Tuesday, August 15, 2017

School Year Layout - CTMH August Stamp of the Month

Today I'm sharing this sweet layout that I made showcasing JJ's first and last days of preschool. This was his first year being enrolled in any kind of program - I'm lucky enough to be able to stay home with our boys, and I was really nervous/curious to see how he would take to it. Spoiler: he loved it. He had preschool M-W-F mornings, 8:45am-11:15am, and he was always wondering when his next school day was. We were also really happy with the program he was enrolled in - his teachers were amazing, and it is just really well run.

Anyways, onto the layout! Full disclosure - this is an almost identical scraplift of the Close to my Heart layout used to highlight the School Year Stamp of the Month. But it was exactly what I was looking for for this story - a 'then & now' comparison. (Excuse the blurring on some photos, but I don't like putting the school details out onto the internet.)

I used the soon-to-be-retiring Prickly Pear papers to create this page. I loved the primary colours in it for a school based page. And this month's Stamp of the Month is one of my favourites. I'll be using it on school pages for years to come!

I also used a flip flap to be able to add a few more pictures to the layout - I am usually a photo-heavy scrapbooker, so I love having this easy option to add more pictures or journaling!

I used the pencil from the School Days stamp to create my own background paper on the outside edges, as well as all of the other stamping on the page.

And a few close-ups...

Just a reminder, the School Year stamp set is only available in August, and is $6 with a $50 purchase! (Or $23 full retail value). Perfect for all those 1st Day of School pages coming up! I know I'll be using it again in another month or so, once I have two little ones starting school (this will be Austen's first year in preschool!) As always, you can access my shop here: craftwithnicole.closetomyheart.ca

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 14, 2017

My Top 10 "Gotta Have"s from the 2017-18 Annual Inspirations Idea Book

Hi everyone! I’ve just gotten back from a great week of camping with my family. We made our way to Hecla Island this time around. My family always went camping there when I was a kid, so I’ve been excited to get back! And a little nervous that it wasn’t going to be as fun as I remembered… you know how sometimes you have the greatest memories of something from childhood, and you revisit as an adult and think… ‘Really?!’. But, I’m glad to say it was exactly how I remembered it – awesome!

We have a few more days away this week (up at a cabin with family), but before we take off for that I thought I’d share my Top 10 "Gotta Have"s from the 2017-18 Close To My Heart Annual Inspirations book. This book just went live on August 1st, and there are so many great things in it! So I’ll just get to it… these are my favourites, in no particular order:

(I’ve added an * to the items that I already have in my hot little hands, and can personally vouch for how awesome they are! All of the other items are on my ‘to buy’ list!)

1. *New two-toned cardstock! – I love the flexibility that this gives us! We now have 80+ colours of cardstock to choose from, to get the perfect match. One side features the original colour from the CTMH palette, and the other side features a lighter tone of the same colour. (On the image above, the bottom of the papers are folded to show the lighter tone.) Exciting!

2. *Cut Above Layout Kits - The Story Begins (Baby Boy and Baby Girl) – This is definitely one of my very favourites in the new Idea Book. I’ve already ordered the Baby Boy one to use for Austen’s baby book. I did a pocket-page style baby book for JJ’s first year, and had a plan to do the same for Austen… It just hasn’t gotten done yet. So, I’m excited to use this kit and finally get Austen’s book done (he’s just turning three, so it’s about time!)! The kit has products to create 10 coordinating 2-page layouts (including die-cuts, stickers, instructions and page protectors!). I’ve also ordered the coordinating Picture My Life: The Story Begins (Baby Boy) set. My plan is to mix the layouts and pocket pages to get the album complete. Make sure to follow my blog to see how it turns out!

I so wish I had a little girl to scrap, as I love the Baby Girl kit, too! These kits would also be great as a baby gift for an expectant mother (having a baby is how most people start scrapbooking!), or you could even make the scrapbook yourself to give as a gift to someone who has had a baby! (I may do this with the Girl kit, just so I can get my hands on it!)

3. Block Alphabet Thin Cuts – I love all of the Thin Cuts that CTMH has come out with, but this Block Alphabet one has to be one of my favourites. Again, I love the flexibility that it gives for creating titles. You can create out of any colour cardstock, or pattern paper, or even background stamps (like the coordinating In the Background set!) I admit, I do have an electronic die-cutting machine, which gives so much flexibility for creating titles, but sometimes just using a manual die cutter is quicker and easier than getting everything all set-up with my computer. This set is definitely up next of my ‘to buy’ list!

