As many of you know, March is a special time of year around Close To My Heart: It’s my birthday month! Every year, as my birthday approaches, I can’t help but reflect on life. I like to reevaluate how and where I spend my time, and especially with whom. I’m not perfect, but I believe in making every moment count and living life to its fullest, and when I look at the wonderful people who have walked by my side over the past 35 plus years, I am blessed to know that I am doing just that!
Thank you for always asking about me and my family. Thank you for your dedication to this wonderful community that we have created, together. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for believing in me and my vision for Close To My Heart, and for making dreams come true day in and day out. You, my dear Consultants and readers, areMY people! I could not ask for a better group of women to share my life with. I am truly blessed to have you and love you all so much!
For my birthday, I want to celebrate you, the wonderful people in my life. One way I plan on doing this is through the special that we just launched on March 1st, These Are My People. One of my favorite products in this special is the These Are My People Cut Above® kit. (All of the pages that you are seeing today are from this kit, complete with pictures of our wonderful Close To My Heart Consultants! <3 )
This kit is designed to create a 6″ x 8″ album with an opening page, a closing page, and eight two-page layouts in between, each page aimed at celebrating special relationships. What better product could I ask for to say thank you to all of you?
The beautiful collection of products available through the These Are My People campaign, especially the workshops and the Cut Above® kit, are truly an embodiment of the Close To My Heart mission.
For the next three weeks, until my birthday on the 27th, we will keep track of everyone who purchases one of these Cut Above® kits. At noon (MST) on my birthday, I will pick 4 of you to receive a prize containing an Everyday Life™ album in the color of your choice, one of our journaling pens of your choice, and an additional These Are My People Cut Above®kit. A fifth winner will also be picked for a grand prize. This lucky person will receive the album, pen, and Cut Above kit, as well as a $50 (USD) credit to Persnickety Prints, and a Sticky Boy and Sticky Girl stamp (because they are some of my favorite people, too!)!
My sweet friends, I hope you know that I love you and cherish the moments we get to share together. I encourage you to do your best to live your best life with those who matter most and express your love and gratitude every day. And, if you’re searching for a community of crafters that are more of a family than anything else, you’ve come to the right place and are welcome here.
Scrapbooking is more than just a hobby. It is the preservation of memories, a way to pass on a precious legacy to all you hold dear. Even the smallest, most simple moments can turn into powerful memories that can bring joy to you and your family for years to come. Whether you put it together for yourself or as a special gift for a loved one, the Days of December album is a must-have!
The idea behind a photo-a-day project is to go about your regular activities and to then take a photo of what you consider is the highlight of your day. This 6″ x 8″ album is simply bursting with festive cheer! Each page provides plenty of room to tell your stories through your own photos and words.
Get ready to have some fun this Christmas season as you document your most treasured holiday moments each and every day in December! In case you need a little help getting started on this beautiful Days of December album, below you’ll find a list of 31 photo prompts and ideas, one for each day. For those of you who did this with us last year, you’ll remember that we provided a similar list of photo prompts then, too. (Click here to see last year’s list.) We intentionally made this list different from last year’s so that we can have both to reference—that’s a total of 62 photo ideas to pull from!
Use these prompts in chronological order, switch them up, or pick and choose your favorites to use in conjunction with some of your own ideas. The important thing is to enjoy the moments, capture the memories as you make them, and then preserve them to treasure for years to come. We are memory keepers, after all!
The Days of December album kit is only available through the end of November, while supplies last. Make sure to grab yours while there is still time! <3
Happy November, everyone! We are so excited for the opportunity to pop in today and share with you how to put beautiful scrapbook pages and cards together in a snap using the Cut Above® kits that are available through our Craft with Heart™ program.
The excuse that we hear most often from people for not scrapbooking is that they simply don’t have the time to do it. Cut Above® layout kits are the response to that genuine concern. Each kit comes with all of the pieces you need to complete two coordinating two-page 12″ x 12″ scrapbook layouts, including pre-printed base pages, pre-cut paper pieces and die-cuts, complementing stickers, and simple assembly instructions. Essentially, all of the cutting has been taken out of the scrapbooking equation, saving you tons of time and allowing you to jump right into the artistic and creative side of memory keeping that we all enjoy and love so much.
