Crisp Cards for All Occasions

When you want to communicate feelings of love, gratitude, excitement, joy, or sympathy, you can never go wrong with a beautiful card. Today, we’ll be focusing on techniques we used to create the gorgeous cards that grace the cover of our July–September catalog.

Crisp Cards for All Occasions #cardmaking #autumn #fall #stamping #embellishmentcluster #pumpkin #leaves #gratitude #thanks #celebration #love #seasonal #seasons #ctmh #closetomyheart

These autumnal-themed cards feature a refreshing combination of patterned papers, stamps, Thin Cuts, and stickers from our Crisp Air collection and represent a wonderful example of how a beautiful art piece can be easier to create than it may appear on the surface. To begin, let’s discuss the initial steps we took when creating these cards.

Every card starts with a card base and a base design layer. For these cards, we selected various options from the Crisp Air paper packet to provide a starting point for our designs. With so many beautiful colors and patterns to coordinate with, this assortment of vibrant papers offers bases that accommodate multiple design directions.

Crisp Cards for All Occasions #cardmaking #autumn #fall #stamping #embellishmentcluster #pumpkin #leaves #gratitude #thanks #celebration #love #seasonal #seasons #ctmh #closetomyheart

Another common element across the board is the addition of a message or opening sentiment. Our cards on display today include a variety of sentiments, with some being achieved with stamped images, one with a sticker addition, and even one embossed die-cut title accent! Each of these options for adding a card sentiment comes with its own advantages—for example, using a stamp allows you to tailor the image to your liking through the use of different stamping techniques and colors.

Crisp Cards for All Occasions #cardmaking #autumn #fall #stamping #embellishmentcluster #pumpkin #leaves #gratitude #thanks #celebration #love #seasonal #seasons #ctmh #closetomyheart

Incorporating a sticker into the sentiment, like we see with the “Beautiful Change” card above, is a quicker and easier way to add some polished flair to your card.

Crisp Cards for All Occasions #cardmaking #autumn #fall #stamping #embellishmentcluster #pumpkin #leaves #gratitude #thanks #celebration #love #seasonal #seasons #ctmh #closetomyheart

While the stamped and sticker titles are fairly straightforward, the embossed die-cut title takes a more technical approach. To create this title, we used a die from our Gratitude Thin Cuts set to create two “thankful” die-cuts and glued them together for extra dimension. After gluing, we pressed our die-cut into a VersaMark™ ink pad, placed it flat on a piece of scratch paper, coated it with Princess Gold embossing powder, and gently picked it up with tweezers to shake off the excess powder.

Crisp Cards for All Occasions #cardmaking #autumn #fall #stamping #embellishmentcluster #pumpkin #leaves #gratitude #thanks #celebration #love #seasonal #seasons #ctmh #closetomyheart

Once the excess embossing powder was removed, we used a Heat Tool to heat-set the remaining powder while still holding the die-cut with the tweezers. This technique offers a more 3-dimensional result with an eye-catching metallic finish, making it a beautiful accent for this already gorgeous card!

After selecting your color palette, papers, and sentiment, a great way to complete your card is to select a few accents to finish off your design. For our cards today, we’ve turned primarily to our selection of Crisp Air stickers and stamps, a handful of Thin Cuts, some ribbon, and a few coordinating cardstock colors to help tie all the design elements together and make each one unique.

Crisp Cards for All Occasions #cardmaking #autumn #fall #stamping #embellishmentcluster #pumpkin #leaves #gratitude #thanks #celebration #love #seasonal #seasons #ctmh #closetomyheart

One of our favorite accents for these cards is the light orange ribbon used on the “Celebrate” card, pictured above. To achieve this shade, we used an orange TriBlend™ marker  to color a length of white ribbon using long, steady strokes to achieve uniform color distribution. Once the ink dried on the ribbon, we cut dovetailed the ends, tied a loose knot, and attached it to the card to finish off the tag behind the title piece.

