Thin Cuts Technique with Our Punny Pals

Thin Cuts Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincuts #dies #diecuts #cardmaking #diy #wildaboutyou #animals #zooanimals #lion #monkey #tiger

Available for this month only, we have coordinating Thin Cuts for our Punny Pals stamp set! Remember, for every Punny Pals stamp set purchased Close To My Heart will donate $7 of the proceeds to Operation Smile™, a non-profit organization that provides safe surgeries to repair cleft lips and palates for people around the world. We took it upon ourselves to come up with a fun way to use this stamp set and its coordinating Thin Cuts to create something guaranteed to make someone smile! Below are step-by-step instructions to show you how to recreate this multi-layer card yourself using partially cut die cuts. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Materials Needed:
D1751 My Acrylix® Punny Pals Stamp Set
CC1340 Thin Cuts—Punny Pals
Z3318 Thin Cuts—Basic Circles
X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet
1385 White Daisy Cardstock
X5954 Pewter Cardstock
Z899 Black Memento™ Ink Pad
Z4050 Picture My Life™—Beary Christmas
Z3323 White Burlap Ribbon
Z4029 Bronze Sequins
3505 Watercolor Pencils
Z2445 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Barely Beige Marker
Z2446 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Black Marker
Z2452 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Golden Yellow Marker
Z2460 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Peach Marker
Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape
Die-cutting machine

Prepare and cut.
To replicate our card exactly, you will need the following pieces:

  • 1 standard card base
  • 3¾” x 5″ White Daisy cardstock
  • 4″ x 5¼” Pewter cardstock
  • 3¾” x 5″ New England Ivy “Sprig” paper from Beary Christmas paper packet
  • 4″ x 5 ¼ ” Pebble striped paper from Beary Christmas paper packet
  • 3¾” x 1″ ombre New England Ivy paper from Beary Christmas Picture My Life™ Cards

Thin Cuts Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincuts #dies #diecuts #cardmaking #diy #wildaboutyou #animals #zooanimals #lion #monkey #tiger

Step 1. Planning the partial cut.
Using washi tape, temporarily attach the 2½” circle die onto the White Daisy cardstock piece approximately ¾” from the top. Place the Tiger die on the adhered circle die, slightly left of center, and mark (with a pencil) where the two dies intersect.

Remove the tiger die but keep the circle in place. With a ruler and pencil, draw a light line through both of the dots, running off both sides of the cardstock.

Step 2. Partially cutting the circle.
We use a Cuttlebug™ as our preferred die-cutting machine. Layer a platform and a C-size plate and align the edges. Place the White Daisy cardstock on top of this combination so that the line you have drawn is about 1/8″ below the bottom of the plate. This will put the top half of the cardstock on the plate and leave the lower half of the cardstock hanging off the plate. Adhere the card piece in place with washi tape so it will not move. Anything below the plate will not cut through.

Layer a B-size plate on top and run the paper through your die-cutting machine. You should end up with a partially cut circle, still attached on the bottom left.

WAIT—DON’T REMOVE THE CARD FROM THE PLATE YET!

 

Step 3. Partially cutting the tiger.
Thin Cuts Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincuts #dies #diecuts #cardmaking #diy #wildaboutyou #animals #zooanimals #lion #monkey #tiger

While keeping the cardstock attached to the plate, remove the circle die. Add the tiger die where your circle is still intact, allowing a portion of the head and tail into the inside of the circle, and secure it to the cardstock with some washi tape.

Replace the B-size plate, make sure the platform and plates are aligned, and run it through the die-cutting machine.

Remove the tiger die. You will now have a portion of the tiger cut out of the inside circle. (The remainder of the inner circle may be discarded.) If there is a small area of the inner circle that has not cut through just snip carefully with scissors.

Step 4. Get Stamping!
Stamp the tiger image in place and color it with watercolor pencils.

Thin Cuts Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincuts #dies #diecuts #cardmaking #diy #wildaboutyou #animals #zooanimals #lion #monkey #tiger

Step 5. Assemble the rest of the card.
Create the inner circle of the card front by cutting the layers with the 2″ circle die.

Thin Cuts Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincuts #dies #diecuts #cardmaking #diy #wildaboutyou #animals #zooanimals #lion #monkey #tiger

Tip: To put the monkey in place, make two cuts of the monkey outline. When layering the shapes together, attach the front shape so that it overlaps the front of your circle window, and attach the back shape overlapping the back of the circle. This will hold the monkey securely in place.

