Wednesday, October 2, 2013

It's all "Monkey" business...

I read an article once about the origin of nicknames.  It seems way back in the dark ages, parents would call their children by substitute names during their youth (and especially their babyhood) to keep ghouls and goblins from stealing them.  This is how nicknames came to be.

We call our youngest son Monkey.  He's always climbing on everything, constantly clinging to us, and he has those HUGE chubby cheeks when he smiles really big.  People always look at us like we're crazy for calling our son after an animal.  I think it's adorable.  And he answers to it.  He knows that nickname as well as he knows his own name - although he chooses not to answer to either of them when he's up to no good and he's about to get into trouble.

A couple years ago, I attended a name frame workshop.  It was a complete BLAST!  Then, I made a name frame for my oldest son using the nickname I've called him from birth - Chunk.  He was the fattest baby I'd ever seen.  I used to call him my "michelin-tire baby".  You'd never know it now, he's as thin as a rail and is all angles.  I loved cataloging some of my favorite pictures in an homage to my son.

When our current Idea Book came out and I saw the adorable Babycakes paper pack, I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do with it - make a name frame for the baby.  So I sent all my favorite pictures from my cell phone over to Walgreens and started measuring.  Thankfully, I was able to find the same frame I'd gotten for his older brother.  The finished size I picked is 9 x 12.  I wanted the most space I could  to put as many pictures of my little monkey as possible.

Don't you love it??  I absolutely LOVE how stinkin' CUTE this name frame turned out!  His favorite things are eating, getting filthy and being cuddled - typical boy!  I totally captured his spirit in this name frame and it's going to look GREAT hanging on the wall right next to his older brother's.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Perfect Day

Today I registered my oldest son for Sixth Grade.  My baby is now officially a Middle School-er.  I always get nostalgic at the start of each school year - he starts school in a week and a half.  I realize that we're riding the downward summer slope toward fall and colder weather.  And while I always get excited about all the fun activities and holidays that the end of the year brings, there is something that's pretty sad about the ending of summer.  I love the L-O-N-G days that we get in summer.  I love being able to watch my kids playing outside at 8:30 at night in the warm summer evenings, catching frogs and fireflies.  I love being able to take the baby on a neighborhood walk and show him all the evening creatures that come out to play.

I was asked to create the following card for the friend of a family member who loves the beach.  When I saw this lighthouse stamp, I didn't see a warm summer day playing in the surf.  I saw a summer sunset full of lingering memories.

I can't tell you how much I love how this lighthouse card turned out!

I used the card pattern from our Make It From the Heart how to program.  If you don't have this great booklet, you need to get it!  It's a 48 page booklet FULL of scrapbooking layouts and card patterns (with all the dimensions given).  These days my creative time is short and therefore even more precious to me.  Having go-to patterns and layouts really helps me maximize my time.

The first thing I did was stamp and emboss the lighthouse.  Then I stamped it out on Post-it notes so I could cut out around the stamp and layer the ink on the cardstock without ruining the lighthouse.  I started from the bottom of the lighthouse and layered the warmer inks - you can really choose any shades you want, I stuck with pink and peach toned inks.  The best thing to do (I've found) is to start with the lightest shade and finish with the darkest shade.  You don't have to clean your brayer between inks, which makes the blending process easier.  But when you switch colors or if you go from darker to lighter, you really need to clean your brayer (I just clean the ink off with a baby wipe).  Then when I was happy with the way the bottom of the sunset looked, I flipped the cardstock, cleaned off the brayer and layered the cooler shades.  To finish off the lighthouse, I used our blending pen and colored in the top of the lighthouse, the roofs of the keepers buildings and the grass/stone.  The blending pen really is great for coloring if you don't have the markers.  Then I used the pink and the yellow B&T papers from our retired Mayberry paper pack to frame the picture.

I love how warm and soft the finished card is.  Not that I've ever been, but this is sort of how I imagine a Maine sunset would look behind a lighthouse. 

I've entered this card in the H2H Water, Water, Water Challenge, Happy Campers Challenge #20 - Summer and Dream it Up's Summertime, Sparklers and S'mores Challenge.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Words of Comfort

Last weekend, one of my crop sisters had to lay her mother to rest.  Even when it's expected and necessary to ease suffering (as it was in this case), it's still devastating to those left behind.

