Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Peek Into My 2015 Arc Planner: An Introduction By Cindy Jones Lantier

Today begins our introduction to the Arc Planner System, how some of us ventured into it, and a peek into how customizable it is.

We are thrilled to welcome Cindy Jones Lantier as our guest today! She kind of got roped into the Arc Planner by some of us that are (overly) passionate about it. 

Please give her a warm welcome!

I think I'm in love.

Not with the hot new guy at work (I work from home; sadly, there is no hot new guy at work!). Not with my favorite television hunk (Jim Caviezel)  or even the new baby in the family.

I think I'm in love with my planner!

Like many people who strive to create order out of chaos, I've spent years wanting the perfect planner. I don't just want a date book, but I also want a way to record my thoughts and ideas and to document my days. I long ago realized that a typical store bought planner wasn't going to work for me, so I bought a Day Runner. Then a Franklin Covey. Then I tried putting together my own in a three-ring binder -- but I spent more time applying hole re-enforcers than I actually spent using my homemade planner!

In mid-November, I began my search anew for the perfect system. Because I am both an artist and a Personal Empowerment Coach, I need a system that has a lot of flexibility. I ran across a mention of the "ARC Customizable System" by Staples. Being attracted to the word "customizable" I headed to staples.com to see what the fuss was all about. As with many online stores, you have to already know what you want. There were plenty of products for the ARC System, but there was no real information about it. Certainly there was no glowing sales talk convincing me I needed this!

Little by little, I began to see talk of this system in some of the groups I'm in on Facebook. Finally, I just asked one group "What's the big deal? Convince me I need one." People responded with descriptions of their ARC notebooks. I asked for more detail: What exactly do you put in your ARC? You see, there were so many possibilities that my mind was frozen. I just couldn't see the potential.

Then I saw a video. And another. And another. I basically spent an entire sleepless night watching videos about the ARC, and then I knew I had to have one. Or two. (Or three!)

I finally understood the beauty of the disc system. The specially punched paper hugs the discs so that it stays in the notebook securely without pinching my fingers, as three ring binders inevitably do, and there's no worry about the rings becoming misaligned. It is very easy to rearrange pages and sections. The ARC notebooks come with small discs that hold about 60 pages; the 1.5" rings (sold separately) hold about 200 pages.

The discs are cool, but the main love goes to how personalizable the system is. If you buy the punch, you can put anything in your ARC. I have some lined ARC paper (it came with the cover) that I'm using for my bullet journal and longer notes. Then I have the EPICDAY tear sheet that helps me plan my days from a business perspective. Following that is the first quarter of the Passion Planner PDF. I love this as a calendaring system! There is plenty of space to write appointments, as well as space to help me keep up with a weekly/daily focus, good things that happen, and space for note a brainstorming. My ARC ends with my goals for the first quarter of 2015, as well as a rough outline of how I'll accomplish those goals, and broad stroke goals/dreams for the next three years. I'll be adding in sheets for blog and podcast planning as soon as I get them printed (I also need some section dividers, but Staples isn't handy).

My planner is full, so another ARC notebook is in my future. I want one to keep a few ebooks in. I'm eager to work through Your Best Year 2015, but it just won't fit in the ARC I have. I also have a blogging handbook that I want to keep in that same ARC for reference. And I have a tiny ARC in my purse to keep track of ideas and notes that I want to transfer to my big journal, since I don't plan on carrying it with me all the time.

I know a lot of you are also in search of the perfect planner. I'd suggest that you investigate the ARC Customizable System. There are tons of free printables around the internet to help you organize and document your life. There are also lots of printables available on Etsy (just search for ARC) for (mostly) reasonable fees. 

Stop by the Cre8ive Klatch Facebook Group and let us know how you organize the chaos in your life!

Also check back here for more information about the Arc Planner System. It has so many uses we've all gone crazy with it! Come back on January 5th when Lori Leissner of Leissnerart will show you hers!!

Cindy is a mixed media artist and life coach who can be found at the following links:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Disposable Cupcake Holder by Shells In The Bush

We know that everyone must be headed out to parties and family get togethers for the holidays. Here is your tutorial for the best cupcake carrier for your event!! 

