Yuletide Carol Kit of the Month for November

At Cool Crops in Cromwell, CT, lots of gals really enjoyed seeing the artwork for Yuletide Carol. This kit is perfect for the traditional holiday celebrations, formal family portraits and good ol’ gift opening moments.  I love the BONUS page, shown below that can capture a child’s eye of wonder and magic for the season.


Or … photos of a the first lighting of the tree; wonder and awe of being on Santa’s lap; surprise and glee on Christmas morning; opening the best gift ever and capturing the joy and happiness of the moment; the traditional family photo of loved ones that is your yearly pose.

I loved adding the gold glitter paper to really make the pages pop:

DSC_0002aThese are just a few of the layouts created with Yuletide Carol.  The other 4 pages as well as closeups can be found as a Slideshow HERE on this LINK.

You can find the complete SHOPPING LIST HERE or just order the Basics from Column 1 or Column 2 (a la carte and no stamps).

You can Place your Order HERE on my Website.

When you place an order of $30 or more this month for the Yuletide Carol Kit of the Month, I send you the cutting guide, directions and photos of the artwork for FREE!  Why not JOIN my Monthly Rewards Club (starting December) and earn FREE PRODUCT. You can read all about it HERE.

Holiday Card Workshop

I know many of you love to create your own holiday cards and you may need a day or a place to escape to.  I have the perfect place … My Creative Studio (click here to view photos) in Portsmouth, NH.  You can spend all day creating CARDS for the Holidays and enjoy a wonderful lunch and refreshments.  I also have two cricut machines available to use and my place has excellent lighting; no stairs to climb and is on the main level with its own entry way and bathroom.  Here are the details:

DATES:  Saturday, November 29th or Sunday, November 30th

TIME:  9:00 am to 5:00 pm

PLACE:  My Creative Studio in Porthsmouth, NH @ 64 Gundalow Landing (town of Newington right next to Pease Int’l Trading Corp)

RSVP:  by Nov. 18th @ ilov2cr84u@gmail.com or 732-266-1287 (text too)

Cost:  $10 for lunch and refreshments (bottled water, variety of soda, Kuerig coffee/ tea all day) … plus

  • $30 with your choice of card making kits (extra supplies are available for purchase and are optional):
  • Yes, you can get any of these kits to go and mailed directly to you (plus shipping) if you cannot attend and want these items.

1.  Home for the Holidays … see detail in photos.  If you own the stamp set already, bring it and I’ll give you the November Stamp of the Month. Inks needed: Cranberry & Glacier

Card Class

2.  Snowhaven Cards … includes 15 cards/envelopes; stamp set, pattern and cardstock papers, silver shimmer trim and red hearts.  You create 5 of each design below.  Inks needed:  Cranberry, Glacier & Slate


3.  Reindeer & Snowman Cards … includes 10 of each set, precut and ready to go in 5×7 format and includes all the trimmings.  Just stamp saying and put together.  Ink needed: Cranberry

DSC_0028 DSC_0026






of if you prefer and need Thank You cards … 

4.  Thank you Cards  includes 15 cards/envelopes; stamp set, pattern and cardstock papers, bronze shimmer trim & gold sequins. You create 5 of each 3 designs.  Inks needed:  Goldrush, Desert Sand & chocolate


Please RSVP by Nov. 18th @ ilov2cr84u@gmail.com or 732-266-1287 (text too) as I’ll need to order supplies soon.

Extra supplies you may be interested in purchasing to make more cards:

  • Inks:  $5.95 each Cranberry, Glacier or Slate for Christmas; Goldrush, Desert Sand & Chocolate for Thank you
  • Cards:  $17.50 for 50 cards/envies … or $3.50 for 10 cards/envies in reg. size in White Daisy or Col. White
  • Papers:  Snowhaven Paper pack …$6.00 for 1/2;  $11.65 for whole pack; extra cardstock is 80 cents a sheet
  • Accessories:  I’ll have extra Red Hearts, shimmer trim, sequins, bling, etc. on hand for purchase
  • Anything else you may need?  Just ask …

You’ll need your Basic Supplies (I have for sale if needed):

  • 12″ paper trimmer
  • Adhesive: double stick, glue dots and pop ups
  • Scissors
  • Sponge Daubers to add more color if you want too

RSVP:  by Nov. 18th @ ilov2cr84u@gmail.com or 732-266-1287 (text too)

*new* D Ring Binders and Post Bound Albums available

giftMemory keeping, scrapbooking, leaving a legacy … what a wonderful gift for the Holidays!  I just learned our *new* D Ring binders are available to order right now and they would make a lovely gift for someone special (or YOU) this holiday season.  I did get to see these in person at a meeting I attended in August and I was impressed with the quality and sturdiness.

