One of the most satisfying parts of crafting is finding the perfect accents to polish things off. Even the simplest embellishments can go a long way but, because we like to take creativity just that extra step further, today we’re going to show you how we’ve heat embossed on acrylic shapes to open up even more embellishment possibilities!
Follow along with Karen, our Art Studio Director, in the video below and see how you, too, can effectively apply heat embossing to our acrylic shapes.
This technique is quite simple, taking only a few minutes, and adds a unique element to any project. In the video, Karen shows that you can change the color of the acrylic shapes by covering them with embossing ink and a colored embossing powder.
For a thicker, glossier finish, you can re-coat your shape in embossing powder while the first layer is still wet and re-heat it. (If you choose to re-coat your shape, be careful—it will be hot!)
There is another way to heat emboss acrylic shapes in order to make them coordinate with any Close To My Heart exclusive color scheme that you may we working with. Did you know that you can pair any of our Exclusive Inks™ pigment pads with clear embossing powder to achieve that exact same exclusive color of the ink? (Yes, really!) It works on paper and it works on our acrylic shapes!
Keep in mind that as you heat acrylic shapes with a heat tool, even our top-of-the-line acrylic, they may develop a tendency to warp or bend. While this can add a fun twist, if you plan for it intentionally, make sure to apply heat with your heat tool intermittently rather than continuously if you want to keep the original shape.
Give this embellishing technique a try with our beautiful Aurora Scrapbooking Workshop and enjoy the rest of this exciting National Scrapbooking Month!
As we continue to celebrate National Scrapbooking month with beautiful creations using our featured Blue Skies collection, we thought it would simply make sense to also give you a free scrapbooking pattern to go with it!
Making its original debut in the Magic Moments workshop guide years ago, we paired this timeless 12″ x 12″ pattern with our beautiful Blue Skies papers, stamp sets, and Thin Cuts dies that are available now and through the end of May.
The instructions available as a free download below have been slightly revamped so they can be used for any occasion with the right combination of papers, accents, and a little creativity!
As usual, we encourage you to make this, and any, pattern your own by being flexible with its parts. Take a close look at our completed layout for some examples.
Both our journaling and title on the left page are in the general area of where they aught to be, based off of the pattern. However, we allowed ourselves some creative flexibility by not making these exact rectangles and added some details to really make them stand out.
We stamped our title using the Beautiful Day stamp set paired with our rock & roll stamping technique. To achieve this colorful effect, you have to slightly overlap and blend one ink color, or color hue, with another. First, ink your stamp in a base color. In order to add another color to the outer edges, you gently roll your already inked stamp in the second color. Only make contact with the stamp pad on the edges where you want to add the color. You have to rock and roll your block to achieve this look. (In our case, we rolled the top and bottom of our stamp in two different colors for an even more vibrant look.)
In our example layout, you can also see that we added several bright accents throughout, using the Thin Cuts from the Blue Skies collection, livening up the artwork even further.
Another way you can make these patterns uniquely yours is by creating your own patterned paper. The pattern you see above, and that we used on both sides of our layout, we created by repeatedly stamping the border from the Blue Skies stamp set onto cardstock. It really can be that simple!
At Close To My Heart, we take pride in providing the most comprehensive patterns for scrapbook layouts. When you download this pattern, you will notice that it also comes with cutting diagrams to make it that much easier to create these pages!
Download this free scrapbooking pattern below and have a wonderful National Scrapbooking Month full of Blue Skies and memories worth preserving!
For even more scrapbook patterns, check out our Make It from Your Heart™pattern book series. If you love the free patterns on the blog, you’re sure to be blown away by all the patterns offered in our beautiful how-to books!
At Close To My Heart we have our festivities going full force. Just this past weekend we hosted several free, live digital events demonstrating some fabulous creative projects where everyone was welcomed to follow along and create with us. If you missed out on any of these projects, and would still like to participate, all seven instructional segments are saved under videos on the Close To My Heart Facebook page. For example artwork photos and product bundles to make these projects, visit our website, here.
