Friday, July 31, 2009

Cupcakes in a Box for Operation Smile

Close to my Heart is holding its very first silent auction at Leadership this year to help raise money for Operation Smile, a charity that they have supported for years. Operation Smile is a wonderful organization. Throughout the world, Operation Smile volunteers repair childhood facial deformities while building public and private partnerships that advocate for sustainable healthcare systems for children and families. With our help, they create smiles, change lives, and heal humanity. For a little as $240, Operation Smile can change a child’s life by giving the gift of a surgery to a child. Click here for more information on Operation Smile.

A few Consultants were asked to create something to be donated to the silent auction. I came up with the idea to make a “Cupcakes in a Box” project in hopes that it might raise some extra money for Operation Smile. Cupcakes are all the rage so I thought this would be a fun thing to donate.

This is what the inside of the box looks like. It contains a box of cupcake mix, pink icing, 4 tubes of sprinkles, pink candles, mini cupcake baking cups, and six cupcake recipes with a sewn pocket to hold them. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)
Here are the contents of the box.This is what the box looks like when it is empty. I had a hard time trying to make the inside divider to fit all of the contents. I am kicking myself now because I didn’t save the measurements.
Here is a close up of the recipe cards in the pockets on the inside of the lid.It is hard to see, but I sewed some vellum paper with pink thread to make the pockets.
Here is a close up of the cupcake on the front of the box. I drew the cupcake on some Hollyhock cardstock and again on some Desert Sand cardstock. I cut them out and embossed some large white dots on the pink piece. Then I ran the desert sand piece through my crimper and inked the edges with some Chocolate ink.
All products CTMH unless otherwise noted:
: Silhouette
: Hollyhock, Black, White Daisy
: Cupcake Sprinkles, Baby Steps

: Memory Keeper Box, Scallop Punch, Sewing Machine/Thread, Crimper, Hollyhock Ribbon, Scallop Scissors, Prisma Glitter, White Embossing Powder/Versamark Ink Pad, Foam Tape

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Roomie Gifts

The birthday party was a success today and the candy bar sliders were a big hit! I am sooo tired I could just drop right now. LOL! But onward I must press...

I leave tomorrow morning, right after a doctor's appointment, for Leadership in Long Beach! I am really excited to see all of the new products, hear all of the amazing announcements, make some fun projects, and most of all, to see my CTMH friends. I made my roomies a small gift using Lauren Meader's Pretty Petal Pocket template. I included a few necessities such as some tissues, lip balm, hand lotion, Tylenol, and most importantly, some chocolate! LOL!

I used one of my favorite paper packets called That's Amore along with a little Chocolate Grosgrain ribbon. The sentiment came from the True Happiness stamp set and the border is from Priceless Love. The pink flower came from the Big Pinks Just Blooms paper flowers. I added a Pewter Decorative Brad in the middle to finish it off. I know it isn't much so I hope my roomies like them. I really wish I had more time to make something wonderful for them. Maybe next year...
Here is a close up of the sentiment panel.
After I cut it out, I popped it up with some Foam Tape. (Love that stuff!)
This is what the little purse looks like with nothing in it.
I love that it expands on the sides so you can fit more goodies inside.
Here is a photo of all of the little goodies I put inside.I can't wait to come back and share all of the fun stuff that I learned at Leadership. I will be getting a copy of the new Fall/Winter Idea Book on Friday. It will go live on September 1st. One of the best things about being a Consultant is that I get to see and order everything early! Doesn't that sound great? How would you like to get a sneak peek of all of the products and get them at a great discount? You can even join us in Washington D.C. for CTMH's Convention next summer! All you need to do is sign up to be a Consultant and you will have access to all of the great Consultant perks. Remember if you sign up before July 31st, you can still take advantage of the “Choose your Favorite Five in July” promotion. You can get up to $725 worth of goodies for only $209. Or if you prefer to not get the two bonus kits, you can still get $400 worth of goodies for only $99!

In addition to the new Consultant Kit goodies, you can also choose your "Favorite Five" from this list of products absolutely FREE:
· My Acrylix Thank You Stamp Set (retail value $22.95)
· Magic Moments Scrapbook Kit (retail value $34.95)
· Basic Textured Cardstock Combo Pack (retail value $14.95)
· Life Delights Memory Showcase Kit (retail value $12.95)
· My Originals Hello Birdie Card Kit (retail value $12.95)
· Creative Basics Silhouette Collection (retail value $8.95)
· HeartFelt Whimsy Die-Cuts (retail value $9.95)
· All-Out Adventure Rub-Ons (retail value $9.95)
· Window Charms Squares (retail value $9.95)

If you're ready to join the best stamping and scrapbooking company around, then click here to sign up. I would love to have you on my team. Remember, you only have until 11pm (PST) on July 31st to take advantage of the “Favorite Five” offer!

