Scrapbook Sketches Spark Creativity.

One photo single page scapbook sketchSketches help when your creativity is slow to come forth. When you start, you will usually get ideas of ways to change a sketch to make it your own.  Today I am featuring a single layout with a single photo but you could change it up to include more if you like. I am excited to see how you make this sketch your own! Please text me at 801-800-0884 or e-mail me a copy of your final creation so I can publish it here.

Remember, for every finished layout I receive, your name goes into the bucket for the end of the month drawing. I have lots of stamp sets to give away and you will be able to choose from them.

Now, leave a comment below with your thoughts, and then take the sketch and start creating. I will post my interpretation of the sketch later in the week.

What Kind of Crafter are You?

Join Close to my Heart!Happy 2021!!

I am sure are thinking “I am glad 2020 is over” but the things that made us wish this are not gone…yet.  We will all push on. I am making a commitment to getting back to basics and I want to know…How can I best serve your needs?  What can I do to help you get back to crafting? Please leave a comment below and tell me,  How can I serve YOU?

Tell me what kind of crafter are you. Are you a scrapbooker? cardmaker? paper crafter? or all of the above?   I will share with you what I have planned at this point and as I get some feedback about your needs, I can make changes. 

I will have a drawing for everyone who sends me a picture of your work, your take on the scrapbook, and card sketches. You can send your finished up Friday projects too, and you will receive a drawing coupon. I will be posting the pictures here on the blog and you can share the link with your friends when they are posted.  You will have 7 days from the day the sketch is posted to send me your finished layout or card. When you do, you will have your name added twice to the drawing. Can’t get it done in 7 days? Get it done by the end of the month, your name will go in once for each submission, that way you still have the chance to win!

Ways I will serve you:

 Mondays I will post a scrapbook sketch and  Thursdays I will post a card sketch.  I will also be posting journaling prompts on my Facebook page Creatively Carol | Facebook

Throwback Thursday could be anything.

Finish it up Fridays is a good time to finish something you never got finished.  If you are like me, you have lots of those. 

Leave me a comment below and tell me how I can serve you. What would you like to see here on the blog?

Are you as sick as I am?

Are you as sick of of this darn pandemic as I am? I am tired of not feeling like I can go anywhere or do anything. Hopefully people will continue to wear masks and physically distance themselves from others. I was glad to see not everything as just stopped however, As I had to detour my trip home because a landscape truck and a suburban couldn’t get along on the corner where I live, I had to go around the block, and passed a park, and about 20 adults in a circle, all 6 feet apart. How wonderful they found a way to feed their mental health by seeing people, without infecting anyone!

Throwback Thursday

I thought for Throwback Thursday, it would be good to look at a scrapbook page that reminds us of the old normal, and one we can hopefully have again soon. Use chipboard on your scrapbook pages for demension  Going back about 25+ years ago in Arkansas when my sister- in- law wanted to pay her friend back for making a fuss about her birthday. Evonne HATES to be the center of any attention, so when it came to returning the favor to her friend Carrie, Evonne called her brother, my husband Gary, begging him to dress up like a sumo wrestler and be there when Carrie came out of work.  What a time this was, everyone was laughing and Carrie didn’t know what to think!

In scrapbooking this page, I had decided to use the circles that were a part of the background paper I had chosen (what the heck was I thinking!) and cut many of the pictures and matted them in circles as well.  While not a page I would have created in this century, it does remind me of how far I have come. Using chipboard to give the page some depth and dimension as well as tying it with ribbon helped with preventing the flat look.

Don’t forget your journaling, people would never understand this story without it. I am sure the kids will groan when they go through the scrapbooks after we are gone and come across this page. I mean they KNOW their pop loved a good joke, but I doubt seeing him in a “sumo diaper” will thrill them.  It was actually underwear covered in a flour cloth dishtowl.  There were even some older ladies trying to get a peek!  I thought Gary would die on the spot. Thank goodness he was a lot faster in those days.

I hope this page has brought a smile to your face during this difficult time. Tomorrow I want to talk a bit about how we document this time in history as well as our lives.

Different Adhesive Options for your Scrapbook

When looking for glue options for your scrapbook you have a plethora of options, it is easy to get confused or frustrated when trying to decide the best ones to choose. I said the best ones because there are different glue types for different purposes. When working with paper, you have to be careful with a liquid glue as it will warp the paper if too much is used.

A lot of times, a newbie to scrapbooking with grab glue sticks. The problem with glue sticks is that they don’t stay stuck! They are great for a kindergarten art class but for something that is going to withstand time and motion you need to use stronger, more effective adhesives.

If I am putting together a scrapbook page, I will use Close to my Heart’s Bonding Memories Glue. I like that I can stick what I am gluing straight down if I want it permanent, or wait a few seconds until the blue turns clear and have a repositionable adhesive. I hate things crooked, so having that option really helps. The nice thing here is even if I put something down as permanent, I can usually get it back up quickly if I haven’t pressed it thoroughly down. Just don’t pull it off, you will certainly tear your paper backing and curl it as well. Use a craft spatula with a beveled edge, or even dental floss to help loosen it first.

The Broad Tip Glue Pen is great for gluing your base layout pieces as well as your photos. When you apply it, the liquid is blue. If you want to have your glue be permanent, put together your page now, if you want your glue to be repositionable  (I always do this for photos) then let it dry to a clear, then attach.

Liquid Glass is a good option for a strong adhesive but requires you to hold parts together until they begin to dry. Another use for Liquid Glass is for use adding to accents or images for a glossy, glaze-like effect. There is even a fine tip applicator for those tiny sized needs.

Dual-Tip Multi-bond Glue Pen creates both permanent ( when used while wet) and removable bonds   (when used after it dries).  This glue goes on white but then dries clear.

Dual-tip Permanent Glue Pen is similar to the above mentioned multi-bond glue, but this is permanent, goes on clear and dries clear.

Adhesive Tape Runner is a permanent adhesive dot runner.  These don’t give you any chance to straighten your work if you laid something down incorrectly.

3-D Foam Dots for all your layering needs. You get two sizes in each package.  Sometimes I will layer them on top of each other to get more depth to a page. We also have 3-D tape, you just cut the size you want and is thicker than the dots.

And no discussion on adhesives without glue dots. They come in many sizes and thicknesses. “When I first started scrapbooking someone called the clear glue dots “glue buggers” because when they are rolled up on your finger it looks just like them.  We have all seen them used… remember when you received your last debit card and how it was stuck to the page? Yep…  I use these to attach small embellishments to the page.

The only adhesive I have left out is the red tape. It is an EXTREMELY sticky, double-sided tape. I only use something like this with micro-beads or when I make cardboard covers for my albums.

Leave a comment below and tell me about your favorite adhesive and why. You might even win a Bonding Memories Glue Pen from me!

Are YOU Sheltering in Place?

Free Envelope Mini-Album TutorialWe are all being affected in some way by the current pandemic and if you are “sheltering in place” with the kids at home too,  you will probably be going a bit nuts soon.  This isn’t like vacation time when you can take them to activities or a ballgame What will you do to keep them entertained besides allowing television and video games in between school work? I have a great idea… make this envelope mini-album!  Only instead of calling it “Road Trip” as I did here, you can title it with “What  I did during the pandemic of 2020.  Since so many kids have a cell phone, you can have them each take a picture of something they are doing every day.

My mother doesn’t remember anything like it before.

Here’s the thing…  I was talking to my mother who is 80 and she doesn’t remember anything ever happening like this, and she lived through the polio outbreak ( I remember getting sugar cubes in kindergarten with the vaccine in it).  Documenting now what is happening and what you are doing during it will be treasured in 50 years when you can share it with your great-grandkids. OK, lots of us won’t be sharing “in person” but this little album will be passed down, and this pandemic will make the history books. Imagine someone reading your first-hand account of your living through it.

The album is pretty easy to make, and just takes 4 envelopes, some scrapbook paper, and some thin cardboard for the cover. You can receive the complete tutorial when you sign up for my mailing list!  You will also receive weekly e-mails about tips,  scrapbooking and card sketches and of course, specials too that you won’t want to miss.

You can sign up in the box to the right or click here.   So keep sheltering in place and create some great memories in the process.


Have You Heart the News about CTMH Cricut Cartridges?

Have you heard the news? All 13 of the Close To My Heart Cricut® collections, including the new Complete Creativity and some that have been retired for years, are now digitally available for purchase! I am so happy to be able to offer you access to every cartridge Close to my Heart has ever made. Whether you are looking for simple basics to Christmas to Complete Creativity you can get them all by clicking this link!

There has been some confusion around how to access these collections, so we’ve put together a quick tutorial below to show you how. If you’ve already figured it out on your own, skip to the bottom half of this post to see sample shapes and an artwork example for each collection.

