Thursday, January 27, 2011

Get Sketchy #71

See! I told you I'm addicted!!
This will be my third and FINAL challenge that I participate it. Well, for now anyway! :)
I really love making butterflies with this month's Close To My Heart Stamp of the Month - 'Find Your Style'. I used it on the banner I have hanging in my craft closet, too. (see 'Let's Get Organized' post) LOVE IT!! If you love it, too, please leave a comment!
All materials are Close To My Heart:
Papers: Magnifique
Stamps: January Stamp of the Month - 'Find Your Style'
Inks: Pacifica, Lagoon, Chocolate
Embellishments: Green/Blue Sparkle Assortment

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mojo Monday #175

I'm really having fun trying my hand at these challenges! The fact that there are certain guidelines to follow takes some of the decision making away, which really speeds up the design process. I like it!!
Here's my submission for MojoMonday - January 25th:

I've been working with the Close To My Heart 'Bliss' papers, so already had them out on my work table. I'm a little disappointed about how the 'You're Amazing' stamp came out in the photo. It's actually Grey Flannel and matches the grey in the papers, but came out very green in the photo. Adjusting it just made the rest of the card look wrong, so you'll have to use your imagination.
I'm already looking forward to next week! :)

All materials are Close To My Heart.
Paper: Bliss
Stamps: Unity
Ink: Grey Flannel, Chocolate
Embellishments: Colonial White Organdy ribbon; Pewter Mini-Medley brads; Bliss MyStickease; Mocha Opaques

Monday, January 24, 2011

H2H Challenge - Animal/Bird Card

This is my first challenge entry and I had so much fun doing it! I'm hooked!! This week's challenge on the Heart 2 Heart Challenge blog is to create a card using an animal or bird. I love the Nature's Gift stamp set and thought it would be perfect to create a more masculine Valentine's Day card.

I used paper from the Bliss collection. It's one of the new paper collections available as of February 1st. I love the versatility of the colors - - they are mostly earth tones, which makes it easy to use any other color with them. It is my featured Kit of the Month for February and I'm challenging my members to bring photos of themselves with their husband or boyfriend to use in the workshop to celebrate Valentine's Day.

All supplies used are from Close To My Heart. Click here to order!
Paper: Bliss Level 2 Paper Pack
Stamps: Nature's Gift, Amore (Retired-I have limited supply available)
Inks: Cranberry, Chocolate, Brown Staz-On
Other: Clear Cards, Mocha Opaques, Glitz Glitter Gel

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Journey to 'Less is More'

I started yesterday with a couple photos of my crafting spaces and said I would get into a little more detail about my most functional solutions. I'll tell you a little about my favorites. But first, a little background...

I admit it! I'm a recovering Scrapping Hoarder. Now I know that many people can have boxes and boxes of paper, ribbon, punches, etc. and not only know where they all are, but actually use them all on a regular basis. I'm not one of them. Too many options seem to paralyze me. After years of staring at a page for hours - sometimes before actually attaching a single thing! - I realized that I had to make some changes. I found myself stressed out instead of enjoying what I was doing. Yes, I loved having all that 'stuff'. But it was hurting, not helping, my creative process. And although I loved my stash, I realized what really brings me joy is slipping COMPLETED pages into my albums.
(As a new Close To My Heart consultant, I couldn't believe it when I heard the words "we're not in the business of selling our customers "more stuff", we want to help them get more done" at the CTMH Convention! Yea!! I KNEW I picked the right company!! :)
So I changed my cropping style which, in turn, eventually changed my storage style as well.
Later down the road I'll talk about my current process for scrapping in hopes that it might inspire you to do more in less time. But for now, here are some ways I store things that really work for me. Maybe they'll work for you, too!


If you're like me, you just LOVE flipping through crafting magazines and idea books for fresh techniques, color combinations and projects. However, those publications seem to magically multiply (I couldn't possibly have bought all those!) and can take up a lot of precious real estate. Before having this system, I could never remember the details of things I saw that I liked and I would spend way too much time trying to find it again when the time came to use it.
As I'm reading, I dog-ear or use stickies to mark the pages of things I like and store the magazines in my green magazine holders. As soon as the holders are full, I flip through them all and take out the pages of things I still like (amazing how your tastes can change in just a few months!), and toss the rest. I then trim them and slip them into page protectors in the appropriate section of my three-ring 'Scrapping' binder. (I do this for recipes & travel ideas, too). My holders are now empty and ready for a new year's worth of fresh ideas!


Clutter generates for all of us, but I think Scrappers have it worse than anyone. Every piece of artwork, award, Playbill, ticket - you name it - is scrapbook material! We can't throw it out!!
This is one I still struggle with, but have at least been able to use this method to keep it contained and organized. I keep a 12x12 clear envelope labeled with each of my most popular 'scrapbook themes' in my office. I keep them here since it's closer to the main hub and as things come in the door I can just quickly slip them in to an envelope so I know where they are when I want them. When an envelope gets too full (just can't keep up with this stuff!), I move it to my storage area in the basement. Because it's labeled, it stays organized, and if I just put one behind the other, they stay in chronological order, too. (I just thought of something... I'm going to write the starting month/date on the left of the title when I first start an envelope, then mark the ending month/date to the right before moving it to storage. Then I don't have to worry about them getting out of order. Yea!).
I have an envelope for each family member, one for my son's hockey stuff (it needs its own), 'Theater', 'Trips', and 'Holidays'. Think about how you designate your albums and it will help you to decide for what categories you need files. Now whenever I have a picture someone gave me of one of my kids, ticket stubs, awards, programs - whatever! - I can just slip it in an envelope. No counter clutter!!

The other basket I keep on my shelf is one for Pages-In-Progress. Whenever I come back from a crop and have pages I haven't finished (not nearly as many as it used to be!!:) I leave them in this basket as a reminder. I always bring a few CropperHopper Page Planner folders with me to crops for just this reason. I can slip in all the accessories I was working with into these clear folders and have everything together so that, when I have a free minute, I just need to add the finishing touches.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Hi everyone! I'm so excited
(and a little nervous...) about starting my own blog. It's been on my To Do list for quite a while now, but this week's theme at Heart 2 Heart Challenges - 'Organization' - really inspired me to finally take the plunge! I LOVE being organized!! Am I always?? Not even close! But I find that I feel much more creative and relaxed when my craft space is neat and uncluttered, so I work really hard to keep it that way. It has become a little harder since becoming a Close To My Heart consultant, since I hold several workshops in my home each month, but I find if I am committed to cleaning up after each project, the task is much easier.

I'll start off by sharing some photos of my space and some of my favorite tips for getting organized and staying that way!

The photo above is my office. Until becoming a CTMH consultant, this is where I did all my crafting. However, I have now moved all my Close To My Heart products into our guest room. I know, I know! This doesn't look like 15 years of stash!! It's not. That's my biggest secret - - use it or lose it. I encourage you to try it. More about that to follow...

Here are some shots of my main storage areas. Over the next couple of days, I'll add close ups of my most effective solutions, including scrapping papers, magazines, memorabilia, & office supplies and tell you a little about how I stay on top of it all - - well, usually :{