Mommas’ Night out at The Baby Cubby

The arrival of a baby is the perfect time to start preserving your memories, if you haven’t already. There’s nothing quite like having a little one to make you realize how quickly time flies—and how much you want to remember each precious moment forever!

In celebration of this momentous milestone, we recently attended a fun crafting night with Lynn Muir @pocketfulofpaint and a few local mommas and mommas-to-be at The Baby Cubby in American Fork, Utah! We provided each of our guests with their very own The Story Begins Cut Above® layout kit to help each of them to start preserving memories of their little ones in a beautiful baby album.

Mommas' Night out at The Baby Cubby #ctmh #closetomyheart #pocketfulofpaint #thebabycubby #cutabove #thestorybegins #babyalbum #baby #boy #girl #new #mommy #momma #mama #mother #mom #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #scrapbook #album #scrapping #firsts #firstyear #year #one #craftnight #easy #diy

These Cut Above® layout kits are an excellent solution for mothers of small children who feel that strong, sometimes pressing, desire to memory keep, but who have a hard time finding the time to do it (and do it right). They are ideal for those who are new to memory keeping as well as anyone who is simply looking for a quicker alternative.

Available for baby boy and baby girl, each of the Story Begins layout kits comes with materials to make 10 coordinating two-page scrapbook layouts, including instructions and even journaling prompts. All of the paper is pre-cut and ready to assemble into a keepsake album—that means no measuring or cutting! All you need to bring to the table with your kit are your pictures, adhesive, a journaling pen, and the memories you love.

And our busy mommy friends loved that!

Mommas' Night out at The Baby Cubby #ctmh #closetomyheart #pocketfulofpaint #thebabycubby #cutabove #thestorybegins #babyalbum #baby #boy #girl #new #mommy #momma #mama #mother #mom #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #scrapbook #album #scrapping #firsts #firstyear #year #one #easy #diy

These fun ladies had a blast socializing while putting together their new beautiful albums that came together with ease!

If you have more to document than there’s room for in the provided 20 pages of the album, we’ve got you covered! There are coordinating Picture My Life™ pocket scrapbooking cards that slide into divided Memory Protectors™ to supplement your story telling. Add them to your album for even more pages!

We’re so grateful to our friends at The Baby Cubby and @pocketfulofpaint for their help in bringing the important message of memory keeping to the lovely moms who joined us. If memory keeping is a priority to you that you haven’t managed to get around to yet, give our Cut Above layout kits a try and see for yourself how easy and satisfying it can be to start telling your stories.

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Get Four Free Stamp Sets!

With the Fab Four monthly special, April is the perfect time to become a Close To My Heart Consultant or add new members to your team! New Consultants who join Close To My Heart in April will receive the May, June, July and August Stamp of the Month sets, FREE! (That’s an extra $71.80 USD retail value added to an already incredible New Consultant Kit!)

Close To My Heart is a direct sales company that offers a wide array of papercrafting products, with special emphasis on scrapbooking and stamping. For more than 30 years, founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton has been a leader in the industry, making many significant contributions to these arts, and making Close To My Heart a premier resource for individuals wishing to enhance their artistic talents and pursue a successful business opportunity. Close To My Heart’s Independent Consultants enjoy a generous compensation plan, which rewards them for promoting our innovative and beautiful products to help every crafter celebrate relationships, share memories, and preserve the moments that matter most.

What Does the Close To My Heart Opportunity Have in Store for You?

Join our community of Consultants and start enjoying these rewards:

  • 22% base commission on product purchases and sales, with the potential to earn even more! Learn more.
  • Opportunity to make money doing what you love: crafting!
  • Flexibility to earn extra income while working your own hours.
  • New Consultant Kit full of product valued over $200! Learn more.
  • $50 (USD) in CTMH Cash immediately upon sign-up.
  • Free Consultant website so your friends can shop with you online!
  • Opportunities for other exciting incentives, like trips, crafting products, and more! Learn more.

