If you {heart} Close To My Heart, then this challenge blog is for you!
Each Monday, a new challenge is posted, and Close To My Heart products are required to enter.
Don't have any CTMH products? Then beg, borrow, or BUY from our fabulous roster of Consultants!

Sponsored and created by Independent Consultants for Close To My Heart, all challenges will be posted on Monday mornings with the deadline to enter on the last day of the month or on the Saturday following the month's final challenge. All challenges close at midnight EST. (Each month, the final challenge date will be announced to help you play along. You have all month to play, so join us often!) You might even be in our Top 10!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Welcome to our August Guest DT

We're getting ready to start a new month and along with that we have a new Guest Design Team member to welcome - say hello to Debi:


Here is a little about Debi, from Debi:

"Hi, my name is Debi Davis and I’m a stay at home mom of two kids ages 13 and 8.  When they are not keeping me busy, I escape to my downstairs studio to work on the current Heart 2 Heart Challenge or some other fun paper crafting project.  I started a blog a couple of years ago and love the H2H Challenges, it gives me a push to try something new.

I have been a Close To My Heart Consultant for 9 years now and still get giddy when each new catalog/idea book comes out.  Nine years ago my friend invited me to come to one of her home gatherings and I was hooked on CTMH right away.  I loved how the colors all coordinated together - cardstock, patterned paper, and accessories.  I didn’t have to spend hours trying to pick out supplies for a project only to have it look “not quite right”.

 I’m looking forward to being on the guest design team this month and am excited to use some of the new products from the new Fall/Winter Catalog.  Thanks for inviting me to participate!"

We're excited to have Debi join us this month so watch for her artwork coming up in August! In the meantime, you can visit her at her blog Stamp N Fun or her website Here.

See you on Monday with a brand new challenge!

Monday, July 25, 2011

New week-new challenge!

Time for a new challenge and it's one of our favorites! A sketch! So let's get right to it:


Here is our 10th H2H sketch - how will you interpret it? Here is what the Design Team came up with, starting with our Guest DT for July - Tracy!


Beautiful Tracy! Thanks for joining us and sharing your artwork this month!







All great examples of different ways to create gorgeous artwork from a sketch! Now let's see what you can do! This is your last challenge of the month so in order to be eligible for the prizes from our sponsors, S'andra and Tonya, you must get your entries for any of the month's challenges posted by Saturday at 10 pm EST. Good luck and happy creating!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Doilies and Lace

Thanks to everyone for playing along with our challenge last week and sharing your artwork inspiration! We are ready for another challenge and this one is frilly and pretty. We want to see how you use doilies or lace in your artwork. Let's see what the DT created starting with our sponsor, S'andra, who is playing along with us:

Be sure you head to S'andra's blog for more detail shots of this beautiful layout!









Aren't they just lovely?? Now it's your turn to show us how you incorporate doilies and/or lace in your artwork. Share your creations below!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Scrapbook Sketches are BACK!

Our new scrapbook sketch design team member, Cheryl Even, has her 1st sketch and layout sample posted for Heart 2 Heart on our Scrapbooking page (see the tab at the top) and I hope you will take a minute to check it out, leave a comment for Cheryl on this post, and then play along!! I know I need to get some scrapping done - how about you??

Monday, July 11, 2011

Inspiration Part 2

Here we are at another week - did you see the June Top Ten (below)? Always such a hard decision to pick our favorites because everyone's artwork is always so inspirational! So we're on to a new month and new challenges and we have a good one for you this week but have a few things to wrap up first.

Two randomly drawn participants from June will be receiving the prizes from last month's awesome sponsors, Michelle and Romaine. Thanks again ladies! And our winners are:

Sarah Walms and Marg Van Patten!  Congrats ladies - email me your address and I will forward to one of the sponsors and your prize will be heading your way!

There are 2 new prizes up for grabs this month from S'andra and Tonya. We are so grateful for our sponsors - a big thank you!

Now on to our challenge. This is a From Your Heart to Ours week which means we want you to share something special with us. We are continuing our theme of inspiration this week but turning the tables.

Your challenge is to find something to inspire your artwork. This can be a photo, magazine ad, a piece of fabric, a label - well, it can be anything!!! Find something that inspires your artwork with color or shape or element, etc...and post both a photo of what inspired you and your finished artwork. The DT found their sources of inspiration to create the following samples - go to their blogs to see what the source of the inspiration is they each used. First up, our sponsor Tonya is playing along with us this week and got her inspiration from the Idea Book:

Beautiful Tonya! And I think Tonya has another sample on her blog so be sure to check it out!







