Monday, December 12, 2011

Wonderland - Studio J

I can hardly wait to make this darling Studio J layout! I've been wondering how to scrapbook my pictures from last year's "Snowmageddon." This will definitely be one of the layouts!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wonderland Stocking Card

I love it when a card just kind of makes itself. This one came together so easily! I was inspired by this post found on Pinterest. My bff (also known as the Art Philosophy cartridge) helped out, too, by cutting the stocking (3 1/2") and the snowflake (1 1/4").

Here's a peek at the inside:

You can find the items to make the card on my website.

Items used:
Paper: Wonderland Level 2 Paper Packet; Kraft cardstock; Twilight cardstock
Ink: Chocolate
Embellishments: Neutral Embroidery Floss; Chocolate Waxy Flax; Chocolate Striped Grosgrain Ribbon; Bling Assortment
Other: Ruler; Paper Piercing Kit; Stardust Glitz Glitter Glue; 3-D Foam Tape; Liquid Glass; Art Philosophy

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Believe Christmas Card

I'm so excited to be able to make some new cards and projects! This card is for two challenges -  Mojo Monday (sketch) and Heart 2 Heart (inspiration photo). The oval image was cut using Art Philosophy. I love that cartridge! So many of our stamp images are designed to coordinate with the images on the Cricut cartridge. Super easy!

Items Used:
Believe Level 2 Paper Packet
Art Philosophy
Cardstock/Ink: White Daisy, Holiday Red, Topiary, Sweet Leaf, Gray Wool
D1492 - Christmas Love
C1469 - December 25th
S1110 - Holiday Magic
Sweet Leaf Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon
Designer Brads - Rhinestone
Bitty Sparkles
3-D Foam Tape

Here is the sketch and inspiration photo for the card:

O Christmas Tree

Have you joined the Pinterest craze yet? I find so many ideas on there! The project I worked on today was inspired by this idea that I saw on Pinterest. She used nesting templates and a die cut machine; I decided to use the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge to cut my images. I thought it was much easier!

To start, I selected six different papers (2 pieces of each) in Christmas colors. (See the last of my stash of Cocoa Cafe papers?) I think all my papers are retired from previous catalogs. This is a great project to use them up!

I cut the scalloped circle 11 times on each paper, starting with 1" and increasing to 6" by 1/2-inch increments. I ended up with enough to make two trees.

When I had all my pieces cut, I sorted them by size and inked the edges with Cocoa ink.

The base of the tree is pretty simple - a 12" dowel rod and a cardboard base. I used part of a CTMH mailing box for my base. It didn't seem sturdy enough, so I reinforced it with some, let's say, creative items.

Hey - it worked!

Next came the fun part - making the tree! Starting with the largest (6") circle, I stacked three of each size all the way to the top of the dowel rod. To give the pieces a little separation, I tied a piece of grosgrain ribbon between each of the larger pieces (3" - 6"), then I switched to organdy ribbon for the smaller pieces since they could be a little closer together.

I topped my tree off with a 2" two-sided star, also cut on the Cricut.  Be sure to check out the other Art Philosophy Cricut creations on the linky party hosted by Lisa Stenz! You can find complete directions for the linky party {here}.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On the road to recovery ...

You might have noticed fewer posts lately. I've been a little out of commission for a few months due to some health issues. I'm doing better, though, following surgery last week. For the last several days, this is where I've been hanging out.

Cozy, right? It is a pretty comfortable recliner, and it's just a few steps away from the bathroom and the tv. The kids and my husband are within shouting distance, and they've been taking good care of me. I also have everything I need right next to me - dvds, the latest John Grisham novel on my Kindle, pain meds, and a caffeine free Diet Pepsi. I'm starting to feel better, so hopefully I'll be able to get some paper crafting and blogging done while I'm still off work. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stock up on cardstock!

