The Perfect Gift for Mom, Friends and CoWorkers

The perfect gift for any occasion!Whether you need a gift for your mom, your bestie or even your co-workers Close to my Heart has put together the perfect package because you know… it’s the little things that tug at your heart.

This month only, we are offering the Mini-Album Package and it is LESS THAN $20 bucks and you have options too! Whether you’re looking for a meaningful gift idea or a treasured keepsake, these mini albums are fast and easy . You can choose to fill it with pictures, or leave that to your recipient either way they are sure to be a winner.  I told you that this offer came with choices so let me tell you about them!

Blue Jean Mini-Album Bundle comes with Perfect for the Guys in your life!

  • 1 – Instalife™ Blue Jean Album
    1 – pack of #Life™ Enjoy cards (40 cards total)
    1 – pack of #Life™ Black overlays(16 overlays total)
    1 – pack of mini 4″ × 4″ Memory Protectors™ (10 protectors)
    1 – pack of mini 2″ × 2″ Memory Protectors™ (10 protectors)

This would normally cost you $27.75, but since that is over that $20 limit you set for yourself, we have reduced the price  to $18.95 through Dec 31, 2016.

 

Blush Mini Album BundlePerfect For the Girly Girls

1– Instalife™ Blush album
1 – pack of #Life™ Hello Gorgeous cards (40 cards total)
1 – pack of #Life™ gold overlays(16 overlays total)
1 – pack of mini 4″ × 4″ Memory Protectors™ (10 protectors)
1 – pack of mini  2″ × 2″ Memory Protectors™ (10 protectors)

 

Available in 3 sizesAdventure Mini Album Bundle (6″ × 8″ Memory Protectors™)

  • 1 – Everyday Life™ stripes mini album
  • 1 – pack of My Crush® Adventure Calls 3-ring hole-punched decorative pages (30 total)
  • 1 – pack of 6″ × 8″ mini Memory Protectors™ (10 total)

Adventure Mini Album Bundle (4″ × 6″ Memory Protectors™)

  • 1 – Everyday Life™ stripes mini album
  • 1 – pack of My Crush® Adventure Calls 3-ring hole-punched decorative pages (30 total)
  • 1 – pack of 4″ × 6″ mini Memory Protectors™ (10 total)

Adventure Mini Album Bundle (3″ × 4″ Memory Protectors™) works in all size mini-albums

  • 1 – Everyday Life™ stripes mini album
  • 1 – pack of My Crush® Adventure Calls 3-ring hole-punched decorative pages (30 total)
  • 1 – pack of 3″ × 4″ mini Memory Protectors™ (10 total)

****This size is perfect to put all the kids school pictures for grandma****

And to top off this great deal, Close to my Heart has found the perfect place to get your perfectly sized photos. Come back tomorrow and read all about Persnickety Prints.

 

 

The Most Important Scrapbook Tool

You have to have a good Paper Trimmer!If I can share with you one tip above all others, invest in a good paper trimmer! I am talking about a full 12 x 12 minimum size. Not something that only trims papers, or a paper cutter, but a normal paper trimmer like Fiskers SureCut Paper Trimmer (Z1783). While it seems like a hefty price at 34.95, you can take a craft store coupon and get one for less. You will find this tool indispensable. Did you know you can also use it to score your cardstock?
There are two ways to accomplish this, purchase the scoring blade (Z1785) or remove the blade and place your cardstock in as you would if you were cutting, then using your bone folder or a dry embossing tip, gently run down the cut line. This is a great tip when you want to score the entire 12 x 12 piece of cardstock.

The Monday Muse – Scrapbook Sketches You Can Use

It is Monday and as I began typing up the post and was thinking about how I had named it “Motivational Monday”. I was looking for somethingThe Monday Muse that was similar to “Mojo Monday” which is another source of page maps, when I pulled up the dictionary & thesaurus and looked at the definition of “mojo”.  This is certainly NOT what I expected to find (see right), you see, I want to inspire you, not cast a magic spell on you.
So from here on out Motivational Monday will now be known as The Monday Morning  Muse. 

