Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last Day to Celebrate National Scrapbooking Month! Great Products and HALF PRICE Consultant Kit!!

Today is the last day to take advantage of the National Scrapbooking month promotion. This beautiful kit is yours today for only $15 with a $50 purchase.

Or, you can join my team for only $64.50 (half price!) through today and receive the kit for free!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me!

Close To My Heart is celebrating National Scrapbooking Month in May with a fabulous promotion! During May, when you…

  • Place a minimum order of $50, you can grab an exclusive You & Me Scrapbooking Kit for just $15! That's more than half off the retail value of the kit! You can also purchase the kit outright for $34.95 with or without a minimum purchase. It’s a charming kit that you are sure to love. It features two fully embellished layouts, each with their own unique personality, a D-size stamp set, and an instruction guide to step you through the creation process.

  • As part of our promotion, we’re also offering new Consultants who join Close To My Heart in May 50% off the base price of the New Consultant Kit PLUS a free You & Me Scrapbooking Kit valued at $34.95!

    Join the National Scrapbooking Month celebration by getting the exclusive You & Me scrapbooking kit FREE* and your New Consultant Kit at 50% off when you sign up in May!

    With this wonderful kit, you can make two fully embellished two-page layouts using the included instructions, papers, D-size stamp set, and accessories. The You & Me scrapbooking kit includes:

1 – My Acrylix® You & Me Stamp Set
1 – 12” × 12” Colonial White Cardstock
6 – 12” × 12” B&T Duos® Papers
1 – 6” × 9” You & Me Irresistibles™ Chipboard Die-Cut Sheet
1 Yard – Chocolate Stripe Ribbon
1 Package – Opaques Mocha Adhesive Gems
1 – Instruction Guide

Join the Inky Fingers Gang!

Watch video below to see what you can do with this kit.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Resist Embossing

Check out this video! I love this technique.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Page!

I'm slowly expanding my blog. Seems there's never enough time to do everything I'd like to get done. As my mom used to say, "If I live to be 100, I'll still never do everything that I want to". Boy...do I agree with her! Another thing she used to say was "the days and weeks just fly by". As a child, I never understood that one. Remember how long the summers seemed and we wanted to get back to school to see all of our friends. Mom would say "Just wait unti you get older and you'll know what I mean". Well, I'm older and I sure know what she meant! Seems like I no sooner get up in the morning and it's time to go back to bed. Have you noticed on Fridays that it seems like it was just Sunday. LOL!!
Anyway, I've expanded my blog with some pages. I just put a new page with my Kits of the Month. Be sure to look above for the links to the pages.
Well, time to go out and plant some more flowers and weed some beds. Finally it's nice here! I planted all day yesterday and by the time I finished, I wasn't sure if I would ever stand upright again. LOL! Thankfully, I am straight up again today. LOL!!
Have a wonderful Memorial Weekend and take time to hang your flag and thank our military.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lots of Discounted CTMH Products on my Website

Lots of great discounted products available via my MyCTMH website. Below is just a sampling of the great deals!

While Supplies Last Associated Elements & Accessories



$5.95 $4.00 33 % offZ1127



$12.95 $4.00 69 % offBULK147



$3.50 $2.00 43 % offZ1158



$4.95 $1.00 80 % offX7114C



$3.95 $2.00 49 % offZ1148

There's many more at ridiculously low prices! Items marked as much as 80% off! Crazy! At these prices, they won't last long. Visit my website at http://suzastampin.myctmh.com
click the Shop Online link and look for the "while supplies last" link.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Our Mediterranean Cruise layout

My Cruisin' Buddy and I are still working on our album from our Mediterranean Cruise in 2008. I'm not sure we'll ever actually finish and album, or two, or three....LOL!....as every time we go through our pictures we find more that we want to scrap. So, in order to quickly do some scrapping, we've been using Studio J also. These layouts look like real paper layouts unless you actually take them out of the page protectors to look. Here's another one we did recently.

We're still using the retired Vintage Travel My Reflections kit. Glad it's still available via Studio J as I don't think we bought enough actual paper kits to do all of our album(s). LOL!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Designer Ribbon - Pink Collection

I love anything pink!! As a kid, my favorite colors were purple, pink and blue. They still are! LOL! I love this new pink ribbon collection from Close To My Heart. Learn to create a pink accent for your cards and a lovely brooch for your sweater or jacket with our pink Designer Ribbon. The project ideas in this video will delight you!

