Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year of Giving Dangerously

Happy New Year!

I love the New Year...I always feel like I'm starting with a "clean slate" and that, like Anne of Green Gables says, "tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes in it!"

Do you make New Year's resolutions?  I don't usually, but this year I am making one....this will be my "year of giving dangerously."  

Some of you may or may not know that my teaching job of nearly 12 years is ending this year.  Community colleges in my area are consolidating, and my program (accounting/bookkeeping) is duplicated at four colleges within a twenty mile radius.  Sad as that it for me (and I LOVE teaching...it is my true calling, maybe because I always feel like I'm learning, too.  It's a blessing), I do feel like this is an opportunity for me, one that is both terrifying AND exciting.  

My family is also very blessed that my DH has an excellent stable job with an outrageously good company.  While doing without my income will challenge us, I'm also very mindful of how many are suffering true hardship right now.  I hear stories every day about people truly struggling, and it breaks my heart. 

So this year my resolution is GIVING--really being mindful of giving to others in need.  There are so many ways to give--monetarily and with service.  Although we have always tried to be as generous as possible charity-wise, this year, I really want to expand my personal service giving.  I'll be brainstorming ideas, but my first area of service will be to help a friend of one of my daughter's wade through a difficult tax situation.  (I'm an enrolled agent.)  She is really suffering due to this burden, and feels ashamed (unnecessarily) and yoked monetarily by it.  If I can help her wade through the complex tax law  and lift that burden just a little...it would be awesome!

Would any of you be willing to join me in committing to give to your own community this year?  Small actions often ripple into large impact (the butterly effect).  If you are willing, leave me a comment letting me know you're joining in!  We CAN change our world--one person at a time.  

May your new year be filled with fulfilled dreams!
 

South Hill Scrappers Meetup


Hurry--only three spaces left for January!  Sign up in my sidebar.
Starting January 19th, 6-9 PM
During this simple workshop, you'll create 32 beautiful cards in one sitting! Just $20 for 32 cards.  This bulk card workshop focuses on making the best use of your card stock and papers using cutting guides to cut all your papers and then assembling. You can sign up for the workshop in the sidebar of my blog.    Prepayment for the workshop is required and due by January 5th.  Please call or email me to make payment arrangements!    Upon registration, I will send you a list of basic supplies to bring with you (such as adhesive etc.) 

For January, we are highlighting a brand new paper set available starting tomorrow called Wings--its sophisticated palette of vineyard berry, black, sweet leaf, and juniper is a wonderful all-occasion set.  We'll be trying some fun  techniques and using CTMH's brand new spray pen.

Future monthly projects will vary and may include layouts, home dec items or other papercrafted items such as banners or gift-giving ideas.  There is no month-to-month commitment.  Just come to the workshops you're interested in!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Make Your Own Coupon Organizer Tutorial

You can still enter to win the Monday Madness Giveaway #2 --Read about it and Enter HERE.  

I have been wanting to make a coupon organizer for some time.  Then, I saw the event book that Sheila made, over at She's a Sassy Lady, and knew that the general idea was just what I wanted my organizer to be--only different, of course ; )   (If you aren't familiar with Sheila's blog, go visit!  She has so many wonderful ideas and lots of guest bloggers that share their wonderful ideas, too!)

So...I took her idea and changed it up to suit my needs.

Here's what you'll need:
  • My Creations Cube (or 2 5" pieces of chipboard)
  • Six sheets double-sided paper (one for the cover and facing and five for the insides ( I used the new Wings paper packet)
  • die cutter to create words or Alphabet stickers
  • Glue 
  • ATG tape dispenser or similar
  • 3 x 5 paper pad (available from Staples in packs of 12)
  • ribbon
  • Embellishments as desired (I used Level I and Level II Wings Stickease stickers)
  • Bind it all or similar w/ 1" o-rings
  • scissors

I took two squares from the 5" CTMH My Creations Cube (or use your own 5" chipboard squares.)


