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Monday, June 25, 2012

Studio J "Best Day" Layout and a Studio J Tutorial

Studio J Layout: "Best Day" made with the awesome "Lucky" digital kit
Happy Monday!  We are currently at our son, Easton and his wife, Daysha's home for the week. It's so much fun to spend time with them. While we are here Dawson is participating in a football camp and a basketball tournament so we are staying busy! Dan and I are just chillin', watching, and enjoying some downtime and relaxation. Life is good!

In honor of being here, I thought I'd share a layout I made recently with Studio J of Dawson from just over a year ago when he came to spend a week with Easton and Daysha for his 17th birthday.  E and D took good care of him, took him to do lots of fun activities, and made sure his birthday was honored, complete with gluten free cupcakes and a day of shooting up Cedar Canyon. Isn't all of the red rock just gorgeous? Feel free to click on the layout to see it larger and in more detail.

As you know, I am a BIG fan of Studio J (Close To My Heart's fast and easy, but beautiful answer to digital scrapbooking).  I'd love to answer any questions you might have.  You can also read about Studio J here and try it out.

Lastly (but certainly not lastly!) I wanted to share a "Love Your Layout" Studio J tutorial video. Close To My Heart releases one of these each month that you can follow and make your very own layout while learning fun new Studio J techniques. They are quick, easy and so much fun!

Have a wonderful day. I'm off to watch some football!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Studio J "Sugar & Spice" Layout and a Bird Card with the June Stamp of the Month

I'm back again with the third of five Studio J (CTMH's awesome and easy to use digital scrapbooking program) layouts each of the Close To My Heart Convention attendees got to make before we head to Dallas for our International Convention in a few weeks. I love that CTMH provided us with instructions and tips for 5 layouts before we get there so we are even more prepared for our Studio J class! Not only that, they covered the all of the costs for these layouts to be printed and delivered in out hot little hands.  You can see the other two layouts I have already shared here and here.

Here are some of the Studio J techniques I used on this "Sugar & Spice"layout of our little granddaughter, Daci:
  • altering the look by changing the colors of cardstock and B&T (patterned) papers (this was a black and orange Halloween kit!)
  • rotating a page
  • using a vellum text box to lighten a color
  • converting a photo well to a text box
  • creating my own embellishments by cropping MyStickease and combining and clustering them
  • using stitched shapes

I will share close ups of each page in a moment, but before I do I have a few little June reminders:

1.  Don't forget that June is Stampaganza. For every 2 stamp sets you purchase this month, you get the third of equal or lesser value for FREE! So, buy 4 and get 2 free, or buy 6 and get three free.  COOL BEANS!  For your convenience, if you are ordering on my website, your order will automatically take off the third set as you are checking out. Just put them in your cart like you would if you were paying for them. Also, if you are interested in seeing which stamp sets will be retiring July 31 (or while supplies last, whichever comes first), click here. That way you can be sure to purchase any of those sets you just have to have before it's too late, and at the same time apply them to Stampaganza. 

2. This month's Stamp of the Month is darling.  I love that it is only $5 when you spend $50.  Do you realize that if you were to purchase 2 of our "E" size stamp sets (I use these a TON for titles) at $29.95 each, you would get a third one FREE PLUS the Stamp of the Month at only $5 (a $17.95 value). That would be $107.80 in stamp sets for only $64.90.  That's over a 40% discount!  Here is a card I made with this month's Stamp of the Month (Life is Tweet) as well as a photo of the stamp set itself (carrier sheet actual size is 6" x 6").  This set is available only during June. If you are ordering on my website, you'll be prompted to add this 'tweet' set before you check out.

Now, back to that Studio J layout.  Here are close ups of each page:
left page

right page
Have a wonderful Summer day!  I'm spending it in my craft room making some top-secret artwork for the class I am teaching at Convention. WOO HOO!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

July Play Group Scrapbooking Classes (Stella Kit)

July Play Group classes will be here before you know it (July 19 and 20), so NOW is the time to sign up. Sign up deadline is Saturday, July 7. You can participate in my Play Group classes in one of three ways:
  1.  Attend a class in person
  2.  Host one in your home with your friends (and earn free product!)
  3.  Participate long distance. Just add $5 to the kit total you see to have your kit shipped directly from me to you.
I'm confident you will enjoy what we do and be very happy with the projects you make!  Keep reading...
I need to hear from you no later than Saturday, July 7 if you want to participate.  We will be making three 2-page 12" x 12" layouts using the Stella Kit that are so much fun. I think they have a little bit of a Bohemian feel and I just love the color combo of this paper pack! I have used these layouts for photos of my grandkids.  They'd also be great for little girl photos, photos of you and friends, photos of you and your sister(s) and/or mom, photos of Spring or Summer gardens, photos of your daughter(s), and so much more.  The list is endless.  Just call or email me to sign up (801.360.9896,

