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Mojo Monday Inspiration

It’s Monday so as a way to jumpstart my own creativity I go to visit the Mojo Monday blog post. Julie is discontinuing her Mojo Monday card sketches as life has taken on other priorities and since it certainly isn’t because of a lack of interest I thought I would pick up where she left off. Every Monday I will post a new card sketch and I invite you to submit your interpretation of the sketch to be published on the new site  as well as here at Creatively Carol.  For those of you who come for the Monday Motivation scrapbook sketch, I am moving the scrapbook sketch to Fridays so you can scrap over the weekend.  Just don’t forget to stop by in between Monday and Friday for lots of other useful information.

Here is your Mojo Monday Inspiration #1

Where do you get your Monday Mojo from?Colors posted in this sketch are for distinction of pieces this week. As we move forward I will actually use coordinating colors from Close to my Heart which you are free to add as your Creatively Carol Color Challenge.

I will have a monthly drawing for all participants who send me their creations throughout the month for any of the 3 challenges we have a week:

  • Mojo Monday Card Challenge
  • Creatively Carol Color Challenge
  • Fast Friday Scrapbook Sketch Challenge

Please don’t keep your finished cards and scrapbook pages to yourself, we want to see them!  When you are finished with your card, snap a picture and text it to 801-597-4896 and I will post it here and on so you can link to it and show all your friends!


Page Maps for a Challenge

Do you need a bit of creative inspiration? We all do. Whether it is in your scrapbook page, handmade cards or what to do with the kids during the summer we all need a little help once in a while. In going through some VERY old scrapbook magazines I came across a series of sketches I wanted to share with you. I hope they will inspire all of us to so a bit of scrapbooking during the heat wave the news has been warning us about this week.  Here is the sketch for the day.  Page maps are a great start to your scrapbooking

Leave me a comment below and tell me how will you use the spot that indicates a circle picture? Will you cut your actual photo? Do you have a hard time cutting photos?



How to Make Sandpaper Last Longer

A way to extend the life of sandpaperDo you work with sandpaper? Do you get upset when the sandpaper breaks so easily and quickly when working on a project? ME TOO!    I hope you enjoyed your weekend, mine was busy as I decided I didn’t like the yellow chalk paint I had painted the dresser in what I call “Mom’s Room”.   I knew right after I painted it a few months ago I didn’t like it and had picked up a new color based on the comforter I bought for that room. The problem was, now that I had pulled it out, I thought it was too dark. So on my trip to Walmart to pick up allergy meds I wandered into the craft section – I had originally planned on a stop at JoAnn’s –  I picked up a really pretty chalk paint Waverly Pool. It was a baby blue with cool undertones, and some sandpaper.

I had started sandpapering the dresser on Friday and was really getting frustrated with the sandpaper. I kept thinking there had to be a way to increase the life of the sandpaper when an idea came to mind. I went and got the packing tape!  This wasn’t going to be an easy fix since I bought a sander that had holes so you can contain your dust. (I thought I would be using it more in the craft room than outside).  I punched the sandpaper with the plate included in the box so I knew where the holes were suppose to be, then put packing tape across the back of the sandpaper. then I used a phillips  head screwdriver and poked the hole markings through. It was a bit clumsy but the solution worked. My sandpaper lasted twice as long as without the tape.

Page maps to make scrapbooking easyToday is Motivational Monday and I know you are looking for the sketch to start your week. Today I designed a single page sketch for 1 – 3 photos. The two squares could also be places to put embellishments. There is hidden journaling behind the chevrons. If you need help with how to create the hidden journaling box behind so many pieces – stop back by tomorrow for a tutorial.  Add some extra depth and dimension by sanding each one of the arrow pieces going down. You can choose to sand either with a downward motion or a cross hatch motion, either way applying sanding on your page with add a great look.

Don’t forget to snap a picture and send to me at for your chance to win a stamp set no longer offered by Close to my Heart!