Creating the outside cover:  For the front and back, cut 2 pieces of paper 5 1/2".  Score 1/4" on all sides, and cut the corners nearly to where the scoring crosses.  Center and glue to one side of a piece of chipboard, folding edges over to the wrong side of the chipboard.  Glue down.  Repeat with second chipboard piece.  I like to use CTMH's Bonding Memories Glue (or zig glue).  Although I love my ATG dispenser and Zip Dry Glue (shhhh...don't tell CTMH), I've tried them for this purpose and just find the Bonding Memories really does work the best for this application.
For the inside, cut two pieces of coordinating paper 4 7/8".  Glue to the inside facing of the chipboard.

Creating the inside pages:  Cut 5 pieces of double sided paper 9 1/2" x 7".  Score at 4 3/4" along the long edge.  Turn and score 2 1/4" along the shorter edge.  Fold and crease along the 2 1/4" line, and then fold along the first score line and crease well.  This will create 10 coupon pockets.  At this point, bind your papers together with your chipboard according to your bindery-maker's directions.  For mine, I punched 8 holes with the BinditAll.  I typically create a template out of scrap paper first and then use removable tape to adhere the template to my product I want to bind.  I punched the holes for the inside pages first, since they are 4 3/4" square, and then punched the holes for the cover next.  Finally, I assembled with the 1" binding O-wires.

Embellishing: I used my Cricut Expression and my Gypsy to create the wording with the Elegant Cakes cartridge.  They are 1" high and welded together to cut in one swoop.  Alphabet stickers would work great, too!  The words are matted on scraps leftover from creating the inside pages.  Mats measure 2 1/4" x 3"; 2 1/2" x 3 1/4"; and 2 3/4" x 3 1/2".  I used stickers to embellish my book because I knew this item would be living in my "purse of magic wonders" and I didn't want buttons, brads, or ribbons to get caught.

Finishing the Inside--I use a 2" length of ribbon looped under my notepad as a pen holder.  Use the ATG or other tape dispenser to tape down the notepad to the inside front cover.  On the inside back cover, I glued down a 3" length of ribbon diagonally (see pic) to hold a pair of scissors.  Hide the end of the ribbon w/ some embellishments, if desired.

It would be very cute to label each page with my coupon categories--that may be my next step!

New Year's Inspirations

You can still enter to win the Monday Madness Giveaway #2 --Read about it and Enter HERE. 


Inspirations
The newest CTMH catalog is coming in February, and we have a sneak "Inspirations" peek for you! 

You can check out the brochure here:
Inspirations Brochure



There are two great specials for you:
  • Special offer on Stamp of the Month.  The beautiful Find Your Style Close to My Heart stamp of the month is FREE if you order the Wings Workshop to Go kit and four other items from the brochure.  So, as an example, order the Wings Workshop to Go (29.95), the brand new My Creations Banner (5.95), the Level II Stickease assortment (4.95), the new pleated ribbon Level 2 assortment (4.95), and the adorable A Game stamp set (5.00) and you get the stamp of the month, worth $22.95, for a purchase of just over $50.  
  • Save Big on New Stamp Sets.  The second wonderful bargain--buy the Wings Workshop to Go and all of the stamps sets are available at a big discount.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Madness #2 Reminder--Mini-Medleys

Just a reminder that our Mini-Medley giveaway is still going!!!  I need 10 individuals to participate and my fellow CTMH consultants are also welcome to enter!  Enter to win a BLACK set of Mini Medleys!!  These are a brand new set that will coordinate with January's new Wings papers perfectly! (they look just like the set below--only black!--and of course--lots more in the set)




Rules are below.  Contest will remain open for one week or until I have at least ten separate individuals enter, whichever is longer.  You may comment on this post or the one here.  Comments on either post will qualify for entry.

