Thursday, November 20, 2014

Design and make your own necklace

I am not big on jewellery. As in, I usually wear absolutely none at all! However, I have put together a base'n'bling necklace from CTMH and I love it. It simply slips on - no having to worry about doing up those tiny little clasps that you can't see properly, and away you go.

I chose one of the patterns from the style sheets, and added a key and a bling charm. I just love it, and have already worn it heaps. I plan to make at least one more, I NEED a red one!

If you are planning to make one as a gift, this is a fabulous way to display your necklace. I used the November Stamp Of The Month (which is so very versatile) and got my inspiration for the colours from the necklace itself.

We are going to be making these necklaces and gift cards at our November get together on Friday November 28th if any locals are interested. Or if you are not local, you can find all the gorgeous base'n'bling products here

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Some hints for actually finishing your December Daily in 2014

I have been doing the December Daily project by Ali Edwards for quite a few years now. And over that time I have learnt a few tips that work for me. I have also learnt what doesn't work so well for me, and I am sure what may lead to quite a few UFA's (unfinished albums) lying around at the back of cupboards.

The very first year I did my December Daily was in 2008, I did just that. A daily record of December. I carefully prepped all the pages, complete with dates ready for December. It all looked very pretty at the start. It was so long ago that I can't even find the photos of it now!

Anyway, what I learnt from that is that our lives are a bit too normal (boring?) for a lot of the days in December to warrant a separate page for each day. And some days were too exciting for just one page. So prepping everything for one page per day in advance really didn't work for me.

In 2009 I was a bit more flexible, and just did the more important December moments. I actually didn't complete the album until well after Christmas, and while the job got done, it wasn't quite the same as working on the stories and memories as they happened.

I skipped 2010 altogether, although I am going to go back and complete it digitally at some stage.

In 2011 I did a hybrid version which I loved while I was doing it, and still love today.

You can see the finished version here. I printed out the photo and text on my home printer, then just added some embellishments afterwards. I used a similar template throughout which made it all quick and easy.

In 2012 I chose not to do a separate December Daily album but put some extra effort into my Project Life pages for that time. This is quite a good idea, especially if you are particularly short of time, however, I really like to pull all my December albums out at Christmas time and be able to look through them all, and having it in with the rest of the year's Project Life makes this too difficult.

2013 I went completely digital and had a photo book printed. This was really quick and easy, and is a great idea if you want a quick result. I did miss the fun of the products, though, The searching, the buying, the touching, the sticking. You can see the start of my book for 2013 here.

A great idea would be to get all your pages ready digitally in advance, then wait for a super special on printing 12x12 like what is available right now through CTMH's Studio J.

So after all that - here are the main points I have learnt that work for me with the December Daily project:

- Do some prep in advance, but don't be too pedantic with it.
- Nobody is going to care in years to come if you have some photos out of order.
- Take lots of photos. Take the same pic in both portrait and landscape in case one size suits your pages better.
- Don't try to do too much during December. You know, you might just be busy.
- Don't stress if you are not keeping up with the actual getting the album done during December if you can't. Take the photos, jot down some notes and you can finish it in January.
- They are YOUR memories. Don't judge yourself on what everyone else is doing. Nobody can document YOUR memories like YOU can.
- Just get in there and do it! I (and my whole family) love looking back through the December Daily albums and remembering the different things we have done. And it is fun looking at the same activities being done over the years. Building your own traditions.

This year I am doing something a little different again. CTMH have got a simply gorgeous My Crush book called Holiday Happenings (similar to a Smash book) that I will be using. It is a 7 1/2"x 8 1/2" Kraft hardcover album complete with gold foil accents (the cover is the gorgeous triangular Christmas tree) with 30 pages in a mix of styles: printed vellum, printed cardstock-weight and page protectors in various styles.
I have made a start on my first few foundation pages, and the hardest thing is actually covering up these gorgeous pages! I am also using the Holiday Happenings Assortment to decorate my pages, and the cute Budge Buttons as well. Just purchasing these items through my CTMH website is only $40 plus freight which is great value for all you will need to put together a fantastic, basic December Album. I am adding some bits and pieces to mine, in particular the 3"x4" Flip Flaps that I will be utilising to give me some more space for photos and journalling on my pages.

Stay tuned on the blog in the days to come for my first few pages, and also check out the fabulous Hall Of Indulgence blog to get even more inspiration, and keep an eye on how Mandy is going using the same products.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Making the most of 12x12 photos in Project Life

The November special for Close To My Heart is getting layouts printed from their Digital Scrapbooking Software that is called Studio J.  I don't do much traditional digi scrapping - therefore thought this deal was not that useful for me.

Then I realised...I could use this FANTASTIC deal to get some Project Life (or Week in the Life, or December Daily or whatever) pages printed extremely cost effectively.

The CTMH Studio J classifies a "layout" as two 12x12 pages. Yep, TWO!!

That means I can upload my 12x12 jpegs (either huge photos, or already completed layouts that I do in Photoshop Elements) as a single jpeg, one on each page - and have two 12x12 pages printed for just $5. And have a chance of getting some extra bonuses, too! Now there's a deal for me!

I just had my first play in Studio J, and it is really, really simple to upload my jpegs and put one on a page. Firstly create a User Account. Then you simply upload your photo or jpeg image of your layout you want to print, then Continue, choose Create your own custom layout, select any of the Kits (I choose Confetti Wishes because it was first, but it really doesn't matter as we are only going to choose a blank page anyway), then Continue, then find the No Limits page. Select Continue then Kit Mix 1.
You will then see a screen with a double page layout, and your photos or jpeg images on the left hand side. Simply drag your pics over to the layout with the cross on there, and there you have it! Click off the photo and it will bring it into the layout. Choose another image for the other side of the double paged layout and you have two pages ready to print. Too easy.

Here is an example I just did using one of my December Daily pages that I created digitally last year.

You can order up to 50 layouts in a box for a set freight cost of $9.50.

Click here to go to the Studio J page, and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to give me a buzz - probably easiest to message on Facebook.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November CTMH happenings...

So much going many fabbo little time! Always the way.

Our October Christmas card making session went extremely well, and for November we are going to be making a necklace using the fantastic Base & Bling range. If any locals are interested, just let me know.

The November Stamp Of The Month is a great one, and really versatile too.

And just quickly, the Picture My Life cards can now be purchased separately! Woot woot! Now if you are like me and have 27 million divided page protectors, you can just get the cards. So check them out here if you are interested.

Another great project that I MUST start working on soon is my December "not quite" Daily, where I will be using a CTMH My Crush Holiday Happenings album. These albums are seriously gorgeous. So much so that I am going to have to do some creative thinking with this one as I don't want to cover up any of the beautiful pages! Can't wait to get started...the plan is to get most of the foundation for all the pages done in November, then simply add 3x4 photos and journalling during December. I don't do every single day of December, just the important, photo worthy bits - so I am not concerned about dates or even the order of events.

The SPECIAL for November is involving Studio J, which is CTMH's digital side. I must admit I have not had a play with this yet, but the special is fantastic so if anyone is at all interested in having a go - November would be a great time to start.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Chalk It Up" - she has created a double layout with school photos!

Now there is at turn up for the books! Two of my least favourite things to scrap...double layouts, and the posed school photos.

But the Chalk It Up Workshop On The Go kit from CTMH is just perfect for school photos, and I managed to make two single layouts that you can put together for a double, or just keep separate if you prefer.

Aren't they sweet? Sure proves that looks can be deceiving, I say!

And here are the pages individually...

Of course, the Workshop On The Go kits come complete with full instructions to make other layouts, but I like to play a little and see what else I can create. I have added a few other little CTMH bits and bobs left over from other projects as well.

Funnily enough, we got their 2014 school photos last week - so now I will have to work on those.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

FREE ribbon for October

Yes please! You can receive a spool of ribbon free with any qualifying order during October.

And don't forget the October Stamp Of The Month for just $5 with orders over $75. Perfect for Christmas cards and decorating.

The new Cricut cartridge is out too, mine is currently winging it's way here - ideal for cardmakers. I will have more to show on this soon.

Don't forget, our Christmas Card workshop is fast approaching, if you are interested in coming or in a kit, please contact me. This is what you will be able to create:

You can find more information on all of the above by visiting the website here or contact me if you have any questions.

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Christmas Card Workshop, and other stuff

Well, it has been a while. And quite a lot has happened in that time - unfortunately not much of it craft related :(
Mid July our youngest daughter Alexa (8) was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and she and I spent a week in hospital. She is now on an insulin pump, and is going well but it certainly is a new experience for all of us.
We have to do line changes for her pump every three days, which is not nice for her as it sometimes hurts. She has been having quite a few "hypos" which is where her blood sugar level is too low and this really seems to take it out of her, not only while she is having it but for hours afterwards.
It seems like this Type 1 thing is very unpredictable, whatever you do today and then repeat exactly tomorrow has a different effect on levels. Alexa is managing super well, though, thankfully taking it all in her stride (most of the times).
It also involved a lot of appointments, we are heading to Ballarat again to see her pediatrician, which we have been doing monthly. Hopefully after next month this might spread out to every three months.

So....other than that, not much exciting has been happening. I think that is about enough, to be honest!
I have been working on my first ever workshop - and it is Christmas Cards! I love them, the colours and patterns in the paper are fantastic. Here is what will be on offer:

The workshops will be held on a Friday evening and a Sunday afternoon in October, actual dates and times coming soon. I will need firm bookings before this time, to ensure enough goodies for everyone to be able to make their cards.