35 Reasons to Sign Me Up!

This year, we are celebrating our Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton’s 35 years in the world of stamping, scrapbooking, cardmaking, and papercrafting. Under Jeanette’s leadership, we have not only created innovative products to help you celebrate those you love and preserve your cherished memories, but we have also spent decades helping others become leaders and achieve their goals as Close To My Heart Consultants. In the spirit of this celebration, we have 35 amazing reasons why you’ll want to sign up this month as a Close To My Heart Consultant, including free stamp sets!

Sign Me Up! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhsignmeup #illustratedalphabet #alphabetstampset #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting

Just during February, when you sign up as a Close To My Heart Consultant, you’ll get a special bonus—all five exclusive Hostess Rewards stamp sets from the Seasonal Expressions 1 idea book. That includes the Illustrated Alphabet stamp set that we used for this happy title on the scrapbook page above.

Are you ready for 35 reasons why you’ll want to be a Close To My Heart Consultant??

Here they are:

  1. Get a discount on your favorite memory keeping and papercrafting products
  2. Earn amazing rewards like trips to other parts of the world (think Tahiti, Argentina, or the Caribbean!)
  3. Have access to new products before anyone else
  4. Make money by sharing your creativity with others
  5. Use how-to books for scrapbooking and cardmaking that are especially designed to make it easy to show others that anyone can be creative!
  6. Structure your business to work around the priorities in your life
  7. Build lasting friendships
  8. Take advantage of a New Consultant Kit with essential business supplies to help you get started
  9. Work from anywhere
  10. Receive Close To My Heart Cash when you sign up to spend on products like paper packets, cardstock, stamp sets, or stamp pads of your choice
  11. Get creative inspiration from other Consultants
  12. Start a business with no experience required
  13. Meet other people with similar interests
  14. Earn additional rewards like exclusive stamp sets, a logo t-shirt, and bonus products when you meet particular sales goals in your first 90 days as a Consultant
  15. Be your own party Hostess as a Consultant—this means you can take advantage of the Consultant discount AND the Hostess Reward program at the same time
  16. Use training and marketing resources available online from Close To My Heart to help your business succeed
  17. Make crafting your part-time to full-time living—it’s up to you!
  18. Receive weekly emails from Close To My Heart to walk you through the steps you should take to get your business started
  19. Be your own boss
  20. Use your Consultant discount on a Craft with Heart™ subscription
  21. Get a free e-commerce website to make shopping with you easy for your customers
  22. Participate in the Close To My Heart community online and on social media where you’ll find resources and encouragement from others just like you
  23. Attend regional or national events for business training, product training, creative sessions, and more
  24. Get started with a low-cost New Consultant Kit (plus bonus stamp sets this month!)
  25. Introduce others to the joy to recording and sharing their unique story with Story by Stacy™ workshop kits
  26. Set your own schedule
  27. Make money doing what you love!
  28. Receive recognition from Close To My Heart when you reach business and sales benchmarks
  29. Bring people together to do things that you enjoy like scrapbooking, cardmaking, and papercrafting
  30. Learn valuable business skills from Close To My Heart staff, online resources, and fellow Consultants
  31. Participate with Close To My Heart to contribute to our charitable partner, Operation Smile™, helping children get life-changing facial surgeries around the world
  32. Learn how to celebrate the relationships in your life and teach others to do the same
  33. Flexibility to adapt your business to your goals, whether you’re looking for a discount on products you love or plan to build your business to earn an income
  34. Connect with other people that encourage you to reach your goals
  35. Receive five free stamp sets when you sign up in February!

These are all phenomenal reasons to join the Close To My Heart family. Plus, the free stamp sets you get when you sign up this month make becoming a Consultant an even better deal.

Sign Me Up! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhsignmeup #illustratedalphabet #alphabetstampset #gotsnow #thisisnotabill #letscelebrate #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting

These stamp sets will help you add a little extra something to any project, including cards, envelopes, scrapbook pages, and more. We love how you can combine the solid letters and illustrated overlay images with the Illustrated Alphabet. Take a closer look at that title.

