Tips for Creating Embellishment Clusters!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Follow along with us, today, as we give you an inside scoop into our creative process for designing and creating embellishment clusters of your own!

Embellishment clusters are large, sometimes intricate, paper accent pieces that are capable of standing on their own but can also be incorporated into larger projects, like scrapbook layouts, cards, or gift bags. We call these accents embellishment clusters because we are essentially putting several individual embellishments together, in a cluster.

While there are no set rules on where to begin creating these clusters, and there is no right or wrong way to proceed, we do have a few guidelines and tips to get you get you started on a successful creative experience!

1. Stick to a Color Scheme

When you first start designing an embellishment cluster, we recommend that you stick to a specific color scheme and spice it up with a complementary color or more neutral shade here and there. When you work off of a set color palette, it’s easier to focus your creative energy more effectively, and you’re more likely to end up with an embellishment cluster you really love!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #shakerwindow

This shaker window cluster is a great example of how to create around a color scheme. By focusing on cool shades of blue, throwing in a couple of green hues, and incorporating a few neutral tones, the elements of this embellishment cluster effectively harmonize with each other for a beautifully coordinated result!

2. Use a Variety of Paper and Cardstock Options

Incorporating different types of paper not only brings variety in patterns but in texture as well. Using our unique patterned papers next to our heavier, solid-colored cardstock helps to bring a nice variance to embellishment clusters.

If you’re looking to keep things a little simpler with the embellishment cluster itself, you can also consider saving more textured elements for the background.

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

With the card shown above, we kept things a little simpler overall and created exclusively with cardstock. Rather than featuring textured elements on the embellishment cluster itself, we used a large Thin Cuts die and two coordinating cardstock colors to create a gorgeous textured backdrop for this simple embellishment cluster!

3. Layer, Layer, Layer!

A great embellishment cluster often includes a few layers and dimension. Even a simple embellishment cluster should have at least one layered element to make sure it stands out from whatever background you may end up putting it on.

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #youmakemesmile

With this embellishment cluster, we made sure to create multiple layers so it will have some extra pop once it’s placed on a scrapbook page. (Using dimensional adhesives, like 3-D foam tape, are a great way to ensure that your embellishment clusters have added dimension, as well!)

4. Follow the Rule of Thirds

Incorporating this photography technique into your embellishment clusters is a great way to ensure that they remain balanced and can even help to simplify your design process. If you’re unfamiliar with what the rule of thirds entails, it’s basically the process of dividing your subject or scene into three distinct sections, making sure that each one is visually balanced with the others.

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #bloomandgrow #bloom&grow

With this embellishment cluster, imagine that there’s a 3″ x 3″ grid over it. With this imaginary grid applied, you’ll notice that the butterfly and floral accents are fairly close to intersection points on the grid, while the stamped “Bloom & GROW” title occupies the center square. By distributing the butterfly accent, stamped title, and floral accent in this way, it ensures that the entire cluster remains balanced. (Check out our photo composition blog post for a more in-depth explanation about the rule of thirds.)

5. Be Flexible

When it comes to crafting, you don’t always have to use crafting materials for their intended purpose. Take a look at this cute little cluster, for instance:

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #ohhappyday

The envelope you see here was actually created using a stitched hexagon Thin Cuts die, folding the sides of the cut hexagon shape into its center! Re-purposing die-cut shapes, incorporating paper scraps, and even trimming patterns or icons from other patterned papers for use in an embellishment cluster is an excellent way to make sure your work stays fresh, fun, and completely unique!

