Can you believe October has already come and gone? It was a very busy month here, but it’s one of my favorites. Every October, since 1994 I host a Close To My Heart Holiday Extravaganza to share DIY project ideas for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas festivities. For weeks before Holiday extravaganza I create new projects, so that I can share as many new ideas for gift giving, decorating, gift wrap and tags, table settings, card making, mini albums, stocking stuffers, and scrapbooking as I can. It’s my favorite event of the year, complete with Christmas trees, lights, Candy Cane Cookies, and holiday music. I invite my Close To My Heart customers, family, and friends to come enjoy their first Christmas party of the year to kick off the season, and we have so much fun.




Here is just a sprinkling of some of the projects at Holiday Extravaganza this year.























Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing many of these projects with you here on my blog. There will be Workshops in the Boise area that you can attend to enjoy some creative time here making your projects.  For those of you who live long distance, watch for Workshop Kits and Workshop Guides that will be available for many of the project shared at Holiday Extravaganza this year. I am really excited to keep the merriment going and share some projects to help with your holiday celebrations, too.


All of these projects feature Close To My Heart products. You can shop for your crafting and scrapbooking supplies online 24/7 at



Thanks for visiting my blog, today. If you have any questions, contact me at Watch for more creative inspiration for the holidays coming very soon.




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Some treats just go great with summertime, don’t they? When my kids were little they knew summer was around the corner when the shave ice shacks started popping up around town. It’s one of those cold treats that is perfect for hot days. So, since we have been talking about scrapbooking summer activities, here’s a layout I designed for those memory making moments enjoying shave ice treats.



Shave Ice Layout PM



I used the Close To My Heart Carnival Fun Stamp Set and Thin Cuts for this layout. It’s the same set that I used on the Movie Night layout a few days ago, but it looks completely different. There are just so many ways to use the individual pieces from this stamp set. Today’s project is inspired by the snow cone stamp design in the set.

In case you’re not familiar with it, there is a stamp set and a matching set of Thin Cuts. Using Thin Cuts means you do not have to do a lot of detail cutting. Just run the Thin Cuts through your embossing machine, like a Big Shot or Cuttlebug, it pops out the die-cut shape, and then just stamp the coordinating image on top. Easy.



Carnival Fun Collage




Looking a little closer at the photo below, you can see I made the shave ice multiple colors, because more flavors can be more fun. Then, to coordinate with the tropical sort of theme that you find at some shave ice stands, I added a few large leaf die-cuts and made fringed accents in the Kraft paper to be like rafia.  The title letters are a font from the Close To My Heart Artiste Cricut Cartridge, and the leaves and the cup for the large snow cone are from the Close To My Heart Artistry Cricut Cartridge.




Shave Ice - Cone PM



Here’s a list of the supplies I used for this project.

  • C1648 Carnival Fun Stamp Set
  • Z3229 Carnival Fun Thin Cuts
  • Z3126 Enchantment Paper Fundamentals (Poppy print paper)
  • X5762 Lagoon Cardstock
  • X5751 Canary Cardstock
  • X5764 Pear Cardstock
  • X5635 Topiary Cardstock
  • Z1375 Kraft Cardstock
  • 1385 White Daisy Cardstock
  • Z2195 Lagoon Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad
  • Z2652 Poppy Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad
  • Z2643 Canary Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad
  • Z1979 Black Journaling Pen
  • Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape
  • Z3167 Cricut Artistry Collection
  • ZZ3170 Cricut Artiste Collection


While that looks like a lot of different supplies to make these pages, this is a great example of using up parts and pieces of things I had left from other projects. It’s really just a little bit of ink and paper combined with some basic tools and adding themed elements from the Carnival Fun Stamp Set and Thin Cuts. All of these supplies are available on my website. Click here  shop online.


This layout also makes me think about shave ice I had while I was in Hawaii traveling with Close To My Heart. I had to drive up to the North Shore of Oahu to enjoy the view, and to take my daughter to Matsumoto Shave Ice. It’s the best. It’s a family owned business that’s been serving up their special shave ice since 1951. It’s amazing and definitely should be on your list of things to do if you’re ever in Hawaii. Here we are enjoying our cool treat.



Matsumoto's Collage PM



Well, that’s today’s little bit of creative inspiration. Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you are enjoying seeing some different possibilities for summer activities and scrapbooking as I plug the Carnival Fun Stamp Set and Thin Cuts into a variety of projects. There’s more to come. Have a great day.



















I have found a Close To My Heart stamp set that I’m having a great time creating with this summer. The more I use it, the more possibilities I see for other projects. I though it might be fun to share some of my stamping, scrapbooking playtime with you this week. Are you ready for some creative inspiration?

