A handmade, heartfelt card can brighten anyone’s day no matter the occasion (or lack thereof 😉) and we’ve got three for you today, all made from the same pattern!
Making its original debut in our Laughing Lola Workshops on the Go® cardmaking guide years ago, we paired this timeless pattern with several different paper designs and stamp sets to create multiple unique cards, each with their own distinct look and flair!
For our last card, we paired the flat pattern with the Candid Moments paper packet and Cardmaking stamp and Thin Cuts to create an “any occasion,” “any time,” card that will still dazzle its recipient. This card uses the same flat pattern as the previous two, we just changed it up a bit by rotated it 90 degrees!
With most card patterns, it’s possible to get an entirely different look simply by rotating them. When you throw different paper designs and color palettes in the mix, the possibilities for creativity increase exponentially!
Cards made from this Laughing Lola pattern are incredibly easy to put together, come together quickly, and still look great! Not only is this card pattern easy to put together and customize, but it’s also a great pattern to use if you’re looking to make a lot of cards in one sitting.
For even more timeless cardmaking patterns, check out our cardmaking how-to book, Make It from Your Heart™ volume 4. If you love the free patterns on the blog, you’re sure to be blown away by the beautiful, one-of-a-kind, patterns in this book!
Whether it’s the tropical beach vacation of your dreams or a mini staycation, we all need a little getaway every once-in-a-while, even at Christmastime. With our newest Deck the Palms collection, we have cards and scrapbook layouts for you to create an island paradise of your own during your very next crafting session!
We have not one but TWO exclusive scrapbooking Deck the Palms workshops to share with you! Like a lot of our scrapbooking workshops, both workshops make one single page and three two-page coordinating 12″ x 12″ scrapbook layouts. The difference between them is that one is in a general tropical theme and the other is a tropical Christmas theme. The uniqueness about these workshops is that the pages between them are almost identical in design, only differing in which side of the pattern paper and embellishments you use. (Even the instruction guide is the same! Download the scrapbooking workshop guide, here.)
(Both sticker sheets have glossy UV-coated accents!)
All of these embellishments are available on their own or as part of their corresponding scrapbooking workshop, except for the tropical sticker sheet. This sticker sheet is only available for purchase with the Deck the Palms Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet. The paper packet patterned papers are also part of both Deck the Palms scrapbooking workshops. If you are not familiar with Close To My Heart pattern papers, they are each 12″ x 12″ plus an additional ½” accent paper along the top of each (we call those “zip strips”), and they all have double-sided designs, meaning there’s one design on one side and a different design on the reverse side of each sheet of patterned paper.
Our Deck the Palms Paper Packet is no different! One side of the pattern papers are tropical themed, and the reverse are tropical Christmas themed with beautiful accent zip strips, providing even more patterns to craft with!
Also part of this collection, and included in part in all three workshop kits, is the specially designed coordinating Deck the Palms cardstock. Each sheet has one of our exclusive colors in its usual cardstock texture on one side and on the reverse side we’ve added gorgeous UV-coated patterns to fit the collection’s theme! (Stock up on these fast because they will not last long!)
The things we’re grateful for—relationships, homes, lifestyle comforts, financial success, etc.—may not grow on trees, but in today’s post they will! We’re going to walk you through the steps of creating your very own gratitude tree!
To get you started, we’re providing a FREE Cricut Design Space™ file for the shapes of the tree trunk and leaves! These tree shapes come from a variety of our Cricut® collections, including Art Philosophy, Artbooking, Flower Shop, and more! !
Once you’ve downloaded our free file or have selected Cricut® shapes or metal dies of your own, select a variety of colored cardstock to cut your leaves. For our tree, we chose to incorporate vibrant autumnal colors, but color choice is completely up to you! Just make sure to select shades that will allow your journaling to show. (As a reminder, all Close To My Heart colored cardstock is two-toned, so you can use a single color and still end up with two shades!)
After your leaves and trunk are cut, it’s time to create your base page and attach the trunk. We kept our base page simple with a denim patterned paper from our Textures Paper Packet, featured in the 2021–2022 Core Products Catalog. We also decided to add a little more dimension to our tree trunk by cutting two trunk layers and positioning them slightly off set from each other. For even more artistic fun, we chose to use a wood grain patterned paper from our Wood Grains Paper Packet for our top layer and a solid Mocha cardstock layer on the bottom. (Attaching your top layer with thin 3-D foam tape can be another great way to bring dimension to your tree!)