Tip: For added dimension on your animal, make a second animal shape and, after stamping, trim out the face. Color this new layer and attach with thin 3-D foam tape.

 This Thin Cuts technique is all about versatility and dimension! Please share with us any comments or questions through the link below!

Share a Smile and happy trimming!

Leave a comment

Split Stamping Technique

In honor of National Stamping Month, we thought it’d be fun to share with you some stamping techniques on the blog—because no crafter can ever have too many stamping tricks up her sleeve, right? 😉

Today’s post is going to teach you what we call the Split Stamping technique.

This technique is exactly what it sounds like: You split your stamp image. There are a few different ways to do this.

One of the easiest ways is to stamp an image onto a piece of cardstock and then cut it into pieces, like the elephant below.

Split stamping technique #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #techniques #clear #stamps #card

Cutting up an image and reassembling it on your artwork is a unique way to draw more attention to your stamping.

Another way you can “split” your stamp is with masking. Not sure what we mean by “masking”? Masking is when you cover up part of your stamp or paper before stamping an image. Split stamping technique #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #techniques #clear #stamps #card

Here, we attached a strip of cardstock across the center of our card with just a little bit of adhesive so it wouldn’t slide around. Next, we stamped our flowers along the top and bottom of the card, overlapping them slightly with the strip. We then carefully peeled off the cardstock strip, removed any leftover adhesive with our Rub & Remove™ eraser, painted our flowers, and then stamped our sentiment.

For a more advanced spin on this technique, try incorporating the piece of cardstock you use for the masking!

Split stamping technique #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #techniques #clear #stamps #card

For this card, we cut both pieces of White Daisy cardstock, attached the smaller piece to the center of the larger piece with a little bit of adhesive, and then stamped our flowers over both pieces. Next, we carefully separated the smaller piece of cardstock from the larger one, painted our flowers, and popped the piece up on Bashful cardstock with 3-D foam tape. To add even more dimension, we also stamped some of the blossoms on scrap paper, painted them, trimmed them out, and then attached them over the matching blossoms with 3-D foam tape.

What do you think of the Split Stamping technique? Tell us in the comments below! And be sure to follow the blog all month long to see even more stamping techniques! 🙂


Recipes

4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ Congrats Card (Vertical)
D1726 My Acrylix® Sweet Baby Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5941 Bashful Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3361 Whimsy Ribbon Pack, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ Best Wishes Card (Horizontal)
D1747 My Acrylix® Happily Ever After Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4014 White & Gold Twine, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set

4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ So Happy for You Card (Vertical)
C1693 My Acrylix® Many Congratulations Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5941 Bashful Cardstock, X5953 Charcoal Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set

Leave a comment

Stamping ABC’s

Here we are, in the middle of Stampaganaza 2017, with more stamping tips and tricks for you to carry up your sleeve and share with your friends! Today we’re giving you the ABC’s of working with alphabet stamps. Most of us have at least one font that is our go to, so go grab it and try the following out! (If you’re looking for a new favorite, check out our new Storybook Alphabet—July Stamp of the Month!)
Counting Sheep #closetomyheart #ctmh #layout #countingsheep #sleeping #alphabetstamp #alphabet #scrapbooking
A is for Alignment
For our first trick, we will tell you to stamp your letters one at a time instead of spelling out entire words on a stamping block. A lot of people do this (and we do too, sometimes!) but we find it easier to pull off crisper and cleaner letters when they are stamped individually. If you’re afraid that your letters won’t line up straight, use a ruler and a pencil to lightly draw a line to act as a guide for where you will be stamping. As for spacing between the letters, just eyeball it! Artists are definitely not perfectionists!
Love Card #closetomyheart #ctmh #cardmaking #lovecard #love #alphabetstamp #stampingB is for Background
Never underestimate the power of a strong backdrop! Alphabet stamps make great backgrounds and can send subtle messages through artwork. Align your letters using the tips we’ve already mentioned, but throw them in the back for a fun and easy way to personalize your crafts.
Gift Tag #closetomyheart #ctmh #tag #alphabet #alphabetstamp #stampingC is for Center (Sorry Cookie Monster, maybe next time)
Our final tip is about centering your words in your artwork without having to pull out a ruler. If you are trying to center a word on a piece of paper, like in our Hello tag above, start stamping from the middle letter of the word. We started with the first L in “HELLO” and then worked our way out from there, playfully staggering the letters slightly up and down.