We continue our National Scrapbooking Month celebrations with a new and exclusive patterned paper collection and suite of coordinating products, only available for the month of May and while supplies last. The sunny and bright Blue Skies collection may just be our best National Scrapbooking Month offering, yet!
Start with the incredible Blue Skies paper packet, which features 12 double-sided paper sheets, two each of six double-sided designs—that’s double the number of designs and sheets than in our other paper collections!
The beautiful coordinating stickers and cardstock feature alluring, glossy UV-coated designs. (Click on the thumbnail images for a closer look!)
Accent your papercrafts even further with two coordinating stamp sets and a dimensional Pinwheel Thin Cuts die!
The Blue Skies suite also includes a dynamic Cut Above® Layout Kit that provides all the pieces you would need to create two beautiful two-page scrapbook layouts, using pre-printed base pages, die-cuts, and stickers specially designed just for these projects!
Finally, check out the Blue Skies workshop kits, which include Blue Skies products paired with a few other items to complete specific scrapbooking and cardmaking projects.
Cardmaking Workshop Kit
Use the materials in this kit to create 18 standard-sized cards, each its own unique design!
If you’re not quite sure where to begin, let us help you out! We are giving away TEN stamp sets; 5 Blue Skies sets and 5 Beautiful Day sets, right here, right now! For a chance to win, you must be subscribed to this blog AND leave us a comment below letting us know what you like most about this amazing Blue Skies collection! All entries must be submitted by 4 p.m. tomorrow, May 6 (MDT). The 10 lucky winners will be notified via e-mail (we use the e-mail address you are subscribed with, so make sure it is up to date to not miss out!).
We have so many exciting things lined up for this year’s National Scrapbooking Month! Keep up with all of our festivities by continuing to follow us here, as well as on Facebook and Instagram (@cmthofficial).
Let mom know just how much she means to you this Mother’s Day with personalized, hand-made cards (we have a free pattern below!) and scrapbook pages using any or all of three exclusive stamp sets designed specifically for her from our Love for Mother special!
We used this pattern, which made it’s original debut with the Lollydoodle cardmaking Workshops on the Go™, and created a card using our Mix-in and Yesterday & Today papers (for a full list of products used, see the recipe provided at the end of this post).
Our timeless card patterns can be used for every celebration and any occasion with the right combination of papers, Complements, and sentiments. If you’re not sure how to mix and match these products, we’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation for you! For effortless coordination, simply choose one of our creative collections from our idea books and stick to just those products within the suite when making your cards. It really is that easy!
Download the pattern above, and share some love this Mother’s Day with a handmade card from the heart!
For even more timeless cardmaking patterns, check out our cardmaking how-to book, Make It from Your Heart™ volume 4. If you love the free patterns on the blog, you’re sure to be blown away by the beautiful, one-of-a-kind, patterns in this book!
We are bringing the excitement of the fairgrounds to your craft room this month with our Cardstock Carnival! Through the month of April, all of our cardstock is on sale! Save 20% on all individual color cardstock packs, 30% on exclusive color combo packs (shown below), and 40% on the exclusive Cardstock Carnival Bundle!
Available in all of the Close To My Heart exclusive colors, our cardstock is a crafting essential that you can never have too much of! It comes in two-toned sheets, with the original color on one side and a lighter tone of that same color on the other.
This two-toned property allows for easy color combinations and additional color flexibility. The two cards below were created using only the Yellow Cardstock Bundle for the card on the left and and only the Pink Cardstock Bundle for the card on the right! We used the two-toned propery of the cardstock to create a trendy ombrè effect, where you have tones of color that gradually shade into each other from light to dark. Thanks to this feature, we were able to get eight shades of butterflies on the pink card using only four colors of cardstock!
The grand marshal of this parade of colors is our Cardstock Carnival Bundle, made up of one each of the cardstock color bundles, shown above—that’s 264 cardstock sheets of two-toned goodness!
