Stories from the Heart: Amy McGrew

A few weeks ago, Jeanette invited you, our blog readers, to share your scrapbook stories with us as part our new “Stories from the Heart” blog series. We are delighted to share a story that was sent to us by Amy McGrew, one of our Close To My Heart Consultants from South Carolina:

The theme of this layout is “MUSIC,” specifically, my favorite music. I love many music genres, but there are three specific songs that I hold very close to my heart because they are tied to three very special men in my life.

The right page of this layout shows two photos of my father and I dancing at my wedding to “Wind Beneath My Wings.” My father is the most important man in my life. I cannot express enough the love and admiration I have for this man. He truly is my hero. He gave me wings and let me soar in everything I ever got involved in. His heart is HUGE! Growing up I was always the “one with all the glory” and he was “the one with all the strength.”

As soon as the father-daughter dance ended, I remember my dad leaving the dance floor and walking out to the screened-in patio that was right off the reception area. He didn’t cry while we were dancing (I certainly did!) but, as I looked out at him past our guests, he got out to that quiet spot and the tears started coming down. That mental picture is forever embedded in my memory. “I will always be your little girl,” I told him. He wasn’t losing a daughter that day, he was gaining a son. To this day, my relationship with my father is strong. He is very much a part of my husband’s life and mine, as well as our children’s. I am grateful that despite the 800 miles separating us, we still manage to see each other at least two to four times a year.

The next important man in my life is my husband, Stan. “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” is our song. It’s the perfect song because I really do fall more and more in love with him each and every day! The pictures on the left page of this layout show us dancing to this beautiful song at our wedding. I knew Stan was the man I would marry when, on our second date, he was giving me directions and then said, “repeat them back to me.” When Stan said those five words, he reminded me so much of my father. As soon as he said them I knew he was my future husband!

Stan and my dad are best friends. He treats me the way my dad treats my mom, always putting my needs first and supporting me in all of my crazy endeavors. As a father, Stan is top-notch. Our three children are so blessed to have such an awesome dad! He is my rock, my soul mate, and my best friend.

My son, Tucker James, is my “Piano Man” and the third important man in my life. The photos of him on this layout were taken when he was in 8th grade at a piano recital in New York City. At the time, he was attending a middle school designated for the arts that required an audition in order to get in and, even though he plays several other instruments, he was accepted for his piano abilities. That spring, his daily piano class traveled by bus to New York City and visited for three days. They were able to sight see, attend an off Broadway musical and perform in a recital at a church in the Bronx. My husband Stan, our daughters, and I were fortunate enough to travel to New York and attend the recital. My parents also attended. It was exciting for all of us to see Tucker perform in this recital setting.

The “Piano Man” is most definitely the song I associate with my Tucker, especially ever since he learned to play it and played it for me one Mother’s Day several years ago. He simply is my piano man. Now that he is a freshman in college (majoring in music of course!), we can’t wait for him to come home and visit. Within minutes upon his arrival, Tucker will sit at the piano and start playing. Our family will gather around and just listen. I tend to lose myself in thought and happy tears.

So many memories! Music most certainly brings my family closer together. We enjoy each other in the moment and also reminisce together about the moments and memories that are brought back by each familiar song. It is quality time at its finest!

If you would like a chance to share your story on our blog, like Amy, here’s what to do:

  • Find one scrapbook page or layout (please just one!) that you’d like to share.
  • Tell us the story behind the photo. What was happening? Who is in the photo? Is there something funny that happened before or after the photo was taken? Why is this photo meaningful to you?
  • Take a high-resolution photo of yourself (you can even be holding the pages or your entire scrapbook!).
  • Take a high-resolution photo of the layout or page on a flat surface (use natural lighting to improve the quality, and take the pages out of the protectors so they don’t reflect in the flash).
  • Email the photos and story to us at ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com with the subject “Stories from the Heart.” If we decide to share your story on the blog, we will contact you!

We can’t wait to read your stories!

 

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Why Convention Will Boost Your Business

Why Convention Will Boost Your Business #ctmh #closetomyheart #consultant #scrapbooking #crafting #cardmaking #workathome #stayathomejobs #workfromhome #dreamjobConvention is the biggest party Close To My Heart hosts every year. We get tons of Consultants together in one location to do what we love to do most—crafting and talking about it! But, really, there is so much more to Convention than that. Underneath all of that paper and trim, the purpose of Convention is to help you grow as an individual and business owner. We want you to be successful!

