25 Scrapbooking Hacks

We talked to the pros in our art studio and came up with a list of easy, yet very effective, tips and tricks to take your scrapbooking artwork from good to great! (A few of these tips were shared in previous blog posts, but a lot of them are new. We’ve put them all together for you to have as a resource in one great list!)

Ready to step up your scrapbooking game? Take a look!

1. Try attaching embellishments with mini staples. Mini staples can give your page a different feel without any extra work.

2. Use a ruler and pencil to draw in journaling lines. Write your journaling and then either erase the lines or go over them with a black journaling pen.

Scrapbooking Hacks #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrappingtips #scrapbookingtips ##scrapping #scrapbooking #hacks #ideas #25scrapbookinghacks

3. To change up the look of your title, cut letters from patterned paper or even the background of extra photos using Block Alphabet Thin Cuts.

4. Place embellishments in odd numbers on your layouts. Odd numbers are visually more appealing.

5. Cut shimmer trim into smaller strips by lightly attaching it to your paper trimmer. This will keep it in place while you trim, giving you a nice straight cut. Plus, it pulls off easily when you’re done!

6. Stamp outline shapes on patterned paper. Then, you don’t have to color the shapes in yourself.

7. Don’t be afraid to mix and match the patterned paper from several paper collections to have more options for your layouts. We spy three different paper collections on this page. Can you find them all, too?

Scrapbooking Hacks #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrappingtips #scrapbookingtips ##scrapping #scrapbooking #hacks #ideas #25scrapbookinghacks

8. Missing a photo for your layout? You can put wax paper under a Complement sticker that might go over a photo. This lets you finish assembling your layout and add the missing photo later.

9. Stamp words with alphabet stamp sets to create personalized backgrounds.

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10. Before you throw your paper scraps away, see if you have pieces that you can use to cut small shapes like circles, squares, or rectangles. Even these little pieces can be used for layering, backgrounds, or as journaling strips. You can even tear the edges to use as washi tape.

11. When adding paint splatters after your page is put together, make sure to mask the layout and photos with scratch paper.

12. Didn’t get your title perfectly straight? Use a small tool like a Cricut® spatula to gently move something already attached to your page.

Scrapbooking Hacks #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrappingtips #scrapbookingtips ##scrapping #scrapbooking #hacks #ideas #25scrapbookinghacks

13. Bend up the edges of layers to add dimension. This could be a simple banner or photo mat, just to give an extra touch of depth.

14. When sewing on your layouts, avoid putting adhesive where you plan to sew. The adhesive will get stuck on the needle. Use adhesive to attach paper in the center and then sew the edges like we did below.

15. Experiment with a ⅛” photo mat on your layouts. This gives you slight definition around your photo without distracting from other elements on your page.

16. Trim Complements from the 6″ x 6″ sheet and lay them on your artwork to preview their placement before attaching them. It’s much easier to find the perfect spot and see how they will look on your page.

17. When layering several patterned papers, staple them together first, then cover with a photo. This will keep your layers arranged how you’d like them while you are gluing down your page. Here is an example. A small staple holds the three layers in place behind the photo.

Scrapbooking Hacks #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrappingtips #scrapbookingtips ##scrapping #scrapbooking #hacks #ideas #25scrapbookinghacks

18. Before attaching your paper, embellishments, and photos, lay everything out on your page and snap a quick photo with your phone. This gives you something to reference as you attach each piece, making sure you get it exactly how you want it.

19. Use the smallest possible My Acrylix® block when stamping on a layout. A smaller block can help you avoid rocking your stamp back and forth and ending up with a wobbly image.

20. Mix patterned paper with small, medium, and large patterns. Here you can see how we used a tiny floral pattern combined with the medium-sized triangle pattern, and finally the large polka dots.

