A Stamptacular Sale with 5 Exclusive Stamp Sets!

Stamptacular Sale #ctmh #closetomyheart #sale #stamps #diy #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #stamptacular #myacrylix #thincuts #diecutting #cuttlebug

Our Stamptacular sale is here, and we are loving it! For the entire month of February, we’re putting on a stamping extravaganza with savings up to 50% on Stamp + Thin Cuts bundles and 35% on dozens of stamp sets. Stamptacular is a month-long stamp party with great deals for everyone! One of the most exciting parts of this sale is that there are five exclusive stamp sets included! These stamp sets are popular favorites from the past that we’ve brought back just for this sale. Today, we’d like to share a few fun ideas of how these sensational stamps can be used to make truly Stamptacular artwork of your own!

Stamptacular Sale #ctmh #closetomyheart #sale #stamps #diy #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #stamptacular #myacrylix #thincuts #diecutting #cuttlebug

The first one we’ll take a peek at is the Remarkable Wreath stamp set. With options for a festive winter wreath, a springy circlet, and a summery garland, this stamp set is great for cards and layouts for all occasions. Just look at this gorgeous “Thank You” card with a sparkly, winter berry wreath. Isn’t it beautiful? 🙂

Stamptacular Sale #ctmh #closetomyheart #sale #stamps #diy #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #stamptacular #myacrylix #thincuts #diecutting #cuttlebug #remarkablewreath

The creative possibilities are endless with the, next, Love Life stamp set. With the fifteen fun and distinctive stamps included in this set, you can put your own personal touch on any piece of artwork, from cheery cards to lovely scrapbook pages like this one.

Stamptacular Sale #ctmh #closetomyheart #sale #stamps #diy #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #stamptacular #myacrylix #thincuts #diecutting #cuttlebug #lovelive #livelaughlove

Like the Love Life stamp set, the Hooray Bouquet stamp set is another great way to add unique elements to your artwork that can quite literally pop off the page. Hooray Bouquet is a versatile set that can be used in conjunction with a multitude of other stamp sets. In this example, we paired the Hooray Bouquet stamp set with three of the other exclusive Stamptacular sets—Love Life, Card Chatter—Sympathy, and Card Word Puzzle—to create a one-of-a-kind celebratory layout.

Stamptacular Sale #ctmh #closetomyheart #sale #stamps #diy #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #stamptacular #myacrylix #thincuts #diecutting #cuttlebug #hooraybouquet #birthdaylayout

The Card Chatter—Sympathy and Card Word Puzzle stamp sets are the last two exclusive sets included in our Stamptacular sale. These stamp sets each feature a variety of sentiments and phrases that are easy to mix and match to great effect in your projects, as you can see in the two cards below.

Stamptacular Sale #ctmh #closetomyheart #sale #stamps #diy #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #stamptacular #myacrylix #thincuts #diecutting #cuttlebug #thinkingofyou #youmakemesmile #cardchattersympathy #sympathy #cardwordpuzzle

These five sets are just the tip of the iceberg, friends! With so much stamping fun and such great deals to be had, make sure you don’t miss our great Stamptacular sale, going on right now and through the end of the month!

Do you have a favorite stamp set? Let us know, old or new, retired or current, which one you absolutely love or can’t craft without in the comments below.


Recipes

4¼” x 5½” Thanks Card (Vertical)
C1473 My Acrylix® Remarkable Wreath Stamp Set, X7253B Spruced Up Paper Packet, X9011 Mix-in Paper Packet, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, Z6516 Sangria Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z8003 Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad, X7253E Spruced Up Die-cuts, Z4191 Silver Glitter Gems, Z4196 White Ribbon, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z3562 Silver Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Corner Rounder

12″ x 12″ Live Laugh Love Page
D1482 My Acrylix® Love Life Stamp Set, X7252B Celebrate Today Paper Packet, X6039 Carolina Cardstock, X5984 Pixie Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6508 Bluebird Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6510 Nectarine Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2812 Raspberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3562 Silver Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z3515 Black Journaling Pen (.01), Z3342 3-D Foam Dots, Cricut® Art Philosophy Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Art Philosophy
#M45BEB

