Thursday, November 30, 2017

Snow Much Fun @ Creative Knockouts

This week over at Creative Knockouts we are celebrating snow with our "Snow Much Fun" challenge and seriously what could be a better indoor activity than baking!! Yes I live in Northern NY where "Snow Much" equates to indoors! 

Anyway, I found some wonderful gingerbread stamps from our sponsor AMBillustrations, and jumped right into playing around.

I thought these images would fit a recipe book, that I am working on for Christmas, perfectly so I decided to make some recipe cards with them. I designed everything digitally, which was nice because you did not have to transfer the image a ton. When I was done with the design process I simply cut everything out on my Cricut Explore machine and then I went to town making the page. 

I am not finished with the album yet and played around with making a background paper as well as some treat bags using the extra images from below so make sure to stay tuned for that post. 

In the meantime, here are the details on the image set. You could easily use the stockings, trees, or even candy canes to create a "snow" scene. 

Please do make sure to come on over and play around with our weekly challenges. AMB Illustrations is offering an awesome prize package. You can get all of the details by clicking on this link here.

Creative Knockouts

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

3 Ways to Save this Season!

As many of you know, or perhaps have heard through the grapevine, we are offering a wonderful DIY Photo Calendar kit as our Constant Campaign this December and if you haven't figured it out I could not be more excited!! This kit is fabulous and has everything you need to make a complete 12 month photo calendar, with the spiral bound base!! I mean could it get any better?!

Check out some of these layout designs.

Gorgeous right?!! Each month features a unique 12" x 12" scrapbook page that highlights different seasons or holidays. Just add photos to remind you of your favorite memories throughout the next year! And the kit comes with the My Creations Calendar which is pre-assembled so there is no messing around with bindings. Ok so that's not the only thing that this kit comes with. This kit also includes the following. 

Kit contents:

1—My Creations™ calendar
1—Basic Fundamental custom paper packet
9—cardstock sheets (1 Bashful, 1 Cranberry, 1 Goldrush, 1 Lagoon, 
1 Lemon, 1 Pansy, 1 Sweet Leaf, 1 White Daisy, 1 Willow) 
1—Happy Moments Complements
1—gold glitter gems

gold glitter die-cuts
photo placeholders
cutting diagrams
printed instructions

Use the materials in this kit to create a customized 12 month calendar. 
My Acrylix Through the Year Stamp Set not included .

That's a lot of material right?! Especially when in December we are going to bundle it all for you to give you at a 20% Discount!! Don't you simply love bundling. Now the kit above at it's discounted price is $38.95.

One thing you may have noticed from the above kit contents list is that this bundle does not give you the $5.00 stamp set that you need to complete the calendar. It looks like this. 

You may have seen it around lately? Well if you haven't this stamp set is actually a set of 28 and is out Stamp of the Month for November. So sneaky, sneaky, savings... if you purchase a kit from me in the month of November then I will discount your bundle and give you an additional stamp set. So you will get this month's SOTM as well as Jennifer's Hand, which is a B Size Alpha stamp set that will help you complete the calendar project. 

This kit will also include everything the above kit offers except it will add the two additional stamp sets. You will also be entered into the running for my Nov. prize for ordering from my website. 

This kit will be $53.90 and these two stamps look like this. 

Then finally, see I told you there were 3 ways to save, if you happen to miss the November deadline but love this idea (I mean who doesn't love photo calendars!) you can purchase a kit with the "Through the Years" stamp set for a reduced price. This kit will include everything the original kit offers plus the stamp set and will be offered at $56.90.

Please note that you will be able to purchase the kit as well as the kit with the Through the Years stamp set all throughout December, however if you want to take advantage of the Alpha stamp then you need to order through me prior to Dec. 1

Ok, ok, ok... because I enjoy your company so much I am going to give you another way to save even more. 

For Hostess: When you host a party that reaches the fourth level of Hostess Rewards or higher (submitting your party order no later than January 5, 2018), you’ll receive a FREE Through the Year Calendar Kit —that’s a $50.02 value, totally free! 

For New Consultants: Anyone who joins my team in December will receive a FREE Through the Year Calendar Kit in their New Consultant Kit— that’s a $50.02 value, totally free!


