Making a Connected Story

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.

Making an Extended Story #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacyxctmh #storyteller #storytelling #scrapbooking #extendedstory #connectedstory #watermelon #stacyjulianMaking an Extended Story #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacyxctmh #storyteller #storytelling #scrapbooking #extendedstory #connectedstory #watermelon #stacyjulianMaking an Extended Story #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacyxctmh #storyteller #storytelling #scrapbooking #extendedstory #connectedstory #watermelon #stacyjulianMaking an Extended Story #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacyxctmh #storyteller #storytelling #scrapbooking #extendedstory #connectedstory #watermelon #stacyjulianMaking an Extended Story #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacyxctmh #storyteller #storytelling #scrapbooking #extendedstory #connectedstory #watermelon #stacyjulian

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.

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Storyteller with Stacy Julian!

We’re pulling out all the stops this National Scrapbooking Month with a visit from one of our all-time favorite story tellers! Stacy Julian is here today to share with us the newest addition to the Story by Stacy™ line, Storyteller. Click on the video below to learn about this impressive guidebook from none other than Stacy herself! Pay extra close attention and you might just find that she is offering a little more than just two new story telling techniques! 😉

 

Thanks for stopping by Stacy! ❤

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK YOUR EMAIL TO FIND OUT IF YOU’RE ONE OF THE LUCKY WINNERS!

Storyteller with Stacy Julian #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #storyteller #storytelling #memorykeepingStory by Stacy™ Storyteller

Storyteller with Stacy Julian #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #storyteller #storytelling #memorykeepingStory by Stacy™ Storytelling Pack

Storyteller with Stacy Julian #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #storyteller #storytelling #memorykeeping #memoryprotectors #pageprotectorsMemory Protectors™ Combo Pack

Storyteller with Stacy Julian #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #storyteller #storytelling #memorykeeping #shortstory #multicolor #album #minialbumStory by Stacy™ Short Story Workshop Kit—Multicolor

Storyteller with Stacy Julian #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #storyteller #storytelling #memorykeeping #storystarter #album #minialbumStory by Stacy™ Story Starter Workshop Kit—Heart

 

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK YOUR EMAIL TO FIND OUT IF YOU’RE ONE OF THE LUCKY WINNERS!

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Love This Life: Documenting the Everyday with a Mini Album

How many of you smile or laugh when you think about what you wore, ate, watched, or read years ago? Some of the most interesting things that we do are the things that make up our ordinary everyday lives. In the moment, these types of things might seem unimportant, but these stories about everyday life are really fun to look at later on.  Documenting those types of things is just as enjoyable and interesting as holidays, vacations, or special occasions.

Image 1A

Today we are breaking down one way to document these extraordinary everyday moments. To make this project even easier, we are using the Story by Stacy™ Short Story workshop kit, and looking at life through the lens of just one week. We asked one of our Home Office staff to take on our process so we could have a real life example to share. She started by taking photos throughout a regular week, documenting what life looks like for her, using the prompts below as a guide.

With this type of project, it’s much easier to start out by taking your photos first. Once you have your photos, all that’s left to do is to follow the steps from the Short Story workbook. At the end of the process, you’ll have a complete mini album full of photos and details with a story summary, just like the one you’ll see at the end of this post.

To get you started on this process, use the following photo prompts list as a guide. There are several different types photos you’ll want to take to document what life looks like for you.

#1 Currently…
These are thing things I am currently…

  • Watching
  • Reading
  • Eating
  • Making
  • Listening to
  • Wearing
  • Doing

#2 Daily Highlights
Take one or two photos each day to represent the daily highlights or important moments. This gives you a glimpse of what might happen during a week that makes it unique or unusual.

#3 The Usual “Stuff”
You should also document your routines, habits, and home life for yourself and for your family. This is the usual stuff that doesn’t necessarily change from one day to the next, but it will still be fun to look at years later when life looks a little different.