Scrapbooking Hacks #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrappingtips #scrapbookingtips ##scrapping #scrapbooking #hacks #ideas #25scrapbookinghacks

21. Move the paper not the scissors when hand trimming embellishments, stamped images, and other shapes.

22. If a color feels too bright for a layout, use vellum to tone it down. We added a small strip of vellum, sewn over the Charcoal cardstock, to create a softer edge.

23. Hold on to extra Thin Cuts or Cricut® shapes to use for other projects. You never know when an extra tag, banner, or circle could come in handy while you’re crafting!

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24. Need a different color or patterned paper for your layout? Remember your pocket cards! Pocket cards from paper packets or from Picture My Life™ cards can be trimmed and used as accents or titles.

25. Use tweezers, a piercing tool, or even the tip of your micro-tip scissors to help you gently place small embellishments like bitty sparkles.

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Now it’s your turn! Do you have any tips or tricks that you use while you’re scrapbooking? Share in the comments.

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Taking Your Artwork up a Notch

We’re rolling up our sleeves today and sharing a few of our “tricks” to add that little something extra to create artwork that looks polished and complete. Check it out!

Elevate Your Artwork #ctmh #closetomyheart #elevate #art #artwork #make #waves #mermaid #little #girl #be #strong #you #brave #fearless #beach #clusters #stamping #lifted #edges #soft #hard #tips #diy #howto #doityourself #scrapbook #scrapbooking

There are several things to learn from this layout, alone.

Embellishment Clusters.

Elevate Your Artwork #ctmh #closetomyheart #elevate #art #artwork #make #waves #mermaid #little #girl #be #strong #you #brave #fearless #beach #clusters #stamping #lifted #edges #soft #hard #tips #diy #howto #doityourself #flower #sequins #pink #glitter #paper #scrapbooking #scrapbook

Embellishments are a great way to add intricate details to any paper project. When putting clusters together, do so in odd numbers—consider three or five. (Any more than five may start to look too crowded and can take away from the project as a whole, so proceed with caution.)

Soft and Sharp Edges.

Elevate Your Artwork #ctmh #closetomyheart #elevate #art #artwork #make #waves #mermaid #little #girl #be #strong #you #brave #fearless #beach #clusters #stamping #lifted #edges #soft #hard #tips #diy #howto #doityourself #glitter #paper #pink #bashful #scrapbooking #scrapbook

As you’re laying down your pieces, Complements or any other type of embellishment, mix your edges up. What does that mean? If you have pieces that have pointed or sharp edges, add something with a rounded edge next to it. This creates balance in the art and avoids making it look too harsh (or too soft, in contrast).

Plan Your Stamping.

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Before you start stamping away all over your beautiful (and sometimes hard!) work, come up with a plan. One of the perks of My Acrylix® stamps is that they are transparent. Before sticking them to a block and inking, lay your stamps out on your project to help you find just the right placement.

Raise Some Edges.

Elevate Your Artwork #ctmh #closetomyheart #elevate #art #artwork #make #waves #mermaid #little #girl #be #strong #you #brave #fearless #beach #clusters #stamping #lifted #edges #soft #hard #tips #diy #howto #doityourself #glitter #paper #pink #bashful #scrapbooking #scrapbook

This is an especially easy way to add texture and interest to your artwork. After adhering a pattern piece, or Complement, lift the edges with your finger. It doesn’t have to be sewn on for it to work, either.

This last “trick” is cardmaking specific.

Elevate Your Artwork #ctmh #closetomyheart #elevate #art #artwork #make #waves #mermaid #little #girl #be #strong #you #brave #fearless #beach #clusters #stamping #lifted #edges #soft #hard #tips #diy #howto #doityourself #cardmaking #card #making #super #girl #boy #wonder #kids #superhero #heroes #hero

Ever wonder how we pull cards off that have twine or ribbon wrapped around them?

Use a False Front!

This simple, yet mind blowing, trick will make all the difference in your cardmaking game. Cut a 5½” x 4¼” piece of White Daisy cardstock and decorate it as if it were the card. Wrap your ribbons and twine around it and adhere the ends on the back before attaching the cardstock to the card base. The ugly, glued ends are now hidden from sight giving your card a finished look.

