Documenting Your Memories Using Paraphernalia From Your Vacation

Good morning! Its a new week at CTMH, and I forgot to mention that there’s a new sale happening right now! You have until Monday at midnight to save huge on amazing- retired- products! Go check it out now!

The last of the Las Vegas layouts I have to share with you have no pictures! I have the paraphernalia I gathered and saved from some of the places we visited while there, but I have no coordinating pictures to go along with them. Which is ok, because I can still document my stories without pictures! I’ll share them all in one post today, as well, because there’s just a handful of them. And once again, I won’t share the products I used to create each layout, to save time, space and your sanity.

Next week, I’ll get back to the regular way of doing things. Oh, and just a note. Next week the kids and I will be uprooted from our home and regular routine while they attend day camp in the city. I am packing as if I’m headed to a crop for the next week, and I’ll be somewhat treating that time in the city as if I’m on holiday/cropping. I plan to continue blogging, but it may not happen, depending on what things come up while there. I’ll do my best to stay in touch!

The one place I wish I had pictures of to scrapbook was SeaCan Park. I don’t remember now if that’s exactly what it was called or not, but it was the neatest accidental discovery my husband and I came across during our trip there! SeaCan Park was neat because it was family centred and totally unexpected! Unlike the rest of the strip in Vegas. I could totally see my kids playing there while we had coffee at one of the kitschy shops. The Praying Mantis was out of this world, too. Its hot enough in Vegas. When you get one that blows fire, its even hotter! Oy! There was a monument or art instalment that was full of combination locks and locks of every kind there, too. I think it was shaped like a heart. Very, very cool! If you happen to be in Vegas, make sure you add this to your itinerary. You won’t regret it!

Just a note- in case you’re wondering- my title in the last layout. I titled it this because it was the 2nd time we saw the Hoover Dam (the third for me. I saw it once as a girl with my family). The 2nd time was even better when friends were involved!

That’s all for me today. I won’t be around again until probably Tuesday next week. My kids are going ‘camping’ with some of their bestest friends for the night tomorrow, and my husband and I are camping by ourselves for the night. On Sunday, the kids and I are heading into Edmonton. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week, and I’m looking forward to the next time I get to hang out with you!

Using CTMH Products With Other Companies

I created a layout recently with the purpose of showing you how easy it is to pair Close to My Heart products with other manufacturers. Come to think of it, I have a couple layouts to share that were made by mixing and matching different products with CTMH. Coordinating papers and embellishments is a lot easier than you might think. Would you like to see?

In the first two layouts above, I used patterned papers from Recollections- the first is travel themed, which I thought worked well with my pictures from our trip to Jasper in the early part of my ‘missing year’. (That would be 2014. Refer to this blog post to learn what I mean). The paper I used was also great for creating embellishments because it was reminiscent of the journaling card sheets that are included in paper packs that different manufacturers offer- especially if they’re on trend with the pocket page style of scrapbooking. Most, if not all, companies are, I believe.

You’ll also noticed I broke out Hello Foxy in that first layout, too. I just adore those little foxes!

In the next layout, a different Recollections collection makes a sneak appearance alongside my first attempt at using sponge inking. Read more about it here. In addition to Hello Foxy, I thought Woodland Romance and Jack worked well with my Jasper pictures and layouts, as well! I mixed the patterned papers from different manufacturers with mostly CTMH card stock and stamping. There’s little bits of CTMH patterned paper scraps scattered throughout these my layouts, as well. Even a zip strip! Can you guess where that zip strip is hiding?

(The pictures in the middle layout are some of my all time favourite pictures, ever. They turned out better than I could have hoped! Ever surprise yourself like that?)

Lastly, I used a full sheet of the now retired Fundamentals patterned paper from CTMH and paired it with Jillibean Soup embellishments. How fun is that bright and sunshiny background patterned paper? I’d love to get my hands on more of it, but unfortunately its retired. Boo. The paper embellishments from Jillibean Soup have lived in my stash for years. Literally. And, I thought they paired perfectly with that deliciously happy and sunny patterned paper in the background. It also worked well with some Little Dreamer, as well! I used a zip strip from one of the patterned papers (hint- its the purple strip along the right side of the page), and I cut a unicorn out from one of the journaling cards and adhered it over some JBS pennants and tags. I matted the photo of Miss M over top of some Little Dreamer patterned paper, as well. The stars in the upper right corner are from Carta Bella (which has also lived in my stash for many, many years. I think this stuff is even older than my children, and they’re nearly 8 years old!)

