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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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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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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Get Creative with Mini Albums!

It’s easy to think that memory keeping needs to be done in a straight, chronological line, scrapbooking your photos as they happen … hopefully, but you can share your photos in many other fun and creative ways. That’s what makes the Story by Stacy™ product line so special. As it’s name suggests, these products invite us to explore the stories behind the photos we take to uncover the details that make them personal and interesting. Story by Stacy™ products encourage us to consider taking a different approach, one that focuses on your unique memories of the subject or topic of your album.

Getting Creative with Mini Albums #ctmh #closetomyheart #CTMHStorybyStacy #minialbum #scrapbooking #storyideas #memorykeeping #storytelling

A few weeks ago we shared a handful of ways you can use Story by Stacy™ workshop kits for the holidays. If you missed that blog post, check it out here. Because this month’s special features these amazing kits at a discount, we have a few more ideas for how you can document one-of-a-kind stories in the mini album format with Story Starter. Keep in mind, we’re showing you how to do this with Story Starter, but you could plug these ideas into any scrapbooking format. So many possibilities!

Idea #1: Where I StandGetting Creative with Mini Albums #ctmh #closetomyheart #CTMHStorybyStacy #minialbum #scrapbooking #storyideas #memorykeeping #storytelling

In this mini album, the storyteller has documented some of the places she’s been, but with a fun twist. All of these photos show shoes and the place where she’s standing. The ground you’ve walked on is also part of our journey. These kinds of photos could be taken anywhere, and in this Story Starter album, sharing the memories and stories about her shoes and where she is gives it an unusual AND intriguing perspective. This is an easy one to take photos for since it could be anywhere—standing at work, in front of your house, on a vacation—literally any place that you go. These types of stories showcase your experiences in a new way, and it reminds you of the places you’ve lived, worked, or traveled.

Idea #2: Happy PlacesGetting Creative with Mini Albums #ctmh #closetomyheart #CTMHStorybyStacy #minialbum #scrapbooking #storyideas #memorykeeping #storytelling

This Story Starter album is full of photos and memories of places that make this storyteller happy. For her, it’s the beach. Each photo is paired with a memory about what makes these places special, and pops of color are added with the bright colors of the Hello Pumpkin Complements and accents of Sapphire and Mint cardstock to match the photos. This is another fun topic because happy places are unique to you! Think about where you feel like your best self—happy, whole, and content. That’s the perfect subject for a happy place themed album.Getting Creative with Mini Albums #ctmh #closetomyheart #CTMHStorybyStacy #minialbum #scrapbooking #storyideas #memorykeeping #storytellingYou could create an entire series of Story Starters just to document the places that make you happy. Or, consider ways you can include other people in this kind of storytelling. You could do a Story Starter album with your family members, highlighting the places that each person loves with a photo and their own stories about that place.

Idea #3: HometownGetting Creative with Mini Albums #ctmh #closetomyheart #CTMHStorybyStacy #minialbum #scrapbooking #storyideas #memorykeeping #storytelling

Another place you will definitely have stories about is your hometown. A mini album like Story Starter is a great canvas for capturing the things that you love about where you’re from, and the writing process will help you document detailed memories about that particular place. Did you notice what’s on our album cover, “(208)”? It’s an area code! Even the area code is something that’s unique to just that one place. Maybe your hometown is famous for something or has a nickname? As you write your memories and gather photos, think about the community, the landmarks, and even the people. How are those things a part of who you are?Getting Creative with Mini Albums #ctmh #closetomyheart #CTMHStorybyStacy #minialbum #scrapbooking #storyideas #memorykeeping #storytelling
The Story Starter format is also a fun place to try including different kinds of small photos. With the 4″ x 4″ size, you could use small instant photo prints, like we’ve done here, to illustrate your memories.

Feeling inspired to create yet? Just in case you need a few more ideas, take a look at the list below and the examples from Stacy Julian, on her blog.

  • My Playlist
    • Music often plays a part in our favorite moments. Think about your favorite songs and write down why you love them. Then use a photo to illustrate the moment. If you don’t have a photo to pair with the musical memory, try including pictures in other ways. You could take a photo of the album cover or the artist. How you listen to music is also part of the experience. Is it on your phone? A record? A casette tape or CD? You could include those kinds of pictures and stories as well.
  • Memories about Movies/TV Shows
    • Are there shows you like to watch on a weekend? Any movies you never get tired of seeing? Just like how the music we listen to tells us something about the time and place we live in, so do the movies and shows we watch. You can probably easily list some of your top faves, but have you ever thought about WHY you like them? Use the Story Starter writing process to think about the memories you associate with the movies you love.
  • A Day (or Week) in the Life
    • Approach this kind of topic in a new way with Story Starter. Start by first going through the writing portion. Take some time to think about what a day or a week looks like for you. What are the highlights? What are your habits or routines? Do any particular sounds, tastes, or feelings come to mind? Then group those memories together and find (or take) photos to represent them.

