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Old 01-23-2012, 10:16 PM   #1  
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Default Close to my Heart questions

I am planning to attend my first CTMH workshop this weekend. I've never purchased their products and I have no experience with them, so I was hoping to get a couple of questions answered before I go. First, I already own several acrylic blocks for my other unmounted stamps. Is there any reason I would need to buy their acrylix blocks (would their stamps work on any acrylic blocks, or is there something specific about their blocks that make them necessary?). Also, is there a stamp set or accessory, etc. that really stands out as something you would recommend? I have lots of SU! and other brands of stamps, inks, etc. and am almost afraid to go find a whole new line of products to tempt me! I paged through the idea book online and the products look interesting, but I'd love to know if there's something special in there that I should focus on.

Thanks in advance for your advice! I have been debating for several days if I will go to the workshop (my spending willpower has been tested already this month!) but I think it will be a fun break in the weekend!
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:36 AM   #2  
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Close to My Heart stamps can be used on any acrylic blocks. I use mine on a set of Fiskars blocks that I bought (cheap) with a coupon at JoAnn's. Unless you need a 12" stamp block (which I've not seen anywhere else) I don't see any reason to buy any CTMH blocks.

Close to My Heart and Stampin' Up each have their strengths. Stampin' Up has great quality rubber stamps (wood mount and clear mount) and they have awesome punches and recently started adding dies and embossing folders.

Close to My Heart has great prices on their clear stamps. I really like several of their designs in this catalog (St. Nick & Holiday Commentary) but haven't ordered CTMH in more than a year. I normally place one good size order once a year and usually do that when there is a gotta-have stamp of the month offering. I got the All Decked Out (snowman) set a few years ago and had lots of fun with it this holiday season.

There are more stamps for sale than just those in the catalog. If you search the CTMH site for a consultant, and check the box that says only those that have online shopping websites, you'll be able to see all the products available.

The area where I think CTMH shines is its beautiful paper packs! The packs come with coordinating prints and cardstock. The older sets which are being phased out (Sophia, Mayberry and a couple others) have thin print paper and cardstock weight solids. The new sets (which I've not yet ordered) now have cardstock weight prints as well as solids. I think this is a big plus for cardmakers.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:59 AM   #3  
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As Melissa said, their stamps work with any acrylic blocks. I have found that CTMH stamps are THE best acrylic stamps I've ever used. The quality is excellent, and they stamp beautifully. Their alphabet sets are wonderful, especially the ones that include multiple letters and upper and lower case. I love their papers too. They have a good weight to them, and the colors and designs are beautiful.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:12 AM   #4  
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Default CTMH

CTMH has awesome products! My friend was a consultant at one time and even though I sold SU at that time I would still purchase from her because of the acrylic stamps. There paper packs are great too! I haven't been to a CTMH party in forever, would love it!

Have a great time,
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:54 AM   #5  
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I used to be a CTMH consultant (used to do Stampin'Up, too - not at the same time), and I agree with scrapjanny - they are the best quality photopolymer stamps out there. You can use any acrylic block, pretty much any ink (although the CTMH inks are formulated specifically for clear stamps), and any stamp cleaner. Their stamp cleaner smells better than most...

The alphabets are awesome (as already mentioned). Their distressing tools are great! My favorite is the stubble tool - I don't know if you can buy it separately or if it still only comes in a set with a couple of others, but worth it either way.

