Blog Happenings for August 2014 

 This has been my first full month of blogging, and I have had a blast! I've learned quite a bit and hope my blog will get better and better. I had my first blog giveaway.
Joyful Birthday B1419 
Annual Inspirations idea book
Patricia Barak chose the Joyful Birthday stamp set, and will also receive a copy of the new idea book. I will have another give-a-way during the last week of September. The winner will be randomly selected from my newsletter subscribers. 

I ran my first blog series on Stamping Basics, and filmed my first video. Filming a video was certainly a lot harder than those YouTubers make it look! 

All of my sales this month came directly from my blog, and orders from some of my loyal customers. I was not able to get out and have any home gatherings, but will still be able to donate $40 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Light the Night Walk. My goal is to be able to donate $100 each and every month. Thank you so much to those of you who are making these donations possible.
 I participated in my first Blog Hop with some wonderful Close to My Heart ladies. We each listed the 5 things we couldn't craft without. If you missed it, check it out here "5 Things I Could Not Craft Without"

I started my Crafts for a Cure Club, and already have several participants. If you are interested in joining, you can find the details here Crafts for a Cure Club

 I have started a Facebook page for my crafty business, cancer research updates, and fundraising. If you are on Facebook, please give it a look, and a like - dedrascrafts4acure

Next week I will let y'all know about all of the specials for September, including the new Stamp of the Month. I am working on Halloween cards, and a mini album, to share with you. I hope we will have an announcement soon on the availability of the new Artfully Sent cricut cartridge. I will keep you posted on that also.

Is there something you want me to blog about in September? I would love to hear your ideas, please leave a comment below. 

Thank you for all of your support,




I took a deep breath and made my first video. It will certainly not win any awards, but I hope you are able to get some tips that will help beginning stampers. If not, you will at least get a good laugh. As always, please leave any comments or questions below. 

Hopefully my video taking skills will improve with practice. :-)




C1522 Creepy Creatures
Last Friday I drew a name using a Random  Number Generator and selected a winner of an Annual Inspirations idea book, and C or B sized stamp set. I contacted the winner, who had signed up through this blog, but still haven't received a response. Therefore, I removed that person from the list and ran the rest of my newsletter subscribers through the generator again (excluding my family members, and fellow consultants) and came up with a winner. The new winner is Patricia Barak! Patricia, please contact me via email (dedraclutz@hotmail.com) with your choice of stamp set, and I will get your prize package to you ASAP.

I will have another give a way next month exclusively for newsletter subscribers. Stay tuned for more details. You are not signed up for my newsletter? What are you waiting for? ;-)



How to Take Care of Your Stamps and Inks


You have a few favorite stamps, some ink pads, and maybe some markers. How do you best protect your investment and make your products easy to find and use? You can use an organizer like the one below for your Close to My Heart ink pads, and favorite gel pens, glitter pens, or distress markers.
You can also use a small plastic bin, shelf, or keep them in a drawer. I like to see what I have, and have them close to me while I work. Different types of inks need to be stored differently.

The Close to My Heart dye ink pads should be stored right side up as the ink pad is in the lid. I believe it is the same with Stampin' Up ink pads. However, if the type of ink you own has the ink pad in the bottom, or base, it should be stored upside down. This prevents the ink from settling in the bottom, leaving the top dried out. Most ink pads can be re-inked if they dry out, so no worries if you suddenly find your favorite color has dried out. 

If you have a collection of Close to My Heart stamp sets, or other clear stamp sets, the storage unit above holds fifteen 6 x 6 stamp sets in envelopes. You may have purchased clear stamp sets at Michaels or Hobby Lobby and they were packaged in a way that makes them hard to store. CTMH also has 6 x 6 envelopes that you can use to store stamps that didn't come with their own packaging.

Some people prefer to store their stamps sets in a binder system, so they can flip through the pages, and see what they have. You can even make your own binder storage. Simply laminate some paper, stick your stamps to the laminated pages, slide the pages into 3 hole punched sheet protectors, and put them all in a binder.

No matter which type of storage you choose for your clear, cling stamps, make sure you use labels, dividers, or tabs to separate the different themes. You might organize them by holidays/events, alphabets, sentiments, animals, children, etc. 

