Monday, December 1, 2014

Seasonal Expressions 1 Live 12/01/14

Head on over to my personal business address: to view our supplement to Annual Inspirations - - Seasonal Expressions 1 online. I will have physical copies available later in the week. Just contact me if you'd like one.

Announcing Close to My Heart's first ever Cyber Monday Sale!

You heard me right - - our first every Cyber Monday Deal. Are you ready for this?

20% off All CTMH Cricut Collections!
December 1st, 2014 only from 12:00 midnight Mountain Standard Time to 11:59 pm Mountain Standard Time. (that's a 2 hour delay for all my local customers)

This is an item that is normally never discounted, so if you have been wanting to add one (or more) of our amazing collections to your Cricut collection - now is a great opportunity.

Head on over to my personal business address to start shopping: or send me an email or call if you'd prefer to order over the phone.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Artfully Sent Love Bug

This is my last share for the night I promise. My cousin has always driven a VW Bug, so when I saw this card design on the cartridge I knew just who I wanted to use it for.

With the pop up cards I will confess I have struggled a little with designing the front of the card as it is usually plain since the focus is on the inside. Another type of card on the cartridge is the pocket card. It works with the pocket scrapbooking programs and is usually 4x6 or 3x4. This type of card can also make great card fronts as you'll see here.

This was my first Artfully Sent project that I tweaked in the Design Space program. The card and elements usually cuts for a 5 x 7 card, but I sized everything in Design Space to be used for a standard 4.25 x 5.5 card. I'm sure this could also be done by tweaking your settings directly on your Cricut, but it was much easier in Design space.

This may be my favorite design yet!

Spooky Artfully Sent

I put this together at a crop I went to on Saturday. As one does (at least I do), I brought way too much with me, but forgot several vital things that I really needed or ended up wanting. The one vital thing I left at home was a Cricut Mat. Our generous hostess lent me one so that I didn't have to make a trip home or to a craft store to pick one up. There were also several embellishment type things I might have added, but I decided to have a "make it work" moment and am pretty happy with the result. I gave the card to the very kind Corinne as a thank you, but made sure to get pictures first. This is one of the many pop up cards on the cartridge.

(I also used some cuts from Artbooking on the front,)


Close up
(Love the detailed cuts on this cartridge!)

Artfully Sent Card Number Two

This card was thrown together very quickly for my Dad's birthday. I realized that I'd forgotten to make it about a half an hour before I needed to make the hour drive to my parent's house. Sometimes I do my best creating under pressure. 

Like many dads I'm sure, my dad is a "punny" guy, so I couldn't resist breaking out the pun for this card. The alphabet and sentiment sets that come with the cartridge really came in handy here as I didn't have time to boot up the computer, log in to craft room or design space and design and cut the words that I needed. 

Given more time I might have fancied this one up a bit more, but then again for a masculine card, sometimes less is more.

Hope you're inspired and excited to see  all the creative options offered with this cartridge!

My First Cricut Artfully Sent Card

I know I should probably spread these posts out, but I'm so excited with how my first Artfully Sent projects have come out that I'll go ahead and warn you that you are going to get several posts in a row from me, because I just can't wait to share! This first card I made is for a dear friend that is fighting cancer. I wanted to cheer her up while she is going through chemo. It came together pretty quickly - it would have been even quicker, but I tend to over think everything (yes, I am that person LOL). There are many different interactive card types on the cartridge. This one is a swing card.




(for some reason even though I copy the link for the edited version of this photo from photobucket, I keep getting the unedited version, so sorry this photo isn't as good as the others)

With matching lined envelope

Did I mention that the cartridge has lots of envelopes with liners? I think I have just found a great use for my stockpile of retired light weight Close to My Heart Background and Texture Paper ;-).

Hope you have enjoyed! More to come!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Studio J Layouts

Not long ago I was "stuck" waiting in a airport for an entire day (about 11 hours to be exact). I'd been flown into a certain city for a job interview. The company had paid for a rental car for me as well as a flight. To save money (I'm sure and who can blame them) they sent me back on the red-eye, but I had to have the rental back by noon or pay for an extra day. So, I spent the day scrapbooking at the airport. How, you may ask? Studio J that's how!

I had my laptop and wifi, so I was ready to go. I love how these layouts came out and just had to share! I love paper scrapping too, but these really are beautiful. I wish you could see them in person. They look even better than online. There are several of the layouts I am going to add some paper and bling elements to, but most could stand on their own. Click on each layout for a larger view. The beauty of digital scrapping is you can also get copies of your work for friends or family. No re-creating layouts or entire scrapbooks.

Studio J is also awesome for your photo printing needs. See this post I made back in March of 2014 that details how you can get custom sized prints from Studio J as well as traditional sizes. Very economical, especially for all your odd sized prints.

Hope you are inspired!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cricut® Artfully Sent is now available to order!

The latest Cricut Collection from Close to My Heart is now ready to order! You can review a .pdf file of the over 700 images on the cartridge here. I would recommend using the zoom feature in the .pdf file to view the images as the watermarking can be a little distracting otherwise.

