10 Reasons Why Having a Crafting Squad Is the BEST!

10 Reasons Why Having a Crafting Squad Is the BEST! #ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #scrapbookingWhat’s great about the world of crafting is that it brings unique, talented women together. Whether you regularly attend scrapbooking crops or just have some friends who like to craft together every so often, having a crafting squad is basically the BEST—just read the reasons below!

1. They give you an excuse to slip out for some much needed “me” time.

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mama or a working woman, every gal needs a little “me” time to recharge her batteries—and going over to a friend’s house for a craft night is just the thing!

2. They understand the obsession.

They don’t think it’s crazy to stay up until midnight on your computer waiting for the launch of new crafting products—in fact, they’ll be up all night with you as you place your order and chat about your favorite new items!

3. They don’t mind when you go down memory lane because that’s what they’re all about—preserving and creating memories!

They totally get it if, while you’re scrapbooking, you somehow end up telling a 20-minute-long story about your cousin’s daughter’s dog: They value storytelling and memories, and they want to learn more about your family because they truly care about you.

4. They let you use their fun gadgets and gizmos.

What’s the next best thing to owning the latest and greatest crafting products? Knowing somebody that does! 😉 When you have a crafting squad, it’s like your crafting stash multiplies! They let you borrow their tools, and you let them do the same because that’s just what crafting buddies do! #squadgoals

10 Reasons Why Having a Crafting Squad Is the BEST! #ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #scrapbooking

5. They get your creative juices going.

When you hang out with your squad, you get to see the amazing artwork they create, which is always sure to inspire new ideas for you!

6. They teach you cool techniques and tricks.

On a similar note, you get to learn new techniques and tricks from your squad. When you have a problem you’re trying to overcome, two heads (or three, or four, or five…) are better than one!

7. They help you when you’re in a pickle.

Need last-minute décor for a forgotten birthday party? Did your Cricut® machine give up the ghost right before your crop? Do you need glitter paper for the school project due tomorrow that your kid just told you about? Crafting squad to the rescue! They’ll always have your back.

10 Reasons Why Having a Crafting Squad Is the BEST! #ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #scrapbooking

8. They make you feel like you belong to something bigger than yourself.

 It’s not just about crafting. It’s about having a second family, a sisterhood, who understands you and accepts you for who you are.

10 Reasons Why Having a Crafting Squad Is the BEST! #ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #scrapbooking

9. They give you confidence and encourage you to be yourself.

They boost your self-esteem and make you feel validated when they admire your artwork. They make you feel capable of doing more than you thought you could, which translates into all aspect of your life.

10. They help you reach your goals and dreams.

Whether you’re trying to catch up on scrapbooking your family photos, creating handmade invitations for an upcoming event, or working toward earning an all-inclusive trip by being a Close To My Heart Consultant, they help you get closer to reaching your goals and dreams. It’s the best support group a girl could ask for. 🙂

Are there more reasons you love your crafting squad? Tell us in the comments below! Let’s share the love! 🙂


Looking for a crafting squad to join? We can help!

To find a Consultant in your area who can introduce you to other women who also love to craft, visit our website. You can also volunteer to have a Consultant throw a crafting party at your house and earn free products! Learn more here.

You can even become a Consultant and start building your team! Not only will you build your own crafting squad, but you can also make money and earn free products at the same time. Learn more here.

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Beginner Crafting Kits

If you’d love to craft but think you’re just not the “crafting type,” think again! There are so many resources that make learning to craft easy, including online tutorials and Consultants that can walk you through projects right in your own home!

Among these great resources are beginner crafting kits, like our limited-time Welcome Home wreath kit or our new Cut Above™ scrapbooking layout kits.

The perfect, affordable wreath kit for the bride-to-be! #ctmh #closetomyheart #wedding #gift #bridalshower #succulentwreath #kit #diyhomedecor

The Welcome Home wreath kit helps you create a beautiful paper succulent wreath. With pre-cut pieces you simply punch out, curl, layer, and attach, this is a wonderful place for beginners to start if they’re interested in trying out DIY home décor.

It’s a great project for your first home as a married couple—or give it as a unique bridal shower or wedding present to a friend! The new bride is sure to love creating something herself for her new home—especially with her new last name 😉 !

An affordable scrapbooking kit for beginners! All you need is adhesive! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbookingkit #quick #beginner #wedding #bridal #gift

Our Cut Above™ Forever & Always layout kit is also a great beginner crafting kit for the bride. Those first few years together go by lightning fast, so start the habit of preserving your love story by doing something with all those wedding photos! Trust us, you won’t want to forget those sweet newlywed moments.

