Large-scale Inspiration in Small Spaces

One of the perks of having Convention in Salt Lake City this year was the tour of our home office. Those who got to visit our place kept telling us how inspiring it must be to work in such a gorgeous and innovative environment. Well folks, the truth is, it is! If you tuned in to our Facebook Live yesterday, you got an up-close look at the space where Close To My Heart artists create all of the memory keeping and papercrafting artwork you love. It’s a craft room dream come true. We want to show you how to take some of the ideas we used to create this atmosphere back to your own crafting nook so you, too, can be inspired!

The first step in this process is to find what actually inspires you. Look for something great that someone else has made and make it your own. Once you’ve chosen something you like, take a moment to really consider it. What is it at its core? As you think about it, is there anything that clues you into how it was made?

Large Scale Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhearts #hearts #mobile #inspiration #inspiringcreativity #creativityTake a peak into the Close To My Heart foyer. One of the first things visitors see when they walk into our building is this impressive mobile. Created from hundreds of paper hearts in various sizes and shades of pink, this is a breathtaking paper creation.

hearts-317

Because most of us don’t have fifty-foot ceilings to fit such a large décor piece, use this mobile as a starting point. Simplify the project. You can make a small version of this mobile or a banner of hearts that fits any space, including above a desk. The idea is the same—create a decorative piece with different shades of paper hearts, but with smaller and fewer pieces.

Large Scale Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhearts #hearts #mobile #inspiration #inspiringcreativity #creativity #wallpaperhearts #walldecoration #wallhanging

Let’s take a look inside our art studio.

Large Scale Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhearts #hearts #mobile #inspiration #inspiringcreativity #creativity #create

Large Scale Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhearts #hearts #mobile #inspiration #inspiringcreativity #creativity #cricut #flower #banner

These two images show a small sampling of the papercrafting pieces and inspirational quotes our artists have designed to foster an atmosphere of creativity.

Large Scale Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhearts #hearts #mobile #inspiration #inspiringcreativity #creativity #quote #createthethingsyouwishexisted #create

Here is that same quote found on the wall of our art studio. With a small frame and a handful of small paper flowers, you can showcase something that makes you feel creative while using little space.

You might not have a large space for working on your favorite projects, but you can use what’s around you to beautify your creative space in small ways. Large-scale sayings, banners, and other papercrating décor can be simplified to fit anywhere. You can see how all the parts and pieces came together to fill this desk space with elements of the papercrafting you saw in a much larger scale at the home office.

Large Scale Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhearts #hearts #mobile #inspiration #inspiringcreativity #creativity #craftingspace #flowers #cricut

Have you used large-scale inspiration to put together a crafting space that stimulates your creativity? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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15 Ways to Share a Smile

Share a Smile #closetomyheart #ctmh #operationsmile #charity #nonprofit #shareasmile #stamping #stamps #punnypals

Our Punny Pals are fun, spunky, and on a mission—to share as many smiles as possible! To help you continue spreading smiles this month, we came up with a list of small acts of kindness to keep you going. As you perform these, or any acts of service, consider leaving a card from the Share a Smile card kit behind. This small sentiment will be a reminder of the kindness you shared and will continue to bring joy (and smiles!) for days to come.

15-ways-to-share-a-smile #ctmh #closetomyheart #shareasmile #smile #share #operationsmile #punnypals #leaves #fall #raking #family

  1. Rake a neighbor’s yard
  2. Mail a note to a long-distance family member
  3. Pay for the person behind you in a drive-thru.
  4. Take flowers to the nurses’ station at your local hospital
  5. Leave a plate of cookies with a thank-you note for the cleaning staff at your office
  6. Put change in an expired parking meter15-ways-to-share-a-smile #ctmh #closetomyheart #shareasmile #smile #share #operationsmile #punnypals #chrysanthemum #flowers #hospital
  7. Drop off cupcakes to your local fire or police department
  8. Tape cash or a gift card on a random gas pump
  9. Leave positive messages in public places
  10. Offer to return someone’s shopping cart to the store
  11. Hide a favorite book in a public place with a note that it’s free for the taking
  12. Hold the elevator for someone else15-ways-to-share-a-smile #ctmh #closetomyheart #shareasmile #smile #share #operationsmile #punnypals #friends #group
  13. Invite an elderly neighbor to dinner
  14. Leave a generous tip at a restaurant
  15. Put a Share a Smile card in the mailbox for your mail carrier

Isn’t it amazing how little things can brighten our day? A compliment, a thank you, any small gesture of gratitude or compassion can spread joy. Sharing a smile with friends, neighbors, and even strangers is uplifting. Everyone feels good!

