Thursday, September 30, 2010

October Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Wow! Another month, another new stamp of the month. It's time to start getting ready for Christmas with this adorable stamp set called "Share The Magic."

Join me and over 70 CTMH consultants on the Stamp of the Month Blog Hop to get some awesome inspiration for this cute set. If you're already hopping, you came here from Brae Montgomery's blog.

Here are my creations this month. My card features last year's Jingle papers for the background because they are fun and whimsical just like this stamp set. The card base is White Daisy and all the stamping of Santa and the other goodies has been done on White Daisy as well then colored in with CTMH markers, then cut out closely around everything. If you click on the photo to see it up close you'll notice some Prisma Glitter accents here and there too.

The tags are also made with Jingle papers and White Daisy cardstock. All stamping is done with Archival Black so that markers won't bleed when coloring in. A little more Prisma Glitter has been added on accents here and there.

My favorite thing about the reindeer tag is the candy cane in his mouth. The candy cane is a separate stamp on this set. I stamped it on a scrap of White Daisy cardstock and I cut it out and made a little slice in the reindeer's upper "lip" (do reindeer have lips?) to slide the candy cane under to make it look like it's really in its mouth. Funny eh?

Thanks for stopping by, and now it's off to Melissa Burch's blog to see what clever idea she's come up with.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wishing FALL were in the air here

Come on weather. Chill out already.

My house is decorated with the warm tones of fall. The leafy wreath is on the door. Scarecrow's outside.

The only thing messing with this pretty picture is the 90 degree temperatures. Ugh!

As a long-time Floridian I should be used to it by now, I know, but I seem to fight it every year. Yet I am determined to persevere! So I have designed this dual-Holiday workshop that should add some festivity to any mantlepiece. (Or in my case, the foyer table.)

This table-top display says "Thanks" on one side and "Joyful" on the other. It's created using the new Close To My Heart "Mix & Mingle" mini album. The pages of this mini album are both clear acrylic and white chipboard, thus the name Mix & Mingle. This album comes with pewter jump rings that help connect the pages. This display would be great to create vertically and hang on the wall. (An excellent idea one of my customer's had. Thanks Kristie!)

The papers for the "Thanks" side are from the Olivia Level 2 paper pack and the stamp set with all those fabulous leaves and acorns is "Many Thanks", and the beautiful pearl accents are the new Mocha Opaques. The "Joyful" side utilizes the new Mistletoe Level 2 paper pack, along with two stamp sets: "I Believe" and "A Timber." The letters are white chipboard from our soon-to-be-retired Dimensional Elements lowercase alphabet.

My workshop will be Sunday, October 17th from 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Contact me if you'd like to join us. RSVP soon before space runs out!

Supplies Used:
• Z1334 Mix & Mingle mini album
• Z1048 Dimensional Elements simple alphabet, lowercase
• Z1333 Mocha Opaques
• X7128B Olivia Level 2 Paper Pack
• X7130B Mistletoe Level 2 Paper Pack
• D1371 Many Thanks stamp set
• A1110 A Timber stamp set
• C1427 I Believe stamp set

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Box Pleat Peacock Card

Just a quick blog this morning. Gotta get ready for my Halloween workshop this weekend. 18 people signed up, and a couple of kits to pull together. This will take me the next two days...

Anyway, this was one of the cards for my Cards & More Club which meets monthly to learn new techniques and create over-the-top projects designed for the more advanced paper crafter. In this card, they learned the box pleat fold in particular.

Paper folds have become so popular lately from knife pleats to box pleats, and paper flowers to rosettes. I have been planning a paper folding video for some time now and am pulling together the last parts now so I can SOON share that with you. So hang in there, it's coming!

I apologize for the poor lighting. Again, in too much of a hurry. The papers are from Close To My Heart's new and beautiful Olivia paper pack. The peacock stamp and flourishes in the background (including a peacock feather) are all from the Circle of Love stamp set. The card base is Pansy Purple cardstock, just to add something unexpected. It's not actually in this paper pack. For the blending of the peacock, I used three ink colors all loaded on the stamp together. First the head and neck are inked with Sorbet, the middle body is in Smoothie and the tail in Pansy Purple.

