CTMH School Year Layout

Good morning, friends.

I mixed products in the layout I’m sharing with you today. I wanted to use papers that were academic in nature, so broke out some of my Recollections patterned paper and went to town. The stamp set I used is CTMH and also school themed.

Products used:

-S1708 School Year Stamp of the month (retired)

-D1706 School Kids My Acrylix Stamp set

-Z2805 Black Exclusives Ink

– Sea Glass Exclusives Ink (retired)

-Z2854 Pomegranate Exclusives Ink

-Z2811 Chocolate Exclusives Ink

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CTMH Feel So Blessed

Hello friends! Happy hump day! It was a rainy day here in my neck of the woods, which made the day perfect for more scrapbooking! As promised, I would share projects featuring this months stamp of the month, Feel So Blessed, and I’m happy to report that I have a couple to share with you! I have three to share with you, as a matter of fact!


This last layout features an eclectic mixture of products from CTMH- I used the stamp of the month, journaling cards that I had left over from the Charlotte collection, and some of the paper accents came from the Adventure Cut Above layout kit. I absolutely love how this layout came together!

The middle layout features left over complements from Some Kinda Wonderful and the stamp of the month. I also layered my White Daisy card stock in front of the Smoothie card stock for a pretty (and simple) border statement.

Lastly, I used Recollections patterned paper (of which were scraps) along with CTMH card stock and Urban patterned paper to create this layout about my doofus Freddie. I coloured the feather image in using my Shin Han Touch Twin markers.

Which is your  favourite? I think there’s something special about all three layouts, but my favourite two needs to be the last two I shared. Its all the white space…it just speaks to me. This months’ stamp of the month speaks to me, too. Its wonderful to use for all those Thanksgiving layouts that will soon be gracing craft galleries and Facebook pages all over the internet. I’m also seeing it being used to decorate fall themed layouts and projects. I took a less festive approach to my use of this stamp set, but it just goes to show how versatile it really is!

Have you thought of any other ways you’d use it? Let me know in the comments below!

Using CTMH Cardstock to Create a Silhouette Border

How often do you create sports themed layouts? I haven’t up until this point- because any sports my children were involved in (mostly swimming), required me to be with them, and I wasn’t able to snap pictures. That’s only because they were so young. Now that they’re school age, a whole new world will open up to them- and I’m so excited to explore their interests with them!

Skating and soccer werethe first sports we began with. I’ll have to look for pictures of skating…I know one lives on my Facebook. I’ll have to print it the next time I need more pictures. None of us enjoyed soccer. It was more than likely that they were young, but I think my children thrive more in sports that challenge them selves individually, not in a team. They love their gymnastics and swimming. Miss A keeps asking if she can try Tae Kwon Do. I’ve sort of been putting it off, but I think we should explore it. They have a keen interest in music, too. This year (grade 2) enables them to join choir, if they want (Miss M does!), and we’re contemplating piano lessons in the fall for both twins. There is lots going on!

Back when my kids started playing sports, an idea dawned on me that I’ve been sitting on for quite some time. It was to create a mini album of all the sports they are involved in. Or at least, every year of sports they’re involved in. I did begin it, but only have like 1 picture in it. I do believe I’ve run out of the paper I’d originally started to use in it, so when I get back to it, I’ll have to complete it using something else! Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the mini album at the moment. Sorry!

At some point during their sports (usually their first lesson, if I remember), I take pictures of them. Swimming is the easiest to get pictures of. Gymnastics is the hardest. (Parents generally aren’t allowed in the gym while the kids have class. They have a showcase at the end of their session where they show off everything they’ve learned. I love it, but it makes picture taking interesting!) There’s also more changes coming to our gymnastics program for this upcoming season…I can’t wait to see what we all decide to offer! (I’m on the board, so I’m privy to the deets, LOL). There’s more to look forward to.

