Friday, October 3, 2014

Sweet baby thanks

This post is a little late.  Two months ago, our youngest son was born.  Our household has been readjusting since.
It's crazy how much one tiny little person changes everything.  My husband and I are old pros at babies at this point, but this newest arrival still turned our lives upside down.
We didn't have a baby shower like we did with previous kiddos.  I'd been procrastinating getting rid of all my baby stuff from my toddler.  So when we found out I was pregnant again last November, I just stacked it all in a corner of the garage.  So, aside from infant clothes and a special "home-coming" outfit, we pretty much had everything we needed.  But we were still blessed by family and friends with a few small gifts for our new little one.
So, when I got a chance, I slowly made this card as our "Thank You's".  I got the pattern from the Make it from the Heart program and found the inspiration from an old Idea Book (those things certainly are handy to keep around).  It took me a couple weeks to get them all done.  And once they were finished I was so excited I had to share them with you all.

I used the expired Babycakes paper pack (that "baby, baby, baby" strip is actually the zip strip from the top of one of the pages).  I think it turned out super-cute and it was SO easy to put together.  90% of the card is plain old paper!  The only embellishments I added are the gems, the stamped sentiment and the glitter ribbon peeking out from behind the sentiment (which I pop-dotted to create a little dimensionality).

Hope you like it as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy Fall, Ya'll!!!

Oh, my goodness, I love fall.  It is my favorite season of the year!  I love everything about fall.  I love the festivals.  I love the food.  I love the holidays.  (Hello Halloween!  Not only is it my favorite holiday of the year, it is ALSO my husbands and my oldest sons birthdays!  How's that for special?)  I love the weather.  I love the fashion.  I love the crispness of the air.  I love the changing colors of the leaves.  Can you tell it's my favorite season?

So to commemorate my favorite season, holiday AND birthdays of my two favorite men, I'm giving away FREE product!!

Anyone who places a $50 order on my website here during the month of October will be entered into a drawing to win $25 in FREE product of your choice out of our new Annual Inspirations catalog!

Hurry and place your order today to get your shot to win!  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Picture My Life

I am lucky enough to be a part of an AMAZING group of scrapbookers.  They are a crafty, supportive and collaborative group of women that it has been my absolute pleasure to get to know.  Getting together with them is my one release from the demands of my home life and I cling to it like a shipwrecked victim to a life raft.  We get together 6 times a year and put on the BEST crop in the Memphis area.  Seriously.  If you live here, ever visit the area, or just want to come in and join in the fun, click here to check us out and sign up.  

We use the gymnasium of one of our local churches and we are always blessed when a representative of the church wants to share with us before we start our day-long event.  (Not being overly religious, I usually use this time to commune quietly with my own higher power.)  But at the last crop, we had an elder of the church grace us with his wise words.  He credited us with being the "Memory Keepers" of our prospective families.  (As his wife is a member of our scrapbooking family, he feeds her addiction and happily understands the release for her and the benefits of her passion to their family.)  That one phrase - memory keepers - struck home for me.  That's what scrapbooking is all about.  Keeping the loving memories of my sons' childhoods alive.  And I am an avid picture taker.  Especially now that my camera is so conveniently attached to my phone - and I carry my phone with me everywhere.  My boys see that phone come out and they assume their respective positions, lol.  My now-teenager hides his face or runs and my toddler smiles his biggest smile.  My teenager used to smile big for the camera, so I know one day my toddler will also be hiding his face.  Right now the baby is either sleeping or screaming.  But he'll learn.

Picture My Life is the PERFECT scrapbooking tool for beginning memory keepers, and it fits that it's the current Constant Campaign!

The Picture My Life programs are PERFECT for the beginning Memory Keeper.  The "programs" come with pre-designed cardstock cards that you just slide into the page protectors next to your photos and Voila! In ten seconds, you have fully designed scrapbooking pages that were as easy to assemble, as the pictures you took to put in them!

Picture My Life has 13 different programs to choose from - both current AND retired paper packs.  Each program comes with 122 cards, a cover sheet and 10 page protectors.  Then on top of that, you can get another 10 pack of page protectors for only $3!!  And the cards are ADORABLE!  And fully designed.  And double sided.  And they already have sentiments on them.  Or they have journaling spots where you can write your own sentiments.  And they make beginning scrapbooking a breeze.

