Quick & Easy Keepsakes

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Need help organizing your photos and other mementos?

Any of these statements sound like you?

  • Scrapbooking is too much work

  • I am not creative

  • I don’t know where to start

  • I have lots of photos and no time to show them off

You say making a scrapbook page is too much work? You don’t think you have any creativity to design a memory keepsake? Do you have photos and mementos just thrown in boxes or lying patiently on a shelf or in a drawer, just waiting to be displayed somewhere?

If this sounds like you then I have a perfect solution for taking those items and creating a memory keepsake in a flash! Close to My Heart has 13 beautiful kits available and during the month of August, we are having a sale! The kits come with 122 pocket-style cards + a 12×12 cover sheet for your album and 10 page protectors.

Picture My Life kits are the perfect solution for making a memory keepsake!

Picture My Life kits are the perfect solution for making a memory keepsake!

This month only you can add an extra set of 10 page protectors for only $3!  Plus as my own personal incentive to make your keepsake, when you buy 5 Picture My Life kits you get the 6th one FREE!  Can’t wait to see how you will make your keepsake so be sure to share a link or post a photo along with a comment when you are done- this is an “easzy peaszy” project that doesn’t take any talent or creativity to make it so come on and make one today!

Just Click HERE to see all the kits or click on the image above to visit my website and see more details.

Happy Scrappin’

~The Jewels of Kingwood

Making Memories: A New Perspective-Part 2

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Scrapbook Page Layout – Helpful Techniques…

Experimentation with page elements

Experimentation with page elements

Determining layout elements

Determining layout elements

For those of you following my blog, this is the second part in a series on how I created my first scrapbook page layout from scratch. Hard to believe? Well… up until this past week, I have never done any paper format scrapbook layouts. I must admit, though similar to a digital format, at times it seemed more tedious yet fun to make a layout this way. I love cutting the intricate images and changing the layout around while the base pages are actually laying in front of me on my work surface and not just on my computer screen. I would suppose that if it were the other way around, the “cut-and-paste” scrapbooker would find the digital process just as challenging. This process has definitely given me a new found appreciation for both art forms!

So now on to the process I want to show you today…

Keeping it simple without too much clutter

Keeping it simple without too much clutter

Because this project involved using only one of the new Close To My Heart (CTMH) paper packets from the My Reflections Collections in the new 2014-15 Annual Inspirations Idea Book, choosing the patterns and colors were so much simpler. For this layout I used Chalk-It Up paper packet. You can see all of the papers available in the packet by clicking HERE or on any of the images above. I had to keep telling myself to keep it simple and, as always in the field of graphic design and page layout, to follow the design elements and principles when planning the layout.For this particular layout, I chose asymmetrical balance which means that, even though there are different elements on either side of the page, the positioning or placement of the elements creates a type of balance with each side being somewhat equal in weight if that makes sense.

One of the main features I love the most about CTMH is that each collection of papers includes coordinating patterns and colors in 12 x 12 sheets; 3- double-sided patterned papers and 3 different colors of cardstock. This gives you, the designer, so many options and virtually NO waste because you can use everything. I was so surprised at how much I’ve been able to create with just 6 pieces of paper.

Maintaining a central theme…

Loving all the patterns and colors was the most challenging part because it was hard not to want to use a little bit of everything! The second page for this spread was even more fun to play with and this is where I added more elements to focus on my school-related theme.Choosing the various elements to embellish my page was a bit tricky because I am like a little kid with all of my tools and arsenal of goodies to use when creating art in any form- I get carried away and before I know it, I have a page or project that looks cluttered and confusing, and this is not the effect you want!

