Saturday, 1 March 2014

Cards and Promoting Craft Business

These past few days have been great, I have been busy creating and feeling inspired.  It always helps when the weather cools off a little or we have a little rain, I am the opposite of most people I know and these types of days become my most productive.  Perhaps it is because I live in a fairly warm climate all year round and never have to deal with the extreme cold temperatures or constant rainy days - but we do get humidity and a lot of it and that is the worst thing for depleting energy levels.  So I do find myself loving days when the humidity is minimal, the weather is a tad cooler and my creative juices start flowing!
Here are a few of the cards I have been making in the last few days:

This is a cute patchwork style with a little owl

This was just a fun design which I really enjoyed making

This card was interesting to do, attempting to do the inking of the words in different colours

This was made using a new set of stamps called Dreamer and was a favourite with all the girls in our family.
If you are looking for a great set of stamps to make cards, particularly for the pre-teen/teen age group, I highly recommend this set.   

The big news in my last few days of being productive is that I have finally taken the time to set up a Facebook Page to promote my business:  Karen's Facebook Page
Facebook is a great way to connect with people and I know I should have done this a long time ago.  I will be posting things I make on my Facebook page too, so please be sure to take a look and Like my page so that you don't miss out on any updates in my little crafty world.  Between my Blog and Facebook page I will hopefully keep things updated regularly. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Close To My Heart - I am Loving It!!

Well as the title of my blog post says - I am loving Close To My Heart!  This month there is a new Ideas Book & Catalogue available which is full of the most gorgeous crafting supplies.  You really must stop and take a look here and go through the pages of this beautiful catalogue.  You simply cannot help but be tempted!

I am guilty of having ordered quite a few new items to play with myself.  One I have been having a lot of fun with is the new Picture My Life Scrapbooking Programme.  It comes with everything you need to make up your scrapbook pages, you just need  to provide your photos and you are set to go. 

Each Picture My Life Scrapbooking Programme comes with 10 Memory Protector sleeves, with a variety of different sized pockets, perfectly sized for you to slip your photos and these decorative cards into, plus one 12"x 12" Designed cover sheet which is double sided.  You also get 44 double sided cards (2 of each design) in 4"x 6" and 78 double sided cards (3 of each design) in 3"x 4".  These slip straight into the pockets to help form your page layout.  You can add various embellishments to them, eg. flowers, brads, buttons, ribbons, lace, washi tape, etc.  Decorate as little or as much as suits your style.  Within an hour I had half an album full of pages completed.  What can I say . . . . I am loving it! 

This first set I bought is called "Avonlea" and it is especially great for family related photos - which is exactly what I have been scrapping.  I've also done a few pages of photos from our recent Anniversary trip and this set had the perfect designs to go with that.

The other set I bought is called "Chantilly" and every single card design in this pack is so pretty.  It suits me just fine because we have 4 girls in our family and we all love pretty styles.
What a fast and easy way to make up scrapbook pages which look great.  If you are time challenged, like me and just about every other person out there these days, then this is the perfect item for you to look at.  There are 8 gorgeous packs to choose from and best of all, it is so inexpensive compared to other forms of scrapbooking!
Let me also show you some of the great new hostess collections available.

 This set is from the Lollydoodle Range . . . so, so cute!!

This set is from the Ariana Range . . . the themes with this are a big favourite in our home.

This set is from the Timberline Range . . . perfect for vacations or the great outdoors.

Over the last week I have had two separate card making workshops which have been so much fun.  We worked on cards using the new Lollydoodle Paper Pack as a base. All the ladies have been loving the bright colours and fun designs of this range.  These are some of the cards we have been making.  What I love most in these workshops is that even though I have a sample and everyone starts with the same kit pieces in their card packs, all the cards end up looking slightly different at the end depending on how differently people have put the cards together, where they have placed items, what embellishments they have used etc.  It's great to compare at the end and gather new ideas from one another for future use.

Close To My Heart has been a company I have loved for many, many years and I'm so glad they are finally in Australia.  It is like a dream come true to now have the perfect excuse to play with all my craft products and be creative . . . and earn money from it all.  Hardly seems fair to call it work when it is so enjoyable.  For me it is the perfect match and I get to spend my days doing what I love most.  The rewards from this company are awesome.  If you are looking for a fun way to earn an income, while working your own hours - just click on this page to learn more or contact me.

Look at the fun craft kit you get to start you off!