Wood mount stamps won't fit in these types of storage, of course. I prefer to keep my wood mount stamps on a shelf with the picture of the image showing. It's nice to see my House Mouse collection, and other favorites, on a shelf in my craft room when I walk in.


It is important to have a way to clean your new stamps. A great way is a spray and scrubber combo. You simply spray your stamp while it is still on the block, and then run it over the scrubber. Baby wipes are great for a quick clean up, but you also need a more thorough cleaning. Baby wipes are also useful to clean any excess ink from your block (wood mount or acrylic), before you stamp. Make sure your wipes are alcohol free. More on this later when we discuss how to get a good, clear stamped image.

Do you have a favorite storage or cleaning system that you use? Please comment below and let us know. I am always happy to learn something new.




It can be very confusing to look at all of the different types of ink and try to decide which one you need. I know when I first started using stamps I just though I would pick out a few colors I liked and start stamping.

I quickly realized that the inks I had purchased (on sale, of course) were all very different. I hope I can help clear up the confusion for a few of you so that you make wise purchases. 


A dye ink in a basic color, such as black or brown, is a great choice if you are just starting out. Dye inks dry quickly, soak into porous surfaces, and have a matte finish. This makes them great for scrapbook pages, and card making, as you don't have to wait for them to dry before completing your project. Of course dye inks come in tons of colors, but if you are going to buy just one, make it a great neutral color.


Pigment inks stay wet longer than dye inks, which makes them great for heat embossing, and adding glitter and shine to a project. Pigment inks come in a variety of wonderful colors, as well as clear.

Using a clear pigment ink allows you to use colored embossing powders for a great raised, shiny look.


StayzOn ink is a great solvent ink that allows you to stamp on non-porous surfaces. Do you want to stamp "Happy  Halloween" on plastic treat bags? StayzOn will do the trick without smearing. Do not use this ink on fabric, but it works well on plastic, glass, metal, and more. 



This is an important ink to have if you want to color your stamped image using alcohol markers. Alcohol markers create a wonderful look, with blending, shading, and highlighting.

If you use alcohol markers with other inks they can smear the image, and possibly ruin the tips (nibs) of your markers. Again, I would stick with your favorite neutral color. Yes, Memento is another type of dye ink, but the formulation is slightly different, making it the choice for people who enjoy alcohol markers. 


Tim Holtz is the master of distress inks. They are now offered in mini ink pads, packaged in sets. These are great for giving an aged, vintage, or grunge look to your art.

 Tim Holtz also has a line of distress markers. These markers make it easy to add different colors by writing directly onto your stamp. They are also great for filling in a stamped image with color.

Since they are water based, the colors can be mixed for  different looks. You will not get a crisp, clear image with distress inks, but if you are looking for a more vintage look, this is the ink for you.

Have I left one of your favorites inks off the list? Do you have a question about ink? Comment below and let me know. 




Of course you have to start a series on stamping basics with the different types of stamps.

 Wood Mount
 The stamps I started with were wood mounted stamps. My absolute favorite wood mounts are the House Mouse series.

The benefit of wood mount stamps is they are very sturdy. However, they take up a lot of valuable storage space, and you can't see exactly where you are placing them on your project. I have quite a collection of House Mouse stamps that I purchased at Hobby Lobby, or online. They have a design for every holiday and occasion.

Unmounted Rubber Stamps

These stamps are basically the same material as the wood mount, without the wood. Some of them come in sheets, need to be cut apart, and mounted to a cushion, before using. Others come already mounted on foam. The benefit of this type of stamp is they do not take up much room.  However, many don't have an image on the back, which is nice to have. There are companies that specialize in this type of stamp, a simple Google search will turn up many. My favorite of this type of stamp are the Julie Nutting doll stamps by Prima. I purchased mine from scrapbook.com when they were having a sale.

This one reminded me of my granddaughter.

Clear Stamps

Once I tried my first clear, cling stamp I was hooked. They do not take up much room, you can see exactly where you are placing your image, and you can manipulate them for added versatility. For instance, if you have a "happy birthday" stamp that is a straight line, you can bend it to fit your design. It is really hard to pick a favorite clear stamp, but here is one of the Close to My Heart stamp sets I really love.

