Saturday, 22 September 2012

It's Workshop Time!!

Now that Fall is upon us and it is starting to get too chilly outside to do much, it is time to start thinking about getting caught up with the scrapping!

I know, I know. You don't have time at home to sit and work on paper crafts. There are kids, hubby, pets, and a ton of other stuff that HAS to be done because you are home. But guess what? It will still be there tomorrow if you take a much needed day for yourself today! Better yet, delegate!! I LOVE that word! Tell the family you are taking a ME Day and that A will be in charge of XYZ, B is responsible for ABC, etc. It is amazing how much gets done without you!

So to honour OURSELVES and let the rest of the family have some responsibility for a day (or two...), I have created a few Saturday workshops for your crafting pleasure! Each workshop will be from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM, and includes lunch, snacks and beverages. I will also have a few door prize draws! And if you bring a friend to help you or who purchases their own kit, you will get an extra entry into the draw for the BIG prize! I'm keeping that one secret for now!

  • Payment or order by cash or credit card is due at least two weeks in advance to save your spot.
  • Each workshop will cost $35.00 and include all supplies, lunch, snacks and drinks!
  • The workshops can be ordered through my website or through me. If you order by yourself through my website, the cost of the workshop itself ($5) can be paid at the time of the workshop. I will have orders set up in the bottom right of the page - just pick the one you want and make your order.
Saturday, November 24 - Christmas Advent Calendar. This beautiful Advent Calendar could be used for so many other things! Although the calendar in the Idea Book is beautiful, I am changing it up some to make the workshop less expensive for YOU! We will still use the My Creations Cubby, but I am making my own kit making this workshop only $35! Deadline for ordering - November 1.

Saturday,  December 8 - Christmas Cards! Close to my Heart has made it so easy this year by offering a gorgeous Christmas Card Workshop on the Go! It is shown on page 66 of the Idea Book and includes everything you need to make 15 beautiful Christmas Cards! I love this kit and can hardly wait to get my hands on it! Deadline to order - because this is likely to be popular, November 10.

REMEMBER - order early to make sure you get the kit you need! Order through me personally by cash or credit card, or online at by credit card.

I am really looking forward to these workshops! And I am REALLY looking forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Fun with Stamping!

Oh, I do love stamping! I want all of them! And every colour of ink too! There is so much that can be done with our stamps and it seems every time I log in to Facebook, someone has raised the bar a little higher. Nicole Robinson turned the family tree stamp upside down and it is now a pumpkin!! Ingenious!! I would NEVER have thought of that!!

So, on to the techniques we learned about at regionals. So simple and so pretty!

Base and Shade Stamping: Who has stamped with the Love Blooms set? Then you have done base and shade stamping! Easy peasy! This set comes with a base - the outline - and a shade - the fill - so you can create some gorgeous images. Here, I used Ruby for the base and Smoothie for the shade. Love it!

Here is the base stamped in Ruby
And here is the shade stamped in Smoothie
Stamp Kissing: I have never had luck with this technique. I tried it with a couple of different stamps and this is the best I could come up with. 


See what I mean? I was trying to find a  stamp that was relatively flat and this was the only one I could find. It is from the October Stamp of the Month, and the stamp I "kissed" it with is from the Buttons, Bits, and Bobs set. In Stamp Kissing, you ink up your main stamp and then "kiss" it with a dry stamp to remove some of the ink. I'll keep practicing, I think...
Selective Inking: Sort of like selective hearing but better! You will need a few daubers or small pieces of sponge for this one. Decide the colors you want but not too many or the image will just look muddy. On my image from the Friendship Bouquet, I used Saddle, Autumn Terracotta and Olive.
I dabbed the center with the Saddle ink first and then the petals with Autumn Terracotta and the stem with Olive. I love how it turned out! And don't forget - if the ink seems a bit dry by the time you have finished inking up the stamp, just huff on it to revive the ink!
Rock and Roll Stamping: I love Rock and Roll music and I love this technique too! With this one, ink up your stamp in one color (I used Saddle again) and then roll only the edges of the image in another color (here I used Autumn Terracotta again). So pretty!! And I LOVE this stamp set!!

