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Friday, December 8, 2017

Feature Friday: Benefits of Pocket Scrapbooking

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Well we have officially made it through the first full week of December! I have been so busy this week making holiday presents for everyone, even the mailman!!, that I haven't had much time to create for me. 

I know, I know this is a problem we all face in December, right?! Well, that's exactly what I want to talk about today. I want to make sure that you do not fall too far behind on preserving those special moments. I mean the holidays only come once a year so I want you to be present while also documenting and preserving, and the best way to do that is to simplify the process.

That's all great, but just how do you simplify scrapbooking? My answer to that would be to use a wonderful method called pocket scrapbooking. Have you hear of it? You see pocket scrapbooking is a simple and fast way to tell the stories behind your priceless photos. If you have used this method before then stay tuned for some wonderful inspiration, if you have not then take a look at just how simple and easy this method is. 

Ok so what's the deal here? Well, it's as simple as 1, 2, 3... done. Step 1 is to choose your supplies. You will need an album, some page protectors, PML (CTMH's pocket cards) and of course photos. If you do not have any cards on hand you can shop our wonderful inventory located here. We have all of the supplies you need including some really great holiday cards to choose from. 
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Then step 3 is to put your photos and your cards into your page protectors. That's it! It's that easy. Of course once you get some more free time, or are confident in this method, you can add extra embellishments and stamps on your photos. You can honestly get just as creative with these pages as you do with the traditional scrapbooking pages. 

Also because most of our PML kits coordinate with our paper lines you could even combine pocket pages with more traditional layouts for a wonderfully cohesive album. 

You can add as many photos (or cards) as you desire. Each PML kit contains over 24 cards and cost less than $10 (it's actually closer to $5!!) 

Get creative, have fun, and most importantly be present while still preserving those memories. I once heard that scrapbooking is good for you because your memories lie. 

Thanks for stopping by today! Happy Crafting. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How to Achieve a 2-toned Stamped Image

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Have you seen the artwork on page 68 in the Annual Idea Book? It's spectacular and I can't stop flipping back to it. This page features a wonderful layout with tons of space for tons of photos! It also would be easy to recreate.

 I mean c'mon now let's talk about that embossed title centerpiece for just a minute!

So my post today not only center's around how you can re-create that beautiful layout above, but of course how you can also recreate that beautiful embossed two-toned look. So let's talk about that first and get the hard stuff out of the way. 

  1. To achieve that two-toned look, in any project, you start by grabbing your favorite stamp. In this case the designer opted for our beautiful "What Matters Most" stamp set. 
  2. Once they had the stamp picked out you must pick your favorite color of pigment ink. To achieve a two-toned artistic look make sure to dab one color of pigment ink onto the bottom of your stamp and another color onto the top. 
  3. Once your image is stamped sprinkle a clear embossing powder over the ink and then set it with a craft heater. 

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"What Matter Most"  set of 4   D1728

12" × 12" Family Tradition Page Recipe:

D1728 My Acrylix What Matters Most Stamp Set
Z3351 Adventure Fundamental Paper Packet
Z3352 Enchantment Fundamental Paper Packet
1385 White Daisy Cardstock
X5949 Almond Cardstock
Z2504 Whimsy Exclusive Inks™ Mini Pigment Pads Set
Z2505 Enchantment Exclusive Inks™ Mini Pigment Pads Set
Z3354 Inspire Complements
Z1263 Bitty Sparkles
Z3216 White Twine
Z2088 Ranger Clear Super Fine
Embossing Powder
Z555 Craft Heater
Sewing Machine

Thanks for stopping by today. Happy Crafting!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Candy Canes & Peppermints

10:56 AM 0 Comments
Happy December guys!!  I am 100% into the holiday spirit now that December has arrived and today's project is a true reflection on that.

For today's project I started off with a piece of Cranberry Cardstock measuring 4.25" x 5.5" then I matted a piece of white daisy (measuring 4" x 5.25") on top - I always mat in 1/4" increments. 

Now to create that background I took the Peppermint Candies stamp set from Just For Fun and inked it up with Cranberry Ink. I then "randomly" stamped the white daisy cardstock in a triangular pattern making sure to stamp off the page in some spots. 

I then took the "Merry Christmas" sentiment and stamped it in Achival Black Ink. I also stamped those candy caned in Cranberry (while I had my inks and stamps out.) 

Now the measurements for the banner are 4.25" x 1.5" and it is mounted about 1.5" from the top of the card. After I had the banner cut out I took some Red Glitter Paper and cut a square out measuring 1.25" and then I cut that in half on the diagonal to make two triangles. 

The two squares behind the candy cane measure 2.25" and then 2" on the Cranberry. I then popped both of them up using 3-D foam tape. This helped to give the card some depth (note: if you are mailing the card I suggest skipping the additional depth.) 

