Fun Cards Bloom Box

 

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A Mini Class Delivered to You

Bloom Box is an awesome card kit that is available each month from Fun Stampers Journey. This month the kit is called Fun Cards, and they certainly are fun.

Each monthly kit contains a full sized stamp set, an instruction booklet, and supplies to make four unique cards. 

The only thing you need to provide is your own adhesive, ink, and basic tools. Subscribers are sent an email with the recommended supplies approximately ten days before the kits ship. If you don’t have all of the supplies, you can always substitute with the supplies you do have.

Two Ways to Get Your own Bloom Box

The first, and best, way to get your Bloom Box is to subscribe. Subscriptions are $24.95 (plus tax and shipping) a month, and there is a six month commitment. Your card is charged around the 1st of each month, and your box will ship around the 6th. 

Beginning July 2017, the Bloom Boxes will be available as a stand alone, one month purchase. The price for a single box is $29.95 ( plus tax and shipping), and is available while supplies last. If you find there is a box you really like, try to order as early in the month as possible, before the box sells out.

Fun Stampers Journey will also begin offering the stamp sets separately beginning July 2017. Again, these will be available while supplies last, with the subscribers getting first priority.

A Video Demonstration Each Month

Richard Garay always films a video, which can be viewed on the Fun Stampers Journey YouTube channel, showing the special technique featured each month.

 

Order Your Box Today!

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If you would like to sign up for this month’s box, simply visit my Shopping Site, and place your order. If you want to pick and choose single boxes, you can do that beginning July 2017.

Mermaids Coming Soon

Next month, July 2017, the Bloom Box is full of adorable mermaids. There will also be a die set available for purchase separately. If you subscribe, you will receive an email with a link so that you can order the die set. This will likely be a very popular box, so don’t delay when ordering your mermaid box.

If you want to see the stamp sets that are available from previous Bloom Boxes, a close up look at this month’s box, and a sneak peak of the July box, take a look at my video.

 

I have really enjoyed my Bloom Box subscription! It has been a lot of fun learning something new each month, and making cards that I otherwise would never have tried. I tend to be a pink, frilly crafter, and the boxes encourage me to get outside my comfort zone, and try new things.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have enjoyed learning about the Bloom Box.

Dedra

 

Learning to Art Journal – Distress Paints

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Trying Something New

I think the beauty of having an art journal is being adventurous. Stepping outside your comfort zone is never easy, but usually I am so happy I did. Today I pulled out a few supplies, and came up with an idea for a new page.

Distress Paint

I have had a few Tim Holtz distress paints in really fun dauber bottles just hanging around with my other mixed media supplies. The colors are darker, and not my usual preference. One of the colors I used still had the plastic packaging in tact. Really sad since I have owned these for years.

Beautiful Paper

I loved the floral print that was part of an Echo Park paper pack, but hadn’t gotten around to using it yet. Since it had a vintage, distressed feel, it seemed to be a perfect match for the distress paint.

A Gorgeous Stamp and Some Words

I have a Fun Stampers Journey stamp that looks like a vintage postal stamp. I love it, but again, hadn’t given it much attention.

I also had a package of sticker sayings by Tim Holtz that I thought would be lovely on an art journal page.

Putting it All Together

Now that I had all of my supplies, it was time to bite to create. Below is a video of my process.

 

Supply List with Links

Postage Stamps ATS

Blue Lagoon Fusion Ink

Reflections by Lori Whitlock Paper

Distress Pain in Tarnished Brash

Distress Paint in Walnut Stain

Tim Holtz Small Talk Stickers

I hope that you will take some time today, tomorrow, or at least this week to be creative. 

Dedra

Planning for Business Success – Part 2

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Adding More Content to My Business Planner

In my last Planning for Business Success post I discussed the steps I was taking to be more productive. 

Step 3 was setting up my business planner. I finished the editorial calendar for July, but my planner was lacking a lot of vital information.

How do I want my work days to flow? What do I need to accomplish every day? What goals will I want to reach in the next 90 days? What steps do I need to remember when publishing a blog post, or video?

