Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo: We are thankful for so much (much more than we could fit on this board!), but mostly we are thankful for each other and the ones we love that love us too :-) Happy Thanksgiving from the Browns!!My friend, Kerri, posted this today on Facebook and I asked her if I could share it here today.  I love this!  So simple and easy to do...  
Kerri purchased this chalkboard as you see it and she suggested that you could make your own with an old window frame, plywood and chalkboard paint.  
I hope you've had a wonderful and thankful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Eve

This month has just flown by (as usual)!  My husband and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving tonight as he works 12 hour shifts the next two days.  Our grown children live on the opposite side of the country from us so it's just the two of us.  Dinner will be a pared down version from what it has been in the past but hopefully just as yummy!  
I've been on vacation this week. I'm enjoying not getting up at my usual time and really enjoyed not driving to work this morning after the foot of snow that fell yesterday and last night!  
I've not been out of the house except to take Lily (our dog) out so I've not gotten the rest of my photos to work on more 30 Days of Thankful pages. Tomorrow I'll probably venture out again.
In the meantime I wanted to share that in the November edition of "Family Fun" magazine there is an article about teaching your kids about gratitude that I thought those of you with children may be interested in.  I really liked several of the ideas listed in the article but I think my favorite is taking strips of red and green construction paper to make a gratitude chain.  Each day the child writes down something they are grateful for on a green strip of paper and a good deed they performed on a red strip of paper.  Staple the ends of the strip to create a circle and with the next strip place it through the circle and staple to create a chain.  At the end of November you have a holiday chain to decorate your house or tree.  
I'm getting ready to do Journal Your Christmas with Shimelle this year.  I did a December Daily style album last year (for the 2nd year) and followed along with Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas (JYC).  I'm really looking to do more journaling this year and pull in some Christmas memories as well so I'll be following JYC much more closely this year.  
Guess I better go get dinner started....Have a wonderful and thankful Thanksgiving!  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Today I am thankful for Pinterest.....

I'm not showing you one of completed 30 Days of Thankful pages today as I wanted to show you how I took a Pinterest pin and created washi tape and journaling card storage and organization.
The pin below is from the blog "A Bowl Full of Lemons".  If you are into organization, planners, office supplies, etc then you need to check out this blog.

washi tape storage on A BOWL FULL OF LEMONS

I thought this was a really clever idea to use dowels and 3M Command hooks to create washi storage.  I then took it a step further......

 Office supplies you may already have on hand.
 3M Command Center General Purpose Wire Hooks
3 hooks per package
Holds 1/2 pound
(Disclaimer:  I am not a paid spokesperson for 3M/Command products)
 I already had the dowels so it was just a matter of attaching the hooks to the wall so that the dowel fit on the hooks properly.  Super easy.  Totally my style!  My washi tape looks really pitiful.  I have more. Somewhere. I have to track it down.  I had two rolls that were much bigger that did not fit on the dowel.
 Since I knew I would not need the second dowel for washi tape I came up with this idea.  I put the clips on the rings and slid them onto the dowels.
 I've got six on there to start with.
I plan to add more after I use this for awhile.  I 
find it helpful to live with something to see how it
works first and then add to it over time.  As you can
see I have a package of buttons clipped on, several different types of journaling cards and 2 stamp
sets that are an odd size and don't fit with the rest of my stamp storage.  I use them for my Project Life pages.
This dowel is next to the table where I work on my Project Life album and I think this will be a great way to put items out on display and  actually put them into my albums.
I also have to give credit to Big Picture Classes and their Organizing FUNdamentals class that I took earlier this year.  Thanks to that class (and Wendy & Aly, the instructors) I have an organized, albeit messy, craft room that I enjoy being in.  I think about space differently and how to use/repurpose things for organizational purposes.  If I hadn't taken Organizing FUNdamentals I probably would not have paid attention to the Pinterest pin at the top of this post.  
Do you enjoy Pinterest?  Have you made or completed projects that you have pinned?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

End of year giveaway

 End of Year Giveaway

On December 26th I will be giving away the following Close To My Heart products:
  • a Cricut Artbooking Collection
  • a Designed Decor Frame in either white or black
  • a My Crush book (similar to SMASH book)
  • Designed Decor Flip Stand Album
  • 3 stamp sets  
In order to be eligible to win one  of these five items just place an order on my Close To My Heart website:

between now and December 24th.  For each order placed, your name will be entered into a random drawing to be conducted on December 26th with the winners announced here and on my Close To My Heart Lynn Wigren Facebook page on December 26th.   Any order over $50 will have an additional entry in the giveaway as well. Here is a look at the items you could win......

