Holiday Stories WE Love!

Holiday Stories I Love #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #holidaystoriesilove #storiesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #holiday #christmas

There are so many great stories that happen around the holidays that deserve to be written down, cherished, and shared. In November, we released a new workshop kit from the Story by Stacy™ line called Holiday Stories I Love. Using this new workshop kit, a few of our Home Office employees, including our beloved founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton, explored the memories behind photos they treasure most, documented them with detailed stories, and shared them with us below!

Holiday Stories I Love #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #holidaystoriesilove #storiesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #holiday #christmas

Dolls have always played such a significant part of my life. I love them for their beauty and their representation of many fond childhood memories.

My love of dolls began before I can even remember. I cherish this photo of me with my mother on my very first Christmas. Our lovely tree, and my mother and me dressed in our Sunday best. My mother always said she thought of me as her little doll. She loved to dress me up in beautiful clothes with all the little details, just so. She said I even looked like a little dolly with my porcelain skin, big blue eyes and pretty pink lips. She called me her doll and I loved it. It made me feel so special.

By my second Christmas, dolls were my happy place. I took dolls with me everywhere I went. I played with them, gave them each a name, and fussed with their clothes and hair to make them look oh-so pretty. On my third Christmas, I went to see Santa. My mother recalls that when I sat upon his lap, the only gift I requested was more dolls! Dolls were such a happy part of my childhood and even now, bring such a feeling of nostalgia of a time where life was carefree and magical.

As a mother myself, I call my children and grandchildren my little dolls, just like my mom called me. It is a term of endearment that has carried on because it shows such love for these special and beautiful people who fill my heart and home.

Even today as a grown woman, I still find joy in collecting dolls. I’ve created quite a compilation over the years of beautiful dolls, each representing something special. I have dolls of every ethnicity, hair style, period of history, etc. They bring me a sense of comfort and joy to see their splendor and exquisite detail. I hope to one day pass these cherished dolls down to my daughters and granddaughters, that they might know of my love for dolls, but more importantly, my love for them. — Jeanette

Holiday Stories I Love #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #holidaystoriesilove #storiesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #holiday #christmas

A tradition that goes back as long as I can remember is a Christmas nativity that we act out ourselves. I did this as a child with my own family. I’m so happy we have carried it on with my own children and now grandchildren. The year we took this particular photo was December 2018. We had just moved to Lindon and went to our local ward (church) Christmas party. We were about to leave but Ariana insisted we take this photo. Even though I was tired from working all day I did it for the family. I’m so grateful I did. It truly represents all the nativities we have done as a family with better costumes! Lol. We usually use towels, sheets, and toys. No matter how hard, crazy, busy Christmas seems to be, our homemade nativity always brings the true Christmas spirit into our home. We are a forever family because of our Savior. Monica

Holiday Stories I Love #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #holidaystoriesilove #storiesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #holiday #christmas

I think I was 11 years old and in the 6th grade. We lived in Littleton, CO, and my dad had quit his job at Metropolitan State University a few months before. He had been asked to do some dishonest things and wasn’t willing to compromise his integrity. Money was very tight and even though I knew that, I still asked for a 10-speed bike.

My bedroom was in the basement, and so was my dad’s workshop. My parents told me that Christmas was going to be hidden in the workshop and asked me not to peek. I just couldn’t help myself. A week before Christmas I looked inside. I saw a very old, very beat up, white 10-speed bike.

I remember being so disappointed. My idea of a cool bike was a brand new bike in a pretty color with all the bells and whistles. I remember thinking, “I shouldn’t feel this way! I know Dad is out of work, money is really tight, and this is probably all he could afford.” I remember for the rest of the week leading up to Christmas feeling so guilty for peeking and trying to psych myself up to act grateful, surprised, and excited on Christmas.

Christmas morning came and into the living room we went. There, next to the tree, sat a brand new, bright yellow 10-speed bike. It had all the bells and whistles and it was just for me. I truly was surprised and so excited! It was not the bike I had seen when I peeked. It wasn’t until years later that I found out my dad had been so sad to give me an old bike that he asked around and found out about a police auction. He went and was able to find that new bike for an amount he felt he could pay.

