Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sneak Peek of the New Summer Idea Book!

I am so excited about our NEW Summer 2010 Idea Book! I think it's the most beautiful catalog cover we've had to date! Of course, if you know me, you know I love all things RED, so what's not to love!? All of the new products inside are just as beautiful! I know you are going to love it! 

This new Idea Book goes 'live' on May 1st, which means you can place your orders beginning Saturday. Just go to my website and click on online shopping and your order will be delivered right to your doorstep. You will also be able to view the entire catalog online at that time. All of my club members will be receiving a FREE copy at their May Scrapbook Classes. If you are not a member of my scrapbook clubs, and you'd like to get a copy of your own, please contact me via email at

Here is that sneak peek that I promised you - isn't the cover gorgeous??? Love it!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Studio J is HERE!!!

I am SO excited to announce the customer release date of our brand new AMAZING online scrapbooking program! STUDIO JTrust me, you're going to LOVE this! 

Our tagline is: Real life. Real scrapbooks. Real time.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 27th at 8 am MST. 

Just go to my website to get started! 

There will be a tab added that day for Studio J. Click there and you can begin playing...for FREE! You pay NOTHING unless you order some layouts. Putting them together is TOTALLY FREE! I love free! In the meantime, if you haven't watched the Studio J introductory video yet, click here to do it!

Here are the answers to a few questions you might have about Studio J:

Q: I LOVE traditional scrapbooking. Will Studio J take away from that? 
A: Absolutely NOT! There is room for both in your life. I am living proof. I love them both for totally different reasons. I love the artistic feel of hands on paper and embellishments. I love the speed and ease and professional look of Studio J. Plus, you can always order Studio layouts and then add a few embellishments of your own once they come if you have a serious need to do the tactile thing.

Q: I am not a traditional kind of scrapbooker. I have been scrapbooking digitally for years. Is Studio J something that I will like?
A: No doubt about it! I have looked at several different digital offerings out there, and in my opinion, NOTHING can compete with Studio J in quality, concept, cost or beauty!

Q: So seriously, how much does it cost?
A: There is NO COST to use the program. You have no software or hardware to purchase or download. Unless you make a layout (defined as a two page 12 x 12 layout) and decide to purchase it, there is absolutely no cost. Once you decide to purchase, each 2 page layout is introductory priced at $12.95. That is WAY below the industry average! And, if you purchase 5-9 two-page layouts at a time, CTMH will throw in 5 free page protectors. 10 or more and you get FREE SHIPPING, as well as a package of 5 page protectors for every 5 layouts in the order. Cool! Once ordered, Close To My Heart prints your layouts on high quality photo paper and sends them to you. Mine arrived within days of when I ordered them.

Q: What if I make a layout and want to save it and purchase it with a group of layouts at a later date?
A: No worries! That is actually the smart way to do it anyway. CTMH will save your projects for 90 days. And, every time you make a purchase your 90 days start over. So, say you make several layouts and then purchase them on day 80. Your 9o day clock starts over. They are saved again. Totally awesome! On top of all of that, CTMH even emails you periodically to remind you where your project clock is.

Q: In a nutshell, how does this "Studio J" thing work?
A: In a nutshell, these are the five steps to creating an amazing 2 page layout:

  • upload some of your favorite photos
  • choose from one of the 54 awesome kits (including most of your faves from our Idea Books plus some that are exclusive to Studio J).
  • choose a layout pattern. There are MANY to choose from. They are like the patterns you'll find in our wonderful "how to" books like CherishImagineReflections. The possibilities are endless because all the patterns you can choose from can be rotated 3 ways and flip-flopped.
  • now personalize! You get to drop your photos in, add text, choose cardstock and background and texture papers from the kit, add accessories (just about every accessory item you can imagine!), distressing, titling, MyStickease, and so much more.
  • save and/or buy your layout(s).
Q: If I'm not the techiest of techies, or even techie at all, will I be able to do this?
A: YES! This program is great for techies and non-techies alike. The program is VERY intuitive. 

I am SO EXCITED about this program. I know you are going to love it. So, take a red pen and mark Tuesday, April 27 at 8 am MDT on the calendar. You won't want to miss it!

If you have any questions, I am MORE than happy to answer them. Email me at  If you have lots of friends who love digital scrapbooking, you might even want to consider signing up to be a Close To My Heart Consultant with your own website so that you can make money (cha-ching) while they fall in love with Studio J! You can do that right now while you are waiting for Tuesday. Just click here, then on "Your Opportunities" and then follow the prompts. You can become a Close To My Heart Consultant for as little as $99!

I can't wait to hear what you think about Studio J and your studio layouts! 


Monday, April 19, 2010

Another Miracle!