I have a fun project to share with you that I made for the Leadership Silent Auction. I can’t post it until after the auction, so I will set it up to automatically post on my blog on Saturday while I am gone. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Birthday Party Favors and a Blessing

My little guy is turning six tomorrow. I can hardly believe that six years ago at this very moment I was in the hospital laboring away. (He was born almost a month early and was a tiny 5 pounds.) If you have visited my family blog, you may already know that I recently found out that I have some abnormalities that could have prevented me from having normal pregnancies, healthy babies, and even getting pregnant in the first place. I recently had doctors, nurses, ultrasound techs, and others tell me that I am very lucky to have had my kids. Luck? I don't think so. I was blessed! It was all God! He was the one who made it happen. So, as I celebrate my son's 6th birthday with him tomorrow, I will be thanking my Heavenly Father for both of my amazing blessings! (My daughter will be turning three next month.)

In the midst of getting ready to leave for CTMH's Leadership Conference on Thursday, I quickly whipped up some simple party favors for my son to hand out at his birthday party tomorrow. (Maybe next year the kids will get a little more than just a candy bar! LOL!) Ryan loved the candy bar sliders that I made with my club last month, so we decided to make some for his friends. I used the Stardust paper packet and the Reach for the Stars stamp set. Ry had so much fun helping me color with my Watercolor Pencils and Blending Pen that I just may order him a set of his own. (They are way less messy than watercolor paints—perfect for a 6 year old. LOL!)

I am not sure if you can tell, but we used Liquid Glass on the little windows of the rocket. Ryan thought it made them look “cool.”

If you are interested in making some of these fun little treats, there is a great tutorial here.

Well, I am off to get ready for tomorrow's party, type up my monthly newsletter, pack, and oh maybe do some laundry and make sure there is food for my hubby to feed the kiddos while I am gone. (Maybe I will get some sleep once I am at Leadership. Ha! Right! Who am I kidding? LOL!) I have a couple of fun Leadership projects to post tomorrow. Stay tuned...

All products CTMH unless otherwise noted:
: Stardust
: Topiary
: Reach for the Stars

: Black StazOn
: Watercolor Pencils, Blending Pen, Yellow Ribbon from my stash, Liquid Glass, Crimper, Foam Tape,, Expressive Fonts CD Volume II (CTMH Deja Vu)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Back Country Projects

We got back last night from our camping trip. Except for my daughter having a hard time sleeping in the tent, we had a great time. LOL! There were 7 families that came with us and my daughter was the youngest of all the kids. I was very grateful that everyone was so forgiving in the morning. I can only imagine what they were all thinking with my little one fussing all night long both nights!

I couldn't wait to scrapbook some of our photos with the Back Country paper packet. In between doing all of the icky laundry today, I managed to print out a couple of photos. My fabulous swapping buddy Kelly Triggs, sent me these projects in our last swap, so instead of reinventing the wheel, I just added some photos to her wonderful artwork. I have a lot of photos from the trip, so I may create some of my own layouts when I have some time. Stay tuned for those... In the meantime, you can enjoy Kelly's creativity! (You can click on the photos to see them larger.)
Check out the fun title. She used my favorite large alpha set called Rustic Alphabet and then trimmed out each letter and popped them up with Foam Squares.
She used some of the new In Color - Adventure Dimensional Elements on the projects. This little dial is so much fun. You can spin it around to say different things. Since it was about a million degrees where we went camping, I thought the “Warm Memories” sentiment was appropriate. LOL! She also hand stitched the border. I love it!
Here are the swap cards that Kelly made. Aren’t they great?
(Melissa, we forgot the tin foil so we couldn't try your s’mores trick. Bummer! We will have to try it next time.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

August Club Project - Flip Flap Photo Book

Next month’s Creative Club project is a Flip Flap Photo Book that was originally designed by Anna Jarnagin. (Thanks Anna!) Club members will have a choice to make the pink and blue book using the Unforgettable papers or the black and white book using the Silhouette Creative Basics paper. Both books contain five Flip Flap pages where you can insert up to 10 photos. You can even add a photo to the cover to personalize it even more.

Close up detail of the flower on the Unforgettable book.
Close up detail of the sentiment on the Silhouette book.
Front view of the Silhouette book.Inside view of the Silhouette book.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!)

