Sunday, March 31, 2013

April SOTM Blog Hop

Welcome to the CTMH Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!  We will be featuring April's SOTM, which is called My sunshine, a down right adorable set of sunny goodness.  If you have come here from ANGELA'S BLOG, you are on the right path!

This month we have 60 Close To My Heart Consultants sharing their creations using this month's SOTM (and other great CTMH products) on their blogs. Hopping is simple to do - just click on the link at the end of the post on each blog to move to the next one! Here we go!

This month I created a trio of cards. I had made THIS CARD for my team to make at our monthly meeting and I still had the Cricut cuts on my I thought a series of cards might be a fun way to use up the diecuts! Plus I'm totally addicted to this chevron background stamp....

For the first card I was inspired by the Freshly Made Sketches #79. The chevron background is stamped with In The Background - I use this one set on EV-ER-Y-THING lately!

I used the clouds across the card instead of the scallops, and added that sweet dancing sentiment in the cloud surrounded by dots of my favorite Stardust glitter gel pen. Foam tape added dimension to the cloud border.
On the inside I added a Chevron strip plus another sentiment from the set stamped in Creme Brulee onto Sanded Creme Brule Cardstock.

Card #2 uses some of the same pieces, with a cool technique thrown into the mix. This time I used the sketch #21 from {CAS}E This sketch. I did a lot of detailing on the sun stamps with my Glitter gel pen, and around the edge of each cloud. I guess I just always like to have a silver lining! The background is sponged with grey clouds...forgive me, but I live in Oregon. Once my young son asked me what's wrong with the sky as we were driving...because it was blue with white clouds. We get fairly used to a grey sky around here in the winter!
I created a Paper Braid for the piece that's anchoring the sun image. It was so easy and makes a fabulous Chevron pattern. I found the instructions for paper braiding here. Now I have a use for all those 1/4 inch strips I am hoardingsaving. I'm linking this card up to the Moxie Fab World Chevron Challenge.
The final card of my trip uses that fun puddle pad I made for THIS CARD. This time I worked with the new Retro Sketches #57. I just love this balloon done up in a bright rainbow of colors!
I carefully trimmed matching chevron stamped cardstock squares to match the chevron stamped background. These pieces I edges in Whisper Ink to make them pop a bit more, then I layered on the clouds. The balloon is detailed with lots of glitter gel pen and a sparkle.
On the inside I added the poor neglected bird from this April SOTM - isn't she sweet?  I rolled the bird in Sky and Creme Brulee Inks, the added a Sparkle eye and a Creme Brule wing. Her little wing is a separate image to make filling in with an alternate color easier.  Finally, I'm linking up to the Old Back Porch 52 Card Pick Up!

Now "Hop" on over to JILL'S BLOG to see her TWEET work! Be sure to visit all the Consultants Blogs to soak in the great crafting and SOTM ideas. Remember, this SOTM will float away at the end of April, so contact your CTMH Consultant (or click here) to see how you can get this stamp set for just $5!
Just one last quick peep, Stampin' Friends...In April CTMH is offering an amazing special with FOUR free SOTM stamp sets for new CTMH consultants! That's over $70 in bonus stamps to go along with your fabulous Consultant kit. Kits start at just $49, a small investment for an awesome business opportunity!
Essentials Kit - Just $49!
I know that for me personally, CTMH has brought me so many new friends, a boost of self confidence, and of course a fabulous collection of stamps and papers! When I joined it was just to get more stuff, really. The paper discount sounded fab, and so I signed up. At my first solo party not even the hostess showed up! I didn't give up, and two years later I earned a cruise with CTMH! The biggest and best part of CTMH for me has been the friendships and relationships that I now share with my Stampin' Ladies and team members. Getting together for workshops and events is some of the best fun I have every month!
Team Stamping Rules at DisneyLand, 2011.
One of my favorite things is traveling with my ladies to our annual CTMH Convention.
Contact me if you have questions or want to chat, or click here to join my team today.
Team Stamping Rules, Dallas 2012.
Each year we're growing and learning together!
In 2013 ten of us will be going to DisneyWorld!
I {HEART} my team!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

April Happiness Is...Butterfly Album Workshop

Ready for Mother's Day? I's not until May. But April is just around the corner, and I've got a beautiful Home Decor Butterfly Display album workshop coming up that will be perfect for Mother's Day Gift giving! 

April's Featured Workshop is Option #3 Happiness Is...Butterfly Album Workshop
Capture this beautiful, whimsical butterfly extravaganza of an album! $25 for a single butterfly album, or swoop two into your net for just $45! Add on an essential tools kit that contains our new Quilling Tool, Piercing Tool Kit,  Dry Embossing Tool, and our new Slate Washi Tape for just $20! CLICK HERE to reserve your kits today!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Friends Make Life Colorful!

Today the "Stampin' Ladies" (as my little boys call them) are coming over for a big project day capped off by a CTMH team meeting tonight. I'm so excited - I love it when the Stampin' Ladies are here to play! We're going to be making this card using the bright and cheery April SOTM. 

I based this card on the new CAS(E) this Sketch #20, so the Hot Air Balloon lifts out from behind the clouds with an extra little message. How fun is that? I altered that Washi Tape I used for the flags and banners with my Honey alcohol marker and detailed the balloon and it's flag with my favorite Stardust Jelly Roll Pen. (I'm going to sneak in a Jamberry Tuesday Tip - check out my week and a half old manicure that lived through CKC-PDX as well as my normal hard on the hands life...I {heart} Jams!)
To make my rainbow balloon, I built a puddle pad out of felt. I stamped the balloon image onto the felt to get a rough idea of where to ink, then I inked rows of color using Cranberry, Sunset, Creme Brule, Pear, and Pacifica reinkers. Since the stamp had a lot of detail in the squares, I inked the image on my puddle pad, then stamped it off onto scrap paper before applying the image to my Cricut Artiste diecut. I used the same puddle pad along with my Black Distressing mini ink pad to stamp the sentiment from my newest stamp set called Hoppy Easter. I got to chose this set as part of a prize from Karen Morris's CTMH swap group - thanks, Karen!!
I stamped my Card base with the Chevron from In the Background in Sky ink, inspired by the Moxie Fab World Chevron Challenge. Then I sanded and re-sanded the stamped background until it was fairly distressed all over, reminding me of light fluffy clouds. I also detailed each cloud Cricut Artiste diecut with dots of Stardust Jelly Roll Pen around the edges.

I'm linking this card up to the Paper Issues Up In The Clouds linky party - hop over there for lots more clouds, rainbows, and utterly adorable art!

I hope your day will be filled with friends, fun, and lots of giggles, just like mine will be today. Bring on the Stampin' Ladies!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Washi Flair!

OK, here's the second of my spur of the moment flair cards for the Paper Issues Let's Have a Crafting A{flair} challenge. This time I grabbed the sketch from the Muse Challenge #9. I thought with Expo and all my top secret craftiness this week I wouldn't have time to play with any awesome challenges...I'm so getting to have my cake (CKC-PDX) and eat it too (Blog challenges galore!). Woo!
This card uses more scraps from that poor page kit that I cannabalized for the last card. I trimmed a card base from Slate Cardstock. Then I sanded it roughly to bring in some texture. I cut a 3 inch panel of Slate Cardstock and used that as a wrap an assortment of my new Queen and Co Washi Tapes! I was going to be good yesterday, but then I ran into a discounted bundle of Disney Themed Washi and then my money was gone! It happened to perfectly match my adorable Love You flair, so I guess that's just crafty serendipity!

I'm linking this post up to the Moxie Fab World Washi Tape Challenge. I'm also linking this to the Old Back Porch 52 Card Pickup and the CAS-ual Fridays No Stamps Challenge. You read that ink. I'll make up for it tomorrow!

I'm going offline until Sunday because I'm too cheap to spend my scrapbooking stash on the Hilton's overpriced daily WIFI. You can catch me on Instagram or Twitter, or just come and scrap with me tomorrow know you want to!

P.S. - Once again, please excuse the cell phone photography. I was trying to pack light, so I left my hefty camera at home. Best laid plans...

Friday, March 22, 2013

I Do Solemnly Swear...

...that I am up to Crafty Goodness tonight at the CKC-Portland Scrapbooking Expo! I got an email on my phone from Paper Issues reminding me that there's only ONE MORE DAY to play in this month's Let's Have a Crafting A{flair} challenge. And I just so happened to have been drooling over some adorable Flair in the CK booth this afternoon, so I sprinted strolled back to the booth and snapped up some flair...or four just before the vendor fair closed. Score!
Now, mind you, I am a very focused packer for crops. I pack by the project, and I do not tend to bring much extra along (a few sparkles and some silver glitz were my bonus items this time). So I swung by my friend Ginni's adorable booth to grab this cute Cupcake page kit to cannibalize into my flair project. I used the floral rosette ribbon to craft a larger flower to pin my sweet flair button onto - don't you love the texture the mesh adds? Instead of trimming it close or off I shaped it into petal points. Then I used the Green ribbon from the kit to create "leaves" for my newly minted flower trio.

I happened to have Sans Alphabet (retired font, I know...but so useful!) in my kit, so I created my own friend letter tiles. My bonus stash of Sparkles came in quite handy in edging out the cricut border, which I cut apart and distressed, inspired by the current Retro Sketches sketch #55!

I'm linking up to the ABC Bring on the Flowers Challenge. I'm also linking up to the Heart to Heart Go Green challenge, since I just recycled a perfectly adorable layout kit into new flair cards. Yep...there's more than one, all whipped out during my dinner hour shared with my fabulous friend Cathy! I'll share the other one tomorrow morning. 

P.S. I apologize for the poor photography, but since I was doing this in the hallway at the expo center, my cell phone camera had to do the trick. Forgive me?

Until then, just 
Keep Calm 
Stay Crafty!

My Week

My week this week has been rough, busy, topsy-turvy, full of smiles and other words, just life! This Express Collection Studio J digital layout is a glimpse at a week of random cell pics from January of last year. Was life simpler and easier then? Nope! But when I look at these pics I'm remembering the sweet moments and how small and precious the boys were, not the silly brother fights, spilled drinks, tantrums, and messes. This is why I scrapbook. This is why I love to scrapbook. 

Best of all...I got all that "stitching" and I didn't have to sew a thing! I'm off to CKC Portland - if you're local, come find me cropping at the big round tables during the afternoons for an inky treat! 

Have a scraptastic weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

One Day at the Zoo

I'm still working on projects that cannot be blogged (yet), so here's another of my Studio J Bonanza from last week. How cute is this new (online only) kit? We have a ton of Zoo pics, because we've had a membership for years, and yet I can't help taking pics of the boys every time we go. Someday I'll be able to do a through the years at the zoo mini album for each boy!

This is one of those 5-10 minute layouts. Choose the kit, load in your pics (just like uploading pics to Costco or Snapfish), choose the colors for your pre-placed embellies and you're done! 

Kind of like this blog post - KISS!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Be Awesome Today!

Today my second child is 5 years old. That's him in the biggest photo, with the biggest smile, wrestling around with my Dad and Sister on a trip to CA last year. See him off to the right with his arms flung up, running full bore with abandon, giggling with glee? That's my brilliant boy Ben! 

Ben leaps headfirst into everything, loving life, ready for action, can't hold still for a second. Sometimes his focus on living in the moment leads to when he snapped his glasses in half (twice) or this weekend when he managed to chip two of my husband's teeth accidentally while literally CLIMBING THE WALLS (well, the doorways) of our home like Spider-man. But mostly this little tornado of glorious energy reminds me to try anything, never give up, to enjoy life, to just be awesome. He adds a B to the front of words so they'll sound more like his name. I wish I had his self confidence!

Plus, even though the anxious worrywart mom inside me might wish that he could not scale to the top of the doorways spider man style to dangle from the top of the door frame... how awesome is it that he can? Ben's philosophy in life tends to go along the lines of "Why Not?". "Because it's not safe, buddy." "But I'm awesome at (insert physical and possibly dangerous activity here)". 

Yes, buddy, you are awesome, indeed. Happy birthday, B-awesome Ben!

Monday, March 18, 2013

This was one of my favorite layouts tucked away in those Studio J Express Collections. I love the trendy grey and yellow color combo, the "stitching", the stampy flowers overlapping the pics. This is a collection of pics of weird placed my little guys fall asleep. I tend to snap pics of them when they are sleeping like that and shoot them off to Instagram, so I end up with a bunch of cutie one-off pics that don't match anything. I changed them all over to sepia tone so they wouldn't clash (right in Studio J) and now I've got a sweet reminder of my hard sleeping buddies, all done in about ten minutes!

Shhh! I know that's exciting, but don't wake the babies!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lucky Me! I've got Studio J!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today I'll be sharin' the green with you...the digital green of Studio J

This is one of the Express Collection layouts I've been raving about. See all the stitching, the faux washi, the banners and the mixed and recolored papers? Every bit of detail was ALREADY DONE for me! I dropping in my Ben is a monkey pics, added the journaling and this page was done in about 5 minutes. And if I had dumping in my pics and not liked the page? I'm out nothing - it's all free until you are ready to print your adorable layouts!

Studio J might just be the pot of gold at the end of my never-ever-ever-getting-caught-up scrapbooking rainbow! 

P.S. - Sweet Scrappin' Friend Valerie mentioned that she loved the cropping of my photos on the last layout. I responded there on that post...but I have to say it again - it's all Studio J! I've loved that crazy photo quilt layout since it first came out in one of our How To books, but I only made it in paper ONCE. Once was enough - cropping those crazy shapes and getting the edges and angles just so was a huge PAIN. Now I can make it anytime I want...once you drop in your pics you can just grab them and scoot them to show exactly what you want, no mathematics required! 

Now everyone join with me in emailing CTMH to demand sweetly request glitter paper options on every paper packet! We want more bling!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I {heart] Studio J!

OK - these posts probably would've been helpful during the month and a half that Studio J layouts were on sale for $5...but I waited until the last two days to make my layouts, because I have been entirely too busy to scrapbook...well, digitally. It's not that Studio J is hard, or not adorable...I just love getting my hands in the inks and paper. But $5 for two pages?  Never mind - that special is done, but regular price is only $6.95 for 2 pages, still a rockin' good deal! 

I seriously need to make time for myself to do a couple of Studio J layouts every week. This is how to "catch up" - beautiful paper scrapping for events that really mean a lot, like the holidays or first day of kindergarten, and Studio J for my life know, the cell phone photos and Instagrams I'm posting constantly. Those print up beautifully on Studio J!

So here's 14 days of scrapbooking, Studio J style. That's right - in two evenings, while catching up on Glee and Once Upon a Time and Grey's Anatomy ('cause I never have time to sit and watch TV with my hubby in the evenings) I made 14 adorable layouts. I cannot wait for my printed pages to get here!!

Now for the details...this layout is done with a new ONLINE only paper pack called Wishes and Fishes Boy. I chose that kit, then a 10 photo pattern called Sideline Surprise. Did you know you can sort the layout patterns by the number of photos you want to include? I chose Kit Mix number 1. I added my title using the StickEase Alphabets, and the Seahorse StickEase is at the bottom of the Large Accents StickEase. The "waves" we made using the Stitching Tool under Embellishments - now there are lots of kinds of "stitches" to add! I used the Scallop border stitch, and stretched or cropped it to make the wave pattern right over the digital B&T paper, then used the Send backward button along the top to hide the ends under my photo mats. I left the suggested embellishments alone, just choosing the colors I wanted. This one took me about 20 minutes because I was fussing with the stitched waves...until I remembered we have copy/paste buttons now!

My crew of scrappy girls will be here any minute for some hands-on paper crafting - hope you are spending your day doing something just as fun!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sunshine!

I know I said I'm only working on top secret projects this week, but then I wanted to make a special birthday card fro my hubby's grandmother. So I made this happy sunny little card, and I even MAILED it...if you know me, that's a huge win!
Inspired by the Moxie Fab Emphasize the Negative Space Challenge, I used the upcoming April SOTM to create a pop up negative space center for my sunshine. Then I detailed the sunshine and that drop down center with my favorite Gelly Roll Clear Star pen, which add a subtle shimmer that works nicely over any color. I wish you could see how the shimmer catches the light in real life - be still my heart! This paper is from the Tommy paper line, which I must admit was not my favorite on first glance, not being a nautical girl in general...but how stinkin' cute is this pinwheel paper? 

I was also inspired by this week's adorable Muse Card Club #8 Challenge. Of course, I used a sun instead of flowers, and added a super fluffy bow made from Seam Binding and Baker's Twine. I used to be intimidated by a nice layered bow - how do you manage all those layers? Bu now I know that you don't have to tie them all up together, they just have to look tied together. My favorite friend Liquid Glass to the rescue! That sunny bright baker's twine is Marigold from the Twinery (Thanks, Christine!!). Aaaaand that rhinestone button is retired from the Bling Assortment...but Grammy is important enough to score one of my hoarded rhinestones for sure!
I stamped the large sunshine center image inside my card and layered on a sentiment from one of the Cricut coordinating stamp sets...with a last bit of Stardust gel pen in the sentiment and "stitching". I'm linking this project up to the Heart 2 Heart Spring Forward challenge. I might need to make another just so I can feel some sunshine love shining on me while I craft here in not-so-sunny Oregon.

Happy birthday, Grammy - we miss you bunches!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

10 Fantastic Smells

So I won't have much art to show you this week. Not that I'm not busy crafting away, just not making anything that I can show you...yet. So here's a slightly late Monday Listicle to help tide you over until I can get back to sharing. 

10 Fantastic Smells

1. Chocolate anything. Chocolate peppermint...even better!

2. Clean Sheets. Especially sheets someone else has washed and made the bed with...those smell extra fantastic.

3. Ocean.

4. Newborn Babies. I have a theory that they smell so good so that no matter how crazy you get with lack of sleep and postpartum hormones, one whiff can cure it all...

5. Coffee. I can't drink it, but I can breathe it in. Pay no mind to the woman standing silently in the coffee aisle breathing's totally normal.

6. Cookie baking. Sometimes the baking smell is more delicious than the actual cookies. Just sayin'.

7. Pizza. We don't get to eat it often now (gluten free pizza is either expensive or not very good not to mention not exactly the healthiest thing to eat), but the smell...

8. Sunshiny days spent at the park...grass, warm breeze, happy kiddos!

9.Flowers, especially surprise flowers you didn't buy for yourself.

10. Brand new paper. Am I the only paper sniffer round here? I just LOVE it when a new order comes, and you bust open that new pack of paper with that crisp new paper smell! Works for new books too....mmmm, paper!

Hope you are having a fantastically smelly week!


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