Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Get all 50 State Stamps for around $100 -- must order by July 31!

One of my favorite (and least expensive) Close To My Heart current products are the State Stamps. Don't you love this one of the "Show Me State"?

These M-sized stamps are a perfect detail for travel scrapbook pages like this one from the Close To My Heart blog.

They are also great for scrapbooking your home, a move or a long distance relationship!

Sadly, these stamps will be retiring at the end of the month. However, the good news is that you can get them at a deep discount thanks to our Stampaganza special. This month all stamps are buy 2 get 1 free. At regular price, all 50 state stamps would cost nearly $150, but right now you can get ALL of them for around $100!

Don't want to enter 50 item numbers? Just let me know and I'll do it for you :)

There are also M-sized stamps for each Canadian province, plus Australia and New Zealand.

These stamps also count toward the buy 2 get 1 free special. In fact, all of the current stamps (except stamp of the month) are included in this deal.

This includes some special stamps that were pulled out of our archive just for this special!

Monday, July 24, 2017

8 Steps to Update Your Stamps in Evernote with the New Idea Book

Last week, I posted information about how I use Evernote to keep my stamp sets organized. If you waste time looking for your stamp sets or forego stamping all together because they are in too much of a chaos, I'd encourage you to check it out. This post is for those who use this system and update with my populated notebooks. For more information, go to my Evernote Resource Page.

As we retire an Idea Book and have a brand new one come on the scene, there are a few steps that I do to make sure my Evernote notebook matches my stamps and the physical stamps are stored nice and tidy. Start this season organized and everything else will be easier!

Step #1 

If you have not already, copy the stamps from the prior Idea Books shared notebooks (from me) to your personal notebook. If you have not already created a personal notebook, watch this video to learn how.

Step #2

Use the links embedded in the notes to access the stamp images online. Copy and paste these images into your personal copy of the notebook before they retire because the links may no longer work after July 31!  (CTMH has requested that I not include images in my shared notebook, but you can copy them into your notes for personal use.) 

Step #3

Review the retiring stamp sets from the 2016 Annual Inspirations Idea Book and order any "must haves" (shop now) before August 1.  Remember stamp sets are currently buy 2 get 1 free! To maximize your savings check out the stamps in the Seasonal Expressions 2 Idea Book which will retire on August 31. Get them while they are on sale!

Step #3

Add a tag to the notes in your personal notebook for all the stamp sets you own. My tag for this is simply "OWN".  I also tag them based on what box they are stored in "Box 1, Box 2,..."

Step #4

Tag the retiring stamp sets in your personal notebook. I also make "retired" labels for the envelope of my physical stamp sets. As a consultant, I try to use current stamp sets for blog projects so this helps remind me which stamp sets are still available.

Step #5

If you are not a subscriber, order the updated Evernote notebook! Consider the new Annual Subscription to receive timely updates for a full 12 month Idea Book cycle.

To order, do ONE Of the following:
  • Join my Close To My Heart team
  • Place an order of $25 or more on my Close To My Heart website ($60 to get a year long subscription)
  • Place an order of $50 or more in Consultant-only Workshop Samples ($120 to get a year long subscription)
  • Make a donation of $25 toward a CTMH order ($60 to get a year long subsciption). I use these funds to purchase CTMH products for local not-for-profit entities. (This option is great if you live outside of the US.)
Then fill out this form

Step #6

Once you get the email from me with links to the update, copy these new stamps into your personal notebook.

Step #7

Add any new stamp  you have purchased to your large organizers in alpha-numeric order by item number. In Evernote, add a "OWN" tag to any new stamps and "WISH" to any still on your personal wish list. 

Step #8

Tell your friends and team members who have Close To My Heart stamps about my Evernote stamps notebook! Sending them a link to last week's blog post is a great place for them to start. (THANKS!)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Whimsy Baby Girl Scrapbooking Scrapook --- free workshop download! (better now than never)

Did you ever have great intentions to do something and even do 90% of the work, but then not get back to it? That's what happened with the scrapbook I'm sharing with you today.

A few months ago, I created a 12 page scrapbook using a half pack of the Whimsy Fundamental papers and the Baby Girl Complements. I loved how these products go together! It was so much fun creating this album that I wanted to make another book using the other half of the paper pack and the Baby Boy Complements. I shelved my blog post about the pages I already made because I wanted to present the two books together.

However, in just a few days these products will all retire! Since I believe this is a great project (wouldn't it make a great new mom gift?), I want to get this posted so now so you'll have a chance to order the supplies before they are gone.

To make this album, I made use of the numbers 1 through 12 from the complements pack and made a page for each year of the baby's life. So the first page has room for a photo of the newborn little girl.

I then created a layout for each of the following two months of the baby's life. For each of these layouts, I choose a color combination that I thought went well together. I used a mix of solid and the patterned fundamental papers.

Once I had the basic pattern for the page laid out, I added coordinating ribbon, stickers and chipboard from the Complements pack. Of course, I also added the gold glittery number for the month.