Sign Me Up! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhsignmeup #illustratedalphabet #alphabetstampset #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting

February is the perfect time to take advantage of this special and all of the opportunities available to you as a Close To My Heart Consultant. To get started, click here, and you’ll be on your way!


Recipe:

 12″ x 12″ Love Your Face Page
E1044 My Acrylix® Illustrated Alphabet Stamp Set, X7243B Feels Like Home Paper Packet, X9003 Mix-in Paper Packet, X5991 Lilac Cardstock, X5988 Peach Cardstock, X6022 Smoothie Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2823 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2808 Lemon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6500 Sugarplum Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7243C Feels Like Home Complements, Z4304 Loose Sequins—Silver, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3224 Waterbrush—Small Round, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots

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Drawing Shapes in Cricut Design Space™

Each Close To My Heart Cricut® collection has hundreds of shapes that you can adapt for any project. We’ve shown you some ways you can use Design Space to cut shapes for your scrapbook pages, and today we have another tutorial to expand your creative options with your Cricut® images by changing images from cut to DRAW. This allows you to use the same fonts and shapes to draw a title, journaling, or a background!

image1

Switching an image from cut to draw in Design Space is very simple. You just click on your shape and change Cut to Draw in the Edit bar above your canvas. Today we are going to walk you through how to make the multicolor triangle background that you see in the page above by using the tools in Design Space to draw, rather than cut, this design.

Keep in mind, to use the same image we did, you must own the You Are Here Cricut® collection. You will also need a Cricut® machine that is Design Space compatible (any of the Explore or the new Maker machines) and allows you to draw with pens. The steps below show you how to work in Design Space from a desktop or laptop computer. If you use the app on a mobile device, the buttons and tools will be located in slightly different places on your screen, but the same features are available on any device.

1. Sign in to Cricut Design Space™ at design.cricut.com.

Log in with your Cricut ID and password, and then select the green New Project button in the top right corner.

2. Insert and resize a basic square shape. Then color the square.

step2

To make the base for the design, you will first insert a square by clicking on Shapes on the left side of your screen. Then add a square to your canvas. You can easily resize this square to 11 by adjusting the width. Make sure to leave the lock icon locked so that the height automatically resizes when you change the width.

In the Edit bar, next to Linetype, select the colored square and change the material color to white. We decided to work with white since we know we’re going to use White Daisy cardstock as the base for the design, and it makes the pattern easier to see as you build it on your canvas.

3. Insert and ungroup the triangle flag. Then delete the extra shape.

step3

The background uses a triangle flag shape from the You Are Here collection. Click Images to add new image to the canvas. Search for the image using #M282C66F and add it to your canvas. Then click on the flag and select UnGroup in the Layers panel on the right. Once you have separated the shape into two images, you can delete the purple flag. We’re only going to use the triangle shape.

4. Resize, duplicate, and flip the triangle.

step4

Resize both the width and height of the triangle to 1. Make sure to unlock the image size so that Design Space lets you modify both. Just click on the lock above the measurements. Then select the triangle and then click Duplicate in the Layers panel. To flip the shape, select the second triangle, and under Flip in the Edit bar, select Flip Vertically.

5. Arrange and group both triangles together.

Now that you have two triangles. Line them up vertically, with a small space in between. Then click the first triangle, hold down the shift key on your keyboard, and click the second triangle. Then select Group in the Layers panel.

 6. Duplicate the triangles and arrange in a row, centering horizontally.

step6

Duplicate the grouped triangles five times and arrange them in a row. You can center these shapes by first selecting all five set of triangles. Just like in step 6, you can do this by holding down the shift key on your keyboard. Then select Center Horizontally under Align in the Edit bar.

7. Duplicate the triangle row eight times.

step7

When you have one row of triangles, duplicate the row and arrange as shown above. You’ll need eight rows, with a small amount of space in between each one.

8. Even out the top and bottom rows of triangles.

step8

Once you have your rows arranged, you might notice that part of the design isn’t going to fit on the white square. To fix this, you’ll use the UnGroup button in the Layers panel to separate the bottom set of triangles, and move the last triangle from the bottom of the design to the top. This will give you straight edges along the top and bottom, just like you see in the screenshot above.

