Year: 2014

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Asterisk Hello Autumn!
22/10/2014 Karen Sydnor in Craft / No comments

As the lazy days of summer are now a sweet memory; we are now enjoying the crisp cool days and nights of fall! The glorious color changing of the leaves are a sight to behold and pumpkins are all around.

I spent the end of my summer perusing some of my knitting books/Pinterest and dreaming of cooler days that are now upon us. In anticipation, I picked up my knitting needles and worked on completing a pattern that has been five years in the making.

I started this wrap one summer after finding it in a Debbie Bliss magazine. I was so excited and thought surely it would be done by the end of that summer. However, I put it down and worked on other things. The next summer rolled around and I picked it up again. This cycle continued for the next 4 years till finally I decided this summer was it. I had to finish this thing. And so, with a drumroll please, I am happy to announce I am done, complete, c’est fini, finito!

What a wonderful feeling! I have accomplished my goal and will wear this wrap now even though it is made in a baby blue color. I will figure out how to add it to my fall wardrobe.

Do you have projects that you have not completed? “WIP” (works in progress) that you look at and sigh? I challenge you to go and get them done.

Now let me go find that cable knit scarf I started last fall…

“Happy crafting”

 

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Asterisk Celebrate the last few days of National Stamping Month
24/09/2014 Karen Sydnor in Close to My heart / No comments

Hey everyone.  Although National Stamping Month is winding down, it is not too late to enjoy this special at Close to My Heart.  When you spend $30 on any current retail-priced  stamps during September,  you qualify to receive this fabulous stamp set for FREE celebrating the 30 years of Close To My Heart.  If you are interested, contact me at kayroche.stamping.ctmh.com.
September Specials

 

Happy Stamping!

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Asterisk Loving Mixed Media
06/08/2014 Karen Sydnor in Close to My heart / No comments

A few months back, I started dabbling in Mixed Media after purchasing some Faber-Castell gelatos. 

Design Memory Crafts Faber-Castells Gelatos
Design Memory Crafts Faber-Castells Gelatos

As I was perusing one of my local crafts stores checking out what was new, I came across these yummy little pigment sticks.   Although, they are not a new product, they were certainly new to me.  The vast colors and description of the gelatos, grabbed my attention so much that I purchased a pack and left the store.  When I arrived home, I jumped online and did some research on them and found out that they appear to be used greatly in mixed media and by fine artist.

I had never tried my hand in Mixed Media before, but I noticed that there is certainly an explosion of it on the internet, among hobbyist, in craft stores and on Pinterest. I watched some YouTube videos, looked at a ton of blogs, and viewed countless pics on Pinterest and decided that I would give it a whirl! I have to tell you that I am absolutely in love with it.  It is so freeing and amazing. There are no right or wrong ways to approach it and you can use all types of mediums in the process.  A lot of the items I used to make my first piece, I already owned.  So, I didn’t spend a great deal getting started.  However, after creating several pieces, I have been back in the store, buying more stuff.  You know that is how it goes! LOL

I did use a traditional piece of canvas for my first one, but since then, I have used recycled cereal boxes, pizza boxes, various packaging, newspapers, tissue paper, fabric, tape and more.  I also used my Close to My Heart stamps and pulled out all of my old acrylic paints, pastels and other art supplies.  I will be doing a how to video in the next few weeks, but for now, here is pic of my latest piece.  

The latest in one of the many pieces of Mixed Media art that I have created recently.
The latest in one of the many pieces of Mixed Media art that I have created recently.

I hope this inspires you to try your hand at this amazing craft and discover the artist in you and as always, “Happy Crafting!”

 

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Asterisk Pull out those old tools
28/07/2014 Karen Sydnor in Craft / No comments

I have been doing a lot of purging and cleaning in my oh so messy craft studio lately. And while the process is somewhat daunting; it is also refreshing as I find stuff I haven’t used in a really long time. (I am not bold enough to show the before and after pictures of my craft space like some of you. LOL).

A while ago I purchased a Hot Boss Embosser tool (wood burning tool) at a scrapbooking convention. I thought I was really going to use it. However, it sat still in the box buried under a mound of stuff in a corner of the room. Today, as I am continuing the cleaning process, I found it and had a brilliant idea. I decorated a clothes pin by stamping letters with the tool. I then proceeded to embellish it with some mod melts that I made from Plaid brand Mod Podge.

I think it came out really cool. I can now ass some magnet on the pack and use on my refrigerator or just leave it as it is and keep notes together on my desk. I encourage you to pull out your old tools and use them
In a new and out of the box way!

And as always, “happy crafting”

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Asterisk Cappuccinos, crafting & Keurig
06/05/2014 Karen Sydnor in Close to My heart / No comments

This past weekend I had a wonderful time hosting a “Keurig Rivo Coffeehouse Anytime” houseparty courtesy of Houseparty.com. I invited a handful of my best girlfriends and we handcrafted our own coffeehouse cafe styled drinks like lattes and cappuccinos using Keurig’s latest brewing system – the Rivo. Using any of the four different espresso cups and fresh milk, you can make any type of coffee drink imaginable. I love how the machine froths the milk. We used almond and coconut milk. This machine will totally eliminate your need to go outside your home to any of the big coffeehouses for coffee. It is one awesome system.

