We’ve added Distress Oxide™ inkpads to our ink line-up not too long ago, and today we’ve got a few ideas to show you on how to use them!
Hopefully you’ve all had a chance to experiment with these fun reactive inks and, in the process, discovered a few techniques and ideas of your very own. If you haven’t, we are here to help! Regardless of where you are in your Distress Oxide™ journey, follow along as our Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, dives into five gorgeous techniques below!
Watercolor Wash Load your watercolor paper with water, to the point where it is sitting on top of the paper and not fully absorbing. Spread the Distress Oxide™ ink colors that you wish to use for your background onto your all-purpose mat. With a waterbrush, pick up the colors, one at a time, and add it to the sitting water on the watercolor paper. The colors will blend and bleed into one another.
An Ombré Effect with One Ink Pad With just one Distress Oxide ink pad, create and ombré effect by applying the ink with different amounts of pressure (more for a darker tone, and less for a lighter tone). Blend these tones seamlessly with a mini ink blending tool.
Tone-on-Tone Stenciling Apply the background Distress Oxide™ ink colors and blend them into each other with a mini ink blending tool. Lay a stencil on top and add a second layer of color through the stencil. Apply more pressure, and more ink, for the stenciled image to appear darker and to achieve a more dramatic effect.
What are some fun ways you are using your Distress Oxide™ inks? Let’s share ideas in the comments below!
If you haven’t perused the new Close To My Heart Core Products Catalog, you are missing out on some pretty amazing crafting tools! A few of our newest additions really shake things up in the world of shaker windows—Have a look!
Use these top-of-the-line thin metal dies to cut the window, frame, and confetti for a shaker window, then pair them with their coordinating foam and acetate to complete the dimensional design.
Another of our new sets of dies is a beautiful Window Thin Cuts set that allows you to create a decorative window scene. When you pair these dies with the Square Shaker Window Foam + Acetate (also new!), you can fill it with loose sequins or some of our bitty beads to create the full “shaker” effect.
A fun tip that we want to share with you today is how simple it is to create an actual see-through window using your shaker window Thin Cuts.
To create a see-through window, you will need to cut a shape on your card base that is smaller than the coordinating overlay and acetate, otherwise your window will just fall through the hole on your project. (You will also need two frames and two pieces of acetate, one for each side.)
If you look at the circle, star, or heart shaker window Thin Cuts sets, you will notice that these each come with dies that cut confetti. These dies are intentionally designed in the shape of their corresponding sets.
If you use the larger of the two confetti-cutting dies to cut the window on your card base, the overlaying acetate and frame will fit perfectly on top to seal any shaking elements in place!
Once your window is cut on the card base, attach an acetate sheet to the back and frame it with a die-cut overlay.
Flip the card back over to the front and add the 3-D foam around the perimeter of your window. Use this 3-D foam as a wall to hold any confetti, loose sequins, or bitty beads you wish to add, and then attach the second piece of acetate and frame. And done! That’s how easy it is to build a see-through shaker window!
Have you discovered any products in our Core Products catalog that you just love? How have you been using those? Let us know in the comments below!
We love our Close To My Heart creative family, and we love being able to offer you the best deals on the best crafting materials on the market! Today, we’re going to give you an in-depth look at an exciting new way to maximize your savings with Close To My Heart and rack up rewards each time you purchase items you love!
With our new VIP Customer Program, you can sign up for an annual fee of just $35 USD*, and you get an immediate sign-up bonus of $15 in VIP Credit. VIP Credit can be redeemed for a wide selection of Close To My Heart products, including paper packets, cardstock, specialty paper, stamps, Thin Cuts, embellishments, ink pads, and so much more! To sweeten the deal, if you sign up before the end of the year (that’s December 31, 2020) your sign-up bonus credit will not be $15, but $25! That’s an additional $10 just because!
Every time you make a purchase as a VIP customer, you’ll earn 15% of the retail amount of your order back in VIP credit. With these benefits, you’ll be rewarded each time you place an order with your Close To My Heart Maker! Your VIP Credits do not have an expiration date, so you can use them whenever you want! You can spend them right away or save them up for larger purchases. You won’t believe how quickly your rewards can add up and how much you can save!
Our VIP customers will also gain access to exclusive products and Facebook events throughout the year just for members of this awesome program! Our first exclusive event will take place in February 2021, and all our VIP customers who sign up before December 31 will be eligible to participate! At these VIP events, crafting experts from the Close To My Heart Home Office will showcase beautiful, exclusive artwork and demonstrate how to create each piece in step-by-step instructional workshops that you can’t view anywhere else!
