Category Archives: CTMH

If I’ve used a product from Close to My Heart, the blog post will be in this category.

Evernote Art, Cards and Tips

Evernote Art, Cards and Tips
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Welcome! You may have found my website because you clicked on my popular Pinterest pin about how to save pins to Evernote. Or perhaps you saw my previous blog post, and read that I was interviewed on Agent Caffeine to speak about Evernote. Whatever brings you here, I’m thankful to have you as a reader! Today I’ll be sharing some Evernote wall art I’ve made; some Evernote-inspired greeting cards; and my notes from the “Secrets of Success with Evernote” interview.

Two years ago, I ordered a small collection of Evernote stickers from their website. This one is my favorite, and I think it’s meant to go on the back of a laptop lid, phone or tablet.

Evernote stickerThis sticker inspired me to make some wall art for my new office, so I cut the elephant shape from black cardstock, using my Cricut Explore and had the machine write the phrase “I’m not being rude… I’m taking notes in Evernote” with a white chalk-style marker.

Evernote Not Being RudeAfter gluing the elephant in place, I placed the 12″ X 12″ Topiary Cardstock in a frame with black wooden trim and shared it on Instagram and Facebook.

Evernote ArtIt was a hit with my friends and I took orders and mailed two of them across the country. Here’s one of them. I changed things up a bit and had the Cricut Explore cut the letters out of the green cardstock. This photo was taken before I glued the letter holes in their proper spots. I think it looks kind of cool and trendy like this:

Evernote Art without letter holesIt only seemed natural to include little Evernote-inspired cards with these framed pieces of art, so I cut a few of these 4″ square cards out and assembled them:

Evernote elephant cards

I am crave organization and order in all facets of my life. When everything is in its right place, I feel an overwhelming sense of peace and calmness. Sometimes people ask me if I am the most organized person I know. I don’t know – I don’t measure other people’s organizing skills! When asked if I have everything organized in my life, I tell them no. I don’t know that there is anyone who feels they have perfected organization and there is no need for improvement. Who looks around their house and exclaims, “Ahh, I have mastered the art of organization!” We can always excel, challenge ourselves and grow. I’m always looking for a better way to stay organized and that’s what I love about Evernote: it organizes my thoughts.

Recently, my Dad made some pegboards for my craft studio and my husband installed them on the wall behind my desk. I love how I can hang things from it and rearrange them when I find a better workflow. Evernote is like that, too. I use Evernote to capture things I want to remember later, and I can organize my notes and move them around until I get them in the right place. Tags also help make it easy for me to sort one note in multiple categories.

As I was preparing for my interview, I came up with these main points as I thought about my audience of real estate agents and brokers.

1. Use it in your personal life before you try to make it work for your business.

* In this industry, we are notorious for being on call 24/7, and since we are always working, we try to make every new app or system work for our business. Jumping into Evernote, expecting it to be the end-all solution to organizing your real estate business can make you frustrated and cause you to blame Evernote.
* Evernote works better when you understand how to use it in your everyday life FIRST. Step back and don’t get so focused on it as a real estate solution. Learn to use it well, and then apply it to your business!

2. Use Evernote to organize your brain.

* Store anything in Evernote and access it anywhere. The more you put into Evernote, the better it gets!
* Here are just a few examples of things you can save in Evernote:
* A “brain dump” of things you need to get out of your mind and on “paper” so you can remember them later
* Photos of your favorite outfits so packing for trips or mornings will be easier
* Notes to your future self: don’t ever order this dish at that restaurant again, or order this because it’s amazing
* Peanut butter or mascara you love or tried & hate
* Your family health history
* Your life’s timeline (historical events you want to remember)
* Count your many blessings
* Updates you’ve done to your home, including paint ID numbers, appliance manuals, appliance receipts and model numbers
* Your goals, wishes and dreams
* Recipes & recipe notes

3. The only wrong way to use Evernote is to not use it at all!

* There is no “one size fits all” way of organizing Evernote. Make it YOURS. You can sort notes into notebooks and notebook stacks, and/or use tags. It is perfectly normal to reorganize your Evernote notes a few times until you get what works best for you.
* Search the text in your notes across all notebooks, text within photos or Premium users can also search text inside of PDFs, Word docs, Excel files, presentations and more!

I could go on and on, but I will bid you farewell and thank you for reading my blog!

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Faith Shines Bright

Faith Shines Bright
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Happy Easter! I’m taking this year off, as far as Easter cards go. I made two gift card holders for my step-teens’ Easter gifts, but other than that, I just couldn’t find the time to finish making cards. Sorry, family and close friends who usually get holiday cards from me!

Today I attended a memorial service for a dear, special friend. Other than my wonderful dad, I strongly believe he’s the greatest man I had the privilege to know and care about. There were a few pressing reasons I needed to craft cards for: a sympathy card, a few birthday cards and this card I’m featuring today. Last Sunday, one of our Deacons stepped up to the position of Elder in our church and I wanted to make him a special card to show my appreciation!

Faith Shines Bright

I’m still on an airbrush kick! I love to make cards with my Copic marker airbrush system. For this card, I used a retired Stamp of the Month stamp set from Close to My Heart, called S1311 Illuminate, and stamped it onto Colonial White Cardstock. Next, I used 4 Copic markers and airbrushed the background, making the lantern the brightest part of my card.


I attached it to folded yellow cardstock and snugly fit some black ribbon beside it. I added a few finishing touches, like Bitty Sparkles to represent twinkling stars in the sky and a yellow gem to represent the lantern bulb.
LampOn the inside, I stamped this sentiment from the stamp set. Here’s a tip: when using Scripture, it’s a good idea to double-check the Bible and make sure the sentiment you’re stamping is from the correct passage. I was glad to see Psalm 119:105 was the right passage quoted.

Psalm 119:105

I enjoyed making this card, and our newest Elder appreciated it, too.

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Easter Cards with the Cricut Explore

Easter Cards with the Cricut Explore
Easter Cards with the Cricut Explore No Gravatar

Time flies when you’re papercrafting!! I was going through the thousands of photos I took of my art for blog posts and came across the pictures of last year’s Easter cards and thought it was time to blog about them! With Easter approaching, a lot of us will be working on cards this weekend and I wanted to share this simple card with you.

Easter Bunny Cards 2014

I used my favorite (retired) paper packet of all time: Close to My Heart “Chantilly” because it embodies cheerful Spring colors so well. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I made 12 cards and most of them looked the same. The Cricut Explore made designing, cutting and assemblies these cards a breeze! Here is a sampling of what I made using washi tape, card stock, scrapbook paper, ribbon, epoxy dots, a Copic marker, and liquid pearl drops. I hope this post inspires you as you make your cards this weekend! Some Bunny Loves You Easter Card 2014

Easter Bunny Card 2014

Simple Easter Cards 2014

Happy Easter 2014

Thanks for reading my blog.


My First Two Airbrushed Cards

My First Two Airbrushed Cards
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I’m so happy to announce I’m now Certified by Copic! I hold the Standard and the Intermediate Copic Papercrafting Certifications, the only two offered by Copic. Last week I completed all my training and was certified to demonstrate, teach or just use the techniques for my papercrafts. Taking these classes were “bucket list” items I’ve dreamed of doing for seven years, so it feels really good to have done something special like this.
My Copic Papercrafting Certifications
    It was so much fun spending two full days coloring and shading with Copic markers. If you’re not familiar with the brand Copic or how to pronounce it, it sounds like “Ko – Pick” and not “Cop – ick.” Back in 2008, I invested in a set of Copic Ciao markers and I got the other set as a gift a year ago, but I didn’t use them as often as I intended. The reason for taking these two classes was to become better at using my investment of colorful markers. Sure, I used alcohol markers in high school AP art and college, but I had forgotten a lot of techniques I’d learned. It all came back to me when I was re-learning how to use alcohol markers in my Copic classes.
    In Junior High, my art teacher was a talented and well-known airbrush artist and I was fortunate enough to get to learn how to airbrush… but then I forgot most of it because I don’t think I airbrushed again after the 9th grade. Last week, I got to try the Copic airbrush with a compressor and I was hooked! No, I’m not going to turn into an airbrushing graffiti artist – I just enjoy airbrushing backgrounds and quickly changing the color of white embellishments and ribbon. It was pretty special marrying two art mediums I learned to use in public schools: an airbrush and alcohol markers!
    After class, they sold the Copic airbrush system at a ridiculously low, below-wholesale price and I was thankful to be one of the lucky 4 to buy one.
    So, here are the first two cards I’ve made with my new airbrush system. I used three colors on both cards.
Airbrushed Depeche Mode Violator Rose Card
    In this card, I cut the cardstock down to size; airbrushed the background; stamped up the iconic Depeche Mode rose from the 1990 “Violator” album; loosely doodled a frame around the edge with a black Copic Multiliner pen; then mounted it onto dark red cardstock.
    For this guy card below, I wanted to closely match the Seattle Mariners team colors, so after laying down a chevron stencil on the cardstock and airbrushing the 3 colors, I lined the bottom of the chevrons with a silver marker. Then, I stamped the Close to My Heart sentiment; attached the ribbon and buckle; mounted it on silver paper; adhered it to the blue card; then added the Close to My Heart sticker embellishment and gemstones.
What do you think? Do you like the airbrushed backgrounds?
Up Close Thank You
Details of Chevron Card
Thanks for reading my blog!
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Hello there! I’m excited to present to you my very first Cyber Monday deal! For a limited time only, you can purchase any one of our four Close to my Heart Cricut Collections at a very special 20% off price – that’s just $79.20 each for this unprecedented sale!!!

Cyber Monday 2014 CTMH Cricut SaleIf you or someone you’re shopping for needs a good all-around, every day cartridge that includes 700 useful shapes, a great font, 3-dimensional flowers and more, then Art Philosophy was meant for you! This is still the cartridge I reach for the most. It comes with three coordinating, exclusive stamp sets and matching Dimensional Elements (color-ready chipboard).

If your crafty wish list includes a desire to cut 700 wonderful 3-D projects, party favors, interactive cards, awards, robots, spooky characters, wedding and Valentine shapes, cupcake wrappers, invitations, and party essentials, the Artiste Collection is just what you need! Included is a step-by-step assembly booklet for the 3-D projects, three coordinating stamp sets and Dimensional Elements (coordinating color-ready chipboard).

Are you new to scrapbooking; looking for a way to simplify your layouts without sacrificing style; or do you want to make creative cards for all occasions? Artbooking is the answer! With oodles of images in each of 15 layout themes, you can create several coordinating pages for each theme using just two keys and one dial size. Images include accents, borders, titles, overlays, photo mats in standard photo sizes, and more. The Cricut® keys are optimized for creating 12″ × 12″ pages in a FLASH. You’ll also love creating 10 themed mini books, also optimized for several different sizes using just two keys and one dial size. When you’re finished cutting, use the coordinating stamp sets and Dimensional Elements shapes to add even more pizzazz!

Do you already have all three cartridges, but you’re looking for an easy way to make handmade masterpieces in no time at all? Check out our all-new Artfully Sent Cricut collection. Choose from cards with sentiments cut directly into them, or combine several cutouts to create your own pop-up scenes. Featuring more than 25 different card themes and 5 different card formats including dynamic interactive designs, this cartridge has a card for any and all occasions—even if the occasion is “just because”! Card styles include pop-ups, swing cards, scenes, sentiments, sleeves and pocket cards.


Sunday, 11/30/2014 from 11 PM until Cyber Monday, 12/1/2014 at 10:59 PM Pacific time.

