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Sign Ups for Little League Baseball Starting Soon!

Great layout for Little League and kids sports everywhere.

Spring is here and soon your kids (or grand kids in my case) will be gearing up for some fun baseball and softball games and you won’t want to miss any of it.  Prepare now by starting their sports scrapbook now with this layout from Close to my Heart’s Studio J Collection.

Great layout for Little League and kids sports everywhere.The left side is a great opening page for a sports album. You can put your child’s picture and team photo right here to show what this album is all about. I wish I had started when my boys were young, and while I have a few, not nearly enough. I did start a football album his freshman year at Crater High School in Central Point, Oregon – he hemmed and hawed about my not needing to do it, but it wasn’t long after when he his teammates would come by that he would grab the scrapbook to share or look up a score. Don’t wait until they are grown…and they grow so fast.

If you would rather do your album in digital form, Studio J by Close to my Heart is free to play with! You only pay if you are going to purchase the pictures of the layout and then put them in the album when you receive them.  Here is a link to the Studio J program. If you haven’t been there before, you will be asked to register. This is so if you only get part way through your album before you run out of time your layout is there waiting for you.

If you would like any additional information regarding Studio J Digital Scrapbooking or today’s layout, please leave me a comment below.

It’s National Pie (Pi) Day

Annalisa Apple Pie for Work Contest

Annalisa Apple Pie for Work ContestWhether you are a math whiz and love Pi or love the all-american apple pie (my personal favorite is Key Lime pie or anything with lemon) in celebration of Pi day, I am offering a 3.14% off any order placed today. I know 3.14% isn’t a big discount, I will also be including a free stamp set with each order placed. The size of the stamp set will depend on the size of your order. :)

My daughter-in-law baked this pie for a contest at work and won this apron!

Annalisa gets 3rd Place for Apple Pie


Leave me a message below and tell me if you will be enjoying pie today and if so, what kind?

Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy



Bubble Embossing Tecnique

How to Bubble Emboss

How to Bubble EmbossWe have had some tutorials on Embossing, but I wanted to share with you a new twist on the standard embossing I thought you would enjoy.

Step 1 - Apply the Versamark ink liberally to the entire surface you wish to emboss, pressing it in and making sure the paper is saturated,


Step 2  – Pour on Clear Embossing Powder on to the paper, then shake off the excess.


Bubble Embossing Technique
Step 3 – Using your Craft Heater, begin heating the surface sections, removing the heat as soon as the powder begins to bubble up. For the best results move from corner to corner, allowing each section to cool as much as possible before going back and heating the adjacent section. If you overheat then you will get a standard emboss effect rather than the bubble emboss. Patience and focus helps make this effect a winner!


Have fun with this technique and if you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments box.  Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy

Life is Full of Colors – Bring Some Inside

New Interior in Soft Grey

As I was telling you yesterday, we hired a professional to paint the house and I couldn’t be more pleased with them! Five Star Painting out of Spanish Fork, Utah did an awesome job and even better, the company is nationwide so you can get a great paint job too!   Picking colors for our interior was fun. Gary and I started out picking up paint chip samples at Walmart so I could figure out some idea of what I wanted. Ok, truth be told, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted after watching so many episodes of “Property Brothers”.  The only problem with watching these types of shows, they make it look sooo easy!


HereNew Interior in Soft Grey are a few pictures to show you which way I went.  I determined where I wanted to go, then gave Gary a choice between a couple of colors. This way I got the color I wanted, and he could choose the actual color between the 2-3 I showed him. Now he can’t complain, he picked out the color!  I was determined to go with a soft grey inside. I KNEW I was done with Navajo White and all shades even close. Sorry if this is non politically correct but growing up in the 60-70’s that is what was used. Think of a beige with a brown undertone… at least that is how I remember it.Creating an Accent Wall

I wanted an accent wall in our bedroom for a pop of color and chose this one. I chose one with a bit more blue in it, but Gary really liked this one and it looks fabulous.

Pops of Color

This is the Bold, outside my comfort zone bathroom. I LOVE IT!  This bathroom is the main floor bathroom and situated right next to the craft room, so I thought it deserved some dramatic color.  I can’t wait to incorporate some of the ideas I have see into this space.

