Tuesday, September 30, 2014

12 Tags of 2014 - September

Ms. Procrastination is waiting until last minute to submit her 12 Tags of 2014 - September.  Well, have I ever submitted my work early?  LOL.

I am just hours away from the closing of the link so I'll be short here.

I followed Tim's instructions to create the green background, then stamped the cupcake in Archival Ink.  Using the remaining portion of my glossy cardstock, I inked it up with some bright color alcohol inks.  I punched out dozens of circles using my 1/4" punch to create these confetti.  It's fun!

Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!

Monday, September 29, 2014

(Easy) Scrapbooking makes me happy

I wish I had all day long to create my scrapbook layouts but I don't.  The only time I get to craft is weekends.  I still squeeze in as much time as possible to craft.  Scrapbook pages can be tricky as they tend to take longer time to finish, compared to cards and tags.

So I must say that I appreciate simple scrapbooking.  Today I am sharing one that didn't take me too long:

I finally figured out a way to take a picture of a two-page layout.  Yay!  But I haven't figured out how to do it without flash to avoid the glare.  Sorry. 

To me, the first step of easy/simple scrapbooking is to print the pictures in 4x6 and 4x6 only.  Every time I develop my photos I upload a big volume without even sorting through them carefully.  Had I spent time to decide what size to print before I hit that "checkout" button, I could have spent days just to print the pictures.  (On that note, I did seriously consider buying a photo printer at home, but thus far it has not happened and I have moved onto becoming interested in other "toys.") 

The next step of easy/simple scrapbooking is to use the pictures as is.   Unless the composition of the picture is truly an eyesore, I tend to keep the picture as is.  The same size of each picture does not add interest to the page and many of you may think that it is equivalent to a boring layout.  But hey, my goal here is to have some creative fun and get my page done.  It's okay for me to have a rather plain layout.  This time I was just lucky that I got six pictures taken from this event, where four of them are landscape and two of them are vertical.  I just simply put them in a symmetrical manner over two pages.  I didn't even have a photo mat.  That's easy (or lazy). 

Choosing the perfect patterned paper and cardstock could be time-consuming because I just have too much to choose from!  I'm glad that I do have quite a good system to organize my paper and so even though I have a lot of paper, I just need to take out what I think would be a good match and confirm that it will work fine with the pictures.  You know, what I have in mind could be drastically different from the reality.

I sometimes do journaling next but this time I added embellishment before journaling.  This is the fun part.  I love adding bits and pieces to a layout!  For a layout like this, I'd keep the embellishment minimum because I'd like the focus to be on the pictures.  There are six pictures and I do want each one of them shine.

Journaling on this layout will have to be quite short.  I want to keep the balance of the layout so I only have two small boxes for journaling.  Well, I'll just have to keep my journaling concise.

That concludes my journey of easy/simple scrapbooking.  I had a fun time making this page and I think years later, whoever looks at this page wouldn't know that it is "easy."

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

I am back with another configurations box to share.  This time the theme is Christmas!

It is the cutest Christmas configurations box I could imagine!  This configurations box does not come with the frame.  The frame was actually made with grunge board strips on the side and a decorative edge cut for the top and bottom.  Because crackle paint is no longer available in colors, we used Clear Rock Candy crackle paint as the base then after the paint has dried, we painted distress paint to add color.  I further rubbed some walnut stain on top just to distress it.  It is so cool!  Thanks Richele for showing us all these cool tricks!

She had done a lot of prep work for the class.  For instance, she had dyed the trees in green.  We would have stayed in class forever otherwise.  We embellished the tree by adding snow, stars, ribbon, twines and baubles to the tree.  One of my favorite things in the big middle box is that there is faux snow.  The faux snow is rock candy distress glitter.  It looks like snow more than glitter to me!

To tell you the truth I have made a mistake.  See the word "Christmas" was abbreviated?  That's because I started the word "Merry" too low in the panel, and had I spelled Christmas in full, the two words would overlap and look awful.  This is not what I was hoping for but I guess I did fine when this "creative opportunity" happened.

I know we are months away from Christmas but I have already put this box in a rather discreet area of my home so I can secretly admire it every day. :)

Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I am going to be away for a few days, so I won't be sharing any new creations.  But I'll still keep the blog updated.

