October is here, which means it’s time to get our spook on! Today, we are sparing you the tricks and are sharing with you all of the treats from our new Got Candy? collection! We also have a sneak peek into the goodies in store for our upcoming live virtual crafting event later this month!
Our Got Candy? event will take place on October 21 and 22 on the Close To My Heart (Official) Facebook page. Spend time crafting with us, get to know our product, or simply stop by to get inspired! This event is open and FREE for anyone to watch! An instruction guide for all of the project we are making will be posted on our Facebook page one day before the event, so you can follow along with our Home Office experts as they create these projects live. We’ll also be doing some exciting giveaways, so be sure to mark yourself as “Going” on the event page to be eligible to win!
Purchase the whole collection as a bundle and save 20%! This handy bundle of hauntingly charming products will be used to create all of the projects at our Got Candy? virtual eventlater this month.
On the first day of our two-day crafting extravaganza, we’ll be making a wide variety of goodie bags! To add yet another treat to this awesome day, Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi’s 9-year-old daughter, Maya, will be joining us as a guest crafter! Maya loves crafting and is excited to share this experience with all our event participants!
These fun treat toppers and holders are incredibly simple to put together and make a perfect project for kids and adults alike. Get everyone in on the fun and follow along with Maya as she shows you how to put these too-cute treat toppers and totes together!
Tiny treat bags aren’t the only goodies in store for our Got Candy? Facebook event. On the second day, we’ll be making some delightfully spooky scrapbook layouts. With three two-page layouts and one single page, you’ll be able to document your best Halloween memories with hauntingly beautiful style!
From fun nights of trick or treating to an unforgettable Halloween bash, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a way to preserve all those great moments. Got Candy? is the answer to your Halloween memory keeping needs, and we know you’ll love creating these layouts along with us!
These pages are easy to make, and once they come together, they look AMAZING! It doesn’t matter if you’ve been crafting for years, or if this is your first foray into memory keeping—anyone can follow along and create these beautiful layouts! With simple cutting guides for beginners and a few more advanced elements to interest veteran scrappers, our Got Candy? event projects have something for everyone!
We can’t wait for you to join us on October 21 and 22 for the Got Candy? virtual crafting event! Remember, you need to mark yourself as “Going” on the Close To My Heart (Official) Facebook page at least 48 hours before we go live on the 21st in order to be eligible for the event giveaways. Can’t wait to see you all there!
For avid crafters and beginners alike, creating fun and meaningful scrapbook layouts is the perfect way to spice up a slow day! With the Craft with Heart™ subscription program, get beautiful scrapbooking kits designed to make two coordinating 12″ x 12″ layouts delivered directly to your door! (Talk about happy mail!)
Each kit included in the Craft with Heart™ program is part of our Cut Above® line, which means that all the artwork is pre-designed, including pre-printed base pages and complementary die-cuts and stickers. All you need to bring to the crafting table is a journaling pen, your favorite adhesive, and, of course, your photos!
Cut Above® kits are a wonderful balance of ease and creativity. Each kit features two beautifully designed two-page layouts. While your pages come pre-designed, you still reap the joy and benefits of creating something yourself and that comes together in just minutes with an easy-to-follow instructional guide. If you’re just getting started as a scrapper, or would like to get started, Cut Above® layout kits are great place to begin! Even if you’re a more experienced memory keeper, these projects will keep your creativity flowing and maybe provide inspiration for your own designs!
Take a closer look at the layouts currently available for May–August:
The designs for the May layouts might look intricate and complicated, but since everything is pre-printed and cut for you, they’re a cinch to put together! The fun patterns and vibrant colors are a perfect way to compliment photos of your favorite moments and will be a treasured keepsake for years to come.
These kits are so easy to work with, they are a wonderful way to get your little ones excited about crafting and preserving memories. Help them pick out a few of their favorite photos and you’ll have the makings of a fun activity for the whole family! In a day and age where so many of our photos live on our phones or social media accounts, seeing a printed photo can be a real treat for a child, and a fun way to introduce them to memory keeping!
