Flash Sales for June!

NewDon't you love CTMH Sales!s Flash!

 During the month of June, we’re offering great deals on bundles of discounted Close To My Heart products every weekend! Click here to see bundles still available.  There is lots to choose from, but you’ll need to snatch them up quick, because they’re only available through the end of the month, while supplies last! Bundles are available at various discount levels and price points , so check often to see the new offerings. Remember, these discounts won’t last forever, and some will be gone in a flash, so act quickly to score the best deals!

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Day

Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day. Frankly I think as far as K-12, every day should be Teacher Appreciation Day.  I have many teachers in my family tree and some of the stories about the way kids talk to teachers, strike out, bully and so much more, I have come to the conclusion that you have to be EXTREMELY dedicated to making a difference in the lives of these children.

Teacher raise our leaders of tomorrow.



National Teacher Appreciation Day 2016 free food, beer from Chipotle, World of Beer | syracuse.com

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Day 2016, and for teachers across the country, that means a chance to score some sweet freebies and deals at a few generous chains.

This year, Chipotle is leading the pack with a buy one entree, get one free deal for teachers, pre-school faculty and staff, college professors and homeschooling parents who show a school or homeschool ID card. The promotion runs from 3 p.m. to closing time on Tuesday May 3.

Also in Upstate NY, World of Beer locations nationwide are offering a free Angry Orchard cider or Sam Adams beer to teachers on Tuesday, or $5 off their bill in lieu of a beer.

A number of other national retailers, including New York & Co. and Anne Taylor Loft, are offering teachers special discounts today and all week long. See the full list and check the offers from International Business Times.

National Teacher Day was originally declared on May 7 back in the 1980s, but was later extended to Teacher Appreciation Week (the first week if May) in 1985. The National Education Association later voted to make the Tuesday of that week National Teacher Day every year, according to WWBT-TV.

Last Day for Studio J

Studio J Digital Scrapbooking

We have known this day was coming, the day when Close to my Heart’s digital scrapbook program “Studio J” is leaving us. I have never been a “digital scrapbooker” or had the desire to do digital scrapbooking, I am a paper and ink kind of scrapper. There is nothing like the smell of a new paper pack or the feel of putting embellishments to paper. That being said, I love Studio J for printing pictures. I am not talking about your standard 4″ x 6″ photo, but the 2″ x 2″ – 4″ x 4″ and the 3″ x 4″ photos. Printing them this way preserves the entire picture and simply reduces it’s size to fit as best as can be done.  Why do I tell you this now, when it is on it’s last day?  I want you to go print all those pictures that are not your main focal picture but that you don’t want to leave out of the layout into these wonderfully small images. That is what I am doing today. Take a minute and crop what you want in the picture and then upload into the Studio J website.  Just choose the express collection that has 7 layouts with nothing but photo wells. Here is a previous post about using Studio J.  If you need help today, call me at 801-597-4896 as I will be doing the same thing. Don’t miss out on this last opportunity to get your pictures in this great size! Go to Studio J now!

Sending a Thank You Note for an Interview.

Thank you cards for business leaves a lasting impression.The Power of a Simple Thank-You Note
By Peter Vogt, Monster Senior Contributing Writer

When my wife was hired for her first real job after graduating from college, she was remembered and saluted by her new supervisor for one seemingly small step she had taken during the interviewing process: She was the only applicant of several interviewed who had sent a thank-you note after her interview.

It seems amazing, but it’s true: A simple thank-you letter after an interview can wield considerable power and influence, and reflect very favorably on your candidacy for the position. Why? Several reasons:

1. By sending a thank-you note, you show your interviewer common courtesy and respect.

Unfortunately, in our busy and often impolite world, we simply don’t acknowledge each other’s time, efforts and commitments. So in sending a thank-you note after an interview, you tell your interviewer in no uncertain terms that you appreciate the time he has given you. After all, he had to give up part or all of the day to be with you, and expend effort learning more about you and what you have to offer.

2. So few job applicants send thank-you notes that you automatically stand out if you do.

It’s shocking, but the majority of job applicants fail to send post-interview thank-you notes. Why? Who knows? But the bottom line is that you wind up in a position to shine simply by putting forth the effort of sending a note. Strange, but true.

