Friday, March 30, 2012

New Sketch & Layout at S: CY!

This AM, we published a brand new free sketch at Sketches: Creatively Yours! 
Here you go... 
S: CY Sketch #10-12
created by Yours Truly
And, here is my interpretation. All inbk, cardstock, patterned papers and supplies are from CTMH except the fleur-de-lis, the brads and the photo-turns. 
"Making Plans"
You and Grace worked hard, both in your lessons and the training Alissa taught you to carry through with your horse.  In July 2011, you knew it was time to look toward the future and start planning for a different home for Grace.  In February 2012, a new family inquired about her. As things developed, we knew it was the right time, the right place and most importantly, the right people.  In March, Grace went to live with the XYZ family on Prince Edward Island… the perfect place for a gorgeous mare!
Photos~  Danique Rowsell
Century Classic Photography
March 2011

Thanks for your visit everyone! So happy you popped by! Be sure to herad on over to the  S: CY blog to view the beautiful creations of the Design Team! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

New Layout Sketch at S: CY

As always, on Fridays, we share a new free Sketch over at Sketches: Creatively Yours. This week, it's a layout Sketch that I drew just for you!

...and here is my layout. This is some of my family who live in the USA. :) 
My Auntie Carolyn & Uncle Richard
and their grandkids (my cousin Sue's kiddos)
 from the USA
Hope you enjoy! Be sure to pop over to S: CY and see what the rest of the Design Team have created! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My new CTMH site address!!!

Hi everyone! 
Just wanted to let you know that my Close toMy Heart address has changed. It is now:
You can shop there, browse there, and read about LOTS of new things going on at CTMH right through that link.
Yep... It's my "store" and you are welcome anytime, anyday, 24/7. 
I am always here to help and serve you. You can email me at  or PM me on Facebook (link on your right in side-column)  or just  leave me a message in the comments section below. I will receive it and reply to you. 
 Thanks everyone! :) Have a wonderful day! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

A new Sketch at S: CY!

This AM a new card sketch was featured over at the Sketches: Creatively Yours blog. It was created by my close friend Ann Seleshanko... Here it is! 

S: CY Card Sketch #312 by
 Ann Seleshanko
"Dream" card created for S: CY
using Sketch #312

Be sure to pop over to S: Cy and see what beautiful things the rest of theCard Design Team has created! 
HINT: There are LOTS of butterflies this week! LOL 

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Hi Everyone...
I have been experimenting with new card ideas for some of my orders and am 100% thrilled with the "look" of these. The photos used for these cards were  99.5% (except the tree photo) taken in our own garden. Yes, they are each unique. Since none of my cards are ever identical, flower pictures seem like the perfect touch.. :) 
Hope you like these!! Would love to hear what you think. 

 Trio of greeting cards
The flowers above are, in order from (l) to (r): giant blue (purple) iris, rhododendron, and more giant blue iris.
"Thinking of You" card trio
The flowers shown above are: pink astilbe, daisy, and day lilies.
"Smile" card trio
The flowers shown here are rhododendron, blush daffodil, and a red maple tree.
The red maple pictured is totally red in colour (not sure why there is some orange in the photo... an exposure issue I suspect) and the photo was taken at the Oaklawn Farm Zoo in Aylesford, NS.
"Dream" card trio
These are giant blue (purple) iris, and rhododendron. 
Thanks for popping in! See you soon!! 

LOAD Layouts: Days 11-20

Here are the rest of the layouts I completed in February for Lain Ehmann's "Layout A Day" (LOAD) Challenge. Thanks for looking and reading! I had such a blast with these! 
"Trailer Horse"  LOAD Day 11
Journaling reads: 
You and Grace are awaiting your turn to go to the cross country field, having already completed the dressage and jumping events. You were both happy and relaxed. Your horse even “smiled” for the camera!
XYZ Farm
(**town**) NS
Schooling Show
June 2011
I fussy-cut the floral spray on the lower left. CTMH micro tip scissors made that easy as pie! LOL 
I coloured the clear gems with my Copic Markers so they'd match the floral flourish! Used colours Y26 and E55.
Horse punch: Regal Gifts

"Showing 'off the trailer'" LOAD Day 12
XYZ Farm Schooling Show
When you and your friends went to the XYZ Farm Schooling Show in June 2011, you were showing “off the trailer”. That means you all used your coach Alissa’s trailer as a kind of home base during the show’s events. Your horses, tack, supplies, feed and schedules were all there at the ready. It was very neat for me and Daddy to see you and Grace doing such a variety of work together this day, and how things went when a rider and and her horse use a trailer as a home base.
June 2011 

"Daddy is a hero" LOAD Day 13
Daddy is a hero.
No doubt about it.
He built this play set for you two, Daniel and Noah, from a kit we ordered & bought at Kent Building supplies in New Minas, NS. It came from the store in Moncton, NB on a truck before we went to pick it up and bring it home. 
The nine, 8 ft long 4x4’s came from a local building store and were the only thing we had to buy separately. They were secured together with metal brackets from the kit and Daddy mentioned several times how amazing they were in action. They were simple to use and really made the structure sturdy and safe for you to climb, swing and slide on. 
This playset had a total of 10 activities for you guys to enjoy… all in one large structure. This included a little cabana with a canopy roof on top for you to lounge in! 
Building it was a huge job, and as you can see, Daniel, I have the evidence that you were really into supervising and helping where you could. Mom even helped a teensy bit (as best her legs would allow) at the beginning with the 4x4’s and brackets, but your Daddy did the bulk of the work.
Yep— he sure is a hero! 
Photos ~ June 2011
Journaling by Mom ~ Feb 2012

"The Creekside Playset" LOAD Day 14
Noah and Daniel, here is your beautiful play set- both a line drawing found in the plans and two photos of it all put together. Mom helped a wee little bit but Dad did most of it himself. It was a huge job but it sure looked gorgeous when it was all done! The fact of the matter is that Noah really needed this because most of it could be used all year ‘round to help meet some of his very high sensory needs. The swinging, sliding and climbing would help use up some of his extra energy and the shaded sandbox would be awesome in summertime. Daniel enjoyed all the fun, too! Both boys just plain LOVED this!
Pics July 2011
Journaling ~ Feb 2012

"Best Backyard" LOAD Day 15
We always say we have the best backyard for our little guys… lots of trees and it’s all fenced, too! We have a 21” deep pool with built-in sunshade, and a 12’ trampoline for them. This summer, to help meet some of Noah’s sensory needs, we built a multi-functional climber/sandbox/slide/swing play set.  Everything combines to make a fun and functional backyard!
PS~ When we get the yearning for a campfire, we set up the chiminea, get some kindling, and light it up! 
June & July 2011

"Swing!" LOAD  Day 16
Dad hadn’t yet finished putting together the new playset in the backyard, but Noah and
Daniel were already enjoying the swings! See the level on the swing’s top beam?
Daddy was still working on it!
Hmmm… come to think of it, I see that another “someone” was enjoying a swing, too! *wink*
Photos~ Late June 2011
Journaling by Mom~ February 2012

 "Trot, Bend, Ride, Go" LOAD Day 17
Kate and her mare Grace at a riding lesson: Working on the flat at the trot,
bending Grace’s head to the inside. Ultimately, attaining better flexion! 
Kate and Grace, Summer 2011
With coach A***** C****
XYZ Stables
June 2011

"Lesson" LOAD Day 18
This LO matches the one just above. 
 "The wind of Heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears." 
~ Arabian Proverb
Quote block came from a RAK. TY! 
"Looking Forward, Looking Back" LOAD Day 19
Noah was born in April, but we planned a celebration in June this year so “partygoers” could use the new backyard playset Daddy had built!
For Noah’s 9th Birthday Party, we invited a family who had 2 kiddos close to Noah’s age to come and play. We had a picnic & the kids enjoyed time outside on the playset, in the kiddie pool and on the trampoline before cake and ice cream time indoors. Noah CLEARLY enjoyed his cake! Actually, he enjoyed the whole party.
Noah has really expanded his understanding of these yearly celebrations. Another small victory… we see it more clearly each time his birthday rolls around!
And, of course, we celebrate that small victory in addition to the incredible gift that Noah has been to our family. Love you, buddy!
Photos: June 2011
Journaling: February 2012
Font: Pegasus (free)
"Little Guy" Transparency: Fancy Pants Designs 
Rub-ons: Daisy d's
Brads: Bazzill
"IWK Dental Visit" LOAD Day 20 
Noah, I got some great photos of you, Daddy and Argo climbing the stairs and navigating the hallways on the way to your yearly dental check up at the IWK Children’s Hospital in Halifax. This was one of the most major outings we had with Argo along and everyone did great! Argo was well-received at the dental office and you were a champ, too, even though this was a fairly new experience for you. Bravo you guys!! SO PROUD OF YOU!
Photos~ June 2011
Journaling~ February 2012
Buttons: all from my stash
Cardstock: Twilight- CTMH
Patterned papers: grid pattern- Luxe Designs Polo Shirt Collection
                                small dots- Luxe Designs Polo Shirt Collection
                                burgundy geometric- Graphic 45 
Ink: Twilight- CTMH
Round ivory lettering: "IWK" AMM: Time-saver Alpha Rounds (2003)
Small lettering: Cosmo Cricket's "Tiny Type "