Since Ronnie and I went out on Saturday night to celebrate my birthday, we stayed home yesterday and had a nice quiet day here at the house. We have had rain here in Texas all weekend, so I stayed inside and scrapbooked all afternoon. Ronnie grilled steaks and made salad and baked potatoes for supper and then we watched the CMA's (Country Music Awards). It was a really nice relaxing day.

I still had the scraps from the Miracle Kit laying on my scrapbook table and I had a few Bluebonnet pics left over that I had printed out, so I decided to see if I could do another layout and use up the rest of that beautiful paper. I didn't have alot of the paper left so I added some cardstock to make it go  a little further. I found a layout in Cherish that worked with the number of photos I had and that didn't require alot of B&T paper. I chose the concept called 'Easy Inspiration' on page 106 in my Cherish Book. I think it worked well with my photos and I was able to use up all of my scraps! I am happy with the way it turned out and hope you like it, too!

Left page

Right page

I used the Irresistibles 'Lots of Dot's Z1261 for my title and sponged them with Spring Iris. 

I ended up pulling some of the fun accents from a second Miracle Kit to add to my pages, so that they would tie in with the other layouts. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Fun Night Out!

I had a wonderful night out for my birthday! My hubby surprised me Saturday night and got tickets to Granbury Live! Granbury Live is an old-time theater on the Granbury Town Square that does live music concerts every weekend. If you live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and enjoy music, you definitely need to go sometime! Last year, I surprised my husband for Christmas and got him season tickets, so we had date night every month all year long at Granbury Live! So much fun! Last night's concert was 'All American Country' and if you know anything about me, you know I LOVE country music! LOL! I got to hear lots of favorites - including my all-time favorite song 'Cowboy Sweetheart', performed by Lani Stacy. She did an amazing job and she can yodel like nobody's business!

One of my customers, Alecia Echols,  is a vocalist at Granbury Live and her husband Mike is an amazing fiddle player. My favorite part of every show at Granbury Live is when they perform 'Amazing Grace' together. It's just beautiful and always brings tears to my eyes. Love you Alecia! You are SO very talented!

Another one of my customers, Kathy Carlson, and her husband Pete, are frequent visitors to Granbury Live and we ran in to them last night and were seated just two seats apart in the same row! Too fun!

Thanks to everyone at Granbury Live for a great birthday and to my sweet hubby for being so thoughtful and knowing me so well. Also, thanks to everyone for all of the cards, emails, flowers, calls, texts and facebook posts! I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your friendship more than you could know!

Here are some photos from my night out on the town:

Ronnie and I in front of the house before we headed out. 

Ronnie and I in front of Granbury Live. Can you tell it had been pouring down rain? LOL! 

Mike Echols burning up the fiddle!

Cindy with Alecia and Mike Echols

Cindy with Alecia Echols and Kathy Carlson at Granbury Live. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

It was such a fun mail day today! I wanted to share with you what came in my mailbox today! I LOVE fun mail! I received not one - but THREE handmade Birthday Cards in the mail today! All three are from my awesome Western Hearts Team Members (Close to My Heart Consultants)! So fun that they came from all over the U.S.!

Check out this fun card from Tracy Lunceford in Oregon. It is made with the Topstitch My Reflections Kit and has a velcro closure and ribbon handle, like a little purse! SO cute Tracy! She has used buttons, brads, ric rac, ribbon and waxy flax! Darling! 

Next is a super cute card using the Emporium My Reflections Kit and one of my favorite stamp sets - Headline Alphabet! This card comes from Rita Mefford who lives in New York. Thank you Rita! Such a cute  idea! 

Last, but certainly not least is a darling card made with the Bella My Reflections kit and a cute paper fold that I remember from 'back in the day', that's called a 'cup o' card'. Who remembers these from way back? All good things come back in style again! So cute! This card was made by one of my Directors, Teri Baxter, from Las Vegas, Nevada! Check out that she also stamped on the ribbon  and used a stamp  that she curved to make the 'handle' of the basket - awesome! I love it Teri! You are so creative!

Thanks to all of my team for the birthday wishes! Thank you for remembering and thinking of me! My Team ROCKS! 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Someone's at the Door!!!

Most of you know that I live way out in the country and not many people knock on my door during the day! (My 'Boyfriend in Brown' aka the UPS man - makes such regular deliveries, that he lets himself in to the entry way now! ROFL)

Well, imagine my surprise today when I got a knock at the front door and there was a lady standing there with these...

It was the florist delivering flowers for my birthday from my dear friend, Melissa Robinson! SO thoughtful! Melissa is currently living in Kansas - (aka 'wayyyyy too far from Texas!') Thank you so much Melissa! I love and miss you and you definitely made my day a little brighter! 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Miracle Pages - Completed!

I am SO excited to share my finished Miracle Kit pages with you! This special kit from Close to My Heart is available starting TODAY! These are only available while supplies last - so get yours soon!

