Friday, January 29, 2016

Happy Friday!

I said I'm on a masculine card kick and it's still going strong!

Although I think this one would be just as nice for a girl.  Well, I might use Sorbet color for the sentiment and use hearts instead of stars for embellishment.

I've used one of the sketches from Make it from Your Heart for this card.  Love that the book even provides dimensions for each piece to be cut.  That makes it really quick and easy.

The Zoe paper packet was first released in August last year and I heard that it has been one of the top selling paper packets.  I am not surprised.  It is so versatile.  I like that it has patterns and color combination that work well for a wide variety of projects.

My card is linking up to the following:
Crafty Gals Corner - Anything Goes
Crafty Girls - Anything Goes
Craft Rocket - Clean and Simple
Southern Girls - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Masculine Thank You card

I'm on a masculine card kick and am sharing a masculine Thank Your card today.

I want to make it more playful so I used my Lawn Fawn goodies to make this card:

I was really hoping to use the "Float My Boat" set to make this card so I started with that.  The next thing I knew was that I have the Ocean Wave Borders die which should go well with this stamp set so I took that out as well.  Because of the wave borders I decided to use the boat image.  Then I thought different shades of blue would be great for masculine card so I gathered my blue cardstock sheets.  To give the boat more interest, I did some paper piecing.  I added red cardstock pieces to the sail of the boat.

It is a standard A2 size card but just the boat on different shades of blue waves would make the card bare.  So I used the stitched journaling card die to draw our attention to the center of the card.  I added a sun and two clouds from Spring Showers die, stamped "Thanks!" on one of the clouds and it's done!

My card is entering the following:
Amusing Challenge - Shades of Blue
Addicted to Stamps - Masculine
613 Avenue - Anything Goes
Stamping Sensations - with a die
Fashionable Stamping - Thanks/Gratitude

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Quick and easy masculine cards

If you are like me, you may find it more difficult to make a card for a man than for a woman.  I don't care which age group this man belongs to, or whatever card I'm making for him, I know for a fact that this card is going to take me much longer than the same type of card for a woman in the same age group.

The nautical themed collection Regatta from Close to my Heart helped me make two quick and easy masculine cards.  They are simple yet perfect for a masculine card.

I've used the cut apart sheet of Regatta patterned paper on both cards:

The greeting "today is a good day" comes from the stamp set "All the Details".  They turned out pretty nice.  :)

I said the projects I've made with the Regatta collection have nothing to do with sea, beach or vacation. Today's cards are examples of how I've used it.

My card is entering the following:
Cute Card Thursday - Just Boys
Creative Knockouts - Embossed delight
Crafty Girls Creations - Anything Goes
Crafting with an Attitude - Anything Goes
Craft Rocket Challenges - Clean and Simple

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Lucky Me

Anyone enjoying a long weekend because today is Martin Luther King's Day?

I have to go to work today and I envy those of you who have a 3-day weekend!

I mentioned before that the Regatta Collection from Close to My Heart has a nautical theme but the layouts I made didn't have anything to do with the sea, beach, or anything in that regard.

One of the layouts I made with Regatta Workshops Your Way captures the story that I was so lucky to have made it to my friend's place even though I wasn't aware of a flat tire!  I was even more lucky to have my friend R to put on the spare tire for me.  Oh yes, you can tell what kind of driver I was............

I really like the cut-apart sheets in the new Workshops Your Way.  This 4x6 card gives the perfect place for journaling.  Some people may think it's a bit weird to use a sheet with so many anchors and a journaling card with a boat on a layout about fixing a car.  I do not mind that at all.  I like that the Sapphire color matches well with the shirt my friend R was wearing.  He certainly floated my boat and the boat on the journaling card could be used to depict that as well.

I was once very rigid about the use of patterned paper on my layouts.  That became part of the reason I have accumulated a lot of patterned paper over the years, because I had been waiting for the perfect pictures to use the paper.  Last year when I returned to focusing more on scrapbooking and albums, I came to realize that it would only kill the joy of scrapbooking.  I do not follow those rigid rules (that were imposed by myself, anyway) anymore, and take the liberty to use patterned paper more loosely.  The result?  I'm enjoying it a lot more, capturing many more stories than before, and having a lot more fun documenting life.

If you are like my old self, take a deep breath and let go of those boundaries.  Matchy-matchy is good, but don't waste time on waiting for the perfect occasion while you could be having fun telling the stories now. :)

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Friday, January 15, 2016


I know that my friend has received and seen the card so I can finally post it here!

It is actually the very first card I made in 2016 and it's a birthday card for a dear friend:

Does this card look somehow familiar to you?  You may have seen a love card on Jennifer McGuire's blog.  I've used many of the design elements from Jennifer McGuire's card here.  Her card is fabulous and after I have seen it on her blog and her video, I wanted to make one using my own supplies.

I wanted to make a birthday card for a guy friend rather than a love card so I've used a star shape as the window.  I've used the Lawn Fawn stackable star dies here.  The dies do not have the details on the edge that Jennifer's heart die does, so I've created a frame for the window.  A nice thing about these stackable dies is that you could create a border easily.  Just nest a smaller one inside the other and run through the machine and the resulting frame looks as if you have made it from a frame die! :)

I do not have sequins in the "right color" but I have quite a few star wood veneers.  So I've colored the tiny wood veneers in red using a Sharpie and sealed the pocket with my fuse tool.  I used blue glitter paper to make the "cheers" die cut and white embossed the sentiment Happy Birthday on a blue strip of banner.  I added a few more glittery stars on the card front to finish it off.

Head over to Jennifer's blog to see her awesome card.  Her blog is constantly inspiring me in many different ways and I'm sure it will inspire you too!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 11, 2016


Happy Monday everyone!

I'm sharing a card that uses some of my new goodies:  The new Workshops Your Way: Charlotte Scrapbooking Kit and the January 2016 Stamp of the Month Beloved Bouquet.

At first glance, the Charlotte paper speaks love, Valentine's Day, or wedding to me.  But I assure you that it is not limited to these theme.  My Workshops Your Way: Charlotte Scrapbooking Kit is almost used up and I didn't make anything in those themes at all.

I do want to tell you something new about Close to My Heart's Workshops Your Way kits.  Do you know that you could download instructions to make beautiful scrapbook and Picture My Life layouts and from Close to My Heart website?   For instance, you can find Charlotte's layout instructions here and here.  Don't know what to do with the leftovers?  We have planned it out for you!  You will find card ideas and the additional supplies needed here!  It is really convenient, isn't it?  Since I started focusing more on scrapbooking last year, I have always been looking for more layout sketches to try.  These layouts with cutting diagrams and instructions by Close to My Heart are really the best!

Like I said I didn't make anything love-themed with my Charlotte kit.  I've made several layouts that feature family gatherings and this card:

I've used scraps from the kit and a sketch from Make it from Your Heart to make this card.  I want to give my mom a Thank You card and this one fits the bill.  Sometimes I do not want to just say Thank You on the card front, so the sentiment "You mean so much to me" in Beloved Bouquet is perfect.  Apparently I can't say enough "Thank You" to my mom and she definitely means a lot to me.  I think she'll like this card!

I'm linking the card to the following:
Crafty Calendar - Something New
Crafty Friends - Something New
Inkspirational - Thank you with something new
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends - Anything Goes
Crafting when we can - Something New
Fashionable Stamping - Thankful/Gratitude

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2016 Craft Resolutions

Do you have any craft resolutions for 2016?

I have a few.  I have been pretty good at working on them in 2015 but I do want to list them here as a reminder for me to follow them strictly.

Resolution 1: Use products.

What do you mean?  How can you not use products?  You may be wondering.

I do not know about you but I have already accumulated a craft store worth of products, many of which are consumable products such as paper and embellishments.  Needless to say some of which are still staying in their original packaging.

I have always had this disease where I do not want to cut the pretty paper.  I worry that I may make a mistake; and I think the paper may look prettier in its original 12 x 12 size; sometimes I just like to admire the pretty patterns of the paper.  I often waited to use the pretty paper when it has been retired.   Even then, I was only willing to use a little of it.  As a result I tend to hoard or collect, rather than actually use the patterned papers.  The pile of paper I have accumulated is just massively voluminous.
Starting in July 2015, I began to use new papers more frequently and confidently.  I told myself it is okay to make mistakes.  I also told myself that it would be better if I make mistakes during the time when the products are still available so I can re-order them again to finish the project.  Think about it, if I'm using retired products and I make a mistake, where in the world would I be able to buy it again?

So far I have been staying on track with using new papers.  I want to continue doing the same in 2016 (and thereafter!).

Resolution 2:  Purge frequently.

Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo?  I am gradually picking up reading and I couldn't pass up this popular book that I literally saw everywhere from Paper Source to Target to Amazon.  I picked up a copy and finished it in one sitting.

We all love new goodies, especially when a new machine or tool brings a lot of inspiring craft ideas.  I would really love to buy all new gadgets under the sun.  However, the limited living space compels me to set boundaries to my craft possessions.  Unlike many craft gurus who have the luxury of an entire floor, living room, basement that's dedicated to crafting, a hobbyist like me only have a corner.  If I continue to buy without purging anything, my craft goodies will soon crawl up to my bed and sleep with me.

