Thursday, April 30, 2009

Close To My Heart Blog Hop

Welcome to our Close to my Heart Summer 2009 Idea Book Blog Hop!

Over 40 Close to my Heart Consultants are celebrating the release of the Summer 2009 Idea Book by sharing their amazing creations using new products via their blogs. If you have come here from Haley's blog, you are on the right path!

If this is your first stop, you may want to go back to Erin's blog and start from the beginning!

I've been sick so I did a couple of quick and easy cards. I used the My Originals book to pick a card pattern. This one is vertical sash.

After I made the first card, I took the leftover pieces on my table to make another card. This is a 4x4 card.

Items Used:
C1360 It's a Zoo (New set, available May 1st)
C1257 Happy Birthday
Z464 Summer Carnival Sassy Strands
X7113B Tinkerin Level 2 Paper Pack (available May 1st)
Inks: Holiday Red, Clover Meadow, Sunflower

I hope you enjoyed your stop here. I love comments!! and I hope you'll come back soon.

Next stop is Ali's blog at

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An Awesome Birthday Present!

So my birthday is still 6 days away, but Josh got me a present that had to be opened tonight. He took me to the live showing of This American Life. In order to fully appreciate the significance of this gift and how happy it made me, you need to know that.

I love This American Life!!

Not only do I love it, but I think that everyone else should love it too. One year I thought I had come up with THE best idea for Christmas gifts! I bought my inlaws, my mom and my brother and sister inlaw This American Life cds. I carefully chose which ones I thought would most suit their personalities and I even made sure I gave my Mom and my brother different versions so that they could trade back and forth. I'm not complaining, but I do think it's important to mention that none of them have called me to tell me which episode was their favorite. I'm sure it's because they are too busy downloading episodes to their ipods so they can catch up on all of the past episodes and have a full and meaningful discussion with me about their favorites.

I thought I might have a new convert a few weeks ago. Josh started listening to podcasts! Not only did he start listening to a podcast, but he was turning it on in the car, telling me I had to listen and he was sharing it with others. As I listened to How Stuff Works with him I couldn't help but recommend another wonderful podcast. He NEEDED to listen to This American Life.

I don't think he has actually subscribed to their podcast, yet. But all of that is how we got to today. Somehow he found out about the special showing tonight and he forked over $42 to buy us tickets AND he went with me. I had to laugh when Ira Glass asked the people in the theater audiences to clap if they had no idea who he was but got dragged there by a friend. There were definately a few claps and hopefully some new fans.

I have to say that one of the reasons I was so excited to go to the show was because finally I would be surrounded by people who "get" it. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to explain it to people. It's almost as hard as trying to explain blogging. "You mean you write about your life so that random strangers can read it.?" It's hard being the only nerd in your group of friends.

Well tonight I wasn't alone. Tonight I was in a theater packed with fans and it was so much fun. I was fascinated with watching Ira Glass. Here is the face that goes with that wonderful voice. I love how he speaks and how he phrases things and I couldn't take my eyes off of him. It was fun to see his little smirks when he tried to keep from laughing. And I was very impressed with how effortless he made it look when he cued up the music and added the pre-taped portions of the show.

I don't know that I would want to watch the episode every week. I think part of the charm is the ability to make up your own pictures in your head, but it was fun to see the people who comprised the different acts. To see the emotion on their faces as they told their stories. It was everything that I love about the show.

And so... if you are already a fan, you have one more opportunity to see the show at the theater. They are replaying it on May 7th. Not a fan yet? Humor me, go download an episode or two and see what you think. I now know that I am not the ONLY nerd that loves it. Maybe you have an inner nerd in you that you need to connect with.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

I almost didn't write an earth day post because stamping and scrapbooking aren't the most environmentally friendly hobbies. I definately encourage buying and consuming and I'm a big time enabler but I do have a good side; a more environmentally conscious side... honest!

So here are my earth day tips and accomplishments:

1) I commute by Bike!! It's kind of fun to know that this year, when Bike to Work day rolls along... I'll be rolling home on my bike! I love it.....even when it proves to be ummm adventurous.

Yesterday was one of those days! My back tire literally blew out!! Yep, sounded like a gun shot or a backfire. I had all my tools and quickly attempted to change my flat, when I noticed that I truly BLEW out the tire. Instead I ended up thanking about 4 different drivers who stopped to offer aid, waited for Josh to show up and headed to the bike shop to get a new tire.

And... I put the new tire and tube on all by myself...twice...because I forgot to make sure I had the tread going the right way the first time. duh!

