Easter is one of the most joyous holiday seasons of the year that is often overshadowed, if not overlooked, by our noisy world. It’s a time full of courage, hope, and promise for those with faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In preparation for this commemorative time, we are highlighting two meaningful stamp sets from our January–March catalog along with a few beautiful cards and a scrapbook page we made using them!
The first stamp set we’re looking at is called God Is Love and it is also offered with a coordinating set of Thin Cuts. Thin Cuts are metal dies that are used for cutting shapes out of paper when paired with a die-cutting machine.
The words and designs shown in black represent what you can stamp with our clear polymer stamps and the other shapes you see above are what can be cut with the Thin Cuts.
Using the God Is Love dies paired with a few simple techniques, this lovely scripture card came together with so much ease! One of the first things you might notice is that we didn’t use a lot of patterned paper. We only used one, to be exact, and very little of it at that. The intention was to focus on and not distract from the scripture message that takes up two thirds of the card’s front. The message was stamped in Wisteria ink, a color very similar to the Periwinkle cardstock on which it was stamped, creating a warm, almost tone-on-tone effect. The sentiment is resting on a bar of Ballerina cardstock. The bar below the sentiment is visually important because it creates a place for our eyes to rest after reading this passage, which is longer than typical for a card front. Finally, the card is embellished with gold accents and beautiful die-cut flowers, so that we have something pretty to look at as our eyes rest.
For added dimension, the edges of the layered petal pieces of the center flower were sponged with Ballerina ink, creating the illusion that the flower is at the forefront, when in reality it was attached in the same way, and without any foam tape, as was the second flower.
Just like in the card, this layout was kept free of too many distracting patterns to really focus on the message and feeling behind the day these memories were made. It is still full of beautiful techniques, like the sponging of color in the background that ties the elements in the foreground together, leading the eye from one part of the layout to the next.
In this case, the flower petals were die cut from two different cardstock colors, White Daisy and Ballerina, adding to the flow and visual guide created by the ethereal Wisteria ink in the background. Our eyes begin at the top right, are guided left through the photos, matted on restful solid cardstock colors, and then the journaling, continuing to and stopping at the beautifully decorated cross on the bottom right of the page.
We chose to color the floral designs on the cross with alcohol markers, but color pencils or watercolor paint would be just as beautiful!
As a bonus note, the colors we chose for this card and layout may seem thematic for Easter, but if you’re also familiar with color theory, you will see that this card is made up of double complementary colors. (If you aren’t familiar with color theory, or would like to learn more, revisit a few of our past posts, here: For the Love of Color: A New Color Wheel!)
This next stamp set we absolutely love for Easter and for any time you may need to provide a friend with uplifting, faith filled comfort, is the I Am the Way stamp set.
We got bolder with this next card and used a good amount of patterned paper and a dark (Sapphire) cardstock. To ensure the stamped scripture wouldn’t get lost in our paper choices, we made it literally stand out by heat embossing it in gold! To heat emboss, you must use a clear ink that is designed for embossing, like VersaMark™ ink, and dust it with an embossing powder (we used Princess Gold). Once you clear off any powder that is not stuck to the embossing ink, you set the image with a heat tool that will literally melt the powder into the ink. The result is a stamped image that raises off the page!
Less of a technique, but perhaps a trick that we carry up our sleeves, are the acrylic stars that we used to embellish this card. These little golden stars started out white and were colored with the Liquid Gold metallic paint markers. We offer white acrylic stars, and other shapes, in our catalog for the express reason that white acrylic is easy to color and therefore match to the needs of your projects!
The taller, “I am the way…” scripture from this set is sized to fit on the front of the trendy slimline-style cards.
Our talented Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, shows how to recreate this amazing background in the video below!
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.
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.
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!
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!)
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.
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? 🥰)
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!
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!
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!)
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!
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!
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.
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!
We’ve added Distress Oxide™ inkpads to our ink line-up not too long ago, and today we’ve got a few ideas to show you on how to use them!
Hopefully you’ve all had a chance to experiment with these fun reactive inks and, in the process, discovered a few techniques and ideas of your very own. If you haven’t, we are here to help! Regardless of where you are in your Distress Oxide™ journey, follow along as our Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, dives into five gorgeous techniques below!
Watercolor Wash Load your watercolor paper with water, to the point where it is sitting on top of the paper and not fully absorbing. Spread the Distress Oxide™ ink colors that you wish to use for your background onto your all-purpose mat. With a waterbrush, pick up the colors, one at a time, and add it to the sitting water on the watercolor paper. The colors will blend and bleed into one another.
An Ombré Effect with One Ink Pad With just one Distress Oxide ink pad, create and ombré effect by applying the ink with different amounts of pressure (more for a darker tone, and less for a lighter tone). Blend these tones seamlessly with a mini ink blending tool.