I’m using the Carnival Fun Stamp Set, and one of the best things about it is that there is matching Carnival Fun Thin Cut set to go with it. There is a really nice variety of images included in the matching sets.



Carnival Fun Collage



Actually, the first time I saw the Carnival Fun Stamp Set, there were instantly so many ideas running through my mind that I had a tough time trying to decide which project to work on first. That’s kind of good problem to have, though, right? A stamp set with oodles of possibilities. Gotta love it!


The big question was, “Where to begin?”

I decided to start with a movie theme. I really enjoy movies. In fact, my whole family enjoys movies. I have really great memories of going to opening night showings of movies with my kids. Whether it’s going to the theater or watching a DVD at home, movie nights with popcorn and treats are great fun. In the summertime we even have community movie nights in the park where you can watch a movie under the stars.


Here is the layout I designed using the popcorn image from the Carnival Fun Stamp Set and Thin Cuts. I added a couple of filmstrip die-cuts from that Close To My Heart Artistry Cartridge and letters from the Artiste Cartridge.



Movie Night Layout PM



I really like popcorn from the Carnival Fun Stamp Set and Thin Cuts, and it is super easy to use. It’s great having Thin Cuts to match the stamp set, because it eliminates all of the little detail cutting. You just run the Thin Cuts through your embossing machine, pop out the cardstock die-cuts, stamp the images on top, and add to your project. Simple. Because Close To My Heart stamps and blocks are clear, it’s easy to see right where to place the stamp design when you are making the print.



Popcorn Steps Collage PM



Now, I don’t know about you, but I like butter on my popcorn. To make the kernels look a little more buttery and yummy, I used my Waterbrush to pick up a little ink from a stamp pad and add a little extra color on top of some of the popcorn kernels. I used Canary ink for the butter, so the color would be a little softer than the kernels, which I stamped in Honey.


If you prefer Pocket Scrapbooking for your memory keeping, these images work really well for that format, as well. I like to blend my classic scrapbook pages and pocket pages, so here are a few Picture My Life Cards that I made to go with my layout.



Movie Night PML Collage PM



Can you see how the creative fun just keeps on going?  In fact, you could even use the Carnival Fun stamp set to create some quick invitations to have some friends over and make your movie night a party. If you look at the stamp set, again, you will notice it even has a stamp image that does the “Time, Date, Place, RSVP” for you. It would be easy to put together themed invitations using the popcorn for fun accents. Everyone likes a reason to get together, right? If you enjoy movies like I do, or you’re looking for an easy theme party, I’d encourage you to pick up the Carnival Stamp Set and Thin Cuts and have a movie night this summer.


Here is a list of the supplies that I used for my Movie Night scrapbook pages and cards.

  • C1648 Carnival Fun Stamp Set
  • Z3229 Carnival Fun Thin Cuts
  • X5779 Poppy Cardstock
  • 1386 Black Cardstock
  • Z2652 Poppy Exclusive Inks Pad
  • Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks Pad
  • Z2162 Honey Exclusive Inks Pad
  • Z2643 Canary Exclusive Inks Pad
  • Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper
  • Z3224 Watercolor Brush – Small Round
  • Z3167 CTMH Artistry Cricut Collection
  • Z3170 CTMH Artiste Cricut Collection


You can order the Carnival Fun Stamp Set and Thin Cuts and all of the supplies listed above by visiting my online shopping website. Click here to link right to the Carnival Fun supplies.


NOTE: Just in case you didn’t know, the Carnival Fun Stamp Set and Thin Cuts are part of the Close To My Heart Seasonal Expressions 2 products that are only available until August, 31…or while supplies last. If you would like a set, I would encourage you to order yours soon. The Thin Cuts sell out fast, because they are so awesome to use.



Questions? Contact me at Michelle@SomethingAboutSharing.



Thanks for visiting my blog today. I’m going to be sharing some other ways I’ve been using the Carnival Fun Stamp Set and Thin Cuts for some of my summer projects, in case it might be helpful to you as you are making and keeping memories this summer. Watch for the different themes, so you can see some new possibilities.














A couple of weeks ago, my daughter and I had the privilege to travel to the Eastern Caribbean on a trip that I earned with my Close To My Heart business. My daughter and I love to travel, and traveling with Close To My Heart is always amazing. Talk about sharing lots of memorable moments, it was awesome. Now that we are home, we are ready to get pictures of our trip into an album where we can enjoy it all again. I finished my first scrapbook layout of the trip over the weekend, so thought I would share it with you today.