Rainbow Inking: Remember back in elementary school when we had a set of 8 crayons to colour with, and if we wanted a colour not in our set, we had to mix them to make more? Red and blue = purple; yellow and red = orange; yellow and blue = green? Well, that is what Rainbow Stamping is all about. Here, you stamp half of the stamp in one colour (I used Sunny Yellow) and the bottom half in another colour (I used Smoothie). The center of the image will be a combination of the two, or in this case, orange! Love it!! Now I have a whole new world of stamping opened up to me! 
Those are the techniques we were shown, and I hope they will become some of your new favourites. Next week, I will show the little mini-album I made for my lunchtime paper crafting club at work. In the meantime, have a great weekend and
Happy Stamping!


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Edmonton Regional Celebration 2012

(Once I finished this post, I went back and read it. It is LONG!!)

Oh my! What a time! This was my first regional celebration and I had no idea what to expect. Well, okay. I had a BIT of an idea. I figured it would be like convention on a smaller scale, and it was more or less. We had business classes and creative sessions, and we got free product to create the projects, and we met up with old friends and made a TON of new ones, and we swapped cards...

Okay. It was just like convention but smaller. A LOT smaller!! Not sure how many there were, but I think it was around 150 or so. And 150 women can make a lot of noise!

We started out Friday with a keynote address from Monica. She is such a sweet lady. We learned more about her and her family, how she started with Close to my Heart (DOTS back then) and how her career at Close to my Heart was definitely meant to be! I still find it hard to believe she has seven kids!! She looks absolutely amazing!!!

I liked something that Monica said in her address. She had a quote on the screen and by the time I remembered I had my camera with me, it was gone, but I remember most of it. If someone can fill in the missing bit, please tell me what it is and I will make sure it gets added;

"It's time to Photoshop my life: touch up the edges, _____________________, blur out the background, and focus on me."

I think as women, we tend to think of others first and then take care of ourselves later, sometimes too late. We need to think more about ourselves too and take time for us.

Brian spoke with us about Studio J (LOVE Studio J!!). He said that only one in five consultants actually uses Studio J! What are they missing out on? The three biggest things in my mind are:

1 - The chance to attract non-papercrafters to Close to my Heart! There are a lot of people out there who prefer not to scrapbook the traditional way, and don't do any other paper crafts either, but they still have a ton of photos that are sitting in boxes. This is our chance to show them how to scrapbook those memories using Studio J.
2 - We can assist the die-hard scrapbookers to keep up with their scrapbooking. Let's face it. Traditional scrapbooking takes a lot of time. But you can create the same layout in Studio J in about half the time!
3 - Portability!! As long as you have an internet connection, you can work on your Studio J layouts!

Some of the barriers to using Studio J?
1 - Getting comfortable with technology. Some people think "computer" and shudder! We need to show them that there is nothing to fear!
2 - Internet speed and access. Unfortunately, some people live in places where they don't have easy access to high speed internet. Can we hold Studio J workshops in our homes if we have high speed access? Or meet at a local coffee shop that offers free internet access for an hour to share ideas, work on layouts and just have a good time.
3 - Not compatible with iPad yet. Sorry. This one still can't be resolved...

Brian also spoke about Party Magic! He stressed that gatherings and clubs are about DOING rather than WATCHING. Anyone can sit and watch a demonstration, but they don't really learn anything until they actual try it themself. Hostess Rewards are important and if your customers are allowed to DO rather than WATCH, they feel a sense of accomplishment (Honey, look what I made tonight!) and walk away feeling creative! They also have the structure to help finish and get a sense of community and connectedness. Then they are more like to make a purchase and your hostess will be eligible for her Hostess Rewards!

Kristine told us some interesting facts about our stamps. I never knew this, but all of our stamps are made right at the CTMH head office! They are made of the highest grade of commercial-grade polymer, and 100% produced in North America. And we all know they are easy to use, store, clean, transport, and reuse!