 Check out these blog posts from Stacy Julian, the Stacy behind Story by Stacy™ products. She used Story Starter albums to tell some fun stories about herself and other memories. Click the links below to learn more about each of these topics.

With all of these ways to share your story, we know you have so much to document with Story Starter! This December take advantage of the great discounts on Story Starter workshop kits and their coordinating stamp sets. Get individual workshop kits and stamps at 20% off the retail price or, because we know you’re going to need more than one, purchase select Story Starter bundles at 30% off their retail price! Not only do these make for great gifts, but they’re an easy way to create timeless treasures with your memories. We can’t wait to see what you create, and when you’re done, make sure you share your story!


Recipes:

Where I Stand Story Starter Album
C1725 My Acrylix® Simply Said Stamp Set, Z4208 Story by Stacy™ Story Starter Workshop Kit—Dots, X6007 Lagoon Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4230 Candy Apple Striped Ribbon, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

Happy Places Story Starter Album
Z4209 Story by Stacy™ Story Starter Workshop Kit—Stripes, X5986 Mint Cardstock, X6021 Sapphire Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X7236E Picture My Life™ Cards—Perfectly ImperfectX7236C Hello Pumpkin Complements, Z3386 Thin Cuts—Block Alphabet, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

(208) Hometown Story Starter Album
Z4218 Story by Stacy™ Short Story Workshop Kit—Lagoon, Z4208 Story by Stacy™ Story Starter Workshop Kit—Candy Apple, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X7236E Picture My Life™ Cards—Perfectly ImperfectX7236C Hello Pumpkin Complements, Z4159 Thin Cuts—Block Numbers, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

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New Ways to Document the Holidays

We are always looking for new ways to document this season, and today we have some ideas to share with you about how to do this, especially with Story by Stacy™ workshop kits! The Story by Stacy™ product line reminds us to consider the importance of the story behind our photos. Each workshop kit gives us new tools to keep our scrapbooking fresh and story-focused. You can use all of these ideas today within a Story Starter or Short Story album, but don’t forget you could also incorporate these holiday album themes into any scrapbooking project!

Let’s get started!

New Ways to Document the Holidays #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhxstorybystacy #storybystacy #Christmasalbum #Christmasornaments #holidayhighlights #holidays #Christmascountdown #scrapbooking #papercrafting #storytelling

We know you have stories and photos between Halloween and Christmas, from family get-togethers to opening gifts on Christmas morning, but have you considered how even the little things about the holidays have stories? Even your ornaments and decorations have memories attached to them. Where did you get them? Was it homemade? Do they commemorate an event or special moment?

New Ways to Document the Holidays #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhxstorybystacy #storybystacy #Christmasalbum #Christmasornaments #holidayhighlights #holidays #Christmascountdown #scrapbooking #papercrafting #storytelling

These types of small stories are perfect for a Story Starter album. You can use the Story Starter workbook to help you remember the details about your holiday ornaments and write small stories to pair with a photo in the album. By taking time to ask yourself questions to revisit the memories you have, your story will include the details that make these ornaments special.

New Ways to Document the Holidays #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhxstorybystacy #storybystacy #Christmasalbum #Christmasornaments #holidayhighlights #holidays #Christmascountdown #scrapbooking #papercrafting #storytelling

The focus of the Story Starter album is, of course, the stories and photos you include, but you can add quick seasonal embellishments using a holiday stamp set to make it even more festive. In the album we’re showing you today, we added Candy Apple and New England Ivy images and phrases to our pages from the My Acrylix® Christmas Countdown stamp set along with accents of gold shimmer trim. Just these simple additions gave our Story Starter album a distinctive holiday look and feel.

Here are some other ideas for Story Starter albums this season:

  • People or things you are grateful for this year
    Tip: Try using the My Acrylix® Grateful Heart—Scrapbooking stamp set for words and phrases to stamp in a gratitude-themed Story Starter 🙂
  • Favorite Thanksgiving or Christmas foods
  • Check out Stacy Julian’s blog here to see how she created a Halloween Story Starter album AND here for an easy way to document the things your family is thankful for in a Story Starter album.

New Ways to Document the Holidays #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhxstorybystacy #storybystacy #Christmasalbum #Christmasornaments #holidayhighlights #holidays #Christmascountdown #scrapbooking #papercrafting #storytelling

With Story Starter you can pair individual stories and photos together about the same subject, like your Christmas ornaments, but we know that often you just have a lot of photos you want to preserve in a scrapbook. The Short Story format is the answer for you. If you’re anything like us, you’ve taken many, many, many photos during the holidays, and Short Story can help you document those photos by telling a visual story, almost like a picture book, with a summary at the end.