Today I am sharing a configurations box with the theme of sea.  I put the wooden blocks "RELAX" next to the seahorse to remind myself to slow down:

I wish I had the talent to create something this pretty.  I took a class with Richele Christensen, one of the members of Tim Holtz's Creative Media Team in a local craft store and she showed us all the tricks to prepare this awesome configurations box.

What I really like is that she used the pinecone die to create the corals.  Such a clever idea!  And guess what?  We did put some real starfish into our box.  See the one on the top left corner of the box with the big seahorse?  That's a real starfish.  There's another real starfish in the second box on the left as well.  Next to that starfish is a real sand dollar.  So cute.  Oh, you will be interested in knowing that there are also shells in the third box on the left.  The bottom box on the right has several bottles.  One has sand and one has smaller shells.

Taking a class like this makes me feel the realistic experience in the sea.  I have learned quite a lot of techniques and I had an absolutely fun time with fellow students. 

I have always admired how others prepared their configurations box because I have been intimidated by it.  I am comfortable with cardmaking and scrapbooking, but this is something dimensional and is just beyond my comfort level.  After taking her class, I can't say I am now confident in making one myself, but I am more willing to attempt to make one.  I admit that I'm slow, but let me take one step at a time.  One day I'll be able to make one.  :)

I will be sharing another configurations box while I am away.  Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Say Cheese!

I am very fortunate that I live in a place where there are several scrapbooking stores.  It is true that online shopping is convenient, but going in to a store and browse and touch all the goodies make a world of difference.  The fact that we could make it a fun shopping trip with fellow crafters is another plus. 

Another thing I like about local scrapbooking stores is that they host classes and workshops from time to time.  In 2014 alone I have taken a few and will be taking more next month.  Again, online classes seem to be convenient that we can watch the videos in our PJs at the comfort of our home, and I like taking them.  However, the human interaction part and the hands-on experience are elements of a live class that cannot be easily replaced.  Need further arguments to be convinced that taking live classes is fun?  That's getting to meet new people who share the same interest.  The camaraderie in a live class is what I truly enjoy. 

In May this year, I took a live class in a local scrapbooking store.  After that, some of us students took a picture and our smiles in the picture really capture the fun and enjoyment we had in class:

I rarely share scrapbook pages on my blog partly due to my frustration in taking a decent picture of the page. Guess what?  The time spent on taking a picture of the layout above is about half of the time that took me to finish the project.  No kidding.

Wait, I totally forgot to add my journaling.  What was I thinking?

This page is extremely simple.  Just paper and paper and paper.  I used the Sweater Weather collection from Lawn Fawn, then die cut the title from Louie's ABCs die set and Quinn's ABCs die set.  The only embellishment, if any, is the stars die cut from Lawn Fawn Stitched Journaling Card die set.  Does this sketch look familiar to you?  It's one of the super sketches from Kelly Purkey!

I wanted to share our smiles with you and hope that you will continue to support local business.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Identical cards again

A couple of days ago I made two cards that shared the same design.  I'm doing it again!  

This time I'm using the sketch from Mojo Monday 363:

I miss Mojo Monday challenges!  I wish I could participate more.  It's just that my craft time usually falls on the weekend so it is easier for me to play along the challenges that are posted mid-week or weekends.  I'm so glad that I got to play along this time.  It's a great sketch and I made two cards with it!

First up is the fall card:

I've also made a Christmas card with it:

I'm sorry that the Christmas card is so yellow.  This picture just does not do it justice (and I know that I should take a photography class!).  In reality it looks much nicer!  I like that the blue card base makes it more winter-y and interesting.

Did you notice that the patterned paper I use here is the same as that here?  Someone just needs to clean up her craft desk.  LOL.

I'm linking up the fall card to:
1.  Mojo Monday challenge - see sketch above
2.  Crafting for All Seasons - Colors of Autumn
3.  Stampavie and more - Autumn Colors
4.  Creative Moments - Fall colors/Anything Goes
5.  Double Click - Anything Goes

I'm linking the Christmas card to:
1.  Add a Little Dazzle - Home for the Holidays/Anything Goes
2.  ABC Christmas - S for Something Festive
3.  Addicted to Stamps - Holidays
4.  Ruby's Rainbow - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thankful for You

Yay!  My Close to My Heart Artfully Sent Cartridge is finally here!   I have not fully explored its possibilities but I have made a card with it.  I know many of us are excited with the 3-D cards but I am really drawn to the card front overlays so my first card with Artfully Sent was made with one of those:

I wanted to make a Thanksgiving card and so I pulled out all Fall-related supplies on my desk.  First, I cut the card base with that overlay using Kraft cardstock.  Then I stamped the Season of Thanks background stamp in bamboo ink on bamboo cardstock.  Voila the card base is done!