With so many colors at your disposal, creating artwork using only cardstock is easy and fun!
You can also add extra dimension to your paper by using various distressing techniques that expose the white core of the cardstock. For the heart on this page, we created a heart on Cricut Design Space™ and sliced it up, cutting each piece in a different color. Then, we sanded the edges of each piece to add some texture and show off that white core before piecing it all together.
This Cardstock Carnival is only available until the the end of April. Get in on the savings and don’t miss the opportunity to stock up on this essential crafting staple at a great deal!
We are celebrating all of the hardworking healthcare workers today, who are at the frontline of the fight against Covid-19, with another FREE SVG file!
Truly and sincerely, we are so grateful for all of the work and sacrifice these amazing everyday heroes are putting in on our behalf. We hope you will take these images to commemorate their service during these very difficult times.
(Click on the SVG image below, the one in pieces, and save it for your own personal use.)
The nurse and doctor clothing and accessories coordinate with our Paper Pal Base, Girl, and Boy stamp and Thin Cuts. Use this next image (not an SVG) as a visual reference on how the pieces from the SVG and the stamp sets work together.
The world’s newest discovered heroes are its medical workers. Let’s all celebrate them together! ❤️
Since today is St. Patrick’s Day 🍀I want to remind us all—Irish or not—how very LUCKY we are to be able to document and preserve stories.
Our daily lives have been turned upside down in so many ways right now and we’re all growing accustomed to that uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty. One of the very best things we can do is actually turn to our love of documenting to both capture what’s happening around us for the future and to remember and revive happy moments from our past. Both of these actions have been proven to be sources of strength and calm in times of crisis.
The kind of storytelling that is most helpful is the kind that illustrates connections to our past and reminds us how much doesn’t change. This storytelling is easier than you might suspect—especially with the concept of extended and connected stories available in the Storyteller how-to book.
Extended stories use layers of Memory Protectors™ and lots of photos mixed in with spots of journaling that share both the expected and the unexpected details. When those details point to another person, place or related thing then a connection is created.
Here, let me show you …
When I was working in my studio on this extended story for Addie’s birthday, she came into the room, looked at the 5″ x7″ photo on the first page and said, “My teeth! They were so big.” I replied, “Guess what? I, too, had big teeth when I was your age!” And right then I got an idea. Why not find a photo of me at age 9 and add it to this layout? This, my friends, is a connection. Addie is no longer just a cute girl celebrating a birthday, she is a cute girl who feels connected to her mother because her mother also passed through the big teeth phase of childhood.
Connections also pull details from photos that the casual observer might miss. Using the photo of Addie and her friends, just before they jumped into the pool, I was able to discern that girls between the ages of 8 and 10 clearly prefer to wear their goggles when jumping (and being photographed!). This example may be a bit silly, but there will always be “little known fact” details about life, culture, location, or any activity available to you that can be highlighted in your journaling and that will draw simple, but interesting connections from your story.
One of the primary reasons I love this approach to storytelling is ALL of these fun pockets. I get to include more photos and capture a more comprehensive representation of (in this case) a birthday party!
Look, here, at the second 4″ x 3″ pocket from the top. Another connection! When you share bits of your own memories from the past, as you document events in the present, you will always improve your story and your storytelling skills. Of course, the Story FYI stamps are designed to help you add these “did you know” details.
So, let’s review. An extended story is simply one that uses layers of memory protectors to include more photos and more story. A connected story is an extended story that includes journaled details from another person, place or time. These connections enrich your story and make it more fun for you and your audience.
Watch this full story experience with Addie and keep on telling those stories. They matter and the perspective you gain as a storyteller will bless you with a wonderful sense of confidence and calm, even when life gets crazy!
Story Tip: I love the personality of handwritten journaling, but sometimes it makes more sense to use your computer. You can include both styles in an extended story! Whenever you hear yourself say, “I don’t know what to write!” Make a list. Your brain is exceptionally good at listing out details—there’s not much “writing” involved, and you can list things in random order. A list of 9 things for a 9th birthday is totally doable!
Giveaway: Would you like the opportunity to win a free Celebrate Today Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, Memory Protectors™ Combo Pack, and a My Acrylix® Story FYI stamp set? Make sure you are subscribed to this blog and leave a comment below sharing what you love most about extended and connected stories. This Friday, March 20th, is World Storytelling Day. At noon (MST) on Friday, five lucky winners will be chosen and later notified via email. Let’s all tell our stories, especially those that we are currently living. Best of luck friends! <3
Calling all card makers (and want to be card makers)! Our new Craft with Heart™ cardmaking kit is out and ready to ship to your door! This DIY subscription box is bursting with beautiful pre-printed card bases, die-cuts, and stickers, as well as silver star-shaped confetti, shaker window foam and acetate pieces, a stamp block, a mini ink pad, and an exclusive My Acrylix® stamp set! ~Swoon!~
The January–April 2020 subscription box comes with all of the materials you need to create a set of 24 gorgeous handmade cards, 2 each of the 12 unique designs shown below. An inspirational guide included in this crafty box not only shows you how to assemble each of the cards but also offers ideas on which stamp sentiments to use with each card.
If you’re a busy seasoned card maker or someone who’s been hesitant to give this personalized craft a try, the Craft with Heart program is especially wonderful because anyone who puts just a teensy bit of effort can successfully create stunning artwork quickly and with ease.
Keep up with all the occasions life brings your way with one of our Craft with Heart™ subscriptions. You choose whether you’d like your subscription to renew every 4 months or, for a better value, once a year. For a closer look at all of our Craft with Heart™ options, visit our website, HERE. Remember, this cardmaking subscription box is only available through the end of April. A new box, with a new set of cards and designs, will be available beginning May 1st!
As many of you know, March is a special time of year around Close To My Heart: It’s my birthday month! Every year, as my birthday approaches, I can’t help but reflect on life. I like to reevaluate how and where I spend my time, and especially with whom. I’m not perfect, but I believe in making every moment count and living life to its fullest, and when I look at the wonderful people who have walked by my side over the past 35 plus years, I am blessed to know that I am doing just that!
Thank you for always asking about me and my family. Thank you for your dedication to this wonderful community that we have created, together. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for believing in me and my vision for Close To My Heart, and for making dreams come true day in and day out. You, my dear Consultants and readers, areMY people! I could not ask for a better group of women to share my life with. I am truly blessed to have you and love you all so much!
For my birthday, I want to celebrate you, the wonderful people in my life. One way I plan on doing this is through the special that we just launched on March 1st, These Are My People. One of my favorite products in this special is the These Are My People Cut Above® kit. (All of the pages that you are seeing today are from this kit, complete with pictures of our wonderful Close To My Heart Consultants! <3 )
This kit is designed to create a 6″ x 8″ album with an opening page, a closing page, and eight two-page layouts in between, each page aimed at celebrating special relationships. What better product could I ask for to say thank you to all of you?
The beautiful collection of products available through the These Are My People campaign, especially the workshops and the Cut Above® kit, are truly an embodiment of the Close To My Heart mission.
For the next three weeks, until my birthday on the 27th, we will keep track of everyone who purchases one of these Cut Above® kits. At noon (MST) on my birthday, I will pick 4 of you to receive a prize containing an Everyday Life™ album in the color of your choice, one of our journaling pens of your choice, and an additional These Are My People Cut Above®kit. A fifth winner will also be picked for a grand prize. This lucky person will receive the album, pen, and Cut Above kit, as well as a $50 (USD) credit to Persnickety Prints, and a Sticky Boy and Sticky Girl stamp (because they are some of my favorite people, too!)!
My sweet friends, I hope you know that I love you and cherish the moments we get to share together. I encourage you to do your best to live your best life with those who matter most and express your love and gratitude every day. And, if you’re searching for a community of crafters that are more of a family than anything else, you’ve come to the right place and are welcome here.