Cricut Artbooking Collection

Take yoursCcrapbooking to never-before-seen levels with the new Cricut® Artbooking collection! With oodles of images in each of 15 layout themes, you can create several coordinating pages for each theme using just two keys and one dial size. Images include accents, borders, titles, overlays, photo mats—in standard photo sizes!—and more. The Cricut® keys are optimized for creating 12" × 12" pages in a jiffy. You'll also love creating 10 themed mini books, also optimized for several different sizes using just two keys and one dial size. When you're finished cutting, use the coordinating stamp sets and Dimensional Elements shapes to add even more pizzazz!

Collection includes:
1 – Cartridge (700 images: Font, Mini Books, Layouts)
3 – My Acrylix® D-size stamp sets
3 – 12" × 9" Dimensional Elements (3 sheets of different shapes)
Creative Feature Keys: Title, Photo Mat 1, Photo Mat 2, Icon, Border, Overlay.
Recommended blocks for included stamp sets: 1" × 1" (Y1000), 1" × 3½" (Y1002), 2" × 2" (Y1003), 3" × 3" (Y1006), 2" x 3½" (Y1009), 4" × 5" (Y1012).
Cricut® is a registered trademark of Provo Craft & Novelty, Inc. All rights reserved.

Designed Decor Frame
Your choice of the white or black frame.

Designed Decor Flip Stand Album

Over the next week I will have photos of the 3 stamp sets and the My Crush book along with more details on all of the products.  
Any questions, leave a comment or email me at

Today I'm thankful for 10 days off of work!

Two more days done as I continue to put my photos and journaling together.  I started a stretch of vacation and holiday days over Thanksgiving week and am looking forward to some time in my craft room.  I have a long list of projects I'd like to work on.  My husband has a few days off at the start of the week but will be working 12 hour days on Thanksgiving and Black Friday so I'm hoping for 2 full days of creativity!  I'd like to take some time to go back and add some embellishments to the pages I've created.  If it doesn't happen it's not a problem.  I'm just happy that the project has been doable and I'll have a finished album at the end of the month!  I have lots of half-done projects that are my list to finish.  How about you?  Do you have projects that need finishing?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thankful for a weekend away.....

I spent last evening and most of today getting caught up with errands and cleaning after having been away all last weekend.  Last weekend was part business and part fun.  I attended a conference at a ski resort about an hour away from home and we stayed overnight there for two nights.  We had a wonderful time and the highlight for me was swimming in the Inn's indoor/outdoor pool.  We had the pool to ourselves on Saturday evening and were amazed at how warm it was.  Even in the outdoor pool where the outside temperature was 37 degrees!
I've gotten my photos printed and have started working on putting the pages & journaling together.  I'll have two more tomorrow to show you.  
How is your 30 Days of Thankful project going?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

30 Days of Thankful continues

I had hoped to be able to post every day in November for 30 Days of Thankful however it was not to be.  I had a conference over the weekend for work and everything piled up after that.  I've been taking photos.  I just need time to get them printed and onto my pages. I hope to get caught up this weekend.  I think in the future I just have to plan for interruptions like this.  It seems like no matter how well I try to anticipate what will come up there is always a suprise or a change!  Does that sound familiar to anyone?
I really liked this affirmation from 
and thought you might too:

 Read it several times a day to promote harmony in your life.
(Alter it to meet your specific needs.)
"I Am Thankful for Everything I Have."
  • I remind myself of everything I already have in my life.
  • I am content with myself, my achievements, my relationships, and my possessions."
  • I allow myself to take a moment to feel grateful for everything truly good in my life.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The beautiful sunset caught our eye as soon as we walked out of Olive Garden.  I quickly grabbed my camera from the car fearful that I would lose it before I could get the photo.  I got a few funny looks from other people arriving or leaving as I stood in the parking lot taking photos.  As I turned to go back to the car I saw the moon coming up in the west and the sky with a totally different look. 
 I was very thankful to be in the 
right place at the right time.
What were you thankful for today?

