Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tip of the Day: Stop that Dreaded ATG Tape Slip

One of my very favorite tools in my craft room -- something I use every time I'm crafting -- is my "Adhesive Tape Gun" (ATG) by Scotch 3M.  I use the pink one, where the refills are typically 1/4".

From time to time, I sponsor a group "buy-in" of off-brand tape refills which seem to me to be just as great as the brand variety, though they are a lot less expensive.  I buy them from Tape Jungle, where with a purchase of 144 rolls (12 dozen), the price is $1.16/roll, including shipping. 

No matter if you buy off-brand or brand refills, many of my crafting friends say they've experienced the dreaded "tape slip".  Even a perfectly-threaded refill will fall off the applicator roll in the front, causing the tape to jam and the need to rip, disconnect and rethread the tape.

There just HAD to be a solution. Well here it is....

The tape needs a shim over the roll of tape, and you can create your own, either electronically, with punches, or by hand.  I used my Silhouette Cameo 2 (new, this Christmas -- thank you, Hubby!)  to create a disc out of cardboard that is 3" in diameter, with a 1" cut-out in the center, like this:

Just place the shim over the roll of refill tape that you've loaded into the ATG gun. 

Here's my offer to my readers:  If you just don't feel like making one of these shims yourself, just leave a comment here, and send me an e-mail (to with your address and I will mail one to you, free! 

Be in touch if I can help you with this crafty tip!

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Friday, January 16, 2015

Close To My Heart Announces Retiring Stamp Sets

At the end of this month, Close To My Heart will be forever-retiring 28 stamp sets.  

In case you have had your eye on any of these stamps or stamp sets, please be sure to order them before midnight (Mountain Time) on January 31, 2015, by going to my CTMH Online Business Address, which is (
and SHOP (search/order) these stamps:

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday, January 10: Frozen Blog Hop

Welcome to the FROZEN Blog Hop!

Whew! You've made it!!  
I am the very last stop on this super-chilly, wonderful blog hop. I hope you've enjoyed your visit and have been inspired to create your own wintery wonderland in your craft room.

So pull up a chair, a wooly blanket, and a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy one more fantastic project.  

I signed up for this Hop a long while ago, knowing that by the time January rolled around, our family would have been able to enjoy the Philadelphia presentation of "Disney on Ice: Frozen" to feature in my project. In addition, my granddaughter Charlotte -- a true Frozen fan -- would have celebrated her Frozen-themed fourth birthday party by the time of this Hop.  

I decided to make a mat/frame for a Memory photo of the occasion. What's a memory photo?  It's a 12x12" one page layout that I'll get framed. It's for those of us who just aren't scrapbookers enough to do a 2-page layout, but want to make the picture like a layout.  Here it is:

Charlotte was delighted when she saw this! The "snow maiden" cut-out is a file from the Silhouette Online Store, cut with my Silhouette Cameo 2 (a Christmas gift from hubby), using Close To My Heart "Glacier" paper.  The sentiment "Let It Go" is also a SOS/Cameo cut file, and cut from American Crafts silver glitter paper.  I glittered the cuts using Ranger Silver Stickles and CTMH Glitz, a retired product (that I LOVE!)

While I have an opportunity, let me say that the Disney on Ice production of Frozen is beautiful -- fabulous costumes in this story retold on ice. It was an exciting production even for adults, and Charlotte was enthralled, as you can see in these pictures:

Here are just a few shots from the show. We didn't bring cameras (silly us!) just cell phones, so the quality of these pics isn't great. We just wanted to focus on Charlotte's delight, and we weren't disappointed.

We had great front-row seats on the ice!! that my hubby "Pot" bought as a Christmas gift to Charlotte's family.  Thank you so much Pot for making this wonderful memory!

Now official Hop information:

I am the last stop on this Hop. If you've missed any stops, be sure to go back and start at the beginning, which is at the "Connie Can Do" blog of our hostess, Connie.  Do be sure to Hop along and leave comments for each of the participants, so you can be eligible to win prizes from our two sponsors:
Craftin Desert Divas is giving one lucky winner an awesome stamp set, and Golden Goddess Designs is giving one lucky winner the Adventure Templates from Kiwi Lane Designs. 

Here is a full list of the stops:

3.Jenny -
4.Janet -
5.Alicia -
6.Lori -
7.Sarah -
8.Audrey -
9.Theresa -
10.Miranda -

Thank you again for joining us!

