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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Kid Crafts with Maya!

CTMH Kids Crafts #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhkidscrafts #borntoshine #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #storytelling #photoalbum #minialbum

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!

CTMH Kids Crafts #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhkidscrafts #borntoshine #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #storytelling #photoalbum #minialbum

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!

CTMH Kids Crafts #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhkidscrafts #borntoshine #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #storytelling #photoalbum #minialbum

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!

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Extend-a-Story Challenge from Stacy Julian

Extend a Story Challenge #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #extendedstory #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking

As you likely know, I’m in LOVE with the idea of stacking memory protectors to create the room you need to incorporate MORE photos and MORE story into (on top of really) a foundation 12″ x 12″ layout. This approach is something I call Extended Story and the Close To My Heart Storyteller products make it so EASY!

But, did you know you don’t have to start from scratch with all these layers every time?

Using an already completed layout from one of your albums, you can simply add to it! That is precisely what I’m challenging you to do today!

Extend a Story Challenge #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #extendedstory #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking

The Extend-a-Story Challenge

I created this layout many moons ago to document everyday fun with my little boys. I adore the simplicity of a grid design and the colorful stickers still make me happy, but there is no journaling and so much more to say!

Extend a Story Challenge #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #extendedstory #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking

As I flipped through my albums, I chose this page as my foundation. In the midst of this crazy pandemic, I am realizing how important it is to create FUN at home with the people you love most. I will now be able to add a fun sister to this mix of brothers and bring this story up to date!

And, I’m excited to write from my current perspective—I even have an EXTRA FUN element that I want to add to my story AND share with you. A page about FUN should be FUN to discover—right?

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Select a 12″ x 12″ page or layout from the past. Look for a topic or theme that you can build on with more experiences and detail from your current perspective.

2. Locate and print additional photos that add to your original story. I like to start by adding photos to the 3″ x 4″ and 4″ x 6″ pocket pages that come in the Memory Protectors Combo Pack.  I also love to incorporate insert cards from the Storytelling Pack and the Story FYI stamp set.

3. Select pattern papers that coordinate with colors on your original layout—and remember, close is good enough! NOTE: I am particularly proud that I was able to use the new Happiest Place papers on this layout that is not about an amusement park, but FUN at home!

4. Think about an aspect of your topic that is different today (or one that is still the same) and design a new 8½” x 11″ or 6″  x 6″ page to highlight it. I like to ask myself questions like: When did we start doing this thing? or Who else is important to this topic? What are some specific examples or details that someone outside our family would not know? What has changed about how we do this thing today?

5. You now have plenty of room to journal, so if you didn’t have journaling—or not enough journaling—on your original page, you can add it now! Decide where and how to include these extra words.

6. Imagine how you want someone to experience this story—how do you want to introduce it? Pretend you’re building an open-face story sandwich—where the original 12″ x 12″ layout is the bread. Now, how will you stack the lunch meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato?

How My New Updated Extended Story Stacks Up!

First layer, 6″ x 6″ (front & back):

 

Second layer, 8½” x 11″ (front & back):

 

Third layer, 3″ x 4″ pockets (front & back): 

 

Fourth layer, 4″ x 6″ pockets (front & back):

 

Final layer or foundation, 12″ x 12″ (original) + 12″ x 12″ (bonus)

 

All these layers create a very cool and FUN extended story!

In my process video above you saw how I incorporated FUN emoji journaling in two places of my story. Feel free to borrow this emoji alphabet and the key to cracking it for your own using!

If you would like to add a secret emoji code to a page, or card, click here to download a printable PDF. If you download this PDF, you’ll be able to either screen shot the code breaker, or print the PDF and cut it out to tuck behind a photo to be discovered and used later!

IF you made it this far, you deserve a FUN 🎟🌈🍪🍓🎟 (that’s written in secret code of course!). May I suggest some FUN Storyteller products from Close To My Heart?! 😀

This is my daughter, Addie, cracking the secret emoji code.

Extend a Story Challenge #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #extendedstory #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking

As I was typing my journaling, I used the insert feature in my word processor and then scrolled down to Emojis &  Symbols menu. From here you can select or search for the emoji you need and insert it into your document.

Be sure to print a copy of the  emoji code breaker to tuck behind a photo or somewhere else in your pages. This creates a FUN and interactive way to send a special message and have more FUN!

I can’t wait to SEE what you do with this challenge. Be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #storybystacy ❤️

Love,
Stacy

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FREE Let’s Stay Home SVGs!

