Thursday, 22 June 2017

Celebrating Canada's 150th Birthday with presents for You!

Do you ever just sit back and think about how lucky we are to live in a beautiful country like Canada? In many areas of the world people struggle daily just to provide food and clean water for their families. Some are persecuted for their beliefs, their gender or even their race. That is why it is so important for us to take time to be grateful for our lives. We need to celebrate the opportunities we have living in Canada.

In celebration of Canada's 150th birthday My Grandma's Teacups,  Southern Ridge Trading Company and Emerald Creek will be hosting a blog hop featuring their designers tribute pieces to Canada. Join us June 29th and 30th as we visit each of their blogs and spread Happy Birthday wishes across the country.

Be sure to check out the rafflecopter at each stop and see how to collect entries to win the grand prize of a Spellbinders Platinum 6. We will also be giving away goodies from Southern Ridge Trading Company Canada 150 line. Be sure to mark your calendars for a virtual cross country celebration.



Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Cathy Potosky 's Junk Journal Mini Album.

Hi everyone, my name is Cathy and I'm am very excited and honoured to be sharing a project here at My Grandma's Teacups, thank you so much for having me Tracy!

For this mixed media project I put my own twist on a Tim Holtz Worn Cover book. I had grabbed it up for a steal of a deal, even though I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it at first. Then when this opportunity came up, I thought....I know exactly what I want to do and then came across my SRTC Life chipboard piece and thing started to fall into place. I turned it into a kind of "junk journal", but for myself and pics of my kids. 

My kids are adults, my oldest lives with her boyfriend and my son is busy with work, his girlfriend and his car. So my "Life" book is going to be for pics I take when we are all actually at home at the same time. And they might not be pretty LOL The pics going in here are going to be selfies and they could very well be of all of us right when we wake up, hair a mess etc. It's rare that we are all in this house at the same time so now it's Mom imposed selfie time when we are and each pic will get printed and put into my "Life" junk journal! :)










I started with Distress Oxides on the inside cover, splashed some water to get those wonderful splotches and let it dry. I then stencilled over that using the Walnut Stain for a hint of the wildflowers on the inside.




















I used some old paper from my stash because I liked the little sentiments in the corners and got my Distress Oxides ready to ink the front and back covers of my junk journal.

Once the ink was dry I used the wildflower stencil (it is one of my faves) and translucent texture paste on the front cover so it adds texture but no colour. On the back cover I added a touch of shimmery paint to jazz it up a bit.




















I then went to work on embellishments. So many embellishments so little time!! I love flowers of all kinds and had the leaves in my stash. Dyed the flowers using Distress Spray, Distress Oxides and some Finnabair Spark paint.



I got out my Distress Paint and the gorgeous Fractured Ice Embossing Powder and my "Life" chipboard. Painted the word and then embossed it. I love the texture from this ep and loved it with the paint. The top pics are just close ups of how the Distress Oxide looks on the worn cover and paper. I love how it looks like an old water stained book.




















For my inside pages, It was very simple. I used brown packing paper (Amazon used it in their shipments, I may or may not have a lot of it in my house) and for half of the sheets I crumpled them up tight, flattened them back out and ran my Distress Vintage Photo (another fave that seems to end up on every project!) You can get the binder clips to attached to the worn cover, I just used purple hemp twine and a piece of natural twine I had to tie in my pages. 





















Details on the front cover include gemstones for the butterfly body and the flower centre and you can see the clear texture paste on the cover too.



For the back cover I used another piece from SRTC. I just love this chipboard, it can be front and center like on the front and it also makes it a great anchor piece for embellishments like seen here on the back. Added gemstones for the butterfly and the flower centers and a little silver rose charm from Emerald Creek.



And last but not least the spine of the book. I added beads from my stash, charms from EC and a zipper pull I found in a basket of stuff (everyone has a basket of random stuff in their craft space right?)



Be sure to check with Tracy of My Grandma's Teacups and ask her which Southern Ridge Trading Company chipboard pieces she has.....you are going to want to play with these!  Thank you so much for stopping by everyone and I hope you have a great day!


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Guest Designer Cathy Potosky will be joining us this Wednesday to share a tutorial on a beautiful Mini Album.