You all need to make one and post your picture of your creation to our Facebook page!! We will be looking for them!

Hi everyone!!

I'm Michelle Reynolds from www.shellsinthebush.com/ and the Cre8ive Klatch Team.

I'm here today to show you how I made this pretty disposable cupcake holder and to inspire you to create your own.

I've just baked two dozen cupcakes to take to my high school reunion and needed a way to transport them safely so I decorated an old cereal box.  This is a great idea if you have to take a cake or cupcakes to an event such as school party or a fair donation and you don't want to be worried about getting your plate back or the plastic wrap touching the icing - a couple of toothpicks will help with that if your cake is bigger than the sides of the box.


~ an old cereal box

~ craft knife or scissors
~ tape, sticky tape and double sided tape
~ paper to decorate - I used gelli prints but you could recycle wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper.
~ washi tape

 1. Tape up the opening of the cereal box.

 2. Use the craft knife to cut away one large side - I put this back into the bottom of the box to strengthen it.

 3. Measure and cut the side and bottom panels and place in box.

4. Use the double sided tape to stick the paper to the inside of the box - just one small piece in the middle of the side is all I used. I used sticky tape at the bottom of each outside corner to keep the paper in place.

 6. Measure and stick washi tape to each corner edge - this helps keep the paper in place and makes the box look prettier.

There you go - one pretty cupcake holder...hmmm...maybe too good for cupcakes...will try to take it home and re-use it for something else if there isn't too much icing on the paper...

I hope you have fun creating your Diposable Cupcake Holder.  Please join our Cre8ive Klatch FaceBook Group and share your creations - I would be thrilled to see them and I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you.


PS If you would like to buy some gelli prints to use to create this cupcake holder or in your art journal, for collage and mixed media art then check out my Etsy store for some great Gelli Print Packages.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Gift from the HeART by Linda Kay's Art

What a wonderful way to share the love you feel for friends and family by making a handmade gift. Something that will show them, every day, that they are well thought of and loved.

This is what I did for some very special friends who saw me through a very difficult time recently.
I needed a simple, economical yet meaningful gift to give to my friends as a small token of my gratitude. I chose a heart.

I was perusing Pinterest recently for ideas and found a 4 sided heart ornament made of paper that I instantly fell in love with. So, to make it very personal, I chose a 3 sided design as that is a special number for me and holds deep meaning that I wanted to embed in my gifts.

Now I went into production mode!

After cutting out a bunch of hearts with my Cricut machine, I went about and put these heart ornaments together. First I creased a line down the center with my ruler and bone folder.

I gather a lot of soft colors and pretty designs for my hearts as I wanted to reflect my loving thoughts with sweet colors and patterns.

I cut lots of fibers to use as hangers and set them aside.

Choosing which ones worked well together was a lot of fun. I worked on a crafting mat to help keep the mess manageable. 

Using Modge Podge and a 1" flat brush, I started pasting them together. One heart laid face down, the other two folded in half and matching edges with the first.

Laying the folded fiber hanger in half, I placed it in the center of the remaining side, laid on enough glue and squeezed the pieces together keeping the hanger as close to the center as possible. Some of them were a bit lumpy and bumpy, but I didn't think that hurt any of them. I just made sure to fill them with good thoughts of love and hugs!

I let them dry overnight and hoped my cats would not try to run off with too many of them. They really like to sleep on this table and love yarn even more!

I tied on some shiny beads; one on the top, two on the bottom.

I have a special ornament hanger that I got from Crate and Barrel last year which worked out perfectly for the display. It created quite a interest at my party where everyone was encouraged to pick one out and take it home. 

So, if you need to make a special gift on a budget and don't have a lot of time, these little hearts might just be the trick. 

Best wishes and Happy Holidays!

Linda Kay

Use these links to find me. 

And make sure to come by the FB group and share all your projects!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Different Tag Post by Lori Leissner

Tis the season for tags it seems.  I love making tags. It's a quick, easy and inexpensive way to be creative.  If you want to be creative this time of year, quick, easy and inexpensive is definitely the way to go.

