Make Room for the Whole Story

It is so incredibly easy, nowadays, to take pictures of pretty much every moment in our lives. However, when you want to preserve some of these moments, how often do you find yourself overwhelmed with having to choose which pictures out of the hundreds you actually took deserve the space in your scrapbook?

The good news is that you don’t have to be limited by a 12″ x 12″ page anymore! With a little help from our Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors™, you can easily add as many as 12 more photos to your story with just one protector. Check out our layouts below for ideas on how to include more of your favorites without compromising the beauty of your pages.2 Page Scrapbooking Layout #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #flowerlayout #scrapbooking #scrapbook #girlscrapbook #flowerpaper #littlegirlLayout with Pocket Plus Memory Protectors #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #pictureperfect #littlegirl #scrapbooking #scrapbook #flowerpaper #pocketplus #memoryprotectorsThe top image of this gorgeous layout shows you the original, while the bottom shows the same layout with the addition of two 6″ wide Pocket Plus Memory Protectors. We were able to add several more photos to this layout and still keep it neat and engaging. Pretty amazing, right?

The trick to using these protectors is to design your pages with the additional photos in mind. When working with the 6″ protectors, plan the coordinating pages in halves. That way, when you lay either of the protectors on top, they create a secondary “page” using half of the art from the original.2 Page Scrapbooking Layout #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #flowerlayout #scrapbooking #scrapbook #girlscrapbook #flowerpaper #littlegirlLayout with Pocket Plus Memory Protectors #CTMH #CloseToMyHeart #pictureperfect #littlegirl #scrapbooking #scrapbook #flowerpaper #pocketplus #memoryprotectorsHere’s another beautiful example using our 4″ wide protectors, which only cover up one-third of the original pages. Starting at the gutter, measure 4″ into your page and consider that as the space, from top to bottom, the protector will cover with the additional art.

Don’t forget, these protectors have backsides, too! Since you can flip the protectors back and forth, you have that many more options for photos, journaling, or even pocket cards (AND you have a fun, interactive element for your layout!).

We love taking pictures of the special moments and people in our lives, and when you use our Pocket Plus Memory Protectors, you can share so much more of them and their stories in your scrapbooks!

Do you have any layouts you’re working on that could use a little help from these protectors? We love to hear from you, so tell us all about it!

Recipes

“Smile” Pocket Plus™ Layout
CC1212C Live Beautifully Stamp Set, CC1212B Live Beautifully Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3242 Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors™ Design 1, Z3244 Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors™ Design 3Z3217 Picture My Life™ Watercolor Cards—Gold, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3226 Waterbrush—Medium Flat, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

“Today” Pocket Plus™ Layout
CC1212C Live Beautifully Stamp Set, CC1212B Live Beautifully Paper Packet, 1386 Black Cardstock, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3243 Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors™ Design 2, Z3245 Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors™ Design 4Z3217 Picture My Life™ Watercolor Cards—Gold, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3226 Waterbrush—Medium Flat, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shapes
Flower Market
1½” Title <p> (p. 20)

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Do-It-Yourself with the Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Spring is in full bloom and you’re itching for some new décor. Flowers and wreaths…designs that look bright, open, and airy… Instead of picking something up at the store, give your do-it-yourself prowess a try!Framed Monogram Wreath #ctmh #closetomyheart #monogram #wreath #neutral #diy #decor #Cricut #flowermarket #flower #rawwood #distressed #weathered #shabbychic #modernantique #antiquedThe framed monogram wreath we’re displaying today was made using our Cricut® Flower Market collection—ideal for springtime crafts! We set our wreath in a shadow box, but make your arrangement to suit your style and your space. Once you start working with the Flower Market collection, you might just find yourself branching out in your own direction! Instead of a wreath like ours, you might end up with a bouquet, or a smaller floral project. That’s the best part of DIY décor and our Cricut® collections—everything you make is customizable to your needs and liking! Choose how far your creativity will take you and start trimming with flowers that will last all season!

Before getting started, you have to select your colors. We chose neutral hues for our example décor to make it easy to add to any existing scheme. As you’re planning your project, also consider that using light and neutral color palettes can brighten up a room, making it feel more open and less cluttered.Wreath Up Close #ctmh #closetomyheart #wreath #monogrammedwreath #monogramwreath #monogram #neutral #antiqued #modernantique #shabbychic #distressed #distressingtechnique #diyOur wreath petals were made using White Daisy cardstock, our Champagne Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad, and a sponge.