6. Work Smarter, Not Harder

Once you find a design, color combination, or shape pairing you love, stick with it for a few more embellishment clusters! This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to re-make the same identical embellishment cluster over and over again. Simply switching out a single element can make a huge difference!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #Easteregghunt #Easter #welcomespring

If a single, simple change isn’t doing enough, you can do a more drastic re-design while retaining the overall shape and combination of elements. These two shaker window clusters are a prime example of how different colors, patterns, and stamped images can be incorporated into a pre-existing design for a beautiful, brand-new result!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #shakerwindow #sunnydaysahead #youaremyluckycharm

Another way to work smarter is to think about future crafts and prepare for them while you’re in your creative zone! If you use a Thin Cuts metal die to cut an element for an embellishment cluster, cut a few more for future use! If you use a Cricut Design Space™ file to create your cluster, make sure to save it so you can return to it the next time you want to create a beautiful embellishment cluster!

There’s no hard-fast way to create embellishment clusters, but by holding yourself to a few basic guidelines like these, you can fast-track your creativity and make absolutely gorgeous embellishments that are completely unique to you!

How have you been using embellishment clusters? If this a brand-new concept to you, what’s the first thing you want to create with an embellishment cluster?


Recipes:

5″ x 3″ Party Time Shaker Window
Z3931 Kitchen Gnomes Stamp + Thin Cuts, C1867 My Acrylix® Best Wishes All Around Stamp Set, C1886 My Acrylix® Cheers My Dears Stamp Set, X7267B Eat Play Love Paper Packet, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), X5968 Lagoon Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3831 Peeled Paint Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, X7267E Eat Play Love Wood Shapes, Z3875 Black Bursts, Z3784 Bright Bitty Beads, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z2900 Silver Star Confetti, Z4309 Circle Shaker Window Thin Cuts, Z4310 Circle Shaker Window Foam + Acetate, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2515 Earth Brown Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2479 Gold Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2510 Ice Grey Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2512 Muted Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2498 True Black Marker, Z3515 Black Journaling Pen (.01), Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

4¼” x 5½” Hello Lovely Card (Vertical)
C1889 My Acrylix® Cherry Blossoms Stamp Set, X6055 Desert Rose Cardstock, X5960 Fern Cardstock, X6044 Peach Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3825 Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3639 Scalloped Circle Thin Cuts, Z3693 Floral Background Thin Cuts, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3560 Golden Rod Stickles™ Glitter Glue, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2512 Muted Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2496 Pale Pink TriBlend™ Marker, Z2530 Pale Pink Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

3¾” x 3¾” Welcome Spring Embellishment
D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, X7267B Eat Play Love Paper Packet, X6044 Peach Cardstock, X5958 Peacock Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3830 Mustard Seed Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3688 Stitched Scalloped Brackets Thin Cuts, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3874 Springtime Flower Sequins, Z2524 Aqua Blue TriBlend™ Marker, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2483 Light Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2520 Yellow Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

3¾” x 3¾” Easter Egg Hunt Embellishment
D1999 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—April Stamp Set, X7267B Eat Play Love Paper Packet, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), X5960 Fern Cardstock, X5958 Peacock Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3825 Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3874 Springtime Flower Sequins, Z4259 Stitched Square Frames Thin Cuts, Z3688 Stitched Scalloped Brackets Thin Cuts, Z3562 Silver Stickles™ Glitter Glue, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2518 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
#M46110

12″ x 12″ You Make Me Smile Page
Z3932 Daisy Meadows Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, Z3765 So Happy Together Stamps + Thin Cuts, D1988 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, C1889 My Acrylix® Cherry Blossoms Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), X5960 Fern Cardstock, X5959 New England Ivy Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3686 Stitched Fancy Brackets, Z4235 Gold Loose Sequins, Z2496 Pale Pink TriBlend™ Marker, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2530 Pale Pink Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2520 Yellow Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine, Sewing Machine

2″ x 3⅜” Bloom & Grow Tag
D1999 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—April Stamp Set, D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3831 Peeled Paint Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, X7266E Daisy Meadows Dots, Z4054 Gold Embellishing Thread, Z3869 Wood Hearts, Z3726 Tags & Tabs Thin Cuts, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2518 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2487 Jade Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2477 Tan TriBlend™ Marker, Z2525 Vintage Blue TriBlend™ Marker, Z3515 Black Journaling Pen (.01), Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine, ¼” Hole Punch

3½” x 3″ Oh Happy Day Envelope

Z3939 Besties—Lucy Stamp + Thin Cuts, Z3937 Besties—Olivia Stamp + Thin Cuts, D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, D1999 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—April Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), X6044 Peach Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z3678 Stitched Hexagons Thin Cuts, Z2489 Blue Turquoise TriBlend™ Marker, Z2523 Blue Turquoise Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2518 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2476 Fair Skin TriBlend™ Marker, Z2479 Gold Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2516 Gold Brown Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2487 Jade Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

3½” Sunny Days Ahead Shaker Window

B1734 My Acrylix® Sunny Days Ahead Stamp Set, D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, D2009 My Acrylix® Be the Good Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6521 Sundance Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Set, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4309 Circle Shaker Window Thin Cuts, Z4310 Circle Shaker Window Foam + Acetate, Z3677 Gold Star Confetti, Z3784 Bright Bitty Beads, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2418 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2488 Green Turquoise TriBlend™ Marker, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

3½” You’re My Lucky Charm Shaker Window
Z3929 Be the Good Stamp + Thin Cuts, C1867 My Acrylix® Best Wishes All Around Stamp Set, D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3783 Bold Bitty Beads, Z3677 Gold Star Confetti, Z4309 Circle Shaker Window Thin Cuts, Z4310 Circle Shaker Window Foam + Acetate, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2518 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2487 Jade Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine, Cricut® Basic Shapes

Cricut® Shape:
Basic Shapes
#M369879

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20 Pocket Scrapbooking Tips & Ideas

For a lot of us, September marks the beginning of one of the busier times of the year. The “-ber” months. With the start of a new and unique school year, followed by the most celebrated family centered seasonal time, including fall festivities, then Thanksgiving, and eventually Hanukah and Christmas, during which we try to cram as much jubilee as possible into our already busy lives—we all have so much going on, and it may feel like there is just no time to dedicate to preserving all of these fond, albeit sometimes somewhat hectic, memories.

What if we told you that scrapbooking can be fast, simple, and easy! It is a perfect time to discover, or rediscover, the simplicity of scrapbooking in pockets! By using Memory Protectors™ with multiple pockets, you can quickly catch up on your scrapbooking or just add photos, art, and journaling (and any other keepsake that you can fit into a pocket) to your albums.

From how to tell a story to the creating of the artwork that goes along with it, pocket scrapbooking is a memory keeping style all its own. If you are new to this style of scrapbooking or are simply looking for inspiration for your pages, we’ve compiled a list of artwork tips and ideas for you below!

Pocket Scrapbooking Tips & Ideas:

1. Fill no more than half your pockets on a page with non-photo elements.

2. Stick to a color palette, pulling color ideas from your photos.

3. Use Picture My Life™ pocket cards (designed to coordinate with each other in theme and color).

Pocket Scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart #picturemylife #pocketscrapbooking #ctmhtimber #memorykeeping #storytelling #scrapbooking

4. Design and make your own pocket cards from papers, Thin Cuts, stickers, and stamps. (This is a great way to use up some of your scraps, too!)

5. Fill pockets with other things, besides cards or photos (ticket stubs, loose Cricut® shapes, sequins, etc.).
Tip: We sealed the sequins pocket you see in our example so the sequins wouldn’t fall out.

6. Make a statement and split large titles or photos into multiple squares.
Tip: Consider printing a large 6 x 8 photo and split it up into several pockets!

7. Use the negative space of a Cricut® shape to create a pocket card. If the space is large enough, back it with a light color cardstock and use the space for journaling. If you are cutting several small shapes (like our 2019 below), back it with cardstock or any other paper that will add interest to your layout.

