Thursday, December 31, 2009

January SOTM

I did not get signed up in time to join the Stamp of the Month Blog Hop for January but this card would have been my contribution. It uses the January SOTM set "True Friends" and the "Evergreen" stamp set (and you thought you had to put that set away until next Christmas!). The paper pack is Felicity and the little flower accents are from the stamp set that comes with it. This set of diecut papers and stamps is available until January 31 for $34.95 or FREE with qualifying purchase ($60 in stamps or a $125 order.)
CS: Colonial White
B&T: Felicity
SS: True Friends, Evergreen, Grown with Love (the little heart)
Inks: Desert Sand, Sorbet
Other: CW crotcheted ribbon, Sparkles,

Free To a Good Home - SNOW!

This Christmas season we have received the most snow I have seen since 1975 when they brought out the heavy earth-moving equipment to get the streets open. And with the cold (!) temps, it isn't going anywhere fast. It is difficult to transmit the depth of the snow without climbing into it (and I am not going to do that) but the drift by the basement windows is about 5 foot - taller than the fence. And the snow plows have piled it up to the base of the mailbox. The path outside the basement door for the dog to get across the cement patio to the grass to do her business has about 18 inch walls of this white stuff. The streets are pretty good but dangerous because the corners are piled so high you can't see oncoming traffic. So I am content for the moment to pretty much stay put inside.

Christmas 2009

Here it is New Year's Eve, and I am finally getting around to getting some new posts on my blog. We had a very good and merry Christmas. The grandkids were very happy with their gifts, and we had a good day watching them play, although I must say I have had enough of the Hannah Montana CD! But it was fun listening to Miss Courtney sing along on her new Karaoke machine.
As I sat waiting for the kids to fall asleep Christmas Eve, I was listening to the wild wind and watching the blowing snow of our Christmas blizzard and was so very thankful that I was no longer working at the hospital. I am sure that I would have been stuck there and would have had to miss Christmas morning watching the kids opening their presents. Our Christmas dinner turkey got stuck in my S&BIL's driveway but we had a rib roast on stand-by just in case, so we had a nice dinner anyway.
I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas, too.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I have a Close to My Heart website now

I finally spent a few minutes at the computer signing up for a MyCTMH website. It will take me a while to get my site all set up with artwork and My Story, but you can use it immediately to order from, using your own credit card and having your order shipped directly to you. I can be found at Thanks for visiting.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A few weeks ago, I was able to accompany my granddaughter's First grade class on a field trip to Vala's Pumpkin Patch, a well-known local attraction. The teachers paired up a few children with an adult and set us all loose. I had my granddaughter and one of her classmates. Their favorite part was the pumpkin smashing dragon. We got to go out to the field on a hayrack ride so the children could pick their own pumpkin, ride a train, and other fun activities. The only bad part was that it had been raining for several days and was gray and misty that day so it was quite muddy. I felt so sorry for the people that had to clean the buses and for the school janitor that had to deal with the muddy footprints as the children returned to school - but I was thankful I didn't have my granddaughter kicking the back of my car seat on the way home!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November Constant Campaign - Stampaganza

From now until the end of the month when you purchase 2 stamps sets, you will receive one stamp set for free! (Well, you do have to pay shipping - but no tax on the free set!) The free set will be of equal value to the least expensive set you purchase. Clear as mud? Let me start by explaining the different sizes of stamp sets.

There are 5 sizes of stamp sets - A,B,C,D, and E.

E - are mounted on an 8.5 x 11 inch plastic sheet and come in a plastic envelope that is 3-hole punched for storing in a 3-ring binder. At this time, these are the larger alphabets. Posterboard (E1014) is our newest set and is wonderful for titles. Price is $34.95

All other sizes come packaged in a 6x6 inch heavy plastic snap-closed envelope.

D - This is the most common size set. The acrylic stamps come mounted on a 6x6 inch plastic sheet and can contain larger stamps or multiple smaller stamps. The smaller alphabets are in this size as well as the stamps of the month (SOTM). The price for this size is $22.95 (But remember the SOTM can be obtained at a price reduction or for free, depending on the total amount of your order.) November's SOTM D1377 Around the Block is a 'put the parts together to build your own house' set with 26 stamps.

C - These stamps come mounted on a 4x6 inch sheet of plastic. That does not necessarily mean that there are fewer stamps. Neighborhood (C1384) has 20 different stamps, including 3 houses, a car, bicycle, tree, bush, lamp post, a teeny present, flowers and family member silhouettes as well as 3 different sentiments. C - sized sets are $18.95

B - These come on a 4x4 inch plastic. One that I have is B1311 Summer Sweetness with 9 stamps that make slices of watermelon or citrus fruit. The price for this size is $13.95

A - The smallest of our stamp sets fit on a 3x3 inch sheet. There are not many of these sets but one I love is A1099 Angel Sent. This set has 4 different little angels and the 2 part sentiment "Angels sent from above....please protect the ones we love" Another A size set is A1095 Always Remember with a remembrance ribbon and 4 sentiments including God Bless the USA that are curved to match the ribbon, plus 3 more small stamps of a heart, single star, and a 3 star cluster. The price for this size is $10.95

So, if you purchase 2 D-sized stamps sets during Stampaganza, you will get your choice of another D-sized set. If you order one D and one C-size set, you will get your choice of another C-sized set. Regardless of your purchase, E-sized sets are not available for your free choice, nor are the SOTMs.

So pore over that Idea Book, pick your fav sets and give me a call to place your order!

Hope to See You There

Did we have fun at the Our Lady of Lourdes crop? Somebody's love of stamping came back with a vengence! Good thing Close to My Heart's inks are easily washed off!
This is the Christmas tag that I will be teaching at the monthly Our Lady of Lourdes crop on Nov 21st. I will also be teaching a Christmas ornament and probably one or two more projects.
There will be no charge for at least 2 projects and minimal charge for any others, and no charge at all if you place an paid order at the crop or purchase something from my 'Cash and Carry' basket. Hope to see you there. Call Tricia at (402)-341-1490 to register for this all day crop. Cost is just $15 and includes two meals -- and lots of fun.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Are you ready for a little spring?

Here is just a quick card using the Sweet Home Level 2 paper pack. It seems very spring-like to me, the colors are so light and airy - Buttercup, White Daisy, and two of the bue and yellow B&T Duos. I saw this card done up for the holidays in the latest Scrapbooks, Etc. magazine and knew it would be so easy to recreate with CTMH papers. There is minimal stamping, just the sentiment.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oh So Busy

I have been so behind on updating this blog and I am sorry. There has been so much going on. The day after my last post was my DGS Kyle's brthday. This is a picture of the card I made for him using papers from the Everyday Celebration kit and stamps from the August SOTM, It's Your Day. I had some medical things to attend to, nothing too extra- ordinary, but still time-consuming. Then my father had carpal tunnel surgery and needed to rehab at a local nursing home. I took him to the hospital for his surgery and then to the nursing home. I got him settled in his room, had supper with him and then he dismissed me to go home for the night. I quickly packed my suitcase and rolling scrap tote and after visiting him briefly the next morning left for the Regional Conference for Close To My Heart in Minneapolis. I came home from there absolutely exhausted and stiff and sore from driving, darn arthritis! I had only had a chance to barely catch my breath when I got a call asking me if I would like have a vendor's table at a 12 hour crop taking place on Oct. 24th. If you are in the Omaha area, it is a very good deal - $15 for a table all to yourself, and at least for this first monthly crop, includes lunch AND supper. Email me at if you would like the contact number to reserve a spot. I have been trying to finish up my swaps (Christmas gift tags) so that I could concentrate on some displays, kits, and make-and-takes for that crop. Dad came home from the nursing home two days ago, declaring that it had been FUN. He so enjoyed being waited on, and joking around with the staff and other rehab'ing patients, not to mention being fed 3 squares a day. He gained 3 pounds in 10 days! But he is glad to be home with his cats again. All of us kids are just so thankful that he seemed to breeze through the surgery and nursing home visit so well. He has come so far since last year at this time. Soon I will post some of the projects from Minneapolis and some of the swaps I have made. In the meantime, back to my scrap desk to my many waiting projects.

Monday, September 7, 2009

These kids cannot be old enough already!

I have found out about two of our friend's children getting married this year. One was married in the Caribbean I think and my DH and I were invited to a reception for the couple, and another is going to be married in a few weeks. The last time I saw either of these kids, they couldn't have been older than 8 years old. Now I just about ignored my birthday yesterday, why couldn't they stay little? (Not to worry, I will celebrate Wednesday evening when the MIB [the UPS Man-in-Brown] delivers my latest CTMH order. There will be LOTS of goodies for me then.) Anyway, the Caribbean couple's reception was last evening and I needed a wedding card. With all the stamps I own, you would think I would have the perfect one but NO. I don't think I even own a wedding set. Luckily, I joined CTMH this past spring and got a couple of Valentine type sets with hearts and love sentiments. The reception invitation had a picture of the wedding couple and I took a chance that the deep red flowers in the bridal bouquet was indicative of the bride's wedding colors. (And I was right!) I used cranberry cardstock as the primary color, some patterned paper from last year's CTMH Christmas pack Evensong, found (luckily) a vellum quote that was appropriate and lots of little white flowers and adhesive pearls. I am very pleased with how it all turned out and hope the bride and groom are too.

The drawback to this particular style of card is that when it is folded up, some of the inside sections show, like the '&' and 'n', but it can be very pretty displayed standing up and when it is unfolded completely, it can be used as half of a 12x12 page layout. I included a matching paper with the wedding date that can be adhered over the 'from' section in the lower right. A 4x6 photo or two on the top of page and the page is done! PS. The couple had a Shutterfly album that was very nice, but nothing like a real paper scrapbook!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Class layout

I finally finalized the layout I want to present to my customers in the next few weeks. It took me a while to find just the right photo to show off this LO. This is DGD Courtney 2 years ago at my niece's wedding. She made the most adorable flower girl and I think this picture, with the full length mirror showing the back of her turned out adorably. I think this would be a great design for an Easter picture, also.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Long past time to update

I can't believe that it has been so long since I updated my blog. Bad me! Since the last update my DGS Kyle and I have visited with my sister in Little Rock and school has started again (It is rather nice to have the house quiet for several hours a day.) Kyle and I had a great time at my sister's. We spent some of each day swimming in her pool and some touring the area. One of the exciting things for Kyle was taking the tour of the USS Razorback, a submarine purchased by the town of North Little Rock. It served in the US Navy from 1944 to 1952, was recommissioned in 1954 and served until 1970, then sold to Turkey, where it served until 2002. Let me tell you it is close quarters inside that "sewer pipe" as my DH calls them and no fun to fit this robust body down the hatch and then up again. But I made it without getting stuck to the surprise of my DH.

Another really cheap thing we did was to ride the trolley. It only cost $1 each for the round trip and we saw the Clinton Library among other sites, and rode across the Arkansas River to North Little Rock. There was running commentary the whole way and it was really SO worth the money - and it was air conditioned! This is a picture of my sister and Kyle.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Walk with the Dinosaurs

DD, the grandkids and I are back from a trip to visit my sister in Denver. While we were there, we went to the Walk with the Dinosaurs arena production. Wow, this show is fantastic. Tickets were rather pricey but well worth it. The only drawback was that we had been warned, despite the web site proclaiming amateur photography was allowed, that they were confiscating all cameras. So we left ours in the car and used our cell phones. (It turns out the warning was incorrect and we would have been able to take ours in. Bummer!) Needless to say, the resultant picture quality is B-A-A-A-D! There were some aaaah-dorable moments in the show and some laughter but mostly just an awesome time. Even though DGD Courtney protested that she didn't want to go, she quickly changed her mind and at the end she proclaimed it great!

We also went to the Celestial Seasonings tea factory in Boulder. It is a very nice (free) tour. The tour tickets were actually a tea packet. Ours were for True Bluberry Herbal tea which I think I will make up into iced tea since it is really too hot for hot tea. The gift shop had tons of different varieties of teas, tins, china, and other tea-related items. The gift shop is a MUST for a return trip, especially when I can figure out just which kind of green tea DH would like.

Another stop was the free tour at the Hammond Candy Factory. I didn't go with DD and the kids on this one but I will catch it at another time. The kids had fun and came home with some delectable sweets, including a pear candy cane for me and ribbon candy for their great-grandfather. I delivered that last night and he was very happy to get it. Ribbon candy is his favorite and is not easily found.
The last tour, another free one, was to the Littleton Historical Museum, which we combined with a picnic lunch. The museum includes two reproduction farms, one from 1860 and another from 1890. This barn is from the 1890 farm and DD declared it is THE barn she wants if she ever gets an acreage. DGD was certain that the cow that you can see inside the fence just to the right of the barn door was a horse! We saw cows, pigs, donkeys, sheep, chickens, turkeys, but NO horses. The smell of the hay inside the barn brought back very wonderful memories of the barn at my grandparents farm in South Dakota, which was established in 1840, according to my Dad.
Well, I can't wait to scrap this trip. The dinosaur pictures will be a challenge, I hope that DD's cell phone took better ones.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Goin' Swarming

At nearly the last minute I have the chance to attend the Des Moines Swarm. I had such a fun time 2 years ago when I went. I will be leaving in just 4 days and now have to decide what I am taking to do. I have some supplies coming that would be nice to have but I think they probably won't arrive in time. : ( This is a picture from 2 years ago.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Photo calendar

Last Christmas, my good friend Laurel gifted me with a BasicGrey calendar kit. It has a 9x9 layout for each month. I slacked off a bit in June, finishing that page with about one week left in the month but otherwise I have been pretty good about completing each page. I am now up through August.
January is DGD Courtney with her missing teeth. She lost a bunch of them at the same time!
February had to provide equal time for DGS Kyle. He was doing swim team at the time.
March was perfect for the good picture of DD and DGS's pair of Eclectus parrots.
April was the new French bulldog puppy. She is sooo much bigger now, a real chunk!
May was the new DGD. The caption which you can't read says "The newest flower in our garden"
June is a picture of my father. We almost lost him last fall to cancer but he is doing ok now, as ornery as ever.
July is from last year's fireworks.
August is also from last year.
I have been very pleased with how these pages have turned out. When the year is up, they will be turned into pages for a 9x9 album. Hopefully I will be able to buy a new kit for 2010 and start over.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I have been reading on several boards that some people don't like blogs with music and, rather than search for the music gadget to shut it off, will simply leave. I like music, pretty much all of it, and really don't want to eliminate it. So I have moved it to the top of my blog so that, if you don't want to listen, you can easily turn it off, and then browse through my blog. I really want to share my creations with you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

More Flutterbys

I completed another double LO of the pics from the Westminster Butterfly Pavillion. These pages include some of the best pictures I took there, including an incredible close-up of a butterfly which shows its probiscus very clearly and another wonderful close up of a butterfly that landed on DD Christi's hand. The one holding her camera (!) - which is a better one than mine, but she couldn't get her own picture! I think that I have just one more double layout to complete on this visit to a very popular and well-worth-it tourist stop. Next time we visit, I am going to take these pages with and get some help in identifying the specific butterflies. The 3-D butterflies are made with the Cuddlebugs die "Butterflies" with a bottom layer of black cardstock and a top layer from the CTMH paper pack "Expedition."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Cheap Investment

I decided I had better get one of my CTMH layout template books out and see about getting some scrapping done. Last summer, DD Christi, Kyle, Courtney and I visited my sister in Denver. While we were there, we visited the Butterfly Pavillion in Westminster and I had LOTS of great shots of these gorgeous creatures. I wanted to find a LO that used a lot of photos and found "Sampler - Flower" in the Reflections book (page 122). Flowers go well with butterflies so I decided to use this template. I then used my Cricut to cut out a big flower to mount the matted photos. Unfortunately there is not a companion page to this layout, and with all the photos I placed on this page, no place for any title, so I had to figure out a right hand page. I think I did a decent job. I was able to cut out the butterflies from several photos and used them for accents. For all but one, I was able to see the antenna and cut them out with the butterfly. The antennae for the big black, white, and blue butterfly just disappeared into the background of the photo, so I needed something to add for antennae. In the middle of the night, there is just not a lot of opportunity to scrounge for something black and skinny but I did see the skinny little antenna for a cheap radio I keep on my scrap desk. (I don't know why I keep it there, the reception is crummy, the CD player doesn't work very well, and the clock is an hour and a half off and I can't be bothered long enough to reset it!) Well it now has 2 1/2 inches less of antenna - it went for a good cause!! I pop-dotted the butterfly cut-outs and center photo of the flower. Incidentally, I was the only one of us that day that saw that giant black and green butterfly and I had to follow it halfway across the room to get a picture!

The other day, DD Christi and I were walking around in Target. I needed some envelopes to mail my swaps out. But Target is a rather dangerous place for my credit card. As we walked through the electronic department, a small tabletop tripod caught my eye. I have been disappointed in my photography skills, especially in posting pics here. So I let this tripod jump into my shopping cart. This evening I used it, a large piece of foam core, and the wooden easel my DH made many, many years ago for our children to display their Science Fair project boards on to mount these pages in preparation for photographing them. I am very pleased with how much that inexpensive little tripod helped.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Just in case...

you thought that all I was going to use this blog for was CTMH advertising, here are a few of the other things I've been working on lately. These items are for swaps on the Cricut board. The first is for a Veterans' Day tag swap. I had been looking for a reason to use my Soldier stamp. I am so proud of my son who was serving in the Army in Iraq when he was critically wounded. I bought this Paper Inspirations stamp quite a while ago with him in mind. The picture on the info side of my blog is of his new baby girl who is now just a month and a half old. (I need to post a newer picture, she is a beautiful baby - of course, I am not biased at all!) The ATC (Artist Trading Card) in the middle is for a color challenge swap. We had to use at least 3 shades of our chosen color and no other colors. I chose black, two shades of gray, and a black and gray patterned paper. And when I think of gray, I think elephant! That is one of the Life's a Jungle stamps from (guess who?) - CTMH. The third one is for the tag swap again, this time the theme is Fall. Designing this was more difficult for me, but once I got started, it went together pretty quickly. The toughest part was cutting out the leaves. But I used the magnifier of my Dazor lamp (I mostly use it for my counted cross-stitching) and an episode of CSI and it was done. The leaf stamp and the word FALL are stamps from Clear Stamps that I think I got from Archiver's.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Workshops to Go

These layouts are from the Tinkerin' Workshop on the Go. I was curious as to how these workshops worked and since DGS was in a robotics club this spring sememster, I KNEW that this was a set of papers and stamps that I would be buying anyway. I was so surpised to see how nicely these layouts went together. I think that if I could only get customers to do a WOTG once, they will come back time after time. I know that I can't wait to do it again.
I didn't have the green ink to start with so I had to stop and wait for the MIB (man in brown = the UPS driver.) I was so impatient that I did start to put things together so random stamping the background paper was a bit tricky, but I got it done.
The second challenge with this LO was that DD took the pictures - of photos in the display window at the school - and they were pretty badly distorted. I had to finally break down and load PhotoShop Elements onto my computer. And then had to figure out how to undistort them. PhotoShop Elements is a bit more complex than Solitaire (!) so it took me a while. The photos are still not the best quality, but I still like these pages. Speedy was the name of the robot Kyle worked on. Kyle actually won one of the battles at the Robotics Competetion which included teams from as far away as Canada.

The second set of double LO's is from DGD's Kindergarten graduation. This little scamp is such a character when you point a camera at her.
She kept us informed of just when she would become a First Grader for weeks before the event. You wouldn't think that Tinkerin' would work well for a girl layout but the 'gears' seem to morph into sun shapes and make this paper work. The Stickease arrow 'You shine' seems to help with this illusion. Mom (DD Christi) gets the actual certificate of graduation and the cap and tassel (with the 2009 charm) but I got the best
picture and got the LO done first! I am thinking I will get the small Chocolate alphabet set for stamping the title.

This is the third double LO in the workshop. I don't have pictures for this one yet, so some of the Stickease aren't permanently adhered yet. I haven't decided what pictures fit the 'together' theme, I am not sure I have anything yet - will have to sift through my piles. The photos go in a line across the first page with the final photo under the arrow point on the second page. Two more photos go on the blue/green block. Seven photos in all plus lots of space for journaling.

In addition to the 6 pages in the workshop, I have been able to, with the addition of a couple of sheets of Daisy White cardstock, make 8 (yes, 8) cards, that I will post later. There are still six full sheets of B&T left, four of which will work as bases for two more double LO's, and several big leftover pieces of B&T and lots of scraps. I really cannot believe how great a bargain a Level 2 paper pack, a package of My Stickease, a few other embel- lishments (in this case, the badge buttons, some brads, and some buttons - I used the red raffia instead), and a workshop guide can be!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day - Remembering our Past

Here I am, back from the land of the non-functioning after 2 nights of work. I only got a few hours of sleep on Sunday because DGD's Courtney's dance recital was in the afternoon. So last night I was not fit for much of anything except for a bit of TV. But it was so worth it, Miss Courtney was so cute and did well at remembering her dance routines. But I wanted to show you some of the LO's I have done. CTMH makes it so SIMPLE. That is their motto - Faster, Simpler, Easier.

This is the first LO I made using the CTMH Emporium Level 1 collection. A Level 1 set includes 4 pre-printed cardstock base pages, 2 sheets of double sided patterned paper (called B&T), 2 sheets of cardstock, and 2 sheets of coordinated cardstock stickers (one alphabet and one decorative). In this double LO, the swirly things, the photo corners, the smaller letters, and the little dots are stickers. The big letters (W & Z) are stamped and cut out. The little dog on the first page was a hand-me-down from DD several years ago and all the others on the second page came with her when she and the DGK's came home while she goes to Vet Tech school. It is quite the menagerie around here.

This is the other 2 pre-printed base pages from the Emporium Level 1. The green border on the top of the second page is from the sticker sheet. The B's are stamped and cut out and the Journaling tags are cut from the Cricut. These pages document the journey that Courtney's Bitty Baby doll had to take after one of DD's dogs (that we sent to live with her ex) chewed off her leg. [Oh, just a quick thought, I will get to buy another Bitty Baby in a few years for my new DGD Salem. I hope that DS's dogs are better trained!]
These pages are the last of the Level 1's that are completed. This is from the Simple Pleasures set. I didn't use any of the stickers on these pages. The lettering and other figures were cut on my Cricut. These are photos from DGS Kyle's first year at YMCA Horse Camp. I took all but the little one on the second page myself with my Olympus Stylus 600. The little one was the professional photo. I like mine better. We sent both DD and DS to Horse camp and it was apparently meaningful enough to DD that she wanted to send her son, too. The little photos in the bottom corner of the first page are of DD Christi when she was at camp. They have been copied from the original Poloroid pics. What a difference a camera (and about 20 years of technology) can make.
I will post more layouts soon. Soon as I finish them, LOL. No, that is not true, I DO have more LO's done but I do have some to finish, too.