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Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I LOVE the Close to My Heart Monogram stamps! What great Christmas gifts as a stand alone item, or make up some little gifts to give.

 Here are a few ideas I've seen on the Close to My Heart Bulletin Board and in the Autumn/Winter 2012 Idea Book: 
These are actually from the CTMH Autumn/Winter 2012 Idea Book , page 116.  How cute to use a monogram stamp with your friend's or family member's initial, stamp it on a little circle of cardstock and use on sachet envelopes or on gift packages or tags.

This is a darling stationery set made by Lisa Stenz at I love how she used the monograms to make a seal for the envelope. Go to her website for more details on this set.  She used CTMH La Belle Vie papers and the beautiful dark chocolate grosgrain ribbon.
 I found another great idea from Crafts 'N Things which has so many great ideas and projects! I saw this card in a 2010 issue. Although the photo is a little blurry, you get the idea of how many ways the monogram stamp can be used!  It just opened up a whole new mindset for me.

This is NOT the Close to My Heart "F" Monogram stamp, but you get the idea on how these darling stamps can be used.

 At only $2.95 per stamp, what a sweet deal for so many projects.  I see using them on scrapbook pages, cards and home decor. I see using the "C" Stamp for C is for Christmas Cheer, or the "J" stamp, for Joy, or the "N" stamp with the Nature's Gift stamp set, etc. etc. etc.!!!  "L" for love, "T" for thank you, "Y" for You are so Sweet.

The monograms don't have to be used just for someone's initials.. but for words we use in sentiments.


Monday, November 26, 2012


I am finally getting around to posting some more of my photo cards! I got busy with making some for Thanksgiving, took pictures of them, and then my camera broke and there was no way to load the pictures to my computer! To say the least, I was NOT a happy camper. After a few days of stewing about it, a light bulb went on in my head, and I realized I could scan the cards... duh.... 

NOTE: you don't like to read all of my explanations, please go on to the cards below.. if you just like looking at the pictures!  I tend to get too wordy.

Being a Close to My Heart consultant, I try to use mostly CTMH products, but I did not purchase any Thanksgiving or Fall stamps this year with sentiments.  Another problem... how do I add sentiments to my cards other than printing them out from my computer and cutting them up? 

So, I decided to use a nifty program called Smilebox which I absolutely love!  You can use some parts of it for free, or sign up on a monthly plan which is very inexpensive.  You can make all kinds of things, like greeting cards, invitations, calendars, collages, scrapbook pages, and little journals. What I love is that you can also send your creations by email, with music and photo slideshows! 

I could go on and on about Smilebox, but for the here and now, what I did was find some neat little Thanksgiving cards with sentiments I liked, made them by uploading the photos I wanted to use, printed them out in a small size, and then adhered them to my pre-purchased 5-7 cards.

Here are a few of the cards:
I finally got to use my neat hummingbird photo that I took last summer!  I love this sentiment and adhered the collage to some "other" pretty papers I had. I also used some sparkles to add a little bling.

For most of the cards, I used creamy cardstock on the inside with one of the stamps from the retired CTMH Acrylix Live Inspired stamp set. I used the Cocoa CTMH ink.
 Here's my Hem Your Blessings card using my own photos.

 Plant Your Blessings card:
These are all photos from my yard or my neighbor's yard. Smilebox has these neat layouts where you can add your own text, which I did in the middle.  I used some "other' papers for this card as it matched so well.
I stamped with the Smokey Plum inks from CTMH.
Here's a card using photos of our alpacas. We raised them for several years from 2004 to 2009. What cute critters!  This was a little Smilebox collage/card and I added my own sentiment, then mounted it on a black pre-purchased 5x7 card.

Though I was trying to keep these cards simple, I did add a couple of banner strips on the inside, to match the banner on the outside of the card.
Here's another cute alpaca card. No, the flowers aren't my added embellishments! They are in the Smilebox program. This was a little scrapbook layout and I just used one of the pages that I printed out to mount on this card. I used the "Life is Good" sentiment from the recent It's Your Day CTMH My Acrylix stamp set and added a couple of sparkles.