I had so much fun putting these pages together! The new Irresistible Dimensional Elements (chipboard) have an embossed design on them and when you sponge them with your chosen accent ink color, the design stays white and appears like magic! How awesome is that? They were so fun to do! I used Olive Ink for the leaves and vines and chose Spring Iris for my flowers and butterflies to coordinate with my Bluebonnet photos. There is no stamping required on these layouts! Also, the My Stickease artwork layers right on top of the Dimensional Elements to create even more depth and dimension to your embellishments! You are going to LOVE this kit!

My Bluebonnet photos worked great with the neutral color palette of Colonial White, Bamboo, Sweet Leaf and Crystal Blue and the Spring Iris ink on the Dimensional Elements pulled out the color of the Bluebonnets in my photos. I LOVE the way these turned out! Let me know what you think! (You can click on any of the photos and they should get larger.)

If you would like to get your own Miracle Kit, email me or order online at

The layout with the Flip Flaps closed. 

The layout with the Flip Flaps open - I was able to get SEVEN photos on this layout! 

Close up of the journaling on the first layout.

Second layout with the Flip Flap closed. 

Second layout with the Flip Flap open. 

Close up of the journaling on the second layout.

Thanks for looking! I can't wait to see all the different ways you use this cool kit! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thank you, Jeanette!

I just opened my mailbox and got a fun surprise! A Birthday Card from Jeanette Lynton (CEO and Founder of Close to My Heart) and the Executive Team! Thank you so much Jeanette, Kristine, Monica, Brian and Jeff! I just love getting fun mail, don't you?

This card is so beautiful, I just had to share it with all of you! It uses the Veranda My Reflections Kit, Just Blooms Paper Flowers, Creme Brulee Ribbon Rounds and Bitty Sparkles! The Just Blooms are distressed with Cocoa Ink as well as the edges of all of the papers.

(Do you see how she used the Sparkles on the Dimensional Elements Heart and also to 'dot the i' in 'birthday'?)  Sooo pretty! I love it!

We will be using the Veranda papers and Just Blooms in my May Scrapbook Classes. Let me know if you'd like to join us so you can create with these beautiful products!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beautiful Bluebonnets!

I talked my hubby into taking a drive yesterday to go check out a place we hadn't been to in years, that is known to have Bluebonnets in the Spring. I wanted to go see if there were any growing there this year and take some photos. For those of you who are 'not from around these parts', the Bluebonnet is the State Flower of Texas and they only bloom for a short time in the Spring, usually in April.

There is quite a bit of folklore in Texas about the Bluebonnets. Just to give you a little history...

Bluebonnets have been loved since man first trod the vast prairies of Texas. Indians wove fascinating folk tales around them. The early-day Spanish priests gathered the seeds and grew them around their missions. This practice gave rise to the myth that the padres had brought the plant from Spain, but this cannot be true since the two predominant species of bluebonnets are found growing naturally only in Texas and at no other location in the world.

As historian Jack Maguire so aptly wrote, "It's not only the state flower but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known to outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat." He goes on to affirm that "The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland."

The ballad of our singing governor, the late W. Lee O'Daniel, goes, "you may be on the plains or the mountains or down where the sea breezes blow, but bluebonnets are one of the prime factors that make the state the most beautiful land that we know.

Ahhhh... Beautiful Bluebonnets! Just one of the many things I love about Texas!

Here are a few of the photos we took yesterday. Enjoy! 

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's a Miracle!!!

Have you heard about the new kit that Close to My Heart has put together for National Scrapbook Month in May? It is beautiful!  This charming Scrapbook Kit featuring spring-inspired colors and floral patterns is miraculously easy to assemble with no stamping required. The brochure will guide you through easily creating two beautiful 2-page layouts. The colors are Bamboo, Colonial White, Crystal Blue. Olive and Sweet Leaf. The reason they are calling it the 'Miracle Kit' is because you can color the cool new Dimensional Elements with any accent color to coordinate with YOUR photos! 

Here is what is included in this Spring Themed Kit:

5 sheets Colonial White Cardstock
1 sheet Bamboo Cardstock
1 Floral B&T Duos Paper
1 Stripe B&T Duos Paper
1 Crystal Blue B&T Duos Die Cut
1 Sweet Leaf B&T Duos Die Cut
1 - 6" x 12" My Stickease Assortment
1 6" x 9" Irresistibles Chipboards Die-Cuts
1 package of Mini- Medley Accents Colonial White Collection
12" Colonial White Waxy Flax
3 - 4" x 6" Memory Protectors Flip Flaps
2 sponge wedges
1 Color Brochure with instructions

There are several ways to snatch this fashionable Miracle kit at a
great discount or even FREE*:

•  Purchase the kit outright for $19.95*
•  Place a minimum order of $40 and purchase the kit for only $10*
•  Place a minimum order of $60 and purchase the kit for only $5*
•  Sign up as a new Consultant between May 1–31 and receive a kit FREE!
•  Host a Home Gathering between April 15–May 31 with minimum sales of $300 and receive a kit FREE!

