Feeling Heart Happy After Valentine’s Day with a Free Mini Album How-to Guide

It’s been a week since Valentine’s Day. Some of us celebrated with chocolates, flowers, dinners out, or even a sweet new color wheel ( 😉 ). Now what? There’s still some February leftover. Well, just because it’s no longer Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate what everyday life has to offer—that is why we are sharing instructions as a free download to create an Everyday Life™ sized album that does just that!

Heart Happy After Valentine's Day #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #everydaylife #minialbum #diyalbum #albuminstructions #free #freeguide #valentinesday #love #howto #scrapbooking #scrapbook #storytelling #everyday

Download your free Heart Happy Everyday Life™ album instructions, here.

Pretty much all of us are equipped to take photos wherever we go, of whatever we want, and whenever we feel like it. As a result, so many of life’s special moments end up stored in a “cloud” somewhere, rarely visited or seen again. Raise your hand if you’ve taken an indefinite number of photos of your cute children, grandchildren, fur babies, or even your food. What do you do with all of these photos? Are they still sitting in your phone? As one of our Consultants so eloquently put it, “don’t let your kids grow up as JPEGs!”

Our message to you today is simple: review the photos that you’ve taken and print them off! Don’t have a place to put them? Use the layouts in this Everyday Life™ album to get started and store your photos along with any stories that go with them.

Photos evoke emotions, capture moods, and remind us of things we long to hold on to. By putting our photos in an album, not only do you get to revisit these feelings, but then we get to share them with others and even allow them to have their own emotional responses. What does that mean? Simply put, it’s important to create albums for your family members and friends to look through. People love seeing pictures of themselves! (You know it’s true!) Children, especially. Create a place for the people you love to look at photos that you love, of whatever you love, through beautiful album pages that share your everyday journey.

Our Heart Happy Everyday Life™ album workshop is a great place to get started, and it will truly make your heart happy. If you’d like to make your very own Heart Happy album, we have a few different bundles of product offered at a reduced price to help you get going. Click on the links below to see which best fits your needs:

My Acrylix® A Piece of My Heart Stamp Set
Heart Happy Sticker Sheet
Heart Happy Paper Packet
Heart Happy Coordinating Cardstock
Heart Happy Everyday Life™ Workshop Kit
Heart Happy Everyday Life™ Workshop Kit without Stamp Set

One of the great things about the contents of this kit are the versatile words, icons, and shapes found throughout its stamp set, patterned papers, and stickers. Last month, we showed you these very same products used to create some really fun Valentine’s Day cards (click here to download those card instructions). Above, we showed you an album to showcase the everyday moments. Now, we want to show you even more!

Take a look at this 12″ x 12″ layout we came up with using the same stamp set and Heart Happy paper packet combined with a few other products:

Heart Happy After Valentine's Day #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #everydaylife #minialbum #diyalbum #albuminstructions #free #freeguide #valentinesday #love #howto #scrapbooking #scrapbook #storytelling #everyday #food #foodie #apieceofmyheart

Heart Happy After Valentine's Day #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #everydaylife #minialbum #diyalbum #albuminstructions #free #freeguide #valentinesday #love #howto #scrapbooking #scrapbook #storytelling #everyday #food #foodie #apieceofmyheartHeart Happy After Valentine's Day #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #everydaylife #minialbum #diyalbum #albuminstructions #free #freeguide #valentinesday #love #howto #scrapbooking #scrapbook #storytelling #everyday #food #foodie #apieceofmyheart

(Love never looked so tasty! 🙂 )

We hope today’s post inspires you to do something with all of those memories that you are storing up. Print your photos, write your stories, and create something with them to celebrate the way life looks today. Take the time to make your heart happy!


12″ x 12″ Yum Yum Layout
CC2191 My Acrylix® A Piece of My Heart Stamp Set, CC2193 Heart Happy Paper Packet, X7242B I Heart Us Paper Packet, X9003 Mix-in Paper Packet, X6005 Goldrush Cardstock, X6007 Lagoon Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2823 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6503 Mint Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2851 Saffron Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7242C I Heart Us Complements, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins, X7242E Picture My Life™ Cards—I Heart Us, X7241E Picture My Life™ Cards—So Much Happy, Z4181 Thin Cuts—Stitched Circles, Z3386 Thin Cuts—Block Alphabet, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3225 Waterbrush—Medium Round, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Sewing Machine

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Christmas Album Inspiration

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is just around the corner, with Christmas only a little over two months away! To help you get your holiday cheer going (if it isn’t already!), we are sharing a Christmas album with you made entirely from patterns featured in our new how-to book, Make It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3.

 Use the images below as inspiration to make your own layouts. If you’d like to replicate them exactly, look to our supply list at the end of this post. You’ll see that you only need a handful of products, including one of each of the items in our Beary Christmas suite: one paper packet, one set of coordinating cardstock, one set of Complements, one set of dots, and one silver shimmer trim.

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3: Pattern 17 (p. 38)


Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmas

Add stamped accents like this one to your pages with the October Stamp of the Month, Christmas Tunes


Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart ™, Vol. 3: Pattern 1 (p. 6)


Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3: Pattern 4 (p. 12)



Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3: Pattern 5 (p. 14)



Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3: Pattern 8 (p. 20)



Prepare now to preserve all of the wonderful memories the holidays have to offer.

If you plan on making this album, but maybe not until after the craziness of the season, make sure you grab your supplies while they are available! The October Stamp of the Month, featured in several of these pages, is available this month only, while the Beary Christmas suite is only available through December 31, while supplies last.

Keep up with us on the blog all season long to see all the fun things we have in store for you! We are going to do our darndest to make sure you are ready for the holidays this year!

Supply List:

S1710 My Acrylix® Christmas Tunes Stamp Set—only available October 1–31!
X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet
X7225D Beary Christmas Coordinating Cardstock
1385 White Daisy Cardstock (4 sheets)
Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
Z2816 Cranberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
X7225C Beary Christmas Complements
Z4038 Beary Christmas Dots
Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim
9043 Make It from Your Heart™ Volume 3

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School Photos. 3 Reasons we LOVE them!

Today’s blog post comes from our beloved friend, Stacy Julian! Stacy is a recognized leader in the scrapbooking industry. She is the founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks magazine and the visionary founder of Big Picture Scrapbooking. After getting her initial start into the papercrafting world through Close To My Heart, Stacy is coming “home” to combine her ideas and training into a product line that will launch with Close To My Heart in 2018! We could not be more thrilled about this partnership!

We love Stacy for her liberating philosophy and simple step-by-step thematic approach that unlocks a person’s creativity and helps them easily create stories out of life’s special moments.

school photos #ctmh #closetomyheart #schoolpohotos #backtoschool #chalkboard #firstday

Photo Tip: Sit kids down on the front steps or on a bench. This allows you to get ALL of them and still move in closer with your lens.

One of my FAVORITE things to do is scroll through Instagram beginning in late August through the 2nd week of September. Why? Pictures like this one. I know I’m not the only one who loves these because I see them posted from all corners of the globe. And, whether you’ve got the cute “Pinterest” sign or not, school pics are an almost universal way to celebrate life and the passage of time. As a scrapbooker, I’m what you call “way behind” in my efforts to officially and consistently document school-related memories, but as a mom, I dutifully take these photos and I treasure them. This, by the way, is the first step to successful documentation—so I passed that test, phew!

Today, I want to share THREE reasons why we love school photos so much. I’m also going to share some tips for taking them and keeping track of them.

ONE. Fresh Starts.

New clothes, new shoes, new lunch boxes and a shiny, new year full of possibilities. Kids like NEW and Moms like the chance to start fresh…

First day of school pictures are particularly FUN because kids tend to be all polished up and looking their best. They might have a new haircut, or a new backpack and they definitely feel a new and palpable sense of excitement for new teachers, new friends, new adventures and maybe even new subjects.

School Photos #ctmh #closetomyheart #schoolphotos

Photo Tip: Don’t let the weather or other unexpected circumstances get you down. This is real life we’re documenting, after all! Rain and overcast skies result in fantastic light for photo-taking!

School Photos #ctmh #closetomyheart #schoolphotos #naturalpose

Photo Tip: Look for interesting shadows or reflections and capture a few of the details that your child is most excited about! In this case, new VANS!

TWO. Marked Progression.

For me, the start of a new school year is also the chance to STOP and take notice of who my kids are and how they are growing and becoming. Each school year is a milestone of progression and personality that lends structure to the joy (and task) of looking back. I’m not sure when exactly my focus changed from anticipation of all the new milestones that lay ahead for my young family to a feeling of almost dread that those same milestones were moving by at an ever alarming rate. But, now as I look primarily back on my children’s childhoods, I’m SUPER grateful that I have these kinds of photos. AND … I’m super ok, that these photos are not perfect. We often have unrealistic expectations for rituals like back-to-school and we feel discouraged if and when we forget to take a specific photo or find our efforts lacking in some other way. Trust me. I am now an older (and wiser) mom, and I’m telling you … it does not matter! You will be grateful for any and all of the photos you have.

Note: To illustrate growth and progression, simply compare and contrast photos side by side. Look for photos taken a few years a part (or ten) to show what has changed and what has stayed the same! Here is my son, Taft. Getting off the Kindergarten bus (2007) and pulling out of the driveway (2017) on his first day of 10th grade. Time marches on, but the photos allow me push the pause button from time to time!

Before you know it, there’s a fourth-grade girl looking back at her first-grade self. Ack!!

THREE. Easy Connections.

Even as it evolves, school is one of those things that stays pretty much the same over the years. For this reason, school photos can help you illustrate great stories. I enjoy looking for opportunities to draw connections between children and the everyday realities of school.

Note: Here’s my oldest attempting to open his high school locker for the first time and my third posing in front of this middle-school locker on dress up day. And …

school photos #ctmh #closetomyheart #stacyjulian #schoolphotos #lockerswithfriends #schoollockers

Photo Tip: Half the photography battle is getting over yourself and your own embarrassment. If you want the photo, ask for it. I’ve found that kids now expect me to be there and to be taking pictures. They get used to it!

… my youngest, who got up extra early this year, so he could meet his friends and they could all be first in line to get lockers next to each other. What a clever way to make sure you run into your friends in the hall.


School, like life is in the details. Look for the little, everyday things that don’t feel particularly special that are a part of the bigger, “school life” story.

My final and best tip is to spend a little time each week with your digital photos. Create a “school” tag or keyword and add that to a few of your best photos each year. You don’t have to be perfect with this, before you are richly rewarded. When I searched for school photos I was able to pull up (almost) all of the images I’ve shared in this post. I LOVE that!

school photos #ctmh #closetomyheart #schoolphotos #math #everydaymoments

Photo Tip: Use the silent feature on your phone camera. They didn’t even know I took this!

Note: As I was finishing up this post, my son was at the kitchen table helping his friend with math. Don’t forget that life is constantly unfolding all around us and school-related photos happen all year, so the VERY best thing you can do is simply train yourself to be aware of the “nothing special here” moments and recognize an opportunity to freeze time!

Happy home-working and picture-taking to one and all!


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