I must confess that I've scrap-lifted an element from Close to My Heart.  See the middle sentiment?  I basically copied it from the Workshops on the Go Pathfinding Cardmaking Kit.  I find this sentiment in this color combo so appealing and have decided to make a bunch of Thanksgiving cards using this!  Since I have the Workshops on the Go Pathfinding Cardmaking Kit out, I went on to see what other things I could use on my card.  I liked that arrow stamp and went on to ink it up in Olive and stamp it on Olive cardstock.  Yup, I am a big sucker for tone-on-tone stamping.  There are many stamping techniques that I like, but tone-on-tone stamping is definitely one of my faves.  I cut a banner out of the stamped Olive piece, added the Bronze Shimmer Trim and some Gold Sequins.  This card is done!

The arrival of this cartridge almost kept me up all night.  Just by flipping through the handbook made me smile.  So many ideas are flowing in my head right now.  All I ask for is having more than 24 hours in a day so I could spend more time playing with it. LOL.

If you'd like to learn more about the Artfully Sent Cartridge and Workshops on the Go, please visit here.

I'm linking up my card to the following challenges:
Bitten by the Bug - Anything Cricut
The Crafty Bloggers Network - Anything Goes
Crafty Boots - Anything Goes
Heart 2 Heart Challenges - What's your favorite technique?  (Tone-on-tone stamping, of course!)
Cardz 4 Guys - no patterned paper
Inky Chicks - Anything Goes
Card and scrap - Anything Goes
Stempelgarten - Autumn

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two (almost) identical cards

Today I'm sharing two cards - one for fall and one for Christmas.  They are great for mass production!  I started with the fall card then went on to make the Christmas one.  I think this sketch/layout is just great for everything! 

This is the fall card:

By changing up the patterned paper and the focal image, I got this Christmas card:

Don't you think they are "identical"?  I know that they are not identical, but the sketch is definitely the same and because I use dies to cut the banner and the circle, the size of these elements is also the same.

I had a dream about the banners on this Lawn Fawn blog post.  In my dream I was making some very similar banners then I put them in my office.  The dream felt so realistic that I almost went to see if I had a similar project on my craft desk.  No, I'll have to make that happen myself.  I guess I'll make a banner that says "Gratitude" but I'll save that project for another day.  I still wanted to make something with the banner die so I made these two cards.  I always like to have more than one card made at the same time.  I have the dies and papers out, I may as well make two.  In this case, I switched up the paper and the focal image then I have one Fall and one Christmas card. :)

I can't explain why I didn't use the 6x6 paper pad but instead reached out for the 12 x 12 paper for these cards.  Now I gotta worry whether what I have left will be enough for my layouts.  I wonder how these cards will look like if I use the 6x6 paper.  Oh wait, if I do make them with 6x6 paper then I will have FOUR identical cards. LOL.

I am linking up the fall card to the following:
Lexi's Creations - Autumn Colors
Crafty Sentiments - Autumn Colors
Oldie but a goodie Challenge - Autumn (I used the leaf die, which has been sitting in my drawn un-loved for more than 6 months!)
Ladybug Crafts - Anything Goes
A Girl Who Crafts - Anything Goes
Crafting from the Heart - Anything Goes

The Christmas card is linking up to the following:
Paper Creators Crafts - Early Christmas
Completely Christmas - Anything Goes
Crafting When We Can - Christmas come early
My Perfect Life - Anything Christmas
Craftyhazelnut Patterned Paper September Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafts Galore Encore - Make a Card

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Monday, September 15, 2014

A card for my dad

Sometimes I feel bad that I am quite a lot closer to my mom than to my dad.  My mom and I talk about girl stuff, shopping, iphone 6 orders, and everything in between.  My mom and I even chit chat on WhatsApp.  My dad and I do video conference weekly, but, that's not a one-on-one meeting because my mom is usually sitting next to my dad when we are conferencing.  If I do the math, I feel that I spend a lot more time chatting with my mom than with my dad.

