Tuesday, December 17, 2013

First home gathering

My first home gathering was a small one, but a good one!  We had a blast making simple Christmas tags to use on our Christmas presents and holiday gifts.

Guests were excited to use a full range of ink colours so they were creative and did their own things with the tags.  They also used other holiday themed stamp sets to create the looks they wanted.

The tag design (a CTMH gathering project design) that inspired it all:

Materials and tools used:
Paper: Frosty B&T Duo and Colonial White cardstock
Stamps: Holiday Tags (D1560)
Inks: Slate (Z2173) and Champagne (Z2174)
Accessories: Clear sparkle flourishes
Die cut tags: Cricut Artiste collection (Z1790)

Below are the tags made by my guests at the party.  (My apologies the pictures were taken on a cell phone in unfavourable lighting.)

Even  my husband got in on the fun.  (In fact, I think he had more fun than anyone playing with the Glitter gel, stamps and inks).

Artbooking Made Easy: Elegant Mini Albums (S01E15)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Attention: Project Lifers - CTMH has a product for you

Coming in the Spring/Summer 2014 Close to my Heart catalogue:  Picture My Life kits

These kits are inspired by the Project Life style layouts photo album sleeve scrapbooking style. They are quick and easy - perfect for anyone who wants to capture their memories in a scrapbooking style, but who is short on time. The cards coordinate with current B&T Duo paper packs (Avonlea, Babycakes, Chantilly, Later Sk8ter, Laughting Lola  and Surf's Up) and Close to my Heart cardstock colours. 


December stamp of the month

Purchase $50 worth of Close to my Heart product in December and get Special Care, the stamp of the month for only $5!

For more information, contact me at closetomyheartkw@gmail.com.

Online orders:  http://kwregion.ctmh.com

Friday, December 13, 2013

Scroll Albums still available

A fun new take on scrapbooking....  The scroll album is still available.

Check out the video:

To purchase:

Avonlea card kit papers now only $2

The papers to make these beautiful Avonlea cards are available now for only $2 while supplies last.

Check out the CTMH video to see the finished cards: 

Log on to my website to purchase the papers:

My Originals Sweet Suprises Card Kits - while supplies last only $8

These adorable cards from the previous Spring/Summer catalogue are on sale for only $8 (down from $19.99).  They include treat cups to include candies, sparkles or other small treats inside your cards.

Check out the video on how to create these cards:


Visit my website to order!

Clearly The Best: How to Kiss—with Stamps (S01E11)

Clearly The Best: Swirlin' Shapes (S02E10)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Quick and easy holiday tags

Short on time? Has the holiday rush got you feeling overwhelmed, but you would still like to add the personal touch to your gifts?  Then these are the tags for you!

Using very few supplies, these tags can be completed quickly and easily. Below is the list of
supplies that I used, but you can personalize your list from the supplies you have or have ordered.

SUPPLIES (all Close to my Heart products):
-          Cricut Artiste cartridge (Z1790) – page 60 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue (for use with a Cricut die cutting machine, not available through CTMH)
-          Cardstock: lagoon (X5762) and white daisy (1385)– page 139 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue
-          Ink – colours: lagoon (Z2195), black (Z2105)and cranberry (Z2116) – page 139 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue
-          Accents: Bitty Opaques/pearl (Z1707) – page 117 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue
-          Baker’s Twine: Harvest Assortment (Z1751) – page 121 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue
-          Washi: Sparkle & Shine Washi Tape 3 pack (Z1907) – page 4 of the 2013 Holiday Gift Guide
-          Glue: Bonding Memories Glue (1512) – page 133 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue
-          Stamps: Candyland (D1557), Trim the Tree (A1149), Flakey Friends (C1506),  Stamp of the Month – Scandinavian Wishes (S1310),
-          Stamp Blocks: My Acrylix Blocks 2” x 2” (Y1003), 1” x 3.5” (Y1002) – page 134 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue
-          Stamp cleaner: My Acrylix Spritz Cleaner (1778), My Acrylix Stamp Scrubber (Z1782) – page 134 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue

1.       To begin, cut the tag shapes out.  I used the CTMH Cricut cartridge Artiste for my tag shapes, but you can cut yours by hand as well. (Though die cutting machines certainly reduce the time spent on this portion of the project.) 

