A Close To My Heart Christmas Party!

Here at Close To My Heart, we know that the Christmas season is a time for celebration! This week, we had our annual Christmas party here at the Home Office. It’s always such a pleasure to gather together as friends and coworkers, relax, and spread some Christmas cheer.Check out our Close To My Heart Christmas Party! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Christmas #partyFirst came a lunch catered by Tucanos Brazilian Grill, and boy, was it tasty! We enjoyed our meal with Christmas music in the background and icicle-style lights above our heads.

After the food, we celebrated employee birthdays and longevity milestones. We applauded people who have been with us for five, ten, fifteen, and even twenty years! The loyalty of our employees to this company always fills us with gratitude.Check out our Close To My Heart Christmas Party! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Christmas #partyBut the party wasn’t over. Next, Monica and Brian began drawing names and giving out fabulous prizes to the lucky winners! By the time they’d finished, dozens of gifts had been handed out, which certainly upped the merriment!Check out our Close To My Heart Christmas Party! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Christmas #partyDoes everyone look happy or what? We hope each of you get to enjoy your own holiday festivities and that you feel like you are a part of ours—because we know that we wouldn’t be celebrating together if it weren’t for this wonderful Close To My Heart community. Get in on the fun by checking out our holiday video, and Merry Christmas from Close To My Heart!

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3 Handmade Gifts from the Heart

Handmade gifts, crafted with tender love and care, can be the most meaningful gifts to give—you can customize them specifically for the individuals you are giving them to, while also adding unique touches that can only come from you. With some time to spare before Christmas, make your loved ones something that’s one of a kind—just like them! We’ve got three amazing gift ideas you can try out this holiday season. You’ll definitely want to check this list twice!

1. Masculine Shadow Box

Give your loved ones a handmade gift from the heart this Christmas! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Christmas #gifts #handmadeWe sure love feminine artwork (the hearts, the flowers, THE GLITTER!), but papercrafting can certainly cater to the men in your life, too! And is it just us, or are they also some of the hardest people to shop for? Look at this shadow box that’s “reel” perfect for your husband, father, son, or brother to hang in their favorite space. ☺Give your loved ones a handmade gift from the heart this Christmas! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Christmas #gifts #handmadeThe Urban paper packet and its coordinating Complements make “masculine” papercrafting a breeze. If your guy is the outdoorsy type, try using fun accents, like this deer head, from the Cricut® Artistry collection.

2. Calendar

Give your loved ones a handmade gift from the heart this Christmas! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Christmas #gifts #handmadeWith a new year right around the corner, Christmas is the perfect time to give someone a handmade calendar—and everyone needs a calendar, right? Our My Creations™ calendar gives you the chance to create a gift that is useful, personalized, and absolutely stunning!

In our example above, we filled the top section with a beautiful quote (stamped with the My Acrylix® Handwritten Print stamp set), and surrounded it with some beautiful stamped flowers. You could also fill this 12″ x 12″ space with photos, papers, embellishments, and any artistic decorations you want in order to give a gift with a truly personal touch. Stamping definitely comes in handy when filling out the calendar portion, both for creating monthly titles and for stamping the numbers in the boxes. That’s what’s great about this calendar—it’s a blank canvas, and you’re the artist extraordinaire!

3. Monogram Stationery

Give your loved ones a handmade gift from the heart this Christmas! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Christmas #gifts #handmadeWe all know someone—a mother, grandmother, or friend—who doesn’t need a special occasion to send thoughtful letters to others. Wouldn’t this person love to have beautiful personalized stationery to do just that? With some simple stamping, gold glitter paper, and our My Creations™ journaling cards box, you can create a beautiful stash of stationary for the letter writer in your life.

Which gift idea are you most excited about? Tell us below! Your loved ones deserve the best, so turn on the Christmas music, and put on your Santa hat: It’s time to become a crafting elf!