There you have it, folks! Five of our tricks to elevate your artwork for picture perfect quality!


Recipes:

12″ x 12″ Be You Layout
Make It from Your Heart Vol. 3: Pattern 23
D1764 My Acrylix® Make Waves—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7227B Make Waves Paper Packet, Z3350 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7227C Make Waves Complements, Z4142 Make Waves Sequins & Gems, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Sewing Machine

4¼” × 5½” Boy Wonder Card (Horizontal)
Z4162 Super Boy Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7229B Stargazer Paper Packet, X7230B Chelsea Gardens Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5957 Sapphire Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2816 Cranberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7229C Stargazer Complements, Z4155 Chelsea Gardens Dots & Gems, Z3216 White Twine, Z4145 Light Grey Ribbon, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting Machine

4¼” × 5½” This Girl Can Card (Vertical)
Z4163 Super Girl Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7229B Stargazer Paper Packet, X7230B Chelsea Gardens Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5978 Glacier Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7229C Stargazer Complements, Z4143 Stargazer DotsZ3216 White Twine, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting Machine

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10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone

Today’s post is an extra special treat! We’ve asked the talented Chari Pack, founder & CEO of Persnickety Prints, to share with you some tips for taking better photos on your phone. Whether you’re promoting your Close To My Heart business, taking photos for your scrapbooking, or just posting to social media, these tips are sure to take your phone photography to the next level!
10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tips

The way you present yourself, your artwork, and the products you offer has a huge impact on your business. Online sales will increase with improved product images.

Here’s how to get the best shot every time…

1. Natural Light (no flash)

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsWhen shooting with flash, the subject can be blown out and shadows disappear. With product shots, a soft shadow adds depth. Keep your flash off and set products under a window using natural light.

2. Focus (tap screen)

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsOn iPhones (and some Androids), tap the screen to focus on the subject. With the new iPhone 7S, use the portrait mode to blur out the background. With a short focal length, you’ll get that fancy dSLR camera result without the fancy camera.

3. Hold Steady & Level

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tips“Camera shake” can cause your photo to be blurry. Use steady hands or prop up your phone and use the self-timer for best results.

4. Staging (simple & clean)

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsInvest in a white poster board—it’s the perfect solution for a DIY backdrop! Wrapping paper or other fun colors can be added for dimension. Be sure your CTMH projects, cards, and layouts stand out. “Busy” photos tend to get lost in the crowd.

5. Get up close and personal!

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsDon’t be afraid to get up close to show details of the project. Shoot from different angles to focus on specific elements.

6. Pay attention to shadows

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsBe sure the shadow of your hand or camera is not in the frame. When shooting scrapbooking layouts, take the pages or photos out of the Memory Protectors™ and set the pages or photos on top. Your reader won’t notice they’re not inside, but they’ll notice the plastic glare when they are.

7. Use negative space to add text

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tipsUse the rule of thirds and push the subject to one side, leaving empty space to add a text overlay. We love using Rhonna Designs (iPhone and Android) and Adobe Post (iPhone and Desktop) to add text or a message to your photos.

8. Scale size with objects or pretty hands

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tips

Use objects to show the actual size of your product so the viewer isn’t misled. Well manicured hands holding a product works, too!

9. Keep your phone/camera level

When shooting from above your product, be sure your camera is flat and level. Use the Snapseed App (free on iTunes and Android)  to adjust horizons if needed.

10. Take 1 minute to Edit & Enhance before sharing

Even a quick click of the enhance button in your native camera will give your photo just enough pop! We love Snapseed (free on iTunes and Android) for enhancements.

The Rhonna Designs App is not only great for text overlays: We also use it to journal and design prints for our scrapbooks!

10 Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Phone #ctmh #closetomyheart #persnicketyprints #scrapbooking #memorykeeping #photography #tips

We can’t wait to see you put these tools into action! Additional photo tips and tricks can be found on the Persnickety Prints blog.