At Close To My Heart, we are celebrating Operation Smile™ and the non-profit work they do to help people everywhere have beautiful healthy smiles through safe cleft lip and palate surgeries. With every purchase of the Punny Pals stamp set, Close To My Heart donates $7 USD to this wonderful organization. You, too, can help change someone’s life and at the same time create cute and delightful cards to spread kindness to your family, friends, and community.

And don’t forget—the Share a Smile card kit and Punny Pals Thin Cuts are only available through the end of the month!

We’d love to hear how you are sharing smiles with our Punny Pals! Tell us what you’ve been up to in the comments below.

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Thin Cuts Technique with Our Punny Pals

Thin Cuts Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincuts #dies #diecuts #cardmaking #diy #wildaboutyou #animals #zooanimals #lion #monkey #tiger

Available for this month only, we have coordinating Thin Cuts for our Punny Pals stamp set! Remember, for every Punny Pals stamp set purchased Close To My Heart will donate $7 of the proceeds to Operation Smile™, a non-profit organization that provides safe surgeries to repair cleft lips and palates for people around the world. We took it upon ourselves to come up with a fun way to use this stamp set and its coordinating Thin Cuts to create something guaranteed to make someone smile! Below are step-by-step instructions to show you how to recreate this multi-layer card yourself using partially cut die cuts. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Materials Needed:
D1751 My Acrylix® Punny Pals Stamp Set
CC1340 Thin Cuts—Punny Pals
Z3318 Thin Cuts—Basic Circles
X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet
1385 White Daisy Cardstock
X5954 Pewter Cardstock
Z899 Black Memento™ Ink Pad
Z4050 Picture My Life™—Beary Christmas
Z3323 White Burlap Ribbon
Z4029 Bronze Sequins
3505 Watercolor Pencils
Z2445 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Barely Beige Marker
Z2446 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Black Marker
Z2452 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Golden Yellow Marker
Z2460 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Peach Marker
Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape
Die-cutting machine

Prepare and cut.
To replicate our card exactly, you will need the following pieces:

  • 1 standard card base
  • 3¾” x 5″ White Daisy cardstock
  • 4″ x 5¼” Pewter cardstock
  • 3¾” x 5″ New England Ivy “Sprig” paper from Beary Christmas paper packet
  • 4″ x 5 ¼ ” Pebble striped paper from Beary Christmas paper packet
  • 3¾” x 1″ ombre New England Ivy paper from Beary Christmas Picture My Life™ Cards

Thin Cuts Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincuts #dies #diecuts #cardmaking #diy #wildaboutyou #animals #zooanimals #lion #monkey #tiger

Step 1. Planning the partial cut.
Using washi tape, temporarily attach the 2½” circle die onto the White Daisy cardstock piece approximately ¾” from the top. Place the Tiger die on the adhered circle die, slightly left of center, and mark (with a pencil) where the two dies intersect.

Remove the tiger die but keep the circle in place. With a ruler and pencil, draw a light line through both of the dots, running off both sides of the cardstock.

Step 2. Partially cutting the circle.
We use a Cuttlebug™ as our preferred die-cutting machine. Layer a platform and a C-size plate and align the edges. Place the White Daisy cardstock on top of this combination so that the line you have drawn is about 1/8″ below the bottom of the plate. This will put the top half of the cardstock on the plate and leave the lower half of the cardstock hanging off the plate. Adhere the card piece in place with washi tape so it will not move. Anything below the plate will not cut through.

Layer a B-size plate on top and run the paper through your die-cutting machine. You should end up with a partially cut circle, still attached on the bottom left.

WAIT—DON’T REMOVE THE CARD FROM THE PLATE YET!

 

Step 3. Partially cutting the tiger.
Thin Cuts Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincuts #dies #diecuts #cardmaking #diy #wildaboutyou #animals #zooanimals #lion #monkey #tiger

While keeping the cardstock attached to the plate, remove the circle die. Add the tiger die where your circle is still intact, allowing a portion of the head and tail into the inside of the circle, and secure it to the cardstock with some washi tape.

