Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

   Happy Belated Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope this finds you all enjoying your long weekend! I am still in Southern Wisconsin this weekend, and enjoying all the family time this week! It has been a really wonderful visit!

   Can you believe that it's the last day of November already? I cannot! I feel like we just had Halloween, and now we're fully in the Christmas holiday season! Yikes!

   Well being that today is the last day of the month, it is also the last day to take advantage of all the wonderful CTMH deals going on this month!

   The biggest deal you still have time to take advantage of today is the Studio J $5 layout special! You do not want to miss out on this amazing deal! You have until 11:59pm (MST) to get all your layouts finished and submitted for only $5 each!

   I worked on a few Studio J layouts this month! I made 3 layouts of my newest nephew, Jaz, using the "Wishes and Fishes-Boy" collection! I love how these pictures from July worked perfectly with this paper collection! Here are the 3 layouts I made using Studio J pre-designed layouts and sketches:

   I have some little boy embellishments that I bought when we found out my sister was having a boy, so I will add those here and there on a couple of these layouts for added dimension and texture. I love that I can make these digital layouts as detailed or simple as I want! It's so much fun to play with!

   I also printed a bunch of photos from my phone in Studio J! Phone cameras are getting really nice, but they still do not "blow-up" to a good 4x6 size without distortion. So I printed a bunch of my nephew and niece in the perfect 3x4 size! These will be perfect to use on Christmas brag books, 2015 calendars, and so much more! Here's an example of what it looks like when it prints from Studio J:

   The last project I worked on this month was my Christmas cards! I used the Snowhaven paper collection, a couple photos of Ian and I and our dog, Boji, from this year, and some simple embellishments to make a really nice 5x7 Christmas photo collage! In the blank space I had left, I added extra Snowhaven embellishments that I can cut out and use on gifts, tags, and other Christmas decor! Here's how it turned out:

    My Christmas cards end up being less than $0.80 when I print them like this! It's the perfect deal! Plus I love that I am getting all the extra embellishments, too! When I design invitations or Christmas cards in Studio J, I use the "No Limits" collection that I talked about last week! It's perfect for making your 12x12 layout look however you would like, and with as many layers and details as you would like! It's awesome!

   Make sure and finish those layouts today, friends, and get your awesome digital layouts processed before midnight! Also, remember that all orders placed have a chance of winning a brand new CTMH Canvas-coated album! Plus if you post your jpegs (free with your order) to CTMH's Facebook and/or Instagram accounts using the #ctmhlucky5 tag, you also have a chance to win a new album, too! So get those orders in, and good luck scoring a new album!

   The other deals to take advantage of include the super cute November SOTM: It's the Little Things for only $5 with any $50 purchase, and the new items in the "While Supplies Last" section of the Online Shop!

Mini card made using the November SOTM! This card was scraplifted from Vicki Wizniuk.
While Supplies Last items in my Online Shop! These are limited time only so get them while you can!

   I think that's everything for today! Make sure and check your email later today to get all the details on tomorrow's new specials and an exclusive Cyber Monday steal! Until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday Tidbit: "No Limits" in Studio J

   Hello on this chilly Tuesday morning! Well at least it's chilly here in Wisconsin! I am down at my parents' house this week for Thanksgiving and a couple card workshops. My first workshop was last night, and of course it decided that it was a good day to pour on the snow! I think they got 4-5" total, but the rain-to-ice mix was the worst! The roads were slick and slushy and made for hazardous conditions! However, my girls were troopers and I had a great turnout last night for the Christmas Card Buffet!

   My next workshop is tonight! Today's not snowing, but the temperatures have dropped significantly! So bundle up gals because we have some crafting to do!

   Today, though, I wanted to post one last tidbit about Studio J (and probably one of my favorite things about Studio J)! This tidbit is perfect for those that want to get a little more into "designing" their own Studio J layouts!

   While in Studio J, there is a layout template called "No Limits" that you can choose. This layout alternative allows you to make your layouts and layers just the way you want! My CTMH director, Michelle Nist, made an awesome video to show how easy it is to recreate a layout using "No Limits" and your favorite sketch! Check it out:

   The possibilities are endless! Plus you get to use any CTMH collection of you choice with matching complements to complete the layout look! It's so awesome! If you have any questions about how to use this template or would like more information, let me know! I would love to help you get caught up on your memory keeping!