Beautiful layouts like this one come together in minutes when you’re using a Cut Above® kit!
To get your hands on these amazing kits, you don’t have to go far. In fact, we’ll deliver them straight to your doorstep on a schedule you decide through the Craft with Heart™ program. Craft with Heart™ is a subscription featuring Cut Above® kits offered at monthly and 4-month intervals.
If you’re already a subscriber, share the opportunity with a friend! The Craft with Heart™ program is a fun and easy way to introduce the art of memory keeping and cardmaking to others. These kits make wonderful gifts!
Take a closer look at what we’ve got in store for the next couple of months:
Aren’t these gorgeous? You’d never guess that these layouts come together so quickly!
This is a great time of year to get started with the program if you haven’t already. September is when we introduced the last four scrapbooking kits for the year, which means if you sign up before January 1 for a four month or annual subscription you will not have missed out and will also receive the beautiful September and October scrapbooking kits!
This September, for the first time ever, we launched a subscription kit just for cards!
Just like the scrapbooking kits, the card subscription kit comes with all of the materials you need to create two each of the assortment of cards you see here, designed especially for the season ahead.
The kit includes card bases in varying sizes, pre-cut die-cuts, coordinating stickers, and an exclusive stamp set and mini black ink pad to customize each of your card sentiments to use for any occasion that arises.
Craft with Heart™ is the perfect solution for those who enjoy the art of scrapbooking and cardmaking but are looking for a quicker alternative. Even if you’re a die-hard decorative scrapper or card maker who loves to spend hours on a project, the Cut Above® kits are a great way to catch up on documenting your stories and celebrating relationships without sacrificing quality. They’re a win-win deal that you will absolutely love!
We all have photos that hold a special place in our hearts. They remind us of something or someone, and they often have detailed, personal stories that go with them. Stories I Love, the newest program from Story by Stacy™, gives you permission to bring your most treasured photos together in one album and teaches you how to write the unique stories that go along with them.
Your favorite photos may not be the ones that are the most pretty. They may not have the best lighting. They could be candid or staged. They could be from a special occasion or from everyday life. What makes them important are the memories they represent and what you feel when you look at them. That’s what Stories I Love is all about. Each Stories I Love workshop kit comes with a 6″ x 8″ album, ten 6″ x 8″ Memory Protectors™, one title page, one closing page, story pages, base pages, and two sticker sheets. The workbook included in the kit walks you through the steps of exploring the story behind one photo, writing that story, and then creating a 6″ x 8″ layout with just that story and photo.
Are you ready to make your own Stories I Love album? Watch the video below to hear directly from Stacy about this new program and to find out how you can win your very own Stories I Love workshop kit!
You have until 11 a.m. (MST) Thursday, January 17, to enter in the giveaway. Winners will be notified by email on Thursday.
The memories behind the photos you cherish are stories only YOU can tell. Recording your thoughts and feelings transforms every layout you make into a treasured keepsake. We can’t wait to see what you create with Stories I Love!
It’s easy to think that memory keeping needs to be done in a straight, chronological line, scrapbooking your photos as they happen … hopefully, but you can share your photos in many other fun and creative ways. That’s what makes the Story by Stacy™ product line so special. As it’s name suggests, these products invite us to explore the stories behind the photos we take to uncover the details that make them personal and interesting. Story by Stacy™ products encourage us to consider taking a different approach, one that focuses on your unique memories of the subject or topic of your album.
A few weeks ago we shared a handful of ways you can use Story by Stacy™ workshop kits for the holidays. If you missed that blog post, check it out here. Because this month’s special features these amazing kits at a discount, we have a few more ideas for how you can document one-of-a-kind stories in the mini album format with Story Starter. Keep in mind, we’re showing you how to do this with Story Starter, but you could plug these ideas into any scrapbooking format. So many possibilities!
Idea #1: Where I Stand
In this mini album, the storyteller has documented some of the places she’s been, but with a fun twist. All of these photos show shoes and the place where she’s standing. The ground you’ve walked on is also part of our journey. These kinds of photos could be taken anywhere, and in this Story Starter album, sharing the memories and stories about her shoes and where she is gives it an unusual AND intriguing perspective. This is an easy one to take photos for since it could be anywhere—standing at work, in front of your house, on a vacation—literally any place that you go. These types of stories showcase your experiences in a new way, and it reminds you of the places you’ve lived, worked, or traveled.