I went to my stash to get a card to send her to let her know I was thinking about her.  (Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the visitation.)  Several years ago, the group of girls I started scrapbooking with, created a card swap dinner.  We'd get together on a regular basis and pick different themes for each swap.  I just hoarded the cards, so I was certain I had something perfect in my stash to send to her.  (We haven't done this in a while and I REALLY miss it!)

I mean, look at all those cards!  Every one of them is handmade with love and - nothing.  Not a single condolence card in the bunch - not even a "Thinking of you".  What's a girl to do??  Make one!   So I went into my other stash and pulled out all my stamps!  Luckily, I'm a card maker and I have dozens of sentiments.

Here's what an uninterrupted hour of baby-free time looks like:

I just love how this card turned out!!  

These days, whenever I'm making a card, the first thing I do is pull out our Make It From Your Heart how-to program. It's a 40-ish page booklet CHOCK FULL of patterns - complete with cutting instructions!  From a design aspect, I love having pre-determined patterns when I'm crunched for time.  It really helps me make the most of my creative time.  And I love that it's small enough to slide into my bag when it's time to get together with my girls and crop!

I used the B&T papers from our retired Moonlight paper pack.  It's Halloween-themed, but I think the muted Slate and Smokey Plum colors were just perfect for this card.  I wanted to keep the card simple so I pulled a few techniques out of my bag of tricks.

One of my all-time favorite stamps is Treasure Life.  It's a long-retired stamp set, but between the floral images and the sentiments, it is one of the most useful stamps that I own.  I used it to stamp the background image on the card.  For the stamped background image, I used Second-Generation Stamping.  If you've never done it before, Second-Generation Stamping is where you load up your stamp with ink - get it good and juicy - and you stamp the image on the paper.  Then, you reposition it and stamp it again on a different spot.  This gives you a lighter stamped image and I think it also adds some interesting dimension to the card.  (You can see above, it looks like there are floral stalks behind the darker stamped image.)  I also embossed the three floral stalks in the front.  For the sentiment on the front of the card, I used our Words of Comfort stamp set, which I corner-rounded on opposite corners.  Before I embellished the card, I edged the two B&T pieces and the sentiment with Slate ink and edged the two Smokey Plum cardstock pieces with Smokey Plum ink.  Then I finished off the card by embellishing it with our retired Colonial White Grosgrain Ribbon, Licorice Opaques and a Filigree Charm.  I used Liquid Glass to glue the Opaque and the Charm to the Ribbon and then the Ribbon to the card.  My regular ATG usually doesn't fail me, but I wanted to make sure it all stuck well.  The only thing about Liquid Glass is that you have to let it dry for a long time before touching or moving it.  I usually let my projects set for 24 hours to be on the safe side. 

I hope you like the card as much as I do. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's so easy

Creative Memories Scrapbookers, have no fear!  You can still use your stash and continue to showcase your adorable layouts in your Creative Memories Albums! 

Watch Shaunna Richards show you how to convert Close To My Heart page protectors so they can fit your Creative Memories albums!!

I LOVE that she took the time to figure this out!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Celebrate July 4th by giving to those who give so much!!

I've mentioned before that I spent most of my life as a "military service member support staff" - both as a child and a spouse.  That's fancy-speak for "military dependent".  Just like any indentured civil servant, these brave men and women do not do this for money or fame.  They don't do it because of any reason other than a bone-deep calling to do what's right.  To defend our freedoms and those in countries who have none.  To be there on the front line, taking the hit.  To run into harms' way so that others don't have to.  To leave this world a little better than they found it. 

I am awed and honored by the sacrifices made by these brave individuals around the world.  I don't take my freedom lightly and I am thrilled that Close To My Heart has found such a wonderful way to give back.

From June 1st to July 31st, $3 from each Courage Stamp set (B-sized, retails for $9.95) and $5 from each
Home of the Brave Stamp Set (D-sized, retails for $17.95) will be donated to the USO!  The USO is an incredible organization that supports our service members.  These brave men and women sacrifice so much and they deserve to know that we don't take their sacrifices for granted!

These stamp sets can be ordered here, but ONLY until July 31st! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July Stamp of the Month

We go to farmer's markets.  While there's a wider array of veggies at the local grocery store, hubby and I prefer to give our bucks to hard-working local farmers.  The produce is fresher, grown more organically and local!  It's not covered in pesticides or preservatives to make sure it gets thousands of miles without spoiling.  Food tastes better fresh out of the dirt or off the tree.  (Baby loves peaches and learned first hand  about the differences between the canned kind and the fresh kind.  He thought it was great fun to let the warm, sticky juice dribble down his chin and arms!  He was a mess cleaning up, but he was so cute - we didn't mind at all!!)

