Sunday, November 29, 2009

Studio J - I am addicted.

I've been up all night creating.  I am addicted to Studio J and falling in love with scrapbooking all over again. 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tis the Season- I'm making time for Studio J

Gobble, Gobble.. Ho, Ho, Ho... I am not sure how to start the post.  It is still November but the Christmas season has begun.  I didn't wake up and brave Black Friday at 3:30 a.m. which is my usual routine, but we did go out and go shopping.  Kent's family is here for Thanksgiving and for those of you who know Fran, this won't surprise you.  We left the house yestreday at 10:30 a.m.   We got home last night at 11:00 p.m.  12 1/2 hours of shopping...Yes, the season has begun!

I have been busy, busy, busy and have not had time to blog, scrapbook, facebook or anything.  I'm barely keeping my crops alive- (Facebook- Farmville... I'm addicted).  But, we did have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Our entire family was here.  Yes, I cooked, and Yes, I took photos.

Experiencing  scrapbooking withdrawls, I woke up at 4 a.m. and played with Studio J.  Studio J is our new scrapbooking online program.  It is not available for customers at this time but it is coming soon.  As a perk for attending Leadership 2009, I am able to create fabulous layouts.  And guess what... it is so easy, so fun, and so addicting.

I thought I would share with you a layout that I created this morning.  It kinda gives me a check in all my boxes...

Thanksgiving- Check
Photo Sharing- Check
Scrapbooking- Check
Creating - Check
Networking- Check
Blogging- Check

And the best thing about it... I am caught up with my holiday scrapbooking for the season.  As the easy button says... THAT WAS EASY!

I hope you enjoy my layout.  I can't wait for Studio J to go live and to share it with all of you.  You guys are gonna love it.  It is like no other digital scrapbooking that  I have ever seen!

Holiday Hugs,


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fontainbleau- France

Everyone has been asking me to post more photos of my trip.  I took over 5000 photos so it is a little overwhelming.  I have decided to break up the slide shows into events and post as I have time.  Here is our  first event... Fontainbleau!  I hope you enjoy it.  This chateau was beautiful!


My Pages BARK????

I woke up in the middle of the night (that is when I get my most creative ideas) and thought about the Voice Recorder and all the handy dandy things you can do with it.  I thought to myself... I MUST do a voice recorder of my dogs barking.  SO, guess what I did at 4:00 a.m. this morning.   After I decorated it and recorded it, I hung ribbon on it to make it into a Christmas Tree Ornament.  Guess what the grandparents are getting for Christmas????  It turned out so cute.  Love it, love it, love it.  Sure wish I could play it for you... I am just not that computer literate.

Have a jolly day...


More Voices Talk Artwork and Ideas

Let's Go Shopping- Marketbasket Pensacola

It's time for the Junior League's 23rd Marketbasket Extravaganza and Close To My Heart will be there.  Come check out my booth- I will have lots of samples, specials and a fun create and take!


• Thursday, Nov. 19: Girls’ Morning out with stroller-free shopping: 9 a.m. to noon. Regular shopping hours: Noon to 8 p.m.
• Friday, Nov. 20: Regular shopping hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Saturday, Nov. 21: Regular shopping hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Admission: Advance tickets are $35 for the Preview Gala and may be purchased through any Junior League member, at the Junior League office, through Ticketmaster or at the Civic Center Box Office. The cost for daily shopping is $5 per ticket.
• Details: For more information about Marketbasket 2009, go to or call 433-4421.

Bring an unwrapped gift  which will be given to foster care families for the holidays! 

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Pages Talk Voice Recorder

Yesterday I was looking at my layout that I am teaching at Scrapbook Club in December.  As I looked at the photos, I thought to myself, wouldn't it be neat to have French Music playing as I looked at this page.  Then I remembered the My Pages Talk Voice Recorder that I brought to France with me.  I had an Ah-Ha moment.

The My Voices Talk Voice recorder is a small recorder, that allows you to record 30 seconds of sound.  (Think children's voices, children singing, Elders telling a quick story, your dogs barking, Music or sounds of an event, a baby's heartbeat at a sonogram, etc.)  I brought my recorder to France and taped some music playing on the street.

Yesterday, I covered that voice recorder in coordinating Background and Texture paper.  I decorated the front of it and adhered it to my page.  Now, when I view that page, with a press of a button, I can hear music and the streets of France.  Love it, Love it, Love it!

Close Up Photo of decorated My Pages Talk Voice Recorder.  The play button has a small pearl on it.  FUN! 