Idea #2: Happy Places
This Story Starter album is full of photos and memories of places that make this storyteller happy. For her, it’s the beach. Each photo is paired with a memory about what makes these places special, and pops of color are added with the bright colors of the Hello Pumpkin Complements and accents of Sapphire and Mint cardstock to match the photos. This is another fun topic because happy places are unique to you! Think about where you feel like your best self—happy, whole, and content. That’s the perfect subject for a happy place themed album.You could create an entire series of Story Starters just to document the places that make you happy. Or, consider ways you can include other people in this kind of storytelling. You could do a Story Starter album with your family members, highlighting the places that each person loves with a photo and their own stories about that place.
Idea #3: Hometown
Another place you will definitely have stories about is your hometown. A mini album like Story Starter is a great canvas for capturing the things that you love about where you’re from, and the writing process will help you document detailed memories about that particular place. Did you notice what’s on our album cover, “(208)”? It’s an area code! Even the area code is something that’s unique to just that one place. Maybe your hometown is famous for something or has a nickname? As you write your memories and gather photos, think about the community, the landmarks, and even the people. How are those things a part of who you are?
The Story Starter format is also a fun place to try including different kinds of small photos. With the 4″ x 4″ size, you could use small instant photo prints, like we’ve done here, to illustrate your memories.
Feeling inspired to create yet? Just in case you need a few more ideas, take a look at the list below and the examples from Stacy Julian, on her blog.
Music often plays a part in our favorite moments. Think about your favorite songs and write down why you love them. Then use a photo to illustrate the moment. If you don’t have a photo to pair with the musical memory, try including pictures in other ways. You could take a photo of the album cover or the artist. How you listen to music is also part of the experience. Is it on your phone? A record? A casette tape or CD? You could include those kinds of pictures and stories as well.
Memories about Movies/TV Shows
Are there shows you like to watch on a weekend? Any movies you never get tired of seeing? Just like how the music we listen to tells us something about the time and place we live in, so do the movies and shows we watch. You can probably easily list some of your top faves, but have you ever thought about WHY you like them? Use the Story Starter writing process to think about the memories you associate with the movies you love.
A Day (or Week) in the Life
Approach this kind of topic in a new way with Story Starter. Start by first going through the writing portion. Take some time to think about what a day or a week looks like for you. What are the highlights? What are your habits or routines? Do any particular sounds, tastes, or feelings come to mind? Then group those memories together and find (or take) photos to represent them.
Check out these blog posts from Stacy Julian, the Stacy behind Story by Stacy™ products. She used Story Starter albums to tell some fun stories about herself and other memories. Click the links below to learn more about each of these topics.
With all of these ways to share your story, we know you have so much to document with Story Starter! This December take advantage of the great discounts on Story Starter workshop kits and their coordinating stamp sets. Get individual workshop kits and stamps at 20% off the retail price or, because we know you’re going to need more than one, purchase select Story Starter bundles at 30% off their retail price! Not only do these make for great gifts, but they’re an easy way to create timeless treasures with your memories. We can’t wait to see what you create, and when you’re done, make sure you share your story!
Were any of you able to catch our Facebook live yesterday? If you did, you know that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around these parts. Yep, you heard right! For the month of October we have an impressive set of holiday shaker cards for you to make and send to all of your favorite people this coming season! The best part—they are so easy to make that you can probably assemble all 12 that come in one kit in less than an hour!
These bright and festive Holiday Sparkle cards are part of our Cut Above® program, which means you get everything you need to assemble them in one convenient kit: printed card bases, die-cuts, stickers, loose sequins, window foam and acetate, envelopes, and easy-to-follow instructions—absolutely no cutting required! The detailed paper accents that we all love for our handmade cards are included right in your kit!
A shaker card, for those new to the idea, is a card that has a window compartment built into it that holds loose pieces, adding a little extra whimsy to the card design and a lot of fun for the recipient!
So how do the Holiday Sparkle cards come together? Take a look at the steps below to see just how easy it truly is to assemble these festive cards with their glistening windows!