Remember your ABC’s—they can make a world of difference when you stamp! If you’ve got some alphabet tips of your own that you would like to share, please do so in the comments below!


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Counting Sheep Page
S1707 My Acrylix® Storybook Alphabet—Stamp of the Month, E1034 My Acrylix® Marker Alphabet Stamp Set, B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand Stamp Set, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5752 Juniper Cardstock, X5777 Fern Cardstock, X5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2813 Sea Glass Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2865 Juniper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3273 Baby Boy Complements, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape

4¼” x 5½” Love Card
E1027 My Acrylix® Framework Alphabet Stamp Set, X7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5788 Raspberry Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2865 Juniper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2806 Emerald Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3216 White Twine, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Flower Market
1¾” Background <c> (p. 33)

2¾” x 1¾” Hello Tag
B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand Stamp Set, X7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5777 Fern Cardstock, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3272 Baby Girl Complements, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Glassine Bag

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking Collection
1¾” Photo Mat 1 <AllStar> (p. 83)

Leave a comment

13 Tips to Help You Become an Ink Expert

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

If you’re a stamper, then chances are you are no stranger to the wonders of inky fingers! But no matter how much exposure you’ve had, there are probably some things about working with ink that may still be a mystery to you. Today’s topic is Inks 101, and by the time you’ve read this post, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an ink expert!

1. Not sure which type of ink you should use for a project? Click on this handy infographic to figure it out!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

2. Just like our cardstock, we offer dye and pigment stamp pads in all of our exclusive colors…meaning you’ll always have ink to match your cardstock! Easy color coordination is the name of our game. 🙂

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp3. Our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads have one of the largest surface areas on the market. Plus, they’re super easy to open, thanks to the magnetic case design!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

4. We designed our stamp pads so that the pad is on the lid of the case. This way while your stamp pad is sitting around waiting to be used, the ink is settling on the surface of the pad so you’ll always be able to get a crisp stamped image.

5. Is your stamp pad getting dry? That happens with a lot of use over time. But the good news is that instead of buying a new one, you can buy the coordinating re-inker and use it to replenish your pad. To re-ink a stamp pad, gently squeeze the re-inker evenly over the surface of your stamp pad while moving in a zig-zag pattern, top to bottom. Repeat until your stamp pad is properly saturated again (you won’t even need to use the whole bottle!). Just be sure to give your ink some time to soak in before using the stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

6. Is your stamped image darker than you thought it would be? Don’t worry, that’s normal! Dye inks need a little bit of time to cure, which means that they need to fully dry before they turn the right color. This shouldn’t take too long, but a craft heater can certainly help speed up the process.

7. When using our mini pigment ink stamp pads, dab the stamp pad lightly onto the stamp rather than trying to press the stamp onto the stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

8. Pigment ink sits on the surface of your paper, which is why the colors are more vivid than dye inks. However, this means pigment ink takes longer to dry. Give images stamped with pigment ink time to air dry, or use a craft heater to dry them right away.

9. If you’ve got the painting bug, then you’re going to love painting with our inks! Start by squishing the lid of your closed stamp pad all over. This will transfer some ink from the pad onto the other side of the case where you can pick up the ink using a slightly damp waterbrush or paintbrush, and then paint away!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp10. If you want to create a splattered paint pattern on your artwork, then our spray pen is your friend! Simply fill your spray pen with some water and add a bit of ink from a re-inker bottle, shake, and then spritz onto your artwork. Raise the spray pen higher for a subtler splatter and closer to the paper for a more concentrated splatter. If you want the ink to dry faster, try using rubbing alcohol instead of water.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp11. Our round sponge and sponge daubers can create really cool effects with our inks. With the sponge daubers insert and small organizer, you can store a whole collection of sponge daubers, even labeling them by color so you don’t forget which dauber you used for each stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp12. In addition to our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads, we also offer the VersaMark™ ink pad. Use this ink pad to create watermark images, or add embossing powder over the stamped image, shake off the excess, and heat set for an entirely different look!