I am always so excited to find new sources of inspiration and we can't wait to see what inspires YOU! To play along, don't forget to post a photo of your inspiration and of your artwork.

And to everyone heading to Convention this week, have a fun and safe time!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Our Top Ten for June!

It's time once again to announce our Top Ten and let me tell you, the decision gets harder every month! Want to know how to be eligible to be in our Top Ten? Just follow the challenges and participate. Play along once a month or every week - all entries are eligible. The DT looks through all the entries and send their top picks to me at the end of the month to compile and we announce the winners here. Entries are based on creativity, sticking to the challenge, using CTMH products, and clean execution of artwork. What do the winners get? A badge to add to their blog and bragging rights of being in our Top Ten.

So let's get to it!

From the Wedding challenge week we have the following: (to see the entire project, click the photo to go to the creator's blog!)



 
From the Father's Day/Create a Background challenge:



From Bingo week:


And from our Color challenge week:


 And our Top chick on the Top Ten is............

Debi! Congratulations!

You will all be receiving an email soon with badge information. Thanks for playing and we hope to continue to see your creativity here at H2H!

New challenge coming Monday plus the names of the two randomly drawn winners of the prizes from our 2 sponsors of June! See you then!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

We are starting July off with a bang, this 4th of July day! We have new DT members, a new Guest DT and 2 new sponsors! Woohoo!! Let the fun begin!!

First off, I want to welcome our new sponsors and show you what goodies they have in store for 2 lucky July challenge participants. From S'andra VanWoerden, this package of crafty fun:


You can stop by and see S'andra at Oh My Scraps! and leave her a little love while you're there.

Also sponsoring our blog this month is Tonya Whitehurst who has this package of goodies:


Check out Tonya's blog, Heart and Soul Scrappers and say hello (and thank you!!) Our sponsors are truly appreciated so a BIG thank you to you both!!

Are you ready for a new challenge?? It's all about inspiration - take a look at this picture:

Click the photo for a larger image!

What inspires you about the photo? The fact that there are three panels? The colors? The items? The shapes? The flowers?

Take some inspiration from the photo and turn it into artwork that you create. Want to see how the photo inspired the DT? Let's start off with our Guest DT, Tracy:

Adorable layout Tracy! It looks like flowers from the photo inspired Tracy. Visit her blog to see more!

And now for the rest of the team - the first post for our new members!!






Awesome creations ladies! And what a variety from one inspiration photo!!

So let's see what you are inspired to create. A quick review of the rules:

1. You MUST use CTMH products although it doesn't have to be 100% CTMH.
2. You have all month to play along but must link up before the last Saturday of the month to be eligible for the prizes.
3. You MUST leave a direct link to the specific blog post with your artwork, not to your blog as a whole. To do this, create your post and publish it. Then click on the title of the post on your blog. This will take you to a page that shows ONLY that one post. This is the URL you need to copy and paste into Mister Linky (below).

Ok, ready to create? We can't wait to see your "take" on the photo. Have fun!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Our last intros

I have two more people to introduce you to and then we can get this party started!

First up, another new member of the team. Please welcome Cheryl Even who will now be our new scrapbook sketch artist!  I am very excited about this as I was just not able to keep up and add sketches on a regular basis. But I have so much scrapbooking to get caught up on!! Well, Cheryl offered to help out and I took one look at her work (both sketches and layouts) and asked her to join the team. And she said YES! So Cheryl will be providing a sketch once a month for all the scrapbook lovers and we hope you will play along. Look for Cheryl's first post on July 15th. But for now, let's get to know Cheryl a little bit:


"My name is Cheryl Even, and I have been married to my wonderful hubby Greg for 19 years. I’m a SAHM to two very active boys, ages 9 and 6. We live in Southern California. I’ve been scrapbooking since a friend dragged me to a scrapbooking party back in 1998, and, 41 albums later, I guess you could say I’m hooked. We recently had to move to make room for more albums! My albums are mostly chronological, and I scrap as many photos as I can on each layout, so the challenge is always to keep the page from being overwhelming. I was introduced to CTMH at a gathering in 2004, and I loved the idea of being able to see through the stamps. I now stamp on almost every layout; the versatility of stamping keeps me coming back again and again. After using CTMH’s products for several years, I decided to join this great company myself, and I became a consultant in 2008. Jeanette’s how-to books are one of my go-to tools, and I use the patterns in them all the time in my scrapbooking and card-making, but I also like to create and share sketches of my own. I love to teach scrapbooking and cardmaking at workshops and home gatherings. On National Scrapbook Day 2009, I started blogging about scrapbooking, and I really enjoy sharing my layouts with others and seeing what everyone else has posted. My other hobbies include reading, singing, and writing music. If I’m not busy with those or crafting, I’m probably working on women’s ministry events for my church or driving my kids somewhere – school, karate lessons, soccer practice, play dates, you name it! Thanks, Mary, for the opportunity to share my sketches with everyone."
You are welcome, Cheryl - thanks for joining us! You can check out Cheryl's blog at Even More Scrapping.

And last but not least, allow me to introduce our Guest DT for July, Tracy Oleksak:


"My name is Tracy Oleksak and I live in Western Massachusetts with my husband, our two children (ages 9 & 11) and our chocolate lab puppy. I count my blessings every day for the opportunity to be home with my children, and take care of our home. I hold a degree in Criminal Psychology but left the corporate world 6 years ago to be home and never looked back! Although I loved my job, I love being a mom and a wife more.

I have been scrapbooking for as long as I can remember starting with cutting out pictures and words from magazines to add to my pictures in the magnetic albums (before we knew better!). I became a CTMH Independent Consultant in January 2003 because I fell in love with their papers and the variety of products that they offer. I currently use "a little bit of everything" and my pages and cards are a mix match of designers and manufacturers. I truly enjoy the creative process of recording my families history and preserving our everyday memories for years to come.

When I am not creating you can find me reading a good historical fiction novel, running, volunteering in my children's school, spending time with my family or rehabing our house to make it a home (a long and daunting process). Oh, and I am slightly addicted to reading blogs and Pinterest. I also recently bought a sewing machine and really want to teach myself to sew (because I don't have enough on my agenda!)

Thank you so much for the opportunity to be a GDT member...it is truly an honor."

You will be seeing more from Tracy through the month but for now, drop by her blog at Mama Olie's Musings.

We have a great challenge for you coming Monday so I hope you will take a moment during your 4th of July festivities to check it out! Plus, we will be welcoming 2 new sponsors so we hope to see you then!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

More DT members to meet!

Let's continue getting to know the other 2 new DT members that will be joining Haley, Jody, Michelle and Brenda.

First up, Debi Barber:

"I am a single mother of two daughters.  One is working on her master’s degree and the other is still at home. I am a tax accountant by trade, and have found that I need a different outlet for my creativity, since too much of it in my profession will land everyone in jail!! I've been scrapbooking for about 7 years. My daughter and sister were scrapbookers before me and since I had so many other hobbies I swore I wasn't going to get into yet another one...but as I sat at the kitchen table watching them I soon found myself making suggestions, planning photos for layouts and selecting a new house that had a room adequate for scrapbooking....hence my scrapbooking journey as well as my business - My Sister's Hobby emerged.  Soon after I divorced and needed a way to meet new people I came across Close To My Heart at a local craft show. Knowing that this could be just the thing I was looking for I soon joined the company and have been a consultant for the last 6 1/2 years.  I like to use our products in an "out of the box" way and have the most fun playing with the products to see what I can come up with."

Glad to have you joining us, Debi! You can take a look at Debi's blog, The Other Sister, and leave her a little note to say "hi".

Rounding out the new team members is Pamela O'Connor -




"Hello there! My name is Pamela O'Connor. My husband Mike of 20 years and I have three amazing children, Shaymus (16), Caitlyn (13) and Bevyn (almost 4). We live in Christoval, Texas which is just 20 miles south of my hometown, San Angelo. I began my adventure with Close To My Heart as a D.O.T.S. consultant in December 1998 while I was a full-time secretary for an insurance agent. It didn't take long for me to become obsessed with scrapbooking and stamping and once we made our move to our current home in Christoval, 11 years ago, we decided it was time for me to become a full-time stay-at-home mom. I love being available for my children! I also enjoy volunteering at my church and reading anything inspirational or motivational in my spare time!