2) I don't use my dryer anymore!!!!!!! Ok, so maybe this is because the silly thing broke, but it has become a choice. I thought about repairing it and I looked into buying a new one, but by the time we did all that, Josh and I had pretty much gotten used to doing without. It's really not that bad.

I have a towel rod installed above the washer/dryer and I just hang up the clothes. I bought a small rack that fits in the tub so I can hang socks, etc and now that it's getting hot here, things dry pretty fast.

I still like to dry the towels though. I either hang them until they are partially dry and finish them up on the dryer cycle that still works, or we run them to the laundromat.

It makes me feel good to know that I'm saving a little bit...especially when I noticed that my utility bill went down! (I am saving up for a new dryer, but maybe I won't buy one after all. We shall see.)

3.) I've been unplugging everything! I looked around and I unplugged everything that I only use occasionally. Then I plug them in when I want to use them.

And then there's the regular stuff that I've always done...recycle...reuse....repurpose..... I still have lots of room to improve, but I try.

What "green" things have you been working on?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Top 10 Samples

Last week I did a couple of posts about creating top 10 lists to help you brainstorm ideas for scrapbooking.

Here are links to the posts if you haven't read them yet:

What is Your Top 10?

Take Your Top 10 to the Next Level

Here are a couple of quick and easy ideas for using some of your top ten lists.

As I told my class, when I first started riding my bike, every single accomplishment was a momentous occasion and I scrapbooked several of them. Now that I'm entering my second year of cycling, I don't really need to document the same things over and over again. Instead I can list my top 10 favorites for the year and include a few pictures. Here's an example of how I could scrapbook that.
I used a very basic design from My Reflections, called a Title Topper. Letters were cut on the cricut and I used the D1329 Noteworthy stamp set.

Here is another example of a project you could do on a 6x6. You could list your goals on one side and then collage some pictures representing those goals on the other side.

Kathleen (a fellow consultant) posted a digital idea for one of her top ten lists.

And here's a fun card I made using the same paper packet. I love the Creative Basics paper packs! You can create so many things with them. I paired up the May Stamp of the Month, D1349 Be Yourself with the stamp set in Tickled Pink. (I was inspired by similar cards by fellow consultants.) And I used a template on Splitcoast.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Meet Chris

I am so excited to share a new feature on my blog!! I'm going to tell you a secret. While I'm the one preparing and teaching classes, I actually LEARN from my customers. It never fails, I will come up with a project that I think is great and my customers will change it or adapt it and make it even better. My best tips have come from my customers.... So that got me thinking.... We've seen interviews of all the "famous" scrapbookers. Why not interview my customers and friends?

And with that, I'd like to introduce you to Chris.

When Chris first came to my classes she was just going to scrapbook her baby's first year. I might have the timing wrong, but I'm pretty sure she just had one child when we started this adventure. And then she had another baby. Ooops, I guess you have to keep scrapbooking. And then came baby number three. I thought this whole thing was working out rather nice for my business. Thankfully Chris became a full-fledged scrapbooker while she worked on those baby albums and she has continued to find more projects to work on. My Friday night scrapbook club just wouldn't be the same without her! She's our organizer. She get's us all to show up on the same night and often plans where everyone is going to meet for dinner.

And now... here's Chris' interview.

Why do you scrapbook?
Love, love, love to have family pictures. We take thousands of pictures ever year. Thank goodness for digital cameras. I want a way to show off the pictures and tell the story.

How long have you been scrapbooking with me?
Feb 2000 is when Rivka brought me to you. We are almost going to celebrate 10 years together! Wow!

What is your favorite scrapbook project and why?
My favorite scrapbook project is my calendar scrapbook. It is a 12 x 12 album. One side has a scrapbook page with pictures from the month. I try to focus on more day to day pictures rather then the big events. The other side had a month calendar where I jot notes most days about the events of the day or funny stories that happen. I love to go back and look at this scrapbook. When I reread the little events I'm so glad that I recorded them because I would never remember they happened. This will be the 4th year of the calendar scrapbook.

Here'a picture of the cover page. If you click on the picture you can see it a little bit better. Along the left side she has stickers with the years 2006-2009.

And here is one of the pages inside. What I love about this album is that Chris picks the best pictures! She has silly pictures... like one of her and the girls with chocolate mustaches (got milk...I mean got chocolate?) And pictures that really illustrate the relationships in her family as well as all the different personalities. I know this will be a great family treasure!

What is your favorite scrapbook organizational tip.
I always organize my pictures chronologically, write the date and picture details on the back of the picture and put in a photo album. If I have a lot of pictures with the same detail information I print labels and stick them to the back of all the pictures. Then when I go to scrapbook it is easy to find what I want and what I don't use is organized in photo albums.

