From Jill: Capture Memories as You Make Them

Use your planner to write down things you want to remember for your scrapbook! #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #scrapbooking #tips #crafting
This post originally appeared last year on our blog. It has been edited slightly for relevance. Read the original here.

As I enter the New Year with resolutions and hopes for the future, there is one resolution that I keep at the top of my list year after year: documenting my stories. Because this is so important to me, I am always looking for new ways to do it.

For the past two years, I’ve been trying a new form of journaling involving my planner. I have always been a planner person. Even with technological advances, I like using pen and paper to organize my days, and since I always have my planner close by, I thought I’d try something out.Use your planner to up your scrapbooking game--you won't want to miss this great idea! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #planner #journaling #memorykeepingmatters

Here’s what I did: Whenever something sparked a memory from my past or whenever something special happened that day that I wanted to remember, I wrote it down in my planner. You can see my example here from two years ago.

By jotting these things down in my planner as I remembered them or as they happened, I found I focused more on what’s really important in life and not just my never-ending to-do list. I also found that when I went to scrapbook, I could reference my planner for journaling ideas.

Sometimes what I wrote in my planner was something that happened on a specific day, but other times I just wrote down a random memory from the past.

Either way, turning to my planner gave me inspiration for what to write next to my photos, like you can see from this scrapbook page I created last year:

Use your planner to up your scrapbooking game--you won't want to miss this great idea! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #planner #journaling #memorykeepingmatters

The photo I used on this page was taken in June, but that little quote actually came from a conversation between these two kiddos in January. Even though the exchange didn’t happen at the same time as the photo, it made a much more meaningful story to compliment my photo than something generic like “here we are at the park… again.” The quote and photo work together to tell the story of their relationship at that point in time.

Our dear friend and brilliant storyteller, Stacy Julian, has spoken at a couple of our events in the past year, encouraging everyone to document memories as they come. On our CreativeLive show last year, she led us in a fun exercise to trigger memories and stories with random photos of ordinary objects.

This exercise transformed the way I think about storytelling, showing me that even seemingly random, unconnected memories are part of my story and can often be connected to more significant memories. Instead of letting these random memories fade whenever they are sparked by something I encounter in my day, if I just take two minutes to write them down, they can be kept and told. Whether the memories are old or new, a planner is such a convenient place to record them as they come so you can remember all those details when you sit down to do your journaling.

I want to invite all of you to join me in my efforts to keep and tell stories by writing down things as they happen in your planners. And if you haven’t already gotten our 2017 planner pages yet, I encourage you to get them now! We have three different bundles. You can check them out by clicking on the images below.

 

Coloring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbookColoring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbookColoring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbook

One thing I love about our unique planners is that they have coloring pages, which is a great way to inspire your creativity every time you open your planner. It makes your day-to-day planning feel extra special, and when you combine that with documenting precious moments and revisited memories, you can create something really beautiful.

Coloring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbook

To help you get started with this new journaling approach, here is your first prompt: Document a conversation. This could be something your cute kiddos say, a nice exchange between you and a loved one, or the conversation you observe between a grandparent and a child. If you’d like, snap of photo of your notes and share it using the hashtag #memorykeepingmatters.

One of my favorite quotes from author Madeleine L’Engle says, “Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.” This is what I want for my family and my life, and I want it for each of you, too. Join me in a storytelling journey by using your planner to record special memories as they come to you.

Always let your stories shine,

Jill


To learn more about our 2017 planner, check out our video below (which features me!) 🙂 :

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New Year, New Products!

New products from Close To My Heart! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhellolovely #weddingscrapbook #vintagescrapbook

There’s something special about the New Year: It’s a time filled with big hopes and dreams, renewed purpose and focus, and for all of us here at Close To My Heart, a new idea book packed with tons of new products!

If you haven’t had a chance to browse through our new idea book yet, you can look at the electronic version here. In the meantime, here’s a quick summary of what’s new!

Scrapbook Albums

New products from Close To My Heart! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhalbums #weddingscrapbook #mintalbum #weddingscrapbook

Now you can get pink, white, and Sea Glass My Legacy™ albums in both the D-ring and post-bound styles!

Paper Suites

New products from Close To My Heart! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhsugarrush #valentinesdaycrafts #valentinesdaygifts #valentinesgifts #diytreattags

As always, we have new themed paper packets with coordinating Complements and embellishments! Check out our Sugar Rush collection, which is perfect for the sweetest Valentine’s Day projects ever!

