Friday, April 25, 2014
Welcome to another Color Dare challenge at Color My Heart.  When I first laid eyes on this week's colors in the Ariana paper pack, it wasn't for me.

But after seeing it in person (instead of on a computer screen) and playing with it for a variety of projects, I have become more and more fond of Ariana.  There's so much you can do -- just see what our DT has come up with.

And see what I came up with.  I had another challenge I was working on -- to create something using CTMH's Stamp of the Month for April, "Bubble Talk".  So I combined those two inspirations into this week's card.

This card looks complex, but it wasn't hard.  Yes, there are lots of pieces and it took time to choose the right papers and put them in the right place.  But it came together so nicely and easily -- and looks even better now than it's finished than it did in my head.  :)

Now it's your turn!  Pull out your Ariana and play!  Then post your creation on Color My Heart's Color Dare blog and share what you've done!  Please have fun and feel free to enter more than once!

Thursday, April 24, 2014
Yes, I can say with great confidence that Close to my Heart has changed my life.  It has, in so many wonderful and amazing ways.  But the biggest way it has changed things is with the people who have come into ... and stayed ... in my life.  People who support me.  People who challenge me.  People who come to me for help.  People who inspire me with their talent and generosity.  People who love me, no matter what.

When I look back at my Close to my Heart experience, it's the PEOPLE that I think about and remember ... and will always remember.

So thank you, to each and every one of you who have left a footprint (or an inky handprint) on my heart.  I am so grateful for having you in my life.

These are just a very few of my special friends ...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
I'm back.  It was a busy week and I haven't had as many chances to post, but that's a perfect example of my Reason #6 for loving my CTMH business -- FLEXIBILITY!!

For me, flexibility means 2 things.  First, the flexibility of time.  Over the years, I have been able to work my CTMH business around the other things in my life: my family, my corporate job, my commute, vacations, illness, seasons.  I set my own schedule and plan my workshops, crops, customer care, admin time and more around the other events and milestones.  It fits into my life ... I don't have to fit my life around it.

So flexible, there's even time to relax with my hubby (above)
and friends at their cottage!
The other meaning of Flexibility is my ability to build my business any way I want.  I have built my business through workshops, crops and retreats instead of the traditional home gathering (party).  That's what works for me.  Others love doing the parties and find it's a great way to meet new people.  And others still like to keep it small, just enjoying the discount on amazing products.

And your business can CHANGE!  Maybe you want to start small.  That's ok.  I started big, but then had to pull back because the demands of my life became too much.  And I've slowly built it up again, managing my time and doing my best to keep a better balance.

As recently as a year ago, I never would have even THOUGHT about making a try for the CTMH Incentive Trip -- never thought that I would even come close to achieving it.  Yet, here I am, just over half way through the earning period and I am RIGHT ON TRACK for getting there.  It will mean that I have to continue to work hard, but I'm okay with that.  That's how much my business has changed in just the last year.

Aloha Donald!  This year's incentive trip is to
the Disney Aulani resort in Hawaii!
I so want to be there!
Want to learn more about what being a Consultant can mean for you?  Want to see how it can fit into your life?  Give me a shout at  Let's talk and get you started.

Plus, when you sign up in April, you get even more!  For just $99, you get over $400 in great products, INCLUDING your choice of 1 of our 3 Cricut Collections.  April is almost over so you want to sign up NOW!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Welcome to our April Brae-ers Team Blog Hop, showing off our favourite things!  Inspired by the Sound of Music song (Raindrops on roses, andwhiskers on kittens...  I can hear all of you singing it now!) and our love of CTMH's amazing products, this hop will share with you some of our "must have" items.  And because each of us have a different favourite thing, you're going to see a wide range of crafty things and creations that are sure to inspire you.

Let's get hopping!  (Are you still singing too?  GREAT!)

  • This is a circular hop so you can start here and go all the way around.
  • If you came from the talented Tamara's "Mara's Journey" blog, then you are going in the right direction.
  • Visit Brae's "The Brae-er" blog, for the complete blog list if you get lost along the way. 

HERE'S MY PROJECT: Hot Dog Layout using RIBBON

If you've ever met and scrapped with me, you know that my #1 obsession is ribbon.  I collect it, I use it, I can't stay away from it.  So when I started to create this layout, I wanted to make the ribbon a big part of it.

I love the new Topiary chevron ribbon!  It's a great width with a different pattern.  And it worked wonderfully with the Jubilee paper pack.  I punched holes through all the layers and laced the ribbon through like shoelaces.  I finished the ends like shoelaces too, using Washi tape.