Happy Sanding,



Live Your Life Beautifully…

How many of you know that May is designated National Scrapbooking Month? I’m sure many of you do and as such you would expect Close to my Heart to do something amazing.
Well, I wasn’t disappointed and I don’t think you will be either. On the first of May the perfect scrapbooking kit and album package that will allow you to
showcase how you live your life beautifully! The kit comes with EVERYTHING you need to create 10 beautiful
layouts. Record your memories living live beautifully

Do you notice that even the adhesive and journaling pen have been included? So when I say that the kit contains everything to create an album with 10 pages, I was not kidding … literally everything. To make it even better it is sold at a discount,
and you still get options! So let’s talk about what’s included in this album package.

  • 1  post bound grey or D-ring album of your choice
  • 1  permanent adhesive Tombow Marvy Uchida Journal Pen
  • 1  10 12×12 album pages already printed
  • Side protectors Accessories and embellishments
  • Color instructions guide

Normally all of this would cost you $87.10 but for you the cost is  $68.95 (this is a 20% savings!)

Can you imagine what it would feel like to create a 10-page kit in just a few hours with all the  products that come in the kit? If you are like me you are thinking of how awesome it would be! These layouts would also make a beautiful wedding album for a lucky bride. Before I show you all the beautiful pages you can create take a look at the beautiful scrapbook papers that are included in your kit.

and while this photo is good, the actual papers will take your breath away. If you follow me on Facebook you will see many projects using these beautiful papers.

Scrapbook Papers perfect for a wedding

Here are the layouts you will make with the full color instructions when you buy the entire Live Beautifully Scrapbooking Kit. Did you know you could buy the Live Beautifully Scrapbook Kit without the album for just $44.95

and since all the pieces come cut and ready even a beginning scrapbooker can put these layouts together! You can
















click on any of the pictures to reach the link to purchase them.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or text me.  I am here to serve you!






Scrapbooking Sequential Photos

Creatively Carol Scrapbooking SketchesHappy Monday!  If you have been following my Facebook page you know my husband and I have been on a cruise to the Panama Canal. I created this sketch while looking over the Atlantic from the top deck. See, I am always thinking of things I can do to help you  in your crafting.

Today’s sketch has 3 – 4″ x 6″ photos and a 6″ x 6″ photo on the right side of this two page layout.  Looking at the sketch now I realize I made the space on the diagram a 6″ x 4″.

This is a great layout if you have a series of photos taken seconds apart showing slight differences then use the right side for your focal picture.

As you know, I favor two page layouts. About nine years ago we had a very large blank wall in the house we had moved to in Arkansas.  I had this great idea to take 9  twelve by twelve frames from Michael’s and put them in a square so I began creating single page layouts of the grand kids. I never got everyone finished before we moved from the house so now I have to go back and create a 2nd page to go with the single layout I created so long ago.  I will take the left side of this sketch and match it with the older layout.  I do have to have the three photos printed but will post the results next week.

Do you favor one or two page layouts? Do these scrapbook sketches help you? Leave me a comment below and tell me your preferences. How would you scrap sequential photos?


It’s Motivational Monday – Single Page Sketch for 3-4 Photos

Happy April!

Are you ready for today’s scrapbook sketch? I don’t know about where you live, but April has certainly come in like a lamb here in Utah, but I hear the lion is about to rear his ugly head with rain and wind today. Sounds like a perfect day to get a long awaited scrapbook page completed. In today’s single page scrapbook sketch we have a great page for beginners. There is no need to crop your photos down as this sketch features 3 of your standard 4 x 6 photos. a simple scrapbook sketchYou will want two vertical and one horizontal if your are going to follow the scrapbook sketch exactly.

When I completed this sketch I used a paper tearing technique to add some depth to the upper side of the layout and a middle strip for contrast.

While my finished layout has the who, what, where and why it is missing the when of the journaling. While this page is part of a vacation series to Nashville in the 90’s I neglected to reference the actual date anywhere.

Now as you may recall, I have a strict rule against re-doing scrapbook pages I am not opposed however to adding to them when part of the story is left out so I will go back today and add the date (as soon as I can find it).