XOXO,

Chari

Thanks, Chari, for the great tips! Let’s show her some love in the comments, folks! 

Also, remember that Persnickety Prints created a discount code for you, our readers! Aren’t they the best? 🙂 Use this discount code to save 20% on your entire Persnickety Prints order: CTMH20

This code expires August 30, cannot be combined with other discount codes, and is limited to one use per customer. 

Now go print those fabulous photos on your phone! 🙂

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Stamping ABC’s

Here we are, in the middle of Stampaganaza 2017, with more stamping tips and tricks for you to carry up your sleeve and share with your friends! Today we’re giving you the ABC’s of working with alphabet stamps. Most of us have at least one font that is our go to, so go grab it and try the following out! (If you’re looking for a new favorite, check out our new Storybook Alphabet—July Stamp of the Month!)
Counting Sheep #closetomyheart #ctmh #layout #countingsheep #sleeping #alphabetstamp #alphabet #scrapbooking
A is for Alignment
For our first trick, we will tell you to stamp your letters one at a time instead of spelling out entire words on a stamping block. A lot of people do this (and we do too, sometimes!) but we find it easier to pull off crisper and cleaner letters when they are stamped individually. If you’re afraid that your letters won’t line up straight, use a ruler and a pencil to lightly draw a line to act as a guide for where you will be stamping. As for spacing between the letters, just eyeball it! Artists are definitely not perfectionists!
Love Card #closetomyheart #ctmh #cardmaking #lovecard #love #alphabetstamp #stampingB is for Background
Never underestimate the power of a strong backdrop! Alphabet stamps make great backgrounds and can send subtle messages through artwork. Align your letters using the tips we’ve already mentioned, but throw them in the back for a fun and easy way to personalize your crafts.
Gift Tag #closetomyheart #ctmh #tag #alphabet #alphabetstamp #stampingC is for Center (Sorry Cookie Monster, maybe next time)
Our final tip is about centering your words in your artwork without having to pull out a ruler. If you are trying to center a word on a piece of paper, like in our Hello tag above, start stamping from the middle letter of the word. We started with the first L in “HELLO” and then worked our way out from there, playfully staggering the letters slightly up and down.

Remember your ABC’s—they can make a world of difference when you stamp! If you’ve got some alphabet tips of your own that you would like to share, please do so in the comments below!


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Counting Sheep Page
S1707 My Acrylix® Storybook Alphabet—Stamp of the Month, E1034 My Acrylix® Marker Alphabet Stamp Set, B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand Stamp Set, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5752 Juniper Cardstock, X5777 Fern Cardstock, X5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2813 Sea Glass Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2865 Juniper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3273 Baby Boy Complements, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape

4¼” x 5½” Love Card
E1027 My Acrylix® Framework Alphabet Stamp Set, X7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5788 Raspberry Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2865 Juniper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2806 Emerald Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3216 White Twine, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Flower Market
1¾” Background <c> (p. 33)

2¾” x 1¾” Hello Tag
B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand Stamp Set, X7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5777 Fern Cardstock, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3272 Baby Girl Complements, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Glassine Bag

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking Collection
1¾” Photo Mat 1 <AllStar> (p. 83)

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13 Tips for Finding Time to Preserve Your Memories

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

It’s one thing to understand the importance of memory keeping…and it’s another thing entirely to find time to make it happen. Here are some tips to help you out. 🙂

1. Write It in Your Planner

Just writing down a reminder will increase your chances of making it happen.

2. Do It with A Friend

You know how people talk about having a workout buddy to hold yourself accountable? Why not have a scrappin’ buddy? You can keep each other accountable and have fun along the way!

