10 Simple Composition Rules to Take Better Photos

Photo Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping

Do you want to be a better memory keeper but  struggle with taking “good” photos? If your answer is yes, then today’s message is for you! Photography is both an art form and a skill. As a form of self-expression, sometimes we’re not quite sure how to express what we really want to—at least not in a pretty way. Luckily, the skill part of capturing a great photo can be taught! Today we are reviewing a few basic rules of photography composition so that you can capture all of those picture-perfect moments life throws your way in photos you will be proud to scrapbook!

1. The Rule of ThirdsPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ruleofthirdsPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ruleofthirds

The Rule of Thirds is a fairly standard rule most photographers try to follow. Imagine that your shot has a 3 x 3 grid over it, then line up the main focus of your photograph at one of the intersection points on the grid. In these photos, the photographer has applied the Rule of Thirds by placing the cat’s nose and the people’s heads in the right-middle square of this imaginary grid. This way, the main focus of the photo isn’t dead center in the middle of the shot, which helps to visually expand the space.

2. Leading LinesPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #leadinglinesPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #leadinglines2

When you line up your shot, you may want to look for a leading line. Leading lines are visual lines that lead to the main subject of an image. Leading lines can extend through your photo and create depth. In these examples, you can see how the photographer used the pathway and trail to direct attention from the edges of the photographs to their main subject.

3. Natural FramingPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #naturalframingPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ruleofthirds

Framing doesn’t have to be something that happens only after your pictures have been developed or printed. Finding a natural frame and positioning your subject inside it is a great way to draw the shot together and add a more professional feel to your photography. Here, you can see how the woman’s hands and the wall provide a frame for the most important parts of the photos.

4. PerspectivePhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #perspectivePhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #perspective

Photography is largely about perspective. Slight changes in perspective can make or break a photo. If you aren’t happy with the way your photo is looking, try switching up your position to alter the perspective of the shot. Whether you shoot your photo from above or below, as you can see in these examples, switching up your angle to get a different perspective can help you take your photography to all new heights.

5. ExposurePhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #exposurePhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #exposure

Exposure is a vital part of any photograph. If a photo is over-exposed, everything will be washed out in bright light, making the subject nearly invisible. On the other hand, if a photo is under-exposed, everything in your shot will appear shadowy and dark. By finding a good balance, you can highlight your subject while preserving the beauty of your background. For this tip, we’ve provided an example of bad exposure with excess light to show you what you don’t want to happen. We’ve also provided a good example with a balance of light and shadow. Finding this balance may take some practice, but it’s definitely worth it to add greater polish to your photos.

6. Check Your Background!Photo Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #backgroundPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #background

From telephone poles, wires, and cars, to animals, and stealthy photobombers, nothing is more distracting than something you don’t want in the background of your photo. Since many cameras nowadays allow us to look back at our shots instantly, it’s easier than ever to deal with this, but it’s always a good idea to double and triple-check the background of each photo to make sure you haven’t accidentally captured a distraction.

7. Symmetry and PatternsPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #symmetry #patternsPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #symmetry #patterns

Most people have a thing for symmetry and patterns. Sometimes, we can’t quite put our finger on why we prefer certain photos to others, but chances are, symmetry and patterns (or the lack thereof) have something to do with it. Even if we aren’t aware of it consciously, we still notice. If you’re able to find a pattern or some beautiful symmetry in your shot, take advantage of it! In these shots, the photographer utilized the symmetry in the architecture of the cathedral and the natural pattern created by the flowering trees to appeal to that sub-conscious love of regularity we all share.

8. ForegroundPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #foregroundPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #foreground

When you have a clear subject in your photograph, it may seem counterintuitive to focus on anything but that subject in your photo. However, if you are able to create some interest in the foreground of your shot, you’ll be able to create the illusion of additional depth. In these examples, the cup of coffee and the look-out binoculars serve as additional interest points, which also create depth in both photos.

9. TrianglesPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #trianglesPhoto Composition #ctmh #closetomyheart #photography #photos #photocomposition #camera #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #triangles

This “rule” is related to the patterns and symmetry guideline. If you look closely, you can find triangles in nearly everything you see. If you can integrate triangles into the background, foreground, or leading lines of your photo, it will instantly enhance the quality of your photo. These triangles don’t necessarily need to be overt or obvious. Basically, you just need to be able to draw a triangle using points in the photograph. Whether the triangles are created by an architectural element or by people’s arms, they will add greatly to the aesthetic value of your photos.