Therse are a lovely canvas material in a Chevron/Lagoon print or Solid Black.  Here’s a photo of the D Ring album (binder) and it’s $34.95:

Chevron D Ring


PML cards a la carte

Lastly, we also have the same Black Canvas in a Postbound Album that fits either our top loading page protectors as well as our side loading page protectors.  I don’t have a picture to show you but they are very much like our Faux Leather Albums except the finish is black canvas.  The price is $34.95 and can hold 25 page protectors with a new sturdy post that is EASY to open (about 1 1/2″ in height so it may hold even more pages depending on how you scrap).

If you would like to order any of these *new* products,

you can SHOP HERE on my WEBSITE

Tips and Tricks of the Trade: *new* All Purpose Mat

All Purpose Mat1411-mifyh-happy-autumn-card1Close To My Heart added this *new* All Purpose Mat to our collection of useful/helpful products!

It can be used as a SPLAT MAT .. something to use with your sprays and glitzes … or … messy glue jobs and self spraying adhesives.  You can just wipe it clean when you are done.  And if you are love to use ALCOHOL Markers that can bleed through, this mat is sure to catch the extra depth of color on the mat instead of your scrap paper surface.

When Close To My Heart posted the Halloween-themed cards on their Facebook page last month (click here to view the Halloween card.), the background on the Halloween village card captured many hearts across the world. Several of you asked us how it was done. So CTMH took your questions to the artist herself, and not only was she generous enough to show us her methods, but she also created yet another stunning card for us that illustrates this beautiful technique.

I just love this Tip & Trick of the Trade use for this All Purpose Mat. The above card is a beauty, right?  Well, the extra dimensional look color look is achieved by using the All Purpose Mat, Ink pads, water spray and cleaner spray. The tutorial is below (or click here for the blog post):

All Purpose Mat How to Splat

All Purpose Mat How to Splat 2

The technique used to create this kind of background centers on our all-purpose mat. (This tutorial will only add more truth to its name!) The non-slip surface makes it perfect for mixing ink and water to create special artistic effects.

Here are the products used to create the above idea:

Your beautiful background is now complete. Now all you need to do is add your embellishments and other additions to complete your card.  This technique is full of possibilities, so feel free to experiment with it in other ways, too. We’d love to see what you come up with!

Happy crafting!  If you would like to make a purchase, Click Here to go Shopping.

You can subscribe to Jeanette Lynton’s BLOG for Close To My Heart HERE.

November Stamp of the Month & FREE Call tonight

Isn’t this an adorable card?


It was created using the November Stamp of the Month, It’s the Little Things that can be yours for only $5.00 with a qualifying $50 purchase on my Website HERE.

how do I

Don’t forget I have a FREE Conference Call and Screen Sharing tonight on Studio J!  You’ll learn how to create your own photos to be developed; digital scrapbooking layouts that are fast, quick and easy!  Plus, if you are looking for RETIRED papers, Studio J is the best place to find them!  

Here are the DETAILS for the being on the phone and your computer at the same time.  You may want to get yourself on the Free Screen Share link EARLY so you can be ON TIME for the call (I highly recommend getting set up now for tonight’s call so you can enjoy the fun!):


Dial IN on the Telephone Conference Call: 

  • Date: Tuesday, November  4th
  • Time: 9:00 pm – 10.00 pm eastern
  • Conference Call Dial-In Number: 559-546-1230
  • Meeting ID: 679-672-038

FREE Screen Share on your computer @ the same time as on the phone:

  • Meeting Link: http://www.FreeScreenSharing.com/ 
  • Date: Tuesday, November  4th
  • Time: 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm eastern
  • Meeting ID: 679-672-038Once you are on the website, in the box all the way to the right that says “join a meeting”, enter your info and the meeting ID. (if you have never used the program before, you will first have to create an account)

    **It would be extremely helpful if you could try to log in to the screen share and phone conference about 10 minutes early so if you have any technical difficulties we can get them straightened out prior to the meeting starting**

Hope to see you tonight!


