HOPSCOTCH … February Kit of the Month

I really, really love the colors and papers in HOPSCOTCH Kit of the Month.  You can use it for a variety of photos: family, everyday, celebrations, outdoors, spring, summer, tropics, beach, etc. Here’s a photo of the paper pack and sticker complements. Sometimes, when we see patterns and colors, we get turned off. BUT … I want you to scroll down to see some artwork as you’ll be amazed at what you CAN CREATE when you play:

Hopscotch stickers and PP

I definitely stepped out of my own comfort zone when I created pages 1 and 2.  I used our *new* Shin Han Markers (barely beige, turqouise and tender pink) and the CHISEL end to create the brushed stroke look shown below.  I love the ease and use of these markers.









It’s trendy & definitely changed the look of the paper! It was fun and so easy to do just by stroking back and forth across the paper. Make sure you have scrap underneath as it may bleed through. You may also enjoy using the DOODLE Designs Stamp set for so many projects.  It’s only $6.95 and a really fun set for a little pizzazz.



Pages 3 and 4 above are colorful and a joy to create.  I liked the angled look for a change. I added the Hopscotch button assortment; gold sequins and flaxen twine to complete the layout.  Since I’m not using the “mustache sticker” as such, I cut it in 1/2 and used it as leaves with a gem shown left (think of other ways to use something up that you wouldn’t normally use and re-invent it).

These playful pages below are one of my favorites!  I love the cluster of stickers, buttons, sequins and sunburst cricut cuts.



You can find the Hopscotch Shopping List HERE on this LINK.  I like to include everything I use because I don’t know what you own, have on hand or what you may need.

You can find the complete SLIDESHOW of closeups and Artwork of Hopscotch HERE on this LINK.

When you place a $30 plus order HERE on my WEBSITE, I will send you the cutting guide/directions for this artwork.

All my Monthly Rewards Club members enjoy these perks as well as free, discounted and/or 1/2 price products!  Read all about it here as a new groups will be starting in March.

What you may want to know about our Albums

Albums are a FOUNDATIONAL product; something you should invest in and purchase with QUALITY in mind.  It really is an important decision when you consider the amount of money you spend on fun stuff; the time and effort it takes you to create it. A quality album protects your work for many, many years.  Remember .. you get what you pay for .. and quality does matter.

Many of you have asked me about our *new* Canvas Coated Albums and the differences.  I thought I would share some important information here as the Buy One Get One @ 1/2 off is a great deal for February.

Q:  What are the dimensions of the Post Bound Albums?


A:  The Post bound albums are a finished album size 14” x 2 ½” x 12 ½”.  They contain (3) posts that are 1 1/2″ tall and have a very easy half-


circle metal loop that is easy open/close construction.  In addition, a *new* feature is the magnetic flap closure that adheres itself to the posts when you open or close the book (no more making sure the flap is turned ‘in’).

Q:  What quality/construction is appealing about a Post Bound Album?DSC_0020

A:  A Post Bound album is great for traditional scrapbookers that enjoy viewing their work using page protectors that lie flat in these books.  The smooth flow of viewing is appealing because there are “no gaps” between the layout when two pages lie next to each other.  Also, when it comes to high quality, you know our Page Protectors can’t be beat for the price.

Because I’m a classic scrapbooker, this kind of album appeals to me.  I enjoy the continuation and flow of seeing my layouts lie side by side in a book, keeping the story flowing naturally without any ‘breaks.’

Q:  What are the dimensions of the D Ring Albums?IMGP0820

A:  The D Ring Albums have a finished size of 15″ x 2 1/2″ x 13″.  They contain (3) 1 1/2″ D Ring construction.  The purpose is to easily insert or remove pages and have a very free acces to change your layouts around.  NOTE:  The same Top or Side Loading page protectors we use in our Post Bound, also work in our D Ring.