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Buckle Boutique sparkles in the New Year!

In December 2014, it was my great honor to be an independent crafter chosen by Kathy Davis Studios to participate in their annual "Joy Market," a craft exhibit/sale held at the KDS Gallery in Horsham, PA.  This year, the Joy Market was extra-special, because it was held in the new Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, in a beautifully restored barn just behind the KDS Gallery.

One of the products I sold at the Joy Market was this sweet Post-It Note holder, that I made using Dazzling Diamonds rhinestone resin adhesive sheets from The Buckle Boutique.  The sheets cut like butter -- using standard scissors (as I used in this case) or even an electronic cutting machine such as a Cricut, Pazzles or Silhouette Cameo.

As a gift to the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, I made two banners, including this one that hung over the Center's stunning stone fireplace. The banner also features TBB's Dazzling Diamonds -- can you see them?  Subtle, and lovely!

Here's a close-up of the banner. Up top, I cut the sheet of clear Dazzling Diamonds into strips of three rows high, then peeled off the adhesive backing and affixed them to the top of each pennant. I cut the pennants themselves on my Cricut Explore, and the snowflakes from Close To My Heart's Colonial White paper, using my Silhouette Cameo.

Have you had a chance to use some of the terrific products from The Buckle Boutique, whether the adhesive sheets or rhinestone bling like buckles and pins?  Well, WHAT are you waiting for?  Perhaps a brand new and exciting product???

If you're waiting for that, do *I* have a sneak-peek for you...
this weekend at the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA, booth #2535), The Buckle Boutique and "The Modern Surrealist" Marisa Pawelko are unveiling a line of printed rhinestone sticker sheets with incredible new designs: 

Check out this Graffiti print:

Isn't that nifty?!  There are other sweet sheets, with lips, leopard prints, flowers and more. Do swing by The Buckle Boutique, either at CHA or by hopping over to to see what fun is available to you now.

For more information, here are links to The Buckle Boutique:

The Buckle Boutique’s Website . . . click HERE
The Buckle Boutique Blog . . . . click HERE
Facebook Page . . . click HERE
Twitter Page . . . click HERE
Pinterest Page . . . click HERE

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Resolution 2015: Get More Organized with That Perfect Gift!!!

Christmas is near. I hear the jingling of Santa's bells.  

If you still haven't found the crafter in your life the perfect Christmas present, here is a bundle of Close To My Heart brand new products exclusive to CardMonkey that is irresistible and will light up her organizing spirit:

That's right -- the Close To My Heart rolling tote is now available, and look how handsome and practical it is:

Take a peek inside, and you'll see that the zippers completely open to reveal enough space for lots of storage bins, room for her trimmer, catalogs, 12 x 12" paper, markers, and more!

Shown here are the CTMH large organizer, a medium organizer and three small organizers, each sold separately.  

Still yearning for more organization?  Why not add on a beautiful complementing shoulder bag?
It's got a roomy interior with a sweet zipper pocket inside, and it's a full 18" wide, perfect for holding scrapbooking papers and more.

How about one more? The new My Legacy Chevron Album -- while not designed exactly like the totes -- is what I use to hold some of my small embellishments like sparkle gems, pearls, and more. I simply slide them into the pockets of divided page protectors ("Memory Protectors") that CTMH sells too! Then slip that into the shoulder bag, and I'm a coordinated cropper ready for some serious "work" (hahaha) at a crop.

... and I am offering a special that should entice your inner Santa. And my offer is good through January 31, 2015, so if you've gotten some cash instead of coal from the Big Red Guy, now's your chance to get a sweet after-holiday deal:

Buy all three together -- that's the rolling tote, the shoulder bag, and the My Legacy Chevron album -- in one order from my CTMH website ( and I will rebate approximately 10% of your order. All three together would normally cost $211.85, and instead will cost you just $189 (plus tax and shipping) for a limited time offer!  

Please note that this offer is being made by me personally, and ONLY me ... It is not a Close To My Heart special but instead is my way of rewarding your 2015 Resolution to GeT mOrE oRgAnIzEd!!!  Contact me by e-mail at to let me know if you are taking advantage of this offer, or if you have questions.  

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Last day of four -- Hanukkah cards galore!

Hanukkah continues, and so I will show you the last of my 12 cards I made for friends and neighbors celebrating this special holiday. If you missed Cards 1-9, please scroll down.

