From Jill: Capture Memories as You Make Them

Use your planner to write down things you want to remember for your scrapbook! #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #scrapbooking #tips #crafting
This post originally appeared last year on our blog. It has been edited slightly for relevance. Read the original here.

As I enter the New Year with resolutions and hopes for the future, there is one resolution that I keep at the top of my list year after year: documenting my stories. Because this is so important to me, I am always looking for new ways to do it.

For the past two years, I’ve been trying a new form of journaling involving my planner. I have always been a planner person. Even with technological advances, I like using pen and paper to organize my days, and since I always have my planner close by, I thought I’d try something out.Use your planner to up your scrapbooking game--you won't want to miss this great idea! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #planner #journaling #memorykeepingmatters

Here’s what I did: Whenever something sparked a memory from my past or whenever something special happened that day that I wanted to remember, I wrote it down in my planner. You can see my example here from two years ago.

By jotting these things down in my planner as I remembered them or as they happened, I found I focused more on what’s really important in life and not just my never-ending to-do list. I also found that when I went to scrapbook, I could reference my planner for journaling ideas.

Sometimes what I wrote in my planner was something that happened on a specific day, but other times I just wrote down a random memory from the past.

Either way, turning to my planner gave me inspiration for what to write next to my photos, like you can see from this scrapbook page I created last year:

Use your planner to up your scrapbooking game--you won't want to miss this great idea! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #planner #journaling #memorykeepingmatters

The photo I used on this page was taken in June, but that little quote actually came from a conversation between these two kiddos in January. Even though the exchange didn’t happen at the same time as the photo, it made a much more meaningful story to compliment my photo than something generic like “here we are at the park… again.” The quote and photo work together to tell the story of their relationship at that point in time.

Our dear friend and brilliant storyteller, Stacy Julian, has spoken at a couple of our events in the past year, encouraging everyone to document memories as they come. On our CreativeLive show last year, she led us in a fun exercise to trigger memories and stories with random photos of ordinary objects.

This exercise transformed the way I think about storytelling, showing me that even seemingly random, unconnected memories are part of my story and can often be connected to more significant memories. Instead of letting these random memories fade whenever they are sparked by something I encounter in my day, if I just take two minutes to write them down, they can be kept and told. Whether the memories are old or new, a planner is such a convenient place to record them as they come so you can remember all those details when you sit down to do your journaling.

I want to invite all of you to join me in my efforts to keep and tell stories by writing down things as they happen in your planners. And if you haven’t already gotten our 2017 planner pages yet, I encourage you to get them now! We have three different bundles. You can check them out by clicking on the images below.

 

Coloring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbookColoring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbookColoring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbook

One thing I love about our unique planners is that they have coloring pages, which is a great way to inspire your creativity every time you open your planner. It makes your day-to-day planning feel extra special, and when you combine that with documenting precious moments and revisited memories, you can create something really beautiful.

Coloring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbook

To help you get started with this new journaling approach, here is your first prompt: Document a conversation. This could be something your cute kiddos say, a nice exchange between you and a loved one, or the conversation you observe between a grandparent and a child. If you’d like, snap of photo of your notes and share it using the hashtag #memorykeepingmatters.

One of my favorite quotes from author Madeleine L’Engle says, “Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.” This is what I want for my family and my life, and I want it for each of you, too. Join me in a storytelling journey by using your planner to record special memories as they come to you.

Always let your stories shine,

Jill


To learn more about our 2017 planner, check out our video below (which features me!) 🙂 :

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15 Photos You MUST Take This Holiday Season

It’s officially the holiday season! This magical time of year always has us pulling out our cameras and taking photos, but there are some special holiday moments you might not normally think to photograph! Here is a list of 15 things to be sure to capture with your camera this winter:15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas

1. Picking out the perfect tree

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas2. Opening your daily advent calendar15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas3. Little ones eating sticky candy canes

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas

4. Kiddos writing letters to Santa

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas5. Decorating the Christmas tree (and putting on the star!)

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas6. Each kid’s favorite Christmas ornament (after all, your photo can last forever, though the ornament may not!)

