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Marilyn McLeod, Independent CTMH Consultant

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


What is a "hoosegow" anyway? I saw this old sign at our local La Pine, Oregon nursery, L & S Gardens, and ever since, I've had this little jingle in my head - goin' to the hoosegow, hoosegow, goin' to the hoosegow............ oh I'm just being silly.

What great fun this nursery is!  My dear friend, Judy, and I (we met in the 7th grade), who is visiting me from out of town, both decided we needed a little dose of some flowers, being it was a rare WARM day here in central Oregon. So we headed down to this sweet "step back in time" nursery. (Of course, that was LAST week - we had snow today.)

Goin' to the hoosegow..... (I looked it up) means going to jail or to the courthouse. Learn something new every day right?  To be honest, I HAD heard of this before, but just wasn't sure what it meant.

We spent hours at L & S Gardens. The owner, Linda Stephenson, and her husband, have created a little wonderland that took us back in time for awhile.  I urge you to take a moment to go to the above link, and read about her family history.  She has been instrumental in bringing the hardy plants, roses and wild plums to this area, from the Willamette Valley near Brownsville, Oregon. Her story is fascinating!

Here's an excerpt from her history:
"It was in the year 1849 when my Great Great Aunt Elizabeth Wilson Blain brought the first Sweet Brier Rose from her garden in Hebron, Indiana over the Oregon Trail and planted it in the Union Point, Oregon community of the Willamette Valley (this town no longer exists but for a small plaque along the roadside). Today this rose runs rampant throughout the valley and can be found on the dry hillsides, pastures and on many of the old homestead sites. I have this rose growing in my garden from cuttings taken from where the rose grew at the site of my Great Great Grandfather, James Wilson’s homestead south east of Brownsville, Oregon. I wanted to see if it was hardy enough for the La Pine area. It proved to be very hardy and blooms every year".
Opening her nursery in La Pine in 1990 by a "fluke" of having her own personal greenhouse to grow her own hardy plants, Linda and her husband, Sonny, are well-known for producing and carrying the "hardiest of the hardy" plants that will grow in this frigid area. (Temperatures here can drop down into the 20's, even in July and August!).
While we did see a few flowers, we had more fun exploring all of the old farm implements, machinery and signs. Take a gander and enjoy. Maybe you'll recognize some things you grew up with?  I did!

Old blacksmith "heating up the iron" table.

All of the greenhouses resemble old buildings.

Ye old garden truck!

Ye old tractor! Does anyone know how old this is? Old McCormick-Deering tractor.

Ye old "hunting lodge" NOT!
We had so much fun trying to figure out what things were used for.

We did see a few flowers, but they are just now starting to bring some in from "the valley" (Willamette Valley). We are still having COLD temps at night, in the low 20's, so can't place our flower pots outside just yet. 

I wanted to buy them all.

Trees all in a row.
Great planters!
 And last but not least, this sign says it all!

I really HAVE been busy crafting, but just needed a little break.... to get outside..... dream of warmer days...... and get motivated and inspired to put some color in my yard. La Pine is pretty brown this time of year.

I make up for it in my craft room that is simply "blooming" with the colors of my beautiful papers and fabrics. For now, that will have to do.

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Monday, April 14, 2014


I love quilting, so anything I can make out of paper that looks like a quilt, I will try! 

One of my ALL TIME quilt favorites that I've made over the years is the folded Radiant Star, or sometimes called the Folded Star. Here is one that I made out of fabric and wool felt, and then framed it. Fabric Folded Stars are made of little squares of fabric which are folded to make little triangles, and than placed on muslin to make the star.

So I thought I'd try a paper radiant star to put on a card. First, I tried folding the squares of paper, but it made the star way too thick.  After some trial and error, I came up with this:

Wow, I kind of like that! It only takes some little scraps of paper to make the star. If you have 5 different colors of paper, either designed or plain, measuring about 2"x4", then you can have a go at it. I used the 6x6 samples we consultants get of the B&T (background and texture) papers. I used the Surf's Up papers (now retired), just for something different besides pink and green which I usually gravitate towards. I really like how it turned out. 

I've been asked to do a tutorial on this technique, so here goes.  It may be a little long but it's well worth it, because these are gorgeous and fun to make.

