Thursday, October 18, 2012

Training Videos Tuesday - On Thursday!

I'm a little off my game this week.  I didn't get my training video up on Tuesday because I have been battling eager cold bugs at my house.  Usually they show up in January, but this year, they decided to visit us early.  All three of my guys are sick - and the baby has his first ear infection.  My hubby works the midnight shift, so sleep is hard enough for him when he's well.  My abnormally sleep-reluctant pumpkin is only sleeping right now while he's being held.  The only one in my house who's getting any rest is my ten year old.  He's a champion mattress hugger.  He can (and has) slept through a hurricane.  Hopefully, next week, they'll all be back to their regular selves and we can get back to normal.

But this video is too great to pass up passing it along.  I love that Close To My Heart creates these videos to highlight new techniques and projects.  I love learning new ways to be more creative in my own work and sharing that with all of you!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's a Baby Girl!!

Oh, my gosh!!  I am so proud of how cute this card turned out to be!  I just had my second baby in June and after I found out I was having another son, one by one a whole bunch of family members and friends started expecting their own little bundles of joy (3 cousins, 1 sister, 1 step-sister and a couple girlfriends).  Babies are falling from heaven all around me.  So I decided to pull out my "Mommy" stamp and make some cards.  I made this one for my cousin whose baby is coming around the holidays.

I love pink and black together (in case you hadn't noticed from my blog).  I think it can be classy and girly and give great attitude all at the same time!  I knew I wanted to use Roxie for this card because it does all that and more.  I paper pieced her clothes and the baby carriage and used our Blending Pen to color in her skin and hair, the baby, the inside of the carriage and to add dimension to the ruffles on the back of the buggy.

I didn't go all out embellishing this card because I wanted the focus to be on the mom and baby carriage.  I accented the flourishes on the patterned paper by using Liquid Glass.  It added just the right amount of shine.  I finished it off with a few pearls and a little bling in mom's ears (just because I think every woman deserves a pair of diamond earrings) and on the wheels of the buggy.

I hope my cousin likes this as much as I do!


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Friday, October 12, 2012

Simple Sympathy

This is my first attempt at a sympathy card.  It was for my neighbor whose father passed away recently.  Because it was for a man, I didn't want it to be overly embellished.  I wanted it to be simple and slightly masculine. And I think I accomplished that.  But this card means so much more to me than just simple sympathy.

This family is very special to me.  I have a ten year old son with Autism and last year when we moved here, their daughter became his very first friend. Autism is a complicated disorder.  But to put it very, very simply, it's a lack of social appropriateness.  When he was diagnosed in 2008, he was non-verbal and he had violent fits.  I focused on intense one-on-one therapy and on strict diet changes and slowly this boy emerged who knew who he was, but not how to connect with his peers.  And when we moved to this house, it finally happened.  This little girl treats him the way we all try to raise our children to treat others without seeing his disability as a liability.  I could go on for days, telling you what an impact her acceptance of my son has done for us, both for my hope that he will one day be able to live an independent life and also for the things that she's taught him that I never could.  But I'll save that for another day.  So instead, I fell back to what I know.  Which was putting my hands to work.  I made them this card.

I love cards because they are a way to stay connected with our loved ones (just don't ask my mom, she'll tell you I don't call home enough).  When we're happy, when we're sad, we just need someone to say, "I see you and I'm here."  So until the end of the year, you'll see lots of cards.  I have a lot of people in my life to celebrate - family members that I'm grateful for, birthdays to commemorate (my baby sister is practically going gray at the thought of turning thirty this year), and people who have helped shape the woman I've become and the direction my life is heading.  And you'll probably see a few more sympathy cards on here, too.  And I'll work on my picture taking skills so the photos aren't so dark.  Enjoy.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

My favorite things Thursday!

Craft heaters!!

These hand-held dynamos are great for all sorts of crafting needs.  But handle with care, because these little guys heat up fast and stay super-hot for a while!

Here's just a few things you can do with your craft heater...

~Speed up the drying time on Liquid Glass.
~Speed up the drying time on Pigment Inks

I use mine almost exclusively to emboss.  I love adding dimension to my projects without going "full splash".  (You know those projects where they threw everything in there - including the kitchen sink?  Not my kinda dimension.)  Embossing adds the right amount of flash.  And if I'm feeling in a particularly embellishing mood, I can add sparkles or opaques to my embellished pieces (see my *Wicked* Halloween card!).

Embossing does take some practice to get the right technique down.  So don't get discouraged if your stamped image looks pretty scary the first few times you do it.  Just keep at it and pretty soon, Hallmark will be knocking down your door.  (Just kidding.  That's just a minor fantasy of mine.)  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Free, free, free!!

