Friday, November 2, 2012

November Stamp of the Month - and a BONUS!

I just love working for a company that not only cares about their Consultants, they also care about the issues that affect the world around us.  Love that.

If you have been anywhere near a TV, computer or newspaper over the past week; then you know all about the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.  If you haven't seen the damage, just turn on the news.  The photos are dramatic and shocking.  Aside from the storm damage, so many people are without electricity, water and food; and relief efforts are proving to be a huge and expensive task.

Here's how YOU can help us to help those in need.  Place an order which qualifies for the November Stamp of the Month, and when you purchase November's SOTM, Close to My Heart will donate $1 to the Red Cross to help with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

PLUS, you can choose a qualifying stamp set for 50% off!  Just place at least $50 worth of supplies into your shopping basket, and at checkout time, you'll be prompted to add the Stamp of the Month.  After you add it, you'll be asked to choose another stamp set for half off.  You'll get everything delivered straight to your door, too!

So, there ya go!  Help us to help those in need, and get a little extra somethin' while you're at it.  Place your order through my website and you could also get November's Hostess Rewards if you're the lucky winner!  Make sure you have JOINED the November Mystery Hostess Gathering, either by using the clickable link above or by choosing "Join" at the bottom of my CTMH website. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Fall, Y'All!!

It is officially FALL here in the great state of North Carolina!  The leaves are drifting to the ground, the squirrels are busy gathering the last remnants of seeds and nuts from the summer blooms, and there's a briskness in the breezes that blow off the pond in our neighborhood. 

Yup.  It's official!  Fall has arrived!  It just makes me want to stay inside with a cup of hot tea and CRAFT!  (Especially since Christmas is coming soon)

Here's what's on my crafty ToDo List at the moment:
1.  Christmas tags
2.  Christmas cards
3.  Christmas Gifts
4.  Christmas Decorations

Did you know that there's only 53 days left before Christmas???  OH MY.  If you'd like to pick up some supplies for your Christmas crafting, join my November Mystery Hostess online gathering, and you might be the lucky winner of the Hostess Rewards for November!!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Cricut Artiste Pumpkin - Unwrapped!

I just LOVE the Artiste cartridge.  I really do!  But, I was a little disappointed with how my previous attempts at making the pumpkin from the cut on page 85 was going.  There is a tiny slot in the bottom of one pumpkin piece, and a tiny slot in the top of the other pumpkin piece.  You slide these two pieces together to create a 3D pumpkin. 

Sounds great in theory, but it looks like this when completed: 

I told myself that they'd look better with some leaves.  But they didn't.  I wanted mine to look more like the ones on page 85.  So, I figured it out.  And, I'm sharing with you!
Your pumpkin will look like this one:
Isn't that better?  Yeah, I thought so, too.  To make things easier, I wanted a solid shape to fold in half to create the pumpkin.  You could use the slotted pumpkin for this, but I wanted to

I used my Gypsy to alter the shape for the pumpkin slightly by removing the "slot" in the design.  You can do this using the free online software for Cricut as well, called Cricut Craft Room.  I welded a circle inside the pumpkin which was large enough to cover up the slot.  You only need to alter ONE of these shapes, you don't need to do this to both the upper and lower slot pumpkins. 
Now, copy and paste the design to create 3 pumpkin shapes for each 3D pumpkin you want to make.  I made mine at 3 1/2".   These were cut from Goldrush cardstock.  I cut the vine and leaf design from the Cricut Artiste cartridge as well, page 76, key E8, 3D object feature key, Shift.  Cut TWO at 3 1/4" Real Dial Size as well from Olive cardstock.

