About Tracy

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Dear Service Member

Can you join me in participating in the Holiday Mail for Heroes program? The Red Cross will be distributing handmade holiday cards to our troops and I am excited about contributing to this worthy cause. If you would like to help, the Red Cross has just a few simple guidelines:

  • Please do not use glitter of any kind
  • Please do not include personal contact information
  • Please do not use envelopes

Our local Red Cross chapter has requested donations be delivered no later than December 5th. If you would like to be a part of my card drive, please get your card(s) to me no later than December 4th. Participate with me and I will enter you in a drawing to win a set of 5 handmade holiday cards. There are three ways you can earn entries to the drawing plus I am offering coupons for $2 off my handmade bath soaps for participants who visit my booth at the Knights of Columbus Craft Fair on December 6th.  Check out all of the options on my Holiday Mail for Heroes page.  Let’s remind the dedicated members of our armed forces that they not forgotten here at home.  Please post below if you wish to participate!

In Honor of Veteran’s Day

When I was a little girl, my mother watched the tv news with a special interest I could not understand.  Every night, when coverage of the war in Vietnam aired, my mother sat very close to the screen scanning the images, searching for a glimpse of her brother, who served as a Marine.  Mother told stories of a brave uncle killed in World War II and on special occasions would allow us to hold his Purple Heart.

Many members of my family have been in the military in all branches.  Dad served in Korea as a young man and to this day uses his favorite Korean phrases around the house.  Several of my cousins are currently serving; one of them was recently selected to join the Blue Angels!

While we honor our vets today, take a moment to thank them for their service and thank their family members for their sacrifices.  Look around your community and you might be surprised by how easy it can be to give back to our troops!  This year, I am participating in the American Red Cross Holiday Mail For Heroes program.  I’ll be making cards for the campaign which distributes them worldwide.  I hope my cards will put smiles on the faces of soldiers and sailors who need to know that our country is proud of them and grateful for the sacrifices they make.

If you would like to join me in participating in the program, please create your handmade card (no glitter please) and write a holiday message of cheer inside.  Envelopes are not needed.  Get your card(s) to me by December 6, 2014 and I will deliver them to the Red Cross for distribution.  I’ll reward each participant with entry to a raffle with five handmade holiday cards as the grand prize.  Please post below if you will join me in creating cards for the Holiday Mail For Heroes program.

Sneak Peek

One of my favorite things about being a Close To My Heart Consultant is getting advance notice of upcoming products and promotions.  I am so excited about the new organizational products coming available in November!  I can’t reveal much now, but trust me these items are high on my wish list.  We’ve also got a terrific Studio J promotion coming up next month that I can’t wait to share with you.  Over the next few weeks I’m going to show you some digi diva tricks you can use for scrapbooking, photo printing and even holiday projects at fantastic savings.

Lucky 5 Studio J Promotion

Coming November 1, 2014

The fun doesn’t stop there!  We’ve got lots of new product to reveal in our Seasonal Expressions Idea Book.  I’ll be mailing these books out in just a few weeks and products will be available December 1st.  Be sure to contact me to receive your copy.

Handmade & Special

Sending a handmade card to a friend or family member?  I’ve got a few quick tips to make it extra special and it all starts with the envelope!  Imagine the smile on your friend’s face when she opens her mail box to find your handmade greeting.  These little extras go a long way and show just how much you care.

  • Use color on your envelopes – use colorful inks to print an address or line your envelope with pattern paper
  • Stamp on your envelopes – add an elegant monogram to a thank you card or a pretty flower to brighten someone’s day
  • Add a stamp to the back of your card with our Crafted With Love set
crafted with love stamps

crafted with love (B1399)

Share your tips for making cards extra special in the comments!

Meaningful Cards Part Deux

You Mean The World To Me card

Made with the Brushed Collection

I couldn’t wait to make this colorful card for my goddaughter.  As soon as I found the sentiment stamp, You Mean The World To Me, I knew just what I wanted to do.  This elegant card comes together quickly and easily.  Give it a try today!