12″ x 12″ Hip Hip Hooray Layout
D1482 My Acrylix® Love Life Stamp Set, D1491 My Acrylix® Hooray Bouquet Stamp Set, C1494 My Acrylix® Card Word Puzzle Stamp Set, D1476 My Acrylix® Card Chatter—Sympathy Stamp Set, X7252S Celebrate Today Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X9011 Mix-in Paper Packet, X6029 Julep Cardstock, X6044 Peach Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2823 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6510 Nectarine Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2851 Saffron Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3566 Julep Loose Sequins, Z3515 Black Journaling Pen (.01), Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Cricut® Art Philosophy Collection, 1″ Hole Punch, ½” Hole Punch

Cricut® Shapes:
Art Philosophy
#M3EB66
#M4356A

 4¼” x 5½” You Make Me Smile Card (Vertical)
C1494 My Acrylix® Card Word Puzzle Stamp Set, D1491 My Acrylix® Hooray Bouquet Stamp Set, X9011 Mix-in Paper Packet, X6036 Ballerina Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4191 Silver Glitter Gems, Z4213 Silver Embellishing thread, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z3554 Pink Taffeta Stickles™ Glitter Gel, Z3515 Black Journaling Pen (.01), Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

4¼” x 5½” Just Thinking of You Card (Vertical)
C1494 My Acrylix® Card Word Puzzle Stamp Set, D1482 My Acrylix® Love Life Stamp Set, D1476 My Acrylix® Card Chatter—Sympathy Stamp Set, X9011 Mix-in Paper Packet, Z6511 Julep Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3507 Julep Glitter Gems, Z3609 Julep Shimmer Trim, Z3630 Watercolor Pencils, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

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Galentines with Aimee Ferre!

Today’s post is written by the talented, handcrafted lifestyle expert, Aimee Ferre! Follow along as she shares her unique designs and style while creating a beautiful gift for a special gal in her life. <3

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

During the cold month of January, with cloudy and dark skies, I start feeling restless for brighter and warmer days. Just when I think I can’t take one more day of gloom, February peeks her head around the corner and offers feminine shades of pink and red for Valentine’s Day. The love and sweets that she offers act as a “hold me over” until spring returns. I do love Valentine’s Day, but I have to admit, I love Galentine’s Day even more!

One of my favorite gal pals lives several hundred miles away. Her marriage last year took her all the way to Los Angeles to finish schooling. It’s my daughter Elsa. Now as an adult, she is a favorite gal pal even though we are so far apart.

When my three daughters were little, I always had “Cupid” come and bring them valentines and sweets in handmade boxes and fabric bags. It’s become a tradition I don’t want to ever let go of, no matter how old they are. So, this year, I thought of designing a beautiful care package to ship off, and not just in a red, white, and blue Priority Box from the United States Postal Service.

I want to send something like we sing about in the My Favorite Things song, “brown paper packages tied up with strings.” That’s what I was going for, with the addition of sweet ink stampings covering the outside of the box, giving a hint of the treasures that could be inside. I couldn’t wait to begin designing Elsa’s Galentine’s package with my Close To My Heart stamp sets!

My Acrylix® Snail Mail by Aimee FerreGalentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail

My Acrylix® Air Mail by Aimee Ferre:Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail(Outlined images coordinate with Thin Cuts metal dies.)

I am drawn to the large heart candy boxes of yesteryear with the oversized satin bows. For the past several years, I’ve made variations of these candy boxes for girlfriends. Sometimes I’ve hosted a swap where we all bring items to exchange and put in the heart boxes, and some years I provide the treasures inside. This year, I loved the way I could really embellish and personalize the heart boxes, the stationery, and even the shipping boxes using the Close To My Heart stamps and Thin Cuts paired with a few other materials.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

This air mail sparrow card used Mint, White, and Ballerina cardstock. I stamped the designs with Glacier, Candy Apple, and Smoothie Exclusive Inks™. I glued Julep sequins pieces inside the stamped hearts and on top of the “cloud.” The cloud was made from a small sampling of loose quilt batting that was then machine sewn on using a straight stitch all the way around the edges of the cloud. I used 3-D foam tape to stick on the air mail sparrow. The envelope was sealed with the “Sealed with a Kiss” heart that was hand trimmed and glued halfway onto the envelope flap.

I found a 12″ heart box from the local craft store made of brown paper mâché and a smaller paper mâché heart box perfect for a bag of favorite candies or small jewelry piece. (You could also recycle any commercially made heart candy box.

Using a good quality paint that has primer included in the mix, I painted 2-3 coats on each box. Hardware stores now offer sample paint containers of whatever color you want for a few dollars, so I chose a color that went well with the Close To My Heart exclusive colors I planned on using: Ballerina, Glacier, Candy Apple, and Smoothie.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

On the smaller heart box, I stamped the two leaf sprig stamps from the Air Mail by Aimee Ferre set directly on the box. I love that the banner in this stamp set is left blank to hand letter a recipient’s name or a sentiment inside. I stamped the banner in Candy Apple red, used the coordinating Thin Cuts metal die to cut the shape out, and attached it to the box with 3-D foam tape.

Once my large box had a base coat, using coordinating colors, I freehand painted some simple folk-art designs on the lid. To beautify the inside, I lined the box with parchment paper.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

Every Valentine’s Day, I bake my famous fortune cookies dipped in chocolate to share with friends and family. I knew Elsa would feel close to home if I baked her a few to include inside along with some favorite candies of dark chocolate truffles, peppermint white chocolate pretzels, and, her favorite, sour gummy hearts.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

I painted the rims of plain white paper baking cups with watercolors and stamped the bottoms using various designs from the Air Mail by Aimee Ferre and Snail Mail by Aimee Ferre stamp sets. Some of the cups I trimmed off a half inch to create a layered tutu look when nested inside each other. I even machine stitched a couple cups together at the bottom using coordinating thread.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

I nested cellophane bags of sweets in the paper baking cups. Once the box was filled, I tied it up with a red and white striped ribbon. Using the scalloped heart stamp that coordinates with one of the Thin Cuts dies, I created a gift tag and tied it to the box.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail

Plain white or brown shipping boxes can be decorated as well. Make opening the package part of the excitement and experience of receiving their package. Measure the rectangular box flaps on the side that you plan to put the address label on, and then cut 4 sheets of cardstock one inch smaller all the way around to mount on each of the inside box flaps. It makes opening up the package a fun surprise!

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail

You could write personal messages, poems about friendship and love, write memories or sweet sentiments on each of the flaps. You could even include fun photographs. I used a mix of hand painted folk-art designs and hand stamped artwork from both of the Aimee Ferre stamp sets to decorate the flaps.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail

I love the 3 small parallelogram stamps that are used to create the “Air Mail” border. Space them out carefully. I used Candy Apple and Glacier ink as the coordinating colors to create this border.

Brown paper packages, sweet treats, and hearts can all say, “fries before guys” to those gal pals that are some of the sweetest relationships in your life. I hope you find yourself thinking of those powerful women who influence your life for the better, and then create something special for them that will keep them close to your heart.

Hugs, Aimee Ferre

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What Makes Your Heart Happy?

Heart Happy Workshop #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #valentine #valentine'sday #love #heart #mommyandme #scrapbooking #scrapbook

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
We love papercrafting
How about you?


Alright, we already know that you do, which is why our tireless product designers and artists have been hard at work to stay ahead of your crafting needs. We know that at this time of year, our hearts and minds turn toward the most special relationships in our lives, and we start thinking of ways that we can meaningfully show love for those closest to us. Anticipating the desire to create cards and scrapbook pages to celebrate this love, we have created a new exclusive collection we’re calling Heart Happy!