Placement of embellishments can be tricky

Placement of embellishments can be tricky

Generally, when I approach a new project, I will pick and choose from a variety of stamped images that I have already completed to see what might work. If I don’t have anything in my stash, I try some new stamps, markers, coloring techniques, and experiment with some stick-on embellishments or ribbons to see what works. This part of the process can take awhile because I like to play with several different arrangements before settling on the final look before I glue anything in place. During this phase I still have to keep in mind how the design elements such as lines, shapes, colors, textures, and space are being organized on the page. This means how I use the design principles for a layout; these principles, just to name a few, include balance, unity, harmony, dominance and emphasis, proximity, rhythm, and movement. And…. BTW… don’t forget you will be adding photos to your page layout so be sure to plan enough room for those without looking like the photos were an afterthought.

I hope this bit of technical info wasn’t too confusing and gives you a glimpse at how I approach the layout process. My next post will focus on some of the tools I use for assembling my projects. I will be showing you more in the days to come so be sure to come back often to see what else I will be sharing with you.

Until next time…

~The Jewels of Kingwood

Making Memories: A New Perspective-Part 1

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First Ever Scrapbook Page Layout…

 

Chalk-It Up Scrapbook Page Layouts

Chalk-It Up Scrapbook Page Layouts

For a person who loves to create, I amazed myself this week when I realized I have never created a 2-page scrapbook layout before. Well… I guess that’s not 100% accurate- I’ve  made some digital page layouts using simple scrapbook layout software and digital kits, and used old, archaic (before the digital era) mock-up page layout techniques when working as a newspaper editor, and some digital software for creating yearbook pages when I was in college and when I taught yearbook courses at the high school level. But to actually plan out and create a scrapbook layout from scratch using paper and embellishments, that is something I have never accomplished until this past week! I spend all of my time making cards and designing layouts for flyers, business cards and websites, but never for a real, honest-to-goodness scrapbook. LOL- and I must admit, it was quite involved when it came to the planning and manipulating so I have to give a big shout out to all of you who do scrapbooks all the time.

Thought I would share part of the process today with everyone just to give you a peak at how I did these 2 pages that took me all week to finish. I have to start off by telling you that, as a Close To My Heart consultant, we got to order new products and “play” during the month of July. What a blast! This is one of the many perks of being with CTMH and the reason is simple- this way we get to know the new products intimately and are better prepared to help you use the papers, idea book samples, and all the many new items that were available as of August 1, 2014. It was so much fun, but like some people, I just wasn’t quite sure where to start. For me, startinhg meant choosing a new line of papers from the My Reflection collection and making a commitment to a swap project so that I had to design a variety of items. In addition to the 2 layout pages, I also had to create 2 different cards as well as some type of altered object project.

My projects created using the Chalk-It Up papers, the new ShinHanart Touch Twin alcohol markers, a few embellishments and a weeks worth of trial and error. Click on this image to see the new markers in the Idea Book.

My projects created using the Chalk-It Up papers, the new ShinHanart Touch Twin alcohol markers, a few embellishments and a weeks worth of trial and error. Click on this image to see the new markers in the Idea Book.

I need to point out, when I got involved with this swap for one of the CTMH groups, there were some limitations. First, I could only choose one of the new paper packet sets from My Reflections. Then you had to use the stamps associated with that set of papers and some embellishments. In other words, the person designing the layouts must focus all their efforts on just one small selection from all of the new products. I thought that would be a fun way to use the new paper and stamps that I had ordered during the preview ordering month. This week long adventure was full of failed attempts and some projects that I wasn’t 100% pleased with the outcomes. So for now, this is what I have completed: the 2 page layout, 3 cards, 3 pillow shaped gift boxes, a mini album, and a Post-It Note holder, all done with the Chalk-It Up papers and following a school/teacher related theme.

Join me here again tomorrow and I will show some of the steps in the process for the 2 Scrapbook page layouts. Until then…      ~The Jewels of Kingwood

August Stamp of the Month (SOTM): What a Hoot!

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Prepare for “owl” the fall festivities with this hoot of a stamp set.