Crisp Cards for All Occasions #cardmaking #autumn #fall #stamping #embellishmentcluster #pumpkin #leaves #gratitude #thanks #celebration #love #seasonal #seasons #ctmh #closetomyheart

Another standout feature of these Crisp Air cards is the use of embellishment clusters. To create these embellishment clusters, we combined several individual elements into a cohesive grouping and attached it to the card as a larger accent. One of our favorite ways to do this is to gather multiple stamped die-cuts, created with a Stamp + Thin Cuts set. By using stamps and dies from the Crisp Air—Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts set, we were able to create this vibrant embellishment cluster that matched the paper designs perfectly!

Crisp Cards for All Occasions #cardmaking #autumn #fall #stamping #embellishmentcluster #pumpkin #leaves #gratitude #thanks #celebration #love #seasonal #seasons #ctmh #closetomyheart

Looking for a quicker option? Like the title piece discussed in the “Beautiful Change” card above, using stickers to create embellishment clusters like the one on this “Love You” card can be done in just a couple of minutes!

Crisp Cards for All Occasions #cardmaking #autumn #fall #stamping #embellishmentcluster #pumpkin #leaves #gratitude #thanks #celebration #love #seasonal #seasons #ctmh #closetomyheart
Crisp Cards for All Occasions #cardmaking #autumn #fall #stamping #embellishmentcluster #pumpkin #leaves #gratitude #thanks #celebration #love #seasonal #seasons #ctmh #closetomyheart

To create the background behind the darker outline of our pumpkin, we traced the overlay and hand trimmed a plain background to create a stable base. We then used our Thin Cuts die to cut the shape again on a piece of Nectarine cardstock, sponged Paprika ink around the edges, and carefully inlaid the pumpkin overlay with the sponged orange pieces, resulting in a dimensional accent piece!

Once you’ve found an accent method that works for your card, you may want to add a few smaller touches to finish it all off. For this selection of cards, we’ve used Crisp Air dots, glitter gems, dabs of glitter glue, gold embellishing thread, and even a couple of detail stamps like the splatter stamp from our Crisp Air—Scrapbooking stamp set. A few well-placed features like these are the perfect finishing touches as you complete your own unique cards.

No matter what your card communicates, it can be easy to create a meaningful piece of personal artwork with just a few simple techniques and a handful of coordinating products like those in our Crisp Air collection. Remember, card creation doesn’t have to be complicated to be meaningful—when you craft from the heart, you can’t go wrong! What do you dream of creating with the Crisp Air suite? Tell us about it in the comments below!


Recipes:

4¼” x 5½” Love You Card (Vertical)
Z8028 Crisp Air—Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, C1945 My Acrylix® Language of Flowers Stamp Set, X7284S Crisp Air Paper Packet + Sicker Sheet, X7283B Backyard Bliss Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6515 Paprika Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2848 Sapphire Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6530 Shortbread Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6521 Sundance Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3560 Golden Rod Stickles™ Glitter Glue, X7284E Crisp Air Dots, Z5017 Rose Gold Shimmer Trim, Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z5038 Die-cutting & Embossing Machine  

4¼” x 5½” Autumn Beautiful Change Card (Vertical)
Z8028 Crisp Air—Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7284S Crisp Air Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X7283B Backyard Bliss Paper Packet, X6070 Pine Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6531 Mocha Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6510 Nectarine Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6515 Paprika Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7284E Crisp Air Dots, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z5038 Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

4¼” x 5½” Thankful Card (Vertical)
Z8028 Crisp Air—Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7284S Crisp Air Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6052 Cinnamon Cardstock, X6033 Paprika Cardstock, X6070 Pine Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6515 Paprika Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3560 Golden Rod Stickles™ Glitter Glue, Z2066 Princess Gold Embossing Powder, X7284E Crisp Air Dots, Z8043 Maple Leaf Thin Cuts, Z8045 Gratitude Thin Cuts, Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z5038 Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

4¼” x 5½” Celebrate Card (Vertical)
D2108 My Acrylix® Crisp Air—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, C1945 My Acrylix® Language of Flowers Stamp Set, X7284S Crisp Air Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X7282B Beach Party Paper Packet, X6059 Shortbread Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6522 Cinnamon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6515 Paprika Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6521 Sundance Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2828 Toffee Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2517 Burnt Orange TriBlend™ Marker, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Ribbon