"Kate Lillian: Class of 2012" LOAD Day 21
“The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit and fire.” ~ Sharon Ralls Lemon
Kate, your riding has brought you so much, and in concert with your education, what a combination has resulted! Your grace under pressure and work ethic are part of that. Your Dad and I wish you the ability to see the true beauty in everything you encounter, the spirit to overcome challenges that need to be leapt over, and the fire to fight for what’s important to you and what you believe in. Congratulations on your high school graduation, we are so proud of you! 
Love, Mom and Dad                                              
Kate Lillian, Class of 2012
Kate and her mare, Grace~ March 2011
Journaling by Mom~ January 2012
Patterned paper: Karen Foster Designs 2007
Chipboard Butterfly: Scenic Route
Chipboard Key: Bazzill
Ink on key: Grey Flannel- CTMH
Pearls: all Close to My Heart (CTMH)
Grey Cardstock: unkn scraps
Stickles: Silver
"Dressage" LOAD Day 22
Dressage is part of “eventing” which includes three portions: dressage, jumping and cross country. Grace had never competed in dressage before today. Since this was a schooling show, it was a great opportunity to try it out!  On this day, the dressage took place in an indoor arena, and she was eager to get back outside. Grace was not too keen on dressage… she was more excited to move on to jumping and cross country. Cross country was always her favourite!
XYZ Farm
(**town**) NS
Schooling Show
June 2011
Journaling font: Pegasus (free)
Cardstock: pink- Bazzill- "Foxy"
                   Bamboo- CTMH 
Ink: Desert sand- CTMH
Pink enameled metal heart brad says "I love horses": TY to friend Heather R. 
Patterned papers:  Basic Grey's Lemonade Collection (mini floral) 
                                My Mind's Eye Out and About Collection (lg dots)
                                Crate Paper's Pink Plum Collection (sml tone-on-tone print)
Lettering: Daisy d's
Striped grosgrain: Savvy 'n Sassy Store
Horse square medallion & quote (pink) unkn- TY to a RAK friend!
"Iris eye-candy" LOAD Day 23

These irises all grow in our front and side gardens here on B***** Drive. They are so showy and beautiful every spring! We’re so lucky to have this gorgeous sight!
The huge dark purple and bright yellow flowers grew from bulbs that were here when we moved into the house in June 2001.
The smaller, light coloured irises with paler purple bases were originally from Grandma Lillian’s garden in Moncton, NB. They were given to us by Pete’s parents, and came from their garden in Riverview, NB. So pretty!
***(our town)*** NS
June 2011
Journaling font: Beach Condensed (free)
Cardstock- Gypsy: CTMH
Patterned papers: BasicGrey's "Two Scoops" Collection
Lettering- yellow cursive: Pink Paislee
                 beige blocks: Cosmo Cricket's "Tiny Type"

"Good Boy: Love you Argo" LOAD Day 24
Argo: Cherished  Autism Assistance Dog Guide at play
Relaxing between sessions of chasing the tennis ball
Summer 2011
Cardstock- Twilight: CTMH
Ink- Twilight: CTMH
Buttons: All from my stash

"Will- 17 months" LOAD Day 25
Will 17 months already
You are so cute and growing up so fast little man!
June 2011

"Our Valley Batch" LOAD Day 26
Pete and I always laughingly call Daniel and Noah the “Valley batch.”  That’s because we had 2 kids born out west, and 2 in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. We call our two eldest children, Kate and Bryan, the “Alberta batch.” Having two “batches” of kiddos means you can say fun things like that. We always like to make people laugh and this always gets a big grin and a giggle. Despite the 5 year age spread between “batches,” we love each bunch of kids the same. We know that would do it this way again in a heartbeat!
Photo November 2011
Daniel (11) and Noah (9)
Photo credit: Tammy Pyette Photography
Journaling font: Candara (free)
Patterned papers: Close To My Heart's Zippidee Collection and Elemental Collection
Ink- Desert Sand: CTMH
Lettering: BasicGrey
Cardstock- Antique White: CTMH