As you can see, I did something different with the photos for today.  I placed them in a Close To My Heart 4 x 6 Flip Flap.  It means that I will have to take the page out of the protector to turn the photo to see the second one but this way I didn't have to choose between them or crop them.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thankful for a warm, cozy home

Just one page today.  
We had an unexpected lake effect snowstorm and I was really happy to get home safely. 
 Home always seems even nicer on nights like this!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 9 through 13

 It's catch-up day!  Day 9 through 13.
And a look at my album that arrived a few days earlier than predicted.

The album is a WeRMemory Keepers 8 x 8 - 3 ring binder in Cinnamon.
Today I am thankful for being caught up.  How is your thankful/gratitude project going?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DIY Gratitude Ornament

To continue your journey of thankfulness and gratitude throught the Christmas season watch the YouTube video DIY Gratitude Ornaments.  Here is the link:

I think this would a great Thanksgiving Day activity with the whole family and/or friends.  Just add to your Christmas tree or wreath when done!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like......

Just like the Christmas music and snowfall I still get excited when I first see our town's Christmas lights lit up at night.  I'm so thankful that the memories of the past remain with me and are kindled each time I see the lights, the snow or hear a favorite Christmas song.  

I found these great "Bee Thankful" free printables at The 36th Avenue.

Here is the link to get them:
I'm thinking of using these to give along with some banana bread or cookies to let friends know I'm thankful for them this Thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for today?  Please share in the comments section below.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Today I am thankful for my online friends....

I want to thank my "online" friend Melissa for her wonderful post yesterday.  Melissa and I have not met in in-person yet but through her blog and classes that we have shared at Big Picture classes I feel like I know her.  Here is the link to Melissa's blog  "Daily Life - Bits & Pieces" so you can follow her:

Only a few of my local in-person friends share my passion for all things paper and crafty so 5 years ago or so I was looking online for classes to spread my creative wings and found Big Picture Classes (BPC).  And I'm so glad I did!  Melissa was one of the first people that I met at BPC.  She was (and is) a coach for Stacy Julian's class Finding Photo Freedom. Along with Melissa, who is from Texas, I now count women from all over the world as my "friend".  And you know what?  We aren't all that different no matter where we live.

Here are a few more of my pages that I have completed.  I usually get my journaling done each day but the photo, either taking it or getting it developed takes a few days.  I'm never entirely "caught up" to the day but I'm not feeling anxious about it either.  I'm just thankful for forward motion each day.

We had our second snowfall of the year.  Not much either time and it didn't last past that day.  It amazes me that I still get a thrill when I see the snow start this time of the year and grateful that I still have that feeling.  
What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Trash Cans and Gratitude

Trash Cans and Gratitude 

Hi Everyone! Melissa Gross here. It is such an honor and a pleasure to be able to share with you today during Lynn’s focus on gratitude and thankfulness as we head into the holiday season.

If you had asked me what I was grateful for as the 2005-06 school year began, I’m positive trash cans would not have been on the list. However, trash cans played a large part in my life that year, and looking back now I can honestly say that I’m grateful for those trash cans.

I was beginning my second year as a technology and careers teacher at a middle school in East Texas. That same year I was also taking night courses to complete my master’s degree, which meant most days I had to leave the middle school campus when the final bell rang in time to make it to my night class. It was going to be a busy year, so I didn’t think much about it when I first learned that I was awarded lunch duty on “A” days. Basically I had to monitor the lunch room every other day for 30 minutes that year.

