What to Do with Christmas Cards After the Holidays

Phew! You can take a deep breath now—Christmas is over and you can calmly go about your business getting back to a “normal” routine. There are decorations to be put away, a tree to take down, presents to find places for, goodies and leftovers galore to eat your way through… but all in its own time.

One item that perplexes many is the stack of Christmas cards that you’ve received over the past few weeks (and which will probably keep trickling in over the next few weeks, too!). You’ve probably got a great system for displaying them when they come in, but now that Christmas is over what is to become of them?

We shudder at the thought of throwing away those cute photos and heartfelt greetings from loved ones and bygone friends, but the alternative of shoveling the stack into a box and shoving it onto an obscure and cluttered shelf under the stairs seems scarcely better. Luckily we have some great ideas to help you find a more fitting home for these keepsakes.

17-0585-01

Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™ to the rescue! This Christmas cards 2017 layout gives you a beautiful place to preserve those photos. The layout itself uses neutral colors and simple design elements in order to give visual preference to the photos, which likely do not all conform to a unified color scheme. Cards that are larger than 4″ x 6″ can be trimmed to fit into the Flip Flaps, or you can even just trim out a part of the photo and add it to the page, discarding the rest of the card.

17-0585-02

Cards that do not include family photos can benefit from similar treatment, incorporated as design elements into a layout like this one. By using the Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors, you can add these cards to a layout so that the designed card front looks like any other design element, but the card can still be pulled out and read for the message inside.

17-0585-05

Another project that works well for pulling together different elements is a mini-album. Once again, you can include entire cards, trim them to fit, or cut out elements you’d like to preserve.

17-0585-0617-0585-07

Christmas cards come in all shapes and sizes, and so do mini albums! Here’s another album idea that takes a vertical approach by binding all the cards together with a piece of ribbon threaded through punched holes in each of the pages.

17-0585-08

Use this idea to incorporate all kinds of cards, from photo cards, to traditional, folding cards and notes, which can be tucked into basic pockets in your album. As the creator of your album, you can make it to fit the cards that you want to keep.

When your friends and family members go to the trouble of sending you a Christmas card, that is an act of caring that deserves better treatment than to be stuck on a fridge or a board for a month and then discarded! Now that we’ve given you some ideas of what to do with them, you have an alternative that will keep their warm holiday wishes around all year—and isn’t that what we hope will happen every Christmas?


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Christmas Cards 2017 Layout
A1182 My Acrylix® Etched Alphabet Stamp Set, C1688 My Acrylix® First Noel Stamp Set, C1689 My Acrylix® Silver & Gold—Cardmaking Stamp Set, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z3231 Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™ 4″ x 6″, Z3389 Cricut® You Are Here Collection, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
You Are Here
1½” <font> “2017”

12″ x 12″ Jolly Festive Holiday Layout
D1737 My Acrylix® Silver & Gold—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, C1688 My Acrylix® First Noel Stamp Set, C1689 My Acrylix® Silver & Gold—Cardmaking Stamp Set, X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z4038 Beary Christmas Dots, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Z3242 Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors™ Design 1

5½” x 7½” Merry Christmas 2017 Mini Album
D1737 My Acrylix® Silver & Gold—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, C1688 My Acrylix® First Noel Stamp Set, C1689 My Acrylix® Silver & Gold—Cardmaking Stamp Set, D1743 My Acrylix® Gingerbread Friends Stamp Set, B1567 My Acrylix® Hallelujah Stamp Set, X7226B Silver & Gold Paper Packet, X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, X5975 Cranberry Cardstock, Z3239 Silver Glitter Paper, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z899 Black Memento™ Ink Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, X7226C Silver & Gold Complements, Z4038 Beary Christmas Dots, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Z3389 Cricut® You Are Here Collection, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
You Are Here
1″ <font> “2017”

Artbooking
4¼” Shift+Border <TeamWork> (p. 83, #M46F6E)
1¼” <Merry> (p. 75, #M58114)

