Sunday, December 3, 2017

December SOTM Blog Hop - A Little Bit of Pun

Welcome to our blog hop featuring the Close to My Heart December Stamp of the Month, A Little Bit of Pun! If you've come from Haley Dyer's blog, you're on the right path. To see the entire list of participants you can visit Melinda Everitt's post here.

The stamp set this month has 10 simple images that go with this set of fun puns! Knowing the group of ladies for whom I'd be making these cards, I chose to add a touch of elegance to the whimsy by using shades of pink and gray with a little something shiny. I used papers from the Basics Fundamental paper pack, Mink and Bashful Cardstocks, and Bashful, Silver, and Gold Glitter papers. Here are the five cards I'll be sharing with them:

Here's a better view of the Bashful and Silver Glitter papers, silver embossed gems, and the ones painted with Bashful ink and highlighted with the Clear Shimmer Brush:

The lightbulbs were stamped with Pixie ink. I colored in the center heart shaped coils with a waterbrush and Pixie ink.

The Artbooking alphabet Cricut cut was welded with a heart big enough to stamp the next one:

The last one was the music treble clef sign from the new YOU ARE HERE Cricut cartridge. It was separate from the words "Band Camp," so I slanted it a little and welded it to a rectangle background.

You may feel free to use my cut file for the last two cards if you have the two cartridges and use Cricut Design Space.

I also used the following Thin Cuts die sets:  Basic Hearts, Scallop Border, Basic Ovals, and Ribbon Border.

This fun stamp set is available only in December and is a special price of $5.00 with a $50 order or can be purchased for $17.95.  You can order this or any of the other supplies from your Close To My Heart consultant or on my website using the links above.

Thank you for visiting! Now you're ready to move on to Miss Carrie's Creations.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Christmas Cards - Surrounded with Music

I've been considering how to share the many ideas that flooded my mind when I saw the challenge at the Path of Positivity: Surround Yourself with Music. I especially identify with the idea of "surrounding myself" when it comes to music. I've worked on several Christmas cards to express Christmas joy using a music theme because singing carols was always a big part of my life.

As a child we would have a children's choir to sing in church Christmas programs. In Girl Scouts, we sang carols and served cookies to elderly folks in nursing homes. As a teen I sang in school choirs and learned I could sing alto to the familiar carols and popular Christmas songs. My mom would have my friend who lived next door, a soprano, come over so the two of us could serenade her acappella with Christmas songs. Our amazing music teacher taught us so many songs with a Christian message back then. My friend became a music teacher and greatly influenced my music choices. While living there I fell in love with classical music and keep that on in my car to relax me and in my craft room  to inspire my artwork.

In college, a professor convinced me I was a soprano and taught me how to stretch my vocal chords, which helped me in the years I taught in Christian schools. I was the teacher who led the children's singing in Christian programs in two of the schools.
When I was a teacher in public school, we would put classical cd's in our computers to play soft classical Mozart to help the kids calm themselves and focus. It really worked! It does the same for me, now, too!

It's probably no surprise, then, that I keep a separate box of just music related papers and embellishments to use on crafts.  Here are two cards I made celebrating music and Christmas! This first one uses CTMH Beary Christmas paper and an old carol from the back of a Graphic 45 paper I had cut up. Since it was call "The Holly and the Ivy," I embossed the top with a holly embossing folder.

The second one uses papers from long-retired Mistletoe papers and a more recently retired PML card of carolers, all from CTMH.

I hope you, too, find that music uplifts your spirit when you need it and find wonderful ways to enjoy Christmas carols this season as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I'm sharing this post with the following challenges:
Aud Sentiments #194 - Christmas + A Sentiment (2nd card)
Heart 2 Heart Challenge - Anything goes with a CTMH product
International Art & Soul Challenge #22 - Buttons and Bows (first card)
Moving Along with the Times #59 -  Christmas Animals (2nd card)
Path of Positivity Challenge #53 - Surround yourself with music (optional)

A Craft Fair or Christmas Present Idea

I usually spend my crafting time making cards or scrapbooking, but this is the season for giving! For me, it's the season for making! I love using scrapbook supplies for gifts when I can get a good idea. This project post is the result of the post I saw today at the challenge at C.R.A.F.T.

Here's an easy gift I made one for a relative that likes seasonal decorations and candles.

I added a fragrant candle inside a mason jar, layers of burlap and antique and lacy ribbons, stacked Petaloo flowers and some Christmasy pine cones with berries attached to doubled thick jute.  It was easy and fun to make! I don't think she'll look at my blog post before Christmas so I hope it will still be a surprise!

