Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Online Card Classes Review

I have a confession to make.  I'm really lousy at making cards.  They all look the same, and not in a good way.  :)

I love what other people can create, and Cards magazine is like eye candy for me, so I decided to do something about my card-issues.

Several weeks back, I stumbled onto Online Card Classes.  It's been around for a while, but I was living under a rock or something and wasn't clued in to the awesomeness that awaited inside.

At the time, they were enrolling for Pattern Play, and I signed up.  I didn't really know much about the site, but it looked fun, and I decided to give it a try.  And yes, that's about the extent of my dangerous living.  ;)

I've taken online crafty courses before, but Pattern Play (and all the courses at OCC) are set up a little different from what I experienced before.  There is a main, home page, for each course.  From there, you can access the forums and gallery, as well as the daily lessons.  

The lessons are delivered in a blog format, and there's a separate post for each day.  Within each lesson, there are multiple card examples, with step-by-step videos for each.  And the videos are amazing; they share so many techniques and tips along with the beautiful cards.  Each lesson is begun by either Kristina Werner or Jennifer McGuire (the creative forces behind the site), but they also have several "guest artists" who share cards and videos as well.  Having all the guest artists has an added bonus - there is a variety of styles and creative approaches shared.

After each card/video, they list all the products that were used to make the card, with links to online stores.  At the end of each day's lesson, they share a full-color download summarizing the material that was covered.  At the end of the course, they compile all the daily pdf's into a downloadable "book.  They also allow you to download the videos, which I thought was a nice bonus.

I greatly appreciate that everything has lifetime access; once you've purchased a class, you can access the videos and pdf's and gallery forever.  The forums and gallery are closed for new entries about a week or so after the interactive courses end, but you can still go back and read through the forums or browse the gallery.

The interactive courses are very interactive - Jennifer and Kristina, as well as the guest artists, regularly post in the forums.  They also run giveaways during the interactive courses, and offer discounts to several online stores.

All past courses may still be purchases as independent classes.  I was so impressed with Pattern Play that I signed up for Kick Start as an independent course (and I have plans to take more!).

With the independent courses, you have access to all the lessons and forums and gallery, but you are not eligible for giveaways or the shopping discount.  It's still worth every penny. 

Kick Start motivated me to rethink my entire craft space, and I've just started His & Hers (they're still enrolling for the interactive course, if anyone wants to join me!). 

I truly feel like a novice when it comes to card-making, but I think theses classes would appeal to even experienced crafters.  I'm sure I sound like an infomercial, but I promise that Online Card Classes did not pay me to write this (they don't even know I'm writing a review!).  I'm just a very happy customer, and thought I'd share my experiences with the Nesters.

If anyone is interested, you can sign up for the Online Card Classes Newsletter here.

Has anyone else taken one of these card classes?  I'd love to hear your opinions.  If you know of another site that offers similar courses, I'd love to hear about that as well!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy Friday!

  I hope you're having a wonderful Friday and that you've had a great and creative week!

I wanted to share some new photographs of my grandson, Asher.  I took these last evening and put them on Instagram.  

When my husband fed our dog Sam, Asher sat down to watch him eat.

The next thing we knew, he had "inched" up closer to the bowl, to get a closer look.

How cute is this next picture?  He just decided to lay right down and watch Sam eat.  Kids and dogs ~ what a cute combination!!

Don't we all love taking photographs of our kids (and grandkids and other people's kids)?  After all, that's why most of us started this hobby we call scrapbooking.  My plan is to have these pictures scrapped by next week, but I couldn't wait to show them to you!

I found a new blog called "You Are My Wild" which was started by 14 photographers who are documenting how they see their children.  I found it very interesting and since I'm always looking for inspiration for my own photography, I thought you'd enjoy taking a look at it, too. 

Hope you've enjoyed my little "share" today.  Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you next week.

~ Cheryl ~

Thursday, April 25, 2013

fore!: a new video post

On Tuesday, I talked about a video post I was working on, and I'm happy to be able to share it with y'all today!

Please forgive my voice-over...it was a long day and that was take 5 or 6.  One day, I'll get my children to cooperate with my video-making (either that, or I'll start creating in the middle of the night!).  :)

I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Scrapbook Issues

Last week I talked about a scrapbook disaster!
This week I want to talk about scrapbook issues, but a good kind.

Paper Issues has their new issue challenge up and it really is a good one! The sponsor is Elle's Studio so they are looking for layouts to be linked up that use any of Elle's Studio product. But they also want projects using the following themes - Serendipity (which is the name of a new line), Chance, Fate, Luck, Destiny, Karma, and Coincidence.
Here is the layout I created...
I used papers and a tab from the You & Me and Day to Day lines. I started out by creating the background using a mask from Studio Calico and one of my favorite white ink pads by brillance.
I just used my ink dabber to fill in the holes. I chose ink because I knew I would have a little more control over it then mists.

Just stamped circles without the mess :)
If you have any layouts using Elle's Studio or the themes, you may want to link them up over there.
They are giving away five Serendipity packs for prizes this time! You can see the challenge *Here!*

And right now if you can receive 20% off your entire order in the Paper Issues Etsy Shop by using the code MaryJo.
If you do share a layout or create a new one for the challenge, make sure to come by and share it with us on the Craft Your Nest Facebook page as well. We would love to see it!

In addition to the 20% discount...
they are celebrating Cassie, the owner's, birthday this week with a ton of giveaways on the Facebook page found *Here*
So far the prizes have included a $20 gift card, Jillibean Soup collection kit, a scrapbook kit, and more. There will be more today and the rest of this week. So head on over and check it out!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Flower Freebies

Once again, our friends at My Memories have some freebies to share with us.  From now until May 5, you can download these printable flowers - perfect for spring!.

The first set is called Bumble Flowers:

Up next is the Candied Flowers design pack:

And finally, Prim Flowers:

I think these would be really cute as a little springtime banner.   Also, the download pack comes with digital patterned paper and extra elements...including a flower template that you can use on other digital papers!

I'm in the process of creating a video post, but it's not quite finished yet.  I'll be back later in the week to share that video and accompanying layout.  :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

More Cards

Hello and happy Friday!  I have my "Card Chick" hat on again this week.  

I thought I'd share two more of my latest cards with you.  This first card is made with one of my favorite color palettes, black and white.  

I used Echo Park patterned paper and embellishments and the very masculine image is from QKR Stampede.  I think this card would be perfect for any occasion ~ for a guy ~ even Father's Day.  I love making cards that can be used for more than one occasion.  Makes them much more versatile.

Here's a close-up photograph.

I really love how these embellishments look and for a little added "pop", I attached the word "moments" and the heart with pop dots.

Here's another close-up.

I just love this QKR Stampede image!

Since I'm on a "guy's theme", here's another card I made for a "little guy".

I had so much fun with this card!  First of all, the little guy image is from Eureka Stamps.  Since he has his little sand bucket and I wanted him to actually be playing in the sand ~ I made my own.  I tore strips of Kraft cardstock and layered them to look like sand.  I attached the little guy, on an angle, with pop dots.

I used some Nikki Sivils paper for my background and the kites were already on it.  The sun and the sentiment are both from The Cutting Cafe.

Here's a close-up of my little guy.

I couldn't resist taking a close-up of the cute sun.

I used pop dots under the sun and the sentiment.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing two of my latest creations and that I've inspired you a little.

Thanks for stopping by and if you aren't already a follower or a Facebook Group member, we'd love to have you join us!  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Scrapbook Disasters!

So on Sunday I was trying to multi task on a Scrapbook layout.
I wanted to use a sketch and scrapbook kit from The Paper Bakery
and combine it with the "Instalove" challenge over at Paper Issues.
That actually went pretty well!
Here is the layout I came up with...
which I was happy with :) And it is a great sketch that you may just want to try!
But to color the little wood veneer chevron pieces at the top, I pulled out a few ink pads. The blue ink is from Stampin' Up. And somehow I managed to pop the lid off while trying to close the stamp pad.
While trying to get it back on, I dropped the ink pad not once, but twice on some of my favorite Jillibean Soup alphabets
Sigh...ink all over the place.
Not to mention my hands and counter top.
After a bit, I realized I needed help. I just couldn't get it back on and I was making a mess!
So I turned to good old YouTube :)
And thanks to Stamping With Gail I now know how easy it really is to snap those lids back on. I was actually complicating the whole thing!