Metal Dies—Words & Shapes

New products from Close To My Heart! #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincuts #scrapbookingdies #cuttlebug #scrapbooking

We’ve got new Thin Cuts, including the cute “xoxo” that you see here! How adorable would that be on a Valentine’s Day card? We’ve also come out with basic hearts and circle shapes as well as coordinating stamps that fit perfectly on these shapes.

More Complements!

New products from Close To My Heart! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhfundamentals #boyscrapbook #scrapbooking

We’ve got more Complements that coordinate with our Fundamentals paper packets.

Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet  +  My Boy Complements

Adventure Fundamentals Paper Packet  +  My Girl Complements

Whimsy Fundamentals Paper Packet  +  Springtime Complements

Basics Fundamentals Paper Packets  +  Snapshot Complements

Beginner Scrapbooking Kits

New products from Close To My Heart! #ctmh #closetomyheart #wedding #weddingscrapbook #vintagescrapbook #beginner #scrapbooking #kit

We are SUPER stoked about our new Cut Above™ layout kits. These kits contain all the materials you need to make one traditional layout, like you see above, as well as a coordinating pocket scrapbooking layout.
New products from Close To My Heart! #ctmh #closetomyheart #wedding #weddingscrapbook #vintagescrapbook #beginner #scrapbooking #kit
The pieces are all pre-cut, so all you have to do is follow the instructions and attach the pieces as shown! These kits are great for those new to scrapbooking to get their feet wet with two different styles of scrapbooking.


Now, in addition to all the product in our new idea book, we also have a very exciting special product for the month of January—a DIY succulent wreath kit! To see how this kit works, check out the video below!

Which new products are YOU most excited about? Tell us in the comments below!

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From Jeanette: Merry Christmas

jeanette-lynton

This Christmas season, my heart has been filled with overwhelming gratitude for each and every one of you.

I love this company more than words can describe, and I love what you have helped me create: a warm, compassionate community where anyone who wants to preserve their memories and discover their creativity can find friendship, confidence, and inspiration.

I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to God for the opportunity to start this company and connect with amazing people around the world. You inspire me, and I treasure every moment I get to spend in your company.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday alongside family and friends as you celebrate He who makes it all possible. Know that you are loved.

Merry Christmas,

Jeanette

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Our 5 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016

With the end of 2016 drawing near, we thought it would be fun to do a round-up of our 5 most popular blog posts of the year. Enjoy!

1. 5 Reasons Scrapbooking Is Good for Your Health

5 reasons scrapbooking is good for your health! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #scraphappy #paperaddict

Or better known as “5 Excuses to Buy More Crafting Supplies”! 😉

2. 19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp

How many did you know?

3. 3 Reasons Why You Should Become a Consultant Right Now!

3 reasons you should become a Close To My Heart Consultant right now! #ctmh #closetomyheart #beyourownboss #startyourownbusiness #scrapbooking #crafting

Getting to buy new products before anyone else can even see them? Earning commission? Saving on products with a Consultant discount? Yes, please!

4. I’m 22, and This Is Why I Scrapbook

I'm 22, and this is why I scrapbook #ctmh #closetomyheart #consultant #business #scrapbooking #inspiration

The fabulous Mandy Petty has us convinced—EVERYONE should scrapbook! After all, who doesn’t want to preserve their memories?

5. 5 Movies Where Scrapbooking Saves the Day

Our favorite superhero of all time—the scrapbook!

What else do you want to see on the blog? Tell us in the form below, and we’ll try to make it happen next year! 🙂

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5 Tips for Creating a Vision Board

With the new year quickly approaching, we want to share with you some tips for creating an amazing vision board for 2017. And as an early Christmas present, our vision board will give you a sneak peek at some of the products in our upcoming catalog, which will be live on January 1! 🙂

5 Tips for Creating a Vision Board! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diySo what exactly is a vision board? It’s a place to display images, words, or objects that represent both what you want to be and what you want to do with your life in one beautiful, central location. Our hope is that this fun project will help you solidify a vision for your art and your life for the upcoming year, all while keeping your thoughts and actions organized so you can accomplish this vision.

