Close to My Heart’s Seaside Capers

Welcome back

Summer is coming to New Zealand and I have been playing with the Seaside Reflections range from Close to My Heart.  I love this paper range as it  has the most beautiful colours and textures suitable for lots of different uses – plus there are absolutely gorgeous stamp sets to match the papers.


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My son has just had his birthday and he is very keen on sailing and boats etc, so once I tidied my craft desk I got to work to make some cards and then stretched myself to make a waterfall folio album.  Actually I did 2 waterfall folio albums but ran out of light to photograph, but will do that and post at another time.  Here is the card that I made for him to go with the sailing print that I got him for his birthday.  I must confess I had seen this idea on one of the CTMH Facebook groups I belong to but it was very suitable for James’ birthday.  I have stamped the yacht image on the patterned paper using Lagoon ink and used the Holiday Tags stamp set for the sentiment.

CTMH Seaside card 3

Here is another version of the card.

CTMH Seaside Card 5

I then went on to used the other stamps.  I love using the Paper Fundamentals paper and this paper coordinated well with the embossing using the Quatrefoil embossing folder.  This is a lovely masculine card.

CTMH Seaside Lighthouse card


For my last card I have stamp the shell images onto Colonial White cardstock and coloured them in with Shinhan Touch Twin markers – Pastel Peach, Barely Beige, Clay and Bronze.  I then cut them out and used Liquid Glass to cover them and let them dry.  The shells created some dimension for the front of the card, with the lovely soft sea images of the paper in the background.


CTMH Seaside card


Finally here is my waterfall folio album that I have made with the papers.  I have got the pattern from here and the idea from my upline Grace Green – thank you.  I have decorated the front with the stickers from the Seaside Assortment pack and also cut the sentiment from the Artbooking cartridge in both Glacier and Desert Sand to help the letters stand out from the background.

CTMH Seaside Mini Folio album

And here is the middle of the album.

CTMH Mini Folio Album - inside


I am looking forward to creating more with these beautiful papers and yes my desk is still tidy after my day’s efforts.  Apart from the first card all these items will be available for sale at Gift Hutt.

Materials used:

Cardstock – Glacier, Colonial White, Desert Sand

Paper – Seaside, Paper Fundamentals – Whimsy

Inks – Desert Sand, Lagoon, Glacier

Stamps – Treasured Friendship, Seaside Greetings, Holiday Tags

Seaside Assortments

Embossing Folders – Dots, Quatrefoil

Cricut Cartridges – Artbooking, Art Philosophy

Aqua dots

Teal Shimmer Trim

Scallop punch

Liquid Glass

Shinhan Touch Twin markers – Barely Beige, Pastel Peach, Clay, Bronze

Happy Crafting





CTMH makes Christmas cards easy.

Welcome back.

A very short  post today.   Christmas is not that far away so I have been busy making some Christmas cards.  I love the two Christmas reflections pack from Close to My Heart – Snowhaven and Yuletide Carol.  Both have such different themes but they both make stunning Christmas cards.

CTMH Yuletide Carol Christmas card

I love utilizing  the patterns on the papers and the gorgeous wee socks hanging on the shelf is so beautiful and the red paper from the Snowhaven pack coordinates well.

CTMH Snowhaven Christmas card

I taught a class yesterday starting with the basics of card making just using the basic equipment i.e. no Cuttlebugs and Cricut machines and this is a good example of a card anyone can make with the basic tools and lovely patterned papers.

CTMH Snowhaven Christmas cardFinally this is one of my favourite cards.  I love the combination of the Ruby, Black and Glacier colours.  I have used the Artfully Sent Cricut cartridge to cut the sentiment tag and used the Curlicue Frames stamp set that came with the cartridge to stamp it in Black ink.  I love the sentiments from the Just to say… stamp set that also came with the cartridge.  I know that I am going to get a lot of use from these two stamp sets.  This pattern is from the Make It From Your Heart  Volume 2 book and is such an easy pattern to use.

Materials used:

Cardstock – Black, Ruby, White Daisy, Colonial White

Paper – Snowhaven, Yuletide Carol

Inks – Ruby, Black

Stamp sets – Artfully Sent Just to say…, Curlicue Frames,  Scandanavian Wishes (NLA)

Cricut Cartridge – Artfully Sent

Gold sequins

Clear sparkles 

Twin Touch Shinhan marker – Carmine

Embossing folder – Dots

These cards are for sale at Gift Hutt along with my other cards I have featured in my recent posts.

Have a good week and happy crafting.