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mr and Mrs. Suggs

My cousin Brianna Jeselnik is getting married today and I am going to the wedding.  WOOHOOO... I just love weddings.  I wanted to share a card that I made for her today.  Her wedding colors are Eggplant, Red and Champagne, so I used those colors to design the card.  I hope she will like it. 

This card was inspired by Tiffany, a fellow CTMH consultant.  A while back she used the Family Ties Stamp set to make a wedding card.  I thought it was so cute, the idea stuck with me.  That stamp set is so versatile and I think it looks darling as a wedding card.  Thanks Tiffany for the inspiration!

Off to the chapel...


Impressed Myself- I made Creme Brulee!

As most of you know I went to France last week.  While in Paris, I took a cooking class.  I LOVED IT. I took the Pastry and Desert class.  I FINALLY learned to make creme brulee!  That is my all time favorite desert.

Making Creme Brulee in class and making it at home are two differnt things.  However, I was DETERMINED.  Upon returning home from France, my first stop was at Williams Sonoma to buy a kitchen tourch.

Yesterday, I did it.  I took the plunge.  I made creme brulee (6 servings might I add) and it was DELICOUS!   I impressed myself!

Let me share the recipe with you! 

Creme Brulee

1 Vanilla Pod
2 Cups Heavy Cream
6 Egg Yolks
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Sugar for topping

1  Using a convection oven, preheat to 220.
2.  Add cream to pan, squeeze out the vanilla grains and bring to a boil.
3.  Beat the egg yolks with sugar.

4.  Pour slowly the boiling cream over the egg and sugar mixture while stirring consistantly.  Do not overbeat as you want to avoid creating to many bubbles.
5.  Divide the mixture into 6 ramekins.  Put it in a deep tray or baking dish.  Fill it 3/4 full of water.  (this is called a bain-marine or water bath.)  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the desert is set around the edges, but still loose in the middle.

6.  Remove from oven and leave in water bath until cooled to room temperature.  Remove ramekins from water bath, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.

7.  When ready to serve, uncover ramekins.  If condesation has collected on the custards, place paper towel on surface and soak up mixture.  Sprinkle approximately 1 tablespoon of sugar over each creme brulee.

8.  For best results, use a hand held torch.  Hold the torch 4 to 5 inches from the sugar maintaing a slow and evenmotion.  Stop torching just before the desired degree of doneness is reached as the sugar will continue to cook for a few seconds after the flame has been removed.   BON APPETITE!

Friends Blog Award

This is such an adorable award, and I received it form my friend, Brenda.   I was so surprised to get this award and so thankful.   Take a minute to visit her because you will definitely be glad you did- she is an awesome artist!

This is what the award is all about:

This award is given to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These bloggers are not interested in interested in increasing their own status, but rather aim to find friends and be friends. The hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are born!

Now it's my turn to pass this award on to five of my blogging friends. It is a great joy to do so:

  • Jennifer (She blogs about her family and her CTMH business.  She is such a fun gal)
  • Shannon (Oh my goodness! Talk about a sense of humor- such a girly girl.  Shanoon also shares amazing artwork.)
  • Barb (My friend with the HUGE heart.  Barb is always thinking of others and she is also a ver talented artist!)
  • Cathy (My fabulous Flamingo Florida Friend- and also my friend that got me blogging!)
  • Melanie (My cute Texas friend and downline.  She has some cute cute artwork.)
Be sure to visit these gals. I know you will want to follow them to keep up with the charm, fun posts, and their amazing artwork!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Close To My Heart Team Holiday Party- Cookie Exchange

I am home from Paris, and yes, I know that I am behind on posting photos from the trip. I need to get the photos uploaded from my camera's to my computer. I promise I will do a slide show soon but the next week promises to be busy, busy, busy. I have an out of town wedding tomorrow and I will be working the Marketbasket in Pensacola next week. Some time in between I will get the slide show put together. I promise!

I am very excited that I scheduled my local team's annual Cookie Exchange. The date will be December 10th and the party will take place at my house. It is open to all of my team members. We will be exchanging cookies and recipes and making an album of our recipes.

I am very excited about the way our recipe book turned out. I used our new All-sorts album to make it. I think it screams C-U-T-E! I hope my blogging friends like it.

It feels so great to be creating again. 10 days without stamping or scrapbooking is way too long.

Happy Friday the 13th-


Check out last year's team holiday party!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Scrap, Stamp and Chat Club- Sweet Home, Jingle or Both

This month, you get to choose your kit in Scrap Stamp and Chat club.  Your choices are either Sweet Home or Jingle!  Like them both?  Want the both?  Then order BOTH!

I am posting photos of the FEATURED card and scrapbook page layouts. ( I do not have photos of the alternate cards or layout ready) Both kits are awesome- so I know it will be a hard decision.

If you are not in my club but would like either kit, please email me and I will send you details.

Happy deciding,


Friday, November 6, 2009

Lorie Valley, France

I am a few days behind on blog posting.  We left Paris a couple of days ago to tour the Lorie Valley.  The Loire Valley is famous for it's French countryside;  It is Fall in France and the colors of the leaves are breathtaking.  In Florida, we don't have much of a fall, so I am very excited to see all the beautiful autumn colors.  Snap, snap, snap is the sound that you hear coming from my camera!  I can't seem to take enough photos.  

The Loire Valley has everything I could ever want.  Everywhere you look is a castle, a chateau, or a chocolate shop- all the things that make me happy.  I am trying to convenience Kent to move here, but I don't think that will happen.

We are staying at Chateau de Reginac.  The Chateu was built in the 15th century, and was fully renovated and restored in 2002.  The rooms are breathtaking and immaculate. And to even add more charm to this place iare the Chateau dogs. The owner has two beautiful, friendly beagles that I had the pleasure of meeting this morning.  It made me homesick for Dixie and Daisy.

I am going to post a few photos from the chateau.  If you have a minute, you should check out the Chateau de Reginac's webpage as my photos do not do this place justice!

The Chateu' De Reginac

The back of the chateau.  Our room is in the right tower!

The Chateau' Kitty!  Even the French Feline's appreciate fine furnishings!  Actually, I don't think she is supposed to be in the chateau, but she crept in when the door was open and made herself at home!  She loves the guests!

I am off to bed.  I have a busy day tomorrow.   We are touring chateaus all day tomorrow.   When I get home, I will post more photos of the Loire Valley.  I plan to do a slide show but am having difficulties with photobucket while traveling.

Au revoir,


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 5- Paris and Pastries

Today was a rainy day in Paris!  But we still love Paris- Rain or shine! We got up early and went to downtown Paris. Our first stop- Notre Dame Cathedral.  After seeing the Cathedral, we took the subway to the Montmartre District.  We visited Sacre- Coeur Cathedral.  Then we did a little shopping, had a lovely lunch in a French Cafe and then it was time to head to cooking class.

Carole and I took a French Cooking Class.  It was featuring French Pastries.   WHAT FUN!  We had the best instructor- Rachel.  We made Creme Brulee, Tartelettes, Chocolate Souffles, Madeleines, and Clafoutis.  Everything was delicious.  I can't \wait to go back home and impress my friends with my new recipes!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Reims, France- Day 4

I am going to start out with some good news.  Yesterday, I broke my point and shoot camera.  Well, I took my broken camera with the bent lens and pounded it on the table.  (I figured it was already broken- so what do I have to lose.)  Kent came along and pushed on it and guess what.- IT FIXED IT!  Oh happy day!

Once the camera was fixed,  we drove to Reims., France.  Reims is a lovely town, filled with French Style.  It is best known for its cathedral and as a centre for champagne production. We started our day with a visit to the Reims Cathedrial!  WOW... is all I can say.  It is a beautiful church.

After the tour of the church, , we visited one of the traditional champagne producers - Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. Philippe Clicquot founded the company in 1772. A lady whose surname was Ponsardin married Philippe's son and gave birth to a daughter, but he died soon afterwards (the meaning of the French word "veuve" is "widow"). She put all of her energy into champagne production and marketing. After winning some large orders she invested in the business by buying more land and planting new vineyards, and also played an important role in improving the production process. She died in 1866. The company has been owned by LVMH (the luxury brand company which also owns Louis Vuitton) in 1987.

I loved Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin's story.  She was truly a pioneer to women in the workforce.  I found her story so inspiring.  In addition to that, the champagne was exquisite!  I highly recommend this tour if you ever visit this area of France!

After our champagne tour, we drove to Epernay, France and saw  The Avenue De Champagne.  It is an avenue lined with mansions from owners of champagne companies!  The homes are lovely and I would LOVE to own one!   Totally my style- I so love French County!

We had dinner at an Italian Restaurant.  Pizza for me.  I know- not very French/  I was too tired to try to translate a French menu.  Maybe tomorrow???

The drive home through the French Countryside was enchanting.  Another perfect day in France!  Am loving this vacation!