   Keep in mind there are only 5 days left for you to take advantage of the amazing $5 sale price on all 2-page layouts in Studio J! So log-on to this FREE program and starting playing today! I hope you enjoyed this Tuesday Tidbit! Have a great Thanksgiving everyone, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cricut Weekend

   Thank goodness it's Saturday, right?? I hope you all had a wonderful week! It's been cold cold cold up here so I have spent most of the week indoors trying to stay warm!

   I also have been trying to catch up on all the projects and artwork that I want to show all of you! Do you ever start a project list?? I have a check list for projects I want to complete, and I swear it grows every day!

   The last two weeks, though, I have been able to make more creative time, and am starting to cross off projects from my crazy to-do list!

   Today I want to share with you the project we created during last week's Crafting with Cricut class! This was a super fun project to design! I knew going into my creative process that I wanted to combine Artbooking and Artfully sent on one project, but I wasn't sure how I was going to tackle that.

   I decided to use the super cute Christmas tree pop-up card from Artfully Sent, and the background and icons from the Artbooking cartridge! I paired those die-cuts with the Yuletide Carol paper pack and matching Complements to get a super cute Christmas display!

Full display layout
   I was really pleased with how this turned out, but I have to be honest. I designed and made it in less than an hour because I was sleep deprived and really didn't think about it. Sometimes I think that coming up with a new project is way easier if you stop thinking about it and just start doing. So that's what I did, and I love how it turned out!

Close-up of the tree cut from the Pop-up card from the Artfully Sent cartridge
Close-up of the deer from the Artbooking cartridge
Close-up of the top of the display layout showing the Yuletide papers and Complements

   Are you wondering how I cut the border around the Yuletide cream paper? Well let me share a little Cricut Craft Room can take an image and choose what you want to cut from it by selecting "Hide Contour".

Close-up of the gold shimmer trim under the Artbooking overlay border

   The image I started with was the overlay from the travel mini-album on the Artbooking cartridge! Then I selected "Hide Contour", and selected all the clouds and airplanes to tell CCR not to cut them. This left me with just the border to cut out! I love this trick! Definitely try this....the possibilities are endless!

Overlay I started with in CCR
Select the image and the "Hide Contour" button will show up on the bottom left-side
When you select the images you don't want to cut they show up grey. Then when you hit exit, the images will fill in solid and not cut. This is my favorite trick ever!
Display layout in the Colonial White Shadow Box frame from Close to My Heart

   Isn't this the best?? If you like this tip, you should sign up for my Candid Cricut Club and attend my next Crafting with Cricut class! We get to play with fun tips and tricks like this every time! It's the best!

   If you have any questions, please let me know! I would love to help you make this fun shadow box display for yourself! Have a great rest of your day and enjoy your weekend! I hope you get time to be crafty this weekend, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Playing major catch up

   Hey, everyone! Sorry I have been off-line more often this month. The beginning of the month I put my creativity time on hold while I caught up on some much needed projects and updating around the house! This included finally getting my craft room/office cleaned up and organized, getting the Halloween decorations up and then taken down, and entertaining friends and family at the end of the month!

   On top of all that I also have been trying to prep for future workshops and spent a week and a half prepping for the craft fair from this last weekend!

   Thank you to all of you that stopped by my booth to say hi and check out what I had going on! It was a pleasure meeting so many of you this last weekend, and I hope to see all of you again soon!

   So whew.....I still have a lot of catching up to do, though. I can't wait to show all of you the new projects I've been working on, and the wonderful new products releasing in December for the Seasonal Expressions Idea Book!

   If you're interested in getting a preview of the Seasonal Expressions book, I am having a preview party today from 12-2pm and again from 6-8pm! You don't want to miss this! I have products on display, a FREE make-n-take project, new artwork to showcase, and even a giveaway! Let me know if you would like to join us, and I'll save you a seat at this special event!

