About Me

My photo
I am a wife and mother of 2 very active, gorgeous boys. I have been scrapbooking for over 10 years and in 2015 signed up as an Independent Consultant for Close to My Heart (CTMH). I love to take photos of my family, especially my 2 boys, as they are growing up fast before my eyes. I believe it's important to document memories and have my photos printed and displayed in photo albums and not just stored on the computer. I want to be able to look back on our memories, photos and everyday life, and I want my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to be able to do the same.

Friday, November 20, 2015

CTMH "White Pines" Australasian Blog Hop

Hello, Merry Christmas, and Welcome Aboard this CTMH Australasian Blog Hop where we showcase the White Pines paper collection. 

(Clockwise from top left: White Pines Paper Packet, Assortment, Complements, Picture My Life Cards)

If you have arrived here from Lauren Moore of CTMH craftings then you are in the right place. If you are starting your White Pines journey here, Welcome! You can join in the blog hop by simply reading through my post and once you get to the end just click on the link to the next blog. Keep reading and 'hopping' until you find yourself back to where you started from. Each of the 8 featured blogs will showcase a project staring the CTMH Christmas collection - White Pines

You know you are in love with a certain paper line when you have no sheets left from the 24 sheet bulk pack. 

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year, and the best time of the year to give handmade cards,papercraft and photo gifts, and to document photos of family, friends and Christmas celebrations. 

As soon as I saw this layout on page 14 of the Holiday Expressions Idea Book I knew I had to reproduce it, and I had the perfect photo to use. 

The photo I wanted to use for this layout was from my 2nd son's first Christmas in 2013. I already had the image printed in as a 6"x8" photo so that is the main difference between the layout in the Holiday Expressions, and the layout I created. 

For this layout I used:

  • White Pines Paper Packet x7200B including the Fern and Colonial White Cardstock
  • White Pines Assortment z3097
  • Red Enamel Gems z3090
  • Fern Extra Thick Twine z3093
  • Enchantment Fundamental Stickers Pack z3164
  • Fern Exclusive Ink z2650
  • Trim the Tree stamp set A1149
  • Mini Stapler z2027
  • Paper Trimmer z1783
  • Edge Distresser z1297
  • Adhesive - 3-L ez Dots Adhesive z3022 and 3D Foam Tape z1151

The layout is displayed in the Colonial White Shadow Box z2016.

Some of the other things I have created with this paperline include:

Christmas Tree Table Centerpiece

Christmas Cards

Christmas Countdown using the display tray and White Pines PML cards

The White Pines collection, and more, can be purchased from your local CTMH consultant or online here

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave a comment before hopping off to see what Simone Morton from Scrappy Matters has created. 

You can also follow along on social media by posting your creations and searching others using the hashtag #ctmhwhitepines

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

CTMH "Urban" Australasian Blog Hop

Hi and welcome aboard this CTMH Australasian Blog Hop where we showcase the Urban paper collection. 

If you have arrived here from Lauren Moore of CTMH craftings then you are in the right place. If you are starting your Urban journey here, Welcome! You can join in the blog hop by simply reading through my post and once you get to the end just click on the link to the next blog. Keep reading and 'hopping' until you find yourself back to where you started from. Each of the 10 featured blogs will showcase a project staring the trendy Urban collection

With 2 young boys this paper collection is right up my alley so I had to create a scrapbook layout to show you. This page will be used in my DS2's album of his first 12 months. 

This layout was done based on pattern 6 from Make it From your Heart volume 2. I used the corrugated look papers from the Urban paper collection as my base for this page, ensuring I could see the graffiti watermarks at the bottom.  There is also a 1" strip of the blue urban B&T and the zip strips from the paper are used below the 'Awesome' title. 

Whisper cardstock was used as the solid colour base, with highlights of saffron at the sides. The photo mats are in Sapphire cardstock. To embellish the page I used stickers from the enchantment collection of Fundamentals stickers

I also created a Christmas Card which is part of my Christmas Card Buffet this month. The design was inspired from another CTMH Consultant, Dawn Montagano, and I adapted it using the Urban papers. 

All these cards use Urban B&T paper and white daisy 4.25" x 5.5"card/ envelope pack , as well as the following:  

And below, two male birthday cards.