Making the Pumpkin:
Each shape was stamped using Saddle and the flourish stamp from the Love Life stamp set (D1482).  The sample on page 85 used the small vine flourish from the Harvest Happiness stamp set (C1463).   Stamp both sides.  I inked the edges to distress them a bit using the Saddle ink as well.  This color is becoming my new "go to" distressing color! 
Fold each shape in half and crease with a bone folder.  You should have 3 folded pumpkin shapes.
Using Liquid Glass, run a small bead of glue along the edge of ONE of the pieces.  Do NOT overdo the glue!!  Just a little dab'll do ya!
I found it helpful to insert a finger between the two halves of the folded shape.  This opened up the shape slightly, so it will be easier to form into a 3D shape later.  If your pieces are glued together while they're folded completely in half, it will be more difficult to keep them in the proper shape.  Each piece should be slightly opened so it will create an "open" pumpkin when dry.
Place another slightly opened pumpkin shape into the glue, lining them up evenly from top to bottom.  ONLY THE FOLDED EDGES SHOULD BE GLUED TOGETHER.  If you are gluing the flat side, then your pumpkin won't fan out properly when dry!!
Now comes the hard part.  Hold these pieces in place for a minute or two until the glue sets up.  This only takes a few minutes, really, but it's a key step.  If you rush through this waiting time, your pumpkin will fall apart.  It's truly a test of patience!!
If you can remove your fingers from the glued shapes and they hold together by themselves, you're ready for the last piece.
Run a bead of glue into the crease between the two pumpkin shapes already put together.  (again - a little dab'll do ya!)
Insert your last slightly opened pumpkin shape into the crease, lining it up top to bottom.  HOLD this piece in place for a moment or two until the glue sets up.  (Patience Pays Off!!)
Once the glue has set, you can set the pumpkin down.  When looking down at the pumpkin from the top, each half of the pumpkin shapes should be separate.  The pumpkin should look like spokes on a wheel.  If they aren't even close, you can try to remove the last piece, but  
LET THE PUMPKIN DRY.  I know how tempting it is to fiddle with the pieces to try to make them perfect.  BUT DON'T.  Once the pieces are dry, you will be able to move them a bit to make them look better.  It's OK for now.  Let it sit for 15-20 minutes and you'll be able to manipulate them so they're just the way you want.
For the leaves -
Using Olive ink, distress the edges of the leaves and the curlicue of the vines.  Using a Cocoa or Saddle marker, color the top of ONE of the stems to make it look like the stem for the pumpkin.  Fold the stems of both leaves upward.
Put the leaves next to each other, and flip one over.  One stem should be up and one stem should be down.  Insert the two leaves into each other, stems toward each other.  The leaves should be going in opposite directions.  Use a pencil to curl the leaves and tendrils downward. 
Put a dot of glue between the leaves so that they will stick together.  Put a dot of Liquid Glass on the lower stem, and glue it inside the folded area of one of the pumpkin halves.  This will affix the leaves to the pumpkin.  You can add a few dots of Liquid Glass to the underside of the leaves where they meet the tops of the pumpkin pieces if you want to make doubly certain that the leaves won't come off. 

TA DA!  You're all done!  You can use these decorations for Halloween, and then save them for Thanksgiving to put on the table.  Wouldn't they look even better sitting next to a pumpkin pie??

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy Halloweenie!

This past week, I had a great time with a great group of crafty ladies and we made some Halloween decorations using the Cricut and the ever-so-versatile Cricut Artiste cartridge from Close to My Heart.  Aren't these just FABULOUS??

