Quench Your Thirst for Stamping

Anyone craving a sip of a refreshing stamping technique? Slide your glass over and we’ll pour you a drink. Today we’re bringing you a behind-the-scenes look at the technique our artist used to create this cool drink of summer.
(Look familiar? That’s because this comes straight from page 28 of Seasonal Expressions 2!)

Here’s what you’ll need to mix up this cooler:

• B1478 My Acrylix® Ice-Cold Summer
• Z2644 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z2172 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z2640 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z726 Sponge Daubers
• Z1091 Finishing Files

Ready? Let’s get stamping!

Step 1: Using Pixie ink, stamp bottle image on pad so the top ¾” of the image is not inked. Once inked, achieve a second generation stamp by stamping the bottle first onto your desk pad (or other scratch piece of paper) and then onto your tag.

Step 2: Next, use a sponge dauber to lightly ink the edges of the bottle stamp with Whisper ink. Use another sponge dauber to ink the top of the bottle stamp with Glacier ink. Now stamp this image over the original Pixie bottle image on the tag.

Step 3: Using Whisper ink and a sponge dauber, lightly apply a small amount of ink to the bottom of the bottle stamp in an oval shape. Stamp bottle image again over previous image.

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Step 4: Using Thistle ink, stamp straw image onto the bottle, allowing it to rest at the bottom left of the Whisper oval and exit through the top of the bottle.

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Step 5: Use a sanding file to softly rub away a line to the right of the straw. This will give the bottle a highlight, creating a more glasslike appearance.

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Voila! You have now stamped one delicious beverage. Enjoy! We hope your artistic thirst has been quenched. 🙂

*For the materials needed to create the rest of this tag (including those mouthwatering lemons), please consult our handy recipe guide.

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Thanks for the Memories, Anaheim Convention 2015!

Whew! Can you believe that it’s almost been a whole week since we said goodbye to each other at the end of Convention? We’re still trying to recover from the whirlwind of papercrafting bliss that was Convention. Some bags are still unpacked, some Consultants are still sleeping sound in their beds, and others have visions of Disneyland® churros dancing in their heads. Having fun is a lot of work! But it’s worth every minute. 🙂
For all of you that attended, we hope you had fun because we sure did! Before life gets too busy again, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and revisit some of the highlights of our week spent next door to “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Shall we?

As usual, Sticky Boy was up to his usual shenanigans. This year Sticky Boy decided to be a little less sticky and a little more sweet by posting hints about his hiding places on his Facebook page. This sent more than one Consultant racing down the halls in hot pursuit of his latest revealed location. Some were victorious; others barely missed him. He frequented the nooks and crannies of the hotel, popping up on drinking fountains, flower vases, and elevator walls. It was quite the hunt! We can’t wait to see where Sticky Boy will travel this year with his newfound friends and his little heart balloon in tow.

We raised enough monetary wattage to light up a whole lot of smiles. Between the Base & Bling necklaces, the auction, and the 5K run, we raised over $40,000 for Operation Smile™! Thank you to everyone one who was generous enough to donate to this important cause. After listening to Monica share stories from her Operation Smile mission in Mexico and showing us a special video featuring celebrity Kate Walsh, who went on the same mission as Monica, each of our hearts beat a little faster for Operation Smile and its unique quest to change the lives of children by giving them back their smiles. And, as a special announcement, we unveiled the new Operation Smile™ t-shirts, which will be available for order July 23! We will donate $10 of every shirt purchase to Operation Smile.

Love was in the air. With the theme of “Make It from Your Heart” combined with motifs from the movie Up, we should’ve guessed that something truly magical was going to happen. During the dance on Saturday night, Monica’s husband Jody Wihongi took the stage and sang “Marry Me” by Train. That was our first clue. After he finished the song, Monica invited one lucky Consultant up to the stage who was then surprised by her boyfriend who came from behind the stage, got down on one knee, and proposed! We were thrilled to have the opportunity to play a part in this special moment.

