FREE Scrapbook Pattern with Blue Skies!

Free Scrapbooking Pattern #ctmh #closetomyheart #blueskies #nsm #nationalscrapbookingmonth #memorykeeping #storytelling #freescrapbookingpattern #freepattern

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!

Free Scrapbooking Pattern #ctmh #closetomyheart #blueskies #nsm #nationalscrapbookingmonth #memorykeeping #storytelling #freescrapbookingpattern #freepattern

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!

Free Scrapbooking Pattern #ctmh #closetomyheart #blueskies #nsm #nationalscrapbookingmonth #memorykeeping #storytelling #freescrapbookingpattern #freepattern

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.

Free Scrapbooking Pattern #ctmh #closetomyheart #blueskies #nsm #nationalscrapbookingmonth #memorykeeping #storytelling #freescrapbookingpattern #freepattern

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.

Free Scrapbooking Pattern #ctmh #closetomyheart #blueskies #nsm #nationalscrapbookingmonth #memorykeeping #storytelling #freescrapbookingpattern #freepattern

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!

Download Pattern.

Free Scrapbook Pattern #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #CTMHMoreMagical #MoreMagical #freepattern #freescrapbookpattern #scrapbooking #free #download #scrapbooklayout #magical #adventure #dreamscometrue #MakeItfromYourHeart #howtobooks

 

 

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!

 

 

 


Recipe:

12″ x 12″ Beautiful Day Layout
CC5202 Beautiful Day Stamp + Thin Cuts, CC5201 My Acrylix® Blue Skies Stamp Set, CC5206 Blue Skies Paper Packet, CC5212 Blue Skies Coordinating Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6513 Green Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2848 Sapphire Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3553 Acrylic Hearts, Z4196 White Ribbon, CC5204 Pinwheel Thin Cuts, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3226 Medium Flat Waterbrush, Z2496 Pale Pink TriBlend™ Marker, Z2485 Light Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2483 Light Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2491 True Blue TriBlend™ Marker, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3440 Dual-tip Permanent Glue Pen, Sewing Machine

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Innovative Ways for Using Windows in Your Papercrafts

Shaker Window Papercrafting #cmth #closetomyheart #shakerwindow #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting

We’re going to shake things up a bit today by taking a closer look at some innovative ways to use the shaker windows we all know and love!

For the most basic shaker windows (which are still so much fun!), sequins and paper confetti are placed over a plain or stamped background. However, you can take a shaker window to new heights by switching up your base and adding a few fun embellishments to the exterior of the window.

Shaker Window Papercrafting #cmth #closetomyheart #shakerwindow #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting

In this card, a few adhesive-backed dots from our Seas the Day collection turned a plain white overlay into a ship’s porthole. Looking into the window, you can see how artistically torn cardstock has formed white-cap waves by exposing the paper’s white core. When these elements come together, it creates a whimsical card any ocean lover will be thrilled with!

Another way to dress up your shaker windows is to fill them with unique elements. Replacing sequins or paper with a few unexpected parts is a great way to turn the tables on familiar shaker windows.

Shaker Window Papercrafting #cmth #closetomyheart #shakerwindow #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting

By bringing some sand home from a fun day at the beach, you can preserve a bit of the actual setting along with the memories you made there.

Shaker Window Papercrafting #cmth #closetomyheart #shakerwindow #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting

Any mocha enthusiast will love these fun coffee bean cards!

If you plan to include larger shaker elements in your windows, you should plan to double-stack your 3-D foam tape to leave enough room for the shaker elements inside to move around.

If you really want to add a unique flair to your shaker windows, you can try adding some small die-cut shapes to the interior of your shaker.

Shaker Window Papercrafting #cmth #closetomyheart #shakerwindow #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting

By combining these miniature stamped shapes with a few sequins pieces, it’s easy to put your own mark on your cards!

One last example to shake things up your windows is to use them in creative places. In this post, we’ve shown you how to incorporate shaker windows into cards and even scrapbook layouts, but in this example, you can see how a basic shaker window also makes an unforgettable gift tag.

Shaker Window Papercrafting #cmth #closetomyheart #shakerwindow #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting

How are you using windows in your paper crafts? Do you use them in cards, scrapbook pages, or in a unique way? Share your fun and innovative ideas with all of us, below!


Recipes

4¼” x 5½” Enjoy the Journey Card (Vertical)
Z3659 Seas the Day—Cardmaking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7255S Seas the Day Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6042 Mint Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2825 Mink Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2848 Sapphire Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7255G Seas the Day Die-cuts, X7255F Seas the Day Dots, Z2900 Silver Start Confetti, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3224 Small Round Waterbrush, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4309 Shaker Window & Confetti Thin Cuts, Z4310 Shaker Window Foam & Acetate, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Die-cutting Machine

6″ x 8″ Sunny Days Layout
C1827 My Acrylix® Seas the Day—Cardmaking Stamp Set, D1913 My Acrylix® Seas the Day—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7255S Seas the Day Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X9013 Mix-in Paper Packet, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5962 Goldrush Cardstock, X5946 Linen Cardstock, X6044 Peach Cardstock, X5950 Toffee Cardstock, Z3239 Silver Glitter Paper, Z2823 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2900 Silver Star Confetti, Z2901 Seashell Sequins, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z3661 Peach Shimmer Brush, Z3515 Black Journaling Pen (.01), Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4309 Shaker Window + Confetti Thin Cuts, Z4310 Shaker Window Foam & Acetate, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Die-cutting Machine, Sand

4¼” x 5½” Cocoa Card (Horizontal)
Z3537 Perk Up Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7249B Hawthorn Paper Packet, X5951 Espresso Cardstock, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, X5950 Toffee Cardstock, Z2829 Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3553 Acrylic Hearts, Z4235 Loose Gold Sequins, Z4196 White Ribbon, Z3630 Watercolor Pencils, Z2478 Earth Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z3560 Golden Rod Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z4309 Shaker Window & Confetti Thin Cuts, Z4310 Shaker Window Foam & Acetate, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Die-cutting Machine, Coffee Beans

4¼” x 5½” Latte Card (Vertical)
Z3537 Perk Up Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7249B Hawthorn Paper Packet, X5951 Espresso Cardstock, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, Z2829 Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2825 Mink Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3553 Acrylic Hearts, Z4235 Loose Gold Sequins, Z4196 White Ribbon, Z4309 Shaker Window & Confetti Thin Cuts, Z4310 Shaker Window Foam & Acetate, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Die-cutting Machine, Coffee Beans

4¼” x 5 ½” Best Fishes to You Card (Vertical)\
S2004 My Acrylix® O-fish-ally Awesome Stamp Set, X7255B Seas the Day Paper Packet, X5982 Canary Cardstock, X6042 Mint Cardstock, X5950 Toffee Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2828 Toffee Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3630 Watercolor Pencils, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z2901 Seashell Sequins, Z3661 Peach Shimmer Brush, Z3557 Cool Mint Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z3563 Diamond Stickles Glitter Gel, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4309 Shaker Window & Confetti Thin Cuts, Z4310 Shaker Window Foam & Acetate, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Die-cutting Machine

4¼” x 5½” You Make Life Sparkle Card (Horizontal)
Z3706 Unicorn Dreams Stamp + Thin Cuts, X6036 Ballerina Cardstock, X5982 Canary Cardstock, X6041 Lilac Cardstock, X5976 Thistle Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3239 Silver Glitter Paper, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6503 Mint Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z2482 Citrus TriBlend™ Marker, Z2490 Ice Blue TriBlend™ Marker, Z2496 Pale Pink TriBlend™ Marker, Z3563 Diamond Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z2067 Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z4309 Shaker Window & Confetti Thin Cuts, Z4310 Shaker Window Foam & Acetate, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Die-cutting Machine

2½” Life Is Sweeter Tag
C1835 My Acrylix® Sentiments & Stitches Stamp Set, X5984 Pixie Cardstock, X5974 Raspberry Cardstock, X6032 Wisteria Cardstock, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6514 Wisteria Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3566 Julep Loose Sequins, Z3553 Acrylic Hearts, Z3570 Wisteria Ribbon, Z4196 White Ribbon, Z4213 Silver Embellishing Thread, Z2900 Silver Star Confetti, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4309 Shaker Window & Confetti Thin Cuts, Z4310 Shaker Window Foam & Acetate, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Die-cutting Machine, Hole Punch

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From Jeanette: YOU Are MY People!

You Are My People #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton #thesearemypeople #youaremypeople #ctmhconsultants #cutabove #scrapbooking #album #minialbum #memorykeeping #giveaway #birthday #prize #free

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!

You Are My People #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton #thesearemypeople #youaremypeople #ctmhconsultants #cutabove #scrapbooking #album #minialbum #memorykeeping #giveaway #birthday #prize #free

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, are MY 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!

You Are My People #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton #thesearemypeople #youaremypeople #ctmhconsultants #cutabove #scrapbooking #album #minialbum #memorykeeping #giveaway #birthday #prize #freeYou Are My People #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton #thesearemypeople #youaremypeople #ctmhconsultants #cutabove #scrapbooking #album #minialbum #memorykeeping #giveaway #birthday #prize #freeYou Are My People #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton #thesearemypeople #youaremypeople #ctmhconsultants #cutabove #scrapbooking #album #minialbum #memorykeeping #giveaway #birthday #prize #free

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 )

You Are My People #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton #thesearemypeople #youaremypeople #ctmhconsultants #cutabove #scrapbooking #album #minialbum #memorykeeping #giveaway #birthday #prize #freeYou Are My People #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton #thesearemypeople #youaremypeople #ctmhconsultants #cutabove #scrapbooking #album #minialbum #memorykeeping #giveaway #birthday #prize #freeYou Are My People #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton #thesearemypeople #youaremypeople #ctmhconsultants #cutabove #scrapbooking #album #minialbum #memorykeeping #giveaway #birthday #prize #free

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.

You Are My People #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton #thesearemypeople #youaremypeople #ctmhconsultants #cutabove #scrapbooking #album #minialbum #memorykeeping #giveaway #birthday #prize #free

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!)!

You Are My People #ctmh #closetomyheart #jeanettelynton #thesearemypeople #youaremypeople #ctmhconsultants #cutabove #scrapbooking #album #minialbum #memorykeeping #giveaway #birthday #prize #free

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.

With all my love,
Jeanette

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Galentines with Aimee Ferre!

Today’s post is written by the talented, handcrafted lifestyle expert, Aimee Ferre! Follow along as she shares her unique designs and style while creating a beautiful gift for a special gal in her life. <3

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

During the cold month of January, with cloudy and dark skies, I start feeling restless for brighter and warmer days. Just when I think I can’t take one more day of gloom, February peeks her head around the corner and offers feminine shades of pink and red for Valentine’s Day. The love and sweets that she offers act as a “hold me over” until spring returns. I do love Valentine’s Day, but I have to admit, I love Galentine’s Day even more!

One of my favorite gal pals lives several hundred miles away. Her marriage last year took her all the way to Los Angeles to finish schooling. It’s my daughter Elsa. Now as an adult, she is a favorite gal pal even though we are so far apart.

When my three daughters were little, I always had “Cupid” come and bring them valentines and sweets in handmade boxes and fabric bags. It’s become a tradition I don’t want to ever let go of, no matter how old they are. So, this year, I thought of designing a beautiful care package to ship off, and not just in a red, white, and blue Priority Box from the United States Postal Service.

I want to send something like we sing about in the My Favorite Things song, “brown paper packages tied up with strings.” That’s what I was going for, with the addition of sweet ink stampings covering the outside of the box, giving a hint of the treasures that could be inside. I couldn’t wait to begin designing Elsa’s Galentine’s package with my Close To My Heart stamp sets!

My Acrylix® Snail Mail by Aimee FerreGalentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail

My Acrylix® Air Mail by Aimee Ferre:Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail(Outlined images coordinate with Thin Cuts metal dies.)

I am drawn to the large heart candy boxes of yesteryear with the oversized satin bows. For the past several years, I’ve made variations of these candy boxes for girlfriends. Sometimes I’ve hosted a swap where we all bring items to exchange and put in the heart boxes, and some years I provide the treasures inside. This year, I loved the way I could really embellish and personalize the heart boxes, the stationery, and even the shipping boxes using the Close To My Heart stamps and Thin Cuts paired with a few other materials.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

This air mail sparrow card used Mint, White, and Ballerina cardstock. I stamped the designs with Glacier, Candy Apple, and Smoothie Exclusive Inks™. I glued Julep sequins pieces inside the stamped hearts and on top of the “cloud.” The cloud was made from a small sampling of loose quilt batting that was then machine sewn on using a straight stitch all the way around the edges of the cloud. I used 3-D foam tape to stick on the air mail sparrow. The envelope was sealed with the “Sealed with a Kiss” heart that was hand trimmed and glued halfway onto the envelope flap.

I found a 12″ heart box from the local craft store made of brown paper mâché and a smaller paper mâché heart box perfect for a bag of favorite candies or small jewelry piece. (You could also recycle any commercially made heart candy box.

Using a good quality paint that has primer included in the mix, I painted 2-3 coats on each box. Hardware stores now offer sample paint containers of whatever color you want for a few dollars, so I chose a color that went well with the Close To My Heart exclusive colors I planned on using: Ballerina, Glacier, Candy Apple, and Smoothie.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

On the smaller heart box, I stamped the two leaf sprig stamps from the Air Mail by Aimee Ferre set directly on the box. I love that the banner in this stamp set is left blank to hand letter a recipient’s name or a sentiment inside. I stamped the banner in Candy Apple red, used the coordinating Thin Cuts metal die to cut the shape out, and attached it to the box with 3-D foam tape.

Once my large box had a base coat, using coordinating colors, I freehand painted some simple folk-art designs on the lid. To beautify the inside, I lined the box with parchment paper.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

Every Valentine’s Day, I bake my famous fortune cookies dipped in chocolate to share with friends and family. I knew Elsa would feel close to home if I baked her a few to include inside along with some favorite candies of dark chocolate truffles, peppermint white chocolate pretzels, and, her favorite, sour gummy hearts.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

I painted the rims of plain white paper baking cups with watercolors and stamped the bottoms using various designs from the Air Mail by Aimee Ferre and Snail Mail by Aimee Ferre stamp sets. Some of the cups I trimmed off a half inch to create a layered tutu look when nested inside each other. I even machine stitched a couple cups together at the bottom using coordinating thread.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

I nested cellophane bags of sweets in the paper baking cups. Once the box was filled, I tied it up with a red and white striped ribbon. Using the scalloped heart stamp that coordinates with one of the Thin Cuts dies, I created a gift tag and tied it to the box.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail

Plain white or brown shipping boxes can be decorated as well. Make opening the package part of the excitement and experience of receiving their package. Measure the rectangular box flaps on the side that you plan to put the address label on, and then cut 4 sheets of cardstock one inch smaller all the way around to mount on each of the inside box flaps. It makes opening up the package a fun surprise!

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail

You could write personal messages, poems about friendship and love, write memories or sweet sentiments on each of the flaps. You could even include fun photographs. I used a mix of hand painted folk-art designs and hand stamped artwork from both of the Aimee Ferre stamp sets to decorate the flaps.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail

I love the 3 small parallelogram stamps that are used to create the “Air Mail” border. Space them out carefully. I used Candy Apple and Glacier ink as the coordinating colors to create this border.

Brown paper packages, sweet treats, and hearts can all say, “fries before guys” to those gal pals that are some of the sweetest relationships in your life. I hope you find yourself thinking of those powerful women who influence your life for the better, and then create something special for them that will keep them close to your heart.

Hugs, Aimee Ferre

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DIY Décor to Make Over Your Boy’s Room

DIY Boy's Room Decor #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #frameitup #urbanframes #diydecor #boysroom #skater #skateboarding #rustic #epic #guitar #chipboard #monogram #visionboard #papercrafting #npm #nationalpapercraftingmonth

We’re at it again! Last week we shared a fun way to dress up a girl’s room using beautiful large paper flowers, and, as promised, today we’ve got some inspiration on how to use papercrafting to decorate a more boyish space. (It can be done!)

The Urban paper collection is one of our absolute all-time favorites. We love it so much, in fact, that we brought it back for a second time around! Whether you missed it when it made its debut, or you love the designs just as much as we do, now is your chance to stock up!

We paired these classic Urban patterns with a few of our other go-to products and came up with some really fun, trendy, and even purposeful, décor pieces. Take a closer look.

DIY Boy's Room Decor #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #frameitup #urbanframes #diydecor #boysroom #skater #skateboarding #rustic #epic #guitar #chipboard #monogram #visionboard #papercrafting #npm #nationalpapercraftingmonth

DIY Boy's Room Decor #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #frameitup #urbanframes #diydecor #boysroom #skater #skateboarding #rustic #epic #guitar #papercrafting #npm #nationalpapercraftingmonth #chipboard #monogram #visionboard

Our chipboard frames and monograms are a great way to showcase personality in any given space. The patterns found in the Urban papers and stickers provide just the right amount of warmth, edge, and attitude to do just that!

DIY Boy's Room Decor #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #frameitup #urbanframes #diydecor #boysroom #skater #skateboarding #rustic #epic #guitar #chipboard #monogram #visionboard #papercrafting #npm #nationalpapercraftingmonth

We backed this third frame with some cork board to effortlessly add or move photos, notes, and other mementos around. With a little bit of personal thought and inspiration, you could easily turn one of these framed pieces into a vision board!

As a reminder, the Urban collection is here for a limited time! That includes the paper packet, coordinating cardstock, and the My Acrylix® Urban Flair stamp set. Make sure to get yours before it is gone for good!

DIY Boy's Room Decor #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #frameitup #urbanframes #diydecor #boysroom #skater #skateboarding #rustic #epic #guitar #chipboard #monogram #visionboard #urbanflair

My Acrylix® Urban Flair Stamp Set

For those of you who, like us, also love all things scrapbooking and cardmaking. We put together a workshop that uses these designs to create this stunning artwork:

DIY Boy's Room Decor #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #frameitup #urbanframes #diydecor #boysroom #skater #skateboarding #rustic #epic #guitar #chipboard #monogram #visionboard #scrapbooking #cardmaking #scrapbookingworkshop #cardmakingworkshop #papercrafting #npm #nationalpapercraftingmonth

Download the free instructions, here.

We love National Papercrafting Month, and we absolutely love with our Urban collection. Don’t forget, you only have until January 31st, while supplies last, to get your hands on this go-to classic!


Recipe

16″ x 16″ Urban Frames
CC12194 My Acrylix® Urban Flair Stamp Set, CC12191 Urban Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, X5950 Toffee Cardstock, Z2849 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Set, Z2829 Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2825 Mink Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2828 Toffee Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4088 White Alphabet Foam Stickers, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z2478 Earth Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2479 Gold Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z3580 Chipboard Frame + Overlay, Z3430 Chipboard Monogram—R, Artiste Cricut® Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artiste Collection
#M3BCAC

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Choosing the Best Black Ink for Your Projects

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon

With so many different black ink pads at our disposal, deciding which is the best option for a project can get a little confusing. Let’s shed some light into this black situation by examining each one of these inks individually and identify what their strengths and purposes are so you’ll never have to second-guess yourself again.

Before getting started, let’s identify all of the players.

  1. Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
  2. Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
  3. Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
  4. Black Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad
  5. Black StazOn™ Ink Pad

All of the black Exclusive Inks™ stamp and pigment pads come in a sleek patented case. The innovative case features an in-lid stamp pad, keeping the ink at the surface and ready to use, as well as a convenient magnetic closure. The raised pads are approximately 3¾” x 2½”, making them larger than average and more versatile.

Although they are very similar in appearance, and are all technically black, each ink is formulated from scratch to produce unique stamping results. We discussed these inks and how to use them with our very talented Art Studio and came up with the following:

1.  BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ STAMP PAD

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

The Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad is a water-based dye ink. Our artists like using it for stamping sentiments and other images that will not be colored over with markers or watercolor. It is ideal for cardmaking, tags, and other everyday uses.

2.  ARCHIVAL BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ STAMP PAD

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

The Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad has the deepest black ink out of all our black inks. It is a solvent-based permanent ink. Waterproof, lightfast, fade-proof, and archival. We recommend using this ink for scrapbook pages and for stamping on vellum. Archival Black is ideal for stamping images and sentiments with staying power.

3.  INTENSE BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ STAMP PAD

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon

The Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad is intense not because of its color but because it is a non-smearing, fast-drying, solvent-based permanent ink. Like its Archival Black counterpart, the Intense Black ink is also waterproof and archival. If you want to add color with watercolor or alcohol markers, however, Intense Black is the way to go.

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

4.  BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ PIGMENT PAD

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

Next, there’s the Black Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad. The major difference between this ink and the others is that it is a pigment-based ink. Pigment inks dry permanently on porous surfaces after heat-setting. It takes a little more work to use a pigment ink, but the results are definitely worth it! We recommend adding clear embossing powder to your stamped images, and heat setting them with a Heat Tool, to create beautiful glossy raised images and sentiments.

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

5.  BLACK STAYZON™ INK PAD

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

Last, and certainly not least, is the Black StazOn™ Ink Pad. This pad offers a fast-drying solvent-based ink designed specifically for use on plastic, metal, glass, ceramic, laminated paper, coated paper, leather, and other non-porous surfaces. Even though this ink is technically “fast-drying,” it can be wiped off a truly non-porous surface within minutes after it is applied, using a Stamp Shammy and StazOn™ Cleaner. This is great to keep in mind because the majority of non-porous surfaces tend to be slippery and can be difficult to stamp with accuracy. Once the ink completely sets, however, it will yield permanent results. (So, make sure to keep that Stamp Shammy nearby! 😉 )

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

We want you to be able to take all of this information with you wherever your stamping takes you, so we’ve created the following chart, including photos of our artwork examples, for you to download and print.

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

Download US/CA version, here.

Download AU/NZ version, here.

We even left enough space in an empty second column for you to stamp a solid heart and outline from the My Acrylix® Erin’s Hand Stamp Set using the individual inks to have real visual examples. (Clear Super Fine Embossing Powder was added to our Black pigment ink and heat set in order to create the glossy raised images shown.)

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

With this quick and simple breakdown, we hope you will make all of your future black ink decisions with clarity and confidence! Please let us know in the comments below if you found this blog post helpful today. Happy stamping! <3


Recipes:

4¼” x 5½” Happy Birthday Card (Vertical)
C1782 My Acrylix® Party Balloons Stamp Set, X7245B Craft On Paper Packet, X6028 Black Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2812 Raspberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

12″ x 12″ Memories Saved Page
D1848 My Acrylix® Craft On—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7245B Craft On Paper Packet, X6008 Lemon Cardstock, X5984 Pixie Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7248 Craft On Picutre My Life™ Cards, Z4059 Crafty Loose Sequins, Z4057 Craft On Rubber Shapes, Z4213 Silver Embellishing Thread, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

4¼” x 5½” Thinking of You Card (Vertical)
C1794 My Acrylix Floral Delivery Stamp Set, X7246B Sweet Girl Paper Packet, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X6022 Smoothie Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4243 Watercolor Paper Pad, Z4213 Silver Embellishing Thread, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3224 Small Round Waterbrush, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

12¾” x 8¾” Welcome Home Frame
E1043 My Acrylix® Solid Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, X5994 Ballerina Cardstock, X6016 Pixie Cardstock, X6018 Raspberry Cardstock, Z8000 Black Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad, Z4057 Craft On Rubber Shapes, Z2088 Clear Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z3503 Cricut® Artbooking Digital Collection, Cricut® You Are Here Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
1¼” #M4235A

You Are Here
1¼” #M282C66F

5″ x 7″ Bride & Groom Frame
D1849 My Acrylix® True Love—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X6003 Fern Cardstock, X5988 Peach Cardstock, X6016 Pixie Cardstock, X5993 Sage Cardstock, Z888 Black StazOn™ Ink Pad, Z4059 Crafty Loose Sequins, Z4064 Stitched Flowers Thin Cuts, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting Machine

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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!


Recipe:

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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