Saturday, June 28, 2014

ALL new Close to My Heart Products!

Just a reminder if you were interested in June's SOTM, time is short.  This is a great stamp for creating your 4th of July layouts.  I actually used some images on a birthday project I created.

Get yours for only $5 with a qualifying $50 purchase.  Also, a lot of the products in the current Idea book will be retiring at the end of next month.  So make sure you have those paper packs you wanted.

Now for the news!  Close to My Heart is revamping their Idea Book, and it will now be an annual book.  The great news is they have added a whole lot of new products, some of the prettiest papers I have seen.  Best of all, WE HAVE A NEW CARTRIDGE! Yeah!!!  I'll give you a hint, it's all about card making.  So if you love to make cards, this cartridge is for you.  So stay tuned and see the unveiling.  The new book and new products will be available beginning August 1st.  So I hope you check back and get ready for some beautiful and fun projects.

Until then.

Happy Craftin!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Subway Art - Not just for your wall

When my son and daughter-in-law got married, they gave me a parents wedding album.  It was a plain black bound book.   I knew there was something I could do to make this book look less interesting, but I just couldn't figure out what to do.  I was concerned any paper crafting project I added to the front of the book would not hold up.

Well,  since I purchased my new Cricut Explore, I have become much more adventurous in my projects.  I was recently introduced to subway art and vinyl.  Both have been a around for quite a while, but it seems that it has exploded, or maybe I have just been in a cocoon.   I am currently been getting crazy using vinyl, I have found t-shirts are so easy to make, decorating all sorts of things with indoor vinyl and outdoor vinyl.

There have been so many samples of wedding subway art, folks have been creating this on all sorts of picture frames, ceramic tiles, and canvases.  So I thought, what about a book?  I am sure the vinyl will be much more durable than any paper I would have to glue on the book.  So I got to work.

I took the measurements of the book and got to work,  and I have to say it really came out great.
I used system and cricut fonts.  I found an image of Mr and Mrs that wasn't available in Design Space and uploaded it as a basic image.  Just remember to select all and attach it so it cuts out in one piece.  If you want different colors that wouldn't be a problem, just cut out in sections.

Here is my finished product.

I added the frame around the wording to help with lining it up properly, but I think it added to the art. If you search the web for subway art you will see tons of examples to work from.  So get to work.  If you know someone getting married, make this on a canvas so they can display at their wedding.  I used silver vinyl on this project, I didn't have white available.

Subway art, I found is a great medium for adding a little something without over doing it.  I am working on a word collage to decorate my new grand daughter's scrapbook.  So stay tuned, because I am going to try something a little different.

So give it a try, you will become addicted.

Happy Craftin!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Close to My Heart Markers in the Cricut Explore

Using Different Markers in your Explore

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of David Staub  I was able to try using my CTMH markers in my Explore.  I personally thought the writing was a little too thick for small sentiments, but they could definitely be used to draw the details on an image then cut or outlining fonts.   I am definitely going to try some projects doing just that.

The marking at the top of the paper wasn't the pen dragging, it was user error.  I forgot to put the mat in all the way.  Also, for some reason he CTMH marker skipped on the last letter it wrote, but I think that had something to do with the pen bing the right height.  I glued two popsicle sticks together and put them under the Cricut pens to see about where my pens should sit.  The Cricut pen doesn't quite touch the popsicle sticks.   Hold the popsicle stick steady while you insert the pen, when it is just about to touch, it should be ok.  I haven't tried a lot of markers, so you might have to adjust height depending on each marker.  

I also wrote with a Sharpie Ultra fine tip, you will notice I used a gel pencil holder.  I cut one in half because they are really difficult to get on pen.  If you want to use foam tape, you will probably have to make one for each type of marker, the one I made for the Le Plume was too big for the Sharpie and the gel pencil holder fit it.  I found the gel pencil holders don't fit all pens, some are a little too fat, so making them out of foam allows you to custom size them.

I picked up the Le Plume markers at Tuesday Morning for $7.99.  These Le Plumes were different than the ones I have seen at Michael's and Hobby Lobby, they wouldn't fit in the pen holder like the others.  I was going to take them back until David shared a video and instructions on using other pens.  He shows how easy it is to take out the pen housing.  Just be careful, because Provo really doesn't want us to remove this.  But until they come out with more colors,  folks will be doing it.  I'm sure we will see more colors and other companies making their pens fit the Explore.  But until then here is an easy solution to use the pens you already have.