  • Morning routines
  • Evening routines
  • Weather
  • Meals
  • Bedtime
  • Home
  • Car/commute
  • Work/school

Download photo prompts list, here.

Download this checklist to help you remember what pictures you want and need for your album. Put it up where you can see it to have a quick reminder of the types of things you’re documenting over the week.

Once you have your photos, choose 35-45 to print and use in your album. Then, follow the steps in the Short Story workbook. You’ll begin by reflecting on your photos and jotting down answers to a few questions. This helps you think about the story before creating and gives you a place to start when you write your summary later on.

Before you start creating pages, look through your photos and pick one to set aside for your title page. Then you’re ready for the next step. To make sure you can include all the photos you’ve printed, you can begin to trim the rest into smaller sizes to focus on the most important parts and the details you want to highlight. Once your photos are trimmed down, it’s time to get creative and make your pages! Some projects that focus on a week at time organize the album by day of the week. We chose to follow the Short Story process, and let the entire album illustrate what a week looks like overall, rather than spend time trying to divide it into specific days. This lets you follow the workbook and trust your creative intuition, plus it comes together a little bit faster. You don’t have to spend any time pairing photos from the same day together.

Image 2

As you’re creating, feel free to make this project your own! Add other elements that reflect the look and feel of your own story (a week in the life of you!). We included some bright colors, Lemon and Raspberry, using the mix-in paper packet and combined them with other patterned paper that already comes in the Short Story workshop kit. We also used the My Favorite Things stamp set. This set has words, phrases, and shapes that are perfect for this type of project.

Image 4Image 3

You can see even things that seem insignificant are important to the storyteller. If you love the smell of freshly laundered clothes, your usual cup of coffee from a local shop, or even making a home cooked meal for your husband, just like our storyteller here does, then it’s part of your story! These are the little things that will make you laugh and smile down the road when you pick up this album and reflect on what your life looked like in 2019.

Image 5

After you’ve put all your pages together and added patterned paper and embellishments for visual balance, you’re ready to write that story summary for the end of your album. Just follow the instructions in the workbook, and then you’re done!

Whether you choose to document a week in your daily life with Short Story, or any other scrapbooking format, you can use the ideas here to help you get started. We love how quickly and easily it comes together in a Short Story album, but the important thing is, just like Stacy often reminds us, that you do what no one else can do—tell your story!


Recipe:

Love This Life Short Story Album
D1818 My Acrylix® My Favorite Things Stamp Set, Z4217 Story by Stacy™ Short Story Workshop Kit—Black & White, X9003 Mix-in Paper Packet, X9004 Mix-in Coordinating Cardstock, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1979 Marvey® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z3500 Cricut® Artistry Digital Collection, Z3502 Cricut® You Are Here Digital Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1″ <font>

You Are Here
4½” Icon-4 <CTMH> (p. 45, #M282CD24)
2½” Shift+Icon-4 <CTMH> (p. 45, #M282CD24)

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A Year in Review with Stacy Julian

Another year of endless storytelling possibilities is ahead of us, and we’ve asked Stacy Julian, the Stacy behind the new Story by Stacy™ products we’ve shared with you in 2018, to show us how she documents a year in review with a Short Story workshop kit. This is the perfect solution for giving your creativity a reboot AND scrapbooking lots of photos with a story at the end.

A Year In Review #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #ctmhstacyjulian #yearinreview #scrapbooking #shortstoryalbum #shortstory

Hopefully by now you know how much I love, and depend on, our Short Story kit and concept. This concept and creative process has become a huge solution that allows me to quickly and intuitively scrapbook dozens of photos and almost any aspect of my life—from small everyday moments to big events and all the people, places and travel in between. Today I’m excited to show you how you can use Short Story to document an entire year of highlights in a Year in Review album. If you’re feeling the need to do some scrapbook catch-up, this post is for YOU!

