Create To Your Heart’s Content with Card Creativity!

Create to Your Heart's Content with Card Creativity! #cardcreativity #nationalstampingmonth #ctmh #closetomyheart #cardmaking #stamping #stamps #diecuts #thincuts #stencils #distressoxide #technique #creativity #crafting #ink

It’s time to celebrate, because National Stamping Month is officially underway! Around here, September is all about stamping! The art of stamping is one that is extremely close to our hearts. (Yes, pun INTENDED!) When Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton first started this business under the name D.O.T.S. (Dozens of Terrific Stamps), the entire business was based on this wonderful art form. A lot has changed over the years; we’ve expanded our stamp offering, pioneered the use of transparent stamps and clear, interchangeable stamping blocks, and diversified our interests to include materials for memory keeping, cardmaking, and papercrafting projects. While we have become known as one of the premier providers of top-quality papers, cardstock, and embellishments, stamps will always be at the center of what we do.  To this day, we continue to innovate and push the boundaries of stamping, whether it be in memory keeping, cardmaking, or papercrafting projects, while also building a strong presence within the worldwide crafting community.   

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With this in mind, it’s no wonder that National Stamping Month is one our favorite months and reasons to celebrate over the course of each year. To help us get into the stamping festivities, we have designed a brand-new selection of stamps and stamping-related projects, allowing everyone from our long-time crafting buddies to our newest friends the option to celebrate this amazing artistic medium and create along with us! You are going to love what we have to show you today, as we take you on a journey through this year’s National Stamping Month exclusive offer, Card Creativity. Let’s dive straight in! 

Card Creativity is all about expressing your artistic vision through the cardmaking medium, which allows you to more readily share your creations with friends and family! With this central purpose at the heart of Card Creativity, we’ve created three stamp sets with coordinating Thin Cuts metal dies and stencils, and one set made up entirely of sentiments for the interior of your cards.

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  • Create to Your Heart's Content with Card Creativity! #cardcreativity #nationalstampingmonth #ctmh #closetomyheart #cardmaking #stamping #stamps #diecuts #thincuts #stencils #distressoxide #technique #creativity #crafting #ink
  • Create to Your Heart's Content with Card Creativity! #cardcreativity #nationalstampingmonth #ctmh #closetomyheart #cardmaking #stamping #stamps #diecuts #thincuts #stencils #distressoxide #technique #creativity #crafting #ink
  • Create to Your Heart's Content with Card Creativity! #cardcreativity #nationalstampingmonth #ctmh #closetomyheart #cardmaking #stamping #stamps #diecuts #thincuts #stencils #distressoxide #technique #creativity #crafting #ink

Each stamp set has its own unique feel and can be incorporated into countless designs for maximum creative output, and with so many interior sentiments to choose from, your cards are always sure to be a delight, not only for the recipients, but for you as you make them, as well!

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Today, we’ll be focusing on the ins and outs of six particular designs, pictured below; all of these cards can be created by following the instructions in the Card Creativity Cardmaking Workshop Kit. (To download these instructions, click here! For our friends in Australia and New Zealand, click here!)

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A hallmark of the Card Creativity cardmaking experience is the inclusion of coordinating background stencils, a method which can be seen in all six of the cards we’ll look at today. As crafters familiar with Close To My Heart will know, many of our stamp sets come with coordinating Thin Cuts metal dies, designed to cut die-cuts from plain paper that can then accommodate a stamped image from its coordinating set. Incorporating Thin Cuts into your stamp-based crafts can be a great way to bring additional dimension into your project. For Card Creativity, we’ve created three coordinating stamps and Thin Cuts, but we’ve also designed special stencils to layer in with the stamps and Thin Cuts. As you will see later on, these stencils can be used to create background patterns or to add color to accent elements more at the forefront.

