13 Tips to Help You Become an Ink Expert

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

If you’re a stamper, then chances are you are no stranger to the wonders of inky fingers! But no matter how much exposure you’ve had, there are probably some things about working with ink that may still be a mystery to you. Today’s topic is Inks 101, and by the time you’ve read this post, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an ink expert!

1. Not sure which type of ink you should use for a project? Click on this handy infographic to figure it out!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

2. Just like our cardstock, we offer dye and pigment stamp pads in all of our exclusive colors…meaning you’ll always have ink to match your cardstock! Easy color coordination is the name of our game. 🙂

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp3. Our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads have one of the largest surface areas on the market. Plus, they’re super easy to open, thanks to the magnetic case design!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

4. We designed our stamp pads so that the pad is on the lid of the case. This way while your stamp pad is sitting around waiting to be used, the ink is settling on the surface of the pad so you’ll always be able to get a crisp stamped image.

5. Is your stamp pad getting dry? That happens with a lot of use over time. But the good news is that instead of buying a new one, you can buy the coordinating re-inker and use it to replenish your pad. To re-ink a stamp pad, gently squeeze the re-inker evenly over the surface of your stamp pad while moving in a zig-zag pattern, top to bottom. Repeat until your stamp pad is properly saturated again (you won’t even need to use the whole bottle!). Just be sure to give your ink some time to soak in before using the stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

6. Is your stamped image darker than you thought it would be? Don’t worry, that’s normal! Dye inks need a little bit of time to cure, which means that they need to fully dry before they turn the right color. This shouldn’t take too long, but a craft heater can certainly help speed up the process.

7. When using our mini pigment ink stamp pads, dab the stamp pad lightly onto the stamp rather than trying to press the stamp onto the stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

8. Pigment ink sits on the surface of your paper, which is why the colors are more vivid than dye inks. However, this means pigment ink takes longer to dry. Give images stamped with pigment ink time to air dry, or use a craft heater to dry them right away.

9. If you’ve got the painting bug, then you’re going to love painting with our inks! Start by squishing the lid of your closed stamp pad all over. This will transfer some ink from the pad onto the other side of the case where you can pick up the ink using a slightly damp waterbrush or paintbrush, and then paint away!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp10. If you want to create a splattered paint pattern on your artwork, then our spray pen is your friend! Simply fill your spray pen with some water and add a bit of ink from a re-inker bottle, shake, and then spritz onto your artwork. Raise the spray pen higher for a subtler splatter and closer to the paper for a more concentrated splatter. If you want the ink to dry faster, try using rubbing alcohol instead of water.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp11. Our round sponge and sponge daubers can create really cool effects with our inks. With the sponge daubers insert and small organizer, you can store a whole collection of sponge daubers, even labeling them by color so you don’t forget which dauber you used for each stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp12. In addition to our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads, we also offer the VersaMark™ ink pad. Use this ink pad to create watermark images, or add embossing powder over the stamped image, shake off the excess, and heat set for an entirely different look!

13. Coloring in your stamp? Make sure you use the right ink to avoid bleeding! Memento™ is the way to go if you’re using alcohol markers, and Archival Black permanent ink is best with watercolor paints or pencils.


Did we miss anything? 🙂 Ask any questions about our inks in the comments below!

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8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littlegirl #girlsroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

Gallery walls are a great way to infuse a space with colors and patterns. Not only are they a more affordable way to decorate large walls, but they give us the opportunity to showcase multiple pieces of art in one place and to express who we are and what we love!

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littleboy #boysroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

If you’ve never created a gallery wall before or if you’re looking for ways to update your current gallery walls, here are some tips to help you create a meaningful, cohesive gallery:

  • Decide if you want your gallery to be just pictures and photos or if you want to include dimensional pieces, like wooden shapes, wreaths, etc.

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littlegirl #girlsroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall #cricut

  • Choose a favorite photo or piece of artwork as your starting piece, and then add to your wall by finding pieces that coordinate with your first item.
  • Another way to start is to choose one main color to anchor all the pieces in your gallery, and then create a color scheme around this main color.

