One of the best ways to make a lasting connection with friends and family is through sharing your favorite stories. Being able to share your best-loved memories with your best-loved people is such a treat—especially when the story is accompanied by the perfect photos!
As memory keepers, we’re passionate about creating showcase pieces for our most treasured pictures and stories. Our new True Story album makes it easier than ever to preserve and retell your own priceless stories. With beautiful pre-cut pages and fold-out sections throughout, this mini album carries more of your favorite photos and stories than you might expect based on its size!
The True Story project is designed to accommodate over 40 photos in individual Memory Protectors™ and Flip Flaps™ while still leaving plenty of room for journaling to tell the stories depicted in the photos. This unique album is designed to fit in one of our Everyday Life™ 6″ x 8″ albums and comes with many of the pieces pre-cut and even pre-printed! It also includes a few clear acrylic pages and specialty die-cuts for an even more unique finish.
With so many exciting elements like no other, True Story is a joy to create and will be a treasured keepsake for years to come. To help you get the full picture of this project’s potential, including all the opportunities for journaling and photo display in the finished product, we’ve put together this short video, which shows off each page of this one-of-a-kind album. Enjoy!
We can’t wait to hear about all the amazing things our fellow crafters do with the True Story album! As a special treat, we’ll be giving away five True Story Album Kits to five lucky readers! To be eligible for this giveaway, subscribe to the Make It from Your Heart blog and leave a comment below and let us know about your plans for True Story! All entries must be submitted by 4 p.m. tomorrow, January 6 (MST). Winners will be notified via e-mail we use the email address you are subscribed with so make sure it is up to date to not miss out!).
One of the most satisfying feelings for a memory keeper is to see beautiful scrapbook pages come together. These pages not only provide a fulfilling creative outlet, but also serve as backdrops for some of our most cherished life moments. For an easy, elevated scrapbooking experience, Close To My Heart provides exclusive gorgeous products in convenient workshop kits, ensuring you can have a worthy place to tell and share your stories!
Our scrapbooking workshop kits come with materials to create three breathtaking coordinating 12″ x 12″ two-page layouts, including easy-to-follow instructions embedded with artistic tips and techniques to help you along the way! Grab your photos, trimming tools, and a journaling pen, along with a few optional additional supplies, and you’ll have everything you need to preserve your memories on beautiful, detailed scrapbook pages!
All of our scrapbooking workshop kits include patterned papers and stickers, a few sheets of coordinating cardstock, exclusive die-cuts designed especially for the workshop, and an additional accessory.
Our Isabella scrapbooking workshop kit, for example, comes with adorable die-cuts designed for a mediterranean, summertime feel. With these too-cute citrus, title, and background pieces, the layouts in the Isabella scrapbooking workshop are an absolute joy to create!
Because many of the pieces included in our workshop kits come in easy, punch-out die-cut sheets, there is minimal cutting required to complete the workshop’s layouts. This makes our scrapbooking kits ideal for all scrappers, and hopeful scrappers, who don’t have the luxury of time to create beautiful pages for their photos.
Along with die-cuts, you will love the included accessory that is often an exclusive product for our workshop kits! If we continue with the Isabella scrapbooking workshop kit as our example, you will see that this exclusive accessory comes in the form of acrylic shapes. These shapes include a few of the designs from the Isabella paper collection, itself, and a few additional designs that aren’t available anywhere else.
Additionally, every one of our scrapbooking workshops features a specific crafting technique to help you maximize your creativity and add a little flair to your artwork! For instance, the Isabella scrapbooking workshop kit guide includes step-by-step instructions on how to implement ink pad sponging for a little extra pop of color, as you can see here.
With so much crafting potential all in one place, it’s no wonder that crafters and memory keepers everywhere love our scrapbooking kits! If you have any memories you’d love to document with this or any of our other workshop kits, let us know in the comments below! Happy scrapping!
As memory keepers, we love telling our favorite stories and expressing all the feeling behind the happy smiles in our most beloved photos. When it comes to storytelling through scrapbooking, it’s important to be able to capture all the layers of your story, delving deeper than the basic “where,” “when,” and “what” descriptions of your photos.
With the Story by Stacy™ program, memory keepers of all experience levels can practice the art of storytelling. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the Stacy’s Stories I Love program, showing just how easy it can be to record a meaningful and in-depth account of your favorite memories!
With a Stories I Love workshop kit, you start out by gathering between 5 and 10 of your favorite photos (preferably 4″ x 6″) to work with. These photos do not have to follow a specific theme; one of the key points of this storytelling exercise is to learn how to tell individual, stand-alone stories and get into the meaningful details of those memories. The closing page of your finished Stories I Love album spells it out beautifully,“These pictures belong together only because I love them.”