I picked up the purple hues in the twins’ soccer jersey’s and pulled it into the rest of my layout. I didn’t have a shade of purple that deep, so instead settled for CTMH Thistle. The Fundamentals in the background matches it perfectly. And, if you notice, for a pop of additional color, I used a strip of sponged card stock I had hanging around on my desk. I also matted the soccer ball onto a piece of it and adhered it to the layout with a pop dot.

*Tip: instead of using paper to create a flat border with a punch, why not create a border using words or shapes? In Cricut Design Space, I added the word ‘soccer’ twice- one in a large font, and the other in a smaller font. I hid the larger soccer word from cutting so that I would only cut the smaller one first. Once I got to the cutting stage, I changed the amount of times I cut the smaller word (in this case two times) and then adhered it evenly on the background. To give the border a ‘there, but not quite’ look, keep it the same color tone as the background. I love the white on white effect! After deleting the smaller soccer word, I cut the larger one from Navy Blue Recollections cardstock, which picks up the color of the soccer net in the background of the pictures.

Products Used:

*-CTMH Whimsy Fundamentals paper packet (retired)

-CTMH White Daisy Cardstock 1385

*-CTMH Thistle Cardstock X5976

-CTMH My Acrylix C1547 For Always Stamp set (retired)

-CTMH Black Exclusive Ink Z2805

*Have I told you about the new card stock at CTMH? Its now double-sided! One side is a shade slightly lighter than the original color! Here’s a peek:

This is the new Whimsy Cardstock Paper Packet. Look at all that deliciousness! This is available to purchase on my website right now! Visit my website here. The new Whimsy Fundamentals Paper packet coordinates with it, as well!

There’s more where that came from. Head on over to my website and check it all out. There’s sure to be something you’ll love.

Using CTMH Products With Other Companies

I created a layout recently with the purpose of showing you how easy it is to pair Close to My Heart products with other manufacturers. Come to think of it, I have a couple layouts to share that were made by mixing and matching different products with CTMH. Coordinating papers and embellishments is a lot easier than you might think. Would you like to see?


In the first two layouts above, I used patterned papers from Recollections- the first is travel themed, which I thought worked well with my pictures from our trip to Jasper in the early part of my ‘missing year’. (That would be 2014. Refer to this blog post to learn what I mean). The paper I used was also great for creating embellishments because it was reminiscent of the journaling card sheets that are included in paper packs that different manufacturers offer- especially if they’re on trend with the pocket page style of scrapbooking. Most, if not all, companies are, I believe.

You’ll also noticed I broke out Hello Foxy in that first layout, too. I just adore those little foxes!

In the next layout, a different Recollections collection makes a sneak appearance alongside my first attempt at using sponge inking. Read more about it here. In addition to Hello Foxy, I thought Woodland Romance and Jack worked well with my Jasper pictures and layouts, as well! I mixed the patterned papers from different manufacturers with mostly CTMH card stock and stamping. There’s little bits of CTMH patterned paper scraps scattered throughout these my layouts, as well. Even a zip strip! Can you guess where that zip strip is hiding?

(The pictures in the middle layout are some of my all time favourite pictures, ever. They turned out better than I could have hoped! Ever surprise yourself like that?)

Lastly, I used a full sheet of the now retired Fundamentals patterned paper from CTMH and paired it with Jillibean Soup embellishments. How fun is that bright and sunshiny background patterned paper? I’d love to get my hands on more of it, but unfortunately its retired. Boo. The paper embellishments from Jillibean Soup have lived in my stash for years. Literally. And, I thought they paired perfectly with that deliciously happy and sunny patterned paper in the background. It also worked well with some Little Dreamer, as well! I used a zip strip from one of the patterned papers (hint- its the purple strip along the right side of the page), and I cut a unicorn out from one of the journaling cards and adhered it over some JBS pennants and tags. I matted the photo of Miss M over top of some Little Dreamer patterned paper, as well. The stars in the upper right corner are from Carta Bella (which has also lived in my stash for many, many years. I think this stuff is even older than my children, and they’re nearly 8 years old!)