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littlegirl #girlsroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

  • Rather than searching for the perfect picture frames to coordinate with your artwork, try adding paper to plain picture frames. It’s an easy way to make everything match!
  • Hang your picture frames both horizontally and vertically for variety.
  • Add personal touches to your gallery, like a monogram, scrapbook page, or favorite family quote.

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littleboy #boysroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

  • Use a variety of shapes and dimensions, as well as picture frame sizes, to create a well-balanced look.

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littleboy #boysroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

  • Lay out your gallery on the floor before hanging it on the wall. You’ll easily be able to move around pieces until you get the look you want, and then you can take a photo to reference when hanging the gallery up on the wall. Want to be even more precise? Trace the pieces of your gallery on scrap paper, cut them out, and hang them on the wall to see how they look before attaching the actual pieces.

And maybe most of all, make sure you have fun! Gallery walls are a great way to get in touch with your creative side. Now go get crafty! 🙂


Recipes

“Xander” Gallery Wall
X7222B Jack Paper Packet, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3294 Memo Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, 1388 Colonial White Cardstock, X5927 Ruby Cardstock, X7222C Jack Complements, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Sewing Machine, Thread, Frames, Wooden Arrow, Letter Form

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
2 1/2″ <font> “XANDER”

Floral Hanger Gallery Wall
Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals Paper Packet, X7220B No Worries Paper Packet, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals Paper Packet, X5777 Fern Cardstock, 1282 New England Ivy Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5772 Canary Cardstock, X5763 Smoothie Cardstock, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3295 My Crush® Artistic You Pages, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, Frames, Letter Form, Ikea Hanger

Cricut® Shapes:
Flower Market
4 1/2″, 4″, 3 1/2″, and 3″ Shift+Icon <J> (p. 27)
1″ Shift <Hibiscus> (p. 30)
2″ <Rose> (p. 42)*
3 1/2″, 2″, and 1 1/2″ <Poppy> (p. 45)*
3 1/2″, 2″, and 1 1/2″ Shift <Poppy> (p. 45)*
1 1/2″ <Daisy> (cut 2, p. 46)*
1 1/2″ Shift <Daisy> (cut 2, p. 46)*

*Real Dial Size off

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New Spins on Old Techniques

Like the world of fashion, trends in papercrafting are always changing. One day it’s all about brads and buttons and the next it’s all about sparkles and shimmer!

Just because an artistic technique or aesthetic may no longer be “on trend” doesn’t mean that you can’t still use it. You just need to freshen it up!

To show you what we mean, we dug through our archives to find artwork created with some old-school techniques. We then asked our artists to create new artwork using these same techniques…with a modern-day spin!

They’ve come up with some amazing alterations to these techniques that will make your artwork amazing!

Old Technique:

Distressing the edges of your titles with ink. Remember when we did this for everything? Distress all the things! 🙂

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

New Spin:

Instead of distressing your titles, try stamping them using the rock n’ roll technique. It keeps your edges clean, which is the new trend, but just like distressing, it gives your titles dimension and color variation.

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Old Technique:

Ripping and inking your edges, aka, making your artwork look like it’s 100 years old. And remember how burned edges were such a thing? Ripping and inking your edges with black ink mimicked that trend, which you can see on the card below.

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

New Spin:

Instead of inking your ripped edges, try leaving your ripped edges un-inked and inking your clean edges instead, using a color other than black or brown! The key is subtlety! You can see we added some faint pink inking to the edges of the pink paper here. It helps to add some depth to the paper without screaming “I’m distressed!”

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Old Technique:

Stippled titles. Remember this one? You’d spell out your title with stickers, make a million little dots over the stickers with a marker, and then peel off your stickers to reveal your finished title.

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

New Spin:

Watercolored titles. Instead of stippling over your stickers with a marker, paint over them with a wide paintbrush and some watercolor paint. We used this technique with a “hello” sticker from our Springtime Complements to create the title below.

