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.

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!

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.





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

Flower Power

After a quick visit to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, I’ve got a good size stash of Spring photos to scrapbook.  This incredible event features awesome floral displays including Disney character topiaries, floating gardens and a number of themed gardens.   These layouts are the perfect place for floral embellishments!  I’ve got my Art Philosophy cartridge and a selection of stamps packed for cropping this weekend.   Until then, check out this quick video on creating flowers with Cricut and My Acrylix stamps:

Cricut Cut Flowers and Tag

Check out this elegant tag created at a recent workshop focused on Cricut cut 3D flowers!

Elegant Cricut tag with 3D flowers

Elegant Cricut tag with 3D flowers

The flowers were created with the Close To My Heart Art Philosophy cartridge.  If you look closely you will see that there are two different flower types on the tag.  This cartridge includes six unique 3D flower designs!

Cutting your own flowers saves money and opens up a world of options.  You’ll find that you can create the perfect embellishment with just a small scrap of paper.  You can kick the design up a notch by bending petals, inking petal edges, applying glitter glue or even creating your own pattern with stamped images before the flower is formed.  Contact me today to schedule a workshop and learn to cut dimensional Cricut flowers!

Like Dads…Only Smarter!

My latest order has just arrived and I can hardly wait for crop night on Friday so I can start creating with my new goodies.  One of the stamp sets I could not resist was the new Mother’s Day (C1577).  I just love these old fashioned silhouettes and sassy sentiments!

Mother's Day stamp setCheck out this video from Close To My Heart for a little extra inspiration on creating a very special project with these stamps.

Cricut Cut Flowers

Join me Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 6pm for an exciting new cards workshop featuring Cricut cut flowers!  I can’t wait to show you how easy it is to make your own dimensional rolled flowers which will match your projects effortlessly.  Our Art Philosophy Cricut Collection includes six different flower designs to enhance your cards, scrapbook layouts, gift wrapping and home decor projects.  Because you can use a small piece of your card stock or background and texture paper, your flowers will always be a perfect match.  Imagine the effects you’ll create when you stamp a pattern on your flowers or ink their edges with the coordinating ink for our exclusive inks collection!

Cricut cut flowers on gift boxes

Rolled dimensional flowers make these gift boxes extra special.

Email me to reserve your space in class today!

Become a Digi Diva!

Save on Studio J in March

Save on Studio J in March!

Have you ever wanted to try digital scrapbooking?  Studio J is an easy to use, intuitive online program from Close To My Heart perfect for beginners and digi divas too!  During the month of March, order your Studio J™ layouts—including ones using our new Photo Express Collection—for only $5 each! Quickly create gorgeous, personalized studio layouts using our wide selection of papers, collections, patterns, and embellishments.

Don’t forget to check out the templates in our new Photo Express Collection, which allow you to design layouts entirely comprised of photos in minutes.  The photo size options are perfect for Picture My Life layouts too!

Studio J print outs are custom processed to the highest quality and made to last a lifetime.  Please view our Frequently Asked Questions page for detailed information on silver-halide processing, internet browser compatibility and more.


*Offer valid March 1–31, 2014. Studio J layouts ship in a protected box that can hold from 4 to 50 two-page layouts. Minimum order of 4 layouts. Free JPEG of every printed layout.