Whether your style is a one page layout or a two page layout, you will always find sketches here at Creatively Carol that you can use.  In this layout I have included the picture sizes, and you can add the extra size to the matte as your personal style dictates.  If you like to work with sketches, but prefer to have cutting directions. I would like to suggest “Cherish” by Jeanette Lynton and put out by CLOSE TO MY HEART.  As we start to think about Christmas, This awesome book is also a great idea for Christmas and is available for just $14.95 in the soft cover form.  This is much better than hardbound because with a spiral edge you can flip the book and only see what you are working on.

Cherish Scrapbooking How to Book by Close to my HeartJust click here to order your copy of this book to order today!

You will be making beautiful scrapbook pages before you know it.

Here is your Monday Morning Muse layout for today:

Scrapbook Sketch for 7-10 photographs

Please send me a picture of your layout when completed either Carol@CreativelyCarol.com or text to 801-597-4896.

 

The Versatility of City Sidewalks

The images can be used all year long!City Sidewalks can be a very versatile, Here is a card inspired by a snow globe. Using Cricut Design Space basic shapes to cut the snow globe (circle) and base (triangle). The remaining images are from City Sidewalks. To make the card more dimensional without getting too thick to mail, I used the thin 3D foam tape.

The City Sidewalks cartridge has lots of great Christmas images that mix tradition with whimsy. Over the next few days I’ll be sharing a few more projects using the City Sidewalks Paper Pack and Cricut Digital cartridge on my Facebook Page.  Here’s a look at everything you get on this “virtual” cartridge:

Here are the images on the City Sidewalks Digital Cartridge

Many of these images can really be used all year long,Also, keep in mind that this “cartridge” is only available through December 31 and you can buy yours here.

**Note that the City Sidewalks is a virtual cartridge and must be downloaded. This means it will only work machines that use Design Space (all variations of the Explore).

Free Basic Scrapbooking Class

Learn how to ScrapbookHave you wanted to learn to scrapbook but wished you could give it a try before buying a bunch of stuff? Beginning November 29th I will be offering a Basic Scrapbooking Class here at the Creatively Carol Craftroom.  We will go over basic scrapbooking tools and techniques and everyone will make a scrapbook page.   The craft room will seat 12 at a time, so call to reserve your spot today.  I will be hosting the basic class once a month to accomodate anyone that would like to learn the art of scrapbooking. We will also talk about the different ways to scrapbook, including pocket scrapbooking ie: Picture my Life (similar to Project Life), mini-albums and more.

Motivational Monday – A Sketch with Flowers – Follow Up

Good Afternoon,

So I am curious, how many of you did your work from the sketch and how many were waiting to see what I did with the sketch?  As I explained earlier today, this was done from a scrapbooking challenge I was given to create a page using flowers. I was not contented to just put a flower on the page and call it good so I used the flowers to encircle my Using flowers on a scrapbook pagedaughter’s senior class portrait.  As you can see, I used the two extra flowers at the bottom right to give the photo a sense of grounding instead of floating on the page. I think it also draws your eye from the top left where I put the flower on the strip of paper and guides it to the bottom right where the two “anchor flowers” are located.

While I did this page many years ago I see now I broke a cardinal rule in scrapbooking. I know I say ” there are no rules in scrapbooking” but can you tell me what is missing in this layout?

If you guessed  a title and journaling then you are absolutely right. This would be one of the pages that someone 100 years from now would say “this person looks familiar, but who is it”. This child is actually a great example of how two people can look so much alike – but I will save that for another day.

Having said that, I will have to go pack and add a title and journaling to the page.  Am I worried that adding these important scrapbook elements will distroy the look of the page…not really.  I will try to find this paricular layout and add those elements and share them with you on my Facebook Page. If you have not already liked my Creatively Carol Facebook page please do that while you are there.