Let's Stay Home #ctmh #closetomyheart #alonetogether #free #svg #let'sstayhome #we'reallinthistogether #storytelling #journaling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #covid19

Over the last few weeks the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reshaped many of our lives. A lot of us are working from home, our children are dismissed from school, shops and stores we customarily frequent are either closed or understocked, and even a lot of outdoor venues, such as parks and playgrounds, are also off limits. As a society, we have had to pull ourselves together and come up with creative ways to continue doing the things that need to get done and to live life.

At Close To My Heart, we are committed to helping the storyteller in you share and preserve all of your new and unique experiences. Late last month, we created and released the Let’s Stay Home stamp set, which reflects these strange and unparalleled times.

Let's Stay Home #ctmh #closetomyheart #alonetogether #free #svg #let'sstayhome #we'reallinthistogether #storytelling #journaling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #covid19

In the video below, you will see how some of our Home Office friends used the Let’s Stay Home stamp set to create engaging scrapbook pages reflecting how the lives of their families have been impacted by our current events.

As this “alone together” journey continues, we’ve designed two Let’s Stay Home coordinating SVG images that you can download FREE for use with your favorite design software. (An SVG image is resolution independent and infinitely scalable, meaning it will look clear and crisp at any size.) Click on the images below and save them for your own personal use.

Let's Stay Home #ctmh #closetomyheart #alonetogether #free #svg #let'sstayhome #we'reallinthistogether #storytelling #journaling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #covid19
Seamlessly cut these timely titles out of cardstock to use on a scrapbook page, as shown below, along with the Let’s Stay Home stamp set.

Let's Stay Home #ctmh #closetomyheart #alonetogether #free #svg #let'sstayhome #we'reallinthistogether #storytelling #journaling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #covid19

These titles, when paired with vinyl, also make great album covers, providing a beautiful place to collect all of the memories you are making right now.

Let's Stay Home #ctmh #closetomyheart #alonetogether #free #svg #let'sstayhome #we'reallinthistogether #storytelling #journaling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #covid19

Keep documenting how life has changed for you and yours. Collect news stories, memes, photos, and, most importantly, collect your own personal experiences and stories. We wish you all love, joy, happiness, and health, today and every day. ❤️


Recipes:

6″ x 8″ Let’s Stay Home Album Cover
Let’s Stay Home SVG, Z3571 White Heat Transfer Vinyl, Z3575 Metallic Rose Gold Heat Transfer Vinyl, Z4219 Black 6″ x 8″ Everyday Life™ Album

8½” x 11″ We’re All in This Together Album Cover
We’re All in This Together SVG, Z3577 Old Gold Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl, Z5310 Charcoal 8½” x 11″ Everyday Life™ Album

12″ x 12″ We’re All in This Together Page
We’re All in This Together SVG, CC3212 My Acrylix® Let’s Stay Home Stamp Set, X7255B Seas the Day Paper Packet, CC3202 These Are My People Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, CC3204 These Are My People Coordinating Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4244 Stencil Sheets, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2848 Sapphire Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3507 Julep Glitter Gems, Z4213 Silver Embellishing Thread, Z3515 Black Journaling Pen (.01), Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut Shape:
Artistry
#M4188DF

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From Stacy Julian: World Storytelling Day Giveaway!

Storytelling #ctmh #closetomyheart #worldstorytellingday #storyteller #stacyjulian #connectedstory #extendedstory #giveaway #free #scrapbooking
Since today is St. Patrick’s Day 🍀I want to remind us all—Irish or not—how very LUCKY we are to be able to document and preserve stories.

Our daily lives have been turned upside down in so many ways right now and we’re all growing accustomed to that uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty. One of the very best things we can do is actually turn to our love of documenting to both capture what’s happening around us for the future and to remember and revive happy moments from our past. Both of these actions have been proven to be sources of strength and calm in times of crisis.

The kind of storytelling that is most helpful is the kind that illustrates connections to our past and reminds us how much doesn’t change. This storytelling is easier than you might suspect—especially with the concept of extended and connected stories available in the Storyteller how-to book.

Extended stories use layers of Memory Protectors™ and lots of photos mixed in with spots of journaling that share both the expected and the unexpected details. When those details point to another person, place or related thing then a connection is created.

Here, let me show you …

Storytelling #ctmh #closetomyheart #worldstorytellingday #storyteller #stacyjulian #connectedstory #extendedstory #giveaway #free #scrapbooking

When I was working in my studio on this extended story for Addie’s birthday, she came into the room, looked at the 5″ x7″ photo on the first page and said, “My teeth! They were so big.” I replied, “Guess what? I, too, had big teeth when I was your age!” And right then I got an idea. Why not find a photo of me at age 9 and add it to this layout? This, my friends, is a connection. Addie is no longer just a cute girl celebrating a birthday, she is a cute girl who feels connected to her mother because her mother also passed through the big teeth phase of childhood.