I'm sharing this project with the following challenges:

C.R.A.F.T. Challenge #444 - Christmas Present
Crafty Creations #355 - anything goes
The Merry Christmas Challenge #45 - anything goes + Christmas

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Christmas Presence

Did you take advantage of Thanksgiving or Black Friday sales? I've finished shopping for a few of my kids and grandkids.  With the emphasis on gift-buying, it's easy to focus more on the presents than in the "PRESENCE" of the one who gave His name and life to Christmas. That's why I chose to white emboss the Verve sentiment: The magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in HIS presence.

This Christmas card is a quick and easy one I made using scraps of Basic Grey paper and a lovely PML card from the retired CTMH Pear and Partridge collection.  I popped up the main panel, sentiment and a couple of squares wrapped in twine to represent gifts to give it a little more dimension.

Thank you for visiting! May you enjoy the PRESENCE of Christ as you make preparations to celebrate His Christmas birth!

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:

Challenge Up Your Life #80 - Trees
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #361 - anything Christmas
Crazy 4 Challenges  #413 - Christmas card
Daring Cardmakers - Trim the Tree
Winter Wonderland - traditional Christmas colors - red and green

Monday, November 20, 2017


I've been really thankful today! Since I'm allergic to eggs I can't take the flu shot and several days after meeting lots of people at a craft fair I got the flu, then my auto-immune thing started and left me with lots of muscle spasms. It's been four years since my leg muscles were so contracted that it felt difficult to walk. That time it had lasted for about a year, so I've been praying and resting a lot, taking the extra magnesium and other nutrients my doc at KUMC wants me to take.  Today I can tell I'm getting better, so you can imagine how thankful I am that it's only been a week instead of a year!

Here are two versions of a Thankfulness card I made using the Cricut. I used brighter fall colors for the first.   I chose a leaf cut that had some vein details cut into the center. I inked the edges of the cut out leaf and backed the negative leaf space with some old Pomegranate paper from my stash.

My second one with more subdued colors and I think I like it even more.

Inside, I printed a lovely Thanksgiving Prayer I found all over internet. I saved the inside pages as jpgs if you'd like to use them. On the left inside I printed:

On the right inside I printed:

Thank you for visiting! I hope you'll have many reasons to be thankful and to share your thankfulness with others!

I'm sharing these cards with the following challenges:
Crafty Calendar November Challenge - Autumn Colors
Dragonfly Journeys #105 - Glamorous gold
Dream Valley #168 - Add texture
International Art and Soul #21 - Autumn Colours
Use Your Stuff #289 - Thankful

Ingredients:  CTMH cardstock, retired Enchantment Fundamental (Pomegranate), Falling for You designer paper, Gold Glitter paper; CTMH Goldrush and Pomegranate inks;  Cricut leaf cut from A Child's Year, CTMH "Leaves" embossing folder, CTMH "Thankful for You" thin cut; retired CTMH buttons, fibers and ribbon from my stash

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Craft Fair and Christmas Cards

I ignored blogging for an entire month while I made more crafts for the largest craft fair in our area. My friend that usually helps with our booth had surgery, so two other stamping friends came to the rescue on short notice. They brought 350 cards, individually packaged with the inside sentiment rewritten/stamped and in view on the back of the package and manned the booth with me! I knew they were overachievers, but they certainly exceeded my expectations. I was afraid they'd go home with too many cards, but yesterday customers also exceeded purchases of previous years buying LOTS of cards! It really helps having card racks full of unique handmade cards!

I learned years ago that I needed a wide variety of papercrafts to appeal to a wide variety of customers. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take photos of some of the items that sold out quickly. Later this week I'll take and post photos of a few that had some individual items left.

Here are black and gold Christmas cards that I shared there, thanks to a workshop shared by Jaime Llewellyn. I changed a couple of sentiments and embossed all of them in gold.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Striped Christmas

This time of year I do more crafting and less blogging as I get ready for craft fair days in our community. Last year we sold so much the first day we weren't sure if we had enough to sell the second day and two of us had to go home and make a lot more Christmas cards. So I may write less, but I'll still try to photograph and post some to share ideas. I also try to use up some of my older papers from CTMH and the scrapbook store where I used to teach classes.