I used a pairing of tag shapes that was shown together in the Artiste manual and cut the shapes using only two paper shades – lagoon and white daisy cardstock. My tags were cut at 3”.

2.       Choose images that you want to stamp onto the white portion of the tags. You can verify that the stamp will fit by holding the stamp sheet above the tag.  (One of the advantages of clear stamps is that you can see where you are stamping through the stamp and stamping block.)

3.       Place the stamp of your choice on the appropriate size of My Acrylix Blocks stamping block.  Ink the stamp with your choice of colour. Visually position the stamp where you would like it to appear on the cardstock, then bring the stamp down to the cardstock and press firmly.  Lift the stamp. Allow time for the ink to dry.

4.       Clean the stamp while it is still on the stamping block. Spray a couple of squirts of My Acrylix Spritz Cleaner onto the My Acrylix Stamp Scrubber.  Rub the stamp across the stamp scrubber a couple of times.  Gently remove the stamp from the block and place the stamp back on it’s original storage sheet.

5.       For very simple and quick tags, you can then just glue the white cardstock (with stamped image)onto the tag.  Add some ribbon, string or baker’s twine and you are done.  (I have used the cranberry baker’s twine from the Harvest Assortment.)

6.       To add more visual interest, you can try some of these quick and simple techniques.

WASHI – Washi is decorative paper tape.  You can use it to add accents to your tags. Unroll a length of washi tape, visually position it on your tag and then press down.  Rip or cut the tape off the roll. Trim the edges of tape from the tag with delicate, fine tipped scissors.

Tape can be applied in straight or diagonal lines.  Tapes can be overlapped (though the tape and tag colours below will show through the transparent parts.)

ACCENTS – To add texture and dimension to a tag you can add accents such as the Pearl Bitty Opaques that I placed inside the “o” on the Joy tag.

These accents are quite small.  I placed them with my fingers, but that can be complicated.  Tweezers will help for more exact and less fussy placement.

STAMPED BACKGROUND – You can stamp images on the main portion of the tag as well to create pattern and visual interest.  On the ornament stamp, I used the snowflake border stamp from Flakey Friends in Lagoon ink.  Using the same ink colour as the cardstock allows you to create a subtle pattern.

DOUBLE STAMPING – On the Peace tag, I double stamped the white cardstock.  First, I used the snowflake border stamp (Flakey Friends) in Lagoon ink and covered the cardstock piece with snowflakes.  After allowing the ink some time to set, I stamped the word “peace” (Scandinavian Wishes) in black on top of the snowflake images.

INKING THE EDGES – For the “Warm wishes this holiday season” tag, I used the Lagoon mini ink pad to ink the edges of the white cardstock.  I did this after the black text had already been stamped.  (Scandinavian Wishes)  Dab the mini ink pad around the edge of the cardstock piece to add a touch of that colour to the piece.

* * *
This allows you to create many different looks from the same basic supplies.  Once you have four or five basic tags you like the look of, then you can make multiples of each style.

The tags will add that personal, crafty, homemade touch to your holiday gifts.

Good luck and happy stamping!

Ornament – Trim the Tree set (A1149) – found on page of the catalogue
Candy – Candyland set (D1557) - page 80 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue
Snowflake border – Flakey Friends set (C1506) – page 91 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue
“Peace” – Scandinavian Wishes/October Stamp of the Month set (S1310) – page 13 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue (only available during October 2013)
“Joy” – Scandinavian Wishes/October Stamp of the Month set (S1310) - page 13 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue (only available during October 2013)
“Warm Wishes this holiday season” - Scandinavian Wishes/October Stamp of the Month set (S1310) - page 13 Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue (only available during October 2013)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Project Inspirations: Cricut® Tags

We had a blast last night making holiday tags at my first home gathering.

I will post the results later.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Basic lessons in stamping

This past weekend, I began experimenting with my Close to my Heart inks.  For the basic Christmas themed tags, I used the exclusive inks mini pigment pads.  (The tags were cut using the Cricut Artbooking cartridge.)

In the past, if I wanted colours on one stamped image.  I would use markers to colour in each area. For the tags, I decided to see if I could use the small ink pads to come up with similar results.

