Friday, July 31, 2009

No More Excuses!

There are no more excuses for not having time to scrapbook! One of the most exciting announcements of our Leadership Conference was made today. I'm excited to share a whole new world of scrapbooking with you...Studio Scrapbooking. This online experience will be like none other and you will have more time to enjoy Classic Scrapbooking. With Studio Scrapbooking, all of your scrapbooking will be done in the digital world. With Classic Scrapbooking, nothing changes...scrapbooking is as wonderful as it's always been. You can choose to do one or the other or a combination of both. More details will be forthcoming but for now, I'd like to share a Studio Scrapbook layout example that was given to consultants a short time ago. Yes, this is all done on the computer!

Watch for special online training sessions where I will introduce you to this new method of scrapbooking with Close To My Heart.

I'm off to spend the evening with my sister consultants at Disneyland...thank you Close To My Heart for treating me to a fun evening!


Leadership News!

Lots of great things are happening at the Close To My Heart Leadership Conference here in Long Beach, CA. Where do I start when there are so many fabulous announcements to make?!

The new Fall/Winter 2009 Idea Book is a huge hit and with tons of new products, you'll be as anxious to have it in your hands as I was. It has been redesigned and you're going to love, love, love it! Several of our products have also been redesigned. My favorite it the new Soft Set Eyelet Tool. Ladies in my workshop groups...we're going to be doing a lot more setting of eyelets!

The most exciting news is that Close To My Heart is introducing an online digital scrapbooking product. If you don't think you have time to scrapbook, you'll think again after the debut of Studio J! More details to come.

Here's my friend, Chris, and I beaming ear to ear because we were all given a beautiful organizational tote! (I love the perks of being a consultant:)

Who knew that 15 years later I'd be celebrating an anniversary with Close To My Heart? I received this beautiful pin as a thank you for my loyalty and service to Close To My Heart. Can't wait to see what the next 15 years bring!

For now, I've got to get back to class so I don't miss a thing. California Adventures awaits us tonight as we have dinner and off to enjoy some rides.

More to come! So long until next time!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Big Things - Small Packages

They say big things come in small kidding! One of the best gifts I ever received was a little hand stamped brown paper bag filled with my favorite candy, Hot Tamales. (I've been known to hide Hot Tamales from my family then pull them out once everyone has gone to bed. Yeah, I know...closet candy hog....but it works!)

Here's a cute idea that is incredibly simple to recreate. Just take a brown paper lunch bag and cut about 4" off from the top edge. Cover the front and back with a piece of solid cardstock. Layer with coordinating background and texture paper such as Silhouette. Add embellishments to your heart's desire. A ribbon handle completes the gift bag. Don't forget to attach a hand stamped gift tag!

For this cute little bag, I used our Big Pinks as the center focal point, distressing them a little bit with brown ink. (Brown and pink always go's one of my favorite color combinations.) Although this Silhouette Background & Texture paper is predominatly black, there are also tan flowers. You know what I should have done? Color a few of the tan flowers pink. Afterthoughts are great, aren't they?

I'm off to Long Beach tomorrow for the Close To My Heart Leadership Conference. I love these annual events because I get to hang out with fellow consultants who are also great friends. I don't know but I think we'll have a sneak peek into what's coming in the Fall/Winter Idea Book. But you'll have to wait! (Sorry but it's only fair to my fellow consultants:-)

I'll keep you updated on the latest and greatest things happening this weekend, including an evening at Disneyland! (I'll bet you didn't know I'm addicted to rollercoasters:)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's A Zoo Around Here!

I'll bet you can relate from time to time! Some days the phone doesn't ring once while other days it doesn't stop. With a home-based business, both are welcome sounds so I'm not complaining! It's just that, well, some days it really feels like a zoo around here. Like this weekend... or, the last few days anyway. You see, we have some really good friends who are professional photographers in our area. I've been blessed to assist them from time to time. I love working with them and seeing their creativity full on. They are amazing! The gentleman had a medical emergency a few days ago and with a wedding yesterday (Saturday), they were unable to photograph it and asked me if I would. So, I had the privilege of filling their big shoes. Between making last-minute arrangements with the bride, gathering my equipment, and preparing for the shoot, well, it felt like I was in a zoo! So, I thought it would be fitting to share this card I made recently since it has that cute little zoo theme.

Recently my sister-in-law had a birthday when I wasn't quite ready for it so you know what that means...yep, she had her birthday without a card from me. When I designed this card originally, it occurred to me that it would make a perfect belated birthday card! What better excuse could I come up with than "It's A Zoo Around Here!" That being the truth, I mailed it off hoping she'd understand my tardiness. She did...and she loved the card!

