Accessing All 13 Close To My Heart Cricut® Collections

Have you heard the news? All 13 of the Close To My Heart Cricut® collections, including the new Complete Creativity and some that have been retired for years, are now digitally available for purchase!

Close To My Heart Cricut® Collections:

Complete Creativity (NEW)
Art Philosophy
Artbooking
Artfully Sent
Artiste
Artistry
City Sidewalks
Flower Market
Hello AU/NZ
Hello Canada
Hello USA
Season of Joy
You Are Here

There has been some confusion around how to access these collections, so we’ve put together a quick tutorial below to show you how. If you’ve already figured it out on your own, skip to the bottom half of this post to see sample shapes and an artwork example for each collection.

*The following tutorial currently applies to people residing in the United States or Canada, only. (For our Australian and New Zealand crafters, all 13 of these collections are also available through purchasing a digital code from your Consultant which unlocks the shapes in Cricut Design Space™.)

**You will need a Cricut® machine that is Design Space compatible to digitally link your collections to your account. Any of the Explore models or the New Maker will do. If you already own some or all of the Close To My Heart collections in cartridge format, with the right cutting machine, you can link these collections digitally as well. Click here for a short video to learn how.

STEP 1

To start, go to your Close To My Heart Consultant’s website. (If you do not have a Close To My Heart Consultant, visit us here and click on Find a Consultant to find one near you.) Scroll all the way to the bottom of the home page and click on the green Cricut® button.

Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic

Clicking on this button will take you to the 13 Close To My Heart Cricut® collections, hosted on the Cricut® website.

Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic

STEP 2

Choose the collection you want to purchase and click Add to Cart. Doing so will pull up a side bar with the items you’ve chosen to purchase. When you are ready to check out, you can either click on the small cart icon or the green Checkout button.

Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic

STEP 3

If you aren’t signed in to your Cricut® account already, you will be prompted to do so.

Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic

Make sure to use your Design Space account information to sign in and then continue the checkout process.

After purchasing any of the CTMH Cricut® collections, they will automatically populate in your Design Space account, along with your other shapes.

STEP 4

To view your CTMH shapes and collections, go to your Design Space account and click on either New Project or My Projects.

Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic

Next, click on Images in the side bar, on the left. If you are looking for a specific cartridge or shape, click on Cartridges to view all of your purchased collections or type in the collection’s name or shape number in the search bar, on the top right corner of the page.

Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic

ONE FINAL TIP

Each of the shapes in Design Space is given a name and assigned a number. If you click on a shape, for example the first shape of the collection shown above, this information will show up in place of the shape’s image.

Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic

If you are looking for one specific shape, and you know its Design Space name or number (including the “#” sign), you can use this information in the search bar to locate it. When we give out project “recipes” (a list of products used), either for our catalogs or on this blog, Cricut® shapes are referenced by the collection from which it comes and its shape number.

The star shape above would then be:

Cricut® Shape:
Art Philosophy
#M3EA7D

Now that you know how to access all of our Close To My Heart Cricut® collections and shapes, let’s take a quick look at what each of them has to offer!

COMPLETE CREATIVITY

Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic #completecreativity

(Not all shapes shown.)

Artwork Example:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #spooktacular #Halloween

As our newest Cricut® collection, we cannot wait for you to get your hands on this one! The Complete Creativity collection is divided up by whole card and scrapbook projects, providing all the shapes you need to create complete cards and scrapbook pages for a variety of themes and occasions!

ART PHILOSOPHY

Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic
(Not all shapes shown.)

Example Artwork:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #love

Featuring hundreds of basic, versatile shapes and fonts you’ll use every day, many of which coordinate with dozens of our My Acrylix® stamps, the Art Philosophy collection is a must-have for every crafter!

ARTBOOKING

Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic
(Not all shapes shown.)

Example Artwork:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #trickortreat #Halloween #minialbum

The Artbooking collection includes accents, borders, titles, overlays, photo mats, and more! You’ll love using these shapes for creating themed mini books to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and everyday life!

ARTFULLY SENT

Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic

(Not all shapes shown.)

Example Artwork:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic

Featuring more than 25 different card themes and 5 different card formats, the Artfully Sent collection has a card for any and all occasions! Card styles include pop-ups, scenes, sentiments, sleeves, and pocket cards.

