For this entire month of April, we’re celebrating our love for stamping with a Stamptacular sale! This unbelievable sale includes over 225 stamps sets and over 125 Stamp + Thin Cuts bundles! With savings up to 50%-off, we know you won’t want to miss out on the incredible opportunity to save big on your favorite Close To My Heart stamps and Thin Cuts metal dies!
If you’re already familiar with our top-quality stamps, then the Stamptacular sale is the perfect time to build off of what you already have and expand your creative options even further! If you’re a new crafter, or have yet to explore the wonderful world of stamps, this is an excellent opportunity to start off your journey with the best-quality stamps on the market at unbeatable prices!
At Close To My Heart, stamping is a huge part of who we are, and it’s been that way right from the beginning. Over our 35+ years in the crafting industry, we’ve become a forerunner in the world of stamping and pioneered the use of clear stamps and transparent, reusable stamping blocks. All of our stamps are made with a clear material that is flexible, yet sturdy, allowing for easy transfer from the carrier sheet they come on to one of our acrylic blocks. They are unmounted, which gives crafters more freedom to make our stamps work for them, as well as reducing the storage accommodations required for traditional mounted stamps.
Because our stamps and stamping blocks are completely transparent, it’s easier to achieve greater accuracy when it comes to stamp placement. Whether you’re adding stamped accents to a larger project, like the sections of a 12″ x 12″ scrapbook page you see above, or a smaller section like the accent shown below, having a clearer perspective on what your stamped image will look like is an excellent way to gain greater control over your creativity and produce more polished artwork!
Along with an amazing variety of stamps, many of our sets also come with specially designed Thin Cuts metal dies, which are coordinated with their respective sets to yield a perfect outline for your stamped image without the need for hand trimming. These Thin Cuts are super-slim and fit inside the envelope that our stamp sets come in, so storage is a breeze!
It’s easy to see why we’re so excited to share the all the incredible savings in the Stamptacular sale with you! To sweeten the deal even more, we’ve also brought back five exclusive stamp sets from the past, just for this sale! These five sets—Let’s Stay Home, The Great Indoors, On Repeat, Through Thick and Thin, and Forever Grateful— feature fun sentiments, icons, and accents to help you create all sorts of artwork, from fun and whimsical pieces to more elegant, polished designs.
In addition to these five exclusive sets, we’d also recommend that you check out the exclusive Everyday Heroes SVG file, which was featured on one of our blog posts last April! Click here to visit that post and download this adorable SVG file, free!
These exclusive stamp sets, along with the Everyday Heroes SVG file, are specifically designed to inspire reflection on the events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and help you document all the memorable moments—both happy and challenging—you’ve experienced over the past year. These exclusive stamp sets will only be available through April 30, 2021, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to get these too-cute sets for yourself!
We love anything and everything to do with stamping, and we want to hear about your experiences with this versatile medium! Do you have a favorite stamping memory? What about your favorite way to craft using Close To My Heart stamps? Leave a comment below to let us know!
It’s no secret that we love color at Close To My Heart. Color breathes life and feeling into the world around us. With an unspoken language all its own, color has the power to calm, to energize, and to inspire. As spring slowly creeps its way into this year, the world is brightening up its color palette bringing with it a rejuvenation we all could use right about now—and we are all for it!
We are starting today’s color celebration with our Love of Color how-to series. Through its pages, the exclusive Close To My Heart color palette, made up of 44 unique colors, comes to life. Breathtaking artwork illustrates how to create perfectly balanced color combinations without any guesswork. Each spread in these volumes starts out with one exclusive color that is then combined with two, three, and four other exclusive colors, shown in beautifully crafted inspirational artwork.
Since we hope for sunny days in the upcoming season, let’s take a closer look at the color combinations offered for Sundance, one of our newer colors, in Love of Color Vol. 2, pages 26 and 27.
In this example, Sundance was paired with Avocado and Glacier. Sundance is the dominant color, and the others were used to complement it and to create accents throughout. (White is a neutral and doesn’t really count, so feel free to include as much or as little as you’d like!)
This perfectly spring-themed card was created by following another color combination featured in the guide, combining Sundance with Cinnamon, Blue Belle, New England Ivy, and Charcoal.
The third color mashup for Sundance in our Love of Color Vol. 2 includes pairing it with Peach, Desert Rose, and Peacock.
These inspirational color guides really make it so simple to combine colors that some of us probably wouldn’t even consider. Its pages explore the unique qualities of each color and help you see their beauty and versatility.
