More Goodies

Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas in November

Welcome to our Christmas in November Blog Hop where we are showcasing the exclusive Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge which can be purchased exclusively through a Close to My Heart Independent Consultant.

It's hard to believe that it's already November and that Thanksgiving is less than a week away. And well, that means, it's almost Christmas! We have created Christmas themed projects for you and hope to inspire you to get started on YOUR Christmas creations.

If you just happened to come to this blog, you should start at the beginning at Lucy's blog - Love 2 Create.  If you came here from Diana's Free Moments blog, then you're in the right place!

My project is a Christmas Box all decorated up with Cricut cuts from both the Art Philosophy and Artiste cartridges.  My project also uses the Pear and Partridge paper packet from Close to My Heart as well.


Art Philosophy - 
Pg 68 font / no shift for flowers
Pg 46 shift for holly leaves

Artiste - 
Pg 80 no shift for Merry Christmas

Other supplies:
Pear and Partridge Paper Package
Wooden box
Wooden snowflakes 
Glue Dots
Liquid Glass
Black/Green Acrylic Paint
Mod Podge shiny finish

The next stop on your blog hop fun is Kindred Hearts - I hope you enjoy your hop and it really gets you in the mood for some Holiday Cheer!

Here's the entire blog hop lineup in case you get lost along the way:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Listicles - The same, yet different!


There are some things that are good and bad about how I've grown or matured, but every day I hope to be better than the day before...  so, you be the judge - here goes:

1.  I hate saying this, but I gotta just get it out there first - my weight!  I have struggled with being over weight my entire adult life.  When having conversations with the doctors about it - I know it's impacting my life negatively - that part I HATE!  And, to make things worse they (and I) am baffled about how I'm a very educated woman and clearly understand the long term impacts of being overweight, have set out really BIG goals in my life and achieved them, yet this one escapes my grip!  (this is feeling like a confessional, so I'll stop here) - I weigh a LOT more than I did when I graduated high school.  That same girl is inside me somewhere, but covered with layers of my love for food...  :(  I have seriously thought about applying to The Biggest Loser if I could only take 3-4 months off of work and still pay the mortgage!

2.  When I was younger, I was both very active and outgoing, yet couldn't speak up for myself very well.  Early in my professional life (insurance industry), my supervisor had to send me to 'assertiveness' training.  Today, I manage millions of dollars of capital construction money for the public and often need to assert myself in my job, every single day!  So my co-workers laugh heartily when I tell them I had to go to training to learn how to be assertive - they just snicker and say 'it stuck!' LOL!!  (I can't believe they have a pic on the internet for this!!)

3.  I am still stubborn as the day is long - that has NOT changed a bit!  It is what it is...  I always tell people that I was raised a German, Catholic, military (dependent)...  I'm not sure how that totally makes me stubborn (instead of just traditional), but I am!  My friends and family would quickly attest to this fact!

4.  I still very much love the outdoors and did a lot of hiking when younger - today, I'm lucky to walk very far without pain.  I'm sad for this, but desperate to not give it up!  I love the sun shining on me, seeing critters in their natural environment, and the sound of running water...  walking is my favorite form of exercise!  Zumba is the second, but that has NOTHING to do with the outdoors!!  Somehow dancing (and music) makes it less painful ~ go figure! Now where did my youthful stamina go?

5.  As I've grown older, I know that my mind has totally grown up to be more open-minded and compassionate. With time, I've certainly become more adept at being a better listener (although I still try to work on that every day - see # 2), can better understand others' views and positions on an issue, and have forgiveness (not always, but I try every day to be better at it).  I think this is a natural progression, but I specifically attribute it to my:  1. continued education; 2. travel experiences to other cultures; 3. living longer and having seen the unexpected; 4.  compassion for others and the need to understand them...  when young - it was my way or the highway (see #3)

6.  How I know I'm getting 'old'.  Last night for example I was up 1/2 of the night with restless legs and just couldn't relax enough to sleep.  I fell asleep somewhere around 3am, and felt hungover all day today.  Not a stick of 'partying' at all last night and no alcohol involved, but the hungover feeling all day!  Staying up for an 'all nighter' is just NO WHERE in my vocabulary anymore! (and I'm ok with that!)

7.  Sleeping in on the weekends - at 50 51 is still my favorite thing!  I get up at o-dark thirty Monday thru Friday every week and go to bed between 10 and mostly at 11 all week - so...  I NEVER get 8 hrs of sleep during the weeknights, and ALWAYS try to make up for it on the weekend...  (even tho I know you 'can't make it up') I am also old enough to know that is VERY BAD for me to vary my sleep schedule by more than 2 hrs daily - but ...  I've been known to sleep in till NOON on weekends...  My mom has finally figured out not to call before about 10am on Saturday (thankful) and her first question is - are you up yet?!

8.  Snoring!  Yup, I snore, much to my husband's dismay!  He's been known to wear ear plugs to block out my rumblings, but it is what it is.  I have already done a sleep study and have borderline sleep apnea, but thankfully don't have to have a CPAP machine (thank you!) YET!  I have allergy issues and with that and my weight - well it is what it is!

