Thursday, November 27, 2014
Snowhaven is one of most favourite CTMH paper packs, probably ever.  I love the sweater-look paper, the glacier-and-black-and-cranberry colour combination, the snowflakes, the dots ... everything.  So needless to say, I was a little disappointed when the only Snowhaven Workshop on the Go kit was a card kit.  Don't get me wrong -- I love the cards too -- but that left me thinking and creating in my mind.

CTMH has given us some great templates and patterns to follow.  And I really loved the layout they created for Scaredy Cat (see it here) so I thought, "Why not "snow-ify" Scaredy Cat?

Here it is:

I also used the "Polar Bear Holiday" stamp set to jazz up this cool layout.  My Shin Han Touch Twin markers were perfect for colouring the adorable bears and cute presents.  And I just love the white enamel stars -- they go with just about anything!


  • Snowhaven paper pack
  • Polar Bear Holiday stamp set
  • Artbooking CTMH Cricut Cartridge
  • Alpha stamp set from Artfully Sent CTMH Cricut Cartridge
  • White Enamel Stars
  • Shin Han Touch Twin markers
  • Black and Glacier inks

Now, normally you would never hear me say "I can't wait for snow", but I'm looking forward to snapping some fun pics to put on this layout this winter.

Monday, November 24, 2014
While it's frosty outside and holiday music is playing everywhere you go, you might want to escape, even if just in your mind and your craftroom.

The November Stamp of the Month has some great floral images and designs to make some fun cards and get away from the cold.

Here are just some of the things I created using this fabulous stamp set:

To get this fantastically floral stamp set, simply place an order in November.  And if your order is $50 or more (before shipping and taxes), you'll be able to get it for just $5!  Email me today at or shop online!

Friday, November 21, 2014
What better way to tell someone you love them than by sharing memories from the past year all throughout the coming year?

That's where a Scrapbook Calendar is the perfect gift!  Close to my Heart offers a blank calendar that you can jazz up and personalize with your own photos and creativity.

This year, I'm giving two scrapbook calendars as gifts.  So I started by creating my layouts in Studio J.  In November, you can get Studio J layouts for just $5, so it's really affordable and easy!

I created each month in one spread, so I could change the paper for each month.  I also like how Studio J layouts LOOK layered but are really flat and without bulk -- which is ideal for calendars.  You don't want them too heavy.

Then I started prepping the blank calendar itself.

I stamped the title and some extra accents to match the layout above.  And I hand-printed the date numerals using a Sharpie marker.  If you're using a Sharpie, be careful!  The ink may bleed.  So make sure you use your All-Purpose mat underneath when you're printing.

Don't forget to add embellishments!!  I used some red Stickles on both the Studio J layout and the calendar to add some sparkle.

You can also further personalize each month with birthdays, anniversaries and special dates!

And here is the finished project!

It's still only November, which means it's not too late to get started on a project like this!  Gather your photos and start creating your monthly layouts.  And you can order your blank calendars from me -- order before December 5 to make sure you get it in time for Christmas!

To order, simply email me at or SHOP ONLINE!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Santa knows who has been naughty and who has been nice.  And all the crafty ladies on the NICE list are wishing for some fun, bright, sparkly, useful bits and bobs in their stockings Christmas morning.  Here are 10 ideas to make their wishes come true:

  1. WASHI TAPE:  Bright, colourful, repositionable, fun.

  2. SHIMMER TRIM:  Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!
  3. SHIN HAN TOUCH TWIN MARKERS: Vibrant colours that blend easily.
  4. NON-STICK SCISSORS:  Perfect for cutting 3D foam, tape and more.  Stays clean easily!
  5. SPARKLE FLOURISHES:  Bling-tastic for layouts and cards.
  6. MINI MEDLEYS:  Coordinate your colours with a variety of embellishments.

  7. SPONGE DAUBERS:  For distressing, stamping, colouring.  You can never have enough.
  8. MINI STAMPS:  Good for cards, scrapbooking, any-time fun!
  9. ADHESIVE:  Bonding Memories glue, tape runners, glue dots and more.  Always needed, always appreciated.
  10. SPRITZ CLEANER AND SCRUBBER:  Good for cleaning your stamps after getting inky.
So how do you get these and other stocking stuffers for your special crafters?  Just email me at and let's get started. Simply order by December 5 to guarantee delivery in time for Christmas morning.

Or shop online.  It's easy and it get delivered right to your door.

Monday, November 17, 2014
Studio J is so fun!  This online scrapbooking program helps you to create scrapbooking layouts fast and easy, while keeping lots of dimension and colour.  Each page comes together quickily.

But you can do so much more ... and they make for great gift ideas and great accents.

Here are some adorable gift tags that I made in Studio J.

