Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Re-inkers 101: Re-inking Your Stamp Pad

Probably my favorite thing about Close To My Heart products is that they match...the cardstock, ink pads, accessories, etc, and that includes the re-inkers. Customers ask, "When do I need to re-ink my stamp pad?" There is no standard answer. It's going to depend on how often you use a particular color, in what ways you use it and other variables (like, did you forget to close it overnight?!). Sometimes I'm not even aware that my ink pad needs re-inking until someone else uses it or I use someone else's and notice a difference.
  • If, in spite of seasoning your stamp, using the "squishy thing" or versamat as a stamping surface, and standing up to stamp, you still can't get a good, clean, crisp image, you may need to re-ink your stamp pad.
  • If you recently made 100 Christmas cards with Cranberry or Wedding Invitations with a solid stamp, you may need to re-ink your stamp pad.
  • If you are a consultant, and have a lot of people using your stamp pads, you may need to re-ink.
  • If you do a lot of sponging or direct to paper with the same neutral color, you may need to re-ink your stamp pad.

So, how DO you re-ink a stamp pad? 
  1. Double and Triple check that your ink pad and re-inker are the same color. 
  2. Check that the lid is tightly on your re-inker bottle and gently shake. 
  3. You do not need to use a whole bottle of re-inker to revitalize your ink pad. It may only take a small amount.
  4. Lightly (don't flood it) and carefully go over the pad in small amounts and various directions. You can add a few drops at a time or, I like to draw a fine line left to right, top to bottom and/or zig-zag, etc. Watch as the ink soaks into the pad...if it sinks in quickly, keep going, if it seems to take a while to soak in, maybe it wasn't as dry as you thought. You can always add more.  
  5. Put the lid back on the reinker.
  6. If possible, close the ink pad and let it set for a bit, even 5 minutes, for even distribution. Side note...our patented ink pad design allows gravity to keep the ink on top of the stamp pad. Back in the "old days" we stored our flip top pads upside down

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Studio J progress

I hope you were able to find time to play with Studio J last month. I got my order in just under the wire on Sunday night.  I ordered 29 double page layouts...all from events BEFORE our son's wedding. Now working on the actual wedding and reception pages. Here is one of my layouts...

You'll notice that I used Claire paper, which is retired. This is the paper (stashed, begged and bought) that we used for the invitations and boxes. Even if I had enough paper remaining, Studio J gave me the option of using additional prints from the paper pack that I don't have. The wedding colors were orange, teal and dark blue. I added Lagoon accents throughout to bring in the teal color.

Any of you that know me well, know journaling is neither my strong suit nor my favorite part of scrapbooking. Studio J doesn't let me forget about journaling the way traditional scrapbooking can be "in progress" for years. I could print my pages without journaling, add it later but it's much better (IMO) to do it now and have a cohesive look. Although, here's one of my favorite "cheater" ways of journaling...adding factual information, LOL! You should see some of my vacation pages, you'd get a history lesson from reading about the museums, etc. we visited!

PS...It doesn't work to write posts in a timely fashion if you don't schedule or post them...

PPS...My computer died of alcohol poisoning (not my fault).

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wedding Projects #4

Continuing the wedding projects!

The cake boxes were used as containers for the Candy Bar at the wedding reception. 
Lots of scoring! Fortunately, the cake boxes were made 
after our Score Board came out.  Very helpful!!

The boxes and the flower are both made with Cricut Art Philosophy Collection

The boxes were cut at 3, 4 and 5 inches.
The rose maybe have been cut Fit To Page, I can't remember. 
So much easier than the little ones!
I also ended up edging the petals in Sorbet.
Cakes are trimmed with Colonial White Rosette Ribbon (retired).

                                     Here are the cake boxes on the Candy Bar at the reception.
                       One cake had four layers, the other had three. Each layer has nine boxes.
                                      I also cut tags on the Cricut to label the candy containers.

Do you, or someone you know, have a wedding in the future? I'd love to help! Contact me for help with design, assembly, decorations and most importantly, the scrapbook! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wedding Projects #3

I made several paper projects for our son's wedding. 

And when I wasn't able to get into the craft room, I was knitting this shawl for the bride.

I gave it to her at the shower.

The flower is stamped using the Rock and Roll technique.
Stamp Set:  Girls Rock
Texture made with Cuttlebug using:  Damask Embossing Folder
Stamp Set:  Card Word Puzzle (retired)

Stamp set:  It's Your Day (retired)
The cute little bird is from Cuddly Salutations B1458, one of our exclusive Hostess stamp sets.

Coming Next:  3-D Cake Boxes


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wedding Project #2

Continuing with projects from our son's wedding...


This time I edged the Claire paper in Outdoor Denim ink. 
Stamp Set:  My Sunshine (retired)
Compatible with:  Cricut Artiste Collection
Stamp Set:  Little Reminder (retired)
Colors are:  SorbetOutdoor Denim and Colonial White

For this invitation I used regular printer paper.  Print first, stamp second.
Stamp Sets:  Solo "2" (retired) and

Coming Next:  Shower Invitation and gift

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wedding Projects #1

Our oldest son married his high school sweetheart last month. My next several posts will be the items I made for the wedding.

The monogram for the belly band was cut, then printed and finally stamped. That was probably not the easiest way to do it, but I was conserving paper! ;-)
You may not be able to tell, but the printing is in Outdoor Denim! 
Yes, you can tell your printer to match CTMH colors!! (Ask me how.)

Colors are:  SorbetOutdoor Denim and Colonial White
The invitations were mailed in our 5x7 Colonial White envelopes.

