Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Autumn Table Decor - CTMH Olivia papers


The Close to My Heart Olivia Level 2 papers are perfect for fall decorations.

I made this table top decoration using coasters, my Bind-it-all, Modge Podge, some black acrylic paint, CTMH Ribbons and of course the Close to My Heart Olivia B&T Duos and Cardstock. I also sponged the edges of the letters with New England Ivy Exclusive inks to help them pop from the background. Look at the beautiful detail of the paper.

First, I painted the coasters black with an acrylic paint. Then, I used my Cricut to cut the Olivia B&T papers to fit with a 1/4" border. I also used my Cricut to cut the letters using the Georges and Basic Shapes Cartridge.

I applied the base B&T papers with the Modge Podge and then coated them with the Modge Podge to protect them from the environment. I applied the letters of "AUTUMN" using another coating of Modge Podge. I then applied a final coating of Modge Podge and let dry overnight.

Next, I punched with my Bind-it-all and used the 3/4" Antique Brass wire to bind them together.

Finally, I tied a variety of 1/4" CTMH ribbon (grosgrain and organza) on every other wire, alternating the variety of colors.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Harvest Home

It's hard to believe fall is half over. The seasons seem to be flying. Well, that's what the retailers would have us believe anyway. Still fall here. I love the multi-colored leaves in the trees here in Pennsylvania -- the burnt oranges, and deep reds decorate the horizon making such a beautiful display. It may be raining today, but the trees are still hanging on to their leaves so far. Now, that you're in the fall mood, here's today's card.

CTMH Bamboo CS: 8.5” x 5.5” (base) 1.5” x 3.5” sentiment
CTMH Colonial White CS: 2.5” x 2” image
CTMH Sunset CS: 2.75” x 2.25: backing for image
CTMH Olivia B&T duos: 1.75” x 5.5” & 3” x 5.5”
CTMH Harvest Home stamp set (C1419 – new fall 2010)
CTMH Exclusive Inks: Sunset (new fall 2010) & Cocoa
CTMH Exclusive Inks Markers: Sweet Leaf, Sorbet, Desert Sand, Brown Bag, Autumn Terracotta
CTMH Bitty Brads (3mm) Metal Collection: Antique Copper (Z1217)
Corner Rounder
Fiskars border punch Flowers

Visit a bountiful card for the complete directions.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Favorite CTMH Product - Challenge

I love to stamp!  It's something I picked up when my daughter was about 2-years-old and we were stamping with her little stampers making lots of images all over the pages for her to color.  We had fun that day and I learned something -- Stamping is FUN!  It wasn't just fun for her, but I had fun too.  We were both coloring in the images, she more than me, since that was the point of the activity, but towards the end of our "play" time I realized you can do so much more with stampers and I have been stamping since.  I stamp on cards and my scrapbooks, something I've been doing for so long I can't remember a day when I didn't decorate the pages with stamped images.

I started buying some "adult" stamps, you know the kind with the wood mounts.  You had to be careful or you would ruin the wood.  I would go to the local craft store (which back then wasn't so local, LOL), and browse through the selection of stamps.  I started stamping my Christmas cards and the hobby grew from there.

Years later my wood mount stamps collection had grown just a little, being cautious about what I selected, but also not finding a whole lot of choices I liked, when I came across D.O.T.S.

I was a girl scout leader and a fellow Girl Scout leader was doing a mother daughter event, that was a stamping event.  How perfect!  It reminded me of the day back when my daughter and I were stamping; the day that started me on the adventure in the first place.  Oh, boy was I hooked.  D.O.T.S. stands for Dozens of Terrific Stamps.  What a perfect name. The images were fantastic and the quality was super!  I learned how to clean my stamps that day.  My friend made a huge sale from me that day too as well a many others from me in the future.  Eventually, she stopped selling D.O.T.S. and I fell out of touch with the stamps because I didn't know how to get them.

Then, 5 years ago I was introduced to CTMH (Close to My Heart) when friend of mine said you have to come to my "party" it's scrapbooking stuff and I know how much you like to scrapbook.  I had never heard of CTMH, but wanted to help my friend out and I do love scrapbooking and papers.

I learned two things that day.  First, this was my official introduction to clear acrylic stamps.  I had seen them pop-up occasionally in stores, but stayed away from them.  I loved my wood mount stamps.  I could see the image, and often they had a colored-in image on top of the block giving me a little cheat sheet so to speak (LOL).  They also stored flat, so I could see them in drawers in my bookshelf.  I organized them into broad categories so I could find them fast.  That day the consultant tried to get me to buy the clear stamps and I was nope, I'm loyal to my wood mounts.  I'll buy all this other stuff from you, but you "can't make me" buy stamps...hahahaa,... well, not really, but she got the idea.

The second thing I learned that day was that I had once again found D.O.T.S.  Some of you know, but for those who do not -- D.O.T.S and CTMH are one in the same.  The founder Jeanette Lynton created DOTS in 1990, then in 1996 she created scrapbooking products, and by 2000 she combined them under one name: Close to My Heart.

Now, if you are wondering why would I pick the stamps as my favorite Close to My Heart item when I said I loved my wood mounts, that would be a good question.  The answer goes like this...

Eventually, I did give the clear stamps a try.  I was a very slow convert, but once I converted, I was hooked, and the more I stamped with them the more I was convinced this was the best thing that could have happened to the stamps.  Why?

1. The quality of CTMH stamps is still the best stamp I've ever used of any other stamp!
2. I LOVE that I can see exactly where I'm going to stamp my image. This feature is a must have for me. Unlike some stamp companies that still have solid images with their clear blocks you can see exactly where you are going to stamp an image.  I know exactly where my image is going to stamp without having an "oopsy" because it went somewhere I wasn't expecting.  I can see.  I don't just see the general area, I see everything it's Fantastic!  Also, for those occasional times when you don't make a good impression (not the stamps fault), you can see exactly where to restamp without having to waste paper making a new image.
3. Our stamps stick to our clear Acrylix blocks without any fear they will fall off while you are stamping. If I am stamping a tiny detail or a large image, they stick!  Not so with other clear stamps -- I've tried them, always good to know what's out there and ours our the BEST!  Yet they still come off easily when you want them to come off the block.
4. You can shape them (within reason of course).  I love that if I have an image with a slight curve I can then take words and "shape" them along the side so they look like they are part of the original image (following the image shape).  If I love an image and I'm trying to fit it into a tight space I can usually do that too.
5. I can make patterns by combining multiple images onto one block.  How cool is that!  It doesn't matter if I want a nature background, a birthday background or any other type, I can choose from my collection and create my own background.  I can even make backgrounds that match the patter paper I'm using with my project.
6. No worries about ruining a wood mount anymore.
7. It's easy to see what image you want to use and where to place it.  Just put the carrier sheet over the area you want to stamp and you can see if the image will fit with the style and fit within the size.
8.The stamps are easy to clean and easy to store, what more could you want from a stamp than all these qualities.

So....my favorite CTMH product is our clear My Acrylix Stamps!  Go ahead, try them, you'll be glad you did!

Tell me about your favorite CTMH product or how you used a CTMH product in a project.  Post your story in a comment below or post your story and pictures on your blog and make a comment below that connects me to your blog post link.  I will have a drawing for one Share the Magic Stamp set just for participating by November 30, 2010.

The winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be based on your posting order.

*stamp image is © CTMH


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