Along with the numerous opportunities to earn VIP Credit, get exclusive products, and participate in private virtual events and workshops with other VIPs, this program also gives you the chance to get a Stamp of the Month set FREE with a qualifying order! For every month where you place an order of $50 USD* or more, you qualify to get the current Stamp of the Month set—typically retailing for $18.95—at no extra cost to you!
On top of all these amazing perks, you’ll get $25 USD* in VIP Credit when you sign up before December 31, 2020! That’s an extra $10, just for signing up before the end of the year! Enjoy your increased sign-up perks and participate in our inaugural offer!
With so many benefits of signing up as a VIP Customer, it’s no wonder that thousands have already taken the opportunity to sign up! We encourage you to reach out to your Close To My Heart Maker or visit the VIP Customer page on the Close To My Heart website to sign up for the VIP Customer Program today, and watch your rewards accumulate!
*All monetary values are reflected in USD. If you live outside the United States, please contact your Close To My Heart Maker for prices specific to your market.
October is here, which means it’s time to get our spook on! Today, we are sparing you the tricks and are sharing with you all of the treats from our new Got Candy? collection! We also have a sneak peek into the goodies in store for our upcoming live virtual crafting event later this month!
Our Got Candy? event will take place on October 21 and 22 on the Close To My Heart (Official) Facebook page. Spend time crafting with us, get to know our product, or simply stop by to get inspired! This event is open and FREE for anyone to watch! An instruction guide for all of the project we are making will be posted on our Facebook page one day before the event, so you can follow along with our Home Office experts as they create these projects live. We’ll also be doing some exciting giveaways, so be sure to mark yourself as “Going” on the event page to be eligible to win!
Purchase the whole collection as a bundle and save 20%! This handy bundle of hauntingly charming products will be used to create all of the projects at our Got Candy? virtual eventlater this month.
On the first day of our two-day crafting extravaganza, we’ll be making a wide variety of goodie bags! To add yet another treat to this awesome day, Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi’s 9-year-old daughter, Maya, will be joining us as a guest crafter! Maya loves crafting and is excited to share this experience with all our event participants!
These fun treat toppers and holders are incredibly simple to put together and make a perfect project for kids and adults alike. Get everyone in on the fun and follow along with Maya as she shows you how to put these too-cute treat toppers and totes together!
Tiny treat bags aren’t the only goodies in store for our Got Candy? Facebook event. On the second day, we’ll be making some delightfully spooky scrapbook layouts. With three two-page layouts and one single page, you’ll be able to document your best Halloween memories with hauntingly beautiful style!
From fun nights of trick or treating to an unforgettable Halloween bash, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a way to preserve all those great moments. Got Candy? is the answer to your Halloween memory keeping needs, and we know you’ll love creating these layouts along with us!
These pages are easy to make, and once they come together, they look AMAZING! It doesn’t matter if you’ve been crafting for years, or if this is your first foray into memory keeping—anyone can follow along and create these beautiful layouts! With simple cutting guides for beginners and a few more advanced elements to interest veteran scrappers, our Got Candy? event projects have something for everyone!
We can’t wait for you to join us on October 21 and 22 for the Got Candy? virtual crafting event! Remember, you need to mark yourself as “Going” on the Close To My Heart (Official) Facebook page at least 48 hours before we go live on the 21st in order to be eligible for the event giveaways. Can’t wait to see you all there!
We are continuing our National Stamping Month celebrations today by using our innovative, animated stamp sets in scrapbook layouts!
Before we show you those, we hope some of you joined us over the weekend when we went live on our Facebook page in celebration of National Stamping Day! We had a great time spending the day crafting together, making animated cards specially designed for the free event, as well as sharing stamping techniques from our very own stamping experts!
Each of the techniques in the charts below were demonstrated on camera using the exclusive National Stamping Day stamp set, You Brighten My Day, for you to follow along and add them to your personal stamping arsenal!
If you missed the live party, you are in luck! Watch the free replay by clicking on the link, here. Learn more about Close To My Heart, spend some time crafting with us, and pick up a few techniques along the way—all at your own speed!
Now, how about those scrapbook layouts we promised?!
Similarly, in this second 6″ x 6″ layout, we paired the Bright Stack papers with the Animated Butterfly Kisses stamp set. We created a sense of cohesiveness throughout the layout by making our animated window a square to match the square photos on the opposite page, used the same patterned paper for the borders along the window and the photos, and printed the photos in black and white to match the black and white animation.