CTMH Baby Blues


Sorry this is a couple of days late but sometimes life just gets in the way.  I have been busy doing a big project for Gift Hutt and will feature this later in another post.

In the meantime I noticed that Gift Hutt was getting a little low in blue baby cards and as I have just received the new Artfully Sent cartridge I thought I would have a little play.  This new cartridge is great for cardmaking as well as for scrapbooking and there is so much to choose from and it is going to take me quite a while to get through all the projects.


There are some gorgeous icons in the cartridge to cut and I love the baby outfits that are in there.  I have cut a number of them out of both Glacier and Crystal Blue cardstock for quick and easy cards when I need them.

This first card features the sleeve card from page 23 of the Artfully Sent cartridge booklet cut at 5 1/2″ on Cricut Craftroom, and I have backed it with some White Daisy cardstock embossed with the Quatrefoil embossing folder and this time used the back of the embossed cardstock to try and create a more quilted affect that suited a baby card.  The bows have also been cut out using the same cartridge.  I love the simple sentiments that come with the Artfully Sent cartridge and they were perfect for these cards.

CTMH Artfully Sent Baby Blue Card

This second card caries on the same theme with the Quatrefoil Embossing folder with White Daisy Cardstock on Crystal Blue cardstock (although it is hard to see in this photo).  This time I have strung three little baby outfits cut from the two blue cardstocks onto some Bakers twine and finished them off with some bling.  The bows also come from the Artfully Sent cartridge.

CTMH Baby Blue Card No 2

The third card has some paper from the Wanderful paper range.  This is a beautiful soft patterned paper and it teamed well with the Crystal Blue cardstock.  Once again I have kept it simple and just embossed a piece of Colonial White cardstock with the Dots embossing folder and placed the three different baby outfits on top of this and finished off with some bling with some clear sparkles and bitty sparkles.

CTMH Baby blue card

Finally I have had this card ready for the finishing touches for some time and finally got round to finishing it off.  I have used a piece of the now retired Balloon Ride paper and trimmed it into 4 equal sized pieces and placed it on the Colonial White card to create a scenic effect.  The trim has been made by layering different colours of cardstock starting with Colonial White, Cashmere, and finished off with Crystal Blue punched using the chevron punch.  The sentiment has been stamped using the new Artfully Sent tag Curlicue Frames stamp set and again I have used the stamps out of the Just to Say… stamp set.  I have coordinated the colours using Saddle and Crystal Blue with Colonial White cardstock.  I love how all the colours harmonise so well.

CTMH Balloon Ride Baby Card

Because I do so many cards I use the bulk packs that are available from Close to My Heart and they are very good value for money and as there are 50 cards with envelopes they last a lot longer for me.

Materials used:

Cardstock – White Daisy, Colonial White, Glacier, Crystal Blue, Saddle, Cashmere

Papers – Wanderful, Balloon Ride (NLA)

Stamps – Artfully Sent Cricut Collection Curlicue Frames and Just to Say…

Inks – Saddle, Crystal Blue, Glacier

Cricut Cartridge – Artfully Sent

Embossing Folders – Quatrefoil, Dots

Bitty Sparkles

Clear Sparkles

Bulk card supplies – Colonial White, White Daisy

Punch – Chevron Border

Bakers Twine – Slate

All these products are available from my website at

Have a great week and Happy Crafting.




Poinsettia Flower tutorial


As promised I said I would write a tutorial on how to make the poinsettia flower that I featured in last night’s post.

This flower was actually easy to make because when you look at the poinsettia flower it has the same shape to the leaves and flowers and the centre of the leaves are bright red which makes it stand out from the leaves.

I have cut the flower shape Accent 3 (shift)  on page 61 on the CTMH Artiste cartridge.  The red flowers have been cut out from Ruby cardstock in three sizes – 3″, 2.75″ and 2.5″, while the leaves have been cut out at 4 and 3.5″.  I used the Cricut Craft Room to use the hide/contour function to get rid of the circle in the middle.

Poinsettia flowersI then shaped the flowers by using the flower shape tools I won last year and created the veins in the leaves and then bent the leaves gently to create some shape.  The flowers have a white edge to them and the CTMH white core cardstock worked perfectly to make a perfect finish to the flowers.

Poinsettia leaves - distressed

I have done the leaves the same but this time I tried to make a heavier score for the veins so that I could sponge Canary ink on it to create yellow veins.

I then combined them together by alternating the leaves to create the flower.  I then added the Bling gold gems to centre to finish it off..