Scrapbook sketches or page maps as they are also referred to can be a great wake up to your own creativity. They give you a base but leave lots of room for your own additions. How will you interpret this scrapbook sketch? Don’t forget to send me a picture of your layout so you can be entered into the April Layouts giveaway.  Leave a comment below and tell me how you made this sketch your own.

A Page Map for a Quick Two Page Layout

This week I have a two page layout for you with a 5″ x 7″ focal picture on the left along with the title of your layout. The patterned paper as a base can serve as your embellishment or you have plenty of room to add some.

On the right I have put three  4″ x 6″ photos and a 4″ x 4″  journaling box. You can put a mat under the photos or just attach directly to the page.

Creatively Carol SketchesNow that you have the sketch, use it to create your own adaptation of the sketch and e-mail it to me with the words “Sketch 20170328  I would like to post the layouts so others can see different ways to interpret the sketch.

Check back later in the week to see my take on the Motivational Monday Sketch.



Meet-Up Group Closing by Craft Room Still Open

ToDo you miss a place to scrapbook with others?day I made the decision to close my Meet-Up group. I was disappointed that while people joined the meet-up as members, only one person in six months ever came.  Closing made me sad, yet there is no point on spending money one something if no one comes.

I started the Meet-Up group because I wanted to provide a space where friends could come together to scrapbook and make cards. With most of  the physical scrapbook stores closing it left a void so I tried to fill it. I don’t know if it didn’t work because people are reluctant to go to a house of a stranger or another reason.  I tried adding a daylight time so people could feel safer and invited them to bring a friend so they were not alone. I just don’t know.

I have invited everyone to join my mailing list so I may continue to offer classes and crops, but only time will tell if they will take advantage of the free gifts I offer for joining.  I will continue to offer free classes and crop time.

Leave a comment and tell me your thoughts on the situation. I value your opinion



What to Wear in Your Family Portraits

Answering all your creative questionsHow do you decide what to wear for family pictures? We are having some outdoor pictures done the end of April. Ideas? Advice?

Deciding what to wear in family pictures can be overwhelming  task. Here are some ideas that can help you decide on the best choice for YOUR family photos.

1. Pick a Color Theme Color theme for family portrait

You want to pick a color theme. Colors that pop always make great photos but you want to consider what background colors will be used. Are you having your photos taken in a studio – then your photographer can choose a background that works with your color choice. If you are to be outside with a green background then you want to avoid using green as your color theme because you will blend into the background leaving your photo bland. Choosing a color that pops will give great contrast to your photo.

2.  Show Individuality but Cohesiveness

Another great idea allows each person some individuality but still gives you that put-together look. Are you a big sports family? Allow each person to wear their favorite jersey. You may all be fans of the same team or you may have a hold out for another team but either way the theme of football (or your sport of choice) keeps things coordinated..


3.  Choose a Focal Point

If you are still having trouble deciding here is a great idea. Shop around to find one patterned piece that you love. It can be a little girls floral dress or a boys plaid shirt, but if you find one central piece, it helps to plan everything around that. Since as mothers we  like our kids to be the focal point, I would  suggest choosing an outfit for one child and working around that one. You could also use this opportunity to buy yourself that dress you’ve loved and then choose colors within that dress for the kids.

        4.  Pull it Together with Accessories

Sweaters, jewelry,  headbands,  a scarf, tights, hats and ties all add dimension and texture to your photo not to mention a richness to your photo. you could use different color headbands for the girls to spread out the color and two shirts on the guys .. like a t-shirt with a button up flannel over it.

5. Consider the time

Before you set up your appointment for your family portrait make sure you write down your family’s basic schedule. It will help you see which times may be better than others. Consider nap time – or even afternoon snack time as bad times for a photo shoot. There is a reason the line in the portrait shops are low at noon or 2:30 when kids get out of school! If you are doing portraits on a week day, consider  which is before nap time when kids are tired and more uncooperative or after snack time so they are satiated and nothing spills on the clothes you so painstakingly put together.