   I hope you are able to stop in today and see all the new goodies! If you are unable to stop in, or live to far away, but still would like a book, please let me know! I will be sending Seasonal Expressions books out to my mailing list customers at the end of the month!

   If you have any questions, please let me know! Have a great rest of your week, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday Tidbit: Studio J Photo Wells

   Welcome back to another Tuesday Tidbit featuring Studio J! Today's tidbit is about customizing photo wells in Studio J to fit your project and make the most of your layout space!

   You're going to love this awesome tip and how easy it is to make the most of your digital layouts! Check out the video below:

   Try out this awesome digital scrapbooking program today for FREE! You can play with all the papers, design elements, and customizing tools without any obligation! If you have any questions or need help placing your layout orders, let me know!

   Remember, you only have a couple more weeks to design and order your Studio J layouts for only $5! So have fun playing and getting crafty! Until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesday Tidbit: Personalize Studio J

   Welcome back to Tuesday Tidbit! Have you had a chance to play with Studio J yet this month?? Last week's Basics video helped you get started with designing beautiful completed layouts, but what about all the extra features Studio J has to offer to make each page your own??

   Well this week I want to share another Studio J video with you about how to personalize each layout by using all the amazing Studio J editing tools!

   I love our digital scrapbooking program! It's so easy to use and makes catching up on memory keeping so much easier! So get those photos off your computer and phone and start designing fun layouts today!

   Don't forget....with every Studio J order you have the chance of winning free embellishments and new canvas covered albums! If you need help placing your Studio J orders or have any questions, please let me know! Make time to get crafty this week, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fun Card Technique

   Good Morning, everyone! I have had a fun creative week so far! I had the second installation of the Christmas Card Buffet yesterday at my house, and it was a huge hit yet again! Everyone loved the new cards that I added, and all of them walked away with a decent handful of finished and fun greeting cards of all types! Thank you to all the fabulous ladies that came yesterday! I love having creative time with all of you!

   I also have been working on getting my projects finished for the craft fair next weekend! I'm nervous that I won't have enough stuff done, but hopefully I can buckle down these next few days and crank out a bunch of projects! If you need me I will be in the my craft room with a coffee! If you're around the Hastings, MN area, you should stop by and see me next weekend at Regina Hospital-Chapel Lobby! I would love the feedback on my booth and projects!

   Today, though, I wanted to share with all of you a super fun technique that CTMH put on their blog yesterday! Some of you might have seen this already, but it is just too fabulous not to share! I also love that they broke the technique down for us and showed every step in creating this amazing card!

   Check out how to make this card and others like it on the CTMH blog! You definitely can have a ton of fun creating with this style!

   If you would like to order the supplies needed to make your own color splat cards, make sure and visit my Online Shopping Site! You can get all the tools, inks, embellishments, and stamp sets that you'll need to recreate this perfect fall art!

What Tools You’ll Need:
D1604 My Acrylix® Season of Thanks
C1589 My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness
Z2123 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2137 Olive Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2191 Sunset Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2101 Autumn Terracotta Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2162 Honey Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2643 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2172 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2642 Flaxen Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z1380 Spray Pen
1778 My Acrylix® Spritz Cleaner
Z697 Round Sponge
Z2045 All-Purpose Mat

   If you have any questions, please let me know! I would love to help you get crafty this week! Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday Tidbit: Getting Started with Studio J

   Welcome to November's first Tuesday Tidbit! Today I want to honor this month's amazing $5 layout special by sharing a video about getting started with Studio J digital scrapbooking software!

   This online digital software is completely FREE to sign up and FREE to play with! You can save your projects and come back to them any time! So what do you have to lose?

   Start playing with this amazing software today to get caught up on those scrapbook layouts, make this year's Christmas photo cards, or simply print some photos from your phone! Whatever it may be, check out how to get started in the step-by-step video below:

   I hope this helped you get started in Studio J today! If you have more questions or need assistance with your Studio J projects, please let me know! I would love to help you make the most out of this amazing program! Make time to get crafty this week, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Brrrr....November's Here

   I hope you all are staying warm on the 1st day of November! Brrr brr brr! We haven't had any snow like some of you, but I know it's coming.....and all too soon!