Ready to become a Consultant? Let’s get started.

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Watch Parties to Remember

There’s no better way to enjoy your favorite TV shows than by throwing a watch party with your family and friends! It might be a Super Bowl party, a girl’s night to watch the Oscars, or a get-together for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Whatever you’re getting together to watch, the point is you are getting together, having fun, and making memories—which you should definitely include in your memory keeping!

Scrapping Watch Parties #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapping #scrapbooking #layout #watch #parties #party #superbowl #football #family #friends #together #celebrate #food #games

Sometimes our watch parties become a family tradition, like the one featured in this layout. Include photos of the people that were there, but don’t forget to also add shots of the snacks, decorations, and any other happenings that mark the event. The sights, sounds, and tastes are all part of the experience and make those memories special. These pages use our All-Star Complements with Basics Fundamental and the Stargazer paper packets, creating a simple layout highlighting a family Super Bowl party worth remembering.

Scrapping Watch Parties #ctmh #closetomyheart #winter #games #snow #2018 #scrapping #scrapbooking #watch #parties #friends #together #celebrate

Sometimes, watch parties include activities before or after the actual watching. These may seem like everyday events to you, but in the long run these moments are what life is all about. The little every day things we do that make us, and celebrate, who we are. In the page above, we share some inspiration for the upcoming winter games. Stargazer Dots and All-Star Complements pair perfectly for whatever team you’ll be rooting for during the next few weeks.

As you prepare to throw your own watch parties, check out this video, where our very own Jill Broadbent shares theme party ideas for tomorrow’s Opening Ceremonies. Complete with décor, food, and crafts, all you need to do is take a quick trip to the grocery store and get out your favorite Close To My Heart paper and cardstock.

Preserving what matters most includes the traditions we create with friends and family. With the Oscars in a few short weeks and a royal wedding in May, there are plenty of memory making watch party opportunities heading our way!

How do you celebrate these, and other, TV milestones? Share with us, in the comments below!


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Super Bowl Sunday Layout
S1802 My Arcylix® Sunny Thoughts—February Stamp of the Month Stamp Set, X7229B Stargazer Paper Packet, Z3353 Basics Funamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7229C Stargazer Complements, Z3356 All-Star Complements, Z4143 Stargazer Dots, Z3386 Thin Cuts—Block Alphabet, Z3389 Cricut® You Are Here Collection

Cricut® Shapes
You Are Here
2½” Icon-2 <GameDay> (p. 48, #M282C66F)

12″ x 12″ Let the Games Begin Page
X7228B Gimme Some Sugar Paper Packet, X7229B Stargazer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, X5946 Linen Cardstock, Z3356 All-Star Complements, Z4159 Thin Cuts—Block Numbers, Z3389 Cricut® You Are Here Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
You Are Here
1″ <font> “LETTHEGAMES”
1½” <font> “BEGIN!!!”

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Sweet and Simple Class Valentines

In less than two weeks, our children will be off to school to swap valentines with their friends. As the crafty moms of these precocious little people, we immediately volunteer to make these sentiments of affection ourselves because, why not? And then you find out from your child’s teacher that he has 25 friends in his class. No problem, you’ve got this! DIY valentines don’t have to be complicated to be cute or clever.

Here are two ideas for quick and simple school valentines you can make yourself that your child will be happy to share:

School kids love new pencils—it’s a thing. There’s something special, a sense of pride even, when a child gets to use a pretty new pencil to do their schoolwork.

Embellish your pencils with a flag made from some of your pretty paper and, presto! All that’s left is for your child to sign the back of it.

If you’re set on a sweet valentine, pick your treat and add a tag.

Simple and Sweet School Valentines #ctmh #closetomyheart #simple #easy #school #valentine #day #pencils #hearts #flags #xo #tags #bee #mine #together #short #sweet

To make life easier, we used our Basic Tags Thin Cuts for this one. A few simple layers or a cute stamped sentiment will finish the job!

