Thursday, December 31, 2009


Just want to wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year. Please be careful as you celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. I know I won't have to worry about that as I'm staying put right here at home with hubby. New Year's Eve isn't the big deal it used to be for me and hubby. Getting too old to party and wake up the next morning with a splitting head. It's not worth it any more! Hubby will more than likely go to bed by 9:00pm and I will stay awake till the big ball drops then head to bed myself. Sounds like an awesome New Year's to me! Have a good one!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


From our house to yours! Make it the best one ever!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Close To My Heart Scrapbook Challenge #33-Winter Wonderland

I am all caught up now with the weekly scrapbook challenge, YIPPEE! I know this one is backtracking a bit but I wasn't able to complete it back when it was first announced. I can now take a breather and enjoy Christmas until next week's challenge. What a great feeling!

The photos in this layout are of the major snowstorm we just had this past weekend here in the Mid-Atlantic region. Some of the photos were taken the night of the storm and some the next day. It looked soooo pretty! I love taking pics of snow but I sure don't like driving in it. And it's not me that I worry about when I'm out there on snow-covered roads, it's everyone else! Anyway, I hope you enjoy the layout!

I used the new Felicity papers from Close To My Heart's National Papercrafting Month promotion. This promotion also comes with a stamp set that is awesome! It's got swirls and birds and even a full alphabet. If you would like to take advantage of this great promotion, give me a shout and I'll hook you up!

Here's a list of all the products used:
  • 'Imagine' design book-Subtitles
  • CC1008 Felicity Collection
  • D1412 Noted Backgrounds stamp set (journaling block)
  • D1384 Snow Flurries (let it snow)
  • E1013 Field Trip Alphabet (wonderland)
  • Z1206 Craft Buttons
  • Z1210 Felt Die-Cuts-Wonder (snowflakes)
  • Stickstock Twill Fabric (for matting, no longer available)
  • Various Brads
  • Cricut machine for title

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great evening!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another Favorite Recipe-Pistachio Chip Cookies

Here is another recipe that has been a favorite of everyone who has ever tasted these scrumptious cookies. I found this recipe in a magazine many, many years ago and it has been a huge hit ever since. The recipe came from a pistachio farm somewhere here in the US. I wish I could remember the name of the farm and where it is located. I'd love to give them the credit for this wonderful recipe! Although these cookies aren't among the traditional Christmas cookies we all make every year, it is a recipe that I always make at Christmas time as it is requested by many. Maybe because of the green from the pistachios? After all, green is a Christmas color! I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Pistachio Chip Cookies
  • 1 -1/4 cups butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 12 oz. package vanilla chips
  • 1 -1/3 cups chopped pistachios, divided
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla: mix well.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and oats: gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in chips and 1 cup pistachios. Drop by rounded teaspoonsful, 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Lightly press remaining pistachios into cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes before removing to wire racks. YIELD: about 5 dozen.

Thanks for dropping by! Make it a pistachio day!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Favorite Recipe

I have never posted a recipe here on my blog before but I just had to share this one. It is too good to keep to myself any longer! It's one I found in a recipe book a long time ago when ground turkey was just starting to become popular and a healthier alternative to beef. If you are having to watch your calories and/or salt, you may substitute several of the ingredients listed with low fat and low salt alternatives. I have done so and it in no way takes away from the great flavor. My entire family loves this recipe and I'm sure you will as well.

Turkey Tortilla Casserole
  • Cooking Oil-1 tbsp.
  • Fresh Ground Turkey-1 pkg. (about 1 1/4 lb.)
  • Garlic Salt-1 tsp.
  • Chili Powder-3/4 tsp., divided
  • Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup-1 can (10 3/4 oz.)
  • Taco Sauce-1 bottle (8 oz.)
  • Diced Green Chilies-1 can (4 oz.), drained
  • Sliced Pitted Ripe Olives-1 can (2 1/4 oz.), drained
  • Green Onions-1/2 cup sliced
  • Ground Cumin-1/2 tsp.
  • Corn Tortillas-1 pkg. (8 oz.), cut into 1/2"strips
  • Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese-2 cups shredded, each
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Crumble turkey into skillet; stir in garlic salt and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. Cook until turkey is no longer pink; drain. Mix turkey, soup, taco sauce, chilies, olives, green onions, cumin and remaining chili powder in large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Arrange half of the tortilla strips in dish; spread with half of turkey mixture. Top with half each of the cheeses. Repeat layering. Bake uncovered until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Garnish with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and sour cream if desired. Makes 6-8 servings unless you have a very hungry husband!

