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Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Oh me Oh my.......... the CTMH March special is a great time to play with Studio J, Close to My Heart's online digital scrapbooking program!  If you haven't played, now is the time to give it a try, and playing is always FREE!

I think Studio J is fabulous!  It’s going to be even better when it’s just $5 per layout! Each layout is TWO 12x12 pages printed on glorious archival quality photo paper, using silver halide processing. Yup TWO 12x12 pages! Where can you get a gorgeous 12x12 photo collage/scrapbook page for just $2.50? Nowhere! I've looked at prices at my local print shop, and for a 12x12 photo, it's something like $14.99. Yikes.

This is one of my first layouts. I loved this paper and the large circle on the left, so plopped in my photos, added a little ribbon and some text and I was done!
Get a jump on creating NOW to make the most of the March $5 Studio J special!  You can create layouts today and order them in March! (Regular price per layout is $6.95, which is still only $3.50 per page - a fantastic price!).  There is no charge until you actually place your order, and March is a good time to purchase those layouts that have been sitting there on your (my) computer for the last year!

Quickly create gorgeous, personalized layouts using our wide selection of papers, collections, patterns, and embellishments.  Just sign into Studio J from HERE on my website by creating an account first, or if you already have an account, just sign in on the Studio J page and get started.

Pick "create a new project", choose the collection you want, and begin having fun. The hardest part is deciding on which paper collection to use!  There are tons to choose from! Each paper collection has 5-10 various layouts to choose from, with different configurations of photos and papers.  
I LOVED this leather looking paper on this layout. I added some brads and hinges. It's so easy, just drag and drop the embellishments onto your layout. You can add buttons, stitching, little journal tags and more.

My website has alot of videos showing you how to use Studio J. Go HERE on my website to view the "how-to" videos and HERE to view the "Love Your Layout" videos, which go into more detail. They are really helpful.  Be logged into Studio J while you watch the videos, and you can follow along and practice as you watch.  Watching the Love Your Layout series is actually how I learned to use Studio J.

While you're playing, don’t forget to check out the templates in the Express Collections, which allow you to design layouts in just minutes. The embellishments are already added. You just drop in your photos! This is a very FAST and easy way to get those memories preserved.

And if you want to use Studio J just for printing your photos, check out the "Photo Collections" in the Express Layout section, which has 7 different configurations of photo wells for dropping your photos into.

When you order your layouts, you also receive a JPEG file (emailed to you) to save your layout onto your computer. This is so awesome! It enables you to print out as many of your layouts as you want to, AND in different sizes! 

I made a little photo book (pictured below) printing my layouts at home at a 5" x 5-3/4" size. I use this to show my class gals how they can print their layouts in small sizes for little mini books.

You can purchase the JPEG only for $2.95.

With Studio J, you can begin a layout even if you only have a few minutes, and then come back as many times as you want to edit and tweak it. The layouts are stored for up to a year!

So sit down with your favorite cup of tea, a few cookies, (because I know you'll get so involved and have so much fun you won't have time to eat!) and spend some time exploring Studio J. It's just another fun way to play with and preserve your precious photos. 

I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. If you run into a problem or can't figure out how to do something, feel free to email me and I'll be glad to help.

I love Studio J so much I just want to share it with everyone!

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Monday, February 24, 2014


Just had to share this cute Close to My Heart video with you, entitled Easy 3-D Effects. Great little technique!

Click on my post title to go directly to my blog to view the video.

I always love a good little training video.  Enjoy!

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Sunday, February 23, 2014


Want to learn something new? I did! Here's a very RELEVANT (short and sweet) video presented by Close to My Heart, relating to dry embossing with our new embossing folders!  It's a must see if you love the look of embossed papers. (You'll need to click on my blog post title to go to my blog to view the video).

