I love this holiday season! It is such a special time of year, when people all over the world join together in celebrating Christmas. For me, the most joyful part of Christmas is celebrating my Savior’s birth. That is what fills my soul with rejoicing at this time of year. His is the spirit that fuels all of the good will, festivities, and cheer that abound as part of the tradition of Christmas. Whether your celebrations include goodies, presents, carols, greeting cards, lights, trees, elves, stockings, wreaths, parties, mistletoe, volunteering, sweaters, shopping, gingerbread, or any other of a long list of things that have come to be traditional parts of Christmas, it is having Jesus at the heart of the season that adds so much joy to all the rest of it.
And of course, the joy of the season is magnified when we can share it with people that we love. Time spent with family and friends is truly a special part of any holiday celebration. I feel richly blessed to be able to celebrate Christmas with my cherished family members, and I am honored to be associated with you: the wonderful people that make up our Close To My Heart community. I am grateful to all of you and send you my sincerest wishes for a joyful Christmas this year.
No matter what time of year you dive into the creative process, there are always plenty of memories to be captured, friendships to be celebrated, and art to be crafted. Embracing your creative side year-round can be quick and easy when you’re working with seasonal papers and stickers. Today, we’re going to give you a peek into the crafting potential offered by our Workshop Wow: Four Seasons workshop kits and showing off just how easy it is to create stunning artwork on theme!
All the pages and cards on display today were designed using the Four Seasons paper collections in our 2022–2023 Core Products catalog. (To view these collections and all the other amazing products available in this catalog, click here!) Now, let’s get started!
First up is our springtime cardmaking workshop, bursting with floral features and bright colors. These cards favor a variety of sentiments, from birthday wishes, to greetings, to “just because” options. One standout feature of these cards is the use of White Acrylic Hearts across all of the card designs. While the cards also share a commonality in paper patterns and sticker usage, the inclusion of the White Acrylic Hearts as a common element across all our springtime cards serves as a simple but effective way to tie them all together, working to further preserve a cohesive theme.
For additional cohesion, these cards all pull their sentiments and stamped accents from the Seasonal Haul Stamp + Thin Cuts set and the My Acrylix® Spring Greetings stamp set. These elements, while allowing for differences from card to card, also serve to uphold the springy feel throughout the entire assortment!
This springtime theme continues with our Four Seasons—Spring scrapbooking workshop. This workshop kit includes a garden of floral patterns across the seven pages available through this kit design. Fun fact: All of our Four Seasons scrapbooking workshop kits follow a similar design pattern, making it easy to create each page from each seasonal theme! Even with the design similarities, though, the papers, stickers, and color palette used in each seasonal page set the individual pieces apart. One standout element of the spring pages is the use of Woodgrain Die-cut Flowers. Additional floral elements were added to these pages from the Smell the Flowers Stamp + Thin Cuts set.
These stamps and Thin Cuts dies are particularly prevalent in this 12” x 12” “Love You” single page. Flowers and leaves from this set were both stamped directly on the base page and stamped on die-cuts and attached to the base page with 3-D Foam Tape, leaving a gorgeous multi-dimensional effect!
Moving on through the year, we get to our sunny summer layouts and cards! The gorgeous pieces in our summer selection feature a more vibrant color palette, making the scrapbook pages stand out in any album, and giving the cards an unforgettable foundation!
The trick to making these embellishment clusters blend in so seamlessly with the paper and sticker designs is stamping them in complementary ink colors.
As with the scrapbook pages, each seasonal set of cards is designed following a similar pattern. Similarities can be seen from season to season, but each set has its own unique flair. Our summer cards sport the same bright hues as the scrapbooking pages, and are embellished with a handful of White Acrylic Flowers.
One theme that is seen throughout all of our Four Seasons cards is the usage of the truck die-cut from the Seasonal Haul Stamp + Thin Cuts. To get twice the cardmaking power, the Four Seasons—Summer cardmaking workshop kit includes two design options, both featuring the truck die-cut.
The summer truck cards have a relatively simple design, but are the perfect addition to the set, with truck beds full of acrylic flowers and an uplifting sentiment sticker! No matter which version of this card you choose to make, it’s sure to be a delight for any friend or family member you give it to!
Another great two-for-one card design can be found in the “Live a Little” and “Go With the Flow” cards. This dual design principle can be seen in various forms throughout the Four Seasons cards, and is a great way to create multiple cards quickly.
Next up are our selection of Autumnal cards and scrapbook pages. These leafy layouts and crisp cards are perfect for all kinds of festive occasions and the preservation of all kinds of memories. One of our favorite layouts from this set is the 12” x 12” “Crisp Air, Warm Hearts” layout, which includes a fun, striped panel section along the bottom of the pages. This layout really puts the power of the Four Seasons—Autumn paper on display, along with a handful of stickers.
The paper patterns can also be seen in the array of dovetailed pennants and paper layers in the upper half of the left page. By relying on the usage of patterned paper for the majority of these pages’ decoration, it makes the creative process quicker and easier to follow! With that being said, though, this page also benefits from the inclusion of Autumn Air Stamp + Thin Cuts set, as its stamps and dies have come together throughout the page to create embellishment clusters around the title pieces and photos.
Another beautiful piece that stands out in this collection is the 12” x 12” “Autumn Leaves & Pumpkins Please” layout! This photo-packed layout includes many of the elements seen in the “Crisp Air, Warm Hearts” layout, but this example embraces a more simple, white background toward the center, giving it a classic design. By going this route, we are left with optimal focus on the photos while at the same time, elegantly preserving the autumnal theme!
Last but not least are our winter cards and scrapbook pages, and each piece is packed with frosty wintery goodness! One of our absolute favorites in this selection is the “Thinking of You This Season” card. This card makes beautiful use of the Four Seasons—Winter woodgrain paper option for a secondary base, and a total of six other patterns that have been cut into strips of varying width and arranged side by side to form a stunning background.
To finish it off, we trimmed two pieces of paper—Scarlet and Mink, respectively—dovetailed and layered them, and stamped our festive sentiment and a handful of snowflakes in Pine ink. This, along with the aforementioned patterned paper strips, and a small constellation of White Acrylic Stars, make this card a real holiday treasure!
The final piece we’ll be looking at today is our “Winter Wishes” card, which shows off a simple but effective fold-over technique. A great feature of Close To My Heart patterned paper packs is that each page is double-sided, giving you twice the crafting capability with a single page. In this card, the base has been built out with a piece of Espresso cardstock, a white woodgrain piece on top of that, and a wintery foliage piece for the top layer. However, instead of leaving the top layer piece as-is, the top right corner has been folded down to reveal the woodgrain piece beneath it. This also shows off the plaid pattern on the back of the foliage piece, allowing both the patterns on this double-sided paper to work together at once!
This beautiful card is perfect for friends, neighbors, and family members alike, and is a delight to receive, and to make!
We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s brief look at what’s in store with the Workshop Wow: Four Seasons special! We’ve only showed off a small portion of what’s available through these incredible seasonal workshop kits, and we can’t wait to hear about all the amazing things you’ll do with your Four Seasons artwork! What memories will you capture with the scrapbooking kits? Who’s on your card-giving list this year? Let us know in the comments below!
At the heart of many crafting masterpieces is a great background. One way to instantly set your creations apart is to create your own background that is unique to your pieces. From splendid stamps to imaginative sponged or splattered sections, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can do to create your own beautiful backgrounds. Today, we’ll be taking a look at a very special selection of stamps that can be used to create one-of-a-kind background and border elements on cards and scrapbook layouts, combining these elements for a truly beautiful effect!
The artwork on display uses our Winter Borders and Harmonious Patterns stamp sets—both of which can be found in our October–December catalog and are just the thing to add a little festive flair to your holiday crafting! By using repeated stamping and layering techniques, it’s a simple matter to create gorgeous background elements as a foundation for your art!
One of the simplest ways to elevate your artwork is to add a custom border, like the one that can be seen in this “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” card. On the Scarlet piece, we added a smattering of dots to increase the interest of this piece of cardstock. This addition is a great way to complement the striped pattern of the base piece with something a bit more organic and free-feeling.
This dots stamp can be used on its own to suggest the effect of thick, falling snowflakes, or simply as an array of abstract dots. For another, more involved look, they can also be used with another stamp from the same Winter Borders set—a vine of holly leaves! The dots stamped on top of the leaves become holly berries, an effect you can see on our 12” x 12” Merry & Bright page.
We’ll take a closer look at that page in a minute, but before we do, let’s get back to the “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” Card. Along with the dressed-up Scarlet strip, we also gussied up the Pine strip just below it. On this particular piece, we stamped the length of it with the leafy border stamp, also part of the Winter Borders stamp set. This leafy detail, stamped in Pine ink, serves to provide yet another unique pattern that you won’t get in a paper collection.
Though it is technically a border stamp, this particular usage comes off more as a background element. This is achieved by stamping the border design on a strip of paper that is narrower than the stamp itself, ensuring that the entirety of the paper is covered in the inked design. It’s a small detail that has a massive impact on the overall appearance of the card, sprucing it up and completing the combination of patterns that form the background and foundation of the card.
Now let’s look at that scrapbook page to see another fun border stamp!
We already talked about the holly leaves and berries below the photo, but look up above it to see our next example: A string of multicolored lights graces the top of this White Daisy cardstock piece, adding a small pop of color.
These lights start off with a simple light string, stamped with Black ink. Then, we stamped the colored bulbs onto the cardstock, taking care to line them up with the bulb fittings on the light string. Because the bulb is a single stamp image, we could easily alternate ink colors to create a pattern that matched the overall color scheme of this page.
For added realism, the bulb stamp image is designed with two small grooves, resulting in a break-up of the inked section to replicate the natural shine found on a glass light bulb. (Tip: To preserve this effect, make sure to not press down too hard when stamping your light bulbs. Rather than mashing the stamp and stamp block into the page, carefully set it down and apply light pressure over the surface area of the stamp.)