13. Coloring in your stamp? Make sure you use the right ink to avoid bleeding! Memento™ is the way to go if you’re using alcohol markers, and Archival Black permanent ink is best with watercolor paints or pencils.


Did we miss anything? 🙂 Ask any questions about our inks in the comments below!

Leave a comment

New Spins on Old Techniques

Like the world of fashion, trends in papercrafting are always changing. One day it’s all about brads and buttons and the next it’s all about sparkles and shimmer!

Just because an artistic technique or aesthetic may no longer be “on trend” doesn’t mean that you can’t still use it. You just need to freshen it up!

To show you what we mean, we dug through our archives to find artwork created with some old-school techniques. We then asked our artists to create new artwork using these same techniques…with a modern-day spin!

They’ve come up with some amazing alterations to these techniques that will make your artwork amazing!

Old Technique:

Distressing the edges of your titles with ink. Remember when we did this for everything? Distress all the things! 🙂

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

New Spin:

Instead of distressing your titles, try stamping them using the rock n’ roll technique. It keeps your edges clean, which is the new trend, but just like distressing, it gives your titles dimension and color variation.

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Old Technique:

Ripping and inking your edges, aka, making your artwork look like it’s 100 years old. And remember how burned edges were such a thing? Ripping and inking your edges with black ink mimicked that trend, which you can see on the card below.

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

New Spin:

Instead of inking your ripped edges, try leaving your ripped edges un-inked and inking your clean edges instead, using a color other than black or brown! The key is subtlety! You can see we added some faint pink inking to the edges of the pink paper here. It helps to add some depth to the paper without screaming “I’m distressed!”

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Old Technique:

Stippled titles. Remember this one? You’d spell out your title with stickers, make a million little dots over the stickers with a marker, and then peel off your stickers to reveal your finished title.

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

New Spin:

Watercolored titles. Instead of stippling over your stickers with a marker, paint over them with a wide paintbrush and some watercolor paint. We used this technique with a “hello” sticker from our Springtime Complements to create the title below.

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Pretty neat, right?

Just because papercrafting trends change doesn’t mean you need to throw out your bag of tricks. All you need to do is find a way to make your old tricks feel new again!

Which spin is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!


Recipes

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Welcome Baby Card (Horizontal)
C1668 My Acrylix® Baby Bundle Stamp Set, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1292 Crystal Blue Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z3247 Simple Chevron Embossing Folder, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, Embossing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Flower Market
1″ Shift+Title <?> (p. 8)
1 ½” Shift_Title <R> (cut 4, p. 14)
 

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Happy Birthday Card (Vertical)
B1537 My Acrylix® Birthday Sparkles Stamp Set, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Flower Market
2 ¼” Flower-2 <7> (p. 7)
 

12″ x 12″ Hello Page
CC1219 Swirly Seashells Stamp + Thin Cuts, x7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor PaperZ3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3307 Springtime ComplementsZ3216 White Twine, Z3089 Grey Enamel Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, 3505 Watercolor Pencils, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, Pen

Cricut® Shape:
Flower Market
2 ½” Flower-2 <7> (p. 7)

 
Leave a comment

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations!

If we’re going to talk about mixing and matching papers, we have to start by talking about our Fundamentals! In a nutshell, each of our color palettes has coordinating Fundamental papers, and these papers feature a variety of single-color paper designs. You can think of them the same way you think of cardstock: You have single-color patterns in each of our exclusive colors that you can use any time you are working with a given color.

We’ve created the Fundamentals so that they can be used as both stand-alone paper packets and be mixed in with themed paper packets, like those in our seasonal idea books. If the thought of trying to mix your Fundamentals with a different paper packet makes you nervous, we’re here to walk you through it, step by step!

Step One: Find the themed paper packet you want to work with. Let’s start with Little Dreamer as an example.Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howtoStep Two: Look up the featured colors in this paper packet. They’re listed in a few places: on the zip strip at the very top of your papers, in the idea book, and on our website when you’re viewing the paper packet in online shopping.

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Step Three: Choose which color you want to add more of to your artwork. Then it’s as simple as finding that specific color in the Fundamental paper packets, and using that paper in your artwork!

Not sure which colors are in each Fundamental paper packet? No problem! They are listed in your idea book and online, just like you can see with the Little Dreamer paper packet above!