When your base is ready, put it in a 12″ x 12″ frame and set it in high traffic area of your home. Place the cut, leaves along with a few colorful pens and adhesive, in a handy bowl. Allow everyone who passes by to write something they are grateful for on a leaf and have them attach it to the tree! Another way to use this project is to bring it to your Thanksgiving Day table for a fun family activity! Pass the leaves around the table and invite your guests to write what they are grateful for. When everyone’s finished, collect all the leaves, and watch your gratitude tree spring to life as you share the thoughtful contributions of your loved ones!
For our tree, we used 3-D foam tape, thin 3-D foam tape, and a glue pen to attach the leaves to the base tree, resulting in a nice variation in dimension from leaf to leaf. Once you’ve attached all the gratitude leaves to the tree branches, you can use any extras to create a small leaf pile at the base of your tree trunk, helping to fill out your page and give it a little extra flair. One of the best parts about this project is that it’s sized to fit inside a standard size scrapbook album! Add a bit of journaling to bring some context to the project, dress it up with a few embellishments, and you’re ready to put it into your scrapbook to cherish for years to come!
Recollections of days, meals, and even gifts may fade over time, but creating a lasting memory of gratitude and family is a sure-fire way to make this year’s Thanksgiving holiday unforgettable! Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Tell us about it in the comments, below!
A couple of times on this blog we’ve shown you how to make the pages of an entire 6″ x 8″ album using the 3-2-1 paper strips formula. We don’t always have the time to design elaborate pages to keep up with all our photos and, as fellow scrappers, we get that! With this super speedy technique, you can create 10 two-page layouts in as little as two hours!
Since publishing these posts for the 6″ x 8″ pages, we have received several requests to adapt this formula for 12″ x 12″ pages—and we did!
The formula for the 12″ x 12″ pages isn’t as clean as “1-2-3,” so we don’t have as catchy a name for the bigger pages. For today, we’re simply referring to this technique as paper piecing, or paper strips, scrapping.
As we’ve implied, what we’re doing today is providing a simple formula for cutting your patterned papers and assembling 12″ x 12″ layouts. Even with this formula, you will continue to have a lot of creative freedom to add your own personal flair to each of your pages. No two layouts will look the same, unless you make them that way intentionally!
Here’s what you’ll need to make three 12″ x 12″ two-page layouts. (Make as many multiples of three as you’d like, this is just a starting point!)
6 sheets of patterned paper, 2 each of 3 designs (preferably in a variety of coordinating patterns)
Step 1: Base Pages. To keep things simple, we’ve suggested using White Daisy cardstock as the base pages for all the layouts using this formulaic technique. Once you’re familiar with the technique, or if you’re feeling confident from the get-go, switch up the color to make your pages even that much more unique!
Step 2: Cutting Patterned Paper. Before measuring and cutting anything, trim all the zip strips from each of the patterned paper sheets and set them aside. The zip strip is the extra ½” accent paper along the top of each Close To My Heart patterned paper sheet. Next, cut the remaining 12″ x 12″ paper into 5″, 3″, 1½”, and ½” strips. (There will be a 2″ strip leftover that we will not be using for these layouts.)
Step 3: Creating Photo Mats from Cardstock. For a more polished look, we like to add photo mats behind most, if not all, our photos. That is what we will be making with the 3 sheets of coordinating cardstock, using one sheet per layout**.
Cut each cardstock sheet into three 6¼” x 4½” and two 4¼” x 3¼” rectangles. The photos that you will be mounting on these mats will be three 4″ x 6″ and two 3″ x 4″.
**When we made our 6″ x 8″ albums, we cut the cardstock into 6″ x 4″ rectangles and then trimmed the photos down ¼” in both height and width to make them work. If you prefer, you can cut your cardstock into six 6″ x 4″ rectangles, then cut two of these down in half to 3″ x 4″. In the end, you will be using half as many cardstock sheets, but you will have to trim your photos down.