Left: Whisper thick twine, Sequins silver assortment, Sapphire cardstock, Slate cardstock, Whisper exclusive inks, Sapphire exclusive inks and Finding the Words D1646 stampset. This stamp set is a great one to have if you are just starting out in stamping as it has sentiments which can be mix and matched to suit many occasions. 

Right: Blue shimmer trimSequins silver assortmentPeacock cardstockSlate exclusive inkswatercolour pencilsBlending pen, and Darling Dinos stamp B1486

The Urban paper collection and accompanying products are available from your CTMH consultant so you can create your own projects using these awesome papers. 

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave a comment before hopping off to see what Simone Morton from Scrappy Matters has created. 

You can also follow along on social media by posting your creations and searching others using the hashtag #ctmhurban

Sunday, November 1, 2015

CTMH Australasian Blog Hop - NOVEMBER 2015 Stamp of the Month 'Cheers, 2016'

Hello and welcome aboard the Australasian Close to My Heart 'November Stamp of the Month' Blog Hop. 

If you have arrived here from Denise's blog Scrap, Stamp Sharethen you are in the right place. If you are starting your journey here, Welcome! You can join in the blog hop by simply reading through my post and once you get to the end just click on the link to the next blog. Keep reading and 'hopping' until you find yourself back to where you started from. 

Each of the featured blogs will showcase a project starring the November stamp of the month 'Cheers, 2016'.  This stamp set is only available from your CTMH consultant in November, so hop to it. You can purchase the 17-piece set for $27 or if you place an order of $75 or more during November, you can have it for just $7.50.  Great value! 

Projects you can do using the November SOM, 'Cheers, 2016' S1115

When thinking about what I could create with this New Year's focused stamp, I decided to create some PML (PIcture My Life) cards for use in my pocket scrapbooking. I will use these cards on the first page in my 2016 album.
PML Cards made using November SOM 'Cheers, 2016'

Other Products Used:
Watercolour Paints
Watercolour paper
Gold Glitter Paper
Poppy Exclusive Ink
Enchantment Fundamentals Paper
Gold Shimmer Trim
Pacifica Exclusive Inks
LePen Journalling Pen

Thanks for stopping by.  Contact your CTMH consultant if you would like to purchase this stamp set. 

Feel free to leave a comment before hopping off to see what Mez's Craft Room has created. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

CTMH Australasian Blog Hop - SANGRIA collection

Hello and welcome aboard the Australasian Close to My Heart 'Sangria' Blog Hop. 

If you have arrived here from Wendy Hopper's blog 'Expressions of the Heart' then you are in the right place. If you are starting your Sangria journey here, Welcome! You can join in the blog hop by simply reading through my post and once you get to the end just click on the link to the next blog. Keep reading and 'hopping' until you find yourself back to where you started from. Each of the 10 featured blogs will showcase a project starring the gorgeous Sangria collection

The first thing I made using Sangria papers was this Bauble.

Sangria features my favourite colours in deep reds, pinks and purples, perfect for Christmas if you like to steer away from the traditional red and green, and I wanted to create something that wasn't cardmaking or scrapbooking to demonstrate that CTMH products have many uses in all types of papercrafting. After scouring Pinterest for paper Christmas decorations I came up with this, inspired by http://www.homemade-gifts-made-easy.com/make-christmas-ornaments.html 

Christmas Bauble using Sangria Papers and Poppy Twine 
For this bauble I used 2x sheets of Sangria B&T (background and texture paper), poppy thick twineliquid glass, and some wire from my stash. 

I cut 14 x 3" circles from the Sangria B&T using my Silhouette Cameo, folded them each in half and stacked them on top of one an other . To achieve an even distribution of pattern - stack them alternating pattern side up and solid colour up. Secure some wire around the centre fold line and thread some Poppy twine in at the top to create a hanging loop. 
To form the bauble, using liqud glass or glue dots, make a small dot 1/3 from the bottom, fold the facing flaps together and press for a couple of seconds to secure the bond. On the next circle along, stick a glue dot about 1/3 of the way from the top. Continue like this all the way around, alternating high and low liquid glue dots. 

