Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mass production

Last night was a mass production night. I needed a lot of cards. While I love a complex, beautiful card, if I'm mass producing, the simpler, the better.

My first step is to design my card, making sure I keep in mind how much paper I have to make sure I have enough to make all the cards I need (such a bummer to run out of paper and not have something suitable to substitute). I never thought that math would matter to paper crafting but it does.

Now, I put on a movie or catch up on my recorded TV shows on my DVR and start the mass production process. I cut all my paper, stamp all of my images and then start putting it all together. I can really get into a groove at this point.

A little later (2 one hour TV episodes in this case), I have 42 of this card ready to go. I like mass production nights. I feel so productive while watching TV at the same time!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Operation Smile

A photo posted by Blythe Shupe (@blytheshupe) on

Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram may have seen this photo posted. I had the privilege of taking part in a 5K at Disneyland to benefit Operation Smile. Yes, we got to see Disneyland early in the morning while the park was empty and we got some fantastic photos (we ran through both California Adventure and Disneyland). But more importantly, at convention, with funds from the race and other activities, Close to My Heart raised $40,000 for Operation smile! Since a smile costs as little as $240, that was 166+ smiles!

Close to My Heart has been a long time partner with Operation Smile to help raise funds for children with cleft lip and cleft palate who may not have access to that surgery otherwise. It's a worthy cause and one that I think is of so much worth. A smile is the easiest thing to give away and can make all the difference in someone's day as well as the way you feel. To be self-conscious of your smile... that is heartbreaking to me. You can learn more about the organization here:

In May of this year, Close to My Heart's Chief Communication Officer, Monica Wihongi, was part of an Operation Smile surgical trip to Mexico. Monica is fluent in Spanish so it was especially heartwarming for her to help interpret for many of the families of the children. She was joined on the trip by Kate Walsh, an official spokesperson for Operation Smile, who posted this moving video of the trip.

So why am I bringing this up on a crafting blog? Because it is so easy for you to donate to this worthy cause just by doing what you love. And a life changing surgery for a child costs as little as $240! Here's a few ways you can help:

1.  Buy the Operation Smile Stamp Set. A portion of every Happy Everything stamp set you buy goes to benefit Operation Smile. And with the new catalog in September, there will be a new set so get one now and get one then!

2.  Round up your order with Close to My Heart. Let's say your order total is $24.55. You can choose to round up your order to $25.00 and the difference is donated to Operation Smile. It may seem like pennies but those pennies add up!

3.  Buy an Operation Smile t-shirt! These shirts are available in men or women sizes and $10 of every shirt purchased goes to Operation Smile!

Join me in making a difference in the life of a child. As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I'm back!

Have you missed me? The last several months have been a challenge for me and my creative side went into hibernation. Let me clarify that all the critical things, home, family, friends and faith, are all good. But I'm making some changes, rebalancing my life, and as a result, bringing my creative side back out to play. It feels good. 

So with that explanation out of the way, it's time to fire back up the blog. And I have lots of catch up to do. In the midst of a crazy 7 months, I have an Artistic U to catch you up on, a Close to My Heart Convention to share highlights from, and a new catalog coming out.

So let's start with first things first. The new CTMH catalog will be live on September 1st. And there is some fabulous stuff to come. But to make room for the new stuff, as always, there are some things we love that must retire. So if you want to make sure you don't miss out on any of your favorites from the current catalog, check out what is retiring here.

Amongst the retiring items will be the Wanderful paper packet. And that is one of two packets that we'll be scrapbooking with at my Cherish Your Memories nights in August (contact me if you're interested in attending one near you or just getting a kit).

I love to travel and my job requires a lot of it so I am always in need of travel pages. This paper and the complementing stickers are perfect for anyone with the travel bug and lots of travel pictures to go with it. Don't travel? Do you have a bucket list of spots you'd like to visit? These could be the perfect pages for that as well.

If you wanted to add more pictures to this one, or even the next, some 4x6 flip flaps would be a great addition to get as many pictures as possible on these pages from your trip.

I mixed stamping and complements for these pages. And some black arrow washi (which is retiring).

I love that station wagon. I drove one all through high school. While I did not love the Wonder Wagon then, I do love the memories that came with that station wagon. I might need a second set of these stickers to make a page about that crazy car.

I'm so glad to be back from my extended vacation from crafting (not a vacation I would recommend) and looking forward to sharing more creative fun with all of you. The truth is, when I'm not creating, it's hard to get back to it so I can't wait to get my creative mojo back.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Simply Inspired Blog Hop--Seasonal Expression 2

We have a new Seasonal Expressions with fun new stuff so of course that means it is time for a blog hop! I love being a part of this hop with so many talented Close to My Heart Consultants. If you've arrived here from the lovely Lynn Como's blog, then you are on the right track. If at any point you get lost along the way, just go here.