Replace the B-size plate, make sure the platform and plates are aligned, and run it through the die-cutting machine.

Remove the tiger die. You will now have a portion of the tiger cut out of the inside circle. (The remainder of the inner circle may be discarded.) If there is a small area of the inner circle that has not cut through just snip carefully with scissors.

Step 4. Get Stamping!
Stamp the tiger image in place and color it with watercolor pencils.

Thin Cuts Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincuts #dies #diecuts #cardmaking #diy #wildaboutyou #animals #zooanimals #lion #monkey #tiger

Step 5. Assemble the rest of the card.
Create the inner circle of the card front by cutting the layers with the 2″ circle die.

Thin Cuts Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincuts #dies #diecuts #cardmaking #diy #wildaboutyou #animals #zooanimals #lion #monkey #tiger

Tip: To put the monkey in place, make two cuts of the monkey outline. When layering the shapes together, attach the front shape so that it overlaps the front of your circle window, and attach the back shape overlapping the back of the circle. This will hold the monkey securely in place.

Tip: For added dimension on your animal, make a second animal shape and, after stamping, trim out the face. Color this new layer and attach with thin 3-D foam tape.

 This Thin Cuts technique is all about versatility and dimension! Please share with us any comments or questions through the link below!

Share a Smile and happy trimming!

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Christmas Album Inspiration

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is just around the corner, with Christmas only a little over two months away! To help you get your holiday cheer going (if it isn’t already!), we are sharing a Christmas album with you made entirely from patterns featured in our new how-to book, Make It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3.

 Use the images below as inspiration to make your own layouts. If you’d like to replicate them exactly, look to our supply list at the end of this post. You’ll see that you only need a handful of products, including one of each of the items in our Beary Christmas suite: one paper packet, one set of coordinating cardstock, one set of Complements, one set of dots, and one silver shimmer trim.

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3: Pattern 17 (p. 38)

 

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmas

Add stamped accents like this one to your pages with the October Stamp of the Month, Christmas Tunes

 

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart ™, Vol. 3: Pattern 1 (p. 6)

 

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3: Pattern 4 (p. 12)

 

 

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3: Pattern 5 (p. 14)

 

 

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3: Pattern 8 (p. 20)

 

 

Prepare now to preserve all of the wonderful memories the holidays have to offer.

If you plan on making this album, but maybe not until after the craziness of the season, make sure you grab your supplies while they are available! The October Stamp of the Month, featured in several of these pages, is available this month only, while the Beary Christmas suite is only available through December 31, while supplies last.

Keep up with us on the blog all season long to see all the fun things we have in store for you! We are going to do our darndest to make sure you are ready for the holidays this year!

Supply List:

S1710 My Acrylix® Christmas Tunes Stamp Set—only available October 1–31!
X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet
X7225D Beary Christmas Coordinating Cardstock
1385 White Daisy Cardstock (4 sheets)
Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
Z2816 Cranberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
X7225C Beary Christmas Complements
Z4038 Beary Christmas Dots
Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim
9043 Make It from Your Heart™ Volume 3

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Preserving Holiday Memories

It’s that time of year again when the big holidays are stacked, one right after the other, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure they are as memorable and magical as we nostalgically remember them.

To help you on this quest, we encourage you to not just document everything with photos (but keep doing that!)—Take the time to also write about your experiences and the experiences of the people you share the holidays with.

Check out the following stunning layouts we’ve created, with intentionally heavy journaling, to preserve all of those holiday traditions and memories that require a little something more than a photo to remember.

Scrapbooking Traditions #ctmh #closetomyheart #family #holiday #tradition #halloween #pumpkins #costume #trickortreat #scrapbooking #pumpkinpatch

The first one up is Halloween. In just a few short weeks some of us will be dressing up, trick-or-treating, and carving pumpkins. Whatever your traditions and stories are, write them down to have to share later.

Scrapbooking Traditions #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #thanksgiving #family #blessed #flipflaps #tradition

Ever notice how food seems to bring people together? Write what it is about the holidays that make you feel so blessed and so grateful. Consider each dish and write about them. Why do you like them? Is there a special story associated with any of them? Perhaps there’s a recipe you want to remember or pass down.

