Thursday, September 27, 2012

Organizing your supplies? Win a FREE pack of craft boxes!

With all of the organizing that I have been trying to do lately, I was happy to see that Close to my Heart came out with a short video today highlighting their awesome new organizers.

I currently have two small organizers, two medium organizers, and 9 craft boxes and am going to be ordering more. They are PERFECT for getting all of my large and small craft supplies organized. The cool thing is that both the block foam insert and the craft box foam insert fit together into one small organizer. I love that when I travel, I can bring them both in one box. Plus the boxes stack perfectly on top of each other, so they store nicely on a shelf.

I need to order a few more of the My Acrylix stamp set organizers as well. (My stamp collection keeps growing!) One of these days my studio will be 100% organized. LOL!

Are you trying to get organized too? Post your favorite organizational tool or tip in the comments below and I will pick one lucky winner who will receive a FREE pack of 3 craft boxes. The winner will be chosen via and announced on October 4th. 

Please note that this giveaway is sponsored by Lisa Stenz and not the Close to my Heart Corporate Office or any other Consultant.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So thankful card...

I was inspired to make my card by this beautiful card by Marion Vagg. Marion had posted the card while we were both taking an online card class called Clean & Simple. I have admired it since then and finally decided to use it as inspiration for my card today.

One of today’s assignments in the current online card class that I am taking (called Kick Start) was to challenge yourself with a new color palette.  I chose to use Close to my Heart’s Sorbet cardstock for my card today because it is a color that I don’t normally use. In fact, I am not sure I have ever used it as the dominant color on a card before. I just got some of CTMH’s new alcohol markers and have been dying to use them on something, so this was the perfect opportunity. (They are very cool. They come as a set, so when you order a particular color, you also get a coordinating base or shade color to blend with it. LOVE IT!)

I embossed some flowers from the Card Word Puzzle stamp set with white embossing powder and then colored them in with the new Sorbet markers. (BTW, have I mentioned that I am now officially IN LOVE with these new alcohol markers? Oh yes. I guess I have. LOL!) The sentiment is from the new CTMH set called A Friend Like You.

I embossed another flower and sentiment on the inside of the card using the same stamp sets. I love how this card turned out and think I will make more in various colors. I must say that it was refreshing to work with a color that I hadn’t used before. I was never too fond of orange, but I think I really like “Sorbet.” *Ü*

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cool website to make word clouds...

My son came home from school and shared a cool website with me called Tagxedo that his teacher showed the class today. It allows you to make word clouds in just about any shape, using any words you like. I was able to enter my blog address and it automatically pulled all of the words from my blog to make this fun image.

I just thought I’d share the site with all of you crafty peeps out there. I can envision all kinds of cool projects using these word clouds! Have fun! *Ü*

Monday, September 24, 2012

"Ooh la la" La Belle Vie Tag

I made this fun little tag using Close to my Heart’s new Artiste Cricut cartridge. The tag shape was cut by selecting the 3D Object, Shift, and <3> keys on page 33. I cut it first from the La Belle Vie Mauve cardstock and again from a piece of Colonial White cardstock. I sponged the edges with some Chocolate ink and matted the white CS on top. Then I wrapped a piece of La Belle Vie patterned paper matted with some Mauve CS around the middle of the tag. The “Ooh la la” image is from the La Belle Vie Workshop on the Go stamp set

I added the “Paris” sticker from the La Belle Vie My Stickease Assortment with some 3-D Foam Tape to the center of the band. Then I cut two leaf shapes from the Artiste cartridge from some Sweet Leaf cardstock by selecting the 3D Object, Shift, and keys on page 54. I folded each leaf a bit and sponged some Sweet Leaf ink on each one.

I cut the small 3D flower from the Artiste cartridge from some pink La Belle Vie patterned paper by selecting Accent 1 and the key on page 54. I sponged a little Chocolate ink on the edges before I rolled the flower and then adhered it to the tag. I thought the bottom looked a little too plain so I added a small Pearl Adhesive Gem to each scallop. I finished it off by adding a small piece of black tulle through the hole at the top.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Getting creative inspiration from shopping?

Any excuse is a good excuse to go shopping! Right?

Today is day 6 of the awesome Kickstart Online Card Class that I am taking. Over the past couple of days, they have talked about getting inspiration from going “shopping” both inside your own craft room with supplies that you haven’t used in a while in addition to going window shopping online or in a retail store. Some of the teachers talked about window shopping in craft stores while others like to window shop at non-craft stores for inspiration.

I did both today. First I did a little window shopping online and found this really cool bedding set on Walmart’s website of all places. I loved the stark black and white contrast and the beautiful botanical pattern.

Then I decided to shop my own craft room and found a couple of old Gina K stamp sets that I forgot I had that I thought would be perfect for my card. One was even brand new and had never seen any ink! Oh my! I knew I had to use it. *Ü*

This is what I came up with...

I used some PTI black cardstock and CTMH White Daisy ink. After I stamped the image and the background, I felt like it needed a little tiny pop of color to separate the front panel from the background, so I added a 1/8" border of Tulip cardstock and I think it helped. I also added some 3-D Foam Tape to the panel to give it a bit of dimension. It’s hard to see in the photo, but it does have dimension. I promise. LOL!