Your Own Kind of Wonderful D1627
There are twelve pieces in this set, and I love all the sayings and different butterflies. I also love that each of the Close to My Heart stamp sets come in their own  6 x 6 storage envelopes.

Stay tuned for more in this series on Stamping Basics. Tuesday's post will be all about the different types of ink.

Do you have a favorite stamp or stamp type? Comment below and let me know. Maybe I will find a new favorite also. 



My grandchildren love all things Halloween, so when I saw the new Scaredy Cat paper collection and Creepy Creatures stamp set I knew they would love them. I set everything out on their play table and let them make whatever they wanted. My daughter made a video of the end results, and once I stopped laughing I decided I needed to share. I think you will agree they are very talented. All of the items they used are from Close to My Heart except the imaginations of a 5 and 7 year old.



I'm sure I am not the only one who has a large collection of photos that just don't really go together. Maybe you went out to lunch with your children or grandchildren, and took one or two photos that day. These photos aren't really enough for a scrapbook page, but they are too special to just stick in a photo box and forget about.

Today I gathered all of the random photos I have of my grandchildren that, for one reason or another, did not make the cut for a scrapbook page. I have decided to put all of these photos into a mini album of wonderful, ordinary moments. In fact, that just might be the title of the mini album.

 I have several Zutter mini album covers that are designed to work with my bind-it-all. I bought them for less than $2 each on impulse at Tuesday Morning (shhh! Do not tell my husband I impulse buy craft supplies) because who could pass up that deal? Not me. This seems like the perfect opportunity to put one of those covers to good use.

My creative process is very messy! Right  now I have papers, pictures, stamp sets, embellishments, and ink spread out over my work surface. Once I have the color scheme selected, I will narrow the supplies down, and get to work. I will be posting my progress with the "Wonderful Ordinary Moments" mini album, so stay tuned.

What do you do with these random photos? Do you simply add them into your Picture my Life, or Project Life, albums? Are they sitting in a box like mine were? I would love to know how others deal with their random photos, so be sure you comment below.



Announcing the Crafts for a Cure Club!

Hostess only stamp set - Cuddly Salutations

I know that a lot of you have very busy lives, and can not imagine hosting a party in your home, no matter how much fun you and your friends might have. If you would still like to earn free products, it is as easy as joining my club.  Here is how it works:

  • Go to my website (http://dedras-crafts-for-a-cure.ctmh.com/Default.aspx), select "shop", and place an order in any amount. 
  • You will be asked  if you want to join an open gathering, select Dedra's LLS gathering.
  • Once you place your order it will be sent directly to you, and I will worry about keeping track of your club order amounts.
  • You are still eligible to take part in any special monthly offers that you qualify for. I will send you a weekly newsletter so that you do not miss any special offers, along with a free Annual Inspirations idea book.
  • Once you have spent $150 (within a 12 month period), simply contact me with a list of your free products, and I will send them directly to you.
  • You will qualify for $25 in free products for every $150 spent. 
  • Your free products can be Workshops on the Go, paper packs, cardstock packs, ink, markers, stamp sets, re-inkers, acrylic blocks, compliments, and even the exclusive hostess only stamp sets.
  • If you refer someone who also joins the club, you can select an exclusive dye ink pad of your choice.
  • As always, your orders help me donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. 


Cricut® Artfully Sent

A new cartridge is coming! A new cartridge is coming!


Artfully Sent will be released in September, as soon as Provo Craft (the Cricut people) are finished with production. I'm anxiously (impatiently) waiting to try Artfully Sent. All of the cards I have seen so far look amazing! Below is a video teaser showing just a few of the cards that you can make with this new cartridge.

 Give -a-way Reminder!

Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter to receive all of the latest news and specials. I will randomly select one of my newsletter subscribers to win a  copy of the new Annual Inspirations idea book, and a C or B sized stamp set of their choice. The winner will be selected on Friday, August 22, 2014 so sign up ASAP. The sign up box is in the upper left hand corner of this blog. Good luck!