Here's how you can win (you don't have to do ALL these things, but you get one or more entries for each item you do!)
1.  Become a new follower and leave me a comment that you're now a follower.
2.  Be a follower already and leave me a comment that you've been a follower all this time!
3.  Leave me a separate comment telling me whether you've used this product before (you can still win, even if you've used it before.
4.  TWO bonus entries if you link to my Monday Madness post and announce on your blog.  Please leave me the link to your post in the comments section.
5.  TWO bonus entries if you are a current or new subscriber to my newsletter, but please leave me a comment letting me know!
6.  FIVE bonus entries for ordering from my Close to My Heart Website--leave me a comment letting me know you've ordered! Just a reminder that, if you place a $20 order during December (not including tax and shipping), CTMH will pick out a D stamp set ($22.95 value!) and send it to you free!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Blog Hiatus until After Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I'm taking a wee hiatus until after Christmas to enjoy time with my family.

God Bless Us, Every One!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Quick Christmas Cards

I didn't make quite enough Christmas cards, so had to pop out a few more.  Most of the supplies were from December's SEI club of the month, with a few chipboard accents from KB & Friends--love those quick no-think projects!  I also added CTMH Sparkles--I especially love the clear square ones! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Tags and Final Notepads!

Don't forget to enter the Monday Madness giveaway of a fabulous set of mini-medleys!  This time I am requiring 10 individuals to enter (and there is more than one way to get an entry, scroll down to yesterday's post to find out how)

Phew!  I'm finished making Christmas tags!

Here are the particulars:
  • CTMH Mistletoe Level 2 Paper Packet
  • Ornament Stamp and Scroll is from CTMH "All the Best" 
  • To, From is from CTMH "Tag the Occasion"
  • Tag was cut using Cricut and "Tags, Bags, Boxes & More"
  • Ink is CTMH Cranberry and Sweet Leaf, and Black
  • Bling is CTMH Glitz Glitter Gel
And, my final set of Notepad gifts:
Particulars:
  • Purple papers are DCWV Latte
  • Blue and green papers are My Mind's Eye
  • Gems are all CTMH opaques
  • Ink is CTMH chocolate and sweet leaf
  • The little flower stamp is part of CTMH's Baroque Alphabet collection.
  • Bound using BindItAll
  • Pen and pads from Staples
  • Chipboard from CTMH


    Monday, December 13, 2010

    Monday Madness #2--Mini-Medleys

    It's time for Monday Madness again.  Today we are spotlighting Mini-Medleys.


    I really love Close to My Heart's $4.95 Mini Medleys!  Mini-Medleys are collections of embellishments available in many different color schemes to match just about any project you've got going.  In each pack, there are a variety of embellishments such as buttons, ribbon, brads, photo clips, tags and so forth.  The contents can vary, depending on the color collection chosen.


    What do I love about Mini-Medleys? I love the variety of embellishments at my fingertips to choose from.  No more digging though supplies to find coordinating items.  Plus--all the colors they come in!  Pear, lagoon, sunset, denim, white daisy, colonial white, antiqued pewter....and the newest collection described below!

    This week I'm giving away a package of the Black Mini-Medleys, which are brand new and available for purchase in January.  Inside this medley is ribbon, square metal tags, buttons, photo clips , 3 corduroy brads, 12 button brads, and 12 regular brads.  In fact, I don't even have a  picture, but the giveaway is very similar to the sunset pack pictured above.  Did you see some of the embellishments in the Inspiration Preview?

    Rules are below.  Note that this Monday, one additional rule will be added, which is:  Contest will remain open for one week or until I have at least ten separate individuals enter, whichever is longer.

