Wednesday, December 31, 2014

January Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Welcome to the first blog hop of the new year!  I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season with your family.  I don't know about you but I am ready to get into my creative groove again and this hop will fill me with inspiration to get started.
So here is how this works.  If you have come from Angela's blog, you are on the right track.  When you are finished viewing my artwork, you will hop on over to Justine's Blog.  The hop is one big circle so just keep going and enjoying all the art you see.

The stamp set is call This Moment and includes the ever popular arrow images with additional sentiments and graphics!  Very fun!

When I begin to create, I usually need a stepping stone for inspiration.  Sometimes it is a card pattern, sometimes a full design, and other times, I need a new color palette.  This month, I wanted to play with some new color combinations so I took the color palette from the new Heartstrings paper packet and started playing.  Here's what I made!

 I ended up focusing on just two colors with a touch of black, lagoon and cranberry red.  These are not too colors I would usually put together but I love how it turned out.  I kept the cards clean and simple...a style I am not always comfortable with but am trying to use. 

As I photographed these cards, although I like the clean and simple look, I also saw some details that could be added if I wanted.  With the first card, I used the arrown embossing folder to add a touch of detail and texture.  I also added one of our new "puffies" to the bullseye to emphasize the heart.

On the second card, I just added three black puffie arrows, again to add texture and detail.  Simple yet a different look. 

I enjoy having a new stamp set to create with each month.  You can purchase this D-size stamp set, available for one month only, for just $5 — that’s over 70% off retail! When you place an order of $50 or more in Close To My Heart products.  When you qualify for the stamp of the month special, you will also qualify for the National Paper Crafting month special, "Year Noted". 

To learn more about this stamp set and the January special, contact your  Close to My Heart consultant or me.  And don't forget, you are now on your way to hop over to Justine's Blog.

Finally, here are the products I used to create my cards. 

Happy New Year,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

January Seasonal Sampler

It is time to order your kit for the January Seasonal Sampler.  Whether you will be creating this at a workshop or purchasing the kit to go, now is the time to place your order.  Just think of the lovely new artwork you will have for your home after you have taken down all the holiday decorations.

This month we are using the Snowhaven paper packet and creating a sampler with the chilly winter but warm home ahead.

The kit is $19 (includes shipping and tax) and if you are ordering the kit to go, you will receive illustrated instructions in your email.

Dates for the workshops include:

  • Monday January 5th 7 p.m.
  • Friday January 9th 9:30 a.m.
  • Sunday January 11th 7 p.m.  

Contact me to order yours today and RSVP for your workshop time.  

Here's to a warm and cozy winter,

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hey there cupcake!

Just can't get enough of this cute stamp of the month. 

And now for the instructions for this final card.

Cut three pieces of lagoon cardstock measuring: 
  • 4.25 x 5.5
  • 3.25 x 4.5
  • 2.25 x 3.5
Set these aside

Cut three pieces of white cardstock measuring:
  • 4 x 5.25
  • 3 x 4.25
  • 2 x 3.25

Layer these three pieces, with re-positionable adhesive.  It will look like this:

I stamped my focal image first so I would make sure to have space.  Then random stamp the cupcakes, overlapping all the white cardstock layers.  After random stamping, separate all the layers and re-layer inserting the lagoon cardstock squares.  For the upper layer, I used foam squares and added a wrap of ribbon to highlight the focal image with more dimension.

That's it!  Try your hand at this card!  

Remember, this stamp set is available through Dec 31st for $5 with a $50 qualifying order or $17.95.  You can also use your qualifying order to get the Deal of a Decade, "C" & "D" size stamps sets for $10. 

Happy stamping,

Friday, December 12, 2014

Product spotlight: New albums from CTMH

Close to My Heart has a new line of albums, created with detail and thought to display your special memories.

Watch this video to see the highlights.

Let me know if you have questions or would like to order your album.

Happy Holiday Season.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thank you! And for the news...

To all of you who were able to take advantage of the 12 Days of Christmas special, thank you and I hope you are enjoying all your goodies!  Now for good news.  I have $160 in free product AND four half price products to give away! 

And the winner...

Lorene Norris!  Merry Christmas...and contact me for your shopping spree!

Merry Holiday Season.

Monday, December 8, 2014

On the 10th day of Christmas CTMH gave to us...

An new rolling tote!  This beautiful carry all makes getting to your crops and retreats faster, simpler and easier.  Watch this video to see all the details and thought that went into developing this great product. 

You can order yours today on my website or by contacting me. 

