Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Do you have your calendar handy? How about a red pen? No? Well, I'll wait a minute while you grab one. Got them? I hope so because this is a RED LETTER DAY...as in Letter "J." Studio J that is!

I am here to announce (horns and trumpets please) the customer release date of Close To My Heart's AMAZING new online scrapbooking program, Studio J. The 2 layouts you see here (click on either to see them larger) were made by little old me during our consultant testing period. (I am NOT the greatest photographer but working on a homemade photo studio to make the photos of my art better--more to come on that later, so sorry about the glare, but I made my Studio J layouts INTERACTIVE--more to come on that later as well--there will always be more with me.....)  Trust me, you're going to LOVE this! Our tagline is: Real life. Real scrapbooks. Real time.

You are going to want to carefully read this whole post. It will be worth every juicy little tidbit!

What I LOVE other than FREE play time is that I can make ONE album online and purchase as many copies as I want, for instance, I can make one album of my grandparents and then buy or (ahem, sell copies to all of my cousins....  tee hee, LOVE YOU ALL! <3) or my siblings, etc.  Or make one album and gift copies as gifts (see I am hard pressed to make duplicate albums as gifts for a lot of people but make ONE and buy multiples, THAT even I CAN DO!!  Work smarter, not harder, that is ME to a TEE!!  The other thing is that for all those vacations (like the one here (my daughter marched in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland last year with her high school band and she took 300 photos a day)) that sit in my photo drawers because there are so many photos that I keep putting off scrapbooking, I can now sit down and scrapbook them online and get them done faster, simpler, and easier, and I WILL do it!!  It's another option for me to ADD to my traditional scrapbooking!  

To answer a few commonly asked questions:

Q: Well, get on with it Kim. When is the flipping (maybe you are more of a lady than me and didn't say "flipping") release date?
A: TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 2010. 8 AM MDT. Just go to my website (http://kimspapercrafts.myctmh.com) and there will be a tab added that day for Studio J. Click there and you can begin playing...for FREE! You pay NOTHING unless you order some layouts. Putting them together is TOTALLY FREE! I love free! In the meantime, if you haven't watched the Studio J introductory video yet, click here to do it!

Q: I LOVE traditional scrapbooking. Will Studio J take away from that?
A: Absolutely NOT! There is room for both in your life. I am living proof. I love them both for totally different reasons. I love the artistic feel of hands on paper and embellishments. I love the speed and ease and professional look of Studio J. Plus, you can always order Studio layouts and then add a few 'lumpy bumpies' of your own once they come if you have a serious need to do the tactile thing.

Q: I am not a traditional kind of scrapbooker. I have been scrapbooking digitally for years. Is Studio J something that I will like?
A: No doubt about it! I have looked at and tried several different digital offerings out there, and in my opinion, NOTHING can compete with Studio J in quality, concept, cost or beauty!

Q: So seriously, how much does it cost?
A: There is NO COST to use the program. You have no software or hardware to purchase or download. Unless you make a layout (defined as a two page 12 x 12 layout) and decide to purchase it, there is absolutely no cost. Once you decide to purchase, each 2 page layout is introductory priced at $12.95. That is WAY below the industry average! And, if you purchase 5-9 two-page layouts at a time, CTMH will throw in 5 free page protectors. 10 or more and you get FREE SHIPPING, as well as a package of 5 page protectors for every 5 layouts in the order. Cool beans! Once ordered, Close To My Heart prints your layouts on high quality photo paper (I wish you could see the quality of my photographed layouts above in person) and sends them to you. Mine arrived within days of when I ordered them.

Q: What if I make a layout and want to save it and purchase it with a group of layouts at a later date?
A: No worries, girlfriend! That is actually the smart way to do it anyway. CTMH will save your projects for 90 days. And, every time you make a purchase your 90 days start over. So, say you make several layouts and then purchase them on day 80. Your 9o day clock starts over. They are saved again. Totally awesome, dudette! On top of all of that, CTMH even emails you periodically to remind you where your project clock is.

Q: In a nutshell, how does this "Studio J" thing work?
A: In a nutshell, these are the steps to creating an amazing 2 page layout:
• upload some of your favorite photos
• choose from one of the 54 awesome kits (including most of your faves from our Idea Books plus some that are exclusive to Studio J).
• choose a layout pattern. There are MANY to choose from. They are like the patterns you'll find in our wonderful "how to" books like Cherish, Imagine, Reflections. The possibilities are endless because all the patterns you can choose from can be rotated 3 ways and flip flopped.
• now personalize! You get to drop your photos in, add text, choose cardstock and background and texture papers from the kit, add accessories (just about every accessory item you can imagine!), distressing, titling, MyStickease, and so much more.
• save and/or buy your layout(s).
Q: If I'm not the techiest of techies, or even techie at all, will I be able to do this?
A: YES! This program is great for techies and non-techies alike. The program is VERY intuitive. I only had to refer to the user's guide/help document one time while I was creating my layouts.

