From Jeanette: Celebrate with me!

Merry Christmas from the Lyntons!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:

Seasonal Expressions 1 Idea Book and Catalog by Close To My Heart #ctmh #se1That’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:

Enter to win this 35-year giveaway prize! #giveaway #ctmhIf 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!

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Going, Going… but Not Yet Gone!

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!

Last Call for Holiday Expressions #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy #Christmas #holiday #raspberry #raspberrytwine #bakerstwine10. Raspberry Baker’s Twine. This bright, Raspberry twine makes a fun accent that coordinates perfectly with other Raspberry-colored papers, cardstocks, and stamped images.

Last Call for Holiday Expressions #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy #Christmas #holiday #fern #fernstitchedribbon #stitchedribbon9. 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.

Last Call for Holiday Expressions #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy #Christmas #holiday #recipebook #holidaykitchen8. Cut Above® Recipe Kit—Holiday Kitchen. We highlighted this festive recipe kit just last week. Catch up on that post here if you missed it.

7. Blue Burlap Ribbon. Another excellent trim option that adds both color and texture to any project.

Last Call for Holiday Expressions #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy #Christmas #holiday #thincuts #diecutting #cuttlebug #winterflurries #snowflakes #snow6. Thin Cuts—Winter Flurries. Three metal dies that cut our snowflake shapes from a variety of materials, including glitter paper, vellum, cardstock, and more!

Last Call for Holiday Expressions #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy #Christmas #holiday #ctmh'tistheseason #buttons5. ‘Tis the Season Buttons. These fabric-covered buttons add delightful dimension to cards, scrapbook pages, and other crafts. And yes, they are adhesive backed!

Last Call for Holiday Expressions #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy #Christmas #holiday #candycane #alphabetstampset #candycanealphabet #font4. 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.

Last Call for Holiday Expressions #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy #Christmas #holiday #favorbox #thincuts3. Thin Cuts—Favor Box. Another item we featured in a recent post, the Thin Cuts Favor Box, is great for so many applications. Watch this video for a simple assembly tutorial.

Last Call for Holiday Expressions #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy #Christmas #holiday #babyanimal #babyanimaldoodles #babybook2. 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.

Last Call for Holiday Expressions #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy #Christmas #holiday #cricut #seasonofjoy1. 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:

Last Call for Holiday Expressions #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy #Christmas #holiday #cricut #seasonofjoy #santa #elf #elves #cookieboxes #boxesTalk 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 under.

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A Free Scrapbook Pattern with Christmas Blessings!

Free Scrapbook Pattern #ctmh #closetomyheart #christmasblessings #christmas #merrychristmas #christ #savior #blessings #manger #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memorykeeping

“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!

Free Scrapbook Pattern #ctmh #closetomyheart #christmasblessings #christmas #merrychristmas #christ #savior #blessings #manger #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memorykeeping

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!

Also included in this kit, is the exclusive My Acrylix® Christmas Blessings stamp set:

Free Scrapbook Pattern #ctmh #closetomyheart #christmasblessings #christmas #merrychristmas #christ #savior #blessings #manger #scrapbooking #cardmaking #memorykeeping

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!

Download Pattern

Scrapbook patterns #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbook #patterns #layouts #MakeItfromYourHeart #howtobook #how-to

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.


Recipe

12″ x 12″ Christmas Blessings Layout
CC12182 Christmas Blessings Workshop Kit, Z2847 Eggplant Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6504 Sage Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad

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A Giveaway, from our Holiday Kitchen to Yours!

From Our Holiday Kitchen to Yours #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhholidaykitchen #holidaykitchen #holidayrecipes #holidayfood #holidaymemories #tradition #holidaytraditions #Christmas #NewYears #familytraditions #memorykeeping #storytellingCan you believe that Christmas Day is less than 2 weeks away? As we all attempt to get some last-minute menu details in place, we thought it would be fun to host a recipe swap, right here on the blog! If you’d like to participate (and we hope you will), just post a holiday recipe and any story that might go along with it in the comments below.

To get us started, we have some yummy treats from a few of our favorite ladies at the Home Office:

From Our Holiday Kitchen to Yours #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhholidaykitchen #holidaykitchen #holidayrecipes #holidayfood #holidaymemories #tradition #holidaytraditions #Christmas #NewYears #familytraditions #memorykeeping #storytelling

 

From Our Holiday Kitchen to Yours #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhholidaykitchen #holidaykitchen #holidayrecipes #holidayfood #holidaymemories #tradition #holidaytraditions #Christmas #NewYears #familytraditions #memorykeeping #storytelling

 

If you’re not quite sure whether or not you want to share those delicious recipes and memories that are running through your mind right now, we’re sweetening the deal by adding a giveaway to help you preserve, celebrate, and remember your holiday table the way you would any other tradition. Share a recipe in the comments below and be a subscriber to this blog for a chance to win one of FIVE Cut Above® Holiday Kitchen Bundles!

From Our Holiday Kitchen to Yours #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhholidaykitchen #holidaykitchen #holidayrecipes #holidayfood #holidaymemories #tradition #holidaytraditions #Christmas #NewYears #familytraditions #memorykeeping #storytelling

The Cut Above® Holiday Kitchen bundle comes with:

30 – recipe cards
12 – overflow cards
10 – title cards
8 – journaling cards
6 – divider pages
2 – sticker sheets
36 – Memory Protectors™
1 – My Acrylix® From the Kitchen stamp set
1 – Black Everyday Life™ Album

Whether they are old family recipes or new favorites, the meals and goodies we prepare become part of the holidays themselves. The Holiday Kitchen Cut Above® recipe kit includes everything you need to get all those recipes in one place together with the stories and memories that make them so special—and it makes a wonderful gift, especially when filled up with your tried and true recipes!

Share a favorite recipe with us or share more than one to increase your chances to win a Cut Above® Holiday Kitchen bundle. (Posting the same recipe multiple times does not count and will not increase your chances of winning!) If you are not yet a subscriber, all you have to do is push the big blue button on the side bar that says “Subscribe to list” for your entry to count for the prize drawing. You have until noon tomorrow, Friday, December 14 (MST) to enter. Even if you miss the deadline, share a recipe anyway! The more the merrier!

Now remember, this Holiday Kitchen recipe kit is only available for purchase through the end of the year. Make sure to get yours while you still can!

Now it’s your turn: what’s cooking in your holiday kitchen?


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DIY Christmas Ornament

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhohwhatfun #ohwhatfun #diy #diypaperornament #paperornament #diychristmasornament #papercrafting #diychristmas #chrismtasornament

If you’re looking to make some personalized ornaments for your Christmas tree this year, you’ve come to the right place! By combining a few photos with the Favor Box Thin Cuts (die), our Oh What Fun papers, and a couple embellishments, we were able to create a memorable (and sturdy!) paper ornament to hang on the tree.

To make a single box ornament:

1. Use your die-cutting machine and cut a base shape out of white cardstock with the Favor Box Thin Cuts.

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhohwhatfun #ohwhatfun #diy #diypaperornament #paperornament #diychristmasornament #papercrafting #diychristmas #chrismtasornament

2. Cut 1¾” squares out of pattern paper to cover the sides of your box. Cut any photos you will be using to the same size. You will need a total of 6 squares, pattern paper and photos.

3. With adhesive, attach loose squares to the sides and bottom of your base before folding it into a box. (Do not attempt to attach the top piece at this time.)

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhohwhatfun #ohwhatfun #diy #diypaperornament #paperornament #diychristmasornament #papercrafting #diychristmas #chrismtasornament

For the top paper, punch holes where the two outer holes are on the base. The easiest way to do this would be to lay the top flap of your base on top of the square pattern paper and punch out the holes.

4. Next, fold your base into a box. The video below will walk you through the process of assembling a favor box, from start to finish. For this ornament tutorial, disregard how the ribbon is attached in the video. We will be doing something a little bit different.

5. With your box folded, we are ready to add the ribbon. Because we will be covering the top of the box with another piece of paper, simply string the ribbon through the two outer holes and ignore the one in the middle.

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhohwhatfun #ohwhatfun #diy #diypaperornament #paperornament #diychristmasornament #papercrafting #diychristmas #chrismtasornament

6. Once the ribbon is in, add the top paper to your box.

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhohwhatfun #ohwhatfun #diy #diypaperornament #paperornament #diychristmasornament #papercrafting #diychristmas #chrismtasornament

Tie a knot at the top of your ribbon and you’re all done!

A single box makes a wonderful ornament on its own, but you can double your fun by stringing two boxes together! To make a double box ornament, follow all the steps above to assemble your bottom box, but before tying the ribbon together, you’ll want to assemble a second box, this time punching holes on the bottom flap of the base, too.

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhohwhatfun #ohwhatfun #diy #diypaperornament #paperornament #diychristmasornament #papercrafting #diychristmas #chrismtasornament

The easiest way to do this is to punch the holes out before folding the base to the box shape. With the holes punched, fold your box up. Before closing the top, take the ribbon from your first box and string it through the holes you punched at the bottom of your second box and tie the ribbon inside. Finish the ornament top the same way as described in steps 5 and 6 above.

Favor_Box_Ornaments-blog-hero copy.jpg

These ornaments are the perfect way to get crafty this season with the kids, grandkids, and friends! With the right photos and embellishments, these could quite possibly become a holiday favorite!


Recipe:

Favor Box Ornaments
B1638 My Acrylix® Modern Typewriter Alphabet Stamp Set, X7238B Oh What Fun Paper Packet, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4230 Candy Apple Striped Ribbon, Z4190 Red Pearls, Z4173 Thin Cuts—Favor Box

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25 Journaling & Photo Prompts for Recurring Life Events

25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography

Are you in one of those families that go to Disney World once year? (lucky! 🙂 ) Do you spend most Christmas mornings at home in your pajamas? What about a birthday? We all have one every year. Holidays, birthdays, vacations, parties—the good times just keep coming, and so do the stories and photos that accompany them.

Earlier this month we shared a post about New Ways to Document the Holidays. We thought it would be worthwhile to follow that up with some additional ideas and prompts for other recurring life events so that we don’t always take the same photos and document the same stories year after year.

The following ideas can be used to take photos while you’re in the moment or as a place to start your journaling while you’re documenting the memory. If you’re new to scrapbooking or you’re just in a memory keeping rut, the following prompts can help get you going.

 

VACATIONS:

25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography1. Why are you going on this vacation?
2. How did you get to where you were going?
3. What did you pack for this trip?
4. Did everything go as planned?
25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography5. Who are the people that are with you?
6. Did you meet any interesting folks along the way?
7. What was your favorite meal/restaurant on the trip?
8. What cool souvenirs are you bringing home?
9. Has your life been changed by this trip?

 

CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAYS:

25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography10. What are you celebrating?
11. Do you have an ornament you love? Where did you get it and why do you love it?
12. What’s a favorite holiday treat? (Include the recipe!)
13. How does your family serve others?
14. Do you have any traditions?25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography15. How does “magic” happen in your home? (Ex. Is there an elf sitting on a shelf somewhere?)
16.What wrapping paper did you pick out, and why?
17. How did you decorate your home?
18. Are there special movies that you watch?
19. Do you have any favorite holiday music?

 

BIRTHDAYS:

25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography20. Did you get a cake? What flavor? If not, why?
21. What were the reactions to gifts? Was there a favorite?
22. Who did you celebrate with?25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography23. Interview the guest of honor and record their answers
24. Screenshot and document birthday messages from social media
25. How has life changed since your last birthday?

We hope you’re as inspired as we are to use your next birthday, holiday, or vacation to try out some of these memory keeping prompts. You can document your memories in creative ways by taking photos and answering some of the questions we’ve given you here today. Focusing on sharing the details around all of these topics will highlight what makes each vacation, birthday, and holiday particularly special on its own. We’d love to hear your ideas for scrapbooking these types of events. Share them with us in the comments below!


Recipes:

12″ x 12″ NYC Holiday Fails Page
C1725 My Acrylix® Simply Said Stamp Set, E1042 My Acrylix® Outline Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, E1043 My Acrylix® Solid Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, X9000 Seasons Mix-in Paper Packet, X6007 Lagoon Cardstock, X5986 Mint Cardstock, Z6503 Mint Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2731 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Re-inkerX7238C Oh What Fun Complements, Z4222 Hello Pumpkin Shapes, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z4245 Opaque Matte Texture Paste, Z4247 Palette Knives, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen Journaling Pen, Z3503 Cricut® Artbooking Digital Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
6″ Overlay <g> (p. 62, #M3F0A2)

12″ x 12″ Baking Magic Page
C1725 My Acrylix® Simply Said Stamp Set, X7236B Hello Pumpkin Paper Packet, X7235B Boutique Paper Packet, X7238B Oh What Fun Paper Packet, X9000 Seasons Mix-in Paper Packet, X6028 Black Cardstock, X5986 Mint Cardstock, X6016 Pixie Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7238C Oh What Fun Complements, Z4216 Raspberry Baker’s Twine, Z4305 Thin Cuts—Fancy Tags, Z3317 Thin Cuts—Stitched Hearts, Z2027 Mini Stapler, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z1951 Memory Protectors® Design 4

12″ x 12″ Wonderful Birthday Wishes Page
D1804 My Acrylix® Your Special Day Stamp Set, E1042 My Acrylix® Outline Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, E1043 My Acrylix® Solid Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, X7235B Boutique Paper Packet, X9000 Seasons Mix-in Paper Packet, X5990 Carolina Cardstock, X6021 Sapphire Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6505 Carolina Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7238C Oh What Fun Complements, Z4304 Loose Sequins—Silver, Z4241 Thin Cuts—Decorative Borders, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3500 Cricut® Artistry Digital Collection, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shape:
Artistry
¾” Banner <New Years> (p. 50, #M41864D)

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New Ways to Document the Holidays

We are always looking for new ways to document this season, and today we have some ideas to share with you about how to do this, especially with Story by Stacy™ workshop kits! The Story by Stacy™ product line reminds us to consider the importance of the story behind our photos. Each workshop kit gives us new tools to keep our scrapbooking fresh and story-focused. You can use all of these ideas today within a Story Starter or Short Story album, but don’t forget you could also incorporate these holiday album themes into any scrapbooking project!

Let’s get started!

New Ways to Document the Holidays #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhxstorybystacy #storybystacy #Christmasalbum #Christmasornaments #holidayhighlights #holidays #Christmascountdown #scrapbooking #papercrafting #storytelling

We know you have stories and photos between Halloween and Christmas, from family get-togethers to opening gifts on Christmas morning, but have you considered how even the little things about the holidays have stories? Even your ornaments and decorations have memories attached to them. Where did you get them? Was it homemade? Do they commemorate an event or special moment?

New Ways to Document the Holidays #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhxstorybystacy #storybystacy #Christmasalbum #Christmasornaments #holidayhighlights #holidays #Christmascountdown #scrapbooking #papercrafting #storytelling

These types of small stories are perfect for a Story Starter album. You can use the Story Starter workbook to help you remember the details about your holiday ornaments and write small stories to pair with a photo in the album. By taking time to ask yourself questions to revisit the memories you have, your story will include the details that make these ornaments special.

New Ways to Document the Holidays #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhxstorybystacy #storybystacy #Christmasalbum #Christmasornaments #holidayhighlights #holidays #Christmascountdown #scrapbooking #papercrafting #storytelling

The focus of the Story Starter album is, of course, the stories and photos you include, but you can add quick seasonal embellishments using a holiday stamp set to make it even more festive. In the album we’re showing you today, we added Candy Apple and New England Ivy images and phrases to our pages from the My Acrylix® Christmas Countdown stamp set along with accents of gold shimmer trim. Just these simple additions gave our Story Starter album a distinctive holiday look and feel.

Here are some other ideas for Story Starter albums this season:

  • People or things you are grateful for this year
    Tip: Try using the My Acrylix® Grateful Heart—Scrapbooking stamp set for words and phrases to stamp in a gratitude-themed Story Starter 🙂
  • Favorite Thanksgiving or Christmas foods
  • Check out Stacy Julian’s blog here to see how she created a Halloween Story Starter album AND here for an easy way to document the things your family is thankful for in a Story Starter album.

New Ways to Document the Holidays #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhxstorybystacy #storybystacy #Christmasalbum #Christmasornaments #holidayhighlights #holidays #Christmascountdown #scrapbooking #papercrafting #storytelling

With Story Starter you can pair individual stories and photos together about the same subject, like your Christmas ornaments, but we know that often you just have a lot of photos you want to preserve in a scrapbook. The Short Story format is the answer for you. If you’re anything like us, you’ve taken many, many, many photos during the holidays, and Short Story can help you document those photos by telling a visual story, almost like a picture book, with a summary at the end.

New Ways to Document the Holidays #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhxstorybystacy #storybystacy #Christmasalbum #Christmasornaments #holidayhighlights #holidays #Christmascountdown #scrapbooking #papercrafting #storytelling

We’ve used Short Story to scrapbook a variety of photos from this little guy’s first few Christmases. He may not remember all the details as he gets big, but this Short Story album will remind him about the fun things he did every year during the holidays. You can combine the patterned paper and embellishments from the workshop kit with a few stamped sentiments and shimmer trim to give your album that special holiday feel. We paired the bright colors of the Short Story patterned paper with the whimsical look of the sentiments in the My Acrylix® Oh What Fun—Scrapbooking stamp set.

With Short Story, you could focus on one particular Thanksgiving or Christmas or gather photos over a longer period of time to highlight the things that have been family traditions or fun holiday activities. Do you take your kids to see Santa every year? You could create a fun Short Story album that shows Santa photos over many years, and then write a summary about them at the end of your album. It’s a fun way to see how your family has grown or changed over time and see how your traditions look throughout the years.

  • Family Thanksgiving or Christmas traditions
  • Christmas morning over the years
  • Visits to Santa
  • Christmas vacations

Documenting the holidays doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Use these ideas to create Short Story or Story Starter albums that you can pull out every year to remember everything you love about this season, including your own holiday stories and photos. If 12″ x 12″ is more your style, that’s great too! You can use any of these ideas in your scrapbooking, just remember to focus on the story.


Recipes:

Ornaments Story Starter Album
D1799 My Acrylix® Christmas Countdown Stamp Set, Z4207 Story by Stacy™ Story Starter Workshop Kit—DotsZ6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1985 Gold Shimmer Trim

Christmas Short Story Album
D1803 My Acrylix® Oh What Fun—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, Z4218 Story by Stacy™ Short Story Workshop Kit—Lagoon, Z6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2807 Willow Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7238C Oh What Fun Complements, Z4304 Loose Sequins—Silver, Z1799 Silver Shimmer TrimZ2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

 

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31 Memories to Capture This December

From photos to journaling and everything in between, it’s no secret that at Close To My Heart we love and value all things to do with memory keeping. One approach that is especially popular this type of year is the photo-a-day method, where you take a photo every day based on a specific prompt for that day. With all of the magical moments that inevitably happen around the holidays, December is a perfect time to take on this style!

Days of December first page #ctmhdaysofdecember #minialbum #photoadayTo help you fully embrace this memory keeping method, we’ve had a beautiful 6″ x 8″ pocket-scrapbooking album designed especially for the upcoming season. With room for photos and journaling on every page, The Days of December album is specifically designed to capture each day of the month, from the first through the thirty-first.

Our goal with this album is to take the work out of memory keeping so that you are completely prepared to enjoy the memory making part of the season. In addition to providing instructions to create the entire album (check out all of the completed layouts here), we thought we could help you fill its pages as well! Here are 31 prompts we’ve come up with to inspire your journaling and photography this December.

Days of December photo prompts #ctmhdaysofdecember #31days #photoaday

Use these prompts in order, one per day, or switch them up to make the list work for you! Whatever you do, enjoy the moments, make your memories, and then look back on them in a beautiful album time and time again.

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A Christmas Advent Calendar to Make Now

It’s not too early to begin planning for the holidays! To get your Christmas season off to a delightful start, we’ve created an advent calendar papercrafting project using images from our new Cricut® collection, Season of Joy.Christmas Advent Calendar #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhtistheseason #ctmh'tistheseason #Christmas #calendar #25days #countdown #adventcalendar #holiday #papercraft #papercrafting #diy #cricut #SeasonofJoyMake an advent calendar just like this one for your home, office, or wherever your crafting takes you, using this advent calendar workshop guide and our Cricut Design Space™ project files included right in the instructions! In this guide, we walk you through each step of the process to make sure you successfully complete this beautiful project just in time for the holidays.

First, you cut all of the pieces on your Cricut® machine using the Design Space project files provided. Then, you assemble the outer and inner boxes. This part is pretty repetitive with lots of folding and gluing for all 25 outer boxes and 25 inner boxes. That means during this step you can break out some Christmas music or a favorite holiday movie to have in the background as you work. Next, you stamp the paper embellishments using the My Acrylix® Snug Backgrounds stamp set, for a little extra color and texture. Then, attach your paper embellishments to each box. Finish off the project with some clear sparkles and a New England Ivy burlap ribbon bow on top. And there you have it! A calendar counting down to one of the most celebrated times of the year, measuring 16½” tall (not including the bow) with a 14″ wide base.

There are a few places where you will need to pay closer attention, especially when you’re using Design Space to cut and score your paper and cardstock. These tips are noted in the instructions, but we wanted to point them out again so you can keep them in mind as you’re creating your calendar.

  • We’ve made one project file to cut the outer boxes in New England Ivy cardsock. Design Space will display an alert that the project is larger than 11.5″ in height and requires a larger mat, like you see below. Click “OK” and cut the outer boxes using the cardstock on your 12″ x 12″ mat. It will cut close to the edges of your paper, but this way you only use 12 sheets of cardstock with two boxes on each sheet.

Christmas Advent Calendar #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhtistheseason #ctmh'tistheseason #Christmas #calendar #25days #countdown #adventcalendar #holiday #papercraft #papercrafting #diy #cricut #SeasonofJoy

  • You might wonder why the Outer Boxes project file only cuts 24 boxes. It is not a mistake! You will still end up cutting 25 outer boxes, promise. The 25th box, however, is cut from the Advent Calendar – Boxes and Embellishments (New England Ivy) project file. This way just saves you some paper. 🙂
  • There are individual project files to cut the paper embellishments for the box fronts and the last few inner boxes. They look something like this one below that uses the Candy Apple cardstock. Notice that some of the numbers are backwards. This lets you cut with the light side of the cardstock facing up, and then you flip the numbers over to use the dark side of the cardstock on the box fronts.

Christmas Advent Calendar #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhtistheseason #ctmh'tistheseason #Christmas #calendar #25days #countdown #adventcalendar #holiday #papercraft #papercrafting #diy #cricut #SeasonofJoy

Cut all your paper, put everything together, and add some embellishments, and you’ll have a lovely home décor piece to accent your holiday. After you’ve finished your own advent calendar, all you need to do is fill each box with a special treat for every day leading up to Christmas. There are many, many ways you can fill the boxes. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Candy or chocolate (of-course!)
  • Activity ideas (like going to see Christmas lights, making hot chocolate, or reading a Christmas book)
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Little girl “pretties” (hair accessories, nail polish, lip balm)
  • Small toys (Lego® figures, cars, marbles)
  • Ideas for random acts of kindness
  • Scripture verses

So, what do you think? Are you ready to make your own advent calendar? To keep things easy, we put together a bundle of all the paper and cardstock you will need to cut this project (click here). You will also need a few additional items, including the Cricut® Season of Joy collection and the My Acrylix® Snug Backgrounds stamp set. For a complete list of additional required and optional products needed, as well as step-by-step instructions, make sure you download or print the Advent Calendar Workshop guide, here.

Do you know how you will be filling your advent calendar this year? Let’s share ideas in the comments below!

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