Inspiration Needed

I wanted to make sure all of this was spelled out in my planner. Of course, the first place I look for inspiration is YouTube, followed closely by Pinterest.

I can not recommend enough checking out BohoBerry on YouTube, if you need some productivity inspiration. She primarily uses the bullet journal system, but she has lots of inspiration for everyone.

90 Day Goals

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First things first, I needed some 90 Day Goals. I decided to keep it simple, and stick to three main goals. Of course I needed to make the page pretty, and it needed to have an inspirational quote.  I set my goals, and added the steps I wanted to take to insure I reach my goals. 

My Ideal Work Schedule

 

Next, I wanted an Ideal Schedule page showing how I want my days to flow. Since putting this page together I realized that I needed some help staying focused. A gentleman happened to pop up in my YouTube feed talking about just that. His channel is Thomas Frank, he focuses on study skills, but has lots of good content on staying motivated and focused. He recommended the Tide app. and I’m giving it a try. 

An App to Help me Focus

The Tide app. lets you set a timer of sorts for the amount of time you would like to stay focused. You aren’t still trying to multi-task, are you? If you break your focus to check a message, pop in on Facebook, answer your phone, etc you fail. No one likes to fail, but more importantly it helps you realize just how often you lose focus during a time when you need to get the important stuff done.

So, I have my ideal work day mapped out, I’ve set my three 90 day goals, and I have a nifty new tool to help me stay focused. What’s next? I need to set a weekly work schedule that will take into account  my other commitments. 

The Weekly Schedule

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My weekly schedule needs to include the other commitments I have, and the hours I intend to focus on my business. I also need a side bar with my to do list for the week. I have broken mine down into different categories: YouTube/Blog, Admin Stuff, and Reading and Learning. 

Every weekend, usually on Sunday, I take the time to write up my weekly to do list. This will all go on the weekly side bar section in this new planner. 

Every day is broken down with the hours I intend to work, and the commitments I need to work around. I will be taking some time at the end of each day to review what I accomplished, and what needs to be accomplished the next day. 

In the past I have made the mistake of trying to fill in my entire week on a Sunday night. It rarely works. Someone will need my help with something, an appointment will get moved, or I over-estimate how much I can accomplish on Monday, and now need to move some items to Tuesday. 

In my weekly view I wanted to have a list of the things I need to do after filming a video, or writing a blog post. The process of filming, or writing, content is not the end. There is editing to be done, links and pictures need to be added. and you need to share your content so others can actually find it. 

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A Day Off

I also intentionally added a day off to my weekly schedule. Since I work from home it can be as easy to find myself working every day, as it is to get distracted when I should be working. The pull of a new idea when I really need to write a grocery list so there will be food in the house, is just as strong as remembering I need to call the insurance company while I’m writing a blog post. Of course, maybe this is just my adult ADD brain, but I doubt it.

How It All Came Together

If you want to see a flip through of my, very girly, business planner so far, check out the video. If you enjoy this video, please subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you don’t miss my future videos.

 

More to Come

This planner, as with most efforts to be more productive, will be a work in progress. I will check in from time to time, and let you all know how things are going. 

Stay tuned for Part 3.

Dedra

Learning to Art Journal with Pan Pastels

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Be Bold

I’m definitely getting bolder as I play in my art journal. I purchased some pan pastels in gorgeous colors and decided that they would be fun to use with embossed images.

I have a few butterfly stamp sets that I love, and couldn’t wait to heat emboss them. While this page looks simple I used a few different techniques.

I heat embossed the butterflies, used pan pastels to make the images pop, stamped a saying, and came back later with some modeling paste and acrylic paint.

Below are the videos showing part one and two of this page.

 

Supply List with Links

Beautiful Wings Stamp Set

Bold Wings Stamp Set

Journey Modeling Paste

Rich Sorbet PanPastels

Craftsmart Acrylic Paint in Plum can be purchased at Michael’s

Enjoying the Journey

It is so easy to look at all of the artists on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc and be intimidated by their art journals. I’m trying to just enjoy the process, and not compare myself to them.

