I love this holiday season! It is such a special time of year, when people all over the world join together in celebrating Christmas. For me, the most joyful part of Christmas is celebrating my Savior’s birth. That is what fills my soul with rejoicing at this time of year. His is the spirit that fuels all of the good will, festivities, and cheer that abound as part of the tradition of Christmas. Whether your celebrations include goodies, presents, carols, greeting cards, lights, trees, elves, stockings, wreaths, parties, mistletoe, volunteering, sweaters, shopping, gingerbread, or any other of a long list of things that have come to be traditional parts of Christmas, it is having Jesus at the heart of the season that adds so much joy to all the rest of it.
And of course, the joy of the season is magnified when we can share it with people that we love. Time spent with family and friends is truly a special part of any holiday celebration. I feel richly blessed to be able to celebrate Christmas with my cherished family members, and I am honored to be associated with you: the wonderful people that make up our Close To My Heart community. I am grateful to all of you and send you my sincerest wishes for a joyful Christmas this year.
It’s time to celebrate, because National Stamping Month is officially underway! Around here, September is all about stamping! The art of stamping is one that is extremely close to our hearts. (Yes, pun INTENDED!) When Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton first started this business under the name D.O.T.S. (Dozens of Terrific Stamps), the entire business was based on this wonderful art form. A lot has changed over the years; we’ve expanded our stamp offering, pioneered the use of transparent stamps and clear, interchangeable stamping blocks, and diversified our interests to include materials for memory keeping, cardmaking, and papercrafting projects. While we have become known as one of the premier providers of top-quality papers, cardstock, and embellishments, stamps will always be at the center of what we do. To this day, we continue to innovate and push the boundaries of stamping, whether it be in memory keeping, cardmaking, or papercrafting projects, while also building a strong presence within the worldwide crafting community.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder that National Stamping Month is one our favorite months and reasons to celebrate over the course of each year. To help us get into the stamping festivities, we have designed a brand-new selection of stamps and stamping-related projects, allowing everyone from our long-time crafting buddies to our newest friends the option to celebrate this amazing artistic medium and create along with us! You are going to love what we have to show you today, as we take you on a journey through this year’s National Stamping Month exclusive offer, Card Creativity. Let’s dive straight in!
Card Creativity is all about expressing your artistic vision through the cardmaking medium, which allows you to more readily share your creations with friends and family! With this central purpose at the heart of Card Creativity, we’ve created three stamp sets with coordinating Thin Cuts metal dies and stencils, and one set made up entirely of sentiments for the interior of your cards.
Each stamp set has its own unique feel and can be incorporated into countless designs for maximum creative output, and with so many interior sentiments to choose from, your cards are always sure to be a delight, not only for the recipients, but for you as you make them, as well!
Today, we’ll be focusing on the ins and outs of six particular designs, pictured below; all of these cards can be created by following the instructions in the Card Creativity Cardmaking Workshop Kit. (To download these instructions, click here! For our friends in Australia and New Zealand, click here!)
A hallmark of the Card Creativity cardmaking experience is the inclusion of coordinating background stencils, a method which can be seen in all six of the cards we’ll look at today. As crafters familiar with Close To My Heart will know, many of our stamp sets come with coordinating Thin Cuts metal dies, designed to cut die-cuts from plain paper that can then accommodate a stamped image from its coordinating set. Incorporating Thin Cuts into your stamp-based crafts can be a great way to bring additional dimension into your project. For Card Creativity, we’ve created three coordinating stamps and Thin Cuts, but we’ve also designed special stencils to layer in with the stamps and Thin Cuts. As you will see later on, these stencils can be used to create background patterns or to add color to accent elements more at the forefront.
Another standout feature of this cardmaking extravaganza is the inclusion of the Cloud, Stitched Swirl, and Circle Lattice Background Thin Cuts metal dies. These metal dies are each designed to fit a standard 4¼” x 5½” card, and they are a great way to create engaging backgrounds, card bases, or decorative overlays. These die-cuts are designed specifically to coordinate with our Card Creativity stamps, Thin Cuts, and stencils—to achieve some pretty impressive effects!—but they can be used as standalone Thin Cuts in a variety of other projects. The only limit is your imagination! Each one of these metal dies has been used to create the cards we’ll be looking at today, and we can’t wait to show them off!
The first two cards we’ll examine today are an adorable and light-hearted pair of birthday and greeting cards. Both cards were made using the Floating By Stamp + Thin Cuts + Stencil set (CC9225) and are a delightful blend of whimsy and good old-fashioned animal cuteness. (After all, what’s cuter than animals and colorful balloons? 🥰)
In our sweet little mouse birthday card, you can see the Cloud Background Thin Cuts (CC9228) used to great effect; not only has the main component of the metal die been used to create a simple, yet beautiful base, but the interior shapes from the initial cut have been incorporated as well. This inclusion gives the card an additional level of dimension befitting an expansive, cloudy sky for our mouse to float in. The mouse and its balloons top everything off, along with a hand-trimmed pennant for our sentiment, and a few Clear Sparkles!
For our “Floating By to Say Hi” greeting card, we begin to see how the stencils and Thin Cuts can work together for seamless coordination and application. Rather than using the Cloud Background Thin Cuts die as a base, we used the cloud stencil, Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide™ ink, and a sponge to apply light blue clouds to a plain white cardstock base. Over that, we layered a few of the interior cloud cut-outs, some strategically ripped cardstock, and of course, our animal friend and balloon! (For a fun twist, we stamped our sentiment on the balloon die-cut itself!) We’ve also added a few Clear Sparkles for a fun bit of shine, and with that, our “Floating By to Say Hi” greeting card is complete!
The “Hello Fabulous” motivational card showcases the use of not one pass with the stencil, but two! To create our multi-colored base, we sponged one color of ink with the stencil on one side, then flipped the stencil around and sponged a different color of ink onto the card base, perpendicular to the first round of color! This technique allows you to enjoy the dual-color effect while also enjoying the convenience of only needing one tool! (Just make sure to wipe the stencil off before going in for your second round of color to avoid smudging your card!)
After applying our stenciled colors to the card base, we cut an overlay piece using the Circle Lattice Background Thin Cuts metal die, and then sponged it with coordinating colors to match the stencil work we did on the card base. Once our colors were applied, we finished this card off with our stamped, die-cut sentiment, a few pieces of black and white cardstock to accent it, and a handful of our trusty clear sparkles for some subtle shine. When it all comes together, this vibrant card is a beautiful way to not only express and exercise your creativity, but is a great way to show someone special that you care!
Our other Hello Fabulous card doesn’t incorporate our background stencil, but does sport some pretty snazzy colors with blended Distress Oxide™ ink on the Circle Lattice Background die-cut piece. We love adding all sorts of bright coloring with Distress Oxide, and it’s always a treat to see what can be done with it!
With our “Thank You” card, we’ve gone for a more minimalistic approach when it comes to the base design, selecting a clean White Daisy base. To give it some extra pop, we’ve taken the Stitched Swirl Background Thin Cuts and used it to cut the distinctive stitched swirl patterns into our base. Once the base is in place, we added a 3¼” x 4″ piece of black cardstock, topped with an additional 3″ x 3¾” White Daisy piece, which has also been treated with the Stitched Swirl Background Thin Cuts die. This die is a great tool for adding subtle pattern and texture that contributes visual interest to your background without becoming too distracting. Once the base has been created, we get to the more involved, colorful parts of this creation process!
To add hues to our stamped die-cut flower patch, we went in with Blue Turquoise and Alpine Green TriBlend™ Markers and used the trio of shades in each to add some delicate color. However, it’s in our dragonfly’s wings where we really get into some coloring fun! For this elegant insect, we used our coordinating Dragonfly Wishes stencil to add color to the wings sections. This delicate blend of colors not only makes the dragonfly stand out but brings a more realistic touch to the overall aesthetic of the card. With the addition of our sentiment and a neat row of sparkles, this gorgeous dragonfly “Thank You” card is complete!
Our last piece we have to show you today is a fun dragonfly birthday card, complete with another stitched swirl background and a fun twist on the blended Distress Oxide™ ink blending techniques we’ve showcased in a few of our previous cards. Our “Wishing You a Wonderful Birthday” card starts off by running our base piece through our Die-cutting & Embossing Machine with the Stitched Swirl Background Thin Cuts. Next, we applied a pink and blue ink blend, adding a few water splatters for a watercolor effect.
Once the ink colors have been applied to our card base, we layered a small stamped image of cattails, matted with black cardstock, over the colored section and also popped our sentiment onto the card base, trimmed to a pennant shape for some additional flair. We’ve topped everything off with a pair of beautiful, iridescent dragonflies with delicately colored wings. Once again, we’ve used Distress Oxide™ ink pads and the Dragonfly Wishes stencil to achieve this appearance, and added a few Clear Sparkles to finish the look. (It’s amazing to see what a difference even a small embellishment can make!)
With so much crafting potential packed in, Card Creativity is the ultimate cardmaking experience and a great way to express your own love for stamping! We’ve loved showing you these incredible cards to give you an idea of the artwork that can be made with this amazing collection of products, and we’re looking forward to seeing all the awesome things you create with it, both for Card Creativity and beyond!
There are so many new and exciting things happening around these parts! For starters, we launched our new Core Products Catalog just a couple of weeks ago, in which you will find SIX new paper collections, including the festive Celebrating You!
As soon as this collection was available, we knew we had to “party” with it, and that means getting crafty and creating scrapbook pages and cards! We designed both a scrapbooking workshop and a cardmaking workshop featuring these beautiful paper designs paired with a variety of coordinating products from the new Core Products Catalog, including unique, stand-alone stamp sets and Thin Cuts dies.
Download the guide, here! (Here if you’re in AU/NZ🙂)
Workshop kits to support these projects are available through September 30 through our Workshop Wow—Celebrating You special, offering a great opportunity to try out this pull-tab technique as well as the Square Patterns Thin Cuts in some truly remarkable artwork.
Don’t delay, join the party today and Celebrate You!!
Can you believe that we are already halfway through March? That means that there’s still another half left, and we plan on wrapping it up in Close To My Heart style with a celebratory giveaway!
What are we celebrating? (Do we have to have a reason? 😉) One of our most dear relations has a birthday coming up in the next couple of weeks, and this simply cannot go without notice! We are talking of none other than the heart of Close To My Heart, Founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton!
Please join us in celebrating this inspiring pillar of our creative community by leaving her a birthday message in our comments, below. Jeanette loves this company and all of us who comprise it with all of her heart! If you’re one of our readers who’s been fortunate enough to meet her, you know that this is true. ❤️
To get the party started, we are giving away the Cake Day stamp and Thin Cuts sets! Not only are these two sets ideal for a variety of artwork projects celebrating birthdays and other occasions, but they both feature a variety of fun, stacking images that are easy to achieve and customize thanks to the versatility of stamping!
CAKE DAY—CARDMAKING STAMP + THIN CUTS
CAKE DAY—SCRAPBOOKING STAMP + THIN CUTS
Let’s take a closer look at how some of the different layers of this stamp set build on each other. For the presents, you have three different shapes to choose from, and you can add details to each of them with bows, wrapping paper designs, or both!
This little triangle is especially versatile because you can mix and match the different stripe patterns with each other, or stamp either stripe pattern on a solid stamped triangle to create a variety of colorful pennants for a banner.
Turn a pennant upside down and stamp one of the two included accents on top and you have a party hat!
We are giving away a total of five stamp + Thin Cuts sets, winners’ choice! If you’re one of our winners, let us know which set you prefer, the Cake Day—Cardmaking or Cake Day—Scrapbooking stamp + Thin Cuts!
To qualify for the drawing, it’s the easy two-step entry it always is. First, make sure you are subscribed! (So many leave comments and are not subscribed—we look!) If you are not subscribed, simply click on the blue “Subscribe to list” button found on the sidebar, if you’re on a computer, or at the very bottom of this post, if you’re on a phone or tablet. Second, and this is a must and just as important, if not more so, leave a birthday message for Jeanette in our comments section below. That’s it! All entries must be submitted by 5 pm, March 28, MDT (that’s 10:00 am 29 March, AEDT for our Aussie friends.) Winners will be notified via the e-mail address connected to their subscriptions.
Be sure to also check out Facebook and Instagram feeds for even MORE Cake Day giveaway opportunities that we will be running there in honor of Jeanette’s birthday month!
All of you that are part of our crafting community, you mean so much to us and especially to Jeanette. We are grateful for the years of friendship we’ve all shared and the many years of friendship to come. We love celebrating our relationship every opportunity we get! Today, please join us in celebrating Jeanette and leave her a birthday message below! Happy birthday Jeanette!!
When March rolls around, it’s party time at Close To My Heart! Not only is it our Founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton’s birthday month, it’s also a time to celebrate all the things you love about crafting! Today, we’ll be taking you on a step-by-step journey through the process of creating an adorable celebratory card and a handful of festive badge decorations to help you get into party mode!
If the artwork we’re showing off today looks familiar, that’s because it is featured on the cover of our new March–April catalog, which we just released! This artwork is geared toward a birthday celebration, but you can easily switch out sentiments and embellishments to suit a variety of occasions. We’ll be looking at two party crafting essentials: cards and décor!
When creating a birthday card, a standout design is key for creating a fun and memorable card! For this Happy Birthday Cake card, we used papers and coordinating colors from the new Cake Day collection.
A prominent feature of this design is the diagonal slit through the center of the card. This slit is only 1/8″ wide, but it makes a big impression! To achieve this look, you’ll want to first apply any detailing to the top piece of paper, like we’ve done with the stamped details and colorful splatters shown here. Then, you cut the piece diagonally from the top-left to the bottom-right corner.
Once the cut has been made, take each piece of paper, and along the cut line you just made, slice off half the width of the slit. Because we created this card with a 1/8″ slit, we cut off 1/16″ from each individual piece after the initial diagonal cut has been made. If the thought of cutting a 1/16″ strip makes you break into a sweat, consider recreating this look using a wider slit in the middle.
The thing that makes the slit work is choosing a fun paper to peek through it! For our card, we used Wild Berry Glitter paper and cut it to not only peep through the slit but also to provide a nice border around the top piece.
For the décor part of our art feature today, we’ll be going through the creation process for a selection of party badges that are sure to be a hit anywhere! For these badges, we’ve provided a downloadable Cricut Design Space™ file, which uses some basic element shapes to construct a few of these badges.
These badges feature patterned papers from the Cake Day paper collection as well as some of the coordinating cardstock colors. You can easily customize these badges by choosing a paper collection or cardstock colors that fit the theme of whatever you are celebrating. Cardstock is a great option for this kind of project because of how versatile it makes the final piece—and now is a great time to stock up on cardstock because our exclusive cardstock is on sale all month long during our Cardstock Carnival! Talk about reasons to celebrate!
You’ll need to attach a scoring tool to your machine to achieve the final, pleated look for the badge bases. Once you’ve cut all the pieces, gently remove them from your Cricut® mat to avoid tearing, and fold accordion-style along the scored lines. Create the badge shape by compressing the piece, holding the center section, and gathering the accordion fold into a circle shape. Secure the center of the circle and both ends with adhesive.
Once you’ve secured the ends and center of your badge base, you can attach any other embellishment pieces, like the dovetailed ribbon pieces on the “Party” and “Cake Time”, sentiments or stickers. You can even stack smaller pleated badge pieces on larger ones, like you see on the “Cake Time” and Wild Berry bow badges. Because these badges require relatively few process steps, it’s easy to cut and construct several at once, making them a project that not only is fun and simple to create, but is sure to wow wherever it’s used!
Don’t have a Cricut® machine? No problem! These badges can also be made by hand by using a hand-held scoring tool. (In fact, four of the seven badges shown below were created using this method!)
To create badges by hand, cut a piece of paper with a width of half the desired diameter of your finished badges (e.g. For a 2″ finished badge, trim paper to a width of 1″). Once you’ve cut your paper to the desired width, you can either use a scoring attachment with a paper cutter, or you can use a papercrafting tool and a ruler to create your own score lines by hand. We’ve created our score lines 1/4″ apart, but you can use different measurements for larger or smaller pleats.
From there, you simply fold your paper accordion-style along the scored lines, compress the piece, holding the center section, gather the accordion fold into a circle shape, and secure the center of the circle and both ends with adhesive. Once you’ve constructed your badge, add a few embellishments, and you’re left with a beautiful, handmade decor piece!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this artwork showcase featuring some of our newest items from the new March–April catalog. Click here to view the catalog and all the exciting new products available through March and April. Happy March, and happy crafting!
For many of us, the meaning of Thanksgiving includes a large feast with friends and family, an extended weekend, probably some football, and quite possibly a last look at “normal” life before Christmas decorations cover every nook and cranny of the world. This wonderfully busy holiday is, somehow, already here—just one week away! As hostesses of the festivities, it is our job to make sure that people are fed, happy, and generally having a good time. Doing all of these things while keeping everyone mindful of what they have to be grateful for is no easy feat. And then, because we are also the family historians, or memory keepers, we will want to scrapbook the whole experience afterward.
Since we can’t come over to each of your homes to assist in meal preparation (or the aftermath!), we came up with a printable to help with the gratitude portion of the holiday.
As your guests arrive, or whenever it naturally fits during your celebrations, ask each of them to fill out one of these cards. During a designated time, a lot of people like doing this sort of thing before dinner, have everyone share their thoughts. Make sure to keep the cards so that later you can use them to scrapbook about your evening.
Another fun way to use these printables is within your own family. Have each family member complete one of the cards and then create a banner to display in your home as a reminder of all the wonderful things you have to be grateful for.
Even though Thanksgiving is right around the corner, it is not too late to add some personal touches to your plans! For additional free Thanksgiving printables, including conversation starters and thank you cards, make sure to revisit our post from a couple of years ago, here.
What are some ways that you keep the spirit of gratitude during Thanksgiving? Let’s help each other out—the more ideas we share the better! 🙂
There’s no better way to enjoy your favorite TV shows than by throwing a watch party with your family and friends! It might be a Super Bowl party, a girl’s night to watch the Oscars, or a get-together for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Whatever you’re getting together to watch, the point is you are getting together, having fun, and making memories—which you should definitely include in your memory keeping!
Sometimes our watch parties become a family tradition, like the one featured in this layout. Include photos of the people that were there, but don’t forget to also add shots of the snacks, decorations, and any other happenings that mark the event. The sights, sounds, and tastes are all part of the experience and make those memories special. These pages use our All-Star Complements with Basics Fundamental and the Stargazer paper packets, creating a simple layout highlighting a family Super Bowl party worth remembering.
Sometimes, watch parties include activities before or after the actual watching. These may seem like everyday events to you, but in the long run these moments are what life is all about. The little every day things we do that make us, and celebrate, who we are. In the page above, we share some inspiration for the upcoming winter games. Stargazer Dots and All-Star Complements pair perfectly for whatever team you’ll be rooting for during the next few weeks.
As you prepare to throw your own watch parties, check out this video, where our very own Jill Broadbent shares theme party ideas for tomorrow’s Opening Ceremonies. Complete with décor, food, and crafts, all you need to do is take a quick trip to the grocery store and get out your favorite Close To My Heart paper and cardstock.
Preserving what matters most includes the traditions we create with friends and family. With the Oscars in a few short weeks and a royal wedding in May, there are plenty of memory making watch party opportunities heading our way!
How do you celebrate these, and other, TV milestones? Share with us, in the comments below!
We’ve got an extra special treat for you today! We’ve paired up with Sunny Hintze, owner of Sunny Days Cakes and winner of Food Network’s “Cake Wars,” to bring you some inspiration for throwing a unicorn-themed birthday party!
Unicorn birthday cakes are all the rage right now, and we currently have a unicorn-themed paper collection called Little Dreamer…so it was a match made in heaven! 🙂
Sunny took inspiration from our Little Dreamer collection to create her incredible cake: The colors match our Little Dreamer color palette, the multi-colored horn looks just like the horns on our little unicorns, and she even created edible pieces that look like our Complements! See the little banners and glitter hearts and flowers? It’s amazing!
And if you think this cake looks magical, let us tell you, it tasted magical, too! An amazing cake is absolutely essential for any birthday party, and Sunny hit this one out of the park!
What’s another party essential? Great decorations, of course! To mix up your banner game, try layering a circle banner above a pennant banner, like we did here. This works especially well when you have a large blank wall to decorate.
Another party tip is to give your young guests something to play with that ties into the theme of the party, like these magical wands. Simply cut stars out of white glitter paper using your Cricut® machine, and then hot glue them onto long sucker sticks with some ribbons. The soft colors from our Whimsy ribbon pack make a great match for the Little Dreamer collection.
An easy way to add some accents to your party set-up is to frame our pocket cards. The Little Dreamer paper packet comes with two sheets of 3” x 4” and 4” x 6” pocket cards that you can cut apart for pocket scrapbooking. Framing a few of these cards is an easy way to add cute accents to your table, and they already perfectly match your other party décor—it’s a win-win!
Whatever goodies you choose to make available, try adding cute little tags to your jars and containers. You can label them if you have multiple foods for guests to choose from, and really, tags just make everything a bit more magical! 😊
And as one last final tip, spice up plain paper treat baggies with some patterned paper and matching Complements and gems! To make your baggies look especially polished, attach zip strips to the tops of the baggies.
What other tips do you have for throwing a stellar birthday party? Tell us in the comments below!
Sunny Hintze is located in Eagle Mountain, Utah. She is also going to launch a line of unicorn cake kits soon—how awesome is that? For more information about Sunny Days Cakes and her unicorn cake kits, visit her Facebook page.
These printables are generic enough to use year-round, but they’re also really fun for your Thanksgiving dinner.
You can see a fun way to use the conversation starters in the paper pumpkin above. To create the pumpkin itself, we cut 12 pumpkin shapes from our Cricut® Artistry collection, folded them in half, and attached them together to create an accordion effect. Then we looped some Fern ribbon together, tied it together with Fern twine, and attached it to the top with glue.
We also have this dinner party thank you card. Again, it’s generic enough to use for any formal dinner party, but it adds a beautiful, personal touch to your Thanksgiving place settings.
We hope these printables make your Thanksgiving one to remember! Click on the links below to download and print these free printables!