Thursday, December 3, 2009

We {heart} Santa

Last year we had a special visitor make a house call. I wonder if we're on the right list this year. I love Christmas through a child's eyes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Crafting Clearance Sale

I love a good sale, and this one is gooood. If you're a scrapbooker, stamper, and/or paper crafter you are going to want to check this out. Close To My Heart is making way for new products and it's time to say goodbye to some old favorites. You can snag My Acrylix clear stamps for as little at $2. There are paper packs (22 sheets of coordinating printed paper & cardstock) for $5. Wowie!

Why are you still on this blog? Go to my website and start shopping! - online shopping.

Happy bargain hunting,


Saturday, November 28, 2009


I took my little girls to see the Nutcracker ballet today. They have been taking dance lessons for 3+ years, and I think they really enjoyed seeing what people do with all those dance lessons. After the show my girlies really wanted a nutcracker of their own, so I took them to Michael's craft store (I had a tip that they were lots cheaper there than the ones being sold in the lobby of the Art Center). My girls picked out two nutcrackers, and I filled my shopping cart with some garland and poinsettias. Satisfied with our finds, we went to the front of the store to make our purchases. We found a line with only one person, which would make us next. I pushed my full cart to the counter while my girls stood by with their arms wrapped tightly around their cherished nutcrackers. I believe it's fairly normal to take a look at the items located near the cash register while waiting for my turn. Otherwise, why would they put all that crap up there? So as I'm looking at some Cricut cartridges, the customer in front of me finished up and headed out of the store. At first I didn't notice, but as soon as I did I began to move my cart closer to the counter when a RUDE woman rushed in front of me and my shopping companions. I said, "Excuse me, we were next." She replied, "No, you were shopping." EEEEWWWW! Not wanting to cause a scene I politely said, "In the spirit of Christmas, I'll let you go ahead of me." And then under my breath muttered, you could have asked. At least that's what I would have done..."excuse me, are you in line?" How easy is that? I guess it's much easier to be narcissistic and plow right in front of others. Oh and when I got to the cashier I said, "Did you see that?" She said, "Yes, you were first." What?! Well then why the heck didn't you say that to the rude shopper. Whatever...there is no such thing as customer service or common courtesy anymore. But we did score some cute nutcrackers!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gratitude Dude!

I stayed at a cabin where little phrases about gratitude are sprinkled all over. Too bad I need this reminder as often as I do. Are you like me and tend to harp on the negative? I'm working on changing that. Maybe I'll have to put gratitude phrases all over my house so I can be reminded even when I'm not at the cabin.

Today I'm grateful my cute kids get along so well. I kept my six-year-old home from first grade today. She has a runny nose, and is constantly sniffing and blowing. She's not sick enough to stay in bed, but I'd hate for her to pass this along to her classmates and teacher. And really, how much work are they doing this short week anyway. It's been so nice to have her here playing with her little brother. They had a picnic outside on the lawn and have been laughing and playing so well together.

I made this cute card for Thanksgiving using Twitterpated paper and Many Thanks stamp set from Close To My Heart. This card was super easy to create using all the fabulous products from CTMH including the Wishes cardmaking book.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Am I Going to Live?"

This little boy with the owie arms has a special place in my heart. He's my baby, my last one. This year he is the only child still home with mommy except for when he's not in preschool (he likes to call it 'pre-K'). All of his siblings are at school all day - including one who is away at college.

Notice his red arms...he was at the park and scraped himself up getting out of a tree. Before the tree incident, he got up on top of a horizontal drain pipe and couldn't get down. Rather than just lift him down, his dad made him climb down while guiding his steps. During one particularly precarious step he asked "Am I going to live?" Well of course he did, but the tree gave him a run for his money.

I am grateful for the one-on-one time I have every day with my little guy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Telling the Story

I'm pretty sure I've posted the photos in this layout here on my blog before. Last night I finally took out those photos from my photo organizer and recreated the story in this two-page layout. These are my two youngest children who found an empty box in our backyard last fall and had a blast with the styrofoam packing blocks.

I used two different stamp sets to create the word SNOW (above). I stamped the large letters using my new favorite alphabet stamp, Posterboard, then I stamped the corresponding smaller letters inside the large letters. I used 3D foam tape to add more dimension to the title.

