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!
Scrapbooking is more than just a hobby. It is the preservation of memories, a way to pass on a precious legacy to all you hold dear. Even the smallest, most simple moments can turn into powerful memories that can bring joy to you and your family for years to come. Whether you put it together for yourself or as a special gift for a loved one, the Days of December album is a must-have!
The idea behind a photo-a-day project is to go about your regular activities and to then take a photo of what you consider is the highlight of your day. This 6″ x 8″ album is simply bursting with festive cheer! Each page provides plenty of room to tell your stories through your own photos and words.
Get ready to have some fun this Christmas season as you document your most treasured holiday moments each and every day in December! In case you need a little help getting started on this beautiful Days of December album, below you’ll find a list of 31 photo prompts and ideas, one for each day. For those of you who did this with us last year, you’ll remember that we provided a similar list of photo prompts then, too. (Click here to see last year’s list.) We intentionally made this list different from last year’s so that we can have both to reference—that’s a total of 62 photo ideas to pull from!
Use these prompts in chronological order, switch them up, or pick and choose your favorites to use in conjunction with some of your own ideas. The important thing is to enjoy the moments, capture the memories as you make them, and then preserve them to treasure for years to come. We are memory keepers, after all!
The Days of December album kit is only available through the end of November, while supplies last. Make sure to grab yours while there is still time! <3
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:
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.
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.
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.
The gorgeous wreath on this page was created using several of the small stamps from the A Dash of Joy set and nothing else.
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.
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! <3 ***
Merry Christmas from my family to yours! How I love this time of year and the opportunity to celebrate the birth and life of my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the reason behind the holiday and the center of my personal and family celebrations. I love everything about Christmas, but most especially how wonderful it is to be surrounded by these dear people who mean so much to me. I hope that your holiday is filled with joy, peace, and merriment in the company of cherished friends and loved ones.
As we look ahead to the start of another year, I am just bursting with excitement for 2019—it marks 35 years since I first began selling stamps and designing my own. Close To My Heart is the amazing company and community that has grown out of those very first efforts of mine, which is why we’re making 2019 an entire year of celebration! We’re kicking off the year with a brand new catalog of products that will launch on January 1—here’s a little peek for you:
That’s only the cover, but I hope that when you look at it, you can feel the excitement I’m talking about. It’s the same excitement you feel on a Christmas morning: The anticipation of great things in store. And believe, me, have we got great things in store for you!
In fact, since it is just too hard to wait even one more week, I want to kick off the celebration with a little giveaway! I want to give away 35 prizes consisting of one of our new stamp sets paired with a pack of the new Mix-in paper packet featured in the upcoming idea book:
If you’d like to win one of these prizes, just share a comment with me of one thing you’ll be celebrating in 2019. Make your comment before January 1 and we’ll draw our 35 winners in the first week of January.
The reason I chose that particular stamp set is because of the sentiment, which says “We didn’t realize we were making memories we just knew we were having fun.” I have certainly experienced that many times in my 35 years of business! We may not always be aware of it, but we’re always making memories through all the adventures of this life. I hope that this holiday season has brought you many fun, fulfilling times, and that the year ahead brings you even more that you will be able to capture and preserve as happy memories for years to come.
From my heart to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The end of a year always brings a mingled sense of excitement and nostalgia: We look with anticipation toward what’s ahead while remembering with fondness the good things that have passed us by. There are a few good things from 2018 that we’d like to call your attention to that haven’t quite passed us by yet, but which will no longer be available after December 31. Any one of these items would make an excellent addition to your crafting arsenal and could prove to be just the right thing for many of your Projects Yet-to-Come.
Here are ten must-have items from our 2018 Holiday Expressions idea book!
10. Raspberry Baker’s Twine. This bright, Raspberry twine makes a fun accent that coordinates perfectly with other Raspberry-colored papers, cardstocks, and stamped images.
9. Fern Stitched Ribbon. The Fern thread stitched along the edges of this white cotton ribbon adds a touch of elegance to bows and other accents.
7. Blue Burlap Ribbon. Another excellent trim option that adds both color and texture to any project.
6. Thin Cuts—Winter Flurries. Three metal dies that cut our snowflake shapes from a variety of materials, including glitter paper, vellum, cardstock, and more!
5. ‘Tis the Season Buttons. These fabric-covered buttons add delightful dimension to cards, scrapbook pages, and other crafts. And yes, they are adhesive backed!
4. My Acrylix® Candy Cane Alphabet Stamp Set. This set is a shoo-in for any list of must-haves. As our December Stamp of the Month, it can be yours for a deeply discounted price with a qualifying order. Get more info about our Stamp of the Month program here.
2. Baby Animal Doodles Stamp + Thin Cuts. One of our absolute favorite stamp sets features these adorable doodled animals, each of which is paired with a corresponding die to make cutting out the shapes effortless.
1. Cricut® Season of Joy Digital Collection. Our number one must-have item is this delightful digital collection. This collection is chock-full of festive sentiments and versatile layered images that bring the holiday cheer—not to mention a stunning set of 3-D items! Our favorites might just be the fun 3-D elves and Santa:
Talk to your Close To My Heart Consultant before December 31 to make sure the items on our list make it onto your next order! And if you don’t have a Consultant, just head over to closetomyheart.com and start shopping or click the “Find a Consultant” link.
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” so let’s prepare to document those precious holiday moments with a free downloadable scrapbook pattern, complete with cutting diagrams and all!
Making its original debut with the Olivia Workshops On the Go®, we paired this timeless pattern with our Christmas Blessings workshop kit that is available through the end of December. The Christmas Blessings workshop kit comes with 10 cardstock sheets (in a variety of six colors), silver foil paper, silver glitter gems, silver embellishing thread, and even 12 card bases & envelopes. This kit was originally designed for a cardmaking workshop, but we wanted to show you just how easy it is to create a beautiful Christmas Blessings scrapbook layout using the same products!
We pride ourselves in being the “let me show you how” memory-keeping company, and in providing the most comprehensive patterns. When you download this scrapbook pattern you will find that it also comes with cutting diagrams to make it even easier to create these pages from any of your favorite papers and embellishments. All of our patterns lend themselves to any memories that are special enough for you to preserve.
Download this free scrapbook pattern and let us show you how easy scrapbooking can be!
For even more timeless scrapbook patterns, check out our Make It from Your Heart™ pattern books! If you love the free scrapbook patterns we share on the blog, you’re sure to be blown away by the patterns and inspirational artwork in all of our how-to books.