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Clearly the Best – Stamping with Close to my Heart Video

Today is Sunday which means I am off enjoying the family but I wanted to share with you an older video from Close to my Heart on why stamping with My Acrylix and other clear stamps are so awesome. This video will show you how you can manipulate your stamps to create a custom image, in this instance an oval frame into a lemon.  I hope you will enjoy the video. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will get them answered as quickly as possible.

Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor

Close to my Heart Welcome Back Campaign

Join my Team Today

Join my Team TodayClose to my Heart is welcoming back former Consultants in August!

If you were a consultant after January 1, 2013 and left for any reason at all, We would like to welcome you back to the Close to my Heart Family if you are interested in returning!

You will have your choice of two consultant kits: The Regular New Consultant Kit at $129 or the Essentials New Consultant Kit for $49.

The Essentials New Consultant Kit includes:
> Zoe Workshops on the go Scrapbook Kit
> Order Forms
> Idea Book Postcards
> Annual Expressions Idea Books
> Holiday Expressions Idea Books
> B&T Duos Sampler
> Petite Perks incentive stamp set.



Perhaps you would rather get the entire New Consultant Kit again. It includes over $445 retail value!  You will notice the New Consultant Kit includes two of many things to make your gathering a success… We have learned that having 6-8 people sharing just one stamp set, block or ink pad makes things more difficult for you, so we have made a change. Your new kits includes:

  • Zoe B&T Duos™ Bulk Pack (BULK369, qty 1),
  • White Daisy Cardstock (1385, qty 1),
  • Whisper Cardstock (X5929, qty 1),
  • Glacier Cardstock (X5770, qty 1),
  • Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Pad (Z2164, qty 2),
  • Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad (Z2641, qty 2),
  • Slate Exclusive Inks™ Pad (Z2173, qty 2),
  • Aqua Shimmer Trim (Z3086, qty 2),
  • Grey Enamel Gems (Z3089, qty 2),
    My Acrylix® So Many Smiles (C1619, qty 2)
  • , My Acrylix® In Review (C1622, qty 2),
  • My Acrylix® My Story (B1482, qty 2),
  • White Cards & Envelopes Value Pack (X254, qty 1),
  • Medium Organizer (Z4139, qty 1),
  • 2″ x 6½” My Acrylix® Block  (Y1010, qty 2),
  • 3″ x 3″ My Acrylix® Block (Y1006, qty 2),
  • Non-stick Micro-tip Scissors (Z1836, qty 2),
  • My Acrylix® Stamp Scrubber (Z1782, qty 2),
  • My Acrylix® Spritz Cleaner (1778, qty 1),
  • Bonding Memories™ Glue (1512, qty 2),
  • 3-D Foam  Tape (Z1151, qty 1),
  • Round Sponge (Z697, qty 1),
  • Customer Order Forms (W101, qty 1, 25 per pack),
  • Annual Inspirations  (WC1161, qty 10),
  • Holiday Expressions (WCS1161, qty 10),
  • Cardstock Color Sampler (W1136, qty 1),
  • Paper Fundamentals Sampler (W1137, qty 1),
  • Annual Inspirations B&T Duos™ Sampler (W1138, qty 1),
  • My Acrylix® Petite Perks™ Tribal Circles (W2032, qty 3),
  • Idea Book Postcard (W1129, qty 1),
  • Desk Pad (W1140, qty 1)

(Some items may not be shown. Items shown represent contents of New Consultant Kits ordered between August 1, 2015 and November 30, 2015. Contents are subject to change without notice, and change regularly based on product and collateral availability. Shipping and handling, and applicable taxes apply )


Hostess Stamp Sets for All

Neutral colors can be beautiful

Neutral colors can be beautifulLet neutrals work for you! Add pops of color using the adorable details from the Happy Hexagon Hostess Rewards stamp set! You can get this great stamp set and many others during the Jump on it July promotion.