Convention is a three-day event packed with incredible business classes and speakers, creative sessions, new product demonstrations, trainings, and so much more! You will leave with tons of great ideas, inspiration, and motivation to take your business to new levels.

Why Convention Will Boost Your Business #ctmh #closetomyheart #consultant #scrapbooking #crafting #cardmaking #workathome #stayathomejobs #workfromhome #dreamjobAt Convention, all attendees get a first look at upcoming products and idea books. Not only is it exciting to get a sneak peak at what’s new, but it also helps you to prepare your money-making sales strategies and events for the upcoming months and year. And, at Convention, we help you formulate those strategies and teach you how to put together those events!

Seasoned sales veterans will also demonstrate the new products and coach you on the best ways to use them, as well as speak and share their insights into how to promote and market your business and become a leader in this industry.

A natural consequence of getting so many of our people together is that you get to network with some of our top Consultants! You can get advice on how to improve your sales, add to your Team, and expand your customer base!

Why Convention Will Boost Your Business #ctmh #closetomyheart #consultant #scrapbooking #crafting #cardmaking #workathome #stayathomejobs #workfromhome #dreamjob

Get creative inspiration at Convention as you gather with hundreds of your craft sisters to learn and work together in creative classes. You will pick up tons of ideas and beautiful support materials for business success in the process.

The great thing about Convention is that you do all of this work, but it doesn’t feel like work at all because you have a blast doing it! You’ll strengthen your existing relationships and build new ones, boost your Team spirit, reinvigorate your passion for the art of memory keeping, and learn how to make money while doing it all—it’s a win-win-win!

Why Convention Will Boost Your Business #ctmh #closetomyheart #consultant #scrapbooking #crafting #cardmaking #workathome #stayathomejobs #workfromhome #dreamjobOur annual Convention is just a few short months away. If you have yet to sign up, register today while you still can! For those who haven’t attended one of our Conventions before, this year is a great time to start—your business will thank you!

For those of you who have attended Convention before, tell us in the comments below how it helped your business. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Fun With Flip Flaps™

Have you ever given Flip Flaps™ a try? Are you wondering what we’re even talking about?

Flip Flaps are exactly what they sound like—flaps that you attach to a page that flip to reveal additional photos, sentiments, or designs—and they’re something you can only get with Close To My Heart! If you aren’t quite sure how to incorporate them into your scrapbooking, keep reading! We’re going to show you some fun ways to use them, and you’re sure to get inspired!

Fun ideas for using Close To My Heart's exclusive Flip Flaps™! #closetomyheart #ctmh #interactive #scrapbooking #photos #tips #tricks #hacks #flipflaps

If you’re the kind of person that loves taking photos, then Flip Flaps are for you! There’s only so much space on a scrapbook layout for photos, but when you add Flip Flaps to your pages, you can use more of your photos that you wouldn’t have room for otherwise. As you can see above, they come in several different sizes and can be positioned anywhere on a page using the adhesive strip—and they work great with pocket scrapbooking layouts, too! What a fun and easy way to include more photos in your scrapbooking without taking up more space!

Fun ideas for using Close To My Heart's exclusive Flip Flaps™! #closetomyheart #ctmh #interactive #scrapbooking #photos #tips #tricks #hacks #flipflaps

A charming way to share more of your photos is to stack your Flip Flaps and create “mini albums” right on your pages! You can stack them directly on top of each other or create a cascading effect, like we did here. Notice that we attached the Flip Flaps to the outside of the Memory Protectors™. This way, our page is interactive while keeping the artwork and photos protected.

Fun ideas for using Close To My Heart's exclusive Flip Flaps™! #closetomyheart #ctmh #interactive #scrapbooking #photos #tips #tricks #hacks #flipflaps

Get extra creative with your Flip Flaps by making cute accents out of them. Look at these little presents that double as tiny album jackets! It’s such a great way to add some personality to your pages. Another fun idea is to use Flip Flaps to preserve memorabilia, like postcards or letters, that have writing on both sides.

