Tips & Techniques

A Couple Of Pointers!

Cricut Tip #1Cricut Bug
If you have the new White Mats (not the old green ones) you probably have noticed they are less sticky. To make them work you need to activate them with water. Then you can also rough it up with your scrapper (or side of a credit card). You can re-fresh the stickiness by washing it a little with our cleaner. Provocraft plans to stop making the old green ones as people complained they were too sticky. So if you see them in the store, snatch a few up. Amazon does carry the mats and tools.

Cricut Tip #2
You can use our Memories Bonding Glue (The Blue Glue) to make your mat sticky again. Simply apply the glue when it is blue all over the mat and allow to dry clear and then your mat is ready to go again!  

Cricut Tip #3
ALWAYS turn your machine off first before switching to a new cartridge. It can cause malfunctions if you take out a cartridge while the machine is still on. Also, If you use your cricut to cut nonstop, it can overheat and malfunction or shut down. Like any piece of electronic equipment it needs time to cool down occasionally, so if it feels hot let it have a rest occasionally it will last longer and perform better.

Cricut Tip #4
Do not leave your paper on the cutting mat for a long period of time as the adhesive will glue the paper to it and you will need to rip the paper off then clean the mat. You may need to re-apply adhesive if your mat gets old, dirty, or just too many paper fuzzies.

Cricut Tip #5
Want to save paper when using your cricut? Check out the new Cricut Craft Room. It is free to use and you can resize your cuts to any size and dimension making borders an ease to cut at 12" now. Also you can rotate images and move them on the mat which will minimize the scrap you are left with ultimately maximizing your savings :) The program allows you to cut from your computer to your cricut. You can also use the online site to design and save to cut later. If you have questions on how to use the craft room I am happy to answer them.

Cricut Tip #6
So I have been using my Art Philosophy Cartridge a lot! I found that if you are using the craft room to design in (a free program you download from that you can change 1 of the dimensions instead of changing the whole size proportionately. What this allows you to do is create oblong shapes for example. So I used heart shape 1 and change the height so it was longer and I was able to use this shape with a stamp I already had but was not typically a cricut coordinate stamp set. I hope this is making sense. Another thing I was able to do was create a postage stamp mat by making the width and height perfect for a 5 x 7 photo instead of the standard proportions on the cartridge.

Cricut Tip #7
If you are having problems with your cricut try updating the filmware by syncing your machine:

Cricut Tip from Becky Purvis
Please be aware for anyone who uses the Sure Cuts A Lot with their NOT update your firmware or you can't use that program again.... I would cry if that happened to me. I have so much "free stuff" (thousands) invested to be able to use it with my Cricut.

Cricut Tip #8
You can make beautiful gifts for Christmas like a flower wreath or a paper wedding cake. Create all kinds of stocking stuffers and little gift boxes. There are eight 3D box shapes and six rolled flowers on the cartridge to help you create these items. Don't know where to start? Email me and we'll walk through the project together! When creating 3D objects you'll want to get some strong adhesives. If you don't own a glue gun try using liquid glass and glue dots to assemble these projects.

Cricut Tip #9 
To see the list of current stamps that Close to My Heart offers that coordinate with the Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge, click here. This list is compliments of Noreen Petty.

Cricut Tip #10
When you need to cut an image larger than the machine lets you try the "fit to page" option and it works perfectly! You can also trick your cricut into cutting a larger image by choosing the 12x24 mat selection. You can just use your regular 12x12 mat, it just extends the cutting "area" to accommodate a larger cut, but will stay within the 12x12 paper space. Just make sure your paper is lined up correctly on the mat.

Cricut Tip #11 
From Consultant Sandy Trammell: How to “condition” the old green mats when they are new. When you pull off the plastic cover sheet for the first time, pat your hands all over the mat several times until the super sticky is reduced to normal. If you do this, you will not have to peel stuck paper off the mat ever.

Cricut Tip #12 
Another tip from Consultant Sandy Trammell: I’ve learned is that there is a right and wrong side to the plastic cover and you mat will stay sticky longer if you put the rougher side on the tacky glue every time you use it.  You can be consistent by writing your name on top of the cover sheet when new and if your name is correct and at the top, you have the cover sheet on correctly.

Cricut Tip #13
How to Re-Set Manually Expression 1: A Tip from Barbara Osbourn
1) First, turn your machine ON with no cartridge loaded. Then roll the SPEED and PRESSURE dials (on the left) and the SIZE dial (on the right) to their lowest settings.
2) Then grasp the blade assembly and use it to pull the entire carriage car unit along its track to the left side of the machine. Back in the cave where the carriage car usually sits there is a red button. Press that button and hold it down for about three seconds. Let go and then move the carriage car back into place.
3) This next step will sound a bit odd, but many times it can fix your Cricut.  Roll all your dials all the way up and all the way down three times—three times for each dial.
4) Then press the CUT button and turn the machine OFF.  Next, load a cartridge, turn it on, and try a practice cut.

Scrapbooking Tip: Alcohol Markers

Collection of tips from Consultants Julie Reynolds, Lynn Como, Linda Taylor, Christine Adams, Jes Ballas and Barb Carico

We have new alcohol markers! Here are some great tips:
With the retirement of our current markers, we knew that something was on the horizon and now we know what's in store for us! We have a brand new collection of alcohol markers that are sold in pairs, one base and one shade-for each of our 40 colors. These markers are not considered to be a Copic competitor, have rigid (not soft) tips, no special paper is needed, and can be blended to create a huge variation of colors. Features include streak free with flat finish plus the ideas shared in below photo.
TIPS shared by Teachers @ Convention: Stamp an image using Black Staz On or archival ink. LET DRY to prevent bleeding. Place blotter or scrap paper underneath your stamped image before coloring in (may bleed through paper slightly). Do NOT color directly on the acrylix stamps, it will just color the stamp & not transfer onto the CS. You can color the marker on plastic and can pick it up with a blending pen to color with. The markers are just like our old markers except alcohol based - which means they are ideal and really designed for blending, not just to be used alone to color in. There are two colors in each set - one is the true color (for example Cotton Candy) the other is either a lighter or darker shade to help fill in the full color spectrum. The alcohol blending pen is really an alcohol marker without color and acts more like an eraser than a blender. Use it to add highlights or soften the color on your artwork.
They are NOT a Copic competitor. They are completely different, have different tips made of different material and do not require special paper.
Our current ink organizer is perfect to store them in.