Do you still use a 35mm camera to capture all your family's memorable events or did you switch to a digital camera?  If you did, then you need to digitize your scrapbooking, too!!

During the month of October when you purchase 9 two page Studio J layouts, Close To My Heart will give you the tenth two page layout free! 

Studio J is how Close To My Heart does digital scrapbooking.  There's no software to download and no upfront fees.  In fact, you don't pay a cent until you're satisfied with your pages and ready to see them in an album on your coffee table. You just log onto the website here and start scrappin'! 

I used Studio J for the first time last week and I couldn't believe how easy the whole process was!  I just uploaded my pictures, chose my paper pack and layout from the dozens offered and embellished to my heart's content.  Because it was so easy, I'm working on a birthday album for my mom and I'm going to have the pages delivered right to her!  

Wanna try it for yourself?  Just log in and start your own pages.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Clearly the Best: Dauber Dynamite (S01E05)

This is a great instructional video on how to use sponge daubers to paint ink on your stamps!  It's one of my favorite techniques for adding color on a solid stamped image.  (See my Pretty Stella card.)

I hope you have fun learning how to incorporate this simple way to add dimension to your paper crafted projects!

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Friday, October 5, 2012

*Wicked* Halloween Card

I made this card last year, but I HAD to share it with you.  I LOVE Halloween!  It is my FAVORITE holiday - and coincidentally both my husband's and my oldest son's birthdays.

I love how whimsical and girly this card turned out to be!  Halloween doesn't have to be scary or gross or whatever Hollywood wants to turn it into this year.  Even with the bats flying up from the bottom of the card and the raven on her hand, this witch is sassy!

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Favorite Things Thursday!!


Fierce tool, funny name.  The bone folder is a MUST-HAVE tool for every paper crafter!

Close To My Heart makes pre-made cards with matching envelopes.  They come in all sizes, in various shapes, and you can get them in three different colors.  But a lot of times, I like to have a colored card base.  The bone folder helps me get the perfect fold every time.  No more rips, no more refolding the paper leaving messy "practice" cards.

And it's not just for perfectly folded greeting cards!  You can also use the bone folder to make a pleated paper ribbon as an embellishment for your scrap book pages.  Use it to score paper flowers to add dimension to them (while saving your poor fingertips).

This little tool is always within reach whenever I'm crafting. 

Click here to order yours today!

Hope you enjoy!

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Monday, October 1, 2012

October Stamp Of The Month - Very Merry Christmas

Aren't these tags ADORABLE???  Let me tell you how much I LOVED making these tags!  

First, I got to use a Cricut for the very first time making these tags!  Each of the shapes cuts out of our NEW Cricut Artiste cartridge.  I was so nervous, I had no idea what to expect.  OMG, it was so EASY!

The images stamped right onto the shapes (gotta love see-thru acrylic stamps!!).  And then onto my all-time favorite part of all...

The decorating!!  I wanted these tags to say "Happy Holidays" without throwing tinsel in your face.  And they do!  I used our Glitz gel to add some sparkle to them and they turned out so elegant.

This would make a great project for kids who are home on one of these up-coming school holidays between now and December.  And they'll be so proud passing out presents on Christmas morning while showing off their handiwork!

Hope you enjoy!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Farewell Sweet Summer!!

Saturday marked our official passage into fall.  So along with breaking out the sweaters and the scarves, I broke out my Footloose paper pack and made this card!

Fall is hands-down my FAVORITE off all four seasons.  I love the crispness of the air, the warm, homey foods, the way the Earth sends summer off in a blaze of glory - literally.  And October (my favorite month) is right around the corner!

But I wasn't quite ready to say "Adios" to summer.  My youngest was born on June 6th, so I didn't really get a summer.  My summer consisted of counting feedings and diapers and praying for nap-times (baby's too curious, he doesn't like to sleep).

I love the laid back feeling this card gives me.  It's pretty simple - just like a day at the beach should be!

Hope you enjoy! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Favorite Things Thursday!!

The Versa Mat!!

This is, to me, the ESSENTIAL crafter's tool.  I LOVE my versa mat!  As you can see, it's been VERY well used.   

On this side, it has every quarter-inch marked off for those days when I want to make sure everything lines up evenly (And if you ask my friends, they'll tell you that's a rarity.  I think that handmade items have more character when they're not perfect!)  For the scrapbook crowd, it's a full 12x12.  (What a guaranteed way to make sure your pictures and embellishments are placed evenly!!)

On the other side, it's foam-padded.  Since I started stamping, I've learned that nothing is more frustrating than when I get that stamp loaded up with ink and perfectly placed on the card stock, to find out when I remove the stamp, that the ink didn't transfer evenly!  By using the reverse side of the Versa Mat under the card stock, I get a clean, complete stamped image every time.