Every time I think of that bike, even today, I get all choked up. It was so much more than a bike. It was a symbol of the lengths my dad was willing to go to make his little girl happy, and showed me just how much he loves me. — Karen

Holiday Stories I Love #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #holidaystoriesilove #storiesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #holiday #christmas

This photo was taken on Dec. 14, 2017. I have no idea who took it, or how this moment was captured, but I am so very glad it was. This photo represents a special tradition we have of getting a new Christmas book for our collection & reading by the tree before bedtime. The lights of the tree make it all the more magical.

The particular title isn’t a storyline I recall, but there is one Christmas book that has meant the most to this little boy. In 2012, the year he was born, President Thomas S. Monson’s book, “The Christmas Train,” was the one we added to our collection. As soon as Owen was old enough to understand it, it quickly became his favorite & we read it multiple times during the holiday season.

The story is about President Monson as a young boy, wanting desperately to have an electric train. I think the train topic definitely added to Owen’s infatuation with the book, yet I also know that the story itself has had an impact on him as well.

The story details the importance of sharing, & sometimes sacrificing, to see the joy it brings to others. Owen is one to pray each day for the homeless—that they can find food & shelter. He wants to donate to the Food Bank & worries about those he sees on the side of the road. He will often comment hours after passing someone, still thinking about their situation or what they might need. He has a very soft heart & a desire to love those less fortunate.

As much as we may try to instill these selfless traits in our children, I do firmly believe that Owen came to Earth this way. His special spirit is filled with compassion & caring. It is a gift especially given to him.

This photo will always be the perfect reminder to me that Owen embodies the characteristics of a prophet as a young boy—wanting so much for himself (Owen’s wish list is always exceptionally long!) yet, he acts on a stronger desire to give. —Jill

Holiday Stories I Love #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #holidaystoriesilove #storiesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #holiday #christmas

Each year a few weeks before Christmas my mom would use a staple gun to stick two long burlap banners to wood beams dividing the dining and living rooms in our home. Both of these were decorated with felt poinsettias and holly leaves hand-cut and hot-glued. To these we would pin the Christmas cards we received. I remember thinking as a teenager that they were looking a bit worn, but that I was ok with that. I liked Mom’s handmade holiday touches.

Geoff and I spend our first Christmases together in Chicago, and I was determined to make our little apartment homey. We purchased a pint sized artificial tree and I wanted ornaments, but other than the very breakable glass balls, these were expensive. I decided that I would clip coupons from the Sunday paper and that however much I saved on groceries I could purchase and paint at Michaels. Some were as much as .59 cents each, but the gingerbread men were only .29 cents. While Geoff studied every evening, I painted ornaments that have hung on our tree ever since.

By the time we built our current home—in 2006—I had fallen in love with bright, happy colors and with the help of fuzzy ball ornaments from IKEA, I created a bright and playful vision that included painted hat boxes and leather stockings in orange, pink, turquoise and green. The point of this story is that I LOVE to decorate for the holidays—just like my mom—with a mix of handmade and thoughtfully acquired things, and that while my style is very different, and a bit childish, it is magical and 100% me! — Stacy

All of our Story by Stacy™ products are intended to help recall and retell memories in a beautiful way, as you can see by our true-life examples, above. We wish you all a lovely holiday season, full of beautiful new memories for you to cherish, recall, and share for years to come!

Happy holidays!

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Memory Keeping with a Theme

Do you ever look at all your photos and wonder where to even begin? Do you go chronologically, starting at the beginning? Do you try to scrapbook the most recent ones? Do you stick to special events? It can be hard to choose, and that’s why we are loving the newest Story by Stacy™ workshop kit, Stories I Love. Stories I Love encourages all of us to focus on the photos and stories we treasure the most. Using just one photo and story at a time, the workbook included in the kit walks you through how to write a personal story exploring all of the layers behind that single photo. With this kit, you’ll have nine photos and stories documented in one special place.