With the help of a border punch and an embossing folder, I added some more texture to the card.

As for how those folds were made, you'll just have to stay tuned. Hopefully next week my video will be up for you. Meanwhile, here's a close-up of the pleats. Really pretty on double-sided paper.

Thanks for looking and have a great day!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Late (Cricut) Bloomer

I'll just come right out with it:  I finally bought a Cricut machine.

(I heard that gasp out there.) Yes, it's true, I have never owned and have barely-ever operated a Cricut before. It's not that I haven't been exposed to one before. After all, I go to a weekly crop where there are two Cricuts sitting there. I watch as other croppers burn those things up, cutting out cute little shapes and ding-dongs for their pages.

Honestly, it never really appealed to me. The images were always so "cutesy" looking. 

At SDV (Scrapper's Dream Vacation) a few weeks back, it seemed that every single person there had a Cricut on their crop table, and they were all humming away. I was almost embarrassed when I asked my friend Charmin to show me how to cut out something on hers. I didn't know the first thing to do. She helped me cut out an extremely non-cute coffee mug (and by that I mean it was perfect!) that I liked so much, she cut out a bunch for me.

I don't know what really did it for me in the end. I guess it was the day that the Cricut Imagine made its debut on HSN last week. My friends and customers were all abuzz about it, Facebooking and such, so I watched. And once again, I thought, "what is it about this machine?" I just don't see it. But the more I watched, and the more I saw some of the newer cartridges, the more intrigued I became. And the more I thought that this machine seemed pretty cool.

Not that I needed all the bells and whistles that the Imagine offered. Certainly not. But I know my friends, and I just knew that they were going to LOVE this new machine and want to get rid of their old one. I was focused on the Expression for the larger size capability. So I watched my Facebook page and sure enough, there was one of my friends saying she just bought the Imagine on HSN and (go figure) has both of the old Cricuts, and that the Expression has never seen the light of day.

I e-mailed her immediately, made her an offer she couldn't refuse, and the deal was done! I picked it up last Wednesday and got on eBay right away buying a few cartridges (for a very good deal). Then I got a few more at JoAnn's yesterday Because I just can't wait for my eBay deliveries, and have been playing around ever since. 

Can I tell you... this darn Cricut is extremely fun and addictive. (like you didn't know that already.)

So here's what I've been playing with. This first card is from the Cindy Loo cartridge. It's definitely full of the cutesy images which are not usually my thing, but also has a font, frames, flourishes, flowers and 3D things like cupcake wrappers, boxes, and pocket cards.

I used my Cuttlebug "Floral Fantasy" embossing folder and some Close To My Heart papers and cardstock, plus my newest Fiskars border punch. The ribbon is pink velvet from Maya Road. (thank you Sherry F. for that), and the embossed background has been brushed with some Create-a-Shade Pearl Paint from CTMH as well.

Okay, enough of the cutesy, on to  H A L L O W E E N !

I borrowed this October 31st cartridge from my neighbor Ellen and had so much fun with it. (thanks Ellen!)

Every image on this card is from this cartridge. The crow is popped up with foam tape. The word BEWARE was cut out of white and inked over the top with a blend of yellow to orange with a sponge dauber and ink pads. I added two brads for the gate doors so it was easier to open up. Here's how it looks when it's opened...

The inside graphic gave me quite a bit of trouble on my Cricut, even when I slowed down the speed, so I wasn't pleased about that, but overall I was having fun and enjoyed the process.

The card itself also opens up in a vertical fashion so that a party invitation or other message can be added to the inside. 

I think I am really going to like having a Cricut machine, and am looking forward to my other four cartridges coming this week! Meanwhile, let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

King for a Day - Happy Birthday Paul

A little scruffy-looking here, but that's how I like him. That's my Paulie. My hubby turns 52 today. Happy Birthday honey.

I made him this "King for a Day" card and was so caught up with my own morning routine, forgot to give it to him or even to say the words "Happy Birthday" to him. Since we're getting together with his parents this evening for cake, I guess I was just focused on that part of the day. So now, he'll just have to settle for "King for a Night."

I still think it's a teeny-bit sad that as we get older, birthdays become no big deal. I still like parties and presents and lots of friends and fun! Not Paul. He's okay just letting the day pass by. (Although when I didn't say Happy Birthday this morning, he sort of pouted about it in a very cute, handsome guy way.)

Paul is one of those guys who knows exactly who he is. Nothing and no one ever alters that. I admire that about him. He's one of those guy's guys. He plays hockey, he swears, and he is flat-out hilarious. He's tough and although he wants us all to think he's got absolutely no soft side to him at all, he can often be caught loving on our dog Suki and talking to her sweetly when he doesn't think anyone's around.

He's absolutely the best husband anyone could ask for. (In case he's reading this, he'll need to keep his ego in check and remember that he could still use a little work in the romance department.) Seriously, this guy is my rock, my friend, and my one true love.

How many husbands do you know that do the dishes every night? Or fold laundry while watching TV at night? Or vacuum for his wife when he sees how busy she is?  This guy has been there for me at my worst too, such as a food poisoning nightmare to name just one incidence. He's always here for me no matter what.

A great dad and a wonderful son, Paul works very hard for everyone in his family. He's a firm but caring father and a patient, helpful son. He is constantly helping care for his aging parents with their finances, things around the house, and giving his 89-year-old mother a bath twice a week.

Why not call a nurse for this? They're family and that's what they do. Being Japanese, his mother is very private and wouldn't have it any other way and he understands that.

When he's not helping the family, he's working at the Cape. He's an engineer for United Launch Alliance here in Cape Canaveral, Florida. His focus is the Delta IV rocket in particular. I love this picture of him at work because it's nice to know that he's important to the space program. (He'll chuckle at that one.) But honestly, I think it's cool that he plays such a big part in putting that huge rocket up in the sky.

So Happy Birthday to my Paulie! I leave you with a few photos of him over the years that I like...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Play Date Cafe Splash of Color for Patty

Today is my friend and neighbor's birthday, so Happy Birthday Patty! I thought I would incorporate the Play Date Cafe Challenge #46 into a card for her.

Here's the Challenge...

Wow, I really like that eye. I think I might have to copy that idea to my blog header!

It's a "Color Splash"challenge this time which means mostly black and white with a splash of color. In this case, the colors are pink, gold or copper. I decided that all three colors could work together nicely. I veered a bit from the black and white and did more of a black and cream base with a very blingy pink border sticker (Making Memories) as the main "splash" of color.

I added some beautiful gold and copper flowers (Prima Fabric Fancies). The large glitzy brads are Close To My Heart's new Shimmer Designer Brads (Z1349) and the pearl in the lower right flower is from the new Mocha Opaques also from CTMH (Z1333),.

The papers are from a very old scrapbook kit from Close To My Heart. So old that I can't quite remember the name, but I think it was a graduation kit. The Friendship sticker is a nice, thick layered chipboard sticker (DCWV) and the stamped girlfriends are from a great stamp set by CTMH called "Be Yourself" (D1349).

Thanks for stopping by to check it out. Have a great day, and PATTY, have a fantastic birthday my friend!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Halloween Workshop

I'm running out the door and there's not much time to post, but I had to get this up this morning. I'll spend some time later adding details and such. For now, this is my Halloween Workshop which will be held September 26th, 2 - 5 p.m. for $20. Let me know if you'd like to join us.

Here are all the projects: Three cards, two treat holders and an altered mini coffin to use as you wish. See the close-ups of each for a better view. I'll be back later!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Play Date Mojo Yummy Latte

The Labor Day holiday weekend is over and although I cooked all day for the in-laws yesterday then swept, mopped and scrubbed down the kitchen, I tried my best not to do any other work-related stuff the rest of the day. No phone calls, no e-mails (well, not many), and no designing.

You'll notice I said "tried my best" because around 8:00 p.m. I couldn't take it anymore and was itching to do something, ANYthing paper-crafty!

Will it be a Mojo Monday or a Play Date Cafe project? I decided on both.

Here's the Play Date Cafe #45 Challenge and then the Mojo Monday sketch this week.

