Tuesday, December 30, 2008

You Hold the Key to My Heart

These are some of the new papers and stamps
in the Key to My Heart collection from CTMH.
Colors are Juniper, Tulip, and Sorbet.

My Favorite "Furson"

"No matter how little money and how few possessions you own,
having a dog makes you rich."
Louis Sabin in All About Dogs As Pets
Happy 11th birthday to Sophie!
She is now a very mature 77-year-old furson.
Her fur is turning silver and her eyes are getting cloudy--
(just like mine).
But she can still chase the squirrels
(and I can still shop till I drop).
I thank God for her companionship,
her quiet understanding, and unconditional love.
Sophie's quote for today:
"I have many different looks
depending on the day and how I hold my ears."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Little Donkey & Eyelashes

Little donkey, little donkey,
On the dusty road,
Got to keep on plodding onwards
With your precious load.
Been a long time, little donkey,
Through the winter's night.
Don't give up now, little donkey,
Bethlehem's in sight.

Ring out those bells tonight,
Bethlehem, Bethlehem,
Follow that star tonight,
Bethlehem, Bethlehem,
Little donkey, little donkey,
Had a heavy day.
Little donkey, carry Mary
Safely on her way.

Do not falter little donkey, there's a star ahead.
It'll guide you, little donkey, to the cattle shed.
Little donkey, carry Mary
Safely on her way.
We sing this sweet carol when Ella plays with the beanie-style Nativity set ... she cuddles Baby Jesus and the animals. My new nickname for her is Ella Elizabeth Eyelashes. I like to give her fluttering eyelash (butterfly) kisses on her cheek.
She knows her whole name now, and calls each of us her middle name. So now we're Gramma Elizabeth, O'Pa Elizabeth and Aunt Bethany Elizabeth! So sweet.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New! 2009 CTMH Spring Idea Book

On January 1, you'll be able to browse the new
Close To My Heart Idea Book and shop online.
You get to see it here:

Have I mentioned how FUN, easy, simple, and more fun it is
to use CTMH products?
I'd like to show you how!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sights & Sounds of Christmas

Christmas Eve sky & sunset from our hilltop home

Go Tell It on the Mountain

Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and ev'rywhere;
Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born!

While shepherds kept their watching o'er silent flocks by night,
Behold, throughout the heavens there shone a holy light.

The shepherds feared and trembled when lo, above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus that hailed our Savior's birth.

Down in a lonely manger the humble Christ was born;
And God sent us salvation that blessed Christmas morn.

(Isaiah 40:9-11; Luke 2:7-20)

Happy birthday, Jesus!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Reason for This Season

... is Me and You!

What? you ask!

Think about it ... we definitely needed a Savior from sin ever since Adam and Eve first disobeyed God the Father in the Garden of Eden. We know we can't save ourselves, and without Jesus, we're separated from our loving God.

Here's the good news: God kept His promise to them and to all people. "I will send a Savior. He will take away all your sins."

So wouldn't you agree that WE are the reason for this season, because of our heavenly Father's perfect and great love for us?

It's a twist on the usual saying on the cards, buttons, bags, and t-shirts. But this is why we celebrate Jesus' birthday.

This is why we remember His lowly birth, His wooden manger bed, and His eventual wooden cross where He showed His unconditional love for all people.

Say your name in place of "the world" in this Scripture verse, sometimes called The Gospel in a Nutshell: For God so loved (the world) that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Blessed Christmas and Joyous Easter--they go together--all because we needed a Savior and God sent Jesus Christ!

Celebrate Jesus' love and forgiveness each day. God is so good.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ella's Talking Tree Ornament

How did Gramma get inside that little box?

Yesterday when Emily & Ella visited and had lunch with me, I gave Ella her tree ornament I had made using the My Pages Talk voice recorder and the Evensong papers from Close To My Heart.

You can tell by her face that she wonders about this! The first two times it played my message, Ella looked fearful. Grammas shouldn't scare their little ones! By the time she left to go home, the ornament was not as scary. I know Ella likes the Baby Jesus picture the best.

Here's the little box I made to store the ornament when it isn't hanging on their tree. The base is a Stride-Rite shoe box. I used papers and dimensional embellishments from MM, and stamps/ink from CTMH. Talking Gramma will be safely stored in it during off-season.