With their versatile design and color palettes, these July layouts offer a perfect spot for some fun summer photos! These layout designs are the ideal complement for anything from fun family night photos to snapshots of a day at the beach. Summer is coming and these layouts are here for it!
The layouts for August offer a simpler, more photo-focused approach to scrapbooking. However, they still showcase the polished designs and bright colors we love to see in a scrapbook.
There is a subscription option for everyone! You can choose to sign up for a monthly, 4-month, or 12-month subscription. The longer period of time you choose, the better deal you’ll get! With a 12-month subscription, you’ll receive four layout kits, every four months at a 20% discount, AND you’ll get FREE shipping! To see more details about each subscription option—monthly, 4-month, and 12-month—just click here.
At Close To My Heart we have our festivities going full force. Just this past weekend we hosted several free, live digital events demonstrating some fabulous creative projects where everyone was welcomed to follow along and create with us. If you missed out on any of these projects, and would still like to participate, all seven instructional segments are saved under videos on the Close To My Heart Facebook page. For example artwork photos and product bundles to make these projects, visit our website, here.
We continue our National Scrapbooking Month celebrations with a new and exclusive patterned paper collection and suite of coordinating products, only available for the month of May and while supplies last. The sunny and bright Blue Skies collection may just be our best National Scrapbooking Month offering, yet!
Start with the incredible Blue Skies paper packet, which features 12 double-sided paper sheets, two each of six double-sided designs—that’s double the number of designs and sheets than in our other paper collections!
The beautiful coordinating stickers and cardstock feature alluring, glossy UV-coated designs. (Click on the thumbnail images for a closer look!)
Accent your papercrafts even further with two coordinating stamp sets and a dimensional Pinwheel Thin Cuts die!
The Blue Skies suite also includes a dynamic Cut Above® Layout Kit that provides all the pieces you would need to create two beautiful two-page scrapbook layouts, using pre-printed base pages, die-cuts, and stickers specially designed just for these projects!
Finally, check out the Blue Skies workshop kits, which include Blue Skies products paired with a few other items to complete specific scrapbooking and cardmaking projects.
Cardmaking Workshop Kit
Use the materials in this kit to create 18 standard-sized cards, each its own unique design!
If you’re not quite sure where to begin, let us help you out! We are giving away TEN stamp sets; 5 Blue Skies sets and 5 Beautiful Day sets, right here, right now! For a chance to win, you must be subscribed to this blog AND leave us a comment below letting us know what you like most about this amazing Blue Skies collection! All entries must be submitted by 4 p.m. tomorrow, May 6 (MDT). The 10 lucky winners will be notified via e-mail (we use the e-mail address you are subscribed with, so make sure it is up to date to not miss out!).
We have so many exciting things lined up for this year’s National Scrapbooking Month! Keep up with all of our festivities by continuing to follow us here, as well as on Facebook and Instagram (@cmthofficial).
With Thanksgiving just a little over a week away, and Christmas shortly after, we thought we’d share in the holiday spirit with a free downloadable scrapbook pattern! <3
This timeless pattern made its original debut with our Back Country collection a few years ago but, as you can see, it can be used with any papers and for any occasion. Above, we paired the pattern with the Hawthorn paper collection from our September–October Catalog. (For those of you who didn’t get a chance to purchase the collection during these months, you are in luck! We recently started offering product on our website under an Online Only menu, and there are a few Hawthorn Paper Packets left—so grab one while you still can!)
Believe it or not, the layout below was created following this same pattern and paired with the Cedar & Pine collection.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that all we did was turn the pattern upside down. When you do flip or rotate a pattern, just make sure that the title and journaling fall somewhere on the page where it visually makes sense (to you). We didn’t like where the journaling box landed when we flipped our pattern and created this second layout, so we moved it. We also added another photo to this Christmas layout by splitting one of the designated 4″ x 6″ photo spots into two 3″ x 4″ photos.
At Close To My Heart, we take pride in providing the most comprehensive patterns for scrapbook layouts. When you download this pattern, you will notice that it also comes with cutting diagrams to make it even easier to create these pages!
Download this free scrapbooking pattern below and have a wonderful holiday season full of memories worth preserving!
