A Fun Way to “Spruce” Up Your Valentine’s Day Décor

As a crafter, you’re always looking for new projects and new ideas. With Valentine’s Day coming up, here’s one we’ve fallen head over heels for: a heart tree!Learn how to make this adorable heart tree for Valentine's Day! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Valentines #decor #hearts

This would make a great accent piece for your living room, and if you made a few, you could make a really cute mantle display or centerpiece arrangement. These trees are super easy and affordable to make, especially since we’re going to show you how! We’ll even include some insider’s tips.

First, you’ll need to get a styrofoam tree (or trees!) and a bunch of ½” straight pins, which you can get from almost any craft store. Next, put your Cricut® to work cutting out hearts—a lot of them! ☺ We cut these hearts at 1 ½”. 2 sheets each of 4 colors of paper should be plenty to cover one tree.

Insider’s tip #1: You’ll want to turn the pressure up pretty high on your Cricut® machine when you cut the glitter paper.Learn how to make this adorable heart tree for Valentine's Day! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Valentines #decor #hearts

After you’ve cut all your hearts, flip your first heart upside down. Using a straight pin, attach the heart to the bottom of the tree: The curved part of the heart should be in line with the bottom of the tree, and the pin should be placed near the point of the heart. Continue this technique to create a row of hearts on the bottom of the tree. Let the hearts overlap slightly. Next, add another row just above your first. Focus on filling the gaps between the hearts and covering the pinheads from the first row. You can either make each row its own color or alternate colors within rows—it’s totally up to you! When you get to the top of the tree, glue the tips of the hearts together to create a point.

Insider’s tip #2: If you plan on saving your tree to use year after year, use styrofoam glue instead of or in addition to the straight pins. The tree may take longer to finish, but it will be less delicate.

And that’s it—we told you it was easy! 🙂 Now you’re ready to welcome this holiday of caring and sharing into your home and heart, and with that . . .

Insider’s tip #3: Love what you’ve created!

Recipe

Heart Tree
X5760 Cotton Candy Cardstock, X5773 Pixie Cardstock, 1272 Cranberry Cardstock, Z1922 Pink Glitter Paper, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Styrofoam Tree, ½” Straight Pins, Styrofoam Glue (optional)

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1 ½” Icon-1 (cut multiple, p. 35)

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Bring On the Valentines!

Share your La Vie En Rose valentines on Instagram using #lovinLaVie and you could win a special prize! #creativechallenge #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Valentines #cards #LaVieEnRose

Remember this little beauty? In a week and a half, it will be given as a valentine, but today it’s serving as a reminder of our creative challenge!

Have you started working on your own La Vie En Rose valentine yet? You’ve got until the night of February 11 to create and share your own work of art as part of the challenge. To share your masterpiece, post a picture of it on Instagram using the hashtag #lovinLaVie. We’ll pick some of our favorites, and then those cards will be featured right here around Valentine’s Day. Oh, and did we mention that we’ve got A SPECIAL PRIZE for those that we feature here? Yay for giveaways!

For more valentine inspiration, have a second look at the other La Vie En Rose cards we shared. We’re excited to see what you create!

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From Jeanette: Share the Love through Operation Smile™

I consider my grandchildren to be among the greatest treasures in my life. I never could have imagined the joy that those precious smiles bring to me. I’m sure that those of you with children and grandchildren can relate! Even those without children of your own know just how priceless and special a child’s smile is. And that’s one of the reasons that Close To My Heart has been partnered with Operation Smile™ for so long.

Operation Smile is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with cleft palate, cleft lip, and other facial deformities receive lifesaving and life-changing surgeries. They are truly a special organization. At our last Convention, we shared a video of an Operation Smile mission, and I want to give you all a chance to see it now:

Watching this video brings tears to my eyes every time. The work this organization does is absolutely incredible, and I am determined to do what I can to help this incredible organization succeed.