ARTISTE

Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic
(Not all shapes shown.)

Example Artwork:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #trickortreat #Halloween

Take your creativity up a notch with the wonderful 3-D projects, party favors, interactive cards, awards, and more, found in the Artiste collection.

ARTISTRY

 Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic
(Not all shapes shown.)

Example Artwork:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #happybirthday

The designs in the Artistry collection are staples for any crafter, spanning a wide variety of themes, holidays, and seasons. Get back to the basics with font, banners, layered shapes, borders, backgrounds, and other fun icons that can be used for any and every occasion.

CITY SIDEWALKS

Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic
(Not all shapes shown.)

Example Artwork:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #seasonsgreetings

Dress up your artwork in holiday style with the festive images from this mini Cricut® collection! The City Sidewalks collection comes with 30 complete images, including titles, photo frames, borders, card sentiments, card overlays, and other cheery Christmas designs.

FLOWER MARKET

Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic

(Not all shapes shown.)

Example Artwork:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #gifttag #paperflower

With blooms and blossoms for every season of life, we know the Flower Market collection will really grow on you (if it hasn’t already)! All of the designs feature some type of botanical detail, from flowers and leaves to branches and wreaths. Designed to span an entire year’s worth of themes and occasions, you’ll have beautiful designs and sentiments for holidays, cardmaking, and everyday scrapbooking.

HELLO AU/NZ

Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic
(Not all shapes shown.)

Example Artwork:Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #newzealand #australia

Featuring 20 layered images, the Hello AU/NZ collection has shapes, overlays, and names for Australian and New Zealand states and territories, as well as a local flower, slogan, and coordinating icon. The collection also includes extra images about Australia and New Zealand, including each country’s flag.

HELLO CANADA

Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic
(Not all shapes shown.)

Example Artwork:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #quebec

Also featuring 20 layered images, the Hello Canada collection has shapes, overlays, and names for all Canadian provinces and territories, as well as a local flower, slogan, and coordinating icon. The collection also includes extra images about Canada, including the Canadian flag.

HELLO USA

Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic
(Not all shapes shown.)

Example Artwork:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #california

Featuring 60 layered images, the Hello USA collection has shapes, overlays, and names for all 50 states, as well as a local flower, slogan, and state-specific icon. The collection also includes 10 extra images about the US, including regions and the US flag.

SEASON OF JOY

Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic
(Not all shapes shown.)

Example Artwork:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #christmas

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with the dynamic cut designs in the Season of Joy collection. This collection features over 45 images and projects, including seasonal icons, titles, and sentiments, as well as a collection of 3-D projects that you can create after a few simple cuts on your Cricut® machine.

YOU ARE HERE

Sample Shapes:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #youreaclassic
(Not all shapes shown.)

Artwork Example:
Cricut® Collections #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhcricut #cricut #completecreativity #seasonofjoy #artfullysent #artbooking #artiste #artistry ##artphilosophy #citysidewalks #flowermarket #hellousa #hellocanada #helloaunz #youarehere #cardmaking #papercrafting #scrapbooking #grandcanyon

Whether you’re traveling abroad, taking a road trip, or enjoying a relaxing staycation, the You Are Here collection is sure to have everything you need to document your journey. From outdoor escapades and family reunions to spa retreats and holiday outings, you’ll find shapes and sentiments for every pit stop along the road of life!


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Spooktacular Page
CC10194 Spooktacular Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6047 Black Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Cricut® Complete Creativity Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Complete Creativity
#MEE7655E

4¼” x 5½” Love You Card (Vertical)
C1801 My Acrylix® Every Little Thing—Cardmaking Stamp Set, X7248S Every Little Thing Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6047 Black Cardstock, X5957 Sapphire Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3521 Every Little Thing Vellum Die-cuts, Z4213 Silver Embellishing Thread, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2068 White Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z4181 Stitched Circles Thin Cuts, Z1912 Corner Rounder, Cricut® Art Philosophy Collection, Die-cutting Machine

Cricut® Shape:
Art Philosophy
#M4139D

5″ Trick-or-Treat Mini Album
CC10194 Spooktacular Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6047 Black Cardstock, X6035 Lemonade Cardstock, X5955 Pebble Cardstock, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z4196 White Ribbon, Z4181 Stitched Circles Thin Cuts, Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Die-cutting Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
#MAB71C
#M3E1B0
#M40EAA
#M46C7D
#M3CDA5

3″ x 4¼” You’re a Classic Card (Horizontal)
X7249S Hawthorn Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X6034 Sangria Cardstock, Z3543 Hawthorn Wood Shapes, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Cricut® Artfully Sent Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artfully Sent
#M1067B4

2½” x 3¾” Trick-or-Treat Treat Bag
CC10190 My Acrylix® Frightful Friends Stamp Set, CC10192 Spooktacular Paper Packet, X6047 Black Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z3630 Watercolor Pencils, Z3224 Small Round Waterbrush, Z3516 Black Journaling Pen (.03), Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
#M3DEF8
#M3E22F

5″ x 7″ Happy Birthday Card (Vertical)
X5953 Charcoal Cardstock, X6031 Green Apple Cardstock, X5968 Lagoon Cardstock, X6042 Mint Cardstock, X5984 Pixie Cardstock, X5974 Raspberry Cardstock, X5980 Sweet Leaf Cardstock, X5976 Thistle Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z3553 Acrylic Hearts, Z3557 Cool Mint Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z3563 Diamond Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Cricut® Artistry Collection, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
#M4187BA
#M40FD89
#M41669B
#M4132AC, cut 2
#M412A0C
#M58A2E4
#M410335, cut 2
#M4169DA
#M411DD6
#M58A48E, cut 2
#M410487
#M418C08
#M418B30
#M412151
#M413170
#M40FF13

Basic Shapes
#M369879 (circle)

4¼” x 5½” Season’s Greetings Card (Vertical)
X6047 Black Cardstock, X6038 Candy Apple Cardstock, X6030 Evergreen Cardstock, X6029 Julep Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4235 Gold Loose Sequins, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z3555 Christmas Red Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Cricut® City Sidewalks Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
City Sidewalks
#MF6456F
#MF647BC
#MF645F0

Basic Shapes
#M369879 (circle)

Today, I Choose Joy Tag
C1799 My Acrylix® Perk Up Stamp Set, D1868 My Acrylix® Joy by Melissa Esplin Stamp Set, X7248B Every Little Thing Paper Packet, X6036 Ballerina Cardstock, X6029 Julep Cardstock, X5984 Pixie Cardstock, X5974 Raspberry Cardstock, X5961 Saffron Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Flower Market
#MFADCF2
#MD37FB8

12″ x 12″ Beautiful New Zealand/Australia Pocket Scrapbooking Layout
X5949 Almond Cardstock, X6029 Julep Cardstock, X5955 Pebble Cardstock, X5961 Saffron Cardstock, X5957 Sapphire Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X7249E Hawthorn Picture My Life Cards, X7248E Every Little Thing Picture My Life Cards, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Cricut® Hello AU/NZ Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Hello AU/NZ
#M2EDE0BE
#M2EDE203
#M2EDE37F

6″ x 8″ Quebec Layout with Pocket Scrapbooking
X7249B Hawthorn Paper Packet, X5951 Espresso Cardstock, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5962 Goldrush Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, X5961 Saffron Cardstock, Z3543 Hawthorn Wood Shapes, Z4054 Gold Embellishing Thread, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z4181 Stitched Circles Thin Cuts, Cricut® Hello Canada Collection, Die-cutting Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Hello Canada
#M2DB6B68
#M2DB6CAA

12″ x 12″ California Has My Heart Page
B1638 My Acrylix® Modern Typewriter Alphabet Stamp Set, C1725 My Acrylix® Simply Said Alphabet Stamp Set, X7248B Every Little Thing Paper Packet, X6047 Black Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3521 Every Little Thing Vellum Die-cuts, Z3553 Acrylic Hearts, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Cricut® Hello USA Collection, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shape:
Hello USA
#M2CCF890

Santa & Elf Boxes
X5949 Almond Cardstock, X6047 Black Cardstock, X5982 Canary Cardstock, X6038 Candy Apple Cardstock, X6031 Green Apple Cardstock, X6044 Peach Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Cricut® Season of Joy Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Season of Joy
#M629BBF2
#M629BA03

6″ x 8″ Grand Canyon Album Cover
X7249S Hawthorn Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6047 Black Cardstock, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5962 Goldrush Cardstock, X6033 Paprika Cardstock, X5955 Pebble Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Paper, Z2828 Toffee Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4054 Gold Embellishing Thread, Z697 Round Sponge, Cricut® You Are Here Collection

Cricut® Shape:
You Are Here
#M276272D

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From Melissa Esplin: Intro to Penmanship

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

Melissa-Esplin-book-7

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

Penmanship-with-Melissa-Esplin-2

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

penmanship-practice

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

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

Joy-by-Melissa-Esplin

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

Sentiments-by-Melissa-Esplin

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

Mulitcolor-Small-Brush-Pen-Set

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

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

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National Stamping Month: Using Small Stamps in BIG Places

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can’t wait to hear from you!

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

 


Recipes:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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National Stamping Month: Stamping Basics

Stamping-techniques-hero

It is officially National Stamping Month! Is anyone else as pumped about this time of year as we are? A little bit of history, for our friends who haven’t been with us for very long, Close To My Heart was originally called D.O.T.S. (Dozens of Terrific Stamps). Our first love was, and continues to be, stamps! We’ve come a long way since 1984 and wood mounted rubber stamp sets, and yet there are still some things that will never change.

Today we are going back to the basics of stamping, showing a few different ways we can use stamps in our projects. If you are new to stamping, this is a great place to start and learn just how versatile these creative tools can be. If you are a “pro,” then follow along anyway and remind yourself why you, too, love stamping and the versatility behind each design.

First, let’s talk about stamping on photos.

Stamping-techniques-Merry-Christmas-photo

This is such an easy way to create personalized cards or add some additional touches to your scrapbook pages.

Stamping directly on a photo might seem a little scary at first, but we promise, it will be okay! For this project, we used the Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad to stamp our sentiment. We opted for this ink choice because we used a matte photo. If you’re stamping on a glossy photo, consider using Black StazOn™ ink. StazOn™ ink is specifically formulated for use on non-porous surfaces, allowing you to confidently stamp on any photo.

Next, let’s revisit an oldie, but a goodie, technique—generational stamping. Generational stamping is a fairly simple stamping technique. Think of it as the “double-dip” action (or in this case, the “triple-dip”) of the stamping world. With generational stamping, you don’t re-ink your stamp before stamping the image or sentiment again. This leaves you with a slightly faded image that is otherwise identical to the first one.

Stamping-techniques-merry-merry-merry-card

For this example, we used the Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad to create a fun generational stamping effect. First, you thoroughly saturate your stamp with ink, and then press down firmly to transfer the image onto your paper. Then, without re-inking the stamp, press it to the paper again to create a second-generation stamped image or, like in this case, sentiment. In this example, we went a step farther and created a third-generation sentiment, which was accomplished the same way.

You can clearly see the second and third generational stamps. This effect, combined with the fun patterns in the Every Little Thing paper packet, makes for a beautiful card with a unique flair.

Another fun way to use your stamps is to fussy cut! Fussy cutting simply means that you cut out your stamped image by hand rather than using a metal die or a paper cutting machine. This lets you cut right down to the edges of the image for a crisp, clean cut. When you don’t have just the right sticker or are looking for a quick way to add dimension, fussy cut your stamped image or sentiment and attach it with some foam tape!

In our next example, we’ve got several different ideas that neatly come together in one beautiful 6″ x 8″ layout.

Stamping-techniques-Christmas-wishes-layout

First, take a close look at the peach portion of the layout, in the lower right-hand corner of the left page. That’s not pattern paper—the pattern you see is achieved by continuous, random stamping. Stamps give you the ability to create your own unique patterns, adding a personal element to all of your projects.

Next, let’s talk about how to stamp white on black. For this, we’ll be breaking out our heat tool and embossing powder!

Stamping-techniques-Christmas-wishes-extreme-closeup

As you can see, this particular element has a dimensional appearance. Well, that’s thanks to the use of embossing powder!

The images in this example are stamped with VersaMark™ ink and heat embossed with white embossing powder.  Stamp with VersaMark™ ink, add embossing powder, melt and seal together with a heat tool.

Did you know that you can also heat emboss with our pigment inks of our exclusive colors? All you need is the pigment ink in the color of your choice and clear embossing powder. Heat and seal like you would with the VersaMark™ ink, and that’s it!

If you want to heat emboss on vellum, there are a few small tricks to consider.