Your vision board can become your light at the end of the tunnel during creative blocks. It can keep you motivated to continue on when things get hard.

Now let’s dive into what you’ll need to do to create your vision board! As with all art projects on this blog, we encourage you to use the artwork you see here as a jumping-off point for your own artwork. With a vision board in particular, it is especially important for you to make it your own!

1. Determine what you want your vision board to accomplish.

Then find words, lyrics, or quotes that go along with your vision. Use stamps, Cricut® cuts, Picture My Life™ cards, or simply your own handwriting to add these words of inspiration to your board.

DIY vision board for 2017! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diy

2. Spell out your dreams and goals.

Whether it’s a list of crafting techniques you want to learn, projects you want to finish, places you want to visit, or dreams you have for your family or career, writing down your goals and reading them every day will help you take the steps necessary to bring your vision to life!

3. Always look for inspiration.

A vision board is a project you never finish. It is a source of inspiration and a tool for staying organized, so it makes sense that it will change again and again over time. Every day, make an effort to notice the beauty around you, and then add anything that inspires you to your board. One simple way to do this is keep your eyes open while you craft. Add any embellishments, ribbon, washi tape, or Complements that speak to you. If you cut a little more shimmer trim than you need, add it to your vision board instead of tossing it out!

DIY vision board for 2017! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diy

4. Use it as an organizational tool. 

Add to-do lists to your vision board. Tasks that might otherwise seem mundane become easier to tackle when they are part of the grand vision for your life—and plus, they look so much cuter! Even weekly schedules take on a new light when you dress them up. Your vision board is also a great place to include tasks you may otherwise procrastinate, such as sending a thank you card to someone or visiting an old friend.

5. Throw out the rulebook!

Add items to your vision board that you’re naturally drawn to, not what you think you should be drawn to. Remember, your vision board should be a reflection of you! Get creative, choose things out of the ordinary, and be true to yourself. Dare to do things like stamp on a photo or add random scraps of doodling. The most important thing is not to overthink it—just follow your intuition!

DIY vision board for 2017! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diy

There you have it: the beginner’s guide to creating a stellar vision board! Although our craft rooms may never stay organized, at least our creative visions can stay on track. 😉

We’d love to see how your vision boards turn out! Share photos of your vision board on the Close To My Heart Facebook page!

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Mini Album Hacks: Part Two

Easy, cute mini albums for preserving your memories! #closetomyheart #ctmh #instalife #minialbum #pocketscrapbooking #craftingEarlier this week, we gave you hacks for embracing our mini Everyday Life™ albums: Just like traditional scrapbooking, you can customize them any way you’d like!

Today we’re really putting the “mini” in “mini albums” with our adorable, baby-sized Instalife™ albums. With bitty pockets for photos, matching pocket cards, and photo overlays with foil designs, these albums come together in a flash but have the same beautiful details as traditional scrapbooking.

Again, we want to address some of the common concerns about scrappin’ on a smaller scale. These mini albums are so much fun, and we know you’ll fall in love with them as soon as you try them out!

Oh, and did we mention our Instalife™ mini album bundles are 30% this month? All the more reason to try something you’ve never tried before!

Okay, let’s talk Instalife!

I’m not sure what I would use this small of an album for…

  • Brag Books: Grandparents love to show off pictures of their grandkids to friends and new acquaintances—it’s just what they do! Give them one of these mini albums, which fit in purses and briefcases, and they can easily slide pictures of their grandkids into the cute mini-sized pockets—no cutting required! You could even get them one of each bundle so they can put all the granddaughters in the pink album and all the grandsons in the blue!
  • Senior Pictures Album: After your graduate gets their senior pictures taken and their invitations are sent out, put the leftover photos in one of these mini albums!
  • Teacher Gift: Create a mini album for the teachers in your life. From karate and swim to school and violin, these teachers will love a personalized album with pictures of their students.
  • Children’s Book: Make a simple children’s book!

Easy, cute mini albums for preserving your memories! #closetomyheart #ctmh #instalife #minialbum #pocketscrapbooking #crafting

Easy, cute mini albums for preserving your memories! #closetomyheart #ctmh #instalife #minialbum #pocketscrapbooking #crafting

You can even preserve your children’s memories at the same time by adding photos of important things in their lives to their book: their favorite stuffed animal, the house they were born in, the family dog, etc.

Easy, cute mini albums for preserving your memories! #closetomyheart #ctmh #instalife #minialbum #pocketscrapbooking #crafting

Easy, cute mini albums for preserving your memories! #closetomyheart #ctmh #instalife #minialbum #pocketscrapbooking #crafting

I don’t know how to get pictures this tiny!

Persnickety Prints is here to help!

What kind of photos work best for an album this small? If I put our family photos in there, we’ll look like ants! 

Think close-ups: Headshots work great, as well as close-ups of hands, toes, etc.

Easy, cute mini albums for preserving your memories! #closetomyheart #ctmh #instalife #minialbum #pocketscrapbooking #crafting

Easy, cute mini albums for preserving your memories! #closetomyheart #ctmh #instalife #minialbum #pocketscrapbooking #crafting

How do I journal on these cards? I write a lot!

We know you want to write down important details about your photos, so we purposely design some of the cards to be for journaling.

If you want to get really creative, you can try printing your journaling onto paper or vellum and attaching it to your cards, or even printing directly onto the cards, like we did here!

Easy, cute mini albums for preserving your memories! #closetomyheart #ctmh #instalife #minialbum #pocketscrapbooking #crafting

One last tip for working with this collection: Be sure you remove the protective film from your overlays. They come with this film to protect them from getting scratches, but it’s meant to be peeled off before you use it. Use our piercing tool to get under the film and then peel it off—you’ll be amazed to see how clear the overlay is! One and done!

Have more questions about our Instalife™ bundles? Tell us in the comments below! Our Art Studio is sure to be able to answer all your questions! 🙂

Recipe

Instalife™ Mini Album
CC1197 Blue Jean Mini Album Bundle, CC1198 Blush Mini Album Bundle

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Mini Album Hacks: Part One

Preserving your memories in a mini album has never looked so cute! #ctmh #closetomyheart #minialbum #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #craftingOur mini albums are a great option for those new to memory keeping, but they’re also great for experienced scrappers. However, if you’ve only ever done traditional scrapbooking, we know you may have some reservations. Let us ease your mind by addressing some common concerns about scrappin’ on a smaller scale.

Today we’re going to focus specifically on our Adventure Mini Album bundles, which are 30% off this month! These bundles feature travel-themed, pre-designed, 3-ring hole-punched pages, a plush striped mini album, and a pack of either our 3″ x 4″, 4″ x 6″, or 6″ x 8″ Memory Protectors™, which are perfect for adding additional photos and other fun things.

Now let’s put that stress to rest by addressing those concerns!

I scrapbook chronologically. What would I use a mini album for? It won’t fit an entire year’s worth of memories!

  • Vacation Album: Try creating a separate album for each vacation you go on. The pre-printed pages in these bundles make it easy to preserve your vacation memories in a flash, so you can relive those memories soon after you return home. These pages also work really well with our state and province stamps. Imagine creating a mini album for a road trip or a new page each time you visit a new place—so fun!
  • Unique Gifts: These bundles are a perfect gift for anyone because they’re so easy to put together—even for those people who don’t think they’re crafters! The travel theme is perfect, too, because everyone and their dog travels. Got a friend leaving on a family trip? How about a niece who just got back from her honeymoon? A college student studying in Switzerland? Give albums to them all!

Preserving your memories in a mini album has never looked so cute! #ctmh #closetomyheart #minialbum #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #crafting

  • Children’s Scrapbooking: You’ve got the passion for scrappin’, but what about your kids or grandkids? These mini albums can help teach “mini” people the importance of preserving memories. Show them the basics of how to assemble the album, then let them make it their own! They’d love documenting a school field trip, summer camp, or adding pictures about where they want to travel someday.

Where do I put my photos? These small pages got me feelin’ claustrophobic!

The real answer is, just give it a try! There’s really no way to go wrong with these pages, but if you’re really worried, here are a few ideas:

Preserving your memories in a mini album has never looked so cute! #ctmh #closetomyheart #minialbum #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #crafting

Preserving your memories in a mini album has never looked so cute! #ctmh #closetomyheart #minialbum #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #crafting

How do I get smaller photos?

Not to fret! Our friends at Persnickety Prints have created a webpage just for us to make printing smaller photos easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Where do I add journaling?