I hope you'll give this recipe a try and let me know what you think about it! I, for one, know it is very yummy and I hope you will think so, too! Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Close To My Heart Scrapbook Challenge #38-Such a Cutie!

Here's the latest layout I created for the Weekly Scrapbook Challenge. I am almost caught up now. I have to go back and do #33 next and that puts me right back on schedule. This layout comes from the new 'Felicity Collection' which is a special promotion running right now till the end of January. This is an awesome collection! I know you will all love it! If you are interested in purchasing this kit, please contact me. It comes with a full stamp set that is so cool!

The little cutie in this layout is my son's stepdaughter who is just one of the cutest little girlies on the planet! The photos were taken back in the summer when we went to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. If you've never been there, you must go! It is gorgeous at any time of the year! In fact they now have all their Christmas lights on display and it is awesome! I need to put that on my list of things to do this holiday season as it's been awhile since I've seen it at Christmas time.

Thanks for looking! Have a great day!

Close To My Heart Scrapbook Challenge #35-Life is Good

So I'm a little late with this challenge but at least it's done! Yea! I totally had such fun creating this layout. All products used are Close To My Heart, of course! I am really loving the new 'Veranda' papers. This layout design comes from the 'Reflections' how-to-book. The left page is Title Topper-Equal Portions and the right page is Half & Half-Perfect Square. I also used some of the new blossoms and butterflies from the Just Blooms Spring Blossom collection. Aren't they just too pretty? I can't wait for you all to be able to purchase some of these but you'll have to wait till January 1st. So sorry! : ( I hope you enjoy the layout!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's a Winter Wonderland-Day 2

I just had to share a few more photos of our winter wonderland! Isn't this pretty? Yea, until you have to shovel it! Well, thankfully, hubby likes to shovel and uses it as his workout for the day. So it looks like I'll be relaxing today! Although I think I can manage to sweep off the porch and deck to save him the trouble.

Is this cool or what? I had to show you this weird snow drift on our garage roof. It is so neat what the wind can do with blowing snow.

Driveway? What driveway? There used to be a driveway here somewhere.

If you live in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic region, I hope you take photos of this historic snowfall. At least it's historic for us! This is very unusual for us here in the Philly area. It's been at least 100 years since there's been a snowfall of this proportion this time of year. We have already surpassed our average yearly snowfall in just this one day. Amazing!

Thanks for stopping by! Make it a good one!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's a Winter Wonderland!

Just thought I'd share a few photos with you of the winter wallop we are receiving here in the Mid-Atlantic region. Isn't it beautiful? I'm sure glad I don't have to go out in this except maybe to play and take photos. We are expecting anywhere from 12-20 inches of the white stuff here in my area of the country. Here we have maybe 5-6 inches on the ground at this time with the heaviest yet to come this afternoon. Looks like we'll definitely be having a 'White Christmas' this year. It rarely ever happens here so I am going to enjoy it as much as possible. To anyone out there dealing with all this snow as well, please take care and just try to enjoy it!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day and take lots of photos for scrappin'!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Close To My Heart Scrapbook Challenge #36

Here is my layout for scrapbook challenge #36. As I stated yesterday in my post, I am a bit behind on these challenges and doing my best to get caught up. I do not have photos for this layout yet either but I'm hoping to have some soon. I just need to take the time to go through some old photos to see what would work here. I am not a big sticker user but had these that matched the papers and wanted to use them up.

Products used are all Close To My Heart:
9030 Imagine design book-Leading Lady
X7107B That's Amore' paper pack
X7107C That's Amore' My Stickease
Z2114 Cocoa ink

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A sneak peek at a couple new products from Close To My Heart

Here is my latest layout for the weekly scrapbook challenge that I have been participating in and also running behind on lately. Well, you know it's that time of the year when there's a zillion things needing to be done and you just can't seem to find the time to accomplish everything you want to do. I somehow got behind on these challenges and missed #33 and #35 totally but have completed #36 & #37. This one is #37 which brings me current. I hope to post #36 very soon.

Anyway, here are the details for Scrapbook Challenge #37:
9030 Imagine design book-Ensemble Piece
X7119B Veranda paper pack (not available until January 1)
C1389 So Sweet stamp set (not available until January 1)
Z1275 Antiqued Copper Mini Medleys
X5754 Creme Brulee Cardstock
X5752 Juniper Cardstock
X5642 Cocoa Cardstock
Z2167 Creme Brulee ink
Z2165 Juniper ink
Z2114 Cocoa ink
Z2367 Creme Brulee marker
Z2365 Juniper marker
Z1100 Cocoa Ribbon

I just wanted to say thanks to all my wonderful peeps out there who took advantage of the wonderful clearance sale that Close To My Heart held the first part of this month. You are all the reason why I am in this business-to share the love for this wonderful hobby of stamping and scrapbooking. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Stay tuned for more details about the newest Close To My Heart special running now through the end of January. It's an awesome one but then again, they all are! I will post soon!

Next time you're visiting my CTMH website here, check out the latest episode of Art & Soul on CTMH TV. I'm sure you'll enjoy it and learn something new!

Thanks for stopping by today! I promise to post more soon! Have a good day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Second Annual Handmade Holiday Open House

Would you like to get all of your Christmas shopping done in one afternoon? Let us help you do just that! Come to our Handmade Holiday Open House where you will find several local artists showcasing and selling their fine handmade goods. From original jewelry designs to handcrafted soaps, yummy goodies, crocheted items, kids' clothing, handbags and unique paper crafts, you are sure to find something for everyone on your gift list. Refreshments will be available for your enjoyment as you meander through our Holiday Open House. Hope to see you there! Details below.

Save the Date!

2nd Annual Handmade Holiday Open House

Hosted by: Julia McLaughlin

26 Angelica Drive

Avondale, PA 19311

When: Sunday, December 13, 2009
Time: 1:00-5:00 pm

Featuring the following Local Artists showcasing and selling their fine handmade goods:

Julia McLaughlin
Julia's Jewels: Original Jewelry Designs with Sterling Silver and Handmade Artisan Beads

Marjorie Muehlmatt
Just Handbags: 100% Wool Hand Knotted & Felted Handbags

Jennifer Riter

Butterfly Creations: Handcrafted soaps and bath products. The selection includes glycerine and shea butter soaps, bath salts, salt scrubs and shower gels. We also have handmade diffusers.

Sue Yakamavich
Crochet Classics: Classic handmade items such as baby afghans and clothing sets. Also includes doilies and unique items such as snowman, bumblebee and lady bug crochet purses.

Carol Labuski
Close To My Heart: Handmade cards, small albums and unique papercraft items that are perfect for Christmas gift-giving. Close To My Heart gift certificates are also available for the papercrafter in your life.

Traci Chandler
Crea8tivemama: Uniquely embellished kids clothing & accessories along with unique 'green giving' gifts.

Joanne Jamison
2BellaBliss: Featuring Trendy Trash, coffee cozy's & more sewn goods.

Jeannette Shain

We will be bringing some unique cuisine from Pittsburgh for your
perusal including 3rd Generation Hungarian Recipe Nut rolls, Poppy Seed Rolls, & Apricot Rolls. We also offer a large range of tie dye products and some 3' x 5' flags.

We all hope you are able to attend. We will have some holiday treats for you to enjoy while you meander through our Handmade Holiday Open House!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Cutest Little Baby Album Ever! from CTMH

I thought I would share this cute little baby album with you. Isn't it just too darn stinkin' cute? If you click here, you can see a slideshow of this album to see what it looks like on the inside. I had so much fun making this and I'm ready to make another one. Know anyone who would love to get their hands on one of these? Let me know! I'd love to make another one for you or someone you know.

Thanks for stopping by today! Hope you all have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Close To My Heart Scrapbook Challenge #34-Family is Priceless

You're probably wondering where scrapbook challenge #33 is, right? Well, I started to fall a bit behind with these weekly challenges as I have been soooo busy prepping for a holiday open house next month, and decided to skip #33 for the time being in order to stay current. I will do my best to get #33 done soon but can't guarantee it so enjoy this layout doubly! LOL

All products used are Close To My Heart:
9029 Cherish-Balanced Blocks design
X7100B Perfect Day paper pack
Z1126 Colonial White Organdy Ribbon
X1405 Fancy Cuts Botanicals
Z1219 Cocoa Brads
Z2114 Cocoa Ink
X5754 Creme Brulee cardstock
X5752 Juniper cardstock

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you all have a very HAPPY TURKEY DAY!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Close To My Heart Scrapbook Challenge #32-Autumn 2009

The latest layout for the Weekly Scrapbook Challenge. It's a bit late but better late than never, right? Hope you like it!

All supplies used are from Close To My Heart:

9029 Cherish how-to design book (Photo Shapes)
X7118B Twitterpated paper pack
D1371 Many Thanks stamp set
Z1230 Dimensional Elements-In Color-Organic
Z1127 Chocolate Ribbon Collection
Z1099 Twill Ribbon
Z280 Hemp
Z1206 Craft Buttons
Z1213 & Z1216 Brads
Z2111 Chocolate Ink
Z2153 Sweet Leaf Ink

Thanks for stopping by today! Make it a good one!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

CTMH-A Few Simple Christmas Cards

Here's a few cards I made recently as I prepare items for an upcoming Holiday Open House that I am participating in again this year. The date is set for December 13th so if you would like to join us either as a crafter or a shopper, please give me a shout and I'll get the details to you.