So, there you have it- three great ways to pair products from CTMH with other manufacturers! Of course, there are many other ways to pair products from other companies with CTMH, because there’s more products out there than just patterned paper and journaling spots! What companies are your favourite to mix and match? Do you create your own kits to scrapbook from, or do you fly by the seat of your pants- much like I do?

CTMH Feel So Blessed Card Using Wax Paper

I wanted to craft using vellum, but I don’t have any. I’m not even sure where to find any, unless its included in your kits if you subscribe to a kit club. (Which I don’t, by the way. Hosting my own card club is as close as I’ve gotten to this avenue of creating.) So, what’s a girl to do?

While I was mulling over my creative options, I began to wonder if your regular old wax paper- the roll you’d find in your kitchen for your various baking endeavors- would create the same effect as vellum.

Happily, it does! Did you know that? Even better, its probably even cheaper than purchasing a sheet, or pack, of vellum! Score! The only downside to using wax paper, is that it’s more fragile than vellum is. But, as long as you treat it with love, your project will turn out beautiful!

Here’s an example:

Much like vellum, the wax paper softens whatever it is placed over- in this instance, it would be an ink sponged background. The next technique I’d honestly like to try is stamping directly on the wax paper or even trying to dry emboss it. Think it’ll work? I used Staz- On ink to stamp the ‘for you’ part of this card, but its faint. I think the next time, I’ll stamp directly in the background and then cover it with the wax paper. I suspect that my ink might just wipe off if I try stamping on it, but maybe I’ll be surprised. I won’t know until I try it. Experimenting is strangely gratifying and lots of fun!

This card is one that we will be making at my card club this September. You won’t just get to make one of these- we’ll be making three of them! I like this so much, I’m tempted to make five, just for myself. Additionally, the stamp set I used to create this card will be available for purchase in September, so you’re getting a sneak peek right now! How lucky! If your order reaches $50, this stamp set could be yours for $6. Its regularly $23. I will have it on hand at our card club, but you’re more than welcome to purchase it yourself, too. If you decide after card club that you’d really like this stamp set (or more of the supplies we used), just make another order! At the end of September, this stamp set will no longer be available for purchase.

Unfortunately,  I’ll share the rest of the cards we’re making in tomorrow’s post because the pictures didn’t want to load! So, please come back tomorrow to see more. I hope this inspires you to come check out my card clubs happening in September- one on the 16th in Whitecourt, and another on the 30th in Edmonton.

How does card club work? There is a fee involved- this club is $26.50. It covers the supplies you’ll need to make all of our cards. If you don’t use up all the supplies that you purchase, that’s fine. They’re yours to keep! We’ll be making 16 cards in total! Not a bad deal for $26, if you ask me. For this particular event, I’ll also be supplying the paper you need. Regularly, I would just cover the ink, stamps, stamping blocks and any other miscellaneous tools we’ll need to use.

Every month, each person in our club gets to play hostess, which enables her to receive products for free based on everyone’s orders. I would need 4 individuals to commit in order for this to work. The more participants we have, the more free products the hostess will get! Its initially going to run until November, upon which we’ll take a break for Christmas, and resume again in the new year. Our last card club will be held in June, before summer holidays begin. The fee will never be more than $30 CAD. A cutting guide will be included (free of charge if you’re part of my card club) so that you’ll be able to complete your cards after you get home. If that happens. If not, you’ve still got a cutting guide to use in the future!

The cutting guide is available to everyone to purchase, whether you live in Canada or not- even if you’re not part of card club! I still need to explore a price on that, but ballpark figure I think it’ll be $10. (But, I’m still working on smoothing out the kinks. Stay tuned!)

Reserve your spot early. Supplies should be ordered by the first of September if you’re coming to the September 16th event, and no later than the 15th if you’re coming to the September 30 event. Ideally, I’d like all attendees confirmed by RSVP’ing to one of the events I’ve posted to Facebook. I’ll share them below so you’re not scouring the net looking for them!

Whitecourt Event

Edmonton Event

Lastly, don’t forget about the Mid-Summer Fiesta CTMH Online Crop I’m hosting in a couple of weeks! I’d love to see you there! I have a few challenges and prizes lined up. Its going to be fun and relaxing!