Fall will be swooping in before we know it, and there is no better way to welcome in crispy breezes and falling leaves than with the August Stamp of the Month, What a Hoot! When you place an order of $50 or more, these festive fowl can join your aviary for only $5! The quirky owls in this adorable stamp set will add an endearing element to any craft. You can even dress them up in costumes and wish your friends a “Happy ‘Owl’oween”! Whatever the occasion, these feathered friends are sure to make a hoot in your neck of the woods.

Set of 17 stamps are included in this month's kit!

Set of 17 stamps are included in this month’s kit!

Wish your friends a “Happy ‘Owl’oween” with our August STOM set!

Wish your friends a “Happy ‘Owl’oween” with our August STOM set!

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 Hope you enjoyed the creations by several creative CTMH consultants. And if you need more ideas, just visit the website and browse through all the great samples in our online book.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the new Annual Inspirations idea book!

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After months of anticipation, Annual Inspirations has arrived at last.

The art-filled pages are now available for your viewing pleasure! Peruse the gold mine of new products, ranging from the new Cut Above™ line to the ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Markers, and admire the gorgeous artwork that dances across the pages. With additions such as 5 new colors and 9 new My Reflections™ paper packets, this idea book is overflowing with artistic inspiration and surging with products fit to make any crafter’s heart swoon. So go ahead, fall in love with the new idea book. We promise the plunge will be well worth your time. Just click on the cover photo below to visit my website and browse through nearly 200 pages filled with new products and fresh ideas.

2014-15 Annual Inspirations Idea Book

The Annual Inspirations Idea Book will take us through the next 12 months with 2 Seasonal Expressions editions – one in December and another in March.

Enter a new world of crafting possibilities with the launch of our latest idea book.

There are 9 new Paper Collections, a new line called Cut Above, new Designer Decor, 3 new My Crush Albums, 5 new Picture My Life Kits, Base & Bling, a new line from our My Creations section,  and lots of new embellishments to dress up your projects.  I have been working very hard on new projects using the latest stamps and papers along with fun kits you will be able to purchase.If you would like your very own hard copy of the Annual Inspiration Idea Book, please fill in the contact form below with your name and email address, and tell me in the comment box how many books you would like.

 

FREE Stamp of the Month Give-Away

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Screen shot 2014-07-07 at 7.23.20 PMAlready 8 days into July and I am feeling so excited about our July Stamp of the Month stamp set that I have decided to give one of these sets away. FREE stamps??? Yes! Normally, you can purchase any of the Stamp of the Month (SOTM) sets for $17.95 without a qualifying purchase. Or with any $50 order, you can purchase the SOTM for just $5.00= that’s a wonderful deal either way. But I have an even better special for some lucky person who places one of the first 15 orders for JUST $10.00 by joining my July Online Gathering. That’s right… be one of the 1st 15 people to place at least a $10.00 order and your name will go into a drawing through Rafflecopter.com Your FREE SOTM will come directly from me and will NOT be part of your online order, so I must be able to get your physical address as well as your email address.

Screen shot 2014-07-08 at 2.20.54 PMTo be entered into the drawing, simply go shopping on my website. You can use the Close To My Heart link located at the top in the right side column, or click HERE to go directly to the correct page with the Join link on my website.

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Once you have placed your order and submitted payment, you need to send me an email to: jewelsofkingwood@gmail.com letting me know you completed an order. Deadline for placing orders for this give-away is July 30th, 2014. I will check all order dates and identify the 15 lucky customers who placed orders within the time limitations and enter their names into a drawing using RaffleCopter.com Each person entered will be notified via email and will also receive a screenshot of the actual Rafflecopter.com results of the drawing. I will send an email to the winner, who will have 24 hours to respond with their email address. If I don’t get a reply back from that person within 24 hours, I will hold another drawing with the remaining names and follow the same steps until I do get a reply from the winning entry.

Good luck and enjoy this shopping Give-Away challenge!

~The Jewels of Kingwood

New Cricut Cartridge Coming Soon!

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NEWS FLASH…..