Have you had any scrapbook disasters recently?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Help, I'm Drowning in Paper!

I don't know if anyone else is like me, but I probably own enough supplies to get me through the next 10 years.  Lately, my new purchases - and some older products that I've pulled out but haven't used - have begun to pile up.  It got to the point that not only could I not use my desk, but my chair was covered too!

Recently, I took the online course Pattern Play through Online Card Classes (I need all the help I can get when it comes to cards!).  I was so impressed and inspired by that course that I immediately signed up for another - Kick Start.  One of the topics covered in Kick Start was getting organized.  Chaos is not good for creativity, and my craft room looked like a small hurricane blew through.  

So, I went through my room.  And I found, that for the most part, I liked how it was organized.  My biggest problem was that I like to have my new purchases in front of me.  However, when they are covering both my desk and my chair, they're not helping me create.  :) 

I own a ridiculous amount of My Mind's Eye products, but none of them were organized, so I started there.  I then moved on to my newer products, plus some oldies-but-goodies.  I made a short video to show the changes I made:

It seems small, but taking the time to walk around my room and really think through how I have things organized was helpful.  I was able to make sure that my storage system really is practical for me - plus, it allowed me to see some items I may have forgotten.  

Reorganizing the My Mind's Eye papers and embellishments took a couple hours, but I think the payoff is worth it.  And I love having my new purchases in sight - but off my desk.  I'm hoping to rotate the items in the Cropper Hopper as I slowly use some of my older products.

I just finished cleaning up my room today.  Simply clearing off my desk left me wanting to scrap a page...and there just happens to be one in progress on my desk.  :)

Has anyone else been spring cleaning recently?  Do you have any tips on what works for you?  I'd love to hear what sparks your creativity!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Happy Friday!

Can you believe it's Friday again?  Where does the week go?  

I've been hosting a weekly Word Prompt Challenge at another site, and my word prompt for last week was "Soar".

Here's the card that I used as my example for the word "Soar".  

This is a digital stamp from Eureka Stamps.  The sentiment is also from Eureka and everything else on the card is from Webster's Pages.

I want to share two more of my newest cards with you, too.

The teacup stamp is also from Eureka Stamps.  The teacup on the bottom is the actual stamp.  The teacup on the top is a "mirror image" because I wanted the handles on opposite sides.  The sweet little tags are from Webster's Pages, too.

Here's a close-up photograph of my card.

I colored in the flowers on the teacups very softly and added a little pink bow to the top of each tag.

Here's one more picture.

I fussy cut the teacups out ~ that was a lot of fussy cutting ~ especially on the inside of the handles.

Here's a birthday card I made for a little boy.

I just love this cute patterned paper.  I colored this adorable dinosaur (by Eureka Stamps) to match the paper.  The round sentiment is from The Cutting Cafe.

Here's a close-up photograph.

I inked the edges of the image and the round stamp to give just a little more definition.  The round stamp is attached with a pop dot.

Here's one more close-up.

I think this dinosaur is just adorable and any little boy would love him.

Thanks for letting me share some of my cards with you.  If you haven't already become a follower of the blog, we'd love to have you join us.  We have a lot of freebies and giveaways on the blog.  Also, if you haven't already joined our Facebook Group, we'd love to have you join us there, too.

~ Cheryl ~

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy April!

Is it just me, or is 2013 going way to fast?
March Madness is over here on the blog and now it is time to get back to sharing challenges, freebies, and scrapbook inspiration! :)

One particular site I have stumbled on lately is Paper Issues.