We’ve also talked about color theory on this blog, before. If you’re interested in creating your own color combinations, we encourage you to revisit those posts for a quick refresher on techniques for pairing colors. (Find links below.) Once you’ve got those basic rules down, we also encourage you to break them as you see fit!
To continue this colorful celebration, we’ve updated our Close To My Heart color wheel by removing the colors that retired from our palette just a few short months ago and adding the new colors that were introduced.
Download the updated Close To My Heart color wheel, here.
***Keep in mind that our exclusive colors are made up of much more complex tones, shades, and hues than how they are categorized on the simplified color wheel offered above. As you reference and use this source, know that it is not 100% confining. Especially as you become more familiar with what makes colors work together visually, you’ll find that this color wheel is very flexible.***
Lastly, we have a couple of bonus downloads for you today! Working with our amazing art studio, we put together two watercolor guides featuring techniques, tips, and all-around useful information—one for watercolor paints and another for watercolor pencils. In these guides you will find how to blend our exclusive colors using watercolor paints, the variety of ways a watercolor pencil can be used, and so much more! Enjoy exploring these watercolor guides, below!
One of our all-time favorite humans is celebrating her birthday this month, and we simply cannot let the occasion pass without inviting you to celebrate her along with us! We are talking about none other than our dear founder, CEO, and, most especially, lovely friend Jeanette Lynton!
Through her exemplary work and dedication for over 35 years, Jeanette has taught us the importance of memory keeping, where we celebrate our lives and relationships through beautiful stamps, papers, and inks.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that memory keeping is at the heart of everything we do. We’ve made it our mission to help others realize the importance of preserving memories and celebrating relationships—and to show them how to do it in a fun and fulfilling way!
The Party Time paper collection in our current Core Products Catalog, featuring bright and festive colors and designs, helps us do just that! And, because it is Jeanette’s birthday, we are keeping the party going by giving some of it away!
We are giving away five bundles of product here on the blog, another five on our Facebook page, and another five on Instagram! (Follow us on those other platforms to learn how to increase your chances to win!)
To qualify for the drawing on the blog, it’s an easy two-step entry. First, make sure you are subscribed! If you are not, simply push the blue “Subscribe to list” button found on the sidebar, if you’re on a computer, or at the very bottom of this post, if you’re on a phone or tablet. Second, and this is a must and just as important, leave a comment below with a birthday message for Jeanette. That’s it! All entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. tomorrow, March 25, MDT (that’s 10:00 a.m., 26 March, AEDT for our Aussie friends). Blog winners will be notified via the e-mail address connected to their subscriptions.
All of you that are part of our crafting community, you mean so much to us and especially to Jeanette. We are so grateful for the years of friendship we’ve all shared and the many years of friendship to come, and we love celebrating our relationship! Today, please join us in celebrating Jeanette and leave her a birthday message below! Happy birthday Jeanette!!
Great artwork is built on the inclusion of many small elements, all coming together for a stunning end result! Watercolor is an incredibly easy and effective way to boost the overall aesthetic of your artwork, resulting in a truly professional appearance while still keeping it uniquely “you.”
When most people hear “watercolor,” they may picture intricate images painted free-hand by a skilled and experienced artist. Today, however, we’re going to show you a variety of different ways you can easily apply watercolor techniques to your artwork, some of which may even surprise you! Watercolor is a skill anyone can practice and use to up the ante in their own artwork, and the techniques we’re sharing with you are great for beginners and experts alike!
All of the artwork we’ll be showing you today was made using papers, stickers, and embellishments from our beautiful Daisy Meadows collection.
This bright paper suite lends itself well to watercolor and is a great starting point for anyone who may be new to this beautiful medium!
Artistic splattering is a great way to break up a plain background, and it’s incredibly quick and easy to add to any artistic project!
To create these fun splatters, take a wet waterbrush, pick up some paint from your watercolor paint palette, and gently tap the brush on top of your index finger, holding it over the general area where you’d like the splatters to land.
(Tip: Use a piece of scratch paper to cover any parts of the page you don’t want to be splattered.)
Here, we’ve combined the splattering technique with some light stamping and complemented it all with a few small stickers and Daisy Meadows Dots. When these elements are combined, you go from a plain white background to a multi-textured one!
Another way to incorporate watercolor into your artwork is to create a painted border around the perimeter of your scrapbook pages.
To create a painted border like this one, lightly make a few long strokes around the edges of the page, taking care to not let your hand wander toward the center. A simple watercolor element like this is a wonderful way to brighten up a modest background!