I also love Liquid Glass.  Sometimes I use a lot, and sometimes, I use just a little to add some emphasis.  The ketchup on this hot dog is just the right touch for this layout.

My all-time favourite stamp is called "Journaling Jots".  It was different stamps with lines on it, ideal for creating neat, straight journaling on any layout.  This stamp set is retired, but it will always live in my stamp collection ... and my heart.

And one of my favourite techniques, is using a border stamp along the edges of a layout.  It adds a nice finish, just like these stars from the "Fancy Fair" stamp set.

Lastly, the subject is one of my most favourite people, eating his (and my) most favourite foods: BBQ'd hot dogs.  Love you, Charlie Beans.  

Your next stop on the Brae-ers Team Blog Hop is the 'mazing Michelle's "The Right Hugh" blog.

Please take the time to leave comments on our posts, as we love to get feedback from our viewers....whether it was something that you really liked or some new technique that was used that you would like to learn how to leaving us comments, we get to hear what you like, and what you want to see.

Thanks for hopping along with us - we hope we were able to inspire you, and help you to think about your favourite scrapbooking supplies ... or find a new favourite!  Come back next month on May 8th to see what we're doing to celebrate National Scrapbooking Month.

Welcome to our April Cross Canada Blog Hop, featuring a revolutionary product from the CTMH-Cricut partnership:  the amazing and exclusive Artbooking cartridge!  When it was introduced at Convention last year, I knew it was different and it was awesome.  And then I got my hands on it!  It has really changed the way I scrapbook and create. 

So join us as my fellow Canadian CTMH consultants show you some fantastic creations using Artbooking that you can make too!

  • This is a circular hop so you can start here and go all the way around.
  • If you came from the kreative Krista's Simply Creating blog, then you are going in the right direction.
  • Visit Michelle's My Creations blog, for the complete blog list if you get lost along the way. 

HERE'S MY PROJECT: Artbooking Bracket Frame

This year, we got an amazing shot of all of the Ballantyne cousins, from oldest to youngest.  It's a very special memory and I wanted to create something very special to showcase it.  This bracket frame was the perfect solution.

I used the Art Philosophy cartridge to cut the striped paper (from the Ariana paper pack) and the Outdoor Denim frame.  

Then I got out my Artbooking cartridge and started to play.  The hearts overlay cut from Ariana paper, was the perfect accent for the picture.  And I embellished with some Ariana Coral hearts.  The sentiment is from the Ariana Workshop on the Go stamp set.

Then I added an XOXO cut out in Ariana Coral cardstock using Artbooking.  I love how you get all of the elements you need that work so well together, all from one cartridge!  The triangle studs help to draw attention where I want it to go, and add some shine.

Lastly, I matted my photo with more B&T paper from Ariana to add some depth.  And I stamped the date and title using the Sans Serif alphabet -- love those alpha stamps!!

So, what do you think?  I think I'm going to send this to Grandma and Grandpa Ballantyne, so they can enjoy, celebrate and show off ALL of their wonderful grandchildren.


Your next stop on the Cross Canada Hop is

Please take the time to leave comments on our posts, as we love to get feedback from our viewers....whether it was something that you really liked or some new technique that was used that you would like to learn how to leaving us comments, we get to hear what you like, and what you want to see.

Thanks for hopping along with us - we hope we were able to inspire you to get creative using some of the designs, paper and techniques seen along the way. Join us again on May 15 when we will be featuring creations that decorate your home. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014
As you may remember, I'm using a My Crush album to create a memory book for my son Sam's Grade 8 (or Gr.8) year.  I really love how it's coming together.  I can focus on a few key photos for each moment and somehow, I'm feeling a little more FREE when I'm creating, as I'm not as focused on creating a traditional 2 page layout.

And it's really super fun!  With My Crush, anything goes.  I've used stamps and washi tape, Cricut diecuts and stickers.  Fun, fast and easy!  And looks FANTASTIC.

Here are three of my favourite My Crush layouts so far:

Friday, April 11, 2014
I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that the reason I first went looking for a business opportunity was so that I could stay home with my young family.  CTMH has provided that outlet for me:

  • It's something that I love to do:  scrapbooking, cardmaking, being creative.
  • It's something that I'm good at -- I have fallen in love with teaching others.
  • I get discounts on my addiction, um, I mean hobby!  (Wink, wink.)
These are all great things.  But when it comes to the bottom line, does this business allow my to stay at home without putting my family at risk?  Can I still put a roof over our head and keep food on the table?

