Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday stitching

I will miss both the last weekly Thursday and Last Saturday stitching time for this month because I am in Florida but I went last Thursday and worked on my Small Sampler #4 by Ewe & Eye & Friends.  You can see a little bit of progress.

I had to frog a bit on the border because I failed to put in the irregular part in the upper right.  But more of the border is done and the flower and pot in the lower right.  This is stitched on 40 count linen and I wasn't using either magnification or extra lighting so I am satisfied with what I was able to get done.  I have marked the July stitching dates on my calendar.  Now I hope I don't forget!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monthly Classes

One of the most fun things I get to do each month is hold a papercrafting workshop at an assisted living facility.  Why is this so much fun?  Because this is not a group to which I am trying to sell product, I get to use whatever I want for their cards and projects.  This means I can use a teeny fraction of non-current CTMH product or paper from my seemingly endless non-CTMH stash.  I can have anywhere from 4 to 10 ladies at these workshops and I am constantly amazed at how they can take one of my projects and give it their own twist, especially since I do most of the construction prior to the workshop so they only have to maybe stamp once or twice and paste.  Here is the red, white and blue card and the patriotic banner that we did for June.

This birthday card was the first project for my ladies.  I had assembled the blue and white card front for them from Moonstruck (retired) and White Daisy cardstock (item number 1385) using narrow strips that were left over from a previous month's project.  The outside sentiment was stamped (Card Chatter - Birthday D1475) with White Daisy pigment ink (Z2163) and embossed with Clear Detail embossing powder (Z821).  The inside sentiment is 'it's your BIRTHDAY' and the ladies got to stamp that themselves. Then all they had to do was paste the red frame on and attach the star wherever they chose.

The second project was this banner and it was made with mostly retired CTMH product.  The patterned paper is the bulk sheet from the Superheroes paper kit. One side was the stripes and the other was the blue with small stars. The red zig-zag strip across the blue banner is the zip strip.  Under the 'S' is an accordian pleated rosette showing the striped side.
All this only used one 12x12.5 sheet of paper.  One sheet goes a long way when there are two different yet coordinated 12x12 inch patterns and a 1/2 inch decorated strip besides There is a bit of (retired) Moonstruck cardstock and some current Cranberry cardstock (item number 1272) under the letters.  I used the My Creations banner for the base which I was able to get from the discounted "While Supplies Last" section of my CTMH website  (This is a great place to get product at a great price.  I like to check it out at least once a week to see what they have added.)  The stars are cut from Kraft cardstock (Z1375.)  For each star I cut two, one just a quarter inch smaller than the other using CTMH's Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge (Z1686.)   I ran the larger star through a paper crimper and glued it to the smaller one to make it look like corrugated cardboard.  Then I painted the stars with Create-A-Shade Pearl Paint (Z1039) and added Prisma Glitter (Z134). The ribbon tying the banners together and creating the hanging loops was from Michael's.  I have to say my ladies LOVED this project!
I told the ladies that we would start Christmas cards in July and since our next workshop is the day after I get back from Convention I needed to get everything cut our and ready before I left.  I am happy to say that I finished that with more than enough time to pack up the inks, tools, and supplies that I need in Florida with plenty of time to spare.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Counting down the hours to Convention

Close To My Heart Convention is coming SOON.  I fly out to Disney World in Orlando, Florida on June 26th and return home on the 30th.   One of the first fellow consultants I ever met will be my flight and room companion. We can hardly wait to leave. Both to get in on the exciting times of Convention and to escape from home for a few days.  We have already been given an early peek at one of the new stamp sets (A True Thanks, featured in my June 19th post) and we've been able to see the July Stamp of the Month on our corporate website - let me just say "CHOCOLATE!"   With these enticing glimpses into the new Idea Book, I am very excited to get that new catalog into my hands.  I only have to wait until 11:00 am on the 27th and it will be mine!