And because we are celebrating the 12 days of Christmas until Dec 10th, your purchase will qualify you to earn tickets to win the mystery hostess rewards which are currently a total of $130 in free products and 3 half price products! 

As a reminder here are the specials you can take advantage of:

Mystery Hostess

With every $25 purchase, you get a ticket entered in a drawing for all the free loot!  One person will win!

Album Special
  • Order one album and get a free pack of flips flaps and a ticket for mystery hostess rewards.
  • Order two albums and get free pack of flip flaps, a package of label holders, and two tickets for the mystery hostess drawing.
  • Order three albums and get free flip flaps, label holders, the stamp of the month for free and four tickets for the mystery hostess drawing. 
  • Order four albums and get flip flaps, label holders, stamp of the month AND $25 in hostess rewards, no ticket needed.  
 Let's get together!

You can choose a gift of either a My Reflections Scrapbook Kit or a My Acrylix stamp set(s) up to a $10 value.  Free product?  Yes! Just for meeting with me? Yes!  Not a crafter but still want to meet?  I will let you choose 10 handmade cards from my collection for your personal use.  Email me today or before Dec 10th to set a date. 

Deal of the Decade!

With a qualifying purchase of $50, you can order "C" and "D" size stamp sets for $10 saving up to $7.95 per stamp set.  (Discounted stamps sets from the 2014 Annual Inspirations book.)  Shop at

Free Annual Inspiration and Seasonal Expression idea books
Receive one free copy of Annual Inspirations and Seasonal Expressions 1 when you place an order. 

Seasonal Sampler Club
Join the Sampler club and purchase eight sampler kits with a frame, and get the ninth for free.  Cost of each kit is around $15.  

I hope you are enjoying your days of Christmas!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Seasonal Expressions Blog Hop

Have you seen it?  The fresh new products from Close to My Heart? Seasonal Expressions 1 is here and it is beautiful.

This 38 page supplement to the Annual Inspirations is filled with two new paper packets, about 25 new stamps sets, two new Picture My Life Sets and some shimmer you will definitely want to see.

You have joined the consultant blog hop featuring all these fun new products.  If you have come from Nikki's Blog, welcome.  You are on the right track.  After you have seen my artwork, you will continue to hop along to Michelle's Blog to see what she has created with these fresh new products.  So here we go!

Hopscotch was my paper kit choice and I used the new "You're the Bomb" stamp set.  I created this gate fold card and embellished with the adorable June Bug Puffies.  Perfect hint of the spring to come.

My second card was inspired by the colors of the Hopscotch paper packet, using Juniper, Smoothie and Flaxen ink, I created this clean and simple card layering white on white.  Fun and easy!

Now here's what is awesome about the "You're the Bomb" stamp set:  when you purchase this set from Close to My Heart, they will donate $3 to Operation Smile.  You can read more about this special organization and how it changes the lives of people with a simple surgery.

If you don't have a copy of the Seasonal Expression 1, contact your consultant or me.  And as a bonus, through the month of January, when you place an order with your consultant, you can get an Annual Inspirations Idea book AND new Seasonal Expression included in your order for free!

If you have come this far, remember to hop on over to Michelle's blog and see her artwork, then keep hopping along to see what these super creative folks have made.

Enjoy the blessings of this season,

Friday, December 5, 2014

5th, 6th and Day of Christmas Special!

I am playing a little catch up!  I am still celebrating with specials until Dec 10th. 

Now you are probably getting started in the holiday decorating mode! I know I started with a little bit of purging Thanksgiving weekend, taking down the fall decor...but I am ready!

I love decorating for the holidays but I do not love the "bare" feeling of my house when I take them all down!

Give the gift of home decor (to yourself and/or a friend) by purchasing the January Seasonal Sampler kit.  If you are local, you can attend my workshop and assemble your kit in early January.  If you are not local, order a "kit to go" and you will receive your kit in the mail plus an email with illustrated instructions.

 This kit uses the SnowHaven complements and Ruby mini-medley accents.  In addition, you can order our beautiful designed decor black shadow box frame to display this 3-d piece of artwork. 

Want to create a sampler for different seasons and holidays.  Join the Sampler club and purchase eight sampler kits with a frame, and get the ninth for free.  Cost of each kit is around $15. 

And remember the preceding offers are still available!
  • Album special
  • Free Annual Inspirations and Seasonal Expressions idea book
  • Mystery Hostess Rewards Drawing
Enjoy the season!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fourth Day of Christmas!

On the fourth day of Christmas...the gifts just keep coming. 