Here's the card I made for this tutorial (below) which are, of course, pinks and greens! I used some scraps of my (retired and beloved) Chantilly papers.

So let's get started!  I'll tell you 3 or 4 steps, and then put a picture that helps explain what I just did.

1.  Pick out 5 different papers, that coordinate, part light colors and part dark colors. I found that the bigger prints don't work as well.  In the blue and orange star card above, you can see that I used small prints and even a plain beige, except for the outside of the star, which is where the large print should be. In the pink star, some of the colors kind of melded into each other and made the star less defined, so choose good contrasting colors.  Use your scraps!

2.   Cut eight 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" squares of each color. BE AS ACCURATE AS POSSIBLE.

3.   Cut each little square on its diagonal by placing it point to point on your paper trimmer.  BE VERY ACCURATE.

4.  As per above picture, lay your triangles out in the order you'd like them to appear on your star, making sure each color is a nice contrast to the next. You don't want to lay two similar colors next to each other on the star.

5.  Now fold each triangle in half and finger crease. This helps to find the center of the long edge of the triangle.  Yes I know.. you're probably groaning and going geez... do I HAVE to do that? It's optional whether you fold. If you don't fold, you really do still need to put a little mark at the center point of the long edge of the triangle. I like to do the fold as it makes it look more like folded fabric.  It's up to you!

6.  Cut a 6"x6" piece of copy paper. This is what you will mount the little triangles onto to make the star. Fold it in half both ways, and then diagonally both ways and mark folds with a pen.  SEE BELOW RIGHT.

7.  Now you are ready to stick each little triangle on the sheet of copy paper, to build your star.  This is the fun part! It's easy but ACCURACY IN PLACING each triangle is a must, or your star will end up wonky.

8.  Take 4 of the triangles (from now on called "Ts") and place them points all facing at the center of the copy paper. See first picture, top left, below. They should butt up tightly to each other. I used tombo adhesive to adhere them down. Be sure the tips that meet have plenty of adhesive on them. Same goes with gluing all of the other Ts, make sure the tips are totally covered with adhesive (or you can use glue).

9.  Now for second row, choose the next colors that contrast nicely. Start by laying the first T of this second row, 1/4" from the point of the first T that you placed in the first row. Put adhesive on as you go. I usually put adhesive on all 8 pieces, then stick and go. Much faster.

See below picture, top right. You'll see that this 1st T in the second row is right on top of the T in the first row, but 1/4" down from the point.  Keep the sides parallel to the other Ts and use the lines you have drawn on the copy paper to line up the fold of the T or the little mark you made on it, with the lines on the copy paper.

10.  Place each T in this second row, next to each other and down 1/4" from the previous points.  Glue as you go or all at once.  I use a ruler for an exact 1/4". If you don't remain exact on this 1/4" measurement, then the star gets wonky really fast!  SEE BELOW DIAGRAMS for the entire second row of Ts.  I work in a counterclockwise direction.

Per above, you'll see that after you've laid this second row of Ts, you now have a little star in the middle. It should look fairly even on all sides. Mine looks a little wonky but part of it is because the colors aren't contrasting enough.

11.  Now do the 3rd row the same. Start in the same place as you started the second row. You can tell where to start because there will be one T that is on top. I really don't think it matters though, where you start your next row so don't worry about it.

12.  SEE BELOW photos for the next rows I did. This is FUN and goes really fast. You can do it while watching TV.

Again, you can see that the star on each row is a little mushy looking, as the colors did not contrast enough. The big prints in the Chantilly paper (white background) just did not give a definite color wave, but that's OK, I fixed it later. You can see how nicely the bright pink paper makes a very definite star. It's nice to have at least one paper color that pops over the others.

13.  Here's a close up of what the finished star looks like (below). You can see how the folds that I made on each little T (to get the center point) make it look more like fabric.

14.  Now, we're ready to mount the finished star on the card or project.  As shown below, you need to draw a circle around the star so you can trim off the excess copy paper.  For this project, I cut a 4" circle using my Cricut machine. If you don't have a Cricut, use a compass or other template you may have.

15.  Place the 4" circle over the star and center it just right, so all edges look even and don't cut off any of the tips of the stars.  Draw a line around the circle and cut on the line.

