Friday, July 26, 2013

A Touch of Class and a Lot of Sass!

Ahhh, the summertime. For some, it's the time of relaxation and kicking back. For others -- particularly those in the crafting industry -- the season is filled with new releases. Close To My Heart unveils its new products next week; Stampin' Up had its convention last week, and this week, there's the summer reveals at the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) show in Las Vegas! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Come Join Me in August at Kathy Davis Studios!

I have such exciting news to share, and I barely know where to begin. Today IS a good day!

A swing card I made using KDS papers
(Journeys), along with Cricut Artiste and
Art Philosophy cartridges. Sentiment by
Close to My Heart. Ink: CTMH Lagoon
So I suppose that the best place is to jump right in -- two feet!  I've been invited to teach a series of papercrafting classes at Kathy Davis Studios, and they start next month. 

Annnnd, for those who would rather work on your own projects, we'll be hosting a crop at the KDS venue mid-August, and you're invited!

Because I think it will fill up fast, I want to tell you about the Papercrafting Crop first:  

Date:      Saturday, August 17
Time:     11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Place:     Kathy Davis Studios, 303 Horsham Road, Suite G; Horsham, PA 
Cost:      $15, which includes lunch, refreshments, tours of the studio and gallery, door prizes
Limited availability. Reserve now at or risk being wait-listed.

Now the classes:

I will teach a series of four classes in August, on four consecutive Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Take one, take them all, or take a few -- it's up to you.  Here's what and when I'll be teaching. (The actual titles may vary as KDS advertises them...)
Thursday, August 8:  "The Basics of Card Making - Christmas/Holiday Cards using KDS Ambrosia paper"
Thursday, August 15:  Fabric Flowers/Jewelry - Worn Art
Thursday, August 22:  Fantastic Folds and Flips in your cards Thursday, August 29: Maxi Memories in a Mini Album

The cost for each class is $25, plus a $10 lab/supplies fee paid to the Instructor (me).  I'll have some basic equipment and other supplies to use in each class as well, but if you have a paper trimmer, scissors and a ruler, please bring them. I'll also have a list of discount vendors where you can get more supplies to use what you learn to buy more supplies, when you get bitten by the Papercrafting bug. (I am seriously afflicted!!!!)  

There will be a reservation form at soon, but if you want a jump on ensuring your spot in class, please leave a comment here, or contact me at 

I look forward to seeing you, and thank those at Kathy Davis Studios (especially Kathy, Peter and Bill!) for your warm welcome and enthusiastic response to my cards.

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summertime Fun ... Fun Summertime Memories!

Good morning, CardMonkey fans! 

I know I am not alone when it comes to those who complain about the dangerous sweltering soup we find ourselves in this summer.

Here in the Philadelphia suburbs, we're reaching record temps of nearly 100 degrees this week. Even the in-ground pools are turning into hot tubs so they are not refreshing, for sure. 

The best bet is to stay inside in the central air conditioning and to stay as cool as possible. Drink plenty of water! And stay out of direct sunshine, which for me here in the Jungle -- the second floor loft that gets direct sun from sun up 'til about 2 p.m. -- it means our A/C can barely cool where crafting gets HOT!

The base design of this card is from the July Jillibean Soup's Card Kitchen kit. It didn't call for the ribbon accents , which I just think make this card POP louder than sizzling asphalt poured on a tin roof. 

Do you have memories of hot summers growing up? I remember baking cats' eye glass marbles on our driveway, then picking them up (burning our fingers!) and plunging them into a cup of icy water. Crack! Crack! Crack!  They'd shatter on the inside of the marble, leaving a cool design. Or the pop! pop! pop! of the line of gunpowder caps smashed with our rocks -- you know the kind I mean: the ones bought for Brother's toy gun but that we'd leave rolled up and slam with a rock or pop one by one on the stoop 'til our fingers smelled of gun powder?  

Then there's Mister Softee trucks that melted through our neighborhoods, the tinkling of the ubiquitous melody that sent us like Pavlovian dogs to beg for a buck from Dad for an ice cream cone. I thought they'd long ago gone by the wayside, another victim of the economy and gas prices, but NO!  Just last week, one came through Charlotte's neighborhood and Gii could not resist introducing her to the summer habit. 