New Ways to Document the Holidays #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhxstorybystacy #storybystacy #Christmasalbum #Christmasornaments #holidayhighlights #holidays #Christmascountdown #scrapbooking #papercrafting #storytelling

We’ve used Short Story to scrapbook a variety of photos from this little guy’s first few Christmases. He may not remember all the details as he gets big, but this Short Story album will remind him about the fun things he did every year during the holidays. You can combine the patterned paper and embellishments from the workshop kit with a few stamped sentiments and shimmer trim to give your album that special holiday feel. We paired the bright colors of the Short Story patterned paper with the whimsical look of the sentiments in the My Acrylix® Oh What Fun—Scrapbooking stamp set.

With Short Story, you could focus on one particular Thanksgiving or Christmas or gather photos over a longer period of time to highlight the things that have been family traditions or fun holiday activities. Do you take your kids to see Santa every year? You could create a fun Short Story album that shows Santa photos over many years, and then write a summary about them at the end of your album. It’s a fun way to see how your family has grown or changed over time and see how your traditions look throughout the years.

  • Family Thanksgiving or Christmas traditions
  • Christmas morning over the years
  • Visits to Santa
  • Christmas vacations

Documenting the holidays doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Use these ideas to create Short Story or Story Starter albums that you can pull out every year to remember everything you love about this season, including your own holiday stories and photos. If 12″ x 12″ is more your style, that’s great too! You can use any of these ideas in your scrapbooking, just remember to focus on the story.


Recipes:

Ornaments Story Starter Album
D1799 My Acrylix® Christmas Countdown Stamp Set, Z4207 Story by Stacy™ Story Starter Workshop Kit—DotsZ6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1985 Gold Shimmer Trim

Christmas Short Story Album
D1803 My Acrylix® Oh What Fun—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, Z4218 Story by Stacy™ Short Story Workshop Kit—Lagoon, Z6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2807 Willow Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7238C Oh What Fun Complements, Z4304 Loose Sequins—Silver, Z1799 Silver Shimmer TrimZ2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

 

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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!

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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.

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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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Visual Storytelling with Short Story

When we scrapbook, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in planning our pages. We spend lots of time deciding where to put the photos, what paper to use, and how to add the perfect embellishments. Never fear! Stacy Julian and Close To My Heart have a new Story by Stacy™ program to help you overcome those hurdles to scrapbook a large amount of photos in a short amount of time. The Short Story workshop kits will teach you a new way to tell your stories. With Short Story, you will re-energize your creativity and learn to trust your intuition as you go.

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The Story by Stacy™ product line is all about building stronger storytellers. Through Story Starter, you learned how to access detailed memories and then write them down as small, quick stories with a photo illustration. Now we’re building on that to teach you a new process for working with your photos and memories. Through Short Story, you’ll create an entire album about a person, place, thing, or experience that you love. Short Story focuses on a visual storytelling process with a written summary at the end. Included in each workshop kit is a workbook to walk you through how to do this.

The video above gives you a small peak into what you’ll do using the Short Story workshop kit. First, you’ll consider the surface information related to your photos like where you are or the people you’re with. You’ll also think about questions that will help you interact with your photos. Then it’s time to move on to the creative part and make pages with your photos. This is where you’ll discover how to really let go and allow your creativity to flow. You’ll learn how to trim your photos BEFORE making pages, then attach photos and add patterned paper to each page, and top it all off with embellishments. By the end of the creative process, you’ll be ready to write a story summary to give your unique, authentic point of view at the end of the album.

Short Story workshop kits come with everything you need to complete a 6″ x 6″ album. Each kit has Memory Protectors™, colorful patterned paper, White Daisy cardstock, black and white embellishments, and a workbook to guide you through the process. Just pick the kit with the album you like best, Lagoon or black and white gingham. All you need is a photo trimmer, journaling pen, adhesive, scissors, and, of course, a stack of photos about your subject.

The colorful patterned paper included in your kit will make your photos stand out in a Short Story album. These double-sided papers are designed to work well with any photos with a variety of solid color prints, multi-color prints, and even a few black and white designs.

Short Story workshop kits also come with lots of options for embellishing your pages, like you see in the photos above. Each kit includes die-cuts, stickers, gingham ribbon, dots, and white twine. You’ll notice that all of the Short Story embellishments are black and white. Black and white embellishments will help you tie your layouts together and create visual flow without distracting from the story your photos are telling.

To make personalizing your pages even more fun, there is also a special stamp set designed to use in a Short Story album. The My Acrylix® Simply Said stamp set includes letters, numbers, symbols, and icons that are just the right size for the Short Story format.

There are so many stories you can tell with Short Story. It could be a specific event or vacation. You could use Short Story to document a relationship over time with a family member or friend, or it could be about something else you just really love. Whatever subject you choose, this process allows you to scrapbook a large amount of photos in a fun, colorful way. Just like Story Starter, this is a project you can start and FINISH. You don’t have to plan ahead or worry about making decisions as you go. Trust your own creative intuition and see where it takes you!

What kinds of stories do you plan to tell with Short Story? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.

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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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