So, there you have it- three great ways to pair products from CTMH with other manufacturers! Of course, there are many other ways to pair products from other companies with CTMH, because there’s more products out there than just patterned paper and journaling spots! What companies are your favourite to mix and match? Do you create your own kits to scrapbook from, or do you fly by the seat of your pants- much like I do?

Sponging Technique Using CTMH

HI everyone! I’m getting a late start again today, but I have something special to share with you. I went totally out on a limb the other day in my crafting, and I wanted to share what I created with you! I just couldn’t wait.

While I was surfing Pinterest, I came across a tutorial for sponging. Truth be told, I’d never sponged before this, unless it was to ink the edges of a sheet of paper in my scrapbooking. I’ve turned a new leaf, and its got me wondering why I didn’t try it sooner?! Have you ever used a sponge dauber for sponging in your crafting?

This is totally out of the box for me, and I have to admit that I’m hooked. I still like my white space, but I won’t be afraid to add more ink to my pages (and cards!) in the future, now. Note to self: I need more sponge daubers! Its a good thing that CTMH offers them in a mini pack AND in a value pack! (Mini Z726, Value Pack Z1938. There’s 12 daubers in the Value Pack, as oppose to three in the mini pack.) There’s also some storage options for your mini daubers, as well! Personally, I use two mini clear tackle boxes. They work like a charm! (I’ve also labelled each section by color so I know which is which). Storing them by color is a huge help, too. The only thing I would add when I get new ones is to label each dauber with the color of ink that I used it for, that way I don’t mix inks and colors, and the color will stay in its truest hue possible.


I experimented with this technique on this layout. It started with stamping the tree background on the CTMH Juniper card stock. I liked it so much, I used the same idea as a background in another layout (which you’ll see below. Hang tight). You’ll notice the sponging technique (experiment) on the pine trees that’s layered over the journaling spot. I love the soft texture it lends, even if its uneven. I think that adds to the appeal. Textures are uneven in the mountains, why should it be in my layout about the mountains? Blending is a dream. I learned two lessons using this technique: first, make sure your sponge dauber is clean- or make sure you’re using the exact same ink as the previous time you used that particular sponge dauber. I used one that I had used with CTMH Colonial White ink in the past, and its ruined the ink in the stamp pad I wanted to use. Although Colonial White ink is totally different than the rest of CTMH inks (I honestly don’t know why), its just a good idea to keep your sponge daubers labelled so that you can use them with the appropriate ink pad in the future. Hence the reason why I need to buy more! Mine are well used and have mixed inks on them. I don’t recommend doing this!

The second lesson is- and this is just pure personal preference- smaller areas using sponging is more aesthetically pleasing to my eye. The third layout I created using this technique, which is currently still living on my desk, feels a little too over the top. I may change my mind when the layout is complete, but for now I feel ‘meh’ towards it. And, I still like a lot of white space, and that last layout that’s living on my desk has literally none. That’s the beauty of experimenting though, right?! Live and learn! A person doesn’t grow if they don’t live outside their comfort zone. I’ve definitely grown as a result of using this technique. What techniques have you used that are outside of your norm? Throw suggestions at me- I’d love to learn more!

On a side note- and I’ll come back to this point in the future- is that CTMH products work well to compliment and coordinate with items from other manufacturers, too. In the layout above, I used some old papers I had on hand from Recollections. You can see the exes and oh’s peeking from behind the photo and journal mats. I paired it with CTMH Promegranate, Juniper and White Daisy card stocks.

Are you ready to see the second layout I created after my initial encounter with sponging? I’m beyond ready to show you, so here goes!

