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.  

5 LUCKY Ways to be a WINNER!

Hear Ye!  Hear YE!  Be a LUCKY WINNER in so MANY WAYS!  

5 lucky ways to winSshhhh… it really is a secret, but I wanted YOU to know!  You can get a head start on creating in Studio J even before the WINNINGS begin on November 1st through the 30th!

Savings of 25%, surprises and the Golden Ticket and NEW album giveaways!

Before I tell you ALL the details, I want you to know I use Studio J for ALL my photo developing!  I love being able to print photos in “just the right size!”  Plus I save BIG because I only print what I need … not hundreds of photos. But even for awesome digital layouts .. you can’t beat this price!   Now is the perfect time to use STUDIO J and be a very LUCKY WINNER in 5 ways!

  • #1:  All during November, all layouts purchased in Studio J are only $5.00!  (reg. $6.95 p/layout)

25 off

  • #2 is Sheer Luck!  Every fifth order placed in Studio J during November receives a FREE surprise Close To My Heart accessory in its shipping box! (Retail value of $5 or more)
    free surprise
  • #3 is like GOLD!  There will be FIVE golden tickets randomly given out in any Studio J order placed in November.  The Golden Ticket is your coupon to redeem a FREE *new* D Ring Album with 10 top loading page protectors! Sweet!!

Golden Ticket

  • #4 Simply create new, gorgeous layouts in Studio J, select your favorites, and then post pictures of them on Close To My Heart’s Facebook page using the hashtag #ctmhlucky5. After November 30, five lucky winners will be selected from the entries based on their artistry and creativity and each of these winners will receive their own D-ring album loaded with 10 Top Load Memory Protectors!


  •  #5 … and there is one last way to win: take your new Studio J artwork and post a picture of it on Instagram using the hashtag #ctmhlucky5. Just as it is with Facebook, after November 30, five lucky winners will be selected from the entries to receive their own D-ring album loaded with 10 Top Load Memory Protectors!


To make things even more exciting, starting November 1, five brand new kits from the Annual Inspirations idea book will be made available in Studio J, so you can create new artwork using the latest papers and embellishments from Close To My Heart.  The new kits are:  Confetti Wishes, Snowhaven, Seaside, Pathfinding and Scaredy Cat.

With so many ways to win, five may be new your new lucky number!

Log in HERE to Studio J and start creating today.

If you are a new user to Studio J, click Here to enjoy the Basics and MORE!

New Dates for New England Retreats

I’ve just updated my Crop Schedule for 2015!  Enjoy a fun and intimate DSC_0003Crop @ my New England Retreats for Scrapbooking or Cardmaking, happening HERE @ My Creative Studio (Portsmouth NH).  You’ll have an opportunity to crop for three days (Fri/Sat/Sun) in a beautiful setting, with plenty of natural light! Or you can do a two day (Sat/Sun) or ONE DAY only (pricing below).

CARDMAKERS are welcomed too! I will have new CARD KITS on hand for you to purchase out of the Annual Inspirations Idea book and Seasonal Expressions booklet.

Here are the Friday through Sunday dates (or do ONE day or TWO day):

  • Dec. 5 to 7, 2014
  • Jan. 15 to 17, 2015
  • Feb. 27 to 29
  • March 27 to 29
  • April 10 to 12
  • May 1 to 3

Cost is your Option: 

  • 3 day event is $190 or $175 (SAVE $15 when you can pay in full by 1st of the Month ahead (i.e., Jan. crop, pay by Dec. 1st; Feb. Crop,pay by Jan. 1st, etc.) for the rest of 2015 dates.
  • 2 day event is $125 for Saturday and Sunday.
  • Saturday only: $75 from 9 am to 10 pm.  
  • Sunday only: $50 from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • RSVP:  email me @ or call me @ 732 266 1287 with questions.
  • If you would like to print out a flyer with payment details, click HERE.


  1. Crop begins on Friday @ 10:00 am and ends Sunday @ 5:00 pm.  (No stairs to climb or hills to handle.  First floor windows, doors, bathroom for easy access and comfort.)
  2. Meals included:  Friday dinner, Saturday lunch and dinner, Sunday lunch
  3. Refreshments are always available: coffee, tea, soda and water
  4. Space is plentiful with great lighting (appx. 5 ft. per person).
  5. DSC_0004I can hold up to 12 ladies at one time so it’s very personal!
  6. Attendees (3 and 2 day croppers) receive a gift from me for attending.  Plus receive your FREE copy of our new catalog, Annual Inspirations valued @ $6.00!
  7. All inventory, product, kits, cardstock and more are in view for purchase.
  8. 2 Cricut stations are available for use.

Hotel info:

Because of my excellent location to Portsmouth, NH … Kittery, Maine, Priceline has many great deals (under $100) per night locally! You may be surprised by how many hotels are near me and can use your REWARDS program too!  I live only 10 mins. or less from these hotels in a country-like setting that will take you away. You’ll enjoy home cooking, great refreshments and personalized service!

ASK your buddies and RSVP today!

Specials for October with heART!

I HAVE A PLAN on how you can earn $25 in products for only $5.00!  This month’s specials are useful and perfect for the Holiday Season.  Here’s what’s in store for you:


The CHEVRON ribbon is FREE with a $50 purchase!  It contains 5 yards of ribbon and it’s a surprise as to which color you will receive:  Red or Blue!  (Valued @ $6.95) and it’s only while supplies last.

WAIT … there’s more …

Home for the Holidays stamp set

You’ll also earn this adorable Stamp of the Month Home for the Holidays for $5.00 (valued @ $17.95).

