Saturday, December 15, 2018

Love of Color - CTMH Technique Blog Hop

Welcome to the December Technique Blog Hop. You may have arrived here from Lauren's blog, just keep following the links, hopping from blog to blog until you complete the circle. Please leave comments; we really appreciate them!  If you get lost, a complete list of CTMH consultants participating this month can be found at the end of  Melissa's post, which is also your next stop!
product imageSince we're nearing the end of the fall/winter holiday season, I wanted to jump ahead and bring your attention to a stamp set that may have escaped your notice. You Have My Heart is on page 101 of the Holiday Expressions catalog. It may be a little early for Valentine's but this is the last month to order from this book and I don't want you to miss out! The main images in this set are large, and the example is a scrapbook layout, but it still works for cards. It also has a nice sized, non-fluffy "Happy Valentine's Day" sentiment.
I was thinking pink since February is one of the few times a year I get to use it, so I looked in Love of Color for the section with Ballerina,  new to the palette this year. The four color suggestion is Ballerina, Sugarplum, Carolina and Pewter. When this guide was introduced at convention, they emphasized suggestion. It's not set in stone. We were encouraged to swap one shade for a similar one, so I did! Instead of Carolina, I used Mint (see the three color idea on the next page?). And I didn't stick to Pewter, just grey in general.

The card design is Pattern #7 from Make It From You Heart Volume 4 - Cardmaking (MIFYHV4#7). I enjoyed mixing the papers together for this card, something I almost never do. I plan to do mostly mixing with the papers from the next Seasonal Expressions. I pulled the Mint B&T from Oh What Fun and the Wood Grain is from the Seasons Mix-ins. Do you recognize the heart border? It's a Zip Strip, also from Season's Mix-ins!

When I was making this card, I thought I would have to choose between the floral pattern and the sentiment to go on top of the heart shape. But I was able to layer ALL 3! The solid heart shape is stamped in Ballerina. Next, I stamped the floral design in Sugarplum and finally, the sentiment in Pewter. Remember, when using large, solid stamps, it is especially important to use the "squishy thing" (or VersaMat™) under your paper when stamping.

The first mat is Sugarplum glitter paper. Did you know our glitter paper doesn't shed? You won't be covered in fairy dust after working with it. I know, that's not nearly as much fun, but some people have an issue with it. Another tip, save an old cutting blade to use just when cutting glitter paper. I'm not sure the glitter paper dulls the blade, but you don't need a nice, new, sharp one for glitter paper, so why risk it? I also have a separate one for Kraft paper. It's easy to label the blades with a Sharpie. I always pull my blade toward me on the SureCut™ Trimmer. Someone, maybe Fiskars, told me NOT to cut back and forth as it wears down the wire. I also like to know which way I am using the blade, so when I switch, or it jumps out, I know which way to put it back.

On the inside I stamped the sentiment and some of the smaller stamps. I colored the floral spray with the Sugarplum Shimmer brush and then picked up Mint with a Waterbrush for the leaves.

Thanks for stopping by. When you are done here, hop over to Melissa's blog and check out her idea. I'm sure it's brilliant!

If you aren't already working with a consultant, you can shop here.

Here's a list of the products I used:
  • D1796 You Have My Heart stamp set
  • Z6501 Ballerina ink
  • Z6500 Sugarplum ink
  • Z2832 Pewter ink
  • Z4189 Intense Black ink
  • Z6503 Mint ink
  • Z3224 Waterbrush - small
  • X7238B Oh What Fun Paper Packet
  • X9000 Seasons Mix-in Paper Packet
  • X6027 White Daisy cardstock
  • X5994 Ballerina cardstock
  • Z4188 Sugarplum glitter paper
  • Z4210 Shimmer Brush - Sugarplum
  • 1772 Ultra-Thin Glue Dots
  • X254 White Cards & Envelopes value pack
  • Z1836 Non-stick Micro-tip Scissors
  • Z3326 Tombow® Permanent Adhesive
  • 9045 Love of Color guide (don't forget an Everyday Life™ album too)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

It's that time of year...

The Holiday Expressions catalog will end December 31, 2018. That means there is a retiring list and items start selling out. If there is something you've been waiting to order, now is the time!!

