The exclusive Dream Maker collection features a twelve-sheet paper packet along with several coordinating products—a 12″ x 12″ sticker sheet with gold foil accents, specialty marble-like printed cardstock, exclusive black paperboard die-cuts, a four-pattern stencil, and a stamp set complete with sentiments, accents, and beautiful backgrounds!
And, because creating is our favorite, we went ahead and turned these gorgeous products into projects, putting together three Dream Maker workshops, complete with downloadable instruction guides! The kits for these workshops, paired with a few additional supplies, create some of the dreamiest artwork!
Today, we are hyperfocusing on one of the projects from one of the workshops to really give you a sampling of what you can expect from this Dream Maker collection!
The Perfect Day layout from the Dream Maker scrapbooking workshop is absolutely stunning! Upon first look, the striking background base pages look as if a talented artist spent time water coloring them. If you inspect them closely, you may notice that these backgrounds were actually built using our patterned papers!
The thinner lined patterned paper was used for the 12″ x 12″ base pages. They were layered along the bottom with a zip strip (an extra ½” accent paper found along the top of our pattern papers), followed by an ⅛” wide strip of black cardstock, and completed with a 4¾” wide faux watercolored rainbow striped paper.
Notice how the faux watercolored rainbow stripe paper coordinates perfectly with the base page, with the rainbow progression matching up from left to right. One fun element of this layout is how the right page mirrors this same color scheme, with the color strips going in the opposite direction. The flowers also follow this same color pattern.
Pairing black with the bright colors from our dreamy scape creates a sophisticated contrast that we are here for! Black is an elegant, low-energy shade that provides our eyes and mind a visual place to take a break from the excitement created by all the bright-colored patterns.
No matter how hard we tried, photos just don’t do these beautifully crafted pages justice. We hope you’ll get your hands on these products and create these pages to see them for yourselves. In the meantime, believe when we say that this layout is also packed with dimension!
For starters, the photos were all attached to black cardstock mats with 3-D foam tape. When the matted photos were attached to the base pages, the center mats were attached with foam tape again—the photos are truly popping out at you!
The chic flowers along the top of the photos were also attached with foam tape. They were stamped using the Dream Maker stamp set, hand trimmed, and then curled to create a beautiful, dimensional, more life-like effect.
Even though this curled leaf effect was difficult to photograph, it is quite easy to achieve, so we asked our dear friend, Creative Arts Manager Karen Pedersen, to show us just how to do it. Take a look in the short video below!
We will be making this layout, along with the other two layouts from this workshop, during a free Facebook Live virtual event on July 10, beginning at 2:00 p.m. MT. Visit our Events tab on our Facebook page for the dates and times that we will be hosting free events for the 6″ x 8″ album workshop and the cardmaking workshop, too!
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!
We’re at it again with one of our favorite media, the gloss spray! This time, we’re giving Rumpelstiltskin a run for his gold-making skills by creating our very own gilded accents, using a variety of techniques paired with Gilt gloss spray!
Can you spot the golden elements in this layout? You’ll notice that there are several gold accents on these pages, from the title sticker to the faux ribbons made from glitter paper. If you look closely, you’ll also see a few of these pennant-like tags.
While photos can’t capture the golden effect in all its glory, trust us when we say that these tags have a beautiful golden luster that compares to illuminated, gold painted manuscripts!
The ornate little tags on this layout started off a French Vanilla color and were transformed with just a little bit of gloss spray and a sponge.
Did you know you could paint with gloss spray? Give the bottle a nice shake, make sure you hear that little ball inside hit against the sides mixing the paint up, and then spray a small puddle onto an all-purpose mat. Cut a wedge out of your trusty round sponge and use it to apply the paint to your project. It’s that simple! This technique makes it easier to get a uniform application of gloss spray rather than the random splatters that you get when spraying.
The more obvious use of the gloss spray here is where we sprayed it along the top of the left page and the bottom of the right page, creating a gorgeous golden glare-like effect.
