#CreateKindness

Create – to cause to come into being

Kind(ness)of a good or benevolent nature or disposition

I don’t know about you, but one of my goals with crafting is to bring joy to others.  This month’s CTMH Constant Campaign rolls right into that goal with the #CreateKindness cardmaking kit.  This kit comes with everything you need to make cute 3X3 cards to  #createkindess in your world.

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With 4 colored card bases, 8 different M-sized stamp sets, 1.75 inch precut circles (for stamping), a 2X2 acrylic block and a special sized Archival Black ink – you’ll be set to say hello to a friend, send some encouragement, or just let someone know you love them.

 

If you want to bump things up a bit – add some cardstock or a punched or die-cut flower –

The card on the right was colored with colored pencils.  The one on the left with ShinHan Touch alcohol markers & watercolors – since the set comes with Archival Black ink – you can play with adding color without worrying about blurred lines.

This next card was made with a few Thin Cuts, an embossing folder & an embossing/diecutting machine (I use a Cuttlebug).

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Here’s another quick & easy upgrade – use a 4 1/4 X 5 1/2 in card base, and some coordinating cardstock (I used Pansy) – for a Card-in-a Card – (his idea was from Gail Gross –greetingsfromgail.blogspot.com)

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Worried about those bits & pieces not staying organized – don’t worry – this kit comes with a small organizer that holds everything nicely!

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Since this is a Constant Campaign, the #CreateKindness card kit is only available through 30 September 2016 – or while supplies last.  The card kit is $46.95 (a 15% savings) or you can purchase this pieces individually at regular price.  I made sure I’ve purchased extra card bases because these are such cute & easy cards to make – I don’t want to run out!

If you’re looking for more great ideas for these cards and stamps – just Google #CreateKindness & see how other consultants and crafters are creating kindness.  I’ve seen amazing cards & scrapbook layouts.

How can you share some kindness?  A card for your neighbor?  A lunchbox note for your hubby or kids?  Post pictures of what you do with the #CreateKindness card kit – I’ll draw a winner from anyone who submits a picture here or on my FB page.

~Enjoy!

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National Stamping Month

Did you know September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? (Arggh)

And… September 24th is Punctuation Day;…

How about National Stamping Month? – it’s all September long!!  In honor of National Stamping Month, Close to My Heart has not just one, but THREE exclusive stamp sets.  So – whether you’re a Cardmaker, Traditional Scrapbooker or Pocket Scrapbooker – or some hybrid in between  – we’ve got a stamp set for you!  The Hello, Life! Stamp sets can be purchased individually, or combine all three for even more crafty options and savings!g

1509-cc-nsm-hello-life-02Cardmaker?  – this set is great for sending birthday wishes, thank yous, or just saying Hello!  The set includes both sentiments and images for sending love & well wishes.

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Scrapbooker? – show how happy life is with these fun titles and images on your layouts no matter what size scrapbooks you create.

Pocket Scrapbooker? – these stamps are just the right size for pockets & cute mini albums –1509-cc-nsm-hello-life-01 pair these with the Picture My Life card sets for even more options!

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Don’t feel pigeon-holed – you don’t have to choose!  Are you a PocketCardScrapper?  That’s great!  Although these sets were designed for a niche, they all cross over!  As a matter of fact, the card I made only used one little stamp from the Cardmaking set – the majority of the images came from the Pocket Scrapbooking set (and I’m not even a Pocket Scrapbooker (gasp!).  *this card was inspired by Jessica Kaiser.

And … to add even more versatility, all three of these sets coordinate with the Artistry Cricut Cartridge.  Cut out the shapes with your Cricut – use some 3D foam tape and add dimension to any of your artwork.

So remember, National Stamping Month ends September 30th (eww – that’s also fiscal year end for some) – so get yours before they’re gone.  Individual sets are $11.95 – Scrapbooking (CC1040), Cardmaking (CC1041),  Pocket Scrapbooking (CC1042) –  but you can get all three for just $34.95.  Jump on over to my site or give me a call (801-920-4681).