If you’re a fan of the modern shabby chic style, we have a simple paper distressing technique that you have to try! Cut a small triangle out of your round sponge, ink it, and then dab off the excess ink on scrap paper (you want very little ink on your sponge). Now that your sponge is ready to go, rub the edges of the paper you are looking to distress and—ta-da!—you have paper leaves that are “weathered” and very chic!

DIY décor is definitely the way to go this spring and the Cricut® Flower Market collection is just bursting with ideas! Check out our Flower Market videos on YouTube for additional home décor suggestions and inspiration. Give them a try, experiment, and create wonderful things!

Have you made décor using any of our Cricut® collections? Share with us in the comments below!

Recipe

Framed Monogram Wreath
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2874 Champagne Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks ™ Stamp Pad, Z3289 Uptown Ribbon Pack, Z697 Round Sponge, Z1204 Bone Folder, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, 12″ x 15″ Pin Board Shadow Box

Cricut® Shapes:
Flower Market
1 ½” Icon <1> (cut 30, p. 1)
1″ Flower-2 <h> (cut 20, p. 26)
2 ¼” Shift + Title <S> (cut 2, p. 22)
3″ <font> “H”

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Valentine’s Day Ideas for School

Valentine’s Day holds a special place in our hearts because it’s a celebration of card-giving and gift-giving—two of our favorite things! Combine that with loads of sugary sweets, and we’re in heaven! 🙂

Since we love both sweets AND all things paper, we’ve whipped up a few fun ideas for your kids’ school valentines that combine the two—and of course, we’ve also got a cute gift idea for school teachers as well! For these Valentine’s projects, we turned to our treat-themed Sugar Rush papers and embellishments.

Kids emoji Valentine's Day cards for their school class #diy #handmade #cards #valentines #valentinesday #emojis #school #ctmh #closetomyheart

If you’re looking to make lots of cards for your kids’ classes, try making smaller 3″ x 3″ cards. Small cards will help make your paper stretch further, and you can decorate them much quicker! Attach a treat to the inside or back of each card, and you’re set!

We chose to use the Emojis stamp set because we wanted our cards to be playful—and what could be better for that than silly faces? 🙂 To round off the cards, we used some of our Sugar Rush Complements and dots, which perfectly match the papers. Easy peasy.

Have fun “testing” your kids’ candy while designing your own mini card designs—and maybe even let your kids get in on the fun!

School teacher Valentine's Day gift ideas #gifttag #giftideas #ValentinesDay #valentines #school #teachergift #ctmh #closetomyheart

Don’t forget to give those school teachers something sweet, too!  A little thoughtfulness can go a long way!

How about a cupcake with a cute tag? This tag uses our Sugar Rush—Cardmaking stamp set, which has sentiments that are perfect for pairing with desserts.

School teacher Valentine's Day gift ideas #gifttag #giftideas #ValentinesDay #valentines #school #teachergift #ctmh #closetomyheart

When you’re done using this stamp set for creating a school teacher gift, use it to create Valentine’s Day cards and gift tags for your sweetheart, kids, and friends. Then use it again and again for birthdays and other occasions all year long wherever a sweet dessert is involved. 😉


Recipes

3″ x 3″  Valentine’s Cards
C1669 My Acrylix® Emojis Stamp Set, X7215B Sugar Rush Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X7215C Sugar Rush Complements, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2810 Blossom Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3310 Sugar Rush Dots, Z3311 Sugar Rush Washi Pack

3 ¼” x 2″ Valentine’s Tags
C1671 My Acrylix® Sugar Rush—Cardmaking Stamp Set, X7215B Sugar Rush Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X7215C Sugar Rush Complements, Z2810 Blossom Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3310 Sugar Rush Dots, Z3216 White Twine, Z3286 Adventure Ribbon Pack, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
3″ Photo Mat 1 <AllStar> (cut 2, p.83)

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Beginner Crafting Kits

If you’d love to craft but think you’re just not the “crafting type,” think again! There are so many resources that make learning to craft easy, including online tutorials and Consultants that can walk you through projects right in your own home!

Among these great resources are beginner crafting kits, like our limited-time Welcome Home wreath kit or our new Cut Above™ scrapbooking layout kits.

The perfect, affordable wreath kit for the bride-to-be! #ctmh #closetomyheart #wedding #gift #bridalshower #succulentwreath #kit #diyhomedecor

The Welcome Home wreath kit helps you create a beautiful paper succulent wreath. With pre-cut pieces you simply punch out, curl, layer, and attach, this is a wonderful place for beginners to start if they’re interested in trying out DIY home décor.