The final page of the album is for month 12 or 1 year. For this page, I added some balloons to celebrate this special birthday.

If you have more pictures than the space allowed in this album, I have a couple solutions for you! 

Extra Photo Idea #1 - Attach Flip Flaps to your Memory Protector on top of the photo wells. I love this visual created by Close To My Heart to show hwow Flip Flaps can triple the number of photos on your pages. 

Learn more about using Flip Flaps in this post on the Close To My Heart blog. 

Extra Photo Idea #2 - Add some pocket Memory Protectors between the pages. These come in several designs including the new Pocket Plus protectors which are narrower than the full size protectors and allow the outer edge of the layouts to show as you flip through the photo pages. 

Click here to see all the Memory Protector designs.

Ready to make one? First click on the link below to download the free cutting and assembly directions. Then review the materials list to make sure you order everything you need before these products retire on July 31. Use the links to go directly to the items on my Close To My Heart website.

·        Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals Paper Packet (UPDATE: Already sold out! However, I have a couple packs in my inventory. Email me to order.)
·        Z3287 Whimsy Ribbon Pack
·        1385 White Daisy Cardstock (12 sheets for page bases)
·        X5769 Thistle Cardstock (1 sheet)
·        X5639 Sweet Leaf Cardstock (1 sheet)
·        X5772 Canary Cardstock (1 sheet)
·        X5751 Sorbet Cardstock (1 sheet)
·        X5773 Pixie Cardstock (1 sheet)
·        X5763 Smoothie Cardstock (1 sheet)
·        X5930 Slate Cardstock (1 sheet)

In addition to the materials listed above, you will need a paper trimmer and detail scissors to complete this workshop. I'd also suggest the following adhesives: tape runner, glue dots, glue pen and 3D foam tape.

I still think these pages could easily be modified to make a Baby Boy album with the remaining papers from the Whimsy Fundamental paper pack. I'll leave that as a challenge for you since my time is running out. Please contact me if you have any questions about this project.

Keep Creating,

Create your own Everyday Life binder tabs using Artbooking

I love our Everyday Life albums! These not-so-mini Mini Albums would make Goldilocks happy: not to small and not too big.

Currently, you have two choices: Black & White Stripes or Sea Glass. (In August, a new color Bashful will be introduced!)

These versatile two-ring albums can become whatever you want them to be. Want to make a pint size photo album? Fill your binder with the 4"x6" Memory Protectors (2 photos per side) and just slide your printed pictures in. Would you rather mix it up by alternating with journaling and titles? Fill some of the photo wells with 4x6 Picture My Life Cards. Add some 3"x4" Memory Protectors to mix it up even more. 

Another option is to fill the album with full size 6"x8" Memory Protectors and fill them with down sized scrapbook layouts. There are Memory Protector designs that you can mix and match throughout your book: 3"x4", 4"x6" and 6"x8".

Of course you can also use the binder as a planner. Either purchase the calendar pages from us (currently deeply discounted!) or create your own. There are so many great printables available on the internet.

Members of my Close To My Heart team are using the Everyday Life album as "business binders". We are setting up sections to hold information about contacts, events, goals and more.

In fact, you can embrace your creativity and combine all of these ideas to create exactly what you want. Regardless of what you create with your Everyday Life Album, adding a few tabs can help you keep your pages organized. 

Click on the link below to open a file which includes these three tabs that when cut will fit your Everyday Life album perfectly.  (Note that this file will not cut if you do not have the Artbooking Cricut Cartridge linked to your Design Space account.)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

New products plus a few price increases coming on August 1

I'm very excited about the new Annual Inspirations Idea Book that will go live on August 1! This is preview month for the Close To My Heart consultants and I am really enjoying playing with the new stuff. Can't wait to show you more!!!

However. in this new catelog there are also a few price increases due to manufacturing and supply cost changes. So here's your heads up that if any of these items are on your wish list, be sure to place your order by July 31 to get the current LOWER prices.

For example, all of the existing Workspace Wonder pieces are going up $1 or $2 each! 

The prices on other organization items are also going up by up to $5!

Here's a list of the other items that are going up. Note that I've included handy links (see the underlined words) to help you shop.

  • Exclusive Ink Reinkers: going up $1 each (White Daisy going up $1.45)
  • Glitter Paper (Red, White, Gold, Silver and Black): going up $1
  • Red or Grey Enamel Gems: going up $1

  • Sponge Daubers 3 pack: going up $1.45 (12 pack also going up $2)

  • Rub & Remove Eraser: going up $2

  • Micro-tip & Non-stick Micro-tip Scissors: going up $2 

Remember all these increases go into place on August 1, so be sure to submit your order by midnight July 31. 

Before you place your order, be sure to pick out a few stamps. During July, they are buy 2 get  1 free! 

This includes these bonus retro stamps that are available only this month:

Finally, if you have $50 or more in your cart, you can add the Stamp of the Month for just $5!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Using Evernote to organize your stamps (and anything else) plus download a FREE Notebook!

