Sunday, June 30, 2013

Red, White and Blue Hello Cards

Happy Last Day of June!  I hope you are keeping cool - the record breaking temperatures in some parts of the country are really amazing.  I wonder if our neighbors who are moving to Phoenix are regretting their decision! 


It's nearly the 4th of July holiday here in the States so I used a red white and blue color theme for a couple of cards.  I used flower stamps but with just a little imagination you can see fireworks!

This stamp set is called Hello Blooms  and it coordinates with the CTMH Artiste Cricut cartridge.  I cut the shapes at the sizes listed right on the stamp storage sheet (it's so handy to have them printed there).

To make a third layer for one set of flowers I cut an extra set of shapes at 2 1/4 inches.  I inked these base shapes with the same colors I used to stamp the designs.  Then I used thin foam squares to stack the flowers together.

The thinner foam squares are nice to keep the flowers from getting too bulky.

An embossed two inch wide white strip of cardstock creates an anchor for the three shapes down the front of the card.

The "Hello" sentiment is also from the Hello Blooms stamp set.  I stamped it on a 1/2 x 1 3/4 inch strip of cardstock and then adhered it to a 3/4 x 2 1/4 inch strip of cardstock inked with the same blue ink.  A couple of snips on the end turned this strip into a little banner.

The finishing touch to make these flowers look a bit more like fireworks is a clear gem in the center of each stack.

For the second card, I used two coordinating six petal flowers and layered them together, offsetting the petals.  

I embossed the white cardstock (cut at 5 x 3 3/4 inches) using the three flower embossing folder from the Everyday Greetings Cuttlebug Combo set.

I turned the flower grouping sideways and stamped the sentiment along the bottom.  These flowers are also raised from the card front with foam squares.  The design looks unbalanced with too much white space on the left side - so I looked around my workspace...

...and found this roll of washi tape.  The red color and the dots coordinate nicely with the stamped flowers and add some weight to the left side of the card.

The clear gems add sparkle for the "firework" look I wanted.  There are a couple of small stamps to use for the centers if you choose more traditional flower colors - there are so many possible combinations with this set.

Last day of the month - a few reminders...

True Stamp

If you want to get the special price for the True Stamp classes (see the post HERE) - the offer ends tonight.  You can click HERE to see all six of the classes on a single page.

Dollar Days at Lettering Delights

Today is the last day of the Lettering Delights  Dollar Days sale. There are over 500 summer products on sale for $1 or $2 (cut -it sets are $2).  You can save $3 on a $10 purchase with coupon code "gulp."  Save $8 on a $20 purchase with coupon code "guzzle."

If you have questions about the differences between the graphics sets and the cut-it sets that Lettering Delights offers there is a good explanation on their site HERE.

If you love cute characters, there is a special deal that ends on July 2nd at midnight.  The huge new collection of 380 cut-its called "Stringbeans" can be yours for FREE if you spend $45 between June 26th at 12:01 a.m.and July 2 at 11:59 p.m. (Mountain Time).

You do not have to spend the $45 all in one purchase - all of your purchases until the deadline will accumulate towards qualifying for this massive freebie.

You do have to have a Lettering Delights account and be logged into that account when you make your purchases so the purchases can be credited toward this offer.  Once you spend $45, the Stringbeans will be automatically added to your library.

I hope you can stay cool today - maybe a movie in the afternoon?

Subscribe to Capadia Designs if you would like to have new posts delivered directly to your email.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Stars and Stitches - A Stamping Experiment


Every so often I like to try something outside of my usual die cutting and photography/digital obsessions.   I wondered if I could make an interesting card using just one stamp set, plain ivory cardstock and some colored inks.  This card was the result.

I had this stamp set called Stitched Together sitting on my craft island - I've been meaning to try it out for a long time.  You can find it HERE.

Two of the long lines of stitches centered on the card front and repeated worked nicely to create a background.  I used the same color for both sets of stitches however, you could try using two (or more) colors for more of a stripe effect.