And I've come to learn how important scrapbooking is.  It's not just something I do to decompress (although, that IS one of the reasons I do it - in addition to my joy of crafting, the loving fellowship of like-minded women, and the love I get to spread to my friends and family through my hand-crafted cards and paper gifts).  It's also keeping the loving memories of my children's lives alive.  And the memories are very loving.  It's the greatest gift I can give them.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The benefits of Bling

I have a secret.  I am NOT a girly-girl.  I'm a really simple chick.  A jeans and flip-flops kind of girl.  If you were to see me out, I'd be barefaced, hair up in a claw clip and the only "accessory" I'd be sporting (aside from my impossibly cute kids) would be my wedding ring.

So, when I'm making cards, I can bang 'em out when I'm following the patterns in my Make It From Your Heart booklet.  (Another reason I love CTMH - they put their how-to patterns in the easiest format to follow!)  But once the pattern is complete, I feel like something is missing.  The cards need bling.

Embellishments, to be exact.

Take this card, for example.  

I made this card for my mom and step-dad.  That lucky couple is getting to live out their dream retirement right now.  They bought a travel RV and meandered across this great nation of ours as they packed up their house in the Frozen North and moved down to the desert of Nevada.  This is an exact copy of the pattern I used from our Make It From Your Heart how-to booklet.  And while it is adorable, it feels unfinished to me. 

I like simple, but I like refined simple.  I want the recipients of my cards to feel like I really put thought and effort into personalizing the hand made cards I give them.  I won't give a card that doesn't feel "finished" to me.

So taking the basic card above, I just added a few simple pieces to make it feel more finished.  I added the Twilight cardstock under the sentiments and edged all the pieces in Chocolate ink.  Then, I stamped the RV image on two pieces of patterned paper, cut them out and adhered them over the original stamped image (a technique called "paper piecing").  As a final touch, I added Chocolate pearls (now-retired) to the upper left corner of the card and also over the wheel of the RV. 

It doesn't scream "overly embellished" to me, but those few small, simple touches take it up the few notches it needed to feel complete. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

National Scrapbooking Month

My creative time is exceptionally precious these days.  I have two months to go in my final pregnancy (which makes me a little sad to admit) and I have a very active two-year-old who wants to "help" me when I sit down to create.

Today is a gorgeous day outside.  It's sunny and cool with a slight breeze - the perfect day for an 8 month pregnant lady to spend outside without getting too over-heated.  So I decided to spend the morning running his little tail ragged outside so he would take a good nap and I could get some creative time in.  Well I did such a good job, I got to make this card in under 30 minutes - while he was watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I am SO proud of this card!!!  I love how bright and cheerful it is, I love how quickly it came together and I LOVE how it makes me smile just looking at it. 

I can't get enough of the National Scrapbooking Promo - Free To Be Me.  The B&T papers are so happy and I love that all the cardstock pieces are embossed on one side!  I love the dimension embossed papers make to the finished product.

The pattern is from Make it from the Heart #1, our new Durables Triangle Studs, and the sentiment is stamped from our Give a Lift stamp set.

See how bright these papers are???  Make sure you get yours by May 31st by placing your qualifying order of at least $50.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Washi tape!

So, here's what our gold polka-dot washi tape looks like.  Isn't it pretty?

At first I didn't get the whole "washi-tape" craze.  I thought it was just patterned painter's tape that people were just haphazardly throwing all over their paper projects without rhyme or reason.  But I get it now.  And I love it.  It's amazing little stuff.  And it lasts FOREVER!  (Which is awesome.)

Today, my little guy got a hold of my gold polka-dot washi tape.  We were in the backyard and he was wearing himself out on his jungle gym, so I thought it was the perfect time to pull out the embellishments I plan on selling at our next Girls' Day Out crop in July.  My son thought it was a great idea, too.  Only he didn't want to help me price any of it, he wanted to help me play with it.

He pulled off a strip of one of my opened washi tapes (it had fallen in with the unopened embellishments by mistake) and decided to embellish himself with it.  He was pretty cute running around the backyard with this little strip of washi tape stuck to the back of his shirt.

Until he got a hold of the whole roll.  Then the unthinkable happened.

This is one of my son's favorite toys in the backyard.  My husband does crossfit training and he uses this old, battered tractor tire in his workouts.  He flips this enormous thing back and forth across the back yard as one of his exercises.  When it's not in use, he leans it against the fence. 

And when it rains (as its done for the past few weeks), it collects water and turns into a snug little baby pool.  My son climbs into it and splashes in it.  And throws everything in the world into that nasty water.  Which is right where my roll of gold polka-dot washi tape went.  It was like a slo-mo reel from a horror movie.  I watched him, frozen, as he raced across the back yard at a break-neck speed.  Headed straight for that tractor tire.  Laughing is sweet little baby laugh.  Then he raised his arm and launched my washi tape into that dirty, rain-filled mess. 