9. My love for little ones (human or animal)...  I was always the one offering (for free) to babysit when younger, wanted nothing more than to have kids of my own as soon as I got out of high school and still today - crave for time with the grand kids!  So for this - no change, if anything, I'm even more obsessed by the little ones because I don't have any close to me that I see regularly!  >:(  I shoulda been an elementary school teacher!  I just shoulda!  Kindergarten should have been just about right - then I could have kids and do arts and crafts all day every day, right?  (LOL)  Besides, babies smell sooooo good!  Animals, I love them just as much - but they stink and I love them anyway!!  Specially when my daughter's dog licks me on the face!  :)

10.  My love of music and/or the type of music I listen to.  As a child of the 60's and 70's - classic rock is what I grew up on.  I could not crank it up loud enough and ALWAYS was being told to turn it down by my dad (You're going to ruin your ears!!).  Now I listen to a lot of country, but am finding myself listening to lots of other types this past year because the country is getting very 'rock n roll'y' (irony?).  The reality is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE music in all forms, have a very wide variety on my iPod including classic, rock, pop, blues, alternative, a Capella, celtic, hip-hop, Indian and cajun music (I live in Washington state, lol).  I also still CRANK IT UP!  The louder the better and I sing loud right along with it!  :O)  I particularly love music that makes me want to dance - Just call me the dancing queen!

With that long discussion about my list, I hope you pop on over to Monday Listicles with Stasha at Northwest Mommy to check out her and other folks' lists.  It always makes for a fun read!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Very Merry Christmas Blog Hop

Welcome to our October Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! This month Close to My Heart is offering a stamp set called "Very Merry Christmas". This set can be purchased exclusively through a Close to My Heart Independent Consultant for only $5 with a qualifying purchase of $50. (That’s a $17.95 value!)

In this hop, you will see projects featuring this fun stamp set from many talented crafty ladies! Enjoy our blog hop - we hope we inspire you to create your “very” own Merry Christmas projects!

We are having a giveaway – that’s right, blog candy for you hoppers! I am giving away a stamp set to one of our hoppers! The stamp set I'm giving away is called "Bonjour" (B1414). All you have to do to be eligible to win is to leave a comment on each blog and become a follower of my blog by clicking on 'follow me' on the sidebar.  I will be picking a random winner on Saturday Oct 20th, so be sure to enter your comments and join my blog by Midnight on Friday Oct 19th.

For this blog challenge, I kept it fairly simple.  This is one of the cards I created for my 15 card Christmas Workshop.  I used the Artiste cartridge by Cricut (Z1790) which is only available through a Close To My Heart Consultant.  You can get more information about the cartridge at my CTMH website.  The two cuts I focused on are the mittens found on Pg 79 Accent 2 (no shift) and then the tag was cut from Pg 34 3-D Object (shift).  I used red bakers twine and made a small bow on the tag and then a piece strung on a red brad for the mittens to be hanging on a peg.  The background is made with three simple strips of the B&T Duo card stock from the Pear and Partridge paper packet (X7162B).  I did a little daubing with my Ponderosa Pine (Z2145) and Cranberry (Z2116) Exclusive Inks pads.  I added some of my FAVORITE bling, bittys (Z1263).  I also used some Glitter Glitz, silver (Z1482) for the cuff of the mitten and it draws up the Cranberry ink and makes it red.  I hope you enjoy it!

If you have just hopped onto my blog, please start at the beginning at Lucy's blog – Love 2 Create. If you came from " name of person " of " name of blog with URL link embedded" (the person before you in the lineup) then you are in the right place!

Your next stop on our Very Merry Christmas blog hops is Stephanie at The Quilted Scrapper.

Here is the complete lineup in case you get lost along the way:

Thanks for hopping along with us - we hope we were able to inspire you to create your own "Very Merry Christmas" projects.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Monday Listicles ~ 10 compliments I'd love to share or receive!

Stasha's Monday Listicle for this week is all about compliments! She's encouraging us to list out compliments that we'd love to either give to someone else or receive from someone else... So here goes:

1. You are a ROCK STAR! (I often shorten this to say - YOU ROCK!!) I love this saying and use it fairly often when folks really pull off something great. I'm not really sure why a 'Rock Star' is something special, but... I do love me some classic rock music!

2. My Handsome Dude!! I still get twitter-pated when my hubby is all shined up and ready to take me out on the town. (I also call him my Stud-Muffin, but he HATES that compliment no matter how affectionately I give it...LOL)  He looks AND smells nice....!! So handsome, I am soooo lucky!

3. Adorable! I often use this when someone has created or made something from scratch or with their hands and it tickles the eyes... I also use it fairly consistently when it has to do with animals or children/infants.

4. Cool Beans! This is one of my favorite sayings that I've picked up from my (adult) kids and I use it often to admire something or someone...

5. Amazing! Probably one I'd use when someone thinks up something that is unique, wonderful and stands out.

6. You Complete Me! This is a really good one and I use it sparingly with my sweet husband! This typically comes out of the tool box when he provides the voice of reason and balances me out... ok, this happens more than I like, but he is such a great 'compliment' to me!

7. You move like Jagger! This is a new one from the song by Maroon 5... AND I LOVE IT!! Cause I want to move like Jagger... You want the moves like jagger, I've got the moves like jagger, I've got the mooooooves... like jagger.....    you can't help but make yourself MOVE LIKE JAGGER!

