Friday, September 2, 2016

Jeepers Creepers - I'm Back!

Yes! - I have been "missing in action" for 4 months and while it may seem that I have abandoned my crafting, that is certainly not the case!  Life can throw you some curve balls, when you least expect it and mine came via a phone call back in May from our local hospital, my Dad arriving there by ambulance. He had suffered a major stroke and despite having surgery to retrieve the blood clot from his brain and lots of fighting on his behalf, he didn't fully recover. It is so sad to see an active man that was mowing lawns and building children's toys in his shed one day, to not being able to speak, eat and walk the next. He has now been admitted to a Nursing Home and life for my family has certainly changed, we hold on tight to our memories and take one day at a time....and although I haven't spent as much time in my craft room as I would like, I have managed some time out... to simply play and enjoy all the new goodies that Close To My Heart has released over the past few months in their Annual Inspirations and Holiday Expressions catalogue/idea books.

I have also been busy designing new workshop kits for those of you who like to play along with me and scrapbook at home. The first of these I have to share uses the new Jeepers Creepers Paper Pack and Complement Pack which includes fun stickers and black glitter die-cut letters and shapes....see the preview/s below or click here to view the full layouts and to find the purchasing options available to you.

and while you may think the papers are very much Halloween based...they really are so much more....this project contains layouts and cards to celebrate all that is "sweet" in your life, create fun birthday messages or simply showcase your children's monstrous activities.
The layouts have been designed in a classic format with minimal resizing and cropping of photos needed, they include journalling boxes and also allow you the opportunity to further embellish and create your own style.

I had so much fun creating this project... and I hope you enjoy it just as much.

Monday, May 2, 2016

New Product Release Product Profile #1

The 1st of May saw the release of a brand new Seasonal Expressions Catalogue/Idea Book from Close To My Heart. It is jammed packed with so many exciting new products I thought it would be fun to share here, on my blog, a series of product profile feature articles!

Where to start is the tricky part! as there is so much crafty goodness to share! However, this past weekend I shared a Creative Session at the CTMH Team Builders Leaders Conference, that showcased alternative uses for Thin Cut dies and while some of this presentation was streamed live on Periscope the art work was a little difficult to see.

While Thin Cuts were primarily designed to co-ordinate with our lovely stamp sets, their uses are only limited by your imagination. I use them a lot as stand-alone die cuts ( that is without any stamping added at all ) - they make great decorative borders and embellishments for your scrapbook pages.

These are some of the new Ornate Blossom Thin Cuts...

... and these are some layouts that use partial elements of the shapes to create decorative borders. The first layout showcases all the exotic rose gold foil and kraft cardstock embellishments in the new Florence Complement Pack along with the Florence Papers. The Thin Cut shape can be seen peeking out under the Thailand Culture subtitle... in the form of an irregular shaped scallop edge.

This second layout uses the same Ornate Blossom Thin Cut set and features some of the other papers in the Florence Paper range and stickers from the Florence Complements Pack, combined with some Fundamental Stickers - and again some of the partial die-cut shape have been used to form a scallop border.

Another fun Thin Cut set is the Carnival Fun set and this is where the ice-cream shapes can reinvent themselves as something else! In these layouts the triangle shape of the ice-cream cone was used to create a banner embellishment and the actual circular shape of the ice-cream top became another scallop border pattern.

 This layout features both these ideas and papers from the new Florence range and the Magical Paper Pack - they compliment each other beautifully.

This layout features the new Calypso Papers and Calypso Complements combined with the very pretty Kaleidoscope Papers.  
However, this time the Carnival Fun Stamp Set and Thin Cuts were combined to created a banner, stamped in Cotton Candy Ink.

 I hope you enjoyed this little insight into what can be created with Thin Cuts? You can find the Thin Cut die sets in my Online store and if you would like to attend a workshop to discover more creative inspiration with these sets you are welcome to join me my registering through this this link - simply click here.