On the 10th Day of CardMonkey's Hanukkah celebration, my true love sent to me:

10. Sarita makes its return visit

If you are following along, you'll recognize the CTMH Sarita paper used here, from the Spinner Card I showed you yesterday.  

This time, I made a gatefold card -- it opens in the center -- that is held shut with a Star of David at the top, and a sentiment at the bottom.

I cut the Star of David using my Silhouette Cameo, a Design Studio file, and matte silver stock by Bazzill, available at  I backed the cut silver star with CTMH's Lagoon cardstock, and a center piece cut from Gypsy cardstock.  

The sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp, stamped in Lagoon Exclusive Ink from CTMH, on a Colonial White piece of CTMH cardstock that has been lined with Lagoon cardstock. I LOVE that CTMH sells papers and inks to match exactly!  I put two sparkly bits on either side of the sentiment, and it's done!

On the 11th Day of CardMonkey's Hanukkah celebration, my true love sent to me:

11. A peaceful dove and a golden Star of David

I found this beautiful dove in the Cricut Design Space files and so cut (using my Cricut Explore) "him" out using Crystal Blue cardstock from CTMH. While that was cutting, I found the swirled word "Peace" in a Silhouette Design Studio file, and cut that out using my Cameo, using White Daisy CTMH cardstock.  

You can never have enough metallic gold in my world, so this lovely paper from Bazzill is a staple in my craft room. I cut the Stars of David out using my Silhouette Cameo and one of Silhouette's files. 

Once everything was cut, I grouped all of the cut pieces on a backing of Outdoor Denim blue cardstock. I toyed around with some border scribbles, using a Sakura white gel pen. I like the casual feel to the scribbles, though I think I'd lighten up a bit on the pen when making this again.

I added three Sparkle Gems from CTMH in the lower right hand corner to call this complete!

...and last but not least ... 

On the FINAL day of CardMonkey's Hanukkah celebration, my true love sent to me:

12. A pretty Festival of Lights card 

Pretty "Frosted" paper from CTMH (now retired) was used for the backdrop of a tableau for a fussy-cut menorah that had been stamped in Pacifica ink onto Lagoon paper by CTMH. The flames, stamped separately in a stamp set by CTMH, were gold embossed. 

The Star of David is from a Papertrey Ink stamp set, stamped in Outdoor Denim ink (CTMH) onto Goldrush cardstock (CTMH) and fussy cut, and raised with pop-dots.  

The sentiment is from a CTMH stamp set, stamped in Outdoor Denim ink, onto Frosted paper that has been layered with a bit of Goldrush and Sarita papers by CTMH. For a pop of color, I added a lower layer of Lagoon paper peeking out behind the Frosted paper. 

I hope you have enjoyed these Hanukkah cards. Season's Greetings to you and yours!

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Friday, December 19, 2014

More Hanukkah Greetings!

So here we are on Day #3 of my sharing Hanukkah greetings with you. If you've missed Days 1 and 2, please do scroll down to see what's happening here. And tune back in tomorrow for the final episode of "Gee that CardMonkey made a LOT of different Hanukkah cards!"

On the 7th Day of Hanukkah, my true love sent to me:

7.  A bright blue and gold card

In my search to find Hanukkah papers, I found these pretty papers on The papers are designed by Karen Foster. The blue is called "Hanukkah Collage"  (Click HERE to order your own!) and the gold is called "Festival of Lights" (Click HERE for the gold paper). 

Simply, I cut a piece of "Hanukkah Collage" (the blue) for the top, centering the cut to find a bit of the message that would look good on the top part of the card. I cut a piece of the yellow for the bottom third of the card. 

For the blue strip, I cut a piece of Close To My Heart's Pacifica cardstock and topped it with a piece of CTMH's silver shimmer trim.  The menorah was cut using a Design Space file on my Cricut Explore, and layered onto Pacifica and Daisy White paper from CTMH. 

On the 8th Day of Hanukkah (traditionally, the LAST day of Hanukkah), my true love sent to me:

8. A spinning dreidel card that actually spins!

This card is actually far easier than it looks, thanks to the pre-cut purchased "Spinner Cards" from Close To My Heart.  Once you have the card, the embellishing is the easy part. 

Layer the left and right panels of the front of the card using a retired paper from CTMH called "Sarita."  I have some of this in my stash, and if you need some, don't hesitate to contact me; I will sell it by the sheet. On the reverse side of the blue dotted pattern is the pretty print. Part of the print reminded me of menorah candles, which is why I used it for the center part of the card.  

