How is it the middle of August already? Bells will ring, announcing the start of a new school year, and students and teachers, alike, will be back in the thick of it all before we know it!
Our teachers give so much of themselves, year after year. As our children prepare to return to fill their classrooms, let’s add to their supply lists a small gift of appreciation and encouragement!
We’ve got three simple projects for you and your kiddos to work on and bring to your teachers on that momentous first day.
First, we have a fun twist on the traditional school apple.
Did you know that, back in the 1700s, some families would give teachers a basket full of apples as payment for their child’s education? Now-a-days, the gifting of apples (or an apple) shifted from attempted compensation to a kind gesture of appreciation.
We’ve got a delicious variation of this popular gift with these gorgeous paper apples.
You will need three different color/pattern papers for the body of the apples, another paper for the leaf, and another for the tag (if you choose to add a tag). You will also need a pencil (cut down to 6″), adhesive, and twine.
We used a combination of shapes from our Art Philosophy Cricut® collection and free shapes available through Cricut Design Space™ to cut the pieces you see here. (School Apple Cricut Design Space™ file.) If you don’t have a cutting machine, we kept the shapes fairly simple so they could be recreated by hand. We recommend making the apple shape first, on a scratch piece of paper, and then using this as a template to trace and hand trim the six apples needed for the 3-D apple shape.
Once you have all of your shapes cut, fold the apple pieces along the score lines and attach them to each other, as shown above. (For those of you who cut these shapes by hand, there should be two score lines in the middle of each, approx. ⅜” apart.) Before attaching the last two wedges together, closing the circle, glue the pencil inside the “core.”
Embellish the apple with a leaf and a tag and then it’s ready for school!
Dressed up sticky notes is another fun way to show your teachers a little love. You know they will use sticky notes throughout the school year, so why not add a little flair and present them as gift?
To make one of these, you will need a 3″ x 3″ sticky note pad, one sheet of cardstock for the base of the holder, hook and loop dots (aka velcro dots), adhesive, and any type of embellishment you wish to add to the inside or outside of the base.
Use this Design Space file to cut the long, scalloped and scored rectangle cardstock piece you see here. (If you are cutting it by hand, the rectangle is 3¼” x 8½” and has score lines at 2⅛”, 2⅝”, 5⅞”, 6⅜” from the bottom.) Once you’ve cut and scored the cardstock, this project is pretty intuitive. First, attach the note pad to the center of the cardstock. Next, fold the pieces up and around the note pad. Then, embellish the top of the holder however you’d like, and finish by adding a hook and loop pair for the closing.
The last diy gift of appreciation we’re showing you today is actually a gift box for you to make and then fill with small goodies.
To make one of these boxes you will need two sheets of cardstock or pattern paper (that’s if you’d like for the box insert and sleeve to be different colors or designs), adhesive, and embellishments of your choice.
Use this Design Space file to cut the necessary shapes. (If you don’t have a cutting machine and would like to make a gift box, use this link to learn how to make one similar to the one shown here.)
Fold the cut paper along the score lines and attach them with adhesive to create the sleeve and box insert. Decorate the top of the box with additional papers, the teacher’s name, and other embellishments, and then fill it with goodies you know your teacher would like (tissues, lotion, hand sanitizer, a gift card, candies, etc.). That’s it!
Now, let’s show our teachers some love and encouragement this upcoming school year by letting them know, even in small ways, that we see and recognize their hard work and dedication.
In the comments below, we’d love to hear what you’re doing to show your teachers how much you appreciate them. ❤️
One of our favorite things about our Close To My Heart family is connecting with crafters from all over the world. There’s something magical about joining together with friends to create beautiful things. This year, the magic is happening at the Close To My Heart 2021 Virtual Convention, July 27–29! Want to get your Convention registration fees waived? Learn how, below!
Over the course of our time in the crafting industry, we’ve had the chance to host some fabulous events, and we’ve put our whole heart into each and every one. While we will miss being able to meet together in person, this year’s virtual Convention is sure to be one for the record books!
Through all the experiences of the past year, we’ve all realized just how important it is to stay connected to family, friends, and of course, fellow crafters. This year’s Virtual Convention will include opportunities for crafting, education, creation, connection, and celebration with Makers from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan! The online-only format of this Convention will allow for many more Makers to join us. We’re so thrilled to have the chance to connect more fully with so many friends, whether you’ve just joined the Close To My Heart family or we’ve known you for years and years!
