Thursday, June 30, 2011

July Stamp of the Month Blog Hop & H2H

Welcome to the CTMH July Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!
July's Stamp of the Month is called.....
****American Celebration****

The blog hop makes a circle so if you are starting here just continue until you make your way back and you will have made it through them all.  If you have already started and are coming from Traci Godbee's blog, "Create with Traci", then you are on the right track.

For my first card, I was inspired by a card in the May/June 2011 Paper Crafts magazine on page 29, created by PC Creative Editor, Susan R. Opel. 
I wanted to the card to be fairly distressed, so I scored the striped B&T paper to create a box pleat, inked and distressed the edges, then crumpled the paper strip before folding.  I adhered the box pleat with foam tape.
After inking and distressing the edges to each of the three B&T strips, I rubbed White Daisy Pigment ink directly onto the paper, creating a white-wash effect.  I stamped the large star stamp directly onto the dimensional element star.  I originally had sponged the star with the Sunny Yellow, but when I inked the edges with the Pacifica, the area where the two colors came together, looked green. and yellow = green!  Maybe it wouldn't do that if I was actually more patient and let the yellow dry more thoroughly.  But since I'm not that patient, I just flipped the star over and started over, but this time without the Sunny Yellow. 
A little look at the dimension on the card.
The first version could be used for any celebration, not just the obvious.  However, I don't personally have a need for 4th of July cards, so I thought it would be fun to show another use for this stamp set by using a more general sentiment from another stamp set.
 Supplies used (all CTMH unless otherwise noted):
Other: Sponge, Micro-tip scissors, 3D Foam Tape, Edge Distresser, ATG Adhesive, Scoring Board (Martha Stewart)

My second card is 3 1/2" x 8" and was inspired by this week's Heart 2 Heart challenge, which happened to be a color challenge that included colors perfect for this stamp set.  I also wanted to see if I could use some of the stamps in ways that they probably weren't initially intended.  For example, I used the stripes in the flag to create the striped pattern on the bottom of the card.  I also used the firecrackers as dynamite and the stars (that I think were meant to be sparkles from the firecrackers) as a border.  I also used some newly acquired letter stamps to create my own sentiment.  I think it turned out kinda' cute.
The bamboo is looking a little yellowish here. :(
Here's a little photo tutorial on how I created the "dynamite".
After inking the image with Barn Red, stamp off one time (1st generation). Please forgive the inky fingers..a hazard of the craft. LOL
Touch all four sides of the stamp in the Barn Red ink, trying to leave the length of the center uninked.
Now stamp on White Daisy Cardstock.  Repeat these first three steps two more times.  You can see through the block, how the rockin' and rollin' technique gives a highlighted affect.
Trim out, cutting away the "fuse".
Pierce a hole in the end of the firecracker....not to close to the edge though, as the hole will tear when you thread the waxy flax through.
Thread a piece of Colonial White Waxy Flax through the hole, adhering to the back of the firecracker.  Then trim the "fuse" to the desired length.
Using a black (or dark brown) marker, color the end of the waxy flax to represent a burned "fuse".
Be sure to color the flax all the way around.
Using the end of the piercing tool, or your fingernail, split the end of the waxy flax.
Adhere to card with 3D Foam Tape.
Supplies used (all CTMH unless otherwise noted):

Remember, if you love what you've seen so far along your SOTM Blog Hop journey, and you want your own "American Celebration" stamp set at a discount or for FREE, be sure to contact your Close To My Heart Independent Consultant.  If you don't already have a consultant, I'd love to be yours.  You can find details on the "Stamp of the Month" here on my blog, or by clicking on the "Stamp of the Month" tab at the top of the page or by clicking on the "Shop with Me" link near the top right.  Of course, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

If you have time, take a moment or two to check out the rest of my blog.  If you enjoy your visit, then please consider "Following Me" and/or leaving a comment (we all love comments...the nice ones anyway), then be sure to continue along on the hop by heading over to  Sheila Bennett's blog, "Sheila's Stamping Stuff" and check out her creation.

If for some reason you get lost along the way, you can always find a list of all this month's CTMH SOTM Blog Hop participants on Helen's Onulak's blog.

Happy hopping!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

So much going on....

