Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Studio J

What is Studio J?

It is a FREE, yes FREE, online scrapbooking design software brought to you by Close to my Heart. It will help you easily create 2 page layouts using our paper packs, embellishments, and our scrapbook patterns. When you are done designing, you have two options: contact me so you can order physical product to reproduce your page OR have your layouts printed and shipped to your door. This will be available early 2010.

I got to see this program in action at Regionals! It will be so easy to use, your kids will be able to design their own layouts! You will be able to change your cardstock color, patterned paper, or embellishment in seconds. You can also change your color photos to black and white or sepia, or write text on your photos. At the moment, this is still being tested within the office, but will soon be available for consultants to use. This way we will be well informed when it goes "live" in 2010. From listening to Jeanette, this looks like the start of something much larger. When we start, we will have 25 scrapbook patterns to choose from. It sounds like they will be adding more over time. We will have exclusive paper packs just for Studio J. She also talked about a possible card version and maybe taking this international.

For a video, and FAQ go to You can sign up for the mail list and get updates.

This digiscrapper can't wait!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Close to my Heart Minneapolis Regionals Update

Wow, I love my company! I just got back from a CTMH mini-convention this past weekend. I have soooo much to show and tell you! This will be the first of many posts. Check back often for more great updates.

Our second morning started with Jeanette Lynton, the president of Close to my Heart, teaching us a class! You can find her blog at Our project was using a new product for the next catalogue that will be released Jan.1/10! It is a chipboard covered journal that has blank pages inside. The best part is that it has a page protector on the cover so your photo or artwork doesn't get ruined.

I already have several ideas for this journal. A picture of my kids on the outside, and all the cute things they say on the inside, an art journal to sketch all the ideas that float around my head, a mini album, a great teacher gift, and of course a diary. I don't have an exact price yet, but it will be well under $10. Good thing because with all the ideas I have, I will be buying several!

While we did this project Jeanette let us ask her questions. What a great president! I truly feel like she listens and cares for her consultants. What did she tell us? That is another post!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Close to my Heart Autumn/Winter 2009 New Product

Paper Samples of all 4 new paper packs Clockwise from left
Sweet Home
$15.95 for 2 ea. of 6 patterns, 10 sheets cardstock

Creative Basics: Jingle 6 ea. of 2 designs (12 x 12) plus 4 yards Juniper Grosgrain Ribbon $9.95

These are made to make cards but can also to be used with Jingle paper pack. Backs are same pattern put monochromatic, Juniper and Tulip. So you really get 4 different papers.

Top Coats: Framed In 12 different frames, 6 White, 6 Colonial White $6.25
These were hard to photograph! The cream frame on the photo is my favorite. Several of the transparencies nest. Attach with vellum glue or our Liquid Glass. Make sure to take off the clear protective backing before attaching. Makes a HUGE difference.

Across the Board Rub ons 3 sheets Chocolate, Colonial White and White Daisy $12.50
These can be used as borders or cut to use smaller portions. Designs include: stars, zig zag stitch, straight stitch, cross stitch, single line dots, wishing you the best, thank you, line alpha, filled numbers, flowers, swirls, 3 line dots, days of the week, months, ruler.

Flurry Chipboard 9 x 12 sheet $6.25
Several large to medium snowflakes. These look gorgeous covered in Prisma Glitter!

Twinkle Brads 24 Brads: 3 Big brads and 3 standard brads for 3 colors: Hollyhock, Olive, Tulip $4.95

These are glitter covered brads. Made to coordinate with Jingle but could be used will any paper pack.

All-Sorts Chipboard album $7.50 4 1/4 x 7
Front and Back pages are the same, 4 more pages all different. I will be using 1-2 of these plus one of our Clear Acrylic Mini Album ($18.50) for my December daily mini album.

There is so much more. 75+ stamps sets, 2 new ribbon sets (Buttercup, Cranberry), Basic colored buttons, Pewter mini embellies, Bookplate and large Circle chipboard, Cocoa embossing powder, Snapease album system (makes it so your post bound album can be added to in seconds!), Soft set Eyelet Tool (no more banging!), soft set eyelets in basic colors, and a new shoulder tote and Rolling Carryall.
I will be placing an order on Sept. 20.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Treasures: September 09 Stamp of the Month

13 Stamps: large dandelion, large stem, dill flowers, stemmed dandelion, individual seed, round heart, You are my Sunshine, thank you, Make a Wish (made to follow stem), trust your heart, It is when you give of yourself that you truly give, the winds of change bring treasures unknown...embrace change (small swirl), and Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it to themselves (large swirl).

