Easy Ways to Dress Up Halloween Treats!

Halloween Treat Dress-up #ctmh #closetomyheart #cmthspooktacular #halloween #treats #tags #treattag #giftbox #treatbox #giftbag #treatbag #trickortreat

Halloween is creeping up on us, and if you’re not ready for it, things could get scary fast! If you still have a few treats to prepare, perhaps for your friends, coworkers, or those special kiddos in your life, we have three quick and easy ways to help you dress them up!

Let’s begin with tags.

Halloween Treat Dress-up #ctmh #closetomyheart #cmthspooktacular #halloween #treats #tags #treattag #giftbox #treatbox #giftbag #treatbag #trickortreat

Large tags are an easy way to turn a treat into something even more special. This spooktacular 3″ x 4″ tag is one of six tags featured in our Spooktacular Halloween workshop. These simple but adorable tags come together with just a few pieces of paper, a little bit of stamping, and some markers. For complete step-by-step instructions, click here to view the Spooktacular Workshop Guide (no purchase necessary 🙂 ).

Some of us are a bit busier than others and want something that comes together even more quickly than a handcrafted tag. How does a ready-made container from one of our incredible Cricut® collections sound?

treat-box

Boo-tiful little treat boxes, like this one, take minutes to cut, assemble, and embellish. If you’re looking for that handcrafted experience—for yourself and the recipient of the treat—then the Artiste collection is a great place to get started. (Visit Accessing All 13 Close To My Heart Cricut® Collections for information on how to gain access to this and other great shapes.)

This last treat dress-up we have to share with you is intended for those extra-special treats that you enjoy giving out. How many of you have special little trick-or-treaters that either start their evening or end their night with a knock at your door? It’s pretty common to make something with a little bit more love for these special little ones.

Whatever it is you’re giving-out as a treat, a decorated paper giftbag can usually carry it.

treat-bag-with-lid

If you want to keep the treat concealed to add to the element of surprise, let us show you how to make a removable lid for a paper bag of any size.

First, determine the size of giftbag your treat(s) will require. Decorate the front of your bag as much as you like, but keep in mind that the top 2″ will be covered by the lid.

To make the lid….

  1. Measure the size of the bag’s base. The bag pictured here has a 5¼” x 3″ base.
  2. Using a piece of paper that is large enough, measure and cut a rectangle that is 3″ wider and 3″ longer than the base of your bag. For our bag, we cut an 8¼” x 6″ piece.
  3. With a bonefolder, score your paper 1½” from the edges. Use the following image as a guide:giftbag-lid-step-3
  4. Insert your paper vertically into your paper trimmer, and cut along the score lines, leaving about ¾” uncut in all inside corners.giftbag-lid-step-4
  5. Fold along the score lines to create the lid shape and glue the corners.giftbag-lid-step-5agiftbag-lid-step-5b
  6. Once your lid is assembled, add any embellishments that you’d like! We kept it simple and added nothing more than a zip strip along the bottom. When you’re done, fill your giftbag and slide the lid on.giftbag-lid-step-6

Celebrate Halloween, and any other treat-worthy occasion, in style! Don’t settle for simple treats when you can make them Fa-BOO-lous! 😉


Recipes:

3″ x 4″ Pirate Bunny Tag
CC10191 Frightful Friends Stamp + Thin Cuts, CC10192 Spooktacular Paper Packet, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2480 Orange TriBlend™ Marker, Z2492 Purple TriBlend™ Marker, Z3516 Black Journaling Pen (.03), Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting Machine, Hole Punch

3¼” x 4¼” x 1¾” Treat Box
CC10190 My Acrylix® Frightful Friends Stamp Set, D1875 My Acrylix® Fa-BOO-lous Halloween Stamp Set, CC10192 Spooktacular Paper Packet, X6047 Black Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3568 Black Velvet Ribbon, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z2068 White Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artiste
#M3CBB9

Gift Bag Lid
CC10191 Frightful Friends Stamp + Thin Cuts, CC10194 Spooktacular Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6031 Green Apple Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6513 Green Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z4213 Silver Embellishing Thread, Z2483 Light Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z3561 Black Diamond Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Die-cutting Machine, Gift Bag

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TriBlend™ Markers with a Printable Chart

TriBlend Markers #ctmh #closetomyheart #triblendmarkers #colorblending #ctmhspooktacular #halloween #scrapbooking #cardmaking

One of our favorite new products from our Core Products Catalog are the TriBlend™ markers. Inside every marker is a perfect gradation of colors, from light to dark, delivered through three separate fine bullet nibs. The alcohol-based ink is designed to blend seamlessly for mixing and layering colors. What’s not to love?

