As many of you know, March is a special time of year around Close To My Heart: It’s my birthday month! Every year, as my birthday approaches, I can’t help but reflect on life. I like to reevaluate how and where I spend my time, and especially with whom. I’m not perfect, but I believe in making every moment count and living life to its fullest, and when I look at the wonderful people who have walked by my side over the past 35 plus years, I am blessed to know that I am doing just that!
Thank you for always asking about me and my family. Thank you for your dedication to this wonderful community that we have created, together. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for believing in me and my vision for Close To My Heart, and for making dreams come true day in and day out. You, my dear Consultants and readers, areMY people! I could not ask for a better group of women to share my life with. I am truly blessed to have you and love you all so much!
For my birthday, I want to celebrate you, the wonderful people in my life. One way I plan on doing this is through the special that we just launched on March 1st, These Are My People. One of my favorite products in this special is the These Are My People Cut Above® kit. (All of the pages that you are seeing today are from this kit, complete with pictures of our wonderful Close To My Heart Consultants! <3 )
This kit is designed to create a 6″ x 8″ album with an opening page, a closing page, and eight two-page layouts in between, each page aimed at celebrating special relationships. What better product could I ask for to say thank you to all of you?
The beautiful collection of products available through the These Are My People campaign, especially the workshops and the Cut Above® kit, are truly an embodiment of the Close To My Heart mission.
For the next three weeks, until my birthday on the 27th, we will keep track of everyone who purchases one of these Cut Above® kits. At noon (MST) on my birthday, I will pick 4 of you to receive a prize containing an Everyday Life™ album in the color of your choice, one of our journaling pens of your choice, and an additional These Are My People Cut Above®kit. A fifth winner will also be picked for a grand prize. This lucky person will receive the album, pen, and Cut Above kit, as well as a $50 (USD) credit to Persnickety Prints, and a Sticky Boy and Sticky Girl stamp (because they are some of my favorite people, too!)!
My sweet friends, I hope you know that I love you and cherish the moments we get to share together. I encourage you to do your best to live your best life with those who matter most and express your love and gratitude every day. And, if you’re searching for a community of crafters that are more of a family than anything else, you’ve come to the right place and are welcome here.
Heat transfer vinyl is one of the newest products to join the Close To My Heart ranks. We are absolutely loving working with it and are eager to help anyone who may be new to vinyl discover practical tips, tricks, and uses for this awesome material! Whether you’re applying it on an album cover or directly onto your cards or scrapbook pages, heat transfer vinyl is an awesome, multi-use medium, and it’s definitely one of our favorites. To address some tricky questions or to simply just get you started on the road to using heat transfer vinyl in your own crafts, we’ve put together a list of ten tips for vinyl beginners.
1. Keep the carrier sheet intact. The carrier sheet is the film backing on the vinyl that is there to keep your vinyl designs together. It is important that you do not cut through it. If you do, you may end up with various separate pieces that make up your design, which will make it a lot harder to position and apply to your project. To keep the carrier sheet intact, always make sure that the shiny side of the vinyl is facing DOWN when you position it on your cutting mat and that your cutting machine is set to vinyl.
2. Use a scraper tool to remove any bubblesand smooth your vinyl on your cutting mat. Having bubbles in your vinyl will potentially result in messy application. As you apply vinyl to your cutting mat, gently glide a scraper tool over the surface for a flawlessly smooth cutting surface.
3. Always cut the mirror image of your vinyl designs. When applying heat transfer vinyl onto a project, the carrier sheet will be facing UP. That means, when you cut your designs with the carrier sheet facing DOWN (as discussed in tip #1) you’ll want to cut a mirror image of how you want the final image to appear on your project. Otherwise, you’ll end up cutting all your project pieces backwards. This is mostly a problem if you’re using words in your design.
In Cricut Design Space™, you can accomplish this by inserting your images or text on your Design Space canvas, and selecting the “Flip” option, located on the toolbar at the top of the page. By flipping your image horizontally, you’ll be able to cut the mirror image of each desired shape without jeopardizing the carrier sheet.
4. Once you’ve cut your image in the vinyl, you’ll need to remove the excess vinyl from the carrier sheet before applying it to your project. This process is called weeding. To make weeding easier, heat your work surface for a few seconds, then weed over the heated surface. The heat will loosen the vinyl from the carrier sheet, making it easier to peel off the excess.