We got to hang out with Jeanette Lynton. When Jeanette Lynton takes the stage, you know you’re in for a treat. It’s always inspiring to hear and simply be in the same room with the visionary who gave this company its wings. She chatted with us about future plans for the company, her favorite movie, and what her children and grandchildren have been up to lately. She also gave a bit of advice: “I wish you would stop saying ‘I can’t’,” she said. “Because you can!”

It was a paper feast for the eyes. In addition to unveiling loads of new products, we also hosted a number of artistic showcases where Convention attendees were able to feast their eyes on art made by fellow Consultants, as well as all the exclusive art from the new idea books. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, there was plenty more to be seen in business and Extravaganza classes.

Oh, yeah. We released new editions of these things called idea books. Ever heard of them? We’re sure this isn’t interesting to you, so that’s why we left it for last. Just kidding! The release of not one but TWO new idea books was met with quite the enthusiastic response at Convention. After we released the beautiful Annual Inspirations 2015–2016 idea book on the first day, there was one question left lingering in the air: What about Christmas? Well, the next day this question was answered in a magical way when, amongst flurries of snow and the jingle of bells in the ballroom, we unveiled the Holiday Expressions supplement!

*Both of these idea books will be available to all Consultants on August 1 and to customers on September 1.

Thank you for another wonderful Convention! All we have left to say is that we can’t wait until Convention next year at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida. We’ll see you then!

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Blissfully Drifting through an Ice Cream Dream

Do you remember what it felt like to hear the sweet music of the ice cream truck wafting down your street? It was pure summer magic. There wasn’t a kid around that didn’t feel the internal tug when the ice cream truck issued its siren call through the neighborhood.

Something about ice cream on wheels is just simply irresistible. Perhaps it’s because the only thing that can make a carefree summer day more wonderful is the sweet chill of ice cream melting down into your tummy.

To commemorate this beloved summer tradition, we bring you the deliciously adorable June Stamp of the Month, which is appropriately named Ice Cream Dream. Check out some of the artwork made from this set full of fun!

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Birthday parties and ice cream go together like frosting and cake. They just make each other a whole lot better.

And take a look at this absolutely adorable card created by Close To My Heart Consultant Dianne Wood from South Australia. Keep reading to learn how she made it.

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  • Use the scallop embossing folder to emboss Lagoon cardstock.
  • Place sentiment and ice cream cone from June Stamp of the Month on a 4″ x 5″ My Acrylix® block.
  • Using VersaMark™ ink, stamp image on Outdoor Denim cardstock.
  • Cover stamped image with white embossing powder and set with heat gun.
  • Using ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Markers in the colors of your choice, shade embossed stamps, pressing lightly with the markers.

Thank you for sharing your technique with us, Dianne! We love the card. 🙂

Happy June, everybody!

P.S. Did all of this talk of ice cream make you hungry for some of your own? Before you start hunting down ice cream trucks, watch this video from BuzzFeed we found to learn how to make easy, delicious, and hassle-free ice cream at home.

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From Jeanette: A Case of the Convention Butterflies

It’s that time again. The time of year when Convention is so close I get butterflies! Everyone at Close To My Heart has been fluttering around the office preparing for our favorite event of the year. Whether it’s ordering t-shirts, designing posters, shooting videos, crafting Base & Bling necklaces, or writing awards scripts, it seems that every person in the building is busy creating to make this Convention the best one yet.

We snapped a few candid photos to give you a sneak peek of what’s been going on around these parts. Don’t worry; we didn’t reveal anything major; we are saving up the secrets to all our Convention surprises—big and small—until we are with you at the Disneyland® Hotel.

Logo Items

Logo items, anyone? If you ordered some, they’ll be arriving in your arms shortly!

This year I’m especially looking forward to the meet and greet opportunities of Convention. I feel so privileged to get to spend some time chatting with the contest winners about life, business, and all things paper and ink. I wonder who they will be!

Final Preparations

The Events team is hard at work putting together the final pieces needed to throw the greatest party of the year.

Being surrounded by your positive energy and enthusiasm is another reason why I look forward to attending Convention. When I see your lovely faces beaming up at me while I’m on stage, it makes me incredibly happy. I hope you realize you are the reason I do what I do.

Designer

Our artists and designers are hard at work putting the finishing touches on all things Convention.

But the meet and greet contest is only the beginning. Convention is always a never-ending flow of prizes, awards, and freebies that rain down in some way or another upon all in attendance, and this year they will be bigger than ever! Flights to the Brisbane Convention, free incentive trips, Instax cameras, and loads of new products—it’s Christmas in July! 🙂

Boxes

We’ve got loads of empty boxes just waiting to be packed with goodies to be shipped off to Anaheim in only a few short days.

And, of course, how could I not mention Disneyland itself? Basking in the California sunshine at the “happiest place on earth” is a guaranteed recipe for fun. Because this will be our last year celebrating Convention at Disneyland, things will feel a little bittersweet.

Here's a look behind the scenes at one of our recent video shoots.

Here’s a look behind the scenes of one of our recent video shoots.

I’ll miss this wondrous sunny paradise, but I’m excited to experience the adventures the new locales will bring in the years to come. Next year we’ll be back at the beautiful Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, but for now, I’ll soak Up 😉 every minute of Anaheim I can get.

Awards

The awards are about to be etched with the names of this year’s winners! So exciting!

If you haven’t already registered to attend Convention, know that today is the last day to do so! We would love for you to join us at the greatest party of the year. You can register here. If you’ve already registered, I’ll see you next month at Make It From Your Heart Convention 2015!

Sticky Boy's countdown chain

Of course, Sticky Boy has his own countdown for the big event. 29 days left!

We’re counting down the days. ❤

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National Scrapbooking Month: One Final Taste

This month has been a rainbow explosion of Taste of Summer artwork! We’ve highlighted creations on the blog, our Facebook page, our Instagram account, and on this special Pinterest board. Sticky Boy even got in on the fun! It’s been a blast.

There are still a few days left to order the sensational Taste of Summer paper packet and stamp set before these fruits retire for good. But before we say goodbye to this beautiful duo, we want to leave you with one last burst of fruity cuteness.Unknown-8
Our favorite thing about this page is how seamlessly all of the colors are interwoven throughout its various elements. The pops of yellow in the girl’s shirt also appear in the citrus slices and the papers. Purple appears anywhere from the light splatters on the white cardstock to the glitter gems and the Shimmer Trim.

So cute! This page is further proof that these papers and stamps are always delicious together, no matter what kind of fruit salad creation you whip up.

And with that, we are officially signing off from Taste of Summer. We hope you relish these last two days. Thank you for your social media participation! We’ve loved seeing all of the beautiful things you can do with these products. It’s been berry sweet. 🙂

Recipe

12″ x 12″ Love This Girl Page
CC1039 My Acrylix® Taste of Summer Stamp Set, E1030 My Acrylix® Handwritten Print, CC1038 Taste of Summer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2162 Honey Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2155 Topiary Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2195 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2640 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2190 Gypsy Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z1919 Purple Shimmer Trim, Z1936 Purple Glitter Gems, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® Le Pen™ Journaling Pen, Thread

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3 Creative Techniques to Spice Up Your Journaling

In the scrapbooking world, we spend a lot of time talking about the papers, the stamps, and the embellishments that go into making a layout great. Journaling is often an afterthought, a quiet feature scribbled in the margins. But isn’t journaling just as much a part of the story? We think so!

To give journaling the attention it deserves, we switched things up and put it in the spotlight for a change. Our clever artists came up with three breathtaking techniques for spicing up your journaling—the indispensable, storytelling counterpart to any successful layout.

1. Mark It Up
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We all knew the Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ journaling pen was a hero, but this layout takes its powers to new heights. And when you partner this pen with its trusty sidekicks, the ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers, the look becomes a genuine work of art.

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To achieve this artistic look, plan to put as much effort into designing the placement of the words as you do the placement of the photos and papers. Highlight some phrases in bright colors and occasionally change up the font to keep things visually interesting.

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Remember, the most beautiful thing about this kind of journaling is the warmth of your own handwriting! Embrace imperfections and let the markers draw where they may.

2. Say It with Stamps
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Have you ever thought of stamp sentiments as their own form of journaling? Well, they are! So why not try combining the two? Using sentiments along with your regular journaling blocks gives your words an extra punch of color and spunk. It also adds to the hodgepodge look that scrapbooking is all about.Unknown-9
Including stamps in your journaling will also weave it into the flow of the rest of the layout. With this technique, journaling will be an awkward outsider no more and words everywhere will rejoice.

3. Bursts of Blurbs
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Let your journaling float around the page inside bubbles of stamps! Find a stamp set that can accommodate journaling and fill up its stamped images with little blurbs that serve as commentators on your layout. It’s a simple and easy way to add embellishment and journaling all at once.Unknown-10
Journaling is a land that is widely unexplored in the scrapbooking world, so go forth and make some discoveries! Try out one of these techniques and see where the path leads you.

Recipes

12″ x 12″ Spring Page
Make It from Your Heart™ Vol. 1: Pattern 18
1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5929 Whisper Cardstock, X5770 Glacier Cardstock, Z2450 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Cherry Pink Marker, Z2455 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Light Orange Marker, Z2459 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Green Marker, Z2454 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Leaf Green Marker, Z2465 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Turquoise Blue Marker, Z2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z2013 Sequins Silver Assortment, Z2027 Mini Stapler

12″ x 12″ Great Adventure Page
B1461 My Acrylix® Happy Mail, C1592 My Acrylix® World Traveler, A1159 My Acrylix® LOL, B1442 My Acrylix® Belated Birthday, D1600 My Acrylix® Here We Go, C1595 My Acrylix® Hello Summer, D1627 My Acrylix® Your Own Kind of Wonderful, D1644 My Acrylix® The Authentic Life, C1611 My Acrylix® Campfire Lifestyle, E1029 My Acrylix® Marquee Uppercase, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5770 Glacier Cardstock, 1272 Cranberry Cardstock, X5762 Lagoon Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z2195 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2116 Cranberry Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z1853 Aqua Dots, Z1928 Durables Triangle Studs

12″ x 12″ Hello, My Name is Evie Page
D1555 My Acrylix® All the Details, D1560 My Acrylix® Holiday Tags, D1600 My Acrylix® Here We Go, A1170 My Acrylix® Doodled Designs, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1291 Smokey Plum Cardstock, X5771 Flaxen Cardstock, Z2033 Paper Fundamentals Whimsy Assortment, Z2165 Juniper Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2147 Smokey Plum Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2642 Flaxen Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
1 ¾” <i> Card (p. 48)

Art Philosophy
1″ <banner2> (p. 29)
1 ¾” <Rctngle> (p.44)

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Documenting the Journey: Mini Albums for Messy Memories

If you’ve ever moved, then we don’t need to tell you that things can get crazy. The dismantled house, the endless stuff you’d forgotten you had, the list of chores that make cleaning seem like it’s the only life you’ve ever known, and, of course, the interminable boxes that pile up like dirty laundry.Unknown
Whether you’re moving because you want to or moving because you have to, we can all agree that it’s a glorious day indeed once the moving is over, and everyone and everything has finally begun to settle into the new place.Unknown-2
But even though it’s a ton of work, moving brings many good things that are worth documenting. It’s a special time because the process not only moves the stuff outside of us, but also the stuff inside of us.Unknown-3
It moves us into places filled with new neighbors, new grocery stores, and new dreams. We gradually become familiar with these new things in our lives as they fall into our hearts, filling the spaces the old things created when we left them behind.
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Moving launches us into the interim, a beautiful place we like to call the “in-between.” This is a place you want to remember! Memories are formed along the way, not just at the destination. But the in-between will come and go pretty quickly, so if you want to capture it, you’ll have to prepare for it.Unknown-5
Moving day will undoubtedly be hectic, but if you decide beforehand to take the time to snap pictures and jot down notes on the seemingly mundane details that go into your move, you’ll be glad you did. Save the piece of scrap paper with your daunting to-do list scribbled on the surface. Let the last impressions of your old neighborhood soak in.Unknown-6
And, while you’re catching your breath after cramming boxes into the moving truck, snap a few photos of the move in action, making sure to include all of the kind helpers who are making it possible. To make things easier, you can leave your camera packed and use the camera on your phone.Unknown-7
All of these things might seem too ordinary to be worth the hassle of documenting, but you may be surprised to find that the “boring” stuff is often what ends up meaning the most.

So take a break between chores to do a little memory keeping. And then, once things slow down, you can gather and embellish your memories and photos into a mini album like this one!

Now that’s a project that sounds a lot more fun than packing tape and cardboard. 🙂

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National Scrapbooking Month: Pucker Up for Pocket Scrapbooking

We’re back with another installment featuring the jaw-dropping Taste of Summer paper packet! Today we bring you a pocket scrapbooking layout made from these juicy papers that we designed especially to celebrate National Scrapbooking Month, one of our most exciting celebrations of the year.Unknown-2
Here are a few of our favorite things about this layout:

  • We love the contrast between the black and white photos and the popping Canary and Lagoon! It creates balance within the layout and keeps your eyes glancing back and forth between the smiling faces and the fruity sentiments.
  • The Taste of Summer stamps accent the papers, photos, and sentiments with just the right amount of zest.
  • It’s so fun to read through the page, discovering how the sentiments and journaling interact with the corresponding photos.
  • It’s all stitched up! Don’t you think these homegrown touches are reminiscent of the simple life that comes with the lazy days and warm nights of summer?
  • Each card tells its own little piece of the story. We think it’s super sweet how this story begins at the top of the page and moves on down along with the progression of the photos—all the way up to the final kiss!

We can’t wait to see what stories you’ll tell with your Taste of Summer! Use the hashtag #ctmhtos to share your projects on social media.

Recipe
CC1039 My Acrylix® Taste of Summer Stamp Set, CC1038 Taste of Summer Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5762 Lagoon Cardstock, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2195 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2013 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim

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Patterns on Patterns on Patterns

Behind every successful team, there’s a playbook. The same thing goes for artists. Lucky for us, the brains behind the beauty of Close To My Heart, our CEO, Jeanette Lynton, wrote a collection of how-to books overflowing with patterns for cards and layouts that will march you toward crafting victory time and time again.

These books are what you should turn to when you’re not sure where to start; they’re like the supportive coach waiting back on the sidelines. They never fail to kick off our artistic ideas and lay the foundation for a triumphant artistic production!

So what play did we use to pull off the lovely page shown below? The answer is the Reflections: Main Frame—Back Drop™ pattern. But that’s not the end of it.

The true secret behind the sauce is that we added a little twist to this pattern. Let’s head into the locker room and we’ll fill you in on the technique.Unknown-1
Ok, listen up. This technique is simple, yet powerful: We simply chose a piece from the how-to pattern and then filled it with a repeated shape instead of a block of cardstock. We used circles on this page, but you can use any shape you want.

Repetition is one of the fundamental characteristics of excellent design and including it in your artwork is equivalent to doing your sit-ups or eating your vegetables—it’s guaranteed to bring good things.
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With the help of the 1″ circle punch and the Jackson and Blossom paper packets, we were able to add variety without overwhelming the design, making this layout a graceful pileup of B&T patterns, repeated circle patterns, and how-to patterns. That’s a lot of patterns!

When you give this technique a try, you could mix it up by using a different pattern, a different shape (we think using hearts would be game-changing), or different papers. The combination potential of these pattern players is incredible!

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But that’s enough talk, folks. Now let’s get out there and craft like it’s game day.

Looking to add a few key players to your team of crafting supplies? Here’s the all-star lineup of the how-to books available through Close To My Heart:

  • 9035 Make It from Your Heart™ Volume 1
  • 9042 Make It from Your Heart™ Volume 2
  • 9038 Cherish™ Scrapbook Program
  • 9039 Imagine™ Scrapbook Program
  • 9040 Magic™ Scrapbook Program
  • 9037 Reflections™ Scrapbook Program
  • 9041 Wishes Card Confidence Program™
  • 9036 Originals Card Confidence Program™

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