During the month of July, when you purchase $25 (USD & CAD) in current, retail priced stamps, you qualify to receive either the July Stamp of the Month, My Acrylix® Life Is Wonderful, FREE or any one of the Hostess Rewards stamp sets featured in Annual Inspirations 2014–2015 or Seasonal Expressions 2 for only $5 (USD & CAD)! That is a savings of up to $17.95 USD / $19.75 CAD! The July Stamp of the Month is a lovely, versatile stamp set that is a great match for your cards and layouts that celebrate all the wonderful things—big and small—that life has to offer.

Additionally, the Hostess Rewards stamp sets have previously only been available as part of the Hostess Rewards program, which means now is the perfect opportunity to get those special stamp sets you’ve had your eye on! To get your FREE stamp set or your $5 (USD & CAD) Hostess Rewards stamp set, simply place an order for $25 (USD & CAD) of any current, retail priced stamps. This offer is available only during the month of July and applies only to the July Stamp of the Month and current Hostess rewards stamp sets, so spring into action and jump on this deal before it’s gone!

Watch Facebook today to see all of the possible stamps you could get !

Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor

How To Properly Light A Photo

Photo by JamesBrian Photography - Click photo to visit his webite

Photo by JamesBrian Photography - Click photo to visit his webiteProper lighting is one of the most crucial elements of a good picture, yet is one of the most commonly overlooked. Follow these simple steps to make sure your pics impress.

Step 1 –
Determine the “dominant light source.” An easy way to do this is to look at the shadows in the area – they will point away from the dominant light source. If there are multiple light sources, the dominant one will create the darkest shadows.

Step 2 –
Decide what type of shot you’re after. Usually you’ll be wanting a fully-lit shot of your subject with as little shadow as possible.

Step 3 –
If you’re going for a normal, well-lit photo, shoot away from the light source. This will eliminate harsh shadows and make sure your subject is lit up in your pic.
Other Tips –

  • Don’t rely on the flash! Most digital cameras have an automatic flash that’s there to “fill” in bad lighting situations. Problem is, it’s usually a pretty harsh light, and can wind up reflecting off your subject and making them look washed out. If there’s enough light in the area and you’re following these steps, turn the flash off!
  • If you’re outside during the day, the dominant light source is easy to find – not much is going to outshine that big light in the sky. Shoot away from the sun whenever possible.
  • Don’t stifle your creativity. Odds are you’ve got over a hundred shots to waste on that camera of yours – use them. This is simply how to properly light a photo – sometimes improper shots can accidentally wow everyone with your artistic ability!

Thank you to my dear friend Jim Fidelibus in Walnut Creek California. If you click the picture, it will take you to his website.

Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor  p.s.  you could give yourself no better gift than to hire James Brian Photography for your photography needs. I can personally attest to this!

Studio J Inspiration for Motivational Monday

Here is yourMotivational Monday Mojo

Here is yourMotivational  Monday MojoToday I chose a layout from Studio J as our sketch. I like the way this layout turned out and will be printing my photos using Studio J to get the 4″ x 4″ square.  While your focal picture can be much bigger, I like this size with the silhouette image of Gary Jr and his daughter.

The paper pack used in this layout is an older one, but the colors used are Honey in the banner and flowers, Sunset, Slate, and the patterned paper is Lagoon.  You can see these colors on my website under inks. There is a problem with my service at the moment that won’t let me link directly here.

If you have any questions, please shoot me an e-mail at

Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor


A Scrapbook Layout for Five Photos from Studio J

Scrapbook Layout with 5 photos

Here is a greScrapbook Layout with 5 photosat layout for a large focal picture on the left with the title in the place of the “hello sunshine”.  It appears that the photo on the left page is a 8″ x 6.5″.  On the right is a 4″ x 6″ and 3 – 4″ x 4″ pictures.  Remember, you can use this layout for either a boy or a girl, just switch out the flowers for a more of a boyish embellishment.

If you use the Studio J Digital Scrapbooking website, you can upload your photos and fit them into the photo wells, switch the colors and most everythihg too.

The colors in this layout are Lagoon for the base, Sorbet, Bamboo, Olive, and Colonial White.

