Monday, June 23, 2014

CTMH Convention and other goings on...

This week is the annual Close To My Heart Convention and this year it is at Disneyland.  I SO wanted to go but (why is there always a but??) it just didn't happen this year for numerous reasons mostly because we bought our house last summer and those things are expensive! All the wonderful consultants who are able to attend this year (for the 30th Anniversary) are starting to post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so I will get to keep up on all the news and excitement, the next best thing to actually going although I am feeling very jealous and perhaps a little depressed about it all.
June 2014: Celebrate 30!
Speaking of 30th Anniversary, there is one week left for getting your celebration collection!  These products bundles are a great way at getting lots of product at a nice price. 

Also, going on right now is Close To My Heart has released the retiring list in preparation for our new Annual Idea Book that come out August 1st.  One important thing to know as we go forward to the new annual format is none of our Paper Packets are moving forward with us, so if you have been waiting to get a few items do check the the retiring items list to make sure it is not retiring.  I have heard thru the grapevine that with the new Annual Idea Book we will be getting a shiny new Cricut Collection! and over 250 other new items! 

I hope you enjoyed my part of the ongoing Blog Tour last week.  Those questions made me think!  Remember that the crafty bloggers I featured are in turn answering those 4 questions this week and introducing us to 3 of their crafty friends.   I hope you take a few minutes to go check them out.  The direct link to their blog posts are:

Marilyn at Pink Paper Cottage and Patricia Manhire's Creative Corner.   My friend Wendy Coffman of Stamping Rules is a busy, busy girl on a normal day and thought she could add one more thing when she said yes to joining the blog tour last week.  Last week she was also in the middle of getting ready for convention (and is now on her way to Disneyland) and realized that perhaps she didn't have enough time to do the blog tour.  So hopefully when she is back and has a few free minutes she will be able to add her part to the tour,  that is one of the great things about this tour, it is ongoing so it can be added to at anytime!

I am off to work on creating some cards for my Monthly Card Club,  we are using Balloon Ride and due to all the sickness, etc. the past month I am very behind but the paper is so beautiful and it is call my name.  Can't wait to create today!

Wishing everyone a crafty week full of fun.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge #60

Yesterday was a very special birthday, my nephew Maguire turned 17!  (Sigh) I remember holding him the day he was born and 7 felt like last week so 17 is almost a surprise.  Happiest of Birthday's Maguire you have grown into such an amazing young man and I cannot wait to know you at 27.

Now onto this weeks challenge card from AHSC.  I decided to try and be as close to the design as I could be this week as it is a great design and has so many possibilities!  I know I say that often but truly, Michelle gives us wonderful designs that provide a great base for our creative minds to play with.  Thank you Michelle and thank you to Darla for taking Michelle sketches and turning them into the digital format that you see every week.

Products that I used for this weeks card are:

- The Balloon Ride Paper Packet
- Saddle, Creme Brulee and Lagoon Cardstock
- Cricut Artisite pg.70 for both the balloon and sentiment
- Saddle Ink
- Bitty Sparkles

One tip for making this card, I cut the balloon paper to the same length as the base lagoon cardstock.  This way when I used the scallop border punch the balloon paper then fit onto the cardstock (with a frame) and I didn't loose too much of my pattern.  I wanted the pattern to continue from the top piece to the bottom for my own astetic reasons, I like the continuity and effect of the balloon being cut in half drawing your eye to the Happy Birthday.

Thank you for stopping by and I truly appreciate your comments.  Follow the link to check out all the great artwork submitted to the Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge. I hope you get inspired and decide to come play along!  We would love to see what you create and you might get voted as one of the top 3 cards of the week! 

Happy Crafting!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Creative Blog Tour

Last week Alice Boll of Scrapbook Wonderland ask if I would like to participate in a different kind of blog hop and given that I am always up for something a little different I said "I'm game!"  What makes this blog hop different?  It really is more of a blog "tour" and the idea of the tour is to answer four questions, then introduce three fellow creative bloggers who will continue the tour the following week. And so on and so on.  Fun! 
Alice Digital Signature 2013 
Before I answer my questions I wanted to thank Alice for the opportunity to play along.  Please check out her blog, as I find it to be full of very useful information!  She is wonderfully creative and most definitely has a true passion for scrapbooking. 

On to the questions! 

1. What am I working on?

Over the past several months my focus has been on cards for my monthly card clubs.  My clubs are full of wonderful ladies and we have a great time but I can be a bit of a perfectionist and the cards can consume me because I always want to make them different/better than the month before. The saying that you are your own worst critic can be very true.  I have also been doing workshops on quilled flowers using the flowers found in CTMH's Cricut Collections, Base & Bling Necklaces and home decor projects like Bracket Frames.

This summer my goal is to finish dozens of layouts that are literally "almost done". I am fabulous at starting layouts, I know what pictures I want and everything, it's just printing those pictures off and putting those finishing touches like journaling on the pages.  In all honestly I have had this goal for a few years now and I am slowly working thru my piles of almost done but so often I get distracted by my lovely stash of paper that I want to play with as well... 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I'm not really sure if my work differs all that much from others in this genre.  Being an Independent Consultant with "Close To My Heart" most of my work reflects this, I love their products and as I live rural it is wonderful to be able to order what I need and have it show up at my front door a few days later.  The fact that the products are trendy, easy to use, a good price and of very high quality is all just a bonus.

While creating I would say my personal style is probably best described as "clean and simple" but I love to try out new techniques and different ideas, it's fun to mix it up and learn something new.  Turning a vague idea into something that I can hold in my hand and share with my family and friends is just extremely satisfying for me.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?  

The simplest answer is, I like to. I like to do what I do and have always sought different ways to be creative, be it photography, baking, gardening, cross stitch, etc. I have always kept journals with bits and pieces of ephemera tacked in there.  I decided to learn about "official" scrapbooking when my husband and I were living in Oregon.  I wanted to do something special with our wedding photos and it all started there.  A friend (Jackie!) took me to a huge craft store and helped me pick out a bunch of items to get me started but I found I was a little lost.  Another friend  invited me to join her monthly scrapbooking club where I could learn new techniques and ask all the questions I wanted.  This friend is the lovely Wendy Coffman who's bio you will see later in this post.  I refer to Wendy as my paper crafting mentor and when I need inspiration I just have a look at her latest work.

4.  How does your writing/creative process work?

SLOWLY!  As mentioned in question #1  I am great at getting projects started but can be a slow poke at finishing them off.  I think this is why I hold classes/workshops, participate in blog hops and on design teams, it gives me deadlines and the push to be happy with what I have created right now and not second guess my choices.  

Now on with the tour! (Each blogger will answer the 4 questions next week!)

Marilyn McLeod of Pink Paper Cottage

Displaying Marilyn headshot2.jpg
Marilyn of Pink Paper Cottage!

Meet Marilyn McLeod, retired mom, wife, paper crafter, quilt maker, book publisher, animal lover, and amateur photographer, who has never outgrown her love and passion for color and creating things out of fabric and/or paper.  She resides in central Oregon with her husband of 11 years (yes, they met online!), and two bird chasing cats. Her past loves (horses and alpacas), and family of 3 sisters, two sons and step-children take center stage in most of her scrapbooking, which she has been doing in some form or other since she was 6 years old!

Marilyn loves to craft the hours away, well into the wee hours of the morning, and keeps a notepad by her bed for when she wakes up in the middle of the night with a new idea.  Marilyn says: “I love sharing my passion for creating, so I give occasional classes on anything from card making, to paper flowers, to sewing, to crocheting, to digital scrapbooking. I especially love making paper projects that look like little miniature quilts and that use paper folding.  I really enjoy sharing my newest projects and techniques on my blog”.

Wendy Coffman of Stamping Rules!

As I mentioned before Wendy is my paper crafting mentor/guru/idol! and I have greatly missed seeing her on a regular basis since we moved back to Canada.  Wendy, husband John and their 3 boys recently relocated to Spokane, WA and if Facebook and Instagram are any indicators they are having a fabulous adventure and settling nicely into their new city.