This little project is even less expensive than the norm because we are reusing clothing tags.  I  have a confession: I sometimes purchase clothing based on the quality of their tags.  The shorts that came with this awesome tag were not necessarily better than the alternatives (in spite of all the stretchy talk). The tag made the sale.  It was a good size and especially sturdy.  After this post, you are totally going to be checking tags. Now's a good time, too!   Those jeans you got your kid for Christmas?  Go check the tags!!!!

This tag had a plastic coating on it, which is probably why it was so sturdy and why I liked it so much.  I'll save you the trouble of all the paint peeling off and tell you to give it a good sanding first to rough it up.

Now gesso!   Yours won't look this smooth though because this was before all the paint peeled off and I had to sand it.

Use a heat gun or blow dryer to make it even speedier if, for example, you need it for a gift tag for a party you will attend in an hour (and you still don't have any makeup on).

Grab some complementary colors.

Slap some paint on there. Literally, you do not have to be all neat and tidy. You don't even have to cover all the gesso. That's what's so fun about this!  You're going to sand it again, and you want some of the other layers to show through, so just get some paint on there however you want.  Make sure it's dry.  Then sand it off slightly so the gesso and the bottom original color shows through a little.

Then paint another color on top.  Also let that layer dry and sand it a little, especially the edges.

Now you can paint your image.  I chose a bouquet of roses in a vase.


Use a Sharpie pen (not a Sharpie marker...a Sharpie pen...they work so much better over paint) and a white Uniball Signo  pen (the only white pen I've found to work all the time) to add embellishments.  Then add some words.  I think all art is a little better with some words.

Finally, add some frilly yarn and ribbons and spritz with a little clear coat and let dry.  These make great gift tags. This one is so sturdy, it could even be a Christmas ornament.  I especially love them as book markers. For a super quick gift, print out an Amazon gift card and use washi tape to attach this cute tag to the envelope.

Catch up with me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/LeissnerArt 

My website here: http://www.leissnerart.com/ 

Instagram here:  http://instagram.com/leissnerart

Or Twitter:  https://twitter.com/leissnerart

Come join us for more cre8ive ideas and crafty connections at our Facebook group:

Cre8ive Klatch

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hand Carved Stamps Outside the Box by Ursula Smith

Sometimes when you think outside the box, it is literal. In my case I decided this year to forego wrapping presents. I really hate it- in fact my family jokes that I can do anything crafty- except wrap. I am like the guy in that funny Christmas song from years ago yelling as he is "Stringing Up the Lights", except I am cursing out wrapping paper.

While I was playing around with carving stamps the other day, I was looking for some paper to test them on, when I spied a white box. I grabbed it and started stamping away. I loved the look of it, so I grabbed a clean, folded box top from a new package of gift boxes and had a pleasant stamping session  using my new hand carved stamps and acrylic paint.

Here is the result...

The stamps I used weren't really Christmas stamps at all, but in keeping with the "thinking outside the box" theme, I think they work just fine!

Here is a quick companion post for recycling gift bags.

I will have more stamp carving posts and holiday ideas on my own blog- Ursula-Smith.com/blog - in upcoming weeks. Happy Holidays!!

Come join the conversation at our Facebook page:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Handmade Christmas Photo Ornament By Jill Lambert

Christmas and sweet memories go hand-in-hand (most of the time) and I love pulling out my box of ornaments each December and seeing the ones I've collected through the years.  The ones my daughter has made through the years are my favorites.  I also love the personal ones that have photos of my family as well as ones given to me as gifts.  When my younger nieces and nephews were born I decided to make them homemade ornaments for each of their first Christmases.  I know how much new parents love to receive something made just for them with a sweet picture of their baby on it so my first Christmas ornament usually involves something with a super cute picture of their baby as well as the name and year. This July our niece Charlotte was born so I'm excited to create a first Christmas ornament just for her that she'll hopefully have as she grows through the years.