How to make this layout:

1. First I took a picture of my daughter pretending to blow a dandelion. I had it printed out at 5 x 7.

2. I stamped several of the stemmed dandelion (medium), and the individual seed (small) stamps with White Daisy Pigment ink on a transparency. These took a long time to dry. I even used my heat gun to speed up the process. It still took 2-3 days.

3. I stamped two of the large swirl and one of the small swirl with Brown Staz-On on a transparency. These take 2-3 minutes to dry. Once dandelions and swirls are dry, I used our scissors to cut them out.

4. My base was Crystal Blue cardstock. I cut a large curved piece out of Sweet Leaf patterned paper from the Emporium pack. I used the dotted line stamp from Priceless Love Word Puzzle along the curve of the paper in chocolate ink. I glued it to the left side of my layout.

5. I used a Buttercup die cut from a past Close to my Heart promo. You could use one of the new felt frames or the chipboard circles from On Target. I stamped mine with the same dotted line stamp.

6. I made these curves by hand drawing the middle Crystal Blue and Sweet Leaf circle patterned paper (it looks brown and cream in this pic) from Twitterpated. I then used this piece to make the Twilight swirl paper from Serendipity. I used the Twilight pieces to make the 2 remaining Twilight pieces from Emporium. I lined them all up and used fun foam to give them dimension making sure to tuck the ends under where the photo will be but over the frame.

7.Glued my photo making sure to tuck the one corner under the frame. Glued the dandelion to photo, trimming stem to stop at my daughter's hand. Placed swirls on and glued.

8. Took transparency dandelions and scattered them all over the page. All transparent items glued down with Vellum glue in strategic spots to minimize glue showing.Title was made by stamping "You are my Sunshine" stamp with Honey ink on the reverse side of Honey textured cardstock. Our textured cardstock is lighter on the reverse side. This was perfect because Honey would have been to strong of a color and would have drawn your eyes away from my daughter, the focal point. Frame for title is from "Noteworthy" stamped in Honey. This is a full frame stamp but I just used one end. I cut both out and used fun foam to raise up the title. I added one of our small rhinestone crystals to dot the "i" in sunshine.
All products are Close to my Heart except Vellum adhesive (3M).
Please email me if you have any questions on how I made this layout. I will be ordering Sept. 20.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March SOTM How-To

This is March's Stamp of the Month. It is called Butterfly Wings and will only be available for this month. I will be placing orders on the 15th and 26th. Set includes: 1 large Butterfly, 1 medium Butterfly, 3 small Butterflies, 1 large trail, 1 medium trail, 1 small trail, and 2 sentiments-"You make my heart flutter." and "Love is like a butterfly, it goes where it pleases, and pleases where it goes."
Here is some artwork I made with this set.

12 x 12 Layout

Products used:
Unforgettable Level 2 Paper Pack, Blush Cardstock, Colonial White Cardstock, Noteworthy Stamp Set (bracket frame), Butterfly Wings Stamp Set (butterflies, trail, and sentiment), Brown Staz-on, Chocolate Stamp Pad, Juniper Stamp Pad, Blush RicRac, Chocolate Mini-Medley (teeny white flowers and brown brads), White Daisy Mini-Medley (teeny white brad), Prisma Glitter, Liquid Glass, Create-a-Shade paint, Sorbet and Blush Reinkers. All products Close To My Heart.
Other Products:
Transparency (source unknown)

Butterfly How-To:
I first stamped one large and 2 small butterflies onto transparencies with Brown Staz-On.

In 2 small jars, I mixed Create-a-Shade paint with a drop of Sorbet and Blush reinker. On the reverse side of the transparency, I painted in the wings with the paint/reinker mixture. (It is hard to see here but the paint has an iridescent sheen to it. The color is very subtle and hard to photograph.) Once dry, I cut them out and folded the wings up. They stay up because the transparency is stiff. I put vellum glue under the body and glued them to the page.