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

3. Attend a Monthly Crop, Workshop, or Club

Or…you can have a BUNCH of scrappin’ buddies! By committing to a regular crop, workshop, or club, you hold yourself accountable to make memory keeping happen. Plus, it’s nice to get out of the house and away from any distractions. 😉

4. Divide Up Tasks

Sometimes it’s hard to work on preserving your memories because it seems like such an overwhelming task, especially if you’re new to the game. Breaking it into manageable steps will make it much more approachable: For example, organize a box of photos today, start working on some layouts tomorrow, and attach the photos to your layouts next week. Baby steps are just fine, folks!

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

5. Commit to a Specific Amount of Time Each Day

Committing to 10, 20, or 30 minutes of memory keeping each day might be better suited for your lifestyle, so try it out! And remember, spending time sorting photos or cutting paper totally counts if that’s what step you need to do next—you don’t have to finish anything.

6. Scrap Early in the Morning or Late at Night

If your kiddos or spouse keep interrupting you whenever you sit down to start working, try working early in the morning or late at night for maximum productivity.13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

7. Make It a Habit

Whatever actions you’ve taken to implement other habits into your life, apply those same actions to memory keeping. Once it’s a habit, you’ll save time and energy just by having a rhythm. You won’t even have to think about it anymore.

8. Simplify Your Schedule

Sometimes making room for something in your life simply means cutting something else out. See if there’s anything of less value you can cut from your schedule to make way for memory keeping.

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

9. Look Into Quicker Options

The great thing about memory keeping nowadays is that there are a million different options for how to do it. Some of our favorite time-savers include pocket scrapbooking, our Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors™ for adding more photos between your layouts, and our Cut Above™ layout kits, which come with pre-cut pieces for easy assembly. Even if you’re a die-hard decorative scrapbooker who loves those intricate frills—maybe even just on some layouts—there are lots of great products that make getting that fancy look take less time.

10. Set Goals

Setting goals is always a good idea when you need to motivate yourself to make time for something. Maybe you want to get that Christmas album done by the end of summer vacation, or maybe you want to finish organizing your 1995 photos by the end of the month—just having a specific goal in mind will make you more likely to take steps to reach that goal.

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart11. Replace Social Media Time

If we were to actually keep track of how much time we spend on Facebook, Pinterest (and Farmville and Candy Crush, etc., etc.), we’d probably be very surprised. Try replacing your social media time (or at least part of it) with memory keeping…we know you won’t regret it!

12. Scrap Whenever You Watch TV

Another great way to get something done is to pair it with an activity you enjoy. Make a commitment to work on preserving your memories anytime you sit down to watch TV.

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

13. Dedicate a Space to Memory Keeping

Productivity can often be improved just by dedicating a space for a certain task. Dedicate a space to memory keeping (ideally a place where you can leave projects you’re in the middle of), and decorate it with things that inspire you, like a vision board.

How do you find time for memory keeping? Tell us in the comments below.

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From Jill: Capture Memories as You Make Them

Use your planner to write down things you want to remember for your scrapbook! #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #scrapbooking #tips #crafting
This post originally appeared last year on our blog. It has been edited slightly for relevance. Read the original here.

As I enter the New Year with resolutions and hopes for the future, there is one resolution that I keep at the top of my list year after year: documenting my stories. Because this is so important to me, I am always looking for new ways to do it.

For the past two years, I’ve been trying a new form of journaling involving my planner. I have always been a planner person. Even with technological advances, I like using pen and paper to organize my days, and since I always have my planner close by, I thought I’d try something out.Use your planner to up your scrapbooking game--you won't want to miss this great idea! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #planner #journaling #memorykeepingmatters

Here’s what I did: Whenever something sparked a memory from my past or whenever something special happened that day that I wanted to remember, I wrote it down in my planner. You can see my example here from two years ago.

By jotting these things down in my planner as I remembered them or as they happened, I found I focused more on what’s really important in life and not just my never-ending to-do list. I also found that when I went to scrapbook, I could reference my planner for journaling ideas.

Sometimes what I wrote in my planner was something that happened on a specific day, but other times I just wrote down a random memory from the past.

