Wednesday, February 29, 2012


In the past years, I have done some 12x12 "pages" and framed them, and now I'm finding that I'm doing it a lot more. I took some nice pictures of my "adopted" family in Mexico, and for a surprise gift for them, I made a page of their individual families. Of course they were all embellished to the hilt, but the families absolutely loved them. Each were different and suited their own personalities.

When I was with my friend Gerriann, she showed me an 11x14 "page" she had done for a baby girl gift, and I was reminded once again about how much fun it is to create a special gift - one that will not be duplicated!

Gerriann made the page from the new Lucy paper pack and embellished it according. What I especially like is the butterfly that she adhered to the outside of the frame. So darling!

Last fall I decided to make a gift for my therapist, who had helped me over the years discover quite a bit about myself, and had helped me over a few bumps in the road of life. I got to know her quite well, and knew her favorite colors, etc.

Here is what I came up with. I call it "The Button Tree", and in my own unpolished calligraphy, I wrote one of my favorite sayings: And then the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.....Anonymous

Sandy (my therapist) hung it on  her office wall, and says that there has not been one person who has not told her how beautiful and unique it is. I can tell you that I spent quite a bit of time on it - you can do things that are less time consuming. But the results are always the same. Gorgeous, personal and handmade!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spell check

I have already gotten 2 readers tell me I spelled "Quilter" wrong in my post of this morning (see below). I did it on purpose, but should have used quotation marks. You have to read the story to understand why I did it that way!

At least some of you are reading my blog!

Scrapbooker to Quitler

Even though I stick pretty much to scrapbooking, I am usually up for a challenge. My daughter, Kara and our friend April, who manage a local Subway store, asked - no, they begged - me to make a quilt for their boss using all of the old Subway promotional tee shirts that their boss did not want to get rid of. 

So I thought "how hard could it be to sew some shirts together"?  Mind you, I had never "quilted" before, nor had I ever attempted to make a quilt or a blanket. But with an idea in my head, I decided to cut a 12x12 piece of all the shirts and sew them onto 14x14 squares of white fleece. Every square of the shirts was "hemmed" along the edges first, then sewn onto the white fleece. Even though I pressed and measured every square, it was difficult as the tee shirts were stretchy and really hard to manage. I filled the quilt with batting and made the back side all white fleece.

They middle square was made of a tee shirt that had little printing on it, so all the employees used a permanent fabric marker to sign all their names. The bottom right square was left for me to write a message for the boss. All I had to do was write "Thank you -  Merry Christmas - love from your Freya crew". That's it, just those 9 little words written with a permanent fabric marker, and I would be done with that big hunk of fleece and those stinkin' tee shirts! Yep, 60 hours and 12,000 yards of thread and it would be done! Whew! I gave it to the crew, nicely folded and packaged so they could officially present it to their boss. Done deal. Everyone was impressed and excited to present the gift to their beloved boss.

And then the bomb went off! Kara called me and said "You majored in English in college, so here's a question for you. How do you spell Christmas?" As soon as she said those words, I knew the worst had happened. You guessed it! In permanent ink, I spelled Christmas without the R in it. Devastation led to panic, which led to trying to come up with an idea to cover it or fix it. I had used all the tee shirts, so I couldn't make a new square, so I figured I would fix it. No problem, I thought, I did it all the time with scrapbooking - make a mistake, cover it up! Piece of cake!

Well, it wasn't easy, but I wrote Christmas (spelled correctly, I may add) on a corresponding color, hemmed it and sewed it over the original. Then, I did the same thing with the word Freya (their store name) so that it could be construed that these words were simply "highlighted". It wasn't perfect, but it was the best I knew how to fix it.

Everyone thought it was the best gift ever - handmade and heartfelt - and the boss never knew the real story!

We all laugh about it now, because, well, it is sort of funny. Just don't be surprised if I send you a holiday greeting saying "Merry Chistmas"!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Footloose Paper Packet

Well, first of all, I've got to show you a picture of what it looks like in Spokane today:

It looks pretty when you know you don't have to go out! The snowflakes are huge, the winds are high and the snow is thick and heavy. So I decided to make a layout of the warm sandy beach in Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico. The water was 84 degrees and it was tropical and wonderful.

 I had just gotten the new Footloose paper pack that I ordered especially for my pictures of Mexico. When I first saw it in the catalog I wasn't that impressed, but as always, when you get it home it looks so much better!

I made my layout first as usual:

Then I added some beachy photos, added horizontal journaling strips of bamboo, added some blue and green crystals, and used the Seaside Wooden Shapes (item #Z1693 - $4.95) and some Footloose Complements Dimensional Elements (X7151C - $4.95):

When I gazed at the layout, I felt warm and fuzzy all over, and was filled with wonderful memories of a place I love to go.

Then I got stupid and looked out the windodw again: (Sorry, I forgot to rotate it before I posted)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Use Your Scraps (part 2)

I wanted to showcase some additional work using small scraps. Last time I showed you mostly cards, this time  scrapbook layouts:

Layout 1 - This Christmas layout using Elemental (olive and cranberry) does use (2)  12x12 pieces of cardstock and (2) 11x11 pieces of cardstock, however, I only used 7 little scraps of  B & T and (3) pieces of 3x6 pieces of cardstock to fill it in.   I did stitch around both 11x11 pieces, but I liked it when not using  too much B&T and cardstock. The stocking and Christmas trees  are stamped on the chipboard pieces that come with the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge, buttons and glitter.

