SMART Goals and a New Planner

I have been working on setting my goals for 2015, in an effort to be more productive in all areas of my life. I discovered SMART goals recently, and fell in love with the idea. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

Instead of simply saying "lose 40 pounds", my goal reads "I will lose 40 pounds by the end of 2015, in order to improve my overall health, and energy level."

Steps to reach goal:

  1. Exercise 2 times per week, for a minimum of 30 minutes each, beginning January 1st. Increase the amount of exercise every quarter, reaching 5 days per week by year end.
  2. Work up to eating 4 servings of fruits and vegetables by June 2015.
  3. Make meat and sweets the smallest portion of my food consumption by April 2015.
  4. Eat my biggest meal before 4 pm and eat nothing after 8 pm starting January 1st.
I have set all of my 2015 goals in this manner. The plan is to check in on all of my goals weekly, so that I am holding myself accountable.

The second part of getting my act together in 2015 is finding a planner that I can customize to fit my needs, and organizing my work space.

I have ordered my planner, but it hasn't arrived yet. I found it on Amazon, and it is a disc bound system.

Because it has discs, instead of coils,  pages can be rearranged, removed, or added, as needed.  I will do a video, and post, on my planner as I set it up. 

The organizing has begun on my craft room/office. My husband was kind enough to break out some tools and help me hang  things over my desk.

You have to love a husband who will just help, without making a comment on your color choices. The idea behind this pegboard wall is to get as much off my desk as possible. It also needs to be pretty enough that I will want to look at it as I work. I have a few special gifts from friends that make me happy, and also a shortened version of my 2015 motto, which is "Strive for progress, not perfection." 

As I work on my goals, organize my workspace, and set up my planner, I will share here and on YouTube.

Please share your comments, or plans, for 2015 below.


100+ YouTube Subscribers!

Giveaway Celebration!

I have been making YouTube videos for about four months, and enjoy being able to show products and creations to others. I really expected that maybe 10 people (family and friends) would occasionally watch my videos. I am definitely still learning about filming, editing, etc., but I am having a blast.

I have met some wonderful people who have been very supportive, and helpful, as I have grown my YouTube channel.

Imagine my surprise when I suddenly realized I was very close to having 100 subscribers! I decided I needed to celebrate by having a giveaway.

Watch the video to see some of the new Close to My Heart products I have purchased, as well as the giveaway I am offering. 

If you are not subscribed to my YouTube channel, you can follow this link so that you have a chance to win.

Thank you for your support. If you have any questions, or comments, please leave them below.



December Daily Week #3

This week's challenge was to pick at least 3 items from the following prompts:

  1. Patterns and Shapes
  2. An item that represents you
  3. Doodles and word December
  4. Glitter and Gold on same page
  5. Fave song 
  6. Make it pop in 3D and washi tape
  7. Winter Wonderland

You will see the prompts I chose in my video. I do appreciate the prompts, and the December Daily group of ladies and gentlemen. They really push me to take more pictures, and keep track of the positives in every day. 

If you are interested in any of the Close to My Heart items that I used, the links are below.

 My Crush Holiday Happenings Book

My Crush Holiday Happenings Assortment

Liquid Glass

Red Enamel Hearts

Memory Protector Flip Flaps - Small Assortment

I have a confession, so brace yourselves. I have not finished my Christmas cards! They will not be mailed until Monday. I'm going to blame it on all of the fun I am having with my December Daily.



    The Basics of Stamping

    This is a compilation of posts I have done on the basics of stamping. Whether you are a newbie, or just unsure about types of inks etcetera, I hope you will find some useful information. 

    There are four posts, and the last one contains a video. The video is with my old camera and not the best quality, but the information is still relevant.

    Did I leave anything out? Are there techniques you would like to learn? Leave a comment below.




    Celebrating 10 Years of CTMH Acrylic Stamps

    Artwork from December Stamp of the Month



     This month only, your purchase of $50 or more, qualifies you to purchase any C or D size stamp set from the Annual Inspirations idea book. There is no limit to how many stamps sets you can purchase as this price, once you have placed a $50 order.

    Of course, you will also qualify to order the adorable Stamp of the Month for just $5.

    This is a great time to purchase the stamps you have been wanting, or gifts for your crafty friends.

    Simply go to my WEBSITE ,and check both of these great offers. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below, or email me at dedraclutz@hotmail.com.



    Week Two and Flash Challenges

    This week those of us participating in the December Daily Inspiration Group, were issued a challenge to use clear items, a stamped sentiment, and some journaling. I did all on one page, with a few photos of my grandchildren, and their advent calendar gifts for days 3 and 4.