Art journaling is meant to be relaxing, not stressful. When I catch myself thinking “this doesn’t look very good”, or “wow, I wish I could do that”, I have to find that inner child who makes art because its fun.

If art journaling is outside your comfort zone, or you don’t think you have time for it, I hope you will give it a try anyway.

Dedra

 

Simple Father’s Day Cards

Father's Day Cards

One Design, Three Cards

Father’s Day is just around the corner, so I decided to spend the day making a few cards. On a recent trip to Tuesday Morning I stumbled across a beautiful paper pack by Echo Park. The paper collection is called Reflections by Lori Whitlock, and really made me think of masculine cards.

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Once you find a gorgeous paper collection, designing cards is simple. I pulled a stamp set, solid colored papers, ink, color silks, tags, adhesive, and basic tools together. You can see how I made these cards in the video below.

 

Supply List and Links

Echo Park Reflections by Lori Whitlock

Annual Celebrations Stamp Set

Bronze Journey Silk

Gold Journey Silk

Journey Blooms Paper Trimmer

Journey Glaze

Journey Twine in Natural

Journey Days Stapler

Color Fusion Ink in Black Licorice

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I hope that you will find the time to make a card for the special father in your life.

Dedra

Planning for Business Success – Part 1

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A New System

I have really struggled with this whole work from home thing. It seems so simple, right? I mean you just need to set aside the time to get stuff done, and do it. I wish!

The truth is you need a plan. Telling yourself “I think I will film three videos this week, and write a couple of blog posts” just doesn’t work. It was all too easy to find myself sitting at my work space, thinking of all of the possibilities, and getting overwhelmed. It was also easy to get distracted. Text alerts, Facebook messages, and emails are constantly coming in. Family and friends call, someone needs you to take them somewhere, and suddenly you realize it’s five o’clock and you accomplished very little.

Setting Some Boundaries

Step one to being more productive was informing my family and friends that I would now have regular work hours, and wouldn’t be available during those times. This was definitely easier said than done. I still get calls, texts, etc on occasion, but it is much better than it was.

I Need a Plan

Step two was realizing I needed a plan! For me this meant a paper planner.  As I often do, I searched YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram for inspiration.  I found lots of ideas for scheduling my time to be more productive.

I also searched Amazon, and read a lot of reviews, to find books on working from home, direct sales, social media, and productivity. I’m currently working through several of these books, and plan to do a few reviews soon.

Setting Up a New System

Step three was taking all of this new information and setting up my new planner. Below is a video showing the beginning steps I have taken to set up my new planner, starting with an editorial calendar.

 

More to Come

I’m currently working on sections to track my stats, plan/brainstorm, track my income/expenses, set my 90 day goals, and set up the details of my day to day schedule. I’m sure this will be a work in progress with lots of tweaks, and adjustments, along the way. I will continue to update you on the progress I am making, as well as the times I stumble, and need to make adjustments.

Let me know in the comments below if you have found a great schedule, planner, etc that works for you. Stay tuned for Part 2.

Dedra

Learning to Art Journal Series #1 Gathering My Supplies

I have often admired the creative people who can put pencil, paint, ink, etc to paper and make something truly beautiful. Their work is an expression of themselves, and I imagine it is very satisfying to keep a journal full of ones art.

Lately I have been watching YouTube videos of artists creating gorgeous  art journals, and the urge to start my own journal hit me. As I watched James Burke,  Vicki Papineau, and others,  I realized that even if I didn’t consider myself an artist I would love to have a book full of my own creations.

First things first, I decided to go through all of my supplies and see if I had any that I could use for my future art work. I’m primarily a scrapbooking, cardmaking, planning papercrafter, so I thought I would need to go out and buy supplies.

I found an embarrassing amount of art supplies that were used once, or not at all. There were gellatos, distress inks, sponge daubers, acrylic paints, paint brushes, water colors, markers, paint pens, sprays, gel medium, mod podge, and stencils. All I needed was the journal!

As you can see I added a few things because I was so excited, but most of this was just hanging out in my craft room!

I am so excited to get started and see where this journey takes me. I hope you will follow along, and maybe create a journal of your own.

Dedra

Embarking on a New Crafting Adventure

Fun Stampers Journey

I learned about Fun Stampers Journey through YouTube videos, and some of the products really intrigued me. They carry stamps, papers, inks, sprays, paper crafting tools, mixed media products, and more.

THE INKS

I definitely wanted to try the FSJ ink pads. The ink is a combination of dye and pigment ink, making the colors very vibrant, yet quick drying. I love the vibrancy of pigment inks, but I don’t want to wait for them to dry, or use a heat tool, when making a simple card.

THE STAMPS

FSJ carries unmounted red rubber stamps that actually have pictures on the back. I have quite a collection of clear acrylic stamps, and a few red rubber stamps mounted on wood, so I really wanted to give these stamps a try. The problem that I had with red rubber stamps in the past was trying to line them up on a project. The lack of a picture made it hard to see where you were stamping, and if the stamp was mounted on wood it was even harder to figure out how to line up the image.

THE DIE CUTTING TOOLS

FSJ has two die cutting machines. The Amaze Machine is their small machine and seems comparable to the Cuttlebug. The Journey Platinum Machine is larger and comes with a magnetic plate. The die cutting area is 8 1/2 inches wide!

THE DISCOUNT

I was innocently watching a YouTube video when I discovered that FSJ coaches (people who sell the product through home parties, their on-line websites, etc.) received a 20% discount on products for themselves, and a 20% commission on anything they sell.

As if that wasn’t enough incentive, there was a discount code offering $50 off two of their new coaches kits. One of the kits contains the Journey Platinum Machine. This kit is $149.99 with the discount code, and the Platinum machine retails for $249.99.

THE KIT

I guess you know what happened next. That’s right, I ordered the Platinum Kit once I researched all of the products I would be receiving for $149.99 (plus taxes and shipping.)

Platinum Kit (over $440 value!)

Includes:

  • Journey Platinum Die cutting machine
  • 2 oz Bottle of Journey Glaze
  • Stamp Cleaner
  • White Liner Tape
  • Journey Thread Natural
  • Journey Sparkle Dust
  • Whip Cream Cardstock (25 sheets)
  • Black Licorice Cardstock (25 sheets)
  • Assorted Cardstock Pack (24 sheets)
  • Black Licorice ink pad
  • 8 Inspiration Book & Catalogs
  • 1 Trends Mini Catalog
  • Make It Party Invites, Hostess Forms, Customer Order Forms, Replicated site
  • And your choice of 3 stamps, 1 ATS, 1 die set & 3 ink pads

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I wanted to immediately start playing with all of the new products I was so excited to try. However, I controlled myself and made a video first. You really need to see the products, and use them, to appreciate how special they are.

 

If you are interested in purchasing any products from Fun Stampers Journey, you can do so on  my FSJ website. If you want the Platinum Kit, even if you are just interested in buying products for yourself, go to my website,  click on Become a Coach at checkout, enter the discount code of JWMJB50 and you are all set.

If you have any questions about the products, leave a comment below, and I will be happy to answer them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons You Need the New Hampton Arts Stamp Perfect

As soon as I saw this new tool I knew I needed to get my hands on it. I could see the benefits of this product, especially when making cards, which is something I love to do.

The Stamp Perfect has a base with a grid pattern,  a removable foam pad, and two  magnets.  The lid is hinged, has a grid pattern, and there are handy rulers on three sides of the base.  They really made this tool with the card maker in mind.

After playing with the Stamp Perfect, I quickly realized that it is even more helpful than I thought it would be.

Here are the top 5 reasons I think you need the Stamp Perfect in your life.

