Friday, October 31, 2014

November Workshop: Pathfinding Cards

November 20, 2014
7pm to 9pm
1504 High Country Lane
Allen, Texas 75002
RSVP:  Email:

Products To Pre-Order:
Workshops on the Go: Pathfinding Cardmaking Kit
G1083  $24.95

Other supplies that are needed:
Basic Kit (your personal supplies)
Paper Trimmer
3-D foam tape
My Acrylix Blocks (if you have them)
Piercing Tool

15 beautiful cards to have on hand for when you just need to say thank you.  
This kit works out to be just $1.66 per card... how cool is that!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cards For Winda

While at the FUMC Craft Fair this past weekend I met Winda, she was looking for pet sympathy cards and as luck would have it I was fresh out of pet sympathy cards.

I offered to make a set for her and took down her information.  She was open to color and design but wanted all of the cards to be pet sympathy.   I have never offered to make a set of cards at a craft fair before for a couple of reasons.

1. I have never been confident in my card making skills
2. I was afraid I would not be able to deliver on the promise in a timely fashion.

Well my card making skills have vastly improved and since I am no longer working full time I was confident I could not only make the cards but deliver them in a timely fashion.   I finished the cards today and hope to make contact with Winda tomorrow to get together for delivery.  

As you know that if I am going to make one card I feel it makes better sense to just go ahead and make 10 but I wanted Winda to have cards that were just for her.  Out of the 5 cards I made - I think there is one that I will reproduce to add to the card racks for sale.  The other 4 will be all hers.  

Here we go:

and this one is the one that I think I might mass produce for sale

I hope she loves them.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Allen High School FFA Craft Show

Here is my next Craft Show event:

Break Time...

I have had a very productive morning and now it is time for a break.  I am sitting here with the windows open (you know I love that) and good book on the Ipod and these addictive Trader Joe's Gingerbread Molasses cookies with a  cup of hot tea. 

I had a wonderful time at the First United Methodist Church craft fair this past Saturday. What a great turn out!  I set my booth up a little different this time.  I wanted my concentration to be on my Crop Nights / Workshops/ Catalogs / Handmade Cards. 

I brought my demo album, inside that is samples of all the new paper in the 2014 / 2015 Annual Inspirations Catalog, Traditional layouts from classes that I have taken along with workshops I have taught, and Studio-J layouts.

Kaela brought my laptop up because she had the idea of showing off my blog and Crop Area.  Since I am trying to get word out that I have a crop area for classes and well crops her idea was for people that might be interested to be able to see the room.  Unfortunately I had no idea that she was going to do this  and I did not charge the laptop so we had it going as long as the battery lasted.  I thought it was a great idea.

The cards were a huge hit!  It made me so happy to see people love a handmade card.  We get so lost in techno world that it is nice to remember to send a greeting card via snail mail once in a while.  

I keep meaning to have the tablecloth hemmed so it hangs correctly but I have been tucking the ends under the table for so many years now I guess it can wait until after craft fair season.  

I love the new CTMH table runners!  When Mike is available to help me set up I use my banner and goal posts but that set up is too big for one person to set up alone.  So when I am alone the CTMH table runners are PERFECT for letting the craft fair crowd know who I am.  

I need to give a shout out to Carole Smithwick and Ruth Swingle for making this one of the best craft fairs I ever work.  They work very hard all year long to make it run without a hitch and it shows!

If you have never been to this event mark your calendars when I announce the date for next year .

You will thank me

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Erin Condren Life Planners

So Amy has finally worn me down and talked me into getting an Erin Condren Life Planner.

(I am not getting paid for this post and I paid for my own planner)

 When she was ordering her planner I was on the phone and we were on the webpage together and while it looked really pretty and very functional I was not sold.  

Mike worked very hard to get me to move over to using the Google calendar and it has been working well for years but last week I had repair people crawling all over my house and I thought I was getting all of the information they were telling me in my computer or phone (google calendar). 


I knew I had city inspectors coming to the house but when I went to check what time - there was no time.  With the noise of the installers and the inspector trying to get off the phone I missed a step in google and did not put the time in my calendar and I had no way to call him to find out when he was coming out.  I was stuck at the house ALL DAY!

The other problem that I ran into is not having the info in front of me when needed.  My phone was being flaky and I could not talk to someone and access my calendar at the same time.  That left me running into the house to find the computer.  It was driving me crazy!

So I did some more research on this Erin Condren Life Planner stuff and this time with an open mind. 


I love that I could customize it and make it work for my life and my business.  It is bigger than most planners and that can be a good thing or a bad thing but I carry a large purse so it should not be an issue for me.  

I do not have a proof of "my" cover but this is what it will look like.  

There is a great blog out there and she does a fantastic job explaining what is so great about this planner.  


So while I am waiting for my planner to be shipped in am doing "research" on ways to make it work for both home and a direct sales business.  I am lost in Pinterest land and there are some fantabulous ideas out there.  I even found a solution to track my workouts and measurements - SCORE!  Now I just need to be cleared to go back to Curves....  I also love that I can have items made for my business to use with this planner.
  (ie: crop night reminders, workshop reminders, team meeting stickers and such)
We will still use the Google calendar for big items that the family needs to know about so our phones stay linked.  (Mikes business trips or vacations and such) but I am going back to paper for my personal day to day stuff!  I did not realize how many little notes I have around the house to do things until I made the decision to go back to a paper planner.

I do another blog post as soon as my planner is in my little hands.

I am so excited!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cards for Karissa

Karissa is a friend and co-worker of my daughters.  They work at this fabulous local Mexican restaurant "La Finca Chaquita" and since my kiddo works there I am in there all of the time eating.  I will post the address at the end of this post.

Anyhoo last week when I was in having dinner the subject of my business came up.  Karissa has a sister that is going to have a baby and she wanted a 5-pack of assorted cards to add to her gift to her sister.  She gave me the colors that her sister likes and gave me the deadline.

Here is the 5-pack of cards that are made just for Karissa and her sister.  I only made one of each card so there will not be any for sale at the craft fair this weekend.  

Once again Pinterest was a huge inspiration and I had fun scrap-lifting and re-working some beautiful artwork.    

My Artwork:

Pinterest Inspiration:

Found on:

As you can I scrap lifted the entire design, just changed the colors to fit my needs. This card was a great way to use up scrap cardstock and those last little bits of a paper pack.   i think it turned out beautiful.  

My Artwork:

Pinterest Inspiration:

Found on

I love the rustic feeling of this card but it also feels girly.  I think I did the Pinterest artwork some justice. 

My Artwork:

Pinterest Inspiration:

Found on:

The original artist used washi tape but I wanted to use the last little bits that I had left over from the "For Always" paper pack. 

My Artwork:

Does this card look familiar?   I made a different version last week.

Pinterest Inspiration:

Found on:

This is the one I did last week:

By changing the stamps and changing the colors used you can have an unlimited amount of patterns to choose from.

The last card does not follow the colors scheme but it screamed and wanted to be made.  Who am I to argue with artwork.  

My Artwork:

Pinterest Inspiration:

Have you ever bought a stamp set then not know what you wanted to do with it.  I bought this stamp set because it is so freaking cute then when I went to use it my mind went blank.  This pinterest inspiration was a perfect application of what can be done with this stamp set.  

Found on:

I love the vintage, school feel of the whole card.  But since Karissa wanted a shabby chic feel with the colors requested I needed to stick to her plan of action. 

As I promised here is the address of La Finca:

La Finca
107 N. Butler Road
Allen, Texas 75002

I am including a photo, it is so tiny that if you do not know what you are looking for you will pass it.  I know it does not look like much but you will be very happy you went in.
(I am not being paid for my endorsement)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Stamping 101

Yesterday we discussed the "Myth's" of Acrylix Stamps and I posted a stamping flip chart that shows about 10 different stamping techniques but what if you just need a stamping refresher course?