After making this bauble I really fell in love with this paper and also created a number of cards and gift tags shown below:

Sangria Cards & Gift Tags

Each of these cute cards are 4x4 inch cut from white daisy cardstock. The super cute Giraffe and Hippo cards are made using the new Safari Ballet stampset, coloured in with the watercolour pencils and blended with the blending pen. They images are stamped on white daisy and matted on pomegranate cardstock.

The sentiments used in the Thank You Friend card are from 'A Thousand Thanks'. And the Christmas Card is made using 'Christmas Star'.

The Sangria paper collection and other Sangria products are available from your CTMH consultant so you can create your own projects using these beautiful papers. 

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave a comment before hopping off to see what Maz from Inky Fingers has created. 

You can also follow along on social media by posting your creations and searching others using the hashtag #ctmhsangria

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October Projects

A new month means a new 'Stamp of the Month' and a new Stamp of the Month means lots of new projects. 

'Twinkle' is the October SOM, and as the name suggests, yes it is a Christmas stamp. 

Christmas is my most favourite time of the year and I love creating cards, tags and gifts to share with family and friends. 

Here are some of my creations using the October SOM 

Cards made using October SOM 'Twinkle' S1510. 
 Materials List:
(Left Card)
 - White value card and envelopes pack
- Gold glitter paper
- Sweet leaf card stock
- Poppy extra thick twine
- White daisy cardstock
- Poppy Exclusive Ink
- Fern Exclusive Ink
- 'Twinkle' S1510 October stamp of the month

(Right Card)
- White value card and envelopes pack
- White daisy cardstock
- Poppy Exclusive Ink
- Sweet leaf Exclusive Ink
- Pacifica Exclusive Ink
- Black Exclusive Ink
- White twine from Neutral Baker's Twine pack (WSL)
- 'Twinkle' S1510 October stamp of the month

This stamp set is only available in October. You can purchase it in my shop for $27, or get it for only $7.50 when you place an order of $75 or more. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

September Projects - Zoe and Hello Life

Each month Close to My Heart has a feature paper collection which they encourage everyone to post projects on on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using a dedicated hashtag, and follow along with so you can see different ideas and ways to use the featured collection each month.  

The feature paper collection for September is Zoe (#ctmhzoe) but they are also spotlighting the National Stamping Month Hello Life (#ctmhhellolife) stamp sets. 

Zoe paper, Sorbet, Glacier, Whisper and White Daisy cardstocks
Stamps from the Hello Life stamp sets
Pattern from Make it from your Heart vol 1

The Zoe collection is one of my favourites in the new Ideas Book. It can be used for any type of scrapbooking, card making or paper crafting project. I have used it for scrapbooking photos of my boys, for making birthday cards and also Christmas cards, and even making Christmas decorations.  

Zoe Workshop Layout using Zoe paper, Slate, White Daisy and Glacier cardstock
Aqua shimmer trim and Hello Life Stamp sets

The colours that pair well with Zoe are Canary, Glacier, Slate, Sorbet, Sweet Leaf, Whisper and White Daisy. 

I tend to add more slate, glacier and sweet leaf for my boys' photos but would suggest maybe adding more sorbet and sweet leaf for girls.  For my Christmas projects, I added the colours poppy and sweet leaf. 
Zoe Workshop on the Go Layout
purchase the WOTG for all supplies and instructions to complete
2x double page layouts including this one
Christmas gift boxes made in Zoe paper

Christmas Card feat. Zoe paper, sweet leaf cardstock,
Green shimmer trim, Trim the Tree stamp,
Christmas Joy stamp, sweet leaf and poppy ink 

September is also National Stamping Month, and to celebrate, CTMH have released 3x exclusive stamp sets, Hello Life. Each of the stamp sets is intended for either cardmakingscrapbooking or pocket scrapbooking but they are all most definitely interchangeable and can be used on their own or together.  If you purchase all 3 sets, you will save $10. 

Greeting Cards made using Hello Life stamp sets.
Top 2 cards made using Zoe paper

I love the font used in these stamps - especially the Hello, Love and Happy.  Because each of the stamps within each stamp set is an individual acrylic stamp, you can mix and match the sentiments or phrases to suit whatever project you are working on. I was able to create Birthday cards, all occasion cards with the 'Hello Friend' sentiment, and I even made my own pocket scrapbooking cards for use in my albums.