I titled this post "So much going on...", because that's exactly what's been happening in my life.  If you'd rather not read about it, you can scroll down and check out my latest card.  I promise I won't hold it against you.  ;)

Back in December, my father-in-law's legs collapsed on him and in the process he broke both was a compound fracture.  Now my father-in-law is not a small guy and he is diabetic.  So the break was a real blow to him, as I'm sure it would be for anyone.  While he was in the Rehabilitation Center, there was a lock-down due to a strain of stomach flue going around.  So he was there for nearly two weeks without being allowed any visitors.  His emotional health took a toll then.  Soon after, after much begging to go home, they trained my mother-in-law how to care for him at home, including how to care for the PICC line he had to keep in in order to receive the intravenous antibiotics.  Being my father-in-laws full-time care giver took a real toll on her.  A couple of months later, my daughter was sick and my MIL told me to bring her over to her house so my husband and I could go to work.  A couple of days later we found out that my daughter had strep throat and a couple of days later found out that she also had the flu.  About that time, my MIL got sick with fever, nausea and not being able to keep anything down.  I took her to the walk-in clinic where she tested positive for strep throat and received antibiotics and medicine for her nausea.  Well, my MIL got a little better, then got sick again, then got a little better, then sick again.  The next time I saw her, she had lost so much weight and was looking like she had aged 10 years.  Well about two weeks ago, my in-laws received a phone call from the lab.  Her white cell count was over 35,000!  To give you an idea, 7-10,000 is normal and the son of my best friends recently had his appendix burst and his white cell count was 22,000.  She was told by the lab tech who called her first and her doctor who called her second that she needed to go to the hospital immediately.  My husband was on his way to take her to the hospital, when she collapsed and my FIL called 911.  Let me tell you, my husband was turning onto their street when an ambulance pulled out of their neighborhood.  When he got to the house, his father was crying and my husband just knew his mom had died.  Thankfully, she hadn't, but she was very critical.  They initially were worried that she had cancer.  She spent about a week in the ICU where she was finally diagnosed with C Diff (short for Clostridium difficile).  You can read about it here. While she was in the hospital though, my father-in-law was home with his father (who lives with them).  Even though his ankles have healed, he has to use a scooter or walker.  He definitely not able to cook for himself and he really needs someone around to do things for him.  My 14 year old angel...volunteered to go stay with "Grandpa" and "Tataw" and take care of them.  She called a week ago...after being there for a week, and was crying...she was so homesick.  If you're a mom, you know who hard it is to hear your baby cry.  I told her she could come home, but she said, "No...I need to stay here and take care of Grandpa.  I'll be okay, I'm just homesick."  Well, if she can't come home, I can go to her.  I packed some things and ended up going there to be with my daughter and help take care of Grandpa and Tataw.  So I was there almost a week, cooking and cleaning and running errands.  I came home Friday because I had a scrap club class (though ended up postponing it for other reasons).  That afternoon, my husband got a call from his dad asking him to pick up Grandma from the hospital...she was coming home!!!  She's still pretty weak after spending two weeks in a hospital bed and weeks of illness prior, so I returned on Saturday to cook dinner and get food ready for Sunday.  My selfless daughter said she wanted to stay a few more days to help take care of Grandma, too.  I am so proud of my daughter, I can't put it into words.  I am definitely blessed to be her mother. She's reached her end though.  LOL  She called this evening to ask if she could come home tomorrow after dinner.  She wanted to stay long enough to help with dinner and clean up the kitchen.  She's the best!  I can't wait though, to have her back home.

Anyway, I slept in late today, as I was just so exhausted, but then woke up with a headache.  Once I got a hold on my headache, I watched a movie with Liam Neeson (one of my fave actors) and then wanted to get creative.  I had hoped to get done in time to submit my card on the Mojo Monday Blog, but was literally seconds too late.  Oh well, I had fun using sketch #196 from this (past) week.  I am submitting this card, though, for two other challenges, the Bingo Challenge from Heart 2 Heart and the color combo from Play Date Cafe - PDCC87.
Supplies used (all CTMH unless otherwise noted):
Other: White Daisy Embossing Powder,  Micro-tip scissors, Sponge, 1 1/4" Circle Punch,, 3D Foam Tape, Nestabilities - Labels Eight (Spellbinders), ATG Adhesive, Score Board (Martha Stewart)
It really is a challenge to try and make a project using multiple challenges.  You would think that it would be easy, but not so much.   They are great for supplying a jumping off point, but melding all the challenges all together and ending up with something I'm crazy about...well, it doesn't always work.  Take this card...I'm not in love with this card.  I don't hate it...if I did, I wouldn't even post it. LOL