National Paper Crafting Month

National Paper Crafting Month December 16—January 31

Since May of this year, I’ve enjoyed being a Close To My Heart consultant. The CTMH company has high standards, high quality and timeless products, and fantastic promotions! And the network of paper crafters and support system is the best.

The gorgeous new Key to My Heart Level 2 paper packet features all of CTMH’s luscious new exclusive colors: Tulip, Juniper, Sorbet, and Crème Brulee. The packet is accompanied by the awesome new E-size My Acrylix® Key to My Heart stamp set with elegant, charming designs. It’s a great combo with a retail value of $47.90—and can be yours at substantial savings, or even FREE!

Spend $130 and receive the whole package FREE!
OR- Spend $75 and purchase the kit for just $20
OR - Buy the kit outright for $47.90
You can also earn the kit for FREE by signing up to be a consultant or by hosting a gathering of $400 or more (catalog gatherings are included in this promotion).

These papers and stamps would make pretty Valentines, birthday or anniversary cards for someone special, or simply a love-you reminder to tuck into a lunch box, brief case, or surprise mailing.

My Christmas Season Give-Away: From me to YOU!
A $5 gift card to use for your order from the brand new catalog in January 2009 for any Christmas shopping order placed (for yourself or another person) from the Autumn/Winter Idea Book before December 24.
Shop on my website (click on Products to see the Catalog/Idea Book) or go here to sign up to be a consultant.
Questions? Please phone or email me!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Light in the Darkness

"A Light in the Darkness" is the first full-length recording by singer Brooke Orozco and guitarist Brendan Knorp.

Brooke and Brendan are Christian musicians using their God-given talents as music directors in two churches in our community. They have been giving Advent/Christmas concerts in churches, coffee houses, and Christian bookstores in our area and sharing the Good News of Jesus through their music and the spoken Word.

If you'd like to hear their special guitar/vocal renditions of carols and hymns, check out the audio samples and the option to purchase their CD through www.cdbaby.com/cd/orozcoknorp.

To learn more about their ministry, go to www.brookeandbrendan.com

Their CD would make a wonderful stocking stuffer for someone you love. I thank the Lord for the musical gifts He has given to Brooke and Brendan and for their passion to share Jesus and His great love.

John 1

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God.

2 He was with God in the beginning.

3 Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.

5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

Immanuel--God is with Us

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

In one week we'll celebrate Jesus' birthday.

We celebrate that "God is with us" and that our heavenly Father kept His promise to send a savior to the world. That savior came in the form of His only Son, the Christ Child, Jesus, who grew up to take all our sins with Him when He died on the cross on Calvary.

What is the reason for this season? We needed God's gift of salvation! We can't save ourselves from the sins we do every day. We're helpless and hopeless. But Immanuel brings us hope, joy, salvation, and the promise of heaven when we die.

God is with us today and speaks to us through His Word. Jesus, the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, is the living Word, and He is with us always.

He is God's greatest gift to us all! Thank You, God.
Christmas blessings of love, peace, hope, and joy to one and all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my dear Mom's birthday! She introduced me to Close To My Heart by taking me to workshops and gatherings while I visited in Ohio in the last year. At the young age of 84, Mom does a great job of papercrafting special gifts for family, friends, and neighbors with the Scrapping Buckeye Babes led by my upline, Deb Butler. Dad usually finds a good football or golf game to watch while the girls have craft afternoons.

I wish we could be scrapbooking together today and enjoying hot peppermint tea this afternoon.

These are the memory keeper box and matching album I made for you, Mom, and will bring these to you in person (rather than trust the PO or UPS). I need your help in choosing photos for your album! Start thinking about that, okay? I love you, Mom! God bless & keep you & Dad in His loving care.

In the Bleak Midwinter

Winter hasn't officially begun, but we've been iced in two days now, with bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills. We're very empathetic to those in the Northeast and pray they get electricity soon.

Here's Sophie, doing what she likes best, watching a squirrel!

A favorite hymn by a favorite hymnist says it all so well ...

In the Bleak Midwinter

Text: Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894 Music: Gustav Holst, 1874-1934 Tune: CRANHAM, Meter: Irr.

1. In the bleak midwinter, frost wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

2. Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

3. Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

4. What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him: give my

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"My Pages Talk" Christmas Ornament

I knew exactly who I would make this talking ornament for when I ordered the "My Pages Talk" voice recorder from CTMH. What a fun item to use for someone of any age, whether in a card, on an ornament, or on a scrapbook page! If you haven't used one yet, what are you waiting for?

