It’s the end of July, which means that our current Annual Inspirations Idea Book is about to retire—along with a bunch of amazing products featured inside of it!
We’ve rounded up some of our favorites that will be bidding us adieu. Make sure to snatch up these goodies before they’re gone for good!
State & Province Stamp Sets
With a mini stamp set for each US state, Canadian province and territory, as well as the countries of Australia and New Zealand, these stamps are great for a wide variety of crafting projects.
We love the idea of using them to document vacations, road trips, engagements, and to send love from one state to another.
And the best time to get these stamps is right now because for every two stamp sets you purchase during the month of July, you get one stamp set of equal or lesser value for free as part of Stampaganza! So get the whole collection (and save!) before it’s gone!
All of the Thin Cuts metal dies in Annual Inspirations are retiring! This includes the star shapes, as well as some timeless sentiments for both scrapbooking and cardmaking.
In addition to our Fundamental paper packets and Complements, the Fundamental ribbons are saying farewell. We love these ribbons because they can be used on any project—and the colors will be sticking around next year, so they will still coordinate with the new Fundamental collections.
What projects can they be used for? Well for starters, they make great additions to cards and scrapbook pages.
They are also great for other projects, like DIY bookmarks, banners, and home décor accents.
Plus, they are great for presents! Any gift looks even better with a bit of twine or ribbon added to the mix! 🙂
Again, these products (and others!) are only available until the end of July, while supplies last, so hurry and grab your favorites before they’re gone!
Which products are you going to miss most from Annual Inspirations? Tell us in the comments below!
When it comes to scrapbooking, one of the biggest hold-ups for people is feeling overwhelmed with organizing their photos. If you have years of photos piled up on your computer or photos spread between multiple devices, it can be easy to put off preserving your memories. The longer you wait to organize your photos, the more overwhelming it will become—so now is the time to start!
Because we believe in the importance of memory keeping, we want to help make the task easier, so today we’re going to walk you step-by-step through how to efficiently organize your digital photos for scrapbooking. It’s a process that may take some time, but which will be well worth it when your memories are all in order!
To give you an added incentive for getting started, we’ve teamed up with Persnickety Prints to get you a discount code for printing your photos so you can catch up AND save money! Continue reading for more details. 🙂
Step One: Consolidate Your Digital Photos
Upload all of your digital photos to one location on your computer. We recommend using a photo managing system, like Google Photos or iPhotos, to easily transfer photos from your phone onto your computer. If you haven’t transferred them already, go through the photos on your phone, your camera, and upload them all to this one location.
Step Two: Eliminate Unwanted Photos
Once you have all of your photos in one place, go through and eliminate any that aren’t worth keeping: repeats, photos with a blurry finger covering half the lens, photos of your to-do lists, etc.
Tip: Moving forward, make it a habit to do a Daily Delete—every day, go through the photos on your phone (or camera if you took pictures on it that day) and delete any of these types of photos. It will take you two seconds and save you tons of time down the road. You’ll be able to skip step two entirely in the future!
Another tip: Use the time traveling home from a vacation to do your deleting. That way when you get home, you’ll have already eliminated all the photos from your trip you don’t want to keep. Plus, it’s a fun way to relive those memories again while you’re heading home.
Step Three: Organize Your Digital Photos
In your photo managing system, create folders for each month and year. Then place the corresponding photos in these folders.
Step Four: Back Up Your Digital Photos
Back up all the photos in your photo managing system onto a CD or external hard drive. You can also look into online options, such as iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive.
Step Five: Create To-Print Folders
Once you have organized your photos in your photo managing system, you’re ready to start thinking about scrapbooking them—woohoo! Even though all the photos you have left are photos you have deemed worth keeping, you may not want to scrapbook all of them. A great way to figure out which photos you want to scrapbook is to copy and paste a given folder onto your desktop. Then go through and delete any photos you don’t want to print. You can also edit any of the photos you’re going to print if you want to take that extra step.
Step Six: Upload & Print Photos
Once you’ve gone through all the photos on your desktop folder, you’re ready to print! We recommend creating a table, like the one below, to track each folder’s progress. When you have printed your photos, you can delete the desktop folder you created (remember, you’ve already saved these photos elsewhere!).
Tip: Choose one day every month to do a print run. Some months you may be able to afford printing more photos than other months, but get in the habit of printing your photos on the same day each month.
PHOTO DISCOUNT: Now is a great time to catch up on printing your photos because Persnickety Prints has been kind enough to create a discount code for our readers! Use this discount code to save 20% on your entire order: CTMH20
This code expires August 30, cannot be combined with other discount codes, and is limited to one use per customer.