8.  Hey good lookin', what cha got cookin'?  This is an oldie but goodie, everyone likes to be called, 'good lookin'  :O)  This one comes from (in my era) Jimmy Buffet, but you gotta enjoy an old Hank Williams version.

9.  Do that again!  That is a great compliment to ask someone to repeat what they did because you liked it so much!  Two is ALWAYS better than one, right?

10.  For #10, I am going to combine two things that are the biggest compliment - honesty and trustworthiness.  If someone tells you that you are honest or trustworthy - those (to me) are the most meaningful a person can give/receive, because if you have that, you have 'everything'!

As I have been contemplating compliments this week, I've discovered (or remembered) a few things that I want to pass along - 

  • First, when giving a compliment, it must be sincere - people can see right through a fake compliment and you'll loose points instead of getting them!
  • It's hard for me to think of receiving compliments, although everyone wants to...  it's much easier to give than to receive, but it is important that a person can gratiously receive compliments as well as give them!
Happy Monday Listicles!  Head on over to Stasha's blog to find more listicles for some fun reading!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Here Comes the Bride - La Belle Vie by CTMH

I'm getting so excited for my cousin who is getting married in two weeks!  She loves elegant, yet thrifty ideas in decorating as well as her wedding planning.  Since she loves my work, she's allowing me to prepare two projects.

The first is the MR & MRS WAMALA letter signs for the bridal party to hold during the photos.  Those were easy to accomplish with my Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge, that only be purchased through a Close To My Heart consultant.  I stocked up on some dark plum card stock and went to work.  I had to determine how big to make the letters in order for them to all fit on a 12 X 12 page.  To do that, I searched the Art Philosophy booklet to determine which letter is the largest (it is found on page 7) letter in the alphabet with the basic font.  It shows me that the 'G' is the largest and would determine the largest size you could on a given size of paper/card stock.  I loaded the card stock, chose the 'G' and told the machine to fit to page.  It then calculates the maximum size the G can be cut on the 12 X 12 and displays it at 7-3/4".  I then set my machine on 7-3/4" size and cut all letters at that measurement.  The machine cuts the letters all proportionally with that dimension even if it didn't fill the page.

See the diagram below for more information.

The second project she trusted me with was to make a 'Here comes the Bridge' sign that the flower girl will carry!  For this I perused the internet and spent quite a bit of quality time on Pintrest (every crafter's best friend)...  I settled on using the La Belle Vie papers to use at the sign base, and then used the dark plum for the lettering.

To make the sign base, I purchased a package of 3 canvas boards at the local craft store.  I needed something that is flat and stable, but also made a great base to add layers of papers and card stock without getting soft, folded or bent since an 8 year old will be carrying it down the aisle.  Before I started, I checked in with the bride about colors and combinations of ribbon, paper, cardstock and my plan.  She feel in love with the La Belle Vie papers since the deep purples complimented her wedding theme...  I took the two sheets of the tan papers (stripe and french writing) and tore them into pieces to layer over each other.  I was a bit nervous about the Mod Podge since I hadn't done it since grade school, so I tried out a test piece of the base and papers to see how to layer them up and avoid the bubbles...

Here is how I proceeded:  I began the Mod Podge process by putting on an initial base later over the canvas board, not too thick!  As I began to layer up the papers and card stock, I learned a few tricks of the trade to share with you ~

Helpful Hints when using Mod Podge:

  1. use only very thin layers of the Mod Podge 
  2. put on a fresh layer PRIOR to placing a layer of paper and let it sit for 5-10 mins till it becomes a bit sticky and acts more like adhesive
  3. use your paint brush or sponge to apply the paper layer to get the air out from underneath - if that doesn't work, use your fingers to get it all laid out flat, and wipe off any excess
  4. if you put your paper on it when the Mod Podge is freshly applied, your paper will likely slide around and you'll struggle more with placement (see hint #2)
  5. let the under layer stabilize and dry BEFORE adding the next layer over your paper - trust me and don't get anxious here...  If your paper gets too wet with under and over layers both wet at the same time, you will bubble up as it tries to dry or as you place more Mod Podge on, your papers will slip
  6. just add consistent, even and THIN layers and let each dry fully before you do the next - don't rush this, take your time and do many thin layers, you will like the results much better
  7. as you get towards your top layers, be sure to use brush or sponge strokes all the same direction so it doesn't look random and every which way (unless of course, that's what you like)!!

Here are a few pics of the process

first put thin layer on base, then place paper
use brush to lay paper flat and get out bubbles
use brush to apply thin layer on top of paper
apply thin layers over top, let dry, repeat
After I did about 6 more layers of the Mod Podge over the papers, I was good to go!  I then drilled two holes in the upper left and right corners for the ribbon hanger.  I also included some decorative ribbons intended to hang down to dress it up a bit as well as a few Cricut cut flowers from the Art Philosophy cartridge - these flowers are truly my very favorite and I'm ALWAYS looking for a new way to use them.

