10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone

Today’s post is an extra special treat! We’ve asked the talented Chari Pack, founder & CEO of Persnickety Prints, to share with you some tips for taking better photos on your phone. Whether you’re promoting your Close To My Heart business, taking photos for your scrapbooking, or just posting to social media, these tips are sure to take your phone photography to the next level!
10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tips

The way you present yourself, your artwork, and the products you offer has a huge impact on your business. Online sales will increase with improved product images.

Here’s how to get the best shot every time…

1. Natural Light (no flash)

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsWhen shooting with flash, the subject can be blown out and shadows disappear. With product shots, a soft shadow adds depth. Keep your flash off and set products under a window using natural light.

2. Focus (tap screen)

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsOn iPhones (and some Androids), tap the screen to focus on the subject. With the new iPhone 7S, use the portrait mode to blur out the background. With a short focal length, you’ll get that fancy dSLR camera result without the fancy camera.

3. Hold Steady & Level

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tips“Camera shake” can cause your photo to be blurry. Use steady hands or prop up your phone and use the self-timer for best results.

4. Staging (simple & clean)

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsInvest in a white poster board—it’s the perfect solution for a DIY backdrop! Wrapping paper or other fun colors can be added for dimension. Be sure your CTMH projects, cards, and layouts stand out. “Busy” photos tend to get lost in the crowd.

5. Get up close and personal!

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsDon’t be afraid to get up close to show details of the project. Shoot from different angles to focus on specific elements.

6. Pay attention to shadows

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsBe sure the shadow of your hand or camera is not in the frame. When shooting scrapbooking layouts, take the pages or photos out of the Memory Protectors™ and set the pages or photos on top. Your reader won’t notice they’re not inside, but they’ll notice the plastic glare when they are.

7. Use negative space to add text

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsUse the rule of thirds and push the subject to one side, leaving empty space to add a text overlay. We love using Rhonna Designs (iPhone and Android) and Adobe Post (iPhone and Desktop) to add text or a message to your photos.

8. Scale size with objects or pretty hands

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tips

Use objects to show the actual size of your product so the viewer isn’t misled. Well manicured hands holding a product works, too!

9. Keep your phone/camera level

When shooting from above your product, be sure your camera is flat and level. Use the Snapseed App (free on iTunes and Android)  to adjust horizons if needed.

10. Take 1 minute to Edit & Enhance before sharing

Even a quick click of the enhance button in your native camera will give your photo just enough pop! We love Snapseed (free on iTunes and Android) for enhancements.

The Rhonna Designs App is not only great for text overlays: We also use it to journal and design prints for our scrapbooks!

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tips

We can’t wait to see you put these tools into action! Additional photo tips and tricks can be found on the Persnickety Prints blog.

XOXO,

Chari

Thanks, Chari, for the great tips! Let’s show her some love in the comments, folks! 

Also, remember that Persnickety Prints created a discount code for you, our readers! Aren’t they the best? 🙂 Use this discount code to save 20% on your entire Persnickety Prints order: CTMH20

This code expires August 30, cannot be combined with other discount codes, and is limited to one use per customer. 

Now go print those fabulous photos on your phone! 🙂

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In with the New

There’s a new kid in town and it’s quickly becoming a class favorite! One of our newest and most versatile products is actually an upgrade of a beloved staple. We’re talking about our cardstock, of course! To give you even more color flexibility than before, our cardstock is now two-toned! With one side featuring an original color from our exclusive palette and the reverse that same color in a lighter tone, color coordination has never been easier.

color chromatic cardstock #ctmh #closetomyheart #cardstock #twotoned #rainbow #scrapbooking #birthdayTake a close look at this color chromatic rainbow. What appear to be 20 different colors are actually only 10! Achieve this same colorful scaled look by alternating your cardstock from the dark to light hues in each color.