I should tell you that the red section of the card at the top is secured only by the red brad in the center of the flower on the left. So, the red section flips open (upward and to the left) to reveal the birthday message (with more excuses) that I wrote. Good thing she loves me unconditionally! And, just to get back at me, I'll bet she sends me a handmade card that arrives on-time for my birthday! It's A Zoo (#C1360) is used with Animal Cookies Paper Packet (#item X7112B). Other fluff and fun are ribbons, brads, and paper flowers.
Well, the wedding went very well and I captured the special moments of the day. My favorite photograph is of the ring-bearer handing a bouquet of flowers to one of the darling little flower girls. It's just precious! Maybe I'll have to share that particular image with you soon.

This is a busy week coming up. I'm accompanying my daughter to an out of town wedding the first of the week then a few days after we return, I'll be attending the Close To My Heart Leadership Conference in Long Beach. (I sure hope it's cooler by the sea!) From there, I will meet some of my family in Pismo Beach for a couple of days spent relaxing in the hot tubs, eating Old West Cinnamon Rolls or dining in a tiny shop called Splash eating the best Clam Chowder there ever was! Are you jealous yet? Ah, don't be...let me report to you THEN you can be jealous. In any event, it's all in fun and I look forward to sharing my new adventures with you again soon.

Until next time! Enjoy today- for that's all we have.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

About Me - Tribute Side 2

The wonderful ladies in my scrapbook groups never cease to amaze me! They can take the same Close To My Heart papers, same stamp sets and colors, and the same instruction from me at the same class yet come up with scrapbook layouts that are completely original! The second side of this layout (pictured here) is a perfect example. Some ladies added just a photo or two in the center square while others used the center area as a background and built around it, adding 6-8 photos on the entire page. They always inspire me and get me to think outside of my box.

I have a tendency to design my layouts rather symmetrically (in my safe little box) but a few of my customers never follow my design. They'll tweak and turn photo mats, add a little extra color here or there, and come up with a totally new twist on my original design. One of my gals makes it her mission to be different! And I always look forward to how she'll change my original design.

You may say that this design looks a little crooked - it's meant to! I used Endless Friendship (#D1354) and Bella Paper Pack (#X7114B). It's a simple design so take it and make it your own.

See you again soon!

Monday, July 20, 2009

About Me - Tribute Side 1

In a previous post, I mentioned that my scrapbook groups are devoting this year to scrapbooking all about themselves. It's been so cool to watch them get excited about actually doing some scrapbooking for themselves! So far we've completed 6'll see them pop up here from time to time, some with photographs and some without. Either way I hope you'll be inspired by the stories from some of my gals and the creative layouts we are making.

This is one page from the Tribute layout. I chose to create a Tribute page so that each of us could remember someone special, either living or not. I left that choice up to each of my ladies. One of my gals completed her layout featuring her 92 year old aunt who is still living. Her journaling included a letter to her Aunt Fern. In the letter (as journaling) she told her Aunt how much she loved to share stories over a cup of coffee. She expressed how much she treasures the values and beliefs her Aunt is passing on to her. I can't think of a more fitting tribute than to write a letter that doubles as journaling and to show appreciation for the legacy her Aunt is leaving.

I've chosen my Tribute page to be about my grandparents. Although they are no longer living, their legacy lives on in my life on a daily basis. This layout will be a celebration of them and their lives! I hope you like it and use it as inspiration for creating your own Tribute layout. I'll have the second page soon.

The Close To My Heart products I've used include Bella Paper Pack (#X7114B ), Endless Friendship (#D1354), Homestead Alphabet (#E1007). The colors in cardstock and ink are Hollyhock, Olive, and Colonial White.

Until next time ~

Friday, July 17, 2009

Captured Memories

My daughter was cleaning out her binders and folders from this past year (her Freshman year) and I said to her, "Be sure to keep all that stuff! You'll appreciate it in 5, 10, 20 years from now." It prompted me to pull out a hidden treasures box from my high school days and see just how I could embarrass myself. Boy, what a flash to the past! As I read aloud to my kids that one poem about a cowboy, it quickly became apparent why I failed the poetry section of English! Among other "really great" poetry, I found notes that my friend and I passed back and forth in Government class. They are just as fresh as if they were written yesterday. My friend and I are now sister-in-laws so you can imagine the laughter that is to come when I remind her that she wrote of her boyfriend (at the time), "Oh, wouldn't we be so cute together?" Good thing the notes never found their way into the hands of our teacher.

