The Craft Coop

Today I want to take you on a tour of my Craft-Coop. It always seems to be a work in progress!

My first disclosure is I have been stamping and collecting supplies for a very long time (30 years to be exact). I was introduced to stamping in 1991 when I was invited to my first Stampin’ Up! Party, a D.O.T.S. (now Close to My Heart) party soon followed.

I thought this would be a fun hobby while being a single mom on a tight budget but still wanting to send Christmas and birthday cards to my friends. Little did I know that card-making would become my passion and I’d still be at it 30 years later!

My second disclosure is that I’ve been a Close to My Heart (CTMH) consultant since 2005 and although I’m not brand loyal I do prefer the quality of their stamps and paper. I earn a discount on the product I buy and have minimum sales requirements to meet. This June I will be celebrating 16 years.

Alas, you are here for a Craft-Coop tour, so I guess it’s time to get started.

When you walk through the doors the first thing you will notice is that it is BRIGHT! I wanted lots of windows for natural light and my husband found some amazing LED lights to help too!

The back wall is all custom cabinets built by amazing brother-in-law. At the end of the cabinets is a built in desk area that I was originally going to use for my sewing machine and then I remembered sewing does not bring me pleasure so I turned it into my photography studio.

I use a Limo Studio Lightbox that I purchased on Amazon. I love it because it collapses and has storage for the lights so I can pack it back and forth to our Arizona House (where there is only a Craft-Closet).

Above the lightbox I have a pegboard from IKEA.

Currently it’s my display board for received Happy Mail. When I’m holding in person classes it becomes a place to display upcoming classes or samples of the Stamp of the Month swap I participate in. The Stay Awhile wreath was a gift from my friend Maggie.

The end two cupboards hold my CTMH stamps. They are organized in alpha-numeric order. In the larger bins on the counter are stamp sets that have matching thin cuts or a coordinating Cricut Cut. I have tried other ways of organizing my stamps, but this is what works for me.

At the far opposite end is my cardstock. It currently takes up two cupboards, but as my supply dwindles this area will be getting a makeover.

Below the paper is my Cricut…it doesn’t get nearly enough use. I have a love-hate relationship with Design Space and I just need to play with it more. Maybe this winter?!

You may have noticed the purple plane hanging from the ceiling. It’s a beloved kite belonging to my son and the easiest way to store it is hanging so why not in mom’s Craft- Coop. It’s a fun reminder that this now 30 year old was once a little boy!

Last but certainly not least is where my magic happens. My desk (never this neat) sits in front of two windows that look out over our driveway and my husband’s shop. I love that at any given moment I might catch a glimpse of my Wrangler Wearing Sweetheart.

To the immediate right of my desk is an IKEA Alex drawer system that holds a variety of supplies from Copic markers, extra adhesive and long ago used punches. The top holds acrylic blocks shimmer pens, and other tool caddies.

Above that are are a few of my favorite cards and a magnetic vision board that has some of my favorite photos, quotes and magnets. I filled it in with a few stamped pieces and some Cricut cut words.

Like I said the Craft-Coop is a work in progress so when I get the lower half photo ready I will be back with more.

In the meantime, stay crafty and keep spreading kindness.

All About the Boys!

This week I really decided to concentrate on cards suitable for the guys. Big boys, little boys, but especially BIRTHDAY BOYS!

I really love that Close to My Heart’s Party Time paper in the Core Catalog is double sided with one side being predominately pinks and the opposite side being predominately blues. I have made so many cards with this paper.

Other than Father’s Day & Mother’s Day stamp sets I don’t assign a gender to my stamps (sure I have a few that I’d use more for guys, but I do have girlfriends that hunt and enjoy the outdoors).

For my cards this week, I started by just pulling a few birthday stamp sets and the Party Time paper and making a pile on my desk. I pulled out some paper and really got a feel for what I wanted to do.

Starting with the Make It From Your Heart Vol 4 I started making cards! I would just pick a pattern, pull a stamp set and ask myself how is this going to work?

All the colors I chose to use (except the toffee on the donuts) I chose from the papers. I also kept my embellishments simple, choosing the Black & White Dots or Silver Glitter Gems.

I think instead of BOY cards, I ended up with some that are quite gender neutral.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a look at my process and I appreciate you taking the time to stop by.

More Hillside Cottage

I couldn’t resist playing with the Hillside Cottage Collection just a little more.

That Blue Belle bunny could not be any cuter! I am really loving the Color of the Year it seems to blend perfectly with all the Close to My Heart colors, I will be sad to see it retire.

Next week I will share some scrapbook pages I made with this collection.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you will consider adding Hillside Cottage to your craft room.

Double Trouble

Trouble Maker and I were texting the other day and she said she’d really like to see one of my cards on the DT Challenge…I hemmed and hawed and then she said those 4 magic words, “it’s a fun-fold.”

You guessed it, I couldn’t resist!

This card is called a Double Peek-a-Boo and it’s basically a standard card with an opening in the front where you can see through to a second card inside.

I’m concentrating on making some cards for the kiddos in my life that I’ve missed so much since this pandemic started. This retired Stargazer paper and stamp is one of my favorites! I used sparkles and bitty sparkles as accents to mimic stars. Oh and the astronaut is mounted on a spring so he has a little motion like he’s floating in space.

So how’d I do? Does it make it want to grab some paper and give this fun-fold a try?

Thanks for stopping by!

Hillside Cottage

So much for posting weekly…

The begining of May brought a brand new catalog and so many wonderful new products. I hope you’ll stop for a minute and check it out on my webpage.

I’ve been playing with the Hillside Cottage Collection. I really love the colors of this paper packet.