You’ll notice that both of these layouts were photographed outside of their Memory Protectors™. If you want to access the animation, or other interactive elements, of the pages without pulling them out of their protectors every time, you will need to have a plan before you assemble them.
One approach for access to the interactive parts is to attach these pieces to the outside of the Memory Protectors™. It’s fairly simple. If you’d prefer to keep everything tucked inside the protectors, however, there are a couple of other options.
Another way for access to the moving parts of an animated page, is the use of a craft knife. With your page in the protector, figure out where you would need to pull the tab from. Make two small marks on the protector where the top and the bottom of the slit will be, and remove your page. Then, put a few pieces of scratch cardstock under where these two marks will connect. Using a ruler, connect the marks with the craft knife to cut the slit. Remove the scratch cardstock and put your page back inside the protector, now with a slit. Pull the tab through the slit and have it rest on the outside of the protector, with the rest of the interactive element still inside. When you’re ready to animate the window or pull a journaling tab, then pull the tab through the slit.
This last idea comes from one of our viewers of our National Stamping Day! She used our Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™ and combined both of our ideas. She attached the interactive elements to the outside of the page while keeping them safely tucked inside a small attachable pocket-size protector!
We are purposefully showing you these stamp sets used in 6″ x 6″ layouts, not because you can’t create something amazing and fun in a larger format, but because we have some new 6″ x 6″ album options that we didn’t get to mention in our last post, A Look Inside the New Annual Core Catalog!
New to the Everyday Life™ line is this gorgeous Scarlet 6″ x 6″ album, featuring an o-ring closure and a soft, faux-leather cover. Also new this year, available for the first time as individual items, are the bright and beautiful Story by Stacy™ 6″ x 6″ albums!
We hope you are enjoying your September and really taking advantage of all the craftiness we have to offer now and through the end of the month! We’d love to hear what you’re up to in your craft rooms, so please leave us a message below!
For a lot of us, September marks the beginning of one of the busier times of the year. The “-ber” months. With the start of a new and unique school year, followed by the most celebrated family centered seasonal time, including fall festivities, then Thanksgiving, and eventually Hanukah and Christmas, during which we try to cram as much jubilee as possible into our already busy lives—we all have so much going on, and it may feel like there is just no time to dedicate to preserving all of these fond, albeit sometimes somewhat hectic, memories.
What if we told you that scrapbooking can be fast, simple, and easy! It is a perfect time to discover, or rediscover, the simplicity of scrapbooking in pockets! By using Memory Protectors™ with multiple pockets, you can quickly catch up on your scrapbooking or just add photos, art, and journaling (and any other keepsake that you can fit into a pocket) to your albums.
From how to tell a story to the creating of the artwork that goes along with it, pocket scrapbooking is a memory keeping style all its own. If you are new to this style of scrapbooking or are simply looking for inspiration for your pages, we’ve compiled a list of artwork tips and ideas for you below!
Pocket Scrapbooking Tips & Ideas:
1. Fill no more than half your pockets on a page with non-photo elements.
2. Stick to a color palette, pulling color ideas from your photos.
3. Use Picture My Life™ pocket cards (designed to coordinate with each other in theme and color).
4. Design and make your own pocket cards from papers, Thin Cuts, stickers, and stamps. (This is a great way to use up some of your scraps, too!)
5. Fill pockets with other things, besides cards or photos (ticket stubs, loose Cricut® shapes, sequins, etc.). Tip: We sealed the sequins pocket you see in our example so the sequins wouldn’t fall out.
6. Make a statement and split large titles or photos into multiple squares. Tip: Consider printing a large 6 x 8 photo and split it up into several pockets!
7. Use the negative space of a Cricut® shape to create a pocket card. If the space is large enough, back it with a light color cardstock and use the space for journaling. If you are cutting several small shapes (like our 2019 below), back it with cardstock or any other paper that will add interest to your layout.
8. Add a sentiment to your photos by stamping directly on them Tip: If your photo has any sort of finish on them, we recommend you use StazOn™ ink. If it is a truly matte photo, Archival Black is a good choice.
9. Don’t want to stamp on your photos but want a similar effect? Stamp directly onto the pocket Memory Protector™ with StazOn™ ink, instead.
10. Add embellishments to the outside of the Memory Protectors™.
11. Use Flip Flaps™! If you have too many photos or things that you want to work into a page but not enough pockets (or enough to fill whole other page) add these stick on pockets that flip up (or in any direction that you attach them) to reveal whatever is underneath!
12. Similarly, if you have too many photos for a traditional scrapbook layout, and don’t want to create another layout with all of the remaining photos, use pocket pages to display these.