Come join me today, you won't look back . . . it truly is that good!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Pretty Stores, Flower Gardens & Shabby Chic Crafts

Wow! I didn't realize it had been so long since I had updated my blog.  In my defence, life has been a little crazy!!  Right now we have absolutely no bathroom in our house.  The entire room has been completely stripped of everything, walls and all.  This room has needed renovating since we first bought our house quite a few years ago, but as we all know, these types of things take both time and money.  Finally it is happening though and although very inconvenient, it is very exciting too.  The new walls, floors & roof are in, waterproofing done and hopefully within the next day or so tiling will commence then the essentials fitted.  I won't know myself.  I will be so, so happy to say goodbye to the camping shower we have set up in our backyard :)
During January I spent a week away with my husband.  We had fun exploring a city we really didn't know very well.  On our travels I found this store which was my all time favourite store on the whole trip!
Take a look inside.  There were so many pretty things - I honestly didn't know where to look next.  A bit like a child in a candy store!  I spent ages inside just wanting to absorb it all.  Definitely my style of shop.

I also found a store which sold Russian Babushka Dolls.  I've never seen so many varieties of Babushka Dolls nor a store devoted to selling them exclusively.  It was fun to visit.

We tried the most amazing icecream - the creaminess and texture was, quite simply, divine.  It was fun to try some of the interesting flavours, you could sample before you bought.  The Pear & Cinnamon was certainly a flavour I had never come across before.
Something I really miss, because I now live in a place where the climate is more tropical, is the colourful flower gardens - particularly the rose gardens.  Here was my favourite coloured rose and the scent was beautiful.  I wish I knew the variety of rose, it was just gorgeous!  These all grew on standard rose trees - it was quite spectacular to see a garden full of rose trees. 
I am really not much of a gardener, I just don't have the time, but I do appreciate beautiful gardens and love flowers.  My other favourite flowers are hydrangeas, blue ones in particular.  These grow so well in the cooler climates and we even drove through some mountain areas where they just grew wild.  I have tried numerous times over the years to grow hydrangeas here, unsuccessfully I might add, so I really appreciated the beauty in what I saw.

Sorry if I have bored you with the flowers, but their beauty and colours are the sorts of things which inspire the creative side of me.
Talking about being creative, this past weekend was my first Market Stall for the year.  One of my daughters came along to help me on the day.  She loves crafts as much as I do, we are definitely kindred spirits when it comes to being creative.

For this market I made up a new item to sell - Shabby Chic style peg magnets.  I always have something stuck on my fridge so that I won't lose it, so it's nice to at least have something pretty yet practical to hold that much needed information safely. These magnet sets were very popular and sold well.  I will have to make some more for the next time.

Well that is enough of a catch up for now . . . thanks for stopping by and sharing this little part of my world with me.


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas Holiday Crafts

Now that school has finished for the year, we have been having a few crafty days with friends.  We had a day of stamping and card making this week, which my girls particularly enjoy doing with their friends and the mums enjoy it too, so it is a win-win situation for everyone!

Another crafty morning we enjoyed last week with friends was painting ceramics.  We went to a store which was filled with lots of lovely pieces to choose from.  The idea is to choose the piece you want, in the price range you want and then decorate it with paint.  Some pieces on display were of pieces which had been beautifully painted, others were hand-drawn designs on plates, mugs, etc.  Some really great Christmas gift ideas to make for someone special.
Most of the girls decided on Christmas Decorations but one of my girls is a real cat lover at heart, so she couldn't look beyond the cat figures to paint - she just had difficulty choosing which one.

The colours look quite muted as they are painted on and required several layers of painting.

We left the pieces at the store for a week so that they could be kiln fired. 

We had some excited girls when they saw their finished pieces!

If you check the picture above of the cat being painted and then compare it with this picture of the finished product, you can see it was actually quite difficult to picture how they would look when done from the colour paints the girls were using.  They are both very proud of their efforts!

My own craftiness this week seems to be revolving about Christmas gifts.  Here is an idea to share with you - simple to make and the end result is so cute!

Marshmallows and Hot Chocolate mix presented as a snowman in cute little jars.  I actually filled some with Milo too as I know lots of people like this as a hot or cold drink too.  Some of my jars had Christmas coloured candies in them too. 
The jars are glued together and decorated with gem stones.  The snowman's hat it made from felt and some spotted ribbon for a scarf.  I forgot to take a photo of all my completed snowmen together, they looked so cute in a group, so I just have to make do with this single photo instead.  These are quite a cost effective gift, especially if you buy the supplies in bulk packs.  All our friends, neighbours, etc will receive one of these this year.  I just have to hope none of them read my blog first!!
I hope you are all enjoying your own Christmas preparations!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Playgroup Christmas Nativity and Party

It's hard to believe Christmas is almost upon us - it seems to have come around so quickly this year!  I still have so much to do and the last few weeks have been filled with lots of Christmas activities and parties.  Today I thought I would share with you a little of our end of year Playgroup Christmas party.
We always end our final day for the year with a big party and gifts for everyone.  It is a much anticipated event and nobody stays away on that day!   