Five Ways to Use Your CTMH Scrap Papers

Since I got my new cell phone, I thought it would be a good idea to upload the pictures I’d taken to the computer. In less than a month, there was over 1400 pictures on my phone! I might be just a little camera crazy. I may have also been on vacation, and had a lot of things going on! LOL

And, since I uploaded the pictures from my phone to my computer, that also means whatever projects I had saved to my phone were also transferred to my computer. They were transferred out of order, unfortunately, and as a result, I accidentally shared a layout a bit sooner than I had planned. Minor little accident. I recovered the layouts that had been sent to my trash can on my phone, and will continue adding layouts here from there for the time being. There’ll be less confusion that way. Now I’ll be back to my regular order. I had better get some crafting done…I’m getting low on content to share with you!

So, back to Christmas in July. I have this layout and one other about Christmas in April, and then I’ll move on to something else.

Do you have a scrap pile that seems to keep growing instead of shrinking? Looking for ways to cull some of that scrap paper stash? Here are 5 ideas that I consistently use in my own crafting that you may find helpful!

Make your own journalling spots. I most often use my White Daisy card stock for things such as this, but I find that a lot of scraps end up in my box that are a good size for journaling on. (That’s usually about 3×4 or slightly larger). There’s still some room to stamp on the journaling box in addition to your notes. But, don’t limit yourself to White Daisy! Any solid card stock would work!

Make your own embellishments. All those scraps are perfect for stamping on, and then fussy cut to your hearts’ content! Use them to create embellishments to scatter around your project, use them to create punched borders, or pennants…the list goes on. In the layout above, you’ll see a star, bracket, flower, presents, and a pennant with a message stamped inside it. Those were all created from my scrap White Daisy papers.

Create the illusion your photos are matted. Rather than physically matting your photos on a large piece of patterned paper or card stock, trim it down and adhere it next to your photos. Your favourite papers’ life will be drastically lengthened this way! While it may add more to your scrap box (if the piece of paper you’re using is on the larger side), you’ll still have enough of that beloved paper to use on future projects instead of using it all up (or the majority of it) on one! I used this technique on the layout above. The City Sidewalks paper is adhered on either side of my photos on both pages. Think of them as the ‘book ends’ or brackets surrounding the photos.

Use your Cricut! Some of those scraps will be large enough to cut icons or titles from. If that’s how your paper originally became a scrap, use the space that’s still left for photo mats, journaling mats, borders, stamping and/or punching smaller items. You’ll likely have to trim off the pieces of paper that were cut, but you’ll be surprised to see how much paper is still left if you trim them down. Think outside the box. What can you do with the paper you have left after using your Cricut?

Alternatively, don’t be afraid to throw your smaller scraps through your Cricut, too. It is possible to use them, you’ll just have to make the items you’re cutting smaller. Sometimes, that takes a bit of trial and error, so maybe use a scrap of paper that you don’t care much about to get the sizing correct. Then, use your favourite paper to cut the final item! I cut my title using my Cricut. I used both White Daisy and Willow card stock to create the title.

Mat your photos with your scraps. Both patterned papers and card stock works to mat your photos. If you got really creative, you could also use scrap washi tape, shimmer tape, zip strips, stamps, or twine will work, as well!

All of the suggestions I listed above are ways that I use up my scrap paper stash. Most often, I stamp on my scraps and use them as photo mats and journaling spots on my layouts, but its not limited to just that. There’s no right or wrong, and the sky’s the limit. Get yourself outside the box, and do something different. Also, the suggestions I listed are probably just the tip of the iceberg. What are some ways you use up your scraps? I’d love to hear how you use them up!

What did you think of this blog post? I’d love to hear! Share what you thought in the comments below.



CTMH Picture-Less Layout

Happy Friday! Its overcast and dreary here this morning, but the weather network is telling me its going to be a warm and sunny day. I’m looking forward to it. If the weather warms up as much as they say it is, I’ll take the kids on a picnic tomorrow to the local splash pad and we can spend the afternoon there. Fingers crossed its nice enough!

I’m switching gears today. I have a layout to share, but its a picture less one. Its picture less because 2014 and 2015 on my computer go absolutely haywire. This was about the time that I began having problem with my computer (if you can remember way back to before I quit blogging for a time at the end of 2016/start of 2017). My desktop computer was having issues, and finally got resolved (I thought), and then I began having problems uploading my Android cell phone to my computer AND problems again with my desktop. It resulted in my desktop computer dying and a new one being bought. Apple transferred everything on the old computer to the new, but it didn’t translate. I’m missing all of 2014, and the little of it that I do have, somehow took place in 2015. And, I know they didn’t happen in 2015. This is the reason I’ve created a layout without pictures.