This video enhances this month's CTMH special campaign - purchase two cardstock packs or combo cardstock packs at regular price, and receive an embossing folder of your choice for free! (Retail value $8.95). Click HERE for the listing of combo packs. (Colonial white packs and white daisy packs are not included in this offer).

Please view my blog post here to check out this February, 2014 special.

Also, DON'T FORGET February's (2014) month-long online blast party on my website now. Anyone who orders anything from my website in February, 2014 receives a free mini stamp of their choice. Anyone who orders $50 or more in February, receives four of my custom made cards, or two cards and a mini stamp of their choice.  You'll be automatically "joined" to my online party just by signing in at my WEBSITE here.

See, you just can't lose! Even if you just want to try out one of the new embossing folders and place an order for one in February, you'll receive a FREE mini stamp of your choice.

Here are some of the mini stamps. See all of them on page 119 of the Spring/Summer 2014 Idea Book.

Remember, all of the monogram stamps are considered "minis" and are always available!

If nothing else, please watch the video. It is really informative!

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Thursday, February 20, 2014


As you may (or may not) know, I LOVE creating digital stuff on the computer! Right now, I'm hooked on fonts! 

I get the cutest scrapbooking fonts at Free Scrapbook Fonts! and Amanda - Fonts for Peas have some fun, wonderful and FREE fonts for your personal use, and many are geared for your blogs and scrapbooking.

I love making little tags on the computer for printing out and using on my canvas art, my cards, and on scrapbook pages. You can be sure I'll be making some little cards to go in the Close to My Heart Picture My Life albums too.

I'm in the process of attempting to make some tags and printables of Subway Art, to put in my ETSY SHOP.  I've found that I can use fonts from Kevin and Amanda for commercial use, as long as I post a link to their site and use their Blog Button on my blog and on Etsy.  In my search for fonts for "commercial use" I'm finding I have to email the creator of the font and ask his/her permission. It's a long process but I'm getting there.

Kevin and Amanda's fonts are DARLING, and you can even submit your own handwriting and they will make a font from  your handwriting! How cool is that? Go HERE ON THEIR SITE if you want to do that. 

Here are three of their fonts I just love:

Pea Goldilocks

Southern Accent Belch

Ms to Try a Bon?
I'm going to try to make this last one into my signature as it looks alot like my own handwriting!

I can spend hours browsing different fonts on such sites as DAFONTS.COMFONTSPACE.COM  and FONTPARK.NET. These are my favorite sites for free fonts. They also have some free commercial use fonts, and I have already gotten permission to use a few.  And of course, now that I've discovered Fonts for Peas, I just LOVE theirs!  

Downloading new decorative fonts is very addictive, and now that I know how to download them and actually USE THEM, I'm a goner!

It took me awhile to figure out how to actually download and use a font! I've typed up some instructions for use with Windows 7.  If you would like them, please email me and I'd be happy to send them to you (or you can COMMENT here and request them). It is really fairly easy. 

You can use downloaded fonts in MS Word, and in most design software programs.  I tried using the fonts I downloaded in PicMonkey, but they don't show up there. I tried using them in another FUN photo editing program called FOTOR.COM and they were all there! is my new love!

I love my Printmaster and The Print Shop photo editing and design programs. They are so user friendly and MUCH easier to use than Photoshop and Gimp (free). They are made by BRODERBUND.  I use Printmaster to make flyers, newsletters, tags, business cards, etc. such as these:

Tag or printable.

Tag or printable.

Flyer I made last year for CTMH's sale.
If you want to try your hand at downloading and playing with some new fonts, hope this helps you in the process!


Friday, February 14, 2014


Well, I had a hankering the other day for fruit salad with some sort of ginger dressing. I don't know why, but don't you once in awhile just crave something unusual?

And for some reason, I wanted a ginger sauce. I've never made one before and I have no idea why it sounded so good!

So I got out my recipe books - do you think I could find a recipe for a ginger sauce for a fruit salad? NO!  

