila, Card #2 done.

On the third day of Hanukkah, my true love sent to me:

3. A Dreidel-shaped card for all to see!

This was probably the easiest card I've made. It is a shaped card that was designed fully by the Silhouette Online Store and cut with my Cameo -- all I had to do was cut and embellish.  

I cut the backdrop of the Dreidel using Crystal Blue cardstock (CTMH), and the overlaid pieces using Pacifica cardstock (CTMH).  I glued the layers together using a Bonding Memories gluestick (CTMH) and stamped the sentiment inside using the same stamp set I used on Day 2, from CTMH, and Pacifica Exclusive Ink (CTMH).  

After I thought I was done, I wanted some glitz, so I added silver Stickles (from Ranger) over the Hebrew letters (Shin on the left, Hei on the right) and at the top of the Dreidel. It would have been easier to layer some silver glitter paper under the layer, had I not glued it down first -- live and learn! -- but I think it is just as pretty, don't you?

Stop back tomorrow to see Days 4, 5 and 6!

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Deal of the Decade" Launches in Close To My Heart -- Shop with me to win prizes!

WOW, do I have a Close To My Heart deal for you! Rightfully, our Corporate office is calling it the "Deal of the Decade," and here is why:

During the entire month of December 2014, if you have a qualifying purchase of just $50, you can purchase not ONLY the Stamp of the Month for just $5.00 ($17.95 retail value), but also you can buy any and every C- or D-sized stamp set in the 2014-15 Annual Inspirations catalog for just $10 each. Normally, these are $13.95 and $17.95, respectively -- so that is a 28% and a 44% savings, again, respectively.  

We've never seen such an amazing sale, and it's all the buzz.  

But WAIT, there's more!!!  On Monday, December 1 ONLY (that's right -- Cyber Monday), you can purchase ANY of the CTMH/Cricut Collections at 20% off.  Buy one, or buy all four -- what a perfect Christmas present for the crafter in your family.  The Cyber Deal runs from midnight until 11:59 p.m. (Mountain time -- CTMH is headquartered in Utah) on Monday, December 1.  Hurry, hurry!

...and YES, your purchase of just one Cricut cartridge qualifies you to take advantage of the stamp deal's "Deal of the Decade".

Okay, so I wanted to show you which stamp sets are C- and D-level in this year's CTMH Annual Inspiration catalog, so you can print this out and decide which ones should be on your must-have list. 

Below are pictures of the 68 qualifying stamp sets, and following I will place a list. The stamp sets are shown in the order of the list (below), if you read left to right, and top to bottom.  The list has the stamp set number, its name, and the page number on which  you will find the stamp set in the catalog.

I would sincerely appreciate your shopping through my Close To My Heart Online Business Office. 

My address is http://cardmonkey.ctmh.com.  
Once there, join the "Deal of the Decade" party by clicking that box.  Those who JOIN this party and place a $50+ order and purchase even just one stamp set on the "Deal of the Decade" will be entered into a raffle drawing to win a gift basket of all sorts of CTMH goodies that I have assembled. 

And for each $10 stamp set you buy on the "D.o.t.D", you'll get an extra entry...

Unable to purchase this month but still want a chance to win the gift basket?  

Leave a comment below and you'll automatically get one entry.  Simple. Easy peasy.  

And know I truly do appreciate your reading my blog, and hope that when the time is right for you, you'll shop for Close To My Heart products with me. If I can inspire you, or would like to show you how to make a particular project, let me show you how.  

The grand prize drawing will take place on January 1, so watch throughout the month as the grand prize swells!  And who knows, maybe I'll even have more than one prize and winner?!  Stay tuned ... 

So here are the stamp sets you'll want to pick from:

The following stamp sets are eligible for the December Constant Campaign:
C1504 Fall Harvest 55
C1506 Flakey Friends 81
C1509 Magic Potions 42
C1522 Creepy Creatures 43
C1533 Fabulous You 107
C1537 Honeycomb 128
C1556 Paisley Perfect 133
C1557 Polar Bear Holiday 80
C1558 Wild Wonders 94
C1559 Always Grateful 54
C1561 One-Way Borders 119
C1562 Mary and Babe 72
C1567 Santa Claus 71
C1570 Lifting Spirits 117
C1576 Pick a Posey 106
C1578 Camper Crazy 116
C1580 Big Top 92
C1584 Feathers 121
C1588 Great Job 30
C1589 Lifetime of Happiness 52
C1590 Delightful Ditty 34
C1591 Merry, Merry 68
C1592 World Traveler 115
C1594 Treasured Friendship 126
C1595 Hello Summer 129
C1597 Rainy Day 104
C1598 Noel 65
C1599 Pretty Petals  130
C1600 Happy Birds 57
C1601 Nursery Charms 95
C1602 Magical Moment 154
D1469 Polka Dot Alphabet 137
D1507 Urban Alphabet 137
D1522 Glamour Lowercase 135
D1537 Glamour Uppercase 135
D1539 The Happy Couple 108
D1540 In the Background 132
D1541 Fast and Furious 120
D1542 For a Friend 58
D1543 Country-Born 59
D1544 Distressed Backgrounds 45
D1550 Happy Autumn 56
D1552 Magical Days 70
D1553 Yuletide Greetings 66
D1554 Christmas Village 67
D1555 All the Details 33
D1556 School Years 32
D1559 Geometric Backgrounds 44
D1560 Holiday Tags 90
D1578 Flight of the Arrows 35
D1584 Big Hug 96
D1599 Geek is Chic 31
D1600  Here We Go 114
D1602 A Budding Friendship 102
D1603 Shreddin' the Slopes 77
D1604 Season of Thanks 51
D1605 Halloween Greetings 40
D1607 Bodacious Banners 93
D1609 Seaside Greetings 127
D1610 Christmas Post 64
D1611 Frosty Fun 83
D1612 Teacher Appreciation 37
D1613 Best Christmas 78
D1614 Reason for the Season 73
D1616 Have a Happy Day 118
D1617 Make It Merry 69
D1618 Build-a-Cake 88
D1627 Your Own Kind of Wonderful 105

THANK YOU again for your support throughout the year. 

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,