Now I can't wait to see Ella's face when she hears my "Merry Christmas, Ella!" and "I love you, Ella, from Gramma" message. I'm being very brave to post myself singing "Away in a Manger" -- and yep, I got all that in the 30 second time limit!

Ella knows, even at just 18 months, that we're celebrating Jesus' birthday. She sings her favorite Jesus songs and hugs and kisses her Little People Nativity Jesus figure so sweetly. I always want her to know Jesus' love for her, what He has done for her from the manger to the cross, and that He is always with her.

I used my favorite Evensong papers in the pretty muted shades and floral patterns. The Liquid Glass glued the small paper sections to the recorder box. Notice that I turned the "box" upside down so that the Baby Jesus element would appear on the bottom & the "on button" would be at the top left.

I cut Baby Jesus in the manger from a Christmas card, adhered the picture to a dimensional flower shape covered with green Evensong, then pop-dotted that element right over the speaker holes.

The extra Liquid Glass dots on the flowers, Baby Jesus, and the lamb added sparkle. The ribbons are from the CTMH Holiday Collection.

(Star and gift box dimensional elements are from Marcella by K Company.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

O Come, Let Us Adore Him

It's time to finish Christmas card crafting and move on to new CTMH papers and designs for Valentine's Day and Easter, and practice with a new camera that Santa delivered to me early.

If you're visiting my blog, I wish you a very blessed and joy-filled Christmas and a new year full of goodness and happiness.
God is good all the time! May He give you peace, joy, and hope through His Son, Jesus, who in His manger and on His cross gave us perfect love and forgiveness and the hope of heaven! O come, let us adore Him.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Evensong" To-Cheer-You Card

I keep going back to the CTMH "Evensong" papers in the rich cranberry and green colors. It's not just for Christmas cards! And it's right up there with "Silhouette" as my favorite papers.

For this pocket card to cheer a special person who is sick, I've used the Cottage Floral stamp set and practiced "stamp kissing" on the cut-away flowers. The Liquid Glass and the red Sparkles add shiny details.

Now it's time to get back to the Christmas card-making!

"Let's Get Together" Birthday Card

"Let's Get Together" CTMH papers, three stamp sets, and three ink colors comprise this card for a special person who has a birthday celebration coming up soon.

Waxy flax and buttons are CTMH. (Ribbons and paper flowers are not.)

My card is adapted from Jeanette Lynton's template in her CTMH "Card Confidence Program Originals" book--Mosaic Border on page 52. It's a helpful resource to spark ideas and make card making fun, simple, and easy.

Now I'm patiently waiting for the Spring '09 CTMH catalog and new papers to arrive. Meanwhile, I'll clean up my studio so Santa doesn't leave me any coal.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

An Ella-Land Day

What could be more fun than spending the entire day with 17 month old Ella, her mommy and her auntie--
* seeing Santa, his reindeer & sleigh (but not getting TOO close!)
* hanging soft fabric ornaments on Ella's 1/2 of the tree
* playing, playing, and playing some more
* reading favorite books
* having breakfast, lunch, AND dinner together

WhattaSpecialSaturday we girls had while all the guys were out of town!

Friday, December 5, 2008

See How Much He Loves Us!

Last night the clouds were gone & I was thrilled to get this photo, even though grainy, from our deck showing the moon and the planets Jupiter & Venus.

When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8:3-5

Wow--God loves you and me so much, even in our sinfulness, and brings us into His kingdom, significant AND forgiven, through His Son Jesus Christ!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Birthday Layouts

I used CTMH's Notebook papers for this birthday layout, and added letter stickers from Life Delights to coordinate colors in the photos and papers. Wherever I could, I also incorporated dots, dots, and more dots. Ribbons are from my "elsewhere" stash. Inks are CTMH Chocolate and Hollyhock, seeming naturals for our mocha latte and raspberry tea day together at "Common Grounds Cafe."

Paper Art from StudioJane

Samples of my created paper art ...

Clear Acrylic Cards

Greeting Cards

Mix 'n' Mingle Album

Gift Albums

Memory Keeper Boxes

Art Keeper Boxes

Thank You Note Cards

Custom Gifts

Christmas Greeting Cards

Pregnancy Journals--Display Albums

For Baby

Floral Photo Note Cards