You can find the complete retired list here. I have the list in order by page number. Major changes include:

  • Red Album in post-bound and ring-bound
  • Pink Album in post-bound and ring-bound
Most of the other items are "normal" retirement items, all the printed paper/kits, all the stamp sets, SOTMs, etc.

Items already sold out are:
  • Z1382 Tweezers
  • Z1767 Chalk Marker
  • Z1768 Metallic Markers
  • Z1795 Quilling Tool
  • Z1805 Hook & Loop Dots
  • Z2197 Edge Distresser
  • Z3024 White Shimmer Trim
  • Z3090 Red Enamel Gems
  • Z3299 Cricut Artbooking Collection (CARTRIDGE)
  • Z3371 Gold Pearls
  • Z3400 Shimmer Brush-Bashful (previous color of the year)
  • Z4238 Wonder of the Season Stamp + Thin Cuts Bundle
  • Z4306 Thin Cuts--Merry Christmas
  • Z5205 Red 12" x 12" D-ring Album
With the busy holiday season upon us, keep in mind that delivery times may take 3-4 days longer in transit than you are accustomed to for your area. Close To My Heart is committed to staying within the 2-6 day in-house turnaround time, and encourage you to allow a few additional days for shipping times in order to accommodate the increased loads placed on parcel delivery services at this time of the year. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Shake Things Up! - CTMH Technique Blog Hop

Welcome!! You have arrived at The Scrap Buzz from CTMH Craftings. Lauren is across the Pacific Ocean from me in New Zealand!! Keep clicking the links from blog to blog until you visit every in the circle.  If you get lost while globetrotting, there's a list of participants here.

Did you get last month's special, Holiday Sparkle? So cute!! That card kit was Cut Above® style, all the pieces were pre-cut. But the fun doesn't have to stop with that kit, this month's blog hop is showing ideas using the individual Shaker Card products.

For my card, I started with our new Cricut® Season of Joy Digital Collection.  The "Silent Night" card is pre-designed with all the layers, #M584FBE2. The four layers are attached at the sides to form an "M" shape. I have cut this before in standard size; this time, to accommodate the shaker, I made it 5x7. I removed "Silent Night" and replaced it with the "Oh Holy Night" image #M584F877. I made the base circle 3" to match the scale of the Shaker Window and Confetti Thin Cuts.

TIP: Remember to insert your scoring stylus when cutting the card overlays.

The Thin Cuts set comes with four dies:
  • base circle
  • star confetti
  • heart confetti
  • stitched ring for the top
The confetti dies are great for using up small, odd shaped scraps. If you don't have any scraps, you can run the same piece through your machine in different alignments. I added star confetti to the Loose Sequins in Silver. 

TIP:  Toss the Anti-static Pouch in with your sequins, re-seal and shake a little. Remove the pouch. It helps tame things down a bit.

Except for the base circle, the O Holy Night layers are on top of the acetate circle. After attaching the Sapphire phrase to the Carolina Blue piece, I highlighted the sentiment with Liquid Glass. I added Embellishing Thread to mimic the cardstock circles and sandwiched it between the cardstock and glitter stars with Micro Glue Dots. This was all secured to the top ring before placing it on the acetate.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of my project. Your next stop is just down the highway from here (literally), so head to duck-land and see what JAYMA has created for you!

Products Used:

Monday, October 15, 2018

Paste-fully Creative - CTMH Technique Blog Hop

Welcome to my first entry in a Blog Hop! And welcome to The Scrap Buzz, new visitors!!

If you have arrived here from  Maz Wood: aMAZing Close to my Heart Creations, you're in the right place. If you get lost, a full list of participants can be found here.

Theme Photo for Paste-fully Creative CTMH Technique Blog Hop
In case you missed it, there are several options for purchasing texture paste. The products are offered separately, or as part of the Boutique Deluxe Bundle which includes the Palette Knives, larger 3.9 jar of Opaque Matte,  a package of Stencil Sheets and a Sugarplum Shimmer Brush. You save 10% by purchasing the bundle.

We also offer a Texture Paste Trio of 1 oz jars in Transparent Matte, Transparent Gloss and Opaque Matte.

