Friday, December 30, 2011

Paperweight Project

Joyce, my CTMH upline, had us create this project at our unit Christmas party a couple of weeks ago. We started with a 3 1/4 inch circle and created a 3D image. Of course I picked a purple flower! Everything was cut using the Close To My Heart Art Philosophy Cartridge! I added glitter to the elements and adhered the dome with liquid glass. I'm not sure where Joyce got the glass domes,but I found this place with a search. I think it's a great gift idea. Hmm, maybe for convention roomie gifts. I know you visit my blog! What do you think? Probably too heavy for airline luggage weight restrictions!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hi I'm Crystal and I'm a Kindleholic!

So the title of this blog is "Crafting with Crystal" a place to share my passion for paper crafting and other things. Today's post falls under other things! I have a number one passion isn't paper crafting, it's reading. I know scandalous! I blame this on my Kindle. It makes it so easy to get books. I purchased the Kindle DX in 2009 and now have over 500 books archived on it. On some blogs I visit I've seen posts recently about their top books of 2011. I thought I'd share mine here. I went back over the 150+ books I read this year and this is my top ten books or authors from the year that I highly recommend.

1. Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning: I couldn't believe my luck when the release date in January turned out to be a snow day! I spent it reading this 5th and final book of the Fever series. If you like urban fantasy then give this a try, but start with the first one obviously.

2. Anything by Marie Force: I discovered this author and have read everything that she has available. She writes contemporary romance and the "Fatal Series" which I categorize as a mystery / crime drama series. As far as I'm concerned Marie Force cannot write fast enough for me!

3. Life From Scratch by Melissa Ford:  I would place it in the literary fiction / chick lit category. It's different from most of the books I read, but I enjoyed it enough to read it twice!

4. Anything by Jill Mansell: She started my British chick lit phase this year! Miranda's Big Mistake was one of my favorites of hers. 

5. Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins: Chick lit / romance books that are set in New England, and I love how the characters are pet owners. I picked my favorite I read this year but really I have 8 of her books on my Kindle and gave them 5 stars!

6. Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella: A continuation of my British chick lit phase! After reading and rating Jill Mansell books Amazon suggested this author. I hadn't heard of her, but she is the author behind the popular Confessions of a Shopaholic series from which the movie is based. I've since read that series and her other books. Can You Keep a Secret is my favorite of hers and may very well be my favorite of the year. I just reread it again a few days ago and still laughed out loud!

7. Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost: When I was looking for a new vampire romance series this came suggested at a blog. I decided to try the first book and now I'm hooked. I just hope it doesn't get stale like my once loved Sookie Stackhouse series.

8. Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo by Heather Wardell: This is another author from the chick lit genre that had several books I read this year. There's one book of hers I haven't read because I know how it ends and I need to be in the right mood to read. :( They can't all be HEA.  

9. Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent: This author finished an urban fantasy series last year that I was sad to see go, but it was time. I'm glad she started a new series. If you like urban fantasy but are tired of vampires and shifters try this one.

10. Love You More by Lisa Gardner: This is another book in a favorite genre of  mystery / crime drama. I started reading this author in 2010. She had my favorite book from that year The Neighbor.

11. OK, I want 11 for 2011 but this book is actually my most anticipated book for 2012! Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series is another take on vampire romance / urban fantasy. The 10th book in the series comes out on January 24. It's already pre ordered for my Kindle and I'm thinking about taking a personal day to read it on release day. Darker After Midnight centers around Chase Sterling, my favorite character.

I'd love for you to leave me a comment about your favorites. I'm looking for some new authors and books to tide me over until Darker After Midnight. I'm trying to get into the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy. I hear it's slow but I need to stick with it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Four Seasons Wall Hangings

At my upline's unit Christmas party this is the beautiful gift I received made by my sideline Stacey R. I  think I will be displaying them all at the same time in a grouping. They're too pretty to only have one at a time for 3 months!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Banner Christmas Tree

The My Creation Line of Close To My Heart products includes some of my favorite items. Last July at convention a consultant shared this project made from sets of the My Creation Banner. I put it on my list of holiday projects. This was my gift at my Close To My Heart unit Christmas party yesterday. Stacey will need to find a place to display it in her home!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2011 Christmas Card

Card Pattern: Sentiment Secured from the How-To Book Wishes

I had many Christmas cards from previous years and workshops to use this year. When those cards ran out this is the card that I decided to make and mail / hand out for this year. The Remarkable Wreath stamp set is a favorite of mine. It is also the stamp set that the Close To My Heart Corporate office used with their card!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ornament and Keepsake Box

I'm always looking for crafts to complete with my students. This past weekend I was browsing for an idea of something my students could make to give to their parents. I saw a this video for snowman hand print ornaments and knew this is what I would do. The class completed them today.

Tomorrow is our last day of school before the holidays. So I brought the ornaments home to wrap them. Then I discovered this pattern I purchased awhile ago. I printed up the boxes on Close To My Heart's pattern paper from the Believe collection. I love the presentation almost as much as the students' ornaments. I'm sure their parents will love them.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gift Card Packaging

The school that I teach at held a fundraiser selling gift cards. So I took the easy road this year with Christmas gifts, but now I'm looking for clever ways to package them. I already posted a few on my blog in the past. Here is another one. It's a template from My Time Made Easy called Insert Card Here. I purchased the pdf document and printed it on a piece of paper from the Believe Paper Pack. I purchased a few packs of the Holiday Pockets and they make great gift tags for the top of the box. A quick, simple way to present a gift card as a gift!