Tone-on-Tone Stenciling Apply the background Distress Oxide™ ink colors and blend them into each other with a mini ink blending tool. Lay a stencil on top and add a second layer of color through the stencil. Apply more pressure, and more ink, for the stenciled image to appear darker and to achieve a more dramatic effect.
What are some fun ways you are using your Distress Oxide™ inks? Let’s share ideas in the comments below!
There are so many reasons to love September. A favorite of ours is the release of our new annual Core Products Catalog! It makes us giddy just thinking about all of the new and exciting products that we’ve been preparing to share with all of you!
Unlike with our seasonal bimonthly catalogs, the contents of our Core Products Catalog are available for an entire year, from September through the following year’s August. This year’s Core Products Catalog is especially full of new products and ideas. We are as committed as ever to our promise of being there to show you how, including providing the right tools and products, whatever your crafting goals.
We have FIVE new paper kits themed and designed for year-round use!
Lovely: If you find beauty in life’s simple pleasures, then you’ll love celebrating them with the soft colors and versatile patterns of the Lovely paper collection.
Party Time: Unwrap the ultimate paper packet for any party, featuring bright colors and a patterns that will guarantee you and your quests a good time!
(Both, the Lovely and Party Time papers, come with an optional coordinating sticker sheet, as well as coordinating cardstock!)
Wood Grain: Add the natural texture of wood to your papercrafting palette with this collection of realistic patterned papers.
Gold Foil Patterns: Add rich gold foil accents to any artwork using the Gold Foil Patterns paper packet, featuring six beautiful patterns in gold foil.
Silver Foil Patterns: Make your artwork shine with the Silver Foil Patterns paper packet, featuring six classic patterns in shining silver foil.
If die-cutting is your thing, then you will be pleasantly surprised by what we’ve got in store in the Core Products Catalog! We’ve got bows, leaves, dimensional flowers, card front designs, sentiments, and tons more! For space reasons, we’re only showing you two of our favorites here, but make sure to browse through the catalog to see them all.
Deep Blends TriBlend™ Markers: For those who have been with this us since last year, you’ll recall that last September we introduced the essential blends TriBlend™ markers from Spectrum Noir™. This year we are taking our color options up a notch (or three) with 24 new deep blends markers!
Gloss Sprays: Available in six colors, these are an opaque acrylic spray that dry to a glossy finish. The ink is water-soluble when wet, and permanent when dry.
Distress Oxide™ Ink Pads: An exciting newcomer are the Distress Oxide™ ink pads. These pads feature a water-reactive dye and pigment ink fusion that create an oxidized effect when sprayed with water! Use with stamps, stencils, or rub the pad directly on a paper surface.
Stencils: We couldn’t give you all those pretty art supplies to use with stencils without providing you with a few options of our own! So, we designed nine 12″ x 12″ stencils, available in three separate packs of three, for use with a variety of mixed media and art techniques! These are made from reusable clear plastic stencil sheets, each cut in a unique design.
We’ve added 11 new digital, downloadable SVG files, to our collection as well as three new Heat Transfer vinyl colors (Red, Light Pink, and Pale Blue)! View all of these new digital art designs, here.
8″ x 12″ FLIP FLAPS™
Add more photos and other pieces of memorabilia to your scrapbook pages with Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™! Use the adhesive strip to stick the additional pocket directly to your page or on top of the Memory Protectors. The new, 8″ x 12″ Flip Flaps™, are a great size for including certificates and other large-scale items! (Attaches vertically or horizontally.)
We’ve added several new colors to our exclusive color palette this month! Our favorite, and Color of the Year, is this beautiful blue hue aptly named, Blue Belle! Keep a sharp eye out for it throughout the coming year, and you’ll find hints of Blue Belle in a wide variety of our new products. (To see what other new colors we have in store, talk to your Consultant or take a look at our exclusive color palette in our Core Products Catalog.)
CRAFT WITH HEART™ CARDMAKING KIT
It’s September, and that means there’s a new Craft with Heart™ cardmaking kit available, now and through the end of December!
Each kit includes materials to create a set of 24 beautiful, handmade cards, that come together in a snap thanks to pre-printed card bases, die-cut shapes, and more. Each delivery also includes an exclusive My Acrylix® stamp set, complete with a stamping block and mini ink pad, so you’ll have the tools you need to create your cards just the way you want them. Keep up with all the occasions in your life with a Craft with Heart™ cardmaking subscription!
Dear friends, this is truly just the tip of the iceberg here. There are many, many more new products that you don’t want to miss out on. Make sure to visit with your Close to My Heart Consultant to see all that we have in store, or explore our Core Products Catalog online, here.