Pocket Scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart #picturemylife #pocketscrapbooking #memorykeeping #storytelling #scrapbooking

8. Add a sentiment to your photos by stamping directly on them
Tip: If your photo has any sort of finish on them, we recommend you use StazOn™ ink. If it is a truly matte photo, Archival Black is a good choice.

9. Don’t want to stamp on your photos but want a similar effect? Stamp directly onto the pocket Memory Protector™ with StazOn™ ink, instead.

10. Add embellishments to the outside of the Memory Protectors™.

11. Use Flip Flaps™! If you have too many photos or things that you want to work into a page but not enough pockets (or enough to fill whole other page) add these stick on pockets that flip up (or in any direction that you attach them) to reveal whatever is underneath!

12. Similarly, if you have too many photos for a traditional scrapbook layout, and don’t want to create another layout with all of the remaining photos, use pocket pages to display these.

Pocket Scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart #picturemylife #pocketscrapbooking #ctmhsummervibes #memorykeeping #storytelling #scrapbooking

13. If you have a piece of memorabilia to display that is too small for a pocket, mount it onto a piece of paper that will fit.

14. Create a window to the next page in your album by partially filling a pocket (use a smaller photo, half a pocket card, etc.).

15. Number your photos to give your page or layout a more narrative direction. Take this a step further by adding numbered journaling to a pocket card that corresponds with the numbered photos.

16. Create color visual triangles. This means to purposefully place the same color in three different places that, when connected, form a triangle.

17. Don’t have time, or care for, writing in full paragraphs? Use bullet journaling to keep track of the details of a memory!

18. If one of your pockets is holding a card that you want to remember to pull out when you revisit the page, add a tab along the edge of the card on the open side of the pocket.

19. Easily add some visual interest to your photos by trimming them down ¼” and mounting them on a piece of paper that fits the pockets exactly, creating a border around your photos.

20. Sometimes things don’t fit in pockets—like notes, journal pages, your grandma’s favorite clock—take photos of these things to include them in your stories.

21. We said 20, so this one is a bonus: plan ahead. If you know you will be going on a tropical vacation, or camping, or pumpkin picking—there are activities that you know for certain you will be participating in (playing on the beach, sitting around a camp fire, walking through a pumpkin patch, etc.). When you are scrapbooking with pockets, it’s easy to lay out some pages really quickly for these types of events without having the photos yet. Once you have them, add them. If you don’t like the way it’s laid out, rearrange! Easy-peasy!

Pocket Scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart #picturemylife #pocketscrapbooking #ctmhsummervibes #memorykeeping #storytelling #scrapbooking

If you just went through our list and still find yourself at a loss for how to begin, or otherwise feel that your finished pocket layouts didn’t turn out quite right, try revisiting one of our previous posts, 5 Approaches to Pocket Scrapbooking, where we share additional ideas to get you thinking about how to create a pocket page or layout, and to get you up to speed on this popular style of scrapbooking.

Whether you’re cutting things up, attaching them to a pocket card, or creating a pocket for a group of items—there is no wrong way to tell your story. In the comments below, share with all of us how you are using pocket scrapbooking in your memory keeping.


Recipes:12″ x 12″ Hooray for Today Pocket Scrapbooking Layout
D1938 My Acrylix® Love Lives Here Stamp Set, D1926 My Acrylix® Simple Florals Stamp Set, X9017 Mix-in Paper Packet, X6047 Black Cardstock, X6044 Peach Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6047 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2851 Saffron Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7258D Summer Vibes Picture My Life™ Cards, Z4235 Gold Loose Sequins, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z1950 12″ x 12″ Memory Protectors™ Design 3, Z1951 12″ x 12″ Memory Protectors™ Design 4