4. Beautiful You Stamp & Thin Cuts Set – Love that we now have some layering stamps in our Idea Book! If you’re unfamiliar, these are stamps that work together as a set – in this case, 3 different stamps layer together to create one beautiful flower with different layers of colour. And thanks to our clear acrylic blocks it's so easy to align the stamps perfectly for a clean, beautiful final image! And I’m now becoming spoiled since we offer so many coordinating thin cuts to go with our stamp sets. It makes it so easy to stamp and die-cut to add to a scrapbook page or cards! (The flowers and leaves added to the layout above are from the stamp set and coordinating die.)

5. *Make It from Your Heart: Volume 3 – This volume of Make It from Your Heart includes 36 two-page layout patterns using standard photo sizes, as well as artwork inspiration demonstrating how to incorporate additional photos using our Pocket Plus and pocket page Memory Protectors. I really love how these pages are printed on a sturdy cardstock and 3-hole punched to fit into one of our 6x8 Everyday Life albums. So easy to pack up and take with you to a crop or a friend’s house for some scrapping.

6. *Rose Embossing Folder – As soon as I saw this folder used in the artwork sample on page 99 of the Idea Book, I knew I had to have it! (Photo above - showcasing the Beautiful You stamp once again too!) I love the subtle look of embossing a piece of White Daisy cardstock, then lightly sponging over it with a colour of ink that matches your project.

7. *Adventure Fundamental Paper Pack – If I had to choose one, I think this one is my favourite fundamental pack from this year’s Annual Inspirations. (Although I really, truly love them all.) I just love the brighter colours of the Adventure collection, and I love the watercolour rose designs featured on a few of the pieces (and the hearts, and stripes!) This is the first of the Fundamentals packs that I plan on designing a workshop for!

8. Constellations stamp set – This, of course, is totally subjective, but I have a thing for stars, and for constellations. I decorated my old room at my parent’s house with glow in the dark stars mapped out in various constellations so that when you turned off the lights, you were surrounded by stars and constellations. So as soon as I saw this stamp, I had major heart eyes! I love that there are a bunch of constellations already made up, and also some individual stars, so you can stamp your own constellations out yourself (if you’re a star nerd like me!) Can’t wait to order this stamp set!

9. *Sending Prayers Stamp set - I really love the lettering this stamp set is done in, and it's always nice to have a set with these sentiments in your stash, for those times that you need to whip up a sympathy or 'get well soon' card in a hurry. I need to have a card-making session to get some of these done up!

10. And finally, the Punny Pals Operation Smile stamp set - I'll be totally honest, I'm not typically into cartoon-y image stamp sets - but, come on! These are just too cute to pass up! And I totally love all the 'punny' sayings to accompany the images. And don't forget the fact that $7 of the proceeds of each set goes to Operation Smile - a non-profit organization that provides surgeries to repair cleft lips and palates for children all over the world. Such a great cause. Will definitely be adding this set to my collection soon :)

So, that is my Top 10 'Gotta Haves' from our new 2017-18 Annual Inspirations Idea Book. As you can see indicated above, I already have a fair share of these sitting here, ready to be used to make some fabulous projects! Look out for some new and exciting stuff coming up on the blog soon!

If you 'gotta have' any of these items (or any other amazing Close to my Heart product), be sure to check out my shop at craftwithnicole.closetomyheart.ca, or feel free to contact me at anytime!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 7, 2017

August with Close To My Heart

August Specials with Close To My Heart

Hi there! Wow, I can't believe that we are already entering the second week of August! This summer has just flown by! We didn't have much planned for this summer with my husband starting a new job just a couple of months ago, so I thought it would just kind of drag along... It's been quite the contrary! And we have some fun stuff planned for the next couple weeks around here, so I'm sure it'll be the end of August now before I know it.

Speaking of August, time for me to mention all of the fun Close To My Heart stuff that is going on this month!

First off, I have to mention the brand spankin' new Annual Inspirations Idea Book that just went live August 1st! So much fun new stuff in there! I really love the new line of Fundamentals paper packs, and love that our cardstock is now two-tone!! (The original colour on the front, and a lighter tone of the same colour on the back). I plan on having a "Top 5" (or 10, haven't decided yet) of my favourite things from the new Idea Book up on my blog next week, so keep an eye out for that! You can check out the new Annual Inspirations Idea Book through my website shop (craftwithnicole.closetomyheart.ca), under Products - Idea Books.