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Another standout feature of this cardmaking extravaganza is the inclusion of the Cloud, Stitched Swirl, and Circle Lattice Background Thin Cuts metal dies. These metal dies are each designed to fit a standard 4¼” x 5½” card, and they are a great way to create engaging backgrounds, card bases, or decorative overlays. These die-cuts are designed specifically to coordinate with our Card Creativity stamps, Thin Cuts, and stencils—to achieve some pretty impressive effects!—but they can be used as standalone Thin Cuts in a variety of other projects. The only limit is your imagination! Each one of these metal dies has been used to create the cards we’ll be looking at today, and we can’t wait to show them off!

The first two cards we’ll examine today are an adorable and light-hearted pair of birthday and greeting cards. Both cards were made using the Floating By Stamp + Thin Cuts + Stencil set (CC9225) and are a delightful blend of whimsy and good old-fashioned animal cuteness. (After all, what’s cuter than animals and colorful balloons? 🥰)

Create to Your Heart's Content with Card Creativity! #cardcreativity #nationalstampingmonth #ctmh #closetomyheart #cardmaking #stamping #stamps #diecuts #thincuts #stencils #distressoxide #technique #creativity #crafting #ink


In our sweet little mouse birthday card, you can see the Cloud Background Thin Cuts (CC9228) used to great effect; not only has the main component of the metal die been used to create a simple, yet beautiful base, but the interior shapes from the initial cut have been incorporated as well. This inclusion gives the card an additional level of dimension befitting an expansive, cloudy sky for our mouse to float in. The mouse and its balloons top everything off, along with a hand-trimmed pennant for our sentiment, and a few Clear Sparkles!

Create to Your Heart's Content with Card Creativity! #cardcreativity #nationalstampingmonth #ctmh #closetomyheart #cardmaking #stamping #stamps #diecuts #thincuts #stencils #distressoxide #technique #creativity #crafting #ink

For our “Floating By to Say Hi” greeting card, we begin to see how the stencils and Thin Cuts can work together for seamless coordination and application. Rather than using the Cloud Background Thin Cuts die as a base, we used the cloud stencil, Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide™ ink, and a sponge to apply light blue clouds to a plain white cardstock base. Over that, we layered a few of the interior cloud cut-outs, some strategically ripped cardstock, and of course, our animal friend and balloon! (For a fun twist, we stamped our sentiment on the balloon die-cut itself!) We’ve also added a few Clear Sparkles for a fun bit of shine, and with that, our “Floating By to Say Hi” greeting card is complete!

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Our next set of cards was created with our Hello Fabulous Stamp + Thin Cuts + Stencil grouping, and we are loving the way the stencils came into play with our first card!

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The “Hello Fabulous” motivational card showcases the use of not one pass with the stencil, but two! To create our multi-colored base, we sponged one color of ink with the stencil on one side, then flipped the stencil around and sponged a different color of ink onto the card base, perpendicular to the first round of color! This technique allows you to enjoy the dual-color effect while also enjoying the convenience of only needing one tool! (Just make sure to wipe the stencil off before going in for your second round of color to avoid smudging your card!)

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After applying our stenciled colors to the card base, we cut an overlay piece using the Circle Lattice Background Thin Cuts metal die, and then sponged it with coordinating colors to match the stencil work we did on the card base. Once our colors were applied, we finished this card off with our stamped, die-cut sentiment, a few pieces of black and white cardstock to accent it, and a handful of our trusty clear sparkles for some subtle shine. When it all comes together, this vibrant card is a beautiful way to not only express and exercise your creativity, but is a great way to show someone special that you care! 

Our other Hello Fabulous card doesn’t incorporate our background stencil, but does sport some pretty snazzy colors with blended Distress Oxide™ ink on the Circle Lattice Background die-cut piece. We love adding all sorts of bright coloring with Distress Oxide, and it’s always a treat to see what can be done with it!

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For this card in particular, we used a Mini Ink Blending Tool to blend our selected ink colors into an awesome ombre effect. (For more inspiration on how to incorporate Distress Oxide inks into your own creations, check out our “Distress Oxide™ Ink Techniques and Ideas” blog post!) 

The last two cards we’ll be looking at today were created with our Dragonfly Wishes Stamp + Thin Cuts + Stencil set, and we love the way these gorgeous cards came together!

Create to Your Heart's Content with Card Creativity! #cardcreativity #nationalstampingmonth #ctmh #closetomyheart #cardmaking #stamping #stamps #diecuts #thincuts #stencils #distressoxide #technique #creativity #crafting #ink

With our “Thank You” card, we’ve gone for a more minimalistic approach when it comes to the base design, selecting a clean White Daisy base. To give it some extra pop, we’ve taken the Stitched Swirl Background Thin Cuts and used it to cut the distinctive stitched swirl patterns into our base. Once the base is in place, we added a 3¼” x 4″ piece of black cardstock, topped with an additional 3″ x 3¾” White Daisy piece, which has also been treated with the Stitched Swirl Background Thin Cuts die. This die is a great tool for adding subtle pattern and texture that contributes visual interest to your background without becoming too distracting. Once the base has been created, we get to the more involved, colorful parts of this creation process!

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To add hues to our stamped die-cut flower patch, we went in with Blue Turquoise and Alpine Green TriBlend™ Markers and used the trio of shades in each to add some delicate color. However, it’s in our dragonfly’s wings where we really get into some coloring fun! For this elegant insect, we used our coordinating Dragonfly Wishes stencil to add color to the wings sections. This delicate blend of colors not only makes the dragonfly stand out but brings a more realistic touch to the overall aesthetic of the card. With the addition of our sentiment and a neat row of sparkles, this gorgeous dragonfly “Thank You” card is complete! 

Our last piece we have to show you today is a fun dragonfly birthday card, complete with another stitched swirl background and a fun twist on the blended Distress Oxide™ ink blending techniques we’ve showcased in a few of our previous cards. Our “Wishing You a Wonderful Birthday” card starts off by running our base piece through our Die-cutting & Embossing Machine with the Stitched Swirl Background Thin Cuts. Next, we applied a pink and blue ink blend, adding a few water splatters for a watercolor effect.

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Once the ink colors have been applied to our card base, we layered a small stamped image of cattails, matted with black cardstock, over the colored section and also popped our sentiment onto the card base, trimmed to a pennant shape for some additional flair. We’ve topped everything off with a pair of beautiful, iridescent dragonflies with delicately colored wings. Once again, we’ve used Distress Oxide™ ink pads and the Dragonfly Wishes stencil to achieve this appearance, and added a few Clear Sparkles to finish the look. (It’s amazing to see what a difference even a small embellishment can make!) 

With so much crafting potential packed in, Card Creativity is the ultimate cardmaking experience and a great way to express your own love for stamping! We’ve loved showing you these incredible cards to give you an idea of the artwork that can be made with this amazing collection of products, and we’re looking forward to seeing all the awesome things you create with it, both for Card Creativity and beyond!

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I Am a Stamp Addict

In the spirit of Stampaganza, we’ve asked Executive Director Denise Anderson-Turley to share why she’s so passionate about stamping. Here is her beautiful story.

It started with an invitation. It was a “party” called D.O.T.S.

Read Denise Anderson-Turley's story about becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craft #stamp #stamping #scrapbooking #cards

My husband, children, and I had recently moved to Southern California. We were new to the state and new to the neighborhood. I wanted to make new friends. I was hoping to meet the movers and shakers at Luiseno Elementary School. I reluctantly attended the D.O.T.S. party because I knew the PTA president was the hostess, and I desperately wanted to be friends with her. I was a little late because I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t want to be labeled as one of those “party going” or “party giving” types! I was a happy stay-at-home mom to three great kids.