So here's how it came together...
1)  I really loved the embossing that Adrea Ewen (love her style) used on this card and wanted to incorporate it in mine.
2)  I "thought" I'd play along on Mojo Monday Challenge #196, but I missed the deadline by seconds...literally.  However, the card is based on this sketch.
 3) It's been awhile since I played along at Heart 2 Heart.  I thought the challenge there this week was quite interesting.  It's a bingo card.  The challenge was to use three of the things on the card, creating a BINGO (like a Tic-Tac-Toe).  As you can see in my card, I chose to use a doily, ribbon and gems.
4) I decided to try and use the colors at the Play Date Cafe(Challenge #87), blue and grey.  Not the colors that would immediately come to mind when using doilies. LOL
Here's some additional pictures....

The next thing I've got to work on is the upcoming Stamp of the Month Blog Hop project.  Don't forget to check it out.  It starts on the 1st of every month.  See you then and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June's CTMH Spotlight Blog Hop...It's a Race...Relay Race that is.

Welcome to the CTMH Product Spotlight Blog Hop for June!
This month we are doing a.....
****RELAY RACE!****

Now you may be asking, "What's a Relay Race?"  I know I did the first time it was suggested in the group.  However, after reading the details, it reminded me of Scraplift Challenges that I have participated in (sometime ago) at Two Peas in a Bucket.  Here's how it worked for our blog hop.  Nikka created a project and then emailed it to the Adeline.  Adeline then created her project based on inspiration from Nikka's project.  She then in turn emailed her project to Haley and so on.  Now normally, you could start here, or anywhere along the hop and make your way through all of the blog projects.  However, due to the fact that we're doing a Relay Race this month, you should really start at Nikka Geers' blog, "Create Your Vision" to make your way through this hop.  When you get to the end, you'll see all of the projects in this hop together side by side.  However, if you have already started and are coming from Terry Metzger's blog, "My Creative Imaginations", then welcome, you're on the right track.  

Terry sent me this beautiful and colorful layout using Close To My Heart Olivia papers and Sophia Workshop-on-the-Go stamps.
There was so much inspiration to be found on her layout, but the first thing that stood out to me was her cluster of flowers and bird stamp in the bottom right corner.  I also really liked the doily on her page.  Based on those two elements, here's what I was inspired to make...

Supplies used (all CTMH unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Sophia Workshop-on-the-GoChocolate Alphabet, Whooo Loves You (NLA)
Inks: Hollyhock, Pear, Blush, Goldrush
Embellishments: Filigree Charms, Rhinestone Flourish (unknown)
I created the doily background by cutting a large circle out of White Daisy cardstock and using my corner round with the guard removed to create the scalloped edge.  Note: If the last scallop doesn't line up with the first one the way you want, that's the part of the circle that you can let hang over the edge of the page and cut one will ever know. ;)  I then used a small hand-held punch to punch the holes in the scallops.  Taking the time to mark where you want punch the holes with a pencil will help you center the holes correctly. (You'd hate to spend so much time creating the scallop border, just to mess it up with off-centered holes.)  I used the stamps from the Sophia Workshop-on-the-Go to stamp the swirls behind the photo, as well as the words to the left of the photo and the bird.  

Instead of using the rock & roll technique to get the shading on the bird, which gave it a rather harsh edge, I removed some of the ink with a sponge (just lightly dab where you want to lighten).  I think it gave it a softer, more natural effect.  I also went over the legs and feet with a black marker.

