Monday, December 24, 2012

It's Christmas Eve!

And it is snowing here! It's absolutely beautiful. We will have a white Christmas. I am so excited! Are you?

I meant to post this earlier, to give you more time to make one of your own, but this could still be a potential craft for Christmas Eve (you still have a few shopping hours left).

Remember my pumpkins at Thanksgiving made from old books? Well, I discovered how to make a Christmas tree from an old book. And they go much faster than the pumpkins. Aren't they pretty?

Here are the instructions:
Once again, we start with an old Harlequin romance. The Highwayman and the Lady are about to get in the holiday spirit.


Remove the cover and split into sections of about 50 pages. You can typically get at least two trees out of one of these books. Fold the first page down as shown below. I recommend using a bone folder to get a nice sharp crease.

Now fold up the bottom corner to meet the top corner. If you are working with a taller book, you may need to overlap this bottom fold a bit (see sample pics toward the end of the post).

Now fold the page down again to meet the binding of the book.

Continue on with the rest of the pages. As you go along, it will start to look like this. 

You should end up with two halves, approximately 50 pages or so each.

Now glue the two bindings together. Ignore the rubber cement in the back. I found that hot glue worked better.

And here are the two pieces rejoined.

Now spray on some glitter--I used gold, silver or green but there are some gorgeous glitter sprays out there. Turquoise or bright pink would be beautiful.

Trim your trees with a few accessories or just go for a bare tree. They are pretty plain as well.

I did make a couple of trees with old magazines and larger books to give me a little variety in size. I mentioned above you might need to fold up the bottom flap farther for a taller book. Here is a sample of those folds (and yes that is an old computer programming manual--great way to recycle).

And there you have it. The middle tree in this picture was made from a Martha Stewart Living Magazine. I like the colors the photos added.

I'm giving these out at the family Christmas Eve party. They were easy, inexpensive and I think they turned out really pretty.

And on that note, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! May it be full of family, friends, fun and fond memories! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

It may not be the end of the world...

but it is the end of the life cycle for some of our Close to My Heart products. And I figured that today, the day after the Mayan calendar ended, would be a great day to publish the retiring products list. The list of products at the end of this post are available until January 31st or while supplies last. And many of the accessories do sell out before the end of January.

So do some last minute Christmas shopping here on my website or directly from me! And don't forget if you order $35.00 in product between now and January 31st, you can get this fabulous goody, Whoo's Your Valentine, for just $10.00.

The stamp set in this kit is worth $17.95 alone and look at how cute it is! All sorts of potential beyond Valentine's Day.

Happy Stamping and Scrapping! Happy Doomsday! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Get them while they last!