I was planning another technique and a school theme, but before I finished with paper selection I had a new idea. Could I make a hand print with texture paste? The answer is YES!

Scrapbook page with Kindergarten school photo and Texture Paste handprint

Texture Paste How To

I played with several variations, but a straight forward method was the best choice. Initially I was looking for a fine image like what you would expect with ink, similar to a finger print. The paste gives a fun textured image similar to paint.
    close-up of child's handprint made with Texture Paste on a scrapbook page
  1. "Butter" your hand with one of the Palette Knives, just like you would do bread. This should be a medium thickness. About half will transfer to the paper; the other half will remain on your hand.
  2. Just like stamping, press your hand straight down and after a few seconds, remove it straight up.
  3. Happy with your image? Texture Paste is great for us perfectionists because it's never going to be "perfect," so unless you're missing a finger, it's probably good to go!
  4. Scrape the excess paste off your hand with the Palette Knife or clean with a baby wipe, then wash thoroughly with soap and water. The paste is non-toxic in addition to acid-free. 
  5. Don't forget to replace the lid on the jar and clean up your knife and work area while the paste is wet. Set your project aside to air dry. I let mine sit overnight. 
Note that I left the paste white, straight from the jar. If you mixed the paste with color, you might have a colored hand for a few days!

close-up of embellishments used on Kindergarten school picture scrapbook page
Close-up of Cricut-cut shadow images title raised with 3-D foam tape

There are some tips below that cover a few issues I had when putting this page together. Please leave a comment before you head over to see what Vandra has to share.

Tips for Easier Tool Use

Cuttlebug Tip:  At the Annual CTMH North America Convention this year, we were told that on the Thin Cuts notebook edge it's hard to tell which is the positive and negative images. So, it's helpful to mark your die once you know which is which. (BTW-Sharpie will come off onto your C plate.) Also, to repeat the cut on a longer piece of paper, overlap just the very ends of the die. You may wish to use a piece of Washi Tape to hold things in place. I also suggest you start in the middle of the paper, then fill in each end so you don't have a little short piece to cut.

Tip for using the notebook edge border thin cuts from CTMH on a Cuttlebug

Tip #2: The Texture Paste can cause your paper to warp. You may be able to prevent this by using Washi Tape again. Attach your paper to the All-Purpose Mat. I didn't remember that so my paper was no longer flat (left side).

before and after pictures showing fix for warping caused by Texture Paste

I fixed it by spraying a little water on the BACK of my paper with a Spray Pen. It was moist, not wet. Then I washi taped it to my Versamat and let it dry. That did the trick (right side)!

Thanks for stopping by!


Products Used

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

One Card Pattern, Three Ways

I am loving the September Stamp of the Month!

I started with the pattern from the Grateful Heart Cardmaking Kit, You Got This, and substituted the stamp set and embellishment. That was so painless, I repeated the idea with other stamps from Just Treats and the papers from Oh What Fun and 'Tis the Season.

Monday, September 3, 2018

National Stamping Month!

This month we have a fabulous special, Memories in the Making. The product choices are:

  • CC9181 Cut Above Layout Kit for $29.95
    • everything is pre-cut and ready to go!
    • all you need is adhesive and a journaling pen
    • makes 13 single page layouts (about $2.30 each)
  • CC9185 adds the My Creation Calendar for just $1 more, $30.95
    • this year the layouts are built on separate base pages making it easy to add and remove from the calendar
  • Two exclusive, this month only, stamp sets
      • CC9182 Days $17.95 (D size)
        • includes separate 1-31 number images, plus more
      • CC9183 Months double set $29.95 (E size)
        • set of 12 months in large script
      • Buy together and save 20%! 
        • CC9183 Stamp Set Bundle $37.95
  • CC9186  Calendar Kit and stamps $60.95 (30% off retail)
There are a lot of pieces in the Cut Above Layout kit so a I made a video showing what goes on each page. 

Don't forget to add Just Treats, the September Stamp of the Month, for only $5 when you order $50 or more. And join us September 15, National Stamping Day, to assemble your pages!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Safeguard your Snapshots

I recently took a free online class on mobile photography from #PersnicketyPrints. I've been telling you, along with many others, that you need to back up your phone (and other devices) to prevent the loss of your pictures, but did you know it matters HOW and WHERE you do that?