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #marker

We put these trusty markers to work with our Spooktacular collection and just love the results! Take a look!

TriBlend Markers #ctmh #closetomyheart #triblendmarkers #colorblending #ctmhspooktacular #halloween #scrapbooking #cardmaking

Can you spot all the different ways markers were used in this page?

Let’s start with the title.

TriBlend Markers #ctmh #closetomyheart #triblendmarkers #colorblending #ctmhspooktacular #halloween #scrapbooking #cardmaking

Using all three shades of the Purple TriBlend™ Marker we triple blended on a White Daisy cardstock Cricut® cut title. The pieces were colored first and then attached to the page.

To avoid getting ink on your hands as you apply color, we recommend you begin at the top of a piece and work your way down. Start with the top color, then add the second, slightly overlapping with the first, and then apply the third color, slightly overlapping with the second.

To achieve a more blended and seamless look, apply the layered portions of the ink while they are still wet. Let the ink sit for a few minutes after coloring to give it a chance to move and blend together. If you allow the ink to set before layering for a blend, or if you apply more ink in the layered parts, there will be visible lines between the shades of color. If this lined look is what you’re hoping to achieve, allow your ink to dry before layering.

While we’re looking at the title, did you notice the orange glitter gems?

TriBlend Markers #ctmh #closetomyheart #triblendmarkers #colorblending #ctmhspooktacular #halloween #scrapbooking #cardmaking

If you’re in need of gems that match your artwork, look no further! Color the top of Silver Glitter Gems with any TriBlend™ marker to customize them to your needs.

Let’s move down the page now, to our spooky cat and dog friends.

You can see that the vampire cat was blended, and the dog was simply outlined. Knowing how to apply even just a small amount of color can make a big difference.

Let’s take a quick look at this “happy Halloween” card.

TriBlend Markers #ctmh #closetomyheart #triblendmarkers #colorblending #ctmhspooktacular #halloween #scrapbooking #cardmaking #frightfulfriends

This cute witchy owl was colored with two of the three shades of the Purple TriBlend™ Marker. His broom, made up of just a few lines, was colored with the Tan TriBlend™ Marker. All three shades of the purple marker were used to create a striped background.

Get creative as you color your art, and experiment with the different shades each of the TriBlend™ markers has to offer.

To help you do that, we’ve put together the following color reference chart:

TriBlend Markers #ctmh #closetomyheart #triblendmarkers #colorblending #ctmhspooktacular #halloween #scrapbooking #cardmaking

Download and print a free blank chart, here (here for AU/NZ), and add the three shades of each available marker color to its corresponding rectangle. You’ll notice that the Black marker does not have shade options, but we’ve added it to the list in order to have all the color options available for reference in one place.

**Make your chart last longer by printing it on cardstock rather than regular printer paper, and keep it handy as you’re making color and shade choices for your artwork. **

We love creating with our new TriBlend™ markers, and hope you do, too!


Recipes:

12″ x 12″ Happy Halloween Page
CC10191 Frightful Friends Stamp + Thin Cuts, CC10192 Spooktacular Paper Packet, X9007 Mix-in Paper Packet, X6047 Black Cardstock, X5954 Pewter Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4191 Silver Glitter Gems, Z2474 Ice Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2492 Purple TriBlend™ Marker, Z2480 Orange TriBlend™ Marker, Z2498 True Black Marker, Z3516 Black Journaling Pen (.03), Z3513 Pewter Journaling Pen (.03), Cricut® Complete Creativity Collection, Die-cutting Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Complete Creativity
#MEE76591

3″ x 4″ Happy Halloween Card
CC10191 Frightful Friends Stamp + Thin Cuts, CC10192 Spooktacular Paper Packet, X9007 Mix-in Paper Packet, X5954 Pewter Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2482 Citrus TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2474 Ice Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2492 Purple TriBlend™ Marker, Z2477 Tan TriBlend™ Marker, Z4181 Stitched Circle Thin Cuts, Die-cutting Machine

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From Melissa Esplin: Intro to Penmanship

Today’s blog post comes from our friend and calligraphy expert, Melissa Esplin! Melissa has been teaching calligraphy for nearly a decade and is a recognized industry expert. In today’s post, Melissa will tell you all about our new collaborative how-to program: Penmanship with Melissa Esplin!

