Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Show Quality Crafts

I've been spinning a few plates more than usual. Sometimes as a parent working from home it can be harder to remember to make time not dedicated to housework and catching up on all the tasks one could do during downtime at the office (if they had one to go to. Or time to waste there). To really focus on engaging my kids in an activity not pertaining to their food consumption or the rituals of bathing. To turn off my mental task checker and turn my attention on the loves of my life-and well, I can't help it that they choose papercrafts for fun can I?
Yesterday we followed directions housed within the Disney-riffic pages of one of the library's borrowed magazines. I guided both girls through the process but tried really hard not to tell them just where to apply adhesive, stickers or the bling that transformed their discarded cardboard forms into stunning treasure keepers!
I love that Rainier is building scenes with her embellishments now. She explained as she added crowns to each character that the lion is the king, the ladybug is the queen, and the snowflake is the judge...of the pageant! Hmm is it time for another of those productions already?
 Rainier's meticulous placement is so different from Sunday, who I believe delights in the textural pleasures that come from stacking stickers oh, 15-20 deep in about a one inch square area! Although, sometimes she decontructs a completed project and disperses the sticker stack amongst other creations... she may have seen a few of my finer repurposed constructions, hmm?
Whatever our day brings, being able to spend a few peaceful, MOSTLY non-squabbling moments together doing what we all love is bliss in itself; it is the art of living well that we are practicing. 
Since practice makes perfect, I've now got a lifetime of fallback excuses er,  reasons to put off all those other obligations!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sunny Sunday

Sunday was bright and sunny at our house this week, I had a lot of time to play with the kids, who have been obsessed with gelato of late. In the afternoon Ray took Rainier out to work with him and Sunday and spent a lovely couple of hours crafting on the floor- can you spy what we created together? Watch for some dang awesome developments in my rise towards CraftDiva SuperStardom....
But first, yesterday I posted this (slanted) pic of a beautiful monochromatic scrapbook page I made at the end of Sunday. Using some pieces from the S.E.I. Alpine collection, I also mixed in some Creative Memories paper- after 10+years these thin, double sided, 11.5x12" sheets are still hard for me to use because they are so pretty! But paired with the beauty captured in these photos... a winning combo, and the short side inspired the square of color inside that gold cardstock mat.
See how I layered embellishments to bring focus around the page in a visual triangle? And that I included journaling before I put the page away in my album?! Lately I've been working on my classes for the cruises I'm offering next year, and those embellishment cluster tricks I've learned over the years are being set to paper- literally! If you struggle with journaling, you're not alone; I've found that if I don't put my pen to print soon after the page is complete, the space I've allocated will likely remain blank. No Bueno!
If you missed the review videos created for this month, you can click here and the playlist should start up for you. Thanks for popping by!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It's April Card Share Time!

You can read all about and see all the details for the cards featured in the video link above in this post. I've been making away; aside from this collection and the bonus projects, I created about 20 more cards last week. Between store sales, custom orders, fundraising cards, preparing for the retreats I'm teaching at, and these videos, I barely had time to squeeze in this beautiful layout... but that's just the type of challenge I enjoy!

 Be sure to subscribe to my CraftWithAnna YouTube channel. You'll see all my videos show up on your watch list as they are published. Can I get a whoop whoop!

I'll post more pictures of this layout and some close ups of those gorgeous clusters tomorrow. Sign up to follow my blog and I will send you an email when I post. As always, I thank you for stopping by and watching!

P.S. Leave a comment below regarding your favorite card... there's no prize, I just love the feedback lol.

Friday, April 10, 2015

April Card Kit Completed and the Best Ever Bonus Projects!

Limitless Creative Optins enclosed
in the April 2015 card kit from

 Oh Boy, when I opened my package from Shelby at Embellish It! and saw the April Kit Club inside, my heart skipped a beat at the amount of Spring colored happiness contained within. As I showed in this month's Review, the Wild Berry Jubilee collection from My Mind's Eye features a mix of soft coral reds, bright fuchsia pink, juniper and lime greens against a startling black.
Bold tribal patterns and delicate florals offer a contrast that I found easy to mix and match, and it wasn't long before all eight cards in my April 2015 Card Kit were complete. The hardest part was not keeping them all as art! I could easily imagine a few of them in small black frames highlighting my entryway.
Today- Best Day Ever

Let's start with card number one, "Today- Best Day Ever." As you could see in the video, there were definitely some die cuts that would change the look and sentiment of this card with minimal effort. And, if you make a boo-boo when following directions, a little washi can go a long way!