One more DARLING alpaca card!  I mounted this collage picture from Smilebox on some brown cardstock that I stamped with Cocoa ink from the CTMH August Stamp of the Month, Baroque Borders. Love that stamp set!

These cards were all fairly simple and fast to make.  Sometimes I just want something quick and easy and photo cards are the way to go!   

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO MAKE COMMENTS.. I LOVE COMMENTS. (you will need to click on the heading of this blog post to go to my actual blog, and then below the post, there is an area to make comments.)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL... and now on to Christmas............

Monday, November 19, 2012


Hi Ladies, Just a quick note for those of you reading my blog who are not Close to My Heart consultants. I just found out that Close to My Heart is donating a portion of proceeds from the sale of the November Stamp of the Month, Capture the Date (see below). Isn't that awesome? Here is the paragraph from their recent weekly update:

Hurricane Relief Continues.  Hurricane clean-up continues more than two weeks after Sandy made landfall. The American Red Cross continues to be very active, operating more than 71 shelters, distributing more than 177,000 clean-up and hygiene kits, and over 3 million meals and snacks to hurricane victims. Remind your customers that during November, Close To My Heart will donate $1 to the American Red Cross for each qualifying purchase of the November Stamp of the Month. Together we can make a difference in the lives of those affected.

Learn more about this month's campaign and the Hurricane Relief Donations by visiting my website here.

So don't forget to Capture the Date and help the Sandy Hurricane victims.


Sunday, November 18, 2012


My sister and I were eating lunch the other day at a cute little restaurant here in La Pine that serves really good homemade food. After we ate, she saw a bag of their homemade oatmeal raisin cookies and she couldn't resist buying it for her hubby. Since that is my all-time favorite cookie, I just had to go home and make some!  I have to eat gluten free.. so I created a new recipe just for me. I'm always trying to come up with really yummy gluten free desserts! Here it is: 
I usually use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour for my flour, or even Bisquick has a good Gluten Free pancake and baking mix which I use sometimes too.  You need to be sure to use GLUTEN FREE OATS.  Bob's Red Mill has a great Gluten Free Whole Grain Rolled Oats that I always have on hand for baking.  Of course, if you don't need to eat gluten free, then just use regular baking mix and regular rolled oats.
You can print out this recipe and add it to your recipe stash if you wish!

I followed the Oatmeal Toffee Tidbits cookie recipe on the package of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats, but I tweaked it somewhat.  I try to eat as little sugar as possible, since too much seems to make me feel jumpy, and most recipes for desserts are way too sweet for me.  In this recipe, I changed it by adding only 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and about 1/4 cup of molasses.  The Bob's Red Mill recipe called for toffee tidbits, which of course sounded delicious! but I didn't have any, and besides, I like raisins in mine!

Don't these just look like they would melt in your mouth?  Well guess what?  they did!!! they were SO GOOD and so CHEWY which I love!  My favorite oatmeal cookie needs to be chewy and yet crispy around the edges and plump with raisins.

I think the secret is using the molasses and shortening.  My mom's most made and loved oatmeal cookie recipe always used shortening.  I've tried to replicate it for years but never had much luck, but boy did these turn out great!  

I had to hide these from my husband.............  (well I finally did let him have a few). I usually have to share my gluten free desserts with him as they turn out so yummy.  

The second night after I made them, I pigged out and ate eight!  Guess I can't make these too often huh?  

But with snow on the ground, an icy chill in the air, and the holidays just around the corner, this time of year calls to me to  bake. I love those sweet smells coming from the oven.  And what better time to go and do a little crafting when I have those cookies by my side?
  HAPPY BAKING!  .... and happy low sugar and gluten free!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I just had to spend a little time today on the wonders of Close to My Heart Liquid Glass!  This little bottle is a wonder to behold!  I have mostly been using it as a glue to hold on my buttons and thicker embellishments... but I have recently started playing with it and is it ever neat!

It can easily take the place of sparkles, pearls and glitter if you apply it on a shape so that it looks like acrylic.  I used it the other day on one of my photo cards using some of my garden flowers, and it made the little flowers stand out so much and they just glitter in the light.