Layout 2: WOW! This is a really bad picture of a cute layout. Again, I used the Elemental paper pack (sorbet) and sorbet and desert sand cardstock. The circle and the scalloped edge are from the Elemental chipboard pieces and the accessories are antiqued copper mini medley.

Layout 3:  This was made by my friend and scrapbooking cohort, Gerriann Armstrong. She used 7 pieces of the Sonoma paper packet and desert sand cardstock, but the background cardstock is pansy purple (not the smokey plum that comes in the packet). I really liked how the pansy purple works with the Sonoma. The color just pops! The pieces of desert sand cardstock are stamped and then sponged with the pansey purple.  The butterflies (Flutter Paper Shapes - Z1463 - $5.95) are colored pansy purple.

Layout 4: Again using the pieces of Elemental (creme brulee) and olive, pacifica and sorbet cardstock. This layout was inspired by my upline, Shannon Smoldt, and uses the Elemental chipboard assortment and the pacifica mini medley. I really like these colors together.

Layout 5: I used 6 stripes of  the B & T from the Dreamin paper pack.  The scalloped half circle and the flowers were done using the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge in pacifica and goldrush. Letters are from the Cork Alphabet-  (item Z1450 - $5.95 - adhesive backed).

Layout 6: Another layout inspired by Shannon using the Dreamin paper pack and Dreamin My Stickease. I really like the 2" by 1 1/2 little pieces for the window pane effect. The stickease and scalloped paper are adorned with the bronze glitter gel (item Z1483 - $2.75).

Layout 7: This was done using 2 pieces of Mischief - slightly larger than scraps. I know it's hard to see as the background paper is black (I'm not taking very good pictures today). The white bats are stamped in white pigment ink that needs to be treated with the heat tool to set. I used up the last of my Midnight Shapes that went along with Mischief. I am SO done with Mischief!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CTMH Retired Products

If you haven't checked out my CTMH website, just click on the "Shop With Me" icon to the right. Go to "Shopping" and then click on "While supplies last". You cannot order these items from me, you can only order them online at You will find retired items from 20 - 80 % off retail! All the seasonal paper packets and accessories in the Fall/Winter catalog are being retired.

Remember, as the title says, the sale is for retiring products and it is "while supplies last, so if you see something you want, better hurry!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Use Your Scraps

Every time a new Close To My Heart catalog comes out I start my wish list and plan what I'm going to do with all the cool paper packs and accessories. Unfortunately, the paper and accessories featured in the older catalogs are "stashed" and I end up with a bit of odd shaped, big and small pieces.

I vow every 6 months to use my scraps. I keep envisioning an organized scrap room where I use up every single bit of the old stuff.  I never seem to get there.

I have one scrapbook friend who, dare I say it, is a scrapbook hoarder! Her home is spotless, laundry caught up, and there is not a cobweb in her house. But one look in her scrap room tells a different story. It's organized, however, even the tiniest bit of paper is saved. And she has at least one of everything that was featured in every catalog - we're talking YEARS!!!!

A few weeks ago, I started to do something with my older stuff, using scraps of paper and the remaining embellishments that were featured with that paper pack. I can't tell you how cathartic the process was. I got a true sense of "completeness" and was amazed at what I got done in a very short time.

Below I have photos of some items I made from 5 retired paper packs and matching accessories. For the Mischief layout I used Jeanette Lyntons "Imagine" book. The Mischief cards (10 of them) took me about 30 minutes. When I got my Hooligans paper pack out, I had very little left. I made 10 cards in 20 minutes just putting pieces of paper on top of one another and slapping on the Hooligan Level 2 assortment. Ditto with the Sweetheart paper pack! The best thing about this is that my bags of 5 paper packs are all used up (with the exception of Wings) and I have room for 4 new ones!!!! Now that's what I call recycling!

Layout using Mischief (Fall/Winter 2011)

Two cards using Sweetheart (Spring/Summer 2010)

Five cards using Hooligans(Fall/Winter 2010)

Five cards using Mischief (Fall/Winter 2011)

Five MORE cards using Hooligans (Fall/Winter 2010)

Five cards using Sophia (Fall/Winter 2011)

Four cards using Wings (January 2011 special paper pack)

Five more cards using Mischief and matching Midnight Felt Shapes (Fall/Winter 2011)

Sweetleaf background and texture paper from the Wings assortment and the parenthesis is from the package of epoxy stickers of the Sweetheart Level 2 collection.

During this process I also found that mixing some of the background and texture paper packs with other ones is another way of using them all up. The Sweet Leaf B & T that is featured in the above card is one of those that can be mixed easily with another paper pack. I will feature some things that I made mixing and matching to use it all up in a future post. Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Amazing Cards with Fine Details

Yesterday I mentioned that my friend Jackie scrapbooks totally opposite of the way I do it, but they both seem to work. Her scrapbooks are beautiful, but she creates DELICIOUS cards! Her attention to detail is exceptional, and she always completes the card with some artwork inside.