How many pictures do you usually put in a layout? Leave a comment and let me know and I can post some sketches with different numbers of photos!

Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor

Looks Like I Have to Start Over!

Organizing your Crafting Supplies

We have talked about organizing before. I have showed you my room, talked about ways to organize different things and thought I had made considerable progress in my own scrapbook room. BOY WAS I WRONG!

My daughter, her husband and 4 sons have moved into our basement until they can find where they want to put all those very smart young men in school and buy a house. You see, all of them get straight A’s ALL THE TIME! I have no clue where they get their smarts because neither their parents, or any of their grandparents are anywhere close to having the analytical brains these boys have. It will be very interesting to watch as they grow and see where life takes them. Sorry, “Mema” gets a bit off topic when it comes to grandchildren.

As I was saying, I thought I was almost done with the project when my daughter Karen informed me that ALL her scrapbooking and crafting supplies were Organizing your Crafting Suppliescoming to my scrapbook room and will probably stay there since the only crafting time she gets is when she comes here. So today I begin incorporating her things into mine. As you can see from the picture, I have my work cut out for me. She already has a full time job so I will be tackling this myself…besides, she might make me throw something out!

Why am I sharing all this with you, you ask? It is because all the doubles will be sold off. So keep an eye on the blog and you may find some great deals on a variety of scrapbooking, cardmaking, stamping supplies.

So tell me please, how would YOU tackle this problem? Where would you start? I look forward to hearing your comments on this situation.

Motivational Monday Sketch

Great Layout with Circles

For today’s sketch I have chosen one from Studio J uGreat Layout with Circlessing the You Rock Paperpack. The paper is retired but if you really like the set, I can try to find one for you.
Using the large circle left I can keep the size of her photo and still have some fun background going on. On the right, you have room for three 4″ x 6″ photos to compliment your focus picture wish is Natalie. I have eleven grandkids so there is usually only one picture of each of them up at a time, but I love the look of concentration in Natalie’s expressive face and am really thinking about framing it. The determination and dedication to her ballet is of the utmost importance and she is willing to sacrafice everything to dance.

I will look forward to seeing your layout using this sketch. Will you decide to use the strip of 2 x 2 pictures across the middle for photographs, or perhaps a larger title. There are so many possibilities with Studio J Digital Scrapbooking even if you are a traditional scrapbooker.

The first 5 people to complete the sketch and send me a copy to post will receive a little gift from me.

Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor

Help! My Pictures are Stuck Together!!

How to get pictures unstuck

How to get pictures unstuck

I have a TON of printed photographs. Back in the day where you actually sent film in to be developed. (my grandkkids would call this the dark ages) You had the option often times to get double prints so you could share pictures with family and friends. While this was a great concept in theory it also meant if no one else was going to be interested in them, that now your pile of pictures is twice as high will lots of doubles. Fast forward to moving day and my husband picking up the plastic box by the handle only to have the lid come unfastened and all the 500 pictures this plastic photo carrier was suppose to hold were now laying, all mixed up on the street.  You gather them up, put them back and seal it shut.The case just fell open

I decided it was time to sort those photos and found stacks of stuck together photographs. The above stack alone is stiff as a board, and I can see just by the edges of the pictures that my dad and his wife are in one, my grandmother in another, some long past family in others. I just couldn’t toss the stack so I found this article on separating pictures online from the Real Simple Magazine.  I wanted to share what I found.


I recently moved and discovered some of my photos are practically glued together. Can I unstick them without destroying them?
Jenna Schapiro

Potomac, Maryland

A. Yes, give them a (gentle) bath. Resist the temptation to separate photographs by hand. Doing so will most likely rip them. Instead, water—yes, water—is the answer.

Photos stick together because the gelatin coating acts like glue when exposed to moisture. They can be separated again only by adding moisture and softening the gelatin, says Peter Mustardo, a New York City–based photo conservator who has worked for the National Archives, in Washington, D.C.