The very first thing you’re going to do is lay one of the printed card bases flat on your working space. Do not fold the card base in half just yet. This will give you a flat surface to work with, which is especially helpful later when you’re adding the loose sequins.
Next, carefully remove the outer foam ring from one of the window foam circles and attach it to your card front, on top of the printed circle.
Keeping your card base flat, add some of the loose sequins inside the circle frame you just created.
If you haven’t done so already, peel off the protective layer from the top of the foam tape ring to expose the adhesive.
Remove the protective film from one of the window acetate circles and lay it on top of the foam tape ring.
The last step in assembling the shaker window is to hide the foam frame by layering a faux-stitched circle sticker on top of it.
Now that your window is complete, all that is left is to embellish the card front as well as the envelopes using the included die-cuts, stickers, and any leftover sequins.
You’ll notice that we give you a solid circle of foam tape, not just the outer ring to use in the making of the window. The inside pieces are purposefully included, and pre-cut for your convenience. Use these pieces to attach some of your embellishments for even more dimension.
With all of the time you’re saving using the Holiday Sparkle Cut Above® kit for your holiday cards this year, you’ll have more time to spend on some of your other holiday projects! But you better act fast! These kits and its supporting stamp set (Love with All the Trimmings) are only available until the end of the month, while supplies last. We’ve got a feeling that they are going to be flying off the shelf, so make sure to get yourself at least one kit while you still can!
Your loved ones will surely be impressed when they receive a Holiday Sparkle card and find out that it is handmade! They don’t have to know how easily it comes together—that can be our little secret!
Telling stories is what Story Starter is all about. This first workshop kit in the Story by Stacy™ product line walks you through the process of recalling detailed memories, writing them down, and then organizing them into small stories to pair with photos.
Story Starter albums get even better when you add stamping to your story cards with the Colorful Textures and Quotable Words stamp sets. These stamp sets are designed especially to work with the stories you tell in these albums, and today we are giving you some ideas for how you can use the Story Starter workshop kit with its coordinating stamp sets to personalize your written memories.
My Acrylix® Colorful Texture Stamp Set
My Acrylix® Quoteable Words Stamp Set
Using Colorful Textures
There are so many ways you can include splashes of color on your story cards. With the Colorful Textures stamp set, you can stamp simple images to match each story and photo in your Story Starter album. Shapes like hearts and stars fit perfectly next to words on your story card.
These shapes can also be used to decorate your quote cards. With one solid and one outline circle, small touches of color make your quote cards more interesting and unique to you.
Colorful Textures includes a few words that can be used to make short phrases. You can see we arranged the words to stamp the phrase “I LOVE the way YOU” on our story card. Build your phrase on a My Acrylix® block, like we did. Leave one word out. Stamp the phrase with Black ink, and then stamp the missing word in a different color.
Using Quotable Words
The Quotable Words stamp set gives you many options for stamping phrases or quotes on your story cards. You can use these images to personalize your story, or you can even incorporate them into how you write your memories on the story cards.
This story card makes use of the checklist image and “the BEST things:” sentiment to create a repeatable format for each story card in the album. Stamp your images in a different color on each story card, like you see here, and then write your memories from your Story Starter workbook in a list on each story card.
Using the Stamp Sets Together
Not only are these stamp sets designed specifically for Story Starter, they are also meant to work together. You can combine words and textures to create story cards that coordinate with your story and photos. Every card could be different, or you could use a repeatable element on each card.
Mix the solid shapes from Colorful Textures with a sentiment from Quotable Words to create borders on your story cards. You can use longer shapes along the edges of your card and stamp a phrase in the middle.
As you write your stories, don’t forget you can use the lined or blank side of your story card. The story doesn’t have to fill the entire card. If you have extra space, fill it with a combination of images from Colorful Textures and Quotable Words, or you can intentionally leave some white space as you write your memories down.
Stamping on your story cards can happen before or after you complete your writing. In the video, you can see that stamping first lets you organize your memories in creative ways, and it took no time at all! If you choose to write your story first, then stamp with a light color of ink over your words to highlight a particular phrase, or use smaller shapes to stamp around the edges.
Your written words and the photos that go with them are the most important part of your Story Starter album. You can see above that the story is complete with or without stamped images. By including stamping, you can make your album your own, add fun pops of color, and highlight the parts that are the most significant to you.
