erin condren lifeplanner love

Kitty's ECLP coverYes, it’s true, I have joined the Erin Condren LifePlanner bandwagon.  I know, I know… how many planners does one person really need?  What can I say?  These are just the most fun, colorful, upbeat, happy planners out there!  And I had a gift certificate to cover the cost… well, most of the cost… okay, okay, it covered part of the cost.  What was I supposed to do?  I couldn’t very well ignore the gift certificate, LOL.

So, no card to share today, but I know I’m not the only crafty person who likes planners.  And this planner is going to help me get organized so I can make more cards and blog posts and videos.  (Yes, the last three planners were supposed to do the same thing, but this one’s different.  Really!)  😉

Of course, like all good crafters, I had to embellish this a bit.  I’m afraid I don’t have a ton of fancy washi-taped and stickered pages to show you (yet… let me know if you’d like to see those in the future), but I do have my own take on a to-do list for the Erin Condren LifePlanner.

So, I also have the new, totally awesome Erin Condren Coloring Book & Sketch Pad.  I just love these playful designs!  The book has a bunch of coloring pages, and then these cool, graph paper sheets with smaller versions of the designs on them.  And you get two of each design and sketch paper.

Kitty's ECLP 1I got this idea to use some of these pages inside my new LifePlanner.  One of the things I had done with my Filofax, which worked pretty well, is to create a To-Do List that has all the things I do (or try to do) every single day.  I laminated it, so I could use it over and over.  I decided to take a couple of matching sheets from the coloring book, and do the same thing for my planner.

I took my new favorite pens, wrote out my list with little check-off boxes, and colored the designs on the side.

Kitty's ECLP 2(Sorry for the post-it notes, but I don’t think y’all need to see everything I do every day, LOL.) I did have to trim the page a little bit to make it fit the planner, but I was able to save most of the design on the one side, at least.  I made two identical lists because I wanted to be able to use it from either side.  You’ll see what I mean in a moment here.

So, I glued these two sheets back-to-back, and ran them through my laminator.  (I waited a LONG time to buy that baby, thinking it a was too much of an extravagance for something I’d hardly use.  I was so wrong – I’ve found tons of uses for it!  And I got it on sale.)

Kitty's ECLP 3Now, I wanted to actually be able to attach this into my LifePlanner, so I used a page I didn’t need from the planner as a template (you could use the removable cover) and took a dry-erase marker to mark where I needed the holes to go.

Kitty's ECLP 4I trimmed off the excess lamination and punched out all the holes with a 1/8″ hole punch.  Then I used scissors to cut a notch in each one of the holes.

Kitty's ECLP 5Kitty's ECLP 6Just line up the holes and push it onto the coils, and voila – a reusable To-Do List!  (By the way, the dry-erase markers seem to rub right off with a paper towel or rag.  Some people use slightly more permanent markers and wipe them off with alcohol swabs.  I may switch to that if I find the ink transferring to other pages.)  I wanted this list to sit out on my desk where I couldn’t miss it.  I use a dry-erase pen to check off the items as I complete them, and then just wipe it off each night to start fresh the next morning.  With this set-up, I can have the daily list right beside my weekly layout.

And remember how I made this two-sided?  All I have to do between Wednesday and Thursday is flip the page, and I’m ready to go for the remainder of the week!

Kitty's ECLP 7Now, there are lots of tutorials on the Net for making your own removable covers for the Erin Condren LifePlanner.  This is just sort of a variation of that.  By the way, while this method works just fine, I think that laminating it and using the Erin Condren coil clips would work even better.  This was just more economical (and quick, since I don’t have any extra coil clips at the moment).

And speaking of those covers… I’m thinking about using one of those more elaborate designs from the Erin Condren Coloring & Sketch Book to make my own new cover.  What do you think?  Oh, and if you don’t yet have your own Erin Condren LifePlanner, you can use this link to get a $10.00 discount on your first order.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by, and happy planning!