Finished poinsettia flower

As you can see it is very quick and easy to make and I hope that you have fun making them.

Materials used:

Cardstock – Ruby, new England Ivy

Bling gem – gold.

Flower shaping tools – I used the sharp end of the tool to create the veins as I needed to break the surface of the cardstock.

Happy Crafting.



CTMH Artfully Yours

Hello again

Thank you for all the lovely feedback for my last post on the photo I took of the orchids at Gift Hutt.  I was so pleased that I finally managed to get what I had been seeing whenever the sun was shining through the window.

I have finally got my new Artfully Sent Cricut cartridge and have had a play with it.  There are so many different ideas in the cartridge that it was hard to know where to start but I had to start somewhere.  So I got some inspiration from the Annual Inspirations Book on page 65 with the lovely die cut card.  It was interesting getting some feedback on the Christmas cards I had made with the Stamp of the Month – Home for the Holidays.  The non-traditional cards got the most likes on Facebook.  Plus, as I am in Wellington, New Zealand,  and heading towards a warm Christmas some friends felt that the polar bear was not quite so appropriate for southern hemisphere countries so I thought I would do something more appropriate for the warmer climates.

The poinsettia is indigenous to Mexico and South America because of it’s green and red foliage is very popular in Christmas floral displays.  It has been a very popular emblem on Christmas cards in New Zealand for many years.


I looked through all the CTMH cartridges and found just the right image on the Artiste cartridge to use to make up the flowers and the leaves.  I need to charge my tablet to upload my step by step photos and I will add a tutorial on how I made these once I have done that so please bear with me.

CTMH Artfully Sent Red Poinsettia Christmas card

I have used the sleeve (shift) image on page 46 at 5.5″ to cut out the card using Ruby cardstock.  Because the flower was quite heavy I have lined both sides inside with White Daisy cardstock to create some more stability.  I have added some trim using some topiary washi tape on a small strip of White Daisy cardstock and then matted it with some Ruby cardstock.  I am loving the sentiment stamp set that comes with the Artfully Sent cartridge and this stamp has some lovely fonts and sayings for all occasions.

I first practiced making the card with some Buttercup cardstock (NLA) and when I put the flower on it it actually went well as it toned with the yellow in the leaves so I decided to make a birthday card with it.  Here it is:

CTMH Artfully Sent Yellow poinsettia card

This is such a bright and cheerful card and would make a wonderful gift for someone.

Materials used:

Cardstock – White Daisy, Ruby, Buttercup (NLA) but Canary is a good substitution, New England Ivy

Stamps – Artfully Sent Just to Say, Just a Number, Noel

Inks – New England Ivy, Canary, Ruby, Black

Cricut Cartridges – Artfully Sent, Artiste

Embossing folder – Dots

Bling Gems Gold

Topiary washi tape

Both cards will be available for sale at Gift Hutt as most of my cards are.

Have a great week and happy crafting.



Sunkissed Orchids

Hello there

I know that I normally write about my cardmaking and scrapbooking but today I want to show you what a difference editing your photos make.  I normally am a purist about photography and do minimal editing such as cropping for photos but today I went a little further and I am sold on editing to get a good photo now.  What do you think of the results?

Sunkissed Orchids

I used to use Memory Manager from Creative Memories, but I bought a new computer and I am now no longer able to use it for editing as the programme is no longer being supported since the demise of CM Australasia.  So I have discovered Picmonkey which is free for basic editing and just $33 per year for the Royale feature.  I have found it great to use to do collages for a website that  I am setting up for Gift Hutt.

For those of you that don’t know, I also have a shop in Lower Hutt called Gift Hutt and sell lots of arts and crafts on behalf of people.  You can check out what I have  in the shop here.  Today when I got to Gift Hutt the sun was shining through the window, onto some polymer clay orchids that I had sitting in the front of the shop and that was creating a lovely reflection.  I took a few photos with my Samsung Note tablet – here is the original image:

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As you can see there is quite a lot of background distraction.  I then cropped the photo to focus on the flowers and then using the clone function removed the white mark on the right.  Finally I used the shadow function to remove the background noise from the wall at the back of the photo.  It didn’t take long but I am happy with the result.  Here is the finished photo again:

Sunkissed Orchids

As you can see the editing has made a huge difference.  I know a lot of people are probably already doing this but it is a revelation to me and I am so pleased with the results that I will be doing more of this to improve the quality of my photos.  I will be exploring the other functions to see what results I come up with – so watch this space…

Happy Crafting


Australasian Stamp of the Month Blog Hop – Home for the Holidays

1255207_10202500725937312_859120681790975122_nHello and welcome aboard our Stamp of the month Australasian Close to My Heart Blog Hop. If you have arrived here from Wendy’s blog Expressions of the Heart,  then you are in the right place. If you landed here by accident, no problem, please join in by following the link at the end of this post.