For the butterfly trail, I stamped the image onto a scrap piece of paper. I placed my transparency over top.

Using Liquid Glass, I squeezed glue onto the transparency following the stamped image as a guide. Before it dried, I poured Prisma Glitter onto the Liquid Glass. When it was dry, I poured the excess glitter back into the jar. I then cut out the trail and adhered it to the layout with vellum glue.

Sparkle Brad:
I put the brad in a piece of foam so my hands were free. (If you don't have foam just hold with your less dominant hand.) I put a large bead of liquid glass onto the head of the brad. I then sprinkled Prisma Glitter onto the Liquid Glass. Here is where the foam comes in handy, let the brad dry. If you don't have foam, you can try and lie it down carefully OR blow and hope that it dries fast!
4 x 4ish Card

Products Used: Sorbet Cardstock, Colonial White Cardstock, Butterfly Wings Stamp Set. Sorbet Stamp Pad, Blush Stamp Pad, Creme Brulee Stamp Pad, Chocolate Stamp Pad, Juniper Stamp Pad, Blush Marker, Sorbet Marker, Water Brush, Write n' Rub Pen (glue), Prisma Glitter, White Daisy RicRac, Sponge Dauber and Pop Dots. All products Close To My Heart.

Other products:

Scallop Circle Dies-Nestabilities made by Spellbinders

I cut my card out using a Nestabilities die and Sorbet Cardstock. I then cut another scallop circle slightly smaller out of Colonial White Cardstock. I ink the edges with Sorbet ink and a Sponge Dauber. Adhere to card. If necessary cut off top scallops along fold. On a scrap piece of Colonial White Cardstock stamp medium Butterfly in Chocolate ink. Using the Waterbrush, I painted the wings with Sorbet, Blush, and Juniper ink. Cut out image and place Pop Dots behind butterfly. Adhere to right side of card. Using Blush and Sorbet Markers, ink up "FLUTTER" from sentiment stamp. Stamp onto card.

Stamp teeny trail onto card. Cover Butterfly's body, antennae, hearts on wings, and trail with Write n' Rub Pen. Pour on Prisma Glitter.

If you have any questions on any of these techniques, feel free to email me at

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"365" Album Update

Here is my update on the 365 album. I have stuck to the picture taking. I have missed 2 days. I just wrote what I was doing instead of taking pictures. A few days, I chose not to take a picture but included a token from the day. I forgot a couple days of journaling. Thankfully, I took a picture that day and used that to jog my memory.

The hardest part has been to send the pictures to be developed. Mostly because I have been having issues with the W@!M@*% website. I have completed the first 2 weeks in January. The 3rd is mostly completed, and the 4th I hope to upload to be developed today. It shouldn't take me to long to catch up. Once I have the pics it usually take about 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

Week 1~ January 1-7
1. Lazy Day. Drank hot chocolate in our PJ's.
2. Dean used spray paint to make a crease and a centre line. He also made a "K" for Kolench and embedded a loonie in the ice.
3. Went to A___'s to celebrate M_____'s 8th and J___'s 3? (she wouldn't like me posting her age :) ) birthday.
4. Had our famous spaghetti for supper.
5. Back to school for Jacob.
6. Made Pinkalious cake in Lilly's EZ Bake oven.
7. Lilly saw this picture and pointed to my mum and asked, "Whose that?" I said "Nana, my mummy." L: "Where is she?" K: "In heaven." I had to explain it several times. She had many questions. I tried my best to answer. Not sure she got it. I know the subject will come up again.

All products Close to my Heart

Week 2~January 8-14
8. Lilly made a time capsule at school. We will open it Jan. 1, 2010. Her resolution for the year is: "To clean Mummy's bedroom". I'll believe it when I see it!
9. Went to a crop with J___. Worked on H_____'s book. (which I have since completed!)
10. Fondue at Dean's parents.
11. AFV: We don't often watch tv, but on Sunday's we all watch America's Funniest Home Videos. So funny!
12. Dean left for Saskatchewan.
13. Busy.
14. Started to organize kitchen cupboard.
All products Close to my Heart.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thank You...