She has a blog and a shop on Etsy. And although we have no affiliation with them, I just wanted to share the fun challenges they do every few weeks. They call the challenges "Issues", and often have a giveaway related to the challenge as well.
The current challenge is Instalove, which you can find more about *Here!*
The giveaway is a set of Instagram prints from Origrami. And if you are into Instagrams prints like I am, then it may be the giveaway for you.
There is the option to link up layouts on their blog post, and I thought I would share a few of my favorite Instagram photo layouts with you here as well :)
my most recent Instagram photo layout using a sketch from the Imaginesce blog.
a layout I created about a Favorite Things trade I did with on-line scrapbook friends.
a treasured layout using a photo of my daughter and I reminding myself to stay in the moment as she approached starting Kindergarten.
of course I had to do a layout using the first Instagram photo taken with my phone camera :)

documenting the story of how Erin called dandelions "my wishes".
this is a layout I created when I was on the Scrapbooking From the Inside Out design team. I love this layout and really love to read!
another fun layout created for Scrapbooking From the Inside Out about a treasured memory!

So as you can see, I love Instagram.
And I love scrapping those photos.

Are you on Instagram?
And have you scrapped any of your photos yet?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Printable Pinwheels

Hello, Nesters!  I'm a bit late posting today, but I have a good excuse!  Today is my youngest son's birthday, so we've been celebrating with him (since we homeschool and my husband is off on Tuesdays, it's been an all-day family event!).

I have a quick post to share with y'all today.  The fine folks at My Memories have shared some cute spring pinwheel free printables with us.

There are three styles to choose from:

First up is Beach Bum:

Next is Seize the Daisy:

And finally there's One in a Melon:

These are totally free and you don't need special software to use them.  There is a catch, though - they're only available through this Friday, April 12!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Digi, Dolls and Monsters, Oh My

Hello and happy Monday!  It's finally April ~ hooray!  I'm always encouraged that spring really is coming when we get into April!  

I'm on vacation, so I just wanted to pop in and say "hi" and share a few of my new projects with you.  I love paper scrapbooking and making cards ~ but one of my new loves is digital scrapbooking.  I caught the digital "bug" a year or so ago and just started "dabbling" and buying the occasional digital kit but mainly, I started downloading any free digital supplies I could find!  Yes, I said free!  I must admit that I'm as compulsive about buying digital supplies as I am about buying paper supplies, but I'm still always on the lookout for free stuff.

One of my go-to sites for purchasing digital supplies is Jessica Sprague.   I like her site because she has just about anything I'm looking for and she sells all of the Echo Park digitals (which I love).   I'm a sucker for EP so I buy just about every kit as soon as it's available.

Here's a layout that I recently created using Echo Park "Splash" patterned papers and elements.

I also played around with the saturation on this photograph because I wanted it to blend better with the papers.  I think this picture has a kind of "retro look" to it now.  

Here's one of my newest cards, too.

This adorable image is from Eureka Stamps.   The patterned papers and embellishments are October Afternoon ~ another favorite.  Here's a close-up photograph of my card.

After I colored in the image, I "fussy cut" it out and attached it with pop dots.  The butterfly and sentiment are also attached with pop dots.

Here's one more card that I'd like to share with you.  I just love monsters and had so much fun making this one.

I used Nikki Sivils "My Lil' Monster" kit and did lots of fussy cutting and used lots of pop dots.  Don't you love Momma Monster's lips?  Here's a couple of close-ups of my monsters.

How cute are these guys?  

Thanks for stopping by today and letting me share some of my new work.  It's so good to see our site and Facebook Group growing!!  Come on over and join in on the conversation ~ there's always room at "The Nest".

~ Cheryl ~

Monday, April 1, 2013

We have a winner - or two!

Happy April, Nesters!  I'm here to announce the winners for my two giveaways from our Craft Madness month here at the blog!

First, for the Scarlet Lime + Unity prize:

There were 21 comments on that post.  And the winner is:

Congratulations Christi!

For the Celebrate giveaway there were 8 comments.

And the winner is:

Congratulations Debra!

Please email me at craftyournest@gmail.com and I'll get those packages to you!

I am so thankful for each of you that participated on the blog during our Craft Madness.  I hope you'll stick around as we return to our regularly scheduled blogging this month.  :)

Now if only my craft room would magically clean itself...
Images by Freepik