Tag Archives: tips

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

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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.

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

FREE To Be Me with Close to My Heart

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I am so excited to share with you what’s happening in May and how I am here to help you celebrate National Scrapbooking Month!  Close To My Heart has done it again with a brand new campaign for May called  “Free To Be Me.”

Just so you know, this is DAY 2 of our incredible journey this month and throughout the entire month of May, when you spend at least $50 or more with your Close To My Heart consultant (which BTW just happens to be “yours truly”), you qualify for the exclusive “Free To Be Me” paper collection for only $5. Not only that, CTMH fans also know when you spend $50 or more, you qualify for the Stamp of the Month for only $5 as well. YES! Both the promotion and the stamp of the month are only $5 each! You are gonna just love the papers in this pack- the picture on My Website and video clip below doesn’t do this paper justice. I was very impressed when my paper packs arrived… can I hear a “shout out” for simply G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S??? And I am not saying this because I am a CTMH consultant… I am sending this from my viewpoint as a seasoned paper crafter! The quality and feel of this paper is could be referred to as a paper crafter’s delight!

Free to Be Me for the Month of May

Free to Be Me for the Month of May

FREE To Be Me Papers

FREE To Be Me Papers

Here’s what comes in the fantastic Free To Be Me collection:

 

6 – Free To Be Me B&T Duo’s Papers (pattern paper)
2 – UV-coated, Designed Teal Card Stock Sheets (pattern with resist surface)
2 – UV-coated, Designed Red Card Stock Sheets (pattern with resist surface)
2 – UV-coated, Designed Gold Card Stock Sheets (pattern with resist surface)
1 – White Feather Print Vellum Sheet
1 – Gold Foil Polka-dot Vellum Sheet

So what can YOU do with this fun and fabulous paper collection?
FREE To Be Me Project and Workshop Guide

FREE To Be Me Project and Workshop Guide – Ask Me for your copy today!

>>>>> Close To My Heart has provided consultants with a PDF link for our qualifying customers which includes a 12-page Workshop guide showing how to make two great 2-page layouts and three fun cards. Once you’ve placed your qualifying order with me, I’ll send that special PDF file to you in an email!
>>>>> Use the variety of papers to create a mini album; you can use the sample list of materials that follows or make an album using the paper collection without ordering the stamp set or any additional supplies. Simply use any stamps you desire or stickers and make it your own design.
  • Two sheets of White Daisy card stock
  • All The Details Acrylix® stamp set
  • 2″ x 3 1/2″ acrylic block
  • Lagoon Exclusive Inks® stamp pad
  • Hollyhock Exclusive Inks® stamp pad
  • Goldrush Exclusive Inks® stamp pad
  • Pear Exclusive Inks® stamp pad
  • Twilight Exclusive Inks® stamp pad
Other helpful tools include a corner rounder, a few circle punches, and a basic hole punch in addition to your regular crafting tools and adhesives. If you create the album pages using the “Free to Be Me” May Promotional Pack, there would be 10 spreads total.

Are you excited yet? Ready – Set – GO… jump in and start creating great memories! Here’s your chance; let yourself go, color outside the lines and get out of that box so you too, can be – FREE To Be Me and share the memories! Can’t wait to see what you come up with so please feel free to share and make comments here so we can all see what each of you has been up to.

See y’all tomorrow with another excursion on our month long adventure to celebrate National Scrapbooking Month

~ Kathy with The Jewels of Kingwood

Rediscover your Creativity during National Scrapbooking Month

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National Scrapbooking Month

National Scrapbooking Month

Do you want to know how you can celebrate National Scrapbooking Month? Why not spend it with me as I take you on a fun-filled adventure jam-packed full of projects, training, and new ideas? Spring is definitely here- everything is budding and blooming and as we welcome those beautiful May flowers, it’s time once again to get that artsy groove back on.

Want some inspiration? Just follow me on my blog for daily tips, techniques, kits, special discounts and videos from Close to My Heart. Here is the first of many stops on our journey… inspirational clips to help  you rediscover your creativity this month. Follow us every day during the month for more great ideas.

Enjoy the sneak peak and catch you all tomorrow  ~ The Jewels of Kingwood

Click on the “SHOP WITH ME NOW” animated button in the right side column to visit my website for more details.