Here is more information on the Creative Club:
You may join the club at any time and there is no commitment to stay in the club for any length of time or to place an order. There will be a $5 fee for the supplies used for the projects we make which will range from cards to small gift items, to scrapbook pages, and more. Each person who signs up for this club will have their name added to the bottom of the hostess list. The person whose name is on the top of the list will get the hostess rewards that month. In order for your name to keep its “place” on the list, you must place a $25 minimum order whether you attend the class that month or not. If you do not place a $25+ order that month, then your name goes down to the bottom of the list. If you do place a $25+ order, then your name continues to move up the list AND you will not be required to pay the $5 supply fee for that class. It will be free! Long distance members pay an additional $5 to have their project kits mailed to them.

Club members will also receive:
  • A free current Idea Book/Catalog
  • Free Hostess Rewards during your hosting month
  • $5 or free optional monthly classes
  • Optional opportunity to hold a home workshop or party to boost your hostess benefits
  • $5 discounts on all workshops while you are a member
  • Lots of other freebies and surprises...
Contact me at for more information or to sign up for next month’s class.

FYI - I am off to go camping for a few days, so if you try to contact me, I promise to get back to you as soon as I return. (Hopefully I will get some fun photos of my kiddos camping. I would love to do a few scrapbook pages using CTMH’s Back Country paper!) Have a great week! *Ü*

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thank you and a little "hello..."

Thanks so much for all of the well wishes the other day. I did get a good night's sleep and my day yesterday was much better. Sorry for all the whining. *Ü*

Here is a super, super simple card that I whipped up last month when I got my new With Love Embossing Folders. I used Papertrey's Rasperry Fizz cardstock along with a few clear dew drops that I found at Michael's in the clearance section last year. (I forgot I had them. LOL!) I wrote a simple sentiment with my white gel pen and finished it off with a scrap of pink gingham ribbon that I got at Walmart a long time ago. (It feels good to use up some old products that I have lying around.)

Hope your day is a good one! *Ü*

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ever have one of those days?

Have you ever had one of those days when anything that can go wrong goes wrong? Well, I had one of those days today. I will spare you all of the details, but the cherry on top of the day was when I locked my keys in the car at our community clubhouse. I didn't realize it until after my son's swim lesson when we were ready to go home. I called AAA to come and help me unlock the car. After TWO HOURS and three phone calls, it turns out that they couldn't find the club house and neglected to call me on my cell phone to let me know. Let me just say that the 100 degree weather and my tired, potty-training, two-year-old daughter didn't help my frustration. (We went though both sets of back-up clothes and panties within those two hours. She ended up wearing a swim diaper home!) My son was a trooper even though he asked me numerous times why I locked the keys in the car. Ummmm...because your Mommy's brain is not fully functioning today??? I don't know. We managed to get a ride home from the sweet lady at the front desk. She was soooo kind! (I did call AAA when I got home to give them a piece of my mind though.)

Anyhoo, here is a little 3x3 card that I made a while ago. I thought I should post something uplifting and happy like this little "enjoy" card seeing as I did NOT enjoy my day. Now that I am about to head off to bed at an early 8:30pm, I am ready to enjoy a good night's sleep. That's for sure. LOL!

My good friend Christine saw this card a while back when I made it and she created the CUTEST little tea bag holder using the same design. You can check it out here. I like her project much better than mine! But then again, everything she creates is AMAZING! *Ü*

Well, I am off to bed. I am so thankful for my hubby who is helping get the kiddos in bed tonight. I will surely be asleep before them! LOL! Thanks for listening to (or reading I should say) my venting tonight. Nighty-night...
All products CTMH unless otherwise noted:
: Chocolate, Blush, White Daisy
: You're Adored, Reminisce

: Blush, Baby Pink, Chocolate
: Chocolate Grosgrain Ribbon

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Gals

I thought it would be fun to show a photo of some of my club gals. I have 16 in the club and this particular evening 8 were in attendance. We always have lots of fun! If you are interested in joining the club, email me at for more information. You do not need to be local to join. *Ü*

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Envelope Lining Tutorial

I taught a class the other night where we used the Wishes Book to make three cards and matching envelopes. You can see the cards we made here. I thought it would be fun to line one of the envelopes with some patterned paper. Through trial and error, I figured out a few tricks that I thought I would share with you.

Here is what you will need:
Patterned Paper (PP) - I used a piece from CTMH's Bella Paper Packet
Envelope - I used a standard A2 sized envelope from CTMH's Value Pack of Cards/Envelopes

Lay the envelope with the flap open onto the backside of your patterned paper. Trace around the envelope flap with pencil. Cut out with scissors, trimming about 1/8" off of the width and just under 1/2" off of the length. (I actually cut about 2" off the bottom of mine to save paper. Once it is inside the envelope, you can't see the bottom anyway.)

