Author: Karen Sydnor

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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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monogram pendant 5 wm

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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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Asterisk Rainy play day
11/07/2013 Karen Sydnor in Craft / No comments
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Love how the fern came out, color and detail. Floral bookmark is made with red and white clay and attached to a paperclip.

Good afternoon. We are having a rainy day here in Charlotte, NC today. Actually we have been having rain for about 10 or 11 days now. I am loosing count and can’t really remember what day it started. So today I am using it as a day to play with some new products and craft indoors.

I purchased this product some months ago and had not really played it until recently.  It is the Martha Stewart Crafts crafter’s clay and coordinating silicone molds. I absolutely love this product.  You can create all kinds of wonderful embellishments with this air dry clay.  It is so simple to use and can be colored with all kinds of inks, paints, and glitter.  You can also mix the colors of clay to achieve your own colors.  A color chart is included in the pack to help you with that.  The great thing is that it takes a very small amount of clay to make these.  The possibilities are endless when considering what they can be used for – on cards, scrapbook pages, on gifts, and more.  I can’t stop making these cute little “doodads”.

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White butterfly is left as the natural color of the clay. The green butterfly is a mix of the blue, white, and yellow clays to achieve this color

 

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Various objects created with the Martha Stewart crafter’s clay. Most are colors mixed together and some are colored with an alcohol based marker.

 

As you can see I made quite a few of these and there are others that are not shown in these photos.  I hope this inspires you to go through your stash of craft goods and stay inside on a rainy day and play!

“Stay Crafting!”

 

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Asterisk Rediscover Happy
30/06/2013 Karen Sydnor in Close to My heart / No comments

Disney World

 

Disney pic

Wow! What a week it has been. I am back from the Magic Kindgom in sunny Florida after spending a glorious week at Disney World laughing, learning, and listening to inspiring stories at Close to My Heart’s annual convention. Mickey, Minnie and all the pals were there as we learned some new techniques, were introduced to great new products lines, previewed the newest idea book and catalog and danced the night away on our final night of convention 80’s style.

CTMH Convention 80's

There is so much to share that I can’t possibly share it all now. However, I do encourage you to stay tuned in the months and weeks to come as I reveal all the new exciting things happening at Close to My Heart. Our new theme is “Rediscover Happy”. If you thought you knew Close to My Heart before, check us out now! For starters, check out this stylish necklace that I created during one of our creative sessions from our new base and bling line. Yes, we now have a customizable jewelry line. You can create one too. Just contact me, so I can show you how.

Base and bling necklace

In closing, rediscover what makes you happy, whether it be family, faith, or friends.  Do those things that bring you joy and live in the now! Everyday is another chance to live life to the fullest.  Live it, don’t just survive it!

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Asterisk Simple Monogram Card Tutorial
15/05/2013 Karen Sydnor in Craft / No comments

Today, I am featuring our first craft tutorial showing you how to do a simple monogram card using Close to My Heart exclusive Artiste cartridge, Chantilly paper pack, and monogram stamp.  Enjoy!

Happy Crafting!

 

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Asterisk May is National Scapbooking Month
01/05/2013 Karen Sydnor in Craft / No comments

Celebrate National Scrapbooking Month with this yummy Dream Pop paper packet that you get for only $10 when you spend $35! You can place an order at www.kayrochestamping.ctmh.com0513_CC_ImageGallery

Also, check out this CTMH stamp of the month (Pinwheel).  You can get it for only $5 when you place an order of $50.

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Pull out those crafting tools and pictures you have filed away and get your craft groove on! It’s National Scrapbooking Month!! Look for some great post this month as we celebrate!

And as always, “Happy Crafting!”

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Asterisk DIY photo canvas
15/04/2013 Karen Sydnor in Craft / No comments

DIY Photo Canvas 4

One of the hottest home decor items these days is photo canvas.  A photo canvas is where you turn your favorite photo into an instant work of art by having your photos mounted onto a piece of canvas.  Many photo centers like Walgreens and Walmart or online companies such as Snapfish offer this service.  The prices range from $25 and up depending on the size of your canvas.  However, did you know that you can do it yourself for a fraction of the cost?

Today, I want to show you an easy, simple way to make your very own photo canvas.  Using some very basic supplies listed below you can make one in an afternoon to give away as great gift.  All you need is:

– Close to My Heart 6″ x 6″ My Creations Canvas Display (Z1818)

– Mod Podge (Matte)

– white tissue paper

– a piece of basic card stock

– spray adhesive

6" x 6" blank canvas display
6″ x 6″ blank canvas display

1. You will start with a blank canvas

Set up your photo using editing software or Word
Set up your photo using editing software or Word

2. Set up your photo using a photo editing software of Word on your computer.  At this time you can add words onto the photo if you like.

Lightly spray blank cardstock with spray adhesive before applying tissue paper
Lightly spray blank card stock with spray adhesive before applying tissue paper

3. Lightly spray your card stock with a spray adhesive

4. Apply a piece of white tissue paper a little larger than your photo onto the card stock.

5. Print picture onto the tissue paper/card stock.

Using Mod Podge, apply it to canvas before applying photo printed on tissue paper
Using Mod Podge, apply it to canvas before applying photo printed on tissue paper

6. After photo dries for a few minutes, carefully peal away the tissue paper from the card stock.

7. Apply a coat or two of Mod Podge onto the blank canvas.

8. Carefully place the photo onto the canvas and starting in the middle of the photo, smooth out the wrinkles.

Embellished with flowers, completed DIY photo canvas
Embellished with flowers, completed DIY photo canvas

8. After it dries, apply whatever type of embellishment you desire and enjoy.

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It is so easy and fun that you will want to  make several.  You can purchase the Close to My Heart canvas (product # Z1818) directly from me at http://kayrochestamping.ctmh.com

And as always, “Happy Crafting!”

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Asterisk Curlbox
03/04/2013 Karen Sydnor in Natural Hair Care / No comments

Hey guys, taking a break from the craft world just for today to let you know about a great site I was recently introduced to  – http://curlbox.com/

I have been on a natural hair care journey for about 4 years now and I have so many people asking me what do you use on your hair.  Well, I use different products based on the look I am trying to achieve.  However, I love trying new things to keep my tresses happy, healthy, and feeling good.

So today, I am just sharing the knowledge about a site where you can learn about new products, get samples and great hair care products before you commit to buying them in the store.   I was supposed to post this video last month.  However, the month got away from me.  Check out the video to learn about it.


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