Here are the Cricut cuts made:

Art Philosophy ~
'Here comes the' letters were individually cut from the Font Layer of each letter separately all cut at 2"
pg 58 Font Layer for the scroll work in the upper right and lower left corners - cut at 4-3/4"
pg 68 Font Shift for the flowers - cut in 5-1/2", 3-3/4" and 2-1/2" 

Artiste ~
pg 61 'Bride & Groom' - Accent1 cut at 'fit to cut' (cut largest possible) on a 12 X 12 card stock.  I cut away the '& Groom' so it left only 'Bride'

While making the flowers, I included some used my dauber with white ink to give it a more natural look and then added lavender sparkles with 3(each) pop dots to lift up the bling in the center.

And here it is ~ all dressed up for the wedding!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Monday Listicles - 10 Autumn Must Have's

Stasha has us all in the mood for Autumn, because certainly our weather lately has not been doing that...  We're still getting summer weather with days reaching the 80 F temps.  So we'll use this blog post to put us in the mood....  Here are the things that Autumn 'must have'...

1.  Pumpkins that are getting orange and bright...  Then we can have fresh roasted pumpkin seeds to munch on, scary and fun carved pumpkins, and of course this beautiful fall bouquet.

2.  Cooler nights ~ so thankful to have the 40's back at night!  It makes for much nicer sleeping with the windows open and covers on.

3.  Candy Corn - nothing better than fresh candy corn ~ I think it's my favorite candy!

4.  Trick-or-Treaters showing up at our door all dressed up in the latest fairy or superhero costume!

5.  Warm berry (or peach, apple, or ...) crisps fresh and hot from the oven with ice cream melting over the top...  yum!

6.  Fires in the fire pit are one of my most favorite activities that we do in the fall with the crispy cold air in the evening, but warm toes as they are propped up on the fire ring.

7.  Sweatshirts are a fall - MUST HAVE!  They have to be big and sloppy and worn in with a hole here or there showing their age as your favorite layer of clothing.

8.  The newest TV series premieres on the tube...  The return of the old favorites where you get to find out 'if they lived, or if they died' and a new batch of shows to fall in love with.

9.  Fall and Halloween decorations around the house that last into early November where Christmas decorations take their place.

10.  Crafty projects all over the house waiting to be done for gifts during the Holidays!

What must you have when Summer turns to Fall?  If you've enjoyed this Monday Listicle, pop on over to Stasha's post at The Good Life for more lists by other bloggers!

{Photo borrowed from Homestead Survival's Facebook page)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Walk in the Moonlight - Trick or Treat!

Thank you for joining us on our “Take a Walk in the Moonlight” Blog Hop. We have a fabulous path for you to follow as you take your walk in the moonlight with us as we feature Close to My Heart’s Moonlight paper pack.

If you just happened to come to this blog, you should begin your walk at the beginning at Lucy's blog -

My project is a mini trick-or-treat pale all dressed up in Moonlight papers. For this project I had a small clear paint pale from the local craft store (mine is about 3" high). I cut the paper the correct size and length in a rectangle to fit inside the pale, small enough that it rested along the pale wall. I then used two borders cut from the paper packs to get the polka dots and the banner with the Halloweenie terms along the top border.

Then I got busy with the Cricut cartridges - both the Art Philosophy & Artiste! You can purchase either of these cartridges from Close to My Heart for $99 and it comes with 3 D sized coordinating stamp sets as well as coordinating cardboard shapes. Cuts I made with the Cricut include:

Artiste -
Spider pg 77 cut at 1-1/4" <accent 4> <shift> and the bat on pg 76 cut at 3/4" <card> <no shift>
Art Philosophy -
pg 68 <font> <no shift> 3-1/2",
<font> <shift> 3-1/2",
and <font> <shift> 3"
pg 34 shift <leaf2> 2-1/2", and two times 1-1/2"
layer shift 2-1/2" and two times 1-1/2"

Moonlight paper pack
Tombow Adhesive
Smokey Plum Exclusive Inks
and OF COURSE, the CANDY CORN! :O) My favorite part of the whole project!! Here are a few detail shots for you to check out the whole project... 

I used my dauber with some Smokey Plum Exclusive Inks to top it all off and make it a little spooky and dark!  The orange flowers and green leaves really took a 'fall' look instead of the bright look that they started out with. Then my favorite touch - I put the Bittys in for the eyes!  So cute and makes the back of your head sing the theme song from the Twilight Zone!!

I hope you enjoy, I know I will.... YUM, my favorite Halloween treat!!  This by far is my husband's favorite project I've produced...  Do you think it's because it's full of CANDY CORN?  LOL
The next stop on your moonlight walk is Joanne Barnes at Josie's Joy.
Here is the list of all the talented consultants who are participating in this months blog hop:
3.  Deanne Deanne Stamps
4.  Bethany ~ Stamping At Home
5.  Wendy ~ My Scrapbooking Blog
6.  Stephanie ~ Quilted Scrapper Blogspot
7.  Erin ~ I'm Createrin
8.  Maria Woodworth ~ Mari Woodworth <= You came from here
9.  Carolyn Heniges ~ Nuts 4 Scrappin'  <= YOU ARE HERE!
10.  Joanne Barnes ~ Josie's Joy <= Your next stop
11.  Julia Hammond ~ You Can Create CTMH
12.  Theodora Stacey ~ Celebrate Crafts

