Friday, October 17, 2014

August 6 was my last post! As you can see, school started and everything else was put on hold! I am finally getting into a routine, not really, just trying to convince myself! I spent some time tonight playing around with the layout for this blog and ended up right back where I started. Someday I will change it up, but for now, I'm content with the way it is. I did, however, manage to figure out how to add photos on the side that will feature the Stamp of the Month each month. This month's stamp is adorable! I am inspired to get started on my Christmas cards now! With a purchase of $50.00 or more, this stamp set can be yours for only $5.00! You can click on the image and it will take you to my website where you can place your order on-line and the items will be sent directly to you. If you live close by, you can always send your order to me and I will add it onto my next hostesses order and both of you will benefit! I was so excited when my new cartridge arrived! I'll leave you with this image and I am heading to my craft room to play with my new toy! Happy Fall to all of you!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Studio J®: Perfect Placement

Day 5 of Studio J videos!  Learn about perfect placement for your embellishments, titles and journaling!  The best part about this is that if you don't like where you placed something, you can remove it without causing any damage to your paper!  Try it out!  Enjoy!



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Great special this month! Don't miss out! I love the Picture my Life packets and have been using the cards in the Picture my Life program, on regular 2-page layouts, on cards and even made a chapstick gift holder at our last crop! We have several new and amazing sets! Check them out! You can order your own set or sets using the "Shop with Me" icon to the right!

Studio J®: Photo Editing Tool

Day 4 of Studio J videos is a few days late!  Life gets busy!  I actually learned something new again today! I have never used the photo editing tools offered with Studio J.  I guess it's time to get in there and play around with it and see what I like!  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

My Acrylix® Spritz & Scrubber

I just found this and have to share!  This answers many questions about a lot of our tools offered from Close to my Heart.  There is a playlist button on the top left corner so you can go back and choose which video you want to watch again!  Click on Play All to view all 25 informative videos!  I even learned a few new things today!



Studio J®: Focus on the Photos

I got distracted yesterday in my craft room creating and also watching a new series on Netflix and forgot to post a new video for you!  Here is Day 3 of Studio J videos.  Focus on the Photos.  I often see very detailed, beautiful pages done and after being amazed by them, I realize that there is actually a picture somewhere in there!  We sometimes lose the focus which is really the photos that we are putting on the pages.  Sometimes I need to be reminded of that!  I hope by now you have at least taken the time to go into Studio J just to see what it is and how easy it is to get started.  Begin with the basics and you can't go wrong!  Enjoy!






Thursday, July 31, 2014



Well, I'm starting to like owls!  I know they are definitely "in" this year.  The card at the top was made using Skylark paper, the July Stamp of the Month, aqua dots and the Artbooking Cricut Cartridge.  The next card was made using the masking tape technique (behind the owl) with black, slate and autumn terracotta inks, the "What a Hoot" August stamp of the month (available beginning tomorrow!), black shimmer tape, 3-D tape (under the Jack-O'-Lantern), layered white and black papers, sunset ink (owl's mask, "What a Hoot" and swirls on the owl's stomach), and the new markers to color in the owl (BR96 Mahogany, BR116 Clay, and I used the Colorless Blender to lighten the Clay color on his stomach), watercolor pencil to color in the Jack-O'-Lantern and the sequins are from the black mini-medley accent collections.  I think I'm going to have fun with this stamp set and I'm learning to use the new markers...not bad!  Here's to a great month of new techniques, trainings and tools!

Studio J®: Personalize Your Layouts

Here's Day 2 of videos showing you more about Studio J!  Have fun!




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Studio J®: Step-by-Step Basics

I decided to spend some time on the consultant page of Close to my Heart today.  Looking at all of my options, I decided to explore the information about Studio J.  I love Studio J and most of the time I do not have access to the internet when we have gatherings so it is hard to share the steps of using this wonderful tool!  So, on the consultant page, I ran across several videos, which can also be found on YouTube and am going to share them on here.  I will post a new video (trying for daily) until I have posted all that are available.  Once you try Studio J, I believe you will fall in love with it too!  It is easy to use and reasonably priced.  The other great thing is that when you go to check out, you will be able to see if anyone is hosting a party around that time and if you click on their gathering, you will be helping them earn credit for free and discounted products!  You can simply click on the Studio J icon on the right side of this blog and get started!  In the video it mentions being a member.  We no longer have memberships...it is free to everyone!  Go on and start an account, upload some photos, play around with it and see what you think!  If you like what you see, you only pay for what you order.  Enjoy!








