About Tracy

Here are my most recent posts

Flower Power

After a quick visit to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, I’ve got a good size stash of Spring photos to scrapbook.  This incredible event features awesome floral displays including Disney character topiaries, floating gardens and a number of themed gardens.   These layouts are the perfect place for floral embellishments!  I’ve got my Art Philosophy cartridge and a selection of stamps packed for cropping this weekend.   Until then, check out this quick video on creating flowers with Cricut and My Acrylix stamps:

Cricut Cut Flowers and Tag

Check out this elegant tag created at a recent workshop focused on Cricut cut 3D flowers!

Elegant Cricut tag with 3D flowers

Elegant Cricut tag with 3D flowers

The flowers were created with the Close To My Heart Art Philosophy cartridge.  If you look closely you will see that there are two different flower types on the tag.  This cartridge includes six unique 3D flower designs!

Cutting your own flowers saves money and opens up a world of options.  You’ll find that you can create the perfect embellishment with just a small scrap of paper.  You can kick the design up a notch by bending petals, inking petal edges, applying glitter glue or even creating your own pattern with stamped images before the flower is formed.  Contact me today to schedule a workshop and learn to cut dimensional Cricut flowers!

Like Dads…Only Smarter!

My latest order has just arrived and I can hardly wait for crop night on Friday so I can start creating with my new goodies.  One of the stamp sets I could not resist was the new Mother’s Day (C1577).  I just love these old fashioned silhouettes and sassy sentiments!

Mother's Day stamp setCheck out this video from Close To My Heart for a little extra inspiration on creating a very special project with these stamps.

Come Out and Play!

Join me for an evening of creativity and crafting inspiration this Thursday, April 10th at 6pm.  I am offering a workshop featuring Spring themed cards and 3D Cricut cut flowers at Green Lotus Studios (located on Rosselle Street between King and Stockton, just one block from Bold City Brewery).  Experiment with clear acrylic stamps, gorgeous inks and unique die cut shapes.

Don’t forget this Saturday is the Welcome Spring Craft Fair.  I’ll be at 2762 Park Street with my good friend Courtney and our booth is overflowing with terrific products including Lotus Bud teas, healing balms and salves from Green Lotus Organics, handmade soaps and luxury bath products including some very special Easter goodies.  The Craft Fair runs from 9am until 4pm.  Hope to see you there!

 

Party Time!

If you’re like me, crop night is party time!  I’m attending a friend’s crop next Friday and I am really excited about working with some new papers and stamp sets.   My next order is scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday.  Perfect timing!

Circus themed stamp set

Everyone loves the circus!

One of the stamp sets I am sure to play with is Big Top.  I fell in love with this one when I saw the projects created with these adorable images in the newest Idea Book.  Take a peek at this fun video for instructions on how to make colorful party favors with Big Top and the Cricut Artiste collection!

Are You Crazy for Cricut?

Do you have a passion for creating with Cricut?  Have you been known to crop til you drop?  Do you love to send handmade cards to your loved ones?  Does your collection of inks and stamps put a smile on your face?  If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, I would be willing to bet we have a lot in common.  Ever since I was a small child, I’ve loved to play with stickers and markers.  Now that my paper crafting toys – I mean tools – have grown up, there is even more to love.  Even better, I get to use those tools, doing what I love, to create my income.

Have you ever thought about supplementing your income by building a home based business doing something you love?  I’ll be honest with you.  When I got divorced a few years ago, I had to cut my budget dramatically.  I wasn’t sure I would be able to afford to continue my scrapbooking hobby.  I have to admit that the idea of giving up scrapbooking made me pretty sad.  I decided to compromise by limiting my purchases to non-consumables in an effort to get more for my money.  I also decided to change my focus from scrapbooking to card making.  I began purchasing more stamps and sending cards to my godchildren on a regular basis.

In September of 2011, I attended a Creating Keepsakes Convention where I saw the first Close To My Heart Cricut Collection.  I knew the Art Philosophy cartridge would be perfect for my projects and would allow me to really stretch my budget.  I was already totally sold on using clear acrylic stamps and I was thrilled that the cartridge would provide me with die cuts that were a perfect fit for CTMH stamps.  The more I learned about Close To My Heart, the more I found to like.  I decided to take a look at the benefits of becoming a consultant and I hope you will too.