One more plug for another favorite stamp set, Save The Date (below). I keep this stamp set handy at all times because it allows me to add the date to any project so quickly.

Items used, CTMH unless otherwise noted:
White Daisy Cardstock
Creative Basics - Animal Cookies printed paper
Dimensional Elements - Flurry (chipboard snowflakes)
Create A Shade Pearl paint (on snowflakes)
Snowflake brads (not ctmh)
Scalloped circle punch (Marvy Uchida)
Tulip Exclusive Inks marker & stamp pad
Posterboard Alphabet stamp set
Sans Alphabet stamp set
Save The Date stamp set
Personalized name stamps
Black Pen

Monday, November 9, 2009

Things I'm thankful for....

I hope to focus this month on the many things I am thankful for. Recently my husband and I were able to get away for the weekend without our children. Before leaving I asked him, when was the last time we went on an airplane without any kids? Even when we went to Europe we took our three-month-old baby (I plan to remind said baby of that when he's older!). We went to Atlanta in 1996, but we were not on the same airplane so that doesn't count. I think we had to go as far back as our flight to Alaska for our honeymoon cruise. Wow, we are going to have to ditch the kids more often.

I am thankful we are at a time in our lives when we can get away without children and look forward to their warm welcome when we return.

Here we are together on the Oregon Coast (I wish I had a picture of us sitting together on the airplane for posterity).

Monday, November 2, 2009

We survived another Halloween

I've decided after this year that I am not a fan of Halloween on Saturdays. It makes for a really long day for the kiddos to wait for dusk. They were in the costumes by lunchtime. And we had church the next morning at 8 AM. Luckily there was no make-up or hair coloring that needed to be washed out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bring On The Candy

I am a sucker for Halloween themed scrapbooking supplies: paper, ribbon, embellishments, stamp sets, you name it. I don't know what it is about those gobblins & ghouls, but they get me every time. I made this layout with a 'witches brew' of supplies from various shopping sprees. Do you like how I stacked buttons on top of buttons? The title was created with Extreme Caps alphabet stamp set (Item D1250) from Close To My Heart. Their White Daisy exclusive ink really makes the stamped letters pop off the black cardstock.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Monster Mix

I recently visited my daughter at her college campus. It never hurts to take treats along to starving students, right? So I purchased this plastic container from the superstore and decorated it with themed ribbon and some of my Close To My Heart Halloween stamps. Then I filled it with yummy treats. I had to keep my husband and younger children out of the jar until I could deliver it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Last month I sponsored a shoulder tote give-away. There were many ways to earn entries into the drawing for this new tote from Close To My Heart. With over 34 entries from 12 participants, I'm happy to announce the lucky winner is Katie L. WooHoo!

For those of you hoping to win, don't despair. This attractive bag is available for purchase from the CTMH Fall Winter Idea Book for $29.95 (Item Z4204). And if you order one by October 23rd, I will pay the shipping and tax for you...that's a savings of nearly FIVE BUCKAROOS! You must purchase directly through me rather than my website to receive the discount. Offer ends October 23, 2009.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Save The Date...

I'm so excited about this new stamp set called Save The Date (Item D1386). You can see the complete stamp images on page 80 of the Fall/Winter Idea book. [Just follow the link on the right...see that book with the three girls on the front? go ahead and click it.] Anyway, back to why I love this stamp set: it's loaded with tags such as dates, seasons, holidays, and years going all the way to 2016. This makes it so easy for me to quickly add a time stamp to any scrapbook layout, such as this one of my little cutie on her 100th day of school.
See how I stamped JAN 2009 in the corner beneath that photo? I could have used January 2009 or New Year's 2009...yep, it's all in there.

And when you purchase this set, you're on your way to qualifying for a free Everyday Celebrations card kit. More details about that are on the right too.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Shoulder Tote Giveaway

That’s me sporting my new shoulder tote from Close To My Heart. It features cute top stitching and silver rivet accents. This handy bag comfortably holds 12” x 12” papers and even an album, with plenty of pockets for my smaller items. I love carrying my bag to crops and workshops.

On October 1st I’ll draw the name of one lucky winner who will receive an amazing tote just like this one absolutely FREE (retail value $29.95).