Ombre paper fringe #ctmh #closetomyheart #card #cardmaking #congratulations #graduation #graduate #ombre #chromatic #colorchromatic #monochromatic

Use the two-toned properties of the cardstock to create a trendy ombrè effect, where you have tones of color that gradually shade into each other from light to dark, like the decorative fringe on this card!

Two-toned 3-D flowers #CTMH #closetomyheart #cardstock #twotoned #monochromatic #flowers #canvas #wallartThe monochromatic flowers on our 3-D canvas were made using just three different coordinating colors and their reverse lighter sides. It’s so easy to add depth and dimension to your art with this beautiful cardstock!

Seriously folks, there are reasons why this cardstock is a crafting favorite and must have! Expand your color combinations exponentially and check out all 40 of our exclusive (two-toned!) colors here.


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Happy Birthday Page
B1537 My Acrylix® Birthday Sparkles Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, X5974 Raspberry Cardstock, X5973 Blossom Cardstock, X5972 Tangerine Cardstock, X5971 Lemon Cardstock, X5970 Willow Cardstock, X5969 Emerald Cardstock, X5968 Lagoon Cardstock, X5966 Pansy Cardstock, Z3367 Vellum Paper, Z3365 Gold Foil Paper, Z3318 Thin Cuts—Basic Circles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1″ <Summer> (p. 42)
1″ Shift <Summer> (p. 42, cut 2)
1¼” <Summer> (p. 42, cut 2)
1¼” Shift <Summer> (p. 42, cut 3)
1¾” <Summer> (p. 42)
1¾” Shift <Summer> (p. 42)

4¼” x 5½” ConGRADulations Card
B1564 My Acrylix ConGRADulations Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5979 Juniper Cardstock, X5980 Sweet Leaf Cardstock, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3362 Adventure Ribbon Pack, Z3318 Thin Cuts—Basic Circles, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3225 Waterbrush—Medium Round

Flower Canvas
X5958 Peacock Cardstock, X5968 Lagoon Cardstock, X5978 Glacier Cardstock, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, Canvas

Cricut® Shapes:
Flower Market
½” Background <c> (p. 33, cut 4)
1″ Background <c> (p. 33, cut 2)
1½” Background <c> (p. 33, cut 2)
2″ Background <c> (p. 33, cut 4)
3″ Background <c> (p. 33, cut 2)

Hot off the Press

Our new Annual Inspirations idea book has made its debut and with it so did some pretty remarkable new products! We are bursting at the seams with excitement and can’t wait for you to see why!

Base and Shade Stamp Set #CTMH #closetomyheart #baseandshade #base&shade #birdstamp #cardmaking #bird #branch

Take your stamping up a notch with one of our new base and shade stamp sets! This beautiful Thoughtful Bird, for example, layers three different stamps to create the intricate detail you see here. You can also get this set as a bundle with its coordinating Thin Cuts die, which makes trimming out the bird a cinch. This stamp set is one of many in the idea book that is sure to add flair to any crafting project!

      Thin Cuts - Block Alphabet #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincut #diecut #cuttlebug #alpha #alphabet #blockalphabet #blockalpha #font    Thin Cuts - Block Alphabet #ctmh #closetomyheart #thincut #alphabet #blockletters #letters #font #blockfont #blockalphabet #alpha

You’ve been asking for it and we listened! For the first time ever we have a Thin Cuts alphabet! Die-cut your letters and titles using your favorite papers: patterned paper, cardstock, glitter paper, foil paper, vellum…if it’s paper, cut it out!

Color of the Year #CTMH #Closetomyheart #coloroftheyear #bashful #pink #softpink #girl #papercrafting

And with no further ado, our exclusive new Color of the Year is Bashful! This beautiful soft pink hue will only be available for a limited time, so make sure to get it in all of its forms: dye and pigment stamp pads, re-inker, cardstock, and glitter paper. Keep your eyes open for this trendy color to pop up in some of our other products throughout the year, as well.