Starting today through January 31, 2015, you will receive one free copy of Annual Inspirations and Seasonal Expressions 1 when you place an order. This one-time bonus will be available to each customer. The option to add the free idea book will appear on the website or I will add it to your order.  Everyone should have a copy of our idea books, because they do are such a wonderful display of beautiful artwork, provide creative inspiration and offer tips and techniques. 

Want to make it just like you see it?  Did you know we have "recipes" for each piece of artwork featured?  You can access the "recipe" book here

And, the artwork shown in the idea book often has an italic print below it referring to the Close to My Heart "how to" pattern?  They make it faster, simpler and easier for you to create beautiful artwork on your own. 

Finally, the idea book is full of tips and techniques to help you get the most from your CTMH products. 

Don't forget, the first days of can still take advantage of the special offers including the Album offer, Deal of the Decade offer, stamp of the month, AND mystery hostess tickets for free product drawing. 

Happy Creating,

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Third Day of Christmas: A Huge Cyber Monday Special!

My Oh My!  (In the voice of Dave Niehaus for you Mariners fans.)  This is an incredible day to save with Close to My Heart!  Make sure you pass this on to your Santa!

Cyber Monday with 20% off all Cricut Cartridge bundles

Art Philosophy, Artiste, Artbooking and the new Artfully Sent.  All 20% off Dec 1st 12 a.m. - 11:59 p.m. MST.  Shop on my website or contact me.  And to add to that, you will qualify for the December month long special, DEAL of the DECADE.  Shop at

Deal of the Decade with $10 stamps after $50 qualifying order

With a qualifying purchase of $50, including the Cyber Monday special, you can order "C" and "D" size stamp sets for $10 saving up to $7.95 per stamp set.  (Discounted stamps sets from the 2014 Annual Inspirations book.)  Shop at

Seasonal Expressions 1 catalog supplement goes live


Chocked full on fresh new product for the later winter early spring, you are going to love the Seasonal Expressions.  View online at

Cutie Pie Stamp of the Month
A sweet calorie free treat!  Great for any celebration and only $5 with a $50 purchase or $17.95.  This can be combined with the Cyber Monday Special AND the Deal of the Decade.  To see artwork made with this set, visit this wonderful consultant blog hop

 Mystery Hostess Tickets for each $25 ordered

 This is simple, the gist of it is, for every $25 ordered, you will get a ticket for the hostess rewards, combined over all the sales between Nov. 28th and Dec 10th.  WOW! 

Second Day of Christmas Album Special continues

See my Second day of Christmas Album detail here

Have fun saving! 

December Stamp of the Month Blog Hop: Cutie Pie

Welcome to our Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!  We will be featuring December's SOTM, which is Cutie Pie.  If you have come here from Michelle Battitori's blog, you are on the right path! The blog hop is a great big circle, so you can start here and work your way all around.  If you get lost along the way, you’ll find the complete list of participating consultants on Melinda’s Blog:

  This is simple to do - just click on the link at the end of the post on each blog to move to the next one! Here we go!

This set is so fun to use with our Shin Han markers.  I loved coloring the cupcake and hearts, playing with the blender pen to get highlights.  I used the Seaside paper packet to accent the whimsical style of this set.  Perfect for birthdays and special occasions.  Who doesn't love a cupcake...especially when it is calorie free!

Now "Hop" on over to Brenda Lapp's to see her work! Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their Blogs to get some great crafting ideas and other fun ideas! Remember, the Cutie Pie SOTM is only available until December 31st!  Contact your CTMH Consultant (or click here) to see how you can get this stamp set at a discount!

Sweet day to you,

Second Day of Christmas: Albums

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave me....Scrapbooking Albums!

Yes!  Close to My Heart has a new line of albums and they are perfect for storing your family memories whatever style of scrapbooker you are!  Classic scrapbook page fit work well in the post bound albums as do the Studio J online scrapbook pages.  If you enjoy pocket style scrapbooking such as Picture My Life, you will love the new D-Ring albums.  If you are like me and scrapbook is all these different ways...and combine them all in one album, you will love the versatility of the D-ring style.

And here's the deal!
  • Order one album and get a free pack of flips flaps and a ticket for mystery hostess rewards.
  • Order two albums and get free pack of flip flaps, a package of label holders, and two tickets for the mystery hostess drawing.
  • Order three albums and get free flip flaps, label holders, the stamp of the month for free and four tickets for the mystery hostess drawing. 
  • Order four albums and get flip flaps, label holders, stamp of the month AND $25 in hostess rewards, no ticket needed.   