Let’s start with one calendar year of digital images and your Short Story workbook. I chose to work with photos from 2017, since 2018 still has a few more days left 🙂 . As you scroll through photos on your camera roll or computer, use the notes section in Step 1 of the workbook to jot down major events, memorable moments and everyday themes that you remember and would like to see represented in the pictures you print. With these images and notes in mind, reflect on and answer the five questions. We sometimes jump straight to printing photos, but with a highlights project like this, these steps are absolutely essential to moving forward with confidence.

Use the information and details in your workbook with the list below to help you select and print up to 50 photos for your album.

  • 1 personality photo for each person and pet in your home
  • 1-2 group photos of family or friends
  • 1 photo depicting each season of the year (4)
  • 1-2 photos from each holiday you celebrate (7-12)
  • 1-2 photos for each major event and vacation (15-20)
  • 10-12 great everyday life photos

To make this easier, you can download and print this PDF checklist to help you with a Year in Review album. It’s got all of the types of photos listed for you to reference.

Start by selecting your group photos and the personality picture for each person you’ll be including in your story. Once you know that everyone is represented, it will be easier to select the remaining photos.

For events and travel where I struggled to select just one or two photos, I chose to print an extra image as a 2″ square. I also decided to print my selection of 12 everyday life photos as 2″ squares. I printed all other photos 4″ x 6″.

With your printed photos in hand, select one photo to set aside as your title page image. This is Step 2 in the workbook. From here, simply follow the additional steps outlined in the workbook and trust the process. Play some upbeat music and know that in just a few hours you will have an entire year beautifully documented and ready to display and share. Take a look at a few of the pages from my Year in Review album for 2017.

Blog-Year-At-A-Glance-Stacy-Julian-open-1A Year In Review #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #ctmhstacyjulian #yearinreview #scrapbooking #shortstoryalbum #shortstoryA Year In Review #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #ctmhstacyjulian #yearinreview #scrapbooking #shortstoryalbum #shortstoryA Year In Review #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #ctmhstacyjulian #yearinreview #scrapbooking #shortstoryalbum #shortstoryA Year In Review #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #ctmhstacyjulian #yearinreview #scrapbooking #shortstoryalbum #shortstory

You’ll see elements from the checklist represented in my album—individual family members, vacations, seasons, everyday life, and more! After creating your pages, don’t forget the most important part, YOUR story! Step 8 in the workbook gives you a few instructions for how to write a summary about your topic. In this case, it was an entire year of memories! You can draft your story in the workbook, and then write a final copy with a black journaling pen on the grid paper from the workshop kit.

A Year In Review #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #ctmhstacyjulian #yearinreview #scrapbooking #shortstoryalbum #shortstory #journaling #journalling

For this album, I also decided to decorate the cover. Using the Block Alphabet Thin Cuts and Lagoon cardstock, I made this nice, monochromatic title, Year In Review. The “2017” is stamped with the Simply Said stamp set in Lagoon ink. And there you have it—you’ve successfully documented an entire year! Can you believe how easy that is? You could use this process to make a series of year in review-themed albums. I can’t wait to do this again!

 Thanks Stacy for sharing a new way to use the Short Story album to get our photos and stories in scrapbooked in fun, creative ways. What year will you pick to document with a Short Story album?


Recipe:

Year in Review Short Story Album
C1725 My Acrylix® Simply Said Stamp Set, Z4218 Story by Stacy™ Short Story Workshop Kit—Lagoon, X6007 Lagoon Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3386 Thin Cuts—Block Alphabet, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen 

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Surprise Giveaway from Stacy Julian!

Stacy Julian wants to make your weekend with a surprise giveaway!!! Find out how to win a new Story by Stacy™ Short Story workshop kit below!

You have until 11 a.m. (MDT) Sunday, September 9, to enter the giveaway. Winners will be notified by email on Monday.

Good luck! 😉

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Making Title and Created By Cards in Story Starter

Even though every story is unique, there are some important parts that each one includes. For example, every story has a title and an author. This is why you’ll find specific cards in the Story by Stacy™—Story Starter workshop kits just for adding those two essential pieces. Story Starter helps you access a collection of memories that you can write as small stories in an album. Each workshop kit includes one title card and one created by card for you to add those story elements to every album you make and share.

