Friday, August 31, 2012

About Me - September 1, 2012

As I was driving with my mom last weekend, we already noticed leaves changing colors and falling from the trees.  As a teacher that is a bittersweet sign.  The summer break will be missed, but the students will be welcomed with open arms.

At our school I am the co-advisor for our student council.  Every summer we have a barbecue a few weeks before the school year begins.  It is a time to brainstorm what our theme will be as a high school through a motivating, uniting and team building verse and catch phrase.  Visiting with the student council at this planning barbecue begins to get us all in the mood for a new school year.

The last few days have been work days for the staff.  It too becomes a time of motivating one another, uniting as a staff and team building as a school and as a whole with our students' families.  With the change in the colors of the leaves comes a change in our hearts to return to school once again.

As a parent, the approaching fall brings on a new to me bittersweet feeling as I will no longer have any children of my own attending our school.  My youngest son has graduated from high school (which is where I teach).  Thus, he will no longer be riding to and from school with me and he will no longer be sitting among the students in my classes.  He now joins his older brother in the college world.  It is so hard to let go, but yet again it is so exciting to see them becoming who they are going to set out to be.

And now begins a new chapter in my marriage.  Our nest is almost empty.  This is when we need to be exploring who we were a long time ago as a couple.  This too will show us changes in ourselves and who we have become over the years.

Yes, fall is upon us and with the change of seasons comes other changes in our lives or what I also like to call seasons.  Getting married is a season, having children is a season, children moving on is a season, going through hard times is a season and aging is a season, and so on.  The important part of these seasons is that you stop and breath to enjoy them.

Be sure to document the seasons of your life for all to see.  How are you doing on your challenge to be working on your families photos and memorabilia?  I keep doing a little here and there among my lesson plans.  Just stick to it.  I hope my posts are helping to inspire you.


Make It From Your Heart Vol. 1 inspirational book - YouTube video

Check out this YouTube video for more information on the Make It From Your Heart Vol. 1 inspirational how-to book in the Autumn/Winter 2012 Idea Book.  As always, you can shop with me 24/7, just click on the "Shop With Me" button in the side bar.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to create a Cricut Artiste Party Favor Candy Box - YouTube video

Senior Director Mandy Leahy of Close To My Heart posted the following YouTube video for a how-to on creating the Party Favor Candy Box from the Cricut Artiste cartridge sold exclusively through Close To My Heart.  In the front of every handbook that comes with your cartridges, there is a sample project to introduce you to the features of that specific cartridge.  For the Artiste, the project is the party favor candy box.  I had a customer tell me she was having difficulty creating one, so I Googled the project and there was this video from Mandy.
Thank you for sharing Mandy (

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

School Album Title Pages

Here are title pages I created for my boys' school scrapbooks.  I used colors which coordinated with the shirt they were wearing in their school portrait.  I cut out the titles from Me and My Big Idea toppers and mounted on squares at a tilt.  Simple, but yet quite impacting as it ties the entire scrapbook together.  You could use the Close To My Heart exclusive Cricut cartridges Art Philosophy or Artiste fonts to create your own topper in coordinating colors, then add embellishments.

You will also notice that I made name plates to set on the page next to their portrait listing their full name, date and age.  These were created on mailing labels with computer/printer and mounted on acid free cardstock coordinating with the titles.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Plastic Sleeve Pockets

In a pinch for how to store your non-acid free items, such as cards, newspaper articles?  Have I got a solution for you...  Close To My Heart Memory Protectors Flip Flaps in various sizes and assortments on page 122 of the idea book.

Another way to create your own is to use plastic sheet protectors sewn to the exact size you need.  I did not have any Flip Flaps on hand for the page I was trying to complete, so I grabbed a sheet protector, plugged in my sewing machine and made my own.  Once they were sewn, I used Terrifically Tacky Tape to adhere them to my scrapbook layout.  Now my non-acid free memorabilia will be kept away from my photos.


