Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

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Studio J Layouts

This is my very first Studio J layout!
Have you heard about Studio J yet? It is free online design software that allows you to create custom-printed two-page layouts you put in your albums. There is no software to purchase and install. You just need to simply log in to Studio J and start designing your layouts! You can create and immediately purchase your layouts, or you can save them for later completion and purchase. Oh my word, it is so much fun and so easy to use.

My 2nd downline Pam (Hi Pam!) sent me her top 10 reasons why everyone should try Studio J. I thought I would share them with you...
  1. It doesn't cost anything so what do you have to lose?
  2. It is extremely user-friendly. You don't need to be great with computers to figure it out.
  3. Almost anything you can do on a classic scrapbook page you can do on Studio J ... edge distressing, layering objects, matting photos, adding ribbon and metal embellishments, etc.
  4. There are things you can do in Studio J that you CAN'T do with your classic supplies. You can re-size Stickease, change out the paper at the last minute, zoom in or out on a photo while you're working on the project, and change the color of embellishments to coordinate with your page.
  5. Studio J is a great tool for planning pages even if you ultimately just decide to make a classic layout.
  6. When you're done with a Studio J layout, you don't have a mess all over your scrapbook room.
  7. You can scrapbook anywhere that you have Internet access ... restaurants, hotels, work, vacation, the in-laws house, even the pool.
  8. When working with Studio J, you never find yourself just "one brad short" or "needing an extra letter-L Stickease". You've got as many embellishments and as many Stickease as you need!
  9. Studio J is the only place you can see the new exclusive paper packs!
  10. You can earn free shipping and free page protectors by grouping your layouts together and having them all printed at the same time.
When can you access Studio J? Studio J will go live in March, however, Consultants will have access earlier, so if you sign up to become a Consultant, you will get to play with it before it goes live! (I was one of the lucky ones who has been able to play with the Beta version and I LOVE it and know you will too!)

Here are a couple more of my first Studio J layouts.
Click here to visit the Studio J website and to sign up for Studio J email updates. You will also be entered to win a FREE album! Stay tuned for more Studio J fun...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

January's Club Project - Family Layout

January’s Creative Club project will be a 12x12 layout that can be used either as a scrapbook page or as a home decor piece, for my club members who are not scrapbookers. Although by the time you are finished with the project, you may want to become scrapbookers. LOL!We will be using the beautiful new Veranda paper packet from the 2010 Spring catalog along with the stamp set that comes in the Felicity Kit only available until the end of January or while supplies last. Click here for more information on the Felicity Kit. The little birds are the top are from Follow your Heart, the the exclusive stamp set that will be available only in the Veranda Workshops on the Go Kit starting January 1st. The LOVE definition is from the State of Mind set that I talked about in my last post. (I love this set!)
My Creative Club meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7pm at my house, however, you do not need to be local to be part of the club. My long distance members get their kits mailed to them and any orders they place, get drop shipped to them directly from the Close to my Heart office. (Sometimes they even get their orders before the local gals!) Next month’s club is on Wednesday, January 13th. If you would like to attend or order a kit, please contact me no later than January 1st so that I have enough time to order the supplies and prepare your kit(s).

Click here for more details on this super fun club! Contact me at for more information, to sign up for next month’s class, or to order your own club kit(s).

All supplies are from CTMH unless otherwise noted.
Paper Packet
Veranda (available January 1st)
(available through January 31st), Friendship Large Alphabet, State of Mind (available January 1st), Follow your Heart (available only in the Veranda WOTG Kit starting January 1st)
Cocoa, Créme Brulee
Big Pinks Just Blooms Flowers, White Daisy Just Blooms Flowers, Pewter Designer Brads, Cocoa Grosgrain Ribbon, Microtip Scissors

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kindness Card - New Product Sneak Peek

Here's a little sneak peek of a couple of new products from the upcoming CTMH 2010 Spring Idea Book. I made this simple card using a new paper packet called Caboodle. You will be seeing more projects using this paper in the next couple of days. (It was the one I was assigned in my new Idea Book swap.) I love the new stamp set I used called State of Mind. Wait until you see the whole set. It has lots of great words and their definitions that are perfect for backgrounds. I also used some of the new Spring Just Blooms flowers. The inside of the card says, “Thank you for your kindness.”

The funny thing is that this morning I was checking out some of my favorite blogs and came across this card from Kathi. I had to laugh because although the card is fairly different, we both had the same idea to use Sweet Leaf and Crystal Blue cardstock to make a scallop circle card. (Great minds think alike, right Kathi?) LOL!