Q:  What quality/construction is appealing about a D Ring Albums?Pocket page

A:  The D Ring Albums appeal to all styles of scrapbookers, from classic to trendy to digital to Project Life users.  You can fit a variety of page protectors in this album, especially those that have ‘pockets’ to hold Project Life Cards or photos in a variety of sizes.  Each pocket has a seam around it … which can enlarge a page protector slightly. Using the D Ring gives you flexibility to use a variety of pages which may contain an 1/8th to a 1/4 inch difference in width/height.  They do not ‘tent’ in a D Ring, making this style album ideal for faster scrapbooking with variety of styles.

I would personally enjoy using the Black D Ring Album as a Work In Progess binder to carry from crop to crop; store unfinished and finished artwork; or to work on a variety of projects at once.  You can then decide what kind of album/theme you would want to place your finished layouts in while you continue to work on all your projects/themes/photos at any given time.

Q:  How many 2 page layouts would an album hold?

A:  Great question!  Since both books are showcasing a 1 1/2″ depth for pages, you can count on 25 to 30 page protectors in each style above.  That would hold 50 to 60 pages! However, what kind of scrapbooker are you?  If you like to keep the ‘flat’ look going, I believe you would get more in an album.  If you like to use a lot of our Flip Flaps, or you are the Queen of 3 D with chipboard, buttons and more … it would completely depend on you.

Hint:  When you add too many pages to an album, it’s too cumbersome to view.  You should really consider a Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, like I do.

Judging a book by its cover:  During the summer, I was tasked to go to Michael’s, AC Moore and other stores to check out their albums and selection.  Yes, they are cheaper. Yes, the come in more colors.  Yes, there’s a lot to choose from.  But did you ever read the fine print?  They contain 10 page protectors (that will hold 20 pages) and are not meant to expand.  What you see is what you get.  The quality?  No thank you, not for me personally… as I know I’ve spent quite a bit of time and effort creating our family legacy, not to mention the $$ for the products I used as well.


So, my personal opinion is for you to do your homework and make sure you buy the BEST for your needs. Whether you buy 1, 2, 3 or more albums per year, you should consider quality and value.

If you missed my previous blog post sharing the details and product links on this fabulous promotion:  Buy One Get One @ 1/2 price and save over $17 … please CLICK HERE.

I hope this has helped you in understanding more about our Canvas Coated Post Bound and D Ring Albums and given you food for thought on making the right purchase for you.

Have a great week!——

BOGO: Buy 1, Get 1 at 50% off

I haven’t seen Close To My Heart offer a deal like this on ALBUMS!  Our *new* coated Canvas albums come in Post Bound or D Ring!  They are $34.95 and when you buy TWO, the 2nd album is only $17.50!  

Album Allure


Feb. SOTM 2

When you make a purchase of $50 or more, you have the opportunity to earn this exclusive stamp set, A Happy Hello for only $5.00! (Reg. value of $17.95) This stamp set is only available in February.







I just LOVE these Mini Books and you will too!

DSC_0039Today, I’m going to share with you some ideas on how I used the Kraft Mini Book to create a “HER” family album (meaning my family. I’ll do one for Rick as “HIS” family next.). I just love the protected pages!  It contains 10 protectors in  4 x 6 size (which would hold up to 10 photos or Picture My Life Cards) and 3 x 4 size (which would hold up to (20) 3 x 4 photos or Picture My Life Cards (PML will be the abbreviation below)).  These mini books are only $9.95!  The kicker is this:  one package of PML cards works for TWO books!

Year NotedI’m going to focus on the KRAFT Mini Book today and show you a few of the pages I created using the Picture My Life Cards for Avonlea.  The best part is you can earn this book as part of the Year >> Noted Promotion shown here.  All of these great items can be yours for only $10 with a $50 purchase!  Yes, you can purchase the Mini Book on it’s own for $9.95, but the goodies in the Year >> Noted are worth $34!

The other products I used (and this is where you can be creative in picking out your matching theme to go in your Kraft Album) can be found HERE.  They are the Picutre My Life Cards in a variety of themes for $8.95 and $14.95 and each one will work for TWO books!  Love it!