Here are the layouts (click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail). I've shared the details of the class, the kits, and how to participate after the photos. If you are not familiar with my Play Group classes, scroll down the left side of my blog until you find the section called "Play Group Information" and read away!  Enjoy!
Layout 1: Grandkids, with photos added

Layout 1: Grandkids, no photos

Layout 1: detail photo 1

Layout 1: detail photo 2

Layout 1: detail photo 3

Layout 1: detail photo 4
Layout 2: How Sweet It Is, with photos added

Layout 2: How Sweet It Is, no photos

Layout 2: detail photo 1

Layout 2: detail photo 2

Layout 2: journaling
Layout 3: Celebrate Life, Love and Family, with photos added

Layout #3: Celebrate Life, Love and Family, no photos

Layout 3: detail photo 1

Layout 3: detail photo 2

Layout 3: detail photo 3

Layout 3: journaling

Now that I've gotten you excited, read on for the details of how to participate...

Class Dates and Times to choose from:
Thursday, July 19, 7-10 pm in Pleasant Grove, UT
Friday, July 20, 10 am - 1 pm in American Fork, UT

As mentioned earlier, you can also host this workshop in your home (in Utah) with your friends during the month of July and earn FREE hostess rewards (free CTMH shopping spree!) while you do it. If you are interested in doing that, please contact me (801.360,9896, and I'll give you all the details.

You can also participate in this workshop long-distance. If you choose to do so, just add $5 to the cost of whichever kit you choose for the extra shipping.  I suggest if you are participating long-distance that you at least order the "Better Kit", and any stamp pads we are using that you don't already have.  If you participate long distance, I am happy to stamp the items using stamp sets that aren't in the kit for you since you probably won't have the stamp pads and alphabet stamp (unless you order the "Best Kit"). That is my little gift to you if you participate long-distance.

Play Group members: I'd love for you to bring a friend! If you have a friend you think would enjoy Play Group, invite them!  I just need to know by Saturday, July 7 if they are coming so I can be sure and get them a kit.  There is no obligation to join unless they love it and want to when they come and try it out.

Remember, in order to attend, you only need to purchase the Basic Kit. Anything above and beyond that is totally up to you. This month, I suggest you consider the Better Kit. The few items I've added there make a huge difference to your pages. If you already have any of the items in the Better or Best kits, just bring them with you to class.

July Play Group Shopping List (for your convenience, I have linked each product to it's page on my website so you can see them). You are only required to purchase the "Basic Kit" to participate. Anything above and beyond that is totally up to you. I personally recommend the "Better Kit".

Basic Kit (this is all that you are required to purchase to participate)
Subtotal: $31.55
Total with Shipping and Tax: $35.89

Better Kit = Basic Kit + the following products (I recommend this kit!)

Subtotal: $53.65*
Total with Shipping and Tax: $61.54

Best Kit = Basic Kit + Better Kit + the following products

 Subtotal: $99.35*
Total with Shipping and Tax: $113.96

*at this purchase level you qualify for the June Stamp of the Month ($17.95 value) at only $5! I think this set is dynamite and goes beautifully with the Stella paper you will be getting in your kit.  You'll have some left-over paper that would be great to use with this set to make some cards!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Studio J Layout with the Magic Moments Kit

Studio J layout featuring Dawson and his date for the Preference Dance in January 2011. I can't believe how much Dawson has grown up just since then!
I'm back again with another Studio J layout (see yesterday's post here for more details).  Feel free to click on any photo in this post to see it larger and in more detail.

If you were to look at the Magic Moments kit, you would never believe I used it to make this layout.  That kit is full of pinks and blues and golds.  As you can see my layout is very different from that. I LOVE that you can change paper colors in Studio J to create any color combo you want!

Techniques I used in this layout:
  • changing paper colors
  • using MyStickease images to create a scalloped border
  • creating a layered ribbon bow
  • adding digital stitching
  • using clear text boxes over MyStickease for journaling
  • changing the intensity of color in paper
Click here for a  quick written overview and many questions answered, then open an account (free!) and start creating.  You can purchase a membership for $10 per month that allows you to pay only $6.50 per 2-page layout ($13 without a membership) and you get one order of between 4 and 20 layouts each month with FREE shipping, and page protectors included.  Nifty, snifty!

Here are close ups of each of the pages:

Don't forget that Stampaganza is in full swing. For every 2 stamp sets you purchase this month you get the third one free. Check out the list of stamp sets that are retiring on July 31 here. NOW (Stampaganza) is a great time to get the ones you just can't live without.  You can place your order on my website, or call or email me (801.360.9896,

Stay tuned for my next post where I will be unveiling the three two-page traditional layouts using the Stella kit we will be making in my July Play Group classes. I hope you'll participate!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Studio J "Lucy" Bath Time Layout

Studio J Lucy Layout featuring my three gorgeous grandkids: Daci, Livvi and Street
This year, for the upcoming annual CTMH National Convention (July in Dallas!), we had a little homework with Studio J (Close To My Heart's SIMPLE was to complicated looking digital pages).  We were sent the instructions for 5 layouts to complete before Convention. CTMH even gave us a 5 pack card FREE ($55 value) to pay for having the layouts printed and shipped to us before Convention. Gosh, I love this company.

This is the first layout of the five I created, using the "Lucy" digital kit.  LOVE how it turned out. I hope you do too! Feel free to click on any photo in this post to see it larger and in more detail.

Some of the fun techniques I learned and used making this layout were:
  • Deleting unwanted photo wells
  • Using text boxes to cover up portions of the pattern and filling them with paper
  • Cropping My Stickease borders to created ribbon streamers
  • Resizing, cropping  and clustering My Stickease
  • Adding digital stitching
  • Layering text boxes to create journaling strips

close up of left that cute smile on Daci's face and the little photo of Street playing with his toes!

close up of right page...that large photo of Livvi on the right gets me every time!

If you are interested in learning more about our easy, breezy, beautiful (wait, that might be another company's slogan) Studio J digital scrapbooking program, click here for a  quick written overview and many questions answered, then open an account (free!) and start creating.  You can purchase a membership for $10 per month that allows you to pay only $6.50 per 2-page layout and you get one order of between 4 and 20 layouts each month with FREE shipping, and page protectors included.  Nifty, snifty!

Have a wonderful day!  I look forward to sharing more of my Convention homework layouts with you SOON!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Secret to Choosing Stamps

As you already know, Close To My Heart as the best stamps in the industry. And, to top that off they are having a WONDERFUL special of a free stamp set for every 2 you purchase. You can read more about that here.

If you are trying to decide WHICH STAMPS you should purchase, I have a SECRET for you. You may want to choose some stamp sets that will be retiring as of July 31. They will no longer be available after that date. To help you out, I have listed below those stamp sets and have made each of them links that take you right to the stamp set so you can see it and even put it in your shopping cart. You're welcome (ha!). The set you see pictured here used on this darling layout is one of the sets that is going bye-bye. Darn! I'll miss him!
  • The sets below with an asterisk (*) next to them are sets that coordinate with our wonderful Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge.  You can see when you click on the link that the stamps that coordinate have an outline around them. When you receive your sets, they will also have the outline around them as well as a measurement of what size to cut that image on your Cricut. Cool beans!
  • The sets below that are bolded and larger print are some of my favorite stamp sets, sets that I use often.

Here we go:
Instant Memories
Harvest Happiness*
Sweet Moments*
Key Moments*
All Hallows Eve*
Christmas Cheer*
Winter Joy
Harvest Home
So Grateful
Captured Moments
Fright Night
Party Animal
A Sip
Nature's Gift
Snow Days
Bundled Buddies
Snow Flurries
All Decked Out
A Holiday*
Holiday Cheer*
A Twinkle
Fill in the Blank - Holiday*
I Believe
Father Christmas
A Timber
St. Nick
Glory to God
Angel Sent
John 3:16
The Present
A Flitter
Treasure Life
Party Pennants
Always Remember
Tag The Occasion
Happy Clusters
Joyful Jar
Month by Month
Gnome Garden
A Game
School Rocks
Live Inspired
Childhood Portrait
Christmas Love
December 25*
Card Chatter-Christmas
Everlasting Life
Holiday Commentary
Holiday Commentary-Spanish
Holiday Commentary - French
Say it in Style
A Little Thanks
Made With Love
Live Your Style
Save the Date
Save the Date - French
Save the Date - Spanish
Baroque Alphabet
Friendship Alphabet Small
Friendship Alphabet Large
Field Trip Alphabet
Giggle Caps
Giggle Lowercase
Rustic Numbers
Rustic Alphabet

You can purchase these and many other stamp sets on my website , 24/7...and during the month of June, don't forget that for every 2 your purchase, the third of equal or lesser value is FREE!  Who doesn't love FREE?

