Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Creative Friends Blog Tour

In the last couple of weeks, I was asked by Marilyn McCleod, of Pink Paper Cottage, if I wanted to participate in a blog tour.  Check out Marilyn’s blog here and her Etsy shop.  She makes some beautiful projects with paper and fabric.  Since meeting her, she’s moved from Washington State to LaPine, Oregon, which is a favorite vacation spot for my family.  It’s her birthday this week and I love this pic that she posted on her blog. 

In this Close to My Heart and blogging world that I've become a part of during the last three years, I've developed friendships with people I absolutely love and admire, and who are creative way beyond my wildest dreams!
I will feature three crafty friends who inspire me.  In the meantime I’m going to answer the four questions.

1.  What am I working on?

I’m currently working on a challenge to “Create Every Day.”  This is my own challenge, not one that I found on the internet.  I used to turn my Cricut on nearly every day.  Lately, the main reason it’s been on is for workshop preparations and I want to change that. 
Over the weekend, I worked on a lot of UFOs, or UnFinished Projects, cards mainly.  They were leftovers from card workshops or half designed cards that didn’t make the cut.  I’m going to have a garage sale next month.  I want to put as many finished cards into the sale as possible.  I also want to get back to working on my Picture My Life album that I started this winter.  I’ve been organizing my pictures from BC.  Or Before Caleb.  I didn’t scrap before we had our son so there’s 8 years of pictures that are printed but need to be put in albums. 
This is a REALLY fun & loooooong post.  You’ll want to keep reading!
2.   How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I love my Cricut and I teach a lot of workshops.  And I love the Gypsy and Cricut Craft Room.  I like the software because it saves paper, it’s easy to share and I can cut it over and over again.  So if I can create a project that involves the Cricut, I’m happy.  Most of my projects also are for my workshops.  Therefore they’re a bit simpler than other artwork out there.  Lately it’s been all about cards, but I’m hoping to branch out to scrapbook workshops as well.
3.   Why do I write/create what I do?
I love paper, cards especially.  I like cards because they’re easy and fast to create.  And they’re fool proof in the fact that they don’t take up much paper.  If I cut the paper incorrectly, I have a bunch more of the sheet left.  For scrapbooking, you have this 12x12 piece of paper, sure you can cut it up but if you cut it wrong, there may not be enough for the layout.  I’ll have to work on that. 
4.  How does your writing/creating process work?
Often, I get ideas from other cardmakers or even from the Idea Book and then think, “How can I make this more workshop friendly?”  The other day, I saw this beautiful card by Patricia Manhire.
I thought, “That will be a great workshop card. It features this months’ Stamp of the Month and I have a bunch of that paper left over.  But I want to modify it to make it more workshop friendly”  Ha!  Wouldn’t you know, after cutting the dove tails in these little papers I had a mental lapse in math abilities.  (Can you believe I’m an Engineer?) Here’s my final card after much muttering.  I LOVE it and this stamp set was planned for this month’s workshop as it is.  Happy accidents.  That’s me! 
That’s also how I created my Advent Calendar.  CTMH designed a boring & expensive one.
My friends wanted an Avent Calendar but couldn’t stomach the price as it was especially when shipping, tax, much less when the time I spent to cut each project was factored in.  I created this from scratch.  I created this for less, and that included tax, shipping and a bit for my time and wear and tear on my Cricut.  Here’s my original post about it.  I still have kits and workshop instructions available to purchase. 

Enough about me!  Let’s get started featuring my three blogging friends: 