Cut Above® The Story Begins #ctmh #closetomyheart #cutabove #scrapbooking #babygirl #thestorybegins #layoutkit #scrapbookingkit #babyalbum #milestones #girlCut Above® The Story Begins #ctmh #closetomyheart #cutabove #scrapbooking #babygirl #hellobaby #layoutkit #scrapbookingkit #babyalbum #milestones

Cut Above® The Story Begins #ctmh #closetomyheart #cutabove #scrapbooking #babyboy #thestorybegins #layoutkit #scrapbookingkit #babyalbum #milestonesCut Above® The Story Begins #ctmh #closetomyheart #cutabove #scrapbooking #babyboy #hellobaby #layoutkit #scrapbookingkit #babyalbum #milestones

We have brand new baby boy and baby girl Cut Above® layout kits! Each of the The Story Begins layout kits give you pre-printed base pages and coordinating die-cut shapes to create 10 two-page layouts to help you preserve all the milestones you’ll want to remember. And if you want to add to this 10-layout album, we’ve got matching Picture My Life™ cards to help you supplement! The arrival of a new baby is the perfect time to start preserving your memories if you haven’t already.

Cricut Collection #youarehere #cricut #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #cardmaking #scrapbooking #travel #journey #outdoors

Going on an adventure? Our new You Are Here Cricut® collection is sure to have everything you need to document your travels! From outdoor escapades and family reunions to spa retreats and holiday outings, you’ll find shapes, fonts, and sentiments for every pit stop along the road of life!

To see what else we have in store for you this year, take a look at our new Annual Inspirations idea book!


Excited to try out a new product? Let us know in the comments below!

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How to Organize Years of Photos Without Getting Overwhelmed

How to organize years of photos without getting overwhelmed #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #photos #organize #digital #persnicketyprints #organization

When it comes to scrapbooking, one of the biggest hold-ups for people is feeling overwhelmed with organizing their photos. If you have years of photos piled up on your computer or photos spread between multiple devices, it can be easy to put off preserving your memories. The longer you wait to organize your photos, the more overwhelming it will become—so now is the time to start!

Because we believe in the importance of memory keeping, we want to help make the task easier, so today we’re going to walk you step-by-step through how to efficiently organize your digital photos for scrapbooking. It’s a process that may take some time, but which will be well worth it when your memories are all in order!

To give you an added incentive for getting started, we’ve teamed up with Persnickety Prints to get you a discount code for printing your photos so you can catch up AND save money! Continue reading for more details. 🙂

Step One: Consolidate Your Digital Photos

Upload all of your digital photos to one location on your computer. We recommend using a photo managing system, like Google Photos or iPhotos, to easily transfer photos from your phone onto your computer. If you haven’t transferred them already, go through the photos on your phone, your camera, and upload them all to this one location.

Step Two: Eliminate Unwanted Photos

Once you have all of your photos in one place, go through and eliminate any that aren’t worth keeping: repeats, photos with a blurry finger covering half the lens, photos of your to-do lists, etc.

Tip: Moving forward, make it a habit to do a Daily Delete—every day, go through the photos on your phone (or camera if you took pictures on it that day) and delete any of these types of photos. It will take you two seconds and save you tons of time down the road. You’ll be able to skip step two entirely in the future!

Another tip: Use the time traveling home from a vacation to do your deleting. That way when you get home, you’ll have already eliminated all the photos from your trip you don’t want to keep. Plus, it’s a fun way to relive those memories again while you’re heading home.

Step Three: Organize Your Digital Photos

In your photo managing system, create folders for each month and year. Then place the corresponding photos in these folders.

Step Four: Back Up Your Digital Photos

Back up all the photos in your photo managing system onto a CD or external hard drive. You can also look into online options, such as iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive.

Step Five: Create To-Print Folders

Once you have organized your photos in your photo managing system, you’re ready to start thinking about scrapbooking them—woohoo! Even though all the photos you have left are photos you have deemed worth keeping, you may not want to scrapbook all of them. A great way to figure out which photos you want to scrapbook is to copy and paste a given folder onto your desktop. Then go through and delete any photos you don’t want to print. You can also edit any of the photos you’re going to print if you want to take that extra step.