Your next step is to select or take a current photo of yourself. Identifying yourself as the storyteller can be very empowering, especially if you find that you don’t always make an appearance in the photos and memories you choose to scrapbook. This photo will be added to the closing page of your finished album.
As you continue on with the Stories I Love process, you’ll turn to your workbook to help you identify and uncover the various layers of the stories you want to capture. Select one photo to start your album, and then turn to your Stories I Love workbook to see an example of how you can delve deeply into your story and tell it in a way that really brings it to life.
Once you’ve had a chance to look at the provided example and familiarize yourself with the process, you’ll be able to follow it with your own photos and stories. We recommend writing out the entire story at least once before recording it on your Stories I Love story pages, although you may want to do this multiple times as you progress through the editing process. If you’re crafting with other people, consider reading your story aloud to them, or just to yourself if you’re creating your album alone. Good writing is also good reading, so reading your story aloud can be an invaluable step as you continue to craft your story!
After you’ve finished drafting your first story, it’s time to assemble your first story and photo pages! For the story pages, you’ll want to select either a grid-lined or blank side of the provided story pages. While using your personal penmanship to record your stories can add a nice touch to your album, there’s nothing wrong with typing and printing it out, especially for longer recollections.
Each of your photo pages should feature as single photo and can be embellished with the selection of stickers included in the Stories I Love workshop kit. Your kit also includes nine 5½” x 6″ White Daisy cardstock pieces to provide a layered background for your photos. Your Stories I Love workshop gives examples of various patterns you can follow as you assemble your photo pages, although you’re free to come up with your own patterns as well! If you find that your stories require more than a single photo, one fun idea is to incorporate Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™ to add more pictures and additional context to your story.
The last step of a Stories I Love workshop is to assemble your entire album, putting together your story and photo pages in the provided Memory Protectors and assembling your closing page. Once you’ve completed your album, it’s time to share your stories!
A Stories I Love album is a great start for new memory keepers who are just starting to discover scrapbooking, or for more experienced veterans who want a storytelling refresher. No matter what your experience with scrapbooking and memory keeping is, the Stories I Love workshop kit as an excellent exercise to help you find your inner storyteller!
For even more crafting fun, we’re giving away three Story by Stacy™ Holiday Stories I Love kits to three lucky readers! To qualify as a potential winner, you must be subscribed to this blog and leave a comment below telling us about a story you’d love to document with Stories I Love by no later than 4 p.m. Thursday, August 5 (MDT) . (Winners will be contacted via email, so make sure your email address is up to date!)
We can’t wait to see all the amazing stories you have to share!
There are so many great stories that happen around the holidays that deserve to be written down, cherished, and shared. In November, we released a new workshop kit from the Story by Stacy™ line called Holiday Stories I Love. Using this new workshop kit, a few of our Home Office employees, including our beloved founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton, explored the memories behind photos they treasure most, documented them with detailed stories, and shared them with us below!
Dolls have always played such a significant part of my life. I love them for their beauty and their representation of many fond childhood memories.
My love of dolls began before I can even remember. I cherish this photo of me with my mother on my very first Christmas. Our lovely tree, and my mother and me dressed in our Sunday best. My mother always said she thought of me as her little doll. She loved to dress me up in beautiful clothes with all the little details, just so. She said I even looked like a little dolly with my porcelain skin, big blue eyes and pretty pink lips. She called me her doll and I loved it. It made me feel so special.
By my second Christmas, dolls were my happy place. I took dolls with me everywhere I went. I played with them, gave them each a name, and fussed with their clothes and hair to make them look oh-so pretty. On my third Christmas, I went to see Santa. My mother recalls that when I sat upon his lap, the only gift I requested was more dolls! Dolls were such a happy part of my childhood and even now, bring such a feeling of nostalgia of a time where life was carefree and magical.
As a mother myself, I call my children and grandchildren my little dolls, just like my mom called me. It is a term of endearment that has carried on because it shows such love for these special and beautiful people who fill my heart and home.