NEW While Supplies Last items for sale NOW

I just checked out my website to place an order today and saw NEW ITEMS on the While Supplies Last section!  It’s been a long time coming!  Here’s a photo of some of them: 

While Supplies Last.jpg

while supplies last

Remember … they are only there until they are sold out!


Here’s the artwork for Huntington Papers & Stickers plus Rosewood Mini Medley’s Z1857 ($5.95).  




Creative Blogger Nomination

Wow! I am honored to be nominated for Creative Blogger!  Thank you so much Krista Hersberger for nominating me as an inspiring artist you look forward to viewing during those times you need inspiration.  I’m thankful to have you in my life through Close To My Heart!  I so enjoy your stunning smile, contagious optimism and dedication to making the most out of life and all you do!  Please check out Krista’s Blog HERE so you can see how her artwork inspires so many.  She truly is a very special gal!

DSC_0003Being nominated is also a process of having to answer some challenging questions with flair (of course .. we have that!), dedication (consistency and sharing are redeeming qualities) and quite honestly, down to earth “how to.”  I’m happy to share my story with you and hope you find some of my deepest, darkest secrets unveiled.  LOL … if you know me, you may think I’m really reserved … but watch out … I can go completely off the page!

What am I working on right now?

Hmmm … I actually have a few things up my sleeve between Monthly Rewards Clubs (creating 6 or more pages for scrapbooking), Crop events (creating classes to teach, share and inspire), and with the upcoming Studio J promo for


November where I want to get my own photos developed .. .I would say that’s plenty!  But here’s a photo of what is up and coming for the holidays …

YULETIDE temptations for Christmas:

How long does it take me to create a project?

Creating 6 pages can take me two days to finalize the actually artwork. I start creating andTime running out many times, I create pages 5&6 first .. then go back to the beginning.  Weird, right? If I like the CTMH two page Workshop on the Go layout, I may use it but tweak it to my own personal style.  Then I seek and search for more ideas on what I might want to do next. Inspiration comes from Studio J, Pinterest, fellow bloggers for scrapbooking and many, many times … my own thoughts using our How To Programs:  Cherish, Imagine, Reflections, Magic, and Make It From Your Heart Vols. I and II.  I never know what’s going to grab me but sometimes I have thoughts while I sleep that call to me (yeah .. that’s right .. about 3:00 am I wake up and think and ponder for about 2 hours and can’t fall back to sleep).  The creative process is an amazing one with no quick answers, but usually heartfelt designs with hopefully some creative uses on accessories or papers in a completely new fashion.

How does my creative/writing process work?Watt works

When I have an idea, I’ve GOT to try it out!  Sometimes it works really well and sometimes it can take a day or two to tweak it for my own desired perfectionism.  Yes!  I’m a little anal that way … but I think that’s what draws many people to my style of artwork. It’s never thrown together; it’s logically thought out; the end result has to be really satisfying and complete many elements of art design. No, I don’t have a background in the Arts and I think I’m an OK creator, but thankfully YOU all enjoy what I create!  Whew!  It can be challenging at times!  I can’t really say I have a process but I can tell you my MIND can be a very dangerous tool!  It won’t let me rest or sleep until I nail it!  It won’t be satisfied with mediocre and it definitely will not TURN OFF until I figure it out! Sometimes, it is totally annoying that I have this drive, this desire, this gut wrenching, overpowering NEED to finalize, finish and complete before I walk away. Yes, it can be exhausting but by the end, I’m finally happy with the results!

How do I  become inspired and stay inspired?Thank you note

First off, let me please THANK YOU! YOU are what keeps me inspired to challenge myself in the Scrapbooking Art form to new heights!  Your compliments, words of appreciation and excitedness of what you feel after you have duplicated or created … is what KEEPS me inspired!  For YOU, I continue to create, to relish the process, to improvise, motivate and try to seek new inventive ways to add ‘umph’ to the final process.

My inspiration can come from other talented consultants and checking their blogs and artwork.  It can come from Pinterest and searching new sketches or artwork to compose. It can definitely come from Studio J when we have the ‘paper pack’ in the digital format and I can see the templates of ideas for a starting point.  And of course, our Close To My Heart Idea book and How To Programs inspire me every time as well.  Even if we use the same design, when we change the papers and accessories, we have a completely NEW look!