Step Six: Upload & Print Photos

Once you’ve gone through all the photos on your desktop folder, you’re ready to print! We recommend creating a table, like the one below, to track each folder’s progress. When you have printed your photos, you can delete the desktop folder you created (remember, you’ve already saved these photos elsewhere!).How to organize years of photos without getting overwhelmed #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #photos #organize #digital #persnicketyprints #organization

Tip: Choose one day every month to do a print run. Some months you may be able to afford printing more photos than other months, but get in the habit of printing your photos on the same day each month.

PHOTO DISCOUNT: Now is a great time to catch up on printing your photos because Persnickety Prints has been kind enough to create a discount code for our readers! Use this discount code to save 20% on your entire order: CTMH20

This code expires August 30, cannot be combined with other discount codes, and is limited to one use per customer.

Step Seven: Organize Printed Photos

How to organize years of photos without getting overwhelmed #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #photos #organize #digital #persnicketyprints #organization

Option 1: Use our large organizers and tabbed dividers to organize your printed photos.

How to organize years of photos without getting overwhelmed #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #photos #organize #digital #persnicketyprints #organization

How to organize years of photos without getting overwhelmed #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #photos #organize #digital #persnicketyprints #organization

You can organize your photos by date, person, event…whatever you want! Think about the album you want to create with the photos, and organize them that way.

How to organize years of photos without getting overwhelmed #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #photos #organize #digital #persnicketyprints #organization

Option 2: Create a work-in-progress album. Use one of our D-ring albums and divided Memory Protectors™ to separate out all the photos you’ll want for an album. You can group like photos together so you know how to plan your layouts.

And that’s it! The next step is to start scrapbooking away! If the idea of scrapbooking itself overwhelms you, a great place to start is with our Workshops Your Way® scrapbooking kits. You can also talk to your Independent Consultant (or find one online!) to help you know where to start.

We hope this post helped you feel empowered to start organizing your photos for scrapbooking. We know that when you take that leap of faith, you’ll find so much joy and satisfaction in preserving your family’s memories and stories.


Have additional tips for organizing and printing your photos for scrapbooking? Share them in the comments below!

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Stamping ABC’s

Here we are, in the middle of Stampaganaza 2017, with more stamping tips and tricks for you to carry up your sleeve and share with your friends! Today we’re giving you the ABC’s of working with alphabet stamps. Most of us have at least one font that is our go to, so go grab it and try the following out! (If you’re looking for a new favorite, check out our new Storybook Alphabet—July Stamp of the Month!)
Counting Sheep #closetomyheart #ctmh #layout #countingsheep #sleeping #alphabetstamp #alphabet #scrapbooking
A is for Alignment
For our first trick, we will tell you to stamp your letters one at a time instead of spelling out entire words on a stamping block. A lot of people do this (and we do too, sometimes!) but we find it easier to pull off crisper and cleaner letters when they are stamped individually. If you’re afraid that your letters won’t line up straight, use a ruler and a pencil to lightly draw a line to act as a guide for where you will be stamping. As for spacing between the letters, just eyeball it! Artists are definitely not perfectionists!
Love Card #closetomyheart #ctmh #cardmaking #lovecard #love #alphabetstamp #stampingB is for Background
Never underestimate the power of a strong backdrop! Alphabet stamps make great backgrounds and can send subtle messages through artwork. Align your letters using the tips we’ve already mentioned, but throw them in the back for a fun and easy way to personalize your crafts.
Gift Tag #closetomyheart #ctmh #tag #alphabet #alphabetstamp #stampingC is for Center (Sorry Cookie Monster, maybe next time)
Our final tip is about centering your words in your artwork without having to pull out a ruler. If you are trying to center a word on a piece of paper, like in our Hello tag above, start stamping from the middle letter of the word. We started with the first L in “HELLO” and then worked our way out from there, playfully staggering the letters slightly up and down.