The Alcohol blending marker will blend the colors, as well as lighten by lifting off color (erasing).

Technique: Paper Piecing

To create this super cute card (and 3 more just like it),
all you'll need is some paper and a stamp set.

Distress all your papers.

Start off by stamping the umbrella several times using different paper colors. I used the Dotty For You Paper Pack.

Then trim each umbrella and cut them apart on the dividing sections.

Lay a strip of 3D foam tape down

Then lay each piece of the umbrella down in order but changing out the color paper.

Finish the last of the colors - this is called paper piecing.

Do the chair in a similar fashion.

Last I added some of the bitty sparkles.

Using up all the umbrella pieces will give you 4 cards total. I had 5 here for my team swap.

Check out the other team member's Paper Piecing Cards from last month!


Scrapbooking Tip: Using the My Creations® Bookmark Album

I have received a few queries regarding the use and design of the new My Creations® bookmark album. This product is designed to have its chipboard pages covered in photos and/or cardstock-weight papers and comfortably close with the magnetic closure and rings. It was not designed to accommodate bulkier embellishments like metals, buttons, or ribbons, because of the design of the snug front flap. Please be aware of this and refer to the examples shown in the Spring/Summer Idea Book for usage ideas. If you have any problems, please let me know.

If you haven't got our Art Philosophy Cartridge yet, check it out here and see all 700 cuts for our exclusive cartridge and stamp collection!

Technique: Assembling Your Albums to Lay Flat

I love our faux-leather albums! I have several and almost all the colors. I recently made the switch from decorated albums that K&Company made to these for several reasons. One is the durability. In a fire they wouldn't burn on the outside. I have hear too many horror stories of people losing everything to fires. Two, my children tend to pick things off of albums ruining the custom look. Three, they don't age. I was reminded a few post ago that just cause I think something is the bee's knees now doesn't mean I'll feel that way in a few years (See White Tiger Fur Album Post). These books are timeless.
That all being said I want to share with you a few tips on how to put it together and how to in sure your pages lay flat instead of fanning out. To start you'll want to make sure you order the following: 

Now to start you'll want to unscrew your album.

Add the extender posts. I like to use the 1" ones thus creating an album about 2" wide.

You'll then add a protector sheet on top of the cardboard strip provided. Then add a spine expander on top the protector. I listed some photos below so you can see the importance of this step.

When you have continued adding a protector then a spine expander alternating all the way to the top of the screws you'll want to add the cardboard strip last.

Then place the open front flap over and screw your album together.

Lastly you'll need to add the spine protector by sliding it into the grooves.

Here is the completed album before adding artwork.
Importance of adding spine expanders
I do not have an image of an album without spine expanders but you can see below that even a few make a huge difference in how the pages lay flat.
This album uses a spine expander every 3 pages. It still creates a bigger end on the left causing the album to fan out.
For this album I split the spine expanders in half instead of folding on the perforations. Then I placed them every other page. This creates a slight bending of the page on the right hand side.
Finally here is the proper way to get your album to lay flat. I've used a full folder spine expander between each protector.


Tip: Shrink It!

Here is a fun tip from consultant Jessica Ballas: "When I saw the big medallion in the March SOTM, I thought, "I gotta shrink that!". If you haven't played with some good, old fashioned Shrinky Dink...try it! Get RUFF & READY Shrinky Dink. It's already sanded which is awesome. You can stamp on the rough side w/ Archival Black or StazOn ink on the plastic side. Color with chalk or colored pencils on the rough side. For jewelry, punch your hole BEFORE you heat it! I heat it in a pie tin w/ my heating tool (craft heater). Hold it down w/ a piercing tool cuz it'll wriggle a lot. When it's done shrinking ( and still hot), quickly smash it flat w/ a block."

Technique: Black Magic

Image and instructions compliments of Heather Snow
1. Stamp your image on black cardstock (or any dark color) with the white daisy pigment ink and let it dry completely.
2. Optional use the heat gun to speed up the drying process.
3. Color the stamped image with colored pencils as desired. You have to press kind of hard and keep going over it to get deep color. Add some highlights on the outside of the stamped image with a white pen if desired.


Technique: Baker's Twine

This affordable embellishment can be used to create a lot of different looks. My team this month used it to design several different type of cards. You can view the entire slideshow. To re-create the look of the peppermint simply follow these instructions below. (Card inspired by Julie Day).
First you'll need to cut your paper. I used Smoothie cardstock at 5 1/4 x 4 and Kraft Paper at 5 x 3 3/4 on a Daisy White card base 5 1/2 x 4 1/4.
Next adhere the layers so they center in the middle. I love to use our Memories Bonding Glue for this.
Next I used our ruler and marker to create some faux stitching.
You'll want to stamp your sentiment in a dark color to show up on the Kraft Paper well.
Then add a bunch of Glue Dots to your card and start by swirling the bakers twine around and round.
Continue to add dots as needed and make your lollipop larger. I used about 72" of baker's twine.
When you have the size lollipop you want add a lollipop stick to the bottom. I found these at Michael Craft Store and cut them in half. I used the Mini Glue Dots to attach.
Last thing is to add a little bow. I simply tied a quick know and trimmed. Here are all the cards made by the team.


Techniques: Sparkles  
My team does a technique swap every month and this month was anything that was glittery or shinny. This is the project I created:

This cute card is easy to make. You'll need some Believe Paper, Red Ribbon, the 2" Scallop Punch, the Corner Rounder, Bitty Sparkles, and Craft Sticks.

Start by punching out a scallop.

Then cut your Believe Paper to 5 1/2 x 4. Cut a second White Daisy Cardstock piece the same. Score them in the middle and fold. Use the corner of the scallop punch to take a "bite" out of the corner of the Believe paper. Then glue the white inside the card.