After the background was done, I just started randomly stamping the stitched stars using four different colors of ink.  I always have trouble being random (I get a little twitchy when things don't line up or are not symmetrical!) but I just let go and stamped here and there trying to keep a separation between stars of the same color.

Do you have problems with "random?"  I spent an entire afternoon at a quilt retreat trying to rearrange some blocks to be "random" and still have none of the same colors or patterns touching! 

I decided to use this as a birthday card.  The sentiment is from the Hooray Bouquet  stamp set.  You can find it HERE. Since the front of the card looked vaguely like a flag I liked the idea of the "grandest" year (for the "grand old flag").

In the end, I couldn't just leave well enough alone with nothing but stamping on the front of  the card.  I added some clear gem stickers to make the card sparkle.

While we are on the subject of stamping, I want to remind you that there are just a few days left to take advantage of the special June pricing on all of the True Stamp classes. 

I wrote about these classes earlier this month - for your convenience I am pasting in the information from that post here.  You can click on each photo to go to the page for that class.

Back in March, I participated in the first True Stamp event offered by Lain Ehmann.  This full day event included classes with experts from six stamp companies.  I was driving home from New Jersey for part of the day so I attended some of the sessions live and had to catch up with the other classes by watching the recordings.  I learned a lot of techniques and the videos and the discussions were very helpful.

These six classes are now available for individual purchase.  The regular price would be $12.95 per class but until the end of June, Lain is making them available for just $7 each.

Each class includes:
-Project video
-Hour-long "like you were there" video (including Q&A and chat)
-Supply list
-Project photos
You can click HERE to see all of the classes on a single page or click the individual images below for more information on each session.

Unity Stamp Co.

 Simon Says Stamp

 Paper Smooches

Technique Tuesday

 Raisin Boat

 Lawn Fawn

You can see all of the classes together on THIS PAGE.  Choose one or two or take them all for just $42 (that's $5 less than I paid to take the classes during the event).   You can watch the videos over and over to be sure you pick up all of the tricks and tips.

Still wondering, why is it so hard to be random...  Do you have that problem? (share in a comment if you'd like to tell a "random" story!)

Subscribe to Capadia Designs if you would like to have new posts delivered directly to your email.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Craftsy Now has Fine Art Classes

When I went to the PaperWorld trade show in Germany last year, I had a chance to try oil painting.  If you'd like to see how I painted my "masterpiece" in the photo above, you can read about the class I took in the blog post HERE.

Ever since I took that class, I have been thinking about trying to do another painting - but just haven't found a class...  I got some good news a few days ago - Craftsy is now offering Fine Arts classes.

Craftsy Fine Art

They are launching six new classes with world-class art instructors who teach you professional techniques to improve your art, regardless of your skill level or preferred media. From landscape drawing to portraiture, watercolors to acrylics, these classes allow you to learn on your own time, at your convenience from talented instructors. Here are links to each of the new classes:

Just click on the links above to see a full description of each class.  To make things even better, the Fine Arts classes are on sale for 25% off right now.

Craftsy classes have a 100% money back guarantee, you can watch them whenever and wherever you want and your access to the class never expires.

If you haven't taken a look at all that Craftsy has to offer, click HERE to go to the site and register.  Once you are registered, there are a number of free classes that you can take to try out the system.  You'll see some of them listed at the bottom of the page when you go to the site by clicking on the link above.

I am taking a quilting course right now but I'll probably sign up for one of the painting courses next.  Have you tried any Craftsy classes yet?

Subscribe to Capadia Designs if you would like to have new posts delivered directly to your email.  

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation

Creative Memories Bankruptcy - another update

Creative Memories is currently in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (reorganization).  As the days and weeks go by it has become clear that the Creative Memories company will no longer exist as we know it today.