  1. You can line up several stamps at the same timeIf you want a beautiful floral element, and a sentiment on your card front, you can use the grid, and rulers, to get everything straight, and perfectly spaced.  Place your stamps face down on your project exactly where you want the images, press the lid down on the stamps, lift the lid and your are ready to be inked.
  2. Multi-layered stamps sets are now a snap to useIf you need to stamp multiple layers, you will no longer have to worry if you are lining up each layer where it belongs.
  3. No more worry about your project moving as you are stamping. The magnets hold your project in place while you are working, so everything stays exactly where you want it. I had no problem with my card front moving, and I am notorious for bumping, or moving, my project while stamping.
  4. Solid stamps are no longer a problem. Have you ever stamped a solid image and realized a section just didn’t stamp clearly, leaving a blotchy image? I know I have. With this tool you simply lift the lid, re-ink your stamp, and stamp it again. No more worrying if you are lining it up perfectly.
  5. Making multiples of the same card is much easier with this tool. Want to make the same card, say an invitation, multiple times? You will only need to line up your stamp placement once, and all of your cards can easily look the same, instead of just similar.

I made a video showing my first project with this tool. I think you really need to see this Stamp Perfect in action, to appreciate how easy it is to use.

I checked prices on similar tools on the market, and found that Misti makes a version smaller than the Hampton Arts Stamp Perfect for $45. I don’t have a Misti to compare, so it may be worth the extra money for some of you. However, Michaels carries this product for less than $30, and you can use a coupon.

I loved playing with this product so much that I’m unwilling to share, and have to have one of my own.  You can bet I will be calling ahead to make sure Michaels has one in stock, and bringing my coupon.

Have you tried a stamp positioning tool before? Let me know your experience, and if you have a preferred tool.

Happy crafting,

Dedra

 

Getting Ready for a Productive New Year

 

 Which planner should I choose?

There are so many wonderful planners on the market that it can be difficult to choose the right one. It’s a good idea to know exactly what you want your planner to do for you.

  • Do you want to organize all aspects of your life in one planner, or do you prefer separate planners for your business and home life?
  • Do you like an hourly, vertical, or horizontal layout?
  • Do you need a page for each day, or are weekly and monthly views fine for you?
  • Do you want your planner to reside on your desk, or fit in your bag?

I spent a lot of time looking at different planners, and selected four. I know that sounds like a lot, but, really, I can explain.

The first planner I chose was a beautiful Happy Planner by Me and My Big Ideas. Since this is the year I have vowed to treat my YouTube and blog as a business, instead of a hobby, I needed a planner to keep things on track. The This is Your Year Happy Planner has plenty of room for tracking all of my business to-dos and goals. I purchased my planner at Michael’s during a 50% off sale, but you can also find this planner here on the MAMBI site.

Next, I selected a menu planner to help meet my number one health goal of consuming healthier foods. Yes, this has been one of my goals for many years, but a fun planner will help, right? My menu planner is one created by Carrie Elle, and can be found here on her website. My favorite was the Secret Garden cover, but there are several fun covers to choose from.

I have carried a Travelers Notebook as a wallet for a couple of years now, and it is my on-the-go planner. I keep a monthly calendar, and some important information with me at all times. This allows me to jot down appointments as they are scheduled to later transfer into my main planner. It also allows me to have information, such as clothing sizes, gift wish lists, and items I need to buy if I find them on sale, on hand at all times. I purchased mine through Amazon. As you can see it is undated, so you can start using this at any time throughout the year.

My fourth planner is my main planner, and I use it to organize all of the doctor’s appointments, dates I need to remember, goals, budgeting, bills to pay, and so much more. This year I’m using the Living Well Planner by Ruth Soukup. It is very colorful and pretty, yet functional at the same time. I think she has really thought of everything you could possibly need in a planner. I am struggling a little with the hourly layout, but I will make it work for me. There is only one design to choose from this year, you can find it here on the Living Well Planner site.

Putting it all together

Do use a paper planner to stay organized? If so, have you found your perfect planner(s)? Let me know what you will be using this year.