As any avid scrapper knows, crafting can be a great way to learn more about yourself and embrace all the things that make you special. Sharing this opportunity for self-discovery with the kids in your life is a great way to show them how much you care about them, while also introducing them to the joys of paper crafting and scrapbooking!
We’re excited to announce a new series of virtual events, specifically geared toward a younger audience. Introducing…CTMH Kids Crafts! These special virtual events will be hosted by Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi’s nine-year-old daughter, Maya. Kids will love crafting along with Maya as she shows them how to create fun, personalized projects, just for them!
During our first CTMH Kids Crafts event, Maya will take kids through each step of creating the fun Born to Shine album! With an adorable 4″ x 4″ mini album from the Story by Stacy™ collection and some too-cute Picture My Life™ pocket cards from the Summer Vibes collection, the Born to Shine album is a perfect starting point for any kid to begin their crafting journey!
This first CTMH Kids Crafts event is taking place on August 21, starting at 4:30 p.m. (MDT). If you are planning to create along with Maya, you will need a Born to Shine album kit, which comes with one 4″ x 4″ mini album, one pack of Summer Vibes Picture My Life™ pocket cards, 4″ x 4″ sheets of white cardstock, the exclusive My Acrylix® Born to Shine stamp set, and a 2″ x 3½” ¼” stamping block. Apart from this handy kit, all that you or your kids will need to complete the project are a paper trimmer, an ink pad, some adhesive, and a journaling pen!
This project can be a great way to introduce kids to stamping and crafting, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to introduce them to the art of memory keeping, as they’ll get to select their own photos and decide what stories they want to tell.
The Born to Shine album is simple and fun to create, with some minimal cutting. Since paper trimmers or scissors will be involved, we recommend that any child who participates be supervised by an adult. (Each page in the Born to Shine album is made from trimmed down pocket cards and 4″ x 4″ cardstock.)
Every one of the layouts in this album your kiddos will make with Maya include fun, positive sentiments from the stamp set specially designed to celebrate their best qualities. At Close To My Heart, we want every kid to realize that they are special, and we’re so excited to help them embrace the things that make them great!
Just a few days ago, Maya and Monica went live on Facebook and they eagerly shared more about this brand-new series of events and the Born to Shine album. Take a look!
The CTMH Kids Crafts: Born to Shine virtual event is free to attend (watch), and as Maya says, this project is great for “every kind of kid!” Even if your kids aren’t little anymore, you can still share this event with grandkids, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, or any other kid in your life! To make things even more exciting, we’ll be doing some fun giveaways during the live event, with tons of opportunities to win! In order to be eligible to win any of these prizes, make sure to mark yourself as “GOING” on the Close To My Heart (Official) Facebook events page. We can’t wait for you and your kiddos to join us for our inaugural CTMH Kids Crafts event and the many more to come!
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! <3
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK YOUR EMAIL TO FIND OUT IF YOU’RE ONE OF THE LUCKY WINNERS!
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.
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 Stand
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 Places
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.You 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: Hometown
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?
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.
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!
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
My Acrylix® Colorful Texture Stamp Set
My Acrylix® Quoteable Words Stamp Set
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today’s blog post comes from our beloved friend, Stacy Julian! Stacy is a recognized leader in the scrapbooking industry. She is the founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks magazine and the visionary founder of Big Picture Scrapbooking. After getting her initial start into the papercrafting world through Close To My Heart, Stacy is coming “home” to combine her ideas and training into the Story by Stacy™ product line! We could not be more thrilled about this partnership!
For as long as there have been human beings, human beings have been telling stories. Stories are how we connect, celebrate, and remember. Stories organize our thoughts, experiences, and beliefs for sharing. Stories are how we pass down personal histories. Stories teach, motivate, and inspire. We understand who we are and what we are capable of because of the stories we tell ourselves. Storytelling is a powerful force for good. I know you know this, but even as memory keepers we can lose sight of the importance of documenting stories—and sometimes we make it harder than it is.
Hello. I’m Stacy Julian.
I’ve had the pleasure of working in the scrapbooking and paper crafting industry for a very long time and I’m beyond thrilled to be partnering with Close To My Heart on a new line of Story by Stacy™ products designed to help people discover and document their stories. This is my first foray into product design and, while I am having a blast with all of that, what I truly love most about Story by Stacy™ is the education and training that is a part of the products we are developing. I’m so excited to work with Close To My Heart Consultants and to learn from them as we share the joy of preserving personal stories with all of you.
Our very first product and program is called Story Starter. The Story Starter kit is designed to show you how simple it is to access your unique and valuable memories. When we scrapbook, we tend to believe that the story of a relationship, a special place, or a meaningful experience is in the pictures we take, but that’s not entirely true. While pictures are wonderful illustrations, the full story is inside of YOU and it takes just a few minutes to invite it out to play.
As you learn and practice the Story Starter process, you’ll be amazed at what you can remember! AND as specific details surface in your mind you’ll be able to pair them with photographs that you might not otherwise choose to use in an album. When you start with the story, the result will be a more genuine reflection of what matters most to you.
With Story Starter, all of these delicious details are then wrapped up in super CUTE mini books with inside pages that can be personalized with playful stamped images.
The whole process is fun and easy, and the finished project is a 100% valuable, and adorable, keepsake. I do need to warn you that the overall experience is addicting in the best of ways. You won’t be able to stop with just one Story Starter kit!
I cannot wait for you to get your hands on a Story Starter kit and workbook, so that you can start telling and sharing your stories in happy, colorful, and very authentic ways!
We love Stacy for her liberating philosophy and simple step-by-step thematic approach that unlocks a person’s creativity and helps them easily create stories out of life’s special moments. Please show our friend some love and share with us your thoughts about Story Starter in the comments below!