Title Card

Story by Stacy—Story Starter #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #ctmhxstorybystacy #ctmhxstacyjulian #stacyjulian #storystarter #titlecard #album #minialbum #storytelling

Story by Stacy™—Story Starter is perfect for documenting the people, places, and things that you love, and by sliding a title card in right at the front, that subject is clear at the very beginning. These examples from Story Starter albums we’ve made show a few ways you can personalize the title card to fit whatever it is you are documenting.

Use the coordinating stamp sets, Colorful Texture and Quotable Words, to add stamped images in colors that match the rest of your album. You could also combine stamping with a small photo, or fill the title card with a larger square photo that has written words on the edges. The title card is yours to customize however you want.

Created By Card

Story by Stacy—Story Starter #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #ctmhxstorybystacy #ctmhxstacyjulian #stacyjulian #storystarter #createdbycard #authorcard #minialbum #album #storytelling

Part of what makes the stories you tell in Story Starter albums special is you! The words you write and the photos you use to illustrate them are yours, and that is why each Story Starter kit comes with a created by card. You, as the storyteller, should also be documented because these memories come from your perspective.

Just like your title card, you get to choose how you add the finishing touch as the author of this album. It might be a simple black and white photo with your signature. This is another place where you can add a little something extra with stamped images from Colorful Texture or Quotable Words. You could even go one step further with personalizing your created by card by flipping it over and using the back. This gives you a blank card to arrange a photo and stamped images in any way you like.

Another reason why we love having a created by card is that it gives you a place to write a small note when you give a Story Starter album as a gift. These small albums are both an easy and incredibly fun way to celebrate the people and moments that you cherish. You can use the created by card to include your name as the author of the story and add a note to that special someone.

As you make your own Story Starter albums, don’t skip the title or created by cards. These little additions highlight your album’s subject and the storyteller (that’s you!). You bring something exceptional to every story you tell, and it’s an important piece of the memories you include both inside your Story by Stacy™—Story Starter album and in any memory keeping project that you make. Keep telling those stories!

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Stamping with Story Starter

Telling stories is what Story Starter is all about. This first workshop kit in the Story by Stacy™ product line walks you through the process of recalling detailed memories, writing them down, and then organizing them into small stories to pair with photos.

Story Starter albums get even better when you add stamping to your story cards with the Colorful Textures and Quotable Words stamp sets. These stamp sets are designed especially to work with the stories you tell in these albums, and today we are giving you some ideas for how you can use the Story Starter workshop kit with its coordinating stamp sets to personalize your written memories.

Using Colorful Textures

There are so many ways you can include splashes of color on your story cards. With the Colorful Textures stamp set, you can stamp simple images to match each story and photo in your Story Starter album. Shapes like hearts and stars fit perfectly next to words on your story card.

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These shapes can also be used to decorate your quote cards. With one solid and one outline circle, small touches of color make your quote cards more interesting and unique to you.

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Colorful Textures includes a few words that can be used to make short phrases. You can see we arranged the words to stamp the phrase “I LOVE the way YOU” on our story card. Build your phrase on a My Acrylix® block, like we did. Leave one word out. Stamp the phrase with Black ink, and then stamp the missing word in a different color.

Using Quotable Words

The Quotable Words stamp set gives you many options for stamping phrases or quotes on your story cards. You can use these images to personalize your story, or you can even incorporate them into how you write your memories on the story cards.

Stamping Story Starter #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstacyjulian #ctmhxstacyjulian #ctmhstorystarter #stamping #quoteablewords #ctmhquoteablewords #colorfultextures #ctmhcolorfultextures #MyAcrylix #stamping #stampset #journaling #journalling #stacyjulian #minialbum #album #stories

This story card makes use of the checklist image and “the BEST things:” sentiment to create a repeatable format for each story card in the album. Stamp your images in a different color on each story card, like you see here, and then write your memories from your Story Starter workbook in a list on each story card.