If you inspect these pages a bit further, past the obvious sprayed areas, you will find that we also used the Gilt gloss spray to accent some of the paper embellishments, using another painting technique.
In the case of this layout, we used the tip of a stylus tool to lift the paint from our puddle and paint small dots in the center of bows, inside scallops, and in a floral shape.
The paperclip-like accent along the top photo on the left page was transformed from its original French Vanilla color to the stunning gilt by sponging it with the gloss spray.
And like in the second layout, we added a couple of gilt dots to the right page with the help of a stylus tool.
Gloss sprays are truly one of our current favorites! There are countless ways to use this game changing medium, and as we continue to discover them, we will continue to share them with you!
In the video below, Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi shares even more ways to use the beautiful Gilt gloss spray to create your very own gilded accents. She even recreates some of the effects from the Christmas Story scrapbooking workshop using different techniques than what we’ve shown you so far. Follow along and see for yourself!
Download your free Christmas Story scrapbooking workshop guide, here!
Whether you’re playing in snow or sand, the 2022 holiday season is set to be merry and bright! It’s always a crafting party here at Close To My Heart, and we’ve got some major fun in store for this Christmas season! For us, Christmas means a big new selection of stamps, patterned papers, and embellishments to aid us in our cardmaking and memory keeping endeavors. We’ve got an incredible paper collection to introduce you to today, and we can’t wait to show it off!
We are extremely blessed to have our crafting community extend throughout the US, into Canada, across the Pacific to Japan, and down under to Australia and New Zealand. As such, the season for Christmas celebrations varies greatly depending on where you live—some celebrate in the winter time, with snow and cold weather, while others celebrate in the height of summer, with sunshine, high temperatures, and beautiful beach weather!The Seas & Greetings paper collection is an ideal solution for Christmas crafting from either end of that spectrum, as well as any place in between! Without any further ado, let’s get into all the amazing creative options that await with Seas & Greetings!
As you can see in the short video above, this amazing collection is an incredible example of the versatility that can be achieved with paper design. We not only have some first-rate artists here at CTMH, but we’ve got some of the best graphic designers around, too, and their skill is on full display with the Seas & Greetings paper collection! Because this suite is designed for holiday celebrations in both a beachside setting or a colder winter climate, each piece of paper sports a beach theme on one side, and a snowy winter theme on the other!
While all Close To My Heart paper packets feature double-sided designs, this collection is unique, as it essentially incorporates two themes into a single paper packet and enables crafters to pursue multiple ideas within a single suite. All the patterns you see in this collection have been purposefully designed to coordinate with both themes and the included sticker sheet.
Additionally, this paper packet includes 12 sheets instead of the usual 6, giving creators double the papers to work and craft with! Whether you’re commemorating a beautiful beachside holiday or capturing fun memories from a snow day, the Seas & Greetings Paper Packet & Sticker Sheet is an ideal starting point as you bring your crafting vision into reality!
Accompanying the paper packet in the Seas & Greetings collection are a selection of stamp and Thin Cuts metal dies, available in both the Beach and Winter themes. These stamps and dies pair beautifully with the patterns, icons, and sentiments featured on the papers and stickers, making this a winning combination for any crafting project!
Another essential included in the Seas & Greetings suite is the Seas & Greetings Coordinating Cardstock pack. This variety of colored cardstock has been selected to coordinate with the colors prominently featured in the paper packet and stickers, making it incredibly easy to create polished, balanced cards and scrapbook layouts!
Crafters can also look forward to top-notch embellishment potential with the Seas & Greetings Beach and Winter Embellishments! These embellishments include a variety of blue and white acrylic pieces, all finished with a frosty sheen for subtle shine.
As with the stamp and Thin Cuts options, the Seas & Greetings embellishments include shapes suitable for both the tropical beach theme and the chilly winter theme, making them perfect for inclusion in all your Seas & Greetings crafts! With so many fun products available through the Seas & Greetings collection, it’s a cinch to preserve your fondest holiday memories and stories!
