Wednesday, December 31, 2014

As we say goodbye to 2014...

   Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas last week, and enjoyed the time off with friends and family!

   I am just starting to get back in the swing of things from all the holiday run around! I have a lot of scheduling to do for upcoming events, projects to finish, and blog posts to prepare for all of you! Plus my house is still a crazy mess and I have some major organizing and rearranging to do! So yeah....this New Year's is going to be about cleaning, organizing, and watching football!

   I just can't believe that tomorrow is January 1st! Wow this year has gone by fast! What a great year it has been, though! I have enjoyed all the moments I have shared with you, and all the creative time I've been able to squeeze in this year! I'm definitely looking forward to 2015 and many more memories and crafty projects!

   However, today is the last day of December, and wow....this month has been packed with amazing steals and deals! If you haven't had a chance to take advantage of these amazing deals yet, today is the day, friends! Here's December's recap:

SOTM: Cutie Pie

   This month's SOTM is a super cute and super sweet set with adorable cupcake images and really versatile sentiments and titles! I haven't had a lot of chances to play with this set this month, but I have a few projects in mind for my niece's upcoming birthday and Valentine's Day!

   You can get this awesome stamp set for only $5 this month with any $50 purchase! Today's your last day, though, so make sure and get this set before it's too late:

Stamp Sale: Deal of the Decade

   Did you take advantage of CTMH's stamp sale this month? This is an amazing deal on all our most popular stamps in the Annual Inspirations book!

   Remember with any qualifying order of $50 or more you get to choose any C or D-sized stamp set from the Annual Inspirations Idea Book for only $10!!!

   To make this deal even sweeter, there is NO LIMIT on the amount of stamp sets you can get for $10 each!! That's right.....once you reach that $50 order can get as many C and D-sized stamp sets as you want for only $10 each!

    There are so many stamp sets to choose from, too! So now's the time to stock up on your favorites! Here are some of my favorites that you can score for only $10 this month:

You might not recognize a couple of these stamp sets ("hello cute koalas"), but you can still get them! These stamp sets are featured in the Australia/New Zealand Idea Book!

   There are soooo many stamps to choose from! You do not want to miss out on this very special stamp sale!

   The only exception is that none of the C and D-sized stamp sets from the Seasonal Expressions supplement Idea Book qualify for the $10 special. However, you can purchase items from the SE Idea Book to help you get to the $50 order total!

FREE Idea Books!!!

   With any order placed in December, you have the opportunity to receive a copy of the Annual Inspirations and Seasonal Expressions I Idea Books absolutely FREE! This is perfect for sharing a book with a friend or co-worker, giving an Idea Book as a gift to a crafty friend, or keeping the copies for yourself as inspiration! Whatever it may be, it's a great month to get your hands on a copy of these amazing books!


   What a way to say goodbye to 2014! I hope you all have a safe and wonderful New Year's, and I look forward to seeing you all in 2015 for more crafty goodness! Until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Day 3: Wrapping Paper Solutions

    Sorry I didn't get a chance to keep up on my posts these last few days, friends. It has been a run-around, crazy mess in the McQuistan household. Ian was working nights this last week, and it has been a really tough week. He barely had any sleep, was called in to work in the middle of the night a few times, had super sick patients, and was helping battle the atrocious Flu season we have entered.

    I have been up a lot more this week, too, with his night calls. So I have been tired and groggy all this week as well (but not quite in the same way that Ian is I'm sure!!).  I also had a dentist appointment and needed to get some packages together so I could mail them out before the weekend. I needed to take some time to pick up and clean our house a little bit (it was starting to look like a tornado in here). So yeah....I put off the blogging and crafting, and worked on family stuff for awhile.

   We also went to Iowa this last weekend to visit friends and family before Christmas and to attend a family party. This week we need to finish up some last minute shopping, wrapping, and other little things before we head to Wisconsin for my family Christmas. So it's definitely crazy busy!

    So today I'm actually showing you Day 3 of our 12 days of a CTMH Christmas. It's funny because I was going to do this whole feature on creating your own wrapping paper and personalized gift bags, and then last week CTMH posted a similar idea on their blog! So I'm going to feature the same thing today!