Friday, September 28, 2012

Monday Listicles - 10 Things In My Home

I've contemplated this post entirely too long, so here it is in all it's glory!!  I love reading Stasha's Monday's Listicles and related posts on friends blogs, so occasionally join in.  This weeks theme is about 10 Things In My Home.  Stasha talked about 10 out of place things, but my theme is about 10 'crafty' things that are NOT where they belong!  I hope you enjoy this random post ~ because it doesn't get more random than this:

1.  The two jelly rolls of fabric sitting on the coffee table while I covet the beautiful blue and yellow colors.  I'm planning a quilt weekend with my Bestie and am trying to figure out the pattern and 'other fabric' to compliment it as I plan for a trip to the FABRIQUE store!!  :O)
2.  The Here Comes The Bride sign that I have been doing Mod Podge on for my cousin's wedding in 2 weeks, also on the coffee table.
3.  The Halloween project sitting on my coffee table that will premiere on my blog at midnight tonight...  Can't wait for you all to see it!  And it's a secret, so I can't tell you what it is, except to say it's YUMMY!!
4.  Fabric Depot coupons for #1's trip to the fabric store.
5.  The sewing machine that currently is holding down the kitchen table.  I used it a week or so ago to put the binding on my Halloween quilt, so lovely...
6.  Said Halloween Quilt all put together, but I'm contemplating one more row of quilting near the binding - just to safely hold it together long into the future.  This quilt is the very first quilt that I did 'free-motion' quilting on, so beautiful and I'm surprisingly more comfortable doing free-motion quilting than I thought I would be...
7.  The quilt pattern book that a friend at work borrowed to check out the Shakespeare in the Park pattern.
8.  The bag sitting next to me on the floor that has Christmas applique patterns in it so I can plan for the upcoming holiday bazaar's projects.
9.  Random scraps of paper and a pair of scissors that I used to make the Here Comes The Bride sign  on coffee table.
10.  Last week's swap cards in YET ANOTHER bag on the floor near me.  My husband calls me The Bag Lady ~ and now you can too, now that you've discovered I have all these bags just 'hangin' out next to me in my comfy chair!

I think it's time to clean up MY mess!  My hubby is a great housekeeper (Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, if you ask him!) and keeps the house picked up.  If my crafty stuff hangs out - outside the craft room too long, it gets moved back to the craft room for me to deal with....  So spoiled I am!  I do love him so...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Artiste Blog Hop - September 2012

Welcome to our September ARTISTE Blog Hop! Each month we are showcasing the amazing, exclusive ARTISTE Cricut Cartridge which can be only purchased through a Close to My Heart Independent Consultant.

We don't want to scare you but Halloween is a little over a month away and we know you have to be thinking about what YOU are going to create for this spooky holiday! We decided to show you all the creative projects you can make using our exclusive Artiste Cricut cartridge. You will be hopping along our haunted trail of creativity - you never know what you will see next!

If you just happened to come to this blog, you should start at the beginning at Lucy's blog.

Also, to help you get ready to start making your own Halloween projects Lucy has some blog candy for you! She is giving away a Moonlight Complements Dimensional Elements pack! That's two (2) sheets of Printed Dimensional Elements that you can use to create your own Halloween project! There is a picture of the blog candy on her blog. All you have to do to be eligible to win is to leave a comment on everyone's blog AND become a follower of Lucy's blog. (If you are already a follower, just let her know in your comment.)

My project is a card where I really tapped into the cricut cuts for Halloween to create a SPOOKY scene from a graveyard! I used the bats, head stones, cat, and skeleton from the Artiste cartridge... but I also snuck in 3 trees from the Art Philosophy cartridge as well... they were the best spooky trees! :O)

I did a lot of daubing to mottle the trees, background and tomb stones and with that touch, it gives them an CREEPY feel!  They I played with the bats for a while (no comments please...!!  Bats R Cool!) and rolled their wings forward so they look more like they're flying around. I love love love the bittys for their eyes!!!!  I really messed with the two bats sitting on the tomb stones and made them larger so they'd appear in the foreground... and smaller ones to the back.  For the eyes on the smaller ones, I just used a tiny touch of the silver glitter gel.  I just made a variety of sizes of the bats to give a sense of depth.  I also cut the trees in two sizes, so they'd not look uniform then I layered them like you'd find naturally...

I do love this skeleton and you have to be very cautious with his bones when lifting them off the Cricut matt - but the Cricut does all the proportioning for you so be sure to not change your size between cuts so that the head of the skeleton and body are proportional to each other.  Use one setting and cut both - it will do all the work for you!  And, no graveyard with bats and skeletons are complete without adding the infamous black cat!  It was a nice touch to add the SPINE-CHILLING scene built completely of Cricut cuts!

The two cartridges really do compliment each other and the new Artiste cartridge has more holiday cuts in them than the Art Philosophy cartridge so you're ready for all types of holidays and fun events.  It's a great all inclusive cartridge with over 700 impages ~ you can't loose with this great purchase for $99.  It includes the cartridge for over 700 images, 3 stamp sets and 3 sets of Dimensional Elements in coordinating shapes!  It really gives you lots of range to get your creativity on!  For more info about purchasing the cartridge, go to my Close To My Heart page but be sure to finish the hop along first to see more great ideas from our blog hop group!

Here are  a few directions to help you make this great GHOULISHLY themed card...