I finally got my big, lumbering body up off the step and fished it out.  It was soaked!  I stood there, shaking the water off, praying it would dry.  That the stickiness wouldn't be ruined, that the gold pattern wouldn't flake off, that I could still use it to embellish my cards and projects.

I had to run back across the yard to rescue the rest of my stash from his grabby toddler-fingers.  I didn't want anything else falling prey to the rain-filled tire.  My stash got put away and the washi tape got put out in the garage - away from the sun, right in the path of a constant cross breeze. 

I'll leave it out there for the rest of the day, praying that it dries.  If it doesn't, I suppose, I'll be holding a memorial service for it. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day

The other day I looked up the origins of Mother's Day.  (Just cuz I was feeling super-nosy.)  Back in 1905, Anna Jarvis started this movement to honor her mother.  Anna's mom was this kick-butt chick who had lived her life in service to others.  She was a peace activist who nursed soldiers on both sides of the Civil War.  President Wilson signed into law that the second Sunday in May would be "Mother's Day" and celebrated nationally.  It wasn't long before the card and candy companies started capitalizing on this and marketing Mother's Day to their own financial ends.  (As they sometimes like to do.)  That really ticked Anna off.  She even went ballistic - crashing a candymaker's convention in Philly in 1923.  All she wanted, was for each of us to take pause for one day a year and honor the women who brought us all into this world.  Who had selflessly lived their lives in service to others - us, their children. 

As a mom, I appreciate this.  I naively thought when my first child was born, that I was going to be one of those moms who didn't let their child change them.  That my life would still be my own.  I quickly found out how impossible that was.  For the past 13 years, I have willingly put the needs of my children ahead of my own.  I've put their wants first.  Nursed their hurts.  Celebrated their successes.  Cried in private, for pains that I couldn't remove.  Gone without sleep - or bathing.  Watched the same program 100 times in a row.  Fought for doctors appointments and diagnoses.  Argued with school officials for programs my son needed.  With the birth of my first child, I did not just become a mother.  I became a warrior for my children. 

In their youth, it's easy.  They're your babies and they need you to advocate for them.  They need your strength to build their own backbones on.  They need you to teach them morals and values and compassion.  To show them how to live a good, responsible life.  To catch them when they fall.  To salve their boo-boo's with your kisses and loving mom-arms.  With my teenager, I'm walking a much harder road.  It's hard now, when to know to step in and protect him, and when to let him step up and protect himself.  Watching my baby wobble out there on his own two feet and experience the world first hand - and not through the eyes of a child - is 10x more difficult than teaching him how to walk or talk or use the toilet.  You can't do all that without undergoing a complete metamorphosis. 

So, in honor of Mother's Day this Sunday, I made this card.

However you choose to spend Mother's Day - either for yourself or that lucky chick who brought you into this world - remember to breathe it all in.  Your children as they are today.  Perfect, just the way you made them.

Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Free To Be Me

It's National Scrapbooking Month.

Are you celebrating?

We are.  The May promo was created with this celebratory month in mind.

The Free To Be Me paper pack is chock full of luscious colors and happy spring-time patterns to get your creative juices flowing. 


Don't you just love those bright colors??  I know I do.  They're cheerful and spring-y without being pastel or girly.  (As a mom of all boys, this is important to me.)  The kit comes with specially designed patterned papers, card stock sheets with one side of each sheet embossed in a different pattern, and vellum sheets.  (As a CTMH junky, I hadn't yet played with vellum until I got this promo in.  I don't know why I waited so long - this stuff is cool!)  You can see an example below in the card I made with last month's stamp of the month.  (The 'talk box' pattern on the front of the tag is not one of the patterned sheets - that was a stamp that was a part of last month's stamp of the month, too.)

I edged all the patterned sheets in Lagoon ink (even the vellum sheet) and used the Antique Copper Studs from the Rosewood Mini Medleys to anchor the corners of the vellum sheet on the front of the card.  I got the card pattern from our Originals book.

This promo is only good for the month of May.  It retails for $11.95, but you can get it for $5 with a qualifying $50 order.  It really is too good to pass up.  Order yours here today.

Friday, April 11, 2014

This is one of those stamp sets that makes me wish I had a girl.  I don't know why.  I see this and for me it just screams "girl talk". 