I seem to have hit a very creative mode the past couple days so I am taking advantage of it and loving it! Hope you enjoy the cards!

Thanks for stopping by today! Make it a good one!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Another Beautiful Close To My Heart Twitterpated Scrapbook Layout-Brothers & Sisters

I LOVE how this layout turned out, don't you? This is my version of the layout featured on page 69 in the new Close To My Heart Autumn/Winter Idea Book. I fell in love with this layout design right away but was only able to finish the layout after finding just the right photos for it. The journaling isn't done yet but will be soon. I used two of the Twitterpated papers and one paper from the Emporium paper pack. I also used many different embellishments, too numerous to mention so if there's anything you see that you really like, just ask me about it.

While visiting with my family in Upstate NY last month, we found ourselves with no children or grandchildren around. Wow! No children to bug or bother us? How could that happen? No matter, we had a blast and didn't even miss the kids! was the first time we had all been together in a very long time without kids. We enjoyed it so much and laughed so hard that our stomachs hurt. We didn't care though because I think we all needed that release from the day to day worries. This is one day we will not forget! FYI-I am the one in the gray sweats!

We also took photos of our mom and dad and a couple group shots of all of us. As soon as those photos have been scrapped, I will post them.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great day!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Close To My Heart Scrapbook Challenge #31-Christmas Memories

Here is the latest layout for the Weekly Scrapbook Challenge I participate in. I had lots of fun with this one! It uses the new Jingle paper pack from Close To My Heart along with the Snow Flurries stamp set. I also added some sparkle with the new Twinkle Brads that come in Tulip, Twilight, Olive and Hollyhock colors. The title and snowflake die cuts were made with my Cricut machine. The design is from CTMH's Cherish how-to book called Pleasing Paradigm. I hope you enjoy the layout!

Here is the supply list in case you would like to duplicate this layout:
X7115B Jingle paper pack
D1384 Snow Flurries
Z1220 Twinkle Brads
9029 Cherish how-to design book

Thanks for stopping by today!

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Close To My Heart Scrapbook Challenge #30-Life's Little Moments

Here's the latest layout I created for the Weekly Scrapbook Challenge. I am a bit late posting this and I apologize. This layout was created with an older paper pack called "Key To My Heart" that was a special promotion kit quite some time ago and is no longer available. I still had some of the paper left and wanted to use it up. I used the Safe & Secure design from the 'Imagine' how-to book from Close To My Heart. Other products used are the stamp set that came with the kit, Colonial White softset eyelets, Sorbet ribbon and Spring Blossom brads. Hope you enjoy the layout!

Thanks for stopping by today! Hope you make it a good one!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Close To My Heart's Stampaganza!

November is going to be your favorite month of 2009. Stampaganza time is nearly here. The official details from Close to My Heart are as follows:

Stampaganza 2009

Stamp lovers rejoice! We are making it easy to build your stamp collection and your business! Cardmakers and scrapbookers alike will love this opportunity to earn free stamps during our November campaign.

From November 3–30, 2009, customers and Consultants who purchase any two stamp sets (sizes A, B, C, D, and/or E only) at full retail price will receive a third stamp set of their choice FREE (of equal or lesser value for your entire order)—a savings of up to $22.95!

The campaign runs November 3–30, 2009, for customers and Consultants.

Shipping/handling apply. Stamp sets available for FREE include: A, B, C, and D-size sets only. E-size, customizable (K), Stamp of the Month, and Art & Soul® sets are not available as the free set. Stamp sets that count toward the qualifying purchase include full-priced A, B, C, D, and E-size sets only. Stamps that do not qualify toward a qualifying purchase include Stamp of the Month, Art & Soul, Workshops on the Go™, and customized (K) stamps.

I am really excited about this! Stampaganza is my favorite special and doesn't usually come around this time of year. But what perfect timing for the holidays! This is a great chance for you to help your family make gift buying for you so easy this Christmas! Share your Close to My Heart wish list with them and take advantage of this awesome special. Then have them contact me to place an order and their shopping is done!

Now, grab your Idea Book and get that list started!

Thanks for stopping by today! Make it a great one!

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Close To My Heart Fall Cards

Speaking of are a few cards I made recently but totally forgot to post! How silly of me to forget to show you all these beautiful cards that may just inspire you to create some of your own. Thanks for looking!

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