When I first started scrapbooking I was not a stamper - not at all.  Then I signed up to be a CTMH Consultant and still did not want to be a stamper.  I remember telling my husband that I would only sell the paper and stickers.  Then I saw my first Acrylix Stamp set or Clear Stamps as they are sometimes referred to.  My world opened up by just being able to see where I was going to place the stamp.  By being clear the stamp was automatically user friendly or as we say in my house "Jenny Friendly".

Not long after I started my stamping education I found a stamp care article online from a sister consultant (Lisa Stenz) I not only saved it on my computer but I printed a copy for my own personal use.  

Disclaimer:  I will be using information from Lisa's original online article and from CTMH online education.   

Stamping 101:

1.  Always use your foam insert

What is the foam insert?  It is that 6x6 foam sheet that comes with every new stamp from CTMH.  Do not throw this away - it is there for a reason.  The foam insert replaces the cushion that traditional wood stamps have between the rubber and the wood.   Place the foam insert under your scrap paper, then place your project paper on top of both the foam insert and the scrap paper.  

If you are like me, you will NEED the scrap paper to keep ink off of your work surface.  The foam sheet will insure a more even stamp image.

2. Use the correct size blocks

Use a block that fits your image.  Using a block that is too big or too small will give you more problems that you want.  If the block is too big then ink will smear on the sides when inking the stamp or if the block is too small you will not be able to give even pressure for sharp images.  You do not need every size out there but you do need enough to get a good variety.  If you buy good quality blocks then you will not have to replace them.  I am still using the blocks that I bought 9 years ago and they look great. 

3. Ink your stamps properly

Tap, Tap, Twist, Twist two times to get really good ink coverage on your stamp.  Ink and stamp a couple of times on a scrap sheet of paper to make sure the image will look the way you want it before stamping on your project.  

4. Do not slam your stamps 

Now you are looking at me like I have two heads... what do I mean by do not slam your stamps.  Do not hit the ink pad then the project paper with a pounding force.  

When you stamp you should press straight down, with even pressure and pick straight up.  Do not push down and rock back and forth because this will give you shadowing and ghosting images and may even give you a broken image.  A broken image is when only have of the ink transfers to the paper leaving half an image. 

5. Clean your stamps

If this was a perfect world I would tell you to clean your stamps immediately.  But we all get busy with our projects and get excited when it is starting to look "just right".  

Clean your stamps ASAP.  

There are some inks that need to be cleaned immediately such as Pigment Inks or Staz - On but most water based inks will be ok while you are still working.  

Clean your stamps with a stamp cleaner solution (CTMH My Spritz Cleaner)  or if you are in a pinch a dab of soap and plenty of water.  Do not use baby wipes or paper towels because they can leave lint or fibers on your stamps that will be difficult to remove.  When I have a heavy stamping day I will clean all of my stamps with the soap and water and just let them air dry - then put them away.  

If your stamps start to loose their tack or stickiness the soap and water cleaning will restore them to like new stickiness.   You can also wash your blocks and carrier sheets with this method if needed.  I found that air drying is best for me. 

As I stated in the "Myth's"  post some staining may occur and that is just fine.  There is nothing wrong with the stamp, it just likes the ink.  I like the staining because it makes it easier to find the stamp image if I drop it.  

I have some stamps in my stash that came with my original Consultant kit and most of my blocks are at least 9 years old.  With proper care your stamps should last for many enjoyable crafting years. 

Stamping Flip Chart

I have a group of CTMH Sister Consultants that I play with once a month.  When we get together it is our chance to bounce ideas around and prepare for crops or workshops while having some fellowship.

A couple of months ago I was at our monthly meeting and Dorothy was working on a Stamping Flip chart to show her customers.  I was watching her while I was working and I had this little thought in my head about stealing that idea.  

I came home and found the flip chart that was in my closet (unused) and got to work.  I have never had an idea come together so fast!  I was working with no measurements and after it was done Dorothy and I talked about it and I found out that my "pages" are bigger than hers but we love them both.