The leaves were made by folding a piece of Sweet Leaf cardstock in half and running it through my crimper at an angle. I cut out half of a leaf shape and then unfolded it. I added a little Sweet Leaf ink to the edges too. I have had my crimper for years and hardly ever use it. I am glad I never got rid of it because it comes in handy when I want to make these kind of leaves.

Happy Sunday!

All supplies are from CTMH unless otherwise noted.
Patterned Paper
Caboodle Paper Packet

Sweet Leaf, Crystal Blue, Sorbet
State of Mind (to be released 1/1/10)
Crystal Blue, Chocolate, Sweet Leaf
Spring Just Blooms, Sorbet Ribbon Rounds, Spring Blossom Brads

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I know I promised to post some more artwork before Christmas, but I spent the day with my family today instead of taking photos of my creations. So, you will have to wait a little longer for my projects. (My family thanks you!)

In the meantime, I wanted to stop in and wish you all a VERY merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! I hope you enjoy spending time with your families during the next few days and focusing on what this beautiful holiday is really about—the birth of our amazing Savior, Jesus Christ! I know it is somewhat of a cliché, but He really is the reason for the season!

I will leave you to enjoy this beautiful card that my sweet friend Barbara sent to me. (Love ya Barb!)
Check out the gold embossing and the sparkly red berries. Barb sure is talented!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yummy Christmas Gifts

Hi All! Did you think I dropped off of the face of the Earth? I have been so preoccupied with Christmas preparations that I have neglected my poor blog and all of you my friends! I am so sorry.

I wanted to share the gifts that I gave to my neighbors this year. As most of you know, I am really not good in the kitchen and homemade (edible) goodies are not my forte. I actually tried it last year and attempted to make some peppermint brownies and what I thought was an easy Chex mix type thing. Indeed they were both easy to make, but they didn't turn out too well. As I delivered them to my poor neighbors, I felt I had to apologize for their gift. So sad. LOL!Anyhoo, this year I opted to share one of my FAVORITE treats with my neighbors. They are Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Candies I found at Costco. Oh, they are just so good I really need to get the rest of them out of the house before I eat them all!

As I was creating the project for my September Creative Club, I had the idea that I could fill up the tins with candy and give them as gifts. That is exactly what I did. The CD tins came from Specialty Bottle and, as I mentioned, the candy came from Costco. I decorated the outside of the tins with cards from the Around the Holidays Card Kit. The best thing was that my gift doubled as a card.

Just look at that heavenly row of yummy chocolate.
Here is a picture of the chocolate bags so you know what to look for on your next Costco run. (wink)
I was able to write a little message to each family inside the attached card.
I hope to post a couple more things before Christmas so be sure to check back soon. *Ü*

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Celebrate National Papercrafting Month

January is National Papercrafting Month, but Close To My Heart is starting the celebration NOW! This year's kit is beautiful! Not only do you get a stamp set that includes a complete alphabet, flourishes, birds, argyle patterns, flowers, leaves, but also twelve 12" x 12" B&T papers in 3 different color schemes along with six coordinating 12" x 12" die cuts perfect for scrapbook layouts or cards, boxes, journals and other papercrafting projects! In addition, you will receive a two-sided, full color brochure giving you project ideas along the recipes for each!

There are FIVE ways to get the Felicity Collection*:
  1. Purchase it at full retail price for $34.95.
  2. Place an order of $60 or more in full-retail priced stamp sets and receive one collection FREE!
  3. Place an order of $125 or more in full-retail priced Close To My Heart products and receive one collection FREE!
  4. Host a home gathering or workshop with a minimum sales of $400 and receive one collection FREE!
  5. Join Close to my Heart between January 1-31 and you will receive the collection FREE in your New Consultant Kit.

*This promotion is while supplies last from December 15, 2009-January 31, 2010.

Click here to place a Close to my Heart order.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Huge Online Clearance Sale - Holiday Heyday!

Boy oh boy, do I have a treat for you! Close to my Heart is having an amazing online clearance sale staring at 8:00 am (Pacific Time) December 2nd!

Sit back and relax. It's OK to start your holiday shopping a little late this year, because the best deals start in December! You can buy everyone on your list a gift and stock up on much-needed supplies for yourself, leaving you time to enjoy the festivities! Beginning December 2*, you’ll want to get in on the amazing deals like My Acrylix® stamp sets from only $2 and My Reflections® paper packets from only $5. But that’s not all—there are “grab bags” for $30, each filled with over $100 in retail products! Plus, great shipping deals too. How about $5 flat rate on orders over $100? What a deal! These products are only available while supplies last, so mark your calendar and be the first to fill your shopping cart!