I knew I liked the product and that the company had a reputation for quality.  The start up kit was affordable and I was impressed with the compensation plan.   A big plus for me was the volume of material available to me online with numerous offerings for developing creative skills and  projects as well as programs for building my business and my income.   Over the past two years, I’ve been thrilled with the support I’ve received from consultant services.

April Offer includes free Cricut Cartridge

Learn more about the benefits available to consultants

Close To My Heart is offering an incredible bonus to new consultants who join our company in the month of April.  Our start up kit is available for just $99 and this month only, along with all of the items included in the kit, new consultants will receive their choice of Cricut cartridge absolutely free.  Select Art Philosophy, Artiste or Artbooking at no charge!

Join today and received this incredible kit!

Join today and received this incredible kit!

Join in April and you will get over $400 worth of product for $99.  Your kit comes packed with nearly triple the retail value in products and supplies to help you succeed. Plus, when you qualify for the Straight To The Top program, you will be refunded the price of your New Consultant Kit.

One of my favorite things about Close To My Heart is our motto, “Let me show you how!”  Contact me today to learn how I can help you build a business doing what you love.

Reminders

While Saturday’s Welcome Spring Craft Fair was a soggy wash out, Sunday’s Zumbathon benefit was just what I needed to pump up my energy.  Even better, the Welcome Spring Craft Fair rain date has been set for Saturday, April 12th so I’ll be heading back to Park Street with loads of goodies from soaps and solid shampoos to Idea Books.  I hope you’ll make plans to be there!

Speaking of solid shampoo, I will be back at Green Lotus Organics this Saturday at 3pm teaching the art of beer shampoo bars.  Join me and explore techniques for creating shine and volume in the hair without the use of animal proteins.  Please note that this is an advanced class.  Please contact me before registering if you have not completed the hot process soap making class.

As we say goodbye to March, I want to remind you that today is your last opportunity to take home the Happy Place stamp set as well as the end of our Studio J March savings promotion.

Images from the Happy Place Stamp of the Month set

Images from the Happy Place Stamp of the Month set

Banoffee Pie

Do you have a favorite dessert?  For years I would have said mine was bananas foster or creme brulee.  Last year I attended a dinner at the Publix Apron’s cooking school and found my most recent favorite, banoffee pie.    Rich and creamy, this delectable blend of bananas and caramel was introduced to me by Chef Judith Johnston McLouglin.  Chef Judith has a beautiful cookbook, The Shamrock and The Peach, with a variety of unique recipes that blend Irish and Southern flavors.

My neighborhood Publix store recently held another dinner featuring Judith’s recipes and I was inspired to create a soap version – calorie free!- of banoffee pie.  You can find Chef Judith’s recipe on her blog.  Like Chef Judith’s, my version includes a pecan ‘crust’ (just enough for gentle exfoliation) and I’ve also taken the liberty of adding a swirl of chocolate!  My soap will be available next Saturday at the Welcome Spring Craft Fair at Flaire Celebrations.  Visit my booth from 9am until 4pm at 2762 Park Street.

Banoffee pie soap bar

This layered soap features a pecan crust and a chocolate swirl with the rich scent of bananas and caramel.

Cricut Cut Flowers

Join me Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 6pm for an exciting new cards workshop featuring Cricut cut flowers!  I can’t wait to show you how easy it is to make your own dimensional rolled flowers which will match your projects effortlessly.  Our Art Philosophy Cricut Collection includes six different flower designs to enhance your cards, scrapbook layouts, gift wrapping and home decor projects.  Because you can use a small piece of your card stock or background and texture paper, your flowers will always be a perfect match.  Imagine the effects you’ll create when you stamp a pattern on your flowers or ink their edges with the coordinating ink for our exclusive inks collection!

Cricut cut flowers on gift boxes

Rolled dimensional flowers make these gift boxes extra special.

Email me tracy@bewitchedcrafts.com to reserve your space in class today!

Become a Digi Diva!

Save on Studio J in March

Save on Studio J in March!

Have you ever wanted to try digital scrapbooking?  Studio J is an easy to use, intuitive online program from Close To My Heart perfect for beginners and digi divas too!  During the month of March, order your Studio J™ layouts—including ones using our new Photo Express Collection—for only $5 each! Quickly create gorgeous, personalized studio layouts using our wide selection of papers, collections, patterns, and embellishments.