A FABULOUS new and EXCLUSIVE cartridge called Artfully Sent, will soon be available and ONLY from Close To My Heart consultants! This brand new cartridge has been specially created for CTMH and we will feature this along with great card and scrapbooking ideas in our August release of the NEW Annual Inspirations Idea Book. This cartridge is not for sale until sometime in August (a solid date has not been given yet), but here’s the scoop…

Screen shot 2014-07-07 at 3.36.47 PMIncludes 3 coordinating stamp sets

  1.     a fancy frame stamp set
  2.     a font stamp set (that has two separate fonts)
  3.     a sentiment stamp set (34 different sentiments. It pretty much covers everything)

A pack (24 sheets) of 12″ X 12″ White Daisy Cardstock to get you started! 

This cartridge kit will retail for $99.00 in the U.S… just wanted to give you a heads up so that you could start saving your pennies and have enough when it is time to order! This awesome exclusive kit has lots of great features too!

  1. 50 pop up cards with coordinating icons
  2. 100 icons, shapes and phrases to coordinate
  3. 50 cards that create a scene or are swing cards
  4. 100 quick and easy layered sentiment cards
  5. 50 sleeve cards (see video)
  6. 50 cards with overlay backgrounds
  7. 100 card fronts that could be used as Picture My Life (or Project Life) cards 
  8. PLUS There is a really really cute full font!
If you were not counting, that is 400 quick easy beautiful and unique cards you can make using this cartridge. Not only that, it has a whimsical font that I have not seen anywhere else!

Here’s a short video showing some of the great creative ideas you can do with this cartridge.

If you want to be placed on my “WAIT LIST” to be notified as soon as this becomes available, please subscribe to my blog AND send me an email or PM with your email address! You can also use the contact form here to send me your request!

The Price is Right!

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In the past few weeks I’ve seen many inquiries on social media sites about selling crafts and artwork. How do I determine how much my work is worth? If I am asked about selling my work, how much should I charge? And, “where is the best place to sell my work?”

pricing your workPriced 2 Sell

As an art and graphic design teacher and a professor for college courses in visual communication, one of the topics I cover with my students is how to make a living as an artist/designer. You need to know how to determine the “cost of goods sold”, how to conduct enough research to know about your target market, and, in order to price your art realistically, you must understand and respect how the art business works and how collectors or other clients/customers shop and make purchase.

Steps 4 Success

First step is to objectively evaluate the significance and quality of your art in relation to other similar art or design work. Next, honestly assess your accomplishments and determine how they position you in relation to others doing similar work. These tasks can be tricky and difficult but very important to succeeding in your chosen field. This can also apply to anyone selling handcrafted items. You have to ask yourself, “are you ready to do your homework, ask questions, and stand up to the unsuccessful attempts or time frames that don’t equal your expectations.

price-is-rightPart of the homework or research that must be done, is making sure you understand the common mistakes that artists and designers make when setting prices. Perhaps the most significant error is the tendency to focus too much attention on only that segment of the market area that pertains to you and too little attention on the rest, or even worse, dismissing the rest as irrelevant. If you let this happen, your asking prices may make sense to you and to your inner circle, but make little sense to the overall target market or audience you hope to attract. The more aware you are of the big picture, of what others are creating, how it’s being priced and marketed, and who’s buying what for how much and why, the better prepared you are to price your art sensibly.

So how do you price sensibly and realistically? At the most fundamental level, you must be able to make a fact-based case for what your art is worth. You certainly know how to explain what it means from a personal standpoint, but if a collector asks, can you explain it equally well from a financial standpoint? Convincing people that your art is worth what it’s priced and is therefore OK to own is an essential part of completing sales. This is especially true when buyers are on the fence, not familiar with your work, or just starting out as collectors.

In the world of selling, all reputable and established artists and designers are prepared to explain their asking prices to anyone who asks. This is how the business end works.


 If you’re just starting out and have not sold very much, pricing your work based on time, labor, and cost of materials is often the best way to go. Set yourself a sensible hourly wage, add the cost of materials, and make that your asking price. If materials cost $50 and you take 20 hours to make the art at $15 per hour, then you price it at $350.