Either way, turning to my planner gave me inspiration for what to write next to my photos, like you can see from this scrapbook page I created last year:

Use your planner to up your scrapbooking game--you won't want to miss this great idea! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #planner #journaling #memorykeepingmatters

The photo I used on this page was taken in June, but that little quote actually came from a conversation between these two kiddos in January. Even though the exchange didn’t happen at the same time as the photo, it made a much more meaningful story to compliment my photo than something generic like “here we are at the park… again.” The quote and photo work together to tell the story of their relationship at that point in time.

Our dear friend and brilliant storyteller, Stacy Julian, has spoken at a couple of our events in the past year, encouraging everyone to document memories as they come. On our CreativeLive show last year, she led us in a fun exercise to trigger memories and stories with random photos of ordinary objects.

This exercise transformed the way I think about storytelling, showing me that even seemingly random, unconnected memories are part of my story and can often be connected to more significant memories. Instead of letting these random memories fade whenever they are sparked by something I encounter in my day, if I just take two minutes to write them down, they can be kept and told. Whether the memories are old or new, a planner is such a convenient place to record them as they come so you can remember all those details when you sit down to do your journaling.

I want to invite all of you to join me in my efforts to keep and tell stories by writing down things as they happen in your planners. And if you haven’t already gotten our 2017 planner pages yet, I encourage you to get them now! We have three different bundles. You can check them out by clicking on the images below.

 

Coloring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbookColoring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbookColoring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbook

One thing I love about our unique planners is that they have coloring pages, which is a great way to inspire your creativity every time you open your planner. It makes your day-to-day planning feel extra special, and when you combine that with documenting precious moments and revisited memories, you can create something really beautiful.

Coloring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbook

To help you get started with this new journaling approach, here is your first prompt: Document a conversation. This could be something your cute kiddos say, a nice exchange between you and a loved one, or the conversation you observe between a grandparent and a child. If you’d like, snap of photo of your notes and share it using the hashtag #memorykeepingmatters.

One of my favorite quotes from author Madeleine L’Engle says, “Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.” This is what I want for my family and my life, and I want it for each of you, too. Join me in a storytelling journey by using your planner to record special memories as they come to you.

Always let your stories shine,

Jill


To learn more about our 2017 planner, check out our video below (which features me!) 🙂 :

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5 Tips for Creating a Vision Board

With the new year quickly approaching, we want to share with you some tips for creating an amazing vision board for 2017. And as an early Christmas present, our vision board will give you a sneak peek at some of the products in our upcoming catalog, which will be live on January 1! 🙂

5 Tips for Creating a Vision Board! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diySo what exactly is a vision board? It’s a place to display images, words, or objects that represent both what you want to be and what you want to do with your life in one beautiful, central location. Our hope is that this fun project will help you solidify a vision for your art and your life for the upcoming year, all while keeping your thoughts and actions organized so you can accomplish this vision.

Your vision board can become your light at the end of the tunnel during creative blocks. It can keep you motivated to continue on when things get hard.

Now let’s dive into what you’ll need to do to create your vision board! As with all art projects on this blog, we encourage you to use the artwork you see here as a jumping-off point for your own artwork. With a vision board in particular, it is especially important for you to make it your own!

1. Determine what you want your vision board to accomplish.

Then find words, lyrics, or quotes that go along with your vision. Use stamps, Cricut® cuts, Picture My Life™ cards, or simply your own handwriting to add these words of inspiration to your board.

DIY vision board for 2017! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diy

2. Spell out your dreams and goals.

Whether it’s a list of crafting techniques you want to learn, projects you want to finish, places you want to visit, or dreams you have for your family or career, writing down your goals and reading them every day will help you take the steps necessary to bring your vision to life!

