Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cricut collection special - one day only!

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness.  If you were half thinking about getting one of the fantastic CTMH Cricut bundles tomorrow is the time to do it! For just Monday 1st December 2014, you will receive 20% off the normal price. What a deal! Not only do you get the Cricut cartridge, but also stamp sets to match. I love them all, and I am actually using my Cricut again rather than it just sitting gathering dust.

Whether you love scrapbooking, cardmaking or creating 3D projects (or all of the above like me!!), the CTMH four exclusive Cricut collections make the perfect addition to any craft room. Sale starts at midnight (AEDT) on 1 December and ends at 11:59pm Monday night.

Check out the collections here.

AND.... just because that is not quite a good enough deal - during December if you spend over $75 you can also choose an unlimited number of size C or D stamp sets from the Annual Ideas Book for just $10 each. Whoah. That is another money saver. I like to say, the more you spend, the more you save!

AND... don't forget the December Stamp Of The Month that you can get for just $5 with an order of $75.

AND...  tomorrow the Seasonal Expressions catalogue is live with some gorgeous new products, some available for a limited time only.

Phew. I think that is all. Quick, go check it all out and make your list!

Friday, November 28, 2014

December Daily 2014 with My Crush

So I did my blog post about how I am going to be all over my December {not} Daily this year - and now all of a sudden it is nearly December and haven't posted any more!

Well, the plan was to do lots of lovely posts about my foundation pages and how prepared I am etc etc. The NEW plan is to show what I have done so far right now, and then go into more detail through December as we go along when I have added the photos and journalling.

My basic idea for this year is to have all the pages pre-prepared, with space for photos and journalling. I don't do a Daily album, simply because we have too many boring days during December and I really only want to document the Christmas moments in this album. My Project Life album continues along through December, so I can put all the other bits and pieces in there.

I am using the Holiday Happenings My Crush album by CTMH for my December {not} Daily this year. At this stage, I have left the cover without any extra embellishment as it is just gorgeous. I know my photo is not doing it justice, but the gold foil star is beautiful.

Next up in the album is a gorgeous first page, unfortunately not quite so suitable for those of us gearing up to a summer Christmas. Easy fixed...take a look at the before and after:

I cut out some shapes using my Cricut for the background to cover up the text, and then cut out a pocket card from Artfully Sent and added my title from the tiny letters that come with the Holiday Happenings Assortment. I just love the November Stamp Of The Month (be quick if you want it!!) so used this as some flower clusters on my piece.

I also stamped my All the details with white ink using a hostess only stamp.

And so on we go with the rest of my pages...

As I mentioned before, as each page gets completed with photos and words, I will endeavour to put up a blog post with lots more details on what I have done. The main aspect I am using in my album to get more pictures in there at the Flip Flaps, which allow a liftable plastic flap pocket for more pictures or words to be included. I have only used the 3x4" size in my album, but there are lots more sizes available which would look really cool as well.

Don't forget to keep an eye on Mandy's blog Hall of Indulgence to make sure she is keeping up as well!

If you have any questions about any of the products I have used, please contact me for more information.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Design and make your own necklace

I am not big on jewellery. As in, I usually wear absolutely none at all! However, I have put together a base'n'bling necklace from CTMH and I love it. It simply slips on - no having to worry about doing up those tiny little clasps that you can't see properly, and away you go.

I chose one of the patterns from the style sheets, and added a key and a bling charm. I just love it, and have already worn it heaps. I plan to make at least one more, I NEED a red one!

If you are planning to make one as a gift, this is a fabulous way to display your necklace. I used the November Stamp Of The Month (which is so very versatile) and got my inspiration for the colours from the necklace itself.

We are going to be making these necklaces and gift cards at our November get together on Friday November 28th if any locals are interested. Or if you are not local, you can find all the gorgeous base'n'bling products here

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Some hints for actually finishing your December Daily in 2014

I have been doing the December Daily project by Ali Edwards for quite a few years now. And over that time I have learnt a few tips that work for me. I have also learnt what doesn't work so well for me, and I am sure what may lead to quite a few UFA's (unfinished albums) lying around at the back of cupboards.

The very first year I did my December Daily was in 2008, I did just that. A daily record of December. I carefully prepped all the pages, complete with dates ready for December. It all looked very pretty at the start. It was so long ago that I can't even find the photos of it now!

Anyway, what I learnt from that is that our lives are a bit too normal (boring?) for a lot of the days in December to warrant a separate page for each day. And some days were too exciting for just one page. So prepping everything for one page per day in advance really didn't work for me.

In 2009 I was a bit more flexible, and just did the more important December moments. I actually didn't complete the album until well after Christmas, and while the job got done, it wasn't quite the same as working on the stories and memories as they happened.

I skipped 2010 altogether, although I am going to go back and complete it digitally at some stage.

In 2011 I did a hybrid version which I loved while I was doing it, and still love today.

You can see the finished version here. I printed out the photo and text on my home printer, then just added some embellishments afterwards. I used a similar template throughout which made it all quick and easy.

