CTMH Canada 150 Stamp 

This wasn’t something we saw on a regular day- parachutes floating above us in the sky. We were visiting some of our closest friends, and snapped pictures of them before they disappeared behind the trees. They were practicing for the Fallen Four marathon- 2015 marked the ten year anniversary that 4 Canadian Mounties lost their lives in the line of duty during a stand off in the next town over. Any of my Canadian friends- especially the Alberta ones- remember this?

I’m grouping these layouts together because 2/3 of them use the same products- the third has different products in it, but most importantly, they’re all from the same event (the Fallen Four parade). 

In the second Layout (immediately above), I wanted to replicate the Fallen Four image, but couldn’t find the FF (with the first ‘f’ facing backwards) image online. I thought I was crazy, but my husband confirmed that there is an FF image associated with it. (I think it’s a vehicle decal, honestly). Instead, I used the marathon logo for my title. 

I also used the Canada 150 stamp set, even though it’s technically not valid until this year (2017). I wanted to showcase it, so used it anyways. It’s available to purchase on my website until December 31, 2017, so you still have time to make this bad boy yours! Find it here: http://www.theeverydayscrapbooker.ctmh.ca

Both these layouts also sport my beloved Jack papers!

As I mentioned above, this layout is different. I mixed non CTMH products with CTMH products. One of the best things about this layout is the delicious rose patterned embossing folder I used to create interest in the navy cardstock. It’s also new at CTMH and is currently available to purchase! You’ll also notice snippets of Septembers’ SOTM on it, too. (The tiny hearts you see). Find both on my website at http://www.theeverydayscrapbooker.ctmh.ca

How cool was it that the military stopped what they were doing and spent time with the kids after jumping? You see, they were conducting drills in the first Layout I shared in preparation of the Fallen Four parade. They put on a spectacular show on the day of the marathon! My children were star struck!


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 ThankFul Heart Layout

Remember the post I shared a bit ago where I shared the sponging technique? I mentioned in that post that I’d created another layout using this particular technique, but I felt it was a bit over the top. Some time has passed, and I still feel the same. But, I’ll share it here and see how the inter-webs feels about it! Maybe you’ll like it better than I do!

I began this layout by sponging the background using Juniper, Pacifica and Flaxen inks. Then, I stamped over top of it in Peacock and Smokey Plum inks. I absolutely loved the way it looked, but I felt that the background was too plain. That’s where the ‘over the top’ comes in. I began by pulling colors directly from my picture, matting the photo with Flaxen and Peacock card stock. Then I matted the original sponged piece of card stock to another piece of Peacock card stock. I drew a larger box around that, and left it white. I drew two more boxes, slightly larger than the next, and sponged those. I should have left the largest box (on the outside of the page) white instead of filling it in, too. I feel like its too much sponge.

On the bright side, I absolutely love the inside box, with all the sponging and stamping, and how it showcases the photo. Its just beautiful. I stamped directly on the photo using Jet Black Staz On ink. The title was cut from Flaxen card stock using my Cricut, and I stamped and fussy cut a few more leaves and attached them to the upper right corner of the picture. One leaf was attached with foam dots for depth. (This is Pyramid Lake in Jasper, by the way). It makes me feel like we’re due back for another trip there one of these days. I love the mountains. Don’t you?

Just a question- how do you feel about sponge daubers with a larger, broader base? Or just sponges in particular? Do you find they blend ink more evenly, making it look less mottled? Its almost stained-glass reminiscent, isn’t it? I have never used anything other than the small sponge daubers, and I’m curious to know the difference between all the products out there. I did have a round sponge from CTMH at one time, but I think I’ve sold it. I no longer have it here, that I know of. Maybe I should attempt to answer my own question and try it myself. After I purchase another sponge or dauber. What is your favourite sponge/dauber product to use?

Products Used:

-CTMH Juniper Exclusive Inks Ink pad Z2865

-CTMH Flaxen Exclusive Inks Ink pad Z2842

-CTMH Pacifica Exclusive Inks Ink pad Z2892

-CTMH Peacock Exclusive Inks Ink pad Z2849

-CTMH Smoky Plum Exclusive Inks Ink pad (retired)

-CTMH Saffron Exclusive Inks Ink pad Z2851

-CTMH White Daisy Card stock 1385

-CTMH Flaxen Card stock X5771

-CTMH Peacock Card stock X5776

-CTMH Sponge Daubers Value Pack Z1938

* Just a note- the CTMH sponge is just $1.75 (item number Z697) if you’d like to purchase it. I may add it to my next order!

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

-CTMH Blessed Beyond Measure My Acrylix Stamp of the Month S1609 (retired)

CTMH My Life Layout

I like finding different ways to use up my paper stash. I had this leftover sheet of Balloon Ride patterned paper that was cut in half diagonally, and when I found a sketch online that was similar, I ran with it.

I don’t think the sketch originally showed the page parted this way, but its how I interpreted it. I worked with what I had, and I quite like the outcome.

The filter I used to edit the picture (I don’t know what it is anymore) matched the creamy hues in the Balloon Ride paper, which is why I paired them together. There’s also hints of blue throughout the picture- both my daughters had on blue fleece coats and the merry go round they are riding on is blue.

