May your holidays be Merry

Wishing Everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Beary Gift Card

One of the regular attendees in my classes loves gift card holders.  I always try to make at least one card that can include a gift card.  This sample was fun to make, and it's actually made from an envelope!  Frenchie Stamps created a youTube video to explain how to make this cute card that worked great for the Beary Christmas Paper Packet.  The Beary wreath is a fussy cut out Picture My Life card from the paper packet, attached to the Cranberry belly band.  The inside sentiment, "Happiest HOLIDAYS", was stamped on a different Picture My Life card (right side with the snowflakes and trees).  When you pull out the Cranberry insert, it is easy to add a gift card for the recipient.

Merriest Wishes

When you need to create a bunch of cards assembly line style, but create gorgeous cards to send to friends and family, the CTMH  Workshops Your Way® Merriest Wishes Cardmaking Kit gives you all that you need, card bases and envelopes, paper, stamps, and doodads to make 12 cards using two designs.  The Bitty Sparkles and Glitter Paper create some bling and sparkle that makes a fun card to receive in the mail!

Happy Holiday Wreath

Remember the swirly tree branches from the last card?  Can you find the stamp in this card?  Being able to use images for more than they were intended make the sets more versatile.  In this case, I used the swirly tree branches to make a wreath by repeatedly stamping in a circle.  The rest of the card is made from Beary Christmas Complements and Beary Christmas Paper Packet.  Pretty quick card that is dimensional and interesting.

Christmas Surprise!

Interactive cards are so fun to get in the mail.  The directions for the Surprise Pop-Up Card can be found at Splitcoaststampers.   You'll need a certain kind of paper trimmer, or a ruler and craft knife.  The tree in the sample is stamped from the Workshops Your Way® Merriest Wishes Cardmaking Kit, and the rest of the stickers and chipboard images can be found in the Beary Christmas Complements

Forest of Merry Wishes

Another way to add a watercolor affect to cards, without using actual watercolors, is to take advantage of the dye ink pads.  Dye inks are water based, so when in contact with water, tend to blend easier.  For this card sample, I inked the tree stamp, stamped once on scrap paper, sprayed the stamp with water, then stamped on the White Daisy paper.  This is a combined 2nd generation/watercolor technique.  The lighter 2nd generation allowed the second stamp, swirly tree branches to pop out.  In my sample, I also heat embossed the bottom, center tree in silver, but all of the workshop attendees heat embossed all of the tree branches to make a sparkly forest.  Ink colors used are Cranberry, Glacier, Sweet Leaf, and Charcoal. 

Light your Way

Crafters always have left over bits and pieces of paper that you don't want to throw away, but need ideas to use them.  This card from Chat is a great way to use extra Christmas-themed papers.  Rectangle pieces can easily be turned into candles, and the leftover tiny bits of glitter paper make great sparkly flames.  Stamp a sentiment in the corner, like "Happiest HOLIDAYS" from the Workshops Your Way® Merriest Wishes Cardmaking Kit and add even more glitter for the red branches from the Beary Christmas Complements

SOTM: A Little Bit of Pun

December's SOTM brings out your punny side with 17 images to make you giggle.   Of course, my favorite is the Mermaid one.  They make great little cards to give to a friend and make her smile.  Check out these funny images!

Christmas Explosion!

Exploding Boxes are all the rage the last few years because while they look complicated, it turns out that they are pretty easy to put together.  Once you get the box base created, the really fun part is to create the 3-dimentional scene.  And then what's cool?  The box folds up flat to fit inside an envelope.  The box base is a patterned B&T sheet from the Beary Christmas Paper Packet.  All of the stickers and chipboard elements came from the Beary Christmas Complements.  I added a stamped sentiment "HOLIDAYS", and a little Cranberry bling.  To create an area for a sentiment and place to sign, I added a Picture My Life card under the front flap.

Beary Festive

When making card samples for workshops, I love finding new ways to create interactive or interesting looking cards.  This card template came from Mama Inkysquid.  She took a class that showed this interesting card cut that works great with double sided cardstock.  The CTMH Beary Christmas Paper Packet included two sheets of green stripes/red words.  The glitter paper and Bear paper can be found in the Workshops Your Way® Merriest Wishes Cardmaking Kit, while the"BEARY" and "Festive" stickers match from the  Beary Christmas Complements. A square sheet of White Daisy was added inside for a space to add an inside sentiment and area to sign the card.