How many of you saw poor, pathetic Dexter after his surgery? This is the picture I posted on my personal  Facebook page.

I took the picture with my phone and it has all this wonderful information attached (metadata)!

Now, compare that to the information from the SAME image, which I downloaded to the SAME phone from Facebook.

Do  you notice any differences? (FYI, I did not remove any pertinent information from the screen shot with editing, there are still no tags, but there was NO camera info...the image was downloaded, not taken.  It did categorize the image as "food" though, LOL!)

The date: my phone tells me when I actually took the picture. The downloaded image tells me when I downloaded it. Somewhat useful, but if I want to scrapbook this later, I may want the date more precise. And speaking of dates, my phone also named the image with the date. I'm not sure what the numbers from the Facebook name mean. Finally, and to my point, notice the difference in Resolution between the two! The original was 5312x2988 pixels. The download was only 528x960.

What is Resolution and why does it matter? Webster says,

 a measure of the sharpness of an image or of the fineness with which a device (such as a video display, printer, or scanner) can produce or record such an image usually expressed as the total number or density of pixels in the image 
  • resolution of 1200 dots per inch

What is a Pixel and why does it matter? Remember when TV screens where growing but some of the bigger ones were blurry if you didn't look at them just right? Those little dots of color that make up a picture are pixels.  Anyone remember Dot Matrix Printers? These actually combined dots of ink to form letters when printing.

Little dots of color make up pictures. Lots of dots = high resolution. Not so many = low resolution. Got it. Why is that important?

Did you ever try to print a picture and get the "yellow triangle?" On the #Walgreens website, this is the "low resolution" warning and means "your photo does not contain enough detail to produce a high quality printed image." You may also get this warning if you crop a picture to zoom in on the subject.

If I want to print Dexter's downloaded picture as an 8x10, that darn yellow triangle will show up, or I might buy a print and it will be blurry. Why? Facebook compresses your pictures. It needs to store a lot of information (not just pictures, cat videos too!) and get those pictures to load quickly. Facebook is a fun distraction but it is NOT a photography site. Can you imagine going to Uncle Jim's funeral and seeing a wallet size picture of him in an 11x14 frame because the resolution was too small to print  anything larger?

Now you know your phone isn't going to last forever, it could be damaged tomorrow, so you've got to get the pictures somewhere else for safekeeping. Facebook is not the place. Your computer is just as vulnerable as your phone. So, what else is there? The cloud. You can use a "major" cloud service to store your pictures. Right now mine are with photo services because I started using them pre-cloud. (I'm fairly certain they have clouds of their own.)

In a perfect world, all your pictures are on one service so you can find things easier. I have been putting my Family Tree pictures on One Drive. I have found that's the best way to link and upload/download them with the genealogy program I use.

Here's another comparison: The first bit of file info is from a picture taken on my phone and uploaded to One Drive. The second was downloaded from Facebook to One Drive. (I cropped out the file name because it's a name.) If these were pictures of your great-grandparents, which one would you print??

Here is the file info from an image I had at #Snapfish. Using their app I can upload directly from my phone. The information below is from the website. Notice that this gives me BOTH the date taken and uploaded, the camera (phone) information and the higher resolution numbers (5312x2988).

Finally, here is file data from #Shutterfly for an image that was received by text and saved to my phone, then uploaded with their app. The resolution is good and the date is close, but it would be hard to find in tens of thousands of pictures. In this day and age it might be easy to share pictures and information, but that doesn't mean that what we receive is what we will need 50 years from now.

Previous Post here

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Craft with Heart

Can you believe it's August? What happened to July? And June...and May and...???

Since returning from the Close To My Heart® Convention a month ago it's been very difficult to keep  quiet about all the new goodies we have in store. August may drag on and on! But there are a few things you can get your hands on early...

First is the More Magical special. This will give you a sneak peek of three of the new colors we're adding to the Exclusive Inks palette. You can read about that under Specials.