The wood & black acrylic shapes with this collection is so much fun.

If you’d like a May/June catalog you’ll receive one free when you place your order.

Thanks for stopping by, let me know what you think of this fun new collection.

What a Year

Do you ever stop and wonder where the years go? July 2020 marked my 15th year with Close to My Heart! I’m super excited that I made it 15 years and now my heart is set on 20.

Like most things in 2020, Covid-19 took me in a different direction with my business. I did a lot of classes online, kept in touch with customers via ZOOM and Facebook Lives, created LOTS of cards and let my blog take a back seat, but today I’m back and happy to announce that I’m going to start in person classes in May – SMALL CLASSES! I’m still trying to figure out the social distancing aspect…we might try some afternoon outside classes. If you have ideas I’m all ears, because I miss you my friends!

Enough about the crazy life we live…I’ve got Close to My Heart news to share. There is sooo much going on during the month of April I don’t even know where to start and I don’t want you to miss my favorite month of the year.

First of all…April is STAMPTACULAR! Save big on all your favorite stamps with the Stamptacular special! During this month-long stamp extravaganza, you can save over 50% on Stamp + Thin Cuts bundles and 35% on individual stamp sets, including five exclusive sets from the past that we’ve brought back just for this special! Stamps start as low as $2.50 so head over to my website and take a look!

Next up is our amazing VIP program…can you say 15% CREDIT EARNED ON EVERY ORDER, FREE STAMP OF THE MONTH and AN INITIAL SIGN UP CREDIT and what’s better if you a current VIP and someone signs up with your referral code you’ll get a bonus $10 credit and so will the person you referred!

Of course Close to My Heart has not forgot that Mother’s Day is just around the corner and there is a beautiful floral stamp set that you’ll find yourself using all year long! You can find it here!

And last, but certainly not least is an amazing opportunity for National Scrapbooking Day! Close to My Heart has FIVE great projects planned for TWO days of creative fun. The projects are priced individually or bundled at a 30% discount. Let’s just say that there is the CUTEST little Piggie Album that I can’t wait to make!

Close to My Heart is also hosting a VIRTUAL ALBUM RETREAT…the album is gorgeous and full of so many new techniques that you’ll use in your own scrapbooking or cardmaking! These EVENTS are hosted on the Close to My Heart Facebook page and they are worth every penny you spend on the bundle.

I hope you’re excited about all the news and the new products available AND that classes will be resuming in May! I am making a commitment to posting on my blog at least once a week so I hope you’ll make a commitment to check it out and leave me some comments.

Thanks for stopping by…stay crafty!

Blue Skies on the Funny Farm

The Funny Farm stamp set has some adorable animals and if you buy the Craft with Kids kit you will get cardstock, card bases and pink & blue envelopes too!

I decided to play with the stamp set and retired Blue Skies Paper. I had 4 6×6 double sided b&t papers and made 6 adorable cards.

These animals could be paper-pieced, colored in or left plain and the punny sayings are some of my favorites!

Do you have a favorite? I’m kind of partial to the cow. I hope you’ll leave me a comment with your favorite and who you’d send the card too!

Welcome to the Coop

Hi I’m Tracey, 53 years young as of last month!  I’m a mom, wife and grandma in that order.

I’ve been papercrafting for nearly 29 years when I was invited to my first D.O.T.S. party.  I was introduced to glossy cardstock & rainbow ink pads and it was love at first sight.  I still own my first stamp (wood mounted) I will share it in another story.
I started scrapbooking a couple of years later and like most mom’s still haven’t finished my son’s childhood album (I’m close).  I’ve found that I like the smaller specialty size albums the most, but I still scrapbook 12 x 12 today.
In 2005 I decided to join Close to my Heart as an Independent Consultant.  I hit the ground running and haven’t looked back.
I love sharing my passion of hand-stamped cards whether it be by teaching a class online, in person or just brightening someone’s mail box! 
I’m glad you’ve decided to join me here, I hope you’ll be inspired by something I share.

Double Trouble – #64

It’s time for more trouble…Double Trouble Papercrafting Challenge that is.

Our challenge consists of three parts: Trouble Makers main challenge, Double Dares challenge to link with another blog which you may or may not decided to participate in and Twisted Sisters surprise challenge! You can find all the details on the rules page of the challenge blog.

This week the challenge is Let’s Brighten the Day with the Color My Heart Color Dare as our challenge partner.

My card started with one of my favorite patterns from the Make it From Your Heart and I chose a color palette of Charcoal, Glacier & Thistle from Love of Color. If you ever need a good color combination that is the place to go!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my card and will consider joining our challenge. If you’d like more inspiration visit my team members at Double Trouble and our partner team Color My Heart Color Dare.

Double Trouble – #63

It’s time for more trouble…Double Trouble Papercrafting Challenge that is.

Our challenge consists of three parts: Trouble Makers main challenge, Double Dares challenge to link with another blog which you may or may not decided to participate in and Twisted Sisters surprise challenge! You can find all the details on the rules page of the challenge blog.

Challenge #63 is celebrating the Dog Days of Summer requiring the use of embossing on your card. If you include a Critter (Twisted Sister is specifically asking for a DOG) you’ll also be able to link with our challenge blog partner. All the details are right here on the blog post!

Our granddaughter just talked her mom into a new puppy…after just telling my husband that we weren’t getting any more dogs after ours was gone I have to admit that “Lola” has my heart! I was inspired by a card I found on Pinterest and used two different embossing folders. I grabbed a stamp set in my MFT Stash and colored in just like the picture her mom sent me.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my card and will consider joining our challenge. If you’d like more inspiration visit my team members at Double Trouble and our partner team 2 Craft Critter Crazies.