    I also put their day 1 and 2 photos in my December Daily. It is a simple page to really just highlight the pictures. I'm a little behind with the photos of them with their gifts. They have busy lives, and photo taking is not always a priority.

    The next challenge was a 48 hour flash challenge. We were to color in an image with markers, pencils, ink, pens, etc. I hope you will love the house mouse stamp I used, as much as I do.

    The support from all of the ladies and gentlemen in this group has helped me stay on track. Once December is over I will have a lovely keepsake instead of a daunting pile of photos, and an empty book.

    It isn't always easy to keep up with, but I know I will appreciate that I made the effort to just "do it!"

    Here are the links to the Close to My Heart Products Use



    Documenting our December

    This has been a busy week  but I was able to take a few pictures. Thanks to my mother's new Selphy printer (thanks for letting me borrow Mom) I quickly printed those pictures while sitting in my own craft room. This does help with my printing procrastination problem.

    I am trying to keep up as the month progresses and truly have something to document daily. This is a little easier with photos of my grandchildren.  Message to my eldest  daughter: "Send more pictures!"
    Several YouTubers are also documenting their December Dailies, and some are offering challenges and prompts, for inspiration. I think I would have some pictures, and an empty book, staring at both, hoping for some ideas, if it weren't for all of their great ideas.

    I have really enjoyed seeing how different each December Daily is. I hope after you watch my video, you will check out a few other videos, and be motivated to Document your December.

    Close to My Heart Supplies Featured

    Holiday Happenings Crush Book 

    Holiday Happenings Assortment 

    Yuletide Paper Pack 

    Snowhaven Workshop on the Go 

    The Snowhaven WOTG also contains the silver shimmer trim.




    Completed Just in Time!

    2014 Advent Calendar for grandchildren
    I had a lot of projects going on in November, but this advent calendar had to be finished before December 1st! Each box was cut using the Close to My Heart Artiste Cricut Cartridge which helped speed things up. My mother also decorated the majority of the boxes while I cut, folded, and glued. 

    How long did this take? Let's just say that I am happy for the little box that streams Netflix in my craftroom. We are now on season 1, episode 8 of "Once Upon a Time." Neither of us had ever watched it before, and now we are hooked.  

    We delivered the box last night shortly before A and F's bedtime so that they wouldn't drive their parents crazy all day wanting to open all the boxes. 

    Each box contains a little note with a clue to the present it represents. The presents are all wrapped and numbered, hidden in my daughter and son-in-law's room. 

    Last night the comments were: "We can only open one each day??", "Can we just peek at the presents in mom and dad's room?", and my favorite "I hope one of those boxes is extra computer turns." 
    They look very innocent, don't they?
    The little angels woke up at 5 am to open their first box this morning. The note in the box said "You're in Trouble, play a game." They found one of their board games and began to play. Of course there was a gift that my daughter gave them - a Trouble game. 

    If they wake up every morning at 5 am for the next 24 days, I may be in a little bit of trouble myself.



    20% Off All  Cricut Collections

    Artbooking Collection

    If you own a Cricut, or you have one on your Christmas list, now is the time to invest in one of these great collections. There are currently four different collections, and I'm afraid I can't pick a favorite. 

    If you want to see what comes in each collection, check them out on my CTMH WEBSITE .

    This special is only good Monday, December 1st. I am adding a free C size stamp set to the special. Once you order your Cricut Collection, contact me @ dedraclutz@hotmail.com with the stamp set of your choice, and I will mail it to you along with one of the new Seasonal Expresions catalog. 

    Treat yourself to a post Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas treat, or order for the crafter on your Christmas list. 




    Adventures in Art Journaling

    Trying Something New


     I have never really tried mixed media other than a few Heidi Swapp sprays. Does that count? Probably not. One of the YouTubers I follow has started a series on learning how to art
    journal. I love looking at other people's art journals, and even purchased a book of blank pages intending one day to try it out. 

    After watching Tracy @ Tracy's Treasures' video, I decided to stop thinking about it and get started. So far I have only decorated the cover, and prepped my first page, as you can see from my video.

    I consider myself a crafter, not an artist, so I need to remember to "strive for progress, not perfection." I have no idea who said that, but I'm using it as my mantra during this foray into art journaling. 

    Pathfinding Workshop on the Go 
    Hopscotch Alphabet 
    Autumn Terracotta Dye Ink 
    GoldRush Dye Ink 
    Olive Dye Ink 
    Distress ink 

    I hope to make a video each week showing my progress. Have you considered art journaling? Why not grab some supplies and follow along? If you are already art journaling, I will take all the advice I can get. 