You can see the albums above, Black, Lagoon Chevron, and Red Floral.  Please contact me directly to take part in the special so I can include your free products. 

Offer is good through Dec 10th, 2014 through Michele Rowley, CTMH Independent Consultant.  

Happy Second Day of Christmas.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Did you survive black friday? Ready for the First Day of Christmas?

Today is the First Day of Christmas (in my countdown special) and it is also Small Business Saturday.  I have loved the opportunity to have a small business.  It has allowed me to stay home with my children, have a flexible schedule, meet great people, make wonderful friendships and earn two all expenses paid luxury vacations.  The connections with my family, community, friends and you is what makes it all worth it. 

Playa Conchal, Costa Rica

Have you ever wondered how this works?  I would love to share more with you and learn about your thoughts.

So here's the First Day of Christmas special.  I am offering you connection!  Schedule a phone call or in person meeting with me (meet up before February 1st) to get together. 

Need an incentive?  After we have met, you can choose a gift of either a My Reflections Scrapbook Kit or a My Acrylix stamp set(s) up to a $10 value.  Free product?  Yes! Just for meeting with me? Yes!  Not a crafter but still want to meet?  I will let you choose 10 handmade cards from my collection for your personal use.  Email me today or before Dec 10th to set a date. 

If you know me at all, you know I am not a pushy sales person and this is not about getting you into something that is not for you.  This is about meeting with YOU, getting to know YOU, and hearing YOUR story.  If CTMH fits into your story, Amen!  If not, then at least we have strengthened our connection, Amen!

Looking forward to a new year filled with stronger friendships,

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

HUGE Black Friday Happenings!

Happy Thanksgiving  

I hope you had a wonderful day with family and friends.

I am sharing the rewards with you at the start of the holiday season!  

Shop online today Friday November 28th between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. and you could be the mystery hostess and earn all the rewards.  

With every $25 purchase made on my website, selecting "Black Friday Special", your name will be entered in a drawing to earn the total hostess rewards.  The rewards start at $25 in CTMH products and increase as more purchases are made!  I will draw the name on Saturday and notify the winner by email.

What is after Black Friday?  More opportunities to win hostess rewards.  Keep watching your email for details about how you can get entered in the drawing.  Watch or email for details.

Happy shopping,

Monday, November 24, 2014

Craft Daze "til Christmas: 30 Days Gift ideas for the crafters on your list

Holiday Ideas from Close to My Heart

CTMH has great gift options and stocking stuffer ideas.  Let me share a few!

For the memento keeper:
My Crush mini albums, with 60 spiral bound pages, are the perfect place to keep those special memories, ticket stubs, and friends’ photos, document a special event and more.  Add the My Crush assortment for embellishment.  Have lots of mementos to keep?  Add a set of flip flaps, which attach to the pages with a strong adhesive. 

My Crush books and assortment page 150-157
Flip Flaps page 185

For the crafty girl:
Bling is in and it adds sparkle to those creative projects.  Sparkles shimmer trim, sequins and more are self-adhesive making crafting less messy and a lot brighter.  Perfect little packages for someone’s stocking.

Sparkle sets page 170-171
Shimmer trim and washi tape page 172-173

For one who enjoys needle work:
Our micro tip scissors are great for those who love a pair of sharp scissors.  They come with a protective cover and fit the requirements for TSA and can be taken on the plane for those who stitch on the go. 

Scissors page 181

Need more ideas?  Don’t hesitate to contact me at 206-697-4373 or Shop on my website or by connecting with me.
Shop on Black Friday or during the 12 days of Christmas and you will be put in a drawing for the Mystery Hostess and the rewards that come from CTMH. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Craft Daze "til Christmas: 42 days Photo Holiday Cards.

This month Close to My Heart is Celebrating five years of Studio J.  Now if you haven't seen Studio J, you need to try it and it is no cost to you just to play!  Here is a link to a getting started video and you can read the details of this month's special on my blog here.   This will explain all the ways you can WIN with Studio J this month but right now, I want to focus on Photo Holiday Cards.  

Yes you can use Studio J to create your own unique family holiday cards and best of all, Studio J layouts are on sale for $5 this month.  