The winner of a Close to My Heart Annual Inspirations idea book is Sandy Hentzel! Please email me at dedraclutz@hotmail.com Sandy, and let me know your mailing address.Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment on "5 things I could not craft without" which can be found here http://dedras-crafts-for-a-cure.blogspot.com/2014/08/5-things-i-could-not-craft-without.html

 Another give-a-way!

My next giveaway will go to a randomly selected person who is signed up to receive my newsletter. To sign up for my newsletter and stay in the know about all of the current specials, just enter your email address in the box at the upper right hand corner of this blog. I will be giving away another idea book, and a C or B sized stamp set of the winners choice. The winner will be selected on August 22, 2014, so sign up ASAP. You can see all of the stamps that you will get to choose from here http://dedras-crafts-for-a-cure.ctmh.com/retail/Category.aspx?CatalogID=4

This is just one of the many stamp sets you can choose from.

Thanks to everyone who is taking the time to read my blog, follow my blog, sign up for my newsletter, and leave  comments. You are all greatly appreciated.


Another Ally in the Fight Against Blood Cancer

I have recently discovered an organization working towards wiping out blood cancer. They have made it very simple for anyone to help. You can have a kit sent to your home, simply send a swab back to them, and they will enter you in a registry of bone marrow donors. You can also send a donation of $65, which is the cost of entering one person in the registry. If this is something you have wanted to do but have just never gotten around to being tested, this is your opportunity. If you have never considered being a donor, I hope that you will give it some thought. Here are some facts that I learned by visiting the site;

6 out of 10 patients can’t find a bone marrow donor on the national registry. 

 Every 4 minutes, an American is diagnosed with a blood cancer.

 Only 30% of all patients are able to find a compatible bone marrow donor in their family 


Of course the organization was founded in an effort to save a loved one.

 Delete Blood Cancer DKMS began with one family’s search for a bone marrow donor. In 1990, Peter Harf and his daughters went door-to-door in an effort to find a donor match for his wife and their mother, Mechtild Harf. They registered 68,000 donors in just one year. Sadly, Mechtild lost her battle, but in her honor, the Harfs started a bone marrow donor center (DKMS) that has since grown to be the world’s largest. We have branches in the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Poland and Spain. Globally, we have registered over 4.5 million donors and provided more than 40,000 patients with second chances at life.

Please check out the website and decide if you can help @ http://www.deletebloodcancer.org/en

Do you know someone who has been a donor, or benefited from a donation? Please leave a comment below and tell your story.





The Benefits of Being a Grandparent

(Are you looking for "5 Things I couldn't craft without"? That post can be found here:  http://dedras-crafts-for-a-cure.blogspot.com/2014/08/5-things-i-could-not-craft-without.html )

I became a mother for the first time a few weeks before my 23rd birthday. I became a grandmother for the first time a few weeks before my 43rd birthday. It is  definitely easier being the grandmother! Since I was such a young grandmother I really wanted a cool name, but no such luck. My grandson had trouble with the G sound, so I am, and probably always will be, Bamma. Lots of great benefits come with the title though.

1. You never have to be the bad guy. If it looks like you might have to get tough just say you are really tired and need a nap.

 2. If the kid grows up to be a delinquent it is never your fault. You didn't raise him/her after all.

 3. You don't have to stress about buying new shoes, paying the dentist, or funding college. You can just buy them presents!!

The last time my grandchildren spent the night, we were watching cartoons lying on the sleeper sofa with the lights low. My 5 yr old granddaughter said to her brother "I think it's past our bedtime." His answer was "Shhh! It's special at Bamma's." By the way, Bimpa was already in bed asleep. I gave birth to four children who are all adults now, yet I only have two grandchildren. Something is wrong with that math.

My daughter asked them to pose for pictures and these are the results.

What? You don't have grandchildren? You will need to get some of your own because I do not loan mine out. 



Do you have favorite craft tools that you can't imagine living without? I know I do. Of course you need paper, scissors, adhesives, etc., but these are the extras that make crafting easier, or just more fun. Some of them I didn't even expect to "need", but I use them nearly every time I craft.  Be sure you click on the links at the end of this post to check out other bloggers' "5 Things I Could Not Craft Without." Also comment below with your own list for your chance to win a free Annual Inspirations idea book. I will randomly select a winner from the list of those commenting. The winner will be announced next Friday, August 15th. Be sure you check here on the 15th to see if you are the winner! I can't wait to see all of the different lists.

  1. My Cricuts ~ I was given two as gifts, a small personal, and an Expression. I love them both. I am contemplating moving up to the Explore, but I will still love my original Cricuts.
  2. Corner Rounder ~ this is an inexpensive little tool that I use all of the time. How did I ever craft before I could round all of the corners? I have no idea!
3.  Artbooking Cricut Cartridge Collection ~ I love this cartridge and matching stamp sets for scrapbook layouts, and mini albums.
4.  Martha Stewart Scoring Board ~ I use this for scoring cards, making envelopes, and 3-D projects. I find it really easy to use.
5. Clear Glitter Pens ~ I love to just add a little bit of bling to projects with clear gel glitter pens. It doesn't cover up color, just makes things shine.
Check out these crafty ladies and the 5 things they can't craft without:
Ivy at http://www.craftaddictstudio.net/
Eileen at http://papercanvascreations.wordpress.com/
Debra at http://www.davdesigns.com/
Brenda at http://www.disneygirlcrafts.com/
Kim at http://kimbpapercrafts.blogspot.com/


Picture My Life Promotion for August

August 2014 only!
There are 13 different styles of Picture My Life kits available. Each comes with forty four 4 x 6 cards, seventy-eight 3 x 4 cards, a 12 x 12 cover page, and ten pocket style page protectors. If you purchase any of these PML kits during August, you can add an additional ten pocket page protectors for $3 (retail value '$9.95.)
Here are just a few of the styles available:
Chantilly PML
Seaside PML
You can view all of the different options here http://dedras-crafts-for-a-cure.ctmh.com/Retail/Products.aspx?CatalogID=19


Another Woman's Cancer Journey

This lady is so incredibly brave, I just keep thinking about the precious time she could have with her family. Could you forgo treatment in the hopes of  finding a cure? Fortunately, I wasn't faced with this, but I do not think I would be as brave.

Woman With Aggressive Cancer Delays Treatment in the Name of Science


My Top 10 Favorite YouTube Videos

I am not yet brave enough to make my own YouTube videos, but there are lots I have enjoyed over the years. They are my favorite videos for different reasons. Some videos made me laugh, some taught me a new technique, a few made me say "why didn't I think of that?" Here are my favorites in no particular order.

  1. If Lindababyus and her craft hoarders video does not make you laugh (at yourself) then you are not a crafter.
2.  Sandy Alnock as the scrapwrangler made me laugh and clean out my (very large) paper scrap stash.
3. A great video to learn the basics of Copic markers. This might have caused me to become addicted to them, another reason why I find the craft hoarder video so funny.

4. Alejandra is seriously organized! I wish my desk was this organized.
5. This video is one of the reasons I decided to sell Close to My Heart products. I needed these Cricut cartridges.
6. There are so many great videos by cardcrazy09 that it was hard to choose one. 
7. The Party Plan Diva channel has lots of good info for anyone in direct sales.
8. Anyone who has been scrapbooking, card making, sewing, knitting, etc for awhile knows it is important to keep some sort of inventory.  It is NOT good to come home and discover you already own two (fill in the blank.) 
9. I have made many notepad holders for gifts, or for sale, and used this video as a guide.
10. There are lots of videos by Joy Tracey (Obsessedwithscrappin'), but this one has convinced me I need the new Cricut Explore. (sigh)
I lied. lol I had to include just one more.
11. It is hard to pick just one video by the Frugal Crafter, but they all make me wish I was as talented as she is.

Do you have a favorite ( or 10 or 12) YouTube video? Please post your faves in the comments.


August Stamp of the Month


This adorable Close to My Heart stamp set is not just for Halloween. It would be a wonderful addition to cards, scrapbook layouts, party decorations, treat bags, and more. The best part is it's only $5 with any $50 purchase. Don't delay, because this stamp set is only available this month.

August Stamp of the Month
If you would like to own this stamp set, check out my website at http://dedras-crafts-for-a-cure.ctmh.com/Default.aspx

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