So your turn, leave me a comment below and tell me what you think of my new color choices.Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy

And So Begins Another Move…

Springville Utah Scrapbooking

If you have beenSpringville Utah Scrapbooking with me for any matter of time since I started this business 10 years ago, then you know how much I dread moving. I have rolled with the moves to this point, after all, Gary can’t help his PTSD, but I have told him I plan to live out our days in this house. No more after this.. We have found the perfect house. First and foremost in my mind is the basement where I will hold scrapbooking, and other papercrafting events. I am even thinking about setting up the rooms downstairs to be suitable for overnight guests in case we want an all night crop!

Along with all this new space, I will have a dedicated craft room upstairs and while this is a happy thought, the re-organization of a new craft room is a daunting task. So once again, we will take on this challenge or organization, and a place for everything, and {gasp} everything in it’s place!

We have decided that instead of my painting everything I would spend the money to have the house professionally painted.  Tomorrow  I will share with you that experience.  For now, I will journal this journey here. You on the other hand want to be signed up to follow me on Twitter at Make it easy, just click on the link. Look for my journaling tweets for questions for your own journal.

Have a wonderful day!

Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy

Valentine’s Day – Delighted or Dreaded?

Close to my Heart Valentine

Close to my Heart Valentine This is one of those holidays that you either love or hate, can take it or leave it, you get the idea. Did you know that in 2014 people spent 37  BILLION on Valentine’s Day!  That my friend is a lot of  chocolate!.  As much as I love to see all the jewelry ads, and  ooh and awww, I have also seen a trend of “I Hate Valentine’s Day” items.  Depending on where you are in your life, and how comfortable you feel there, would you embrace this turn on Valentine’s Day?  I know the arguments “no one is going to tell me when to express love” or “It is a made-up holiday created by the card companies” no matter the negative reason, I couldn’t so so far as to wear “I Hate Valentine’s Day”  across my chest.  I would look like a bitter old woman who didn’t have love when in fact I am very happily married and am spoiled rotten!  Ask him, he will tell you.

On the other hand, I love how creative people can be on Valentine’s Day. Take a look at the card on the left. I love how the creator (not me) used paper flowers tipped with Ruby Ink, or the spray effect caused by using the Spray Pen. And who doesn’t like some bling on Valentine’s Day?   I will be posting a series of Valentine Day Cards today on Facebook. While I would love to take credit for them, I didn’t make them, only compiled them for your enjoyment. If you have not yet “Liked” my Facebook page – PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DO IT NOW.

Wishing you a warm and cuddly Valentine Day, Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy

Celebrate Your Baby’s “Firsts”

Baby's firsts - Logan Where I live in Utah, there are a lot of young families.Many are just starting out their lives together and quite often someone you know is pregnant. If they are pregnant with their first child, they may have time to put together that first scrapbook. You know the one.. the belly, the sonogram, and every detail of the pregnancy and the first year of life. Think about this a moment. If you are a mother of more than one child, how complete is baby book number 2? 3? or even 4? Thank is what I thought, and don’t feel bad, it happens to the best of us. It in’t that we don’t WANT to document every moment of the 2nd child’s like, we just don’t have the luxury of time we had with the first one. But I have a solution!  Create a “Year of Firsts”  scrapbook for the new mother.

You can use 6″ x 6″ pages with room for just one photo per page, or you can be really adventurous and do a 12″ x 12″ album depending on who the album is for. For a casual friend, the 6″ x 6″ will be less intimating and they don’t feel the need to come back and ask you to put it together like your sister or best friend might.

Whether you are creating an album for your own baby or as a shower gift, there are subjects you don’t want to miss.

  • First Bath
  • First Smile
  • Rolling Over
  • Sitting Up
  • Crawling
  • First Tooth
  • Standing
  • First Steps
  • First Words
  • Tasting new Foods
  • First haircut

The nice thing about this list, every baby does them. There are no subjects here that someone of a different culture, faith or religion. In other words, a non-offending list of actions every baby goes through. Just add a title, a photo mat, a decorative accent a journaling box on each page and you are ready to go.
Watch for my upcoming class on making a cute album just like this in the coming months.

Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy

Make Your Next Baby Shower Unique

Great Baby Shower Ideas

Great Baby Shower IdeasHosting a Close to my Heart Scrapbook, Card or Papercrafting party is easy and lots of fun!  As we are heading into spring.. there will be baby showers to plan, weddings to prepare for and birthday parties for sure. Why not do something different this time and throw a scrapbook party!  Just imagine how much fun it would be to all be making a special scrapbook page for her baby book. She would be thrilled with a scrapbook that has a bunch of pages where all she has to do is add pictures of her new arrival!

Instead of bringing gifts or in addition to smaller gifts, every participant purchases something so the new mother can continue to scrapbook her child’s life.  Or they could purchase for themselves and give the hostess gifts to the new mother. there are lots of ways to do this, but it is lots of fun!

Here is a view of what you can earn as a hostess of a Close to my Heart Party:

When sales of your party reach:$1,050 or more $200 or more** in free products AND select up to 4 items in the current Idea Book at 50% off
$950–$1,049 $180 in free product AND select up to 4 items in the current Idea Book at 50% off
$850–$949 $160 in free product AND select up to 4 items in the current Idea Book at 50% off
$750–$849 $140 in free product AND select up to 3 items in the current Idea Book at 50% off
$650–$749 $120 in free product AND select up to 3 items in the current Idea Book at 50% off
$550–$649 $100 in free product AND select up to 2 items in the current Idea Book at 50% off
$450–$549 $80 in free product AND select any 2 item in the current Idea Book at 50% off
$350–$449 $60 in free product AND select any 1 item in the current Idea Book at 50% off
$250–$349 $40 in free product AND select any 1 item in the current Idea Book at 50% off
$150–$249 $25 in free product

So you can see how this can quickly add up to a wonderful party.

What do you think of this idea? Leave a comment below and share our thoughts with us.

Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy


So Many Fonts, So Little Time

Coming Soon by Google Fonts

If you have read my blog much, you will notice over the years I change things up a bit. What do you think of this new format?  I discovered something when I was figuring out all the settings, have you heard of Google Typography?  I had never even heard the word “typeography”  only the word “fonts” to explain a lettering style. Here is what Wikipedia has to say explaining typography”

Typography (from the Greek words τύπος typos “form” and γράφειν graphein “to write”) is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language readable and beautiful. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, line-spacing (leading), letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space within letters pairs (kerning). Type design is a closely related craft, sometimes considered part of typography; most typographers do not design typefaces, and some type designers do not consider themselves typographers. In modern times, typography has been put in film, television and online broadcasts to add emotion to communication.

Here are a couple examples I found this morning,

Coming Soon by Google FontsLobster by Google FontsIndie Flower by Google Fonts

Just think of changing the fonts on the journaling of your scrapbook pages and the interest different fonts can offer. In the coming months, I hope to show you more examples in my own work as I work on some long overdue personal scrapbooking.

Do you use different fonts in your scrapbooking? What do you think of these? Please share your thoughts below.

Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy

Groundhog Day 2015: Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow, predicts six more weeks of winter


HGroundhog-Day-Wallpapersappy Groundhog Day!

Punxsutawney Phil say his shadow this morning so as the story goes… 6 more weeks of winter.

With overcast skies he sees his shadow… I guess we will have to see how this plays out. Here in Utah, if the snow has any bearing on the subject, we might doubt that winter has even shown up this year. Ok, the bitter cold in the middle of the night might indicate in some way that winter is here, or maybe the calendar but with so little snow fall on the valley floor, I, for one, feel cheated! Are you sure Phil?

Last year he also saw his shadow.. and it was the most brutally long winter in the United States! Winter dragged into March..wait… isn’t winter SUPPOSE to drag into March? Spring starts Monday, March 20th.

Here you can read how Phil almost got the death penalty for “misrepresentation of early spring” until a Pennsylvania law firm claimed that the attorney in Ohio was out of his jurisdiction… I am just wondering how they train the groundhog to look for his shadow in the first place.. who explained to him what a shadow was?  That might have been one interesting conversation!

I will however watch the movie from 1993 called “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray and directed by Harold Ramis.  It will make you lauBill Murray in Groundhog Daygh enough to keep warm today!

Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy



Superbowl Special..Today Only

Get a discount based on the spread!

Get a discount based on the spread!Millions of people today will be watching the Superbowl, even those that regularly don’t watch football. Are you one of them? I love Superbowl pools, picking squares and such, so I thought I would bring a bit of that fun here to Creatively Carol Scrapbooking. Every order placed today, February 1st, 2015 will receive a discount on the items they purchase based on the spread at the end of the game (up to 20%off).

Now if you know anything about me, you know our home is a Raider Nation… and if you know anything about the Oakland Raiders, you know we Do NOT like the New England Patriots!  We here at Creatively Carol Headquarters are cheering on the Seattle Seahawks!

So to make it even more interesting, anyone who places their order BEFORE GAME TIME will receive an extra gift with their order.

So Spread the word to all your scrapbooking and papercrafting friends, and click here to go shopping. Then e-mail your order to me here.  I will call you on Tuesday after the game to get your payment information so I can apply the proper discount!