To top off the card I fussy cut out the candy canes and adhered them to the top.  

Some suggestions on how to personalize this card a little more include adding shimmer to the candy stamps, using second generation stamping (alone or together) in the background (just don't get too busy), or even switching up the color schemes or flipping the sketch to a horizontal landscape. 

As always get creative, play around, and create! Thanks for stopping by today. 

Supplies Used: 

JFF Stamps

Candy Canes stamp set 
Sentiments 1 stamp set


Friday, December 1, 2017

Make it a December to Remember

12:00 AM 0 Comments
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"Keep looking up, that's the secret of life." 

I feel like December has snuck right up on me...Christmas, New Year, Birthday's...this is a very busy time since my family and I celebrate 7 out of 10 "holidays" (birthday's included) between Nov. and March so it tends to be go, go, go! 

With a new month, comes new promotions...which is always something to be happy about. This month at Close to my Heart we are welcoming in the new year with the Through the Year Calendar Kit! This exclusive kit contains all the materials you need to create a complete calendar for 2018 — AND it is available at a 20% discount! You can find all of the details at this post here and you can pick your's up at this link here. 🎄 Tis the Season

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Also along with a new campaign comes a new Stamp of the Month!! This is one of my favorite promotions and I feel like every time I say it I need it echoed and cheered! Ok maybe it's just simply me... 

Anyway this month's stamp set is called "A Little Bit of Pun" and is an adorable set of 17. 

Of course I have some project inspiration for you! This stamp set would be an excellent one to use with some of those fundamental papers and complements we picked up last month. 

Now the most exciting news is that if you purchase the Calendar kit you can receive this adorable stamp set for 70% off and pay only $5!! As always if you place an order this month, on my OBA, you will be entered to win our monthly drawing! 

Thanks for stopping by today and Happy December! 

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Snow Much Fun @ Creative Knockouts

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This week over at Creative Knockouts we are celebrating snow with our "Snow Much Fun" challenge and seriously what could be a better indoor activity than baking!! Yes I live in Northern NY where "Snow Much" equates to indoors! 

Anyway, I found some wonderful gingerbread stamps from our sponsor AMBillustrations, and jumped right into playing around.

I thought these images would fit a recipe book, that I am working on for Christmas, perfectly so I decided to make some recipe cards with them. I designed everything digitally, which was nice because you did not have to transfer the image a ton. When I was done with the design process I simply cut everything out on my Cricut Explore machine and then I went to town making the page. 

I am not finished with the album yet and played around with making a background paper as well as some treat bags using the extra images from below so make sure to stay tuned for that post. 

In the meantime, here are the details on the image set. You could easily use the stockings, trees, or even candy canes to create a "snow" scene. 

Please do make sure to come on over and play around with our weekly challenges. AMB Illustrations is offering an awesome prize package. You can get all of the details by clicking on this link here.

Creative Knockouts

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

3 Ways to Save this Season!

7:47 AM 0 Comments
As many of you know, or perhaps have heard through the grapevine, we are offering a wonderful DIY Photo Calendar kit as our Constant Campaign this December and if you haven't figured it out I could not be more excited!! This kit is fabulous and has everything you need to make a complete 12 month photo calendar, with the spiral bound base!! I mean could it get any better?!

Check out some of these layout designs.

Gorgeous right?!! Each month features a unique 12" x 12" scrapbook page that highlights different seasons or holidays. Just add photos to remind you of your favorite memories throughout the next year! And the kit comes with the My Creations Calendar which is pre-assembled so there is no messing around with bindings. Ok so that's not the only thing that this kit comes with. This kit also includes the following. 

Kit contents:

1—My Creations™ calendar
1—Basic Fundamental custom paper packet
9—cardstock sheets (1 Bashful, 1 Cranberry, 1 Goldrush, 1 Lagoon, 
1 Lemon, 1 Pansy, 1 Sweet Leaf, 1 White Daisy, 1 Willow) 
1—Happy Moments Complements
1—gold glitter gems

gold glitter die-cuts
photo placeholders
cutting diagrams
printed instructions

Use the materials in this kit to create a customized 12 month calendar. 
My Acrylix Through the Year Stamp Set not included .

That's a lot of material right?! Especially when in December we are going to bundle it all for you to give you at a 20% Discount!! Don't you simply love bundling. Now the kit above at it's discounted price is $38.95.

One thing you may have noticed from the above kit contents list is that this bundle does not give you the $5.00 stamp set that you need to complete the calendar. It looks like this. 

You may have seen it around lately? Well if you haven't this stamp set is actually a set of 28 and is out Stamp of the Month for November. So sneaky, sneaky, savings... if you purchase a kit from me in the month of November then I will discount your bundle and give you an additional stamp set. So you will get this month's SOTM as well as Jennifer's Hand, which is a B Size Alpha stamp set that will help you complete the calendar project. 

