I’m finally home! It’s been awhile since I last posted, and I couldn’t wait for Wednesday to roll around to post again.
Convention was amazing. It was packed full of things to see, do and learn. I came home with a lot to think about and put into action. Actually, I need to review my notes first, but once that’s done, I can then implement my plan.
I was stretched, too. I was invited to contribute to and participate in convention as an Extravaganza Presenter. I was a combination of honoured, floored (I mean, my crafting is nothing special, in my opinion), and absolutely terrified. It meant creating numerous projects using brand new, not- yet- seen products, and making a presentation in front of a crowd 700+ persons large. Yep. No pressure.
Someone out there thinks my crafting is pretty great. I wouldn’t have been invited to present if that wasn’t true. I had to add that disclaimer, because I can hear you saying that you love my crafting. #sorrynotsorry. I’m my number one critic, don’t forget. But, something dawned on me while I was preparing for convention, and I’ve clung to that realization since then.
Being stretched isn’t a bad thing, and it’s preparing me for more great things. Consider it a great opportunity (which it really is) and allow yourself to grow from it. By nature, I’m quiet and reserved. I would not normally jump at the opportunity to stand in the spotlight in front of 700 people. But if I don’t, I absolutely know I would regret missing that chance. Whatever else I learn at convention is going to grow and stretch me too.
I started with the projects I made for my presentation. I made things I’d never tried. It’s amazing how an invitation to do something will inspire you to think outside your normal. And by the way, I’m still operating outside my normal. Trying new things isn’t as scary as I let myself believe.
Boy, this post is turning out to be way mushier than I intended! I can’t share those projects yet, but when I do, I’ll also have instructions and process videos to go along with them. Watch for that at the beginning of September!
Process videos are totally new to me, but I’ll be sharing one with you later on this week. Be kind- this is all new territory to me! In the mean time, head over to my Insiders Group and view the most recent Facebook Live I did, explaining the process to make this card:
Good morning, and welcome to a rainy and soggy Wednesday! I’m a little earlier than usual, because the rain has kyboshed my usual morning walk. But, that’s ok. I’ve got a lot to share with you!
First up is Scrap Your Stash. Ever heard of it? Its an online event I host for one week every month. It’s geared toward getting us using up our scrap paper pile and our hoarded stash. I know you’ve got one. If you’re a paper crafter, its part of the territory. It happens. What do you do with it all? How do you use it up? There are new creative challenges every day, meant to inspire you and ignite your creativity. You’ll find it fun and rewarding! We’re in full swing right now, but its not too late to join. Did I mention its completely online and 100% free?! Oh, yes. Come check us out! I love you all, but this challenge is open to Canadian residents only. Sorry!
New product alert!!! We all know Father’s Day is coming up, and CTMH has just released the most amazing Fathers’ Day mini album kit, called You’re the Best. Its similar to the Mothers’ Day album I shared with you earlier this month, in that its got a stylish wooden cover like the other one did. But, this kit is geared totally towards the dads in our lives. The papers in it are earthy and masculine, the album is interactive (there’s different shaped pages inside), its simple to put together, and at a fantastic price to boot!
Included in the kit is a stamp set, card stock and patterned paper pack, twine, and the square mini album cover (three O- rings included). An album kit like this would regularly cost you around $52, but we’re giving you a 25% discount that you can apply to the purchase of this awesome kit right away, making it just $39! Woot!
OR purchase the CC 6199 workshop kit without the stamp set, and get it for just $27.50. Both price points are phenomenal! You’ll be spending around that much on a gift for the dad in your life anyways, so why not consider a handmade gift? If you purchase the CC6196E My Father stamp set and CC6197 wood mini album separately, you’re looking at $24.75 and $10.25 respectively. The paper would be up to you; its only available in the kit, not a stand alone item.
This amazing mini album workshop is available today through June 30, so there’s lots of time to purchase it. But, a word to the wise- don’t wait too long to purchase it. This will be a hot item, like the Mothers Day album was, and will only be available while supplies last. Head to my website and type in You’re the Best into the search bar, click on it in the header at the top of the page, or message me to reserve yours!
I mentioned last week that I wanted to share with you what we’ve been up to in some of the various groups I have on Facebook. Anyone is welcome to join them! I’ll provide the links as I go along so that you can easily find us. To start, I’d like to share with you what the Try it Out Techniques group is up to. For the month of May, we’re putting together the Story Starter- Story by Stacy mini album. We’re doing it slowly via Facebook live, and when the month is over, we’ll have a beautiful album of the special women (moms, or people that fill the mom role) in our lives. Share it with them as a gift, or proudly display it on a shelf at home. Today is our next meeting- at 1 pm MST. If you’d like to join us, visit us on Facebook here. Just be aware that you’ll need to purchase this album, and its coordinating stamp set, D1786 Quotable Words! Find both on my website, which is found in the watermark on the photo below.
Next, I shared a quick video with my friends about our new Liquid Glass Applicator. Its a totally new product to Close to My Heart, and it makes using our Liquid Glass so much easier! It no longer clogs, and the flow is easier to control with the applicator top. I could hardly wait to show it off to everyone, because its that amazing. If you don’t believe me, you’ll have to try it out for yourself. Its just $6 CAD to purchase, and once again, is available on my website. Look for Z4089 (Fine Tip Applicator), and Z679 Liquid Glass (in case you need a new bottle). See the video I did here.
Last, but not least, I have one more video tutorial to share with you. This time, its using some of our product- specifically our re-inkers- to create a water-colour background for a layout and card that I made. Its a really simple technique involving dropping some re-inker onto your craft mat, spritzing it with water, and dragging your card stock through it. Water-colour paper would work. I did not have any on hand at the time, so I used regular White Daisy card stock to achieve the same look (just in a slightly different way). Check it out and maybe try it for yourself! If you do, tag me so that I can see how it inspired you! I love seeing everyone’s creativity.
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post, and found something intriguing or inspiring to fill your day. See you again soon!
Good morning, friends! Happy Wednesday! What a wonderful day its going to be- I got my walk in, got some chores done and opened my kitchen windows wide while I did it- the sun is shining, the robins have been singing, and the temperature is finally climbing! I don’t really think I needed my down vest this morning, but I wore it anyways. Maybe later this week I’ll be able to venture out with just a sweater and no vest! I’m looking forward to it.
I’ve got some new artwork to share with you- I’ve created a new workshop that you’re welcome to purchase and create on your own. I’ll make it easy for you and pre-cut everything first. Simple is always the best! This workshop was created using CTMH G1177 True Love. I used the included cutting guide to assemble 3 double page layouts, but then went out and lifted one that I saw in the Seasonal Expressions 2 catalog that I loved- but I gave it my own twist. Did you know that our Seasonal Expressions 2 catalog is full of tips and inspiration? When you’re stuck, give the catalog a whirl. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can find! View the workshop layouts below:
The pictures don’t do it any justice. They really need to be seen in person. The colors pair so beautifully together- they’re so soft and rich. You won’t see it in the pictures, but some elements have been coloured in with the Sugarplum shimmer brush to give it some sparkle; there’s also pearls scattered throughout, giving each of the layouts a dainty and romantic flair. Since wedding season is upon us, this collection will be a hot-ticket item!
The kit is $55 and includes the shipping and GST in that total; all the papers will be pre-cut for you, but you will get to assemble the layouts and embellish the way you like. Instructions will also be included in the cost of the kit, but in case you’re wondering, that cost is free. You can order this workshop any time while Seasonal Expressions 2 is live, meaning you’ve got until the end of August to purchase yours.
And, look at that! Your order total is over $50, meaning you get May’s stamp of the month for just $6 with your purchase! How awesome is that?! Have you seen it yet? In case you haven’t, here it is:
You’ll see the stamp set on the right side of the image above; on the left is the stamps I’m offering as a token of gratitude for purchasing it from me. It’s the same deal as last month- when the stamp of the month is purchased, I’ll pre- cut the materials you’ll need to create these three adorable cards and you can put them together. There’s no extra fee for the cards. Isn’t that great!? Its so easy to help me reach my Sellers Club goal with all these fabulous add ons that are available for you to purchase! What’s Sellers Club?
I have a personal goal this month to earn $600 in sales by May 31. Ok, so I may have been challenged to reach that amount in sales, but I’ve made it my goal for this month. Goals are good, right? When I reach that goal, I’ll be able to share September’s National Stamping month promotion with you before everyone else even gets to see it! You will be part of an elite group that gets dibs on it because you were kind enough to help me. If you like anything at all that I’ve shared, consider purchasing it! But, let me tell you, there’s way more than what I’ve just shared in this blog post. You’ll have to visit my website to see it all!
I have so much more to share with you, but I think I’ll save it for next week. I’d like to share what I’m doing with my techniques group- I think you’d find it interesting, so its worth checking it out. Also, I came across a sweet and simple YouTube video tutorial of how to fasten the new Liquid Glass attachment (its way easier than you think!!) so you should watch for that, too. I’ll have pictures of it, too. Since I mentioned video tutorials, I’ll also share a quick tutorial I did with my techniques ladies recently, too! Stay tuned!