I've seen Chris work on this during some of our scrapbook nights and sometimes she has HUGE stacks of photos.... but she just brings them along, chats with friends and gets them all organized. When I grow up... I want to be organized like Chris...haha!

What is your favorite scrapbook product/supply?
This is a hard one! I should say a Close to My Heart product right? I love the stamps, but sometimes I feel like I collect them more than use them! I really liked when Close to My Heart started putting together the theme packs of paper rather then the color packs. (My Reflections Level 2 paper packs.) It makes putting together a matching, cohesive page so much easier. I love my little blue case from Zutter that has all the tools you need - scissors, wire cutters, pliers, file, needle, ruler, pen, etc.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Chris!! She was such a good sport! She replied to my interview questions right away and even let me take pictures of her. I have more interviews planned so stay tuned! (Leave me a comment if you're interested in being interviewed!)

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Bunny Thank You

I think I'll make this short and sweet tonight. It's getting late. I had a fun time with my Friday night scrapbook club and I have an all-day crop tomorrow. Busy, busy...but fun, fun, fun....

I have a couple of surprises for my Saturday group. One surprise is a shocking bit of organization. I'm not sure if they'll be able to handle it... but I already know what scrapbook pages I'm doing for the next four months...AND... I printed the flyers out already. Scary, I know.

I made these cute bunny cards a while ago, but I had to wait to post them until I gave them to one of my blog readers. I didn't want to give her a sneak peek.

The sentiment is from a previous stamp of the month
B1324 Bunny Love
x7108 Daydream Level 2 paper pack
(I added some black paper that is not in the paper pack.)

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Scrapbook and Share Contest

Woo Hoo!!! Close To My Heart created a cool new blog called Scrapbook and Share to go along with National Scrapbooking Month and our Tickled Pink Kit....AND there's a contest. This contest is SOOOOO easy. We all need to submit an entry or two or three....

They are asking you to create a two-page layout about YOU. I think that's a subject we all know a lot about. After you create your layout, email it to them and they will post it on the blog.

Not only do you get to see your layout on a cool blog, but you can go back every day and get inspired by many other talented scrapbookers!

Here are the rest of the details Contest Rules

I'm going to do it... how about you?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's April 15th and I'm.....

Tickled Pink! Many of you probably have "other" things on your mind when I say that it's April 15th...but I have something more fun in mind. Today is the day that the Close To My Heart National Scrapbook Month Kit, Tickled Pink, goes on sale. In all honesty, I didn't fully appreciate this kit before I bought it. I guess I'm kind of spoiled. I know we come up with great kits every year and so I just ordered it without researching what came in it. So imagine my excitement and my surprise when I opened my order on Monday!!

Check this out!

You get this stinkin cute stamp set AND white mini medley AND a foam tool!

And the paper pack! My photography skills don't do the paper justice. It is truly gorgeous.

But wait..there's more... sadly I couldn't get a good picture of the textured cardstock and die-cuts.
The kit is available starting today, while supplies last. You can read all the details and price info on my website.
Have you created something fun with this kit? I'd love to see your creations. Leave me a comment with a link so I can check them out... and I'll post some projects soon! (Once I stop sniffing the paper and admiring it... why oh why is it so hard to just use it!)

Saturday's Scrapbook Project
This saturday is my monthly crop and I'm using the Stardust Workshops on the Go. (Follow the link to see more samples!) Each month I create the layouts using different papers and accessories that are not featured on the Workshop Guide that you get at the workshop. I do it so that you can see how easy it is to adapt the layout to whatever project/paper you want to work on. This month I was feeling inspired so I created TWO samples!!

I haven't added pictures to my Stardust pages yet so you can use your imagination by comparing them to the other pages.

The original sample features an 8x10 photo in the opening, but I had a 5x7. Adding a matte helped to fill in all the open space.
Do you like my lovely ink schmoo on this one? Thankfully it will be covered by photos later. And let's not even mention the strange placement of the stars on the journaling spot. (I didn't notice it until I saw the picture. And here I thought I had placed the stars randomly.)
And here it is with photos...

Be sure to RSVP for the workshop so that you can receive a FREE workshop guide with the template and directions for the layouts featured above. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Clips, New Pedals, Oh my!

I did it. I made the switch to clipless pedals. I was a little worried about this transition so I spent a lot of time researching and planning my switch. I think the few days that I attempted to use the toe clips that came with my bike, made me extra cautious.

I chose to go with mountain bike (mtb) shoes because they work with the spin bikes at the gym and the cleat is more recessed in the shoe so you can walk around in them better and ... I fell in love with these sandals by Keen....