Heart Happy Workshop #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #valentine #valentine'sday #love #galentine'sday #galentine #cardmaking #cards

The Heart Happy collection features a paper packet, stamp set, and sticker sheet all designed specifically to help you express your feelings for those people who mean the most to you—whether that’s a significant other, children, family members, or even your girlfriends!

This collection is also available packaged together in a convenient workshop bundle with materials and instructions to help you create 1 two-page scrapbook layout, 2 single-page scrapbook pages, 10 unique cards, and 5 tags suitable to attach to sweet, thoughtful gifts for your loved ones.

Heart Happy Workshop #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #valentine #valentine'sday #love #galentine'sday #diytags #tags #gifttag

If you’re anything like us, then your heart is definitely feeling happy right now just thinking about playing with this vibrant collection of coordinating items. Now is the perfect time to start getting ready to make Valentine’s Day special, and ordering the Heart Happy collection is a wonderful place to start—visit closetomyheart.com to see the whole collection!

PS – If Valentine’s Day isn’t your thing but you’re still crushing on this paper collection, then you’ll love the alternative Everyday Life™ album that we’ve designed using these same papers. Check that out here.

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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 Brian Holman: Making a Difference with Operation Smile™

Read Close To My Heart COO Brian Holman's story about going to the Philippines on an Operation Smile medical mission. #ctmhsharethelove

A few years ago, I found myself travelling to the Philippines with Close To My Heart Consultant Kelly Hammonds for a truly one-of-a-kind opportunity to be part of an Operation Smile™ medical mission. My trip coincided with Operation Smile’s 30th anniversary, and since their first mission was to the Philippines, it was somewhat of a special occasion for them. For me, it was an unforgettable experience that let me see up-close the huge difference that this organization makes.Read Close To My Heart COO Brian Holman's story about going to the Philippines on an Operation Smile medical mission. #ctmhsharethelove

One of the most impressive things about Operation Smile to me is the way they incorporate local professionals into their missions. They don’t just come in and do it all themselves, but they involve local people, educating them and building up the medical establishment itself through the work they do. I find this to be such an ennobling and empowering part of what they do all around the world.Read Close To My Heart COO Brian Holman's story about going to the Philippines on an Operation Smile medical mission. #ctmhsharethelove

Maybe it’s just the data geek in me talking, but I was also really impressed by the organization’s emphasis on record-keeping. When you think about the thousands of children who are being operated on every year, you can understand how important those records can be—especially when you consider that many of those children may require multiple surgeries. In the case of a child who has a cleft lip and a cleft palate, the cleft palate needs to be closed first, and then the cleft lip can be addressed in a subsequent surgery. Operation Smile’s commitment to methodical record-keeping really stood out to me as an indication of their trustworthiness and of their commitment to each individual.Read Close To My Heart COO Brian Holman's story about going to the Philippines on an Operation Smile medical mission. #ctmhsharethelove

Seeing all the people that came out in hopes of receiving medical care for their families gave me a new perspective on how big of a difference this organization makes. The level of sacrifice that the individuals made just to be there, travelling long distances, leaving family and jobs behind, really struck me. For many of these children, Operation Smile provides the only chance they may get to receive the medical attention that they need.Brian-Holman-Operation-Smile-Philippines-6

These twin brothers illustrate the level of sacrifice shown by these families. They were selected for surgery, but what you don’t see in the picture is that their mother also had a cleft lip. When the medical team offered to perform a surgery on her as well, she declined because she was the only one there to care for her boys. She was just one of many mothers who were there putting their children’s needs above their own.

Going on this mission taught me something else, too. I’m no medical professional, but even I was able to help in a small way, by helping take care of the children while they waited for their turn, and also after the surgeries. This baby’s mother was planning on staying there with her child all night without eating or resting, but since I was there, I was able to give her a break just by holding the baby while she went out to get something to eat. It was a small thing, but that’s what all of these missions come down to: small things that make a big difference.

