I was reading in a blog the other day that Close to My Heart (CTMH) seemed to be more about scrapbooking than anything else and I just wanted to say that CTMH is much much more than that. Close to My Heart provides a huge range of products for all your papercrafting needs, including cardmaking, 3 dimensional projects, home decor items as well as the traditional scrapbooking. I have been papercrafting for 20+ years and I have personally found the CTMH products to be superior to anything that I have used in the past. The quality is excellent and the company are great to work for. How many companies would make page protectors to fit another company’s albums! CTMH did just that to help ease the previous Creative Memories Consultants transition from CM to CTMH. Plus they have created stamp sets specifically for the Australasian market. And they have just created a new stamp set to go with a fabulous new paper pack they are releasing next month after a suggestion from a consultant.
Since I have been with CTMH my paper crafting has gone to a whole new level and I have been able to stretch and challenge myself to do a lot more projects that I would never have thought I could do. The support and inspiration from the other CTMH consultants has been amazing as well. It really has become a big international family with consultants sharing and supporting from Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
Here are the reasons why I love CTMH
Stamps – There are over 100 different stamp sets for all sorts of different occasions. CTMH stamps are clear acrylic stamps that come in a little package for easy storage. I have always preferred clear stamps as I like to see where I am stamping. However, the ones I have used previously were good for only a couple of uses and then they warped and lost their stickiness. I loved the images but couldn’t use them! Plus the prices are excellent value for money with prices ranging from $6 to $33 (NZ$). And there is also the SOTM set which is available for just $5 when you spend $75.
Papers – the papers are gorgeous and beautiful to work with. They mix and match so well and the paper packs with coordinating cardstock are excellent value for money at just NZ$18 per packet. Enough for 2 double page layouts and lots of cards. I also love the fact that they cater for masculine themes really well as those are hard to find.
Cardstock – there are 40 different colours to choose from and you can buy them in packs of single colours or in a colour range. They work well together across the colour spectrum and I like the white core as it gives other ways to add more dimension to your projects. Plus this adds to the uniformity of colour throughout the packs. and they are easy to manipulate and roll into flowers.
Inks – there are inks to match all the cardstock colours. I have found the ink pads to be lovely and juicy and give a good impression every time. And there is NO smudging unless my hands are hot and sticky. I have used other products and have got frustrated with the smudging. I am not sure how these inks would go on other cardstock as they are designed to work with the CTMH cardstock and I no longer have other products to use to see what they would be like.
WOTG and How To Books – I am more of a cardmaker than a scrapbooker and I LOVE LOVE LOVE these WOTGs and books. These are great to get me inspired when I have a creative block and they are easy for newbies to scrapbooking and cardmaking to use. My books are well-thumbed and I have used them heaps.
Embellishments – CTMH provides a range of embellishments to match the papers, stamps and cardstock. There is a selection of ribbons, bling, sequins, washi tape, bakers twine and shimmer trims. I have found over the years that it is easy to hoard a lot of different embellishments and it is good having a smaller range that works on a wide range of products. Plus there are a lot of cheap imports coming into the country and CTMH are unable to compete with them and they should compete with them. I almost exclusively use CTMH products but occasionally I will add a non-CTMH product. I really don’t need anything else.
Designer Creations and Design Creations – there are a range of boxes, bags albums and frames for you to decorate with and make great gifts for friends and families.
Cricut Cartridges – I don’t know what I would do without my Cricut cartridges. Just about every time I sit down to craft I turn my computer on and get into Cricut Craftroom to make something for my projects. I love the fact that you can size the images to fit and you are not limited to the size of a die. Plus I was always losing my dies on my desk. I was told at the start of my CTMH journey that you will only need these cartridges and they were right. I haven’t needed to really look at any of the hundreds of other cartridges that are available as I have all that I need.
There are other products available such as the Picture Your Life and Base and Bling to add more variety to your crafting. These products can be used on their own or incorporated into your other projects such as scrapbooking and cardmaking.
Here are a couple of cards and some decorated boxes using CTMH products to show how versatile they are.
These cards have been made with the new Blossom papers from the new Seasonal Expressions 2 catalogue. These were very quick and easy to make using the beautiful papers and the coordinating stamp set Shower Flowers. I have used stamped the images and then fussy cut them out to layer them to make the flowers. Isn’t that zip strip gorgeous and just finishes off the cards so well.
With this card I have stamped the leaves with Glacier ink first on the base card and then layered the flowers on top. The sentiments are from the Happy to Be Friends stamp set from the last Seasonal Expressions catalogue. This stamp set is still available for about a year before it is retired.
And just to show that CTMH is not limited to cardmaking and scrapbooking I have decorated a couple of kraft boxes from the local discount store. I have some baby clothing for sale at Gift Hutt and thought I might make some boxes to do up to make gift boxes for baby showers or for a new arrival. A lovely aqua baby cardigan had just come in and I immediately thought of the Blossom papers and they were a perfect match.
Here is the baby gift box. I have cut the lace heart from the Artiste cartridge and used the Cricut Craftroom to manipulate the size to fit the shape of the lit. I traced the lid onto a piece of paper and then cut it out with scissors to get the base shape. The bow is cut from the Artiste cartridge.
And here is the contents – including the cardigan and a very cute handcrafted soap moulded into a baby basket. I have got cards to match this at Gift Hutt and the ribbon was purchased through Gift Hutt. This gift basket would be great to keep all the little mementos that we collect when we have babies – like the first booties, tooth, hair cut etc.
With Mother’s Day coming up I have done a gift basket for filling with lots of goodies from Gift Hutt.
This time it is hexagonal and I have used the Artbooking cartridge to cut the shapes on the top and then decorated the with the flowers from the Shower Flowers stamp set over the embossed Flaxen cardstock.
The tag is from the new Tagged with Love stamp set from the new Seasons Expressions catalogue. I have cut this out from Kraft cardstock and stamped with Black and Lagoon inks.
Here is a view of the top:
As you can see there is so much more to CTMH than cardmaking and scrapbooking. Almost all the products I have used are from CTMH and can be purchased from here.
These views expressed here are my personal opinion only.
Cardstock – Flaxen, Glacier, White Daisy
Paper – Blossom
Stamps – Happy to Be Friends, Tagged with Love, Shower Flowers
Inks – Glacier, Black, Pear, Sorbet, Sunset, Lagoon, Flaxen
Cricut Cartridges – Art Philosophy, Artiste, Artbooking
Embossing Folder – Diamond
Extra Thick Twine – Glacier
Sequins – Coral Reef
The only products I have purchased are the kraft boxes and the blue ribbon
Have a good week and Happy Crafting