This affordable kit comes with pre-cut pieces and instructions for assembling the two pages you see in this album, as well as Memory Protectors™ to keep your pages safe.

An affordable scrapbooking kit for beginners! All you need is adhesive! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbookingkit #quick #beginner #wedding #bridal #gift

It also comes with pocket cards and two divided Memory Protectors™ to create even more pages, which fit in between your main pages for preserving additional pictures and moments from your special day!

Preserving your baby's first moments has never been easier, thanks to our Little One scrapbooking kit! All you need is adhesive and 15 minutes! #ctmh #closetomyheart #babybook #babyscrapbook #babyphotos #memories #babysfirsts #scrapbooking #beginner #kit

We also have a beginner Cut Above™ scrapbooking layout kit for baby photos—it’s called Little One, and it’s totally gender neutral.

Preserving your baby's first moments has never been easier, thanks to our Little One scrapbooking kit! All you need is adhesive and 15 minutes! #ctmh #closetomyheart #babybook #babyscrapbook #babyphotos #memories #babysfirsts #scrapbooking #beginner #kit

The birth of your first child is definitely the time to start thinking about preserving memories—if you haven’t already (and not in that black hole of a phone or computer, either!).

In addition to being affordable (which is a must with a new babe around!), all the pages in this kit come together in less than 15 minutes—really! So complete your kit, and then take a nice long nap with all that time you save. 🙂 Get a feel for how easily these kits come together by watching this quick video:

And while you’re at it…

Create this easy, adorable paper succulent wreath for less than $20 with our Welcome Home wreath kit! (US pricing) #ctmh #closetomyheart #papersucculents #diywreath #wreathkit #nurserydecor #babydecor #littlegirlsroom #decor #affordable #diy

Why not add a Welcome Home wreath to baby’s nursery? Once again, this is a super affordable and unique baby shower gift, perfect for a new mama who will be nesting like crazy soon. 😉

Whether you’re a newlywed, young mom, or a friend looking for a unique shower gift, the Welcome Home wreath kit and the Cut Above™ layout kits are the perfect go-to projects for beginners. With affordable price tags and easy-to-follow instructions, these kits are sure to light a smile on anyone’s face as she discovers she can craft and make something beautiful for her family.

 
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To the Person Who Says She Isn’t “Crafty”…

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #wedding #gifts

We get it. It’s easy to write yourself off as “not crafty” when it seems like others turn anything they touch into crafting magic. We’re talking about the mom in your kid’s class who somehow turned packaged brownies into reindeer, and even came up with a pun to tie the whole ensemble together; the neighbor who has 20 scrapbooks for each kid, grandkid, and pet; the Facebook friend who spontaneously refinished her kitchen table and chairs over the weekend. We all know the type. 🙂

Whether you see these “crafting queens” and envy them for their talents or just think to yourself, “ain’t nobody got time for that,” we want to help you see crafting in a new light…because it’s really so much more than what you see (and it really doesn’t have to be that hard!).

We’ve come up with 11 reasons you should give crafting a second chance in 2017.

1. You don’t have to go all out. Forget the Joneses, and do your own thing!

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #scrapbooking #pocket

Lots of us get our crafting ideas from Pinterest, but it can be pretty intimidating to try to replicate those picture-perfect projects. Just remember your project doesn’t have to be perfect—or even that fancy! Crafting is all about making something your own and finding out what works for you!

2. You don’t have to be the jack of all trades.

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #smoresbar #partyideas

Even though Suzy Scrapbooker is also Suzy Sews-A-Lot, it doesn’t mean YOU have to do it all, too. Just take that leap of faith and try ONE type of crafting you might like. If you fall head over heels, don’t forget crafting monogamy is perfectly fine. 😉

3. It’s more about the purpose behind the craft than the actual craft.

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #gift #ideas #package

Crafting is about so much more than just, well, crafting. It’s about tapping into your creativity, preserving and making memories, showing someone you care—and taking care of yourself! It’s a great way to lower your stress levels, along with a bunch of other health benefits. That’s why it doesn’t really matter if what you make is perfect or not—perfection is not the point!

4. You might discover more about yourself.

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #diy #paper #flowers #bouquet #wedding

Trying a new hobby, like crafting, is a great way to learn more about yourself. As you think critically about how you want to approach a project and research ideas online, you learn more about what you like and don’t like—and you may even discover your own niche!