5¼” x 7¼” Beary Merry Christmas Card Flip Book
C1689 My Acrylix® Silver & Gold—Cardmaking Stamp Set, C1688 My Acrylix® First Noel Stamp Set, D1737 My Acrylix® Silver & Gold—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5955 Pebble Cardstock, Z899 Black Memento™ Ink Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, X7225C Beary Christmas Complements, X7226C Silver & Gold Complements, Z4038 Beary Christmas Dots, Z3361 Whimsy Ribbon Pack, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Hole Punch

Leave a comment

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories

Since we’re in the memory-keeping business and it’s National Scrapbooking Month, we thought it would be fun to gather up a bunch of feel-good stories about lost memories (in the form of photos, letters, and videos) miraculously being returned to their owners. These stories are a great reminder of just how valuable our memories are—and how important it is to preserve them and keep them safe. Grab a few tissues, and enjoy! 🙂

1. Long-lost Letter and Photo from Dying Mom Found in Used Book

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A used bookstore owner finds a letter and photo from a dying woman in an old book, and returns them to her daughter. Read more.

2. Family Finds Lost Wedding Photo at Salvation Army

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A woman loses a priceless family wedding photo when her car is repossessed. Four years later, her daughter finds the photo at a Salvation Army. Read more.

3. Reporter Finds Old Family Album Discarded on Street and Returns to Relatives

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A reporter finds an old family album discarded on a street in Brooklyn, New York. She traces the album back to the owner’s family, and in the process, uncovers a rich history of what it was like to be African American during the mid-1900s. Read more.

4. Mom Reunited with Lost Family VHS Tape

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A 23-year-old purchases a VHS player at Goodwill and finds a VHS tape inside with footage of a little girl’s first steps, Halloween, and Christmas. He finds the owner through social media. Read more.

5. Man Finds Trunks of Photos and Documents Hidden in Home and Returns to Family

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A man discovers a secret room in his old Michigan home with two steamer trunks of photos and documents. He returns the priceless memories to the family’s 70-year-old daughter. Read more.

6. Stranger Re-unites Family with Photo Album 20 Years Later

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A man finds a family album under the seat of his second-hand armchair. After posting about it on Facebook, he finds the owners within 24 hours. Read more.

7. Photo Reveals Adopted Son Has Twin Sister

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

After learning he was adopted, an 18-year-old eventually stumbles across a photo from his birth mom depicting his siblings. This photo helps reunite him with his twin. Read more.

8. Woman Returns Photos to Families After Superstorm Sandy

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A woman collects photos from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and starts a Facebook group to return the photos to their owners. She’s now uploaded over 2,000 photos and helped over 60 families reconnect with their priceless photos. Read more.

9. Article Connects Homeless Man with Family Album

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

After publishing an article about a homeless street comic, a journalist receives an email from a stockbroker. He says the homeless man had worked on his home, prior to being let go for drug use on the premises, and left behind a family photo album. The journalist receives the album from the stockbroker and returns it to the homeless man. Read more.

10. Social Media Connects Man with Photo Lost in 9/11 Attacks

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A professor posts a picture of a photo found at Ground Zero on social media year after year, hoping to find the owner. 13 years later, she connects with the man who had the photo sitting on his desk on the 77th floor of the World Trade Center. Read more.


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

Leave a comment

13 Tips for Finding Time to Preserve Your Memories

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

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

1. Write It in Your Planner

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

2. Do It with A Friend

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

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

3. Attend a Monthly Crop, Workshop, or Club

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

4. Divide Up Tasks

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

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

5. Commit to a Specific Amount of Time Each Day

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

6. Scrap Early in the Morning or Late at Night

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

7. Make It a Habit

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

8. Simplify Your Schedule

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

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

9. Look Into Quicker Options

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

10. Set Goals

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

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

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

12. Scrap Whenever You Watch TV

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

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

13. Dedicate a Space to Memory Keeping

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

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

Leave a comment

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!

Leave a comment

From Jeanette: My First Scrapbook

There is a certain scrapbook on my shelf that stands apart from all the others. I’m sure you feel the same way about one or two of yours. It’s the one that holds so much of your heart that you rank it among your most prized possessions. Perhaps it holds the last photo taken of your mother or father, or maybe it’s the one that tells the story of your first few years with your children. For me, this scrapbook is special because it’s the first one I ever made. In honor of National Scrapbooking Day coming up this Saturday, I want to share with you the scrapbook that began my lifetime of memory keeping. Have a look! I’ve created so many scrapbooks through the years, but this is the one that started it all.