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

Choosing just nine of your most favorite photos for a Stories I Love album might still seem like a daunting task. You definitely don’t have to choose your top nine all at once. You can give yourself time to consider which photos you want to include, but we also have another approach to share with you today. You can use this approach with Stories I Love or apply it to any memory keeping project. Here’s the secret… choose a theme to help you get started. Instead of looking at all your thousands of photos (we’re confident you have that many), help yourself narrow it down by sticking to one theme or subject. Having a few parameters will make it easier to get started.

We asked three of the artists from our art studio to consider a Stories I Love album theme that they’d like to use to document stories and photos that are meaningful to them. You can use their ideas below to try this on your own! Remember, these themes are great for a Stories I Love album or you can use them in any size format. Even a 12″ x 12″ themed album can help you narrow your focus and get your memories in a scrapbook.

#1 Travel Adventures

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

In this type of album, you can gather the stories and photos you love the most from places you’ve been, or you can choose your favorite photos from just one trip. For her travel album, our artist used the pages and stickers included in the Stories I Love workshop kit to document a treasured moment from a study abroad adventure in Italy. The layouts in her album include special photos from other places that she’s traveled, near or far, and the stories that go with them.

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

You can see how she’s used the process outlined in the workbook to draft and even edit her story. This is part of what makes each Story by Stacy™ kit so usable. It takes you through the steps of both writing and creating. It’s ok if your workbook gets messy. It’s there to give you the space you need to draft and adjust the story before you write it on your album page.

#2 Family Traditions

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

Another approach is to focus on family traditions. With this Stories I Love layout, our artist has highlighted a photo she loves of her family at Easter, and her story explores some of her favorite family traditions during Easter time. This artist kept her pages simple, letting the story and the black and white photo remain the most important parts of the layout, with stickers and just a few added silver glitter gems. You could use a Stories I Love album for photos about family holiday traditions or even things your family likes to do together. Do you go camping every summer? Do you have special family events that happen at Christmas time? Odds are that for these moments you also have photos of them that are particularly meaningful to you. Use this type of themed album to gather them all in one place.

#3 Relationships

Memory Keeping with a Theme #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstorybystacy #storybystacy #ctmhstoriesilove #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #themescrapbook

A different way you can theme your album is by focusing on a particular relationship. It could be with a parent, sibling, friend, or child. The photos in the album could highlight fun moments together or things you especially love about that person. For this album, our artist decided to work with photos just of her granddaughters. In her layout, she described one of her favorite things she does with her granddaughters and the special moments she gets to share with them. You can see how she’s added some other paper and embellishments to her pages. They don’t distract from the story and photo but do give her layout a different look.

It’s exciting to see how these stories and photos from our artists can come together to create a uniquely themed album for their memories. Just in case you need a few more ideas, here’s a handful of others you can try.

  • Baby album: Haven’t had time to finish your child’s baby album? That’s ok! Choose nine favorite baby photos and use the Stories I Love approach to tell those stories. This is an easy way to create a baby book that includes the best moments and stories in your own words.
  • Childhood album: Choose a few stories and photos from your own childhood. You may not have time to go back and scrapbook every photo, but this way you can gather the stories and photos that you love the most in one place. You’ll be able to write your favorite stories from your growing up years and share them with your family. This is something you could also do with your own kids. Have them choose their favorite photos and help them write the story behind one photo at a time. Not only is this a fun project to do together, but you’ll have a story told from their “kid” perspective.
  • Graduation album: Graduation season will be here soon. A Stories I Love album can be a great way to celebrate your graduate. Share a handful of stories and photos about that person over time. You can highlight moments from their life, big events, or simply what you love about the person they are becoming. This type of album is great to give as a gift to commemorate their special moment. You could do the same type of album for someone that’s retiring or reaching a milestone birthday or anniversary.
  • Pet album: Many of us have a furry friend in our lives. Use a themed album to gather photos of your pets and the stories that go with them. This could be an album you leave in process. Add some stories and photos in a Stories I Love album and then leave a few pages empty. This way you have space to include a few more the next time your pet does something new, silly, or even naughty that you want to remember with a story and photo. 🙂

