01 August 2014

Birthday Wishes & Annual Inspirations Blog Hop!

How is it August already?  Is this year flying for anyone else, or is it just me?  While August brings the end to a summer vacation for many, it also gives those who love Close to My Heart a chance to discover the whole new selection of products.

Let's just dive in, shall we?
Sorry for the brightness on the right side - light just wasn't in my favor when taking this picture... eek!

So, what's new about this card you may ask?  Many things!

The Confetti paper pack is so rich in color.  While it's geared toward birthday events, the patterned papers could totally cater to other sentiments, as well.  I used the yellow checkered paper from this paper pack in my design.

The three new CTMH colors that I used on this card were Thistle, Canary, and Glacier.  Aren't they beautiful shades?

I used the Desert Sand hounds-tooth design (from the Paper Fundamentals Basic card stock) for the base of my card.   While this paper pack is not new, we have added new color packets so now you can get this speciality paper pack in all of CTMH's colors.  Love, love these papers!


I stamped the flower in Thistle and Pear inks.  I also sponged the edges of the flower and leaves to give the image a bit more interest.  The flower comes from the new stamp set, Have a Happy Day.  Honestly, can't you just think of so many different ways to use this stamp set?  It was a must-have when I made my wish list!

The Happy Birthday sentiment comes from a new set You Mean the World to Me.  I love the cursive fonts used in these designs.

I added some embellishments to this card, as well.  I added a gold sequin to the middle of my flower.  The sequins come in three different shades of gold, as well as three different sizes.  The best part?  They have adhesive on the back!  I also added some gold polka-dot washi tape and brown sparkles.

And there you have it... a peek into some of the new products!  I now encourage you to visit the many other talented CTMH consultants who are blog hopping today as they also have some great projects to show you.  We hope that you're inspired and ready to play with these new products!  There's something for everyone, that's for sure!

Happy hopping!

MyCrush Card Challenge

Do you ever look at your papercrafting supplies and try to figure out how to use them in more creative ways?  Well, that's how I interpreted the Heart 2 Heart Challenge for this week!  The challenge was to use Close to My Heart's Picture My Life cards or MyCrush book in your project. 

I chose to create a card using a page that I tore out of the MyCrush Bluebird book.  I also used a 3x3 card from the MyCrush Favorites assortment.  It was fun to use these papers in unconventional ways! 

As it turns out, the purple paper I ripped out from the Bluebird book matches our new ink color, Thistle.  Isn't it a pretty color?  Then, I stamped the cross design in Crystal Blue on the dovetail pennant.  The grid paper is from the MyCrush assortment.  I also placed two Slate twist ties behind the Pacifica card stock for added interest.

Using one of my favorite stamp sets, Funky Blossoms, I stamped the flower in Canary and Pear.  I also stamped the sentiment in Thistle.  The colors really pop on this card, which I love!

Thanks for stopping by!

03 July 2014

An Italian's Worst Nightmare

When kicking off 2014, I found out that I was intolerant to gluten and casein (dairy).

Which, if I'm not mistaken, might be an Italian's worst nightmare, am.i.right?

So, there I was, my new year's resolution being handed to me.  A resolution that I didn't even want to have.  I mean, really... couldn't the resolution just have been to exercise more, read a book a month, anything!

And yet, there I was.

At first, I didn't really know what to do.  I went grocery shopping and quickly got frustrated.  Here's what I noticed when shopping:

a. there is gluten and casein in everything (and I mean everything, y'all)
b. oh.my.gosh I can't have cheese anymore
c. why is everything so pricey?
d. what am I going to eat?
e. did I mention no cheese?

After the initial frustration and then subsequent frustrations wore off, I decided that I did need to eventually eat something.

Somehow, I've made it to the beginning of July, and survived.  (Dramatic, much?)  It's been rather hard at times.  I miss eating margherita pizza with the gooey mozz and crispy crust.  Sometimes, when my family is eating ice cream, I'm tempted to grab a spoon and go to town.  (But miraculously, I don't.  Where did this willpower come from?

What I did learn very quickly is that gluten-free baking is a completely different ballgame.  There's various flours, starches, and extra ingredients to include that just aren't in your normal, every day recipe.

Truth be told, I'm a beginner and in the early stages of learning.  But!  I found a recipe that I may be rather excited about.  No kidding - I have found a chocolate chip cookie recipe that is amazing.  If you didn't tell someone these cookies were gluten-free, they wouldn't even know.