The assistant principal met me at the door my first day of lunch duty to explain my assignment. It seemed pretty simple at first; I could stand at the front of the lunchroom or walk around and simply watch to be sure the students were following the lunchroom rules. About 10 minutes before lunch ended, the assistant principal came over to me pushing one of those large 55 gallon plastic trash cans on wheels.

“We don’t want everyone trying to throw their trash away as they leave the lunchroom when the bell rings.” He said, “It causes a huge traffic jam, so, we just push these up and down the aisles and let students throw their trash away during these last few minutes.”

My first thoughts went something like this - Seriously!?! He wants me to push a trash can! I am a certified teacher; I have a degree in business management; I am only a few courses away from having an MBA; I am in my nice slacks, cute blouse and heels; I am not a garbage man; I am not getting paid enough to do trash duty every other day for nine months!

Of course, I did not verbalize these thoughts. I simply pushed the trash can up and down between the long rows of tables while students threw in their trash. I’m ashamed to say that I maintained this attitude for quite a while; especially on those days when a student threw in a half full milk carton that splashed up and out of the trash can onto my cute blouse or brushed their messy ice cream wrapper against my arm as they tried to get it in the can! However, I realized along the way that God was working in my life through this experience and my attitude changed to one of gratitude.

As I look back on that year, I can now say that …

·        I am grateful that I was able to get to know the students on a more informal level during lunch time.
·        I am grateful for the conversations I overheard as I pushed that trash can up and down the rows of tables, making me more aware of my students’ achievements and struggles.
·        I am grateful I had an excuse not to spend lunch in the teacher’s lounge where complaining and gossip were the norm.
·        I am grateful for the youth pastor who came each week and ate lunch with the students. What a wonderful example of a shepherd tending his flock.
·        I am grateful that I did not have after-school duty, which would have made me late for my night classes at the university.
·        I am grateful that I witnessed students inviting new students (evacuees relocated after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans) to sit with them at lunch.
·        I am grateful for the stories I heard of how my students and their families and churches pulled together after our town was filled to overflowing when Hurricane Rita hit the Gulf Coast.
·        I am grateful for the 8th grader who offered to push the trash can for me the day he knew I wasn’t feeling well.
·        I am grateful that God loved me enough to teach me humility and gratitude in the midst of my work day.
·        I am grateful that I was awarded lunch duty and honored with the task of pushing the trash can!

Thanks Lynn for letting me share my lesson about gratitude today!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Variation on the Thankful tree

Big Picture Classes if offering a new self-paced class with Amy Powers.  There is a link to more information at the end of the description below.  I thought there may be some interest in learning how to create the Celebration Tree as a Thankful Tree so I wanted to share this information with you.  I plan to sign up this weekend.
Disclosure:  I am not being paid to promote this class nor have any financial interest in this class.  

Celebrate life every day of the year with an elegant Celebration Tree! The craft-tacular Amy Powers will help you craft a unique and beautiful potted tree using fallen branches from around your town (or found online).
Then, through detailed videos and downloadable handouts, she'll help you dress it up for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Halloween, as well as other holidays and occasions throughout the year!
Glitter acorns and gratitude spools will gladden your heart at Thanksgiving time, while pom-pom spiders and black-and-orange garlands will make you smile at Halloween. And let's not forget decorating it for Christmas, using a special ornament collection that you'd like to put on prominent display. Find out more here.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Today I am thankful for.....

 Welcome back!  I am thankful that you are here reading my blog.
I got my photos processed and picked up from CVS. So I was able to catch up on my pages.
You've seen Day 1 without the photo and as you can see from the photo I added my desk is a mess!  It's a little less messy today but not a lot. 
 Day 6 I'm thankful for being out on the road working with the primary care practices I work with.  Urban to rural areas, lots of great views, a road I've never traveled, lots of hills and 2 lakes make for a great day out of the office!
Day 7 I'm thankful for the Christmas music radio station.
I showed you the Daily Log sheets that Cathy Zielske provided and I had partially filled them in prior to starting.  I keep forgetting about them but I took some time today to update them, add items I want a photo of on certain days and did a general list of possibilities.  I'm hoping that it will help on the weekdays when I have less time to focus on being thankful.
How about you?  What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gratitude inspiration