Graffiti Floral
Thank You
Next up was a card that I took a few more liberties with. The graffiti paper used in the "Graffiti Floral" card was speaking to my scrapbooking side. So many of the sentiments echoed the memories I brought back from my recent trip to Tenamaxtlan, Mexico. If you've been following along on my blog, or care to go back and read my musings, you'll now that my father accompanied  me and showed me a lot of the surrounding area, including different plots of cattle grazing land he owns. As I searched through the die cut ephemera pack included with this kit for those large tropical flowers, I happened upon those photo frames. One is empty and the other shows a prairie- like scene that was perfect for this thank you card I ended up creating.  I have found that men do enjoy receiving cards, but you know how a stoic man reacts when a little emotion is thrown at them, so I chose the slightly distressed soft coral solid to contrast with the Bazzil black cardstock base and tribal border. Now that "sweet" little die cut sentiment just blends right in. Don't you love how the black shows through behind the flowers, too? I continued the contrasting theme inside as well by using my white gel pen to express my gratefulness at such an emotionally impacting trip south.
Card for a Friend
On a brighter note, I've begun sending my cards via text and facebook messenger images! Sometimes you just want to say "Hello," and this 6x6" turquoise blue Bazzil backed card is a super-sized way to do so.
Take a closer look at that strip of green and you'll realize it's a little translucent. That's because it's not made with the suggested strip of paper, it's the same washi tape I used in the review video! Click on the word "washi" in the search column to the right for more ways to use this cool tool.
Since I'd used that "beautiful" die cut on my TeneMeme card, I chose the tribal diamond strip instead. A little snip on one side makes this small piece appear to stretch across the entire card front now. I put some foam adhesive under the hello square for some extra pop against that busy background. But I didn't stop there... oh no, I brought the party to the inside too! A card this big can be a little intimidating to fill, and this side piece will nicely contain a moderate amount of wording and still cover the card space.
So Cute
You know, I used to write for an awesome magazine called DieCutCrazy, and working with all these die cuts, pulling them in and out of the package, and trying to keep all those tiny pieces together was making me feel a little reminiscent of those days, so I decided to go all out and create my own card front filling design based on the example photo for card number four, "So Cute."
It may be a little difficult for you to find my card at the bottom left here, just click on any of the images here on my blog and they will appear in a larger window. Go ahead, click and come back. Or, read, and then click, and then come back lol.
I used 15+ pieces! As if all that pattern wasn't busy enough, I added a sprinkle of green glitter ink splatters too. It was really liberating, playing with the shapes, and once I had my basic grid down, layering the hearts, circles, and that lovely flower on the top put me in such a festive mood that I decided this card could be for a birthday, or maybe for a gardener's baby!
Oh My
Thank You/Hello
I already shared a bit about my trip to Mexico, but maybe you didn't go and read that the reason for my trip was to visit my nearly 97 year old grandmother, Balvina. I have always wanted to see her again (last time was literally a life time ago- mine!) but it was mi Tia Natividad who sent me my grandmother's love in letter form so many times over the last couple of years. I know that she and her son read a lot of my postings here, but she needs a special thank you card. I grounded the typewriter on a piece of woodgrain washi tape, selected an Anna-appropriate sentiment and made it appear to be coming from the paper spool. My baker's twine travelled up to the top right and is also layered on a strip of leftover floral print. The addition of an airplane motif flair badge from Queen & Co. to card number 5, "Oh My!" makes this the perfect way to send a story of happiness and my thanks for her encouragement. The stickers, twine, and buttons you see embellishing these cards all came in this month's kit as well!
 Did you know that I have a second video cardmaking tutorial for this month's kit? Click on the Mr. and Mrs. card here and a new window will pop up for your viewing pleasure. On a side note/afterthought, this would be a great card for a Mr. & Mr. or Mrs. & Mrs. too :-) You know, I could have used that "Love" rub for the inside greeting on this card, but instead, it went on another project!
As I mentioned in the video, I try not to measure as much as possible when I'm in "the zone." I have to admit there are times when a ruler does come in handy, though, like when you are planning to use one piece of paper multiple ways. The first card and this card share that paint brush stroked background, and the instruction sheets included with each of embellish it's! kits contain all those hand cutting guides to let us know precisely where to cut. Score!

