Thursday, January 31, 2013

Handmade Thank You Card with CTMH and Vellum

I was spending some time this morning thinking about what fun things that we can do at our upcoming workshop. I realized that I had some vellum in my stash so off I went researching on the Internet. Vellum is so versatile and gives such a soft look to your projects.
First, I embossed a piece of vellum using an embossing folder and my Cuttlebug.  Using sponge daubers I lightly applied ink to the reverse (debossed - non raised side of the vellum.)  I have seen this technique used several times and in fairness, must say that I CAS'ed this card from a YouTube video I found.
Now, let me tell you a little about how I made this card my own.  I used a full scene embossing folder to create a background for the "thank you" sentiment.  The sentiment is from "A Garden" which is one of CTMH's very fun "A" sized stamp sets.  I used some unique colors to create this card...Chocolate, Juniper and Outdoor Denim.  The reason for picking these colors was that they coordinate with Avonlea and hence my workshop!  I think they work well together, what do you think?
By the way, one of the hardest things about working with vellum is attaching it without the adhesive showing through.  If you look closely, you do not see any adhesive lines.  After I sponged the vellum, I cut out a piece of Colonial White the exact size.  I added tiny glue dots to the corners of the Colonial White, matched up the vellum and because the embossed "scene" and sponging went to the edges, the glue dots don't show.  The Colonial White helps the sponged color to show up better!
I had to share this pictures, too.  Look what I saw in my garden yesterday...

Spring can't be very far away.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Quick Christmas Scrapbook Layout Using CTMH Pear and Partridge Paper

I have just finished scrapbooking Christmas 2012!!!  Can you believe it???  This is the beauty of my new found way to scrapbook.  Combining the terrific ideas of Becky Higgins and Project Life and my ideas on using the CTMH Memory Protectors Photo Storage Pages (Z1324 or 4113) I have found a way to scrap quickly in addition to being about to use my beloved sketches, stamps and embellishments.
If you remember, I call this "Scrap Express."  I have a simple layout (page on left) completed that incorporates stamping and a couple layers.  The sentiment square could be used for either journaling or an embellished stamped "scene."  The page on the right uses the Photo Pockets.  In my previous posts, I talked about thinking in quadrants.  I have one 4 x 6 pocket that I have decorated and used as a title page for the spread.  I have stamped it in such a manner that it includes elements from the first page in order to give a cohesive look to the two page layout.
I have 2 more fun things to announce...I have started to design my own sketches in addition to putting together a kit that will allow you to complete 2 sets of this layout.  All you need to do is add your own inks and adhesives.  I even supply the great CTMH stamp set...Merry and Bright (C1510.)  Click on the tab at the top for more details.
I am really happy to say that I have already scrapbooked Christmas 2012.  Can you say the same???  I would love to help you get started.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I'm Sorry Mommy

Last evening, I was busy packing the supplies I need for today's card class.  The box was on the floor in the rec room; lunch was cooking in the kitchen.  My back was turned when I heard a noise.  I look over and guess who was sitting in the box???  That's right, Bombay, my 3 year old kitty.  Look what she did to my samples for class.  :o(  Oh well, I have the picture.  I love my kitty.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Making a Great Card Using Neutral Colors

I took a little break from my work on "Scrap Express" in order to finish up my January Workshop.  We'll be using Close To My Heart La Belle Vie along with a terrifically usable stamp set called "Bonjour" (B1414).  It contains several sentiments...thank you, Hello, Good Bye...all in French.  What fun.  This will be the closing card for our Workshop.  I always do an easier card for a closing so that if we are running late (because we've laughed too much) it can be made easily. 
What makes this card "interesting" is that it is worked entirely in black, brown and tan.  So often, we think that you have to have "color" to make a card pop.  But with cleaverly added neutrals you can make a great card.
Well, it's off to work for me.  I have another Scrap Express layout almost done and will get it posted as soon as possible.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Spring Floral Arrangements

I had to work today so I haven't had a chance to do any paper crafting.  I thought it would be fun to share a few of the arrangements I made today.

Tomorrow....back to my paper.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

More Scrap Express with Close To My Heart

Yesterday, I talked about what I am doing to make the new trends in scrapbooking my own.  The more I think about it, the more I understand the attraction of the simpler styles of scrapbooking.  I like it and think that there has been some terrific work done.  But, I am beginning to realize that it just isn't MY style.  I am working to find a middle ground.  A quick way to get our pictures out of the boxes and on paper.  A quick way to tell our stories.  It is out of all of this thinking that Scrap Express is evolving.

Today, I finished putting together this layout of my trip to Spain.  In order to feed my "artistic" side, I actually made a simple one page layout and coupled it with the Page Pockets.