"Ma Belle Fille" LOAD Day 27
Kate I love this photo of you!
You took them with your camera.
Grade 11- French Immersion Program… age 17
June 2011
Font: Verdana
Cardstock; dk- Moonstruck: CTMH
Cardstock; light- Lagoon: CTMH
Patterned paper- Magnifique Collection: CTMH
Ink- Pacifica: CTMH

"Smile" LOAD Day 28
Kate here is another sweet photo of you. 
I love it, you took it yourself. 
Almost through Grade 11
June 2011 
Cardstock- Gypsy: CTMH
Patterned paper- (Floral) Miracle Collection: CTMH
                           - (Dots) Hooligans Collection: CTMH
Lettering: Daisy d's
Corner shaper: CM

"Checking the Schedule" LOAD Day 29 

Checking the schedule
Kate had to keep a close eye on the schedule since she and Grace were competing in dressage, jumping AND cross country at Hobby Horse Farm’s schooling show in Coldbrook, NS. Here she is getting the day’s “Schedule of events” sheet out of the pocket in the horse trailer in order to double check the time they would need to head to the cross country field.
XYZ Farm
(**town**) NS
June 2011
Cardstock- Chocolate: CTMH
                    Bamboo: CTMH
                    Blue: Bazill 
Patterned papers- brown damask: Daisy d's
                               blue: Echo Park "Times and Seasons" Collection
Ink- Chocolate: CTMH
Ricrac- Savvy 'n Sassy Store
Eyelet trim- Atlantic Fabrics
"Going Riding" sticker: Unkn (possibly 'Time for Crafts' brand)

Have a wonderful March break with your kiddos, for those who are celebrating one this week!! We are enjoying the time at home, Pete is studying part of the time while we're all here. We have gone for drives, to the barn to see the horses and just generally relaxed thus far! We made Choco chip cookies yesterday and also a new 5- layered dip recipe to eat while we watched the Two Towers (from LOTR). Bryan's girlfriend was over to meet us so that was fun! She is a sweetie! 
Thanks to everyone, for popping by! Hope you enjoyed these LOs as much as I enjoyed creating them.


Friday, March 9, 2012

New Sketch and layouts !!

 Over at Sketches: Creatively Yours, we have a brand new Sketch posted. It's for a layout! I created it with the idea it could be used for 1 or more pics. Here is #8-12, LOVE to share! Hope you like it. Please feel free to pop on over to the Blog and say hi...All Welcome.
HERE is the link to the new Sketch and our Design Team's gorgeous creations!   
Sketch #8-12 created by
S: CY Team Leader Ali 
And here is my creation! 

"This boy sayz"... layout #9 in 2012
Here is the journaling: 
This boy sayz...“I am a cat person!!”
Daniel had always loved cats.
He came by it honestly, as part of a family that loved and enjoyed felines for as far back as he could remember. When he told us that he considered himself a “cat person,” we were not the least but surprised. We thought it was soooo
darned cute!

Journaling by Mom~ Jan 2012
The fonts are 
Title- Scrap Round (Scrap Round is a free font.) 
Journaling- Verdana 
I used up some BasicGrey papers and a beautiful chipboard arrow and a set of big corrugated brackets from Close to My Heart (CTMH). They are all  available in my CTMH Store.  Please feel free to pop in there as well, anytime day or night- I'm always open and it is a secure and safe place to shop. The clients who've used it gave it rave reviews. it's where *I* shop as well! 
 Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Excellent article for parents/families...

Most of you who know me know that I have MS and a little boy with special needs---  we have a family of 4 wonderful kids and life is very busy. I am blessed with a super-extraordinary guy who helps me more than any husband I know helps out his family!
 Organizing is my forte though, and keeping us on a path that gets us through with minimal stress is my job in this family. I have a few tricks of the trade that help keep us organized and on a good road, decreasing stress and "chaos" that can arise from little things that can "add up."
This AM, I was reading online and came across an article that exemplifies many of these tricks and explains the ideas so well that I just HAD to share it with you today. Please read, take what you can use, and enjoy feeling less stressed no matter what your life situation.

 HERE is the article.

What do you already do?

What can you improve?

What do you find most challenging?

((HUGZ)) for the day ahead!