FSE – Fast, Simple, Easy!

With spending 30 years around the Air Force – acronyms are second nature to me! But – I learned a new one the other day – FSE – Fast, Simple, Easy! (PS – I wouldn’t recommend searching this, because the Urban Dictionary DOES NOT translate it the same!)

FSE is usually my goal for cards & layouts  because like all of you – I’m busy! I need to get things done and move on to the next thing on my list. So – here are a couple of FSE birthday wishes…

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This card simply uses a piece of 3″ x 4 1/4″ Prickly Pear (X7221B) patterned paper, topped with a strip of Blue Burlap ribbon (Z3325) .  The stamping is done with Sapphire ink using the Wise Guy Birthday (C1662)  – which is also available in French or Spanish versions! Add some matching embellishments & you’re all done! (This card design is one off the Prickly Pear Scrapbook Workshops Your Way (G1128) extra projects).

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Not only is this card FSE – but it’s also a great way to use up scraps! This card was inspired by a Clean & Simple Stamping sketch challenge.  It is so simple to just punch out a bunch of circles (I used 1″) and then lay them out in off set rows.  I added some Prickly Pear sequins to balance out the left side a bit. The stamping was a little more involved because I wanted the white to show through on the Sapphire cardstock, so I used heat embossing on the Hooked On You Stamp Set (B1535).  It’s crazy how many times I’ve come back to this stamp set to use this Happy Birthday stamp – it’s a great option.

What do you do to keep your card crafting Fast – Simple – Easy. (This takes me back to… We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, Stronger, Faster – ooops! Not exactly crafting related!)

Enjoy!

~Gerri

Storybook Alphabet

Back in the day – I never seemed to have too many alpha sticker sets.  These days, I find I never seem to have too many alpha stamp sets! The July Stamp of the Month is adding another option to my stash! Storybook Alphabet is great for layout titling or making cards.

Storybook Alpha

These letters are just under 1″ tall and have designs – flowers, hearts, dots, leaves. You can color these with markers, water colors or colored pencils or leave as they are – they look great either way.

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This card design came from Make It From Your Heart Volume 1 pattern book (watch for Volume 3 in August!!). This is an quick, easy & cute card anyone can make.

  • Cut four 1 1/4 x 4″ strips and dovetail the bottom of each.
  • Layer each piece with a piece of ribbon (I used Blue Burlap) before attaching to the card base (You can also add a 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 piece to create a background if you’d like)
  • Use four 1 1/8″ squares in White Daisy to stamp the letters H, O, P, E – LOVE works too!
  • Mat the stamped letters with 1 1/4″ squares in the darker color.
  • Attach the squares with a bit of 3D foam tape (this adds dimension and helps prevent unevenness over the burlap).
  • Add an embellishment to the lower portion for balance (I added a little sentiment banner – but you could easily add a bow or other embellishment)

Another option is to create a solid piece for the stamped word – then you could include a longer word like THANKS or LOVE U.

Hope you’re having an amazing week!

Enjoy!

~Gerri

Products used (these can be found at gerri.closetomyheart.com):

 

QUICK Homemade Spaghetti Sauce!

I try to pay attention to what my family eats. I would prefer all natural, no sugar, no junk – I do my best but don’t always win that battle.  I was surprised to find sugar in the list of ingredients when I started looking at spaghetti sauce in the grocery store.  I could make my own, but the thought of babysitting the pot while it simmered was not very appealing.  Enter the pressure cooker! I found this recipe when I purchased a stove top pressure cooker and grew to love it even more when I got an electric! It is literally set it & forget it! And it’s a very forgiving recipe so if you don’t have something on hand you can adapt, substitute or omit it (except of course for the tomatoes!)

  • 32 oz diced Tomatoes – sometimes I used canned, sometimes I use fresh, sometimes they’re frozen – and they aren’t always diced.
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper (or red, yellow, orange…)
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning (or 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp rosemary)
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 6 oz tomato paste

Add all ingredients except tomato paste to the pressure cooker pot. Seal & set on manual for 8 minutes. Use a quick pressure release. Stir in in the tomato paste.

Transfer to a blender (or use a stick blender) and blend on high for about a minute for a smoother texture. If desired, return to pot and saute on low to the desired thickness.

Enjoy!

~Gerri

No Worries with Thin Cuts

Have you tried any of our stamp/thin cuts bundles? These little gems are a great way to add dimension to your paper crafting projects.

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This set is the No Worries Cardmaking Stamp Set + Thin Cuts bundle (Z3337) … There’s also a Scrapbooking bundle (Z3336)! Using just a manual die cutting machine (I use a Cuttlebug) – you can cut these images from patterned paper or cardstock.

You might choose to stamp the image on plain cardstock and then place the die over the stamped image. Or stamp on the cut image. Add some extra flair by strategically placing the die cut on patterned paper to show a specific design or image within the cut.  These little pieces of metal are so versatile!

Here are a couple of cards I made for this month’s class –

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This card was provided as a Make & Take project at the Seasonal Expressions II Launch event back in March.  I love the support that the CTMH Home Office provides to consultants in the form of projects and inspiration!

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This card I lifted from the Seasonal Expressions II idea book (page 15) – so easy!

