Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mass production

Last night was a mass production night. I needed a lot of cards. While I love a complex, beautiful card, if I'm mass producing, the simpler, the better.

My first step is to design my card, making sure I keep in mind how much paper I have to make sure I have enough to make all the cards I need (such a bummer to run out of paper and not have something suitable to substitute). I never thought that math would matter to paper crafting but it does.

Now, I put on a movie or catch up on my recorded TV shows on my DVR and start the mass production process. I cut all my paper, stamp all of my images and then start putting it all together. I can really get into a groove at this point.

A little later (2 one hour TV episodes in this case), I have 42 of this card ready to go. I like mass production nights. I feel so productive while watching TV at the same time!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Operation Smile

A photo posted by Blythe Shupe (@blytheshupe) on

Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram may have seen this photo posted. I had the privilege of taking part in a 5K at Disneyland to benefit Operation Smile. Yes, we got to see Disneyland early in the morning while the park was empty and we got some fantastic photos (we ran through both California Adventure and Disneyland). But more importantly, at convention, with funds from the race and other activities, Close to My Heart raised $40,000 for Operation smile! Since a smile costs as little as $240, that was 166+ smiles!

Close to My Heart has been a long time partner with Operation Smile to help raise funds for children with cleft lip and cleft palate who may not have access to that surgery otherwise. It's a worthy cause and one that I think is of so much worth. A smile is the easiest thing to give away and can make all the difference in someone's day as well as the way you feel. To be self-conscious of your smile... that is heartbreaking to me. You can learn more about the organization here:

In May of this year, Close to My Heart's Chief Communication Officer, Monica Wihongi, was part of an Operation Smile surgical trip to Mexico. Monica is fluent in Spanish so it was especially heartwarming for her to help interpret for many of the families of the children. She was joined on the trip by Kate Walsh, an official spokesperson for Operation Smile, who posted this moving video of the trip.

So why am I bringing this up on a crafting blog? Because it is so easy for you to donate to this worthy cause just by doing what you love. And a life changing surgery for a child costs as little as $240! Here's a few ways you can help:

1.  Buy the Operation Smile Stamp Set. A portion of every Happy Everything stamp set you buy goes to benefit Operation Smile. And with the new catalog in September, there will be a new set so get one now and get one then!

2.  Round up your order with Close to My Heart. Let's say your order total is $24.55. You can choose to round up your order to $25.00 and the difference is donated to Operation Smile. It may seem like pennies but those pennies add up!

3.  Buy an Operation Smile t-shirt! These shirts are available in men or women sizes and $10 of every shirt purchased goes to Operation Smile!

Join me in making a difference in the life of a child. As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I'm back!

Have you missed me? The last several months have been a challenge for me and my creative side went into hibernation. Let me clarify that all the critical things, home, family, friends and faith, are all good. But I'm making some changes, rebalancing my life, and as a result, bringing my creative side back out to play. It feels good. 

So with that explanation out of the way, it's time to fire back up the blog. And I have lots of catch up to do. In the midst of a crazy 7 months, I have an Artistic U to catch you up on, a Close to My Heart Convention to share highlights from, and a new catalog coming out.

So let's start with first things first. The new CTMH catalog will be live on September 1st. And there is some fabulous stuff to come. But to make room for the new stuff, as always, there are some things we love that must retire. So if you want to make sure you don't miss out on any of your favorites from the current catalog, check out what is retiring here.

Amongst the retiring items will be the Wanderful paper packet. And that is one of two packets that we'll be scrapbooking with at my Cherish Your Memories nights in August (contact me if you're interested in attending one near you or just getting a kit).

I love to travel and my job requires a lot of it so I am always in need of travel pages. This paper and the complementing stickers are perfect for anyone with the travel bug and lots of travel pictures to go with it. Don't travel? Do you have a bucket list of spots you'd like to visit? These could be the perfect pages for that as well.

If you wanted to add more pictures to this one, or even the next, some 4x6 flip flaps would be a great addition to get as many pictures as possible on these pages from your trip.

I mixed stamping and complements for these pages. And some black arrow washi (which is retiring).

I love that station wagon. I drove one all through high school. While I did not love the Wonder Wagon then, I do love the memories that came with that station wagon. I might need a second set of these stickers to make a page about that crazy car.

I'm so glad to be back from my extended vacation from crafting (not a vacation I would recommend) and looking forward to sharing more creative fun with all of you. The truth is, when I'm not creating, it's hard to get back to it so I can't wait to get my creative mojo back.

Happy Crafting!