What is my signature style?Jacki O

Yes, I am a proud scrapbooker and feel the most comfortable creating and sharing this artform in a CLASSIC STYLE.  Like Jacki O here … lasting forever, transcending time and never outdated.  I believe it’s not too overdone or understated; not a lot of whimsy and just enough pizzazz to meet the ‘normal scrapbooker’ needs.  I like to think like most of YOU and create what I would think makes the most sense for meeting the needs of scrapbookers around the globe.

I’m a traditionalist that once in a while steps out to try to add something to my classic designs to mix it up a bit.  But for those of you who know me, you rarely see me create altered art, 3D items and heavy duty layered designs. My reasons are because I’m like MOST of you and have only so much time to scrapbook my precious memories and I want them in a book … my family legacy.  Not something to be unprotected or out in the elements.  It’s not that I don’t like it … but for me … it’s not where I want to spend my time and money because I value the lasting traditions of preserving memories and photos FOREVER or as long as they will last on this earth.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight to my creative process and what makes me “tick!”  

My nomination for Creative Blogger is Dana Kessler!  Since I’m a scrapbooker at heart, I admire Dana’s creativity as she is a master of this artform.  Enjoy her blog by clicking HERE for her site!

029Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Halloween!

FREE Conference Call Tutorial on Studio J

Studio J Log In

As you may be aware (if you read my blog posts you should be!), we will be having a Studio J SPECIAL PROMOTION starting in November and running for the whole month. The LUCKY 5 will offer many opportunities to WIN! (You can read my previous post about it HERE.) I’m super excited about this great special and I’ve had some gals at the crops ask me some questions about …


  • how do Ihow to get started
  • a refresher course on the photo express templates
  • a refresher course on digital layouts
  • or even … where do I go again to start?
  • Can you tell me more about Studio J?

So, next Tuesday night, I’m offering a FREE Screen Share (where I show you on your computer visually) and also a Free Telephone Conference Call (you want to be on your phone at the same time to hear me).  I’ll walk you through the start up and visually show you how easy it is to use!

PLUS … I’ll be giving out FREE handouts of my TUTORIALS on both the Basics of Digital Scrapbooking as well as the Photo Templates to develop your own photos.

Please join me on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4th @ 9:00 pm.

Dial IN on the Telephone Conference Call: 

  • Date: Tuesday, November  4th
  • Time: 9:00 pm – 10.00 pm eastern
  • Conference Call Dial-In Number: 559-546-1230
  • Meeting ID: 679-672-038

FREE Screen Share on your computer @ the same time as on the phone:

You can actually get yourself set up NOW for next week because you may have to launch this free program in your computer which may take a few minutes.  Just follow the above links and get yourself set up for next week.

Once you are on the website, in the box all the way to the right that says “join a meeting”, enter your info and the meeting ID. (if you have never used the program before, you will first have to create an account)**It would be extremely helpful if you could try to log in to the screen share and phone conference about 10 minutes early so if you have any technical difficulties we can get them straightened out prior to the meeting starting**

If you have any questions, please POST them here.  If you need me via phone, you can call me @ 732 266 1287.

See you then!

Photo Development: Studio J Style!

Yes, I am preparing myself for our 5 Lucky Ways to be a Winner in November!  I can’t wait to share some ideas with you to help you get started NOW so you can earn your chance to WIN!  If you missed my previous BLOG POST, please click HERE.

One of the things I love about Studio J is being able to develop photos in EXACTLY the sizes I want!  I know many of you love the 6 cent deals and get 250 or 500 photos developed at once.  But how many of those photos do you actually use?  Is it wasteful?  Is it time consuming?  Is it really cost effective?  Below is a photo of the variety of templates where you can pick and choose from in Studio J (and a 5 x 7 template as well) to get your photos developed:

Pick Photo Size

Once you pick your PHOTO size template, you can start to UPLOAD your photos and PLUG them into the layout.  It’s that easy!

Template with instructions

  • Here’s my GREATEST TIP:  When you start to upload photos from your computer into Studio J, do so in SMALL batches.  I like to work with 10 or less because it’s a huge time saver when you do.  Once you use your photo and drag it over to the template and drop it into the photo well, a GREEN CHECK MARK appears on it so you know you’ve used it!