Coffin candy boxes!  Candy containers from iced capuccino bottles!!
And, what display for Halloween would be complete without a pumpkin?
Want to make your very own?  Here's some simple directions.  I used these supplies from Close to My Heart:
Cricut Artiste Cartridge (Z1790 $99)
Magic Potions My Acrylix stamp set (C1509 $13.95) - labels
Love Life My Acrylix stamp set (D1482 $17.95) - star, flourishes on pumpkins
Universal Backgrounds My Acrylix Stamp set (D1477 $17.95)
Moonlight Paper Packet (X7161B $9.95)
Dark Chocolate Striped Grosgrain Ribbon (Z1617 $6.95)
Burlap Ribbon (Z1760 $7.95)
Baker's Twine Harvest Assortment (Z1751 $4.95)
Kraft Cardstock (Z1375 $9.50)
Olive cardstock - leaves
Black cardstock - bottle sleeve
Colonial White cardstock - shapes, backgrounds
smokey plum
new england ivy
autumn terracotta
We also used a Stamp of the Month set, Baroque Borders (S1208), for the inside of the coffin.  This was only available with a qualifying order in August.  When you see something you like, make sure to place an order or it will be gone!
Candy Bottle
We used the smaller frapuccino bottles from S***bucks, 9.5 oz.  I'm not endorsing them, they're just the right size.  The hard part was drinking all that frapuccino!  (ha!)  You can use any bottle or container you wish.
Cut a piece of black cardstock to fit around your bottle.  Ours was 2 3/4" by 9".  Put a glue dot on the front of the bottle to hold the wrap in place.  Wrap and glue ends only.   
The background shape was cut at 2 1/4" high.  It's from page 67 (key D7, Accent 3 Shift) on the Artiste cartridge.   
We used the Eye of Owl stamp from Magic Potions.  Shape was cut at 1 1/4" from Colonial White cardstock.  Stamped in Black ink. Distressed with Cocoa.
The bottle caps were painted with Krylon spray paint in Rubbed Bronze.  The accent around the neck of the bottle is a piece of Burlap Ribbon cut to wrap around the neck, then cut in half and fringed.  It's held in place with a piece of twine from the Harvest Twine assortment.
Coffin Box
I just LOVE this little candy box!  The box was cut at 7" from Kraft cardstock. 
Stamp the box first.  We used the Baroque Borders inside the box with Smokey Plum ink; you could use any repetitive stamp to create a fabric design inside the box. 
On the outside of the box lid, we used a design from the Universal Backgrounds stamp set which looks like wood; and we stamped it in Autumn Terracotta.
We scored the box along the score marks, and then assembled the bottom of the coffin first.  We then assembled the lid of the box to make sure that they would fit together.  When assembling a box with a lid, it's a good idea to check for fit before the final glue-up.  Sometimes you can adjust the side tabs just a little bit for a better fit before they're glued together. 
The embellishment was made by inking the edges of a shape cut from the Artiste cartridge (pg 56 accent 1 shift) cut at 1 3/4".  The cat was cut from Artiste as well, page 76 card feature key, shift, cut at 2". 
We used a 5" piece of Burlap Ribbon behind the embellishment.  This was frayed on the edges, and cut into a reverse "v" shape at each end. 
The star was cut from the Cricut as well.  The stamp comes from the Love Life stamp set and was stamped in black ink.  You could hand-cut a moon or use a circle punch instead.
In the sample, I put a skeleton on the bottom of the coffin using foam tape.  The skeleton was cut from the Artiste cartridge as well (so much stuff on this cartridge!) at 6" page 76 accent 2 and accent 2 shift for the skull.  HOWEVER.  My poor Cricut needed a new blade and the skeletons were not cutting very well. 
So, you could always do this: 
In tomorrow's post, I'll show how the pumpkin was assembled.  I really wanted my pumpkin to look like the one in the Idea Book on page 85.  So, I'll tell you how that was done!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How Stinkin' Cute are THESE??

Well, as some of you may know, my dear sweet daughter is having TWINS.  Today, she had a 3D ultrasound, and her doctor was able to tell whether one baby is a girl or a boy.  He put a little slip of paper inside an envelope, licked it, sealed it, taped it and stapled it shut.  Evidently, he understands about pregnant women, and how hard it is for them to be patient.  She is to open the envelope with her husband tonight when he gets home from work.  If the paper is pink, one is a girl, and blue for a boy.  The other twin was a little camera-shy, so we're going to have to wait to find out the sex of that baby. 

I bet having to wait is just eating her up....hahhaa. 

Anyway, I figured I'd share some artwork while we wait.  (I don't like waiting, either.  But I did hear that she might "accidentally" smear peanut butter on the envelope and leave it where my granddog might just snack on it, then she'd just have to clean up the colored paper shreds....bad doggie!!)

On to the artwork!!  My sweet friend had a baby shower to attend, and asked me to make some table favors for the party.  . 

I used the baby bootie from page 63 of the Artiste Cricut cartridge.  I cut them at 4" and about 6 pieces of salt-water taffy fit inside each.