Here's how:

1.  Go to, click on products and choose Studio J from the drop down menu.

2. Once in Studio J- either log in or create an account if you are a new user.

3. Once in- begin a new project. I called mine Christmas Cards 2014.

4. You will then be prompted to upload photos- upload the ones that you would like to use on your cards (I did two different photo styles)

5. The select “create your own custom kit”

6. At this point you will be given lots of options for paper- my recommendation is to go with one of our holiday themed papers so that you will have access to the holiday ‘stickease’ and images that go with that pack.  You can put "Christmas" in the search bar and it will show you all the Christmas/Winter related paper packets.  For mine I chose the Yuletide Carol kit.  Choose your kit and click continue.

7. Next you will be given your choice of patterns, chose the ‘No Limits’ pattern and then click continue.

8. Your next option is for a kit mix- yours will all be blank – just click on one and continue to the next screen.  

9. Now you will start to create your cards! On the left you will need to click on the text and photo areas.  You want to add journaling areas to your layout- just drag the ‘add journaling’ option onto your page.  Once it is placed you will have a box appear where you can adjust things- you can choose your card size.  Regular envelope sizes are 5x7, 4x8, or 4.25 x 5.5.  I created mine 5x7 this year.   Once you have one box sized and placed (see the sample above for how you can place them to optimize space) you can click on your journaling box and the click copy at the top of the screen.  Then hit paste- this will give you a second box of the same size  that you can click and drag (and rotate) anywhere on your layout.  Do this 8 times until you have your page full.  It may look like the left side when you are complete this step.

10. Next click on the paper tab on the left.  From here you can drag and drop any of the patterned paper or cardstock options for the kit.  Have fun with this and feel free to use a variety- after all, you can!  Once you have those all in place you will want to get rid of the prompt to add journaling- just click on the box, select edit text, and delete the text.  Then click on the next box and do the same.  When done you may have something like shown on the left side.

11. At this point I think it is easiest to go in and begin to add photo boxes- go back to the add text and photo tab. Once there, drag and drop photo boxes onto your cards- I made mine a 4x4 size but you can do whatever size works for you and your pictures.  The toolbar that appears with each photo box will allow you to add a photo mat if you would like- and you can pick your desired color.  Once you have your boxes and place (and you can copy and paste them as we did earlier) then you can drag and drop your pictures inside them.  In the photo toolbar you can add a filter and make your photos black and white or even sepia- have fun with this!

12. Now your photos should all be placed and you are ready to decorate! You will find all the fun things to decorate under the My Stickease tab- use the drop down menu to navigate between different embellishment sizes but remember that you can always resize them by dragging down the bottom right corner of any image.  You will also find Holiday quotes and tags in this section that could make your card really come together!  

13.Then I added our family name.  To do that I added a smaller journaling box (you should be a pro at adding this by now) and just typed in the box with the font they suggested. I colored my boxes black and then chose a white font.  I also went to the distress menu and added sanding so it would look a bit like a chalkboard. 

14.  I added some ribbon and knots by using the embellishments tab, selecting ribbons, choosing my color, and then dragging and dropping them onto each card.  When you right click on the embellishment, you can send it back, which allowed me to put the ribbon behind the chalkboard journaling spot. 

Once you are happy with your card you are ready to order them! You may notice that I have two small photos on mine in the middle space- it was empty space so I dropped some photos in to fill it out. Once my pages arrive I plan to use those photos in some base and bling projects.  When ordering you can order as many copies of that page as you will need for your cards. Your pages will arrive in the mail within a week or so and you are ready to go! 

I hope you are inspired to give it a try.  If you would like a one on one personal tutorial, I am happy to schedule one with you.  Don't wait too long, you will want to take advantage of the special before it ends November 30th.  And just think, you will have one thing DONE on your holiday to do list. 


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Craft Daze 'til Christmas: 45 days

We can't ignore it...the holidays are upon us and if you are a crafter, it is time to get your ideas for gift making in motion.

Or, you can join us for the Holiday Extravaganza on Friday Dec 5th 6:30 p.m. to create holiday gifts for teachers, neighbors, grandparents, and co-workers.  
RSVP  and more details will be sent to you.  In the mean time, here's my version of an advent calendar for this season.  

I used the designer creation bags in Ruby and Slate and added a bit of shimmer trim, kraft cardstock, and the numbers stamped in Ruby ink from the Magical Days stamp set.  It was fast and easy to put together.  I have chosen to hang mine with clothes pins but these bags would also look cute collected together in a small vintage suitcase or basket.

The items I used can be purchased on my website.  

Finally, you can find printable activity cards, scriptures and treat ideas on the Internet to include in your treat bags for a festive, family Christmas countdown. 

PS watch for my over the top Black Friday Special.  More information coming soon!

Happy Craftin',