Materials needed:
  • round wooden, flat circles (mine is 3 inches) - purchased from Michael's
  • gesso
  • acrylic paint, colors of your choice
  • glitter (optional)
  • stencil or stamp (optional)
  • Mod Podge or Gel Medium (I used Mod Podge)
  • photograph of person ornament is for 
  • (I printed mine on Epson ultra premium presentation paper, but regular paper would work fine, but be a bit thinner)
  • ribbon
  • glue gun

1.  Cover the wooden circle with a layer of gesso.  I do this so the paint doesn't get sucked into the wood.  It just makes a nicer layer for the paint to adhere to.  Let it dry and gesso the back side as well.

2.  Paint a layer of color of your choice over the dried gesso.  You can paint both sides the same color or two different colors if you want.  To keep it simple, I did the same on both sides, a deep red.

3.  I'm into fun patterns lately, so after your base color dries, I painted a pattern with a contrasting color using a chevron stencil.  Using a stencil is optional.  Of course, you can paint any pattern freehand too!  As you can see depending on how big you make the photo, your original background pattern may not show so much.  Decide how much you want it to show when you choose how big to make your photo.

4.  Size and print your photo.  Let it dry!  After it dried I even sprayed it with Krylon varnish so the ink didn't smear when I put Mod podge over it.

5.  Cut your photo to shape and size you want then put Mod Podge (or Gel Medium) under it, pushing out any air bubbles so it's smooth and flat.  Then put Mod Podge ALSO on top of the photo.  This is very important to seal it and allow you to paint possibly over and around it without ruining the photo.

6.  I painted/outlined the photo with a deep red and then I painted some Mod Podge around the edge and sprinkled white glitter around it to make it sparkle.  As you can see my chevron pattern is no longer showing that much, so the glitter is optional if you want your background pattern to show.

7.  On the backside I hand-painted her name, the year 2014, "first Christmas" and added a snowflake.

8.  After all is dried, varnish both sides for protection.  After that is dry then you can hot glue your ribbon on the back side.  Unfortunately I wasn't thinking about where the ribbon was going to go when I painted "first Christmas" so be sure you know where you want your ribbon to go so it doesn't cover anything important up.

I hope this gives you a fun idea that you can make as a gift or do with your children.  Family pictures from the year, maybe a fun vacation you took or pictures of the kids make great gifts for aunts and grandparents!  

This could even be the start of a new tradition - making a yearly, personalized ornament!

Find Jill's wonderful, bright artwork in her shop.

More about Jill can be found on her blog.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Little Books Part 3 - Binding by Shells in the Bush

Have you gotten your papers and tape finished?

Here you go for binding all your pages!Imagine how cute these would be for gifts!

Hi everyone!!
I'm Michelle Reynolds from www.shellsinthebush.com/ and the Cre8ive Klatch Team.
I'm here today to show you how to bind the pages you've created with the washi tape you've made into Little Books.

Part 1 showed you how to make different backgrounds and pages for your book.

Part 2 gave you some tips to make your own washi tape.

Part 3 binding the book together - no needles required!!!

Washi tape

1. Use a ruler to keep the pages lined, allow a small gap in between the pages to allow for bending.

2. Stick your washi tape down the spine.

3. Trim excess tape. Fold page over, add another page and stick more tape down the spine.

4. When the book gets too thick then tape one side at a time, flip the book over and place the page on the tape leaving a small gap. Continue on until you have finished all your pages.

5. The spine of the book will be all stick and will need covering. Measure the width of the spine.

6. Cut a piece of paper, not cardstock as it will be too thick and inflexible, the width and the length (add a little extra length, similiar to when the edges of the pages were taped) of the spine. Stick a strip of washi tape to each side of the paper.

7. Lay the spine on the table and place the book on the spine, leave a small gap between the book and the paper. Then fold over the spine towards the cover of the book.

8. Trim excess tape from your spine and your book is ready to write in, for doodling in, drawing in and decorating.

I hope you have fun creating your book.  Please join our Cre8ive Klatch FaceBook Group and share your creations - I would be thrilled to see them and I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you.


PS If you would like to buy some gelli prints to decorate your pages or in your art journal, for collage and mixed media art then check out my Etsy store for some great Gelli Print Packages.