This time around, I chose to play with the new Jackson paper packet. I have been really busy lately with little time for creating and scrapbooking so I was excited to play with this one.

I live in a valley surrounded by mountains and there are so many beautiful places to go and play outdoors in my lovely state, so inspired by the view out my window, I recreated the mountains in Cocoa cardstock, topped them with some snow (this paper is great for snow or water). Add a few trees cut from the various patterned papers and an outdoor scene is all set to go!

You've got to love these little Wildwood sticky tabs. I bet you looked right over them in the current catalog. I'm sure you need some now, right?

I couldn't wait to use the Camper Crazy stamp set. My grandparents owned a little silver trailer when I was growing up and it was my favorite play house.

I truly LOVE the way these pages turned out. They were perfect for our Labor Day trip to Flaming Gorge. And I think the Boardwalk Washi (shown at the bottom of the pages) is going to become a staple in my creative stash.

And now hop on over to the talented Sheri Rottler's blog. The inspiration never ends!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Want to join CTMH? March is the month to do it.

I joined Close to My Heart (CTMH) over 20 years ago because I loved the stuff and because my mom suggested it to me. I never comprehended the opportunities, friends and fun it would provide over the next several years. 

When I joined, the kit was well over 300 dollars and full of lots of great stuff..., that didn't always work together so well. I learned a lot through trial and error and it was definitely an evolutionary process.

Not so today. Today, the CTMH kit is priced at only $99 and everything is coordinated to work together well. You can choose between a scrapbooker kit or a card kit so the kit is catered to your interests. And CTMH offers fabulous online training as well as national conventions and regional meetings to help you come up to speed. And I, as your upline, offer quarterly meetings and can work with you one on one to help you achieve whatever goals you set for yourself. We've come a long way!

New Consultant Scrapbooker Kit

New Consultant Cardmaker Kit

And, this month, CTMH is sweetening the deal. If you sign up in March, you get this beautiful shoulder tote. It's great to carry all that crafting stuff or use as a purse. 

AND, (it gets better), if you sell $300 in product in your first 40 days as a new consultant, you receive the matching rolling tote FREE! This thing is fabulous and it is worth $149.95! 

Look at all the stuff this can hold. I've been drooling over it for a couple of months because my current craft tote is beginning to wear out, my bag is boring (no pretty chevrons here), and look at all the stuff it can hold! Oh, wait, I said that already. 

So, let's put this in perspective. During March, you purchase the consultant kit at $99 and get over $300 in products and supplies. In addition, you get a darling shoulder tote that is valued at $26. You sell $300 to family and friends (or even yourself--yes, we're all honest here) and you earn a commission of $66 from that sale. And then you get a $149.95 rolling tote for free. That's a pretty sweet deal. 

So what are you waiting for? I'd love to have you on my team. And you know you want that tote. I know I do. Just go here to start your CTMH journey! 

I'm happy to answer any questions so don't hesitate to ask!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Simply Inspired Blog Hop--Exclusive Hostess Stamp Sets

It's time for another blog hop! You should have arrived here from my wonderful friend, Diana Veenendaal's blog. If you get lost along the way, just jump here to get back on track. 

This month our focus is on the exclusive hostess stamp sets. These stamp sets are featured on pages 5-10 of the Annual Inspirations Idea Book and pages 4-5 of the Seasonal Expressions (a link to the books is here). But these stamps are only available to hostesses so if you love one, contact me to host a party or a catalog party soon!

I chose to spotlight A Thing Well Done from page 4 of the Seasonal Expressions. This stamp set is only available until March 31st so I wanted to make sure you got a chance to check it out before your chance to get it is gone. 

I chose to do two very different projects. One very simple, one a little messy. Let's start with simple, shall we?

There is something so elegant about black and white. And there is something equally pleasing about creating something that takes very little time at all. It is a sense of instant creative gratification.

A little stamping, a little sponging, a bit of 3D foam to pop the saying and it is done. 

But to contrast the simplicity, I had to create something else. So, here came the messy. 

Out came the gel medium, a little black paint, some washi and my fingers. I had smeared an image when I didn't let the gel medium dry completely so a little black paint strategically smeared solved that problem.

One thing I have learned when getting messy is that you cannot hesitate. It is all about "going confidently" and just getting messy.

So there you have it, something simple, something messy. And now on to be inspired by the talented Lisa Stenz's blog. Happy Hopping!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Post-Valentine's Day

Okay, I know Valentine's Day is over but I just had to share one more Vintage Valentine. My grandmother saved her Valentines as well as her children's Valentines and dated all of them. My mother and my aunt have them but each year, my mother sends me another original one for Valentine's Day. I just have to share the one I got this year.

Isn't this beautiful? It is dated 1929.

Happy Post Valentine's Day!