My sweet friend Melissa compiled the following list of just a few of the great deals. (Thanks Melissa!)

15+ Level One Kits: (favorites like Vintage Travel, Laid Back, Free Spirit & more) $5.00 (regularly $9.95)
10+ Level Two Paper Packs (Caprice, School Zone, Expedition) $6.50 (regularly $12.95)
10+ Stickease $4.00 (regularly $8.95)
35+ Stamp Sets from $2.00 to $8.00 (Let Us Adore Him, Lets Play Ball, Precious Alphabet, Card Sentiments, and other greats)
Embellishments like brads ($3), ribbon rounds ($4), chipboard ($3)
plus lots more!

Click here to start shopping!

*Sale continues through December 17 or while supplies last. Shipping/handling: US orders of $100+ have a flat rate shipping of $5. Tax is charged based on discounted amount. Sale has quantities restricted to FIVE per item to provide a smooth shopping experience for all customers.

Christmas Boutique

You are invited to a
Christmas Boutique

If you are in the Southern California (San Diego, Riverside) area,
please join us for our third annual Christmas Boutique!

If you want to find the perfect gifts, while still enjoying what the season is all about, you won’t want to miss this fun day. Come hand pick, design, or even create your gifts without crowds or stress!

You will enjoy great food, free creative make and take projects,
a free 5 minute massage, door prizes, and more!

Saturday, December 5th • 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
(Contact me for directions)

Featuring Gifts Galore from:
Close to my Heart Stamping & Scrapbooking
(Get some great discounts on my cash and carry products)
Homemade Gourmet
Pampered Chef
Dani’sHandcrafted Jewelry
Unique Children’s Accessories
Hand Painted Portraits
Arbonne International
Simply Fun Family Games
Lori’s Massage
and more!

Come make this fun card during the make and take session.
I am giving away these cute little bags which include a mini card and a mini stamp.
We would love to see you on Saturday! Contact me for more details.

We have a winner...

The winner of my November Creative Club contest is Marlene Spencer who created Project #3! Congratulations Marlene! You win a $10 gift certificate. I will give it to you at our next club meeting. Thanks for playing ladies! (And thanks to those who voted.) *Ü*

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

December Club Project - Mini Album Ornament

December’s Creative Club project will be a fun Mini Album Ornament. We will be using Close to my Heart’s Kraft Colored 3x3 Mini Albums to make ornaments to showcase some “year in review” family photos. You can also choose to make it into a little brag book as a gift for Grandma or for yourself. (They are the perfect size to keep in your purse to show off your adorable kiddos at a moments notice.)
The first page of the club kits will be stamped with the border as shown below without the type. You can choose to hand write, stamp, or use a computer font to personalize your title page.
There are 16 pages in this cute little album. Every other page will have a stamped border and journaling lines for you to fill in. The facing page will have a mat to place your photo. Below are a few examples from my sample mini album. Because I made mine into an ornament, my photos and journaling are vertical. You may choose to make yours horizontal if you do not plan to hang it on your tree.
I choose to use a photo of my wonderful hubby and me to finish off the book. (I am never fond of my profile pictures, but I thought this one was kind of cute in spite of my big nose. LOL!)My Creative Club meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7pm at my house, however, you do not need to be local to be part of the club. My long distance members get their kits mailed to them and any orders they place, get drop shipped to them directly from the Close to my Heart office. (Sometimes they even get their orders before the local gals!) Next month’s club is on Wednesday, December 16th. If you would like to attend or order a kit, please contact me no later than December 5th so that I have enough time to order the supplies and prepare your kit(s).

Click here for more details on this super fun club! Contact me at for more information, to sign up for next month’s class, or to order your own club kit(s).