The Layout on the left side is actually a layout from the CTMH Reflections How To book.  I had always like that book because the layouts are simple and direct.  You say, but it has been discountinued. is your sneek peek for today....Reflections is being brought back in a soft cover format!  To keep the layout simple, I used easy supplies that I had in my stash.  The pattern paper is Dakota...which is one of the paper packets that is being retained in the new Idea Book.  The title is from sponged Chipboard letters, the edges are distressed and there is just a touch of stamping for movement and interest.  Remember, when working on the pocketed side of the layout, remember to think in quadrants.  Small embellishments that don't get to complex but do allow you to have some artistic freedom.  When I think in the quadrants, I want to "give the eye a rest."  Embellishing simply will enhance rather than compete with your pictures.

Another important part of this trend in scrapbooking is to "tell your story."  I have to admit that I have always been a weak at journaling.  For this layout, I added a Flip Flap for my story.  By using the Flip Flap, I am able to add more journaling without overloading the eye.
I am really beginning to like the way this is developing.  Using a layout and the pockets allows me to quickly scrap more pictures and still be able to use my beloved embellishments and stamps.  I am going to keep working on this.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Thoughts on Scrapbooking With Close To My Heart

I've been thinking....always scary I know.  :o)  Recently, one of the hottest styles in scrapbooking has been "Project Life" by Becky Higgins or the Project 365 or the Smash/Creative Chaos Albums.  The premise is to get "your story told" quickly and effortlessly using your pictures and the aid of journaling prompts.  It is a great idea as so many times I've heard people tell me that they just don't have time scrapbook.

No matter how great the idea is, I always felt that it compromised the creative process.  I agree that we need to get our pictures and our stories preserved.  I, like so many of you, have literally thousands of pictures sitting on discs, in files and in boxes.  But, this new style always reminded me of nothing more that photo albums I did many many years ago.

So, this is what started me to think.  What can we do that facilitates our getting our pictures onto paper while not giving up our art???  I came up with "Scrap Express."  With "Scrap Express" you use all the tools available for the quick methods of scrapbooking and combine them with all of those wonderful embellishments, toys, papers, stamps, stickers and punches.  This is what I mean...

What I have used are the CTMH Memory Protector Photo Storage Pages (Z1234 and 4113.)  These are both vertical and horizontal 4 x 6 inch photo pockets.  I selected my theme, photos and coordinating paper (Clementine used here.)  Thinking about the page in 6 quadrants, I placed my photos and cut coordinating 4 x 6 paper to place into the remaining pockets.  I used one of the papered pockets to title the page, one to  "tell my store" or journal and another to decorate.  I left a couple empty to add interest and not overload the eye.  Thinking about a 12 x 12 page in small segments dramatically cut done on the time it took to make the page.  The smaller 4 x 6 inch segments still give the freedom to be creative without taking a great deal of time.  I liken it to making a card.  I stamped, I used the CTMH Color Ready Accents (Z1844), I embellished...all in a fraction of the time that a normal 2 page layout would take to complete.
So what do you think?  A easier quicker way to complete a 2 page layout without giving up your artwork!  I have another layout I am working on, but alas, I have to head off to work.  Check back as I show you more "Scrap Express" projects.  I might even put together some "Project Parts" kits.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Challenged" ... Another Sneak Peak at the CTMH Spring 2013 Idea Book meets Mojo Monday and Crafting By Designs.

Well, I am just on a creative roll aren't I?  :o)  I've got to say that it is due to all of the great new goodies in the soon to be released CTMH Idea Book.  Today's card is made with Avonlea.  This is a paper packet that was actually released in the Winter book.  Today, was the first time that I played with it and along with Pear and Partridge it has got to be my favorite in that Idea Book. 
Your "sneak peak" is the stamped image.  I used my CTMH Archival Black Ink and my CTMH markers to color the bird and the flowers.  The other new goodie is the Washi Tape flower.  Yes, CTMH will be releasing Washi Tape.  At first, I wondered what was the "uproar" over Washi Tape.  Then I tried it!  What fun...Washi Tape is a tissue tape that comes on a roll.  It can be used as a faux ribbon, to cover seams and to make flowers like I did here. 
I love challenges and haven't done one in quite awhile so today I decided to do two!  First off, you remember that I am on the Design Team over at Crafting By Designs.  What a great new challenge website.  There is a new challenge every Wednesday along with some fun bonus challenges thrown in.  Today's challenge is an Alcohol Marker Coloring Challenge.  The other challenge is the always terrific Mojo Monday Sketch Challenge. 

