Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! CTMH January 2012 Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Happy 2012! Let's ring in the new year with a Close To My Heart January stamp of the month blog hop! Check out all the great artwork with this versatile set, Little Reminders. (If you're hopping already, you should have arrived from Scrapi Traci's blog. Your next stop will be the talented Sarita Schraeder's blog.)

I'm really excited about what 2012 will be bringing, so be sure to come back often or even consider following my blog.

I have two projects for the Little Reminders stamp set. The first is a New Year's card using the Believe paper pack. I think Sky & Holiday Red look great together! (The "Happy" sentiment is from the stamp set.) Everything else is from the January stamp of the month. I created the little pinwheel with a 3/4"x12" scrap and then adhered the rhinestone button to the center with Liquid Glass. Of course I had to use some Red Glitter Glitz on this festive card!

My second project is one I've already shown, but for those who missed it, here is the title page for my 2011 highlights album. I am so excited about this project that I have created a "12 for 2012" tab at the top of my blog and a Facebook group by the same name to get scrapping in 2012! (Please check it out if you'd like to learn more!) My 2011 title page uses the Sophia paper pack and My Stickease. The center year date is from the Little Reminders stamp set. I just love these numbers!

My family and I wish you the very best in 2012. Feel free to leave a comment about any of my projects, etc., before hopping along to Sarita's blog. Happy 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Visits with Santa

Do you have those annual photos of your child (or yourself!) visiting with Santa? I always thought that I wanted to make a mini album of my girls' photos with Santa, but I never seemed to find the time. Last year, I placed all the photos (most of which came in a handy cardboard display holder) in our dining room on display, and they were a HUGE hit!

This year, I've worked to create a table top display of all those darling Santa photos. (Wasn't our older daughter just the sweetest? She was only 6 months old her first Christmas!)

(Isn't this one-year-old photo funny? Too cute!)

I began with two My Creations All Sorts Mini Albums, but rather use them as albums, I turned them so that (for the most part) the edges with the holes were on the bottom. I created a layout for each year on one of the pages using the (retired) Mistletoe and Evergreen paper packs, plus assorted favorite Christmas stamps.

In kindergarten, the students took a field trip to see Santa, and they got this pretty card with their photo on the front. See her sweet message on the inside?

I used pieces of ribbon adhered with Liquid Glass to hold all the pieces together to make an accordian side table display. Here is the finished product:

Everyone who has visited has loved ot look at this, and I sure love reliving my baby's special moments! (How in the world did she get to be 13 already?!?)

Our younger daughter has already forgiven me for not getting her photos finished in the same manner before Christmas. They WILL be done by next Christmas! Until then, happy scrapbooking! ;)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Gift Layouts

These layouts were so much fun to make and suprise my mom with (as part of her Christmas present)! I had the whole family involved without her knowing it. My Dad sent his favorite pictures of the year, as did my sister and me. (I'm still waiting on my brother's, but he's had computer trouble. His will get done!)

All the layouts were made in Studio J (which is going to be easy to make a copy of my sister's family's layout to give to her for her birthday).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

12 for 2012

Have you heard of Project 12? Basically, you scrapbook the highlights of each month to create a yearly scrapbook. There is actually a website dedicated to Project 12, complete with sketches to try each month.

I decided in November that this was exactly what I needed for random photos from 2011 that didn't necessarily fit on a scrapbook page all their own. Since most of my photos are on my computer rather than printed, I decided to create my 2011 layouts in Studio J and have worked on them off and on for the last few weeks as time allows (and I am almost done!).

For 2012, rather than playing catch up at the end of the year (and losing some of those precious memories in the process), my sister and I are committed to creating our own project: "12 for '12." We are not going to follow any strict sketches but do plan to get together each month to scrapbook the preceding month.

We are really excited to get started! Won't you join us? I'll be posting updates and reminders right here and on Facebook to keep us going and motivated. There is absolutely no cost to participate! You can be a digital or classic scrapper, or like me, somewhere in between. CTMH products are not required. Of course, if you need materials, I'll be happy to help! Leave a comment to let me know if you're "in," and we'll be sure to include you too! (If you're local, I'm working on a convenient location for a get-together crop each month.) The important thing is to get motivated and to follow through each month. Together, we can do it!

{All artwork courtsey of the CTMH Art Studio.}

Monday, December 26, 2011

Calling All CTMH Fanatics! (H2H Design Team Call!)

Do you love creating with Close To My Heart products? If so, why don't you help share and spread that love? Right now, at Heart 2 Heart Challenges, we're looking for new Design Team members for January-June 2012! We're also changing up our format a bit, so you only have to participate every other week. It is a very doable- and fun- commitment!
Here are all the details (from our fearless leader, Mary):
* Email Mary (address at the bottom) with your Name, Address, Blog Address, Email Address and a little bio about you. Be sure to tell me how long you have been a consultant (you MUST be a CTMH consultant to be considered for the team but you can be in Junior status) and why you want to be a part of the team.
* You MUST know how to write and publish a post on Blogger. Each DT member will have a couple of weeks in which they will be responsible for creating the Monday challenge post. Don't worry - I (and another team leader) will be around to help out with this as well but please only apply if you are comfortable blogging.
* You must send photos of three of your pieces of artwork. DO NOT send me a link to your blog to look at your artwork there - I want you to pick what you consider three of your best and include them with the application.
ALL applications must be received by December 30th. I will make the selection of the new team members by January 1st and the new team will start on January 9th.
Here are some more things to keep in mind about a position on the DT:
* You must be willing to join a Yahoo Group set up specifically for team members.
* You must be able to participate in every challenge for your team's week (posted by 6:00 am on Monday mornings) and have your artwork for each challenge posted to the DT Yahoo Group the Saturday before the challenge begins.
* You must be willing to post your artwork on any other boards/galleries you belong to and advertise our challenge blog whenever and where ever you can so we can continually grow in numbers of participants. We currently have a group at Paper Craft Planet and on Facebook that I would like DT members to join but this is optional.
* You will be expected to participate in any extra programs that we may decide upon as a team. You are also expected to weigh in on your choices of winners in monthly awards (Top Ten).
* You will be expected to visit the blogs of the challenge participants and leave comments.
What you get in return:
* Committment to producing artwork once every 2 weeks gives you an opportunity to create on a regular basis!
* Increased blog traffic which will hopefully lead to an increase in your business!
* Fun and fellowship with the entire team and a chance to meet new consultants and CTMH fans!
What are you waiting for? Send in your application today!! (Any questions can be directed to me at

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours, have a very merry Christmas! Wishing you all the best in 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Union County Courthouse (Layout Share)

We celebrated my Mom's birthday in style yesterday!!! {More on that later!}

Now, onto my post:

Here's another Studio J layout that was in the works for a while and that I finally finished. These photos of our "old" county courthouse span several years- and angles.

A feature of Studio J that I love is that it makes gift-giving so easy! I am able to order multiple copies of a layout, OR copy the layout, personalize it, and order individualized copies. I ordered one of these for myself and one for my parents' scrapbook. (Last year I started the tradition of giving them finished layouts for Christmas. They don't necessarily need more "stuff," and this way we can all enjoy our family's photos and memories.)
Merry birthday and happy Christmas, Mom!

{Layout 2011 #90-91}

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Scrap Our Stash December "Anything Goes" Challenge: Our New England Adventure {Album Share}

The Scrap Our Stash challenge blog's December challenge is "anything goes," so I thought this would be the perfect time to share my family's trip to New England this summer. (If you stopped by from SOS, thank you! If you haven't checked out all the fun layouts there, please do so.)

Also, with the cold weather outside, you might enjoy a bit of warmth right now too!

My entire album was created in Close To My Heart's online studio scrapbooking, Studio J. I just uploaded my photos and created away! I love that my photos are automatically adjusted to fit the photo wells on the layout sketches- no need to print funny sizes (or print them at all)!
For consistency, I used the versatile Elemental paper pack throughout. It really matches and accents my photos beautifully!

Now it's your turn to scrap YOUR stash, and join us at the Scrap Our Stash blog. Remember, anything goes this month!

{Layouts 2011 #81-89}

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Hampshire Wedding {Layout Share}

Here is the main reason for our trip to New England this summer: my cousin's wedding! Don't they make a beautiful family? I am so happy for them! It was such a blessing to be able to share their special day with them and some our (long distance) extended family.

Here are the deets about the layout itself (if you're interested: created in Studio J (which also made it easy to copy and give as a gift to someone special) using the romantic Bliss paper pack. This layout will go in our Family & Friends album instead of in our New England trip album. (Photos of our New England trip layouts coming soon!)