You should definitely go and see what's what. I mix and match CTMH stamps and inks with all of my others, and they all play nicely together. I'm sure you'll find something that you love without breaking the bank. Focus on getting something that fills a gap in your current supplies and/or stamp repertoire, maybe? Have fun! (Report back next week if you end up going, so we can hear about what you thought and what you bought, k?)
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:51 AM   #6  
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I just received my first CTMH order and the stamps are fab! They stamp like a dream and I use them on the blocks I already own. I also ordered one of their paper packs (DP and cardstock) and was impressed. You can't beat the prices. Have fun!
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:25 AM   #7  
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I am loving CTMH products more and more. I used to buy mainly SU but now almost never except for cardstock. SU prices have continued to go up and up and CTMH prices have gone down. CTMH stamp sets and paper sets are so affordable and like others have said the paper packs are great. I really like the cardstock for layering but actually prefer SU cardstock for my base. As far as stamp sets go it is hard to say which ones are my go to ones. They have some wonderful sentiment stamp sets which are especially easy to use as far as placement because they are the clear stamps.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:41 AM   #8  
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CTMH stamps are great. I personally don't like their cardstock. Their patterned paper is nice, but I am a complete SU cardstock gal. WIth that being said, I only have/use the SU ink because I am only the slightest big **** about matching. However, a friend is a CTMH demo and I've used their ink many, many times. The ink is really nice, but I'm not investing in another set of ink simply because I won't be buying their paper. I am an A Muse consultant and I don't use their paper either for the same reason!
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:43 AM   #9  
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I have to agree with the others that the CTMH stamps are great quality. I can tell a difference between when I stamp up one of their stamps or an inexpensive set. They stamp much better and clearer.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:31 PM   #10  
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Thanks, everyone! I am really excited to try the products now. The demo is doing a couple of make and takes, so I'm hoping I'll get a chance to try out a few of the products. I'm glad to know so many of you have had good experiences...that makes me feel better about buying from them. Thanks again!
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:43 PM   #11  
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On February 1st all their new stuff comes in, just an FYI.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:55 PM   #12  
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Saw the new catalog. A few nice sets, otherwise wasn't impressed.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:36 PM   #13  
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I forgot to mention that the company has been around for a reeaally long time! They were D.O.T.S. before the name changed, and they used to be wood-mount rubber stamps before being one of the first (if not THE first) to go to photopolymer, so you don't need to worry that they're a fly-by-night outfit, or a flash in the pan...
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:47 PM   #14  
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Originally Posted by gregzgurlView Post
I forgot to mention that the company has been around for a reeaally long time! They were D.O.T.S. before the name changed, ...
Speaking D.O.T.S. (Dozens of Terrific Stamps), I found some old D.O.T.S. 8 1/2" x 11" paper that I got many, many years ago! My initial attempt at stamping was short-lived. About five years ago I started dabbling in scrapbooking and the smaller paper didn't fit my needs. It will be fun to use that paper now that I'm back to card making!
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:51 PM   #15  
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Originally Posted by LotsastampsView Post
Saw the new catalog. A few nice sets, otherwise wasn't impressed.
How about new paper packs? Anything new in that arena?
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:56 PM   #16  
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Oh ... and I forgot to mention the Cricut stuff. (I don't own a Cricut so I don't always think about it.) But I've heard gals rave about the new CTMH Cricut sets. They cost big bucks (about $100, I think) but includes a cartridge, three coordinating stamp sets and three coordinating chipboard elements pages.
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:27 PM   #17  
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Thanks for all the great info and suggestions! The consultant today did a great job. It was an open house-style workshop with two make-and-takes and a free gift. The gift was a small stamp set...impressive! I was even more impressed when I saw the products in person and had a chance to use them. I loved how easy it was to see where I was stamping...their stamps really are nice! I found several stamp sets to add to my wish list. And the prices were excellent. Today I was able to buy a stamp set and couple small embellishments and tools for less than $25 including shipping and tax. That was impressive!! I really liked their DP but I am trying to use up more of what I have before I purchase any more paper. I have a feeling I'll be placing several CTMH orders this year, and I'm excited to have a consultant who offers lots of workshops and crop nights. Thanks again for your help!!
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:19 AM   #18  
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Glad to hear that you enjoyed it, and found something to order! You didn't dish on which stamp set or tool,though... Details, please (I'm just so nosy!)?
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:11 AM   #19  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by melissa59View Post
How about new paper packs? Anything new in that arena?
There will be 8 new paper packs. 4 will carry over from the last idea book, the rest retire.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:47 PM   #20  
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Originally Posted by gregzgurlView Post
Glad to hear that you enjoyed it, and found something to order! You didn't dish on which stamp set or tool,though... Details, please (I'm just so nosy!)?
I bought the "New Arrival" stamp set this time (we just had a new baby and several friends and family members are expecting this year), and I have 8 other sets that I've marked to hopefully buy over the next few months. I also bought some Waxy Flax (used it in the workshop and really liked it) and the Edge Distresser. The consultant also gave each of us an Idea Book to take home so I'm sure I'll pick out several more things to add to my list once I've had a chance to look through it more!
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:58 PM   #21  
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Congrats on your new little one! It sounds like you got some fun things! I haven't ordered anything from CTMH for quite a while, but there are a few sets I've got my eye on... Thanks for satisfying my curiosity!
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:15 PM   #22  
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There will be 8 new paper packs. 4 will carry over from the last idea book, the rest retire.
I looked at the new online catalog and wasn't thrilled with the new paper offerings, which is unusual because I'm usually drooling over their paper.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:21 PM   #23  
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Originally Posted by melissa59View Post
Oh ... and I forgot to mention the Cricut stuff. (I don't own a Cricut so I don't always think about it.) But I've heard gals rave about the new CTMH Cricut sets. They cost big bucks (about $100, I think) but includes a cartridge, three coordinating stamp sets and three coordinating chipboard elements pages.
The thing I really like about the Cricut cartridge is that it has 700+ images on it. I was mass-producing something that I had planned to use my Spellbinders Labels 1 die on, but found an almost exact image on the Cricut and finished it in a fraction of the time. Spiral flowers, labels, 3D projects (pillow box, fry box, etc.), font... plus over 2 dozen matching stamp sets between the catalogs. I won't have to buy another cart for a long time!
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:13 PM   #24  
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My friend is a CTMH consultant and while at a scrap on the weekend lent me a cutting mat/padded stamping mat. One side is a gridded cutting mat and the other side has padding. Worked really well for stamping PaperTrey stamps and other stamps that needed a little bit of cushion to make a good impression. I will for sure be getting one. I liked the size - not to small/big and the padding.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:24 PM   #25  
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Ah yes, the VersaMat!

One tip - do not put your project on the foam side of the mat, then use a heat embossing gun on it. the foam doesn't like it.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:17 AM   #26  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by bencer99View Post
My friend is a CTMH consultant and while at a scrap on the weekend lent me a cutting mat/padded stamping mat. One side is a gridded cutting mat and the other side has padding. Worked really well for stamping PaperTrey stamps and other stamps that needed a little bit of cushion to make a good impression. I will for sure be getting one. I liked the size - not to small/big and the padding.
I love my VersaMat, it has a permanent home on my workspace. I mostly use it for stamping on the foam side for the extra cushion, but I do flip it over a fair amount to use the grid to line up projects before gluing them together.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:02 AM   #27  
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I thought the paper packs were just awesome. I especially like the Pemberley and Florentine packs. I also think the Cruisin' was is great and the more I look at the Stella pack the more I like it. If anyone has boys and is in to scrapping I think the Superhero pack and Victory ones would be good. OK I've got to quit looking!
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:53 PM   #28  
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I just read on CTMH's website (Close To My Heart - Scrapbooking and Stamping: Innovative Products) and they say their stamps are "clear polymer", not "photopolymer". Are these the same thing?
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:29 AM   #29  
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They are the same thing.

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Old 03-11-2013, 01:07 PM   #30  
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Thank you, Anne.
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