    Christmas 2014 ~ December Daily

    Holiday Happenings Crush Book Plans

    I have joined a fun group on YouTube called "December Daily Inspirations." I'm hoping I will be able to keep up with plans to document every day of December. So far I have decorated the front and inside cover, of my Holiday Happenings Crush Book, and decorated a tag.

    I made a video showing the products I've used so far. Since everyone in the group is sharing their progress, there will be plenty of inspiration. If you are interested in following along and documenting your own holiday happenings, you should check out Sue's YouTube channel, shiles728. I've added the information about her channel in my video explanation.

    I am including links to all of the Close to My Heart items used. Simply click on any of the items you are interested in.

    Thanks so much for watching. Let me know your plans for documenting your holiday season.



    More Studio J Layouts with my Favorite Subjects

     I found some time yesterday to make a few layouts in Studio J. I had a couple of fun days with my grandchildren that had not yet made it into their scrapbooks.

    The first was a trip to the Children's Museum in Houston that sadly took place a few years ago. I think the layouts turned out nicely, and I'm happy to have the them finished. 

    As soon as you finish your Studio J layouts they send you a jpeg, so I am able to share with you while I'm waiting for the finished products to arrive in the mail.

     This trip to the museum was shortly after my granddaughter decided to cut her own hair. It's a memory we will all be glad to have photos of. I will likely add journaling in my own handwriting once this two page spread arrives. There were so many pictures of this day that I ended up with three 2 page spreads.

     I loved how fun this paper collection was, and the gears and hexagons were perfect for a day at the Children's Museum. We all had such an amazing day, and I know my grandkids will enjoy flipping through their photo album, and remembering all the fun.

    The other event that I needed to scrap was our trip to the pumpkin patch this year. Since I have started scrapbooking I try to keep up with the new, and go back to the older photos as I can. 

    I decided to use the Pathfinding paper pack for this layout. You will note that my grandson has become hard to track down for photos, but my granddaughter will holler "take a picture!" as she poses at every possible location. I would have preferred to scrap the same amount of photos of each, but his reluctance to be in photos with be a memory we laugh about also.

     I really was reluctant to try digital scrapbooking. It didn't seem as personal, or as much fun. However, I love the way these layouts turned out. I also love that Studio J will size my photos to fit in the layouts I choose. I did not have to run out and have my pictures printed  and then crop them to fit in my layout. All of that work was done for me. If you would like to see how easy Studio J digital pages are to make, check it out here.

    I will still continue with traditional, and pocket scrapbooking, but add some digital layouts in also. I like the idea of a scrapbook with different types of layouts. 

    Have you tried digital scrapbooking? Are you a traditional scrapper, or maybe a Project Life, or Picture My Life scapper? I would love to hear which you prefer, and why.



    November Stamp of the Month

    "It's the Little Things" Stamp Set
     I had a lot of fun just playing around with the November stamp of the month. I really did not have a plan, and it may show. The only measuring I did was to cut a basic stamp base of 5 1/2" x 4 1/4", a printed paper layer at 5 1/4" x 4", and the stamped layer at 5" x 3 3/4". 

    I also used this stamp set to decorate the first page of my new Social Media planner. If any of you have a blog, YouTube channel, Twitter, etc you know it can get confusing to keep up with it all. I decided if I had to keep track of the information, I might as well have a pretty planner.

     I hope that you will enjoy the short video I made showing the supplies I used. 

    Gelly Roll clear glitter pens are available at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc.

    I'm sure you can think of many things to do with this cute floral stamp set. Let me know what you would do with these stamps.



    Having fun with a new product!


    I found these cute, mini stencils at my local Michael's, and they were on sale. These stencils come in four different designs; patterns, frames, shapes, and words. They are the usual great quality that you can expect from Heidi Swapp products.

    I was only able to locate the frames, and patterns, packs. Each package comes with six different stencils, and six 3 x 2 pieces of white cardstock. 

    I did a little experimenting with them today. I think they are well worth the $8.99, especially if they are on sale, or you use a coupon. I hope you will enjoy my video demo below. I really enjoyed these stencils, and I know I will be using them in future projects.

    I was able to take a Heidi Swapp class at a Scrapbook Expo, and she is really very sweet. I have some of her color change products, about 8 color shine sprays, and have made a few of her folder mini albums. I think my favorite are the color change items.

     I hope you enjoy the video below. Let me know if you have any Heidi Swapp products, and if so, which are your favorites?




