For the Love of Dogs

Card with Dog

Friendly Pets Stamp Set

Our pets have a special place in our hearts.  My boys, Henry and Disney, are the stars of my scrapbook pages and the inspiration for some of my favorite cards.  Ready to create a special card for a pet lover?  Close To My Heart has everything you need!  With several options for stamp sets and even die cuts, cute pet themed cards are easy to make.

Stamp set featuring pets

Friendly Pets stamp set

Our new Artistry Cricut Collection features a number of pet themed shapes including paw print backgrounds, a variety of breeds and accents.  I love combining them with our Love My Dog and Love My Cat stamp sets.

Pet themed stamp setGive a pet themed card today and you’re sure to get a smile!

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National Dog Biscuit Day

Isn’t it amazing what you can find online?  Yesterday, I saw this yummy photo of banana bread and today I discover there is a National Dog Biscuit Day.

My Pekingese Disney

Here’s Disney in action!

You may already know that I am owned by two adorable Pekingese, Disney and Henry.  My boys are the light of my life!  They rule my house and I don’t mind a bit.  Henry is pretty sure he is a six month old baby.  He loves to snuggle.  His big brother, Disney, is my personal body guard.

My Pekingese Henry

Meet Henry!

These two mean the world to me.  When Henry got sick a few years ago, I discovered that he is allergic to just about everything under the sun.  Our vet recommended that I prepare all of his meals myself and created a recipe with quinoa, turkey, vegetables and oils.

As you may have guessed, my pampered pups are a bit on the spoiled side and in addition to homemade dinners, I wanted to try my hand at treats.  I found these recipes online and I’m super excited to have a frozen treat to offer my boys as it heats up outside.

I can’t wait to see the tail wags these treats will get from my boys.  I’ll be sure to have my camera ready to capture the moment!  Check back tomorrow to take a look at stamp sets to celebrate our furry friends.

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National Banana Bread Day

I was browsing Facebook this morning and came across a post with a photo of homemade banana bread.  Who would have guessed today is National Banana Bread Day? The picture of that homemade loaf immediately reminded me of baking quick breads with my mother.  I recall the details of the kitchen in my childhood home, the red and white checked cookbook mom loved and the apron my great grandmother made for me.

When you think about it, a lot of our memories and traditions revolve around food.  From holiday tables loaded with turkey and dressing to birthday cakes, food is connected to all sorts of celebrations.  Certain dishes recall special people in our lives.  My great aunt Billie was known for her chicken and dumplings.  My grandmother had a unique frosting recipe.

My mother has a hand full of signature dishes, including the cherry cookies I posted about earlier this month.   Her best friend has mastered some of my favorite Southern dishes like Cheese Straws.  They have passed a number of handwritten recipe cards my way and I love including them in my scrapbook pages.

Enjoy stamp set

When food is a gift, this stamp set helps you wrap it up!

Food may be the highlight of the party, a signature dish or it may be a gift.  Do you bake cookies for your neighbors over the holidays?  Food is comfort in trying times.  It’s a tradition to bring a casserole to a sick or grieving friend.  Food can also be a sign of welcome.  I think a loaf of banana bread would be perfect to welcome a new neighbor or to celebrate a housewarming!

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Base & Shade Stamp Card

Whether you know this technique as Double Stamping or Base and Shade Stamping, I’m sure you’ll agree that the results are stunning. I’ve posted the basic two color technique before, but today’s video takes it to a whole new level with both tone-on-tone and second generation stamping.

Those of you who follow my Facebook page will recognize the card in today’s technique video as the inspiration for today’s color dare.  Give Base and Shade stamping a try and take the color dare!  I’d love to have you share a photo of your project here in the comments.

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Thank You!

Thank You stampThank you to all of the ladies who came to my Open House on Sunday!  It was quite a party and I could not have done it with the help of our gracious hostess, Joann Jacks.  The delicious desserts were provided by my mother, Barbara Miller, and Jasmine Bennett.  Many of you had a chance to hear the story behind Mom’s special cherry cookies.  As a special treat, she’s agreed that I can share the recipe here.

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 – 7 dozen maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixer bowl, blend shortening, butter, sugar and egg on low speed.  Gradually add the dry ingredients then add the vanilla.  If dough does not come together up to 3 tablespoons of milk may be added.  Once dough has formed, use roughly one teaspoon of dough for each cookie.  Shape into a ball around a cherry.  Bake cookies 10-12 minutes and set aside to cool.

Glaze ingredients

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • water
  • food coloring
  • decorator sugars

Mix confectioners sugar with a small amount of water to form a thin glaze.  Divide into bowls and color as desired.  Dip top of cooled cookie into glaze.  While glaze is wet, roll top of cookie in decorator sugar.  Allow glaze to dry.  Makes 6 to 7 dozen cookies.

Be sure to let me know if you try the recipe, but be warned.  Mom’s cherry cookies are addictive!