There are lots of different ways to add journaling to these pages. Of course one easy option is just to write on the pages themselves (some of which already have journaling spots for you!). You can also write on shapes cut with a Cricut® machine, like our little thought bubbles here:

Preserving your memories in a mini album has never looked so cute! #ctmh #closetomyheart #minialbum #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #crafting

Some other options? Write on Complements or our Picture My Life™ journaling cards, which you can slide into the divided Memory Protectors™.

Preserving your memories in a mini album has never looked so cute! #ctmh #closetomyheart #minialbum #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #crafting

I think the pages are cute, but I really love my Memory Protectors™…

If you love having everything in Memory Protectors™, then go the 6″ x 8″ Memory Protector direction. Simply trim down the pages a little bit to fit inside this pocket and you’re golden.

Preserving your memories in a mini album has never looked so cute! #ctmh #closetomyheart #minialbum #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #crafting

I love really decking out my scrapbook pages. Pre-printed pages don’t really appeal me…

Think again! You can decorate these pages just as much as you do everything else!

Preserving your memories in a mini album has never looked so cute! #ctmh #closetomyheart #minialbum #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #crafting

You can even decorate the cover!

Preserving your memories in a mini album has never looked so cute! #ctmh #closetomyheart #minialbum #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #crafting

Hopefully we’ve helped make mini albums less scary—they really are so much fun once you take that leap of faith!

Stay tuned for Mini Album Hacks: Part Two where we address any concerns you might have about our petite #Life albums!

Recipe
Best Day Ever Mini Album
Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals, Z3294 Memo Fundamentals, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals,1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5762 Lagoon Cardstock, X5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, 1292 Crystal Blue Cardstock, Z3240 Sea Glass Glitter Paper, Z3238 Gold Glitter Paper, Z9978 My Crush® Adventure Calls Pages, Z3253 6″ x 8″ Memory Protectors™, Z3191 3″ x 4″ Memory Protectors™, Z9979 Everyday Life™ Album—Stripes, Z3278 Picture My Life™ Tabbed Journaling CardsZ2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z2013 Sequins Silver Assortment, Z3288 Enchantment Ribbon Pack, Z3264 Good Life Complements, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1 1/2″ Icon-2 <1> (cut 2, p. 1)
2″ Shape <i> (p. 18)
1 3/4″ Icon-1 <Travel> (p. 30)
1/2″ Banner <NewYears> (p. 50)

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Another Free Christmas Scrapbook Pattern!

Free scrapbook pattern! #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbook #scrapbooking #pattern #craft #crafting #paper

‘Tis the season for gift-giving, and as our gift to you, we’re sharing yet another free scrapbook pattern!

Free scrapbook pattern! #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbook #scrapbooking #pattern #craft #crafting #paper

This pattern originally debuted with our Surf’s Up papers, but you can see that it works beautifully for creating a winter-themed layout as well! That’s the beauty of our patterns: When you switch out the papers, you can get an entirely different look!

Download Pattern

Download the pattern above, and then treat yourself to some warm hot cocoa and a little Christmas scrappin’!

Scrapbooking pattern book #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #patterns #patternbook

 

For even more timeless patterns, check out our collection of affordable how-to pattern books. We know you’ll love them! 
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15 Photos You MUST Take This Holiday Season

It’s officially the holiday season! This magical time of year always has us pulling out our cameras and taking photos, but there are some special holiday moments you might not normally think to photograph! Here is a list of 15 things to be sure to capture with your camera this winter:15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas

1. Picking out the perfect tree

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas2. Opening your daily advent calendar15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas3. Little ones eating sticky candy canes

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas

4. Kiddos writing letters to Santa

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas5. Decorating the Christmas tree (and putting on the star!)

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas6. Each kid’s favorite Christmas ornament (after all, your photo can last forever, though the ornament may not!)

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas7. Family story or Bible time

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas8. Fur babies in their Christmas gear

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas9. Christmas shopping

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas10. Little hands helping with holiday baking

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas11. Kids wrapping presents all by themselves

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas12. Setting out Santa’s cookies

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas

13. Blowing or throwing snow in the air

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas

14. Warming up by the fire

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas

15. Hot chocolate mustaches

Also, be sure to check out our video on how to take high-quality photos with renowned photographer, Wendy Whitacre, of Blue Lily Photography.

What unique Christmas photos do YOU like to take? Tell us in the comments below!

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