Tips for Creating Embellishment Clusters!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Follow along with us, today, as we give you an inside scoop into our creative process for designing and creating embellishment clusters of your own!

Embellishment clusters are large, sometimes intricate, paper accent pieces that are capable of standing on their own but can also be incorporated into larger projects, like scrapbook layouts, cards, or gift bags. We call these accents embellishment clusters because we are essentially putting several individual embellishments together, in a cluster.

While there are no set rules on where to begin creating these clusters, and there is no right or wrong way to proceed, we do have a few guidelines and tips to get you get you started on a successful creative experience!

1. Stick to a Color Scheme

When you first start designing an embellishment cluster, we recommend that you stick to a specific color scheme and spice it up with a complementary color or more neutral shade here and there. When you work off of a set color palette, it’s easier to focus your creative energy more effectively, and you’re more likely to end up with an embellishment cluster you really love!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #shakerwindow

This shaker window cluster is a great example of how to create around a color scheme. By focusing on cool shades of blue, throwing in a couple of green hues, and incorporating a few neutral tones, the elements of this embellishment cluster effectively harmonize with each other for a beautifully coordinated result!

2. Use a Variety of Paper and Cardstock Options

Incorporating different types of paper not only brings variety in patterns but in texture as well. Using our unique patterned papers next to our heavier, solid-colored cardstock helps to bring a nice variance to embellishment clusters.

If you’re looking to keep things a little simpler with the embellishment cluster itself, you can also consider saving more textured elements for the background.

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

With the card shown above, we kept things a little simpler overall and created exclusively with cardstock. Rather than featuring textured elements on the embellishment cluster itself, we used a large Thin Cuts die and two coordinating cardstock colors to create a gorgeous textured backdrop for this simple embellishment cluster!

3. Layer, Layer, Layer!

A great embellishment cluster often includes a few layers and dimension. Even a simple embellishment cluster should have at least one layered element to make sure it stands out from whatever background you may end up putting it on.

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #youmakemesmile

With this embellishment cluster, we made sure to create multiple layers so it will have some extra pop once it’s placed on a scrapbook page. (Using dimensional adhesives, like 3-D foam tape, are a great way to ensure that your embellishment clusters have added dimension, as well!)

4. Follow the Rule of Thirds

Incorporating this photography technique into your embellishment clusters is a great way to ensure that they remain balanced and can even help to simplify your design process. If you’re unfamiliar with what the rule of thirds entails, it’s basically the process of dividing your subject or scene into three distinct sections, making sure that each one is visually balanced with the others.

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #bloomandgrow #bloom&grow

With this embellishment cluster, imagine that there’s a 3″ x 3″ grid over it. With this imaginary grid applied, you’ll notice that the butterfly and floral accents are fairly close to intersection points on the grid, while the stamped “Bloom & GROW” title occupies the center square. By distributing the butterfly accent, stamped title, and floral accent in this way, it ensures that the entire cluster remains balanced. (Check out our photo composition blog post for a more in-depth explanation about the rule of thirds.)

5. Be Flexible

When it comes to crafting, you don’t always have to use crafting materials for their intended purpose. Take a look at this cute little cluster, for instance:

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #ohhappyday

The envelope you see here was actually created using a stitched hexagon Thin Cuts die, folding the sides of the cut hexagon shape into its center! Re-purposing die-cut shapes, incorporating paper scraps, and even trimming patterns or icons from other patterned papers for use in an embellishment cluster is an excellent way to make sure your work stays fresh, fun, and completely unique!

6. Work Smarter, Not Harder

Once you find a design, color combination, or shape pairing you love, stick with it for a few more embellishment clusters! This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to re-make the same identical embellishment cluster over and over again. Simply switching out a single element can make a huge difference!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #Easteregghunt #Easter #welcomespring

If a single, simple change isn’t doing enough, you can do a more drastic re-design while retaining the overall shape and combination of elements. These two shaker window clusters are a prime example of how different colors, patterns, and stamped images can be incorporated into a pre-existing design for a beautiful, brand-new result!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #shakerwindow #sunnydaysahead #youaremyluckycharm

Another way to work smarter is to think about future crafts and prepare for them while you’re in your creative zone! If you use a Thin Cuts metal die to cut an element for an embellishment cluster, cut a few more for future use! If you use a Cricut Design Space™ file to create your cluster, make sure to save it so you can return to it the next time you want to create a beautiful embellishment cluster!