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas7. Family story or Bible time

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas8. Fur babies in their Christmas gear

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas9. Christmas shopping

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas10. Little hands helping with holiday baking

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas11. Kids wrapping presents all by themselves

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas12. Setting out Santa’s cookies

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas

13. Blowing or throwing snow in the air

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas

14. Warming up by the fire

15 Photos you MUST Take This Holiday Season #closetomyheart #ctmh #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photos #Christmas

15. Hot chocolate mustaches

Also, be sure to check out our video on how to take high-quality photos with renowned photographer, Wendy Whitacre, of Blue Lily Photography.

What unique Christmas photos do YOU like to take? Tell us in the comments below!

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From Jeanette: Getting the Whole Story

jeanette-lynton

I’m a big fan of “I Love Lucy.” I watch it almost every day, and regardless of whether I’m having a good day or a bad day, it always lifts my spirits. I have wonderful memories of watching this show and of how it became part of my family’s life, too. My youngest daughter, Aubrey, has grown to love it as well. It’s something we share, and I love that.

Today is National “I Love Lucy” Day, so I thought it would be a great time to share about how this television show is a part of my life, and how even trivial things like the TV shows we watch can become cherished memories.

We often think about scrapbooking as a way to document important life events: births, graduations, weddings, holidays, and so on. These are the natural moments and milestones to scrapbook, especially for beginners who need a place to start. However, it’s important to remember that scrapbooking is so much more than documenting a series of events: It’s about creating a personal record, so when your children and their children look through your albums, they get to know what you were like—your personality, your habits, your likes and dislikes, and your stories.

Close To My Heart Founder & CEO, Jeanette Lynton, shares her thoughts about what memory keeping means #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #journaling #stories #paper

That’s why I especially love scrapbooking as a form of memory keeping. Even the beautiful artwork you create is a reflection of who you are! You’re unique, and so are the ways you choose to document your stories with paper and ink.

Close To My Heart Founder & CEO, Jeanette Lynton, shares her thoughts about what memory keeping means #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #journaling #stories #paper

“I Love Lucy” is a part of who I am, and I want my children and their children to think of me each time they come across an episode.

So how about you? What TV shows, books, or other forms of entertainment are a part of your life to the point that telling your story would be incomplete without them? Write those things down and consider adding them to your scrapbooks! Then take it another step further and try writing down a list of other objects, routines, likes, dislikes, and stories that are a part of who you are. Start documenting these things in your scrapbooks to preserve your memory. I know this will bring you and future generations so much happiness.

Wishing you love as you tell your stories,

Jeanette

P.S. I’ve love to see your list, the photos you take, and your scrapbook pages. Share them on social media by using the hashtag #memorykeepingmatters.

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From Monica: Why Memory Keeping Matters to Me

Because it’s National Scrapbooking Month, I want to take a moment and share with you my thoughts and feelings about memory keeping.

When I think of memory keeping, I can’t help but think of my sweet mother-in-law, Barbara, who is an incredible memory keeper. She has volumes upon volumes of memories from her life and her family’s life. Here’s a video that explains a little bit more about what Barbara has preserved:

I cherish these photos and stories, and because Barbara took it upon herself to preserve them, they will never be lost—they’re safe for generations! Her dedication to journaling and memory keeping inspires me, and I’m so proud to work for Close To My Heart, where we’re committed to helping everyone preserve their own memories.

Here is a small tribute to my mother-in-law’s love story using our exclusive Happy Times paper packet and stamp set, which we’ve created especially for National Scrapbooking Month:

Find out why we here at Close To My Heart are so passionate about memory keeping. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking

There’s certainly something to be said about taking the time to preserve your memories artistically—it’s a wonderful way to add to the beauty in the world, while putting your memories in a safe place. But one thing I’ve learned from my mother-in-law is that there are so many ways to preserve your memories: whether it’s through simply keeping a journal, through collecting documents and photos from your life, or through any of a number of other methods.

If you’re looking for a place to start telling your precious stories, I invite you to check out the journaling prompts that we post on both our Close To My Heart Facebook page and our Instagram account each week using the hashtag #memorykeepingmatters. We’ve also put together a list of questions inspired by Barbara’s memory keeping to help you dig deep into your own story and the stories of your loved ones—download it here!

Memory Keeping Prompts

Memory Keeping Prompts (AU/NZ)

I hope that our Happy Times paper and stamp set help you get extra excited to preserve your memories. I know memory keeping is so important, and I’m grateful I get to be at a company that shows you how to preserve your happy times for years to come.

