Monday, May 13, 2013

I'm proud to say I scrapbook!

Recently Jeannete Lynton, CEO of Close to My Heart, posted the following statement on her blog. I love this company and invite you to join me in my Open House on Saturday, May 18. You may feel you are  not really that creative, but with Close To My Heart, you can do more than you think! Scrapbooking is fun, it's important for memory keeping and it's here to stay!

Creativity Now and Always

by Jeanette Lynton

"Within the past month, paper crafters have heard and seen some hard news—well-known industry names have announced bankruptcy or removed their scrapbooking lines. It may leave many wondering what the future is for our beloved pursuit of memory keeping and creativity. As the CEO and Founder of Close To My Heart, I have many thoughts on the topic and wanted to share a few with you.

First off, preserving our memories is NOT a fad. It's one of the most important things we do in our journey here on earth, and it's as key as breathing and as sustainable as family. In the past few years, we have seen scrapbooking come into the spotlight and many flocked to set up shop and design products to capitalize on it. While we at Close To My Heart have welcomed the focus on scrapbooking over the past few years, we know that even when the hubbub fades, the core and relevance underneath the hype remains. I have been in the industry for nearly 30 years—LONG before it was "trendy"—and plan to be in this essential industry for decades to come.
Because Close To My Heart will be here for the long-term, we have run our business differently than many others. We are not leveraged to the hilt or financed by outside investors. I have always believed in organic, cash-based growth, and the simple provident rule of spending less than I earn. It's a principle I've applied to business and it's ensured that Close To My Heart operates profitably. We have been profitable month after month, year after year. Our credit rating is excellent, and this protects our commitment to delivering a wealth of diverse, beautiful products at competitive prices while providing secure commission checks for our Consultants, employees, and vendors.
Second, yes, the industry is changing. I welcome and embrace that! In my 30 years in business, I have seen many changes and they almost always yield fresh directions, new products, and a new crop of crafters. Change always brings opportunity! I have long said that as long as little girls are born with hands, they will want to create. I am grateful to be a part of such an important contribution to society and know that this will continue.

Ultimately, I invite everyone—whether you are an existing Consultant or customer, a past purchaser, or even if you have never purchased a Close To My Heart product—to get to know us again for the first time. Close To My Heart is strong. Papercrafting, memory keeping, and creativity are more important than ever before and we provide unique, diverse products for every style and ability of crafter. Close To My Heart is committed to scrapbooking, and if it's a passion you share, then YOU ARE WELCOME HERE. "

So there you have it! We are strong, we are growing, and we can show you how to get those creative juices flowing. Won't you join me?  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mini Matchbooks

Well, it's been a looooong time since I updated this blog. Not that I don't find inspiration everywhere, just that, well, you know - it's the time thing. I'm the biggest procrastinator ever! But speaking of being short on time, here is a little project that you can knock out in no time at all.


Mini matchbooks can be used for all sorts of things. I've put photos in some, used some for journaling, and even added magnets on the back to hang on the fridge. Keep them tucked in your purse with photos of the kids or grandkids. I keep a small one with Japanese phrases I want to remember for when I'm out shopping in town.

I've made some for party favors too. These are a bit larger and are just the right size for holding a Ghirardelli chocolate square.

Here's the measurements for making the smaller accordion ones for your purse. When they are open, they look like this.

1.     Cut a 1 ¾ x 5 inch strip of cardstock or double-sided patterned paper. Score at
2,  2 ¼ and 4 ½ inches. Fold on score lines. This will be the cover of your mini album.

2.    Cut a piece of paper 1 ½ x 9 ¼ inches. Score at
2 ¼, 4, 5 ¾ and 7 ½ inches. Fold on score lines. This will be the inside of your album. You can use it for small photos or perhaps for journaling.

3.    You will notice that once the accordion part is folded, that there is one longer end. Insert this longer piece inside the shorter  end of the cover and staple or secure with brads.  
That's it! You are done - except for a little bit of decorating. But these are so easy and you can use up your scraps of paper and left-over stickers, die cuts and gems. So simple, fun and pretty!