My experiments introduced and reminded me of some basic stamping tips:

1) STAMPS WITH TEXT - Be sure that your text is facing the right direction (both up and down, as well as side to side).  I wasn't paying attention, and instead of stamping "Ho, ho, ho", I stamped "Oh, oh, oh" - this mistake would have quite a different meaning for a present tag.  To fix it, I turned the tag upside down and added the Christmas candy image. (From Candyland set.)

New mini stamp - SANTA'S GREETING (M1028)
found on page 113 of the Autumn/Winter 2013 CTMH catalogue

2) STAMP PRESSURE AND PLACEMENT - In the past, using wooden stamps, I would oftensort of rock my stamp a little bit to ensure that the entire image transferred from the stamp to the paper.  This technique does not work with acrylic stamps, it creates a smudge, or double line effect. (Shown in the tag above.)  It is important to press firmly on the stamp, with even pressure.  Do not rock or twist the stamp.  When finished, lift the stamp straight up to prevent any errors from occuring within your image.

3) OMBRE - If you are going for the ombre effect, choose a range of shades from light to dark of the same colour.  It is best to test the ink colours on a scrap paper before stamping on your actual project.  I forgot to test mine and discovered that just like paint samples, the colour that results on the project is different from the way the swatch or in this case the ink pad appears.

4)  MULTI-COLOURED - When trying to use more than one colour on the same stamp, there are many different techniques to use.  This particular stamp has images that are very rounded, while the ink pads are square with straight edges.  As such, when I attempted this the first time, I didn't get proper coverage on the edge of the letter that was closest to the next letter.

The second time, I inked from left to right.  I covered the images that I didn't want the ink to touch with a piece of paper.  Using the corner of the ink pad also helped to ensure that the ink didn't bleed over onto the other letters.

First attempt

Second attempt

Stamp from CANDYLAND set (D1557)
found on page 80 of the Autumn/Fall CTMH catalogue

5)  INKING TECHNIQUE - There are many different ways to apply ink to stamps.  For the full size stamp pads, which are firmer, it works best to place the ink pad on a flat, firm surface and press the stamp into the ink.

With the mini pigment pads which are soft with more liquid ink, it is best to do the opposite.  Place the stamp (already placed on the stamp block) on a firm, flat surface and press the ink down onto the stamp. I found a dabbing motion worked best to ensure full coverage.

6) Above all, experiment and have fun!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Clearly the Best: Wacky Washi (S02E04)

Playing with the CTMH product for the first time

I was so excited to play with my first shipment of Close to my Heart products. All these new stamps and inks and gadgets... oh my, where to begin!?!?

As a long time fan of Cricut, I decided to use my new Cricut cartridge first. It had been a while since I used my machine, so I decided to start with some simple shapes that had corresponding stamps with them.

Artbooking, my new CTMH Cricut cartridge, came with three sets of stamps and three pages of dimensional elements. The stamps correspond with shapes on the cartridge, as do the dimensional elements.

The great thing about the stamps was the fact that on the cover sheet itself, it told me which page of the Cricut manual contained the image that matched the stamp I wanted to use. It also told me the correct size to cut the image so that it matched the size of the stamp image. This made cutting out matching shapes a breeze!

I pulled out a stack of kraft coloured paper and merrily started cutting away.

Once I had all of the shapes cut out, it was time to try out my new inks and stamps. I was impressed with the entire CTMH set up.

a) The clear acrylic blocks have an etched line that allows you to line up your image.

b) The clear block allows you to see the cut piece that you are stamping onto to ensure correct alignment of the stamped image.

c) You can see if your stamp image is completely covered in ink by looking at it directly or through the stamp block.

d) The stamp and ink combination allowed for complete coverage. Other stamps I have used (both clear and wooden) often have splotchy areas where the ink doesn't transfer.

e) How easy it was to wipe the stamp block to remove any excess ink and prevent the excess from transferring to my project. All in all, a fun experiment with my new products.

Shapes cut from Artbooking Cricut cartridge
Stamped images from My Life stamps (from Artbooking set)

Also from My Life stamp set
First image, without removing the excess ink in the middle of the stamp.
Second image, I made sure the ink was only on the parts of the stamp that I wanted reproduced.

From the Sweet and Lovely stamp set
I was so impressed with this combination.  It looked like a store bought die cut.

Artbooking Made Easy: Christmas Layouts (S01E12)