Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stamp of the Month Blog Hop: December's Amore

Welcome to the December edition of the Close To My Heart Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! (If you're coming from Beth's Creative Block then you're hopping along; start here if you'd like and go to Tammy Lea's next.)

You'll fall in love with the this month's stamp of the month, Amore! I was trying to make a masculine card, but I'm not sure I succeeded! (My hubby likes it anyway.) Can you see how I scored my main image down the middle both ways? Then I stamped the "You're First Class" postage stamp in each section, using the palette from the Magnifique paper pack: Sky, Lagoon, Pacifica, and Chocolate.

I used the curly heart border across the bottom of my card in the same four colors, staggering the placement of the stamp a little each time. Next came the Mocha Opaques. I love these self-adhesive pearls! The card seems a little too plain, so I then added the strip of B&T and the Chocolate polka dot ribbon.

*If you find a broken link somewhere or get lost along the way, just come back here and CLICK to find the complete list.

Thanks for stopping by! As always, you can get the stamp of the month this month for $22.95- or earn your own discount! If you don't already have a CTMH consultant, just ask me how. Thanks for leaving me a comment before you hop on to Tammy Lea's!

All supplies from Close To My Heart: Amore stamp set; Magnifique paper pack; Sky, Lagoon, Pacifica, and Chocolate inks; Mocha Opaques; Chocolate designer ribbon rounds

Monday, November 29, 2010

Technique Junkies Just One Swap (& Tutorial Link)

Since I am such a stamping nut, I decided to subscribe to the Technique Junkies newsletter again. It is chock full of great ideas (although some of the materials are hard to find in Podunk)!

This month is the first time I've participated in the "Just One" swap. Two swappers are paired up to send each other a card before the end of the month using at least one Technique Junkie technique.

Here is the lovely card I received from Sandi Halliburton. She used the Textured Duet technique to create the gorgeous backgrounds. She punched the leaves out of the center piece, backed the holes with packing tape, and then applied gold leaf. Isn't it pretty?

The inside is just as beautiful!

Here is the card I sent her:

It is a double pocket fold card. Wouldn't this be great for giving a gift card? (Tutorial link below!) I also incorporated the Rock 'n Roll technique to apply multiple colors to my stamped images.

Here are the tags pulled out.

I used the Olivia paper pack, Timeless and Flourished Blessings stamp sets, and Pear, Creme Brulee, Sunset, Smoothie, Barn Red, and Cocoa inks.

Click HERE to go to a tutorial to make your own double pocket card!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We were blessed again this year to enjoy two Thanksgiving feasts:
Thursday with Logan's family at nearby Brasstown Valley Resort...

a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet that left us groaning (complete with a "Happy Turkey Day" ice sculpture) and a gorgeous fall floral centerpiece. (I'll have to show you the Christmas decorations there in a future post.)

Our second feast was last night at my parents' with family and friends. (We are very fortunate to have all of our immediately family living nearby.) Check out this buffet! We have so much leftover that we're headed over there today for more.

Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the desserts: apple pound cake, pumpkin cheesecake (divine, and I don't even like pumpkin too much!), pumpkin pie, and pecan pie.

Here are the photos of family & friends gathered around the tables, enjoying fine food and fellowship.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Mail and A Little Thanks

My little 4"x4" thank you card (at right) was totally stamp lifted from the happy mail I received from uber-talented CTMH consultant Annette Green. I was in dire need of some, and hers totally fit the bill.

I used the Passages paper pack (with Brown Bag, Barn Red, and Cocoa inks) while Annette used the cheerful (retired) Good Times paper pack in Sweet Leaf, Buttercup, Twilight, and Cocoa. I was trying to make mine a masculine card, but I think the scallops at the bottom are too girly. That's okay, though! I think the recipients liked them. I know that I love the one I got!

(I forgot to take a photo of the inside of the card, which Annette had also jazzed up. If you're not in the habit of decorating the insides of your cards, try it on the next one you make. Stamp a little on the envelope too and you've got an entire collection that says WOW!)
Remember, the November stamp of the month, A Little Thanks, and the November special, A Little More Thanks, are only available for a few more days.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like."
~Will Rogers

Think about that this holiday season, and enjoy your Black Friday! Do you have any traditions for this day? I have only been Black Friday shopping once (that I can remember), and it wasn't "all that." We usually kick off our Christmas season and start decorating. Logan's family always put up their tree Thanksgiving Day, but we wait until at least today. (I love celebrating the holidays, so let's just take it one holiday at a time, thank you very much!)

We had a lovely dinner last night at the local resort with Logan's family, and we'll get together to pig out again (and of course give thanks) with my family Saturday. Today will be cleaning and starting the Christmas decorating.

Whatever you do, enjoy your day and think about not only living within your means, but living happily on what you have.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Remeber today and always to givefor all the blessings, large and small, in your life.
Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Whatever Wednesday

Do you see what happens after my alarm goes off and I get up? Our beagle makes himself right at home on my pillow!
Today I get to sleep in (if that's really possible) because it's one of our furlough days. I plan to work around the house, do a little shopping, and hopefully a little crafting to boot. Turkey Day tomorrow will be out with family (but I plan to cook breakfast in the morning for the family).
Happy day to you today!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Swim Layout

Here is another Studio J layout I made. Obviously this one highlights some of our summer fun.

Again, I started with six photos, but this time chose the "Golden Section" layout pattern (also found in Cherish) and the exclusive, only-in-Studio-J "Splash Zone" collection. Isn't it fun?

The row of circles across the top are part of the layout, but I customized mine even more using the digital My Stickease artwork. I resized the three beach balls to cover the circles completely. I also used My Stickease as tags on my photos and for the wavy border across the top of the Honey colored sections. You can layer your elements in any way you like, so I had the border go across one of my pictures.

Give Studio J a try for yourself and let me know what you think. If you'd like to learn more, come to my Studio J night on Monday, November 29, at 7 PM.

{Layout 2010 #47}

Monday, November 22, 2010

1st Day of School Layout

Here is the layout I made in Studio J of our first day of school this year. The cool thing was that I made it while laying in the bed Saturday morning watching TV with my family! (OK, so it took me a while to get it ordered...)

To get started, upload your photos. I chose these 6. Next, choose your paper pack. The You Rock collection seemed like a great match (although there is a cool members-only school themed collection too). Then, choose your layout pattern. This one is called "Dramatic Fashion" and can also be found in the Cherish how-to guide book if you'd rather scrapbook the classic way, with papers, ink, scissors, glue, etc. (I love both classing and studio; I am the Inky Scrapper after all!)

It was so much fun (and so easy) to play around with different elements on the layout. A cool feature of Studio J is that I didn't even print any of these pictures; I put them on my layout and they will arrive in a week or so.

Now, you may be wondering about this online scrapbooking stuff. I am having a Studio J night at my house next Monday, 11/29, to teach the basics (although it is very user-friendly). I encourage you to give it a try. It doesn't cost anything to play, only to order.

You have two order options if you become a member (and you don't have to be a member to order layouts):
1. Order 12"x12" layouts ($6.50 each) shipped FREE to your home with a FREE page protector for each layout. You also get hi-res JPGs of your pages and a "for web" version shown here, ABSOLUTELY FREE!
2. Order the hi-res JPGs ONLY ($3) and then take or send them to your favorite 12"x12" printer and have them printed for an additional cost.

The advantage of option #1 are the free page protector and the fact that CTMH calibrates their colors to match the CTMH palette. If you get them printed elsewhere, the colors may not be exactly what you're expecting. They should be okay but might be a little off.

If you've tried Studio J, please leave a comment to let me know what you think.

{Layout 2010 #46}

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Little Thanks Swap Cards

You only have about a week and half left to get the November stamp of the month, A Little Thanks. Here are the gorgeous cards that my consultant swap group created to show off this beautiful stamp set and the Olivia paper pack.

At left, clockwise from top left:
Taralyn cleverly used ovals to create a pumpkin. The second card has a window cut out of the front and the "Just a Note" sentiment is adhered to the inside of the card, peeking through the window. Camy Eisentrager's beautiful card features layer upon layer of stunning paper and a beautiful copper hinge. I am most taken with Pam Beery's punched circles and gorgeous green glittler!

At right, clockwise from top left:
Carla Ramirez used a portion of "Just a little" paired with the large "Thank You stamp" plus dry embossing and distressing. Bridget Mahler created a delightfully simple "Thanks a Bunch" card. Can you see the twisted ribbon on Tanya Stone's gorgeous card?

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Art & Soul Webisode: Stencil, Sparkle, & Shine!

The latest issue of Close To My Heart TV, Stencil, Sparkle, & Shine is now available for your viewing and crafting pleasure! Just click HERE. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This Week's Menu

This spring I started menu planning each week (inspired by many blogs I read out in the world wide blogosphere). I am not religious about it (especially this summer and when things get really super busy) but it has definitely simplified my life. The best part of all was unexpected: the girls complained less about what was for dinner!

They also provide input from time to time. This weekend, Macey asked if she could create this week's menu, so I said sure. One less chore for me!!! (And deciding what's for dinner can definitely be a chore.) Her first version had pot roast every other day, followed by leftovers on the other days. Can you tell she loves pot roast? I told her that wouldn't work out too well, so she recreated her menu. While I usually base mine on the week's sale flyers, she went with her favorites. The absolute best part of all is that hubby cooked Monday night and tonight he's cooking most of Wednesday's menu (which got moved to Thursday)- even though he also has his daycard board meeting! WOOHOOHOOHOO!

It is smelling good around here! Macey didn't plan for leftovers, but I'm sure we'll manage to squeeze them in too.

In case you're wondering, the reason Tuesday is not on the menu is that it's the girls' dance day. I am gone from 7 AM to 8 PM and no, I don't pack dinner for us (though I usually do lunch). My life is just too busy for that right now. ;) The board was simple: a small dry erase board and marker. I drew on the grid with a permanent marker so the lines don't get erased away. Also, when I created this board and found the cute little days-of-the-week magnets (at my local WalMart), I had no idea how useful they would be. If we need to shift the menu, I just move the magnets. So much easier than rewriting what's up there!

One day I may make cards of our favorite meals so that I can just take them up there with the magnet, but so far it's no big deal to write in what we're having. I usually just write the main dish, but Macey added a side or two.

Do you menu plan? If so, what helps you most?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Santa Belly Basket

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go... I have a thing for Santas, and I cannot believe this medium market basket! Even if you don't have a thing for Santa, check out the insulated tote that fits in any medium market basket! For complete details, click HERE! It's only available from noon to midnight today!
This offer is only available TODAY!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanks Banner

If you participated in the blog hop yesterday or check out my blog frequently, then you saw the Christmas "Joyful" banner I recently created and taught. Here is the other side, a "thanks" banner in time to celebrate Thanksgiving. You'll see that mine is very similar to the one featured in the CTMH Autumn/Winter Idea Book on p. 38.

One thing that I forgot to mention is that you could have easily put your Mix 'n Mingle album together so that the letters hang vertically. At only 4" each, this can fit nicely in a small space.

Before I show you each panel, I thought I would share a photo of one of our beautiful Japanese maples. So much of the fall color has peaked already and the rain has knocked so many leaves off that this little tree is such a bright spot in a sea of brown and gray.

OK, here are the thanks letter panels. We used the Passages paper pack, Autumn Flourishes stamp set, Dimensional Elements alphabet, Mocha pearl opaques, and natural hemp.

TIP: When wrapping hemp around your letters, use foam tape to adhere them. That way the letters are raised up and there's no hump from the hemp. LOL

TIP #2: To mimic the scallop of the clear acrylic piece shown with the letter A, I traced the Mix 'n Mingle piece onto scratch paper and then copied it at 85% to make a template. CTMH founder Jeanette Lynton shares a similar idea on her blog this week using the Magic how-to guide. Great minds think alike, right? ;)

Last but not least, here is my friend Joy's beautiful banner sitting on her hearth. She added some pearly cream paint to her leaves and letters. Oh so pretty!

Monday, November 15, 2010

CTMH Product Spotlight Blog Hop: Christmas Stamps & Projects

This month, to get you into the holiday spirit (because we crafters have to work ahead), a group of 17 Close To My Heart consultants are showing you some of our fabulous Christmas stamps! If you've arrived from Debbie's blog then you're hopping right along. If this is your first stop, welcome, and hop aboard the Polar Express. Your next stop for more holiday cheer is Kristie's blog!

For my project, I started with six pieces of a Mix 'N Mingle album (the other two I'll use for another project) and a set of Dimensional Elements Simple Alphabet (the upper case, shown here, is no longer available, but the lowercase- shown at the end- still is.

I used the Mistletoe paper pack and various stamp sets to decorate my banner.

Please leave a comment if you have a question about anything!

Here is my friend Joy's
completed banner (below). Isn't it beautiful? She added lots of bling and covered her letters with glitz glue. I can't wait to see it in person! Now hop on over to Kristie's blog! Be sure to come back tomorrow to see what I made on the back of this Joyful banner!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Studio J Night

Do you want to scrapbook but feel like you have no time? Then you definitely need to try out Studio J online scrapbooking! Upload your digital photos and create beautiful 12"x12" layouts in no time at all!

At 7:00 PM on Monday, 11/29 {DATE CHANGE!}, I will show you how easy and user-friendly Studio J is and teach you about this awesome free scrapboooking program. We'll explore different options and even have a prize giveaway that you won't want to miss.

Feel free to bring a laptop computer with digital photos of an event you'd like to preserve in a scrapbook. Also, please RSVP so that I am sure to have space.

Can't attend but want to learn more? Let me show you how in your home, mine, or online!


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