Let’s get started!  Here’s my cover (sorry the photo is a little blurry but I’m too anxious to share it with you).  I did take a few cards to make the cover:


This next photo is the inside cover and my 4 x 6 family photo.  I chose to printe all my photos in black and white and I used Studio J to develop all of them (love this program!):


This is one of my favorite pages because of the adorable photo of Scott and Jack.  Using the PML Cards make it even more fun!


I absolutely LOVE that I can add a few flip flaps in the 3 x 4 size.  Add a little bling and tab lifter and you’re done! (Yes you can ADD 4 x 6 flip flaps too!)


Using the reverse side of the PML card gives me an opportunity to journal:


I just need to find a good photo of my Mom so I can add it.  Even though I didn’t have it at my finger tips … it did not stop me from creating this book. It will only push me to get it done!


I’ve had many great times with my sister, cousin and Aunt Flo!  These memories and photos are priceless:


I’m close with my niece Christie and her family and love these photos:


I do have more pages filled with cousins, family shots of all of us, adding journaling as well. It will be a great keepsake to share when I see them.  But here is the last page and inside back cover of the book.  Using the PML cards, I can cut them a part and layer them to complete any look:


Just to give you an idea .. here’s a photo of some of the PML Cards I used to create this book.  Whether you use all of it (one or both sides); cut it a part to layer … or cover it with a photo so you get the mat out of it … the choice is yours!

DSC_0033 DSC_0032





There are so many themes to choose from to create your own mini album using the PML (Picture My Life) Cards:

  • Baby:  Babycakes in neutral colors
  • Boys/sports using Later Sk8r
  • Girls using Chantilly
  • Christmas using Pear & Partridge
  • School using Chalk It Up
  • Family photos:  Avonlea … OR … Skylark
  • Beach can be created using Surfs Up … OR … Seaside Cards
  • Wedding:  For Always or Heartstring
  • Travel:  Wanderful … OR … Balloon Ride
  • Misc.:  Laughing Lola, Hopscotch

Well, I hope you enjoyed this presentation. I know many of you love to create mini albums and this one is sure to please. Stay tuned for the Black Mini album and presentation on how I used it for Nick and Daria’s Wedding!  It’s stunning!  I’ll have these samples with me at all the cropping venues, so check it out when you’re there.  Feeling inspired?  ….


Come Shop with Me!

I’ll be out of town for the next two weekends working at CROPPING EVENTS that may be near you!  I would love to have you visit me at:


I bring a full store with me … *new* Rolling tote; organizers and tools!08 Long View

All my artwork will be on display with kits for purchase and many items A La Carte.  11 Wall of Art

There are even 2 page kits available as well for you to Grab N Go with!


16 Card & Cricut WallHave questions about our products?

Need to see the newest Cricut Collection?

Interested in joining my Monthly Rewards Club?

I would love to speak with you and “show you how!”

Have a great week!

Heartstrings … a stunning Kit of the Month!

Well, when I first checked out Heartstring paper pack and complements (which has only a 4 month window), I was not exactly jumping at creating artwork for Valentine’s Day. But, I quickly changed my mind when I saw these beautiful papers and accessories. I realized we all LOVE SOMEONE:  favorite pet(s); BFF’s; new baby in our lives; family members (past and present); even anniversary and wedding photos would work.  So, think beyond the “hearts holiday” and enjoy these 7 artfully created pages.

Heartstrings 5b

This is my title page for one of my albums.  I had this photo tucked away and realized the colors worked perfectly!  If you are a Project Life user, you’re going to love our Picture My Life (PML) Cards that coordinate with this kit.  Note … I used 3 of them on this one page design as accessories around the photo.

Heartstrings 2

Totally fun and updated layout with 5 PML cards used.  I can see many types of photos on it.  What about you? Just corner round your photos to fit the spots.