{Layout 2011 #80}

Thursday, December 15, 2011

CTMH Product Spotlight Blog Hop: My Stickease

Welcome to this month's Close To My Hart Product Spotlight blog hop! We're featuring CTMH's fabulous "My Stickease" preprinted, self-adhesive artwork. If you've ever needed some artwork fast, My Stickease can come to the rescue!
If you're already hopping, you should have arrived from Wendy K.'s blog, and you'll head to Terry's blog next. (This hop is a circle, with each blog linking to the next, so you can start here or anywhere on the list.)

My layout is the title page for our 2011 album. (I have decided to follow a Project 12 format to highlight each month of the year. More news on this concept for 2012 coming after Christmas!) I used the Quartet Pinwheel layout sketch from the Reflections how-to guide using the Sophia paper pack. For the flower My Stickease, I layered them onto Just Blooms paper flowers and then stuck a pretty Pearl Opaque in the center. I also accented my top left and bottom right photos with pieces of two My Stickease borders.

In case you're curious, 2011 was stamped with the upcoming January stamp of the month (so enjoy this "sneak peek!")

Thanks for hopping by! Now head on over to Terry's blog to see more My Stickease artwork and ideas.

{Layout 2011 #79}

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

13th Birthday {Layout Share}

Our older daughter turned 13 exactly six months ago, and I was able to get her birthday pictures scrapbooked quickly and easily in Studio J, Close To my Heart's online scrapbooking studio. (Now, six months later, you might not think that's quick, but I'm pretty happy about that! She is, too.)

The girls had a great time swimming (and falling off the tube); eating dinner, cake, and ice cream; and sleeping over. Nothing like a gaggle of giggle girls to make life complete!

I used the festive Jingle paper pack (designed for Christmas but also lovely for a girl's birthday) and the coordinating presents My Stickease artwork. It is fun to see how you can use the kits beyond their obvious, original intentions.

{Layout 2011 #78}

Monday, December 12, 2011

H2H Challenges: Virtual Holiday Card Exchange

Merry Christmas from the Heart to Heart Challenges blog Design Team! For our final challenge of 2011, we'd like for you to share a holiday card with us and all of the H2H players.

My wishes for all of you are that you remember the true reason for the season, and like my card says, that you have everything you want before you open the gifts. Wishing you peace, joy, and love this holiday season!

(Please share your holiday cards made with some Close To My Heart projects on the H2H blog. Linking up is easy! We're also looking for new Design Team members for Jan.-June 2012. Head on over there to apply!)

My card is a 5"x7" card using retired papers, the October stamp of the month, Nature's Blessings, and Card Chatter- Christmas stamp sets. The ink colors are New England Ivy, Olive, Cocoa, and Cranberry with touches of Sky. I had a bit of fun with my Stardust, Red, and Bronze Glitz Glitter Gels!

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Halloween 2011 (Layout Share)

Have you scrapbooked your Halloween memories already? If not, why not give Studio J online scrapbooking a try? (It's free to try with no obligation to buy.) I was able to create this layout within days of our Fright Night festivities. Some of the things that I love about Studio J are that I can upload my photos and then work on them anywhere I have an internet connection. Also, it automatically sizes your photos to fit the photo wells, so I don't have to pay a lot of money for enlargements.

I am able to scrapbook so many of my family's photos and memories thanks to Studio J!

{Layout 2011 #77}

Monday, December 5, 2011

H2H Challenges: Photo Inspiration

This week Heart 2 Heart Challenges is asking you to use this gorgeous holiday photo to inspire your creation! (You can check out all the Design Team's interpretations at the H2H blog.)

I decided to use the photo's colors, polka dots, and ribbon to inspire this layout of Christmas 2008. At first, I tried to place my photos in a circle like the wreath, but it just didn't work. When I'm stumped while scrapbooking, I always reach for one of my handy-dandy Close To My Heart how-to books, and Imagine had the perfect sketch for these nine photos. (This sketch is called "Rhapsody.")

I did rotate the left page to fit the orientation of my photos. To create the polk dots, I got out my 1-1/4" circle punch and my small circle punch to add white "polka dots" to the Cranberry and Pear cardstock pieces. Some ribbon, sparkles, and opaques later, I had completed my layout! (Oh, I also used red glitz gel to add a little sparkle to the holly border.) Can you see Rudolph's nose so bright? Love those red sparkles!