  1. Cut one piece of double sided Brushed B&T paper to 4″x 5 1/2″.
  2. Cut the B&T paper again so your larger piece measures 2 1/2″ x 5 1/2″.  Adhere the larger piece to the bottom of your card front.
  3. Adhere the smaller piece of B&T paper to the top of the card with the B side pattern facing up.  Cover the seam with Red Shimmer Trim.
  4. Use your corner rounder to round all four corners of your card.
  5. Use a punch or your Cricut to create a shape from White Daisy Cardstock for your sentiment.  Stamp sentiment with Pixie Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad.
  6. Adhere sentiment to front of card with 3D Foam Tape

I hope this quick card project will inspire you to make a card today.  Please contact me or visit my shopping site for assistance with project supplies.

Meaningful Cards

I’ve got a quick project to complete today for a very special person.  I’m making plans to visit with my goddaughter in New York City next month.  I promised to send her a little something to help with her travel expenses as she is a college student.  This gives me the perfect excuse to make her a card!  I’ve been thinking about my favorite stamp sets and what styles she might like.  Going through my collection, I spotted this set and suddenly I knew just what I wanted my card to say; You Mean The World To Me.

You Mean The World To Me

You Mean The World To Me (B1467)

Do you have a favorite sentiment stamp set?  Please post your response in the comments.

Next Level Tips

Greeting card with fall designs

Made with Pathfinding papers

This colorful card comes together quickly but really pops thanks to the addition of 3D Foam Tape.  I’m a big believer in adding dimension to projects when you want to take them from basic to the next level.

I kicked this card up a notch by adhering the sentiment and the pumpkin with 3D Foam Tape.  Here is my top ten list of elements that work well for adding texture and dimension to your cards and layouts.

  1. Dimensional Elements Banners – these white chipboard pieces can be covered with paper, stamped and even painted.
  2. Ink your edges with Exclusive Inks Stamp Pads in Black or Chocolate
  3. Washi Tape – check out the Gold Polka Dot design
  4. Embossing Folders – I’m a sucker for Dots
  5. 3D Foam Tape – instantly lift any element on your project
  6. Sparkle – sparkles, gems, dots and bubbles
  7. Star embellishments from the Scaredy Cat Assortment
  8. Cricut cut 3D flowers – try stamping on your flower before you roll it or just ink the edges.ribbon
  9. Liquid Glass
  10. Shimmer Trim – so many colors to choose from!  My favorite right now is Bronze.
Blue & Green Epoxy Bubbles

Blue & Green Epoxy Bubbles

Pink Glitter Gems

Pink Glitter Gems

Aqua Dots

Aqua Dots

What’s your favorite way to take your project to the next level?

Happy Anniversary

My parents are celebrating their 52nd wedding anniversary today.   As I looked through my stamp sets for inspiration for their card, I considered:

Celebrate Love

Celebrate Love stamp set

Celebrate Love stamp set (B1459)

The Happy Couple

Happy Couple wedding themed stamps

Happy Couple (D1539)

I love both sets, but my parents have a running joke that goes back to a movie date when they saw “March of the Penguins” so when I came across a retired hostess rewards set with adorable penguins, I knew I had found the perfect inspiration!

Remember these adorable penguins?

This card was made with one of the new exclusive Hostess Rewards stamp sets!

This card was made with one of the Hostess Rewards stamp sets!

How have you been inspired to use your stamp sets for new themes? Please post your answer in the comments.

Paper Scraps

Floral greeting card

Make this quick card with project scraps

My friend Joann has an amazing system for organizing her paper scraps.  She has a clear envelope with dividers and sorts her scraps by color.  Another scrapbooker I know puts all of her odds and ends in a bowl which she leaves out whenever she’s working on a project.  She tells me that she is more likely to use what she sees.

I struggle with scraps.  I hate to throw out something pretty or something useful.  What I find to be more effective than storing my extra bits and pieces is to use them up right away!  Last night I had created a birthday card using our Brushed collection and I found I had a a good sized scrap of the floral paper left over.  I couldn’t let this gorgeous paper go to waste so I made a simple card by cutting the piece into three equal pieces, mounting them on cardstock and embellishing the card with a cute button and some pen work.

What’s your best solution for paper scraps?  Please share your ideas in the comments.