**You will need a Cricut® machine that is Design Space compatible to digitally link your collections to your account. Any of the Explore models or the New Maker will do. If you already own some or all of the Close To My Heart collections in cartridge format, with the right cutting machine, you can link these collections digitally as well. Click here for a short video to learn how.  If you don’t currently have one of these machines let’s get a party date set up so you can earn one!!


To start, go to your Close To My Heart Consultant’s website. (If you do not have a Close To My Heart Consultant, visit us here and click on Find a Consultant to find one near you.) Scroll all the way to the bottom of the home page and click on the green Cricut® button.

Look for the Cricut buttonClicking on this button will take you to the 13 Close To My Heart Cricut® collections, hosted on the Cricut® website.

Here you will find all the CTMH Cricut Cartridges

Choose the collection you want to purchase and click Add to Cart. Doing so will pull up a side bar with the items you’ve chosen to purchase. When you are ready to check out, you can either click on the small cart icon or the green Checkout button.  If you aren’t signed in to your Cricut® account already, you will be prompted to do so.

Make sure to use your Design Space account information to sign in and then continue the checkout process.

After purchasing any of the CTMH Cricut® collections, they will automatically populate in your Design Space account, along with your other shapes. Then the fun begins as you create beautiful layouts and cards.  If you haven’t bought a digital cartridge or linked a physical cartridge, when you start a new project you simply click on add image and then filter at the top right under “my cartridges” and there will be everything you own, including your just purchased Close to my Heart cartridges.


Each of the shapes in Design Space is given a name and assigned a number. If you click on a shape, for example the first shape of the collection shown above, this information will show up in place of the shape’s image.  If you are looking for one specific shape, and you know its Design Space name or number (including the “#” sign), you can use this information in the search bar to locate it. When we give out project “recipes” (a list of products used), either for our catalogs or on this blog, Cricut® shapes are referenced by the collection from which it comes and its shape number. The star shape above would then be:

Cricut® Shape:
Art Philosophy

Now that you know how to access all of our Close To My Heart Cricut® collections and shapes, Tomorrow we will start looking at each collection and discover what each of them have to offer!  If you can’t wait, and who could blame you, click here and check them out yourself now!


What’s Your Scrapbooking Style?

I hate it when someone asks “what is your style”? Style means different things to different people and whether you are talking clothes, furniture or scrapbook design. As I get older, comfortable is the most important, but I do need to look presentable so I look for compromises. In your scrapbooks, you don’t have to have a single style and unless you are doing a themed album I believe a scrapbook can have many styles. I found an old article talking about different papercrafting styles and thought I would share some of the definitions with you.

Grunge: Grunge came about when altered mini-albums and shabby chic were the styles of the day. with their inked edges, distressed elements and soft to medium colors, think tans, browns, and colors that have been muted and whitewashed.

Modern Feminine: This style is or was heavily influenced by women’s fashion trends, of course not MY fashion trends.  Use black or white, or even both with  bold feminine colors; mix patterns and textures, using ribbons, brads, maybe a frame around a word, even an old earring will work.

Retro: I tend to think of this style as anything from my childhood. It’s anything from the 50’s and 60’sthrough the 80’s. If it’s gaudy, splashy and bold then it works.  It’s pop-culture inspired.

Graphic: Clean lines and extra large photos are typical in this style. Often inspired by print media and uses typography as a design element.

Vintage: Here we revert back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s with lots of brown, black, ivory colors often used with old heritage photos and genealogy research. 

Scrapbook and papercrafting style is a personal thing, and I don’t think we should let one style define us. For me, different styles show up in different scrapbooks.  Sometimes it is as easy as how you feel at the time, just don’t feel you have to label your scrapbook style.  I would love to hear your thoughts on your scrapbook page style, do you define it? Let me know below.

Find True Love Scrapbooking Sketch

This month Close to my Heart is featuring the True Love Paper Packet . I have used some of those elements in today’s Motivational Monday scrapbooking sketch. Colors in this paper pack include Ballerina, Sugarplum, Sage, Mint, Eggplant, Sapphire, New England Ivy, Canary and White Daisy.

Scrapbooking Sketch for Motivational Monday

This sketch uses 2- 4″x 6″ photo mats and 4 – 3″x3″ photo mats. Trim your pictures about a 1/4″ less to center on the mats. The two strips are done in Ballerina pink cardstock and measure 2 1/2″ x 12″. The embellishments are taken from one of the sheets included in the pack. As a result, you have a nice, cohesive layout.

The Eggplant flower in the left corner, the tag ribbon and the flower in the upper right quaderant follows the rule of three, guiding the eye from left to right.

Check back later in the week when I will have done the layout myself and posted the image so you can see how I have made this sketch work.

When you finish your layout, send me a picture of your layout and I will post it here on the blog. You will then be entered into a drawing to win a free stamp set. You can e-mail your photo to or even send it via text to 801-597-4896. I am excited to see your take on today’s scrapbooking sketch.

Pigment Ink Differences

A question from Charlie: “I purchased acid-free stamping inks labeled “water-soluble pigment ink” for use on my scrapbook pages. A friend told me that water-soluble inks should not be used on scrapbook pages. Doesn’t pigment ink mean that it’s permanent? What is the difference between pigment ink and water-soluble ink?”

When evaluating scrapbook materials, the primary concern is whether a product is both photo-safe and archival. A photo-safe material will not accelerate normal photographic deterioration, while an archival material possesses qualities that make it long-lasting. Photo-safe, archival stamping inks should be pH-neutral and composed of pigment ink, which us fade-resistant. Close to my Heart inks meet this requirement.

Many stamping inks are not waterproof. If your page gets wet, the ink will bleed. However, you have to weigh the creative and practical advantages of using water-based stamping inks against the possibility of your pages getting wet.

Water-based ink saves on clean-up time and is much easier to remove from stamps. It is not a permanent ink because it will dissolve in water, but it is still a pigment ink, meaning that the color is fade-resistant and completely acid-free.

Motivational Monday Sketch

Today I have a sketch for you that can hold 10 photos. I look forward to seeing what you do with this. Here is the sketch:

When you have completed the sketch, text it to 801-597-4896 or send the photo to

I will give away a free stamp set in a drawing at the end of the month with names of everyone who submits their take on today’s sketch.

Here Are My Stamping New Year’s Resolutions! What Are Yours???

What are your stamping resolutions

I know it seems kind of strange with everyone making resolutions about life for New Years I am making stamping resolutions. Stamping is a major part of my world so it seems right to want to accomplish more this year since I let life get in the way last year but I want to do so much more this year thus my stamping New Year’s resolutions.

  1. Learn and share more techniques. I have learned lots of different techniques over the years, some are standard “go to” techniques that I probably use too much and some I left behind long ago. I want to unearth and share those older techniques that may have been forgotten about and learn new ones to share with you and enhance my own cardmaking and scrapbooking.
  2. Have an organized workspace so I want to stamp. Let’s face it, it is hard to get motivated surrounded by clutter. My goal this year is not only to get my space organized but to keep it that way. This will require some diligence as it is not my normal situation.
  3. Try new color combinations. I enjoy color but sometimes it is harder to break away from the traditional to the innovative in working with colors. In order to complete this endeavor, I can rely on the Close to my Heart Color Guide.  I will also be posting “Color Challenges” to help you with expanding your use of color.
  4. Complete one scrapbook page a week. I find it hard to actually find time to complete a scrapbook page without my mind wandering into the “what should I be doing right now” tunnel. I believe it is just as important to preserve one’s memories as it is to clean the house or do the laundry. I will accomplish this by posting a sketch every Monday and my take on the sketch sometime during the week.
  5. Finish one card a week. I hate paying good money for cards. $6.95 is ridiculous and most of the time the card isn’t that impressive. I would rather keep a stock of cards in a variety of occasions that I make myself at a MUCH less expensive price. I know my recipient will appreciate a handmade card so much more, and more likely keep it longer than a store bought card.

Do you have resolutions for your creative side? I would love to be able to help you achieve them. Post a comment below and share that resolution with me and when it is complete, send me a picture of your creation so I can post it here on the blog.

35% OFF Alphabet Stamps

2019 marks 35 years since Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton first started selling stamps, and to kick off the celebration Close to my Heart is giving you 35% off all of our alphabet stamps. Beginning today, we are kicking off 2019 with the Celebrate 35 Years special featuring alphabet stamp sets. Until the end of January, you can purchase alphabet stamp sets at 35% off the retail price. Alphabet stamp sets give you unlimited creative options for adding titles, sentiments, and other words to any project. Here is a list of the alphabet stamps included in this sale:

Great stamps for titles or posters

My Acrylix Solid Classroom Alphabet Set E1043

Regular Price:$31.95 Sale Price $20.77

Set of 39 The tallest image in this stamp set is approximately 1¼” in height.