3. A thank-you note gives you an opportunity to reiterate points you made during your interview.

Have you ever left an interview wishing you’d more strongly emphasized a certain skill or experience the employer seemed to be looking for? An interview thank-you letter gives you the chance to do just that. After using the first paragraph of your note to thank your interviewer, you can use a brief second paragraph to touch again upon the key points you made in your interview. You can also use a similar strategy to clean up any interview rough spots you might have had — i.e., to expand upon or clarify responses you felt were weak or shaky.

4. A thank-you note lets you make points you forgot to make in your interview.

Sometimes after an interview, as you walk out to your car, you smack yourself on the forehead and say to yourself, “Why didn’t I talk about _____?” Frustrating? You bet. But you can take care of the problem to some degree in your thank-you letter. Again, perhaps in the second paragraph, you can say something to the effect of “After our discussion, it occurred to me that I forgot to tell you about _________.”

5. A thank-you note demonstrates your written communication skills.

In receiving and reading your interview thank-you note, your interviewer will see firsthand how you handle yourself on paper. You’ll be using similar skills every day with the company’s potential clients, customers and vendors — so the interviewer will be reading carefully to see how you come across in print.

Writing thank-you notes isn’t terribly difficult or time-consuming. Be sure to follow through, preferably the same day as your interview. It can make a much bigger difference than you might think — perhaps even the difference between the job going to you or someone else. Leave a comment below and tell us if you have ever sent an thank-you note after an interview.

Do You Like the New Workshops your Way Kits?

With the publishing of this current Idea Book we saw the old “Workshops on the GoClose to my Heart Workshops ” go away and the new “Workshops Your Way” kits introduced. This is the Workshops Your Way Penelope Kit.

Workshops Your Way™ Penelope Scrapbooking Kit Contents:

1 – Penelope Paper Packet (X7207B)
1 – Penelope Complements (X7207C)
2 – Cardstock Sheets (2 White Daisy)
1 – Limeade Washi Pack (Z3198)
1 – Playful Puffies (Z3205)
Featured Colors: Crystal Blue, Honey, Pear, Pixie, Thistle, White Daisy

Use the materials and the online guide to create three traditional layouts and one Picture My Life™ layout.

You will find the project instructions here.

Come back later today and I will show you the cards and scrapbook page you can make with this great Workshops Your Way  kit.

A Day Worthy of some Green!

Top of the Morning to Ya.


  I would like to wish all of you a very Happy St Patty’s Day!  I have some roots in Ireland which I can attribute my red hair and fiery temper so I thought it was only appropriate to offer you a bit of green today. Anyone who orders something green on my website today will receive a free gift. If your order is $50 or more, I will throw in FREE SHIPPING!  In order to receive free shipping however, you have to call me with your order so I can take it off immediately or place the order on my website and I will send you a check for the amount of shipping you paid. (doesn’t apply to expedited shipping).

Jackson Genealogy - Throwback ThursdaySince today is Throwback Thursday I thought I would choose my own “Patty” for today. This is my mother Patricia Anne Jackson.  In this layout the background was created with 3″ x 3″ squares with the corners clipped. This is still a relevant way to create a layout whether you use it as a background or in a form of journal boxes.  I wish I had dated the BACK of the scrapbook page so I could see just when I created this page. I want to say it was about 2010 and while I wouldn’t use the letter stickers today, I like the distressed look of the title.

This page also features hidden journaling under mom’s photograph. Contained within is a medical story about my mom that not everyone needs to know about, so hidden journaling works very well in this case.

Do you have an opinion about the elements on this page? What would you change to show your own style? Leave me a comment below and share your ideas!  I will take those ideas and create a new layout with a different photo.

Enjoy your St Patrick’s Day and remember today’s discount so you don’t get pinched!



2016 Close to my Heart Retiring Stamp Sets Announced

CTMH Clear Acrylic StampsIt happens every year, stamp sets retire to make was for new ones. Sometimes we see stamp sets we loved, but were waiting to buy – the time is now! These stamp sets will be retired on April 30th of this year and with March’s Stampaganza going on it is the perfect time to get that stamp set! I have a list below of all the retiring stamp sets with links so you can easily see what they are.  To make things easier, I have even color coded them. You will find anything that is Cricut compatible that  you know right away.  So click some links and GO SHOPPING!!

Stamp Sets that are retiring on April 30th, 2016
Easter Cross - The Lord Reigns; Let the Earth RejoiceA1184 Rejoice 
A1185 Friendly Wishes
A1186 Pirate Birthday
B1507 To the Moon
B1508 Kiss It Better Cricut Compatible
B1509 My Mother
B1510 Sugar & Spice  Cricut Compatible
B1511 My Mother (Australian Edition)
B1512 Play Hard— Gymnastics Cricut Compatible
B1513 Block Uppercase
B1514 Play Hard—Diving Cricut Compatible
B1515 Play Hard—Cheer Cricut Compatible
B1516 Your Beautiful Self
C1635 Our Story Cricut Compatible
C1636 Live, Laugh, Love Cricut Compatible
C1637 Stamps of Approval Cricut Compatible
C1638 Spring Critters
C1639 Take Heart
C1640 Friend in Me
C1641 Springtime Wishes
C1642 My Anchor
C1643 Stuck on You
D1683 Woodland Romance Cricut Compatible
D1684 Beach Days Cricut Compatible
M1135 On the Plus Side
M1136 Patch of Sky
M1137 A Day for Mother

8 Way to Freshen Up Your Digital Photography

Creativity in Digital PhotographyCreatively is the root of photography today, as settings and props have developed in the 57 years since anyone began taking pictures of me growing up. These suggestions far beyond  reach far beyond the formal pictures of the 1950’s. Here are 8 ways to freshen up your photos.

1.Create a focal point in your pictures- Adjust the depth of your picture. Shoot your children in the foreground in full focus with a blurred picture of the parents in the background. While this adjustment can only be done with SLR cameras, you can achieve a similar effect with a point and shoot and a photo editing software. I use Photoshop Elements  and love it.

2. Take a new look at framing your subject – use the camera view finder and the photo grid, if your camera has one to “crop” the picture as you shoot. for example, instead of shooting the shot of everyone’s head, take a picture of everyone’s feet all lined up, or even shots of eyes… after all, it is said that eyes are the windows to our souls.

3. Get outside!  I know we have been hearing that a lot lately, but so we do our 60 minutes a day of exercise, but a favorite location of professional photographers is outside. Whether catching trees, a lake or even a brick building it lends great detail. Look for interesting color choices, or interesting textures found on sold stucco walls or brick.

4. Use props that show off your subject’s personality. Think of the infant resting on daddy’s arm, showing the contrast in the size of the arm/hand against the baby. Props add contrast and texture against your sleeping infant or child.

5. Tilt your camera! – Tilting your camera adds interest. Rather than shoot your picture strictly vertical or horizontally, tilt the camera slightly. It will take an ordinary picture to extraordinary heights.

6. Photojournalism Approach – Focus on the small details instead of the background shots, think a single blossom, a butterfly, a bow in the hair. If you can get your subjects to forget about the camera, you will get awesome pictures.

7. Focus on real life. – While we all want everything to go as planned, it doesn’t. So when a child starts to cry, or hide behind mom, shoot the picture anyway. Take pictures of your kids deep in concentration. I love those pictures of my grandkids… now if we could just KNOW what was in those little minds 🙂

8. Choose Familiar locations – When a subject is comfortable it shows, just as fear shows in pictures. Pictures next to water when your subject is deathly afraid of water will not give you the quality pictures you desire. Pick a spot they feel comfortable in for calm quality pictures.

What have you found helps when you use your digital camera?  Cell phones today have amazing cameras… tell me about your digital photography below.

Studio J is Great for Printing Pictures

Sizes for printing Studio J PhotosHave you ever priced odd sized photographs to print?  It seems no one understands that a person who scrapbooks needs pictures in all shapes and sizes. While I was looking for the sketch of the week in Studio J, Close to my Heart’s digital scrapbook program, I learned there are some templates just for printing pictures.

You can print a 2 page layout of all 2 x 2 pictures, 3 x 3 photos, 3 x 4 photos, 4 x 4 photos. There is a layout that will do 6 x 8” with  4 x 6 “ 2- You can even manipulate the edges so you get custom sizes.  If you are as old as I am, then you probably have a bunch of Polaroid as well as regular prints. Since it has not been proven how long those photos will last, I scan the photo and I can shrink it, or I can crop and print only the part I really want.

I did some comparison pricing too,

  • Company #1  – 2 x 2 print, they only print the 2 x 2 square and leave the rest of the 4 x 6 paper blank at .83 per picture with 4.99 shipping

I will pick some pictures to print in this method and we will see together how they all will turn out.


Interesting Facts for Birthday Scrapbook Layouts

Good Morning!  It is Sunday so that means I am working on genealogy today. As I was looking for an obituary I had a great thought…Newspapers are a great source of facts You can get great details about someone’s birthday for your scrapbook layout when you look at old newspapers. Now, I am not talking about sitting in a dusty old attic (this could lead to lots of discovery however) I bought a subscription to Newspapers.com to find a relative that I have hit a dead end. In looking at the front page of this newspaper – which in this case is the day the woman died, I discovered that a newspaper in Santa Clara California was just 5¢. You just never know what you will find. I love to look at the old ads. You can find out what the weather was like when you or someone else was born, what day of the week it was and so much more.  You can get the information from your local library archives, or I use Newspapers.com so I can look from the comfort of my chair.

If you are interested in genealogy please send me an e-mail and let me know. I would love to assist you any way I can.

In The Snow on Throwback Thursday

It isThrowback Thursday at Creatively Carol's “Throwback Thursday” so I thought I would grab a snowball and throw it back about 8 years to a scrapbook page with  3 of my grandchildren and their parents.  So you ever look back on old scrapbook pages and think “ugg”? This color pallet is not available anymore and I think it is a good thing. The matting color doesn’t make anything pop and while the blue dies match the ground Audrey is standing on, it isn’t doing anything for me now.These papers actually came in a paperpack with the cardstock.

That is the thing with looking back, I love looking at those precious little faces, the trends and my talent didn’t always go together. And while I might cringe at the colors now, it shows how much different my style is now. It shows your development in the craft. Don’t go back and redo older scrapbook pages, they tell a story about how you as a crafter have grown as well as the family story told on the page itself. There is a companion page that has the journaling on it, I will look for it and post it a bit later for you.

I will tell you though, I still love the way these rub-ons look – rubbed right over the photo itself. It doesn’t detract from the photo like writing on the photo does (you know who you are). Makes me sooo glad pictures are digital now so I can go back and try to remove the writing someone thought was a good idea…not!   I also really thought I was clever putting the title on tags… remember when they were all the rage in scrapbooking?

Now it is YOUR turn. Send me pictures of your early scrapbook pages You can also send via text to 801-597-4896 so I can post them on Throwback Thursday.

What Color Do You Want to See?

Do you wish we had colors like this again?There has been a lot of talk lately from customers that say theyCTMH Slate Circles AlbumCTMH Ruby Red D-Ring or Post Bound Albums want more choices in album covers like we have seen in past years – in the photo to the left. So I ask you, my wonderful readers, Are you happy with the album colors we have now or do youCTMH Lagoon Chevron D-Ring or Post Bound Album
prefer a wider range of colors, and if so, which colors  would you like to see?

If you are new to scrapbooking, you can read more about choosing your album size in this post.

I have posted all the current albums in the individual photos – each with a link to the page it can be ordered on.  I really want to know which one of what we are selling at this time is your favorite and if none appeal to you, tell me what does. It is only by voicing our opinions we can affect change. Please leave a comment below and tell me what YOU think.CTMH Cocoa Damask D-Ring or Post Bound Album

CTMH Black D-Ring Binder Album



Do You Like Handmade Family Cookbooks?

Hand made recipe boxOur love of food comes starts in the home very early in life. Maybe we were good babies and ate everything we were fed, but somehow I doubt it. Most of us have special memories surrounding foods, whether it be a holiday standard like green beans with mushroom soup and fried onions on top or what your mother made you when you were sad. Since I reserve Sunday for family centered activities, I am going to be posting our family recipes on Sundays.  As we get further into the year, I will be inviting you to make a family cookbook. If you don’t have your own recipes, feel free to use mine!

I will be using Microsoft Word so it will be easy for you to copy and paste onto cards if you desire the recipe.  So here is my favorite Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe. It comes straight out of the Betty Crocker Cookbook my mother had when I was a child.

Peanut Butter Cookies

  • ¼ c granulated sugar
  • ¼ c brown sugar
  • ¼ c peanut butter
  • ¼ c shortening
  • ¼ c butter/margarine, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¼ c all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt


  1. Mix sugars, peanut butter, shortening, butter and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.
  2. Heat Oven to 375° F
  3. Shape dough into 1 1/4″ balls. Place about 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten in a crisscross pattern with fork dipped into sugar. (I think my mom used flour)
  4. Bake nine to ten (9-10) minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.


That’s it. Easy as could be.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and the series featured every Sunday. Here is a recipe cards that were posted last year, not done by me, but they give you a good idea of things you can do with the recipes.

Creatively, Carol