16.  You now have a nice circled star! I laid it on the pink card I chose (5-1/2" x 5-1/2" card base) to see how it would look and to figure out where I want to mount it on the card.  YOU DON'T JUST LAY IT DOWN ON THE TOP OF THE CARD. You have to actually mount it from underneath.

17.  After you know where you are going to place the star, poke through the middle of your star circle so that it makes a little hole on your card base. Put your punch mat underneath the front of the card so that you don't poke through the bottom of the card!  I forgot to do that, but fixed it by mounting the sentiment on a piece of paper over the hole on the inside of the card! 

18.  Inside middle picture (above) is the inside of the card where we really don't want a hole! but it can always be covered up somehow.

19.  Now use your Cricut to cut a 3-3/4" circle on the front of your card, using the little punched hole as your center point. Or you can use a circle drawer/cutter. You want the edge of the hole to be very smooth and concise as it will show (see far right above).

20.  Once the hole is cut out, you will mount your circle star underneath. Put your adhesive on the right side of the circle star and then carefully place it underneath so that it is even and all points of the star show. See below left photo - star has been mounted from underneath and you can see a slight impression where the glue is. Be sure to use your bone folder to press down all edges really well.

21.  You will see that the points of the star are cut off a little bit (above). I would have cut my circle out of the card at 3-7/8" but my Cricut won't cut 1/8's so it's OK this way.

22.  Right photo above shows the inside top of the card. Since the back side of the circle star shows, I cover it up with another piece of matching cardstock or you could use a different color or design.  In the blue and orange star card (at the top of my post), I put white cardstock on the inside, and then decorated it with some fussy cuts from Surf's Up paper, to show the waves. Sorry, I don't have a photo of the inside of the card with me! I'm doing this post from my sister's house and didn't bring that picture with me.

23.  In the above photo on left, you can see that I did some dotted lines to imitate stitching around the outer star. I like that look. I used a nice fine point black permanent pen and a little ruler and made the stitch lines 1/4" from the edges. Closeups below show without stitching and with stitching.

24.  In the far right photo below, you can see that I made little tick marks with my black pen, using a half circle clear ruler, so I could do some scallops around the circle.

Here are my drawn scallops.. not perfect, but OK (lower left).

25.  On the above right photo, you can see that I decided to do some stitch marks on the green star, as it looked a little faded and blended too much with the green and white paper. I did the stitch marks right next to the white design paper. I like how it defines the green star much better.

And here's the finished card. I fussy cut some flowers from the Chantilly design paper and adhered them to the card. I also drew some little stitch lines around those, and the little bird that I cut out. I popped up one flower with foam tape, and put a little gem in the middle of the star (to cover up the punched hole).

On the inside of the card (above), I added a sentiment and a strip of the Chantilly B&T paper.  

I LOVE my Radiant Star cards!  I hope you will try one. I'm going to be making more, that's for sure. You can make your star any sie you want to by using smaller squares or larger squares of paper to star out. My fabric Radiant Star at the very top of this post used 3" squares of fabric and the finished star is about 8" in size. Experiment and have fun!

Feel free to print out this tutorial and keep it to use for future projects.


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Monday, April 7, 2014


I was on such a roll yesterday and having so much fun making my next blog post.  I wanted to showcase this month's (April 2014) stamp of the month set, so I searched the internet for projects made by other CTMH consultants, to showcase the April, 2014  Balloon Talk stamp of the month set. I had such fun! I found so many darling and innovative projects. I was excited! I was inspired! I was ready to share!

But............... much to my dismay (and failing memory), I had already posted about the Balloon Ride stamp of the month set! Darn............ double darn. So in my embarassment and dismay, I deleted the post (without thinking). Uh oh.  Then I regretted it because it showed so many wonderful ideas and projects. But I just let it go. Well, that was yesterday. 

Today is a new day, right?  I decided today that I want to go ahead and show you the cards and projects I found and posted (then deleted), if for no other reason than to inspire you, give you more ideas and more motivation. So here they are, and I've given credit to each consultant who created the project:

From How darling! She used Lollydoodle papers and made her own little sentiment using 3 different stamps from the set. She even provides you with a FREE CCR file (Cricut Craft Room) if you use a Cricut cutting machine, that is the entire card shape and layers.