Stamping-techniques-thankful-grateful-blessed-card

For this technique, allow your heat tool to heat up before you use it. Once it’s hot, blow on the ink intermittently from behind the paper (which means you would need to do this step before attaching a piece like this to your project). If you blow directly onto the ink and vellum without pulling the heater away, the ink will move and the paper will warp. Another approach, if from behind is too difficult, is to move the heat tool in slow circles over the stamped area.

The last three examples of artwork we have showcase how to add color to your stamped images.

Stamping-techniques-happy-fall-card

In a recent blog post, we discussed different types of black ink and which ones work best with certain types of projects. For this card, we used the Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad to stamp the pumpkins so that we could add color with our new TriBlend™ markers.

Once you’ve got your image stamped, take your TriBlend™ Marker and color around the outer edges of the stamped image using one of the darker shades. Then, color in the center with one of the lighter shades.

Using TriBlend™ Markers to color in your stamped images allows you to color with confidence, since the shades are already matched for you, and as you can see, they deliver beautiful results!

Stamping-techniques-thinking-of-you-card

For this card, you’ll want to grab your watercolor pencils. To avoid getting harsh lines in your project, move your pencil in gentle, circular strokes, or use a lighter hand as you color; think of it as light shading as opposed to coloring in your stamp.

 Once you’ve got your stamped image colored in, you can leave it as is for a slightly more rustic, rough feel, like in our example, or blend with a waterbrush.

Our last example is a bit deceptive, and it looks a bit more complicated than it actually is. Stamping-techniques-grateful-for-you-layout

To create the beautiful, multicolored effect happening in the leaves of this page, we used a technique is called rock & roll.

First, you thoroughly ink your stamp in the base color of your choice. Then, gently rock and roll the edges of your stamp in your secondary color. It’s that easy. Your stamp is ready to leave a gorgeous impression!

No matter how you use them, you can’t go wrong with great stamps! Happy stamping!


Recipes

5″ x 7″ Merry Christmas Photo Card
CC9191 My Acrylix® A Dash of Joy Stamp Set, X6047 Black CardstockZ3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad

3″ x 3″ Merry Merry Merry Card
CC9191 My Acrylix® A Dash of Joy Stamp SetX7248B Every Little Thing Paper PacketX6030 Evergreen CardstockX6046 French Vanilla CardstockX6044 Peach CardstockZ6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ3312 Gold Glitter GemsZ4242 Watercolor PencilsZ3224 Small Round Waterbrush

6″ x 8″ Christmas Wishes Layout
CC9195 Share the Seasons Stamps + Thin CutsX9007 Mix-in Paper PacketX6047 Black Cardstock, X6038 Candy Apple CardstockX6030 Evergreen CardstockX6042 Mint CardstockX6044 Peach CardstockX6045 Sage Cardstock1385 White Daisy CardstockZ6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ6512 Evergreen Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ891 VersaMark™ Ink PadZ3312 Gold Glitter GemsZ4054 Gold Embellishing Thread, Z341 Glue Dots®  Mini Dots, Z2068 White Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, Die-cutting Machine

3″ x 3″ Thankful Grateful Blessed Card
CC9192 My Acrylix® Giving Thanks Stamp SetX5962 Goldrush CardstockX6046 French Vanilla CardstockX6033 Paprika CardstockZ3367 Vellum PaperZ2823 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ2851 Saffron Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ891 VersaMark™ Ink PadZ4054 Gold Embellishing ThreadZ2066 Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat ToolZ4181 Stitched Circles Thin Cuts, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Die-cutting Machine

4¼” x 5½” Happy Fall Card (Vertical)
Z3532 Autumn Blessings Stamp + Thin CutsX7249B Hawthorn Paper Packet, X6047 Black CardstockX6030 Evergreen CardstockX6046 French Vanilla CardstockX6045 Sage CardstockZ3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ4235 Gold Loose SequinsZ4054 Gold Embellishing ThreadZ1809 Black Shimmer TrimZ3568 Black Velvet RibbonZ2480 Orange TriBlend™ MarkerZ2478 Earth Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Die-cutting Machine