A Place for Everything… and Everything in its Place

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Another favorite Website that we follow on our Facebook feed is Hometalk. You would be amazed at all the great jewels and nuggets of knowledge that people share on that site. Everyday we find something new and since our focus for January is Organization, here are some great ideas we just had to share.

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Clicking on the Photo will take you to the Website for detailed info and pictures to follow for using accordion folders for organizing

 

This first nugget is an idea that some of you may already do to keep your files organized but we thought there might be others who had no idea about this type of file system for important papers. Accordion folders have been around for some time and we’ve used them to organize our business invoices and receipts, but this idea takes it a step further. To read the article details in full, just click on the link below.

http://www.hometalk.com/2859479/must-read-tip-how-to-organize-product-manuals-and-warranties

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Clicking on the photo will take you to the Website for the Printable Planner files

Similar to Pinterest, Hometalk sets up their site with boards curated by a variety of people. One really great example, that is loaded with all sorts of great “pins” focused on organizing your home, is this board: http://www.hometalk.com/b/1014593/organizing

We perused various pins on this board and found some awesome tips to help us organize our own workspace and homes. Some of favorite picks included a free printable planner for 2014, 11 Ways to Organize with Binders, and The Best Organizing Advice You’ll Ever Get.

Just follow the link above or click on each photo to explore all the knowledge nuggets everyone has shared on this board. If you have some advice or organization tips to share, please add a comment below and tell us all out your methods for keeping your life organized.

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Clicking on the photo will take you to the Website for more info on Organizing

Are you tired of the mess and clutter? Need to downsize and trim the clutter from your life?  If so, then you will love all these goodies we have to share from other bloggers. Great tips for storing movies, music, organizing teaching files and lessons, bills, and just about anything you have that needs a place for exploring later.

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Clicking on the photo will take you to the Website for more info on Organizing

          

P.S. Though some of the information from this helpful blogs may be old- 2013, we still found the tips and methods relevant for 2014.

Kickbacks???

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money3I was asked the other day if we get any type of kickback or compensation from the companies we support or share in our posts. The answer is a resounding “NO”! We feel it is important to share the jewels we find in our Internet travels and when we find anything we believe is credible and trustworthy, we pass it along to our readers. We also do not get any type of compensation or percentage from any sales that are made when our readers visit and purchase at any of the vendors we share.

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Laters….

~The Jewels of Kingwood

Free Cardmaking Pattern

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Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 3.27.19 PMDo you send out cards to celebrate the new year or to send a New Year’s greeting to someone special? Have you ever considered making your own card? In search of resources, I am constantly amazed at how many great ideas I come across just because I follow a lot of crafters who have Facebook pages. One inspirational place to see examples or learn new techniques is Card Maker. They even have a newsletter and if you sign up to get it, you can get a FREE pattern.

Kick off the new year by making it a creative weekend with the latest CardMaker newsletter, which contains the FREE pattern for this Celebrate 2014 card!

● Access the FREE pattern download + the complete newsletter here: http://bit.ly/1atA0jo
● Pin it: http://bit.ly/19QIqRK
● Sign up here for our free emails & newsletters:http://bit.ly/1aKWaQI

Hope you are having a safe and creative beginning to 2014!

Laters…

~ The Jewels of Kingwood

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year to all our new friends and fans as well as our family. Sorry we took a few days off to enjoy family time during the holidays, but the absence now includes fighting this terrible flu that appears to be epidemic in our area. Sooo… please be patient as we get back to full strength and rejoin the “land of the living”. There is so much to share to start off the new year; new products, reviews, give aways from several great companies, and of course… our 2 cents worth of info on the blog.

ImageOne of the companies that is having a super give away is My Minds Eye. They offer so many collections as well as tips, techniques and daily blog entries that are very helpful to crafters.  They are offering 2 NEW collections but you have to enter for a chance to win. And… even if you have never won anything before, please do enter- you never know… We looked at many sites and entered give aways all throughout the month of December and won two great prizes that we will be telling you all about in the coming weeks. 

Here is the link to their current give away so be sure to check them out and tell them we sent you! http://mymindseye.typepad.com/blog/2014/01/new-collection-reveals-now-and-then-chalk-studio-ii.html

Be safe and check back tomorrow when we will have more to share!

~ The Jewels of Kingwood