If that wasn’t enough to get you excited, Starting December 1st, our supplemental Seasonal Expressions catalog debuts! You may start ordering from it on my website December 1st through the end of March 2015. There’s a beautiful assortment of Valentines-themed papers and exclusive stamp sets, as well as fresh new crafting supplies for Spring and for any occasion.

December 2014 also is the time for our Deal of the Decade promotion!

CTMH Deal of the DecadeWith a qualifying purchase of $50, you’ll automatically become eligible to purchase ANY C- or D-size stamp set from the Annual Inspirations 2014-2015 idea book for just $10!! How does THAT sound? Don’t forget, you can also take advantage of the December Stamp of the Month!

In December 204, with any $50 qualifying order, you’ll get the opportunity to purchase this limited edition “Cutie Pie” stamp set for only $5! Here are some adorable samples made with the stamp set:

Cutie Pie - CTMH Stamp of the Month December 2014

Hey There Cupcake - December 2014 CTMH SOTMIf you have any questions about these special deals, please leave a comment below and I’ll be glad to help you! Have a wonderful day!

Baby Card for Beckett

Baby Card for Beckett
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Do you remember this card I made for my friend Anita? I blogged about it here: Hand-Cut Paper-Pieced Baby Announcement

Handmade paper-pieced Pregnancy / Baby Announcement Card via

Handmade paper-pieced Pregnancy / Baby Announcement Card via

The good news is she successfully delivered her (huge) healthy and happy baby boy! I wanted to make a special card for Anita and Patrick’s new baby, so I looked at some pictures of the nursery Anita had shared online. She put so much love, effort and care into the special touches that brought this adorable room together. This card is a nod to little Beckett’s nursery.

Welcome, Beckett! Baby card with "Lifting Spirits" CTMH stamp setI used the cheerful Lifting Spirits Close to My Heart stamp set for the airplane and clouds. Is anyone else concerned that there’s no one flying the plane? I told Anita a teddy bear is flying it (totally normal) but he leaned over to tie his shoe when this picture was taken. I stamped the airplane onto the cardstock first and then stamped it onto scrap paper. I trimmed around the stamped image and stuck it onto the airplane with washi tape to temporarily mask it. I should have used a sticky note or the masking adhesive designed for this! Then, when I stamped the clouds over the airplane, it caused the clouds to look like they were behind it.

I used Copic markers to color this. I have forgotten everything I learned about coloring with alcohol markers in high school AP art and college.Baby Card made with CTMH ifting Spirits stamp setDon’t you just love this cute orange and white button that anchors the sentiment banner in place? Anita is very talented at sewing, so I thought adding a button was appropriate.Orange and white button - welcome, Beckett!I made a little string of pennants from orange cardstock that I hand-cut and drew designs upon with a white gel marker. I used glue dots to lay them over the embroidery floss I stapled down with a mini stapler.Orange pennantAnita shared this cute pic she took of the card in the nursery and she plans to display it on one of the shelves made from vintage suitcases:Anita Kissee's photo of Beckett's CardsByStephanie cardThanks for reading my blog!

Beckett's airplane card


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Dinner Party Invitations

Dinner Party Invitations
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After nearly a decade-long hiatus, I threw a dinner party! I enjoy making invitations with the menu and theme of the meal incorporated into the invitation. My husband and I made a big batch of slow-cooked pork carnitas, pico de gallo, salsa and guacamole and our six friends filled in the rest of the Mexican-themed fixings.

You're Invited!

I love my Cricut Explore and the Design Space software! It made pulling these invitations together so easy. All I did was search for things like “banner,” “you’re invited,” and “taco” and I found what I was looking for. My monthly membership allows me access to nearly all the thousands of pre-designed images, so I don’t even need to own all the cartridges pull images from!

Dinner Party Invitations for Three Couples

The base of each card came from a box of card bases and envelopes from My Mind’s Eye and the cardstock used for the cut shapes are all from Close to My Heart because their paper cuts so smoothly with the Cricut. I’m hoping to use up the rest of my DCWV textured cardstock so I can switch over to only using the high-quality Exclusive Cardstock CTMH offers. Cute Little Paper Tacos

Aren’t these layered paper tacos adorable? I think they’re so cute!!

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Mini Album for Father’s Day 2014

Mini Album for Father’s Day 2014
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As papercrafty as I am, I’ve never made my parents much more than a drawing, card, paper flowers or one piece of canvas art. I make them lots of cards, but I’ve never made a scrapbook for them. I’m a reluctant scrapbooker who prefers to make mini albums over traditional scrapbooks.

My parents gave me a wonderful childhood and I have a lot of special memories from growing up. Over the last year or so, I made a list of memories involving my dad because I knew I wanted to make some sort of mixed media collage or mini album showcasing those memories as a gift for Dad’s Day 2014. I sketched out a few ideas in the Penultimate iPad app and decided a mini album was the way to go.

I made the mini album using Cricut Design Space, my Cricut Explore, a stamp from the Take Note stamp set (that comes with the Close to My Heart Cricut® Artbooking Collection), the retired CTMH “Victory” paper packet, a holographic post card I bought from the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington DC, old U.S. pennies, a little metal hacksaw embellishment, brads, stickers, Liquid Glass and Durables: Triangle Studs. Father's Day Mini Album The box was made with CTMH 12″ X 12″ Kraft Cardstock and shapes I found in Cricut Design Space. I think the box was from the Cricut® Artbooking Collection and the embellishment on the front was a free Father’s Day cut from Cricut. The notebook paper was cut with the Cricut and the Cricut® Artbooking cartridge. Father's Day 2014 Mini Album - Card and Gift Box made with the Cricut and the CTMH Artbooking cartridge I visited my parents for an early Father’s Day so I could spend time with them and give Dad his gift in person. Needless to say, he loved his card-gift! My hair looks weird here, but it’s because it’s in long layers and only part of my hair is showing. Can you see the love in our eyes? 🙂

Dad and me

Dad and me

It was fun revisiting the memories from my childhood, but I told him it could have been a better scrapbook-card if I had photos to copy, print and use. All the photos from growing up belong to my parents and the photos are scattered in bankers boxes at their house. I’ve wanted to revisit the old photos, but I live hours away from home and the pictures aren’t organized, so I can’t easily find what I am looking for.

We ended up having an impromptu weekend project where we scattered photos all over their living room floor and we sorted them by year! Then, they were put into corresponding manila file folders. Once we have them sorted by year, they can be scanned, saved, and named properly. They will be stored in the cloud so family can access the pictures.

As we worked together on this project, I couldn’t help but think of lyrics to the Pet Shop Boys “Being Boring” song. The line in my head was, “I came across a cache of old photos and invitations to teenage parties…” Like many people, my head is a jukebox that connects words and moments into songs.

BACK TO MY CARD-BOOK-GIFT: So, here are some pictures of that project I made for my dad, the first man I ever loved and still love very much.

Custom Father's Day Gift Box Made with the Cricut

Custom Father’s Day Gift Box Made with the Cricut

Here’s what’s inside the mini album. I am not sharing super close-up details of each page because the memories shared are specific to my family and you may not understand a lot of things I shared unless I told you the stories behind them. I’m just sharing these to show you the general layout of the album in case you want to make something special like this for someone. Inside the Father's Day Mini Album More Pages from the Father's Day Mini Album Close-up of the tiny hacksaw embellishment

My zig-zag mini album

My zig-zag mini album

Back of the Mini Album Thanks for reading my blog!

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Hawaiian Wedding Collage

Hawaiian Wedding Collage
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A few months ago, my husband and I had the privilege of attending the wedding of our friends Gregg and Claire. Dale met Gregg years ago when his Portland, OR food cart opened. If you’re a local. You may be familiar with his handmade deep-fried savory and sweet Whiffies hand pies, located in the Cartopia food pod until the end of Summer 2014. They’re delicious!

Gregg grew up in Hawaii, so it seemed fitting that he would be married there someday. The night before the wedding, there was a full moon and a very rare moonbow. I’d never heard of that before, but it’s called a moonbow when a rainbow is visible with the moon!! It’s so cool, and everyone took it as a good omen on the eve of the wedding.

The Maui wedding location was breath-taking. It wasn’t possible to take a bad photo with such beautiful people and gorgeous scenery! God even blessed us with an incredible sunset!!   Hawaiian Wedding Photo CollageI wasn’t satisfied with just getting the couple a gift from their registry. We did that, but I wanted to do something more personal. I’m a papercrafter, and I like to give handmade gifts, so after the wedding I looked at all the photos Dale and I took and selected a few that really represented the wedding week to me. I printed them from my computer onto glossy Kodak photo paper and made this collage using paper and paper flowers I bought in Maui, and I used my Cricut Explore to write the heading.

Hawaiian Wedding Picture Collage

Yes, my Cricut Explore WROTE the words for me! I used the Artbooking Cricut cartridge from Close to My Heart and used the pen attachment to have my machine write the text. I was going to fill in the letters with a black marker but decided I liked the way it looked as outlined text.

Pretty paper flowers from Island Paperie

After mounting the photos on black cardstock and arranging them the way I wanted, I framed the art and embellished the corners with laser cut Hawaiian flowers and pearl-like embellishments. I wrapped it in tissue in a pizza box and included a card I made with images I bought from the friendly owner of Island Paperie in Maui.

Easy card made with printed paper from Island Paperie

When I presented this to the couple last month, they were surprised and happy to see photos printed! They hadn’t ordered any photos from their wedding, so I was happy to give them something for their wall to commemorate their lovely wedding.

Card envelope for Whiffies

Gift-wrapped frame

Thanks for reading my blog, and if you’re planning on getting married in Hawaii soon, let me know. 😉 We would love to return to that gorgeous State!

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As Seen in Cricut Magazine

As Seen in Cricut Magazine
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I am so honored to have been selected once again to have my art featured in a Northridge Publishing magazine! Just before my mini album was about to be published in Cricut Mini Albums, I was contacted by the copy editor and asked to submit a card for the June 2014 issue of Cricut Magazine! This was so exciting for me because I have been a customer of the original Cricut Magazine since its debut a few years ago and now MY art was going to be in a magazine! They’ve since gone digital, but I am still a customer and I love the inspiring ideas found in each colorful digital publication.

Mr. and Mrs. Card for Cricut Magazine

Mr. and Mrs. Card for Cricut Magazine

I couldn’t mail them the original card they’d found on my blog because I had made it for a couple who was married March 2013. I was in the middle of a craft room re-design and boxes were packed up everywhere. I didn’t have all the supplies needed to create the card, so I placed a rush order from my Close to My Heart website and when it arrived, I recreated the card that was requested. 95% of the supplies used are from Close to My Heart and I used paper and stickers from the retired For Always collection.

Here’s a picture of my card submission with the blog post Northridge Publishing found when they requested it.

Mr and Mrs card replica with the original blog post

Mr and Mrs card replica with the original blog post

When submitting a card for publication, they request detailed step-by-step instructions; a photo of the finished piece; and the original art.

Submitting my card for Cricut Magazine

Submitting my card for Cricut Magazine

Here are the pictures of my card as they appear in the June 2014 issue of Cricut Magazine. I’m so excited!!

Cricut Magazine - June 2014 issue

My card is featured in the Table of Contents page!!

My card is featured in the Table of Contents page!!

My CTMH Mr and Mrs card featured in Cricut Magazine

My CTMH Mr and Mrs card featured in Cricut Magazine

My CTMH "For Always" Mr and Mrs Card - Photographed by Northridge Publishing

My CTMH “For Always” Mr and Mrs Card – Photographed by Northridge Publishing

Thank you for reading my blog!! I’ve been so busy creating art and meals that I haven’t had a chance to blog. I plan to add more new blog posts soon because it’s fun to share what I’ve been working on.

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