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

This book is heavy with memories. The photos, journaling, and doodles that live in this collection came straight from the heart of my 15-, 16-, and then 17-year-old self. This album is a flashback to high school! (It’s been awhile since you gave any thought to the 70s, hasn’t it?)

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

I started scrapbooking as a teenager, first, because I wanted to preserve the memories of some of the best times of my life. I also had a creative flair, and doodling, coloring, and lettering became an artistic outlet for me. Within the pages of this book, I could save not only pictures, but also the stories that went with them. I loved scrapbooking dearly when I was 17, but, my, how my love for it has grown! I had no idea then how what was once only a hobby would expand into my life’s work.

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Even as a high school student, creativity was important to me. Being creative is not limited to the artists or the musicians—it’s something anyone can enjoy!

And preserving memories can and should be done by everyone. Look at the treasures I can enjoy now because I put a little thought then into remembering. Of course, this scrapbook was made long before archival-quality products existed. Just a few dime store markers were enough to portray the messages I wanted to live on through this book.

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

I created visual patterns and designs with simple hand drawings using those trusty markers, a little glitter, and a lot of white glue. The result was the forerunner to Background & Texture (B&T) paper!

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Artwork from Jeanette's first scrapbook

Creating a “great” page of memories doesn’t require the cutest products or the most trained hand; it only takes a desire to share your story and a love for the message you want to share. This book is important to me because it’s filled with pieces of my past. This is my story, told the way I experienced it. Is that how you think of your scrapbooks? Do you gain a deep satisfaction and joy from recording your life according to you?

With National Scrapbooking Month just a day away, commit to making pages that are filled with more than simply highlights of a few fun days. Use them to bring to life the people and relationships that mean the most to you, because that’s what memory keeping is all about. And then, years down the road, you, too, can look back and feel as thankful as I do now.

Love,

Jeanette

Leave a comment

Choosing Paper Over Pixels: Why We Still Scrapbook

With the end of the old year and the dawn of the new year, I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of “Year in Review” posts floating through your Facebook newsfeeds. Some people argue that things such as this have replaced scrapbooking layouts and albums. This is the new scrapbooking, they say. We no longer turn pages; we scroll them. So why then do some of us continue to use paper to preserve our memories? Is scrapbooking with paper still important? Well, let me tell you what I think.

The things that pop up in our newsfeeds often become irrelevant within mere hours of being born. Their permanence is as fleeting as dust in the wind. People will click through maybe once or twice, but after that, few will even remember they were there. When we upload pictures to Facebook, it fails to leave us with the same sense of satisfaction that comes from the whiz of a paper cutter or the stickiness of fingers spotted with adhesives. And when we type out our words, we lose the intimacy of handwriting and the beautiful way a personality dances its way through the shapes of the letters.

This is why I love National Papercrafting Month. It’s a wonderful reminder at the beginning of the year of why I fell in love with scrapbooking in the first place. It reminds me why we still spend time preserving memories with paper in a world that is slowly turning into pixels.

Working with paper will ground you in reality and in the beautiful subtleties of our physical world, which is why I think the Year >> Noted kit is so nicely suited to this month. In the rush of a new year and the memory of an old year, it not only keeps me grounded, but also gives me a place to tether my dreams, making my big goals seem so much more in reach!

Life is a continual cycling of beginnings and endings—don’t get lost in the whirlpool. Take the time to write down those things within your heart that will one day become the whispers of your past. Ground yourself in paper. Because when you hold a real, finished project in your hands, the rush and the hurry fades away and the only thing you feel is contentment.

And trust me, when this new year becomes old and the time comes to reflect, you’ll be happy you have something real to hold and to remember. Let this kit become a time capsule filled with little pieces of who you are in this moment. I promise you that when you take the time to remember, your heart will fill with gratitude for not only who you are, but also for who you are becoming.

Happy scrapbooking!

Jeanette

Leave a comment