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Pretty neat, right?

Just because papercrafting trends change doesn’t mean you need to throw out your bag of tricks. All you need to do is find a way to make your old tricks feel new again!

Which spin is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!


Recipes

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Welcome Baby Card (Horizontal)
C1668 My Acrylix® Baby Bundle Stamp Set, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1292 Crystal Blue Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z3247 Simple Chevron Embossing Folder, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, Embossing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Flower Market
1″ Shift+Title <?> (p. 8)
1 ½” Shift_Title <R> (cut 4, p. 14)
 

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Happy Birthday Card (Vertical)
B1537 My Acrylix® Birthday Sparkles Stamp Set, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Flower Market
2 ¼” Flower-2 <7> (p. 7)
 

12″ x 12″ Hello Page
CC1219 Swirly Seashells Stamp + Thin Cuts, x7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor PaperZ3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3307 Springtime ComplementsZ3216 White Twine, Z3089 Grey Enamel Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, 3505 Watercolor Pencils, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, Pen

Cricut® Shape:
Flower Market
2 ½” Flower-2 <7> (p. 7)

 
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Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations!

If we’re going to talk about mixing and matching papers, we have to start by talking about our Fundamentals! In a nutshell, each of our color palettes has coordinating Fundamental papers, and these papers feature a variety of single-color paper designs. You can think of them the same way you think of cardstock: You have single-color patterns in each of our exclusive colors that you can use any time you are working with a given color.

We’ve created the Fundamentals so that they can be used as both stand-alone paper packets and be mixed in with themed paper packets, like those in our seasonal idea books. If the thought of trying to mix your Fundamentals with a different paper packet makes you nervous, we’re here to walk you through it, step by step!

Step One: Find the themed paper packet you want to work with. Let’s start with Little Dreamer as an example.Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howtoStep Two: Look up the featured colors in this paper packet. They’re listed in a few places: on the zip strip at the very top of your papers, in the idea book, and on our website when you’re viewing the paper packet in online shopping.

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Step Three: Choose which color you want to add more of to your artwork. Then it’s as simple as finding that specific color in the Fundamental paper packets, and using that paper in your artwork!

Not sure which colors are in each Fundamental paper packet? No problem! They are listed in your idea book and online, just like you can see with the Little Dreamer paper packet above!

For example, let’s say you’re working with Little Dreamer. You see that Thistle is one of the featured colors, and you would like to add more of it to your artwork.

Thistle is part of the Whimsy color palette, so you can pull out your Whimsy Fundamental paper packet, find the Thistle designs, and add them to the other papers you’re going to be using.

Can you spot the Thistle Fundamental paper on this layout?

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

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How about now? 🙂

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

It matches perfectly, right? There’s also Lagoon Fundamental paper here.

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Here are some other examples where we’ve mixed Fundamental papers with themed papers:

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

No Worries paper packet + Rustic Home Fundamentals neutral chevron paper and linen paper + Adventure Fundamentals Lagoon paper

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Prickly Pear paper packet + Whimsy Fundamentals Sorbet paper + Enchantment Fundamentals Sapphire paper

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Jack paper packet + Rustic Home Fundamentals neutral linen paper and wood paper+ Uptown Fundamentals black plus-sign paper + Enchantment Fundamentals Ruby paper

Now you certainly don’t have to follow these steps to mix and match papers. You can always just grab patterns and colors that look good together (our artists do it all the time!). But if you haven’t tried going free-style before, or if just the thought of it is enough to scare you, following these steps is a good place to start.