Since February is the month of love, we thought it would be a wonderful time to really focus our efforts on expressing our love for Operation Smile and the dear families they serve. For this purpose, we’ve created the My Acrylix® Share the Love stamp set, and for every stamp set sold, we will donate $7 USD to Operation Smile*.Help a child by purchasing the Share the Love stamp set benefiting Operation Smile! #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #OperationSmile #operationsmile #sharethelove #donate

This stamp set is only available during February, so be sure to get yours while you can. There are also many other ways you can help Operation Smile throughout the year. You can purchase the My Acrylix® Animal Greetings stamp set, which you can use to create this adorable children’s book and many other wonderful works of art. This stamp set is sure to bring smiles to many children’s faces!

We also have a selection of t-shirts to help promote the Operation Smile mission. For every t-shirt you purchase, we will donate $10 USD*.

Another way to help is to round up your order totals. When you do this, we will donate the difference. Each surgery is only $240 USD, so small donations can really add up to make a big impact.

Finally, if you or someone you know would like to make an outright donation to Operation Smile, simply talk to a Close To My Heart Consultant, who can walk you step by step through that process.

We’ll be sharing some more stories this month to show what some of our awesome Consultants have done to support Operation Smile, as well, so be sure to check back with us throughout the month.

My friends, you already add so much goodness to this world. Donating to Operation Smile is simply a way to extend the reach of your goodness. With all my heart, I thank you for all you have done, all you are doing, and all you will do for people, both around the corner and around the globe. Your selflessness inspires me.

All my love,

Jeanette

*Products purchased in US states AL and MA excluded from donation due to state registration requirements. 

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Make the Most of Your Planner

It’s always such a good feeling to start off the new year with a brand new planner and brand new inspiration, so we’re super excited that we could give you a planner system that is functional and pretty! If you’re looking for even more ways to customize your newly purchased planner, the Picture My Life™ Live Your Day scrapbooking program is definitely the way to go!Enjoy using the Everyday Life™ Planner and Live Your Day PML Cards together! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #EverydayLife #planner #PML #liveyourday

Some of the decorations for the planner are functional as well as fun. For instance, don’t you love the “Birthdays” card to help you remember your loved ones’ big days? Insert some Memory Protectors™ into your planner so you can add pictures, color, and details like this to your week or month! Check out another example:Enjoy using the Everyday Life™ Planner and Live Your Day PML Cards together! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #EverydayLife #planner #PML #liveyourday

We also know that your to-do lists can be pretty daunting at times. At those moments, a bit of humor or motivation can help get you going. The Picture My Life Live Your Day scrapbooking program includes cheerful sentiments like this one, which can really brighten your day, especially when paired with your favorite photos. Here’s another fun way to use these Picture My Life cards:Enjoy using the Everyday Life™ Planner and Live Your Day PML Cards together! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #EverydayLife #planner #PML #liveyourday

Set your Picture My Life cards free from Memory Protectors™ by sticking them to any page with washi tape. Try embellishing your planner’s monthly dividers with cards and washi tape for a really stellar start to the month!

If you haven’t purchased the Picture My Life Live Your Day scrapbooking program, there’s still time! This handy set of cards is available until January 31, so hurry and snatch them up—they’re ready to save your day, week, month, and year!

Recipe 

Everyday Life Layouts
CC1058 Picture My Life™ Live Your Day Scrapbooking Program, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3209 Everyday Life 2016 Planner Pages, Z3208 Everyday Life Album—Black, Z3211 Everyday Life Washi Tape, Z3212 Everyday Life™ Perfect Plan Roller Stamp, Z3192 Memory Protectors4″ x 6″, Z3191 Memory Protectors4″ x 3″, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen Journaling Pen

All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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You’ll Love This Valentine’s Day Advent Calendar!