5. For better results, heat your project for a few seconds before placing the vinyl on it. To ensure that you don’t scorch your project, use a protective sheet between your heat source and the project surface. You will need to purchase a protective sheet separately from most heat presses. If you don’t have ready access to a protective sheet or you don’t wish to purchase one, you can use a thin t-shirt or towel to shield your project. If desired, you can also use this protection as you apply the vinyl to your project.
6. When you get ready to apply the vinyl to your project surface, use a little bit of pressure on the heat press for better and faster application. You don’t need to put your entire weight onto your press, but a small amount of pressure is recommended.
7. Don’t over-press your vinyl by keeping heat on it for too long. Start with 10–15 seconds and add more time if needed. Most heat presses come with an adjustable timer to help you keep track of your time.
8. If you’re using an iron, you’ll need to keep a closer eye on your project to prevent scorching. Since heat settings vary, start on a lower heat setting and work up as needed.
9. After applying heat transfer vinyl, you can peel the carrier sheet away from the project’s surface while it’s still hot. If you’re working with glitter vinyl, however, it’s best to peel it when it’s warm. (Just be sure you don’t burn your fingers!)
10. If you want to layer your vinyl, you can! However, we recommend that you don’t put any layers on top of glitter vinyl. The surface of the glitter vinyl will prevent any other vinyl placed on top of it from adhering and sealing properly. You can layer glitter pieces over other types of vinyl, but if you’re incorporating glitter vinyl into your projects, leave it on top, as you see in the photo below.
We hope this closer look at vinyl has helped you get excited about this awesome material! As a special treat, we’re giving away a custom vinyl pack to three lucky readers! These custom packs will include one 11.8″ x 12″ sheet of each of the four different heat transfer vinyls featured in today’s blog artwork (1 White, 1 Black, 1 Silver Glitter, and 1 Galaxy Black Glitter). For a chance to win, make sure you’re subscribed to this blog and leave a comment below telling us what you are creating or want to create with heat transfer vinyl! All entries must be in by 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 29, MST. Contest winners will be notified via email. Good luck! 😉
We’re jumping right into the new year and celebrating National Papercrafting Month with the All Around Creativity special, featuring four gorgeous wreath kits that are only available from Close To My Heart through the end of the month. There are so many different ways to embellish these beautiful wreaths, so we figured we’d have some fun and share with you four simple ways that we’ve added color to the plywood bases.
Adding color to wood doesn’t need to be super messy or take a huge amount of time. It can be quick, easy, and clean. To start off, we’ll take a peek at one of the easiest wood-coloration techniques. This method uses an Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad and will only take you a few minutes from application until it’s completely dry!
Simply select the ink color you’d like to use and gently swipe the stamp pad over the surface of the wood with quick, dabbing motions, going with the grain. Going with the grain helps you to emphasize the natural beauty of the wood, while also protecting your stamp pad from getting scratched up or caught on the wood. As you’ll see in the video below, we left some of the wood grain visible for a more stained look, but you can make it as light or as dark as you’d like.
To achieve a softer, mottled look, try sponging the ink onto the wood.
Cut a Round Sponge into quarters. While gripping the point of one quarter with your fingers, gently load your sponge with ink by pouncing it on your stamp pad. Because the sponge absorbs the ink, it may not look like you have a lot on there, but you’ll have more ink than you think!
Once you’ve got your sponge inked and ready to go, use the same pouncing motion you used on the stamp pad to apply the color to the plywood. The ink will dry lighter than it looks while you apply it. For a darker, richer tone, you will have to apply additional layers of ink.
This next technique uses TriBlend™ markers. When using an alcohol-based marker to color wood, you’ll want to go in the direction of the grain and use a steady hand to achieve even color throughout.
Because you have greater control over color distribution when you use this method, you also have more control over the appearance of the colored wood. For instance, if you want a softer, lighter look, use a light hand and don’t go over the same spot too many times. For darker and richer tones, add more color layers to really get the pigment into the wood.
If you’re going for a darker color, don’t jam the marker tip into the wood, as this may damage your marker. Instead, go over the same area of the wood multiple times for color layering and try using a lighter shade of your TriBlend™ marker.
The last technique we’re showcasing today adds a bit of sparkle to your art. Heat embossing! (We went there, and it’s beautiful!)