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Crazy Hat Party!

My husband and I threw a Crazy Hat Party this spring and it was so much fun!

Even though many of the guests did not know each other, walking into a party with a Crazy Hat on your head really breaks down inhibitions. People not only wanted to show off their own creations, but marvel over the creations of others. With the help of name tags, everyone mingled well and laughed the evening away. The party decor was hats of all kinds and we even played Pin the Hat on Katy Perry - young and old alike participated in this fun game.

 Each guest was instructed to either make or embellish a hat, the crazier the better. We offered prizes for Prettiest, Ugliest, and Weirdest. Each guest wore a numbered name tag and were asked to stand up and show off their hat. Then everyone voted by dropping the number of their favorites by category into hats.
The Mermaid hat won Prettiest. The Beer Foam hat won Ugliest (perhaps it was the glasses, ha ha). The Lighted Toilet Paper Dispenser hat won Weirdest - no surprise there!

The most difficult prize to give out was the prize for my Overall Favorite Hat. I really had so many to choose from as everyone was so creative, My final pick though, was the Sweets hat - a handmade hat made out of paper and embellished with cups and bowls from local fast food joints. The cups were filled with real candy and there were paper donuts dripping with icing. The top of the hat depicted Johnny Depp eating a donut!

I think everyone came away with a new friend that evening and an appreciation of each other's creativity.

I put all the photos together in a Shutterfly scrapbook to keep forever. Give it time to load and enjoy the resourceful imaginations of my Crazy friends here in Okinawa!

Build your own high-quality photo books at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Full of light and shimmer the Dreamin' papers from Close to My Heart are the prettiest in their new line! Though full of fall colors, the hues of blues and golds worked just as well to highlight my summer photos. A bit of white added to the page above helps to give this page a summery feel. The butterflies were cut with the Art Philosphy Cricut cartridge and then colored using my blending pen with the watercolor markers. Simply rub the nib of the blending pen onto the nib of the watercolor marker to pick up the color and then paint your image. I love this technique as the colors intensify and blend so smoothly without using any water. To switch colors, simply wipe the tip of the blending pen on a piece of scrap paper until the color disapears.

My next page is created using sketch #50 from the Scrap A Little's sketch blog. The sketches from this blog are among my favorite when I'm looking for a little inspirational help in laying out a page. Notice the borders strips across the center of the page? One of them is cut from the backside of the paper and the other is simply the zip strip - or back of the informational strip -- attached to the paper. Close to My Heart has made coordination so simple!

Don't you just love it when there is no thinking involved? This layout is taken straight out of the Autumn/Winter Idea Book. I changed it up just a teensy bit to suit my photos, but it's pretty much just as  you see on on Page 32. The blue scalloped background, leaves and the rolled rose are cut with the Art Philosphy Cricut cartridge so the entire page could not have been any easier! I love the Cork Alphabet, it is one of my new favorite go-to items this year.

One more for sharing:

This time the Cork Alphabet is colored with Chocolate Ink, I simply daubed it on and it took the color so easily. The Harvest Charms are really a fun addition to the page and coordinate beautifully with the Dreamin' line.

To get any of the papers, pens or embellies listed in this post, simply click on my CTMH shopping link on the top right of this page. And don't forget to share your creations. I woud love to see how you use this beautiful line from CTMH!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's Elemental!

Here's a riddle for you. What two CTMH items go as well together as peanut butter and jelly? The answer is elemental. The new cardstock-weight Elemental paper and the new CTMH Art  Philosophy Cricut Cartridge to be exact!

I've been having so much fun locked in my scrap room with these two products lately that my husband thinks I left town and my cat won't speak to me. But never mind, they'll come round soon enough. Meanwhile, let me share with you a few of my projects. The first one above scanned a bit wonky but you can see all the layering that is available on this new cart. I added some Pearl Opaque Adhesive Gems to the centers of the flowers and butterflies for even more added dimension and shine.