There’s no hard-fast way to create embellishment clusters, but by holding yourself to a few basic guidelines like these, you can fast-track your creativity and make absolutely gorgeous embellishments that are completely unique to you!

How have you been using embellishment clusters? If this a brand-new concept to you, what’s the first thing you want to create with an embellishment cluster?


Recipes:

5″ x 3″ Party Time Shaker Window
Z3931 Kitchen Gnomes Stamp + Thin Cuts, C1867 My Acrylix® Best Wishes All Around Stamp Set, C1886 My Acrylix® Cheers My Dears Stamp Set, X7267B Eat Play Love Paper Packet, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), X5968 Lagoon Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3831 Peeled Paint Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, X7267E Eat Play Love Wood Shapes, Z3875 Black Bursts, Z3784 Bright Bitty Beads, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z2900 Silver Star Confetti, Z4309 Circle Shaker Window Thin Cuts, Z4310 Circle Shaker Window Foam + Acetate, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2515 Earth Brown Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2479 Gold Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2510 Ice Grey Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2512 Muted Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2498 True Black Marker, Z3515 Black Journaling Pen (.01), Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

4¼” x 5½” Hello Lovely Card (Vertical)
C1889 My Acrylix® Cherry Blossoms Stamp Set, X6055 Desert Rose Cardstock, X5960 Fern Cardstock, X6044 Peach Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3825 Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3639 Scalloped Circle Thin Cuts, Z3693 Floral Background Thin Cuts, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3560 Golden Rod Stickles™ Glitter Glue, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2512 Muted Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2496 Pale Pink TriBlend™ Marker, Z2530 Pale Pink Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

3¾” x 3¾” Welcome Spring Embellishment
D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, X7267B Eat Play Love Paper Packet, X6044 Peach Cardstock, X5958 Peacock Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3830 Mustard Seed Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3688 Stitched Scalloped Brackets Thin Cuts, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3874 Springtime Flower Sequins, Z2524 Aqua Blue TriBlend™ Marker, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2483 Light Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2520 Yellow Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

3¾” x 3¾” Easter Egg Hunt Embellishment
D1999 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—April Stamp Set, X7267B Eat Play Love Paper Packet, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), X5960 Fern Cardstock, X5958 Peacock Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3825 Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3874 Springtime Flower Sequins, Z4259 Stitched Square Frames Thin Cuts, Z3688 Stitched Scalloped Brackets Thin Cuts, Z3562 Silver Stickles™ Glitter Glue, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2518 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
#M46110

12″ x 12″ You Make Me Smile Page
Z3932 Daisy Meadows Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, Z3765 So Happy Together Stamps + Thin Cuts, D1988 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, C1889 My Acrylix® Cherry Blossoms Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), X5960 Fern Cardstock, X5959 New England Ivy Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3686 Stitched Fancy Brackets, Z4235 Gold Loose Sequins, Z2496 Pale Pink TriBlend™ Marker, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2530 Pale Pink Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2520 Yellow Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine, Sewing Machine

2″ x 3⅜” Bloom & Grow Tag
D1999 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—April Stamp Set, D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3831 Peeled Paint Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, X7266E Daisy Meadows Dots, Z4054 Gold Embellishing Thread, Z3869 Wood Hearts, Z3726 Tags & Tabs Thin Cuts, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2518 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2487 Jade Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2477 Tan TriBlend™ Marker, Z2525 Vintage Blue TriBlend™ Marker, Z3515 Black Journaling Pen (.01), Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine, ¼” Hole Punch

3½” x 3″ Oh Happy Day Envelope

Z3939 Besties—Lucy Stamp + Thin Cuts, Z3937 Besties—Olivia Stamp + Thin Cuts, D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, D1999 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—April Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), X6044 Peach Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z3678 Stitched Hexagons Thin Cuts, Z2489 Blue Turquoise TriBlend™ Marker, Z2523 Blue Turquoise Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2518 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2476 Fair Skin TriBlend™ Marker, Z2479 Gold Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2516 Gold Brown Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2487 Jade Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

