Thursday, October 5, 2017

Look what I did...

I've always talked about this ever since My Acrylix were introduced but I almost never do it...I [gasp] CUT my stamps!

You may be surprised that I did this. Even if you think it's a great idea, it's totally out of character for me. But (1) this stamp set, From The Heart, just screams (it's October after all) to be cut. Those of you who attended September's $5 Friday probably wish I would have taken this step on Thursday. We made this card...

...and I made the ladies mask the flower to include just the sentiment. But in all fairness, this isn't particularly difficult masking. When making just a few cards, masking is a useful technique, but if you're making several of the same card, cutting the stamp may be more practical. Even if I made 50 totally different cards with this stamp set, for 50 envelopes I would still find benefit in cutting the stamp for flap embellishment.

Here's a few tips for cutting your stamps:

  1. Be careful! CTMH doesn't cover scissor misplacement. 
  2. I like using my Micro-Tip Scissors. A large shears may have "fat" blades that don't fit between the images.
  3. Don't cut "neatly."

Cutting a stamp doesn't mean you can never use it "whole" again. But to make it easier to reassemble on your block, don't cut "neatly." Try to cut in a puzzle like shape so the pieces only fit together in one way. The slight curve to the cut I made on the From The Heart image make it easier to get the flower centered under the sentiment. If I'd cut a straight line, the flower could move left or right. For the sentiment above, there weren't a lot of choices. But cutting at a slight angle instead of perpendicular to the phrase, will make it easier to see the top and bottom edges when put together. The angle also helped to avoid the letter images and keep the cut in the margin.

This is rather addictive...I'm fighting the urge to go through my collection and do a little "plastic" surgery! Have you ever cut your stamps??

Friday, September 1, 2017

Seasonal Expressions is HERE!!

I'm still excited about the new Annual Inspirations and now it's time for a new issue of Expressions! This one is our Seasonal Expressions as we head into the holidays.

Here are a few of the new products:

ADORABLE Cat and Bats for Halloween and more. Love the origami style images!! There's also matching images in the Cardmaking and Scrapbooking stamp sets (thin cuts available for both). I think the paper also coordinates nicely with the Constellations stamp set from Annual Inspirations. Are you doing an Eclipse layout??

The autumn paper is Falling for You and I can't wait to play with the Cardmaking stamp set...lined leaves designs...Should I emboss, color or maybe BOTH! The Scrapbooking set is similar but with flowers and stems. This paper is also great with the new  Gone Hunting stamp set as well as the September Stamp of the Month Feel So Blessed.

Remember, the next four months of SOTM are always in the back of the Expressions catalog. They are D size sets available for regular price $17.95 or only $5 with a qualifying $50 purchase. Stamp of the Month sets are only available for one month!

The traditional holiday collection is Beary Christmas. The cards below are from the Workshops Your Way Merriest Wishes Cardmaking Kit. Each of the Creative Collections has a card kit. Sometimes they go along with the theme of the paper, sometimes they do not. Remember, each of the cardstock weight Background and Texture Duos are double sided so you have two choices of patterns/colors. Even our single color cardstock now gives you choices: regular shade on one side, a lighter shade on the other.

Here's my favorite new stamp set, The Thought That Counts. So glad we need more tags this year. And I think I know some people on my gift list that may be getting some! 

Have you noticed that the metals are back in the color and design world? Silver and Gold is a great collection to use on its own or as neutrals to mix with colors. Note that the paper pack has 14 sheets as the gold foil designs are single sided.

 Be sure to check out the Events and Specials page for info on Classes and other new products.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

I've been busy this week!

I finished my day job early this week so I had time to play. My niece just turned 16 and my uncle will be 80 so I made them both cards (thanks to Pinterest of course). The cake card uses an old SOTM Celebrate with Cake. The balloon card featured the recently retired True Love, last year's Operation Smile set.

Here is an actual original, second one this year! I'll say it came from Divine Intervention because the saying was on a church bulletin board. I used the August stamp of the month "School Year" S1708. I wanted to show how it could be used for less school-type items. I also used some of our new Basics colors. The frame is Toffee. The stamping was done in Heather and everything was edged in Espresso. The Ruby plaid is from the Jack paper pack and the bear inside is from the Jack cardmaking and Thin Cuts set. The inside sentiment comes from one of the sets included with the Flower Market Cricut Collection.

Here are some layouts that feature the Enchantment Fundamentals and All-Star Complements. It's a good thing I am not caught up on my scrapbooking...I was able to find pictures that fit fairly well. They weren't even what I was originally thinking I would use! (This concludes my thinking out of the box for 2017.) The last picture shows the flip flaps I added to "Teamwork."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The 2017-18 Annual Inspirations was just released and it's full of exciting new products!!