We had all the children dress up in costumes and they did a mini version of acting out the Christmas nativity play and sang some Christmas carols.  The children performed this for their parents and grandparents and also an older people's group which meets elsewhere in the church's buildings.  The whole thing only takes all of 10 minutes, if that, so perfect for the attention span of the little ones involved.

We gave out these delicious Christmas Tree cookie stacks as gifts to all those who came along to watch.  The older children had fun distributing these gifts which were very kindly made by one of our playgroup mums.

Each year I make up scrapbooks for each of the children which is full of their art & craft work and photos taken of the children at play and doing various activities throughout the year.  It is a lovely keepsake which everyone looks forward to having.
For gifts this year we used Gift Bags.  This is the most effective way of packaging up gifts we have done so far.  Each year we improve on the process slightly.  The bags were all hand-stamped and contained the children's scrapbooks plus their Christmas gifts.  It made the whole process of distributing gifts so much quicker and easier.  This photos doesn't show all the children, we have quite a large group and short attention spans, so we need a process that works quickly.  I think we will do this again.

This year all the mothers, grandmothers and carers who come along each week all received a lovely Nutri-Metics gift.  We always do something fun for the ladies, not usually this extravagant, sometimes smaller gifts or even a secret Santa which we all contribute to.  This year someone very kindly donated a whole lot of Nutri-Metics products for me to use as gifts for both of our Playgroups, which is over 50 ladies - so it was a lovely treat for everyone!

We ended our busy morning with a lovely morning tea - so much food that we had plenty of leftovers!  It was a great ending to a very fun year, shared with a fantastic group of people.  We have the best playgroup ever - of course I am completely biased - but the sense of community, support and friendship within this group is like nothing I have ever experienced elsewhere, and I have certainly been to my fair share of playgroups over the years with my own 4 children during their younger years. 

Thanks for sharing our Playgroup Christmas with me.  I will be back to share more of my recent activities soon.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Close To My Heart - Christmas Cards

This last month has been busy with a number of card making workshops.  I am loving being part of the Close To My Heart company so much.  I feel like I could never call this work, it is too much fun!
This month the focus has been on Christmas Cards.  I will share a few of the cards we have worked on with you.

This Noel card was made using the Sparkle & Shine Paper Pack and the Remarkable Wreath stamp set.  The stamps in this set are great - you start with stamping a twig wreath and build up your layers however you want them.  Mine just has Christmas berries, but other ladies added leaves and even flowers to theirs.  They all looked different and so amazing!

This Nativity card is made using the Glory To God stamp set.  The stamped image has been highlighted with Liquid Glass and this gives it a raised, glossy finish.  Difficult to see in the photo, but so, so nice!

This Christmas Card was done using the Holiday Cheer stamps and once again the Christmas Ornaments have been coated with Liquid Glass to give a raised, glossy finish. 

The last one I am going to share with you is one of my favourites - it is a Christmas version of a tri-fold card.  Very effective! 
I think by general consensus at our last workshop, all the ladies agreed that Card Making was not only fun it also felt quite therapeutic to spend some time away from the stress of our busy lives and just enjoy being creative for a few hours.
If you liked any of the stamps we have used, they are all available for purchase online, just click on the links I have provided.

Until next time,

Monday, 11 November 2013

Handmade Craft Market

My first time running a stall at our local Handmade Craft Market has come and gone and was quite a fun, successful day!  The markets were the weekend following my daughter's birthday, so after all the party preparations, I was only left with a week to get things ready for the markets, but thankfully it all came together well.  I shared the stall with a friend, which helped to give us both the confidence to give this a try.
The markets are specifically called a Handmade Market, stocking products that are all handmade.  Some crafty things, some edible.  The lady who manages the markets also asked me if I would set up a demonstration of some type, so I had a free stamping make & take table which was very popular with the customers.

I managed to get a photo of the stall only part way through set-up.  After that things got too busy and I never had a chance to get one of the completed set-up.  Next time!

These were some gift bags filled with candy which I made using some of my Close To My Heart Stamps,  My new wreath stamps were so much fun to experiment with and create so many different looks. 

These are some giant clip magnets - perfect to clip up and hold paperwork you need to keep handy.

These are cute little notebooks with post-it notes inside.  All have been made using my stamps.  I love how they turned out!  I plan to make more of these.  They would make perfect little Christmas gifts.

These were some of my handmade magnets - before I had them all nicely packaged up.  Even though I do enjoy a wide variety of crafts - I kept my focus on paper crafts for the markets.

This was just a small selection of the cards I had for sale.  I enjoy making them, I find it so relaxing - but the quantity of cards can add up quite quickly, so much more than I could possible use myself, so it was a great opportunity to sell some.  They were quite popular.

The market is only new to our area in the last few months.  It runs every month.  I loved it so much that I do plan to do it again next month - so that means some more busy days ahead for me, creating more to sell!