All supplies are from CTMH unless otherwise noted.
Colonial White, Cocoa, Dessert Sand, Foam Tool
Frame of Mind, Vintage Christmas, Card Chatter - Christmas
Cocoa, Garden Green, Chocolate for distressing
3x3 Mini Album (Kraft), Cocoa Grosgrain Ribbon, Cranberry Brads, Waxy Flax, 3-D Foam Tape

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gingerbread House Gift Box

As soon as I saw Lauren Meader’s new Home Made template, I knew exactly what I would do with it. I wanted to use the CTMH November Stamp of the Month, Around the Block, to make it into a gingerbread house. I discovered a few fun things while making this little gift box that I thought I would share with you. Did you know that if you print something on your inkjet printer, you can sprinkle embossing powder on it and heat set it in whatever color you want? The template came with a pdf file for the shingles used on the roof. I printed the file onto some Desert Sand cardstock in black ink and immediately sprinkled some white embossing powder on it. When I heat set it, I discovered that it actually worked! I made sure to not shake all of it off because I wanted to leave a little extra on to look like snow. I was pretty happy with the results.
The little gumdrops around the edge of the roof are actually stamped using one of the roof stamps from Around the Block. I lined it up and stamped it a few times. (Gotta love those clear stamps for lining up images!) Then once I was finished embossing, I colored each one in with a CTMH marker from the Summer Carnival Marker Set. Then I put a drop of Liquid Glass over each color to make it look more like a gum drop. I cut the “gum drops” out, scored and folded them at the top, and glued them to the edges of the roof so they hung over a bit.

The peppermint lollipops on the front and the peppermint candy on the sides are actually a stamped snowflake from the Snow Friends stamp set. I stamped the snowflakes in Cranberry ink on white cardstock and then punched them out with a circle punch. Then I wrapped a little clear plastic from a baggie around them and tied them each with some Waxy Flax.
The door and windows are from the Around the Block set only available until the end of this month. I love the playfulness of the stamp designs! I embossed them all on Desert Sand cardstock with White embossing powder, cut them out, and adhered them with some 3-D Foam Tape. The fence is punched with a Martha Stewart punch.
To finish it off I added some Cranberry ribbon around the base of the top. This is what it looks like with the top off. Looking at it now, I think I need to add a little more sponging with some Chocolate ink around the edges to make it looked more “baked.” LOL!

Don’t forget that you can get the adorable Around the Block set at a discount or even for FREE this month. Plus, with Stampaganza still in full swing, you can get even more stamp sets for free! Click here for more info on how to get your free stamp sets!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Treasure Life Scripture Cards for Charity

Some wonderful women recently started a chapter of Gogo Grandmothers at our church. I know it is a funny name, but their cause is so worthy. They provide for the orphans of AIDS in Africa by assisting the grandmothers who care for them. Sadly more and more children are becoming orphans because their parents are dying of AIDS over there. Their grandmothers are left to care for them and many of them are caring for up to 6 grandchildren at a time. (I had initially thought I had heard someone report it was up to 20, but I realize I was mistaken. I corrected the mistake on my original post.) Even 6 children is a lot. The Gogo Grandmas at our church are holding a luncheon/boutique fundraiser in February to raise money to send to the orphans in Africa. Once a month until then, they are holding craft workshops where women in the community will come and make some fun projects that they will sell at the boutique in February. There will be ladies there teaching everything from knitting, crocheting and potting plants to making gift bags and cards. That's where I come in. Whenever any type of paper crafting is involved, they always call me. And of course, I am more than willing to help!

This is the project that I came up with for the ladies to make this month. I am hoping that it will be simple enough that we can make a bunch of sets to be able to sell in February. We will be using CTMH's Treasure Life Stamp Set along with a set from Papertrey Ink called Everyday Blessings. The set of boxed cards will include 5-6 cards in clear plastic boxes from Clear Bags. Each card has a different bible verse or inspirational saying. The little tag on the ribbon on the outside of the box can be changed. We will probably make a variety of mini tags and have the buyer choose which one she would like.
If you happen to be in the area and would like to join us for a fun evening of fellowship, coffee, and dessert please come to Rancho Baptist Church on Monday, November 23rd at 6:30 pm. You will be able to learn a new craft and utilize your God given talents to make some fun projects for a worthwhile cause. Contact me for more information.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas Tags and Box

I shamelessly lifted another project from the talented Vicki over at the Wizards Hangout. (Thanks Vicki!) She made the most wonderful gift tags and box that she said were inspired by LeeAnn here. You can check out Vicki’s version here. I loved them so much that I made a set of my own. My photos are horrible, but hopefully you will be able to get the idea.

The best thing about this project is that it only required one stamp set. I used the Just for the Holidays set. If you have the Christmas Melodies set, you could use that too. The instructions to make the box can be found here.
Here is a little sampling of the many tags that are inside the box.Supplies used (all CTMH unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Just for the Holidays
Cardstock: Chocolate, White Daisy, Cranberry and Olive
Inks: Chocolate, Cranberry and Olive inks
Other: Cranberry Grosgrain Ribbon, Scallop and Circle Punches (SU!), Acetate (Overhead Transparencies from Staples), Gold Cording

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Cute Little Mini Box and an Award

I am humbled and honored to receive the “Over the Top” Award from the one and only, Fabulously Artsty, Stamp Goddess herself, Tresa Black. If you have never visited her blog, you must run (don't walk) over to check it out. She is amazing! I was honored to receive the same award a couple of weeks ago from another super talent, Melissa. You can check out my answers here. (Not too many of them have changed. LOL!) Thanks Girlies.