If you'd like to order this ribbon collection, you may find it on my MyCTMH website.

Z1384 Designer Pink Ribbon Collection - $7.95

Friday, May 20, 2011

April Stamp a Stack cards

For April we used CTMH C1439 Enjoy Life. The papers used are from X7137B Lucky My Reflections kit and the retired You Rock kit.

Would you like to join the Stamp a Stack Club? For $27, you receive a stamp set and all the papers and embellishments needed to create 10 cards. The club commitment is only 4 months, but if you stay with the club for one year, you will receive a FREE My Acrylix Stamp Storage box. Email me if you'd like more information.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

April Imagine Club

For the April Imagine Club, we used X7131B My Reflections Sophia kit. The kit's colors are Blush, Goldrush, Hollyhock and Pear.

If you'd like to join our Imagine Club, email me and I'll give you all the details.

CTMH Spray Pens vs Inkessentials Mini Misters from Ranger

Below is an article that was in the May 4, 2011, issue of Craft Critique's newsletter. It was written by Kristine Fowler

It's no secret, that like other industries, as things evolve, so do the tools of the trade. Even the simplest of tools see improvement over time, and the Spray Pen by Close To My Heart is a great example of such an evolution. Similar in form and function to the Inkessentials™ Mini Misters™ by Ranger, you can use the Spray Pen to 'mist' your projects and create visually interesting techniques with ink, paint, colour washes, alcohol, or other liquid media. Or, if you just need a handy alternate dispenser, you can even fill the Spray Pen with your favorite stamp cleaner (although you have to admit, that's not very exciting). If you're not already familiar with the mister tools, you can always pop over and read a 2008 article by Heather Strenzwilk where she gives the low-down on the Ranger Mini Misters.

So at this point you might be wondering, what I consider to be the big evolution? How could such a simple product be so drastically improved? Well, to start, let's take a close up look at the two products side-by-side.

The most obvious difference between the two products is their size. The Close To My Heart Spray Pen is about a third larger overall affecting the relative size of both the cap and the liquid storage compartment (the barrel). The benefit of the larger container should be obvious....with a larger container, you can mix more media, and that's definitely a good thing. (I'll talk about the cap in a minute).

Now let's take another look.

You might notice, that on the flip side of the CTMH Spray Pen, you'll see measurement lines - a very handy feature that is missing from the Ranger Mini Mister. With the measurement lines clearly marked on the barrel, you can more 'scientifically' mix your media (think 4 parts water to 1 part paint, or 2 drops reinker to 6 parts water). This also means that it will be much easier to duplicate a mixture that you absolutely love at a later date. No more guess work. Pure genius! The Ranger Mini Mister on the other hand has product logos on both sides of the barrel, no measurement lines.

Next, let's look at the cap/nozzle area as there's a couple of major differences here. On the Ranger version, the entire barrel is smooth. The smooth finish extends to cover the part of the barrel that you 'twist' to remove the nozzle and fill the compartment. In contrast, this 'twistable' section of the CTMH product is textured, in order to give you better grip. This textured finish is particularly helpful if your hands are damp.

And now the cap.....again, there are a couple of differences. First, the CTMH cap is made of essentially the same material as the rest of the unit. The Ranger cap is quite thin in comparison, and might not stand up quite as well to even a little abuse. I'm thinking that if it drops on the floor, and I step on it, it's likely going to crack, rendering it essentially useless. The CTMH version on the other hand is more substantial, and although I'm not willing to put it to the test (sorry), I'm pretty certain I could step on it without hurting it too too badly.

Secondly, there is a series of holes in the top of the CTMH Spray Pen cap, and the Mini Mister doesn't have these. We've seen this type of thing before, and it serves a dual purpose. First, the holes allow air to be pushed out of the cap as your closing it to ensure that it closes snugly, and second, it's a safety feature. If for some reason a child was to put the cap in their mouth and swallow it, the vent holes in the cap could prevent asphyxiation. The other major difference in the caps, is the presence of the 'pocket clip' on the CTMH version. While I probably won't be carrying the Spray Pens in my shirt pocket any time soon, it is beneficial. Not only can I use the clip to secure the Spray Pen to the inside of my crop bag, but by virtue of it's existence the 'pocket clip' stops the Pen (when capped) from rolling off the table, and stops the cap rolling off the table (and under my feet) when the Spray Pen is in use. Once again, a small improvement in design has what I consider big benefit.