Questions? Leave them in the comments below! 🙂


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Believe In Yourself Layout
C1660 My Acrylix® Happy for You Stamp Set, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3253 Adventure Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3321 Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

12″ x 12″ XOXO Layout
X7220B No Worries Paper Packet, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3253 Adventure Fundamental Paper Packet,  Z3240 Sea Glass Glitter Paper, X7220C No Worries Complements, Z3322 No Worries SequinsZ1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

12″ x 12″ Enjoy Today Layout
X7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5775 Sapphire Cardstock, X5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, Z3240 Sea Glass Glitter Paper, X7221C Prickly Pear ComplementsZ1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

12″ x 12″ Happy Camper Layout
X7222B Jack Paper Packet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3263 Uptown Fundamental Paper Packet, X7222C Jack Complements, Z3314 Black & White Dots

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Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique

Just over a week ago, we released our latest idea book—Seasonal Expressions 2! If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can look through an online version or even download it as a PDF here. We know you’ll love it!

One of the paper collections in this idea book is called Little Dreamer, and it’s all about unicorns, magic, and dreams…which got us thinking about a certain sponging technique we love that adds a dream-like magic to all your artwork. Since it is so perfect for this collection, we just had to share it with you!

In a nutshell, here’s the technique: Use titles or shapes cut with your Cricut® machine or with Thin Cuts metal dies as stencils for sponging ink onto your pages.

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

First, use a bit of adhesive to attach your title or shape to the page. Next use a sponge dauber or the round sponge to add ink over your title or shape, and then fade the ink into your paper. Once the ink is dry, carefully remove your stencil (if there is any adhesive residue, it’s a cinch to remove with our Rub & Remove™ eraser).

For our artwork, we found it worked best to use both the round sponge and sponge daubers. We used a sponge dauber for a more concentrated look, like you can see immediately around our title, and then the round sponge for fading the ink into the page.

Sponging Tip: If you haven’t used a round sponge before, you’ll want to cut out a pie-shaped wedge from the sponge rather than using the entire sponge. That way your sponging will be more precise, and you can get more use out of your sponge!

We recommend playing with the round sponge and sponge daubers, as well as various amounts of ink, on some scratch paper before sponging onto your artwork.

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

This stenciling technique is a great way to create unique backgrounds for your artwork. For this page, we attached three clouds to the page and sponged around them. After allowing the ink to dry, carefully removing the clouds, and removing any adhesive, we cut three more clouds and sponged around the edges. Then we popped them up with 3-D tape to give the page dimension. The final look sure is dreamy!

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

You can incorporate multiple colors into your stenciling! Here we used a scalloped piece for our stencil, and then sponged on a rainbow of colors. There are SO many possibilities!

We hope this post has inspired you to try stenciling on your artwork. It really is such a fun way to get in touch with your inner artist!

Which page is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below! 🙂

Recipes

 12″ x 12″ You Make the World Sweet Page
Z3334 Little Dreamer Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3321 Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artistry
1″ Shift+Background <K> (p. 28)

12″ x 12″ Find Your Rainbow Page
Z3334 Little Dreamer Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Thread, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1 ½” and 1 ¾” Icon-2 <Spring> (p. 38)
1 ½” and 1 ¾” Shift+Icon-2 <Spring> (p. 38)

12″ x 12″ Believe in Yourself Page
X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2853 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2864 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
8″ Shift+Photo Mat 1 <S> (p. 59)

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One Awesome Stamp, Four Incredible Looks!

When you find a stamp you love, you tend to use it over and over (and over) again—we get it! 😉 Today we’re sharing some fun ideas to showcase one stamp in four different ways so it’s not the exact same every time. To show you what we mean, we’re going to use the darling “HELLO” stamp from our Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking stamp set.

The following stamping techniques range in skill levels—try them all to find your favorite!

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

When going for a saturated and vibrant look, especially in small details, ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers are an excellent choice. They are bright, smudge-proof, and, because they are alcohol-based, they are easy to blend. The fine tip on each marker is ideal for coloring intricate images, like those flowers and leaves in our stamp. To ensure a crisp outline of your stamped image, use our permanent Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad. Unlike other inks, Archival Black won’t smear or smudge when you apply color.

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

For a softer  look, use watercolors! Once again, stamp your image using Archival Black ink. Because this ink is waterproof, it won’t run when you apply your paint. In this example, we used a fine tip brush to color the small details.