Don’t forget to check out the templates in our new Photo Express Collection, which allow you to design layouts entirely comprised of photos in minutes.  The photo size options are perfect for Picture My Life layouts too!

Studio J print outs are custom processed to the highest quality and made to last a lifetime.  Please view our Frequently Asked Questions page for detailed information on silver-halide processing, internet browser compatibility and more.

 

*Offer valid March 1–31, 2014. Studio J layouts ship in a protected box that can hold from 4 to 50 two-page layouts. Minimum order of 4 layouts. Free JPEG of every printed layout.

Find Your Happy Place

I am so excited to show you the March Stamp of the Month set, Happy Place.  I’ve got some great ideas for creating cards and layouts with these images.

Images from the Happy Place Stamp of the Month set

Images from the Happy Place Stamp of the Month set

I’m making a card with the sentiment “Like Mother, Like Daughter” and I’m thinking that would be the perfect title for a layout all about the things Mom and I have in common.   In fact, my mom and I are a lot alike.  I inherited my love of reading from her, we are both night owls and she taught me everything I know about gardening.  I can’t wait to get out my inks and get to it.  Check out these project ideas from Close To My Heart too.

Create with Happy Place

Create a variety of cards, layouts and projects with the Happy Place stamp set.

As always, the Stamp of the Month set is a great deal.  Add Happy Place to your qualifying order for just $5!

Slow Food

Come out for a good cause and enjoy local produce prepared by some of Jacksonville’s best restaurants!  The First Coast Slow Food Slow Down will be held May 2, 2014 at Intuition Ale Works.  Come out and taste dishes from Corner Taco, Hawkers Asian Street Fare, Black Sheep and many more.  Savor delicious treats and check out local vendors like Trad’s Garden Center and Meteor Street Produce.  I’ll be there with Donna from Green Lotus Organics.  Be sure to stop by our booth to check out our beer soaps and solid shampoo!  Get your tickets now; this event sells out quickly.

Punch it up!

Are you ready to take your cards and layouts to the next level?  Here are my top ten tricks for adding an impressive pop of dimension to your projects.

10. Add layered die cut images by cutting your Cricut shapes in either multiple sizes or colors.
9. Use foam tape or pop dots to lift an embellishment with ease.
8. Sew on your layout.  This is super easy with our Stitch Guide and Foam Mat.
7. Use shimmer trim (now available in silver, black, bronze, red, teal and purple) or washi tape.
6. Ink the edges of your papers and embellishments.
5. Add 3D flowers to your layout with your Cricut.
4. Add layered stamped images.
3. Add yo yos (also known as medallions or rosettes)

accordion folded circle embellishment

Accordion folded circles are often called yo-yos, medallions or rosettes

2. Add ribbons, bows or baker’s twine.  Check out the beautiful bows in the Ariana collection!
1. Add overlays with your Cricut Artbooking cartridge.

What are your favorite tips for adding dimension to your cards and layouts?  Please post them in the comments!

Artbooking Overlays

This scrapbook page gets a pop of color from an Artbooking overlay

This scrapbook page gets a pop of color from an Artbooking overlay

It’s no secret that I am obsessed with the overlays on the Cricut Artbooking cartridge.  I love using them on both my cards and layouts so I was especially excited to see the latest episode of Artbooking Made Easy includes tips for working with these elements.  Give your cards and scrapbook pages color, pattern and dimension with a quick cut from your Cricut!

 

Dimension Does It!

Have you ever made a card or scrapbook page and felt that it was missing something?  Maybe your layout was a little flat? One of my favorite techniques for taking a project to the next level is adding dimension.  Is there an element on your card or layout that you want to pop?

Here is one of my favorite techniques for creating that WOW factor pop. Some stamped images lend themselves to being cut into multiple layers.  Try putting adhesive foam tape between the layers and put that image in the spotlight!  The Classy Doily Stamp makes a beautiful background for cards and embellishments, but it really shines with this technique.

Classy Doily Stamp

Classy Doily Stamp

Classy Doily in 3 layers

Classy Doily in 3 layers

To create this embellishment, cut one matching shape from the Cricut Artiste cartridge for the bottom layer.  Stamp the image on this layer to form the base.  Stamp the image a second time and cut the image along the pointed star shaped outline.  Adhere this layer to the base with 3D Foam Tape.  Stamp the image a third and final time and cut out the top.  Adhere this layer with foam tape.