Working With Sketches

Do you create scrapbook pages from sketches?  Recently, I was checking Facebook when I came across a Halloween layout that appealed to me.  I was looking for inspiration for a Fall page using our Pathfinding papers and accessories but something about this Trick or Treat layout  had bumped up my creative mojo.  While I loved the color palette and the combination of pattern papers, what made the page pop for me was a particular design element, plus the use of shimmer trim and the use of die cut images.

The best way for me capture the essence of the layout and translate the theme was to start with a sketch that included my favorite design elements.  Once I had the layout sketched, I changed the color palette to fit my papers.  Finally, I selected my die cut images, compliments and coordinating stamps.  Having reduced the page to its bare bones design, I’ve created a new layout sketch that I can use with lots of colors, patterns and papers.  Because my design is 12″ x 12″, I can also turn the sketch and create more unique pages too!

Ready to see my Pathfinding layout?  Sign up for my mailing list today!  This layout will be featured in my November newsletter.

Handmade and Heartfelt

I saw this Snoopy graphic on Facebook and I just had to share it with you.

Snoopy - love is a note in your lunchboxImagine the look on your child’s face when she opens her lunch box to find a special surprise from you.  Imagine her smile as she reads words of encouragement for the big spelling test.  Imagine her laugh if you’ve chosen a silly sentiment.  A quick card tucked into a lunch box is a reminder of your love and support.

It’s the same message we send with handmade cards to our friends and family.  Who wouldn’t want to open their mailbox to find a note of encouragement, a silly sentiment or a cheerful thinking of you card?  Taking the time to send a handmade card sends the message that the recipient is someone important to you.  Think about how good it feels to put a smile on a friend’s face or to provide a moment of comfort in a challenging time.  You can do all that with a piece or two of cardstock, some inks and a stamp set!

Today, I’m working on a thinking of you card and a birthday card.  Look for pics to be posted to the blog in a day or two.  Post in the comments and let me know what type of cards you’ll make next!

Perfect Presentation

Cricut cut gift box

Pillow box made with Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge

Have you been looking for an easy way to wrap small gifts?  I was thrilled to receive the pillow box pictured above!  It’s just the right size for smaller treats like earrings and more interesting than a standard gift card holder. Whether you are looking to brighten the day of a coworker or thank a hostess, these versatile little boxes can be customized to fit the occasion.  Handmade touches make your gifts extra special.  Let me show you how you can create gift wraps with ease just in time for the holiday season!  Contact me today to schedule a Cricut Art Philosophy class for you and your friends all about gift boxes and tags.

Fall Festival

Join me this Saturday, October 11th from 9am until 2pm for the Arlington United Methodist Church annual Fall Festival!  The church is located at 1400 University Blvd N. between the Arlington Expressway and Jacksonville University.  Stop by my booth to pick up our newest Idea Book, handmade cards and gift tags.  I’ll also have a selection of handmade soaps and shampoo bars.

This festival is packed with vendors offering baked goods, plants and crafts.  There are children’s activities planned plus the Methodist men and youth group are firing up the grill, serving hamburgers and hot dogs.  Come out and join the fun!

Masculine Cards

Matchbook fold card

Matchbook fold card made with Catch You Later

What’s the secret to  creating cards for guys?  Simplicity!  I like to start with a combination of cardstock and a neutral printed paper.  Lately I’ve been reaching for two specific stamp sets for masculine cards: Catch You Later and Fabulous You.

Catch You Later stamp set

Great for masculine cards


Fabulous You bird images

So versatile! Change the color palette and these birds work for so many cards!

Share your favorite stamp sets for masculine cards in the comments!

World Card Making Day

We’re expecting beautiful Fall weather this weekend so I decided today’s card project should be quick and easy.  Try it and I’m sure you’ll find time to celebrate World Card Making Day, enjoy the break in the heat and maybe even catch a football game!

masculine card

Made with Catch You Later

Matchbook cards come together so fast; I’m hooked on them.  I love the value too.  You can create three card bases with a single piece of 12 x 12 cardstock.  Simply cut a strip of paper 4 x 12.  Create the bottom fold one inch from the edge.  Fold the top down so that the paper meets the inside edge of the bottom fold.  The completed card should measure 4 x 5 1/2.

For this card I stamped the chicken wire background from Distressed Backgrounds in Champagne ink over the stamped image from Catch You Later which I had stamped in Saddle.  The Champagne Ink is so light I didn’t even need to mask the darker image.  I used 3D Foam Tape to create dimension and layered a piece of ribbon across the card for a pop of color.

