Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Simply Inspired Blog Hop - New Product Showcase

Welcome to this month’s Simply Inspired Blog Hop. If you arrived here from the fabulous Dana Kessler’s blog you are in the right place. This month we are celebrating the release of Close to my Heart’s new Annual Inspirations Idea Book with a New Product Showcase. All of the artwork from the amazing Consultants in this hop, is made using brand spankin’ new products that will be available on August 1st. (I will add links for you to the products I used on August 1st.)

I know it may seem a little early to be thinking about Fall, but it is right around the corner. I fell in love with the Fall themed papers and coordinating embellishments from CTMH’s new Pathfinding Collection and knew they would be perfect to highlight these family photos. 

The Pathfinding paper and Compliments (chipboard) pieces include great designs using Olive, Autumn Terracotta, Champaign, Chocolate, and a beautiful new color called Glacier. On the left page of the spread I cut the title on my Explore machine from a piece of Goldrush cardstock. (I used a font called Lavanderia Bold.) The frame is stamped with a new background stamp set called Season of Thanks. The “Love is all you need" sentiment is from the Big Hug stamp set.

I also used some of the Pathfinding Assortments throughout the layout. To add a little sparkle, I used a few of the new Gold Bling Gems. (They are one of my favorite new accessories!) 

The pattern I used for my layout came from the Magic How-To Book. One of the best things about the book is that it shows different ways to make your layouts interactive. I used the Hocus Pocus pattern on pages 56-61. The film strip on the bottom slides to the left to reveal more photos that are hiding. It is so much fun to make your layouts interactive.

Now hop on over to Fancy Melissa Laverty’s blog to see her wonderful creation! If you get lost along the way, click here to see a list of all the participants.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Surf's Up Card in a Box

My friend, Convention roommate, and 2nd downline, Kim Hensley gave me this super cute card-in-a-box that I just had to share with you. Isn’t it adorable? She used Close to my Heart’s Surf’s Up Picture my Life cards instead of patterned paper. I love it! She also used the Lifting Spirits stamp set, the super fun July Stamp of the Month called Circus Alphabet, and one of the stamp sets that comes with the Art Philosophy Cricut Collection.  The clouds and sun were cut using images from the Artiste Cricut cartridge. I love how she embossed the white cardstock clouds with the Dot and Stripe embossing folders and cut the sun out of a piece of Gold Glitter Paper.

This is one of my all time favorite cards. It just makes me happy every time I look at it! Thanks Kim!

Here is a photo of my CTMH Convention roomies (from left to right): Christine Adams, Kim Hensley (who made this great card), and me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

So grateful for CTMH - (a Peek into my Personal Life)

I don't have a project to share with you today, but a little personal story I'd like to share instead. I am blessed beyond belief to have such a wonderful husband and two fabulous kiddos. My son is 10 (almost 11) and my daughter is 7 (almost 8.) My sweet daughter has been struggling with some pretty severe anxiety issues and panic attacks since March. She struggles with going out to public places like restaurants, school, certain stores, and anywhere that might be crowded. She has not been eating much and has lost weight, which concerns the doctors because she is already a bit underweight. It got so bad that we had to pull her out of school in April and she had to finish off her 1st grade school year at home.

We have been meeting with a psychologist weekly since April to help with her anxiety and eating issues. While this psychologist has been wonderful working with my son, who was diagnosed with high functioning autism 3 years ago, my daughter hasn't made much progress. In fact, in some ways it has been worse. So, I decided to do some research to see if I could find someone else who uses a different approach. I found a therapist who specializes in play therapy and art therapy to help children with anxiety. (My daughter loves art, so I thought this might be a good approach to try.) We met with the therapist a few days ago. The two of them really clicked and after a lot of talking and praying, we have decided to start seeing her weekly in hopes that she will help my daughter prepare to go back to school next month. The only down side is that our insurance doesn't cover it. However, because of my Close to my Heart business, we are able to pay for it!

When I signed up with Close to my Heart almost 10 years ago, I did it mainly to get a discount on my own crafting supplies. Then after a few years, I was able to make enough money to pay for my paper crafting supplies so I didn't have to dip into our personal checking account every time I wanted to buy something. Now, almost 10 years later, I am blessed to be making enough money to pay for my daughter's much needed therapy. I am so grateful for the opportunities that CTMH has provided to me and my family!