Through the Year Calender

Usher in a new year of memory-making with the Through the Year Calendar Kit! This exclusive kit contains all the materials you need to create a complete calendar for 2018, including the My Creations Calendar, papers, Complements, glitter gems, and custom gold glitter die-cuts — AND it is available at a 20% discount! Each month features a unique 12" × 12" scrapbook page that highlights different seasons or holidays. Just add photos to remind you of your favorite memories throughout the coming year!

Cold Winter Nights

Holiday cards are the perfect time to pull out your water color paints to make masterpieces.  The cards on this page use Watercolor Paper and  Watercolor Paints to create colorful background sky images. The paints are a combination of greens and blues to look like the Northern Lights.  Two pieces of White Daisy were torn to look like snow covered hills.  The White trees can be found in the Beary Christmas Complements.  The snowflakes were stamped in Versamark and heat embossed with white.  Tiny Bitty Sparkles add some subtle sparkle to the snowflakes.

Christmas Card Month

The Christmas season is in full swing.  During the next month, I'll share all of the samples from my 2017 Beary Christmas Card Workshop.  This year's workshop used the Workshops Your Way® Merriest Wishes Cardmaking Kit, Beary Christmas Paper Packet, and Beary Christmas Complements.  The idea for this card came from Michelle's blog at  Evergreen Memories.  I made a few changes.  The card base uses a Z-fold technique where the front of the card is folded back in half.  When you open the card, the ornament and sentiment block flip open with the card.  The bow is fussy cut from the glitter paper from the Workshop kit and the tree mini-ornaments are from the Beary Christmas Dots.  Check back during the next month to see more samples from the Beary Christmas kit!

Just for FUN!

The Just for FUN campaign is all about Fundamentals! You can take part in the “fun” with discounts on Fundamentals paper packets, Complements, and ribbon packs! There are two ways to save during the month of November. First, you can purchase Fundamentals products individually at 30% off the retail price. Second, purchase a Fundamentals bundle containing the Fundamental paper packet, Complements, AND ribbon, at 40% off the retail price!

SOTM: Through the Year

November's Stamp of the Month is perfect for scrapbooks that showcase a year in the life.  Wanna make a calendar? The month names and small emojis are perfect!

SOTM: Through the Year

A bear in the woods

This bear, especially in the hat!  What a cutie!  I love that he can be stamped to show him holding something within his paws.  He goes so well with these colors and patterns from the Jack collection. 

Outdoor Scrapbooks

Even though my favorite kits are usually the travel and ocean/beach related ones, Jack is actually my favorite one from this Seasonal Expressions.
Spending most of my teens in the 90s, flannel has a significant place in my heart. I wore it to school, to summer camp, to keep warm at home.

 I met my husband and have always known him with a mustache. He looks weird to me without one. This kit has some awesome mustache images.
And who doesn't love the outdoor images? Muscles the Lumberjack, mountains, trees, lots of great things. Can't wait to scrapbook some of my summer camp photos!

Do you love CTMH?

New consultants who join my Team during August and submit qualifying sales can earn your choice of a FREE Cricut® collection, a Block Alphabet Thin Cuts bundle, or an additional $99 in Select Product Credit (that means more free stuff)! Contact me today to hear why I love this company and to see how you can earn more free products as a consultant.

You Don't Know Jack!

Ever play that game, You Don't Know Jack?  It is a great quiz game to test your knowledge, and your quick thinking.  This month's feature artwork is from the Jack collection, but doesn't look like the game at all.  The colors are more earthy than the game, which tended to be bright colors and graphics.  The Jack collection does indeed contain some humorous images, like muscle-y lumberjacks, and pot-bellied bears.  And it also contains some really fun camping and outdoors images to go with the awesome flannel paper.


Color Color Everywhere!

I have three new color news items to share.   The Basics color palette was completely cleared out and we have 10 brand new colors.

On top of that, all of our new cardstock is now double-sided, meaning one side is the same color as our inks, and the other side is a lighter shade of the same color. That means we actually have over 80 colors.

Lastly, the color of the year is called Bashful, a beautiful subtle pink color.

Puppy Obedience School

School starts this month in many states, and along with it all kinds of photograph opportunities for you school age kids. This month's SOTM can help you keep track of all the journaling you need for your scrapbook pages. The "Back to School" stamp can help you mark all of your child's books for the new year.  
Are you the parents of any furbabies?  Document their first and last day of Puppy school and how much they've grown during their obedience training.  I love the wooden frame stamp for framing photos or journaling.

