Feeling Heart Happy After Valentine’s Day with a Free Mini Album How-to Guide

It’s been a week since Valentine’s Day. Some of us celebrated with chocolates, flowers, dinners out, or even a sweet new color wheel ( 😉 ). Now what? There’s still some February leftover. Well, just because it’s no longer Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate what everyday life has to offer—that is why we are sharing instructions as a free download to create an Everyday Life™ sized album that does just that!

Heart Happy After Valentine's Day #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #everydaylife #minialbum #diyalbum #albuminstructions #free #freeguide #valentinesday #love #howto #scrapbooking #scrapbook #storytelling #everyday

Download your free Heart Happy Everyday Life™ album instructions, here.

Pretty much all of us are equipped to take photos wherever we go, of whatever we want, and whenever we feel like it. As a result, so many of life’s special moments end up stored in a “cloud” somewhere, rarely visited or seen again. Raise your hand if you’ve taken an indefinite number of photos of your cute children, grandchildren, fur babies, or even your food. What do you do with all of these photos? Are they still sitting in your phone? As one of our Consultants so eloquently put it, “don’t let your kids grow up as JPEGs!”

Our message to you today is simple: review the photos that you’ve taken and print them off! Don’t have a place to put them? Use the layouts in this Everyday Life™ album to get started and store your photos along with any stories that go with them.

Photos evoke emotions, capture moods, and remind us of things we long to hold on to. By putting our photos in an album, not only do you get to revisit these feelings, but then we get to share them with others and even allow them to have their own emotional responses. What does that mean? Simply put, it’s important to create albums for your family members and friends to look through. People love seeing pictures of themselves! (You know it’s true!) Children, especially. Create a place for the people you love to look at photos that you love, of whatever you love, through beautiful album pages that share your everyday journey.

Our Heart Happy Everyday Life™ album workshop is a great place to get started, and it will truly make your heart happy. If you’d like to make your very own Heart Happy album, we have a few different bundles of product offered at a reduced price to help you get going. Click on the links below to see which best fits your needs:

My Acrylix® A Piece of My Heart Stamp Set
Heart Happy Sticker Sheet
Heart Happy Paper Packet
Heart Happy Coordinating Cardstock
Heart Happy Everyday Life™ Workshop Kit
Heart Happy Everyday Life™ Workshop Kit without Stamp Set

One of the great things about the contents of this kit are the versatile words, icons, and shapes found throughout its stamp set, patterned papers, and stickers. Last month, we showed you these very same products used to create some really fun Valentine’s Day cards (click here to download those card instructions). Above, we showed you an album to showcase the everyday moments. Now, we want to show you even more!

Take a look at this 12″ x 12″ layout we came up with using the same stamp set and Heart Happy paper packet combined with a few other products:

Heart Happy After Valentine's Day #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #everydaylife #minialbum #diyalbum #albuminstructions #free #freeguide #valentinesday #love #howto #scrapbooking #scrapbook #storytelling #everyday #food #foodie #apieceofmyheart

Heart Happy After Valentine's Day #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #everydaylife #minialbum #diyalbum #albuminstructions #free #freeguide #valentinesday #love #howto #scrapbooking #scrapbook #storytelling #everyday #food #foodie #apieceofmyheartHeart Happy After Valentine's Day #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #everydaylife #minialbum #diyalbum #albuminstructions #free #freeguide #valentinesday #love #howto #scrapbooking #scrapbook #storytelling #everyday #food #foodie #apieceofmyheart

(Love never looked so tasty! 🙂 )

We hope today’s post inspires you to do something with all of those memories that you are storing up. Print your photos, write your stories, and create something with them to celebrate the way life looks today. Take the time to make your heart happy!


Recipe:

12″ x 12″ Yum Yum Layout
CC2191 My Acrylix® A Piece of My Heart Stamp Set, CC2193 Heart Happy Paper Packet, X7242B I Heart Us Paper Packet, X9003 Mix-in Paper Packet, X6005 Goldrush Cardstock, X6007 Lagoon Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2823 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6503 Mint Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2851 Saffron Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7242C I Heart Us Complements, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins, X7242E Picture My Life™ Cards—I Heart Us, X7241E Picture My Life™ Cards—So Much Happy, Z4181 Thin Cuts—Stitched Circles, Z3386 Thin Cuts—Block Alphabet, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3225 Waterbrush—Medium Round, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Sewing Machine

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25 Journaling & Photo Prompts for Recurring Life Events

25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography

Are you in one of those families that go to Disney World once year? (lucky! 🙂 ) Do you spend most Christmas mornings at home in your pajamas? What about a birthday? We all have one every year. Holidays, birthdays, vacations, parties—the good times just keep coming, and so do the stories and photos that accompany them.

Earlier this month we shared a post about New Ways to Document the Holidays. We thought it would be worthwhile to follow that up with some additional ideas and prompts for other recurring life events so that we don’t always take the same photos and document the same stories year after year.

The following ideas can be used to take photos while you’re in the moment or as a place to start your journaling while you’re documenting the memory. If you’re new to scrapbooking or you’re just in a memory keeping rut, the following prompts can help get you going.

 

VACATIONS:

25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography1. Why are you going on this vacation?
2. How did you get to where you were going?
3. What did you pack for this trip?
4. Did everything go as planned?
25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography5. Who are the people that are with you?
6. Did you meet any interesting folks along the way?
7. What was your favorite meal/restaurant on the trip?
8. What cool souvenirs are you bringing home?
9. Has your life been changed by this trip?

 

CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAYS:

25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography10. What are you celebrating?
11. Do you have an ornament you love? Where did you get it and why do you love it?
12. What’s a favorite holiday treat? (Include the recipe!)
13. How does your family serve others?
14. Do you have any traditions?25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography15. How does “magic” happen in your home? (Ex. Is there an elf sitting on a shelf somewhere?)
16.What wrapping paper did you pick out, and why?
17. How did you decorate your home?
18. Are there special movies that you watch?
19. Do you have any favorite holiday music?

 

BIRTHDAYS:

25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography20. Did you get a cake? What flavor? If not, why?
21. What were the reactions to gifts? Was there a favorite?
22. Who did you celebrate with?25 Prompts to Document Recurring Life Events #ctmh #closetomyheart #birthdayscrapbook #vacationscrapbook #holidayscrapbook #Christmasscrapbook #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #journalingprompts #photoprompts #journaling #photography23. Interview the guest of honor and record their answers
24. Screenshot and document birthday messages from social media
25. How has life changed since your last birthday?

We hope you’re as inspired as we are to use your next birthday, holiday, or vacation to try out some of these memory keeping prompts. You can document your memories in creative ways by taking photos and answering some of the questions we’ve given you here today. Focusing on sharing the details around all of these topics will highlight what makes each vacation, birthday, and holiday particularly special on its own. We’d love to hear your ideas for scrapbooking these types of events. Share them with us in the comments below!


Recipes:

12″ x 12″ NYC Holiday Fails Page
C1725 My Acrylix® Simply Said Stamp Set, E1042 My Acrylix® Outline Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, E1043 My Acrylix® Solid Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, X9000 Seasons Mix-in Paper Packet, X6007 Lagoon Cardstock, X5986 Mint Cardstock, Z6503 Mint Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2731 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Re-inkerX7238C Oh What Fun Complements, Z4222 Hello Pumpkin Shapes, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z4245 Opaque Matte Texture Paste, Z4247 Palette Knives, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen Journaling Pen, Z3503 Cricut® Artbooking Digital Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
6″ Overlay <g> (p. 62, #M3F0A2)

12″ x 12″ Baking Magic Page
C1725 My Acrylix® Simply Said Stamp Set, X7236B Hello Pumpkin Paper Packet, X7235B Boutique Paper Packet, X7238B Oh What Fun Paper Packet, X9000 Seasons Mix-in Paper Packet, X6028 Black Cardstock, X5986 Mint Cardstock, X6016 Pixie Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7238C Oh What Fun Complements, Z4216 Raspberry Baker’s Twine, Z4305 Thin Cuts—Fancy Tags, Z3317 Thin Cuts—Stitched Hearts, Z2027 Mini Stapler, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z1951 Memory Protectors® Design 4

12″ x 12″ Wonderful Birthday Wishes Page
D1804 My Acrylix® Your Special Day Stamp Set, E1042 My Acrylix® Outline Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, E1043 My Acrylix® Solid Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, X7235B Boutique Paper Packet, X9000 Seasons Mix-in Paper Packet, X5990 Carolina Cardstock, X6021 Sapphire Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6505 Carolina Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7238C Oh What Fun Complements, Z4304 Loose Sequins—Silver, Z4241 Thin Cuts—Decorative Borders, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3500 Cricut® Artistry Digital Collection, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shape:
Artistry
¾” Banner <New Years> (p. 50, #M41864D)

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31 Memories to Capture This December

From photos to journaling and everything in between, it’s no secret that at Close To My Heart we love and value all things to do with memory keeping. One approach that is especially popular this type of year is the photo-a-day method, where you take a photo every day based on a specific prompt for that day. With all of the magical moments that inevitably happen around the holidays, December is a perfect time to take on this style!

Days of December first page #ctmhdaysofdecember #minialbum #photoadayTo help you fully embrace this memory keeping method, we’ve had a beautiful 6″ x 8″ pocket-scrapbooking album designed especially for the upcoming season. With room for photos and journaling on every page, The Days of December album is specifically designed to capture each day of the month, from the first through the thirty-first.

Our goal with this album is to take the work out of memory keeping so that you are completely prepared to enjoy the memory making part of the season. In addition to providing instructions to create the entire album (check out all of the completed layouts here), we thought we could help you fill its pages as well! Here are 31 prompts we’ve come up with to inspire your journaling and photography this December.

Days of December photo prompts #ctmhdaysofdecember #31days #photoaday

Use these prompts in order, one per day, or switch them up to make the list work for you! Whatever you do, enjoy the moments, make your memories, and then look back on them in a beautiful album time and time again.

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Tips for Trimming Photos

Any time you scrapbook, what’s one thing you almost always have to do? Trim your photos! We’d guess you usually have a stack of photos that you have to cut and crop to fit on your layouts. This is also true in our newest Story by Stacy™ workshop kit, Short Story, where you work with a large group of photos to create a 6″ x 6″ album. What makes Short Story special is the approach it takes for creating a visual story with your photos. Using this workshop kit, you learn how to trust your own intuition and take some of the decision-making out of how to use your photos. The secret is … trimming your photos FIRST!

Trimming Photo Tips #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #tips #howto #photos #pictures #trimmingtips #phototrimming #picturetrimming #shortstory

Before you create a page or a layout, you’re going to trim your photos. This might seem a little strange or even feel uncomfortable, but it’s so worth it in the process. Here’s how it works. You take your stack of photos and start trimming off the pieces that aren’t necessary. When you’re working with a stack of 4″ x 6″ photos, the photo trimmer is the perfect tool to help you. Trimming your photos before making pages will help you create visual impact in your album, and it keeps the focus of your album on the elements of your photos that are the most meaningful to you.

We know it’s hard to try to trim and resize photos BEFORE you know what your layout looks like, but that’s part of what makes this process so exciting and a great reboot for your creativity. Try these tips to get started.

  1. Begin by trimming just a little bit, then trim a little more.

If the thought of taking several inches off a photo is too much, baby steps are a great way to start. Try removing just a small piece off one side and then the other. Take a look at what you have left, and BEFORE you move on to your next photo, try to trim just a little bit more.

  1. Trim to focus on the most important part of the photo.

If the photo, for example, is of your kids playing together, think about what the most important part of that photo actually is. Do you have to see all the background, or is the point of the photo that they are enjoying being together? You can trim parts of people’s legs or arms, too. Don’t feel like you need to keep the entire person in the photo. Maybe there is someone you don’t know on the edge of the photo. It’s not necessary to keep them, either. Get rid of all the extra things that can distract from the focus of the photo.

  1. Trim some of the landscape out of the photo.

You don’t need several inches of water, grass, or sky. These things can usually always be trimmed.

  1. Trim your photos into sizes that are easy to use on a 6″ x 6″ page.

When you’re working with Short Short, try to trim your photos into sizes that fit nicely together on a 6″ x 6″ page. Use sizes like 3″ x 4″, 2″ x 6″, or 2″ and 3″ squares. This makes it just a little bit easier when you assemble your pages. If you are scrapbooking in a different format, you can apply this same concept. Consider how much space you have to work with and how many photos you’d like on the page. Then trim away!

  1. Not every single photo needs to be trimmed!

You could have two or three photos that you really love in their original 4″ x 6″ size. That’s perfectly okay! This is your album and your story. Keep in mind, the more photos you trim, the more photos you can include in your album. For a Short Story album, just remember if you leave every photo in the normal 4″ x 6″ size, you won’t be able to fit many on the 6″ x 6″ pages.

Now that you have some ideas for getting started, here are a couple examples for you of how the concept of trimming your photos first works.

We trimmed these two photos using some of the tips we’ve given you. In these examples, strangers in the background or the car they are sitting in isn’t really the most important part of the photo. Plus, as you can see in the layout below, we already had one photo that showed more of the car. It wasn’t necessary to have two photos with the same car. What makes these photos interesting and special are those facial expressions.

Trimming Photo Tips #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #tips #howto #photos #pictures #trimmingtips #phototrimming #picturetrimming #shortstory

By trimming photos, we were able to combine five photos on this one Short Story layout. Using this process takes some of the time and energy out of deciding how to resize photos and how to attach them to your pages. With the Short Story workshop kit, you will use your trimmed photos to create one page at a time, adding as many photos as you can to each page. Then you’ll pull it all together with patterned paper and embellishments.

If you haven’t tried the Short Story workshop kit yet, check out our Visual Storytelling with Short Story blog post for more details about this new Story by Stacy™ product. Then, grab a friend, and give this workshop kit a try! Whether you are scrapbooking your story with Short Story, an Everyday Life™ album, or a 12″ x 12″ page, these tips can help you focus on what’s important in the photos you take and the memories they represent. Do you have tips for trimming photos? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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Easy-to-Make Photo Grids

Photo Grids #ctmh #closetomyheart #photogrids #memorygrids #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ctmhfreshair

We’re cutting photos up today and exploring new ways to display more of your favorites! Photo grids are very popular in the digital photo market, so we put our paper loving spin on things to show you just how easy it is to make them yourself and what some of the advantages are of creating them out of a variety of components rather than one flat (boring! 🙂 ) printed sheet.

Before we get into the meaty artwork details, let’s talk page design. If you’re like us and prefer things in a 12″ x 12″ format, you’re going to want to use 16 2-inch squares arranged in a 4 x 4 grid or nine 3″ squares arranged in a 3 x 3 grid. You could also fit four 4″ or four 5″ squares, it really depends how many photos you’re hoping to display. Keep in mind, the more squares you choose to use in your project the trickier it will be to keep them all perfectly lined up. It isn’t impossible, we’ll show you how to make it work, and the results are worth it!

Both of our examples today are arranged in a 4 x 4 grid using 2″ squares.

To build the grid, you will want to use a T-square or draw some light pencil marks to follow with a ruler. We left 1¾” margins on all sides and separated our squares by ¼”. Once you have your guide marks on your base page, start by attaching the top left corner square first. Placement of this first square is crucial because the other squares will build off it. Make sure it is straight and exactly where you want it to be. (In the provided examples, the first square is 1¾” from the top and right side.) After your first square is on, attach the rest of the top row and first column. After that, keep attaching all of your squares until your grid is complete.

Once you get the gist of how to assemble the grid itself, you can get creative with its pieces.

Photo Grids #ctmh #closetomyheart #photogrids #memorygrids #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ctmhdocumented

For starters, not all of your squares have to be individual photos. Our first example is a collage of photos, patterned papers, and journaling.

Photo Grids #ctmh #closetomyheart #photogrids #memorygrids #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ctmhfreshair

One of our photos was even cropped and cut to fit into two squares instead of one. You have so many options available to you displaying your memories this way.

Photo Grids #ctmh #closetomyheart #photogrids #memorygrids #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ctmhdocumented

The biggest perk to creating your own grid over printing it is the dimension that is at your disposal. You can use embellishments to add colors, height, and even textures.

The second approach we took for a grid display is the large image created by the parts. In other words, we cut up a big picture into small squares and attached them in a tile-like way.

Photo Grids #ctmh #closetomyheart #photogrids #memorygrids #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #ctmhfreshair #ctmhdocumented

What’s especially fun about this particular example is that it looks like you’re inside a cabin looking out a window. You can recreate this same look, maybe not a cabin if that’s not your vibe, by following the same steps to assemble the grid. The only difference is that you start out with a large square photo, in our case an 8″ x 8″, and cut it in to 16 2-inch squares.

Display your memories in style, and more of them, using a photo grid as your guide!


Recipes:

12″ x 12″ Collage Page
X7234B Documented Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X7234C Documented Complements, Z4177 Documented Dots, Z2027 Mini Stapler, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, 12″ x 12″ Frame

12″ x 12″ Grid Photo Page
X7232B Fresh Air Paper Packet, X5951 Espresso Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4171 Documented Titles, 12″ x 12″ Frame

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Shape Your Photos with Thin Cuts!

Shaping Your Photos w Thin Cuts #ctmh #closetomyheart #ThinCuts #thin #cuts #die #dies #cutting #cuttlebug #cuddlebug #diecutting #shape #photo #banner #heart #basic #easy #diy #doityourself #scrapping #scrapbook #scrapbooking #idea #dienamite #dynamite #family #love #pennant #banner

Who ever said that Thin Cuts are just for paper? Shape your photos and make them part of your designs by cutting them from pretty much any Thin Cuts that work for you! Our Thin Cuts are just the right size to run through most die-cutting machines, so why not give them a try!? You are going to love the results!

Shaping Your Photos w Thin Cuts #ctmh #closetomyheart #ThinCuts #thin #cuts #die #dies #cutting #cuttlebug #cuddlebug #diecutting #shape #photo #banner #heart #basic #easy #diy #doityourself #scrapping #scrapbook #scrapbooking #idea #dienamite #dynamite #family #love #pennant #banner

Using our basic banner Thin Cuts, we were able to create the incredibly fun page you see above. It came together quickly and easily, no fussy cutting required!

With Thin Cuts, you can see where to place the die on your photo to make sure you cut the shape exactly how you want it. The die is an outline of the shape it will cut. There’s no wondering if you’re going to accidentally trim someone or something important out of your photo. Place the die on your photo, check to make sure your subject displays how you want it to, and run the die and photo through your die-cutting machine to get a perfectly shaped photo.

This also lets you make sure you choose the right size shape for your photo. Basic shape Thin Cuts come in shapes like hearts, stars, circles, or ovals in four different sizes for a variety of options.

Shaping Your Photos w Thin Cuts #ctmh #closetomyheart #ThinCuts #thin #cuts #die #dies #cutting #cuttlebug #cuddlebug #diecutting #shape #photo #banner #heart #basic #easy #diy #doityourself #scrapping #scrapbook #scrapbooking #idea #dienamite #dynamite #family #love #pennant #banner

Here’s another darling example, this time using the basic hearts Thin Cuts. Using Thin Cuts on your photos is a simple, creative way to add visual interest to your layout. It’s fun to break out of the rectangle or square mold to give the photos you love a new look.

From scrapbook pages and cards to wall hangings and any other papercraft you can imagine up—the possibilities are endless when using Thin Cuts!

And if that’s not incentive enough, our Thin Cuts are on sale this month! Save 25% on individual sets of Thin Cuts, including some that we have brought out of retirement specifically for this sale, and 30% on select bundles! Check this Die-namite sale out, here.

What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments below!


Recipes:

12″ x 12″ Pennant Thin Cuts Page
X7229B Stargazer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5955 Pebble Cardstock, X5953 Charcoal Cardstock, X7230C Chelsea Gardens Complements, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z3345 Thin Cuts—Basic Banners, Z3132 Watercolor Paints

12″ x 12″ Heart Thin Cuts Page
X7229B Stargazer Paper Packet, X7230B Chelsea Gardens Paper Packet, Z3351 Adventure Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy CardstockX7230C Chelsea Gardens Complements Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z3317 Thin Cuts—Basic Hearts, Z3132 Watercolor Paints

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What to Do with Christmas Cards After the Holidays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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