3½” Sunny Days Ahead Shaker Window

B1734 My Acrylix® Sunny Days Ahead Stamp Set, D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, D2009 My Acrylix® Be the Good Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6521 Sundance Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Set, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4309 Circle Shaker Window Thin Cuts, Z4310 Circle Shaker Window Foam + Acetate, Z3677 Gold Star Confetti, Z3784 Bright Bitty Beads, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2418 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2488 Green Turquoise TriBlend™ Marker, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

3½” You’re My Lucky Charm Shaker Window
Z3929 Be the Good Stamp + Thin Cuts, C1867 My Acrylix® Best Wishes All Around Stamp Set, D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3783 Bold Bitty Beads, Z3677 Gold Star Confetti, Z4309 Circle Shaker Window Thin Cuts, Z4310 Circle Shaker Window Foam + Acetate, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2518 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2487 Jade Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine, Cricut® Basic Shapes

Cricut® Shape:
Basic Shapes
#M369879

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A Look Inside the New Annual Core Catalog!

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #bluebelle

There are so many reasons to love September. A favorite of ours is the release of our new annual Core Products Catalog! It makes us giddy just thinking about all of the new and exciting products that we’ve been preparing to share with all of you!

Unlike with our seasonal bimonthly catalogs, the contents of our Core Products Catalog are available for an entire year, from September through the following year’s August. This year’s Core Products Catalog is especially full of new products and ideas. We are as committed as ever to our promise of being there to show you how, including providing the right tools and products, whatever your crafting goals.

Let’s take a look at a few new things happening in our Core Products Catalog.

PAPER KITS

We have FIVE new paper kits themed and designed for year-round use!

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #ctmhlovely #ctmhpartytime

Lovely: If you find beauty in life’s simple pleasures, then you’ll love celebrating them with the soft colors and versatile patterns of the Lovely paper collection.

Party Time: Unwrap the ultimate paper packet for any party, featuring bright colors and a patterns that will guarantee you and your quests a good time!

(Both, the Lovely and Party Time papers, come with an optional coordinating sticker sheet, as well as coordinating cardstock!)

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #ctmhwoodgrain

Wood Grain: Add the natural texture of wood to your papercrafting palette with this collection of realistic patterned papers.

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #ctmhgoldfoilpatterns #ctmhsilverfoilpatterns #goldfoil #silverfoil

Gold Foil Patterns: Add rich gold foil accents to any artwork using the Gold Foil Patterns paper packet, featuring six beautiful patterns in gold foil.

Silver Foil Patterns: Make your artwork shine with the Silver Foil Patterns paper packet, featuring six classic patterns in shining silver foil.

THIN CUTS

If die-cutting is your thing, then you will be pleasantly surprised by what we’ve got in store in the Core Products Catalog! We’ve got bows, leaves, dimensional flowers, card front designs, sentiments, and tons more! For space reasons, we’re only showing you two of our favorites here, but make sure to browse through the catalog to see them all.

Simple Serif:

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #thincuts #diecutting #simpleserif #myacrylix

We’ve got a Simple Serif Uppercase stamp set, a Simple Serif Uppercase coordinating Thin Cuts die set, a Simple Serif Lowercase stamp set, and a Simple Serif Lowercase coordinating Thin Cuts die set.

While the dies and stamps work perfectly as a team, they can also be used independently from one another, providing endless possibilities for titles, accents, and more!

Waterfall:

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #waterfallthincuts #paperwaterfall

Create an interactive sliding element with the Waterfall Thin Cuts! The set comes with six dies, including several that are intended for your personal customization of the “waterfall.”

PERPETUAL CALENDAR

Keep track of all your important dates year after year with this Perpetual Calendar! It comes with 14 loose printed sheets and one wood base for you to design and create your own pages.