Card number seven, "You + Me," is so cute, the only change I made was to the orientation, from portrait to landscape. Well, I guess that wasn't the ONLY thing different, I also added those rub on heart shapes and an enamel dot to bring the focus to the sentiment. Here's a fun trick you can try; add some depth to your circular die cuts by punching the middle out and adding a pop dot to the back. POW! Now that's a blue ribbon embellishment!
By the time I got to the last card for this kit, I was feeling so much of that bright and cheery fun from all that color. This set of brightly colored greetings wouldn't be complete without a congratulatory "Awesome!" After all, what comes along before the traditional summer wedding season? Graduations!
These multi-colored shapes remind me of the Volcom logo, so I geared this card towards a skate boarding teen. If you're ever in a creative rut, try visualizing a stereotypical recipient or viewer, and then work on incorporating elements that that imaginary person would enjoy.
 Isn't this card rad, man? The rub on really does most of the work for me, it even included ink splatters, so my fingers stayed clean. Our full-color example shows the same button and black twine combo popping against all those angles in the background. I substituted an trimming of the turquoise blue Bazzill cardstock in place of the black triangles print, add some enamel dots in an assortment of the same colors shown in the background, and then dug into my alphabet stash for the canvas u, R, and the smooth white asterisk thicker. Then I messaged it over to a friend I made on my cruise last month, because, new friends are Awesome!
I'm going to make a judgment call here and say that this blog post didn't take long enough to load... in other words, here are some more pictures!

With just a few additional patterns pulled from my extensive paper stash, I used a lot of my left over kit pieces to capture the visual flavors of that family reunion I had just experienced. As mentioned above, the graffiti print paper held  many sentiments I could use, "on this day" for the morning my sister, grandmother, and I enjoyed prepping lunch together. It may have been a once in a life time opportunity (but I sure hope not)! "Having A Blast" for the afternoon my father and I watched a volcano erupt before our matching brown cattle-ropin' eyes. "Remember the Good Times" for another first- mi Tio Gonzalo y mi Tia Carmen embracing in la concina de mi abuela. And "You are the Best" for a gorgeous close up of my grandmother's ancient, wizened face.  She really was as sweet as could be!
Pocket pages can be a fun way to enclose a lot of pictures in just a pages. I have found that if I photo collage a few groupings, I can get an entire weeks worth of memories captured in just a few moments. But of course, coordinated papers and embellishments like the ones in this month's card kit from embellish it! make it all very easy as well.  Thanks for joining me for this month's card share post from the April 2015 card kit from
Watch the video version, and subscribe here on the blog if you're not doing so already...It's always a joy for me to have you stopping by to CraftWithAnna!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April Card Kit Coming to a Close

Hey friends, this is just a quick post of excitement over the fabulous cards made from this month's card kit available at I'll be selling a lot of my handmade greeting cards at tomorrow night's Relay for Life meeting in Gig Harbor, and these will be fun additions to add towards our fundraising potential.
I also submitted my final contact for cruising classes, so watch for an announcement about a post-Easter get away next year!
Now I'm off to assemble the last of my creations using the incredible left overs from my April 2015 card kit received a couple weeks ago. I've had so much fun with this collection from My Mind's Eye, and I'm looking forward to sharing it all with you on Friday!
Have a happy, crafty night!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