2x3 Gift tags

4x4 gift tags that can double as adorable mini gift cards

These are so easy to make.  Here's the step-by-step:

  1. Login to Studio J and choose to create a project.
  2. Choose your paper pack.
  3. Choose the "No Limits" layout template.
  4. Delete the pre-set photo wells created in this template.
  5. Create a Title box and set the size in your tool box (it pops up automatically when you select the title box).
  6. Position the box in the top left corner of the left page.
  7. Drag and drop your chosen paper into the Title box.
  8. Copy and paste.  Drag a new paper into the second Title box.  Position it beside the first box.
  9. Repeat again and again to cover your pages in tag backgrounds.
  10. Use journaling boxes, My StickEase, embellishments and more to decorate your tags.  Copy and paste them as needed onto other tags.

When you checkout, you can print as many copies as you want to build your collection of gift tags.

Need help?  Please email me at with your questions or if you want to set up a Studio J 1-on-1.

Friday, November 14, 2014
Tis the season to be jolly.  But sometimes, the idea of crowded malls, tight budgets and hard-to-shop-for loved ones can take the spirit out of the season.  Let me help!

Close to my Heart has great gift ideas for crafters of every type -- even non-crafters.  Here are some suggestions on what you can get for the creative person in your life.

Scrapbookers love Close to my Heart and the quality products we offer.


Choose from:

  • 9 fabulous themes, including paper packs ($10.95), coordinating complements ($5.50) and embellishment assortments (up to $7.75)
  • Gorgeous faux leather albums ($32.95) and top quality page protectors (up to $21.95) to protect and display your layouts
  • Inspiring how-to books with hundreds of page sketches and ideas for layouts (up to $16.95)
  • 3 sizes of organizers ($16.50 - $27.50) -- to keep your embellishments, stamps and tools tidy and in one spot.
  • Amazing Cricut cartridge bundles, including Artbooking, a scrapbookers dream with overlays, pre-designed layouts, icons and great font and more!  ($109)
  • A fabulous array of tools, like paper trimmers, our handy Versa Mat, non-stick scissors


Here are some suggestions for beginner crafters or those who dabble in all things creative:

  • Workshop on the Go kits, for scrapbooking and cardmaking (up to $32.95).  They come with just about everything you need -- paper, stamps, embellishments and instructions.
  • Base & Bling Jewellery pieces, to create stunning necklaces and cuff bracelets.
  • Picture My Life Pocket Scrapbooking kits ($27.50) -- all the creativity, easy to put together.  Over a dozen different patterns and themes.  Each kit includes pocket pages and over 100 cards.
  • Designed Decor frames for creating fabulous artwork for your home.


Even non-crafters like to get creative once in a while, and make things look good.  They will love:

  • My Crush Books ($14.25) are part journal, part scrapbook, all fun.  Great for teens who want to take note of their thoughts and ideas, travellers who want a keepsake of their vacation, and more.
  • A Cut Above card kits (up to $14.25) -- make beautiful cards, for all occasions or for the holidays, easy as 1-2-3.  All pieces are pre-cut and ready to go.  All you need is glue.
  • A Cut Above treat bags ($16.50) make creating gorgeous treats for family and friends a snap!  The kit comes with everything you need -- you just have to take the credit!

Gift certificates are one-size-fits-all and you don't have to worry about it being returned or regifted.  Choose any amount, and they can be used for workshops or CTMH products.

So how do you do your holiday shopping with CTMH?  Just email me at and let's get started.  I can help you put together great gifts, and I'll even gift wrap it for you.  Simply order by December 5 to guarantee delivery in time for Christmas morning.

Or shop online.  It's easy and it get delivered right to your door.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge is a great challenge blog, run by Canadians and inspiring creativity with a new card sketch every week.  This week, I am honoured to be the Guest Designer and have created some great projects using the assigned sketch.  It is a nice, clean sketch -- right up my alley -- and I had a lot of fun getting my "crafty" on.

Here is the sketch:

You can find out more about this challenge, and see other creations from the Design Team over at the Atlantic Hearts blog.

And here are two cards that I've made using this sketch.

The first card uses one of my favourite mini stamps "You are my Happy".  I am grateful for all the friends and family who are supporting me right now, and plan to use this stamp and card design for lots of cards in the future.

This card uses the black and glacier polka dot paper from "Snowhaven", glacier cardstock embossed using my Cuttlebug and one of our embossing folders, 3 colours of shimmer trim (silver, gold and teal), and a red enamel heart, along with the "You are my Happy" stamp.

As a special offer, if you purchase this "You are my Happy" mini stamp from me this month (November), I will donate 50 cents to Hearth Place, a cancer support centre here in Oshawa.  They do amazing work and provide some really valuable services, all free of charge to those fighting cancer.  Simply email me at to find out how to get yours.

The second card is more festive for the upcoming holiday season.

This card uses the glacier diamond paper from "Snowhaven" and Whisper cardstock.  The 3 pennants were made using Cranberry cardstock, a zip strip from "Snowhaven" and silver shimmer trim. A red enamel heart and black enamel star add a finishing touch.  I stamped and coloured the polar bear and sentiment from "Polar Bear Holiday".  The sentiment was stamped using both cranberry and glacier ink -- offset to create a shadow look.