Give this technique a try and let me know which stamp set you used to create your layered piece by posting in the comments.  Add dimension to your projects with layered stamped images and enjoy the WOW factor!

Working with Scraps

Today’s quick tip is all about making the most of your scrap paper.  When I am working with a paper pack, I tend to keep all of my papers together until my project is finished and the paper is pretty much exhausted.  At that point, I’m left with scraps.  Here are some tips for working with bits of paper.

1. Store your scraps in a bowl on your workspace.  Very often we have a tendency to work with what is at hand.

2. Trim odd shapes into squares or rectangles and store them in clear envelopes grouped by color.  You might also decide to use punches to create shapes from your scraps before storing them.  The next time you need a specific color of paper to mat a photo or create an embellishment, try the scrap packet before cutting a full sheet of cardstock.

3. Use your scraps to make a card or embellishment right away.  Today’s project is the perfect example.  I had a few bits of the Ariana papers left over from other projects and I cut them into squares to create this colorful card.

Card made with Ariana papers

Card made with Ariana papers

Please add a comment and share your tips for getting the most out of your paper scraps.

Getting Started with Embossing Folders

Are you ready to kick your cards and scrapbook layouts up a notch? Texture is a great way to add that extra WOW factor to your projects. You’ll love the dimensional effects you can achieve with embossing. If you are new to working with embossing folders, Close To My Heart has put together a quick video with all the information you need to get started.

This is the perfect time to try our new embossing folders.  Our February promotion, Embossing is Boss, makes this technique easier to try than ever.  Simply purchase any combination of two color cardstock packs, including single color or combo packs, and you can choose one folder FREE!  (Kraft, White Daisy, Colonial White, and Paper Fundamentals cardstocks are excluded from this offer, but all other single color and combo packs are eligible.) Read more about it here.

Great Backyard Bird Count

Are you participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend?  This terrific annual event encourages novice bird watchers like me to get out and enjoy the birds all around us.  Check out their web site for complete details on how to get involved plus helpful resources for identifying birds.  My local Wildbirds Unlimited shop is promoting the event and I am seriously thinking about getting a new feeder or two and a box to encourage blue birds to nest in my yard.

Fabulous You stamp set

Fabulous You stamp set

Speaking of birds, I was creating bird tags over the weekend with one of my favorite stamp sets, Fabulous You.  I’ve seen some beautiful cards with this set and couldn’t wait to play with the combination of this set and colored pencils.

Tags made with Fabulous You stamp set

Tags made with Fabulous You stamp set

Purchase your Fabulous You stamp set today!

Artbooking Mini Baby Album

In this week’s episode of Artbooking Made Easy, Monica shares an adorable 8 inch mini baby album made with the Cricut Artbooking cartridge.  She’s got some great tips for layering shapes as well as adding unique envelopes to your albums are included in this quick video.

I decided to give it a try with brighter colors.  I couldn’t wait to play with the overlays and cut the lion in  multiple colors to create dimension following the tips in the video.

Baby mini book page made with Artbooking

Baby mini book page made with Artbooking

Click here to purchase your  Artbooking Cricut collection today!

Quick Tips for Clear Stamped Images

One of the concerns I hear most often when I introduce paper crafters to stamping is about getting a great stamped impression.  Today I’ve got a few simple steps to help you get a perfect image each time you stamp!

  1. Before using your new My Acrylix stamps on a project, you will need to season the stamp.  This process will help ink stick to the stamp and reduce the possibility of staining.  Ink your new stamp with a light color and stamp the image several times.  If ink beads on the stamp or fails to give the desired coverage, repeat the process.  You may also want to rub any remaining ink into the stamp with your finger.
  2. Select a block size that is not much larger that your stamp.  Do not rock the stamp on your ink pad or your paper.
  3. Remember a light but firm application is all you need with My Acrylix stamps; pressing too hard can cause smudging.
  4. For crisp images, cushion your paper with the foam insert provided.
  5. Don’t forget to clean your stamps with each use!  I clean my stamps with My Acrylix™ Spritz Cleaner and our My Acrylix™ Stamp Scrubber.
My Acrylix stamp and blocks

My Acrylix stamp and blocks