Unfortunately Wendy is running a little behind in getting me here "official" bio.  So once I have it I will update this post!  Thanks for your understanding.

Patricia Manhire, Creative Corner

Hi my name is Patricia Manhire and I live in Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand.  I have always done some sort of crafts since I was a child.  I come from an artistic and creative family.  My grandmother won a scholarship for her art but was unable to take it up and she taught me a lot of crafts such as crochet, needleworking and tatting.  My mother did a lot of crafts from knitting, sewing, macrame to leatherwork.  My father does wood turning and makes some beautiful handcrafted toys.  My sister also does lots of crafts including knitting, sewing and embroidery.

I discovered cardmaking nearly twenty years ago when I went to Spotlight and discovered stamping and embossing. There was no embossing or diecutting machines and all the stamps were on wood.  We used a lot of corrugated card and raffia if I remember rightly and coloured in with colour pencils that the children used.  Now there is so many more products on the market and we are not using children's toys anymore.  I have gone from storing everything in a shoebox in my spare room to having my own craft room with tv and MySky!  I now have a Cuttlebug and Cricut E2 machine and my crafting is light years away from my first efforts many years ago - especially since joining Close To My Heart last August when they came out to New Zealand after Creative Memories collapsed here. 

I am mainly a cardmaker, but I have also started scrapbooking in the last few years as there are so many cards I can make.  Plus I have many photos to put into albums and when I had to give up work for health reasons I decided that would be my job to do. I must admit to using the How To Books from CTMH to do my scapbooking but I still put my own twist on the layouts. I am loving the CTMH range of products as they are so easy to coordinate and my crafting has certainly gone up a few levels to include doing a lot of other items such as 3D items like the pennant frames and boxes from CTMH.  I love making paper flowers and challenging myself to do different folds of cards so show others what they can do.  Because I make so many cards I have opened my own shop selling all locally made arts and crafts including my cards and boxes.  I am planning creative workshops in the shop to pass on my passion to other people. 

Thank you for stopping by and I truly appreciate your comments.  I hope you take a few minutes to  check out all the blogs on this every expanding tour and once again I would like to thank Alice for the invite to play along.  I would also like to thank Marilyn, Wendy and Patricia for allowing me to introduce you to them.
Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Balloon Ride Blog Hop

With CTMH  (and most home based businesses) we have a hierarchy of "uplines" aka "those who joined the company as an independent consultant before you did!" I feel this hierarchy has some perks and for me one of these perks is that I am part of a bigger team of consultants here in BC.  This team is called the Greenhearts and it is under a wonderful lady named Pam, who really has been a great source of help and knowledge.  Recently the Greenhearts have started a monthly blog hop and this month I finally get to play along (too many other commitments the past few months to join in).  We are still a small hop but I hope you take a moment to not only check out my creation but that of the others as well.

This months hop is featuring the beautiful Balloon Ride Paper Packet and the first time I saw this paper I knew I wanted to do a layout using this cute little black and white photo of my mom and me from when I was about a year old.  

Product I used for this project:
- Balloon Ride Paper Packet
- Balloon Ride Complements 
- Balloon Ride Assortment
- Cricut Artbooking for the pretty bow frame
- Cricut Artiste for the lacy "doily" that is behind the flowers, etc.
- Chocolate Distressing Ink
- Sparkle Flourishes
and a few random flowers and bits of lace from my stash!

I was going to include some journaling on this layout but it just didn't work,  I will probably make this into a two page layout in the future but right now I am loving how this came together and it was wonderful to make a full page after all the cards I have done over the past few months.

My apologies on the pictures, my camera ran out of battery as I was taking the last one.  Once it has recharged I will try retaking these photos tomorrow  and see if I cannot get the lighting more even and the layout straight!
Thanks for stopping by and I truly appreciate your comments.  Here are the links to the other bloggers on the hop.  Enjoy!

Happy Crafting!