I know of one other event that I need to scrapbook that will be picture less- when my husband was diagnosed with a tumor on his pituitary, and the subsequent health diagnoses he’s had in the time since this initial diagnosis. The tumor is benign; hormone replacement therapy has been managing it quite well, so nothing else is needed for the time being. Now, rather than visiting his endocrinologist once every 6 months, we only need to see her yearly or every year and a half. Its great news! Now he just needs to get the rest of his health straightened out! (And, it can all be reversed if he just changed his lifestyle. It hasn’t happened yet…I’m hoping that’ll come).

So, back to the layout I want to share today. What have you done when you’ve run into a problem such as the one I’m dealing with? How did you overcome it? I’ve learned that I should refer frequently to my Instagram and Facebook pages, because they are better timeline references than my photos folder on my desktop computer. There’s way more pictures there- and there’s pictures there that I’d love to have printed but don’t! Argh! As a result, I’ve also learned that I should be printing pictures from Facebook at the moment rather than from my photos folder! Live and learn. So, my mindset now is to turn this negative into a positive, so I’m planning to make a mini album of the ‘missing years’ after I’ve scrapbooked the pictures I already printed from my photos folder.

Is your head spinning yet? Mine sure is. I’m pretty choked up that my memories are gone, but I’m thankful that there’s still a few left to scrapbook. All is not lost. Thank heavens there’s social media platforms like Facebook and Insta- if they didn’t exist, I’d have next to nothing to scrapbook!

I had Facebook in the back of my mind when I created this layout. I wanted to recreate an ‘unknown’ profile picture such as you’d see on Facebook if someone doesn’t have a profile picture uploaded to their personal page. I found a girl silhouette image on my cricut, and cut it out from Glacier card stock. I also cut a large question mark and layered it behind the girl silhouette. I chose the girl because 99% of my layouts are about my children. I only thought it fitting for this layout. I wasn’t sure people would realize that I had tried placing a question mark behind the silhouette, so I stamped a second smaller one onto the silhouette. (My daughter immediately clarified for me that people *would* understand what it was…she told me she liked it after I’d finished it. Phew!)

I filled in the two empty journaling mats with stamping and inked the edges with Sea Glass ink. I matted the journaling spot with Sweet Leaf card stock and layered it over some scrap Kraft and sponged White daisy card stock that were floating around on my desk. I sure love this technique! I think I’ll try to incorporate a lot of this technique into most of my layouts from now on. At least, until the novelty wears off. Ha!

I sponged part of my title too, so that it would stand out a bit better against the Kraft portion of paper that it covers. It was also cut from Kraft card stock, and it got kind of lost without the sponging. I just used a tone that was slightly darker than its original. I love the texture it adds!

I also paired all the stamping and CTMH products with a single sheet of patterned paper from Stampin’ Up. I like that the arrows kind of helps draw your eye down towards the centre of the page, or up from the bottom of the page. Mission accomplished!

Products Used:

-CTMH White Daisy Card stock 1385

-CTMH Kraft Card stock Z1375

-CTMH Sweet Leaf Card stock X5639

-CTMH Poppy Thick Twine Z3094

-CTMH Hopscotch My Acrylix Stamp Set D1638 (retired)

-CTMH For Always My Acrylix Stamp Set C1547 (retired)

-CTMH Sponge Daubers Value Pack Z1938

-CTMH Sorbet Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2864

-CTMH Desert Sand Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2818

-CTMH Glacier Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2841

-CTMH Bamboo Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2803

-CTMH Goldrush Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2823

-CTMH Sea Glass Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2813

-CTMH Chocolate Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2811

I also have posted to my Facebook all the stamp sets I’d like to destash and part with. There’s nothing listed that’s more than $15 Canadian; I’ve also created some ‘bundles’ if you can call them that. One stamp set coordinates with a sheet of patterned paper I have, so I’ve listed them together. There’s also a set of three stamps that come together, so I’m selling them together, as well. View it here. I will share it in more detail here tomorrow…probably next week. Tomorrow is Saturday and I’m not sure I’ll make it here if my husband is home. I hope this will do until then! Some stamp sets have already sold as well (thank you to those that have purchased from me! I hope to see the rest of these go, as well!) If you live outside of Canada and you’re interested in broadening your acrylic stamp stash, give me a shout. Maybe we can work something out. Shipping charges will apply to both my Canadian friends and those abroad.