The following technique can be risky, so save it for everyday snapshots, not wedding photos! Place stuck pictures in room-temperature distilled water (sold at grocery stores) for 20 to 30 minutes image-side up, so you can monitor them. (A long exposure to water may cause distortion.) Remove, then gently pull apart with your fingers, or slide a thin silicone spatula between them. Shake off the excess water, place each picture image-side up on a stack of paper towels, and weigh down the edges to prevent curling.

If a photo has stuck to a frame’s glass, things get a bit, well, stickier. First, scan the image through the glass so you’ll have a (less sharp) computer backup. Next, use the soaking method, putting the frame and photo image-side up in the bath.

For photos taken professionally or those of great sentimental value (or if you prefer to skip the soaking method), find a conservator near you through the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works ( He can determine if the photos are salvageable and, if so, can separate them.

I did look up and see if water from the Britta was the same as distilled water and learned that no, that the Britta only takes out some of the impurities and that you need all the chemicals removed as to not damage the pictures. I also looked up how to distill water at home, because let’s face it, when I get something in my mind, I am just not very patient!  Too much work for the quantity of water I need… Later on this afternoon I will go get some distilled water and give this a try and report back on how it worked.

Retiring My Reflections PaperPacks

Here is a list of the paper packs that are retirling this year, all are “while Supplies Last”. So don’t delay or it will be gone.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Z1830 Brown & Tan Glitter Paper
Z1847 Green Glitter Paper
X7195B Jackson Paper Packet
X7196B Blossom Paper Packet
X7184B Chalk It Up Paper Packet
X7185B Scaredy Cat Paper Packet
X7186B Pathfinding Paper Packet
X7187B Yuletide Carol Paper Packet
X7188B Snowhaven Paper Packet
X7189B Confetti Wishes Paper Packet
X7190B Brushed Paper Packet
X7191B Wanderful Paper Packet
X71Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor92B Seaside Paper Packet

Memory Keeping On The Go

My Crush Books June 2015 Constant Campaign


My Crush Books June 2015 Constant CampaignThis month’s Close to my Heart Special is our  My Crush Books. I am excited about this promotion because I am going to get one for each of my grandchildren that are old enough to write. I think it is a great way for them to “document” their summer vacation. I might even offer a bi-weekly class for kids to help them do it. Hmmmm  Here is the promotion, I think I will go put that class together! I will also do a video series for kids across the country!  Keep your eyes out.

 During the month of June, when you purchase any My Crush® book and its accompanying assortment pictured in Annual Inspirations 2014–2015, you will receive the coordinating stamp set FREE! That is a savings of at least $9.95 USD / $10.95 CAD! Choose from five lovely My Crush book offerings that will provide a swoon-worthy background for your favorite memories. From family reunions to camping adventures to holiday countdowns—and much more—you will be crushing on all these books and the possibilities they provide. Every My Crush book features a hard cover with wire binding and cardstock-weight pages that are printed with eye-catching designs to form the perfect bases for your memory keeping. Additionally, each My Crush book also features unique details—from glossy print, to vellum pages, to gold foil, to ink-resistant patterns—that make displaying your personality easier than ever. Plus, once you add the artistry of the coordinating assortments featuring sticker sheets, envelopes, alphabets, cards, and journaling spots, along with your free stamp set, you will be well on your way to your own gorgeous mini book creation! This offer is only available while supplies last* and once they’re gone, these books are gone for good, so put your orders in early to get your summer romance rolling today!
Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor

Motivational Monday – Inspiration from Studio J

Studio J offers great inspiration!

Do you do digital scrapbooking? Myself, I am a hands all in kind of gal so I don’t do digital but Studio J has so much more to offer, even if yStudio J offers great inspiration!ou DON’T do your scrapbooking digitally. Today’s sketch is taken from Studio J and is so cute. I have to finish getting my pictures sorted so I can find my daughter’s pictures when she was growing up. The sketch can easily be converted to a male layout with a change in My Reflections Paper Pack.