With love,

Monica

Recipe

 12″ x 12″ Sweet Memory Page
CC1064 My Acrylix® Happy Times, CC1063 Happy Times Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2123 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2644 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2196 Cotton Candy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2164 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2652 Poppy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2650 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment
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Consultant Spotlight: Tonya Sheridan

Here’s the last 2016 incentive trip earner we interviewed! Tonya shares her approach to earning this year’s cruise and her thoughts on memory keeping.

Tonya Sheridan, Executive Manager
Time as a Consultant: 10 years
6th incentive tripTonya Sheridan shares her thoughts about memory keeping and running a successful business on the blog! #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #Consultant

How did you earn the incentive trip?

I do a lot of different things.  My business is focused not on a single avenue, but many avenues that make it well-rounded.  I assist my Upline, and several of my sister sidelines, with their expos.  I hope to have my own in the future, which makes this not only a great learning experience for myself, but helps them achieve their goals and dreams.  Additionally, I am a vendor at some larger crops of typically 100+ people along the East Coast. I have traveled with these groups and established myself with them. I also run my own crops. I have three weekend-long crops per year and then a monthly crop at my church or a local hotel. I also do fundraisers for different organizations, one Workshops Your Way™ event once per month, and sometimes specialty classes for flair, depending on what’s new or what I’m excited about!

Outside of these scrapbooking events, I also teach a card club once a month (two during the fall) that keeps me grounded. I love all of my events. They are each very unique, but this card one brings me “home” every month—most of the ladies are retired and have become like grandmothers to me. Such a blessing!!! Online, I do online sales, offer kits by mail, and maintain a blog. I blog, not as often as I’d like to, but I do try to keep it semi inspirational and keep a balance of talking about work, event, specials, and also some of my personal life. I’m not really shy about posting pictures of my children—I think they’re pretty cute and many of my customers have developed relationships with my children so they love to see what’s new with them. Tonya Sheridan shares her thoughts about memory keeping and running a successful business on the blog! #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #Consultant

My business is indeed a family effort—they play a large role in my successes. My daughter is the best Bingo caller ever and can do the little twist-twist-tap-tap-tap dance to teach stamping skills better than any adult. My boys help my croppers load, and unload their vehicles and love to help make up kits. My mom and husband help whenever needed, and my dad babysits during my events. Having their help and support has become a true blessing. Tonya Sheridan shares her thoughts about memory keeping and running a successful business on the blog! #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #Consultant

What was your favorite part of the trip?

I think it’s just getting to see friends and acquaintances. A lot of us follow each other on Facebook but haven’t been able to sit down and have a full conversation; here I can sit down at breakfast and ask Brandy how her child is doing in school because I have established a relationship with her on Facebook. And I have found that most people are really open about sharing ideas and sharing business, so we kind mix both together in conversation.Tonya Sheridan shares her thoughts about memory keeping and running a successful business on the blog! #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #Consultant

Why is memory keeping so important to you?

Well, for me it’s the journey; it’s not just keeping the particular memories. I enjoy scrapbooking with my kids. They get to journal along with me. My scrapbooks are not ones that stay on the shelf. We go through them all the time because it’s important to us. If I leave our photos on a digital card, then that’s where they’re going to stay. Our family has unfortunately had a flood and we lost lots and lots of pictures—that in itself made the memory keeping all the more important to me. I also see memory keeping as a healing tool. We have many family members and friends who have dementia, and our scrapbooks have been an invaluable tool to revisit memories with them.

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Consultant Spotlight: Casey Spinks

Here’s another one of our 2016 incentive trip earners! Casey shares her approach to earning this year’s cruise and her unique perspective on memory keeping.

Casey Spinks, Director
Dacula, Georgia
Time as a Consultant: 12 years
9th incentive trip

Learn more about Casey and her unique perspective on scrapbooking! #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #Consultants #scrapbooking

How did you earn the incentive trip?

I tried to expand my business and do some different things. I often host weekend-long retreats where I have product for cash & carry, and my guests work at their own pace on all kinds of crafting projects. Working toward earning the incentive trip, I decided to offer more instruction-led events. I called them Boot Camps! They featured “intense training” or specific projects that used some of the latest techniques.  Those have worked very well for me.  People really do love the fact that we can show them how to use our products, and that we really are the “Let Me Show You How” company!

Learn more about Casey and her unique perspective on scrapbooking! #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #Consultants #scrapbooking

What was your favorite part of the trip?