Remember your ABC’s—they can make a world of difference when you stamp! If you’ve got some alphabet tips of your own that you would like to share, please do so in the comments below!


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Counting Sheep Page
S1707 My Acrylix® Storybook Alphabet—Stamp of the Month, E1034 My Acrylix® Marker Alphabet Stamp Set, B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand Stamp Set, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5752 Juniper Cardstock, X5777 Fern Cardstock, X5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2813 Sea Glass Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2865 Juniper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3273 Baby Boy Complements, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape

4¼” x 5½” Love Card
E1027 My Acrylix® Framework Alphabet Stamp Set, X7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5788 Raspberry Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2865 Juniper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2806 Emerald Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3216 White Twine, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Flower Market
1¾” Background <c> (p. 33)

2¾” x 1¾” Hello Tag
B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand Stamp Set, X7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5777 Fern Cardstock, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3272 Baby Girl Complements, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Glassine Bag

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking Collection
1¾” Photo Mat 1 <AllStar> (p. 83)

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13 Tips to Help You Become an Ink Expert

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

If you’re a stamper, then chances are you are no stranger to the wonders of inky fingers! But no matter how much exposure you’ve had, there are probably some things about working with ink that may still be a mystery to you. Today’s topic is Inks 101, and by the time you’ve read this post, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an ink expert!

1. Not sure which type of ink you should use for a project? Click on this handy infographic to figure it out!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

2. Just like our cardstock, we offer dye and pigment stamp pads in all of our exclusive colors…meaning you’ll always have ink to match your cardstock! Easy color coordination is the name of our game. 🙂

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp3. Our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads have one of the largest surface areas on the market. Plus, they’re super easy to open, thanks to the magnetic case design!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

4. We designed our stamp pads so that the pad is on the lid of the case. This way while your stamp pad is sitting around waiting to be used, the ink is settling on the surface of the pad so you’ll always be able to get a crisp stamped image.

5. Is your stamp pad getting dry? That happens with a lot of use over time. But the good news is that instead of buying a new one, you can buy the coordinating re-inker and use it to replenish your pad. To re-ink a stamp pad, gently squeeze the re-inker evenly over the surface of your stamp pad while moving in a zig-zag pattern, top to bottom. Repeat until your stamp pad is properly saturated again (you won’t even need to use the whole bottle!). Just be sure to give your ink some time to soak in before using the stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

6. Is your stamped image darker than you thought it would be? Don’t worry, that’s normal! Dye inks need a little bit of time to cure, which means that they need to fully dry before they turn the right color. This shouldn’t take too long, but a craft heater can certainly help speed up the process.

7. When using our mini pigment ink stamp pads, dab the stamp pad lightly onto the stamp rather than trying to press the stamp onto the stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

8. Pigment ink sits on the surface of your paper, which is why the colors are more vivid than dye inks. However, this means pigment ink takes longer to dry. Give images stamped with pigment ink time to air dry, or use a craft heater to dry them right away.

9. If you’ve got the painting bug, then you’re going to love painting with our inks! Start by squishing the lid of your closed stamp pad all over. This will transfer some ink from the pad onto the other side of the case where you can pick up the ink using a slightly damp waterbrush or paintbrush, and then paint away!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp10. If you want to create a splattered paint pattern on your artwork, then our spray pen is your friend! Simply fill your spray pen with some water and add a bit of ink from a re-inker bottle, shake, and then spritz onto your artwork. Raise the spray pen higher for a subtler splatter and closer to the paper for a more concentrated splatter. If you want the ink to dry faster, try using rubbing alcohol instead of water.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp11. Our round sponge and sponge daubers can create really cool effects with our inks. With the sponge daubers insert and small organizer, you can store a whole collection of sponge daubers, even labeling them by color so you don’t forget which dauber you used for each stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp12. In addition to our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads, we also offer the VersaMark™ ink pad. Use this ink pad to create watermark images, or add embossing powder over the stamped image, shake off the excess, and heat set for an entirely different look!