Step 4: Putting It All Together. You’re going to need some space for this part, so make sure to clear your table or a place on your living room rug or somewhere else you can keep your project safe. Lay out all 6 White Daisy cardstock base pages. Next, distribute the strips of patterned paper and cardstock photo mats. Each page should get three 4″ x 6″ mats and two 3″ x 4″ mats, and one pattern paper strip of each size, 5″, 3″, 1½”, and ½”. (For the ½” strip use the strips you cut from the patterns interchangeably with the zip strips you trimmed off the top.)
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 design. Experiment with different arrangements and consider whether you want to use exactly three 4″ x 6″ and two 3″ x 4″ photos per layout. Trade mats between layouts or cut a few extra if you’d like.
Step 5: Embellish! Using coordinating embellishments add your finishing touches!
To show you just how easily this technique can be applied to a variety of subjects, we’ve got three mismatched layouts that we made using this formulaic approach.
If you like our finished layouts and would like to recreate any of them using our same papers and embellishments, take a look at our “Recipes” section at the end of this post for a list of linked products. If you don’t, that’s okay, too! The beauty of this 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 of your pages. Have fun creating pages like these using the combinations that you love!
If there’s anything you want to learn more about or would like to see featured on this blog, make sure to let us know! We absolutely love publishing posts like today’s!
At Close To My Heart, we absolutely love color! A great palette is the foundation for great artwork, and has an unparalleled ability to inspire, energize, and soothe. We recently launched our new Core Products catalog and, with it, eight new colors that were added to our exclusive color palette, including Color of the Year, Wild Berry!
Today we’re going to show you how to create beautiful artwork using this statement color in three different color combinations. To get started, we’ve arranged the Close To My Heart color palette into a color wheel. Choosing colors for your artwork can be easy when you’re working with the right tools—and that includes the best color options!
***Keep in mind that our exclusive colors are made up of much more complex tones, shades, and hues than how they are categorized on the simplified color wheel offered above. As you reference and use this source, know that it is not 100% confining. As you become more familiar with what makes colors work together visually, you’ll find that this color wheel is very flexible.***
The Wild Berry color combinations we’re sharing today are reminiscent of what you would see in our Love of Color how-to book series. Each two-page spread focuses on one exclusive color from our palette shown in three different pieces of artwork, each in a unique color scheme. You’ll never second-guess your color choices again with this inspirational guide!
In this first example, see how Wild Berry beautifully works together with Sapphire, Lagoon, Mint, and Sundance. With Wild Berry as the dominant color, the yellow-orange, blue, and blue-green shades create gorgeous complementary elements, tying the entire piece together.
In these next cards, we combined Wild Berry once again with Lagoon and Mint, and then with Nectarine and Scarlet. Wild Berry acts as an accent color in the standard size card and dominates in the slimline card. We can give you all the color combinations, but in the end it’s up to you to decide how much of each color you want to use and how to balance your artwork. You can use the same color combination to create several pieces of art but they do not have to look or feel the same! (Isn’t color amazing?!)
If you look at Wild Berry and Avocado on our color wheel, you’ll notice that these two colors are opposite each other, which means they are complementary! We incorporated the neutral tones of black and charcoal for accents, but this is really a complementary color scheme in disguise!
If you’d like to learn more about color theory, or if you’re in need of a simple refresher, revisit a few of our previous posts we’ve published on this blog:
Once you get these basics down, creating your own color combinations will be a breeze! In the meantime, or if color theory just isn’t your thing, look to our Love of Colorseries as your ultimate color guide for creating perfectly balanced color combinations!
Do you have a favorite Close To My Heart color? (Retired colors count!) Let us know in the comments below!
There are so many reasons to love fall, and one of our favorites is the release of our new annual Core Products Catalog! From day one of this beautiful catalog, hundreds of new Close To My Heart items and fresh ideas have been readily available and within your grasps!
We are as committed as ever to our promise of being there to “show you how,” including providing the right tools and products, whatever your crafting goals may be. So—let’s take a closer look at a few new things happening in our Core Products Catalog!
We have SEVEN new pattern paper collections themed and designed for year-round use!
As You Grow: Refresh your creative spirit with this bundle of joy! The soft, nostalgic colors and designs of the As You Grow collection are enough to bring back fond memories of simpler times.
Smarty Pants: Featuring patterns and designs most all of us recognize, the Smarty Pants collection captures the essence of school days past, present, and future.