CTMH Scaredy Cat Layout

Good morning! The week is almost over. What do you have planned for the weekend? Nothing for me, but if the weather is nice enough (which I think it will be), I’ll take the kids down to the local recreation park and let them loose in the splash pad. They’re getting bored and deserve a picnic lunch or supper down there.

In some ways, when the kids were younger, keeping them entertained was easier, because they had their imaginations to keep them busy. While they still have imaginations, I’m finding they’re looking for more complex ways to stay busy- such as crafting, reading (mostly Addison), watching youtube videos, trying out diy’s, going places and doing things…I guess that comes with the getting older territory. Maren is just happy to suffocate the kitty (with love and affection!!) I thought I should clarify that.

Here’s a prime example of how my toddlers would keep themselves busy at one time in their lives:

Remember these days? Either when you were young, or when your babies were young? I’m so glad I caught this moment. It was so sweet! Playing together was all they knew at one time, but now that they’re in their own classes and have made their own friends, its harder to coordinate play times for both kids. They would prefer playing with other people rather than themselves. Total #momproblem. Its all good! I just need to get creative with our time this summer.

I keep this layout fairly simple. I used a sheet of Scaredy Cat patterned paper and layered some Eggplant card stock along the top of it before layering everything on a sheet of (soon to be retiring) Colonial White card stock. Yes, you read that right. Sadly, Colonial White is retiring. I suggest ordering yours now, since everything in our current catalog expires (and subsequently retires) at the end of July. Yep. Just a few weeks left to enjoy this current CTMH catalog. Need one? Send me a message or email me! I can send you one- anywhere in Canada.

You’ll notice I snuck in another zip strip- its the black strip along the border punched portion of the eggplant paper strip. It comes from Always and Forever (a retired paper collection. I’ve been calling it Frosted forever…I don’t know why…Frosted just seemed to fit this paper packet better than Always and Forever. Anywho, my bad). There’s also scrap Urban finishing up the train and scrap Charlotte framing one of the pictures of the twins, as well.

There’s nothing too special about this layout, other than the sweet pictures of the twins. And, by special, I just mean I didn’t use any fascinating techniques or fancy paper placements. I just stuck to what’s natural to me: linear, and minimalistic.

Products Used:

-CTMH Scaredy Cat paper packet (retired)

-CTMH Eggplant Card stock X5774

-CTMH Colonial White Card stock 1388

-CTMH Charlotte paper packet (retired)

-CTMH Urban paper packet (retired)

-CTMH Whisper Card stock (this must be retired, too. There’s no product number for it anymore)

-CTMH Bamboo Exclusive Inks Z2803

-CTMH My Life My Acrylix Stamp Set D1572 (retired)

I was thinking as I rifled through my stamps just now, (to find the stamp set I just listed), that I should go through my stamps and clear them out so I can make room for new ones.  Watch for garage sale items coming up in the near future…they will all be gently used, so prices will be marked down drastically. If you’d like any, all you need to do is comment on the post or send me a message via Facebook and Instagram…they’ll be posted there, too! Keep your eyes peeled for this…It’ll be posted in the very near future! All the stamps I’ll add to my garage sale items will be ones you’ve seen in my layouts in the past!

CTMH Happy Holidays Layout

Good morning! Its a bit cooler here today- I broke out my fleece pj pants and a sweater this morning because I was cold when I got out of bed! Its a welcome change to feeling sticky and wet after waking up in the morning.

In honor of the cooler weather today, I have a festive Christmas layout to share with you.

I look forward to all the big events that the twins’ school puts on throughout the year. They have a spring concert and a Christmas concert. The spring concert is pretty huge- they put on a black light show every year. Coming up (in the future- more recent future, like 2016 and this year) I’ll have pictures of the black light shows we were at. Lots of fun! Only the grade 3 class gets to do it…it builds excitement for the little ones as time goes on, so when they reach grade 3, they’re super excited about getting to do the black light show. I think its awesome they have something so special to look forward to. Their concerts are also in French, since our school is bilingual. We offer a French program, so all the French kids are able to take part in the concert, as well. (My children are in the English program. My French is way too rusty to be able to help them with their homework).