Sunday, July 6, 2014

Last month of the Spring/Summer Idea book so it's time to get in all of those last minute deals and grab those items that will no longer be available in the new book! Follow the link below the photo to see what items are on the retirement list and be sure to order now before they are gone! http://lauriesmith.ctmh.com/Retail/Products.aspx?CatalogID=18

Cricut® Artfully Sent



I can't wait to get this and start playing! Not available until August but I am looking forward to some quality time on my Cricut with this one! If you would like to order your own set, simply click on the "Shop with Me" icon on the right and start shopping (remember, not available until August)! You may also contact me directly at thecountrycropper@gmail.com with any questions or help in ordering. Close to my Heart also has 3 other wonderful cartridges available, Art Philosophy, Artiste and Artbooking. Each cartridge has approximately 700 images and are very easy to use! These 3 cartridges are available now!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

While at our little mini crop on Saturday, one of our ladies was busy working on some fabulous cards!  Here is her layered card using Close to my Heart's "Kaboom" June stamp of the month.  I wish I would have taken a photo of the inside.  She glued a piece of white paper inside with the "You're the Bomb!" stamp in the bottom right corner.  So creative!
credit to Julie Davis


I posted this photo before and then taught how to make the card on Saturday. I had several requests for the directions, so I am posting them on here as well as emailing to those of you who attended on Saturday. I have never written up formal directions for making a card, so bear with me on this one! If I am not clear enough on something, please let me know!

 Also, just to be clear, I found the sunburst design and this card layout on-line, but cannot remember where so I don't know who to give the credit to but I cannot take credit for this design. I did choose which papers I wanted to use and the embellishments as well.

 Here we go:
1. Card: I cut card stock at 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" then folded in half
2. Large base mat: Cut card stock at 4" x 5 1/4"
3. Smaller base mat (used to glue on sunburst design): Cut card stock at 3 3/4" x 5"
4. Cut out designed papers in the following dimensions:
       Cut 1 strip of paper at 4 1/2" x 1 1/2"
       Cut 1 strip of paper at 4" x 1 1/2"
       Cut 2 strips of paper at 3" x 1 1/2" (use 2 different designs)
       Cut 2 strips of paper at 2" x 1 1/2" (use 2 different designs)
    I used 6 different designed papers for this card. You could use 2 or 3 designs and alternate them for a different look. I might work on some and post as soon as I get them done.
5. Cut all of the strips diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner creating 2 triangles from each rectangle.
6. On the smaller base mat, measure in (on the 4 1/4" side) 1 1/4" and mark a light line. Then measure up from the bottom, 3 1/2" and make another mark that crosses your first line. I used my piercing tool to then poke a hole in the center of these two lines. This is the "center" focal point.
7. I then placed the triangles on the card with all the points pointing toward that hole I poked in the card. You will have to play around with your papers to get them all to fit. Be sure to have the larger triangles placed where there is the greatest distance to the hole. I left a small gap between each paper so you can see the color of the small base mat. Your papers will hang off the ends of your card.
8. I moved all the papers off the small base mat keeping them in the pattern I had just laid out. I then sprayed the small base mat with adhesive making it easier to glue the pieces down.
 9. Next I began placing the triangles back on the mat in the order I had laid out. Remember, the points need to be directed toward that hole!
10. When all pieces are in place, turn the card over and trim off the parts that are hanging over the card. Turn the card back over when done and glue down on the center of the large base mat (4" x 5 1/4")
11. Glue the large base mat onto the front of your card.
12. Embellish! You may choose to have your card vertical like mine or turn it and make a horizontal card. My embellishment to both of these cards were done with the Close to my Heart "Kaboom" June stamp of the month and I also used the Art Philosophy cartridge to cut out the circles and the tickets.

If anything is confusing or you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or send me an email at thecountrycropper@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Just realized that it's been awhile since I posted anything and I have a bunch of pictures to share! Here are a few cards and pages that I have been working on this month using the Jubilee paper. This paper was my least favorite and has now become one of my top favorites! I also learned how to make a sunburst card and enjoyed using the June stamp of the month to enhance the cards and pages. Don't miss out on the paper or the stamp this month! The first card shown is the starburst using the Jubilee paper. I didn't order enough of the Jubilee paper so I dug through my stash of big pads of paper and found some fun bright colored paper that we will be using this weekend to make cards at our mini crop! The 2 scrapbook pages are of my son at last year's 4th of July celebration. I was a little concerned about using pearls and bling on a boy's page, but I think it went well with the country look of the papers. The last photo is another card I made using the Jubilee paper and the "Kaboom" June stamp of the month that anyone can get for only $5.00 with a $50.00 purchase!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

We had a great time at our little crop on Saturday!  Our project was a one page layout using an overlay from the Artbooking cartridge.  We also incorporated the May stamp of the month onto the page as well as some fun cut outs using the glitter paper.  When my mom completed her page I held it up for everyone to see.  I jokingly placed a picture of myself on the mat and when I gave it back to her, she adhered the picture to the page, so below you can see her finished project!  I chose to use the stamp "I love you to the moon and back", but have lots of ideas for the other stamps on the page and will share them with you when I get the projects done!  If you would like a stamp set for yourself, you can go to the icon "Shop With Me" on this page.  Place an order of at least $50.00 and you can purchase the stamp for $5.00.  An additional special this month is the "Free to Be Me" paper packet.  With a $50.00 purchase, you can also purchase this paper for only $5.00!  Below are the pictures of my mom's completed project, the card I made for this month's card swap, the information from Close to my Heart about the Free to Be Me paper special and images of items made using the other stamps in the stamp of the month set.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