My name is Cathy Potosky and I am a papercrafting addict. I love paper and started my journey as a cardmaker, simple, embossed, sometimes fussy cut and that was all. Now....I have discovered mixed media, all things Tim Holtz and Distress, Dylusions journals, Dina Wakely paints and stamps. Just to name a few of my favorites.

I also love some amazing Canadian companies that create intricately designed chipboard, Southern Ridge Trading Company and the beautiful full of texture embossing powders from Emerald Creek Craft Supplies and beautifully hand designed scrapbook paper collections from   Wild Whisper Designs.

I am inspired on a daily basis by my fellow Design Team members, other creators that share their work and their stories, colours I see on my walk to the bus stop, and textures I notice in the strangest places. 

I love sharing over on my blog http://amethystalcove.blogspot.ca/ and I am on instagram probably way more than is healthy @cathymp2119


Friday, 14 April 2017

6 Tips to create a High Visibility Craft Booth

Let's face it, you could have the most amazing product ever created but if you are not able to get customers to come into your booth, then you can't show them how great it is.





















You only have a a few seconds to catch the attention of shoppers before their eyes settle on something in the booth down the aisle.  What can you do to capitalize on those first few Seconds?


1. Incite their curiosity. 
Shoppers are expecting to see racks and shelves and counters in your booth. If you can prominently display something that is different your potential customers will be naturally drawn towards your booth to figure out what is unique in your space. In our recent booth for Scrapfest we hung a vintage parasol with flowers in it, and a glass chandelier from our booth frames. They could be seen from a distance, took no floor space away from our products and became quite the conversation pieces. They were also great landmarks for happy customers to direct their friends to.

2. Make them laugh.
One of the things that I invested in for the booth was a foam board poster that said "a good friend shops for scrapbooking supplies with you, a best friend helps you hide the stash when you get home." We hung the poster on the canopy frame facing the main aisle. Hundreds of crafters stopped to read the sign giving us an opportunity to chat with them and bring them into the booth. We also helped over 50 people take photos of themselves and their BFF in front of the sign. Those pictures were posted all over social media where my Web address is prominently displayed on the bottom of the poster. Not only did we get customers from this sale, but also free advertising from social shares.

3. Offer more than they expect
Being a veteran Scrapfest shopper I know how dry the arena can get when you are walking for hours on end. Visitors to our booth where offered free water bottles while they browsed. Shoppers were surprised that we were giving water to everyone without need for purchase and it placed our booth in their mind as a friendly courteous shop.

4. Be true to your brand
I can honestly say that anyone that saw our booth knew immediately what to expect as far as products. We spent a large amount of time planning which elements would best represent our brand. The shabby chic feel  we achieved let our customers know we were a boutique type business that specialized in high end supplies from around the world.





5. Give them a reason to stay in touch
We handed out over 500 business cards to patrons of the show and with each card we made sure to connect a reason to keep it. Some customers were interested in additional pieces for a collection, some were looking for new lines that we are ordering in. Several people had an interest in classes and workshops and there were even a few that were interested in having their designs featured on this blog. Whatever the hook, we ensured that each customer felt invested in our business and knew that the information on the card was key to staying connected.

6. Be a problem solver
No one store has every product. If a customer has a particular item that they are looking for, go out of you way to find the business that has it. Do not give vague directions and send them on their way. If possible, personally bring the customer to the appropriate vendor. It will keep you in the mind of the customer as well as the vendor that may send business your way.

Well there you have It!  6 tips to increase your booths visibility.  Try one or try them all and I am sure you will see your foot traffic soar.


Bonus Tip

Smile at Everyone!  It is really hard to walk past someone when they are looking directly at you with a big smile on their face. Give it a try, bet you can't ignore them.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Where did February Go?

Hi Friends. I can not believe it is half way through March. The kids will be home next week for March Break and I have to start thinking about booking their summer camps. I realized that it had been some time since I posted and I have created a few items that I wanted to share.

The first is a canvas I made using Heartfelt Creations Paper and Dusty Attic chipboard. I love the way the locket turned out. I used Rub and Buff to make it have that vintage gold look.






The second is a gift box with a cute little tag album. This was also Heartfelt Creations, Graphic 45 tag album and a box from the dollar store.