For example, let’s say you’re working with Little Dreamer. You see that Thistle is one of the featured colors, and you would like to add more of it to your artwork.

Thistle is part of the Whimsy color palette, so you can pull out your Whimsy Fundamental paper packet, find the Thistle designs, and add them to the other papers you’re going to be using.

Can you spot the Thistle Fundamental paper on this layout?

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

How about now? 🙂

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

It matches perfectly, right? There’s also Lagoon Fundamental paper here.

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Here are some other examples where we’ve mixed Fundamental papers with themed papers:

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

No Worries paper packet + Rustic Home Fundamentals neutral chevron paper and linen paper + Adventure Fundamentals Lagoon paper

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Prickly Pear paper packet + Whimsy Fundamentals Sorbet paper + Enchantment Fundamentals Sapphire paper

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Jack paper packet + Rustic Home Fundamentals neutral linen paper and wood paper+ Uptown Fundamentals black plus-sign paper + Enchantment Fundamentals Ruby paper

Now you certainly don’t have to follow these steps to mix and match papers. You can always just grab patterns and colors that look good together (our artists do it all the time!). But if you haven’t tried going free-style before, or if just the thought of it is enough to scare you, following these steps is a good place to start.

Questions? Leave them in the comments below! 🙂


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Believe In Yourself Layout
C1660 My Acrylix® Happy for You Stamp Set, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3253 Adventure Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3321 Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

12″ x 12″ XOXO Layout
X7220B No Worries Paper Packet, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3253 Adventure Fundamental Paper Packet,  Z3240 Sea Glass Glitter Paper, X7220C No Worries Complements, Z3322 No Worries SequinsZ1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

12″ x 12″ Enjoy Today Layout
X7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5775 Sapphire Cardstock, X5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, Z3240 Sea Glass Glitter Paper, X7221C Prickly Pear ComplementsZ1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

12″ x 12″ Happy Camper Layout
X7222B Jack Paper Packet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3263 Uptown Fundamental Paper Packet, X7222C Jack Complements, Z3314 Black & White Dots

Leave a comment

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique

Just over a week ago, we released our latest idea book—Seasonal Expressions 2! If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can look through an online version or even download it as a PDF here. We know you’ll love it!

One of the paper collections in this idea book is called Little Dreamer, and it’s all about unicorns, magic, and dreams…which got us thinking about a certain sponging technique we love that adds a dream-like magic to all your artwork. Since it is so perfect for this collection, we just had to share it with you!

In a nutshell, here’s the technique: Use titles or shapes cut with your Cricut® machine or with Thin Cuts metal dies as stencils for sponging ink onto your pages.

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

First, use a bit of adhesive to attach your title or shape to the page. Next use a sponge dauber or the round sponge to add ink over your title or shape, and then fade the ink into your paper. Once the ink is dry, carefully remove your stencil (if there is any adhesive residue, it’s a cinch to remove with our Rub & Remove™ eraser).

For our artwork, we found it worked best to use both the round sponge and sponge daubers. We used a sponge dauber for a more concentrated look, like you can see immediately around our title, and then the round sponge for fading the ink into the page.

Sponging Tip: If you haven’t used a round sponge before, you’ll want to cut out a pie-shaped wedge from the sponge rather than using the entire sponge. That way your sponging will be more precise, and you can get more use out of your sponge!

We recommend playing with the round sponge and sponge daubers, as well as various amounts of ink, on some scratch paper before sponging onto your artwork.

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

This stenciling technique is a great way to create unique backgrounds for your artwork. For this page, we attached three clouds to the page and sponged around them. After allowing the ink to dry, carefully removing the clouds, and removing any adhesive, we cut three more clouds and sponged around the edges. Then we popped them up with 3-D tape to give the page dimension. The final look sure is dreamy!

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

You can incorporate multiple colors into your stenciling! Here we used a scalloped piece for our stencil, and then sponged on a rainbow of colors. There are SO many possibilities!

We hope this post has inspired you to try stenciling on your artwork. It really is such a fun way to get in touch with your inner artist!