3. Always look for inspiration.

A vision board is a project you never finish. It is a source of inspiration and a tool for staying organized, so it makes sense that it will change again and again over time. Every day, make an effort to notice the beauty around you, and then add anything that inspires you to your board. One simple way to do this is keep your eyes open while you craft. Add any embellishments, ribbon, washi tape, or Complements that speak to you. If you cut a little more shimmer trim than you need, add it to your vision board instead of tossing it out!

DIY vision board for 2017! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diy

4. Use it as an organizational tool. 

Add to-do lists to your vision board. Tasks that might otherwise seem mundane become easier to tackle when they are part of the grand vision for your life—and plus, they look so much cuter! Even weekly schedules take on a new light when you dress them up. Your vision board is also a great place to include tasks you may otherwise procrastinate, such as sending a thank you card to someone or visiting an old friend.

5. Throw out the rulebook!

Add items to your vision board that you’re naturally drawn to, not what you think you should be drawn to. Remember, your vision board should be a reflection of you! Get creative, choose things out of the ordinary, and be true to yourself. Dare to do things like stamp on a photo or add random scraps of doodling. The most important thing is not to overthink it—just follow your intuition!

DIY vision board for 2017! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diy

There you have it: the beginner’s guide to creating a stellar vision board! Although our craft rooms may never stay organized, at least our creative visions can stay on track. 😉

We’d love to see how your vision boards turn out! Share photos of your vision board on the Close To My Heart Facebook page!

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Color Coordination Made Easy

Introducing Sea Glass, our first-ever Color of the Year! #ctmh #closetomyheart #seaglass #mint #scrapbooking #cardmaking #crafting #colorinspiration #trendycolor

One thing we are most proud of is the way our color palette makes color coordination effortless. Essential crafting supplies like cardstock and inks are available in all of our exclusive colors, which are the same colors used in patterned papers and many accessories.

This year, we’ve introduced a new color that we’re calling our Color of the Year. Like our other colors, this trendy, minty hue called Sea Glass comes in a stamp pad, mini pigment pad, re-inker, cardstock, and glitter paper. You’ll also see hints of Sea Glass in different patterned papers, embellishments, and other products throughout the year.

Since Sea Glass has been introduced in this stand-alone way, today we want to share some ideas for how you can combine Sea Glass with our other colors.

Introducing Sea Glass, our first-ever Color of the Year! #ctmh #closetomyheart #seaglass #mint #scrapbooking #cardmaking #crafting #colorinspiration #trendycolor

We love Sea Glass paired with yellows. It’s a great color combination for your spring and summer layouts because it’s bright and happy. Add black to the mix for a clean, modern vibe.

Introducing Sea Glass, our first-ever Color of the Year! #ctmh #closetomyheart #seaglass #mint #scrapbooking #cardmaking #crafting #colorinspiration #trendycolor

Sea Glass also looks really sharp with metallics, like on the “Best Day Ever” card shown above. The minty hue and the gold give your artwork some vintage flair. If you want to go a more monochromatic route, pair Sea Glass with greens, like the Emerald cardstock on the “Yay” card.

When it comes down to it though, Sea Glass is such a versatile color that you should just try it out in all different kinds of color combinations to see what you like best—you really can’t go wrong!

Finally, we have some great resources to help you replicate our exclusive colors using some other coloring tools: the ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers and our watercolors. Take a look to see what combinations of markers or watercolors you can use to fit in with our palette colors—including Sea Glass!

Download Marker Guide

Download Watercolor Guide

Freshen up your favorite color combinations by adding minty Sea Glass to the mix, and then finish off your artwork with watercolors and markers that perfectly match!