13. Coloring in your stamp? Make sure you use the right ink to avoid bleeding! Memento™ is the way to go if you’re using alcohol markers, and Archival Black permanent ink is best with watercolor paints or pencils.


Did we miss anything? 🙂 Ask any questions about our inks in the comments below!

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19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps

It’s STAMPAGANZA TIME!!! What does that mean exactly? Well, for every two stamp sets you purchase during the month of July at full retail price, you get a third stamp set of equal or lesser value for FREE! Basically it’s like Christmas in July, folks!

Since we’ve got stamps on the brain, we thought we’d revive this blog post from last year. It’s a fun way to test your knowledge about our exclusive line of clear stamps.

Think you know everything about our exclusive My Acrylix® stamps? Put your knowledge to the test by reading the list below! 🙂

1. We have French and Spanish stamp sets.

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp

2. If you see a stamp image outlined in red, that means it coordinates with one of the shapes from our Cricut® collections. If it’s outlined in blue, that means it coordinates with one of our Thin Cuts dies.

3. We put A LOT of thought and effort into making the best stamps for our customers. See the entire process in this infographic:

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp

4. After we design each paper packet, we create two coordinating stamp sets, one for scrapbooking and one for cardmaking, to be paired with that specific paper. These two stamp sets can be found in the idea book right behind the coordinating Workshops Your Way™ scrapbooking kits. 

5. Our stamps are made right here at the Home Office, in a top-secret room.

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp

6. It takes about one hour to make one sheet of stamps from start to finish.

7. New stamps work best when you “season” them. To do so, rub the stamp across a stamp pad, and then stamp onto scrap paper until the image is even.

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp

8. Our stamps can be used with all sorts of inks, including dye, pigment, solvent, and alcohol inks.

9. Rather than attaching your stamps to your blocks, try using your blocks to pick up your stamps from a flat surface. This way, the stamp will hold its natural shape.

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp

10. Our My Acrylix® blocks have a small white horizontal line on them to help you with stamp placement, which is especially helpful for keeping words and borders straight.

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp11. Some people cut apart their stamps in order to rearrange words in a sentiment when sticking them to their blocks.

12. Our stamps are flexible! Manipulate them so they fit inside shapes and banners, or just to get a different look!

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp13. If some of your ink doesn’t transfer when stamping, quickly breathe over the stamp to re-moisten the remaining ink and then stamp over the image again. The missing portion usually blends into the existing image if the ink isn’t too dry. This is called the Huffing or Stamp Over Technique.

14. Because our stamps and blocks are clear, you can easily stamp over the image again to get a richer, deeper image.

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp

15. If you’re looking to remove that stubborn pigment ink, try our Spritz Cleaner and Stamp Scrubber. It makes it easy!

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp

16. Our stamps don’t need to tan—they like being transparent, so keep them out of the sun!

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp
17. Our stamps come in handy envelopes, which fit into our My Acrylix® organizer. You can also use our large organizer and tabs to store even more stamps. We also have a mini organizer for those mini stamp envelopes.

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp18. If your stamps ever start to lose their stickiness, all you need to do is rinse them with warm water and soap, and the stickiness will come right back. You can also use StazOn™ cleaner on the smooth side of the stamp.

19. Some stamps make great friends, like our good ol’ friend, Sticky Boy!

19 Things You May Not Know About Our My Acrylix® Stamps! #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #clearstamps #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #stampinghelp #myacrylix #howtostamp

What things did you not know? Tell us in the comments! 🙂

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8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littlegirl #girlsroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

Gallery walls are a great way to infuse a space with colors and patterns. Not only are they a more affordable way to decorate large walls, but they give us the opportunity to showcase multiple pieces of art in one place and to express who we are and what we love!