EMBELLISHMENTS

No crafting project is complete without a few finishing touches, like gems, ribbons, and acrylic shapes (to list but a few). Here’s a small sampling of what you’ll find in our Core Products Catalog:

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #goldstarconfetti #sprintimeflowersequins #boldbittybeads #blackacrylicarrows #pinkacrylichearts #happybirthdayacrylicsentiments #lovetodayacrylictitles #hugsandhelloacrylicsentiments #woodstars #sequins #beads #acrylicshapes #acrylicsentiments #acrylictitles #woodshapes #embellishments

(Gold Star Confetti, Springtime Flower Sequins, Bold Bitty Beads, Black Acrylic Arrows, Pink Acrylic Hearts, Happy Birthday Acrylic Sentiments, Love Today Acrylic Titles, Hugs & Hello Acrylic Sentiments, Wood Stars)

MARKERS

Deep Blends TriBlend™ Markers: For those who have been with this us since last year, you’ll recall that last September we introduced the essential blends TriBlend™ markers from Spectrum Noir™. This year we are taking our color options up a notch (or three) with 24 new deep blends markers!

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #metallicmarkers #antiqueelements #rareminerals #preciousmetals

Metallic Markers:Also from Spectrum Noir™, we are now offering three sets of six dual-tip metallic markers with quality, archival, water-based ink: Antique Elements, Rare Minerals, and Precious Metals!

MIXED MEDIA

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #glittergels #moondust #nebula #solarflare #asteroid

Stickles™ Glitter Gels: The assorted sizes and shapes of glitters in these gels make crafts truly sparkle! They spread easily and work great when applied through a stencil or directly onto a surface. (Moon Dust, Nebula, Solar Flare, Asteroid.)

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #glossspray

Gloss Sprays: Available in six colors, these are an opaque acrylic spray that dry to a glossy finish. The ink is water-soluble when wet, and permanent when dry.

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #distressoxideink

Distress Oxide™ Ink Pads: An exciting newcomer are the Distress Oxide™ ink pads. These pads feature a water-reactive dye and pigment ink fusion that create an oxidized effect when sprayed with water! Use with stamps, stencils, or rub the pad directly on a paper surface.

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #stencils

Stencils: We couldn’t give you all those pretty art supplies to use with stencils without providing you with a few options of our own! So, we designed nine 12″ x 12″ stencils, available in three separate packs of three, for use with a variety of mixed media and art techniques! These are made from reusable clear plastic stencil sheets, each cut in a unique design.

DIGITAL ART

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #vinyl #svg #digitalart

We’ve added 11 new digital, downloadable SVG files, to our collection as well as three new Heat Transfer vinyl colors (Red, Light Pink, and Pale Blue)! View all of these new digital art designs, here.

8″ x 12″ FLIP FLAPS™

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #flipflaps

Add more photos and other pieces of memorabilia to your scrapbook pages with Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™! Use the adhesive strip to stick the additional pocket directly to your page or on top of the Memory Protectors. The new, 8″ x 12″ Flip Flaps™, are a great size for including certificates and other large-scale items! (Attaches vertically or horizontally.)

NEW COLORS

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #bluebelle #coty #colorofttheyear #colouroftheyear

We’ve added several new colors to our exclusive color palette this month! Our favorite, and Color of the Year, is this beautiful blue hue aptly named, Blue Belle! Keep a sharp eye out for it throughout the coming year, and you’ll find hints of Blue Belle in a wide variety of our new products. (To see what other new colors we have in store, talk to your Consultant or take a look at our exclusive color palette in our Core Products Catalog.)

CRAFT WITH HEART™ CARDMAKING KIT

CTMH Core Products #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #mixedmedia #diy #maker #craftwithheart

It’s September, and that means there’s a new Craft with Heart™ cardmaking kit available, now and through the end of December!

Each kit includes materials to create a set of 24 beautiful, handmade cards, that come together in a snap thanks to pre-printed card bases, die-cut shapes, and more. Each delivery also includes an exclusive My Acrylix® stamp set, complete with a stamping block and mini ink pad, so you’ll have the tools you need to create your cards just the way you want them. Keep up with all the occasions in your life with a Craft with Heart™ cardmaking subscription!

Dear friends, this is truly just the tip of the iceberg here. There are many, many more new products that you don’t want to miss out on. Make sure to visit with your Close to My Heart Consultant to see all that we have in store, or explore our Core Products Catalog online, here.