One last background stamping example that adds to the look of this page is a more subtle, but no less fun element behind our journaling: a piece of Pewter cardstock festooned with various music notes and symbols. While it is not the most prominent stamped element on this page, it provides a visual treat nonetheless, increasing interest in the journaling section and providing a bit of polish to the overall appearance of the page.
The last stamp in our Winter Borders set is a stunning array of stars and snowflakes. While it does make a stellar border, we’ve used it to great effect as a background element on our “Season’s Greetings” card.
To create variety in our background, we stamped the snowflakes in different colors and rotated it between columns, covering the entire White Daisy piece in a veritable winter wonderland!
This fun winter feel is amplified in other layers of the card, too. The artistically ripped cardstock pieces mimic snowdrifts, and a dots stamp from the Harmonious Patterns stamp set adds a heightened snowfall effect with a beautiful Silver Embossing Powder treatment.
And believe it or not, the cluster of trees on this card also come from one of our Harmonious Patterns stamps! Stamped in Scarlet, Mist, and Pine inks, these mini trees were carefully trimmed from a pattern stamp and arranged over the torn cardstock “snowbanks” for a frosty forest appeal—just showing that even backgrounds and patterns can shine in the foreground from time to time!
The snowfall dot assortment shown in our previous card comes in handy again in two other cards we have to show off today—our “Happy Holidays” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” cards. Both of these cards feature this distinctive dot pattern, though in different ways.
Our Happy Holidays card sports this pattern right on the primary base piece, with the rest of the card built on top of it.
The “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” card sports this pattern on a piece of Sage cardstock creating a band across the width of the card.
Both examples of this stamp usage, while serving different purposes, are vital additions to the overall design of these two cards. Take a look at how the dots effect is echoed by a splattering of ink over the central sentiment of the card. While one is stamped on and one is splattered, the random feel of both elements creates an overarching unity between background and foreground.
In the “Happy Holidays” card, the dots pattern is contrasted by the bold, straight lines of the tartan plaid stamp. This pattern is placed prominently over the Sage base piece and sandwiched between strips of silver glitter paper to create a vibrant focal point that coordinates nicely with the Candy Apple title.
No matter how you create your backgrounds, you can see that they play a vital role in the overall aesthetic of your projects! We hope today’s examples have given you a few ideas of how you can create your own fantastic backgrounds! Which border or background set was your favorite? Be sure to leave a comment below and let us know how you would use it!
Picture your favorite Christmas memories.We’re betting that the majority of these memories are centered around people you love and cherish! This holiday season, we want to help you make some new memories, not just for yourself, but for your friends and loved ones as well! Since gift giving constitutes a large part of many holiday preparations, today, we’re going to show you how to make your mark and show your love in a personal way beyond the things beneath the wrapping paper, boxes, and ribbons.
For a more personal touch on each gift, we recommend creating unique gift tags! A gift tag is one of the first things every gift recipient will notice when they receive their presents, and a hand-made one is just the ticket to add a little bit of extra love to the gifts you give this Christmas. With our From Me to You special, it’s easier than ever to create the personalized gift tags of your dreams, and today, we’re going to get into the ins and outs of how to design and craft a wide range of tags for every holiday gift-giving occasion!
The From Me to You gift tag offering is built upon a foundation of 12 individual stamps, each expressing their own unique sentiment. These stamps range in theme from a general festive motif and religious overtones, to cozy vibes and more playful options! These stamps are all designed to coordinate with the All-purpose Tags Thin Cuts; all you have to do to create your tags is cut out your preferred shape with the All-purpose Tags Thin Cuts dies, stamp your selected sentiment onto the cut tag, and voila! The tag is done, and ready to attach to a wrapped Christmas present, holiday neighborhood treat, or even a white elephant gift! No matter how they are used, the gift tags you create with the From Me to You stamp sets are sure to be a hit and will make any gift you give this holiday season more personal and memorable!
Because the From Me to You stamp sets are all designed to coordinate with the All-purpose Tags Thin Cuts, it’s a simple matter to select the sentiment and shape combination for your tags. The All-purpose Tags Thin Cuts set includes 11 dies in various shapes and sizes, ranging from ⅝” to 3½”.
This selection of die-cuts offers a wealth of possibility and potential when it comes to the types of tags you can create, and every one makes a gorgeous addition to your holiday offerings for friends and family! (While we worked exclusively with the All-purpose Tags Thin Cuts in the artwork on display today, we have additional sets of gift tags and accessories to create them, including the Tags & Tabs Thin Cuts, and the My Acrylix® Just for You stamp set. For more tag-making fun, be sure to check out these dies and stamps!) Now, back to our fabulous From Me to You stamp sets!
Because the From Me to You stamp sets range over a few different themes, we’ve organized them into 4 different groups to reflect the following themes—jolly, funny, festive, and joyful! Our jolly bundle includes options for a cozy vibe, to more of a sweet tooth sentiment, and cheery wishes.
The funny assortment features a variety of light-hearted jabs, the perfect way to gently tease your friends or family members and bring a smile to their faces!