Item # Item Description Page # Autumn/Winter 2012 Idea Book
Z1349 Shimmer Designer Brads 127
Z1360 Rhinestone Designer Brads 127
Z1361 Brads Red Assortment  127
Z1362 Brads Pink Assortment 127
Z1363 Brads Blue Assortment 127
Z1364 Brads Green Assortment 127
Z1365 Brads Basic Assortment 127
Z1387 Wooden Designer Buttons 125
Z1391 Buttons Clear Assortment 125
Z1395 Irresistibles™ Eclectic Chipboard Die-Cuts (the alphabet) 130
Z1465 Irresistibles™ Make-It-Count Numbers 130
Z1681 Dimensional Elements  Numbers  131
Z1761 Dimensional Elements Ornaments 131
Z1762 Dimensional Elements Snowflakes 131
Z1765 Color-Ready Arbor Wooden Shapes 130
X7147C Stella Complements Canvas Shapes 68
X7148C My Stickease® Pemberley Assortment 68
X7150C My Stickease® Victory Assortment 69
X7153C My Stickease® Florentine Assortment 69
X7158C La Belle Vie My Stickease® Assortment 38
X7160C Flirty Complements Dimensional Elements 50
X7161C Moonlight Complements Dimensional Elements 56
X7162C Pear & Partridge Complements Glittery Rub-Ons 62
Z1464 Milepost Shapes 128
Z1466 Bling Assortment 128
Z1695 Urban Felt Alphabet  130
Z1696 Keepsake Felt Alphabet  130
Z1709 Just Blooms® Petals Paper Flowers 129
Z1460 Foundry® Ribbon Slides 126
Z1711 Foundry® Binder Clips 126
Z1712 Foundry® Number Plates  126
Z1461 D├ęcor Journaling Spots 129
Z1687 Bohemian Assortment  128
Z1689 Timeless Charms 128
Z1692 Tough Tags 128
Z1694 Bouquet Assortment 128
Z1741 Haunted Assortment 128
Z1749 Autumn Lane Assortment  128
Z1763 Boutique Assortment 128
Z1772 Dimensional Elements In Color—Holiday 128
Z1393 Mini-Medley Accents Black Collection  126
Z1316 Designer Ribbon Cocoa Collection                                                                                 124
Z1385 Designer Ribbon Blue Collection 124
Z1615 Designer Ribbon Red Collection 124
Z1616 Designer Ribbon Green Collection 124
Z1388 Newsprint Rub-Ons  130
Z1700 Dark Chocolate Tapestry Velvet Rub-Ons 126
Z1733 Black Tapestry Velvet Rub-Ons 126
Z1743 Festive Velvet Rub-Ons  126
Z1742 Parlor Velvet Rub-Ons 126
Z1407 6" x 6" Olive Quick Pic™ Album 122
Z1408 6" x 6" Pansy Purple Quick Pic™ Album 122
Z1054 My Creations® Display Album 132
Z1378 My Creations® Banner 132
Z1614 My Creations® Memory Game 132
Z188 Craft Jars 120
Z1352 4 1/2" Colonial White Circle Cards 123
Z1353 4 1/2" White Daisy Circle Cards 123
Z1731 My Originals® Sweet Surprises Card Kit 123
X7147B My Reflections® Stella Paper Packet 68
X7148B My Reflections® Pemberley Paper Packet 68
X7150B My Reflections® Victory Paper Packet 69
X7153B My Reflections® Florentine Paper Packet 69
X7158B La Belle Vie Paper Packet  38
X7160B Flirty Paper Packet 50
X7161B Moonlight Paper Packet 56
X7162B Pear & Partridge Paper Packet 62
Z1252 Cutting Knife 135
G1041 Workshops on the Go® Avonlea Cardmaking Kit 22
G1043 Workshops on the Go® Pear & Partridge Cardmaking Kit 66
G1040 Workshops on the Go® Spellbound Cricut® Kit 14
G1042 Workshops on the Go® Scroll Album Kit 23
G1044 Workshops on the Go® Advent Calendar Kit 67
G1045 Workshops on the Go® Avonlea Scrapbooking Kit 21
G1046 Workshops on the Go® Clementine Scrapbooking Kit 29
G1047 Workshops on the Go® Dakota Scrapbooking Kit 35
G1048 Workshops on the Go® La Belle Vie Scrapbooking Kit  41
G1049 Workshops on the Go® Scholastic Scrapbooking Kit 47
G1050 Workshops on the Go® Flirty Scrapbooking Kit 53
G1051 Workshops on the Go® Moonlight Scrapbooking Kit 59
G1052 Workshops on the Go® Pear & Partridge Scrapbooking Kit 65

Item # Item Description Page # Spring/Summer 2012 Idea Book
A1104 A Tweet 90
A1111 A Tulip 68
A1116 A Melody 94
A1122 Bravo 92
A1128 Quick Cards—Shell 80
A1129 A Rainbow 85
B1365 Spring Up 71
B1369 Rosy Regards 67
B1374 Bee Happy 83
B1397 He Is Risen 74
B1402 My Peeps 72
C1439 Enjoy Life 95
C1440 Take a Picture 93
C1442 Tailor-Made 94
C1450 Eclectic Edges 99
C1452 Delight 71
C1455 Aspire 96
C1456 Heartfelt Treasures 68
C1457 Happy Camper 84
C1458 Paper Lantern 90
C1473 Remarkable Wreath 70
C1474 10 Things 105
C1485 Super Powers 47
C1498 Country Life 82
C1499 Perfect Day 80
D1195 The Works Alphabet 117
D1222 Tiny Typewriter Alphabet 117
D1296 Chocolate Alphabet Small 114
D1301 Hodge Podge Alphabet 114
D1303 Classmate Alphabet 114
D1462 Splendid Day 77
D1464 Card Chatter—Love 106
D1467 Trees & Things 76
D1472 Simple Memories 66
D1478 Bingo Alphabet 113
D1505 Roar! 89
D1508 Diverse Backgrounds 102
D1509 Magic Adventures 78
D1511 Kick Back 81
E1013 Field Trip Alphabet 114

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Joy to the World

It is snowing here and absolutely beautiful outside. It almost feels like a blessing after yesterday's tragedy in Newtown, CT. My heart still hurts for the families of those lost but the snow is a beautiful reminder that the world is good.

Today's little project is to remind us of the same. This is a joyful time of year and the snow is so complementary to these darling Joy blocks. The lovely Renae Fennema designed these using our Monogram stamps, Avonlea papers, the beautiful slate satin polka-dot ribbon, and My Creations Blocks. I'm considering taking four blocks, using the same papers and making some that say Snow.

By the way, if you love Monograms, watch this little video. It gives great inspiration with our Monogram stamps. So much fun!

May you all have a joyful and beautiful day! Hug your loved ones tight and enjoy the season!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy 12/12/12!

It's the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12th year of this century! And, if she cooperates, the birthday of my newest niece! And only 12 days left until Christmas! Wow! Sounds like a day to celebrate to me. And so I am celebrating. I have taken the day off work, I'm scrapping the year 2012 (part of Stacy Julian's 12/12/12 class at, and just enjoying the day.

Wishing you all a fabulous 12/12/12!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Cards

I am a big fan of both sending and receiving Christmas cards. I know some people think it is a hassle, I know some people prefer to do something online, but I love getting happy mail. It's such a nice thing to open your mail box and have something other than junk mail, bills and magazines. So I faithfully send out cards every year. And yes, I do try to make them.

In the old days, my Christmas cards were pretty elaborate. As life got more crazy, I've learned to keep them simple. So I'm toying with three different cards this year. Which is your favorite?

The first is the simplest--just the basics, white card base, stamps and ink. The second is the most involved with the twine, but you gotta love the twine! And the third is a good balance between the two. I'm kind of leaning to the third.

If you are thinking of making cards this year but don't want to spend too much time, you might want to check out the CTMH Pear & Partridge card kit. It really does make card making faster, simpler and easier! And there's still time to get it before Christmas!

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy December 1st! Let the Countdown Begin!

December is upon us! And with it, I am unleashing the full Christmas force!

First of all, be sure to check out the shopping link on my website, Today, there are new items at a significant discount added to the While Supplies Last section. You may want to get some Christmas shopping done while the deals last! And this month, for every $50 purchased, you'll get a free bonding memories glue with your order.

And now, are you ready for the Christmas countdown? I have at least seven advent calendars (there may be a couple more boxed up). We like to anticipate Christmas around here. Here is a fantastic little advent calendar that you could pull together for fun.

I don't have tutorial photos as I made this one a while ago but hopefully, I can explain it in such a way that you could make it yourself. If not, ask me any questions. I'm happy to help out.

You'll need the following:

  • 24 matchboxes (I just bought the inexpensive mini matchboxes at the grocery store and dumped out the matches--we tried to light them all at once thinking it would make a fantastic fire but were a bit disappointed).
  • 2 pieces of chipboard or thin wood for the top and bottom (mine were cut at 4x4--it will all depend on the size of your matchboxes)
  • Acrylic paint--I used antique white
  • Miscellaneous bits of paper, stamped items, buttons, sparkles, doo dads and other fun things for decorating the matchboxes
  • Ribbon or something to use as pulls for the finished matchbox drawers
  • Number stamps or a good pen for putting numbers on the drawers

Paint the inside of the matchboxes (the part that will be the drawer) on all sides and the chipboard. I did not paint the outer part of the matchbox as I planned on covering that up but you could depending on how you decide to decorate. Make sure the inside of the matchboxes are dry before you put them back inside so they don't stick.

On the first piece of chipboard, glue your first four matchboxes. Place them to form a square so that one matchbox opens to each side. Glue another layer of matchboxes on top of that one and then one more on top of that so you have three drawers opening on each side. Now, reverse with your next layer so that the drawers will be on the opposite corner of the stack opening out (for example, three drawers on the bottom right, three now on the top left). Glue the next two layers on. Now glue on the final piece of chipboard for the top.

Decorate! I put cardstock or patterned paper on the sides of the matchboxes so that didn't show. I stamped numbers on the front of each drawer and punched a tiny hole through which I inserted ribbon (knotted on the inside) to use as drawer pulls. I added accessories to decorate and make it Christmasy. Fun and easy and not terribly expensive. And besides, you just got yourself a supply of matches.

The drawers are tiny but a lifesaver or a similarly sized candy fits inside perfectly. If you wanted to make this with bigger matchboxes, you could put some much bigger prizes inside (keeping in mind it would be a much bigger advent calendar).

Happy Counting Down to Christmas!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Decorating

Christmas decorating at my house can be.... ummmm... a bit stressful. You see, my mother is the Queen of Christmas. She has a minimum of four Christmas trees, she has Christmas decor in every room, and her home is Christmas magic. Just ask my kids. They will tell you that no one's home is more magical than my mom's at Christmas. Even though my mom has never put the pressure on me to match her decorating, I think I have felt this incredible need to make the holidays as magical as my mom made them for us and continues to make them for her grandkids. But when I start decorating, it is anything but magical. With the exception of putting up the "fun" Christmas tree, my family does their best to stay out of my way.  Once I'm done, all is well, at least until it is time to take it all down.

This year, with Thanksgiving being earlier in the month, I have resolved not to become the Christmas Decorating Grinch. On Sunday afternoon, we took down the minimal Thanksgiving decor I had and we put up the "fun" tree. I did not lose my patience once in the whole evening. And I was proud of myself. When the tree was done, we cleaned up and I lived with the empty mantel and other surfaces that were awaiting Christmas decor.

Tonight, I did a bit more. The stockings are hung, some of my favorite decorations are up. And once again, I quit while I was ahead. I figure about another hour or so tomorrow and then an hour to put up my Nativity Tree on Saturday (I need my husband's help for that one) and I will be done. Could it be I'm turning over a new leaf? I think it's more likely the four day weekend and fun with family and friends has lowered my stress level and saved me from my usual overwhelmed self.

In the spirit of Christmas decorating, I pulled these little gifts out tonight.

These were made for me last year by Michelle Beck using pre-cut wood and Close to My Heart paper. I don't remember if I posted them last year or not but even if I did, they are worth another post. These would make such simple, fast Christmas gifts. Not overwhelming at all!

So Merry Christmas everyone! May your decorating be as stress free as mine this year! And may your holidays be magical!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you are all somewhere warm and safe with those you love and a lot of yummy food!

I've had some friends and work clients on the east coast who have been and are still being affected by Hurricane Sandy. If on this Thanksgiving day, you are one of those who is fortunate enough to be warm, safe and dry, give thanks and consider using your stamping and scrapping habit to help support them.  For every November Stamp of the Month, Capture the Date, purchased, Close to My Heart will donate $1.00 to the Red Cross. And to thank you for your qualifying purchase of $50 plus the $5.00 Stamp of the Month, you can choose any A-E or M size stamp set at 50% off!

Because it is Thanksgiving, I want to offer you a little something in thanks for your support too. For every qualifying $50.00 purchase, whether on my website or directly from me, I will throw in a free stamp pad or A size stamp set. If you purchase $75.00 to $100, choose a B size stamp set or a paper packet of your choice. For $101 to $149, choose a cardstock packet or a C size stamp set. And for $150.00, you'll pick up $25 in free stuff as you'll qualify as a hostess AND I'll throw in a D size stamp set. (If ordering online, contact me to get your freebie or I will follow up with you as the website won't recognize my special offering). So if you've been considering scrapbooking/stamping gifts for anyone this Christmas (including yourself) or just need to stock up on some supplies, now is a good time to do it. I will honor this offer from today, November 22nd through  Monday night, November 26th at midnight. Close to My Heart will honor the Red Cross donation for every stamp of the month purchased through midnight, November 30th.

So hug your loved ones, enjoy your turkey and take some time to shop from the comfort of your own home. No Black Friday mobs, you're shopping local and you're supporting a good cause.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall Comes and goes...

Doesn't it seem like Fall kind of gets lost between Summer and Winter? It feels that way to me this year. Just a little too short. So before Thanksgiving and the Christmas festivity that follows, here are a couple of layouts that celebrate Fall. These use the Flirty paper packet and the Flirty Dimensional Elements. There were layouts available to my Cherish Your Memories Scrapbook Class attendees this month. If you really love it, it's easy. There was only one bit of stamping (two tiny banners on the first layout). You could easily substitute some ribbon or patterned paper for those and make these on you own.
Inspired by the wonderful Ginni Candelaria
This one I designed all by my lonesome

So here's to Fall. Maybe over Thanksgiving break, I'll take a few photos just for these. I need to savor Fall a little longer before I dive into Christmas.

Take care all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Fall!

It seems like we just celebrated Halloween and suddenly I realize it is the 13th of November?! Time flies. We've already had the first snow at my house and I'm getting excited for the holidays.

I don't have a lot of Thanksgiving decor. I put up some leaves, a pilgrim or two, a little village my mom gave me long ago and call it good. It's kind of a nice change after all the Halloween spookiness and before the massive Christmas decorating.  But this year, the wonderfully talented ladies at Scrapping Girlfriends in Twin Falls, ID had shared a fun fall craft with me made from old books. It turned out to be a great addition to my fall decor and I even shared it with my stamp club. So here goes:

Altered Book Pumpkins

Get an old book from your library book sale or the local thrift store. The Rebellious Ward is perfect! Harlequin Romances seem to be the perfect size for this project--you don't want more than about 250 pages per pumpkin. Not to say a bigger book can't be used, you just may want to divide the book into multiple sections instead of just two (a student dictionary ended up making three pumpkins). The more pages the more unwieldy it gets as you work. 
Remove the cover and carefully divide the book into two even parts by cutting down the binding with an Xacto knife. Draw a half circle on the halves. Remember to leave a flat piece on the bottom so your pumpkin will stand.
Using an xacto knife, carefully cut into the half circle shape. 
Now ink your edges. I used chocolate ink and inked the edges really well every few pages.
Taking two pages at a time, crumple the pages. Don't be shy about this but don't get carried away and rip the pages out of the book either.
You should end up with two halves that look similar to this.
Next, apply hot glue down the binding and glue the two halves back together. 

 You should end up with something like this. Now, it's time to accessorize!
Here we have The Rebellious Ward all dressed up for Fall!
And here she is with her friend, a student dictionary!
Happy Fall!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Hallows Eve!

From ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!
            ~Scottish Saying

Actually, I can't wait for the ghoulies and ghosties to show up on my doorstep trick or treating. We are in full Halloween mode here! No crafting today--just tricks and treats!

Here's a few shots of my own scary creatures. 

(It's very difficult to get a serious picture with this bunch.)

The Maid of Horror
Have a very Happy and Safe Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Round about the cauldron go;
in the poison'd entrail throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot

Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
            -Shakespeare's Macbeth

I received the following thank you from the lovely Sheri Rottler for a project I designed for a scrapbook retreat she did (don't worry--I plan to post the project later when it is a little more seasonally appropriate).

See how clever Sheri was in making the card easy to attach to a bottle!

But the most charming part is the bottle itself.
No, it is not a witches brew, just a bottle of Tabasco sauce, but I absolutely adore it. I am pulling out my Magic Potions stamp set and some Moonlight paper and heading to the store for Tabasco (she made some up with green chili sauce too) to brew up a few for friends. I think you should too.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?

Either way, every witch needs a broomstick and here is a great party favor or easy craft that even kids can make.

Use a brown or black licorice stick and place in a clear bag. I used a 1x8 bag from You may want to let the licorice sit in the air for a bit so it's not quite as sticky when you put it in the bag.

Cut the following shape using the Cricut Close to My Heart Artiste cartridge. It's on the sewing button but as I don't sew, I don't know what it's actually supposed to be.

I sponged the edges a bit and then attached it to the licorice with a glue dot and wrapped it around, securing it in place with another glue dot. Add a cute stamped tag (I used Perfect Fit--Halloween), tied on with a bit of hemp.
Oh, so cute! Thank you Sheri Rottler for the fantastic idea!

Happy Halloween!