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!

27 April 2014

Thanks So Much

The challenge at Freshly Made Sketches this week inspired me to use my pirouette stamp set!  Let's peek at the design challenge:

I used the CTMH Lollydoodle Juniper polka dot patterned paper as my base.  Then, I stamped the pirouette image in Whisper ink.  I used an Outdoor Denim chevron ribbon for my dovetail pennant.  I added two grey sparkle gems to embellish the ribbon.  Then, I stamped the "Thanks" sentiment in Juniper ink and layered it onto Outdoor Denim card stock.  Pretty easy card to make!

I loved the color scheme for this card.  Isn't it calming?

Have a great week!


11 April 2014

Welcome Baby Card

It's the weekend!  I'm ready to spend some time outside and relax.  If you have some time to craft, I suggest you visit Retro Sketches to see which new challenge they will have posted!

This week, I used the following sketch to inspire my card:


The patterned paper comes from Close to My Heart's Skylark pack.  I stamped the "Welcome Baby" sentiment from the B is for Baby stamp set in Outdoor Denim ink.  I cut the bracket shape from the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge.  (I can't even count the ways I love this cartridge... so many great die-cuts!) To embellish the card, I used grey wool baker's twine and sparkle gems.

This card was super easy to make, but looks very polished.  Plus, you could easily interchange the papers and ink color.  It's a win-win!

Thanks for visiting!

06 April 2014

Thank You Box

I was on spring break this past week and it.was.lovely.  I had so much time to craft and relax!  It really does the mind (and body) some good to take some time and rejuvenate.  :)

During my time off, I put together my project for this week's Heart 2 Heart Challenge.  We're asking our readers to use one of Close to My Heart's Cricut cartridges to create something for their design.

Since I had some time on my hands, I decided to pull out my Cricut Artiste cartridge and make a Gable box.

Have you noticed my slight favoritism for all things Skylark lately?  It partially may be due to the fact that I'm itching for anything that resembles spring (color or weather wise).  But, it's also because these papers are so darn cute and versatile!  They worked perfectly for the box!

I cut the box at 4" on my Cricut.  I put Kraft card stock, behind the patterned paper, around the outside of the box.  As you can see, I also lined the "roof" of the box with the Sweet Leaf Skylark paper.  To add an extra "pop", I used CTMH's gold polka dot washi tape on the side tabs.  I love how this looks!

On the front of the box, I stamped the word "thanks" in Chocolate ink on a dove tail banner.  Then, I stamped and assembled two Funky Blossoms flowers in Sweet Leaf, Gypsy, and Desert Sand ink.  The flowers are sitting on top of one another, but the foremost flower is popped with 3D tape.

And there you have it!  I kind of want to throw a party now and give these boxes away as favors.  I'll have to work on that...

I hope you have fun using your Cricut this week!

30 March 2014


I recently used the majority of my condolence cards.  So, into my stamp sets I went this weekend to begin re-creating my stash.

Using the Freshly Made Sketch for this week, I created the following card:

I used the CTMH Timberline paper for the base of my card.  Then, I stamped the cross image in Chocolate ink on Chocolate card stock.  

I used the Funky Blossoms flower in Ponderosa Pine, Twilight, and Desert Sand ink.  The Condolences sentiment is also stamped in Ponderosa Pine ink. To tie it all together, I used some Baker's Twine across the front, as well.

Super easy card to make!  It could definitely be switched up with papers and sentiments, too!

Happy stamping!

23 March 2014

Country Flair

Are you ready to add some country flair to a project you're working on?  This week at H2H Challenges, we're asking you to do just that!

I decided to use Close to My Heart's Jubilee paper pack that was released this spring.  This paper pack is beautiful!  Even though it definitely has a country feel to it, you can easily use it for projects that aren't geared for a country design.

Let's take a peek at my card...

I used Indian Corn Blue card stock for the base.  Then, I added Kraft card stock behind the patterned papers.  Embellishments include burlap ribbon, cranberry bakers twine, a wooden button, and sparkle gems.
The inside of the card has two layers of paper at the top.  Then, I took a retired CTMH Hostess stamp set and stamped the "Hooray" image in Chocolate ink.  Just a different way to add a sentiment to the inside of your card!

I have also submitted this card to the Freshly Made Sketches challenge for this week.  The design layout that inspired this card can be found below:

Happy crafting!

16 March 2014

Skylark - Set of Three Cards

Have you ever found a card design layout that you really like, and then want to use it over and over again?  This may be the case for the cards that I am showing you tonight!  I just LOVE the design of this card.  What tops it off?  The beautiful CTMH Skylark papers and some great sentiment stamp sets.

The floral image on all three cards comes from the new stamp set, Funky Blossoms.  I did some paper piecing with the flowers.  I stamped the image in three different ink colors: Lagoon, Sweet Leaf, and Desert Sand.  Then, I cut the images and glued them together so that they looked like an actual flower.  I put two flowers on each card (with the one on top popped up with 3D foam tape).

And now, for a close-up of all three cards:

This card uses CTMH Gold Polka Dot Washi tape for its embellishment.

Notice the circular pattern behind my sentiment?  That's CTMH's Juniper Washi Tape!  I taped three strips onto Juniper card stock to create this eye-catching pattern.

Each card also uses brown sparkles to add some extra "pop" to the design.

 Thank you for visiting!

09 March 2014

Feeling Lucky

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, can you believe it?  Just yesterday it feels as though I was celebrating the new year.  Time just keeps flying!

This week at Heart 2 Heart Challenges, we would like you to interpret the phrase "Feeling Lucky" for your project.  With St. Patrick's Day coming up, perhaps this will inspire you to create an Irish-themed project.  Or, in my case, you'll use the word "lucky" to represent the love of your family.

My sister recently got married, which was a wonderful day for our family to celebrate!  Her wedding pictures turned out beautiful.  I knew, right away, that I wanted to create a scrapbook layout with the pictures between her and our parents.  With the "Feeling Lucky" theme in mind, I created this:

Sometimes, a single page layout is all you need to represent a few of your favorite pictures!  I used quite a few Close to My Heart items on this layout including the new Skylark papers, Teal shimmer trim, Gold polka dot washi tape, and White Daisy bakers twine.

I look forward to seeing your creation for this challenge! 

23 February 2014

Shabby Chic

This week at Heart 2 Heart Challenges, we're asking everyone to create their projects with a "shabby chic" design in mind!  This was my take...

When I think of "shabby chic", I think of pastel colors, ribbons and bows, embellishments, soft patterns, and some sort of doily pattern.  I think I managed to use all of those design elements in my card!

The Skylark paper pack really came in handy for this project.  The stamp sets Pirouette and a retired CTMH sympathy stamp set were used, as well.  I embellished the card with Chocolate bakers twine and a wooden button.  A couple of light brown bitty sparkles adorn the base of the card, too. 

I look forward to seeing your design for this week's challenge!

09 February 2014

You're Sweet!

We are celebrating Valentine's Day at H2H Challenges this week!  We would like you, our crafty friends, to create a project using hearts.  Pretty general theme, eh?  There are definitely many ways to use a heart in your project.  It doesn't even have to be Valentine's Day related if you don't want it to be!

In my case, I used it as an inspiration to create the valentines I will be handing out to my students.  I needed to make something that was simple, small, and with a sentiment that would match the lollipops I will be giving my kids.

I cut the white card stock into 3"x3" squares.  I used the Ruby Chevron washi tape at the bottom of the card.  I stamped the heart banner from the Lots of Love stamp set (in Ruby ink) at the top of the paper.  To finish it off, I stamped the sentiment "You're Sweet" (from a retired stamp set), in black ink, in the right hand corner.  Super simple and classy!

I'm going to be signing my name on the front and then taping a lollipop to the back.  Voila!  A class set of valentines that are definitely an improvement on my past store-bought cards. :)

Happy creating!

14 January 2014

Baby Shower Treat Bags

This week at Heart 2 Heart Challenges, we are asking everyone to use the letters CTMH in their project.  You can interpret this two ways: actually use the letters CTMH in your project or have each letter represent a product or technique.

C: Chevron - T: Twine - M: My Creations Paper Pouch - H: Hollyhock Ink

I decided to create some baby shower treat bags!  I love the use of the Outdoor Denim chevron ribbon with the hollyhock ink.  Love that color combo!  I popped the stamped images off of the bags with 3D foam tape.  I also used Smoothie twine at the top to tie the bag together. 

Did you know these small paper pouches are on clearance at myCTMH site?  They're only $1.50.  Stock up while they last; they're a great party favor!

Happy creating!

CTMH Items Used:
Stamps: B is for Baby, Banner Wishes
Embellishments: My Creations Paper Pouch, Outdoor Denim Chevron Ribbon, Smoothie Twine

07 January 2014

Christmas is Love

This week at the Merry Monday Challenge, they're asking that everyone uses ribbon or twine on their project.  Phew!  That's an easy challenge for me.

Now, you must be thinking... Christmas is already past!  Very true.  However, this challenge blog really helps get those Christmas cards done early.  It makes December a lot easier because you're not making last minute cards! :)

I ended up working with some unconventional Christmas colors for this card.  I was inspired by a picture in the CTMH Spring/Summer catalog for the layout of my card. 

I used the snowflake patterned paper from the CTMH Frosted pack as the base for my card.  Then, I used our washi tape, silver glitter trim, and outdoor denim chevron ribbon as the dovetail flags behind the framed sentiment.

I used the CTMH Perfect Frames 2 stamp set for the frame for my sentiment.  The Christmas sentiment comes from the retired Pear & Partridge stamps.  I embellished the card using Olive twine and a sparkle button.

Thank you for visiting!  Here's to building your stash for Christmas 2014!

CTMH Items Used:
Paper: Frosted
Card Stock: Outdoor Denim, Colonial White
Ink: Olive, Outdoor Denim
Embellishments: Outdoor Denim Chevron Ribbon, Silver Glitter Trim, Ruby and Silver Washi Tape, Olive Bakers Twine

05 January 2014

B is for Baby

Tired of shoveling?  Buried under multiple blankets to stay warm?  The majority of our nation is dealing with extreme low temperatures and the aftermath of a terrible blizzard.  I hope all of you have remained safe!

* * * * *

If you get a chance this week to play with your craft supplies, I invite you to join us at Heart 2 Heart Challenges for our first challenge of 2014!  We are challenging everyone to be inspired with something new when creating their project.  Perhaps you can use a new craft item that you've never used before.  Intimidated by Washi tape?  Pull it out this week and try to include it in your project!  Or, maybe there was something new that happened to you that will inspire you to make a card or scrapbook layout.  There are many ways to interpret this challenge, and this is what I created: a baby card!

I recently had a colleague that had her first baby, a girl!  I used our retired Claire patterned paper (love!) as the base for this card.  Then, I used the new stamp set, B is for Baby, for the sentiment on my card.  Simple, easy, and perfect for the arrival of a sweet baby girl!

I look forward to seeing your projects created this week!

CTMH Items Used:
Paper: Claire
Card Stock: Smoothie, Outdoor Denim
Stamp: B is for Baby
Embellishments: Bitty Sparkles, Smoothie Bakers Twine