Hey hey! TGIF! I wanted to drop in today and share with you another layout I created using the Decorative Borders Thin Cut set. There’s so many great dies to choose from, its almost too hard to decide which one I’m going to use next!
The die I chose for the layout I’m sharing with you today was an easy one. Its a layout about Halloween, and I thought stitching was fitting- in a Tim Burton sort of way. Here, have a look!
I can’t share the entire layout with you (actually a double page layout), because its got stuff in there that needs to stay under wraps for a couple more days. On April 1 I can share more with you! So, yes, in other words, its new product! Its also apparent I need to go back and erase the pencil line I made to ensure part of my title is straight. Its a good rule of thumb to use your straight edge ruler and pencil to mark out where your title will go. I use this technique simply to keep my titles straight. THere’s nothing that annoys me more in my own crafting than a crooked title. Drawing a line is so simple- but remember to erase it after you’re done! People will think you’re just that good if they don’t see a pencil line denoting it.
While playing with the dies yesterday, I came to realize that working slowly and deliberately with these particular dies is in your best interest. You’ll have the best results if you move meticulously and slowly, ensuring the cut is straight and even. Unless you’re aiming for an off-kilter cut, then by all means keep on trucking! Its inspired me to create a small tutorial walking you through how to use these particular dies. This won’t necessarily apply to our other dies because they tend to be shapes, not straight lines. Join me again next week (likely Monday) for a little Facebook Live in the techniques group to see how I keep my decorative borders looking their best! If you’re not part of my group there, you should join it! I share tutorials and tips as much as I can, and also host some workshops there, too. You are always welcome to craft along with me during the live videos! That means its interactive- I love it when people join in!
A new month is quickly barrelling towards us, so in the very near future I’ll be able to show you the new product that’s coming out, the layout I only gave you a peek of today, the specials that are coming up and what my focus will be with this next catalog. Speaking of new product, I am expecting my April order to arrive today. If its early enough, I will be doing my unboxing day live video over on my business page today (hopefully before 1- ideally before 3:30 this afternoon). If not, Monday will be the day. Are you following my business page on Facebook? Find me here. You should join- its the best place to stay up to date on my goings on with CTMH and my business 🙂
Lots of fun stuff is coming up in April. Join me again soon so I can catch you up on the good stuff!
How often do you create sports themed layouts? I haven’t up until this point- because any sports my children were involved in (mostly swimming), required me to be with them, and I wasn’t able to snap pictures. That’s only because they were so young. Now that they’re school age, a whole new world will open up to them- and I’m so excited to explore their interests with them!
Skating and soccer werethe first sports we began with. I’ll have to look for pictures of skating…I know one lives on my Facebook. I’ll have to print it the next time I need more pictures. None of us enjoyed soccer. It was more than likely that they were young, but I think my children thrive more in sports that challenge them selves individually, not in a team. They love their gymnastics and swimming. Miss A keeps asking if she can try Tae Kwon Do. I’ve sort of been putting it off, but I think we should explore it. They have a keen interest in music, too. This year (grade 2) enables them to join choir, if they want (Miss M does!), and we’re contemplating piano lessons in the fall for both twins. There is lots going on!
Back when my kids started playing sports, an idea dawned on me that I’ve been sitting on for quite some time. It was to create a mini album of all the sports they are involved in. Or at least, every year of sports they’re involved in. I did begin it, but only have like 1 picture in it. I do believe I’ve run out of the paper I’d originally started to use in it, so when I get back to it, I’ll have to complete it using something else! Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the mini album at the moment. Sorry!
At some point during their sports (usually their first lesson, if I remember), I take pictures of them. Swimming is the easiest to get pictures of. Gymnastics is the hardest. (Parents generally aren’t allowed in the gym while the kids have class. They have a showcase at the end of their session where they show off everything they’ve learned. I love it, but it makes picture taking interesting!) There’s also more changes coming to our gymnastics program for this upcoming season…I can’t wait to see what we all decide to offer! (I’m on the board, so I’m privy to the deets, LOL). There’s more to look forward to.
I picked up the purple hues in the twins’ soccer jersey’s and pulled it into the rest of my layout. I didn’t have a shade of purple that deep, so instead settled for CTMH Thistle. The Fundamentals in the background matches it perfectly. And, if you notice, for a pop of additional color, I used a strip of sponged card stock I had hanging around on my desk. I also matted the soccer ball onto a piece of it and adhered it to the layout with a pop dot.