Here are some of the ideas and advice I usually give my own students related to selling their work or services to clients.

  1. All items whether they are services or finished product, will vary in price depending on your target market, what format you are using to market your goods, if it is being sold online or in a brick and mortar store, etc.
  2. Supply and demand is crucial- if you want to make money selling your work, make something that people want or need, and that no one else is making or has done.
  3. Always keep in mind your cost of goods sold especially if you are going to run this as a business and claim the expenses and income on your taxes.

Good rule of thumb… there are 2 different options used by most artists and one of these might work for you…

OPTION #1:

Calculate your costs for materials and multiply that by 3, then add your cost for shipping and processing (this should include not only the postage but also the cost to package the item for shipping) and this would be the selling price. If you advertise this price, you would state FREE shipping and often that is more enticing to a buyer even though you know it is included- they think they are getting Free Shipping-lol

thankyou cards1For example, the set of 6 thank you notes shown to the left use paper from a paper pack, a single “just married” acrylix® stamp and another stamp from a Stamp of the Month Kit, a fancy die cut edger from a set of 4 metal dies, an archival stamp pad, alcohol markers and a blending marker, as well as 6 cards and 6 envelops from a set of 12. I cannot use the actual cost for the supplies because I am not using those just for these 6 cards so I calculate my supplies based on a percentage of what I used from my supply stash. For this example, let’s say my supplies/materials  cost is $3.00 x 3 = $9.00.  Next, you add the shipping and processing which includes a 6″ x 9″ padded envelope for $1.00 and postage for $2.00 for a total sales price of $12.00.

OPTION #2: 

Calculate your costs for materials, and then what you would charge per hour for labor, add those together for the sales price and then advertise what the shipping cost would be.

For example- same card set, cost= $3.00, labor takes you 2 hours x an hourly wage of say… $10/hr which will equal a total sales price of $23.00, then advertise a shipping price of $3.00. Many times this option equals a higher selling price, so then you can give a discount and advertise a special sale while still getting a good price for your work. People are often convinced to buy something when it is “ON SALE” or discounted because they think they are getting a bargain. Advertise a coupon code for a specific time period, or a discount for a package deal or bundle, etc.

Don’t sell yourself short- your work is worth it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You wouldn’t ask a beautician who does your hair for a better price or a discount, and you wouldn’t ask an interior designer for a lower price or discount… you are earning a living wage and need to let people know you are in business and what you earn helps put food on the table and pays the bills. Hope this helps! I know this is probably more than you wanted to hear, but it has helped many of my students go on to earn a pretty decent wage or salary for what they make.

No matter how you set your prices, be competitive. Remember… you’re in competition with other artists/designers. Every time a client or customer buys a piece of art or a design you have created, that’s one less piece that they’re going to buy from someone else. Naturally, you want to maximize the number of pieces that are purchased from you so always check for comparable goods and pricing- in other words, check out prices for similar work posted online in places like ETSY, Goodsmiths, or on business related Facebook pages .

 

‘Til next time… happy scrappin’   ~The Jewels of Kingwood

Note: Excerpts from “Price Your Art”, http://artbusiness.com

Father’s Day – 1 week away

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Last Minute Father’s Day Card Ideas

Seems hard to believe that I have been absent from my blog for almost a month. After being so busy with my son’s wedding and then a much needed vacation, I am back in the studio making memories again! Some of you have been asking for ideas to use for making your own Father’s Day cards. So I whipped up a few this past week and had so much fun I thought I would share the cards with my followers and friends. Hope you enjoy and that you are inspired to make a card for your dad- remember his big day is Sunday, June 15th.

~ The Jewels of Kingwood

 

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Her children shall rise up and call her blessed…

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Screen shot 2014-04-30 at 3.55.45 PMTo all the Jewels out there who have been blessed with children…

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

      ~ The Jewels of Kingwood