Friday, November 30, 2012

December Blog Hop!

Hello hoppers!  Welcome to the December Stamp of the Month Blog hop!   We’ve had some problems with our group this month!  Nothing like getting locked out of our database on the eve of the blog hop.  So if you ever get lost along the way tonight, go to Kathleen’s blog for a complete list of all of the stops.  That being said, come back in a couple days too!  Just don’t forget.  Smile   If you’re here from Jen’s blog, you’re on the right track. 
This month’s set “Year Around Cheer” is 12 stamps (which I’m  thinking of making 24 with a few little snips).  Each stamp contains a sentiment and an image for each month of the year.  What a perfect segue from last month’s “capture the date.”  As always you can get the set for $5 with a $50 purchase.  For a bonus offer, CTMH is adding a “Bonding Memories Glue Pen” to every order that’s placed directly on our websites this month!  That’s a $4.50 freebie!  Don’t forget about checkout our “While supplies last” area too.  CTMH is starting a midnight (MST) CLEARANCE BASH on 12/1 with tons of great deals from past Idea BooksClick here to shop now.   
Now back to the stamp set: 
I created a “CD Calendar.”  Some CD cases have a hinge that supports the lid to make an easel.  I couldn’t find any CDs around my house that actually folded back to an easel so I purchased one.  I opted for the 4x6 case because it fits our papers so well. 

Items used:
Almost all of our paper packs:  Shown are Avonlea, Moonlight and Pear & Partridge and Sky Blue Cardstock.
Cricut Artiste:  All borders were cut from it
Black Archival Ink:  Works great with our markers
Alcohol Markers:  Olive, Twilight, and Ruby are shown
CTMH Watercolor pencils:  These ROCK!  They don’t bleed through.
Glitz:  Stardust and green:  It’s a wonderful non-bulky sparkle!  Nothing could be bulky when building a calendar that fits in a case. 

The rest of this post is going to dispel any and every myth that I’m an organized, well planned consultant.  I’m going to level with you.  My project did not turn out as I had expected.  But when you fail…. you learn…you learn a LOT!  So on to my learning opportunity post!   You can keep reading my lessons learned or jump over Gina’s blog!

Other lessons learned and project outtakes (AKA mistakes)
If you travel with your “liquid products”  be aware of altitude and temperature changes.  My glitz blobbed (more like exploded) all over my snowflakes when I opened them today.  I’m sure the air pressure in the bottle due to altitude and temperatures from the last place I went had a bit to do with the explosion.
Our new Alcohol Markers are wonderful for coloring.  But they bleed through our paper.  I’ll have to rethink this project because there’s not enough room for 12 sheets of paper in the holder.  I had planned to put February on the back of January.  That won’t quite work as you can see.   The coloring didn’t impact all of my artwork because I ended up hiding other bits of bleed by alternating where I put the calendar left-right-left right.  But the blue dots from the center of the snowflake border isn’t anything I could hide. 
Don’t color on a stack of artwork with our alcohol markers.  My tulips have a little snow on them because it bled through all the way!  I also stick with dots of Glitz for a reason!  I think I should have done that here too.
I’ve discovered a new love for our watercolor colored pencils.  They don’t bleed and they come in tons of colors at a very affordable price.
Don’t get me wrong, I love our markers too!  I’ll be posting some creations with them soon! 
I love the borders on our Artiste cartridge.  All of the calendar pages will ultimately end up with borders.
Cricut Artiste borders from CTMH Moonlight paper
Cricut Artiste borders from CTMH paper  Year around cheer
Come back soon!  And don’t forget about the amazing clearance sale!  If you shop with me, please Join the “Order here & get a free gift!” gathering to reap some more rewards!
shopping cart
Now hop over to Gina’s blog!

CTMH super clearance sale!

It starts TONIGHT!

Close to My Heart Clearance Sale

Begins December 1st at 12:00 AM (MST)  (11PM PST 11/30)


At 11PM (PST) on November 30th, CTMH will add new items to the “While Supplies Last” section of my OBA’s shopping page. Among the new additions you will find a wide variety of paper and coordinating accessories, all with a substantial markdown. You will also find that most of the items that are currently available will also see a further markdown at that time.
To sweeten the deal even more, until December 31, all orders placed on your OBA that reach or exceed $50 will also include a free Bonding Memories® glue pen (Z553)—a $4.50 value! Please shimageop early, because these deals are only available while supplies last!

So grab some goodies for yourself and maybe some stocking stuffers too! 

Join my gathering and I’ll send you a little extra too!  So click JOIN on the shopping cart screen and then zoom to the left size of the screen.  The last item in the list is “While Supplies Last.” That’s where the sale will be.