Recipes

12″ x 12″ Lucky in Love Layout
Z3253 Adventure Fundamentals, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals, X5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3240 Sea Glass Glitter Paper, Z3269 You & Me Complements, Z3265 School K-6 Complements, Z3264 Good Life Complements, Z2027 Mini Stapler, Z2097 Mini Staples, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ You Make My Heart Happy Card
A1192 My Acrylix® Happy Heart, Z3262 Rustic Home FundamentalsZ3253 Adventure FundamentalsX5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2507 Sea Glass Exclusive Inks™ Mini Pigment PadZ3267 All Together Complements,Z3269 You & Me Complements ,Z3265 School K-6 ComplementsZ1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles

4″ x 4″ Yay Card
D1700 My Acrylix® Way to Go, X5783 Emerald CardstockX5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3240 Sea Glass Glitter Paper, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3273 Baby Boy ComplementsZ1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles

4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ Best Day Ever Card
Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals,X5789 Sea Glass CardstockZ3269 You & Me Complements,Z3264 Good Life Complements, Z3267 All Together Complements, Z1263 Bitty SparklesZ2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, X254 White Cards & Envelopes Value Pack

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The Magical Pocket Card

You’ve probably tried your hand at pocket scrapbooking before, but have you ever tried using pocket cards on your traditional scrapbook layouts? Just like with pocket scrapbooking, these cards can help you put together a beautiful layout in a flash.

Each of our paper packets comes with two 12″ x 12″ sheets of pocket cards that you can cut apart and use in a variety of ways. We used a bunch of these cards from the Magical paper packet to make this adorable layout. Can you spot them all?

Ideas for how to use pocket scrapbooking cards on your traditional layouts. #ctmh #closetomyheart #pocketscrapbooking #picturemylife #scrapbookingideas #scrapbooking

First up, there’s the “Love This” card. Our cut-apart pocket cards always include a title card that you can use as your main sentiment.

Next, we have the journaling card. Here, we used one of the decorative cards for our journaling by adding a few lines with a ruler and pen, but you’ll also find cards with pre-printed lines in our cut-apart cards, too. Either way, pocket cards make adding journaling to your pages a piece of cake!

Then we have the Honey photo mat on the right page—it’s a pocket card, too! Because our pocket cards come in both 4″ x 6″ and 3″ x 4″ sizes, they make great photo mats.

Ideas for how to use pocket scrapbooking cards on your traditional layouts. #ctmh #closetomyheart #pocketscrapbooking #picturemylife #scrapbookingideas #scrapbooking

If you’re looking for a fresh scrapbook pattern, try cutting apart some pocket cards and arranging them on your layouts in different patterns until something strikes your fancy. On this layout, we simply layered three pocket cards in a sort of fan pattern. By adding a stamped tag from our July Stamp of the Month and some Magical Complements, we ended up with a look we love. 🙂

Ideas for how to use pocket scrapbooking cards on your traditional layouts. #ctmh #closetomyheart #pocketscrapbooking #picturemylife #scrapbookingideas #scrapbooking

This layout shows what happens when you get creative with your pocket cards! Rather than cutting into a 12″ x 12″ sheet of paper to create paper accents, you can use pocket cards, which offer additional patterns not found in your larger papers. Take a look at the “Love today” title, for example. The circles come from the “Love This” card, and the word “today” was stamped on a trimmed down piece of another pocket card.

Whether you’re looking to put together a layout quickly or you’re just looking for some fresh ideas, pocket cards have your back. Try them out for yourself—they will change the way you scrapbook!

p.s. Remember our Magical Convention contest? Now is the perfect time to try using the Magical pocket cards to create a layout with your Convention photos! Share your layout on social media using the hashtag #magicalconvention for a chance to win one of our brand new My Legacy™ scrapbooking albums! Be sure to post your picture by July 25, because on July 28, we’ll randomly select five winners and announce them on the blog.

Recipes

12″ x 12″ Love This Layout
S1607 My Acrylix® From the Notebook, X7209B Magical Paper Packet, Z2816 Cranberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2848 Sapphire Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7209C Magical Complements

12″ x 12″ Love Today Layout
S1607 My Acrylix® From the Notebook, B1484 My Acrylix® Jennifer’s Hand, X7209B Magical Paper Packet, Z2816 Cranberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2848 Sapphire Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2862 Honey Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7209C Magical Complements, Z3216 White Twine

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