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gift Ideas

Aren't we all always on the look out for a cute and inexpensive gift for a friend's birthday, or to welcome a new neighbor, or to say thank you?  I know I am. This little 2 minute video, featuring the fabulous Carly, shares some really fun ideas. Check it out.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Dan's Birthday, A Recipe, and DID YOU KNOW....?

With the WONDERFUL June special of Stampaganza (for every 2 stamp sets you purchase, you get a third of equal or lesser value FREE!), it's  great time to update you on a few little factoids (including dynamite artwork scattered throughout this post created by the fabulously talented CTMH art department) about  Close To My Heart's My Acrylix® stamps.  My Acrylix® stamps are clearly (ha! pun intended) the best in the stamping industry, ink-stained hands down!

Did you know? 

  • My Acrylix stamps are ready to use right out of the package—no cutting out, mounting, or applying stickers required. Just place the stamp on your block, apply ink, and you’re set! 
  • My Acrylix stamps and blocks are clear, making it easy to stamp in exactly the right spot.
  •  My Acrylix stamps can be used to create a variety of popular looks, including: 
    • base and shade stamping
    •  creating your own patterned paper 
    •  sponging on multiple inks for single-impression, multi-color images 

  •  Many My Acrylix stamps coordinate with Cricut® Art Philosophy cartridge shapes, giving you lots of creative possibilities. Cut the shape on your Cricut® machine, stamp the image on the shape, and attach to your project! In the Idea Book, the images outlined in red coordinate with Cricut® shapes.
  • My Acrylix stamps are easy to maintain, store, and transport!
    Now you can see why Close To My Heart My Acrlylix Stamps are CLEARLY the best on the market!

    To purchase your stamps, just click HERE to enter my website.  You can view the stamp section of our Idea Book HERE.

    Now, onto something more personal. I had to wish my hubby a belated birthday here on my blog.  Dan-the-Man turned 50 yesterday. Yep, half a century, folks! That is a milestone! I am MORE than a little bit embarrassed to admit I totally forgot to take a single photo. UGH! How did I do that?  I was so busy creating his dinner that I just spaced grabbing the camera. I love this photo of Dan and our oldest granddaughter, Daci so I thought I'd share it in Dan's birthday honor today.  At  our house it is tradition that the birthday boy (or girl) gets to choose their entire birthday dinner. Dan chose chicken curry salad, hot dogs on the grill, fresh fruit, and a chocolate birthday cake with chocolate frosting. 

    It has been a while since I shared a recipe, so I thought I'd share my Chicken Curry Salad recipe today. It is a recipe that originated with The Lion House (famous restaurant in a home here in Utah that used to be owned and lived in by Brigham Young) and that has evolved over the years at our house with ingredients added and taken out until we think it's just perfect. It is similar to, but not the same as another of our favorite chicken pasta salads that I shared here, but not as sweet.

    Before I share that, I just wanted to publicly say how much I love this half-century old man of mine. I made such a GREAT decision the day I married him and have never regretted it. We have been through so many joyful experiences together, and some not-so-joyful. All of those experiences are what make a good, strong marriage.  I am so grateful for ours and that he loves me in spite of all of my faults.  Happy Birthday, Dan-o!

    Karen's Chicken Curry Salad
    1 1/2 c. mayo
    4 T. lemon juice
    1 tea. salt
    1 1/2 tea. curry powder
    milk to desired consistency (not too much)

    The Guts:
    4 cups cooked shellroni
    4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
    1 c. diced celery
    1/2 c. green onions, sliced
    1 cup canned pineapple tidbits
    2 red apples, cut in small chunks (I put these in some lemon juice after I cut them until I am ready to drain them and put in the salad with the sauce so they don't go brown)
    2 c. green grapes (cut in half lengthwise)
    1/2 c. slivered almonds
    While boiling the shellroni and chicken (in separate pans of course, ha!), prepare sauce. Put in fridge. Then cut all fruits and veggies and put in a bowl.  Drain shellroni when done and add.  Toss together and put in fridge to chill while you shred the chicken.  When chicken is shredded, add to the salad. Last, toss with sauce and chill. Remember that you will want to be sure you have a bit more sauce than you think you need because as it sits in the fridge, the sauce thickens and absorbs and the salad gets much drier than when you first put the sauce on.

    Beautiful served on croissants or on a lettuce leaf.  Canteloupe, watermelon and/or sliced avacados are good on the side.

    Have a great day!


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