Amaze yourself and your friends during National Scrapbooking Month in May with gorgeous layouts you create using our Miracle Kit. 

*Tax and shipping apply. 

Contact me to place your order or visit my website at starting April 15th! 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Yummy New Dessert!

My mom has been talking all week about a new recipe she was going to try out for our dessert for Easter. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention, because as many of you know I have been working out at The Fitness Center really hard and doing Weight Watchers and have lost 40 lbs. I try not to 'think' too much about desserts these days. LOL!

Well... I splurged and had a piece of this pie yesterday and OH MY GOODNESS! It is yummy! I asked my mom for the recipe so I could share it with all of you. The best part - it's my favorite kind of recipe - EASY! LOL! No baking required.

Here is the recipe... and if you try it, I'd love to hear what you think!

"Girls Night In Strawberry Peanut Butter Pie"

1 1/4 cups pretzels, crushed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups Cool-Whip, thawed
1- 21 oz. Lucky Leaf Premium Strawberry Pie Filling 
(my mom says she used two cans as one didn't seem to be enough)

Combine the crushed pretzels and sugar, then stir in the melted butter. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom and sides of a 10 inch pie plate. Cover and chill. Beat together the peanut butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed. Fold in the Cool-Whip. Spoon 1/2 cup of Strawberry Pie Filling over the crust. Spread the Peanut Butter Mixture carefully over the pie filling. Top with the remaining Strawberry Pie Filling. Cover and chill 2 hours before serving. (Mom says she sprayed Saran wrap with Pam spray to cover it, so it wouldn't stick.)

Makes 10 servings. 

Enjoy! It is TASTY (as my friend Melissa always says!) LOL!

My mom getting ready to serve her yummy new Strawberry Pie

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! This is my favorite time of the year! Spring is the most beautiful season where I live in Texas, although it is usually relatively short-lived! I love the mild temperatures right now and how green everything is! All of the trees and flowers are blooming and I've been on the look-out for the first bluebonnets - the Texas State Flower! I will be sure to post photos when I spot them this year!

We will go to my mom's for Easter lunch today. My mom loves to tell the story about the day I was born, as I was born on Easter Sunday. She says that she hated not being home for Easter, as she missed getting to eat her mom's homemade potato salad! I guess Easter dinner in the hospital just isn't the same. She tells me she briefly thought about naming me 'Bunny'. I'm so glad she didn't...! Since the date of Easter changes each year, my birthday has only fallen on Easter one time - on my 11th birthday.

I have lots of fun memories of Easter celebrations past and hope you and your families create some wonderful memories of your own today, on this most blessed and holy day, celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Have a wonderful day!


The view from my front door - love how green everything is turning! 

Friday, April 2, 2010


Welcome to my Scrapbooking and Stamping blog! Through this blog I hope to share my latest creative projects, experiences gained through Close To My Heart events and activities and share a little bit about me, so that you can get to know me better.  I hope you will frequent my blog often and become a follower!

The easiest way to stay up-to-date  and make sure you don't miss a single post is to 'subscribe' to my blog, so that you will get an email when there is a new post. You will find the subscription window below.  Just enter your email address and that's it! Super simple!

To start, I'd like to share a little bit about me and my 'journey' with Close to My Heart. I signed up as a consultant in August of 1998, so this summer I will be celebrating my 12th anniversary with the company! I signed up because I loved the products and the catalog and wanted everything in it - at a discount, of course! That's the #1 reason most people sign up! Our products can't be beat! I didn't have my first gathering until February of 1999, when a friend of mine asked if I was ever going to do anything with my new 'business'. I told her if she would host my first gathering, I would give it a go. She did and that first gathering was a great success and my business has been growing ever since!

I attended my first company convention in June of 1999 in San Antonio, Texas and I have not missed one since! I learned so much and met so many wonderful people, many of whom have become my very best friends! When they announced an incentive trip of a Hawaiian Cruise - I set my first big goal and knew that I was going to be on that ship! I earned that trip in 2002 and have been able to earn a wonderful vacation for me and my family each year since then! In addition to Hawaii, we have had the opportunity to travel to Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico and this year to New Zealand!

In December of 2003, I was able to replace my full-time income and retire from my career as a Registered Nurse to stay home and work my Close to My Heart Business full-time! I love being able to set my own hours and the flexibility to work around my family's schedule and activities.

What a wonderful and exciting journey these last 12 years have been! I can't imagine now what my life would be like without Close to My Heart. It has truly shaped and changed my life! I hope to continue this wonderful journey for many years and hope you'll join me!


Ronnie and Cindy in New Zealand -2010
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