Our new Color Of The Year is "Bashful," but you don't have to be bashful when using it...this soft pink will coordinate with many of your favorite Exclusive Inks colors. Bashful is available in cardstock, ink pad, re-inker, mini pigment ink pad, an Everyday Life Album, Pearls (new embellishment) and glitter paper! Watch for it to pop into paper packs throughout the year.

If one new color is exciting, how about ten?! The Basics Palette has been updated with a great set of neutrals in brown and grey tones. Missing basic black? Don't worry, it is now a "stand alone" color with White Daisy. 

It's hard to tell in the above picture but our cardstock is now two-tone: the regular shade on one side and a lighter shade on the other. You now have TWICE as many colors to use! Great for borders and layers too.

I just love the new Fundamentals patterns! For the Adventure Palette they have a great water color look. Be sure to look at my paper samples if you're local. It's so hard to get pictures that show the papers, they always look better in person. 

Scrapbookers...we have a new volume of Make It From Your Heart! This How To Book is actually loose pages (printed on very heavy, coated paper) that are 3-ring hole punched and fit into an Everyday Life album.

"You Are Here" and so is our new Cricut Collection! But don't let the name fool you, just like Flower Market is much more than flowers, there's more than just travel on this cartridge...such as the reasons you hit the road: sporting events, holidays and recreational activities. You Are Here Collection is available with a physical cartridge and also digital without a cartridge. It comes with three D-size stamp sets and the Enchantment cardstock pack (two-toned). We also have three new Country Collections that are available in digital format only.

We have two new Cut Above scrapbooking kits: "The Story Begins" for baby boy or girl. These kits are similar to the Live Beautifully kit we offered in May for National Scrapbooking Month. The baby kits include directions and materials to complete 10 coordinating 2-page layouts, memory protectors and a special offer to save 30% off a My Legacy album. Coordinating Picture My Life Cards are also available in either a boy or girl version. Also in Cut Above kits, Golden Moments, a card kit and a tag kit. Mix and match the pieces! There are also four new M stamps designed to fit on the banners.

And the new Operation Smile set is adorable!! Punny Pals has 36 animals and pun sayings. When you purchase this set, $7 of the proceeds is donated to Operation Smile™, a non-profit organization that provides surgeries to repair cleft lips and palates for children around the world. There are also new Operation Smile™ t-shirts. And remember to round your order up to the nearest dollar when ordering, your spare change can change the life of a child.

My favorite new product is the additions to our Workspace Wonder line including a carousel base and top for your stamp pad and/or marker stacks. How are you using Workspace Wonder components?? Post your configuration on my CTMH Facebook page.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

An Original...Believe It, Or Not!

A rare occasion when I actually designed a card!! This is the new Prickly Pear paper from Expressions #2. I used the Fiesta Time stamp set which I won at the Seattle Product Launch for CTMH Consultants in March. The ink colors are Emerald and Tangerine.

Here's how I made the Papel Picado Banner...

First, I stamped the image on a scrap piece of White Daisy Cardstock. I picked the image that was the easiest to cut out.

Then I folded the paper along the top of the image, with the image on the outside of the fold.

Finally, I cut the folded piece on three sides. I used a single strand of the Blue Burlap Ribbon to string the pennants. Did you know it could be separated??

I applied Tombow adhesive, a solid piece of double sided tape, to the fold and bottom edge, then glued the pennants closed onto the ribbon string. I always apply adhesive on the smooth side of my All Purpose Mat. It cleans off easily and keeps my desk pad from getting sticky!

The card design is from Make It From Your Heart Volume 1 #20. I embellished the card with Prickly Pear sequins.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

2017 Retiring List

It's that time of year...the Annual Inspriations retiring lists list has been released. Items on this list will only be available through the end of the current Annual Inspirations idea book (July 2017), WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. 

Retiring items are listed under "Going Soon" on my web site.

 Here is a printable version.

Monday, May 1, 2017

It's National Scrapbooking Month!!

This year for NSM we have an awesome group of special products called Live Beautifully. First, there's the paper pack containing 16 sheets:  2 each of 6 double-sided designs and 2 each of 2 single-sided gold foil designs.  To coordinate with the paper we have a D-size stamp set.

Finally, the Cut Above Layout Kit is perfect for everyone from the seasoned scrapbooker to the novice. The kit comes by itself or you can bundle it with adhesive, journaling pen and an album. Better yet, the bundle is 20% off retail!! The finished pages, presented in an album, makes a lovely gift for Mom, a graduate or a June bride.

Be sure to check under "Events" for information on all the classes I'm offering using the Live Beautifully products.
After reading the March 2, 2017 article "13 Tips for Finding Time to Preserve Your Memories" on CTMH's Make It From Your Heart blog, I started a series of Facebook posts on these ideas. Here are those posts, all in one place!

1. Write It in Your Planner
I'm in the craft room every Thursday. I almost never schedule any appointments for Thursdays. $5 Friday is the last Friday of every month. Our monthly crops are usually mid-month on a Saturday. The next one is tomorrow, March 4!! And April's looks like the 22nd. I post them under Events.