Cricut Cartridge - Everyday Paper Dolls

I love paper dolls!  As a child I enjoyed playing with them and still do today.  I have used the Everyday Paper Dolls cartridge to create figurines that resemble my boys and their interests.  There are couple for myself as well.  There are also items to go with the paper dolls, ie. police car, fire truck, sports equipment, etc.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Mojo Monday #256 - August 27, 2012

For Mojo Monday #256 sketch designed by Julee Tilman I used the Close To My Heart exclusive Cricut cartridges Art Philosophy for the circle card 4 1/4" and Artiste for the circle clockworks shape at 4 1/2".  Papers used were from CTMH Victory paper pack, embellishments are the canvas shapes and metal/pearl gems along with hemp.

Also entered my Mojo Monday card into the following challenges:

Ruby's Rainbow Challenge 36
The Perfect Sentiment PSC 47
Make It Monday MIM 104
Eureka Stamps Challenge 3
Simon Says Stamp and Show Anything Goes
Scrapalicious USA Anything Goes

Goodie Bag (Back to School)

Stamp up a topper, fill up a plastic sealed baggie and staple the topper on top.  A quick goodie bag to give to the teachers or students on their first day back to school.  It'll make everyone's day sweeter.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Celebrate (1997)

This too is a card made with stamps from the 90's and can be recreated with today's stamp sets.  Love the pop-up inside the card.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

BBQ Invitation

Another back in time creation that can be duplicated with current stamp sets.  This was actually used for one of my boys K-5 graduation.  We celebrated with a BBQ.  The stamp sets used were from when I was a Close To My Heart Independent Consultant in the 90's.  You could very easily recreate using any stamp sets we currently have.


Friday, August 24, 2012

About Me - August 25, 2012

First Aid/CPR preparedness… Are you?

I spent the day on Thursday at my required bi-annual first aid/CPR training, as a teacher of home economics.  Getting up at the crack of dawn to get to the training on time after almost 3 months with NO alarm clock set my mood to the negative side of the pendulum.  The brighter side of the pendulum was getting in the car with my co-worker/friend to carpool and having 25 minutes of “catch up” time.  It was also her birthday!

When we arrived at the doorway to the training there was a rescuAnnie lying on the table.  A real visual of the day ahead of us, a day of relearning the how-to’s of saving a person’s life.  An eye opening experience to the reality that there are not enough of us trained in this area to be there for the large percentage of people who do require CPR to stay alive, but do in fact die as no one stepped up to help them.  Yes, there is the flight or fight mechanism within each of us.  Which one are you?  If you are one who flees, why?  Are you not properly trained?  Why?  Are you one who fights?  Can you help that person in need to fight for their life?  Why? Are you or are you not properly trained?

I have been through this training several times in my teaching career of seven years and am still not sure of myself.  But, amazingly when I am set before one of the training dummies it seems to start to come back to me much like riding a bicycle.  I can only hope that in a real life situation I will choose the fighting side in me and help those in need of emergency medical care.

By days end my mood was swinging fiercely towards the positive side of the pendulum to stay.  What a feeling to walk out of the building knowing that I had once again taken the first step towards helping to save a person’s life.  Please think about the importance of you seeking out training in First Aid/CPR preparedness.

Here is a photo of me being the class example for how to treat injuries.  I had a compound fracture with a bad wound on my left arm, my intestines were hanging out of my stomach, I had a knife jammed into my right leg and my right eye had a pen lodged into it.  What a fun scrapbook page this will make J 
Enjoy your week!


Space Party using CTMH Cricut Artiste Cartridge - YouTube video

Space Party
Do you have an astronaut or martian in your life?  Here are the perfect celebration decorations for that special someone in your life.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Make It with Markers - YouTube video

A Harvest Banner
Watch this YouTube video on how to blend with the alcohol markers from Close To My Heart.  A leaf stamp is used for the image to be colored and then it has been cut out and used to create a harvest banner.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First Vote

In November 2010 I ran for a city councilor position in my small city of 3700 residents.  That same election was to be my oldest son's very first time to be eligible to vote.  We had a good time discussing all of the candidates, voting and dropping off our ballots together.  Still wondering if he did in fact vote for me :-)

By the way, I am currently in my second year of my four year term.  I won the election with the most votes out of the five of us running (three positions were to be filled).