Thanks for celebrating World Card Making Day with me!  I hope you’ll post a link to your card creations in the comments.





Pictures In Time

I’m always a little shocked to hear that one of our local scrapbook stores is closing.  I have many fond memories of late nights spent at crops making new friends at Scrapbooks/Crop Shoppe, Enchanted and Scrap N Stuff.  I loved being a part of the community of women who gathered to create in these spaces.  I always found that other croppers were more than willing to share ideas and even tools.  I tried new things and scraplifted new designs.

I’m just plain sad to know that Pictures In Time is going out of business.   I’m asking all of you who have been a part of the paper crafting community to continue to contribute in the spirit of sharing our talents, our successes and our friendships.  I hope you’ll adopt this little corner of the internet as our place to share inspiration and fellowship.

I hope you’ll share a memory of one of our LSS in the comments today.


Home For The Holidays

The October Stamp of the Month set, Home For The Holidays, is just what I needed to gear up for a season of card making and gift wrapping!  I love using my supplies to add a special touch to simple gifts.  I know I would love to find this thoughtful treat on my desk.

Cupcake in gift box

Special handmade touches make this gift extra thoughtful

The ornament tag on this box was created with our Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge and our Home For The Holidays stamp set.  Five of the stamps (those outlined in red in the image below) in this set have a matching image on our Cricut cartridge!

Home for the Holidays

October Stamp of the Month

I know I’ll be using this set this weekend to get started on my gift tags.  Do you have a favorite stamp set for creating holiday gift tags?  Please post your response in the comments.

Disney Layout with Picture My Life

On October 1, 1971 Walt Disney World opened in Orlando.  I’m known for my love of all things Disney and have been an annual passholder for the past 14 years!  I visit the parks often and I never fail to bring my camera along.  I’ve got a good sized stack of prints to get in my scrapbook so I’ve decided to mix traditional layouts with Picture My Life pages.  I love this technique for getting loads of photos in my album quickly and still maintaining the look of the scrapbook style I love.

Picture My Life

Picture My Life Babycakes Scrapbooking Program

I was inspired to create this scrapbook page using our Picture My Life Babycakes Scrapbooking Program.  The page came together in just a few minutes!  My friend Andrea was struggling to find a simple solution for displaying photos of her young granddaughter who participates in a theater group.  Maddie has racked up a number of performances in just a few short years!  Andrea wanted to celebrate her granddaughter’s accomplishments but didn’t feel that she had the time to create traditional layouts.  Plus, she wanted to make additions to the album working together with Maddie who is still in elementary school.  Picture My Life provided the perfect solution!  The color palette includes soft yellow, grey and orange.  It coordinates perfectly with photos of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Piglet!

Pooh Bear Scrapbook PageOur Picture My Life sets include:

44 – 4″ × 6″ Cards (2 each of 22 designs)
78 – 3″ × 4″ Cards (3 each of 26 designs)
1 – 12″ × 12″ Designed Cover Sheet
10 – 12″ × 12″ Memory Protectors™ (various designs)

Check out our Picture My Life programs offered in 13 different themes!  Post your favorite in the comments.

Holiday Projects Debut Tomorrow

Have you signed up for my 12 Weeks of Christmas campaign?  Join my email list today and you’ll receive a series of twelve holiday projects including cards, gift ideas and gift wraps.  You’ll get ideas for special touches like handmade gift tags plus inspiration for Secret Santa gifts, stocking stuffers and teacher appreciation gifts.  My first project will debut tomorrow!

Here’s a sneak peek of the paper used in the first project our colorful Snowhaven collection!

Snowhaven scrapbook layout

Scrapbook layout created with Snowhaven

12 Weeks of Christmas

How would you like to receive a free weekly dose of holiday inspiration in your email box?  Starting Wednesday, October 1st, I’ll be sending out a series of special emails with instructions to create holiday cards, gifts and gift wraps.  I’m excited to send you these projects and hope you will find just what you need for stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, and other holiday surprises.  Join my email list by October 1st to receive all twelve projects!  My 12 Weeks of Christmas campaign kicks off this Wednesday; join now!