The timeless love sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning has inspired countless thousands of people to “count the ways” they love one another for over a century now. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’ve come up with an irresistibly cute project to help you count the days! Take a look:Create this fun Valentine's Day Advent Calendar! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Valentines #calendar #countdown #Vday #ValentinesDay

Didn’t we tell you it was the cutest? 🙂 And it’s amazingly simple, too. Starting with our Designed Décor Red Magnetic Chalkboard, we added a big heart cut from the Charlotte paper packet. Next, we cut 14 adorable envelopes from a variety of cardstocks and glitter papers with our Cricut® Artiste collection. Have a look:Create this fun Valentine's Day Advent Calendar! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Valentines #calendar #countdown #Vday #ValentinesDay

After cutting them out, you’ll need to fold your envelopes. Use a bone folder to get deep creases so the flaps will stay in place—no adhesive required! Then attach a set of hook & loop dots to each envelope. These Velcro-like dots make opening and closing the envelopes a cinch!

Now for the fun part: decorating and filling the envelopes! We attached a heart to every envelope and attached a number on top. Feel free to embellish your envelopes to your “heart’s” content!

What will you put in your envelopes? A note with something you love about your significant other? A little piece of candy? A picture of a favorite memory? An act of love you’d like to complete that day? Whatever you choose, it’ll get you and everyone else at your house even more excited for the big day!

Make your own heart-filled advent calendar, so you can count the ways AND the days this Valentine’s!

Recipe

Happy Valentine’s Day Advent Calendar
X7025B Charlotte Paper Packet, 1246 Hollyhock Cardstock, X5927 Ruby Cardstock, X5760 Cotton Candy Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5780 Pomegranate Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z2006 Designed Décor Red Magnetic Chalkboard, Z679 Liquid Glass, Z1805 Hook & Loop Dots, 1772 Memory Book Glue Dots, Z1204 Bone Folder, Z3171 Cricut® Art Philosophy Collection, Z3170 Cricut® Artiste Collection, Chalk

Cricut® Shapes:
Art Philosophy
1″ Shift <Heart1> (cut 14, p. 26)
11 ½” Shift <Heart1> (p. 26)

Artiste
2 ¼” Shift+Card <Z> (cut 14, p. 61)
½” <font> “1234567891011121314”

All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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Show Your Love with La Vie En Rose Valentines

Valentine’s Day is coming up fast, and we want to help you celebrate! We’ve got some great ideas for making one-of-a-kind cards using the perfect paper packet for Valentines: La Vie En Rose! With its elegant black and white patterns and the exquisite floral print paper, it is the perfect place to start when for creating personalized valentines for everyone—from your significant other to the kids’ teachers.

Ready for some inspiration? Let’s start with this little cutie:

Let La Vie En Rose help you with your Valentines! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Valentines #cards

We meant it when we said “little”—this mini card is ideal for all those little cuties you know! Take advantage of Valentine’s day to tell your children or grandchildren how much they mean to you, or let your kids help create a handful of these simple cards to take to school and give to their friends. Thanks to the Darling Dinos stamp set, even boys can get in the fun without having to be too mushy about it.

For your significant other, we can try something a bit more grown-up:

Let La Vie En Rose help you with your Valentines! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Valentines #cards

Chic and sweet! You don’t have to go all-out with hearts to create a lovely valentine. The two bitty hearts on this card are enough to convey, “I love you!” You might not initially think “black” when making a valentine, but it really works! We especially love the black ampersand that is accented with the help of some 3-D tape. A beautiful card like this one can add even more feeling to the words you write inside it.

All right, we’ve covered kids and significant others, but there are sure to be other people who would love to hear heartfelt words of appreciation on Valentine’s Day. How about your child’s teacher, for instance?

Let La Vie En Rose help you with your Valentines! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Valentines #cards

In our book, this card gets an A+! The kraft cardstock and Glacier dotted lines take us right back to our grade school days—how fun is that? Plus, that special heart stamp will be the “apple” of the teacher’s eye! 🙂 Teachers can be so influential in a child’s life, and a beautiful card like this is sure to let them know how much you appreciate their hard work.

We’ve fallen in love with La Vie En Rose, and we know you will too when you start working with this paper packet. That’s why we’re going to issue a creative challenge for the chance to be featured on the blog and to win a prize!