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

Ready to add some texture? Try embossing! For those of you who are new to this technique, embossing powder is a special powder that, when heated, melts to form a raised surface. To start, stamp your image using the VersaMark™ ink pad (embossing ink), which will create a clear, wet-looking print of your stamp. While the ink is still wet, cover it with embossing powder and carefully shake off any excess. In our example, we used white embossing powder to make our image pop on the colored cardstock. Use a craft heater to dry and seal your design. Craft heaters blow extremely hot air with a low air current, which keeps the powder from blowing right off—hair dryers are not a good substitute!

After your powder is set, add some shimmer using our gold and clear shimmer brushes. When you use these, prep your brush before you do! You want to squeeze your brush over scrap paper until the shimmery liquid comes out. Keep brushing it on the paper until you get the consistency you want on your brush before coloring in those details.

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

Okay, here’s technique we’re really excited to share! Did you know that you can pair our Exclusive Inks™ mini pigment pads with clear embossing powder to emboss in any color you want? Yes, really! Stamp an image with your choice of pigment ink, cover it with clear embossing powder, and then set it with your craft heater! It’s that simple! You can match all of our exclusive colors perfectly using this last technique!

Of course there are many more ways to customize a stamp. That’s the best thing about finding a great stamp—you can use it again and again without it being identical each time. Give these techniques a try and have fun dolling up your current fave. 🙂

Recipes

Hello—Markers
D1714  My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2453 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Lavender Marker, Z2454 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Leaf Green Marker, Z2455 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Light Orange Marker, Z2459 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Green Marker, Z2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker

Hello—Watercolors
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set

Hello—Embossed
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X5776 Peacock Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z2068 Ranger™ White Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Z3293 Shimmer Brush—Clear, Z3316 Shimmer Brush—Gold

Hello—Embossed Pigment
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2507 Sea Glass Exclusive Inks™ Mini Pigment Pad, Z2088 Ranger™ Clear Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

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13 Tips for Finding Time to Preserve Your Memories

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

It’s one thing to understand the importance of memory keeping…and it’s another thing entirely to find time to make it happen. Here are some tips to help you out. 🙂

1. Write It in Your Planner

Just writing down a reminder will increase your chances of making it happen.

2. Do It with A Friend

You know how people talk about having a workout buddy to hold yourself accountable? Why not have a scrappin’ buddy? You can keep each other accountable and have fun along the way!

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

3. Attend a Monthly Crop, Workshop, or Club

Or…you can have a BUNCH of scrappin’ buddies! By committing to a regular crop, workshop, or club, you hold yourself accountable to make memory keeping happen. Plus, it’s nice to get out of the house and away from any distractions. 😉

4. Divide Up Tasks

Sometimes it’s hard to work on preserving your memories because it seems like such an overwhelming task, especially if you’re new to the game. Breaking it into manageable steps will make it much more approachable: For example, organize a box of photos today, start working on some layouts tomorrow, and attach the photos to your layouts next week. Baby steps are just fine, folks!

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

5. Commit to a Specific Amount of Time Each Day

Committing to 10, 20, or 30 minutes of memory keeping each day might be better suited for your lifestyle, so try it out! And remember, spending time sorting photos or cutting paper totally counts if that’s what step you need to do next—you don’t have to finish anything.

6. Scrap Early in the Morning or Late at Night

If your kiddos or spouse keep interrupting you whenever you sit down to start working, try working early in the morning or late at night for maximum productivity.13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

7. Make It a Habit

Whatever actions you’ve taken to implement other habits into your life, apply those same actions to memory keeping. Once it’s a habit, you’ll save time and energy just by having a rhythm. You won’t even have to think about it anymore.

8. Simplify Your Schedule

Sometimes making room for something in your life simply means cutting something else out. See if there’s anything of less value you can cut from your schedule to make way for memory keeping.