Supplies featured (some affiliate links used – see full disclosure here.):

And for those who are curious, most of the unusual stickers and sticky notes that I haven’t linked to were purchased at Mitsukoshi, the incredible mega-store in Epcot’s Japan pavilion… but there are plenty of other sources.  The washi-tape is Queen and Company.

always looking up

What's up - card by Kitty

What’s up, crafters?  For me, it’s a few cute little critters with balloons.  🙂  I had originally planned on a standard A2-size for this, but I couldn’t get the design to fit… so I just went bigger.  I ended up with a card that’s 4-1/2″ wide by 8-1/2″ tall.  I love using balloons on cards – they just seem so “uplifting”.  😉

For the background, I inked some grass with two different shades of green, using a stencil.  I wanted some clouds for the sky, so I took my cloud stencil and made some “masks” just using post-it notes – not perfect, but it does work in a pinch.  And then I tried to ink the sky blue… the operative word being “tried”.  I really need to work on my ink blending.  After removing my post-it’s, I decided that the clouds were just too stark against the “too blue” sky (probably because of my dreadful blending job), so I blended a bit of blue over them, too.  Over the grass, I just added some Prima flowers, and gave them pearl centers.

For the high flying critters, I actually totally mixed and matched stamp sets.  I just adore the little bunny and fox from the Mama Elephant set, and that’s also where I got the big bundle of balloons for the bunny.  The fox has a single balloon that I took from a Penny Black stamp set.  The string is from a Simon Says Stamp stamp set.  The pig – who I love – is actually a digi-stamp from Hambo Stamps.  I know he’s definitely got a different look to him, but I loved the idea of these stamps all together, and the great thing about digi-stamps is that I was able to shrink him down to about the same size as the other critters.  The balloons for the pig are from another digi-stamp, with strings drawn by hand.

The critters and their balloons were all stamped separately on plain white cardstock,  colored with Prismacolor pencils, and blended with odorless paint thinner.  I fussy-cut everything out, inked the edges and darkened the eyes, and I added Judikins embossing powder to all of the balloons for some sparkle and shine.  I glued the critters directly to the cardbase, but for the pig and bunny, I put teeny-tiny pieces of clear dimensional adhesive under their ears.  The fox has a tiny bit under his tale.  Most of the balloons were also popped up.  The sentiment was die-cut.

I love to mix and match stamp sets.  It’s a great way to see your old stamps in a new way.  What stamp sets would you mix together?

Have a wonderful day, and thanks so much for stopping by!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see full disclosure here.  Where more than one vendor is listed, SSS=Simon Says Stamp,

hey friend (masculine card)

Hey friend guy card by KittyA dear coworker of mine recently had surgery, so me being me, I wanted to send him a card.  A masculine card is usually really challenging for me, but surprisingly, this one went together pretty easily.

I started with a piece of Kraft cardstock for the base, and then looked through my collection of Tim Holtz patterned papers.  I actually had a lot of fun digging through these papers, looking for little images that reminded me of my friend.  He works for a building supply company, so I found all sorts of elements that related to construction and architecture.  I found some brads that look like screws, and two brads that look like a key and a keylock (don’t even know where those came from… I think the screw brads might have come from Oriental Trading Co.).

I tore the edges on the largest piece of patterned paper, to give it a more distressed edge.  (Tip:  if you want to get a bit of that torn look, but you also want to maintain fairly straight, even edges, use a good ruler – place it where you want the tear, and carefully lift up one side of the paper, holding the ruler in place as you carefully tear the paper.)  Then I inked all of the edges.

The sentiment was die-cut.  (Tip:  if you want to stretch your dies, try mixing and matching.  The “hey” is from Paper Smooches.  The “friend” is a very old Sizzix Sizzlets die that actually said “friends” – I just cut off the “S”.)

After that, it was just a matter of figuring out how I wanted to layer everything.  (Remember – stage twice, and glue once… or something like that, LOL.)  I attached everything to the one big piece of torn paper, and then adhered that whole panel to the cardbase with foam.  Not only does this give the card some dimension, but it helps with things like brads, so that the panel will lie flat without any bulges.  The ruler was also popped up with some foam.

I think I’m going to have to stop being intimidated by “guy cards”.  The key is to have the right supplies.  Tim Holtz made that pretty easy.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure.  When more than one vendor is listed, SSS=Simon Says Stamp,

follow your heart

Follow Your Heart, card by KittyWell, I guess you could say I did this one “backwards”.  Instead of designing a card and then recording a video about it, I recorded a video and then made a card inspired by it, LOL.  So yes, I recorded another YouTube video, but it really has nothing to do with cards – it’s all about following your heart.  If you just want to learn about this card, you’ll probably want to skip the video.  If you’re curious, here it is:

For this card, I started with a piece of Tim Holtz watercolor paper.  Using some grey ink, I stamped the whole thing with a “French text” background stamp.  I then tried out that super-fun “ink smooshing” technique that seems to be all the rage right now.  I did try this on regular smooth cardstock, but it wasn’t the look I was going for.  I spritzed water on the ink before smooshing, and spritzed more water on the paper after smooshing… and repeated until I was happy with the look.  I wanted something soft.  In fact, I knew that the text wouldn’t hold up too well, and that was okay with me.  (I can’t read it, anyway – I don’t remember much from high school French class.)