I used City Sidewalks again, and sadly most of it is gone. I think I have just a few sheets left. But, that’s good, on the other hand, too. This Christmas I can stock up on the new collections CTMH comes out with! In yesterdays order, I also stocked up on the Little Dreamer and Jack paper packets, so that I have extra of my favourite papers to play with until the new collections come out in September. I have lots of planning to do coming up- my card classes start in September! I know what technique I want to introduce at our first one, but I don’t have a design figured out yet! Or the paper we’ll be using. All in good time. August is going to be a busy month! If you’d like to join, comment at the bottom of this post, or email me at (Just a note, I don’t currently have any Jack papers because I ordered the wrong workshop in June! Oops! So, I’ve ordered it this month, and will begin playing with it once its made its way to my doorstep! Can’t wait!)

Did you know that the small strip at the top of CTMH’s paper- we call it the ‘zip strip’- is also useful in your paper crafting? Other companies call it other things, but that’s what we call it; it is meant to be used in your crafting, as well. You’ll notice that one side of it is always printed with a pattern that coordinates with the collection it comes with. The other side has collection- pertinent information on it, such as the collection name, what colors coordinate with it, the product number (for easier ordering), and the size of paper it came from (such as 12×12 inches). Our paper is always 12×12, just so you know. I’ve gotten in the habit of keeping them all instead of throwing them out. You never know when they’ll come in handy! I snuck the City Sidewalks zip strip in this layout right at the bottom of the mat layered behind the pictures. I snuck some washi tape into the mix, too. I do not think its CTMH washi. The zip strip is always 0.25 inches, and it adds just the right touch to any project. Have you ever used them in your crafting before? If you haven’t, because they’re not printed to be used in your crafting, maybe its time you tried out some CTMH paper!

What is your favourite thing about your kids being in school? What do you look forward to throughout the school year?

Products Used:

-CTMH City Sidewalks (retired)

-CTMH White Daisy Card stock 1385

-CTMH Juniper Card stock X5752

-CTMH Happy Holidays My Acrylix Stamp Set (retired)

-CTMH Juniper Exclusive Inks Z2865

-CTMH Outdoor Denim Exclusive Inks (retired)*

-CTMH Pomegranate Exclusive Inks Z2854

*Note: Replace Outdoor Denim ink with Pacifica Z2892. Its dark, too! Any other light blue colors will work, too, such as Glacier Z2841, Crystal Blue Z2817, Lagoon Z2895, Peacock Z2849 or Sea Glass Z2813.


CTMH Thankful Heart Layout

Hello friends, happy Tuesday! It was a busy morning filled with grocery shopping and picking out the perfect scratching post for the new addition to our family- Ava!

We adopted this sweet ginger from our local vet/pound, and she’s a perfect fit for our family! The pound is located inside one of the vet offices here in town, and I follow it religiously on Facebook. I’m smitten with nearly all the animals they post to their page, but Ava spoke to me. She came home with us mid week last week. And actually, as of tomorrow, I’ll be celebrating Gregory’s one year anniversary crossing the rainbow bridge. I’m so glad I’ve got another set of four adorable feet to grace the floors in my house.

The twins are smitten with her, and LOVE that she’s playful and chill. She’s Gregory’s total opposite- sweet, cuddly and loves to play. She’s also just 6 months old. Gregory was 4 when I brought him home, but he was never a player. We’re so glad this one is! Anyways, there she is all cozy up in her nest. I think she likes it!

In other news, I have another layout to share with you!

And, speaking of being Canadian, have you caught the new bundle that’s available for us Canadians, only?! I just ordered it, and I can hardly wait for it to arrive on my front steps! I’m super stoked about the digital Cricut cart that comes along with it…I can’t wait to use it on my layouts! Here’s a picture of it, in case you missed it:

What’s included in it, you may ask. Well, not only do you get the Cricut cartridge, you’ll also get a variety of sheets of card stock (4 mink, 1 willow, 2 cranberry, 1 black, 3 white daisy and 1 linen…some of those are new colors coming out in September, too!) and the icing on the cake is the Canada 150 My Acrylix Stamp Set. Close to My Heart is an official authorized licensee of the Canada 150 design, so don’t worry about this being a rip off or cheap knock off. Its the real thing! (If you don’t want the entire bundle, why not just add the Canada 150 logo to your arsenal?! That’s part of the reason I’m ordering this kit…I don’t have anything else with the logo on it. This is my chance!)

You’ll get all this for the introductory price of $42.80. You’ll get 20% off at checkout, otherwise this bundle is $53.50. What a great deal! For all those living in BC, I know you’re in a rotten place right now, but what a wonderful way to document the horror you went through using this bundle. Same goes for all the wonderful people of Fort McMurray. You’re in the process of rebuilding, but why not use this kit as a way to document the strength and determination you had that got you through the worst days of your lives. Just a thought!