For anyone looking to convey a more classic Christmas sentiment, the festive collection is the way to go, with options for a little Christmas magic, celebratory merriment, and reminders of how personal your loved ones are to you.
Looking for a way to bring a more spiritual touch to your gift tags? Then the joyful bundle of stamps is for you! This handful of stamps includes phrases like “O Holy Night” and “For Unto Us a Child is Born” to serve as reminders of the foundation of this beautiful and beloved holiday.
All the tags featured in today’s post have the common theme of being created with the All-purpose Tags Thin Cuts and From Me to You stamps, but many include their own unique design elements to really set them apart from other, more simple options. One of our absolute favorites is the inclusion of heat embossed details, as you can see in the examples below.
Heat embossing is an amazing art technique that adds dimension and even shine to your stamped images by applying embossing powder over the top of your stamped image and then melting the powder using a heat tool. Learn more about this technique in this video.
Another stunning detail we love in these tags is the inclusion of multiple layers. By simply cutting a few coordinating tag pieces out of different colors of cardstock and layering them together, these tags deliver a much more polished end result. Notice how the silver glitter paper shapes add to the layered look of this tag–feel free to mix in non-tag shapes cut from other Thin Cuts dies or even with your Cricut or other cutting machine to elevate the look of any tag!
Looking forsome simple, yet powerful embellishment? Never count out the impact that a few Clear Sparkles can have! In this example, we’ve colored ours in with a Dark Red TriBlend™ Marker and used them to adorn the interior of the stamped floral shapes. They are the perfect fit!
This inclusion provides a color contrast, but also helps to break up the matte surface of the main tag with a little shine! For other tags, we’ve also turned to ShimmerTrims and White Gel Pens to add subtle detailing to our creations, and it’s evident that even the smallest of embellishments can have a big impact!
However you decorate your tags, and whatever gifts you attach them to, the From Me to You stamps, along with the All-purpose Tags Thin Cuts, are guaranteed to provide you with everything you need to start creating your own one-of-a-kind gift tags for your holiday gifts this year and for many years to come!
Of the tags featured in today’s post, which was your favorite, and whose gift would you attach it to? Leave a comment below and tell us all about it!
When we talk about memory keeping, it’s natural to think of documenting the biggest moments or occasions—weddings, graduations, new babies, major milestones—but it’s just as important to chronicle the smaller, everyday moments that happen outside of the spotlight. After all, these moments make up the bulk of our lives, and looking back on them can often have as great an impact as memories of more momentous occasions. Holiday traditions, date nights, days at the park, quiet moments at home, and even just random moments that bring you joy, for any reason—these can be just as meaningful and just as worthy of being kept close to your heart.
We love providing crafters with the opportunities and resources to commemorate all their special moments, and a hand-crafted calendar or an album full of thoughtful scrapbook layouts can be just the way to catch the special occasions as well as the everyday happy memories! After all, every joyful moment we capture is a smile that can be saved and cherished later!
On display today as a vehicle for capturing those smiles is artwork featuring our These Are the Days calendar and layout kits, and trust us, there’s a lot to love here! The These Are the Days kits are created with our Cut Above® format, making them an ideal springboard for both beginners and more experienced crafters. All kits designed with this format come with all the pieces and die-cuts pre-cut, and even some pre-printed pieces as well! Having all the cutting and a good portion of the printing already done allows crafters to complete their projects in no time, so it’s possible to create even more in one sitting. (For those of you who are familiar with our Craft with Heart™ subscription program, the card and scrapbook kits available in each subscription box are all created with the Cut Above® format. Check out our current kits on the Close To My Heart website!)
The Cut Above® pages included in the These Are the Days kits were designed and created with paper patterns from the Four Seasons collections in our 2022–2023 Core Products Catalog. These seasonal papers are available in Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter options. (To see the Autumn collection in the spotlight, check out our blog post from a couple of weeks ago!) The Four Seasons paper collections come with their own individual 6-sheet paper packets, sticker sheets, and coordinating cardstock packs. These mini collections are ideal for all sorts of seasonal creations, and it’s incredible to see how well they all fit together in the These Are the Days layout and calendar kits! By utilizing the Four Seasons collections in the These Are the Days kits, it was easy to design an entire year’s worth of pages, themed specifically for each month or change of season as the year progresses.
Rounding out the These Are the Days kits is an exclusive stamp set to help you tell your stories! This stamp set includes a whopping 35 stamps, all designed for use with a calendar page or a scrapbook page documenting your special occasions!
For those of you who want to create a memory keeping project with a twist, try out the These Are the Days calendar kit! This kit still allows you to create 13 12″ x 12″ scrapbook pages , but instead of putting them into an album, you get to incorporate them (along with your favorite photos) into a 12-month calendar, complete with its very own cover! Since the These Are the Days Cut Above® kits come with the materials to create 13 pages, you’re left with one for each month of a calendar year, and one left over to put on your calendar cover! This kit also includes a blank base calendar, so you can further personalize it by adding your own colorful reminders of important occasions or week-to-week happenings. It’s literally a blank canvas, just waiting for you to fill it in!