I keep looking for different ideas for using Christmas paper, so one scrap of striped paper inspired these cards when I saw the challenge at Southern Girls Challenge this week. I varied the ink color, embellishments and twines. (If you've been with CTMH more than 10 years you'll recognize the piece of Cocoa Café that I used.) If you'd like to try this one, you may use my Cricut Design Space cut file.

I'm also sharing this card project with the following challenges:
A Snowflake's Promise Challenge #44 -  anything Christmas
Christmas at Sweet Stampin' September Challenge - anything Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra October - anything
The Holly and the Ivy Challenge #16 - anything Christmas
The Merry Christmas Challenge #37 - anything Christmas
The Twelve Months of Christmas Challenge #34 - anything Christmas

Autumn/Fall Thankfulness Portfolio

This month I'm a guest designer at the Let's Craft and Create October Challenge #130. The theme is anything goes with the option of Witchy/Halloween or Autumn/Fall. I always need a lot of autumn projects for our craft fair in November, so here is one of my thankfulness portfolios or gratitude journal. I like to add scriptures and quotes about gratitude and lots of blank pages for the recipient to write what they're thankful for as well as room for a few photos.

The cover is made from a 6" x 6" kraft card base that CTMH used to sell. I like the scalloped flap that overlaps on the right side and that it's made from extra heavy kraft cardstock, making it more durable.

I used a variety of fall-colored papers, mostly from Authentique. Inside I made three "booklets" embellished with scripture and quote stamps that encourage thankfulness for blessings. 

The first pocket inside is simply a burlap ribbon attached with two brads that go through to the front. I attached the front of the ribbon after inserting the brads so that I could cover them on front so they wouldn't show. I had never tried that but I liked it enough to try it again.

This started as a fall card from Basic Grey paper that was square that I never used since square is not popular with our postal system. I added quite a few pages inside, stapling in the inside center like a book.

The pocket on the right side is made from a 4" x 6" card that I trimmed a little, including an angle following the thankful box, and adhered on the right and bottom only.

This tag booklet is 5.25" x 3. (It really has 4 sides but I didn't unfold all of it.Oops!)

This one is 5.5" x 4" with one of the small cards decorating the front and the rest left blank for photos.

The back has a simple quote stamped and the spine has a strip of bronze shimmer trim. The leaves were cut and embossed with Spellbinders Leaves 8.

Thank you for visiting! May your heart be filled with gratitude for blessings received and those to come.

I'm also sharing this project with the following challenges:

Mod Squad Challenge - Color Me Fall
The Crafty Addicts Challenge #41 - Anything Goes/Autumn Colors

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Hope Shines Through

I wrote to an old friend today that so much has happened in the world since I wrote her last month. There have been hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions as well as terrorist acts all over the world. I have a friend who beat lung cancer, then had to go back for more surgery when it produced a brain tumor. Friends from church have been in and out of the hospital. The one constant through it all has been the knowledge that God loves us and wants us to turn to him during trials. That gives us a ray of hope that can shine through all natural or man-made disasters.  I wanted to make a couple of cards for breast cancer awareness that uses one of my new stamp sets, Inspired Words. I used this sketch from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge this week.

I used two shades of pink (with a little Glacier for contrast), Bashful and Smoothie. Both of the papers, the smoothie ribbon  and the flowers are retired.

The sentiment was stamped with Versamark and heat embossed with Silver embossing powder. The shiny sentiment inspired me to mat the sentiment, ribbon, and the Artistry Cricut cut ribbon with Bashful Glitter Paper.

The first one I made with a different Cricut cut ribbon and flower. I decided to use it so you could see the ribbon type from the Flower Market cartridge.

Inside each card I put this verse of encouragement about Hope from Romans 15:13a:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:

Atlantic Hearts Challenge # 232 - sketch
CCCDigi Creations Challenge #82 - Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness
Heartful Stamping Challenge - anything goes with stamping

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October SOTM Blog Hop - Christmas Tunes

It's October already?! It's time for our CTMH October Stamp of the Month Blog Hop featuring our new stamp set, "Christmas Tunes." You may have just come from Gina Brandstetter's blog.  To see the entire list of all 27 participants go to Melinda Everitt's blog list.

I love the Christmas song, O Holy Night, so I chose to make three cards using the wreath entwined with its lyrics. The first symbolically has black paper with white dots (like nighttime stars) from the new Silver and Gold paper pack. All three cards have one of the gold foiled zip strips from one of the papers in that pack.

The next twow have a background embossed with the Buffalo Plaid embossing folder.