From She used so many different techniques and products! There is the gold polka dot washi tape, blue lagoon plaid washi tape, some bling from "Base and Bling" and she stamped her own background paper using the Flight of the Arrows stamp set and Desert Sand ink. Wow!

Card from using the oh so pretty Jubilee papers. I love how simple this card is.

The cutest ever gift bag from I think she used some retired papers for the woodgrain and stars, all sorts of balloon bubbles (some from this current stamp set and some retired ones. I love these little balloon bubbles! (By the way, we do have a current paper set, Timberline, which has woodgrain papers.)
Did you know that the three large Balloon Talk bubbles are cutables from the CTMH Cricut cartridge collection, ARTISTE?? WHICH MEANS YOU DON'T HAVE TO CUT THEM OUT BY HAND!  (Oh I'm such a wealth of information..... :-)

If you want more inspiration for this stamp set, follow along on the BLOG HOP or search the Pinterest 2014 April Stamp of the Month board.  I would love to show you all of the ones on the Pinterest board!  But....... just go and take a look. You'll be SO motivated.


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FREEBIE - April Rediscover CTMH download.

Here we go! April's FREE download, compliments of Close to My Heart! Cute circles Steampunk Alphabet.
For your FREE PDF file, please go HERE on my website and under the blue Rediscover Box is a link to download the file.  The one I picture here on this post is not a high resolution image so please download the PDF file if you want to use it and print it out. 

This download is only available during the month of April, 2014.

I'm not sure what sized circle punch you could use, but I'm sure a 1" or 1-1/2" punch would work. Think of the cute things you could make with these alphabets, or how neat would they be to use for titles on your scrapbook pages?

Here's a cute card using the "D" for dad from Jody at She used the bright and cheerful Jubilee papers for this card, and the CTMH gold Triangle Studs, perfect for those masculine projects!

Why not use the "M" for mom or mother, for Mother's Day, with the gorgeous Ariana papers? or the sweet pinks and greens of Lollydoodle or the luscious Ivy Lane papers? Or use a "B" for Barbara or Beautiful? So many uses for these cute alphabet letters.


Here's a cute card from Keeley at Keeleyscreations. She used one of CTMH's Monogram stamps (only $2.95), but you could do the same thing with these Steampunk letters. 

Make a cute notecard set for your mom or friend for Mother's Day.

There are so many ways to use these letters.  Have fun and enjoying creating!

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Did you receive my recent blog posts?

A quick question for you ladies, and I would REALLY appreciate your answering if you can!  I am wondering if you received the last 3 blog posts that I did, on March 24th, 27th and April 2nd.  I had scheduled these to post while I was gone from home for a week, and it doesn't look like anyone received them!

March 24th was about Kangaroo stamp sets.

March 27th was about "Memories".

April 2nd was about Balloon Talk stamp set.

I usually send a post to one of my email addresses to be sure it goes out, and that email address hasn't received any posts since March 14th!!

A quick comment would suffice.  (To comment, you need to go to my blog and comment on this post. At the end of this post, there is a little gray box that will say "no comments" or "1 comment" etc. Click on that and then you can post a comment). I would also really appreciate knowing if you have or haven't received any of my blog posts in your email inbox since March 14th.

If you aren't set up to comment, you could email me also at

Thanks so much!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014


It's time to instroduce you Close to My Heart's April Stamp of the Month, Balloon Talk! This is a great 24 piece (lots of words) stamp set.

Lots of cute words to use on your cards, scrapbook pages, on your Picture My LifeTM pages or in your Kraft albums or Hip Pics albums.

Here are a couple of samples of artwork created by the very talented CTMH designers:

Here's a cute card made by The Inky Scrapper:

She used papers from the Lollydoodle paper pack and some washi tape. Darling!

There is a Close to My Heart consultants blog hop going on now picturing the artwork of CTMH consultants. You can start out on The Inky Scrapper's blog and visit many other blogs to view some awesome projects.

And as usual, for every stamp of the month set, it's yours for just $5 when you purchase products totaling $50 from the Fall/Winter 2013 or Spring/Summer 2014 Close to My Heart Idea Books.

What are some other fun ideas for using these balloon talk words?

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