So when I saw July's Stamp of the Month, all I could think about was our local farmer's markets! That fruit is just waiting to be colored and adorn scrapbooking pages of blond-headed babies covered in sticky peach juice. 

To add this to your own pages and projects, click here!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Masculine Buzz and Bumble card

So, I'm kind of on this "Make it from your Heart" kick.  Do you know about it?  No?  Well, then, let me tell you all about it.

I'm a novice scrapbooker.  As in, I don't do it.  Ever.  Well, let me take that back for just a second.  I created a two page layout from our Make it from your Heart How-To program earlier this year for a quick workshop I was doing at our team's bi-monthly CTMH crop.  It was the first scrapbooking I'd ever done.  Like, EVER.

Don't get me wrong - I've been doing paper crafting for years.  I LOVE IT!!  I make cards, I love the projects and gifts.  But something about scrapbooking never got me.  Never grabbed a hold of me and refused to let go.  So when our Spring Idea Book came out, we had this great little booklet (it's only 40-something pages long).  I figured, "what the heck".  What could I possibly lose by following the directions?  So I tried it.  And while the layout left me a little flat (I have to admit it did turn out cute - I was scrapbooking my youngest, after all), I was immediately smitten with the card patterns in the back of the book!!! 

I have had so little creative time since my baby boy was born last year, that finding patterns almost took longer than the time I had available to create something!  Having this book on hand has been a little god-send!  When my unhappy-napper finally succumbs to the sandman, I can flip through the book and pick out a design, and I'm on my way!

So, when I needed a card to show my hubby some love, I saw a version of the above pattern (I never completely follow directions, I usually alter something).  I used patterned papers from our Buzz and Bumble paper pack, stamped a background image on a piece of bamboo cardstock, added the sentiment, some hemp and a few cocoa buttons, and called it a card.  It's a simple card.  I didn't want anything showy (he's a pretty quiet and reserved kinda guy) and let's be honest - it's impossible to focus on making a card and enjoy the relaxation that creating one brings when you have a little one pulling on your clothes and attempting to scale you like Mt Rainier.

There are a TON of layout and card patterns in there.  If you don't have it, I STRONGLY recommend getting it.  It's perfect to slip in your rolling tote when you go to a crop or scrapbooking event.  It gives you the sizes you need to cut for each project and you can make it as simple or fancy as you want.  It's perfect for a busy mom who's not willing to give up her arts and crafts time.  I have mine, you should get yours.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Welcome Baby Boy

I LOVE this card!  I might be a bit biased, cuz I made it.  And although I rarely make things I don't like, I don't always fall in love with some of my creations like I did with this card.

I don't think there are enough adjectives to describe how awesome I think this card is.  I love that the emphasis is on the mother and pram.  She looks blissful and peaceful - just the way we all want to look when we're pushing our little angels around.  I love that it's simple.  I love that it's elegant.  I love that it's "boy-ish" without being "baby-ish". 

I made it for my younger sister when she was pregnant with her third son.

First, I used our Later Sk8r paper.  (All current product is soon to be retired.  Later Sk8r is only available through July 31st, so order yours here before they're all gone.)  I love when CTMH brings out new boy papers!  I paper pieced the mother's dress and the baby's pram from two of the patterned papers in the pack.  I used our blending pen and inks to color in her hair, skin, shoes, and the baby's arm.  I added bling to hear ears and the middle of the wheels.  I traced over the wheels, spokes and handle of the pram with our silver metallic pen to give it the appearance of being made from metal.  I layered Lagoon, White Daisy and Outdoor Denim cardstock on top of each other to create a visually beautiful background without competing with the stamped image.  For the strip of Outdoor Denim behind the stamped image, I used our Color Ready Seam Binding Ribbon and daubed Outdoor Denim ink all across it.  But be careful!  If you do this, you have to color it on scrap paper and you HAVE to let it dry for 24 hours before using it.  Otherwise, you'll get ink all over you and your project.  I also added a few pieces of bling to the bottom of the card as a finishing touch.

I hope you like it as much as I liked making it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A little Reflection...

Sometimes, I have to be reminded to take a minute and REALLY be thankful for all the blessings I have in my life.  