When it comes to function, these pens are virtually identical. Both pens 'pump' easily, and with neither version have I experienced 'clogging'. I do find the CTMH pen a bit easier to operate though because it feels more substantial. When spraying, the Mini Mister feels almost 'consumed' by my hand, whereas the CTMH version does not. This is perhaps a matter of personal preference, and if you're used to the feel of one version, you may find it initially awkward to make the switch, but it'll be easy to adjust either way. Looking very closely at the actual nozzles of the two pens reveals a minor difference, in that the little plastic piece which is responsible for directing the spray on the CTMH Spray Pen is angled downward ever so slightly whereas the Ranger version is completely straight. I'm not sure if this can really be considered a benefit, as I've not noticed any functional difference. I can only assume that the nozzle was in fact engineered this way for a reason, and presumably to provide some benefit - that's the best explanation I can offer you on that one unfortunately.

Before I get to the creative stuff, you're probably wondering about price. Does the price tag reflect the 'improvements' I've mentioned? Well, I think that you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the CTMH Spray Pens are priced very similarly to (if not better than in some cases) the Ranger Mini Misters. A 3-pack is available for just US$3.95 / CAN$4.50. Even once you add the shipping and taxes (if applicable in your area), these are definitely not going to break the bank. The Ranger Mini Misters I've purchased, I've always paid around CAN$5.00 for the 3-pack, regular priced, at various locations.

Now the fun stuff.....here's how I've used misters recently.

Using my CTMH Spray Pen and a mixture of reinker and water, I misted a 3x3 inch acrylic block and then used it like a stamp on my paper. This created the pink/white background for my focal image. I love the way that with this method I was able to get a nice solid pink in the middle, surrounded by what looks like over-spray.

Stamp Credit: "Baby Love" by CTMH

For this second sample, I combined CTMH Create-A-Shade Paint, Water and Reinker and used the mixture to 'mist' the large green panel which was previously embossed (using a Tim Holtz Texture Fade), and then inked with both brown and juniper colored inks. Unfortunately, if I do say so myself, this photo does not do the card justice. I hope though that you can at least catch a glimpse of the shimmering splotches. Adding the pearl paint to the mixture, your spray takes on an iridescent look, and it's actually quite shiny! It's similar to the look you would get with commercial mists that are designed to sparkle.

Stamp Credit: "Find Your Style" by CTMH

So....to wrap this up, here's a quick summary of how I view the product differences (red indicates distinct product advantages). Remember from the perspective of function and price, the products are virtually identical.

CTMH Spray Pen
•10 mL barrel (allowing you to mix more media)
•measurement markings on the side of barrel
•textured 'twist' for better grip
•the cap is substantial, should resist accidental damage
•holes in cap for safety and ease of use
•pocket clip on cap to prevent pen rolling & to secure in bags
•sold only in packages of 3
•not available via retail, must be purchased from a CTMH rep
•only available in one color

Inkessentials™ Mini Misters™ by Ranger
•smaller barrel (not sure of the exact measurement)
•no measurement markings
•smooth 'twist', less grip
•the cap is weak in comparison
•no holes in cap
•no pocket clip
•sold in packages of 3 AND individually
•widely available via retail
•3 different colors available

The one fact that I have not tested is whether the CTMH Spray Pens fit in the (very compact) Inkessentials™ Mini Mister Organizer storage block by Ranger. Both the CTMH Spray Pen and the Mini Misters appear to have the same circumference (although I don't have a micrometer; if there is a difference it appears that minute), and so I would assume the Spray Pens would fit, but I would love it if somebody out there could put this to the test. CTMH does not currently offer a storage solution for the Spray Pens, and it certainly would be handy.

If you'd like to order your own CTMH Spray Pens, you may find them on my MyCTMH website.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Creating Keepsakes Blog features Kristine Widtfeldt, Close To My Heart’s Vice President of Marketing,

Be sure to stop by Creating Keepsakes Blog and check out her time saving solution for scrapbooking. Lots of great ideas!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Studio J®: Step-by-Step Basics

Have you heard about Close To My Heart's digital scrapbooking program called Studio J? Not sure how it works? Click on the tutorial below for step by step instructions.