What a fun way to add to your cards or layouts. Don’t want the look of dimensional layering? You can get the stamp sets without Thin Cuts and stamp away!

Enjoy!

~Gerri

The products used for these cards can be found at gerri.closetomyheart.com

No Worries – Thanks!

e4cb4d65-54ae-4c5b-a5e9-5100c4a1e366I had the privilege of taking part in a CTMH consultant card swap for the new Seasonal Expressions II idea book.  I received lots of great cards from my sister consultants using the four featured paper packets.  I really enjoyed the beachy theme of the No Worries paper packet so I chose that as my paper, but I didn’t want to focus on the retirement sentiments includued in the coordinating stamp set.  Instead, I decided to pull in the stamp set featured in the No Worries CArdmaking Workshop You Way Kit. This stamp set has both a Thanks & Happy Anniversary sentiments.

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This card may look familiar if you saw last month’s cards.  I really liked the simplicity of this pattern and the fact that it can be very simple and basic or you can dress it up.

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This card uses a background colored cardstock – I used Bamboo – (depending on your patterned papers, you don’t even need this), then 2 strips of paper 4 x 1 3/4″, plus a single strip that is 4 x 1 1/2″. Top these strips with a 1/2 x 5 1/2″ (I used the wood grain pattern), then a 2 1/2″ Bamboo square, a 2 1/4″  Sapphire square (I distressed both squares).  I also used the Flower Market Cricut cartridge for the wreath  – cut from Champagne cardstock and the ‘thanks’ banner – cut from White Daisy.

The ‘thanks’ is stamped  in Desert Sand and I distressed the edges of the banner with Desert Sand as well.

Other products used can be found at my website (gerri.closetomyheart.com) –

Something’s Gotta Give – a little…

I once heard a speaker talking about balancing your life – family, work, self, volunteer time – it all takes time and energy.  I wish I could remember her name – because rather than talking about trying to balance everything like a scale – she talked about a symphony. When a symphony plays, a multitude of instruments come together to make beautiful music.  However, there are times when certain instruments shine – the brass might have a solo, so the other instruments linger in the background.  Next it’s time for the woodwinds – then percussion – on and on.  She spoke about how this was a good way to balance your life – sometimes family needs will take a lot of time and your other things will fall back slightly – they don’t go away, they just give way.  Next you might need to devote more time to your business – then a volunteer activity.

This is exactly what happened to me. I was helping to organize a fundraiser at my church and it took more of my time and energy than I was expecting.  It was a fun and successful event, but something else had to give – I decided to let my blog slide a bit until I could get caught up in more pressing areas and bring my symphony of life back together.  So – here are a couple of cards featuring the Little Dreamer Creative Collection.

Paper Pack

As usual, I try to keep my cards quick and easy.  This first card uses three strips (2 of the lagoon stripe and a floral) with a 3/4″ strip of thistle cardstock running across the bottom.  I added some Whisper thick twine for added visual dimension.  Then I topped this with squares of the blossom floral, thistle rainbows and the white daisy piece for stamping. The stamped images are done in Thistle and Glacier.  I felt the difference between the White Daisy card and the paper pieces was a bit too stark, so I backed everything with a 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 piece of the cloud paper.

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This next card simply uses a piece of the unicorn paper with a 5 1/2 piece of the zip strip along with some Whisper thick twine.  The stamping on this is done with Lagoon and Pixie and the stamped piece is backed with the heart paper.

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I hope your life’s symphony is well balanced and that you are able to pursue all the worthwhile causes you enjoy in life.

Enjoy!

Gerri

Products used can be found at gerri.closetomyheart.com

Live Beautifully

Yesterday brought lots of new things in my Close to My Heart world. One of these new things is the exclusive Live Beautifully collection. There are so many options I didn’t think I could really do it justice – so I thought I’d link to this video by CTMH.  It shows the paper packet, stamp set, and Cut Above Layout kit.

CTMH Live Beautifully Video

These products are all in celebration of National Scrapbooking Month – but don’t be fooled by the name – these are great for all you papercrafting fun.

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The paper packet comes with 16 sheets – 6 of them double sided.

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While the stamp set has large, beautiful words that work for layout titles – there is plenty of love here for cardmakers also!

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Last – but DEFINITELY not least! – is the Cut Above Layout Kit.  This kit comes with pre-printed pages & photo mats, stickers and die cuts and 12 X 12 Memory Protectors for 5 double page layouts!  You can literally have all 5 double pages completed in 2 hours! These layouts are great for telling your stories of weddings, engagements, prom, family, that inspirational person in your life – so versatile!

To see the whole collection including the album bundles (available at a 20% discount!) – check out gerri.closetomyheart.com.

For more info on the workshop I’ll be hosting (June 2nd, 5:30 PM in Roy) go here.

Want to see more great artwork with these products? – Search on #CTMHLiveBeautifully!

Since these are exclusive for National Scrapbooking Month – they are only available in May and only while supplies last!

Would you like to get the Cut Above Layout Kit for free?!

  • Host a gathering in May that reaches the 3rd Hostess Reward Level and receive the Cut Above set in addition to $60 of free hostess product and any item for 1/2 price (yes, even Cricut Cartridges!)

 

  • Become a consultant – in addition to the other fun products in your consultant kit, you’ll get this layout kit for free!

 

Enjoy!

~Gerri