As you can see, I carried the stamped tree background over to this spread, and added mountains to the mix, as well. I gave it more space than the first layout, too. Make absolutely sure that when you stamp your own background, that you use the correct size stamping block on your canvas- you can see some places where I fudged up a bit by accidentally allowing the edge of the stamping block to touch the paper, leaving lines in its place. Using a stamping block that’s the appropriate size for your stamp will alleviate that. It can still happen if you’re not careful, but it won’t happen as often. I made this mistake while creating that background, which is why I bring it up! Sometimes, I just grab what’s closest to me…when that happens, mistakes can happen-, and, they usually do.

And, as you can see, I gave the sponging a larger area to live on, as well. It adds just the right touch of color and texture to be eye catching without being overwhelming. Personally, the Smokey Plum (purple ink) adds just the right amount of contrast to make this spread stunning. That’s my own humble opinion. What do you think?! Should I continue using this technique? How do you suggest I use it next? Sponge a title? The entire background? Just the photo mat, or something that I haven’t thought of?

If you’re wondering what products I used, here’s the list! You’ll find them all, except for one, on my website at Close to My Heart. If you’d like to see more, just follow the link to my website. Smokey Plum has been replaced with Eggplant ink (Z2847). Its a lovely purple, too!

Products Used: (Great Outdoors layout)

-CTMH My Acrylix Jack Stamp Set D1723

-CTMH My Acrylix Camping Life D1719

-CTMH Flaxen Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2842

-CTMH Whisper Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2872

-CTMH Smokey Plum Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad (retired)

-CTMH Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad Z2853

-CTMH White Daisy card stock 1385

-CTMH Black card stock 1386

-CTMH Kraft card stock Z1375

-CTMH Flaxen card stock X5771

-CTMH Chocolate card stock X5643

Spin Layout

Hello everyone! It’s a slow day here, so I’m taking the time to drop in and share a layout with you! 

I just realized it’s been quite awhile since I dropped in last. Last week, we spent time with my in laws so my husband could go hunting for deer. Deer is scarce this year, but luckily get found his muley (mule deer). We will have wild meat now until next November.  Yum!

The layout above was created with Recollections and CTMH cardstock and Momenta patterned papers. I created the pinwheels using my cricut. 

Enjoy Layout

HI everyone!

I’ve got another layout from Monster Jam back in 2012. Here, I snuck in pictures of all of us. I used Recollections patterned paper for the base, then layered various papers under my pictures. I cut the title with my cricut, and used a variety of ephemera and embellishments to finish up my page. 

Monster Jam Layout

Hello friends! I have another layout to share with you today! 

This was honestly  one of the most funnest days. My husband, his buddy, my brother in law and myself took in the show at Castrol Raceway, and it was a blast! 

I had to get a picture of Grace Digger in this layout. My husband loves Grave Digger! 

I cut the title, skull and crossbones using my cricut and ctmh patterned paper, and layered it onto the background patterned paper. I layered the pictures along the right hand side in a single column, then matted and adhered 3×4 inch pictures to the left of that. 

To complete my page, I stamped and fussy cut some images and stamped directly onto the page. 

Stay tuned tomorrow for more Monster Jam layouts!

Peaceful Layout

Just  wanted to drop in really quick to share another layout with you.

I began by creating a watercolor background, then layered my matted photos ontop of it, on the right side of the page. I added stickers, ephemera and stamping to complete my page.

Try New Things PML Layout

Good morning, friends! 

This is the first time all week there hasn’t been something planned or on the go. I’m elated I have the chance to spend a few minutes with you and share another project!

This layout sure makes me pine for frost- free days! I created this layout to mimic a PML (Picture My Life) or Project Life layout, without using the proper page protector for it. So, you’ll notice the page is divided equally into your sections- three along the top and three along the bottom.  In the first column on the farthest left of the page, I used PML journaling cards to embellish, title, and create a spot for the eye to rest from the bright and vivid colors in the pictures. 

I added another (third) journaling card to the top far right on the page for some journaling. (Also, because the top most photo was cut to a 3×4 inch size.)

Lastly, to complete the page, I cut a trio of hearts using my cricut and adhered them to the centre of the page.