Heartstrings 3b

Absolutely LOVE this layout and stole the idea from our Studio J program.  Of course, I tweaked it to my classic style and added lots of flip flaps.  I used 5 or more PML Cards (some are cut a part for wording, heart).  There are (4) 4×6 flip flaps on this layout (you’ll be able to see all of artwork on a link below). Please note the PML Cards are double sided .. making them perfect for Flip Flap queens (like me!).

Heartstrings 4

I also love the above two page spread … “You had me at HELLO!” … I definitely see photos of a special person in your life. TIP:  Even if you find photos in various seasons, change them to black and white or sepia tone and it will all coordinate perfectly on your pages.

When you place a $30 or more on my website for these products, you receive my cutting guide and directions with photos for FREE!  You do not have to be a Club Member to do so, but my Monthly Reward Clubs DO receive FREE product!  Read all about it here as I’ll be starting another round of clubs in February.

Now, you are ready to place your order HERE on my Website. 

Holiday Memories scrapped in minutes!

Now is the time to capture all your recent holiday memories in minutes!

Yuletide Studio J advertisement

Express Collections make documenting your memories even easier by doing most of the creation for you.

  • Just drop in your photos (upload, drag and drop into the photo well)
  • Add some journaling (we have fonts, size and color to your liking)
  • Add personalized titles (if you want too)
  • And your done!
  • Then order your layouts

It’s FREE to check out and play with.  There is nothing to download or software to purchase.  Just enjoy this Express Collection by getting started HERE on my website.  Check it out for yourself.  

Here’s what the Yuletide Carol Express Collection looks like.  They are beautiful and ready to receive your photos:

Yuletide Express Collection 1 Yuletide Express Collection 2

You can choose one, two or all of the layouts.  You can even use the same layout twice or make copies for family members (maybe a present for next year).  Here’s one of the layouts I added my photos and journaling to.  One thing I did have fun with is adding the red photo mats around the smaller photos.  And I added the red stitching line and one stitch per pennant below.  This is super easy to do if you want to, but the layout is perfectly designed without you adding anything more (I love having this option though):


Here’s one more layout that I used for family shots.  I only added the journaling along the bottom right side.  This is totally drag and drop your photos and you’re done!

Yuletide Express Collection 3

Now here’s a little more to the same layout as above.  I added a small layer of photo mats in red to the photos.  I added the ‘red bow’ to the top of the left page; I changed two of the brads to red; added the trio of brads near the Journal Box I created near the bottom of the right page; spell checked my journaling (I did have a mistake) and then enlarged it a little bit:


It really took only a few minutes to create these lasting memories.  And you can have fun with distressing, or adding ‘digital’ embellishments too.  I think the layouts are beautiful so why spoil beauty?  

How do you get started?  

  1. Open Studio J HERE on my Website.
  2. Log in or create an account.
  3. You’ll want to CREATE a New Project and you can type in Christmas.
  4. Then click on “create project.”  
  5. Click on UPLOAD photos later (you can do that later).  
  6. Then “Start with an Express Collection” and scroll down to the last one, Yuletide Carol and click Continue (bottom right hand corner).
  7. Now you can pick out whichever layout you want to start with (click on one and click on continue in the bottom right hand corner) and easily follow the menu on the left side to Upload Photos and more.
  8. Yes, you can SAVE your layouts and come back and play some more.  Just NOTE this Yuletide Carol Express Collection will be available only from January 1 to February 28, so make certain to place your orders before the deadline.

Using this Express Collection, you will have your recent holiday photos scrapbooked before you know it!  You’ll want to create at least 4 layouts and shipping is only $5.95 for up to 50 layouts when you go to order.  Enjoy!

Simply Inspired Blog Hop for Year Noted

Simply InspiredWelcome to the Simply Inspired Blog Hop and the Celebration of National Papercrafting Month for January and the feature presentation:  Year >> Noted!  You’re on the right track if you came here from Michelle Snyder’s Blog. The blog hop is a big circle, so if you get lost along the way, please click here for a complete list of participating consultants. Let’s get started!