It’s a great project for your first home as a married couple—or give it as a unique bridal shower or wedding present to a friend! The new bride is sure to love creating something herself for her new home—especially with her new last name 😉 !

An affordable scrapbooking kit for beginners! All you need is adhesive! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbookingkit #quick #beginner #wedding #bridal #gift

Our Cut Above™ Forever & Always layout kit is also a great beginner crafting kit for the bride. Those first few years together go by lightning fast, so start the habit of preserving your love story by doing something with all those wedding photos! Trust us, you won’t want to forget those sweet newlywed moments.

This affordable kit comes with pre-cut pieces and instructions for assembling the two pages you see in this album, as well as Memory Protectors™ to keep your pages safe.

An affordable scrapbooking kit for beginners! All you need is adhesive! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbookingkit #quick #beginner #wedding #bridal #gift

It also comes with pocket cards and two divided Memory Protectors™ to create even more pages, which fit in between your main pages for preserving additional pictures and moments from your special day!

Preserving your baby's first moments has never been easier, thanks to our Little One scrapbooking kit! All you need is adhesive and 15 minutes! #ctmh #closetomyheart #babybook #babyscrapbook #babyphotos #memories #babysfirsts #scrapbooking #beginner #kit

We also have a beginner Cut Above™ scrapbooking layout kit for baby photos—it’s called Little One, and it’s totally gender neutral.

Preserving your baby's first moments has never been easier, thanks to our Little One scrapbooking kit! All you need is adhesive and 15 minutes! #ctmh #closetomyheart #babybook #babyscrapbook #babyphotos #memories #babysfirsts #scrapbooking #beginner #kit

The birth of your first child is definitely the time to start thinking about preserving memories—if you haven’t already (and not in that black hole of a phone or computer, either!).

In addition to being affordable (which is a must with a new babe around!), all the pages in this kit come together in less than 15 minutes—really! So complete your kit, and then take a nice long nap with all that time you save. 🙂 Get a feel for how easily these kits come together by watching this quick video:

And while you’re at it…

Create this easy, adorable paper succulent wreath for less than $20 with our Welcome Home wreath kit! (US pricing) #ctmh #closetomyheart #papersucculents #diywreath #wreathkit #nurserydecor #babydecor #littlegirlsroom #decor #affordable #diy

Why not add a Welcome Home wreath to baby’s nursery? Once again, this is a super affordable and unique baby shower gift, perfect for a new mama who will be nesting like crazy soon. 😉

Whether you’re a newlywed, young mom, or a friend looking for a unique shower gift, the Welcome Home wreath kit and the Cut Above™ layout kits are the perfect go-to projects for beginners. With affordable price tags and easy-to-follow instructions, these kits are sure to light a smile on anyone’s face as she discovers she can craft and make something beautiful for her family.

 
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Close To My Heart on the Road

Over the next few months, we’ll be heading to some Pinners Conferences across the US to showcase beautiful artwork, teach crafting classes, and spread the word about our company and mission.

Since we can’t bring you all with us (though we sure wish we could!), we thought we’d bring the beautiful artwork to YOU right here on the blog! We hope it inspires you and lights a smile on your face.

Here is the artwork for one of the classes we’ll be teaching. Memory keeping is at the core of what we do, so we want to show others there are so many different ways to preserve their memories in addition to traditional scrapbooking.

Our other class will let attendees play with flowers from our Cricut® Flower Market collection, as they make these fun gift items:

Close To My Heart's hitting the road to teach crafting classes at Pinners Conferences across the US. Here is the artwork we'll be showcasing! #ctmh #closetomyheart #pinnersconference2016 #craftingideas #paperalbum

In addition to our classes, we’ll also be putting tons of beautiful artwork on display for everyone to see, including unique gift ideas to show someone you care…

Mini albums for those just getting started with memory keeping…

And, of course, traditional scrapbook pages.

To top it all off, we created a one-of-a-kind banner, which would be wonderful for a party or a nursery.

Close To My Heart's hitting the road to teach crafting classes at Pinners Conferences across the US. Here is the artwork we'll be showcasing! #ctmh #closetomyheart #pinnersconference2016 #craftingideas #paperalbum

Whatever type of papercrafting you enjoy, we hope you’ve found this artwork to be inspiring. We’re sure it’ll catch more than a few eyes at the conferences we’ll be attending, but we especially hope that everyone who sees it will understand that what we do is so much more than an art form—it’s a way of building and celebrating relationships.

