CTMH Cut Above Scrapbook Kits

Long time no see! My world turned upside down a few months back, and I’m just beginning to resurface. I’m still hurting deeply, but I’m taking the good days along with the bad. I know what needs to be done to weather this storm, and so far, it’s been working. #fitnessforlife, amirite? And, of course, using my me-time to create is also in my plan to rebound. 

In April, Close to My Heart is sharing a wonderful way to scrapbook using the Cut Above line. It makes your crafting a breeze because everything is done for you. That means there’s no measuring or cutting, or playing around with placement. It has already been done for you! Find all the stickers and die cuts you need to decorate your layouts, and assemble it easily using the included instructions. 

Set aside 15 minutes in your day to create. That’s doable, isn’t it? The best part of this deal is that it’s just $9.50- half price! Talk about time saving and affordable! Whether you’ve got babies in your life, or a special someone, creating with these kits will be a pleasure. 
I’m collecting orders for these kits right now. Message me to reserve yours. This deal expires on April 30, 2017.

DIY Envelope Tutorial

Hello, friends! 

As promised, I will share a quick and simple tutorial today for making your own envelopes!

To start, you’ll need one sheet of 12×12 cardstock or patterned paper and glue. I like using CTMH Liquid Glass for a strong bond, but you can use whichever glue you have on hand or like to use.

Decide which side of the patterned paper you would like to face outwards (in this case it’s the floral pattern), then make two folds approximately 1- 1.5inches from each side (fold inwards, towards the centre of the paper). 
A trick I like to use is placing my letter in the bottom centre of the patterned paper, and fold each side around it. I use this trick to also roughly guesstimate the bottom fold (next step).

Apply glue to the bottom portions of each 1-inch fold, then fold paper upwards (pictured below). The bottom fold should be approximately 2 inches from the bottom of the paper. This will become the bottom of your envelope. (Place your letter inside, for reference). 

This is how your envelope should look now. Next, you’ll want to fold the top edge of the patterned paper envelope approximately 0.5- 1 inch inwards, and again nearer the top of your letter (approximately 2-3 inches from the top edge fold).
*Note: I say approximately, because I haven’t measured exactly each of my folds. I’ve created my envelopes strictly by feel and by my naked eye.

Measurements will be different, dependent on what size paper your letter is written on. I currently use standard loose-leaf paper, which I assume measures 8.5×11 inches. My envelopes were created around this standard size, folded in three). 

*Another Note: before gluing any corners, mock up your envelope to avoid making any mistakes. I always make all my folds first, and then go back and glue where appropriate.  

(Top edge folded down, 0.5-1 inch from top edge); glue the thicker, corner portions. Here’s how it should look completed (below):

(I flipped the envelope over, so the front is facing outwards.) The backside of your envelope will have a clean edge where you’ll adhere it closed with glue. This is unlike a standard card envelope that has the V-shaped flap. 

Lastly, decorate to your hearts desire! I’ll sometimes add washi tape to the back fold after I’ve glued it closed for a little more pizzazz. That’s not necessary.  Do whatever feels right!

I hope today’s tutorial made sense and was clearer than a load of mud to you! If not, please let me know, and I’ll do my best to clarify it!

Scrapbook Labels Idea

Good morning, friends!

I came across this idea a few weeks ago on Pinterest, and I’m so excited about it, I had to share it with the rest of you!

I’ve been looking for a way to mark the dates on my scrapbooks albums that correspond to the dates on the pages inside the album. Nothing really jumped out at me until I saw these adorable little tags hanging over the spine of the albums on Pinterest.  

Hello! Why have I not thought of this before?! It’s so simple! I used my Dymo label maker to create the dates, then adhered it to the centre of the tag. I hung the tag over the top rung in my d-ring scrapbook albums, ensuring the tag was visible along the spine of my albums. 

There’s my duh moment of the month, lol. I bought the labels at Walmart. 

How do you label your scrapbook albums? Do you include dates on your layouts?  

Make it Monday 

Hi everyone!

One of my favorite places to turn to when I’m looking for inspiration in the kitchen is Kraft Canada. Their recipes are quick to make, easy to throw together and taste delicious. 

Another favorite tool for finding inspiration is most everyone’s favorite online tool as well- Pinterest. I have sooo many recipes pinned, I may as well try them out. 

Today’s recipe comes from Pinterest. Sorry, I’m not real glamorous and I won’t wow you with recipes I created myself. This will just be a real simple post with real simple recipes I’ve found, tried and want to share with you. I hope you understand- and enjoy!

Late last week, I felt inspired to do some baking, but I didn’t want to bake cookies. Boring. I wanted to bake something else, but didn’t have the ingredients for any of the recipes I thought looked great- until I came across Cinnamon Sour Cream Loaf (link at the end of this post). The original recipe was saved from Inspired by Charm by Michael Wurm Jr. 

Oh yum. And sour cream? I just happened to have a lot of it!

Before throwing it in the oven.

After baking for an hour. 

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is!