SOTM: School Year

New Annual Inspirations Catalog

Annual Inspirations

The new annual catalog is now available and includes loads of new papers and scrapbooking kits, card kits, and doodads. I can't wait to start crafting with these new items and all the great ideas from the new book.  You can download a copy HERE, or contact me for a copy.

Do you like to party?

Do you have friends?  People you like to hang out with, and maybe sip some wine and eat some cheese?  This is an easy way to spend time with friends catching up while learning how to make a card.  Friends who aren't crafty?  No problem!  Small projects where you learn a new technique make it easy to learn and most enjoyable, all while nibbling that extra brownie and grooving to some music.

Warehouse Sale!

Get your hands on savings every week!

Who doesn't like a warehouse sale!?  Great values on great products.  Head on over to my shopping site and check out the bundles every week.  Yes, they update them every week and you'll find new things you forgot about.
Every Tuesday during the month of August we will unveil a fresh set of retired Close To My Heart products and product bundles at a 50% discount! For this sale only, we’ll also only charge shipping and handling on the price paid instead of on the retail value of the items, the way we normally do. These items will only be available during the week they are launched while supplies last, so you’ll need to act fast!

Papel Picado

Ever heard of Papel Picado?  I bet you've seen the Mexican folk art.  Papel picado or "perforated paper" is a decorative craft made out of paper cut into beautiful and elaborate designs.  Create your own version with the Fiesta Time stamp set.  And then decorate your party with papel picado in beautiful banners of paper designs.

STUCK on You

Cacti are the theme this month with the Prickly Pear stamp and scrapbooking kits. Two Thin Cut/stamp sets are available to help with all things prickly.  Cacti occur in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Most cacti live in habitats subject to at least some drought, and many live in extremely dry environments.  Their spines are modified leaves provide protection from herbivores, camouflage, and assist in water conservation.  Cacti are pretty cool plants to give as gifts and why not create a cacti card to go with it?


Llamas are another part of this kit's images.  They are related to camels, and usually easy to tell the difference from their humped cousins.  But can you tell the difference between llamas and alpacas?  According to modernfarmer, six things are different.
  1. Their ears: Alpacas have short spear-shaped ears, while llamas have much longer, banana-shaped ears.
  2. Their size: Alpacas generally weigh around 150 pounds, while llamas can get as heavy as 400 pounds. At the shoulder, an average alpaca stands between 34 and 36 inches, while a llama generally ranges between 42 and 46 inches.
  3. Their faces: Llamas have a longer face; an alpaca’s face is a bit more blunt, giving them a “smooshed in” look.
  4. Their purpose: For more than 5,000 years alpacas have been bred for fiber (and in Peru for meat as well), while llamas have been bred for the same amount of time as pack animals and meat.
  5. Their hair: The alpaca produces a much finer fiber than the llama. The alpaca also produces more fleece than its larger cousin and in a much greater variety of colors. Llamas also generally do not have as much hair on their head and face as alpacas do.
  6. Their dispositions: Alpacas are very much herd animals, while llamas are more independent minded. Alpacas also tend to be a bit more skittish than llamas, which are often used as guard animals for alpacas, sheep, and other small livestock.

Check out the cool plants and animals in the Prickly Pear collection.

Oh, Canada!

Did you know that Canada celebrated 150 year of Canadian Confederation on July 1, 2017?  In 1867, Canada was created with British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick and then split into provinces.  Happy Canada Day!

One of the sneak peeks of the new 2017-18 Idea Books is in an exclusive product bundle that you can purchase during the month of July at 20% off the retail price! This bundle includes the brand new Canadian-themed digital Cricut® collection as well as a Canada 150 stamp set and 12 sheets of cardstock.

Cacti vs Cactuses

One of those age-old questions, is it cacti or cactuses? Apparently, you can use either! Cacti is the Latin plural of cactus, and some writers use it in English. Cactuses is the English plural. Both are found in the dictionary.  Check out these cute cacti in the Prickly Pear papers.

The Prickly Pear set of papers and goodies has way more than cacti images.  Have you seen the llama?  Goodness, llamas are everywhere these days. Almost as prolific as the baby goats in pajamas.  And all in cute fun!  It also includes great sayings to Celebrate the good times and happy days.

The following three 2-page layouts are part of the Workshop this month.  I LOVE how you can use kits that seem sometimes super specific to a theme, and use them for something else.  None of the following layouts are about living in the southwest, where cacti typically grow.  Easy instructions HERE help you put these layouts together.