We had neighborhood carnivals mostly to benefit Jerry's Kids where there were bean bag tosses, sack races and watermelon eating contests. We dug into blueberry pies with our hands tied behind our backs, staining our cheeks but we really didn't care. Hot dogs charred on the grill, and visits to Linvilla Orchards where we held a family membership in the swimming pool and where there was the highest high dive e-v-e-r.  Slip-and-slides matting our grass, running through the sprinkler, bee stings, the sound of Cicada, pesky mosquitoes and catching fireflies -- that is what summer meant to me as a kid. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Introducing the CardMonkey Cardstock Club!

What a fantastic time we four crafters had on Sunday, when I hosted a Papercrafting Crop at Jo-Ann Store in Warrington. Joining me were my bestie and one of my longest-term friends, Star Sitron, as well as newer/just-as-wonderful friends Susan Bermudez and Lyndra McCalla Barnes.  Both Susan and Lyndra are Facebook friends, and Susan shares her fun on her blog, Susana's Scrappin' Corner. 

Here's me (center) at the recent Close to My Heart Conven-
tion, becoming an Honorary Canadian CTMH team member,
with my Honorary Canadian Upline Darla Haverstock (left),
and my Honorary Canadian Sideline  Michelle Stewart (right).
squeezing Michelle a little tighter, hoping some of her
talent and luck rubs off -- because at this year's CTMH
Convention in Orlando, Michelle was named the 2013
"Rising Star of the Year", and won nifty prizes including
$1,000, a trophy and the adoration of her peers (like me!!).

Congratulations, Michelle!!

I brought my Cricut 2 (and I still prefer the original Cricut Expression) and Silhouette Portrait for the crafters to use. The store had its Cuttlebug and Tim Holtz Vagabond embossing machines for us to use. I also debuted the hot new Artbooking Cricut/CTMH cartridge, and we made some fun swing cards using Artiste and Art Philosophy Cricut cartridges as well.  

Stop back later this week (Thursday, most likely) when I'll share with you a chart I made and distributed at the crop as a "cheat sheet" in making swing cards, and I'll show one of the cards I made using the handy tool.  Heck, you might want to print one out for yourself to keep handy!

So many croppers, so little time. This photo was lifted
from an Internet search. YES, there are a lot of people
out there who love to scrapbook and play with paper,
just like us!
With these fine women as my core group, I'd like to start a monthly crop -- some smaller scale, and then maybe even a big kapow crop at some future date as we grow. I have one cooking for August that will definitely be of BIG INTEREST to those who thrive on creativity and nifty venues. Stay tuned!

Annnnd, one of the things that this group and I talked about was my establishing a "Cardstock Club."  So tah-dahhh, I'm unveiling it here today. I'm kicking it off with the first EIGHT who sign up for it, and will expand with each 8 interested. (In between groups of eight, I'll maintain a waiting list in case anyone wants a month off or to drop out.)   

Here it goes:

Crafters nationwide (and even internationally) describe Close To My Heart cardstock as some of the finest in craftland. Its color intensity, reliability and ink match is unparalleled. Personally, I find that nothing else cuts as well in my Cricut and Silhouette machines (Cameo and Portrait). It holds up well to embellishments and wears well for lasting greetings and memories.

...but, you can't buy it in a store, and it isn't sold by the sheet.  Sure, you can purchase it in a bulk pack of 24 sheets to a color, or a color group pack of two each of 10 different colors, but what if you want to build your collection in colors that are color matched to the CTMH new B&T Duos, and buy basics of white and/or colonial white by the sheet?

Say no more, have I got a deal for you!  Each month, we'll do a group buy and distribution (coordinated by me). For just $25/month, you'll receive 15 sheets of cardstock and a color-coordinated CTMH Exclusive Ink pad, plus free shipping/tax/handling, sent right to your door by the 10th of the month or earlier.  Included in the month's Club Pack will be three (12x12") sheets of one of the featured, new B&T Duos, along with three (12x12") sheets of each of four coordinating solid color cardstocks by CTMH.  I'll also enclose an Instruction Sheet for the B&T Duo's Workshop on the Go, so you'll have some project ideas right off the bat.

...and that's not all! 

Each month, one of the eight participants (randomly picked, with no participant winning more than once, and two winners in two months!) will win that month's Stamp of the Month, free!  And in the month, I'll throw in an extra little goodie, just to let you know I love you, a surprise treat! 