4¼” x 5½” Thankful for You Card (Vertical)
D2106 My Acrylix® Crisp Air—Cardmaking Stamp Set, X7284S Crisp Air Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6052 Cinnamon Cardstock, X6043 Nectarine Cardstock, X6059 Shortbread Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6522 Cinnamon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6531 Mocha Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6515 Paprika Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6521 Sundance Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2828 Toffee Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3560 Golden Rod Stickles™ Glitter Glue, X7284E Crisp Air Dots, Z4054 Gold Embellishing Thread, Z8044 Pumpkin Thin Cuts, Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z5038 Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

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FREE Design Space File to Create Your Own Gratitude Tree!

Gratitude Paper Craft #closetomyheart #ctmh #cricut #gratitude #grateful #thanksgiving #gratitudetree #fallcraft #autumncraft #thanksgivingcraft #cricutdesignspace #free #freefile #freedownload #papercraft #papercrafting

The things we’re grateful for—relationships, homes, lifestyle comforts, financial success, etc.—may not grow on trees, but in today’s post they will! We’re going to walk you through the steps of creating your very own gratitude tree!

To get you started, we’re providing a FREE Cricut Design Space™ file for the shapes of the tree trunk and leaves! These tree shapes come from a variety of our Cricut® collections, including Art Philosophy, Artbooking, Flower Shop, and more! Click here to download this file!

Once you’ve downloaded our free file, or have selected Cricut® shapes or metal dies of your own, select a variety of colored cardstock to cut your leaves. For our tree, we chose to incorporate vibrant autumnal colors, but color choice is completely up to you! Just make sure to select shades that will allow your journaling to show. (As a reminder, all Close To My Heart colored cardstock is two-toned, so you can use a single color and still end up with two shades!)

Gratitude Paper Craft #closetomyheart #ctmh #cricut #gratitude #grateful #thanksgiving #gratitudetree #fallcraft #autumncraft #thanksgivingcraft #cricutdesignspace #free #freefile #freedownload #papercraft #papercrafting

After your leaves and trunk are cut, it’s time to create your base page and attach the trunk. We kept our base page simple with a denim patterned paper from our Textures Paper Packet, featured in the 2021–2022 Core Products Catalog. We also decided to add a little more dimension to our tree trunk by cutting two trunk layers and positioning them slightly off set from each other. For even more artistic fun, we chose to use a wood grain patterned paper from our Wood Grains Paper Packet for our top layer and a solid Mocha cardstock layer on the bottom. (Attaching your top layer with thin 3-D foam tape can be another great way to bring dimension to your tree!)

When your base is ready, put it in a 12″ x 12″ frame and set it in high traffic area of your home. Place the cut, leaves along with a few colorful pens and adhesive, in a handy bowl. Allow everyone who passes by to write something they are grateful for on a leaf and have them attach it to the tree! Another way to use this project is to bring it to your Thanksgiving Day table for a fun family activity! Pass the leaves around the table and invite your guests to write what they are grateful for. When everyone’s finished, collect all the leaves, and watch your gratitude tree spring to life as you share the thoughtful contributions of your loved ones!

Gratitude Paper Craft #closetomyheart #ctmh #cricut #gratitude #grateful #thanksgiving #gratitudetree #fallcraft #autumncraft #thanksgivingcraft #cricutdesignspace #free #freefile #freedownload #papercraft #papercrafting

For our tree, we used 3-D foam tape, thin 3-D foam tape, and a glue pen to attach the leaves to the base tree, resulting in a nice variation in dimension from leaf to leaf. Once you’ve attached all the gratitude leaves to the tree branches, you can use any extras to create a small leaf pile at the base of your tree trunk, helping to fill out your page and give it a little extra flair. One of the best parts about this project is that it’s sized to fit inside a standard size scrapbook album! Add a bit of journaling to bring some context to the project, dress it up with a few embellishments, and you’re ready to put it into your scrapbook to cherish for years to come!