Scrapbooking Traditions #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #thanksgiving #family #holiday #blessed #flipflaps #tradition

Thanksgiving is a feast for giving thanks. You may think there isn’t much to journal on this day, but take a real close look. There is food, special decorations (like the centerpiece example in our layout) and, of course, your people.

The people you share the holidays with have their own individual experiences of the same events and occasions. Take a little time to ask about their favorite traditions and memories and jot those down.

Scrapbooking Traditions #ctmh #closetomyheart #family #holiday #tradition #Christmas #favorite

This Christmas layout does just that. We’ve got one holiday with six unique perspectives.

These are just a few examples of how to incorporate lots of journaling into your layouts as a part of your artwork. As you scrapbook your holiday stories, remember why you even do so in the first place—for the preservation of memories, for you and for your family’s keeping.

As you enjoy your holidays, remember to tell your story!


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Celebrate Halloween Layout
D1736 My Acrylix® Cats & Bats Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7224B Cats & Bats Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X7224D Cats & Bats Coordinating Cardstock, Z2806 Emerald Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z899 Black Memento™ Ink Pad, X7224C Cats & Bats Complements, Z4028 Cats & Bats Dots, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3389 Cricut® You Are Here Collection, Cricut Design Space™, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
You Are Here
1½”, 2″, 2½”, 2¾”, 3″, 3¾” Title <i> (p. 18, M#46F6E)

Cricut Design Space™
¾” <font> “HALLOWEEN”
½” <font> “PUMPKIN PATCH,” “CARVING PUMPKINS,” “TRICK OR TREAT,” “SCHOOL COSTUME PARTY”

12″ x 12″ Blessed Life Layout
Z4041 Falling for You Cardmaking Stamp + Thin Cuts, D1748 My Acrylix® Oh Snap! Stamp Set, X7223B Falling for You Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5951 Espresso Cardstock, Z2829 Espresso Exclusive Ink™ Stamp Pad, X7223C Falling for You Complements, Z4029 Bronze Sequins, 3505 Watercolor Pencils, Z3234 Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™ 3″ × 3″, Z2027 Mini Stapler, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

12″ x 12″ What’s Your Favorite Tradition
Z4047 Beary Christmas Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, A1182 My Acrylix® Etched Alphabet Stamp Set, X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4050 Picture My Life™ Cards—Beary Christmas, X7225C Beary Christmas Complements, Z4038 Beary Christmas Dots, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker, Z2448 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Carmine Marker, Z2467 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Warm Grey 4 Marker, Z3293 Shimmer Brush—Clear, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Z3389 Cricut® You Are Here Collection, Cricut Design Space™

Cricut® Shape:
Artistry
3½” Shape <Holiday> (cut 6, p. 47, M#418092)
Tip: In Cricut Design Space™, unlock size restriction and make length 6½”

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Share a Smile

What would you do if you had the power to change someone’s life by simply sharing a smile?

Born with a cleft lip or palate, there are billions of people worldwide who suffer from the inability to simply smile due to a lack of access to any surgical care. Every three minutes another child is born with this condition, resulting in malnourishment, speech impediments, and social stigma.

For nearly a decade, Close To My Heart has partnered with Operation Smile™, a non-profit organization that provides safe surgeries repairing cleft lips and palates in children around the world. In an effort to collect funds for this charitable group, we annually dedicate the proceeds of one of our stamp sets to their efforts. This year is no different.

With the purchase of every Punny Pals stamp set, Close To My Heart is donating $7 USD of the proceeds to Operation Smile. And, for this month only, you can get a coordinating set of Thin Cuts for the delightful animal shapes.

We’ve also put together the Share a Smile Card Kit, also available this month only, that includes the Thin Cuts along with card bases, envelopes, paper pieces, and instructions that you can use to create these endearing cards.

Operation Smile™ T-Shirts

In addition to the Punny Pals stamp set, coordinating thin cuts, and Share a Smile card kit, we have t-shirts available all year round whose proceeds also go toward Operation Smile.

And, if you place an order with us you have the option to round your order up to the nearest dollar, giving the extra as a donation to Operation Smile. During October, your round-up donation will go even further, because Close To My Heart will match all round-up donations, up to $10,000 USD!