I was very excited to see many more items added to the "While Supplies Last" section of my website, including cardstock packs! Now is definitely the time to stock up on these discounted cardstock packs - 8 1/2 x 11 and 12 x 12 paper packs. There are many more items, too - how about a Wings Level 2 paper packet for $5? I have a feelings these items will not last long, so shop soon for the best selection!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Tags

Making tags is so quick and easy with the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge! The video below shows you how --

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Elemental 6x6 Kraft Card

A few weeks ago, I was priveleged to attend the CTMH Regional Celebration near Detroit. One of the fun activities was a swap. The swap items had to be made using the 6 x 6 Kraft Cards, one of my very favorite items in the Autumn/Winter Idea Book! The cards all come with a matching envelope, and each card has a sweet scalloped flap, which I decided to fold down on my card. The card pictured here is my contribution to the swap. The envelope was so easy to line. I cut a piece of coordinating B&T 1/2" smaller than the envelope. I traced the slope of the envelope flap and trimmed it off, then slid the liner inside. Tip: Only adhere the flap of the liner, allowing the bottom part to "slide" a little as the flap opens and closes.

Here's a peek at the inside:

Items used:
  • Art Philosophy
  • Elemental Level 2 Paper Packet
  • C1473 - Remarkable Wreath
  • Kraft Cards & Envelopes
  • Inks: Cocoa, Sorbet, Creme Brulee, Cranberry, Desert Sand
  • Cardstock: Pacifica, Colonial White
  • Embellishments: Embroidery Floss - Neutral; Chocolate Striped Ribbon; Wooden Designer Buttons; Chocolate Waxy Flax; Opaques - Mocha
  • Tools: Scissors; Piercing Tool; Distressing Kit
  • Other: Alene's Quick Dry Glue

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Win a Studio J 5-pack!

Check out the give-away on the Nat the Fat Rat blog! A lucky winner will receive a Studio J 5-pack (which includes Memory Protectors) - FREE! It's easy to enter - just leave a comment on the post. You can receive an additional entry by liking the Studio J Facebook Page, then going back to Nat the Fat Rat's blog post and leaving an additional comment to say you've done so. Good luck!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

$5 Stamp Set in November!

I'm very excited about this special offer in November! When you make a qualifying purchase of at least $25 in My Acrylix stamp sets from November 1 - 30, 2011, you can purchase the Holiday Wishes stamp set for just $5! You can get one Holiday Wishes stamp set for every $25 in stamp sets purchased, so if you spend $50 - 74.99, you can purchase two Holiday Wishes sets. How cool is that?

Note: Stamp of the Month, K-size customized name stamps, Cricut® Art Philosophy collection, and Workshops on the Go™ kits do not count toward a qualifying purchase.

You may order directly from my website, or you can contact me to place your order (309-826-6705 or

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Elemental Layout - Bookworms in Love

This layout just makes me go {ahhhh}. My daughter - my firstborn - engaged. They are every bit as happy as they look, and we're very blessed to be gaining an awesome son-in-law. One of many things they have in common is a love of reading, so the public library was a logical choice for the engagement photo shoot. The picture of them peeking over the book edges? Books about marriage and weddings. Love it! The large photo is one of my favorites. I adore the look on Kristin's face! It was really easy to achieve this. I enlarged the photo to about 200% and dragged it into each photo well. I could then arrange each photo to fit by lining up the "ghost" image in the adjoining photo well. I'll use this technique again and again in Studio J.

Kit: Elemental
Pattern: Sidebar - Original/Sampler - Photo Checkerboard

Kit Mix: 5

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mischief Layout - War Eagle!

My husband had a milestone birthday this summer. That's right. The Big 5 - 0. He had company, though - his twin brother, oddly enough, turned 50 as well! To celebrate, the Miller boys met in Alabama (where they grew up) for a few days of fun. Auburn fans through and through, part of the fun included a visit to the campus (War Eagle!). They had a great time (although their dad probably would have skipped the Auburn visit - he's a 'Bama fan. If you're from Alabama, you get it.) and took some great pictures. I plan to order multiple copies of this layout so they can each have one. Thanks, Studio J, for making it easy to make duplicate layouts!