I'm fortunate that a local craft store hosts an annual flea market sale.  Last year I gave away quite a bit of stuff by selling in that flea market sale.  It was so nice to send those items to a lovely home where they will be used and enjoyed. Then I also gave away a lot of stuff by donating them to some non-profits, daycare centers.  Some of my gently used items were given to my fellow crafty friends. I remind myself that Jesus said it's more blessed to give than to receive, and thus I want to purge constantly.

Resolution 3:  Budget wisely.

This one seems obvious but this is my problem area.  I spent an incredible amount of money on this hobby in 2014 (including supplies, classes, etc.) so I set up a budget for 2015.  I was pretty good at recording all craft-related expenses but I was not good at sticking to the budget strictly.  I constantly gave myself an excuse that I was spending below my other budgets such as clothing and eating out so it wasn't a big problem to go beyond my budget for this hobby.

This year I can't use the same excuse anymore.  I give myself a budget and I have to stick to it.  Otherwise what's the point of having a budget?

To achieve this goal, I think several action items may help.
1)  Think before you leap/purchase.
I want to want what I have, rather than to want what I don't have.  So before making any purchase, I should think about whether I already have something similar and whether I'm replacing an item that has run out.  I should also think about how it will fit with my current collection.

Whenever I contemplate buying any new clothing/shoes, I ask myself these questions.  The same should apply to buying craft supplies.

2)  Pause before I checkout.
Whether making purchase in store or online, pause and examine the items in my cart before I checkout.  For purchases in store, make sure my cart isn't accidentally filled with some other people's items (it has happened to me!).  For purchases online, check my cart to ensure I have the correct items.  Nothing upsets me more when I realize that I had added the wrong color of the item to my cart when I open my box.

3)  Resist the temptations of sales/new trends/new techniques.
I was pretty good at resisting the temptations of sales in 2015 and I must continue to do the same in 2016.

I have always been enjoying to try new products, new trends and new techniques.  Who doesn't?  They bring excitement to our hobby and new life to our creations!  But before I make purchases I do want to pause and think whether that new technique is my style and more importantly, whether I have the time to try them out.  I'd also ask myself if my little craft corner has the space for this new item.

The pragmatic side of me uses this hobby as a way to express gratitude and love for my family and friends.  I've made several Christmas albums as gifts in 2015, for instance.  I love that I got to enjoy the fun of making an album which will be a meaningful gift for the recipient.  When making gifts, I tend to stay within my comfort zone because I cannot afford any boo-boos in any gifts.  So if I only have limited time for this hobby, some of which allotted to  make gifts, do I still have time to play with those products to try out new techniques?  If I don't have the time for it, I should pass, at least for the time being.

So these are my 2016 craft resolutions.  I've given myself a event reminder in the middle of the year to see how I am doing.  Yes I have resolutions but if things change dramatically I would not be afraid to shift my resolutions.  Regardless, I want to continue to enjoy this fun hobby and I wish you the same!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

Although it's the fourth day of 2016, it's the first work day of 2016, so I am barely starting to feel that we have officially started 2016.  As I see everyone refreshed in the office, we greet each other a happy new year.  Isn't it cool to extend the new year celebration?

A new month marks new promotion at Close to My Heart!

First up, you will find the new Seasonal Expressions available for your review here.  It's an awesome Idea Book and you'll LOVE it!  I've already played with some of the new goodies and please stay tuned for my samples.  I'll also share some of my favorites later.  For now, let me just tell you how excited I am that Close to My Heart is offering Thin Cuts to cut images!  Woohoo!  Take a peek at the dies here and here.

Click here to view the new Seasonal Expressions.  Products shown there are available through end of April 2016.

Next up is the new Stamp of the Month.  It is called Beloved Bouquet and it has several outline and solid floral and leave images that allow you to do layered stamping.  Layered stamping is very popular these days and the clear acrylic stamps of Close to My Heart makes it so easy to get that look.  Take a look at all the images of this stamp set here.

January is National Papercrafting Month and Close to My Heart has a special promotion called Live Your Day.  It is a scrapbooking program that's available only during this month.  The exclusive Picture My Life card collection was designed to coordinate with work perfectly with your 2016 Planner pages and My Crush Everyday Life Pages.  Alternatively, you could definitely use them to plan out our pocket pages for your 2016, which is what I meant to do.  I do some pocket scrapbooking but I do mostly traditional scrapbooking so I plan to use the Live Your Day pocket scrapbooking cards for my 2016 album.

I recommend that you watch the video below to learn more about the details.

Let's start 2016 in a creative way.  May you have a crafty and creative year!