Looking at the inspiration photo again, I think I may make an envelope liner by random stamping a small botanical pattern with some gray ink.

What has inspired you to create today? *Ü*

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Clearly the Best: Spanning the Space

Check out this great video showing how to "Span the Space" featuring tips and tricks for stamping across multiple surfaces.

If you’d like to order any of the products to make the cute projects in the video, feel free to do so by clicking the image below.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Can organizing your supplies help kick start your creativity?

I am currently taking a fabulous Online Card Class called Kick Start.  It is a two week class that focuses on helping to find our creativity and “mojo” when it has been lost. Today is day 3 of the class and so far I am really enjoying it! Today’s class is all about organizing our supplies. I don’t know about you, but when my studio is a mess, I tend to be much less inspired to create. One of their suggestions when you have a creative block, is to clean and organize your craft space. I know it has helped me in the past!

I have posted photos of my studio before, but I thought I would post some again to share how I like to organize many of my supplies. (When I can see my supplies, I am more apt to use them.)

The photo above is a shot of one side of my room. I moved the chair out so you could see better, but I actually spend quite a bit of time parked in my computer chair in the corner. (I guess it’s just the old Graphic Designer in me.) *Ü*

Here’s another quick shot of that side of the room. My hubby has a small spot in the left corner where he has his computer and his own desk. He was nice enough to let me have the rest of the room. (I figured that since he lets me park my car in “his” garage, the least I could do was to let him have a small part of my studio. LOL!)

Between our desks I have two Making Memories shelves on the wall that hold my most used ribbon, paper flowers, buttons, and embellishments. I also store my most used punches on top.

If you don’t have one of these, you MUST get one. This is CTMH’s Exclusive Inks Organizer and is one of the best organizational tools I own! It stores all of my Close to my Heart exclusive ink pads and markers, and has a tray on top to store re-inkers or other tools. I love it!

The photo below shows my book cases from Ikea that hold many of my albums, stamp sets, cardstock, and a few other odds and ends. Most of the drawers have my CTMH business paperwork and tax stuff filed in them. The cupboards on top have binders, photo paper, computer manuals, etc. On the very top, I have a few more ribbon holders. (I have so much ribbon that it is stored all over the room.)

Here’s a close up of one bookcase. I have most of my stamps stored in CTMH’s great My Acrylix Organizers. They are two levels deep so I have 16 boxes filled to the brim. I also have some of my most used sets in one of the drawers for easy access.

I have my cardstock organized by color in some Cropper Hopper organizers.  The rest of the holders house some older paper packets and kits.

I just got a couple of Close to my Heart’s new organizers and LOVE them. I still need to find a place for them in my studio, but I love that they hold so much and are portable. There are currently two sizes, medium and small, but we were told they would be coming out with a large one early next year. Yay! You can also buy foam inserts to put inside to hold your acrylic blocks and the small craft boxes as well. I can’t wait to reorganize all of my embellishments and ribbon into these cool, stackable boxes! I’ll post more photos later when that task is done. *Ü*

On the other side of the room, I have three sets of shelves from the bathroom section at Target (bought a few years ago) that hold all of my envelopes, extra ribbon, some boxed stationery sets, and a few other random things. I store one of my Cricut machines and mailing scale on top.

I bought these cool cubbies at Staples a while back and I love them.  I store my favorite catalogs, how-to books, and creative magazines on the shelves and store many of my other crafting supplies in the drawers. I also have jars on the top with ribbon scraps in them. This works out great if I need a small piece of ribbon that is no longer on a spool.

A friend of mine gave me this awesome wire rack that I use to store the most current paper packets and layouts that I am working on in addition to my Paper Trey Ink cardstock. Since it is in the center of my studio, I have quick access to papers and projects that I am currently using.

Dare I let you peek into my closet??? Oh my! This thing is jam packed and really needs to be cleaned out.

I have everything stored in here from older papers and kits to my larger tools (Cuttlebug, Sewing Machine, Bind-it-All, etc.) I also have my rubber stamps stored in the drawers along with adhesive and non-CTMH products. On the top shelf I stacked some white boxes from Walmart that house my photos, alterables, old cards, and anything else that I couldn’t find a home for. Check out all those tins piled up. I love tins but really need to stop buying them. LOL!

On the inside of my closet door, I hung an inexpensive shoe holder from Target that holds many of my punches.

And last but not least, I hung some little white shelves on the inside of my closet to hold my re-inkers, small ink pads and older embellishments.

It may not be the largest, cleanest, most beautiful craft room in the world, but I love having a space (almost) all to myself where I can go to create. One day when we move to the midwest, like my hubby really wants to do, I will get a large basement where I can spread out and get as crafty as I like. But until then, I am happy with my humble little west coast studio. *Ü*

I hope this post gave you a few new ideas and ways that you can organize your space and help bring back that mojo when it disappears.