One thing I've always done on behalf of my children as they've grown up is occasionally save papers they'd bring home during the school year. In fact, I had an envelope dedicated to each child for each year. I am sooo glad I did this for my kids - and they are glad, too. Heck, to them, homework is for the birds so why not throw it all out once it's been turned in and graded?! Thankfully, I was able to do their thinking for them in this one little area.

Here's a fresh idea for a great project that you can complete in about 15 minutes. It's perfect for a last-minute gift or a treat for you to set on your desk. Any of Close To My Heart's paper packs will work great and the possibilities for this Display Album are endless.

I used our My CreationsTM Display Album (#Z1054), our cool Dimensional Elements Fresh Shapes (#Z1019), and paper from our Tickled Pink special a few months ago. (Just a little reminder...when you see a product special or other promotion, don't let it slip by without checking it out! Usually once it's gone, it's really gone.)

The chipboard Display Album has 12 pages and can stand to display photos, 6x6 layout pages, or it can be used as a brag book. It's perfect for showcasing memories from a vacation or other special event.

Until next time!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

He Was THIS Big!

So, I talked a bit about our bear encounter in my last post but I decided to write a little more, giving a few more details that led to a couple of good lessons learned. During our trip to Washington State last week, one evening my daughter and I were out in the woods (actually more of a clearning among the woods)...she was practicing driving on a remote dirt road while acting as my chaufeur, stopping along the way so I could hop out and take some photographs of the beautiful landscape. Caring only about where I stepped and finding the perfect composition, the last thing on my mind was running into a bear. Now, any wilderness-wise person out in the woods of Washington would likely have been on the lookout for wildlife...but me? Not even! (Remember, I'm from California...and I had a camera in hand.) So, imagine how thankful I was for not stepping far from the car when I heard my daughter squeal, "Mom, there's a bear on the road!" My concern for setting the right shutter speed and aperture quickly dissipated when I looked in front of us to see a rather large black bear staring us down. My daughter, barely able to peer over the steering wheel (she's working on getting the driving permit...and growing taller), had the presence of mind to snap a few photographs as proof of what we saw. Good thing she did because for some reason, I didn't even think to point my camera in that direction! A missed opportunity, for sure.

We chuckled on our way back to my son's home, saying they'd never believe us. Sure enough, the first thing they asked for when we returned was "evidence". "Ah, it was probably just a really big dog", said my son. "Nu uh...check this out!" And my daugher proudly chimped through her digital images to present the proof.

Now you already know what this has to do with your surroundings and for heaven's sake, don't miss a good opportunity! But what's it got to do with scrapbooking? Well, let me return to the subject of photography for a moment. You may have noticed that this is a pretty grainy photograph. Looking closely, you can see that the subject in the middle of the road is a bear but the quality of the photograph is awful. Now, let me say that this is not my daughter's fault...she was simply using one of the many features of her point-and-shoot zoom. It's important to note what digital zoom is and what it isn't so rather than take up a lot of space here, jump on over to my Treasures To Memories website and read up on Photo Tips. Back to scrapbooking with your images, you always want the best quality images for your layouts, wouldn't you agree? By taking the time to know your camera's features through reading the manual (yes, I actully suggested THAT!), you will have the power of knoweldge to make quick and wise choices based upon your circumstances. I can't wait to add this little story to my scrapbook, even the "interpolated" bear image! I hope this is as close to a bear in the wild that I ever get.

As an ending to a good lesson, I'd like to share this image I made of Mount St. Helens. It will go perfectly with out Back Country Paper Pack and matching stamp sets and accessories! Imagine the stories that we'll tell from this fun adventure! Oh, by the way...I did keep a small notepad for journaling while on this trip. How many times do we wish we'd have written down places we've been, people we visited with, and things we had done. It's all forgotten so quickly that I've started keeping small notepads in my car and in my purse. Make sure you sum up the day by entering a journaling spot at the end of each day.
See you next time!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Real Roadie!

To say I'd ever been on a real road trip would likely be a stretch of the truth. Yes, we've gone back and forth to see family or I've attended various Close To My Heart functions that required extensive traveling, but those trips have a sameness in that they follow the same highways and biways in both directions. So I say they don't count! I'm happy to share that we just returned home from a real honest-to-goodness road trip where we didn't have a specific destination at a specific time. It was great. Not only did we survive but we didn't have any mishaps or get lost more than twice. Not bad for a real roadie!