The only thing I’d do different the next time I bake this is bake it at a slightly lower temperature for a little longer (or just slightly less at the recommended temperature). It came out quite well done, though the centre was somewhat moist. Overall, it was very tasty, and it got the seal of approval from both my kids and my dear friends’ eldest daughter. (Hubs and I thoroughly enjoyed it, too!)

Now for the best part- the recipe! (Clicking the link will take you directly to the recipe).

Cinnamon Sour Cream Loaf
If you try this recipe, let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

Snail Mail Saturday 

I wanted to share my latest outgoing smail letters with you. I wrapped the envelopes with pretty, brightly colored washi tape, and in the bottom photo, I threw in some sequins for a loose, sparkly surprise when the recipient opens her letter. I think I’ll do this again. I really like this idea!

Next, I also wanted to show you my most current of intro letters. I’ve slightly changed creating sections throughout, by using cute printed post it notes and handmade pennants as tabs.

I found these post it notes at my local Walmart, but I’ve also heard they are available to purchase at Amazon. Spoiler alert: I want more!!!

Lastly, here’s snippets of my recent incoming mail.

How cute is the washi tape that borders the bottom of the envelope in the foreground?! The lollipop and dinosaur stencil are there purely to protect identities 😁

I won a happy mail giveaway! A member in one of the Facebook smail groups I’m in held a giveaway to name her new pet bird. I suggested the name Bindi (among others), and my name suggestion was chosen! My prize was 4 handmade bookmarks and 4 handmade magnets made from photos I had chosen. You’ll see both my daughters, myself and my sister, and our little pooch in each of the magnets. (I am the dark haired girl with glasses…hi!!) Now you can put the face behind the name! 😁

(I also have a Peacock and rooster fetish, which is why you see those in the bookmarks in the background.)

Did anything about your day inspire you today? I hope so! 

Snail Mail Saturday

It’s smail time again! Thanks for joining me. 

Last week, I’d shared what a typical letter looks like. Find that post here. This week, I thought I’d share how I wrap my letter up. In short, it’s very simple. I either make my own mail folder or use a standard 4.25×5.5 (A5) handmade card to house my letters. Lastly, everything is sent in either a handmade envelope or standard A5 greeting card envelope. (More on that next week- watch for a simple tutorial, too!

Here’s a handmade mail folder I created. I’m thinking I could make a tutorial to create one of these pretties, too, if there’s enough interest! If you’re not creative, no sweat. If you are and want to start mailing these, let me know. I’m happy to indulge!

(The inside.)

If I don’t send a mail folder, I’ll send along a card that I’ve made. (You’ll know this well if you’re a regular reader. I’ve mentioned this fact a lot). I have a large stash of them; why not use them? I don’t see the point in hoarding them. (See all that yummy washi tape?)

(The inside, including a little inspirational quote card I made).

(I covered the address for privacy reasons)

My last/most recent outgoing snail mail. 

Unfortunately, it appears as though Canada Post is going/has already gone on strike, so after today’s post, I won’t have my own personal outgoing/incoming smail to share with you. I likely won’t have any until the postal strike is over. 

In the mean time, I’ll do my best to share what inspires me from around the Internet until things turn around. (I’m pretty disappointed about this inconvenient and absolutely unfortunate turn of events). I only learned of it last week. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed it doesn’t last long!

 But, don’t forget- next week I’ll share a tutorial for creating your own envelopes! (You can see them in the last two pictures above).

Recipe Sharing

I’ve been tossing this idea over in my brain for a few weeks, and now I’m looking for some input!

As you are aware, I am a fairly creative person. I share scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, the occasional project life layout and off the page project, and more recently planners and snail mail. All different creative methods, but still creative nonetheless. 

Is sharing the occasional recipe (my favorite ones, for that matter), something that would interest you, my friends and readers? If so, please comment below! 

I’m asking, because cooking and baking is another item that falls under art- creative being the umbrella term. I have a ton of recipes saved to my Pinterest; I don’t want them to sit, pinned but untouched, so plan to try a new recipe every so often  (once monthly, maybe), and if it’s a hit with my family, re-home it on my fave tried and true recipes board. If we like it- even if we don’t- I’ll share our thoughts and the outcome of our baking and cooking endeavors.

These recipes will all be kid and family friendly. Simple is also key! (I have a smoothie recipe I’m dying to share that’s just 3 measly ingredients- and super delicious!) 

So please, let me know your thoughts!

CTMH Monday

Welcome to another edition of CTMH Monday! Here are my latest projects made using CTMH; I hope you enjoy! This post is relatively picture heavy, so without further adieu, here they are!

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These last two pictures are one of the twins’ teachers’ thank you gifts. She is having a baby in October, and I thought this would be a nice way to thank her and congratulate her. (I shared the second photo to show what’s sealed inside the jar.) Everything to create this was bought from the Dollarama (yay!)- including the jar- and cost less than $10. (I had the kleenex on hand, as well as the clothes pins.)

I made the tag on my computer, and used some CTMH stamps to decorate it. I also tied the tag on with Lagoon twine. The white mesh ribbon came from the dollarama.

Snail Mail Saturday

Today, I thought I’d share how I typically write a smail letter. I’m sure there is room for growth and adjustment, but I’ve fallen into the groove of creating my letters this way, and I really like it! Maybe you’ll find inspiration through it, too!

