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Tuesday, December 24, 2013


To my blog followers and readers, family and friends, wherever you may be, I am so fortunate and appreciative to have you all in my life!

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Sunday, December 22, 2013


It's almost Christmas. It's the season for sharing, loving and giving.  It's a difficult time of year for some of us who have loved ones who are no longer here on this earth. The memories of our precious loved ones are sweet, but also bittersweet. We cherish those memories, by reminiscing with our photographs, or by recalling special moments that live only in our hearts. We are sometimes bitter, and yet the memories are so sweet. But if nothing else, we must try to continue to give to others, and share ourselves with others, as best as we can.

Looking back at my blog posts over the last year, I especially love this one: THE JOY OF GIVING, HERE that I posted last January.

I included some quotes that mean a lot to me, and that are especially important to "live" by this time of year.  One of my favorite quotes is:

We make a living by what we get, 
but we make a life by what we give.  
Winston Churchill  1974-1965.

I have the same feelings today as I did then.

This photo, that I took last year, reminds me of what Heaven must look like. 

I'd like to share this Christmas season with all of our loved ones, here on earth, and those who have departed, and I pray that they are looking at us with smiles, and joy that we try to live each day as a privilege and as something very special. And that we continue to give.

I hope your Christmas this year is blessed.

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Friday, December 13, 2013


Oh my! Is it only two weeks until Christmas? I know everyone else "out there" is probably thinking the same thing! I'm finally getting a chance to make my own Christmas cards to send out to (very select) friends and family. 

Just thought I'd post a few just in case you have run out of ideas and need some inspiration!

VERY QUICK AND EASY:  (I love glitz and glimmer - it adds so much).

I used Sparkle & Shine paper (reverse side of stripes), some red glitter paper for the little "stars" along the bottom, and our red shimmer trim.  VERY VERY EASY!

Another fairly easy card inspired by Allisa Chilton of  Rocky Mountain Paper Crafts. I LOVE working with circles! The paper is a scrap I had, same with the black and silver ribbon. I cut a 1-1/2" circle out of red, and a 1" circle out of the Sparkle & Shine polka dot, and then stamped the little candies from the Candyland  stamp set, colored them with a red Sharpie pen, placed them on pop dots, and added some glitter on top.

Inside of my "3 circle" card.
Here is my all time favorite, inspired by Card Monkey's Paper Jungle. I am so in love with our darling little village stamp sets! This little house and sentiment are also from the Candyland stamp set.

I used our watercolor pencils and blending pen to color the little house (although the red is a Sharpie pen), the Sparkle & Shine striped paper (LOVE IT!), and the gingerbread boy and candy from the Candyland stamp set, which I stamped, colored with Sharpie pens, and cut out and popped up on the card.  I didn't add any glitter to this card (hum.m.m.m.m.m. - I'd better fix that).

Last but not least, another all time favorite:

Can you tell I love this striped paper! I used it on almost every card I've made! I "lifted" this card almost exactly from Pamela O'Connor, another CTMH consultant. The deer stamp is the October Stamp of the Month and I used white pigment ink on the red sentiment tag.  Of course, there's a little gem in each corner!

I hope this has helped give you a little bit of inspiration! 


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Here it is December 12th already and I haven't posted the sweet December Stamp of the Month set!  So here it is, entitled: SPECIAL CARE.  This looks like a cute set for the special children in our lives.

This is a really versatile stamp set and I can see being able to use it on scrapbook page layouts, and especially the My Crush books or photo albums. 

Or, how cute to use these stamps on the little Hip Pics Album Kit mini kraft album which is available in our Holiday Gift Guide.  Here is a picture of the inside of the album.... you can stamp underneath the photos. (I'm sorry the picture is not clear - you can see a better picture on page 22 of the Holiday Gift Guide HERE.

This cute little stamp set is yours for only $5.00 with your order of $50 or more.  Or if you only want the stamp set, you can order it for the cost of $17.95 (S1312).

Here are a few ideas for using the stamps.  Isn't that little Kraft Ring Box just darling?? (with the purple lid). 

If you want to see some other great ideas for this stamp set, go to GOOGLE SEARCH HERE for more images. There are some great ideas there!

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Thursday, December 5, 2013


This NEW video has just been posted from Close to My Heart - just in time to show you how to make some fun and unique Christmas gifts!   I wanted to share this with you as it's really neat!  (You have to go to my blog HERE to watch it.)