Cricut Cuts:

Artiste Cartridge ~
Bats Pg 76 @ 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4"
Tomb Stones pg 76 @ 1-1/2"
Skeleton Pg 76 @ 3-1/2"
Cat Pg 76 @ 3/4"
Boo! Pg 77 @ 3/4"

Art Philosophy ~
Trees Pg 53 3-1/2 and 3"

Other cuts ~
4.25 X 5.5 Black
4 X 5.25 Chocolate

Close To My Heart ~ Supply List:
Cricut Artiste Cartridge
Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge
Card stock:  black, whisper, slate, chocolate, desert sand, colonial white and white daisy
Whisper Exclusive Inks
Slate Exclusive Inks
Liquid Glass
Silver ~ Glitz Glitter Gel
Tombow adhesive

The next stop on the haunted trail is Julie Hammond at You Can Create.

Here's the entire blog hop lineup in case you get spooked along the way:
1. Lucy - Love 2 Create
2. Darla - Caution Crafting is Contagious
3. Diana - Diana's Free Moments <= You came from here
4. Carolyn - Nuts 4 Scrappin' <= YOU ARE HERE!
5. Julia Hammond - You Can Create <= Your next stop
6.Wendy Kessler - My Scrapbooking Blog
7. Pam Stewart - I Candy Scraps
8. Carolyn Mendoza - Crafting With Carolyn
9. Jennifer Kramer - 4 Hearts Scrapbooking
10. Maria Woodworth - Maria's Paper Craft Place
11. Kindred Hearts - It Makes TOTAL Cents
12. Ginger Morriello - Ginger's Creative Cottage

Thanks for stopping by for some Halloween fun -- hope we didn't scare the creativity out of you! Muah-ha-ha!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Craft Warehouse Give-away!!!

I need to give a great big shout out to Craft Warehouse in Vancouver, WA who is sharing this great Bo Bunny Collection "Detour" with me through their weekend give-away!

Thank you to Craft Warehouse and your constant campaigns for all of your fans and customers...!!  If you see anything on this blogspot that is NOT Close to My Heart products - they surely came from CW!  Thank you soooooo much!!  Can't wait to get my goodies and play with them and showcase them here for you!!  :)

Here is the blog address and maybe, just maybe you'll be their next winner!!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

September Stamp of the Month ~ Fall Favorites

Welcome to our September Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! This month Close to My Heart is offering a stamp set called "Fall Favorites". This set can be purchased exclusively through a Close to My Heart Independent Consultant for only $5 with a qualifying purchase of $50.

In this hop, you will see projects featuring this fun stamp set from many talented crafty ladies! We hope you enjoy our blog hop today!

If you have just hopped onto my blog, please start at the beginning at Lucy's blog at Love To Love to Create It All. If you came from Jennifer Kramer of 4 Hearts Scrapbooking, then you are in the right place!

Well, the sun is setting earlier in the evening and the 90 and 100 degree temps are gone for the year (I HOPE!) and so we turn to Fall.  With this stamp set, you can't help but be motivated to harvest something.  As I type this blog post, there are no less than 10 friends on Facebook canning this week and last...  So harvest it is!

I used the stamp set in a fairly traditional scrapbooking way, in that I just used black ink and then colored with my marker set.  I tried to make him look like he's been hanging for a little while in the garden to help ward off the crows.  I did stamp more birds and then used pop dots to lift them up to make them more life like!  I also did some distressing and background daubing with smokey plum ink.  I really ties the color pallet all together with the smokey plum B&T scallop sheet and some basic black and more smokey plum card stock to frame it.  Then I tied up a couple of rounds of raffia to top it all off!

For this second card, I used the Artiste cartridge from Cricut and cut the spider web at 4".  I also cut a matching spider at 3/4".  The spider can be found on pg 77 and used <Accent4><shift><Halloween>.  The spider web is on pg 76 and used <Accent4><Eek!>.  Then I stamped 'pick o' the patch' with basic black and used smokey plum with daubers to distress it a bit.  I used the silver glitter gel on the spider to give it a little sparkle and also used my markers on the pumpkins and used my favorite tool, the dauber, with sadle ink to dress it up some.  The smokey plum stripes make a perfect match with a bit of distressing with smokey plum again and then put a strip of B&T plum scallop on the bottom and the solid smokey plum card stock on the top.  This one was a lot of fun and really turned out nice with the web in the background... It's a perfect frame.

I thought I would share a couple of pics of 'the girls' and I as we were scrappin' up a storm Wednesday when I whipped up these two cards!  The hubby made us all dinner and I mixed up a pitcher of sangria to go with ~ doesn't get much better than that!!  We were able to just focus on the paper, ink, stamps and bling!!  :)  I am so blessed...  My husband is the BESTEST!!

I really love this design of this stamp set especially since fall is 'my time of year'!!  I was struggling with what to do with it, but as I got back to basics, I truly love the result!  I hope you enjoy it as well...  Please be sure to leave a comment and join my blog if you are liking what you are seeing!!

Your next stop on the Fall Favorites Stamp Set Blog Hop is with Madeline Morcelo of  Inking From The Heart.

Here is a complete list of the blog hop in case you get lost along the way:

Lucy :  Love 2 Create
Darla : Caution: Crafting is Contagious!
Shelly Mendenhall : Inky Wheeler's Artsy Musings
Eva Friesen : For The Love Of Creating
Judith Ashmore : My Blog Adventure
Stephanie : The Quilted Scrapper
TinaGale : My Scrappy Ideas
Maria Woodworth : Maria's Paper Craft Place
Jennifer Kramer : 4 Hearts Scrapbooking
Carolyn : Nuts 4 Scrappin'
Madeline Morcelo : Inking From The Heart
Theodora : Celebrate Crafts
Laura W. :  Scrappinsweetie's Escape
Michelle Stewart : My Creations With Michelle

Thanks for hopping along with us - we hope we were able to inspire you to create your own "Fall Favorites" projects.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Early Birthday for My Guy!

Here is a card I whipped up for the hubby...  I used the design layout from MojoMonday257, but won't be giving this to him till his birthday in October!  (ok, so I'm a tad early!)  The design comes from one of the design team members, Julee Tilman.  So much fun!

In any case, I got a little creative with my Artiste Cricut cartridge (available through Close To My Heart) and cut a gear (pg 39) out of some sparkly silver card stock.  It was a little thick, so I used a harder pressure and slower speed to accomplish this.  I just followed the 'helpful hints' Cricut settings guide to determine how to get it cut.

I added a few details like sponging the lace first with grey wool Exclusive Inks, and then with cocoa Exclusive Inks (both CTMH).  I also used my National Scrapping Month stamp set Its Your Day, 'enjoy the ride' stamp with the small star (also CTMH).  I had this paper hanging around for my guys All-Harley racing album so it already had gears and stars on to match.  I just stayed with the theme and used a border from that paper for the flag.  I also daubed some more cocoa on the message tag to distress and make it look old.  I didn't just do the edges, I included it all over in first and second versions to make it a little lighter over the letters.

I love the design and it worked perfectly on this 'guy' kind of card!  I also added some Tim Holtz designed gears I picked up since my guy is a Harley rider! They fit him perfectly!!  I will have to wait (im)patiently to give it to him!

Here are some pics of the card and some of the details... I hope you love it as much as I do!!  I clearly had to swap out the flowers for gears, but I know you'll love it too!!  :)

Monday Listicles ~ Back to School Season

As a 50 year old and long done with 'first days of school' in my house, I thought Stasha at Monday Listicles gives me a good reason to list 10 things about the first things I think of when I think of school....

I have graduated from high school, received my Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University and more recently finished my Executive Masters Degree in Public Administration from Portland State University.  So I have a lot to reminisce on with my 19 years of school experience! So here are the first 10 things that pop into my head as I think of school...

1.  I think of how much I HATED it when my birthday (Sept. 6th - TODAY!!!) fell on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL ...  That is the WORST way to spend your birthday...  (ok, not really, but wasn't always my first choice on how to spend my birthday!)  And I remember that I was almost always the youngest in school to do anything - like drive, etc...

2.  I remember how much fun it was getting new outfits for school...  It was the one time a year when mom took all 5 (FIVE!!) kids to the store and let us pick out 'a few' outfits to start off the school year...  [How she did that for FIVE kids just boggles my mind...  she was a good saver, clearly!!]  That way we were all prepared for the class pictures that always seemed to fall within the first two weeks of a new school year.... Ikes!!  We always looked so much younger at the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year ~ it's amazing what 9 months does to a kid!!

3.  And then there was how shopping for school supplies as a parent was always a pain in the patootie - to chase the sales, make sure I could afford all they needed and to NEVER give them a hard time about the things that would show up on the 'shopping' list ~ and I was only buying for two on a single income (child support, what child support??????).  Like the extra boxes of Kleenex the teachers needed in their classrooms because the school budgets were cut back and they school couldn't afford any.

4.  Besides the first 3 memories I've shared, I also have a lot of fond memories of school - I am a 'lifetime learner' and will always be.  But I didn't find it fun when I went back to school in my 40's and found out my recall (memory) was not nearly as spry as it was in my teens and twenties....  Oiy!  How was I to get through school without the best 'internal hard drive'...  I learned to take better notes (external hard drive), to study harder and repeat things as many times as it took....  LOL

5.  I also loved meeting new teachers and classmates and would always wonder at the start of the school year who would be my bestie by the end of the school year ~ it was NEVER who I expected it to be.  (we moved a lot in the military, so adjusted often to new schools...)  And learning to trust, befriend and enjoy another is always a blessing and often in unexpected ways!

6.  I remember my kids being all excited at the beginning of the school year and ready to jump into the books (as was I when I was their age) to get homework done and in on time and then by the end of the year, it was like pulling teeth to even get them to do one piece of homework.  The excitement of the 'new' in our lives always captures our attention!!

7.  I spent countless meetings with my son's school administrators, counselors and teachers always looking for a way for an exceptionally busy ADHD child to fit into a school system that wasn't quite as prepared as they hoped to be!  God love their patience and passion of his teachers and school officials....!!  They always loved Teddy's passion and energy and were constantly trying to figure out how to capture it!  Bless you every one!

8.  I also remember almost every math teacher I ever had...  Math was always my favorite subject and I excelled in it!  I often ended out being a teachers assistant and mentored other students.  I even did this through college and have often thought of doing it at the local school.  I've even applied to be a math teacher at the local college.