Does this sound like you:

  • Hunting through multiple boxes to find a stamp set you want to use?
  • Re-purchase a set because you can't find yours? 
  • Use the same sentiment over and over because it is available even though you have gobs of stamps that may be better for your project?
  • Have stamp sets that never see the light of day because they are in storage and long forgotten?
  • Find alternatives to stamping because it is just too much trouble to get them out.

My Stamp Organization Story

Once I had more than a couple dozen stamp sets, I really stuggled with how to organize and store them. I tried several methods to get the chaos under control. I created an huge, elaborate binder with paper print outs of each stamp set that I owned. This allowed me to thumb through them and see all the images, but it was heavy and cumbersome.

At that time, my physical stamp setswere organized by categories like animals, outdoor, sentiments, everyday, holiday, etc. Sounds good, right? However, most stamp sets fall into several categories. For example, if the stamp set below was in my "Christmas box", I would totally miss out on using these cute animals the rest of the year -- what a shame! Plus, once I choose a stamp set from my fancy binder, I had to figure out which category it fell under and actually locate it before I could start my project!

Then I started hearing about this application called Evernote. People were using it to keep track of all kinds of things: recipes, DVDs, notes, and even stamps! I decided to give it a try and spent several weeks getting all of my stamp sets into Evernote. It completely changed how I use my stamps! I can now quickly choose a stamp set I am looking for or discover one that I had forgotten. Once I pick out a stamp set, I can easily locate the physical stamp set which are now stored simply in alpha-numeric order....but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's look at how it works. 

Try it with this FREE Sample Notebook

To help explain how I use Evernote for my Stamp Sets, I've created a sample stamps notebook for the bonus stamps that are avaialble only in July 2017 for the Stampaganza special. To open this free notebook, click on the link below and continue reading to learn how to use this notebook.

Click HERE to learn more about the July Stamp Special!

(For purposes of this post, I'm including screen shots from the internet version of Evernote in Chrome. Depending on what devise and browser you are using, your display may be a little different, but I believe the function will be similar.)

This link should open the notebook and give you the option to Join or View the notebook. To get the most out of this experiment, I'd suggest that you go ahead and click "Join Notebook". 

To do this, you will be asked to either log into your Evernote account or create one. The Basic (free) version of Evernote should be sufficent at this point. 

If you'd like to learn more about Evernote in general, I'd suggest reviewing the information available on the Evernote website.

What does a Stamp "Note" Look Like?

Once you are signed into your account, the Stampaganza notebook should appear in your list of notebooks. If the Stampaganza notebook is not already highlighted, click to select it. This should open a list of the stamp sets ("notes") in this set. When you click on the name of a stamp set, you will see the details of that stamp set in a window on the right. (Note there are various view options, so if your screen looks different than this play around with the settings. If you do not see the Stampaganza notebook, try clicking on the link above again.)

Let's take a closer look at an individual note. Here's a blow up of the panel on the right of the screen showing the details of one stamp set. 

You may notice that I name each note with the item number followed by the stamp name. Why? So once I find a stamp set I want to use, I can find it easily in my stamp boxes which are organized in alpha-numeric order by item number. Simple!!! When I sort the notes alphabetically, they are in the exact order they are in my boxes. 

In the body of the note there is a link to the stamp images so you can click to see exactly what the stamp set looks like. Next, any text that appears on the stamp set is entered into the body of the note. This makes all of the words on the stamp sets searchable which is very helpful when you are searching for the perfect sentiment for your project.

Now the real magic begins...

What really makes this system work is that I add tags for EVERYTHING I can think of related to the stamp set. In this example, you'll see tags for the actual images that appear on the stamps: heart, holly and snow. You'll also see that I've tagged this as a Christmas stamp set. In addition, if this was a stamp set with coordinating Cricut cuts or Thin Cuts, I would have tagged that as well.

Searching for the Perfect Stamp Set

These tags allow you to search for exactly what you are looking for. Ready to make Christmas cards? You can see all your Christmas stamps at once. Looking for an image of a bird? You can easily find all the stamps that include an image of a bird!

Let's give it a try...click on one of the tags on the left side of the screen. Here's the resulting list of notes when I click on the Christmas tag.

You can type directly in the search box to filter the stamps by the text on the stamps!

Your Turn

If you like this system, you can create your own notebooks similar to what I've done. Although the internet version of Evernote is handy for viewing, to really create you'll want to install the application for your device by visiting the download section of the Evernote website. Once you are in an actual app, you will need to create a notebook then start adding notes. You can start by copying the notes in this shared notebook. 

We've only touched the surface of how to get started in Evernote, but I hope this gives you a taste of how it can work.  If you'd like to learn more about copying this notebook, adding your own notes, accessing the notebooks on other devices or perhaps purchasing notebooks already populated with CTMH stamp sets, visit my Evernote Stamps page. Still have questions? Feel free to email me

Have you used Evernote to organize other areas of your life? If not, are there some places you'd like to give a try?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section!. At the end of the month, I'll draw one name to win this stamp set from our brand new Annual Inspirations Idea Book on August 1.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Jane for winning the stamp set!