The horrible tragedy last month in Moore Oklahoma was one of those moments that I just hugged my babies a whole lot tighter.  I was emotionally wrecked watching the devastating aftermath on the news.  My heart broke for the families whose homes were demolished and who lost everything.  I sobbed for the parents who lost babies in the devastating destruction of the elementary schools.  

When I was a kid, my little brother burned our house down.  To the ground.  My mom was even on the fire department that responded to our house fire!  My brother and older sister were the only ones home at the time - my parents and I were all at our respective jobs.  It was a shock to get that phone call at work.  I left in kind of a daze and it didn't sink in until I rounded the corner to our street and saw the whole thing blocked off on either side of our house by huge red fire trucks.  Once it was safe enough to go in, the obliteration inside our home was overwhelming.  We lost EVERYTHING.  And even though the insurance company did the best they could to get us back to the way things were, it was never really the same.

So I was STOKED to find out the company I love so much was giving back.  Close To My Heart has released one of it's Autumn/Winter Stamp Sets early.

A True Thank You retails for $2.95 and from now through June 30th, Close To My Heart is donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this stamp set to the American Red Cross's efforts to help those in Moore OK affected by the horrific May tornado.

Click here to order yours today!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Home of the Free ...

... because of the Brave! 

As a former military brat, I really appreciate how much support our country has for its service members!  The challenges we faced were much different from our friends.  When my sister and I were in high school, my dad got new orders.  At the time we were stationed at Great Lakes, and his new orders were to Washington (state, not D.C.).  My sister was going into her senior year, and my folks made the really hard decision for my dad to go out there solo and leave us all behind.  As kids, we made some serious sacrifices because of their decision and it was far from easy.  But we came out stronger on the other end, and it only ended up being for a few years.  

So I was PSYCHED to find out Close To My Heart was giving back to a cause that's close to MY heart - the military!  They came up with some wonderful patriotic stamp sets to salute those brave men and women who make it possible for us all to enjoy all the exceptional freedoms we have.

From June 1st to July 31st, $3 from each Courage Stamp set (B-sized, retails for $9.95) and $5 from each
Home of the Brave Stamp Set (D-sized, retails for $17.95) will be donated to the USO!  The USO is an incredible organization that supports our service members.  These brave men and women sacrifice so much and they deserve to know that we don't take their sacrifices for granted! 

Click here to place your order today!  Hurry supplies are limited!!

Friday, June 7, 2013

It's a Banner Day!

I love the monthly campaigns that Close To My Heart comes out with!  I love getting product for free and seeing exclusively designed promotions.

Isn't this ADORABLE? 

Wanna get it for FREE??  (Who among us doesn't LOVE free product?)

Place an order in the month of June that's a minimum of $25, make sure that you have at least ONE qualifying stamp set, and you get this Mini-Banner for FREE!

The banner has 10 chipboard pennants in 4 different shapes and includes 9 jump rings for hanging.  This is a value of $5.95

Click here to place your order today!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

So Dreamy!

I cannot get over how versatile this paper pack is!.  All the gorgeous papers are so inspirational.  Of course, I'm talking about our May National Scrapbooking promotion, Dream Pop. 

These papers were created exclusively for this promotion which is ONLY available during the month of May.  Quantities are really limited.  You have to act fast and order yours today!  Click here to place your qualifying order of $35 and you can get yours for just $10. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May's National Scrapbooking Promotion

Dream Pop!

It's our National Scrapbooking Promotion for May.  The colors are bright and cheerful.  The colors and the patterned papers were exclusively created just for this promotion.  Even the cardstock is double-sided.  One side is the high quality CTMH cardstock that you know and love.  The reverse side has a delicious embossed pattern to add depth to your paper crafting projects.

Click here to order yours today.  Quantities are limited and you do not want to miss out on this exceptional promotion!

Make It From Your Heart Buzz and Bumble Thank You card

I've been commissioned by my husband's mother to make a box of cards for her friend's retirement party.  I did this for her birthday earlier this year, and she really appreciated it.  She called me on Sunday and asked me if I could have this ready for her before Saturday.  As in this Saturday.  Three days from now.  I told her it could be done.  And it can, as long as my boys cooperate.  This has been a busy week for us and I've had family business to take care of up until today, so I've been slowly working on this card. 

I used our new Buzz and Bumble paper pack to make this card.  I edged all the papers in Cocoa Ink to give it more dimension without the added weight of more paper.  The flower on the sentiment is from the Buzz and Bumble Assortment Pack.  I stamped the sentiment with our A Little Thanks stamp set.  The sentiment I edged in Goldrush Ink and Cocoa Ink to help make it pop.

Knowing that I have three days to get a box of cards (and the box itself) designed and created, would normally turn me into a frantic mess.  But Close To My Heart has the perfect solution for this.  They have this wonderful 48 page booklet called Make It From Your Heart.  They've created exclusive card (and scrapbooking) patterns and included dimensions and completed examples of each project.  And that's where I got the pattern for this card.

This is a Must-Have booklet to keep with your paper crafting supplies.  The pre-designed patterns make creating so much more of a breeze.  And it makes keeping my commitment less stressful.  I bought this booklet because I have a little one at home.  He makes it impossible to spend hours online scouring websites and blogs looking for card patterns.  You can order yours here today to maximize your scrapbooking and card making time!

I already have the next pattern, stamp and paper pack picked out for the next card.  Come back tomorrow to see it.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Super Cute Dream Pop card

This is the super-simple, super-girly Mom's Day card I made with our National Scrapbooking Month Promotion, Dream Pop!  I'm pretty laid-back and low-key.  And I love how bold and colorful these papers are.  But I felt like I needed a solid neutral to ground all those happy colors, which the black did perfectly. 

Look at all these bright papers!

The cardstock is double sided.  That pattern you see in the pictures is actually embossed!  It adds great dimension to your finished project.  The reverse is plain cardstock, so you can stamp images and sentiments to your heart's content!

And look at all these colorful patterns!  The reverse have completely different patterns and designs to add more dimension and color to your projects.

This is a fantastic promotion to celebrate National Scrapbooking Month.  You get 24 sheets - 2 each of all six double-sided patterned papers AND 2 each of all six double-sided cardstock papers.  If you love paper-crafting as much as I do, you really need to get your hands on this promotion.  It's only good through the last day of May.  The papers are so high quality and it was so much fun to work with pre-embossed cardstock!

All you need to do is place a $35 qualifying order here and you can get this fantastic promotion for only $10!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

National ScrapBooking Month!

When I saw how bright and cheerful the patterns and colors for our National ScrapBooking Month promotion were, I was completely inspired to create this Milk Carton Flower Pot for Mother's Day.  I love how happy this little project turned out to be. 

Both the patterned papers and cardstock are from the Dream Pop Promotion.  The colors are so joyful, it just screamed "Celebrate Something" to me.  And since Mom's Day is right around the corner, what better to celebrate?

I used our Juniper Ink to color our Color Ready Seam Binding (if you've never done this before, it takes about a day to completely dry before you can play with it).  After I cut all the individual papers out, I edged them with the Juniper Ink, too.  I love inking edges, I think it adds dimension without the additional weight of more paper.  It's one of those techniques that allows you the versatility to determine how light or how dark you want the edges to be.  I usually start out pretty light-handed and wait for it to dry before deciding whether I want to add more.  I used Slate Ink to stamp the leaves and flowers with the Heartfelt Treasures stamp (they're on both sides of the milk carton).  Then I pulled out the bling!  I think it added just the right amount of pop and shine without being too over the top.  I used our Bitty Sparkles, our Blue/Green Sparkles Assortment and our Red/Pink/Purple Sparkles Assortment. 

I'm having so much fun playing with this paper pack!  The colors are so vivacious.

All you need to do to get this fantastic promotion is place a qualifying order of $35 here and you can order this for an additional $10!!  But place your order quickly.  Although this promotion is for the Month of May only, there are limited quantities.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

First signs of Summer

I love pinwheels.  They remind me of hot, lazy summer days laying among dandelions in the grass.  No breeze blew, so the only way I could get my pinwheel to turn was by blowing on it.  My little cheeks would be so puffed out because I never wanted that pinwheel to stop turning!

This month's Stamp of the Month brings back all those memories.

How sweet are all those pinwheels??

My oldest son never got into pinwheels - he only cares about cold-blooded creepy things.  But my baby is curious.  He loves the world around him and never seems like he can get enough of it.  I can't wait to see his reaction to spinning pinwheels.  I hope he'll be as fascinated by them as I was.

This adorable stamp is yours for just $5!  That's right.  When you place a $50 qualifying order here, you can order this stamp for $5. 

Do your Dreams Pop?

May's Constant Campaign is absolutely DREAMY! 