9.  I am a promoter of post-secondary schooling and especially advanced degrees.  I have seen myself grow from being on welfare assistance (food stamps) to having the ability to raise two wonderful children on my own and providing them with healthy food, a safe place to be raised and taught them the value of an education ~ a value I hope to share with everyone, but most especially my children and grandchildren!!  It opens up doors, that you cannot even come close to imagining!  You NEVER know what you don't KNOW!

10.  I am most thankful and reminiscent of ALL of the schooling I've received and accomplishments I've had!!  I am amazed that I hold a masters degree and that means I keep company with less than 10% of the US population! That is weird and sensational all at the same time! I don't quite picture myself as having 'mastered anything' but that is what that degree says!! But I could fall into another category: 1 billion people worldwide are illiterate..... I am thankful I am not ~ and neither are you if you're reading this blog!  :)

Who do you want to be when you 'grow up' (figuratively, not literally)?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Auntie's 70th Birthday

I thought I'd share a project I did a week or two ago for my namesake, Auntie Carol.  My mom decided to throw her sister a small party to celebrate this milestone birthday and I wanted to mark the special occasion with something special.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  I spent a 'few hours' on this project because I wanted it 'just so'.  And I made it up completely from scratch!

I did a lot of Cricut matching with my Art Philosophy cartridge.  I did the banner cuts (to match the Dimensional Elements - Banners), the word 'Auntie' and the flowers all from the cartridge and really love how it turned out.  I stamped directly on the banner with my November (2012) Stamp of the Month:  Capture The Date.  I used foam tape to pop up the letters on the left border to give it some depth.  I also cut the flowers and used my matching My Acrylix Hooray Bouquet.  All of the colors came together just right!

To tie it all up, I used some orange bakers twine to string the banner and make a little bow and also added a red sparkle as the flower center!

~ Happy 70th Birthday Auntie Carol ~

Saturday, September 1, 2012

National Stamping Month Blog Hop

Good morning and welcome to our National Stamping Month Blog Hop. At Close to My Heart, we want to celebrate the everyday moments in our lives. Close to My Heart is doing that by offering an amazing exclusive double-stamp set called “It’s Your Day”. This is two D-size stamp sets in one!!

This amazing set has nearly 50 images designed to inspire you to capture your life one day at a time. There are trendy chevron backgrounds, classic images as well as versatile phrases. You can get your own stamp set for only $5 with a qualifying order of $35. This stamp set has a value of $35.90!

We also are happy to announce that one of our consultants, Maria Woodworth, of Maria's Paper Craft Place is offering blog candy. To be eligible to win, please be sure to leave a comment on each blog post and become a follower of her blog. Thanks so much Maria!

We're so excited to be doing this hop and we have a fabulous lineup with some very talented ladies. There will be lots of fun projects.

If you just happened to come to this blog, you should start at the beginning at Lucy's blog -

My project is something I had to whip up quickly since it's Friday night and I'm just getting it ready for you to see my creation (a little late, but still before the posting deadline - whew!!)!  I used some daisy white card stock, my Hollyhock Exclusive Inks pad and my new Whisper Exclusive Inks pad, some daubers, bittys (reds assortment), and liquid glass.  And of course the National Stamping Month stamp set.  I chose the zig-zag pattern to have an anchor piece, then I played with the hearts for the message, "I <heart> this life <heart XOXO>"  and added a little embellishment to the front by using my Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge to make perfectly matched at 2" and 1.25" hearts  <heart1>.  I also have gotten into making backgrounds with stamps so for this one I used the small plain heart stamp from the stamp set and used the Hollyhock and Whisper stamps in first, second and third impressions (ink once, stamp multiple times) to get some fading effects.

A couple of other techniques I've not tried before that I chose to try here was to use the liquid glass to highlight the first edition of the hearts and also in the message.  I like how it lifts those hearts right up off the cardstock but also learned when you're in a hurry, it's not a great time to try it!  It needs to dry fully between applications so you can build it up fairly thick...  Now the next step is to learn how to use liquid glass to antique it (but that's for another day!)...  Then I tied it all off with a small piece of red bakers twine both across the zig-zag, but also to tie the two Cricut hearts together as the embellishment!  I also used foam tape to pop the message up a bit from the base page...

The other technique I have been trying to master is the 'edge distresser' - I typically use the daubers to make my cardstock look distressed, but trusted myself less just doing it on my own...  but with the CTMH edge distresser - it was a breeze.  Just run the paper through the edge distresser and voila'!!!  Looks like it's been a little used and abused!!  Check out the pic below of the hearts and see how nifty that works!

I like how it turned out - "I think..."  So you'll have to leave me a message or post and tell me if you like it!  I'm still trying to let it grow on me as I learn more and more how to use and demo the Close To My Heart products.  I do hope you enjoy it tho...  It is true that, "I LOVE THIS LIFE" - As a Close To My Heart Consultant!!

The next stop on your blog hop fun is with Bethany who does 'Stamping At Home".  You can click Bethany's name and be on your way to continue the hop.

Here's the entire blog hop lineup in case you get lost along the way:

1.  Lucy ~
7.  Carolyn ~ <-- YOU ARE HERE
8.  Bethany ~ <-- Next stop
10.  Maria Woodworth ~

Thanks so much for stopping by! We hope you have enjoyed all of our projects!