Pocket scrapbooking cards made using Hello Life stamps
The Hello Life stamps are ONLY available in September, so if you would like to add them to your collection you have less than 10 days left to do so - place your order here by joining my current order, or contact me directly to save on postage. 

And don't forget, to celebrate the launch of the new Idea Books from September 1st, for all orders placed with me in September, over $50, you will go into the draw to win a $15 voucher. And ALL September orders will receive a Holiday Expressions book with loads of Christmas ideas for FREE

If you have created anything using the Zoe collection or Hello Life stamp sets, leave a comment with the link or post them on your social media using #ctmhzoe and #ctmhhellolife as I'd love to see them. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Back to Basics with Pocket (Picture My Life) Scrapbooking

A common response I get when I am talking to people about scrapbooking is that they don't have the time or money to do it, or that they have so many photos they just don't know where to start. But scrapbooking doesn't have to be time consuming, or expensive, take pocket style scrapbooking for instance. 

Pocket scrapbooking, often referred to as Project Life, and referred to at CTMH as 'Picture my Life' (PML), is how I have been scrapbooking for the last 12 months. 

After having my first child in 2011, I struggled to find the time to keep up with my scrapbooking and it took me about 3 years to scrapbook his first 12 months in traditional 12"x12" layouts. I also don't think my lack of time to scrapbook was helped by the fact that I had tons of photos because with the existence of iphones it's just so easy to swipe and click click click. 

So at a time when I was thinking there was no way I was ever going to catch up with my scrapbooking, especially as I had also had another child, in October last year I was introduced to Pocket Scrapbooking by a lady at my craft group. 
Fast forward to today, and I have just about caught up on my scrapbooking (from the last 4 years since kids anyway - I'm still to complete my wedding album I started 11 years ago and my UK holiday album from 2007!). 

Think back to when you were growing up, and you (or your parents) used to display your photos in those slip in photo albums.... You would get your film developed, and 2 weeks later bring them home and straight away slip them into an album. Well pocket scrapbooking is exactly like that, you just slip your photos into 'pocket' divided memory protectors and away you go. The only difference between what we have now and what we had back then, is that albums and memory protectors these days are photo safe, that is, they are acid-free and lignin-free and not going to damage and fade your photos in years to come, plus they are much better looking and stylish. 

For Picture My Life scrapbooking, all you need to get started is an album, divided memory protectors, Picture My Life (PML) cards to make your albums a bit more personal and so you can document who/what/when etc, and your photos of course.  But you can literally put as much, or as little design effort in as you want. 


The best type of album to use is a 12"x 12" d-ring album - CTMH have them in 5 gorgeous designs, and they are great quality too- sturdy and solid. I have had "cheap" albums purchased from chain craft stores before and they haven't stayed in as good condition as my CTMH ones. 

The beauty of a d-ring album is that you easily insert or move around pages if you happen to come across more photos later on of a certain event or need to adjust the chronological dates  of your photos, if that's the way you organise them. 

Divided Memory Protectors

Next you will need some divided memory protectors.  These come in different designs and will be a personal preference as to which ones better suit your photos. Start with a variety pack and go from there. Personally, I use Design 4 the most, and they tend to be the most popular among my customers as 'generally' people take most of their photos in a horizontal orientation. 

PML Cards

Finally, you will need some PML cards to jazz up your albums and make them more personal. These cards are also used to journal on, to document your memories, or simply the "who, what, where, when" etc that your family and future generations will most appreciate and be glad you included in your albums.  They may tie in with a certain theme of your photos, e.g new baby, travel, kids, or just be used to add some extra colour, phrases and wow factor. 

Other than the above, any extra embellishments you choose to add are up to you and how much time you want to spend on your albums, and how much 'bling' you want to include. But really, the point of Picture My Life Scrapbooking is that it is easy, affordable and quick. 

One of the things I like best about this form of scrapbooking is that I can have my photos printed, and when I get them home I slip them straight into my divided memory protectors.  I then go back and add my cards and journaling when I get time, but at least this way I can be happy my photos are at least in an album and not lost in cyberspace or getting dusty in boxes under my bed. 

