Do-It-Yourself with the Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Spring is in full bloom and you’re itching for some new décor. Flowers and wreaths…designs that look bright, open, and airy… Instead of picking something up at the store, give your do-it-yourself prowess a try!Framed Monogram Wreath #ctmh #closetomyheart #monogram #wreath #neutral #diy #decor #Cricut #flowermarket #flower #rawwood #distressed #weathered #shabbychic #modernantique #antiquedThe framed monogram wreath we’re displaying today was made using our Cricut® Flower Market collection—ideal for springtime crafts! We set our wreath in a shadow box, but make your arrangement to suit your style and your space. Once you start working with the Flower Market collection, you might just find yourself branching out in your own direction! Instead of a wreath like ours, you might end up with a bouquet, or a smaller floral project. That’s the best part of DIY décor and our Cricut® collections—everything you make is customizable to your needs and liking! Choose how far your creativity will take you and start trimming with flowers that will last all season!

Before getting started, you have to select your colors. We chose neutral hues for our example décor to make it easy to add to any existing scheme. As you’re planning your project, also consider that using light and neutral color palettes can brighten up a room, making it feel more open and less cluttered.Wreath Up Close #ctmh #closetomyheart #wreath #monogrammedwreath #monogramwreath #monogram #neutral #antiqued #modernantique #shabbychic #distressed #distressingtechnique #diyOur wreath petals were made using White Daisy cardstock, our Champagne Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad, and a sponge.

If you’re a fan of the modern shabby chic style, we have a simple paper distressing technique that you have to try! Cut a small triangle out of your round sponge, ink it, and then dab off the excess ink on scrap paper (you want very little ink on your sponge). Now that your sponge is ready to go, rub the edges of the paper you are looking to distress and—ta-da!—you have paper leaves that are “weathered” and very chic!

DIY décor is definitely the way to go this spring and the Cricut® Flower Market collection is just bursting with ideas! Check out our Flower Market videos on YouTube for additional home décor suggestions and inspiration. Give them a try, experiment, and create wonderful things!

Have you made décor using any of our Cricut® collections? Share with us in the comments below!

Recipe

Framed Monogram Wreath
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2874 Champagne Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks ™ Stamp Pad, Z3289 Uptown Ribbon Pack, Z697 Round Sponge, Z1204 Bone Folder, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, 12″ x 15″ Pin Board Shadow Box

Cricut® Shapes:
Flower Market
1 ½” Icon <1> (cut 30, p. 1)
1″ Flower-2 <h> (cut 20, p. 26)
2 ¼” Shift + Title <S> (cut 2, p. 22)
3″ <font> “H”

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Meaningful Mixed Media

We recently held our annual Team Builders event, an exciting two-day leadership training held in Salt Lake City for anyone with the title of Director or above. After an inspiring speech by our Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton, along with other superb presentations given throughout the weekend, everyone in attendance was feeling a renewed sense of purpose and direction with their Close To My Heart businesses.

During the final session of the event, we all participated in an exceptionally unique Create & Take taught by our Creative Communications Manager, Jill Broadbent. Jill has been with Close To My Heart for nearly 11 years and has been playing a part in creative training at events from the start. Since this particular project was too much fun to keep to ourselves, we asked Jill to share a few pointers on how it’s done. Take it away, Jill.

Hello! Happy to be dishing on our recent creative project today. Typically, when I plan a project to teach Consultants, especially our genius leaders, I focus on planning something that will help their business. I look to teach a new technique, something that can be turned into a workshop or other creative opportunity. However, I had a unique vision for this project that would take us outside of our typical Create & Take realm. But it was beautiful to watch it unfold with this group of ladies.

Each attendee was given a 6″ x 6″ canvas display, a print out of various typed words, and a few basic pointers, but no pattern or strict instructions. Their mission? To create a representation of themselves through the usage of mixed media. With a stockpile of paper scraps, a few stamp sets, and some Mod Podge®, everyone set off in their own direction to create a unique piece of art. This pushed many outside of their comfort zones, yet they still embraced the challenge and the outcome was beautiful!

Meaningful-Mixed-Media-Feature

It was a wonderful way to end an extraordinary weekend together, and now I want to spread that joy. Here are the basics so you, too, can create your own mixed-media masterpiece. I’ll illustrate the techniques using the same artwork examples we shared at the event.

The beauty of this project is that as long as it represents your strengths, you’re doing it right. The key to making it eye-catching is to use varied textures and layers. I like to add a good number of papers, even Cricut®-cut shapes, and then incorporate background stamps and other images to add interest. This is a fantastic and creative way to use your leftover scraps and stray embellishments!