Once I decided on what shoes, it was time to find pedals. As soon as I heard that you could have a pedal that was a platform on one side and you could clip in on the other side...I was sold! I ended up with the Forte Campus pedal. The best part is that I bought them when they were on sale, used my membership points, and I only had to pay $8 for the pedals.

I had a mini freak out when I tried to understand all of the mechanical aspects of putting on the pedals, attaching the cleat to the shoes, adjusting the tension on the pedals.... How do you know what to do? I ended up bugging one of the other cyclists at work and he gave me a few tips.

Then it was time to try riding with them... Last Thursday Jane and I hung out at the back of the group and she helped me get started.

First - she suggested I attach the weakest leg first because I will make it stronger. Love that idea!

Then I got clipped in and was ready to go. Oh wait.... she made me stop and take them off... and then go... and then stop.... She was quite the taskmaster! (Just kidding! It really helped!)

Once I was able to clip in and out easily, she had me try pulling up when I was going up hill. Partly to get used to using my leg muscles differently and partly to make sure my shoes were going to stay attached under strain. They did and I loved them!!

Yesterday was the first day I rode home using them and I had absolutely no problems. I could definately tell a difference in my speed and strength. I am hooked....literally...hahaha!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My "Magic" Hardware store

We have a magic hardware store on Maine Ave. in downtown Lakeside. Picture an old movie with one little block that is "downtown" and you've got a pretty good idea of what downtown Lakeside looks like. It's part of the charm of where we live. We're in San Diego county and we have all the big city stuff, but travel down the road one mile and you'll see a quaint little shopping area, rodeo grounds and horses walking down the street. And right smack dab in the middle of Maine Ave., is Paytons True Value hardware.

We have lived in Lakeside for about 15 years now and we have had many little home improvement projects that we have had to do. You know, the kind of projects that send you to the hardware store over and over again. And over the years we have found that our little old house just isn't "standard." Sometimes we have to find a special part to make things work. We'll try the local Home Depot or Lowe's and over and over again, we end up at Paytons and they always have exactly what we need.

It's Magic!

Seriously, have you been in a Home Depot or Lowe's lately? They are absolutely huge. They have row upon row of boxes and yet, the little tiny Payton's Hardware Store in downtown Lakeside always seems to have exactly what we need!

A few weeks ago I was on the hunt for Hula Hoop making materials. I found the tubing, but I could not find the insert connectors. I even had the part numbers from Lowe's and I showed them to a "helpful" Lowe's associate and I could not find the parts!! It was driving me crazy. At the time I joked to hubby and said "I should check Paytons."

Well I did finally find the parts, thanks to a more helpful Lowe's employee. He used an unusual tactic. He listened to me and then he, are you ready? He looked up the part number on the computer. Wow!

Well yesterday, we went to Paytons (for another home improvement project. We have a new kitchen faucet. Thank you hubby!) and I just had to check. Do they have the connectors?


I drove to four different home improvement stores, made three trips to Lowe's in Santee, and my favorite little store, in downtown Lakeside, had the connectors. I could've ridden my bike there!

So if you live in the area, I think you should pay a visit to Payton's. I bet they'll have exactly what you need. And in true small town fashion. Make sure you pick up a free bag of popcorn while you're shopping.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April Workshop Project

It's here, it's here... April's workshop project. It's a Scrapbook in a Purse! Wouldn't this make a great Mother's Day gift? It would also be a great project to do with Girl Scouts or at a birthday party. You'll have three different paper/pattern choices and the project is only $4. Kit includes paper and accessories (brads, ribbon, velcro, flowers) needed to complete one Scrapbook in a Purse.

Email me to RSVP right away! (For April 18th workshop)

Special thank you to Gail Vought for sharing her samples and ideas with me and to Connie Mann. I believe Connie is the consultant that came up with the pattern and generously shared the directions.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Memory Boxes

I had planned to do memory boxes at my workshop this month, but they are a hot item at Close To My Heart and they are completely out. Ooops. That'll teach me to wait until the last minute to order supplies.

I made this box to match my stamp room. I have several other choices for my customers.... but that will have to wait... Instead we're switching to plan B for next week, thanks to my good friend Gail. I'll try to take pictures for the new project tomorrow.

Paper: x7803 Let's Get Together
Letters and Flowers: George Cricut Cartridge
Stamp Set: D1204 Delight in Everything
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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Take your Top Ten to the next level

Yesterday I challenged you to create some of your own Top Ten lists. Today I am going to give you some ideas on how to use those top ten lists as a springboard for your journal, new scrapbook pages or even entire scrapbooks.