Now you can see the white cardstock. Use the corner rounder to round the other 3 corners. Use the scallop punch to "bite" the white but make sure it is 1/4" from the Believe paper.

Last you'll need to stamp your sentiment and add bitty sparkles. A great way to add them is to use your piercing tool to pick them up and place them.

See my entire Team's cards here: January 2012 Technique Swap Slideshow
Want to join my team and this technique swap? Contact me today!

Technique: Liquid Applique
My team does a technique swap every month and this month was liquid applique. So start by applying the liquid applique (only $3.95 - Buy Now). You can choose to heat it immediately or wait until it is dry. If you wait the fluffy part stays fluffier where if you heat immediately it decreases a little. For my purposes I heated immediately.
You can start to see as you heat it the liquid applique starts to popcorn out. Keep heating until all the ivory color has turned white and popped out.
For my project I painted a thin layer of the liquid applique across the bottom portion on a card. I stamped green pines above it.
Then I heated the entire surface. It creates a rubbery feel and slightly 3D. I left the lines from the brush in the streaks so when it puffs up these areas are not 3D creating texture on the card. Next I added a thick line at the base of the trees. Using my brush I spread it ever so slightly. Creating more of a stucco appearance.

I added some "snow" to the tree edges as well on various trees. Lastly I heated it.
To complete the card I matted it on a New England Ivy Card Base.
Here is a link to all the cards my team did. Enjoy :) Liquid Applique Slide Show

Scrapbooking Tip:
So when you get down to the last piece of foam tape don't just throw it away because it is only sticky on one side, you can either add adhesive to the side with the paper covering or save it for your Stickease projects like I do.

I remove a small piece of tape and attach the paper side to the stickease and leave the covering on the other side of the foam tape.

I then apply baby powder to the rest of the stickease to remove the adhesive.

Shake off excess. Finally I remove the cover from the 3D foam tape and apply to my project. This allows me to use up the last bit of foam tape while also popping up my stickease for a more dimensional look.

Technique: Spray Pen 
  • For this month's team technique swap we had to use the spray pen. I used a total of 4 re-inker colors so I used 4 spray pens to make it easier. Hey they are cheap, so why not :)
  • To obtain the image above I first stamped my images in versamark ink and then embossed clear on them. (The same technique of ghosting we learned last month).
  • Next I sprayed my paper with 4 colors starting in this order: Desert Sand, Heavenly Blue, Sweet Leaf, Holiday Red.
  • Next I placed a piece of compute paper over the image and set a hot iron. This lifted the embossing away from the project leaving a "ghosting" effect.
  • I sprayed my Flutters butterfly the same way and attached with 3D foam tape.
  • I toped the card off with 3 clear sparkles.
4 x 8 Dreamin' B&T
3 1/2 x 3 1/2 Goldrush C.S.
3 x 3 Col White C.S.
1 Flutter
3 Sparkles

Tip: Cleaning & Organizing
Do your scissors get gunked up after cutting your 3D foam tape? To avoid this cut the tape with the upper most part of the blade as opposed to the tip and close the scissor completely when cutting. Soaking the blade in our cleaner will help cut the adhesive so you can scrub off with a towel. Using a thick towel helps prevent you from being stabbed or cut by the blade when cleaning :)
sponge dauber case
Need to organize your daubers? Never feel you have enough? You can group like colors together and label your sponge daubers. You can find a case to hold up to 40 here.

Techniques: Distressing, Borders, and Shadow Boxes

Complements of my Downline Tabbi Fritz. She used a variety of techniques in this layout. Below are descriptions of each.

Stippling: Stippling is an art technique to make a lot of tiny dots to create an image. In this case instead of making an image, she stippled the sweet leaf (green) card stock on the left page using chocolate ink. Using the CTMH stippling tool this created a distressed look. To do this you simply apply your stippling tool to your ink pad and then pat it all over your cardstock till you have the desired amount of stippling. The more you do the darker the stippling will become.

Scallop edges: The scalloped edges can be seen on the Right page on the strip of red cardstock. To do this simply take the safety cover over your corner rounder and slide the strip of paper through it, making sure to line up the edges of each curve each time you punch. Easiest way to make sure you are getting the desired effect when first trying this is get a scrap piece of paper and practice first. Have your corner rounder facing you so you can see where it is cutting (so you are looking at the bottom of the rounder, and able to see the paper go through it). This will ensure that you don't leave gaps between the scallops.

Shadow Box: The shadow box with sand in it can also be found on the right page of this layout. For this she took a piece of cardstock and cut it to my desired size. Then lined it's edges with 3D foam tape. Next take another peice of cardstock cut to the same size as the first. Measure and cut out a window hole in this piece of cardstock. You will now measure and cut out of a Flip Flap the same size as the card stock and glue dot it to the back of the cardstock with the window cut out. Now you can put your sand or any piece of nature in the cardstock box that has the 3D- foam tape. Place the windowed cardstock on top of the 3D- foam tape, and you are finished! Be careful of the amount of stuff you put in to this box and thickness, if it is bigger than the 3D foam tape it will make placing the second piece of cardstock harder, and it may not want to stick to the tape due to the item pushing against it.

Tip: Cleaningcleaner
When using StazOn Ink with clear stamps be sure to use the StazOn cleaner. This specific cleaner is designed to remove the color from solvent based inks and will en sure your clear stamps stay clear. Best if used immediately after stamping. I like to then also clean the stamp with our cleaner to remove the StazOn cleaner which has an oily residue.

When your double scrubber starts to get dirty (especially after using a lot of dark inks) simply remove the pads and rinse under water until it runs clear. Then return the pads and allow to dry.