Try incorporating Flip Flaps into your scrapbooking to extend your creative options and have even more fun preserving your memories! We know you’ll love them, just like we do. 🙂

Recipes

12″ x 12″ Sun & Surf Pocket Scrapbooking Layout
B1548 My Acrylix® Journaling Prompts Stamp Set, C1619 My Acrylix® So Many Smiles Stamp Set, D1708 My Acrylix® Sending Smiles Stamp Set (part of a Cricut® bundle), Cc1219 Swirly Seashells Stamp + Thin Cuts, C1671 My Acrylix® Sugar Rush—Cardmaking Stamp Set, X7218B Dreamin’ Big Paper Packet, X7215B Sugar Rush Paper Packet, X7217B Some Kinda Wonderful Paper Packet, X7216B Hello Lovely Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2865 Juniper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7215C Sugar Rush Complements, X7218C Dreamin’ Big Complements, Z3315 Dreamin’ Big Sequins, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3231 Memory Protectors™ Flip Flaps™ 4″ x 6″, Z3230 Memory Protectors™ Flip Flaps™ 3″ x 4″, Z1951 Memory Protectors™ Design 4, Z1950 Memory Protectors™ Design 3, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
1 1/4″ Shift+Title<Vacation> (p. 62)

Flower Market
2 3/4″ Title <h> (p. 26)

12″ x 12″ Happy With You Page
C1671 My Acrylix® Sugar Rush—Cardmaking Stamp Set,C1619 My Acrylix® So Many Smiles Stamp Set, X7218B Dreamin’ Big Paper Packet, X7216B Hello Lovely Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2873 Slate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2814 Cocoa Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2865 Juniper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z3269 You & Me Complements, Z3267 All Together Complements, Z3234 Memory Protectors™ Flip Flaps™ 3″ x 3″, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
11 1/2″ Overlay <HeloWrld> (p. 84)

12″ x 12″ Let’s Celebrate Page
D1708 My Acrylix® Sending Smiles Stamp Set (part of a Cricut® bundle), X7215B Sugar Rush Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, Z2873 Slate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7215C Sugar Rush Complements, Z3315 Dreamin’ Big Sequins, Z3216 White Twine, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3233 Memory Protectors™ Flip Flaps™ 2″ x 2″, Z3234 Memory Protectors™ Flip Flaps™ 3″ x 3″, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Thread

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
11″ Overlay <Happy> (p. 86) (contoured to enlarge individual stars)
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One Awesome Stamp, Four Incredible Looks!

When you find a stamp you love, you tend to use it over and over (and over) again—we get it! 😉 Today we’re sharing some fun ideas to showcase one stamp in four different ways so it’s not the exact same every time. To show you what we mean, we’re going to use the darling “HELLO” stamp from our Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking stamp set.

The following stamping techniques range in skill levels—try them all to find your favorite!

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

When going for a saturated and vibrant look, especially in small details, ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers are an excellent choice. They are bright, smudge-proof, and, because they are alcohol-based, they are easy to blend. The fine tip on each marker is ideal for coloring intricate images, like those flowers and leaves in our stamp. To ensure a crisp outline of your stamped image, use our permanent Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad. Unlike other inks, Archival Black won’t smear or smudge when you apply color.

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

For a softer  look, use watercolors! Once again, stamp your image using Archival Black ink. Because this ink is waterproof, it won’t run when you apply your paint. In this example, we used a fine tip brush to color the small details.

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

Ready to add some texture? Try embossing! For those of you who are new to this technique, embossing powder is a special powder that, when heated, melts to form a raised surface. To start, stamp your image using the VersaMark™ ink pad (embossing ink), which will create a clear, wet-looking print of your stamp. While the ink is still wet, cover it with embossing powder and carefully shake off any excess. In our example, we used white embossing powder to make our image pop on the colored cardstock. Use a craft heater to dry and seal your design. Craft heaters blow extremely hot air with a low air current, which keeps the powder from blowing right off—hair dryers are not a good substitute!

After your powder is set, add some shimmer using our gold and clear shimmer brushes. When you use these, prep your brush before you do! You want to squeeze your brush over scrap paper until the shimmery liquid comes out. Keep brushing it on the paper until you get the consistency you want on your brush before coloring in those details.

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

Okay, here’s technique we’re really excited to share! Did you know that you can pair our Exclusive Inks™ mini pigment pads with clear embossing powder to emboss in any color you want? Yes, really! Stamp an image with your choice of pigment ink, cover it with clear embossing powder, and then set it with your craft heater! It’s that simple! You can match all of our exclusive colors perfectly using this last technique!

Of course there are many more ways to customize a stamp. That’s the best thing about finding a great stamp—you can use it again and again without it being identical each time. Give these techniques a try and have fun dolling up your current fave. 🙂

Recipes

Hello—Markers
D1714  My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2453 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Lavender Marker, Z2454 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Leaf Green Marker, Z2455 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Light Orange Marker, Z2459 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Green Marker, Z2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker

Hello—Watercolors
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set

Hello—Embossed
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X5776 Peacock Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z2068 Ranger™ White Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Z3293 Shimmer Brush—Clear, Z3316 Shimmer Brush—Gold

Hello—Embossed Pigment
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2507 Sea Glass Exclusive Inks™ Mini Pigment Pad, Z2088 Ranger™ Clear Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

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Thin Cuts on Sale!

Thin Cuts on sale! #ctmh #closetomyheart #metaldies #diecutting #cuttlebug

If you’ve visited our website in the last few days, you’ve probably seen that all of our Thin Cuts are on sale right now—woohoo!

Thin Cuts are our special line of metal dies that you can use to cut paper shapes by running them through a die-cutting machine, like the Cricut® Cuttlebug™. We have all sorts of Thin Cuts, so let us walk you through all the different options.

Thin Cuts on sale! #ctmh #closetomyheart #metaldies #diecutting #cuttlebugFirst off, we have Thin Cuts that cut out shapes for cute paper accents on your artwork, like the stars on the page above.

Thin Cuts on sale! #ctmh #closetomyheart #metaldies #diecutting #cuttlebug

We also have Thin Cuts that cut sentiments for your cards

Thin Cuts on sale! #ctmh #closetomyheart #metaldies #diecutting #cuttlebug

…as well as for your scrapbook pages.

Thin Cuts on sale! #ctmh #closetomyheart #metaldies #diecutting #cuttlebug

There are many shapes to choose from, including basic hearts and circles, like the heart and circle you can see on this darling card. 😉

Thin Cuts on sale! #ctmh #closetomyheart #metaldies #diecutting #cuttlebug

The exciting thing about these shapes is that they come in a set of four different sizes, giving you fun layering options and the ability to work with a variety of sizes. We have also designed some matching stamps for these heart and circle dies so you can turn these shapes into journaling spots or sentiments.

Thin Cuts on sale! #ctmh #closetomyheart #metaldies #diecutting #cuttlebug

To top it all off, we also have several Thin Cuts that coordinate with specific stamp sets. They are a great tool for cutting out your favorite stamped images so you don’t have to cut them out by hand! Just take a look at some of these fun designs:

Thin Cuts on sale! #ctmh #closetomyheart #metaldies #diecutting #cuttlebug

Thin Cuts on sale! #ctmh #closetomyheart #metaldies #diecutting #cuttlebug

Thin Cuts on sale! #ctmh #closetomyheart #metaldies #diecutting #cuttlebug

You can only get 25% off any of our Thin Cuts during the month of March, so check out all of our Thin Cuts and order your favorites today!

Questions about our Thin Cuts? Ask away in the comments below! You can also tune in for a Facebook Live with our Chief Communications Officer Monica Wihongi Monday at 3 pm (MDT). She’ll show you the basic technique for using them as well as some fun tips and tricks. You won’t want to miss it!

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Setting a St. Patrick’s Day Scene

This post was written by the talented Megan Hoeppner, who is the editor-in-chief for Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine, the weekly blogger and photographer for Gardner Village (a local shopping center), a writer for Brick Canvas (a local wellness center at Thanksgiving Point), a teacher for Creating Keepsakes Events, and contributor to Studio 5, a local lifestyle program in Utah. Give her some love in the comments, folks! 🙂

We have condensed the original blog post for brevity. To read the original, visit Megan’s blog

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

This year I received a box of goodies from Close To My Heart, including a gorgeous assortment of paper offering a full spectrum of color, so I set to making paper chains.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Once complete, I threaded them on a yardstick, which I hung above my table. My paper rainbow makes a nice St. Patrick’s Day decor element and also a fun photo backdrop for this year’s pics.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Since I was feeling lucky and had some pretty new Close To My Heart products on hand to play with, I continued to set the stage with some table fun.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

First, I covered my kitchen table in kraft packing paper. Then I set to decorating. I framed each spot at the table using Close To My Heart’s gold shimmer trim and stamped our names using their My Acrylix® Framework Alphabet stamp set.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Wanting our decorated table to serve two purposes—fun and memory keeping—I drew rainbows across each taped “place mat” so we could write what we feel lucky to have. I loved helping Maggie make her list. What a doll she is!