Love Story: The elegant designs and romantic colors of the Love Story collection will help tell your story in the colors you wish to share it. Available in Toffee, Mink, and Black, these pattern papers and stickers are perfect for your special occasion!
(The As You Grow, Smarty Pants, and Love Story collections include an optional coordinating sticker sheet, a coordinating cardstock pack, Picture My Life™ pocket cards, and stamp sets with coordinating Thin Cuts!)
Textures: Add the textures of everyday items to your crafting palette with this collection of patterned papers!
Wood Grain: We can’t get enough of the natural look these realistic Wood Grain patterns have to offer!
Noteworthy: Make a permanent record with these noteworthy pattern papers! Each sheet features the pattern on a white background on one side and on an aged looking background on the other.
If die-cutting is your thing, then you will be pleasantly surprised by what we’ve got in store in the Core Products Catalog! We’ve got fun shaped cards, slimline card front designs, tabs, tags, dimensional flowers, and tons more!
No crafting project is complete without a few finishing touches, like shimmer trims, ribbons, loose gems, and acrylic shapes (to list a few 😉). Here’s a small sampling of what you’ll find in our Core Products Catalog:
We’ve got so many new stencils for you to try! Above is just a small sampling of what you can create with a few of the designs, if you rotate the stencil or flip it over. And, for the first time, we now have stencils especially designed to fit the front of standard size card!
We’ve added 16 new digital, downloadable SVG files, to our digital art library! View all fo these new digital designs, here.
Pickup Tool: Picking up small embellishments is now easier than ever with these handy, paper-covered wax sticks! Simply sharpen the ends to a point and use to pick up small accents of all sorts!
Quickie Glue™ Pen: Is it a pen? Is it glue? Why not both?! This literal glue pen is ideal for securely attaching all of those smaller pieces to your artwork.
Adhesive Tape: Use this double sided permanent tape to mount photos, documents, and all sorts of things to your projects. The red backing makes it easy to see on the paper, and get’s removed when you are ready to expose the adhesive on that side of the tape.
Adhesive Sheets: We carry 12″ x 12″, double-sided, adhesive sheets! There are so many uses for these sheets, one of which is to make die-cut stickers. Watch the video below to see how!
We’ve added several new colors to our exclusive color palette this month! Our favorite, and Color of the Year, is this beautiful berry hue, Wild Berry! Keep a sharp eye out for it throughout the coming year, and you’ll find hints of Wild Berry in a wide variety of our new products. (To see what other new colors we have in store, talk to your Close To My Heart Maker or take a look at our exclusive color palette in our Core Products Catalog.)
Each kit includes materials to make a set of 24 beautiful, handmade cards, that come together in minutes thanks to pre-printed card bases, die-cut shapes, and more. Each delivery also includes an exclusive My Acrylix® stamp set, complete with a stamping block and mini ink pad, so you’ll have the tools you need to create your cards just the way you want them. Keep up with all the occasions in your life with a Craft with Heart™ cardmaking subscription!
Friends, this is just a small sampling of our many, many new products. Make sure to visit with your Close To My Heart Maker to see all that we have in store for you this coming year, or explore our Core Products Catalog online, here.
There’s a lot to love about getting VIP treatment, and it’s no different at Close To My Heart! Today, we’re going to give you an inside look at one of our new, exclusive products—just for VIP Customers—the VIP Flower Shop card kit!
The VIP Flower Shop card kit is the ultimate easy cardmaking solution, and is so simple, you can even make your cards on the go! Each card box contains 15 pre-printed card bases, three exclusive banner die-cut sheets, a mini stamp block and ink pad, and the My Acrylix® Flower Shop stamp set, which is only available with the VIP Flower Shop card kit.
This kit comes not only with everything you need to make beautiful cards in minutes but is itself an eye-catching storage solution for cards you’ve already made! Along with the card components, the VIP Flower Shop card kit includes tabbed dividers, making it easy to keep track of cards for all occasions.
The VIP Flower Shop card kit is only available to Close To My Heart VIP Customers and will only be around through the end of October, so if you’re not already a member of our VIP Customer Program, consider signing up today! Signing up is quick and easy, and with a small annual fee of $35 USD*, new VIPs get an immediate sign-up bonus of $15 in VIP Credit! If you’re already a VIP Customer, you’ll be delighted to know that you’ll also be receiving a renewal bonus of $15 USD* in VIP Credits when you continue your membership for a second year!