Using the Stamp Sets Together

Not only are these stamp sets designed specifically for Story Starter, they are also meant to work together. You can combine words and textures to create story cards that coordinate with your story and photos. Every card could be different, or you could use a repeatable element on each card.

Mix the solid shapes from Colorful Textures with a sentiment from Quotable Words to create borders on your story cards. You can use longer shapes along the edges of your card and stamp a phrase in the middle.

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As you write your stories, don’t forget you can use the lined or blank side of your story card. The story doesn’t have to fill the entire card. If you have extra space, fill it with a combination of images from Colorful Textures and Quotable Words, or you can intentionally leave some white space as you write your memories down.

Stamping on your story cards can happen before or after you complete your writing. In the video, you can see that stamping first lets you organize your memories in creative ways, and it took no time at all! If you choose to write your story first, then stamp with a light color of ink over your words to highlight a particular phrase, or use smaller shapes to stamp around the edges.

Stamping Story Starter #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstacyjulian #ctmhxstacyjulian #ctmhstorystarter #stamping #quoteablewords #ctmhquoteablewords #colorfultextures #ctmhcolorfultextures #MyAcrylix #stamping #stampset #journaling #journalling #stacyjulian #minialbum #album #stories #peoplewelove

Your written words and the photos that go with them are the most important part of your Story Starter album. You can see above that the story is complete with or without stamped images. By including stamping, you can make your album your own, add fun pops of color, and highlight the parts that are the most significant to you.

Your style is unique, just like your story! Story Starter helps you uncover those stories stuck in your memory bank, write them down, and share them in fun, easy ways. With the Colorful Textures and Quotable Words stamp sets, you use your own creativity to add personalization and color to your Story Starter album.

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Gearing Up for Convention in Las Vegas!

Gearing Up for Convention #cmth #closetomyheart #convention #NorthAmerican #party #LasVegas #lasvegas #vegas #Vegas #craft #crafting #scrapping #scrapbooking #diy #learn #business #crafters #community #storybystacy #ctmhstorybystacyIn case you haven’t heard, the North American Close To My Heart Convention this year is at the Red Rock Resort in fabulous Las Vegas! We couldn’t be more excited to get to see many of you there and for the opportunity to share some new products and ideas for the upcoming year!

A can’t-miss two-day event, Convention is packed with incredible business classes and speakers, creative sessions, new product demonstrations, trainings, and so much more. Every part of this event is designed to help you create the success you want in every area of your Close To My Heart business. You will leave with tons of great ideas, inspiration, and motivation to take your craft, your team, and your business to new heights! We want you to succeed!

Best of all, at Convention you’ll connect with seasoned sales veterans and passionate crafters who will share imaginative trade secrets and cutting-edge techniques in an atmosphere of fun and friendship. The relationships and memories forged and reinforced are bound to be among the greatest rewards you’ll bring home.

One of this year’s special guests is none other than our good friend, Stacy Julian. Watch the video below for a sneak into something new you can expect.

Convention is the biggest party Close To My Heart hosts every year. We get tons of Consultants together in one location to do what we love most—crafting and talking about it! But, really, there is so much more to Convention than that. Underneath all of the beautiful paper and trim, the purpose of Convention is to help you grow as an individual and as a Consultant.

As you gear up for Convention, we encourage you to come with some in mind. Time will fly by once we’re there and, before you know it, it will be over and you will have more memories to scrapbook. Make the most of your Convention experience by thinking ahead of what you wish to get out of it. (What do you want to achieve? Who do you want to meet? What do you hope to learn?)

The Close To My Heart Convention is the best place to fuel your passion, spark your creativity, and ignite your business! If you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for? Come celebrate and create with us by registering today, while you still can!

Create-Convention-2018

Convention is only open to current, active Consultants, but the good news is that you still have a few days to take advantage of an awesome sign-up special! Become a Consultant today and then join us for Convention!

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