Gratitude Paper Craft #closetomyheart #ctmh #cricut #gratitude #grateful #thanksgiving #gratitudetree #fallcraft #autumncraft #thanksgivingcraft #cricutdesignspace #free #freefile #freedownload #papercraft #papercrafting

Recollections of days, meals, and even gifts may fade over time, but creating a lasting memory of gratitude and family is a sure-fire way to make this year’s Thanksgiving holiday unforgettable! Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Tell us about it in the comments, below!


Recipe

12″ x 12″ Gratitude Tree Page
Cricut Design Space™ File, X6060 Mocha Cardstock, X6043 Nectarine Cardstock, X6033 Paprika Cardstock, X6051 Sundance Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X8031 Textures Paper Packet, X8028 Wood Grain Paper PacketZ1500 Red LePen™, Z1509 Sepia LePen™, Z1513 White Gel Pens, Z4054 Gold Embellishing Thread, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z5317 Saddle Brown My Legacy™ D-ring Album, 4110 Top-load 12″ x 12″ Memory Protectors™, 12″ x 12″ Frame

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Free Thanksgiving Printables!

Free Thanksgiving Printables #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgratefulheart #gratefulheart #gratefulfor #free #printable #Thanksgiving #gratitude

For many of us, the meaning of Thanksgiving includes a large feast with friends and family, an extended weekend, probably some football, and quite possibly a last look at “normal” life before Christmas decorations cover every nook and cranny of the world. This wonderfully busy holiday is, somehow, already here—just one week away! As hostesses of the festivities, it is our job to make sure that people are fed, happy, and generally having a good time. Doing all of these things while keeping everyone mindful of what they have to be grateful for is no easy feat. And then, because we are also the family historians, or memory keepers, we will want to scrapbook the whole experience afterward.

Challenge accepted!

Since we can’t come over to each of your homes to assist in meal preparation (or the aftermath!), we came up with a printable to help with the gratitude portion of the holiday.

Free Thanksgiving Printables #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgratefulheart #gratefulheart #gratefulfor #free #printable #Thanksgiving #gratitude

(Download printable cards, here.)

As your guests arrive, or whenever it naturally fits during your celebrations, ask each of them to fill out one of these cards. During a designated time, a lot of people like doing this sort of thing before dinner, have everyone share their thoughts. Make sure to keep the cards so that later you can use them to scrapbook about your evening.

Free Thanksgiving Printables #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgratefulheart #gratefulheart #gratefulfor #free #printable #Thanksgiving #gratitude

Another fun way to use these printables is within your own family. Have each family member complete one of the cards and then create a banner to display in your home as a reminder of all the wonderful things you have to be grateful for.

Free Thanksgiving Printables #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgratefulheart #gratefulheart #gratefulfor #free #printable #Thanksgiving #gratitude

Even though Thanksgiving is right around the corner, it is not too late to add some personal touches to your plans! For additional free Thanksgiving printables, including conversation starters and thank you cards, make sure to revisit our post from a couple of years ago, here.

What are some ways that you keep the spirit of gratitude during Thanksgiving? Let’s help each other out—the more ideas we share the better! 🙂


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Blessed Beyond Measure Pocket Scrapbooking Layout
X7237B Grateful Heart Paper Packet, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X6010 Mink Cardstock, X6028 Black Cardstock, X6002 Espresso Cardstock, X6004 Glacier Cardstock, X7237C Grateful Heart Complements, Z4215 Fern-stitched Ribbon, Z3371 Gold Pearls, Z4181 Thin Cuts—Stitched Circles, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

Gratitude Banner
X7237B Grateful Heart Paper Packet, X9000 Seasons Mix-in Paper Packet, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X6011 New England Ivy Cardstock, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z3379 Gold Arrow Clips, Z4242 Watercolor Pencils, Z3224 Waterbrush—Small Round, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker, Z2465 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Turquoise Blue Marker, Z2456 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Mahogany Marker, Z2451 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Clay Marker, Z2448 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Carmine Marker, Z2452 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Golden Yellow Marker, Z2457 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Marigold Marker, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

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Dinner Is Served—In Style!

