Friday, August 29, 2008

Sharing the love.

Well, the school year is in full gear for me. I am back to my old routine, lay my clothes out the night before, pack my lunch, get the coffee ready, but after teaching for 3 years, I finally feel like I can relax a little bit at school and enjoy myself. The pressure isn't on to develop totally new ideas, I have lesson plans that I can refer back to every week.

Before school started, I was trying to organize two art rooms, clean and put away supplies. In the midst of it all, I had the most disheartening thought! My very first group of 2nd graders had finished 4th grade in May and they are going off to middle school this year and I am going to miss them!

I decided to let each and every one of them know that they are special and important to me. I went to the front office, got out the information book, looked up the addresses of each child, which I wrote on post cards and then I wrote a personalized message to each and every on of my former students. I told them how much I would miss them, how they are always welcome to visit, and good luck in middle school.

My writing fingers were sore by the time I was done hand writing every message, but it was worth it!! I hand stamped the front of the post cards with Close to My Heart's Doodle Art Stamp set and put them in the mail the very next morning. The cards arrived to the students before open house a few days before school started and I was so glad that I had written the letters when the kids came up to hug me and say, "Thank you for the card Mrs. Mitchell"....the love in their was so special and even though I didn't see all of them that night, the ones I have see since then give me an extra special hug and they remember how much I care about them.

Sharing the love....that is what it is all about....I encourage you to use your talent...even if it is just a simple post tell someone how much they mean to you. Get all those cards our of your basket or drawer, pick out the very best one (you already have a picture of it), hand write a heart felt note on the inside, buy a stamp, and put a note in the mail for someone who would benefit from a little bit of unexpected love. It will come back to you ten fold.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Color Inspiration #20

Here is my card for the KWernerDesignBlog Color Challenge. This was such a fun card!! The background is layered paper from More to Adore, the Close to My Heart Level 1 Page Kit. The round stickers are MyStickease from the same kit. The ribbon also coordinates with the kit. The green chipboard shapes are from K&Co. I inked them, rubbed some lighter green chalk on them and then covered them with Liquid Glass. Wow-ee!!! This card was so fun, I stayed up late last night finishing it and I couldn't wait to post it this morning. I also used brads along the bottom. So, anyway, back to my normal life.....I've posted like 3 blogs today! Enjoy!

Name that Tuna Card

Here is my Musical themed card for the Caardvarks name that Tuna Card Challenge. The background is embossed with a black swirl design and then over-stamped with a brown writing design. The sheet music is from an actual book that I got at a garage sale. The chipboard shape is K&Co. Everything else on the card, stamps, ink, ribbon, heart, are all from Close to My Heart.

Cutest thing EVER!

My first post today is a thank you to whom ever invented this cute little tin. It is from Pier 1 Imports, I picked it up at the register. Not only is it super cute, the mints are yummy, AND I was completely thrilled and pleasantly surprised when I opened it up and saw that there was a little mirror inside! If you aren't into the whole owl 'thing' (Yvonne) other designs exist so the next time you go in, grab one, you won't be sorry!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

SNEAK PEEK..going in the mail today!!

I have been busy!! School has started and that means one thing, the new Close to My Heart Idea Book will be out in September and I have to get ready. I haven't had any parties in about 2 months so I am hoping to kick start things with a sneak peek of the new book. I spent hours upon hours creating an envelop/flyer to mail to all of my customers (and hopeful customers) letting them know about the new idea book, my blog, my website, and my workshops starting in October. The sneak peek will include prizes for the best "sneakers" and "peekers" (sunglasses). I am also offering a free Idea Book to anyone who brings a friend or books a party. Spend $25 at the sneak peek and attend the workshop "Cards and Coffee" ($5) for free!

I am a crafter.

So I have decided that I don't care what people think of my habits. I am a crafter. As an art teacher, I have been through a liberal university art program and I understand the difference between crafts and conceptually based art. Conceptual art is amazing, I love to go to galleries and climb inside people's emotions and ideas....I love visual art, it is amazing to see what people do with artistic techniques and I love to share those things with my students. I believe that in order to teach art, I must indulge in some sort of creative outlet or else I am a hippocrate. I believe that eventually I will need to express my self in a more conceptual way...but for right now....I can achieve artistic satisfaction with my card making and scrapbooking endeavors. For the time being, I don't need canvases and clay nearly as much as I need acrylic, ink and paper. I don't think that cards and scrapbook pages are nearly as respected as watercolor paintings or sculptures in the eyes of my college professors, friends, and other artistic patrons, but I am okay with that. Adhesive, stickers, scissors, embossing, punches, chipboard, ribbon, glitter, eyelets, embellishments!!!! These are some of my favorite things right now. Following a layout or a color scheme are really great exercises and online contests force me to flex my creative boundaries. I enjoy limits and boundaries. I love taking pictures, but I am an amature photographer. My photos aren't taken to be shown in galleries or to win prizes on a grand scale. My needs are met whenever I take a shot with perfect lighting and a little bit of artistic vision. I literally spend hours a day reading blogs, looking at supplies, trying out techniques....and I love it....

Friday, August 22, 2008

Color Challenge #19

Here is my card for the Kristina Werner Color Challenge.

I am super excited about this design, I have been experimenting with overlapping stamped images and a similar collage is featured on the invitation to the upcoming "Sneak Peek" for the Close to My Heart Fall Idea Book premiere in September. For this design, I used black embossing powder and the May Stamp of the Month, black and white card stock and some ribbon. So, Here is my card: "LOVE" enjoy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Got an Award!

Here's the award I received from Crafty Sue

New Award

I am a new blogger so this is great!! I sincerely appreciate this award. I have gotten so much inspiration from card challenges and other bloggers, I can't wait to pass on the award to those that have inspired me. I must also tell you the rules.

I have chosen to award the following blogs:

Stamp Your Art Out
Korny Scrapping
Sankari's Sunshine Corner
Wee Inkings
Jenkins Rose Designs

The rules of the award are:
1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 5-7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you’ve nominated

My Work Space

A family member recently constructed the MOTHER of all crafting areas. A bonus room featuring a gift wrapping station and matching cute furniture and colorful baskets and accessory holders for every embellishment. I have to admit, I am soooo jealous even though I haven't seen this bonus room, it is already a family legend, I have heard all about it from family members, even grown men are in awe of its beauty and charm. *Sigh*....I keep reminding myself that I am only 25 and I have a tiny house. The basement just had a few walls constructed over the weekend, so I hope to have my own real crafting space eventually with plenty of built-in storage...But for now, I settle for a corner of the spare bedroom. It has large windows which are great for natural light, but there isn't much room for a desk with the big spare bed and clothing dresser in the corner.

The black dresser with the T.V. on top holds only art supplies, pictures and other scrapbooking stuff.

The tan dresser holds clothes, but I've turned the top into a shelf for my albums and Close to My Heart business supplies. You might notice shelf with ribbon holders. I got a K&Co. Ribbon box at the flea market for $1 recently, it is perched atop a ribbon box with a clear lid from Hobby Lobby, this was a really great buy.

So I don't really have any tips on organization, I tend to spread everything out on the floor when I work. I do have a cabinet with a book case on top and a space for storing my paper on bottom. The shelves on top are great for displaying stuff. I am also not so great at making this the scrapbooking room of my dreams....I've got 3 clashing colors of red going on, matched up with black and white accents and green walls....*Sigh* I will get there eventually.

Ooh, before I forget, here is a great find from JoAnn's...It is a recycled newspaper trash can. I've seen this stuff before at Pier One, but it is always so expensive. I got a great deal on this.

I've decided to share this messy space with you because even though it isn't the MOTHER of all crafting areas, it is mine and I like it just fine. To see another work space for my friend and fellow CTMH consultant, click here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back to School

This week I will be preparing for Open House....I am looking forward to seeing all of the kids and getting all of the supplies ready. I love opening the new giant boxes of crayons and makers. is bittersweet...I love having time off. Summer allows me to do grown up crafts! I get to make cards and scrapbook pages at my leisure. Here are a few cards, dedicated to my fellow teachers..."I Can't Wait for Spring Break"...

I love the look of the Doodle Art stamp set from Close to My Heart.

Finally, here is one more card, dedicated to SUMMER...This card utilizes stamps from the CTMH 'Footprints' set. The background is stamped with clear embossing powder (an oops, it got mixed a little bit with some iridescent powder, but it is a beautiful shade for shells!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Color Throw Down Week 5

Here is my card for the Color Throw Down....I got a chance to play around with some iridescent looking embossing 'oops' combination that was created when my glitter tray still had a bunch of Prisma glitter and it mixed with clear and'opalesque'embossing powders. Add a little bit of yellow chalk and it looks beautiful. Enjoy!

Ooh, while I am at it, I might as well brag about my most recent classroom creation. I found this great mobile at an art museum gift shop, but the cards/photos shown in the display were not included so I decided to make my own. I used animal stamps from my Close to My Heart collection and embossed them to create a positive and negative image on the front and back of the card.

Inspired by Christmas in July

Last month while I was working on my Christmas in July card, I realized that I have tons of magazines with Christmas card ideas that I lug around and flip through for inspiration. I had the brilliant idea to create an idea book of my very own with the magazines!! As I went through the magazines and I realized that most of the content was just adds and junk taking up space in my Christmas file. (Yes, I have a file which holds all of my Christmas embellishments, card samples, papers, stickers and stamps.)

First, I ripped out the cards that I wanted to keep and put them in a pile, then I found the perfect album. Finally, I got out my glue stick and started pasting them into the album by color. The primarily red cards got a layout page and so did the light blues, also pink, and the mostly green cards, they got their own page too! Of course I cut out things that I like from the magazines, like tags and directions for a seasonal gift box. I even snipped out big, cute Santa for the first page:

Finally, the fun part! I got to use some 3-D letters for the front. I really like to use the word JOY on my cards because it is so short I can whip up a stamp or use stickers and it generally fits on any card. For the cover of my Christmas Idea book, I used Close to My Heart 3-D Chipboard letters and I covered them in red glitter, they look just like Dorothy's Ruby Slippers in The Wizard of Oz!! I also got to use some gold embossing and I whipped out the paint for the chipboard frame.

I am super excited to use this book when making Christmas cards this year....Whenever I see it sitting across the room, I just want to grab it and brainstorm...I left lots of white areas for sketching out card layouts and trying out techniques before putting them on a card, I can even put in swatches of paper and stamp my stamps in the book so that I will know what I have without dragging it all out! (haha, yeah right...I drag everything out and spread it out so it looks like an explosion to most people...but to is Inspiration Mountain!!)