Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Fundamental Kits for CTMH Featured Products Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to the Close To My Heart Featured Products Blog Hop, where this time we are showcasing the new Fundamentals line of products.  This newest version of CTMH's Fundamentals line has a little something for everyone so this should be an especially fun hop and we're so happy you could join us.  If you found your way here from Corinna's blog you are in the  right spot, but as always hops are circular things so you are welcome to jump in anywhere along the line and make the rounds.  In case you get lost, you can find a complete list of participants at the end of this post.  Now on to my project:


I am *so* happy with the way this turned out!  I have been envisioning something like this for quite a while but nothing I put together quite hit the mark, but as soon as I saw this pattern in the new Fundamentals line, I new I could finally make it work.  For this photo, I have the page in an open frame but my plan is to place it in a 12 x 12" frame with a glass front so that it can be used as a dry erase board.  Not only will this probably find it's way onto the gift table for one of several weddings on my calendar in the next few weeks, but it will probably become a staple when I do vendor and craft fairs as well.  And this was so easy to make, I just cut 2 equal sized panels of the fundamentals papers and 2 pieces of CS which I then embossed and sanded, and inked the edges of all 4 panels before adhering them to a 12 x 12" base of white CS.  Then I used my Cricut Explore and the CTMH Art Philosophy (for the "today" and "because...") and Artistry cartridges (for the I Love You, cut twice with "love" fussy cut from the dominant color).  And that is all there is to this one!  Now it's time for you to hop on over to Lauren's blog to see what she has in store for you.  I hope you will join us again on 9/7/16 when we will be featuring projects using CTMH's Thin Cuts, plus this will be the first hop using new products from the Seasonal Expressions idea book so there's going to be lots of fun and inspiration you won't want to miss out on.  Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!  ~~  Annette

Complete list of blogs participating:

1.  Annette Clark  (here)

2.  Lauren Moore

3.  Donna Digby

4.  Jennifer Bennett

5.  Corinna Murphy

Wedding Congrats with AHSC #174


Hello and welcome back, crafty friends!  One of the things I love most about paper crafting is being able to really customize cards or gifts for special people on their special occasions, so I took this occasion and this sketch from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge to create a card for my lovely step-niece and her groom for their upcoming wedding.  They gave chosen yellow, navy, and gray for their wedding colors, which aren't exactly traditional colors, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't going to find many cards to choose from in a store with this color combo so I was extra happy to be able to create something unique for the happy couple!
details:  I started with a 6 x 4" card base cut from Sapphire CS.  I then ran a 5 3/4 x 3 3/4" piece of Canary CS through my Cuttlebug using the retired Heart embossing folder and did a little sanding to make the hearts stand out.  I used some scraps from the retired Charlotte kit for the stripes on the left and the base of the sentiment panel.  I used Sapphire and Canary inks and some Canary CS scraps with the retired "The Happy Couple" stamp set for the cake and bride & groom cake topper and another retired set called "4 My Friend" for the sentiment.   I wasn't sure exactly where this one was going when I started but I'm pleased with how it turned out, and now I have to get busy designing and cutting some vinyl to adhere to a glass block they want to use for a mixed sand sculpture in place of a unity candle.  I have 5 step-nieces and this is the second one to get married, and both have asked me to create something for the wedding day, and I'm so happy and honored to do this for them and hope I will get to help when the next 3 are ready to tie the knot!

This is another fun and versatile sketch to play with, and we'd love to see your take on it.  You can find the link up HERE and you have until 10 pm Central on Sunday, 8/28, to enter.  Even if you can't play, I hope you will take the time to head on over to the AHSC challenge blog where I guarantee you will find some inspiration!  Happy crafting, Annette

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Watercolor Fun with BTF Challenge


Hello and welcome back, crafty friends!  This week at the Between The Folds challenge blog we are creating with a water theme.  The first thing that came to my mind was all the paints, brushes, watercolor pencils, watercolor paper, and resist pattern watercolor Picture My Life cards for quite some time but I simply hadn't taken the time to actually sit down and try them, but now that I have you can be sure my paint brushes will be getting a workout.

I've had this hostess rewards stamp set called Unicorn Dreams (now retired) for some time but could never quite decide what I wanted to do with it.  And while I knew I wanted to break out my watercolor paints for this challenge, I was a little stuck coming up with a project so I decided to make something for myself, just for fun, and enjoy the experience of playing with something new to me.  I admit, I need to play around a bit more with heat embossing in combination with watercolors as this silver embossed unicorn is a bit patchy close up, but it's just for me and I actually kind of like that some of the background paints come through in places, it seems to make the unicorn image even more mystical.  I backed my 3 1/2 x 5 1/2" painted panel on a 4 x 6" piece of the retired Kaleidoscope paper for a little added color fun.

We'd love to have you join us this week at Between The Folds Challenges and share your watercolor or water inspired projects.  It's fun and it's easy, you just have to use some CTMH product (and let us know what you used if it isn't obvious) and you have until 10:55 p.m. Central on Monday, 8/29/16 to link your projects.  Happy crafting!  ~~  Annette

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Vacation Fun for CTMH Featured Products Blog Hop

Hello and welcome back to another installment of the Close To My Heart Featured Products Blog Hop, where this week we are bringing you vacation themed projects.  We have lots of amazing projects to show you from participants in 3 different countries so you will definitely want to take the whole tour for this one!  As always, hops are circular things so you should have arrived here from Lauren's blog but there is a complete list at the bottom of this page just in case you get lost.  Now on to my project!

My family doesn't really do destination types of vacations so I was feeling a little stuck with this one.  Luckily, a friend/former coworker just happened to mention she and her family are getting ready for their first cruise, and she has been talking about having me help her with some scrapbooking, so I was inspired to make her a title page so now she will have to come over and play --- I mean scrapbook!