Here are the contest details. First, create your own valentine using the La Vie En Rose paper packet. Then post a photo of the card on Instagram using the hashtag #lovinLaVie by the night of Thursday, February 11. On Valentine’s Day, we’ll post some of our favorites on the blog for all of you to see! Then we’ll reward our winners with a special surprise. 🙂

We want to see all of your lovable cards, so get excited and start crafting!

Recipes

3″ x 3″ You’re Dino-mite Card
Originals: Matted Square™
B1486 My Acrylix® Darling Dinos, X7201B La Vie En Rose Paper Packet, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2009 Red Enamel Hearts, 3505 Watercolor Pencils, 3174 Blending Pen

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Hugs & Kisses Card
C1621 My Acrylix® Mr. & Mrs., X7201B La Vie En Rose Paper Packet, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2173 Slate Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z1809 Black Shimmer Trim, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles

5 ½” x 4 ¼” World’s Greatest Teacher Card
D1612 My Acrylix® Teacher Appreciation, X7201B La Vie En Rose Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z2652 Poppy Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2153 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z2173 Slate Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z1752 Sparkles Clear Assortment, Z3094 Poppy Thick Twine

All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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Dear Future Self . . .

How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions for 2016? If you could use some motivation now or think you might before the year is up, one thing to try is writing a letter to your future self, talking about the things that you hope to have done by the date of the letter! Have a look at this one:Get inspired to accomplish your goals by writing a letter to yourself! #closetomyheart #ctmh #everydaylife #mycrush

Our My Crush® Everyday Life pages are perfect for this job. Along with encouraging phrases and bold illustrations, the pages also include subtle patterns and colors, making them easy to write on and decorate!

So how exactly do you go about writing a letter to yourself? We have a few ideas. Start by jotting down a few lists about yourself—strengths, weaknesses, worries, past successes. Think about your past year and some challenges you’re likely to face this year. Then write your current self a note as if you were a kind and wise mentor trying to encourage a friend. As the year progresses and the hard times hit, you’ll be able to look back and get the help you need from you!

Once you’ve finished writing out your letter, feel free to dress it up with a few embellishments—may we recommend the Everyday Life™ Perfect Plan roller stamp and washi tape? They pair wonderfully with the My Crush pages. Then add the page to the front of your planner so you can reference it whenever you need a boost.

Your goals are worth working for, and you’re most likely to accomplish them if you have faith in yourself. Preserve that faith with a letter to yourself and shoot for the stars!

Recipe

My Crush® Letter To Self
44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3208 Everyday Life™ Album—Black, Z3210 My Crush® Everyday Life Pages, Z3212 Everyday Life™ Perfect Plan Roller Stamp, Z3211 Everyday Life™ Washi Tape, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker

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Finishing Touches for Your Layouts

You’ve picked the perfect pictures and chosen beautiful papers to pair them with. You’ve laid out your page and added your journaling, but there’s something missing . . . of course—embellishments! Putting those finishing touches on your layout is one of the best parts of the whole process, where you get to have fun playing with all kinds of different items to get just the right look.

If you’ve ever been stumped on the best way to embellish your pages, we’ve got some great ideas to share with you today, illustrated by amazing artwork—as always!Embellish to your heart's content with La Vie En Rose! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #LaVieEnRose #embellishYou’ve got to love the way the flowery Complements in the lower left corner of this page tie into the rosy paper strip, making you feel like you are standing in a fragrant flower garden. We planned it that way! What you see here is the perfect harmony between our La Vie En Rose papers, Complements, and assortments; it makes embellishing easy! Let’s take a closer look:Embellish to your heart's content with La Vie En Rose! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #LaVieEnRose #embellish

One key to getting a great embellishment cluster is variety. This cluster shows off a variety of materials and looks, between the photo-realistic badge buttons, and the printed die-cut shapes, and even a 1″ circle punched out of La Vie En Rose B&T paper. They go together like peas in a pod, but are different enough from one another to keep things interesting—such a beautiful bouquet!

