Thursday, July 30, 2015

What is it about colouring in?

One of my sister Michele's Mindfulness pictures
This is a real "thing" at the moment! Call it mindfulness, call it relaxation, call it meditation, call it anything you like, but the message is the same: it's OK for adults to pick up colouring pens and spend hours at a time on intricate drawings.
I have always loved sitting down next to my daughter and joining in with one of her favourite pastimes, and I've always loved adding hand-coloured images to my pages and cards. But now suddenly my sisters are texting me about this new thing, and they're both doing it! Now we have colouring books designed just for us adults, and it's become The In Thing.
Close to My Heart has many perfect stamp sets for Mindfulness, but my absolute favourite has to be this one: D1645, Botanical Backgrounds, set of 3, $33.
Have a look at this beautiful piece of artwork created with this stamp set and black paper. It's simple and wonderful.

What should I use to colour in my images?

We have a few choices.

1. The Shin Han Touch Twin Markers. These are especially easy to use, with no mess. Plus the colourless blender is fantastic for adding a little bit of white shading to give your images dimension. They also are sold singly, which means you can select the colours you know you will use the most frost, and add to your collection later. $11.50.
2. The Watercolour Pencils. These are great for adding colour and also, when you use a fine brush and water, you can easily create smooth merges between your shades. $42 a set of 24.
3. The Ink Pads themselves. That's right! Have you ever tried to use a paint brush together with your ink pad? The ink doesn't "pick up" very well straight from the pad, but if you squish the pad in the centre before opening it, you will find a messy looking ink splodge on the lid. Dip your brush in water and then this ink, and you're away. Select the colours that tone exactly with the cardstocks and papers you're using. $11.50.

Here's to Mindfulness! Adult colouring in has come out of the closet!


Sunday, July 12, 2015

What do I stick it down with?

A few nights ago I ran a class and had a lady come along who is relatively new to scrapbooking. It got me to thinking about adhesives; something which most of us take for granted after we've been crafting for a while. I think it's a good time for a blog post explaining the different types of adhesives that Close to My Heart carries, and what their purposes are.

We sell nine different kinds of adhesive, and sometimes it can be tricky choosing the one that is right for you. I have them all in my kit, and select the one that is right for the job in hand.

Tape Runner

This is basically good quality double-sided tape in easy-to-use dispensers. I also call this dry adhesive. It sits in its little case, coiled on a spool until you need it. And when you add it to your project it will stay tacky. It's my go-to adhesive for many purposes, for example compiling scrapbook pages and adhering photos.

The blue case is a 3L adhesive, which I have always trusted. They're the same company who make the Creative Memories tape runner I first started using years ago. The 3L comes out in little dots, which makes "stopping and starting" your run of tape easy. 3L E-Z Dots Adhesive (Z3022) $13, 15metres. We also sell a refill, Z3023 $7.50, 15metres.
However, many of my customers have had trouble with the 3L adhesive drawing out of the case in one long loop and not spooling back inside. I am always happy to replace these with a new cartridge.

The red case is a Duck brand Easy-stick adhesive, which comes off in tabs and looks exactly the same as the old CM tape frosted tape runner. I have started using this one in place of the 3L blue, and have found it to be more reliable in terms of smooth running. Duck adhesive (Z3033) $30 for a set of four, 6.5metres each.

Glue Dots

These are fabulous for adding small embellishments to my cards, and are in fact what comes already on the back of most of CTMH's bling. I use them mainly for ribbon though - I've found nothing else that sticks ribbon perfectly in place and keeps it there.
We sell glue dots in three sizes:
Regular - (1770) $12, 300 clear dots measuring 3/8"
Mini - (Z341) $12, 300 clear dots measuring 3/16"
Micro - (Z2089) $12, 325 clear dots measuring 1/8"

Bonding Memories Glue

This is wet glue which is absolutely perfect for 3D projects such as Cricut boxes. I find that although it may require a little patience, once the glue is dry, it will stick much more strongly than the tape runners.
Something which many crafters don't know about our Bonding Memories glue is that it is also repositionable. Allow the blue glue to become clear before you attach the items, and you'll be able to reposition them if necessary.

We have two sizes:
Bonding Memories Glue Pen - (Z553) $7.50. This has a small-tipped applicator for fiddly sticking.
Broad Tip Glue Pen - (1512) $13. This has a wide applicator and I like loaning this one to the kids. It also seems to last for ages.

3D Foam Tape

(Z1151) $10. There are two rolls in each package, 77" each. One is 3/8" and the other 1/4" wide. I use this tape for popping my embellishments up from my projects, giving them dimension. The adhesive is fairly unforgiving, so be sure of your positioning, but once they're in place you can be sure that your decorative elements won't fall off.

Hook and Loop Dots

(Z1805) $7. Set of 25. These little dots never fail to impress customers when they come out at workshops, yet they have rarely been noticed in the catalogue. They are tidy little round dots of Velcro, and I use them to seal shut my 3D boxes and mini albums. The adhesive is strong, and the dots won't come off once applied.

In summary, these are the adhesives I choose to use on my projects:

Duck or 3L tape runners
Cardstock or paper to scrapbooks
Duck or 3L tape runners
Duck / 3L / Bonding Memories
3D projects
Bonding Memories
Cardstock embellishments
Bonding memories
Chipboard embellishments
Glue dots
Bling / sequins
Glue dots
Glue dots
Raised embellishments
Foam tape
Lids / closures
Hook & Loop dots

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mojo Monday Card Sketch

Mojo Monday's sketch this week is very cool! It was super easy to use and I decide that I'd make quite a few birthday cards for future use. In the end I made eight, all with a selection of ages on the front.
The two paper packs I used were Close to My Heart's Brushed (for the pink and pear ones) and Chalk It Up (for the black ones). I used the Cricut to cut the circles at 2" and 1.75". The number inside a circle is also a Cricut shape - it came already installed on my machine - and was cut at 1.5".
Thank you, Mojo Monday, for the awesome sketches! It's been a while since I participated, but it is always fun to see what other people are doing.