Monday, January 15, 2018

CTMH Technique Blog Hop - Blushing Backgrounds

So happy Monday to you!

I don't know how the weather is where you are but here in East Texas, people who know about such things have said we might get a few flakes of snow so things are a little crazy here! If we are blessed with snow tonight, I might get to actually use some of those many snow embellishments and papers I've been holding on to for years! That will be fun!



So welcome hoppers to the CTMH Techniques Blog Hop for January 2018. This hop's theme is *Blushing Backgrouds*. That's right. We are featuring ways to use stamps to create fabulous backgrounds. Whether you use a regular stamp or a stamp that is designed to be a background, you know you'll always have many options for creative stamping with your Close to my Heart stamps! 

The previous stop on the Hop is the fabulous work of  REBECCA COOMBS

Below is my contribution to the Hop. I used alphabet stamps to make a bold, statement background. This particular alphabet is MARKER ALPHABET and includes letters, numbers and punctuation. 
MARKER Alphabet Here



This is the Marker Alphabet. In my opinion, nothing say "cupcake" more solidly than Bashful Pink, so I paired the bold black and white background with the softness of Bashful Pink cardstock. Have you seen the Bashful Pink cardstock, ink, ink refill, pearls, shimmer brush, albums and glitter paper? 
SEE ALL THE BASHFUL HERE.




In the lower left, you'll notice the circle tag. This is a new item in the Seasonal Expressions catalog but we've already been told it will carry forward to next year. I'm glad because circle tags are universally usable! This tag set includes Dies in four sizes--this is the largest one. I used the cupcake from the Sweet Birthday set and the flower from Chelsea Gardens to build this tag embellishment. 



You may have noticed a little bit of patterned stamping on the lower portion of the cupcake. I used the texture pattern on the seed envelope stamp in this month's Bloom and Grow Stamp of the Month to add some delicate texture to the frosting. 

This is Bloom and Grow, which you can purchase for $5 this month, with a $50 order. 



I hope you will continue to join the Hop as you move to ANNEMARIE JULIAN'S Blog. She has fabulous artwork for you to enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by,
--Sarah


Friday, January 5, 2018

Start with the Story - January Chelsea Gardens

More than the paper, more than the pretty, more important than even the pictures, scrapbooking for me, is about the story.  In this new year, I want my stories to be the focus and it's my personal goal to do a few pages each month that feature stories I want to preserve. 

Every month, Close to my Heart consultants from around the world focus collectively on the uses of a single product suite. If you are a user of Instagram, you definitely want to go to Instagram and search for #ctmhchelseagardens to see a world of fascinating projects featuring January's Chelsea Gardens product suite. 

As you know, each product collections comes with a pack of Compliments. Complements are diecut cardstock stickers and light chipboard diecut shapes and words, all intended to be used as embellishments. The Chelsea Gardens Compliments look like this: 


I am forever looking for ways to mix up the words in the Complement packs to make them say more (they tend to be somewhat generic) but today I went with cutting out the word "portrait" and incorporating just the diecut word Family onto my page. I like this font because it's easy to read (but still scripty) and I like the color--it's a deep gray instead of the standard black. 

Here's my page--





There are quite a few gray patterns in Chelsea Gardens--I'm loving these. 

So I made a list of possible titles that can be used with the prominent words in the Chelsea Gardens Compliments...



I encourage you to look beyond the obvious with these titles and dig down to the heart of the story. Preserve that. 



Remember, the story doesn't have to be 7 superbly-written highly-detailed paragraphs. Sometimes the story is just a simple thought.

If you want to see the Chelsea Gardens Workshop Your Way pack, 
CHECK IT OUT HERE!

 Stay warm, my friends!
--Sarah

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Before Beary Christmas Retires

In a few days, the Holiday catalog will go away and the Seasonal Expressions will come to life, as happens every year. It will be time to move on from all the Christmas stamps for a little while.

But first, let's take one more look at the Beary Christmas Cardmaking stamp and die set without the lens of Christmas and see how it can still be used going forward. 

The twig wreath and the tree jump out at me for their potential uses for non-Christmas projects. I did a little test stamping of the twig wreath image, repeatedly stamping it on top of itself several times, with only a slight twist of the post-it between inkings. Surprise! I'm liking the result! 




Here's the card using the wreath, stamped multiple times. 



I used a 2.50" circle punch to cut it out and popped it up using a slightly smaller fun foam circle. 

Beary Christmas Cardmaking is here if you want to pick it up before it goes away!

Before you put away those Christmas stamps take another glance at them and see if they can work in some non-Christmas projects. 

Until next time, happy stamping in the new year!
--Sarah

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Retired Stamp Love

Stamping has been a part of my life for more than twenty years. (Do I say this too often?) While I understand the need for our favorite stamp companies to retire stamps and move on to new, it's always difficult for me to move on, leaving the sets I've come to enjoy creatively or sometimes even parting with them in order to keep my stash manageable. New designs are fun, of course, but saying goodbye is not so much. 

So with this in mind, I'm going to do something here that I have never seen another consultant do--I'm going to do a regular feature called *Retired Stamp Love* where I go back and create with sets that are retired but still loved. Why? For the sheer love of stamping. :)  Sometimes I'll pair up retired sets with things that are currently available. Usually retired sets can still be acquired on eBay, or through the many Facebook groups that exist for buying and selling second hand craft items. 

Today, in Retired Stamp Love, I'm playing with the stamps from the Sugar Rush Cardmaking suite. Can't go wrong with cute donut stamps, right?

This is the Sugar Rush Cardmaking stamp set from back in 2016.


The Stamp images that are outlined in blue are the ones that have coordinateing dies. As you can see there are several wonderful, universal sentiment images in this set--that "Happy Birthday" is a great size for making paper ribbon. More on that in a moment. 




I paired the Sugar Rush suite from last year with the Silver and Gold suite that retires in a few days for these two cards. 

--The two lighter brown donuts are created using second-generation stamped images. This is a good technique to use when you need a lighter color of ink that you don't have. (This happens to me often.) To achieve this look, simply ink up your stamp, stamp the image on cardstock, then immediately without re-inking, stamp it again. The second image will be much lighter than the first. 



Frosted donuts can be made in many color combinations. For the above card, I skipped the stamping steps and just used the dies with cardstock. I did use the sprinkles stamp to jazz it up a bit. 

I happen to think the sentiment in this set that says "Happy Birthday with sprinkles on top!" is just perfection. I really like the font that Happy Birthday is written in. It's perfectly sized for carding and can be added to any card design. 

For convenience, I performed a bit of stamp surgery on this image and separated the Happy Birthday from the rest of the sentiment. They can be now be used together as shown above or individually as shown below.




I wanted to make it easy to incorporate this Happy Birthday sentiment into some future projects, so I took just a few minutes and stamped out some paper "ribbon" strips using the Happy Birthday repetitively. Each paper ribbon is about 1/2" wide and 11" long. When I use these sentiment strips, I will add a matching colored gem or sequin in between each phrase. 

So there you have it.
Retired Stamp Love.

Until next time,
--Sarah



Thursday, December 21, 2017

No Room for the Story?

Stories are super important to me and in my world, it's the point of scrapbooking. The story matters! Without the story...well it's just not right. However, as people who love page design, sometimes great blocks of written journaling present a dilemma--what's a more appropriate use of real estate--the journaling or the pretty things?

#scrapbookerprobsright

So once in a while, I give in to the designer side of my crafty soul and stick the journaling  in a less obvious place--today it's *inside a flap*. 







Yes, that title is stamped on vellum. 



This reminds me...this is another installment in my "If you can make a card, you can make a scrapbook page!" series. Look again. That flap hiding the journaling is basically a card. 

Also note that I've used a few little products from Close to my Heart. On the lower left corner of my layout above, you'll see the word December stamped on the label. 




The word December comes from the Stamp Set of the Month set from November. Obviously, it's no longer the Stamp Set of the Month, but it's still available if you need it. It's called "Through the Year" and as you can see, it's a full set of all the months. I can see it being so very useful. 
GET IT HERE!

The papers for the page come from the Silver and Gold suite of products (shown partially below). While there are some holiday-specific embellishments and papers included, there are also some items that could be used effectively at any time and with any theme. (These are always my personal favorites because I'm not a rule follower.) This Silver and Gold kit goes away on December 30, so if you like it, you know what to do. 


I also used a good bit of vellum on this page. Vellum is so dependable. It is always a good way to give your pages points of contrast. It is so easy to use! There are several things I particularly love about vellum. 1) It's easy to run through the printer. 2) It tears beautifully. 3) It tones down busy or bold patterns. 4) It's an easy way to direct the viewer to look at a specific part of a page. 5) You can stamp on it! 

A pack of vellum contains three 12x12 sheets and costs $5.95. 
GET IT HERE!

A gorgeous new catalog will debut on January 1, 2018.   That's just a few days away. Stay tuned for some art made with kits from the new catalog --coming on Tuesday!  If you would like one of the new catalogs, email me. 

Thank you for making it all the way to the end of this slightly longer blog post. If you would like to be entered into a random-drawing for a mini-selection of papers and embellishments from the Silver and Gold suite of products, as a token of my appreciation (from me to you), please leave a comment and answer this question: what will be the title or theme of the first scrapbook page you will create in 2018? Entries accepted until 11:50pm CST December 30, 2017. 

Merry Christmas!
--Sarah

Sunday, December 17, 2017

12 Days of Handmade Christmas Cards--Day 5 and 6

Because I can't seem to remember to post them here after I share them on Instagram every day, I'm going to do two days at once to catch up. 

Day 5


Taking a little turn into the land of baby blue Christmas cards...I am always drawn to the calmness of pale blues. No fluff, no fussiness. This is one sentiment from the First Noel stamp set.



White glitter paper adds texture and a bit of sparkle without overpowering the project. 

Day 6


This card was heavily inspired by a card made by a fellow CtmH consultant that I follow on Instagram. Here's her creation:


Until tomorrow,
--Sarah