We are so grateful to our generous Consultants for all of their efforts and continued support for this great cause. At this year’s convention alone, they pulled together over $50,000 in donations to make a difference in the lives of children they will never meet.

Share a Smile #ctmh #closetomyheart #operationsmile #smile #charity #nonprofit #shareasmile

With your help, we can continue to remove financial, geographic, and cultural barriers that are impeding access to safe and well-timed surgeries. Purchase these items, encourage others to do so, or simply get on our site and make a straight donation to Operation Smile.

Share a Smile #ctmh #closetomyheart #shareasmile #operationsmile #charity #nonprofit

We are on a mission to change the lives of as many children as possible by restoring something that no child should be without—their smile.

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Base & Shade: Stamping in Layers

This is it—our last post for National Stamping Month! To cap off this year’s celebration, we wanted to give you the rundown on some of our favorite stamp sets, the base and shades!

My Acrylix® Thoughtful Bird Stamp Set

Base and shade stamp sets provide exactly that—different stamps that work together, the first being the base and the rest the shade, to create a final 3-dimensional-looking image. These layered stamps allow for so much more intricate detail that would otherwise be impossible to achieve with one single stamp (even if you are a masking Kung-Fu expert).

My Acrylix® For You Darling Stamp Set                        My Acrylix® Beautiful You Stamp Set 

So, here’s how it works. First, decide on a color combination. If you’re feeling a little sassy, try using a second-generation image for one of your layers. Embossing the top layer is also a fun and popular option. Once you’ve got your colors and inks figured out, stamp the base, usually a solid image, in the lightest color.

Base & Shade Stamping #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #nationalstampingmonth #baseandshade #layeredstamping #dream #scrapbooking

My Acrylix® From the Heart Stamp Set (only available through the end of the month!)

With your base down, start building the image up from lightest to darkest color with the coordinating shade images. Our clear blocks are the perfect tool for this kind of stamping, allowing you to seamlessly match up your layers without any guesswork.

My Acrylix® Sweet Baby Stamp Set

Remember, this kind of stamping can take some practice so if you don’t get it right from the start it’s okay, just don’t give up! If you keep at it, you’ll be creating beautiful, detailed stamped images in no time!

Have you tried any of the stamp sets highlighted in this post? Let us know which is your favorite in the comments below!


Recipes

 4¼” x 5½” Thank You Card
Z3377 Thoughtful Bird Stamp + Thin Cuts, Z3353 Basics Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3352 Enchantment Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5960 Fern Cardstock, Z2827 Almond Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2847 Eggplant Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2828 Toffee Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2829 Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2851 Saffron Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut Shape:
Flower Market
3½” Flower-2 <7> (p. 7, M369879)

4¼” x 5½” Congrats Card
Z3375 For You Darling Stamp + Thin Cuts, Z3353 Basics Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5941 Bashful Cardstock, X5951 Espresso Cardstock, Z2847 Eggplant Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3323 White Burlap Ribbon, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3343 Rose Embossing Folder, Embossing & Die-cutting Machine

4¼” x 5½” Thinking of You Card
Z3384 Beautiful You Stamp + Thin Cuts, D1739 My Acrylix® Thoughtful Bird Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5941 Bashful Cardstock, Z2819 Bashful Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2847 Eggplant Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Die-cutting Machine, Sewing Machine

12″ x 12″ Dream Page
CC1228 My Acrylix® From the Heart Stamp Set, Z3352 Enchantment Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3353 Basics Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3350 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5941 Bashful Cardstock, X5960 Fern Cardstock, Z2847 Eggplant Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2819 Bashful Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2842 Flaxen Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3354 Inspire Complements, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Sewing Machine

4¼” x 5½” Sweet Card
Z3376 Sweet Baby Stamp + Thin Cuts, Z3353 Basics Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5941 Bashful Cardstock, X5984 Pixie Cardstock, Z2819 Bashful Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2829 Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2719 Bashful Exclusive Inks™ Re-inker, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3346 Alphabet Embossing Folder, Embossing & Die-cutting Machine

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Marker Shading 101

Our final stamping technique in honor of National Stamping Month is a perennial favorite: how to bring your stamped images to life using marker shading! Today’s post will show you how to get multiple color shades from a single marker.

Step One: stamp your image. If you’re not sure what ink to use, see our tips at the end of this post.