For the spinning dreidel, simply punch a 2" circle for the background to cover the pre-made card's white center spinner.  I used the matching dotted background for the front, and cut a dreidel using my Silhouette Cameo and a Design Studio file.  On the back of the spinner (not shown) is a Star of David.  

Peeking on the inside is a stamped sentiment ("Happy Hanukkah", surrounded by stars), stamped in Outdoor Denim Exclusive Inks from CTMH and colored using a Marigold color ShinHan Touch Twin marker, also available from CTMH.  

On the 9th (BONUS!) Day of Hanukkah, my true love sent to me:

9. A rainfall of Stars of David, some stamped in gold

To make this card, I first pre-cut a lot of Stars of David, using my Cricut Explore and Design Space files, in various sizes. I cut them all from Thistle colored cardstock from CTMH, on a single sheet of paper. Imagine how long those bitty stars took to cut on a 12x12" packed sheet of paper!

Next, I stamped the sentiment in the lower right hand corner, using Thistle Exclusive Ink from CTMH and a sentiment stamp from Papertrey Ink. 

Then, I stamped larger Stars of David twice on the card, using Versamark ink (from CTMH) and a stamp image I purchased from Simon Says Stamp.  After stamping the large stars, I sprinkled them with gold embossing powder (CTMH) and heat set them using my CTMH craft heater gun.

I affixed all of the individual little "falling stars" in a decorative array, using a Martha Stewart glue pen.

Stop back tomorrow for the last installment of "How the Hanukkah Cards Spin."

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hanukkah Greetings, Day 2

Continuing on from yesterday, here are more Hanukkah cards I've made for my Jewish friends:

On the 4th Day of Hanukkah, my true love sent to me:

4. A pretty center-step Festival of Lights card:

I just love how a Center-Step folded card stands on display, so I knew I wanted to make at least one of these pretty cards which is just a little more cutting and folding than a standard card. I follow templates readily available at

I cut the base from Colonial White cardstock (Close To My Heart, CTMH), and embellished it on the left and right panels with Snowhaven B&T Duo cardstock (CTMH), on the center panel with Slate cardstock (CTMH) and on the bottom piece with stacked Slate and Colonial White papers.  

I cut the framed element in Cranberry and Colonial White papers (CTMH), using a pattern from the Design Space subscription and my Cricut Explore.  I also cut the pretty Menorah shaped to fit the element (a little taller); it's a cut from DS/Explore too, and I used Crystal Blue cardstock from CTMH.  

I glued the Menorah to the white framed element, using a Martha Stewart glue pen, and topped each candle with a swoosh of Glitz from CTMH (no longer available, darn!).  I stacked the elements and popped them up, using foam pop-dots from my stash.

The sentiment and Stars of David are from a stamp set I purchased from Simon Says Stamp, using Slate and Cranberry Exclusive inks (CTMH).  I added a bit of bling (CTMH) to the center of each star, and voila, Card #4 is complete!

On the 5th Day of Hanukkah, my  true love sent to me:

5. A Chevron-embossed green and gold beauty ...

To make this card, I designed a card cut combining the lettering pattern I found in the Silhouette Online Store with a line underneath (cut), with the whole element cut to a 4"w x 5.25"h panel. Once that was cut, I embossed the bottom of the cut using a sweet Chevron folder from CTMH and my Cheery Lynn Designs Crossover embossing/cutting machine.  

I put a piece of CTMH gold shimmer trim behind the line cut, for emphasis, taping it in place. I then layered the entire piece atop a value-pack A2 card from CTMH, and Card #5 was done!

On the 6th Day of Hanukkah, my true love sent to me:

6.  A special fold/Star of David card - Shalom!

Here's another easy card, with the right equipment. The card cut is already designed and available on CTMH's new "Artfully Sent" cartridge. All of the elements are as you see them here -- the fold line (scored), with the Star of David already inserted, and the white insert piece already designed with the word "shalom" at the base.

I cut the card, using my Cricut Explore and Pacifica and White Daisy cardstocks (CTMH). Then, because it was just too easy, I decided to highlight the Star of David using gold Stickles (from Ranger), and I inked the edges in Pacifica Exclusive Ink and a sponge dauber, both from CTMH.  

And that's it for Card #6!

Stop back tomorrow to see Cards # 7, 8 and 9!

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,
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