Melissa-Esplin-book-7

Hey friends! It’s Melissa Esplin, from MelissaEsplin.com and Calligraphy.org. I’m so excited for the launch of my new collaboration program with Close To My Heart! As an introduction, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself: I am a calligrapher and artist, and I’ve been teaching calligraphy since 2010. I love empowering people with the ability to write beautifully, all while embracing the nuances that make their penmanship unique.

Penmanship-with-Melissa-Esplin-2

The Penmanship with Melissa Esplin program is meant to get you excited about hand lettering and to help you build confidence in your own penmanship. No matter what it looks like, your penmanship is a beautiful and unique part of who you are, and far too many people are afraid to use their own handwriting in projects. This program provides exercises and instruction to help you get more comfortable with your own penmanship, and to educate you on how to use your own handwriting in specific projects. With instruction in both upper and lowercase print as well as upper and lowercase cursive, the Penmanship with Melissa Esplin program helps you learn not only how to embrace your own unique handwriting, but also when to use specific lettering styles to complement each project.

penmanship-practice

This program doesn’t follow traditional penmanship methods. It isn’t conventional calligraphy either. By pulling bits and pieces from various methodologies, the program will guide you in increasing legibility, gracefulness, and consistency of your work, all while staying true to your own penmanship style. You’ll also learn more about the construction of each letter, which helps you to be aware of your personal preferences as you continue to develop your own style.

In addition to the how-to book, I’ve been working with Close To My Heart on a variety of materials to help support your own creativity! We have designed 4 stamp sets for journaling, scrapbooking, and cardmaking.

Joy-by-Melissa-Esplin

While they are intended for traditional stamping, they can also be used as a great way to get more practice in. The sentiments can be stamped with a light pigment ink on practice paper and then traced using tracing paper. No matter how you use these stamps, I know you’re going to love them!

Sentiments-by-Melissa-Esplin

We also have a set of multicolor small brush pens to accompany the Penmanship with Melissa Esplin how-to book. Each color in this set is designed to work well with the exclusive Close To My Heart color palette, and the tips are constructed to support both thin, light strokes, and strong, thick ones.

Mulitcolor-Small-Brush-Pen-Set

The ink in these pens is water soluble and can be blended and mixed to create new colors as well. The Multicolor Small Brush Pen Set comes with 7 colors and 3 black pens.

I’m thrilled to have partnered with Close To My Heart to help inspire you to record your stories with confidence. Happy lettering, friends!

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National Stamping Month: Using Small Stamps in BIG Places

Small Stamps in BIG Places #ctmh #closetomyheart #nsmseasonsofjoy #nationalstampingmonth #Christmas #Thanksgiving #stamping #papercrafting #cardmaking #scrapbooking

As part of our National Stamping Month celebration, we have two exclusive stamp sets that are only available through the end of the month, the My Acrylix® A Dash of Joy and My Acrylix® Giving Thanks. Both have over 30 individual stamps each. They are super cute, on trend, and just right for the upcoming fall and Christmas seasons. You may have noticed that most of the individual stamps within each set are also really small.

To get us all thinking outside of a one-inch square that most of these loveable little icons and sentiments were designed to fit into, we have a few simple ideas that showcase just how versatile a small stamp can be by also effectively being used in much bigger spaces.

First, let’s talk about backgrounds. This one seems to be a pretty common idea that we tend to easily forget. Take a look at how we used our small stamps to create the following three pieces of artwork:

Small Stamps in BIG Places #ctmh #closetomyheart #nsmseasonsofjoy #nationalstampingmonth #Christmas #Thanksgiving #stamping #papercrafting #cardmaking #scrapbooking

On this Christmas page, we created subtle tone-on-tone patterns on the photo mats and all three colors of the background cardstock. (In this example, we paired the Mink stamp pad with French Vanilla cardstock, the Peach stamp pad with Peach cardstock, the Pewter stamp pad with Pewter cardstock, and the Green Apple stamp pad with Green Apple cardstock.)

Small Stamps in BIG Places #ctmh #closetomyheart #nsmseasonsofjoy #nationalstampingmonth #Christmas #Thanksgiving #stamping #papercrafting #cardmaking #scrapbooking

On this So Thankful page we wanted to create a partial background. You can do this with sentiments, like we did here, or with clusters of small icons down the center, off-center, down one side of the page, or even just in a corner.