I browsed my cookbook shelf one more time, and right there in the middle, was my lonely little "My Golden Recipes" cookbook that I rarely open anymore. 

It was given to me by my mom (now passed) back in the early 1980's, and I used to collect recipes and put them in that little book.

The pages are old and curled, and the writing is faded.  I used to cut recipes out of magazines and newspapers and tape them into the recipe book. I had hundreds!

That little recipe book brought back such fond memories of when my kids were little, and when I cooked and baked all the time. 
Some of my all time favorites are written in there by my hand.  And guess what I found????

Yup, Orange Yogurt Salad Dressing and made with............ you guessed it - ginger! and who would ever have thought of putting a mashed banana in salad dressing?

And of course I HAD to have something to go with it right? how about cinnamon rolls?

And I had a boxed mix for cinnamon rolls that I've been hoarding forever (well, probably because you have to knead it and roll it out on the counter, and I was too lazy to make them).... Chebe Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls. 

So now I was excited and ready to go.  Here's how it went:

They really weren't dull at all! The salad dressing was MORE than delicious! It was sensational! I made the fruit salad with FRESH oranges (I was craving those too - could it be the cold and gray weather?), a cut up banana, pineapple and slivered almonds. 

The cinnamon rolls came out great and weren't really that hard to make (after all my procrastinating). 

But I wanted to serve it all up in a pretty way, so here's what I came up with:

My husband and I ate that salad up in one night! And of course, the cinnamon rolls were gone by the next morning!  It only took me 30 years to make that ginger salad dressing.

Here's my recipe for the dressing - I changed it a little:

1 medium mashing banana
2-3 tbs orange juice (I used Simply Orange)
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup plain (unsweetened) yogurt
1/4 cup slivered almonds

The moral of this story is: go and browse through your OLD cookbooks! You may find a treasure there.

What are some of your favorite (but seldom made or baked) recipes?

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Thursday, February 13, 2014


I couldn't miss doing a blog post about making Valentine's Day cards! Here are a few I made using Close to My Heart's February "Rediscover CTMH" FREEBIES that I blogged about HERE the other day

And..... Happy Valentine's Day my dear faithful friends and followers!

These were all fairly simple cards as I needed them done "yesterday"! The free downloads are little "cardlets" (that's my new word, because they are small little cards) that I placed in the middle of each standard sized card (A2) over some matting, and popped them up with 3D foam dots.
I printed my cardlets on photo paper so they are glossy, and made them about 2" x 2-1/2" in size.  Go to the link at the beginning of my post to download these for FREE.  They are only available through February, 2014.
Here you can see how the little cardlet is popped off the page and is glossy.
I matted each cardlet with one or two pieces of cardstock, or little doilies (Martha Stewart), and added a bow and some ribbon and a few gems. On the last card, I used a scrap of cardstock (black and white), and liked how it looked against the bright pink and red heart background (old scrap I had).  I also used some of CTMH's red shimmer trim.

These were super simple and fast and I loved how they turned out.

If you need to make a quick and fast card today, print out these little cardlets (any size) and slap one on a piece of cardstock and stick it to a card, add 3 gems and voila! your done!  All of my printers are on the blink, so I used my tiny little photo printer and printed all the cards on a 5x7 piece of glossy photo paper. (Where there's a will, there's a way).

Download them from HERE.  Have fun and treat yourself to some chocolate today!

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Saturday, February 8, 2014


Be the "boss" in February of 2014!

New to CTMH for the Spring/Summer 2014 Idea Book are FIVE embossing folders to use in your Cuttlebug, Sizzix or other embossing machine. The folders are a touch OVER 5x7 so may not fit into the older emboss machines.  

Here are a couple of cards samples using the emboss folders.  I unfortunately don't have a Cuttlebug or embossing machine (yet!) but that's next on my wish list.