Technique: Using Clear Cards

Clear CardsWhen using clear cards or arcylic chipboard the first thing you need to do is remove the clear plastic protector. I find the easiest way to do this is to use your piercing tool or tweezers to catch the plastic and then pull up. The protector sheet is on BOTH sides.

stazonWhen inking the edges you want to use stazon ink so it doesn't smudge off.  Then allow the card to dry for a few minutes. I use this time to distress all my other papers. You can use any ink to distress the paper.

layeringThe trick to creating amazing clear cards is all in the layering. From the outside of the card you want it to appear as though the design is all on the front but the surprise is when you open it you see that it is actually layered. For this simple card I had only two layers but using both sides of the card you could have as many as four. I placed my largest layer on bottom and the smallest layer on the front.

adhesiveWhen adhering your paper you want to be careful about covering or minimizing your adhesive. If you plan to cover the back or have multiple layers then you can use several different adhesives. However in my case the back of the paper was visible through the card so I wanted to minimize the sight.

Finished Clear CardThe best thing to use is the mini dots and apply to only the corners and possibly one in the middle of the sheet. When applying dots, you'll want to press the dot up to the paper directly and then peel away the paper with the dot on it. This prevents the dot from stretching or getting stuck to your finger.

For this card I just had to add my giant flower and stamped image. I finished it off with some bitty sparkles.

Dry Embossing on Vellum 

Tip: One tip for making your dry-embossing easier: Rub wax paper over the paper that you're embossing before you start. The stylus will move easier.

Technique: Dry Embossing on Vellum

Dry Embossing can be accomplished by using a stylus or other tool to create a raised or depressed design in paper, card stock, crafting metal, or other surface. I like to stamp an image on one side of my paper first and then using a softer working mat like a Versamat I go over the image with a stylus.

When dry embossing on vellum the area you trace turns white creating a very nice raised border than really distinguishes itself. Bu adding color on the back side you can create a stained-glass look to your artwork. This butterfly I made and added to a monthly swap card. So simple!

Creating Dimension

You can always add dimension to any of your projects by inking the edges of your cardstock. But did you also know that inking the edges of your stamps and flowers can also add great depth to any project. In this example I inked the edges of my paper and the Just Blooms Paper Flower

In addition, I also used the waterbrush to color in the stamp. I then used the blending pen to get a more concentrated color around the edges and to put a shadow on one side of the pots to give the look of the sun coming from one direction. This is a great way to give the illusion of depth to your images! Complete your project by using the 3-D Foam Tape and you have yourself a image that will literally POP off the page! Try it today, I know you'll love it!

Rubber Brayer

Brayering is a technique where you use a rubber snap - in roller to apply color, usually for backgrounds. You can use inkpads or markers to color your brayer. Using an inkpad, roll your brayer to thoroughly cover it with color. Roll the brayer over paper.

1. Brayers & Markers: You can use markers on the brayers to create fantastic backgrounds. Using a marker, apply ink directly onto the brayer. You can draw stripes, dots, zig-zags, or whatever you’re in the mood for. Repeat the design using different color markers. When you are done creating the design on the brayer, roll the brayer onto paper. The design will transfer to the paper.
2. Brayering a Rainbow Background: Ink up with the rubber snap-in-brayer on a Kaleidacolor rainbow pad. Roll the brayer onto glossy cardstock for best results. Roll back & forth for complete coverage. This will be the basis for other techniques found on this list.
3. Repeating An Image - Reverse Image: For a background, ink up a stamp such as a cloud, tree, or flower. Roll your brayer over the stamp 2-3 times before reinking. Repeat this process to ink up your brayer. Roll over cardstock for a subtle background. This is great for landscapes and florals.
Materials: Passages Level 2 Paper, Colonial White Ricrac Ribbon, 3 Colonial White Brads, Colonial White Cardstock
4. Brayer A Honeycomb Background: Ink up your rubber brayer in Honey ink & roll over a piece of bubble wrap.

Father's Day Card

Tools Needed: Edge Distresser, Sponge (or daubers), Olive Ink, Brown Bag Ink, Cocoa Ink, June Stamp of the Month, 3D Foam Tape, Piercing tool kit
Cutting Dimensions: 8 ½” x 5 ½” Colonial White Card Base

1” x 1 ¾” Colonial White Cardstock (Accent 1)
6” 1 ¼” Colonial White Cardstock (Accent 2)
4 ¼” x 3” B&T Pattern Paper – Smokey Cocoa
4 ¼” x ¾” B&T Pattern Paper – Stripes
4 ¼” x 1 ¾” B&T Pattern Paper – Checkers
4 ¼” Ribbon

Instructions: Score Card Base at 4 ¼” to create a 4 ¼” x 5 ½” card. Stamp the words “dad” using Olive ink on Accent 1. Distress the edges around Accent 1 and ink edges with cocoa. Stamp the “tie” using Brown Bag ink on Accent 2. Cut out Tie and ink edges with cocoa. Glue each B&T paper down according to picture. Distress the top, side, and bottom edge or card using edge distresser. Attach Ribbon. Using the 3D foam tape, attach Accent 1 and Accent 2. Using the piercing tool kit, attach 3 brads to the upper right corner. Stamp the “hero” stamp on the inside of the card.

Faux Bleaching

This technique adds a great vintage look (compliments of Shirley Ross).
First stamp the image on project with Versamark ink, add embossing powder to ink while still wet and heat and melt embossing powder using your craft heater.

Distress with ink and sponge and add other stamped images.

Use a paper sack or cardstock and an iron - place paper sack or cardstock over embossed image and heat with iron until embossing powder melts to paper sack or cardstock


All credit for these flowers are from Executive Director, Debbi Fournier of LaVerne, California. Artwork completed by Jennifer Rubio.

First, cut out some B&T paper to make FOUR 2-inch scalloped circles. You will fold your punched circle in half, and then in half again so it looks like the one labeled step #3.
Then you will fold it in half one more time (because it will be so thick by now, it is easiest to just fold one flap forward and one flap the other way). Use your bone folder to crease your folds well, then open it up all the way and cut it in half on the first folded crease-line you made (as shown in step #5).
Next you will re-fold each half of the punched and creased circle pieces accordion-style. Because you have made 4 scalloped circles cut in half, you should end up with 8 fan-folded pieces. You will also want to punch a cardstock circle using our 1.25" circle punch to use as the base to add your flower petals to. Fold the circle in half twice to create creases and help you find the exact center of the flower.