My husband Joe, myself, and our unemployed, still-to-young-to-leave-behind daughter all took off from California to drive to Washington State to see our son. We made it up there in not 1 single day, like my son makes the trip home (crazy, I say!), but we took a little over a day and a half. It was well worth it because we took some routes that were off the beaten path and saw some beautiful country. The highlights for me had to do with photography...which will eventually make it centerstage in my scrapbooks! Or better yet, in a big print on my wall. Because I wasn't driving, I could be a lookey-lou and scout out barns, fences, fields of wildflowers, and the like then jot down the location so I could sweet-talk my husband/driver into stopping at those locales on the way home. I'd say I got about 50% of the bargain, probably less. That's better than being disappointed altogether! But guess what? I'm going again! BY MYSELF! (Someday:-)

I'd be remiss in not mentioning that the best part of the trip was spending time with our son and his girlfriend. His home sits in a clearing in the middle of a forest...I call it the Enchanted Forest...that way I don't get too spooked.

My daughter and I weren't too far away from his home and I was photographing wildflowers and tree stumps when my daughter yelled from the car, "Mom, a bear!" That was the last thing I expected to find but then again, I'm from California and well, a tanned bum toting a surfboard might have been a more familiar - and less threatening - image. The big guy stood about 100 feet in front of us just staring us down. I made sure I had time to finish making my photographs before jumping in the car for a feeling of safety. Does a heavy tripod make a good self-defense weapon?? Soon after, he wandered over to the side of the road before disappearing in the brush. I learned one good lesson on this roadie...when visiting the great Northwest, keep one eye out for BEARS!

Thinking what we had really seen was just an overgrown dog, when we returned to our son's home, he quickly requested the "evidence", doubting two girls could tell the difference between a bear and a dog. You just watch us!

Our roadie took us to my friend, Chris Green's house for a delicious pizza lunch with her family. The only other time I've been with Chris has been during Close To My Heart events (we're both consultants) so this was really special. We could have reminisced about the Mediterranean Cruise for hours but I'll bet that both our husbands would have fallen asleep. So, we made our visit short and sweet and we'll continue sharing the fun memories the next time we are together.

Lastly, I am so blessed that we were able to take the time to create warm, wonderful, and special memories with those we love and miss dearly. (Brandon, move back closer soon, eh? I'll even come and get you!)

To close, I'm including one more darling divider from my Recipe Book Album that I promised a while back. As you'll begin to see, they are all similar but each with their own character. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, July 6, 2009


Sometimes I love computer technology and sometimes I hate it! When my computer is slow or my printer blocks up, computer technology is my least favorite thing at the moment. When everything is humming along like a slick little sportscar, it's my best friend and I'm HAPPY! Today I choose to be grateful for computer technology, mostly because everything is working fine but also because I get to watch the latest episode of CTMH TV!

No matter where you live in this big ol' world, we can all use computer technology to tune in at least once a month and view the latest and greatest in the stamping and scrapbooking world via CTMH TV. Presented by Jeanette Lynton, the founder and CEO of Close To My Heart, each 6-9 minute presentation focuses on a main project, including in-depth instruction and full visuals. In the latest episode, you'll learn how to add a splash of ink, a dash of glitter, and add a touch of creativity as you learn how to create inspiring projects that will make your summer sparkle! Also in this episode of Art & Soul you’ll learn a faux tearing technique, tips for adding white details that pop, and glitter ideas that will make your pages gleam. Take a walk down memory lane with Jeanette as she compares her scrapbooking pages from “then” and “now.”

Click here and you'll go right to the current episode of Art and Soul. While you're there, be sure to check out past episodes. Well, okay...before you go, I guess you'd better grab a tall class of icy cold lemonade, get comfy, and prepare to be wowed!

I'll be away from my computer for a few days but who knows, I may surprise you and post anyway.

See you again soon!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Recipe Book Add On

A few days I posted a photograph showing a beautiful recipe book idea. This project was for a large workshop so I had to cut paper for multiple recipe books. Once I designed the original, cutting the background and texture paper and cardstock for the workshop was a cinch! Over the next few weeks, I'll add the insert pages. There are 5 all together and I'm sure you'll find them to be not only simple to recreate but very pretty, indeed! Here's the first insert pages:

As a reminder, I used the following Close To My Heart products:

~Z1141 My Creations 3-Ring Binder
~X7114B Bella Paper Pack
~D1367 Bon Appetit Stamp Set
~ D1364 Recipe Box Stamp Set

Stamp pads used include Close To My Heart's Exclusive Inks™ in the following colors: Z2147 Smokey Plum, Z2128 Hollyhock, Z2137 Olive. Don't you just love the grapes and leaves stamp set? It's an all-time classic and one of my favorites.