Mishap of the day-  I lost a glove for the second time on this trip.  However, I found it after a half hour of searching! Yippee Skippee...gotta keep those hands warm!

Stampaganza Starts TODAY! I am so excited!

Stamp lovers rejoice! Whether you're a long- time fan of stamps or are just venturing into this fun hobby, now is the perfect time to grab some My Acrylix decorative stamp sets.  From November 3-30, 2009, when you make a purchase of any two stamps sets (sizes a, b, c, d or E) at full retail price, you will receive a third stamp set of your choice for FREE!(equal or lesser value- a savings up to $22.95).  Choose from any stamp set offered in any of the 2009 Idea Books or current product review!

Take advantage of this month's great offer and add to your assortment of these innovate stamps! 

Monday, November 2, 2009

Around The Block aka Handmade Cookie Exchange Invites

I LOVE the November Stamp Of The Month!  It has so much versaility and it just makes me SMILE!  I designed this card for my annual cookie exchange invite.  I love the way it turned out.  I did a lot of paper peircing on this project.  Here is my recipe:

Background Paper- Jingle and Jingle Creative Basics
The house foundation was stamped on Background and Texture Paper from the kit Bella.
The windows and door were stamped directly on the Bella Background and Texture Paper AND white cardstock.
The windows and door were colored with markers- blush and hollyhock.
Roof- Stamped on Jingle Background and Texture Paper
The palm tree is from the stamp set Tropical Christmas.
The leaves on the palm tree were colored with Juniper Marker and the trunk is paper pierced.
The ornaments are Glitter Brads.
Cookie Exchange-  Rub On's- Love Letters.

This stamp is a must have.  It is one of my all time favorites.  I hope you enjoyed my invites.


Yes, I am still in Paris.  I pre post3ed (is that a word?) before I left home!

Fountainbleu- Day 3

We got a late start today.  We slept in until around 10 a.m.  Once we got on the road, off to Fountainbleu!

The gardens and grounds are exquisite!  I have never seen such a beautiful, massive chateau!

Fountainblu is a huge  with 1900 rooms. Just about every inch of the place is adorned with ornate woodwork, marble, gold gilded carvings, tapestries, and paintings. Much of the furniture is original from the Renaissance period, though much of it had to be retrieved because the palace was sacked and looted during the Revolution and all the furniture stolen. 

We spent several hours exploring the grounds and the inside.  I think we walked until our feet ached and our stomachs growled!  We parked in the back of the chateau, behind the back gate. By the time we left the chateau and walked towards our car, we realized that we were locked in.  After about 30 minutes of walking in the rain, we found our way out!  

Our mishap of the day- I dropped and broke my new Cannon camera (the small one- not the Rebel).  It seems like something happens every day, but that is ok.  I am in France... what else could a girl ask for!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Belgium Chocolate, Belguim Waffles, Belgluim Beers... OH MY! Day 2

Day 2- We woke up at 4 a.m., got dressed, drove to the train station and jumped on a train to go to Belgium. First stop... Brugge.

Brugge, Belgium has to be one of my favorite places on earth.  It is so quaint and the people are lovely!  The town is filled with beauty and charm!

About 10 minutes into our trip,  I was in such awe of the city, that I wasn't paying attention to where I was walking. SPLAT... I fell off the curb and down I went.  I twisted my ankle.  But that didn't stop me, I waddled along the rest of the day!

The first stop we made was for Belgium Waffles and Hot Chocolate!  That will cure any injury AND Yes, I am officially eating my way through Europe.  After we got our tummies full, we headed to the canal for a boat ride.  The weather was perfect, a slight chill in the air and sunny skies.  The wind in our face felt so good!

We spent the rest of the afternoon, exploring Brugge.  We visited Chocolate shops, churches and museums.  There is so much to do and so much to see, that our afternoon just flew!  We stayed in Brugge until around 4:00 and then headed to Brussels.

Of course, we had worked up an appetite with all the walking so our first stop in Brussels. you guessed it... WAFFLES!

I have NEVER tasted waffles like you get in Belgium.  They are incredible and they melt in your mouth.  You see them everywhere, in restaurants, in train stations, on the street, and they call your name.  They are irresistible- definitely a red light food!

Next we headed to The Grand Place.  All I can say is SPECTACULAR!  Words just can't describe the beauty of this place.  I won't even try, I'll just post a photo!

We finished our day off with a Belgium Beer.  All I can say is Chocolate, Waffles and Beer... OH MY!