I'll be very honest here.  Right now, CTMH does not replace my corporate salary.  But I never thought it would.  I have worked hard and built my business, and I AM able to contribute to my family's finances in a meaningful way.  I pay for my cleaning lady, who comes in twice a month.  I pay for my son's orthodontics.  I contribute to family vacations and other special occasions.  It's not a big deal, but it helps.

And just as importantly, I'm happy.  Yes, I could go back downtown and re-join the agency world (I work in advertising), but I wouldn't be happy.  I wouldn't be as relaxed.  I wouldn't be here when my kids need me.  So while money matters, it isn't everything.  And right now, I can't imagine doing anything else.

Welcome to another Color My Heart Color Dare with some spring and Easter-y colours:  Juniper, Sorbet and Creme Brulee.  Do you already know what you'll create with these fresh colours?

My Card:  Happiness

There were so many ways I could have gone with this Color Dare.  But I chose to go Clean and Simple and really create an impact.  I have to admit, this card turned out even better than it was in my head.  I love it!

Supplies Used:

  • CTMH White Daisy Cardstock
  • Juniper, Creme Brulee and Sorbet ink and cardstock scraps
  • CTMH Stripes embossing folder
  • CTMH White Daisy organdy ribbon (retired -- I miss this!!)
  • Love Life stamp set
  • Licorice opaques pearls -- using the lightest grey ones
Please leave some love in the comments below.  :)  THX!

Ok!  Now it's your turn!  Check out the amazing creations from the Design Team at Color My Heart Color Dare, then create something yourself.  Upload it and share your spring creations with all of us.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
What's better than the top quality products in our Close to my Heart Idea Books?  It's the fun, fresh and trendy goodies we get to give away with our Constant Campaigns!

What's a constant campaign?  It's a special offer or package brought to you by CTMH.  Sometimes it's a special paper pack or stamp set.  Sometimes, it's a great deal, like this month's Art of Business promotion.  No matter what it is, it's a great opportunity to get excited and have fun with CTMH.  And it's always a special value that's worth sharing.

As a consultant, it's a great way to keep things fresh and new ... for ourselves and our customers.  It's CTMH's way of supporting our business, and giving us new reasons to talk to our customers regularly.

And let me tell you, my customers LOVE the constant campaigns!  As a consultant, you'll get the opportunity to get your hands on the products early.  You can even plan a workshop around it, to help your customers get the most from whatever's being offered.


Want to be part of a business that gives you great offers, top quality products and lots of fun things to offer your customers?  Join my team today!  You'll get your choice of Cricut Collections, complete with cartridge, 3 exclusive stamp sets and 3 coordinating sheets of chipboard, valued at $99, FOR FREE!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
When you join CTMH, you ARE running your own business, but you AREN'T alone!  You're part of a team ... actually, if you join my team, you're part of TWO awesome teams.  And you become part of an amazing family that is interconnected across the country and throughout the US too!

Join today and you'll be joining a great group of ladies.  The Designing Divas is my team, and I'm all about connecting with my team, giving them support and knowledge if they want and need it.  You can contact me anytime, by phone or email.  We can arrange to meet regularly, if that's what works for you.  And we get together from time to time to learn and create.  I am here to help you succeed.

Lying around at Convention 2013.
The paper we received matched the carpet!

My upline is Brae Montgomery, is the leader of The Brae-ers and our team is a part of this amazing team.  The Brae-ers is the second largest team in Canada and filled with some friendly and talented consultants.  We connect through in-person and online team meetings, Corporate events, Facebook and more.  If a Brae-er can't help you find an answer, then no one can.  :)

Especially in Canada, CTMH consultants are like family.  We help each other, have friendly competitions and work together to make our own businesses and CTMH as a whole successful.  The Corporate team is so friendly, helpful and approachable.  And they provide us with some amazing resources, like videos and audio training sessions, fantastic events like Convention, and motivation through rewards and incentive trips (I'm working my way to Hawaii as we speak!).

Me with our executive VPs -- what an awesome trio!

Want to be a part of something truly reward, and simply amazing?  Join my Designing Divas team ... and join the CTMH family.  Sign up today!

Sunday, April 6, 2014
There really is no better time to join the Close to my Heart Family!  WHY?  Because of all the FREE stuff you can get!

Sign up today and you get to choose 1 of our 3 exclusive Cricut Collections when you sign up!  FOR FREE!!  That's a $99 value, on top of the already awesome $300-worth of goodies you get with your new consultant kit!