    I love the look of personalized gift decor! It's so much fun to make and decorate, and it helps me use up my stash! Plus it really doesn't take long to make, and gives me a reason to get crafty!

A fellow consultant had these CTMH Burlap bags on her blog. They were decorated using the Christmas mini stamps, twine, mini clothespins, and the retired Sparkle & Shine fabric set! I love how cute these little bags are!
Decorate some of CTMH's burlap bags with ribbon, a tag, and some embellishments! These bags are perfect in stockings, for teacher gifts, and for those odd shaped small items that you want to stash away on Christmas Day!
Here are a couple examples of paper gift bags I bought from the Dollar Store and decorated with simple Cricut cuts and embellishments! I love how these turned out, and they were so simple to put together!
Fellow consultant, Joy Tracey, made this gorgeous gift bag using Cricut cuts and glitter paper!
Joy Tracey also made this gift bag! See how awesome it looks with just a couple simple cuts? I love these ideas!

    I also love using Christmas scrapbook paper to make envelopes for my Christmas cards. It's a great way to use up my stash, and to personalize my cards just a little bit more! This is how I do it:

1.) I measure my card that I need an envelop for. This one is almost 5"x7". I then use WRMK Envelope Punch Board to figure out how much paper I need and at what size.
2.) According to the Punch Board, I needed a piece of paper 9 1/2" x 9 1/2". I use pattern paper that is printed on one side and white on the other.
3.) I flip the pattern paper over and score the white side of the paper according to the board instructions.
4.) This is what the scored piece looks like notched and scored.
5.) I then round the corners of my scored piece. There is a corner rounder on the punch board, but mine needs some oil and sharpening. So I chose to use my CTMH rounder which allows me to punch through a couple sheets at a time.
6.) I fold the paper along the scored lines with the pattern on the inside of the envelope.
7.) Last, I run a couple lines of permanent adhesive on either side of the inside flaps, and glue my envelope together. Now I have a fun Christmas envelope to match my homemade Christmas cards! It's super easy to do and doesn't take much time at all! I love it!

    The possibilities are endless! Plus it's a great way to get creative during the hustle and bustle this holiday season! Check out more ideas on personalizing gift packaging and how to make some fun Cricut packages on CTMH's blog today! I hope this has inspired you to get crafty this weekend! Until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Day 6: Hot Chocolate Bar

    On the 6th day before Christmas CTMH gave to me an amazing idea from fellow consultant Michelle Synder! Today's crafty project comes to you from Michelle's display at Convention this past summer! She had such an amazing presentation that I felt inspired to make it a Crafty Christmas! I want to re-create this amazing display using the Magnetic Chalkboard Frame at my family get together! Without further ado, I want to share with you Michelle's Hot Chocolate Bar!

What You'll Need:

1. Cupcake Boxes
2. Magnetic Chalkboard Frame or Home Decor Frame of your choice
3. Snowhaven Complements
4. Cardstock: Cranberry, Whisper, White Daisy, Black, Kraft,
5.Slate Diagonal Ribbon
6. Whimsy Fundamentals Paper Pack (Glacier pieces)
7. Handwritten Print Alphabet stamp & White Embossing Powder
8. Cricut Collections: Artiste

Michelle used Cricut cut snowflakes and the Snowhaven Complements to accent her Home Decor Frame! You might be wondering how she received a red frame! Well simple...she spray painted it! The chicken wire pops off the back fairly easy, and then you can spray paint the frame whatever color you would like! Michelle then cut out a banner spelling out her title, backed it with cardstock, and added Slate Diagonal ribbon for detail!
For her "Hot Chocolate Bar" she used the CTMH cupcake boxes to store her goodies! One box holds the packs of cocoa, one holds bags of marshmallows, and the other holds candy cane sticks! She decorated each box with cardstock and snowflake diecuts, and added a touch of the Glacier Paper Fundamentals and some Slate Diagonal Ribbon for an added touch! I love Michelle's ideas, and think this one was super cute!
    Doesn't Michelle do an amazing job? I hope that her work has inspired you as much as it inspired me this holiday season! If you have any questions about Michelle's display or would like to know more about the products used, let me know! I would love to help you find everything you need to re-create this special display! Have a wonderful Friday, friends, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Day 8: Bling-a-ling

    Good Afternoon, everyone! I hope you all are having a great week so far! I have had a busy morning running around the cities! I helped a friend get to his appointment this morning, and then headed to Target and Walmart to do some last minute shopping for a family that we "adopted" for the holidays!