I saw this post by the Home Office on their Facebook page on Monday (in answer to a customer question):

It is difficult to see this current business wind down and to see it come to an end. The company that we hope to emerge will not have the same focus, so products that may have been the core of CM will no longer be core to the new company. We thank you for your passion and support over the years! We will be bringing our quality and our mission to celebrate photos forward and hope you'll give us a shot!

The company has stated that "we are winding down the current business so we're well positioned for a new start."  They are transitioning out of the current products to "a fresh, original product line that makes sense as part of a comprehensive new Direct Sales business."

Here are some important things to keep in mind.  This list could change as court hearings are held and I will try to keep posting up to date information.  I  put this list together from Home Office messages and Facebook posts but changes could be made at any time as there are some pending court dates and decisions to be made. 

Host Rewards
The Host Rewards program will end as of June 30th.  All hosted events must be entered into the system by the 30th.  I believe that the Home Office stated that the computer system will change as of July 1st so that is an absolute deadline.

If you have hosted an event and have Host Credits to use, they must be used by August 21 (or the original expiration date if it is earlier).  I would try to use any credits that you have as soon as possible.

Traditional Products

Current Product Line - Virtually all of the existing products are on "While Supplies Last" status.  Many have sold out already.  If there is anything you need/want, the sooner you place an order, the more likely you are to find it.  Customer service reps have advised that if you expedite shipping on your order, it will be pulled first.  Due to some server issues and storms/power outages in Minnesota, shipping is running slower than normal.

New Products - There is one last group of new products that will be available to order July first.  Ordering opened for consultants on these items on June 15th so it is possible that they may run out very quickly.  You can look at the online mini catalog HERE to see these items.  Check on July 1st to see what is available if there is anything you "must have."  (My favorite is the Peacock Designer Print paper pictured above).

Last Chance Orders - The company plans to take orders from July 8 until July 31st for a limited selection of coversets, pages and protectors.  (As of now the 12 x 12 side loading sleeves are not available and there is no indication that they will be part of this last chance ordering.  Some of the Picfolio page refills are also sold out with no indication that they will be part of the last chance orders).  Creative Memories plans to manufacture these items to demand based on the orders received.  This is subject to Court approval and a hearing is scheduled for later this week.  I have seen lists of the colors of albums but I don't want to post this until the plan has been approved.  It is a short list.

Rewards Club

The club will end on August 21, 2013 and Rewards Club credits will be issued and can be used until that date.  Membership fees will be pro-rated and refunded in the form of Rewards Club credits (must be used by August 21st).  This refund by credit will not happen until Court approval is received.

Digital (Memory Manager, StoryBook and Digital Center)

The two computer programs, Memory Manager for photo editing and organization and StoryBook Creator for digital scrapbooking and other project creation were developed by another company and licensed to Creative Memories to sell.  While Creative Memories will no longer sell or support the program, this company is likely to take over support, however, there is not yet a definitive plan in place.

Creative Memories Home office posted on Facebook on Monday

At this point, we can confirm that our digital software will not be a part of our business moving forward. We will not be supporting the software or printing past August. There may be options for getting software support elsewhere, but nothing has been confirmed or finalized.

Be sure to keep your programs up to date and to back them up regularly.  The programs should continue to function normally but there is always the possibility of a computer crash that would require a new installation and activation.  Until the situation is resolved, activation could be a problem once Creative Memories stops support in August.

You should be running a shadow copy of your memory vaults in Memory Manager.  If you haven't been doing this, now would be a good time to set it up.  The shadow copy automatically updates every time you close the program.  You can also make backup copies of your memory vaults and even export your vault into Windows folders to be sure that your images are accessible even if you lose the ability to use the Memory Manager program.  If the developer picks up support for Memory Manager (most likely under a different name) the proprietary memory vault format should work with their version of the program.