Next, cover your base cardstock circle with Tombow and begin adding the folded flower petals. Make sure that the top flap of the fan-folded part opens up facing the same direction as you are adding them all the way around.
Then insert a colonial white designer brad or button in the center of your flower. Finally, sponge the petals with a sponge dauber and chocolate ink and added a self-adhesive red Sparkle to the center of the brad.

Flower 2

How to create a beautiful card that's simple and elegant. Start with a scrap of paper 3" x 4" and punch 6 circles using our circle punch. You'll also need a 1.5" x 1.5" scrap to attach your flower petals too.

Fold each circle into a triangle. Use the bone folder to create a crisp seem. Next unfold one flap on each triangle. Then position the petals next to one another with the open flap facing out. Glue onto scrap paper.

Line the outside of each petal with liquid glass and then sprinkle with prisma glitter. Remove excess glitter and set aside to dry. Meanwhile assemble card using 8.5" x 5.5" colonial white card stock folded in half. Attach 4.25" x .5" scrap of B&T paper along bottom of card. Using Cocoa cardstock attach a 2.5" x 3" piece to the middle.

Once your flower has dried attach to upper left hand corner of card. Stamp sentiment and you're finished!

Flowers 3

Create Flowers using the new Scallop Punch!

This card and flower was created by Consultant Nancy Ball from Canada. She used Sweetheart paper and April's SOTM, Blessed. Each flower is made up of 4 punched shapes and stuck to a circle on the underside. She stamped in Tulip on the Cotton Candy cardstock and also used Boutique Borders on the Black cardstock.

Here are Nancy's instructions:
You need 4 scallops or circles.
1. Punch 4 scallop or plain circles for each flower
2. Punch 1 circle for the base
3. Fold the scallops or circles in half
4. Open the circle and fold in half the other way (you will have an "X" fold mark
5. Gently push in two sides, without folding and pinch point at bottom.
6. Each has Glitz added in the center.
Great idea for Valentine Cards.

Flower 4

Make a Rose.This Technique and Flower compliments of consultant Shirley Ross

1. Start with 5 squares of Background & Texture (B&T) paper. The rose shown is a 3" x 3" square.

2. Next fold in half

3. DO NOT unfold - fold in half again

4. DO NOT unfold - place the small square on your work surface with the single fold to the right and the double fold at the bottom. This will place the unfolded sides on the top and the right. Take the bottom right hand corner and fold it towards the top left hand corner, creating a triangle.

5. Now you are ready to cut - this cut does not have to be perfect. You are going to cut a half circle starting from the back straight edge and curving upward to the left pointed side. Your piece will have the look of an ice cream cone.

6. Open and you should have a flower.

7. Repeat this step for all 5 squares

8. You will begin to make your flower sections - cut one petal out of the first flower.

9. Continue cutting petal sections, increasing by one each time.

10. You will have 7 cut sections and one full flower. We will begin to create our flower.

11. Be sure you use the same pattern side for each of the next steps. Starting with the largest cut flower create a cone by putting adhesive on the back of the petal next to the missing petal and bringing the petal across the missing petals until you get to the smallest two sections. Place a little adhesive on one side and roll the 2 smallest pieces for the center of the flower.

12. Using your piercing tool, roll each petal edge to the back. creating the look of a flower petal.

13. Staring with the full flower, nest each section inside the other, use liquid glass to adhere these sections as you go. Let dry. Once dry you can squeeze, roll, and adjust until your petals look just the way you want. You may also spritz with water and Create-a-Shade paint using the misting pen.

Circle Flowers

Create easy flowers using the circle punch for leaves and scallop punch for flower. For the leaves, take a sqaure 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 and fold in half. Place under the circle punch so the paper just passes the small imprinted circles on the bottom clear flap. Punch and remove. Ink crease and add to card. Here are some examples. Technique compliments of Janene Wawro.

Stamping with Chalk

Using chalks in your scrapbooks can open up a lot of possibilities. It adheres great to porous paper, such as vellum; it can help achieve an aged antique look; as well as brightening/darkening a stamped image or paper by shading it in spots or along the border. Here is just one technique you can use.

You will need CTMH's soft scrap booking chalk, chalk applicators, versamark ink, and a chalk eraser. The ink below was used to show the difference in the ink stamped image vs the chalked one. First ink your stamp using the versamark ink pad. Next stamp the image on your paper. You should barely be able to see where the image is.

Then using the chalk applicator apply chalk to the stamped area. The more chalk you apply the darker it will become. Doing this in spots will create shading of the image. It also can create chalk dust. To get rid of the unwanted chalk, you can easily remove it with the chalk eraser. The eraser can also be used to lighten up the image if you put on too much. The clean side of your applicator works well for removing excess chalk as well.

Notice the finished coffee stains. On the upper left is the ink stamped image, the bottom inked image was done with the rock n roll technique and the image on the right is the chalked coffee stain stamp.

Ways you can create your own distressed pattern paper:
Crumble or tear paper (optional: sponge ink to raised areas)
Drip or brush paint on paper and embellishments
Add ink to bring out the details of a dry-embossed design
Roll the paper to expose raw edges
Use the edge distresser or micro-tip scissors to fray edges
Sand over the paper and edges
Brush surface with stipple or stubble brushes, applying lightest colors first and then darker ones  
Dab the sponge or daubers on an ink pad, then dab on the page for random color.

Dry Embossing

Ink Pads of your choice
Stamp Set of your choice - Stamp set showcased You're Great (D1434)
Cardstock of your choice
Block, spritzer, scrubber
sanding block
stylus or dull pencil

1. Stamp Image on Back of Cardstock
2. Using stylus, outline image pressing firmly but not hard enough to tear your cardstock
3. Turn cardstock over and sand - your image should begin to show.
4. Complete your project. This project is an altered binder clip photo frame.

Thank you to Consultant Shirley Ross for this idea, instructions, and artwork!!

Rock And Roll

Rolling is a stamp technique using two colors of ink resulting in creating a two color stamped image.