 

Motivational Monday – A Special Birthday Sketch

Today my daughter turns 37. This is my first child and the person whom I began my scrapbbooking journey with 15 years ago. So today I will use a sketch taken from a single page layout I did for a scrapbook challenge about 10 years ago. The challenge was to use flowers on a scrapbook page. I know, you are thinking “how hard is that?” but I didn’t want to just stick a couple flowers on the page as accents.

Here is the simple skeMotivational Monday - Don't forget to enter your layout in the contesttch for you to work with today, I will post my finished page at 2pm MST.

I want to see how creative you can be using flowers on the page. Send your finished layout to me to be entered into the monthly contest for a free stamp set. You can also text 801-597-4896.

 

Veterans Day Special – Thank You for Your Service

Today will be a busy day here in our little piece of heaven, Veterans Day Thank you for your servicemeans many different things to my husband who served during the Vietnam War. Since he didn’t hear thank you’s when he came home (he still thinks about it 40+ years later) his heart swells with gratitude because he is often thanked now. I am so glad the soldiers of today are much more appreciated than back then.

For Gary, today is a day where he can eat free all day long if he wants. So many places offer veterans free meals today in appreciation for their service. I believe his plan this year is to go to Denny’s for breakfast, Sizzler for lunch and Red Robin for dinner! I feel stuffed just thinking about it. There will be aching feet after hours of lines by the end of the day, but then I think about how long soldiers are on their feet all of their military career. Whether it be boot camp marching in formations or raging into battle.

We have many that have served in our family tree going back many generations. I will post pictures on my facebook page today. I honor them today along with all the men and woman who have served this country and made us safe.

Thank you for your service.  Any veteran or military wife active or veteran will receive a free gift when ordering on my website today.   Thank you for your service.  

Trump as President – Remember to Journal Your Feelings

Journaling is important for your posterityI for one am very glad this election is over and we can go back to all the other intrusive commercials 🙂 I expect that we will now start seeing all the Christmas ads more frequently now.

This country was very divided in this election and whether you were a supporter of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or Gary Johnson it is important that you take time today to journal your feelings. This was a historic election in so many ways and your feelings are important and there will be someone in your family tree that will find your thoughts interesting.

I have a scrapbook that I keep of just my own likes, dislikes, thoughts and feelings. We, as scrapbookers tend to not make the scrapbooks very often because we are usually behind the camera so I think it is important that there is some documentation of my own life as well.

I am going to re-start the “Daily Journaling Question” on my twitter feed every morning. You may not be able to write about it right away, but put the question on the top of your page to write about later, or even a post-it note to write about when you are stuck and don’t know what to write about.

Do you have a scrapbook or journal about you? If you said yes what do you write about or if not, is this something you would be interested in starting? Leave a comment below and you might win a journal to begin your journey with!

Motivational Monday Sketch for Lots of Photos

Monday Motivational Sketches with Creatively CarolToday’s Motivational Monday Sketch will work great for lots of occasions but when I look at the sketch, I think this will work great for holiday photos. You can switch out the two 4 x 6 photos on the right and put a large focal point picture like the Christmas Tree or  Thanksgiving turkey and using the surrounding photo spots for the family that is at the event or the different decoration – you get the idea.

I encourage you to give this sketch of 11 photos a try and send me a picture of your layout so I can post it here. You -an also text it to 801-597-4896. You will be entered into my monthly drawing for a free stamp set when you send me your rendition of this scrapbooking sketch.

Did You Turn Back Your Clocks?

So much to do, So little timeThis article was first published by Readers Digest, but I found so much of it interesting I wanted to share it with you.  When you finish, leave me a comment and tell me if you think we should end daylight savings time or continue to adjust clocks twice a year.

Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea of Daylight Saving But it was a joke. In 1784, Franklin penned a satirical letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris outlining how many pounds of candle wax the city would save (64,050,000, according to his calculations) if only its clocks were better aligned with the rise and set of the sun. If residents had trouble adjusting, he also suggested the city ‘let cannon be fired in every street, to wake the sluggards effectually.’ Now that’s a wake-up call.

The idea wasn’t taken seriously until 1907
More than a century after Franklin’s letter, a British builder named William Willet became the champion of Daylight Saving, and lobbied Parliament to adjust the time in April and September in order to take full advantage of the day’s light. It is said the idea came to him after riding his horse one summer morning and noticing how many blinds were still down, which signaled to him the sunlight was going to waste.

Daylight Saving Time became law during World War I
Germany and several other European countries had already mandated DST as a way of reducing electricity and thereby saving coal for the war effort. Recent studies have called this line of thinking into question, with researchers crunching data to decide whether or not DST really does save energy.

Our changing clocks have led to a fair share of confusion
After World War II, America repealed its national law requiring states to institute DST. Some towns decided to stick with it and some didn’t, which ultimately resulted in chaos. One 35-mile bus ride from Mounsville, West Virginia to Steubenville, Ohio, took riders through seven different time changes. At one point, even the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota were on different clocks. In 1966, the Uniform Time Act standardized DST from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October.

More sunlight equals more sales
As it turns out, when Americans have an extra hour of sunlight in the summer, we spend millions more on golf outings and barbecues. In 1986, when Congress changed DST from six months to seven, the golf industry said the extra month brought in $200 million in additional sales of golf clubs and greens fees. The barbecue industry said the extra month was worth $100 million in sales of grills and charcoal briquettes.

Candy makers also have a lot at stake
‘For 25 years, candy makers have wanted to get trick-or-treating covered by Daylight Saving, figuring that if children have an extra hour of daylight, they’ll collect more candy,’ Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, said on NPR. During the 1985 hearings on DST, the candy lobby even went so far as to put candy pumpkins on the seat of every senator.

The number of accidents and heart attacks increases
Sleepyheads beware: A 2009 study found that Daylight Saving resulted in a whopping 5.7 percent increase in workplace injuries. Another study found that the number of heart attacks surge as much as 24 percent on the Monday following our spring forward into Daylight Saving Time.

But the rate of crime goes down
The U.S. Law Enforcement Assistance Administration found that crime has consistently dropped during DST by 10 percent top 13 percent.

Some states just have to be different
Because the federal government has no law requiring states to observe DST, Hawaii and Arizona are the exceptions to the Daylight-Saving rule. At one point, Colorado wanted to implement DST year-round, in order to save residents from the ‘aggravation of resetting their clocks.’ In Texas, Republican Rep. Dan Flynn, authored a bill to exempt his state from observing DST entirely, with part of his argument focusing on the effect it might have on the start time of NFL games. The Texas House of Representatives turned this one down.

Don’t expect everyone to be on time
In a 2010 study by Rasmussen Reports, 27 percent of respondents admitted they’d been an hour early or late at least once in their lives because they hadn’t changed their clocks correctly. Remember: It’s spring forward; fall back.

What Are You Crafting Today?

not just for Christmas Paper

CTMH City Sidewalks Paper Pack

I love Saturdays… my husband has college football on the television and I am upstairs and working on the project for my Nov 30th workshop. I am making a Countdown to Christmas block calendar with our City Sidewalks paper from the Holiday Expressions Catalog. These papers are so versatile, yes they work great for Christmas but the other papers will work well for so may other pages. I will be using this paper pack all month to show you the variety of ways they can be used.

The blue and white paper with dots can be used for anything including baby boys or anyone that loves the Glacier color.

While the red crosshatch pattern is the perfect background for your Christmas cards, since it is a primary color it works great for young children’s birthday and the backside is a word search page!  If you start searching for words you will find snowflakes, city sidewalks, Rudolph and more but still a great background paper for anytime of year.