It takes no time at all to create a full calendar to commemorate all your important dates and capture some smaller, everyday treasures, too! It’s a beautiful way to celebrate the memorable occasions and fun impromptu ones alike, and it’s a project we know that any crafter will love!
If, however, you are a die-hard scrapbooker and creating albums is your jam, These Are the Days is still the perfect project for you! These Are the Days is unique in the fact that it can be used for a dual crafting purpose! Since these kits are designed as 12″ x 12″ Cut Above® pages, it’s easy to create a calendar, or to reserve the pages for a scrapbook album to document a whole year! Because the These Are the Days layout kit includes 13 stunning pages, the kit allows crafters to create an entire year’s worth of pages in a single crafting session.
Each page has spots for your favorite photos, making it easy to preserve the fun stories of your year. Filling an entire album is a breeze with These Are the Days, and whether you fill it with your own memories or choose to give it to a family member or friend to put their own photos in, it’s bound to be a wonderful memory keeping solution!
To further illustrate the scrapbooking potential of the These Are the Days kits, we’ve even created two additional pages to show off just how easy it is to create pieces that coordinate with the These Are the Days kits! Since we know the These Are the Days pages are designed using the Four Seasons patterns, we have an easy resource for creating seamlessly coordinating pages by using matching designs! This allows you to turn the These Are the Days kit pages into full 2-page layouts! Take a look at the extra pages we created as inspiration for creating your own!
For our springtime layout option, we’ve selected the April page and created this “Keep Blooming” page to coordinate with the “Hello Spring” one from the Cut Above® kit. This beautiful page sports a simple design, using a patterned Four Seasons—Spring paper for the base page. From there, we’ve attached a strategically torn piece of Avocado cardstock in the center of the page, about halfway down, with the torn section facing toward the bottom edge of the base page.
Once our torn piece was in place, we took a rectangular piece of White Daisy cardstock, positioned it over the Avocado piece, and added three Ballerina cardstock photo mats on top of that. From there, it was easy to select and attach our photos!
To finish this page off, we selected a few stickers from the Four Seasons—Spring sticker sheet to add our title, a small pennant line across the upper left-hand corner, and a small layered feature at the top right corner of our White Daisy piece. We love how quickly and easily this combination of simple elements completes a gorgeous coordinating page to complement the These Are the Days Cut Above® “Hello Spring” page!
Our second coordinating page on display today was created to pair with our December “Joy” page. Like our “Keep Blooming” page, this “Most Wonderful Time…” page is simple enough to replicate in a just few steps.
This page starts off with a matching base page from the Four Seasons—Winter paper collection, and incorporates a few ½” zip strips from this paper packet, attached horizontally across the middle of the page to match the Cut Above® page. From there, we layered a piece of Toffee cardstock, and a slightly smaller piece of the Four Seasons—Winter wood grain paper centered over it. From here, we mounted two 3″ x 4″ photos and one 4″ x 6″ photo on Pine photo mats and attached them to the base page, as you can see below.
For our title piece, we took a piece of Toffee cardstock, attached a Four Seasons—Winter border sticker, and dovetailed the ends. Our “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” title sticker was centered in the middle of this accent, and the whole thing was centered and attached to our base page.
To embellish this page, we’ve created a couple of layered sticker clusters to create additional interest around the photos and title section. As with the patterned papers and title sticker, these accents all came from the Four Seasons—Winter Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet and are a quick and easy way to add polished embellishments.
It’s incredible to see how simple it can be to design and create your own coordinating scrapbook pages to go with the These Are the Days Cut Above® options, and it’s a beautiful way not only to preserve your memories, but to look forward to making new ones!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our look at the possibilities available through the These Are the Days calendar and scrapbook layout kits, and we wish you a happy year to come as we approach the start of 2023 in just a few short weeks! What’s your favorite memory of a small, everyday moment you’ve preserved? What’s a more momentous occasion that you’ll never forget? How would you use the These Are the Days kit to document these memories? Tell us your stories and how you’d preserve them in the comments below!
We’re at it again with one of our favorite media, the gloss spray! This time, we’re giving Rumpelstiltskin a run for his gold-making skills by creating our very own gilded accents, using a variety of techniques paired with Gilt gloss spray!
Can you spot the golden elements in this layout? You’ll notice that there are several gold accents on these pages, from the title sticker to the faux ribbons made from glitter paper. If you look closely, you’ll also see a few of these pennant-like tags.
While photos can’t capture the golden effect in all its glory, trust us when we say that these tags have a beautiful golden luster that compares to illuminated, gold painted manuscripts!
The ornate little tags on this layout started off a French Vanilla color and were transformed with just a little bit of gloss spray and a sponge.
Did you know you could paint with gloss spray? Give the bottle a nice shake, make sure you hear that little ball inside hit against the sides mixing the paint up, and then spray a small puddle onto an all-purpose mat. Cut a wedge out of your trusty round sponge and use it to apply the paint to your project. It’s that simple! This technique makes it easier to get a uniform application of gloss spray rather than the random splatters that you get when spraying.