You will qualify to win this stylish bag when you do any of the following activities by September 30th —number of entries shown in ():

* Purchase or earn free the Everyday Celebrations card kit (1)
* Purchase or earn free the Stamp of the Month: Treasures (1)
* Purchase any size stamp set (1 each)
* Purchase the Jingle workshop kit, item G1002 (2)
* Bring an outside order to the September workshop / club (2)
* Join my Kit of the Month club (scrapbook club), or have a friend join if you’re already a member (3)
* Host a gathering or workshop (10) Workshop must be held by October 30, 2009
* Join my team and sign up to be a CTMH consultant (10)

Contact me or visit my website to place an order or to reserve a seat at a workshop this month.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Warm Wishes

Okay, so it's still over 100 degrees here in Arizona, but I couldn't wait to play with some new products from Close To My Heart.

Items used:
  • Just for the Holidays stamp set (D1380)
  • Creative Basics Jingle Collection (X5808)
  • Flurry dimensional elements ((Z1225)
  • Spring Blossom mini medley accents (Z1118)
  • Creme Brulee designer ribbon (Z1131)
  • White embossing powder (Z673)
  • Juniper exclusive inks (Z2167)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Car Update

So here it is, the new smaller "family" car. It's a 2007 Nissan Sentra. I really enjoy driving it, and I'm having fun playing with the blue tooth phone feature. Let's hope I don't crash the car! LOL

Monday, August 17, 2009


I have been driving a 2001 Honda Odyssey since Sept. 2000. My husband made me promise to drive it for 10 years when we purchased it brand new with almost every option available. Nine years later, I must say it has been worth every penny. It has nearly 130,000 miles on it and still going strong.

My youngest goes to preschool 3 days a week this year. So for a few hours a day three days a week, if I drive anywhere, I'm the only one in a seven-passenger vehicle that gets about 16 mpg around town with the a/c running (which it usually is in Arizona). And when said preschooler is not in school, the same seven-passenger vehicle is carrying around the two of us. In fact, it's rare that I have need of seven seats. But it does happen at least once a week when we go to church, so I'm still in need of the van occassionally.

I have a bee in my bonnet to get a newer car for everyday driving, keeping the van for occassional maximum capacity...even though my 10 year commitment isn't up yet.

I thought I found a great deal on craigslist - a 2008 Nissa Versa with low miles and a low price tag. However, it had been sold before I got my hands on it.

I'll just keep looking. You should know I'm not very patient with bees in my bonnet.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to School

It's Back-To-School season in towns across America. My children start school this Wednesday. I'm thrilled for my first grader to learn math, and my third grader wants to write in cursive. I have a few milestones to celebrate this year. My oldest will leave home for college, I have one starting high school, and this is absolutely the last time I will be paying for youngest will start his academic career as well. Eeeek!

So you'll see me and lots of other parents donning cameras as we send our little ones (and not-so-little ones) to the classroom. This year I plan to make a mini-album of all the photos I take of my kids on the first day. Maybe it will be my annual assignment.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Where Has the Time Gone?

I'm a little ashamed that my last post was nearly 2 months ago! Where HAS the time gone. I'm only a little ashamed because I've been selfish with my time reading books, swimming with the kids, watching movies, celebrating birthdays.

I just recently read "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford. It was an easy read and was a little predictable, but there were quite a few surprises. Having been born in the late 60s I am not too familiar with WWII history. This book addresses Japanese internment camps during the war. I felt conflicted with the situation: on the one had you can't tolerate the possiblity of spies, but on the other hand these are AMERICANS who happen to have Japanese roots. This injustice is quite disturbing to me. If you happen to read this book, let me know if you give it thumbs up or down.

I'm preparing for a great weekend getaway with my scrapbook buddies at a Close To My Heart leadership conference in Long Beach, California. I look forward to sharing new products and ideas when I return.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Watch for a DEAL-A-DAY in June

Close To My Heart has a daily deal for you in June. Each and every day a product
special will be available through my website only that day and only while supplies last. Irresistible shipping discounts are included! Read on to find out how you could win extra CTMH goodies.

Watch for popular products offered FREE when you order your favorite stamp set (excludes personalized stamps and the Stamp of the Month). Simply add the stamp set of your choice to your shopping cart, and you will be prompted to add the free item offered that day.