Stay tuned for new Product Profile #2 coming soon!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sweet Sunshine Birdies

The March Stamp of the Month - Sunshine Birdies has been so much fun to create with! I have been churning out a huge array of different card styles this month.  After the 31st March, it will no longer be available to purchase, so I am very glad it has already been added it to my collection.

The little birdies are super sweet and I decided that they would be the perfect image to use to make Thank You cards. I love having a stash of pre-made thank you cards ready to is always nice to let someone know how much you appreciated them.

The cards were created using a combination of papers from the Penelope and Kaleidoscope Paper Packs and embellished with Purple Enamel Hearts and silver glitter  Playful Puffies. The sentiment was stamped in black ink and comes from the Packages, Boxes and Tags Stamp Set. The little birdies ( and sun image ) were stamped in Black Memento Ink and coloured with Watercolour Pencils and shaded with a Blending Pen. In order to create a multiple of cards in one sitting I used a simple design - the sketch I have shared with you below.

Remember each month you can purchase a new release D-size stamp set (such as Sunshine Birdies) - it is available for one month only! and can be yours for $7.50 when you place an order of $75 or more in Close To My Heart products in my online shop - for more information simply click here

Monday, March 28, 2016

Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge - #153

Once again I am joining the sketch fun over at the Atlantic Hearts Challenge Blog...

This week the card shape is square and I really enjoyed playing with this format. It has been quite awhile since I have created a card in a shape other than rectangle. I based my card around the stamp sets and cluster design I shared in my last blog post (you can find it by clicking -  here). I love how you can use the same stamp sets time and time again and by changing the colour palette come up with lots of different variations.

I basically followed the sketch design cutting 1/4" strips of paper to create the striped look depicted in the sketch. The pink and mint coloured papers were taken from the paper/pages in the
My Crush Everyday Life Pages. I especially love using these as a paper source and use them regularly to compliment my other paper packs. The sentiment comes from the Friend in Me stamp set and the background splatter was created with the Ink Blot stamp set  - using the 2nd generation stamping technique in  Black and Cotton Candy Ink. The flower and leave images...found in the Springtime Wishes and  Friend in Me stamp sets... were stamped in black ink on a combination of papers from the My Crush Everyday Life Pages, Regatta and Penelope Paper Packs. Although, some of the flowers and leaves were cut from the printed designs found on the My Crush Everyday Life Pages. They were then fussy cut and arranged in a cluster with some Foam Tape behind the larger flower to add some dimension. A paper bow from the Gold Fundamentals Assortment added just the right finishing touch.

Now, is the perfect time to add these 3 stamp sets to your collection. During the month of March...(and yes, we only have a few days left!) - when you purchase two stamp sets you get a third set for free - that is a saving of $21 on the 3 stamp sets used in this card design and exceptional value for money especially knowing you can use them over and over again. To find out more about this offer simply click here!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

One Design - Three Different Ways.

Inspired by the cover of the current Seasonal Expressions catalogue/idea book I created this sweet little card, that I have labelled as a "pocket full of friendship".

It uses three of my favourite stamp sets - Springtime Wishes, Friend in Me and Ink Blot. The floral images were stamped onto papers from the Georgie  and Penelope Paper Packs and arranged in a bouquet above a pocket shape cut from the
Cricut® Artistry Collection. The pocket was cut from White Daisy Cardstock, stamped with a sentiment and outlined with a Black Pen. The card design came together very quickly and I was super please with the end result... so what do you do when you have a fool proof "recipe" ? - you "cook" it again!!

The two versions below were stamped in Black Memento™ Ink then one was coloured with Watercolour Pencils and the other in a distressed Watercolour Painting technique using the same colour palette.

Then I repeated the paper pieced version in a slightly different colour, fun fun!!

If you would like to recreate this card yourself then now is the perfect time to add these stamp sets to your collection. During the month of March when you purchase two stamp sets you get a third set for free - that is a saving of $21 on the 3 stamp sets used in these card creations and exceptional value for money especially knowing you can use them over and over again. To find out more about this offer simply click here!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Stamp of the Month - Sunshine Birdies

I have been looking forward to sharing this month's Stamp of the Month with is very sweet and perfect for those who love colouring, but what makes it even more special is the fact that it co-ordinates beautifully with so many other stamp sets in the Close To My Heart range.