A great, simple sketch and three colors that lent themselves nicely to Close To My Heart's new paper pack called "Olivia." Here's my card...

You might be starting to catch on that I like coffee-themed cards. Coffee-themed everything for that matter.

The stamp set used to make the coffee cup is one of my faves from CTMH that's been retired a while now, but I keep going back to it again and again just because that coffee cup is so darn retro-cute. The set is called "Coffee Shop". The ring of coffee stain and the splatter plus the sentiment "You leave an Impression on Me" are all from another CTMH stamp set appropriately called "Coffee Stain." (also retired, boo-hoo). 

The stitching around the border is from the "Togetherness" stamp set (D1402). The card base is Vineyard Berry and like I said, those pretty papers are one of CTMH's newest called "Olivia"(X7128B) So beautiful! In the corners where the stitching meets are some great new embellishments called Mocha Opaques (Z1333). Self-adhesive little pearls in shades of Cocoa, Mocha, and Creamy Tan. CTMH introduced several new Opaques that I know everyone is going to love. 

The foam in my cup is Liquid Applique (Z308) which is WAY fun to play with. It comes in a pen-like squeeze tube and you squeeze it out like paint, let it set overnight, then heat-gun it and watch it puff up. It'll be great to use on holiday cards for snow, Santa's beard, and all sorts of things. Here in my cup it represents the foamy goodness sitting atop a steamy, delicious latte.

So grab a cup of your favorite joe and enjoy the rest of your day. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Autumn/Winter Open House

The brand new Autumn/Winter Idea Book is here! If you don't have yours yet, contact me and I'll get you one pronto. In the meantime, you can view the entire catalog online on my website.

This weekend, I held my annual Autumn/Winter Idea Book Open House on both Friday evening and Saturday. What a great turnout! Thank you to those who love Close To My Heart products so much that they took the time out of their busy day to drop by and see all the great new products, do two make-n-take projects donating a dollar each to Operation Smile, and took advantage of my Clearance Section.

Speaking of make-n-takes, here's a few happy faces having fun making theirs...

So many generous guests donated even more than the dollar toward Operation Smile. In total, I raised $42.37! Thank you so very much for that. I'm proud to be a part of this great organization that not only allows me to make direct donations such as these, but also contributes a portion of the proceeds of every single My Acrylix® stamp set to Operation Smile. Some of you might not have known that little tidbit.

My guests were treated to a free gift at the door, bottled water, a good old-fashioned box of Cracker Jack, and a FREE Idea Book. Guests that brought a friend NEW to Close To My Heart also received a special thank-you gift for both herself and her friend. 

Members of my two clubs: Cherish Club Scrapbooking and Cards & More Club were treated to an additional $50 mark-off on their Connections Club cards PLUS received a special golden raffle ticket for an exclusive prize. 

All other guests earned raffle tickets to use toward winning prizes when they accomplished certain things such as RSVPing, signing up for a class or kit, donating to Operation Smile, placing an order, etc.

So WHO WERE these winners, you ask?  

(drum roll please...)

Cherish Club winner of the new Black 12 x 12 Faux Leather Album is Dotti Peterson!

Cards & More winner of the new Mistletoe Creative Basics Collection and Tannenbaum stamp set is DiAnn Denson!

Raffle Winners from Friday night's drawing...

1. Cindy Wherry - "Just Be You" stamp set
2. Sharon Luttrell - "A Little Everything" stamp set
3. Nancy Deibner - Dimensional Elements "Flurry"
4. Linda McDaniel - "Dazzling Die-cuts" in Basic
5. Lori Heinssen - "Passages" Level 2 Stickers

And Saturday's winners...

1. Patty Rogers - "Dazzling Die-cuts" in White Daisy
2. Theresa Kroning - "A Paisley" stamp set
3. Dotti Peterson - Dimensional Elements "Flurry"
4. Colleen Yoh - "True Friends" stamp set
5. Charlene Crawford - "Veranda" Level 2 Stickers

Congrats to all the winners. I will deliver your winning item with your Open House order when it comes in, but if you'd like it sooner, just contact me and we'll take care of you.

Thanks again to everyone. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I'll be contacting you soon when your goodies arrive!