Friday, December 2, 2011

Oh Starry Night!

It's done!  My starry creation is finished, Now I just need to add some fresh greens and ribbon and this mantle creation is done.

Still shot pics don't do it justice . . 300 sparkling mini rice lights.  the whole thing is 56" long, with 3 12" stars and 2 8" stars.

I am no electrician, so hopefully low lights and greenery will hide the imperfections . . but it's pretty close to what I've been imagining the last two weeks as I've slowly worked away at it.

Sorry, with the exception of some liquid glass used as super glue, ther is no CTMH product on this yet.  I may add to it, but for now I'm just happy it'ts standing and the lights all work . . I'm a little afraid to touch it any more than neccessary!

Can't wait to put this on the Mantle tomorrow, as sit with a glass of wine and enjoy . . .

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I always work best with a deadline . . .

My Kids help me out . . .like this morning they reminded me that they didn't "see" their Advent Calendars on the Shelf and they thought I should get them out and that I'd better go get Candy to fill it because "Tomorrow. Is. December. First!"  They say this matter of factly and kindly, like "mom, don't forget I have a playdate after school" sort of way.  In no way are they bossy or rude.  But it is true: My best work is always done with a looming deadline, and usually between the hours of 9pm and 1am.

This morning it was just a friendly reminder.  So, of course they don't know their Advent Calendar is changing from last year and they also don't know I've already been to Purdy's and bought filller . . .plus a little extra.

And this is what the Kids Advent Calendar looks like:

I used the Believe Paper Pack and so many stamps, embellishments, cricut AP images and ribbons that I can't list it all.  This is the Kaisercraft large drawer unit (each box is roughly a 3" cube).  So I have lots of room to put something for all three kids.  I love that it was big enough to make each cube it's own little story / design and it all co-ordinates.  I used dark brown spray paint to paint the base before I assembled it.  I do still need to find some wide ribbon to wrap the outside with . . . but not today.  Even as is, I think this is a vast improvement on the Starbucks Tree's we've been re-filling for the last four years.

Yes My lovies,  I know; Tomorrow. Is. December. First . . . and I am ready!  Let's do this Christmas thing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gotta Love free babysitting . . .

My husband and I consider ourselves really lucky that both of our parents live within a 2 min drive and are happy to offer up free babysitting at any old time. 
However, we have always found a small cost associated with each "free" babysitting event.  And now that we went and had that third child a whole ten years later . . . well they probably feel as much older with this child as my husband and I do.  Please know I love them all, and if they read this blog . . . I am sorry. 

But with child #3 the free babysitting costs are going up.  Sometimes they bring their puppy who pee's all over the carpets, sometimes Mom goes out on the patio for a cigarette and the makeshift ashtray accidentally catches fire nearly setting the whole house aflame, or the time they turned the water on to do some dishes for us, but forgot and went outside and flooded the basement . . . . anyway, always a small cost.

And this is today's cost: 

Remember my first Advent Calendar?  I'll remind you, it used to look like this:

I really liked it.  Anyway. . .  I got home a few minutes ago and this is what it looks like now:

Lets play "spot the difference"  whomever can spot all the repairs I'll need to make gets to come on over and drink a glass of wine with me while I do it . . . byob.   (:

My favorite part is that the Calendar was sitting perfectly on the shelf where I left it.  Likemaybe I wouldn't notice that Ryan was left unattended for, oh, 20 minutes or so of unobstructed destruction.  He is a boy, a 3 year old boy.  Sigh.

All tongue in cheek, hope you see the humour, you can choose to laugh or cry . . .I choose to laugh.  And grumble a little.

I Believe . . .

I believe it's about time I start making some cards using the "believe" paper pack.  I've used it for my Advent Calendars (Second one *almost* done and will show asap) . . . but so far that was it.

What inspired me was this:  I e-mailed my upline, Nadene, to check out my blog to look at the make & take I was going to do at the Harry Hooge Elementary crop last weekend. 

Nadene forgot the link, so just googled me.  She found me on another CTMH consultants website, listed as "inspiration" for a card she was showing.  Nadene thought that was pretty cool, and I checked it out . . . but I thought the other cards she had up were pretty cool too!  So, that inspired me to get going on my own "Believe" cards.

