handmade by me

Christmas Cards December 31, 2012

Season’s Greetings!

I hope you all enjoyed the warm winter season with friends, family and, of course, crafting! I know I enjoyed my many days of crafting, here is a few things I made for the holiday season..

A few of my card ideas from last year that were popular and brought back:



Some of my new editions:

And the hit for this year, as shown previously..


Take care and all the best to you and your family in the new year!



Have a merry truckin’ Christmas! December 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftsbykristine @ 12:17 am
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A look at one of my many Christmas cards made this year! This one is a custom card I made with a custom stamp made at Staples. Lots of fun to make and the customer loved it! I will post the rest of my Christmas cards soon! Seasons greetings! Kristine


Review of CTMH Workshops on the Go® Kits October 11, 2012


Today I wanted to give a brief review of Close to my Heart’s (CTMH) Workshops on the Go® KitsThe Kit I have most recently used is the Pear & Partridge Cardmaking Kit. It came in a nice bag with all of the paper, pre-cut cards and envelopes, embellishments and instructions I needed to make the pictured cards. There was a full stamp set included in the bag as well (BONUS!). Here is a picture of the contents of the bag (as seen on the CTMH website).

My only mildly negative comments about this kit are:

a) Minimal creativity – This is a positive and negative really because I felt I didn’t get to use my creativity as normal – HOWEVER; this could be beneficial to someone who needs guidance or doesn’t have time to create unique cards.

b) Minimal extra paper – I got distracted… and I miss – cut a piece of paper. Easily fixed, but it could have been worse because of the minimal paper waste/maximized paper usage (there wasn’t much paper left over). Good in a way though, because this way you don’t waste much at all!

To elaborate…

I decided to try the kit as is, I didn’t want to make any changes to the design of the cards. This in itself was a huge change for me (not using my own creativity to make cards). If I imagine myself just beginning to make cards, this would have been perfect for me! All of the dimensions are written in the instructional booklet; it is detailed but not overwhelming. The instructions have you cut the paper and make piles for the 3 different cards, maximizing the amount of paper given. I found that cutting actually took a bit of concentration because I was forced to focus on someone else’s idea of how to ct the paper. The negative part of this is that yes, I do occasionally make mistakes. And yes, I did cut the wrong size for one of my pieces of paper, and since the card making kit comes with minimal extra paper (because it tries to maximize the use of what paper you have) I had to be creative with my now ‘short’ piece of paper. If you glance at the above photo of the kit you will notice the first card, furthest to the left, with the brown background… the long piece of red paper is the one I cut too short. Easily fixed though, I  just cut it in half and glued each ‘half’ – one to the top of the card;one to the bottom- and voila! With the stamped piece covering the middle, no one would never know the difference. I guess I did get to use a bit of creativity after all.

The positive comments I have about this kit are:

a) GREAT for beginners – Instructions are easy to follow and every thing is right there! If you don’t have many stamps or are looking for a new one to add to the collection this is great because it comes with a full stamp set.

b) The envelopes and pre-cut cards – Everything fits perfectly and having the envelopes and card bases done is quite a time saver. Short on time? I highly recommend buying pre-cut card bases and envelopes that are all ready to go! Don’t need a workshop kit? Find the die cut cards and envelope packs on Close to my Heart’s online shopping page.

c) The kit is a terrific value – You really get to save money and time with the kits. As I mentioned above, the kit comes with a variety of supplies, all you really need from home is your blocks and the color of ink needed to stamp the cards. Included in the kit:
1 – My Acrylix® Pear & Partridge Cardmaking Workshop Stamp Set (C-size)
2 – Pear & Partridge B&T Duos® Papers
4 – Cardstock Sheets (Cranberry, Colonial White, 2 Cocoa)
15 – Colonial White Cards & Envelopes
1 – Red Glitter Gems (108 pieces)
1 – Tan Twill Ribbon (5 yards)
1 – Instructional Brochure

Ready, set, GO! Now you can make your own cards with the help of awesome instructions! Get your kits today.

Thanks for reading,



Close to my Heart has arrived! October 5, 2012

Filed under: Cards,Fall,Tips for Crafting,Winter — craftsbykristine @ 4:37 am

The last order I entered to Close to my Heart has arrived!! Now I will be ready for the upcoming craft fair and for the Christmas season. That means more blog posts with cards and crafts! Keep posted for more, until then here is a peek at the product I received.

I bought a couple workshops from Close to my Heart with step by step instructions to make cards and other crafts. These  workshops are great for anyone from beginners to advanced crafters. Check out the Close to my Heart site for the variety of workshops on the go to choose from.

Below is a few pictures from Close to my Heart’s website of a few of my favorite workshops in the current catalog:

If you look at the descriptions in my Close to my Heart shop, you will notice that most of the workshops come with a stamp, making the workshops an even better deal.

Thanks for reading, Keep checking back!



Adorable Reindeer & Sleigh October 3, 2012

Filed under: Winter — craftsbykristine @ 3:35 pm
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Last year I made some Reindeer and Sleigh decorations to sell and to give as gifts for family and friends. After digging through some of my pictures from last Christmas I found my pictures of them. Tell me what you think!