To pick just one thing is hard, but it was probably the time with my friends because we rarely get to see one another.  Convention is AMAZING, but it’s definitely a jam-packed event, so you see people but you don’t really have time to sit down and talk with them. I’ve certainly enjoyed “treating” my husband to this trip.  To earn an all-expenses-paid vacation for the two of us to cruise on the newest, largest, most amazing ship has been absolutely fabulous!

Learn more about Casey and her unique perspective on scrapbooking! #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #Consultants #scrapbooking

One of my ALL TIME FAVORITE “old” photos of my family

Learn more about Casey and her unique perspective on scrapbooking! #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #Consultants #scrapbooking

My parents’ 50th wedding anniversary

Why is memory keeping important to you?

I might seem a little bit selfish with my memory keeping, because I am preserving my memories for ME.  People used to ask me ALL of the time, “Since you don’t have children, what do you scrapbook?” Even though I don’t have children, I still have a FABULOUS, FUN-filled life FULL of opportunities to scrapbook.  I’m not as concerned about preserving my memories to pass on to future generations as I am about preserving the many memories I have from my childhood and my precious time with my parents, brother, cousins, and grandparents.  So, that’s what my memory keeping is about!  I enjoy documenting and preserving all of our family milestones, time with my friends, the terrific places I have visited, life with my new husband, and having a large “fur family.”  We have A LOT of fun with our pets!  No matter how you look at it, I have PLENTY of things to scrapbook!  I’m really just preserving my many blessings and having a really great time doing it!

Learn more about Casey and her unique perspective on scrapbooking! #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #Consultants #scrapbooking

Hawaii 2015 Incentive Trip: Brian and I were literally on our honeymoon!

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Consultant Spotlight: Megan Elizabeth Gravener

As you know from Monica’s post last week, we recently returned from our Eastern Carribean Cruise incentive trip. On the cruise, we pulled aside four of our awesome earners and asked them a few questions. We want to share these pearls of wisdom with all of you. Up first is Megan!

Megan Elizabeth Gravener, Executive Manager
Time as a Consultant: 2 years
2nd incentive trip

Read Megan's touching story about why memory keeping matters to her. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #cricut

How did you earn this trip?

Well, I’m so thankful and blessed.  I spent the last several years building my blog, which was very Cricut® focused. When Close To My Heart came out with these amazing Cricut® cartridges, those cartridges just captured my heart. Melanie Brown, who is now my Upline, was like, “Megan, come on, you can’t not do this!” So I joined! My big focus in the past two years has been on doing social media and YouTube tutorials and just really working on building relationships online. It’s not easy to connect when you’re not one-on-one with people, but it’s a lot of fun to try to figure out how to do it and watching the trends that are going on, since it is kind of a newer niche within the business. It has been amazing to see people from all over the country say, “Yes, we want to join your Team.” Team building has been one of my biggest strengths. I don’t know any one of my Team members face-to-face, not one.  Read Megan's touching story about why memory keeping matters to her. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #cricut

What’s been your favorite part of this trip?

My favorite part of this trip has just been connecting, I think. I have felt that because I’m so “virtual,” I haven’t put faces with names, so I got to spend time with Krista and Michelle and people in my line, and just giving them a hug face-to-face has been awesome! And Close To My Heart does so much to spoil you, I actually cried! Alex & Ani is such a huge thing, and when I got the Alex & Ani bracelet on my bed, I had tears rolling down my cheeks. So, every part of it I’m just so thankful for. I feel so blessed!Read Megan's touching story about why memory keeping matters to her. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #cricut

Why is memory keeping so important to you?

You know, it actually started for me when I was experiencing post-partum depression. I had several miscarriages and was put on bed rest with my second child, and I thought, “Okay, I need to do something with my time.” I could kind of just lay in bed and start journaling and putting pictures together, and that is where it started. I realized, “Hey, there is this whole other world of scrapbooking.” The Cricut® machine is what really pulled me in because it doesn’t matter if you’re a very beginner who has no crafting abilities whatsoever to, you know, a super expert designer. And that’s why I got really excited about Close To My Heart because they capture every aspect of that and really make it easy to help anybody at any stage and any level, and I think that’s what it’s all about. It’s about the personal journey, the personal story. My tagline is “enjoy the moments” and there’s no better way to enjoy the moments than by capturing them!Read Megan's touching story about why memory keeping matters to her. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #cricut

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