Maybe you volunteered for it because you enjoy making everybody comfortable. Maybe you were stuck with it because your dining room is actually big enough. For whatever reason, you’ve got it: Hostess Duty. The big dinner is already too close for comfort, and it’s only getting closer.

No fear! Whether you’re in charge of your family’s Thanksgiving gathering or another large dinner party, Close To My Heart will help you get prepared. We want you to be able to focus on the most important part of any party—the people! With that in mind, we’ve created printable thank you cards and conversation starter cards that will help you create wonderful memories as you gather around the table. Take a look at this Thanksgiving place setting:
Create beautiful Thanksgiving place settings! #closetomyheart #ctmh #thanksgiving #dinner #autumn #fall #gratitudeBeautiful, right? The thank you card and the conversation starter card add a personal touch to this elegant place setting. In this example, the thank you card was printed on kraft cardstock, trimmed out, matted on paper from the Urban paper packet, and topped off with a bow made from gold glitter paper—so simple!
And as you’ll notice at the bottom of the card, our printable thank you card includes a spot for you to type in your name or family name! This will make the cards personal yet ridiculously quick and easy to put together.

Now let’s take a closer look at the other piece of this place setting:
Create beautiful Thanksgiving place settings! #closetomyheart #ctmh #thanksgiving #dinner #autumn #fall #gratitudeConversation starter cards are a fun way to get people around the dinner table to put away their phones and enjoy the company right in front of them. We’ve created two different sets of conversation starters—one for children and one for adults. Simply print them out, cut them up, and attach them to a folded piece of paper as you see here. You could also cut them up and place them in a container to be passed around the table and have each person take their turn drawing a prompt.

Lend an autumn feel to your Thanksgiving place setting by attaching stamped images to your cards. This colorful leaf comes from the My Acrylix® Thankful Heart stamp set and has been colored with watercolor paints and attached the card with 3-D foam tape. Slightly curling the edges of the leaf upward makes it look ready to blow right off the card, doesn’t it?

Because we know you host special dinner parties throughout the year, we’ve designed both the thank you card and the conversation starters to work year-round—they’re not Thanksgiving-specific. Take a look at another place setting to see what we mean:
Create beautiful place settings for your next gathering! #closetomyheart #ctmh #dinner #dinnerparty #thankyou #gratitudeWhatever the reason is for holding your special dinner party, we hope you get to enjoy the food, people, and the feelings of gratitude. Your guests certainly will! And remember—snap some photos of those special memories!

Printables

Dinner Party Thank You Card
Dinner Party Children Conversation Starters
Dinner Party Adult Conversation Starters

Recipes

Thanksgiving Thank You Card
X7204B Urban Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z2027 Mini Stapler

Thanksgiving Conversation Starter Card
B1463 My Acrylix® Thankful Heart, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

Generic Thank You Card
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z1997 Triangle Border Punch

Generic Conversation Card
1388 Colonial White Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

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Message from Jeanette: A Season for Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Next to the Fourth of July, this is truly one of my favorite holidays. I am excited to share with you today my gratitude for blessings I’ve received in both the past and the present.

At this season I am reminiscent of the way my family celebrated Thanksgiving when I was just a girl. I loved the fact that this holiday was so centered around food, and, boy, was this one meal that I could really look forward to: turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy! As a child I thought the excitement of the holiday lay in the delicious dishes placed before me, but as I grew older I came to realize that the real excitement was in the blessing of being with family.

Young Jeanette

I especially remember the good times that surrounded my wonderful Aunt Lola, who was always the life of the party. Her sense of humor had the rest of us rolling in our seats every Thanksgiving. She would tell story after story, making us laugh and laugh until our sides ached. At those Thanksgiving tables, surrounded by my mother and father, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins, I knew true happiness.

Those family-centered Thanksgivings are some of my fondest memories, and it’s now my privilege to be the one planning those parties for my own children and grandchildren. I have always loved to keep things simple, so I long ago established the tradition of having our Thanksgiving Day feast at a beautiful mountain resort instead of at home. With a fantastic menu from which we can eat all we want, plus the bonus of made-to-order goodies, the restaurant becomes the mouth-watering daydream of one and all during the days leading up to the holiday. My grandkids talk about it for weeks beforehand, repeatedly reviewing their anticipated menu choices. It’s a tradition we all cherish together!

This year I’ll be instigating another tradition for this special day. Using the gorgeous Picture My Life™ Avonlea cards, I’ll have each family member record what they’re thankful for. I’m going to compile their responses into our very own family gratitude mini album. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

On my own card I’ll be sure to add the names of each precious member of my family. I am so grateful to each one for their encouragement and love for me. They, more than anyone else, have been my ever-present strength. I cannot even hope to fully express how grateful I am for them.

I am also grateful today for those that have become my family—my Close To My Heart family! I extend a special thanks to my dear friends, Brian and Monica, who just also happen to be my Executive Team members. I am thankful to them for the support they are to me in every business venture we undertake.

Brian, Jeanette, and Monica

This year I have had many opportunities to mingle with the Consultants of this company, and for that I am extremely grateful. How I have loved being in your presence, hearing your stories, seeing your smiles, and feeling of your excitement. My relationship with you is what brings me the most joy in this business!

Consultants at Convention 2014

I express gratitude for the wonderful employees of Close To My Heart that work so hard to accomplish our company mission. Thank you for all your efforts this year.

Employees

I am mindful today, also, of the land I live in. I cherish the foundations that this land was built upon, and I am grateful for sacrifices made long ago by unselfish men and women. My own father was an Army man and I happily support those who continue to give everything to this country. I am grateful for people in every land who cherish the freedom of the human soul and give their lives to protect it.

I am grateful that I can worship as I please. I believe in a God in Heaven who watches down on all of us. I am grateful that He showers me with His love. I know He cares by the way He sends me loved ones—or even complete strangers—to reach out to me in my hours of need.

Year after year, I watch blessings being added to my trove, and today I thank you for what you have personally added to it. May you have a very happy Thanksgiving, and may it be an exciting beginning to a season devoted to looking outward to others.

Jeanette

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Bringing People into the Spotlight

It’s amazing what a major mood booster it is when we take the time to forget about our own troubles and appreciate the special people that surround us. When we express our gratitude for our lives and the people in it, everything gets a little brighter.

That’s the great thing about expressing gratitude—it not only helps others feel great, but it helps us feel great too. It’s like a boomerang of good vibes! What you give in this life always comes back to you in one way or another, so might as well give out good things, right?

So here’s our idea for a simple gift of gratitude that you can whip up for someone special: put together a mini book filled with positive vibes to send in their direction!

It’s a simple and beautiful way to show your gratitude for someone’s existence, and it will serve as a cherished reminder of your unwavering love and support when they hit the rough spots in life.

First, start with a Designer Creations Short Stack album. This album is equipped with 10 wire-bound 5″ x 7″ kraft pages and a beautifully designed printed hardcover that requires little to no embellishment, so your project can come together quickly without sacrificing style. Next, choose a certain someone in your life that you want to highlight and brainstorm reasons why you think they’re worth celebrating. Once you have a good collection of ideas, record them in the album through handwriting, typed notes, or photographs. Finish by embellishing with all your favorite trimmings, and you’re done! Easy, right?

Here are a few more ideas of things you might want to include:

So, who in your life deserves a little recognition? It’s time to bring them into the spotlight with a gift that will ultimately shed light on the both of you.

P.S. Did you love this album so much that now you want to make one exactly like it? We thought you would. 😉 Here’s the recipe!

Wishing You A Lifetime of Happiness Album
C1589 My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness, X7188B Snowhaven Paper Packet, X7190B Brushed Paper Packet, X5771 Flaxen Cardstock, Z2033 Paper Fundamentals Whimsy Assortment, Z2128 Hollyhock Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2123 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2162 Honey Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2643 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2642 Flaxen Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2195 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2193 Cotton Candy Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z2465 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Turquoise Blue Marker, Z2028 Designer Creations Short Stack Album, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z2013 Sequins Silver Assortment, Z1985 Gold Shimmer Trim, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

Cricut® Shapes:
Artfully Sent

7″ <Env-13> (p. 49)
7″ <Liner-13> (p. 49)
7″ <Env-9> (p. 45)
7″ <Liner-9> (p. 45)

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Kristina Livingstone: My Thoughts on Gratitude

Thanks to our friend Senior Executive Manager Kristina Livingstone for contributing today’s post!