Storytelling #ctmh #closetomyheart #worldstorytellingday #storyteller #stacyjulian #connectedstory #extendedstory #giveaway #free #scrapbooking

Connections also pull details from photos that the casual observer might miss. Using the photo of Addie and her friends, just before they jumped into the pool, I was able to discern that girls between the ages of 8 and 10 clearly prefer to wear their goggles when jumping (and being photographed!). This example may be a bit silly, but there will always be “little known fact” details about life, culture, location, or any activity available to you that can be highlighted in your journaling and that will draw simple, but interesting connections from your story.

Storytelling #ctmh #closetomyheart #worldstorytellingday #storyteller #stacyjulian #connectedstory #extendedstory #giveaway #free #scrapbooking

One of the primary reasons I love this approach to storytelling is ALL of these fun pockets. I get to include more photos and capture a more comprehensive representation of (in this case) a birthday party!

Storytelling #ctmh #closetomyheart #worldstorytellingday #storyteller #stacyjulian #connectedstory #extendedstory #giveaway #free #scrapbooking

Look, here, at the second 4″ x 3″ pocket from the top. Another connection! When you share bits of your own memories from the past, as you document events in the present, you will always improve your story and your storytelling skills. Of course, the Story FYI stamps are designed to help you add these “did you know” details.

So, let’s review. An extended story is simply one that uses layers of memory protectors to include more photos and more story. A connected story is an extended story that includes journaled details from another person, place or time. These connections enrich your story and make it more fun for you and your audience.

Watch this full story experience with Addie and keep on telling those stories. They matter and the perspective you gain as a storyteller will bless you with a wonderful sense of confidence and calm, even when life gets crazy!

Storytelling #ctmh #closetomyheart #worldstorytellingday #storyteller #stacyjulian #connectedstory #extendedstory #giveaway #free #scrapbooking

Story Tip: I love the personality of handwritten journaling, but sometimes it makes more sense to use your computer. You can include both styles in an extended story! Whenever you hear yourself say, “I don’t know what to write!” Make a list. Your brain is exceptionally good at listing out details—there’s not much “writing” involved, and you can list things in random order. A list of 9 things for a 9th birthday is totally doable!

Giveaway: Would you like the opportunity to win a free Celebrate Today Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, Memory Protectors™ Combo Pack, and a My Acrylix® Story FYI stamp set? Make sure you are subscribed to this blog and leave a comment below sharing what you love most about extended and connected stories. This Friday, March 20th, is World Storytelling Day. At noon (MST) on Friday, five lucky winners will be chosen and later notified via email. Let’s all tell our stories, especially those that we are currently living. Best of luck friends! <3

Love,
Stacy

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Making a Connected Story

Our most interesting and compelling stories often involve some kind of connection, where what we have experienced is compared and contrasted with another person, place, or time. This type of story is what our storytelling and memory keeping friend, Stacy Julian, calls a Connected Story.

When a grandmother’s love of theater manifests in her grandson’s ability to light up the stage or a young girl’s delight in animals stems from her grandpa’s life work as a veterinarian, you have the makings of a connected story.

Connected Stories don’t have to be about significant generational influence or interests steeped in tradition. The best stories stem from your own experience and celebrate simple things, like the love of watermelon, hiking, jigsaw puzzles or violin music. When we back up and look at the past through the lens of one particular thing, it will reveal unique aspects of our lives, things we certainly want to document in our scrapbooks!

Learn more about the Connected Story process from Stacy Julian herself as she shares one of her personal favorites, below:

When you’re scrapbooking, how often do you find yourself running out of room because you have more photos and words than easily fit in one or two 12″ × 12″ pages? In short, you have more story to tell!

Stacy scrapbooked her watermelon Connected Story in a stack of multiple styles and sizes of Memory Protectors™. The result invites us on a journey where details unfold as we turn each page of the story.

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

The idea is to design a multi-layer layout, starting with a 12″ × 12″ base, that coordinates visually so that you can document a bigger experience or theme. This takes a little bit of planning, but the great thing is that no two layouts of this sort have to be arranged the same. The number of layers and styles of protectors will depend on the story you have to tell.

For additional storytelling tools and examples of this kind, make sure to check out our Story by Stacy™ how-to book, Storyteller.

Remember, the most compelling stories come from your own experience of ordinary life—from the things with which you already have an emotional connection. When you recount something that’s happened to you, you’ll recall not just the events but also the feelings associated with them. Those feelings and sensory details color your stories and bring them to life so they can be experienced again and again—retold by the people you love and the people who will someday want to know you.