On select days in June you can purchase a specially priced mystery box filled with great goodies. I can’t tell you exactly what is included in the goodie box - that would spoil the fun, but contents will vary by box and include both current and retired favorite stamp sets, paper kits, embellishments, and other great products. These goodies boxes will all have different pricing of at least 50% off retail, with some at even deeper discounts! You can purchase boxes on different dates and receive a wide variety of differing products!

Look for the June Deal-a-Day link in the online shopping section of my website to see that day's deal. Deals are available for 23 hours beginning on the day announced and while supplies last. New deals are posted at 8:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. mountain time) each day and expires the following day at 7:00 a.m.

There is a healthy stock these products available, so you don’t need to “rush the doors” just be aware that the special pricing is available on that day only.

Discounted shipping as low as $3 is available when orders meet all Deal-a-Day guidelines. In order to receive this great shipping discount, ONLY Deal-a-Day qualifying items may be in the shopping cart at checkout. Additional purchases will need to be made separately. Mystery box shipping costs vary between $6 and $10 and represent only a fraction of the value of the contents.

As an added bonus each online purchase in June will qualify you for an entry into a drawing for a $20 CTMH gift certificate.

Check back often to stock up on your scrapbooking and cardmaking supplies at a discount.

Tax and shipping/handling may apply.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wishes Do Come True

If you like to make cards, but need a little inspiration this may be just what you've been wishing for. Created by Close To My Heart founder, Jeanette Lynton, Wishes is a hardbound book of new patterns including circle cards and bulk cards. The three bulk card patterns help you make 8, 12, or 16 cards getting the most use out of your papers and your time. The full-color artwork and tips & techniques will get your creative juices flowing. Order yours today for just $29.95 (Wishes Card Confidence Program, Item 9033). You can purchase right from my website, or contact me to place an order.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Card Folio

As promised, here's another simple, inexpensive gift idea for family and friends that will show them your appreication.

Here's how to make it:
Step 1:
Cut cardstock to 11-1/2 x 5-3/4. Cut two additional pieces of cardstock to 3 x 5
Step 2:
Larger piece of cardstock-Score (with the 11-1/2 edge at the top) at 3", 3-1/2", 8" and 8-1/2". Fold on score lines.

Smaller piece of cardstock-Score at every 1/2". Accordion fold on score lines.

The following picture should give you the idea

Step 3:
Next you'll attach the accordion pieces to either side of the folios front edge.

Step 4:
Attach the other side of the accordion piece to the back of the folio. This will make your accordion pocket for your five cards to fit into.

Step 5:
All materials used are Close To My Heart.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

S. O. S. - Save Our Scrapbooks...

I was flipping through my May/June issue of Simple Scrapbooks and saw the Editor's Note from Stacy Julian titled A Simple Farewell. At first I thought Stacy was moving on to pursue another book showing us how to make a mini album in a weekend. But the farewell she was speaking of is the farewell of Simple Scrapbooks magazine. I have gleened many ideas from the pages of this publication and I'm sorry to see it go like so many other newspapers and magazines. I will continue to get tips and tricks from Creating Keepsakes, big-sister publication to SS.

Scrapbooking is one of the many hobbies I enjoy (not as much as the homebaked treats I make, but definitely more than exercising - although I always feel strong and accomplished after a meaningul workout). It is very gratifying when my children pour over pictures in our albums commenting about how cute they were (they WERE and still are in my opinion). So, to save our scrapbooks I'm challenging you to spend a couple of hours one day this week to preserve your memories; whether you're a digi-scrapper or the traditional type with paper and glue like me. And get out from behind the camera so that YOU are in some of those photos too.

If you're at a loss for time or don't know how to get started, join me for a crop on National Scrabooking Day, Saturday May 2nd from 1-11 p.m. For $15 you'll get your own workspace, limited interruptions, a mini album class, access to my stamps & inks and "how-to" books, and a Mexican fiesta (it's close enough to Cinco de Mayo, right?). You'll also get a gift from me, as well as chances at other prizes. Seating is limited so RSVP right away.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My little crafty protoge

As the saying goes..."the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." My 6 year-old loves to color, draw, paint, cut, glue, staple, you name it. She's a crafty one.

This week in school, the children were given pre-printed cardstock to make place cards for Easter dinner. Hailey followed directions, coloring the basket and cutting only on the basket line, not the dotted, fold-here line, to make a cute little place card for me.