Kit: Mischief
Pattern: Front and Center - In the Middle/Sidebar - Main Frame
Kit Mix: 1

Do you like the argyle pattern at the bottom? It's super simple. Make a text box and clear the journaling. Size it into a square and change the background to Sunset. Turn the box 45 degrees then add the stitching. Select the text box and each line of stitching by holding down the shift key and clicking on each; copy and paste as many times as needed to fill the area.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wonderland Layout - Sweet Baby

This sweet li'l pumpkin is also the beautiful bride-to-be in a previous layout! Don't the years fly by too quickly? I looked forward to being a mom for years before actually becoming one. It has been such a great journey, and I'm glad I took lots and lots of pictures. Babies change so fast, and before you know it - they're all grown up. I love looking back as I scrapbook ~ almost as much as I love looking at the finished scrapbooks! Studio J is really helping me complete the scrapbooks.

Kit: Wonderland
Pattern: Monologue
Kit Mix: 2

I changed the striped B&T to Grey Flannel, and the polka dot B&T to Baby Pink. The Stickease are layered and even dragged across two pages. Pretty sweet! One of my favorite techniques is with the ribbon. Do you see how it looks pleated? It's a super easy effect to achieve. Just add a ribbon, then layer a series of ribbon tabs right next to each other. To make them look more authentic, don't make them too perfect. I like to adjust them a little up or down (alternating).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Typeset Layout - Mission Accomplished!

A year and a half ago, I achieved a dream - I graduated from college. The big day came 28 years after high school graduation and 25 years after the last semester of my junior year in college - and my marriage! It was a proud day for all of us - me, my husband, my parents, and my children. My husband, parents, and I traveled from Illinois to Virginia so I could walk in the commencement ceremony. It was such a great day!

Kit: Typeset
Pattern: Up the Tempo
Kit Mix: 4

Did you know that when you purchase a Studio J layout, you also receive free JPGs so you can share your work? I'm planning to load the large layouts (single pages) onto a digital photo frame so I can enjoy the layouts at work. It would make a great gift, too!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Love Your Layout - Episode 6

Here's another source of inspiration for you - how to make a beautiful layout in Studio J!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sonoma Layout - Forever Love

Between working full-time, planning a wedding, and running a household, there is limited time left over for crafting. I turn to Studio J more and more often to make progress on my scrapbooking. Still love playing with paper, but this is a great alternative!

The featured layout showcases my daughter's engagement pictures. She and her fiance' love to read, so many of their pictures are centered around books.

To make the layout, I used the Sonoma kit; pattern: Abstract; and kit mix 6. Some fun things that were added are the stitching (found under "Embellishments"), layered stickease, and changing the colors of the cardstock. It's so easy - just drag the new color onto the one you want to replace. Are you interested in trying out Studio J? Just click {here} to try out the free software!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Add on for free!

Almost 9 years ago, I made a decision that ranks in the top ten best decisions I ever made by becoming a Close To My Heart consultant. I have made amazing friends, expanded my creativity, and learned valuable business skills along the way.

If you join me in the CTMH journey during October, you will receive a gorgeous New Consultant Kit for the regular price of $99 (packed with business essentials and new products valued at over $280), plus you will receive one of the three optional add-on collections FREE to enhance your kit! The add-ons regularly cost $40 and have a retail value of up to $130. You can also add on one or both of the remaining two add-on collections for $40 each. Talk about a great value!

Here is what you receive in the New Consultant Kit:

The Add-On Collections:

It's so easy to sign up: just visit my website {click here} and complete the enrollment form. Then wait for the big white CTMH box to be delivered to your door! If you have questions, please feel free to contact me:


Celebrate Blogtoberfest!


Got your attention, didn't I! Join me this month as I celebrate the fun of blogging. I'm taking the challenge put out by Fabulously Artsy Tresa Black to make my blog better and more fun. I hope you enjoy the more frequent posts and the artwork ideas I'll be sharing with you. Check in often to see what's new!   