Merry Christmas! Happy crafting! 😉

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Using a 12″ x 12″ Photo in Your Scrapbook

Using 12

We’re so glad you’re stopping by, today, because we’re putting a spin on the classic scrapbook page and you don’t want to miss it!

The idea is simple, yet ingenious! Rather than using paper as a base for all of your album pages, try mixing it up every once in a while, and use a photo! That’s right—a large, 12″ x 12″ photo!

Using 12

Getting one of these pages done could be is as easy as attaching a few complements and some journaling strips. Choose a photo that can be cropped to a square, if it isn’t already, and that has some open space for a few additions. The key is to use embellishments to support the story behind your photo, not to cover it up. Enhance your photo pages with Complements, titles, and accessories in colors and motifs already in your photos.

Using 12

For this, “On The Slopes,” page, we used our Cricut® machine to create the color coordinating title and several unique snowflakes. We even heat embossed a few additional snowflakes right on the photo! (To avoid damaging your photo if you’re heat embossing, remember to apply heat intermittently as you’re setting the image.) And if heat embossing is possible, then you can be certain that stamping with our Exclusive Inks™ on a photo is, too! “Just Chillin’” was stamped with our non-smearing and fast-drying Intense Black ink, just above the journaling. Whether you’re planning on heat embossing or stamping on your photos, a photo with a matte finish is your safest bet to get the best results. Even though a glossy photo could also work, the matte finish allows the ink to set easier, without possible sliding or pooling before it dries.

The last idea we want to talk about is journaling. Every good scrapbook page includes at least some journaling—from small details of who, what, where, and when, to a full and lengthy narrative of the events surrounding the image(s) on the page, and everything in between. These 12″ x 12″ photo-based scrapbook pages are no exception!

Using 12

You’ll notice that on our “Happy Day” page we used strips of paper for the journaling. You can do this typed, like in our example, or in your own handwriting. If you are hand writing your journaling, we suggest writing everything out first, then cutting it up into strips, and adhering your strips to the photo page last. (We all have to practice, sometimes! 🙂 )

Using 12

In our second example we have the words typed on the photo. There are several ways to accomplish this look. The easiest way is to add the type right in the photo with a photo editing program, like Photoshop®, before you print it. If you do not have a photo editing program but do have access to a printer with the capacity to print 12″ x 12″, you could create a file on a word processor program, like Microsoft® Word, and then print your journaling right onto your photo. Another option, if you don’t have a large-format printer, is to ask whomever prints your photos to add the type for you.

For those of you not sure where to print a photo this size, our friends at Persnickety Prints can help! Not only will they provide you with a high-quality photo, they are ready to do so at a discount, now and through the end of the month! Use the code CTMH2 when checking out and get 20% off your 12″ x 12″ prints (matte or gloss). (Visit Persnickety Prints, here.)

If you haven’t done so already, give this type of scrapbook page a try! And if you have, we’d love to hear what you’ve done! Please share what has and hasn’t worked for you with all of us in the comments, below.


Recipes:

12″ x 12″ Happy Day Page
X7240B Something Fierce Paper Packet, X7242B I Heart Us Paper Packet, X5990 Carolina Cardstock, X6021 Sapphire Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X7242E Picture My Life™ Cards—I Heart Us, X7240C Something Fierce Complements, X7242C I Heart Us Complements, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins, Z4305 Thin Cuts—Fancy Tags, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3326 Tombow® Permanent Adhesive, Z3502 Cricut® Flower Market Digital Collection

Cricut Shape:
Flower Market
1¾” shift + title <Daffodil> (p. 44, #MD72936)

12″ x 12″ On The Slopes Page
C1764 My Acrylix® Got Snow? Stamp Set, X5993 Sage Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z4304 Loose Sequins—Silver, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z4248 Ranger™ Silver Tinsel Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3326 Tombow® Permanent Adhesive, Z3502 Cricut® You Are Here Digital Collection

Cricut Shapes:
You Are Here
¾”, 1¼” shift + Icon-5 <V> (p. 34, #M27F834A)
1½”, 2″, 2¼” Icon-5 <v> (p. 34, #M27F834A)
2½” Title <v> (p. 34, #M27F810E)
2½” shift + title <V> (p. 34, #M27F810E)

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Holiday Favorites

As the end of the year approaches, so does the end of our current idea book, Holiday Expressions. And, even though it may a bit taboo to choose a favorite child, we went for it and picked out a few of our favorite products from this catalog to show you just how versatile they really are and that they can be used outside of the holiday season.