This next page is a lift of a featured project in the Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea Book on page 86. I used the Horray Bouquet stamp that coordinates with the Cricut images. So easy. So fun. Love the page!
The design above is from a make-n-take by my friend Helen of Scrap a Little. I love her designs so much that I recreated one using the Elemental papers and look how lovely it turned out! The wave at the bottom comes from the 'Zip Strip' - something new that CTMH has added to their papers. You simply trim it off the bottom of the sheet and it makes a great border or accent on a coordinating page.
'Down by the River' utilizes the 'Love Life' stamp on page 29 of the Idea Book and this layout is my take on the project on the same page.  I really like the Decor Journaling Spots. I made one stationary and the other allows the journaling to pull out of the tag. The yellow stripe is another Zip Strip from the paper pack.

I know you are dying to see what is on the new CTMH Cricut cart so here is a scan of the cover. As you can see it offers over 700 shapes, many of which coordinate with the CTMH stamp sets. There are circles, flowers, snowflakes, leaves, tags, cards, 3-D images, ornaments, frames, hearts, acorns, brackets, borders, birds, trees, Christmas trees, flourishes, decorative corners and tabs, arrows, keys, lace images, and a font with a font layer. Who could ask for anything more? To get yours, simply click on the link on the top right of this page.

I hope I have inspired you to start scrapping. Feel free to contact me with any questions or to share your ideas. I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wicked Cool

Have you heard about the new - and more affordable - Stamp of the Month program at Close to My Heart? Now with any order of $50 or more, you can get the Stamp of the Month for just $5. That's over 70% off retail.

The "WICKED" stamp set is available now to August 31st. You can purchase it for the great low price of $17.95 or get it for just $5.00 with every CTMH order of $50 or more. Simply click my link to the right to order.
I'm not much of a card maker so I chose to use my stamp on a layout. I used the new "Mischief'' line of paper and I have to say that I am so very happy that CTMH went to this new cardstock-weight of patterened paper. It is so much more substantial with the same great color schemes to mix and match with inks and cardstocks.
Here is a list of supplies used to make my page 'Steppin' Out':
     Mischief Level 2 Paper Packet
     Aug Stamp of the Month - Wicked
     Opaques Licorice Adhesive Gems
     Black, White Daisy and Sunset Ink Stamp Pads
     Color-Ready Kraft Borders
So much has changed with the release of the new Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea Book. It's really given me a new incentive to get my scrapping done. I've got a couple of workshops scheduled and hope to fit it in a few more events. In the meantime, feel free to contact me if you have questions, want to place an order or just want to share your mojo. I can't wait to hear from you!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Basic Grey Kit Club

Each month I go to my friend's house and we do a Basic Grey Page Kit. Each kit comes with everything you need to complete 4 pages -- 2 single pages and one double page layout. All the instructions are there for you and what I enjoy about this the most is it frees up your mind so that you can chat and catch up with what all the girls have been doing all month. Plus, our hostess Helen Croft of Scrap a Little is such an awesome cook so there is always plenty of goodies to chow down on. It's a really great way to get together with your friends.

Anyone else out there have any monthly clubs like this? I would love to hear about it.

Meanwhile, here are just a few of the page kits we have worked on and how they have turned out.

This is the Life of the Party page kit.

 Next is the Capella Page Kit - such a pretty kit for weddings. I used photos from a recent wedding and also did a layout of my own wedding 30 years ago. Can you beleive I have never scrapped these photos before?

Next up is the Hello Luscious page kit. This one is bright and cheerful and I can't wait to finish the other pages in the kit. As you can see, it's easy to change the layout a bit to suit your photos.
And next, the Curio kit - great for older photos such as my baby pictures. As you can see, the page instructions are simply guidelines and you can change up the title or the placement of the die cuts as you see fit.
And I'll end this post with one from the Wander kit.The journaling fits nicely inside the little file folder that came with the kit.

We've done plenty more pages in the last year, but I hope you enjoyed this sampling from a fun Kit Club.