As a member of the VIP Customer Program, you can earn 15% of the retail amount of your order back in VIP Credit. This benefit rewards you each time you place an order with your Close To My Heart Maker! You can also gain access to exclusive products—like the VIP Flower Shop card kit—and virtual events throughout the year, just for VIP customers!
VIP Customer Program members also have the opportunity to earn the Stamp of the MonthFREE when they place an order of $50 USD* or more. These stamp sets are typically available for $18.95 USD* retail price, so it’s an amazing perk for our VIP customers to be able to get these sets for free!
We can’t wait for you to discover all the amazing perks available to you as a VIP! Sign up today to be a part of this amazing crafting community and start earning your own VIP perks, including the exclusive VIP Flower Shop Card Kit!
*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.
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 our phones. Whether we’re promoting our businesses, taking photos for our scrapbooks, or just posting to social media, these tips are sure to take our phone photography to the next level!
Whether you’re digitizing photos with your phone or snapping pictures of your latest project, these tips will make a big difference for taking lay-flat photos.
1. Find Natural Light (no flash)
Lighting is everything! Find natural light next to a window. Avoid direct light, and use curtains to soften the photo when necessary.
2. Avoid Distracting Backgrounds
Avoid wood tables with grain, do not use the carpet or a distracting counter top. Use a clean background to focus on the subject and make it pop! Use a plain white poster board or colorful paper as the background.
3. Take Advantage of Grid Mode
Use the grid tool on your smart phone to level a lay-flat photo! Align the cross hairs to level the phone, and snap!
For iPhone: settings > camera > grid > on
For Android: settings > varies by phone
A few more….
4. Remove Unwanted Glare Scrapbook pages in page protectors may result in a distracting glare. Remove the layout from the page protectors and set them on top to take the photo.
5. Do a Quick Edit! After taking a photo, take 30 seconds to edit it! A quick auto enhance makes all the difference.
6. Try Different Angles
Capture fine details by changing your angle. In this photo I focused on the butterfly to show the dimension of the page. Tap the screen to focus and slide up and down to adjust exposure.
Now, get your projects off the shelf and take photos of them to share and inspire others. You’re creating art, we want to see it!
Thanks, Chari, for the great tips!
Close To My Heart is proud to recommend Persnickety Prints as a trusted photo lab for quality photo prints.Our commitment to memory keeping means we strive to provide products of the highest quality that will last. Persnickety Prints shares that same mission with all their photo processing and with their new Persnickety Box app. Every order is assessed, optimized, hand-printed, and quality checked. You already use the best products to tell your story—be sure that you have the best quality photos, too!
Happy first day of fall! Between the changing leaves, crisp evenings, and all the other great things about fall, one of our favorite things about this wonderful season is the Halloween celebrations and the great crafts that come with them!
This year, we’ve got some very special Halloween-themed products in store, starting with the Boo Crew collection! This spook-tacular suite includes an imaginative color scheme, bringing together the classic tones of orange and black, along with bright pink accents to tie it all together.
The Boo Crew collection features a selection of fun patterns in a paper packet, sticker sheet, stamp set, and Thin Cuts. With all kinds of cute and spooky sentiments, icons, and images, these stamps and stickers are the perfect complement to your favorite Halloween memories!
Rounding out this too-cute collection are the Boo Crew coordinating cardstock, made up of 3 sheets of Ballerina, Black, Nectarine, and Wild Berry 12″ x 12″ cardstock sheets, and the Boo Crew Sequins. These little holographic ghost sequins are a treat to include in any craft, and they’re sure to bring a little sparkle to the spooky moments you love most!
These festive Halloween sets are all available now, through our September–October catalog, and make a bewitching addition to our Halloween products for the 2021 spooky season!
To ensure we capture as much of the Halloween spirit we can this year, we’ve also put together a workshop that creates three coordinating 12″ x 12″ two-page scrapbook layouts and six treat containers using the products from the Boo Crew collection.
Join us for a Facebook Live, on October 12, at 2 p.m., MST, to create all three scrapbook layouts together. Then, keep watching for the second half of our Boo Crew workshop, where we will have Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi’s daughter, Maya, demonstrating how to create the Boo Crew treat containers!