Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thanks For Your Support!

Today, I wanted to introduce you to a pet project of mine…the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  As many of you know, I’ve been involved in breast cancer fundraisers for many years, including our annual “Pam’s Pals” (now called “Think Pink”) benefit crop.  In 2011, I also began walking in the SGK 3-Day along with Pam (of Pam’s Pals), my daughter, Christen, and several of our close friends and family.  I signed up in January of that year, not really knowing what I was getting myself into, and not really having anyone to walk for but my friend, Pam.

After training for weeks on end, mile after mile, and then spending the 3 days of the event walking 60 miles and sleeping in little pink tents, something in me changed.  I wasn’t just walking for Pam, I was walking for a lot of people.  I started to remember all the people in my life who had been touched by breast cancer and I even found out there was a history of it in my own family that I never knew about before.  I learned that we’re not done getting the word out.  People still don’t talk about it like they should and women still aren't getting the mammograms they need.  So for that reason, I just kept walking.

Since 2011, I’ve completed two 3-Day walks and am planning this year to be crew on a 3rd.  Crew are basically the volunteers who run the event.  I’m going to be on camp services, picking up trash, helping set up tents, welcoming walkers into camp at the end of a long day … doing whatever is needed to support the walkers and keep everyone safe.  As a member of the crew, I’m not required to do any fundraising, but most of us do any way.  I decided not to ask my friends and family for direct donations this year, and instead am participating in a fun little fundraiser event with other crew members.  It’s a Casino Night Happy Hour event, and I would like to invite everyone in the DFW metroplex area to attend.  It’s at the Pop Diner at McKinney and Lemmon, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun!

View details about the event here.

Each year, at the conclusion of the 3-Day event, I send out Thank You cards to all my donors, sponsors, and helpers.  It takes a lot of money and work to get there -- a walker who follows the training program will walk 580 miles before they even get to the event and they must raise a staggering $2300 each just to participate.  So I am always very, very grateful to anyone who helps me along the way.  Here’s a fun little card I made for my donors one year.  On the inside it says, “Thanks for your support!”

I used a Stampin' Up! embossing folder and Glimmer Paper.  The bra stamp was something I purchased a long time ago, so I don't have a clue who makes it.  Each card was a little different in that I stamped the bra onto pink patterned papers and cut out the cups to pop them up.  It doesn't really show on the photo above, so here's a little better view.  

I hope you’ll consider coming to our event.  If you do, come say “Hi” to me and give me your address so I can send YOU a card after the 3-Day, too!  Oh, and thanks for your support of this blog!  And don't forget to participate in our monthly blog hop!  Check out the post on September 20!

Friday, September 20, 2013

September Blog Hop

Hey Crafters!  It’s time for our monthly blog hop!  If you came here from Amanda’s page, you are in the right place!  Keep reading to find out how you can win a prize from Crafty Neighbor.

In case you haven’t noticed, there are a few changes this time around!  First and foremost, you might have noticed that we did not start the hop on the 15th.  This month’s hop will be a bit shorter and will run from the 20th through the 30th, with the prize winner being posted on the 1st (so be sure to come back to see if you won our prize drawing!)  The other big change this month is our new name.  We are now called the Creative Crafters Blog Hop.  Thanks to Amanda Woodward for coming up with the new name, and thanks to Laura for designing this month’s logo.

This month’s theme was “Make a Wish”, and I dug up these pictures of my son, Steven, when he turned 14 (wasn’t he cute?).  I really wanted to go for a loud and happy page, so I mixed a bunch of bright colors and I used an assortment of patterned papers to roll up some 3-D candles.  The flames were made with the tiny ornament from Stampin’ Up’s “Merry Minis” punch pack.  I got the idea for the “make a wish” background from the card pictured here.  I simply made a word document and played with the font and alignment until I got it to look how I wanted.

The real challenge on this page was creating the black and white chevron paper.  I used Heidi Swapp’s “Mistables” with black Memento ink.  If you haven’t used these before, they are pre-embossed white cardstock designed to be sprayed with “Color Shine” or other similar links to create custom patterned papers.  I wanted the look of crisp black and white, but I didn’t have a black spray ink, so I decided to try my hand at sponging on the ink instead.  I had to experiment with a couple of different kinds of ink to get it to work.  I started with Ranger’s “Archival Ink, but it had a purple tint and it did not wipe off the resist areas.  Stampin’ Up’s Basic Black ink had a similar purple tint.  My Tim Holtz “Black Soot” distress ink was all dried up, so I couldn’t try that one.  I wound up using Memento ink with an ink-blending tool.  It gave great coverage and most of the ink wiped off the resist areas with a paper towel.  I went back over it with a baby wipe to get the last bit.  Conclusion:  sponged inks will work in a pinch, but they don’t give the crisp inked look and easy cleanup of the spray inks.