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

9. Look Into Quicker Options

The great thing about memory keeping nowadays is that there are a million different options for how to do it. Some of our favorite time-savers include pocket scrapbooking, our Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors™ for adding more photos between your layouts, and our Cut Above™ layout kits, which come with pre-cut pieces for easy assembly. Even if you’re a die-hard decorative scrapbooker who loves those intricate frills—maybe even just on some layouts—there are lots of great products that make getting that fancy look take less time.

10. Set Goals

Setting goals is always a good idea when you need to motivate yourself to make time for something. Maybe you want to get that Christmas album done by the end of summer vacation, or maybe you want to finish organizing your 1995 photos by the end of the month—just having a specific goal in mind will make you more likely to take steps to reach that goal.

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart11. Replace Social Media Time

If we were to actually keep track of how much time we spend on Facebook, Pinterest (and Farmville and Candy Crush, etc., etc.), we’d probably be very surprised. Try replacing your social media time (or at least part of it) with memory keeping…we know you won’t regret it!

12. Scrap Whenever You Watch TV

Another great way to get something done is to pair it with an activity you enjoy. Make a commitment to work on preserving your memories anytime you sit down to watch TV.

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

13. Dedicate a Space to Memory Keeping

Productivity can often be improved just by dedicating a space for a certain task. Dedicate a space to memory keeping (ideally a place where you can leave projects you’re in the middle of), and decorate it with things that inspire you, like a vision board.

How do you find time for memory keeping? Tell us in the comments below.

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Shading Flowers with Watercolors

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Today is National Floral Design Day, and to celebrate, we want to share with you a fun watercolor technique for getting beautifully shaded flowers, like those on this card from our Seasonal Expressions 1 idea book.

Step One

Mix your favorite watercolor paints with water to create a mixture that has roughly the same consistency as milk. Then, using an ink color of your choice, stamp your flowers. We stamped ours with Whisper ink.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Two

Paint a light coat of your watercolor mixture onto your first flower, covering the entire surface.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Three

Mix a darker shade of the same color, and start adding it to just the “shaded” areas of the flower. You want to add it as a thick line. It won’t look pretty and blended yet, but that’s the look you want for this step!

Not sure where to add shading? A good general rule is to shade the edges of the petals that are closest to the center of the flower. If you prefer, you can also look at real photos of flowers online and follow the shading you see there. Continue to step four before the paint has dried.

Step Four

Rinse out your brush. Using a small amount of clean water, gently blend the color out toward each petal’s edge without going all the way to the edge. Allow to dry.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

That’s the gist of the technique! Repeat for any additional flowers and leaves that you want!

Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when painting with your watercolors:

  • You’ll notice we didn’t use our waterproof Archival Black ink to stamp this image. You can use dye-based inks when coloring with watercolors, but you’ll want to be careful not to touch the edges of the stamp image with your brush or else it will make the ink bleed.
  • If using dye-based ink, we recommend using a lighter color. That way if there is any slight bleeding, it will not be too noticeable. A lighter color also draws the eye to the watercoloring of the flowers rather than the outline of the flowers.
  • If you want a “no line” look, you can use a light ink color and carefully color the lines completely. If you like to see the lines though, you can reinforce the stamp image by stamping the image again after the paint is completely dry. Both methods have their own beauty.

Happy painting!

Recipe

4¼” × 5½” You’re Invited Card (Vertical)
X7216B Hello Lovely Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2872 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2864 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3313 Blush Shimmer Ribbon, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z3301 Hello Lovely Cardmaking Thin Cuts Bundle (includes stamp set C1670), Z2046 Piercing & Embossing Tool Kit, Z1852 Stitch Guide, Z3247 Simple Chevron Embossing Folder, Embossing/Die-cutting Machine, Thread

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5 Tips for Creating a Vision Board

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Spell out your dreams and goals.

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

3. Always look for inspiration.

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

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

4. Use it as an organizational tool. 

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

5. Throw out the rulebook!

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

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

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

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

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