What a year it has been! This has been a year of change. But through all that has happened, it has become clearer than ever just how vital this company is. I am so grateful to see Close To My Heart continue to make a difference in the lives of crafters all around the world.
How grateful I am, too, for my treasured family, for precious friends, and for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Together with this company, these are the greatest blessings and joys of my life. These are the things I am celebrating this holiday season.
I wish you a holiday filled with happiness and love. May it be a time filled with joyful connections and heart-warming traditions as we bring this year to a close and move into a new one.
There are so many great stories that happen around the holidays that deserve to be written down, cherished, and shared. In November, we released a new workshop kit from the Story by Stacy™ line called Holiday Stories I Love. Using this new workshop kit, a few of our Home Office employees, including our beloved founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton, explored the memories behind photos they treasure most, documented them with detailed stories, and shared them with us below!
Dolls have always played such a significant part of my life. I love them for their beauty and their representation of many fond childhood memories.
My love of dolls began before I can even remember. I cherish this photo of me with my mother on my very first Christmas. Our lovely tree, and my mother and me dressed in our Sunday best. My mother always said she thought of me as her little doll. She loved to dress me up in beautiful clothes with all the little details, just so. She said I even looked like a little dolly with my porcelain skin, big blue eyes and pretty pink lips. She called me her doll and I loved it. It made me feel so special.
By my second Christmas, dolls were my happy place. I took dolls with me everywhere I went. I played with them, gave them each a name, and fussed with their clothes and hair to make them look oh-so pretty. On my third Christmas, I went to see Santa. My mother recalls that when I sat upon his lap, the only gift I requested was more dolls! Dolls were such a happy part of my childhood and even now, bring such a feeling of nostalgia of a time where life was carefree and magical.
As a mother myself, I call my children and grandchildren my little dolls, just like my mom called me. It is a term of endearment that has carried on because it shows such love for these special and beautiful people who fill my heart and home.
Even today as a grown woman, I still find joy in collecting dolls. I’ve created quite a compilation over the years of beautiful dolls, each representing something special. I have dolls of every ethnicity, hair style, period of history, etc. They bring me a sense of comfort and joy to see their splendor and exquisite detail. I hope to one day pass these cherished dolls down to my daughters and granddaughters, that they might know of my love for dolls, but more importantly, my love for them. — Jeanette
A tradition that goes back as long as I can remember is a Christmas nativity that we act out ourselves. I did this as a child with my own family. I’m so happy we have carried it on with my own children and now grandchildren. The year we took this particular photo was December 2018. We had just moved to Lindon and went to our local ward (church) Christmas party. We were about to leave but Ariana insisted we take this photo. Even though I was tired from working all day I did it for the family. I’m so grateful I did. It truly represents all the nativities we have done as a family with better costumes! Lol. We usually use towels, sheets, and toys. No matter how hard, crazy, busy Christmas seems to be, our homemade nativity always brings the true Christmas spirit into our home. We are a forever family because of our Savior. — Monica
I think I was 11 years old and in the 6th grade. We lived in Littleton, CO, and my dad had quit his job at Metropolitan State University a few months before. He had been asked to do some dishonest things and wasn’t willing to compromise his integrity. Money was very tight and even though I knew that, I still asked for a 10-speed bike.
My bedroom was in the basement, and so was my dad’s workshop. My parents told me that Christmas was going to be hidden in the workshop and asked me not to peek. I just couldn’t help myself. A week before Christmas I looked inside. I saw a very old, very beat up, white 10-speed bike.
I remember being so disappointed. My idea of a cool bike was a brand new bike in a pretty color with all the bells and whistles. I remember thinking, “I shouldn’t feel this way! I know Dad is out of work, money is really tight, and this is probably all he could afford.” I remember for the rest of the week leading up to Christmas feeling so guilty for peeking and trying to psych myself up to act grateful, surprised, and excited on Christmas.
Christmas morning came and into the living room we went. There, next to the tree, sat a brand new, bright yellow 10-speed bike. It had all the bells and whistles and it was just for me. I truly was surprised and so excited! It was not the bike I had seen when I peeked. It wasn’t until years later that I found out my dad had been so sad to give me an old bike that he asked around and found out about a police auction. He went and was able to find that new bike for an amount he felt he could pay.
Every time I think of that bike, even today, I get all choked up. It was so much more than a bike. It was a symbol of the lengths my dad was willing to go to make his little girl happy, and showed me just how much he loves me. — Karen
This photo was taken on Dec. 14, 2017. I have no idea who took it, or how this moment was captured, but I am so very glad it was. This photo represents a special tradition we have of getting a new Christmas book for our collection & reading by the tree before bedtime. The lights of the tree make it all the more magical.
The particular title isn’t a storyline I recall, but there is one Christmas book that has meant the most to this little boy. In 2012, the year he was born, President Thomas S. Monson’s book, “The Christmas Train,” was the one we added to our collection. As soon as Owen was old enough to understand it, it quickly became his favorite & we read it multiple times during the holiday season.
The story is about President Monson as a young boy, wanting desperately to have an electric train. I think the train topic definitely added to Owen’s infatuation with the book, yet I also know that the story itself has had an impact on him as well.
The story details the importance of sharing, & sometimes sacrificing, to see the joy it brings to others. Owen is one to pray each day for the homeless—that they can find food & shelter. He wants to donate to the Food Bank & worries about those he sees on the side of the road. He will often comment hours after passing someone, still thinking about their situation or what they might need. He has a very soft heart & a desire to love those less fortunate.
As much as we may try to instill these selfless traits in our children, I do firmly believe that Owen came to Earth this way. His special spirit is filled with compassion & caring. It is a gift especially given to him.
This photo will always be the perfect reminder to me that Owen embodies the characteristics of a prophet as a young boy—wanting so much for himself (Owen’s wish list is always exceptionally long!) yet, he acts on a stronger desire to give. —Jill
Each year a few weeks before Christmas my mom would use a staple gun to stick two long burlap banners to wood beams dividing the dining and living rooms in our home. Both of these were decorated with felt poinsettias and holly leaves hand-cut and hot-glued. To these we would pin the Christmas cards we received. I remember thinking as a teenager that they were looking a bit worn, but that I was ok with that. I liked Mom’s handmade holiday touches.
Geoff and I spend our first Christmases together in Chicago, and I was determined to make our little apartment homey. We purchased a pint sized artificial tree and I wanted ornaments, but other than the very breakable glass balls, these were expensive. I decided that I would clip coupons from the Sunday paper and that however much I saved on groceries I could purchase and paint at Michaels. Some were as much as .59 cents each, but the gingerbread men were only .29 cents. While Geoff studied every evening, I painted ornaments that have hung on our tree ever since.
By the time we built our current home—in 2006—I had fallen in love with bright, happy colors and with the help of fuzzy ball ornaments from IKEA, I created a bright and playful vision that included painted hat boxes and leather stockings in orange, pink, turquoise and green. The point of this story is that I LOVE to decorate for the holidays—just like my mom—with a mix of handmade and thoughtfully acquired things, and that while my style is very different, and a bit childish, it is magical and 100% me! — Stacy
All of our Story by Stacy™ products are intended to help recall and retell memories in a beautiful way, as you can see by our true-life examples, above. We wish you all a lovely holiday season, full of beautiful new memories for you to cherish, recall, and share for years to come!
Hopefully we’ve all made it onto the “Nice” list this year, because we’ve put together a list of products for you to share with whomever will be filling your stockings and laying presents under your tree this Christmas! That’s right. We are making it easier for the people who love you to get you a gift that you may actually want!
Take a look at the list below, then share the link to this post with your “Santa” and let them know which numbers on the list you are interested in. By clicking on the item, they will be navigated to our website where they will be able to add the product to their “bag” (cart). (Make sure to give your “Santa” a little extra guidance where necessary by specifying colors and quantities. 🙂 )
For those Santa’s who would like additional product details, click on the linked items to take a peek at our product descriptions and photos—purchase is not required (but you may end up with some unhappy elves 😉 ).
The holidays are a time for fun, family, and tradition. One of the most anticipated activities of the year is decorating the house in its festive finest. From the Christmas tree to the lights outside, decorating for the holidays allows you to turn your home into your own piece of art! To help you in this artistic endeavor, we want to show you some fun ways to add a truly personal touch to your home décor with the Merry Little Christmas special!
The Merry Little Christmas special includes three wood ornament options and two wood tag options to bring some three-dimensional fun to your holiday decorations. These beautiful ornaments and tags are the perfect way to add your own festive touch to the boughs of your tree and the gifts under it!
These tags and ornaments are made of sturdy wood pieces, and they not only look fantastic, but are super easy and fun to make! Each ornament is constructed by fitting two interlocking pieces to form gorgeous 3-D decorations. Once they’ve been fitted together, they can be easily secured with a bit of glue and strung onto some decorative thread for a festive finishing touch.
Before you fit your ornament pieces together, you’ll want to think about how to decorate them. Each ornament and tag come with a coordinating digital file, so you can cut perfect paper overlays to complement your Christmas creations!
In addition to decorating with these digital art file cut-outs, you can also embrace the natural wood look and keep your embellishing to a minimum. This round wood ornament is lightly decorated with just a few dots of Liquid Pearls™, and the results are stunning!
For the Christmas tags that have small cut-outs, you can even put a piece of your favorite pattern or glitter paper behind it for a peek-a-boo effect, or two attach two tags together, back-to-back, for some added dimension. These wood pieces can also be stamped on, so add your own choice of patterns or sentiments!
No matter how you choose to decorate your ornaments and tags, or where you place them in your home, the Merry LittleChristmas special is a wonderful way to combine your Christmas cheer with your natural creativity! It also provides a great opportunity for you to craft with the people that you love! They’re incredibly easy to put together, and your loved ones will have a blast creating them with you! Who knows—this could even be start of a beautiful new Christmas crafting tradition!
It’s the time of year when old memories are celebrated and some of the best new ones are made! From Christmas morning snapshots to New Year’s party pictures, your memories of the holiday season are special and deserve to have a place of honor in a festive album. We know you’re always looking for new ways to preserve these moments, and memories made during the 2020 holiday season will be no different. Today, we’re going on an in-depth dive into the Jingle All the Way Album Workshop, and we’ll see how easy it is to preserve our dearest memories with this delightfully whimsical album!
The Jingle All the Way album is an absolute treat to create. With 20 beautiful pages, this album provides the perfect backdrop for your favorite holiday photos and stories!
The kit includes all the papers, embellishments, and Memory Protectors™ you need to create all 20 pages! The only additional supplies you’ll need to complete your very own Jingle All the Way album are some adhesive and a journaling pen!
Because the Jingle All the Way album features the Jingle Joy paper packet, the designs and color themes are cohesive throughout, but each page retains its own individual flair. The workshop also includes a few pages that feature Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™, so you can include even more of your favorite pictures and stories than would fit on a single page!
With space for a photo on top, and another photo or journaling inside, Flip Flaps™ are a great way to tell a full story while incorporating a fun, interactive element to your scrapbook!
Flip Flaps are exactly what they sound like—clear pocket flaps that you attach to a page that flip up to reveal additional photos, sentiments, or designs—and they’re something you can only get at Close To My Heart!
Another stand-out feature of the Jingle All the Way Workshop Kit is the coordinating Cricut Design Space™ file link provided in the instructional guide (download the guide here!), which allows you to create these gorgeous glittery snowflakes and add a touch of glam to complement your holiday photos!
If scrapbooking isn’t already part of your holiday traditions, this year is the perfect time to incorporate it into your celebrations the festive season! This may be more important than ever during the 2020 holiday season, as many of us will be taking a different approach to our holiday traditions and gatherings. The Jingle All the Way Album workshop kit is perfect for experienced scrapbookers, but it’s simple enough for new crafters—even kids—to enjoy. Creating a holiday album with loved ones can be one of the new memories or traditions you establish for years to come!
Celebrating holiday moments from other years alongside the memories made this year can be a great way not only to remember those happy times, but also find great joy in the present. Whether you’re creating this album to document past holiday memories or celebrate new ones from this year, Jingle All the Way is the perfect way to preserve them! What memories will you document with Jingle All the Way? Let us know in the comments, below!
Merry Christmas! As is natural at the end of a year, I have been reflecting lately on what the year has brought to me and to this company. This has been a wonderful year of celebration for me as we have commemorated my 35 years in business milestone. I have truly enjoyed celebrating throughout the year, and especially at our Conventions in Brisbane, Australia, and in Provo, Utah! I express my appreciation to everyone who has shared in the celebrations with me this year.
In addition to the 35-year celebrations, I have also seen the realization of two dreams that I have had for a very long time. One dream that I have had since almost the very beginning of this business has been opening in Japan. I have so much love for the culture and the people there, that it has always been a goal of mine. This year, with the help of some very dedicated individuals, we finally made it happen: we have officially opened in Japan and have our very first Consultants there! This has been a dream come true not only for me, but for many people in Japan who have just been waiting for this day to come!
The second dream that I have seen become reality this year is the opening of our very own event space right in the Home Office building! We built this building over twenty years ago, and I have always thought it would be wonderful to have a space set aside that we could share with Consultants. Just last month we held our inaugural Home Office Album Retreat to officially open the space and we had Consultants from all over in attendance. We have another retreat coming up in January, with more planned for future months as well. I am so excited to be welcoming Consultants and their friends to join us for fun creative time right here at the Home Office.
As you can tell, it has been a wonderful year—another one of many wonderful years that I have had as the leader of this company. I am deeply grateful to everyone who plays a part in making Close To My Heart what it is. We have another exciting year ahead of us, and I can hardly wait to see what new dreams and successes it will bring!
Christmas time is officially here, and in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, most of us still have some last-minute holiday prep to take care of. Everyone wants to have the perfect Christmas; whether you’re still trying to find a gift for your neighbors, come up with favors for a Christmas party, or searching for the perfect stocking stuffer, we want to help out with a few last-minute Christmas treat ideas!
To create these fun projects, we used shapes from our Cricut® Art Philosophy and Artiste collections. These collections include a wide variety of shapes for any project and are available for purchase through your local Consultant.
Before you start on these projects, make sure you have all the tools you need to complete them. A few of the Cricut® shapes will require a scoring tool. If you don’t have a scoring tool, you can add your own scoring lines with a bone folder after the shape has been cut.
The first treat idea we’ll be showing you today is an adorable Christmas mouse. This treat idea is great for all ages! After all, who wouldn’t love a cute little mouse with a candy tail?
To make your very own Christmas mice, cut out an egg shape (#M4462D) for the body and two droplet shapes (#M462B8) for the ear pieces, both from our Art Philosophy Cricut® collection. When cutting the body, be sure to include two small slits in the middle of each body piece. This allows you to easily attach and remove the candy cane tail. To form these slits, insert two small lines (#M369889) from the Basic Shapes tab to your design before cutting. (If you’re going to cut these pieces by hand, use a crafting knife to make these two cuts.)
Once you’ve got all your pieces cut, gently thread a candy cane through the slits on each mouse and attach the ears. For the finishing touch, add some black and white dots to create a nose and eyes. We colored our noses red with an alcohol marker.
With a few of these mice, you’ll have a gift or party favor that is sure to delight!
The next treat idea we have for you today is a mini gingerbread house treat box, made to hold all kinds of yummy surprises.
With white embossed “icing” on the roof and tiny stamped candies flanking the door, this gingerbread house looks good enough to eat, right along with the tasty treats inside!
Before you start making your gingerbread house, note that this particular cut includes score lines. You will need to adjust the cutting tools on your machine accordingly.
To create this too-cute gingerbread house, cut a pyramid box (#M440E0) from our Artiste collection using Kraft paper. Fold along the score lines included in the Cricut® shape and then, attach the sides of the box together with adhesive. Tie the top with some of your favorite ribbon and embellish it with layers of embossed icing and some stamped images from the My Acrylix® From Candyland stamp set.
The last treat we have for you today is a Santa-hat inspired box. This little box packs a whole lot of cheer and makes a fun and festive party favor or stocking stuffer. Just like the gingerbread house, this treat box includes a few score lines and will require you to adjust your cutting tools to create them.
To make your own Santa hat treat box, cut out a pinwheel (#M38DAA) from our Artiste Cricut® collection and fold along the score lines provided in the shape. Once you’ve made your folds, tuck the pinwheel arms behind each other to form the box.
Once you’ve got your treats inside and the box is fully formed, stick a pom-pom on top for a festive finishing touch. This treat box is the perfect size to slip into a stocking and cute enough to give out all on its own. No matter how you gift it, or to whom, it’s sure to be a hit! 🙂
We hope you’ve enjoyed these quick Christmas treat ideas and wish you the sweetest holidays!
There are only 15 days between now and Christmas day…EEK! Is anyone else bursting with anticipation? By now (crossing our fingers), all if not most of the gift shopping is done and taken care of, and it’s time to start thinking of gift wrapping and accessorizing these sought after treasures into the decorative masterpieces that we’ll place under our trees or personally hand deliver.
With our love for paper, ribbon, and celebrating anything that allows us to apply both in a meaningful way, we could not help but create some beautiful gift tags using shapes from our newest Cricut® collection, Complete Creativity.
If you’re not familiar with the Complete Creativity Cricut® collection, this 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. Each project is made up of components that can also be used independent of the layout or card they were designed for.
To illustrate the flexibility of this collection, we pulled individual icons, shapes, and sentiments from several of the projects, manipulated their orientation and size, and then grouped them to create the 15 delightful tags you see here!
All of the shapes, including the tag bases, come from separate projects in the Complete Creativity collection. As a special Christmas treat from us to you, we’re giving you our design space file so you, too, can create these little beauties and can use them in your holiday gift decorating!
To give you an idea of their size, the “Merry Christmas” tags are approximately 5¼” x 3⅛” and the “tis the season” tags are 4½” x 1¾”. If you look closely at each of the pictures above, you will see that there is a total of five tag designs created with three different sets of patterned papers and cardstock. The Design Space file provided will recreate all 15 tags, so you will see 19 different paper requests from your machine as you go through the “Make It” process. (Take a look at our “recipe” below for a complete list of the papers we used in our tags.)
In the provided file, you may also notice a green stand-alone T-shape only in the middle set of tags. This shape is the background ribbon for the small present in the tag next to it. Both, the “Merry Christmas” tag and the T-shape are cut from the same patterned paper in all three sets of tags. Since the patterned paper used for these two shapes in the middle set of tags is a plaid pattern, we wanted to cut it straight in the tag base but not in the ribbon, because we liked the effect of cutting the pattern at an angle better. Therefore, we straightened the tag shape out on the Design Space Canvas Grid and removed the T-shape from the present at the angle shown. This way, the ribbon will be cut with the pattern at the preferred angle as well.
We hope you enjoy putting this fun Christmas project together and sharing it with friends. As always, make sure you let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below! Happy Holidays!
With Thanksgiving just a little over a week away, and Christmas shortly after, we thought we’d share in the holiday spirit with a free downloadable scrapbook pattern! <3
This timeless pattern made its original debut with our Back Country collection a few years ago but, as you can see, it can be used with any papers and for any occasion. Above, we paired the pattern with the Hawthorn paper collection from our September–October Catalog. (For those of you who didn’t get a chance to purchase the collection during these months, you are in luck! We recently started offering product on our website under an Online Only menu, and there are a few Hawthorn Paper Packets left—so grab one while you still can!)
Believe it or not, the layout below was created following this same pattern and paired with the Cedar & Pine collection.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that all we did was turn the pattern upside down. When you do flip or rotate a pattern, just make sure that the title and journaling fall somewhere on the page where it visually makes sense (to you). We didn’t like where the journaling box landed when we flipped our pattern and created this second layout, so we moved it. We also added another photo to this Christmas layout by splitting one of the designated 4″ x 6″ photo spots into two 3″ x 4″ photos.
At Close To My Heart, we take pride in providing the most comprehensive patterns for scrapbook layouts. When you download this pattern, you will notice that it also comes with cutting diagrams to make it even easier to create these pages!
Download this free scrapbooking pattern below and have a wonderful holiday season full of memories worth preserving!
For even more scrapbook patterns, check out our Make It from Your Heart™pattern book series. If you love the free patterns on the blog, you’re sure to be blown away by all the patterns offered in our beautiful how-to books!