Watch social media for #CTMHHelloLife – for lots of fun ideas.

Enjoy! ~Gerri

The Peaceful (not so Easy) Feeling of Organization

Organization…

That word can strike terror into the heart… or bring peace and tranquility.  I feel like I’ve spent my life trying to be/get organized.  I remember as a kid making lists for everything.  My husband made fun of me for the detailed schedule I had for our wedding day.  And my kids get frustrated with ‘The Board’ – a white board that lists the responsibilities & chores they need to take care of before they can touch electronics.  I have meal plans, I have a scrapbook plan, and I have to-do lists for family, work, scouts, me… I like plans – but yet, I know they have to be flexible.

Organizing ‘things’ is a little more difficult for me.  I never realized there was a physical feeling attached with organization or disorganization until I cleaned & organized my pantry one day. Later that evening, my crazy boys were bouncing off the walls & I was feeling the stress of bedtime. I went to the pantry to get something and as I opened the door – I felt at peace by the sight of neatly organized cans, boxes & containers. Am I odd? It wouldn’t be the first thing that makes me weird! After that day, I became more observant of how clutter makes me feel physically on edge. There are times if I have things spread out in my office, I will take a few minutes to put away/straighten up the piles so that I can focus on my work rather than the clutter that is closing in on me.

I think the biggest problem I have with organization is getting everything in the same place. I often end up with things spread out in different areas because I forgot where I put them the first time & find a new home. Here’s how I try to tackle organizing my craft things.

Workspace – I try to keep things that I use often close to my workspace. Since I’m right handed, I generally have those things placed in containers to my right (so as I reach for something I’m not crossing my body). I also like a ‘grab-n-go’ approach for things like pens/pencils, stamp sets, rulers, scissors (I don’t have small children & my scissors are up higher) and my favorite scrapbooking adhesive, so these are in open containers. Other things I use frequently are under my crafting table – paper/cardstock scraps (in plastic drawers, sorted by color), paper trimmers, paint and journaling pens.

Paper & Embellishments – I keep my papers & embellishments in a scrapbooking cabinet with slots for papers (organized by color) and cubbies for cardstock (I have these in magazine holders so they don’t sag). I used to have my stickers in a 3 ring binder, but decided I prefer to be able to flip through them to find what I want, so I’ve moved them to bins. I’ve organized my stickers by theme – kids, sports, season/holiday, outdoors, shapes, etc.

Things I’m going to Scrapbook (eventually) – I keep things like ticket stubs, school work, play/concert programs, etc., in a file cabinet with a hanging file for each child & year. This works mostly well, except I still have a few straggly things that for whatever reason didn’t make it into the file cabinet. Also there are those things that are larger than a standard file folder. I’m thinking about taking a picture of these things and then getting rid of the oversized item.

Other… – these are the things I struggle with.

-Things my kids use for school projects – I try to keep all together in the closet – but then there are general ‘kid’s craft’ supplies that I keep upstairs.

– Wood crafts, ribbon/washi tape, unfinished projects – They just don’t quite fit nicely into my world because they are odd shapes or don’t stack. I’m still working on these, but for now, things are manageable.

I know different people like to organize things in different ways, but I think the key – whether you organize things by color, theme, or some other option – is to have what you use often easily accessible, the things you don’t use as often available, but out of the way, and the things you use very infrequently can be tucked away where you can remember you have them & still get to them when you do want to use them.

Good luck with your organizing. I’d love to hear what works for you.

Enjoy!

Gerri

Finding Time

Do you have a list of things you’ll do when you ‘find time’? Does your list ever shrink or is it always getting longer? I’d bet those things on your list rarely if ever get done – why? Because how do you find time? Our days are packed full of things that need to be done. Once we finish the things that need to be done, we all want to spend time with our families. So, the things we plan to do when we find time just sit there because we have to ‘find time’.

