VIDEO: Sending Merry Wishes – Vellum Photo Card

Hello! I just wanted to stop by to wish you all the merriest of days. I also thought I would share my personal Christmas card. I wasn’t planning on doing this, but I had shared a few peeks on Instagram and got requests to see it all. The video doesn’t show the whole process, but gives you a peek into it.

[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

This is the card that my family sends out for Christmas – 200 in total. Yes, it took a lot of time. But, it is very important to me. I love handmade greetings and am willing to do whatever it takes (panic, getting the family to help, working on them at basketball games and car rides, etc.) to get them done every year. Everyone is different – but to me it is worth the time and effort.

I have a family photo (taken by Krysia Photography) that is mounted to a 5×7 white cardstock piece. (My Christmas cards are almost always this size.) On the back of the white cardstock, I have an update on my family – what each person does for “play” and for “work/school.” Simple and playful.

I then have a 5×7 vellum piece on the front. I used My Favorite Things 30lb vellum so that it was a bit more sheer… allowing the photo to show through. (However, if you are looking for a heavier vellum, check out the awesome 43lb vellum over at Ellen Hutson. I love and use both.) On the vellum, I heat embossed several images. The messages are wood-mounted stamps that I designed myself and had made into stamps at Simon’s Stamps. I heat embossed the “merriest” with Ranger Gold Tinsel powder and the text with Hero Arts White Embossing Powder. The stars are from the Simon Says Stamp Lots of Stars stamp set and are heat embossed with a blue glitter WOW embossing powder.

I also added a line of sewing along the top to hold the vellum in place using my favorite silver thread. I am really happy with my new sewing machine. So easy to use!!

I will say that I saved a *tremendous* amount of time using two must-have tools: the MISTI stamping tool and the Milwaukee Heat Gun. I was able to stamp several pieces at once in Versamark with the MISTI and then heat set them quickly all at once with my gets-hot-fast heat gun. Huge time saver. (By the way, the MISTI is in very high demand. I would recommend reserving yours now – they sold out in minutes today! You can find them at SSS or on My Sweet Petunia. Iliana sent me a MISTI months ago and I am so glad I can finally use it in videos since she now is manufacturing more of them. She is a genius!)

Finally, I sent them out in some lovely gold and silver envelopes, along with a strip of fun gold and silver washi tape from Sakuralala. Oh – and hubby addressed them all. :)

This card could easily be simplified in many ways… and the messages could be changed to fit the occasion you celebrate.

Now go and have a very Merry Christmas! (Or whatever you celebrate in your awesome family.) Hugs to all.

SUPPLIES

Below are the products featured above. Affiliate and product disclosure can be found HERE. Click on the letters below each picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS), Ellen Hutson (EH), Amazon (AZ), etc.

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | MSP )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
(SSS | EH | AZ)

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AZ )

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( MFT )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( EH )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AZ )

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SL )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AZ )

 

Will Be Back Soon…

Just stopping by to say I will be back in a couple days with more to share.

My hubby surprised me with a trip to NYC with my sweet mom! We are eating, checking out lights, seeing shows and enjoying time away.

See you soon!

VIDEO: Planner Organization + Stay Focused Blog Hop + Giveaways

Hi! Today’s post is a little different than most. Lately I have been getting a lot of questions about the planner I use. (I have shown it a few times on Instagram.) So I decided to share a video on it, along with some products I use with it. Also, this post is part of the Stay Focused Blog Hop… with lots of people sharing tips on planner organization.

[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

Almost a year ago, my good friend Kristina Werner starting encouraging me to try the Erin Condren Life Planner. I was very resistant and skeptical… thinking it wouldn’t work for me. (I really wanted to be fully digital!) But in January I finally decided to give it a try. And I am so thankful I did. This planner has been life changer for me. I keep everything here – my work, my family appointments and my to-do list. And it has worked. Big time.

There are a few products that I use with my planner. Please keep in mind that I keep my planner simple, practical, clean, and not-needing-of-a-lot-of-time. There are some adorable planner nerds out there! Me? I just go with what is practical:

There are a few other products I mention in the video. All are linked in the thumbnails below.

By the way, if you use THIS link to purchase an Erin Condren Life Planner, Kristina will get a $10 credit. She has been saving up these credits and giving away big gift certificates on her blog. Fun, huh? I decided to use her link since she is the one who introduced me to the system. Also, I apologize that the video isn’t the best. I had one of those days…

BLOG HOP

This post is part of the Waffle Flower Stay Focused Blog Hop. The main purpose of the hop is to share tips on using a planner to help us get things done so we can spend more time with our loved ones or just playing. Waffle Flower has just released stamp sets that are great for planners! (You can see them all HERE.)

The next stop on the hop is the awesome blog of Joni Andaya – click HERE. To start at the beginning of the hop, visit the Waffle Flower blog.

GIVEAWAY

Lots of prizes today! I will be giving the Waffle Flower Stay Focused stamp set to one lucky winner who leaves a comment here. Also, there will be one grand prize winner who will receive all 5 of the new Waffle Flower planner sets… with the winner picked from comments left on all the blogs on the hop. For your chance(s), leave a comment here by 11:59pmET on 10/10/14.

I also wanted to announce some giveaway winners. ALL winners have been emailed:

SUPPLIES

Below are the products featured above. Click on the letters below each picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS), Waffle Flower (WF), and Amazon (AZ).

 

 

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )

 

Getting To Know Me Blog Hop

Today I have something completely different for you. My friend Laura Sterckx asked if she could nominate me for the Getting To Know Me Blog Hop. And how could I say no to one of my favorite crafters… a 16-year-old superstar?! So here I am answering a few crafty questions. I am not promising that my answers are exciting. In fact, this may just be good bed-time reading… sure to put you to sleep. :)

For this hop, we just answer five questions… and “tag” a few other artists to play along next week. You can see Laura’s post HERE.

QUESTIONS

1) What creative projects are you currently working on?
I am on currently working on a lot of things! First, I own Online Card Classes with my good friend Kristina Werner. We have our newest class starting in a few weeks – Copic Markers for Card Makers. I am excited about this class as there is so much helpful content. I have learned a lot, too. A lot! I am in charge of working with guests artists, which I love because I get to know lots of crafty folks so well. We put our absolute heart and soul into these classes and pray everyone likes them! Here is a peek at the Copic class. For more info, you can head HERE.
I am also on my last trip of the year… to Hero Arts to teach an event for store owners. I do not travel to teach anymore, but I can’t say no to the owner of Hero – Aaron – when he asks me to come to their facility. The Hero people are amazing and I love them dearly. I will get to see lots of incredible store owners… get my teaching-fix… and hug some old friends. Want a peek at one of the cards we are doing?
I also have lots of non-stamping projects going on. (I only work part-time in the crafty world. My real job is being a SAHM.) First, I am hoping to learn how to crochet soon. I need something to keep my anxieties down when my son is the starting pitcher at games. Yikes! I am a bundle of nerves and need to change that. I also am doing a load of work volunteering for the school. I will always support teachers. Oh! And Audrey is a junior so I am starting to look into college visits. Eek!
If you are extremely bored and need something to do – you can check out my Instagram. I share a lot of peeks into what I am working on.
2) What inspires your designs?
Honestly? I am not sure. I am really just inspired by stamp and die designs. I think about a product while driving (I am in the car 2 hours a day taking Lila to her Montessori… which she is at for only 2.5 hours) or trying to fall asleep. I think about the product and what technique might work best with it. The techniques + product really are what inspire me most. I know that is vague but it is how my crazy mind works. I guess it is the former-engineer in me. But the truth is… I am always thinking of cards to make…
3) What method/ process (if applicable) do you apply to each of your creative projects, and how long does each project take to complete?
I almost always lay all my stamps and dies onto a card to plan it out before I start. I then take a photo with my phone so I have a “sketch” to follow when I am creating. Other than that, I don’t have a method. Generally, I am just creating for 5 minutes here and 15 minutes there between kid stuff and running errands. So sometimes it takes me a few days to pull a card and video together. (That is why you may notice that my nail polish and clothing sometimes changes mid-video.) But if I squeezed all the work together with no kids around? I probably take 30 minutes to 2 hours per card. Yes, I am slow. But I love the process.
Heck… sometimes I even get “help”…
4) If you had to describe your ‘signature’ style, what would it be?
I am not sure that I have a “signature” style, but I do think my cards always have some sort of technique involved. I rarely just stamp without some sort of twist to it. That is what keeps it fun for me. And hopefully for you.
5) What three crafting tools/products can you not live without?
Talk about a tough question! First, I couldn’t live without my organized craft room. Having it organized has been critical in me making use of the time I have to craft/work. My room isn’t big (and I prefer it that way), but I keep it organized.
Second… Distress Inks. Without these inks, there would be so very few fun techniques for me to play with!
Third… my crafty friends. They are all so encouraging, understanding, generous and just plain awesome. If you don’t have crafty friends that live near by, I encourage you to check out places online where you can make crafty friends. I met most of my best friends this way! It really is good for the soul.
6) Who am I tagging next?
I have asked two of my favorite crafters to play along.
First is Debby Hughes. Debby is brilliant and a class-act and I adore her tremendously. Her kindness inspires me, her accent calms me and her friendship means the world to me.
I am also tagging the hilarious and uber-talented Julie Ebersole. Julie is one of those people who has the incredible ability of making your heart happy immediately. I adore her.
Be sure to check their blogs next Monday for their answers to these same questions.
Thanks for stopping by! xo

A Good Cause

Hello!

I am doing something I don’t normally do on my blog. But they say you should use what you have for the good of this world, so I decided to go ahead and do it. :)

This weekend, I am joining several of my crafty friends for the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. Thanks to my friend Jana, we have formed a little team and look forward to having the opportunity to chat and do some good at the same time. When I was telling Colin about it, he asked if he could join us.

Of course my heart was happy to hear him want to do this. But what makes it even better is the reason why he wants to do it. See, Colin is extremely close to my brother, Mike…

Mike was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 27. It is an unfair disease (that usually starts with kids). So very unfair. (If you want learn more about living with juvenile diabetes, please check out my friend Kristina’s blog. Her young daughter has it and her blog shares helpful info. Oh, and since posting this, my brother, too, has decided to walk!)

Colin is walking to earn money for the Juventile Diabetes Research Fund. If you have time and a tiny bit of extra cash, I hope you will consider donating. You can pay directly on the website HERE – the money goes direct to them.

Please know we get nothing out of this – there is no reward or competition. I just want Colin to really feel that high you get when you do a lot of good for others.

Thanks for considering. Big hugs all around.

(And I will be back with a crafty post early tomorrow morning.)

Happy Easter!

Just popping in to wish everyone a wonderful day with family and friends. I hope it is filled with lots of laughter, smiles, hugs and yummy food!

I am off to spend time with the family and thank our awesome Lord for three little words I think of every day of my life: He is risen.

I also wanted to wish my hubby the best of luck as he runs in the Boston Marathon tomorrow. Proud of him and wishing I could be there to cheer him on.

Blessings!