So enough with the rambling, on with the baking...

It all started with 2 cups of quinoa being rinsed under cold water in a sieve for 1 min., and then transferred to a baking sheet.  I toasted the quinoa for 12 min. in the oven on 350.

After the quinoa has toasted, you will probably think one (or more) of the following:

f. this does not smell like something I would put in a cookie
g. how is this supposed to be made into flour?
h. maybe my new year's resolution should have been to give up sweets, too...

Don't fear, though!  It gets better, I promise!

Once the quinoa cooled completely, I put the whole 2 cups into my Vitamix and gave it a whirl.  30 seconds later, I had a container full of fluffy, quinoa flour.  Who would have ever thought? 

FYI: I used this blog post by PowerHungry.com to help with making the flour. 
2nd FYI: 2 cups of quinoa = 2+ cups of quinoa flour

Then, I followed this very simple and delicious recipe from Monique at Ambitious Kitchen.  I did follow her extra note about adding the 3/4 c. of coconut, which just so you know, you should, too.  Trust me.

I put the dough into the fridge to chill for 20 min.  Then, I balled the dough, placed each morsel on the cookie sheet, and crossed my fingers that they would actually turn into cookies. 

I've had some bad baking experiences this year; let's just not even go there.

And, guess what?  They did!  They looked like crispy, yet chewy cookies.  Even better, they tasted sweet, gooey, and melt-in-your-mouth amazing.

So, do yourself a favor and try-out this recipe; it will knock your socks off.

Plus, you can tell yourself you're eating quinoa (hello, protein!) for dessert, which makes it instantly healthy.  (doctors and nutritionists may disagree with this - oh.well.)


30 June 2014

Ivy Lane Anniversary

My sister and her husband are celebrating their wedding anniversary soon.  I was inspired by the CTMH paper packet Ivy Lane when creating their card.

Have you ever used the CTMH Make it From Your Heart books to help you complete your projects?  They're wonderful because they give you the template and cutting instructions.  They truly make crafting a breeze!

This is the pattern that I decided to play around with:

I used a scalloped edged card as my base.  I cut the 1.5" sentiment frame using my Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge.  The sentiment was stamped in Hollyhock ink, as well.

A few embellishments were used to give added interest to the card.  I put bronze shimmer tape behind the sentiment.  Then, I added a wooden butterfly by the sentiment.  I placed a small, bronze sparkle on top of of the butterfly, as well.

Easy, quick, and elegant!

29 June 2014

Ocean Inspired Chevrons

If you look around, you're bound to find some sort of chevron pattern; they're everywhere lately!  And, I have gladly jumped on the bandwagon because chevron patterns are so much fun to include in artwork.

This week at Freshly Made Sketches, I was inspired by the following sketch to create a birthday card:

I used a journaling card from the CTMH My Crush Best Day Ever assortment as the background for my card.  These cards don't just have to be used for a My Crush book!  Behind the print, I put a piece of outdoor denim card stock to make it pop off the page.

Instagram photo of My Crush assortment

I glued Sky card stock across the card and then used White Daisy card stock to create a dove tail banner to go over the strip.

I embellished the card using sparkles, a sparkle flourish, and outdoor denim bakers twine.

It was quite an easy card to create! 

Thanks for stopping by!

04 May 2014

A Pink, Blue, and Grey Thank You

Did you have a nice weekend?  I hope so!  Hopefully you had a chance to get your fingers inky a bit.  In fact, this Saturday was National Scrapbooking Day!

Well, this week at Heart 2 Heart Challenges, we're asking you to Take Five.  This challenge can be interpreted in many ways.  You can use five of the same thing or five different products.  Hopefully this will help you think of many possibilities when completing your project.

I decided to use five different Close to My Heart products for my project.  The card's dimensions are 4.5"x3.25".  I love the combination of these colors together!  It's a very bright and cheery card.  :)

1. Card stock (White Daisy and Outdoor Denim)
2. MyAcrylix stamp sets (Honeycomb and a retired Thanks stamp set)
3. CTMH ink (Cotton Candy, Outdoor Denim, Juniper, and Whisper)
4. Outdoor Denim Bakers Twine
5. Grey Bitty Sparkles

I hope you have fun with this week's challenge.  Thanks for visiting!