Small Stamps in BIG Places #ctmh #closetomyheart #nsmseasonsofjoy #nationalstampingmonth #Christmas #Thanksgiving #stamping #papercrafting #cardmaking #scrapbooking

This card is an example of how to use small sentiments to create a full background. Turn the sentiment at an angle and stamp it over and over again until your background is completely covered. The trick is to start by stamping partially off your base to achieve the cutoff look.

Another way to use small icons in large spaces is in borders.

Small Stamps in BIG Places #ctmh #closetomyheart #nsmseasonsofjoy #nationalstampingmonth #Christmas #Thanksgiving #stamping #papercrafting #cardmaking #scrapbooking

Combining three of the leaf stamps from the Giving Thanks set with two green stamp pads we were able to create this beautiful fall scene for the memories on this page.

This last idea, one of our favorites that really gets you thinking outside the norm, is to create your own shapes out of smaller ones.

Small Stamps in BIG Places #ctmh #closetomyheart #nsmseasonsofjoy #nationalstampingmonth #Christmas #Thanksgiving #stamping #papercrafting #cardmaking #scrapbooking

The gorgeous wreath on this page was created using several of the small stamps from the A Dash of Joy set and nothing else.

Small Stamps in BIG Places #ctmh #closetomyheart #nsmseasonsofjoy #nationalstampingmonth #Christmas #Thanksgiving #stamping #papercrafting #cardmaking #scrapbooking

We kept it simple by making a circle to illustrate the idea, but the truth is you can create many other shapes and designs using small stamps—a tree, a snowman, a pumpkin, a star, a house—whatever you dare try.

With the right combination of stamps and inks, the possibilities are endless.

Small Stamps in BIG Places #ctmh #closetomyheart #nsmseasonsofjoy #nationalstampingmonth #Christmas #Thanksgiving #stamping #papercrafting #cardmaking #scrapbooking

We really do love these little sentiments and icons and want everyone to have a chance to create with them, too. In the next 24 hours, we will be giving away 5 Share the Seasons Stamp Set Bundles, which include one My Acrylix® A Dash of Joy stamp set and one My Acrylix® Giving Thanks stamp set. If you want to be entered in the drawing, make sure you are subscribed to this blog and leave us a comment below sharing with us how you use small stamps in big ways. Winners will be chosen by 1 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 18, MST) and will be notified via email, so keep your eyes on your inboxes friends!

Can’t wait to hear from you!

***THIS DRAWING IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED! ❤ *** 

 


Recipes:

12″ x 12″ Dash of Cheer Page
CC9191 My Acrylix® A Dash of Joy Stamp Set, X6047 Black Cardstock, X6038 Candy Apple Cardstock, X6030 Evergreen Cardstock, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X6031 Green Apple Cardstock, X6044 Peach Cardstock, X5954 Pewter Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3513 Green Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2825 Mink Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2832 Pewter Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3563 Diamond Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z3554 Pink Taffeta Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z3562 Silver Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z2068 White Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3516 Black Journaling Pen (.01)

12″ x 12″ So Thankful Page
CC9192 My Acrylix® Giving Thanks Stamp Set, X6047 Black Cardstock, X5953 Charcoal Cardstock, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X6033 Paprika Cardstock, X9007 Min-in Paper Packet, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2825 Mink Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6515 Paprika Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2832 Pewter Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z8000 Black Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z2088 Clear Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z3516 Black Journaling Pen (.01)

4¼” x 5½” Grateful for You Card (Horizontal)
CC9192 My Acrylix® Giving Thanks Stamp Set, X6047 Black Cardstock, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5950 Toffee Cardstock, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z4242 Watercolor Pencils, Z3224 Small Round Waterbrush, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots

6″ x 8″ Grateful Page
CC9192 My Acrylix® Giving Thanks Stamp Set, X5949 Almond Cardstock, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z3569 Sangria Ribbon, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3516 Black Journaling Pen (.01)

12″ x 12″ Merry Christmas Page
CC9191 My Acrylix® A Dash of Joy Stamp Set, X6047 Black Cardstock, X6038 Candy Apple Cardstock, X5978 Glacier Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6512 Evergreen Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2853 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z3568 Black Velvet Ribbon, Z3557 Cool Mint Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z2068 White Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3226 Medium Flat Waterbrush, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, 1772 Glue Dots® Ultra-thin Dots, Z3516 Black Journaling Pen (.1)

 

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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! ❤


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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Back to the Basics with Cricut Design Space™—Attach v. Slice

Hello, friends! This week, we’re going to take a closer look at the Attach tool in Cricut Design Space™ and how it relates to other tools on the app. This feature is a fairly basic one, but once you get comfortable with it, you’ll be able to increase your creative possibilities ten-fold! We’ve covered certain aspects of  Attach in a previous post, which showed many of the awesome features the Attach tool has to offer. In this post, we will focus more on Attach versus Slice. These tools have a lot of similarities and, while they’re both great, there are some differences between them; having this knowledge will help you decide which tool is right for you and your project.

Cricut Design Space™ Basics #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhcrafton #cricut #designspace #attach #slice #backtothebasics #yourockcard #llamacard #diy #cardmaking

In our example card above, we kept it simple by attaching a single elongated hexagon shape, pulled from the Cricut® Artistry collection. This collection has a wide variety of options to lend a bit of polish to each project. Be sure to check it out to boost your creativity!

As you follow along with this post, please keep in mind that the steps below show you how to use Design Space on a laptop or a desktop computer. If you are using the Design Space app on a mobile device, the tools and buttons will be in slightly different places on your screen. Most of these basic features are available on any device.

Attach v. Slice

As we mentioned in our earlier post, the Attach tool not only allows you to cut text or shapes, but it allows you to position them yourself. To save space in each cut, Design Space may automatically shuffle your cuts to use as little paper as possible. This is commonly seen when using the Slice tool.

While this is a handy feature in some instances, there are going to be times where you’ll want to keep your cut aligned the same way you laid it out on your Design Space canvas. By using Attach, your cut won’t be altered or shuffled around on the paper.

Another great feature of the Attach tool is the single cut. When you use the Slice tool, it will often cut your shape multiple times. This not only uses up more paper, but it may also mess up your project with unnecessary cuts. There are some projects where you may want multiple cuts of the same shape, but for instances where only one cut is necessary, Attach is a much simpler way to get the single cut you want.

Cricut Design Space™ Basics #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhcrafton #cricut #designspace #attach #slice #backtothebasics #yourockcard #llamacard #diy #cardmakingCricut Design Space™ Basics #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhcrafton #cricut #designspace #attach #slice #backtothebasics #yourockcard #llamacard #diy #cardmaking

In these examples, you can see the single cut of the Attach tool in the photo on the top, and the multiple cuts made by using the Slice tool in the photo on the bottom.

Using Attach

 Once you’re familiar with how Attach works and how it relates to other features in Design Space, you’re ready to start using it yourself. The Attach tool is located at the bottom of the Layers panel, next to the Slice and Weld tools.

Cricut Design Space™ Basics #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhcrafton #cricut #designspace #attach #slice #backtothebasics #yourockcard #llamacard #diy #cardmaking

To use this tool, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got all the shapes and other components of your project displayed on your Design Space canvas. It’s a lot easier to use Attach if you’ve already inserted all the shapes and text you want to use.

Once you have all your project pieces in place, you’ll need to group the pieces that you want to attach. You can do this by clicking, holding, and dragging your mouse over the pieces you want to group. You’ll see a grey box appear behind your cursor when you do so. The pieces you intend to group should be inside this box.

Cricut Design Space™ Basics #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhcrafton #cricut #designspace #attach #slice #backtothebasics #yourockcard #llamacard #diy #cardmaking

When you let the mouse go, right-click your mouse in the same spot and select the “Group” option from your right-click menu. To make sure that you’ve grouped your images, click on one of the images and try moving it around on your Design Space canvas. If the images you wanted to group move together, you’ve got your group!

Once your images are grouped, use the Attach tool to cut your shapes or text. You won’t be able to move the attached shape as long as it’s still attached and grouped, but it will still cut when you click “Make It.”

If you want to change the placement of your text or shape, or if you even want to scrap that part of your project and use a different shape instead, you can Detach your shape to be able to move or alter various parts of your project. To Detach your shapes, go back to the same place where you found the Attach button. It should say Detach if you have any shapes that are grouped and attached. By clicking this button, you will basically undo the Attach action.

Cricut Design Space™ Basics #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhcrafton #cricut #designspace #attach #slice #backtothebasics #yourockcard #llamacard #diy #cardmaking

Put It Together

Follow the steps below to recreate the adorable llama card we showed you today!

1) Search for image #M369896 and insert it on your Design Space canvas. Unlock and resize it to 4″ x 5.25″ (W x H).

Tip: All measurements in this post are W x H.

2) Search for image #M41340E from the [insert collection name here] and insert it on your canvas. Leaving the image locked, resize the height to 2.75″.