Today's Challenge:
Read the entry below and then use your top ten lists to create a new blog entry, scrapbook page, themed scrapbook, or piece of art (Jaime!). Leave me a comment with a link to your creation. Next week I'll post one of my creations and highlight my favorites from the comments.

Use Top Ten lists to "catch up" on years of photos:
Whenever I start to talk about scrapbooking with people, I can almost guarantee that I will hear the statement. "I am so far behind. I have 20+ years of photos." Who wouldn't be overwhelmed when faced with that many photos? How do you put them all in order. What if you start scrapbooking some and then find more that should have gone with them? Top Ten lists to the rescue!

Let's pretend that we made a list of our Top Ten favorite Christmas memories/traditions. Instead of scrapbooking every Christmas we've ever experienced, we can look for a few photos that highlight some of the more meaningful memories. Don't have a photo to represent one of your memories? Journal about it or google it and look for a photo online.

What do you think you will enjoy more? 20 pages of Christmas' past, or one two page spread that highlights the best of the best? What would your family enjoy more?

Create a special gift or album
One of the best gifts I ever made was a little mini album/card that I made for my Dad. I wrote...

"I remember when...."

And I filled it with little things that meant a lot to me when I was growing up. I wrote about the year that he helped me create my Dawn Dishwashing Liquid costume for halloween. He drove me from store to store to find the right material and then he went above and beyond to create the perfect spout/hat to go with it.

He gave me my first grown up album (not Disney music, etc.) - Men At Work. I had no idea who they were and had never heard their music. It was the absolute best album to give me. I loved it and still do!

Your turn. Use your top ten lists to create a special album or gift for someone you love. It's also a great way to document your ancestors in your family heritage album. Instead of a picture that says "Grandpa Joe," you can create a page that includes some of the fun things you remember about him.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

What is your Top Ten?

(Excerpt from a Scrapbooking class I taught for Staff Development on Monday)

Creating a top ten list is a great way to jump start your scrapbooking. Whether you're brand new or a seasoned scrapbooker, we often find that we just aren't inspired or aren't sure where to start. Try this technique next time you're stumped and see what you come up with.

Challenge: Take a few minutes and create as many top ten lists as you can. You can use a few I suggest below, or create your own topics. Tomorrow I'll share how you can use those top ten lists to add interest to your journal or blog, create fun scrapbook pages and quick theme scrapbooks.

Top Ten:

1. Places you've visited

2. Favorite Foods/Restaurants

3. Goals

4. Things you love about _____ (husband, wife, child, work, place you live)

5. Bike Rides (I had to work cycling in somewhere!)

6. Things you remember about (a relative, growing up, a house, a town, a trip)

7. Moments that shaped your life

8. Memories from high school (college, elementary school)

9. Favorite TV shows/movies/books

10. Favorite websites/blogs

Friday, April 03, 2009

Testing pictures from phone

Well here is test number two. This time I am attempting to attach a photo.

I took this at the entrance to Lake Murray on the ride yesterday. The wildflowers are blooming and we saw a momma with about 10 baby chicks. They were adorable and they swam so fast!

Edited to Add: It worked!! Woo Hoo!! I have a feeling the posts will be short and sweet when I send them from my phone though. It took me forever to type that.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


I feel like I have finally broken through a plateau in my riding. I used to be pretty inconsistent about riding the whole way home. I treasured the days when we had doctor appointments or meetings and I loved it when I could swing by Josh's work and pick up my car. Don't get me wrong, I liked to ride home, but I had a hard time doing it day after day. My body just couldn't handle it. I was exhausted and I was sore. If I had a hard ride home one day, I liked to do a partial ride the next day; and I was starting to wonder how I would do on our bike tour. Would I be able to do long rides back to back. Then all of the sudden this week, everything seems to be clicking. I'm completely enjoying my rides and I'm not totally exhausted when I finish. I can do a good solid 16 miles one day and then easily ride 10 the next day. And that's after working all day. I imagine it will be much easier to get the miles in when I start riding first thing in the morning!

I just looked over our 6 week training schedule for the bike tour and the only thing I have left to do is to start planning in some longer rides on the weekend. Three hours? No problem. Four hours? We did that once. Five hours and Six hours? Hmmm... Now, I'm getting a little worried. First I wonder if I can make it for six hours, then I wonder where in the world am I going to ride for 6 hours? It's all well and good that the tour says that our ride will be mostly flat. Maybe they have long flat valleys there, but this is San Diego and I'm not sure I can come up with a 6 hour ride that doesn't include some nasty hills.

Well, it's late and I better get to bed, I'm in training you know.