First up, the Tree Line Border Thin Cuts.

It’s easy to associate pine trees with Christmas, the majority of us have one dominating our living rooms for the entire month of December (or more!) every year. But, lets not forget that before they got all dressed up for the party these beautiful trees had a more rustic existence.

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holiday favorites #ctmh #closetomyheart #holiday #favorite #reach #stars #treeline #border #embossing #thincuts #diecuts #die #metal #diy #frame #embossing #emboss

These tree line dies can be used in multiple ways to invoke a natural scene. Their design allows for you to use one border at a time or to stack the die cuts, as we’ve done here, creating a more dimensional setting.

Another favorite is the My Acrylix® Oh Snap! stamp set.

holiday favorites #ctmh #closetomyheart #holiday #favorites #faves #capture #life #today #baby #picture #perfect #ohsnap #myacrylix #stamp #set

holiday favorites #ctmh #closetomyheart #holiday #favorites #favourite #faves #picture #perfect #ohsnap #myacrylix #stamp #set

holiday favorites #ctmh #closetomyheart #holiday #ideabook #catalog #catalogue #ohsnap #myacrylix #stamp #camera #smiles #mini #album #blue

If you’re reading this post, you’re hanging with the crowd that doesn’t need a holiday to preserve memories. We’re all about capturing life’s moments, no matter the season.

Next up, we chose a more subtle and less obvious embellishment—the Cats & Bats Dots.

holiday favorites #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #scrapbooking #scrapping #photos #happy #place #enamel #emerald #cats #bats #dots #fave

holiday favorites #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #holiday #favorite #cats #bats #dots #enamel #emerald

holiday favorites #cmth #closetomyheart #candy #bag #cats #bats #dots #black #emerald #enamel #star #glitter

We have black and Emerald enamel dots. Yes, they work perfectly with this year’s Halloween collection, but these little guys are a force to be reckoned with all on their own. Embellishments like these are great to have on hand to add a splash of color any time you need it. And the low price means you can really stock up on these babies and use them on project after project!

Find merriment in anything and everything with our Merry Everything Cut Above® tag kit.

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Gifts should be shared all year round!

For the last highlight, even though we love all of our children the same, take a look at what we did with our leaf embossing folder below.

holiday favorites #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #scrapbooking #scrapbook #holiday #favorites #fave #paper #embossing #leaf #leafs #leaves

holiday favorites #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #scrapping #scrapbooking #embossing #emboss #paper #leaf #leafs #leaves

holiday favorites #ctmh #closetomyheart #celebrate #card #diy #hearts #paper #craft #emboss #embossing #leaf #leafs #leaves #blue #glacier

We love so many of our products that will be retiring in just a few weeks, it was difficult to list just a few. Take advantage of your opportunity to snatch up these items while you still can and remember that just because they are featured in the Holiday Expressions idea book doesn’t mean you can’t use them outside of the holidays. Revisit your catalog and take a look at those products again, thinking outside the holiday gift box!

Have you used any of our holiday products in a non-holiday way? Share your creative ideas below! We love hearing from you!


Recipes

4¼” x 5½” Birthday Wishes Card (Vertical)
B1537 My Acrylix® Birthday Sparkles Stamp Set, X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5954 Pewter Cardstock, X5955 Pebble Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3357 Better Together Complements, Z4037 Thin Cuts—Tree Line Border, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, Die-cutting Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Flower Market
3″ Flower-2 <7> (p. 7, #MD389A5)

5″ x 7″Reach for the Stars Frame
B1565 My Acrylix® A New Adventure Stamp Set, X7226B Silver & Gold Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5954 Pewter Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3357 Better Together Complements, Z4037 Thin Cuts—Tree Line Border, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Die-cutting Machine