* 2 Ink pad colors of your choice (I used Cotton Candy and Chocolate)
* Colonial White Cardstock
* A Love (A1105) and Card Chatter - Thank You (C1381)
* Double Scrubber (Z1163)
* Spritzer (1778)
* Paper towel or tissue

1. NOTE -- CLEAN STAMP IMAGE AFTER EACH STAMPING == Ink stamp image in lighter color first - I am inking in Cotton friday
2. Now, roll the edges of the stamp image in the second ink color. Roll several times and around as far as you desire. Before stampingfun friday image, clean block with tissue or paper towel.
3. Huff the image (breathe on the stamp image using the moist heat of your breath to reactivate the ink.)
4. Stamp image on paper.

Thank you to Consultant Shirley Ross for this idea, instructions, and artwork!!

Make your Own Pattern Paper

Do you miss the Bella paper packet? Let me show you how to create your own version of Bella pattern paper. The stamp set we will showcase this week, Endless Friendship (D1354).


Colonial White Cardstock 12" x12" sheet (1388)
Olive Cardstock 5 1/2" x 3 1/2" (1245)
Petal Cardstock 5 1/4" x 3 1/4" (X5667)
Olive Ink Pad (Z2137)
Petal Ink Pad (Z2161)
Versamark Ink pad (Z891)
Olive Embossing Powder (Z655)
Craft Tray (1764)
Craft Heater (Z555)
Sponge (Z697)
Foam Tool (Z1090)
Embroidery Thread (Z1094)
3-D Foam Tape (D1151)
Glue Dots (1772)
Scrubber (Z1163)
Spritzer (1778)

Cut one 6" x 12" piece of Colonial White cardstock. Rub the cardstock with paper towel to remove as much oils and static before adding embossing powder. Ink the border leaves and flourishes stamp image using the Versamark ink pad and stamp the bottom of the front of your card base.

Pour the embossing powder over the stamped image and shake off excess into the craft tray. Thump the back of the card base to ensure all excess embossing powder has been removed. Heat the embossing powder with the craft heater, you may want to heat from the back remembering to move the heater around to ensure you do not burn the paper. Move to the front of the card and continue to heat the embossing powder until it melts (should be shiny).

Tear a piece of scrap paper (regular copy paper) to use as a faux torn look. Place this template about 2 inches from the bottom edge of the front of the card base. Sponge the petal ink onto the card base moving the sponge from the torn piece towards the bottom.

With the Olive Ink, sponge with the foam tool, the bottom section of the card base front.

Stamp your sentiment on a 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece of Colonial White cardstock.

Mat this sentiment piece on the Petal cardstock and mat that peice on the Olive cardstock.

On a piece of scrap Colonial White, stamp one of the flower images and cut out and thread the button with embroidery thread and add to the center of the stamped flower using a glue dot.

Thank you to Consultant Shirley Ross for this idea, instructions, and artwork!!

Spray Pen & Shimmer


* Spray pen (Included in Wings WOTG)
* Create-a-Shade Pearl Paint (Z1039)
* Reinker of your choice (Petal shown below)
* Cardstock, Dimensional Element shapes (chipboard), paper flowers
* Paint Brush and paint tray
* Prisma Glitter (Z134)

Inspired by the stamp set True Happiness (D1365), this fun technique and a cute shimmery layout is compliments of Independent Consultant, Shirley Ross. Thank You for your beautiful artwork and instructions!

1. Add one dollop of Pearl Paint to the first line, add drops of reinker to the 2-3 line of pen depending on richness of color desired, add water (or rubbing alcohol) to fill the remainder of spray pen. Put top on tight and shake to mix well. You now have your own shimmer mist.

2. Pour a small amount of Prisma Glitter in baggie, put aside for later use.

3. NOTE - Shimmer mist will spray like spray paint so you may want to use in a spray box (cardboard box set on it's side so you can spray inside and keep mist from glimmering your craft table and everything else) Place Dimensional Element shapes on cardstock and gently spray with shimmer mist. Set aside to dry.

4. Place flowers on scratch paper and mist with shimmer mist spray several flowers.

5. Squeeze a small amount of Pearl Paint on your paint tray or paper plate. Paint several flowers using a small paint brush. NOTE - wash paint brush right away so paint will not dry on bristles when finished with this step and next.

6. Paint several Dimensional Elements shapes and one or two flowers with Pearl Paint and drop into Prisma Glitter baggie. Close baggie and gently shake. Carefully remove and set aside to dry.

Designer Brads

Create your own Designer Brads:
Compliments of Consultant Tabbi Fritz


Liquid Glass
Sponge Dauber
Ink (Reinker is more consistant, but an inkpad will work)
Brads (The Bigger Brads work better).


1) Using the sponge dauber, apply desired color to brad. The ink will bead up on the brad but just keep adding ink till you have a light consistent color of ink (partially beaded) over the top.

2) Next you will want to carefully spread liquid glass over the top of the brad

3) Make sure not to queeze too hard or it will cover the brad too quickly. As the glass slowly pours on to the brad use the tip of the liquid glass container to swirl it around to make designs.

4) Finally, let it dry. To give it a more antique look, take your nail or a hard object and press against the dried liquid glass to give it a broken look.

This same type of technique can be used to apply fluff for fuzzy brads, and glitter!
Store your liguid glass upside down in an empty ribbon rounds container to allow the air bubbles to raise to the top

Kraft Borders

First choose a kraft border to use to create the flower. The ones with a rounded edge on one side and a flat edge on the other, work the best. Use the round segments as a guide for folding.

Fold where the rounded edges meet, going all the way down the border. Then wrap around to create a circle (like an accordion fan).

Once you have it positioned the way you would like, put a glue dot on one end of the border to adhere the two ends together.

This will keep the flower in shape temporarily. When you are ready to attach it to a layout or card apply liquid glass to create a more permanent bond.

This technique and finished product is compliments of Consultant Tabbi Frtiz.

Flip Flaps

Have you ever found that you have more pictures than space on your layout? Flip flaps are an easy way to fix this problem. They have an adhesive side, which allows you to stick them to each other or other surfaces. So you can put a mini album of pictures on your layout. Careful when putting too many flip flaps in a stack because it can way your layout down. Instead try spreading out the flip flaps over several different photos or using the page size flip flaps to create whole layouts that open up.