3) Ungroup shape #M41340E and hide the overlay cut, leaving the solid background.

4) Position shape #M4130E over your 4″ x 5.25″ rectangle and group the images together.

5) Select Attach from the tools at the bottom of the Layers panel and click “Make It” to cut your new card overlay.

6) Cut this card overlay out of Carolina stripe patterned paper from the Craft On Paper Packet.

7) Cut a 4″ x 1″ rectangle out of Bluebird cardstock and draw a border around the edges with a journaling pen.

8) Using the My Acrylix® Wild & Punny Stamp + Thin Cuts set, stamp and cut a llama on White Daisy cardstock with Intense Black ink.

Tip: Whenever you are using watercolor pencils or a waterbrush over a stamped image or sentiment, make sure you allow the ink to dry fully.

9) Color your llama as shown with watercolor pencils and a small round waterbrush and set it to the side.

10) Carefully position the Carolina stripe card overlay over a plain White Daisy card base and attach it using an adhesive runner. Do the same with your prepared Bluebird cardstock rectangle, as shown.

11) Using the My Acrylix® Wild & Punny stamp set, stamp “Llama just say you ROCK!” with Intense Black Ink in the center of the card overlay cutout. Paint a color swash over the sentiment and color in “ROCK” with watercolor pencils and a small round waterbrush.

12) Attach your llama to the card using thin 3-D foam tape, as shown.

13) Embellish with sequins and white ribbon.

Whether you’re making an awesome card or a gorgeous scrapbook layout, the Attach feature is a great way to tailor your project to your creative vision. What have you created using Attach? Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment below to spread the word!


Recipe:

4¼” x 5½” Llama Just Say You Rock Card (Vertical)
Z4082 My Acrylix® Wild & Punny Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7245B Craft On Paper Packet, X5987 Bluebird Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4196 White Ribbon, Z4059 Crafty Loose Sequins, Z4242 Watercolor Pencils, Z3224 Small Round Waterbrush, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3298 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shapes
Artistry
2.75″ #M41340E
4″ x 5.25″ #M369896

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10 Simple Composition Rules to Take Better Photos

Photo Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping

Do you want to be a better memory keeper but  struggle with taking “good” photos? If your answer is yes, then today’s message is for you! Photography is both an art form and a skill. As a form of self-expression, sometimes we’re not quite sure how to express what we really want to—at least not in a pretty way. Luckily, the skill part of capturing a great photo can be taught! Today we are reviewing a few basic rules of photography composition so that you can capture all of those picture-perfect moments life throws your way in photos you will be proud to scrapbook!

1. The Rule of ThirdsPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ruleofthirdsPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ruleofthirds

The Rule of Thirds is a fairly standard rule most photographers try to follow. Imagine that your shot has a 3 x 3 grid over it, then line up the main focus of your photograph at one of the intersection points on the grid. In these photos, the photographer has applied the Rule of Thirds by placing the cat’s nose and the people’s heads in the right-middle square of this imaginary grid. This way, the main focus of the photo isn’t dead center in the middle of the shot, which helps to visually expand the space.

2. Leading LinesPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #leadinglinesPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #leadinglines2

When you line up your shot, you may want to look for a leading line. Leading lines are visual lines that lead to the main subject of an image. Leading lines can extend through your photo and create depth. In these examples, you can see how the photographer used the pathway and trail to direct attention from the edges of the photographs to their main subject.

3. Natural FramingPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #naturalframingPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ruleofthirds

Framing doesn’t have to be something that happens only after your pictures have been developed or printed. Finding a natural frame and positioning your subject inside it is a great way to draw the shot together and add a more professional feel to your photography. Here, you can see how the woman’s hands and the wall provide a frame for the most important parts of the photos.

4. PerspectivePhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #perspectivePhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #perspective

Photography is largely about perspective. Slight changes in perspective can make or break a photo. If you aren’t happy with the way your photo is looking, try switching up your position to alter the perspective of the shot. Whether you shoot your photo from above or below, as you can see in these examples, switching up your angle to get a different perspective can help you take your photography to all new heights.

5. ExposurePhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #exposurePhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #exposure

Exposure is a vital part of any photograph. If a photo is over-exposed, everything will be washed out in bright light, making the subject nearly invisible. On the other hand, if a photo is under-exposed, everything in your shot will appear shadowy and dark. By finding a good balance, you can highlight your subject while preserving the beauty of your background. For this tip, we’ve provided an example of bad exposure with excess light to show you what you don’t want to happen. We’ve also provided a good example with a balance of light and shadow. Finding this balance may take some practice, but it’s definitely worth it to add greater polish to your photos.