I don't have a link to his video, but if you go to the Facebook group "Let's Learn Cricut Explore" you can find him there.  He posted his video in Facebook and also pictures of the pen holder he made.  All you need is 1" double sided foam tape and paper.  

Be sure to check out the Facebook page and David's video, you may be able to use more of the markers and pens you already have.

Happy Craftin!

Gift Card Box File

I posted directions on how to make a gift card box last month.  Since I am not always on my blog everyday I am going to attach the file here.

It seems I am not always getting an email about new comments on my blog.  So if anyone wants it they won't have to wait for me to see their comment.

Here is a link to the Design Space file.

Enjoy the file.  I would love if you could share pictures of how you decorated yours.  I always enjoy seeing the creativity of others.  It could even give me some new inspirations.

Happy Craftin!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tri-fold Card Tutorials

Make that perfect card for the man in your life.

Here are the Father's Day cards I made for this year.  I made them with my Cricut Explore and the Tri-Fold file provided by Debbie Neal.  If you would like the Design Space file just click on Debbie's name and it will bring you to her blog, she was kind enough to share her file with us.  If you haven't done so, please join us on Facebook at either Let's Learn Cricut Explore or Design Space, there are lots of ideas and plenty of help for you.  If you were thinking about purchasing an Explore, these Facebook groups share their projects and experiences, you can learn everything you need to make a decision on that purchase.

My Explore cut and scored the card, I even used my Explore to write the poem.  You could write it directly to the card if you wish.

All my embellishments were from several cartridges.  I have a subscription so I am not limited on images.  I just wanted to share my take on these cards for a man.  There aren't  a lot of  Tri-fold cards on Pinterest for the men in your life.  There are several ways to make these cards, here are just a few  tutorials and videos to share with you.  I haven't tried any of these techniques or in any way prefer these tutorials, I just did a search and provided a few that were at the top of the list.  Thought it would be easier just to click on a few links and see what was out there.

If you have any other Cricut machine and use Cricut Craft Room, I found a link to someone who shares her CCR files.  Check out Okieladybug's Scrap N' More.  You will need to own the cartridges she uses or purchase a subscription.  If you are brave enough you can find a tutorial at Fantabulous Cricut Challenge blog on how to create your own cut file in CCR.

If you don't have a Cricut machine here are a few links that I found to make one without the explore.  I'm sure there are tons more, just search on Tri-fold cards. has a PDF template and instructions.  She offers two types.
Splitcoaststampers has all the dimensions and picture instructions.
Madstamper has a video on how to make this card also.

So check out Pinterest for ideas and find the tutorial that works for you and try one of these cards.  Do something a little different this Father's Day.

Till next time.

Happy Craftin! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Organizing your Close to My Heart stamps

I had read on someone else's blog how they would stamp their images on paper to keep them organized.  They could just open a book and find the stamp image they wanted instead of flipping through all the stamps.

I thought that sounded like a really great idea.  What a great idea.  My stamps are just sitting there not being used, except for sentiments, because it is such a chore to look through the images.  Well, I started pulling my stamps out and stamping the images on paper.  I found this process tedious and quickly lost interest, plus you have to stop and clean each stamp.  I still wanted my stamps in a book, so I came up with an easier way that would make it doable for me.  

What I decided to do was print pictures of the stamps on paper.  This system will still be tedious if you have hundred of stamps, but I don't have that many.  I rely more on my Cricut to cut out embellishments than using stamps.

So for the few stamps I have, I either found images to save to my computer on the internet or took pictures.  I could print out the pictures on paper and put them in a book.   I found most of my stamp sets on my CTMH website, I basically only have stamps from Close to My Heart.  If an image wasn't available I took pictures of it with my camera.   I combined a few images of the stamp sets on one page in my photo program and printed them out and put them in a binder.  Now I can flip through a book and look at all my stamps.
A few finished pages

As you can see, I now have pictures of my stamps for a book.  It's not a perfect system, but I find I use them a little more because it's a little easier to find the one I want.  It won't work for those wooden stamps, but if you have those clear silicone stamps on sheets it works great.

CTMH - Whats New in June

For those interested in Close to My Heart products, they are running a great promotion for June.
With a qualifying $50 purchase, you can add a product collection shown below for an additional $30. Each collection is different and you can save between $20-$30 on the products.
Get yours here!

Till next time.

Happy Craftin!