My Acrylix  Outline ClassroomAlphabet

My Acrylix Outline Classroom Alphabet Set E1043

Regular Price:$31.95 Sale Price $20.77

Set of 39 stamps. The tallest image in this stamp set is approximately 1¼” in height.

CTMH My Acrylix Stitched Alphabet

My Acrylix Stitched Alphabet Set C1738

Regular Price:$31.95 Sale Price $20.77

Set of 42 stamps. The tallest image in this stamp set is approximately 1″ in height.

CTMH Modern Typewriter Alphabet Set

My Acrylix Modern Typewriter Alphabet Set B1638

Regular Price:$10.95 Sale Price $7.12

Set of 67 stamps. The tallest image in this stamp set is ¼” in height.

My Acrylix Brushed Alphabet Set E1041

Regular Price:$31.95 Sale Price $20.77

Set of 45 stamps. The tallest image in this stamp set is approximately 1½” in height.

CTMH Morgan's Hand cursive alphabet stamp set

My Acrylix Morgan’s Hand Alphabet Set E1040

Regular Price:$31.95 Sale Price $20.77

Set of 52 Stamps. The tallest image in this stamp set is approximately 1½” in height.

CTMH Erin's Hand Alphabet Stamp Set

My Acrylix Erin’s Hand Alphabet Set E1039

Regular Price:$31.95 Sale Price $20.77

Set of 90 stamps. The tallest image in this stamp set is approximately ¾” in height.

CTMH Simply Said Alphabet Set

My Acrylix Simply Said Alphabet Set C1725

Regular Price:$14.95 Sale Price $9.72

Set of 51, The tallest image in this stamp set is approximately ½” in height

These are amazing savings and a great opportunity to pick up a great stamp set or two. The Classroom Alphabet solid with the outline is a great way to get a beautiful two-tone stamp.

Leave a comment below and tell me your favorite stamp set and how you use them,

13 More Ideas for your Bullet Journal

Keeping a Journal

Here are some more ideas for your Bullet journal.  I have a challenge coming up regarding journaling to begin in the new year,  but thise should help too.

Favorite Music

Foods I Would Like to Try

My Budget

Family Birthday List

Baby Names

Wedding Planning

Kids’ Milestones

Wish Lists

Honey to Do

Business Goals

Meal Planning

Books to Read

Movies to Watch

Did you have a favorite?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Start a Bullet Journal

Keeping a Journal

I know how hard it is to keep a journal but I also know how important it is to record things in your life.  Perhaps a bullet journal will help you to keep those memories. Here is a list of 10 things you usually need to write down anyway.  One way to do this is to take one of those composition notebooks you get the kids before school starts and use it to write things down.. date the top of the page and write those notes. You will get a double benefit by doing this:

You will have a record of important triggers for other memories. The recipe you record today might be prepared for Christmas at some point. When you look back and see the recipe it will trigger the warm Christmas memory

You clear all those notes off your desk, table and nightstand. Everything will be in one place. Yes, I know you have a phone to put things, but sometimes you just need to put a pencil to paper and empty your mind.

Grocery List

Things to Do

Weight Loss Tracker

Holiday Shopping List

Kid’s Activity Schedule


My Exercise Plan

Weekly Schedule

Community Service Ideas

Dream Vacation Spots

Feel free to share your thoughts on this method of journaling or tell me about your holiday shopping list. Tomorrow I will give you a few more to add to your list.

It Made Me Sad for Them

Andy Williams ChristmasAs I was sitting in the doctor’s office the other day, they had Christmas music playing softly in the background. Good, old fashioned Christmas music I grew up with, not the new modern stuff. I started thinking about how kids today have no clue who Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Perry Como, or even Bing Crosby. Now this was Christmas Music!  My grandfather was a big music buff, with a pair of reel to reel tape machines front and center in the family room.  He could always be counted on for wonderful music to be played in the background of our holiday get-togethers. I will have to ask my kids, and grandkids what their favorite Christmas son is,. and who sings it. I wonder if I will even know who the vocalist is…

Wondering where I am going with this? Have you taken the time to scrapbook and journal about YOUR holiday memories as a child? If we don’t take the time while we still have the memory to record these special moments, will they be lost in the history of our family vacations and such?   I have a challenge for you today. take 10 minutes to sit and write about your favorite Christmas memory as a child. What gives you that sense of peace in your heart?  I know, it’s a week day, a school day, a day in your busy week where you don’t have the time to sit down and scrapbook the event. I get that. But take just 10 minutes for you (and later your family) to remember and feel the warmth. Then while you are having your morning break, write it down.