What I prefer about this (and Studio J is FREE to use and you don’t pay for anything until you check out) is that I ONLY upload the photos I want to use and create them in exactly the sizes I need.  Many of my Kit of the Month/Montly Rewards Club members create lots of layouts with me.  And those layouts offer a variety of photo sizes … so using Studio J helps you get exactly the size you want and need.  AND you can ZOOM in, change it to black and white, or sepia tone on the same layout (as well as color). See this photo below (which contains (2) 5×7′s; (5) 2×2′s and more sizes of my choice):

Studio J 1

Now you can see I’m working on another photo development layout and I have not filled in the last 3×4 photo well.  I can use whatever photo I want to add to this at any time. It doesn’t matter that all my photos are NOT on the same 2 page design for a particular theme.  What matters the MOST is I’m developing ONLY the photos I want as well as the SIZES I want.  There will be no waste for me!

Studio J 2

  • Another tip about the Photo Wells:  Yes, you can CHANGE the size of a photo well even if you chose the 4 x 6 Template.  I just clicked on a 4×6 photo well and a pop up comes into play. I then adjusted the size from ONE 4×6 size .. .and created TWO 3×4 sizes … so I can add even more photos on the same template.  Love that!

Now below, you’ll see another photo development layout I’m working on.  Even though I started with the 4×4 templates, I changed the sizes to exactly the sizing I want:  3 1/2 x 3 1/2 … or 4 x 6 … or 3 x 5 … or 4 x 4′s.  I love being able to play and enjoy the size I need to fit my already made layout photo well.

Studio J 3The above photos will be going onto these pages from Balloon Ride Layouts:

Balloon Ride 1&2Balloon Ride 5&6I know you may not be able to visualize it now, but when I’m done (sometime in Dec.), I’ll post the completed pages so you can see what I mean.

I’ll be sharing more ways to do Studio J for your digital layouts soon!  This is just a start of showing you and sharing with YOU … of a great way to enjoy this process.  I LOVE the photo developing process and they come out great!  When you get the order shipped, you then cut the photos apart and use them to your liking!

Start your STUDIO J Adventure TODAY by clicking HERE.

To visit a previous Post I had created on Photo Development Tutorial, click HERE.



Scaredy Cat or Pathfinding: choices for Kit of the Month

It’s not a trick but a TREAT!  You’ll find plenty of great layouts for the FALL Season! Scaredy Cat can work for little ones, teens or even adults (party on!) when you create this 6 page workshop below.  Scaredy Cat paper pack, complements, accessories and purple shimmer trim really make these pages unique to their own layout.  No two sets of layouts are the same.

  • To view the complete slideshow of artwork with closeups, Click HERE.
  • To view the complete shopping list of products used, Click HERE.

Scaredy Cat 1Halloween 1

Don’t forget about these adorable Halloween Treat Bags (10 bags and everything is PRECUT for you!).  Perfect for a classroom goodie bag, hostess or “thank you” to your favorite service people.

A U T U M N … with … P A T H F I N D I N G

What is it about the Fall season with oranges, tans, browns and greens that adds such richness to our senses?  I think you’ll truly enjoy these lovely layouts using the products showcased with Pathfinding.

Pathfinding 1

  • You can view the complete slideshow of artwork HERE in My Creations Art Gallery.
  • You can view the complete list of products used on this Shopping List here on this link.  If you are not a stamper or want the stamp set in the Workshop on the Go, then you can purchase the products A La Carte. 
  • Remember, I put a complete list of all the products I use because I don’t know what you own.  So you always have a choice …


You actually have a sheet of paper left over to create this adorable box (great hostess gift) using the ARTISTE Cricut Collection.  What a HOOT!  You can view two other boxes HERE in My Creations Art Gallery using Scaredy cat paper for Halloween and Seaside for Christmas. The boxes are just adorable!

I hope you enjoyed this month’s selection of ideas and would like to place your ORDER HERE on my WEBSITE.

If you purchase $30 or more from the above list, you can receive the cutting guide and directions for free with your purchase. My Monthly Rewards Club members also receive free products for their monthly commitment.  A new club will be forming starting November 1st.  You can read more about it HERE.  There are NEVER ANY FEES to JOIN, just REWARDS.