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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Spinach-Apple Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

I made a salad for Christmas dinner from the December Southern Living Magazine. It was really good so I thought I'd share it with you! You can make the pecans and vinaigrette ahead of time too!

Sugared Curried Pecans
1 (6 oz.) pkg pecan halves
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper

Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

1 (10 oz.) pkg. fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed
1 Gala apple, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 (4 oz.) pkg. crumbled goat cheese (I used Feta instead)
  1. Prepare Pecans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss pecans in butter. Stir together sugar and next 4 ingredients in a bowl; add pecans, tossing to coat. Spread in a single layer in a nonstick aluminum foil-lined pan. Bake 10 to 13 minutes to until lightly browned and toasted. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes; separate pecans with a fork.
  2. Prepare Vinaigrette: Whisk together cider vinegar and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk in oil until well blended.
  3. Prepare Salad: Combine spinach and next 3 ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of Maple-Cider Vinaigrette; toss to coat. Sprinkle with pecans. Serve salad with any remaining vinaigrette.
  4. Note: Pecans may be made up to 1 week ahead. Store in an airtight container. Vinaigrette may be made up to 3 days ahead. cover and chill until ready to serve.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Basket Goodies

I just made a delivery to one of my customers and friends today and she handed me a basket full of handmade goodies! I was overwhelmed!! She is known for doing wonderful things for people all the time. She particiates in card projects for veterans and military families and is starting a project to make stylish crocheted caps with cute flowers for young girls going through chemo. (What a sweetheart!)


Anyway, absolutely everything in this overflowing basket was made by her (except for the Creme Brulee candle that was made by someone else). I just kept pulling out more and more STUFF! She made a beautiful and oh-so-soft scarf, my FAVORITE crocheted dishcloth, monogramed cards, a bracelet, earrings, and these oreo cookie truffle thingys that just melt in your mouth - along with the candle which of course adds calories just smelling it! I LOVE every bit of it!! Thanks Tammy!!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Cold Nose Warm Heart

Look at this adorable Memory Keeper Box my downline and friend Pam gave to me! The paper she used is our brand new Topstitch kit (available January 1st) along with our very popular bitty sparkles (also available January 1st) and an old favorite stamp set All Decked Out. She also incorporated one of our new heart dimensional elements.

The soft pastels in this kit are perfect for snow pictures, black & white photos, or springtime flowers and valentines!


Check out the inside! Filled with flavored hot chocolate and snowman shaped, french vanilla flavored marshmallows!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

This is a beautiful reminder of the reason we celebrate today.
Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All Day Crop & Open House

Celebrate the New Year by joining us for an All Day Crop and Open House in Charleston at the:

Oakwood Baptist Church
858 Oakwood Road, Charleston, WV
just off I64 and 119 in South Hills

Saturday January 9th
from 10am - 10pm

Join us for the day and get caught up on all your projects, OR just stop by to get your new Spring Idea Book, see our new products, sign up for door prizes, upcoming workshops, etc.

As an added bonus, we'll have other vendors there for some easy one-stop shopping and sampling like Thirty One, Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, etc.

Sign up for the day for only $10 and you get:

  • A reserved spot to create to your heart's content
  • A goodie bag
  • Priority Registration for free mini-workshops that day
  • Dinner
  • Door Prize Tickets
  • Grand Prize Ticket
  • Bring a snack/drink to share and you get additional door prize tickets
We will also have two very exciting opportunities!
  1. An Operation Smile Fundraiser where you can purchase items with all proceeds going to Operation Smile. It only takes 45 minutes and $240 to change the life of a child!

  2. Donation/Exchange table for unwanted scrapbook/paper crafting items. Feel free to bring an item to exchange or donate the item for an extra door prize ticket. All remaining items will be donated to a 5th grade class for their year long scrapbooking project.

In addition to all the fun mentioned above, we will also have plenty of cash & carry products, clearance items, incentives for ordering new products, as well as over $200 in prizes!

Speaking of incentives, come see our National Papercrafting Month special and find out how you can get this outstanding kit for FREE!

Meatballs & Dunky Sauce

Need a good appetizer to take to one of those holiday parties? My friend Nancy has a GREAT recipe for meatballs & dunky sauce! In fact, everything Nancy makes is DELICIOUS!