Jackson from the Seasonal Expressions II catalog would look great for your little man and your big man too!  Here is the sketch as it appears on Studio J:

I will work on the same layout using the Jackson My Reflections Paper Pack to show you how it can be tailored to the men in your life.

Where do you get your scrapbook inspiration from? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor


Happy Memorial Day

Always in our prayers

Always in our prayersMemorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May.

This is an important fact to remember as Memorial Day is also the traditional “beginning of summer” holiday.  Personally, I like to remember all those who have gone before me, not just the soldiers.  This is why I choose to scrapbook today and remember those fond stories of people that have passed.

Since it is Motivational Monday, I am still posting a sketch that I,too will try to complete this week. Submit your finished layout to be posted here and entered into the contest for this month. Just take a picture with your phone and send it to 801-597-4896 to enter.

Don't forget to send a picture to 801-597-4896I look forward to seeing your pages.


Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor

Great Way to Use Leftovers

My Stickese Leftover Letters

My Stickese Leftover LettersIf you are like most scrapbookers and cardmakers I know, you HATE to waste, and you REALLY Hate to throw things away.  I was finishing up the layout for the sketch challenge yesterday and was staring at the sheet of unused letters on the page thinking “now will these be usable anymore?” after all, you only get so many letters, and it always seems to me that after you have make your first title with them, there is always a letter missing from what you want to do next.

Fast forward to just before bed, I pick up my tablet and take my turn at a couple of games of “Words with Friends” I have going with some very old friends.It is really good to feel a connection again after so many years. We were in Girl Scouts together, and good friends, even if we didn’t hang out all that much in high school, but the connection is kind of a warm fuzzy feeling… but then I am getting off the subject.  Sometimes I play with people that come up with words that I have never heard of and wonder if they are cheating and using a gaming program to unscramble letters (no, not you Kam). But it made me start thinking…. I have a sheet of half used letters on my table, and a program to make words from letters. Hmmm, Light bulb moment!!!

I put all the letters on my particular letter sheet into the program and now I have a list of words I can use on cards and scrapbook pages. Now granted, some would be a challenge to use, but others just might work!

I looked at three programs this morning as I googled for programs to make words from random letters.

The first one was called Word List Maker which is clearly for gamers since you can put in only 8 letters and you have the option for the “hook” or connecting letter for a game of scrabble or words.  Since I abhor cheating, I am not sharing the site with you, besides it limits the results for this purpose.

The 2nd one is called Word-grabber. and it will accommodate up to 15 letters and is not tied to any specific game model. Since the particular sheet of letters had only been used twice, I still had plenty of letters left so I just entered 15 of the letters, not using any duplicates. Out of these letters abdefhgijkltux came 40 pages of words!!  Who would have guessed that you could get  jubilated, fatigued, fixable or even fixated from this random set of letters!  If it could do this with just single letters, imagine what would happen if I threw in some more vowels!

The last one I tried was  This program would accept 25 letters.  So this time I entered all the vowels I had left, and some random letters to see what would happen. This one didn’t work so well, as it put all the letters in a very strange sentence. I think for now, I will have to stick to the Word Grabber.  Just think of the possibilities.

If you have any questions about this post or anything else, please leave a question for me below and I will get back to you asap!

Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor


How Will You Make This Sketch Your Own?

May 2015 Stamp of the Month

Will YOU accept the challenge?Good Morning,

It is 5am and I am thinking it is time to start sharing sketches with you again. My hope is that I, too will complete a layout using the sketch and post it for all to see. I chose this sketch  because in my unsorted mess of pictures, a subject for another day, I believe I can find three related pictures to use. I also chose this sketch by L Eubank for it’s circles. In this month’s Stamp of the Month,May 2015 Stamp of the Month Just Sayin‘ there are circles that will look great on this page and you could even use the stripe stamp or sayings in place of the strips in the sketch.   The more I look at it, the more I like the two together..

Take the challenge, and make the layout. Then take a picture with your phone and send it to 801-597-4896 so I can post it here. You will then be entered into a contest for a free stamp set.

Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor