Friday, December 31, 2010

OWH CHallenge #11

The challenge today at Operation Write Home is to use 10 (or 20) things on a card. I made this card for the lady who lets us have our OWH card parties in her coffee shop. She has been so great about setting up tables, even adding leaves to them so we can all fit. When she has time, she even sits and make cards with us. She asks nothing of us in return, although we do tend to buy lots of drinks and yummy snacks. I love that thanks to her, I don't have to worry about getting my house clean or having room for everyone.

The card uses CTMH Jingle papers, Thank You and Snow Friends stamp sets.

FOr my 10 things I have the following:
2 layers on the background
1 stip going across
Tulip behind snowman
Tulip layer behind thanks
3 Jingle brads

Last Day for Retired Items and Plenty for $20 Special

Today is the last day you can order retired items. For a list, see here. A number of these items are currently discoounted. If you order $20 or more from my website, you will also get a FREE D-sized stamp set! If that wasn't enough, 100% of my commission is being used to buy supplies for Operation Write Home cards.

Click here to order

I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe New Year's Eve. We'll be staying home and enjoying family time. I'll be back later to post one of the new changes I've made for the new year :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Operation Write Home Update

The party today was a huge success! Twelve people showed up, including 5 students doing their community service hours. I haven't done a final count (I'll do that as I box them with envelopes), but it's close to 300 cards. Not bad for four hours :) I am thrilled. It feels so good to be able to do something like this. Two of my current students and one former student begged me to do this again soon. One said we need to do at least two next semester because that's the most fun she's had doing community service!! Gotta love it. The only bummer was that I didn't take any pictures. Next time. Thanks to everyone that came. Your help was definitely appreciated!!

Missing You Kids--Operation Write Home

Another card challenge for Operation Write Home. This one was to make a missing you card suitable to send to kids. I used CTMH Rough and Tumble papers. The airplane is from Flyin' High, and the heart is from TLC. The alphabet was an old promotion, so I'm not sure the name of it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Anything But Pink--Operation Home Cards

Apparently I don't know how to just take a break. While I'm out of school this week, I've been organizing an Operation Write Home party for tomorrow. I've made card kits for 200 cards, and I am bringing supplies for 100 more. I would love to be able to mail out 300 cards this weekend. Over the next couple days, I'll share the cards and details about the event. So far I'm up over 12 people for tomorrow. I'm thinking I'm crazy, but I love that this is a way to have fun making cards and give back to those who sacrifice so much for us. If you're here in Boise, feel free to stop by. We'll be at the Moxie Java on Five Mile and Overland :)
The cards I'm sharing tonight are for the Operation Write Home blog challenge. With Valentine's Day cards going out, they decided they needed an "Anything but pink" challenge. I had a few that fit the bill.

All supplies are Close To My Heart.

This first one uses Good Times papers, Happy Birthday and Shining Star. I like that this one can be used for kids or adults.
The last two uses Back Country papers, Happy Birthday and Backwoods stamps.

Magic of Snow layout--Studio J

The last of my Studio J layouts (for now). Some of my favorite pictures of the boys from our first snow. Love the snowflake on their tongues picture :) I used Magnifique papers, which aren't necessarily winter/snow papers. The colors were perfect, though.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Halloween/Fall Layouts--Studio J

Pumpkin Patch layout using Olivia papers on Studio J. I love that I can use the same great papers from the paper packs on Studio J.

A couple Halloween layouts I made on Studio J. Both layouts use exclusive Studio J Halloween papers.


Boo at the Zoo

Monday, December 27, 2010

North Pole Layout--Studio J

Because I have a Studio J Membership, I can receive free shipping on one order of Studio J layouts per month. The last couple mornings I've been working on some fall and winter layouts. I am finding with my busy schedule, I can make time to make cards, but scrapbooking rarely happens. That's why I love Studio J. In less than a couple hours, I made 4 layouts. Plus, with my membership, I get free jpeg files to share online or print somewhere else, if I want. However, two page layouts are only $6.50 with a membership, I don't anticipate printing them elsewhere. To learn more about Studio J and play with your own layouts, visit and click on Studio J.

This layout was from our North Pole Express train ride last week. I used Mistletoe papers. I'll be sharing 3 more this week, as well as some thank you and Operation Write Home cards.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bound for the North Pole

Tuesday night we took our kids on the North Pole Express, a three hour train ride the North Pole and back. We enjoyed snacks, Christmas carols, and a visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and an elf on the ride up. Then we had a chilly visit at the North Pole, where we got to pose for pictures in Santa's sleigh, and in front of his workshop.

Excited as we started the trip.

Singing Jingle Bells. Brendan was smiling and singing until the carolers entered our car. He clammed up immediately. He rang the bell, but wouldn't sing. Austin and Mike were getting snacks, and they missed the carolers.

Here comes Santa Claus! Santa sat down with the boys and talked to them for a while. That's something you don't get when you visit Santa at the mall. Look how serious they were.