12″ x 12″ Capture Life Today Page
D1748 My Acrylix® Oh Snap! Stamp Set, Z3353 Basics Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3350 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, X5955 Pebble Cardstock, X5946 Linen Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5978 Glacier Cardstock, Z3366 Silver Foil Paper, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z4051 Picture My Life™ Cards—Silver & Gold, Z3355 Happy Moments Complements, Z3357 Better Together Complements, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Flower Market
2¼” Flower-2 <7> (p. 7, #mD389A5)

5″ x 5″ Smiles Mini Album
D1748 My Acrylix® Oh Snap! Stamp Set, Z3350 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3353 Basics Fundamental Paper Packet, X5978 Glacier Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3366 Silver Foil Paper, X5946 Linen Cardstock, Z2832 Pewter Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3089 Grey Gems, Z3364 Basics Ribbon Pack

12″ x 12″ Happy Place Page
X7226B Silver & Gold Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5954 Pewter Cardstock, X5969 Emerald Cardstock, Z3357 Better Together Complements, Z4028 Cats & Bats Dots

Treat Bag Topper
D1731 My Acrylix® Eat Cate & Celebrate Stamp Set, X7226B Silver & Gold Paper Packet, X5978 Glacier Cardstock, Z3366 Silver Foil Paper, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7226C Silver & Gold Complements, Z4028 Cats & Bats Dots

Merry Everything Gifts
M1188 My Acrylix® Celebrate Stamp Set, C1684 My Acrylix® Inked with Love Stamp Set, Z4049 Cut Above® Tag Kit—Merry Everything, Z3351 Adventure Fundamental Paper Packet, X5980 Sweet Leaf Cardstock, Z2853 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2812 Raspberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7226C Silver & Gold Complements, Z3361 Whimsy Ribbon Pack, Z3362 Adventure Ribbon Pack, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
2¾” Background <z> (cut 2, p. 31)

12″ x 12″ Home Layout
Make It from Your Heart Vol. 3: Pattern 12, X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet, Z3353 Basics Fundamental Paper Packet, X5946 Linen Cardstock, Z3367 Vellum Paper, Z3357 Better Together Complements, X7226C Silver & Gold Complements, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z4031 Leaves Embossing Folder, Embossing Machine

4¼” x 5½” Celebrate Card (Vertical)
D1731 My Acrylix® Eat Cake & Celebrate Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5955 Pebble Cardstock, X5978 Glacier Cardstock, X5953 Charcoal Cardstock, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z4031 Leaves Embossing Folder, Embossing Machine, Sewing Machine

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Finishing Touches for Your Layouts

You’ve picked the perfect pictures and chosen beautiful papers to pair them with. You’ve laid out your page and added your journaling, but there’s something missing . . . of course—embellishments! Putting those finishing touches on your layout is one of the best parts of the whole process, where you get to have fun playing with all kinds of different items to get just the right look.

If you’ve ever been stumped on the best way to embellish your pages, we’ve got some great ideas to share with you today, illustrated by amazing artwork—as always!Embellish to your heart's content with La Vie En Rose! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #LaVieEnRose #embellishYou’ve got to love the way the flowery Complements in the lower left corner of this page tie into the rosy paper strip, making you feel like you are standing in a fragrant flower garden. We planned it that way! What you see here is the perfect harmony between our La Vie En Rose papers, Complements, and assortments; it makes embellishing easy! Let’s take a closer look:Embellish to your heart's content with La Vie En Rose! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #LaVieEnRose #embellish

One key to getting a great embellishment cluster is variety. This cluster shows off a variety of materials and looks, between the photo-realistic badge buttons, and the printed die-cut shapes, and even a 1″ circle punched out of La Vie En Rose B&T paper. They go together like peas in a pod, but are different enough from one another to keep things interesting—such a beautiful bouquet!

Our 1″ circle punch came in handy for our next layout, too:Embellish to your heart's content with La Vie En Rose! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #LaVieEnRose #embellish

“Oh Darling” is right! You can see we put our circle punch to good use in creating the adorable polka-dot pattern on this page, but the real fun comes in our embellishment clusters. This cluster illustrates the same trick of putting embellishments of several different shapes and colors together:Embellish to your heart's content with La Vie En Rose! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #LaVieEnRose #embellish

Just like on our first page, we’re using the La Vie En Rose Complements and assortment, but we’ve also added the eye-catching Treasured Puffies and gold sequins. The touches of gold fit right in with the gold glitter paper bordering the page, and they just add that much more contrast to the cluster.