Your style is unique, just like your story! Story Starter helps you uncover those stories stuck in your memory bank, write them down, and share them in fun, easy ways. With the Colorful Textures and Quotable Words stamp sets, you use your own creativity to add personalization and color to your Story Starter album.
Today’s blog post comes from our beloved friend, Stacy Julian! Stacy is a recognized leader in the scrapbooking industry. She is the founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks magazine and the visionary founder of Big Picture Scrapbooking. After getting her initial start into the papercrafting world through Close To My Heart, Stacy is coming “home” to combine her ideas and training into the Story by Stacy™ product line! We could not be more thrilled about this partnership!
For as long as there have been human beings, human beings have been telling stories. Stories are how we connect, celebrate, and remember. Stories organize our thoughts, experiences, and beliefs for sharing. Stories are how we pass down personal histories. Stories teach, motivate, and inspire. We understand who we are and what we are capable of because of the stories we tell ourselves. Storytelling is a powerful force for good. I know you know this, but even as memory keepers we can lose sight of the importance of documenting stories—and sometimes we make it harder than it is.
Hello. I’m Stacy Julian.
I’ve had the pleasure of working in the scrapbooking and paper crafting industry for a very long time and I’m beyond thrilled to be partnering with Close To My Heart on a new line of Story by Stacy™ products designed to help people discover and document their stories. This is my first foray into product design and, while I am having a blast with all of that, what I truly love most about Story by Stacy™ is the education and training that is a part of the products we are developing. I’m so excited to work with Close To My Heart Consultants and to learn from them as we share the joy of preserving personal stories with all of you.
Our very first product and program is called Story Starter. The Story Starter kit is designed to show you how simple it is to access your unique and valuable memories. When we scrapbook, we tend to believe that the story of a relationship, a special place, or a meaningful experience is in the pictures we take, but that’s not entirely true. While pictures are wonderful illustrations, the full story is inside of YOU and it takes just a few minutes to invite it out to play.
As you learn and practice the Story Starter process, you’ll be amazed at what you can remember! AND as specific details surface in your mind you’ll be able to pair them with photographs that you might not otherwise choose to use in an album. When you start with the story, the result will be a more genuine reflection of what matters most to you.
With Story Starter, all of these delicious details are then wrapped up in super CUTE mini books with inside pages that can be personalized with playful stamped images.
The whole process is fun and easy, and the finished project is a 100% valuable, and adorable, keepsake. I do need to warn you that the overall experience is addicting in the best of ways. You won’t be able to stop with just one Story Starter kit!
I cannot wait for you to get your hands on a Story Starter kit and workbook, so that you can start telling and sharing your stories in happy, colorful, and very authentic ways!
We love Stacy for her liberating philosophy and simple step-by-step thematic approach that unlocks a person’s creativity and helps them easily create stories out of life’s special moments. Please show our friend some love and share with us your thoughts about Story Starter in the comments below!
As 2017 comes to a close, we have a holiday treat designed to last you through the coming year and more!
This Through the Year customizable photo calendar comes wrapped together in a kit containing everything you need to make one of your very own!
Easy-to-follow instructions included in the kit will guide you in creating each of the 12 beautiful calendar pages you see below.
Calendars make great gifts, so in addition to making one for yourself, consider making a second one to give as a gift, or even giving the kit to someone you know who will love the chance to be crafty! Whatever you choose to do with this kit, you will not be disappointed with the result!
Take a closer look at some of the beautiful details you’ll add to your pages using the custom gold glitter die-cuts, glitter gems, Complements, and papers included in this unique kit.
Our November Stamp of the Month, Through the Year, makes the perfect companion for this project, too.
If you didn’t get this limited-time stamp set last month, you can still get it by choosing the calendar kit that includes it! And, in case you did get the November Stamp of the Month, we also have this kit available without the stamp set.
What makes the Through the Year calendar extra special is that the pages are designed to be cut at the spiral binding and then put into Memory Protectors™ inside an album. This way, when you’re through with the calendar, the beautiful pages you’ve relied on through the year will last through the years to come!
What a beautiful way to put some of your most favorite memories on display and later preserve them! Make one of these Through the Year calendars for yourself or as a gift this Christmas!