Speaking of the Stamp Goddess, I used one of her wonderful video tutorials last month to make this cute little box. Tresa’s instructions were so easy to follow. You can check them out here. I decorated my box with patterned paper from the Twitterpated Collection and filled it with Hershey’s Kisses. Yummy! These would make great party favors or place cards. (I just may make some more and attach a tag with everyone’s name to the ribbon and use them as place cards for Thanksgiving Dinner.)

Please vote for your favorite...

I had a little contest with my Creative Club members this month. I told them that they could enter any project that they liked and I would post them on my blog for you all to see and vote on. The only criteria was that they had to use at least one CTMH product. Out of 18 club members, I only had three entries, so their chances of winning are pretty good. LOL! The winner will receive a $10 CTMH gift certificate.

So, now it is up to you. Please leave a comment on this post letting me know which project you like the best. The winner will be announced at the end of the month.

Project #1: Uses the Tickled Pink Paper Packet.
Project #2: Uses the tree stamp from the spooky Spellbound stamp set along with some multicolored Flower Soft.
Project #3: Uses the Unforgettable Paper Packet and Stickease.
Voting will close on November 30th.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Notepad Book List

My son's teacher just had a birthday and I was racking my brain to try to figure out what to give her. I know she loves to read, so I got her a gift card to Borders Book Store and made her a little notepad to keep a list of all of the book she might like to read someday. (That idea came from one of my all time heroes, Nichole Heady!)

Nichole sells note pads that are the perfect size for making cute little list pads, but I decided to try to make one on my own. I bought a pack of two notepads at Staples that were perfect. They were 5"x8" eco-friendly writing pads. (To be honest, the main reason I bought them was because they had brown lines that I knew would match my project.) I cut them in half with an xacto blade and made a folder out of CTMH Bamboo cardstock. I followed Nichole's example and made a rounded pocket on the inside where I put the gift card.
I used some Barn Red cardstock and a couple of pieces of patterned paper from CTMH’s Grace Collection to decorate the cover. I added a little Cocoa Grosgrain Ribbon and piece of chipboard from CTMH’s Booksmart Dimensional Elements Collection. I LOVE CTMH’s chipboard because it is white so you can make it any color very quickly with just a little ink. I sponged some Bamboo and Chocolate ink onto it to give it a leathery-type feel and added a couple of Antique Copper Brads to the sides. Finally I adhered it to the cover with some Glue Dots. (I realize now that I should have filed the edges a bit more, but oh well...)
I stamped a few images from the Delightful Things stamp set on the inside. After making a matching card and gift bag, I wrapped it all up and gave it to her on Friday. She seemed to really like the handmade touch.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Anniversary Card

This is the anniversary card that I am going to give my hubby today. I used some brown textured cardstock for the base. After printing the words “I love you Andy” a trillion times on white CS, I stamped the little love birds and heart from CTMH’s Solo 2 stamp set. I used my Nesties to cut out the window on the outside along with the large piece on the inside. Then I added some Cranberry Ribbon to the top with a little tag stamped with “Happy Anniversary” from Papertrey's Mixed Messages set. The “I love you” on the inside came from CTMH’s Because I Love You stamp set.

ETA: I just gave the card to my hubby and he said, “I like the cute little cups toasting each other.” What? Cups? I had to gently correct him and tell him that they are love birds. I guess they do kind of look like cups with legs. Oh well. LOL!
This is the inside of the card.
Here is a close up. Can you see the text in the background? It says, “I love you Andy” about a zillion times. I typed it up on my computer and printed it out before I used my Label One Nestabilities to cut out the large shape.
Today is the 9th anniversary of the day my wonderful hubby and I got married! We celebrated last weekend with a nice dinner on Friday night and an amazing hot air balloon ride over Temecula’s beautiful wine country on Saturday morning.

This is the two of us just before we floated up.
Our balloon was called Fantasia. You could see Mickey Mouse’s wizard hat at the very top of the balloon from the inside. It was pretty cool.
For more photos of our hot air balloon adventure, feel free to check out my family blog here.

Have a great day! *Ü*