I used the Calypso paper kit for this one.  I used the Artbooking cartridge to cut the "family vacation" at 4" height, and the Artistry cartridge to cut the earth at 8" and the "pins" at 1" each.  I plan to use either a journaling pen or an older sewing/stitching stamp set I have to mark their path once I know all the destinations.  Also, if I find out they are flying to where they will start their cruise, I will add a small airplane one one side of the earth and a ship on the other.  I can't wait to show it to her!

Thanks for stopping by and now it's time to journey on over to Donna's Blog to see what she has to share with you.  Please join us again on August 24th when we will be showcasing our fabulous new Fundamental papers, which just happen to be on special this month!

Complete list of participants:
1.  Lauren Moore
2. Annette Clark  (here)
3.  Donna Digby
4.  Jennifer Bennett
5.  Corinna Murphy

A Little Retro Southwestern Fun for AHSC #172

Hello, crafty friends!  This is another project based on this sketch designed by Michelle Stewart for this week's challenge at Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge #172.  I love all the sketches she gives us to work with but this one was probably the most challenging for me so far.  I don't know what you do when you're working on a project and feel a little stuck, but I tend to find inspiration by throwing out the rule book and just having fun and that's exactly what I did with this one!

Everything I used for this one is a retired CTMH product and honestly, most of it was from my scrap stash.  All of the papers are from the Jackson paper pack except for the two-tone orange papers used for one of the banners, which was from the Sarita kit.  I also this paper for the flower on the cactus, which was stamped with Autumn Terra Cotta ink using the Stuck On You set.  The other non-Jackson paper I chose was this green patterned paper with speckles from the long ago Footloose kit, which was stamped in Ponderosa Pine ink.  The center of the flower is one of the medium sized gold Bling Gem Assortment pieces.  The flower pot was also stamped with Goldrush ink, but it was stamped once on the base piece and then again on a scrap so that I could fussy cut the lip of the pot and glue it on top of the full stamped image for a little bit of dimension.  FYI, the shaped base piece at the bottom of the card was cut with the Artistry cartridge using more papers from the Jackson set.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see your project entered in this week's challenge over at AHSC.  As always, you have until 10 pm Central on Sunday, 8/14, to play along with this sketch.  Happy crafting!  ~~  Annette

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fabulous Florence for BTF Challenge

Welcome!  This week at the Between The Folds Challenge we are featuring projects using CTMH's fabulous Florence paper kit and coordinating embellishments.  This collection has a fresh, floral Bohemian kind of theme and I have so many projects I want to do with it, but today I want to share a 2-page layout based on the fourth pattern in the Make It From Your Heart Vol. 1.

















This is a fun and easy layout pattern to work with, it mostly consists of 3" squares with rounded corners.  One tip I've found for easier placement is to lay both pages on one of my older 12 x 24" Cricut mats and align things with my 14" ruler.  I used a little of the Flaxen patterned paper from the original (retired) set of fundamental papers where the photos will go and the zip strips from one of the patterned pages in the kit.  I also added some of the Florence complements for a little added interest.  It's hard to do these embellishments justice in a picture but they feature a lovely rose gold metallic finish, which I love!  The medallion was stamped with the Ornate Blossoms set and I haven't decided whether I will color it in with water color pencils or leave it as is, as I want to see how it looks once I choose my photos and have them in place.

And that's all there is to this one.  I love when projects are this easy but look so great!  Don't forget to check out the rest of this week's projects at the BTF Challenge, you wont' want to miss them.  We are so blessed to have such a talented group of folks on our design team and followers but there's always room for one more so I really hope you will join us and share your Florence-based project!

Happy crafting!  ~~  Annette

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Animal Greetings from CTMH Featured Products Blog Hop

Hello, craft friends!  I hope you are ready for a big dose of CUTE 'cause the little critters (15 in all) in the Animal Greetings stamp set are absolutely adorable.  Added bonus:  this stamp is part of Close To My Heart's ongoing Operation Smile program, which raises funds to provide life-changing cleft lips and palates for children around the world.  How awesome is that?!?!  But hurry, this stamp won't be available much longer but rest assured, something equally as awesome will take its place so that Operation Smile can continue its mission of sharing smiles with children and their families.

So, on to the hop.  As always, hops are circular so you should have found your way here from Corinna's blog but you can jump in anywhere at any point and follow the links until you've made the rounds.  I have also included a list of all our participants in case you get lost along the way.  Now it's time to share my project with you.

I've said this before but this time, I REALLY pulled out all the stops and my craft room is unbearably messy at the moment, but it was worth it because I had a blast putting it together.  This was another instance where what I had planned ended up being nowhere near what I ended up with, lol.  I used the magical paper and embellishments, cuts from the Artbooking cartridge for the photo mat and film strip, and the Art Philosophy and a tricky little bit of planning to cut out the LOVE circles as well as the black circles they are matted on.  Hopefully you can see the cute little mouse friend in the corner and the sentiment in the word bubble, which are from the Animal Greetings set.  I used multiple ShinHan alcohol markers to color in the mouse and, for a little extra fun, the word "bomb" and the actual bomb image are from a previous Operation Smile stamp set.

Thanks for stopping by and now you can hop on over to Jennifer's blog to see what she has in store for you.  Also, please stop back by on Wednesday, Aug. 10, when we will be bringing you vacation themed projects made from and featuring Close To My Heart's line of products.  Until then, stay cool and happy crafting!  ~~  Annette

Complete list of blog hop participants:

1.  Annette Clark (here)
2.  Jennifer Bennett
3.  Corinna Murphy