The first few days of my 30 Days of Thankful have been fairly easy to find what I am thankful for.  My challenge has been finding the time to sit and thoughtfully consider what comes to mind.  And time to work on my pages.  I did, finally, get my album ordered (see the Amazon box on the right for a photo of it).  I already had the page protectors on hand.  I think I'm going to need to carve out some time in the morning before I go to work to look at my pages with a fresh mind!
I can see, too, that as the days go by I may be in need of some fresh ideas.  So I cruised Pinterest for some journaling prompt ideas last night and I really didn't find much which suprised me.  
So I need to do some brainstorming....feel free to share your ideas in the comment section.
I'll leave you with this thought..................

Day 6 and more

I wanted to mention that a good friend of mine from the online world, Melissa, will be doing a Guest Post on Sunday with a wonderful story about Gratitude. You won't want to miss it.

My apologies to my readers...I did not realize that the rest of my post went missing...not sure what happened. Guess I will need to start typing it in Word and transferring it over.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day 2 through 5 with photos

 After work yesterday I was finally able to get my photos printed and added them to my pages and journaling.  Now that I've added my photos I really happy with the white border around the photos.  If I printed the pages correctly and they were 6 x 6 pages I would not have that border.  I'm not quite sure what I am going to do with it but I know I want to add a little something more to the pages.
 If you have any thoughts or ideas, let me know them in the comment section.  This is fairly typical of how I work on projects.  Pretty much working it out as things develop.  Occasionally I can see the whole "vision" of what I want to do but it's usually developing the next step once I can see where I am.  How do your projects progress?
 If you've started a "thankful" project or "gratitude" project I'd love to hear from you.  Email me at if you would like to share your project here.

Today I am thankful that you are here...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thankful Boxes and more..,,

I wanted to share a link to the blog Cottage in the Oaks:

She shares a wonderful story about how a beautiful tradition developed and continues in her family.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Expressing thankfulness



A friend of mine tells me that each member of her family writes what they are thankful for each day on a leaf and place it in the jar.  Each week they add the leaves to a hand-drawn tree on their wall.  
It always amazes me how there is such variety in how people express themselves.  
My 30 Days of Thankful project.....
As usual my best intentions have been slightly derailed but for a good reason.  I had hoped to get a few days ahead and posts planned out on Sunday but instead we went on a cleaning spree. So I still need to order my album, print my photos and set up some blog posts.  Here is what I've been thankful for to date:
November 1 My job
November 2 Comforting routines
November 3 Lily (our dog)
What have you been thankful for?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thought for today

You were given the gift of 
86,400 seconds today.  
Havyou used one to say
thank you?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

More gratitude projects....and progress

 It's November 2nd and there is still plenty of time for you to begin a Thanks-giving, 30 Days of Thankful or gratitude type project.  If like me, you would like to be more intentional in the days leading to Thanksgiving, check out the ideas in yesterday's post and here.  
 I love Pinterest!  I'm great at modifying or beginning with other people's creative ideas and only occasionally come up with my own original project.  Most often it's a combination of many peoples ideas.  I never would have thought of a Thankful Tree but really love this idea. I'm adding it to my Fall Bucket List for next year.  I'm not sure what format it will take but I'm partial to the ones with photos.
To see more "Thankful Tree" ideas follow this link to the Pinterest board

To see more "Thankful Tree" ideas follow this link to the Pinterest board
You can also follow my Gratitude Pinterest board by following this link:

                              I made a lot more  progress than I     expected last         night.                                                                                                                
I was able to cut all the 8 x 8 cardstock and finish trimming all the pieces I printed from Cathy Zielske's templates.  I put the pages together and slid them in the page protectors to keep them clean and safe.  I have a kitty that likes to chew on paper corners! Today I was able to complete the journaling for yesterday and today.  I've taken the photos to go with the journaling but need to print them out.  I'm hoping to do that tomorrow.
Let me know if you are doing any type of Gratitude or Thankful project.  I'd love to share your photo(s) here. I'm also looking for Guest Bloggers so let me know if you are interested.