Sanding is one of the most important steps in making any wood product. If the wood isn’t smooth it doesn’t look finished and painting will not likely cover as well.

These couple of deer were cut from pieces of wood that were already primed with white paint, so I was lucky enough to not have to re-prime in this case. After the piece is primed, paint 2 – 3 coats of the different colors depending how well each of them cover. Make sure the paint is dried well before applying the next coat of paint.

I pieced together the sleighs after staining them with a light stain and added a stand for the reindeer. After that was done, I loaded the sleighs with treats, small decorations, a card and some tags! Turned out pretty cute if you ask me.

Thanks for reading, happy crafting to you!



Christmas is coming … and so are more cards! September 29, 2012


I can’t believe it is the end of September already! For myself this means fast forward to get ready for Christmas! I just put in my close to my heart order for my paper crafts and I am so excited for it to arrive! I will definitely take a picture of the goodies and share it with you.

This card was awesome to make and I think it turned out wonderful. A few techniques I used are:

1) Textured white paper and my cricut machine to make the snowflake. I added a bit of sponged outdoor denim ink to the snowflake to match the cardstock and add a bit of color to the snowflake.

2)For the silver smaller snowflakes I embossed the stamped image. Embossing is a neat technique that requires a sticky, glue-like ink pad (Versamark Ink Pad is the one I use and it is available through close to my heart’s online store) and Silver Embossing powder (also available from close to my heart, in many different colors). It is an easy technique, simply stamp a stamp of your choice in the Versamark Ink Pad and onto the paper of your choice (I used a piece of cardstock for this image above). Next sprinkle the embossing powder onto the sticky stamp image and add heat. The easiest way to add heat to the image is to hold a craft heater (it is like a hair dryer but hotter) a few inches under the stamped image.  Warning – the craft heater can get very hot, so do not hold it too close to your paper – trust me, it will leave a brown burn mark.

3) I stamped the white card background to add a little decoration to it. You don’t always have to buy printed paper, you can easily make your own tasteful printed paper by choosing a stamp and making a background out of it.

4) White pigment ink on dark paper. The colored inks I usually use are Water – based Dye Inks, but for this technique the rich white pigment ink looks much better on the dark blue color. Essentially the main difference you notice between the two inks when you use them in your crafts is that the pigment based ink is thicker and can take longer to dry than the water-based ink. Both inks produce a great colored image that is crisp and clear.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the tips and that you will get to use them on your crafts soon!



Close to my Heart – Crafting Supplies September 28, 2012

Filed under: Tips for Crafting — craftsbykristine @ 7:02 pm
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When creating cards and crafts I find myself using a few supplies repeatedly and often so I thought I would share them in this post and tell you a little bit about my opinion of each of the supplies. I commonly use Close to my Heart product for many reasons. A few reasons being :

1) Close to my Heart (CTMH) is a well known and reliable company who care about their customers

2) CTMH product is durable, works well and is easy to work with. CTMH even has videos posted by consultants to give you tips and show you creative ways to use their products.

3) It is easy to buy, just shop online!

Inks: Close to my Heart exclusive inks stamp pads are unique and have some great features that benefit anyone making crafts. First, they all stack nicely to keep things neat. The lid is made to swivel instead of completely come off the base which makes it easy to keep track of. As a card maker I really enjoy these inks because of their ease of use and the comfort in knowing that the ink is pigment and safe to use because it is pH neutral (it won’t wreck your paper over time!).

Embellishments and adhesives: Embellishments such as rhinestones, gems, studs, brads, flowers, ribbon and I thought I should throw in adhesives in this category as well. Personally, if I could only choose only one embellishment it would be gems! The important note about these are that they are going to be safe to use on your paper. You can buy embellishments anywhere, but from my own experience I enjoy Close to my Heart’s gems and studs because I know the adhesive on the stickers will last and their gluing products are photo/paper safe and will not stain or ruin your paper.

Scissors: I never really believed that using micro tip scissors would make a big difference in the quality of cutting and the amount of time I spend cutting. However, when I tried my CTMH scissors out on cutting an intricate stamped paper, I was very impressed! I will never go back to my old scissors again!

Distressing Products: The term distressing refers to aging your project using different techniques. There are tools such as sandpaper, edge distresser,  and sponges. They all have unique ways of adding that finishing touch to your project. I use all three of these distressing products for different techniques, so you will see how to use them throughout my blog.

Blocks and Stamps: I choose Close to my Heart Acrylic stamps and blocks because they are beautiful as well as easy to use and clean. The blocks are clear and they have a thin straight line at the top so that it is simple to line up the stamp on the block and see what you are doing. The acrylic stamps stick to the blocks well and the stamps themselves last when taken care of.

– Cleaning of blocks and stamps: Simply wash the stamps in water and use the spritz spray every once in awhile to condition the stamps, to keep them fresh and lasting longer. When having a gathering, or making multiple cards I would recommend having a ‘double scrubber‘. This allows for easy and convenient washing and drying of the stamps in one place.

Thanks for reading! Keep checking back for craft ideas,