    Here's how you can win (you don't have to do ALL these things, but you get one or more entries for each item you do!)
    1.  Become a new follower and leave me a comment that you're now a follower.
    2.  Be a follower already and leave me a comment that you've been a follower all this time!
    3.  Leave me a separate comment telling me whether you've used this product before (you can still win, even if you've used it before.
    4.  TWO bonus entries if you link to my Monday Madness post and announce on your blog.  Please leave me the link to your post in the comments section.
    5.  TWO bonus entries if you are a current or new subscriber to my newsletter, but please leave me a comment letting me know!
    6.  FIVE bonus entries for ordering from my Close to My Heart Website--leave me a comment letting me know you've ordered! Just a reminder that, if you place a $20 order during December (not including tax and shipping), CTMH will pick out a D stamp set ($22.95 value!) and send it to you free!

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Originals-based Card & Monday Madness Winner!

    While I was filling student explosion boxes with candy and finishing up notepad covers, and mailing off one for my Mom's birthday, LW was creating birthday cards (more!--December is a big month for her friends.) The papers are from DCWV's Citrus Collection--still a favorite in our house.

    She based the one above on one of the Originals Card Confidence Program layouts--this is the original Card layout program that Jeanette Lynton turned into a book.  Every single cardmaker NEEDS this book and the follow-up book, Wishes Card Confidence Program.  In fact, I can't keep my copies in my craftroom--inevitably they wind up in the girls' rooms because they love them so much, too.  They are the jumping off point for an endless array of cards!






    Monday Madness Winner for 12/5

    I had three entries for Monday Madness last week--thanks so much for taking the time to enter and become followers!!  I am so appreciative.  Random.org chose entry #2, which was LoveMyPaper.  Please email me by 12/19(my email is in the sidebar) so I can get your Opaques in the mail!

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Inspirations & Card Workshop Sneak Peek

    Inspirations...it is the newest set of products available for order in January! My bulk card workshop will feature the beautiful papers and new stamp sets, including the January Stamp of the Month. Cost is just $20 to make 32 cards--four each of eight designs.  We'll use bulk cutting techniques, and also have an opportunity to play around with some fun stamping techniques.  We'll also get to play with CTMH's new spray pen!  Mark your calendar for January 19th, 6:00-9:00 PM.  Sign up in my sidebar.

    The two cards I am sharing today are based on just the first of eight designs we will be creating at the workshop.  Notice how the basic card design is actually the same!  I've rotated and embellished differently to expand the design possibilities.

    Card # 1 used ivory cardstock as the base.
    • Papers are from Wings Level 2 Paper Packet.  
    • The butterfly stamp is the January stamp of the month, "Find Your Style"
    • The "Believe" sentiment is from the "Dreams Come True" stamp set. 
    • The darling black button brads are from the Black Mini-Medley. 
    Butterfly ink is Juniper and sentiment ink is Vineyard Berry.  Bitty Sparkles adorn the butterfly and sentiment.

    All is new and coming in January, except for the sparkles and ink.

    Card #2 also uses ivory cardstock as the base. See the lovely spray of color? (click on pic for a better view)
    • I used the new CTMH spray pen along with Vineyard Berry reinker and Create a Shade Paint.  
    • Papers are also from Wings Level 2 Paper Packet.  
    • The "Inspire" and "Express Yourself" sentiments are from Wings Workshop Kit Stamp Set.  
    • Ribbon is from the new Black Mini-Medley.  
    • Ink is CTMH Sweet Leaf and Black
    All other embellishments are stash items.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    33% to 85% Off Sale!

    Close to My Heart has just announced 33% to 85% markdowns on a number of products, and they will be adding to the list throughout December!   Time to pick up some bargains, but act fast--once an item is gone, it is gone forever....


    Be sure to bookmark the link and check back daily for new markdowns!


    Happy Shopping!



    PROD

    Be Sure to Enter Monday Madness Giveaway!

    Don't forget to enter my Monday Madness Giveaway.  You don't have to be a follower to win (although I would love it if you choose to follow me.)


    And--good news--tomorrow I'll have some Christmas gift tags to share with you and some cards the girls have made!