5. You can strengthen your relationships, old and new!

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #card #kit

The great thing about crafting is that you can do it with people. If you’re always looking to meet new people, try attending a local workshop, crop, or class. You could also create your own crafting support group by inviting family members, friends, and neighbors to join you—whether that is your mom, sister, the widow next door, or your high school bestie that you’ve been meaning to spend more time with lately. Crafting can become more enjoyable and meaningful when you do it with those you love.

6. You can save money.

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #wreath #kit #paper #succulents #home #decor

Now don’t get us wrong, you can certainly spend lots of money on crafting if it’s your passion (though your husband certainly doesn’t need to know that 😉 ). But you can also save a lot of money by making things yourself! From home décor to handmade cards, you can make something your own AND save some moolah in the process.

7. It can help you slow down.

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #fathersday #gift #homemadeIs it just us, or is life just getting busier and busier? With the fast-paced nature of our lives, it’s nice to take some time to unplug and make something with your hands. It forces you to slow down and think about something else besides your never-ending to-do list.

8. It’s a great way to “treat yo self.”

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #visionboard #howto #vision #board #2017

Is there a project you’ve seen on Pinterest that seems really cool? Give it a go! You deserve a little “me” time. 😉 And again, just because you do one type of crafting doesn’t mean you have to instantly become “the crafty mom.” Keep your kids’ school projects and parties simple if that’s your style, but maybe try making something for yourself or home instead.

9. There is more help than you think.

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #scrapbooking #kit #baby

From YouTube to blogs, there is basically an online tutorial for anything you want to learn! However, if you prefer learning in-person, there are lots of companies, including ours, with Consultants who can give you the one-on-one help you like. Also, don’t forget how helpful how-to books, pre-made kits, and coordinating products can be!

10. You can carry on family traditions, or start your own!

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #family #tree #scrapbooking

Be it quilting, stamping, or baking, there’s probably a crafting tradition your mother carried on from her mother, and so on. Why not try it out (with your own spin, of course) and continue the family tradition? If you prefer to be the trailblazer, start a new crafting tradition with your own family!

11. It’s a great way to preserve (and create) memories!

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #wedding #gifts #diy #handmade #decor #home

We already know that memory keeping is one of our favorite crafting activities because we love the process of telling stories and making them beautiful, too. But we realize that at the same time we are preserving memories, we are making new ones, and that is true of ALL crafts. You never know when the project you undertake on a whim will become a family treasure ten, twenty, or thirty years down the road.


So go ahead and get started! No matter which creative project is calling your name, there is no better way to explore your creative side than by diving right in and trying something new.

You’ve got this! 🙂

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5 Tips for Creating a Vision Board

With the new year quickly approaching, we want to share with you some tips for creating an amazing vision board for 2017. And as an early Christmas present, our vision board will give you a sneak peek at some of the products in our upcoming catalog, which will be live on January 1! 🙂

5 Tips for Creating a Vision Board! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diySo what exactly is a vision board? It’s a place to display images, words, or objects that represent both what you want to be and what you want to do with your life in one beautiful, central location. Our hope is that this fun project will help you solidify a vision for your art and your life for the upcoming year, all while keeping your thoughts and actions organized so you can accomplish this vision.

Your vision board can become your light at the end of the tunnel during creative blocks. It can keep you motivated to continue on when things get hard.

Now let’s dive into what you’ll need to do to create your vision board! As with all art projects on this blog, we encourage you to use the artwork you see here as a jumping-off point for your own artwork. With a vision board in particular, it is especially important for you to make it your own!

1. Determine what you want your vision board to accomplish.

Then find words, lyrics, or quotes that go along with your vision. Use stamps, Cricut® cuts, Picture My Life™ cards, or simply your own handwriting to add these words of inspiration to your board.

DIY vision board for 2017! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diy

2. Spell out your dreams and goals.

Whether it’s a list of crafting techniques you want to learn, projects you want to finish, places you want to visit, or dreams you have for your family or career, writing down your goals and reading them every day will help you take the steps necessary to bring your vision to life!

3. Always look for inspiration.

A vision board is a project you never finish. It is a source of inspiration and a tool for staying organized, so it makes sense that it will change again and again over time. Every day, make an effort to notice the beauty around you, and then add anything that inspires you to your board. One simple way to do this is keep your eyes open while you craft. Add any embellishments, ribbon, washi tape, or Complements that speak to you. If you cut a little more shimmer trim than you need, add it to your vision board instead of tossing it out!