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Storyteller with Stacy Julian!

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

 

Thanks for stopping by Stacy! <3

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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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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Feeling Heart Happy After Valentine’s Day with a Free Mini Album How-to Guide

It’s been a week since Valentine’s Day. Some of us celebrated with chocolates, flowers, dinners out, or even a sweet new color wheel ( 😉 ). Now what? There’s still some February leftover. Well, just because it’s no longer Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate what everyday life has to offer—that is why we are sharing instructions as a free download to create an Everyday Life™ sized album that does just that!

Heart Happy After Valentine's Day #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #everydaylife #minialbum #diyalbum #albuminstructions #free #freeguide #valentinesday #love #howto #scrapbooking #scrapbook #storytelling #everyday

Download your free Heart Happy Everyday Life™ album instructions, here.

Pretty much all of us are equipped to take photos wherever we go, of whatever we want, and whenever we feel like it. As a result, so many of life’s special moments end up stored in a “cloud” somewhere, rarely visited or seen again. Raise your hand if you’ve taken an indefinite number of photos of your cute children, grandchildren, fur babies, or even your food. What do you do with all of these photos? Are they still sitting in your phone? As one of our Consultants so eloquently put it, “don’t let your kids grow up as JPEGs!”

Our message to you today is simple: review the photos that you’ve taken and print them off! Don’t have a place to put them? Use the layouts in this Everyday Life™ album to get started and store your photos along with any stories that go with them.

Photos evoke emotions, capture moods, and remind us of things we long to hold on to. By putting our photos in an album, not only do you get to revisit these feelings, but then we get to share them with others and even allow them to have their own emotional responses. What does that mean? Simply put, it’s important to create albums for your family members and friends to look through. People love seeing pictures of themselves! (You know it’s true!) Children, especially. Create a place for the people you love to look at photos that you love, of whatever you love, through beautiful album pages that share your everyday journey.

Our Heart Happy Everyday Life™ album workshop is a great place to get started, and it will truly make your heart happy. If you’d like to make your very own Heart Happy album, we have a few different bundles of product offered at a reduced price to help you get going. Click on the links below to see which best fits your needs:

My Acrylix® A Piece of My Heart Stamp Set
Heart Happy Sticker Sheet
Heart Happy Paper Packet
Heart Happy Coordinating Cardstock
Heart Happy Everyday Life™ Workshop Kit
Heart Happy Everyday Life™ Workshop Kit without Stamp Set

One of the great things about the contents of this kit are the versatile words, icons, and shapes found throughout its stamp set, patterned papers, and stickers. Last month, we showed you these very same products used to create some really fun Valentine’s Day cards (click here to download those card instructions). Above, we showed you an album to showcase the everyday moments. Now, we want to show you even more!

Take a look at this 12″ x 12″ layout we came up with using the same stamp set and Heart Happy paper packet combined with a few other products:

Heart Happy After Valentine's Day #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #everydaylife #minialbum #diyalbum #albuminstructions #free #freeguide #valentinesday #love #howto #scrapbooking #scrapbook #storytelling #everyday #food #foodie #apieceofmyheart

Heart Happy After Valentine's Day #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #everydaylife #minialbum #diyalbum #albuminstructions #free #freeguide #valentinesday #love #howto #scrapbooking #scrapbook #storytelling #everyday #food #foodie #apieceofmyheartHeart Happy After Valentine's Day #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhhearthappy #everydaylife #minialbum #diyalbum #albuminstructions #free #freeguide #valentinesday #love #howto #scrapbooking #scrapbook #storytelling #everyday #food #foodie #apieceofmyheart

(Love never looked so tasty! 🙂 )

We hope today’s post inspires you to do something with all of those memories that you are storing up. Print your photos, write your stories, and create something with them to celebrate the way life looks today. Take the time to make your heart happy!


Recipe:

12″ x 12″ Yum Yum Layout
CC2191 My Acrylix® A Piece of My Heart Stamp Set, CC2193 Heart Happy Paper Packet, X7242B I Heart Us Paper Packet, X9003 Mix-in Paper Packet, X6005 Goldrush Cardstock, X6007 Lagoon Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2823 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6503 Mint Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2851 Saffron Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7242C I Heart Us Complements, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins, X7242E Picture My Life™ Cards—I Heart Us, X7241E Picture My Life™ Cards—So Much Happy, Z4181 Thin Cuts—Stitched Circles, Z3386 Thin Cuts—Block Alphabet, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3225 Waterbrush—Medium Round, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Sewing Machine

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