I love the Mojo Monday site.  There is always inspiration and a terrific sketch to play with.  As a matter of fact, if you look closely at one of the cards I posted the other day, you will see that I used the sketch for that card.  That is what I love about both scrapbook and cards.  If you look closely, you'll see that I flipped the sketch for this card and yet it is the same sketch.
As the excitement grows anticipating the release of the new Spring/Summer CTMH Idea Book, don't forget to check out both Crafting By Designs and Mojo Monday.  By the way, if you want a new Idea Book, send me an email and I'll make sure that you get one.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Buzzing" with Excitement. A Sneak Peak at the CTMH Spring/Summer 2013 Idea Book

I promised you a sneak peak at some goodies in the new CTMH Spring/Summer 2013 Idea Book.  It was really hard to try and figure out what I wanted to make first.  Finally I decided to use the new paper packet called "Buzz and Bumble."  It is a terrific set that features bees, honeycombs and stripes in shades of Sunset, Cream Brulee and Cocoa.  The possibilities are endless with this great pack.  I also used a new stamp set called "Hello Tweety."  Just perfect for the set.
Here are a few of the fun techniques I used on this card...  The bird cage was heat embossed with Cocoa powder and then the paper was sponged with Champagne, Sunset and Cocoa inks.  The scroll work was rock and roll stamped using Sunset and Cocoa inks and then sponged in the same manner as the bird cage.  Those are little sparkles from the "Brown and Tan Assortment."  The "chain" for the cage is another new product called "baker's twine hemp."  I chain stitched it and attached it with a pewter brad. 
One more fun little sneak peak about the new Idea Book...  Remember those marvelous "How To" books that were discontinued about a year ago?  Well, Reflections and Originals are back!!!  This time in a soft cover format but with all those great sketches and ideas.  This card is one of the sketches in Originals.  I am so excited for you to be able to get them again!
There are so many terrific new products in the new Idea Book.  If you are interested in getting a copy, please email me and I will see that you get one.  You're gonna love it!  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Handmade Cards Using CTMH La Belle Vie

FINALLY, a day to get some creating done! has been far to long for me to have the opportunity to sit down and just create.  Never mind that the Christmas Tree is still must establish priorities.  What do you think?  heeheehee

Today, I took the day and got back on track with my Close To My Heart Card Classes.  I decided that in January we are going to be using La Belle Vie.  This is a paper packet that will only be available through the end of the month.  Ah, by the way, the new Idea Book is set to be released to the public on February 1st.  Check back as I may have a few sneak peaks....

Anyway, in class, we will be making that wonderful card holder featured on the Artiste Cricut

We're also going to be making 5 cards that coordinate with the card holder and here are 2 of them...
 La Belle Vie is a great paper packet along with the coordinating stamps I used on these cards.  I wish I would have worked with it sooner.  By the way, I used a quick and easy technique on both of these cards.  See how the butterfly and roses have just a tint of pink in them?  You can easily color a stamped image using a paint brush, water and the ink from a stamp pad.  A great little tip to add just a pop of color to your stamped images.
Now that I'm back on track, check back soon for more projects along with maybe even a sneak peak at the new Close To My Heart Idea Book.  For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Touching Lives with Close To My Heart

We are so all so very busy that we often miss how what we do affects others.  I have been reminded of this twice in the last couple days and thought that because it was the start of 2013, I would share my stores.  As you know, I'm the floral designer at my local Michaels.  One of my regular customers stopped by my desk yesterday and commented to me..."What a great job you have.  The things that you make are in other peoples homes for them to enjoy....Pieces of your work and you are spread through out our community."  WOW...  I had never thought of it like that.  I paused, smiled and thanked her for insight.  It was true.  All those wreaths and arrangements added to other's Holiday Celebrations.  Then, when I returned home, I had a text message with a picture attached.  The picture was of an embellishment I had made for a Baby Shower gift bag in November.  Dear friends were eagerly anticipating the birth of their first Grandchild and I was lucky enough to be included in Shower.  I placed the gift in a plain white gift bag and decorated the outside with ribbons and this "plaque."
Unbeknown to me, the expectant couple had saved the plaque and it now decorates the Nursery Door!  Again, upon seeing the text, I just smiled and thought "wow."

The encounters of these last few days has really made me realize that through our crafting, we really are able to touch lives.  So ofter we think "Why bother making a card, I'll just go to  the Dollar Store or even easier, just send an email."  But, we may not always realize it, but are efforts get noticed and appreciated. 

The last couple months has seen us feverishly making cards and decorations.  My efforts may have short changed my blog a little, but I am so glad that I did what I did.

I don't know anymore who the recipients of these cards were, but I do know that they brought a smile when opened and that brings me joy.  Working with the floral designs, teaching scrapbooking and card making and all of the work I do with Close To My Heart does affect others.  Close To My Heart makes it so easy.  On this first day of 2013, I resolve to continue to strive to effect others lives in a most positive light.  Why don't you join me in those efforts.  For Now, Happy Crafting!