I made these while at the Harry Hooge 12 hour crop (between 4 Make&Take sessions):
Inspiration left to right: Idea Book, Vicki Wizniuk, Idea Book

There's a reason we call it the Idea Book, People!

Also, this now has me thinking . . . I guess I should be noting where I get MY inspiration from . . .a million places and OH My Gosh! I SHOULD keep track and give credit.  I'm so sorry if I scraplifted from YOU!

My favorite card of the day by far is this one:

More time consuming that the others for sure, but I really like it.  And the design is literally taken from the Idea Book, pg 93 with different paper and a few minor alterations / additions.

So I now have about 20 "personal" cards made . . .halfway there.  gotta put numbers on the Advent Calendar by tomorrow night and finally . . .my star project.  I'm still so excited about this.  The house smells like spray paint and my hands are cramped from Cropadile-ing . . . can't wait to show you when it's done!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Keep on Glitter'in

So, I'm still in a twitter over the Glitter . . .

This is what I came up with today . . . strill trying to come up with a make n take for this weekend that incorporates Art Philosophy Cricut, and only current product . . . this is easy, shiny and fun.

You should see my house . . .everything I've touched is glittery . . .sort of likes germs but much prettier!

Monday, November 21, 2011

In a twitter over glitter . . .

I had two card classes last weekend.  And I loved it because both were so different and yet so enjoyable for that.  The first was with my regular Hostess Club.  These ladies are great, I know them and I'm comfortable.  I'm in my own home so I never have to worry about forgetting supplies etc.  The cards were a hit, I think I posted them in an earlier blog.

The second class was all new.  It's been a while since I went out to work with all new ladies.  The Hostess won the class . . . It was a Silent Auction item that I donated at the recent BC Crop for Kids event supporting BC Children's Hospital. Great Group of ladies and they genuinely seemed to enjoy the class and their cards.  At the end of class two of the ladies brought out some of their recent card making efforts to show and tell.  Well, one of the cards was just stunning, take my breath away amazing. 

This talented woman, Chris Coombers, took Sook Wang and laid it on plain, white cardstock.  Then she laid one of those stained glass frame looking black stickers on top.  They were in the shape of ornaments.  She covered the whole thing in clear, fine glitter and then used copic pens to colour OVER the glitter.  I've never seen this technique before.  The result was so beautiful that my whole hour long drive home I was tossing around ideas for how to make that exclusively with CTMH products.

this is what I came up with:
My only dissapointment was realizing that this CTMH stamp set (Ornate Ornaments) is no longer available . . .I bought it last year.

Here are the three techniques I used . . .
Trial #1: (middle card)

Stamped image in black ink, then overstamped in versamark and clear embossed (I don't have black embossing powder).  Then I went over the entire image with our CTMH Bonding memories glue (using the fine tip pen for the ribbon and the broad tip for the ornament).  I shook prisma glitter over the entire image.  I then used the CTMH blending pen and ink from the top of the ink pad case (see pg. 51 of the Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea book) and coloured over the image.  Not bad . . . but you really have to press the blending pen in and it rubs a bit of the glitter off. 

Trial #2: (right card)

This time I just used the black ink stamped image without embossing.  I used the bonding memories glue again and prisma glitter.  Then I used the Waterbrush and ink from the lid of the ink pad to colour in the stamped image.  This technique blended so much better and I had no problem with the glitter rubbing off.  I did have to be careful not to have the brush too wet or it would run the black ink.  But this was minor and I can't even tell on the finished product.

Trial #3: (left card)

For this one I stamped with black ink again, but coloured it in with the waterbrush first.  The I used the heat gun to dry it, applied the bonding memories glue and prisma glitter.  For some reason this one seams a little "duller" . . not sure why.

My favorite was trial #2.  I am so excited and playing around with a few more ideas  - - trying to encorporate the Cricut Art Philosophy in there as well.

I may be totally covered in glitter . . .what a great way to christen my new scrapbooking room that I just moved in to . . . But I want you to try playing around with this.  The final product is so pretty!  I wish my pictures did it justice . . . if anyone has a direct line to Santa I want a digital dSLR camera for Christmas!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Boy

My Little Man turned three this weekend . . can't even believe it!  really have to stop calling him the baby now . . .