I posted my flip chart on a consultant facebook page and have had some requests to see it again so I thought I would post it on the blog too.

Stamping Flip Chart

If you would like to see the Stamping Flip Chart in person I will have it on display this weekend at the craft fair I will be working. 

 Come by and see me.

FUMC Allen is located at 601 S Greenville Ave Allen, TX 75002 with entrances from both Greenville Ave and S Jupiter  Rd. 

Stamps, Stamps, Stamps

I was at a team meeting today with a few other CTMH sister consultants and while I was there to brush up on my Cricut skills we started talking about stamps. 

 A story went around the table about some  potential customers stating that Acrylix stamps only last 5 years, were poorly made and because of that they were going to stick to rubber stamps.  This got me to thinking so I did some research.

First off I need to post a disclaimer:
Parts of this post contain information from other blogs and some photos that were taken from the CTMH catalogs.  I found "pros and cons" and will try to explain both during this blog post. I will not post the names of the blogs this information came from.  No names will be used. 

I have been consultant for 9 years so I have some perspective that CTMH stamps do in fact last longer than 5 years. That phrase made me giggle but then during my research I found other mis - truths that were mind boggling.

Here goes:


Acrylix Stamps can deteriorate easily:  

In the blog photo she showed a photo of a melted clear stamp stating that it had been stored in a shed.  She stated that Acrylix stamps had to be kept in special containers away from light and cold.

My Experience:

I keep my stamps in the envelopes they come in from CTMH but I also keep them in a tower of drawers that are clear.

I scrap with the blinds open, or closed.  The window open or closed.  I have scrapped when the heat has been out or when the A/C has been broken with no worries about how I am "storing" my stamps.

I have a couple stamps that I use so much that they live on the block and never come off.  When I bought the stamp I bought a block for it to live on.

One time I had a stamp sitting on my self healing map on the grid because I was getting a measurement.  I left the room to go make a cup of coffee and forgot I had a unmounted stamp sitting on the mat.  Yep I set my HOT cup of coffee right on top of that stamp then spent about 10 minutes looking for where I put the stamp because I knew I had it somewhere before my coffee was cool enough for me to take a sip and thus finding my lost stamp image.
There was NO damage to that stamp image... NONE! 

I have never had a stamp get crusty or hard. I have had stamps in the trunk of my car during a Texas summer that have never melted. 

 I have had them get furry but that is only when the cat sits on them while I am working.  A little soap and water and the cat fur comes right off. 

I recently found a stamp that I have been kicking myself for not ordering when it was in the catalog.  It was in the catalog in 2007!

This is a photo out of that catalog.  I bought a used stamp just a couple of weeks ago from a sister consultant sight unseen because I knew it would be in perfect condition.  I was not disappointed.
I was so happy with that stamp that I wrote this note on the storage envelope
The stamp is 7 years old and very used. 


You must keep them in a container away from light and in your house to keep them from discoloring. 

My Experience:

Let me show you one of my favorite stamps.

This stamp is from the CTMH Spring catalog 2011.  It is only 3 years old - not the oldest in my stash but not the newest.  Every image on this stamp has been used.

What do you see?

A  coupe of clear images
A couple of pink images
A red image 
A purple image


Is it because I store them in clear drawers, or because I forgot to clean my stamps immediately?  Nope.  These stamps are clean.

Acrylix stamps sometimes stain with use.  There is no rhyme or reason  why -  they just do.  In fact I like the that they stain with use.  Have you ever dropped a clear stamp and not been able to find it?  If there is a slight stain you will be able to see where it is.

Brand new stamps on new blocks

Well loved stamp on a well loved block

Now some might say that CTMH inks stain the stamps but that is not the case.
I have used the following types of inks on my stamps.

Staz - On
Archival inks
Water Based inks
Alcohol inks

Staz - On is sure to stain your stamps even with the Staz - On cleaner because it "STAYS ON"  That is what it is supposed to do.  As you can see even with a well loved dark purple staining (probably from Staz -on) My stamp is still clear and I can still see my stamp for placement.