Marker Shading Technique Step 1 #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #markers #markershading #markertechnique #flower #floral

Step Two: color your image using ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers. These markers are alcohol based, which makes them ideal for blending.

Marker Shading Technique Step 2 #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #markers #markershading #markertechnique #flower #floral

Step Three: decide where the “light” is coming from. To create a three-dimensional effect, which is what we’re trying to achieve by shading, you must determine where the light and shadows will be. Using the colorless blender, lighten the areas of your image where the light touches it.

Marker Shading Technique Step 3 #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #markers #markershading #markertechnique #flower #floral #highlight

Step Four: Re-color shaded areas. Using the same color markers, go over the shaded areas again to darken them.

Marker Shading Technique Step 4 #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #markers #markershading #markertechnique #flower #floral 

That’s it! Easy-peasy, right?! You can use this technique directly on a scrapbook page, a card base, or to create an original 3-D accent piece like we did with this card.

 Marker Shading Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #cardmaking #markers #markershading #markertechnique #congrats

INK TIPS: The very first thing we have to do, before picking out colors or anything of the sort, is to consider if we are using the correct ink for our stamping. Which is the correct ink? Isn’t black just black? Well, it depends on your stamping surface and what you will use to color in the image. Here’s a quick breakdown for you. Our Black Exclusive Inks™ is best used for images that you will stamp in solid black. Then there’s the Archival Black Exclusive Inks™. We like to use this ink especially in our scrapbooks because it’s colorfast and truly archival. You can add color to Archival Black ink with watercolors or alcohol-based markers, even, but you must make sure it is completely dry before you do so or your image will bleed. Black Memento™ ink is a favorite because it dries quicker than Archival Black and it doesn’t bleed when you add color. We’ve also learned, however, that the Memento™ ink does not work well on vellum paper and Archival Black does. The last one of the bunch that deserves a quick mention is the StazOn™ ink. StazOn™ works well with non-porous surfaces, such as glass, metals, ceramics, etc.

All of the stamped images on today’s post were done with Archival Black ink.

If you’ve got any comments or questions on what we’ve shared today, please let us know below!


Recipes

3″ x 3″ So Happy for You Card
C1693 My Acrylix® Many Congrats Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5974 Raspberry Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2457 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Marigold Marker, Z2448 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Carmine Marker, Z2459 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Green Marker, Z2466 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Vivid Green Marker, Z2454 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Leaf Green Marker, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles

3″ x 3″ I’m a Big Kid Now Card
Z3373 School Kids Stamp and Thin Cuts, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5960 Fern Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2448 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Carmine Markers, Z2455 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Light Orange Marker, Z2451 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Clay Marker, Z2456 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Mahogany Marker, Z2454 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Leaf Green Marker, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker, Z2458 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Marine Blue Marker, Z2467 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Warm Grey 4 Marker, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

3″ x 3″ Welcome Little One Card
B1558 My Acrylix® Baby Animals Stamp Set, Z3350 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2461 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peacock Green Marker, Z2451 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Clay Marker, Z2459 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Green Marker, Z2452 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Golden Yellow Marker, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

3″ x 3″ Congrats Card
B1558 My Acrylix® Baby Animals Stamp Set, D1747 My Acrylix® Happily Ever After Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5982 Canary Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2454 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Leaf Green Marker, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker, Z2459 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Green Marker, Z2452 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Golden Yellow Marker, Z2453 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Lavender Marker, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

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School Photos. 3 Reasons we LOVE them!

Today’s blog post comes from our beloved friend, Stacy Julian! Stacy is a recognized leader in the scrapbooking industry. She is the founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks magazine and the visionary founder of Big Picture Scrapbooking. After getting her initial start into the papercrafting world through Close To My Heart, Stacy is coming “home” to combine her ideas and training into a product line that will launch with Close To My Heart in 2018! We could not be more thrilled about this partnership!

We love Stacy for her liberating philosophy and simple step-by-step thematic approach that unlocks a person’s creativity and helps them easily create stories out of life’s special moments.

school photos #ctmh #closetomyheart #schoolpohotos #backtoschool #chalkboard #firstday

Photo Tip: Sit kids down on the front steps or on a bench. This allows you to get ALL of them and still move in closer with your lens.