2. Do it with a friend.
This is one of the reasons we have monthly crops: to get together with our friends, make new friends, and maybe, eat some chocolate! Often family members get together to scrapbook too. After all, you probably have a lot of the same holiday pictures or perhaps someone took a picture that YOU are actually in! Enlist Grandma to help with that heritage album. Mothers, daughters, sisters, and even fathers, sons and brothers, can find scrapbooking a rewarding family activity. Have children dictate journaling or write it themselves (secretly practicing their spelling and penmanship). Who remembers when my boys would teach eyelets and embossing? Hammers and power tools! My son's girlfriend even had him making Christmas cards a few months ago!

3. Attend a Monthly Crop, Workshop, or Club
I co-host a monthly crop. The next one is Saturday, April 22. Save the Date!!
$5 Friday Card Workshop is the last Friday of the month. The next one is Friday, March 31.
My Stamp and Scrap hostess club is $25/month ordered by the 15th. Details here.

4. Divide Up Tasks
In order to divide up tasks, you need to have a task list. Start yours now! It can be simple Organize, Design, Assemble. Note that tasks don't necessarily need to be accomplished in order. You could have paged finished today and print the photos later. Post your list in comments. I'll start with what I want to accomplish before the April 22 crop...

The Scrap Buzz with Tamara Sandwisch, Independent CTMH ConsultantHere's mine: 1. select event from prints 2. pull Creative Collection (themed paper) and matching cardstock 3. pick layout(s) from How To Books 4. gather coordinating embellishments 5. pack for crop

5. Commit to a Specific Amount of Time Each Day
There's a book called "10-20-30 Minutes to Sew." There's no reason you can't work on scrapbooking in short segments either. So many things can be done on your phone: Sort and order pictures while waiting in the school pick-up line; look for ideas on Pinterest at the doctor's office; design Cricut cuts using the app.
What about using your lunch hour to assemble pages? Pack a lunch! Do you have an empty time between commitments everyday--where one thing is finished but it's too early to go to the next task? Schedule scrapbooking time here. Write yourself a note so it's easy to pick up where you left off and move on to the next step.

6. Scrap Early in the Morning or Late at Night
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Either of these option is good "thinking time." It can also be doubly effective if you can get things out at night to work on in the morning or work on things at night and clean up in the morning.

7. Make It A Habit
You know habits aren't formed over-night, which brings us back to previous tips: write it in your planner, do it with a friend and commit to a specific time. Did you USED to scrapbook all the time? Did you ALWAYS attend crops? What changed?? Life is constantly changing but we can too. Adapt to new circumstances and try a new plan if the first one doesn't work well. When I went back to work I had to be more intentional with my time. Instead of filling in my Craft Life with appointments and social events, I had to fit my Craft Life into my work schedule. I had to replace old habits with new ones that allowed me to accomplish my goals.
9. Look into quicker options.

Have you tried Pocket Scrapbooking? This is actually what my old photo albums are. Did you know it's OK to MIX pocket and traditional scrapbooking? What?? Yes it is!! That's the idea behind our Workshop Your Way kits. The downloadable guides give instructions for three traditional double-page layouts PLUS the optional Pocket Plus Add-On which includes more of your pictures with very little extra effort. It's also the idea behind the Picture My Life card sheet included in our Creative Collection Paper Packs. We know you are busy!

10. Set Goals
This is something I do NOT enjoy nor am good at doing. Apparently, "Catching up with my scrapbooking" is not an appropriate goal statement! But it is more than a general To Do list.
S Make an album for child graduating from high school.
M 1 school photo per year K-12.
A Child just started Senior year.
R Photos were taken, purchased, received and stored.
T Present to child at Senior Banquet June 5.

Image result for words with friends

11. Replace Social Media Time

I know, shocking isn't it? This also goes back to the 10, 20, 30 minutes idea as well as others. Again, even if this is while waiting in the school pick-up line or during lunch, these few minutes add up. Plus, there's the whole in person vs online social aspect that is covered by #2 and #3. At least make sure your online time includes The Scrap Buzz blog and Facebook page! ;-) 

12 Scrap Whenever You Watch TV

Women tend to multitask so this shouldn't be too much of a stretch if you don't have a 5 year old "helper." Usually it's the thinking, not the doing, that is hard for me if there are distractions. This is why I love our kits and How To books! They do the thinking for me. I like to cut paper when I'm watching TV or hand cut shapes if I have a stack of them. 

13. Dedicate a Space to Memory Keeping

Even if your space isn't a work location, having all your supplies in a rolling tote or together in a closet will save time so you aren't spending it searching for that one stamp set or certain color of marker. Another tip, put everything back in its place after each project. Even though I have a scrap room, it's easy to forget what was pulled out for a crop or class. It actually saves me time if I take a few minutes to get organized.