First, place your wreath over a piece of scratch paper so you can catch any excess embossing powder. Then, begin by rubbing the surface of the wreath with an anti-static pouch. Apply VersaMark™ ink to the wreath, a few sections at a time, using the same pouncing motion you saw in our first technique. While the ink is still wet, sprinkle embossing powder over it, shake off any excess powder onto your scratch paper, and heat set with a heat tool. (Use your scratch paper to easily funnel your excess embossing powder back into its container for future use.)
We absolutely love these wreaths and National Papercrafting Month, because it really gets us thinking outside the box! We can’t wait to see all the different ways you choose to add color to your wreaths.
Remember, you can only get these gorgeous wreath kits until January 31, and if you buy four or more you even get a discount! Make sure to take full advantage of the All Around Creativity special while you still can. For a few of you who may be on the fence, we are giving away four of these kits to four lucky readers! For a chance to win, you must do two things. First, make sure you are subscribed to this blog. If you are not, find the blue button on the sidebar that says “Subscribe to list” and follow the prompts once you’ve clicked it. Second, leave us a comment below telling us what types of crafts you like to work out, outside of scrapbooking and cardmaking. You have until 12 p.m. (MST) Thursday, January 9, to submit your entries. All winners will be notified by email. Good luck and happy crafting!
We’re pulling out all the stops this National Scrapbooking Month with a visit from one of our all-time favorite story tellers! Stacy Julian is here today to share with us the newest addition to the Story by Stacy™ line, Storyteller. Click on the video below to learn about this impressive guidebook from none other than Stacy herself! Pay extra close attention and you might just find that she is offering a little more than just two new story telling techniques! 😉
Thanks for stopping by Stacy! <3
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK YOUR EMAIL TO FIND OUT IF YOU’RE ONE OF THE LUCKY WINNERS!
Happy May everyone, and happy National Scrapbooking Month!! We just love, love, love, this time of year where we get to join with the rest of the crafting community to celebrate the meaningful art of scrapbooking—and in true Close To My Heart fashion, we are celebrating all month long with beautiful new products created just for the occasion! If you didn’t get a chance to see some of our dearest friends talk about the exclusive The World Is Yours collection on National Scrapbooking Day this last Saturday, revisit the video HERE.
One of our favorite products from The World Is Yours collection is the Cut Above® layout kit. A primary excuse people give for not scrapbooking is that they just don’t have the time to do it. Cut Above® layout kits are our answer to that genuine concern without jeopardizing artwork quality. Each one of our Cut Above® layout kits come with pre-printed base pages, pre-cut paper pieces and die-cuts, as well as stickers to quickly and easily assemble two 12″ x 12″ scrapbook layouts. We basically take all of the cutting out of the scrapbooking equation, allowing you to jump right into enjoying the artistic and creative side of memory keeping.
The World Is Yours Cut Above® layout kit is additionally unique because it is one of the only Cut Above® layout kits that can be purchase out right outside of our Craft with Heart™ subscription program. Craft with Heart™ offers Cut Above® layout kits at monthly, 4-month, and 12-month intervals. Once subscribed, you receive exclusive kits delivered straight to your doorstep. If you are not yet a subscriber, The World Is Yours kit is a great place to try one of these kits out without any further obligations.
We truly love our Cut Above® layout kits so much and are confident that you will, too, which is why we are giving away five of these kits to five lucky readers! We keep it simple. For a chance to win, all you have to do is make sure you are subscribed to this blog and then leave us a comment below, letting us know your thoughts on the Cut Above® program. You have until 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 9 (MDT), to enter. All winners will be notified by e-mail.
For a closer look at all of our other beautiful products and projects offered through The World Is Yours special, visit our website, HERE. Remember, this collection is only available during May, while supplies last, so get yours today and make the world yours!
We all have photos that hold a special place in our hearts. They remind us of something or someone, and they often have detailed, personal stories that go with them. Stories I Love, the newest program from Story by Stacy™, gives you permission to bring your most treasured photos together in one album and teaches you how to write the unique stories that go along with them.
Your favorite photos may not be the ones that are the most pretty. They may not have the best lighting. They could be candid or staged. They could be from a special occasion or from everyday life. What makes them important are the memories they represent and what you feel when you look at them. That’s what Stories I Love is all about. Each Stories I Love workshop kit comes with a 6″ x 8″ album, ten 6″ x 8″ Memory Protectors™, one title page, one closing page, story pages, base pages, and two sticker sheets. The workbook included in the kit walks you through the steps of exploring the story behind one photo, writing that story, and then creating a 6″ x 8″ layout with just that story and photo.