Let's look at the color info sheet I made, so you can see what's on tap for AUGUST.  That's right -- we're beginning soon, so be the first on your block to be a premier member of the CardMonkey Cardstock Club. 

oh boy, I don't think these colors show up right on the Blogger screen, but you'll get the drift. Consult your CTMH color index for truer colors ... It is on Page 9 of your Spring/Summer Idea Book, or on Page 139 of your Fall/Winter 2013 Idea Book; or online at
This is the chart/packing list you'll receive with your order in August.  You'll see that I've slated the Club Members to receive the ProPlayer B&T Duo, along with coordinating Slate, Whisper, Ruby and Pacifica papers.  The CTMH Exclusive Ink Pad you'll receive is Slate.  You'll note at the top that I will always have on hand to include with your month's order any Colonial White or Daisy White paper you might need. I am selling it for just $0.75/sheet, and will ship it free with your Club Order. 

In order to join up as a CardMonkey Cardstock Club member, I'll need a six-month commitment from you that you're "in."  You'll see (above) that this round of the Club goes 7 months. You may sit out one month by letting me know a week before the first of the month you want to skip. Payments for your Club dues will be invoiced via PayPal and must be paid by the 1st of the month. You may pay via PayPal or personal check.  I can only ship to US addresses. If you live internationally, please contact me to discuss whether the extra shipping costs would be worth it to you to receive this great paper.

I hate anything with too many rules, so please know I will be as flexible as possible! Just let me know what's going on and we can work it out.  Hopefully you won't want to drop out, but if you do, that's okay -- just please give me as much notice as you can so your spot will be filled by someone else on the waiting list.

Are you "in"?  CONTACT ME today!  Leave a comment here that includes an e-mail for me to contact you, which I'll do promptly. We'd love to have you.  Oh, and I just have 4 spots left in the first round, so do it soon!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Developing Cards for Class ...

I have been very busy in the Paper Jungle this week, since meeting with Bill Lessa, the Vice President at Kathy Davis Studios on Sunday.

Bill has asked me to explore the possibility of my teaching papercrafting classes at Kathy Davis Studios in nearby Horsham, PA!  I'm thrilled to even be considered, as Kathy's "Scatter Joy" philosophy is one I share. Never have I felt more comfortable with a "fit".

I dropped by the retail store run by Kathy Davis Studios (it's where the classes will be held, possibly starting as soon as August!), to pick up some scrapbooking papers to make some cards as samples for my next meeting and tour. The "clerk" who rang up my order was Peter Walts, the president of the company -- and Kathy's husband. What joy!

Are you local enough to attend classes?  If not, perhaps you'd be interested in joining us for a monthly crop at the Studio?  Please leave me a message. Come, enjoy the journey with me!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy Birthday to the Krazy Crafting Crew!

I have been honored to be one of the original members of the Krazy Crafting Crew (KCC) which came together to virtually craft together and to show our projects in monthly blog hops. Well, about a year ago at this time of year, the group became "official" with its name, thanks to our founder, Lissa Marie. 

We've been together -- supporting one another through thick and thin, living pretty much drama free (thank goodness!!), and inspiring one another with challenges that have made us each reach our personal goals.  Thank you all for the time we've spent together in this fun group.

So this month, we were asked to make anything "birthday" or anniversary related. And since I'm a cardmaker, that's what I made. Let me tell you a little about this simple card, and why it represents where I am in my life, at this time.  Here's the card:

For this card, I used a beautiful paper from the GCD Studios' Kathy Davis Scatter Joy line called "Journeys."  I stamped the cardstock with a sentiment from Close To My Heart called "Card Chatter - Birthday". The dragonfly was fussy-cut from another of Kathy Davis' papers in the same collection (shown at right). These papers are distributed exclusively at Joann Stores nationwide and online. I drew the dragonfly's flight path, and dabbled the centers of the flowers using CTMH's Stardust GLITZ.

So why does this single, simple card "represent" where I am in my crafting life today?  It incorporates many of the new paths I'm exploring ... with Close To My Heart as a business and lifestyle; with Joann Stores, teaching crafters of all ages.  And today, I will be having coffee with Bill Lessa of Kathy Davis Studios to see how I may be involved in teaching at their studio and possibly volunteering with them, to follow their dream to develop a community art center!  

Life is so good. Enjoy the journey.

Leave a comment here ... follow if you care ... and one day, you may find a Random Act of Crafty Kindness coming your way. RACK it up and pay it forward. It is so good. It is so kind ...

Follow along on the hop, below, to please wish my fellow members of the KCC a very happy birthday! 
is my very good friend,
who is the newest member of the KCC!

Your Host:

...and the full line up, following Lissa Marie:
Robin Lane ~ Create-a-Latte
Jearise ~ Lorby's World
Robin Scott ~ Scrap and Chat

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,