Finally I made this cute little card using Heartfelt Creations. Seeing a pattern here? I am trying to use up things I have been hoarding.








I will likely be busy all week so chance are I wont get to post until later in March. In the meantime enjoy what looks like the beginning of Spring (fingers crossed) and don't forget to celebrate St. Patricks Day.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Crafty Chick's Road Trip 2017

Hello fellow craft hoarders.....I mean papercrafters. Our trip to Scrapfest in 2016 was so much fun, we have decided to do it again. This time we will start out on Thursday April 6th. There will be pick ups in Kingston, Shannonville, Belleville and Cobourg. We will be staying at The Radisson hotel in Kitchener and enjoying a full breakfast before being shuttled to the Convention Center in time for the Scrapfest Crop. We will be staying until Saturday so you will have lots of time to crop and shop in the huge Scrapfest Market.

Your passport to crafty fun includes: a seat on one of McCoy's luxury coaches, 2 nights shared accommodation at the Radisson hotel, full breakfast on both Friday and Saturday mornings, shuttle service to and from the event, crop and market access and inspiration from some of the greatest retailers in the industry. We will even bring you home Saturday when you are too tired to think straight. All this for the amazing sum of $350.

 For those of you that would like a ride and crop space we only  have a limited number of seats reserved for $250. Hurry to reserve your spot. 50% non refundable deposit required at booking and the remaining balance is due 2 weeks prior to the trip. Book with three friends and you will all be entered in a draw for a brand new product from Creativation 2017. To reserve your space: email mygrandmasteacups@gmail.com


Friday, 3 February 2017

Allowing Children to Succeed

This post contains affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them.  This is how we help to make money so we can continue to bring you amazing content

This is not a craft post, it is however a post about using creativity to help children succeed. I think many teachers and administrators get bogged down by their workload, the increasing complexity of the curriculum, the stringent bureaucracy surrounding interaction with students and the overall pressure to reach the academic standards of the average child.

Unfortunately none of these pressures allow teachers to use their creativity to reach children that can not be formed into the cookie cutter mainstream student. The children who learn in very specific ways whether it is auditory, visually, hands on or something totally different.

There is a quote attributed to Micheal J Fox that says "If children can't learn the way we teach, we should teach the way they learn."

My child has Autism. I have to pick him up nearly every day because he has escalated into a flurry of aggression that the school is not trained to handle. (I should note he is in a connections program for Autistic children.)

When we look at the bulk of the incidents when he has had a meltdown it was instigated by staff trying to make him do things in the exact same format as everyone else. I get it. There is a curriculum to be followed. However, if a child is being sent home everyday because he won't do assignments their way, surely it would be more effective to allow him to complete tasks his way. There are only 6 children in the class and 3-4 staff. Surely someone can figure out how to let the children succeed by using their strengths to learn. My little man has a memory like no one else I know. When he was 4 he had already learned the names and catchphrase of each of the hundreds of Skylanders.  He knows the words to more songs than I do and he can figure out technology faster than I can keep up and I went to college for my Microsoft certification.

I get so frustrated that none of those strengths are being leveraged to help him learn.

By allowing children to use their own God given talents and tools designed to support their sensory needs all children have the ability to succeed in their own way.

We as the educators of these children (yes I consider parents as educators as well) should put away our measuring tape and allow these incredible children to show us what they are capable of, and do all that we can to help them succeed in their own way.

It is the diversity of abilities that allow people to do incredible things.




 National Autism Resources is the leading online resource for information, advice, toys, gifts, educational products and more.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

The Right Tool for the job.. The top 5 benefits of Cricut Products.

This post was sort of a rabbit hole as I was planning a tutorial for next week on how to use your Cricut Explore to make planner stickers. I was looking on YouTube to make sure the topic had not been covered 100 times already. I was surprised to see that most of the tutorials were for the cameo.

I have been a long term Cricut fan from the original right on through the Explore Air. Cricut had a few bumps along the way that upset fans of the product. Despite  that it is still one of the most user friendly digital cutter around.

Top 5 Benefits of Staying with Cricut.