If you want to find out more about pocket scrapbooking I would be happy to help you get started. If you live local to me in the Blue Mountains, maybe you'd like to attend one of my workshops. I also have a basic starter kit which includes all you need to get you on your way. 

Or, if you are thinking about starting a scrapbook and don't know where to start or have some questions, feel free to leave a message below or contact me on my Facebook page.  You can shop for any of these items in my store katrinagabriel.ctmh.com.au 

The only other thing I will add, is that if you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of photos you have or you are really unsure where to start, I would recommend picking one event, e.g wedding, new baby, holiday, Christmas or important birthday, and starting there. Or, start with your most recent photos and work backwards. In my experience, it's much easier to keep your scrapbook going and up to date if you are doing recent photos as you feel you are actually making headway and accomplishing something, plus, your memories and information you want to document is more fresh in your mind. 

Thanks for reading.

Now go and get some photos printed! ;-)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Top Products from the New Idea Books

Hi there.

The new season Close To my Heart  Idea Books were launched on 1st September and gee there are some beautiful things. Lucky for me I have a birthday coming up in a couple of days so my credit card can have a bit of a rest while I use my birthday money :-)


The 2 Idea Books are the Holiday Expressions, and Annual Inspirations.  I will probably interchange between calling them idea books and catalogues as yes, they are a catalogue full of items you can buy, but they are so much more than that, and are packed full of inspiration and ideas on how you can use the products. What's even better is every project illustrated in the books can be changed and adapted to suit your taste and needs. If you find a design you love but prefer different paper then it's easy to change, or change the colours used, or the card sentiment to suit whatever occasion you need. The options really are endless. 

Holiday Expressions - Christmas 'White Pines' Collection

The Holiday Expressions book goes until 31st December 2015 and is focused on Halloween, Thanksgiving (it is an American company after all), and Christmas.  

The Christmas collection is 'White Pines' and features a gorgeous paper pack, picture my life (PML) cards, a card making  AND a scrapbooking workshop on the go.

All these products team perfectly with the Fern, Cranberry and Cashmere inks and cardstock, and our red, green and gold shimmer trim, fern or poppy thick twine and the NEW red or green enamel gems.

If you like the idea of making your own Christmas Cards but don't want to design your own - we offer 2 types of card making kits - the White Pines Cardmaking Workshop on the Go provides all materials (except ink) and instructions for making 15 cards (5 each of 3 designs). The workshop on the go kits are great value as they include a paper packet, stamp set and embellishments, plus design and instructions.  It you want something even easier than that, the Cut Above card making kits include everything (except the stamp which you can get for $5) PRECUT for you to make 10 cards. It doesn't get much easier than that.

Boughs & Berries Cut Above Card Marking Kit
White Pines Cardmaking Workshop on the Go

Christmas cards made using Christmas stamp set available in the Holiday expressions
If you are looking for Christmas gift ideas, you can find these also in the Holiday Expressions. Personally, I love the Designer Creations Mini Frames. This set of 3 mini frames fits a 2"x3" photo and is the perfect gift to either yourself to hang on your tree, or for giving to family and friends.  The Designer Creations Ruby Paper Bags are also great for giving small Christmas gifts to work colleagues, friends, or teachers. They also come in 3 other (non Christmas colours) and would make great treat bags for any celebration. Personalise them with a some thick twine and a hand made gift tag and they will be the talk of any party or celebration. 

 And finally, the Holiday Expressions features the limited edition Christmas base and bling style sheets and charms. For those new to CTMH, base and bling is the exclusive jewellery range which includes chains, pendants and charms in faux silver and faux gold, and style sheets allowing you to make your own personalised jewellery, great for yourself or for gifts. 

Annual Inspirations 2015/16

The new 2015/16 Annual inspiration book goes for 12 months through to August next year and is the larger of the 2 books at 164 pages as it includes 6 new paper collections (Zoe, Sangria, Kaleidoscope, La Vie En Rose, Urban and Georgie), 7 new PML collections including GOLD FOIL AND OVERLAYS (YES!!!), the new fundamentals range including cardstock packs, stickers and assortment packs with GLITTER PAPER (LOVE!!!) , the new Instalife range (MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE), all our tools and adhesives, storage solutions, base and bling range, ink pads, markers, watercolour pencils, new watercolour paints (yes, that's right!!!), albums, memory protectors, stamp sets, 3D gifts and decor.