These page flip flaps allow you to add another strip to your layout in a variation of sizes. You can put a piece of cardstock in this covered with photos, maps, tickets, paper, or you can treat it as a part of the layout and design it to match. Plus you can use both sides, thats twice the amount of pictures. These flip flaps also have an adhesive strip that makes it easy to adhere to your layout.

Tip: For the page flip flaps wait to adhere them to your layout until AFTER you put the layout in the page protector.

Spray Your Block Art

Using your Block to stamp is another fun technique. Thank you Teri Baxter for these great images:

Use bigger brads to secure the middle of ribbon or hemp when making faux bows. No tying needed!

Keeping it Simple

This technique was provided by my great upline Shirley Ross. Check out her blog from more ideas too! Thank You Shirley!

Ink pad of your choice (I used Sunset, Cocoa, Topiary)
Base and Shade Stamp Set (I used Hit the Spot C1406)

Take a 6x3 piece of cardstock, fold it in half to create a 3x3 card. Place a post-it note on the bottom right hand corner
Stamp using the shade image (base and shade stamps have a base stamp image and a coordinating outline or shade stamp image).

Stamp using the base stamp image following the same pattern as you did with the shade stamp image above. It is okay to go out of the lines a little
Next, I used the sponge with cocoa ink to add depth

Last, I removed the mask (post-it note), stamped a sentiment (Thank You (D1361), and I added some faux stitches. The stitches were not straight either, have you ever seen me sew.

Basic Principles
There are some basic design principles you'll find immensely helpful for Level 3 scrapbooking. Let's talk about six of them.
  • First is balance. Balance can be symmetrical—roughly the same on both sides—or asymmetrical. If you have large elements on one side of a page, you can balance them with other large elements or with strong, contrasting small elements. Keep in mind color balance as well. Your layouts will be more aesthetically pleasing if you use colors in varying proportions.
  • The second design principle is repetition. This is sometimes known as rhythm and can make your layout feel cohesive. Create repetition by repeating shapes, colors, textures, lines, or other elements of design. You might choose some curved lines in your photos and repeat them with scalloped edges, buttons, punched circles, or other similar lines. The key to successful repetition is variation within the theme.
  • Perhaps you've heard of the third design principle: movement. Many things can affect the way the eye moves across a page. A strong line, especially a diagonal one, will cause the viewer to follow it. A border around an element or page will keep the eye from leaving that element or page.
  • Contrast is an important design principle. Use contrast to reflect the energy of your story. Tone down the contrast for calm or peaceful stories; use strong contrast to amplify the excitement in a more energetic story. You can achieve contrast with color, size, texture, line, or any other element of design.
  • Another principle of design has to do with enhancing versus competing. Sometimes known as “dominance” or “emphasis,” this principle helps you focus the viewer’s attention on the most important elements in your layout. Remember that page embellishments should support your story, not overshadow it. You’ll also find it helpful to use the “rule of thirds.” In your mind, divide your scrapbook page into thirds horizontally and vertically. When you want to emphasize something, try placing it at the intersection of two of those lines.
  • The last design principle we'll talk about is unity. As you make decisions about how you’ll use balance, repetition, movement, contrast, and emphasis, keep in mind the story as a whole. Each principle should support your story rather than detract from it. The page should feel connected, harmonious, and complete.

Scrapbooking Tip: Fine-tuned Photo Organizing

Fine-tuned Photo Organizing: From Chaos to Creation in three Easy Steps By Denise Pauley

Most of us do much better in life when we're organized. And for scrapbookers, organization is especially important if we want to be creative and time-efficient. Most of us have forlornly faced a growing stack of unorganized photos or a bundle of envelopes packed with pictures waiting to be scrapped. Or we've endured frantic searches for that one perfect photo needed to finish a layout. In any case, adopting a method of photo organization that suits your style will ensure that you'll spend less time searching and more time scrapping.


Where to begin? Whether you've just rescued your photos from old, magnetic albums or have a towering stack waiting to be scrapped, start by deciding how you'd like to arrange your photos. Think of how you scrap and chose an organization method that will allow you to find subjects quickly. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Chronological. This method works best if you have a huge backlog of photos that may be on hold for a while. Go through your pictures and sort them into piles by year. Then re-sort each stack by month. While sorting, you may want to weed out any photos you're sure you won't use in layouts, i.e., blurry, poorly lit, or otherwise unusable. (You can store these in another container if you can't bear to part with them.) You can also discard photos that you'd like to give to friends or family members. While you are sorting and weeding use a photo-safe pen or pencil to jot dates, names, and other important facts onto the backs of your pictures. That way the information will be available when you're ready to scrap.
2. By Theme. Grouping by theme might be ideal if it's not important to you to scrap in date order. If you'd rather scrap specific subjects whenever the mood strikes, or if you think you might want to create themed albums later, you can sort photos into piles for specific holidays, vacations, sports, outings, friends, relatives, or child. The advantage to this system is that if you suddenly have the desire to scrap Christmas layouts, for example, you can compile all your photos quickly and complete pages for several years at once.
3. By Album. You can sort photos also according to the album in which they will appear. In my photo organizer, for example, I have sections for each child's album, the family album, a grandparents' album, and for smaller, themed projects. That way, when I get a layout idea for my daughter, for example, I know exactly where to look to find the pictures of her that I'll need.


Once you have your photos in order, keep them in a storage box with index cards or divider tabs separating your categories. Some scrappers use shoe boxes or photo boxes available at stationery or discount stores. But there are also other storage options designed with scrapbooking in mind. My favorite is Cropper Hopper 's Photo Case, which has room for more than 2,000 photos on one side and a 12"x12" storage panel on the other (where I keep memorabilia like ticket stubs and brochures that I plan to scrap). Highsmith also makes the Photo Chest designed to hold thousands of photos and a Photo Tote that can accommodate about 800 pictures. Crop-In-Style now offers a Photo Holder that accommodates around 250 pictures (a great way to store a smaller volume of photos by theme or album). Plastic crates (with hanging folders) also make good storage solutions. There are other storage units on the market as well. Research their capacity, features, durability, and price to find one that suits you best.