   Now I just have to get all my stuff together to drop off, plan dinner, and clean this dirty house! Yep....always a crazy house!

    There are only 8 days left until Christmas, though, and today I want to talk about one of my absolute favorite things to use on all my projects: BLING!!!

    Christmas is the perfect time for using bling, and I think CTMH has some of the best bling pieces out there! There are 5 CTMH bling embellishments I cannot live without:

5. Bling Gems Gold Assortment

    I love this pack of gems! There are two shades of gold bling gems included in each pack, and they are very shiny and glittery! Plus they are adhesive backed and ready to use immediately! I have used these a lot on Christmas cards and projects!

Bling Gems Gold Assortment (Z2023)

4. Sparkle Flourishes

    If you haven't used these yet, you definitely need to get your hands on some! These adhesive backed flourishes come in large or small assortment, and in either clear or black gems! They are amazing on layouts and projects, and worked perfectly with my Snowhaven projects this month!

Black Sparkle Flourishes (Large sizes...Z1745)
Clear Sparkle Flourishes (Large sizes...Z1708)

3. Sparkle Gems

    I love CTMH's sparkle gems! You get 108 in a pack and they're less than $3 a pack! Plus you get a choice of color: clear, brown & tan, or black & grey! I love them all! Plus they're also adhesive backed making them really easy to place on your projects in no time!

2. Shimmer Trim

    Who doesn't love glitter tape?? CTMH has 10 different colors of shimmer trim available now, and I love every single one! The clear backing can be a little tricky to peel off, but I use my micro-tip scissors to help me get started! I even plan on using some of my shimmer trim on gift wrapping this year! For less than $5 a spool, it's totally worth the awesome look on my gifts!

Gold, Pink, Red, Teal, Purple, Silver, Black, and Bronze Shimmer Trim
Brand NEW White and Blue Shimmer Trim

1. Sequins

    Last, but certainly not least, is my number one bling of the Christmas season: CTMH Sequins! I love love love our sequins. I ran out of silver sequins before my craft fair expo in November, so I ran to the store to find an alternative. I found a bottle of silver and black sequins, but they were very flimsy, chipped easily, and were hard to glue down.

    I was so glad to get my order from CTMH with more silver sequins in it! You get 3 sheets in each pack, and each sheet is a different shade of the main color  (Gold or Silver). Plus you get 3 different sizes per sheet! They are so nice!

   Plus these, like all of CTMH's bling line, is adhesive backed and super easy to place on projects! If you haven't jazzed up your projects with sequins, yet, then you need to add this to your wish list! You won't be sorry, I promise!

Gold Sequins
Silver Sequins

    I hope you get a chance to play with some bling this week! I definitely am looking forward to it these next couple days! Enjoy your evening, friends, and I'll see you back here tomorrow! Until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday Tidbit: ShinHan Marker Madness

   Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope you all are doing well and enjoying your week so far. Have you been Christmas shopping, decorating, baking, and preparing for the holiday season? Today is 9 days before Christmas, and I have a special Tuesday Tidbit and favorite product to share with you today!

   You all know how much I love our new ShinHan Touch Twin Alcohol markers, but did you know all the wonderful things you can color with them??

   One of my favorite tricks is using the markers to color embellishments to match my project! You can color buttons, metal embellishments, ribbons, wood veneer, gems, sequins, and so much more! The ink from the alcohol marker dries quickly, and the color stays vibrant and saturated, too!