Whatever the occasion you want to celebrate, moment you want to remember, or gift you want to give, there are stamp sets, paper packets, ideas and projects  for ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING in the Annual Inspirations - new baby, wedding, teacher appreciation, everyday life, travel, kids, thank you, school, birthday, and the list goes on. 

Here are some of my favourite items and collections in the new Annual: 

Instalife range - yep my absolute favourite from the new Idea Books. 
These albums are square 4"x4" and perfect for housing your square photos from Instagram or any photos really as long as you print them square. I have just finished my first one which I did for my Mum with photos from her 60th Birthday earlier in the year.

The instalife range includes 2 different styles of Albums, memory protectors to fit the albums, cards to personalise your albums, and there are also 2 different roller stamps perfect for date stamping and stamping expressions, phrases or borders to personalise your albums even more.

This new range is already one of my more popular sellers with people ordering them to give as completed album gifts for friends to document holidays together and other special occasions, and to teenagers and young children who have an interest in photography and scrapbooking, to get them started on documenting their own memories.

Picture My Life (PML) / Pocket Scrapbooking collections

Pocket scrapbooking is my preferred form of scrapbooking as it is quick, easy and allows me to use heaps of photos on a double page layout. I love the new PML cards - they are versatile, come in smaller pack sizes than the previous collection meaning they are more affordable, meaning you can get more packs ;-)  They also feature the same design on both sides of the cards, one in vertical landscape and the other side in horizontal, so you can match them to the photos you want to use and aren't limited by which orientation the card design is in.

Georgie PML is perfect for baby photos. It coordinates with the Georgie paper collection, assortments and complements.

Childhood PML features black chalkboard like cards with all the letters of the alphabet, icecreams, robots and sunshine. It is perfect for your kids photos or every day life.

Going Places PML is perfect for holidays and travel photos.

Through the Year PML features a beautiful water colour design. Each of the months of the year are written on a card, and is perfect for complementing your photos all year round.

And best of all, there are OVERLAYS (black and gold/silver) and a gorgeous collection called Beautiful You (below middle) which features a number of gold foil cards.

Fundamentals range

The new Fundamentals range includes patterned cardstock combo packs in each of the colour palettes (basics, whimsy, adventure and enchantment), as well as sticker packs to match and assortment packs in 8 different colours. These sticker and assortment packs are perfect for any papercraft project, and what I love about the assortment packs is the GLITTER. Who doesn't LOVE a bit of glitter in their craft projects?!

12'x12' Albums

Our 12'x12" d-ring canvas albums are perfect for traditional scrapbooking, pocket scrapbooking or for displaying your children's artwork.

They are excellent quality and come in 5 designs.  You can get Memory Protectors in a variety of styles to suit which ever type of project you are looking to display in your albums.

Base & Bling Collection

The Base & Bling collection consists of square, oval and round pendants in faux gold and faux silver - team them with a chain to match, or some thick twine for a more casual look.  You can then choose charms and designs from the style sheets to suit your tastes and mood.  The options are endless.

CTMH have 4 colour palettes to choose from when selecting your cardstock and inks - Basics, Whimsy, Adventure and Enchantment. Each colour palette has 10 colours in it and for 2015/16 the Enchantment palette has been redesigned with 7 brand new colours.

I have to say, I think Enchantment has taken over from Whimsy to be my new favourite with colours like Eggplant, Pomegranate, Sapphire, Peacock and Poppy.

CTMH have also written an article on the official CTMH blog on the 11 "must haves" from the Idea books. 

If you see something you like and would like to order supplies, let me know. Delivery can be arranged anywhere across Australia if you shop on my website katrinagabriel.ctmh.com.au - if you need help navigating the site just let me know.

If you live local to me in the Blue Mountains (west of Sydney) then come to one of my workshops and we can create or recreate something together- my workshop dates can be found on my facebook page facebook.com/katrinagabrielctmh

Did you know I also do custom orders and can make you cards, invitations, announcements, gift bags, albums or framed layouts for any occasion you like. Contact me at katrina.gabriel@yahoo.com.au for details and prices.

Thanks for reading.