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

There's still time . . .

to take advantage of the Pair-A-Phrase special offer! Place a $75+ order no later than September 30 and receive TWO D-size stamp sets free! These darling stamp sets are chock-full of cute images and sentiments.

You can call me to place an order (309-826-6705), or you can order online through my website {click here}. Here's a "plus" when you order on my website - You can take advantage of the "While Supplies Last" section to stock up on awesome products at greatly reduced prices! You will also qualify to receive the September Stamp of the Month, "Limited Edition," for only $5!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Typeset Level 2 Layout - It's a Winner!!

I was going to wait until this was posted on the CTMH Make It From the Heart Art Gallery, but I can't wait! All the winning entries will be posted later this week, but for now -- here's my winning layout! The category is Typeset - Level 2 Layout. No stamping was allowed, just paper, cardstock, ink and embellishments. I realized that these pictures of my boys on an airplane were exactly right for this paper.

sThe layout is from Magic (Out of the Hat, p. 82 - 83). On the left page, I saved some paper by piecing the top and bottom pieces rather than using an entire 11 x 11 sheet of B&T. The banner is cut using the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge, including the letters! (Remember - no stamping allowed!) The 1/2" x 11" strips on either side are the zip strips from the top of the B&T paper. I used the brand-new ruler to evenly space pierced holes for stitching.

Here is a closer view of the left page. The main picture is given some dimension using foam tape. The Milepost Shapes were distressed using the stipple brush and Cocoa re-inker as were the edges of the cardstock and B&T. Isn't the paper airplane cute? It is one of the new Complements (Typeset Canvas Complements).

And a closer view of the right page:

The journaling block is also from the Typeset Canvas Complements. I wrote directly on it using a My Legacy writer, and it worked really well. To make things more fun, I decided to make my page interactive. The arrows swing away so the Flip Flaps can open to reveal the photos on the other side.

I had so much fun making this layout and am so excited to have won! If you'd like to make a similar layout, the recipe is below. All items are available on my website ( or (after October 1). Thanks for sharing my excitement!

Items used:
  • Magic - Out of the Hat (p. 82 - 83)
  • Paper - Typeset Level 2 Paper Packet
  • Ink - Cocoa Re-inker
  • Embellishments - Milepost Shapes; Wooden Designer Buttons; Typeset Complements Canvas Shapes; Neutral Assortment Embroidery Floss; Natural Hemp; Metal Assortment Brads
  • Other - Cricut Art Philosophy; Flip Flaps; My Legacy Writers; Ruler; Piercing Tool Kit; Distressing Kit; 3-D Foam Tape

A Wicked Card

With the release of every new Idea Book, CTMH holds a contest for consultants to create cards, scrapbook pages, and altered items using new products in the Idea Book. The winners have their artwork posted on the Corporate Make It From Your Heart Art Gallery. I submitted a card featuring the August Stamp of the Month, "Wicked." It didn't win, but I'm still pretty proud of it and want to share it with you. My hope is that this will inspire you to pull out your "Wicked" stamp set and start creating! :)

I used one of my favorite products - a clear card. Clear cards are easy to use but require a bit of planning to hide the adhesive. Think of the layers as a sandwich with the acrylic piece in the middle. For instance, on the front of my card, I attached the Colonial White half-circle (with the hat) to the top of the card, then I opened the card and put adhesive on the back of the acrylic (back side of the card front). Then I carefully lined up the black half-circle and pressed it together. I did the same with the back piece -- the smaller circle was attached to the top of the back (clear as mud, right?!), then the larger circle was attached to the back, hiding the adhesive.

I'm including some close-ups of the rose on the front, made using the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge. I {heart} those roses!

Items used:

Stamps: Wicked 
Paper: Mischief; Colonial White cardstock; Black cardstock; Sunset cardstock
Ink: Black; Sunset
Accessories: Cricut Art Philosophy; 4 1/2" Assortment Clear Cards; Licorice Opaques Adhesive Gems