You can organize your photos by date, person, event…whatever you want! Think about the album you want to create with the photos, and organize them that way.
Option 2: Create a work-in-progress album. Use one of our D-ring albums and divided Memory Protectors™ to separate out all the photos you’ll want for an album. You can group like photos together so you know how to plan your layouts.
And that’s it! The next step is to start scrapbooking away! If the idea of scrapbooking itself overwhelms you, a great place to start is with our Workshops Your Way® scrapbooking kits. You can also talk to your Independent Consultant (or find one online!) to help you know where to start.
We hope this post helped you feel empowered to start organizing your photos for scrapbooking. We know that when you take that leap of faith, you’ll find so much joy and satisfaction in preserving your family’s memories and stories.
Have additional tips for organizing and printing your photos for scrapbooking? Share them in the comments below!
Our new Annual Inspirations catalog goes live August 1, and we can’t wait to show you all the exciting things we’ve been working on for the past year. In fact, we’re SO excited that we’re going to give you a sneak peek at one of our favorite new products—another installment of our Make It from Your Heart™ pattern book series (and the crowd goes wild)!
Volume 3 of Make It from Your Heart is a real game changer. Why? Well for starters, it comes as a collection of loose, 3-ring hole-punched pages that fit inside any of our Everyday Life™ mini albums. You can rearrange or pull out pages anytime you want. Just think: you could pull out the page you need for an upcoming crop and insert it into your Everyday Life™ planner next to the day of the crop. How awesome is that? 🙂
Also, this pattern book features 36 two-page layout patterns that use standard photos sizes (no trimming down photos over here, folks!). The layouts are organized by how many photos they use, so if you are looking for a layout that uses four photos, you can simply turn to that section and look at all your options.
We also have not one, but TWO pieces of artwork inspiration for each pattern! This is a great way to show off the creative potential of a single pattern, as you can in these examples:
In addition to these 36 patterns, this book features artwork inspiration that demonstrates how to incorporate additional photos into your layouts using our Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors™…
…as well as our traditional pocket scrapbooking Memory Protectors.
This exciting new pattern book will be available to order beginning August 1 (which is in 12 days, but who’s counting?). And there’s no need to camp out in a long line in anticipation of the launch date because you can order this great new book on your Consultant’s website or closetomyheart.com as soon as it is made available (along with more new products)!
So get ready to snap up your own copy of Make It from Your Heart Volume 3. Gotta love scrapbooking made easy. 🙂
If you’re a stamper, then chances are you are no stranger to the wonders of inky fingers! But no matter how much exposure you’ve had, there are probably some things about working with ink that may still be a mystery to you. Today’s topic is Inks 101, and by the time you’ve read this post, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an ink expert!
1. Not sure which type of ink you should use for a project? Click on this handy infographic to figure it out!
2. Just like our cardstock, we offer dye and pigment stamp pads in all of our exclusive colors…meaning you’ll always have ink to match your cardstock! Easy color coordination is the name of our game. 🙂
3. Our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads have one of the largest surface areas on the market. Plus, they’re super easy to open, thanks to the magnetic case design!
4. We designed our stamp pads so that the pad is on the lid of the case. This way while your stamp pad is sitting around waiting to be used, the ink is settling on the surface of the pad so you’ll always be able to get a crisp stamped image.
5. Is your stamp pad getting dry? That happens with a lot of use over time. But the good news is that instead of buying a new one, you can buy the coordinating re-inker and use it to replenish your pad. To re-ink a stamp pad, gently squeeze the re-inker evenly over the surface of your stamp pad while moving in a zig-zag pattern, top to bottom. Repeat until your stamp pad is properly saturated again (you won’t even need to use the whole bottle!). Just be sure to give your ink some time to soak in before using the stamp pad.
6. Is your stamped image darker than you thought it would be? Don’t worry, that’s normal! Dye inks need a little bit of time to cure, which means that they need to fully dry before they turn the right color. This shouldn’t take too long, but a craft heater can certainly help speed up the process.
7. When using our mini pigment ink stamp pads, dab the stamp pad lightly onto the stamp rather than trying to press the stamp onto the stamp pad.
8. Pigment ink sits on the surface of your paper, which is why the colors are more vivid than dye inks. However, this means pigment ink takes longer to dry. Give images stamped with pigment ink time to air dry, or use a craft heater to dry them right away.
9. If you’ve got the painting bug, then you’re going to love painting with our inks! Start by squishing the lid of your closed stamp pad all over. This will transfer some ink from the pad onto the other side of the case where you can pick up the ink using a slightly damp waterbrush or paintbrush, and then paint away!