The Seas & Greetings special has much in store for crafters of all types and experience levels, but we’ve got even more creative options for members of our VIP Customer program! Seas & Greetings includes three exclusive workshop kits—two for scrapbooking and one for cardmaking—just for members of this amazing program! (For those of you who may not be familiar with the perks available through the Close To My Heart VIP Customer program, either visit our website for more information, or reach out to your Maker for additional details!)
We guarantee you won’t want to miss out on the unique Seas & Greetings workshops available to our VIP Customers, and we can’t wait to show you what’s in store with these exclusive kits!
To start off this VIP crafting experience, we’ll get into all the ins and outs of two scrapbooking workshops—one created with the beach-inspired papers, and the other with the winter ones! These two workshops are identical in design, but vary in the colors used, and, of course, in the patterns featured.
As you can see, these scrapbook pages incorporate a wide variety of fun techniques and elements to set them apart, including two-tone rock n’ roll stamping, inking paper edges to add a subtle touch of color, cardstock ripping and distressing, strategic pigment splatters, and the inclusion of acrylic shapes!
These beautiful pages are a gorgeous way to preserve your favorite holiday memories, and with identical designs for both the winter and beach themes, it’s an ideal memory-keeping solution for crafters the world over!
Along with the scrapbook kits, the Seas & Greetings paper collection brings life to a selection of adorable holiday cards, perfect for all the special people in your life! With six card designs featured, the Seas & Greetings VIP Cardmaking kit allows crafters to create an array of personal, beachy cards for family and friends with ease!
Each of these cards was constructed using the Beach patterned papers from the Seas & Greetings paper collection, and stamps and Thin Cuts from our Seas & Greetings—Beach set! This card kit also keeps things interesting with card size and orientation, as it includes options for both standard-size and slimline cards, and a mix of horizontal and vertical designs.
We’ve loved going with you on this dive into the rich wealth of possibilities available through our Seas & Greetings collection! This playful and versatile collection is a wonderful way to commemorate your fondest Christmas memories, regardless of where they were made! From memory keeping to cardmaking and more, Seas & Greetings is sure to be a favorite you’ll turn to for all sorts of projects. With so much extra fun offered in our Seas & Greetings VIP Customer Program offer, be sure to talk to your Maker and learn how you can get the VIP treatment, too! We can’t wait to welcome you to the club!
What’s on your crafting agenda with Seas & Greetings? Leave a comment below to let us know what stories you’ll tell with this amazing collection, and whether you’ll be hitting the beach or braving the winter during your holiday celebrations this year!
You can never have too much “autumn” in your life, and at CTMH, we can definitely help with that! To fully immerse ourselves in the spirit of the autumn season, we’ll be showing off our fantastic Four Seasons—Autumn paper suite today, along with a few stamp sets from the 2022–2023 Core Products Catalog! With so much seasonal fun in store, we can’t wait to dive into this beautiful selection of patterned papers and stickers. We’ve got an awesome selection of art pieces to show you today to demonstrate all the amazing aspects of this collection, so without further ado, let’s take a look!
To start us off, we’re going to take a peek at a few first-rate cards, all of which were made with the Four Seasons—Autumn paper collection, and a few seasonal stamp sets from our 2022–2023 Core Products catalog. (Click here to view all the beautiful paper collections, stamps, and other exciting products included in this catalog!)
For our first card, we used a fun truck from the Seasonal Haul Stamp + Thin Cuts set. Along with the truck, this set also includes several adorable images to use to fill the bed of the truck. For our “Autumn Blessings” truck card, we chose a pile of pumpkins for the cargo, while also adding a fun “Happy Day!” sign in the front window. To add a splash of delicate color to our truck, its load of gourds, and the “Happy Day!” sign, we’ve used a light touch with our Watercolor Pencils. To preserve a more rustic feel, we chose not to use a waterbrush to activate the watercolor effect, leaving the slightly coarser penciled effect instead.
To finish everything off, we’ve created our title piece with the Thankful Autumn stamp set. The sentiment was stamped on a dovetailed piece of White Daisy cardstock with Black and Toffee Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads. Using two different colors of ink made it possible for us to layer the “blessings” image over the top of “Autumn,” for a unique, layered look. As a final touch, we gently sponged the edges of our dovetailed title piece with Toffee ink to increase dimension. We love our Autumn Blessings card, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg as we continue to delve into the creative possibilities available through the Four Seasons—Autumn paper packet!
Our next two cards really get into the autumnal spirit with their very own vibrant leaf piles! Both cards were constructed using our Autumn Air Stamp + Thin Cuts, and the My Acrylix® Thankful Autumn and Seasonal Haul stamp sets. Using this stellar combination, we were able to coordinate seamlessly with the Four Seasons—Autumn paper packet to create a gorgeous patchwork of patterns to form our background, clustered leaf accent in the mid-ground, and a polished title on top of our leaf pile cluster!
The leaves on these cards showcase a combination of two techniques—basic solid stamping, and rock n’ roll stamping for subtle color change within a single stamped image. This pairing allows for a nice variation between the leaves while using a relatively small number of stamps!
Moving right along, our next piece on display today is a 6” x 6” mini scrapbook page! We absolutely love this smaller memory keeping piece, and its size lends itself particularly well to the Four Seasons—Autumn paper packet and the Autumn Air Stamp + Thin Cuts set, both of which were used to create this striking mini page. For our base page, we trimmed a 6” x 6” section from a dark wood grain patterned paper. On top of that, we layered a handful of other patterned paper and coordinating cardstock pieces from the Four Seasons—Autumn collection to further build this page.
From there, we used a variety of leaves from our Autumn Air Stamp + Thin Cuts set and the Thankful Autumn stamp set to create some slight layering around the corners and bottom edge of our photo. Tucking the leaves beneath layers is a beautiful way to embellish the page with our very own leaf pile clusters without becoming too busy or cluttered.
This same layered leaf pile effect can also be seen at the bottom edge of our next piece, a 12” x 12” “Autumn Blessings” single page! This page started out with leaf patterned paper as the base, with a piece of dark wood-grain paper on top of that. We then used a few smaller pieces of patterned paper to frame the central photo. Calling back to an earlier favorite, we kicked things into gear with another fantastic fall truck! With a precious cargo of pumpkins, this classic pickup provides a colorful focal point, its rustic color coming from a light hand with our Watercolor Pencils. This truck also boasts a wood guard rail that is another fun way to customize your stamped truck accents.
Beneath our pickup harvest truck, we’ve finished things off with the leaf pile, made up of a handful of pieces from our Autumn Air Stamp + Thin Cuts. This pile forms a great embellishment cluster for our title at the bottom edge of the page. The stamped leaves fit right in with the leaf pattern on the base page, with the end result being a lush layer of leafy goodness!
Our final piece is a 2-page 12” x 12” “Autumn” layout. A standout feature of this layout is the artistically torn section of Four Seasons—Autumn papers, sweeping from the top left corner across the upper edge of the page. This element serves to draw the eye across the page, making sure that the photos, title, and journaling sections are at the forefront of the viewer’s attention. Further visual interest is generated by sponged sections behind the photo sections on both pages. This pop of color near the photo mats allows for additional emphasis to be placed on the photo in a relatively simple fashion, without overwhelming the design. For some extra fun, we’ve also added just a spritz of Gilt Gloss Spray over the sponged ink, adding a bit of shine!
These sponged accents were created using Vintage Photo and Spiced Marmalade Distress Oxide™ inks for a vibrant and seamlessly blended effect. Along with these sponged sections, we used a handful of stickers from the Four Seasons—Autumn Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, and a few stamps from the Autumn Air Stamp + Thin Cuts set to further spice up the aesthetic of these pages. One amazing thing about the leaves in this stamp set is that they look fabulous whether they’re used with the accompanying Thin Cuts dies, or stamped directly on your base page!