The shoes were cut out at 4" and I first put the top of the shoe together and folded the tabs under.  I began gluing the top of the shoe to the sole starting at the heel, then moving forward on each side evenly.  I found that I needed to trim just a smidge from the toe of the sole once I had put them together.  It may have just been the way that I made them, but that worked for me. 

The first few shoes that I put together used Liquid Glass to adhere the tabs to the sole.  But, I'm very impatient, and didn't want to wait for the glue to dry.  So, I figured I'd be "smart" and use my tape runner.  They came together much easier, and I didn't have to get my fingers all sticky. 

I put them away so I could work on a few other things, and took them out the morning of the party.  UGH!  They had started to come apart.  I should mention that the paper I used was some that I had in my stash and it had a shiny coating which didn't hold the adhesive very well.  I had made some using the Lucy paper you can see under the shoes; but I didn't think that they looked PINK enough. 

I discovered the problem the morning of the shower.  So, in a moment of PANIC.....I got out my trusty glue-gun and went to town.  I fixed the shoes that needed a bit of help, and then re-glued the pearls around the edges to cover up the seam where the top and sole came together.  Yeah, now my secret is out!!  HOT GLUE.  None of that "low temp" stuff for me!  Give me the "so hot it will melt your fingerprints" stuff anyday!! 

Maybe tomorrow I'll find out what flavor of grandbaby will be coming!  I wonder if I'll be making BLUE shoes or PINK ones??

(Note:  We're still waiting to find out the identity of ONE of the babies.  BUT - Baby B is a BOY!)

Don't Miss this Special Set!

National Stamping Month is underway and Close to My Heart is celebrating with a fantastic offer!  You can get the exclusive, new My Acrylix® It’s Your Day double stamp set for just $5 when you place a minimum order of $35 in full retail products before September 30, 2012.

You’ll love this double set—two D-size sets in one envelope—which includes nearly 50 trendy images that makes it easy to capture the everyday moments in your life.


This set would be perfect for adding a bit of pizzazz to your scrapbooking layouts or to create journaling cards for a Project Life style scrapbook.  Who doesn't like zig-zags?  Or dots?  Or bikes?  Days of the Week?  Butterflies?  How about some cute sayings? 

Yup.  I knew you'd love it!  You can place your order here:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What's New?

If you're wondering why I've been MIA lately, things have gotten busy!!  After the Open House, I had one day to breathe, then we left on a road trip.  We spent the next week visiting with my daughter and son-in-law; playing with their dog, catching up, and checking out the latest improvements they've made to their home.  It was a great visit, and my daughter surprised me with the news that she's expecting TWINS!!  I'm so excited! 

After arriving home, we spent the weekend getting settled back in and finishing up some projects, then my son had a tonsillectomy.  He was so quiet for a few days, it was unnerving not to have him chattering away like a maniac.  He's recovered well, though, and is back to his usual chatty self.

Not much papercrafting going on, though I've gotten to play with the new alcohol ink markers.  I have to say, you're going to LOVE these!

Each of the colors in our 40 color pallette has a matching marker.  The markers come in a set of 2, so you receive the matching color marker and a coordinating marker that is one shade darker or lighter than our color.  There's a key in the Idea Book on page 9.  If the little circle next to the marker item number is filled in, the coordinating shade is a bit darker.  If the little circle is open, then the coordinating shade is lighter. 

The last week of August was spent getting ready for SCHOOL!!!  The traditional school schedule starts at the end of August here, and we frantically hunted down 3" binders, highlighters, calculators and shoes so the kids would be all set for the first day.  My fabulous sister even tracked down the sold-out LL Bean backpacks that the kids wanted and shipped them to us!!  She ROCKS.  So do those backpacks!!  Seriously - my daughter has used the same backpack for 5 years.  They last forever.

With school in full swing, volunteer schedules, Girl Scout and Boy Scout meetings under control and life resuming some normalcy, I am happy to get back to papercrafting.  After all, I have those summer photos and back to school pics to scrapbook now!

I think I'll make a cup of tea and go have some long overdue crafting time.  Hope your day is as blessed as mine has been!!