Loss of Stickiness

My Experience:

If the cat sits on my stamps they will not stick on the block. 
 Seriously... She stated that over time Acrylix stamps get dusty and loose their "stickiness" and will be difficult to stick to your block.

It is simple, if your stamps starts to feel like it is not sticking as well as it used to just give it a quick wash with a tiny bit of soap and a rinse with water. Dry the stamp and continue to play.
This is no big deal. 


You must clean your stamps right away and every time you use them.

My Experience:

Well you should clean your stamps as soon as you are finished with them but sometimes life gets in the way.  It is ok if you forget to clean your stamps.  You can use a stamp cleaner spray and scrubber or simply wash with soap and water.  The stamp might be stained but that is ok.

Here is my favorite Myth:

Won't last long
"Acrylix stamps will not last long because they have not been designed to."
" If you really like a stamp and want it forever, buy it in rubber but if you like to change your stamps like you change your clothes, acrylix are perfect."

My Experience:

Nobody and I mean nobody abuses a stamp like a professional.  CTMH is my JOB and I am paid to create.  Let me list the ways a professional scrapbooker or stamper can abuse an Acrylix stamp.

Pull it roughly off the carrier sheet
Stretch it into all kinds of unintended shapes
Use materials that are not meant for stamping like household bleach and paint
Cut them apart to make smaller background stamps or separate sentiments
Step on them (on accident)
Sit coffee on them (on accident)
Leave them in hot cars in the summer
Leave them in cars during ice storms
Use them outdoors in all weather during craft fairs
Have a cat chew on them

This is all of the ways I personally have abused my stamps and they all still work like new.  They only ones that show "damage" are the ones that I used a craft knife and cut on purpose.  Even when the cat was chewing on the stamps - there were no teeth marks. I have never had a stamp image tear when taking it off the carrier sheet or tear when I am bending or stretching the stamp for a project.  
Getting the paint off was a challenge but a toothbrush came in handy for that one and the stamp is still in my collection and still gets used. 

 (BTW - if you are wondering, yes the cat likes to help me create sometimes)

Now that you know just how functional Acrylix stamps are feel free to go out into the world and create until your heart is content.

Tomorrow I will post about stamping basics for those that need a refresher course.  I learned some new things while doing my research and want to share them with you.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ribbon Revelry - Update SOLD OUT

As of 11:30 am the ribbon is SOLD OUT!

During the month of October, with each qualifying purchase of $50 USD/$55 CAD 
you are eligible to receive—as a special bonus—one of two chevron ribbons FREE! 

Each chevron ribbon—Ruby or Outdoor Denim—has an original retail value of 
$6.95 USD/$7.75 CAD. 

So which ribbon will you get? 
It’s a surprise! 

Quantities are limited, so make sure to place your orders as early in the month as possible. 
Be sure to take advantage of this fantastic offer so you can enjoy embellishing your 
creations with your own surprise roll of bonus ribbon! 

Chevron Ribbon Inventory
 20% left   

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It Is A Craft Fair Time Of Year

Come One - Come All

I am honored to be a vendor at the:

First United Methodist Church Allen
Women in Misson Fall Bazaar


The entire church gets transformed into a craft fair lovers paradise.  It is a fantastic way to get a jump on your Christmas shopping all in one place.

I will be in the Gym - in my favorite spot and this year I have even more cards ready to sell. Last year I almost sold out of cards and did sell out of catalogs.

All handmade cards - $2.00 each
Current 2014 / 2015 CTMH catalogs  - $3.00 each 
(that is a 50% savings) 
Expired CTMH catalogs  - Free

If you have not ordered your catalog online now is the time to come by and get one for 50% off the the price of the catalog.


FUMC Allen is located at 601 S Greenville Ave Allen, TX 75002 with entrances from both Greenville Ave and S Jupiter  Rd.