Monday, September 17, 2012

La Belle Vie "Oh Happy Day" Card

This card design was inspired by a super cute card I saw on Julie Davison’s blog here. I love how she used a simple scallop square as her card base. I created my card a little larger using Close to my Heart’s beautiful La Belle Vie Collection. I started by cutting a 5-1/2" scallop square from a piece of the kit-exclusive Mauve cardstock with the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge. Then I cut a piece of 5" x 10" Colonial White cardstock, folded it in half and adhered it to the scallop piece. I added a 4-3/4" square piece of patterned paper from the La Belle Vie Collection on top. I stamped some faux stitching around the edges with a stamp from the Circle Around set.

I cut some banner strips from the patterned paper's zip strip, another piece of paper from the La Belle Vie Collection, and some Colonial White cardstock at various widths. The “Oh Happy Day” sentiment is from the stamp set that comes with the Avonlea Cardmaking Workshop on the Go Kit. (This is my all time favorite card making stamp set!)

The edges of the banners were inked with a little Chocolate ink and adhered to the card. (The stamped piece was adhered with some 3-D Foam Tape.) Finally, I added a few Pearl Adhesive Gems at the top to finish it off.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Creations Christmas Star

For a home décor item that really shines, the My Creations™ Star is second to none. One of the best ways to decorate the star is to cover it with your favorite papers like I did here with the new Pear & Partridge papers. I inked the edges of the papers with a little Chocolate ink before adhering them to the star. Then I added a few tiny Sparkles from the Brown & Tan Assortment. The red flowers and leaves were cut using the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge.

If you would like to make one yourself, feel free to download this template so that you can cut 10 correctly-sized paper pieces for each side of the three-dimensional star.

The Swipe Hype

Clearly the Best, Stamping with Close To My Heart: “The Swipe Hype” features the swiping stamping technique. With stamp swiping, you can add texture, distressing, movement, and motion to your products. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Make It From Your Heart "Sweet Boy" Layout

This is one of my favorite layouts that I created for Close to my Heart’s Make It From Your Heart publication. I think it’s my favorite because I love the photo of my son with that huge lollipop so much. *Ü*

I used the pattern on page 34 to create the layout along with this one. To make the lollipop on the left page, I cut a circle shape from some cardstock with the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge and then covered it with Tombow adhesive. Then I added some Baker’s Twine in three different colors by twisting them around on top of the adhesive. (I also used the Art Philosophy cartridge to cut the scallop circles and Whisper colored scallop border.)

The title is created with various Dimensional Element Monogram letters. I also used the Love Life, Countdown, and Pun Fun stamp sets. The background is sanded with a Sanding Block and stitched with some white thread. The colors used are Pear, Sky, and Smoothie.

If you are interested in ordering the Make It From Your Heart publication, you can do so here. It is a great book that includes (16) two-page scrapbook patterns, (2) single-page patterns, and (12) card patterns along with lots of fun artwork samples!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Email Issues

I wanted to let you all know that, the company that hosts my email, was hacked today and as you may have noticed, many websites and email services have been down for a few hours including mine. If you tried to email me anytime between 10am - 3pm (Pacific Time), I didn't get your email.

My email seems to be working again but any emails sent to me during that time frame seem to be lost in cyberspace. So...if you sent me an email earlier today, please send it again as I probably didn't get it. Isn’t technology supposed to make our lives easier? LOL!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

La Belle Vie "Joy" Layout

I thought Close to my Heart’s La Belle Vie Collection would be perfect for these “vintage” photos of my kiddos. I used lots of fun new products on this layout including the La Belle Vie Papers and My Stickease, the new Black Tulle Ribbon, Opaques Pearl Flourishes, and Pearl Adhesive Gems.

I added a little stitching with my sewing machine and also did some hand stitching with the Piercing Tool Kit.

I used the new Artiste Cricut Collection to make the 3-D rolled flowers. I inked the edges with Chocolate ink before I rolled them to give them an aged look and then added some Pearl Gems in the center. The leaves were also cut using the Artise Cartridge.

I LOVE the My Stickease in this collection! I added some 3-D Foam Tape to the back of a few of them to make the clusters more dimensional. I also added some Pearl Gems to the butterfly’s body.

The banner title was cut using the Art Philosophy Cricut Collection. I cut the baners in two sizes and used some more Foam Tape for dimension. The letters are from the Small Chocolate Alphabet set.

The edges of the papers were distressed with CTMH’s Edge Distresser. I love this tool for making papers look older. (It sure beats using my Micro Tip Scissors which I used in the past. I almost always ended up cutting myself! LOL!)

Stay tuned for more La Belle Vie artwork coming soon...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why are CTMH My Acrylix Stamps Clearly the Best?

We’re excited to be working with My Craft Channel, an online craft TV network, to create a new video series called “Clearly the Best.”

Have you ever wondered why I love Close to my Heart’s My Acrylix stamps so much? Take a look at the first video in this series and you will see just one of the many reasons why I think they are clearly the best!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

And the winner is...

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway for a free Artiste Cricut Collection. I am please to announce that the winner is...
Kim Tolbert
Congratulations Kim!
I will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing address.
Stay tuned for another fun giveaway coming soon....