Maybe it's the sayings.  Or the cute little thought bubbles.  Boys run in my family.  A LOT of boys.  I have 5 siblings.  Between us all, we've had 13 kids - 10 boys, 3 girls.  And the girls live far away from me.  Half a continent away.  So it's not like I can scoop up my older nieces and play.  I'd love to, though .  (And they're at that delightful age, where I'm sure they'd love for me to scoop them up, too.)

Isn't that layout ADORABLE???  And the card and tags are so bright and cheerful - just waiting to go on a springtime gift, or Easter basket, or baby shower present.  I can't get away with pastels with my own two boys - my teenager loves royal purple and my baby is all about some camo.

If you find that you have girls (or if this fits your boys), this is our April Stamp of the Month.  Make sure you add it to your order by April 30th, cuz once May Day gets here, it'll be gone.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

This is NOT an April Fool's Joke!

Do you LOVE CTMH product?  (I do!)

Do you LOVE getting FREE CTMH product?  (The only thing better than CTMH product is FREE CTMH product!)

Are you a Cricut fanatic?  (Like me and most of the scrappers I know are.)

Close To My Heart is GIVING AWAY a FREE Cricut Collection to EVERY NEW CONSULTANT who signs up during the month of April!!!

You don't have to blink.  Or rub your eyes.  You read that right!  F.  R.  E.  E..  FREE!!

These collections retail for $99 each with a total value of $125.  So automatically you're saving over $100.

If you've never seen our collections, these are the three you can choose from:

First up, we have our Art Philosophy.  This is the Grande Dame that started it all.

Next up we have the Artiste Collection.

And finally, the baby sister..  The Artbooking.

As you can see, there are similarities between each collection.  They each come with three dimensional elements sheets that coordinate with both the stamps and images cut from the Cricut cartridge.  The three stamps that are included in each collection are exclusive to that collection.  Meaning they cannot be purchased outside of the collection they come with.  And each collection has a cartridge and image book containing over 700 images each!

But that's where the similarities end.  Each cartridge serves a different purpose.  The images on the Art Philosophy are geared for tags and layered embellishments.  The Artiste contains 3-D embellishments and projects (to give as gifts or display as home decor for yourself).  And the Artbooking is more for the scrapbooker who wants to take their layouts to unimaginable heights.

And then there's all the product that comes in the New Consultant kit.  

Oh, my goodness.  Look at all that!  Doesn't all that make you drool?  I know, me too.  When I see that, my mind races with all the creative projects I can do.

The kit is valued at $309.  But it retails at $99!!

So, for the month of April, every new consultant who signs up gets ALL the product above PLUS a FREE Cricut Collection of your choice. 

A combined value of $434. 

For $99!!

That's A LOT of free product. 

If you're interested, contact me here today for all the details.

Monday, March 17, 2014

You get a Free Cricut Cartridge! She gets a Free Cricut Cartridge! We all get a Free Cricut Cartridge!!

Ok, so I'm usually late to the party with my posts.  I usually log on somewhere around the middle of the month to post the current promotions and Stamp of the Month.

I don't do it on purpose.  I've got a hubby and two boys that always need something.  (And I have one on the way.  Another boy, not another hubby.)  I get busy and distracted.  My days are long and by the time I get to put my exhausted bones in bed, my lists of the next day's chores are dancing through my head instead of the much more pleasant visions of stamps and paper packs.

But when Close To My Heart announced on Saturday what the April promotion was going to be, it was TOO good to wait a month to tell everyone about it.

During the Month of April, EVERYONE who signs up as a Consultant will get the Cricut Cartridge of their choice - FOR FREE!!  (My chin really did hit the floor in shock when I read this!)

So, not only do you get ALL this AMAZING product for only $99 (valued at $309!)

 You also get your choice of one of our three Cricut Collections!  That's an ADDITIONAL $99 for FREE!  (The Cricut Collections are valued at $125 each.)  See them pictured below.

 We have the Artbooking Collection.
The Artiste Collection.
And the Art Philosophy Collection.

Each collection comes with a cartridge EXCLUSIVELY through Close To My Heart, three stamp sets that cannot be purchased outside of the collection and three dimensional elements sheets that correspond with the cartridge and stamp sets.

$434 in product for $99!!!  It's such an amazing deal, I can't believe they're doing this!

If you love paper crafting and you've been thinking about becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant, this is the promotion for you!

Click here to contact me for more information about joining my team, or click here to go ahead and order your new consultant kit today!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Artbooking Made Easy: Fab Frames


Ok, this video is another perfect example of why I love Close To My Heart.  CTMH knocked it out of the park again.  The pennant frame Jenna is showcasing is new in our current catalog.  But the Cricut Artbooking Cartridge is not.