The next technique on our list shows you how to use watercolor paints to create eye-catching elements and accents in the foreground of your projects. In the page pictured below, we used watercolor paints to add soft color not only to the floral accents by the photos, but also for the bright swash in the title.
This vibrant addition draws the eye to the title, allowing for a natural, flowing progression as viewers take in the rest of the page.
(Tip: To achieve a flawless swash effect, add the watercolor paint and let it dry completely before stamping. This way, you can adjust the color to get it just right, and you’ll avoid smearing the ink on the stamped image.)
For the delicate floral accents, you can easily achieve a gentle fade by concentrating the paintbrush along the outer edges of the stamped image, creating an outline. Then, clean the brush, wet it, and softly brush the color toward the center of the image. If watercolor paints aren’t your preferred watercolor medium, this effect can also be achieved using watercolor pencils.
Another fun way to up your watercolor game is to play around with various color saturations and pigment shades.
For a more pigmented effect on your initial coat, consider using a dry brush to pick up your wet paint. Wet bristles will pick up less paint, resulting in a lighter pigment, so starting with a wet paint well and a dry brush will allow you to achieve a darker color right from the get-go!
You can also adjust the color saturation as needed, but this process takes a bit of patience. To get the best results, wait for the first layer of paint to dry fully before going in for a second coat.
For a more abstract approach to watercolor painting, consider using a smooshing technique!
Like you’d do with a swash, you’ll want to apply your watercolor pigments to the paper before stamping. To add a smushed watercolor element, apply your watercolor paint to the page or accent in a more abstract form.
Once you’ve applied your color, you’ll take a plastic bag and smoosh it on top of the paper where the paint has been applied, mixing the colors together. This results in a beautifully blended texture, which will be ready for you to stamp on top of once it’s fully dry.
(Tip: You can save the acetate wrapping from a new stamp pad, or any other new product, and use that for your smooshing!)
One last technique we’ll share with you today is stencil painting. This technique is one of the easiest things you can do to add watercolor to your scrapbooking pages or cards.
This technique is also a fantastic way to express your own unique creativity, as you can cut your own stencil patterns for this watercolor element! To create your own stencil, cut a design into cardstock using your favorite cutting machine. If you’d like to reuse your stencil, cut your design on Stencil Sheets, so you can design and create your own stencils and use them for multiple projects! (For pre-designed stencils, check these out!)
When you use a stencil to add watercolor to your artwork, use strips of washi tape to hold it in place while you paint over it. This will ensure a more uniform appearance with fewer unwanted smears.
Once your stencil is secured in place with washi tape, use your waterbrush to gently wash over the stencil. This technique may result in some light bleeding, rougher edges, or blotching, which gives it a beautiful, perfectly imperfect look!
Did you see any techniques today that you can’t wait to try? Leave a comment below to tell us about your favorite watercolor technique and how you incorporate it into your own artwork!
Are you the kind of person who loves taking photos? If you already know that you have more photos than you know what to do with for a traditional scrapbook layout (most of us are this person), take a look at these surprisingly easy ways to include all of them in your albums and tell your whole story!
Sometimes we have too many photos for one particular layout but, for whatever the reason—not enough time, not enough variety, not enough paper (heaven forbid!)—we can’t make a second layout from what we do have. If you’re anything like many of us, the thought of tossing any of these “extra” photos makes you cringe—😱! This is where we can help!
Pocket Plus protectors are exactly what they sound like—additional pockets to add to a layout, creating space for more photos, journaling, mementos, etc. You fill the pockets of these protectors with your memories, then slip them right into your layouts!
They’re fast and simple and add a fun interactive element to your layouts!
Pocket Plus is a great solution for adding those stowed away photos to your already existing albums. If you’re planning ahead, however, you can take your designing a step further and purposefully create your layouts so that the Pocket Plus protectors lay on top of the 12″ x 12″ pages in such a way that titles, photos, or other elements of the page aren’t partially covered.
Pocket Plus Memory Protectors come in two widths, 6″ and 4″. So, for instance, if you are planning on using a 6″ wide protector on top of your 12″ x 12″ page, design your base page with this in mind. Create a visual line at the 6″ mark that none of your photos, sentiments, journaling, or titles can straddle.
If you are planning on using a 4″ wide protector on top of your 12″ x 12″ page, design the base page with a visual line at 4″ from the inside margin.
This way, your Pocket Plus is working with the visual elements of your layout rather than interrupting them.
If you’ve only got a few additional photos or need just a small amount of extra room for some journaling, or whatever, then Flip Flaps™ are the way to go!