For even more scrapbook patterns, check out our Make It from Your Heart™pattern book series. If you love the free patterns on the blog, you’re sure to be blown away by all the patterns offered in our beautiful how-to books!
Happy November, everyone! We are so excited for the opportunity to pop in today and share with you how to put beautiful scrapbook pages and cards together in a snap using the Cut Above® kits that are available through our Craft with Heart™ program.
The excuse that we hear most often from people for not scrapbooking is that they simply don’t have the time to do it. Cut Above® layout kits are the response to that genuine concern. Each kit comes with all of the pieces you need to complete two coordinating two-page 12″ x 12″ scrapbook layouts, including pre-printed base pages, pre-cut paper pieces and die-cuts, complementing stickers, and simple assembly instructions. Essentially, all of the cutting has been taken out of the scrapbooking equation, saving you tons of time and allowing you to jump right into the artistic and creative side of memory keeping that we all enjoy and love so much.
Beautiful layouts like this one come together in minutes when you’re using a Cut Above® kit!
To get your hands on these amazing kits, you don’t have to go far. In fact, we’ll deliver them straight to your doorstep on a schedule you decide through the Craft with Heart™ program. Craft with Heart™ is a subscription featuring Cut Above® kits offered at monthly and 4-month intervals.
If you’re already a subscriber, share the opportunity with a friend! The Craft with Heart™ program is a fun and easy way to introduce the art of memory keeping and cardmaking to others. These kits make wonderful gifts!
Take a closer look at what we’ve got in store for the next couple of months:
Aren’t these gorgeous? You’d never guess that these layouts come together so quickly!
This is a great time of year to get started with the program if you haven’t already. September is when we introduced the last four scrapbooking kits for the year, which means if you sign up before January 1 for a four month or annual subscription you will not have missed out and will also receive the beautiful September and October scrapbooking kits!
This September, for the first time ever, we launched a subscription kit just for cards!
Just like the scrapbooking kits, the card subscription kit comes with all of the materials you need to create two each of the assortment of cards you see here, designed especially for the season ahead.
The kit includes card bases in varying sizes, pre-cut die-cuts, coordinating stickers, and an exclusive stamp set and mini black ink pad to customize each of your card sentiments to use for any occasion that arises.
Craft with Heart™ is the perfect solution for those who enjoy the art of scrapbooking and cardmaking but are looking for a quicker alternative. Even if you’re a die-hard decorative scrapper or card maker who loves to spend hours on a project, the Cut Above® kits are a great way to catch up on documenting your stories and celebrating relationships without sacrificing quality. They’re a win-win deal that you will absolutely love!
Have you ever finished up a project and wondered what to do with those tiny bits of leftover paper? Do you throw it out? Do you let it sit on your desk for months waiting for a purpose? Don’t forget, though, that scrapbooking has “scrap” in it for a very good reason! Today, we’re going to show you how to use those extra little scraps in a big way!
Using your leftover paper remnants not only allows you to create some truly unique projects, but it also helps clean up your crafting area. (Let’s be honest, with all the great holiday products in the November–December Catalog, it couldn’t hurt to make some extra room!) 😉
To create the striking background elements in these layouts, we used some leftover paper pieces from the Every Little Thing, Hawthorn, and Spooktacular paper packets. As we get ready to say goodbye to these great collections, we couldn’t resist using them one last time, and we love how they turned out!
In this first layout, we’ve taken scrap pieces of various sizes and dovetailed the ends to create a background element for the main photos and title. It’s a fairly simple layout other than the bright colors in these dovetailed pieces, so a few scraps can certainly go a long way!
Tip: If you only have small scrap pieces, you can still dovetail these and position them so they peek out on either side of your photo. That way, you still get the effect, even if you don’t have a ton of paper.
This effect can be achieved with many different sizes of scrap paper, and you can use them on much more than just a large main photo or title. Use this trick with smaller photos and to dress up your journaling boxes. There really is so much you can do with just a few small scraps!
In this second layout, we’ve taken a slightly different approach; while we kept a few of the dovetailed pieces we showed you in the previous example, we also trimmed some other remnant pieces into small diamond shapes for an entirely new look.