6. Check Your Background!Photo Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #backgroundPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #background

From telephone poles, wires, and cars, to animals, and stealthy photobombers, nothing is more distracting than something you don’t want in the background of your photo. Since many cameras nowadays allow us to look back at our shots instantly, it’s easier than ever to deal with this, but it’s always a good idea to double and triple-check the background of each photo to make sure you haven’t accidentally captured a distraction.

7. Symmetry and PatternsPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #symmetry #patternsPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #symmetry #patterns

Most people have a thing for symmetry and patterns. Sometimes, we can’t quite put our finger on why we prefer certain photos to others, but chances are, symmetry and patterns (or the lack thereof) have something to do with it. Even if we aren’t aware of it consciously, we still notice. If you’re able to find a pattern or some beautiful symmetry in your shot, take advantage of it! In these shots, the photographer utilized the symmetry in the architecture of the cathedral and the natural pattern created by the flowering trees to appeal to that sub-conscious love of regularity we all share.

8. ForegroundPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #foregroundPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #foreground

When you have a clear subject in your photograph, it may seem counterintuitive to focus on anything but that subject in your photo. However, if you are able to create some interest in the foreground of your shot, you’ll be able to create the illusion of additional depth. In these examples, the cup of coffee and the look-out binoculars serve as additional interest points, which also create depth in both photos.

9. TrianglesPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #trianglesPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #triangles

This “rule” is related to the patterns and symmetry guideline. If you look closely, you can find triangles in nearly everything you see. If you can integrate triangles into the background, foreground, or leading lines of your photo, it will instantly enhance the quality of your photo. These triangles don’t necessarily need to be overt or obvious. Basically, you just need to be able to draw a triangle using points in the photograph. Whether the triangles are created by an architectural element or by people’s arms, they will add greatly to the aesthetic value of your photos.

10. Rules Are Made to Be Broken!

Once you have a good grasp of the first nine photography rules we just shared, you will be ready to explore your creativity and learn when and how to break them. If you want to achieve an effect that follows one rule while breaking another, go for it! Don’t be afraid to branch out and experiment on your own terms to find your niche.

Do you guys have any tricks or techniques that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!

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Creating a Scrapbook Album in No Time Using the 3-2-1 Formula

Speedy Scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcrafton #speedyscrapbooking #scrapbook #321technique #minialbum #everydaylife

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to scrapbook that stack of photos that you keep meaning to get to, then you’ve come to the right place! We are going to be making 10 6″ x 8″ two-page layouts using a super speedy scrapbooking technique known as the 3-2-1 Formula.

As the name implies, this is a formulaic project. That means that you will follow a simple formula to cut all of your patterned paper and then assemble your layouts. As you will see, you will continue to have a lot of creative freedom to add your own flair to each of your pages. No two albums will look the same, unless you make them that way intentionally.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5 sheets of patterned paper* (in a variety of coordinating patterns)
  • 4 cardstock sheets* in coordinating colors (coordinate with your patterned paper)
  • 10 White Daisy cardstock sheets*
  • Coordinating embellishments

*For those of you not familiar with Close To My Heart products, all of our cardstock and patterned papers come in a 12″ x 12″ format, and that is what we will be using to make this project.

Step 1: Creating Base Pages. The very first thing we cut are your base pages from the White Daisy cardstock. From 10 sheets, you should be able to get 20 6″ x 8″ pieces.

Step 2: Cutting Patterned Paper. Before measuring and cutting anything, trim all the zip strips from each of the patterned paper sheets. The zip strip is the extra ½” accent paper along the top of each Close To My Heart patterned paper sheet. Cut each of these in half and set them aside. Next, cut the remaining 12″ x 12″ paper in half, to 6″ x 12″. Here’s where the 3-2-1 comes into play. Cut these two half sheets of patterned paper into strips of 3″ x 6″, 2″ x 6″, and 1″ x 6″.

Speedy Scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcrafton #speedyscrapbooking #scrapbook #321technique #minialbum #everydaylife

(Half of this example paper is showing what the pattern is on the back side of this sheet. Each one of our patterned papers has a double-sided coordinating design, for additional creative flexibility.)

Step 3: Creating Photo Mats from Cardstock. For a more polished look, we like to add photo mats behind most, if not all, of our photos. That is what we will be making with the 4 sheets of coordinating cardstock.