Flip Flaps are individual protective pockets that you attach to a page and flip to reveal additional photos, sentiments, or designs—and they’re something you can only get with Close To My Heart! Available in eight different size options, Flip Flaps can be attached to pretty much any size or style of scrapbook page!
If you haven’t already, today is also a good day to discover the simplicity of scrapbooking in pockets. Using Memory Protectors with multiple pockets is another great way to display all of those photos you have of that one birthday party, camping trip, or girls’ night out in a trendy blocked style. (See all of our different style and size options, here.)
Looking to fill those none-photo pockets? Picture My Life™ pocket cards are beautifully and purposefully designed for you to use for exactly that, and they effortlessly coordinate with our paper collections and products.
We are especially excited about two brand-new sets of Picture My Life pocket cards, Lovely and Party Time. These two sets were recently designed to coordinate with the Lovely and Party Time paper collections in our 2020–2021 Core Products Catalog, and are only available until March 31, while supplies last. (Snag these gorgeous cards for yourself, while you still can!)
With a wide assortment of pocket protectors and pocket cards at your disposal, you always have that extra space for all of your photos, journaling, and memories! Do you use any of these types of pockets in your scrapbooking? If so, please share with us how you do in the comments below!
Cardstock is a crafting essential for any avid crafter, and at Close To My Heart, we’re pretty proud of the cardstock selection we have to offer! Join us as we show you all the ways our cardstock stands apart and share some exciting offers from our new Cardstock Carnival sale!
Whether you’re making a scrapbook layout, a card, or another papercrafting project, cardstock is likely one of the first things you’ll reach for to make sure your artwork not only looks beautiful but stands the test of time. With a higher weight (or thickness) than paper, cardstock is often more durable than regular paper and can add a more professional and expert look to your crafts.
Our cardstock is designed along the exclusive Close To My Heart color palette, which means that each and every sheet coordinates precisely with all our inks, patterned paper collections, and quite a few of our embellishments as well! With this perfect coordination, you never have to spend time fussing over color matches, and you can count on our cardstock to integrate seamlessly into any project, as you can see with this card!
Along with perfect color coordination, each sheet of our cardstock also has a unique white core. This core allows for greater color saturation and more accurate matches. It also provides a striking contrast when you artistically tear or distress your cardstock!
(Tip: To distress cardstock, you can run a pair of scissors along the edges or gently rub the surface with some sandpaper. Make sure to start out with a light hand so you don’t rub away too much color all at once!)
For greater versatility, each sheet is also two-toned, with the true exclusive color on one side and a lighter version on the other, as you can see here with this two-tone scrapbook page.
This dual-tone effect allows you to maximize your cardstock usage while also expanding your range of colors. When you craft with two-toned cardstock, it’s like having two sheets in one!
There’s a TON to love about Close To My Heart cardstock, and during the month of March we are sharing that love through our Cardstock Carnival sale.
Slimline cards are a fun change from the standard, 4¼” x 5½”, size cards. They’re long and narrow, typically measuring 3½” x 8½”, providing a much larger surface area on which to create a design.
One of our favorite Thin Cuts currently available from our January–February Catalog is the Diagonal Stripe Slimline die that cuts a beautiful diagonal stripe pattern, sized especially for the front of a slimline card. Paired with a few simple techniques, it’s easy to create a wide variety of looks with this eye-catching pattern.
We hope that once you’re done visiting with us today, you will leave here feeling inspired and ready to create some of these beauties of your own!
This first card has a gorgeous, somewhat fantastical galaxy, look to its background.
The card base was sponged with Distress Oxide™ inks and a Mini Ink Blending Tool, creating an exaggerated version of the colors that are most often associated with the northern lights (pink, green, yellow, blue, and violet). The small, star-like spots are the oxidizing effect of the ink when we splattered it with water. When we finally layered the die-cutmade using the Diagonal Stripe Slimline Thin Cuts, our out-of-this-world look was complete! The White Daisy lines from the die-cut look like a meteor shower!
The top card, even though it is more adorable than most store-bought cards, came together in a matter of minutes! We first covered the front of the card base with a solid piece of patterned paper, then layered the diagonal stripe die-cut, also cut from patterned paper, on top. From there, it was a simple matter of weaving in stickers (from our Sweet Safari collection) through the diagonal paper strips. Complete the card with a stamped sentiment on a solid color cardstock and embellish with more cardstock, gems, or stickers.