Our 1″ circle punch came in handy for our next layout, too:Embellish to your heart's content with La Vie En Rose! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #LaVieEnRose #embellish

“Oh Darling” is right! You can see we put our circle punch to good use in creating the adorable polka-dot pattern on this page, but the real fun comes in our embellishment clusters. This cluster illustrates the same trick of putting embellishments of several different shapes and colors together:Embellish to your heart's content with La Vie En Rose! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #LaVieEnRose #embellish

Just like on our first page, we’re using the La Vie En Rose Complements and assortment, but we’ve also added the eye-catching Treasured Puffies and gold sequins. The touches of gold fit right in with the gold glitter paper bordering the page, and they just add that much more contrast to the cluster.

We’ve got one last layout to look at:Embellish to your heart's content with La Vie En Rose! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #LaVieEnRose #embellish

We’ve seen how well the La Vie En Rose Complements work with the coordinating paper packet, but in this example they’re teaming up with our Paper Fundamentals for a completely different effect.Embellish to your heart's content with La Vie En Rose! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #LaVieEnRose #embellish

Here, we’ve taken two similarly shaped Complements and stacked them one over the other. This time they are joined by a bow from our black Fundamental assortment, which is topped off by a precious heart sticker, which actually comes from the Penelope Complements. And we can’t forget the bitty sparkles! This layout is proof that embellishments from four different collections can coordinate amazingly well, so feel free to mix and match at will!

All this talk about embellishments has got you dying to pull out the stickers and die-cuts and get to work on your own pages, huh? 😉 Well, be our guest! Get creative with your embellishments and see what new dimensions you can add to your pages!

Recipes

12″ x 12″ Sweetest Smile Page
X7201B La Vie En Rose Paper Packet, X7201C La Vie En Rose Complements, Z3078 La Vie En Rose Assortment, Z1999 1″ Circle Punch

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
¾” Shift <Font> “SWEETEST SMILE”

12″ x 12″ Oh Darling Layout
X7201B  La Vie En Rose Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, X5773 Pixie Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, X5780 Pomegranate Cardstock, X7201C La Vie En Rose Complements, Z3203 Treasured Puffies, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment

12″ x 12″ You Are My World Layout
1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3125 Paper Fundamentals Adventure, Z3126 Paper Fundamentals Enchantment, X7207C Penelope Complements, X7201C La Vie En Rose Complements, Z3104 Fundamental Assortment—Black, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3132 Watercolor Paints

All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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Plan & Preserve Your Memories in One Place

While dates and to-do lists are important, they don’t usually become your favorite memories. Memories tend to come more from special moments that make an impression on you. Your Everyday Life™ planner is an excellent tool for helping you stay organized and feel prepared, but it can also help you preserve memorable moments as they happen, especially with the help of the Picture My Life Live Your Day scrapbooking program.Plan and preserve your memories in one place! #ctmh #closetomyheart #pmlliveyourday #picturemylife

Add in a couple Memory Protectors, and you’ve got an album ready to be filled with photos of all your fun times alongside Picture My Life cards to preserve your memories in the same place you plan them!

Yes, this really is “The Good Life,” and with the lovely month title cards, you can easily mark the passage of time through the entire year.Plan and preserve your memories in one place! #ctmh #closetomyheart #pmlliveyourday #picturemylife

Isn’t it fabulous? We’re also fans of the journaling cards—they’re big enough to write a few dates and thoughts on, but small enough to let the pictures do most of the talking. 🙂

Since you use your planner every day, it is a convenient place to include happy pictures and memories that will remind you why you do what you do. And then, when 2016 is over (as it will be all too soon, no doubt!), you’ll have a complete Picture My life album already completed!

The Picture My Life Live Your Day scrapbooking program is only available for the month of January, so make a plan to order it today! With it in hand, you’ll be ready to make your planner into a memory keeper’s work of art!

Recipe

Picture My Life™ Live Your Day Planner
CC1058 Picture My Life™ Live Your Day Scrapbooking Program, Z3209 Everyday Life 2016 Planner Pages, Z3208 Everyday Life Album—Black, Z3192 Memory Protectors™ 4″ x 6″, Z3191 Memory Protectors™4″ x 3″, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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