The more obvious use of the gloss spray here is where we sprayed it along the top of the left page and the bottom of the right page, creating a gorgeous golden glare-like effect.
If you inspect these pages a bit further, past the obvious sprayed areas, you will find that we also used the Gilt gloss spray to accent some of the paper embellishments, using another painting technique.
In the case of this layout, we used the tip of a stylus tool to lift the paint from our puddle and paint small dots in the center of bows, inside scallops, and in a floral shape.
The paperclip-like accent along the top photo on the left page was transformed from its original French Vanilla color to the stunning gilt by sponging it with the gloss spray.
And like in the second layout, we added a couple of gilt dots to the right page with the help of a stylus tool.
Gloss sprays are truly one of our current favorites! There are countless ways to use this game changing medium, and as we continue to discover them, we will continue to share them with you!
In the video below, Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi shares even more ways to use the beautiful Gilt gloss spray to create your very own gilded accents. She even recreates some of the effects from the Christmas Story scrapbooking workshop using different techniques than what we’ve shown you so far. Follow along and see for yourself!
Download your free Christmas Story scrapbooking workshop guide, here!
Whether you’re playing in snow or sand, the 2022 holiday season is set to be merry and bright! It’s always a crafting party here at Close To My Heart, and we’ve got some major fun in store for this Christmas season! For us, Christmas means a big new selection of stamps, patterned papers, and embellishments to aid us in our cardmaking and memory keeping endeavors. We’ve got an incredible paper collection to introduce you to today, and we can’t wait to show it off!
We are extremely blessed to have our crafting community extend throughout the US, into Canada, across the Pacific to Japan, and down under to Australia and New Zealand. As such, the season for Christmas celebrations varies greatly depending on where you live—some celebrate in the winter time, with snow and cold weather, while others celebrate in the height of summer, with sunshine, high temperatures, and beautiful beach weather!The Seas & Greetings paper collection is an ideal solution for Christmas crafting from either end of that spectrum, as well as any place in between! Without any further ado, let’s get into all the amazing creative options that await with Seas & Greetings!
As you can see in the short video above, this amazing collection is an incredible example of the versatility that can be achieved with paper design. We not only have some first-rate artists here at CTMH, but we’ve got some of the best graphic designers around, too, and their skill is on full display with the Seas & Greetings paper collection! Because this suite is designed for holiday celebrations in both a beachside setting or a colder winter climate, each piece of paper sports a beach theme on one side, and a snowy winter theme on the other!
While all Close To My Heart paper packets feature double-sided designs, this collection is unique, as it essentially incorporates two themes into a single paper packet and enables crafters to pursue multiple ideas within a single suite. All the patterns you see in this collection have been purposefully designed to coordinate with both themes and the included sticker sheet.
Additionally, this paper packet includes 12 sheets instead of the usual 6, giving creators double the papers to work and craft with! Whether you’re commemorating a beautiful beachside holiday or capturing fun memories from a snow day, the Seas & Greetings Paper Packet & Sticker Sheet is an ideal starting point as you bring your crafting vision into reality!
Accompanying the paper packet in the Seas & Greetings collection are a selection of stamp and Thin Cuts metal dies, available in both the Beach and Winter themes. These stamps and dies pair beautifully with the patterns, icons, and sentiments featured on the papers and stickers, making this a winning combination for any crafting project!
Another essential included in the Seas & Greetings suite is the Seas & Greetings Coordinating Cardstock pack. This variety of colored cardstock has been selected to coordinate with the colors prominently featured in the paper packet and stickers, making it incredibly easy to create polished, balanced cards and scrapbook layouts!
Crafters can also look forward to top-notch embellishment potential with the Seas & Greetings Beach and Winter Embellishments! These embellishments include a variety of blue and white acrylic pieces, all finished with a frosty sheen for subtle shine.
As with the stamp and Thin Cuts options, the Seas & Greetings embellishments include shapes suitable for both the tropical beach theme and the chilly winter theme, making them perfect for inclusion in all your Seas & Greetings crafts! With so many fun products available through the Seas & Greetings collection, it’s a cinch to preserve your fondest holiday memories and stories!
The Seas & Greetings special has much in store for crafters of all types and experience levels, but we’ve got even more creative options for members of our VIP Customer program! Seas & Greetings includes three exclusive workshop kits—two for scrapbooking and one for cardmaking—just for members of this amazing program! (For those of you who may not be familiar with the perks available through the Close To My Heart VIP Customer program, either visit our website for more information, or reach out to your Maker for additional details!)
We guarantee you won’t want to miss out on the unique Seas & Greetings workshops available to our VIP Customers, and we can’t wait to show you what’s in store with these exclusive kits!
To start off this VIP crafting experience, we’ll get into all the ins and outs of two scrapbooking workshops—one created with the beach-inspired papers, and the other with the winter ones! These two workshops are identical in design, but vary in the colors used, and, of course, in the patterns featured.
As you can see, these scrapbook pages incorporate a wide variety of fun techniques and elements to set them apart, including two-tone rock n’ roll stamping, inking paper edges to add a subtle touch of color, cardstock ripping and distressing, strategic pigment splatters, and the inclusion of acrylic shapes!