Because I am such the crafter, I created a bingo game using coffee words where the winner had to yell, “latte” if they won. The partygoers used coffee beans as their chips. Also, keeping with the coffee theme, I decorated some glass jars that I had saved with coffee beans and delicate flowers coming out of the top. I also put my Close to My Heart stamps and Silhouette cameo machine to work and designed goodie bags for everyone to take home with them with the words “thanks a latte” stamped on the front.

The cook in me came out that day and using my Kitchenaid stand mixer, I whipped up a batch of chocolate mousse complete with fresh whipped creme. I also entertained with light hors devours of eggplant pizza, fried squash and sparkling cranberry lemonade!

We had so much fun. However, the best part about the party was Houseparty sent a Rivo brewing system to give away to one of the guest at the party! Can you believe that? I created an virtual online scavenger hunt where the first partygoer to find the answers to 5 questions won the Rivo. I kept it a secret, so they didn’t know until the end.

Below are some photos from the event. I hope you find some inspiration if you are planning a party in the future.

As a sweet treat for my wonderful followers and blog friends, I’ve included a coupon code for 40% off the Rivo system at Keurig.com if you are interested in buying your own brewer. The coupon is good for a month.

And as always, “Happy Crafting”

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Asterisk CTMH Base & Bling Wearable craft
03/03/2014 Karen Sydnor in Close to My heart / No comments

Guess What? It is March and it is also National Crafting Month!! Hooray!! If you have not been crafting, this is the month to do so. There is a myriad of exciting projects out there right now, no matter what your craft of choice is! I can’t seem to keep up with all the WIPs (Works In Progress) – cards, scrapbook ideas, paper crafting projects, knitting, and more that are overflowing in my craft studio right now. One of the reasons my crafting space is bursting at its seams is because of all the fabulous stuff from Close to My Heart!

Last year, Close to My Heart launched a new line of jewelry that you can customize yourself called, “Base & Bling”.  Now if you know me, crafts + jewelry = one happy momma! I was absolutely beside myself when this  premiered! I made several pieces to wear and taught a group of girls from my daughter’s home school group how to make one of the rings from this collection. Here is a picture below of some of the girls with their flower rings.  Well, Close to My Heart has done it again! They have added to the Base & Bling line in the 2014 Spring/Summer Idea Book & catalog.  They now have charm necklaces that you can customize, accessorize, and of course, the possibilities are endless.  Today, I have a quick video tutorial of one that I created as a monogram charm necklace!  I see many of these as great gift ideas for weddings and graduations as Spring is approaching!

Enjoy and of course, Happy March Madness Monogram Crafting!!

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Asterisk January is National Papercrafting Month
15/01/2014 Karen Sydnor in Close to My heart / No comments
National Papercrafting Month

Hey guys.  Did you know that January is National Papercrafting Month? Check out this great deal going on at Close to My Heart this month.  And remember if you would like to place an order, you may do so through me at kayrochestamping.ctmh.com.

 

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Asterisk Do What Makes You Happy Everyday
02/01/2014 Karen Sydnor in Uncategorized / No comments

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Happy New Year everyone!

Due to some website issues out of my control, I have been away for a little bit. During that time away, I have discovered my love for cooking healthier foods, picked up my sticks again, completed several knitting projects, finished a few books on my nightstand by my favorite authors, and more. I realized in this digital, technological, you tube, social media age we live in, people are doing less and less of what they love to do. They are spending their down time with their faces glued to their smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices. Pinning things that they want to try, but never getting up and doing them.

Years ago, someone gave me some great advice and said, “Spend New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day how you would like the rest of your year to be!” So this year, I want my year to be comforting, creative, relaxing and happy! On New Year’s Eve, before my family and I went to church, I made a big old pot of chili, invited some friends over and enjoyed some good food and fellowship. Then, on New Year’s Day, I lounged around during the morning hours and made a nice size bowl of fresh, homemade guacamole, fried some hot wings, stir fried some cabbage, brewed an ice cold pitcher of tea, worked on a new patten of a cable scarf that I am knitting, and oohed and awwhed while watching the 2014 HGTV dream home.

Based on my new mantra which is, “Do what makes you happy everyday!”, I have decided to spend 2014 doing just that. I encourage you to do the same. If you love to cook, find some great recipes on Pinterest and whip them up! Do you love to read? Remember the library pre-Kindle and Nook days? Take a ride to your local branch, scour the shelves and get lost in a book again. Are you a knitter? Do you sew? Can you crochet? Pull out that yarn, scissors, fabric, pins, hooks or needles and challenge yourself to make something new!

Find what makes you smile and create this year like never before. Don’t just look at all the great pics on Instagram of the stuff you enjoy! Put down your devices and go do what you love!

And cheers to the most creative year ever!

 

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