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littleboy #boysroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

If you’ve never created a gallery wall before or if you’re looking for ways to update your current gallery walls, here are some tips to help you create a meaningful, cohesive gallery:

  • Decide if you want your gallery to be just pictures and photos or if you want to include dimensional pieces, like wooden shapes, wreaths, etc.

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littlegirl #girlsroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall #cricut

  • Choose a favorite photo or piece of artwork as your starting piece, and then add to your wall by finding pieces that coordinate with your first item.
  • Another way to start is to choose one main color to anchor all the pieces in your gallery, and then create a color scheme around this main color.

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littlegirl #girlsroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

  • Rather than searching for the perfect picture frames to coordinate with your artwork, try adding paper to plain picture frames. It’s an easy way to make everything match!
  • Hang your picture frames both horizontally and vertically for variety.
  • Add personal touches to your gallery, like a monogram, scrapbook page, or favorite family quote.

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littleboy #boysroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

  • Use a variety of shapes and dimensions, as well as picture frame sizes, to create a well-balanced look.

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littleboy #boysroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

  • Lay out your gallery on the floor before hanging it on the wall. You’ll easily be able to move around pieces until you get the look you want, and then you can take a photo to reference when hanging the gallery up on the wall. Want to be even more precise? Trace the pieces of your gallery on scrap paper, cut them out, and hang them on the wall to see how they look before attaching the actual pieces.

And maybe most of all, make sure you have fun! Gallery walls are a great way to get in touch with your creative side. Now go get crafty! 🙂


Recipes

“Xander” Gallery Wall
X7222B Jack Paper Packet, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3294 Memo Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, 1388 Colonial White Cardstock, X5927 Ruby Cardstock, X7222C Jack Complements, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Sewing Machine, Thread, Frames, Wooden Arrow, Letter Form

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
2 1/2″ <font> “XANDER”

Floral Hanger Gallery Wall
Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals Paper Packet, X7220B No Worries Paper Packet, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals Paper Packet, X5777 Fern Cardstock, 1282 New England Ivy Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5772 Canary Cardstock, X5763 Smoothie Cardstock, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3295 My Crush® Artistic You Pages, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, Frames, Letter Form, Ikea Hanger

Cricut® Shapes:
Flower Market
4 1/2″, 4″, 3 1/2″, and 3″ Shift+Icon <J> (p. 27)
1″ Shift <Hibiscus> (p. 30)
2″ <Rose> (p. 42)*
3 1/2″, 2″, and 1 1/2″ <Poppy> (p. 45)*
3 1/2″, 2″, and 1 1/2″ Shift <Poppy> (p. 45)*
1 1/2″ <Daisy> (cut 2, p. 46)*
1 1/2″ Shift <Daisy> (cut 2, p. 46)*

*Real Dial Size off

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Feeling Cornered by Chronology?

Do you suffer from acute chronological scrapbook syndrome? You’re not alone.

Thousands like you have been printing photos and storing them away in shoeboxes for decades, assuring themselves that one day they’ll feel more motivated to scrapbook everything in the perfect order.

Full of good intentions, but dreading the task of organizing every photo, victims of this syndrome often find their passion tainted by a nagging voice that tells them they must start at the beginning (wherever that is) or not start at all.

It’s time to silence that voice and get back to doing what we love!

It may seem revolutionary, but scrapbooks don’t have to be done in chronological order. Remember that these memories are your stories, so you get to tell them however you wish. The only way you’re doing it “wrong” is if the method you’ve chosen feels like a task rather than a delight.

Free yourself and your creativity by trying these organizational methods of scrapbooking instead:

Life Milestones

Milestones happen at every stage of life. Create an album that showcases a variety of milestones from the lives of each family member. Pick a certain milestone and focus on that, or gather a bunch on one layout. You can include things like graduations, church ceremonies, losing teeth, getting married, the first day of a new job, or learning to walk. This is a fun way to show your family’s progress over time.