These beautiful pages are a gorgeous way to preserve your favorite holiday memories, and with identical designs for both the winter and beach themes, it’s an ideal memory-keeping solution for crafters the world over!
Along with the scrapbook kits, the Seas & Greetings paper collection brings life to a selection of adorable holiday cards, perfect for all the special people in your life! With six card designs featured, the Seas & Greetings VIP Cardmaking kit allows crafters to create an array of personal, beachy cards for family and friends with ease!
Each of these cards was constructed using the Beach patterned papers from the Seas & Greetings paper collection, and stamps and Thin Cuts from our Seas & Greetings—Beach set! This card kit also keeps things interesting with card size and orientation, as it includes options for both standard-size and slimline cards, and a mix of horizontal and vertical designs.
We’ve loved going with you on this dive into the rich wealth of possibilities available through our Seas & Greetings collection! This playful and versatile collection is a wonderful way to commemorate your fondest Christmas memories, regardless of where they were made! From memory keeping to cardmaking and more, Seas & Greetings is sure to be a favorite you’ll turn to for all sorts of projects. With so much extra fun offered in our Seas & Greetings VIP Customer Program offer, be sure to talk to your Maker and learn how you can get the VIP treatment, too! We can’t wait to welcome you to the club!
What’s on your crafting agenda with Seas & Greetings? Leave a comment below to let us know what stories you’ll tell with this amazing collection, and whether you’ll be hitting the beach or braving the winter during your holiday celebrations this year!
Some of life’s sweetest moments take place in our very own kitchens. It is where we gather with friends and family to share stories and make memories, often while enjoying something appetizing that has been carefully plated by the host. Today, we invite you to be our guest as we combine two of our favorites—food + crafting!
Even though in scrapbooking we often find a lot of squares and straight edges, have you noticed how prevalent circles are in a kitchen? From an array of dishes to cakes and cookies, circles are everywhere!
We took that familiar basic shape and used it to make a scrapbook page with our Freshly Baked paper collection, easily creating a space for preserving a moment where friends gathered to spend quality time together and make a delicious treat.
This second scrapbook page also carries the circle theme, this time through the designs on the patterned papers rather than the way the papers were cut. With just a few strips of paper, and some additional straight cuts, this delectable page also comes together quickly!
One of our favorite things on this page (besides the super cute couple pictured! ❤️) is the cookie cooling rack with the cookies on top of it! The cookie shapes were easily cut with the Freshly Baked—Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts and then colored in to create accents to accompany the photo. For easier attachment, and to avoid having the space behind it appear too busy through its spaces, we mounted the die-cut cooling rack on White Daisy cardstock. The white space surrounding the cookies provides our eyes with a place to rest as we visually take this delicious page in.
As you can see from these two examples, the Freshly Baked collection has all the ingredients you need to preserve memories of food, recipes, traditions, and other kitchen fun in amazing scrapbooking layouts. Next time you’re preparing a meal–whether it’s an old family favorite, something new, or a meal for a special occasion–take pictures of the process and the result (so millennial of us, but why not?!), and then add these, along with pictures of the chefs and a copy of the recipes, to your scrapbooks!
Not sure where to start? Give one of our workshop kits a taste! The Freshly Baked scrapbooking workshop is designed to create three coordinating 12″ x 12″ two-page layouts that would make a great home for any of your kitchen exploits.
Include the recipes as part of the journaling and turn your scrapbooks into an even more valuable keepsake!For even more crafting assistance with the recipe side of your cooking adventures, the Freshly Baked—Cardmaking Stamp + Thin Cuts are designed to make actual recipe cards.
This stamp and die set can be used to make cards to add to your scrapbook pages, or to make cards that you keep in your kitchen, or even to create a combination of both ideas—just imagine the beautiful functionality of a scrapbook dedicated to recipes with pictures and stories that you keep in your kitchen! (To see how and why Karen Pedersen, our Creative Arts Manager, preserves her recipes using this yummy collection of products, check out the video at the end of this post!)
Because we love food and memory keeping, we thought it would be fun to host another recipe swap, right here on the blog! We’ve done this a few times before and with huge success. It’s so exciting to see what everyone is cooking up in their kitchens, to get to know each other through our stories, and to pick up new recipes and ideas along the way! We’ve started you off with two actual recipes in the photos above–now it’s your turn!
If you’d like to participate (and we hope you will), share a special recipe and a memory that goes along with it in the comments below. If you’re not quite sure whether or not you want to share those delicious recipes running through your mind right now, we’re sweetening the deal by adding a giveaway. Share more than one recipe, even, and increase your chances to win one of THREE Freshly Baked—Cardmaking Stamp + Thin Cuts!
For your recipe to be counted as an entry in the drawing, you must also be subscribed to this blog. (If you are not yet a subscriber, all you have to do is push the big blue button on the sidebar that says, “Subscribe to list.”) You will have until 3 p.m. Friday, October 21 (MST) to enter. Even if you miss the deadline, share a recipe anyway! We want to hear from you! (While you’re at it, be sure to check out this video to see how Karen uses the Freshly Baked product collection to document and organize her own recipes!)