Some ways to flex your expert muscles:
1 - Play favourites - if you have a favourite stamp set in the current catalogue, tell everyone about it. Tell them WHY it is your favourite.
2 - Start smart - if someone is starting out with stamping, sell them an alphabet stamp set. They will get more use out of it and will come back for more!
3 - Show it to sell it - speaks for itself!
4 - Focus is fabulous - pick a paper pack for a gahering, workshop, or club, and focus on the stamp sets that co-ordinate with it! BUT (there is always a BUT) keep the selection to three or four to avoid overwhelming the customer.

Next, Kristine showed us some great techniques to give our paper crafts that pop! I am going to do these and photograph them, then post on another blog post, so keep watch for that.

My favourtie was the Cricut Business Class. I love my Cricuts (yes, I have two - the original and an Expression) but don't get to use them nearly as much as I want! Amy from CTMH explained how to use some of the fancier buttons on the Expression machine, and I am SOOO glad she did! I am going to try them out!

LOAD LAST - if you cut a design on your paper and then want to take your cut images off the mat, but still want to cut something else in the same colour, relod the mat using LOAD LAST instead of Load Mat and the Cricut remembers where it ended and will go to that spot! How cool is that!!!

MIX AND MATCH - Use this key if you want to cut various images from different keys on the same paper. Press Mix & Match key, then select the first accent. Then select the second accent, and press cut. Not sure if you can do more than two but I will try it and let you know.

FIT TO PAGE - press this key to get the largest image you can that will fit on your paper. If your paper is smaller than 12" by 12", you need to place it in the bottom left corner of the mat, move the blade to the top right corner of the paper and press Set Cut Area so Cricut know how big the paper is.

CENTER POINT - I am SO going to try this one! If you want to add a window to the front of a card, place it on the mat oriented so the cut will be correct, and move the blade to the center of where you want the window to be. Press Center Point and then enter the measurement. Make sure you enter the whole measurement and not just half!  Cricut will determine where it is and cut accordingly!

FLIP- gives a mirror image of what you are cutting. This would be great for something where you want mirror images of something but you want the paper the same for both. Instead of taking one  image off, flipping the paper and recutting, just use FLIP!

SETTINGS - did you know you can set different cutting increments on your machine? You are not stuck with 1/4" increments!! You can also change other setting in here but I have not played with them yet.

How many have wanted to cut a 12" border but you can't because the Cricut only cuts at 11 1/2"? Here is how you "fool" it into cutting the 12" border for you:
1 - Press MAT SIZE and tell Cricut your mat is 24". It doesn't know differntly so go ahead!
2 - Place the leading edge of your paper (the edge that goes in the Cricut first) inside the non-cutting area (make sure it is inside the cutting area), and load it.
3 - set the size to 13". You will get a 12" border!

Last, the age old question of how to make your Cricut mat sticky again after using it a gazillion times. The two most popular ways are:
1 - clean it well with soap and water to get all the old paper (and what ever else is stuck to it) off, and let it dry well. Apply a thin coat of Bonding Memories glue and let it dry.
2 - Clean it with Dawn dish soap. No need for anything else. Several ladies swear by this and say the mat is sticky again when it dries, but only Dawn works. Hm. Who knew?

I am going to end here as my hands are getting tired from all this typing. Also the rest of what I want to say is creative stuff and I want pictures too, so once I have it all done, I will post another blog. In the meantime, here are some photos from the Edmonton Regional Celebration!

Sue, Lisa, Marguerite and Kelly.

Stitch comes to all CTMH events!

Monica greeting us and presenting her keynote address.

Was Brian chatting on Facebook? Naw. He must have been working. Right Brian?

Some of the amazing artwork created by one of our very talented consultants for Extravaganza at Convention.

The Q & A session that yeilded so many answers to consultants' burning questions.

My upline, Sue Wilde. She is one of the sweetest, most helpful people I know!

Angelique having fun with our My Creations Frame.

The whole gang!