And while I would probably use the red chains paper for Christmas the reverse is dots in a chain of Peacock and Lagoon which are both blues on a Willow green background – another good paper for kids that like primary colors.

I think my personal favorite of these papers is the Peacock background with trees of Willow green, Glacier blue and Whisper grey. I love the contrast of these colors and will keep them in mind for their own scrapbook layout in the future.

I need to get back to creating this Countdown to Christmas project, but check my Facebook page later today to see the finished product.

 

68% of Women are Lonely, Are You?

Do you miss a place to scrapbook with others?Since the birth of social media, we are a much lonelier people. You may have hundreds of friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but while you watch your friends post about their lives, kids and such, we no longer “have time” to get together and it is causing more adult women to feel very alone.   In the case of new mothers, it also increases feelings of isolation as their activities now have to be worked about the baby’s schedule.

Now, if you use to go to scrapbook stores and use their craft room you have seen store after store close and now there is nowhere to go scrapbook with other like minded people.  I know how hard it is to scrapbook at home, alone. There is usually no space, and full of interruptions so much so that you decide it won’t work and give it up. This is why I have converted my basement into the “Creatively Carol Craft Room”.

The Craft Room seats 12-14 people with plenty of space to scrapbook, create cards or your favorite craft.  If you don’t currently scrapbook or make cards I am offering two introductory classes to introduce you to the craft and a semi-free monthly crop (bring $10 in canned food for the food bank).  There will be three monthly clubs, one will simply be a buying club where you spend a minimum of $25 a month with a 6 month commitment and receive $25 in your choice of papers, stamps and more.  There will also be a monthly scrapbook layout and a card class. You will find more information on these programs on my webpage Creatively Carol  in the next few days.

I am also offering a NapTime Open Crop.  There is a room of the classroom where children can take a nap and a room for babies as well. Your children will be within earshot in case they need you, but hopefully this will allow you to meet others and get in some much needed craft time. There is even a space where you can leave your project layed out in a box lid so it is just as you leave it the next time you come to play. There is a large TV in the kid’s space with a variety of cartoons etc for their entertainment.

So whether you want some time to yourself to craft with others or need to bring the kids so you can get that time to craft, there is a time for you!

You will also find the craft room stocked with papercrafting tools, a die-cut machine, a computer and printer for printing journaling as well as cardstock, printed papers and embellishments for sale.

Please share this post on your facebook page so others will know there is a place to go to scrapbook. Sign up for my mailing list to receive free projects and news of what is happening at the Creatively Carol Craft Room

Motivational Monday – Inspiration for your Halloween Pictures

Motivation for Monday of Halloween is sometimes needed, so as you get your children ready for the school Halloween parade and trick-or-treating tonight, think about getting lots of pictures. It may not seem like it now, but these days don’t last long!  I have taken a layout from the old Studio J files this week because this two page scrapbook layout will let you put the Halloween holiday on just two pages of your scrapbook. Tomorrow when Halloween is behind us, and all that is left are candy wrappers and costumes to get put away, take a few minutes to jot down your thoughts on the pictures you have taken. If you jot it down on a piece of  2½”x 4″ piece of either White Daisy or Colonial White cardstock, you can just add those memories directly to your scrapbook page. You want to do this while things are fresh in your mind!

Nevermore in Studio J Digital Scrapbooking by Close to my Heart What I like about this layout is there are 8 picture wells, plenty for all your little gremlins or 7 if you use the smaller one on the right page as a journaling block.  If you need any help with your layout or suggestions to work the layout around a current My Reflections paper pack, just leave a comment below!

I hope you have enjoyed this Motivational Monday idea.