With CTMH's Straight to the Top program, you can earn the chance to get your Consultant Kit fee returned!  Simply sell $1200 in your first 90 days, you will get your $99 back.  That means your kit is FREE!  What could be better than that?

When you join my team, I am here for you to help you as much or as little as you want, to build your business into what YOU want it to be.  I am an award-winning consultant and team builder, and I am here to answer your questions, motivate you, share my experiences and knowledge so that you can succeed!

I am having two FREE information sessions on what it's like to be a CTMH Consultant and how you can be one too!  Join me on one of these two dates:

In Person 
In my Craft Classroom, Whitby, ON
Wednesday, April 9 7-9pm

On Facebook
Thursday, April 10 7-9pm

Please RSVP for either or both events by emailing me at

Already know you want to join my awesome team?  Sign up today !

Friday, April 4, 2014
I'm getting ready for a fun crop night with some great ladies and I realized I didn't post any artwork from my Birthday crop.  So here are two layouts using the (now retired) Buzz & Bumble Workshop on the Go.  I used the same layout sketch for both, but they still look distinct ... and buzz-tastic!

I'm often asked what I like best about being a CTMH consultant.  There really isn't just one reason!  But the first reason that comes to mind is the main reason why I joined in the first place:  I wanted to work from home and have the flexibility to be there for my family whenever they needed me.

Nine years ago, I gave birth to my second son, and going back to the Corporate world was not something I wanted to do.  I wanted to be home, and I wanted to do something I loved.  It didn't take me long to find Close to my Heart and instantly, I knew it was the solution for me.

With CTMH, you are your own boss.  You set your own hours, you choose how much or how little you want to work.  It's flexible and it's rewarding.

I also liked that CTMH didn't dictate HOW I ran my business.  I could choose to do home gatherings, or not.  I could do workshops, or not.  I could host retreats ... or NOT!  It was totally up to me.  So long as I met my quarterly minimums of just $300, the business was mine to create, build, and recreate if needed.

And over the past nine years, my business has had to change.  I've had to adapt it and move parts around to fit with my life.  But that's ok.  I've had the flexibility to make it happen.  So when I say you can build your business, your way, I mean it.  And I've done it.  It works for me, because I want to be here for these guys:

So what do you say?  Is a CTMH business for you?  Contact me at and let's find out together.

For more details on this month's fabulous promotion, The Art of Business", click here.  You'll learn how you can get a Cricut Collection for FREE!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
It's an exciting time when you sign up to become a CTMH consultant.  So many opportunities and possibilities in front of you.  A new business to launch.  New people to meet.  A new passion to pursue.

And a whole lot of new goodies to play with!!  In fact, you get products worth over $300, which makes the CTMH New Consultant kit an AMAZING value!  It will cost you only $99 (plus shipping and taxes).

So much stuff, plus business materials too!  It's everything you need to get started.

  • Skylark papers!
  • Skylark embellishments!
  • Useful tools, like ink, My Acrylix blocks, spritz cleaner, Liquid Glass!
  • Valuable how-to books!
  • Awesome and exclusive My Acrylix stamp sets!
  • Bonding Memories glue!
  • Idea Books to share!
  • And sooooo much more!

Even if you're simply purchasing the kit to get some great products at a great discount, this kit is absolutely worth every penny!

And don't forget! When you join CTMH in the month of April, you can choose one of the three CTMH Cricut Collections FOR FREE!  It's a special gift for joining this month.  It's the Art of Business!  Click here for more details.

When you join my team, the Designing Divas, you get some wonderful things that cannot be photographed and cannot be traded!  As a member of my team, you'll also get:

  • ME!  I am here to answer your questions, show you the ropes, and help you with your business as much or as little as you want me to.
  • Corporate training and support: through events like Rediscover Nights and Convention, through videos and audio recordings on our Corporate site, through Facebook pages for our team, and our bigger team, The Brae-ers.
  • The opportunity to meet some truly amazing and talented people.
  • The flexibility to build your business, YOUR WAY and make it just what YOU want it to be.
  • Discounts on some top quality, well known and respected, not to mention GORGEOUS products.
Contact me at with any questions you might have on becoming a CTMH consultant.  We can get together, chat, and see if a CTMH business is right for you.

Then sign up in April to take advantage of the spectacular Art of Business promotion and get a FREE Cricut Collection when you join my team.

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If you are inspired and would like to scraplift any of my work for your PERSONAL use, go ahead. We can all learn from each other. However, if you post somewhere, please give credit where it is due. Please DO NOT use or copy my ideas for contests, publication or selling purposes. All images are protected under Canadian Copyright.

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