In addition to the new/huge while supplies last sale, here's what's being discontinued in the spring Idea Book.... Thus from here on out, they could be "while supplies last" as well.
Tons of embellishments as well as these papers and their coordinating My Stickease and Compliments:

Pear & Partridge (will be back in stock 12/5)
Belle la Vie

Click here for a complete list of what’s not coming back next spring! 


Happy shopping! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Super Simple Cyber Monday Sale Starts Now!

cybermonday red
Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  We certainly did, though I have to admit that I’m also looking forward to the routine of a normal week too!  I’m not sure what normal is besides going to bed and getting on time but I’m looking forward to our regularly chaotic schedule.  With that, I want to celebrate Cyber Monday with a super simple sale!  Can you say that three times fast?

Shop.  Earn 10% cash back or 15% hostess rewards!

It’s that easy. 
After I receive your order confirmation, I’ll contact you about your savings.  You can either receive cash back via PayPal or product!  Hostess Rewards are My Acrylix® Stamps, My Acrylix® blocks, Exclusive Inks® pads, Exclusive Inks® markers (including the specialty ones), Exclusive Inks® re-inkers, My Stickease® assortments, Complements, My Reflections® paper packets, all cardstock packs, Workshops on the Go® kits.  They’ll be directly shipped to you.  No shipping, no tax on your hostess rewards.  Just as if you’re a hostess, if you have $8 in rewards, and you want something that’s $9.95, I’ll ask you to pay the difference. 


The CTMH promotion this month is to buy the Stamp of the Month for $5 with a $50 purchase and get any A, B, C, D, E or M sized stamp set for 50% off! 
After you have $50 in your shopping cart, you will have the option to add the $5 Stamp of the Month and the half priced stamp set to your cart anytime or during checkout. 

WAIT!!! One little step before you’re on your way to savings… 

To qualify for my sale, I need you to JOIN my “free gift gathering.”  Click here to get started! 
shop here

Savings ideas


Order the Artiste Cricut Bundle, Get the Stamp of the month for $5 and 50% off any regular stamp set.  Casual Expressions is Compatible with the Artiste cartridge for easy stamping and pre-cut shapes!  Get it for only $8 instead of $17.95.  You’ll save and earn $11.20 cash back or $16.80 in hostess rewards! 


Order the Avonlea Scrapbooking Workshop on the Go, My Creations Recipe/Photo Box, My Creations Bracket Frame, Mini Medley Accents Antiqued Gold Collection, Color Ready Canvas Alphabet.  Get all of this for $54.75!
Get the Stamp of the month for $5 and 50% off any regular stamp set. Family Tree is used on the bracket frame as shown below and would be $8 instead of $17.95. You’ll save and earn $6.78 cash back or $10.16 in hostess rewards!
Check out the Idea Book pages 16-21 and see the family great gifts you can make!  Instructions to decorate the Recipe Box are here



It’s entirely up to you!  Shop any way you want and save! 

This rewards program is only offered by Lalia Harris, Close to My Heart Independent Consultant and is available through my website and the Gathering dated 26 Nov 2012.  It’s valid now through 11pm PST on 11/26/2012.  It cannot be combined with any of my other promotions.  Rewards is based on the product total, before tax & shipping.  Hostess rewards or sale credit cannot be applied to your shopping cart order. 
Questions?  Please don’t hesitate to ask!  Email me, find me on my Facebook page, contact me through the form at the bottom of the page or give me a call, my number is at the top of my CTMH website.  I’m here to help! 

My Email My Facebook My Pinterest My Blog My Shopping Cart

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Carmel Glaze

Whenever I have a group over at my home for an event or workshop, I usually bake a little treat …. from scratch. 
Think I’m insane to not pick up a little treat at the store?   I’m not.  I happen to be extremely sensitive to products made with dairy and soy.  I get headaches and worse when I eat them and I shut down.  And that’s the last thing I want to happen when I am hosting a workshop!  So you’re in for a wonderful treat when you come over to my place!  My recipes aren’t 100% free of dairy.  I can fudge a recipe a bit because when things are cooked to 200 degrees for 5+ minutes, it destroys the part of the milk that causes my sensitivity.  
Today’s recipe is adapted from the one found at   I found it on Pinterest.  It’s in my folder called “Yummy.”  Or you can pin my version too!