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Time for the fun! I gave Mags some colored pencils and let her color her rainbow in.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

I used Close To My Heart cardstock in three shades of green (Willow, Emerald, and Sweet Leaf) to create a little pop on my table. First, I cut cardstock hearts in small, medium, and large sizes, and folded the smaller two sizes in half to create a center crease.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

I then stitched along the crease to create the pieces of my clover. I pieced three heart stacks together to create a shamrock. A little stamping along the hand-drawn stem, and I was ready to welcome the luck o’ the Irish.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

I used the My Acrylix® Some Kinda Wonderful—Scrapbooking stamp set from Close To My Heart to create the #lucky tag.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

I love the end result. I will definitely snap pics to save it in my scrapbook.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Since our sweet Lulu is too young to create a rainbow, she stamped a clover with her bitty thumb.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Time to add our St. Patrick’s Day treats to make the table time complete.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Oh, and I’ve found another way to use the 3-D clovers when our table is cleared. I’ll send a little luck on to others. I used the same Close To My Heart #lucky stamp, masking the outer frame around it.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

I stitched a vellum bag on the inside, creating a pocket for some chocolate coins.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Speaking of gold coins, I created a few four leaf clover bowls from cardstock to hold my coins and other sweet treats.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

To create these, I first cut larger paper hearts, cut a slit, pulled the heart onto itself, and stapled it in place to create each clover petal.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

I then used a scrap of cardstock as a base and glued the petals in place.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Once all four petals were in place, my clover dish was ready for its pot o’ gold!

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

All in all, it was a fun crafternoon, making rainbows in our home. I look forward to pulling these pieces out year after year to make March a little more fun for my girls.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

May the luck of the Irish be with YOU this spring.

Cheers!

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13 Tips for Finding Time to Preserve Your Memories

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

It’s one thing to understand the importance of memory keeping…and it’s another thing entirely to find time to make it happen. Here are some tips to help you out. 🙂

1. Write It in Your Planner

Just writing down a reminder will increase your chances of making it happen.

2. Do It with A Friend

You know how people talk about having a workout buddy to hold yourself accountable? Why not have a scrappin’ buddy? You can keep each other accountable and have fun along the way!

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

3. Attend a Monthly Crop, Workshop, or Club

Or…you can have a BUNCH of scrappin’ buddies! By committing to a regular crop, workshop, or club, you hold yourself accountable to make memory keeping happen. Plus, it’s nice to get out of the house and away from any distractions. 😉

4. Divide Up Tasks

Sometimes it’s hard to work on preserving your memories because it seems like such an overwhelming task, especially if you’re new to the game. Breaking it into manageable steps will make it much more approachable: For example, organize a box of photos today, start working on some layouts tomorrow, and attach the photos to your layouts next week. Baby steps are just fine, folks!

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

5. Commit to a Specific Amount of Time Each Day

Committing to 10, 20, or 30 minutes of memory keeping each day might be better suited for your lifestyle, so try it out! And remember, spending time sorting photos or cutting paper totally counts if that’s what step you need to do next—you don’t have to finish anything.

6. Scrap Early in the Morning or Late at Night

If your kiddos or spouse keep interrupting you whenever you sit down to start working, try working early in the morning or late at night for maximum productivity.13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

7. Make It a Habit

Whatever actions you’ve taken to implement other habits into your life, apply those same actions to memory keeping. Once it’s a habit, you’ll save time and energy just by having a rhythm. You won’t even have to think about it anymore.

8. Simplify Your Schedule

Sometimes making room for something in your life simply means cutting something else out. See if there’s anything of less value you can cut from your schedule to make way for memory keeping.

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

9. Look Into Quicker Options

The great thing about memory keeping nowadays is that there are a million different options for how to do it. Some of our favorite time-savers include pocket scrapbooking, our Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors™ for adding more photos between your layouts, and our Cut Above™ layout kits, which come with pre-cut pieces for easy assembly. Even if you’re a die-hard decorative scrapbooker who loves those intricate frills—maybe even just on some layouts—there are lots of great products that make getting that fancy look take less time.