Next up, we have THREE awesome campaigns going on for the month of August!

  • Online Warehouse Sale! During the month of August we’ll be offering an online Warehouse Sale on my online shop website! Starting on August 1, there'll be a set of retired items and product bundles at an amazing 50% discount! These items will be available for a week—while supplies last of course—and then they will be replaced by a new set of offers the following Tuesday. And to sweeten the deal, for these sale items, we’ll be charging shipping only on the price paid instead of on the retail value—it’s an awesome opportunity for EXTRA savings!

  • Rewards Your Way Team-Building Special - New Consultants who join my Team during August and submit qualifying sales can earn your choice of a FREE Cricut® collection, a Block Alphabet Thin Cuts bundle, or an additional $126 CAD in Select Product Credit! To earn your choice of these rewards, the you needs to submit $350 CAD in commissionable sales by September 30! So contact me if you're interested in joining my team!

  • Jump for Joy Hostess Special - And we haven’t forgotten our hostesses out there, either! For August we are bringing back an exciting special just for hostesses: when a Gathering party reaches the third level of Hostess Rewards or higher, your Hostess rewards will “jump up” a level, which means you get EXTRA Hostess Rewards and maybe even an extra 50%-off item! This special is sure to have you jumping for joy! Be sure to contact me to set up your Gathering party! (If you don't have the time/space to host one in your home, we can also do an online party with all the same benefits!)
So, lots of great deals going on in August!

Once again, last, but not least, we have the August Stamp of the Month: School Year. This is one of my favourites already!

This lovely set is available for August only! The regular pricing on it is $23CAD, but when you place an order of $50 or more in my shop, you can purchase the special stamp set for just $6!

And here it is put to use on a beautiful layout:

Right now I'm scraplifting this layout for pictures of JJ's first and last days of preschool from this past year! I'm hoping to share it on my blog early next week :) (We're going away camping tomorrow morning, otherwise I'd have it up earlier!)

So, lots of stuff going on in August! Please contact me to take part in any of these great offerings!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Around Here | July 2017

I've decided to bring back my "Around Here" posts that I used to do on my previous blog (www.nicolemann.ca). These were a great way to get down the general 'goings on' of the month, and I've missed having that to look back on, so here we go!

Around here we just celebrated Erika and Vince's marriage with an awesome wedding! JJ was the ring bearer (he was adorable!!(absolutely NOT biased at all - haha!)) and he was so excited to be a part of the wedding (and kept calling it 'his wedding'). The ceremony was beautiful, JJ pulled off his duties without a hitch, and the reception was wonderful as well. Not to mention a pretty awesome dance party - the kids stole the show!

Around here it's been a general 'party' month! There's been a bachelorette party, Canada Day party, wedding rehearsal party, of course the wedding, and a milestone birthday party for my sister's boyfriend! Lots of celebrating going on around here 🎉  It's been a fun month!

Around here we finally were able to get out camping! We bought a new truck and trailer last fall with the hopes of getting a lot of use out of it this summer. But with Jason's change in jobs, those plans got derailed (which is fine! Lots of time to go camping in years to come!) So it was the middle of July before we could actually get out and use it, and even then, just for a couple of days. Our trial run, as we were calling it (since we only went for 2 nights, and very close to home) served its purpose - gave us a taste of camping and also helped us realize all the things we needed to take care of for a more 'proper' camping trip (trailer/hitch issues, items we forgot, items we totally didn't even think of in the first place...) All in all, it was a good time - the boys just loved it and can't wait to go again!

Around here Jason finally finished his training (6 long weeks!) and started 'flying the line'. An exciting time for him - and we're excited for him too! So far, so good. He's enjoying the change and flying to some different destinations!

Around here I am just in a reading slump that I can't seem to get out of! I guess part of it is that I have been pretty busy with other things and just don't have as much downtime for anything... however, in what downtime I do have, I'm not choosing reading right now. Want to try to change that...

Around here it seems like Austen is - dare I say it??!? - exiting his 'terrible twos'! (Which started waaaay before he was two...) The tantrums are becoming less common, and days are just generally a little bit easier. So that's a welcome change.