Even today as a grown woman, I still find joy in collecting dolls. I’ve created quite a compilation over the years of beautiful dolls, each representing something special. I have dolls of every ethnicity, hair style, period of history, etc. They bring me a sense of comfort and joy to see their splendor and exquisite detail. I hope to one day pass these cherished dolls down to my daughters and granddaughters, that they might know of my love for dolls, but more importantly, my love for them. — Jeanette
A tradition that goes back as long as I can remember is a Christmas nativity that we act out ourselves. I did this as a child with my own family. I’m so happy we have carried it on with my own children and now grandchildren. The year we took this particular photo was December 2018. We had just moved to Lindon and went to our local ward (church) Christmas party. We were about to leave but Ariana insisted we take this photo. Even though I was tired from working all day I did it for the family. I’m so grateful I did. It truly represents all the nativities we have done as a family with better costumes! Lol. We usually use towels, sheets, and toys. No matter how hard, crazy, busy Christmas seems to be, our homemade nativity always brings the true Christmas spirit into our home. We are a forever family because of our Savior. — Monica
I think I was 11 years old and in the 6th grade. We lived in Littleton, CO, and my dad had quit his job at Metropolitan State University a few months before. He had been asked to do some dishonest things and wasn’t willing to compromise his integrity. Money was very tight and even though I knew that, I still asked for a 10-speed bike.
My bedroom was in the basement, and so was my dad’s workshop. My parents told me that Christmas was going to be hidden in the workshop and asked me not to peek. I just couldn’t help myself. A week before Christmas I looked inside. I saw a very old, very beat up, white 10-speed bike.
I remember being so disappointed. My idea of a cool bike was a brand new bike in a pretty color with all the bells and whistles. I remember thinking, “I shouldn’t feel this way! I know Dad is out of work, money is really tight, and this is probably all he could afford.” I remember for the rest of the week leading up to Christmas feeling so guilty for peeking and trying to psych myself up to act grateful, surprised, and excited on Christmas.
Christmas morning came and into the living room we went. There, next to the tree, sat a brand new, bright yellow 10-speed bike. It had all the bells and whistles and it was just for me. I truly was surprised and so excited! It was not the bike I had seen when I peeked. It wasn’t until years later that I found out my dad had been so sad to give me an old bike that he asked around and found out about a police auction. He went and was able to find that new bike for an amount he felt he could pay.
Every time I think of that bike, even today, I get all choked up. It was so much more than a bike. It was a symbol of the lengths my dad was willing to go to make his little girl happy, and showed me just how much he loves me. — Karen
This photo was taken on Dec. 14, 2017. I have no idea who took it, or how this moment was captured, but I am so very glad it was. This photo represents a special tradition we have of getting a new Christmas book for our collection & reading by the tree before bedtime. The lights of the tree make it all the more magical.
The particular title isn’t a storyline I recall, but there is one Christmas book that has meant the most to this little boy. In 2012, the year he was born, President Thomas S. Monson’s book, “The Christmas Train,” was the one we added to our collection. As soon as Owen was old enough to understand it, it quickly became his favorite & we read it multiple times during the holiday season.
The story is about President Monson as a young boy, wanting desperately to have an electric train. I think the train topic definitely added to Owen’s infatuation with the book, yet I also know that the story itself has had an impact on him as well.
The story details the importance of sharing, & sometimes sacrificing, to see the joy it brings to others. Owen is one to pray each day for the homeless—that they can find food & shelter. He wants to donate to the Food Bank & worries about those he sees on the side of the road. He will often comment hours after passing someone, still thinking about their situation or what they might need. He has a very soft heart & a desire to love those less fortunate.
As much as we may try to instill these selfless traits in our children, I do firmly believe that Owen came to Earth this way. His special spirit is filled with compassion & caring. It is a gift especially given to him.
This photo will always be the perfect reminder to me that Owen embodies the characteristics of a prophet as a young boy—wanting so much for himself (Owen’s wish list is always exceptionally long!) yet, he acts on a stronger desire to give. —Jill
Each year a few weeks before Christmas my mom would use a staple gun to stick two long burlap banners to wood beams dividing the dining and living rooms in our home. Both of these were decorated with felt poinsettias and holly leaves hand-cut and hot-glued. To these we would pin the Christmas cards we received. I remember thinking as a teenager that they were looking a bit worn, but that I was ok with that. I liked Mom’s handmade holiday touches.
Geoff and I spend our first Christmases together in Chicago, and I was determined to make our little apartment homey. We purchased a pint sized artificial tree and I wanted ornaments, but other than the very breakable glass balls, these were expensive. I decided that I would clip coupons from the Sunday paper and that however much I saved on groceries I could purchase and paint at Michaels. Some were as much as .59 cents each, but the gingerbread men were only .29 cents. While Geoff studied every evening, I painted ornaments that have hung on our tree ever since.
By the time we built our current home—in 2006—I had fallen in love with bright, happy colors and with the help of fuzzy ball ornaments from IKEA, I created a bright and playful vision that included painted hat boxes and leather stockings in orange, pink, turquoise and green. The point of this story is that I LOVE to decorate for the holidays—just like my mom—with a mix of handmade and thoughtfully acquired things, and that while my style is very different, and a bit childish, it is magical and 100% me! — Stacy
All of our Story by Stacy™ products are intended to help recall and retell memories in a beautiful way, as you can see by our true-life examples, above. We wish you all a lovely holiday season, full of beautiful new memories for you to cherish, recall, and share for years to come!
As any avid scrapper knows, crafting can be a great way to learn more about yourself and embrace all the things that make you special. Sharing this opportunity for self-discovery with the kids in your life is a great way to show them how much you care about them, while also introducing them to the joys of paper crafting and scrapbooking!
We’re excited to announce a new series of virtual events, specifically geared toward a younger audience. Introducing…CTMH Kids Crafts! These special virtual events will be hosted by Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi’s nine-year-old daughter, Maya. Kids will love crafting along with Maya as she shows them how to create fun, personalized projects, just for them!
During our first CTMH Kids Crafts event, Maya will take kids through each step of creating the fun Born to Shine album! With an adorable 4″ x 4″ mini album from the Story by Stacy™ collection and some too-cute Picture My Life™ pocket cards from the Summer Vibes collection, the Born to Shine album is a perfect starting point for any kid to begin their crafting journey!
This first CTMH Kids Crafts event is taking place on August 21, starting at 4:30 p.m. (MDT). If you are planning to create along with Maya, you will need a Born to Shine album kit, which comes with one 4″ x 4″ mini album, one pack of Summer Vibes Picture My Life™ pocket cards, 4″ x 4″ sheets of white cardstock, the exclusive My Acrylix® Born to Shine stamp set, and a 2″ x 3½” ¼” stamping block. Apart from this handy kit, all that you or your kids will need to complete the project are a paper trimmer, an ink pad, some adhesive, and a journaling pen!
This project can be a great way to introduce kids to stamping and crafting, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to introduce them to the art of memory keeping, as they’ll get to select their own photos and decide what stories they want to tell.
The Born to Shine album is simple and fun to create, with some minimal cutting. Since paper trimmers or scissors will be involved, we recommend that any child who participates be supervised by an adult. (Each page in the Born to Shine album is made from trimmed down pocket cards and 4″ x 4″ cardstock.)
Every one of the layouts in this album your kiddos will make with Maya include fun, positive sentiments from the stamp set specially designed to celebrate their best qualities. At Close To My Heart, we want every kid to realize that they are special, and we’re so excited to help them embrace the things that make them great!
Just a few days ago, Maya and Monica went live on Facebook and they eagerly shared more about this brand-new series of events and the Born to Shine album. Take a look!
The CTMH Kids Crafts: Born to Shine virtual event is free to attend (watch), and as Maya says, this project is great for “every kind of kid!” Even if your kids aren’t little anymore, you can still share this event with grandkids, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, or any other kid in your life! To make things even more exciting, we’ll be doing some fun giveaways during the live event, with tons of opportunities to win! In order to be eligible to win any of these prizes, make sure to mark yourself as “GOING” on the Close To My Heart (Official) Facebook events page. We can’t wait for you and your kiddos to join us for our inaugural CTMH Kids Crafts event and the many more to come!
For avid crafters and beginners alike, creating fun and meaningful scrapbook layouts is the perfect way to spice up a slow day! With the Craft with Heart™ subscription program, get beautiful scrapbooking kits designed to make two coordinating 12″ x 12″ layouts delivered directly to your door! (Talk about happy mail!)
Each kit included in the Craft with Heart™ program is part of our Cut Above® line, which means that all the artwork is pre-designed, including pre-printed base pages and complementary die-cuts and stickers. All you need to bring to the crafting table is a journaling pen, your favorite adhesive, and, of course, your photos!
Cut Above® kits are a wonderful balance of ease and creativity. Each kit features two beautifully designed two-page layouts. While your pages come pre-designed, you still reap the joy and benefits of creating something yourself and that comes together in just minutes with an easy-to-follow instructional guide. If you’re just getting started as a scrapper, or would like to get started, Cut Above® layout kits are great place to begin! Even if you’re a more experienced memory keeper, these projects will keep your creativity flowing and maybe provide inspiration for your own designs!
Take a closer look at the layouts currently available for May–August:
The designs for the May layouts might look intricate and complicated, but since everything is pre-printed and cut for you, they’re a cinch to put together! The fun patterns and vibrant colors are a perfect way to compliment photos of your favorite moments and will be a treasured keepsake for years to come.
These kits are so easy to work with, they are a wonderful way to get your little ones excited about crafting and preserving memories. Help them pick out a few of their favorite photos and you’ll have the makings of a fun activity for the whole family! In a day and age where so many of our photos live on our phones or social media accounts, seeing a printed photo can be a real treat for a child, and a fun way to introduce them to memory keeping!
With their versatile design and color palettes, these July layouts offer a perfect spot for some fun summer photos! These layout designs are the ideal complement for anything from fun family night photos to snapshots of a day at the beach. Summer is coming and these layouts are here for it!
The layouts for August offer a simpler, more photo-focused approach to scrapbooking. However, they still showcase the polished designs and bright colors we love to see in a scrapbook.
There is a subscription option for everyone! You can choose to sign up for a monthly, 4-month, or 12-month subscription. The longer period of time you choose, the better deal you’ll get! With a 12-month subscription, you’ll receive four layout kits, every four months at a 20% discount, AND you’ll get FREE shipping! To see more details about each subscription option—monthly, 4-month, and 12-month—just click here.
Scrapbooking is more than just a hobby—it’s a way to preserve your legacy, memories, and personality. Each page you make is infused with your own creative identity and is a unique form of self-expression. From color selection, creative design choice, and the techniques you favor, your pages are a part of who you are. No matter your crafting preferences or experience level, your scrapbook pages are the perfect way to exercise your own creativity.
One way to really put your crafting prowess to use is to combine several different elements into a single layout.
One of the most striking elements displayed in this “Happy Days” 12″ x 12″ layout is the use of a large Cricut® shape as an overlay for an entire page. The sunburst effect on the left page was created by using a large sunbeam shape from the Cricut® Artbooking Collection with smaller pieces of cardstock and patterned papers behind it.
By using a large Cricut® shape as the primary element on this page, it was quick and easy to make it stand out. Finding new and innovative ways to use Cricut® shapes in your layouts is a great way to make your mark and create beautiful, unique pages. You can customize this type of background even more by stamping small patterns to peek through the overlay.
Another fun way to add to some distinction to your pages is to use die-cuts or hand-cut images to decorate your pages. Using these types of elements in your artwork allows you to exercise your creative freedom to a greater degree, as you can choose your own colors, how often they are used, etc.
Here, you can see how a simple die-cut and stamped sentiment create a beautifully simple accent that’s unique to this page.
One last way to set your layouts apart is to make your own pocket cards. Pocket cards are a great way to create a distinct, patchwork effect in your layouts, and making your own yields an even more striking result, like the page you see here.
By using small stamps, sequins, a few of the die-cut or hand-cut shapes we showed you earlier, or even a few small photos to craft your own pocket cards, you’ll be able to tailor the feel of your layout to be even more personal and unique. Just look at the striking effect this row of pink die-cut flowers adds to this custom pocket card!
These are just a few ideas you can incorporate into your own scrapbook pages, and we hope you’ve been able to draw some inspiration. Leave us a comment and share with us what unique scrapbooking ideas you are incorporating in your own projects!
Over the last few weeks the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reshaped many of our lives. A lot of us are working from home, our children are dismissed from school, shops and stores we customarily frequent are either closed or understocked, and even a lot of outdoor venues, such as parks and playgrounds, are also off limits. As a society, we have had to pull ourselves together and come up with creative ways to continue doing the things that need to get done and to live life.
At Close To My Heart, we are committed to helping the storyteller in you share and preserve all of your new and unique experiences. Late last month, we created and released the Let’s Stay Home stamp set, which reflects these strange and unparalleled times.
In the video below, you will see how some of our Home Office friends used the Let’s Stay Home stamp set to create engaging scrapbook pages reflecting how the lives of their families have been impacted by our current events.
As this “alone together” journey continues, we’ve designed two Let’s Stay Home coordinating SVG images that you can download FREE for use with your favorite design software. (An SVG image is resolution independent and infinitely scalable, meaning it will look clear and crisp at any size.) Click on the images below and save them for your own personal use.
Seamlessly cut these timely titles out of cardstock to use on a scrapbook page, as shown below, along with the Let’s Stay Home stamp set.
These titles, when paired with vinyl, also make great album covers, providing a beautiful place to collect all of the memories you are making right now.
Keep documenting how life has changed for you and yours. Collect news stories, memes, photos, and, most importantly, collect your own personal experiences and stories. We wish you all love, joy, happiness, and health, today and every day. ❤️
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