Monday, April 6, 2015

Pocket Page Practice

All those gorgeous Easter outfits sitting in your camera or on your phone today can help fill a few minutes of down time, just load them into your favorite photo grid app and you'll practically have your scrapbook pages complete!
I used the Android app PhotoGrid to create these ready to print 4x4 square photos. There is a really neat app out there called Snapbook that lets you download Project Life style cards in assorted designs. This app also has an editing program for fun borders, stickers, and more, but for this project I just saved a few patterns I thought looked Easter-y and then added them to my photo line-up in PhotoGrid.
I could have stopped right there, but you know, I have what I call a preservists mind set; if there's a story or sentiment leading the day, I want to include that along with the photos. Otherwise known as scrapper's dilemma, journaling is really what makes these more than just cute pics of the kids and family dressed in their best. Without the story, there isn't much for the observer to do other than flip the pages of cute after cute after cuteness.
For example, see those great selfies my mom took up there? I found myself throughout the day turning to point things out to her or just to smile or share a moment during the sermon. Since last week was her chemo day she wasn't really supposed to be exposed to the level of germies present at church yesterday, but thanks to technology, I still brought her to the pew! Adding those sentiments to that photo collage really enhances the images featured.

Now, there is always room for more embellishment, and I'm sure I'll be digging into my extensive Queen & Co. bling collection to complete these mini pages, but they will also make great snail mail gifts just the way they are. I'll be using yet another app to send these to either Costco or Walgreens (half off at photo coupon code is: FIFTYORDER) and then we'll see what their next step in scrap-evolution will be :-) I've got just a few scraps of the April 2015 EmbellishKits Jubilee Card Kit left, so you'll most likely see my layouts on that next card share. Click HERE for the last one.
 Wednesday night I'll be up at Michael's showing you all the tricks of using the Cricut Expression, a magical device that transforms your cut out wishes into tangible embellishments for your cards or scrapbook layouts. I've even used them for home décor pieces so really the options are economical and limitless- just the way they should be!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Best Spring Card Kit Video Review is Here!

Happy Easter Blessings to you and my hopes that with all those dressed-up family photos you've taken today, some creative applications will evolve. Searching for just the right colors to go with this season? How about Sherbert Pink, Soft Coral Red, and'll find all the vibrancy of Spring and Summer are contained in the sophisticated My Mind's Eye Jubilee collection assembled for the April 2015 card kit. Let me show you what's included, and then we can craft up a card together!
You can subscribe here on my site for an email version of my blog posts delivered as I send them. I've got a few more spring flings in the making; another card making tutorial for this kit, the card share of the 8 finished cards, and of course, you'll see what happens to all those leftovers!
Thanks for stopping by, now head over to and get some embellies to compliment todays wardrobe choices!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Video Post Today!

April Fool's!

Lol, I had to do something fun today for all my friends:-) Can you believe it? A week on board a beautiful ship with the sea before us and a crop room featuring a stunning window view? Through my daily newletters, you'll explore your unique scrap style, stretch your story with intriguing journaling and  photo prompts, and even learn some tips for organizing your stash once you get back home. And, can you say, Scrap Exchange?! Not to mention the indulgences offered by the cruise ship itself... all you can eat around the clock, beverage packages for every lifestyle, and entertainment galore. For more insight on exursion-ing around Cozumel, click on the travel tab above.

Growing up in my family, this a day we all looked forward to. Some of my favorite pranks were the annual "phone call from the east coast." This was an easy one, and involved calling my dad in from the back 'forty to answer a call from his parents... of course there was no one on the line when he got to it! haha. Another instance I still chuckle over was the sound he made at 5 o'clock in the morning as he took that first sip of coffee... flavored heavily with a big spoonful of sugar (except it was salt!)
The best part of April Fool's is the surprise element. On the radio this morning NPR reported that surprise is even one of the elements that increases our emotional memorization of the moment. Our brain tells us, here's something important to remember! I'm going to stretch here a bit, and go so far as to say that April first is a lesser known day that calls for scrapbooking. Or card making. Something creative having to do with celebrating anyway.

Later this week you will see what's inside that delightful April 2015 card making kit featuring My Mind's Eye's Jubilee collection of Wild Berry themed papers and embellishments. Click subscribe on any of my YouTube videos and you'll get my latest shows waiting for your viewing in your queue. I've already found a home for many of my left over scraps amongst the pictures from my recent family reunion trip to Tenamaxtlan, Mexico!

Now lets go get 'em, whoever they are... hey, we're building memories people!