Recipes

12″ x 12″ You Are A Great Catch Shadow Box
Reflections: Main Frame—Tied Together™
C1584 My Acrylix® Feathers, B1482 My Acrylix® My Story, X7204B Urban Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5642 Cocoa Cardstock, X5775 Sapphire Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z2123 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2651 Saffron Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2114 Cocoa Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7204C Urban Complements, Z3164 Fundamental Stickers Enchantment Pack, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1″ Shift “Great Catch”
3½”Shift+Icon-1 (p. 45)
3¼” (p. 45)
3¼” Shift (p. 45)

April Calendar Spread
B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand, D1663 My Acrylix® Floral Banners, D1665 My Acrylix® Blossoming Expressions, E1030 My Acrylix® Handwritten Print, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2650 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2653 Pomegranate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2652 Poppy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2505 Enchantment Exclusive Inks™ Mini Pigment Pads Set, Z3184 My Creations™ Calendar, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green

Monogram Stationery
E1033 My Acrylix® Inked Alphabet, D1636 My Acrylix® I Do, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5780 Pomegranate Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z2648 Sapphire Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2653 Pomegranate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2170 Ruby Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2650 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1752 Sparkles Clear Assortment, Z1953 My Creations™ Journaling Cards Box, X254 White Cards & Envelopes Value Pack

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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Deck the Halls with Papercrafting!

December is here, and you know what that means—it’s party season! Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or other special celebrations, you’re bound to host at least one festive event soon, and Close To My Heart wants to help make your party the cutest one on the block!

First let’s welcome in Christmas —or rather, let this Christmas banner welcome your guests in!Create decor for your Christmas or New Year's Eve party! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #party #decorFor this banner, layering is the name of the game. Chocolate cardstock letters behind their Cranberry counterparts create a shadowed look, and the holly leaves appear beautifully real thanks to two layers in different colors of cardstock.

For an adorable centerpiece, it’s amazing how well a wrapped box and some Cricut® ingenuity can “spruce” up some sprigs, eh? 🙂 Learn more about how to make those beautiful blossoms by watching this video:

Here’s one other tip to keep in mind when replicating this centerpiece: The holly berry branches are actually three pieces of cardstock. Cut two Chocolate branches, and cut off the berries. Then cut one Cranberry branch, and glue it in between the Chocolate branches sandwich style. With all this help, you’ll create a showstopper centerpiece that will have your guests “oohing” and “ahhhing!”

And of course no party is complete without some cupcakes! Our Cricut® Artiste collection includes all sorts of cupcake liners. Some glittery stars make great cupcake toppers and tie all of these pieces together. The stars were cut out of gold glitter paper with the help of our Cricut® Artbooking collection, and they really make this trio the perfect ensemble!

But even if your party isn’t for Christmas, we’ve got you covered! If you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve, a birthday, or something else entirely, then the Kaleidoscope paper packet is your new best friend!Create decor for your Christmas or New Year's Eve party! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #party #decorCreate decor for your Christmas or New Year's Eve party! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #party #decorThis banner is certain to brighten up any room it’s in (even on the coldest winter nights!), and it’s perfect for celebrations all year round. To get this look, attach strips of paper together (so they have the same pattern on each side), and stitch them in a long line with your sewing machine. Voila!

The party centerpiece here is just as spunky as the banner! In addition to being a great decoration, the decorated sticks could be used for super fun photos, party games, or favors.

And just as it added class to our Christmas pieces, our gold glitter paper is back! These liners have a non-glittery paper on the inside of the liners to keep the glitter on the outside! The cupcakes are topped off with spunky little tassels of cardstock, cut and glued around the tops of toothpicks. They look kind of like fireworks, and they’re just the thing to “spark” a conversation with your guests.

We know you’ll enjoy creating these beautiful pieces of artwork—and we know you’ll love the compliments that will follow, too! No matter what you’re celebrating in the coming weeks, may all your celebrations be merry and bright!

Recipes 

“Merry Christmas” Star Banner
D1664 My Acrylix® Packages, Boxes, and Tags, D1522 My Acrylix® Glamour Lowercase (period to create dots on Fern cardstock), X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, 1282 New England Ivy Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z2650 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, Z2448 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Carmine Marker, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Z3170 Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
2¼”and 3¼” Shape <v> (cut 8, p. 34)
4″ and 5″ Shape <v> (cut 11, p. 34)
2″ Icon-1 <Christms> (cut 4, p. 48)
2″ Shift+Icon-1 <Christms> (cut 4, p. 48)
1½”, 2″, 2½” <NewYears> (cut several, p. 50)