Today I would like to share with you this  some cards that I have made which features the Home from the Holiday stamp set which is available exclusively throughout October for $33 or for just $5 when you spend $75.  This stamp set has some very versatile images that would be great for cardmaking and scrapbooking.

I have had some fun doing a selection of cards using this gorgeous stamp set ranging from traditional colours to totally untraditional Christmas themed cards.

CTMH Yuletide Carol with SOTM Home for the Holidays

First up is this card using the beautiful and very traditional Christmas papers from the Yuletide Carol range.  I have used an off cut that I had from doing the Yuletide Carol WOTG kit and it fitted perfectly on the card.  I have used the Art Philosophy cartridge to cut the shape of the ornament and stamped it with Ruby ink.  The pine leaves are stamped from the Yuletide Carol WOTG stamp set and I have coloured the bitty sparkles using the Carmine Shinhan Twin Touch marker to look like little holly berries.  The bow has been cut using the Artiste Cricut cartridge and embossing with the dot embossing folder.  To top the bow I have used a gold sequin and a clear sparkle again coloured with the Carmine Shinhan Twin Touch marker.  The sentiment is from the Scandinavian Wishes SOTM set which is no longer available.  Here is a close up of the bow and the leaves with the holly berries.

Close up of CTMH bow and leaves

My next card has been made using my new favourite colour – Glacier.

CTMH Snowhaven and SOTM Home for the Holidays featuring Glacier and Ruby

This is such a stunning colour and very popular at the moment with all the Frozen merchandise out accompanying the popular film.  The polar bear image looks great in Glacier and I have matched it with the beautiful Snowhaven paper.  I have also used the beautiful Fundamentals Adventure paper to add a little bit of shine to back the Cricut cut image of the polar bear.  The background Glacier cardstock has been embossed using the dots embossing folder and then sanded to try and look a little like snow covered dots.  I love the fact that the CTMH papers are white cored as you can get lots of different effects with sanding and distressing.

CTMH Snowhaven and SOTM Home for the Holidays

Moving away from the traditional I have used Black and Glacier with a touch of Flaxen to create a totally different card.  Normally you would not associate black with Christmas but I love this combination as it stands out so much from the traditional reds and greens.  I think the black image helps the polar bear look like it is in a window looking out at you – what do you think?   Again I have used some Glacier Fundamentals paper from the Whimsy pack which gives a nice background to the stamped image.

Finally I have done a pink Christmas card.  Pink is not a colour normally associated with Christmas but I just wanted to do a fun card and I love this parcel set from the Artbooking cartridge.  It is great to layer and have some fun with colours and textures.

CTMH SOTM Home for the Holidays non-traditional cardI have cut out the parcels from Pink glitter paper and backed with some Cotton Candy cardstock.  To add some interest to the parcels I have used some silver  geometric washi tape on a couple of the parcels to keep with the silver and pink theme.  I don’t normally use a lot of washi tape and strips like this but today I have done that with good effect.  The Pink spotted washi tape (unfortunately NLA) and the pink and silver shimmer trims add a base on which to place the parcels which helps pull the card together.

Materials used:

Cardstock – White Daisy, Ruby, Glacier, Black, Cotton Candy, Pink Glitter,

Paper – Yuletide, Snowhaven, Paper Fundamentals – Whim

Inks – Black, Ruby, Glacier, New England Ivy

Stamps – SOTM – Home for the Holidays, Yuletide Carol WOTH, Holiday Tags, Sparkle & Shine WOTG (NLA), Scandinavian Wishes SOTM (NLA)

Aqua Dots

Cricut Cartidges – Artiste, Art Philosophy, Art Philosophy

Pink spotted washi tape.

Silver Shimmer Trim

Pink Shimmer Trim

Silver geometric washi tape

Cotton Candy spotted washi tape (NLA)

Clear Sparkles

Bitty Sparkles

Shinshan Touch Twin markers – Cherry

Gold Sequins

Embossing folder – Dots

Home for  the Holidays is only available until 31 October  from your CTMH consultant.  I’d love you to leave a comment before heading off to the next stop,  Vandra’s blog – Vandra’s Virtual CTMH Craftroom.  I am sure she has an amazing project for you to admire.

Have a good week.

Happy Crafting