Yields: approximately 20-25 meatballs, depending on size

1 Lb. ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs (do not used canned, fine breadcrumbs, I just use regular sized ones or cut my own from white bread
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup canned evaporated milk
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup catsup
1/4 Tbls. worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. each salt & pepper
1 egg
2-3 Tbls. softened, not melted, butter

Mix well. Roll out into meatballs about an inch in diameter, or as you prefer them. Brown in skillet. Place on paper towel to drain grease. Mix dunky sauce (recipe follows) and pour over meatballs.


1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 cup catsup
2 Tbls. minced onion
2 Tbls. pickle relish (drained)
2 Tbls. water
1 Tbls. vinegar
2 Tbls. worchestershire sauce
1 small can crushed pineapple (with juice)
1-2 drops tobasco or hot sauce, optional
1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar, optional
1/2 to 1 Tbls. granulated sugar, optional
Salt and pepper to taste (I usually use very little salt in this since it is a sweet-sour sauce)

Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer meatballs in mixture until ready to serve. You can also, when sauce begins to boil, place meatballs in crock pot and pour hot sauce over meatballs. Keep setting on low until everything is hot, then turn crockpot off. If you turn it up to high, watch closely, do not leave on high setting for a very long period because the meatballs will cook so tender they crumble in the sauce. This is not good, especially if you take them to a dinner or gathering.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Promising Perspective.....

Okay, I just had to share this with you. It may not mean much to you, but it meant the world to me!

The past few months have been really hard relationally, emotionally, and financially. This month was also a surprise Clearance Sale offered by Close To My Heart! Well, a few weeks ago, as I was looking at my sales for the month, I realized that on the very first day of the clearance sale, I had met my monthly sales goal already! Staring at the computer screen in amazement and pondering this blessing, my husband walked into the room and told me to look out the back window at the rainbow.


It was at that moment that my heart welled up with gratitude and awe! I saw the rainbow as a personal sign to ME - a reminder of a promise - of many promises:

I will never leave you, nor forsake you
I have plans for you, to prosper you not to harm you
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
Don't worry.....

At the very same time, there was also a storm brewing. I walked out to the front of the house and this is what I saw - the sun setting, the wind blowing, dark clouds rolling in. Kind of an erie feeling.


But when I looked the other way, behind the house, I could see the rainbow, the promise. Once again I was reminded that perspective is everything. Even in the midst of the storm, the promise remains. Even if the clouds hide the rainbow or hinder my view of the sun, it's still there.

Thank you, Lord, for Your faithful blessing of provision and the ADDED blessing of the rainbow.

Oh - and just a few days later, this is the view I saw from the back window. What does this view bring to mind - bitter cold misery or a frosted winter wonderland? It's all a matter of perspective!


Totally Blessed!!!

I am SO TOTALLY BLESSED by my Danville Club! These girls bless me every month with their friendship, great food, and excitement for scrapbooking, learning new techniques, playing with new products, and the joy of sharing memories with each other! They laugh together, cry together, and have invited me into this warm circle of friends. In addition to ALL THAT, this month they overwhelmed me with a Christmas Gift!

Last month, I NOW remember them asking me, "what's your favorite restaurant?", "do you go to the movies often with your husband?", and being the true blonde that I am, I just answered without thinking anything of it! THIS month, I get a gift that includes a gift certificate to my FAVORITE restaurant Panera Bread and movie tickets to a local theatre all nestled in a basket of everyone's favorite - Bath & Body Warm Vanilla Sugar soap, lotion, spray and candle!!!

Thank you, my Dear Danville Croppin' Friends!
You have Totally Blessed Me once again!

National Papercrafting Month Special!

January is National Papercrafting Month, but Close To My Heart is starting the celebration NOW! This year's kit is the best YET in my humble opinion! Not only do you get a stamp set that includes a complete alphabet, flourishes, birds, argyle patterns, flowers, leaves, but also twelve 12" x 12" B&T papers in 3 different color schemes along with six coordinating 12" x 12" die cuts perfect for scrapbook layouts or cards, boxes, journals and other papercrafting projects! In addition, you will receive a two-sided, full color brochure giving you project ideas along the recipes for each!

There are three ways to get the Felicity collection:

(1) Purchase it at full retail price for $34.95.
(2) Place an order of $60 or more in full-retail priced stamp sets and receive one collection FREE!
(3) Place an order of $125 or more in full-retail priced Close To My Heart products and receive one collection FREE!

There are also has enticing opportunities for hostesses and new Consultants.

Hostesses in Decmeber and January get the collection FREE with a Home Gathering sales total of $400 or more!

New Consultants who join Close To My Heart between January 1-31 will receive the collection FREE in their New Consultant Kit.

This kit is while supplies last from December 15, 2009-January 31, 2010.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snowman Kisses

My club members are so very dear to my heart. In fact, they are the heart of my business and I love each and every one of them! So this month I have a little gift for them - Snowman Kisses!

Inside each snowman is a big-pack Tic Tac that reads:

Snowman Kisses
He's cute, cuddly,
and full of good wishes.
He wants to give you
these snowman kisses!

All supplies CTMH except as noted:
Cardstock: Crystal Blue and White Daisy
B&T paper: Twitterpated
Stamps: All Decked Out
Inks: Black, Sorbet, Crystal Blue, Sorbet marker
Other: Liquid Glass, Sorbet Ribbon Round Collection, Tic Tacs (Big Pack)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Thank You Cards

Hasn't our clearance sale been great! I'm so glad many of you have been able to take advantage of these great deals!!

I recently had a Christmas card workshop and have a few leftovers, so I decided to make Christmas thank you's to send those who have ordered from me during our clearance sale! Look around your craft room - you might find left-overs that you can throw together for a quick Christmas thank you!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Heyday Online Clearance Sale!

Forget cyber Monday - we've got a cyber Wednesday that will knock your socks off! Save 50-80% with our online clearance sale - just in time to stock up on products to create sentimental cards, awesome invitations, great gift tags, and even wrapping paper embellishments! At the very least, it's a remarkable opportunity to stock up on some great products at fabulous prices or to get all the scrapbookers and cardmakers on your list wonderful presents they'll love at super prices!

This SUPER SALE begins Wednesday, December 2nd at 11:00am ET (9am MT).

Some things you should know:
  • Clearance items and regular retail items CAN NOT be combined in the same shopping cart. If you want both full price retail items and clearance sale items, you will need to place 2 separate orders.

  • Sale quantities are restricted to 5 per item.

  • The Sale continues through December 17th or until stock is depleted.

  • You can only access these great sale items on my website at Click on the clearance sale image on my homepage or go to the "Shop Online" link and select the "Clearance Sale" link.

  • Orders of $100+ will have a discounted flat rate shipping of $5. Orders of $99.99 and below have weight-based shipping.

What will you find in the clearance sale? There are just too many items to list here! But watch for deals on paper packets from $5, My Acrylix stamp sets from $2, accessories from $1, and more - something for everybody! There is even a $30 Grab Bag filled with items that retail for over $100!

You can view a complete list here. You may want to print out a copy to have item numbers ready and make your shopping even easier!

Click here to start shopping on December 2nd!!

Bear in mind that if a local scrapbook store was having a sale like this you might have to stand in line to check out - so be patient when shopping today if it seems a little slow.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gingerbread House Gift Box

Check this out!!!! Lisa has created a TOTALLY, WAY COOL, OVER THE TOP gift box using the November stamp of the month. Click here to see her post. You ROCK, Lisa!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sunday Vegan Dinner

Okay - I just had to share this with you guys! My son is a vegan - which grossly (emphasis on "gross") limits his food choices. In addition to this, our relationship has been greatly strained the past few years. A few weeks ago, I felt God stirring my heart to reach out to him and his friends by making them a homemade vegan meal. I did just that recently and it was SO GOOD I just had to share it with you! I visited a website called (Thanks Shanti!) to find some worthy recipies and found these. The photos really don't do them justice. It was really good! (Click on the titles to see the recipies.)

Vegan Rainbow Veggie Chili

accompanied by Vegan Light Oat Bread (I substituted vegan butter)

and a salad
salad blog

topped off with Vegan Brownies and Rice Dream!

I'm looking forward to the next time! I've had a request for Vegan Pizza next!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas Card Workshop

It's not too late to get your Christmas cards made and in the mail! Join me on Friday, December 4th to create 10 cards (2 each of 5 designs) for $10.

christmas cards blog

These cards all feature our new Creative Basics - Jingle paper!

winter wonderland blog

This card features our Flurry Dimensional Elements snowflake covered in prisma glitter along with our Holiday Commentary (C1379) stamp set!

no greater gift blog

This card also uses Flurry Dimensional Elements stars - again, covered in prisma glitter along with our Card Chatter - Christmas (D1388) and Holiday Trinkets (D1366) stamp sets.

peace on earth blog
This card features our new connection club reward - adhesive pearls, along with one of my favorite new stamp sets, Snow Flurries (D1384).

merry christmas blog

This card features the Holiday Trinkets (D1366) stamp set.

ms holiday card blog

This card features the fun new Ms. Holiday Cheer (D1374) stamp set.

We will use paper piecing as well as liquid applique and fun flock on the fur!

ms holiday blog

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back from Pigeon Forge!

Pam and I traveled to Pigeon Forge, TN last week to participate as CTMH vendors at a weekend crop at River Stone Resort & Spa. We had a GREAT time! There were 110 croppers and 4 vendors. Everyone was so friendly! Many had never heard of Close To My Heart and a handful are very interested in signing up as consultants! Pam and I each offered a workshop and received lots of positive feedback! I can't wait to do something like this again!!
If you know of an event like this, please let me know. I'd love to participate as a vendor!


Although we were in Pigeon Forge, we really didn't get to see any of it, except driving through. We were up at 7am and back in bed at 1:30 am each day. I'd love to go back and spend the weekend exploring. Lots of fun places to visit and beautiful scenery abounds!

More Christmas Cards

I have a Christmas card party this Thursday at a local church. Here is what I came up with. They are all very simple - easy for beginners!All use our Aspen papers/colors and the Originals and Wishes patterns.

Here is one SUPER simple card where I have embossed the twilight cardstock with my cuttlebug and lightly sanded it to reveal the white core of our cardstock.

Here is a totally simple card in two different versions.I used the Essential Alphabet stamp set and a snowflake for the "O". I inked the snowflake in twilight ink and rolled the edges in outdoor denim ink. Then I attached a white crocheted flower with a twilight Twinkle brad in the center.

Here is the same thing, using the backside of the snowflake paper and with a sparkle in the center of the snowflake.

Here is the sentiment from the Christmas Story stamp set:

Here is an outline stamp from the Christmas Story stamp set. I stamped the manger in desert sand ink and then stamped a second image, cut it out, and added 3-D foam tape under it to add dimension. I used our inks and blending pen to add a little color to the image and then added a dimensional element star, inked and glittered, to the stamped star image. The front of the card is cut out so you can see the image inside.
I'm going to have another card for the kids to make - but haven't fully decided on that one yet. I'll post it once I do!
If you are interested in hosting a card party or workshop, let me know!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wishes Club - November

Here is our card this month - it features our All Decked Out stamp set. This is such a FUN stamp set! (See the cute sample card on pg. 42 of our Autumn/Winter Idea Book!)


The snowman is paper pieced on the front. I added a little liquid applique, sprinkled with prisma glitter on a few snowflakes and heated it with a craft heater to set it.


The technique we are learning tonight is creating a coordinating envelope liner! Check out a great tutorial on Lisa's blog here.

I should mention that this card was inspired by another card Bren Yule created last year! LOVE those corduroy brads on the ear muffs from our Mini-Medley Winter Cozy collection. Thanks Bren!!

Jingle Layout

I am going to Tennessee with my team member, Pam, as CTMH vendors at a weekend crop. Here is the layout I am teaching at a workshop that weekend.


The techniques I will be showing with this layout are dry embossing, edge distressing, generation stamping, heat embossing, embellishing with liquid glass and prisma glitter.

Imagine Monologue Jingle cu blog
I LOVE this Jingle paper and the Holiday Trinkets stamp set! So FUN!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stampaganza is BACK!

Whether you are a long-time fan of stamps or are just venturing into this fun hobby, now is the perfect time to grab some My Acrylix decorative stamp sets! From November 3 - 30, 2009, when you purchase any two stamp sets at full retail price you will receive a third stamp set of your choice FREE (of equal or lesser value) - a savings of up to $22.95!

Choose any stamp set* offered in any 2009 Idea Book or current Product Review.

*Excludes stamp of the month, Art & Soul discounts, workshops on the go, and customized stamp sets.

Take advantage of this month's great offer to add to your assortment of these innovative stamps! Click here to begin shopping or contact me today!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November Stamp of the Month

This month's stamp set is SO dang cute! You can do so much with it too! It's called Around the Block and is perfect for announcing that you have moved, welcoming a new neighbor to the neighborhood, or for embellishing your layouts of home and family. Click here to see the stamp set and details on how to get it at a discount or FREE!

Here is a simple card I made with That's Amore paper. (I believe it was fellow CTMH consultant Vicki Wizniuk that inspired this one.) The house frame is actually quite tall, I cut mine down to fit on a standard sized card:

Around the Block blog

I raised the sentiment and flower box on 3-D foam tape just for fun and paper-pieced some parts.
Around the Block cu blog

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My First Blog Award!

How Cool Is This?!?! My "over the top" talented friend Lisa has awarded me this Over The Top blog award! My very first one. I'm so excited.....

The Rules are:
1. You can only use ONE word!!!
2. Pass this along to 5 of your favorite bloggers!
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
4. HAVE FUN!!!

OK, narrowing these answers down to only one word is REALLY hard, but I will try...
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your hair? blonde
3. Your mother? sweet
4. Your father? deceased
5. Your fave food? italian
6. Your dream last night? forgotten
7. Your fave drink? tea
8. Your dream/goal? cruisin'
9. What room are you in? scraproom
10. Your hobby? crafting
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? in-the-black!
13. Where you were last night? PA
14. Something that you aren't? Underweight!
15. Muffins? warm!
16. Wish List Item? landscaping
17. Where did you grow up? Virginia
18. Last thing you did? unpack
19. What are you wearing? sweats
20. Your TV? off
21. Your Pets? dirty
22. Friends? wonderful
23. Your Life? blessed
24. Your Mood? tired
25. Missing Someone? brother
26. Vehicle? CIVIC
27. Something your not wearing? Hat
28. Your fave store? Coldwater
29. Your fave color? blue
30. Last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? hard
32. Your best friend? Jesus
33. One place that I go to over and over? Kroger
34. One person who emails regularly? Cheyanne!!!
35. Fave place to eat? Panera

I'm supposed to pass this on to five of my favorite bloggers. I have so many, but here are a few of my favorite daily reads...

1. Cheyanne
2. Kelli
3. Tresa
4. Vicki
5. Christine

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Christmas Cards Workshop

christmas cards blog

Here are a few Christmas cards that I made with our new Jingle Creative Basics paper and a few new stamps sets. They are SO easy to make on your own, or I have a couple of opportunities for you to make these fun Christmas cards with me!

Shanti is hosting a card workshop for her friends at her house on Saturday 10/31 at 6pm or join me at my house on Friday, December 4th at 6:30pm. Contact me for more information if you are interested in either of these opportunities.

Here are the cards close up:
This one is very simple - cover our Dimensional Elements chipboard with prisma glitter for added sparkle! This card features our Holiday Commentary stamp set.
winter wonderland blog

This card has snowflakes that have been heat embossed with our White Daisy embossing powder and a few adhesive backed pearls. This card features our new Snow Flurries stamp set (one of my FAVORITES)!
peace on earth blog

This one also has a few Dimensional Elements Stars covered with Prisma Glitter. The stamp set featured on this card is Holiday Trinkets (another FAVORITE), and Card Chatter - Christmas!
no greater gift blog

This card is very simple with a little prisma glitter on the stars on top of the tree. It also features our new Holiday Trinkets stamp set.
merry christmas blog

This cute card has Liquid Applique and Fun Flock on the fur on the coat and hat! The stamp set featured here is our new Ms. Holiday Cheer.
ms holiday card blog

ms holiday blog
All supplies are Close To My Heart:
Paper: Creative Basics Jingle Collection (X5808), White Daisy Cards/Envelopes Value pack (X254), Tulip cardstock, Juniper cardstock, White Daisy cardstock, Black cardstock.
Ink: Tulip, Juniper, Black, VersaMark
Stamps: Holiday Commentary (C1379), Snow Flurries (D1384), Holiday Trinkets (D1366), Card Chatter - Christmas (D1388), Ms. Holiday Cheer (D1374)
Other: White Daisy embossing powder, heat tool, 3-D foam tape, Dimensional Elements - Flurry, Liquid Applique, Fun flock, Adhesive backed Pearls, Ric Rac Ribbon Rounds, corner rounder (for scallops on last card)