There are literally tons of papers and stationery out there a person could use. It would make deciding which one (or multiples!!) you want difficult. That might even be an understatement. I’d want it alll. Who’s with me?! Lol

Since times are trying, and since I’ve had loose-leaf hiding in my cabinet for eons (probably since I graduated from college, which is a good 10 years, if not longer), I decided I would use it up before searching for anything else. Using something thicker would be nice, if I want to continue stamping, but this works for now. (I’ll share what I mean below). If you’re thinking of smailing, choose anything that suits your fancy and don’t feel guilty for it! I felt guilty for using plain old lined paper, but that lasted maybe three or four letters. Adding some “bling”- making it pretty, my own version of stationery, helped immensely. Lined paper can be functional and pretty, too! Now I don’t feel bad; I’ve found what works for me and that’s sufficient enough. Find what works for you and be happy with it!

As I mentioned above, I stamp in my letters. I have fallen into the habit of stamping the greeting to my recipient, then hand write the rest of my letter. Usually, the greeting is stamped with a brightly colored ink. (In this case, I used CTMH Whisper ink).

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I also choose a color scheme before I start that I try and adhere to throughout my creative process. For this particular letter, I used mostly CTMH Hollyhock, Outdoor Denim and Whisper. The gel pen I use typically coordinates with the remainder of the package I’m sending, as well.

Next, I always use my roller stamp to mark the date in the upper right hand corner. The date is important to note so that the recipient can see when the letter was written, and they can look back on it (or their descendants!!) and enjoy the past. Sometimes I’ll include a stamped image along with it, other times I don’t.  It depends on the mood I’m in! Lol

Oh, and by the way, all my stamping, in every smail letter, is done with CTMH! Just a friendly FYI.

Beginning with this letter, I stamped the bottom of the page with a flamingo image, making my own stationery, in a sense. I love the look! Now that I’ve stumbled upon this sweet little trick, I’ll keep doing it in future letters!

Lastly, I like stamping about me when I reach the portion of the letter where sharing more about myself happens. I like that it draws attention to the fact that I’m about to share something important, and that the direction of the letter is about to change. I’ll likely stamp other “tabs” in the same manner in the future. I’ve only ever written intro letters, so far, in my smail journey, so I’ll have to share an update again in the future!

So, now you know what my letters typically look like. I like making my letters pretty since I’m using such blah paper, and I love creating “sections” throughout the letter to break it up a little and draw attention to certain aspects within it.

How do you make your letters memorable and stand out? Share your ideas in the comments below!

Shoestring Planner Tuesday

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I’m starting to find my groove when it comes to my planner. Whatever images I can find on my cricut that correspond to things I’ve done during the week- such as going for coffee, no school or doctors appointments (refer to last weeks’ planner post)- I’ll cut and adhere in my planner. (By the way, yay for free cricut images! The coffee cup to go was a freebie that cricut posted last week. I wish I’d gone and cut several of them, as well as the other images, because they’d come in so handy in the future! Each week there are different freebies. Tuesdays- today- seems to be the day they’re posted. So, if you didn’t know about it, check it out!) I’m also planning to beef up my washi tape usage, and include a summary of the weather for each week.

Since I’m first and foremost a memory keeper, I thought adding a summary of what the weather was like during each week would be a great idea. To implement it, I simply die cut a sun (then water colored it) and cloud, then stamped a few rain drops beneath to show the weather at a quick glance. Maybe, in the future, I’ll take an average temperature from that particular week and include it, too.

I adhered the sun and cloud to the top right inside corner of my planner page. I plan to repeat that every week. One day, it will be neat to look back and know what the weather was during any particular week. Memory keeping at its best!

Its good to keep in mind that using your scrap bits of paper is great for filling your planner with pretties. I have such a large collection of scrap paper, that I quite like the idea of reducing my paper waste by using up as much of it as I can. If the occasion calls for it, small sheets of patterned paper- 5×7 or 6×6, for example- are great to use, too. (Refer to the school bus above. I have 5×7 sheets of school themed paper in my stash, so I used a sheet of it to create the bus).

Next, that little bit of washi tape inspired me to line each day view in a similar fashion, which you’ll see in next weeks’ post. Somehow, it just seems to fill the blocks that much more. It gives it a lot more personality and substance than leaving the blocks blank and filling them  with the odd embellishment. And…now that I look back on the pic above, the zip strip that’s adhered to the very top of the page inspired the washi, too. (It’s left over from yesterday’s CTMH post.)

I’ve also learned that using stamps with a silhouette image stamp much more nicely than solid stamps do. Large, solid stamps soak through the paper more; outlined stamps tend to limit that from happening. So, if I keep stamping in my planner, use stamps that aren’t solid! If they are solid, make sure they are small, and cover less surface area. Stamping on scraps and fussy cutting out is still a great idea, too, as is second generation stamping.  You’ll get a more worn, aged look from it.

I get such self satisfaction from looking back on previous planner pages. Seeing it all pretty and decorated leaves me feeling happy!