Now it's your turn! Create a project with some CTMH products based on this inspiration photo, and then upload it to the H2H Challenges blog. Happy crafting this holiday season!

{Layout 2011 #76}

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CTMH Stamp of the Month Blog Hop: Mad About You {December 2011}

Is it December already? That means that it's time for the Close To My Heart stamp of the month blog hop! This month is an adorable "Mad About You" stamp set that is sweet and loving without being too schmaltzy cute. (If you're already hopping, then you've arrived from Dawn Heuft's blog and will head to Sarita Schraeder's next.)
For my project, I had to scrapbook the ones I'm especially mad about, my family! These photos were taken at Easter this year, Easter '08, and summer '06. I love seeing how the girls have grown and how we've changed. One thing that remains the same of course is our love for each other!

My layout is based on the Roxie workshop on the go, but I had to "mix it up" with my crazy color scheme of Sorbet (Roxie), Lagoon (Elemental) and Sweet Leaf. I think they match my photos well.

To create the backround, I stamped the frame repeatedly across the two pages, and then went back and filled in a few of them with sentiments from the set. Everything that is stamped is from this set! I curved the swirl a bit to stamp around the circle. You've GOT to love My Acrylix for that!

To embellish the layout, I used the "zip strip" from the Roxie paper, Colonial White ribbon, various blue and green buttons, and a variety of sparkles. I simply used a Lagoon marker for my journaling.
My second project (for now) is a simple scripture message. I have created a box of uplifing scripture using a My Creations Memory Game box set. (The stamped scripture is from Verve, but everything else is CTMH.) I have found that too many embellies can make these hard to get out of the box, so I kept mine simple. That also makes it easier (for me at least) to focus on the message.

Thanks for stopping by! The "Mad About You" December stamp of the month is only available this month, so be sure to get yours in time for your Valentine's projects- and more! Now, head over to see what the Blessed Scrapper Sarita> has made for you!

{Layout 2011 #75}

Monday, November 28, 2011

H2H Challenges: Sketch to Try

Even though the calendar says November, we're introducing the first Heart 2 Heart challenge of December, and Mary created this great sketch for you to try!

Of course I had to be different and turn the sketch 90 degrees. It couldn't have come at a better time since I am making a table top display of my daughters' visits with Santa. (I'm taking the entire series of photos and using them on little layouts made with a My Creations All-Sorts mini album, turned so that the "spine" (with the holes) are at the bottom to make a table top display instead of a book. I will post the completed display as soon as it's, well, completed!) This entire project is using the retired Mistletoe and Evergreen papers (still available in Studio J!) because they match the Santa photos so well.

I also made a really quick card with this sketch using the Believe paper pack and my "I Believe" stamp set. To create the two-toned message, I stamped the sentiment in Sky ink onto the scalloped circle. Then, on scrap paper, I stamped the message again in Holiday Red ink, cutting out Believe very carefully to adhere it to the focal sentiment. A few sparkles finished it off.

Now, it's your turn to try this sketch. Be sure to check out all the H2H designers for tons of great inspiration, then get crafty, post your creation online, and link it up to the H2H blog. We love seeing your work, so bust out your CTMH products and get to work. (If you use a Christmas theme, you can get some holiday cards made in a flash!) See you over at H2H!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Scrap Our Stash November Recipe Challenge

This month's Scrap Our Stash challenge is a recipe challenge to either incorporate a recipe on your layout or use this recipe: 5 embellishments, 4 words in title, 3 photos, 2 patterned papers, and 1 solid cardstock. Whew! It was a challenge, but I managed to do it on the right page of this layout.
We were so surprised this summer when a pair of deer walked right through our campground. We have camped on Hunting Island State Park (SC) for many years, but this was the first time deer visited us.
Instead of using five embellishments, I used five different embellishments on my layout. It may look like I used three patterned papers instead of the required two, but the Crystal Blue frame around my title is the back of the striped paper. All of my supplies are from Close To My Heart except for this tiny blue flowers (source unknown), although this paper line is now retired.

If you'd like to give this month's recipe challenge a try, you've got a little time left. Be sure to head over to the SOS blog for inspiration! All skill levels are invited to play, and any products can be used. Scrap your stash!
{Layout 2011 #74}


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