CTMH has promised all of us a "ground breaking" new product line and then has left us all to wonder what it could possibly be.  In a trip to Archiver's earlier this week, I saw a new punch system by Fiskars and we do feature the Fiskar trimmer in our current product line.  Hmm, I wonder if that is what CTMH will present with exclusive punches?  I am sure whatever it is, it will be something I NEED to get.  I anticipate it will be announced during our first General Session so it will not be quite as long to wait for it as for the new Idea Book.  We are all expecting a new Cricut cartridge again this year, though how they can top the last two, I have no idea.  There should be the 2nd volume of Make It From Your Heart, our latest series of How-To books, and hopefully the rest of our past How-To books will be available in their softcover versions.  And, of course, new paper packs, and new card kits and new ribbon, and, and, and...

Close To My Heart had already been working on expanding into the Australian/New Zealand markets and has been able to step up to fill the void left by the closing of a financially failing company that abandoned their consultants.  I expect that we will hear a lot about our new "Australasia"  branch (I think I have that name correct) and hope we get to meet some of the new executives and hear their stories.

I have not started packing and still want to get one or two new outfits.  The nails have been painted (fingers and toes) and the hair has been cut.  Since CTMH is gifting us a twilight pass, I need to research which park I want to use it for.  I need to get a new memory card for my camera and I need to finish up my projects for the ladies at the assisted living home since my class is the next day after I get back.  Yikes!  Did I say convention is SOON?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stitching Time

Our local cross stitch store, Reflections Framing in Papillion (NE) holds a stitch in every Thursday night and two Saturdays a month.  These are the two projects that I am working on during these times.

The first is the Mary Smithies reproduction sampler from R&R Reproductions.  This was a teaching piece from a class that I took FOREVER ago (2001.)  It is on a piece of 25 count linen that was originally coffee dyed,  I thought the coffee would affect the life of the fabric and I don't particularly like the smell of coffee, so I washed it as soon as I got home all those many years ago.  The linen is converted to "learning fabric" by removing every 10th thread and replacing it with a blue linen thread.  Not particularly hard to do but rather tedious.  Such fabric made it easier for those little girls in the mid 1800's to keep their count accurate. This is my Saturday piece and is coming along nicely.  It is about 1/2 done.

The stitching shop holds aa annual Spring Retreat that I did not attend.  Their project was so darn cute I wanted to try to recreate it on my own.  (This is the second great retreat project I have seen, and it really makes me want to put next year's retreat on my priority list!)  First I needed to find a project that would end up being about 4 square inches.  I spent a couple of hours searching through my stash and, oh my, I rediscovered just how big a stash that is, with so many patterns that I wanted and still want to stitch, with many of them already kitted with fabric.  I need a clone!  Anyway, I found this Small Sampler #4 by Ewe & Eye & Friends that I think will work very well.  It is now my Thursday piece although I also work on it here at home.  I started it last week, June 13th and it is progressing quickly.  (Isn't it amazing how much progress you can make when you actually do spend some time stitching?  I guess it isn't very realistic that these things will stitch themselves when you aren't looking.  LOL!)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tommy paper pack and special stamp sets

My wonderful CTMH sister, Deb Bahr, designed the beautiful flag mounted on a piece of Kraft cardstock for our GottaStamp Crew unit meeting this month. She used the Tommy paper pack (X7169B). 

 I finished it into a home decor item, mounting it into a 12x12 scrapbook page frame.  I used our new patriotic stamp set Home of the Brave (D1576) to stamp the Colonial White cardstock base and matted the flag on Cranberry and Outdoor Denim cardstock.  

 Another Tommy project is this thank you card using  the stamp A True Thank You ( M1029).  This stamp was released early (it is from the upcoming Autumn/Winter 2013 Idea Book) with all profits from its sales during the month of June being donated to the American Red Cross to aid with the Oklahoma tornado victims.  It is a perfect stamp set for paper piecing and made such a cute card.

Along with the Home of the Brave stamp set, this Courage set (B1437) is part of another promotion by CTMH supporting US and Canadian troops.  From now until July 31, 2013, $3 from each Courage set and $5 from each D - sized stamp sets (Home of the Brave and Strong and Free)  will be donated to the USO (US sales.)  

There is also a Canadian themed stamp set, Strong and Free (D1575).  For Canadian sales, the same amounts will be donated to the Canadian Hero Fund.  I love that CTMH is so willing to support such worthy causes.  Well, I just love CTMH!

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