12 double-sided Background and Textured papers.
12 double-sided cardstock sheets in colors created exclusively for this promo (regular cardstock on one side, embossed patterns on the reverse). 

The colors are AMAZING - so bright and cheerful!  Just what a lot of us need after the yucky weather we've been having.  They really inspire creative pages and projects.

Get this set for only $10 with a qualifying order of $35!

This is while supplies last so place your order here today to guarantee that you get yours before they run out.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Best. Husband. Ever!

Yesterday was insanely busy.  My oldest son had a "celebration" field trip to a local nature park.  It was an all day trip and he needed me to bring his fishing gear (it wasn't allowed on the bus).  But when I went to pack his lunch yesterday morning, I saw that his bread was completely molded.  For most people, that's a quick trip to the corner store.  But my oldest has Autism.  He's on a gluten-free diet and our local store doesn't carry gluten-free bread.  So before I could even pack his lunch, I had to drive to the grocery store 30 minutes away that does carry his bread so I could pack his lunch.  Not the start to the morning that I was expecting.  So after getting back 90 minutes later and getting the truck loaded with everything I needed for my boys (I had to take the baby as well because my hubby is a third-shifter and he was sleeping), we were finally on the way.  He had to ride with the school bus and he was terrified that I'd forgotten about him because I was so late getting there.  His anxiety level was through the roof by the time I got to the park.  Tuesdays are busy days for us anyways because we have to drive into Memphis to take him to Social Skills Therapy after school.  So after the field trip, we headed on into Memphis.  Three hours later we were finally going home for the day.  The baby was ready to be out of the truck and I was ready for the peace and quiet of my home (the little one had been screaming for the last hour because he was done.  And I mean DONE.)

I was so tired of driving and kids at that point, I only wanted to eat and go to bed.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw this waiting for me!

My husband ROCKS!  I'd sent him a link WEEKS ago telling him I wanted this for my birthday (at the end of June).  I guess he figured I needed a pick-me-up.  My stomach jumped and my heart fluttered when I saw Cricut printed on the side of the box.  And it's pink.  I love pink.  I'm anxiously waiting for my little one to be ready for his nap (he's fighting it like a professional boxer today), so I can play with it!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Giveaways!

Do you love Close To My Heart products?  Do you want to get some fantastic products for free? 

If you sign up to be a Consultant in the Month of April (NO Commitment, NO Obligations!!), you'll get over $220 in exceptional Close To My Heart product for only $49!!

You'll get all you see here:

Plus all four remaining Stamps of The Month - Free!

 This is a FANTASTIC deal that's too good to pass up!!  There is absolutely NO obligation to purchase anything further to get all this great product for free!  It's virtually unheard of to get so much stuff for free!  But we're doing it.  Remember, you have to sign up before the end of April to get all your free products. 

Click here to get started today!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Sunshine "You're Tweet" Masculine card

I think this turned out to be the cutest card to tell my husband I'm thinking of him!  He works midnights and I like to sneak a card into his duffel before he leaves for work from time to time.  He usually finds it sometime during the night when we're sleeping.  It's important to me to let him know how much I love him and how important he is to me.  I know his work schedule is hard on him (and our marriage and our family).  Not only does he have to work the graveyard shift, but some of the responsibilities he has for his job requires him to work days as well, which means 16 hour shifts and LOTS of lost sleep!  He needs to know how appreciated he is for how hard he works to take care of our family!  And I'm always looking for cute masculine cards that also appeal to me.  And this card is certainly appealing.

I used our adorable Stamp of the Month - My Sunshine.  If you haven't ordered yours today, you only have until the end of the month!  The Stamps of the Month are exclusive stamps only available during their particular month.  Once the month is over, they're gone!  I have seen so much beautiful artwork with this stamp - and I have a crop coming up this Saturday.  (over 12 hours of uninterrupted creating, I'm getting more excited the closer it gets!!)  Look for more artwork next week.  But you should make sure you get yours before it's too late!

For this card I used the papers from our Buzz and Bumble paper pack.  I love how striking and masculine this card turned out to be. 

I got the pattern from page 43 of Make It From Your Heart, the Close To My Heart pattern program.  If you don't have it yet, please, please, please get it.  It's fantastic!  It has scrap booking and card patterns.  It gives you final measurements for the projects and gives adorable completed projects to showcase how you might use the designs.  But you know - you're only limited by your imagination.  I love using Make It From Your Heart when I want to be creative, but I have a time crunch or my munchkins aren't being cooperative.  It's easy to use, easy to understand and only 48 pages, so it conveniently tucks everywhere without taking up a lot of space - leaving more room for creating.