(Click on the photos below to get a closer look!)

To start, create a scene or an abstract background.

Next, add your “person.” I like to freehand a simple body and add layers for hair and clothes. You can do a full body or a simple close-up. Our B&T Duos™ papers make the best clothing! You can even run cardstock through one of our embossing folders to add texture to hair or detail to clothing.

The final and most important detail is to add your sentiment, or mantra, if you will. Take time to reflect and think of one sentence you can use to describe yourself. Make it personal and meaningful to you.

Finally, let me share a few pointers on making the most of your artistic tools. The ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers are the perfect way to add shading and detail to make your “person” pop off the canvas. Use whatever colors you like to highlight basic skin tones, and then use the colorless blender marker to add dimension to the chin, legs, arms, etc. Use rosy shades to highlight cheeks and coordinating shades to contour the clothing. I also like to use the Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ journaling pen to add detail and outlines. I prefer to keep my lines loose and whimsical, but draw yours however you wish.

At this point in your project, use Mod Podge® Matte to adhere your artwork to the 6″ x 6″ canvas display, and then add a complete coat to the entire project to seal everything in place. While the Mod Podge® is wet, you can add fun details using other Close To My Heart embellishments. Add some Shimmer Trim, Sparkles, twine, ribbon, or even Base & Bling charms for dimension.

But these are only suggestions! The best part about mixed media projects is the PLAY. So just start and see where your creativity leads you. Look for meaningful symbols you can add to your art that represent those things that are special to you—it’s an adventure of self-discovery. You deserve to take time to create something that celebrates the person you are, because who you are is a work of art all its own.

Thanks, Jill! Aren’t these projects beautiful? We can’t wait to see what you come up with. Feel free to use this Sentiments PDF from Team Builders. Once you finish your project, post a photo of your creation to the Close To My Heart Facebook page so we can all be inspired!

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All-Purpose Mat Color Splat

When we posted the Halloween-themed cards on our Facebook page last month, the background on the Halloween village card captured many hearts across the world. (Click here to see the card.)

Several of you asked us how it was done. So we took your questions to the artist herself, and not only was she generous enough to show us her methods, but she also created yet another stunning card for us that illustrates this beautiful technique.

Check it out!Isn’t that beautiful?

The technique used to create this kind of background centers on our all-purpose mat. (This tutorial will only add more truth to its name!) The non-slip surface makes it perfect for mixing ink and water to create special artistic effects.

There’s an infinite amount of possible art you can create with this technique, but first try this quick tutorial on creating the background seen on this great Happy Autumn card.

What Tools You’ll Need:
D1604 My Acrylix® Season of Thanks
C1589 My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness
Z2123 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2137 Olive Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2191 Sunset Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2101 Autumn Terracotta Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2162 Honey Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2643 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2172 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2642 Flaxen Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z1380 Spray Pen
1778 My Acrylix® Spritz Cleaner
Z697 Round Sponge
Z2045 All-Purpose Mat

1. Rub Olive, Desert Sand, Goldrush, Sunset, and Autumn Terracotta Exclusive Inks™ pads directly onto surface of all-purpose mat to create desired pattern.     2. Holding spray pen at a distance of about 12″ from the mat, spray water over ink until it has a dewed appearance.     3. Take your cardstock (preferably Colonial White or White Daisy) and lay it directly down into the watered ink. Rub back of paper lightly to ensure complete coverage. Lift paper and allow ink to dry completely. Use a craft heater to speed up the process.     4. Once ink has dried, repeat steps 1–3 with Glacier ink, except this time, instead of spraying the Glacier ink with water, spray it with the My Acrylix® Spritz Cleaner in order to achieve a more modeled look.

5. Using the My Acrylix® Season of Thanks stamp set, stamp several tree trunks in Whisper. Stamp some trunks with second-generation impressions in order to add depth.     6. Using the My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness stamp set, stamp leaves in Canary, Honey, and Flaxen inks. Stamp quickly, using both second- and first-generation impressions. To give some leaves a more finished look, spread some ink on the all-purpose mat, spray it with spritz, dip the stamp in the dewed ink, and then stamp on cardstock.     7. Using the sponge, daube Canary ink around your design to lighten things up and maintain depth.      8. In order to create a soft edge, spread Whisper ink in a circle on your all-purpose mat and then spray it with spritz. Rub each of the edges of your cardstock lightly in the ink until you achieve a subtle border on each side. Allow ink to dry completely.

Voila! Your beautiful background is now complete. Now all you need to do is add your embellishments and other additions to complete your card.

This technique is full of possibilities, so feel free to experiment with it in other ways, too. We’d love to see what you come up with!

Happy crafting!

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