December is a great time of year to think about your Christmas gift list. The Through the Year Calendar Kit can help you and your loved ones share a thoughtful papercrafting gift this holiday season! Whether you make it for yourself, for someone else, or both, the Through the Year Calendar Kit is an excellent way to get ready for the year ahead! 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

5 Tips for Mixing Paper Lines

Many of you know by know that CTMH offers two separate holiday paper lines, the Beary Christmas Line as well as the Silver and Gold Line. I wanted to come on and show you a great way to mix and match the two lines, you know for when you reach that point in December when you are running low on both lines but still have the crafting bug laying around. 

Tips for Mixing and Matching Paper Lines: 

1.) Look for a common theme in your layout or among your photos. Are you creating a page about a visit with your new niece, or perhaps that picnic outside at the park that one day. Whatever your theme is stick to it and pull it out through your papers. 

In this layout I mixed the Beary Christmas papers with some complements,
from our other holiday line, Silver & Gold. Since both of these lines are Christmas
themed they ended up pairing well together. 
 2. Stick with one of our Paper Packs and rest assure that every paper will match every other questions asked. We have already done the work for you and hired designers to make sure that each pattern and each color will match perfectly no matter what you try to do. We have even taken it a step further and paired our paper lines up with exclusive complement packs.

All three of my pattern paper pieces, in this layout, came straight from the Beary Christmas paper line, so I knew that no matter which of the 6 patterns I chose to use they would match perfectly every time. 
3. To create an interesting contrast, mix bold patterns along with more subtle patterns. As shown in my layout I mixed a very bold background with more subtle patterns on the bottom. This provides the eyes with a resting point and makes sure that the layout is not to subtle or too busy. 
Remember, 60/30/10 rule where one dominate pattern takes up 60% of the design. 

After writing this I went back and added a red mat layer behind the "Holiday" banner
and it really pulled that whole layer into the page mixture.
4.) Layer & Mat Everything!!..ok well not everything but do make sure to add in pops of a neutral color to provide a break from all the patterns. Typically your mat color can be pulled right from one of your pattern papers. 

5.) Mixing up your pattern papers, or your paper lines in general, does not have to be a daunting task. If you are new to paper crafting, or simply enjoy the craft more than the design work, then purchase a kit and play around with the papers. Before you know if you will be so good that you will be able to tackle all of your stashed papers. 

Let's challenge ourselves this week to get out those papers that we have been hoarding and let's create something using at least 2 different patterns. Then when you have that created come on over and share it with us in the Lounge.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Evergreens & Inked Hills

Hi guys. I'm here with a really quick and fun ink shading technique. Now as many of you know I've done a lot of different background techniques and this one is very similar to the cloud one where you use a stencil to create the background. These different shading techniques are really fun when paired with the just-for-fun stands can I highly recommend if you're new to it just getting a couple of different tools and playing around with them.


Now for this card I simply took a Sapphire and a Pacifica Inc as well as a Tim Holtz sponge Dauber.

A lot of times I will get asked on how exactly you're supposed to sponge and I don't know if there's any true technique however the one that's always worked for me is to dab across your area and then when you go to add color in dab your sponge in the ink, then sponge onto scrap paper, and then for your second layer come back onto your paper with circular motions.

To achieve the look of snow hills I simply cut out a scrap piece of paper with a wavy border and used that to block my Ink and create the White hills. Start with the top hill and then add the second hill below it making sure to only Ink the top of your stencil not the entire area. Notice how the middle of my hill is still white. 

Those trees are from Just For Fun and are called Evergreen. JFF has a number of wonderful stamps that would work well with this technique and I cannot wait to try it with some other ones. 

Happy Crafting! 


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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Why 2-Toned Cardstock is Awesome

Being a Close to My Heart consultant is so much more than simply getting fabulous products at a great price (!!) but it's also about teaching such wonderful techniques and tips to such beautiful people. Today I wanted to share a video that inspired me this week. 

I love how this technique is not only beautiful but it is also super frugal and affordable. Close to My Heart offers 2-toned cardstock which pretty much equates to twice as many colors!! Plus I have tons of vellum and tons of scraps so this technique is right up my alley (Hello B&T strips!!) 

Stay tuned this week for more inspiration using this awesome technique. I will pair it with Jut For Fun Stamps on Monday and then show off some scrapbooking pages along with some great techniques for pairing up papers. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Quick tips for Crafting

Remember how last week my son and I created holiday cards? Well if you have forgotten or simply would like some more inspiration then hop on over and read this blog post. Meanwhile, my project for today is a creation of that event and could also be duplicated really easy. 