Second is an exciting new program: Craft with Heart, featuring the wonderful Cut Above® kits!! [insert applause here] Everyone loves these kits because there is no cutting required! No fuss, no muss, scrapbooking starts and ends with our Cut Above® layout kits. With pre-printed base pages, paper pieces, die-cuts, stickers, and easy to follow directions, these kits help you preserve your memories in minutes. All you need is adhesive and a pen to complete the kit. What could be easier?

Automatic delivery right to your door!!

Craft with Heart™ is our new SUBSCRIPTION program!! You can have a kit for every month of the year. Each kit make two double-page scrapbook layouts. Of course, Memory Protectors are also included. The new Holiday Expressions catalog begins September 1, but you can see the Cut Above® kits and subscribe now. You don't have to wait!
We will be offering  three subscription choices in total. Only the 12-month subscription is being available early. With the TWELVE month option your will receive one box every four months. Each box contains four different kits. You will be charged once every 12 months.
    • This option gives you a 20% discount on the kits.
    • Shipping is FREE!
    • PLUS receive a code from Persnickety Prints for 30 free 4x6 prints!
The 12-month option is the best price per kit, only $14.36.

product image

The other two options will be:
  • ONE kit shipped to you every month, billed monthly.
  • FOUR kits in one box, billed and shipped every four months (each catalog cycle)
    • This option gives you a 10% discount and saves on shipping costs.
Here's a chart comparing all three choices:

Subscribing is easy: 
  • Follow this link to my web page.
  • Click on the SUBSCRIBE button.
  • Sign-in to your account (or create one).
  • In August, only the 12-Month option is available. Click CONTINUE.
  • Select or enter the address where the subscription will be delivered. Click CONTINUE.
  • Select or enter the billing information. Click CONTINUE.
  • Review your subscription information. Click SUBSCRIBE.
By subscribing in August for the 12-Month subscription, your first box will ship right away!

product image
Craft with Heart™ can help everyone preserve their memories. This will help you have completed projects using quality CTMH products. The kits are exclusive and only available through the subscription. If you like the convenience of Cut Above® kits, you're going to love Craft with Heart™!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Going Solo in July

As part of this month's Stampaganza special, we've brought back our popular Solos Alphabet and Number stamp sets.

Here are some cards I made (yes, they're originals!!) using the Solos.

Something inspired me to match up a circle with one a letters, so I turned to Make It From Your Heart, Volume 4 and found design #23. Instead of cutting a piece of paper for piece C, I used the zip strip. The B&T paper and color scheme is from the Central Park creative collection.

I added a large "13" to the inside of a birthday card behind the sentiment from the March SOTM. If you missed out, I have one left!!

Be sure to complete your collection or stock up on things Poppy and Pacifica because they will be retiring at the end of August and may sell out prior to that.

The products used in these cards were:
Products are available to purchase on my website. Or, Let Me Show You How to discover your own creativity!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Operation Smile™

Here's the picture from the CTMH blog post of the Share a Smile Challenge winners. The beautiful young lady between President Monica (center) and Avis  (right) is an Operation Smile™ Ambassador. Chadlene stood up in front of her class at 3 years old to sing for them. Due to her facial deformities, the other children laughed and bullied her. Before that, she thought she was just like everyone else. She prayed for a miracle and Operation Smile performed the necessary operation. She used singing as part of her therapy. In 2013, Chadlene won a reality singing show in the Philippines. Now she tells her story and uses her talent as an instrument to help other children receive their miracles.

.Every year at convention there is an auction of items made by consultants. These items are amazing pieces of art! I will try to share them once they are made public. In addition to the auction, some teams have additional fund raising opportunities. At the 2018 North Convention, these combined efforts raised over $81,000, the largest amount ever raised at a single CTMH event!

Our customers have been a big part of raising money for Operation Smile™ too. Remember that we offer a special stamp set, currently Punny Pals, and when you purchase this set at the regular D-size price, $7 of the proceeds are donated to the organization. If  you haven't already purchased these cuties, do so now, they'll be leaving us August 31! I also have the matching Thin Cuts dies available. Another way to help is by rounding up your order every time you make a purchase. We also offer  Operation Smile™  t-shirtsFor every one purchased, we will donate $10 USD of the proceeds.