10. Set Goals

Setting goals is always a good idea when you need to motivate yourself to make time for something. Maybe you want to get that Christmas album done by the end of summer vacation, or maybe you want to finish organizing your 1995 photos by the end of the month—just having a specific goal in mind will make you more likely to take steps to reach that goal.

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart11. Replace Social Media Time

If we were to actually keep track of how much time we spend on Facebook, Pinterest (and Farmville and Candy Crush, etc., etc.), we’d probably be very surprised. Try replacing your social media time (or at least part of it) with memory keeping…we know you won’t regret it!

12. Scrap Whenever You Watch TV

Another great way to get something done is to pair it with an activity you enjoy. Make a commitment to work on preserving your memories anytime you sit down to watch TV.

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

13. Dedicate a Space to Memory Keeping

Productivity can often be improved just by dedicating a space for a certain task. Dedicate a space to memory keeping (ideally a place where you can leave projects you’re in the middle of), and decorate it with things that inspire you, like a vision board.

How do you find time for memory keeping? Tell us in the comments below.

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Shading Flowers with Watercolors

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Today is National Floral Design Day, and to celebrate, we want to share with you a fun watercolor technique for getting beautifully shaded flowers, like those on this card from our Seasonal Expressions 1 idea book.

Step One

Mix your favorite watercolor paints with water to create a mixture that has roughly the same consistency as milk. Then, using an ink color of your choice, stamp your flowers. We stamped ours with Whisper ink.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Two

Paint a light coat of your watercolor mixture onto your first flower, covering the entire surface.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Three

Mix a darker shade of the same color, and start adding it to just the “shaded” areas of the flower. You want to add it as a thick line. It won’t look pretty and blended yet, but that’s the look you want for this step!

Not sure where to add shading? A good general rule is to shade the edges of the petals that are closest to the center of the flower. If you prefer, you can also look at real photos of flowers online and follow the shading you see there. Continue to step four before the paint has dried.

Step Four

Rinse out your brush. Using a small amount of clean water, gently blend the color out toward each petal’s edge without going all the way to the edge. Allow to dry.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

That’s the gist of the technique! Repeat for any additional flowers and leaves that you want!

Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when painting with your watercolors:

  • You’ll notice we didn’t use our waterproof Archival Black ink to stamp this image. You can use dye-based inks when coloring with watercolors, but you’ll want to be careful not to touch the edges of the stamp image with your brush or else it will make the ink bleed.
  • If using dye-based ink, we recommend using a lighter color. That way if there is any slight bleeding, it will not be too noticeable. A lighter color also draws the eye to the watercoloring of the flowers rather than the outline of the flowers.
  • If you want a “no line” look, you can use a light ink color and carefully color the lines completely. If you like to see the lines though, you can reinforce the stamp image by stamping the image again after the paint is completely dry. Both methods have their own beauty.

Happy painting!

Recipe

4¼” × 5½” You’re Invited Card (Vertical)
X7216B Hello Lovely Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2872 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2864 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3313 Blush Shimmer Ribbon, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z3301 Hello Lovely Cardmaking Thin Cuts Bundle (includes stamp set C1670), Z2046 Piercing & Embossing Tool Kit, Z1852 Stitch Guide, Z3247 Simple Chevron Embossing Folder, Embossing/Die-cutting Machine, Thread

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11 Reasons Your Children Will Want to Have Baby Books

11 Reasons Your Children Will Want to Have Baby Books #babyscrapbook #babybook #baby #memories #crafting #scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart

In a day and age that makes taking and printing photos so easy, you would think that more and more parents would preserve these photos in books and scrapbooks. However, it seems that most photos nowadays don’t leave our computers or social media accounts—and at times, even our cameras!

The art of printing our family photos, writing down our stories, and placing them all together in the safe arms of an album seems to be a dying art—and it’s something that our kids are going to miss someday. When they want to see what they were like as babies and toddlers, the years they will remember very least, they will have nowhere to turn.

Here are 11 reasons why your children will want to have baby books:

1. They will know where to find photos of their childhood.

You may know where your favorite pictures of your babies are on your computer or on Facebook, but in 10 years will your kids know where to look? Not so much, unless they can grab their baby album off of the bookshelf.