To keep the party going, we utilized many of the fun patterns available through the Four Seasons—Autumn paper packet to create a layered effect that further serves to break up the stark background of our White Daisy cardstock base.
A final feature of this Autumn layout is the title section, created with the Thankful Autumn stamp set, with the letters carefully trimmed from the cardstock it was stamped on. This title utilizes an ombre blend of Distress Oxide™ and Exclusive Inks™ for a beautiful gradient color effect. By gently sponging Paprika ink at the base of the stamp, and gradually layering Spiced Marmalade Distress Oxide™ ink up the length of the stamp, it’s quick and easy to achieve this polished look! As you can see, there’s a wealth of creative opportunities available when you craft with the Four Seasons—Autumn paper collection and the autumn-inspired stamps featured in our 2022–2023 Core Products Catalog! To see even more of this creative power in action, check out this video, featuring the artwork we’ve showcased in this post!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look into what can be accomplished with our autumn-inspired papers and stamps, and we can’t wait to hear what you plan to create with them! Leave a comment below to tell us about your autumnal crafting vision for 2022 and beyond!
One of our favorite new additions to our crafting arsenal are the Irresistibles cardstock and alphabet stickers! These are white heavyweight papers and stickers with clear embossed patterns that dramatically reveal whenyou color over them!
(We’re showing you grey digital renditions of these products because the patterns are hard to see in a photo, since they are clear on white! 🙂)
The white patterns shown in these images are embossed on 12″ x 12″ cardstock and sticker sheets, making them slightly raised and slick. When you apply color on them, the embossed designs resist the color and the paper parts that are not embossed absorb the color, as it normally would.As you can imagine, the possibilities for coloring these Irresistibles and make their patterns pop are endless! With the help of our Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, let’s explore a few practical and fun ways to make these resist pattern cardstocks and stickers work for our cardmaking and scrapbooking projects! (Note that the embossed designs are also reflective, which means they catch light as you move them. This effect is difficult to catch in a photo, so watch for it as Karen shares her tips!)
Here’s a closer look at the card and scrapbook page Karen shows us in the video, labeled with how the Irresistibles were colored:
In this example, the ink from a shimmer brush or stamp pad is brushed on, over the whole paper. You don’t have to pick out the non-embossed areas. Because the pattern resists media, the water-based inks don’t get absorbed in the embossed areas. Instead, the ink will bead, sitting on top of them. When you’re done applying the ink, wipe off the excess that didn’t absorb, to reveal the clean white pattern on the freshly colored paper. Your stamp shammy, or even a tissue, should do the trick!
Some color media work differently than the water-based inks. TriBlend™ markers, for example, are alcohol-based ink markers. Because alcohol ink is made to stick to glossy surfaces, the ink will not wipe off clean, like our shimmer brushes, Exclusive Inks™, or Distress Oxide™ inks do. The resist pattern does absorb the alcohol ink more than the water-based inks, but there is still contrast with the paper around it.
Also, the cardstock and stickers that these patterns are embossed on are very absorbent. If you want to use alcohol markers, be aware that a lot of ink goes into coloring just a small square. And, because it is so absorbent, as soon as you place the marker’s nib on the paper, the ink will start going in, making it very difficult to avoid streaks like you see here.
(Like we said above, light reflections are difficult to capture in a photo because it requires movement. Karen briefly shows a swatch like this in the video, so make sure to revisit it there for the full effect.)
We colored this checkered square sample with the chisel tip Quicksilver Metallic Paint marker. What’s interesting to note here is that the darker squares are the embossed areas of the resist pattern. Also, because those parts of the pattern are slick and reflective, they create a more metallic look than the parts that are not. If you’re using oil-based inks, remember that you need to allow them time to dry. If you want those dark, metallic looking designs you need to give the paint time to set. (If you look carefully, you may be able to spot a couple of fingerprints in this sample, where we learned that we needed to wait!)