Back to my layout. The only reason I shared the Canada bundle with you (again), is because the title reminded me of it. I am Canadian, and proud of it. And, sometimes we do really Canadian things, like stop at Tim Hortons for a coffee, and then forget it on your tailgate while you go off and complete other errands while you’re in the big metropolis of Edmonton. Every Canadian does that- or has done it- right? On a good day, my husband does not like Tim Hortons, but this day was the exception. He really needed a coffee, and there was one near to where we needed to go in Edmonton. He set it down to do something, hopped in the truck, and off we went. We found it at our next stop. And, it hadn’t spilled! That was the best part.

The best part of creating the design in this layout was using up all the scraps lying on my desk. I cut them into strips and layered them behind the photo on the White Daisy card stock. I alternated the A and B sides of City Sidewalks patterned paper with the A side of Urban in a bit of an ombre pattern. I started with the lightest color and built on it until I reached the darkest color, and started again at the beginning. They both work well together, don’t they?

I also hid my journaling in this layout. I stamped a tag, cut it out, then jotted down my thoughts on it before tucking it behind the photo.

So, there you have it, eh? (Has any of my Canadian readers heard about the name change KFC is going through in honour of Canada’s 150th? What do you think of it?) If you’re not Canadian, the KFC chain has decided to incorporate ‘eh’ into their name, so KFC will become K’ehFC. Umm…I have no words. I’m all about being patriotic, but I’m not sure how I feel about this name change. Part of me hopes this is just a joke, but I don’t think it is.

Products Used:

-CTMH City Sidewalks paper packet (retired)

-CTMH Urban paper packet (retired)

-CTMH Pomegranate card stock X5780*

-CTMH White Daisy Card stock 1385

-CTMH Thankful Heart My Acrylix Stamp Set B1463 (retired)

-CTMH My Life Cricut Bundle My Acrylix Stamp Set D1572 (retired)

-CTMH True to Life My Acrylix Stamp Set C1575 (retired)

-CTMH Pomegranate Exclusives Ink Z2854

-CTMH Sweet Leaf Exclusives Ink Z2853

-CTMH Peacock Exclusives Ink Z2849

The star behind the pomegranate card stock is just to highlight that all CTMH card stock comes in 12×12 size.

Sponging Technique Using CTMH

HI everyone! I’m getting a late start again today, but I have something special to share with you. I went totally out on a limb the other day in my crafting, and I wanted to share what I created with you! I just couldn’t wait.

While I was surfing Pinterest, I came across a tutorial for sponging. Truth be told, I’d never sponged before this, unless it was to ink the edges of a sheet of paper in my scrapbooking. I’ve turned a new leaf, and its got me wondering why I didn’t try it sooner?! Have you ever used a sponge dauber for sponging in your crafting?

This is totally out of the box for me, and I have to admit that I’m hooked. I still like my white space, but I won’t be afraid to add more ink to my pages (and cards!) in the future, now. Note to self: I need more sponge daubers! Its a good thing that CTMH offers them in a mini pack AND in a value pack! (Mini Z726, Value Pack Z1938. There’s 12 daubers in the Value Pack, as oppose to three in the mini pack.) There’s also some storage options for your mini daubers, as well! Personally, I use two mini clear tackle boxes. They work like a charm! (I’ve also labelled each section by color so I know which is which). Storing them by color is a huge help, too. The only thing I would add when I get new ones is to label each dauber with the color of ink that I used it for, that way I don’t mix inks and colors, and the color will stay in its truest hue possible.

I experimented with this technique on this layout. It started with stamping the tree background on the CTMH Juniper card stock. I liked it so much, I used the same idea as a background in another layout (which you’ll see below. Hang tight). You’ll notice the sponging technique (experiment) on the pine trees that’s layered over the journaling spot. I love the soft texture it lends, even if its uneven. I think that adds to the appeal. Textures are uneven in the mountains, why should it be in my layout about the mountains? Blending is a dream. I learned two lessons using this technique: first, make sure your sponge dauber is clean- or make sure you’re using the exact same ink as the previous time you used that particular sponge dauber. I used one that I had used with CTMH Colonial White ink in the past, and its ruined the ink in the stamp pad I wanted to use. Although Colonial White ink is totally different than the rest of CTMH inks (I honestly don’t know why), its just a good idea to keep your sponge daubers labelled so that you can use them with the appropriate ink pad in the future. Hence the reason why I need to buy more! Mine are well used and have mixed inks on them. I don’t recommend doing this!