Sweet sweet Easter card by Susan Edwards at Busy with the Cricky. (Her blog is darling!) She used the Stripe emboss folder and the Damask emboss folder.  When embossing the stripes, you need to make sure that the paper is on the straight of grain. I will post a video on this in the next day or two.

Pretty thank you card by Lisa Stenz at Lisa's Creative Corner. This is using the Dot emboss folder. I love the effects that embossing gives.  Lisa has wonderful ideas for her cards!
Why not try some of our beautiful exclusive cardstock papers. Combo packs are included in this offer (20 sheets of 12x12 papers, 2 of each color) of our various design packs, or single cardstock packs of one color.  This is a $37.95 value for $29.00!

Don't you need some packs of these bright vivid papers for your summer crafting? (Yes, I'm already thinking of summer!).  We have about 16" of snow on the ground here right now, so I'm dreaming of sunny summer days.

Or how about two different combo packs (we have four)?

I think I just talked myself into getting some of these embossing folders, even if I don't take advantage of the special!  But I DO need some more plain colored cardstock......... hum.m.m.m.m.m.m..................
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Friday, February 7, 2014

I have been busy making some Valentine's Day gifts for my ETSY SHOP. I think one of my most favorite things to make is canvas board art. Once I get started, I can't stop!

This is a 5x7 canvas board that I painted pink (I just LOVE pink - can you tell?) and adhered some scrapbook papers and a vintage image of a cherub on a dove that I printed on photo paper (from The Graphics Fairy - she has thousands of free graphic images), then decoupaged it all down. You get really messy and gooey when doing this, but after awhile, you just start feeling really creative, and you keep looking for more things to glue down!

I put ruffled fabric on the bottom, some lace, pearls, buttons, and ribbon. Across the top, I added a little tiny postcard banner (postcards were FREE downloads from  Sweetly Scrapped.)  I love Sweetly Scrapped! She always has free printables and they are most always vintage. The little postcards I used were larger, but I printed them out really tiny, and then cut the "V" out to make flags.

I crocheted the little pink heart!  I found the pattern on YouTube but right now, couldn't tell you where I got it. If you search for "crocheted hearts" you'll find a ton of YouTube videos.

Next, here's my really truly red Valentine's Day canvas board art. I wish you could see all the detail:

This 5x7 board I painted red with some gray streaks for a more vintage look, decoupaged on some papers, doilies (that I inked up with beige ink) and some red glitter paper. The vintage girl is printed onto fabric and the graphic also came from The Graphics Fairy website.  I printed out the little sayings (free from Sweetly Scrapped) on pink paper, and decoupaged those down, added some lace and fabric ruffle along the buttom, and voila!

Of course, I had to add some little gems and pearls and buttons!  It was hard to make myself stop. The teeny tiny bows are what are called "fork bows". You make them using a dinner fork! I found videos on YouTube on making fork bows. They are easy and for me, necessary, as I can't tie a bow (with my fingers) with ribbon, if my life depended on it!  I also crocheted the red heart. They are quick and easy, and very addictive. I have a big pile of little crocheted hearts and tiny doilies.

You can view more photos at my ETSY SHOP MyPinkPaperCottage.

I also managed to finish the canvas board I started before Christmas! (I was on a roll!)  It's in my shop too........on the last page with some other Christmas items.  I used the CTMH Frosted papers (which are now unfortunately retired).  I'm glad I got some extra packs.  Also used our red shimmer trim which I love so much.

The "Subway Art" tag I made myself and printed it out on our colonial white cardstock. I then cut the edges with some decorative edge scissors.  I may be selling some digital Subway Art in my Etsy shop (soon).

Just wanted to share my little works of art. Hope you are all having time for some crafting (amidst all of the snow!).

And don't forget, if you place an order with me through my CTMH Website, for Close to My Heart products, please be sure to "join" my February on-line blast" party going on now. For anyone who orders, I'll send you a FREE mini stamp of your choice.  For anyone who orders $50 and above, I'll send you 4 of my custom made cards!

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