I created each flower by punching four scalloped circles and folding each one as shown in the following photo tutorial.
Punch 4 - 2" scalloped circles and sponge edges with ink.  Of course, you can use plain circles, vary the sizes of the circles, leave uninked, tear the outer edges, distress the edges, etc.
Fold in half three times.  I've inked the folds strictly for visual reference.
Fold the side inward.
Fold the opposite side inward also.
The circle should now look like this.
You can see how it would come together here.  Just adhere the four folded circles on your page (or use another scalloped circle as a base) and insert a brad, glue a button or paper flower, etc.
Here's a close up of the three flowers on my layout.  I made the polka dot flower slightly smaller by trimming the edge with a pair of scallop scissors.  Of course, you could use a smaller punch or die cut, if you have one.

If you have questions, you can email me or leave the question in the comment section.

If you have time, take a moment or two to check out the rest of my blog.  If you enjoy your visit, then please consider "Following Me" and/or leave a comment (we all love comments...the nice ones anyway), then be sure to continue along on the hop by heading over to  Jena DeVries' blog, "Live, Love, Laugh, Scrapbook!" to see how my creation inspired her.
Happy hoppin'!

Monday, June 13, 2011

I made a Studio J it's your turn!

I've played around with Studio J layouts before, but I've never actually "purchased" a layout.  I prefer traditional scrapbooking.  What can I say?  I'm just more of a hands-on kinda gal.  Sometimes though, I just don't want to pull out all of my supplies and sometimes it's fun to just sit at the computer while watching t.v. and play.  So this month, with the Free-for-All promotion that Close To My Heart is offering to every living soul with internet access, I decided to finish a layout that I began some time ago and actually "purchase" the JPEG file.  I say purchase, because you have to go through the process as if you were actually buying the file, but there's no's completely...
I now have a high-resolution jpeg that I can post on my blog, share with family and friends and even print myself (if I had a 12x12 format printer...though with the price of inks...I'd prefer to just let CTMH do it.) :)  My layout is still saved and I can always go back and purchase the actual layout at a later time...which I will be doing.

So tell me what you think...

If you think you would like to try and make your own Studio J layout, but you're still not sure, check out the following two videos.  (From this point forward, I'll be posting the videos here as they are released.)

Still not sure if you want to make your own layout?  Well, just get over it!! LOL  What do you have to lose?  Really...  Just go on over to Studio J (click here) and create a profile, if you haven't already and get started.  If you get stuck, just send me an email and I'll do what I can to help you.  Have fun!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June Scrap Club Layouts

One thing I love about being a Close To My Heart consultant...and the #1 reason I joined to begin forces me to take the time to be creative.  And when I say force, I don't mean in the way that most would think...making someone do something against their will.  Rather it forces me to "carve" out the time to create.  As women, I think we tend to carve out time for others, our kids, our spouse, friends, work, other family members, neighbors...laundry!  LOL  But we often fail to do things for ourselves.  I've finally learned that carving time out for myself actually helps me be a better person...a happier person...a more complete person. 

My closest friends know some of the difficulties I had after my son was born and as a result I accomplished very little in terms of my scrapbooks.  I only scrapbooked maybe once or twice a year at big crops...if that.  I believe I've completed more scrapbook pages in the year that I've been with CTMH than I did in nearly 10 years prior!  

This month is a great example of how being a CTMH consultant has helped me record my life's story...both good and bad, important and frivolous, happy and sad.  In terms of the world, I know I'm no one important or anyone particularly special, but to those that love me...well, they may feel differently.  With looking back at pictures of my grandmother, I long to know more about her...about her life before me.  The good things and bad.  The important events and the frivolous.  The happy and the sad.  In terms of the world...she was no one special, but to me...she was the world.  But now, she's gone and it's too late to get to know her the way I'd like.  Before she passed away, I did manage to document some of the events in her least those things she could recall, given her 90 year old memory.   

Well, now CTMH is helping me to document my life.  Not for my sake (though the creative for me), but for the sake of those that I will some day leave behind.
I want my kids to know my inner feelings about events, but sometimes I don't want to share those inner feelings with everyone who views my layouts.  Sometimes, the writing takes up more room than is available on the layout.  Sometimes, the journaling...well, simply takes away from the aesthetics of the layout.  I started implementing an idea that I read about some time ago.  I started recording my inner thoughts on the back of my layouts.  As I was doing so, I thought, what a nice surprise this will be one day when I'm gone and my kids want to know more about me.  When the page is in a scrapbook, no one can see the journaling!  I'm definitely going to be doing this more often.  