   Last night's trick-or-treating went really well! We were told our house was the "best" in the neighborhood, and second best in Hastings (although we didn't get to see the "spook house" to see which one some kids were calling the best)! It was cold, but most of the kids came out early and went home before 8pm. We definitely didn't have as many kids as we usually do , but we still had a decent turn out (maybe a little less than 100 kids)!

   We had the outdoor speakers set up, too, and played spooky music during the trick-or-treating! It was super fun! I didn't get all the little things done that I wanted to for decorating, but it still turned out pretty awesome! 

   Well with a new month upon us I have a ton of amazing things to share with you: new specials, new products, giveaways, and so much more! Let's jump right in, shall we?

November Stamp-of-the-Month: It's the Little Things!

   A new month means a new SOTM! This month's SOTM is called "It's the Little Things", and it features perfect images to layer, fussy cut, and create backgrounds on all your projects! I love how versatile this stamp set is and how simple and beautiful the handwritten phrases are on this set!

   This stamp set is only $5 with any $50 purchase this month! Check out some of the SOTM artwork to get inspired:

Card scraplifted from Vicki Wizniuk of Wizard's Hangout.

Studio J Anniversary Sale!!!

   November marks the five-year anniversary of Studio J, CTMH's digital memory keeping program, and that means it’s your lucky month! There are five amazing ways to win through Studio J and Close To My Heart social media this month!


1.) Throughout the month of November, all layouts purchased in Studio J are only $5! That's over 25% off!

2.) Your second chance to win big must come by sheer luck: every fifth order placed in Studio J during November receives a FREE surprise Close To My Heart accessory in its shipping box! The accessory has a retail value of $5 or more!
Could be any accessory! Surprises are so fun aren't they???
3.) If luck doesn’t smile on you in that way, you might stumble upon it by finding a little extra something in your Studio J box. Five “golden tickets” will be sent out during the month of November with randomly selected Studio J print orders! This “golden ticket” is redeemable for one of Close To My Heart’s new D-ring albums* loaded with 10 Top Load Memory Protectors. 

4.) For a fourth way to win, simply create new, gorgeous layouts in Studio J, select your favorites, and then post pictures of them on Close To My Heart’s Facebook page using the hashtag #ctmhlucky5. After November 30, five lucky winners will be selected from the entries based on their artistry and creativity. Each of these winners will receive their own D-ring album loaded with 10 Top Load Memory Protectors!

5.) The last way to win is to take your new Studio J artwork and post a picture of it on Instagram using the hashtag #ctmhlucky5. Just as it is with Facebook, after November 30, five lucky winners will be selected from the entries to receive their own D-ring album loaded with 10 Top Load Memory Protectors!
    And to make things even more exciting, starting November 1, five brand new kits from the Annual Inspirations Idea book will be made available in Studio J, so you can create new artwork using the latest papers and embellishments from Close To My Heart. With so many ways to win, five may be your new lucky number! Log in to Studio J and start creating today!!!
*Offer valid November 1–30, 2014. Pattern and color of new D-ring album to be given to winners will be at Close To My Heart’s discretion based upon availability. New kits available in Studio J® on November 1 include Confetti Wishes, Snowhaven, Seaside, Pathfinding, and Scaredy Cat. No tax or shipping will be charged on the free item(s). Studio J layouts ship in a protected box that can hold 4 to 50 two-page layouts.

Close to My Heart 's Clearance Items now Updated: 

CTMH just released new products in their While Supplies Last section! Shop early and shop fast for the best selection because these new items will not last long!

Shop these items and more in my Online Store!!!


New Products in November: 

   This month is jam packed with so many awesome new things! Not only are there new Steals and Deals this month, but there are also new products! Starting this month you can take advantage of being one of the first to get these newly released products:


Picture My Life A la Carte:

   Starting November 1st you can now get any of the Picture My Life kits a la carte style! This means you can purchase just the pack of 4x6 and 3x4 cards without having to get the page protectors and cover page, too!

   The new a la carte option includes 122 pre-printed, beautiful cards in both 4x6 and 3x4 sizes, and is only $14.95!!! Check out all the Picture My Life kits and cards on Candid Crafter's Online Shopping Site today! 