In her demonstration, Karen showed us how to apply inks with a blending brush. With this tool, the ink goes on so smoothly and evenly! If you’re looking for a slightly less even look, consider using a dauber or a round sponge. (We like cutting out a wedge from the round sponge and then using the rounded edge to apply the ink.) Below we have samples of Irresistibles cardstock sponged with Exclusive Inks™ and gloss spray inks.
As Karen demonstrates in the video, we recommend applying the gloss spray first to a piece of sponge and then use the sponge to apply the color to your Irresistibles cardstock or stickers.
Be sure to watch the video to the end to see some other neat techniques using watercolor paints and watercolor pencils together with these fun Irresistibles items.
The Irresistibles cardstock are a really fun and creative way to make your own patterned papers, and, just like any patterned paper, you can cut them to any shape you like! Take a look at these beautiful butterflies die cut out of Irresistibles cardstock with our Butterfly Layers Thin Cuts and colored with our shimmer brushes!
There are so many new and exciting things happening around these parts! For starters, we launched our new Core Products Catalog just a couple of weeks ago, in which you will find SIX new paper collections, including the festive Celebrating You!
As soon as this collection was available, we knew we had to “party” with it, and that means getting crafty and creating scrapbook pages and cards! We designed both a scrapbooking workshop and a cardmaking workshop featuring these beautiful paper designs paired with a variety of coordinating products from the new Core Products Catalog, including unique, stand-alone stamp sets and Thin Cuts dies.
Download the guide, here! (Here if you’re in AU/NZ🙂)
Workshop kits to support these projects are available through September 30 through our Workshop Wow—Celebrating You special, offering a great opportunity to try out this pull-tab technique as well as the Square Patterns Thin Cuts in some truly remarkable artwork.
Don’t delay, join the party today and Celebrate You!!
We love exploring the techniques and tricks on display in the “flippin’ awesome” artwork from our different publications. A couple of especially eye-catching pieces that we’ve been getting questions about recently are the two cards that were created using the BBQ Boss Stamp + Thin Cuts, in the July–September catalog.
Several techniques went into creating these two cards, a few simpler than others. We will go through each of them, step-by-step, so you can feel confident in replicating our cards or applying these techniques to other projects.
The first thing to notice on this Thank You card is its layers. We didn’t stamp those “hot stuff” sausage links directly onto the card base, but rather on a smaller piece of White Daisy cardstock that we then attached on top of two other cardstock pieces. Covering the base with two colored cardstock pieces, one smaller than the other, creates a frame to contain all of the excitement of what is happening in the center of the card. It also helps create visual balance.
One way to tell if something is visually balanced or not is to simply look at it. In this case, the color Sapphire included in the frame, the sentiment base, and as the Exclusive Inks™ color used to stamp the sentiment, lends to this sense of balance. Had we only used Sapphire on the sentiment, the card wouldn’t look quite complete. Adding those minor additions of Sapphire, through the frame, the sentiment banner, and even the enamel star, makes it feel more complete—and since art is subjective, feelings definitely count!
A rule of thumb we have shared before is to count your elements and stick to the numbers 3 and 5. Odd numbers are just more visually satisfying when considering accents and embellishments, which is why we used Sapphire in three places: the frame, the sentiment, and the star.
Next, let’s talk about how we created our own patterned paper on that top White Daisy cardstock layer by “random” stamping the sausage image throughout. When random stamping, you don’t have to only stamp the image upright! Turn the stamp upside down, sideways, and on random angles to create an interesting and playful pattern. Stamp some of the images off the edge, even, to make the pattern look like it continues into a space you cannot see.
This “random” stamping technique, however, isn’t as random as the name implies. While you may be creating a pattern that isn’t perfectly uniform, there is still some uniformity that keeps the “random” from being just plain chaos!
For starters, at least in this case, the images are stamped with approximately the same distance between them and in the same ink color and opacity. Be consistent with your “randomness,” in order to preserve a sense of pattern. That means that if you’re stamping with different colors or in different opacities (generational stamping) or your images are overlapping, or whatever it is that you’re bringing to the table, then continue to replicate those ideas through the piece.