2. A baby book is tangible evidence of your love.

When your kids go through the emotional highs and lows of the teenage years, the baby books you made for them will remind them—and you—that, despite what it might seem like at times, you love them with all your heart. 🙂

11 Reasons Your Children Will Want to Have Baby Books #babyscrapbook #babybook #baby #memories #crafting #scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart

3. Your toddlers will love to look through their baby books.

Though you may think your kids won’t value their baby books until they are older, chances are they will actually love them as toddlers. Toddlers love to see pictures of themselves as babies; it’s part of a phase where they begin to discover their own identity. Also, baby books make some of the best bedtime stories!

4. They will love to look at their baby pictures when they have their own kids someday.

When your kids start to have kids of their own, it will be so much fun for them to look through their baby books and see how their traits and mannerisms were passed down to their own kids.

11 Reasons Your Children Will Want to Have Baby Books #babyscrapbook #babybook #baby #memories #crafting #scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart

5. They will want to look through their siblings’ baby books.

Nothing bonds siblings together quite like looking through each other’s baby books. They will laugh at silly pictures of each other. And even though they may not have memories of their siblings because of age differences, they will get to see those memories through your eyes.

6. They will love to show relatives who come to visit their baby books.

Your in-laws or grandparents might live far away, but you can help them feel more connected to your children by showing them the baby books you’ve been working on when they are in town visiting—and once your kids are old enough, they will love to be the ones to pull out their baby books and talk your visitors through each page. 🙂

11 Reasons Your Children Will Want to Have Baby Books #babyscrapbook #babybook #baby #memories #crafting #scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart

7. Life goes by lightning fast, and baby books make it easy to stroll down memory lane anytime they want.

Childhood flies by, so your kids will want to revisit their old memories. And if you’re a young mom, just trust us. You will want to revisit those baby pictures over and over again. Especially once puberty hits. 😉

8. You will forget the stories, even if you preserve the photos.

Though you may save all your photos in one way or another, the stories that go along with those photos will be lost unless you document them in a book. And moments from those sweet baby years are moments both you and your children will want to remember forever, even the small ones.

11 Reasons Your Children Will Want to Have Baby Books #babyscrapbook #babybook #baby #memories #crafting #scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart

9. They will love to see your perspective.

You may think baby books are all about your babies, but they’re also a time capsule of you as a mom. As your babies grow into parents themselves, they will love to look back on your perspective as a new mother. Even seeing your handwriting will bring back good memories.

10. They will cherish their baby books more and more with time.

A baby book is something that increases in value with age. Just imagine how much that book will mean to your kids when they have grandkids and great grandkids! It’ll be a family treasure!

11 Reasons Your Children Will Want to Have Baby Books #babyscrapbook #babybook #baby #memories #crafting #scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart

11. They will turn to their baby books in difficult times.

When life gets your kids down, they will turn to their baby books for comfort, to reminisce about the good old days, and to gain some perspective (though you may not see them doing this as teenagers because that would be so embarrassing! 🙂 )

Recipes 

12″ x 12″ Baby Girl Page
Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3272 Baby Girl Complements, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape

6″ x 8″ 5 Months Layout
C1675 My Acrylix® Twins Rule Stamp Set, Z3294 Memo Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2865 Juniper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3273 Baby Boy Complements, Z9979 Everyday Life™ Album—Stripes, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3252 Memory Protectors™ 6″ x 8″

12″ x 12″ The Best Day Page
Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3273 Baby Boy Complements, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
2″ Banner (cut 16, p. 1)

6″ x 8″ Pocket Scrapbooking Layout
Z3221 Picture My Life™ Watercolor Cards—Clear, Z3144 Pictures My Life™ Overlays—Gold & Silver, Z9979 Everyday Life™ Album—Stripes, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3226 Waterbrush—Medium Flat, Z3192 Memory Protectors™ 4″ x 6″, Z3191 Memory Protectors™ 3″ x 4″
 
12″ x 12″ Cut Above™ Little One Layout
Z3320 Cut Above™ Layout Kit—Little One, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z5206 My Legacy™ D-ring Album—White

6″ x 8″ Beautiful Life Story Layout
B1548 My Acrylix® Journaling Prompts Stamp Set, Z3294 Memo Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5770 Glacier Cardstock, Z2872 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3273 Baby Boy Complements, Z9979 Everyday Life™ Album—Stripes, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3252 Memory Protectors™ 6″ x 8″

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