You don’t have to be a surgeon or a nurse to help these children; you don’t have to fly around the world or even leave your house! Operation Smile takes care of those parts—all they need from us, from you and me, are donations to make it possible. Close To My Heart is committed to helping Operation Smile receive these donations. With each donation from you make, whether from rounding up your order or by purchasing this month’s special stamp set, My Acrylix® Share The Love, you are helping them, too. Thank you for helping us make a difference.Brian-Holman-Operation-Smile-Philippines-10

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A Fun Way to “Spruce” Up Your Valentine’s Day Décor

As a crafter, you’re always looking for new projects and new ideas. With Valentine’s Day coming up, here’s one we’ve fallen head over heels for: a heart tree!Learn how to make this adorable heart tree for Valentine's Day! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Valentines #decor #hearts

This would make a great accent piece for your living room, and if you made a few, you could make a really cute mantle display or centerpiece arrangement. These trees are super easy and affordable to make, especially since we’re going to show you how! We’ll even include some insider’s tips.

First, you’ll need to get a styrofoam tree (or trees!) and a bunch of ½” straight pins, which you can get from almost any craft store. Next, put your Cricut® to work cutting out hearts—a lot of them! ☺ We cut these hearts at 1 ½”. 2 sheets each of 4 colors of paper should be plenty to cover one tree.

Insider’s tip #1: You’ll want to turn the pressure up pretty high on your Cricut® machine when you cut the glitter paper.Learn how to make this adorable heart tree for Valentine's Day! #CloseToMyHeart #ctmh #Valentines #decor #hearts

After you’ve cut all your hearts, flip your first heart upside down. Using a straight pin, attach the heart to the bottom of the tree: The curved part of the heart should be in line with the bottom of the tree, and the pin should be placed near the point of the heart. Continue this technique to create a row of hearts on the bottom of the tree. Let the hearts overlap slightly. Next, add another row just above your first. Focus on filling the gaps between the hearts and covering the pinheads from the first row. You can either make each row its own color or alternate colors within rows—it’s totally up to you! When you get to the top of the tree, glue the tips of the hearts together to create a point.

Insider’s tip #2: If you plan on saving your tree to use year after year, use styrofoam glue instead of or in addition to the straight pins. The tree may take longer to finish, but it will be less delicate.

And that’s it—we told you it was easy! 🙂 Now you’re ready to welcome this holiday of caring and sharing into your home and heart, and with that . . .

Insider’s tip #3: Love what you’ve created!

Recipe

Heart Tree
X5760 Cotton Candy Cardstock, X5773 Pixie Cardstock, 1272 Cranberry Cardstock, Z1922 Pink Glitter Paper, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Styrofoam Tree, ½” Straight Pins, Styrofoam Glue (optional)

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1 ½” Icon-1 (cut multiple, p. 35)

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From Jeanette: Share the Love through Operation Smile™

I consider my grandchildren to be among the greatest treasures in my life. I never could have imagined the joy that those precious smiles bring to me. I’m sure that those of you with children and grandchildren can relate! Even those without children of your own know just how priceless and special a child’s smile is. And that’s one of the reasons that Close To My Heart has been partnered with Operation Smile™ for so long.

Operation Smile is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with cleft palate, cleft lip, and other facial deformities receive lifesaving and life-changing surgeries. They are truly a special organization. At our last Convention, we shared a video of an Operation Smile mission, and I want to give you all a chance to see it now:

Watching this video brings tears to my eyes every time. The work this organization does is absolutely incredible, and I am determined to do what I can to help this incredible organization succeed.