When lining your envelope you will want to leave the gum uncovered so it can be sealed as normal. Slip your patterned paper into the envelope and line it up with 1/8" to 1/4" border all around the edges.
Once you are comfortable with the way it looks, fold the flap down with the PP in place so that it will crease the PP properly. Open the envelope back up and then add adhesive only to the flap portion of the PP and glue to envelope flap. This will make the inside slide easily when you open and close your envelope. If you add adhesive to the back of the entire piece of PP, it will be harder to open. (Trust me I tried it and it works much better to only glue the flap.)

If you do a lot of the same sized cards, you might want to make a lining template out of a piece of cardstock or chipboard to make it easier next time.

Wasn’t that easy? Now you can line all of your envelopes to match your cards!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why are CTMH My Acrylix stamps so great?

Have you ever wondered why Close to my Heart My Acrylix® stamps are so much better than other company's clear stamps? There are a lot of technical reasons why, but there is a video that says it all. Click here to see the fun video.

If you are interested in the technical reasons why CTMH stamps are better than the rest, here is some GREAT information!

Close To My Heart began producing clear polymer stamps in 2003, one of the first to offer clear stamps on the market. This introduction created a revolution in the industry and has been a major milestone in the growth and success of the company. The clear, decorative stamps are easy to use and store, offering complete creative control and artistic precision on every project.

RETAIL PRICE: $10.95-$34.95 (stamp sets, sizes A-E)
$3.95-$17.95 (acrylic blocks)


  • Precision: Clear mounting blocks make it possible to stamp in exactly the right spot, time after time. Our exclusive blocks allow you to see exactly where the stamp is placed and whether there is even coverage of the ink on the design.
  • Versatility: Mix and match stamp images to create your own unique designs, backgrounds, and borders. You can choose a block that perfectly fits an individual image, or design your own “scenes” by placing multiple images on a larger-sized block.
  • Simplicity: Stamps are easy to maintain, store, and transport. Pre-organized storage envelopes are durable, well-labeled, color-coded by category, and compact.
  • Assemble a title, word, or phrase on your block, then just keep stamping (no more individual letter stamping). This is especially useful when creating invitations, announcements, or a set of cards.
  • Manipulate the stamp images on the block to create curves or waves. Stamps have a “memory,” and will always go back to their original shape.
  • Available in over 4,000 designs, styles, and themes. My Acrylix® stamp sets come in five sizes (with corresponding prices): A, B, C, D, and E.
  • Compact, durable, portable, easy-to-use organizers are available for both stamp sets (My Acrylix® Organizer) and acrylic blocks (My Acrylix® Block Organizer).

DIFFERENTIATORS: As clear stamps are becoming more popular on the market, other companies are starting to follow the trail Close To My Heart blazed almost six years ago. But not all clear stamps are created equal. Close To My Heart My Acrylix® stamp sets reflect the production expertise, the variety of designs, and the quality materials that guarantee a superior stamp set that will deliver consistently beautiful, lasting artwork. Three areas make Close To My Heart My Acrylix stamps different from anything else on the market:.

Using state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment in an on-site production facility, a team of experts in polymer work know exactly how to handle the materials through production, carefully controlling temperature, moisture, production speed, and the many other variables that affect quality. This labor-intensive process ensures the highest quality standards and allows for the production of very finely detailed stamp designs that many other manufacturers can’t duplicate. Base-and-shade stamps, distressed designs, toile-and lace-style artwork, and even tiny script fonts, to name a few, retain incredible clarity and detail not found in most clear stamps on the market. The depth and cut of the stamp grab the ink well, but minimize blurring and “fill in.”

While clear polymer is available from a variety of sources, there are many levels of durability, flexibility, and quality that may be initially indistinguishable to the human eye. As the leader in clear stamps, Close To My Heart has continued to refine materials and improve their performance and aesthetics, using the top grade of polymer produced today. By putting the polymer through rigorous testing including aging and environmental tests to ensure that with proper care the stamps will last for generations. The stamps can be easily stretched, arched, or angled for a variety of different “looks” in artwork, where as many other companies’ products are stiff and rigid, with a strong smell, too sticky or not sticky enough, and yellow easily within a few weeks of purchase.