Caribbean Font Collage PM


I love color and the Caribbean is overflowing with gorgeous colors. Everything is so bright and vivid. It almost feels like the water, fish, sky, trees, and flowers have all been touched up with photo editing, but they haven’t. They are just simply beautiful all on their own.


For this layout, I chose to use Close To My Heart cardstocks and ink in Honey, Pear, Lagoon, Pacifica, Desert Sand, and White Daisy. And, do you know what you get when you combine Close To My Heart cardstocks and inks with a variety of fun Alphabet Fonts? Lots of creative possibilities.

Starting with a sheet of White Daisy Cardstock, I random stamped the words sunshine, sand, ocean, waves, and palm trees using different alphabet font stamps to create a custom paper that tied into the theme of the layout, while using ink colors that match the cardstocks I would be using for the pages.


Stamping Fonts PM


Isn’t that cool? It’s so easy to create your own Background & Texture Paper by simply mixing Alphabet Font Stamps Sets and ink colors. It’s great.


For this project I used several different Close To My Heart fonts.

  • E1030 Handwritten Print (for “Sunshine”)
  • E1032 Typography (for “Sand”)
  • D1522 Glamour Lowercase (for “waves”)
  • A1182 Etched Alphabet (for “palm trees”)
  • A1117 A typeface (for “ocean”)


Since you build the words on the block, you can spell anything and make paper that coordinates with any themed project. Sometimes I use names of people or places, sometimes descriptive words, and sometimes numbers or dates…anything goes. You simply choose words that help to tell the story. Once the paper is stamped, it can be cut, layered, and used as a Background & Texture Paper for whatever you are crafting. Here’s another look at the stamped paper incorporated into this layout.


Caribbean PM



Alphabet Fonts are some of my very favorite stamp designs. In fact, I have a Medium Organizer full of Close To My Heart stamp sets with lots of different letter styles and sizes that I love using on my projects. Having a variety of letters at my fingertips means that I can easily personalize things like cards, gifts, scrapbook pages, and party banners.


Would you like to try stamping some custom papers for your projects, too?

                   I’ve got great news for you…. It’s Stampaganza time at Close To My Heart.






There are so many different sizes and styles. You might like to try something more whimsical, or bolder, or even and outline font. Some sets even come with uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and punctuation marks all in one.


Click here to see the variety of Alphabet Fonts available and shop on my website.


You’ll also want to keep in mind that this amazing special is not limited to alphabet stamp sets, you can mix and match any regular stamp sets in both Close To My Heart books. In fact, Close To My Heart is even making the special stamp set, “Hello Paradise” available in March with Stampaganza. These new designs are not available in any Close To My Heart Idea Book.  The set is similar to the one that Consultants received as a gift for scrapbooking the Eastern Caribbean Cruise.



Hello Paradise 2 Collage



I thought it might be fun to add some waves and palm branches behind some of the words on my random stamped paper. I used wave and palm branch designs from the “Hello Paradise” set in a second generation print for a little more color on the stamped paper.  Using the same ink color, but in a second generation print helps to keep the words bold and the added icon images soft.



Stamping Font Waves PM


Now, just in case you are wondering where that sunshine image came from, it can be found in this month’s Stamp Of The Month Set, “You Are My Sunshine.” You can purchase this fun set in March at it’s regular price of $17.95, OR get it for only $5 when you place a $50 order. So if you are picking up some Alphabet Fonts or other stamp sets this month, you can get a great savings on this set, too.



March SOM 2 Collage


There really are so many ways to use stamp designs to create beautiful things. If you haven’t tried creating Background & Texture Paper with Alphabet Fonts, dive in and give it a try. I think you’ll like it.


Remember that Stampaganza is only available until March 31, 2016.

Shop at




Watercolors are my favorite paint medium. I love the beautiful, translucent colors and the fluid way they blend together. There are so many wonderful things you can do with watercolor paints. So…I have been creating some simple cards and using watercolors to make quick backgrounds and custom Shimmer Trim to match. I’m using the Close To My Heart Watercolor Paints, Brush Set, and Watercolor Paper.



Watercolor Collage



For the cards I’m sharing today, I wanted a black and white base that I could add lots of different colors to, so I’m working with the Background & Texture Paper that comes in the La Vie En Rose Paper Packet. This paper pack has five different black and white prints that can be mixed and matched for lots of options. Here are pictures of just a couple of the cards to show you some examples.



Watercolor Card Collage H PM

Watercolor Card Collage V PM



You can see I am using one technique and just incorporating it into different compositions. I started with a 3 1/2″ square piece of Watercolor Paper and could change out the paint colors to make lots of color combinations. The Watercolor Paints have 36 colors in the palette, so there are so many options.