Are you ready to make your own Stories I Love album? Watch the video below to hear directly from Stacy about this new program and to find out how you can win your very own Stories I Love workshop kit!
You have until 11 a.m. (MST) Thursday, January 17, to enter in the giveaway. Winners will be notified by email on Thursday.
The memories behind the photos you cherish are stories only YOU can tell. Recording your thoughts and feelings transforms every layout you make into a treasured keepsake. We can’t wait to see what you create with Stories I Love!
Merry Christmas from my family to yours! How I love this time of year and the opportunity to celebrate the birth and life of my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the reason behind the holiday and the center of my personal and family celebrations. I love everything about Christmas, but most especially how wonderful it is to be surrounded by these dear people who mean so much to me. I hope that your holiday is filled with joy, peace, and merriment in the company of cherished friends and loved ones.
As we look ahead to the start of another year, I am just bursting with excitement for 2019—it marks 35 years since I first began selling stamps and designing my own. Close To My Heart is the amazing company and community that has grown out of those very first efforts of mine, which is why we’re making 2019 an entire year of celebration! We’re kicking off the year with a brand new catalog of products that will launch on January 1—here’s a little peek for you:
That’s only the cover, but I hope that when you look at it, you can feel the excitement I’m talking about. It’s the same excitement you feel on a Christmas morning: The anticipation of great things in store. And believe, me, have we got great things in store for you!
In fact, since it is just too hard to wait even one more week, I want to kick off the celebration with a little giveaway! I want to give away 35 prizes consisting of one of our new stamp sets paired with a pack of the new Mix-in paper packet featured in the upcoming idea book:
If you’d like to win one of these prizes, just share a comment with me of one thing you’ll be celebrating in 2019. Make your comment before January 1 and we’ll draw our 35 winners in the first week of January.
The reason I chose that particular stamp set is because of the sentiment, which says “We didn’t realize we were making memories we just knew we were having fun.” I have certainly experienced that many times in my 35 years of business! We may not always be aware of it, but we’re always making memories through all the adventures of this life. I hope that this holiday season has brought you many fun, fulfilling times, and that the year ahead brings you even more that you will be able to capture and preserve as happy memories for years to come.
From my heart to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Can 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:
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!
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?
We show you how to celebrate relationships through discovering your creativity, to preserve and share the moments that matter most.
This is what it’s all about at Close To My Heart. We believe that preserving and sharing the moments that mean the most to you is so important, and with Close To My Heart, you can do that in creative ways you’ll treasure and look at over and over again.
If you love scrapbooking, cardmaking, and papercrafting as much as we do, November is the perfect time to become a Close To My Heart Consultant with the Fund Your Fun special. You can join us as a Consultant and take advantage of extra CTMH Cash to spend on products of your choice. That means when you sign up during November you’ll get the same amount of CTMH Cash as the cost of your New Consultant Kit, and you can use that CTMH Cash to purchase your choice of products like paper packets, cardstock, stamp sets, stamp pads, and more! Plus, you enjoy all these other great benefits:
Discount on your favorite memory keeping products
Be your own boss
Set your own schedule
Build lifelong friendships
Attend events for business training, product training, creative sessions, and more
Make money doing what you love!
The group of ladies in the page below is creating with brand-new product at our North American Convention last June. Can you imagine getting to see and use new product before any one else?
Consultants not only have an amazing business opportunity and get early access to new products, they belong to the Close To My Heart family. This is a special group of people that supports and encourages you however you decide to use your Close To My Heart business, whether it’s to fund your own crafting fun or to reach other goals. Either way, you can have “fun with friends” while you create and celebrate the memories and relationships that matter the most to you.
To help you scrapbook your favorite crafting moments with friends, we are giving away FIVE Solid Classroom Alphabet stamp sets! You will love using this large alphabet stamp set in your scrapbooking, just like we did in the Raspberry title on this page. Enter in today’s giveaway by following these two steps. First, make sure you are a subscriber to the Make It From Your Heart blog. If not, just click on the blue “Subscribe to list” button in the sidebar. Second, leave a comment below telling us either what you love about your Close To My Heart Consultant, or what you love about BEING a Consultant! You have until noon (MST) tomorrow, November 2, to enter.
The Fund Your Fun special lasts only through the month of November. Just click here to become a Consultant and start your Close To My Heart journey!