This kit will also include everything the above kit offers except it will add the two additional stamp sets. You will also be entered into the running for my Nov. prize for ordering from my website. 

This kit will be $53.90 and these two stamps look like this. 

Then finally, see I told you there were 3 ways to save, if you happen to miss the November deadline but love this idea (I mean who doesn't love photo calendars!) you can purchase a kit with the "Through the Years" stamp set for a reduced price. This kit will include everything the original kit offers plus the stamp set and will be offered at $56.90.

Please note that you will be able to purchase the kit as well as the kit with the Through the Years stamp set all throughout December, however if you want to take advantage of the Alpha stamp then you need to order through me prior to Dec. 1

Ok, ok, ok... because I enjoy your company so much I am going to give you another way to save even more. 

For Hostess: When you host a party that reaches the fourth level of Hostess Rewards or higher (submitting your party order no later than January 5, 2018), you’ll receive a FREE Through the Year Calendar Kit —that’s a $50.02 value, totally free! 

For New Consultants: Anyone who joins my team in December will receive a FREE Through the Year Calendar Kit in their New Consultant Kit— that’s a $50.02 value, totally free!


December is a great time of year to think about your Christmas gift list. The Through the Year Calendar Kit can help you and your loved ones share a thoughtful papercrafting gift this holiday season! Whether you make it for yourself, for someone else, or both, the Through the Year Calendar Kit is an excellent way to get ready for the year ahead! 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

5 Tips for Mixing Paper Lines

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Many of you know by know that CTMH offers two separate holiday paper lines, the Beary Christmas Line as well as the Silver and Gold Line. I wanted to come on and show you a great way to mix and match the two lines, you know for when you reach that point in December when you are running low on both lines but still have the crafting bug laying around. 

Tips for Mixing and Matching Paper Lines: 

1.) Look for a common theme in your layout or among your photos. Are you creating a page about a visit with your new niece, or perhaps that picnic outside at the park that one day. Whatever your theme is stick to it and pull it out through your papers. 

In this layout I mixed the Beary Christmas papers with some complements,
from our other holiday line, Silver & Gold. Since both of these lines are Christmas
themed they ended up pairing well together. 
 2. Stick with one of our Paper Packs and rest assure that every paper will match every other questions asked. We have already done the work for you and hired designers to make sure that each pattern and each color will match perfectly no matter what you try to do. We have even taken it a step further and paired our paper lines up with exclusive complement packs.

All three of my pattern paper pieces, in this layout, came straight from the Beary Christmas paper line, so I knew that no matter which of the 6 patterns I chose to use they would match perfectly every time. 
3. To create an interesting contrast, mix bold patterns along with more subtle patterns. As shown in my layout I mixed a very bold background with more subtle patterns on the bottom. This provides the eyes with a resting point and makes sure that the layout is not to subtle or too busy. 
Remember, 60/30/10 rule where one dominate pattern takes up 60% of the design. 

After writing this I went back and added a red mat layer behind the "Holiday" banner
and it really pulled that whole layer into the page mixture.
4.) Layer & Mat Everything!!..ok well not everything but do make sure to add in pops of a neutral color to provide a break from all the patterns. Typically your mat color can be pulled right from one of your pattern papers. 

5.) Mixing up your pattern papers, or your paper lines in general, does not have to be a daunting task. If you are new to paper crafting, or simply enjoy the craft more than the design work, then purchase a kit and play around with the papers. Before you know if you will be so good that you will be able to tackle all of your stashed papers. 

Let's challenge ourselves this week to get out those papers that we have been hoarding and let's create something using at least 2 different patterns. Then when you have that created come on over and share it with us in the Lounge.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Evergreens & Inked Hills

2:51 PM 0 Comments
Hi guys. I'm here with a really quick and fun ink shading technique. Now as many of you know I've done a lot of different background techniques and this one is very similar to the cloud one where you use a stencil to create the background. These different shading techniques are really fun when paired with the just-for-fun stands can I highly recommend if you're new to it just getting a couple of different tools and playing around with them.


Now for this card I simply took a Sapphire and a Pacifica Inc as well as a Tim Holtz sponge Dauber.

A lot of times I will get asked on how exactly you're supposed to sponge and I don't know if there's any true technique however the one that's always worked for me is to dab across your area and then when you go to add color in dab your sponge in the ink, then sponge onto scrap paper, and then for your second layer come back onto your paper with circular motions.

To achieve the look of snow hills I simply cut out a scrap piece of paper with a wavy border and used that to block my Ink and create the White hills. Start with the top hill and then add the second hill below it making sure to only Ink the top of your stencil not the entire area. Notice how the middle of my hill is still white. 

Those trees are from Just For Fun and are called Evergreen. JFF has a number of wonderful stamps that would work well with this technique and I cannot wait to try it with some other ones. 

Happy Crafting! 


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