With approximately 450 “active” stamp sets at any time, Close To My Heart offers more than 4,000 individual designs in My Acrylix® clear stamps. Many of these designs were created to complement each other, making it easy to build a library of sets that coordinate in themes and sentiments. The packaging is also unique on the market—not only does the flexible envelope protect the stamps inside, it allows for convenient storage, organization and retrieval. The unique carrier sheets include all designs already cut (many manufacturers require the purchaser to cut out the stamps), and make it easy to view the positive design.


  1. Initial Use: Loosen the image on all sides and peel slowly from the carrier sheet. To condition a stamp for first time use, rub the stamp vigorously across the surface of any stamp pad and stamp on a scratch paper. Repeat the process two to three times, clean, and then stamp as usual.
  2. To minimize the amount of staining on a new stamp, use a light neutral stamp pad first, like Bamboo.
  3. Center the image on an appropriately sized My Acrylix® block. When using alphabet stamps, place each letter on the line guide for accurate spacing and alignment.
  4. Ink the stamp, place the image in the designed location, and apply even downward pressure. For best results, always use the included foam pad to cushion your card or layout.
  5. Cleaning: The My Acrylix™ Spritz Cleaner and the Double Scrubber are available to clean the stamps and help retain the ability to cling to the block and the carrier sheet. After use clean both the front and the back of the stamp.
And there you have it. Close to my Heart makes the best clear stamps in the industry!

Click here to shop for your own Close to my Heart stamps.
Love them as much as I do? Host a gathering or workshop or become a CTMH Consultant and get all of your stamps at a discount or FREE! Click here for more information!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

I know I posted a similar layout last year but I thought it would be appropriate to post this one this weekend. Happy Independence Day to all of my American friends! *Ü*All products CTMH unless otherwise noted:
: Colonial White, Cranberry, Outdoor Denim
: July Word Puzzle, Memory Labels, Simple Stitches, Calendar, Vintage USA, Journaling Jots

: Outdoor Denim, Cranberry
Patterned Paper
: Blue Ribbon
: Vellum, Cranberry Brads, Heritage Edge Anchors, Sanding Kit, Edge Distresser, Twill, Photo Hangers

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Why should you sign up to become a CTMH Consultant?

Oh there are sooooo many reasons. I listed a few reasons why I love being a Consultant a couple of days ago. Now I can add another one to the list. Close to my Heart is an amazing company that offers such GREAT deals! The new consultant kit is a steal in itself, but during the month of July, they have added even more! Check this out...

In addition to all the goodies you get in the new kit, this month you also get to choose FIVE (yes I said FIVE) additional products from the list below for FREE. Plus there is no tax or shipping on the extra five goodies. Depending on which products you choose, you could get almost $100 in additional product for FREE!

Choose five from the following:
My Acrylix Thank You Stamp Set (Retail Value $22.95)
Magic Moments Scrapbook Kit (Retail Value $34.95)
Basic Textured Cardstock Combo Pack (Retail Value $14.95)
Life Delights Memory Showcase (Retail Value $12.95)
My Originals Hello Birdie Card Kit (Retail Value $12.95)
Creative Basics Silhouette Collection (Retail Value $8.95)
HeartFelt Whimsy Die-Cuts (Retail Value $9.95)
All-Out Adventure Rub-Ons (Retail Value $9.95)
Window Charms™ Squares (Retail Value $9.95)

In case you aren't aware, the new Consultant Kit consists of over $300 in goodies for only $99. Plus you have the option to add one one or both of the Bonus Packs when you sign up. The Scrapbooking Bonus Pack has over $180 in products for only $60. The Card Making Bonus Pack has over $150 in products for only $50. That is a HUGE savings!

To break it down for you, if you sign up during July and get both Bonus Kits plus the five free products, you would pay only $209 (plus tax and shipping) for over $725 worth of goodies!!! Is that a deal or what?

Click here to sign up now or contact me for more information.

Gift Certificate Winner

Thank you to everyone who placed an order on my website in June. Hopefully you are all enjoying your new goodies! *Ü*

I want to send a big CONGRATULATIONS to Jennifer Murphy who won the $25 gift certificate! Jennifer, I will email you to let you know how to claim your prize.

Stay tuned...I will be announcing the CTMH July promotion later tonight. It is a FANTASTIC sign-up promotion! More details to come...

Goodie Box still available!

Want to still get in on the best deal of the summer? Good news—the June 30 Goodie Box will be available on on my website until 3 p.m. (PST) today. Because of a technical problem, the Goodie Box was removed from the website at midnight last night, before its intended deadline. To give you and more time to cash in on the best deal of the summer, the $125 Goodie Box (boasting more than $300 U.S. retail value in fabulous, hot Close To My Heart products!) will be available today, July 1. Click here to get your goodie box before they are all gone!