This stamp set works so well with our Cricut Collection Art Philosophy which so many of you already have. The ‘red ring’ around the stamps showcases with stamp can be cut using this cartridge (5 of them!). Love that!  This stamp set is great for holiday cards, scrapbooking layouts and all your holiday tags too!  But here’s my idea for holiday cards:

Home for the Holidays Cards

Now the Snowhaven card kit is really adorable as well, which makes these cards below (3 designs/5 of each for 15 cards) and includes a lot of product:  15 cards/envelopes; cardstock and pattern paper; silver shimmer trim; red enamel hearts and “D” size stamp set (that can work so well with the cards above to stamp your holiday message inside):


Did you notice I used the same DESIGN from Snowhaven Card Kit to make the Home for the Holidays Card ideas?  I LOVE when a PLAN comes together!  So, what do you need in order to make a lot of cards using the same patterns?  Here’s my list that will help you get to the $50 purchase so you can make my PLAN work for you!

Well, you may feel it’s a bit early to think about making Holiday Cards, but this Stamp of the Month is only available in October.  

You may want to JUMP ON BOARD to


Simply Inspired Blog Hop: *new* Cricut Artfully Sent Collection

Simply InspiredThis month’s Simply Inspired Blog Hop features our *new* Artfully Sent Cricut Collection!  If you came here from Blythe Shupe’s Blog, you are good to go!  Otherwise, if you are starting off with me, you’ll be able to HOP to the next LINK at the bottom of the post.  If you get lost along the way, please click here for a complete list of participating consultants.

artfully sent

Even though Artfully Sent is claimed to be a Card Making Cartridge, I just could not resist showing a whole new level for scrapbooking:


I absolutely LOVE this layout which contains many cricut cuts from Artfully Sent:  the small web, “B O O” font, 7×10 large web, 2 spiders, scary tree, spooky house, Boo frame, 8×10 moon cutout overlay with bats, plus the Happy Halloween label (by tree).  I used Laughing Lola pattern paper, plus 3 new cardstock colors in:  Flaxen, Thistle and Canary (yellow).  The Happy Halloween label (on the left) comes with the Artfully Sent Cartridge and D1605 Halloween Greetings (frightfully cute) was stamped on the right side.

001When you want to make your Halloween Card using the SCENE key, you can create a really fun and easy idea shown here.

You can now HOP on over to Margi Gilbertson’s Blog to view her Artfully Sent Creation.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

If you would like to see closeups of my Halloween layout, you can click HERE.


Monthly Rewards Club … Join NOW!

Tired of creating the same style layouts?  Do you have creative block and stare at your photos and can’t figure out where to begin?  Spending too much time thinking instead of creating?  Are you buying product and having it sit there for long periods of time while you wait for the ‘magic’ to happen and use it?  

I guarantee you will NOT have these issues anymore when you join my      Monthly Rewards Club (click here to read the PDF flyer).

I am forming clubs NOW starting in October through to February (only a 5 month commitment).  There is NO FEE to JOIN!  My club members have enjoyed Beach & School layouts and will be going forward with these beautiful layouts for Halloween and Fall.  You can always go back and create what you missed, but how can you resist these creations? 

Scaredy Cat & Pathfinding

 Join my Monthly Rewards Club Program!

Many of my customers really enjoy the REWARDS and BENEFITS of being a part of a “Monthly Rewards Club:”  

  • I ship the Annual Inspirations Catalog for FREE to your door from me!
  • Earn FREE Hostess Rewards
  • You can Earn a Hostess Bonus and qualify for 1/2 price item or two (many love the Cricut Collections!)
  • Special discounted and exclusive Hostess Only Stamp Sets
  • Buy on a monthly budget
  • Duplicate My Signature Artwork of Layouts or cards (or create your own)
  • Coordinating product line makes it enjoyable and easy to work with

You can READ all the Details HEREClubs run for 5 months and everyone takes the turn at being the hostess (not at your home but online).  Why join?  Here’s a few more reasons … 

  • Does FREE Product appeal to you?  
  • Special monthly promotions make you happy?  
  • Would you like to earn a Cricut Collection @ 1/2 price?
  • Need crafting inspiration?  
  • Haven’t had tool time?  Learn how ..
  • Guilty of stashing it? NOT in the club because we use up our purchases!

You can call email me @ to JOIN the Club!

You can have a friend or two join with you or … fill in one of my Clubs.  I would love to have you!

Chalk it Up Kit of the Month

If you are looking for a great paper pack to use for your children’s school photos, then you are going to enjoy CHALK It UP, September’s Kit of the Month!

Chalk It Up 1


  1. Click HERE to view the slideshow of Artwork.
  2. Click HERE to for the Shopping List.  (You can go with the Workshop on the Go and Complements, or use your own stamps (or not) and buy everything A La Carte.  I list everything I used because I don’t know what each of you own.)

Many of us take photos of the 1st day of school.  I love how this layout works perfectly for these photos:

Chalk It Up 4

Plus, there is usually picture day at school too!  Even photos of team sports, plays, trips, etc. can be used on these layouts or you can buy an extra paper pack and create even more.  The colors really pop and you’ll love the Chalk Board ‘look’ of a pattern.  Turn the papers over for the lagoon or sorbet trendy patterns for even more alternatives.

Chalk it Up 4d

One of the things I added last, were 4×4 and 4×6 flip flaps.  You can view the PHOTOS HERE and/or go back to this BLOG POST and read how I created the Flip Flap Tab/lifters to entice you to pick up the flip and peek under it.

You can Place Your Order HERE on my Website.