Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Coal Mining" - Interactive Scrapbook layout

I wanted to scrapbook Daniel's year at the coal mine but I didn't know which pictures were most important to Daniel. So, I asked him to go through them and take out the unimportant ones. Well, after he removed two pictures there were still 14 left! I didn't want to scrapbook four pages but each picture reminded Daniel about different aspects of the job! So I pulled out my brand new Magic book, compiled three different interactive elements into one layout and had a great time learning new techniques! So how did I get 14 (basically) 4x6 pictures into one layout?

 First, by following the instructions in Magic I added a sliding picture element to turn a space for two 4x6 pictures into holding three 4 x 6 pictures! (See the picture above and below to see that as the button slides up and down a picture is alternately hidden and revealed).

 Second, with another technique in Magic I created a nine picture mini-album. It was actually quite easy to make and with no special supplies other than cardstock and adhesive!

 Thirdly, I added hidden journaling so that layout would have more white space on the page and have a cleaner feel. By using three hinges I was able to have a flip down title. I also tucked a coal mine brochure into a top pocket so we can pull it out and read it whenever we want.
The last part of the project was putting it in my page protectors! By using the tips in Magic I punched little holes on the ends of the slits I wanted to cut and cut slits with a craft knife. With the nine picture mini-book I actually cut an entire rectangle out of the page protector. Then when I slid my page in, I could pull the interactive elements through to the outside of the page.

I had fun planning and putting this page together. I'm looking forward to playing with more of the interactive ideas that are in Magic on future layouts!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The secrets to yummy homemade fries!

I have tried making homemade fries many times! My family loves fries but I don't often buy the frozen ones. I found a recipe and tips in a ParentsCanada magazine though that actually work! It is the tips that make the difference.
Tips: 1) use a dark baking sheet (it will conduct heat more evenly)
2) spread about 1 T of oil onto the baking sheet and put it into the ove. Then preheat the oven to 450 F (oiling and preheating will keep your fries from sticking)
3. Spread the fries on the hot pan in a single layer and make sure the pan isn't too crowded, or the fries will steam instead of brown.

Recipes vary for fries - basically I use either potato or sweet potato, cut in wedges, toss with a couple tablespoons of oil, sprinkle salt on to taste. Sometimes I use seasoning salt or other spice. I have also used egg whites instead of oil. The key I think though to make crispy fries is not to cook too many at a time. If you have a convection oven, I would put at least two pans in. With my oven, I bake my fries in 4 batches which is time consuming but worth the effort!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

CTMH in Toronto!

I can't believe I haven't posted anything since February 2! I don't know where the last two weeks have gone.

I'm so excited that CTMH is coming to Toronto! As part of Close To My Heart's training for consultants, they offer Regional Celebrations across North America a few times a year and this April they are offering a 2 day Regional event in Toronto! It will be held at a hotel near the airport (which if you know is only about 20 minutes from our house!) I am so excited because I will likely never be as close to a Regional celebration as this time, I think it will work for me to go, and I don't have to pay hotel or travelling costs! I went to the Regional Celebration two years ago in Calgary and had a great two days.

The one thing missing this time will be attending with some of my team members. There were four of us that travelled down from Edson together. There will be a celebration on the West Coast in September though if any of my team from Alberta want to go. Any takers?!

A new thing about this celebration though is that the traditional Friday evening crop is expanded so that consultants can invite a friend to come with them. The crop involves a project and your own crop time. Any one from Toronto interested in coming with me? :)

I'll make sure to post pictures after the celebration and share what I created  - attendants always get free product and lots of goodies!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New CTMH Spring/Summer Idea Book is here!

I'm always excited when a new Idea Book starts - I love seeing the new papers and imaging what I can create with the new products - and the new Close To My Heart Spring/Summer Idea Books goes live today! You can check out the great new paper packs (8 of them!), plus amazing new stamp sets and embellishments here. If you want an Idea Book, let me know and I will make sure you get one!

There are two specials on for February - one, if you join CTMH's team this month you have a chance to earn your kit for free and two, if you are a Studio J member and buy 9 layouts you get the 10th one free! Let me know if you want more information on these or would like to receive my newsletter explaining these in more detail.

Hope you're having a great day!