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

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, 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,