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?

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.

Cutting Custom SVG Files

Learn to draw your own SVG filesDo you have a Cricut or a Silhouette?  If you are like me you don’t like to have your cutting be limited to a cartridge or things extra you have to buy. When I started with Close to my Heart we didn’t have any connection to a cutting machine.  When the Cricut first came out I bought one and a few cartridges to go with it.  Then Close to my Heart came out with a couple of font discs with fonts to match our stamp sets so you could type your journaling and have them match. I bought a Silhouette and sold my little Cricut.  Discs came out twice and a couple years later Close to my Heart announced they were going to produce exclusive Cricut Cartridges to go with certain stamp sets. I resisted for 2 years, then bought the Cricut Expressions.  Long story short… I now have a Cricut Expressions 2, Cricut Explore Air and a Silhouette!   Some days I think how ridiculous this sounds but I kept the Expressions so my customers here in Utah can use the Close to my Heart cartridges when here in Creatively Carol’s Craft Room.

I don’t like being limited but also don’t want to spend any more money on cartridges and designs than I have to, so I began researching programs to create my own .svg  patterns. The clear choice was Adobe Illustrator but I didn’t want to pay again for another program, after all, I didn’t now if I would even like doing it.

Here are some of the programs the New York Film Academy posted as alternatives to the Adobe Illustrator program.

  1. SVG-Edit  (any browser)
    • This can be used on any modern web browser. SVG-Edit is an editing suite that deals solely in SVG (scalable vector graphics) Six Free Alternatives to Adobe Illustrator which may sound like a restriction but is actually quite useful given the versatility of the format. If you’re scared of getting into SVG editing, you’re missing out, and this will break you in gently. Being a web browser platform also sounds limiting, but again, the speed at which it operates as a result is often superior to desktop counterparts.
  2. Inkscape  (Windows and Linux)
    • As with SVG-Edit, Inkscape is also geared towards those who want to work primarily in the SVG format. Featuring both a clean and intuitive user interface, but packed with advanced futures (such as alpha blending, object cloning and very accurate bitmap tracing), Inkscape comes as a highly recommended free alternative to Adobe Illustrator.
  3. Affinity Designer – for MAC
    • Affinity is a full rasterizing controls, layer management, multiple file format support, infinite zooming and every vector drawing tool you could ever hope for…Affinity Designer could quite possibly become a true illustrator killer. At the moment it’s only available to MAC users as a trial version for free. The full version comes with a price tag of $49.99 with free upgrades for two years, but the free trial is still a remarkably functional and worth a shot if you’re looking for a free editor. It’s even worth it just to play with the infinite zoom function (yes, infinite).
  4. GIMP – All browsers
    • This program works on all platforms, GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program.  GIMP is more of a substitution for Adobe Photoshop Elements rather than Illustrator since it’s vector options are limited but what it can do in terms of image manipulation is second to none. Entirely free, open source, and loved by thousands (which have formed a very active online community since its release).
      • Personally, I found GIMP confusing and downloaded the trial of Adobe Photoshop Elements 15. Last night I received the Costco sales for this next month, and they are offering $40 off so you can buy Elements for $39.99. I will be purchasing this program.
  5. OpenOffice Draw – Windows, Linux and MAC
    • While Apache’s flagship vector illustrator looks a little outdated these days, that’s purely a cosmetic concern. Its still packed with features and is especially geared towards diagram and object manipulation. It also comes with the very handy feature of being able to create Flash (.swf) files from your document.
  6. Serif DrawPlus – Windows
    • The started edition of Serif’s DrawPlus is aimed towards the amateur illustrator given that A) it’s free software, and B) it’s very much scaled-down version of the fuller release, but don’t let that put you off. It’s not limited in any way, there’s no pressure to shell out for the professional edition DrawPlus16, and it does a good job of emulating its heavy weight cousins.

The New York Film Academy says “you might find you need to use a combination of the above free alternatives to Adobe Illustrator to get the job done, but for many people it’ll be worth the cash it saves and you may even find a new favorite.

I will give these a try and let you know my opinion of the offerings, but hopefully in the meantime these may help you create your own cutting designs.


Christmas Holidays are Around the Corner

Don't Miss the 12 weeks of Christmas Projects
How to make a handmade Christmas card Christmas gift with special bags, tags and wraps.

You can see it in almost every store you walk into, Christmas is just around the corner. Actually there is just over 12 weeks left before Christmas. October 5th starts my annual 12 Weeks of Christmas gift to you. This is only available to people ON MY MAILING LIST.  That is right, if you are not on my mailing list you will not get these weekly e-mails with Christmas cards, Christmas gifts, and bags, tags and wraps.  Every e-mail comes with a project and the directions to create it for yourself.

Do you have friends that like to craft? Now is the time to tell them about this so they can receive their own e-mails. This e-mail series would easily cost you $180 but if you are on my mailing list you receive it for free!

To sign up for my mailing list click here.

Scrapbooking from a Husband’s View

Scrapbooking article for husbandsHere is a great story for the men in your life that do not understand your scrapbooking/cardmaking obsession. I think it was published many years ago in a scrapbook magazine…

Crack! “What was that?” screamed my wife, Kathy. I looked down to see the scrapbooking mess scattered all over the floor. Then I shook my head. Just my luck-out of all the places in the house, Kathy had decided to pile her things right in my
predetermined path. Didn’t she remember that I always head to the kitchen at night for a glass of milk? That I never turn on the light because I’ve walked that path so many times? Hmm. Kathy’s new “obstacle course” of scrap booking supplies has changed my life. Now I must turn on the light for survival.

Survival: The word may seem a little extreme, but so is my wife’s fury when I accidentally break one of her scrapbooking tools or set something on a page in process. I’ve learned through experience that adaptation is the key to survival when you have a scrapbooking spouse. Here’s how to live-and love- through the entire process.
Bargaining is a great way to show support. You simply allow your scrapbooker to purchase the supplies she says she needs. You make deals where both of you benefit. For example, Kathy and I have a deal that for every dollar she spends toward scrapbooking, I can put a dollar toward my hobby. I’ve already earned enough to buy a new hard drive for my computer! This technique creates a “win-win” situation and prevents confrontations about scrapbooking costs.

If you want to impress your scrapbooker, learn the lingo. Here are a few basic definitions-worded with the non-scrapbooker in mind-to get you started:

  • Acid: Bad, Bad, Bad (but actually refers to an abundance of hydrogen ions)
  • Acrylic Stamps:  Like Rubber Stamps except you can see through them
    Archival: Lasts forever
  • Cardstock: A heavier weight paper used often for bases – usually solid colors
  • Close to my Heart: the premier scrapbooking company  (gift certificates available thru
    Creative lettering: Making letters fancy
  • Creatively Carol : The scrapbook lady who can help you pick things out for your wife.
    Cropping: Cutting out unnecessary parts of pictures
  • Cricut:  Not a bug, but a cutting machine to make stuff
  • Rubber Stamps: Have images on red rubber, can see through, hard to get straight
  • Silhouette: another cutting machine
  • Journaling: Writing descriptions to go along with photos

By learning the lingo you move up the evolutionary scale. You become a more attractive and educated mate.

Ever wondered how your wife can spend so much time on a page? Try it yourself. Create a page or two (see Figure 1), but be prepared for a dose of humility. Scrapbooking is a difficult task that takes time and talent. You’ll be much
more inclined to give lots of praise.


When your wife finishes a scrapbook page, praise specific things about it. This shows that you are actually looking at the page and noticing details. This is also a great time to practice the lingo


It is best NOT to ask why the page or card too so long to make…

Ladies, this is a great time of year to send this to your husbands. Start your wish list, and give him my information so I can call him and help him with your Christmas Gifts!

Motivational Monday Scrapbook Inspirations

ASingle Page 2 photoss I am busily moving the scrapbook supplies into the new workshop, I have chosen a sketch published in a magazine many years ago, but forgive me, I don’t remember which one. This layout would be great for a first day of school page in your child’s scrapbook of school years.  A great idea is to mount a 10 x 13″ envelope to the back of the page to keep memorabilia from the school year.

Remember, you can dress the layout up as much as you like, but if you prefer simplistic pages, this page is for you. Beginners will not be intimidated by this layout. I would guess looking at the layout that you can accommodate a 5″ x 7″ and a 4″ x 6″ photo, a 4″ x 4″ title box and a 6″ x 3″ journaling box.

When you come back later in the week, I will have posted my take on this scrapbook layout, that is if I can find the photos I am thinking about during this monumental move to downstairs. You can watch my progress on my Creatively Carol Facebook Page. Make sure to join my mailing list for more news about the opening of “Creatively Carol’s Crop & Craft ???” (I need a good last word.. have any suggestions?)

Now, click the box on the right and sign up for my mailing list, then go grab some pictures and create this layout. Send me a photo of your finished layout to be entered into the drawing for a free stamp set!



Do You Feel Like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland?

So much to do, So little timeThis is a great picture of how I feel this morning. I have a list a mile long and I know when the rest of the house wakes up, the time to accomplish what I want to do will be cut in half. Do you ever feel like that?  I know part of it is the time of year, but sadly, most of the stuff on my list isn’t Christmas related, not directly.

I would like to be able to post some relative content that will feed your creative side, provide answers to your questions and offer you some video to make things a bit simplier to do but I need your help.  What are you struggling with? Is it time to do your projects? a place to make them? Perhaps you need a layout to kickstart your mojo.  I want to be there to help however it would be more productive if I knew what everyone wanted to know or what they needed.

Your assignment for today is to leave a comment below and tell me how I can help you achieve what you desire. Do you have a question that needs answering? A technique you want to learn, or need a video on just how to do it?  Leave me a comment below so I can make sure to answer your questions and make this blog more relevant to your needs.

Now I better get started on my list, Have a wonderfully creative day!!

Creatively, Carol



Motivational Monday –

I keeping with our Sangria Theme this month, I wanted to share the layout as it is on Studio J. I also used the left side of this layout in a Facebook post with a darling little girl.   I love how the focal picture on the left  could be an explanation for the pictures on the right side. We have been doing Sangria in our Sketches this month, how are you feeling about the color theme? do you like the layouts?  Have you tried them??

Leave a message and let me know!


Studio J Digital Scrapbooking by Close to my HeartCreatively Carol Gifts on Etsy

Motivational Monday – Sangria Continues

I hope your Monday is starting out well.  Last week I showed you the first layout in the Studio J Express Collection of Sangria.  Today I have the 2nd layout for you. Please remember, if you want to do these layouts in Studio J, our digital scrapbook program, you only have 2 months they are available and then they are gone forever.  I love Studio J for ideas, then you can add your own twist to make it your own.

Sangria Layout 2 from Studio J

This is such a sweet color set for a family of girls, but what do you think if you have a family of boys?  Leave a comment below and let me know!

Don’t You Just Love Getting Handmade Cards


Our mailboxes don’t usually come with nice surprises. If you are like me, you set your bills and such up online so you don’t have to deal with them in the mailbox, and let’s face it… it is easier. But wouldn’t it be nice if when we did make the trip to the mailbox there was a beautiful card waiting to be opened with YOUR name on it ! I think we forget about snail mail sometimes, but just think of the smile on that person’s face when they see it. It is time to take back sending cards and making people smile. Every Thursday I will post a card sketch that is pretty easy to put together even if you are a beginner.  I hear you.. “That’s easy for you to say!”. But what if I can guarentee you that you can make a beautiful card?  Would you give it a try?  That is my challenge to all of you. Here is a sketch to start you off with.You can do this!!! When your card is completed, send me a copy via text @ 801-597-4896 or e-mail and be entered into the monthly drawing for a Oldie but Goodie Stamp Set.

If you need help in how to get started, let me know. I am happy to create a set of tutorials taking you from the very  beginning!

Start with a piece of cardstock of your choice and cut to 5 1/2 ” x 8 1/2″ and fold it in half.  Next is a rectangle  3″ x 4 1/2″  use a punch for the bottom and go from there. What’s that I hear?  You don’t have any tools to even get this far?  Click on the links and take a look.  Yes, some you can get at a local craft store with a coupon, but will they get online and help you out?   I can always jump on Skype and show you what you need! Call me if you need help!!  801-597-4896Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor


Memory Keeping is About Celebrating Relationships

Memory keeping is about celebrating relationships. Whether you do it by just taking the pictures or by scrapbooking you are recording those great memories for your world to see. Family is important, whether it be your immediate family or your extended family. You might not think that recording those every day family moments are important to record but let me Bee a memory keepertell you a little story about a young man who was fascinated with bees. When he saw a picture of our great grandmother.

Here is a short video about celebrating relationships.

Leave me a comment below and tell me your thoughts on the subject of memory keeping.

Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor

The Mini Mix and the Mini Folio Albums

At a recent baby shower everyone was  privileged to make one of these very cute Mini Mix albums.  I wanted to share the video with you today while I finish the one I bought to share with you in the near future. There are so many cute ways to use this book… from grandma’s brag book, to keeping a copy of school pictures through the years. The album has 12 – 4″ x 4″ pages in a mix of vellum, white cardstock, and kraft. It has a white chipboard cover which is perfect for decorating yourself. The spine is 7/8″ wide.   Wouldn’t this be perfect for a momento of a baby shower, birthday party or bridal party?  I enjoy doing parties where everyone is actually creating something – so much fun!!!

Please leave a comment below and tell me how you would use this album.

Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor

Just the Right Touch with ShinHan Touch Twin Alcohol Markers

The ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers can take your artwork to a whole new level. Close To My Heart offers a selection of 24 colors with everything from versatile neutrals to vibrant brights. Follow along to see how you can transform your projects with these markers.

I have been having so much fun with the ShinHan Twin Touch markers, just watch my facebook page or instagram to see some of the things I have been doing.

If you need help either getting your markers, or using them please let me know. And don’t forget to enter the monthly drawing with your artwork!

Scrapbooking, Cardmaking and Papercraft Instructor