During this joyful time of year, I would like to share with you three of the things that bring the most joy into my life: My Savior, my family, and Close To My Heart.
My Savior, Jesus Christ, has been a driving and sustaining force to me throughout my life. The joy I feel in celebrating His birth at Christmastime is amplified by a lifetime of striving to know Him through prayer, reflection, and following His teachings. He has been a great source of strength to me in every endeavor, including in building and leading Close To My Heart.
My family’s love and support means the world to me! From my caring and thoughtful husband, David, to my children, who have grown into such remarkable adults, and my grandchildren, who are so delightful to watch as they grow and develop. My family is my greatest blessing, and I love the time we are able to spend together—especially during the holidays.
My company, Close To My Heart, has also been a source of great joy to me, as I know it has been for thousands upon thousands of others who have been part of our community over the years. This company could not exist without the support of my family, my Savior, and the wonderful community of crafters that has embraced it and made it part of their lives. It brings me joy to see the beauty that Close To My Heart has added to the world and the ways it has changed lives for the better.
During this Christmas season, as you reflect on what brings you joy, I am honored to know that Close To My Heart is among those things. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Whether it’s the tropical beach vacation of your dreams or a mini staycation, we all need a little getaway every once-in-a-while, even at Christmastime. With our newest Deck the Palms collection, we have cards and scrapbook layouts for you to create an island paradise of your own during your very next crafting session!
We have not one but TWO exclusive scrapbooking Deck the Palms workshops to share with you! Like a lot of our scrapbooking workshops, both workshops make one single page and three two-page coordinating 12″ x 12″ scrapbook layouts. The difference between them is that one is in a general tropical theme and the other is a tropical Christmas theme. The uniqueness about these workshops is that the pages between them are almost identical in design, only differing in which side of the pattern paper and embellishments you use. (Even the instruction guide is the same! Download the scrapbooking workshop guide, here.)
(Both sticker sheets have glossy UV-coated accents!)
All of these embellishments are available on their own or as part of their corresponding scrapbooking workshop, except for the tropical sticker sheet. This sticker sheet is only available for purchase with the Deck the Palms Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet. The paper packet patterned papers are also part of both Deck the Palms scrapbooking workshops. If you are not familiar with Close To My Heart pattern papers, they are each 12″ x 12″ plus an additional ½” accent paper along the top of each (we call those “zip strips”), and they all have double-sided designs, meaning there’s one design on one side and a different design on the reverse side of each sheet of patterned paper.
Our Deck the Palms Paper Packet is no different! One side of the pattern papers are tropical themed, and the reverse are tropical Christmas themed with beautiful accent zip strips, providing even more patterns to craft with!
Also part of this collection, and included in part in all three workshop kits, is the specially designed coordinating Deck the Palms cardstock. Each sheet has one of our exclusive colors in its usual cardstock texture on one side and on the reverse side we’ve added gorgeous UV-coated patterns to fit the collection’s theme! (Stock up on these fast because they will not last long!)
A couple of times on this blog we’ve shown you how to make the pages of an entire 6″ x 8″ album using the 3-2-1 paper strips formula. We don’t always have the time to design elaborate pages to keep up with all our photos and, as fellow scrappers, we get that! With this super speedy technique, you can create 10 two-page layouts in as little as two hours!
Since publishing these posts for the 6″ x 8″ pages, we have received several requests to adapt this formula for 12″ x 12″ pages—and we did!
The formula for the 12″ x 12″ pages isn’t as clean as “1-2-3,” so we don’t have as catchy a name for the bigger pages. For today, we’re simply referring to this technique as paper piecing, or paper strips, scrapping.
As we’ve implied, what we’re doing today is providing a simple formula for cutting your patterned papers and assembling 12″ x 12″ layouts. Even with this formula, you will continue to have a lot of creative freedom to add your own personal flair to each of your pages. No two layouts will look the same, unless you make them that way intentionally!
Here’s what you’ll need to make three 12″ x 12″ two-page layouts. (Make as many multiples of three as you’d like, this is just a starting point!)
6 sheets of patterned paper, 2 each of 3 designs (preferably in a variety of coordinating patterns)
Step 1: Base Pages. To keep things simple, we’ve suggested using White Daisy cardstock as the base pages for all the layouts using this formulaic technique. Once you’re familiar with the technique, or if you’re feeling confident from the get-go, switch up the color to make your pages even that much more unique!
Step 2: Cutting Patterned Paper. Before measuring and cutting anything, trim all the zip strips from each of the patterned paper sheets and set them aside. The zip strip is the extra ½” accent paper along the top of each Close To My Heart patterned paper sheet. Next, cut the remaining 12″ x 12″ paper into 5″, 3″, 1½”, and ½” strips. (There will be a 2″ strip leftover that we will not be using for these layouts.)
Step 3: Creating Photo Mats from Cardstock. For a more polished look, we like to add photo mats behind most, if not all, our photos. That is what we will be making with the 3 sheets of coordinating cardstock, using one sheet per layout**.
Cut each cardstock sheet into three 6¼” x 4½” and two 4¼” x 3¼” rectangles. The photos that you will be mounting on these mats will be three 4″ x 6″ and two 3″ x 4″.
**When we made our 6″ x 8″ albums, we cut the cardstock into 6″ x 4″ rectangles and then trimmed the photos down ¼” in both height and width to make them work. If you prefer, you can cut your cardstock into six 6″ x 4″ rectangles, then cut two of these down in half to 3″ x 4″. In the end, you will be using half as many cardstock sheets, but you will have to trim your photos down.
Step 4: Putting It All Together. You’re going to need some space for this part, so make sure to clear your table or a place on your living room rug or somewhere else you can keep your project safe. Lay out all 6 White Daisy cardstock base pages. Next, distribute the strips of patterned paper and cardstock photo mats. Each page should get three 4″ x 6″ mats and two 3″ x 4″ mats, and one pattern paper strip of each size, 5″, 3″, 1½”, and ½”. (For the ½” strip use the strips you cut from the patterns interchangeably with the zip strips you trimmed off the top.)
If you’d like for the pages that will be facing each other in your album to match, keep that in mind as you distribute your papers.
Lastly, decide how you want to attach these pieces to your pages and get to it! Move the components around until you are happy with your design. Experiment with different arrangements and consider whether you want to use exactly three 4″ x 6″ and two 3″ x 4″ photos per layout. Trade mats between layouts or cut a few extra if you’d like.
Step 5: Embellish! Using coordinating embellishments add your finishing touches!
To show you just how easily this technique can be applied to a variety of subjects, we’ve got three mismatched layouts that we made using this formulaic approach.
If you like our finished layouts and would like to recreate any of them using our same papers and embellishments, take a look at our “Recipes” section at the end of this post for a list of linked products. If you don’t, that’s okay, too! The beauty of this technique is that it can be applied using any coordinating papers you like!
Your pages and layouts can look very differently depending on how you choose to mix and match the various components of your pages. Have fun creating pages like these using the combinations that you love!
If there’s anything you want to learn more about or would like to see featured on this blog, make sure to let us know! We absolutely love publishing posts like today’s!
It’s always a great time to celebrate all the things you love about Christmas, even in the middle of the year! The concept of a Christmas in July crafting party has been around for a while, and this year, we’re getting in on the fun! (Fun fact: Some crafters call their Christmas in July parties LEON parties—that’s NOEL spelled backward! 🤓🎄)
No matter how you choose to celebrate or what type of projects you feature at your soiree, a Christmas in July party is a fun excuse to get together with friends, family, and fellow crafters, and prepare for the upcoming holiday season, or catch up on your scrapbooking from the last year!
For our Christmas in July celebration, we’ve brought back one of our favorite paper suites from the past—White Pines—and given it a fresh look with an updated color scheme and a brand new 12″ x 12″ sticker sheet!
This gorgeous collection is accompanied by four stamp sets, two workshop kits, and a product bundle, which includes all the exclusive White Pines products! With so many adorable holiday designs and products, the refreshed White Pines suite is just what you need to get into the Christmas-in-July spirit!
To get your own Christmas in July party started off on the right foot, a few handmade decorations can be a great addition to the festivities. For a fun take on a Christmas tree, we’ve taken this awesome pineapple, given it its own pair of stylish sunglasses cut from our Cricut® Stars & Sparklers collection, and outfitted its crown with a few festive paper ornaments from our Artbooking collection! (Learn more about these Cricut® collections, here.)
You can also spruce up your backgrounds with a fun and simple garland. For this festive spread, we’ve repurposed the gnomes from our Chillin with My Gnomies Stamp + Thin Cuts for a more summery Santa Claus and fellow elves! Pair a few of these cut-outs with festive patterned stars, dress them up in red, white, and green stripes, and voila! You have a cute summer Santa garland!
With a few handmade decorations on hand, you’re all set for your very own Christmas in July, Leon party! Once you’re finished with your décor, it’s time to plan what you and your guests will make during the party itself. Popular choices for Christmas in July party crafts are scrapbook pages to document precious Christmas memories, or Christmas cards for the upcoming holiday season.
If you’re looking for project ideas to incorporate into a Christmas in July party, our White Pines scrapbooking and cardmaking workshop kits are a great way to keep your celebrations going. These workshops come with step-by-step instructions and are easy for crafters of many experience levels to complete.
A handmade Christmas card for a close friend or family member can be the perfect addition to your holiday festivities and making these cards early on will leave you with more time for other festive traditions, all while helping you feel a little bit of Christmas magic, even when Christmas is half a year away!
Another way to keep your Christmas spirit strong year-round is to create holiday-themed scrapbooking pages! We all have treasured memories and traditions that we want to document, and many of these are centered around special occasions, like Christmas.
With our White Pines scrapbooking workshop kit, it’s a breeze to create gorgeous scrapbook pages for your favorite holiday memories! This workshop includes the White Pines materials you’ll need to create three two-page layouts and one single page.
Each of these layouts makes a beautiful background for your holiday photos and they’re sure to be pages you’ll adore for years to come!
We’re so excited to be able to provide a starting point for some Christmas in July creativity this year, and we can’t wait to see how you use the White Pines collection! Have you made your own Christmas in July crafts before? Leave a comment below and let us know about your experience!
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!