As we mentioned in the previous tip, you don’t ALWAYS have to have a large scrap piece to make it play a big role in the construction of your layout. If you don’t have a piece big enough to use as a background for a photo, you can use smaller strips to form a frame, while leaving the middle open. Once it’s covered by the photo, no one will be the wiser!
No matter how you use them, scrap pieces are a great way to add some truly unique flair to your layouts, cards, or papercrafts. We hope you’ve been able to take some inspiration from today’s post, and we can’t wait to see how you incorporate your leftover scraps into your own projects. Leave us a comment below and let us know how you’re using scraps in your own artwork.
Have you heard the news? All 13 of the Close To My Heart Cricut® collections, including the new Complete Creativity and some that have been retired for years, are now digitally available for purchase!
Close To My Heart Cricut® Collections:
Complete Creativity (NEW) Art Philosophy
Season of Joy
You Are Here
There has been some confusion around how to access these collections, so we’ve put together a quick tutorial below to show you how. If you’ve already figured it out on your own, skip to the bottom half of this post to see sample shapes and an artwork example for each collection.
*The following tutorial currently applies to people residing in the United States or Canada, only. (For our Australian and New Zealand crafters, all 13 of these collections are also available through purchasing a digital code from your Consultant which unlocks the shapes in Cricut Design Space™.)
**You will need a Cricut® machine that is Design Space compatible to digitally link your collections to your account. Any of the Explore models or the New Maker will do. If you already own some or all of the Close To My Heart collections in cartridge format, with the right cutting machine, you can link these collections digitally as well. Click here for a short video to learn how.
To start, go to your Close To My Heart Consultant’s website. (If you do not have a Close To My Heart Consultant, visit us here and click on Find a Consultant to find one near you.) Scroll all the way to the bottom of the home page and click on the green Cricut® button.
Clicking on this button will take you to the 13 Close To My Heart Cricut® collections, hosted on the Cricut® website.
Choose the collection you want to purchase and click Add to Cart. Doing so will pull up a side bar with the items you’ve chosen to purchase. When you are ready to check out, you can either click on the small cart icon or the green Checkout button.
If you aren’t signed in to your Cricut® account already, you will be prompted to do so.
Make sure to use your Design Space account information to sign in and then continue the checkout process.
After purchasing any of the CTMH Cricut® collections, they will automatically populate in your Design Space account, along with your other shapes.
To view your CTMH shapes and collections, go to your Design Space account and click on either New Project or My Projects.
Next, click on Images in the side bar, on the left. If you are looking for a specific cartridge or shape, click on Cartridges to view all of your purchased collections or type in the collection’s name or shape number in the search bar, on the top right corner of the page.
ONE FINAL TIP
Each of the shapes in Design Space is given a name and assigned a number. If you click on a shape, for example the first shape of the collection shown above, this information will show up in place of the shape’s image.
If you are looking for one specific shape, and you know its Design Space name or number (including the “#” sign), you can use this information in the search bar to locate it. When we give out project “recipes” (a list of products used), either for our catalogs or on this blog, Cricut® shapes are referenced by the collection from which it comes and its shape number.
The star shape above would then be:
Cricut® Shape: Art Philosophy #M3EA7D
Now that you know how to access all of our Close To My Heart Cricut® collections and shapes, let’s take a quick look at what each of them has to offer!
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As our newest Cricut® collection, we cannot wait for you to get your hands on this one! The Complete Creativity collection is divided up by whole card and scrapbook projects, providing all the shapes you need to create complete cards and scrapbook pages for a variety of themes and occasions!
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Featuring hundreds of basic, versatile shapes and fonts you’ll use every day, many of which coordinate with dozens of our My Acrylix® stamps, the Art Philosophy collection is a must-have for every crafter!
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The Artbooking collection includes accents, borders, titles, overlays, photo mats, and more! You’ll love using these shapes for creating themed mini books to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and everyday life!
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Featuring more than 25 different card themes and 5 different card formats, the Artfully Sent collection has a card for any and all occasions! Card styles include pop-ups, scenes, sentiments, sleeves, and pocket cards.