The most important thing you can do is tell the stories and share the photos that you love. Those are stories that only you can tell, and starting with a theme can help you get rid of distractions or even scrapbook guilt (the guilt that memory keepers sometimes feel when they don’t have time to scrapbook EVERY SINGLE PHOTO). Give yourself permission to start with the ones that are the most important to you. That’s exactly what a Stories I Love album is for. We hope you’re inspired today to give the themed album approach a try, and we’d love to hear what theme you plan to use. Share them with us in the comments below!


Recipes:

6″ x 8″ Italy Layout
C1758 My Acrylix® Details I Love Stamp Set, Z4256 Story by Stacy™ Stories I Love Workshop Kit, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

6″ x 8″ Easter Layout
C1758 My Acrylix® Details I Love Stamp Set, Z4256 Story by Stacy™ Stories I Love Workshop Kit, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4191 Silver Glitter Gems, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

6″ x 8″ Granddaughters Layout
Z4256 Story by Stacy™ Stories I Love Workshop Kit, Z4217 Story by Stacy™ Short Story Workshop Kit—Black & White, X7242 I Heart Us Paper Packet, X6028 Black Cardstock, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4254 So Much Happy Puffy Stickers, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

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Stories I Love Giveaway from Stacy Julian!

We all have photos that hold a special place in our hearts. They remind us of something or someone, and they often have detailed, personal stories that go with them. Stories I Love, the newest program from Story by Stacy™, gives you permission to bring your most treasured photos together in one album and teaches you how to write the unique stories that go along with them.

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Your favorite photos may not be the ones that are the most pretty. They may not have the best lighting. They could be candid or staged. They could be from a special occasion or from everyday life. What makes them important are the memories they represent and what you feel when you look at them. That’s what Stories I Love is all about. Each Stories I Love workshop kit comes with a 6″ x 8″ album, ten 6″ x 8″ Memory Protectors™, one title page, one closing page, story pages, base pages, and two sticker sheets. The workbook included in the kit walks you through the steps of exploring the story behind one photo, writing that story, and then creating a 6″ x 8″ layout with just that story and photo.

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Are you ready to make your own Stories I Love album? Watch the video below to hear directly from Stacy about this new program and to find out how you can win your very own Stories I Love workshop kit!

You have until 11 a.m. (MST) Thursday, January 17, to enter in the giveaway. Winners will be notified by email on Thursday.

The memories behind the photos you cherish are stories only YOU can tell. Recording your thoughts and feelings transforms every layout you make into a treasured keepsake. We can’t wait to see what you create with Stories I Love!

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New and Exciting Products for the New Year!

New and Exciting Products for the New Year #ctmh #closetomyheart #SE1 #seasonalexpressions #ideabook #papercrafting #cardmaking #scrapbooking #creating #diy #storytelling #memorykeeping #jeanettelynton

Happy New Year everyone! To start things off in true Close To My Heart style, we’re ringing in 2019 with some flare of our own—a new Seasonal Expressions 1 catalog, filled with exceptional products, contemporary designs, and innovative ideas for all of your scrapbooking and cardmaking creative needs! We’ve rounded up just 10 of our favorite products below to give you a small sampling of the excitement we’ve got in store for the upcoming year as we celebrate 35 years of creativity in the papercrafting business. If you like what you see here, make sure to talk with your Consultant (or visit our site here) to feast on the contents of this commemorative catalog from cover to cover. We promise, you will not be disappointed! 😉

Cut-apart Sheets

Included in every one of our new suite paper packets will be two cut-apart sheets. One side will have a customary 12″x 12″ design while the other side will feature a variety of shapes and sentiments that coordinate with the specific paper collection it belongs to. As the name implies, you cut these shapes and sentiments apart with scissors and use them as titles and accent pieces for your pages and cards.