If you have been using the StoryBook Program for a long time, you probably have lots of digital content that you have purchased from Creative Memories. (I have collected hundred of sets of content over the years).  Items purchased in StoryBook format will not open in other programs at this time.  If you purchased items as Universal Content from Creative Memories or purchased digital supplies from other sources, those are already useable in other programs.

It is possible to save items from the proprietary StoryBook kits as JPEG and PNG files and export them but I am not doing that just yet.  I am very hopeful that an agreement will be reached for the program to be supported by the developer and that a simple software code change will make the CM content open automatically as it does in the current program.  I am keeping a close eye on this situation and will keep you informed.

If you have purchased content as digital downloads, check your CM account and compare it to the items listed in your program to be sure that all of your purchases were downloaded and installed.  If you find any that were not installed, download and activate now!

To backup your activation codes, click on the "Manage Content" icon on the Home ribbon when you open the program.

When the ribbon changes, click on "activation codes" and the click the icon to make a backup copy of the codes at the bottom right of the screen that pops up.  This will create a text document that lists all of your purchased content and the codes.  Save it on your computer and also print it to put in a safe place.

The default location for your content is on the C drive, Users, Public, Public Documents, Creative Memories Art Kits.  If you want to back up your purchased files you should make a copy of this folder on another hard drive.

To back up your projects created in StoryBook, browse to the location where they are saved and copy the folders to another drive.  The default location is within your user account in the "My Documents" folder.  If you have saved the projects to another location you will need to find them and save a copy to another drive.

If you have any digital content CDs from Creative Memories that contained codes for credit on a printed StoryBook, those credits will now expire on August 21st (even though many are dated for dates in 2014).

Creative Memories has stated that digitally produced Custom Pages, Coversets, Page Prints, Calendars, Books and all digital products will still be able to be produced until August 21st. Please plan on ordering any projects by that date and do your best to order them as soon as you can in case more changes take place that may alter the current plans.

I hope that this information is helpful.  If you have questions, please leave a comment and I will try to answer.  If you have a local consultant, please be in touch with that person for any final orders.  If you need a consultant to place an order, my CM personal website is HERE.

The page at the top of this post was made with the Storybook program - it is one of my layouts from the LOAD  (Layout a Day) challenge in May. 

I hope this information has been helpful for those of you who use Creative Memories products.  I imagine that any regular readers who aren't Creative Memories users stopped reading a long time ago!  I'll try to pop back in a little later today to post a little project that is something completely different!

Subscribe to Capadia Designs if you would like to have new posts delivered directly to your email.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Gift Bag - Pretty in Pink

If you have a small gift to give, presentation can make it much more special.  This cute little bag is from the "Artiste" Cricut cartridge.  It appears on page 79 of the handbook.

When cut at "fit to page" with 12 x 12 cardstock, the bag will cut at 5 1/4 inches.  This is the perfect size for a piece of jewelry or a gift card and it can also be used to hold some candy as a table favor.

One of the nice things about this cartridge is the extra instruction booklet that is included to give directions on how to assemble the many three dimensional items.  There are four variations of this bag - all have the same base but the top part that folds over is different on each bag.

After cutting and assembling the bag, I realized that the white edges of the cardstock and the "tick marks" that indicate the fold lines were detracting from the look of the bag.  I inked the edges with some brown ink to create a more finished look.

The stamp used on the oval label is from the For A Friend stamp set.  This set coordinates with the Art Philosphy cartridge and I cut the oval shape on page 42 of the handbook at 2 inches.  The page in the handbook and size to cut the coordinating shapes are printed on the stamp storage sheet - this is very handy!

I find it a little tricky to line up the stamps on the cut shapes.  The stamps are clear and you can look through at the shape but it still can take a few attempts to get an even stamp.  I always cut extras of the shapes I need to allow for stamping errors.  I decided that the white cardstock looked a little too stark against the striped cardstock so I practiced inking on of my "reject" stamping attempts.  You can see the difference it makes in the photo above.