10. If you want to create a splattered paint pattern on your artwork, then our spray pen is your friend! Simply fill your spray pen with some water and add a bit of ink from a re-inker bottle, shake, and then spritz onto your artwork. Raise the spray pen higher for a subtler splatter and closer to the paper for a more concentrated splatter. If you want the ink to dry faster, try using rubbing alcohol instead of water.
12. In addition to our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads, we also offer the VersaMark™ ink pad. Use this ink pad to create watermark images, or add embossing powder over the stamped image, shake off the excess, and heat set for an entirely different look!
And this year’s Stampaganza is extra special because we’ve brought back a handful of our favorite stamp sets!
Celebrate Throwback Thursday with us as we highlight some of these oldies but goodies below!
My Acrylix® Say It All Stamp Set: This stamp set really does say it all! With sentiments for a wide variety of holidays and occasions, this set is a must-have for every cardmaker.
My Acrylix® Friend Stamp: You can’t go wrong with this classic beauty! Its flourishes and fancy calligraphy are versatile enough for both your cardmaking and scrapbooking projects.
My Acrylix® Tagged with Love Stamp Set: Why buy gift tags when you can make your own? This stamp set includes three different tag designs and 6 coordinating sentiments. Plus, if you have our retired Cricut® Art Philosophy collection, you can cut out the tags with your machine!
Click here to check out all of our throwback stamp sets, including many more not featured in this post. Just remember, these stamp sets are only back in town until the end of July, so be sure to grab your favorites before they’re gone!
Which stamp set is calling your name this #TBT? Tell us in the comments below! 🙂
2. If you see a stamp image outlined in red, that means it coordinates with one of the shapes from our Cricut® collections. If it’s outlined in blue, that means it coordinates with one of our Thin Cuts dies.
3. We put A LOT of thought and effort into making the best stamps for our customers. See the entire process in this infographic:
4. After we design each paper packet, we create two coordinating stamp sets, one for scrapbooking and one for cardmaking, to be paired with that specific paper. These two stamp sets can be found in the idea book right behind the coordinating Workshops Your Way™ scrapbooking kits.
5. Our stamps are made right here at the Home Office, in a top-secret room.
6. It takes about one hour to make one sheet of stamps from start to finish.
7. New stamps work best when you “season” them. To do so, rub the stamp across a stamp pad, and then stamp onto scrap paper until the image is even.
8. Our stamps can be used with all sorts of inks, including dye, pigment, solvent, and alcohol inks.
9. Rather than attaching your stamps to your blocks, try using your blocks to pick up your stamps from a flat surface. This way, the stamp will hold its natural shape.
10. Our My Acrylix® blocks have a small white horizontal line on them to help you with stamp placement, which is especially helpful for keeping words and borders straight.
11. Some people cut apart their stamps in order to rearrange words in a sentiment when sticking them to their blocks.
12. Our stamps are flexible! Manipulate them so they fit inside shapes and banners, or just to get a different look!
13. If some of your ink doesn’t transfer when stamping, quickly breathe over the stamp to re-moisten the remaining ink and then stamp over the image again. The missing portion usually blends into the existing image if the ink isn’t too dry. This is called the Huffing or Stamp Over Technique.
14. Because our stamps and blocks are clear, you can easily stamp over the image again to get a richer, deeper image.
18. If your stamps ever start to lose their stickiness, all you need to do is rinse them with warm water and soap, and the stickiness will come right back. You can also use StazOn™ cleaner on the smooth side of the stamp.
19. Some stamps make great friends, like our good ol’ friend, Sticky Boy!
What things did you not know? Tell us in the comments! 🙂
Gallery walls are a great way to infuse a space with colors and patterns. Not only are they a more affordable way to decorate large walls, but they give us the opportunity to showcase multiple pieces of art in one place and to express who we are and what we love!
If you’ve never created a gallery wall before or if you’re looking for ways to update your current gallery walls, here are some tips to help you create a meaningful, cohesive gallery:
Decide if you want your gallery to be just pictures and photos or if you want to include dimensional pieces, like wooden shapes, wreaths, etc.
Choose a favorite photo or piece of artwork as your starting piece, and then add to your wall by finding pieces that coordinate with your first item.
Another way to start is to choose one main color to anchor all the pieces in your gallery, and then create a color scheme around this main color.
Rather than searching for the perfect picture frames to coordinate with your artwork, try adding paper to plain picture frames. It’s an easy way to make everything match!
Hang your picture frames both horizontally and vertically for variety.
Add personal touches to your gallery, like a monogram, scrapbook page, or favorite family quote.