Artbooking
1¼”, 1½”, 2″ Icon <m> (cut several, p. 74)
2½” <Merry> (p. 75)

Artiste
2″ Shift <Font> “CHRISTMAS” (cut 2)

Christmas Box
D1657 My Acrylix® Holly Jolly Christmas, D1677 My Acrylix® Friend Tree, X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, 1282 New England Ivy Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z2175 Cashmere Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2135 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2174 Champagne Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1985 Gold Shimmer Trim, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, 3505 Watercolor Pencils, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Z3170 Cricut® Artiste Collection, Skewers, Pine Sprigs, Box

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1½” Shift+Background <@> (cut 12, 4 Cranberry, 8 Chocolate p. 2)
1″ Shift+Icon-2 <Q> (cut 5, p. 11)
1″ and 1¼” Icon-1 <j> (cut several, p. 27)
1″ and 1¼” Shift+Icon-1 <J> (cut several, p. 27)
3¼” Icon-1 <z> (cut several p. 31)
3″ Shift+Background <Z> (cut several, p. 31)
2″and 3″ Icon-1 <Christms> (cut several, p. 48)
2″and 3″ Shift+Icon-1 <Christms> (cut several, p. 48)

Artiste
5½” Accent 1 <f> (cut 4, p. 54)
8″ Accent 1 <f> (cut 2, p. 54)
10″ Accent 1 <f> (cut 1, p. 54)
2½” Accent 3 <f> (cut 5, p. 54)
3″ Accent 3 <f> (cut 5, p. 54)
3½” Accent 3 <f> (cut 5, p. 54)
4″ Accent 3 <f> (cut 6, p. 54)
1¼” Accent 3 <BdayBoy> (cut 4, p. 68)
1½” Accent 3 <BdayBoy> (cut 4, p. 68)
2″ Accent 3 <BdayBoy> (cut 6, p. 68)

Christmas Cupcake Liners and Toppers
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Z3170 Cricut® Artiste Collection, Toothpicks

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
1″ Icon <m> (cut 6, p. 74)

Artiste
3½” Accent 4 <c> (cut 3, p. 63)

Kaleidoscope Banner
X7202B Kaleidoscope Paper Packet, 1272 Cranberry Cardstock, X5758 Sunset Cardstock, X5772 Canary Cardstock, X5759 Pacifica Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z1992 Purple Glitter Paper, Z3075 Red Glitter Paper, Thread

Kaleidoscope Centerpiece
X7202B Kaleidoscope Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, X5758 Sunset Cardstock, X5772 Canary Cardstock, X5759 Pacifica Cardstock, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Vase

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
3″ Icon-1 <1> (p. 1)
3″ Shape <i> (p. 18)
3″ Shift+Shape <I> (p. 18)
2″ Icon-1 <s> (p. 22)
2″ Shift+Icon-1 <S> (p. 22)
1 ¼” Icon-2 <s> (p. 22)
1¾” Shift+Icon-2 <Father> (p. 40)
½” Shift <Font> “#PARTY”

Kaleidoscope Cupcake Liners and Toppers
X7202B Kaleidoscope Paper Packet, X5772 Canary Cardstock, X5759 Pacifica Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z3170 Cricut® Artiste Collection, Toothpicks

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
3½” Accent 4 <Z> (p. 61)

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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How To: Michelle Snyder’s Shadow Box

Don’t you love this festive time of year? Christmas seems to give us the most beautiful creations in every category, and papercrafting is no exception. For example, check out this adorable shadow box!Learn how to make this beautiful Christmas shadow box! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhwhitepines #diychristmas #papercrafting #christmasdecor

Wouldn’t you love to decorate your home with something like this? We can’t decide what we like best about it: the holly berry gems, glittery lettering, or dainty snowflakes. And you’re probably dying to put your favorite family picture inside the frame!

We have the lovely Michelle Snyder to thank for this beautiful piece of artwork—some of our readers will recognize it from Convention, where she donated it to our Operation Smile™ auction.

It’s no surprise that Michelle’s shadow box sold for a generous price. What did surprise Michelle was how many people asked her how she’d made it. In response to all these requests, Michelle graciously put together some instructions for the project and shared them on our Convention Facebook page. Many of our Consultants have since taken advantage of this and created shadow boxes of their own. Here are just a few of them:

Look how great they turned out! Don’t you want your own now? Well, you’re in luck—Michelle wants as many people as possible to have access to her instructions, so with her permission and blessing, we’re sharing them right here on the blog! This will give all of you the chance to make this Christmas masterpiece in time for the holiday season.

We’re so grateful for Michelle’s inspiring artwork and giving spirit. Thank you, Michelle! 🙂 Now check out her instructions at the link below, and merry crafting!

Michelle Snyder’s Shadow Box Instructions

P.S. Before you start work on your shadow box, you’ll also need the White Pines paper packet. It’s only available for another month, so make sure to order it right away! For more White Pines artwork inspiration, search #ctmhwhitepines on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

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The Everyday Life™ Line Has Arrived!

IT’S HERE! 😀

The moment you’ve all been waiting for since our Australasia Convention announcement and the Plan Ahead blog post has come at last: You can now place your order for our planner system!Create a beautiful planner with our Everyday Life™ line! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmheverdaylife #planner #organized

Isn’t it beautiful? We love the vibrant colors of this planner, and all that space to write down those oh-so-important lists and reminders. And because we just can’t help ourselves, we’re also going to give you a deal on an exclusive planner bundle! From now until December 31, you can order a special planner bundle that gives you everything you need to create a planner at a 15% discount! You’ll get the Everyday Life™ black album with trendy gold foil designs, the Everyday Life™ 2016 planner pages, including stickers for color coordinating your planner, and the Everyday Life™ Perfect Plan roller stamp, which works hand-in-hand with the stickers.

But that’s not all.

For anyone who hasn’t seen our Planners Gonna Plan video yet, we have an extra surprise: There are more items in the Everyday Life™ line, and they’re ALL available as of today! Let us show you the whole system!Create a beautiful planner with our Everyday Life™ line! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmheverdaylife #planner #organized

First up, we’ve created two new Memory Protectors™ that are sized especially for the Everyday Life™ album—one with four 4″ x 3″ side-loading pockets and one with two 4″ x 6″ side-loading pockets. You can create a mini Picture My Life™ album, like you see here, or you can add some photos and Picture My Life™ cards to your planner. What better way to add a smile to your day than to turn to your to-do list and see pictures of those you love?Create a beautiful planner with our Everyday Life™ line! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmheverdaylife #planner #organized

Next, we’ve got something really exciting—our My Crush® Everyday Life pages. These loose, 3-ring hole punched pages come in a variety of playful patterns, and some have sayings that will lift your spirits and encourage you to seize the day! Did you notice the washi tape used to hold these precious photos and memorabilia in place? That’s our Everyday Life™ washi tape, which coordinates with the colors of the planner pages and the My Crush pages. We’re all about preserving the little moments in life, and these My Crush® pages and washi tape make memory keeping on-the-go easy, cute, and fun!Create a beautiful planner with our Everyday Life™ line! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmheverdaylife #planner #organized

Here our artist combined the planner pages with the Memory Protectors, the My Crush® pages, and the washi tape. Now you can see just how many amazing possibilities there are with our Everyday Life products. You’ll be able to preserve your favorite moments in the same place that you plan them!  We’re excited to help you enjoy your memories the same way you live your life: one day at a time. 🙂

Ready to place your order? To purchase the Everyday Life planner bundle*, which includes the album, planner pages, and roller stamp, head on over to your Consultant’s OBA, and select “Special Promotions” on the left-hand side of the page. To order additional Everyday Life™ items, like the My Crush® pages, select “Everyday Life” on your Consultant’s OBA.

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.

*To receive the 15% discount, you must purchase the planner bundle found under “Special Promotions.” Adding the items separately will not trigger the discount. You must use the campaign item number provided for the bundle. 

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3 Ways to Use Our White Pines Picture My Life™ Cards

December’s knocking! Around here that means hot cocoa sipping, gift giving, gingerbread house making, tree trimming, and Christmas caroling—all the Yuletide merriment that makes this the most wonderful time of the year.

We know these memories are precious, and we want to preserve every single one. That’s why we’ve made the Picture My Life™ White Pines scrapbooking program different from all the others—in addition to an array of adorable journaling and title cards, this collection also includes a card for each of the first 25 days of December! Today, we’re going to share with you three great ways to use these cards.

1. The 25 Pages of Christmas

Three ways to use our White Pines Picture My Life™ Cards this holiday season! #Christmas #PML #closetomyheart #ctmh

Create a pocket scrapbook page for each day leading up to Christmas! Our Picture My Life™ White Pines cards make it quick and easy to document each day because you can add your journaling, and then slide the cards and photos into place.

2. A Binder Ring Flipbook

Another idea to try out is creating a flipbook by hole punching the cards and sliding them onto a binder ring. In addition to using the cards for base pages, you can also use the 4″ x 3″ cards for matting photos, journaling, and creating tabs. The White Pines Complements make embellishing this little album quick and easy, and for a finishing touch, create a tassel out of Poppy thick twine to attach to the binder ring. 

3. Christmas Home Decor

Three ways to use our White Pines Picture My Life™ cards this holiday season! #Christmas #PML #closetomyheart #ctmh
What should you do with your leftover cards? Use them to create beautiful home décor, of course! Frame a single card, or use the dated cards to invent your own advent calendar. Here, we’ve simply cut tree shapes from a few different cards and sewed them onto a piece of cardstock. We then “trimmed” our trees with a few dainty embellishments, like our red gems, bitty sparkles, and enamel stars!

There you have it: three ways to use the Picture My Life™ White Pines scrapbooking program to celebrate the joy of the holiday season!

Want to win these fun cards? 🙂 Then check out our Facebook and Instagram posts tomorrow to start participating in our Christmas Countdown Challenge.

How does it work? Well, during the first 25 days of December, we’ll be posting daily prompts on Instagram and Facebook inviting you to take your own photos and share them using the hashtag #ctmhcountdown. These prompts are designed to help you document each special moment as you prepare for Christmas Day!

Each week, we’ll draw a winner from those who have shared their photos on Instagram and send them their very own Picture My Life™ White Pines scrapbooking program! Then, on December 28, we’ll select five winners from those who have posted every day on either Instagram or Facebook. The prize for these five winners will be a My Legacy™ Cocoa Damask D-Ring album, a Picture My Life White Pines scrapbooking program, and a Memory Protectors™ variety pack!

Go to Instagram and Facebook tomorrow for your first prompt, and join us for the festivities!

Recipes

12″ x 12″ December 24 and 25 Layout
Z3176 Picture My Life™ White Pines Scrapbooking Program, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z1950 Memory Protectors™ Design 3, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

White Pines Picture My Life™ Mini Album
Z3176 Picture My Life™ White Pines Scrapbooking Program, X7200C White Pines Complements, Z3090 Red Enamel Gems, Z3094 Poppy Thick Twine, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

11″ x 8 ½” Framed Christmas Trees
Z3176 Picture My Life™ White Pines Scrapbooking Program, 1388 Colonial White Cardstock, Z3105 Fundamental Assortment Gold, Z2010 White Enamel Stars, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3090 Red Enamel Gems, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Thread, Frame

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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From Jeanette: A Guest at Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Get to know Jeanette Lynton! #ctmh #closetomyheart #thanksgivingdinner #gratitude #conversationWhether you’re celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow or not, I’m sure each of you has special traditions around this time of year that you’re looking forward to sharing with your loved ones. One of my favorite parts of this holiday is the conversation that we always have over dinner and throughout the evening. It’s just so nice to be together as a family, talking.

I often make reference to the Close To My Heart family because Close To My Heart feels like so much more than a company to me. This family would include all of you who are reading this blog, so I wanted to do something to share this Thanksgiving holiday tradition with you, too.

Here’s my idea: Remember the printable conversation starters we shared in a blog post last week? I thought it would be fun to give my answers to a few of my favorites, just like I would if I were with you in person! And I would love it if you would pick one of your favorites from last week’s list and share a response with me in the comments, too. That way, though we won’t all be together around a dinner table, we can still enjoy getting to know more about each other. I’ll go first!

Q: What is the most mischievous thing you did as a child?

A: When I was about 3 or 3 ½, my mother was taking me on a trip by bus to visit one of her family members. She was pregnant with my brother, and she said that I was quite the handful. I was running on the chairs and all over the place. I would go to the ashtrays, grab the cigarette butts, and try to mimic the people smoking at the bus station. Then I took my little hand and pulled on the station fire alarm. Everybody started screaming and running out; my mom was trying to grab me and keep me from running out with all the people!

She also said that I’d stare out the window. I’d see flies and say, “Look at all the little airplanes!” Once I realized they were flies, I would take the dead ones from the windowsill in my hand, stroke them, and say, “Poor little dead flies.” My mom would slap the flies out of my hand—I think she was afraid that I was going to try eating them!

Q: What nicknames have you been called?

A: I have one that I was called when I was in grade school. All my friends would call me “Jeanetti Spaghetti.” That’s what I went by just at school until my mom adopted the name, too. It wasn’t that funny when she said it, but I guess it was endearing. My husband, David, calls me “Honey.” I know he’s really serious when he calls me by my name, so I’d rather be called “Honey” than “Jeanette” by David.

Q: Which decade best describes your personality and why?

A: I love the 70s without a doubt. The music from the 70s captures my heart. I love Three Dog Night, Bread, Carole King. . . . I could name off every group. I sang every song, and I loved it. So I think that the 70s best describes me because of its music.

Q: Which smells remind you of your childhood?

A: Every time I smell a warm rain on a warm day on a warm street, it reminds me of playing and jumping around in the rain as a child—just carefree. It was a happy time to be outside in a rainstorm, when the rain first hit the pavement.

Q: What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?

A: I’m thinking about the beach in Maui. I love looking at the ocean—sitting on the beach, and just watching the waves roll in. Our family had a special palm tree we would sit under when we visited that beach. I love Maui—I love everything about Maui.

The other place I love is American Fork Canyon; it’s probably the most beautiful place in the whole world. It’s just right here in our backyard. I love the big cliffs, the rocks, the trees, and the beautiful Tibble Fork Reservoir in front of all those pine trees—it’s just gorgeous! I think that we have the most beautiful mountains in the world, and I think people around here take it for granted. But I find the greatest pleasure every time I look at them, which is often.

I’ll stop there, though it would be fun to keep going! Go ahead and look at the full list of conversation starters, pick your favorite one, and then share your answer to it in the comments on this post.

As I’m focusing on gratitude this Thanksgiving, know that I’ll certainly be thinking of you. I’m truly grateful to be able to count friends as supportive as you among my many blessings. God bless you!

Love,

Jeanette

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Dinner Is Served—In Style!

Maybe you volunteered for it because you enjoy making everybody comfortable. Maybe you were stuck with it because your dining room is actually big enough. For whatever reason, you’ve got it: Hostess Duty. The big dinner is already too close for comfort, and it’s only getting closer.

No fear! Whether you’re in charge of your family’s Thanksgiving gathering or another large dinner party, Close To My Heart will help you get prepared. We want you to be able to focus on the most important part of any party—the people! With that in mind, we’ve created printable thank you cards and conversation starter cards that will help you create wonderful memories as you gather around the table. Take a look at this Thanksgiving place setting:
Create beautiful Thanksgiving place settings! #closetomyheart #ctmh #thanksgiving #dinner #autumn #fall #gratitudeBeautiful, right? The thank you card and the conversation starter card add a personal touch to this elegant place setting. In this example, the thank you card was printed on kraft cardstock, trimmed out, matted on paper from the Urban paper packet, and topped off with a bow made from gold glitter paper—so simple!
And as you’ll notice at the bottom of the card, our printable thank you card includes a spot for you to type in your name or family name! This will make the cards personal yet ridiculously quick and easy to put together.

Now let’s take a closer look at the other piece of this place setting:
Create beautiful Thanksgiving place settings! #closetomyheart #ctmh #thanksgiving #dinner #autumn #fall #gratitudeConversation starter cards are a fun way to get people around the dinner table to put away their phones and enjoy the company right in front of them. We’ve created two different sets of conversation starters—one for children and one for adults. Simply print them out, cut them up, and attach them to a folded piece of paper as you see here. You could also cut them up and place them in a container to be passed around the table and have each person take their turn drawing a prompt.

Lend an autumn feel to your Thanksgiving place setting by attaching stamped images to your cards. This colorful leaf comes from the My Acrylix® Thankful Heart stamp set and has been colored with watercolor paints and attached the card with 3-D foam tape. Slightly curling the edges of the leaf upward makes it look ready to blow right off the card, doesn’t it?

Because we know you host special dinner parties throughout the year, we’ve designed both the thank you card and the conversation starters to work year-round—they’re not Thanksgiving-specific. Take a look at another place setting to see what we mean:
Create beautiful place settings for your next gathering! #closetomyheart #ctmh #dinner #dinnerparty #thankyou #gratitudeWhatever the reason is for holding your special dinner party, we hope you get to enjoy the food, people, and the feelings of gratitude. Your guests certainly will! And remember—snap some photos of those special memories!

Printables

Dinner Party Thank You Card
Dinner Party Children Conversation Starters
Dinner Party Adult Conversation Starters

Recipes

Thanksgiving Thank You Card
X7204B Urban Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z2027 Mini Stapler

Thanksgiving Conversation Starter Card
B1463 My Acrylix® Thankful Heart, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

Generic Thank You Card
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z1997 Triangle Border Punch

Generic Conversation Card
1388 Colonial White Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

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Your Family Tree Never Looked So Good!

We believe the heart of scrapbooking to be the relationships that we celebrate and preserve on the pages in our albums. Of all the relationships in our lives, family relationships are among the most cherished. Today’s artwork shows you a beautiful way to celebrate those relationships that make us who we are:
Create a beautiful family tree generations will cherish! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #ctmhzoe #diyfamilytree #familyhistory #familyphotos #scrapbookingideasThis is a beautiful family, and we’re sure yours is just as beautiful to you, too, which is why we’re going to pass on some insider’s tips from the artist who brought this tree to life. Sharing a page like this one with your children and grandchildren is sure to give them a greater appreciation for their heritage and the art of preserving family history. Let’s take a closer look, then, shall we?
Create a beautiful family tree generations will cherish! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #ctmhzoe #diyfamilytree #familyhistory #familyphotos #scrapbookingideasFirst off, our artist made good use of our watercolors to create a breezy blue background. She then used the My Acrylix® Friend Tree stamp set to stamp the limbs of the tree. Because the stamps are flexible, she was able to bend the stamp to shape it just the way she wanted before inking and stamping it in place. This allowed her to plan out where she’d be placing her pictures and which spaces would need the most leaves.

The leaves were stamped using stamps from the same set and a variety of colors, including Pear, Fern, Topiary, and Sweet Leaf (how fitting!). When it comes to adding the leaves, our artist recommends starting with a lighter color and working with one color at a time to fill up your branches.
Create a beautiful family tree generations will cherish! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #ctmhzoe #diyfamilytree #familyhistory #familyphotos #scrapbookingideasNotice the textured look on some of the leaves? To create this effect, our artist stamped on a piece of scrap paper and then the page itself, making each branch and leaf on the page unique—just like every person in her family tree!
Create a beautiful family tree generations will cherish! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #ctmhzoe #diyfamilytree #familyhistory #familyphotos #scrapbookingideasThe tasteful accessories our artist chose also add some class to this page. The page is anchored down by a torn paper strip from the Urban paper packet, the popped-out “family” title, and a twine bow that contributes to the natural feel. A dovetailed title, a handful of gold sequins, and elegant enamel triangles finish the ensemble nicely.

So, are you ready to memorialize your own family? No one knows them better than you do, and now you have a new idea for creating a visual reminder of their lives and of the relationships that tie you all together. Enjoy the family reunion!

Recipe

12″ x 12″ Family Tree Page
C1633 My Acrylix® For Family, D1677 My Acrylix® Friend Tree, D1662 My Acrylix® Harvest Wreath, X7204B Urban Paper Packet, X7202B Kaleidoscope Paper Packet, X7197B Zoe Paper Packet, 1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2153 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2197 Pear Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2155 Topiary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2650 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2111 Chocolate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z3123 Enamel and Glitter Duos Green Triangles, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set Z3170, Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
¾” Shift <Font> “FAMILY” (cut 2)
1 ½” Card <i> (cut 7, p. 48)
1 ¾” Card <i> (cut 7, p. 48)
2″ Card <i> (cut 7, p. 48)

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