Pumpkin Pound Cake With Caramel Glaze

Filling & topping:
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts {pecans or walnuts}
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons sour cream
Combine 2 Tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, stir well and set aside with the nuts. 
Cream butter and oil. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar, beating well at medium speed. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add pumpkin and mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add to creamed mixture, mixing just until blended. Gently fold in vanilla and sour cream.
Spoon half of batter into a greased tube pan. Sprinkle half of the nuts and half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over batter. Repeat layers.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Cover with foil to keep the nuts from burning.  Cook 10-15 minutes longer or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean or is 205 degrees internal temp!
**I bake my cake until the internal temperature is 205 degrees per a meat thermometer.  This ensures that the cake is thoroughly done and will not fall.  I’ve had pound cakes pass the toothpick test and come out gooey.  I highly recommend you temperature check your cake even without having a milk sensitivity!   It’s the surest way for baking cakes and breads.  (bake breads to 210-215 degrees)
Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely…about one hour.
Caramel Glaze:
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons white or raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1-2 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Heat butter, sugars, vanilla and milk over medium heat, stirring constantly. When it reaches a boil, boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and continue stirring.  Whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar to thicken. Use more if it needs to thicken more. Spoon glaze over cooled pound cake. Enjoy!
Have a great day and enjoy this pumpkin treat!  BTW, the batter tastes just like pumpkin pie.  I could have ate it (sans the sour cream) all by myself. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November Newsletter


Sign up for my newsletter here!

It's a wonderful time of year!

Fall is here and so are egg-nog and pumpkin spiced lattes! 

I love this time where we have a chance to sit back and see all the great things that have come out of the year.  School is in session, my 6 year old is starting to read and is gaining confidence his ability to read.  It's so awesome to see that smile break across that face when he realizes that he is successful.  It's also so wonderful to see my friends and customers create beautiful projects even though they would never call themselves "crafty."  That's what I love about Close to My Heart.  There's something for everybody.  My Advent Calendar workshop was a success this last week.  If you missed it, you can purchase the ready-to-assemble DIY kit any time this month.  Allow a week for your items to come from CTMH and for me to create your kit.  

See all the event details »

Annual Christmas Card Workshop

November 17 Starting at 10AM come and create 20 beautiful Christmas cards.  $30.  RSVP and pay by 11/9 and receive a free gift!

Fun & Fabulous 4th Friday

November 23 at 6PM
Create 5 fun moving Christmas cards for $10 and then stick around for card left overs!  RSVP and pay by 11/18 and receive a free gift!

I have no December Workshops scheduled.  Would you like to host a workshop?  It can be a tags, mini-bags, boxes, cards, gift card holders or even gifts to give!  Let me know!

Click here to RSVP or plan a workshop with me.

Capture the Savings

Get a stamp set of your choice 50% off with a qualifying purchase!

I know you love a good deal, especially on quality products like Close To My Heart’s My Acrylix® stamp sets. If you’ve been keeping your eye on a particular set or two, then now is the perfect time to act! During November, you can get 50% off your favorite stamp set in the Idea Book. Here’s how:

You already know about the Stamp of the Month program, where you can buy an exclusive D-size stamp set for just $5 with your $50 qualifying order. This month, when you qualify for and purchase the November Stamp of the Month set, Capture the Date, you get an additional bonus of 50% off any other stamp set in the Idea Book! This deal excludes those sets sold as part of Workshops on the Go® kits or our Cricut®collections, but that still leaves you over one hundred options to choose from!

When you see how versatile and exciting the November Stamp of the Month set is, you will see how this offer rewards you for getting something you already know you want! So head over to my web site to read more about this deal and start shopping.

Start shopping »


Stamp of the Month: Capture the Date

Spruce up your “when”

Record the “when” of your memories and do so much more with November’s Stamp of the Month set, Capture the Date. This stamp set’s striking versatility will add pizazz to dozens of projects: calendars, layouts, cards, birthdays, games, as well as anything that calls for a numbered list. Capture this set of 72 stamps for just $5 with a qualifying $50 purchase! And when you do, remember to take advantage of this month’s special by picking an additional stamp set from the Idea Book for 50% off!

See the November Stamp of the Month »


Why Handmade Means More

Gifts from the Heart

The holiday season is coming up fast — have you started your shopping yet?And what are you going to get for those few people on your list who are impossible to shop for? What do you give to that person that seems to have everything? If you’ve got some question marks on your list this year, try giving something handmade.

Why handmade? There are many reasons that a gift you make yourself is more meaningful than what you can get off the shelf:
•             Time — is there anything more valuable? Once you’ve given your time to something, you can never get it back. When you put your valuable time into making something personal and unique, you are giving one of the most valuable things you have.
•             Personal Touch — everything you create is infused with a part of you. A gift that you created is much more likely to remind the recipient of you simply because it carries the signature of your creativity.
•             Customizable — don’t spend hours in stores looking in vain for just the right thing. With a handmade gift, you can make something just right by tailoring it to what you know about the person you are giving it to.
•             Rarity — when you make something handmade, you are creating an item that is unique. That uniqueness adds value to the gift because there is nothing else like it. It is a gift that only you can give.
There is no limit to the handmade gifts you can give this year. A beautiful card or scrapbook page may be just the right thing, or a decorated picture frame, jewelry box, or wall art. Let your creativity shine this holiday season and give something that means a little more — give something handmade.

Go here to see some great project ideas! »


Thank you for taking the time to look at my newsletter.  I appreciate it!
Lalia Harris