You can order directly from my shopping site or contact me for details on how you can earn this collection for half price with a $250 home or online gathering.

Thirty Years of Happy - September National Stamping Month Set

September is National Stamping Month, and Close To My Heart is ready to celebrate all month long! When you spend $30 on any current retail-priced stamps during the month of September, you qualify to receive the exclusive C-sized stamp set #30yearsofhappy for FREE! This special offer is part of our celebration of National Stamping Month and in honor of our ongoing celebration of our founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton’s 30-year anniversary in the scrapbooking and stamping industry. The exclusive stamp set features 30 mini images and sentiments perfectly suited for 30 days of happy stamping! Plus, make sure you check out Close To My Heart’s Facebook page and Instagram during September to follow all the ways we’re celebrating #30yearsofhappy for a full 30 days!

This is a really fun set! Get yours this month while you can!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Spinner Card with Camper Crazy and Lollydoodle

Spinner cards are a lot of fun. I have seen several variations of these on Pinterest and just had to give it a try. I didn't have any pennies handy, so I used some flat buttons. Not sure if they worked quite as well since this is my first try with this technique. Any opinions from the voice of experience out there in the internet land of crafting?

Anyway I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I can't seem to get enough of the Camper Crazy stamp set and Lollydoodle paper. The base is a sheet from our Paper Fundamentals Basics Assortment. One side has tone on tone glossy embossed images and the opposite side is matte with a contrasting pattern. Very versatile.

I covered the chipboard banner (from one of our Cricut Collections) with a scrap piece of Lollydoodle, then trimmed close (but not too close) to the edge of the shape then filed with my paper file. This give a much more finished look than cutting the shape the exact size before you glue your patterned paper to your chipboard.

This series of three photos should give you some sense of the motion of the campers as they chase each other in a circle.

Hope you are having a grand summer!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Artbooking Made Easy: Togetherness

This video features some great ideas on using the Togetherness key on the Artbooking cartridge. There are also some great tips on making rolled flowers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Skylark Mini Photo Album Card

I turned this birthday card for a friend into a mini-photo album with our Skylark dimensional elements and paper. Just love the colors in this kit. It also features one of my favorite items in the current catalog the teal shimmer trim (it's kind of like glitter ribbon with adhesive backing - too cool!).
Hope you are inspired!

Birthday Card In A Box

Have you tried the Card in a Box craze yet? I have been going crazy with making these. They really are a lot of fun. Here is one I made for the birthday of my mom's cousin who loves polka dots. It features popular paper from past Close to My Heart National Scrapbooking Month Specials - Dotty for You & Dream Pop. Stamped images are cut with our Cricut Artiste cartridge and stamped with the stamps that come in that collection. The embellishments are a combination of things from my stash and new items. The different colored blue epoxy dots are current - Aqua Dots - I love them!

I thought I had taken pictures of my mom's Mother's Day card, but I can't find them. I'll have to have her pull it out next time I visit so I take pictures to show you. There was really little stamping involved with that card. I mostly used some chipboard dimensional elements I had left from one of our scrapbooking kits. Just shows how versatile this design concept is.

Enjoy - Melissa

15 Years with Close To My Heart and an Anniversary Sale

This year Jeannette Lynton, the creator and founder of Close to My Heart celebrates 30 years in the scrapbooking industry and I celebrate 15 years as a Close To My Heart Consultant. It seems just like yesterday that I picked up a rubber stamp for the first time.

The other day I received this in the mail to celebrate my 15th year anniversary with Close to My Heart! Isn't it pretty? Sad to say I didn't even receive verbal recognition at my day job this year when I hit the 15 year mark. Close to My Heart really does take great care of their consultant's.

To celebrate I'm offering a special sale to my customers through June 30th - - 15% of any order* (off of the full retail total of your order). You can order from my retail site at or if you don't feel comfortable ordering online drop me an email or give me a call and I'll get a traditional order together for you. Take this opportunity to celebrate with me and save a little money :-). Be sure to check my website for all the details of Celebrate 30 promotion from Close to My Heart this month that is also offering some great deals.

Speaking of deals, don't forget to check the While Supplies Last and Retiring Items sections on my website. These items are only available for a limited time.

*This is a personal discount I am offering, not a corporate promotion from Close to My Heart, so orders on my online shopping site will receive a 15% refund in the mail from me.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Card In A Box featuring Lollydoodle, Camper Crazy and Balloon Talk

I tried to make an infographic style collage for this card in LightRoom, but I didn't quite figure out how to add text correctly, so just to sum up it is a card in a box - - such a fun technique that I am sure to be featuring in a future workshop - I think I might be addicted. ;-) Lollydoodle is another new paper set that I'm wild about. I'm sure you haven't seen the last of the Camper Crazy stamp set either. Isn't it so cute? Believe it or not this is a standard size 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 card, when open the elements just pop out. So much fun. I love creating it so much I had to share right away. I'll add more details later.

Happy Crafting!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Close to My Heart Balloon Ride Cards - Technique Paper Piecing

I love all the new paper packs in the new catalog, but this one I think is unique and one of my favorites - although I can't say that next week I won't have a new favorite and so on until all the paper packs have been covered for this book.

Paper piecing is a technique I saw around the internet last fall and have been wanting to try. I decided the stamp set that coordinates with the Balloon Ride paper (D1581 Give a Lift) would work perfectly for this technique.

To start you stamp your image on cardstock and then multiple times on several different patterned papers (you chose depending on your image). You could either pick a portion of the image to highlight or pick patterns to cover the entire image.

You will then trim out the pieces of your image that you want to use from the patterned paper. You may also want to trim out your image from the cardstock depending on your project. Since my paper was two sided I stamped each image twice on the patterned paper and then mixed and matched until I was happy with my combinations. One tip for "fussy cutting" as some people call cutting images by hand, move the paper as you cut around the image not your scissors. You will have more precise cuts this way.

Then just grab a little glue and start attaching your pieces. I found that a liquid glue like our Bonding Memories adhesive was nice because it gave me a little wiggle room as far as moving a piece before it dries if I don't get the placement just right.

I tried taking a wide shot of all the cards, but my "assistant" was determined to stay in the shot. He seems to have a sixth sense on when his assistance will be needed. ;-)

I did the coloring on the basket and flowers with watercolor pencils and a blending pen.

I forgot to take a picture of the inside of this card, but it uses the phrase "Friend you lift me up" from the stamp set. 

For the base of this card I used one of our white daisy die cut cards. There is a card on one of our Cricut cartridges (Artiste I think) that mimics this pretty closely, but rather than figure the cut out in Cricut Craft room, I just traced around the edge and cut it out by hand. As much as I love my Cricut, I will have to say that cutting something by hand can sometimes be easier if it is something small and you are only doing one or two.

One thing with this technique you need to watch is the placement of your stamping on the patterned paper. On one of the balloons I ended up re-stamping one of the center medallions on the opposite less "busy" part of the paper as I could not differentiate between the pattern of the paper and the pattern of the stamped design on the "busier" side of the paper. Just something to keep in mind.

Hope you enjoyed the cards as well as the new technique. If you give it a try, email me a picture and I'll post it on the blog.

Happy "krafting"!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Artbooking Made Easy: Trailblazing Travel Albums

With spring break coming up for many I thought this would be useful for planning ahead for when you get home and want to scrap your pictures (or is you are unlike me and super organized you can have the album premade and ready to go for when you get home).

Looking forward to spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March Stamp of the Month - Happy Place

I had my reservations about this stamp set, but now that I have played around with it I'm loving it. Made this to send to my mom. You'll note that a few hexagons from a previous post made it into the inside of the card. I almost feel as if someone needed to step in and give me the "less is more" high sign as I kept adding elements to this card, but I think I managed to step away just in time LOL! The houndstooth washi tape was the final touch. If you are interested in this adoreable stamp set you have until the end of the month to snap it up, just click here for more details.

Sparkle and Shine Paper with Honeycomb

Do you ever feel as if your creative mo-jo has up and left you to never return again? I've been in a slump since Christmas. Can't really put my finger on why, but I am happy to say I was able to do a little creating this weekend - finally! Here are some fun things I've made. Hope you enjoy. :-)

I had the base of this swing card sitting around since Christmas (minus the hexagons and flower embellishment). I just couldn't decide what to do with it, but I loved these patterns from the Sparkle and Shine collection.

I ended up gluing a portion of the "swing" down in the front and making the card a half card on the front. I love the pop of the Ruby on the Juniper. I am really drawn to shades of teal, mint and aqua right now, but it seems I still need a pop of my favorite red.

I still had some hexagons left, so I came up with this. I utilized one of our new embossing folders - Quatrefoil on the black. Keep your eye out for those hexagons, I still had a few left after these two cards, so they might just make another appearance.
Happy crafting! Melissa

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Studio Savings

This month's Studio J promotion is an awesome deal even if you are not into digital scrapbooking. Let me tell you why. Are you frustrated in your efforts to get decent prints of odd sized photos at an economical price? (or even standard sized photos?) Now, not only can you create awesome layouts in Studio J, but Close to My Heart has added many custom photo only layouts for photo developing. At the normal price of $6.95 per two 12 x 12 pages ($3.48/page) this is already a great deal, but for the month of March you can purchase two 12 x 12 pages for $5 ($2.50/page) no limit to how many pages you can buy. This is an especially great way to print pictures from your phone and Instagram. I've linked another video below that shows you how to create your own custom photo wells on layouts or use the "No Limits" pattern to start with a blank canvas to print photos the sizes you want and/or also add journaling boxes to print to add to your pages. The print quality is phenomenal! I promise you won't be disappointed. Head on over to my website to try it today. If you are new to Studio J just give me a call and I'll be happy to walk you through it.