*Tip: instead of using paper to create a flat border with a punch, why not create a border using words or shapes? In Cricut Design Space, I added the word ‘soccer’ twice- one in a large font, and the other in a smaller font. I hid the larger soccer word from cutting so that I would only cut the smaller one first. Once I got to the cutting stage, I changed the amount of times I cut the smaller word (in this case two times) and then adhered it evenly on the background. To give the border a ‘there, but not quite’ look, keep it the same color tone as the background. I love the white on white effect! After deleting the smaller soccer word, I cut the larger one from Navy Blue Recollections cardstock, which picks up the color of the soccer net in the background of the pictures.
*-CTMH Whimsy Fundamentals paper packet (retired)
-CTMH White Daisy Cardstock 1385
*-CTMH Thistle Cardstock X5976
-CTMH My Acrylix C1547 For Always Stamp set (retired)
-CTMH Black Exclusive Ink Z2805
*Have I told you about the new card stock at CTMH? Its now double-sided! One side is a shade slightly lighter than the original color! Here’s a peek:
This is the new Whimsy Cardstock Paper Packet. Look at all that deliciousness! This is available to purchase on my website right now! Visit my website here. The new Whimsy Fundamentals Paper packet coordinates with it, as well!
There’s more where that came from. Head on over to my website and check it all out. There’s sure to be something you’ll love.
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!
Hello friends, it’s once again snail mail Saturday! It was a slow mail week here- I didn’t get any happy mail at all! Boo! 😣😭 Hopefully next week. I can count on a letter from a pal in Germany to arrive late next week; hopefully I’ll have more than just hers.
So, since I don’t have any new incoming or outgoing mail, I’ll share some of my favorite snail mail pins- I may or may not also want to try some of these, too!
DIY MARBLING using shaving cream and food coloring. This looks so fun!
This glassine bag (envelope?) has inspired me to create my own envelope using wax paper or parchment paper. I’m not sure it’ll work (or withstand being mailed), but I’d still like to try! Maybe I can hand deliver it instead…
Acrylic painting is another fab idea for decorating your envies- and it’s another one I’d love to try my hand at. I think making your own envelope using thicker weight cardstock is probably best for this idea…
I hope that’s inspired you like it has me!
I also feel the need to apologize: I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’d share a tutorial to create your own envelopes and I’ve neglected doing that. I know I’ve got some tutorials posted but I can’t find them all at the moment. (There’s one in particular I am thinking of, but I can’t find it on any of my Pinterest boards). I will- in the near future- share it. Promise!
Each of these pins can be found on my Pinterest. Search for Pocket Mail/Snail Mail Inspiration. Enjoy!
I mentioned recently that I would share the process I use to create a watercolor effect using Faber-Castell Gelatos.
My kids are home sick today so unfortunately I won’t have a photo or video tutorial ready for you. (What are your thoughts on video tutorials…would you like to see them occasionally on my blog??)
Here are the materials you’ll need to create this effect:
– Faber-Castell Gelatos (one or more colors)
– craft mat
– spray bottle set to a fine mist
– blow dryer, heat tool or good, old fashioned time
– watercolor paper, cardstock or patterned paper
– wipes, kleenex or paper towel
Choose which color, or colors, gelatos you want to use, and scribble directly on your craft mat. A little bit goes a long way. You dont need much! The areas you color can be close together or far apart, or you can also use one color at a time. Play around with it- don’t be afraid to experiment!
Using your spray bottle, spray directly on the areas of the craft mat you colored on. Note: a tiny bit of water goes a long ways. Less is more! I bought a cheap dollar store water bottle, so it doesn’t mist very well. I’ve learned to spray very, very little water. Too much will saturate your paper making it look less nice.
Using my pointer finger, I next blend the color with the water. I find that if you skip this step, the water and color don’t mix very well. I’ve set aside many sheets of “ruined” cardstock to eventually cover up with paper or pictures because I wasn’t happy with the end result. I’m just trying to save you the hassle!
If you used several different colors at once, you can blend them together a bit, creating a kaleidoscope of color. Here’s an example:
As you can see, I used celery green (which looks yellow in the picture above) and pink gelatos here. Mixed together, you’ll also see a touch of orange.
(You’ll see this layout again in a future post!!)
So, now you’ve colored on the craft mat, sprayed that area with a teensy bit of water, and blended that with your fingertip or a paintbrush (if you don’t want to get dirty).
Next, take your watercolor paper, cardstock or patterned paper, and place it over your watercolors on the craft mat. Position it roughly where you’d like it to appear on your paper. Gently rub your hand or fingers over the paper, or slide the paper around a bit, then lift off the craft mat.
Let any excess water run off the page or blot it with paper towel. Using your heat tool, dry your paper off, or set it aside to dry on its own. I’m not patient enough for that, so I use my embossing heat gun to finish it more quickly.
Voila! You should now have a watercolor background on your paper- the first layer of many on a delicious mixed media- or not- layout!
To clean your craft mat (because water and color will be left behind), simply wipe with paper towel, kleenex, wipes or whatever else you might have lying around.
Do you have any other helpful tips or techniques for using Gelatos? I’d love to hear- leave a comment with your tried and true tips. I’d love to learn more!
Thanks for tuning in today! I’ll be back again soon to share another layout with you- this one featuring lots of washi tape! See you then!
I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post that I’d share the directions for creating the one layer stamped card I made recently. I thought today would be a good time to do that!
(In case you needed a reminder, here’s the card I’m referring to. It’ll also save you the hassle of scrolling down to find it in the next post). 😀
To begin, you’ll need to gather your supplies. That would be: cardstock, ink (4 varying shades, three of which should be light, medium and medium dark)- the last one should be darkest; stamping blocks, stamp and some washi tape.
I’ll explain what that’s for in just a moment.
1. Trim your cardstock to 4.25×5.5 inches. (8.5×11 works perfectly- just trim it in half). Score and fold in half length-wise.
Here’s where the washi tape comes in.
2. Mask off the top and bottom portion of your greeting card with the washi tape. Make sure it’s long enough on either side of the card to stick to your work surface; it’ll hold your card in place while stamping.
The washi tape works well for this project because it won’t damage your cardstock like traditional tape can do. It’s repositionable and does not attach permanently.
3. Once your stamp is mounted to your stamping block, ensure your buffer is placed underneath the area you’ll be stamping, then cover the stamp with the lightest ink you chose first. Firmly press onto your cardstock and lift straight up. Repeat, placing the stamp at varying heights until your card is filled.
4. Thoroughly clean your stamp using stamp cleaner.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 using the medium and medium dark inks you’ve chosen, cleaning thoroughly between each layer. Remember to alternate the height each time you stamp so you don’t cover up too much of the previous layer.
6. Using your last (and darkest) ink, stamp your message onto the card.
7. Gently and carefully remove the washi tape, then admire your handiwork.
Presto, you’re done!
If you’re interested in creating this card, and you liked the colors I used to create it, head on over to my website. All the products you need to create this project are available to purchase there, including stamp spray, cleaning pad and stamping blocks.
Shop in your jammies, naked or anytime you want! The shop is always open! Convenience is always the best option!
It was a great day for exercising my one little word, positivity, yesterday. We had growing concerns that our kitty was diabetic- or, at the very least, something was amiss. He peed a number of times around the house; I caught him in the act once, and he filled his litter unreasonably fast on a regular basis. I shouldn’t have to completely empty and refill it after two mere days.
My husband brought kitty to the vet on Monday, and the vet quickly ruled out diabetes. Fewf. But then what could it be? Drinking more water, because we’re cutting back on how much he eats, and so there’s a higher volume of output?
It turns out, in kitty’s old age, his renal function has become unsatisfactory. It’s slowly failing. Luckily, we caught it early, and can give him medication to help improve his quality of life. It’ll mean a total diet change, as well. Not only have we cut back on his consumption, he also needs to eat food thats low in protein. The good news is that he could have a few more years for us to pester and annoy love and enjoy him. Here’s hoping!
As promised on Monday, here’s a small tutorial using the water droplet technique- it’s really easy and fun! First, gather the materials you’ll need: card stock, acrylic stamping block, ink(s), stamp spritzer or spray bottle, scrubbing pad (for cleaning stamping block), stamps.
In the first step, fill your acrylic stamping block with ink. If you’re using multiple colors, like I’ve done, start with the lightest first, then move to the darkest.
Once the surface is covered in ink, give it a quick spray with your stamp cleaner (spritzer) or spray bottle. Ensure your spray bottle nozzle is set to a fine mist. (In the picture below, my stamp block has just been sprayed with my stamp cleaner.)
Stamp onto your card stock like a regular stamp! Stamp in any pattern you like, using as many or as little colors as you please; repeat steps 1 to 3 for every successive color (with cleaning in between).
Set aside to dry. Once your ink and card stock is dry, you’re ready to stamp on top, if you so desire. Choose a complimentary ink, or stick with an ink you just used. Fill stamp as usual and stamp away, in any pattern you choose. I chose something that reflects my one little word and theme for 2015: positive. The adjective that particularly caught my eye was grateful. This will be going into my gratitude journal next week!
(For a little extra oomph, ink your stamp in multiple colors for an ombre look, like I did here!)
And, to sign off, I’ll leave you with last weeks’ gratitude journal entries: