Our National Scrapbooking Month celebrations are in full swing around these parts, and what better way to get everyone to join in the festivities than with a free downloadable scrapbook pattern, complete with cutting diagrams and all!
Making its original debut with the Daydream Workshops On the Go®, we paired this timeless 12″ x 12″ pattern with our gorgeous You Are Enough collection!
The You Are Enough collection is a celebration of life and all of its perfect imperfections. “You are enough” does not mean that you are or have to be everything. You don’t have to be perfect, just be who you were designed and made to be. Our You Are Enough collection features beautiful stone designs with stunning rose gold accents and a gorgeous sticker sheet full of positive affirmations, enabling incredible artwork that celebrates everything that life has to offer!
Along with providing products that you will consume and not just collect, we also pride ourselves in being the “let me show you how®” memory-keeping company, and in providing the most comprehensive scrapbooking and cardmaking patterns. When you download the Daydream scrapbooking pattern, you will find that it also comes with cutting diagrams, making it even easier to create these pages from any of your favorite papers and embellishments, not just what we are showing you here. All of our patterns lend themselves to any memories that are special enough to preserve.
Download this free scrapbook pattern below and let us show you just how easy scrapbooking can be!
For even more timeless scrapbook patterns, check out our Make It from Your Heart™ pattern books! If you love the free scrapbook patterns we share on the blog, you’re sure to be blown away by the patterns and inspirational artwork in all of our how-to books.
Layered stamping is a wonderful way to expand your creative skills and improve as a crafter! This type of stamping isn’t limited to simply plunking down one stamp on top of another—there are a wide variety of techniques you can use to achieve different outcomes. Today, we’ll be showing you a few layered stamping tips and techniques with the gorgeous stamps from our Mothers Are the Best special.
If you’re new to layered stamps and how to use them in your artwork, one of the first things you’ll want to practice is how to align the various coordinating stamps for clear, precise images. Coordinated layered stamps are usually designed with one solid, base piece for color distribution, and one detailed piece.
In these Mothers Are the Best stamp sets, you can see the dark-colored base pieces alongside the detailed pieces. In order to create a layered stamp image, you need to align these pieces, preferably with all the details lined up with the solid color portions (our equivalent to coloring inside the lines). This is where our clear acrylic blocks come in clutch!
Having a clear line of sight for stamp placement is a lifesaver when it comes to layered stamping. Whenever you decide to incorporate a layered stamp image into your artwork, we recommend doing a couple practice runs on a piece of scratch paper before stamping on your actual project. Once you feel confident with layered stamping, it’s a great way to spice up your crafting projects! For even more layered stamping fun, check out these five tips and techniques and learn how to get the most out of your layered stamp sets!
1. Stamping Layers in Different Colors
When using layered or coordinating stamps, one way to get a more precise image is to stamp using the darkest color first. It may seem logical to always stamp the base (or solid portion) of your image first, but if you’ve decided to use a darker color for the details stamp, stamping that image first will make it easier for you to see where to place every other stamp for precise alignment.
In this example, you can see how the flower has been created by stamping the details in a darker color first and then, using these more visible lines for alignment, the lighter base.
If you don’t want to use two different colors, you can also incorporate second-generation stamping on either your base or details stamp.
To achieve a second-generation image, you ink your stamp and then stamp it on a scratch piece of paper. Then, without re-inking the stamp, you stamp the image on your project. This lighter impression is a second-generation image.
In the example, you can see how this technique has been used to create a perfectly aligned leaf, with first-generation details and a second-generation base!
2. Embossing the Top Layer
This technique is pretty basic but incorporating it into your artwork can make a real splash!
(Tip: To ensure that extra embossing powder doesn’t stick to your project where it doesn’t belong, use an Anti-static Pouch to rub the area you want to emboss before stamping with VersaMark™ ink.)
3. Using Just One Layer
Many stamps you’d use for a layered image are designed to fit together, but one way you can maximize your use of these sets is to use just one of the stamps in your artwork.
On the bag pictured, we’ve used the details portion of the leafy stamp to create leaf outlines, providing a beautiful addition to the Peacock flower and complementing the rounded edges of the tag and circle.
You can also use individual stamps from a layered set to create your own personalized background.
See how we created a subtle leafy background to complement the project as a whole? It’s simple enough to be an effective background element but does a great deal to tie the entire piece together.
4. Second-generation and Kissing Stamping Techniques
A real stand-out stamping technique for layered sets is second-generation kissing.
For this technique, first mount your base stamp and a details stamp on two separate blocks. Then, ink your base stamp and stamp it on a piece of scratch paper. Without inking the details stamp, gently press the two stamps together (muah! 😘) and then separate them. When you take the two stamps apart, you will find that the un-inked stamp removed ink from the inked one in the design of its impression.
After your stamps’ “kiss,” stamp your prepared inked base stamp on your project for a beautiful subtle image! (For a darker image, skip the part where you stamp on a scratch piece of paper.)
5. Second-generation and Rock & Roll Stamping Techniques
Another technique that’s a knockout with layered stamps is the combination of second-generation stamping with the rock & roll technique.
This technique requires you to, once again, ink your base stamp and stamp it on a piece of scratch paper. After you’ve completed this step, carefully roll the edges of the stamp on the stamp pad again—you can mix things up and use a different color, even, for this rolling part. Once your stamp is inked, stamp it on your project.
When you stamp your rolled second-generation base image, you’ll be left with a flawless fade from saturated color at the edges of the image to a softer, lighter hue toward the middle.
Incorporating layered stamping techniques like these into your artwork is an excellent way to elevate the quality of your artwork, all while being a ton of fun! Did any of these techniques stand out to you? Leave a comment below to tell us about your favorite technique from this post!
Follow along with us, today, as we give you an inside scoop into our creative process for designing and creating embellishment clusters of your own!
Embellishment clusters are large, sometimes intricate, paper accent pieces that are capable of standing on their own but can also be incorporated into larger projects, like scrapbook layouts, cards, or gift bags. We call these accents embellishment clusters because we are essentially putting several individual embellishments together, in a cluster.
While there are no set rules on where to begin creating these clusters, and there is no right or wrong way to proceed, we do have a few guidelines and tips to get you get you started on a successful creative experience!
1. Stick to a Color Scheme
When you first start designing an embellishment cluster, we recommend that you stick to a specific color scheme and spice it up with a complementary color or more neutral shade here and there. When you work off of a set color palette, it’s easier to focus your creative energy more effectively, and you’re more likely to end up with an embellishment cluster you really love!
This shaker window cluster is a great example of how to create around a color scheme. By focusing on cool shades of blue, throwing in a couple of green hues, and incorporating a few neutral tones, the elements of this embellishment cluster effectively harmonize with each other for a beautifully coordinated result!
2. Use a Variety of Paper and Cardstock Options
Incorporating different types of paper not only brings variety in patterns but in texture as well. Using our unique patterned papers next to our heavier, solid-colored cardstock helps to bring a nice variance to embellishment clusters.
If you’re looking to keep things a little simpler with the embellishment cluster itself, you can also consider saving more textured elements for the background.
With the card shown above, we kept things a little simpler overall and created exclusively with cardstock. Rather than featuring textured elements on the embellishment cluster itself, we used a large Thin Cuts die and two coordinating cardstock colors to create a gorgeous textured backdrop for this simple embellishment cluster!
3. Layer, Layer, Layer!
A great embellishment cluster often includes a few layers and dimension. Even a simple embellishment cluster should have at least one layered element to make sure it stands out from whatever background you may end up putting it on.
With this embellishment cluster, we made sure to create multiple layers so it will have some extra pop once it’s placed on a scrapbook page. (Using dimensional adhesives, like 3-D foam tape, are a great way to ensure that your embellishment clusters have added dimension, as well!)
4. Follow the Rule of Thirds
Incorporating this photography technique into your embellishment clusters is a great way to ensure that they remain balanced and can even help to simplify your design process. If you’re unfamiliar with what the rule of thirds entails, it’s basically the process of dividing your subject or scene into three distinct sections, making sure that each one is visually balanced with the others.
With this embellishment cluster, imagine that there’s a 3″ x 3″ grid over it. With this imaginary grid applied, you’ll notice that the butterfly and floral accents are fairly close to intersection points on the grid, while the stamped “Bloom & GROW” title occupies the center square. By distributing the butterfly accent, stamped title, and floral accent in this way, it ensures that the entire cluster remains balanced. (Check out our photo composition blog post for a more in-depth explanation about the rule of thirds.)
5. Be Flexible
When it comes to crafting, you don’t always have to use crafting materials for their intended purpose. Take a look at this cute little cluster, for instance:
The envelope you see here was actually created using a stitched hexagon Thin Cuts die, folding the sides of the cut hexagon shape into its center! Re-purposing die-cut shapes, incorporating paper scraps, and even trimming patterns or icons from other patterned papers for use in an embellishment cluster is an excellent way to make sure your work stays fresh, fun, and completely unique!
6. Work Smarter, Not Harder
Once you find a design, color combination, or shape pairing you love, stick with it for a few more embellishment clusters! This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to re-make the same identical embellishment cluster over and over again. Simply switching out a single element can make a huge difference!
If a single, simple change isn’t doing enough, you can do a more drastic re-design while retaining the overall shape and combination of elements. These two shaker window clusters are a prime example of how different colors, patterns, and stamped images can be incorporated into a pre-existing design for a beautiful, brand-new result!
Another way to work smarter is to think about future crafts and prepare for them while you’re in your creative zone! If you use a Thin Cuts metal die to cut an element for an embellishment cluster, cut a few more for future use! If you use a Cricut Design Space™ file to create your cluster, make sure to save it so you can return to it the next time you want to create a beautiful embellishment cluster!
There’s no hard-fast way to create embellishment clusters, but by holding yourself to a few basic guidelines like these, you can fast-track your creativity and make absolutely gorgeous embellishments that are completely unique to you!
How have you been using embellishment clusters? If this a brand-new concept to you, what’s the first thing you want to create with an embellishment cluster?
It’s no secret that we love color at Close To My Heart. Color breathes life and feeling into the world around us. With an unspoken language all its own, color has the power to calm, to energize, and to inspire. As spring slowly creeps its way into this year, the world is brightening up its color palette bringing with it a rejuvenation we all could use right about now—and we are all for it!
We are starting today’s color celebration with our Love of Color how-to series. Through its pages, the exclusive Close To My Heart color palette, made up of 44 unique colors, comes to life. Breathtaking artwork illustrates how to create perfectly balanced color combinations without any guesswork. Each spread in these volumes starts out with one exclusive color that is then combined with two, three, and four other exclusive colors, shown in beautifully crafted inspirational artwork.
Since we hope for sunny days in the upcoming season, let’s take a closer look at the color combinations offered for Sundance, one of our newer colors, in Love of Color Vol. 2, pages 26 and 27.
In this example, Sundance was paired with Avocado and Glacier. Sundance is the dominant color, and the others were used to complement it and to create accents throughout. (White is a neutral and doesn’t really count, so feel free to include as much or as little as you’d like!)
This perfectly spring-themed card was created by following another color combination featured in the guide, combining Sundance with Cinnamon, Blue Belle, New England Ivy, and Charcoal.
The third color mashup for Sundance in our Love of Color Vol. 2 includes pairing it with Peach, Desert Rose, and Peacock.
These inspirational color guides really make it so simple to combine colors that some of us probably wouldn’t even consider. Its pages explore the unique qualities of each color and help you see their beauty and versatility.
We’ve also talked about color theory on this blog, before. If you’re interested in creating your own color combinations, we encourage you to revisit those posts for a quick refresher on techniques for pairing colors. (Find links below.) Once you’ve got those basic rules down, we also encourage you to break them as you see fit!
To continue this colorful celebration, we’ve updated our Close To My Heart color wheel by removing the colors that retired from our palette just a few short months ago and adding the new colors that were introduced.
Download the updated Close To My Heart color wheel, here.
***Keep in mind that our exclusive colors are made up of much more complex tones, shades, and hues than how they are categorized on the simplified color wheel offered above. As you reference and use this source, know that it is not 100% confining. Especially as you become more familiar with what makes colors work together visually, you’ll find that this color wheel is very flexible.***
Lastly, we have a couple of bonus downloads for you today! Working with our amazing art studio, we put together two watercolor guides featuring techniques, tips, and all-around useful information—one for watercolor paints and another for watercolor pencils. In these guides you will find how to blend our exclusive colors using watercolor paints, the variety of ways a watercolor pencil can be used, and so much more! Enjoy exploring these watercolor guides, below!
Great artwork is built on the inclusion of many small elements, all coming together for a stunning end result! Watercolor is an incredibly easy and effective way to boost the overall aesthetic of your artwork, resulting in a truly professional appearance while still keeping it uniquely “you.”
When most people hear “watercolor,” they may picture intricate images painted free-hand by a skilled and experienced artist. Today, however, we’re going to show you a variety of different ways you can easily apply watercolor techniques to your artwork, some of which may even surprise you! Watercolor is a skill anyone can practice and use to up the ante in their own artwork, and the techniques we’re sharing with you are great for beginners and experts alike!
All of the artwork we’ll be showing you today was made using papers, stickers, and embellishments from our beautiful Daisy Meadows collection.
This bright paper suite lends itself well to watercolor and is a great starting point for anyone who may be new to this beautiful medium!
Artistic splattering is a great way to break up a plain background, and it’s incredibly quick and easy to add to any artistic project!
To create these fun splatters, take a wet waterbrush, pick up some paint from your watercolor paint palette, and gently tap the brush on top of your index finger, holding it over the general area where you’d like the splatters to land.
(Tip: Use a piece of scratch paper to cover any parts of the page you don’t want to be splattered.)
Here, we’ve combined the splattering technique with some light stamping and complemented it all with a few small stickers and Daisy Meadows Dots. When these elements are combined, you go from a plain white background to a multi-textured one!
Another way to incorporate watercolor into your artwork is to create a painted border around the perimeter of your scrapbook pages.
To create a painted border like this one, lightly make a few long strokes around the edges of the page, taking care to not let your hand wander toward the center. A simple watercolor element like this is a wonderful way to brighten up a modest background!
The next technique on our list shows you how to use watercolor paints to create eye-catching elements and accents in the foreground of your projects. In the page pictured below, we used watercolor paints to add soft color not only to the floral accents by the photos, but also for the bright swash in the title.
This vibrant addition draws the eye to the title, allowing for a natural, flowing progression as viewers take in the rest of the page.
(Tip: To achieve a flawless swash effect, add the watercolor paint and let it dry completely before stamping. This way, you can adjust the color to get it just right, and you’ll avoid smearing the ink on the stamped image.)
For the delicate floral accents, you can easily achieve a gentle fade by concentrating the paintbrush along the outer edges of the stamped image, creating an outline. Then, clean the brush, wet it, and softly brush the color toward the center of the image. If watercolor paints aren’t your preferred watercolor medium, this effect can also be achieved using watercolor pencils.
Another fun way to up your watercolor game is to play around with various color saturations and pigment shades.
For a more pigmented effect on your initial coat, consider using a dry brush to pick up your wet paint. Wet bristles will pick up less paint, resulting in a lighter pigment, so starting with a wet paint well and a dry brush will allow you to achieve a darker color right from the get-go!
You can also adjust the color saturation as needed, but this process takes a bit of patience. To get the best results, wait for the first layer of paint to dry fully before going in for a second coat.
For a more abstract approach to watercolor painting, consider using a smooshing technique!
Like you’d do with a swash, you’ll want to apply your watercolor pigments to the paper before stamping. To add a smushed watercolor element, apply your watercolor paint to the page or accent in a more abstract form.
Once you’ve applied your color, you’ll take a plastic bag and smoosh it on top of the paper where the paint has been applied, mixing the colors together. This results in a beautifully blended texture, which will be ready for you to stamp on top of once it’s fully dry.
(Tip: You can save the acetate wrapping from a new stamp pad, or any other new product, and use that for your smooshing!)
One last technique we’ll share with you today is stencil painting. This technique is one of the easiest things you can do to add watercolor to your scrapbooking pages or cards.
This technique is also a fantastic way to express your own unique creativity, as you can cut your own stencil patterns for this watercolor element! To create your own stencil, cut a design into cardstock using your favorite cutting machine. If you’d like to reuse your stencil, cut your design on Stencil Sheets, so you can design and create your own stencils and use them for multiple projects! (For pre-designed stencils, check these out!)
When you use a stencil to add watercolor to your artwork, use strips of washi tape to hold it in place while you paint over it. This will ensure a more uniform appearance with fewer unwanted smears.
Once your stencil is secured in place with washi tape, use your waterbrush to gently wash over the stencil. This technique may result in some light bleeding, rougher edges, or blotching, which gives it a beautiful, perfectly imperfect look!
Did you see any techniques today that you can’t wait to try? Leave a comment below to tell us about your favorite watercolor technique and how you incorporate it into your own artwork!
Cardstock is a crafting essential for any avid crafter, and at Close To My Heart, we’re pretty proud of the cardstock selection we have to offer! Join us as we show you all the ways our cardstock stands apart and share some exciting offers from our new Cardstock Carnival sale!
Whether you’re making a scrapbook layout, a card, or another papercrafting project, cardstock is likely one of the first things you’ll reach for to make sure your artwork not only looks beautiful but stands the test of time. With a higher weight (or thickness) than paper, cardstock is often more durable than regular paper and can add a more professional and expert look to your crafts.
Our cardstock is designed along the exclusive Close To My Heart color palette, which means that each and every sheet coordinates precisely with all our inks, patterned paper collections, and quite a few of our embellishments as well! With this perfect coordination, you never have to spend time fussing over color matches, and you can count on our cardstock to integrate seamlessly into any project, as you can see with this card!
Along with perfect color coordination, each sheet of our cardstock also has a unique white core. This core allows for greater color saturation and more accurate matches. It also provides a striking contrast when you artistically tear or distress your cardstock!
(Tip: To distress cardstock, you can run a pair of scissors along the edges or gently rub the surface with some sandpaper. Make sure to start out with a light hand so you don’t rub away too much color all at once!)
For greater versatility, each sheet is also two-toned, with the true exclusive color on one side and a lighter version on the other, as you can see here with this two-tone scrapbook page.
This dual-tone effect allows you to maximize your cardstock usage while also expanding your range of colors. When you craft with two-toned cardstock, it’s like having two sheets in one!
There’s a TON to love about Close To My Heart cardstock, and during the month of March we are sharing that love through our Cardstock Carnival sale.
Slimline cards are a fun change from the standard, 4¼” x 5½”, size cards. They’re long and narrow, typically measuring 3½” x 8½”, providing a much larger surface area on which to create a design.
One of our favorite Thin Cuts currently available from our January–February Catalog is the Diagonal Stripe Slimline die that cuts a beautiful diagonal stripe pattern, sized especially for the front of a slimline card. Paired with a few simple techniques, it’s easy to create a wide variety of looks with this eye-catching pattern.
We hope that once you’re done visiting with us today, you will leave here feeling inspired and ready to create some of these beauties of your own!
This first card has a gorgeous, somewhat fantastical galaxy, look to its background.
The card base was sponged with Distress Oxide™ inks and a Mini Ink Blending Tool, creating an exaggerated version of the colors that are most often associated with the northern lights (pink, green, yellow, blue, and violet). The small, star-like spots are the oxidizing effect of the ink when we splattered it with water. When we finally layered the die-cutmade using the Diagonal Stripe Slimline Thin Cuts, our out-of-this-world look was complete! The White Daisy lines from the die-cut look like a meteor shower!
The top card, even though it is more adorable than most store-bought cards, came together in a matter of minutes! We first covered the front of the card base with a solid piece of patterned paper, then layered the diagonal stripe die-cut, also cut from patterned paper, on top. From there, it was a simple matter of weaving in stickers (from our Sweet Safari collection) through the diagonal paper strips. Complete the card with a stamped sentiment on a solid color cardstock and embellish with more cardstock, gems, or stickers.
The background of this third, Congrats, card is a little more involved than the first two we’ve shown you so far, but it is still not difficult to achieve!
We decided to back 10 of the open spaces of the die-cut with patterned pieces of paper, leaving the remaining spaces free for stamping later. You know those scraps you just can’t seem to throw away? Well, pull them out because this is a great way to use them! All you need are strips of paper that are large enough to cover the gaps. We used 5″ long strips of patterned papers, between ¼” to a smidgen over a ½” wide, and attached them to the die-cut using adhesive only along the top and bottom border. Then, we just trimmed any excess that was hanging over and attached the prepared die-cut, front side up, to a blank card base.
This last card we are sharing with you today is a show-stopping, slimline shaker window card!
Follow along with our Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, in the video below to see how this endearing card comes together.
Several of the pieces, including the two top frames, were cut using our Cricut® Art Philosophy collection and Design Space’s Basic Shapes. If you do not have access to our Art Philosophy collection, contact your Close To My Heart Maker or find one near you, here, by clicking on “Find a Maker.”
There’s something to love about each month and season, so we’re rolling out an entire years’ worth of stamping fun with a Months of the Year stamp series! With sentiments, icons, and borders for a variety of crafting projects, the stamp sets in the Months of the Year series provide a way to create beautiful artwork for any time of year. Today, we’re going to show off a few of the ways that the January and February sets can be used, and we have a feeling that once you’ve seen these two, you won’t be able to wait for the rest!
With every new set comes new opportunities to craft calendar pages, layouts, and so much more! Each Months of the Year set comes with a variety of different stamps to aid you as you create seasonally specific artwork all though the year. Throughout 2021, these stamps sets will be released, two at a time, with each of our bi-monthly catalogs, so you can look forward to the release of new sets through the end of the year!
Because Close To My Heart serves a global market, we’ve created two stamp sets for each month—one for crafters in the northern hemisphere, and another for artists in the southern hemisphere!
(🤓Fun Fact: Seasons are reversed between the northern and southern hemispheres! When someone in the US might be sledding or skiing, it would be a great time to hit the beach in Australia!)
These stamp sets are not only great to use individually but can also be used to create your own series of artwork along a theme! One of the most challenging parts of memory keeping can trying to decide which stories to tell, and where they should be placed. With a separate set designed for each month of the year, it’s easy to put together monthly scrapbook pages and in no time, you’ll have an entire album telling the story of the past year! This adorable Valentine layout is a wonderful example of how the stamps from the February stamp set can be used as perfect accents for the page design.
In this example, it’s easy to see how well the stamps and the paper we used complement each other, even though they weren’t specifically designed to coordinate with each other. Each Months of the Year set is easy to integrate into your artwork and includes enough variety to mix well with all our paper collections!
In addition to scrapbook layouts, the Months of the Year stamp sets are also a great tool to use when creating calendar pages! As you can see here, we’ve used these stamps to add decoration to full-size calendars and smaller perpetual calendars as well!
The Months of the Year stamp sets will all be available through the end of 2021, so you can order them at a time that works for you, pick and choose your favorites from the series, or get them regularly as they’re released. No matter when or where you use these stamps, we know you’ll love the beautiful designs and gorgeous artwork you can create with them! Did you have a favorite stamp or an idea of how you’d use the Months of the Year stamp sets? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Let’s celebrate the happy moments from the past several months with a new paper collection!
The vibrant In This Together collection features a delightful paper packet, sticker sheet, and stamp set, all packed with designs, icons, and sayings that pretty much describe exactly what we’ve all been experiencing on the regular over the last year. The bright, happy colors and whimsical designs that make up these products provide a beautiful foundation for the scrapbook layouts and fun cards that are begging to be made from our current circumstances.
To complement the color palette of the patterned papers and sticker sheet, we’ve also put together a coordinating cardstock pack that coordinates perfectly with the shades and hues featured in the rest of the suite.
We love each and every component of the In This Together collection, but there’s even more to love about it when you take a look at the exciting bundle and workshop options available through the In This Together special! With three discounted bundle options, it’s easier than ever to create beautiful artwork with this high-spirited collection!
For a guided approach to crafting with the In This Together collection, check out the In This Together workshop kit. This kit includes the paper, stamp set, embellishments, and a few additional components you need to create three 12″ x 12″ layouts and eight cards!
For a slightly different experience, you can turn to the In This Together album workshop kit, which includes materials and instructions to walk you through the creation of an entire 6″ x 8″ album!
If you want to get the benefit of a curated bundle at a great price but want to express your own creative vision, the In This Together product bundle is another excellent choice, as it includes the majority of the In This Together collection but doesn’t come with pre-designed project instructions.
One way or another, the current pandemic is affecting all of us. We hope that you enjoy crafting and creating beautiful things with the new In This Together collection, and, above all, stay safe and be kind—we’re all in this together! ❤️