I am SOOOOOOOOOO FLIPPING EXCITED (there's that flipping word again. Sorry!) about this program. I know you are going to love it. So, take that red pen I made you run and get and mark Tuesday, April 27 at 8 am MDT on the calendar I made you run and get. You won't want to miss it!

If you have any questions, I am MORE than happy to answer them. Email me at kimspapercrafts@gmail.com. If you have lots of friends who love digital, you might even want to consider signing up to be a Close To My Heart Consultant with your own website so that you can make money (cha-ching) while you sleep when they fall in love with Studio J! You can do that right now while you are waiting for Tuesday. Just click here, then on "Your Opportunities" and then follow the prompts. You can become a Close To My Heart Consultant for as little as $99!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Got Lumps? Even if you don't--Get a Mammogram!!

I got my fourth biopsy results today and they are benign!! YIPPEE!! I hope EVERYONE gets a yearly mammogram! I KNOW they are inconvenient and cumbersome, but they can SAVE your life! I know a few wonderful ladies who are survivors and even though I haven't had breast cancer, I certainly have had the SCARE!! AND even though a few friends (and they know who they are) have watched me have biopsy after biopsy THEY STILL HAVEN'T HAD their first mammogram!!

I'll share by story so you can see how important getting a mammogram is. I have NEVER found or really felt a lump, but I've had one removed. I had my very first mammogram in 2002, late, of course, because who has one the very second they turn 35? I waited until I was 36 to even think about it and then my doctor gave me a referral and then I got around to it and in June when I was driving to a Close to my Heart convention and Ginger and Keri were in my car, I answered my cell phone (because everything important in my life can be connected to Close to My Heart in some way or another), and it was the doctors office calling to tell me there was some suspicious areas in my mammogram and that I needed to come back in..... Now this is NOT a good thing to hear on a cell phone when you are driving..... In 2002 things moved VERY slowly, it took approximately 8 months to get from that phone call through another mammogram to a visit with a surgeon who was perplexed because there was no lump to finding myself laying on a table with my left breast through a hole having a stereotactic biopsy (from underneath) which was much more taxing procedure (probably emotionally) than I anticipated having driven myself, wishing I had someone with me for moral support and to drive me home so if you get to do that, TAKE SOMEONE. I got my first metal "marker." The results were benign, I have calcifications, "sprinkles", no lumps in my left breast.

Meantime, I've had mammograms in between, sometimes on time, sometimes not really on time, but sort of once per year. In 2007 my insurance made me go to Desert Radiology. They called me and made me go back TWICE for compression tests (a worse mammogram---LOL!) The second technician was RUDE (my opinion of course) and said, "Have your breasts always been this small?" WTH? What was I supposed to say to that? Umm,.... "Well,t hey were smaller when I was born?" "When I get REALLY fat, they plump up a bit?" "My cousin always says when I loose weight he can tell because the first thing to go is my boobs?" "When I nursed all four babies, they got a tiny bit bigger when they were full of milk?" "Are technicians REALLY allowed to comment on breasts they are smashing?" When I had to go back for the SECOND compression test I told the technician about the remarks and she was appalled, maybe that's why they never called me back for most tests. LOL!!

In 2008, LifeSigns offered FREE mammograms for Teachers during November so I went there. By this time I am a bit more experienced with mammograms and expecting to perhaps get a call afterwards or have to get another test. It was such a nice experience, it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and they had bagels and pink creme cheese and strawberries and water and nice fluffy luxurious robes to wear. WOW!! What a difference from waiting forever in the waiting room at Desert Radiology and being humiliated by a technician. Then I got a call...... You need to go to West Valley Imaging and have an ultrasound, how fast can you get there? Now, this is QUITE a departure from my experience in 2002, they got me in for a different test DAILY, in fact, they would do a test, the technician at West Valley Imaging would take it to the doctor and come back and tell me, come back tomorrow and we are going to do...... I had compression tests, ultrasounds, miralumas, etc., ending in another biopsy. However this biopsy was done laying on my back under ultrasound and was not NEAR as traumatic (emotionally at least for me) as the first one, but I could feel the needle hitting the "lump" that I have this time even though I cannot feel it with my fingers, I could feel "it" resisting the needle. The results came back benign.