    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Plenty for Twenty Campaign

    It has been very busy the past week; my job-share partner had to travel out-of-country to attend her father-in-law's service, so I picked up her days at work (!)  Add pre-Christmas extra activities such as college concerts, shopping, gift-making, card-making and the like, well, I'm sure everyone is in the same boat!  It's a busy season.  However, it is not too late to get your:
    Free Stamp Set

    with our Plenty for Twenty deal we have for our CTMH customers in December.  It is SUCH a good deal--purchase $20 worth of products on my website and get a FREE D-sized Stamp Set! (CTMH will choose for you.)  PLUS, CTMH is randomly choosing recipients to receive a much-coveted, not-available-for-purchase stamp named "Sticky Boy" as a surprise.  You may just find one in your package!

    What can you buy for about $20?  How about:
    The Embellishment Assortment
    1. An Ink Pad in your favorite color $5.25
    2. Set of Mini-Medleys $4.95
    3. Bonding Memories glue (the BEST for paper) $6.95
    4. Pearl opaques  $2.95
    =  $20.10 grand total before shipping & tax

    Or:
    The Layout Collection
    1. Olivia Level 2 paper packet $12.95 (or your favorite)
    2. Stickease assortment to match $4.95
    3. Mocha Opaques  $2.95
    = $20.85  Grand total before shipping & tax

    Or:
    The Make-Your-Own Christmas Ornament Collection
    1. Dimensional Elements Ornaments $4.95
    2. Prisma Glitter $4.95
    3. Bonding Memories Glue Pen $4.50
    4. Clear Sparkles $2.95
    5. Opaques $4.95
     =$22.30 grand total before shipping and tax.

    Or ???  What's on YOUR wishlist or holiday shopping list??

    Order now to assure receipt of your supplies by Christmas! 

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Monday Madness--Licorice Opaques

    Today's spotlight is on our wonderful Opaque gem-like embellishments.  They come in three "flavors"--Pearl, Licorice, and Mocha, but today the spotlight is on Licorice.
    Opaques are self-adhering (and they REALLY stick) and come in three sizes and colors per pack, with 108 opaques per $2.95 pack. 

    They are used on the notebook cover on the left in this picture (and the pearl color is on the right), but the uses for these are endless.  Let your imagination run wild! 
    Here's how you can win (you don't have to do ALL these things, but you get one or more entries for each item you do!)
    1.  Become a new follower and leave me a comment that you're now a follower.
    2.  Be a follower already and leave me a comment that you've been a follower all this time!
    3.  Leave me a separate comment telling me whether you've used this product before (you can still win, even if you've used it before.
    4.  TWO bonus entries if you link to my Monday Madness post and announce on your blog.  Please leave me the link to your post in the comments section.
    5.  TWO bonus entries if you are a current or new subscriber to my newsletter, but please leave me a comment letting me know!
    6.  FIVE bonus entries for ordering from my Close to My Heart Website--leave me a comment letting me know you've ordered! Just a reminder that, if you place a $20 order during December (not including tax and shipping), CTMH will pick out a D stamp set ($22.95 value!) and send it to you free!


    Winners will be announced Sunday night.  If you are announced as the winner, please email me with your snail mail address by the following Sunday so I can get your prize off to you.

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Monday Madness Product Spotlight & Giveaway

    Monday....It's the day that seems to set the mood for the rest of the week.  How about setting the mood with

    Monday Madness Product Spotlight & Giveaway

    Every Monday during December and January, I'll introduce you to a fun Close to My Heart product, tell you why I like it, give examples of its use, and then give it away to one lucky reader!!  Here's how you can win (you don't have to do ALL these things, but you get one or more entries for each item you do!)
    1.  Become a new follower and leave me a comment that you're now a follower.
    2.  Be a follower already and leave me a comment that you've been a follower all this time!
    3.  Leave me a separate comment telling me whether you've used this product before (you can still win, even if you've used it before.
    4.  TWO bonus entries if you link to my Monday Madness post and announce on your blog.  Please leave me the link to your post in the comments section.
    5.  TWO bonus entries if you are a current or new subscriber to my newsletter, but please leave me a comment letting me know!
    6.  FIVE bonus entries for ordering from my Close to My Heart Website--leave me a comment letting me know you've ordered! Just a reminder that, if you place a $20 order (not including tax and shipping), CTMH will pick out a D stamp set ($22.95 value!) and give it to you free!


    Winners will be announced Sunday night.  If you are announced as the winner, please email me with your snail mail address by the following Sunday so I can get your prize off to you.

    So, see you tomorrow with our first Monday Madness...

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    Color Inspiration

    Color is my favorite aspect of all of my crafts!  Yet, color seems to give most of us trouble.  We agonize over color combos to no end.  One of my favorite color inspiration sources is Jeanette Lynton's blog, and particularly her Color Me Monday posts, where she introduces a color scheme.  She puts together things I would never think to, and they are fabulous!  This week is just such an example.  She pairs Cocoa, Desert Sand, Juniper, and Tulip and then makes Christmas cards out of them! 
    Gorgeous.  Check them out, and then head over to her blog for even more inspiration.  Jeanette is the mastermind behind Close to My Heart, and her color combos are just one of the reason I joined this incredible company!

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    Stylish Blogger Award

    Well, shucks!  Terri, over at TwoPinkPeas nominated me for the stylish blogger award!  Technically, she nominated my former blog, SuzScraps, but since I've moved over here, hope she doesn't mind me switching it over here ; )   Terri is just a fabulous person, and I do hope all of you will run over and check out her blog. 

    Thank you so much Terri!  I'm honored to receive the nomination from you, and more than happy to nominate some of the folks I've found on the internet.


    Here are the rules to this award
    1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award
    2. Share 8 things about yourself
    3. Pay it forward to 8 blogs you have just recently discovered
    4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about the award


    Eight things you might not know about me:
    1.  I went to high school in Hawaii.  THAT was fun!
    2.  I absolutely adore eggplant.
    3.  I am about to be a great-aunt.
    4.  I homeschooled my children, and it seems to have worked out.
    5.  I am a loud introvert.
    6.  Teaching is my passion.
    7.  I tend to be an obsessive researcher.
    8.  I love to travel, and I'm not picky about where I go...I just want to go.

    My nominations for the Stylish Blogger Award:
    1. Beccy over at Beccy's Place.  Beccy is a fabulous digi artist and generously shares her designs.  
    2.  Ann over at November Rose.  Ann always has projects I'm tempted to scraplift...sign of a good blog!
    3.  Cindy over at Mrs. B's Craft Room.  Another blog with just great projects!
    4.  Jo Ann over at Crafts by Joann.  This blogger just has a really clean-lined artistic sensibility that I enjoy.  Her snowman card this week is fabulous!
    5.  Antoinette over at Inspired Stamps.  Antoinette is a former CTMH consultant who is starting up her own Bible-based stamp company, PLUS she has fabulous artwork on her blog.  Check her out!
    6.Sherri over Sharpshooting by Sherri.  I love Sherri's cards!
    7.  Brenda over at Stamp, Scrap, Create.  Brenda is a new blogger, but already she has some fabulous projects going on.  Check her out!
    8.  Denise over at Tales from my Creative Cave.  Denise cracked me up w/ her recent story of the darling story of a snowman card made in October that still wasn't DRY.  Check her out!


    Enjoy ladies!

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Birthday Card

    This card was made by my oldest daughter, LW, for her bff's upcoming birthday.  LW is the exact opposite of a "material" girl--she'd rather re-purpose materials than bust in to new ones, and I LOVE that about her.  She is also very much an artistic minimalist--another thing I absolutely adore.  It is very very effective.

    Accordingly, this card was made entirely of "scraps."  She cut the cake layers and the inside sentiment on our cricut.  It is absolutely gorgeous in person.