Clear buttons colored with ShinHan markers
White Enamel Stars colored with ShinHan markers
Clear Sparkle gems colored with a ShinHan marker
Twill ribbon colored with a ShinHan marker
Silver Sequins colored with a ShinHan marker
New White Shimmer Trim colored with a ShinHan marker
Lagoon Heart Washi Tape colored with a ShinHan marker

   I hope you enjoyed this helpful tip in getting the most out of your ShinHan Touch Twin markers! If you want to see more and learn some basic coloring techniques, make sure and sign up for my ShinHan coloring class in January! Have fun playing with this technique, and make time to get crafty this week! Until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Day 10: Christmas Card Storage

    Happy Rainy Monday, everyone! I'm excited to share today's 12 Days of a CTMH Christmas with you all! A fellow consultant, Melissa Laverty, posted a really great idea on her blog a couple weeks ago about storing Christmas cards! I loved her idea so much I scraplifted it to share with all of you!

    I love CTMH's 8x8 Kraft Mini Albums! They're perfect for any type of project, and are so much fun to decorate! Today I'm going to show you how to use the Kraft Album to organize all the Christmas cards and photos that you receive this year!

What You'll Need:

1. 8x8 Kraft Album
2. Holiday Happenings Assortment
3. Snowhaven Paper Pack
4. Snowhaven Complements
5. Gold Sequins
6. Sanding Kit
7. Foam Tape
8. Your Christmas Cards

Cover of the Kraft 8x8 Christmas Card Album

    I started by choosing Snowhaven papers that I wanted to use as the base of my album. I chose the Black snowflake pattern and cut it down to 8 5/16" x 8 3/4"! I then sanded the edges of my Snowhaven paper to expose the white core on the sides.

    From here I cut leftover scraps of Snowhaven paper down to add strips of paper on the left side, and added mounted paper behind my sentiment. The "Christmas Cheer" sentiment card can be found in the Holiday Happenings Assortment pack! The large circle embellishment can be found on the Snowhaven Complements pack or, you can do what I did, print extra embellishments on the bottom of your Studio J layouts to cut out and use!

Close up of some Snowhaven embellishments I added to the bottom of my Christmas card Studio J project!

    I popped the sentiment 4"x6" card up with foam tape and added some gold sequins to the cover as well. I still want to decorate the spine with the year and maybe some ribbon, but I haven't gotten to that yet!

    I wanted to cut some "base" cardstock sheets for the inside of my album so that I could mount some of the newsletters and cards that were together (or from one family). I cut Whisper, Glacier, and White Daisy cardstock down to 7 5/8" x 8", and punched holes in them at 1 1/4", 4", and 6 3/4" (and about 3/16" from the edge).

Inside blank pages
    Next I started adding my Christmas cards. Now I'm not an up-to-date scrapbooker. I'm at least 30 years behind (and yes I'm only 31) these Christmas cards are actually from 2013! I found them in my "save" stash, though, and started punching holes and inserting them in my album.

   I wanted to make sure my holes lined up on my cards, so I used one of the base sheets to help line up my holes. Then I punched each hole by hand. It sounds tedious, but really it doesn't take long! I was able to get it done in a couple hours!

Open inside front cover and the start of my Christmas cards

View of the side (and I still have room if I wanted to add more)!!
    I staggered the photos, cards, and newsletters throughout the book so that neither top nor bottom was too bulky. For some of the newsletters, I mounted them directly on the base sheets (cutting the newsletters down on the sides if need be).

The newsletter that came with this photo card is mounted on a base sheet behind it. I folded up the bottom so that it wouldn't hang out of the book.
    Some of my newsletters, though, were double sided, and I didn't want to glue these down and lose the information. So I came up with a solution. I punched holes in the newsletter with the folded up piece from the bottom in place.

Photos were on the back of this newsletter, so I folded up the bottom and punched holes in it.
    However, I still wanted to be able to read the newsletter while it was in the book, so I doctored the bottom flap to flip open.

Newsletter from above flipped open
I was able to flip it because I notched the bottom flap hole to pull apart when needed!
    That's it! It was really fun and easy to put together, and it now can be displayed on our bookshelves and compared to this year's Christmas cards!

    I hope you enjoyed this little Christmas project today! I have extra 8x8 Kraft albums on hand if anyone in the area would like to pick one up before the holidays! Otherwise, you can add it to your next order and take advantage of all the December specials going on right now, too!

    Have a great rest of your day, and until next time:

Here's to life, love, and creativity!