In 2009 LifeSigns offered FREE mammograms for Teachers again during November so remembering the great experience I had last November I went again....... I arrived for my appointment, everything had changed, no bagels, no creme cheese, darn, Kassidy had gone with me she wanted the treats, she was so sad. AND when the doctor saw my charts, REFUSED to do the mammogram. He was like, YOU NEED MORE HELP than I can give you here, you need diagnostic mammograms and I am not doing you. Basically I got KICKED out of a mammogram. (I am starting to get a complex about mammograms.....)

So I went back to West Valley Imaging. .... THIS time, they did ONE mammogram, came back immediately and said, the lump has grown, you need to see a surgeon and have it removed immediately and have it biopsied. She showed me where the lump was and now that I KNOW where it is, I can finally feel it. She said, "Go get a referral from your OB/GYN to see a surgeon and have it removed right away." So I got a referral from my OB/GYN, whom I loved to DEATH, and ended up going to see Dr. Josephine Spotts. Dr. Spotts looks like a character from a Lemony Snicket book (remember I teach Kindergarten and LOVE children's literature, so there you go), she is tall, thin, with dark spiky hair, I LOVE HER! She is no nonsense and looks over her specs at you. It's sort of an eiery feeling to be in her office because you KNOW that almost every woman in there has breast cancer except for the FEW frauds like me who are there to have a little old lumpectomy. I mean, really, put THAT into perspective for a minute. Once I met them they wanted to schedule surgery immediately (remember they deal with CANCER so most patients are in a hurry to get it out--I was FREAKED that they wanted to cut me in a few days....and I'm like, oh, I have too much to do, I have stamp camp, and report cards, and YIKES, can I schedule it in a month during spring break?, I was not the most cooperative patient.....) Dr. Spotts does her surgeries at Sunrise Hospital. That was quite an experience in and of itself. Nowadays when you preadmit they do an EKG and bloodwork, I went to do my paperwork and did not know that when I walked in the room they would tell me, "pull up your shirt" and go to town putting stuff on my chest, drawing blood, asking questions, etc. Normally when they want to work on you they say, "take off your shirt, etc., put on this drape," they close the door and give you privacy. NOT!! They left the door open, people were walking in and out, on this particular day I had worn a VERY cute bra (I have a penchant for very cute bras). This one is creme brulee' and kind of scrapbooky.... It has a floral design in tulip and sorbet with chocolate swirls and then other parts are tulip with creme brulee polka dots. People that were walking in and other asking questions, drawing blood and doing my EKG were commenting on my cute bra. HAD I been prepared for this it may have been more amusing as it is now but at the time I was mortified...... I mean, come on, people, where did the drapes go, did they give them up in the budget cuts or what???

Anyway, the end result is that my pathology results came back today BENIGN!! YEAH!! But the best thing is that I badger my friends to get their mammograms and I have had TWO friends (YEA Sue & Anj!) this week text me and report in that they have scheduled theirs so if you have scheduled yours! Please comment and let me know so I don't have to badger you! If you live in Vegas my doctor does NOT recommend LifeSigns or West Valley Imaging (she thinks West Valley Imaging is TOO aggressive with tests, she thinks they should've cut out my lump last year instead of running all the tests because she says 90% of the time they cut them out anyway (but then she's a surgeon and you known on Grey's Anatomy those surgeons just want to cut....), she recommends Desert Radiology (I don't, rude technicians) or Steinberg because they have digital mammograms). (That is assuming that you read to the very end of this very long.............. post!) <3 I

Monday, April 5, 2010

Caboodle Kit

Caboodle Kit of the Month
April 28, 6:30
preorder your kit by April 14

Photos are shown using materials in the BEST KIT!!*** Scroll down to see a slideshow of all four pages!

Basic Kit Buy Now

Item # Product Cost
G1004 Caboodle Basic Workshop Kit (includes):
Caboodle Level 2 Paper Packet ($12.95)
My Acrylix® This Way ($13.95)
Dimensional Elements Booksmart ($4.95)
Workshop Guide ($1.00) $29.95
Retail Value: $32.85
You Pay: $29.95

**Best Option = Basic Kit + Accessories Buy Now

Item # Product Cost
G1004 Caboodle Basic Workshop Kit $29.95
Z1271 Tiny Tabs $3.95
Z1125 Designer Ribbon Rounds™ Sweet Leaf Collection $7.95
You Pay: $41.85

Required Tools (These tools will be provided for you when you attend a workshop at my home but you may want to add them to your order so that you can have your own. If you are completing the kit at your own home you will need these materials):
Item # Product Cost
E1015 My Acrylix® Cocktail Alphabet $34.95
Z2117 Crystal Blue Exclusive Inks® Pad $5.25
Z2164 Sorbet Exclusive Inks® Pad $5.25
Z2153 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks® Pad $5.25
Z2169 Vanilla Cream Exclusive Inks® Pad $6.95
Z697 Sponge $1.25
Y1000 1" × 1" My Acrylix® Block $3.95
Y1001 1" × 1 1/2" My Acrylix® Block $4.50
Y1009 2" × 3 1/2" My Acrylix® Block $7.50

The journaling is NOT shown on my personal layouts.  My kids LOVE going to Floyd Lamb State Park.  When we first started going there it was WAY out in the boondocks, far away from everything.  Now it's hidden, surrounded by houses and hard to find.  We used to drag my dad out there to feed the ducks everytime he came to visit.  My kids always think of my dad when they feed ducks or go to that park.