Thanks for stopping by! Now you're ready to see what Emily Sararas has created.

If you don't have a consultant and would like this stamp set, you can purchase it here for $5.00 with a $50 purchase or buy it at full price for $17.95.

I'm sharing these cards with the following challenges:

Allsorts Challenge #435 - Sentiment in Focus
Christmas at Sweet Stampin' - anything Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #353 - anything Christmas option: Black, white and one other color
Jingle Belles - Embossing

5.5" x 4.25" Card Recipe Ingredients:
Papers - Silver and Gold paper pack, White Daisy Cardstock, Kraft Cardstock
Stamps - Christmas Tunes October Stamp of the Month
Inks - Memento Tuxedo Black, Cranberry,
Markers - Shin Han Touch Twin Markers: Leaf Green, Carmine
Embellishments - White and Bronze Twine, Bronze Sequins, Enchantment Ribbon Pack
Tools - 5" x 7" Buffalo Plaid Embossing Folder, Cricut Explore (circle cut 3")

Friday, September 22, 2017

Holiday Expressions New Product Blog Hop

Welcome to our blog hop featuring new products in the new Close To My Heart Holiday Expressions catalog. You're on the right path if you just came from Lucy Marino's blog.  To see the entire list of participants, visit Melinda Everitt's blog post.

There are so many fun stamps, papers, dies, embellishments, etc. from this book it was hard to narrow down what to share. Since I need about 200 Christmas cards this year, I picked one Christmas stamp set, Prince of Peace, to show you three examples. I thought the Joy to the World stamp in this set would work perfectly for this week's Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge #230.

I used three different papers from the Beary Christmas paper pack to show how versatile this stamp can be.  

I did make one mistake with this project by including gold sequins so that the cards would be flatter for mailing. I had overlooked that they retired last month.  These are no longer available, but the bronze sequins have a sheet of gold sequins. You can check out the products I used below or you can move on to Emily Sararas's blog so that you can start making your own projects right away! Thanks for visiting!

I'm also sharing this project with a couple of the Christmas challenges:

Stamp - Prince of Peace 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Autumn Colored Cards

Tomorrow is the first day of autumn and I'm already creating with a favorite color palette. Autumn colors are warm and rich. They inspire me like no others. When I was a girl, my mom thought my brown hair, green eyes, and gold skin were best if I wore autumn colors, so most of my clothes were in shades of greens, browns, and golds. Here are some cards inspired by these colors.

First is a pair I made using this month's CTMH From the Heart special for National Stamping Month. One of our daughters just finished her defending her thesis for her doctorate in psychology. The congratulations card is an expression of how proud we are of her.

 The card is interactive. There's a small tab on top that you pull up which reveals the inside message by sliding the front up over the card base.

The flowers and leaves were  stamped in two or three layers for more details and  dimension.
Below, you can see the side views of pulling up the tab at the top which slides the card front away from the inside message. For my CTMH friends, you can find directions on the blog here.

The next card is one celebrating the abundance of blessings we continually receive from the Lord. The larger background paper was a digital one I printed long ago from being on the design team of one of the digi stamp companies, either Doodle Pantry or Clear Dollar Stamps. I enhanced it with a strip of retired CTMH Passages. I love the new CTMH leaf die, even just the skeleton without the backing. The leaves stand out on the retired CTMH burlap ribbon and are combined with Recollections burlap flowers.

  I love the artful scripture verse on front and inside, which saus, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good." Both verses are Psalms from Papertrey Ink. I wanted to stamp fairly big leaves inside, but I couldn't find my large box of autumn stamps.  I had one stamp set called Spring Leaves from CTMH more than 10 years ago which you won't remember unless you've been with CTMH a long time.  (I rarely get rid of stamps.) This one was stamped with retired Saddle ink with the edges rolled in Chocolate ink. I like to use older ink pads for the rock and roll technique in case mixing the colors on the darker ink pad changes the hue a little.

Thank you for visiting! May you begin autumn enjoying many blessings from the Lord.

I'm sharing this project with the following challenges:

Craftaholics Challenge #37 - Fall Colors
Crafty Gals Corner #141 -  Fancy fold
Double D Challenge - Sentiments/Quotes
Fab 'n' Funky Challenge #363 - Floral Embellishments
Little Red Wagon #412 - Leaf it to me
Mod Squad Challenge - Leaves
Moving Along with the Times #54 - Sentiment as Focal Point
Word Art Wednesday #300-301 - anything goes