    Tammy S. is the lucky newsletter subscriber who will receive the Home for the Holidays stamp set. I hope she will send pics of the cards, gift tags, scrapbook layout, home decor, etc she makes with this festive set.

    I will draw a new random winner the last Friday of this month for a free paper packet of the winner's choice. You can view all of the available paper collections by going here on my website.

    There are lots of different themes to choose from, so there is something for everyone. If you haven't subscribed to my newsletter, just enter your first name and email address into the box at the upper right corner.

    Also, I am previewing the Seasonal Expressions catalog right now. There are two new paper collections perfect for spring, Valentines Day,  Easter, and more. The products will be available for ordering starting December 1. 

    Anyone who places an order in any amount during the month of November will receive a free Seasonal Expressions from me.



    It's the Little Things

    There are so many project ideas in my head for the November stamp of the month. I know I will be doing some layering of flower parts.  Here are a few of the project examples from Close to My Heart designers. 

    The best part is this stamp set is just $5 with any $50 purchase during the month of November. Don't delay because this stamp set will go away at the end of November.  I will have a video up soon showing how I'm using this versatile stamp set. 

    What would you do with this set?  Cards, scrapbook layouts, or home decor items? 


    A festive end to October

    I hope that everyone has something fun planned for this evening. I still need to purchase candy! It seems that every year there are fewer and fewer trick or treaters. The night is certainly not the same as it was for me, or even my children. 

    My grandchildren dress up and get excited about trick or treating, but they will not ever know this as a carefree night. They know they need to be within sight of their parents at all times, and their candy must be checked before they can dig in. 

    A lot of children go to parties and festivals, and do not trick or treat at all. I suspect that going from house to house in the dark will soon become a thing of the past. 

    Will many children knock on you door tonight? Do you have other plans for the evening?


    Celebrate 5 years of Studio J

     Studio J is a quick and easy way to create fancy scrapbook pages digitally. You simply create an account, load your pictures to your account, select the layout of your choice, and add your pictures. Studio J will automatically resize your pictures to fit the layout. Your layouts will be mailed to you, and you will also have a jpeg to save. Since Studio J is 5 years old, there are prizes and discounts to celebrate.

    1. First, for the month of November, all Studio J two page layouts will be $5 each. This is a savings of 25%.

    2. Every 5th customer to place a Studio J order will receive a surprise free gift in their box.

    3. Five lucky Studio J customers will be randomly selected to receive a "golden ticket" in with their order. The ticket can be redeemed for one of Close to My Hearts new D-ring photo albums, loaded with ten top load page protectors.

    4. You can post one of your beautiful new layouts to the Close to My Heart Facebook page, using the hashtag #ctmhlucky5. Five winners will be chosen to receive a D-ring album with 10 top load page protectors. 

    5. Five brand new kits will be added to Studio J starting November 3. You can now use your favorite new collections from the Annual Inspiration book for your digital layouts.

    Here is the direct link to Studio J

    I had never done any digital scrapbooking, but found it to be fast and easy. I loved the fact that I didn't have go to the expense of having my pictures printed.
    I put this layout together in 10 minutes.

    Have you done any digital scrapbooking? What are the benefits? Did it totally replace traditional scrapbooking for you?



    Pumpkins, scarecrows, and grandchildren

    We had a great time, as usual, selecting the perfect pumpkins. Last year my granddaughter was all about the cute "bitsy" pumpkins. This year she tried to select one that her dad could carve for her. What a difference a year makes.
     Another difference this year was that my grandson did not want to pose for pictures. This pout was in every photo. He did, however, try to get the largest pumpkin just like last year. 

    I need to get these photos in a scrapbook, but I'm having trouble selecting the right paper collection. I am debating between two.
    Scaredy Cat
     Which one do you think I should use? I'm leaning towards Pathfinding, because there is a stamp in the Workshop on the Go that says "Smile it's the best day ever." I think I should stamp that next to my grandsons frowning face. 

    You can see all of the paper collections on my website . Be sure to leave a comment and let me know which paper collection you prefer. 



    Make a Beautiful Holiday Keepsake

    Holiday Happenings Extras

    Holiday Happening Crush Book
    I am in love with my new Crush book. I can't wait to start using it to plan and document this year's Christmas. The video below will show you the plans I have for my crush book.

    If you would like a Holiday Happenings Crush book or assortment package you can find them here and here.

    There are four other Crush Books so that you can have a photo journal of any event or time period in your life. Each of the Crush Books has a different theme. The In the Pink, Wildwood, Modville, and Bluebird  Crush Books can be viewed here.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Do you have a Crush or Smash book that you enjoy using? Please comment below.

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