All Around Creativity: Adding A Splash of Color

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We’re jumping right into the new year and celebrating National Papercrafting Month with the All Around Creativity special, featuring four gorgeous wreath kits that are only available from Close To My Heart through the end of the month. There are so many different ways to embellish  these beautiful wreaths, so we figured we’d have some fun and share with you four simple ways that we’ve added color to the plywood bases.

Adding color to wood doesn’t need to be super messy or take a huge amount of time. It can be quick, easy, and clean. To start off, we’ll take a peek at one of the easiest wood-coloration techniques. This method uses an Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad and will only take you a few minutes from application until it’s completely dry!

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Simply select the ink color you’d like to use and gently swipe the stamp pad over the surface of the wood with quick, dabbing motions, going with the grain. Going with the grain helps you to emphasize the natural beauty of the wood, while also protecting your stamp pad from getting scratched up or caught on the wood. As you’ll see in the video below, we left some of the wood grain visible for a more stained look, but you can make it as light or as dark as you’d like.

To achieve a softer, mottled look, try sponging the ink onto the wood.

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Cut a Round Sponge into quarters. While gripping the point of one quarter with your fingers, gently load your sponge with ink by pouncing it on your stamp pad. Because the sponge absorbs the ink, it may not look like you have a lot on there, but you’ll have more ink than you think!

Once you’ve got your sponge inked and ready to go, use the same pouncing motion you used on the stamp pad to apply the color to the plywood. The ink will dry lighter than it looks while you apply it. For a darker, richer tone, you will have to apply additional layers of ink.

This next technique uses TriBlend™ markers. When using an alcohol-based marker to color wood, you’ll want to go in the direction of the grain and use a steady hand to achieve even color throughout.

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Because you have greater control over color distribution when you use this method, you also have more control over the appearance of the colored wood. For instance, if you want a softer, lighter look, use a light hand and don’t go over the same spot too many times. For darker and richer tones, add more color layers to really get the pigment into the wood.

If you’re going for a darker color, don’t jam the marker tip into the wood, as this may damage your marker. Instead, go over the same area of the wood multiple times for color layering and try using a lighter shade of your TriBlend™ marker.

The last technique we’re showcasing today adds a bit of sparkle to your art. Heat embossing! (We went there, and it’s beautiful!)

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First, place your wreath over a piece of scratch paper so you can catch any excess embossing powder. Then, begin by rubbing the surface of the wreath with an anti-static pouch. Apply VersaMark™ ink to the wreath, a few sections at a time, using the same pouncing motion you saw in our first technique. While the ink is still wet, sprinkle embossing powder over it, shake off any excess powder onto your scratch paper, and heat set with a heat tool. (Use your scratch paper to easily funnel your excess embossing powder back into its container for future use.)

We absolutely love these wreaths and National Papercrafting Month, because it really gets us thinking outside the box! We can’t wait to see all the different ways you choose to add color to your wreaths.

Remember, you can only get these gorgeous wreath kits until January 31, and if you buy four or more you even get a discount! Make sure to take full advantage of the All Around Creativity special while you still can. For a few of you who may be on the fence, we are giving away four of these kits to four lucky readers! For a chance to win, you must do two things. First, make sure you are subscribed to this blog. If you are not, find the blue button on the sidebar that says “Subscribe to list” and follow the prompts once you’ve clicked it. Second, leave us a comment below telling us what types of crafts you like to work out, outside of scrapbooking and cardmaking. You have until 12 p.m. (MST) Thursday, January 9, to submit your entries. All winners will be notified by email. Good luck and happy crafting!


Recipes

Create Wreath
CC12017 Create Wreath Kit, Z2848 Sapphire Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad

Stay Awhile Wreath
CC12019 Stay Awhile Wreath Kit, Z6512 Evergreen Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z697 Round Sponge

Grateful Wreath
CC12018 Grateful Wreath Kit, Z2478 Earth Brown TriBlend™ Marker

Be Kind Wreath
CC12016 Be Kind Wreath Kit, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2812 Raspberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3293 Clear Shimmer Brush, Z4235 Gold Loose Sequins, Z697 Round Sponge, Z4249 Gold Tinsel Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool

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Choosing Paper Over Pixels: Why We Still Scrapbook

With the end of the old year and the dawn of the new year, I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of “Year in Review” posts floating through your Facebook newsfeeds. Some people argue that things such as this have replaced scrapbooking layouts and albums. This is the new scrapbooking, they say. We no longer turn pages; we scroll them. So why then do some of us continue to use paper to preserve our memories? Is scrapbooking with paper still important? Well, let me tell you what I think.

The things that pop up in our newsfeeds often become irrelevant within mere hours of being born. Their permanence is as fleeting as dust in the wind. People will click through maybe once or twice, but after that, few will even remember they were there. When we upload pictures to Facebook, it fails to leave us with the same sense of satisfaction that comes from the whiz of a paper cutter or the stickiness of fingers spotted with adhesives. And when we type out our words, we lose the intimacy of handwriting and the beautiful way a personality dances its way through the shapes of the letters.

This is why I love National Papercrafting Month. It’s a wonderful reminder at the beginning of the year of why I fell in love with scrapbooking in the first place. It reminds me why we still spend time preserving memories with paper in a world that is slowly turning into pixels.

Working with paper will ground you in reality and in the beautiful subtleties of our physical world, which is why I think the Year >> Noted kit is so nicely suited to this month. In the rush of a new year and the memory of an old year, it not only keeps me grounded, but also gives me a place to tether my dreams, making my big goals seem so much more in reach!