Convention attendees will be able to participate in business training classes, artwork workshops, giveaways, contests, and more! In addition, Close To My Heart President, Monica Wihongi, and other members of the Home Office staff will give Convention attendees an in-depth first look at TWOnew catalogs: the 2021–2022 Core Products Catalog and the 2021 September–October catalog! These beautiful catalogs are full of brand-new products and eye-popping artwork, from cover to cover!
As a Convention participant, you’ll not only get the chance to see these catalogs, you’ll have the opportunity to craft with some of the new products showcased in them! This will be the only opportunity to get an early preview of these highly anticipated catalogs, and it’s worth tuning in just for that!
This event will also provide us a special opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our US Makers over the last year. We love recognizing our Makers’ exceptional efforts and accomplishments and look forward to celebrating the achievements and successes of this great community with all of you!
2021 Virtual Convention is sounding better all the time, isn’t it? And we haven’t even gotten to the part about how you can qualify for free event registration yet!
Virtual Convention will be an exciting, 3-day event for Close To My Heart Makers only. If you’re not a Maker yet, now is the perfect time to join the ranks!
That’s where this month’s Sign Up & Celebrate special comes in! Through this special offer, any new Makers who sign up during June will have their Convention registration fee waived! For our existing Makers, anyone who signs up five or more new Makers during the month of June will also have their registration fees reimbursed! This amazing offer will only be available through June 30, so be sure to take advantage of this chance to join us with no registration fees!
What are you most excited for with the 2021 Virtual Convention? Leave a comment below to let us know what you’re looking forward to! We’d also love to hear from you if you’ve already registered for Convention! Comment below to let us know you’re coming!
We are pulling out all the stops for this year’s National Scrapbooking Day! In fact, we’ve got so much planned that we need to spread the celebration out over two days! Join our fun-packed online event, April 30 and May 1, on the Close To My Heart Facebook page. We’ll spend our time completing five amazing creative projects, sharing art tips and techniques, and giving away $1,000 in product!
Viewing the event is free of charge and free of any sort of obligation. However, if you wish to take part in any of our giveaways, you must comment, like, or share during the live video feed (we need to know who’s watching in order to pick winners 😉). Throughout the event, winners will be randomly selected, and their names will be displayed on the screen.
If you haven’t ordered your workshop kits yet, you can still participate in the giveaways, even if your kits arrive after the live dates. Just tune-in when we’re live and let us know you’re there. Once your kits arrive, you will find the recording of the events our Facebook page to follow along at your own pace.
We will be scrapbooking, cardmaking, and so much more over the course of this can’t-miss event. Take a look at the projects we will be creating in the itinerary, below!
Use the materials in the More Than You’ll Ever Know scrapbooking workshop kit to create one single page and three two-page coordinating 12″ x 12″ layouts. The workshop kit comes with the exclusive D-size stamp set shown above, as well as exclusive die-cut overlays and stencils designed especially for these projects!
Download the cutting diagrams and assembly instructions below.
These little piggies are only available through this workshop kit, and they can’t wee-wee-wee-wee-wait for you to bring them all the way home! Using the materials in the These Little Piggies album workshop kit, create the adorable pages of this 4″ x 4″ album.
Download the cutting diagrams and assembly instructions below.
Feeling a little cheeky? The exclusive stamp set included in the Cheerful Humor cardmaking workshop kit is full of just the right amount of sass! Use the materials in this kit to create 20 standard size cards, two each of 10 designs, that will easily brighten anyone’s day!
Download the cutting diagrams and assembly instructions below.
This last workshop and its fun stamp set is for those girls who are just out celebrating life! With the materials in the Party Girl scrapbooking workshopkit, create one single page and three two-page coordinating 12″ x 12″ layouts that capture the festive essence of being you.
Download the cutting diagrams and assembly instructions below.
One of our all-time favorite humans is celebrating her birthday this month, and we simply cannot let the occasion pass without inviting you to celebrate her along with us! We are talking about none other than our dear founder, CEO, and, most especially, lovely friend Jeanette Lynton!
Through her exemplary work and dedication for over 35 years, Jeanette has taught us the importance of memory keeping, where we celebrate our lives and relationships through beautiful stamps, papers, and inks.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that memory keeping is at the heart of everything we do. We’ve made it our mission to help others realize the importance of preserving memories and celebrating relationships—and to show them how to do it in a fun and fulfilling way!
The Party Time paper collection in our current Core Products Catalog, featuring bright and festive colors and designs, helps us do just that! And, because it is Jeanette’s birthday, we are keeping the party going by giving some of it away!
We are giving away five bundles of product here on the blog, another five on our Facebook page, and another five on Instagram! (Follow us on those other platforms to learn how to increase your chances to win!)
To qualify for the drawing on the blog, it’s an easy two-step entry. First, make sure you are subscribed! If you are not, simply push the blue “Subscribe to list” button found on the sidebar, if you’re on a computer, or at the very bottom of this post, if you’re on a phone or tablet. Second, and this is a must and just as important, leave a comment below with a birthday message for Jeanette. That’s it! All entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. tomorrow, March 25, MDT (that’s 10:00 a.m., 26 March, AEDT for our Aussie friends). Blog winners will be notified via the e-mail address connected to their subscriptions.
All of you that are part of our crafting community, you mean so much to us and especially to Jeanette. We are so grateful for the years of friendship we’ve all shared and the many years of friendship to come, and we love celebrating our relationship! Today, please join us in celebrating Jeanette and leave her a birthday message below! Happy birthday Jeanette!!
Let’s celebrate the happy moments from the past several months with a new paper collection!
The vibrant In This Together collection features a delightful paper packet, sticker sheet, and stamp set, all packed with designs, icons, and sayings that pretty much describe exactly what we’ve all been experiencing on the regular over the last year. The bright, happy colors and whimsical designs that make up these products provide a beautiful foundation for the scrapbook layouts and fun cards that are begging to be made from our current circumstances.
To complement the color palette of the patterned papers and sticker sheet, we’ve also put together a coordinating cardstock pack that coordinates perfectly with the shades and hues featured in the rest of the suite.
We love each and every component of the In This Together collection, but there’s even more to love about it when you take a look at the exciting bundle and workshop options available through the In This Together special! With three discounted bundle options, it’s easier than ever to create beautiful artwork with this high-spirited collection!
For a guided approach to crafting with the In This Together collection, check out the In This Together workshop kit. This kit includes the paper, stamp set, embellishments, and a few additional components you need to create three 12″ x 12″ layouts and eight cards!
For a slightly different experience, you can turn to the In This Together album workshop kit, which includes materials and instructions to walk you through the creation of an entire 6″ x 8″ album!
If you want to get the benefit of a curated bundle at a great price but want to express your own creative vision, the In This Together product bundle is another excellent choice, as it includes the majority of the In This Together collection but doesn’t come with pre-designed project instructions.
One way or another, the current pandemic is affecting all of us. We hope that you enjoy crafting and creating beautiful things with the new In This Together collection, and, above all, stay safe and be kind—we’re all in this together! ❤️
It’s no secret that we love getting crafty around these parts, and Valentine’s day gives us an excellent excuse reason to spend a little extra time and energy creating pretty things because we’re doing it for other people!
Spreading kindness, especially during a time where we feel more disconnected and distant than usual, is contagious! Throughout this season of love, we challenge you to find ways to safely lift someone else’s spirit and let them know that you care.
One simple way to make someone’s day is with a small handmade gift from the heart. Since getting together isn’t an option for everyone right now, we thought we’d show you a few small gift boxes we created that can be dropped off in a mailbox or on a doorstep.
If you don’t have access to a Cricut® machine, don’t worry! You can still participate in the challenge of putting a little love into the world, as well. We’ve asked our Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, to show us how to make a box and small pocket envelope by hand. As always, she delivered! Take a look.
We hope you found some creative inspiration as you took a peek at these artwork examples today, and that you were able to see just how simple it is to make something beautiful with your own two hands! Let’s take care of each other this Valentine’s season and spread kindness and positivity. As you do, you’ll not only bring happiness to others, but you might just see a little added joy in your own life, too!
What a year it has been! This has been a year of change. But through all that has happened, it has become clearer than ever just how vital this company is. I am so grateful to see Close To My Heart continue to make a difference in the lives of crafters all around the world.
How grateful I am, too, for my treasured family, for precious friends, and for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Together with this company, these are the greatest blessings and joys of my life. These are the things I am celebrating this holiday season.
I wish you a holiday filled with happiness and love. May it be a time filled with joyful connections and heart-warming traditions as we bring this year to a close and move into a new one.
There are so many great stories that happen around the holidays that deserve to be written down, cherished, and shared. In November, we released a new workshop kit from the Story by Stacy™ line called Holiday Stories I Love. Using this new workshop kit, a few of our Home Office employees, including our beloved founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton, explored the memories behind photos they treasure most, documented them with detailed stories, and shared them with us below!
Dolls have always played such a significant part of my life. I love them for their beauty and their representation of many fond childhood memories.
My love of dolls began before I can even remember. I cherish this photo of me with my mother on my very first Christmas. Our lovely tree, and my mother and me dressed in our Sunday best. My mother always said she thought of me as her little doll. She loved to dress me up in beautiful clothes with all the little details, just so. She said I even looked like a little dolly with my porcelain skin, big blue eyes and pretty pink lips. She called me her doll and I loved it. It made me feel so special.
By my second Christmas, dolls were my happy place. I took dolls with me everywhere I went. I played with them, gave them each a name, and fussed with their clothes and hair to make them look oh-so pretty. On my third Christmas, I went to see Santa. My mother recalls that when I sat upon his lap, the only gift I requested was more dolls! Dolls were such a happy part of my childhood and even now, bring such a feeling of nostalgia of a time where life was carefree and magical.
As a mother myself, I call my children and grandchildren my little dolls, just like my mom called me. It is a term of endearment that has carried on because it shows such love for these special and beautiful people who fill my heart and home.
Even today as a grown woman, I still find joy in collecting dolls. I’ve created quite a compilation over the years of beautiful dolls, each representing something special. I have dolls of every ethnicity, hair style, period of history, etc. They bring me a sense of comfort and joy to see their splendor and exquisite detail. I hope to one day pass these cherished dolls down to my daughters and granddaughters, that they might know of my love for dolls, but more importantly, my love for them. — Jeanette
A tradition that goes back as long as I can remember is a Christmas nativity that we act out ourselves. I did this as a child with my own family. I’m so happy we have carried it on with my own children and now grandchildren. The year we took this particular photo was December 2018. We had just moved to Lindon and went to our local ward (church) Christmas party. We were about to leave but Ariana insisted we take this photo. Even though I was tired from working all day I did it for the family. I’m so grateful I did. It truly represents all the nativities we have done as a family with better costumes! Lol. We usually use towels, sheets, and toys. No matter how hard, crazy, busy Christmas seems to be, our homemade nativity always brings the true Christmas spirit into our home. We are a forever family because of our Savior. — Monica
I think I was 11 years old and in the 6th grade. We lived in Littleton, CO, and my dad had quit his job at Metropolitan State University a few months before. He had been asked to do some dishonest things and wasn’t willing to compromise his integrity. Money was very tight and even though I knew that, I still asked for a 10-speed bike.
My bedroom was in the basement, and so was my dad’s workshop. My parents told me that Christmas was going to be hidden in the workshop and asked me not to peek. I just couldn’t help myself. A week before Christmas I looked inside. I saw a very old, very beat up, white 10-speed bike.
I remember being so disappointed. My idea of a cool bike was a brand new bike in a pretty color with all the bells and whistles. I remember thinking, “I shouldn’t feel this way! I know Dad is out of work, money is really tight, and this is probably all he could afford.” I remember for the rest of the week leading up to Christmas feeling so guilty for peeking and trying to psych myself up to act grateful, surprised, and excited on Christmas.
Christmas morning came and into the living room we went. There, next to the tree, sat a brand new, bright yellow 10-speed bike. It had all the bells and whistles and it was just for me. I truly was surprised and so excited! It was not the bike I had seen when I peeked. It wasn’t until years later that I found out my dad had been so sad to give me an old bike that he asked around and found out about a police auction. He went and was able to find that new bike for an amount he felt he could pay.
Every time I think of that bike, even today, I get all choked up. It was so much more than a bike. It was a symbol of the lengths my dad was willing to go to make his little girl happy, and showed me just how much he loves me. — Karen
This photo was taken on Dec. 14, 2017. I have no idea who took it, or how this moment was captured, but I am so very glad it was. This photo represents a special tradition we have of getting a new Christmas book for our collection & reading by the tree before bedtime. The lights of the tree make it all the more magical.
The particular title isn’t a storyline I recall, but there is one Christmas book that has meant the most to this little boy. In 2012, the year he was born, President Thomas S. Monson’s book, “The Christmas Train,” was the one we added to our collection. As soon as Owen was old enough to understand it, it quickly became his favorite & we read it multiple times during the holiday season.
The story is about President Monson as a young boy, wanting desperately to have an electric train. I think the train topic definitely added to Owen’s infatuation with the book, yet I also know that the story itself has had an impact on him as well.
The story details the importance of sharing, & sometimes sacrificing, to see the joy it brings to others. Owen is one to pray each day for the homeless—that they can find food & shelter. He wants to donate to the Food Bank & worries about those he sees on the side of the road. He will often comment hours after passing someone, still thinking about their situation or what they might need. He has a very soft heart & a desire to love those less fortunate.
As much as we may try to instill these selfless traits in our children, I do firmly believe that Owen came to Earth this way. His special spirit is filled with compassion & caring. It is a gift especially given to him.
This photo will always be the perfect reminder to me that Owen embodies the characteristics of a prophet as a young boy—wanting so much for himself (Owen’s wish list is always exceptionally long!) yet, he acts on a stronger desire to give. —Jill
Each year a few weeks before Christmas my mom would use a staple gun to stick two long burlap banners to wood beams dividing the dining and living rooms in our home. Both of these were decorated with felt poinsettias and holly leaves hand-cut and hot-glued. To these we would pin the Christmas cards we received. I remember thinking as a teenager that they were looking a bit worn, but that I was ok with that. I liked Mom’s handmade holiday touches.
Geoff and I spend our first Christmases together in Chicago, and I was determined to make our little apartment homey. We purchased a pint sized artificial tree and I wanted ornaments, but other than the very breakable glass balls, these were expensive. I decided that I would clip coupons from the Sunday paper and that however much I saved on groceries I could purchase and paint at Michaels. Some were as much as .59 cents each, but the gingerbread men were only .29 cents. While Geoff studied every evening, I painted ornaments that have hung on our tree ever since.
By the time we built our current home—in 2006—I had fallen in love with bright, happy colors and with the help of fuzzy ball ornaments from IKEA, I created a bright and playful vision that included painted hat boxes and leather stockings in orange, pink, turquoise and green. The point of this story is that I LOVE to decorate for the holidays—just like my mom—with a mix of handmade and thoughtfully acquired things, and that while my style is very different, and a bit childish, it is magical and 100% me! — Stacy
All of our Story by Stacy™ products are intended to help recall and retell memories in a beautiful way, as you can see by our true-life examples, above. We wish you all a lovely holiday season, full of beautiful new memories for you to cherish, recall, and share for years to come!
At this time of year, we’re all excited to give gifts to the people we care about. We love each and every member of our Close To My Heart family, and we’re thrilled to offer you amazing deals on top-of-the-line crafting products through our VIP Customer program!
We first introduced this program back in October, and we’ve seen an INCREDIBLE response! We have a great gift for those who sign up to be a part of this awesome program before the end of the year, including an invitation to sign up for an exclusive workshop event, just for VIP Customers!
As a member of the VIP Customer program, you can sign up with an annual fee of $35 USD* and you’ll receive $15 in VIP Credit, just for signing up! Through the end of the year, we’ve increased the sign-up credit to an amazing $25 in VIP Credit, making it even easier to decide to become a VIP!
On top of this awesome sign-up bonus, a VIP Customer program membership is truly a gift that keeps on giving! All through the year, each purchase you make allows you to earn 15% back in VIP Credit from the total amount of that purchase. You can then use that credit on your next order or save it for as long as you like, allowing you to save big on your favorite papers, stamps, tools, and more! In addition, you’ll also be able to receive one FREE Stamp of the Month set each month with a qualifying purchase!
As if these savings weren’t enough, there’s even more to love about the Close To My Heart VIP Customer program. Over the course of a year, we will offer a variety of different specials, just for our VIPs! Our first ever VIP special will be a workshop and virtual event that will take place on February 25, 2021, and trust us, it’s going to be something you won’t want to miss!
This VIP-only workshop features an exclusive stamp set and sticker sheet to help you create unforgettable cards and layouts! By participating in this exclusive workshop, you’ll not only get to create one-of-a-kind artwork, but you’ll get to spend a fun-filled afternoon crafting along with experts from the Close To My Heart Home Office, Makers, and your fellow VIP Customers! If you’re a VIP Customer, you’ll be able to order this workshop kit starting January 1—you’ll want to be sure to order your workshop kit as soon as you can (by February 1 at the latest) so you can have it ready to assemble during the live event.
We know you’ll love all the great perks of being a VIP Customer with Close To My Heart, and we can’t wait to help you start saving on all your favorite crafting supplies. Talk to your Close To My Heart Maker about signing up today!
*All monetary values are reflected in USD. If you live outside of the United States, please contact your Close To My Heart Maker for prices specific to your market.