Now tell us…what kind of yummy memories are you baking up in your kitchen? 😋
We are down to the final months of the year, and that means we have some major holidays just around the corner! There is so much to celebrate, and with all of the memories you are bound to make, you’re going to need somewhere to preserve them. Follow along to learn how to recreate this beautiful scrapbook page, featured on the cover of our new October–December catalog, so you can use it for your memory keeping this coming season!
Cricut Design Space™ File:
To kick things off, click here for the free Design Space™ file that will cut the circle shapes out of a 12″ x 12″ sheet of patterned paper to create the top layer of the base of the page. Since circles are part of Cricut’s “basic shapes,” you do not need to own any Close To My Heart collections to use the free download!
Our main focus today will be on creating and filling the multiple circle window spaces. Here’s what you’ll need:
· a 12″ x 12″ patterned paper sheet (for the cutout layer) · a 12″ x 12″ base page, one that will hold all of the window elements in place (we used a sheet of White Daisy cardstock) · 3-D foam tape · small circle shaker window foam + acetate · coordinating shaker window fillers (we used gold star confetti) · glitter paper · coordinating cardstock · additional, coordinating patterned papers
Tip: The glitter paper, cardstock, and patterned papers will be used for the background of the circles, so it’s a great way to use up some of your scraps!
(If you’d like to duplicate our page, exactly, see the recipe at the end of this post for a complete list of products that you will need.)
1. Pair the Design Space file provided above with the 12″ x 12″ patterned paper and cut the top layer for the base.
2. Place the cutout layer on top of the 12″ x 12″ White Daisy cardstock, or whatever you’re using for the base page, and with a pencil lightly trace all of the circles onto it. Remove the cut layer and now, with the marked up base page, you’re ready to start building the individual windows!
3. We will start with the “hardest” windows (they’re really not that hard), and those are the shaker windows. We chose to incorporate two shakers on our page, one at the top of the page and one at the bottom. Both bases for these shakers are 2″ circles, one cut from patterned paper and the other from cardstock.
Using the technique we shared a couple of months ago inA New Approach to Shaker Cards, Step-by-Step, we assembled the shaker windows on the back side of the cutout layer (rather than on top of it). On the back side of the cutout patterned paper, you will attach the acetate, then attach the circle foam tape, then add the filling, and finish by attaching the base.
Tip: For more detailed instructions on how to assemble these shakers from the back, visit the post mentioned in the step.
4. On the solid base page, cover the penciled circles that will not be shaker windows with patterned paper, cardstock, or glitter paper. You can cover all of them or leave a few blank. What you cover or don’t cover is what will show through on your final page.
Tips: You do not have to stay inside the lines. In fact, we encourage you to go over a bit, just outside the lines, so the edges of the circles won’t be visible when the top layer is attached later. You are also not confined to using circles to create these background spaces. All that matters is that you cover the spaces that were drawn on the base page in their entirety. As you cut your paper pieces, refer to the image below to know the size of each circle, if necessary.
5. Add more dimension to the page by embellishing a few of these circle spaces even further using acrylic shapes, die-cuts, stickers, stamped images, etc. You’ll notice that two of the circles on our page are embellished with acrylic stars and heart die-cuts. Unlike the confetti in our shaker windows, these stars and hearts were attached to the prepared base page because there will not be acetate keeping them from falling off the page. Plus, we preferred a more organized look for these spaces 🙂.
6. Once all of your circles are prepared, it’s time to do some additional prep work to attach the two base pieces together! Here’s where you pull out the trusty 3-D foam tape! Depending on where you chose to place your shaker windows and other three-dimensional embellishments is where you will need to add 3-D foam tape to your base page. There are some of us out there that will want to add foam tape all around the perimeter of the page and each of the circles, and possibly a few additional places. If that is you, by all means, go for it! If you’re in the camp of being more frugal with your use of foam tape, then add it where you see that the page will not be supported up by the parts that have already been prepared, including the four corners of the page.
7. With your base page prepared with foam tape, line up the cutout layer with the base, focusing on the edges and corners, and attach!
Tip: Add some regular adhesive to the backs of those shaker windows for a firmer grip in those areas.
And there you have it! It may seem like a lot of steps, but the idea behind this page is simple enough that you will find it comes together easier than you might think!
Mat a photo and add it to the page, along with a few more embellishments and journaling, and you’ve got a gorgeous page worthy of any scrapbook!
Whether you’re backlogged on memories that need a home or are wanting to get a leg up on what you know is to come in these next few months, this type of scrapbook page is versatile enough that it can be used for a variety of themes, not just Christmas. The circles on this page could be used to make constellations and planets for beautiful pictures that come with a night sky, bubbles for those adorable bath time photos or for underwater pictures from a tropical holiday. This type of effect could form the background for flashier New Year’s Eve photos, Halloween costumes, back to school, or any other theme you can think of!
However you decide to use this page, we hope you enjoy this time of year to the fullest and preserve the beautiful moments you are creating!