During this time of year, we’re reminded to take a pause from our busy lives, sit down with our family and friends, and give thanks for all we have. As I think about all I have to be thankful for, I don’t even know where to begin. I have incredible family and friends who are always there to support me in everything I do. I’m surrounded by amazing people, I’ve experienced incredible things, and I’ve made memories that will last me a lifetime. I try not to take even a second of it for granted.

One thing I’m grateful for all year long is the opportunity to be a Consultant for Close To My Heart, which I have been for almost 10 years now. This experience has afforded me the benefit of additional income as well as the opportunity to travel to places I never imagined I would visit. It has helped me learn and grow as a person and brought so much more to my life than just income and trips. It has brought people into my life that I would likely have never met otherwise. It has allowed me to be a part of their lives and them a part of mine, and that is what I am most grateful for.

Consultants

People ask me why I do this, and the reason is simple: I love it. It’s about so much more than the products offered by Close To My Heart. It’s about the relationships Close To My Heart has brought me and the things I’ve learned because of those relationships. I have learned that when we serve others, we receive so much more than we give. I have learned that the more we help empower and show gratitude toward each other, the better off we all become.

Kristina

Being a part of the Close To My Heart family has brought me to some of the people I cherish most in my life—they have become true family. I have learned from, laughed with, cried with, and grown with fellow Consultants whom I consider to be my closest friends and confidants. I have met customers who have welcomed me into some of the most intimate times of their lives and, in so doing, have shown me how much I have to be grateful for every day.

Kristina and Team

I recently held a weekend retreat for my customers, and as I was walking through the room looking at everyone working on their projects I felt very grateful that I was there to be a part of it all. I was in a room full of people who started as my customers, but whom I now count amongst my dearest friends. Through their scrapbook pages, I have watched their families grow each year, and I have grown with them. I have seen scrapbooks expand, spanning the entire childhood of countless children. Those scrapbooks have captured first teeth, first steps, first goals, marriages, graduations, and too many holidays to name! I have also seen scrapbooks made in memoriam of lives—some fully lived, and, unfortunately, some that were cut much too short.

Regardless of the scrapbook, each album seems to revolve around one thing: gratitude. We scrapbook the moments of our lives that we are most grateful for, the ones we cherish the most. When we create a scrapbook and record the lives of our loved ones, we create treasures that will tell our stories as they are passed on from generation to generation. To say that I am grateful to play even a small role in preserving these memories is an understatement.

Consultants

I feel that gratitude is a choice. It’s a conscious effort to wake up each day and choose to be thankful. I have found that serving others through what I do is something I’m eternally grateful for and something that brings me happiness. I have found that when you make serving others a priority in your life, you begin to want less and appreciate more. You also inevitably become the recipient of someone else’s gratitude, and that’s something that is truly priceless.

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Secret Acts of Service

Okay, friends. It’s November, so let’s get grateful! While we know you love sitting in a turkey stupor around the table after Thanksgiving dinner, listing off what you’re grateful for, there are more lasting (and more FUN) ways to express what’s in your heart. So many more! Why not say thank you with a few random acts of kindness, for example? What better way to pay a favor back than to pay a favor forward?

All you need to do is pull out your favorite Close To My Heart papers and tools and start crafting! With the Cricut® Art Philosophy cartridge, cute tags like these take no time at all. With a stamp here and a sparkle there, you’ve got adorable notes ready for use. You can deliver them as stand-alone notes or attach them to goodies.

When it comes to packaging those goodies, the Designer Creations paper bags do the job nicely. The bags come predesigned, so they take no prep time at all. Take them right out of the package, slip in some sweet treats—or just some sweet words—and get stealthy. Stash the goods into nooks and crannies when nobody’s watching.