13. If you have a piece of memorabilia to display that is too small for a pocket, mount it onto a piece of paper that will fit.
14. Create a window to the next page in your album by partially filling a pocket (use a smaller photo, half a pocket card, etc.).
15. Number your photos to give your page or layout a more narrative direction. Take this a step further by adding numbered journaling to a pocket card that corresponds with the numbered photos.
16. Create color visual triangles. This means to purposefully place the same color in three different places that, when connected, form a triangle.
17. Don’t have time, or care for, writing in full paragraphs? Use bullet journaling to keep track of the details of a memory!
18. If one of your pockets is holding a card that you want to remember to pull out when you revisit the page, add a tab along the edge of the card on the open side of the pocket.
19. Easily add some visual interest to your photos by trimming them down ¼” and mounting them on a piece of paper that fits the pockets exactly, creating a border around your photos.
20. Sometimes things don’t fit in pockets—like notes, journal pages, your grandma’s favorite clock—take photos of these things to include them in your stories.
21. We said 20, so this one is a bonus: plan ahead. If you know you will be going on a tropical vacation, or camping, or pumpkin picking—there are activities that you know for certain you will be participating in (playing on the beach, sitting around a camp fire, walking through a pumpkin patch, etc.). When you are scrapbooking with pockets, it’s easy to lay out some pages really quickly for these types of events without having the photos yet. Once you have them, add them. If you don’t like the way it’s laid out, rearrange! Easy-peasy!
If you just went through our list and still find yourself at a loss for how to begin, or otherwise feel that your finished pocket layouts didn’t turn out quite right, try revisiting one of our previous posts, 5 Approaches to Pocket Scrapbooking, where we share additional ideas to get you thinking about how to create a pocket page or layout, and to get you up to speed on this popular style of scrapbooking.
Whether you’re cutting things up, attaching them to a pocket card, or creating a pocket for a group of items—there is no wrong way to tell your story. In the comments below, share with all of us how you are using pocket scrapbooking in your memory keeping.
Karen talks about how to color your stamped images, and also shares some tips for using Stickles™ glitter glue. (If you’d like to duplicate our card exactly, we used Silver and Christmas Red Stickles™ glitter glue, and Dull Green, Earth Brown, Light Yellow, Pale Pink, and Fair Skin TriBlend™ markers.)
The first thing Karen will show us in the video below, is how to recreate the beautiful sky background of this card using a simple sponging technique. For this step, you will need a blank card base, Carolina and Bluebird stamp pads, a round sponge and scissors, sticky notes, and several cut-out cloud shapes. (We made our clouds using Cricut® shape #M412A0C, from our Artistry Cricut® collection.)
If you’re all set (and even if you’re not and just want to watch a video for some inspiration) here’s our friend Karen recreating the Love You Gnome Matter What card:
As any avid scrapper knows, crafting can be a great way to learn more about yourself and embrace all the things that make you special. Sharing this opportunity for self-discovery with the kids in your life is a great way to show them how much you care about them, while also introducing them to the joys of paper crafting and scrapbooking!
We’re excited to announce a new series of virtual events, specifically geared toward a younger audience. Introducing…CTMH Kids Crafts! These special virtual events will be hosted by Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi’s nine-year-old daughter, Maya. Kids will love crafting along with Maya as she shows them how to create fun, personalized projects, just for them!
During our first CTMH Kids Crafts event, Maya will take kids through each step of creating the fun Born to Shine album! With an adorable 4″ x 4″ mini album from the Story by Stacy™ collection and some too-cute Picture My Life™ pocket cards from the Summer Vibes collection, the Born to Shine album is a perfect starting point for any kid to begin their crafting journey!
This first CTMH Kids Crafts event is taking place on August 21, starting at 4:30 p.m. (MDT). If you are planning to create along with Maya, you will need a Born to Shine album kit, which comes with one 4″ x 4″ mini album, one pack of Summer Vibes Picture My Life™ pocket cards, 4″ x 4″ sheets of white cardstock, the exclusive My Acrylix® Born to Shine stamp set, and a 2″ x 3½” ¼” stamping block. Apart from this handy kit, all that you or your kids will need to complete the project are a paper trimmer, an ink pad, some adhesive, and a journaling pen!
This project can be a great way to introduce kids to stamping and crafting, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to introduce them to the art of memory keeping, as they’ll get to select their own photos and decide what stories they want to tell.