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Share the Love

Get ready to Share the Love with the children of Operation Smile!  Close To My Heart offers several ways to support this dedicated charitable organization with their mission to provide surgical remedies for children with cleft lips and cleft palettes.

Share the Love While our Share the Love limited edition stamp set is only available in the month of February, we also offer our Animal Greetings stamp set as another option for showing your support for Operation Smile.  Check out this quick video to learn more about how Close To My Heart supports this worthy organization.

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February Fun With Balloon Animals

I’ve got two great promotions to share with you in the month of February.  First, let’s take a look our newest stamp of the month, Balloon Animals.

Balloon Animals

Stamp of the Month

This fun and versatile set is perfect for cards and layouts with a birthday or party theme.  Imagine them as accents on a scrapbook page with carnival or circus photos!  I like stamping them with bright primary colors but don’t forget about other options.  Try a pastel pink bunny balloon for a Spring or Easter card or match the adorable elephant balloon to our Georgie paper collection for a beautiful baby layout.

Baby themed pattern papers in Georgie

Perfect for Baby! Our Georgie Collection

As always our Stamp of the Month is available for only $5 with a qualifying purchase.  Add Balloon Animals to your collection and be sure to check back here tomorrow for details on our special Share the Love stamp set.

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Last Chance for January Specials

floral stamp set

January Stamp of the Month

Beloved Bouquet, our January Stamp of the Month, is only available for two more days!  This versatile and feminine stamp set is perfect for Thank you cards, thinking of you and Valentine’s day.  Bring it home for $17.95 or make a qualifying purchase of $50 or more and get this beautiful set for only $5.

card made with Beloved Bouquet stampsDon’t forget, January is also the only time to pick up our limited edition Picture My Life set Live Your Day.  This very special collection was created in celebration of National Scrapbooking Day.

Don’t miss your chance to bring home these two special items. Order now!

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On Sale Now

It’s hard to say goodbye to retiring products but it’s necessary to make room for new goodies.  Now is the time to stock up and take advantage of our terrific clearance prices on Base & Bling charms, Picture My Life cards – including my favorite holiday sets White Pines or Pear & Partridge, and a wide variety of embellishments such as sequins, puffies and ribbon.

Bell charms for jewelry

Base & Bling charms

Clearance items are available while supplies last.  Place your order today!

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Spring Critters Fox Card

Looking for a cute “just because” card?  Try this fox from Spring Critters the next time you want to send a smile.

Card created with Spring CrittersThis card comes together in no time!  I stamped the Charming Cascades heart background with Ruby Ink.  The fox (colored with our water color pencils) and the sentiment are from our brand new Spring Critters stamp set.  I die cut the fox with the new Spring Critters Thin Cuts and added him to the card with 3D foam tape for extra dimension.

Which of our Spring Critters is your favorite?   Post in the comments and let me know!

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Spring Critters Card

Are you ready for a bright and colorful card project that comes together quickly?  This adorable thank you card is sure to give someone special a smile.

Thank you card with frogIf you’d like to make this project you’ll need the following supplies:

Check back later this week for another card created with the Spring Critters stamp set and Thin Cuts dies.



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Save the Date

I’m so excited to share our new products with you at my Open House!  Please save the date, February 7th from 1:30 – 3:30 for this free event.  I’ll have prizes, make and takes, lots of samples and decadent desserts.  The first ten ladies who RSVP will receive an extra gift upon arrival!


Join me for this fun event and you’ll have the opportunity to see new stamp sets,  Thin Cuts dies and our Charlotte Workshop Your Way.  I think you’ll find that these fun products make it easy to create gorgeous cards and scrapbook layouts.  RSVP today!

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Turn Your Talent Into A Career

Do you love stamping?  If you are reading this blog, I’ll bet you have a talent for paper crafting.  You’re the one with the scrapbook full of layouts that are the envy of your friends and the Christmas card your family members look forward to displaying every year.  Your friends would be disappointed if you failed to send them a handmade birthday card!  Would you like to turn that talent into an opportunity to earn extra income sharing something you love?

I’m looking for a select group of individuals who are ready to become business owners to join my team.   Purchase a Close To My Heart consultant kit and you’ll have the products and Idea Books you need to get started for $129.  This small investment includes newly released papers and stamps so you can start creating projects right away as well as business basics to give you a firm foundation.

New Consultant Kit

New Consultant Kit

I’ll be by your side to guide you in building your business and together we’ll work to create a business plan that meets your needs.  In addition, you’ll have access to the team at the home office, guides and videos on all aspects of the business and our Straight To The Top program for new consultants.

Join my team in the month of January and I will also provide you with a free Stamping Business Basics online course from leading professional coach John Sanpietro of Stamping Is My Business. Each week, you’ll receive a new lesson teaching you the best methods for marketing our high quality products.

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Powerball Fantasy

1.5 billion dollars.  Let’s take a minute and let that number sink in.  Tonight’s Powerball drawing will very likely make someone, possibly you, very rich indeed.  With such a life-changing amount of money on the line, folks everywhere are dreaming of just what it would feel like to cash in the winning ticket.