We’ve got one last layout to look at:Embellish to your heart's content with La Vie En Rose! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #LaVieEnRose #embellish

We’ve seen how well the La Vie En Rose Complements work with the coordinating paper packet, but in this example they’re teaming up with our Paper Fundamentals for a completely different effect.Embellish to your heart's content with La Vie En Rose! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #LaVieEnRose #embellish

Here, we’ve taken two similarly shaped Complements and stacked them one over the other. This time they are joined by a bow from our black Fundamental assortment, which is topped off by a precious heart sticker, which actually comes from the Penelope Complements. And we can’t forget the bitty sparkles! This layout is proof that embellishments from four different collections can coordinate amazingly well, so feel free to mix and match at will!

All this talk about embellishments has got you dying to pull out the stickers and die-cuts and get to work on your own pages, huh? 😉 Well, be our guest! Get creative with your embellishments and see what new dimensions you can add to your pages!

Recipes

12″ x 12″ Sweetest Smile Page
X7201B La Vie En Rose Paper Packet, X7201C La Vie En Rose Complements, Z3078 La Vie En Rose Assortment, Z1999 1″ Circle Punch

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
¾” Shift <Font> “SWEETEST SMILE”

12″ x 12″ Oh Darling Layout
X7201B  La Vie En Rose Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, X5773 Pixie Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, X5780 Pomegranate Cardstock, X7201C La Vie En Rose Complements, Z3203 Treasured Puffies, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment

12″ x 12″ You Are My World Layout
1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3125 Paper Fundamentals Adventure, Z3126 Paper Fundamentals Enchantment, X7207C Penelope Complements, X7201C La Vie En Rose Complements, Z3104 Fundamental Assortment—Black, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3132 Watercolor Paints

All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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Picture My Life™: Endless Possibilities

One of the beautiful things about Close To My Heart products is that they mix and mingle in endless ways! You don’t have to get bogged down using products only for their original intent because with just a little creativity, you can take products to a whole new level.

Your Picture My Life™ layouts are a great place to start. Enjoy these fun ideas for blending some of your favorite products together on a single layout!

Mix and Mingle
Combine traditional pages with Picture My Life pages for a layout that’s unique and on trend. Here we’ve combined a variety-filled Picture My Life page with a more traditional title page. Wouldn’t you agree that together they strike a great balance?

Thanks to our exclusive color palette, you don’t have to stick to one paper packet for coordinating layouts. Check out the Sunset Checkers B&T paper from the Scaredy Cat paper packet mixed with the Polka Dot B&T from the Chalk It Up paper packet on the left page. It’s a match made in heaven! Throw in the Hopscotch Picture My Life program on the right page, and you’ve got one big, happy paper family.

Cut sentiments and shapes from Picture My Life cards to overlay on photos. Elements like these create common themes across your photos that will help tie your layout together with an extra touch of visual interest.The mix of dimension, stamping techniques, and Complements on this title is what makes it so visually intriguing. Don’t be afraid to add multiple levels of texture and color—it will definitely pay off!Blending Families
Do you often find yourself with loads of leftover cards from a bunch of different Picture My Life™ programs? If you’re thinking that you’ll just have to toss them into a pile of craft storage, think again!

Cards from different Picture My Life families can be blended together to create unique layouts like this one. Believe it or not, this layout contains cards from six different programs—can you find them all?

Picture My Life layouts come together quickly and have a finished look, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress them up with a few extra details. For example, check out the awesome embossing at the bottom of this card.Stamping sentiments with an alphabet stamp, trimming with scissors, and mounting with 3-D foam tape will add lovely dimension to your Picture My Life layouts. And you can always add an extra splash of cuteness to any Picture My Life card by adding stick-on embellishments, such as the Stuck On You Puffies.Once your totally unique Picture My Life layouts are complete, be sure to give them a nice home in one of our albums. Our new D-ring albums are just the right fit for your Picture My Life layouts, and they’re available for a steal of a deal this month. Make sure you don’t miss the chance to give your mixed, matched, and magnificent layouts a safe place to live at a superb price!

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