This is always the FIRST tool I pack whenever I'm traveling for a crop or a weekend away with my scrappin' sisters!!

Click here to order yours today!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pretty Stella Card

Isn't this card sweet?  I got the pattern from Mojo Monday #234.  The pattern inspired me and I knew I wanted to use our Stella paper, so I started cutting paper.  It sat on my crafting table for a few weeks because I couldn't decide on the stamped image.  Once I found the butterfly, I knew and ...  A card was born!

Hope you enjoy!!

List of Supplies:
Stella Paper (X7147B)
Colonial White CS (1388)
Lagoon CS (X5762)
Creme Brulee Ink (Z2167)
Tulip Ink (Retired)
Lagoon Ink (Z2195)
Cocoa Ink (Z2114)
Bamboo Ink (Z2103)
A Little Thanks (D1444)
Find Your Style (Retired)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

National Stamping Month Promotion!!!

If you love stamping as much as I do, you'll love this stamp set!  I LOVE that Close To My Heart is coming out with these double stamp sets!!!  These images are great for card making or adding embellishments to your scrap booking pages.  Click here to get yours today!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Adorable Name Frame

This is as close to scrap booking as I get!  This was an ADORABLE name frame we did a few years ago.  I didn't really name my son 'Chunk'.  I've always called him that because he was such a fat baby!  Now he's all elbows and knees and he'll be 11 on Halloween!  They really do grow up fast!!

But I had to share this with you all because it's such a cute piece of wall art!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Easy-Peasy Thank You Cards

I'm making Thank you cards!!  My husband was thrilled to see my card-making stash cluttering up the kitchen table.  He is the most well-mannered person I know and he has been all over my tush about getting Thank you cards made.  We have a brand new baby at home and I haven't had the time - or the energy - to make cards.  Our new little one is not a sleeper and that's also reeking havoc on my creativity.  But since I had my stuff out (and the baby was softly snoring in his car seat), I decided to go for it! 
I love the muted colors in the Florentine paper pack and thought it would be perfect for a thank you card.

Here's my product list.  The only thing not pictured is my adhesive, paper trimmer and pop dots.  I LOVE this stamp set!  It's the perfect addition to the card-maker's arsenal.  I also used the cards and envelopes from the Value Pack.  They're already cut to size and scored. Such a time saver!!

Since I was going for easy (and I was time-crunched), I totally used the extra 1/2 inch border strip at the top of the patterned paper to my advantage!  Whenever I cut smaller strips of paper to size, I'm always worried about the edges not matching up.  But this was all from one piece of paper, so I didn't have to worry about that.

The pieces don't look like much now, but I always ink the edges.  For this card I used Cocoa ink.  If this is not a technique you're familiar with, you should definitely try it!  I think it makes the finished product more elegant and helps to focus your eye...

...AND you have the makings of a super-cute card!

Next I stamped the sentiment.  For the Thanks, I used the Rock 'n Roll technique.  I stamped the whole image in Bamboo and then rolled the edges in Twilight.  Super cute, right?  But it was still missing some embellishing. I didn't want to add too much because I wanted the card to stay simple.

You can see at the top of the picture I considered using a stamped image.  But then I flipped over one of the pieces of paper and decided to cut the floral images out.  In order to achieve the same adorable embellishment, I would have had to paper piece them together and that would have taken the "Easy-Peasy" title away. 

I put pop dots on one side of each embellishment and used regular adhesive on the other side and stuck them on the card at various angles.  It gives the card a little bit of dimension.

Isn't this Thank You card cute? And I DID get it finished before my little one woke up!  I plan on making a BUNCH of these cards during his nap times!

Hope you enjoy!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Frankie's Birthday Invite

Isn't this Frankenstein card cute??  My oldest son is a Halloween baby, so you'll see LOTS of Halloween cards - it's my ALL-TIME FAVORITE holiday!!  I made this card for his birthday invitations four years ago.  It was really easy (but time consuming) to make 20 of these adorable little gems!  His eyes, eye lids and nose are made from cardstock that was punched with a paper punch.  I edged his nose and eye lids with black ink.  I free-handed his crooked little smile (doesn't he just look devilish??).  The only stamped images on this card are the two little "neck bolts" in the lower corners.  His hair is cut with a pair of scissors - no two invitations were alike. 

Hello Blog-O-Sphere!!

Hello one and all!  This is my first post on my new blog!  I love paper crafting and card making and I want to share that with you!  I hope you'll enjoy perusing my crafts as much as I know I'll like making them!