Sunday, August 30, 2015

BINGO Night and a few Sneak Peeks!

Tomorrow night my basement is going to the place to be! I'm hosting a BINGO night to celebrate the new products from Close To My Heart being released on September 1. This will be the last chance to order the retiring items and a chance to see all the new stuff. In addition, everyone who comes will gget to make a couple of fun project using brand new paper and embellishments!

All of this is in the context of a BINGO night. The ladies who come will have a chance to win some of the new products or a gift certificate to pick their own prize! Here are a few pictures of the decor and snacks I've been working on this weekend.

One of the projects we'll be making is this card using papers from the Zoe collection

If you look closely you'll get a few sneak peeks at what is coming up in September. For example, the background cardstock was embossed using a brand new folder, "Confetti Stars". I roughed it up a little with sand paper to bring out the white core on the raised areas so that the stars stand out more. 

We are also expanding our line of Shimmer Trim to include this pretty Coral. (There are two other new colors, but you have to wait until September 1!)

Finally, the stamping on this card is from a new stamp set. It is called Hello, Life - Cardmaking and it is one of three stamp sets that will be available exclusively in September to celebrate National Stamping Month. I'll post more info about these stamp sets in a couple days.

If you are local to the St. Louis/Arnold, MO area, I'd love to have you join us for some all the fun I have planned for tomorrow. You can sign up by clicking HERE to access the invitation. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Creating a Layout in 5 Simple Steps using Express Collections

Yesterday, I told you about my top 10 favorite retiring items. I left out one and it is a BIG ONE --- all of the current Express Collection layouts in Studio J are retiring at midnight August 31! (If it is already past that date, don't fret -- there are new Express Collections now available in Studio J. Pop on into the program to check them out!)

I love Studio J because it allows me to create beautiful pages without the mess, expense or time-commitment of traditional scrapbooking. Express Collections make this even faster because the pages are completely ready for you. All you need to do is drop in your pictures! Anything you do beyond that is optional.

There are 5 Simple Steps to creating a layout using the Express Collections,

#1 Log into  Studio J

If you do not have an account, you can create one now. This program is web-based which means there is nothing to install. Creating an account allows all of your work to be stored and ready to work on next time you log in. This frees you to work from any computer as long as you have an internet connection!

Remember this is a free to try program. You will not pay anything until you decide you are ready to order prints of your layouts.

#2 Create a Project

Under the Welcome Banner on the right, click on "Create a new project".

You can think of a project as a folder that holds related layouts. There is no limit to how many layouts you have in a project, but the program will run faster if you limit it to just a handful. Also, it will be easier to manage your photos with smaller projects.

#3 Upload your pictures

Use the browser wizard to locate the pictures you want on this layout. Not sure? You have the option of skipping this step and doing it later when you are finalizing your layout.

#4 Select your Express Collection layout

First you need to choose "Start with an Express Collection."

This will pull up a list of all of the currently available Express Collection sets. For my layout, I selected the "All About Me" Collection. This opens a pop up window with all of the layouts in this collection. My layout is "layout 09". 

Here's what the layout looked like when I first opened it. 

#5 Customize

The great thing about Express Collections is that these layouts are DONE before you START! So all you have to do is drop in your photos. However, you are free to customize more if you'd like.

Although the titles on Express Collections are editable, I choose to leave this one as is. You may notice in the original layout, you will notice there was a journaling box just below the title. I choose to delete it.

Instead, I added a larger journaling box below the pictures on the right page. You don't see the box because I set the background to "none". This makes the words look like they were stamped right on the papers.

Isn't this layout beautiful? I love all the artistic touches --- distressing, ink splaters, stitching, ribbon and butterflies. The clusters of embellishments are perfect. Sometimes, I just browse the Express Collections before creating pages from scratch. So many great ideas!

Get started in Studio J>>

Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions as you get started in Studio J. It truely is an amazing program!


Friday, August 28, 2015

A few of my favorite things...are retiring!

Just a reminder that a lot of our favorites are retiring! If  you have sticky notes marking things on your wish list in either of the two Idea Books shown below, you need to order now or miss out!

Although the official retirement date is not until August 31, all of the retiring items are now only available while supplies last. That means that when current inventory runs out, they are gone for good.

See complete list of retiring items>>

My Top 10 Retiring Items

As I looked over this list, I have to admit I felt some sadness. It was hard to narrow it down to just 10 items, but here's my favorite 10:

Number 10 - Base & Bling Charms

All of the current Base & Bling charms are on the retiring list! Yes, we have new ones coming, but if you like any of the current ones you need to get them now. The B&B antique metal chains and pendants are being replaced with shiny metal. So if you like the aged look, you need to order these as well.

Number 9 - Picture My Life Programs

Yes, we are getting new PML cards on 9/1, but I'm gong to miss the current ones which are ALL RETIRING! The Pear & Partridge Christmas cards pictured above are my favorite!

Number 8 - Outdoor Denim!!

This is one of my go to colors and I'm going to miss it! I'm also going to miss Smokey Plum, Olive and Autumn Terracotta. Sigh....The new Enchantment colors are pretty too, but this is a tough change for me. If you like these colors too, be sure to stock up on paper and get the ink pads!

Number 7 - Cut Above Christmas Card Kit

I love easy especially when the end result doesn't look easy. This card kit is so pretty with the glitter paper, deer and twine. But since everything is pre-cut, you can finish them in a jiffy!

Number 6 - Washi Tape

Yes, the rumor is true. All of our Washi Tape is retiring and are not being replaced in the new Idea Books. It took me awhile to warm up to this tearable tape, but just when I was falling in love...

Number 5 - Dimensional Elements Album Pages

I love this mini-album kit. All of the pages are images on the Artiste Cricut cartridge, so decorating the pages is simple. At just $4.95, it is a great deal! (By the way, all of the chipboard sheets that coordinate with the cartridges are retiring, so be sure to stock up on your favorites.)

Number 4 - Designed Decor Flip Stand Album

This popular stand is great for a desk calendar or family pictures. You can cut the pages on the Artbooking cartridge (with a little trimming) and pull an album to match your decor in minutes.

Number 3 - "Chicken Wire" Frame (aka Designed Decor Colonial White Frame)

This trendy frame can be used to display photos, Christmas cards, artwork and much more. It makes a great gift! Who do you know that would like one for Christmas?

Number 2 - Stamp Sets!

So many great stamps are retiring including this fun one called Belated Birthday which allows you to explain why you missed a birthday in style.

Number 1 - Seaside Collection

As a beach-lover, this collection makes my heart happy. Hurry! While the embellishment pack is sold out, you can still get it in the Workshop On The Go.

Now that I've told you mine, what are your favorites?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Capturing the Seaside in a Box (Card)

I love going to the ocean. Wouldn't it be great to capture the seaside in a box? Today, I have done that by making this box card with the Close To My Heart Seaside Collection

Box cards are popping up everywhere on the internet. They have literally taken Pinterest by storm! If you have not seen a box card yet, here's a description: a pop-up card that takes the form of a box. My box card folds to fit into a 6" x 6" envelope.

To make the base, you can do a google search and find directions OR "press the easy button" like I did and order a set of blank Pop-Up Box cards from Hot Off The Press.

Once you have either made or purchased your box card, you are ready to decorate it. The 3D look of your card is created by the two strips of paper that are inserted into the center of the box. You now have four layers to decorate: the front, the two inner layers and the back.

My box is decorated mostly with the stickers from the Seaside Complements package. I also added the metal fish from the Seaside Assortment and a few Aquadot "bubbles" 

I added height to some of them using strips of the include acetate. It is important to fold your card as you add items to make sure they do not extend over the edge which would make it not fit into the envelope. (I learned this the hard way and had to rearrange a few pieces.)

Just a reminder that there are less than two weeks left to order from the 2014 Annual Inspirations Idea Book. Many items are retiring on August 31, including the Seaside collection I used to make this box card. Be sure to place your order today to ensure the best selection since the retiring items are now available only while supplies last!

Happy Creating,

Friday, August 14, 2015

Simple Card Making using Framed and Artistry

I love simple and that is what you get with the August Stamp of the Month, Framed, and the new Artistry Cricut cartridge. Seriously, these are the fastest cards ever! Bonus: they also turned out super cute!

Each of these cards were made from left over paper and embellishments from the Zoe Workshop on the Go (see list below). The sentiments are from the August Stamp of the Month, Framed. (Available only this month for just $5 with your $50 order!)

No fussy cutting here! Each of the frames on this stamp set are on the new Artistry Cricut cartridge (link for digital version).

Once you have cut out the image, you can stamp the frame in one color...

 ...and the sentiment in another!

I cut and stamped a bunch of the frames to give me lots of options as I put together the cards.

Here's a couple more cards:

The card above has absolutely NO EMBELLISHMENTS, yet it looks complete because of the beautiful Zoe paper, layering and two-toned stamping.

Love this last card! I literally took my scraps and trimmed them down to 5.5" or 4.25" and pieced them onto the card. EASY PEAZY!


Have a creative day,

Thursday, August 13, 2015

4 Reasons I love Mini-Albums & My Wanderful Italy Hip Pics Book

I think I'm addicted to mini-albums! These fun little books have a way of making me happy :)

Recently, I made this mini-album on our trip to Italy and was thinking about the reasons why I like using mini-albums to capture my memories. So, I thought I'd share them with you...