May Stamp of the Month





Don't miss out on this stamp set!  Spend $50.00 and get this set for only $5.00!  I have been having so much fun with this one!  Simply click on the icon to the right "Shop with Me" and order now!  This set is only available during the month of May!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Artbooking Made Easy: Artbooking My Life

I just directed someone to the icon to the right which says "Come Shop with Me" and wanted to make sure I gave her the correct directions, so I clicked on it myself, only to find out that it was not directing anyone to my online business address!  I am so sorry if any of you tried to see what we have to offer only to find out that you hit a wall!  Please feel free to try again because I got it fixed tonight!  Sorry for any inconvenience!  Happy shopping!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

If you have ever thought about becoming a Close to my Heart consultant, now is the time to stop thinking and start doing! This month's special is just for new consultants!  Sign up now and with the purchase of the starter kit you will also receive one of the 3 cartridge collections for free!  This is a win-win situation!  You get the chance to become a consultant for an amazing company and you get about $400 worth of product for only $99.00!  You only have until April 30 to take advantage of this unbelievable offer!  Contact me at thecountrycropper@gmail.com for information!

 
Join Close To My Heart as an Independent Consultant April 1–30, 2014, and receive your favorite "art-full" Close To My Heart Cricut® collection FREE! Our New Consultant Kit is just $99 and comes packed with nearly triple the retail value in products and supplies to help you succeed. Plus, when you qualify for the Straight To The Top program, you will be refunded the price of your New Consultant Kit. Select your FREE Cricut® collection—retail priced at $99—when you order your New Consultant Kit and watch your new business soar!
Dates: Offer valid April 1–30, 2014.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I have wanted to do one of those Project Life albums for quite some time now, so you can imagine how excited I was when Close to my Heart came out with the Picture my Life sets!  I ordered the Avonlea right away, but still didn't know where to begin.  So, I ordered the Babycakes because I knew I would use that very soon with my first grandchild on the way!  Well, I finally got ambitious on my ??? snow day and created my first Picture my Life page using cards from both the Avonlea and the Babycakes set for my youngest son's 1st birthday pictures.  I should have done this almost 7 years ago, but I guess I was waiting just for this wonderful product!  Below is my first completed page along with a picture of the Babycakes from the CTMH image gallery.  Sorry that the picture of my completed page isn't more clear, but the lighting just wasn't working for me at the time!    


Monday, March 3, 2014

 I bought this stamp set in February just in time for my son's Blue & Gold Cub Scout banquet.  I'm his den leader and I needed centerpieces for the tables for where my boys' families would be sitting.  I grabbed my stamp set, some paper, ink, gift bags, and tissue and here is what I came up with!  7 bags complete from start to finish in just 10 minutes!  Inside, I put the boys' Pinewood Derby car kits and a Cub Scout t-shirt.  After I had this done, my husband gave me a better idea for next time.  He said to turn the paper so it was in a diamond shape like the badges they have for their shirt!  Below is a video from Close to my Heart, featuring this stamp!

Project Inspiration: Transform Your Stamps






Saturday, March 1, 2014

Studio Savings





I am so excited about the new Photo Express Collection in Studio J!!  I will be able to get so many photos on one page and maybe finally get caught up on the many, many pages that I have on my computer!  Don't miss out on this special!  I have 2 wonderful ladies hosting crops this month so when you order your Studio J pages, just simply click on one of their names and they will get credit for your purchase!  To check out this amazing on-line scrapbooking program, simply click on the Studio J widget on the right side of this page and let the creativity begin!  There is absolutely no cost to check it out and create some pages!  Try it now!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Since the Artbooking cartridge arrived, I have been spending more time playing with all 3 of our awesome cartridges. My daughter is pregnant and I decided I would like to make the invitations for an upcoming baby shower. I needed to keep it very simple, but wanted something that made an impression. So, I used the Artiste to create "diaper" invitations. I borrowed someone's dot embossing folder, but today, I opened up my new Close to my Heart dot embossing folder and finished up some more invitations. I love the new folder! Now I'm going to have to purchase the rest of them! If you haven't ordered any yet, the February special is "Buy 2 packets of solid colored or combo pack of cardstock and receive a new embossing folder FREE!" I ordered the black and pear colors so I can work on some school sports pages! Here is a picture of the outside of the invitation that I made. I cut out an oval, scalloped piece for the inside to put the information on. Keeping it simple!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Artbooking Made Easy: Inspiration Mini Albums



If you have not purchased the Artbooking cartridge yet, you don't know what you are missing!  I have been having so much fun with this one!  If you would like to purchase one, simply click on the "Shop With Me" icon to the right and place your order.  It will be delivered to your door and you can get started on a new,  inspiring, creative adventure!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Artbooking Made Easy: Celebration Layouts (S01E16)



I have been having so much fun with my Artbooking cartridge.  If you don't have one yet, your New Year's resolution should be to get one and start having some fun too!  I am almost done with my own version of a planner for this year.  When I finish, I will post some pictures!  It was so easy with the calendar frame from this cartridge!

National Papercrafting Month Cloud Nine Cardmaking Kit



What a great way to start off the new year!  Celebrate with Close to my Heart during the National Papercrafting month and enjoy this exciting Cloud Nine Cardmaking kit!