4¼” x 5½” Thinking of You Card (Horizontal)
Z3544 Sunflower Sympathy Stamp + Thin CutsX7249B Hawthorn Paper PacketX6046 French Vanilla CardstockX6005 Goldrush CardstockX6033 Paprika CardstockZ2829 Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ6512 Evergreen Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ2823 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ2851 Saffron Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ891 VersaMark™ Ink PadZ3312 Gold Glitter GemsZ4054 Gold Embellishing ThreadZ4242 Watercolor Pencils, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2066 Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, Die-cutting Machine, Sewing Machine

6″ x 8″ Grateful for You Page
Z3527 Hawthorn—Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin CutsCC9192 My Acrylix® Giving Thanks Stamp SetX7249B Hawthorn Paper PacketX6046 French Vanilla CardstockX6033 Paprika CardstockX6044 Peach CardstockZ2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ2829 Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ2823 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ6515 Paprika Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ2851 Saffron Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ4235 Gold Loose SequinsZ4054 Gold Embellishing ThreadZ3552 Wooden Arrows, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Die-cutting Machine

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Two New Catalogs, Hundreds of New Products!

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #cmthhawthorn #ctmheverylittething #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #ideabook #catalog #catalogue

With the launch of two new Close To My Heart catalogs this week, does anyone else feel like a kid on Christmas morning? Since September 1, hundreds of new Close To My Heart products, including stamp sets, patterned papers, embellishments, and much, much more, have been readily available at our fingertips!

In case you missed the exciting announcement after our North American Convention, we have moved to a new catalog release schedule. Close To My Heart will no longer only publish three catalogs a year, but SEVENan annual Core Products catalog and six, bi-monthly, supplemental catalogs. The goal is to get fresh designs and up-to-the-minute products into your hands when you need them and want them most!

Let’s take a closer look at some of the new goodies in our Core and September–October catalogs. (It may be time to make some room in your craft room—your stash may be getting a bit bigger! 🙂 )

Paper Packet + Sticker Sheets

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

Each of our supplement catalogs will feature two paper suites. Within each suite you will have the choice between two paper packet options, one including a new 12″ x 12″ sticker sheet, and one without. The new sticker sheet will come with titles, accents, and more, that coordinate perfectly with the designs of its accompanying paper packet. Both paper packets will come with six sheets of three double-sided designs of patterned paper, rather than the 12 we’ve done in the recent past, so you only purchase what you need and avoid having too much left over!

Custom Cardstock Packs

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #cardstock #exclusivecolorpalette #exclusivecolourpalette

When you visit our cardstock menu on our website, you will find two very exciting additions. As a continuation of the theme of getting you just what you need, we now offer custom cardstock packs! Choose between a 12-sheet or 24-sheet pack and then decide which of our current exclusive colors you want in it. We’ll package up your selection and send your customized pack along with the rest of your order. It’s that simple!

Scrapbooking Workshop Kits

Our scrapbooking workshops got a makeover! Each workshop continues to come with easy-to-follow instructions to make six complete pages however only some are paired into layouts. Both, the Every Little Thing and Hawthorn scrapbooking workshops make two individual pages and two two-page layouts.

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmheverylittething #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #workshop #album

Even more exciting, we’ve trimmed a lot of the paper cutting right out of the workshops! Each new kit includes large, exclusive die-cut sheets and accessories that coordinate effortlessly with a handful of additional products for fast and seriously gorgeous pages. In the page above, the only thing you’ll cut when you make your own are the two photo mats. ❤ ❤ ❤ !

Everyday Life™ Albums

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #album #everydaylife #minialbum #photos

Our Everyday Life™ album line just got bigger…and smaller! Providing the greatest versatility in size (and color options), these are now available in 6″ x 6″, 6″ x 8″, 8½” x 11″, and 12″ x 12″. Perfect for preserving vacations, weddings, highlights from the football season, or backyard adventures, the Everyday Life™ line is designed to accommodate any occasion or memory!

Heat Transfer Vinyl & Digital Art

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #album #memorykeeping #svg #digitalart #heattransfervinyl #vinyl

You already take pride in filling your scrapbooks with beautiful artwork on the inside, so why not add some flair to their outsides? With our new line of heat transfer vinyl and digital SVG files designed specifically with album covers in mind, you can easily do just that!

After downloading the digital images, cut them out of the heat transfer vinyl using your favorite cutting machine, and then apply them to your album. For a complete list of available heat transfer vinyl colors and digital art designs, click here.

Penmanship with Melissa Esplin

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #handwriting #penmanship #memorykeeping #journaling #journalling

Renowned calligraphy and lettering expert Melissa Esplin joined forces with Close To My Heart to create an easy, step-by-step penmanship program. Penmanship with Melissa Esplin introduces stroke sequences, letter forms, and techniques to improve and develop your personal, individual style. Equipped with exercise worksheets and practice pages, as you see can see above, this program provides the necessary tools to share your stories through your own creative handwriting!

Journaling Pens

Get ready to pour your hearts out with our gorgeous new Close To My Heart journaling pens!

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #journaling #journalling #memorykeeping #pen #storytelling

These journaling pens are available in Black and Pewter inks and in .05, .03, and .01 tips. Easily take your handwriting up a notch by simply using the right tool!

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #journaling #journalling #pens #memorykeeping #storytelling

TriBlend™ Markers

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

Color and blend like and expert with our new markers! Inside every TriBlend™ marker is a perfect gradation of colors, from light to dark, delivered through three separate fine bullet nibs. The alcohol-based ink blends seamlessly for mixing or layering colors.

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmheverylittething #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #markers

Stickles™ Glitter Gel

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #glittergel #stickles

Another newcomer to the Close To My Heart line-up are the Stickle™ glitter gels! Available in the ten colors you see here, use these fun gels to add dimension and a bit of sparkle to your projects.

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #glittergels #stickles

Stamp Shammy

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #stamping #myacrylix #stampshammy #shammy

This spongy soft, reusable sheet is just what you need for lint-free stamp cleaning. Just add water and watch the ink come right off your My Acrylix® stamps as you wipe them with a Stamp Shammy. Yes, the photo above is staged to look pretty, but we really did just wipe that stamp clean with the wet Stamp Shammy to the right of it. And, because you can’t really have too much of a good thing, these come in a two-pack. J

New Colors

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #julep #coloroftheyear #colouroftheyear

We’ve added several new colors to our exclusive color palate this week! Our favorite, and Color of the Year, is this beautiful trendy green hue, Julep! Keep a sharp eye out for it throughout the coming year, and you’ll find hints of Julep in a wide variety of our new products. (To see what other fun new colors we have in store, talk to your Consultant or take a look at our exclusive color palette in our Core Products catalog.)

Cricut® Complete Creativity Collection

Our newest Cricut® collection, Complete Creativity, provides you with all the pieces you need to create complete cards and scrapbook pages for a variety of themes and occasions.

New CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #cardmaking #papercrafting #cricut #completecreativityNew CTMH Products #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #papercrafting #cricut #completecreativity

This remarkable new collection is available for purchase on Cricut.com, through a special link you can get from your Close To My Heart Consultant. Ask your Consultant for more details about our extensive collection of Cricut® designs!

Rather than unwrapping all of the new goodies here for you this Christmas-like morning, take some time to carefully peruse both of our new catalogs on your own. The few items that we covered today are only just a sampling of the hundreds of new products available now!

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Choosing the Best Black Ink for Your Projects

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon

With so many different black ink pads at our disposal, deciding which is the best option for a project can get a little confusing. Let’s shed some light into this black situation by examining each one of these inks individually and identify what their strengths and purposes are so you’ll never have to second-guess yourself again.

Before getting started, let’s identify all of the players.

  1. Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
  2. Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
  3. Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
  4. Black Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad
  5. Black StazOn™ Ink Pad

All of the black Exclusive Inks™ stamp and pigment pads come in a sleek patented case. The innovative case features an in-lid stamp pad, keeping the ink at the surface and ready to use, as well as a convenient magnetic closure. The raised pads are approximately 3¾” x 2½”, making them larger than average and more versatile.

Although they are very similar in appearance, and are all technically black, each ink is formulated from scratch to produce unique stamping results. We discussed these inks and how to use them with our very talented Art Studio and came up with the following:

1.  BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ STAMP PAD

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

The Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad is a water-based dye ink. Our artists like using it for stamping sentiments and other images that will not be colored over with markers or watercolor. It is ideal for cardmaking, tags, and other everyday uses.

2.  ARCHIVAL BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ STAMP PAD

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

The Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad has the deepest black ink out of all our black inks. It is a solvent-based permanent ink. Waterproof, lightfast, fade-proof, and archival. We recommend using this ink for scrapbook pages and for stamping on vellum. Archival Black is ideal for stamping images and sentiments with staying power.