I know everyone can use a little extra money each month. How would you use an extra $500 or $1,000 each month? Would you use it to buy more paper crafting supplies, save it to take your family on a fun vacation, or use it to help a child who is in need of special therapy that is not covered by insurance?

Feel free to contact me if you'd like some information on turning your hobby into a lucrative business like I did. You can also find some great FAQs about signing up with CTMH here. Or if you are excited to start your journey now, you can find the online application here.

Whatever your reason for wanting to become a CTMH Consultant, I pray that you will be blessed as much as I have been! *Ü*

Friday, July 11, 2014

July Stamp of the Month and TWO New Consultant Kits

July Stamp of the Month

Your artwork can really put on a show with the July Stamp of the Month, Circus Alphabet, available during this month only. When you place an order of $50 or more, you can get this amusing set for just $5—and we're not clowning around! The artistic possibilities of this set reach far beyond simple lettering: its fancy acrobatics also work for stunning backgrounds and eye-catching embellishments. Such a fun stamp set is yours if you act soon on this jumbo deal!

Watch this video for some fun ways to use this adorable stamp set!

With a minimum qualifying purchase, get your D-size Stamp of the Month set for just $5.00! Add the stamp set to your cart on this page at full retail price or, with your qualifying order, add it at checkout for the promotional price.

Spend:  $50.00  No purchase required
You pay only:  $5.00   $17.95 (full retail) 

Click here to order your July Stamp of the Month.

New Consultant Kits are here!

Choose from two new kits containing all new products!

Do you love Close to my Heart products? Would you like to get a discount on every order you place? How about turning your hobby into a lucrative business?

If you answered yes to at least one of those questions, you might want to consider joining the CTMH family! When you sign up as CTMH Consultant this month, not only will you have access to all of the new products that are not even released yet, but you will get to choose from two different New Consultant kits! One is geared towards the scrapbooker and one is geared towards the cardmaker. 

For just $99, you can get over $365 worth of brand new CTMH goodies! Feel free to visit the New Consultant FAQ page here or contact me for more information.

I would love to have you on my team whether you would like to be a Hobbyist and just get the products at a discount for yourself or if you'd like to build a business and make some extra money doing something you love. There is a place for everyone here at Close to my Heart!

Want more information? Click here to see FAQs.
Have more questions? Click here to contact me. 
Ready to sign up? Click here to sign up online.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Prep Time...

I am currently prepping my monthly project kits. It's a lot of work, but so worth it! Nothing makes me happier than mailing out tons of project kits each month to eagerly awaiting crafters around the country!

450 leaves cut...1520 flowers to go! I am very thankful for my wonderful Cricut Explore right now!

Hope you are all working on some fun projects tonight too!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Give Thanks Framed Artwork for Operation Smile

I was honored to be asked to do a presentation at the Close to my Heart Convention last week. One of the highlights of presenting my artwork was that I got to donate one of my projects to a special live auction that CTMH does each year to raise money for Operation Smile. This is an incredible organization that provides surgeries to children across the world who have a cleft lip or palate.

The project that I donated was a framed piece of 12" x 12" artwork of a fall-themed tree scene. I cut the tree using the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge. I brought the tree image into Design Space and added some extra branches and welded them to the tree. Then I cut the image 5 times from Chocolate cardstock and layered them on top of each other to give it some dimension. I did the same thing with the "Give Thanks" sentiment that was cut from the Artiste cartridge and then added some 3-D Foam Tape to the back. (The frame is a little sneak peek of a new CTMH product coming out that I know you will love!) Since the frame is more of a shadow box, I wanted my artwork to have some dimension.

The leaves were also cut from the Art Philosophy cartridge. Each leaf was cut twice. The back of each leaf was cut from Chocolate cardstock and the front was cut from either Goldrush, Olive, or the new Pathfinding patterned paper, which will be released on August 1st. (Since the front layer of the leaves is really intricate, I suggest cutting it on the Explore machine if you have one. It does a much better job with tiny, fancy cuts.) I adhered the two leaf layers together and then added them to the tree. Some of them were adhered with 3-D Foam Tape and some were adhered with Bonding Memories Glue.