Together we made these cupcakes this morning:

This is a great example of why I love the CTMH Art Philosophy and Cricut Combo . . . We made these little flags in about 3 minutes.  Ryan got to choose the paper, and the colour of his number and then I was able to quickly cut out what I needed without ever changing Cricut cartidges or even the mat (I stuck down half a sheet of each on one mat).  We stuck a toothpick in the middle and taped them down.   I think they really are the icing on the cupcake and he can't wait to head to pre-school and share with his classmates.

Beyond cards and layouts . . . I've used the cricut & Art Philosophy to make signs for school events, garage sales, a spray paint template for my husband's work . . . such a handy tool to have around!

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The First Advent . . .

OOOH, I finally finished a project that I get to keep!

I had been looking for the perfect Advent Calendar to recover.  We had two of the Starbucks trees . . but they were getting a little worn down, and uh, for the last two Christmas's we've had three kids (poor baby didn't know he was getting shorted candy).

So a few weeks ago my good friend, L, brought me this blank, white 8.5" x8.5" drawer unit.  She got herself one too and we got together to decorate them.  I just finished the embellishing this afternoon.

I used the "Believe" paper pack because I wanted it to have a more traditional colour scheme - more in keeping with our existing decor.

Now, I'm calling the first advent because . .. unbeknownst to my dear friend, I had actually already splurged on the big Kaiserkraft drawer unit back in September.  but it's perfect, I'm going to use the big one for treats for each of the kids and then the small one will have note of what Christmas activity we might do that day (bake cookies, get a tree, drive around looking at lights etc).  so I'm thrilled and I think the two sizes will look great on the shelf!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Still no Roxie layout . . .

I have yet to make a Roxie layout . . .but I might not after all.  It may just be my newest favorite card paper pack. (a position long held by disc. pattern "emporium").  Last night I had a great dinner out with the girls . . two of whom had just celebrated their birthdays.  So I came up with this fancy, pretty, girly card for them:

I used the "Geometric" design from "Wishes" card confidence book.  I simply rotated the layout and scaled the size up to a 5x7.  I hope my Girlfriends enjoy the card.

Today is a holiday in BC, Remembrance Day, and my 16th Wedding anniversary.  I asked my hubby for a day to myself with my scrapping (while he's upstairs painting my new scrapbooking room) and hope to finish off my advent calendars . . I'm making two  - both using "believe".  I'll post pics when these get done and then I have a very special Christmas Craft Idea I want to start on.  I've just gotta figure out a way to incorporate some CTMH.  Will share details of that too if I ever get started.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has twice the hours of planed ideas than there are hours in a day . . .

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November Card Class . . .Finally finalized!

Yeah, I know, just over a week to go . . . but here is what you will be making:

Three highly detailed cards for just $5.00 (you may opt to make 6 for $10 as well).  I still have a few spaces left so sign up today!!!

We are going to be using lots of cool tools and techniques in this card class: spritz pens, glitz glitter gel, Art Philosophy cricut, background stamping, heat embossing, plus some gorgeous new embellishments.  Feel free to invite a friend, just e-mail me first to make sure there is space!

Class is Nov. 18th, 2011 from 7pm - 9pm.
email: for details.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I'm back and busy with Christmas Cards

Yes, it's been a WHILE.  Home re-organization (I'm working on my new Scrapbooking room - can't wait and will post pictures as soon as it's done), painting like crazy, Halloween, a crop, some class prep  - oh, and did I mention that all four of my boys have been under the weather in one form or another?
Anyway, I finally have a gorgeous Saturday to finalize a few of my upcoming card classes and thought I would share these pics . . .
I did not re-invent the wheel here, these cards are almost exactly like those shown in the Wonderland Workshop on the Go.  However, I adapted them to take advantage of the Art Philosophy cricut cartridge, stamping on cricut shapes, and some bulk items. Plus, I needed to replace the "Top Coats" as for a class, to buy one for each participant would have added $6.50 per person to my cost.  So this is way more cost effective.  I have decided to stick with the pre-cut white die cut cards ($6.50 for 10), I could have used the cricut to cut these and cheap, bulk generic envelopes.  However, the die cut cards have "Close to My Heart" embossed on the the envelope and it looks so cute, so since it's only a 5 card class this costs me only $3.25 per person, bulk generic would have cost about $1.50.