Finally, I created a non-card project using this sketch.  That's what I love about sketches -- they can be used for so many things.  I posted this project yesterday, Remembrance Day, in honour of our soldiers who have fought and continue to fight for the freedoms we enjoy.  See this post for details, and take a look here:

Don't forget to visit the Atlantic Hearts blog and play along with this week's sketch challenge.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Remembrance Day isn't really a card-giving occasion.  But it's a day that we should all be encouraged to set aside a few moments and remember.

Remember those who died to keep our country free.

Remember those who put themselves in danger, here and around the world, so that we can be safe.

Remember those who hope to make a difference in the future.

I created this frame for my son Sam, who is a member of the RCSCC Whitby Sea Cadets.  He has gained so much from being a cadet, and has thoughts of making the military a career in the future.  Hopefully, he will post this in his room and always remember those who came before him.

I also wanted to honour my sister-in-law, Meghan, who is a member of the Canadian Navy and has been deployed several times into dangerous zones, fighting for our country.

Thank you.  I will always remember.

This frame uses the following supplies:

  • Atlantic Hearts Sketch (see more creations using this sketch tomorrow)
  • Black, Whisper, Slate, Cranberry and White Daisy cardstock
  • "Courage" and "It's the Little Things" (November Stamp of the Month) stamp sets
  • Cranberry and Black CTMH Exclusive Inks
  • Assorted black ribbon and adhesives
  • Value black frame from Michaels

Monday, November 10, 2014
As a CTMH consultant, designing, prepping and hosting workshops is a big part of what I provide to my fabulous customers.  It's a great way to learn new techniques, get new ideas, enjoy an afternoon out for yourself and go home with some wonderful completed projects.

But sometimes, coming up with workshop ideas can be hard.  So the Brae-er's Team is showing some new workshop ideas in this month's blog hop.

If you're a consultant, feel free to take these ideas and make them your own.  Please remember to give credit for the designs.

If you're a customer and you see an idea you like -- TELL your consultant!  I'm sure she would be happy to create and host that workshop for you.


If you're coming from 
Heather's Paper Playroom, you're in the right place!  This is a circular hop, so it doesn't matter where you start -- just keep hopping to see what makes us happy!  Please take a moment to leave comments along the way!


CTMH's My Crush line is pretty amazing.  It's great for a journal, a travel scrapbook, everyday memory keeping and more.  But when I took a look at some of the accessories that come with it, my creative juices started flowing.

This workshop uses the My Crush Holiday Assortment ($6.50) -- a fun and festive collection of cards, mini envelopes and stickers.

In total, each workshop attendee will be making 14 holiday cards -- 11 standard sized (4.25" x 5.5") cards plus 3 mini (3x3) cards.

1 My Crush Holiday Assortment
1 sheet Cranberry cardstock
1 sheet Kraft cardstock
1 roll Gold Dot Washi Tape
11 Colonial White card bases with envelopes
1 sheet of 36 Bulk sparkles (1/5 of package)
Basic tools (glue, scissors, corner rounder, tweezers, black journaling pen)

The best part of this workshop is that you don't need intricate designs or complicated instructions.  The mini cards are double sided, so you just start grouping cards together and playing.  Absolutely, you can follow the designs I've created -- but customers have LOTS of flexibility to get creative and make the card their own.

And this idea can be used throughout the year, just using different My Crush assortments. In my mind's eye, I can see great Valentine's or friendship cards created easily.

Here are close-ups of a few of my favourite cards from this workshop:

Washi adds fun and more shine.

Lines drawn with a journaling pen finish off this card.

Layers, stickers and bling, oh my!

So simple but so spectacular.


The next stop on this Workshop Wonder Hop is 

Chris's Creative Life blog.  

If you (as a customer) want to do one of these wonderful workshops -- TELL YOUR CONSULTANT.  She will do her best to incorporate these new ideas into her workshop schedule.

Now, please keep on hoppin', and don't forget to leave us some love!

Here is a list of all the blog hop participants, in case you get lost along the way.
  1. Sheri Ballantyne (me)  YOU ARE HERE
  2. Chris Robertson  
  3. Tamara Lisowski 
  4. Julie Sinnott 
  5. Heather Steeves  

Thursday, November 6, 2014
Vintage is a hot trend right now -- in fashion, in art, and in crafting.  This Yuletide Carol paper pack fits right in with its flourishes, traditional colours and images.  These layouts are perfect for family photos of the holiday season -- and they would even look fabulous with black and white photos.

Workshop on the Go kits are so easy to put together because they come with just about everything you need: the paper, the stamps, the embellishments, the instructions.  But you still have the ability to be creative by adding extra embellishments and Cricut diecuts -- or taking some away.

In this layout, I only did some of the smaller Cricut diecuts and added some Gold Bling Gems and embellishments from the Black Mini Medley assortment.  They really added sparkle and shine to the layout.

The second layout is just as lovely -- and it really shows off that vintage-y look while staying clean and simple.

Get ready for your holiday photos with the Yuletide Carol Workshop on the Go.  Email me at or shop online to get yours.  Or add yours to your Christmas wish list and hope that Santa brings it for you.

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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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