I don’t know where ‘This’ took place or when, but I had to scrapbook it. A lot of the time, I choose pictures based on how they make me feel. In this particular picture, I absolutely love the goofy grin on my mom’s face. There was no question, it had to be scrapped. I’m fairly certain my sister was the photographer here, and they must have been out doing something with the twins while I was off having some alone time. Choosing my pictures this way helps me be more selective when I’m browsing through them and preparing them for printing. (I sift through all my photos and save the ones I want to print to a flash drive. I then bring them to Walmart and have them an hour later. I love it! I used to order through Apple, but I hated having to wait 10+ days for them to arrive on my doorstep. This works much better for me!)

How do you choose the pictures you scrapbook?

Products Used:

-CTMH Balloon Ride paper packet (retired)

-CTMH Gold Shimmer Trim Z1985

-CTMH White Daisy 1385

-CTMH Glacier Exclusive Inks Z2841

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

-CTMH From the Notebook My Acrylix Stamp Set S1607 (retired)


As it turns out, the layout I shared yesterday is a huge hit! Even though I’ve experienced a negative in my life by losing pictures due to a technical malfunction, its still a positive. Sometimes, its just all in the way you look at things. (Which, more often than not, is a major personal struggle for me). Its a good lesson to learn!

And, as it turns out, there will be more layouts heading your way in the future that don’t have pictures in them. I remembered that I kept a bunch of paraphernalia from our last trip to Las Vegas (which I happen to be scrapbooking right now), and I wanted to make some layouts using that. Since I don’t have pictures to coordinate with the paraphernalia I kept, I’m creating them without! (The first one is my boarding pass; the second one- and more importantly- is Burgr. That is all I’ll say right now).

Do you create very often with journaling cards? Are you a project lifer, or do you use the PL cards in different ways? I’m a mixture of both. I like doing the occasional Picture My Life layout (CTMH’s version of PL), but more often, I like using them in my traditional scrapbooking. The layout I’m sharing today is just that type of layout.

I used some journaling cards that I had left over out of the CTMH Charlotte paper packet. I trim the ones I don’t use down, and store them in a little container along with all my other PML and Project Life inspired cards. (I don’t own any official PL cards). I thought the Charlotte ones worked well for this layout of my daughters’ lovey. Both daughters have had their own lovey’s since they were babies. The ones they have currently they’ve had since they were probably about 3 years old. They’ve lasted the longest! (Meaning we haven’t lost them yet!)

I inked the edges of the white card stock to try and eat up some of the blatant white space, and then inked a piece of scrap Forever & Always patterned paper for some depth. I’m loving this color palette- so fresh and bright! A pop of black doesn’t hurt, either!

Products Used:

-CTMH Charlotte paper packet (retired)

-CTMH Forever & Always (retired)

-CTMH For Always C1547 (retired)

-CTMH Desert Sand Exclusive Inks Z2818

-CTMH Sorbet Exclusive Inks Z2864

-CTMH Black Exclusive Inks Z2805

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 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 theeverydayscrapbooker@gmail.com. (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.

CTMH Yuletide Joy Layout

Good morning! I was gone yesterday to the city to enjoy a lovely little girls’ birthday party, along with my own children. I got to spend the day with one of my dearest friends at this birthday party. The twins enjoyed the day, especially the pony rides (yes, there were pony rides- and goats to love on and pet!) After we got home, a nasty storm blew in, threatening us with a tornado (thankfully that didn’t happen), but it brought along with it the smoke from all the horrible forest fires happening currently in British Columbia. My thoughts are with all those that are fleeing for their lives and displaced at the moment. Its Fort McMurray all over again- just on a much larger scale! I’m so sorry for you all! I have extra room in my house if anyone needs it- if things come to that! I know it would be a long ways to travel, but its here if its needed.

Even though my thoughts are with the people in British Columbia today, it seems fitting (maybe even ironic) that I have a Christmasy and wintery layout to share today. Maybe if we think rainy/snowy and cool thoughts, the weather in BC will change, and the fires will be snuffed out so people can return to their homes.

These pictures are from the twins’ first ever Christmas concert at school. I love the bottom two pictures- Maren was so excited to be there and find us in the crowd. The last picture on the bottom especially holds my heart. Her emotions are just plain as day and speak volumes to me. I love it! I also just love this time of year. Of all the holidays throughout the year, Christmas is most special. Which is your most favourite holiday?

By the way, the picture looks crooked here, doesn’t it? I’m still playing with trying to get my shots perfectly straight, and I struggle big time with it! I don’t understand why I can’t get it straight! One day…I’ll keep striving for perfection in the mean time, though! Anyone have some pointers?

Products Used:

-CTMH Poster Tidings S1309 (retired)

-CTMH Happy Holidays (retired)

-CTMH Yuletide Joy S1610 (retired)

-CTMH City Sidewalks Paper Packet (retired)

-CTMH Willow Card stock X5784

-CTMH White Daisy 1385

-CTMH Willow Exclusive Inks Stamp pad Z2807

-CTMH Pomegranate Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2854

-CTMH Glacier Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2841


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