3.  INTENSE BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ STAMP PAD

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon

The Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad is intense not because of its color but because it is a non-smearing, fast-drying, solvent-based permanent ink. Like its Archival Black counterpart, the Intense Black ink is also waterproof and archival. If you want to add color with watercolor or alcohol markers, however, Intense Black is the way to go.

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

4.  BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ PIGMENT PAD

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

Next, there’s the Black Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad. The major difference between this ink and the others is that it is a pigment-based ink. Pigment inks dry permanently on porous surfaces after heat-setting. It takes a little more work to use a pigment ink, but the results are definitely worth it! We recommend adding clear embossing powder to your stamped images, and heat setting them with a Heat Tool, to create beautiful glossy raised images and sentiments.

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

5.  BLACK STAYZON™ INK PAD

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

Last, and certainly not least, is the Black StazOn™ Ink Pad. This pad offers a fast-drying solvent-based ink designed specifically for use on plastic, metal, glass, ceramic, laminated paper, coated paper, leather, and other non-porous surfaces. Even though this ink is technically “fast-drying,” it can be wiped off a truly non-porous surface within minutes after it is applied, using a Stamp Shammy and StazOn™ Cleaner. This is great to keep in mind because the majority of non-porous surfaces tend to be slippery and can be difficult to stamp with accuracy. Once the ink completely sets, however, it will yield permanent results. (So, make sure to keep that Stamp Shammy nearby! 😉 )

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

We want you to be able to take all of this information with you wherever your stamping takes you, so we’ve created the following chart, including photos of our artwork examples, for you to download and print.

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

Download US/CA version, here.

Download AU/NZ version, here.

We even left enough space in an empty second column for you to stamp a solid heart and outline from the My Acrylix® Erin’s Hand Stamp Set using the individual inks to have real visual examples. (Clear Super Fine Embossing Powder was added to our Black pigment ink and heat set in order to create the glossy raised images shown.)

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

With this quick and simple breakdown, we hope you will make all of your future black ink decisions with clarity and confidence! Please let us know in the comments below if you found this blog post helpful today. Happy stamping! ❤


Recipes:

4¼” x 5½” Happy Birthday Card (Vertical)
C1782 My Acrylix® Party Balloons Stamp Set, X7245B Craft On Paper Packet, X6028 Black Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2812 Raspberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

12″ x 12″ Memories Saved Page
D1848 My Acrylix® Craft On—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7245B Craft On Paper Packet, X6008 Lemon Cardstock, X5984 Pixie Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7248 Craft On Picutre My Life™ Cards, Z4059 Crafty Loose Sequins, Z4057 Craft On Rubber Shapes, Z4213 Silver Embellishing Thread, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

4¼” x 5½” Thinking of You Card (Vertical)
C1794 My Acrylix Floral Delivery Stamp Set, X7246B Sweet Girl Paper Packet, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X6022 Smoothie Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4243 Watercolor Paper Pad, Z4213 Silver Embellishing Thread, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3224 Small Round Waterbrush, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

12¾” x 8¾” Welcome Home Frame
E1043 My Acrylix® Solid Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, X5994 Ballerina Cardstock, X6016 Pixie Cardstock, X6018 Raspberry Cardstock, Z8000 Black Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad, Z4057 Craft On Rubber Shapes, Z2088 Clear Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z3503 Cricut® Artbooking Digital Collection, Cricut® You Are Here Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
1¼” #M4235A

You Are Here
1¼” #M282C66F

5″ x 7″ Bride & Groom Frame
D1849 My Acrylix® True Love—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X6003 Fern Cardstock, X5988 Peach Cardstock, X6016 Pixie Cardstock, X5993 Sage Cardstock, Z888 Black StazOn™ Ink Pad, Z4059 Crafty Loose Sequins, Z4064 Stitched Flowers Thin Cuts, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting Machine

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

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

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

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

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

Attach v. Slice

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

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

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

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

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

Using Attach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Put It Together

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13) Embellish with sequins and white ribbon.

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


Recipe:

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

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

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10 Simple Composition Rules to Take Better Photos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Rules Are Made to Be Broken!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s what you’ll need:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Click on the individual images to enlarge.)

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

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

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