The background of this third, Congrats, card is a little more involved than the first two we’ve shown you so far, but it is still not difficult to achieve!
We decided to back 10 of the open spaces of the die-cut with patterned pieces of paper, leaving the remaining spaces free for stamping later. You know those scraps you just can’t seem to throw away? Well, pull them out because this is a great way to use them! All you need are strips of paper that are large enough to cover the gaps. We used 5″ long strips of patterned papers, between ¼” to a smidgen over a ½” wide, and attached them to the die-cut using adhesive only along the top and bottom border. Then, we just trimmed any excess that was hanging over and attached the prepared die-cut, front side up, to a blank card base.
This last card we are sharing with you today is a show-stopping, slimline shaker window card!
Follow along with our Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, in the video below to see how this endearing card comes together.
Several of the pieces, including the two top frames, were cut using our Cricut® Art Philosophy collection and Design Space’s Basic Shapes. If you do not have access to our Art Philosophy collection, contact your Close To My Heart Maker or find one near you, here, by clicking on “Find a Maker.”
There’s something to love about each month and season, so we’re rolling out an entire years’ worth of stamping fun with a Months of the Year stamp series! With sentiments, icons, and borders for a variety of crafting projects, the stamp sets in the Months of the Year series provide a way to create beautiful artwork for any time of year. Today, we’re going to show off a few of the ways that the January and February sets can be used, and we have a feeling that once you’ve seen these two, you won’t be able to wait for the rest!
With every new set comes new opportunities to craft calendar pages, layouts, and so much more! Each Months of the Year set comes with a variety of different stamps to aid you as you create seasonally specific artwork all though the year. Throughout 2021, these stamps sets will be released, two at a time, with each of our bi-monthly catalogs, so you can look forward to the release of new sets through the end of the year!
Because Close To My Heart serves a global market, we’ve created two stamp sets for each month—one for crafters in the northern hemisphere, and another for artists in the southern hemisphere!
(🤓Fun Fact: Seasons are reversed between the northern and southern hemispheres! When someone in the US might be sledding or skiing, it would be a great time to hit the beach in Australia!)
These stamp sets are not only great to use individually but can also be used to create your own series of artwork along a theme! One of the most challenging parts of memory keeping can trying to decide which stories to tell, and where they should be placed. With a separate set designed for each month of the year, it’s easy to put together monthly scrapbook pages and in no time, you’ll have an entire album telling the story of the past year! This adorable Valentine layout is a wonderful example of how the stamps from the February stamp set can be used as perfect accents for the page design.
In this example, it’s easy to see how well the stamps and the paper we used complement each other, even though they weren’t specifically designed to coordinate with each other. Each Months of the Year set is easy to integrate into your artwork and includes enough variety to mix well with all our paper collections!
In addition to scrapbook layouts, the Months of the Year stamp sets are also a great tool to use when creating calendar pages! As you can see here, we’ve used these stamps to add decoration to full-size calendars and smaller perpetual calendars as well!
The Months of the Year stamp sets will all be available through the end of 2021, so you can order them at a time that works for you, pick and choose your favorites from the series, or get them regularly as they’re released. No matter when or where you use these stamps, we know you’ll love the beautiful designs and gorgeous artwork you can create with them! Did you have a favorite stamp or an idea of how you’d use the Months of the Year stamp sets? Leave a comment below and let us know!
We have an early Valentine for all our loyal readers—a free card pattern! Celebrate along with us and share the love this Valentine’s Day, and anytime, with a personalized handmade card!
Making its original debut in our Blossom Workshops on the Go® cardmaking guide years ago, we paired this timeless pattern with our lovely Perfect Match collection to create four cards, two that are romantic themed and two that are not.
This classic pattern can be used for every celebration and occasion with the right combination of papers, embellishments, and sentiments. If you’re not sure how to mix and match these products, we’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation for you! For effortless coordination, simply choose any one of our creative collections and stick to just those products within the suite. Another option is to pick a color combination from either of our Love of Color volumes, and to strictly work with products within that color palette. (Making cards can be that easy! 🥳)
The flower card above was made using one of the Ballerina color combinations: Ballerina, Pewter, Carolina, and Sugarplum. If you look closely, you’ll notice that even though we picked this combination, we left Sugarplum (one of our retired colors) off and added White Daisy. It still works!
The Hello card on the right was made from one of the Candy Apple combination options: Candy Apple, White Daisy, Lagoon, Sapphire, and Black.
Download the free pattern below and share some love this Valentine’s Day, and beyond, with a handmade card from the heart. ❤️