Monday, January 16, 2017

Welcome Home Wreath Kit

This month's Constant Campaign is a beautiful wreath kit. This is easily one of the best campaigns Close To My Heart has ever done. It is easy to put together and is beautiful when it's done! You can get your own kit by purchasing it for $18.95, or you can get it FREE when you place a $60 order. Here is a list of items I used to make my wreath:

Z679 – Liquid Glass – 6.95
Z1382 – Tweezers – 5.95
Z697 – Round Sponge – 1.25
Z726 – Sponge Daubers – 4.50
Z1795 – Quilling Tool – 7.95
Z2045 – All-Purpose Mat – 19.95
Z3316 – Shimmer Brush Gold – 4.95
Z2895 – Lagoon Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad – 7.95
Z2810 – Blossom Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad – 7.95
Z2850 – Fern Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad – 7.95

This is what the kit looks like before it's assembled:

I chose to ink the roses using Blossom ink. I found that it worked better to use a sponge (cut into quarters) rather than the ink daubers. I used the ink daubers to ink all the succulents and leaves. To get a realistic looking rose, it helps if you curl the edges of the rose outward before you roll it. I also softened the cardstock by bending it along the straight edge before I started rolling it. After I roll the rose, I let it unwind a bit and arranged it before using the Liquid Glass to glue it down. 

I love the result! Here's a helpful video on making the flowers:

This kit is only available until the end of January (or while supplies last), so order soon if you'd like to have one of your own. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

#52Stories - Week 3

One of the goals I'm actively working toward is to improve my health. At this point, I haven't narrowed it down to become a SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound), but I am working on that as well. When I was 16 years old, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), and it has worsened as I've aged. Chronic inflammation is part of the problem, so I'm really focusing on lessening that by eliminating things from my diet that contribute to the inflammation. I'm following a primarily Paelo diet, which was a great excuse to invest in an InstantPot! I'm also working to add more movement - recumbent exercise bike, walking, and stretching. It's definitely a lifestyle change that won't happen overnight, but I continue to work at it to make small improvements that I can sustain. 

How about you? What goals are you actively working toward? 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

#52Stories - Weeks 1 and 2

I was recently inspired by this post to document the things that are important to me this year. Each Sunday this year, my goal is to post the week's question and share as much of my answer as I can. I'm really excited about this! Our first grandchild is arriving this spring, and I want to document my history for the Little Man joining our family and others who will come in the future. 

Because I procrastinated last week, I'm going to post two questions today. Join my VIP Facebook Group to share your memories, too, and for ideas about how to preserve these memories. 


1. Improve my health - I have struggled with fibromyalgia since I was 16 years old. That's a lot of years of pain and inflammation, and it has caught up with me. Exercise is a challenge with FMS, and I'm paying with a lot of excess weight. My focus this year is to identify the triggers for inflammation and eliminate or minimize them. I'm starting with my diet and am going back to a mainly Paleo diet, which has worked well in the past. I'm also gradually adding in low-impact exercise, trying to pace myself. I want to be a healthy, active Nana for Little Man - he's going to require a lot of energy! 

2. Complete another insurance designation - I work in the insurance industry, and industry education is highly valued where I work. I've completed one major insurance designation; now I'm working on another one. I've passed five exams with three to go. Right now, I'm feeling a lot of "test fatigue," but the reward (besides what I'm learning) is a trip to the Bahamas in November to attend the conferment ceremony! 

3. SIMPLIFY - Along with so many goals, I have SO. MUCH. STUFF. Craft stuff, kitchen stuff, books, clothes, jewelry - so much. I recently read Marie Kondo's book on decluttering. While I'm not going overboard with her method, I'm definitely rethinking how I view my stuff. I've known for a long time that having too much can be an impediment to being organized. I've pared down my clothes; my goal for this year is to work on the craft room. I've held on to so many items because I "might" use it someday, and someday almost never comes. With Amazon, Close To My Heart, Michael's, and Hobby Lobby readily available, if I get rid of something I eventually need, I'm pretty sure I can get it or something close. Sounds like another blog post series, doesn't it? 

4. Devote more time to my CTMH business - The last few years have been exceptionally busy, and I haven't been able to spend as much time focusing on CTMH as I'd like. This year, my goal is to post at least weekly on my blog and to post several times a week on my VIP Facebook group. (Be sure to join so you can be part of the fun!) I've also set a goal to make something creative at least two times each month and to post it here and on Facebook. 

5. Send cards - For someone who loves to make cards, I'm terrible at sending them. My goal this year is to prepare cards for mailing on the first of each month for those who have birthdays or other special occasions. 

6. Say "yes" - As much as possible, I want to say "yes" to being with friends and family and to be present when I'm with them. 

When I went to work at a major insurance company 11 years ago, I didn't know anything about using MS Office. I was still using Works. (I know.) I taught myself to use Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Access, although I did take two online courses to learn Access. Now I like to say that I think in Excel - I love me some spreadsheets! 

Now it's your turn! Write down your answers to these two questions. See you next week!