Since February is the month of love, we thought it would be a wonderful time to really focus our efforts on expressing our love for Operation Smile and the dear families they serve. For this purpose, we’ve created the My Acrylix® Share the Love stamp set, and for every stamp set sold, we will donate $7 USD to Operation Smile*.Help a child by purchasing the Share the Love stamp set benefiting Operation Smile! #ctmh #CloseToMyHeart #OperationSmile #operationsmile #sharethelove #donate

This stamp set is only available during February, so be sure to get yours while you can. There are also many other ways you can help Operation Smile throughout the year. You can purchase the My Acrylix® Animal Greetings stamp set, which you can use to create this adorable children’s book and many other wonderful works of art. This stamp set is sure to bring smiles to many children’s faces!

We also have a selection of t-shirts to help promote the Operation Smile mission. For every t-shirt you purchase, we will donate $10 USD*.

Another way to help is to round up your order totals. When you do this, we will donate the difference. Each surgery is only $240 USD, so small donations can really add up to make a big impact.

Finally, if you or someone you know would like to make an outright donation to Operation Smile, simply talk to a Close To My Heart Consultant, who can walk you step by step through that process.

We’ll be sharing some more stories this month to show what some of our awesome Consultants have done to support Operation Smile, as well, so be sure to check back with us throughout the month.

My friends, you already add so much goodness to this world. Donating to Operation Smile is simply a way to extend the reach of your goodness. With all my heart, I thank you for all you have done, all you are doing, and all you will do for people, both around the corner and around the globe. Your selflessness inspires me.

All my love,

Jeanette

*Products purchased in US states AL and MA excluded from donation due to state registration requirements. 

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Feeling Cornered by Chronology?

Do you suffer from acute chronological scrapbook syndrome? You’re not alone.

Thousands like you have been printing photos and storing them away in shoeboxes for decades, assuring themselves that one day they’ll feel more motivated to scrapbook everything in the perfect order.

Full of good intentions, but dreading the task of organizing every photo, victims of this syndrome often find their passion tainted by a nagging voice that tells them they must start at the beginning (wherever that is) or not start at all.

It’s time to silence that voice and get back to doing what we love!

It may seem revolutionary, but scrapbooks don’t have to be done in chronological order. Remember that these memories are your stories, so you get to tell them however you wish. The only way you’re doing it “wrong” is if the method you’ve chosen feels like a task rather than a delight.

Free yourself and your creativity by trying these organizational methods of scrapbooking instead:

Life Milestones
Milestones happen at every stage of life. Create an album that showcases a variety of milestones from the lives of each family member. Pick a certain milestone and focus on that, or gather a bunch onto one layout. You can include things like graduations, church ceremonies, losing teeth, getting married, the first day of a new job, or learning to walk. This is a fun way to show your family’s progress over time.

Love is You layout in album

Classic Family Memories
Have a favorite memory that everyone in the family loves to talk about? Get it on paper. When your family comes over for Sunday dinner and starts to reminisce, write down the extra details they add to your story. Better yet, ask them to write their own version of the family memory. Include everyone’s version of the story as journaling on your layout. Even if you have no idea where the photos of that specific memory are, just start taking the first steps. You’ll find the photos in that notorious shoebox soon enough.

Someone You Love
Pick a person who’s important to you and create an album that’s all about them. The photos can come from any time or event. The important part is simply that they get remembered. This album will become something they will cherish for always.

Color Schemes
This artsy method is more wild and crazy, but definitely a lot of fun—and excellent for a creative boost! Choose photos and papers based on the similarity of their color schemes and then put them all on one page. Find out how fun it can be to see a collection of unrelated memories on one layout!

Random Reminiscing
Reach into that pile of photos and pull out a few. Scrapbook them any way you wish, whether that’s together on one page or each on their own layout. As you finish each layout, simply place them in your album in any order at all. This method is a lot of fun to look through afterward because you’ll always be surprised by which memory pops up next.

Purposeful Prompts
Type a list of prompts (e.g. your favorite words, themes, questions you think your posterity will ask about you), trim them into strips, and place them in a jar. Draw a new one every time you sit down to scrapbook. Whatever kind of information that prompt inspires you to document, do it!

It’s the Little Things
In addition to the big events of life, be sure to also emphasize the daily things that make you and your family who you are. Stepping outside of big events will paint a more realistic picture of your life as well as add some variety to your albums.