Hope you like it as much as I liked making it!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Crazy for Cars Retiform card

I have LOVED this technique since the first time I saw it YEARS ago.  And it’s SO EASY!!  All you need to create this technique are – Post-It’s!  I have two boys (and 10 nephews), so I am especially fond of anything I can use to make little boy cards and projects.  And I love, love, LOVE cards that are SUPER simple to make and have a great WOW factor when they’re finished! 

All you need to complete this card, are:
-Outdoor Denim Cardstock – cut to 5 ½ x 8 ½ (Scored halfway down its length to make the final card dimensions 5 ½ x 4 ¼)
-Pear Cardstock – cut to 3 7/8 x 5 1/8
-White Daisy Cardstock – 2 pieces cut to 4 x 5 ¼ AND 3 ¾ x 5
-Outdoor Denim, Pear and Slate Inks
-Fast and Furious stamp set (companion stamp to Later S8r paper pack)
-Acrylic blocks
-Sponge Dauber
-Post-it Notes

The FIRST thing I ALWAYS do when I’m getting ready to create any paper project is set a LARGE sheet of scrap paper on my VersaMat.  I don’t know about you, but I make a huge MESS!  I always stamp off my image until I get one that I like; I never stamp the image on the actual paper until I’m completely satisfied.  I also love the look of inked edges.  And any of you who also love that look, know how much of a mess it makes when those inked sponge pieces come off the dauber.  You’re also going to need to remove some of the excess Slate Ink from the dauber by blotting it on a piece of scrap paper.  Even if you’re a normally neat crafter, this can be a pretty messy card so you might want to have a piece of scrap paper close by.
I prefer to ink the edges of my card.  I did it with the Pear and White Daisy cardstock pieces on this card because there was so much Slate Ink on the stamped image, the white edges were kind of distracting.  So I did that first and set them aside until I was ready to put the card together.
I started with the “Crazy For Cars” stamp and I stamped it slightly off-center.  I used the Rock n’ Roll Technique with the individual stamped images.  I stamped it in Pear Ink first and then rolled the edges of the stamp in Outdoor Denim.  I love that our stamps are clear and you can see exactly where the ink is, so if you want to add more to one part of the stamp, you can. 
After you stamp the image, you outline the image with Post-It’s.  Use the sponge dauber to rub ink around the edges of the stamped image.  Dip the dauber in the ink, then blot it on the scrap paper (just like you might blot off excess lipstick when you’re putting on your makeup).  I start the daubing process on the Post-it because it helps control how much ink ends up on the paper.  It’s easy to add more to make it darker, but if you start out too dark, you can’t make it lighter.
Then the images I stamped in order were the tire tracks, the dump truck, the race car, the beetle and finally the “beep”.  For the dump truck and the race car, I put the Post-It notes up FIRST.  It allowed me to get the image that I wanted, and also created the effect of the image being behind another image (I love it when cool things happen that you don’t initially plan.) 
After all the images are stamped and sponged, then I put the card together.
And voila!  You have an ADORABLE card for your favorite little guy! 

Singing in the Rain, I'm singing in the Rain....

Not yet.  But it's coming.  Here outside of Memphis, where I live we've had a very wet spring.  (My family in Wisconsin and Minnesota would probably take my water-logged streets over their snow plows right about now.)  The rain drenches us for a couple days and by the time I think the sun has dried us out, we get drenched again.  I wish I could be creative when the clouds go dark and grey, but I can't.  Rainy weather makes me just want to curl up on the couch and nap.

But this happy stamp MAKES me want to get creative!  I adore the hot air balloons and happy little sun is just so bright and cheerful to me!

This is the April Stamp of the Month, so act fast to get yours today!  Click here to place your qualifying order of $50 to get this great stamp for $5 (a savings of $12.95)!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Don't you LOVE getting free stuff?? I do!!

Do you love Close To My Heart products?  Do you want to get over $225 worth of stamping and scrapbooking swag for ONLY $49???

If you sign up as a Close To My Heart Consultant before April 30th, you'll get all this


There is NO OBLIGATION to purchase anything else in order to get all this great product!  Just click HERE to get your FREE PRODUCT!!  

Monday, April 15, 2013

How Fiskars is going to save my sanity!

I have two boys – and they’re almost 11 years apart! I’d forgotten how much babies need.  All the time, attention – and in my little guy’s case – constant demand to be held.  Before he was born, I was looking forward to the long nap times where he would be peacefully sleeping away in his crib which would allow me endless blissful hours to fill with my card making…  Silly me!  Where my oldest son was (and still to some extent is) a champion napper, my baby power naps.  I think since last June, I’ve created three cards and one two page layout.  And because my hubby works third shift and needs to get his sleep during the day, I can't just put the little guy in his crib and let him squall. 

Well, I no longer need to prioritize whether I’m going to scrapbook or keep the house quiet – I’ve got the perfect tool to help me do both!  Today, I used our Fiskars Cutter for the first time and I FELL IN LOVE!  I can use this baby one-handed for most of the smaller cuts.  The wire trim guide shows me exactly where the blade is going to slice the paper.  I can hold the baby in one arm, and stabilize the paper AND operate the blade with the other hand!  I danced a little jig.  I’m not kidding.  I actually danced.  The baby loved it (I was holding him at the time and he loves being bounced).  Hubby peeked his head around the corner and walked away shaking his head.  He may not understand my NEED to get creative, but he totally understands a happy wife and a calm home life.

If you’re in a predicament like mine and you have to choose between your little ones demands’ and exercising your creative muscles, then this is a MUST HAVE tool!  Just click HERE to get yours today!

Friday, April 12, 2013

You are MY SUNSHINE, my only sunshine...

Oh, Spring is FINALLY here!  Or so we're told...  If only Mother Nature would get on board!!!

While she's deciding whether to hit us with a cold front or let the warm breezes blow, this stamp set helps me feel the sunny expectancy that spring brings with it!  The happy little birdie and the hot air balloons are just adorable.  Since I have an itty bitty munchkin in my brood this spring, I'm looking forward to all the pictures of him enjoying the warm, sunny afternoons, picking off the buds of new growth on the bushes and plants, and digging for earthworms (I don't know why boys love slimy things so much!).  I already have plans to use this stamp set to help preserve those precious memories.

This set retails for $17.95, but it can be yours for only $5 with a qualifying order!!! Just click here to place your order. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Home Sweet Craft Room

This is my craft (ahem) … room.  (If my mom saw this picture, she’d be hanging her head in shame and wondering if anything she taught me about keeping a home sunk in!)  This is much worse than it usually looks because The Bling Team is getting ready to host a 12 hour crop in Memphis, and as a member (and consultant), I’m getting all my product and projects ready to go!  (We host a great event 5 times a year with Workshops, Make and Takes, Giveaways, Door Prizes, a CTMH Scavenger Hunt and a FANTASTIC store chock full of new and retired CTMH product!  If you ever swing through Memphis, keep us on your radar by visiting regularly to see what we have to offer or sign up to be a part of this exclusive event!)  I’m also trying to streamline and minimize the space I need while maximizing my project output.  Sounds professional, right?  *I try.*  

I’m really just trying to get the clutter under control so I can get back to playing with my paper and stamps!  I don't know about you all, but for some reason, I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT create in a clean organized space.  I start out with a clear area slightly bigger than my VersaMat, but as the project nears completion, I'm usually working on top of stacked paperpacks.  I spend just as much time hunting tools and supplies as I do creating.  It's part of my creative process.  So I decided to unearth all my stuff and go through each piece to determine whether I was going to keep it and what I was going to share.
And truth be told, I don't even have a whole room to craft in - this is a hijacked corner of my baby's nursery.  My baby’s 10 months old now (time RACED by with this one!) and he needs his room back.  So Mommy has to find a new place to store her stash.  I pretty much stopped my crafting after the birth of my youngest – and I MISS IT!  So now that he’s more mobile and learning how to play on his own some (if he’d only learn how to nap!), I feel like I’m in a good place to get back to it.  But before I do, I want to get it organized.  I have limited space, and although we talk about it, hubby and I won’t be buying a bigger house any time soon.  

As you can see I have boxes of product (UNUSED) just waiting to be played with.  Some of it I'll keep, but most of it I'm going to give away.  That's right!  I said GIVE AWAY!!!  I'm a big believer in giving useable things away that I no longer need, want or can find a use for.  (I think it keeps my Karma in check for the cursing and the *tiny* bit of road rage I have.)  So check back often to see what's up for grabs!