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Take your creativity up a notch with the wonderful 3-D projects, party favors, interactive cards, awards, and more, found in the Artiste collection.
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The designs in the Artistry collection are staples for any crafter, spanning a wide variety of themes, holidays, and seasons. Get back to the basics with font, banners, layered shapes, borders, backgrounds, and other fun icons that can be used for any and every occasion.
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Dress up your artwork in holiday style with the festive images from this mini Cricut® collection! The City Sidewalks collection comes with 30 complete images, including titles, photo frames, borders, card sentiments, card overlays, and other cheery Christmas designs.
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With blooms and blossoms for every season of life, we know the Flower Market collection will really grow on you (if it hasn’t already)! All of the designs feature some type of botanical detail, from flowers and leaves to branches and wreaths. Designed to span an entire year’s worth of themes and occasions, you’ll have beautiful designs and sentiments for holidays, cardmaking, and everyday scrapbooking.
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Featuring 20 layered images, the Hello AU/NZ collection has shapes, overlays, and names for Australian and New Zealand states and territories, as well as a local flower, slogan, and coordinating icon. The collection also includes extra images about Australia and New Zealand, including each country’s flag.
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Also featuring 20 layered images, the Hello Canada collection has shapes, overlays, and names for all Canadian provinces and territories, as well as a local flower, slogan, and coordinating icon. The collection also includes extra images about Canada, including the Canadian flag.
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Featuring 60 layered images, the Hello USA collection has shapes, overlays, and names for all 50 states, as well as a local flower, slogan, and state-specific icon. The collection also includes 10 extra images about the US, including regions and the US flag.
SEASON OF JOY
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Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with the dynamic cut designs in the Season of Joy collection. This collection features over 45 images and projects, including seasonal icons, titles, and sentiments, as well as a collection of 3-D projects that you can create after a few simple cuts on your Cricut® machine.
YOU ARE HERE
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Whether you’re traveling abroad, taking a road trip, or enjoying a relaxing staycation, the You Are Here collection is sure to have everything you need to document your journey. From outdoor escapades and family reunions to spa retreats and holiday outings, you’ll find shapes and sentiments for every pit stop along the road of life!
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 Thirds
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 Lines
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 Framing
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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!
Our most interesting and compelling stories often involve some kind of connection, where what we have experienced is compared and contrasted with another person, place, or time. This type of story is what our storytelling and memory keeping friend, Stacy Julian, calls a Connected Story.
When a grandmother’s love of theater manifests in her grandson’s ability to light up the stage or a young girl’s delight in animals stems from her grandpa’s life work as a veterinarian, you have the makings of a connected story.
Connected Stories don’t have to be about significant generational influence or interests steeped in tradition. The best stories stem from your own experience and celebrate simple things, like the love of watermelon, hiking, jigsaw puzzles or violin music. When we back up and look at the past through the lens of one particular thing, it will reveal unique aspects of our lives, things we certainly want to document in our scrapbooks!
Learn more about the Connected Story process from Stacy Julian herself as she shares one of her personal favorites, below:
When you’re scrapbooking, how often do you find yourself running out of room because you have more photos and words than easily fit in one or two 12″ × 12″ pages? In short, you have more story to tell!
Stacy scrapbooked her watermelon Connected Story in a stack of multiple styles and sizes of Memory Protectors™. The result invites us on a journey where details unfold as we turn each page of the story.
The idea is to design a multi-layer layout, starting with a 12″ × 12″ base, that coordinates visually so that you can document a bigger experience or theme. This takes a little bit of planning, but the great thing is that no two layouts of this sort have to be arranged the same. The number of layers and styles of protectors will depend on the story you have to tell.
For additional storytelling tools and examples of this kind, make sure to check out our Story by Stacy™ how-to book, Storyteller.
Remember, the most compelling stories come from your own experience of ordinary life—from the things with which you already have an emotional connection. When you recount something that’s happened to you, you’ll recall not just the events but also the feelings associated with them. Those feelings and sensory details color your stories and bring them to life so they can be experienced again and again—retold by the people you love and the people who will someday want to know you.