CTMH in their infinite wisdom is all about helping us maximize usage of our tools.  The pennant frame can be easily cut out with the Cricut Artbooking using Real Dial Size 9.  No fussy cutting.  (My fingers always have indentations after I'm finished fussy cutting.)  No white edges to cover or ink.  (Unless, like me, you like the effect that the inking technique brings to your paper crafts.

Not only that, but Jenna shows three darling examples of the finished product to get our creative mojo flowing.

I can't say enough great things about this company.

To create one of these adorable projects, click here to order yours today.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Little wooden dolls every where I look

When I was a little girl, my grandmother had this bookshelf next to her front door.  It was not very tall - it just had three shelves to it.  And it contained some books and little tchotckes and nick-knacks that my grandpa had picked up in his many travels across the country.  (He was an over-the-road trucker.)

On the bookshelf, she had this set of nesting dolls he'd picked up somewhere.  You know the ones - made from wood and covered in a sheer lacquer.  You had to twist them a little bit to get them to come apart.  They were all the exact same design and colors and there were maybe five dolls in the set.  The smallest doll didn't separate, she was the only solid doll in the set.  I spent hours opening them up, fitting them together, playing with them, putting them back in place.  She would only let us play with them where she could watch us because she wanted to make sure we were careful with them.  I loved those little things.

When I saw March's Stamp of the Month, I was immediately transported back to that living room. I could feel that ancient carpet under my elbows, smell the aroma of homemade bread baking in the oven

Look at how adorable those little nesting dolls are!  They really do bring back the best memories.

I don't know about you, but alot of my paper crafting is done from my heart and for those that I love.  I have a set of these on order (We've had a lot of sickness around my pad the beginning of this month, so I'm a little late getting my Stamp of the Month in.) and I can't wait to play with them!

You can order yours here, but remember these sweet little dolls are only available in March!  Hurry up to get yours today.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's all coming up digital

Have you heard all the hype about digital scrapbooking? 

It is SO exciting!!

If your house is anything like mine, it's crazy-busy from sun-up to sun-down!  I have a toddler to chase, a work-from-home hubby who's in and out all day and a teenager with special needs.  Oh, and we're also expecting our third (and final) munchkin in July.  I am the CEO, Chef (hubby and teenager have special dietary needs as well, so we have no pre-boxed or processed foods in the house - it's all scratch made), chief purchasing officer, Maid, Activities Director, the list really does feel endless some days.

And our busy, bustling little house is truly little.  I do all my scrapbooking at our kitchen table.  So when I need a creative moment to unwind from the constant requests and demands from my family I don't always have the time or the space to pull all my goodies.

Which is why I LOVE that Close To My Heart's March Promotion is all about Studio J!

Have you tried it??

It is flippin' AWESOME!!!

Here's what I love about Studio J -
1. I have FULL creative power over whether I use one of the Express Collection Layouts that make it exceptionally easy to scrapbook on the go or design each layout myself from scratch.
2. Not only can I use all of the gorgeous current paper packs, I can also choose from any of the fabulous retired paper packs OR any of the specifically designed paper packs that are ONLY available through Studio J.  There are over 140 different paper packs to choose from!  Talk about knowing the way to a girl's heart!
3. I can embellish my layouts to my hearts content.  Ribbons - check.  Stickers - check.  Buttons, brads and bows - triple check!  It's all there to play with in every lush color CTMH has.
4. There is NO software to download to my computer.  I just have to log in here through my online account and all the layouts are stored safely until I'm ready to order them.
5. When play time is over, there's no cleanup!  I am waiting until the day comes when I can have my own craft room to play in.  But until that glorious day arrives, I do all my crafting in the shared family space.  With Studio J, I can save my unfinished layouts in my account until I can get back to them.  I don't have to worry about my toddler getting a hold of anything dangerous or tiny to hurt himself with.  It's all safely stored in my online account.
6. It doesn't cost a thing to create my layouts.  Not.  One.  Single.  Penny.  I only get charged when I am completely blown away with my creativity (this program makes even the newest scrapbooker feel like a crafty veteran) and I order my layouts.
7. My layouts are printed on the highest quality photo grade paper!  NO blurry pictures.  No fuzzy embellishments.  Every layout is crisp and every color is sharp and vibrant - just like when I created them.
8. You can even use Studio J as a photo printing option!  Yep.  You read that right.  Sometimes a layout will call for an odd-sized picture and you'll have to decide which side of your photo is going to have to be lost to the crafting room floor.  Not with Studio J's Photo Express Collection.  You can just put the pictures you want printed into whatever size your layout calls for and you get the whole thing!
9. During the month of March, layouts are only $5 each!  That's right.  I said it.  A two-page layout is yours for only $5!  That's insane!  $5!  (Sorry, it's just such an AMAZING deal, I had to say it again.)

If you've never tried it before, don't be nervous about dipping your toes into these digital waters.  We all love the smell of opening up a brand new paper pack.  (Unless I'm the only weird one here that likes that smell.)  Nothing replaces the feel of finishing a hand-made project.  But this is the kind of change that will elevate your love of scrapbooking to the next level.  You'll love that you can take your scrapbooking experiences everywhere you go. Which will make you love scrapbooking even more.

At least it does for me.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pop up box card

So this past weekend I went away for a semi-annual stamp camp weekend coordinated by my upline.  Two whole days of glorious, distraction-free crafting time.  It was especially wondrous for me.  I got a bed all to myself (HEAVEN!) , the ability to stamp images un-smudged (AMAZING!), and all the girl talk I could handle!  I felt so spoiled by the time Sunday rolled around, I didn't want to go home!

Our stamp camp weekend is a fantastic team building experience.  There's usually a workshop or two, great CTMH info from our upline and free time to work on our own projects.  And it's not huge.  We rent a cabin big enough for 8 girls to comfortably spend the weekend in (the cabins have full kitchens and living areas where we clear out the furniture and set up our tables, and there are 4 hotel-style rooms with 2 queen beds, tv's and full bathrooms and mini-kitchens in each room).  We hole up with our Cricuts and paper, watch chick flicks, craft and casually munch all weekend long.

I was asked to do a workshop for the group.  I'm not a scrapbooker, so I always like to find projects to do. 

I first saw this on one of the CTMH facebook pages I'm a part of.  And I fell in love.  How could you not??  It's completely ADORABLE!! So I did what any girl in my situation would do.  I googled it.  And I came across this GREAT tutorial on  It was complete with cutting/scoring instructions and even a little video.  You can follow this link to find the exact tutorial and instructions.  I designed and cut enough paper for the 8 ladies in attendance.  It took me longer to wait on the Cricut to cut out all the dies than it did to cut and score the pieces to put the box together.

Also because it's February (and I love the little foxes), I decided to use the Stamp of the Month.  I used the Cricut to cut out all the images.  Except the foxes.  Those I had to fussy cut.  (The hand cramp couldn't even diminish the joy of being able to do this all in one sitting!)  I used the Lolly Doodle B&T paper and edged it all in Slate ink.  I also edged some of our old White Daisy grosgrain ribbon with Cotton Candy ink before gluing it down. 

I think my little box card turned out to be SO CUTE!!

Don't you?

This was my "Thank You" card to my hubby for keeping the home fires burning so I could sneak off for the weekend and play with my girls.  I think he deserved it.  I know I did.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

EmBOSSing is BOSS!!

Free.  Free!  FREE!

My absolutely FAVORITE word on this planet is FREE.  (Maybe it's because my kids and all their entertainment stuff is so expensive, but I'm always looking for deals and ways to cut costs where ever I can - sales, coupons, you name it I'm there.)

And I love getting free paper crafting supplies.  It's my favorite thing.  So when I found out that February's promotion was FREE embossing folders, my heart lept in my chest!

For EVERY 2 packages of bulk single-color or combo-color cardstock you purchase, you can qualify for a FREE embossing folder.  Exclusions do apply.  White Daisy cardstock, Colonial White cardstock and Kraft cardstock packages are NOT a part of this promotion.  But that still leaves nearly 40 different colors of cardstock (including all the combo packs) to choose from.

And then you get to pick from 5 different designs of embossing folders.  And you can qualify for as many different embossing folders as your little heart can handle. 

This promo is ONLY good through the month of February, though.  And it's while supplies last.  So if you love free as much as I do (and you go through as much paper), then this is the promotion for you.  Click here to place your qualifying order today.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Unleash your creativity

Ok, so I know I've said it before.  I'm positive I'll say it again. 

I love Close To My Heart.  LOVE IT!!!!

I'd shout it from the roof of my house if I didn't think my hubby would have me committed.

But seriously.  I love that their kits are perfect for all crafters.  From the brand new beginner to the old hat scrapping pro.  If you can follow simple directions, you can complete one of the kits - no prior experience necessary.

So I've been working on the January promo for the last eh, hem...  week-ish.  I know, I'm slow.  But I've got good reasons.  Three of them actually.  One I married and the other two I created.  I'm the CEO of the house.  They don't do anything without my permission or knowledge.  That kind of responsibility means putting me on the back burner to take care of them most of the time.  Yes, it gets frustrating.  (Sometimes I scream in my head, " Just 5 minutes!  Is that too much to ask?!?"  Then I glance at their faces and realize I just said that out loud.)  But I have six more years until my oldest is out of the house.  And at the rate my kids grow, the other one won't really be too far behind him.  Then I'll have all my crafting projects to keep me busy in my old age.  And the cat.  That cantankerous animal will outlive us all.  But I digress...

Any way, so I finally got the first two cards done today.  I cut out all the paper I would need first (to make it easier), punched out and stamped all the die-cut pieces and organized them by card style (the kit makes two cards each of five designs).

You can see my attempt at organization here:

See how nice and neat the piles look?

I say attempt because that's as far as I got for about four days.  I tried to be as organized as possible, because I took over the dining table to get my creativity on.  And once I pulled all my stuff out of the closet, I wasn't putting it away until I got it all done.  The boys have been happy with this arrangement so far because we've been hunkering down in the living room to eat our meals. 

What I decided to do was make one card following their instructions completely - no derivations.  And then make the other card using various techniques I've picked up along the way.  So for this first card, I didn't want to go crazy.  I wanted to stay pretty simple.  (And in the interest of actually getting these puppies made.)  You might be able to see in the side by side shots the subtle differences.

As you can see from the mess in the background, my organization didn't last long at all.  My baby is learning that if he gets up on his tippy-toes and reaches really far with his finger tips, he can get at almost anything.  Everything got smooshed to the very inside of the table.

The card on the left is made according to the instruction sheet in the kit.  But for the card on the right, I inked the edges of all the papers (including the die cut and the card) in Lagoon ink.  I wanted to tie the teal shimmer tape into the card more than just some random strip of glitter running down the card.  (I'm one of those weirdos who likes everything in my card to compliment each other.)  I also popped up the "Thanks" die cut with pop dots.  (Love those little things!)

See, here you can see up close what the original card is supposed to look like.  I know there's a wonky line going down the middle of that one line of gold circles.  The washi tape is only so wide and to make this card work, you have to use it twice by butting it up against each other.

You can see in this card, I reversed the washi tape and used that wonky line in a different way.  You can also see the Lagoon inking around the edges of all the papers.  I didn't want to get too much ink on the edges, I didn't want to detract from the card itself.  I have a hard time making simple cards, so I wanted to try and keep this as close to the original as possible.  I know you can't really see the shadow showing I popped up the "Thanks", but it's there.  I wouldn't kid you.

I hope it doesn't take me a week to get the next set of cards done.  But if it does, I hope you'll come back and check them out.  And if you like this kit, please order it here.  You only have until January 31st to place your qualifying order to get this adorable kit.

Friday, January 24, 2014

That ugly little word...

I have a little morning routine.  It's not fancy, it's not much.  But I do it.  Like clockwork.  (I guess that's why they call it a routine.)

After I get my kids off to school (today it was only my oldest), I settle in on the couch for a quick round of, "let's see what happened on Facebook overnight while my youngest was practicing his pugilism skills on me" before I start my day.

It's not like I can't get my laundry done, my house cleaned or my errands accomplished without getting online.  I can.  (Although, my husband would disagree.)  I'm just nosey.  And some mornings I'm grumpy.  So I want to see if someone posted something a little bit snarky to put a smile on my face.

But this morning as I was trolling through all the posts, I came across the one that brought a tear to my eye.  A friend of mine lost her sister to cancer this morning.  I hate that disease.  I really despise it.  It's that nasty thing that doesn't discriminate, it just takes.  And leaves emptiness and destruction in its wake.

I watched my grandfather die from it.  And now my grandmother is battling that awful thing, too.

I used to belong to a "card" club.  Me and a group of other paper-crafting junkies would get together about once a month.  We'd go out to dinner, gab it up, and pass around cards that we'd made.  We made one for each person in the group.  And every month was different.  Some months we picked a theme, or a paperpack, or a technique.  Some months we made a "use your stash" card.  There were six of us in the "club", so we each left with six new cards.  All different designs and each was hand crafted.  These women stuck with me from the beginning when I didn't know what I was doing, supported me through botched techniques and helped bolster my confidence with their praise and laughter.  She was a part of this group.

It was at one of these dinners, that we coined the phrase "card worthy".  In order for someone to be card worthy, we had to be willing to design and create one of our own masterpieces.  (Which we always laughed was a month long process.  Every single one of us would just about come in and say, "don't judge me, I finished these on my lunch today".  None of us ever judged.  We were all in the same boat.)  Not everyone in my life has been card worthy.  Even though I have a stockpile of hand crafted cards ready for a stamp and a salutation, I still drop by Walgreens for one of those 99 cent Shoebox cards occasionally.

We started spacing our dinners further and further apart.  And eventually, we stopped getting together.  Our lives just pulled us all in different directions.

But when I saw her post, I knew a Shoebox card wasn't going to cut it.  I pulled out my handy-dandy Originals card making book, flipped through the patterns and pulled out my tools.  It took me all day.  The baby was at home and he was only happy to keep himself entertained for short periods of time.   And I took full advantage of the time he gave me to create this sweet little card.

I wanted it to be simple and elegant, like my friend.  I liked the sparkle that the teal shimmer trim added and used the Lagoon card stock behind the image to create a little extra pop of color. I had a hard time with the stamped image.  I wanted to go with a different stamped image, but it clashed with the pattern paper and I wanted to keep that.  Luckily, I'm a stamp junky.

I have a hard time with sympathy cards.  Not because I'm not sympathetic.  Because I am.  Especially in this case.  I know what it's like to watch this nasty, horrible disease take someone you love for no apparent reason.  I have a hard time because I want the card recipient to know how truly and deeply sorry I am for their pain.  I want it to be pretty and  peaceful.

I hope this card eases some of my friend's pain.  If only for a moment.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I love it when I get surprised

 So I got my Cloud Nine National paper crafting card kit (if you want it, order it before the end of January) and I couldn't wait to get my fingers inked up playing with it.  I don't mean to get dirty, but it always happens.  It's a paper crafter's inevitable curse to go through life with blue or pink or orange fingertips.

I've been a stamper for a while.  Before I became a consultant, I fell in love with stamping and paper crafting, and became a collector of all things related (my husband uses the term habitual horder).  I love stamping.  I love the endless possibilities that stamping brings - the variety, the colors, the possibilities.  But yesterday as I pulled the above stamp out of it's plastic sleeve, I noticed that little circle on the card.  See it up there?  The little Juniper-colored circle right under the snap?

So I took a closer look.

Cuz I'm also a nosey broad (in addition to being a craft addict), I did what it said and pulled the card out to take a look inside.
Imagine my complete and utter shock and pleased surprise that it opened up and had care instructions inside!!  I mean, I knew how to do all this.  I learned it through trial and error.  But those genius, creative minds at Close To My Heart decided to make sure that even the newest stamper would have nothing but bolstered confidence with immediate success. 

This little care card talks about the three most important aspects of stamp maintenance; conditioning, storing, and restoring stickiness for your most loved (and used) stamps.  Not only is Close To My Heart the "Let me show you how" company, but they also know that sometimes you won't be with your consultant and you'll need to have these instructions within easy reach.

While we're on the subject of how much I love Close To My Heart and the awesome stamps we sell, I'm going to add one last thing.

I'm far from perfect and so is my stamping.  I make goof-ups all the time because I'm usually crafting around my kids - which leads to stamps that haven't been inked up properly or bumped elbows smearing stamped images.  But our stamps are completely clear.  And while that won't fix smeared images, if I don't get a stamp completely inked up, I can load it back up and line it up through the clear block and the clear stamp and restamp the image.  I can't tell you how many times I've done that!  And I bet you can't tell from the above picture where I goobered...

For the moment, I'm done crushing on Close To My Heart.  I have to run and take off my crafter's hat and put my mom hat back on (if I don't pick them up from school, they won't get home).  But check back from time to time.  Because when I get wonderfully surprised by CTMH, I'm going to share it here with you.  And I hope it makes your day as happy as it makes mine.

Monday, January 13, 2014

National Papercrafting Month Cloud Nine Cardmaking Kit

Do you love new product as much as I do?  Do you love it even better when you can combine new product and FREE product? 

Then this is the promotion for you!

January is National Papercrafting Month and Close To My Heart is doing it up right with bright, springtime colors and brand new product out of the upcoming Idea Book.

This card kit which makes 10 cards (2 each of 5 designs), contains die cuts, cards and envelopes, a D-sized stamp set, colored and patterned cardstock and BRAND NEW durables, gold washi tape and teal shimmer trim.

With your qualifying order of $35 placed here, you can get this promotion for only $15! (Retail value of $46 - FREE product!!)  But you have to hurry.  This promotion is ONLY good for the month of January until supplies run out.  So order yours today.