I'm thinking that perhaps I  am going to have to put some hidden journaling on the Ely, Nevada, layout.  That trip was taken during a dark time in our lives.  No wonder my kids don't look very happy.  We love trains, all of us.  We'd been wanting to go on that trip for a long time, BUT when we were ready to go everything went wrong--the best laid plans!  The person we were going with had a disagreement with my oldest son from which my son hasn't ever really ever forgiven me for, our relationship hasn't been the same. THEY were both wrong.  I was newly bifrocated (messy divorce) and didn't realize YET that when you are divorced and kids complain that the other side in an ugly divorce will feed on any complaints and egg them on and make the situation worse and compound any and all problems.  When I look at photos of Tyler during that time he always looks so UNHAPPY, it breaks my heart.  I rack my brain to see what I could've done to ease his way during those years.  I was doing the best I could to raise four young children on my own, struggling through life as a single working Mom and I made a lot of mistakes, most of them on HIM as he is the oldest child.  I've ALWAYS lived by the thought that you make the best of any situation.  I probably should have cancelled the trip but plans were made and I thought they BOTH should have gotten over it, I was so WRONG.  I wish I would've stayed home and done something else now, but I didn't and I can't change the fact now.  The good thing about waiting to scrapbook events is that if you don't like the people you can either crop them out or leave out some of the pictures!  LOL!!.  It took me this long to scrapbook this trip because I do have some bad memories, maybe I shouldn't have scrapbooked the trip at all, but maybe my kids have a better memory of the event than I, perhaps I shouldn't journal MY memory of it at all.  LOL!!  That's why there isn't any journaling there.....

That person made ALL of us miserable for the entire trip, but you would THINK that the rest of us could enjoy ourselves and enjoy one selfish person??  We did have some fun MOMENTS.  We swam in an indoor hotel pool and hot tubbed and watched a Will Smith movie in the hotel in Elko.  We swam in another hotel pool in Ely.  I remember me and my kids loading up the car by ourselves.  You know that old saying about one spoiled apple??  One selfish person can sure put a damper on an entire trip.  I've been on vacation with a lot of different friends as well as men that I've dated.  It soon became one of my top criteria for men I would marry criteria.  When I met Harry I made him go on a trip with us before I would marry him to see if he was fun on a vacation or not.  He passed the test!  Harry is very fun on vacations. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Verandah Display Album, the Perfect Mother's Day Gift

April 24, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
prepay by registering by April 14
verandah mothers day
Scroll down for a slideshow of all of the pages.  This beautiful workshop was designed by Karen Pedersen.
One of the COOLEST things about this workshop is that you can come and create your Display Album in person, or you can do it long distance. Just add $5 to the workshop cost for shipping if you decide to participate long distance.
Here's how it works* (Pay close attention. There are three options here!)

*Photos of the finished display album depict an album made with the Best Package. All products are Close To My Heart.
Basic Package (makes 2 books for a total of $35.28 {this is $17.64 per book}):Buy Now
1-Veranda Creative Basics Collection
2-My Creations Display Flip Book
2-8 sheets cardstock (4 vanilla cream, 2 creme brulee, 1 juniper, 1 garden green)
2-cutting guides
Better Package (makes 2 books for a total of $64.82 {this is $32.41 per book}) includes Basic Package plus the following:Buy Now
2-Metal Brads Assortments
1-Just Blooms Spring Blossom Pack
1-Grey Wool Marker
1-Irresistibles Letters
Best Package (makes 2 books for a total of $82.93 {this is $41.47 per book}) includes Basic and Better Packages plus the following:Buy Now
1-Filigree Charms
1-Pewter Designer Brads
Participant Brings:
Paper Trimmer
Glue Dots
Kim Provides at the workshop**:
Personal Help and Instruction
2" Circle Punch
3" Circle Punch
Corner Rounder
Scalloped Scissors
**If you are participating long distance you will need these or similar items of your own.

Operation Smile says Thank you to Close to My Heart!

Did you see this photo on Jeanette's blog? I love that Close to My Heart supports this charity.
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