Then she came home and proceeded to make her own creative place cards for the rest of the family. Aren't they adorable?

Happy Easter everyone. Take a moment to give thanks for this life that God has blessed you with and to evaluate what you are doing to give back.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Inexpensive Paper Craft Ideas

As promised in my newsletter, this month I am posting some creative ideas for inexpensive gifts for teachers, mom and grads. (Post a message if you'd like to receive my newsletter.)

Today's idea is a Coaster Clip Board. You'll need a heavyweight coaster to start with. Restaurants like Chili's may be give you a few coasters if you ask them.

  • Cut printed paper to fit the size of coaster you are using and then adhere to the coaster. I like using Bonding Memories glue from Close To My Heart. If you are using printed coasters from a restaurant, you will want to cover both sides of the coaster with decorative paper.
  • Sand the edges of the coaster (tip - sand 'down' towards the edge so the paper does not pull up).
  • Attach sticky notes to the decorated coaster and secure in place with a 1-1/4" binder clip.
    You can decorate the binder clip with coordinating paper (1-1/4" x 3/4"). Adhere the paper to the clip with Tombow adhesive or similar two sided tape runner.
  • Use ribbons, paper flowers, sparkles, etc. to jazz up your Coaster Clip Board.

Let me know how yours turns out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cupcakes galore

Today is Close To My Heart founder, Jeanette Lynton's birthday. You must visit her blog to see the AMAZING cupcake assortment created for her by her design team, the same people who make the beautiful creations in the Idea Books. visit

I recommend you bookmark her blog, I find it very uplifting. And if you scroll down to the post after the company breakfast, you'll get a sneak peek of a recipe box available in May...I smell a Mother's Day workshop. *wink*

Have a great day, even if it's not your birthday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gorilla Cheese Sandwich

These pictures were taken last summer. Collin asked to have Gorilla Cheese sandwiches for lunch. I asked him what gorilla cheese sandwiches were, and he explained, "y'know, those ones with toast and cheese." Oh GRILLED cheese sandwiches. *smile*

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Card for Valentine's Day

This card is easy to make. Start with a 6 x 12 inch piece of cardstock. Fold it in half so you have a 6 x 6 inch top-folding card. Next cut four strips from coorindating printed paper 1-3/4 x 4-1/4 inches. Arrange these strips around the edges of the card as shown in the illustration. Then embellish with ribbon, bling, brads, stamps, etc. Voila! A quick and inexpensive hand-made card to show someone how much you care.

I used products from Close To My Heart, of course: That's Amore paper (Item X7107B) and Because I Love You stamp set (Item C1259).

Monday, February 9, 2009

How Many Fat Grams?!

A few months ago our whole family ate out thanks to Grandpa treating us to dinner. My youngest son loved the baked macaroni and cheese so much I had to order a second helping for him. So I decided to look online for a recipe to make this at home. It was a big hit, but look at the "nutritional" information (I used the word loosely). I made a triple batch because I knew my family would like it.

Personalized Name Stamp - update

I'm so stinkin' excited to use the new personalized name stamp for our Valentine's cards this year. (see previous post in January 2009). But wouldn't you know it...there are two girls with this name in the same class (the other girl spells her name differently). I may have to pull out a 'W' from an alphabet stamp set and stamp it on the cards.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 years of Stamping

My daughter's birthday is coming up, and I created these party invitations using a new stamp set I got for FREE from Close To My Heart. Although this is a birthday invitation, the stamp set is virsatile enough to use for just about any celebration.

CTMH has been a leader in the craft stamping business for 25 years, and they're giving away a custom designed stamp set to commemorate the occassion. You can get your "Let The Good Times Roll" stamp set free when you purchase any two My Acrylix stamp sets. This offer is available through February 28th.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Personalized Name Stamp

When I put this page together I was reminded of the time-consuming task of having my daughter write her name on multiple Valentine's Day cards. There are seven (7!) letters in her name, multiply that by 29 students and one teacher...we have to starts two weeks early. This year I have ordered a personalized name stamp from Close To My Heart (item#K900). Now we can prep the valentine's cards the night before the big day - no sweat! LOL And I'll have that cute little name stamp to use in the future on scrapbook layouts.