Over the past 12 years, I have grown in so many ways because of Close To My Heart. I have made so many wonderful friends through home gatherings, clubs, conventions, and my blog that I never would have come in contact with otherwise. I love to teach and share the product that I love with others. I have taught at four Close To My Heart Annual Conventions and earned a Western Caribbean Cruise contest in 2003. In May 2011, I reached my long-term goal of Director!

I love sharing my creations with others, so I'm extremely excited to have this opportunity to be on the H2H Design Team and share them you. I'm looking forward to seeing what we will create together!"
Be sure to stop by Pam's blog, Reflections of My aRt & sOuL, and leave her a nice welcome!

More to come tomorrow - stay tuned!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Introducing the new Design Team!

As sad as I am to see the "old" Design Team members retiring from Heart 2 Heart Challenges, I am excited to welcome the new members of the team! So let's welcome them with a *bang* this holiday weekend!!

I have 2 new faces to introduce you to today.

First up is Michelle Auten:
 
"Hi!  My name is Michelle, and I am a paper addict.....oh, no, wait....wrong group!  :-)  Let's try again....Hi, My name is Michelle Auten, and I am so excited to be joining you here at Heart2Heart Challenges!
Though I was born and raised in Illinois, I've lived in the Washington, DC metro area for the past 16 years.  I currently live in Northern Virginia, about an hour outside the city, in a small town named Purcellville.  I am married to a wonderful (and very supportive!) man named Mike, and we have 2 children: Josh, age 14 (teenager in da house...pray for me!), and Allison, age 11.  We also have a very cute, but ornery Shih Tzu named Bandit.  I think he gives me more trouble than the teenager!  :-)

I have been scrapbooking, stamping and making cards for about 6 years. It all started with an invitation for my son's 8th birthday. I wanted to send out a camping themed invitation, but couldn't find anything that fit the bill. While wandering the aisles at a local craft store one day, I noticed a "You're Invited" stamp, and some little paper cut-outs of tents. An idea was born, and I've never looked back.

While I am a Family Therapist by trade (I have a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology), my hobby eventually led me to work in a couple of local scrapbook stores, where I designed and taught classes.  Like so many brick and mortar stores in recent years, these stores have unfortunately closed their doors for good.  But one day, in March 2010, a girlfriend asked me to attend a Close To My Heart workshop with her. I was familiar with Close To My Heart, but had not seen a catalog for quite some time, so I agreed to go. As I sat watching the consultant teach the workshop, I was reminded of how much I missed teaching and sharing my passion for this craft with others. About 2 weeks later, my girlfriend called to say that she was contemplating signing up to be a Close To My Heart Consultant. As I was talking her into it, and convincing her what a great opportunity it would be, it dawned on me that this was something that I should be doing as well. And how much fun to start with a friend!! So, on April 1, 2010, we both signed up online, and the rest is history.

I am so grateful to CTMH, as it has given me the opportunity to once again share my passion for this hobby with others.  I hope I can share this enthusiasm with you, and encourage you to play along with us here at Heart2Heart Challenges!!"

Please take a minute to visit Michelle at her blog, Paper, Projects and Pizazz and leave her a welcome message!!

Next up is Brenda Rose:


"Hello! I am so excited to be joining Heart 2 Heart as a design team member! My husband and I live in Minnesota in a northern suburb of the Twin Cities and will celebrate our 21st anniversary this summer. We have one grown son, so we are empty nesters now. I really began my journey with Close To My Heart in the summer of 2005 when I signed up to be a consultant. Do you know that I had never even seen the Close To My Heart products when I signed up? It was an amazing journey from the beginning! I took a couple of years off and recently re-joined and am now growing another team. My greatest passion is teaching, and it’s not a secret to anyone that reads my blog that Close To My Heart is my very favorite product. I have been scrapping for about 21 years, so believe me, I feel like I have tried and tested it all! I love the “whole package” that is Close To My Heart. If you are working on a page, you can get paper, stickers, stamps, and inks that all coordinate. If I am not in my craft room, you’ll find me spending time with my family and pets. I am also an avid reader, so my Kindle gets very good use. I look forward to getting to know all of you through your artwork!"

You can leave a note of welcome for Brenda at her blog Rose Blossom Legacies.

Two more team members to introduce tomorrow so stay tuned!