You might enjoy some of these ideas as you go incognito (but you didn’t hear it from us):

  • Leave inspiring notes for your unsuspecting targets around the house. Try the bathroom mirror, the novel your spouse is reading, or even inside the refrigerator. Yes, we said inside. Most viewed appliance in the home, wouldn’t you agree?
  • Leave some goodies on a doorstep, ring the doorbell, and run! Your new neighbors will feel welcome and your old neighbors will feel loved all over again.
  • Do a chore for someone and leave a note saying why serving them brings you joy.
  • Hide a note under a coworker’s mouse.
  • Write down words of advice for a new mother, a new couple, or someone else starting on a path you’ve tread before.
  • Leave change in the vending machine with a note encouraging the lucky finder to buy a snack.
  • Thank the custodian by leaving a note on their cart while they’re busy scrubbing away.
  • Leave your waiter a nice note along with the tip.
  • Hang a note from the car mirror for your spouse to stumble upon when they leave for work in the morning.
  • Reflect on your blessings, write them down, and then dangle them from a Designed Décor frame or an indoor plant. All of your newly unleashed gratitude will be heavy, so we highly suggest you use the frame. 😉
  • Take time to sit down with your parents, grandparents, or other relatives and write down their favorite sayings and wisdom on your tags. Hang the tags in a prominent place in your home to remember both your relatives and their wisdom. (This act can’t be done in secret, but hopefully you can trust your relatives not to betray your identity when pressured by the authorities.)

Get in the groove of gratitude today, and then express yourself! No matter how you go about it, you’ll feel like a million bucks . . . and who doesn’t want to be a millionaire? Serve, baby, serve!

Think of something sneaky that we didn’t? Tell us your idea in the comments!

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A Creative Attitude of Gratitude

We’ve all done it: dwelt on the thought of that thing we just don’t have. But how often do we think about that thing that we do have—or, let’s be honest, the MANY, even innumerable, things?

There are blessings in our lives we cannot count in the typical sense of the word. It wouldn’t be possible to assign a number to all of the miracles we see on a daily basis! But we can “count” our blessings in so many other ways. In our words, and especially in our attitudes, the world can see our grateful hearts.

Throughout this month, we at Close To My Heart want to celebrate the joy of gratitude—both of feeling it and of showing it, because, as William Arthur Ward once said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” Whether or not you celebrate your gratitude with a turkey this month, you can join us as we experiment with creative ways to say thank you.

First off, a simple and beautiful way to display your gratitude: the Designed Décor Colonial White frame! With the help of the Pathfinding and Wanderful paper packets, delicate golden embossing, and several fun stamp sets, this frame is a showcase of gratitude.

Gratitude Frame

The beauty of a display such as this is its accessibility and versatility—you can swap out photos  as often as you like! If you want to focus on a certain family member every week (or every day, if you’re feeling ambitious!), fill it with pictures of only them. If you want to focus on a different aspect of your life every few days, group your pictures beforehand and have them ready to swap out: family, pets, nature, neighbors, friends, specific life events.

They’re so easy to rearrange, and just a few themed shapes cut from your Cricut® machine will accent your photos nicely. Use a mini clothespin, hook clips, 3-D foam tape, or Glue Dots™ to attach your photos and artwork.

Gratitude Frame close-up

What a wonderful way to jumpstart your gratitude for the series of fortunate events that is your life.

Tell us, in what ways do you display your gratitude?

Recipe:
Today I’m Grateful Frame
B1463 My Acrylix® Thankful Heart, D1604 My Acrylix® Season of Thanks, C1589 My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness, C1504 My Acrylix® Fall Harvest, X7191B Wanderful Paper Packet, X7186B Pathfinding Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5637 Barn Red Cardstock, 1276 Ponderosa Pine Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z2114 Cocoa Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2145 Ponderosa Pine Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2123 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2104 Barn Red Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2642 Flaxen Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z2457 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Marigold Marker, Z1865 Designed Décor Colonial White Frame, Z2023 Bling Gems Gold Assortment, Z1790 Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
4″ Shift+Border <4> (p. 41)
2½” Icon <b> (p. 72)
2 ½” Shift+Icon <B> (p. 72)
2″ Border <b> (p. 72)

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