Thank you for your continued support of Operation Smile™!!

Monday, July 2, 2018

News from Convention

The first bit of news is an adjustment to our Idea Book publication. We will have three issues of Seasonal Expressions, just like before, except that they will include all the current products so there's only one catalog per cycle. There will no longer be a large Annual Inspirations, year long book.  With this modification, the current Annual Inspirations will continue through August 31, 2018. Keep in mind that, as always, some products may sell out as we approach the retirement date, so shop early!

The NEW Holiday Expressions that was revealed to consultants at our annual convention this past weekend, will begin September 1, 2018 and run through December 31, 2018. This is the same Expressions schedule we have had for the "small books." The catalog has been beefed up and actually has more pages than last year's Annual Inspirations.

Let's talk colors! It should be no surprise that Bashful, the current Color of the Year will be departing to the great palette in the sky, but never fear, a new shade is on it's way! If you love this delicate pink though, don't be shy, make sure you order the re-inker for your stamp pad and stock up on the cardstock and glitter paper. 
10 additional colors will be leaving to make room for 10 new shades. Gone in the new CTMH year will be:
  • Crystal Blue
  • Juniper
  • Flaxen
  • Sorbet
  • Pacifica
  • Tangerine
  • Blossom
  • Cranberry
  • Poppy
  • Nutmeg

The mini-pigment pads are discontinued. Full size pigment pads are coming in select colors.

The Fundamentals line is retiring.

Be sure to keep an eye on my cloud based Retiring List where I've added notes and will update you as products sell out.

One of the many highlights of convention this year was having Stacy Julian, former DOTS consultant, back with us. Her new product line, Story by Stacy, expands in the 2018 Holiday Expressions. She made a quick video to give you a peek. When you're shopping STAMPAGANZA this month, be sure to add Colorful Texture and Quotable Words to your cart. Not only will you be able to get a 3rd stamp set FREE, but prices will be going up slightly on stamp sets for the first time ever.

Stay tuned for more updates and info on new products!!

More questions? Leave a comment!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

2018 Retired List

The corporate office has released the retired list.

The big catalog aka Annual Inspirations 2017-18 is valid for 1 year. As we approach July 31, 2018, some items may sell out, so shop early!

The new Annual Inspirations 2018-19 will post and go live August 1, 2018. Contact me for a physical copy.

Our small catalogs aka Seasonal Expressions run for four months each.

The current issue runs through August 30, 2018.

You can still find several items from the January-April Expressions for sale while supplies last under the Going Soon area of my website.

Click here for the retired list in PDF format.

Click here to link to the list in Excel format. This is the list I will keep up-to-date as items sell out.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Cricut Expression users need to READ THIS

  • Cricut has announced that the Cricut Craft Room will CLOSE as of July 15, 2018. 
  • Legacy Machines are NOT compatible with Design Space.
  • Legacy Machines CAN continue to be used as stand-alone devices.
  • Cricut is offering $75 off new Explore machine or bundle for customers who haven't yet upgraded.

Read complete details from Cricut here.

I started with Expression and currently use Explore Air. If you have any questions about differences and transitioning, feel free to contact me. The decision to discontinue CCR (as well as to drop physical cartridges) was made by Cricut, not Close To My Heart. In fact, CTMH advocated for keeping physical cartridges. If you have specific comments about the decision, contact Cricut/Provo Craft.

One of the main reasons people have not upgraded yet is because Design Space is an online program and scrapbookers often craft where there is no Internet availability. Cricut has been working on this issue and currently offers Design Space Offline for iOS.

One of my favorite features of Design Space (DS) is that you can share files! For the Pretty in Pink promotion in February, we offered a Butterfly Mobile project and supply bundle. CTMH gave the DS file for everyone to use. 

Files look like this When you click on a DS file link, or cut and paste into your browser, the link will open the Design Space program and open the file. As long as you have the rights to use the images from the file, you can cut immediately. What a time saver! You can also share files with friends. I can send you files for Cricut Coordinating stamp sets that you purchase or help you re-size images for a project. 

The Explore machines use the same tools, mats and blades as the Expression.