The second lesson is- and this is just pure personal preference- smaller areas using sponging is more aesthetically pleasing to my eye. The third layout I created using this technique, which is currently still living on my desk, feels a little too over the top. I may change my mind when the layout is complete, but for now I feel ‘meh’ towards it. And, I still like a lot of white space, and that last layout that’s living on my desk has literally none. That’s the beauty of experimenting though, right?! Live and learn! A person doesn’t grow if they don’t live outside their comfort zone. I’ve definitely grown as a result of using this technique. What techniques have you used that are outside of your norm? Throw suggestions at me- I’d love to learn more!

On a side note- and I’ll come back to this point in the future- is that CTMH products work well to compliment and coordinate with items from other manufacturers, too. In the layout above, I used some old papers I had on hand from Recollections. You can see the exes and oh’s peeking from behind the photo and journal mats. I paired it with CTMH Promegranate, Juniper and White Daisy card stocks.

Are you ready to see the second layout I created after my initial encounter with sponging? I’m beyond ready to show you, so here goes!

As you can see, I carried the stamped tree background over to this spread, and added mountains to the mix, as well. I gave it more space than the first layout, too. Make absolutely sure that when you stamp your own background, that you use the correct size stamping block on your canvas- you can see some places where I fudged up a bit by accidentally allowing the edge of the stamping block to touch the paper, leaving lines in its place. Using a stamping block that’s the appropriate size for your stamp will alleviate that. It can still happen if you’re not careful, but it won’t happen as often. I made this mistake while creating that background, which is why I bring it up! Sometimes, I just grab what’s closest to me…when that happens, mistakes can happen-, and, they usually do.

And, as you can see, I gave the sponging a larger area to live on, as well. It adds just the right touch of color and texture to be eye catching without being overwhelming. Personally, the Smokey Plum (purple ink) adds just the right amount of contrast to make this spread stunning. That’s my own humble opinion. What do you think?! Should I continue using this technique? How do you suggest I use it next? Sponge a title? The entire background? Just the photo mat, or something that I haven’t thought of?

If you’re wondering what products I used, here’s the list! You’ll find them all, except for one, on my website at Close to My Heart. If you’d like to see more, just follow the link to my website. Smokey Plum has been replaced with Eggplant ink (Z2847). Its a lovely purple, too!

Products Used: (Great Outdoors layout)

-CTMH My Acrylix Jack Stamp Set D1723

-CTMH My Acrylix Camping Life D1719

-CTMH Flaxen Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2842

-CTMH Whisper Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2872

-CTMH Smokey Plum Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad (retired)

-CTMH Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2853

-CTMH White Daisy card stock 1385

-CTMH Black card stock 1386

-CTMH Kraft card stock Z1375

-CTMH Flaxen card stock X5771

-CTMH Chocolate card stock X5643

CTMH City Sidewalks Layout

Good morning! We had another 6 am wake up call in my house…isn’t summer for sleeping in? My word…

Hows this for layout blog content this morning? Much better than the deer meat layout?

This layout is all kinds of fun. I coloured in the paper doll (yes, she’s actually a paper doll!) using my Shin Han markers, and used a chipboard word From the City Sidewalks Complements pack in part of my title. When I fussy cut the paper doll out, I also cut off the tabs that would have held her clothes on. I glued the snowsuit to her body, and adhered her using some 3d foam tape.

Who doesn’t love a bit of glitter? I know my girls do. The more glitter used, the better in their minds! Its hard to see, but I also stamped a pattern into the word fun, just for some extra depth. What do you think?!

My girls were having fun playing in the snow (in Oyen!! That’s almost unheard of for that area!!), and the layout itself is a lot of fun, if I do say so myself. The City Sidewalks paper is perfect for this festive time of year (nearly…it was November).

Products Used:

-CTMH City Sidewalks Paper Packet (retired)

-CTMH Cranberry Card stock 1272

-CTMH Glacier Card stock X5770

-CTMH City Sidewalks Complements X7213C (retired)

-CTMH Shreddin’ The Slopes My Acrylix Stamp Set D1603 (retired)

-CTMH Shin Han Touch Twin Black Marker Z2446

-CTMH Shin Han Touch Twin Peacock Green Marker Z2461

-CTMH Shin Han Touch Twin Turquoise Blue Marker Z2465

-CTMH Shin Han Touch Twin Carmine Marker Z2448

-CTMH Art Philosophy (Cricut) (retired)