Take a look:

Card 1: Done in pink tones and embellished with lace, ribbon, bitty pearls and sparkly tulle. A lot of the pieces are cut from the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge available from Close To My Heart.

Card 2: Using dry embossed white paper for the bottom, Jackie created this simple but elegant card using the Pemberly paper packet (top and denim paper "ribbon"). On the very top of the CTMH background and texture paper packs, there are three different decorative 1/2" strips you can use to complete or embellish your work.

Card 2: A lovely message stamped and placed upon another Art Philosophy Cricut piece.

Card 3: Here is a gorgeous blend of "vintage" pale green, brown and pink paper that features a silk rolled flower, pink tulle, "vintage" cut outs and a stamped message flanked by perfectly set pearls.

Card 3 - Inside:
What a stunningly detailed and adorned message, again using hand-set pearls! Who wouldn't want to receive a card like this?

Card 4: A beautiful butterfly is stamped in gold ink (you could also heat emboss the image in gold). The background is a sheet of background and texture paper from the Florentine paper packet from Close To My Heart, and the stamped message is placed on a torn piece of colonial white sponged around the edge in Lagoon ink. The sponging really accentuates the message, especially when it lies against the white knit fleurette and tiny grosgrain ribbon.

Card 4 - Inside
A nicely placed message inside the card with a small butterfly stamped in gold and twilight. Both word stamps feature CTMH's honey ink.

The back of her cards are also stamped indicating handmade - nice touch. (sorry I forgot to rotate it).

You can also stamp the outside of the envelope to further personalize your handmade work!

OK, Jackie. I'm inspired now. Gotta go create!

PS - Thanks for letting me share!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Arranging Your Scrapbook Pages

My friend Jackie, (scrapbooker and card maker extraordinaire) and I have this running "conversation".
     Jackie: How can you possibly make your layouts before you know what photos you're going to use?
     Juli: How can you possibly make your layouts according to, and based on, the photos you want to scrapbook?

Once in awhile I will do a layout "Jackie's way" based on the photos I know I want to use, but it just seems to take me a longer time.  I usually have my layouts all done so that when I get my photos together, I just "make them fit" the layout. Sometimes I add an embellishment or two (or eight), sometimes I add a title, and I usually make a spot for journaling. For me, making the layouts ahead of time works better.

No matter how you do your scrabook pages and layouts, just do it!

Yesterday I showed you a layout of mine that went from ordinary to hand crafted. Here are a few different ways you might arrange your photos.

One photo and title added (for the title, I used CTMH's Keepsake Felt adhesive-based Alphabet, page 129 of the 2012 Spring/Summer catalog - item #Z1696 $5.95):

Want to add more than one photo?

Companion page - two photos: you could journal on a 3x3 piece of Colonial White (CTMH) and place it in the  top right corner:

Double mat - or not! Sometimes placing your photos on a double mat seems to make it more polished.

Or maybe you want to add just one 5x7 photo (size can be adjusted)

Sometimes I make mistakes (can't believe I just said that outloud!) Some of my mistakes are little "oops" and sometime they are HUGE! I've found that most are fixable.

I have been on a mission lately to use up my older products and move on with the new ones, so while searching my "stash", I found an "irresistable" piece of chipboard. CTMH makes a line of "irresistables" and this piece had to be a couple years old. Irresistables are so named because even though they are white chipboard, there is a design in the chipboard itself. When you ink the chipboard, the design pattern "resists" the ink, there by making a colored embellishment. It was only after I inked the piece that I noticed that it had a small tear in it, and that tear had resisted the ink as well as the design.  I still wanted to use it and I really liked the little bit of the tulip color, but it looked really bad!

After covering the "oops" with a button-topped flower, I like it even more. Granted, this is a small  "oops", and I have made much worse ones. Most can be fixed easily:

Long story short - there is no wrong way to scrapbook! The idea of scrapbooking is to preserve your memories and tell a story.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hand crafting your work

Today I was working on a scrapbook layout using Close To My Heart's new STELLA paper pack. I finished it, I thought, but then my inner voice said "it needs a touch of something". I percolated the idea for a bit, and came up with a way to finish the layout by adding a hand crafted look. It occurred to me that the difference in just "making" a layout and finishing a project that is hand crafted makes quite a noteworthy difference.

The photos attached show the first "almost done" layout, and the next is the completed project. What a difference! I know what you all are thinking, too! You don't want to spend all that time hand stitching your pages! It took just a few minutes to mark the holes using CTMH's clear 14" ruler that includes guide holes for evenly spaced stitching. It has a metal straight edge for craft knife cutting and 1" grid marks (item # Z1471 - $9.95). Then I used tulip embroidery thread and just stitched with an embroidery needle. It took 9 minutes per page, and I did that in front of the TV!!

Have a look - I think the difference is impressive.

Tomorrow I will post these pages with a few different photo arrangements so you can see another way to polish your layout. I'll also show you a way to "fix" a mistake on your work - can you spot mine?