Friday, June 24, 2011

Sponge Distressing

Distressing paper using a sponge is a great way to give paper either an antique or a softer look than it would have without the distressing.  I use some sort of distressing technique on almost every card that I make.  The transition of one layer of paper to another on a card is often times more smooth when the same distressing technique is used on both sheets.  Here, I demonstrate how to use a sponge to distress your paper, giving this card a very antique, almost Old West type of feel.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ready for Father's Day

We spent the better part of this morning making Father's Day cards for various people. Annabelle and Joshua had a blast using my clear stamps and coordinating papers. I had not let them touch the My Acrylix stamps in the past, I only let them use my old rubber stamps that I didn't care about. So, today was a first for the kids, and both the kids and the stamps did well! Both kids had a MUCH easier time than usual since they could actually SEE where they were stamping. It makes a huge difference when you can see where you are placing your image, especially for kids. Both of them got very creative and pretty messy too.

Annabelle had especially inky fingers when she was done, but it was the result of finding many ways to be creative with stamps, ink, and sponges. She even used a combination of three stamps sets to create a happy face message on the inside of one card. It was quite unique!

Joshua really got into choosing his colors and centering and balancing images on his cards.  He used markers to add a few details to his images when he was done with the stamping and assembling.  Check out the look of concentration on his face!

I also made a few cards, including this one for my father-in-law.  The stamp set I used is called Summer Days and has great cook-out images.  Notice how my pattern paper very subtly matches the tablecloth image design?  That is one of the convenient things about using Close To My Heart products - superb product coordination!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Promise of things to come...

I'm making a commitment to actively blog again. I've resigned from my full-time teaching position to spend more time with my family. As a result, I will have more time for crafting and gardening with my kids and on my own. I've also taken on a little part-time work with my church and as a Close To My Heart independent consultant. Close To My Heart is a stamp/scrapbook/craft company with clear acrylic stamps, which are high-quality and easy to use. You'll start to see more of their products appearing in my videos and pictures, as I find them much easier to use than the rubber stamps I used to use.

So, without any delay, here is a digital scrapbook layout. Close To My Heart has a deal this month (June 2011) where you can create a Studio J online layout for free, and then download the .jpg file at no cost. You can then print it at home, post it to Facebook, or do whatever you choose with it. Typically, you have to purchase the layout prints through Close To My Heart in order to get a .jpg file, but this is a .jpg with no obligation. This is a great way to test out Studio J and see if a different mode of scrapbooking is for you. I had never used Studio J before, and I have to admit, it was pretty fun using all of the digital embellishments, layouts, and papers they had to offer. Because it uses professionally designed layouts with perfectly coordinated papers and add-ons, my product is much better looking than any of the photo book products I've create through other websites.

When you order, you have to go through the checkout process to receive your free .jpg. It takes about 15 minutes to process and will be sent to your email address. You will receive one file of the entire layout for posting online, like the one above. You will also receive separate files of each page of the layout that are of higher quality and do not have the Studio J information at the bottom of them. I highly recommend you try this while it is free!
Visit to try Studio J for free this month.