FiGrammie and her childrennally, if you are reading this AFTER the pictures have been taken, there is one way to still insure that cohesiveness you are striving for.  Hopefully you have the rights to the photos and thus the digital copy, you can pull the photo up in your favorite photo editing software and change the color tones to sepia or black and white. In this world full of color a black and white portrait can lend a very classic feel to your photo.

Leave a comment on what you do for YOUR family portraits.

8 Important Reasons You Should Journal

Journal your photosI have talked about journaling many times in the last several years and do you know why?  Behind every picture is a story, a reason you grabbed your camera at that very moment to snap the picture. So I thought today I would give you the Top 10 Reasons YOU Should Journal.

  1. We forget. At last report we are all human and as such, we have memory problems at some point in our lives. There is nothing to be ashamed about – it happens to the best of us. This is why writing down your story is so important.  Imagine that tomorrow you are out for your daily walk and you are struck by a car and get severe amnesia. Will anyone else know all that you remember about the pictures you too? Will people even know who the pictures are of?
  2. To pass on personal thoughts, insights and memories to future generations. This ties in with #1. You can be sure that your grandkids won’t know who is in the photo and will probably toss them out. (have you noticed the younger adults don’t keep much “stuff”?)
  3. To include special memories and even inside jokes that you simple cannot convey thru just paper and embellishments? Like the time my grandmother would tell “hairlip” jokes at Christmas. We KNOW they are politically incorrect, mean spirited and just not acceptable – but we sure did laugh when she did it. Ok, this memory you might want to put into hidden journaling. Grammy would never have said these outside her house to anyone, but I don’t think I will ever forget that night.
  4. To create vivid snapshots of the personalities of our treasured family members. Mary Ellen Ingram Ingraham As I go through my family history on Sundays I often look at the stern faces from the late 1800’s and wonder if the people were always grumpy or if this was just a bad picture day. I know life was a lot harder then, but what made them tick, and made them smile? As time passes, the people with the answers pass and no one is there to answer the question about Great Aunt Mary Ellen Ingraham.
  5. To capture your exact feelings, moods and emotions related to particular events. The photo might be of your son on the floor playing with his son. The photo alone you would think “oh that’s nice” but the photo doesn’t show you that while watching the two of them I had tears in my eyes because it reminded me of being on the floor playing with my own children.  Photos only begin to tell the story. The old saying “A picture says a thousand words” and while you might think it so, unless you tell, those words will be buried along with the photos.
  6. To leave a sampling of your handwriting. You might hate your handwriting and typing is easier, but you don’t know what sweet memories it may invoke in a loved one.  I can’t tell you how much I love to look at my grandmother’s recipes, in her own handwriting and cooking stains.
  7. To remember details. You might remember a friend from grade school, but do you remember how they became your friend? What you did together that was special?
  8. To give dimension to the story of your life and character to the people you know.  You want the people that come after you to know about you – go back to #6 as an example.

In short, journaling is important not only for you when you get forgetful, but the ones that follow you in the next life.

Thin Cuts Cuttlebug Dies are 25% off during March

Thin Cuts at 25% offHave you had an opportunity to use any of Close To My Heart’s Thin Cuts with your Paper Crafting projects yet?  They are pretty nifty, if I do say so myself.  Super easy to use and they produce a clean-cut line every time!  While I really do love my non-stick Micro-Tip Scissors… it definitely beats the old way of fussy cutting for hours on end, in my opinion.

Thin Cuts are thin metal dies for cutting specific titles, sentiments, and a wide variety of shapes that match specific stamps set within the Close To My Heart line.  Each set of Thin Cuts are packaged on a magnetic sheet and work well with most die-cutting machines.  For a quick storage idea I store mine in our 4″ x 6″ protector sheets inside of one of our Everyday Life Albums.

All Thin Cuts on Sale – 25% off during the month of March!

Thin Cuts give you a fast and easy way to cut all kinds of shapes for your crafting, and this month they are all available at 25%-off! Choose from titles, sentiments, and a wide variety of shapes to stamp on, so you can get precise, dimensional shapes in no time!