Likes and Dislikes
Focus on a person’s likes or dislikes, not worrying about their age or location at the time you took the photos. An overarching theme like this really helps to reveal who a person is in just a layout or two.

Favorite Activities
What activity does your family love to do? Find pictures of yourselves doing that activity across any number of years and group them together. Say you like to vacation together; make a layout just for vacations. They don’t even have to be from the same trip—just get the theme put into one place.

Travel layout in album

How do you feel now? Empowered? Liberated? Excited? The only thing to make this moment sweeter would be for us to remind you that the albums you’ll need to keep your long-awaited layouts safe in are available at a great deal this month. Take advantage of the February deal on albums to get your gorgeous, non-chronological layouts archived and on display. You only have a few days left to take advantage of this promotion. Your memories have waited a long time for this; now let them shine!

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Brenda Rose: Scrapbooking is Love

Thanks to our friend Senior Director Brenda Rose for contributing today’s post!

It was several years ago that I realized this whole paper and ink thing I love so much was more than just a hobby. It truly is my passion, and I’m so excited to share it with you today! I want to share some examples of pages I’ve made celebrating people that are important in my life.

When you see this photo, you’ll understand why I immediately wanted to run to my craft room to create this page for my great niece’s memory book. This little girl’s face fills my heart with so much joy! I gave this page to her mommy and daddy for Christmas.

The stamp set I used (B1470 Love Ya Silly) captures my feelings because I really COULD squish her with hugs! I love the mixture of monsters, colors, and all things girly. It was definitely fun to make this page!

My friends will tell you that I am never in a hurry while I’m creating. I invest this time because when someone sees the finished product, what I really want them to see is my heart.

I don’t scrapbook my photos chronologically, so it’s a real treat when I come across one of my son’s “little boy” photos to scrap.
The journaling on this page reads, “Now that Shane is 23, it’s a great joy to pull out unscrapped little boy pictures. This was a pretend dinosaur so it was easy for Shane to laugh and be carefree. As he’s grown, he has learned that sometimes life BITES. My prayer is that he find joy among the dinosaurs of life.” I’m a big believer in scrapping the good and the bad, but I’m also a big believer that creating with paper brings love, laughter, and hope. That’s the kind of feeling I wanted to share in this fun—but still honest—page.

I think handwriting is so important for the feel of a scrapbook. I recently sent a card to my son and he said my handwriting has changed over the years. He didn’t say much else, but I was overjoyed knowing that how I put ink to paper does matter. Even though I don’t have the best handwriting, it’s my handwriting and that’s what matters.

This summer, my husband and I are celebrating our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. I so enjoy making pages about our life together. One of our favorite things to do is to be anywhere near water with our bare feet, and I wanted to document this. I know that in our golden years we will love looking back on this memory from a beach in Grenada. The title of the page says it all.
Scrapbooking with Close To My Heart is so much more than paper and ink. Friends all over the world are willing to share ideas and techniques. How grateful I am for this camaraderie! I know that if I’ve lost my creative mojo or can’t seem to get something right, I can count on one of my friends to inspire me. Papercrafters truly have a bond like no other!

What’s really fun is the way we celebrate each other. I’m blessed to lead a wonderful team of women in their Close To My Heart businesses and creative journey. We are recording our team experiences in a My Crush™ book this year, and I thought I’d share a couple of pages from our recent team meeting.
The journaling reads, “I love everything about Rose Blossom team meetings. From recognition to business to special topics to creative time, it is all good. But what I love the very most is watching all of these wonderful women interact with each other. The laughter, the love, even more laughter, and lots of creative talent. Yep, these meetings are their time to shine!!”

I could show you loads more examples. What I really want you to see, though, is that scrapbooking is not about getting numerous pages done in one night, or even scrapping every photo. It’s about sharing you, your heart, and the love you have for the people in your photos. It’s an act of love.

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