The adorable little owl, squirrel, and pumpkin are from the new Pathfinding Dimensional Elements Compliments, which will also be released on August 1st.

I am amazed that my simple, humble artwork sold for $350 which is more than enough for one surgery!!! Yay! Thank you to everyone who bid on it! I am overjoyed that one child will receive the surgery that he/she desperately needs because of your generosity!

I will be sharing more of the artwork that I created for my presentation, so be sure to visit my blog again soon!. In the meantime, here are a few photos that were taking during and after my presentation. 

I was privileged to present with my friends and fellow Consultants Beckie Lehman, Pamela O’Conner, and Brenda Rose. A huge shout out to these amazingly talented and creative gals

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July Project Kit - Jubilee Boxed Card Set

July’s Creative Club will be held on Thursday, July 17th at 7pm. We will be creating a boxed card set using the beautiful Jubilee papers and Cricut cut flowers.

The project kit is just $30 and includes all of the following: 
Additional products needed to complete this project:
3-D Foam Tape
Ink Pads: Chocolate, Honey
Spong Dauber
Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge (optional - Kit comes with all pieces pre-cut, but you will need the cartridge if you would like to make more in the future.)
Damask Embossing Folder and embossing machine

Add additional kits without the stamp set for just $15 more!

You will make this adorable box and 2 each of 3 card designs (6 cards total) with coordinating envelopes to go inside. 

The first card contains (5) 3-D flowers and opens in a unique way. 

The second card is sweet and simple with (3) small 3-D flowers and a sentiment of your choice.

The third card contains an elegant embossed panel with an open space to stamp your sentiment.

You will also learn how to add flair to your envelopes by lining the flaps on the outside.

Thank you for the great response.
Kits are now sold out.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

2014 CTMH Convention Update

Oh my goodness! Did I ever have a good time at the 2014 Close to my Heart Convention last week! I was planning to pop in and share all of the CTMH goodness with you as it happened, but I ended up being so busy that by the time I came back to my hotel room each night, I fell asleep before I could get anything posted! I have lots to share, so check back as I won't be able to share it all in one post.

I love Disneyland and was thrilled that this year's Convention was at the DL Hotel. Seeing Mickey and Minnie is always a highlight for me. (I know I am 44 years old, but there is something about these two mice that always make me feel like I am a kid again!)

Another fun thing about Convention is seeing my old friends and making new ones! I was overwhelmed by the gifts I received from so many Consultants! I will have to take photos of each one of the amazing handmade gifts I received and post them for you to see!

I also gave a few little gifties to my team members who attended. (I always give my team something fun each year.) I posted a photo before I left of the outside, but thought I'd share what I put inside. I stamped one of our muslin drawstring bags with the cute Joyful Wishes stamp in Chocolate ink. I filled it with a base and bling necklace with our team name “Paper Trufflez.” Being the “Paper Trufflez” team, I just had to include an actual chocolate truffle. LOL! Each gift included a hand written card which I embossed using the quatrefoil embossing folder, and stamped with the Crafted with Love stamp set.  I also added a Cricut cut flower pin with each team member’s name which they could wear on their Convention name tag.

We made lots of fun projects during the create and take sessions using new products and even got a WHOLE BUNCH of new products to take home! I will post the artwork we made throughout the week, but these cards were among my favorites because they were quick and simple and used our new markers, which I love!!! (They blend like a dream.)

The business classes and the create and take sessions are always so fun and informative! I also enjoy the awards banquet each year. The food is to die for, the entertainment is fabulous, and cheering on my fellow Consultants who are honored for their hard work is always extra special. I was honored to receive an award this year for 5th place in recruiting in the United States. I have the best team and love watching them grow. Recruiting is something that makes me happy, happy, happy! Thank you to all of my team members who helped me earn this award!

I have so much more to share, but will do it in another post. Stop by tomorrow for more fun Convention updates, including photos of some of the artwork that I created to share during the Product Showcase presentation.