#1 Backwards Compatability
They never abandoned the cartridges from previous machines.
#2Constant new innovative products being release
Cricut Vinyl, magnetic sheets,  markers, tools.
#3 Once master a Cricut the learning curve for the next machine is not bad.
#4 Print then Cut
So many new projects can be made with this feature alone
#5 Ability to load any svg to Design Space.
For people that are still bitter about losing SCAL this gives you back the ability to cut anything.

I know everyone has their own opinion but for me, I am firmly planted on team Cricut.

https://youtu.be/dbNdLBqvMTQ



Thursday, 26 January 2017

Why you may be spending too much on everything

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


As you may have noticed I am a bit obsessed with papercrafting supplies. Beautiful designed paper and frilly die cuts make my heart all a flutter. Unfortunately all these pretty toys come with a hefty price tag. This leaves me with only three options:

1. Stop buying supplies. (PARDON ME WHILE I TRY TO STOP LAUGHING)

2. Stop taking my family out for supper. (ALSO HIGHLY UNLIKELY)

3. Price match, coupon clipping and points ninja.


Yes, you guessed it I am that lady ahead of you in line explaining why I should be getting $0.50 off that box of cereal.

You would be surprised how much you can save by using reward programs and coupons to your benefit. No time to search out discount codes or Coupons?  Well you are in luck. With the use of Groupon Coupon you can find deals on things you buy everyday! From shoes to coffee and even electronics, you are only a few clicks away from saving big. All those savings add up and you will be adding to your scrap stash in no time at all.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Family needs new shoes?
Payless Shoes Save up to 60% on clearance items

Coffee time? 
Starbucks buy one get one free

New Electronics?

Best Buy Up to 50% on select tablets





Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Creativation Adventure

I am home from Phoenix! I can hardly believe what a whirlwind the trip was.

My mind is jam packed with creative inspiration, new technical abilities and a bit of swoon over all the papercrafting super stars I met along the way.

We arrived in Phoenix on Thursday afternoon and got settled in at the Wyndham Gardens Hotel before heading to the Phoenix Convention Centre to get our badges for the event.

Friday my first event was the CHA Canadian Chapter Breakfast meeting. 7:30 is a bit early in the morning to be social but it was a great opportunity to meet fellow Canadians in the craft industry. Ironically Ecstasy Crafts was there which is funny because I live right around the corner from their store. Karen Beupre the Creative genius behind Southern Ridge Trading Company was there as well as Tiffany Bond from Craft and Create.



















I had to cut the meeting short to get to my first class Mastering Affiliate Marketing where I had the chance to meet the ever flamboyant Melody Lane.























My second class was 4 ways to be published. Guess who one of the speakers were! None other than The Crafty Chica.























My third class was on the benefits of establishing a craft collective. I enjoyed their presentation immensely.  Guess who the speakers were: The Phoenix Freda's. If you have a chance find them on social media.

The day was very tiring so I thought about playing hookie from my next class but as you know I am a rule following Chickie who would never want to offend anyone. I was pleasantly surprised to be regaled by the story of how a older lady started her YouTube channel to make her Church groups crocheting lessons easier for her 12 members to see and keep up at their own pace. She has over 800,000 subscribers now and quit her fulltime job as a professor at Southern university.

By far my favourite class was with Shanna Noel the creator of Illustrated faith. Her story of her journey to find her connection to Jesus was inspiring as well as at times quite comedic . She has inspired my to include Bible Journaling in my craft repertoire.





Saturday was the main event. The tradeshow floor opened and I was overwhelmed with sheer volume of new products coming to market. I found new companies that I have not seen before that I am now obsessed with. I am eagerly awaiting their new releases. One such company is 49 & Market which just started out 9 months ago and already has Gabriella Pollaka desgning for them.

My favourite moments were meeting Heidi Swap, Sheena Douglas, Debbi Moore and Emmalou from Heartfelt creations.

Though my blistered toes will say otherwise, this was one of the most exciting events I have ever attended.  I find it hard to believe I was actually there. It's a perfect example of living your dreams. Now I have to decide on my next adventure.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Colorful Canvas using GeckoGalz Digital Background Stamp

One of the true benefits of using digital stamps is the ability to resize the image to suit your surface. This beautiful background image was printed on my Hp Laserjet printer. I used my Spectrum noir markers to colour the image before mod podging it onto a canvas. I used my tattered angels glimmer mists to create the background colour. Use a piece of scrap paper to mask the area you used markers on. I then sealed the image with mod podge and allowed to dry. Using my Tim Holtz stencil and some texture paste I created the lace effect around the image.  Once dry I attached the flowers and greenery.


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Mixed Media Artist Pallet

Do you remember when Donna Dewberry made videos of her painting techniques? I remember she said in one of the videos that before you know it you will be looking at everything as a blank canvas. I think that is the stage I am currently at with mixed media. Everything I pick up I want to slap gesso, lace and flowers on. This is my latest creation. I picked this up at Dollarama and thought it would make an adorable piece for a bare spot on the wall in my studio. My husband said I should have used a picture where my face is less slowly but I think this one was appropriate as not all dreams and wishes are full filled with smiles and laughter, some require focus and thought to achieve.


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Vintage Market Tote DIY

Sometimes it is hard to find just the right bag to suit your personality. (Or maybe it's just me?) I love the Canvas bags from Canvas Corp Brands. They come in all shapes and sizes and endless decorating possibilities. Imagine how your mother or sister would feel receiving a custom made bag. Perhaps a gift for the teacher or bus driver.  This simple technique makes it so easy to put any picture or graphic directly on the bag.

How to: 


Choose a canvas bag from canvascorpbrands.com 
Print your favourite image using regular copy paper and a Laserjet printer
Remember to reverse print the image if it has text on it.
Using medium or heavy gel mediums cover the coloured side of the paper in a thin coat right to the edge of the paper.
Place the image gel side down onto the Canvas and gently flatten it using your hands.
Allow it to dry for at least 12 hours.
Saturate the paper with warm water and gently rub off the fibres until you can clearly see the image.
You may need to go back after it dries and clean up any white patches that still have paper.
Using tattered angels spray mist colour the rest of the bag. You can use stencils or masks to create fun patterns.
Embellish with your favourite trim.

Enjoy


Thursday, 12 January 2017

CHA Sneak Peek from Spellbinders.

The time is flying past as we countdown to the Craft and Hobby Assosciation's main event Creativation in Phoenix. One week from now manufacturers, designers, bloggers and store owners from around the world will converge in Arizona to feet a glimpse at all the new products being released in 2017. I have been following all the sneak Peeks and I am so excited about what we will have access to this year.

Today I received a sneak peek from Spellbinders. I fell in love with their adorable new create a house die. It will make the cutest Valentine or Easter treat packaging.


Isn't it Adorable?

If you are interested in purchasing this die set please email me mygrandmasteacups@Gmail.com and I will put in a pre-order so that we will be at the top of the que when it begins shipping.

If you would like to see more of this die set check out this post on the Spellbinders blog. Spellbinders Blog



Sunday, 8 January 2017

Digital Design: Romance for #geckogalz

With the children home for Christmas holidays I have been finding it very difficult to get any creative time. Worse yet, I have not been able to get down in the studio for more than two minutes in weeks. My whole store area is stacked to capacity with boxes of new stock just waiting to be unpacked.

I have tried to remain productive using my tablet while the kids were entertained but it is frustrating trying to manuver the apps with limited functionality on a mobile device.

My plans for 2017 include regular posts, better use of my newsletter, keeping inventory listed on my store updated and publishing more tutorials.

I am very excited to have been able to arrange for several guest bloggers this year which will give us all a chance to be inspired by new creative styles.

We can look forward to posts by Elsie a and Darlene Smith this month. This dynamic mother daughter duo create the most incredible cards. I can't wait to see their tutorial.

In February we will be joined by talented artist Jackie Mead Hart, Mini Album master. Her Graphic 45 mini books are stunning.

I will also be sharing pictures from my trip to Creativation in Phoenix. I will be sure to snap some shots of all your favourite manufacturers. Hopefully some shots of our favourite designers too.

Plus I will share some pictures from our Canvas Corp Creative Crew meet up.  I am very excited to meet my team in person.

So for today all I have to share is my plans for 2017 and a really cute digital design I created using an image from #geckogalz .