In 2012 I chose not to do a separate December Daily album but put some extra effort into my Project Life pages for that time. This is quite a good idea, especially if you are particularly short of time, however, I really like to pull all my December albums out at Christmas time and be able to look through them all, and having it in with the rest of the year's Project Life makes this too difficult.

2013 I went completely digital and had a photo book printed. This was really quick and easy, and is a great idea if you want a quick result. I did miss the fun of the products, though, The searching, the buying, the touching, the sticking. You can see the start of my book for 2013 here.

A great idea would be to get all your pages ready digitally in advance, then wait for a super special on printing 12x12 like what is available right now through CTMH's Studio J.

So after all that - here are the main points I have learnt that work for me with the December Daily project:

- Do some prep in advance, but don't be too pedantic with it.
- Nobody is going to care in years to come if you have some photos out of order.
- Take lots of photos. Take the same pic in both portrait and landscape in case one size suits your pages better.
- Don't try to do too much during December. You know, you might just be busy.
- Don't stress if you are not keeping up with the actual getting the album done during December if you can't. Take the photos, jot down some notes and you can finish it in January.
- They are YOUR memories. Don't judge yourself on what everyone else is doing. Nobody can document YOUR memories like YOU can.
- Just get in there and do it! I (and my whole family) love looking back through the December Daily albums and remembering the different things we have done. And it is fun looking at the same activities being done over the years. Building your own traditions.

This year I am doing something a little different again. CTMH have got a simply gorgeous My Crush book called Holiday Happenings (similar to a Smash book) that I will be using. It is a 7 1/2"x 8 1/2" Kraft hardcover album complete with gold foil accents (the cover is the gorgeous triangular Christmas tree) with 30 pages in a mix of styles: printed vellum, printed cardstock-weight and page protectors in various styles.
I have made a start on my first few foundation pages, and the hardest thing is actually covering up these gorgeous pages! I am also using the Holiday Happenings Assortment to decorate my pages, and the cute Budge Buttons as well. Just purchasing these items through my CTMH website is only $40 plus freight which is great value for all you will need to put together a fantastic, basic December Album. I am adding some bits and pieces to mine, in particular the 3"x4" Flip Flaps that I will be utilising to give me some more space for photos and journalling on my pages.

Stay tuned on the blog in the days to come for my first few pages, and also check out the fabulous Hall Of Indulgence blog to get even more inspiration, and keep an eye on how Mandy is going using the same products.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Making the most of 12x12 photos in Project Life

The November special for Close To My Heart is getting layouts printed from their Digital Scrapbooking Software that is called Studio J.  I don't do much traditional digi scrapping - therefore thought this deal was not that useful for me.

Then I realised...I could use this FANTASTIC deal to get some Project Life (or Week in the Life, or December Daily or whatever) pages printed extremely cost effectively.

The CTMH Studio J classifies a "layout" as two 12x12 pages. Yep, TWO!!

That means I can upload my 12x12 jpegs (either huge photos, or already completed layouts that I do in Photoshop Elements) as a single jpeg, one on each page - and have two 12x12 pages printed for just $5. And have a chance of getting some extra bonuses, too! Now there's a deal for me!

I just had my first play in Studio J, and it is really, really simple to upload my jpegs and put one on a page. Firstly create a User Account. Then you simply upload your photo or jpeg image of your layout you want to print, then Continue, choose Create your own custom layout, select any of the Kits (I choose Confetti Wishes because it was first, but it really doesn't matter as we are only going to choose a blank page anyway), then Continue, then find the No Limits page. Select Continue then Kit Mix 1.
You will then see a screen with a double page layout, and your photos or jpeg images on the left hand side. Simply drag your pics over to the layout with the cross on there, and there you have it! Click off the photo and it will bring it into the layout. Choose another image for the other side of the double paged layout and you have two pages ready to print. Too easy.

Here is an example I just did using one of my December Daily pages that I created digitally last year.

You can order up to 50 layouts in a box for a set freight cost of $9.50.

Click here to go to the Studio J page, and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to give me a buzz - probably easiest to message on Facebook.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November CTMH happenings...

So much going many fabbo little time! Always the way.

Our October Christmas card making session went extremely well, and for November we are going to be making a necklace using the fantastic Base & Bling range. If any locals are interested, just let me know.

The November Stamp Of The Month is a great one, and really versatile too.

And just quickly, the Picture My Life cards can now be purchased separately! Woot woot! Now if you are like me and have 27 million divided page protectors, you can just get the cards. So check them out here if you are interested.

Another great project that I MUST start working on soon is my December "not quite" Daily, where I will be using a CTMH My Crush Holiday Happenings album. These albums are seriously gorgeous. So much so that I am going to have to do some creative thinking with this one as I don't want to cover up any of the beautiful pages! Can't wait to get started...the plan is to get most of the foundation for all the pages done in November, then simply add 3x4 photos and journalling during December. I don't do every single day of December, just the important, photo worthy bits - so I am not concerned about dates or even the order of events.

The SPECIAL for November is involving Studio J, which is CTMH's digital side. I must admit I have not had a play with this yet, but the special is fantastic so if anyone is at all interested in having a go - November would be a great time to start.