Use a variety of shapes and dimensions, as well as picture frame sizes, to create a well-balanced look.
Lay out your gallery on the floor before hanging it on the wall. You’ll easily be able to move around pieces until you get the look you want, and then you can take a photo to reference when hanging the gallery up on the wall. Want to be even more precise? Trace the pieces of your gallery on scrap paper, cut them out, and hang them on the wall to see how they look before attaching the actual pieces.
And maybe most of all, make sure you have fun! Gallery walls are a great way to get in touch with your creative side. Now go get crafty! 🙂
Like the world of fashion, trends in papercrafting are always changing. One day it’s all about brads and buttons and the next it’s all about sparkles and shimmer!
Just because an artistic technique or aesthetic may no longer be “on trend” doesn’t mean that you can’t still use it. You just need to freshen it up!
To show you what we mean, we dug through our archives to find artwork created with some old-school techniques. We then asked our artists to create new artwork using these same techniques…with a modern-day spin!
They’ve come up with some amazing alterations to these techniques that will make your artwork amazing!
Distressing the edges of your titles with ink. Remember when we did this for everything? Distress all the things! 🙂
Instead of distressing your titles, try stamping them using the rock n’ roll technique. It keeps your edges clean, which is the new trend, but just like distressing, it gives your titles dimension and color variation.
Ripping and inking your edges, aka, making your artwork look like it’s 100 years old. And remember how burned edges were such a thing? Ripping and inking your edges with black ink mimicked that trend, which you can see on the card below.
Instead of inking your ripped edges, try leaving your ripped edges un-inked and inking your clean edges instead, using a color other than black or brown! The key is subtlety! You can see we added some faint pink inking to the edges of the pink paper here. It helps to add some depth to the paper without screaming “I’m distressed!”
Stippled titles. Remember this one? You’d spell out your title with stickers, make a million little dots over the stickers with a marker, and then peel off your stickers to reveal your finished title.
Watercolored titles. Instead of stippling over your stickers with a marker, paint over them with a wide paintbrush and some watercolor paint. We used this technique with a “hello” sticker from our Springtime Complements to create the title below.
Pretty neat, right?
Just because papercrafting trends change doesn’t mean you need to throw out your bag of tricks. All you need to do is find a way to make your old tricks feel new again!
Which spin is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!
If we’re going to talk about mixing and matching papers, we have to start by talking about our Fundamentals! In a nutshell, each of our color palettes has coordinating Fundamental papers, and these papers feature a variety of single-color paper designs. You can think of them the same way you think of cardstock: You have single-color patterns in each of our exclusive colors that you can use any time you are working with a given color.
We’ve created the Fundamentals so that they can be used as both stand-alone paper packets and be mixed in with themed paper packets, like those in our seasonal idea books. If the thought of trying to mix your Fundamentals with a different paper packet makes you nervous, we’re here to walk you through it, step by step!
Step One: Find the themed paper packet you want to work with. Let’s start with Little Dreamer as an example.Step Two: Look up the featured colors in this paper packet. They’re listed in a few places: on the zip strip at the very top of your papers, in the idea book, and on our website when you’re viewing the paper packet in online shopping.
Step Three: Choose which color you want to add more of to your artwork. Then it’s as simple as finding that specific color in the Fundamental paper packets, and using that paper in your artwork!
Not sure which colors are in each Fundamental paper packet? No problem! They are listed in your idea book and online, just like you can see with the Little Dreamer paper packet above!
For example, let’s say you’re working with Little Dreamer. You see that Thistle is one of the featured colors, and you would like to add more of it to your artwork.
Thistle is part of the Whimsy color palette, so you can pull out your Whimsy Fundamental paper packet, find the Thistle designs, and add them to the other papers you’re going to be using.
Can you spot the Thistle Fundamental paper on this layout?
How about now? 🙂
It matches perfectly, right? There’s also Lagoon Fundamental paper here.
Here are some other examples where we’ve mixed Fundamental papers with themed papers:
No Worries paper packet + Rustic Home Fundamentals neutral chevron paper and linen paper + Adventure Fundamentals Lagoon paper
Prickly Pear paper packet + Whimsy Fundamentals Sorbet paper + Enchantment Fundamentals Sapphire paper
Jack paper packet + Rustic Home Fundamentals neutral linen paper and wood paper+ Uptown Fundamentals black plus-sign paper + Enchantment Fundamentals Ruby paper
Now you certainly don’t have to follow these steps to mix and match papers. You can always just grab patterns and colors that look good together (our artists do it all the time!). But if you haven’t tried going free-style before, or if just the thought of it is enough to scare you, following these steps is a good place to start.