Leave a comment below and tell me who YOU think is going to win and the final score. If you are correct, you could win a free stamp set!

Creatively Carol Gifts on EtsyGO SEAHAWKS!!!!


Color Shading Using One Stamp

Creatively Carol Techniques

You want to get some depth perception in your stamped image, but don’t find too many 2 stamp sets anymore. Have no fear, I will show you how to create that shading using just one stamp, a sponge dauber and just a bit of time. Here we go: Creatively Carol Techniques

Step One:

Stamp a floral image in your desired base color and then clean the stamp.  Now re-Ink your stamp using the rocking technique in a slightly darker shade than the first colorso just the outside edges of the stamp get the ink. Carefully stamp over the previous image.


Step 2:How to color shade an image

After cleaning the stamp again, ink only the center of the flower using a sponge dauber using a darker, contrasting color and carefully stamp over previous images. with a sponge dauber. Use a tissue to wipe any ink you don’t want to show.

Leanring to Shade Flowers

Step 3:

Carefully stamp over previous image, Be sure to align the stamp correctly over the image so your end result is crisp and clear.


If you have any questions, please leave them below.

Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy

Motivational Monday – A Sketch from Studio J

Using Studio J as a Sketch

School Template from Studio JStudio J is the digital scrapbook program from Close to my Heart. What’s that you say? You don’t like digital scrapbooking so who cares about Studio J?  Let me share with you how Studio J can help the traditional scrapbooker… LOTS of Sketches! Take this example for instance.  What I wanted was a layout that showcased my two grandsons, James & Kyler Seely at the 2014 Science Fair at their school in San Antonio Texas. What is nice (and worked perfectly) is I can start with this idea, and build it however I want to.  Take a look at the finished layout below the Studio J layout. I moved the two journaling strips to the left to balance the pages and journal the details.

Both boys received the first place Using Studio J as a Sketchaward in their respective grades.  I am so glad there is a grade between them or this could have gotten really ugly :)

I removed all the small photos that were under the main photo on the right, added the boys names, ( I should have paid more attention to the size of Kyler’s name. but you get the idea.

Studio J is very versitile for the inexperienced digital scrapbooker that wants to learn, and a great source of inspiration for the traditional scrapbooker.

An extra bonus with Studio J is that it has all the paper packs going back to it’s inception so if you have an old paper pack, you can get some ideas on how to use it.

Do you do digital or traditional scrapbooking. Leave a comment below and let me know!

Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy


There is No Excuse for No Photos Anymore


TMNTAs I sat in church today watching the two little boys playing Ninja Turtles I was taken back 25 years to when my son Gary Jr loved playing with his Ninja Turtles. Whether it was Shredder, MichaelAngelo, Donatello, or the others, they were always guests at our breakfast table.  Who would have thought these little turtle toys were last a second generation? I have no pictures of him playing with them and today I realized it saddens me. You don’t know how good you have it today. We had to decide if the pictures were worth the price of developing and printing, much less know it was not out of focus.

Gary still remembers his beloved Ninja Turtles, wishing he still had them to share with his son. So remember, your cell phone is probably within 4 feet of where ever you are, snap the pictures, store them somewhere, forever, you may want to share those pictures with your grandkids.

Do you have a moment you wish you had a picture to go with it? Share with us below.

Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy

Using Your Old Tax Returns as a Timeline

What to do before tossing taxes

What to do before tossing taxes If you are like me, you are always hesitant to throw out your tax returns and support stuff.  But since we are buying a house I am trying to get rid of the unwanted or unneeded clutter and paper stuff. The loan company asked me to find my 30 year old divorce decree..can you believe that?? I looked in the file and found it, and a lot of old tax returns.  I have decided to shred all the returns older than the 7 year statute of limitations.

As I grabbed the folders a bunch of checks fell out and I saw one made out to a football camp my youngest son went to in 2003; then a light bulb went off!  I could use information in my taxes to reconstruct a timeline of events.  This can be helpful for both scrapbooking and genealogy. Those returns show where you worked, what you may have won gambling or when an event may have occured if you wrote memos on your checks.  Now I wish I had realized this before the last time I purged tax returns from our 29 year marriage!

So while you think about your taxes this year, or start your spring cleaning, think twice before just throwing them into the shredding. They can be a wealth of information.

Leave me a comment and tell me what you do with YOUR old tax returns.

Creatively Carol Gifts on Etsy