10. Rules Are Made to Be Broken!

Once you have a good grasp of the first nine photography rules we just shared, you will be ready to explore your creativity and learn when and how to break them. If you want to achieve an effect that follows one rule while breaking another, go for it! Don’t be afraid to branch out and experiment on your own terms to find your niche.

Do you guys have any tricks or techniques that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!

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Using a 12″ x 12″ Photo in Your Scrapbook

Using 12

We’re so glad you’re stopping by, today, because we’re putting a spin on the classic scrapbook page and you don’t want to miss it!

The idea is simple, yet ingenious! Rather than using paper as a base for all of your album pages, try mixing it up every once in a while, and use a photo! That’s right—a large, 12″ x 12″ photo!

Using 12

Getting one of these pages done could be is as easy as attaching a few complements and some journaling strips. Choose a photo that can be cropped to a square, if it isn’t already, and that has some open space for a few additions. The key is to use embellishments to support the story behind your photo, not to cover it up. Enhance your photo pages with Complements, titles, and accessories in colors and motifs already in your photos.

Using 12

For this, “On The Slopes,” page, we used our Cricut® machine to create the color coordinating title and several unique snowflakes. We even heat embossed a few additional snowflakes right on the photo! (To avoid damaging your photo if you’re heat embossing, remember to apply heat intermittently as you’re setting the image.) And if heat embossing is possible, then you can be certain that stamping with our Exclusive Inks™ on a photo is, too! “Just Chillin’” was stamped with our non-smearing and fast-drying Intense Black ink, just above the journaling. Whether you’re planning on heat embossing or stamping on your photos, a photo with a matte finish is your safest bet to get the best results. Even though a glossy photo could also work, the matte finish allows the ink to set easier, without possible sliding or pooling before it dries.

The last idea we want to talk about is journaling. Every good scrapbook page includes at least some journaling—from small details of who, what, where, and when, to a full and lengthy narrative of the events surrounding the image(s) on the page, and everything in between. These 12″ x 12″ photo-based scrapbook pages are no exception!

Using 12

You’ll notice that on our “Happy Day” page we used strips of paper for the journaling. You can do this typed, like in our example, or in your own handwriting. If you are hand writing your journaling, we suggest writing everything out first, then cutting it up into strips, and adhering your strips to the photo page last. (We all have to practice, sometimes! 🙂 )

Using 12

In our second example we have the words typed on the photo. There are several ways to accomplish this look. The easiest way is to add the type right in the photo with a photo editing program, like Photoshop®, before you print it. If you do not have a photo editing program but do have access to a printer with the capacity to print 12″ x 12″, you could create a file on a word processor program, like Microsoft® Word, and then print your journaling right onto your photo. Another option, if you don’t have a large-format printer, is to ask whomever prints your photos to add the type for you.

For those of you not sure where to print a photo this size, our friends at Persnickety Prints can help! Not only will they provide you with a high-quality photo, they are ready to do so at a discount, now and through the end of the month! Use the code CTMH2 when checking out and get 20% off your 12″ x 12″ prints (matte or gloss). (Visit Persnickety Prints, here.)

If you haven’t done so already, give this type of scrapbook page a try! And if you have, we’d love to hear what you’ve done! Please share what has and hasn’t worked for you with all of us in the comments, below.


Recipes:

12″ x 12″ Happy Day Page
X7240B Something Fierce Paper Packet, X7242B I Heart Us Paper Packet, X5990 Carolina Cardstock, X6021 Sapphire Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X7242E Picture My Life™ Cards—I Heart Us, X7240C Something Fierce Complements, X7242C I Heart Us Complements, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins, Z4305 Thin Cuts—Fancy Tags, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3326 Tombow® Permanent Adhesive, Z3502 Cricut® Flower Market Digital Collection

Cricut Shape:
Flower Market
1¾” shift + title <Daffodil> (p. 44, #MD72936)

12″ x 12″ On The Slopes Page
C1764 My Acrylix® Got Snow? Stamp Set, X5993 Sage Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z4304 Loose Sequins—Silver, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim, Z4248 Ranger™ Silver Tinsel Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3326 Tombow® Permanent Adhesive, Z3502 Cricut® You Are Here Digital Collection

Cricut Shapes:
You Are Here
¾”, 1¼” shift + Icon-5 <V> (p. 34, #M27F834A)
1½”, 2″, 2¼” Icon-5 <v> (p. 34, #M27F834A)
2½” Title <v> (p. 34, #M27F810E)
2½” shift + title <V> (p. 34, #M27F810E)

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10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone

Today’s post is an extra special treat! We’ve asked the talented Chari Pack, founder & CEO of Persnickety Prints, to share with you some tips for taking better photos on your phone. Whether you’re promoting your Close To My Heart business, taking photos for your scrapbooking, or just posting to social media, these tips are sure to take your phone photography to the next level!
10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tips

The way you present yourself, your artwork, and the products you offer has a huge impact on your business. Online sales will increase with improved product images.

Here’s how to get the best shot every time…

1. Natural Light (no flash)

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsWhen shooting with flash, the subject can be blown out and shadows disappear. With product shots, a soft shadow adds depth. Keep your flash off and set products under a window using natural light.

2. Focus (tap screen)

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsOn iPhones (and some Androids), tap the screen to focus on the subject. With the new iPhone 7S, use the portrait mode to blur out the background. With a short focal length, you’ll get that fancy dSLR camera result without the fancy camera.

3. Hold Steady & Level

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tips“Camera shake” can cause your photo to be blurry. Use steady hands or prop up your phone and use the self-timer for best results.

4. Staging (simple & clean)

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsInvest in a white poster board—it’s the perfect solution for a DIY backdrop! Wrapping paper or other fun colors can be added for dimension. Be sure your CTMH projects, cards, and layouts stand out. “Busy” photos tend to get lost in the crowd.

5. Get up close and personal!

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsDon’t be afraid to get up close to show details of the project. Shoot from different angles to focus on specific elements.

6. Pay attention to shadows

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsBe sure the shadow of your hand or camera is not in the frame. When shooting scrapbooking layouts, take the pages or photos out of the Memory Protectors™ and set the pages or photos on top. Your reader won’t notice they’re not inside, but they’ll notice the plastic glare when they are.

7. Use negative space to add text

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsUse the rule of thirds and push the subject to one side, leaving empty space to add a text overlay. We love using Rhonna Designs (iPhone and Android) and Adobe Post (iPhone and Desktop) to add text or a message to your photos.

8. Scale size with objects or pretty hands

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tips

Use objects to show the actual size of your product so the viewer isn’t misled. Well manicured hands holding a product works, too!

9. Keep your phone/camera level

When shooting from above your product, be sure your camera is flat and level. Use the Snapseed App (free on iTunes and Android)  to adjust horizons if needed.

10. Take 1 minute to Edit & Enhance before sharing

Even a quick click of the enhance button in your native camera will give your photo just enough pop! We love Snapseed (free on iTunes and Android) for enhancements.

The Rhonna Designs App is not only great for text overlays: We also use it to journal and design prints for our scrapbooks!

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tips

We can’t wait to see you put these tools into action! Additional photo tips and tricks can be found on the Persnickety Prints blog.

XOXO,

Chari

Thanks, Chari, for the great tips! Let’s show her some love in the comments, folks! 

Also, remember that Persnickety Prints created a discount code for you, our readers! Aren’t they the best? 🙂 Use this discount code to save 20% on your entire Persnickety Prints order: CTMH20

This code expires August 30, cannot be combined with other discount codes, and is limited to one use per customer. 

Now go print those fabulous photos on your phone! 🙂

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How to Organize Years of Photos without Getting Overwhelmed

How to organize years of photos without getting overwhelmed #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #photos #organize #digital #persnicketyprints #organization

When it comes to scrapbooking, one of the biggest hold-ups for people is feeling overwhelmed with organizing their photos. If you have years of photos piled up on your computer or photos spread between multiple devices, it can be easy to put off preserving your memories. The longer you wait to organize your photos, the more overwhelming it will become—so now is the time to start!

Because we believe in the importance of memory keeping, we want to help make the task easier, so today we’re going to walk you step-by-step through how to efficiently organize your digital photos for scrapbooking. It’s a process that may take some time, but which will be well worth it when your memories are all in order!

To give you an added incentive for getting started, we’ve teamed up with Persnickety Prints to get you a discount code for printing your photos so you can catch up AND save money! Continue reading for more details. 🙂

Step One: Consolidate Your Digital Photos

Upload all of your digital photos to one location on your computer. We recommend using a photo managing system, like Google Photos or iPhotos, to easily transfer photos from your phone onto your computer. If you haven’t transferred them already, go through the photos on your phone, your camera, and upload them all to this one location.

Step Two: Eliminate Unwanted Photos

Once you have all of your photos in one place, go through and eliminate any that aren’t worth keeping: repeats, photos with a blurry finger covering half the lens, photos of your to-do lists, etc.

Tip: Moving forward, make it a habit to do a Daily Delete—every day, go through the photos on your phone (or camera if you took pictures on it that day) and delete any of these types of photos. It will take you two seconds and save you tons of time down the road. You’ll be able to skip step two entirely in the future!

Another tip: Use the time traveling home from a vacation to do your deleting. That way when you get home, you’ll have already eliminated all the photos from your trip you don’t want to keep. Plus, it’s a fun way to relive those memories again while you’re heading home.

Step Three: Organize Your Digital Photos

In your photo managing system, create folders for each month and year. Then place the corresponding photos in these folders.

Step Four: Back Up Your Digital Photos

Back up all the photos in your photo managing system onto a CD or external hard drive. You can also look into online options, such as iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive.

Step Five: Create To-Print Folders

Once you have organized your photos in your photo managing system, you’re ready to start thinking about scrapbooking them—woohoo! Even though all the photos you have left are photos you have deemed worth keeping, you may not want to scrapbook all of them. A great way to figure out which photos you want to scrapbook is to copy and paste a given folder onto your desktop. Then go through and delete any photos you don’t want to print. You can also edit any of the photos you’re going to print if you want to take that extra step.

Step Six: Upload & Print Photos

Once you’ve gone through all the photos on your desktop folder, you’re ready to print! We recommend creating a table, like the one below, to track each folder’s progress. When you have printed your photos, you can delete the desktop folder you created (remember, you’ve already saved these photos elsewhere!).How to organize years of photos without getting overwhelmed #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #photos #organize #digital #persnicketyprints #organization

Tip: Choose one day every month to do a print run. Some months you may be able to afford printing more photos than other months, but get in the habit of printing your photos on the same day each month.

PHOTO DISCOUNT: Now is a great time to catch up on printing your photos because Persnickety Prints has been kind enough to create a discount code for our readers! Use this discount code to save 20% on your entire order: CTMH20

This code expires August 30, cannot be combined with other discount codes, and is limited to one use per customer.

Step Seven: Organize Printed Photos

How to organize years of photos without getting overwhelmed #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #photos #organize #digital #persnicketyprints #organization

Option 1: Use our large organizers and tabbed dividers to organize your printed photos.

How to organize years of photos without getting overwhelmed #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #photos #organize #digital #persnicketyprints #organization

How to organize years of photos without getting overwhelmed #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #photos #organize #digital #persnicketyprints #organization

You can organize your photos by date, person, event…whatever you want! Think about the album you want to create with the photos, and organize them that way.

How to organize years of photos without getting overwhelmed #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #photos #organize #digital #persnicketyprints #organization

Option 2: Create a work-in-progress album. Use one of our D-ring albums and divided Memory Protectors™ to separate out all the photos you’ll want for an album. You can group like photos together so you know how to plan your layouts.

And that’s it! The next step is to start scrapbooking away! If the idea of scrapbooking itself overwhelms you, a great place to start is with our Workshops Your Way® scrapbooking kits. You can also talk to your Independent Consultant (or find one online!) to help you know where to start.

We hope this post helped you feel empowered to start organizing your photos for scrapbooking. We know that when you take that leap of faith, you’ll find so much joy and satisfaction in preserving your family’s memories and stories.


Have additional tips for organizing and printing your photos for scrapbooking? Share them in the comments below!

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9 Photo-Worthy Places to Visit During Convention

With our Annual Convention drawing closer, we thought it’d be fun to share with you some amazing places to visit while you’re in Salt Lake City with us (you’ll want to take lots of photos!).

1. Family History Library

9 Photo-Worthy Places to Visit During Convention #ctmh #closetomyheart #saltlakecity #convention #photos

via familysearch.org

The incredible collection of records at the Salt Lake City Family History Library include over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records; 727,000 microfiche; 356,000 books, serials, and other formats; over 4,500 periodicals and 3,725 electronic resources. These records span the globe, coming from the United States, Canada, the British Isles, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. If you want to learn more about your family heritage or if you’re already an avid heritage scrapbooker, this is a great place to visit!

2. Temple Square & Visitors’ Center

9 Photo-Worthy Places to Visit During Convention #ctmh #closetomyheart #saltlakecity #convention #photos

via thousandwonders.net

If you choose to visit the beautiful gardens and incredible architecture at Temple Square, take some time to check out the Visitors’ Center. It’s a great place to learn more about the area’s history and see beautiful original paintings. Plus, Temple Square is just about a block away from the Salt Palace where Convention will be taking place!

3. The McCune Mansion

9 Photo-Worthy Places to Visit During Convention #ctmh #closetomyheart #saltlakecity #convention #photos

via mccunemansion.com

Completed by the renowned architect S. C. Dallas, the McCune Mansion was finished in 1901 at the price of $1,000,000. It features beautiful furnishings and materials from around the world, and some even say it features a few ghosts! If you want to take a look inside the world of the elite in the early 1900s, make sure to schedule a tour to see inside this amazing mansion.

4. The Beehive House

9 Photo-Worthy Places to Visit During Convention #ctmh #closetomyheart #saltlakecity #convention #photos

via saltlakecitytours.org

Brigham Young was a Mormon prophet and leading founder of Salt Lake City, and the Beehive House is the older of his two Salt Lake City residences—and it is just two blocks away from the Salt Palace Convention center. Built in 1854, it stands today as a museum and offers tours of what life was like for the Young family back in 1855. If you’re all about free, you’ll love the free tours of this historic home, which take place Monday–Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. beginning every 10 minutes.

5. The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art

9 Photo-Worthy Places to Visit During Convention #ctmh #closetomyheart #saltlakecity #convention #photos

via utahmoca.org

The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art is a five-time recipient of funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation and a 2015 and 2016 recipient of the Art Works Grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts. It’s also located right next door to the Salt Palace!

6. The Roof Restaurant

9 Photo-Worthy Places to Visit During Convention #ctmh #closetomyheart #saltlakecity #convention #photos

via onlyinyourstate.com

If you’re looking to experience some of the finest dining in Salt Lake, then The Roof Restaurant is the place for you! It’s located on the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, which means you get to enjoy breathtaking views of Temple Square and Downtown Salt Lake City while dining.

7. The Olympic Cauldron

9 Photo-Worthy Places to Visit During Convention #ctmh #closetomyheart #saltlakecity #convention #photos

via visitsaltlake.com

This is the torch that burned bright during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. It’s located at the south end of Rice-Eccles Stadium on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. If you drive past it, you’ll definitely want to snap a picture of this 72 ft. tall work of art. You can even head to nearby Park City to experience some fun rides in the Olympic Park.

8. Red Butte Garden

9 Photo-Worthy Places to Visit During Convention #ctmh #closetomyheart #saltlakecity #convention #photos

via expedia.com

Red Butte Garden, located on 100 acres in the foothills on the eastern edge of the University of Utah, is an official arboretum of the state of Utah. The garden is the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West with over 21 acres of developed gardens and five miles of hiking trails winding through an extensive natural area. You’ll be taking tons of photos if you visit here!

9. Eagle Gate

9 Photo-Worthy Places to Visit During Convention #ctmh #closetomyheart #saltlakecity #convention #photos

via nikonites.com

You might pass right under this monument on your way to Convention! It was built in 1859 and commemorates the entrance to Brigham Young’s property at the mouth of City Creek Canyon. It was originally topped by a wooden eagle, which was eventually replaced by the current 4,000-pound, bronze eagle, with a wingspan of 20 feet. Carved by Ralph Ramsay, the original wooden eagle is on display at the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum located at 300 North Main Street.


If you haven’t registered yet for Convention, you still have time! Registration has been extended until May 15th, but sign up sooner to guarantee your spot!

Which place makes the top of your list? Utah locals, what photo-worthy places did we miss in Salt Lake City? Tell us in the comments below!

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Fun With Flip Flaps™

Have you ever given Flip Flaps™ a try? Are you wondering what we’re even talking about?

Flip Flaps are exactly what they sound like—flaps that you attach to a page that flip to reveal additional photos, sentiments, or designs—and they’re something you can only get with Close To My Heart! If you aren’t quite sure how to incorporate them into your scrapbooking, keep reading! We’re going to show you some fun ways to use them, and you’re sure to get inspired!

Fun ideas for using Close To My Heart's exclusive Flip Flaps™! #closetomyheart #ctmh #interactive #scrapbooking #photos #tips #tricks #hacks #flipflaps

If you’re the kind of person that loves taking photos, then Flip Flaps are for you! There’s only so much space on a scrapbook layout for photos, but when you add Flip Flaps to your pages, you can use more of your photos that you wouldn’t have room for otherwise. As you can see above, they come in several different sizes and can be positioned anywhere on a page using the adhesive strip—and they work great with pocket scrapbooking layouts, too! What a fun and easy way to include more photos in your scrapbooking without taking up more space!

Fun ideas for using Close To My Heart's exclusive Flip Flaps™! #closetomyheart #ctmh #interactive #scrapbooking #photos #tips #tricks #hacks #flipflaps

A charming way to share more of your photos is to stack your Flip Flaps and create “mini albums” right on your pages! You can stack them directly on top of each other or create a cascading effect, like we did here. Notice that we attached the Flip Flaps to the outside of the Memory Protectors™. This way, our page is interactive while keeping the artwork and photos protected.

Fun ideas for using Close To My Heart's exclusive Flip Flaps™! #closetomyheart #ctmh #interactive #scrapbooking #photos #tips #tricks #hacks #flipflaps

Get extra creative with your Flip Flaps by making cute accents out of them. Look at these little presents that double as tiny album jackets! It’s such a great way to add some personality to your pages. Another fun idea is to use Flip Flaps to preserve memorabilia, like postcards or letters, that have writing on both sides.

Try incorporating Flip Flaps into your scrapbooking to extend your creative options and have even more fun preserving your memories! We know you’ll love them, just like we do. 🙂

Recipes

12″ x 12″ Sun & Surf Pocket Scrapbooking Layout
B1548 My Acrylix® Journaling Prompts Stamp Set, C1619 My Acrylix® So Many Smiles Stamp Set, D1708 My Acrylix® Sending Smiles Stamp Set (part of a Cricut® bundle), Cc1219 Swirly Seashells Stamp + Thin Cuts, C1671 My Acrylix® Sugar Rush—Cardmaking Stamp Set, X7218B Dreamin’ Big Paper Packet, X7215B Sugar Rush Paper Packet, X7217B Some Kinda Wonderful Paper Packet, X7216B Hello Lovely Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2865 Juniper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7215C Sugar Rush Complements, X7218C Dreamin’ Big Complements, Z3315 Dreamin’ Big Sequins, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3231 Memory Protectors™ Flip Flaps™ 4″ x 6″, Z3230 Memory Protectors™ Flip Flaps™ 3″ x 4″, Z1951 Memory Protectors™ Design 4, Z1950 Memory Protectors™ Design 3, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
1 1/4″ Shift+Title<Vacation> (p. 62)

Flower Market
2 3/4″ Title <h> (p. 26)

12″ x 12″ Happy With You Page
C1671 My Acrylix® Sugar Rush—Cardmaking Stamp Set,C1619 My Acrylix® So Many Smiles Stamp Set, X7218B Dreamin’ Big Paper Packet, X7216B Hello Lovely Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2873 Slate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2814 Cocoa Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2865 Juniper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z3269 You & Me Complements, Z3267 All Together Complements, Z3234 Memory Protectors™ Flip Flaps™ 3″ x 3″, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
11 1/2″ Overlay <HeloWrld> (p. 84)

12″ x 12″ Let’s Celebrate Page
D1708 My Acrylix® Sending Smiles Stamp Set (part of a Cricut® bundle), X7215B Sugar Rush Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, Z2873 Slate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7215C Sugar Rush Complements, Z3315 Dreamin’ Big Sequins, Z3216 White Twine, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3233 Memory Protectors™ Flip Flaps™ 2″ x 2″, Z3234 Memory Protectors™ Flip Flaps™ 3″ x 3″, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Thread

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
11″ Overlay <Happy> (p. 86) (contoured to enlarge individual stars)
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Setting a St. Patrick’s Day Scene

This post was written by the talented Megan Hoeppner, who is the editor-in-chief for Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine, the weekly blogger and photographer for Gardner Village (a local shopping center), a writer for Brick Canvas (a local wellness center at Thanksgiving Point), a teacher for Creating Keepsakes Events, and contributor to Studio 5, a local lifestyle program in Utah. Give her some love in the comments, folks! 🙂

We have condensed the original blog post for brevity. To read the original, visit Megan’s blog

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

This year I received a box of goodies from Close To My Heart, including a gorgeous assortment of paper offering a full spectrum of color, so I set to making paper chains.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Once complete, I threaded them on a yardstick, which I hung above my table. My paper rainbow makes a nice St. Patrick’s Day decor element and also a fun photo backdrop for this year’s pics.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Since I was feeling lucky and had some pretty new Close To My Heart products on hand to play with, I continued to set the stage with some table fun.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

First, I covered my kitchen table in kraft packing paper. Then I set to decorating. I framed each spot at the table using Close To My Heart’s gold shimmer trim and stamped our names using their My Acrylix® Framework Alphabet stamp set.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Wanting our decorated table to serve two purposes—fun and memory keeping—I drew rainbows across each taped “place mat” so we could write what we feel lucky to have. I loved helping Maggie make her list. What a doll she is!

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Time for the fun! I gave Mags some colored pencils and let her color her rainbow in.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

I used Close To My Heart cardstock in three shades of green (Willow, Emerald, and Sweet Leaf) to create a little pop on my table. First, I cut cardstock hearts in small, medium, and large sizes, and folded the smaller two sizes in half to create a center crease.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

I then stitched along the crease to create the pieces of my clover. I pieced three heart stacks together to create a shamrock. A little stamping along the hand-drawn stem, and I was ready to welcome the luck o’ the Irish.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

I used the My Acrylix® Some Kinda Wonderful—Scrapbooking stamp set from Close To My Heart to create the #lucky tag.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

I love the end result. I will definitely snap pics to save it in my scrapbook.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Since our sweet Lulu is too young to create a rainbow, she stamped a clover with her bitty thumb.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Time to add our St. Patrick’s Day treats to make the table time complete.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Oh, and I’ve found another way to use the 3-D clovers when our table is cleared. I’ll send a little luck on to others. I used the same Close To My Heart #lucky stamp, masking the outer frame around it.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

I stitched a vellum bag on the inside, creating a pocket for some chocolate coins.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Speaking of gold coins, I created a few four leaf clover bowls from cardstock to hold my coins and other sweet treats.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

To create these, I first cut larger paper hearts, cut a slit, pulled the heart onto itself, and stapled it in place to create each clover petal.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

I then used a scrap of cardstock as a base and glued the petals in place.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Once all four petals were in place, my clover dish was ready for its pot o’ gold!

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

All in all, it was a fun crafternoon, making rainbows in our home. I look forward to pulling these pieces out year after year to make March a little more fun for my girls.

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

Setting a St. Patrick's Day Table #meganhoeppner #ctmh #closetomyheart #stpatricksday #kidscrafts #table #placesetting #crafting #decor

May the luck of the Irish be with YOU this spring.

Cheers!

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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!

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How to Throw an Award-Winning Oscars Party!

It’s almost time for the biggest movie awards night of the year: the Academy Awards, AKA the Oscars! You love watching the red carpet arrivals (those dresses!), you love guessing who will win each award, and you love doing it all with friends and family. Why not throw an official Oscars party, then? We’ve got a lineup of great ideas to help make your party worthy of a standing ovation!How to throw an award-winning Oscars party. #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgiveaway #paperaddict #party #oscars

A central component of every good party is GOOD FOOD! Cakes are great at pulling double duty, serving as edible centerpieces to your spread. Make your cake the star of the show with a few simple star toppers cut from glitter paper! And what could be a better treat for a night celebrating the best films of the year than popcorn?How to throw an award-winning Oscars party. #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgiveaway #paperaddict #party #oscars

Little popcorn boxes make it much easier for everyone to munch throughout the night without passing around a bowl, and they make your guests feel like they’re at a movie theater. Dressing up your boxes so they look like tuxedos is an easy way to give your party a definite Oscars flair, and our Cricut® collections make them so easy to throw together.How to throw an award-winning Oscars party. #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgiveaway #paperaddict #party #oscars

Rather than going the plastic cup and permanent marker route to keep track of everyone’s drinks, add some sparkle to your sodas and create these personalized name tags! These stars are super simple to make, but they’re just the kind of detail that will make your guests feel like VIPs.

How to throw an award-winning Oscars party. #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhgiveaway #paperaddict #party #oscars

Okay, now on to activities. We love these free printable Oscars bingo cards from The House That Lars Built. Come up with a fun prize to give the person who gets bingo first.

Also, since the celebrities get their photos taken all night long, we think another way to have fun with your guests is by having a photo shoot of your own! You may have spotted those adorable prop sticks in a vase, playing the role of a simple décor piece in that first photo, but they are also great way to make everyone less camera shy, AND they can be sent home with your guests as souvenirs from your fun night. You can even create your own Polaroid-style frame. This activity is sure to get everyone laughing, and by the end of the night, you’ll have tons of great photos to share!

To add to the drama of the evening, we want to give away some awards of our own! In the comments below, make three guesses, one for each of these categories: Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role, and Actress in a Leading Role. Make sure to have your guesses in before February 28, because after the Oscars, we’ll go through all the comments to see who guessed right and select 30 winners as follows:

The first 15 people to correctly guess the winner of ONE of the categories will receive the beautiful Everyday Life™ album.

The first 10 people to correctly guess the winner of TWO categories will receive the Everyday Life album, the My Crush® Everyday Life pages, and the Everyday Life washi tape.

The first 5 people to correctly guess the winner of all THREE categories will get the Everyday Life prize package, including the album, the My Crush Everyday Life pages, the Everyday Life washi tape, both the 4″ x 3″ and the 4″ x 6″ Memory Protectors™, and the Picture My Life™ Live Your Day cards—which are no longer available for purchase!

Start making your decorations, and submit your guesses here on the blog! It’s sure to be a night to remember!

Recipes

Star Cake Toppers
Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Skewers

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
2½” Accent 3 <BdayBoy> (cut 4, p. 68)
 
Popcorn Holders
X7201B La Vie En Rose Paper Packet, 1386 Black Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z3203 Treasured Puffies, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
6¼” 3D Object <m> (cut several, p. 67)

Artistry
1″ Shift+Icon-1 <S> (cut several, p. 22)
 
Star Drink Tags
1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
2 ½” Shift+3D Object <D> (cut several, p. 53)
 
Prop Sticks and Polaroid Frame
1386 Black Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3076 Gold Glitter Paper, Skewers, Chalk

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
5 ½” Accent 4 <a> (cut 2, p. 51)
1½” Shift+Accent 2 <M> (cut 2, p. 67)
3½” Shift+Accent 4 <Mom> (cut 2, p. 74)

Artistry
5½” Icon-2 <1> (cut 2, p. 1)
2¼” Icon-1 <s> (cut 2, p. 22)
2¼” Shift+Icon-1 <S> (cut 2, p. 22)
11½” Background <x> (cut several, p. 32)
2½” Shift <Father> (cut 2, p. 40)
2 ½” <NewYears> (cut 2, p. 50)
2 ½” Shift <NewYears> (cut 2, p. 50)

All these products are available through one of our Independent Consultants. To find a Consultant near you, visit closetomyheart.com and click on “Find a Consultant” in the top right corner of the page.

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