A little over an hour after we left the station, we arrived at the North Pole. Austin still isn't sure if that was REALLY the North Pole. He was trying to figure out how it could take us 15 hours to get to California, but only an hour to get to the North Pole. He said either it was a fake North Pole or a magic train.

Pictures with Santa in his sleigh. We didn't see any of the reindeer, though.

Back on the train for the ride home. The boys got a little bored on the way back. I was wishing I'd thought to bring cards or something. We did take lots of pictures, though.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sparkle Creations Christmas Cards

I made a couple Christmas cards using Echo Park Wintertime papers and my new Sparkle Creations stamps. I fell in love with the paper after seeing a few cards using it out in the blogosphere. I had to get it. It was also an opportunity to play with my new stamps.

This first card isn't a Christmas stamp, but I thought Christmas when I fist saw Cruisin' Chloe. I wanted to put a small Christmas wreath on the front end of the car, but thought a snowflake better matched this paper. I love to get my boys with this stamp set. I whipped out this card and showed it to them, yelling, "red slug bug!!" They thought it was pretty funny.

This one is Elf Oliver. I had to get him because Elf is one of my favorite Christmas movies, and he was too cute to pass up. Plus I already have Surfing Oliver and Farmer Oliver. I used a little Liquid Applique for the trim on his clothing. As Buddy the Elf would say, "This isn't a costume. These are my clothes!"
For the sentiment on both cards, I used CTMH's Just for the Holidays. With such large main images, these little circles are perfect.
Now that I'm officially out on Christmas break, I'm hoping to squeeze in some creating time. Of course, this first week will also be filled with cleaning, baking, last minute shopping, getting caught up on grading, and play time with the boys. Busy, busy. No relaxing for this mama!

I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More Valentines for Operation Write Home

These cards also used the papers from American Crafts and Making Memories, but I added a little stamping to the mix. I don't know why a couple are sideways. Blogger just does this to me sometimes, and it's very frustrating. I tried loading them from my computer and from my memory card. Either way, they come up sideways. Oh well.

I love these little monsters! I got the Party Animal set for Halloween stamping, but love them for birthday or valentines, too.

I think the hedgehog set, Happy Forever, is still one of my all time favorites. SO adorable and versatile! Here I used Hollyhock and Blush to match the papers so this little guy could send a Valentine's Day greeting.
An oldie, but a goodie. This little hippo from Life's a Jungle is another one of my favorites. I love how adding a little flower or bow gives her a cute, girlie look.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Simple Valentine's Cards for Operation Write Home

Thanksgiving weekend, a friend and I got together to make cards for Operation Write Home. We were making Valentine cards because Archway cookies promised that if people sent 4,000 Valentine cards to Operation Write Home, they would send 4,000 boxes of cookies to the troops. They reached that goal, and I'm proud to say I was a part of that.

I couldn't resist these papers at the scrapbook store. The background papers are American Crafts, and the saying are cut from a couple sheets of Making Memories paper. Add a little layering, ribbon or brads, and voile la, simple cards.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December Special--Plenty for $20

This month, anyone who orders at least $20 from my website, will receive a D-size stamp set ($22.95 value) FREE!

That's right, between now and December 31st, when you place a minimum order of $20, Close To My Heart will send you a stamp set free. Must be a web order--go to, and click on "Shop Online" to shop all available product. I can't think of a better way to start the holiday season than with a gift to yourself :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Go Big Blue...Fight, fight BSU

Saturday afternoon, we went to the Boise State Game against Utah State. When I sent Mike over to get the tickets, the forecast was for clear skies. Game time, the weather was 32 and snowing. It was great until the second half. Most of the people around us left, and the wind started to pick up. Between freezing and listening to two boys whine, we decided to pack it up at the end of third quarter. It was a great game, though. BSU won 50-14. Now we just have to decide if we're going to Vegas or not. It's not the Rose Bowl we were dreaming of, and I'm scared of getting stuck in bad weather. We'll have to see.

Don't the boys look oh so thrilled...

Catching snowflakes :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter Wonderland

SNOW DAY!!! Are there any more magical words for a teacher?! I knew the snow was bad, and when I turned on the tv, they started listing school closures. About 10 minutes later, I got the call from the school that we were closed today. There were about 7 inches on the ground at 6 am. It hasn't stopped yet. I'm guessing closer to 9 inches now. They say it's going to warm up and turn to rain, but it isn't happening yet.

The boys had a great time playing in the snow.

Just what are you planning to do with that snowball?
Helping Daddy dig out the car.

A snow recliner :)
Now they are having some hot chocolate and watching movies in front of the fire place. I'm sitting here watching the snow fall, but need to get started working. I am taking full advantage of the time given, and getting everything graded for progress reports Friday. Not the most exciting way to spend the day, but it will be a huge relief to get caught up.
Here's a few more random pictures of the snow: