Saturday, December 19, 2015

Make A Plan to Plan - CTMH Planners

Personally, I am lost without lists, sticky notes, and calendars. I will definitely be making a plan to sit down and fill out my new 2016 Everyday Life Planner. It is the time of year when we start wrapping up the old year and turning our gazes towards what is yet to come.

The new year is always full of promise and opportunity. Every year, millions of people make resolutions and vow to change their lives in the coming year. Unfortunately, those resolutions are often broken. Does that mean we no longer want those things for ourselves? Of course not. It means we lost focus and let other things slip in. Or maybe our priorities changed as things outside of our control changed. It is nothing to be depressed about or to beat ourselves up about. It is just a giant arrow pointing us to the one thing we were lacking...organization.

 This year, rather than making a huge list of resolutions for 2016, I'm going to sit down with my 2016 planner and get organized. I'm going to take a look at goals I have had in the past that I did not quite reach and I'm going to put together an action plan to achieve them. I'm going to put those goals in my planner in the time frames I think are reasonable for reaching them. The key word there is reasonable. Don't be unrealistic with your goals. Give yourself plenty of time. My best piece of advice for the new year is to be kind to yourself!

Now tell me what your plans are for the new year!  Are you putting together your planner now?  What are you going to use it for?  Comment on this post or head over to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and let me know!

If you haven't purchased your 2016 planner yet, head over to my shopping site to get the same products I'm using.  You can also watch the tour of my planner products on my YouTube channel.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Making Close Friends, Building A Team...It's the Same Thing

I just had a successful introductory meeting with a new member of my Close To My Heart team.  It was so invigorating!  Joy, excitement, and anticipation are all contagious and I feel so blessed that I get to be a part of that.

Close To My Heart is really my passion.  I love the feeling I get when I complete a project.  I adore all of the relationships I am building with my customers, my upline, and my downline.  I am one lucky girl because I get to make money while basically playing like a kid.  It's awesome!

If you have been entertaining the idea of joining my team or getting involved in direct sales, now is really the perfect time.  Close To My Heart has completely revamped their kits and their incentive programs and made them better than ever before.

The kit is $129, but it is stocked up with over $445 worth of amazing goodies.  That is less than 1/3 of the regular cost!  The products have been carefully thought out and chosen specifically for you to get hit the ground running.  You will get everything needed to start hosting gatherings and workshops right away.  Not to mention, you get access to me!  I am your support line, your reference book, your leader, and your friend and I cannot wait to see you succeed at this.  To see everything included in the current kit, just follow this link.

During the month of October 2015, you will get the added bonus of receiving this amazing bag.  It is perfect for taking small projects on the go, turning heads, and starting conversations with potential customers and recruits. 

Straight To The Top, the Close To My Heart incentive program for new consultants, gives you the opportunity to earn some really cool stuff.  If you meet the Straight To The Top sales goals during your first 90 days as a consultant, you could earn all of this.

Close To My Heart really supplies you with all of the tools to get your business going and to keep it successful.  If you are willing to put in the work, I am excited to help you be a success.  I know that we will have a lot of fun.  If you want to learn more, just contact me to set up a time to learn more about it.  I'd love to have some one-on-one time with you!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Stamping Basics - "Must Have" Items

A few weeks ago I wrote an article titled "5 'Must Have' Supplies for Getting Started with Paper Crafts."  Once you have the basic items needed for your cards and scrapbook layouts, you might find that you want to take your art to the next level.  One fun and easy way to do this is with stamping.

Stamping is so easy that anyone can do it.  Don't get me wrong.  It is definitely an art and there are a lot of advanced techniques that you can learn, but it can also be kept simple.  Anyone can pick up a stamp and get started.  I'm going to share with you the 5items you need to get started with stamping.  I'm not including cardstock because if you purchased the items in my last article, you should have some.

1.  Blocks

I prefer clear acrylic blocks.  The reason I like clear blocks is that you can see through them while you are stamping.  This allows you to line-up your stamp exactly where you want it.  You also have a better chance of fixing a poorly stamped image because you can by going back over it with another layer of ink.  However, stamps can also be on wood blocks.  You can purchase them mounted and unmounted.

2.  Stamps

If you decide to use clear blocks, you need unmounted stamps.  You can get stamps in all sorts of shapes.  You can get sentiments, animals, flowers, backgrounds, people...really anything.  Whatever stamps you choose, make sure that you have the right sized blocks to affix them to.  A block that is too small or too large for your stamp will cause an uneven image or unwanted ink lines.

3.  Ink

There are many different types of ink available and each serves a purpose.  Dye inks are softer and dry quickly.  These will work well for the bulk of your projects.  Pigment inks are thick and are good when you stamp on materials other than paper because they sit on top of the surface.  They take longer to dry though.  You will also find alcohol, solvent, and water-based inks.  As your artwork advances, you will want to learn more about these and how they are suitable for different projects.  Tip:  If you really love a color of ink, invest in a re-inker for your pad.  You never know when your favorite color could be discontinued.  Also, there are a lot of artistic techniques you can learn that utilize the re-inkers themselves.

4.  Cleaning Supplies

Maintaning your stamps is the key to ensuring they last.  You will want some kind of scrubber to clean your stamps with.  I recommend getting something made specifically for cleaning stamps so that you don't damage them with overly abrasive chemicals.  You can use plain water, but I recommend a cleaning solution.  The one from Close To My Heart is really amazing (and has saved my household surfaces many times).  I also highly suggest getting some baby wipes or adult gentle wipes to have on hand.  They are a nice temporary clean for your stamps until you can get to the sink.

5.  Coloring Tools (Optional)

Okay, you don't have to have coloring tools to do stamping, but it can really add that little something extra!  Sometimes you just need an additional pop of color in your images.  Coloring is also very relaxing.  You might have even noticed a recent trend in coloring books for adults.  This is because coloring is a wonderful way to clear your mind and de-stress.  As a papercrafter, you don't need a coloring book!  You can make your own with your stamps.  You can use anything for your coloring - crayons, color pencils, markers, paints...the only limit is your imagination.  And you don't have to start out with the most expensive products.  Start with whatever you have on hand and as your coloring techniques get better you can upgrade to the professional tools.  I started with dollar store crayola markers and now I am really a huge fan of the ShinHan Touch Twin markers.  I also can't wait to experiment with the new Close To My Heart watercolor paints!

There it is.  The complete list of what you need to get started.  If you want help getting set up and started with stamping, I would be happy to assist you!  Just contact me at

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

5 "Must Have" Supplies for Getting Started with Paper Crafts

I often see the question "What items do I need to get started in stamping/cardmaking/scrapbooking/etc?"  Unfortunately, there are a lot of over-eager hobbyists out there who list dozens of items that are not "just the basics."

I don't want you to think you have to buy a ton of stuff to get started in this hobby.  If it gets too expensive, you'll give up before you ever start having fun.  Therefore, this list is as short, sweet, and wallet-friendly as possible. 

1.  Cutting Tools

The cheapest cutting tools you can buy are scissors and a ruler.  I use my scissors all the time.  You will need something to cut your cardstock down to the size you want it.  You can also cut out your images and use them as focal points on your projects or for layering.  Micro-tip scissors make it incredibly easy to cut out detailed images.  Additionally, if you don't have stamps and ink, you will want these scissors so you can cut out images you print from your computer.  Trimming all of your cardstock with scissors can be a little hard on the hands.  If you have some spare cash, get yourself a good paper trimmer.  This will help you cut your main pieces quicker and more accurately.  Some paper trimmers even come with scoring blades, which brings me to the next tip.

2. Scoring Tools

Some people may not think a scoring tool is necessary, but I have found that scoring lines where you want to fold your cardstock will help it prevent from cracking.  It will also help you manipulate the cardstock better and force it to do what you want.  The cheapest way to do this is with a ruler and something with a dull point, such as an embossing tool.  Scoring this way can be difficult and time consuming, but it is the most affordable.  If you have a little extra money, you will save yourself time and headaches by purchasing a paper trimmer that has a scoring blade (as mentioned above) or a score board.
3.  Cardstock

Whether you like plain, patterned, glittered, or designer cardstock, this item is essential to your paper crafts.  There are all kinds of papers and cardstocks out there.  I have tried many brands and I do prefer to spend a little more money for higher quality products.  Obviously Close To My Heart is my favorite brand, but even when I shop at the craft stores, I find that you get what you pay for.  The nice thing about Close To My Heart is that all of their cardstocks coordinate with all of their other products.
 4.  Adhesive

I've made the mistake of buying cheap adhesive.  My loved one receives their card and all of the goodies have fallen off of it.  Get yourself a good, strong adhesive.  I use different ones depending on what I'm trying to do.  A tape runner is fine for adhering layers of cardstock.  I use wet bonding glue for more intricate pieces.  I use Liquid Glass for embellishments such as buttons, twine, ribbon, and glitter gems.  If you are limited on the adhesive you can get, however, get a wet bonding glue.  You will waste less of it.
5.  Journaling Pen

Don't underestimate the power of the pen.  A good pen can add flourish to your writing.  It can also add character to your cards with doodling.  Nothing beats a good pen.
That is it!  That's the very, very basics.  To get the micro-tip scissors, embossing tool, bonding glue, a journaling pen, and a packet of B&T Duos paper, you will spend less than $40 (not including tax/shipping).  Want me to repeat that?  It costs less than $40 to get started in this hobby!  With these 5 items and your own imagination, you can create cards, gift boxes and scrapbook layouts that are easy and beautiful.  If you need help getting started, just contact me!  I'll get you set up and started on the road to papercraft addiction.

And when you are ready to take your crafting to the next level, add stamping!  I'll be posting an article soon here about the basics of stamping and what you need.

Until next time my treasures,


Happy National Stamping Month!

Did you know that there was a National Stamping Month?  There is and it's September!

September is also Launch month for Close To My Heart.  We are rolling out our new catalogs and our new products.  There are so many cool things going on, I can hardly contain my excitement!

First, definitely get a gathering on the books so you can see the new catalogs and check out the new paper packs firsthand! 

As I mentioned, September is National Stamping Month and Close To My Heart is celebrating with some EXCLUSIVE stamp sets!

Now is also the perfect time to join my team if you have been thinking about becoming a consultant!  Close To My Heart completely redesigned their consultant kits to help give you a jump start on your business.  For $125 you get over $450 worth of stuff, plus me as your personal coach!

There are so many new things that I want to tell you about, but I can't fit it all in this blog.  So sign up for my newsletter and contact me about getting together!

Until next time my trinkets,


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I See the World in Cardstock & Washi Tape

Hello, my name is Tara, and I'm addicted to papercrafting.  How do I know? 

Could it be the mass amounts of craft supplies I have stashed around my house?

Could it be that all of my mad money goes to buying stamps, markers and embellishments?

Well yes, it could be those things.  But the real reason I know I'm addicted is that when I'm not planning or crafting cute cards, and artwork and I have nothing remotely crafty going on around me - I still see inspiration for projects everywhere!

Case in point - right now, I'm on vacation.  I'm visiting my parents and I didn't bring ANY of my crafting stuff with me.  (Let's just say it was a rushed packing job).  More than anything, this vacation is for my husband.  We've come so he can ride quads and go to car shows.  It's not really my thing, but I go with him to the car shows here and there.

The other night we were at a car show looking at some sweet classics when I found myself imagining a car project.  I suddenly realized that washi tape would be perfect for pinstriping.  

That's right.  Somehow I went from listening to my husband talk about car restoration to daydreaming about what new wonders I could create with my stash. 

It just goes to show that inspiration can hit you at any time and in any situation.  Tell me about a time you got inspired in an unexpected place or situation!  I'd love to hear about it in the comments.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bringing The Smiles

Today I want to share with you something that makes me smile.  I LOVE giving back.  I have so much fun doing it.  I love holding fundraisers, I love getting my hands dirty and contributing my time, and I especially love the feeling of helping people.  It really does get me smiling from ear to ear.

Did you know that Close To My Heart gives back by supporting Operation Smile?  I love a company that cares and wants to make a difference.

Operation Smile is a children's charity that raises money to fix cleft palates in children around the world.

You can be a part of this by teaming up with Close To My Heart!  Every time you purchase an Operation Smile product on my web site, a portion of your purchase is donated to the charity.

$3 from this Stamp Set is donated

$10 from these T-shirts is donated  

As scrapbookers, cardmakers, and all around memory-keepers, we craft our lives around smiles.  So what makes you smile?  Let me know in the comments below.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Treasure Shop is now OPEN

Hello my Lovelies.  Just a quick hello to let you know the Treasure Shop open for business!  The Treasure Shop is a page on this site where I will be offering kits and artwork for sale. Currently I have one pre-cut card kit listed - Sweet Salutations.

This cute kit was inspired by the exclusive Cuddly Salutations stamp set from Close To My Heart.  

I will have another kit coming soon to the Treasure Shop so be on the look out.   If you have any requests for the types of kits you would like to see in the future, please comment below or email me.  I love your feedback and suggestions! 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Your Own Kind of Wonderful Confetti Wishes

Every month I send out personal Thank You's to everyone who placed an order with me in the previous month.  This goes a long way in building personal relationships with your customers.

This month I am using the Confetti Wishes paper pack to create my special cards.  The Confetti Wishes pack is a B&T paper designed specifically for birthdays.  You can easily make your paper packs go further by changing up the elements to take them beyond their intended themes.  Cutting the papers and arranging the pieces in different ways to make interesting backgrounds is one way.  Using stamps and embellishments to change up the feel of the card is another way.

One of my customers loves purple and I wanted to utilize the lovely Thistle color in the Confetti Wishes pack because she will love it.  I have also been dying to use the "Your Own Kind of Wonderful" stamp set.  It became one of my favorites the moment I saw it in the catalog.

To see how I put this card together, watch my tutorial on YouTube.

All of the measurements and supplies are listed below.  Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day!


Measurements for Cutting -

Card Base Cardstock - 8 1/2" x 5 1/2"  (Standard A2 size)
Accent Cardstock - 1 pc 5 1/4" x 2" and 1 pc 4 1/4" x 1 1/4"
Accent B&T Paper - 1 pc 5 1/4" x 2" and 1 pc 4 1/4" x 1 1/4"
Front Piece - 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"

All supplies and materials are from Close To My Heart and can be found on my shopping site.

Shopping List -

Wishes book (Card Confidence Program with 100 designs) - Item 9041
Confetti Wishes B&T Duos paper pack - Item X7189B
Your Own Kind of Wonderful D Size stamp set - Item D1627
Exclusive Ink in Thistle - Z2640
Exclusive Ink in Pacifica - Z2192

You may also need -

Micro-tip Scissors - Item Z534
Non-Stick Micro-Tip Scissors - Item Z1836
3-D Foam Tape - Item Z1151
Duck Easy-Stick Adhesive - Item Z3033
My Acrylix Blocks 2" x 6 1/2" - Item Y1010
My Acrylix Blocks 3" x 3" - Item Y1006

Saturday, July 11, 2015

She Art with the Close To My Heart Canvas

Welcome back to the Treasure Trove!  I've been noticing this artsy trend on Pinterest called She Art.  It's a mixed media art where you make a representation of yourself.  I have seen some really beautifully done ones using Close To My Heart supplies.

One thing I didn't notice was any that represented Plus Sized women.  I don't know if this is because it's easier to make petite size women in artwork or if nobody plus sized has posted theirs online.  Heck, maybe the ones online used some sort of template.

Either way, I decided to try my hand at it and to represent myself as a larger woman.  Honestly, I am really proud of how it turned out.  I think it really is a piece of art.

I used Close To My Heart B&T papers and cardstocks for paper piecing, as well as stamping and distressing techniques.  I also included some coloring by hand with watercolor pencils and ShinHan Twin Touch markers.  The doodle lines were done with a journaling pen.  The whole thing was mounted on a 6x6 canvas from Close To My Heart and sealed with Modge Podge.

I started by finding an image on Pinterest that I wanted to use as a template.  This is the image I found.

Quite the transformation, don't you think?  Let me know in the comments and be sure to send me photos of any She Art you have tried!

You can also contact me if you want to purchase supplies to make your own She Art or go to my shopping site.


Friday, July 10, 2015

The Big WHY - Why I Share CTMH With You

When operating any business, the business owner has to have a "why." What drives them?

 Is it money? Is it freedom from schedules? Is it the power to make the decisions and do things their own way? Or is it something deeper?

 I already own a business. It pays the bills and I am darned good at it. But it doesn't feed my creativity or my passion. It doesn't feed my soul. So I started my Close To My Heart business also. It feeds my soul. It's a business that is definitely heart-centered. I get to create and be passionate about what I am creating. More importantly, I get to share it and help others explore their own creativity!

 Here are some perfect examples of how you can decorate your life through Close To My Heart. You don't have to be a pro - Close To My Heart makes it so easy.

Contact me or go to my web site to find out more about Close To My Heart.  I'd love to help you host a Make & Take gathering to get free products or to join my team and share your passion with others!  August is a great time to join my team because they just revamped the New Consultant Kit! 


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Confetti Wishes Birthday Card

My wonderful brother is having a birthday on July 6th and in typical Tara fashion, I am making him a card that will arrive probably a week late.  It wasn't my fault this time!  I've been sick!  Okay, usually it's my fault.

I just bought the Confetti Wishes paper pack and it is really cute.  There's enough variety in the paper that you can make cards for guys, girls, and kids.  It's all in how you put it together. Here's some shots of the outside, inside, and matching envelope that I did.

I tried some techniques with this card that I've never used before.  The whole thing was an experiment really.  It all came together quite well in the end and I think it turned out great!  More importantly, I know he'll love it.  Good thing...since it will be belated and all.   

I did a video tutorial with this card as well.  It's over on my YouTube channel.

If you want to make this card or if you like any of the materials used, you can purchase everything on my shopping site and here is your shopping list:

Workshops on the Go Blossom Cardmaking Kit - G1095
 (Alternatively you could use the Confetti Wishes Complements sticker sheets - X7189C or the Build-a-Cake stamp set - D1618)

Confetti Wishes Paper Pack - X7189

Pear Cardstock - X5764 (You could also just use a different color from the Confetti Wishes Paper Pack listed above.)

White Daisy Envelopes - Z1475

Exclusive Ink Pad in Crystal Blue - Z2117  or Pacifica Blue  Z2192
Exclusive Ink Pad in Pear - Z2197
Exclusive Ink Pad in Canary - Z2643

VersaMark Ink Pad Tsukineko - Z891
Embossing Powder in Ranger White - Z2068
Craft Heater -  Z555
(If you don't want to emboss, you could just stamp the sentiment.  I would suggest using the Crystal Blue ink if you are going to do this.)

1" Circle Punch - Z1999
Scallop Border Punch - Z1851
Corner Rounder - Z1912

Liquid Glass - Z679
3L E-Z Dots Adhesive -Z3022
Micro-Tip Scissors - Z534
Non-Stick Micro-Tip Scissors - Z1836

Have fun making your summer birthday cards!


Friday, July 3, 2015

Jump on the Deals in July

There is so much fun to be had in July. Summer is officially in full swing!  You can't help but feel like something exciting is always about to happen.

