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Thursday, March 27, 2014

MEMORIES. . . . . . . . . . . .

I love this sentence that I came across a few months ago in a book I was reading. These few words were tucked into one of the chapters. I almost skipped past them without a thought. But then I backed up, read them again, and thought "oh how true this is".

"The best days pass quickly.......
..........that's why God gave us memories".

This particular book was titled "To Love and Cherish" by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller. This line definitely goes into my notebook of beautiful quotes. And this book was one of those that you want to read again and again (or buy, so you can mark it all up), just so you can take in the wonderful sentences that make you stop and think, and appreciate life.

And I'm so glad I have my memories of summers past, to get me through these last lingering, cold, gray, days of winter.

Please hurry back my glorious, fragrant Daphne!

Oh what memories of my bright Crocosmia!

And where would I be without the memories of the wild and stately Foxglove?
 ........... and I cherish every one of my memories...... and the special moments DO pass too quickly.
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Friday, March 21, 2014


Here's a great idea I just heard about when watching a You Tube video (can't remember whose). She just made mention of this in passing, but I thought it was a great idea! Why didn't I think of this?

Make envelopes using old CTMH catalog pages (or any magazine pages), and your score board or envelope punch board. Or make some sweet tiered paper flowers!  What a great idea for those old catalogs (CTMH Idea Books) that are sitting around your house, or for that matter, magazines.

I like the idea of using old CTMH catalog pages, or from other crafty publications or magazines, because there are such pretty pictures, and pictures of stamp set images. I know a lot of you have made envelopes, but maybe some haven't, so I"m doing a (kind of ) quick tutorial on making envelopes and some little tiered paper flowers.

For this tutorial, I tore a couple of pages out of an old CTMH Idea Book (gasp! that was hard to do, but I had several from over a year ago).

Let's get started. This is a little long so go get a cup of tea or your favorite beverage, and a little snack and get comfortable.

Step 1:  Tear a page out that isn't too busy or has some pictures of a stamp set.

Step 2: Decide the envelope size you want, and using your score board instructions (I used my Martha Stewart large scoreboard) or envelope punch board (We R Memory Keepers has one), cut the page to the correct size, and then make the score lines. I'm making mine a standard A2 size.

When all scores are made, this is what it looks like.
Step 3: If using the MS score board, you have to cut out the little pieces where the score lines intersect, like this (below). Cut out all 4 pieces. If using an envelope punch board, there is a punch on it that punches out these 4 little pieces. Very handy and I want one!

 Now it looks like this:

Now reinforce all score lines with your bone folder.

Step 4: Fold envelope into shape and fold the side flaps over the bottom flap. You will see a little point that sticks up. I usually cut mine off by drawing a line, then snip off.

So now your envelope should look like this. Note that the bottom flat is now on the outside:

Step 5: I like to use a corner rounder to round off the top flap of the envelope, like this:

Step 6: Use a heavy duty score tape along the bottom lower flap to glue it down to the two side flaps (below). There is your finished envelope! Now reinforce all scores to make the folds nice and crisp.

Voila! Here is your cute envelope (below)! Put on a label for the address. Instead of expensive return address labels, I get adhesive backed paper and just cut it up into little labels. Much cheaper. I get Wausau brand, but whatever brand you find is just fine.

Step 7:  Now of course I decided I needed to make a card, and what better way than to use another old catalog page from the CTMH Idea Book. I found some blue cardstock that matched a color on the envelope (see those blue dots?) and made my A2 sized card (4-1/4" x 5-1/2"). Now I need some flowers and a sentiment for the card.

Step 8: Find another page that matches colors of your card and envelope. I chose a page from the CTMH Idea Book from Winter 2012 with some pretty blue designs. This is where any magazine page would work, one with pretty flowers or gardens, etc.:

Step 9: Punch 2 large scalloped circles (mine are 2-1/2"), two medium circles and two small circles. They can be or don't have to be scalloped. I cut my small circles out of the pretty little rosette on this page:

Step 10:  Now crinkle up the circles really tight! Then lay them flat again:

Step 11: Poke a hole in the center of 3 stacked circles with your awl, and then put a pretty brad in to hold them together. You could glue them together also and glue a button on jewel on top.

Step 12: Now find a stamped sentiment from this page or any other page that matches what you want to say. This page just happened to have some Christmas sentiments that I hadn't punched through, so I just cut them out and glued them onto the card:

And here you go!  A pretty card (or two) to go into your free, easy, handmade, custom envelope:

Of course you'll have to glue the flap closed. I just use my Tombo adhesive.

I know this seems like a long drawn out process, but it really isn't. I think it took me all of 20 minutes to make the envelope and cards, and that included me taking pictures along the way. 

I love the look of the envelope with all the little stamps on it. I'm going to make a stack of them using my old CTMH Idea Book pages.  I could make hundreds and still not use up all my old catalog pages.

I hope you try a few too.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

15 minute Quick Cards #1.

I LOVE making cards, and I love making fussy, frilly, sweet, sassy cards!  But.... sometimes I just need something quick, simple and easy. I want it DONE and out the door in 15 minutes or less!

I decided to start a series here on my blog of "15 minute quick cards". Oh sure, I could probably do one in 8-10 minutes, but I just CAN'T not dress my cards up a little bit, so for me, "quick" is about 15 minutes worth of my time. If I want to make one faster, I'll omit a bow or some gems, or something I might need to "fussy cut".

I made the "shadow" underneath the heart by stamping some scrolls onto a white cardstock heart I cut out using the Cricut (actually had it left over from Valentine's Day), glued it onto the card, and then put the orange heart on top.
First up - I used some strips of my retired Buzz & Bumble papers. I stamped on a banner tag that I cut out, and then cut a little heart from a scrap and stamped some little scrollys around the edge and popped it up with 3D foam tape. Of course I added a little gem!

Next is a card using leftover scraps from Sarita (retired) papers. I used some of CTMH's Smokey Plum cardstock for the card base.

The little envelope on the front of the card is from the My CrushTM Bluebird Memories Assortment. Just love the little envelopes! and I put a little tag inside that I stamped "love you" on the back of.

I made the quick flower by stamping two flowers on white cardstock, with the flower from a retired Hostess Rewards stamp set, cut them out, then adhered one to the card, and then curled the edges of the top flower and used a 3D foam dot to lift it off the card. Really, it only takes about 2 minutes to make that flower!
Last but not least - I used a scrap of some Dakota woodgrain paper (retired) and adhered it to a white card. I used a little piece of the Ruby Chevron ribbon which I love against the woodgrain! We also have it in blue denim.  I want to thank Michelle Johns from My Flights of Fancy for the idea I got for this wood grain card with the ruby chevron ribbon.

I stamped the sentiment from the same retired stamp set and matted it on red cardstock, used some red shimmer trim (we also have PURPLE and bronz) and added a little chipboard banner I had left from another project.
( SIDE NOTE: I was so sad to see the Dakota wood grain papers go away!  But now, I'm happy again because Close to My Heart came out with the Timberline paper pack that has more of a brownish toned wood grain paper (see circled red below). Wood grains are so great to use for ANYTHING! from western, to country, to shabby chic, cottage or vintage. For my customers, I can purchase the bulk papers from Timberline, which is 24 sheets of the wood grain paper (2-sided as shown below). Contact me if you want to know about bulk paper packs).

I timed myself on all 3 cards, and each one took less than 15 minutes! Using the shimmer trim and adding little gems really dresses up a card and it is so FAST to add them. 

Look for more of my 15 minute Quick Cards posts in the near future.  Would love to see you try one and let me know if you got it done in 15 minutes or less.  Use up those scraps girls!

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