So I thought I would make a card for him to make him happy!  

It is a simple 5"x 7" card.  I used barn red as the card base, then stamped the Lawn Fawn Argyle backdrops in barn red to create that background pattern.  I cut a strip of patterned paper from the retired CTMH Dakota paper, added the frames and die cut letters from Lawn Fawn Louie's ABCs.  To balance layout I added three black button brads in the bottom right corner.

I was inspired by one of the patterns in the Originals How-To program.  Can you tell which one it is? When I use the CTMH how-to programs, I usually follow the guides very strictly but for some reason I went on to improvise the pattern this time.  I like that it is not too much deviated from the original sketch but I added my own twist! :)  I hope my dad will like it too!

My card is linking up to the following:
A Creative Romance - Anything Goes
Creative Corner - Male Challenge
Sister Act Card Challenge - Anything Goes
Addicted to Stamps - For a man or boy
613 Avenue Create - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Artfully Sent is finally here!

I'm more than thrilled to share with you that the new Close to My Heart Cartridge, Artfully Sent, is finally available!

This cartridge focuses on cardmaking.  Not a cardmaker, no worries.  It offers so much more!  There are pocket cards for Project Life type of scrapbooking or you could simply enlarge or shrink images for your projects.

Check out the video below to learn more about it.  Click here to order your Artfully Sent cartridge!

This month is National Stamping Month and by placing an qualifying order of $30 or more, you'll receive the exclusive C-sized stamp set #30yearsofhappy for FREE!  These images are so versatile that you'll be reaching out to this set again and again!

Place an order to get your Artfully Sent cartridge now and enjoy the fun of crafting!

Happy Holidays

When it comes to crafting, I don't care so much about time.  I could be scrapping some really old photos one day and move on to a recent vacation the next day.  I do not scrapbook my pictures chronologically, and the same goes with my cardmaking.

So yesterday I shared a Halloween card, I am totally skipping Thanksgiving and jumping onto Christmas cards.  In fact, I try to make Christmas cards throughout the year because I'd like to beat the holiday stress!

This Christmas card/holiday card is super clean and simple:

Yet I love it!  It is one of those that's great for mass production!  I simply stamped the background stamp on the card base, then stamped the tag twice - one on red cardstock and one on white card stock.  I die cut the tag from the red cardstock, then fussy cut along the inner tag on the white card stock.  I stamped the sentiment and the penguin and colored it and stuck it onto the red tag with foam dots.  Before I put the red tag onto the card, I added some red trimmings.  Yay!  Quick and easy!  What took me the longest time was to dig up the red cardstock.  I tried a couple of shades but none made me happy until I found this one.  LOL.

My card is linking up to the following:
Artistic Inspirations - Anything Goes
Ooh La La - Clean and Simple
Sweet Stampin' Christmas - Christmas critters
Divas by Design - Anything Goes
Kraftin Kimmie - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Monster Hugs

Hi everyone!  It's quite a while since my last post.  I am focusing on scrapbook pages and mini-albums these days as the Lau Family has decided the date for the next reunion trip.  That means I have to catch up on those!

Nevertheless I do not want to forget about cardmaking and I've recently acquired a lot of goodies! :)  I will send out quite a number of Halloween cards to kiddos and I think the stamp sets from Lawn Fawn really help me get them done easily:

When I first saw the Argyle Backdrops, I knew I had to get it.  I just love background stamps!  See how nice it has added interests to the purple card base?  I also love the Sweater Weather set and I knew I would use the label die a lot.  I like that it has an inner oval so I could put another stamped layer on top of the label, like I did here.  And who can resist the little monsters from Monster Mash?  They are too cute!  For this card I first stamped the monster onto the white oval in black, then I stamped it again, colored it and fussy cut it out.  It was popped up with foam squares and I like the shadow behind him.

My card is linking up to the following:
One Crazy Stamper - Halloween/Christmas
A Girl who Crafts - Anything Goes
Ladybug Crafts - Anything Goes
Paradise of Stamps - Anything Goes

I gotta get back to my scrapbooking.  Thanks for stopping by!