Looking for the list of Thin Cuts on sale during the month of March?  Look no further…

Thin Cuts—Hearts (Z3260, $14.95, $11.21, Annual Inspirations p. 79)

Thin Cuts—Stars (Z3261, $14.95, $11.21, Annual Inspirations p. 79)

Thin Cuts—Happy (Z3258, $13.95, $10.46, Annual Inspirations p. 79)

Thin Cuts—Love (Z3257, $10.95, $8.21, Annual Inspirations p. 79)

Thin Cuts—Hello & Thanks (Z3259, $11.95, $8.96, Annual Inspirations p. 79)

Thin Cuts—Celebrate (Z3256, $13.95, $10.46, Annual Inspirations p. 79)

Thin Cuts—XOXO (Z3305, $10.95, $8.21, Seasonal Expressions 1 p. 51)

Thin Cuts—Happy Birthday (Z3304, $9.95, $7.46, Seasonal Expressions 1 p. 51)

Thin Cuts—Basic Hearts (Z3317, $12.95, $9.71, Seasonal Expressions 1 p. 52)

Thin Cuts—Basic Circles (Z3318, $12.95, $9.71, Seasonal Expressions 1 p. 52)

Hello Lovely Cardmaking  Thin Cuts Bundle  (Z3301,$28.95, $21.71, Seasonal Expressions 1 p. 10)

Sugar Rush Cardmaking  Thin Cuts Bundle (Z3300, $23.95, $17.96, Seasonal Expressions 1 p. 20)

Dreamin’ Big Cardmaking  Thin Cuts Bundle (Z3303, $23.95, $17.96, Seasonal Expressions 1 p. 30)

Some Kinda Wonderful Cardmaking  Thin Cuts Bundle (Z3302, $23.95, $17.96, Seasonal Expressions 1 p. 40)

Offer available March 1–March 31, 2017 while supplies last

Thin Cuts by Close to my Heart will make your life easier!







Tea-rrific Teacups, March Stamp of the Month

Tea Cups Stamp SetAs a little girl my Grammie would give me teacups for Christmas. This started when I was probably 10 so I was too young to appreciate the significance of her sharing the collection with myself, my sisters and female cousins. While my Grammie is waiting in heaven, I have her teacups as a reminder of how her cup was always running over with the love she had for all of us.

It looks like it is time for Tea with this month’s Tea-rrific—March Stamp of the Month. You can enjoy playing  with the stamp set too, just by adding it to your cart at full retail price of $17.95 OR, with your qualifying order of $50, add it at checkout for the promotional price of $5.00. You only have until March 31st, to purchase it.

The card here uses: Sugar Rush  Paper Pack X7215B

This teacup stamp set would be great for Mother’s Day, or you could send it for a get well card and include your favorite tea as a pick me up. Other ideas could be a card to brighten the day of someone dealing with a difficult situation. You may not be close enough to have her over for tea, but include the tea bag is the next best thing. Pair this card with a gift of a tea cup, tea bags and a miniature bottle of brandy. It might be just the thing to help her through the tough time.

If you need help making this card or ordering the supplies to make it, please contact me at 801-597-4896.

Tea-riffic is a great stamp set for all your feminine cards covering a wide assortment of ocassions and sure to make that special friend smile!


It’s National Craft Month and I made an 18″ Doll Bed

I made my granddaughters canopy beds for their American Girl 18″ dolls beds for Christmas.Canopy Bed for American Girl Doll This is my favorite month here on the blog and you know why? It is the one month of the year I feel like I can share all sorts of crafting projects with you. I am sure most of you will agree that we cannot live by papercrafting alone. I have done so many types of crafting in my lifetime from embroidery on burlap, as well as the normal surfaces to sewing to candle making and so so many in between. And this is the month I feel free to share my other projects with you.  If I receive a good response in the comment section during the month, I will start sharing projects throughout the year.

Today I want to share with you the doll beds I made for my granddaughter’s 18″ doll. I looked at some online and was glad MY daughter was an adult and these dolls were not around when she was little. The dolls are not cheap, but you can customize them to match your little girl’s features. However, I could not bring myself to pay so much for the beds I saw online so I decided to make them each a canopy bed from PVC. I wanted the beds to be portable since they go camping during the summer and these are small enough to fit in the camper.