Once I arrived, I stood in the back with my arms folded over my chest, feeling a mix of social anxiety and suspicion of the “home party” culture. I was not interested in selling anything to anyone. Ever. I watched and listed as Cindy Baker shared the story of Jeanette, and then the magic happened. She showed us how to stamp two images without having the inked lines show through! I’ll never forget that adorable card. She stamped a cloud behind it. She added glitter and sponged the sky blue. When she held up the card, I gasped. I had never seen anything like it! I was hooked. That card changed the course of my adult life.

At the end of her presentation, she asked if anyone wanted to learn more about becoming a D.O.T.S Demonstrator, and I blurted out “I’ll sign up!”—I was her easiest recruit, ever. 🙂

I rushed home and told my husband about my decision. I told him I needed $250, which was not a small amount of money in 1992. I was going to sell stamps! I’m pretty sure he thought I was kidding. He had no idea what I was talking about! I ordered my “kit” and waited with great anticipation. The kit came in about 3 weeks in a small cardboard box. When I opened the box, I saw ink pads, a box of markers, stamps, glossy paper, and glitter! My heart knew those products were something special.

I begged a few friends to have a D.O.T.S. “party.” They did not go well. I had so much to learn. My confidence and skill level needed help. I felt like a failure. I was sure that I had made a $250 mistake. But I did not give up. In December that year, I made flyers and put them all over my new neighborhood and held an Open House. I think five people came. And all five booked a party for January. I was over the moon!

Then it got real. It got real fun. I had become a stamp addict! I earned $50 on my first commission override check! I couldn’t believe it! I got paid to make pretty things and have fun! I invested that check plus a little more right back into the business.

I was lucky to live near my Upline, Cindy Baker, and she started teaching me the “art” of stamping. She was my mentor, my friend, and my teacher. She still is. One of my fondest memories is when I would take my two-year-old daughter, Jenna, with me to stamp at Cindy’s house. Cindy would give my sweet little Jenna a Ziploc bag filled with mini marshmallows while we sat at her table and stamped our way through many afternoons!

What a kick it was! What a rush! I spent my days creating the cutest gift bags, nametags, and bookmarks!Read Denise Anderson-Turley's story about becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craft #stamp #stamping #scrapbooking #cards

D.O.T.S. grew, my Team grew, and the company’s name changed to Close To My Heart. Through all these changes, the creative life I loved never wavered. I had parties almost every night of the week. I continued to share my addiction with other women. I invited them into my stamping world. I loved the joy it brought into people’s lives. Stamps, markers, paper, and glitter were my world. My happy-stampy-crafty world!

Read Denise Anderson-Turley's story about becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craft #stamp #stamping #scrapbooking #cards

My husband, Jeff, and I on my first incentive trip cruise

Because I am a stamp addict, I was able to teach my children about loyalty, perseverance, discipline, and finances, about following your dream and knowing your heart. I was clueless when I signed up. I had no idea about the benefits of a direct sales business. I knew I could sell eye shadow or bowls or necklaces, but none of those products were as magical or addicting. Close To My Heart is so much more than a direct sales company. It’s not something I sell. It’s who I am.Read Denise Anderson-Turley's story about becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craft #stamp #stamping #scrapbooking #cardsBeing a stamp addict has provided me with income and travel, lifelong friends and amazing moments that I would never have experienced in any other job. I am lucky that this addiction has so many great side effects!

Read Denise Anderson-Turley's story about becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craft #stamp #stamping #scrapbooking #cards

Today I am a happily-ever-after stamp addict. I am thrilled when I get my hands on the new idea book at Convention. I love the excitement of the Seasonal Expressions. I share my art and my passion with anyone who’ll listen. I still want to stamp every single day. Cindy Baker is still my Upline, and Jenna is still sweet!Read Denise Anderson-Turley's story about becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craft #stamp #stamping #scrapbooking #cards

My stamp addiction became my strength. My stamp addiction changed me into a leader, a mentor, and the woman I am today.

I am a stamp addict.

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