This is just a little "practice" card I was playing around with using a little photo collage of my garden flowers. I used some cheap pink paper but wanted to try scoring along the edges which I kind of like. If you look close, you can see it.  Then I put the Liquid Glass on all of the pink flowers and I love it!

Here's a closeup of the Liquid Glass on the flower. It just sparkles!  See the scores on the card on the left?
And here's a SUPER close up!  My husband loved this card and said "I would even buy it"! 

Here are a couple of pictures of a wedding card I made for my nephew.  I used "other" paper as I wanted something really bright and flowery and I didn't have any CTMH papers with these tropical colors.  I attached the trim on the left side with the Liquid Glass and then decided, hum.m.m.m.m maybe I'll put some on the little hearts along the bottom and on the big flower.  Love it!

The little hearts are just punched out of cardstock with a small heart punch, very tiny... and I covered them with Liquid Glass and it makes them look more solid. I raised them up with 3D tape. I love this effect. The "journey" and "dream" words are stamped on a half circle from my 1" punch. 
 I don't have a Cricut machine yet so have to make do with punches!

This shows how I put the Liquid Glass on only part of the flower. I like how it looks and my husband LOVED it! I popped a little jewel in the middle of the flower.

Here's the entire card:
I hope this gives you some inspiration to use the Liquid Glass more. It is so neat to pick up a card and have it just sparkle in the light!


Saturday, November 3, 2012


Capture the Date, Capture the Savings!

In November, you’ll get something extra when you buy the Stamp of the Month—50% off another stamp set! 

When you qualify for (order of $50 or more) and buy the November Stamp of the Month set, Capture the Date, you’ll receive another stamp set* of your choice for 50% off—it’s like two promotions in one! The versatile Capture the Date stamp set is great for any layout, card, invitation, or calendar, and now you can choose another stamp set at half-off for more wonderful paper crafting. Get Capture the Date and then capture the savings today!

* Offer valid for A-E and M size stamp sets only; K-size, Workshops on the Go®, Cricut® collection, and Stamp of the Month stamp sets are not eligible for this promotion. Maximum of one 50% off stamp set per order.
Dates: Offer valid November 1–30, 2012

Here is the November Stamp of the Month, Capture the Date:

 Here's some ideas from Close to My Heart:

Why not take advantage of this November special of a 50% off stamp set and get one of those sets from the Spring/Summer 2012 Idea Book that you've been wanting????  There are SO MANY I want... and remember, we only have until the end of January to get any stamp sets from the Spring/Summer 2012 Idea Book!  

How about this darling one:

Card Chatter - Love (regular price $17.95 - your special price would be $8.97!  Wow.... so you'll have it for Valentine's Day!

Or this one:

Universal Backgrounds (regular price $17.95) - your special price would be $8.97!  These are so great to have for the backgrounds of cards and to make your own scrapbook paper.

November is the time to get those $17.95 stamp sets! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Hi all..... Just wanted to get some of my photo cards posted so you can see what a person can do with photos and a basic card! As you know, I LOVE TAKING PICTURES and always have my camera handy. I'm always looking with an eye as to what would make a neat card. Here are a couple I did recently for "Fall" cards.

I used a "deer" for my "dear" card!  And a vivid bright summer Freesia flower for my "fall" card.
I used Liquid Glass in the center of my little Wonderful U stamp and some brads and glitter to decorate the little tag on my "dear" card. Love the Florentine papers, which remember, are STILL available!
Here's the full picture of my "dear" card! I love it. I used Florentine papers.
Here's the closeup of my Fall card. I used Florentine papers as they have such pretty fall colors. I used the Nature's Gift stamp set from Fall 2011 and the Bohemian Assortment embellishments. I just love the little lace flowerettes.  I put gold glitter around the edges to add some for bling.
Close up of the Bohemian lacy embellishment with gold glitter.

 I LOVE making photo cards and using one of the pretty papers from Close to My Heart. A few little decorations and you're done!