The Born to Shine album is simple and fun to create, with some minimal cutting. Since paper trimmers or scissors will be involved, we recommend that any child who participates be supervised by an adult. (Each page in the Born to Shine album is made from trimmed down pocket cards and 4″ x 4″ cardstock.)
Every one of the layouts in this album your kiddos will make with Maya include fun, positive sentiments from the stamp set specially designed to celebrate their best qualities. At Close To My Heart, we want every kid to realize that they are special, and we’re so excited to help them embrace the things that make them great!
Just a few days ago, Maya and Monica went live on Facebook and they eagerly shared more about this brand-new series of events and the Born to Shine album. Take a look!
The CTMH Kids Crafts: Born to Shine virtual event is free to attend (watch), and as Maya says, this project is great for “every kind of kid!” Even if your kids aren’t little anymore, you can still share this event with grandkids, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, or any other kid in your life! To make things even more exciting, we’ll be doing some fun giveaways during the live event, with tons of opportunities to win! In order to be eligible to win any of these prizes, make sure to mark yourself as “GOING” on the Close To My Heart (Official) Facebook events page. We can’t wait for you and your kiddos to join us for our inaugural CTMH Kids Crafts event and the many more to come!
As you likely know, I’m in LOVE with the idea of stacking memory protectors to create the room you need to incorporate MORE photos and MORE story into (on top of really) a foundation 12″ x 12″ layout. This approach is something I call Extended Story and the Close To My Heart Storyteller products make it so EASY!
But, did you know you don’t have to start from scratch with all these layers every time?
Using an already completed layout from one of your albums, you can simply add to it! That is precisely what I’m challenging you to do today!
The Extend-a-Story Challenge
I created this layout many moons ago to document everyday fun with my little boys. I adore the simplicity of a grid design and the colorful stickers still make me happy, but there is no journaling and so much more to say!
As I flipped through my albums, I chose this page as my foundation. In the midst of this crazy pandemic, I am realizing how important it is to create FUN at home with the people you love most. I will now be able to add a fun sister to this mix of brothers and bring this story up to date!
And, I’m excited to write from my current perspective—I even have an EXTRA FUN element that I want to add to my story AND share with you. A page about FUN should be FUN to discover—right?
1. Select a 12″ x 12″ page or layout from the past. Look for a topic or theme that you can build on with more experiences and detail from your current perspective.
3. Select pattern papers that coordinate with colors on your original layout—and remember, close is good enough! NOTE: I am particularly proud that I was able to use the new Happiest Place papers on this layout that is not about an amusement park, but FUN at home!
4. Think about an aspect of your topic that is different today (or one that is still the same) and design a new 8½” x 11″ or 6″ x 6″ page to highlight it. I like to ask myself questions like: When did we start doing this thing? or Who else is important to this topic? What are some specific examples or details that someone outside our family would not know? What has changed about how we do this thing today?
5. You now have plenty of room to journal, so if you didn’t have journaling—or not enough journaling—on your original page, you can add it now! Decide where and how to include these extra words.
6. Imagine how you want someone to experience this story—how do you want to introduce it? Pretend you’re building an open-face story sandwich—where the original 12″ x 12″ layout is the bread. Now, how will you stack the lunch meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato?
How My New Updated Extended Story Stacks Up!
First layer, 6″ x 6″ (front & back):
Second layer, 8½” x 11″ (front & back):
Third layer, 3″ x 4″ pockets (front & back):
Fourth layer, 4″ x 6″ pockets (front & back):
Final layer or foundation, 12″ x 12″ (original) + 12″ x 12″ (bonus)
All these layers create a very cool and FUN extended story!
In my process video above you saw how I incorporated FUN emoji journaling in two places of my story. Feel free to borrow this emoji alphabet and the key to cracking it for your own using!
If you would like to add a secret emoji code to a page, or card, click here to download a printable PDF. If you download this PDF, you’ll be able to either screen shot the code breaker, or print the PDF and cut it out to tuck behind a photo to be discovered and used later!
IF you made it this far, you deserve a FUN 🎟🌈🍪🍓🎟 (that’s written in secret code of course!). May I suggest some FUN Storyteller products from Close To My Heart?! 😀
This is my daughter, Addie, cracking the secret emoji code.
As I was typing my journaling, I used the insert feature in my word processor and then scrolled down to Emojis &Symbols menu. From here you can select or search for the emoji you need and insert it into your document.
Be sure to print a copy of theemoji code breaker to tuck behind a photo or somewhere else in your pages. This creates a FUN and interactive way to send a special message and have more FUN!
I can’t wait to SEE what you do with this challenge. Be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #storybystacy ❤️