Everyone should have friends like our dear friends, Guy and Melissa. (This is me with Melissa, not Guy!) We spent a few days with them over the 4th of July. Melissa makes an outrageous Oreo Cookie Cheesecake. I'll share that recipe with you here, especially since today's post features a page from the recipe book.

Melissa's Oreo Cookie Cheesecake

Process in food processor (or smash by hand in a ziploc bag):

2 cups Oreo Cookies, including whites
4 tablespoons butter

Pat with spoon in 9" springform pan.

4 - 8oz. pkgs. cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour

Add: 4 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks. Beat until mixed. Stir in additional crushed Oreo Cookies. Pour in pan. Top with whole Oreo Cookies. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then reduce oven to 225 degrees and bake additional 50 minutes. When knife inserted in cheesecake comes out clean, turn off oven and let cheesecake sit in over for 15 minutes. Take out after 15 minutes, let cool, then refrigerate. Top with 2 cups sour cream and 1/4 cup sugar.
Notes: Get yourself plenty of Oreos! Two bags should suffice. We ran short of Oreos but I had some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on hand so I chopped those up and threw them in with the Oreos. Yummy!

Friday, July 3, 2009

We're getting excited for the annual fireworks display tomorrow night at the Bishop Airport. Families gather in the early evening for BBQing, playing games, and setting off "legal" fireworks before the big fireworks production sponsored by our volunteer fire department. The awesome show is set to patriotic music is the perfect ending to a great summer day.

Projects celebrating America's July 4th holiday should include Close To My Heart's traditional patriotic colors such as those shown in the swatches on the left. Additionally, several of our scrapbook kits are perfect for your 4th of July photographs. I might suggest the following themes:

Animal Cookies
Back Country
Blue Ribbon
Route 66

All of these themes are available in Level 1 Scrapbook Kits (4 pre-printed pages with 2 sheets of My Stickease), Level 2 Paper Packs (cardstock and patterned paper), and My Stickease. You can see each of the themes in the current Idea Book or view them at my website. ( can place your order there, too!)

Are you prepared to take photographs at your 4th of July celebrations? I hope so! Here are some tips to help you achieve great fireworks photos.

Tip 1: If shooting with a point-and-shoot camera, check to see if there is a 'fireworks' setting. If so, use it!
Tip 2: Watch your backgrounds. Shoot low and into the sky if possible. Watch for errant objects in the background that might distract from the fireworks.
Tip 3: You'll be using a slow shutter speed so if possible, use a tripod.
Tip 4: Shoot verticals and horizontals. Watch to see that your horizons are horizontal!
Tip 5: If your camera has a shutter lag (that annoying time between pressing the shutter button and when the exposure is actually taken), anticipating the action may result in more successful images. Press the shutter just before the fireworks explode.
Tip 6: Switch your flash to OFF.

Now go out and have fun!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

If you're looking for a quick and easy gift, one that will deliver something thoughtful and creative, and be a treasure for years to come, why not make a family recipe book?

The following Close To My Heart items were used to create this lovely recipe book:

~Z1141 My Creations 3-Ring Binder
~X7114B Bella Paper Pack
~D1367 Bon Appetit Stamp Set
~ D1364 Recipe Box Stamp Set

1. Cut a piece of Bella B&T paper to fit front of binder.
2. Cut a 2nd piece long enough that will cover the back and side of the album and wrap around to the front.
3. On the end that wraps to the front (the pink shown on the left), fold and crease back to the left as shown. Glue in place.
4. Stamp as desired.

The 3-Ring binder has 5 tabbed inserts than can be used as recipe category separators. Cover each insert with any coordinating Bella B&T paper and stamp as desired.

Gift-giving suggestion: Make several recipe books and give as gifts for the holidays.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm excited to share the July Constant Campaign with you. You'll want to give a "high five" for the FAVORITE FIVE! Join Close To My Heart as a new consultant anytime between July 1 - 31, 2009 and you'll receive your choice of FIVE additional select products absolutely FREE. Here's a flyer with more sure to check it out. It's a heck of a deal so don't delay! To sign up, visit my MyCTMH website then click on Your Opportunities then "click here" at the bottom of that page. The sign-up process is super easy and quick. As always, don't hesitate to e-mail me with any questions.


1. Earning $$ doing something I love!
2. Raising a family while contributing financially.
3. Friends have become customers and customers have become friends.
4. The cruises!
5. Supporting my second love, photography.

Along with a new month comes a new Stamp of the Month. It's a great one, too. But then again, is there ever a month where we don't have a great Stamp of the Month? Remember that each Idea Book includes 4 months of Stamp of the Month specials. You'll always find them on the inside back cover.