The paper pack is Claire. It is retired but I had quite a bit left. Turns out it wasn't enough though. Much thanks to all of my fellow consultants who were willing to give up packs from their stash!!  (One of the many reasons I love this company!) For the scrapbook, I'll be using Studio J. Did you know there are YEARS of retired paper on Studio J?  Currently there are 125 kit options. And, next month (November 2014) the Constant Campaign is a Studio J special!!

Here's the inside. I printed the invitation and enclosures at home on Colonial White
then stamped the images in Outdoor Denim ink. I also edged the top enclosure in Sorbet.
Stamp Set:  Hello Tweety (retired)
The film strip on the left was cut using the Cricut Artbooking Collection.
Now, does anyone have any ideas for all of these leftover pieces?

Quite the production!

Next:  Rehearsal Dinner Invitation...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Correcting Common Stamping Problems

If you've only used wood mounted stamps before, or aren't familiar with Close To My Heart's My Acrylix stamp line, check out this YouTube video.

Basic stamping is, and should be, simple and straight forward:  Take your block mounted image and twist, twist, stamp, stamp it on your ink pad. Then stamp the image onto the project paper. You don't need to press hard, just firm, even pressure. Wait a second to allow the ink to transfer to the paper.

Here are some solutions to correct common stamping problems:

  • Image is not centered.  Try standing up so you can look straight down through the block and stamp onto the paper. This will eliminate angles and distortion from looking sideways.  Make sure you're holding your block level too. If placement is especially crucial, you may need to "hover" over the paper. I hold the block with my thumbs and index fingers above my paper and "balance" on my other fingers. This allows me to get the image lined up just right before pressing straight down onto the paper.   

  • Solid image isn't solid. Use the "squishy thing." This is a
    piece of foam material included in every Close To My Heart My Acrylix stamp set. It's not just packaging! This will give you a cushion when stamping. Place the foam under your project paper.You can also use a pad of scratch paper or our the Versamat. The Versamat also gives you a nice contrast when stamping on light colored paper.
  • Not enough ink. Another great thing about My Acrylix, you can see where the ink is, or isn't. Look at your stamp after inking it. Is there even coverage on the image? Did you pick up a pet hair? If your stamped image has an area that's missing ink, check to make sure there isn't a fold or crumb under your stamping surface.  The area should be smooth. This is also the reason to stamp your image before assembling your project.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Artfully Sent is here!!

I recently received my Artfully Sent collection, Close To My Heart's latest addition to their Cricut Collection.

  • The image booklet is streamlined without extra pages.  
  • There are image summary pages, sorted by type. 
  • Each button is themed:  birthday, Mother's Day, etc. 
  • The booklet recommends a size for each image.
  • The color coding between summary pages and button pages is consistent.
  • An assembly booklet is included (similar to Artiste).

It is important when using Artfully Sent that you understand the Real Dial Size button. 

When turned off, all the piece are cut IN PROPORTION to the size you have your machine set.  If  you set your machine for 5" and cut several images for a card, all the pieces will fit together properly for a card that is 5" wide.

When turned on, all the pieces are cut to the ACTUAL size you have your machine set. If you set your machine for 5" with Real Dial Size on and cut several images, they will all be 5" wide.  This means that you can cut the images for ANY size you want, not just the recommended size.  

Although a flower may need to be small to fit on a 5x7 card, you can also turn the Real Dial Size button on to cut the flower 12" wide for a scrapbook page.

In the Cricut Craft Room, Real Dial Size is shown at the bottom with examples in Aa (see above, circled in red).  Do you want the lower case letters proportional to the upper case (Real Dial Size off) or do you want all the letters the same height (Real Dial Size on)?

Flipping for Flip Flaps

Flip Flaps are amazing! This little pocket memory protectors can do so many things, you'll wonder how you ever crafted without them. Close To My Heart offers several sizes and packages.

  • Z4114 contains 15 of the original 4"x6" Flip Flaps
  • Z1726 gives you ten 6"x6" Flip Flaps
  • Z1325 is our 12" assortment in 4", 6" and 8" widths
  • Z1747 offers an assortment of the smaller sizes: 2"x2",  3"x3", 3"x4" and 4"x4"
  • Z3027 is the newest addition, 15 of the 3"x4" size
Flip Flaps are fun and easy to use. The most common use of Flip Flaps is to add more photos to a page. Simply design your scrapbook layout (or use one of our How To books), then add extra photos of the same size.

While the 12" assortment can be used for the ultimate interactive layout...
they're also good for protecting mementos you still want to access from your scrapbook.

Are you wondering if you can trim down a photo? Use your smaller size Flip Flaps as templates.  Just place the Flip Flap on top and you'll be able to see which size works for you and where to trim.

Making a mini-album? Use Flip Flaps as page protectors.

My favorite use of Flip Flaps is to protect mementos that I wish to include on my scrapbook pages, and allow them to be viewed interactively.

Update 11/9/2014:  Here's some more Flip Flap pictures and ideas from my Facebook Page.

Welcome to my new blog!!

Over the years, we've had several different social media outlets. Right now I have My Online Business Account (OBA) or website, Pinterest and a business Facebook page. While there is a lot of overlap between all of these, I've decided to start a blog for more in-depth info and because they are easier to search than Facebook.

PLEASE, feel free to send suggestions and feedback. This is new technology for me so I'll be starting simple and expanding as I learn new things.  I'd be thrilled to hear someone say, "Let Me Show You How!"

At the end of June, I spent a few days at the Disneyland Hotel with 1,000 of my closest friends for this year's Close To My Heart annual convention.