I now they are going to kill me for posting this pic but...I want to say thank you. These are my Cherish Club ladies. They come every month and listen to me babble and try to teach. They are flexible, willing to listen, and excited to learn something new. For some this is their ONLY night out and they chose to spend it at Cherish Club. Most importantly, they have become my friends. This is something I didn't think of when I signed up to be a consultant almost 4 years ago. I thought I'd make a little money and support my habit. What I didn't realize is that this " job" would bring so many people into my life! So, thank you to my Cherish ladies, my blog followers, my customers and my friends, without you my business and my personal life would not be the same.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"365" Album

As 2008 was ending, I started thinking about what I wanted to accomplish in 2009. One of the things I wanted to do was scrap more of the "everyday". A peek into what happens on a day to day basis. I have been good about scrapping holidays, birthday, accomplishments, and funny things my kids do and say BUT not much of the everyday. Which is what takes up 95% of our time. My problem is time! How could I keep up with scrapping everday! So I came up with a solution.

Here is my plan:

I will take a picture a day for the next year. Somedays I will do receipts, mail or bits of paper that represents that day. If I was super busy that day and didn't take a picture, I will do a quick journaling spot about how busy I was and what prevented me from taking a pic. This is my out for those days when it is bedtime and it seems I just got up an hour ago. This is still a realistic view of "everyday".

Here is my album. It is a Close To My Heart 12 x 12 Cocoa Linen Album ($34.95). You could use an album you already have. It is best to use a Close To My Heart album, as you will see in a minute.

You will only need ONE paper pack (15.95) for the WHOLE album! I chose Emporium from the new catty that came out Jan.1st. (You can view it and all our other products online at or call me for a catty) What's great about this paper is it is double sided. This will come in handy in our next step. I decorated my album with some of the patterned paper. I used Dimensional Elements Simple Numbers (chipboard)($6.25) for the "365". I also added some buttons, ricrac, and clear parenthesis (also CTMH). If things look a little askew, it is because I haven't had a chance to glue it down yet! Hee Hee. I will be using Tombow on the paper and Liquid Glass for the buttons and possibly the ricrac. Another way to decorate is to buy the matching My Stickease ($6.25). This way the adhering is taken care of for you. I will protect everything with one of our Album Protectors ($4.50). A great reason to pick a Close To My Heart Album.

Now here is what is going to make EVERTHING possible. Our Photo Storage Pages (6 Pocket). They are $10.95 for a packet of 10. Each protector can be used for 2 weeks as they are double sided as well. You will need 3 packages for the year with a few leftover. Here is were having a CTMH album is a bonus. These page protectors will work in most albums (if not I can tell you how to modify them). After many protectors in other albums they sometimes bunch a bit. This is because they have an extra seam so that a 2 page layout will come together with no break in the middle. Another awesome reason to choose a CTMH album.

Next, I cut 2-3 sheets of the Emporium paper into 4 x 6 pieces (6 per sheet) and put one for each page protector. As they are double sided and so is the paper, only one is required for 2 weeks. There is more than enough paper to use extra for embellishing etc. This is where I will journal. I will label each pic with the month, week and the corresponding number (1-31) with stickers, stamps, rubons, etc. I will jot a few words for each photo. I will mostly let each pic speak for itself. I will do very little embellishing. You are welcome to of course! I just want to keep this manageable.

I then slipped 5-4 x 6 pics into the pockets. For the 2 others, I had 4 pics developed onto one 4 x 6. This is easy to do at your local photofinishing store (or kiosk). If you don't know how to do this, just crop 2- 4 x 6's down to the desired size.
Voila, done. Between taking pics, photo finishing, journaling, and assembly I don't think this will take more than an hour to an hour and a half each week. I am going to try and upload my pics Fri., pick up Sat., and try to scrap on Sat. or Sun. If I can't get it done on the weekend it should be easy to do in 10-15 min. here and there throughout the week.
A couple notes:
1. I plan on expanding on some of these to a full blown layout. For example: birthdays, Christmas. But at least there will be something until I get around to doing the full deal.
2. I bought a notebook and I am keeping it in a central location where I can easily add to it a sentence or two of journaling in point form to keep track. Nothing fancy just each month and 1-31. with the info for that day.
So, if this seems a little much for you, try using the 6 pocket protector and this idea to do a week here and there. This can be added to your regular album.
I will try and post my progress. I will be ordering Jan. 20 if anyone is interested.