This video shows how to make a grouping of "Subway Art tiles" using canvas boards.  There is also a cute board done with a photo.

The following CTMH products are used:

6x6 canvas display board (but you could use any canvas board from your hobby store)
6x6 piece of B&T (design) paper
Create-A-Shade Pearl Paint
Any color of stamp reinker
Mod Podge
Cricut cutout letters (or you could use stencils to draw your own letters and cut them out - or use pre-cut vinyl letters)

I want to try one of these because I really like the look of "Subway Art" and that kind of old vintage-grunge look.

I would LOVE to see what you make!  Send me an email with a picture of YOUR project.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013


This month's "Rediscover Close to My Heart" FREE download is a set of really darling gift tags, just in time for Christmas! 

Aren't they cute? And FREE is a good thing right?

Click HERE ON MY BLOG and then click on the link "download our free holiday gift tags" under Rediscover Joy. Your gift tags will pop up as a PDF file that you can immediately print out (and save to your computer if you want to). They are only available through December.

Let me know what you think of these sweet little Christmas tags.
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Sunday, December 1, 2013


Now that December is FINALLY here (I've been waiting and waiting!).... I was inspired to change the look of my blog. I hope you will go to my "real" blog HERE, and take a look and let me know what you think! 

I wanted to make it a little softer, and add some Christmas and snowy pictures and decorations. 

I'm just now beginning to make my Christmas cards. Here's my first one:

This design is compliments of Card Monkey's Paper Jungle.

I am in LOVE with the Sparkle & Shine candy striped paper! I think most of my cards will have these stripes on them in some shape or form. 

And my second favorite thing is the Candyland stamp set that includes the sweet little cottage that I colored with some Sharpie pen markers, the scrumptious ginger bread boy, a toy soldier, a candy cane, and the word "Joy" that can be stamped on the striped paper and cut out!  

I just wanted to get this card posted to decorate up my blog a little bit.  More ideas to come shortly!

Don't forget to go check out my new look here!  Thank you for stopping by.  I would appreciate any comments.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013


My where does the time go? It's been a week since I posted! This time of year always passes me by and I'm always running to try to keep up!  Sometimes I feel like I'm running in circles.

Here in central Oregon, I'm still in the "Fall" mode, and we're looking at getting snow next week. We are so fortunate here not to have the horrible storms that are happening in the Northeast and along the East coast.  It seems so calm here.... maybe the calm before the storm?

I had a fun class last week making some of my beloved paper flowers, plus we made some of those delightful altered wooden clothespins, which I blogged about HERE - PLAYING WITH PINS, which everyone loved.

After my class, my crafting "mojo" kind of went dry for a few days..... I felt like I was running in circles. I just couldn't think of anything creative.  But, all I have to do is try something different, and my mojo usually comes back.  


I was watching a video on YouTube (those wonderfully imaginative and creative videos on YouTube really inspire me), looking at Cricut Craft Room tutorials, and happened upon some little decorated Christmas trees. Hum.m.m.m.m. I thought, those are really cute.

 Here's one from "TheFuzzyDragon1". She used ribbon folded in squares for this one. It's really pretty, but I really wanted to make one using paper.  Her YouTube link is: FuzzyDragon1.

I felt some inspiration coming on, but the ones I saw were either the rosette trees, or trees covered with lace or folded ribbon.  I wanted to make trees using paper.

Nope.. those looked like they took too long to make.  I wanted something fun, quicker and easier.  

Then a light bulb went on. Why not use paper circles! I LOVE paper circles!  I know.... you wondered where the title of this post was leading, right?

So I picked out some of my older Christmas paper and started punching a BUNCH of 1" circles. I probably punched at least 50 circles.  (Didn't want to use my good papers until I knew how this thing would turn out).

And I made a little paper cone, and started gluing the circles on, from the bottom up, kind of like you would put shingles on a roof.  You've done that before right?  

And here's my little creation!

I think it's pretty cute!  It's about 5 or 6 inches tall (I say "about" because it's in the other room, and I'm too lazy to get up and go measure it - sorry, it's late).