Here are the simple steps to making the matching watercolor background and Shimmer Trim accents.


Step 1: Cut a piece of Watercolor Paper the size you need for your project. Load your paint brush with a good deal of clean water and your choice of paint color. Paint a simple wash of color over the paper. The more water you have on your brush, the lighter and more translucent the paint color will be. More water also makes the colors move around the paper a little easier. Keep in mind that watercolors usually dry about 50% lighter, so use enough paint pigment to have the color intensity you want. Set the painted paper aside to dry.


Watercolor Wash PM



Step 2: Cut a strip of White Shimmer Trim for your project. Using the same color of paint that you used on the paper for the background, brush the color over the Shimmer Trim. The Shimmer Trim will become whatever color paint you use. If the color is lighter than you like, try adding more paint layers without more water. Set aside to dry.


Watercolor Shimmer Trim PM



Step 3: Once the paper is dry, stamp images on top of the painted background. I prefer to use the Memento Black Ink for the stamping, because it is a real solid black that is a little more archival. This ink is also great if you will be adding any more paint to the project, because is won’t smear.


Watercolor Typewriter Stamping PM



Step 4: Complete the card by layering La Vie En Rose Black and White Background & Texture papers and Black Cardstock, with the stamped image and the Shimmer Trim, onto the front of a card base. I like to use Close To My Heart Value Cards & Envelopes. They come in a package of 50 cards and envelopes, and end up only being .30 cents each. That’s perfect for affordable card making, and I like that the card base and the envelop match.


Blue Typewriter Card PM


For the these cards I used a Black Journaling Pen to make the thin border framing the stamped image. These pens work great over watercolored areas, too. I also did some layering with Thin 3-D Foam Tape to add some dimension to the card fronts without getting them too thick.


The stamp set I used on these cards is the “Share the Love” Stamp Set. If you do not have this one yet, you can still get one through the end of February, 2016. The typewriter, camera, and telephone in this set are great classic designs. Pair them with the variety of messages in the set and these designs are terrific for thoughtful cards for just about anyone.



Share The Love Stamp Set


Not only is this a really fun group of stamp designs, but this set is a special offer this month as part of Close To My Hearts’ campaign to help raise funds for Operation Smile. For every “Share the Love” Stamp Set purchased in February, Close To My Heart is sending $7 to help Operation Smile provide cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries for children around the world. Purchasing the stamp set is a great way we can make a difference for children needing a little help.


You can purchase a “Share the Love” Stamp Set on my website, along with all of the supplies I used to make these cards today. Just click here to enjoy shopping online. If you do not have any watercolor paints, you’ll find them in my online shopping area, too. If you do have some paints at home, you might like to grab a set of the Value Cards & Envelopes, along with some White Shimmer Trim and set some time aside to have fun making cards with easy watercolor painted backgrounds and matching Shimmer Trim accents.


Questions? Contact me at


Enjoy creating something today and share the moment by sending out a handcrafted card along with an encouraging word.



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A few days ago I shared a colorful layout with you from a very creative day that made me so happy to have enjoyed Close To My Heart over the last 22 years. Well, that creative frenzy didn’t stop with the scrapbook page, as I was having so much fun with those bright beautiful Close To My Heart colors and the new Brushstrokes Stamp Set. Today I thought I would share a couple of other projects with you to spark your creativity, encourage you to see more possibilities with your stamp sets, and add a splash of color to your day.

In addition to the Brushstrokes Stamp Set I also added the very versatile Doodled Designs Stamp Set and a couple of message stamps that are a super value with Close To My Heart. In the photo collages below you will see a sample of the card projects, along with the stamp sets I used for each one. There are eight fantastic designs in the Brushstrokes set. To make it easier to see which stamp images are used in each project, I circled and labeled the designs so you can make them, too.



Card 1: This quick simple design is so cheerful with those bold colorful prints in the background. The message stamp “Sweeter With You” is stamped inside the Doodled Designs circle in black ink for a crisp contrast to the other colors. I added a simple border with a Black Journaling Pen to frame the card and make it feel more complete.


Brushstrokes Sweeter Card Collage PM



Card 2: The bottom border on this card is made with the same stamp design used in Card 1. The difference is that instead of stamping on a larger, main focus piece of cardstock I only stamped on a 1-1/2″ strip of White Daisy Cardstock. That color strip is then layered on top of coordinating cardstock colors and attached to the card base. The circle from the Brushstrokes stamps makes a terrific highlight spot behind the “Make A Wish” stamped message.


Brushstrokes Wish Collage PM



Card 3: This card was inspired by a sample in the Close To My Heart Seasonal Inspirations 1 book. Close To My Heart Idea Books are fantastic for project ideas. I just love using the broad brushstroke stamp design for cake layers. It makes the cake look so festive. The candles are stamped using the end of the straight arrow and the flames are made with the row of dots stamp design. Quick and simple. Add a “Make A Wish” message, layer with colored cardstock, and frame the whole thing with a Black Journaling Pen. A fabulous birthday card that is truly “a piece of cake.”


Brushstrokes Cake Collage PM



Card 4: And for this one…I went a totally different direction to make a flower design. I used the same stamp image from the Brushstrokes Stamp Set for the flower petals and the leaves. The difference is just the way you make the print. For the flower petals, I put the smaller pointed end of the design toward the middle and the larger end pointed out. For the leaves, the smaller end points out and the larger end points toward the flower or what would be the stem. The circle stamp design make the flower center. I popped the flower and the flower center with Thin 3-D Foam Tape to add some depth. I think that helps to give the project some extra dimension between the leaves, petals, and center. 3-D Foam Tape comes in two thicknesses. I use the thin tape for cards most of the time because it goes through the mail a little easier.


Brushstrokes Flowers Collage PM


As you can see in the random stamped piece of cardstock shown in the photo inset, the stamped flowers are very loose and more Impressionistic. I love that and can’t wait to use that stamped cardstock for a scrapbook layout. To give some extra definition to the single flower print on the card front, I used a Black Journaling Pen to make a very light line border around each stamped piece to help frame the petals, leaves, and center. I used the small dots and hearts from the Doodled Designs to make accents on the card and framed the whole focal point with a double black squiggle line.


These are just a few ideas of more things you can do with the Brushstrokes Stamp Set. I am so glad Close To My Heart brings so many options to my creative moments. If you missed the scrapbook layout, click here to visit that post.

All of the projects I have shared with you today feature Close To My Heart products. I love the way the paper and ink colors all coordinate so that everything matches. For these projects I am using paper and ink in Lagoon, Pear, Thistle, Cotton Candy, Smoothie, and Canary. Together they are very happy colors that were fabulous for making some “happy mail” to send to family and friends. I do love sharing Close To My Heart and a colorful, creative world with the people in my life. Don’t you?

You can let your creative side get crazy with these whimsical stamp designs, ink colors, and papers, too. Click here to shop on my website and get ready to have some fun splashing color on your projects. Whether you enjoy Classic Scrapbooking, Crush Books, cardmaking, paper crafting, or party planning, the Brushstrokes Stamp Set is one of the must have resources to help you get along the way.

Have a colorful, creative, bright, and happy kind of day. Make it awesome and enjoy.




Waffle Love Layout w Photos PM


I found myself smiling a lot while I was doing some creating recently. I was working with a new stamp set, bright colors, and photographs of shared moments with Close To My Heart friends, and I found myself smiling at the thought of how much more colorful my life seems with Close To My Heart in it.

It’s true. I do enjoy bright colors; the energy, happy vibes, and fun that they bring to my projects. With 40 different colors to choose from in the Close To My Heart palette, my creative moments are definitely colorful. However, there is another kind of “colorful” that I love about having spent the last 21 years working with Close To My Heart as an Independent Consultant. Colorful can mean simply “full of color,” however it can also be used to describe something that is bright, vibrant, full of variety, richly eventful, eye-catching, interesting, and even fresh. Here’s an example.

The pictures I chose to use on the scrapbook layout shown above are from a Close To My Heart Team Builder’s Conference that I was able to attend last November. In between sessions, Close To My Heart arranged for the Waffle Love food truck to come to our location and serve up some of the tastiest treats for all of us. You can tell by the pictures that we were all delighted by our fun surprise; however what I love the most are the smiles, friendships, and laughter that we enjoy every time we get together…even when we are working. Close To My Heart has a very intentional and special way of making everyone in the Close To My Heart family feel valued, special, and a part of something important. There is something about sharing moments, smiles, and the things you enjoy that make life more colorful. I’m pretty lucky to work in a setting that not only brings more color to my creative moments, but also to my life.


So would you like to know a little more about the creative process to my project for today?

There is a new Close To My Heart stamp set called Brushstrokes that is shown in their Seasonal Expressions 1 book. I love it! I’ve been splashing color on everything lately and I know that I have still only begun to tap into the potential of this fabulous stamp set. It has quickly become one of my favorites and I think you will enjoy it, too. The eight designs included in the Brushstrokes Stamp Set look like this.

Brushstrokes Images At first glance you might be thinking, how are a bunch of squiggles, spots, and arrows something so valuable? What do you do with those? Well…can I just say, “everything.” I use these designs all the time. Here are some closer pictures of places where I used the different designs on this scrapbook layout. Do you see all of the different pieces?


Brushstrokes Collage PM

These brushstrokes and squiggles make fabulous borders, journal spot backgrounds, and accent colors on scrapbook layouts. I’ve also used them to create colorful cards and gift bags and even arranged the designs to turn them into whimsical hearts and flowers and … seriously endless fun.

Let’s take a closer look at today’s project. Here’s the layout without the photos to make it a little easier to see where the all the stamped images come in. I love the page base by itself and found that it really lent itself to lots of different types of photographs and stories.


Brushstrokes Layout PM

From this colorful base, I added the photographs, titles, and journal spots to help me tell my story. I used black letters for the titles to give a crisp contrast to the bold ink and paper colors. I like clean simple lines, so I used a couple of techniques to be able to add more to my storytelling without making the layout too cluttered.


Pull Tabs: The first technique was to pop the main focus photograph on the left page of the layout so that I could slip a pull-out tab behind it. This gave an extra story spot where I added a photograph of the menu that was on the side of the Waffle Love truck. I like these kinds of little details. The sign tells more about what the types of waffles we could choose from, the pricing, it even shows the style of lettering on the sign that gives a real “sign of the times” to add to the memory I was preserving.


Waffle Love Menu Tab PM


Flip Flaps: The second thing that I did was to add a 4″ x 6″ Flip Flap to the front of the Memory Protector. Flip Flaps are fantastic for easy story expansion spots. This let me include an extra photograph and have a section underneath that is set aside for the journaling to complete the story.


Waffle Love Flip Flap PM


I really enjoy this layout with the it’s bright splashes of color and the way it captures a colorful moment, too. I can honestly say from firsthand experience that things like interesting, richly-eventful, and full of variety, are things that describe my life with Close To My Heart. With Close To My Heart I have traveled around the world, enjoyed new adventures, embraced new experiences, learned so many new things, taken care of my families financial needs, and made lasting friendships that I treasure. All of these things make my heart happy, bring a smile to my face, and fill my mind with memorable stories. That is living a very “colorful” life, and I love it.


If you would like to make your life more colorful, too, here are a couple of things you could do today.

1. Take a moment to share a smile with a friend today. Give a friend a call, send a happy text, meet for lunch, drop off a card with encouraging words, or even share a special treat. Little things can really brighten a day and the smile you share can last a long time.

2. Visit my website and order this fantastic stamp set to add to your creative resources. Click here to shop. You might even pick up a couple of new colors to enjoy. When you create things that make you happy it will spill over to other areas of the day.

3. Think about one thing that might make your world more “colorful.” Maybe Close To My Heart could be part of helping you accomplish that thing. If you would like to know more about being part of my Team and sharing in this colorful Close To My Heart adventure with me, email me at I would love to share this journey with you, too.


I hope you enjoyed today’s scrapbook layout showing different ways to use the Brushstrokes Stamp Set to add colorful highlights and the two techniques for expanding your story on your scrapbook pages.

Come and visit again tomorrow to see how I transform this same stamp set into heart shapes, flowers, cards, and other projects that you won’t want to miss. Enjoy your day…and make it colorful.



Woohoooo….they are here! I am so excited to be able to share with you that the new Rolling Totes and Shoulder Totes from Close To My Heart are now available. With an unbelievable design, these totes are truly an example of where form meets function and create somethings fantastic. You are going to love these totes…AND…they are available to order beginning today. Woohoooo!!


Totes Collage


Watch this video to get scoop on the design and function of these totes. You really are going to love them.



Aren’t they amazing? I’m really excited and I’m sure you are seeing so many possibilities for these totes as well. This is me taking a look at all of the different storage options built into the totes. I love all the little details. Everything about these bags has been well thought through. I cannot wait to get mine.


CTMH Rolling Tote and Shoulder Tote


You can order both the Rolling Tote and the Shoulder Tote on my website right now. The first shipment of totes has arrived at Close To My Heart and is ready to be on it’s way to your house.

Click here to shop on my website and have it your new totes ship directly to you. You can even order a tote and have it ship directly to someone else as a gift if you would like. When you order on my website, be sure to click the button to “Join” Michelle’s December Online Gathering where you will automatically be entered in a Give-Away Drawing for $25 in Close To My Heart Hostess Rewards.

I can also set up an Online Gathering so you can receive even more FREE Hostess Rewards and a chance to get your new totes at half price. Just share the opportunity for your family and friends shop CTMH online and everything ships directly to them. As the Hostess you receive at least $25 Hostess Rewards Shopping with a qualifying Online Gathering with the potential for a lot more…including your totes at a 50% discount. How exciting is that? Be sure to ask me how.


Contact me at to order your totes, set up and Online Gathering, or to answer any questions you may have about Close To My Heart.




Fall may be my favorite season. While I enjoy living in a place where I get to experience all four seasons each year, I especially enjoy the changing colors I see all around me as Autumn begins to arrive. The leaves begin to change gradually and then all of a sudden there are bright yellow, orange, red, purple, and green leaves everywhere with a fabulous blue sky in the background. These are some of trees I pass every day when I go for walks with my dog, Sophie, at this time of year. It is beautiful, and I love it.


Fall Leaves Collage PM


All of these trees with brightly colored leaves and fabulous textures became the inspiration for the fall scrapbook pages I have designed for scrapbook workshops and kits in November. As I thought about how I could transfer these things to scrapbook layouts I decided the new Close To My Heart Paper Fundamentals Adventure Assortment would be perfect.

Paper Fundamentals are double-sided 12″ x 12″ sheets of cardstock that have design textures on both sides. One side has a printed pattern and the other side has a glossy resist pattern. They are available in four different color combination assortments that mix and match really well. Using the textured cardstock instead of a solid cardstock really changes the look of the final project.


paper fundamentals adventure assortment


I also chose to add to the fall theme and coordinate with the great paper colors by stamping my own multi-colored paper. Using Close To My Heart Exclusive Ink Pads I stamped images that matched the colors in the Paper Fundamentals Adventure Assortment package. Stamping is a wonderful way to make your own background paper or to accessorize and personalize projects. The stamp set that I used is called, Lifetime Of Happiness and it includes all of these versatile designs. Each image is a different stamp which makes it really easy to create your own background paper to coordinate with any color scheme.


Lifetime Of Happiness


So…are you ready to see how the papers and stamps came together in the scrapbook layouts? Here they are. You can see where the I have used both the printed and glossy sides of the Paper Fundamentals. You can also see where I have use the stamp set to add color accents on the layouts in addition to creating my own background paper to use in the project.


Fall Paper Fundamentals 1 PM

Fall Paper Fundamentals 2 PM

Autumn Smiles PM


For a little extra bling, I added Gold Shimmer Trim and Gold Sequins to the pages. Both of these accessories are adhesive-backed and a quick simple way to add sparkle and shine. The titles are cut from Close To My Heart Cricut Cartridges. “FALL” and “SMILES” both come from the alphabet font on the Art Philosophy Cartridge and the  word “Autumn” is from the Artbooking Cartridge.


Fall Paper Fundamentals Collage PM


Fall Scrapbook Workshops and Kits

There are two workshop packages available for these fall scrapbook layouts. Workshop Package A includes the stamp set so that you can use these great designs for other projects, too. Workshop Package B does not include the stamp set. There is a $5.00 charge with Workshop Package B for me to pre-stamp the project pieces for you.


Package A – $52.00 (plus tax and shipping)

Z2032 Assortment Paper Fundamentals ($19.95)
C1589 Lifetime Of Happiness Stamp Set ($13.95)
Z1985 Gold Shimmer Trim ($4.95)
Z2012 Gold Sequins ($2.95)
Additional Cardstock ($11.00)


Package B – $43.00 (plus tax and shipping)

Z2032 Assortment Paper Fundamentals ($19.95)
Z1985 Gold Shimmer Trim ($4.95)
Z2012 Gold Sequins ($2.95)
Additional Cardstock ($11.00)
Additional fee for pre-stamped project pieces ($5.00)


Additional Items Used For Project:

Exclusive Inks Pads – ($5.95 each) Cranberry, Honey, Sunset, Pear, Topiary,Lagoon, Gypsy
My Acrylix Blocks – (1” x 1”) (1” x 3 1/2”) (2” x 2”) (4” x 5”)
Z1836 Non-Stick Micro-Tip Scissors ($13.95)
Z1151 3-D Foam Tape ($5.95)
Art Philosophy Cricut Collection
Artbooking Cricut Collection


Workshop Dates:

  • Friday, November 21 at 6:30 PM
  • Saturday, November 22 at 10:00 AM


It’s a great time to enjoy bright colors, fantastic textures, and lots of “Autumn Smiles.” You can make these colorful fall scrapbook layouts by attending a workshop in the Boise Area or ordering a Workshop Kit to go.


To sign up for a workshop or to order a workshop kit, contact me at  or  (208) 713-2940.



What A Hoot PM


Using stamp sets with a paper piecing technique can be a fun way to add color and texture to paper crafting projects. It can be a great alternative to coloring in stamp images with markers, pencils, or other mediums. You can see on the card shown above that each piece of the owl has a different Background & Texture Paper or Cardstock so fun prints and patterns coming together in the stamped image instead of just solid colored spaces. The look reminds me a lot of quilting with fabrics where you choose fabrics with different prints that have coordinating colors. Close To My Heart products make it really easy to coordinate colors, textures, and fabulous images for project focal points.


Here are the steps I use for paper piecing stamped images together. I begin by choosing a stamp set that has designs that are open or outline shapes instead of solid images. For this project I chose the Close To My Heart “What A Hoot” Stamp Set because it comes with two outlined owl images, two messages, and lots of accessory pieces. It’s kind of fun to mix and match the other stamp designs included in the set so that they owls can have different eyes, wings, hats, etc.



What A Hoot


Next I select a Close To My Heart Paper Pack that has the color palette I want to work with. One of the terrific things about CTMH Paper Packs is that they are put together with a variety of prints and patterns that have coordinating colors. You do not have to take time to try to find matching colors or prints that work together. It’s all done for you.

I remember going fabric shopping with my mom when I was a kid to find just the right pieces for quilts and other sewing projects. We would walk through the fabric store holding up swatches until we found just the right combination of patterns and colors. It was fun, yet very time consuming.

Time seems to be one of those things I never quite have enough of these days. I love being able to grab a package of CTMH paper that has everything already put together with a beautiful variety of coordinating colors so I can get right to the creating part. For This project I chose the “Scaredy Cat” Paper Packet. In this packet you get six 12″x12″ B&T Duos Papers (2 each of 3 double-sided designs) and six 12″x12″ Cardstock Sheets in coordinating solid colors. Lots of options for paper piecing.



Scardy Cat Paper Packet


Once you have chosen a stamp set and paper you are ready to jump in and start creating. Select paper patterns for the stamped images and make multiple prints of each design on each paper. As you can see in the picture shown below, I stamped the body of the owl in Black Ink on two different B&T Papers. This makes it really easy to cut sections of the stamped images out and layer them together. I used the light, spotted paper as the base and then cut out the face of the owl from the Sunset B&T Paper to layer on top.


Owl Paper Piecing Collage


You can see where I also stamped two of the party hat images; one on Thistle Cardstock and one on the Sunset B&T Paper.  This gave me a Thistle Cardstock base for the hat with a Sunset B&T Paper Jack-o-lantern and pompom for top of the hat.

I followed the same steps for the mask that the owl is wearing. One mask is stamped on Thistle Cardstock and one on Colonial White Cardstock.  I cut out the Colonial White eyes and layered them on top of the mask creating the two-toned piece. Adding wings stamped on Thistle Cardstock creates a visual triangle of color around that main focus image.


I stamped the message in Black Ink on a piece of Colonial White Cardstock. The word “Hoot” in the message is also an outline image. Instead of trying to cut out such small, detailed pieced, I colored the letters in with ShinHan Touch Twin Markers. I started with Golden Yellow and highlights spots with the Marigold to blend the words with the papers in the card. If you have not tried these markers yet, they are fabulous. They are easy to blend and have vibrant full colors.


What A Hoot Message



To put the card together I layered Black Cardstock on a Colonial White Card Base with a splash of Honey Cardstock in a circle to make a moon highlight behind the owl. The message is layered on top of Sunset B&T Paper and Thistle Cardstock to keep consistent with the color patterns I had used with in paper piecing the owl together.The only accessories that I added to finish off the card were black squiggle lines made with the Black Journaling Pen and some Black Enamel Stars from the Scaredy Cat Assortment.



What A Hoot Card



Paper piecing is such a fun way to get a completely different look from your stamp sets. Simply change your color scheme and enjoy a fresh creative flair each time to put together a project. Here’s a picture from a project I shared with the same “What A Hoot” Stamp Set a few days ago. This card doesn’t look Halloween at all, however you can see that the paper piecing steps are just the same.



Whimsey Owl


You can read more about this project and the new exclusive CTMH papers that I used to piece it together by visiting this previous blog post. Just click the link below and it will take you right to it.

“What A Hoot” Stamp Set in Whimsey Paper Fundamentals


Do you enjoy owls, fun messages, and lots of creative options? The “What A Hoot” August Stamp Of The Month Set from Close To My Heart is fantastic for piecing together some creative fun for Halloween as well as many other special occasions. The stamps set is only available in August and you can get it for the discounted price of only $5. How awesome is that?

The stamp set retails for $17.95, however if you place a $50 order in August you can get “What A Hoot” for just $5 (a $12.95 savings.) Pick up a new paper pack and try some paper piecing on a new project. Click here to shop on my website and enjoy delivery to your door.


Happy creating! Michelle


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