Before I jump into the reasons, let's talk about what a mini-album is. Besides being smaller than a traditional album, my mini-albums typically have a more eclectic feel due to a variety of shapes, sizes and materials used.

My Mini-albums typically have a eclectic feel.

Today's mini-albums are generally between 4 to 8 inches wide and tall and are usually stand alone projects with each one documents a single event or theme. Usually, the cover and pages are more coordinated than a traditional scrapbook album. Also, the pages may have more dimension and sometimes even have elements that extend beyond the page edges. 

Why do I love mini-albums? Let me count the ways....

#5 Reason I love Mini-Albums: They are FAST.

A mini-album can come together quickly if you use a ready-made album like this My Creations Hip Pics Album and coordinating paper & accessories like the Wanderful paper and complements.  

If you start with a Hip Pics album you have a huge jump start because the pages are pre-cut with 3-3/4" square windows which are perfect for you 4" x 6" photos. Since they are square you can easily add landscape or portrait pictures! 

 Using coordinating papers and embellishments makes decorating the album speedy.  I pulled this album together in one evening. It was fun mixing and matching the Wanderful paper on the pages then adding stickers that helped tell the story of our trip. Once i had the pages done, I cut "Italy" using the Artbooking font for a cover title. Now I just need to add a little journaling to finish this trip keepsake.

#4 Reason I love Mini-Albums: They are SMALL.

The name says it all --- these books are "mini". Because of their size, you can throw them in your bag to show to family and friends. I love collecting my memories in family albums, but these 12" x 12" books are not portable. The mini-albums allow me to take the highlights with me. 

Also because the mini-albums are small, they can easily be digested in one sitting. Who wouldn't enjoy flipping through this little booklet? No big time commitment like viewing a larger album requires.

#3 Reason I love Mini-Albums: They are PERSONAL.

Each mini-album I make is completely customized. The shape, size, colors and materials used varies depending on the look I want for that book. With a larger album, you may feel confined to make it consistent with other books on the shelf. But with a mini-album, you have complete creative freedom!

The kraft cover of this album gives it a worn look which makes me think of a well-traveled journal. Although I made this after we were home from our trip, it has the feel of something that was carried with us and created along the way.

#2 Reason I love Mini-Albums: They make great gifts!

Mini-albums are a great size for gift giving. You can give a completed album or one that is ready for the recipient to personalize. Everyone loves a handmade item and a scrapbook album is a great way to show someone you value their memories.

Here are just a few mini-album gift ideas:
  • Busy new mom: baby-themed min-album ready to add her own pictures and journaling 
  • Your mom or mother-in-law: grandchild/baby brag book
  • Graduate: keepsake of their senior year
  • Retiree: Collection of accomplishments, awards, projects and coworkers
  • Toddler: Pictures of family members that live at a distance
  • Alzheimer's Patient: Reminders of important people in their lives
  • Family Members: Heritage book of records and older photos (scan and print copies)
Is there someone on your list who is hard to buy for? I bet you can think of a mini-album that they would love!

#1 Reason I love Mini-Albums: They are CUTE!

It all comes down to the "eye-candy". Everyone smiles when they see these little books. They are like babies --- all the features of a full grown album, but smaller sized and compacted. What could be cuter? 

Because each book is unique, they make great home decor items. A few albums on your coffee table make inviting conversation pieces. Or you can stand one on a shelf (open or closed) for a beautiful way to display your memories. 


So, what do you think of mini-albums? If you have made a mini-album, I'd love to see it! Please link a picture in the comments. If you have not made any yet, I'd encourage you to gather up a few pictures and your memories and give one a try.

Don't forget that are only a couple weeks left to order from the 2014 Annual Inspirations Idea Book? Many items are retiring on August 31, including the Wanderful collection I used to make this book. Be sure to place your order today to ensure best selection since the retiring items are now available only while supplies last

Happy Creating,

Friday, August 7, 2015

It's A Tea Party! Use Artistry to customize your layouts

I've finally had some time to play with the new Artistry Cricut cartridge and made this sweet layout using the Zoe papers and Complements pack.

It seems like only yesterday! I found my daughter in her room having a tea party with her stuffed animals. It was so fun listening to her talking to them as she poured. She had such an imagination. I'm glad I grabbed the camera to capture this everyday moment.

The new Zoe paper is so soft and sweet. The new complements packs have a variety of materials like chipboard, stickers and vellum. They are generally smaller in size like these cute little flowers.

The teapot and cups are two of the new icons on the Artistry cartridge. "The Little Things" ribbon was also cut using the cartridge and stamped with one of the sets that comes with it. 


I am seeing so much potential for this cartridge. It has 700 images and comes with three stamp sets plus a pack of bright cardstock.

The stamps in this collection are very versitile including a set of frames and sentiments for both cards and layouts. I know you are going to love it!

Happy Creating,