Well forget it. It’s really not possible. There’s no way to find time. There are only 24 hours in a day (unless you’ve figured out a way to time travel – then by all means, PLEASE contact me immediately!).  We all have that same 24 hours – there’s no way to find more. Instead of finding time – we have to make things a priority. Yes, family and household responsibilities are at the top of the list. We all need to sleep & eat. But we also need to take time for a hobby or something that helps us unwind from the daily grind. There are ways to do this, get up earlier, go to bed later, play while the kids are napping… this is totally a personal choice.

When my kids were younger, I tried to pursue hobbies when they were napping on the weekend or after they went to bed (their 7 PM bedtime was very helpful for this).  As they got a little older, my hobbies mostly went on hold because I didn’t make them a priority. I did decide to put away my quilting supplies & focus on scrapbooking. That at least helped me focus on just one thing.  I would still get to scrapbook occasionally, but it was a struggle because I was unorganized. I’d try to work on a layout & wouldn’t have the pictures, couldn’t find the paper I wanted to use, or my tape runner ran out. It was really frustrating.

It was during one of these days (when my tape runner ran out) that I came up with a plan. Since I didn’t have any adhesive, I planned out a bunch of pages (pictures, papers, die cuts) and took pictures of each layout. I put all the elements in a paper keeper with a divider between each page. That way once I had another free afternoon (and refilled my tape runner), I could pull up the pictures on my computer and recreate the page – this time with adhesive, stickers & other embellishments.

This worked well for me. I had a plan and could work from it. This helped for those days when I only had a short amount of time. I didn’t have to use my brain to be creative – I had already done that when I had a larger block of time available. I could just put everything in place quickly & move on. Then on days when I was able to set aside more time, I could focus on the creative side – pull things together and plan a few more pages.

My planning & scrapbooking have evolved a bit over the last few years, but I think the key for me has been to have a plan. I’ll share my current plan in another post, but wanted to get started with how I came from being haphazard and unproductive to making a plan to create.

I hope that you are able to make yourself a priority. You are important, you need a moment away from the daily grind. Don’t wait until you find time to do something fun – plan for it. Even if it’s just once a month – plan it – schedule an appointment for yourself – and then make a plan so you can feel like that time was well spent – because YOU are worth it!

Enjoy!

Gerri

 

Forced Creativity?

My boys are, I think, pretty normal when it comes to electronics. They walk in the door and reach for the remote or get on the computer. Of course, now with smart phones, they grab the phone, too. I believe in moderation , so they have to do their chores, homework, something physical, & something creative before they get to the computer. I really enjoyed their creativity one day over Spring break.

Both my boys had a full week off for Spring break. I couldn’t get enough time away from my IPB (it pays the bills) job, but I was able to take 1 day in addition to working from home a few others. The day I took off we decided to go for a quick hike in the morning. It was quite entertaining!

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After running a few quick errands, we headed home.  They had done something physical, had no homework, chores were caught up, and so they of course were drawn to the electronics like a black hole. I threw a wrench in their plans when I reminded them they needed to do something creative – play guitar, play piano, draw, paint, I didn’t care as long as they did something (and of course in my ‘mom mind’ – it would keep them away from the electronics just a little longer).

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My youngest son decided he wanted to stamp something, and big brother soon followed along. Since it was just before Easter, they decided to make some cards for Dad. We headed to the craft room. They started with neon pink cardstock for the base. I got them to stamp on white so it would show up better and they could see different colors. I think Garrett was trying to use every stamp I had that had a sayiIMG_0787ng.  Then they broke out the washi tape.

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Cody was very deliberate in creating a scene with a biplane pulling a banner and clouds in the background. Then he saw me showing Garrett how to sponge the edges to add a little more depth. When it was his turn with the sponge, he used it to add a sky affect around his clouds. It amazes me how kids and creative people can just look at something and see how to use it in a different way.

So, with forced creativity hour over, we cleaned up the tornado remnants, and they tucked the cards away until Sunday. I have to say, the best part of this was on Sunday morning, when Cody gave is little creation to me (he secretly made it for me, leading me to believe it was for Dad) – what a great surprise.

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What about your family?  Are your kids creative? Do you fight the electronics battle?  Do you let them play in your craft room? What have they surprised you with?

Enjoy!

Gerri