6″ x 8″ On this Day Pocket Scrapbooking Layout
D1929 My Acrylix® Paper Pal Beach Day Stamp Set, D1932 My Acrylix® Joyful Sunflower Stamp Set, CC7203 Happiest Place Coordinating Cardstock, X5978 Glacier Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7258D Summer Vibes Picture My Life™ Cards, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z3191 6″ x 8″ Memory Protectors™ Design 2, Z3192 6″ x 8″ Memory Protectors™ Design 1

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Scrapbooking with Actual Scraps

Have you ever finished up a project and wondered what to do with those tiny bits of leftover paper? Do you throw it out? Do you let it sit on your desk for months waiting for a purpose? Don’t forget, though, that scrapbooking has “scrap” in it for a very good reason! Today, we’re going to show you how to use those extra little scraps in a big way!

Using your leftover paper remnants not only allows you to create some truly unique projects, but it also helps clean up your crafting area. (Let’s be honest, with all the great holiday products in the November–December Catalog, it couldn’t hurt to make some extra room!) 😉

Scrapbooking with Scraps #ctmh #closetomyheart #fall #autumn #scrapbooking #ctmhhawthorn #ctmheverylittlething #ctmhspooktacular

To create the striking background elements in these layouts, we used some leftover paper pieces from the Every Little Thing, Hawthorn, and Spooktacular paper packets. As we get ready to say goodbye to these great collections, we couldn’t resist using them one last time, and we love how they turned out!

In this first layout, we’ve taken scrap pieces of various sizes and dovetailed the ends to create a background element for the main photos and title. It’s a fairly simple layout other than the bright colors in these dovetailed pieces, so a few scraps can certainly go a long way!

Tip: If you only have small scrap pieces, you can still dovetail these and position them so they peek out on either side of your photo. That way, you still get the effect, even if you don’t have a ton of paper.

 This effect can be achieved with many different sizes of scrap paper, and you can use them on much more than just a large main photo or title. Use this trick with smaller photos and to dress up your journaling boxes. There really is so much you can do with just a few small scraps!

Scrapbooking with Scraps #ctmh #closetomyheart #fall #autumn #scrapbooking #ctmhhawthorn #ctmheverylittlething #ctmhspooktacular

In this second layout, we’ve taken a slightly different approach; while we kept a few of the dovetailed pieces we showed you in the previous example, we also trimmed some other remnant pieces into small diamond shapes for an entirely new look.

Scrapbooking with Scraps #ctmh #closetomyheart #fall #autumn #scrapbooking #ctmhhawthorn #ctmheverylittlething #ctmhspooktacular

As we mentioned in the previous tip, you don’t ALWAYS have to have a large scrap piece to make it play a big role in the construction of your layout. If you don’t have a piece big enough to use as a background for a photo, you can use smaller strips to form a frame, while leaving the middle open. Once it’s covered by the photo, no one will be the wiser!

Scrapbooking with Scraps #ctmh #closetomyheart #fall #autumn #scrapbooking #ctmhhawthorn #ctmheverylittlething #ctmhspooktacular

No matter how you use them, scrap pieces are a great way to add some truly unique flair to your layouts, cards, or papercrafts. We hope you’ve been able to take some inspiration from today’s post, and we can’t wait to see how you incorporate your leftover scraps into your own projects. Leave us a comment below and let us know how you’re using scraps in your own artwork.


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Fall Is in the Air Layout
X7248S Every Little Thing Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X7249B Hawthorn Paper Packet, CC10192 Spooktacular Paper Packet, X5955 Pebble Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3543 Hawthorn Wood Shapes, Z4235 Gold Loose Sequins, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3224 Small Round Waterbrush, Z3515 Black Journaling Pen (.01), Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots

12″ x 12″ The Good Life Layout
D1873 My Acrylix® Hawthorn—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7248S Every Little Thing Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X7249B Hawthorn Paper Packet, CC10192 Spooktacular Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2828 Toffee Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7248C Every Little Thing Complements, Z3552 Wooden Arrows, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3224 Small Round Waterbrush, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots

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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.

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

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!

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

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.

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

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.

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

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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