Kit Coordinated Picture My Life™ Cards

New and Exciting Products for the New Year #ctmh #closetomyheart #SE1 #seasonalexpressions #ideabook #papercrafting #cardmaking #scrapbooking #creating #diy #storytelling #memorykeeping #picturemylife #pocketcards #pocketscrapbooking #ctmhsomethingfierce

Also new to each paper collection is a coordinating set of Picture My Life™ cards. In the past, a new catalog came with two sets of Picture My Life™ cards whose color schemes would match two of the catalog’s paper suites. This time around, we are doing things a little bit differently. Instead of offering two sets of pocket cards in our new catalog, there are FOUR sets of Picture My Life™ cards. Each set corresponding to one of the paper collections not just in color but in theme as well. Including additional photos to your layouts and albums with our pocket Memory Protectors™ just got easier!

Embossing Folders

They’re baaack! We just can’t help playing with paper, and what a fun and easy way to do so with an embossing folder! Embossing folders make adding depth and texture to any of our papers a cinch! For your crafting arsenal, we have two new embossing folders, the Playful Scallops and Swiss Dot. Create some lasting impressions, as you get crafty with these new patterns!

Paper Pals

se1-stamps-paper-palsThere are a few new kids (and pets) in town and they’re all made out of paper! Say hello to the Paper Pal stamp and Thin Cuts! These are available as individual stamp sets: Paper Pal Base, Paper Pal Girl, Paper Pal Boy, and Paper Pal Pets, and also with coordinating Thin Cuts dies: Paper Pal Base Stamp + Thin Cuts, Paper Pal Girl Stamp + Thin Cuts, Paper Pal Boy Stamp + Thin Cuts, and Paper Pal Pets Stamp + Thin Cuts. And, better yet, if you like them all, get the Paper Pal Bundle, including all four stamp + Thin Cuts sets, and save over 10%!

Stitched Frames and Quilt Shapes

Thin-Cuts-stitched-frames-and-quilt-shapes

The Stitched Square Frames and Stitched Rectangle Frames Thin Cuts are an easy way to mat photos, journaling, and anything else you want to highlight in your art. Each of the dies included in the sets cuts two shapes: one stitched frame piece and a ½” smaller inside shape with stitching around its border. The Stitched Quilt Shapes Thin Cuts were designed to add stitched patterns and cut solid shapes that nestle perfectly inside the frames for effortless paper quilting!

Watercolor Die-cuts

watercolor-die-cuts

The Feels Like Home watercolor die-cuts are floral designs that come printed on two 6″ x 6″ watercolor papers. Add color using your favorite watercolor paints or pencils and then punch them out to embellish your artwork. These die-cuts coordinate with the Feels Like Home collection but, as you can see, they are customizable to other color schemes and your liking!

Story by Stacy™ Stories I Love

The Stories I Love workshop kit provides a place to gather the photos that mean the most to you and document the stories that go along with them! The included instructional workbook explains how to explore the memories behind the photos you treasure and then write a detailed story to capture all of the elements of that moment!

My Acrylix® Word Search Highlights

We can’t wrap this list up without showcasing at least a couple standalone stamp sets. The My Acrylix® Word Search Highlights stamp set is one of the many in the Seasonal Expressions 1 catalog that will brighten someone’s day. With a fun word search hiding sentiments for all sorts of occasions, you can quickly and easily create a fun and meaningful card.

My Acrylix® Love in Bloom

Another stamp set that is sure to catch your eye is the My Acrylix® Love in Bloom stamp set. The six stamps in the set are designed to layer on top of each other and form a single, beautiful image.

Designer Travel Shoulder Tote

Take all of your crafting supplies on the go with the newest member of our Designer Travel line, the stylish and durable Shoulder Tote! It features a zippered main compartment, one small interior pocket, and one large exterior zipper pocket.

Like we said at the very beginning of this post, these are just a few of the many products worth taking a look at in our new Seasonal Expressions 1 catalog. Make sure to contact your Consultant, or visit us here, to see what else 2019 holds in store!

May you have a wonderful and happy New Year!

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