I hope you liked my layout for this month’s hop.  Post a comment below and tell me your biggest scrapbook wish for a chance to win a scrapbook grab bag valued at over $25.  And before time runs out, please go check out the other blogs in our hop for a chance to win even more prizes.  Your next stop is Connie Creates 2 by Connie Walsh.  Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to come back on October 1st when we announce the winners!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How to Get Your Momentum Back

If you’ve noticed a theme over the past few days, but it’s got everything to do with staying on task, keeping focus, picking up where we left off, and getting our momentum back.  Here’s a great blog article by the fabulous Christine Kane about exactly that!

How to Get Your Momentum Back (…After a Summer of Reckless Gluttony)
Written by Christine Kane
Here’s what a client said last week. (See if it sounds familiar.)
“Man, I was really on a roll with this project before the summer. But then the kids were home all summer, and we had vacation, and then I had to get Brian off to school and I’m just, I don’t know, not motivated anymore…”
This “project” of hers is a BIG DEAL. Maybe even something that could change her whole life and business.  It was her “thing” for the year.
But then…
Summer happened.
She “lost momentum.”
And along with it, she thinks she has lost her passion, too.
She hasn’t.
She’s just disappointed in herself for getting off track.
And that sucks.  But it happens.
The problem with MOMENTUM is that people use it as a way to beat themselves up and then never get started again.
But momentum is not a constant.
Stuff happens. Kids get home from school. Knees get wonky. Hard drives crash. You get swine flu.
Any number of things can result in a loss of momentum.
But when you use “momentum” as an excuse for stopping, it simply means you’re afraid of dealing with the discomfort of getting started again.
And getting started again is one of the most valuable success skills you can develop.
So, in honor of September and getting back on track after the gluttony of your outrageous summer … here’s my own 7-step plan to help you get your groove back…
1 – Define the project or thing.
This one’s easy. Don’t overdo it and try to fix everything in your life. Just pick one priority right now.
2 – Schedule a time.
When you schedule an exact time, you will ensure that you don’t put the activity off because you don’t feel like it or because something comes up. It simply becomes just what I do.
3 – Go for Small.
The idea of MOMENTUM makes us set our sights huge in order to “pick up where we left off.”
Don’t play this game.
The best way to get your groove back is to experience completion on a regular basis. And the best way to experience completion on a regular basis is to set your goals small. Sixty-minutes is a perfect starting place. (Sometimes I do only twenty!)
4 – Create the space.
Get the space ready before the time comes. For instance, if your “thing” is getting back into a fitness routine, then every night before you go to bed, create the space for your 6am work out. Lay out your clothes, fill up your Sigg bottle, and charge your iPhone.
If it’s a big project, lay out your task list, clear off your desk, close your email programs every night before you stop working so that you’re not distracted when you begin in the morning.
5 – Set a timer.
When a timer is running, you won’t be as tempted to go downstairs to put the clothes in the dryer, or see if the mail has arrived. It’s a mind game that keeps your butt in the chair and your focus on the task.
6 – Just do it.
Don’t stop to pause and wonder if you really FEEL like doing this today.
Cuz you know what? You won’t!
Just walk out the door, or sit down at the desk, or start going through the clutter. Taking action builds the enthusiasm. Not the other way around!
7 – (Optional) Don’t skip days.
I know. I know. We’re supposed to get weekends off. But if you’re doing small enough chunks of time, then you’ll be able to continue your groove EVEN on the weekends.
Taking a day or two off means having to start all over again on Monday. This is why you start with small chunks of time and small goals. That way, it won’t be hard to keep up your practice – even when you would normally want a day off!
Christine Kane is the Mentor to People Who are Changing the World. She helps women and men Uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly Uplevel You eZine goes out to over 26,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://christinekane.com.
See Christine's blog at ChristineKane.com/blog.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Getting back into the swing of working on my 365 Art Journal has been a challenge, and I recently went on a quest to find some new inspiration.  One source is the Facebook group “Art Journaling”.  I rarely post in this group, but I do love to look at the work of others and I often find inspiration or learn new techniques as a result of the posts there.  One in particular, talked about using layers upon layers and then stamping and painting on those layers some more.  It’s something I’m not very good at, so I thought I’d try it again.

This journal page is my very lame attempt at layering.  The topic for this page was "the color green", so I used various green paints and some of my favorite stencils.  One of the tips I picked up from a recent Tim Holtz video was to use his sponge applicators to dab the paint through the stencil.  I was really pleased that this went very well, and was actually an easier and “cleaner” way to apply a stenciled design.  The only stencil that gave me any trouble was the honeycomb – the dividing lines between the little hexagons are so thin that the paint just goes right under it. 
I used four different stencils, three different colors of green paint, and at least six different colors of Tim Holtz distress inks.  I layered the two lighter paints first, drying between each layer, before applying some ink through a stencil to get the tree branch and bird cages.  I used the same sponge applicator to sponge on the colored ink in different areas, and then I came back with the dark green and honey comb over the top.

I had to stop there.  I know a lot of artists keep going, adding layer after layer until they get that fabulous “art journal” look, but my layering always stops short of that because I’m never really sure what comes next.  I think this page is fine the way it is, but I wonder what would take it to the next level.  What do you think?