Around here I have become obsessed with the Hamilton Soundtrack. And yes... I realize I am about 2 years late to the party on that one! 😂😂  I don't even recall what made me listen to it in the first place a few weeks ago, but it has been on repeat ever since!

Around here we have been having some crazy hot weather. We bought the boys this Little Tikes Bouncer/Waterslide at the beginning of summer, and they've been getting some good use out of it lately!

And that's what we've been up to around here. What have you been up to this past month?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Introducing: The FIRST 'Craft with Nicole' Workshop!

I've finally completed my very first scrapbooking workshop! It's using my favourite collection in our current Seasonal Expressions book, Jack. This collection is perfect for scrapping the boys or men in your life and is also great for pages to do with outdoors/camping/lake life!

This workshop creates eight double-page spreads!

Supplies needed to complete the pages are: 
G1129 – WYW Jack Scrapbooking Kit - $34.50 CAD
X7222D - Jack Coordinating Cardstock - $12.75 CAD
1385 - (24) White Daisy Cardstock (workshop uses 17) - $12.25 CAD

And the best part is, when you place an order of $35 or more in my online shop, I will email you the workshop instructions for FREE! Visit my shop here: https://craftwithnicole.closetomyheart.ca (If you don't receive your instructions within 24 hours, please email me at nicolemann9@gmail.com) If you are not in Canada but would like to purchase this workshop, you can use the PayPal option at the end of this post, or email me :)

And for my fellow CTMH Consultants, you also have the option to get this workshop to use for your own business! Click below to purchase the workshop instructions for $15CAD, and I will email them to you!

I would also love to be able to host this as an in-person workshop at my house, but we are still trying to figure out some tentative summer plans around here. However, if you are in the Winnipeg area and are interested in attending, please send me an email so I have an idea of if there is interest or for more details/information!

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy July!

Hi everyone! I hope your summer is off to a fantastic start! The past month or two has been a little chaotic around here, and I'm looking forward to slowing down a little bit and enjoying this awesome weather we're starting to get around here.

I wanted to share some awesome deals and things that are going on with Close To My Heart this month! There's so much fun stuff I don't know where to start!

I think my favourite is probably the Canadian Celebration Bundle that we have right now! We just had our Canada Day long weekend, and I'm still feeling pretty pumped about it.

In honour of Canada’s 150 year anniversary, Close To My Heart has created an exclusive product bundle that you can purchase during the month of July at 20% off the retail price! This bundle includes our brand new Canadian-themed digital Cricut® collection as well as a Canada 150 stamp set and 12 sheets of cardstock. Use these coordinating crafting products to commemorate Canada’s special milestone in a memorable and beautiful way!

This is definitely on my shopping list for this month! The Canada 150 stamp set can also be purchased separately if you just want a little something to add to your Canada Day pages :)

July is also Stampaganza around here! That means when you buy two stamp sets, you can get a third set of equal or lesser value FREE! Choose from any stamp set in the current idea book, plus a collection of popular sets that we have brought back for this month only! You can check out all the sets that have been brought back here: http://bit.ly/2smZejJ

And last, but not least, we have the July Stamp of the Month: Storybook Alphabet!

This awesome alphabet set is available for July only! The regular pricing on it is $23CAD, but when you place an order of $50 or more in my shop, you can purchase the special stamp set for just $6!

Here are some beautiful examples of how this set can be used!

Like I said, so much exciting stuff going on in July! To take part in any of these awesome deals, check out my shop, here: craftwithnicole.closetomyheart.ca!

Aaaaand, I'm also just putting some finishing touches on getting my very first workshop up for sale! So look for the in the next day or so! It's using one of my all-time favourite collections: Jack!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Father's Day Cards with Jack

I love love the Jack collection! First of all, it contains most of my favourite colours/designs - black, white, grey, red & plaid. And since I live in a house full of boys (who are my main focus of scrapping) this is just the perfect collection for me!

I decided to make some Father's Day cards using the Jack Paper Pack and Jack - Cardmaking stamp set. Love that little bear and all of his accessories!

I can't wait to make some more 'manly' cards with this Paper Pack!

Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies Used:
Jack Paper Pack - X7222B - $12.75 CAD
Jack - Cardmaking Stamp - C1678 - $17.75 CAD
Black and White Dots - Z3314 - $5 CAD
Whisper Thick Twine - Z3095 - $5 CAD