Classic Family Memories

Ideas for organizing your scrapbook albums #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapping #scrapbooking #familymemories #familyfun #family #cruiseHave a favorite memory that everyone in the family loves to talk about? Get it on paper. When your family comes over for Sunday dinner and starts to reminisce, write down the extra details they add to your story. Better yet, ask them to write their own version of the family memory. Include everyone’s version of the story as journaling on your layout. Even if you have no idea where the photos of that specific memory are, just start taking the first steps. You’ll find the photos in that notorious shoebox soon enough.

Someone You Love

Pick a person who’s important to you and create an album that’s all about them. The photos can come from any time or event. The important part is simply that they get remembered. This album will become something they will cherish for always.

Color Schemes

This artsy method is more wild and crazy, but definitely a lot of fun—and excellent for a creative boost! Choose photos and papers based on the similarity of their color schemes and then put them all on one page. Find out how fun it can be to see a collection of unrelated memories on one layout!

Random Reminiscing

Reach into that pile of photos and pull out a few. Scrapbook them any way you wish, whether that’s together on one page or each on their own layout. As you finish each layout, simply place them in your album in any order at all. This method is a lot of fun to look through afterward because you’ll always be surprised by which memory pops up next.

Purposeful Prompts

Ideas for organizing your scrapbook albums #ctmh #closetomyheart #readinglayout #scrapping #scrapbooking #readingscrapbook #readingType a list of prompts (e.g. your favorite words, themes, questions you think your posterity will ask about you), trim them into strips, and place them in a jar. Draw a new one every time you sit down to scrapbook. Whatever kind of information that prompt inspires you to document, do it!

It’s the Little Things

In addition to the big events of life, be sure to also emphasize the daily things that make you and your family who you are. Stepping outside of big events will paint a more realistic picture of your life as well as add some variety to your albums.

Likes & Dislikes

Focus on a person’s likes or dislikes, not worrying about their age or location at the time you took the photos. An overarching theme like this really helps to reveal who a person is in just a layout or two.

Favorite Activities

Ideas for organizing your scrapbook albums #scrapping #scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart #hikescrapbook

What activity does your family love to do? Find pictures of yourselves doing that activity across any number of years and group them together. Say you like to vacation together; make a layout just for vacations. They don’t even have to be from the same trip—just get the theme put into one place.

How do you feel now? Empowered? Liberated? Excited? The only thing to make this moment sweeter would be for us to remind you that the albums you’ll need to keep your long-awaited layouts safe in are available at a great deal this month. Take advantage of our We’ve Got You Covered! campaign, where you buy one album and get a second at 50%-off, to get your gorgeous, non-chronological layouts archived and on display. You only have a few days left to take advantage of this promotion. Your memories have waited a long time for this; now let them shine!


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Disney Cruise Layout
E1034 My Acrylix® Marker Alphabet Stamp Set, A1182 My Acrylix® Etched Alphabet Stamp SetD1660 My Acrylix® Ink Blot Stamp SetZ3263 Uptown Fundamentals Paper PacketX7220B No Worries Paper PacketX7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet1385 White Daisy Cardstock1386 Black Cardstock, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ3309 Snapshot ComplementsZ3264 Good Life ComplementsZ3314 Black & White DotsZ1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling PenZ1151 3-D Foam Tape, Sewing Machine

12″ x 12″ Love to Read Layout
D1702 My Acrylix® Capture This Stamp Set, X7220B No Worries Paper Packet, X7222B Jack Paper Packet, Z2873 Slate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3308 My Girl Complements, Z3309 Snapshot Complements, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Sewing Machine

12″ x 12″ Hiking Layout
A1182 My Acrylix® Etched Alphabet Stamp Set, D1702 My Acrylix® Capture This Stamp SetX7222B Jack Paper PacketZ3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper PacketZ3262 Rustic Home Fundamentals Paper Packet, 1384 Colonial White Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy CardstockZ2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ3266 School 7-12 Complements, Z3314 Black & White DotsZ1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling PenZ1151 3-D Foam Tape, Note: Title cut 1½” using System font in Cricut Craft Room®.

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