I decided to combine it with the floral images from the Friend in Me stamp set, along with a little embossing and some colouring with Watercolour Pencils in pretty pastel tones.

I used Pixie and White Daisy Cardstock along with the Damask Embossing Folder to create the card background. A circle was then cut from the centre and a sentiment and bird image from the Sunshine Birdies was stamped inside. The flowers and leaves from the Friend in Me set were stamped individually, coloured with Watercolour Pencils then fussy cut and arranged around the cute bird image. The card was embellished with Pixie Extra Thick Twine, Purple Enamel Hearts and some little black glitter stickers from the Black Fundamental Assortment were placed in the centre of the large flowers ( which are a little difficult to see in the photo ).

If you love mix and matching your stamp sets too?... then the wait is over! Today is the beginning of  Stampaganza 2016 - yes this month you can buy any two
My Acrylix® Stamp Sets (M-, A-, B-, C-, D-, or E-size) at full retail price and get a third stamp set of equal or lesser value FREE! That is a savings of up to $45!!! This offer is only available during March, so start submitting your stamp orders in my Online Shop (click here) and let the Stampaganza begin!

It is also time for another new sketch over at the Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge and I have showcased some of the other images from the  Sunshine Birdies stamp set combined with a thank you sentiment from the Packages, Boxes and Tags stamp set using this sketch design.

Sketch Challenge # 141

 Packages, Boxes, & Tags Stamp Set

Wishing you a happy week of crafting and I hope you enjoy your  Stampaganza shopping time! 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hello There...

... my apologies for the big gap between posts, I have been having a few issues with blogger not wanting to log me in. However, I am here now, so maybe the problem is resolved!!

If you follow me on Instagram (ChrissyML) or Facebook you would have seen my new little crafting companion Archie. He is a  very cute diluted ginger tabby cat, rescued from an Animal Shelter just after Christmas. He has become my shadow, he keeps running off with my scissors and pens and loves pretty paper as much as I do!!

Over the past few days my buddy and I have been colouring up a storm with Watercolour Pencils and images from the Spring Critters Stamp Set. This is one of the sets you can find in the new Seasonal Expressions and co-ordinates with the Spring Critters Thin-Cut Dies. I am very excited by the addition of Thin-Cut Dies in the Close To My Heart product range, they bring a whole new dimension to my crafting.

Thin-Cuts are metal dies that you can use with your favorite die cutting machine to cut shapes that coordinate perfectly with some of the  My Acrylix® stamp sets. They are ideal for those of you who really dislike fussy cutting. I prefer to stamp my image first then run it through my Cuttlebug machine with the co-ordinating Thin-Cut Die before colouring and using in my project designs.

This is Archie's "sad face" I wouldn't let him chew this pencil although, he has added teeth marks to almost all the others!! He was very intrigued with my colouring and blending and happily sat on my desk to watch the process...well almost, there were a few moments where he wanted to "help"!

...and this is the card "we" created with the coloured images. The sweet little bunny shapes were cut in half and placed inside square shapes almost to make them appear as if they were popping out to say Hello! The strips of patterned paper came from the Penelope and La Vie En Rose paper packs and trimmed with a tiny piece of glitter paper. The sentiment was stamped in black ink combining 2 of the sentiment images from the Spring Critters Stamp Set.

I am hoping blogger continues to co-operate as I have lots of fun projects to share combining colouring techniques and Thin-Cuts be sure to pop back for a visit soon... to see the full range of Thin-Cuts available click here!

Wishing you a great weekend and some relaxing colouring time :)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Craft for a Cause

During February, I am raising awareness and much need $$ for Operation Smile™. If you can assist me, it would truly be appreciated
Operation Smile™ is a not for profit organisation providing reconstructive surgery to children and young adults born in developing countries with facial deformities. Every three minutes a child is born somewhere in the world with a cleft lip or palate with one in ten of these dying before their first birthday. A cleft lip operation costs as little as $300. 

To help me raise money for this worthy cause, all you need to do is contact me to organise a crafty get together with your friends. We can make cards or a scrapbooking page. Cost per person to attend is $10 with half this fee being donated directly to Operation Smile™.  I will supply all the materials and tools needed to complete the project.

If you are unable to host a get together, but would love to make a donation?... then this fun little stamp (available only in February) is just for you!

Filled with adorable icons and loveable sentiments, this stamp set will be a wonderful addition to your collection  Not only will you be getting a high-quality stamp set by taking part in this promotion, but Close To My Heart will also donate $7 USD of the proceeds from the sale of this stamp set to Operation Smile™

This is a whimsical little card I whipped up using this stamp features Kraft Cardstock and black & white papers from the La Vie En Rose and Basic Fundamentals packs. The telephone and speech bubbles images were stamped in Cranberry and Black ink, then fussy cut and adhered to a circle shape cut from the Cricut® Art Philosophy Cartridge. The circle was outlined with the Black Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen to co-ordinate with the stamped outline of the speech bubbles - it worked a treat!

At the "heart" of Close To My Heart is the desire to help others—whether that’s showing you how to preserve your favourite memories and create beautiful artwork or giving back to those in need. That’s why you will find a line of  Operation Smile™ goodies in my Online Store where we donate a portion of each purchase to Operation Smile™ - simply click here to see what is on offer and how you can help.

... and did you know donations can be made every time you purchase from my Online Store?? -  all you have to do is round up your purchase. For example; if your purchase totals $98.50? -  you can round your total to $100 and $1.50 will be donated to Operation Smile™...easy peasy!

In my previous career as a Dental Nurse I have assisted both Oral Surgeons and Orthodontists with treatments associated with a cleft condition and seen first hand how these surgeries improve a child's way of life - things we take for granted, eating, hearing, speech and teeth. If you would like to know more about Operation Smile™ follow this link:

Since 1982, Operation Smile has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children from more than 60 countries, please consider joining me to help even more children in need.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stamp of the Month - Balloon Animals

Wow another new month!! Can you believe it is February already?? The kids are back at school, Summer sport is winding down and if you think it is time to claim a little play time in your craft, then I have a super cute stamp set that you will want to ink up!!

Take a peek at this month's Stamp of the Month - Balloon Animals a 13 piece stamp set that includes sentiments as well as an array of sweet balloon animals that include elephants and monkeys, making it very appealing for children's birthday cards

I chose a very classic/primary colour palette for this birthday card . I stamped the Balloon Animals in Crystal Blue, Honey and Cranberry  onto White Daisy Cardstock and then cut each image out individually to piece together the design.

I wanted my images to look like were actual floating balloons so I added some very thin slivers of Black Cardstock to look like string. These thin pieces of cardstock were less than 1/16th in width and they were very tricky to adhere! However, this is when my trusty Bonding Memories™ Glue Pen came into action! I LOVE the Close To My Heart Bonding Memories™ Glue Pen  - it has a small-tip applicator making it perfect for those teeny tiny pieces.  It is acid free and creates both permanent and temporary bonds...and at only $7 it has that perfect price too!! If you click on the picture below it will take you straight to this item in my Online Store where you can add it to your shopping basket... it is certainly a 'must have' item for every papercrafter!

The papers used in this card are featured in the Penelope and Regatta Paper Packs that was released last month be sure to check them out in my Online Store too... lots of bright, pretty and geometric prints to be found! The Happy Birthday sentiment was stamped in Black ink and is one of 5 sentiments found in the Balloon Animals stamp set. The card was finished of by embellishing with 3 little black glitter stars found in the Black Fundamental Assortment.
As usual you can purchase the Stamp of the Month (a D-size stamp set, that usually retails for $27) for just $7.50 AUD  when you place an order of $75 or more in Close To My Heart products in my Online Shop... you will simply be prompted at check-out to add it to your order.

When you visit my Online Shop this month be sure to take a look at the "Share the Love" promotion.  During February you can also purchase the exclusive My Acrylix® Share the Love D-size stamp set (CC1060).  Filled with adorable icons and loveable sentiments, this stamp set will be a beautiful addition to your collection—but there is more to this stamp set than meets the eye! Not only will you be getting a high-quality, swoon-worthy stamp set by taking part in this promotion, but Close To My Heart will also donate $7 USD of the proceeds from this stamp set to Operation Smile™, an amazing organization that provides surgeries to repair cleft lips and palates for children all over the world!* Keep a look out on social media all month long to see this stamp set in action, and remember to post your own artwork using the hashtag #ctmhsharethelove to help bring attention to this amazing and worthy cause

Be sure to pop back here in the coming days as I have some cards and layouts to share  using both these stamps sets....have a great week!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

1 Stamp Set - 3 Cards

Everything has been coming up roses over the past couple of weeks on my blog and today is no exception! There is no doubt that I have loved playing with the
January Stamp of the Month - Beloved Bouquet. This stamp set offers so many options for cardmakers and scrapbookers alike. It could be used for just about anything...Anniversary, Birthday, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Thinking of You, Thank you and so much more. However, there is some sad news... you only have a few more days to add this stamp set to your collection! If this is your "must have" stamp set too?... then pop on over to my ONLINE SHOP and place your order today and avoid disappointment.

Featured below are 3 cards created using the January Stamp of the Month - Beloved Bouquet that really highlight the versatility of the stamp set. I love that you can whip up a simple and effective card in just a few minutes or spend time in your craft room with inks and paints to create something a little more detailed. Whatever option you choose, I know this stamp set will help you create a masterpiece.

Don't forget you only have until the end of the month to add this lovely stamp set to you collection -  just $7.50 when you place an order of $75 or more in Close To My Heart products either online in my store, by phoning or emailing and placing your order directly through me... with 14 images included, this is stamp set is seriously great value!


Sunday, January 17, 2016

More Beloved Bouquets

I have been creating like crazy with this month's Stamp of the Month - Beloved Bouquet... you name it, layouts, cards etc  they have all been stamped in beautiful roses!

This is one of the layouts I shared at the 2 workshop events this weekend. It really showcases how the new Regatta Paper Pack can be used for more than just nautical themed projects... it is certainly very pretty used here.

The layout was based on the sketch below that I designed and altered slightly to add a large journaling box. I plan to use this page in a Heritage album and wanted an area to write down all the historical facts along with my memories.

The stamped images were all fussy cut and layered into the corner of the pages. I used Pomegranate, Sapphire, Flaxen and Glacier Inks. The stamped flower clusters were then complemented with leaves cut from the Cricut® Artistry Collection along with an assortment of embellishments - Glacier Fundamental Assortment, Blue Enamel Dots and Red Enamel Gems.

Don't forget you only have until the end of the month to add this lovely stamp set to you collection -  just $7.50 when you place an order of $75 or more in Close To My Heart products either online in my store, by phoning or emailing and placing your order directly through me... with 14 images included, this is one very versatile stamp set!

... and while you are browsing in my online shop take a peek at what is on offer for National Papercrafting Month - an exclusive Picture My Life™ Live Your Day set of fabulous cards for only $13.50. They were designed to coordinate perfectly with the sensational Everyday Life™ 2016 Planner Pages and My Crush® Everyday Life Pages, so you can seamlessly integrate pocket scrapbooking into your 2016 planner. In the coming days I will be sharing the next instalment of my planner ideas and I will show you how I have used this set. However, in the meantime you can check them out here.

Happy shopping and creating Crafty Friends xx

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Stamp of the Month - Beloved Bouquet

It is time for another new sketch over at the Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge and because I am currently "obsessed" with the January Stamp of the Month...yes, it's a big favourite at the moment and it is getting used in so many of my papercraft projects... I thought I would combine the two.

Sketch Challenge # 141


I decided to reverse the sketch, and alter the design a little. I shortened the border strip and moved the sentiment to the lower section of the card... and this was the result.

I used another of the new paper packs recently released by Close To My Heart called Penelope - this pack simply makes me smile... is it so bright and pretty. It includes 12 springtime style prints - 12" × 12" B&T Duos™ (2 each of 6 double-sided designs). The floral cluster was created using the 2nd generation stamping technique along with the base & shade method - the Beloved Bouquet stamp set has been designed to help you create this great textured effect - here's how... stamp the solid base in a light colour of ink (2nd generation ink) and the matching detail image in a darker colour directly over it. For this card the flower and leaf images were stamped in Thistle, Pixie, Honey and Pear Exclusive Inks™. I used this same technique for the background section of ink splatter stamped with an image from the Ink Blot Stamp Set. There are 7 sentiments to choose from in this month's Stamp of the Month set and all of them would have been perfect for this card but I chose to use "you mean so much to me". I love the brush stroke style of font used for this image. The card was embellished with the Pixie coloured washi tape from the new Limeade Washi Pack and 2 little heart stickers - the pink heart from the Kaleidoscope Complements and the black glitter heart from the Black Fundamental Assortment.

If you would like to play along with the Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge or see what the design team created using this sketch - you can find the Atlantic Hearts blog here. To purchase the Stamp of the Month - Beloved Bouquet, head on over to my online store and while you are there, browse through the complete list of new products.

If you are interested in attending one of my upcoming workshop events?? You will find me in Melbourne on the 16th January (Heidelberg) and the 17th January (Mulgrave) the registration fee for both events includes your choice of a Scrapbook or Card kit featuring this month's Stamp of the Month and the 3 new paper packs (Charlotte, Regatta and Penelope). Click HERE to register for Heidelberg or HERE for Mulgrave. I'd love for you to join us for some papercrafting fun...everyone is welcome!!


Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year & Welcome to 2016 - wishing you a year full of love, laughter and lots of create fun!... today I am super excited to announce the release of our brand new Seasonal Expressions catalogue.

It is available for you to view right now on my website just click here. It contains a gorgeous array of new ideas and product to kick start your creativity in 2016!... especially our 3 new "Workshop Your Way Kits" - you will love this innovative concept... with just 1 kit you can complete 3 Double Page Layouts, 2 Picture My Life/Pocket Page Layouts and approx. 8-9 cards all with cutting guides and instructions. Best of all if you can't attend my workshops or prefer to scrap in the comfort of your own home?... you can follow a step by step video such as this one featuring the new Charlotte range.

Pictured below is the new Regatta Workshops Your Way Kit that I have been busily creating a variety of summer fun and pretty floral projects with. It is such a versatile contains a great nautical theme, a cheerful colour palette and a lovely selection of flowers that includes stickers and die-cuts.
The cover of the new Seasonal Expressions catalogue was my inspiration for this card that also uses some of the Regatta Complements featured above.
The pocket and leaf shapes were cut from the Artistry Cricut® Cartridge while the 3 larger flowers and Glacier coloured leaves were created from our brand new die-cutting system...yes! another exciting newcomer to our range called Thin Cuts -  metal dies that can be used with your favourite die cutting machine to cut shapes that co-ordinate perfectly with the My Acrylix®  stamp sets. There are 4 to choose from and the one I have used here is called Springtime Wishes it has 11 different shapes of flowers and leaves and works alongside the Springtime Wishes stamp set. The stamped flowers and leaves were then complimented with the die-cut and stickers included in the Regatta Complements Pack. The "Thanks" sentiment can be found in one of the new stamp sets found in the Seasonal Expressions called Friendly Wishes - a great value set of 9 sentiments for $10.00! I also used  Glacier Extra Thick Twine,
Enamel Blue Dots and Red Enamel Gems to embellish this card.
Although today is release day you can SHOP NOW from our New Seasonal Expressions catalogue, everything is available in my online shop and can be delivered right to your doorstep - perfect timing for those of you spending your Summer Holidays crafting up a storm - Enjoy!