Letters and numbers cut using Close To My Heart's exclusive Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge

Basic Grey Sketch 8-20-2012

Still had a bit of the Workshop On The Go - Avonlea to use up, sought out another sketch to use.  This one is from Basic Grey sketch artist Valerie Salmon.

This layout will make a great title page to a new album.  Enjoy!

Cricut Artiste: One Size Fits All YouTube video

Cricut Artiste Easy Instructions YouTube video

The Deconstructed Sketch 65

A sketch entry for Deconstructed Sketch using the Workshop On The Go - Avonlea scraps.  So, once again I have created three complete layouts, a bonus project and a card using the WOTG supplies from one kit.  And YES, I do still have scraps left over for more creations.  You really do get your monies worth when you purchase a Workshop On The Go. Click on the "Shop With Me" button to see all of the Workshops On The Go packets that are available through Close To My Heart.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcome Back To Home Sweet Home

It is nice to go on vacations, but isn't it always grand to return home to your own bed!  Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Chicago Layover

I really like how this bottom border turned out with the combination of stickers and Cricut fonts.  Enjoy!

Mojo Monday #255 - 8/20 Challenge

Mojo Monday is a sketch challenge created by Julee Tilman in 2007.  I have come across this weekly challenge byway of clicking around on blogs searching for ways to push myself to create outside of my comfort zone.  Here is what I came up with for the August 20th Mojo Monday in honor of the upcoming elections:

Election Theme
Paper from Close To My Heart - Fanfare
Label cut from Close To My Heart exclusive Cricut cartridge Art Philosophy
Trims purchased at Wal-Mart


This second card is made using the Close To My Heart, Workshops On The Go - Scholastic

Mojo Monday #255 sketch to follow the week of August 20, 2012

More Layouts from Worshops On The Go Supplies

Once the focus layout, additional layout and bonus project are completed for each Workshop On The Go (WOTG) the scraps can be used to make MORE...  Here are layouts using the remaining scraps of paper from the Avonlea, Scholastic and Victory WOTG kits.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Depart for Home from Newark, New York

Once again, Cricut cuts and stickers.  I just love stickers, I have way more than I will EVER need to go along with my photos.  Enjoy!

Celebrate Card

This celebrate card incorporates the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge and stamps from the stamp sets included in the Close To My Heart Art Philosophy Cricut bundle.  I used liquid glass on the frosting of the cupcake.  Be sure to take that next step and add some personality to the inside of your cards.  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New York Starbucks in the Trump Tower

Love, love Starbucks!  It was an added bonus to be able to go to Starbucks in the Trump Tower in New York.  Enjoy!

Got a Bug? - Get Well Card

When I received the Cricut Car Decal cartridge in the mail and found the Cricut image was on it, I went crazy!  I love the Cricut mascot.  I pulled together some papers and grabbed the Gypsy font and created this fun get well card.  Any one would love to receive this kind of "bug".  Enjoy!

About Me - August 18, 2012, Back to Scrapbooking Basics

Back to the Basics 

Long gone are the days of scarcity … 
  • The days of digging through my kitchen drawers for that perfect sized piece of plastic ware to create a circle
  • The days of going to my boys to borrow their coloring books to trace images for paper piecing
  • The days of explaining the terms acid free, lignin free and archival quality to sales clerks

Now are the days of abundance… 
  • The days of drawers containing multiple trends in paper cutting system supplies in many shapes and sizes
  • The days of electronic cutting machines opening the paper piecing highway to hundreds of images at the touch of a finger
  • The days of archival quality band wagons at each venue of paper production in the industry of paper making worldwide

Where am I going with this nostalgic post…  I am heading back to the basics and remembering how much more work I was able to accomplish in my scrapbooks when I had less choices.  The pages were much simpler and plainer too.  Now I find myself overwhelmed at times with making choices; what paper cutting system will work the best for a photos crop, which cartridge to scan for the perfect image to go with a layouts theme, or which type of embellishment to add for that final touch. 