DIY vision board for 2017! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diy

4. Use it as an organizational tool. 

Add to-do lists to your vision board. Tasks that might otherwise seem mundane become easier to tackle when they are part of the grand vision for your life—and plus, they look so much cuter! Even weekly schedules take on a new light when you dress them up. Your vision board is also a great place to include tasks you may otherwise procrastinate, such as sending a thank you card to someone or visiting an old friend.

5. Throw out the rulebook!

Add items to your vision board that you’re naturally drawn to, not what you think you should be drawn to. Remember, your vision board should be a reflection of you! Get creative, choose things out of the ordinary, and be true to yourself. Dare to do things like stamp on a photo or add random scraps of doodling. The most important thing is not to overthink it—just follow your intuition!

DIY vision board for 2017! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diy

There you have it: the beginner’s guide to creating a stellar vision board! Although our craft rooms may never stay organized, at least our creative visions can stay on track. 😉

We’d love to see how your vision boards turn out! Share photos of your vision board on the Close To My Heart Facebook page!

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Close To My Heart’s Inspiration Bingo

On this fine January day, we take a break from our regularly scheduled instructional posts to give you a chance to escape your creative routine and produce the sort of artwork that is blissfully yet to be determined.

Close To My Heart’s Inspiration Bingo Board is your launching pad to leap into the artistic unknown, to surrender to the winds of crafting destiny and to see just where they drop you. Think of it as your tentative guide through the jungles of unleashed creativity.

What better way to let inspiration flow through you than by throwing your own plans out the window? The bingo board will guide you to artistic greatness. This is your chance to think outside the box—all it takes is a little nudge from within the box (an entire row of them, actually).

Inspiration-Bingo                                                   To download your own PDF copy, simply click the board!

Here’s how to play: Close your eyes and spin your finger around the board until you feel the draw to put it down. Open your eyes. Which box did your finger land on? Survey your position and then choose to follow either the vertical or horizontal row of the space you landed on. Now heed the guidelines of each box in the row and get crafting!

Your art may not turn out the way you expect, but it will still be beautiful. Why? Because it will be made from the forces of chance, like a magnificent work of nature formed through years of enduring the sporadic and untamed forces of the earth. Ok, maybe not quite that majestic, but you get the idea. Chance is beautiful! See what it can do for you once you’re willing to work with it.

May the (creative) force be with you.

We want to see where Close To My Heart’s Inspiration Bingo takes you! Post a photo of your resulting creation to the Close To My Heart Facebook page, if you would like to share. We’d love to see it.

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Crafting Adventure Winners

Oh, sweet candy corn! You guys blew our witchy socks right off with all the wonderful entries we received from the Choose-Your-Own Spooky Crafting Adventure contest. As promised, today is the day to reveal our five lucky winners! We chose one winning entry from creative challenges 1, 2, and 4, and two winning entries from creative challenge 3.

Now, without further ado, we are pleased to present the five lucky crafting adventurers!

CREATIVE CHALLENGE 1: Use three different Close To My Heart washi tapes to create a papercraft that can be used for goodies or given as a gift.

WINNER:
Lauren Moore
Halswell, Christchurch, New Zealand

Lauren Moore

CREATIVE CHALLENGE 2: Create an artistic masterpiece using at least two of the following in any color: Shimmer Trim, Sparkles, glitter gems, or sequins.

WINNER:
Vicki Wizniuk
Fort St. John, BC, Canada

Vicki Wizniuk

CREATIVE CHALLENGE 3: In honor of your intuitive password selection, create a card, layout, or other creation using each of the Close To My Heart colors that would comprise candycorn: Honey, Goldrush, and Colonial White.

WINNER 1:
Gina Brandstetter
Murfreesboro, TN, USA

Gina Brandstetter

WINNER 2:
Kristina Baldwin
Sunnyvale, CA, USA

Kristina Baldwin

CREATIVE CHALLENGE 4: To help you cope with your frightening memories from your night in the haunted cemetery, create original artwork using the Scaredy Cat paper packet and add either the Scaredy Cat Complements or the Scaredy Cat assortment. 

WINNER:
Karen Mosello
Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

Karen Mosello

Congratulations, winners!

If your name is listed above, please send an email to ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com with “Contest Winner” in the subject line. Please include your name, shipping address, and choice of any one Cut Above™ kit from the Annual Inspirations idea book.

Be sure to check out the blogs of each of the winners to see how they worked their crafty magic! The winning entries that have an accompanying Consultant blog post have been linked directly to the photo, so all you need to do is click on the photo to learn more. And just so you’re aware, two of the winning entries do not have accompanying blog posts.

Start revving your crafting engines for the next contest—it’s coming soon!

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