Celebrating Valentine’s Day is about sharing your affection for the people you care about, not about how long it took you to make their treat. As you prepare to make it a special day, keep your child’s class treats simple—simple enough for them to help with! They will enjoy being part of the process and you will be making memories worth a lifetime!

XOXO


Heart Flags
A1189 My Acrylix® Short & Sweet Stamp Set, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5984 Pixie Cardstock, X5975 Cranberry Cardstock, Z3238 Gold Glitter Paper, Z3239 Silver Glitter Paper, Z3317 Thin Cuts—Basic Hearts

Tags
B1581 My Acrylix® We Belong Together Stamp Set, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5984 Pixie Cardstock, Z3238 Gold Glitter Paper, Z2459 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Green Marker, Z2464 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Tender Pink Marker, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z3317 Thin Cuts—Basic Hearts, Z3344 Thin Cuts—Basic Tags

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Australia Day Giveaway

Australia Day Giveaway #ctmh #closetomyheart #Australia #aussie #down #under #flag #card #giveaway

We’re taking our month-long papercrafting celebration to the other corner of the world today—g’day Australia!!

Some of you may be unaware, but the Close To My Heart family is made up of quite a large group of Aussies, and today, 26 January (AEST), is Australia Day in the land down under! While the holiday has evolved over time and is celebrated differently than it has been in the past, and as we reflect on our love for our mates, we want to celebrate all things Australian with—drum roll please—another giveaway!

We’ll start by choosing six lucky winners, each of whom will win one of these Australian themed stamparoonies…

 

AND, for our grand prize…

Australia Day Giveaway #ctmh #closetomyheart #cricut #australia #day #aussie #expressions #greetings #flag #country #queensland

ONE lucky winner will win a Hello AU/NZ digital Cricut® collection! Featuring 20 layered images, this collection has shapes, overlays, and names for Australian (and New Zealand) states and territories, as well as a local flower, slogan, and coordinating icon for each. The collection also includes extra images about Australia (and New Zealand), including the country’s flag.

So how do you win? It takes 2 steps. One, make sure you are a subscriber of this blog, promising you’ll pop around. And two, leave a comment below telling us what you love about Straya (that’s Australia for our non Aussie-speak mates) or being a true blue Aussie. It’s that easy! Winners will be chosen randomly by 10 a.m. AEST on 27 January (that’s 4 p.m. MST on January 26). No worries, you do not have to be Australian to win!

Take it easy and have a good one!

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From Jeanette: My Christmas Wish

Lynton Family

What a wonderful time of year! I love the opportunity to celebrate the birth and life of our Savior with the world, and with each of you! I can say without a doubt that I have been blessed immensely this year to count you among my friends.

My beautiful grandchildren are a constant reminder to me of how simple and carefree life can be when we focus on the good things in life. Christmas through the eyes of a child is especially magical. There is so much anticipation, hope, and unconditional love in every moment. And if you’re fortunate enough, you may catch a glimpse of it through a quick twinkle in their eyes.

My hope for each of us both during this special season and any time throughout the year is to be more like children. Love unconditionally, forgive easily and often, and focus on all of the good—and there is so much good—in this world.

I love my grandkids with all of my heart for the innocent lessons they teach me on a regular basis. And, I love all of you. Thank you for being so much of the good that is in my life.

May your lives be merry and bright and full of unconditional love this Christmas!

Jeanette

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12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar

In the true spirit of Christmas, today on the blog we are excited to share this darling 12 days of service advent calendar using our handy dandy Flip Flaps™!

17-0535-wall

The “windows” are designed to flip open and reveal previously decided upon acts of service to perform for a family member, friend, or someone in your community during the 12 days leading up to Christmas. (If you need help coming up with ideas for these acts, check out the list we came up with last month in 15 Ways to Share a Smile).

12 Days of Service #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #advent #calendar #service #giving #Christmas #papercraft #paper #flipflaps #flipflap #flapping #scrapbooking #scrapping #layout

The Flip Flaps were attached to the 12″ x 12″ paper first then the acts of service were attached underneath them, covering the adhesive strip of the Flip flap. Each act of service is printed on paper the size of its corresponding Flip Flap, so it can remain under wraps until it’s time to reveal it.

12 Days of Service #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #advent #calendar #service #giving #Christmas #papercraft #paper #flipflaps #flipflap #flapping #scrapbooking #scrapping #layout

We kept it simple and made the little tags on each window using the smallest die from the basic tags Thin Cuts. They were stamped with a Splash of Color to add the subtle Pebble background behind the Cranberry numbers from the Pen Pal Alphabet stamp set. The finished tag was then attached to the outside of the Flip Flaps and topped off with a knotted piece of twine.

And, because this calendar was created in a 12″ x 12″ format, it can be transferred from its frame into a scrapbook once you’re done using it! Not only that, you’ve got built in spaces right inside those Flip Flaps to add photos of the activities you participated in, turning this Christmas service countdown into a beautiful scrapbook layout.
17-0535-album

But how is it that those Flip Flaps are still flapping even though they are inside Memory Protectors™? Simple! We just used a craft knife to cut sections of the protectors out! This part can get tricky, because you don’t want to accidently cut your artwork—so here’s how to do it:

First—put your page inside the Memory Protector.

Second—with a pen, mark the four corners of each Flip Flap (about 1/8″ bigger for  easy movement when cut).

Third—remove your layout from the Memory Protector.

Fourth—connect the dots with your knife, using enough pressure to cut the front of the protector but not the back. To play it safe, put some scrap paper in your protector while cutting.

Last—clean off any excess pen marks with your My Acrylix® Spritz Cleaner.

Make your Christmas a little extra special this year with a service advent calendar! Promoting the true spirit of the season, make this cherished holiday tradition one of your own.


Recipe

12″ x 12″ Twelve Days of Christmas Advent Calendar
C1691 My Acrylix® Beary Christmas—Cardmaking Stamp Set, B1560 My Acrylix® Christmas Stamps Stamp Set, D1733 My Acrylix® Splash of Color Stamp Set, B1539 My Acrylix® Pen Pal Alphabet Stamp Set, X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet, X7226B Silver & Gold Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5955 Pebble Cardstock, X5954 Pewter Cardstock, X5959 New England Ivy Cardstock, Z3239 Silver Glitter Paper, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2816 Cranberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2833 Pebble Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z899 Black Memento™ Ink Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, X7225C Beary Christmas Complements, X7226C Silver & Gold Complements, Z4038 Beary Christmas Dots, Z3216 White Twine, Z3344 Thin Cuts—Basic Tags, 3505 Watercolor Pencils, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Z3234 Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™ 3″ × 3″, Z3230 Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™ 3″ × 4″, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3389 Cricut® You Are Here Collection, Die-cutting Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
You Are Here
1” <font> “Twelve Days of”

 

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15 Ways to Share a Smile

Share a Smile #closetomyheart #ctmh #operationsmile #charity #nonprofit #shareasmile #stamping #stamps #punnypals

Our Punny Pals are fun, spunky, and on a mission—to share as many smiles as possible! To help you continue spreading smiles this month, we came up with a list of small acts of kindness to keep you going. As you perform these, or any acts of service, consider leaving a card from the Share a Smile card kit behind. This small sentiment will be a reminder of the kindness you shared and will continue to bring joy (and smiles!) for days to come.

15-ways-to-share-a-smile #ctmh #closetomyheart #shareasmile #smile #share #operationsmile #punnypals #leaves #fall #raking #family

  1. Rake a neighbor’s yard
  2. Mail a note to a long-distance family member
  3. Pay for the person behind you in a drive-thru.
  4. Take flowers to the nurses’ station at your local hospital
  5. Leave a plate of cookies with a thank-you note for the cleaning staff at your office
  6. Put change in an expired parking meter15-ways-to-share-a-smile #ctmh #closetomyheart #shareasmile #smile #share #operationsmile #punnypals #chrysanthemum #flowers #hospital
  7. Drop off cupcakes to your local fire or police department
  8. Tape cash or a gift card on a random gas pump
  9. Leave positive messages in public places
  10. Offer to return someone’s shopping cart to the store
  11. Hide a favorite book in a public place with a note that it’s free for the taking
  12. Hold the elevator for someone else15-ways-to-share-a-smile #ctmh #closetomyheart #shareasmile #smile #share #operationsmile #punnypals #friends #group
  13. Invite an elderly neighbor to dinner
  14. Leave a generous tip at a restaurant
  15. Put a Share a Smile card in the mailbox for your mail carrier

Isn’t it amazing how little things can brighten our day? A compliment, a thank you, any small gesture of gratitude or compassion can spread joy. Sharing a smile with friends, neighbors, and even strangers is uplifting. Everyone feels good!

At Close To My Heart, we are celebrating Operation Smile™ and the non-profit work they do to help people everywhere have beautiful healthy smiles through safe cleft lip and palate surgeries. With every purchase of the Punny Pals stamp set, Close To My Heart donates $7 USD to this wonderful organization. You, too, can help change someone’s life and at the same time create cute and delightful cards to spread kindness to your family, friends, and community.

And don’t forget—the Share a Smile card kit and Punny Pals Thin Cuts are only available through the end of the month!

We’d love to hear how you are sharing smiles with our Punny Pals! Tell us what you’ve been up to in the comments below.

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Share a Smile

What would you do if you had the power to change someone’s life by simply sharing a smile?

Born with a cleft lip or palate, there are billions of people worldwide who suffer from the inability to simply smile due to a lack of access to any surgical care. Every three minutes another child is born with this condition, resulting in malnourishment, speech impediments, and social stigma.

For nearly a decade, Close To My Heart has partnered with Operation Smile™, a non-profit organization that provides safe surgeries repairing cleft lips and palates in children around the world. In an effort to collect funds for this charitable group, we annually dedicate the proceeds of one of our stamp sets to their efforts. This year is no different.

With the purchase of every Punny Pals stamp set, Close To My Heart is donating $7 USD of the proceeds to Operation Smile. And, for this month only, you can get a coordinating set of Thin Cuts for the delightful animal shapes.

We’ve also put together the Share a Smile Card Kit, also available this month only, that includes the Thin Cuts along with card bases, envelopes, paper pieces, and instructions that you can use to create these endearing cards.

Operation Smile™ T-Shirts

In addition to the Punny Pals stamp set, coordinating thin cuts, and Share a Smile card kit, we have t-shirts available all year round whose proceeds also go toward Operation Smile.

And, if you place an order with us you have the option to round your order up to the nearest dollar, giving the extra as a donation to Operation Smile. During October, your round-up donation will go even further, because Close To My Heart will match all round-up donations, up to $10,000 USD!

We are so grateful to our generous Consultants for all of their efforts and continued support for this great cause. At this year’s convention alone, they pulled together over $50,000 in donations to make a difference in the lives of children they will never meet.

Share a Smile #ctmh #closetomyheart #operationsmile #smile #charity #nonprofit #shareasmile

With your help, we can continue to remove financial, geographic, and cultural barriers that are impeding access to safe and well-timed surgeries. Purchase these items, encourage others to do so, or simply get on our site and make a straight donation to Operation Smile.

Share a Smile #ctmh #closetomyheart #shareasmile #operationsmile #charity #nonprofit

We are on a mission to change the lives of as many children as possible by restoring something that no child should be without—their smile.

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