We’ll wrap up talking about this super cute card by focusing on all of the goodness happening around the sentiment.
As you create a card, we suggest making your different elements separately and then playing with placement to see if you really like where your creation is going before attaching anything. You may notice that something may be missing or that you have too much of another thing. It is much easier to remove or add pieces when none of the things are attached yet.
While taking this approach with this card, we noticed that it needed something more to bring the focus to the sentiment. As a result, we added two strips of cardstock (Lemonade and Nectarine) behind our sentiment banner. The cross section of these cardstock strips marks the spot of where your eyes will naturally look because of the additional visual noise they create. Your eyes will then rest on the white space surrounding the sentiment.
With your sharp eyes, you likely noticed that our fire was stamped in more than one color, too. To learn this neat stamping technique and the promised paper piecing technique, follow along with Close To My Heart’s Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, in the video below, where she recreates the gorgeous Licensed to Grill card.
Ever notice that trends tend to repeat themselves, every 20–30 years? Like a blast from the past, the Fresh Paint collection, one of our newest paper collections found in our current catalog, delivers nostalgic 90’s themes that have reclaimed a place in today’s world. As memory keepers, we know all about revisiting the past, so it makes perfect sense to embrace these trends when it comes to designing and creating a place to preserve our memories–old and new!
Let’s take a fresh look at these new “old” designs from the Fresh Paint collection, and look at a few different ways to use them to make timeless scrapbook pages!
As a jumping off point for scrapbook pages, we offer a scrapbooking workshop kit as part of each of our collections. These use the same patterned papers, and often embellishments from the suite, along with additional coordinating exclusive products to create three two-page 12″ x 12″ layouts.
What’s great about these kits, including the Fresh Paint scrapbooking workshop kit, is that they come with everything you need to replicate artwork that was already designed with the themes and patterns of the collection in mind. The included instructions are easy to follow, but loose enough to leave room for your own ideas, too. You can follow them exactly or mix it up by going off-script, re-arranging pieces, and embellishing with stickers and die-cuts as you please. And, if you have more photos than fit in the layout, there are simple solutions for adding them!
The above layout is one of the three layouts from the Fresh Paint scrapbooking workshop. Our Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, used it to scrapbook one of her recent family gatherings. Karen loves to take photos of her family, so naturally she had more than what was allotted on the pages of the layout. To include all of her photos in her scrapbook and within this layout, Karen added a couple of different sized Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors™. These extra pockets, combined with a few ready-to-go Picture My Life™ pocket cards (just another coordinating piece of the Fresh Paint collection, of course!), made including the additional photos a cinch!
Going beyond the workshop, you’ll find another Fresh Paint scrapbook layout idea right on the opening page for the collection in our catalog (it’s so full of ideas!). for each collection, this opening page usually features a single 12″ x 12″ scrapbook page. Take inspiration from this page (or copy it entirely) to start another two-page layout. A 12″ x 12″ pocket page put together with the coordinating pocket cards is an easy way to add a second page that fits with a single page design. In addition to coming ready with coordinating designs, Picture My Life™ cards are also ideal for journaling that slips right into a pocket!
Another easy way to create a two-page layout with this collection is with the ready-made designed elements from the Fresh Paint Digital Art Collection. This is a collection of SVG files that can be used in a digital design application, like Cricut Design Space™, where the images can be manipulated to get just the look you want. You can use the design as-is, or you can resize pieces, remove layers, add new elements, etc. If 12″ x 12″ is not your vibe, then SVGs are a great tool because you can even resize the images to fit a different size format. You can then cut the pieces using your personal cutting machine and your choice of papers. The layout below is one that we cut exactly as it was included in the Digital Art collection, making it a perfect home for memories from a fun friends trip to New York City!
However you decide to use the Fresh Paint collection, there is so much potential to document your favorite memories using these nostalgic themes! What stories will you tell with this collection? We love hearing from you, so leave us a comment below and let us know!