So I think I've made a full circle, from NO mojo, to a lot of mojo!  I have lots of ideas for my little trees.  I'm going to try punching holes in it and putting a little battery tea-light inside so it will glimmer in the dark.  A few sitting on my kitchen table or mantle would look really sweet.

The results of the tea-light idea will be my next post.  And I'll also do a short tutorial on how I made this.  I was smart enough to take some pictures of it as I went along.

See why I love circles?

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I was sitting at my computer the other day, daydreaming, and feeling a little anxious that the holidays are just around the corner! The time is just speeding by! 

Where did Fall go?

The leaves that were there two weeks ago, are gone!


Do I have THIS (below) to look forward to already???  Our weather forecast says SNOW tonight!

I wish I didn't feel so panicked this time of year, wondering how I will get everything done (that I want to do - not that I HAVE to do, but what I WANT to do).

I picked up a little book that sits by my desk called "Songs of the Earth", that I found at our local second hand store, and was flipping through the pages. 

This verse (below), by Maya Angelou, hit me right between the eyes! 

I decided to make a little framed verse to hang on my wall, right above my computer, to remind me to spend some hours of "aimless wandering" during this holiday season.

I wanted to share this verse with you.  You are welcome to print it, and gaze at it now and then to remind yourself to slow down, and "wander aimlessly", even if it's only in your mind.


Sunday, November 17, 2013


Lest we forget.... I want to remind you of Close to My Heart's "hidden treasures".  

ALL of Close to My Heart's "Cricut Compatible" stamp sets (that match cut images on our three exclusive Cricut Cartridges) are ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE!  (even when they aren't listed in the current catalogs).  How cool is that?

The grayish lines around the three ornaments, means there are matching cuts on the CTMH Art Philosophy cartridge.

HERE ON MY WEBSITE is the page where you can view all of the stamp sets that are always available, even when they aren't listed in the current Idea Books. Some of these stamp sets came out two or three years ago, but CTMH still carries them.  You know...... they are the ones in the catalogs that have a red line around them, which means there is an image cut from one of our Cricut cartridges that exactly matches the stamp.

And remember too, stamps are not just for stamping on cards or scrapbook pages.  How about making your own wrapping paper with a big roll of Kraft paper that you can get from the discount store (like Bi-Mart, K-Mart or Walmart), and stamping it with your favorite images?  If you're on a budget, this is easy on the wallet.

I used CTMH's Red Chevron Ribbon to wrap this pretty package, and topped it with another red ribbon bow and some of my "shabby flowers".

I thought I would share with you the Christmas stamp sets that you may not be aware that Close to My Heart still carries... .and thus.... they are truly hidden treasures!

Wow... think of all the holly leaves you could cut, using the Art Philosophy cartridge!

These cute little stamps go on circle cuts from the Art Philosophy cartridge. And look at all of the other cute saying you get!

Oh my, you get tag cuts with our Art Philosophy cartridge plus cute sayings and "to", "from", ornament and tiny snowflake.

I especially like this one, using the Art Philosophy cartridge - you get cuts for the stocking, tree and tag.

A nifty tag cut from our Art Philosophy cartridge plus pretty ornaments, and look at that beautiful Merry Christmas font!

Two gorgeous snowflake cuts using our Art Philosophy cartridge and look at the pretty border!

This one has one tag cut, but the other darling Santa, sayings and tree stamps are so classic.

This stamp set is my ALL TIME FAVORITE and I am glad it will ALWAYS be available! There is a cut for the tag using the Art Philosophy cartridge, and look at the artwork on the train, stocking, and rocking horse! What fun to color these with our markers or colored pencils. Anyone have a son, spouse, nephew, grandson, who works for the railroad??? I do!

I thought I would show you a Thanksgiving/Fall stamp set that is always available, using our Art Philosophy cartridge. Leaves anyone?

There are MANY other stamp sets that are always available. Be sure to check out the link above. It is so good to know that we have these, just in case there is a certain type of stamp set that you want which isn't listed in the current Idea Book.  


Don't forget these hidden treasures, and many more listed HERE.  I'm so happy to say that ALL of the Monogram stamps will always be available!  I love the idea of using one monogram stamp to begin a word, such as "M"erry "C"hristmas! At only $2.95 each, I want them all!

None of the above stamp sets are listed in the current Autumn/ Winter 2013 Idea Book! (but pssstttttt..... they are ALWAYS available!)

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