Meet Amy Hodgson-Smith of The Stamping Tree

My name is Amy Hodgson-Smith, and I currently live in Wichita, KS.  I was born in Texas and grew up in SC.  I'm a wife, mother, and perfusionist--that means I operate the heart-lung machinamye during open-heart surgery.  
I've always loved crafting, but until my son was born, dollhouse miniatures were my hobby.  When Matt was born, I wanted to get into scrapbooking, and I discovered Stampin' Up!  I've been addicted to card-making and scrapbooking ever since.  In 2009 I discovered the Cricut and fell in love all over again!  That has led to my current love affair with Close to My Heart--where else can you find such awesome Cricut cartridges with stamps to match?  Along the way I got addicted to the Workshops on the Go.  One thing always leads to another...So now I am a CTMH consultant.  I'm not the world's greatest salesperson, but I love to teach and hang out with other crafters, so I'm having a good time.
In addition to my 16-year-old son, I have a 12-year-old daughter.  My husband is an RN and a yoga instructor.  Some of my other hobbies (I have way too many) are reading and camping, and I'm active in my church.  I'm also an animal lover--we have 2 cats and 2 Brittany Spaniels--all rescues.  So I stay pretty busy!  I just wish I had more time to craft!
Here’s a few of her amazing projects! 

Hop on over here to see more of that project!
Once a stamper, she’s now a scrapper too. 
Click here to see the rest of this post. 
Amy is also a member of the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog and a member of my Fabulous Friend CTMH team.  Every morning I know I’m going to wakeup and see funny thing she’s posted on her wall that will make any geek smile, especially me.   I also want to brag on her that she was  published in the last year for one of her Artbooking Cricut albums she created by the Cricut Magazine! 

Meet Donna Penix of CardsbySunnydots

“I’m Donna and I’m from sunny southern California.  I’ve been married for 33 year—to the same man even!  I have 4 children.  My favorite hobby is stamping and cardmaking.  My husband got me started with pretty embossing powders and a “few” stamps.  I guess it’s all his fault.  LOL.  I joined D.O.T.S. as an Independent Consultant in 1994. This was the stamp company Jeanette Lynton founded before adding scrapbooking products and renaming it to Close to My Heart.  I still have a LOT of the old wood stamps around but I’m in love with the current Acrylix stamps that are so light and compact!  I was off and on as a consultant for a number of years, however, this February 2014, I rejoined Lalia’s Fabulous Friends team and I’m here to stay.  I love this company.”
I also have to brag on Donna.  She makes some fabulous cards and she shares them too!  I couldn’t attend the CTMH Convention this month but I received a little package in the mail.  Here’s 2 of the cards she sent me.  10366166_10202225483777788_1985328886043575756_n
She’s also created this one a while back for her sister-in-law.

Meet Donna Digby of DAT'S MY STYLE  

I am a very proud parent to my 16 year old daughter, Amy; my 2.5 year old son, TJ and my 10.5 year old
Pug, Sparkle. I have been married to my husband for 17.5 years. For 14 years, the front of my house was a store front and I ran my own business so I could stay home and raise my children. I closed DAT’S Scrapbooking in December of 2012 and became a Close to My Heart Consultant in January of 2013. That store front in now my scrap room.
I have always had a passion for creating projects with photos. I designed yearbooks throughout high school and college and in my jobs I had a knack for making posters and brochures. When I was pregnant with my daughter and I was introduced to scrapbooking…it was the perfect fit for me. I do tend to make more cards these days, but that’s because I need them to give out to friends and family. So, my scrapbooking projects tend to get put on the back burner, but I hope to change that around soon.
Donna’s from Thunder Bay, Ontario.  I met her on the Close to My Heart artwork board not too long ago.  While she’s been a consultant for a bit, I just started noticing a TON of artwork by her everywhere I looked.  It’s on some Facebook Groups and on Pinterest too! 
Here’s a few of her latest creations.  One of the things I really love about her cards is that she makes the inside just as special as the outside.  To see all the pix, click on a picture and it will take you to the original blog post.
I loved her Christmas in July card this last week!

This last card was a winner of the Color My Heart Challenge for May 2014! 

This is only 3 cards from her blog.  She’s been posting daily since this May.  That’s a lot of artwork! 
Well friends, that's my CREATIVE FRIENDS BLOG TOUR. I hope you enjoy it. Please be sure to stop by these three ladies' blogs, as these ladies' talents are just the cream of the crop.
And remember, each of my three creative friends will be continuing this blog tour next week, with answers to the 4 questions and an introduction to THEIR favorite blogger friends!
As always, thanks for stopping by. You can follow me by email, Bloglovin or my Facebook Page.  Just take a peek on the left side of my blog to sign up.  Have a great day! 

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