Cut each cardstock sheet into 6 6″ x 4″ rectangles. You should have a total of 24 when you are done. If you’d like to have a few 3″ x 4″ mats, simply cut these in half. Please note that the photos you will be mounting on these mats will have to be trimmed down a ¼” in both height and width to fit.

Step 4: Putting It All Together. You’re going to need a bit of space for this, so make sure to clear your table or a place on your living room rug or somewhere else you can keep your project safe. We are going to lay out all 20 White Daisy cardstock base pages. Next, let’s distribute the strips of patterned paper and cardstock mats. Each page should get one 4″ x 6″ photo mat, or two 3″ x 4″ mats, and one strip of each size, 3″, 2″, and 1″. If you’d like for the pages that will be facing each other in your album to match, keep that in mind as you distribute your papers. Lastly, decide how you want to attach these pieces to your pages and get to it! Move the components around until you are happy with your pages. Experiment with different arrangements and consider whether you want 3″ x 4″ or 4″ x 6″ photo mats on the layouts, or a combination of both.

Step 5: Embellish! Using coordinating embellishments add your finishing touches!

Here’s an album that we came up with using this method:

Speedy Scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcrafton #speedyscrapbooking #scrapbook #321technique #minialbum #everydaylife #scrapbookingworkshop

(Click on the individual images to enlarge.)

If you like our finished album and would like to recreate it using our same papers and embellishments, we’ve put together the Craft On Everyday Life™ Album Workshop Kit to help you do just that. If you don’t, that’s okay, too! The beauty of the 3-2-1 technique is that it can be applied using any coordinating papers you like!

Your pages and layouts can look very differently depending on how you choose to mix and match the various components on your pages. Have fun creating pages using the combinations that you love and that best suit your photos and memories!

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Making a Connected Story

Our most interesting and compelling stories often involve some kind of connection, where what we have experienced is compared and contrasted with another person, place, or time. This type of story is what our storytelling and memory keeping friend, Stacy Julian, calls a Connected Story.

When a grandmother’s love of theater manifests in her grandson’s ability to light up the stage or a young girl’s delight in animals stems from her grandpa’s life work as a veterinarian, you have the makings of a connected story.

Connected Stories don’t have to be about significant generational influence or interests steeped in tradition. The best stories stem from your own experience and celebrate simple things, like the love of watermelon, hiking, jigsaw puzzles or violin music. When we back up and look at the past through the lens of one particular thing, it will reveal unique aspects of our lives, things we certainly want to document in our scrapbooks!

Learn more about the Connected Story process from Stacy Julian herself as she shares one of her personal favorites, below:

When you’re scrapbooking, how often do you find yourself running out of room because you have more photos and words than easily fit in one or two 12″ × 12″ pages? In short, you have more story to tell!

Stacy scrapbooked her watermelon Connected Story in a stack of multiple styles and sizes of Memory Protectors™. The result invites us on a journey where details unfold as we turn each page of the story.

Making an Extended Story #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacyxctmh #storyteller #storytelling #scrapbooking #extendedstory #connectedstory #watermelon #stacyjulianMaking an Extended Story #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacyxctmh #storyteller #storytelling #scrapbooking #extendedstory #connectedstory #watermelon #stacyjulianMaking an Extended Story #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacyxctmh #storyteller #storytelling #scrapbooking #extendedstory #connectedstory #watermelon #stacyjulianMaking an Extended Story #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacyxctmh #storyteller #storytelling #scrapbooking #extendedstory #connectedstory #watermelon #stacyjulianMaking an Extended Story #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacyxctmh #storyteller #storytelling #scrapbooking #extendedstory #connectedstory #watermelon #stacyjulian

The idea is to design a multi-layer layout, starting with a 12″ × 12″ base, that coordinates visually so that you can document a bigger experience or theme. This takes a little bit of planning, but the great thing is that no two layouts of this sort have to be arranged the same. The number of layers and styles of protectors will depend on the story you have to tell.

For additional storytelling tools and examples of this kind, make sure to check out our Story by Stacy™ how-to book, Storyteller.

Remember, the most compelling stories come from your own experience of ordinary life—from the things with which you already have an emotional connection. When you recount something that’s happened to you, you’ll recall not just the events but also the feelings associated with them. Those feelings and sensory details color your stories and bring them to life so they can be experienced again and again—retold by the people you love and the people who will someday want to know you.

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