This card uses my favorite Gingerbread Friends stamp set. If you are going to splurge on a stamp set for the holiday season this one is one my top 5 list. This stamp set features many faces and accessories for your male or female gingerbread people and also features a number of sentiments (one of my sons favorite things because you can also decorate the inside of the card!!)

We were also playing around with the super traditional Beary Christmas paper line and PML cards. I highly recommend PML (pocket cards) for a number of reasons from their ease of use for all age levels to their quick/mess free scrapbooking uses. For this card we simply stamped a gingerbread man onto the PML card. Then we layered that onto of a dry embossed (super fun and easy technique) layer. The embossing gives the card a little something special to stand out against the pattern paper.

Thanks for stopping in today! 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Silver & Gold Joyful Trees

Today I was really inspired by a gold glitter tree line die-cut that I found in my embellishments and I knew that the perfect stamp would be the Joy Evergreen one from Just For Fun. 

Now this stamp is a double sided stamp that I picked out because of all of the possibilities that the solid evergreen stamp has, well wouldn't you know that I was actually inspired by the inside/wording layer. 

Here are what both sides of that stamp look like. 

They would be spectacular paired up together or as independent stamps like I have done. 

Then I paired this stamp with some "Silver and Gold" paper and some matching stickers. Who could resist that glitter matched with the black and white! Plus the shape of the tree stamp with those matching tree stickers fit perfectly. Both JFF and CTMH can be a really fun company to work with you just have to find your style. 

Something new that I have been into lately, is inking...which BTW is perfect for JFF stamps!! For this project I inked around the top layer which helps that stamped image stand out. My papers were layered off center to give the card more character...again playing into the playful theme of the card. 

Thanks for stopping in today I hope you were inspired to Ge t Crafty! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

CK: Border Time

Today marks a brand new challenge over at Creative Knockouts where this week we are showing off our projects that have a border. This was a really fun challenge for me because the image that I choose was really cute and matched my die cut border perfectly. 

The image I used came from Make It Crafty and I paired it with the Beary Christmas line and some die cuts that I received in a mail swap. 

Isn't she just the cutest?! Make it Crafty has a whole bunch of really cute digi's so hop on over there and check them out. 

If you interested in playing along with our new challenge or checking out what the other DT members created you can view our CK blog here. Thanks for stopping by today. 

Happy Crafting. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Beary Merry Christmas Cards

I recently fell in love with the Beary Christmas paper line from CTMH, no surprise there right?! Anyway I ended up picking up the paper line along with the PML pack and I decided that would be plenty of product to make some really nice holiday cards and tags and so that's kind of what I am here to show off today. 

Of course when I got all of the supplies out to make a card my two boys came running over to join in the fun. I swear those two can smell fun from a mile away!! Anyway, my youngest is 22 months so he was just there to supervise and cause chaos, however, my oldest is 6 1/2 and LOVES to craft (I know I got lucky!) so we got right to it. His favorite part is the stamping :) 

He's also a ham and loves to make silly faces for the camera.
He's actually getting really good at making cards and it gives me an excuse to get work done and hang out with him so it's a win win all around. While I only managed to get one card done, Doo managed to get a couple great cards completed. Below is one of the cards that he made (he really loved that red glitter paper.) 

 Well I hope you enjoyed our projects today and I hope you were inspired to grab a little one and get crafty with them. <3 


Friday, November 10, 2017

November Specials

Close To My Heart

What's more fun than crafting supplies? Enjoy month-long savings on fundamental items like paper, ribbon, stickers, and die cuts! Save 30% on individual items or 40% on bundles of coordinating items! Learn more about this special »

Holiday Crafting Starts Here
Get inspiration for all your holiday crafting—from decor to gift tags—in our Holiday Expressions idea book. Watch this video to get an idea of what you can do! »

Stamp of the Month: Through the Year
Get the November Stamp of the Month, Through the Year, for just $5 with a qualifying purchase! Find out how »

Plus, by getting this awesome stamp set in November, you'll be ready to make the Through the Year Calendar Kit coming out next month! Watch your inbox for more details to come next month!

Thank you for reading! If you'd like to learn more about anything featured in this mailing, or if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. 

Jen Armstrong 
Close To My Heart Independent Consultant