Close To My Heart is getting on that excitement with their Jump On It July promotion.  Now is your chance to get the Hostess Exclusive stamp sets without having to host a party.  Just place a $25 order of My Acrylix stamp sets and you will be able to select one of our exclusive hostess sets for $5.

I used the Life is Wonderful stamp set on my mini pizza box tutorial.  Check it out on YouTube.

Happy July my Trinkets!


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Blossoming Success

My first card workshop went swimmingly.  I spent all morning preparing.


As much as I prepared, those girls still through me for a loop.  They were such a fun group and boy, are they creative!  They were tweaking things, cutting things, rotating things...and they all ended up with completely unique sets of cards.  It was better than I could have ever planned for.

If you missed this workshop, don't worry.  I'll be hosting another one very soon.  Workshops and events are posted on my Facebook page.

If you aren't local and you want to make these lovely cards for yourself, you can purchase the Workshops on the Go Blossom Cardmaking Kit from my shopping site while it is still available.  The set will yield 15 cards (3 of each design).  It does not include ink, acrylic blocks, glue, or scissors.  Just make sure to add those to your order if you don't already have them.  Send me pictures of your cards too!  I'd love to see your masterpieces.

Those gals wore me out, so now it's off to bed.  Have a great night!


Friday, June 26, 2015

In the Mood for Ice Cream Dream

I have been dying to use the Ice Cream Dream stamp set.  Maybe I'm just craving ice cream in this 90 degree weather, but more likely this stamp set is just super duper cute!  It is the Stamp of the Month set for June 2015.  That means you only have a few more days to pick up this sweet set on my shopping site.

I ended up creating a really neat Tri-Fold Triangle card using one sheet of White Daisy cardstock and one sheet of Seaside B&T paper.

I used  Desert Sand ink to sponge all of the pieces and stamp the center image.  I colored in the center image with ShinHan markers in Cherry Pink and Golden Yellow.  The front images were stamped in Cotton Candy, Lagoon, and Honey.  I added some pizazz with Oceanside Sequins.  These can all be purchased from my CTMH site.

I think it turned out really well!  What do you think?  Be sure to let me know. to find myself a fudgsicle or something.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Clearing the Clutter - Feels Oh So Good!

Hello Trinkets!  I have been a busy, busy little bee.

There is nothing better than cleaning up and clearing out!  I find something delicious in releasing the things that no longer serve me to make room for new things and new possibilities!

As a new consultant for Close To My Heart, I thought it was about high time that I cleaned the enormous mountain of paperwork off of my desks, throw out all of the crazy things that I have been hap-haphazardly tossing into the drawers (as opposed to finding real homes for them), and create room for all of my crafting supplies. The Summer Solstice was yesterday, so maybe I was just vibing off of that wonderful sunny energy!

It took me the better part of 3 hours and at least two dust rags, but I finally accomplished what I set out to do.  I feel good!

My drawers have a little more rhyme and reason now.

Next Sunday's workshop, awaiting the fun.

Best of all, the little gifts for all of the girls coming on Sunday.

To see how I created those sweet little gift boxes, watch this tutorial from my YouTube channel.

I hope this inspire you to take a look at your craft area and jazz it up a bit.  Happy Summer Solstice my gems!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

~*~ Grand Opening ~*~

Hello Trinkets!

It is official.  I am a Close To My Heart consultant now.

I have been using the CTMH line of products for a few years as a customer.  They are the best products I've ever used for paper-crafting.  It was inevitable that eventually I would just sign up to be a consultant.

I am betting that you will love these products too!  If you enjoy the art and fun of paper-crafting (or if you're curious and want to try it out) then contact me about hosting a craft party or shop my site for ideas and supplies.

Check back on this blog for project ideas and examples in the future.  We're going to create something beautiful together!

Great ideas using the Blossoms kit.

To shop my treasure trove, please go to

Until next time Gems,