Facebook is flooded with posts and articles on everything from the advantages of the annuity over the lump sum pay out to lists of worthy charities would be winners would like to support.   Winning the lottery provides both the time and the means to totally alter the way we live.  Imagine how much free time you would have after you quit your job!

Dream big.  You now have the money and the time to travel everywhere your heart desires, to indulge in luxury goods, to drive the car of your dreams (Bugatti Veyron, anyone?) and to buy your parents a mansion.  You can hire people to mow the lawn, style your clothes, clean the mansion(s) and walk the dog.  So how will you fill your time?

I’m guessing that most of us would choose to surround ourselves with the people we love – our family and friends.  As fun as it is to daydream about extravagant trips, amazing purchases of luxury goods and a Bugatti Veyron (that one is hard to give up), I think it is worth reminding ourselves that we have the opportunity to cherish our loved ones every day.  Right now, Powerball or no, we can have the best part of the dream. Maybe you can’t jet away on an around the world vacation, but you can make memories in your own back yard.

Let me show you how you can create scrapbook pages that celebrate the relationships that matter.  Cherish those memories and capture them in your scrapbooks.

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Jazz up your Journaling

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but telling your story is about more than the photographs.  Our albums tell all sorts of tales from our vacation adventures to our holiday traditions.  My favorite pages tell the stories of everyday life, the people and pets that I love.   Today I’ve got three tips for using journaling to tell your stories in unique ways.

  1. Change the point of view – when I journal I’m writing in my own voice and telling everything from my perspective.  Try quoting your child or including a small sample of their artwork or handwriting on your layout.
  2. Explore a relationship – instead of the classic who, what, when and where write about how you feel about the individuals in the photo.  What do you have in common?  How do you feel when you spend time with them?
  3. Write about the world around you – imagine having your great grandmother’s handwritten letters or even her diary.  What would you want to know about her life and the events she witnessed both historic and commonplace?  Share your feelings about national news like September 11th or the presidential election in addition to family stories.

Let’s get those rich details and precious memories captured in your layouts!  Post in the comments and share your best journaling prompts.

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Get Rewarded!

Where’s the party?  Right here online!  Did you know that you can host an online Close To My Heart gathering and earn fantastic hostess rewards?  Hosting online is quick and easy.  Simply contact me for your unique hostess password, then visit my shopping site to send invitations to your friends and family.  There is no high pressure sales pitch, no need to find a babysitter, no need to clean house or prepare snacks.  You can hostess in your pajamas!

Exclusive stamp set

Exclusive Hostess Rewards Stamp Set

Close To My Heart hostess rewards include the option to purchase exclusive stamp sets plus the ability to earn discounted and free products.  This is the perfect time to shop our new Seasonal Expressions merchandise or add one of our Cricut cartridges to your collection at a deep discount.  Contact me today to get started!


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Got Holiday Photos?

How would you like to kick off the New Year with completed holiday scrapbook pages you can’t wait to share with your friends and family?  Close To My Heart makes it easy to preserve your holiday memories.  Our Picture My Life pocket scrapbooking system has everything you need to start your year with a finished album that will fill you with pride.

White Pines pocket pages

Picture My Life White Pines Collection

Use Picture My Life to get a large number of photos included in your album quickly.  Complete you album with our variety of pocket style pages or incorporate Picture My Life pages with traditional scrapbook pages.

White Pines  PML collection

White Pines PML collection

Our adorable holiday themed White Pines Picture My Life collection is on sale now for just $5.37.  Don’t miss your chance to bring it home and start sharing your holiday memories today!

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Beloved Bouquet

floral stamp set

January Stamp of the Month

I’m such a big fan of Beloved Bouquet and the technique known as double stamping or over stamping.  You’ll achieve incredible results with this set by stamping the base image in a light ink and then stamping the detail image over it with a darker ink.  Give it a try with Smoothie ink for your base and Poppy for your detail stamp.  This quick and easy technique produces gorgeous results!

card made with Beloved Bouquet stampsBeloved Bouquet sells for $17.95 but you can always bring home our Stamp of the Month for just $5 with a qualifying order of $50.  Shop with me and take advantage of this great deal today!

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Seasonal Expressions is Here!

You’re going to love the latest edition of our Seasonal Expressions Idea Book!  I’m so excited to show you a wide variety of gorgeous new products that will make heartfelt projects quick and easy to complete.  Are you ready to kick off the New Year with fresh inspiration and a serious boost to your creative mojo?

Seasonal Expressions

Seasonal Expressions Idea Book

If you’re like me the right stamp set or background & texture paper can put me in the mood to get crafty.  The stamp set I just can’t wait to play with is Spring Critters.

Spring Critters stamp set

This super cute stamp set is designed to work with our new Thin Cuts

Do you have a favorite new stamp set or Workshop Your Way?  Post in the comments and let me know!

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