New Albums in D-ring and Post Bound Styles:

   They are finally approved and being shipped for availability as we speak! The brand new CTMH albums are gorgeous and the perfect addition to the memory keeping family! I think you all are going to love these! There are 3 new designs to choose from: Lagoon Chevron, Ruby Floral, and Black! They are all canvas covered, 1 1/2" non-expandable, durable albums that are sure to excite any memory keeper's style! 

   I do not have an official release date yet, but CTMH has assured us that they will be available for purchase this month! So keep your eyes open and check back here often for updates!



Organizational Must-Haves:


   Starting in mid-November, CTMH is releasing a brand-new rolling tote and matching shoulder bag for all your organizational needs! I cannot wait to get my hands on these awesome new additions!

   The rolling tote is designed to store the CTMH Organizers in the center, 12x12 products in the front pocket, and other small tools, adhesives, and products in the side pockets! However, the possibilities are endless! It's durable material and functional storage make it the perfect addition for crafting on the go!

   The shoulder bag complements the rolling tote perfectly! It has the same style and durable material, but in a shoulder bag option! It's big enough to fit all your 12x12 projects, kits, and books, but also has room to store your embellishments, tools, and so much more! This super cute bag will be available at the same time the rolling tote is available, and believe're going to want both!


Upcoming Workshops, Classes, & Crops:


Christmas Card Buffet Part II

   Back by popular demand....the Christmas Card Buffet is here and with new cards added! Come create as many Christmas cards (fall, everyday, and spring ones, too) as you can in 2 hours for only $12!!!

    This awesome workshop will be on November 5th from 12-2pm or 6-8pm! You can sign up for whichever works with your schedule!

    I am suggesting that each regular attendee bring their own "Basic Workshop Kit" with them since I have limited supplies. A list of the "Basic Workshop Kit" can be found on my blog and on the event page (or you can contact me with questions)!

   Please RSVP NOW for the return of this fun and exciting workshop! Feel free to invite friends and family, but please make sure they RSVP, too! This is a popular workshop, and will fill up fast!


Regina Craft Fair: 

   I will have a booth at the Regina Craft Fair the weekend of November 13-15th! I will be there from 7AM-4PM on Thursday and Friday, and from 9AM-4PM on Saturday!

   I will be selling homemade paper crafts like Christmas cards, home decor, mini albums, and lots of other fun goodies! I will also have some of most recent projects on display to show off upcoming workshops and classes!

   The Craft Fair is located in the Chapel Lobby at 1175 Nininger Road in Hastings, MN, and is FREE to attend! So come stop by and see me and check out all the fun projects I have!

Crafting with Cricut

   The next Crafting with Cricut Class will be November 14th from 6:30-8:30pm at my house in Hastings, MN! We will be exploring and combining Artbooking and Artfully Sent in this exciting new workshop!

   Please bring your Cricut Expression, laptop, cords and plug-ins, Cricut mat, Cricut spatula, adhesive of your choice, and a pair of scissors! A complete supply list will be updated on the Facebook page closer to the class!

   This class will fill up quickly so please RSVP by November 7th to save your seat! I can't wait to see you there!

Seasonal Expressions I Preview Party:

   It's almost here! The Seasonal Expressions Idea Book is set to release December 1st, but here's your chance to get a glimpse at this amazing new supplemental book before it goes live to the public!

   This book has 40 pages packed with all new products, tools, and fun new collections! You're going to LOVE all the new items this book has to offer!

   The Seasonal Expressions Preview Party will be November 19th from 12-2pm and again from 6-8pm at my house in Hastings, MN! This event is FREE and will showcase the new products, show off fun new artwork, and will have a FREE make-n-take featuring the new products from the book!

   You definitely do not want to miss this special event! Invite your friends and family along, too! Tis the season to be sharing! I can't wait to see you all there!

   Please RSVP by November 12th to get your preview spot set!!

   Whew!!! I think that's everything! November is an awesome month, and you definitely do not want to miss out on any of the amazing things going on this month! Let me know if you have any questions or need assistance placing your CTMH orders this month!

   Have a great weekend, everyone, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!