Which page is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below! 🙂

Recipes

 12″ x 12″ You Make the World Sweet Page
Z3334 Little Dreamer Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3321 Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artistry
1″ Shift+Background <K> (p. 28)

12″ x 12″ Find Your Rainbow Page
Z3334 Little Dreamer Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Thread, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1 ½” and 1 ¾” Icon-2 <Spring> (p. 38)
1 ½” and 1 ¾” Shift+Icon-2 <Spring> (p. 38)

12″ x 12″ Believe in Yourself Page
X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2853 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2864 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
8″ Shift+Photo Mat 1 <S> (p. 59)

Leave a comment

Shading Flowers with Watercolors

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Today is National Floral Design Day, and to celebrate, we want to share with you a fun watercolor technique for getting beautifully shaded flowers, like those on this card from our Seasonal Expressions 1 idea book.

Step One

Mix your favorite watercolor paints with water to create a mixture that has roughly the same consistency as milk. Then, using an ink color of your choice, stamp your flowers. We stamped ours with Whisper ink.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Two

Paint a light coat of your watercolor mixture onto your first flower, covering the entire surface.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Three

Mix a darker shade of the same color, and start adding it to just the “shaded” areas of the flower. You want to add it as a thick line. It won’t look pretty and blended yet, but that’s the look you want for this step!

Not sure where to add shading? A good general rule is to shade the edges of the petals that are closest to the center of the flower. If you prefer, you can also look at real photos of flowers online and follow the shading you see there. Continue to step four before the paint has dried.

Step Four

Rinse out your brush. Using a small amount of clean water, gently blend the color out toward each petal’s edge without going all the way to the edge. Allow to dry.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

That’s the gist of the technique! Repeat for any additional flowers and leaves that you want!

Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when painting with your watercolors:

  • You’ll notice we didn’t use our waterproof Archival Black ink to stamp this image. You can use dye-based inks when coloring with watercolors, but you’ll want to be careful not to touch the edges of the stamp image with your brush or else it will make the ink bleed.
  • If using dye-based ink, we recommend using a lighter color. That way if there is any slight bleeding, it will not be too noticeable. A lighter color also draws the eye to the watercoloring of the flowers rather than the outline of the flowers.
  • If you want a “no line” look, you can use a light ink color and carefully color the lines completely. If you like to see the lines though, you can reinforce the stamp image by stamping the image again after the paint is completely dry. Both methods have their own beauty.

Happy painting!

Recipe

4¼” × 5½” You’re Invited Card (Vertical)
X7216B Hello Lovely Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2872 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2864 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3313 Blush Shimmer Ribbon, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z3301 Hello Lovely Cardmaking Thin Cuts Bundle (includes stamp set C1670), Z2046 Piercing & Embossing Tool Kit, Z1852 Stitch Guide, Z3247 Simple Chevron Embossing Folder, Embossing/Die-cutting Machine, Thread

Leave a comment

Embossing with Two Powders

A fun embossing powder trick to try! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhembossing #embossingpowder #cardmaking #stamping #Christmas #howto

If you’re a big fan of embossing, we’ve got a fun idea to share with you today: using TWO different embossing powders on the same stamped image!

We decided to use this technique on our My Acrylix® Yuletide Joy stamp set because it has so many intricate designs—and maybe we wanted an excuse to start making Christmas cards. 🙂

So let’s dive in to the technique. The star and stocking cards above both use the same basic technique. We simply stamped the image with VersaMark™ ink, added the two embossing powders, and then set the images. This was easy enough because of where we wanted to put the powder and the look we were going for, but the present card required a little more precision, so we decided to use masking!

A fun embossing powder trick to try! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhembossing #embossingpowder #cardmaking #stamping #Christmas #howto

We taped off everything but the ribbon, inked the image, removed the tape, stamped, added silver embossing powder, and then heat set the powder. We repeated this same technique for the gold wrapping and ended up with a wowie finished product.

What fun embossing ideas do YOU have? Tell us in the comments below! And be sure to share your artwork using the hashtag #ctmhembossing.

Recipes

4 ½” x 4 ½” Star Card
S1610 My Acyrlix® Yuletide Joy, X7212B Swan Lake Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5929 Whisper Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

 4 ¼” x 5 ½” Noel Card
S1610 My Acyrlix® Yuletide Joy, X7212B Swan Lake Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z4014 White & Gold Twine, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Stocking Card
S1610 My Acyrlix® Yuletide Joy, X7212B Swan Lake Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z3289 Uptown Ribbon Pack, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater
Leave a comment