This doll bed is really fun and easy to put together. Just think of it like Tinker Toys for adults! I have included measurements below for cutting your PVC so you can make this yourself. I will tell you, regular craft paint from your local craft store did not do a good job covering the pieces. I tried to use the metallic paint but it had a hard time as you can see by the picture. Fortunately my 9 and 10 year old granddaughters just thought it looked cool.

PVC poles for making 18" doll canopy bed

To make this bed yourself you will need 2 pieces of PVC pipe which run about $2.15 as of today.  I chose to use 1/2″ because I was afraid the quarter inch would break to easily. Each piece of PVC  comes in 120″ lengths ( 10 ft)so for this project you will need 2 pieces.



Materials List:Parts for 18" Doll Bed

  • 2 lengths of PVC Sprinkler Pipe (or 152″ of pipe)
    • 4 pieces pvc cut @ 24″ each
    • 4 pieces pvc cut @ 9″each
    • 4 pieces pvc cut @ 5″ each
  • 4 – T fittings
  • 8 – elbow fittings

Put together as shown.  You can permanently glue pipes into fittings if desired. I chose not to so it could be taken apart and stored if the girls wanted or for traveling. If you have any questions, please leave it below in the comments so others that are wondering the same thing can see the answer here.

Tomorrow I will talk about the bedding for an 18″ Doll Bed

What is a Focal Picture?

Can you determine the focal point?What are Focal Points?

Artists should understand  how to create a strong focal point in their photographs as well as their scrapbook pages.  Focal points refer to the areas of the artwork that command the viewer’s attention.  Intelligent placement of your main image  can positively affect the overall feel of the page.

In creating a good scrapbook page you need to create the place where your viewer’s eye naturally is guided. This is called your focal point. When you lay out all your photos for an event, choose which one you want everyone to notice. For instance: You are scrapbooking your child’s baptism. You will most likely have pictures of people who attended, the baptismal font or whatever body of water used, etc. Since this is your child’s baptism you may want to have the main focus on your child’s face the moment they come up out of the water. The joy of knowing that for the moment they are completely without sin. This can be done in a multitude of ways.


One way to create a focal point in art is through the use of contrast. Contrast refers to difference. Any type of difference in image will make the photo stand out and thus becoming a focal point. Difference or contrast can come in many different forms.  Color and shape, are just a couple of ways you can contrast.  By combining elements, you can increase the contrast that is created, thus strengthening the focal point. So having the focal picture larger than the other photos on the page, or changing up the matting options under the photo of your child discussed above.


Another way to create a focal point in artwork is through isolation. Whenever one object or element is separated from a group it becomes isolated and so it becomes a focal point. So for instance, If you have a set up photos as in the sketch posted here, by putting the picture you want people to notice in the center, away from the row of smaller pictures it becomes your focal point.


Photos that are placed in the center of the picture plane or near center, will naturally become a focal point. Most of the time, a focal point that is not exactly center is preferred. By placing your photo  just off center, you can create a focal point through placement without changing the feel of the page.


A fourth way to create a focal point  is to use implied lines to direct a viewer’s eye to an object or element. We talked about this when we talked about the Rule of Three.

The Unusual

Another way to create a focal point in scrapbooking your pages  is to introduce an object or element that is unusual to the scene. For instance, you attach your focal picture with 3D Tape so it jumps right off the page. This photo will stand out and demand attention thus creating a focal point.

2″ Square Photos Let You See the Full Picture

Using a scrapbook sketch helps creative blockSometimes when we scrap an event it is virtually impossible to limit yourself to 5-6 photos. Today’s scrapbook sketch will help you add lots of photos. This scrapbook sketch has room for 24 pictures.

If you don’t want to use a 5 x 7 as your left focus point you can use a smaller photo. I would double mat the photo so it stands to draw your eye.

After you finish your layout take a picture and text it to me at 801-597-4896 so I can post it here and enter you into the drawing for this month’s scrapbook Sketch.