By now you are wondering why I seem to be heading in a negative direction regarding having too much.  No, quite the contrary.  I am right there with you, Christmas/birthday money or gift card in hand, when a new product comes on the market.  Typically, the new products are coming in to existence as a help in making things easier and faster.  I am veering in the direction of organizing and planning, both of which are time savers.  I am heading back to the basics.  I merely want to share the importance of grasping the idea of basics and making wise decisions in purchases.  For instance, shop based on a theme of an album you are going to be creating, ie. sports, school, Christmas, etc. 

In my personal craft studio you will find cubbies filled to the brim with themed plastic storage baggies, ie. Christmas, animals, camping, etc.  I have then made folders for my papers, ie. blue, red, white or Christmas B&T, baby B&T, etc.  Through the Close To My Heart way of product research and development, they do all this sorting and organizing for you.  As you thumb through the pages of the idea book, you will find themed papers, and coordinating colors in inks, papers, pens and embellishments.  Where they take it over the top is the stamp sets.  The CTMH design team works hard each and every idea book to create images that tie into the trends of the time and that tie into a personal expression of gratitude, love, hope, and that highlight the change of the seasons.

Going back to my last “About Me” post on the inspiration book “Make It From Your Heart, Volume I and Volume 2” I can now easily pull from these areas to create my layout based on the supplies called for in the layout instructions.  Thus, a means to get back to the basics by way of organizing and planning, and a positive end result of completing your scrapbooks more quickly and easily. 

I hope you are making plans to begin working towards completion of your family memories.  The final back to basics tip I have for you, this is probably the MOST important… your family cannot enjoy those photos/memorabilia and the memories that go along with them when they are contained inside a box. 

Enjoy your week! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Horse and Buggy Ride Through New York's Central Park

Cricut cartridges were used for all of the embellishments on this layout.  It was a beautiful New York day to take a horse and buggy ride.  Enjoy!

Back to School

Oh the memories... I am sorting and preparing for the school year to begin.  It starts earlier for us teachers, in fact next week I have to attend a First Aid/CPR class.  The following week is when we really kick it in to gear at our school.

As I was thumbing through things, I came across the attached cards.  Anyone remember Close To My Heart's stamp of the month girls from long ago?  Well here they are, all dressed and ready for school :-)


Wall Collage

In March my in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  My husband let me take the reigns for how to decorate the reception tables.  I searched the Internet, of course, and found an idea for hinged photo frames for the centerpieces.   You will see that under the frames I placed a piece of gold tulle and scattered around some gold glass gems and 50th anniversary confetti.  Throughout the reception hall you could see my husbands family change over the years, including the addition of us spouses and 7 grandchildren. They were a big hit.

After the reception came the question... Now what do I do with all of these frames?  My next discovery was for a wall collage idea for assorted frames.  Hence the making of a piece of art for my craft studio.  You can purchase kits through your local craft stores, but I was up to the challenge of creating my own.

To begin, I had to remove the hinges from the frames which I had only used glue dots to stick them on.  Then I used a large piece of paper (the paper used in medical offices on the exam tables) to layout my frames in horizontal and vertical positions.  After I was somewhat pleased with the arrangement, I traced around the frames to mark their layout and used Post-it notes to mark the order of the frames.  I took the frames off the paper and strategically placed them to the side.  Then I taped the paper to the wall, measured where the nails should be placed for each frame and hammered them in, and then tore the paper off the wall.  The frames are now on the wall and I am going through my photos to find ones I would like to feature in my wall collage.  I will add some Cricut accents here and there as well.  Enjoy!