The first two layouts I want to share with you are from the Mayberry Level 1 Scrapbooking Kit.   

Where love is...

The Last Hello (You can customize the title.)

The next two layouts are from the Mayberry Level 2 Paper Pack and My Stickease Assortment.  I also embellished them a little more with smoothie ribbon and buttons from the Designer Ribbon Pink Collection and Buttons Pink Assortment, respectively.  These don't have pictures on them yet, but they will soon. :)
Life is Beautiful

Life's Little Moments


 The next two layouts are the ones we'll be making this month, using the Mayberry Workshop-on-the-Go Scrapbooking Kit.  (Click on any image to see it larger and in more detail.)
Layout #1 - Life is Good (You can customize the title.)

We'll be using Canvas Button Badges.
Layout #2: Day at the Park (You can customize the title.)

We'll be using Flip Flaps and...
...learning paper piecing.

I was able to create the 3rd and 4th layout with papers left over and just a few extra sheets of cardstock.

Here's what you need to know for June's Scrapbooking Workshop...

Class Date and Time (be sure you have your space reserved and order to me no later than Thursday, June 16th.)
  • Friday, June 24 - 6:30 am - 9:30 pm
If this time does not work for you and you would like to get a group of friends together, I would be happy to add a date to the schedule that works for you and your friends.  Just give me a call or shoot me an email to iron out the details.

If you would like the kit, but cannot attend the class, simply order the items off of my website and send me an email requesting the cutting guide and instructions to the second layouts (you'll receive the cutting guide for the first layout with the kit) and I will email them back to you. 

Remember, in order to attend you must at least purchase the paper pack.  Other consumable items (i.e., paper, ribbon and canvas buttons) are recommended, but you can choose to forego.  You also need to bring your own adhesive.  If you purchase the Basic Kit, you will save a little over 10% off retail.  After that, you are more than welcome to purchase the Better or Best Kit, pick and choose items from one or both of them, add some more items from the Idea Book, or just stop at Basic. Whatever works for you.  Here is the shopping list:

Basic Kit:
Subtotal $29.95*
Total with shipping and tax $34.27

Better Kit = Basic Kit plus the following products:

Subtotal: $60.15**
Total with shipping and tax: $68.83

Best Kit = Basic and Better Kits plus the following products:

Subtotal: $118.05****
Total with shipping and tax: $135.08

*at this purchase level, you qualify for the Stamp of the Month ($22.95 value) at 25% off ($17.21)
**at this purchase level, you qualify for the Stamp of the Month ($22.95 value) at 50% off ($11.48)
***at this purchase level, you qualify for the Stamp of the Month ($22.95 value) at 75% off ($5.74)

****at this purchase level, you qualify for the Stamp of the Month ($22.95 value) at 100% off (FREE)

Don't forget about this month's special offer.  The You & Me scrapbooking kit that was supposed to only be available for the month of May has been extended for this month.  If you purchase the kit for only $15.00 US/ $16.50 CAN (a retail value of $34.95/$38.95), a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross Spring 2011 Floods and Tornadoes relief operations. Click here for details.  Available until June 30th or while quantities last.

Here's what you'll get with the You & Me Scrapbooking Kit...
1 – My Acrylix® You & Me Stamp Set (D-size)
1 – 12" × 12" Colonial White Cardstock
6 – 12" × 12" B&T Duos® Papers...3 double-sided designs (New! Cardstock-weight)
1 – 6" × 9" You & Me Irresistibles™ Chipboard Die-Cut Sheet
1 Yard – Chocolate Stripe Ribbon
1 Package – Opaques Mocha Adhesive Gems
1 – Instruction Guide
(Featured Colors: Chocolate, Crème Brulee, Olive, Smoothie)

These are the layouts given in the instructions.
Here's one of the layouts I made with my kit.
If you'd like to document your life too, just call or email me to sign up for the class and to place your supply order no later than Thursday, June 16th (321-452-6275, OR, order some of these items yourself on my website anytime.  (Kits ordered after June 16th, will require express shipping fees.)

Hope to see you there!

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