Year Noted

Here’s what is so COOL about this special promotion … you are going to BLOG HOP to various consultants sites to see everything we could think of to create with this kit!  When you purchase $50 in qualifying products in January, you’ve earned the Year >> Noted Kit for only $5.00 from your independent consultant.  But before you do, make sure you add on the KRAFT Mini Album for $5 too!  You’ll love this great gift idea to use with this special kit or for something else (like I will do soon).

DSC_0039This is your YEAR to take NOTE!  Let’s do something for our ‘personal self’ that preserves what’s in our hearts, our minds and in our endeavors for the year ahead!  Can you think of 10 Things to optimize your year and NOTE it?  Can you take a few photos to NOTE the milestones, achievements, highlights and any goal you have set for yourself?  I know we rarely take the time to work on our own personal story, so make this ONE GOAL for yourself in this year with this layout.


Everything you see above comes in the kit EXCEPT one thing (which many of you may own already): Polka Dot Gold Washi Tape.  It just worked so well, I had to use it.  All stamping is done with Desert Sand Ink (another staple color you most like own).   The idea for this design came from the Seasonal Expressions booklet (last page) but I realized it came from our How To Program Reflections, the design called Half and Half, It’s sixes (rotated).

DSC_0040One thing I will say though … is you can easily change the above layout and use it for BEACH.  Just change the saying from 10 Things to something ‘beachy’ and change the 3×3 journaling blocks to photos, the White Cardstock to Desert Sand.  For only $10 (with the Mini Kraft Album) you can’t beat this deal (over $34 value), nor the priceless memories. 

Now you are on your way over to Blythe Shupe’s Blog to view her design of the Year >> Noted special promotion.  January is National Papercrafting Month and the only time this deal is available.  Enjoy Year >> Noted and the possibilities @ a great price!

Monthly Rewards Club starting for 2015!

blogAre you looking for creative inspiration and 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? 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 when you join my Monthly Rewards Club (click here to read the PDF flyer).

Monthly Rewards CLUBS are forming NOW starting in January through to May (only a 5 month commitment).  There is NO FEE to JOIN!  My club members have enjoyed beautiful Fall, Christmas & Winter layouts and will be going forward with beautiful layouts for Love, Birthday, Everyday, Travel and more!  And if you missed something we did, you can always go back and order the products and create what you love or are looking for.

Join my Monthly Rewards Club Program!

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

  • No FEE to JOIN!
  • Earn FREE Hostess Rewards
  • You can Earn a Hostess Bonus and qualify for 1/2 price item or two (many love the Cricut Collections or the *new* Rolling tote)
  • Special discounted and exclusive Hostess Only Stamp Sets
  • Receive the Annual Inspirations Catalog for FREE to your door from me!
  • Buy on a monthly budget and USE it!
  • 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 @ ilov2cr84u@gmail.com 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!

Ringing in the New Year with ART!

I hope you all have had a wonderful Holiday and New Year celebration!  This is my time to recharge my batteries and get creative.  Here’s what I’ve been working on for YOU:


I love our *new* Shin Han markers and will be teaching this as a class for you to try your hand using these creamy, dreamy artistic markers that are effortless!  I’m a believer and if you have known me for awhile, you know I RARELY color in!  HA!  But I’m HOOKED now.


Valentine’s Day is around the corner and you can count on me to provide you the opportunity to create these cards and gift bag this season.  Below are the samples of this new CARD Kit Heartstrings … click here to view the product.

Valentine WOTG

Plus let’s not forget the Cut Above Valentine TREAT BAGS too!  They are all precut for you .. just stamp your circular message and stuff with your ‘sweetest’ treats!

Valentine Box

Oh and what about the new Doodled Designs stamp set!  I love what you can do with this inexpensive stamp set with messages of your choice:

DSC_0016 (2)

Lastly, here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come with Year >> Noted special collection for National Paper Crafting Month! If you would like to see the video, click HERE showcasing everything that comes in this exclusive, special promotion for January.


Stay tuned for more details and EVEN MORE PHOTOS of ARTWORK coming soon.

If you are inspired and would like to place an order, please visit my site HERE with a click of a button.