Want to check out Studio J? Visit my MyCTMH website to start playing!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Simply Scallops

Don't you just love scallops? I'm not talking seafood here. LOL!! Have you seen the new Scallop punch contained in the Spring/Summer 2011 CTMH Idea Book?
Enjoy the video and have fun creating your own cute scallop projects.

Want to order this 2" scallop punch? Visit my MyCTMH website and order yours using the item number below.

#Z1392 Scallop Punch – $7.95

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Simply Sophisticated

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” said Leonardo da Vinci, and who could argue with that great artist? The seeming simplicity of the My Acrylix® Fill In the Blanks stamp set (D1465) is what makes it such a perfect—and perfectly versatile—addition to any stamper’s toolbox!

The words and outline images that make up this set really lend themselves to a variety of looks and techniques. Let’s take a peek at some artwork!

The butterflies on this card are stamped tone-on-tone using the small butterfly image from the Fill In the Blank set, and then we took word stamps and stamped them in first and second generation to create our own patterned paper.

I've also used the small butterfly stamp on this layout, but can you guess what other stamp I used from the set? If you guessed “flower,” you’re right! Since our My Acrylix stamps are flexible, I’ve scrunched up the flower stamp in different ways to get these cute cloud images. I stamped them on B&T Duos® paper to give them a subtle pattern.

For this card, I cut out the large butterfly stamp image a few times and then layered it to make it dimensional. Here are the steps so you can make it yourself:

  1. Stamp butterfly with Desert Sand ink on Colonial White cardstock. Using a craft knife, cut along wings, leaving body intact. Mount cardstock piece on Cocoa cardstock and Bamboo B&T paper. Pop up wings using 3-D foam tape.

  2. Stamp butterfly again on Crystal Blue B&T paper. Cut out entire image, omitting body. Mount on Colonial White butterfly using 3-D foam tape.

  3. Stamp butterfly a third time on Sweet Leaf B&T paper. Cut out entire image, including body, and mount on Crystal Blue butterfly with 3-D foam tape.

  4. Accent body with Opaques Mocha adhesive gems.

This card, featured in the Spring/Summer 2011 Idea Book on page 96, also shows the stamping on B&T paper technique. This time I used the bird stamp, and the background pattern is much stronger. To give visual variety, I stamped the bird’s wing on a complementary piece of Grey Wool cardstock. Then, I stamped three different sentiments with Grey Wool ink, then highlighted one of them by stamping over it in Goldrush ink. This brings in a third color and makes the “friends always” sentiment stand out as the main message of the card.

Does this card look familiar, too? It’s also from the Spring/Summer 2011 Idea Book on page 96. Check out the Hollyhock cardstock on the sides. I stamped the flower on it in a repeating pattern to make an abstract, subtle patterned paper. Notice how the petals overlap in various spots? This gives the flower image a whole new look!

And here’s a final technique for you: using the stamp set as a cutting guide for negative space then filling it with a patterned paper to give visual interest. To create the stars you see in this layout, follow these steps:

  1. Stamp three stars on top of your layout, overlapping paper pieces and photos.

  2. Use a craft knife to cut out the center, leaving a 1/8" border, and distress the edges with a stipple brush dipped in Desert Sand re-inker.

  3. Stamp three 2 1/2" × 2 1/2" pieces of Colonial White cardstock with words or phrases, using Cocoa ink and first, second, and third generation.

  4. Attach the cardstock pieces to the back of your layout so the sentiments show through.

  5. Accent each star with a pair of Opaques Mocha adhesive gems to give them even more zing!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Perfect Pinwheels

Don't you just love pinwheels? Every time I see them I think of summer fun when I was a kid. They're all the rage again. So, check out the video and see how easy they are to make.

These were created using the Miracle Workshop on the Go kit. If you'd like to order one, you may find it on my MyCTMH website.

G1023 Miracle Workshop Kit $29.95

Sunday, May 1, 2011

National Scrapbooking Month Special

You’ll be exclaiming “Ooh!” and “Ahhh!” as you watch the National Scrapbooking Month video, which features the classy You & Me kit. See how the elements of the kit work together to create two beautiful layouts. This kit can be purchased for $34.95 or receive it for only $15 with a $50 purchase! That's more than half off the retail price!

You will also receive this kit for FREE when you become a Close To My Heart consultant in the month of May.

Visit my website to order your kit. Email me if you have any questions or if you'd like more information on becoming a Close To My Heart consultant.