Once I decided to go ahead and ink my "good" label, I used a blending tool with a sponge to get a more even shading of pink on the white label.  The "pinkened" label coordinates nicely to create a more balanced look.  This cardstock was from an older DCWV stack called "Garden Party" and I used Tim Holtz "Spun Sugar" distress ink to make the tag match the colors more closely.

The finishing touches were some flat back pink pearls and a piece of ribbon from my stash (probably from a dollar bin) that happened to coordinate nicely with the colors.  Using a ribbon to tie the handle allows you to open and close the bag - you could use adhesive to hold it shut but the ribbon definitely adds a cute factor!

(You can find the cartridges and stamp sets mentioned by clicking their names in red above.)

I hope you had a nice weekend - did you see the "Super Moon" in your area?  It was very bright and clear here.

Subscribe to Capadia Designs if you would like to have new posts delivered directly to your email.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.

Friday, June 21, 2013

"Yarn Bombing" in Colorado

Happy First Day of Summer!

When we were in Colorado last week, we went to the town of Lyons near Boulder.  Our first stop was a great restaurant called  Lyons Fork.

The food was delicious and I really liked the sign for the restaurant. I thought the pointed oval shape within a more regular oval could be adapted for a card front quite easily.

After dinner, we came out of the restaurant, turned the corner and saw this fabulous tree!  There was a lot of street art along the block but the tree covered with colorful yarn patches was the most eye catching of all.

I had my camera with me (of course) and had some fun looking at all of the colors and textures.

The decorative patches covered quite a bit of the tree and went high up into the branches.

The green section near the base of the trunk looks like a grass skirt.

All sorts of yarns were used and some of them even had glittery fibers that caught the light.

This cute little white bear is hanging in a pocket.  If you follow the green string in his hand... leads to an orange kite!

It was fun to imagine all of the people who created the colorful and interestingly patterned sections.

I think most were knitted but this crocheted granny square really caught my eye.  My grandmother did a lot of crocheting so this section brought back some nice memories.

I posted a photo to my Facebook page and found out from Helen's comment that this is called "yarn bombing."  It is considered a sort of graffiti or street art that uses yarn instead of paint or chalk.

I did a little research to find out more about this colorful tree and I found this blog post by one of the knitters who participated in the project.  Sandra DeVries is the artist who organized the project and knit the large piece covering the trunk along with other bits and pieces.  The post gives more detail about how the project was completed and shows photos of the tree as it was being "dressed."

A quick search on Amazon revealed several books on yarn bombing.  This one, Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti looks very good and is described as " the definitive guidebook to covert textile street art."

If you'd like some more background information, here is a LINK to the Wikipedia article on Yarn bombing.

Have you seen any yarn bombing in the area where you live?  Have you ever participated in one of these projects?  I am intrigued by this idea.  A friend called me a year or so ago to find out if I knew some knitters that could help with a project involving knitting covers for I think I know what she was talking about!

I know that many of you do other crafts in addition to papercrafting (and I will get back to posting more papercrafting on the blog soon!). Craftsy is a great resource for all sorts of crafts.


I recently enrolled at Craftsy.  Once you register, you have access to lots of free patterns and recipes.  You can use the links below to go directly to the page for the craft you are most interested in, join the site and try out some of the free patterns. 
Craftsy offers high quality online classes that you take at your own pace from home.  You have lifetime access to the classes you buy so you can watch them over and over again to practice your skills.  The classes can be watched on any device with high speed internet access - even your phone!  I have been getting emails from them and there seem to be specials and discounts on classes offered regularly.

There is also a store on the Craftsy site and today only they are having a 40% off sale!  I saw some Anna Griffin fabric in the store....

I hope you are having a beautiful day and can enjoy the start of summer.  Today is the last day of school in our town and the pace of life will change a little now as people move into their summer schedules.  Have a great weekend!

Subscribe to Capadia Designs if you would like to have new posts delivered directly to your email.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.