One of my FAVORITE things to do is scroll through Instagram beginning in late August through the 2nd week of September. Why? Pictures like this one. I know I’m not the only one who loves these because I see them posted from all corners of the globe. And, whether you’ve got the cute “Pinterest” sign or not, school pics are an almost universal way to celebrate life and the passage of time. As a scrapbooker, I’m what you call “way behind” in my efforts to officially and consistently document school-related memories, but as a mom, I dutifully take these photos and I treasure them. This, by the way, is the first step to successful documentation—so I passed that test, phew!

Today, I want to share THREE reasons why we love school photos so much. I’m also going to share some tips for taking them and keeping track of them.

ONE. Fresh Starts.

New clothes, new shoes, new lunch boxes and a shiny, new year full of possibilities. Kids like NEW and Moms like the chance to start fresh…

First day of school pictures are particularly FUN because kids tend to be all polished up and looking their best. They might have a new haircut, or a new backpack and they definitely feel a new and palpable sense of excitement for new teachers, new friends, new adventures and maybe even new subjects.

School Photos #ctmh #closetomyheart #schoolphotos

Photo Tip: Don’t let the weather or other unexpected circumstances get you down. This is real life we’re documenting, after all! Rain and overcast skies result in fantastic light for photo-taking!

School Photos #ctmh #closetomyheart #schoolphotos #naturalpose

Photo Tip: Look for interesting shadows or reflections and capture a few of the details that your child is most excited about! In this case, new VANS!

TWO. Marked Progression.

For me, the start of a new school year is also the chance to STOP and take notice of who my kids are and how they are growing and becoming. Each school year is a milestone of progression and personality that lends structure to the joy (and task) of looking back. I’m not sure when exactly my focus changed from anticipation of all the new milestones that lay ahead for my young family to a feeling of almost dread that those same milestones were moving by at an ever alarming rate. But, now as I look primarily back on my children’s childhoods, I’m SUPER grateful that I have these kinds of photos. AND … I’m super ok, that these photos are not perfect. We often have unrealistic expectations for rituals like back-to-school and we feel discouraged if and when we forget to take a specific photo or find our efforts lacking in some other way. Trust me. I am now an older (and wiser) mom, and I’m telling you … it does not matter! You will be grateful for any and all of the photos you have.

Note: To illustrate growth and progression, simply compare and contrast photos side by side. Look for photos taken a few years a part (or ten) to show what has changed and what has stayed the same! Here is my son, Taft. Getting off the Kindergarten bus (2007) and pulling out of the driveway (2017) on his first day of 10th grade. Time marches on, but the photos allow me push the pause button from time to time!

Before you know it, there’s a fourth-grade girl looking back at her first-grade self. Ack!!

THREE. Easy Connections.

Even as it evolves, school is one of those things that stays pretty much the same over the years. For this reason, school photos can help you illustrate great stories. I enjoy looking for opportunities to draw connections between children and the everyday realities of school.

Note: Here’s my oldest attempting to open his high school locker for the first time and my third posing in front of this middle-school locker on dress up day. And …

school photos #ctmh #closetomyheart #stacyjulian #schoolphotos #lockerswithfriends #schoollockers

Photo Tip: Half the photography battle is getting over yourself and your own embarrassment. If you want the photo, ask for it. I’ve found that kids now expect me to be there and to be taking pictures. They get used to it!

… my youngest, who got up extra early this year, so he could meet his friends and they could all be first in line to get lockers next to each other. What a clever way to make sure you run into your friends in the hall.

 

School, like life is in the details. Look for the little, everyday things that don’t feel particularly special that are a part of the bigger, “school life” story.

My final and best tip is to spend a little time each week with your digital photos. Create a “school” tag or keyword and add that to a few of your best photos each year. You don’t have to be perfect with this, before you are richly rewarded. When I searched for school photos I was able to pull up (almost) all of the images I’ve shared in this post. I LOVE that!

school photos #ctmh #closetomyheart #schoolphotos #math #everydaymoments

Photo Tip: Use the silent feature on your phone camera. They didn’t even know I took this!

Note: As I was finishing up this post, my son was at the kitchen table helping his friend with math. Don’t forget that life is constantly unfolding all around us and school-related photos happen all year, so the VERY best thing you can do is simply train yourself to be aware of the “nothing special here” moments and recognize an opportunity to freeze time!

Happy home-working and picture-taking to one and all!

 

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