After you've organized your photos in a way that enables you to know what's where, you may wish to select, compile, and store specific groups of photos in preparation for individual layouts. This allows you to be effective, creative, and efficient with a minimum of hassles. Here are a few tried-and-true methods:

1. Post-it Notes®. This is the system that works wonders for me…when sorting photos. I immediately find the best ones from each event and group them according to layouts I plan to create. I use a Post-it Note® to keep each subject together, adhesive stuck to the back of one photo, then folded over to hold the rest. On the paper, I note what the subject of the layout will be, and include any other ideas such as potential titles and embellishments . I also add an asterisk if there is memorabilia that I have elsewhere and plan to use on the page. I store these small groups of photos in poly envelopes, one for each album in progress.
Note: Post-it Notes® come in several different sizes. The 2"x3", 3"x3", 2-3/4"x3" seem to work the best, allowing plenty of room to write notes.
2. page protectors . After removing the photos you don't plan to use, store the "keepers" in acid-free page protectors , one for each subject (for example, "Fourth of July 2000" or "Spring 2000 Disneyland Trip"). If you have any design notes, memorabilia, or ideas for journaling, drop them in as well. Then, if you need to shop for special cardstock, Patterned Paper or embellishments for that particular layout, take the page protector with you to match items with the photos—then store your purchases in the page protector, too. (A simple way to keep these together is using an inexpensive three-ring binder.) This system will work well if you attend a lot of crops. You can decide which layouts you plan to work on, grab the protectors containing all the page elements, and go!
3. Large Envelopes. You can use this system in practically the same way as you would page protectors . If you use paper envelopes, you can jot notes such as potential titles, embellishments , and journaling on the envelope itself.
4. Divided Organizers. Divided organizers, such as the small tote by Generations by Hazel or large coupon holders, are roomy enough to hold groups of 4"x6" photos. Simply write the layout topic on the divider tab and slip any notes or memorabilia into the pocket along with the photos.
5. Developer Envelopes. If you take several photos of the same event, you can keep your photos in the envelope they came in from the developer. To make finding them easier, write the activity and date on the outside of the envelope, along with any journaling notes. You can store these chronologically or by subject, if you desire.

Once you find a photo organization system that works best for you, keeping it up-to-date will allow you to find the photos you're looking for, quickly and easily, for any layout. Without the time-consuming task of searching for the right pictures, you'll find that your scrapping sessions are more productive and enjoyable, too!

Scrapbooking Tip: Creating Your 1st Layout

  1. Pictures - First, choose the photo(s) for your layout. You do not need to use every picture you take, only those that best represent the event or memory you wish to capture.
  2. Theme or Concept - Second, look at the pictures and see what theme or concept you want your layout to have. The theme can be anything and is essentially the subject of the page: Christmas, new baby, love, friendship, traditions, etc. Think about the story you want to tell (journaling) and a title for your layout.
  3. Color Scheme - Third, picking the right paper colors and patterns can seem daunting until you learn a few tricks. The easiest way to choose is to pull color inspiration right from your photos. Then check out the current papers we carry along with products that will work with that combination. In addition to choosing colors based on the colors in your photos, you might also choose your color scheme based on the theme (such as pastel blue for a baby boy page), or even mood (such as a whimsical and colorful pattern for a light-hearted laughter page).
  4. Embellishments - Next, embellishments like stickease, charms, brads, buttons and ribbons to name a few, can help unify the photos, paper and journaling. They can be simple or elaborate. Once again, look at your photos and concept for inspiration such as using fabric flowers that mimic a child’s dress in the focal photograph. Mini Medleys help to give you a variety without breaking the bank.
  5. Unity - The last step is to put it all together. If layout design is a challenge for you, you can work with a layout sketch or “floorplan” to help you decide where to place each element on your page. Our How-To Programs are PERFECT for this as they have already taken into account basic design principles such as focal point, repetition, balance and unity.

Scrapbooking Tip: Fine-tuned Photo Organizing

Most of us do much better in life when we're organized. And for scrapbookers, organization is especially important if we want to be creative and time-efficient. Most of us have forlornly faced a growing stack of unorganized photos or a bundle of envelopes packed with pictures waiting to be scrapped. Or we've endured frantic searches for that one perfect photo needed to finish a layout. In any case, adopting a method of photo organization that suits your style will ensure that you'll spend less time searching and more time scrapping.


Read Full Detailed Article on my Blog
Scrapbooking Tip:
Five Tips to Get Started Scrapbooking
from Stacy Julian, Co-Founder of
There’s no reason to be overwhelmed or intimidated when you start scrapbooking.  Just keep these simple tips in mind, and you’ll be happily on your way to preserving priceless memories.
  1. Make up your own definition of a “scrapbook.”
    A scrapbook doesn’t have to be ‘a work of art’ or take a lot of time to create to become something special for yourself or someone you love. Any time you pair a photo you love with words that bring that moment to life, you are scrapbooking.
  2. Forget the idea that you are going to do something with ALL the photos you take.
    This is not a healthy or realistic expectation and no one expects this from you. The easiest and most authentic approach to scrapbooking begins with a memory. Once you have a memory in mind, you can either take or find a photo that illustrates the memory.
  3. Start small.
    Bigger is not always better. Pick up a great “little” photo album or scrapbook that won’t require hours of creativity or a degree in design and use paper and paste to bring color and perspective to a fun birthday party or vacation.
  4. Focus on personality and relationships.
    The people we love are what matter most. Remember to take and print everyday pictures of people you love laughing, working, playing and interacting with others. These are the images you’ll treasure.
  5. Join the community of scrapbookers for support and inspiration.
    Go into any scrapbook store and you'll find friends and neighbors in workshops, searching aisles of papers and cardstock, and examining new pens, stickers and scissors. Scrapbooking is a very social thing, and even if you prefer to scrapbook alone, collaboration is essential to creativity (and fun!).
If you start scrapbooking with your best memories, some paper you love and a collection of basic tools, you can start with the assurance that you have what you need.