Friday, February 24, 2012

Texas' BIGGEST Crop?!

Two weeks ago, I was happily joined by 42 other papercrafters at my annual Heartfelt Sentiments Team Retreat.  We gathered, for the third year in a row, at Lone Oak Ranch & Retreat in Gainesville, TX.  We absolutely love the facilities - plenty of space to scrapbook - and the ability to retreat back to your room for a quick nap or a few hours of overnight sleep. 

Here is a photo of part of the ballroom we inhabit for the weekend.  How fun, right?!

This year's theme was "Color Your World".  Color Your World with new friendships, new opportunities, and a newfound passion for what you love to do!  It was a bit cold this year so we elected to stay inside and take some group photos based upon our crop groupings. 
My First Downline in attendance.
Kristi, Cyndi, Dot, Kimberly, Aarin, Amanda & Xellina

Windy, Christi, ME, Nancy, Betty
Lulu, ME, Dianne, Cherri, Tawnya, Michelle & Annette
Lisa, ME, Melissa, Joy (Milligan)
Maria Elena (my MOM), Euvah, Karen, ME, Mary, Tawnya, Patricia

Mary, Laurie, Angie, ME, Jan, Lynn, Peggy

Debbie, Debi, ME, Francene, Debi
Angie and I acting silly
Mary and I striking a pose on the bar top
I will be sharing more photos from the fun weekend but wanted to start with showing off these first!  Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Technique Blog Hop

WELCOME to our Technique Hop!  We have 15 "players" this month so I hope you are ready to be inspired with our creativity!  You gotta love getting ideas from Consultants with various styles.

This hop is one big circle, and I am starting it out, but you are welcome to start and stop anywhere throughout.  I have also provided a list of the participants and their blogs below should you get lost or want to retrace your steps at some point.  If you have come from Kimberly's Blog or our Technically Terrific Blog (where you can find challenges and prizes, of course, for our blog hop), you are on the right track!
  1. Melissa -
  2. Shirley –
  3. Debi –
  4. Wendy –
  5. Lisa–
  6. Tabby–
  7. Cherri–
  8. Rachel–
  9. Judy Faye–
  10. Bethany–
  11. Michelle B–
  12. Tonya–
  13. Joy–
  14. Michelle W–
  15. Kimberly–  (link to
This month's technique highlights the "Even Easier" technique as highlighted on page 91 in the NEW (Spring/Summer) Idea Book.  You can create beautiful accents with My Acrylix stamps, even easier, with the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge.  By using the Cricut machine to cut the coordinate shape using the indicated size on the carrier sheet, you can stamp directly on the cut out image.  It is so nice not to have to pick up a pair of scissors and trim around the image yourself!

This first card was made using the Sonoma paper packet and one of the coordinating stamp set that comes with the Cricut cartridge.  I used the Cricut to cut out both the "frame" and flower diecuts and then easily stamped inside of them with the desired image and color. Of course, this process is EASY when using our clear, acrylic stamps as placement is perfect every single time!

This card, made using the NEW Lucy paper packet, also incorporated one of the stamp sets included with the Cricut bundle.  First, I sponged one of the coordinating dimensional elements in Creme Brulee' and then cut out the coordinating but slightly smaller scallop using the Cricut.  I then stamped the image, tone-on-tone and layered accordingly.

It has been super easy to prepare for workshops/classes and to create art when not having to take time to cut out the intricate images.  Instead, I just let the Cricut do the work for me - saving me time and allowing me to create artwork Faster.Simpler.Easier.

You too should give it a try!  The Cricut bundle can be all yours for just $99 and it's valued at even higher than that when you think of how it makes creating quicker and easier.  (Plus, you can get it at 50% off when you have a Gathering of just $250 in sales!)  You can find a link to it, and more details, in the right margin.

Now hop on over to Shirley's Blog to see what creative inspiration she has in store for YOU and then be sure to submit your own version of this technique at our Technically Terrific Blog!  There are prizes to be awarded there!

Happy hoppin'!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays because I love the colors - red, pink, white, black, PURPLE - and the focus of the day ~ LOVE.  There's just a sweet spirit about this day despite all the hoopla of long dinner lines and expensive gifts. 
This is the card I made for my fantastic hubby.  I used some scraps from the "Sweetheart" paper packet (retired) and the matching epoxy stickers (also retired).  The stamp image came from the set which accompanied the Roxie Workshop on the Go. 

Then, I used our most recent Constant Campaign, "Rock the Block", to create this perpetual calendar.  Each block has a variety of letters or numbers which can be rotated to indicate the current date.  Each block is 2x2 in size and can be used for other creative items.  (To be shared on my blog in the next couple of days.)

I must not take credit for the idea as my dear friend and fellow Consultant, Debi Barber, is responsible for the design.  I simply reproduced it using the gorgeous Sophia paper packet (now retired).  The letters were cut using our exclusive Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge and the images on the non-letter and non-number cubes were stamped using the exclusive stamp set that was included as the campaign in January.

The blocks, called "My Creations Collage Cubes", as noted in the NEW Idea Book, are available through the end of the year so get them while you can!

Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 3, 2012

The NEW IDEA book is here! (and February Stamp of the Month)

Happy February!  I'm a couple of days behind in my post because of the need to celebrate my hubby's birthday and because I am preparing for a team retreat next weekend with 43 women!  Both events have kept my plate full but I have been creating with some of Close To My Heart's newest products!

The New Idea Book is absolutely gorgeous; that's no surprise!  It's chalk full of new product - stamp sets, paper packets, embellishments, and more - PLUS the beautiful artwork throughout is definitely reproducable! If you would like a copy of the Idea Book, please contact me.  It's just $5 or FREE with a $30 minimum purchase.  Keep watching my blog as I showcase some of these awesome new products!

One of my favorite new products contained in the Idea Boolk is the February Stamp of the Month!  I absolutely adore it!  It is called "Thoughtful Tidings" and has some wonderful sentiments and icons for any time of the year.  Each is perfect for sharing your sentiments towards friends and loved ones.  Of course, the red outline on some of the images can only mean...YES!  Those images are perfect for nesting inside of our exclusive Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge diecuts!  Gotta love when you can cut out those images without even touching scissors!

While I love purple, I had yet to create anything with the beautiful Sonoma paper packet (still available).  I decided to incorporate it with this stamp set, while creating a birthday card for my husband.  I decided to use the "We love you" image but being that it was only me providing the greeting, I needed to take out the "we" and replace it with love.  I inked up the image in Smokey Plum and then took a tissue to wipe off the ink on the "we" and replaced it with "I" from "The Works Alphabet". 
I am addicted to the 3-D Foam Tape that helps provide dimension and adhered it to both the square focal point and ticket. 

I was pleased with the results of this creation and my husband loved it!

Three of my dearest Consultant friends have shared their Stamp of the Month artwork with me to in turn share with you.  It is always nice to see artwork created from different artistic perspectives.  Enjoy!

Created by Cherri Hardcastle - Visit her blog by clicking here

Created by Sheila Wilkerson - Visit her blog by clicking here

Created by Judy Faye Garner - Visit her blog by clicking here
Thanks for stopping by.  If you would like to know how you can get this exclusive stamp set, only avaialable in February, please contact me!  It's too good to pass up!