Then, I took the Falling Hearts stencil from Simon Says Stamp, and using the same pink ink I smooshed with, I added the tiny hearts.  It’s a little busy, but the end result is pretty close to the idea I had in my head, so I’m happy.

The balloon was stamped in VersaMark ink, and heat-embossed with silver powder.  I actually put a few coats on, in order to get it as smooth as possible.  It’s attached with some foam for added dimension.  The string was stamped in black ink directly onto the card.

The title is die-cut, and then I heat-embossed all the letters with the same Silver embossing powder.  This proved to be a bit tricky, as these letters are really thin.  I had to re-do a couple that just blew away and disappeared.  (I suspect there’s a whole alphabet soup of tiny letters hiding in the corners of my craft room, LOL.)  Their “finish” isn’t as smooth as I would have liked – in hindsight, I should have spent more time trying to get these to look better.  I think I just got tired of messing with them.  (Post-it tape was absolutely essential, but the letters still wanted to fall off when I tried to ink and heat them.)

I added a touch of white Enamel Accents to the balloon for a highlight, and attached the whole panel to a grey card-base with a nice, big piece of grey foam.  I’m not sure about those letters, but I had so much fun with the ink smooshing – I will definitely be trying that again!

Follow your heart, and have a wonderful day.  Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see full disclosure here.  When multiple vendors are listed, SSS=Simon Says Stamp, and

happy everything!

Happy Everything by KittyHi!  I’d like to share a little story about the inspiration for this Happy Everything card.  I joined the Chemo Angels organization a number of years ago, and found that I absolutely LOVE being a Card Angel.  I am given the name, address, and a few brief details about someone just beginning chemotherapy.  Then I send cards, letters, and happy stuff to that person until their treatment is over.  One of my first chemo “buddies” was a very special woman who kept in touch with me.  One day, I received a hand-made card from her.  The design was nothing like my card above, but it did say “Happy Everything!” on the front.  What was so incredible about this card was that it came with a letter… a letter talking about a recent VERY scary hospital visit.  And yet, she sounded so positive, just happy to be alive.  I was so inspired!  I couldn’t help thinking that if SHE can be happy while going through this horrific stuff, then I can surely be happy in my life – no matter what challenges I encounter.

I have kept that card right over my desk, where it inspires me each and every day.  Last week, I learned that my buddy lost her battle with cancer.  It’s hard news, but I don’t think she’d want me to be sad.  And I’m positive that she would want me to keep doing what I’m doing.  This is my way of honoring her memory.

For this card, I dry-embossed a piece of white cardstock, and then very carefully colored the raised design with colored pencils, and blended it with odorless paint thinner.  I haven’t tried this before because I thought it might crush the design, but if you’re gentle, it works.  (And if you do press a part of the design just a bit too flat, you can fix it by flipping it over, and tracing over that part of the design with a stylus.)

The stamped image is from a Penny Black stamp set.  Simon Says Stamp is showcasing Penny Black products this week for their Anything Goes Wednesday Challenge.  There is just something so happy about this little hedgehog, so I felt he’d be a good fit for this card.  🙂

I die-cut the image, and attached it to a die-cut lacey oval, and attached that with foam.  The sentiment was also die-cut, and popped up with foam.  I was able to find some red foam that was a pretty close match to the paper – I just die-cut a piece of paper, and a piece of foam, and glued them together.  One little tip: those little individual foam letters were hard to hold on to – they just wanted to blow all over the place.  So, I took a piece of cheap repositionable double-sided tape and stuck it to my cutting board.  And then I stuck the foam letters to it.  I was able to glue the paper over the foam easily with this method.

everything, sticky by Kitty

This works for any die-cut.  You can also use it to hold down an intricate die-cut (like the “happy”), while you add glue to the back.  A post-it note works, too.

I added a bit of sparkle to the flowers on the hedgehog with a Sakura Stardust pen, and to the flowers on the embossed panel with a Wink of Stella pen.  While the color seems “off” a bit, I think I did finally manage to capture some of the sparkle in my photo.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.  Share a smile, and make somebody’s day today!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure.  Where multiple sources are listed, SSS=Simon Says Stamp,