Life is a continual cycling of beginnings and endings—don’t get lost in the whirlpool. Take the time to write down those things within your heart that will one day become the whispers of your past. Ground yourself in paper. Because when you hold a real, finished project in your hands, the rush and the hurry fades away and the only thing you feel is contentment.

And trust me, when this new year becomes old and the time comes to reflect, you’ll be happy you have something real to hold and to remember. Let this kit become a time capsule filled with little pieces of who you are in this moment. I promise you that when you take the time to remember, your heart will fill with gratitude for not only who you are, but also for who you are becoming.

Happy scrapbooking!

Jeanette

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Highlight This Year’s Faves with Year >> Noted

We know you’ve raved over the spunky B&T paper and the exclusive pastel cardstock pieces of the Year >> Noted paper kit, but have you noticed the kit’s amazing stamp set? As the most expressive part of the kit, it’s worth seeing again and again on your projects.

This set is just the right tool for creating perfect captions, journaling spots, titles, headlines, and dates on your scrapbook pages. Its fun sentiments can become the inspiration for your journaling and even what photos you choose to display. They work seamlessly with the other pieces of the kit–especially the golden foil stickers—to help you note the moments that matter most.

See what we mean:

Year Noted scrapbook page

Take a look at this page, which shows just how nicely the kit works in a pocket scrapbooking format—the “cards” trimmed from the B&T paper fit perfectly into the 4″ x 6″ pockets of these Memory Protectors™. But the stamping is really the star here:

Embossed date stamp

This date stamp is a definite must-have for a scrapbooker. We’ve given it extra glam here with our Ranger™ Princess Gold embossing powder. The look matches the fun golden foil stickers that come with the kit so well you can hardly tell they aren’t the same material.

Year Noted page title

Stamps and golden foil stickers work hand-in-hand to create this title. Technically, those “Year” letters come from the negative spaces of the golden foil sheet, but we prefer to think of them as positive spaces. (It’s all in the eye of the beholder, right?)

Okay, the arrow looks stamped, but that is just a trick of the eye: it’s actually a piece trimmed from the zip strip. Of course, the set does include a great arrow stamp that matches that zip strip perfectly! (Wait for it…)

Year Noted scrapbook page

On this more traditional scrapbook page, the artist has taken the stamping up a notch with embossing to match it to the shimmer of the golden foil stickers again. Ooooh, shiny!

Check out the versatility of the dotted line stamps in this set. The image stamped across the bottom and middle of the page makes an understated border, while you’ve also got an image ideal for creating journaling lines. Top off your journaling with a few fancy bullet points made from golden foil stickers. Or, if you like a checkbox look, stamp a few the way you see them done on this page.

Arrow stamp

There’s that true arrow stamp! Told ya it was cute. A classic stamp image works great whether it is in the spotlight or playing a more subtle role as an accent.

Year Noted stamps

The clustering of the B&T trimmed cards makes a great backdrop for your photos, and stamping your favorite sentiments on them ties the whole page together nicely.

Year >> Noted is available for a few weeks yet. Get your cute stamp set (we’ll throw in the paper kit too) before the end of January!

For a chance to win a FREE Year >> Noted paper kit for yourself, share a comment below telling us about a milestone event that occurred in your life in 2014 or an event that you are looking forward to in 2015 that you plan to include in a Year >> Noted mini book or layout. Fifteen random winners will be announced next week!

Recipes:
12″ x 12″ This Year… Page
CC1032 Year >> Noted Paper Kit, Z2111 Chocolate Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

12″ x 12″ This Year’s Highlights Page
CC1032 Year >> Noted Paper Kit, Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2164 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

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It’s Your Year

This year you’re going to reach your goal of documenting more because we’re going to help you do it! Our January promo kicks off today, and with it comes the bright Year >> Noted paper kit. The whole kit is available for a steal of a deal all month long when you place a qualifying order. Get all the details from Monica herself in this video:

Mini book + paper kit = a match made in heaven! Additionally, the kit papers, stickers, and stamps lend themselves to all kinds of other projects. We think you’ll find yourself feeling especially swoony over the coordinated look of the scrapbook pages you can make with this kit.

Year>>Noted Layout

The designed 12″ x 12″ B&T papers can be trimmed into “cards” to use on your layouts, as you see above, or they can stand as beautiful 12″ x 12″ page bases all on their own. Better yet, try mixing the two for a delightful combination!

Year>>Noted Page

The papers aren’t the only gem in the kit; you’ll go crazy over the stamp set, too! Even more than just being absolutely adorable, it’s extremely helpful in documenting memories. We love the journaling lines stamp for its utility—and its perfect coordination with the dot border stamp makes it even better.

Checklist

The sentiments of the set are perfectly suited to projects that focus on the best kinds of moments in your life. Stamped phrases like “faves,” “snapshots,” “highlights,” “adventures,” “goals,” and “accomplishments” can help kick-start your journaling and guide your photo selections.

To top off the kit, the golden foil stickers come ready to rock and roll—they’re super trendy and complement the B&T beautifully. Try clustering several stickers with some similarly shaped B&T triangles, like you see here.

Year>>Noted Layout—Left Page

The golden foil stickers in the kit come in a variety of cute shapes and sizes, and they’re even great for stamping on. That’s right, folks, you can stamp on them!

Golden Foil Stickers

The Year >> Noted paper kit is popping with addictive colors and patterns—it will have you plugging in memories right and left. Let’s make 2015 your best-documented year yet!

Recipes:
12″ x 12″ Year >> Noted Layout
CC1032 Year >> Noted Paper Kit, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2172 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2164 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2174 Champagne Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad

12″ x 12″ This Year’s Goals Page
CC1032 Year >> Noted Paper Kit, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2137 Olive Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z891 Versamark™ Ink Pad, Z555 Craft Heater

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