Cutting Custom SVG Files

Learn to draw your own SVG filesDo you have a Cricut or a Silhouette?  If you are like me you don’t like to have your cutting be limited to a cartridge or things extra you have to buy. When I started with Close to my Heart we didn’t have any connection to a cutting machine.  When the Cricut first came out I bought one and a few cartridges to go with it.  Then Close to my Heart came out with a couple of font discs with fonts to match our stamp sets so you could type your journaling and have them match. I bought a Silhouette and sold my little Cricut.  Discs came out twice and a couple years later Close to my Heart announced they were going to produce exclusive Cricut Cartridges to go with certain stamp sets. I resisted for 2 years, then bought the Cricut Expressions.  Long story short… I now have a Cricut Expressions 2, Cricut Explore Air and a Silhouette!   Some days I think how ridiculous this sounds but I kept the Expressions so my customers here in Utah can use the Close to my Heart cartridges when here in Creatively Carol’s Craft Room.

I don’t like being limited but also don’t want to spend any more money on cartridges and designs than I have to, so I began researching programs to create my own .svg  patterns. The clear choice was Adobe Illustrator but I didn’t want to pay again for another program, after all, I didn’t now if I would even like doing it.

Here are some of the programs the New York Film Academy posted as alternatives to the Adobe Illustrator program.

  1. SVG-Edit  (any browser)
    • This can be used on any modern web browser. SVG-Edit is an editing suite that deals solely in SVG (scalable vector graphics) Six Free Alternatives to Adobe Illustrator which may sound like a restriction but is actually quite useful given the versatility of the format. If you’re scared of getting into SVG editing, you’re missing out, and this will break you in gently. Being a web browser platform also sounds limiting, but again, the speed at which it operates as a result is often superior to desktop counterparts.
  2. Inkscape  (Windows and Linux)
    • As with SVG-Edit, Inkscape is also geared towards those who want to work primarily in the SVG format. Featuring both a clean and intuitive user interface, but packed with advanced futures (such as alpha blending, object cloning and very accurate bitmap tracing), Inkscape comes as a highly recommended free alternative to Adobe Illustrator.
  3. Affinity Designer – for MAC
    • Affinity is a full rasterizing controls, layer management, multiple file format support, infinite zooming and every vector drawing tool you could ever hope for…Affinity Designer could quite possibly become a true illustrator killer. At the moment it’s only available to MAC users as a trial version for free. The full version comes with a price tag of $49.99 with free upgrades for two years, but the free trial is still a remarkably functional and worth a shot if you’re looking for a free editor. It’s even worth it just to play with the infinite zoom function (yes, infinite).
  4. GIMP – All browsers
    • This program works on all platforms, GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program.  GIMP is more of a substitution for Adobe Photoshop Elements rather than Illustrator since it’s vector options are limited but what it can do in terms of image manipulation is second to none. Entirely free, open source, and loved by thousands (which have formed a very active online community since its release).
      • Personally, I found GIMP confusing and downloaded the trial of Adobe Photoshop Elements 15. Last night I received the Costco sales for this next month, and they are offering $40 off so you can buy Elements for $39.99. I will be purchasing this program.
  5. OpenOffice Draw – Windows, Linux and MAC
    • While Apache’s flagship vector illustrator looks a little outdated these days, that’s purely a cosmetic concern. Its still packed with features and is especially geared towards diagram and object manipulation. It also comes with the very handy feature of being able to create Flash (.swf) files from your document.
  6. Serif DrawPlus – Windows
    • The started edition of Serif’s DrawPlus is aimed towards the amateur illustrator given that A) it’s free software, and B) it’s very much scaled-down version of the fuller release, but don’t let that put you off. It’s not limited in any way, there’s no pressure to shell out for the professional edition DrawPlus16, and it does a good job of emulating its heavy weight cousins.

The New York Film Academy says “you might find you need to use a combination of the above free alternatives to Adobe Illustrator to get the job done, but for many people it’ll be worth the cash it saves and you may even find a new favorite.

I will give these a try and let you know my opinion of the offerings, but hopefully in the meantime these may help you create your own cutting designs.