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National Book Lovers Day

Make your own bookmarks to celebrate National Book Lovers Day! #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #diybookmarks #homemadebookmarks #reading #diygiftideas

Today is National Book Lovers Day, and to celebrate, we’re sharing these adorable bookmarks with you!

Here’s how we made them. First, we cut identical rectangles out of Sea Glass, Pixie, and Glacier cardstock, as well as our All About the Gold Fundamentals overlays. Then we rounded the corners with our corner rounder. After stamping our sentiments onto pieces of White Daisy cardstock, we used a sewing machine to attach the sentiments to the bookmarks, which is what holds the overlays in place. To top it all off, we added some ribbon from our Uptown ribbon pack and glitter accents from our Baby Girl Complements.

Homemade bookmarks would be a great gift for your kids’ teachers as they head back to school, for your friends who love to read, or for your book club buddies. They’re also just a fun way to get you even more excited about the books you’re reading.

Here at Close To My Heart, we’re all about preserving stories, so it’s no surprise that we really love to read! We thought it would be fun to ask around the office to find out what everyone is reading lately. Jeanette is currently reading The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, following the same schedule as our Consultants and our Training department. Here’s what the rest of the Home Office is reading:

Fiction

  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • A Nation Divided by Robert Marcum
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • My Ántonia by Willa Cather
  • The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley

Fantasy

  • Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett
  • Mistborn: Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Mayfair Witches Series by Anne Rice
  • The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Non-Fiction

  • Dead Wake by Erik Larson
  • Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
  • The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams
  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  • Painters of Utah’s Canyons and Deserts by Donna L. Poulton and Vern G. Swanson
  • The Buddha Walks into a Bar by Lodro Rinzler

Self-Improvement

  • Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Spreading Positivity and Creating a Spiral of Success by Michelle Gielan
  • The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband by David Finch
  • May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein
  • Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by David Maxfield, Joseph Grenny, and Kerry Patterson
  • Fearless by Max Lucado
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  • Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
  • Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock

Creativity

  • Big Magic: Creative Living beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life by Pat Williams
  • Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

National Book Lovers Day is the perfect excuse to make some cute bookmarks and then curl up with a blanket, a cup of hot tea, and your favorite book—but first, tell us what you’re reading right now by leaving a comment below!

Recipes

Fell Asleep Here Bookmark
B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand, Z3246 All About the Gold Fundamentals, X5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3289 Uptown Ribbon Pack, Z3272 Baby Girl Complements, Z1912 Corner Rounder, Thread, Hole Punch

One More Chapter Bookmark
E1035 My Acrylix® Bistro Script, Z3246 All About the Gold Fundamentals, X5773 Pixie Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3289 Uptown Ribbon Pack, Z3272 Baby Girl Complements, Z1912 Corner Rounder, Thread, Hole Punch

Keep Reading Bookmark
B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand, Z3246 All About the Gold Fundamentals, X5770 Glacier Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3289 Uptown Ribbon Pack, Z3272 Baby Girl Complements, Z1912 Corner Rounder, Thread, Hole Punch
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Close To My Heart’s Inspiration Bingo

On this fine January day, we take a break from our regularly scheduled instructional posts to give you a chance to escape your creative routine and produce the sort of artwork that is blissfully yet to be determined.

Close To My Heart’s Inspiration Bingo Board is your launching pad to leap into the artistic unknown, to surrender to the winds of crafting destiny and to see just where they drop you. Think of it as your tentative guide through the jungles of unleashed creativity.

What better way to let inspiration flow through you than by throwing your own plans out the window? The bingo board will guide you to artistic greatness. This is your chance to think outside the box—all it takes is a little nudge from within the box (an entire row of them, actually).

Inspiration-Bingo                                                   To download your own PDF copy, simply click the board!

Here’s how to play: Close your eyes and spin your finger around the board until you feel the draw to put it down. Open your eyes. Which box did your finger land on? Survey your position and then choose to follow either the vertical or horizontal row of the space you landed on. Now heed the guidelines of each box in the row and get crafting!

Your art may not turn out the way you expect, but it will still be beautiful. Why? Because it will be made from the forces of chance, like a magnificent work of nature formed through years of enduring the sporadic and untamed forces of the earth. Ok, maybe not quite that majestic, but you get the idea. Chance is beautiful! See what it can do for you once you’re willing to work with it.

May the (creative) force be with you.

We want to see where Close To My Heart’s Inspiration Bingo takes you! Post a photo of your resulting creation to the Close To My Heart Facebook page, if you would like to share. We’d love to see it.

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