Sunday, November 18, 2012

Just a teaser

As we are all deep in the throws of Christmas preparations, I wanted to send out a bit of a teaser!

These are part of my Christmas gift that I am making for the person who's name I drew. 

Don't you wonder what it is??

Don't you wonder if I drew your name?

It is really going to be cool, and I can't wait til we have the party so I can share it with you all!  

See you next time, connie

DAKOTA workshop results

 Well, we got out the CRICUTS and rounded us up some pictures and some inks and made some mighty fine pages in CLUB this month.  I had to dig extra deep to find some pictures, because my family is no where close to rural!  And this is definitely some rural WESTERN paper.  Thank goodness for nieces and nephews!

I try to include a page about each of the families that we are close to in my albums every year, and I think these portraits, taken by a friend of Chelsea's, are a great way to end the 2012 album.  I will have a page for each of the other families too, when I can get my hands on some pictures!  ;)

 I love how the special cut oval accents the larger family picture here. 

 With the family picture in the middle, I wanted to keep the focus on the couple first, so I kept their picture on the left hand page.  Going with how the eye is going to move across the page. 
Then on the right page I could focus on the kids more.  I did put special emphasis on our nephew and his daughter, they look so much alike. 

The cards were fun!  I picked a card from our idea book (page 107) and designed the 3 cards this month on that layout design. 

I just moved things around, and added stamping until I was comfortable with the final card.  

 Each of the cards has a bit of a different feel, but they are all masculine and will make great birthday cards.  
A little bit of that western flair makes this one my favorite.  

See you next time, connie

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Moonlight Workshop

What a great time of year this is.  Even though I am not a big Halloween person, I love the bright colors with the black accents and all the fun bling and blitz that goes with it. I can almost feel all kids, big and small, start getting all excited and wound up.  For me, this is the big kick off to the holiday season.  I don't know about you, but I have put the finishing touches on my gift list and am ready to hibernate in my scrap room and make some gifts.

Before I do that though, I need to finish up some old business.  I need to show you all the cards we did for Club this month.  We used the MAKE IT FROM THE HEART VOL. 1 book.  All of my club members receive this book so that they have access to all the designs used in the clubs whenever they wish.  Vol. 1 contains the layouts for each workshop in the Autumn Winter 2012 Idea book plus many more AND  it contains 12 new Card designs.  It is a great resource for inspiration when sitting down to design cards or layouts. For these cards we used layout #29 and changed it up just a bit.  I love that we can do that with these basic designs.  All 6 cards are done with ONE layout.

Yes I said 6.  This is the month that I design one set of cards for Halloween, and for my customers who aren't that crazy about Halloween, I design the same set of cards for Fall.  This month, I also used the Sept. Stamp of the Month.  It is amazing to me that the SAME paper pack and SAME card layout can look so different with a turn of the card or change of the stamp.

 Some of the small details make all the difference.  On the decorative strip in the middle of this card, I stamped the words "pumpkin patch" from the Sept. Stamp of the Month.
 Here, I used the tiniest grey crystals for the spider's eyes.  It really makes them pop. 
And, last but not least, I know this one is fuzzy. Sorry about that. But I really wanted you to see that we totally changed the Striped B&T paper by stamping the tiny works randomly between the stripes.  It really is a nice detail on the card. 
 I hope you enjoy these cards.   Connie

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Workshops For the Holidays

I don't know about you, but I am starting to feel the pre Holiday anxiety that I seem to get every year.  I can feel the little perfectionist in my saying "You can make that for so and so and you could do such and such for someone else"  I make myself crazy!  To top it off, I know I am starting to think about the Holidays later this year that I usually do and that is adding to my stress.  Bad Plan!!

So, this morning with my coffee, I am sitting here writing to you and I've decided to CALM DOWN and take a deep breathe and look at what is really going on.  I don't have a list of things I want to make/buy yet.  That is making me insane.  So, by the end of the evening, I plan on making that list.  You get to hold me accountable.  I also know that as my children are getting older, the Holiday shopping etc. is less and less.  They know that the big man is on a budget and that the Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations are more about family than gifts.  Now, as long as I keep reminding the little girl inside me that LOVES to gift people and make PERFECT celebrations, we should be OK.

I know I don't have a lot of time to be making things, but I do have some really great workshops coming up and that should get my Christmas cards made and the beautiful Advent calender done.  I know that will be a wonderful gift for someone!  There - 2 things off my list!!  I feel better already. This blogging thing can be cathartic at times.  It allows me to slow down and breathe for a minute.  I needed that this morning.  Thank you.

So, back to the upcoming workshops!  I am so excited to be offering a wonderful ADVENT CALENDER workshop on October 28 from 1 - 5 PM.  I think that using this calender will be a tradition that your family can  look forward to for years to come.  It is cut using the new ARTISTE cartridge from CTMH and this will be a great time to preview it if you don't already have it.  The kit includes everything you will need, and I will provide the space and instruction to make it happen.  The cost is only $44.95 plush shipping and tax.  I do need to get these ordered before the 20th of October, so please contact me if you would like to join us.

 The next workshop I have coming up is on November 11!  We are going to be making Christmas cards.  What a great way to make your cards, surrounded by your friends and enjoying an afternoon of productivity! I will need to have you pre-registered for this class by October 29 so I can order the kits.  These are very reasonable kits including everything you need to make 15 cards, including the stamp set!  For 29.95 plus shipping and tax you too can have your Christmas cards done or at least well under way! And the cards are so beautiful!!

Again, please contact me by October 29 to register for this workshop!  We would love to have you join us!

And now, I am off to get some much needed house cleaning done.  Maybe that will alleviate some of my anxiety about the Holidays too!  See you soon!  Connie

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I should warn you that this post is going to be brutally honest.  I am not going to sugar coat the state of my room at all and I am going to confess some cold hard facts on a public forum.  This is really scary, but the truth is .... I cocoon!  You know what that is right?  I build piles ... all around myself.  Piles of things I need to do, things I need to finish, things I want to think about and things that need homes.

Then I get ambitious, or frustrated and I start moving my piles!  This is a big mistake.  Because then, you see, I put pictures that belong here ... somewhere 'safe' where I will 'remember' where they are because it is 'logical'.  AT THAT MOMENT!! When I go to look for said pictures - they are GONE. POOF!  I have no idea where I would have put them, but I am sure I will find them ... 15 minutes after I finish the page that I needed them for so I went out and had them all reprinted.  So, that my friends is the truth about my scrap room.  I am constantly trying to find a 'system' that works for me.  And someday, I truly believe that I will get organised, but for now ... this is what my table mostly looks like.  Some days a little better, some days a little worse.  But mostly .... cocooned.

The one thing I have implemented and that seems to be working well for me is my stamp storage. I scan all my stamps and save them alphabetically to my computer in a very specific file!!  So I can find it!  And, since I am a very visual creator, when I am ready for a stamp, I look through my files and I know EXACTLY where to find the stamp I am looking for.  And, I made the storage pretty, since I am going to have to look at it (once I find homes for all the stuff in front of my boxes!)

 I used left over paper and my Art Philosophy cartridge to decorate the boxes. 

Guess which size I have the most of??
Some of the boxes are STUFFED and some of them are 1/2 empty.  I am sure that I need to purge a bunch of stamps, but I am waiting until I am sure I have them ALL scanned so I can make good choices. This is the limit I have for storage boxes though, so I am pretty sure that for every stamp I purchase ,soon, I am going to have to get rid of one.  I hope I can do it!  I still have about 20 stamps to scan (right now!) and file. Then I can start making some choices. Every catalog it gets harder and harder, because I am pretty careful to only buy what I love.

So, my friends, that is a peek into my scrap room.  I would give you a real tour, but I keep tripping over the piles on the floor that I am looking for homes for.  I think after this retreat one pile will be totally handled!  Yeah!  then I can find homes for all these things .......   connie

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Guardian Angels

Do you believe in guardian angels?  I do.  I have ever since I was little and I give them a workout, I assure you.  I drive between Rapid City and Sturgis several times a month.  That seem to be the time that I challenge my guardian angels the most.

For example, last night I was driving home from my monthly Club meeting in Sturgis and letting my mind wonder over all the fun we had had, and what pictures I wanted to put in my little Cruisin' book, now that it wouldn't be passed around so much, when I caught a movement in the road in front of me.  It is amazing how quickly your mind processes information when you are about to be in an accident.  I recognized that the  movement was a small deer.  Then that there were 2 small deer.  Then that there was blood on the highway so someone must have hit these babies mama. Then I realized that I was about to hit at least one of them and I braised for the impact. When I braised for the impact, I turned my wheel - slightly!  And went right between the two fawns!!

I couldn't believe it!  I missed them both!!  And my dad's truck remained unscathed!  Only through the intersession of my guardian angels.  I know I give them a work out, but I thank God every day that they are there.

I shook all the way home.  I thought about sharing this all night long, and I find it is something I must.  It is the only way I know to express how grateful I am for every day ..... C

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

September 2012: National Stamping Month

I am so excited to share this special with you!  I love this stamp set.  For NATIONAL STAMPING MONTH Close to my Heart has created a beautiful double stamp set that matches our DOTTY paper from National Scrap booking Month!  I am loving this set.  It will work not only with fabulous daily scrap book pages, but it is going to make some amazing cards too!  It touches on all the trends in the paper craft world right now and I couldn't be more thrilled.  If you would like this stamp set for just $5.00 please contact me at the email shown to the right of this post.  HAPPY STAMPIN EVERYONE!    C

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

And so Normal life begins ... Again

The rally is over , and even though I don't have kids in school any more, this seems to be the time of year that I start re-evaluating my schedule and seeing what I can do to get some control over my time and my activities.  I look forward to things slowing down and falling into a routine again. ( Has there ever really been a routine?  I'd like to think so.) And I start planning all the things I want to get done before the new year begins.  I could probably tell you how many day until the dreaded Christmas deadline, but that would be unkind, and I don't want to do that to you.

CLOSE TO MY HEART IS HAVING A SALE! It is While Supplies Last so you need to head over to my website and check out the great deals!!  $2.00 Albums!!  I am in shock.  If you are interested in any of these items, get your orders in now.  I don't know how long they will last.  I am hoping to catch some of the albums... but we will see.

And, I always think that I should have a picture in every post, so I am going to add a random picture from our Rally adventures this month!  Enjoy, and I hope you will hear from me again soon!  C

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

National Scrapbooking Month

This is my favorite month of the year!  Not only is it my birthday, which I start celebrating as early as I can, but it is National Scrapbooking Month!  That means I get to organize a full day crop and I plan to get a ton of my scrapbooking done!  Our Crop day is always the first Saturday of May, and I am STOKED to be headed to a full day of scrapbooking and no interruptions!

I have already pulled my pictures and put them with the B&T papers I want to use for Saturday.  That, for me, is half the battle.  Once I have that done, I just pull out my CTMH design books and start creating!  I am planning on pulling enough cardstock today to get through all those paper packs without bringing my whole scrapbooking room to the crop.  And, I have already decided that my mission (and I do choose to accept it) is to use chipboard and embellishments, brads and eyelets, waxy flax and sparkles on ALL my pages!  I am guilty of under embellishing, so, I am going to glitter and grunge all day Saturday!

I will start cooking on Friday and have everything ready for my friends that are coming to play with me on Saturday.  Crock-pot Fajitas and lots of munchies to get us through the day!  My car will be packed Friday night, and DH has already volunteered to come with my Saturday morning and get things unloaded and set up so we girls can play.  What a good guy!  I think that is my favorite birthday present.  He is so wonderful about helping me with my scrapbooking business and all of the fun events I have with my friends.  What more could a girl ask for?

Well, you know I hate to publish a blog without pictures, so I am posting the CLUB projects my little group of friends did last month!  We used the LUCY paper packet from CTMH and made these wonderful cards!  I love how soft and dreamy the papers are.

And I had an awful time finding pictures to use on the scrap book page for this paper.  I resorted to digging out my college pictures.  And these are them!!  ha ha   I don't have very many, so I had to make them work.   I must not have owned a camera in college, or I am nothing like my oldest son, who live in front of the camera!! The picture of me with the beer (probably the first one I drank in front of my parents) is one of my favorite pictures of myself.  I don't know why, but it is.  I am glad to see it in a book finally!  

So, there you have it.  My girly pages!  ha ha   The rest of my paper pack is going to be used for birthday and sympathy cards, and maybe some pictures for the book I keep of my clients at the salon.  A bunch of prom girls in that book!   Now, I am off to finish packing for NSD and get myself to work today!  

See you soon, c

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Check out this month's special from Close to my Heart!  I just got mine and can't wait to play with it.  You can get one for yourself by placing an order from the Spring/Summer idea book for $35.00 or more in product between April 17 and May 31. You will get the 'Dotty for You' paper pack for only $5.00. That is a great deal considering the paper packet includes 24 coordinating B&T duos and an idea sheet!  Not bad for $5.

You could also have me come and do a gathering for you and your friends to earn this paper pack. Invite all of your friends to come and spend a fun afternoon making cards or a scrapbook page and if you gather $400 in sales, you can get the paper pack for FREE!  And you get to have a great time playing with friends.

One other way to get this paper pack for FREE, sign up to be a Close to my Heart demonstrator. This is the funnest job I have ever had and the cost is minimal.  Sign up this month and get the Dotty for You paper pack FREE!

Contact me if you are interested in any of these options!  I would love to hear from you.

What Happened to Winter?

I can't believe it is April already.  We had a long and painful last month or two.  We've managed to catch every single bug that has run through town.  I am tired of being sick!  It has also really put a damper on getting anything done not only around the house, but in my scrapbooking room.  I managed to get the Club projects done on time (barely) and managed to have a meeting with some of my new recruits just this last week, but things have really suffered.

Today, I am feeling much better and hoping to get on the road to accomplishment.  I spend most of the morning working on my taxes (something I am NEVER putting off this long again) and this afternoon, after maybe a quick nap, I am planning on getting started on my club projects for April.  We have a busy month, with a little trip to Denver in the mix, so I really want to get things started early.

I am starting to plan our wonderful FIFTH ANNUAL NATIONAL SCRAPBOOKING DAY!  On May 5, a bunch of us will be meeting at 8AM and scrapbooking our little hearts out until about midnight.  I am so excited!  I have already ordered my pictures and am planning my pages! I hope to get a ton of pages done and use up more paper!  I really need to whittle down my supplies.  I have a hard time buying new stuff when I know what is sitting at home.  What do you do to use up paper?  I am trying to budget more scrapping time in my week and hopefully use up paper not just on pages, but get some cards going again.  I have really fallen behind on that.  I think I may be putting some of my cards in the salon for sale this year.  We will see how that goes.

Well, I have probably rambled enough for now.  I am sorry no art went up today, I will make sure and have some next time I post.  See you soon - c

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A New Addiction

I'm sure you all know that I have a small problem with SPIDER SOLITAIRE, and that I spend a LOT of time on the internet and in my scrapbooking room.  Well, add PANDORA radio, and PINTREST to those addictions, and I have a Very Serious Problem!  This is Crazy!

It all started when I sent my alarm clock to Denver with Will.  Well, that was my radio in the scraproom.  A few days ago, I remembered that a friend of Will's had put Pandora on my phone, and I loved it!!  I can tell it what artists I like, and it plays those artists and that style of music.  I can set it to shuffle, or just one artist. It is wonderful for when I am scrapping and I love that I can change it all depending on my mood.    So anyway, I remembered hearing that they had a version for the computer now.  I downloaded it to the computer in my room and it hasn't been turned off since.   I love spending time in my scraproom now as long as I have something to listen too.  Especially when DH is going to bed at 6PM, I need some company.  PANDORA is it!

And then there is PINTEREST.  WOW!  What an amazing product (or time waster!!) I love that I can pin 'stuff' to my 'boards' without it taking up room on my computer and I can refer to to any time I want.  I especially love it for the recipe ideas I have gotten.  Just this week I am planning on trying 2 that I found on pinterest.   So many times in the past I would see something and think I "might" use that someday and either write down a website on a slip of paper (you DO NOT want to know how many of these are all over my house) or I would hope I would remember where I saw it later when I needed it.  With PINTEREST, you have it!  Boom!  Just check your board.  And you can pin anything from any website, blog, or other internet location.  I spent one whole day surfing other pinners sites (I do not recommend this - nothing got done!) It can be a waste of time, but maybe with some self control (OK - stop laughing!!) it will be the best thing since sliced bread.  For me anyway.

Well, I'm off to continue getting ready for the retreat next weekend.  I am going to try not to bring everything I own, so I am starting to pack now.  I will chat with you all again soon!  c

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another week

Do you ever have those weeks where you just can't seem to get ahead?  I think I am having one of those.  I had great visions of pictures on my blog this week, but haven't really taken any pictures.  I need to get my camera out.  I should show you what I know is slowing down all my creativity.  My scrap room!  It is still a total disaster, and I have made some progress since the Christmas clean up.

I'll tell you what, I have a couple extra days off of work this week (sad!  very slow week for me.) So I will clean up one area and post a picture by Friday.  I am going to be accountable, even though I am getting ready for a class and need to get some personal scrapping done (like Christmas! hello!) I will put together a storage box from Micheal's I've had for months, and get that whole wall of my room cleaned up and post pictures. Maybe you can even give me some storage tips. I think I could use them!

So, I have my list of 10 things to get done today.  And then I will get to work on this room.  One of the things on my list is Hobby Lobby, so don't look for me too soon!  :)   c

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A new Class for my Friends!

I have been meaning to get a project done so that I could post it here, so that I could teach a class on it.  And then, well, life happened.  I have mentioned that before on this blog I believe. It was in the plans for last week and I was lucky enough to catch the stomach bug that has been going around, so I didn't get it made.  But, that doesn't mean that I don't want to teach the class. So, here are some pictures of the envelope album I am going to be teaching on the 29th.  Only, imagine it is a winter theme, in blues and greys.  With lots of snowflakes and glitter.  You get the idea!  You are all creative talented people, I know you can imagine it.
The front cover

Look at all the room for pictures and journaling!! 

And the TAGS!  my goodness!

This looks so hard, but it really is a fun easy project. 

I would love to teach you how.  

Just contact me and we will get you signed up for the class!

Don't forget though, think SNOW!  Ours will be COOL!

See you in class!  c

Sunday, January 8, 2012


How is everyone doing out there?  I, wanting to remain consistent and all, am way behind on life right from the bell!  Our Christmas was lovely, but then things kinda fell apart around here, for me at least.  As you all know, I don't deal with change well.  That old German in me digs her feet in and drags along, fussing and moaning for as long as possible.  I feel like our whole last 2 years has been nothing but transition.  The final straw, my oldest son moved back to Denver on Dec 28.

Now, I know this doesn't sound like much, but my house is all tore apart once again.  He leaves, his friend moves in, he comes home, his friend leaves, hubby changes jobs (several times!) and now he leaves again!  Whew!  I am hoping, after this weekend when I take his furniture to him in Denver, my household can settle down into boring, DULL, routine.  That is where I function best and that is what I am praying for in 2011.  BORING AND DULL!

So, on to life.  About the time Will left, my computer started really acting up.  Thank goodness we have been saving to get a new desktop.  Our first weekend of the new year was spent looking for the best deal on a computer.  We ended up getting this wonderful desktop that is all in one.  I have always hated having to deal with the CPU tower, and this computer has the CPU in the screen!  LOVE IT!!

Right now it is in my scrap booking room, but next week, we will have OUR OWN OFFICE!! Jamie is moving into Will's old room (of course) and we are taking over his bedroom.  I am so excited to be acquiring more space.  I may even have some place to keep my scrapbooks while I am not working on them.  Ultimately, I hope to actually finish some!  OMG  Can you imagine??  hee hee

Christmas was so wonderful.  I celebrated many times with friends and family.  I just want to share a few of the fun pictures from our parties.

In Sturgis, we did a Yankee Gift Exchange where you can 'steal' the gifts.  It was so nice and polite in the beginning, but got ruthless at the end!  :)  I don't think I have laughed that hard in ages!

We exchanged home made gifts in my Rapid City groups. Love these matching gift bags and cards made by Rachel.

 Look what Deb got!
A beautiful Holiday wreath made from our AP philosophy cartridge and CTMH papers. 

Ginny doesn't look too sure about this. 

And this is me, with my friend Sally who drew my name.  She made me this adoreable bank from a glass block. The words are "my fund" and it has a button to hang what ever tag I want.  The one shown says "motorcycle" but I also have tags for shoes, chocolate and party.  What a great idea. 

Because some of our supplies were back ordered, we did a whole different project that all my other groups. We did candy cane toppers.  They turned out so Cute!!  Thanks to my up-line for the great instructions and idea. 

So, back to this new year thing .... I have some goals, all lofty and probably beyond what I'm really able to accomplish, but worth a good effort any way.  Maybe you would like to play along with me?
1. Scrap 3 pages a week (I was going to say day, but we all know that won't happen!  ha ha )
             one current,one from an unfinished project and one from my BOOK OF ME
2. plan and execute one additional workshop per month for all of 2012
3. Continue to make and send cards overseas for the soldiers allowing us to live as wonderfully as we do.
5. HAVE FUN and play with my friends more.

See, that's not too bad.  Now, what are your resolutions?

I think this post must be long enough to make up for how long it has been since I have been here. So, I am off to do some more scrap booking.  See you all soon!  c