Other products I used: Silver embossing powder, Glitz glitter gel in silver and those gorgeous Designer Brads that I love so much.
These are for my Class on Nov. 19th, but I'm about to start prepping a smaller (3 cards for $5) class that I'm doing on the 18th at 7pm.  Call or e-mail me to book your spot.  This mini card class will be using the Wonderland paper pack.  Hope to see you there.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Now I'm dreaming . . .

On Friday night after Hostess Club, my Upline (who I invited as a guest) and I stayed up late to work on some Christmas Card ideas for upcoming Gatherings and Classes etc.  We focussed on working with the "Wonderland" paper pack.

For whatever reason neither of us felt like our ideas were coming together the way we wanted.  It's not easy to design a smaller item like a card that uses a combination of accessories, new techniques, new products, new paper etc.  Anyway, after two hours we each had only one "not perfect" sample.  We had plans to perfect them, but were bagged, so we packed up.

That night I dreamed about a card design.  I guess I was overthinking the using new products thing.  Here's a pic of the card I dreamed about . . . maybe it should have stayed in my dreams, because it's far from perfect.

Anyway, this prooves that sometimes you can have too much of a good thing (even though it looks a little blah to me), I was trying to encorporate the Art Philosophy cricut, the new ruler (used to pierce perfect holes for threading), Stamp of the Month, new paper pack and the Foundry pin clips I love so much.  back to the drawing board . . . And maybe I'll lay off the evening caffiene for a while too!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thanks Roxie & CTMH!

So, every time a new CTMH Idea Book comes out, I like to challenge myself.  I pick one of the new paper pack designs that my initial impression is "That's Not for me".  As the mother of THREE BOYS, this is usually one of the more flowery and pink packs that I just can't envision using.  Anyway, I buy that pattern first!  Then I design something - often my Hostess Club project -  around it, making sure I can make it work for my family.
This is how I ensure that I end up genuinely loving and using every pattern.
For the Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea book the pattern was Roxie.
I have to be honest . . . it's mid October and I've been looking at the Roxie paper pack I bought since early August.  then I won another one at the recent CTMH regional convention.  No more excuses . . . so, feeling a little un-inspired I went to the CTMH consultant online Bulletin board to see what others were doing with this paper pack.  Lots of great layouts . . . but I had cards stuck on my mind.
Truth be told, I need several "thank you" cards to tuck in the orders I received at the recent Crop for Kids event. 
So, I came up with this little card:

I used the Roxie paper pack, with Smoothie card stock.  I made sure to incorporate the "Zip Strip" found at the top of all our new heavier weight pattern papers, I used the new foundry clips, I used Waxy Flax and used the Art Philosphy Cricut Cartridge to cut the Butterfly. 

Yeah, Yeah. . . I still have to make a page layout with the paper pack, but I'm loving the  cards and I'm feeling inspired.

Now off to prep for tonights Hostess Club!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Regional Celebration and my dirty little secret. . .

At the end of last month Close to My Heart held one of their many Regional Celebrations right here in Vancouver!  How could I NOT sign up?  Over the years there have been a few I've thought about, Calgary, Toronto, Seattle . . but the expense of travel deterred me.  
when I learned they were coming toVancouver, I was so excited.  My upline was even more excited because she knew my dirty little secret.  I had never taken a scrapbook / papercrafting class before.  Yeah, I know I'm a consultant. I TEACH classes. I GUESS it's about time I took one. 
Oh the things I saw, Oh the things I learned, Oh the things I wanted to IMMEDIATELY order and Oh the goodies I WON!  I came home with over $300 in free CTMH product.  Hello!
One item that really caught my eye (and I snapped a pic with my iphone) was an autumn layout using the "Wicked" August Stamp of the Month.  I had had a customer ask me about the honeycomb stamp shape and what I would use it for.  The autumn layout was a perfect example.  It was a silent auction item . . that I tried to so hard to win, but Alberta Consultant, Nancy Klein, beat me to it at the last minute! 
Anyway, with last weekends Crop for Kids 2011 complete and my house back in order I sat down to re-create this layout.
I love it so much we are going to make it for my October Hostess Club project.

I was able to use a few of my favorite products, show that the "Mischeif" paper pack is not JUST for Halloween and do some fun random stamping with that Honeycomb shape we didn't know what to do with.

Thanks for reading my FIRST CTMH Blog post.  Hope to bring you more as they come.