9. Change cut to draw and add pen color.

With your first set of triangles ready to go, you can now change the Linetype in the Edit bar from Cut to Draw. Then click on the box next to Draw. This is where you can choose the pen size and color.

We used the Cricut® Sorbet fine point pen set for this project. The pen color for the triangles in the first two rows is Cactus Pink. The third row is Adobe. The fourth row is Yellow. The fifth and sixth rows are Light Green, and the seventh and eighth are Light Turquoise. We’ve found that it’s easiest to use Cricut® pens since they are designed to work especially with their machines.

10. Group nine rows of colored triangles together and duplicate.

step10

To make the remaining half of the background, all you have to do now is click and drag your cursor over the rows. Then group the rows together and duplicate. Just move this new group of triangles next to the first one, keeping them evenly spaced.

11. Group all rows of colored triangles together. Then align and attach to the white square.

Make sure to group all the triangles together, and then select both the grouped triangles and the white square. Under Align, click Center. This will center the triangles on the square. Then select Attach at the bottom of the Layers panel. This ensures the shapes will draw exactly as you’ve arranged them on the square.

12. Cut AND draw your project!

When you’re ready to draw the design and cut the White Daisy cardstock, click the green Make It button in the top right corner and follow the prompts. You’ll need to load the correct pen color in Clamp A of your machine. Design Space will tell you which pen to use first, and then as your machine draws the design, it will prompt you to switch to the next color. When you’re done, you’ll have a bright multicolor background for your page.

image2

Changing your Close To My Heart shapes from cut to draw will give your scrapbook pages a different look and feel then using cut shapes. You could even use this concept to draw a background or write a personalized sentiment on a card. Take some time to try this out with your favorite Close To My Heart Cricut® collections. The possibilities are endless!


Recipe:

12″ × 12″ Love Page
X7241B So Much Happy Paper Packet, X7242B I Heart Us Paper Packet, X6007 Lagoon Cardstock, X5986 Mint Cardstock, X6016 Pixie Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X7242C I Heart Us Complements, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z3502 Cricut® You Are Here Digital Collection, Cricut® Fine Point Pen Set—Sorbet, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
You Are Here
1″, #M282C66F

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Sponging and Droplet Technique on Cards

We love using colorful inks to create cool backgrounds on cards. Today we are showing you how we made the vibrant gradient background on the card below.

sponging_techniques-card-2-hero.jpg

Let’s get started!

First, we picked our colors. We needed a full spectrum to create a rainbow effect, so we used Candy Apple, Raspberry, Nectarine, Lemon, Willow, Bluebird, and Pansy from our Exclusive Inks™ collection. The next thing to do is to prepare your sponges.

sponging_techniques-process-sponge

We took one of our round sponges and cut it into wedges, one for each color. (Daubers also work, if those are your preference.)

Firmly hold your paper on your work surface. A little bit of rolled up washi tape on the back of your cardstock should do the trick for when you can’t hold it in place with your hands. Now, to the fun part of sponging on the colors!

With an inked sponge wedge, start off by applying your first color with light pressure and in a circular motion. Continue to apply the color until reaching the desired level of saturation. As you switch colors, slightly overlap each for that blended look.

After all of our colors were applied we splattered our background with Spritz Cleaner to achieve a water “damage” look. First, we unscrewed the top and dropped fat drops of Spritz Cleaner onto the ink straight from the tube. Then, we replaced the top and sprayed the card for smaller droplets. We suggest using Spritz Cleaner instead of water because the ink will separate better and create the desired effect without warping the paper like water will.

We finished the card by heat embossing a sentiment and cute balloon in white.

sponging_techniques-card-2

One of the great things about this technique is that you don’t always have to sponge your ink on a solid color piece of paper. Take a look at how we used this same technique on patterned paper to create this other card:

sponging_techniques-card-3

It also looks great with just one color:

sponging_techniques-card-1

What do you like about this sponging technique? And if this isn’t new to you, what are some ways that you do things differently? Please share your creative thoughts with us in the comments below!

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Operation Smile™: Consultants in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

On October 11, 2018, a few of our Close To My Heart Consultants embarked on what was to become an experience of a lifetime. They traveled for 20+ hours to arrive in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where they were immediately given instructions and put to work. After many long days in hot, humid, and very humbling conditions, all of these women, who are our Upline, Downline, Team members, friends, and family, would gladly do it all over again!

For over a decade, Close To My Heart has partnered with and supported the work of Operation Smile™, an international medical charity that provides free surgeries to children and young adults in developing countries born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other dental and facial conditions.

In an effort to increase our support for this cause, Close To My Heart hosted the Share a Smile Challenge last year. The winners of the contest would earn a spot as a non-medical volunteer in the Santa Cruz, Bolivia Operation Smile™ international medical mission, from October 11 through the 19. Announced in our North American Convention, the prize winners were none other than the generous and tender-hearted Avis Latimer, Holly Veselenak, and Brenda Rose. Canadian Consultant Jennifer Smith was awarded a fourth spot on the mission due to the extraordinary amount of donations brought in by her artwork donation at our Convention. (To read more about the Share a Smile Challenge and its winners, visit Operation Smile™ for the Win!)

We’ve reached out to all of our medical mission volunteers and collected their thoughts and insights into what it was like to be part of something so awe-inspiring. Here are their experiences:

Operation Smile Consultant Report #ctmh #closetomyheart #operationsmile #ctmhoperationsmile #scrapbooking #scrapbook #charity #medicalmission
Avis Latimer (Glenn Dale, Maryland)

“I’ve always wanted to do a mission trip but figured it would happen once I retired. I wasn’t sure what kind of trip it would be, I just knew that I wanted to help others and broaden my personal perspective. Now, I know my skill set and wasn’t sure how I’d find a fit, but, as always, when you let go and let God take over, amazing things happen—like earning an Operation Smile mission trip to Bolivia! I wasn’t prepared for the wave of emotions that would overwhelm me…”   continue reading

Operation Smile Consultant Report #ctmh #closetomyheart #operationsmile #ctmhoperationsmile #scrapbooking #scrapbook #charity #medicalmissionHolly Veselenak (Macomb, Michigan)

“It blows my mind, still to this day, that I went on a life changing mission for Operation Smile to help little babies, young toddlers, young teens/tweens and even adults, when in actuality, my life was changed. I’ll never forget landing in Santa Cruz with my mission buddies, Avis Latimer, Brenda Rose, and Jennifer Smith. We had no idea what we were about to embark on and we were all so humbled and blessed to have been the ones chosen to go…”  continue reading

Operation Smile Consultant Report #ctmh #closetomyheart #operationsmile #ctmhoperationsmile #scrapbooking #scrapbook #charity #medicalmissionBrenda Rose (East Bethel, Minnesota)

“Some time back, Bill and Kathy Magee spoke at our Convention. I fell in love with Operation Smile, and I respect every little thing the organization and volunteers do to help children and adults that so desperately need it. It has been a dream for me to go on an Operation Smile mission…”   continue reading

One of the great things about this cause is that we don’t all have to leave our house and fly around the world to help these beautiful children. All they need from us is to make donations to make the medical missions possible. Close To My Heart is fully committed to helping Operation Smile™ receive these donations. Did you know that it takes as little as $240 to perform one of these life changing surgeries?

“Operations Smile changes lives. We can help by simply rounding up our order or buying a t-shirt or stamp set. So simple, yet it allows Operation Smile the ability to continue the very important work they do!”
Brenda Rose

With each donation from you, whether from rounding up your order or by purchasing the Operation Smile stamp set, My Acrylix® Your Best Self, you are making a difference in someone’s life.

Operation Smile Consultant Report #ctmh #closetomyheart #operationsmile #ctmhoperationsmile #scrapbooking #scrapbook #charity #medicalmission #beyourselfstampset

You may never get to meet or see them, but these children will never forget your generous heart. To learn more about how you can help Operation Smile™, talk to your Consultant today or find one in your area by visiting closetomyheart.com and clicking Find a Consultant under the What We Do tab.

“If you’re looking for a charity to rally behind and support, this is it. You are impacting not only one life, but the lives of those who surround this person. We are making a difference one smile at a time.”
Holly Veselenak

Thank you for helping us make a difference! And a special thank you to Avis Latimer, Holly Veselenak, Brenda Rose, and Jennifer Smith for your continued support and extraordinary commitment to Operation Smile™!

“In the end, it’s about having faith, hope, love and doing what we are each led to do in order to improve the life of another.”
Avis Latimer


(Due to scheduling conflicts, Jennifer Smith was unavailable to contribute to this post.)

Recipes:

12″ x 12″ The Faces of Moses…Layout
Avis Latimer
X7242B I Heart Us Paper Packet, X7242D I Heart Us Coordinating Cardstock, X7242C I Heart Us Complements, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins

12″ x 12″ Smiles for Miles Layout
Holly Veselenak
X7241B So Much Happy Paper Packet, X7241D So Much Happy Coordinating Cardstock, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4254 So Much Happy Puffy Stickers, Z4271 So Much Happy Washi Tape, Z3230 Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™ 3″ × 4″

12″ x 12″ Be the Reason Someone Smiles Today
Brenda Rose
X7240B Something Fierce Paper Packet, X7240D Something Fierce Coordinating Cardstock, X7240C Something Fierce Complements, Z4221 Mink Twine

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Using a 12″ x 12″ Photo in Your Scrapbook

Using 12

We’re so glad you’re stopping by, today, because we’re putting a spin on the classic scrapbook page and you don’t want to miss it!

The idea is simple, yet ingenious! Rather than using paper as a base for all of your album pages, try mixing it up every once in a while, and use a photo! That’s right—a large, 12″ x 12″ photo!

Using 12

Getting one of these pages done could be is as easy as attaching a few complements and some journaling strips. Choose a photo that can be cropped to a square, if it isn’t already, and that has some open space for a few additions. The key is to use embellishments to support the story behind your photo, not to cover it up. Enhance your photo pages with Complements, titles, and accessories in colors and motifs already in your photos.

Using 12

For this, “On The Slopes,” page, we used our Cricut® machine to create the color coordinating title and several unique snowflakes. We even heat embossed a few additional snowflakes right on the photo! (To avoid damaging your photo if you’re heat embossing, remember to apply heat intermittently as you’re setting the image.) And if heat embossing is possible, then you can be certain that stamping with our Exclusive Inks™ on a photo is, too! “Just Chillin’” was stamped with our non-smearing and fast-drying Intense Black ink, just above the journaling. Whether you’re planning on heat embossing or stamping on your photos, a photo with a matte finish is your safest bet to get the best results. Even though a glossy photo could also work, the matte finish allows the ink to set easier, without possible sliding or pooling before it dries.

The last idea we want to talk about is journaling. Every good scrapbook page includes at least some journaling—from small details of who, what, where, and when, to a full and lengthy narrative of the events surrounding the image(s) on the page, and everything in between. These 12″ x 12″ photo-based scrapbook pages are no exception!

Using 12

You’ll notice that on our “Happy Day” page we used strips of paper for the journaling. You can do this typed, like in our example, or in your own handwriting. If you are hand writing your journaling, we suggest writing everything out first, then cutting it up into strips, and adhering your strips to the photo page last. (We all have to practice, sometimes! 🙂 )

Using 12

In our second example we have the words typed on the photo. There are several ways to accomplish this look. The easiest way is to add the type right in the photo with a photo editing program, like Photoshop®, before you print it. If you do not have a photo editing program but do have access to a printer with the capacity to print 12″ x 12″, you could create a file on a word processor program, like Microsoft® Word, and then print your journaling right onto your photo. Another option, if you don’t have a large-format printer, is to ask whomever prints your photos to add the type for you.

For those of you not sure where to print a photo this size, our friends at Persnickety Prints can help! Not only will they provide you with a high-quality photo, they are ready to do so at a discount, now and through the end of the month! Use the code CTMH2 when checking out and get 20% off your 12″ x 12″ prints (matte or gloss). (Visit Persnickety Prints, here.)

If you haven’t done so already, give this type of scrapbook page a try! And if you have, we’d love to hear what you’ve done! Please share what has and hasn’t worked for you with all of us in the comments, below.


Recipes:

12″ x 12″ Happy Day Page
X7240B Something Fierce Paper Packet, X7242B I Heart Us Paper Packet, X5990 Carolina Cardstock, X6021 Sapphire Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X7242E Picture My Life™ Cards—I Heart Us, X7240C Something Fierce Complements, X7242C I Heart Us Complements, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins, Z4305 Thin Cuts—Fancy Tags, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3326 Tombow® Permanent Adhesive, Z3502 Cricut® Flower Market Digital Collection

Cricut Shape:
Flower Market
1¾” shift + title <Daffodil> (p. 44, #MD72936)

12″ x 12″ On The Slopes Page
C1764 My Acrylix® Got Snow? Stamp Set, X5993 Sage Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z4304 Loose Sequins—Silver, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z4248 Ranger™ Silver Tinsel Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3326 Tombow® Permanent Adhesive, Z3502 Cricut® You Are Here Digital Collection

Cricut Shapes:
You Are Here
¾”, 1¼” shift + Icon-5 <V> (p. 34, #M27F834A)
1½”, 2″, 2¼” Icon-5 <v> (p. 34, #M27F834A)
2½” Title <v> (p. 34, #M27F810E)
2½” shift + title <V> (p. 34, #M27F810E)

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How to Make New Friends… Out of Paper!

Papercrafting is best when you’re with friends, but it can be tricky to work around conflicting schedules and long distances. If you find you aren’t able to see your friends quite as often as you’d like, here’s an idea: Make some new ones!

Paper Pals Stamp + Thin Cuts #ctmh #papercrafting #paperpals

…out of paper of course! While these fun paper dolls won’t be a complete substitute for real-life friends (you’ll want to keep those people around!), the Paper Pals collection gives you the tools to create a whole gang of perky, cheerful buddies who are always there for you and who would be glad to help in a variety of ways! They’ll help you accent a scrapbook layout, brighten a card with their smile, or just hang out and keep you company!

 

 

The collection includes four stamp sets with coordinating Thin Cuts shapes. Use the base set to start your Paper Pal, then decorate and accessorize using the boy and girl sets. Be sure to make your paper pal a pal of their own using the Paper Pal Pets set! Each of these sets is available individually, but can also be purchased together at a discount in the Paper Pal Bundle!

Paper Pals Stamps + Thin Cuts #ctmh #papercrafting #thincuts #paperdoll

While the clothing items and accessories are packaged into “girl” and “boy” sets, most of the items can used on pals of either gender! The overalls pictured above are included in the “boy” set, but look perfectly feminine in this example. You have total control over the clothes based on your paper and ink choices.

Also, note the difference between the boy and girl hair styles: While the “boy” hair style sits on top of the head like any other paper shape, the “girl” style die cuts a slit that allows you to slide it over the head, for a more lifelike look.

 

 

These Paper Pals are so much fun to play with that before long, we’re sure your other friends will be begging you to invite them over to play, too! We hope that you’ll be a good friend and share your new pals with them. And don’t worry, you can always take satisfaction knowing that these Paper Pals were your friends first. 😉

Paper Pals Stamp + Thin Cuts #ctmh #papercrafting #scrapbooking #thincuts #paperdoll


Recipe

12″ x 12″ Yay for a Field Trip Layout
Make It from Your Heart™ Vol. 3—Pattern 4 (p. 12)
C1749 My Acrylix® Something Fierce—Cardmaking Stamp Set, C1725 My Acrylix Simply Said Stamp Set, E1039 My Acrylix® Erin’s Hand Stamp Set, Z4269 Paper Pal Bundle, X7240B Something Fierce Paper Packet, X7241B So Much Happy Paper Packet, X7242B I Heart Us Paper Packet, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X6028 Black Cardstock, X5986 Mint Cardstock, X5998 Canary Cardstock, X6020 Saffron Cardstock, X6005 Goldrush Cardstock, X5997 Almond Cardstock, X6025 Toffee Cardstock, X6002 Espresso Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6501 Ballerina Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2812 Raspberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6508 Bluebird Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2848 Sapphire Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2851 Saffron Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2823 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2827 Almond Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2828 Toffee Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2829 Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7240E Picture My Life™ Cards—Something Fierce, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, X7240C Something Fierce Complements, Z4254 So Much Happy Puffy Stickers, Z4253 Something Fierce Puffy Stickers, Z4242 Watercolor Pencils, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z1979 Marcy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

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Stories I Love Giveaway from Stacy Julian!

We all have photos that hold a special place in our hearts. They remind us of something or someone, and they often have detailed, personal stories that go with them. Stories I Love, the newest program from Story by Stacy™, gives you permission to bring your most treasured photos together in one album and teaches you how to write the unique stories that go along with them.

image 1

Your favorite photos may not be the ones that are the most pretty. They may not have the best lighting. They could be candid or staged. They could be from a special occasion or from everyday life. What makes them important are the memories they represent and what you feel when you look at them. That’s what Stories I Love is all about. Each Stories I Love workshop kit comes with a 6″ x 8″ album, ten 6″ x 8″ Memory Protectors™, one title page, one closing page, story pages, base pages, and two sticker sheets. The workbook included in the kit walks you through the steps of exploring the story behind one photo, writing that story, and then creating a 6″ x 8″ layout with just that story and photo.

image 2

Are you ready to make your own Stories I Love album? Watch the video below to hear directly from Stacy about this new program and to find out how you can win your very own Stories I Love workshop kit!

You have until 11 a.m. (MST) Thursday, January 17, to enter in the giveaway. Winners will be notified by email on Thursday.

The memories behind the photos you cherish are stories only YOU can tell. Recording your thoughts and feelings transforms every layout you make into a treasured keepsake. We can’t wait to see what you create with Stories I Love!

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5 Ways to Get Out of a Creative Rut and Get Inspired

We’ve all been there. No matter how much we enjoy creating, eventually there comes a time where we find that our creative juices are anything but flowing. It is nothing to feel bad about. Lulls come and go and are part of the creative process. However inevitable these ruts may be, we do at least have some control over how long we allow ourselves to stay in them. Below are five suggestions to get out of that brain-lock and find your muse.

  1. Carve out a creative space.

Workspace Wonder™ Organization #ctmh #closetomyheart #workspacewonder #work #space #wonder #organization #organisation #system #storage #solution #stacking #declutter #papercrafting #paper #craft #crafting #diy #cardmaking #scrapbooking

Dedicate a physical place for your crafting and take the time to nest. Make it a place that reminds you of how much you love scrapbooking or cardmaking (or both!) and why. While craft rooms can be fabulous, this creative space doesn’t have to be an entire room. A desk or a table work just as well. Include quotes, photos, finished projects, supplies—whatever supports your creative energy. Once your place is all set up, don’t let it get stale. Keep wanting to spend time there by keeping it up with a cute new pillow, or quote, or photos, etc. Make this the place you physically go to, and want to go to, when you work on your art.

A physical place is just the beginning of a creative space. Before going to your place, make sure your mind is going with you, too! Clear your mind of stresses to make room for new ideas to sprout and grow. Everyone does this a little bit differently. For some, going on a walk or a drive does the trick. Others may require locking the door, turning on some music, and dancing without inhibitions. Whatever your process, do your best to clear your mind and stay present before you sit down to create.

  1. Show up.

You’ve carved out a creative space, both physically and mentally. Now, the next thing is to show up. Set time aside for the thing that you love and make it the thing to do at that time. Add it to your daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. The important thing is that you include it in your routine and that you actually take the time to do it. Even if you don’t have a project that you are currently working on, feed your creativity. Sit down in your place and create something. Remove the pressure of creating for a specific reason. You create because you love to.

  1. Try something new.

Enhance your creativity by doing things differently from time-to-time.

sistine-chapel-ceiling

Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists of all time, always thought of himself as a sculptor and not a painter. When he was commissioned to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel he tried turning it down but was eventually persuaded otherwise. (Aren’t you glad?) Up until that commission, Michelangelo had never painted in fresco or even used color in any of his art.

Just like Michelangelo, you’ll never know what you are capable of if you stick to the same, habitual, never changing methods and ideas. Experiment with new media, new products, and new techniques. Even though you will fail occasionally, you will also have successes.

  1. See what others are up to.

This is the point where we tell you to take your headphones off and connect with the world that is around you. Visit museums and art shows, attend concerts and live theater, flip through magazines, go shopping, eat at your favorite restaurants, and spend time with uplifting people. Allow all of this creative energy to rub off on you and reign it in to use on your art.

  1. Keep an inspiration journal.

Keep a notebook or use your phone to gather and keep ideas that inspire you. You never know when you’ll see something that you just love to look at, for whatever reason—it could be a color combination, an arrangement, a theme, etc. Keep all of these ideas in one place to refer back to often, especially when you’re feeling creatively stuck.

Take a look at these two examples:

How to Get Out of a Creative Rut #ctmh #closetomyheart #creativerut #creativespace #creativeinspiration #artinspiration #inspiration #inspirationjournal

You’re out shopping for new linens one day when you realize that you can’t stop looking at the arrangement of the wall display. There is something comforting about how neat and organized everything is, so you snap a photo and move on with your errand. Later that week when you sit down in your creative space, you pull out the photo you took and then create the following page for your scrapbook, using the lines created by the shelves as your inspiration:

How to Get Out of a Creative Rut #ctmh #closetomyheart #creativerut #creativespace #creativeinspiration #artinspiration #inspiration #inspirationjournal #awesomelayout #scrapbooking

On another occasion, you’re flipping through a magazine and see this photo:

How to Get Out of a Creative Rut #ctmh #closetomyheart #creativerut #creativespace #creativeinspiration #artinspiration #inspiration #inspirationjournal

You clip the photo (or take a photo of it with your phone) and save it in your inspiration journal. Pulling from the heavy pattern on the wall and smaller items offset to the side, you create a card.

How to Get Out of a Creative Rut #ctmh #closetomyheart #creativerut #creativespace #creativeinspiration #artinspiration #inspiration #inspirationjournal #wildaboutyou

The card is based on the same compositional elements as the photo. There is a heavy pattern in the background, a large sentiment in the front (like the chair), with smaller complements next to it.

We hope that this new year brings lots of creative ideas to you all. And if ever in a rut, review our list above to help you find your inspiration.

What are some things you do to feed your creative energy?


Recipes:

4¼” x 5½” Wild About You Card (Horizontal)
X5999 Charcoal Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X7241E Picture My Life™ Cards—So Much Happy, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4254 So Much Happy Puffy Stickers, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

12″ x 12″ Awesome Page
X7240B Something Fierce Paper Packet, X5999 Charcoal Cardstock, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4254 So Much Happy Puffy Stickers, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Sewing Machine

 

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Get Papercrafty and Frame It Up!

Happy National Papercrafting Month, everyone! It’s that time of year where we have the perfect excuse to celebrate all things paper and we absolutely loooove what we’ve got for you and your friends to celebrate right along with us. Crafters of all kinds can join in and start the new year full of creative possibilities with our Frame It Up special!

Frame It Up #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhmagnoliaframe #ctmhnpm #nationalpapercraftingmonth #papercrafting #diyframe

This special features the beautiful Magnolia Frame Kit, designed to create customizable décor for your home, office, or any other space you’d like to brighten up.

Frame It Up #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhmagnoliaframe #ctmhnpm #nationalpapercraftingmonth #papercrafting #diyframe

Each kit comes with a 16″ x 16″ chipboard frame and backing, one double sided frame overlay that lets you choose what kind of finish you want for your frame, two decorative words, die-cut flowers, leaves, and rose gold foil accents. Use the included step-by-step instructions to get the basic frame and flowers assembled, and then let your creativity guide you through designing the rest!

 

 

There are so many different ways to use this versatile frame that you are sure to want more than one, which is precisely why you get 15% off each kit when you buy two, or 30% off when you buy three or more!

Frame It Up #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhmagnoliaframe #ctmhnpm #nationalpapercraftingmonth #papercrafting #diyframe

And, because it’s a new year and we think everyone should have at least one of these gorgeous frames, we are giving away FIVE Magnolia Frame Kits right here, on our blog! You have 24 hours, that’s until 4 pm (MST) tomorrow (January 9), to leave us a comment below telling us how or where you would use this frame and become a subscriber, if you aren’t already.

National Papercrafting Day is coming up, fast. Celebrated on the fourth Saturday of every January, this year it falls on January 26. Get together with your friends and celebrate by crafting your new Magnolia Frame!

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